Society's Child

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Homeless people are reportedly living inside the Manhattan Bridge

Manhattan Bridge
© joel raskin's flickr
The homelessness epidemic in NYC reached new highs last year, with HUD reporting that 64,060 people were living in emergency shelters, transitional housing, in abandoned buildings and on the streets. While the national rate has been in decline, homelessness in NYC increased by more than 13 percent from the year prior. So where have all these homeless people been living? According to the Post, some of them have been getting comfortable INSIDE of the Manhattan Bridge.

The Post reports that there are spaces built into the underside of the upper deck of the bridge (above the bike lanes, below car traffic) that a few homeless people have converted into "coffin-sized living spaces." That includes one space built into the bridge frame near the Manhattan entrance where a Chinese man in his 40s has been staying. Police only discovered these spaces when that man was spotted last Sunday climbing a fence to get to his space; he was mistaken for a jumper, which led cops to discovering his shack.

"It's pretty cool, it's a very New York story," said West Village resident said Debra Vitale. "I mean, hopefully, he's safe, and he has some way of supporting himself so he gets food." It's a very NY story, and certainly the Manhattan Bridge has a hell of a view, but it's not "pretty cool" to be forced to resorting to live in a 10.5 foot space sandwiched between a bellowing subway line and a major vehicular bypass - especially when local government helped foster the environment in which this has to happen by enacting rules making it tougher for those in need to enter the city's shelter system. But hey, homeless is a good sign of a vibrant economy, and god works in mysterious ways, right?
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DOJ investigation confirms: Albuquerque police 'executing' citizens

Albuquerque Police
© Cole L. Howard
Protesting against systemic abuse by the Albuquerque Police Department on Sunday April 6, demonstrators encountered officers in riot gear.
Residents of Albuquerque, New Mexico are marching on the police department Saturday to demand retribution against the city's mayor and police chief for their role in the police force's documented "execution" of citizens.

The march comes after the Department of Justice slammed the Albuquerque Police Department for their frequent use of excessive and lethal force in a damning report released on Thursday.

Though, according to advocates, abuse by local law enforcement has been systemic for years, calls for increased scrutiny of the APD were amplified following the police shooting death of James Boyd, a homeless man suffering from mental illness, on March 16.

Advocates welcomed the DOJ's findings, saying the report was "spot on" in terms of identifying the root causes of this behavior, such as the "aggressive culture of the department" and the way in which "force is prioritized in training."

However, according to David Correia, an organizer with the Task Force for Public Safety who has been working with families of victims of APD violence, the DOJ's inclusion of Mayor Richard J. Berry and police chief Gorden Eden in the negotiations for the consent decree, which will dictate how those recommendations will be implemented, is a "non-starter" for the community groups.

The systemic deficiencies identified by the DOJ are "all produced and reinforced through leadership," Correia told Common Dreams. "To say those people should be involved to us is 'no go.' We don't want them to be a part of it."

Corruption of Science and Education: No A-level for 'climate change denier' student

Schoolchildren are taught a one-sided Greenpeace-type view of the global warming scare
Brainwashing about global warming percolates throughout the education system

Not often does a senior Cabinet minister declare that a policy long pursued by his own department is "against the law". But that was the response of Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, to a report exposing just how profoundly our education system has been hijacked by promoters of the official group-think on global warming.

Expanding on a theme touched on here more than once over the years, the report for the Global Warming Policy Foundation by Andrew Montford and John Shade shows how generations of schoolchildren have been taught to accept as gospel nothing but a propagandist, Greenpeace-type view of the global-warming scare, so one-sided that it makes a mockery of the requirement under the 1996 Education Act that pupils only be taught in a balanced way, allowing them to form their own view of the evidence.
Cow Skull

Federal back down: Nevada rancher, armed militias win standoff with Feds, govt returns cattle

Bundy's ranch
© Reuters
The tense stand-off between hundreds of protesters and police has ended in the Nevada desert, forcing the authorities to cancel the round-up of 300 animals and to return the cattle to their owner.

The standoff between rancher Cliven Bundy and the US Bureau of Land Management has lasted over a week, after hundreds of armed agents with the United States Bureau of Land Management and the FBI turned up in the Clark County to execute the court-ordered confiscation of nearly 1,000 cattle. The US government says the animals have trespassed on federal property.

This provoked a fierce backlash from anti-government groups, right-wing politicians and gun-rights activists, who gathered near 67-year-old Cliven Bundy's farmhouse to support him in the standoff against the government.

At the height of the protests, there were about 1,000 protesters outside the rancher's home. Among them were militia members from California, Idaho and other US states, camouflaged, with rifles and side arms.

"If we don't show up everywhere, there is no reason to show up anywhere," one of the camouflaged men said, holding an AR-15 rifle. "I'm ready to pull the trigger if fired upon," Scott said.
Red Flag

Pro-Russian militants armed with pistols and rifles storm police stations in eastern Ukrainian cities

© AFP/ Getty
Members of the disbanded Ukraine's elite Berkut riot police, together with Russian separatists, enter the seized regional police headquarters in Donetsk today
Armed pro-Russian militants have today raised their flags over official buildings in two eastern Ukrainian cities deepening a stand-off with Moscow, which Kiev warned, could drag Europe closer to the brink of a 'gas war'.

In the regional capital of Donetsk the police chief quit his post as protestors - dressed in the uniforms of the now defunct Ukrainian riot-police - stormed the headquarters.

They occupied the ground floor and hoisted the black and orange flag adopted by pro-Russian separatists over the building, in place of the Ukrainian flag.

Kostyantyn Pozhydayev appeared on the steps of the police station to speak to the protestors, telling them he was stepping down 'in accordance with your demands'.

As he left the building, he was accompanied by some of his officers.

Total recall, Slavic style? Czech officers 'identify' Norway mystery man

© Norwegian Police
Mystery man found in Norway last December
The mysterious amnesiac man who turned up in Norway but could not remember his name or where he was from has been identified by the Czech police, their counterparts in Oslo said on Wednesday.

"We were informed tonight through Interpol that the Czech police had identified the man," Oeyvind Torgersen, an Oslo police official told AFP.

"The Czech police went to his parents... we know his identity," said Torgersen, but adding no further details.

The information may help bring to an end months of fruitless search to find out the identity of the man who spoke English with a Slavic accent, and known only as "John Smith".

The news came just a day after Norwegian police released the man's photos and details to the public.

The tall, young amnesiac was found helpless in the snow near a carwash in Oslo last December. How he got there, and from where, "Smith" claims to have no idea.
Light Sabers

Berkut forces side with protesters as pro-federalization activists take over govt buildings across Eastern Ukraine

Protests in Eastern Ukraine
© Unknown
Thousands of pro-federalization activists have rallied in cities across Eastern Ukraine, calling for greater sovereignty of their region from Kiev. Activists have formed militias that helped anti-Maidan protesters seize several government buildings. Pro-federalization activists occupy city council, police HQ in Slavyansk

Activists in Slavyansk, a city in eastern Ukraine located in the north of the Donetsk region with a population of 120,000, seized the police headquarters and the city council building Saturday. Police said Anti-Maidan protesters also seized the local office of Ukraine's Security Service, the SBU.

They hoisted a Russian flag on top of the police HQ, Slavyansk Mayor Nelly Shtepa said.

"As I negotiated with the activists today, they explained that they represent the Donetsk regional people's militia. They said that they oppose Kiev authorities and today they are negotiating with them" she said.

Comment: As is evident from the above, these are not as the Western media claims small isolated protests.


Missouri authorities search for serial freeway shooter

© AP/Kansas City Star
Missouri authorities are asking for federal helping in catching a serial shooter.

They're trying to find out who's behind more than a dozen sniper-like attacks on drivers on Kansas City freeways over the past month.

Three drivers have been wounded by gunfire as they drove along area highways, many in an area called the Three Trails Crossing, where three interstate highways intersect.

Ten of the 13 shootings happened in Kansas City, including Sunday evening when a 56-year-old man was eastbound on Interstate 435 near I-470 when he was shot in the left calf.

"I was freaking out, making sure he called 911."
Eye 2

16 year-old Pennsylvania high school student goes on stabbing spree; 22 classmates wounded

© AP
With only two common kitchen knives in tow, 16-year-old Alex Hribal chased his Franklin Regional Senior High School classmates in a stabbing spree Wednesday morning. As witnesses describe the incident, many reacted slowly to the school's fire alarm, expecting a common fire drill. By the time Hribal was subdued, 22 people in all had been wounded.

As sophomore Cameron Lazor described the experience, the image of a classmate attempting to wrestle the kitchen knife out of Hribal's hands looked like "a group of boys being immature and fighting," but the blood made obvious Hribal's intentions. Others described turning down a hallway to see a flock of students running away as Hribal hacked at anyone in reach. Doctors say most of the people Hribal slashed did not realize at the time what was happening and did not see the knife attack coming.

It was just before the start of class and the hallways were packed with students at their lockers or chatting with friends.
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U.S. corn exports to China drop 85 percent after ban on GMO strains - industry report

© AFP Photo / Philippe Huguen
China's rejection of shipments of US corn containing traces of unapproved genetically modified maize has caused a significant drop in exports. According to a new report, US traders have lost $427 million in sales.

Overall, China has barred nearly 1.45 million tons of corn shipments since last year, the National Grain and Feed Association (NGFA), an American industry association, said Friday.

The tally is based on data from export companies and is significantly higher than the previous numbers reported by the media, which said roughly 900,000 tons were affected. US corn exports to China since January are down 85 percent from the same period last year, the report says.