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A story of courage through art: Valentina Lisitsa plays concert in Donetsk

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Valentina Lisitsa - Hero Pianist
A uplifting concert from a heroic pianist banned from performing in Toronto for her opposition to the war being waged in her country

Amidst all the horror of the Ukrainian conflict, 22nd June 2015 produced a moment of true heroism.


The pianist Valentina Lisitsa — prevented from performing in Toronto because of her opposition to the war being waged in her native Ukraine — performed a concert in Donetsk.

This was a true anti-war concert - commemorating those who fought fascism on the anniversary of the Nazi attack on the USSR (Operation Barbarossa).


Comment: See:


Handcuffs

Ex-Baltimore cop pulls back dark curtain on corruption culture

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© Reuters/Evan Habeeb
A former Baltimore detective has started tweeting daily examples of police brutality, false arrests, and lying in court, which he said he witnessed over the course of 11 years serving in the Baltimore Police Department (BPD)

Michael A. Wood, Jr. used nine tweets on Wednesday to blow the whistle about things he had "seen & participated in, in policing that is corrupt, intentional or not."

Wood wrote that he will tweet some examples each day "so that we have time for ?s, reflections, and improvement in between."

Comment: Does he have an agenda to get people riled up?


Sherlock

Autopsy report in death of Freddie Gray shows single 'high-energy' injury

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© Reuters / Adrees Latif
The Baltimore man who died in police custody in April suffered a single "high-energy injury" that broke his spine, most likely caused by the sudden slowing down of the police van, says the autopsy report obtained by the local press.

Gray had no previous injuries indicating a neck hold or caused by physical restraint by police officers who arrested him on April 12, says the report obtained by the Baltimore Sun on Tuesday. Assistant medical examiner Carol H. Allan concluded that Gray may have gotten to his feet inside the van, and was thrown into a wall during a sudden change in direction.

Though his death fit the medical and legal definition of an accident, Allan ruled it a homicide because the arresting officers failed to follow safety procedures "through acts of omission." The officers shackled Gray's wrists and ankles and loaded him into the van on his belly, rather than belting him into a seat as Baltimore PD guidelines called for.

Eye 1

Veterans Affairs police officers file lawsuit against VA alleging management spied on them

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© Reuters / Marcos Brindicci
More than 20 police officers have filed a lawsuit claiming that management of the Veterans Affairs medical center spied on them in their break rooms through video cameras and microphones.

The lawsuit, filed by 24 Veterans Affairs police officers, claimed they discovered the bugging when a colleague alerted them that their chief of police "may be monitoring their activities," on January 19, 2014.

Five days later a group of officers found a camera with a microphone mounted on a support bracket hidden behind CCTV monitors. Indicator lights on the device were covered up in black tape. When officers covered up the microphone to discuss their find, the chief of police, Jerry Brown, entered the control room demanding to know what the officers were doing, and ordered them to draft statements about what was happening, according to the complaint.

Officers subsequently found another hidden camera and microphone in a break room in March, 2014. Footage and audio recordings from this camera were used by the police chief to make disciplinary charges against one of the plaintiff's in the suit, Luis Rodriguez-Soto, which included a two-week suspension without pay, according to the complaint.

Comment: No one is safe from government surveillance, even government employees themselves.


Eye 2

Father describes son's harrowing neglect and torture leading to his death while in police custody

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© Facebook
Frederick Farris, the father of Keaton Farris, who died in US police custody, told RT patients with mental health problems need better supervision. His bi-polar son died from a lack of food and water with Farris Sr. saying he was treated as a "subhuman."

"It is so harrowing and so ridiculous the amount of neglect, torture," Frederick Farris, Keaton's father said.

"We would like to see all inmates receive proper medical attention, food, water, that's needed to be healthy, and be monitored and checked on a reasonable amount [of time]," the father added.

Farris mentioned that his son had received just 20 percent of the water needed by someone to survive, let alone live a healthy life. The water supply to his cell had been shut off because Keaton had previously put a pillow in the toilet, which caused his cell to flood.

"This blatant disregard, they treated him like a subhuman. My theory was that he was crying out for help because no one was checking up on him," Keaton said, mentioning that his 25-year-old son was"compassionate and had a great smile."


Arrow Down

Dominican Republic deporting thousands of Haitians who have lived there for generations


Haitian Migrants Face Mass Deportations from Dominican Republic
Beginning this week, the Dominican government will move forward with the deportation of an estimated 210,000 allegedly Haitian refugees living in the Dominican Republic (DR). A large majority of them have lived in the Dominican Republic for generations, have never visited Haiti or spoken Creole, or were brought over from Haiti as children.[1] They will be rendered stateless under the DR's draconian immigration laws, which targets and expels those "dark-skinned Dominicans with Haitian facial features" who cannot prove, with birth certificates or citizenship papers, they legally belong in the DR.[2]

The Dominican government has been creating a stateless underclass out of those of Haitian descent for decades, however, the decision to deport them in massive premeditated quantities—despite fervent opposition by foreign governments and international legal and humanitarian bodies—is a decisive escalation from structural violence to physical violence at the hands of President Danilo Medina's government. The prevalence of antihaitanismo, a pejorative ideology which "serves elite interests well and has even been accepted by the great majority of the Dominican people as part of their political culture", has its roots in the era of Dominican dictator Rafael Trujillo, whose regime infamously warned against "Haitianizing influences, whose consequences will always be extremely fatal for Dominican society."[3] This ideology pulsed throughout the Parsley Massacre of 1937, in which the Trujillo regime murdered upwards of 20,000 alleged Haitians on the basis of whether or not they could trill the "r" in perejil, the Spanish term for parsley—a perverse semantic exercise that often proved morbid for native Haitian Creole speakers.[4]

Heart - Black

Leaked photos show New York Times staff mimicking mass killings

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© Reuters / Gary Hershorn
The headquarters of the New York Times
Two leaked photographs show top New York Times staff in poses making fun of mass killings shortly after they happened.

An unnamed former New York Times employee provided Gawker with the photos, which were then published on Tuesday. They show an apparent disconnect between the NYT image of decorous professionalism and literal images of staff making light of mass death.

One photo shows the longtime NYT opinion page editor Andrew Rosenthal wielding a fake M16 rifle and a bottle of wine over staffers stained with fake blood, recreating the June 2001 Nepalese royal massacre. The massacre was committed by the Crown Prince Dipendra, who took the lives of nine people including the king, queen, as well as his own. One of the weapons that he used was an M16.

The calendar on the wall indicates that the reenactment also occurred in June 2001, when the memory of the tragedy would have still been fresh in the minds of the public.


Comment: These journalists apparently have a lot of free time on their hands, probably because they don't actually produce any copy but just regurgitate government propaganda.


Chart Bar

Last call: Largest sell-off in stocks since 2008

We all knew this day would come. The stock market has reached completely unrealistic levels, and it was only a matter of time before investors started getting out while the getting is good, which is exactly how most bubbles start to unravel. And now, that very situation is coming to pass.

Earlier today, Jill Carey Hall of Bank of America Merrill Lynch announced that their clients sold $4.1 billion in stocks last week. Coincidentally, this is largest sell-off that they've seen January of 2008. But more importantly, the bulk of these sales have been conducted by what she's calling "institutional investors." In other words, these are some of the biggest stock players, which often include insurance companies, hedge funds, banks, and pension funds. This sudden sell-off was just that. Sudden. According to Jill Carey "After three weeks of net buying, institutional clients' net sales last week were the largest in our data history"

Comment: Financial chaos and collapse may be just around the corner. It would be wise to get your own "financial" house in order.


Magnify

UN peacekeepers in Africa under investigation for sexually abusing underage girls

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© Reuters / Bruno Domingos
A new sexual abuse scandal has engulfed the UN peacekeeping contingent in the Central African Republic after the UN announced that it has opened an investigation and notified troops from contributing countries of the child abuse cases in Bangui.

"If the allegations are substantiated, this would constitute a grave violation of UN principles and of the code of conduct of peacekeepers," spokesperson of the Secretary General, Stephane Dujarric said in New York. "The member-state will be requested to take swift and appropriate punitive action."

According to the UN, countries that have troops in the Central African Republic (CAR) were notified on Monday and now have ten days to report back to UN on their action plans in response to the allegation.

The latest case of sexual abuse by peacekeepers in Bangui was recorded by the UN CAR mission (MINUSCA) last Friday, and involves underage girls. Dujarric did not specify how many girls were involved or the country of origin of the perpetrators.

Comment: The UN peacekeepers seem to be a hotbed for sexual predators, with seemingly very little interest from the UN in stopping such behavior


Control Panel

Ignoring the blatantly obvious

I have a hard time with people not being willing to recognize what's obviously in front of their faces. It's a voluntary mind game people play with themselves to justify whatever it is they think they want. This is massively exacerbated by an array of social engineering tactics, many of which are to create the very mind sets and desires people so adamantly defend.

But that's no excuse for a lack of simple conscious recognition and frankly makes absolutely no sense.

We can't blame these manipulators for everything. Ultimately we all have free choice. Plainly seeing what's right in front of our noses, no matter how well sold or disguised, is our human responsibility. That people would relinquish this innate right and capability totally escapes me.

Comment: Aside from the very low awareness of psychopathy on a societal level, the populace as a whole is firmly stuck within the normalcy bias.

Brainwashing methods designed to promote acceptance of the coming genocide
The Normalcy Bias condition is well known to psychologists and sociologists. It refers to a mental state of denial in which individuals enter into when facing a disaster or pending danger. Normalcy Bias leads people to underestimate and minimize both the possibility of a catastrophe actually happening, as well as its possible consequences to their health and safety.