Society's Child


Amid sanctions war, Russian economic policy authority recommends diverting energy flows to Asia

putin chinese pipeline

Putin opening the Russian section of a Russian-Chinese pipeline
Russian elite opinion lining up behind full-scale pivot to China. Long term, Europe's economy will suffer while US benefits

Russia's leading economic policy making authority has released a report which urges Russia to divert energy flows to Asia, away from Europe where risks of a deflationary spiral and stagnation remain high.

Amid growing tensions with Europe over the US-initiated sanctions war, the growing consensus among Russian elites to develop markets in the east is likely to be painful for Europe, particularly for Germany.

According to the report, by the ministry of economic development, the world economic slowdown has hit bottom and a rebound is likely to take place in the next 3 years. World economic growth will increase from 3.3% in 2014 to 4.0% in 2017. China will be at the forefront (see graphic below). Russia may profit from the rebound if it develops strong ties with Asia; particularly China.
Evil Rays

Netherlands is okay with 'No Surrender' biker gang fighting Islamic State jihadists

© AFP Photo/Olaf Kraak
Members of the No Surrender biker gang are fighting against Islamic State militants in northern Iraq
The Dutch public prosecutor said on Tuesday that motorbike gang members who have reportedly joined Kurds battling the Islamic State group in Iraq are not necessarily committing any crime.

"Joining a foreign armed force was previously punishable, now it's no longer forbidden," public prosecutor spokesman Wim de Bruin told AFP.

"You just can't join a fight against the Netherlands," he told AFP after reports emerged that Dutch bikers from the No Surrender gang were fighting IS insurgents alongside Kurds in northern Iraq.

The head of No Surrender, Klaas Otto, told state broadcaster NOS that three members who traveled to near Mosul in northern Iraq were from Dutch cities Amsterdam, Rotterdam and Breda.

A photograph on a Dutch-Kurdish Twitter account shows a tattooed Dutchman called Ron in military garb, holding a Kalashnikov assault rifle while sat with a Kurdish comrade.

Comment: Just can't imagine what could be going through these bikers' mind. Fighting terrorism with terrorism will not accomplish anything productive. Loosing their life for what exactly?


Conservative and religious states in the U.S. more likely to search for Internet porn

© Shutterstock
Individuals in states with higher levels of religiosity and conservatism are more likely use the Internet to search for sexually explicit material, according to a study in the latest Archives of Sexual Behavior.

In "Do American States with More Religious or Conservative Populations Search More for Sexual Content on Google?," Canadian psychologists Gordon Hodson and Cara MacInnis correlated state-wide levels of both religiosity and conservatism with Google trends. Religiosity was defined by answers to a 2011 Gallup poll in which residents were asked to define how religious they were, while conservatism was determined by self-identification.

According to the study's abstract, the psychologists "observed moderate-to-large positive associations between: (1) greater proportions of state-level religiosity and general web searching for sexual content and (2) greater proportions of state-level conservatism and image-specific searching for sex."

While this means that "a greater preponderance of right-leaning ideologies is associated with greater preoccupation with sexual content in private Internet activity," the correlation may not necessarily be prurient on the part of social conservatives.
Eye 2

Ohio pastor accused of forcing abortions and vasectomies on church members

© screenshot from youtube by Ernest Angley Ministries
Ernest Angley
Former members of Grace Cathedral in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio have accused church leader and televangelist Ernest Angley of demanding they have abortions or vasectomies, and that he would both engage in and turn a blind eye to sexual abuse in the church.

Over 20 former members of Angley's congregation spoke with the Akron Beacon Journal in its six-part series on various allegations made against the 93-year-old preacher. Former members said he pushed vasectomies and abortions, and that he would personally examine "the genitals of the male parishioners before and after their [vasectomy] surgeries," the Beacon Journal wrote.

One former member of Grace Cathedral said "none of us have kids because he makes all the men get fixed."

"You're not allowed to have babies there," Becky Roadman told the Beacon Journal.

Others said Angley regularly counseled women to have abortions, going so far as to say to one woman in his congregation that she should think of her fetus as "a tumor," said former Grace member Angelia Oborne.

"She was four months pregnant and she sat in the [abortion clinic] waiting room and told her baby that she was so sorry that she was doing this," Oborne said. "I know another girl - she won't come forward - but she was forced into having four abortions."

Helicopter vanishes without trace on 280 kilometre flight across mountainous Tyva Republic, Russia

Intense search reveals no sign of Mil Mi-8 lost early Saturday with 12 people on board.
© Tyva Online
Search teams included 363 people, Mi-8 helicopters, An-26 and An-2 planes.
A massive search in one of Siberia's remotest regions has yielded a complete blank as emergency workers seek to understand what has happened to the helicopter. Radio contact was lost when it was en route between Sorug and the republican capital Kyzyl.

A state of emergency was imposed on Saturday after it vanished 220 km east of Kyzyl. An early report that a mobile phone of one of the men on board was ringing AFTER the crash has not led to the location being established.

Shielded from Justice: The high cost of living in a police state

"It's been over five months since the night a SWAT team broke into the house in which we were staying...We were staying with relatives and my whole family was sleeping in one room. My husband and I, our three daughters and our baby (nicknamed "Baby Bou Bou") in his crib. Dressed like soldiers, they broke down the door. The SWAT officers tossed a flashbang grenade into the room. It landed in Baby Bou Bou's crib, blowing a hole in his face and chest that took months to heal and covering his entire body with scars...

"Doctors tell us that my son will have to have double reconstructive surgeries twice a year, every year for the next 20 years... [I]n five short months our family has taken on nearly $900,000 in medical bills, some of which have now gone into collections... After initially offering to cover the medical expenses, the county has since refused to cover any of our medical costs, all of which would never have happened if the SWAT team hadn't broken into the home." - Alecia Phonesavanh
Police State USA
© Tom Pennington/Getty Images
Who pays the price for the police shootings that leave unarmed citizens dead or injured, for the SWAT team raids that leave doors splintered, homes trashed, pets murdered, and family members traumatized and injured, if not dead?

I'm not just talking about the price that must be paid in hard-earned dollars, whether by taxpayers or the victims, in attempting to restore what was vandalized and broken by police. It's also the things that can't be so easily calculated to a decimal point: the broken bones that will never quite heal right, the children's nightmares at night, the uneasy sleep, the broken family heirlooms, the loss of faith in a system that was supposed to serve and protect you, the grief for loved ones whose lives were cut short.

Baby Bou Bou may have survived the misdirected SWAT team raid that left him with a hole in his face and extensive scars on his body, but he will be the one to pay the price for the rest of his life for the SWAT team's blunder in launching a flashbang grenade into his crib. And even though the SWAT team was wrong about the person they were after, even though they failed to find any drugs in the home they'd raided, and even though they may have regretted the fact that Baby Bou Bou got hurt, it will still be the Phonesavanh family who will pay and pay and pay for the endless surgeries every year to reconstruct their son's face as he grows from toddler to boy to teenager to man. Already, they have racked up more than $900,000 in medical bills. Incredibly, government officials refused to cover the family's medical expenses.

We are the people, we are the power: Ferguson activists storm St Louis city hall over accountability police

Be accountable or be gone. One of the leading activists Kennard Williams talking to a city hall official
In a fresh action for accountability from the police force, about 100 youths stormed the St. Louis City Hall with banners demanding a civilian review board for all "police shootings" and to stop supplying the force with heavy military equipment.

Another demand had to do with body cameras, so that each encounter between an officer and a suspect can be recorded for future reference.

These events were set in motion after the shooting death of unarmed teenager Michael Brown on August 9, which were followed by months of rioting.

It's the fourth day of the Ferguson October, which saw hundreds of protesters marching to the suburb's police station on Monday to protest excessive use of force and police shootings nationwide.

Meanwhile in St. Louis, three white 15-foot banners with black letters were displayed by the crowd, stating that "We are the people. We have the power", "Be accountable or be gone" and "Which side are you on." They made it as far as the foyer of the City Hall. There was a mix of black and white youths.

Comment: Respect!

Turning up the heat at St Louis protests: Ferguson activists reject religious leaders' platitudes


FBI accused of allowing informant hacker to crack Murdoch media tabloid

murdoch paper
The FBI is in hot water once against upon release of a new report that raises questions about how federal authorities handled an investigation into the hacktivist group Anonymous.

According to the report published by Motherboard on Tuesday, the FBI watched idly as a hacker-turned-informant plotted within Anonymous to target the media empire of publisher Rupert Murdoch in 2011. The group succeeded in defacing the website of one of the papers owned by Murdoch's News Corp., and the government's cooperating witness then rallied other hackers to further go after members of the media by spreading false information on the web.

As RT reported previously, an ongoing investigation has revealed that the informant, Hector "Sabu" Monsegur, was instrumental in a number of operations undertaken by Anonymous and participated either directly or in-directly in campaigns that targeted American-owned corporations and foreign government servers alike.

Comment: Hector Monsegur was found to have actually been working for the FBI since mid-2011, and court documents reveal that the FBI had even provided him with a server, onto which data was transferred by the hackers:

Anonymous Hacked/WikiLeaks Released Stratfor Emails Were Stored On FBI Server

Sabu - The Secret life of LulzSec's Chief Hacker

Arrow Up

Students and teachers set state capital building on fire in Mexico over rampant police crimes

© AFP Photo/Yuri Cortez
The Municipal Palace in Chilpancingo, Guerrero state ablaze after students and teachers set it on fire on October 13, 2014
Hundreds of residents in a southern-Mexican city smashed up the state capital building in a furious protest over the continued lack of information about 43 local college students, believed to have been abducted by corrupt police.

The local police are allegedly working with a powerful drug cartel and it's feared that 10 newly discovered mass graves may contain the bodies of the students taken on September 26. "Up to 20" charred remains were discovered on Saturday.

As an investigation is underway, 26 police officers have so far been arrested, a number of which admitted to working with the Guerreros Unidos - an infamous drug cartel. Arrest warrants have also been issued for the mayor of Iguala, Jose Luis Albarca, his wife and his security chief, but they have gone into hiding.

The building in Chilpancingo, the capital of Guerrero state, was seen from a distance, engulfed in flames.
According to local authorities, the crowds included hundreds of students and teachers from the Ayotzinapa teachers' college, who blockaded the building and used sticks, rocks and Molotov cocktails to attack it.

They initially tried to get into the state congress, but police in riot gear repelled the crowd

Comment: So now we have "possible links between local politicians and police officers with criminal gangs in southern Mexico, plagued as it is with drug-related violence and gang turf wars."

Mexico mass grave discovered after student protesters go missing

23 bodies found in West Mexico


Protest Sunday in Freedom Square, Glasgow

Hope Over Fear in Glasgow's George ("Freedom") Square was an event and a half. Buzzing over the whole square, and rippling over the city, was an energy with which we have all become quite familiar. It is an overpowering sensation of victory and hopefulness - trapped somewhere between expectation and celebration. The British media has gone out of its way - all the way to Hong Kong in fact - to either ignore it or present it as some sort of last sing-song from a defeated Tartan Army before it gets on the coach for home. Hope Over Fear was anything but a fond farewell to our well-fought Yes campaign. It was everything that the last days of the campaign had been but with the added twist of something else. A new flavour has entered the mix of the independence movement and this was palpable in the Square yesterday. Our friends at the Daily Record and the BBC are repeating the same old line that we should accept the result and settle down, that the majority of Scotland has spoken. It is obvious that these Westminster tools haven't spoken to any of the people who descended on the Square. Something has changed.

We have crossed a threshold into an entirely new playing field of the campaign. Police Scotland are interviewing "witnesses" like Ruth Davidson and others of Westminster's fifth column within Scotland regarding their questionable procedures during the referendum count. Ever fewer people in Scotland are accepting the story that we were not cheated. Of course we were cheated. If the vote itself wasn't rigged, the campaign was completely rigged. A single Sunday edition lent its weight to the independence movement while the entire British government got behind the Better Together Call Centre to make sure every grandmother in Scotland received a threatening phone call. Even the chief of Better Together joked with his new chums at the Labour Party conference in Manchester that No could never have prevailed without 'Operation Fear.' Democracy is only democratic when the people are presented with all the facts and left in peace to come to their own decision.

Comment: Naomi Wolf got a few words in at the event: