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Snakes in Suits

Trump's stump: 'Strange' night in Alabama, Kim Jong-un and the NFL

© iagreetosee.com
Donald Trump gave one of his signature stream of consciousness speeches in Huntsville on Friday night as he tried to get out the vote for embattled Alabama Republican senator Luther Strange.

During an address inside the Wernher Von Braun Center that lasted an hour and 20 minutes, the president called North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un "Little Rocket Man", said NFL owners should cut players who kneel for the national anthem and returned to familiar targets like John McCain and Hillary Clinton.

Strange is facing a runoff election on Tuesday for the GOP nomination to hold the seat he was appointed to in February. The former state attorney general was handed the seat after former senator Jeff Sessions was appointed attorney general by Trump. Strange is currently trailing in the polls against Roy Moore, an ardent social conservative who has twice been removed as chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court.

Comment: Flag on the play: The NFL rant by the president has touched a nerve that goes straight to the heart of the right to peacefully protest the wrongs of one's society. Maybe the effects of oppression and inequality are difficult comprehensions for a billionaire.


1 dead, 8 injured during mass shooting in Nashville Tennessee

© Brandon Anderson
At least one person has been killed and eight more injured in a mass shooting at a church shooting in Antioch, a neighborhood of Nashville, Tennessee.

The shooting took place at the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ, a church in a southern suburb of the city. Local media say that police began receiving reports of a shooting shortly after 11 am local time.


Hikers rescue dog lost on Colorado 14er for 6 weeks

© Trinity Smith
Trinity Smith and Sean Nichols rescued 13-year-old Chloe who was stranded on Mount Bross for six weeks.
Trinity Smith and Sean Nichols had seen posts from other climbers on 14ers.com about a crying dog in the area of Mt. Lincoln and Mt. Bross ... both are 14ers in Park County. They went on a mission to save the dog and they succeeded.

The 13-year-old dog ran off from her home with another younger dog about six weeks ago, according to her owners. They live on the east side of Mt. Bross. The younger dog returned home, but Chloe didn't come back. Her owners spent weeks searching for her.


Investor lawsuit forces Facebook to cancel ownership changes allowing Zuckerberg to retain voting control of company - despite owning minimal shares

© Stephen Lam / Facebook
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Under investor pressure, Facebook is squashing a proposed ownership structure that would allow CEO Mark Zuckerberg to retain voting control of the company - even as he sold millions of his shares of company stock.

Last year, some shareholders filed a class action lawsuit to block Facebook from issuing reclassified C shares, which would allow Zuckerberg to maintain voting control of the company even as he sold off most of his shares to support philanthropic causes.

The proposed C shares would be publicly listed but come with no voting rights. Investors argued that the proposed ownership structure could cause them to lose billions of dollars of value when the shares traded.

"Facebook's board determined that withdrawing the reclassification was in the best interests of Facebook and its shareholders," a spokesperson told CNBC via email.

Facebook drops plans for new class of shares from CNBC.


French take to streets in defiance of newly-signed labor reform

Demonstrators have gathered in the streets of the French capital to protest changes to the labor code pushed through by President Macron. The far-left Jean-Luc Melenchon, Macron's staunch critic, called a rally against a "social coup d'etat."

Scuffles broke out between activists from the anarchist 'black bloc' and the demonstrators before Jean-Luc Melenchon's speech at the Place de la Republique. The black-clad anarchists attempted to force their way towards the stage, shouting and spraying Melenchon's supporters. Some tore down placards and pelted the protesters with stones, according to RFI.


St. Louis police make mass arrests in crackdown on protests, ensnaring dozens of innocent bystanders

St. Louis police use a technique called 'kettling', where exits are blocked and people are arrested en masse. Dozens of protestors, residents, journalists and legal observers were caught in the group.
One was an Air Force lieutenant who came out of his downtown apartment to witness the commotion in his neighborhood.

Another was a Chicago-based photojournalist for Getty Images assigned to cover the latest bout of unrest in St. Louis.

And still another was a St. Louis police officer working undercover at the protest.

They were among more than 120 people forcibly arrested downtown on Sunday by St. Louis police cracking down on protests. The arrests came at least two hours after vandals had broken some windows and flower pots a few blocks away.

The police were congratulated by their acting police chief, who said they "owned tonight," and got praise from Gov. Eric Greitens for their tactics. But as more details emerged about heavy-handed police tactics, criticism mounted. A lawyer for the Post-Dispatch condemned the "inappropriate and disturbing" arrest of one of its journalists. A lawsuit on Friday alleged that the police violated people's civil rights. And two top city officials on different days used the word "disturbing" to describe allegations of abusive police.

On Wednesday, City Counselor Julian Bush called allegations regarding the arrest of Post-Dispatch reporter Mike Faulk disturbing.


'You just can't trust US media anymore' says Star Wars storyboard artist to Sputnik

US mainstream media have lost credibility to such outlets like RT and Sputnik, American artist David Russell told Sputnik.

© Andrea Krzhel
Russell has run a prolific career in Hollywood as a storyboard artist and illustrator. In his portfolio, there are a number of blockbusters, including "Star Wars: Episode VI," "Terminator 2," "The Chronicles of Narnia," "The Wolverine" and the last installment of the "Pirates of the Caribbean" franchise.

"For me, RT and Sputnik have become one of the most useful information sources because you just can't trust American media anymore," Russell told Sputnik Serbia in an exclusive interview.


Innocent man gets $1.6M settlement after surveillance video proved cops beat and framed him

An innocent man has received over $1.6 million from a civil lawsuit because he was beaten and framed by cops for being 100 percent compliant and never committing a crime.

"Our client feels vindicated," said attorney Karl Seelbach, of Doyle & Seelbach PLLC. "If there's one thing about Larry Faulkenberry, is his story is consistent from day one."

As KXAN reports:
A federal jury awarded a Central Texas man more than $1.3 million in response to a civil lawsuit against Caldwell County deputies who arrested him on charges that were never prosecuted by the district attorney's office.

Lawrence Faulkenberry was also awarded $350,000 in punitive damages related to a deputy who initiated a leg sweep, his attorney said.


Queensland, Australia residents warned after death of 100 yo crocodile sparks fears of power struggle among aggressive males

The death of a huge crocodile whose body was found in a river in Queensland, Australia, has sparked fears of a fight for dominance among the young, aggressive males living in the area.

The 5.2 meter-long (17ft) male, which had been shot in the head, was discovered by a member of the public, who had spotted its body floating in the Fitzroy River. Local farmer John Leaver told the Australian Associated Press it had been around 20 to 30 years since such a large crocodile had been found in Queensland.

"There may have been some others shot in the wild that we don't know about, but from my recollection, over the past three decades this would be the largest," he said, adding the largest he had ever caught measured 4.95 meters (16.2ft).

Leaver said that from the damage done to the crocodile's skull, the bullet probably came from a fairly large calibre rifle. "I would say that someone felt very threatened," he said.

Bad Guys

Massive backlash begins over bombshell decision to strip Uber of London business license - Update

© Press Association
A black cab driver celebrates outside Paddington station today after the decision to strip Uber of its licence in London was announced
40,000 drivers out of work as 400,000 sign protest petition

A massive backlash has started after Uber was today stripped of its licence to operate in London with hundreds of thousands of passengers signing a petition to keep the app running.

Transport for London (TfL) sensationally announced the firm would be barred from working in the city from next month due to its failure to report crimes carried out by its drivers.

The Silicon Valley firm - which boasts more than 5 billion passengers in over 630 cities worldwide - fears the decision by regulators in London may now encourage authorities in other countries to launch their own crackdowns.

Passengers are outraged by the bombshell announcement, which they say will leave them unable to afford late-night lifts home and will put thousands of drivers out of work.

Ahead of a planned appeal, which will see the dispute dragged into court, at least 400,000 Londoners have signed a petition calling for the decision to be reversed.

But critics of Uber insist it has failed to properly vet its drivers and is an example of the so-called 'gig economy' that gives workers no employment rights.


Update: Over 600,000 sign petition to save Uber
The petition was started by Uber London and warns: "If this decision stands, it will put more than 40,000 licensed drivers out of work and deprive millions of Londoners of a convenient and affordable form of transport."

"The 3.5 million Londoners who rely on Uber to get a safe, reliable and affordable ride around the best city in the world will be astounded by the decision to ban Uber from the capital," the petition said.

It also accuses the British capital of being "closed to innovative companies," saying the ban "shows the world that London is far from being open."

TfL on Friday said Uber was not deemed "fit and proper to hold a private hire operator license," due to its "approach and conduct" which demonstrates "a lack of corporate responsibility in relation to a number of issues which have potential public safety and security implications."

The issues include a lack of background checks on drivers and a failure to report crimes.

Uber has 21 days to appeal the decision, which was backed by London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

Uber has been the subject of a number of scandals, from accusations of sexism and bullying at the company, to unfavorable working conditions for its drivers.