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Sun, 19 Jan 2020
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Officers deliver baby in patrol car after woman goes into labor while stuck in Moscow traffic

Police car
Moscow traffic patrol officers tried their hand at a new job, literally - helping a pregnant woman deliver a baby boy after her taxi got stuck in traffic. The newborn got his own uniform right away, bundled up in a police jacket.

On-duty traffic patrol officers in southwestern Moscow hardly expected they would be approached by a desperate husband pleading with them to take his heavily pregnant wife to a hospital when they came to work on Friday - but that was exactly what happened, as evening rush hour approached on Friday afternoon.

At that time, a visibly agitated man was spotted running towards a patrol vehicle, telling the officers his wife was about to go into labor in a taxi and there was no way they could reach the hospital in time considering the situation on the road.

Officers took the couple in and dashed away in the patrol vehicle, but could not make it to the hospital in time. It might have been an unusual call of duty, but the patrolmen did not hesitate, taking matters in their own hands while waiting for an ambulance to arrive.

Bizarro Earth

Turkish workers wounded in deadly al-Shabab car bombing in Somalia

car ambush somalia turkish workers
© Feisal Omar/Reuters
Paramedics carry an unidentified man injured in the explosion in Afgoye in Somalia
Four killed in blast claimed by al-Shabab that apparently targeted Turkish engineers working on a road near Mogadishu.

At least four people have been killed and 15 others wounded in a suicide car bomb attack claimed by the al-Shabab group near the capital of Somalia, according to authorities.

Both Turkish and Somali officials said those injured in Saturday's attack near the town of Afgoye, about 30 kilometres (18 miles) southwest of Mogadishu, included Turkish engineers as well as Somali nationals working on a road in the area.

Turkey's Health Minister Fahrettin Koca said six Turkish nationals and nine Somali citizens were wounded in the bombing, with two in critical condition and undergoing surgery.

The AFP news agency said at least four people were killed, citing local police officer Abdirahman Adan.

Comment: A cause of resentment?

Turkey opens its largest overseas military base in Somalia

Al-Shabab (or occasionaly Al-Shabaab) has been active in the region for years. Yet, as with all 'terrorist' organizations, one must wonder who is actually behind them.

The MI6 - Al-Shabaab Connection


If you are American, you've been conditioned for war

Plane formation
© Department of Defense
We've been taught to accept militarism as normal. As tensions escalated with Iran last week, it seemed bewildering to many that the United States could once again be on the brink of war. We like to think of ourselves as a peaceful people and our country as a benevolent force in the world — so why is military conflict a constant presence in American life?

Despite our self-image, we have been conditioned for war all of our lives. Through a combination of cultural forces, some overt and others subtle, Americans are taught from a young age to accept their country's militarism without question. This conditioning has numerous ingredients. Themes of nationalism and militarism are frequently injected into public life through the media and other institutions, for example, as is a sense of righteousness, a rarely challenged belief that the country is almost always a force for good.

Fear is also a major element in conditioning minds for war. Americans of all ages are often reminded, by their government and the media, that perceived enemies pose a constant danger. The Soviet threat was used to justify military spending and adventurism around the globe for much of the latter twentieth century, validating the warning given by President Eisenhower in his 1961 farewell speech of the growing influence of the "military-industrial complex." More recently, through constant reminders of the "war on terror," Americans are effectively conditioned to see evildoers as always looming.


Maduro alerts Pope Venezuelans to ditch Catholicism, 'tired of politicized pastors'

© Andreas Solaro/AFP
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and Pope Francis in the Vatican, June 2013.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said that his countrymen are fleeing the Catholic Church en masse because they have grown tired of "politicized" bishops. Maduro, in a speech, broadcast live on state TV on Friday, stated:
"I want to tell you, dear Pope Francis, we now have the data that Venezuelans have been leaving Catholicism. Nearly 40 percent are declaring themselves Evangelicals. That number used to be 3 percent."
Maduro stressed that people are getting "tired" of bishops who "use pulpits to express their political obsessions." Some clergymen "act like militants, not like pastors," he added.

The president had previously called on the local Catholic Church to stop being "involved into politics," and harshly criticized religious figures for holding events with Western-backed opposition leader Juan Guaido, who was declared interim president by anti-Maduro politicians in January last year. Some bishops have openly urged Maduro to step down during his standoff with Guaido.

"Bishops must learn to respect the people who don't want to see pulpits politicized," the president said during his state-of-the-nation address earlier this week.


Iran: Ukrainian Airlines PS752 black boxes will be sent to Kiev

Comment: Of all the places to send that data...

No chance they'll ever get to revise their position on the downing of that plane now. Sending it to Ukraine is like sending it directly to the Mossad, CIA and MI6.

Debris field of PS752
Debris field of PS752
Iran has confirmed it will send the black-box flight recorders recovered from a Ukrainian passenger jet that was shot down over Tehran on January 8 to Kyiv.

Hassan Rezaifer, head of the accident investigations unit of Iran's civil aviation authority, told the Tasnim news agency on January 18 that it had not been possible to read the black boxes in Iran. He said French, American, and Canadian experts will work with the equipment after it arrives in Kyiv.

"If this effort is unsuccessful, then the black box will be sent to France," Rezaifer said.

On January 15, Oleksandr Ruvin of the Kyiv Research Institute of Forensic Studies said the international team would begin studying the black boxes on January 20.


Prizes for all - paying customers, that is. Why 4 out of 5 UK students get a top degree

3 Grads
© Getty Images/Richard Baker
Once again, there is an outcry about the inflation of grades in the English University system. Almost eighty percent of students graduate with a first or a 2.1. degree - the top two grades.

Like previous secretaries of education, the present occupant of this post, Gavin Williamson, has vowed to put an end to the 'continuous drift' of grade inflation.

Unfortunately, the devaluation of a university degree cannot be stopped as long as universities continue to operate as businesses that treat students as customers. When higher education establishments have to keep their customers satisfied, grade inflation will continue. For what better way of ensuring that students are satisfied and happy than by offering them high grades?

Comment: 'Buying a degree' does not support 'incentive to learn'. Those who legitimately study, work to gain knowledge and refine their discernment capabilities will note the current trajectory of a crashing society. A few may even contemplate why.


Attack of the snowflake culture: Children could be banned from heading balls in Scotland

Two kids soccer ball
© Global Look Press/ImageBROKER.com/Elmar Herz
With just over two weeks into the new decade, the UK in 2020 seems less about the roaring twenties, and more about the tedious advances in "cotton wool culture", as Scottish children could be banned from heading balls.

In recent years playgrounds have seen the game of conkers banned, lunchtime tag replaced by "gentle hands," and now football [soccer] might be joining the list too. The concern with the popular ball game grew due to research from Glasgow Brain Injury Research Group. They found that professional footballers are three and a half times more likely to develop neurological diseases than the general public. Because of that the Scottish FA is considering a ban on children's heads coming into contact with footballs.

Comment: The act of ball heading doesn't explain the mental states of deluded politicians, over-active activists and those dingbats who make up social justice rules...now does it? Perhaps learning 'how to head a ball and do it properly' might be a 'real' heads up and smack some sense into them!

Yellow Vest

French insurgency: Mass arrests as tens of thousands converge for Acte 62 of Yellow Vest movement and Day 45 of national strikes

macron louis king protest
© REUTERS/Benoit Tessier
A striking French worker holds a portrait of French President Emmanuel Macron as King Louis XVI at a demonstration against pensions reform plans, Paris, 9 January 2020.
Demonstrators shouted slogans denouncing the police, President Macron and his pension reforms on Saturday.

French police have fired tear gas at protesters hurling projectiles and arrested dozens of people as thousands of "yellow vest" anti-government protesters returned to the streets of Paris.

Demonstrators on Saturday shouted slogans denouncing the police, President Emmanuel Macron and his pension reforms that have triggered the longest French transport strike in decades, which has snarled public transportation for millions of commuters in the French capital for 45 days.

With sirens wailing, dozens of vans carrying riot police fanned out the route along which thousands of protesters marched.

Young people wearing masks shouted "revolution" as tear gas drifted by the Bastille, the square where the French revolution erupted in 1789.

Comment: Paris Opera employees also took to the streets... and did this!


Florida ex-mayor gets 4+ years in prison for charity fraud

United Way
The former mayor of a Florida city has been sentenced to more than four years in prison for defrauding a United Way charity while he ran the organization.

U.S. Attorney Lawrence Keefe said in a news release Friday that ex-Milton mayor Guyland Thompson pleaded guilty in May to 20 counts of wire fraud and three counts of tax evasion stemming from his embezzlement of funds from United Way of Santa Rosa County.

Yellow Vest

Hundreds of German farmers drive their tractors through Berlin in protest against agriculture policy: 'We've had enough!'

German farmers protest EU regulations
© Associated Press
In a similar protest, farmers parked their tractors on a road between the university and the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, Tuesday, Nov. 26, 2019.
German farmers flooded streets of Berlin again to denounce the way government spends EU subsidies and its emission policies that satisfy neither them nor environmentalists, who are also taking part at the protests.

More than 150 tractors rolled up to the iconic Brandenburg Gate in downtown Berlin on Saturday afternoon, paralyzing traffic in the adjacent areas. Anticipating this, the authorities have urged residents to use the public rapid transit system instead of car when travelling through the city's center.

Around 15,000 people are participating in the demonstration, which takes place as Berlin hosts the International Green Week, a food and agricultural fair attended by top-ranked officials. United by the slogan 'We've had enough!,' a grand alliance of 100 organizations, including farmers and environmentalist and animal rights groups, is demanding "better appreciation" of farm work by the state and clearer regulation on pollution and animal welfare.

Comment: Hang on, they're protesting with green groups to demand more regulation on themselves?