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Wed, 19 Dec 2018
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Russia says nyet to political exploitation of children: Organizers of protests that include minors will be punished

moscow outlaws children protests

Thousands of teenagers have taken part in antigovernment protests in the past few years, including demonstrations organized by opposition politician and anti-corruption campaigner Aleksei Navalny.
The lower chamber of the Russian parliament has passed a bill setting out punishment for people who involve minors in unauthorized protests, rallies, and demonstrations.

In its third and final vote, the State Duma approved legislation under which organizers of unsanctioned public gatherings in which people under the age of 18 participate will face up to 15 days in jail and a fine of up to 50,000 rubles ($750).

Thousands of teenagers have taken part in antigovernment protests in the past few years, including demonstrations organized by opposition politician and anti-corruption campaigner Aleksei Navalny.

Comment: Children and most teens lack sufficient knowledge or the ability to discern nuance, and are easily manipulated by adults to further their own political agenda - Russia, unlike some Western nations, intends to protect her children:

Quenelle - Golden

Belgrade, Serbia: Anti-violence demonstrations continue after journalist survives assassination attempt by gov't goons

December 15 protest against violence in Belgrade, Serbia.
© Vesna Radojević
December 15 protest against violence in Belgrade, Serbia.
Protests under the slogan "Stop to Bloody Shirts" continued in Belgrade on December 15, with an estimated 20,000 people demanding that the Serbian government stop the verbal and physical violence against its critics.

The event organized by opposition parties mirrored the first protest against violence that took place a week earlier, prompted by a recent attack on a government critic whose shirt was literally bloodied after he was assaulted by pro-government thugs. But this time, almost twice as many people peacefully marched through the center of the capital, galvanized by several events that took place during the previous week.

This 2-minute video by Bojan Dzodan shows the protest from the ground:


Western spin: Poll shows Russians' regret of USSR's collapse at 14-year high

Russians protest

Russians protest in front of the State Duma against pension reform in Moscow in August.
More Russians regret the breakup of the Soviet Union than at any other time since 2004, an opinion poll shows.

In a survey whose results were published on December 19, two-thirds -- or 66 percent -- of respondents answered "yes" when asked whether they regret the 1991 Soviet collapse.

That is up from 58 percent a year earlier and is the highest proportion since 2004, the last year of President Vladimir Putin's first term, Levada said.

One-quarter of respondents said they do not regret the Soviet breakup, the lowest proportion since 2005, and 9 percent said they could not answer.

Putin, president from 2000-08 and 2012 to the present, has often played up the achievements of the Soviet Union while playing down some of its darkest chapters.

Comment: Leave it to Radio Free Europe to put such a spin on Putin. The Russian president has lauded the achievements of the Soviet Union when it comes to the Great Patriotic War against Nazi Germany. A very costly and crucial achievement for the Russian people. But Putin has also been quite vocal in pointing out the Soviet Union's horrible failings as well.

Comment: No mention or poll questions relating to how the West has egregiously contributed to Russia's economic challenges, however.

Star of David

Airbnb wimps out: Tries to have it both ways on those 'incredibly complex and emotional' - and illegal - settlements

airbnb Israel settlements

Israeli settlement in the West Bank looms over two Palestinian villages; Airbnb; Gilad Erdan.
Yesterday, a Haaretz piece declared in its title:
"Airbnb Says It Suspends Implementation of West Bank Settlement Ban"
I was convinced that Airbnb had backtracked.

The article cited a Hebrew statement following a meeting of Airbnb officials with Israeli Tourism Minister Yariv Levin, in which Airbnb said, "Our policy will not be implemented." And Airbnb "will continue negotiations with the Israeli government".

Then we get the reverse message.


Best academic steel-cage match ever? Jordan Peterson itching to take on Slavoj Zizek - 'any time, any place'

Jordan Peterson Slavoj Zizek
© Global Look Press / ZUMAPRESS.com ; Getty Images/ Agence France-Presse
Jordan Peterson (L) Slavoj Zizek (R)
Canadian academic and internet sensation Jordan Peterson has shot back at Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek's recent criticisms of him. Apparently he wants to chat, heralding in a long-awaited debate between the two thinkers.

During an appearance at the Cambridge Union last month, Zizek savaged the Canadian's "pseudo-scientific references" and purported inability to speak "about women and marriage without mentioning lobsters, apes or whatever." Zizek's comments elicited laughter from his audience, but apparently, Peterson doesn't find his comments very funny.

"Any time, any place, Mr. Zizek," Peterson tweeted on Monday, attaching a link to RT's write-up of Zizek's provocative remarks.


School police officer hits woman with patrol car - and leaves the scene

Omario Gatheright

Omario Gatheright
An off-duty Aldine Independent School District police officer is accused of hitting a homeless woman with his patrol car and leaving the scene over the weekend.

Omario Gatheright is charged with failure to stop and render aid.

Authorities said a woman crossing the street in the 13400 block of Topeka Sunday night was hit by Gatheright, who was driving a marked AISD patrol car.

Alice Limone, 50, said she was the woman who was struck.

She said she was walking across Topeka Street at Uvalde when the car hit her.


Charges dropped for Texas man who shot cop 6 times after it was found to be in self-defense

Demontae Walker police shooting
Demontae Walker was facing a slew of charges earlier this year for shooting a San Antonio police officer. However, earlier this month, all those charges were dropped once the truth came out and the District Attorney found that Walker was justified in shooting officer Dezi Rios-who was the aggressor in the situation.

The tragic incident unfolded on May 29 as Walker brought his wife's cousin to work at a local gentlemen's club. According to Walker's attorney, Charles Adams, it all began over a fit of road rage.

"(Walker's) story was that a vehicle driving at a very high rate of speed, he estimated over 100 mph, cut him off while he was exiting the freeway to drop his wife's cousin off for work," Adams said. "He was forced to swerve back into the I-10 lane, not the exit lane, then come to an almost complete stop and then exit.

Comment: At least there was some justice done for this man and his family. But what punishment has this officer received for driving drunk, threatening these two with a loaded weapon, shooting a woman, paralyzing a man, and lying about it? Loss of his role as a physical trainer at the Police Academy and a 15-day suspension that's already over. At least now the city can see him for what he is - not a hero wounded in battle, but a coward and a bully.

Arrow Down

Justice for All? 73% of America's top universities don't guarantee fair hearings for students

Lady Justice statue
A new report asserts that among the top 53 universities in the country, as ranked by U.S. News & World Report, 73% do not guarantee students they will be presumed to be innocent until they are found guilty.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) surveyed the universities, and found a shocking lack of respect for due process. Among their findings they found that almost half of the schools did not hold that fact-finders should be deemed impartial; 52.8% required that these fact-finders, who often act as the arbiters of the case at hand, be impartial.

Additionally, only 30.2% of the universities assured a hearing in which each party could witness the evidence presented by the opposing party. A whopping 47 of the 53 universities surveyed got a D or F grade from FIRE for at least one disciplinary policy; that meant they did not offer more than 4 of the 10 elements of a fair procedure that FIRE rated. FIRE added, "86.8% of rated universities receive a D or F for protecting the due process rights of students accused of sexual misconduct. Of the 104 policies rated at the 53 schools in the report, not a single policy receives an A grade."

Comment: Also see: It might be too late to save our universities

Heart - Black

Former model says she had a toxic relationship with Woody Allen starting when she was just 16

Woody Allen
© Getty Images
Former model Christina Engelhardt says in a new profile that she engaged in an eight-year relationship with Woody Allen that began in October 1976 when she was just 16 and the director was 41.

Engelhardt, then Babi Christina Engelhardt, told The Hollywood Reporter that Allen never asked her age, but that she told him she was still in high school. She would not turn 17, then the legal age of consent in New York, until December of that year.

In the piece, Engelhardt says that their relationship was consensual but complicated and she describes having little agency in the relationship.

Bizarro Earth

Amnesty International's damning report of violence by France's police on protesters, journalists and children

pepper spray gilet jaune yellow vests
French authorities must exercise restraint when policing demonstrations expected on Saturday and avoid any repetition of the injuries caused by their extremely heavy-handed response to protests by the "gilets jaunes" and high school movements, said Amnesty International.

Police used rubber bullets, sting-ball grenades and tear gas against largely peaceful protesters who did not threaten public order and the organisation has documented numerous instances of excessive use of force by police.

"As the clouds of tear gas lift, a clearer picture has emerged which shows police have used excessive force against largely peaceful protesters, journalists and even children," said Rym Khadhraoui, Amnesty International's West Europe Researcher.

Comment: This report doesn't even cover the agent provocateurs, who seem to be present at every major demonstration, police mobbing and battering unarmed protesters or the crimes of the mainstream media outlets caught doctoring footage, but then, with Macron running the show, clearly his minions are just copying their master.

See also: Man pepper-sprayed in face by Belgian police collapses, left by wayside

Also check out SOTT radio's:
yellow vest

A woman is sprayed with teargas by the riot police officer in Brussels as the French protest movement spread to neighbouring Belgium.