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Sun, 22 Sep 2019
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Take 2

Hustlers movie turns strippers who drug and rob men into 'empowered feminists'

Hustlers movie
© STXfilms
You can enjoy 'Hustlers,' the new film starring Jennifer Lopez, on its own terms. But to celebrate its heroines - based on real-life scammers who victimized people - as feminist role models is twisted and morally bankrupt.

This is not another one of those on-trend critiques that rejects fiction unless it faithfully amplifies my real-life political views. I am also fully aware of the vicarious white-collar pleasures of watching sympathetic criminals do reprehensible things on-screen, as in, say, 'Goodfellas' or 'The Wolf of Wall Street,' the films that served as the self-conscious template for the competently made 'Hustlers.'

That's not to say that, even as an aesthetic experience, the story of a crew of multiracial strippers conning white Wall Street bankers in post-2008-crash New York leaves a particularly wholesome aftertaste.


BRICS bank greenlights new projects in India, Russia & South Africa worth $1.4bn

muh roads
© Global Look Press / Tom Mueller
The New Development Bank (NDB) has approved four new infrastructure and development projects with loans totaling $1.4 billion. New investments bring the BRICS bank's portfolio to 42 projects worth $11.6 billion.

The decision to finance the projects in India, Russia, and South Africa was made at the 21st meeting of the board of directors in Shanghai earlier this month, according to an NDB statement released on Monday.

South Africa received around $480 million for improving arterial transport routes. The funds will cover works at the existing toll sections of national roads, construction of additional lanes, and development of related infrastructure, such as bridges and intersections.

Russia will receive $300 million from the NDB to finance initiatives related to wind, solar, and small hydropower energy generation technologies.


Iraqi-German men walk free despite stabbing a cop during a family brawl at a back-to-school event

German police
© Global Look Press / Fabian Geier
A group of Iraqi-German adults broke into a violent brawl at a back-to-school gathering in a German town. 18 police crews attended the scene and one got stabbed, but three arrested culprits were then allowed to walk free.

Schoolchildren in the university town of Heidelberg went through a traumatic experience on Friday, when their Einschulung - an informal reception during the first-graders' very first hour of school - went terribly wrong. At the ceremony, two divorced German-Iraqi parents, a 35-year-old father and a 26-year-old mother, began to squabble. This then triggered the attention of the woman's relative.

He intervened in the couple's spat and then an elder of the family attacked him, garnering the attention of other relatives and ultimately prompting the school to call the police.


Spreading American-style freedom: Man beaten unconscious at Hong Kong protests

hong kong protester
© REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh
There were multiple violent clashes between police and protesters across Hong Kong throughout the weekend, but one shocking incident, in which a middle-aged man was beaten unconscious, has since become viral.

Though there were sporadic outbursts of violence reported in the region, one in particular saw a group of purported anti-Beijing protesters beat the 49-year-old man unconscious, a video of which has been viewed over 78,000 times.

Comment: Perhaps all those rooting for the HK protesters ought to stop and consider whether this behavior is worth defending because "yay spreading American freedom."

The unarmed man, dressed in a blue shirt and trousers, had reportedly shouted "I am Chinese!" during a confrontation with protesters, which turned ugly and extremely violent.


Blast & fire hits major virus lab in Russia, where HIV, Ebola & anthrax strains are stored

© Centers for Disease Control and Prevention / Handout via Reuters
One of the world's largest virus research centers, located in Siberia, was reportedly engulfed in flames after a sudden explosion rocked the secretive compound, known for its stores of Ebola, HIV, anthrax and other strains.

Firefighters and rescue services were scrambled on Monday to respond to a fire that broke out in Koltsovo, a scientific hub several kilometers from Novosibirsk. The situation was quickly upgraded from an ordinary emergency to a major incident as the explosion and fire affected Russia's research center of virology and biotechnology, often referred to as the Vector Institute.

The laboratory is known for having developed vaccines for Ebola and hepatitis, as well as for studying epidemics and genera issues surrounding immunology. During the Cold War, it was thought to be part of now-defunct Soviet biological weapons program, meaning that some of the most dangerous strains - including that of smallpox, Ebola, anthrax and certain plagues - are still being kept inside the Institute's building.


Tens of thousands of General Motors auto workers go on strike for better wages, health care benefits

GM strikers
Union leaders said negotiators remained far apart on a range of issues. GM said it had put forward a "fair offer."

Tens of thousands of auto workers across the country went on strike Sunday night after negotiations faltered between their union and General Motors.

The strike began at 11:59 p.m. ET., with as many as 50,000 United Auto Workers at dozens of facilities from Michigan to Texas expected to participate.

Union spokesman Brian Rothenberg told The Associated Press on Sunday night that negotiations would resume on Monday morning, even as the strike went forward.

In a letter to members on Saturday night, the union's vice president, Terry Dittes, said that negotiators still hadn't been able to agree on wages, health care benefits, temporary workers, job security and profit sharing.

During a press briefing on Sunday morning, Dittes called the decision to strike a "last resort."


Israeli pundit accuses US of creating Al-Qaeda, defends Iran

Yakov Kedmi

Yakov Kedmi
Yakov Kedmi, public figure, and an Israeli defense and geopolitical expert:
"As for the first terrorist organizations and Al-Qaeda when it operated in Chechnya, and when Al-Khattab, funded by bin Laden, was organizing training camps for terrorists in Chechnya, they didn't just turn a blind eye to that. They watched it in amusement, they even welcomed this. 'They're fighting for their freedom after all,' they said. I mean, you can't call it fighting. Meanwhile, Islamic terrorist, Islamic extremist ideology, in its most monstrous form kept on developing. Nobody hindered that. On the contrary, it was energized."

Comment: What Kedmi is saying is true, but he happens to leave out the critical role Israel plays in the global terror networks: Also check out SOTT radio's: NewsReal: Israeli-French Deception Downs Russian Spy Plane Off Syria, US Escalates 'Regime Change' Against Iran


Yang says SNL novice should not be fired over Chinese racial slur, drowned out by PC crowd

Andrew Yang
© REUTERS/Jonathan Bachman
Entrepreneur Andrew Yang takes the stage for the start of the 2020 Democratic U.S. presidential debate in Houston, Texas, U.S., September 12, 2019.
Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang has said that Saturday Night Live's new hire Shane Gillis should not be sacked for making a tasteless joke after a clip of him mocking Chinatowns resurfaced, setting Twitter alight.

Yang, a son of immigrants from Taiwan, struck a distinctly different tone from most online warriors when he said he would be "happy to sit down and talk" with Gillis about the ill-fated clip that resurfaced on Friday. The video shows the comedian tearing into Chinatowns and their inhabitants.

"Damn, Chinatown is f**king nuts," Gillis says in the clip, referring to the ability of Chinese immigrants to build up their sprawling enclaves in the blink of an eye and without apparent opposition from the locals. "Let the f**king ch*nks live there."


OxyContin maker Purdue Pharma files for bankruptcy

© Jessica Hill/AP
Purdue Pharma, which is owned by the Sackler family, has filed for bankruptcy in settlement over the toll of opioid addiction.
Move is partly aimed at halting more than 2,000 lawsuits filed against drug firm

US drug-maker Purdue Pharma has filed for bankruptcy and announced a $10bn (£8bn) plan to settle thousands of lawsuits that accuse the company's prescription painkiller, OxyContin, of fuelling the deadly opioids crisis.

The company, owned by the billionaire Sackler family, faces more than 2,000 lawsuits, including actions from nearly all US states and many local governments, which allege Purdue falsely promoted OxyContin by downplaying the risk of addiction. The public health crisis claimed the lives of nearly 400,000 people between 1999 and 2017, according to the latest US data.

Comment: There really is no level of justice appropriate for the evil the Sackler family has perpetrated on the US. Could this be the best possible outcome? Probably not, but at least there is some level of accountability and the money may be able to do some good.

See also:


Companies deny responsibility for toxic 'forever chemicals' contamination

3M billboard
© Dave Thompson/PA
Denise Rutherford, senior vice-president of corporate affairs for 3M, argued the chemicals pose no human health threats at current levels and have no victims, conflicting with a large body of research and 3M’s own internal documents.
The 3M Company, the Chemours Company and DuPont appeared before lawmakers over PFAS

Chemical company executives have denied responsibility for a category of toxic fluorinated chemicals that have contaminated water supplies around the US and are now found in the bodies of nearly all Americans.

Three companies - the 3M Company, the Chemours Company and DuPont - appeared before US lawmakers in a Tuesday hearing reminiscent of those with tobacco companies in the 1990s.

Comment: Massive industrial polluters continue to cause irreparable damage to the populace and the environment and are never held to account. Yet the most innocuous 'pollutant' - carbon - is now considered to be so dangerous it's release into the environment is an inexcusable crime. People are so backward on these issues it will likely never be set right.

See also: