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Thu, 23 May 2019
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'Russians don't surrender': Butina asks for help to fight injustice in video address from US prison

Maria Butina
© VK.com / Мария Бутина
Russian gun activist, Maria Butina, who was imprisoned in the US on accusations of acting as a foreign agent, has recorded a video address, asking for donations to assist with her appeal.

"It feels that I'm again back to [the] modern age. We have internet here," Butina said in the footage she recorded at the federal transfer center in Oklahoma and uploaded to Russian VK social network.

She thanked everybody, who supported her throughout her ordeal, and asked for "financial support."
As you know, my attorneys have filed an appeal and we intend to fight against injustice that's happening with me right now and with all the Russian citizens [in the US]. I am just a manifestation of the current reality.

Comment: In the current rabidly anti-Russian environment of the US, being a Russian citizen is a punishable crime, apparently.

See also:


Question

'France does not belong to the French!' 100s of 'Black Vest' migrants occupy Paris airport

Black Vest protest Paris
© Facebook / Collectif La Chapelle Debout
Migrant protest at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris.
Hundreds of 'Black Vest' migrant protesters occupied Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris on Sunday demanding to speak to Prime Minister Édouard Philippe in a demonstration against deportations and in favor of legal papers for all.

The group, estimated to be about 500 people, gathered in Terminal 2 of the airport as riot police officers stood at the foot of the escalators and monitored their activity.

Comment: France does not belong to the French? Seems like a rather entitled and presumptuous position to take. It's a good thing France doesn't turn to newly arrived immigrants for policy decisions.


Quenelle

French & Italian dock workers refuse to load Saudi arms ship over Yemen war

Genoa port dock Italy
© Reuters/Massimo Pinca
Italian unions have refused to load cargo onto a Saudi ship carrying weapons, in protest against Riyadh's war on Yemen. The dock workers have gone on strike, refusing to work until the ship leaves port in Genoa.

While the Saudi Arabian ship, the Bahri-Yanbu, was expected to leave for Jeddah by the end end of the day, it seems the delivery might end up being rather late. After unsuccessful attempts to have the ship barred from docking in Italy altogether, it was greeted by banners and a protests as it arrived in port Monday.

Workers were joined by human rights campaigners who oppose stocking the ship over fears the supplies will be used against the civilian population in Yemen. The demonstrators held signs opposing the war and arms trafficking.

Hourglass

Unbelievable lack of urgency: Paramedics took 3 hours to reach London Bridge attack victims

london bridge attack
© Reuters / Gabriele Sciotto
Three attackers after they were shot by police in London's Borough Market.
Paramedics didn't reach wounded and killed victims of the London Bridge terror attack for three hours, an inquest into the incident in which eight people were killed has heard.

Although the three attackers were shot dead within 10 minutes of the June 17, 2017 attack taking place, paramedics did not enter the 'warm zone' for a long time, and police officers who were treating the wounded didn't know that ambulances were just 100 yards away.

The family of James McMullan, who died in the attack, gasped as police officer Stephen Attwood said, "I believe he could have been saved. I believed he was seriously ill but in a critical condition," the Times reports.

Info

At Australian ballot boxes, the Left's empathy deficit came home to roost

Bill Shorten
© Getty
The result of Saturday's federal election in Australia is being treated as the most staggering political shocker in my country since World War II. Scott Morrison, leading the Liberal Party, looks to have won a majority government - a result that defies three years of opinion polling, bookie's odds and media commentary.

In the aftermath, analysts on both sides are trying to explain what went wrong for the centre-left Australian Labor Party, and what went right for the centre-right Liberals. Some attribute the result to Morrison's personal likeability, and his successful targeting of the "quiet Australian" demographic - the silent majority whose members feel they rarely have a voice, except at the ballot box. Others cast the result as Australia's Hilary-Clinton moment: Bill Shorten, who resigned following Saturday's loss, was, like Clinton, an unpopular political insider who generated little enthusiasm among his party's traditional constituencies. In 2010 and again in 2013, he roiled the Labor Party by supporting two separate internal coups, machinations that cast him as a self-promoter instead of a team player.

The swing against Labor was particularly pronounced in the northeastern state of Queensland - which is more rural and socially conservative than the rest of Australia. Many of Queensland's working-class voters opposed Labor's greener-than-thou climate-change policies, not a surprise given that the state generates half of all the metallurgical coal burned in the world's blast furnaces. Queensland's rejection of Labor carried a particularly painful symbolic sting for Shorten, given that this is the part of Australia where his party was founded by 19th century sheep shearers meeting under a ghost gum tree. In 1899, the world's first Labor government was sworn into the Queensland parliament. Shorten's "wipe-out" in Queensland demonstrates what has become of the party's brand among working-class people 120 years later.

Sheriff

Drivers beware: The many dangerous outcomes of traffic stops in the American police state

police traffic stops
"The Fourth Amendment was designed to stand between us and arbitrary governmental authority. For all practical purposes, that shield has been shattered, leaving our liberty and personal integrity subject to the whim of every cop on the beat, trooper on the highway and jail official. The framers would be appalled." - Herman Schwartz, The Nation
We've all been there before.

You're driving along and you see a pair of flashing blue lights in your rearview mirror. Whether or not you've done anything wrong, you get a sinking feeling in your stomach.

You've read enough news stories, seen enough headlines, and lived in the American police state long enough to be anxious about any encounter with a cop that takes place on the side of the road.

For better or worse, from the moment you're pulled over, you're at the mercy of law enforcement officers who have almost absolute discretion to decide who is a threat, what constitutes resistance, and how harshly they can deal with the citizens they were appointed to "serve and protect."

This is what I call "blank check policing," in which the police get to call all of the shots.

So if you're nervous about traffic stops, you have every reason to be.

Fire

Italy unions refuse to load Saudi ship in protest over Yemen war

Italian protesters saudi
© REUTERS/Massimo Pinca
Protesters and workers on strike prevent a Saudi ship Bahri Yanbu, that was prevented by French rights group ACAT from loading a weapons cargo at the French port of Le Havre due to concerns they might be used against civilians in Yemen, from loading cargo at the Port of Genoa, Italy May 20, 2019.
Italian unions refused on Monday to load electricity generators onto a Saudi Arabian ship with weapons on board in a protest against the war in Yemen.

The Bahri-Yanbu vessel loaded arms in the Belgian city of Antwerp earlier this month, but was prevented from picking up another consignment of weapons in the French port of Le Havre following protests by humanitarian groups.

Rights campaigners say the weapons contravene a U.N. treaty because they might be used against civilians in Yemen, where a Saudi-led military coalition is battling the Iran-backed Houthis in a war that has killed thousands.

Comment: See also:


Cross

Fury as UK church offers to cover up Jesus and crosses for Muslim prayer

jesus
© CC0Europe
A former chaplain to the Queen argued that covering up the image of Jesus would be tantamount to disrespecting him in his own house.

An Anglican parish church in the UK has courted controversy over its plans to cover up religious imagery while hosting a Muslim prayer.

The vicar of the St. Matthew and St. Luke's church in Darlington had invited Muslims attending a nearby mosque to commemorate the holy month of Ramadan in her church, The Times reports.

Male worshippers were expected to say prayers in an aisle while women would be separated off into smaller rooms.

According to records of a meeting between Reverend Lissa Scott and Muslim representatives, the church pledged to cover up Christian crosses and photographs as well an image of Jesus.

Comment: See: No, We Don't Want Notre Dame Turned Into Another Secular Solar-powered Eco-garden

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Map

Unexploded shell discovered at British beach, sparking evacuation, officials say

Bullet
A popular British beach area was evacuated Monday after an unexploded shell was reportedly found just offshore from a lighthouse.

The device was discovered at Beachy Head in East Sussex, England. The area is known for the high chalk sea cliff that rises to 531 feet above sea level.

The Martime and Coastguard Agency said on Twitter that coast guard officials are asking people to "keep a safe distance" after the unexploded shell was discovered Sunday.

Eiffel Tower

French police negotiating with suicidal man who climbed Eiffel Tower forcing its evacuation and shutdown

Suicidal man climbs eiffel tower
© AP
The man looking down towards the ground nearly 900ft below as he holds onto the tower just below the viewing platform.
The Eiffel Tower, which is considered to be the French capital's major symbol, is visited by several millions of people annually.

Despite media reports claiming that the man who climbed the Eiffel Tower earlier in the day was arrested by police, he is in fact still at the top of the tower and is reportedly threatening to commit suicide.

"He is sitting on the third floor of the tower at the moment and is threatening to commit suicide", BFMTV broadcaster said.

The identity and the motivation of the "freerunner" remain unknown.

Earlier on Monday, the Eiffel Tower was evacuated after a man was seen climbing the tower. The authorities have advised people to postpone their visits until further notice.

According to Twitter users, police have cordoned off and secured the area, and are negotiating with the man.