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Wed, 20 Feb 2019
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Yellow Vest protesters who have lost eyes, limbs demand justice from Macron

Yelow vest lost eye
© (L) Facebook / Fiorina Jacob Lignier; (C) Jacob Maxime; (R) YouTube / TVL
Photos show protester Fiorina Jacob Lignier before and after she was struck by a police gas grenade.
France gathered for the 15th week of Gilets Jaunes protests, with the injury toll of the worst civil unrest in decades now resembling that of a small war. Yet despite pleas from victims, Emmanuel Macron is tightening the screws.

"This is not normal. We are in France, one of the oldest and best democracies in the world," says Fiorina Jacob Lignier, who lost her eye at a demonstration in Paris on December 8. "We usually condemn from afar other countries where this occurs, that this is happening here is unbelievable."

Lignier, a 20-year-old philosophy student, traveled from the northern city of Amiens to march on the Champs-Elysees to protest against fuel taxes with her boyfriend, Jacob Maxime.

He told RT that they were marching with a column of peaceful demonstrators, when a group of masked radicals began to vandalize a shopfront more than 50 yards away.

Comment: S.O.S. Russia S.O.S.

Stock Down

Amazon HQ decision a win for delusional far left Democrats, a loss for workers

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
© AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File
The picture of sanity?
What is happening to the Democrats?

Captivated by a handful of liberal superstars, they are venturing where the party has long feared to tread: Steep taxes on the rich. Abolishing an immigration enforcement agency. Proposing "economic transformation" to combat climate change. Gleefully waving goodbye to a big business - and its jobs.

On Thursday, newly-elected Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez led a chorus of cheers as Amazon announced it was abandoning plans to build a sought-after headquarters in New York City. Activists berated the online giant for a $3 billion package of tax breaks she said the city could better invest in hiring teachers or fixing the subway.

Comment: Spellbinder AOC has convinced people that well-paying job opportunities are bad and the solution to all life's problems is to just tax people who are financially successful and give it away to everyone else.

Comment: Many in the Democratic party, and in particular these "rising superstars", are so ideologically possessed that they've completely lost touch with both the average American, and reality itself, yet in their grand hubris they believe that they know how to solve all the worlds' problems. They may very well end up with a rude awakening.

Stock Up

Grand opening of discount Russian food store sweeps Leipzig, Germany

A segment of the graffiti painted wall at the East Side Gallery in Berlin
© Christian Reister / Global Look Press
A segment of the graffiti painted wall at the East Side Gallery in Berlin
A Russian grocery retailer was nearly forced to close during its grand opening week in Germany when a huge crowd of Leipzig locals arrived and gobbled up almost the entire inventory.

The promising slogan 'Only Lowest Prices Everyday' evoked an enormous demand during the first days after the opening that toppled the most optimistic forecasts. The buying fever was reportedly triggered by very attractive prices for foodstuff and basic goods offered by the grocery store that had been opened in early February in a location where an Aldi market once stood.

Mere, a food discounter belonging to one of Russia's largest thrift shop chains Torgservis, offers a wide range of goods, from dairy products and coffee to canned food and sausages, manufactured mostly in Eastern European countries.

Comment: Russia continues to excel in its endeavors.

Star of David

Jewish apocalyptic nonsense: Rabbi says Messiah will appear on Purim, just in time for Israeli elections

sky israeli jet
© Breaking Israel News
"Indeed, my God does nothing Without having revealed His purpose To His servants the Neviim." Amos 3:7 (The Israel Bible™)

Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, one of the most prominent rabbis of this generation, made a shocking statement, claiming that the Messiah will precede the upcoming Israeli elections. Several rabbis noted that the writing is on the wall and the signs that the process leading up to the Messiah has already begun...for those who have the eyes to see it.

Rabbi Yekutiel Fish, an expert in Kabbalah (Jewish mysticism) gave a lesson this week in which he discussed how the Messiah was imminent. Rabbi Fish cited Rabbi Chaim Kanievsky, one of the most prominent Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) rabbis of this generation, who began foretelling the arrival of the Messiah just a few years ago.

"It is written that in the days leading up to the Messiah, tzaddikim (righteous men) will begin to announce his arrival but some people, those who have not prepared for His arrival, will laugh at the righteous and the learned," Rabbi Fish said, warning that it is forbidden to mock the righteous.

Comment: "Righteous men will announce something ridiculous. People will laugh at the ridiculous things." Naturally, when the laughter inevitably comes, this is proof that the prophecy must be true.


Parents of woman killed by 'poison used on Skripal' blame... UK govt, British media, but not Russia

dawn sturgess
© Adrian Sherratt/The Guardian
Dawn Sturgess died after being poisoned with nerve agent following the Sergei Skripal incident
The parents of the woman who died in the Wiltshire novichok poisonings have broken their silence to express their anger and hurt at losing their daughter in an extraordinary international incident and say they believe there could be more of the nerve agent yet to be found.

Speaking as the first anniversary of the poisonings nears, Stan and Caroline Sturgess also revealed their concerns that the UK authorities chose to settle the former Russian spy Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, exposing residents to risk.

The couple told the Guardian they still had many unanswered questions and called for more clarity from the British government about the poisonings. They also spoke passionately about their sense of injustice that Dawn, a mother of three from a very respectable family, was unfairly portrayed as a homeless drug user.
Stan and Caroline Sturgess
© Adrian Sherratt/The Guardian
Stan and Caroline Sturgess
The Sturgesses have complicated feelings toward Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, who collapsed after being poisoned with novichok in Salisbury and are now in hiding. "I don't know where Skripal is and I don't know what I'd do if I met him. He's still got his daughter," said Stan, a retired bricklayer.

Caroline said: "It's sad they ended up in a coma but they weren't the true victims. He [Skripal] took risks - he must have known there was a chance people were still after him."


Brazilian Vogue editor resigns over slavery-evoking birthday photos

Donata Meirelles
© Fernanda Calfat/Getty Images
Donata Meirelles
The fashion director of the Brazilian edition of Vogue has resigned after photos from her 50th birthday party drew criticism for evoking colonial depictions of slavery.

Images from the party showed Donata Meirelles, who is white, sitting on a throne-like seat flanked by four black women dressed in white at the celebration in Bahia, the Brazilian state with the largest black population.

Critics compared the women's clothes to the white uniforms worn by house slaves, and pointed out the chair's similarity to a cadeira de sinhá, an ornate chair for slave masters.

"The black women were used as objects to create an exotic scene," said Stephanie Ribeiro, the author of the #BlackGirlMagic column in the Brazilian edition of Marie Claire. "It's reminiscent of colonialism and romanticizes those times. She was recreating the image where whites are superior and blacks are dehumanized."


Russia's Platov International Airport listed among the world's best

Platov International Airport
© Facebook / Platov International Airport
Platov International Airport
One of the newest Russian airports, Platov International Airport in the city of Rostov-on-Don, has received the highest mark from the UK-based ranking organization Skytrax, becoming the first five-star Russian airport.

Getting five stars from Skytrax is considered the most prestigious international award for airports and airlines. After a recent audit of the terminal, the organization added Platov Airport to a list that includes only nine other airports from different countries.

Skytrax specialists visited the airport in January as regular passengers to see with their own eyes the work of the airport staff, how long the check-in queues are, and how the visitors are treated. They went through passport control and security checks, as well as visiting facilities inside the terminal.


Russia: Several floors collapse at St. Petersburg University, 85 people rescued

St. Petersburg collapse
© AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky
Russian Emergency employees work at the scene of the collapse building of the Saint Petersburg National Research University of Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics.
A university building has partially collapsed in the city of St. Petersburg, forcing frightened students and lecturers to flee through thick plumes of dust while some filmed the scene. More than 85 people were safely evacuated.

The incident occurred at the Information Technologies, Mechanics and Optics University on Saturday afternoon, while lectures were in progress. Local administration told media that as many as 21 people may have been trapped under the rubble.

The emergency services later confirmed that 86 people were safely evacuated from the building and no bodies have been found during rescue. The university rector, Vladimir Vasylyev, said that no people remained trapped under the rubble.


Social media is turning us into thoughtless political extremists

republican democrat
Big Think Managing Editor Jason Gots recently penned a keen piece on political radicals on Facebook that got me thinking about the ways social media has altered our political rhetoric. At the risk of sounding too much like I'm sucking up to the boss, much of Jason's piece articulated the exact trepidations I feel about my own social media pals:
"There's this disconnect between your Facebook voice (always out for blood) and your in-person voice on those rare occasions when we meet (warm, funny, kind). I'm not saying this is a good thing - the not-talking-explicitly. I just don't like ugly arguments and ad hominem attacks, which I fear (with good reason) is what would happen if I responded to your Facebook posts, which, honestly, have gotten on my nerves to the point where I've hidden them from my News Feed."
Fulfilling the title of his blog - "Overthinking Everything" - Jason delves deeply into the topic. He rallies against the frustrating elements of extremism while questioning how the Facebook radicals of the world would behave should they ever achieve the power they seek. It's an interesting take that's really worth a read. What's that? There's something brown on my nose? I don't know what you're talking about.

Comment: This piece is from back in 2015, and the divide has only grown since its writing. At this point, one has to wonder how social media actually serves us as its users. It seems social media does little more than simply increase echo-chambers, polarize views, censor dissenting voices
and suck up personal data to be sold to advertisers. So why are we all on these platforms again?

See also:

Heart - Black

No-knock warrant leading to deaths of Houston couple was based on invented heroin purchase by non-existent confidential informant

Dennis Tuttle, Rhogena Nicholas-Tuttle
The no-knock search warrant for the drug raid that killed a middle-aged couple in their Houston home on January 28 seems to have been based on a "controlled buy" that never happened by a confidential informant who does not exist. According to a February 8 search warrant affidavit obtained by KPRC, the NBC station in Houston, investigators looking into the raid at 7815 Harding Street, the home of Dennis Tuttle and Rhogena Nicholas, have been unable to identify the C.I. who supposedly bought heroin from Tuttle the day before.

Sgt. Richard Bass submitted the February 8 affidavit in support of a warrant to search a cellphone used by Steven Bryant, a narcotics officer who participated in the raid and who was suspended last week because of unanswered questions about the warrant for it, which was obtained by Gerald Goines, another narcotics officer. Bass says Bryant talked to Goines, who was shot during the raid and remains hospitalized, and relayed the name of the C.I., who denied making the purchase described in Goines' affidavit.

Bryant went back to Goines and got the name of another C.I., who also denied participating in the controlled buy. Investigators eventually talked to all of the informants known to work with Goines, and "all denied making a buy for Goines from the Harding Street residence, and ever purchasing narcotics from Tuttle or Nicholas."

If that transaction did not actually happen, it would explain why police found no heroin at the house, where the C.I. supposedly had seen many bags of it. The only drugs found in the search were small amounts of cocaine and marijuana, consistent with personal use. Nor did police find the 9mm semi-automatic handgun that Goines said the C.I. also mentioned. Bass notes another inconsistency: While Goines' affidavit says Bryant saw the brown powder purchased by the C.I. and recognized it as black-tar heroin, Bryant told Bass he did not see the heroin until he was asked to retrieve it from Goines' car so it could be tested.

Comment: 'They did not deal drugs': Neighbors of slain couple who shot 4 cops refute official story