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Mon, 28 Nov 2022
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A World of Hillbilly Heroin: The Hollowing Out of America, Up Close and Personal

© Fabio Berti/ Shutterstock.com
In a new book Chris Hedges and Joe Sacco explore the poorest pockets of the United States. In West Virginia they found communities ravaged by drugs.

During the two years Joe Sacco and I reported from the poorest pockets of the United States, areas that have been sacrificed before the altar of unfettered and unregulated capitalism, we found not only decayed and impoverished communities but shattered lives. There comes a moment when the pain and despair of constantly running into a huge wall, of realizing that there is no way out of poverty, crush human beings. Those who best managed to resist and bring some order to their lives almost always turned to religion and in that faith many found the power to resist and even rebel.

2 + 2 = 4

66 Students at Stuyvesant High School Now Face Suspension in Regents Exams Cheating Scandal

© Craig Warga/New York Daily News
City says it uncovered new evidence of misdeeds during last spring's standardized tests. Students texted one another answers during tests.

As part of Stuyvesant High School's continuing crackdown after a high-profile cheating scandal, 66 students are now facing suspension, the city announced Friday.

Over the summer, the city uncovered new evidence of misdeeds during last spring's standardized tests, officials said.

The massive cheating ring saw students texting one another answers during Regents exams, the Daily News first reported in June.

In July, just six students at the elite school were facing the most severe punishment. The bulk of the students who'd received text messages were stripped of their leadership positions and the privilege of leaving campus during lunch.

Stuyvesant's new principal, Jie Zhang - who took over after longtime principal Stanley Teitel's resignation this summer - announced she's working with students on the possibility of creating an honor code.

Arrow Down

Landing Gear Door Falls on Washington Neighborhood

© The Associated Press/Leah Dermody
an unidentified person examines a piece of metal that appears to be a landing gear door from an airplane is shown, Friday, Sept. 7, 2012, after it fell to the ground in Kent, Wash., south of Seattle.
Kent, Washington - The Federal Aviation Administration confirms that a piece of metal that fell to the ground in a Kent, Wash., neighborhood was part of a Boeing 767's landing gear door.

Witnesses say the refrigerator-size panel hit the ground and skipped about 30 feet before stopping in a street Friday morning. No one in the neighborhood about 15 miles south of Seattle was hurt.

Neighbors say a cargo jet flew low over the area at about the same time the part came down.

Photos on news station KOMO's website show part of an identification plate on the object that has the word "aircraft" along with a serial number.

FAA officials aren't saying if they've located the plane that the part came from.

Source: KOMO TV and The Associated Press


Photographers In Los Angeles Considered Terrorists Under Official LAPD Policy

© Unknown
The LAPD has adopted a new official policy that considers photography a suspicious activity and urges policy to report photographers as potential terrorists.

The next time a tourist snaps a picture of the famous Hollywood sign, their photo won't be the only item added to the annals. The LAPD considers photography a suspicious activity, and trying to take certain shots may add a page to your personal file.

A memo released last month by Police Chief Charlie Bucks re-categorizes certain behaviors - including photo shoots in public spots - to constitute suspicious activity, which is enough to have cops file a report, open an investigation and forward any further information about a suspect to the federal authorities - all over just an itchy shutter finger.

In an interdepartmental statement dispatched on August 16, Beck writes, "Taking pictures or videos of facilities/buildings, infrastructures or protected sites in a manner that would arouse suspicion in a reasonable person" is enough of a red flag to have authorities file a suspicious activity report, or SAR. According to departmental policies, those SAR files are then sent into a Consolidated Crime and Analysis Database (CCAD), where they are occasionally added to a Crime Analysis Mapping System (CAMS) for further investigation. From there, intelligence can be stored in a Information Sharing Environment (ISE) Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Shared Space and accessed at fusion centers across the country, such as the LA area's Joint Regional Intelligence Center, where other intel is interpreted, dissected and divulged by agencies like the FBI and the US Department of Homeland Security.


Food Inflation, Food Shortages And Food Riots Are Coming

food market
A devastating global food crisis unlike anything we have ever seen in modern times is coming. Crippling drought and bizarre weather patterns have damaged food production all over the world this summer, and the UN and the World Bank have both issued ominous warnings about the food inflation that is coming.

To those of us in the Western world, a rise in the price of food can be a major inconvenience, but in the developing world it can mean the difference between life and death. Just remember what happened back in 2008. When food prices hit record highs it led to food riots in 28 different countries. Today, there are approximately 2 billion people that are malnourished around the globe. Even rumors of food shortages are enough to spark mass chaos in many areas of the planet. When people fear that they are not going to be able to feed their families they tend to get very desperate. That is why a recent CNN article declared that "2013 will be a year of serious global crisis".

The truth is that we are not just facing rumors of a global food crisis - one is actually starting to unfold right in front of our eyes. The United States experienced the worst drought in more than 50 years this summer, and some experts are already declaring that the weather has been so dry for so long that tremendous damage has already been done to next year's crops. On the other side of the world, Russia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan have all seen their wheat crops devastated by the horrible drought this summer. Australia has also been dealing with drought, and in India monsoon rains were about 15 percent behind pace in mid-August. Global food production is going to be much less than expected this year, and global food demand continues to steadily rise. What that means is that food inflation, food shortages and food riots are coming, and it isn't going to be pretty.

The United States exports more food than anyone else in the world, and that is why the entire globe has been nervously watching the horrific drought in the United States this summer with deep concern.

It has been the worst drought in more than 50 years, and it has absolutely devastated corn crops all over the nation. According to Bill Witherell, the U.S. corn crop this year "is said to be on a par with that of 1988 crop, the worst in the past thirty years."

Comment: We have been warned. Even if all other potential global catastrophes do not come to pass during our lifetime, this one will be here sooner rather than later. It will not hurt anyone to be prepared.

Heart - Black

Judge To Woman Sexually Assaulted By Cop: 'When You Blame Others, You Give Up Your Power To Change'

Judge Jacqueline Hatch
© Unknown
Judge Jacqueline Hatch
Last summer, a drunk Arizona police officer named Robb Gary Evans drove himself to a bar, flashed his badge to avoid paying cover at the door, and then walked up behind a woman, put his hand up her skirt, and ran his fingers over her genitals. A jury convicted him of sexual abuse, a felony with a maximum sentence of 2 and a half years in prison, and Evans was fired from the police force after an internal investigation.

Nevertheless, Arizona trial Judge Jacqueline Hatch, who was appointed to the bench by Gov. Jan Brewer (R-AZ), decided that Evans' actions did not warrant jail time - sentencing him probation and 100 hours of community service. Evans also will not have to register as a sex offender. Yet, while Judge Hatch apparently did not view the disgraced former cop's actions as particularly serious, she had some very harsh words for the woman he assaulted:


Bronx bodega worker, 20, killed by NYPD after masked gunmen stick up Morrisania shop

© Michael Schwartz/New York Daily News
An innocent and unarmed Reynaldo Cuevas, 20, was shot by the NYPD while fleeing in a robbery unfolding at the Nathalie Deli & Grocery in the Bronx.
The NYPD was responding to the armed robbery when a cop and the fleeing shop worker fatally collided, police said. The loot: $700 in cash, scratch-off lottery tickets and Newport cigarettes. 'He didn't have his hands up and they shot him,' the victim's cousin said. 'They didn't say nothing. They just shot him. He was just trying to run away because he was scared.'

An unarmed bodega worker fleeing a botched armed robbery at his uncle's Bronx store was "accidentally" shot and killed by a cop answering a 911 call early Friday, police said.

Reynaldo Cuevas, 20, was mortally wounded when the officer's gun went off after the bodega worker plowed into the cop as he rushed out of the robbery scene at full speed, said NYPD Commissioner Raymond Kelly.

Cuevas, 20, was shot once shortly after three masked gunmen burst into the Nathalie Deli & Grocery in Morrisania as the bodega was shutting down at 1:50 a.m., according to witnesses and the victim's relatives.

A security video captured Cuevas crashing full-tilt into the officer, who was outside the deli with his weapon in his hand.

"Mr. Cuevas ... ran full-speed into the officer," Kelly said. "The two became entangled, at which point, we believe, the officer accidentally discharged his weapon."


No Jail Time for Obama 'HOPE' Poster Artist in New York

Shepard Fairey
© The Associated Press/Damian Dovarganes
Shepard Fairey poses in front of the Barack Obama Hope artwork he designed in the Echo Park area of Los Angeles, in this Jan. 12, 2009 file photo.
The artist who created the HOPE poster that came to symbolize Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign was ordered to do 300 hours of community service Friday for a criminal contempt conviction but was spared jail time.

Shepard Fairey, 42, of Los Angeles nodded his head several times and said "OK" as U.S. Magistrate Judge Frank Maas told him he must commit no crimes during two years of probation and must pay a $25,000 fine to the U.S. government.

During remarks before the sentence was announced, Fairey called his decision to fabricate evidence in a civil lawsuit he brought against The Associated Press in 2009 the "worst thing I've done in my life." He also apologized.

"I am deeply ashamed and remorseful that I didn't live up to my own standards of honesty and integrity," he said. After the sentencing, Fairey hugged his lawyers, was kissed by his wife, and shook hands with more than a dozen friends who packed into the small Manhattan courtroom.

Maas said the sentence needed to send a message to others who might destroy or fabricate evidence in a civil case that the consequences of covering up what they did is far worse than telling the truth.

But he said Fairey's considerable charity work over a long period of time mitigated the need for prison on a misdemeanor charge that carried a maximum potential sentence of six months.


Philadelphia Man Charged in Hoax that Led to Plane's Recall

"It was like Seal Team Six. The SWAT Team from Philly, they were pretty awesome," said Kurt Weber, a passenger on the Dallas-bound US Air flight that returned to Philadelphia today because of a bomb hoax.

Weber, who was sitting in seat 4-D, got a front row seat in the quick, surgical end to the bomb scare.

"We got on to the plane, it was a flight like every other flight I have taken, completely uneventful. And frankly, I took a nap. Before we taxied off the runway, I was asleep," Weber told ABC News.

"At some point, the pilot came over the intercom and told us he was having trouble with instruments and needed to return to Philly to evaluate the instruments," Weber said.

"At that point I was awake and I stayed awake," Weber said, "And as we landed there were a whole lot of emergency vehicles and police vehicles racing out and the girl next to me, said, 'I'm sure glad we are not going where those guys are going.' And then we wind up taxiing over to them."


Woman Accused of Witchcraft Killed

Santa Barbara, Colombia -- A woman from northwestern Colombia was beaten to death and set on fire after she was accused of being a witch, officials said.

The woman was found dead in her home in a rural area about 10 miles from Medellin, police said.

Investigators said her killers beat her to death, then poured gasoline on her body and set it afire, Colombia Reports said Sunday.

The mayor of a community in the area condemned the killing and spoke out against an "abhorrent intolerance that resembles the days of the inquisition."

Residents said the woman was accused of casting a spell on a local boy, but police said a search of her home Friday found no indication she practiced witchcraft, Colombia Reports said.

The mayor said another woman was killed in the village six years ago after she was accused of being a witch.