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Sun, 25 Sep 2022
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AWOL Muslim Soldier Guilty in Fort Hood Bomb Plot

Naser Abdo
© The Associated Press/McLennan County Sheriff's Office
File photo of AWOL soldier Pfc. Naser Abdo
Waco, Texas - Walking around a gun store one day last summer, the young man never took off his sunglasses as he asked questions about items he piled on the counter - behavior that struck the manager as odd.

Pfc. Naser Jason Abdo had already traveled hundreds of miles since going AWOL from Fort Campbell, Ky., three weeks earlier. He bought a gun from an online seller in Nashville and paid cash for thousands of dollars of bomb-making components at a major Dallas-area retail store. Trying to avoid being caught, he wore a baseball cap and sunglasses most of the time, never used credit cards while staying in motels and traveling by bus or cab, and he had his roommate's driver's license.

But his luck ran out in Killeen, a city about 150 miles southwest of Dallas and near one of the nation's largest Army posts - Fort Hood. Guns Galore manager Cathy Cheadle "just had this feeling" about him. She and an employee talked about it and then called police - who had Abdo in custody less than 24 hours later at a motel, where authorities say he had started to build a bomb. Police hadn't even known his name or background until they detained him.

A federal jury Thursday convicted Abdo, a Muslim soldier, on six charges in connection with his failed plot to blow up a Texas restaurant full of Fort Hood troops, his religious mission to get "justice" for the people of Iraq and Afghanistan.

"A disaster was averted because somebody picked up the phone and made a call," prosecutor Mark Frazier told The Associated Press after the trial. "The people who work in businesses like this are vigilant ... and risked being embarrassed if their suspicions turned out to be nothing, but that's what we want people to do."


Educated but Unemployed

© unknown
For the first time in history, there are now more unemployed Americans who attended at least some college than people who only graduated high school or dropped out of high school, Bureau of Labor Statistics data show.

Seasonally unadjusted BLS data from April show that about 4.7 million of the nation's 9 million unemployed either graduated from a four-year or a two-year college program or attended college for some time before dropping out. A smaller 4.3 million share of America's unemployed graduated only from high school or didn't finish high school. Jed Graham from Investor's Business Daily graphed the change.

This isn't necessarily bad news for college-bound kids, however. First of all, less educated people are more likely to not be counted as officially unemployed because they've dropped out of the labor force and stopped looking for work altogether. (Millions of these people are referred to as "discouraged workers," and they don't show up in monthly unemployment reports.) Secondly, less than 4 percent of college graduates over the age of 25 were unemployed in April, a far smaller share than the 7.9 percent unemployment rate for high school grads. High school drop outs, meanwhile, faced 12.5 percent unemployment.


One hundred UK millionaires to be created in Lotto draw on night of Olympic Games opening ceremony

A one-off National Lottery draw will create 100 millionaires as a 'thank you' to players for helping fund the London Olympics.

The EuroMillions Millionaire Raffle draw will take place on the night of the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games on July 27, a National Lottery spokesman said.

The event guarantees a million-pound cheque for 100 UK players, breaking the world record for the most millionaires created in a single draw.

Comment: The London Olympics is transpiring to be a wonderful distraction from current economic turmoil, possible pre-emptive Iranian attack, police state expansion and earth changes. This lotto frenzy is the cherry on top.


Just What Do You Have to Do to Get Fired From the RCMP?

© unknown
RCMP Sgt. Donald Ray in an undated photo.
Canada - You have to ask whether the RCMP has learned anything from the years of adverse publicity that has damaged the iconic force's reputation with Canadians.

Fatal misuse of Tasers, questionable in-custody deaths, botched major investigations such as Air India, a looming sexual-harassment lawsuit by a former member.

And now, with all that on the table, the RCMP admits a senior Alberta Mountie disciplined for sexual misconduct and drinking on the job is not being dismissed. Instead, he's being transferred from Edmonton to British Columbia, where trust in the RCMP could hardly be lower.

Donald Ray was a staff sergeant in Edmonton's K-Division behavioural sciences unit, in charge of its polygraph unit, when he was accused of disgraceful conduct.

The Ottawa Citizen obtained documents from Ray's internal disciplinary hearing.


Socrates Acquitted in Ancient Trial Re-Run

Socrates Trial
© France24
US, European and Greek lawyers arrive at the Alexander S. Onassis foundation in Athens to enact the trial of Socrates. Judges narrowly acquitted Socrates, the philosopher whose teachings earned him a death sentence in ancient Athens, in a retrial Friday billed as a lesson for modern times of revolution and crisis.
Judges narrowly acquitted Socrates, the philosopher whose teachings earned him a death sentence in ancient Athens, in a retrial Friday billed as a lesson for modern times of revolution and crisis.

Socrates spoke himself at his trial in the fourth century BC, but this time in his absence, a panel of 10 US and European judges heard pleas by top Greek and foreign lawyers at the event at the Onassis Foundation in Athens.

Judges then voted on whether he was guilty on the ancient charges of evil-doing, impiety and corrupting the young.

In 399 BC, Socrates was made to die by drinking hemlock poison after being convicted by a jury of hundreds of Athenians. Unrepentant, he had insulted the judges at his trial and cheekily asked to be rewarded for his actions.

The modern judges spared him that dishonour this time, with an even vote -- five guilty and five not guilty, meaning that under ancient Athenian law he was not convicted.

Socrates' method of sceptical inquiry, preserved by his disciple Plato and other ancient authors, questioned conventional wisdom on sensitive notions of politics, religion and morality and earned him powerful enemies.

He was branded an enemy of democracy, accused of treason in favour of the Spartan enemy, and of influencing a violent uprising against the Athenian republic by a group of oligarchs that included some of his pupils.


In a hurry: Passenger arrested at Miami airport

The FBI has arrested and will file charges against a passenger on a Miami-bound flight from Jamaica who became unruly when the plane landed, according to NBC News' Pete Williams.

Officials say Ryan Snider, 24, of Canada, was arrested in connection with an incident on American Airlines Flight 320 in which, they say, Snider rushed toward the front of the plane after it had landed.

"There were no injuries or damage to the plane. There appears to be no nexus to terrorism and Snider was not on the no-fly list," the FBI told Williams. Snider may face federal charges of interference with a flight crew.

Airport officials said they received an urgent call at 10:19 a.m., as the plane, which had arrived from Montego Bay at 10:12 a.m., was taxiing.

Officials said the plane's crew had become concerned about Snider's behavior.

Comment: Sick of being in the air? Want to get off the plane as soon as possible? Perhaps you're feeling some motion sickness? Can't stand those tiny bathrooms on a plane due to claustrophobia?

Obey all crew member instructions without question!

Eye 2

Suicidal woman killed toddler twins, poisoned 4-year-old

A Philadelphia woman who police say believed her husband was having an affair is accused of killing her toddler twins and poisoning her 4-year-old daughter before attempting to commit suicide.

Philadelphia police say Stacey Smalls, 41, attempted to commit suicide by slitting her own wrists after killing her 1-1/2-year-old son, Adam, and the boy's twin sister, Eve, on Thursday, one by drowning and the other by strangulation. Police Lt. Raymond Evers told NBC10 that the 4-year-old "was given some kind of substance to drink or swallow."

Stacey Smalls will be charged with two counts of murder, Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey told NBC10.

On Friday morning, the children's father, Ron Smalls took the younger children's toys, high chairs and play pen to the curb as a trash truck pulled up, NBC10.com in Philadelphia reported. He told NBC10 outside his home in the Tacony neighborhood of Philadelphia that he wasn't ready to talk about the incident, but did say that his 4-year-old daughter was expected to be OK.


Hostages in Indiana real estate office - shots reported

Dozens of police and SWAT officers surrounded a real estate company office in Valparaiso, Ind., on Friday after at least three gunshots were heard. A gunman inside the building was reported to be holding as many as 15 hostages, police and witnesses said.

The gunman allowed five people to leave the 21st Century real estate office, a witness told NBC News.

Few other details were available, but people who gathered in the parking lot as news of the situation spread told NBC News that they were receiving text messages from people inside the building, who relayed that the standoff was the result of a domestic dispute between the man and his girlfriend.

Police said the man entered the stand-alone building in Valparaiso, a southern suburb of Chicago, at 10:05 a.m. CT (11:05 a.m. ET). They said they hadn't yet identified the gunman and wouldn't comment on whether they've been able to make contact with him.


TED Talk: A Massive, Money-Soaked Orgy of Self-Congratulatory Futurism

It has become an exclusive, expensive elite networking experience. Strip away the hype and you're left with a reasonably good video podcast with delusions of grandeur.

There was a bit of a scandal last week when it was reported that a TED Talk on income equality had been censored. That turned out to be not quite the entire story. Nick Hanauer, a venture capitalist with a book out on income inequality, was invited to speak at a TED function. He spoke for a few minutes, making the argument that rich people like himself are not in fact job creators and that they should be taxed at a higher rate.

The talk seemed reasonably well-received by the audience, but TED "curator" Chris Anderson told Hanauer that it would not be featured on TED's site, in part because the audience response was mixed but also because it was too political and this was an "election year."

Hanauer had his PR people go to the press immediately and accused TED of censorship, which is obnoxious - TED didn't have to host his talk, obviously, and his talk was not hugely revelatory for anyone familiar with recent writings on income inequity from a variety of experts - but Anderson's responses were still a good distillation of TED's ideology.

In case you're unfamiliar with TED, it is a series of short lectures on a variety of subjects that stream on the Internet, for free. That's it, really, or at least that is all that TED is to most of the people who have even heard of it. For an elite few, though, TED is something more: a lifestyle, an ethos, a bunch of overpriced networking events featuring live entertainment from smart and occasionally famous people.


Four in 10 young women sexually harassed in public spaces, UK survey finds

© Alamy
The poll found 31% of women aged 18-24 had experienced unwanted sexual attention on public transport.
YouGov survey of women in London reveals extent of harassment - prompting calls for public awareness campaign

Sexual harassment is a persistent and dangerous problem on Britain's streets, women's charities have warned, as a poll reveals that more than four in 10 young women were sexually harassed in the capital over the last year.

A YouGov survey of 1,047 Londoners commissioned by End Violence Against Women Coalition (Evaw) found that 43% of women aged between 18 and 34 had experienced sexual harassment in public spaces in the last year.

Despite a growing intolerance of unwanted sexual attention, harassment was still very common and made women feel unsafe particularly when travelling alone, said Holly Dustin, director of Evaw.

"Sexual harassment is so ingrained that we barely notice it, but when you start talking to women almost every one has a horrible story to tell: it's time for society to stand up and put a stop to it."