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Trayvon Martin Killing: 911 Tape Reveals Possible Racial Slur by Neighborhood Watchman

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© Orlando Sentinel/Red Huber
The Florida police department handling the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teen by a self-appointed neighborhood watch leader admitted to ABC News tonight that investigators missed a possible racist remark by the shooter as he spoke to police dispatchers moments before the killing.

The admission comes a day after the Justice Department announced that it has launched an investigation of the slaying of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman last month as a possible hate crime.

On a tape of one of Zimmerman's 911 calls the night of the shooting, he is heard saying under his breath what sounds like "f**ing coons." Seconds later he confronted Martin and after a brief scuffle shot him dead.

Pistol

Killing Trayvon Martin: White Sheets Surrounding Florida Teen's Slaying

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© Associated Press/Martin Family Photo
In this undated family photo, Trayvon Martin poses for a family photo.
In March 1799 authorities in North Carolina found no fault in a teen fatally shooting a black man after confronting that man about his being on a public road.

In February 2012 authorities in Florida found no fault in a man fatally shooting a black teen after confronting that teen about his being on a public road.

How authorities in Sanford, Florida have handled the fatal February 26th shooting of 17-year-old black teen Trayvon Martin by a town watch operative in Sanford, Florida is sparking outrage nationwide.

That slaying does raise the specter of race-tainted inequities that have roiled through American society since before the formal inception of the United States.

Whistle

Secret Deals, Forclosure Settlements, Stress Tests and Vampire Squid Whistle Blowers: You Just Can't Make This Stuff UP

robo-signing mortgage fraud
© Associated Press
No Hollywood scriptwriter could plot a more implausible story. Here is the plotline sequencing:
  1. Bankers make NINJA loans, securitize them, and sell on to government GSEs
  2. Bankers destroy all the loan documents and begin random and fraudulent foreclosures, throwing millions of innocent victims out on the street
  3. GSEs sue bankers and force them to take back bad mortgages
  4. Bankers sell servicing rights for the same bad mortgages back to GSEs, who overpay
  5. GSEs resell servicing rights to companies run by former GSE officials
  6. Bankers slapped on wrist with puny foreclosure settlement in return for government promise it will never sue them for past foreclosure fraud
  7. Government stress test claims banks are healthy
  8. Bankers get sweet deal, counting mortgage mods for best borrowers toward the settlement
  9. HUD report released demonstrating massive foreclosure fraud that reached to highest levels of banks
  10. Vampire Squid Executive Director fires off resignation letter decrying bankster culture
  11. Banksters walk away scott-free as statute of limitations runs out for criminal behavior
This would have to be a fantasy because no one would ever believe it could have been true.

Beginning in the late 1990s the biggest banks and GSEs created MERS to end-run around county recorders so that they would not have to pay fees to properly register sales of mortgages that would be securitized.

They then proceeded to lose or destroy all (or virtually all) the written documents, broke the chain of title, and screwed up even the electronic records. Nobody knows who owes what to whom, so the loan servicing arms of the biggest banks decided to go on a foreclosure frenzy to seize as many homes at random before anyone found out.

Wolf

Graham James Sentenced to Two Years in Theo Fleury, Todd Holt Sexual Abuse Case

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© The Canadian Press/John Woods
Graham James, accused sex offender, arrives at court on Tuesday, March 20, 2012 in Winnipeg for sentencing.
Winnipeg - Outrage across Canada was swift and pointed Tuesday as reviled former junior hockey coach Graham James was sentenced to two years in prison for hundreds of sexual assaults on two of his teenage players.

James's lawyer said his client - "the most hated man in hockey" - got a fair trial, but few seemed to agree that the sentence fit the crime.

A spectator in the Winnipeg courtroom shouted "Yay!" then spat out a more colourful condemnation as James shook his lawyer's hand and was led away in handcuffs to begin serving his sentence.

"Goodbye, you piece of (expletive)," the man said as James was taken into custody.

Talk show phone lines lit up with people expressing harsh views of the sentence. Others took to Twitter to voice their disgust.

Judge Catherine Carlson made James stand up in the prisoner's box to hear his fate. The 59-year-old - looking gaunt, his head closely shaven - showed no emotion, but simply answered "yes" when she asked him if he understood the sentence.

James pleaded guilty in December to repeatedly sexually abusing retired NHL star Theo Fleury and his cousin, Todd Holt, when they played for him in the Western Hockey League in the 1980s and '90s.

"The court is aware that this case has attracted significant public attention and that there is a sense of outrage about these offences. That is understandable," Carlson said in her lengthy sentence summation. "Serious offences were committed against vulnerable victims, with devastating results for those victims.

Magic Wand

Harry Potter Actor Jailed for Rioting in London

Jamie Waylett
© Reuters/Stephen Hird
Actor Jamie Waylett arrives at Westminster Magistrates Court in London July 16, 2009.
London - Actor Jamie Waylett, who played Hogwarts bully Vincent Crabbe in six of the Harry Potter films, was jailed for two years on Tuesday for being part of a mob during last summer's riots in London.

Waylett, 22, was found guilty of violent disorder by a jury at London's Wood Green Crown Court, the Press Association reported.

But the actor, who had already admitted swigging from a stolen bottle of champagne during the rioting, was cleared of intending to destroy or damage property with a petrol bomb he was pictured holding.

Waylett, who already had a previous conviction for cannabis possession, was with a gang of at least four people who went into the Chalk Farm area of north London last August on the third day of violence in the capital.

He was captured on CCTV at various points during the evening, often with a hood over his head.

The footage shows him accepting a bottle of champagne from a rioter who had just looted the supermarket he was standing outside.

Judge Simon Carr sentenced the actor to two years for violent disorder and 12 months for handling stolen goods, to run concurrently.

Light Sabers

Unknown Tech Company Fighting Back Against FBI's National Security Letter Gag Order

Big Brother
Last year Twitter was willing to stand up to the feds when they tried to issue a so-called 2703(d) order to try to reveal info about some Wikileaks collaborators. A (d) order is like a warrant, but with fewer privacy protections, but Twitter fought hard to at least let users know that the government was seeking to get their information, in order to allow them to fight back. Of course, the (d) order process is pretty obscure. Much more commonly used is the so-called national security letters (NSLs) process, which is a favorite of the FBI's. The FBI is also well known for abusing NSLs, and despite various slaps on the wrist, appears to continue to use them regularly. Basically, it lets them write a letter demanding information from an intermediary, along with a complete gag order about it.

Wolf

Republicans Are Blocking the Violence Against Women Act

woman with bruised face
© Kayla Bailey/Flickr
There are three reasons some Republicans are trying to block the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act: Gays, immigrants, and Native Americans.

The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which first passed in 1994 and has been reauthorized twice since then, increased federal penalties for domestic violence and provided funding for groups and services that aid victims of domestic abuse. The bill hit the bipartisan sweet spot of being both tough on crime and oriented toward women's rights. Usually it's reauthorized without much fanfare. This time around, however, several Senate Republicans, led by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), are putting up a fight. Despite the fact that the bill has several Republican sponsors, all eight GOP senators on the Judiciary Committee voted against the bill when the committee considered it last month.

Camera

Employers ask job seekers for Facebook passwords

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© Associate Press/Steve Ruark
Robert Collins of Baltimore poses for a photo Friday, March 16, 2012 at Cylburn Arboretum in Baltimore.
Seattle - When Justin Bassett interviewed for a new job, he expected the usual questions about experience and references. So he was astonished when the interviewer asked for something else: his Facebook username and password.

Bassett, a New York City statistician, had just finished answering a few character questions when the interviewer turned to her computer to search for his Facebook page. But she couldn't see his private profile. She turned back and asked him to hand over his login information.

Bassett refused and withdrew his application, saying he didn't want to work for a company that would seek such personal information. But as the job market steadily improves, other job candidates are confronting the same question from prospective employers, and some of them cannot afford to say no.

In their efforts to vet applicants, some companies and government agencies are going beyond merely glancing at a person's social networking profiles and instead asking to log in as the user to have a look around.

Ambulance

Kony island: Inside the weird world of Jason Russell

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KONY 2012 director Jason Russell describes himself as a radical, rebel soul and dream evangelist.

"If Oprah, Steven Spielberg and Bono had a baby, I would be that baby," he told a magazine last year.

Now he can add another attribute to the list, one that Oprah, Spielberg and Bono are unlikely to approve of: man who runs through the street naked ranting about the devil.

Russell, the co-founder of controversial charity Invisible Children, was taken to a psychiatric ward in San Diego, California, on Thursday after suffering a meltdown in public. He is to be released later today.

TMZ released video footage of Russell hitting the pavement with his fists, swearing to himself and shouting.

It was claimed that Russell was also caught masturbating in the street.

Heart - Black

One in ten British women have been raped

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© Unknown
The devastating scale of sexual violence against women in Britain is exposed today by new research which indicates that the vast majority of victims do not report perpetrators to the police.

One in 10 women has been raped, and more than a third subjected to sexual assault, according to a major survey, which also highlights just how frightened women are of not being believed. More than 80 per cent of the 1,600 respondents said they did not report their assault to the police, while 29 per cent said they told nobody - not even a friend or family member - of their ordeal.

Negative social attitudes to rape and sexual assault victims play a big part in the reluctance of women to come forward, the survey by Mumsnet suggests. Nearly three-quarters (70 per cent) of respondents feel the media is unsympathetic to women who report rape, while more than half say the same is true of the legal system and society in general.