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Sat, 07 Dec 2019
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US Feds seek $7M in privately made 'Liberty Dollars'

von NotHaus Liberty Dollars
© Unknown
von NotHaus "Liberty Dollars"
Federal prosecutors on Monday tried to take a hoard of silver "Liberty Dollars" worth about $7 million that authorities say was invented by an Indiana man to compete with U.S. currency.

Bernard von NotHaus, 67, was convicted last month in federal court in Statesville on conspiracy and counterfeiting charges for making and selling the currency, which he promoted as inflation-proof competition for the U.S. dollar.

His Charlotte-based lawyer, Aaron Michel, is appealing that verdict. He wrote in a motion filed Thursday that von NotHaus did nothing wrong because he didn't try to pass the Liberty Dollars off as U.S. dollars.

"The prosecutors successfully painted Mr. von NotHaus in a false light and now the U.S. Attorney responsible for the prosecution is painting the case in a false light, saying that it establishes that private voluntary barter currency is illegal," Michel wrote.

The trial was scheduled to resume Monday in Statesville. The case involves more than five tons of Liberty Dollars and precious metals seized from a warehouse, which the government wants to take by forfeiture, according to federal prosecutors and Michel.

Heart - Black

Japan: Mom Kills Daughter for Disturbing Her Gaming

A very sad story that we only wish was an April Fool's Day prank.

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© Unknown
The mother of Shizuku Tanaka
A very sad and tragic story from the Nikkei tells of the murder of a three-year-old girl, Shizuku Tanaka, by the hands of her mother.

"Shizuku was being fussy and noisy while we were gaming," said her mother, 26-year-old Yui Tanaka, according to the Nikkei.

Yui Tanaka said that her daughter also put their gaming machines and other valuables in the garbage. "Even when we scolded her, she didn't listen, so we put her in a bag."

The mother and her 20-year-old live-in boyfriend taped little Shizuku's hands and feet before putting her in garbage bag. The autopsy report said that the girl died from suffocation. The pair admitted their actions, but said that they didn't intend to kill the girl.

Kotaku pointed to other reports characterizing Yui Tanaka as a "demon mother." She supposedly also wrote online, "Even if this kid died, I wouldn't cry."

The couple is now in police custody.

Attention

Libya warns of disaster if 'Great Man-Made River' hit

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© Unknown
Libya warned on Sunday that NATO-led air strikes could cause a "human and environmental disaster" if they damaged the country's massive Great Man-Made River (GMMR) project.

Built at a cost of 33 billion dollars, the GMMR extracts water from deep beneath the Sahara desert at a depth of between 500 and 800 metres (1,600 to 2,500 feet), purifies it and transports it to the coastal cities of the north where most of the population is concentrated.

Engineer and project manager Abdelmajid Gahoud told foreign journalists in the ultra-modern control centre on the outskirts of Tripoli, that a "human and environmental disaster" was on the cards if the GMMR was hit.

Arrow Down

U.N. plane crashes in Congo, 10 dead: U.N. source

A United Nations plane crashed while attempting to land at the airport serving Congo's capital Kinshasa on Monday, killing 10 people and injuring 16, a UN source told Reuters.

"The plane landed heavily, broke into two and caught fire," the source said, asking not to be named.

The plane was coming from Goma in the east, the source said.

Stormtrooper

Yemen forces shoot 15 protesters dead

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Protesters carry an injured protester during clashes with police in the southern Yemeni city of Taiz on April 3.
Yemeni security forces have shot dead fifteen protesters and wounded 30 more in a new wave of protests in the southern Yemeni city of Taiz.

Witnesses said that Yemeni soldiers on Monday opened fire at tens of thousands of protesters demanding the ouster of decades-long President Ali Abdullah Saleh, AFP reported.

"Tens of thousands of demonstrators were marching on the governorate headquarters in Taiz," they said.

Bloody clashes in the city entered its second day after security forces clashed with anti-government protesters.

On Sunday, Yemeni security forces reportedly killed two demonstrators and injured more than 1,000 demonstrators during a crackdown on anti-government protesters in Taiz.

Witnesses also said that armed men in civilian clothes opened fire on protesters in the port city of Hudaida. There was no immediate word on casualties there.

Pistol

Ivory Coast president on brink as top general deserts

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© ISSOUF SANOGO/AFP
Ivory Coast's main city of Abidjan saw forces loyal to Gbagbo patrolling as rebel forces approached.
Laurent Gbagbo faces bloody overthrow as he loses general and rebels advance on main city of Abidjan

Ivory Coast's president, Laurent Gbagbo, faces being overthrown after his top general deserted him and rebel forces advanced into Abidjan, his seat of power.

Heavy weapons and machine gun fire were heard in the centre of Ivory Coast's main city. French troops were deployed as the four-month political crisis appeared to near its endgame, with the opposition claiming Gbagbo had only hours left in power.

Presidential claimant Alassane Ouattara's government ordered the closure of Ivory Coast's land, air and sea borders, Reuters said.

Family

Census reveals that 17% of the world is Indian

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© David Sutherland
The Indian state of Uttar Pradesh has a population of 199,500,000, just under that of Britain, France and Germany combined.
Country closing gap with China by adding 181 million citizens in past decade - which is equivalent to population of Brazil

The first results from India's latest census - the second biggest in the world - were released on Thursday, revealing that the country has added 181 million new citizens in the last decade, making it home to 17% of the world's population.

China remains the most populous country on the planet, with 1.34 billion, but India is closing the gap with 1.21 billion. The additional Indians found by the census are roughly equivalent to the population of Brazil, the fifth largest country in the world. One Indian state alone - Uttar Pradesh - now has a population of 199,500,000 people, just under that of Britain, France and Germany combined.

However C Chandramouli, the census commissioner, told reporters in Delhi that the new count showed population growth in India had slowed. The 17.6% increase was down from 21.5% recorded in 2001.

Ambulance

UK: Hospitals 'are closing beds and axing jobs to balance the books'

Queen Alexandra Hospital

The Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth staff face being axed
Hospitals built under the Private Finance Initiative are closing beds and cutting jobs to balance their books, a campaign group claimed yesterday.

Health Emergency said it had also discovered "asset stripping" sales of land and property by NHS Trusts to help them meet the Government's public spending cuts.

Land is being sold by PFI-built hospitals in London and a growing number of nursing and other jobs are being axed.

Vader

UK Uncut arrests threaten future protests, lawyer warns

Matt Foot, solicitor at Birnberg Pierce, says the detention of 145 activists will 'threaten the right to peacefully protest'
Police and UK uncut activists
© Carl Court/AFP/Getty Images
UK Uncut activists took part in the Fortnum & Mason occupation during recent London protests.

A lawyer at a leading civil liberties firm has expressed fears for the future of direct action protest after the mass arrest of UK Uncut activists during last Saturday's anti-cuts demonstrations in London.

Matt Foot, a criminal defence solicitor at Birnberg Pierce, said the detention of 145 activists during an occupation of luxury food store Fortnum and Mason in Piccadilly was "unprecedented". He has questioned the police's motivation.

After being arrested for aggravated trespass and criminal damage, scores of Uncut campaigners were dispersed to police stations around London as far apart as Harrow, Ilford and Romford and were held for up to 24 hours. The next day, the accusation of criminal damage was dropped but 138 activists were bailed on the charge of aggravated trespass.

Blackbox

Air France wreckage found from 2009 crash

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© The Associated Press / Eraldo Peres
Workers in Recife, Brazil, unload debris from the crashed Air France flight AF447 in June 2009. Airbus, which made the jet, is facing manslaughter charges in France in connection with the crash.
French investigators say they've found wreckage from an Air France jet that crashed off Brazil's coast almost two years ago with 228 people onboard.

This marks a fourth attempt at locating the flight and data recorders. As of late Sunday, French officials would only reveal that the wreckage had been found in the past 24 hours.

Flight 447 had been flying from Rio de Janeiro to Paris when it went down on June 1, 2009, in a thunderstorm. Parts of the plane have been recovered but not the wreckage containing the flight data recorder - or black box - with important technical and voice information.

Locating the main body of the plane has proven difficult because it crashed into deep waters, beyond the range of radar and sonar. To conduct the actual search, planes and ships rely on sonar signals from the black box.

The findings are crucial because a French judge recently handed down a decision allowing preliminary manslaughter charges against Airbus, which manufactured the plane. Airbus is the world's largest airplane producer.

The $12.5-million US search is jointly financed by the airline and by Airbus, which produced the plane. Airbus says the true cause of the crash will never be known until the flight and data recorders are found.

Comment: Airbus 330s don't fall out of the sky during thunderstorms. Sott.net strongly suspects that the reason this incident and its multiple subsequent investigations are shrouded in secrecy and vagueness is because it was downed by an overhead cometary airburst:

What are they hiding? Flight 447 and Tunguska Type Events