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Fri, 22 Oct 2021
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Road Cone

Philippines passengers die after bus plunges off elevated highway

Bus crash
© Francis Malasig/EPA
The aftermath of the bus crash in Manila.
At least 21 killed in suburban Manila as bus veers off highway in wet weather and crushes van

At least 21 people were killed and about 20 others injured when a passenger bus plunged from an elevated highway and fell onto a van in suburban Manila, police said.

Superintendent Elizabeth Velasquez said the bus veered off the highway and crashed onto a van passing below in suburban Paranaque city at dawn on Monday. Both drivers were killed.

TV footage showed a number of bodies strewn around the bus wreckage with police officers milling around.

The van was an unrecognizable pile of smashed white metal.

Light Sabers

Rival rallies continue in Kiev as Western meddling increases

© Reuters/Alexander Demianchuk
Pro-European integration protestors stand behind a barricade at Independence Square in Kiev December 15, 2013.
Tens of thousands of people from across Ukraine gathered in central Kiev for rival anti- and pro-government rallies on Sunday, continuing their demonstrations as US and EU officials increase their involvement in the political crisis.

US Senators John McCain and Chris Murphy have joined the opposition rally by addressing the crowd from a stage, declaring how the protests are inspiring the world.

"People of Ukraine, this is your moment. This is about you, no one else. This is about the future you want for your country. This is about the future you deserve," McCain said.

"We are here to support your just cause, the sovereign right of Ukraine to determine its own destiny freely and independently. And the destiny you seek lies in Europe," he added. "The US is with you."

Murphy also urged protesters to continue the fight. "Ukraine's future stands with Europe, and the United States stands with Ukraine," he said.

Meanwhile, Polish MPs set up a tent on Independence Square on Sunday, UNIAN news reported. "I haven't felt as free as I do here on the Maidan for a very long time," MP Malgorzata Gosevska said, adding that Polish national dishes will be distributed to the protesters in the evening.


Retired professor of astronomy Carol Ambruster found stabbed to death in her Philadelphia apartment

© Philly.com
Carol W. Ambruster
The Germantown apartment building where a retired Villanova University professor was found stabbed to death Monday night was not easily accessible to outsiders, one of the building's owners said Wednesday, suggesting that the woman might have known her killer.

Carol W. Ambruster, 69, a retired professor of astronomy, was found by her roommate in the kitchen of her apartment in the 5500 block of Wayne Avenue with a knife in her neck about 9 p.m., police said. She also had been stabbed in the chest.

Chief Inspector Scott Small said the scene indicated that there had been a violent struggle. Blood was spattered in several rooms of the four-bedroom, second-floor apartment, he said.

Ambruster's roommate, whom police did not identify, told investigators he found her dead when he returned home from running errands, said Capt. James Clark, commanding officer of the Homicide Unit.

The roommate - who was not romantically involved with Ambruster, Clark said, but was a friend who worked for the Philadelphia School District - said he had come home to the apartment building earlier in the night to retrieve his car, but did not go inside.

He told detectives that when he came back home, he found the apartment door unlocked, the lights off, and Ambruster dead in the kitchen. He told police he then ran to a neighbor, who called 911.

Nothing appeared to be stolen from the apartment, Clark said.

Detectives, who remained on the scene Wednesday looking for surveillance tape and interviewing neighbors, have not determined a motive for the killing, Clark said.


In God we trust: Five more Philadelphia Catholic priests suspended in sex scandal

catholic host
© unknown
The Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia, battered since 2011 by a high-profile child sex abuse scandal, said on Sunday it had placed another five priests on administrative leave, including one accused of sexual abuse.

After a church investigation, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput determined that there was a substantiated case of sexual abuse of a minor against a 58-year-old priest identified as Michael A. Chapman, according to a church statement. It gave no further details on the allegation.

Chapman was not immediately available for comment.

The other four suspended priests were determined to have violated standards of behaviour and boundaries, the church said without elaborating. A church document defines one of the boundaries as pertaining to appropriate behaviour with children.

The church said it had already reported the allegations against the men to the Philadelphia district attorney's office, and an archdiocese spokesman said he was not aware of any criminal charges against the men.

Calls to the district attorney's office were not immediately returned on Sunday.

The move means the suspended priests can have no public ministry, administer sacraments, wear clerical garb or present themselves as priests. All the suspensions announced on Sunday have been in effect for some time, with four of them dating back to 2011.

The allegations against the five grew out of a 2011 Philadelphia grand jury report that ended with the jailing of Monsignor William Lynn, the highest-ranking U.S. Catholic Church official convicted in a child sex abuse scandal.

Lynn, the one-time secretary of the clergy for the archdiocese, was convicted last year of endangering the welfare of a child by reassigning a priest with a history of sexual abuse to a Philadelphia parish that was unaware of his past.

Eye 1

State goes after BB Guns: "Young kids can get a felony charge and their lives are basically over"

In New Jersey, an unregistered BB gun could mean jail time.

That's right...a BB gun. That iconic, much-desired gift from the movie, A Christmas Story. Apparently the government is just as deeply concerned about the potential of someone putting an eye out with a BB gun as Ralphie's mother was. They are so concerned that if you don't register your air gun, pellet gun, or BB gun, you could go directly to jail. Do not stop, do not pass go, do not collect $200.

The Graves Act is the primary statute that forms the spine of New Jersey's oppressive gun control laws. It requires a minimum term of imprisonment and ineligibility for the violation of gun laws, even for first time offenders. Children are not exempt - they too are subject to strict punishment under the harsh gun control law.

Comment: Whatever happened to giving board games like Scrabble- or books - for Christmas?

Bad Guys

'Whole families murdered': Syrian rebels execute over 80 civilians outside Damascus

FSA sniper
© AFP /Zac Baillie
A sniper of the Free Syrian Army (FSA)
Over 80 civilians in a town northwest of the Syrian capital of Damascus have been executed by Islamist rebels, sources within the Syrian military told RT. Many others were kidnapped to be used as human shields.

Government forces are continuing a large-scale operation against Jabhat al-Nusra and Liwa Al-Islam fighters, who captured the town earlier this week. The area is located some 20 kilometers away from Damascus.

According to SANA news agency, around 1,000 militants were in the town when it was enveloped by the army on Friday. The military sources said the "armed groups have performed an execution of civilians" in Adra, RT Arabic correspondent Abutaleb Albohaya reported from Syria.

"For now it's established that over 80 people were killed in the areas now taken over by the army. Often whole families were murdered," he said.

The number of executed civilians is expected to rise after government troops manage to recover the rest of the town - which has a population of around 20,000 - from the Islamists, the military source added.

Comment: Learn more about the Syrian Rebels:

Syrian 'rebels' (CIA, Mossad, MI6) issue ultimatum to Assad: Capitulate or we blow your country apart
It's official: British and US intelligence is directing al-Qaeda operations in Syria
Yes, the Syrian rebels DO have access to chemical weapons
State-Sponsored Terrorism - Western Journalists Embedded With 'al-Qaeda' in Syria
British Special Forces, CIA and MI6 supporting armed insurgency in Syria
Rebels behind Houla massacre, US plan to destabilize Syria in full swing
U.S.-backed terrorists mass murder unarmed civilians in Syria
Syria Terrorists Admit France and US Are Supplying Weapons
First Syria rebels armed and trained by CIA 'on way to battlefield'
Eyewitness in Homs: Barbaric rebels are killing civilians indiscriminately, Assad's forces trying to protect us

Bad Guys

Palestinian man attacked, stabbed in West Jerusalem

© Unknown
A Palestinian man was stabbed and assaulted by a group of Israelis late Tuesday in West Jerusalem.

Mohammad Marwan Oweis, 20, was on his way home after work to the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Silwan when an Israeli approached him and stabbed him in the hand after realizing he was Palestinian, his family told official news agency Wafa.

Oweis tried to defend himself after being stabbed, at which point nine Israelis described as "religious" attacked him with a club, hitting him over the head and body.


University of Michigan: Thousands of students 'evicted' in pro-Palestine solidarity campaign

© Ma'an Images/SAFE
Members of the University of Michigan's student organization SAFE demonstrates against the evil Israeli occupation.
Thousands of University of Michigan students woke up Tuesday morning to faux eviction notices slipped underneath their dorm room doors.

"If you do not vacate the premises by 13 DEC 6PM, we reserve the right to demolish your premises without delay," the notices read.

"We cannot be held responsible for property or persons remaining inside. Charges for demolition will by applied to your student account."

The mock eviction was orchestrated by the student organization Students Allied for Freedom and Equality to raise awareness about the actual Israeli-directed evictions that are carried out on a regular basis in the Palestinian West Bank and East Jerusalem, in addition to the Negev.

"When Palestinians lose their homes to unjust and illegal demolition/eviction notices, they are also robbed of their dignity, human worth, and livelihood," SAFE said in a statement.

Bad Guys

State-owned Chinese company purchases Smithfield Foods?

© Associated Press

On September 6, the U.S. Committee on Foreign Investment approved a deal valued at approximately $7.1 billion allowing China's Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd (Shuanghui Group) to officially take ownership of Smithfield, Virginia-based Smithfield Foods Inc., the world's largest pork producer. Shuanghui had already purchased all of Smithfield's stock back in May for approximately $4.72 billion. "The deal, which would be the biggest purchase of a U.S. company by a Chinese firm, still needs shareholder approval at a special meeting scheduled for September 24," according to Reuters. Shuanghui announced that Smithfield would be listed on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange after the takeover was complete.

One thing that Reuters and other Western media fail to mention is that Shuanghui International Holdings is controlled by the Communist Party of China.

Comment: Could it be that China is disgorging its stockpile of US Dollars to buy US property and businesses? And could they be trying to hide it? If so, US hyperinflation may be coming soon.

Arrow Down

Developer unearths secret U.S. military bases

Secret Military Bases_1
© Google Maps
If you look closely enough on Google or Bing Maps, some places are blanked out, hidden from public view. Many of those places disguise secret or sensitive American military facilities.

The United States military has a foothold in every corner of the world, with military bases on every continent. It's not even clear how many there are out there. The Pentagon says there are around 5,000 in total, and 598 in foreign countries, but those numbers are disputed by the media.

But how do these facilities look from above? To answer that question, you first need to locate the bases. Which, as it turns out, is relatively easy.

That's what Josh Begley, a data artist, found out when he embarked on a project to map all known U.S. military bases around the world, collect satellite pictures of them using Google Maps and Bing Maps, and display them all online.

The project, which he warns is ongoing, was inspired by Trevor Paglen's book Blank Spots on the Map which goes inside the world of secret military bases that are sometimes censored on maps.

"I wanted to apply this to a digital landscape," Begley told Mashable. "What are the actual blind spots of Google Maps or Bing Maps? Which installations are secret and which can be viewed on the open Internet?"