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Fri, 24 Feb 2017
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Airplane

KoreanAir jet catches fire just before takeoff at Japan's Haneda Airport

© Kyodo / Reuters
Firefighters spray foam at the engine of a Korean Air Lines plane after smoke rose from it at Haneda airport in Tokyo, Japan, May 27, 2016
A dramatic rescue has taken place on a runway at Tokyo's Haneda Airport after one of KoreanAir Boeing's engines caught fire just before taking off.

Social media has been flooded with photos and videos showing the plane being sprayed with foam by fire trucks and crowds of passengers gathered next to the runway.

The incident took place as Flight 2708 was preparing to head to Seoul. At least two fire trucks arrived to battle the flames, Japanese television reported. It also showed emergency chutes and the plane surrounded by white foam.

All 302 passengers and 17 crew members were safely evacuated from the jet.

According to Kyosuke Okada, a government official assigned to Haneda, the cause of the incident is as yet unknown.

The authorities had to temporarily halt flights at Haneda Airport, which is the fifth busiest in the world. In 2015, it served over 75 million passengers.


Comment: Some other aircraft related incidents in recent times include: Planes suddenly 'disappearing' from radar, sometimes in "unprecedented" blackouts; more planes diverting due to "electrical burning and smoke smells", dramatic evacuations following 'catastrophic' engine failure, "engine fires" and plane wings "bursting into flames".


Footprints

Judge breaks rank by sentencing nonviolent drug offender to probation instead of prison

© unknown
It appears that America has awakened to the problem of mass incarceration - an issue underscored by the fact that the U.S. holds less than 5 percent of the world's population but houses about 22 percent of the world's prisoners. Congress is now making a token effort at criminal justice reform, including the reduction of mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent offenders, but even this faces opposition from the most fervent police state crusaders.

In the face of inaction, one New York judge is stepping outside the box to breathe life into a much-needed national debate. Judge Frederick Block of the Federal District Court chose not to send a woman to prison who was convicted of felony drug charges, instead sentencing her to probation.

Block said that the plethora of collateral consequences that people face after being convicted—amounting to 50,000 federal and state statutes—serve "no useful function other than to further punish criminal defendants after they have completed their court-imposed sentences."

Attention

Brought to you by NATO: Terrifying migrant boat disaster witnessed as orphaned baby steals Italy's heart

© Lia Bartolo / Facebook
The Italian Navy has released dramatic footage of a rescue off the coast of Libya where they brought 562 migrants to safety after their overcrowded boat capsized.

The fishing vessel overturned Wednesday when migrants reportedly rushed to one side after spotting the naval boat nearby. At least five people are believed to have died in the tragedy.

The Italian navy patrol boat Bettica responded to a call for help made by a satellite phone some 18 nautical miles off Libya, according to The Local.

As the rescue boat approached the migrants to prove them with life jackets, the sudden push of passengers caused the vessel to overturn.

A helicopter and several rubber boats were deployed in the rescue operation.

The video shows the migrants swimming for life jackets and buoys, and later being pulled to safety.

Comment: These tragedies would not be occurring without NATO's war on the world:



Heart - Black

Transgender activist dies after being shot 8 times and denied treatment at hospital

© Facebook
TransAction district coordinator Alesha shot and killed in Pakistan
Sunday night, Alesha, a 23-year-old transgender District Coordinator for TransAction in northern Pakistan, was attacked and shot eight times, according to a Facebook post from the organization. Her friends rushed her to the hospital, but doctors wouldn't treat her and she died Wednesday morning.

"Congratulations KP Govt," TransAction posted. "The TransAction Board Member and the district coordinator of the transgender Provincial Alliance Alesha died in LRH because she never received intensive medical attention."

The hospital told them that no bed was available for her.

TransAction posted that the gang that shot Alesha is known for targeting members of the transgender community, The Washington Post reports. At times, they have sexually assaulted transgender people and recorded the crime on video.

Stormtrooper

Stunt patrol: US Special Ops Forces stage a 'raid in search of pirates', Tampa, FL

© Marc Serota / Reuters
United States Special Operations Forces descended from buildings, jumped from a Black Hawk helicopter and fired shots as they ambushed downtown Tampa, Florida, where 'pirates' had 'captured' the mayor. The stunt even took place in broad daylight. The rescue effort on was to test readiness in a crisis situation by carrying out a 30-minute drill exercise during the Special Operations Forces Industry Conference in the central Florida city Wednesday.

"To come here and showcase frankly was a little easier. It was daylight. Everything was on our terms, good weather, no bad guys; the manatees didn't interfere, no lightning, but the interoperability was already," Special Forces Lt. Col. Chris Robeshaw told reporters, according to WFLA.

Joining US Special Operations forces in the exercise were Navy SEALS, Marine Raiders and Army Green Berets, plus members from 15 other nations including Ireland and Jordan, many in make-up and disguises.

"You are just humbled to be amongst them. This is a great demo, but this is serious business for them," said rescued Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn who was captured by pirates in the scenario told WFLA. The Washington Post reported "role players, dressed in black and carrying Kalashnikovs, feigned gunshot wounds as the coalition of commandos swooped in."


Comment: The military 'dog and pony' show, aimed at curving public opinion, looks great in daylight with no opposition or obstacles, no blood or gore, a Tampa movie set with a typically law enforcement-level scenario. This demo is in essence a slick, subliminal message for civilians to remain a non-reactionary, asleep population, unwilling to rise to the task of self-defense, unwilling to challenge the PTB and NWO. If you train where you intend to fight, expect Special Ops covert forces in urban USA.


V

Anonymous on the warpath: Hack attacks hit New York Stock Exchange, World Bank, The Fed and Vatican, total media blackout

Amidst a global media blackout of Anonymous' ongoing worldwide attacks on the "corrupt banking cartels," the hacking collective has now taken down some of the most prestigious institutions in global governance. OpIcarus has recently taken offline the World Bank, the New York Stock Exchange, five U.S. Federal Reserve Banks and the Vatican.


Books

Just say no to idiocy: Common Core opt-out movement is growing

Nationwide opposition to Common Core is on the rise, and more and more students and parents are choosing to opt-out on their own. According to a story by U.S. News & World Report over half a million school-aged children opted out of Common Core standardized testing last year. In New York around a fifth of students simply didn't take the tests.

In November 2013, Federal Education Secretary Arne Duncan attributed opposition to Common Core to "white suburban moms" who discovered that "all of a sudden, their child isn't as brilliant as they thought they were and their school isn't quite as good as they thought."

Like so many federal bureaucrats, Duncan was dead wrong, as USA News reports the opt-out movement reflects widespread distaste crossing demographic lines:

Comment: See also:


Handcuffs

Home of the caged: Lawsuit exposes the horrors of the American injustice system

© thefreethoughtproject
A Texas jail has been caging people who are too poor to afford bail, according to a new lawsuit.

Harris County Jail - the largest in Texas and the third largest in the US - is accused of keeping most of its incarcerated population locked up for misdemeanors because they can't afford bail or trial.

Now, Harris County, Sheriff Ron Hickman, and five bail-hearing magistrates are being sued by the human rights group Equal Justice Under Law for discriminating against poor prisoners.

From the Houston Press:
In Harris County, 77 percent of the jail population are people who have yet to be convicted of crimes, who are in jail because they cannot afford to get out. A recent study by Gerald Wheeler, retired director of Harris County Pretrial Services and a doctoral researcher, found that 81 percent of people charged with misdemeanors will spend time in jail, and of those, a quarter of them can't afford bail costing $500 or less. Only 7 percent were released on a personal bond.

Heart - Black

School cop pepper-sprays and brutalizes teen boy

© city pages
Officer Bill Kraus in action.
After pepper-spraying a teen in the face, a school resource officer was caught on video violently slamming him into a concrete staircase before brutally assaulting him. Although the teen was not attempting to fight back, the officer kneed him in the back before viciously wrenching the boy's arms in a blatant example of excessive force.

During the last class period on Wednesday, an 18-year-old Central High School student named Nelson Moroukian recorded a cell phone video of a school cop brutalizing a former student during an arrest. According to the video, Officer Bill Kraus held the teen against a wall while the former student pleaded for help.

"You want more?" Kraus antagonized as the teen remained against the wall clutching his own face.

Bell

The financial burden of higher-education: Homelessness on college campuses

© Lauren Walker / Truthout
When the College Cost Reduction and Access Act took effect in 2009, neither lawmakers nor school administrators had any idea how many college students would check the box on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) - the document that determines eligibility for Pell grants, subsidized loans and work-study awards that help students pay for college or vocational training - to indicate that they were homeless.

At last tabulation, the number was 58,000, a small percentage of the 20.2 million students presently enrolled in both undergraduate and graduate study. Nonetheless, school counselors and advocates believe the number is starkly inaccurate and represents a mere fraction of university students who actually lack a permanent home.

Comment: The true cost of 'higher education' in the land of the free! Is a college degree worth the time and money?
Crushing college debt: The unforgiven generation

The report, coordinated by Junior Achievement USA and PwC US and prepared by New York-based research firm YPulse, found several key trends among recent graduates (aged 18-29), including:
  • For 60 percent of Millennials, financial aid is a deciding factor in their school choice. Among those not attending their first choice school this year, 62 percent said it was because they couldn't afford it.
  • College tuition and loans top the list of money matters that are worrying Millennials ages 18-29, with one in five (21 percent) claiming it as their family's main financial problem.
  • One-third of those students with loans are shelling out over $300 per month and five percent are actually paying more than $1000 per month.
  • Nearly one-in-four Millennials (24 percent) believe their student loan debt will ultimately be forgiven.
Though told by society that the key to a bright and prosperous future is largely dependent on getting a degree, the new generation is becoming increasingly skeptical of that claim.