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Wed, 20 Nov 2019
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Local media reports three Iranian security force members killed by protesters near Tehran

iran protests
© Reuters / Nazanin Tabatabaee
Three members of the Iranian security forces have been killed by protesters in Tehran province, local media reported, citing the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

FARS and ISNA agencies quoted a statement by Seyyed al-Shohada Corps division, that claimed the men "were stabbed to death" after being caught up in a "rioters' ambush."

Tuesday marked a break in protests, according to the judiciary spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaili who told a news conference that "calm has been restored in the country." It comes after the IRGC warned of "decisive" action if the unrest does not cease.

The exact number of people who died in the fuel protests remains unconfirmed. In his Sunday address, Ayatollah Khamenei said "some lost their lives and some places were destroyed."

Heart - Black

74 dead cats, 150 live ones found in unlicensed animal rescuer's Maryland home; owners suing to get surviving cats back

Garriott Cox and Pamela Arrington
© Baltimore County Police Dept.
Two Baltimore County residents facing multiple animal cruelty charges after more than 200 cats were taken from their Middle River home are suing to get the surviving cats back.

Garriott Cox and Pamela Arrington are facing multiple charges after investigators found 150 live cats and 74 dead cats in horrible conditions at their home on Bird River Road in Middle River last month.

The two had been under investigation since September.

Baltimore County Animal Services had received complaints from the Maryland SPCA about the couple's business, Colony Cats of Bird River and Beyond.

Pamela Arrington and Garriott Cox owned the trap, neuter, vaccinate and release business, which also listed adoption fees for cats they cared for.


Get woke, go broke: Hollywood gets burned by 'Charlie's Angels' box office bomb

Charlie's Angels
© Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures
Charlie's Angels (2019 film) Theatrical release poster
The new 'Charlie's Angels' movie is more proof that vacuous and vapid woke feminist films are box office poison. Will Hollywood learn from this critical and financial failure?

'Charlie's Angels', a reboot of the old 70's TV show and the early 2000's movies, that stars Kristen Stewart of Twilight fame, along with relative unknowns Naomi Scott and Ella Balinski, hit theaters last weekend with blockbuster ambitions and a defiant "girl power" message. Not surprisingly, the film opened with a resounding thud and fell decidedly flat with audiences as evidenced by its paltry $8.6 million box office.

Elizabeth Banks, who wrote and directed the movie, unabashedly declared it to be a feminist enterprise filled with "sneaky feminist ideas."

Banks says of Charlie's Angels, "One of the statements this movie makes is that you should probably believe women."

Comment: Perhaps the lesson for Banks is not to try and slip social justice activism into people's popcorn entertainment.

The films star, Kristen Stewart, said of the movie,"It's kind of like a 'woke' version."


Russia to dominate world's platinum & palladium production with new Arctic project

Olkhon island
© Sputnik / Vladimir Smirnov
Olkhon island, Russia
The Arctic Palladium project which involves development of several platinum-group metal deposits on Russia's Taimyr Peninsula is nearing completion. It is expected to turn Russia into the world's top producer of platinum metals.

The platinum-group metals (PGMs) is a group of six metals: ruthenium, rhodium, palladium, osmium, iridium, and platinum. They have similar physical and chemical properties, and tend to occur together in the same mineral deposits.

The deposits bear almost five thousand tons of platinum group metals with a production potential of 120 tons per year, according to Musa Bazhaev, head of Russian Platinum. Production will be launched in 2024.

An increase in freight traffic along the Northern Sea Route will make Russia the world's leader in the production of platinum-group metals, particularly palladium, he said during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.


Russia's holdings of US state debt is 25 times smaller than that of tiny Luxembourg

© Pixabay / Yvonne Huijbens
A castle in Luxembourg
Russia's holdings of US securities as of September stood at $10.75 billion, recent data from the US Treasury Department shows. Moscow's total is just a fraction of what small states, like the Cayman Islands and Luxemburg, hold.

Once a top investor in US debt, Russia has dramatically reduced its holdings in recent years as part of an effort to cut reliance on the US dollar in response to sanctions imposed by Washington.

America's largest foreign creditor, Japan, reduced its holdings by almost $30 billion in September to $1.1458 trillion.


Two of Epstein's jail guards arrested and charged for 'browsing the internet' instead of checking on him

Epstein prison guards plea deal

The existence of the plea offer signals the Justice Department is considering criminal charges in connection with Epstein's death.
The FBI is investigating the possibility of 'criminal enterprise' in connection with Jeffrey Epstein's death as the two correctional officers who were responsible for guarding him the night he killed himself are arrested.

The two federal Bureau of Prisons employees, Tova Noel and Michael Thomas, were charged on Tuesday with falsifying records and conspiracy in relation to Epstein's death.

They will face the U.S. District Court in Manhattan later on Tuesday over their alleged failure to check on the millionaire pedophile in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center the night he died.

Their arrest came as Bureau of Prisons' director Kathleen Hawk Sawyer testified in front of a Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

Eye 2

Jeffrey Epstein's alleged sex victim urges FBI to question Prince Andrew 'under oath'

prince andrew
A 31-year-old woman, who reportedly wishes to remain unidentified, said in a Manhattan lawsuit on Monday that the notorious American pedophile Jeffrey Epstein raped her when she was just 15, and stressed that it is absurd to suggest that the friends of the deceased financier were unaware of his criminal behavior.
"Jeffrey Epstein was only a small part of an insidious system of privilege that exploits children as sexual commodities and robs them of their youth", the woman said at a news conference on Monday after filing a lawsuit, accompanied by her lawyer, Gloria Allred, according to The New York Post.
The alleged victim on Monday echoed a growing chorus of public accusation against the UK's Prince Andrew - the youngest son of Queen Elizabeth II - and urged the FBI to question him "under oath" about his friendship with Epstein.
The woman claimed that one of Epstein's assistants contacted her to ask her to fly to his property in the Virgin Islands - "where I was told Andrew, among others, would be a guest" - but that that she declined "out of fear" after the pedophile and a female assistant had separately sexually assaulted her.


Hong Kong riot police disperse protesters after days of standoff near Polytechnic University - Updates

hong kong police rioters polytechnic university
Riot police began dispersing protesters in Hong Kong after several days of a standoff near the Polytechnic University.

Hundreds of protesters have erected barricades outside Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) and encamped inside. Police have been trying to get the protesters to leave the building, their previous attempts to storm the campus led to fierce clashes.

Large crowds of protesters, meanwhile, have gathered on nearby roadways, shouting "Save PolyU!"

Comment: Acts by protesters are growing increasingly vicious - RT reports that an ambulance was ambushed in Kowloon after a young demonstrator with a head injury was arrested, prompting protesters to hurl rocks and bricks at officers inside the vehicle.

Homemade explosive devices have also been found inside the university:

In an attempt to stave off the chaos a new police chief has been assigned who's calling on the public to end support for the rioting:
Hong Kong's new police chief has taken aim at "fake news" which he claimed has fueled heated protests in the city and harmed the reputation of his officers. He urged locals to reject all violent action.

The new police commissioner, Chris Tang, gave his first-ever press conference soon after he was sworn in on Tuesday, stating "enough is enough" in a city wracked by six months of chaotic protests.

"Whatever your beliefs, do not glorify and put up with the violence," he said, addressing all Hong Kongers. "Do not let the mob further motivate themselves and become more radicalised."

Tang, who is now in charge of 30,000 officers, said the police alone could not put an end to the chaotic protests, and called on residents to vocally "condemn" violence.

"If everyone had come out earlier to condemn the violence, society would not have turned into this state in five months," Tang told the South China Morning Post. "We can only end the unrest with society's condemnation, reflection by the rioters, plus our appropriate tactics."

Tang's promotion comes on the heels of a decision in a Hong Kong court to strike down a facemask ban enacted last month in hopes of making protesters easier to identify. Though the police and government signaled they would abide by the ruling and suspend enforcement of the law, Beijing's parliament weighed in soon after, insisting the move was null and void and that Hong Kong's courts had no right to rule on the question. It is unclear how the law will be enforced going forward.

As the new police chief spoke at his debut presser, about 100 protesters remained barricaded inside the Hong Kong Polytechnic University after one of the most violent weeks of clashes yet. Hundreds of protesters, many of them students, occupied the university last week in the city's latest mass demonstration, prompting running battles with security forces as they tried to escape a police cordon around the school.
In other areas of Hong Kong, some protestors are getting seriously injured by their own bombs:
Petrol bombs have become a key weapon in the demonstrators' arsenal, but the improvised incendiary devices don't always hit their intended target. One video appears to show a protester enveloped in flames, after a petrol bomb misfired. The activist falls to the ground as bystanders scream. Protesters rush to his aid as they try to put out the flames using umbrellas.


Ex-NBC correspondent Dr. Bruce Hensel arrested for asking 9-year-old daughter of friend for sexual photos

Dr. Bruce Hensel

Dr. Bruce Hensel
An Emmy-winning former medical correspondent for NBC was arrested for allegedly asking a 9-year-old girl to send him sexually explicit photos, according to new reports.

Dr. Bruce Hensel, 71, was charged Wednesday with asking the daughter of a friend through an online messaging app for the photos in August, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Hensel, who worked as the on-air chief medical correspondent for NBC New York and Los Angeles, faces one felony count of contact with a minor for sexual purposes.

The Los Angeles Police Department launched an investigation into Hensel after they learned he and the girl shared inappropriate messages and photos. Hensel's home in the Pacific Palisades was searched on Oct. 16 as per a search warrant.

He was booked into the Los Angeles Police Department's Metropolitan Detention Center and his bail was set at $5,000. His arraignment will be at a later date.

Comment: But how many instances of this evil still get swept under the proverbial rug?! Given the very high instances of pedophilic abuse in the West, it would seem that Hensel's arrest is the exception - and not the rule.

See also:


A massive scandal: How Assange, his doctors, lawyers and visitors were all spied on for the US


Julian Assange
La Repubblica has had access to the video and audio recordings of the Spanish company, UC Global, which spied on the WikiLeaks founder, his team of journalists and all of us who visited Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy for the last seven years. Video footage and audio recordings reveal an appalling violation of privacy. All the information gathered by UC Global was sent to US intelligence.

It sounds like a James Bond movie, but it really happened. Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks journalists and every single lawyer, reporter, politician, artist and physician who visited the founder of WikiLeaks at the Ecuadorian embassy over the last seven years was subjected to systematic espionage. Meetings and conversations were recorded and filmed, and all the information was sent to US intelligence. Sometimes the espionage operations were truly off the wall: at one point spies even planned to steal the diaper of a baby brought to visit Assange inside the embassy. The purpose? To gather the baby's feces and perform a DNA test to establish whether the newborn was a secret son of Julian Assange.

Comment: See also: