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Tue, 27 Oct 2020
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Pistol

Cops release photos that were tagged 'partners in crime' from Breonna Taylor's boyfriend's phone that show them both holding gun believed to be the one he used to fire at police

breonna taylor gun

In one text message to Walker, Taylor sent an image of herself with the AR-15 pistol.
The Louisville Metro Police Department has released the contents of its internal investigation following the death of Breonna Taylor, including photos of her brandishing guns and text messages that indicate her boyfriend Kenneth Walker sold drugs.

On Wednesday, LMPD released 4,470 pages including investigative reports, interview summaries and evidence reports, as well as 251 videos and hundreds of photos.

Taylor's death in a hail of police bullets early on March 13 sparked protests nationwide, and the document dump follows a controversial grand jury ruling that saw no officers directly charged in her death.

Comment: See also:


Attention

Facebook's privacy changes might jeopardise unmasking of sexual predators, warns law enforcement

Facebook
© Reuters / Johanna Geron
Last year, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was warned that the platform's new privacy proposals could allow child abusers to evade detection, after the chief executive promised that his company would be implementing end-to-end encryption across all of its messaging services.

Facebook services helped law enforcement identify around 94 percent of the 69 million images of children being subjected to sex abuse reported by US technology companies in 2019. However the privacy laws it is considering are about to jeopardise these efforts, writes Sky News.

Seven countries, including the UK, have published a statement warning of the potential dangers to public safety that could stem from the implementation of proposed end-to-end encryption.

Signed by UK Home Secretary Priti Patel, along with the US, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India and Japan, it urges tech companies to remain vigilant to "criminality on their platforms".

"We owe it to all of our citizens, especially our children, to ensure their safety by continuing to unmask sexual predators and terrorists operating online," Patel is cited as saying.

Comment: Is law enforcement's complaint really about 'the children' or the fact that they will have a harder time accessing the data of anyone on the platform?


Attention

WHO (accidentally) confirms covid is no more dangerous than flu

world health organisation
The World Health Organization has finally confirmed what we (and many experts and studies) have been saying for months - the coronavirus is no more deadly or dangerous than seasonal flu.

The WHO's top brass made this announcement during a special session of the WHO's 34-member executive board on Monday October 5th, it's just nobody seemed to really understand it.

In fact, they didn't seem to completely understand it themselves.

At the session, Dr Michael Ryan, the WHO's Head of Emergencies revealed that they believe roughly 10% of the world has been infected with Sars-Cov-2. This is their "best estimate", and a huge increase over the number of officially recognised cases (around 35 million).

Comment: See also:


USA

Does the Coronavirus make our constitutional freedom of assembly obsolete?

covid freedom
Over the past couple of weeks a trend has become apparent in the state of Idaho, specifically in Moscow, Idaho in Latah County. The city council of Moscow has issued a mandatory mask order, and they are using police to enforce it. Bizarrely, the city had ZERO deaths from Covid at the time the mask order was instituted, meaning their action was in response to...nothing.

Idaho has had a total of 500 deaths from Covid since the beginning of the outbreak. To put this in perspective, the state also has around 400 deaths from diabetes every year, and 250 deaths from the flu/pneumonia according to the CDC. Perhaps they should ban sugar, and make masks mandatory for the flu as well, just to be safe...

The residents of Moscow are not too happy with the city council attempt to unilaterally enforce such mandates. Church congregations in particular are fighting back by holding outdoor services without masks. The city has responded by ARRESTING the pastors of any church that dare to defy mask laws.

I bring up this specific instance of coronavirus enforcement because the circumstances surrounded it are disturbing...

Yellow Vest

No to 'permanent fear campaigns': Thousands of anti-lockdown protesters decry government restrictions in Berlin

Berlin protests
© Global Look Press / Fabian Sommer
Thousands of people marched through central Berlin protesting the lockdown measures taken by the German government due to the Covid-19 pandemic, which they say violate their "human rights."

A loose column of demonstrators stretched along several major streets of the German capital as they slowly walked from Konrad Adenauer Square in the western part of the city to the Victory Column in the central Tiergarten Park and near the iconic Brandenburg Gate.

Dubbed the 'Silent March' by its organizers, the demonstration was nevertheless held with the slogan 'We have to speak out!' displayed on a large banner that a group of protesters marching at the helm of the procession were carrying. Apart from that, there were hardly any signs, as the organizers urged them to leave all flags, banners, and even clothing with slogans printed on it at home.

Comment: With the World Bank forecasting that the poverty rate will rise because of the lockdowns it's likely these protest movements erupting around the world are only just beginning:


Bizarro Earth

World Bank: Lockdowns may push 150 million people into extreme poverty


Comment: And that may be a conservative estimate...


madrid food bank poverty
© Reuters
People queuing up at a food bank in May, in Madrid, Spain
The World Bank said on Wednesday that the coronavirus pandemic could push as many as 150 million people into extreme poverty by the end of 2021, wiping out more than three years of progress in poverty reduction.

Releasing its flagship biennial report on poverty and shared prosperity, the multilateral development lender said that an additional 88 million to 115 million people will fall into extreme poverty - defined as living on less than $1.90 a day -in 2020. The report said this could grow to 111 million to 150 million by the end of 2021.


Comment: With soaring demand at food banks throughout the Western world, those in extreme poverty won't just be in so-called 'developing countries'.


That would mean that 9.1-9.4% of the world's population would be living under extreme poverty this year, about the same as 2017's 9.2% and representing the first rise in the extreme poverty percentage in about 20 years.

Comment: Bear in mind the lockdowns aren't over, with France, Ireland, Spain, the UK, Scotland and Germany locking down regions and contemplating even harsher measures. That, along with the 'furlough' schemes, that have buffered the massive unemployment just waiting in the shadows, and it's clear that the devastating economic impact of the tyrannical lockdowns have not yet even begun to be felt:


Black Magic

Desperate for relevance: Greta Thunberg urges US voters to support Joe Biden, NOT the Green Party candidate

thunberg joe biden
© REUTERS/Juan Medina (L)/REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (R)
Greta Thunberg and Joe Biden
Swedish citizen and climate activist Greta Thunberg, 17, is encouraging US voters to "get organized" and vote for Joe Biden, despite claiming she does not "engage in party politics."

Thunberg made her endorsement while citing a tweet from Scientific American Magazine telling voters to "protect science instead of destroying it" by voting Donald Trump out of office in November.

"I never engage in party politics. But the upcoming US elections is above and beyond all that," the 17-year-old, who has been critical of Trump in the past despite her no "party politics" rule, said.

Comment: As if another reason was needed to not vote for Creepy Joe, but there it is.


Pirates

City of Austin hires convicted thief, gets robbed of over $1.3M

austin library Whited thief

Investigators said Whited was caught on surveillance footage moving boxes of toner from the library to his car several times in 2019.
Local officials ineptly allowed one of the largest fraud cases on city government record.

During an affordability crisis in the city, local officials continue to disastrously mishandle citizens' precious money — this time allowing a convicted thief to casually steal over $1.3 million.

Randall Nelson Whited, a former employee of the Austin Public Library, is facing a criminal case after the city auditor's office investigated and alleged he used city credit cards to buy $1.3 million in printer toner — 10 times more than the library needed — so he could steal the extra and resell it online.

Whited is also accused of using city credit cards — of which he had access to more than 10 — to fund his apparent personal spending spree, buying at least $18,000 worth of electronics such as video games, robotic vacuums, virtual reality headsets, and even a drone.

The thefts spanned more than a decade, from 2007 to 2019, but officials believe most of it occurred within the last five years.

Comment: Heavy.com has this background report on Whited. Pity City of Austin wasn't so thorough. An excerpt:
Whited has been arrested on theft charges before. A search of online records on InstantCheckmate shows Whited was arrested in October 1984 for "theft by appropriation" and larceny. He was convicted in September 1985 and sentenced to six months probation. It's unclear how much he had to pay in fines; the record merely states "The Monetary Amount to BE Paid IS a Combination of Fine and Court Costs."

Whited was arrested on July 30, 1985, for burglary at a "non-residence." He was picked up again for burglary on February 28, 1986. He was convicted, but it's unclear how long of a sentence he served. The record shows the maximum jail sentence was 150 days and probation.

There was an arrest for aggravated theft of an item worth more than $750 on January 24, 1989, and another arrest for theft on November 19, 1993. Whited was convicted in both cases.

According to the Statesman, the city of Austin runs criminal background checks every two years on employees whose jobs involve "financial responsibility." A city spokesperson told the newspaper, "During Mr. Whited's tenure with the city, five criminal background investigations were conducted for financial responsibilities, showing no convictions within the last 10 years."



Fire

A recipe for carnage: As Portland burns, why are so many people arrested in the riots being let off?

portland riots
© Getty Images / Nathan Howard
Protesters gather in front of a fire near the North police precinct during a protest against racial injustice and police brutality on September 6, 2020 in Portland, Oregon
It was recently revealed that nearly 70 percent of people charged with crimes during the constant rioting in Portland have had their charges dropped. With no obvious deterrent, this is an open invitation for more rioting.

Of all the cities in the United States that have suffered rioting over the past few months, there isn't one that has seen quite as much trouble as Portland, Oregon. The unrest in the city has stretched from the end of May all the way to this month. There doesn't seem to be an end to it either.

Not long ago, there was an exposé by the New York Times that alleged that these rioters were even considering murdering police officers. There were also reports of them going to residential areas to terrorize citizens.

Cell Phone

W.H. Spox: Scully tweet shows he isn't impartial, 'calls into question' 'the Debate Commission's judgment'

Steve Scully tweet
© Twitter / @SteveScully
Screenshot
On Thursday's broadcast of the Fox News Channel's "Fox News @ Night," White House Deputy Communications Director Brian Morgenstern reacted to a tweet from C-SPAN host and planned debate moderator Steve Scully's account asking Anthony Scaramucci if he should respond to President Donald Trump's criticisms of Scully by stating that Scully isn't impartial and "that really calls into question, again, the Debate Commission's judgment here."

Morgenstern said, "[I]f anybody's having a bad week, it's certainly the Presidential Debate Commission, with the way they've handled this. And now, their chosen moderator certainly seems not to be very impartial. The first one — Susan Page, of course, is writing the glowing biography of Speaker Pelosi and now, Mr. Scully, who interned for Joe Biden now colluding...with the Mooch. ... I think the cat's out of the bag. I don't think Mr. Scully is impartial. So, that really calls into question, again, the Debate Commission's judgment here."

Update: CPD Co-Chair Frank Fahrenkopf claims Scully was hacked.

Comment: More coverage of the alleged "hack":

'He was hacked, it didn't happen': Debate commission defends moderator Steve Scully after cryptic tweet about Trump sparks outrage
C-SPAN's Steve Scully, who was slated to host the next presidential debate, is under fire over a now-deleted cryptic tweet about Trump sent to Anthony Scaramucci. The debates commission has claimed he was "hacked."

The context-less tweet was posted on Thursday night sparking speculation that it was meant to be a private direct message, not a public tweet, as many called into question Scully's ability to fairly moderate the face-off between Trump and challenger Joe Biden.


"Should I respond to Trump" Scully tweeted to Scaramucci, former White House Communications Director, who has since become one of the president's most vocal mainstream media critics. Many instantly suggested the pair were in cahoots or "coordinating" against Trump.



Scaramucci's response only added fuel to the fire. He replied with his own mysterious tweet, telling the C-SPAN host to "ignore" Trump because he was having a "hard enough time" and that some more "bad stuff about to go down."


In a twist, however, Frank Fahrenkopf, co-chairman of the Commission on Presidential Debates, told Fox News on Friday morning that the host's account had been "hacked" prior to it sending the controversial tweet. "He was hacked. It didn't happen," Fahrenkopf told the network.

A statement posted by C-Span also stated that Scully did not send the tweeted and believed he had been hacked.


Given the fact that the tweet was online for more than 10 hours, however, quite a few commenters had already seized on it, with some suggesting it was "disqualifying" for a moderator to possibly be consulting with a fierce Trump critic.


Others simply mocked him for the Twitter fail.

"If you select me as your moderator, I promise to at the very least not be a sketchy boomer and tweet out my private [direct messages]," quipped conservative host Saagar Enjeti.



The Twitter backlash marks a second instance of Scully being accused of anti-Trump bias. It was previously revealed that the slated debate moderator had been an intern for Joe Biden when he was a senator in Delaware.

Judging by responses to the claims of hacking on Twitter, most were not buying the excuse, with many saying if he really was hacked, it should be easy to prove.

The second debate was scheduled to take place on October 15 in Florida, but was switched to a "virtual" format by the Commission on Presidential Debates on Thursday, due to Trump's diagnosis with Covid-19. Trump rejected the notion of a virtual debate, however, saying he wouldn't "waste his time" on it. It's unclear when, or even if, the second debate will now go ahead at all.