Society's ChildS


Five ex-cops plead guilty to killing unarmed civilians and covering it up in post-Katrina incident on New Orleans' Danziger Bridge

Danziger Bridge
© Mario Tama/Getty ImagesIn 2005, the Danziger Bridge was the scene of a police shooting that left two unarmed people dead and several others seriously wounded.
Nearly five years after a federal jury found them guilty of either gunning down unarmed civilians or covering up the incident on New Orleans' Danziger Bridge, five former police officers have entered guilty pleas as part of a deal with the government. The deal sharply reduces the penalties they faced before their initial convictions were overturned in 2013 over prosecutorial misconduct.

The judge in the case accepted the terms of the deal shortly before 1 p.m. local time, after a hearing on the case began around noon.

In court today, former Officers Kenneth Bowen, Robert Faulcon, Robert Gisevius and Anthony Villavaso pleaded guilty to three counts each: deprivation of rights under color of law, conspiracy to obstruct justice, and obstruction of justice by engaging in misleading conduct.

Arthur Kaufman, the former officers' supervisor who was accused of arranging a cover-up, pleaded guilty to two counts: conspiracy to obstruct justice and falsification of evidence to obstruct justice.

Arrow Up

Snowden files lawsuit against Norwegian government to allow him to pick up prize in Oslo

Edward Snowden
© AutoTracking / YouTubeEdward Snowden
A Norwegian law firm has filed a lawsuit against the Norwegian government to ensure that whistleblower Edward Snowden is allowed to travel to Oslo to pick up an award without having to face the risk of being extradited to the US.

The petition has been sent by the Schjodt law firm to Oslo City Court on behalf of Snowden and the Norwegian branch of the PEN writers, who awarded him the prestigious Ossietsky Prize and have sent him an invitation to pick it up in person on November 18.

Comment: See more: State Department can't explain the difference between Panama leaks and Snowden revelations


Pedophile prostitution trial implicates Netherlands elite, royalty

© Paul van Galen / Rijksdienst door het Cultureel Erfgoed / cc-by-sa 3.0In Amsterdam at Amstelstraat looking down the Paardenstraat, where some boys were allegedly forced into prostitution. April 1976
A number of important Dutch people were named in the Amsterdam court on Monday, where witnesses are being questioned in a case surrounding an extensive network of child sexual abuse and child prostitution in Amsterdam in the 1980's. According to the first witness, former mayor Ed van Thijn, former Minister Onno Rudding and Prince Claus were all involved in pedophile-prostitution to some extent.

Koos van Woudenberg is the first of nine witnesses that will testify under oath this week. According to Van Woudenberg, he was abused in an Amsterdam apartment while he was still in primary school, according to AD reporter Koen Voskuil tweeting live from within the courtroom.

In that Amsterdam apartment, which belonged to now deceased professor Ger van Roon, sexual acts were committed with young boys, Van Woudenberg told the court. The witness stated that he saw former mayor Ed van Thijn, top Justice official Joris Demmink and former Minister Onno Rudding in the apartment, performing sexual acts with boys. Demmink was there almost every time, Van Thijn at least twice. Van Woudenberg had oral sex with Rudding. He also claims that he saw Prince Claus at a bar "in relation with young boys." Prince Claus was also in Van Roon's apartment.

Comment: It wasn't just tolerated at the time, it was practically a national past-time. In all likelihood, it still is. And it wasn't/isn't just the Netherlands: New details in Hastert allegations 'paint a horrifying picture of a monster'

Gold Seal

Peru locals force Newmont to scrap $5 billion Conga mining project

Máxima Acuña
© goldmanprize.orgMáxima Acuña de Chaupe.
In a classic David-and-Goliath showdown, community activists in Peru have forced Newmont, the second-largest gold mining corporation in the world, to abandon its $5 billion Conga copper and gold mining project.

At the forefront of local resistance to the new mine, which was intended to replace the nearly-depleted Yanacocha gold mine nearby, is Máxima Acuña de Chaupe, a 47-year-old grandmother who lives off a plot of farmland in Peru's northern Cajamarca region that would have been used by Newmont to drain a nearby lake to collect mining byproducts.

Acuña has been publicly opposed to the mine since it was proposed in 2010, steadfastly refusing to sell her land despite multiple court battles, alleged physical assaults, and having her family's crops on contested land destroyed. She also says her family has faced at least three violent eviction attempts by the mining company, which were assisted by private security forces and the Peruvian government.


Thüg life: German right-wing demonstrators hold rally on Hitler's birthday, clash with anti-fascists

Fascists in Germany rally
© Ruptly
Hundreds of supporters of a Pegida-allied anti-immigrant group were confronted by 3,000 counter-demonstrators, who aimed to disrupt a torchlit rally on Hitler's birthday. Anti-fascists threw stones and fireworks at activists as police tried to intervene.

The rally, organized by the right-wing Thügida movement, an anti-immigrant group allied with Pegida in the central German state of Thüringen, saw some 300 participants light torches and march through the city Wednesday. The far-right activists waved banners that read "Freedom of expression begins where the political correctness ends" and "Freedom of expression instead of the muzzle."

Comment: If you suspect that this rally would not be occurring had the US not been behaving like Nazis in Iraq, Libya, Syria and elsewhere - you'd be correct.


Containing Germany: Volkswagen to buy back or fix faulty cars over contrived 'emissions scandal'

Volkswagon plant
© REUTERS/ Fabian Bimmer
Volkswagen has reached an agreement with the US authorities to settle the emissions scandal, and will offer US consumers either a monetary compensation or an opportunity to fix faulty cars, local media reported on Thursday.

The company will buy back or fix about 500,000 diesel cars, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The Volkswagen emission scandal became public when the US Environmental Protection Agency accused the German automaker of using software to falsify emission test results for its diesel-engine cars.

In September 2015, Volkswagen admitted that it had installed software in their vehicles to falsify emission tests. The company later clarified that an estimated 11 million diesel-engine cars worldwide were emitting up to 20 times more greenhouse gas than showed in the tests.

Comment: This whole 'scandal' is based on industrial sabotage. This is the US/Western Order giving the rising Germany 'something to think about', much like the contrived 'euro crisis', the contrived 'Ukraine crisis' and the contrived 'refugee crisis'.

They can't have Germany cosying up to Russia, and the best way to ensure that is to keep it weighed down in expensive runarounds.

The NSA undoubtedly has heaps of insider data it can 'leak' at any time - not least corporate emails. That is, after all, the primary function of the US 'National Security State'.


Reduced sentencing for New Orleans cops who plead guilty to shooting Katrina survivors

Katrina hurricane new orleans
© Vincent Laforet / ReutersAn aerial view of the devastation caused by high winds and heavy flooding in the greater New Orleans area following Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Louisiana, August 30, 2005
Five former New Orleans police officers have pleaded guilty to the shooting of six unarmed civilians who were crossing Danziger Bridge in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

The guilty pleas have come more than a decade after the shootings, which killed two people - a mentally disabled man and a teenager - and seriously injured four others.

The defendants also pleaded guilty for their roles in what the US Justice Department termed "an extensive cover-up of the shooting".

The victims were among a group of black families and friends crossing the bridge in search of food and relatives in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina on September 4, 2005.

Initial police accounts from the incident claimed the officers were responding to reports of gunshots on the bridge, resulting in the pursuit of six suspects. The officers involved claimed they opened fire in self-defense.

Bad Guys

4 ways Erdoğan killed Turkey's tourism industry

Svijet je ponekad zabavno mjesto: Porošenko želi Erdoganu pokloniti Krim
The golden segment of Turkey's economy has been killed by a series of unforgivable domestic and foreign policy mistakes, columnist Mehmet Tezkan wrote in Wednesday's issue of the Istanbul-based newspaper Milliyet.

The first mistake was the decision to meddle in Syria, which resulted in the arrival in Turkey of almost 3 million refugees fleeing the civil war in the long-troubled Arab country. Thousands of them have drowned in the Aegean Sea, which many now call "The Sea of Death."

"Would you like to spend your vacation in a seaside town with such an image? Would you sail into a sea whose bottom is littered with the bodies of dead children?" Tezkan wrote.

Comment: Further reading: The EU-Turkey Refugee Deal & Other Strange Tales

Eye 1

Ukrainians forging fake Moldovan passports to gain entry to the EU

Independence Square, Kiev
© Sergei Supinsky/AFP/Getty Images
A lot of Ukrainian citizens are forging fake Moldovan passports, desperately trying to get into the European Union (EU) without a visa, the Ukrainian Pravda newspaper said.

Ukrainians are using illegal ways to obtain Moldovan passports. Over the past five years, over 1,200 Ukrainians have become citizens of Moldova.

Between 2011 and 2015, 216 cases of "fake" Moldovan passports have been identified and along with another 41 attempts to illegally obtain Moldovan citizenship, the Ukrainian newspaper said, citing the Moldovan anti-corruption website

Comment: The question arises - are these passports forged by civilians using their last dimes to escape the collapse of their country, or are there shadier elements involved? Either way, it's thanks to the West that Ukraine is in such a position.


Mexico oil plant explosion: 3 dead, dozens injured, hundreds evacuated as huge toxic cloud released

Mexico Pemex explosion
© Ignacio Carvajal / AFPView of smoke following an explosion at the petrochemistry installation of Mexican Oil Company PEMEX in Coatzacoalcos, Veracruz state, Mexico on April 20, 2016.
Three people are confirmed dead and over 100 injured in a blast at a Pemex oil facility in the Mexican port city of Coatzacoalcos, which triggered a massive fire sending out a toxic cloud. Hundreds of people in nearby areas have been evacuated.

Veracruz state Governor Javier Duarte said on Twitter that as many as 105 people have been hospitalized, 58 of which were plant employees.

Luis Felipe Puente, the head of Mexico's federal emergency services, confirmed to Reuters earlier that three people had been killed and 45 injured in the blast.

Puente added that 2,000 workers were evacuated from site during the fire.

Petróleos Mexicanos, or Pemex, earlier said in a statement on its Twitter account that the explosion took place at the Clorados 3 (Chlorine 3) plant, which is operated by Mexichem, an associate company.

Footage of thick, dark smoke rising into the air was posted online following the blast.

Local media report that the explosion has released toxic substances, such as Chloroethane, into the air.