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Wreath

Odessa massacre victims did not die from smoke but died in seconds says emergency service chief

Odessa massacre
© Reuters / Yevgeny Volokin
People wait to be rescued on the second storey's ledge during a fire at the trade union building in Odessa May 2, 2014.
Victims of the Odessa fire massacre died within seconds, but not from smoke or carbon monoxide suffocation, the head of Odessa's emergency service department, Vladimir Bodelan, said on his Facebook page.

Violent clashes erupted on May 2 between rival rallies of anti-government protesters and radicals supporting the coup-imposed authorities in Kiev. The confrontation led to a tragedy that left 42 people dead and over 200 injured as nationalists burnt the protester camp and then set fire to the Trade Unions House with anti-Kiev activists trapped inside. According to witnesses, many of those who managed to escape the flames were then strangled or beaten with bats by radicals.

"I'm sure that 99.9 percent of the people were killed in the Trade Unions House within seconds and did not suffocate from smoke...[or burn in the] fire. But there are forensic experts, we will wait for their findings," Bodelan said.

Bodelan was by the building when it was set on fire and said that even before the smoke spread inside, he saw people leaning outside windows trying to take a breath of fresh air.

"I cannot explain why they were having such trouble breathing, but I am 100 percent sure that it was not because of the smoke caused by the fire," Bodelan said.

He added that there was a bang after the fire started inside the building, which apparently extinguished the blaze on the central staircase. "In that second, a few people jumped from the building...The majority of them were alive and they were even able to walk on their own two feet. But a couple dozen meters later, they lost consciousness and fell to the ground, with their tragic end known to all."

He witnessed rescuers carrying more than 350 individuals out of the building while others who managed to jump out of the windows were heavily beaten by radicals - which led to many choosing to stay inside the building.

Bodelan said that several thousand individuals who were gathered outside the building prevented firefighters from getting close to the scene of the fire for quite some time.

"The worst thing in this situation was that fire brigades that arrived at the site on time could not begin putting out the fire because the attackers were shooting and resisting," he said.

All of Bodelan's attempts to increase police presence in the area went unanswered.

"I was forced to negotiate with activists, who looked to me as heads of fighter units, that we could work calmly," he said.

Forty-two of those killed in the massacre have been identified by both local and social media. Up to 48 people are still considered missing, according to various sources. Over 60 people remain in hospitals, 26 of whom are in grave condition.

Residents of Odessa gathered last weekend for a memorial service to commemorate the victims of the May 2 bloodshed.

Comment: Time will tell if the truth comes out from the investigation, but a number of people will try to excuse themselves and point the blame elsewhere. See also:
Shades of 911: US-backed anti-Russian attacks by 'Right Sector' in Ukraine sees 'jumpers' from burning building
Odessa and Mariupol massacres expose true face of fascist Kiev regime
As U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt admits 'no Russian involvement in Odessa massacre', German government advisor Christoph Hörstel sez: 'CIA agents are all over place'
Odessa tragedy survivor tells how 'many people were strangled after escaping the fire'
How the Odessa massacre went down: Genocide in Novorossiya and swan song of Ukrainian statehood
Kiev junta brought in 4,000 Right Sector fascists for Operation Odessa
Agents provocateur: Crucial investigation into the role of the junta in the Odessa massacre (MUST READ!)


Quenelle

11 Ukraine soldiers killed in clashes Wednesday evening with militia near Slavyansk, Kramatorsk

Vyacheslav Ponomaryov
© RIA Novosti/Mikhail Voskresenskiy
The people's mayor of Slavyansk, Vyacheslav Ponomaryov
The people's mayor of Slavyansk, Vyacheslav Ponomaryov, claims that Ukraine's security forces suffered heavy losses during clashes with militiamen outside of Slavyansk and Kramatorsk, eastern Ukraine, on Wednesday evening.

"Eleven people were killed and 24 were injured on the adversary's side. One person was killed on our side. The adversary keeps firing on Slavyansk and Kramatorsk all the time. They are not storming [the cities], but are trying to trigger panic among the population," he said.

Both the militia and the civilian population of Slavyansk and Kramatorsk are "furious" with the Ukrainian Armed Forces for their constant attacks and provocations, Ponomaryov said.

"Our people are angry. They are prepared to resist the adversary using everything at hand. The adversary has driven the people to despair, and an ever-growing number of civilians are enrolling in the militia," Ponomaryov said.

The Ukrainian security forces continue to strike against the outskirts of Slavyansk and Kramatorsk at the moment, he said.

"They are firing at the outskirts. They are using mortars, among other weapons. We have no other choice but to respond. Gunfire is underway in Slavyansk now, but it has already stopped in Kramatorsk," he said.

Comment: The fascists have sent tanks, armoured vehicles and helicopters against their own people and used heavy weaponry. They have declared people who don't submit to their rule as being terrorists and have burned dozens alive including policemen simply for protesting. No wonder the people are furious and have realized that talking alone is not going anywhere, as the fascist in power do no care about them.

What is perhaps even more shocking is the fact that the Western leaders don't care about these people either, but are siding 100% behind the fascist junta. That should give food for thought and does not bode well for the coming demonstrations in Europe as austerity measures start to hurt big time.


Better Earth

About time: World Court to target UK for war crimes in Iraq

British soldiers take Iraqi prisoners in Basra.
© REUTERS
British soldiers take Iraqi prisoners in Basra.
Eleven years after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, not a single high-level official has been held accountable for the numerous war crimes perpetrated throughout the war. Yet, a Tuesday announcement that the International Criminal Court is re-opening a "preliminary" investigation into charges that British troops systemically perpetrated atrocities in Iraq raised the faint possibility that this could change.

"It is good news is that the ICC is finally going to look at the extraordinary and serious war crimes and crimes against humanity in the Iraq War and the lead-up to it," said Phyllis Bennis, senior fellow at Institute for Policy Studies, in an interview with Common Dreams. "The bad news is that this is very late and the U.S. is not in the docket."

ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda came to the decision after being presented with new evidence alleging the "responsibility of officials of the United Kingdom for war crimes involving systematic detainee abuse in Iraq from 2003 until 2008," according to an ICC statement.

Comment: Very late, and without mention of the US... who can forget Abu Ghraib? The sad truth is that the psychopaths who are responsible for systematic torture will likely never be held accountable by any official body.


USA

Cities all over America are becoming extremely cruel to the homeless

Homeless
© theeconomiccollapseblog.com

Have you ever given food to a homeless person? Well, if you do it again in the future it might be a criminal act depending on where you live. Right now, there are dozens of major U.S. cities that have already passed laws against feeding the homeless.

As you will read about below, in some areas of the country you can actually be fined hundreds of dollars for just trying to give food to a hungry person.

I know that sounds absolutely insane, but this is what America is turning into.

Communities all over the country are attempting to "clean up the streets" by making it virtually illegal to either be homeless or to help those that are homeless.

Instead of spending more money on programs to assist the homeless, local governments are bulldozing tent cities and giving homeless people one way bus tickets out of town.

We are treating some of the most vulnerable members of our society like human garbage, and it is a national disgrace. What does it say about our country when we can't even give a warm sandwich to a desperately hungry person that is sleeping on the streets?

A retired couple down in Florida named Debbie and Chico Jimenez wanted to do something positive for their community during their retirement years, so they started feeding the homeless in Daytona Beach.

Heart - Black

Teen girl says she was kicked out of prom because dad chaperones felt 'impure thoughts'


A 17-year-old Richmond girl says she was kicked out of her prom because the father chaperones at the event said her dress was "too provocative," and that she was creating "impure thoughts" among the dads.

In the blog post on HannahEttinger.com, the young woman identified as Clare writes of her experiences at the Richmond Homeschool Prom that she attempted to attend with her boyfriend.

Almost immediately upon entering the event, she was told by one of the women organizing the event, identified as Mrs. D, that her "dress is too short," and "too provocative."

According to the author of the blog post, "F*** The Patriarchy," the only guideline for the prom was that dresses were "fingertip length," which was made problematic by the 17-year-old's 5-foot-9-inch height and long legs. After recognizing that the dress was the appropriate "fingertip length," Mrs. D just told her to be "careful" and to "make sure it stays pulled down."

As she is allowed to enter the event ballroom, the writer notes that she was "a little grossed out by all the dads on the balcony above the dance floor, ogling and talking amongst themselves."

V

Fighting back: Nigerian village vigilantes 'repel Boko Haram attack'

Residents of three villages in northern Nigeria have repelled an attack by suspected Boko Haram Islamist fighters, an eyewitness has told the BBC.

Boko Haram
© AFP
The market of Gamboru Ngala was destroyed during a militant raid 10 days ago
About 200 of the militants were killed during the fighting in the Kala-Balge district of Borno state, he said.

The witness said the residents had formed a vigilante group.

Meanwhile, disgruntled soldiers opened fire on the convoy of a top military commander in Maiduguri, the main city in Borno, witnesses said.

No-one was injured when angry soldiers opened fire as the convoy was entering the Maimalari barracks to protest against poor pay and a lack of equipment to tackle Boko Haram, the sources said.

Maj-Gen Chris Olukolade confirmed an incident had taken place in Maiduguri, but said it was an internal matter and there was no reason for public concern.

Pistol

Always knock before entering: Multiple cops shot, one killed in no knock raid

SWAT team
© unknown

A lot of people - innocent people - and their pets have wound up dead during no knock raids in recent years in this country.

A no knock raid is when officers can serve a warrant on a house without notifying the residents first. At all. Period. Without ringing the doorbell, calling first, a knock, nothing. Police typically do it in the middle of the night or in the wee hours of the morning, too, when people are more likely to be asleep. The majority of these raids aren't even for violent crimes or imminent threats to life and limb, but drug crimes.

So a lot of people tend to die. It's a pretty stupid way to enforce laws.

We live in a country where the citizenry are armed. If it's the middle of the night and you hear someone busting through your front door, and if you exercise your 2nd Amendment rights by owning a firearm, your first reaction is going to be to draw that firearm to protect yourself and your family.

USA

The American Empire will collapse like all others before it

empire, US hegemony
A faded American pride.

Here is my sense; like all empires before it this American one reached its apex after WWII. It's on a downward trajectory and will eventually fall or be overtaken.

And I believe most Americans will be taken by surprise as in "How could this happen"?

That's because most Americans are in the words of Paul Craig Roberts "insouciant", without a care, too passively indifferent, too besotted with technological gadgetry, have feelings of entitlement and believe in American exceptionalism to bother to notice their government has become sinister-which most others in the world recognize, but their governments too intimidated or blackmailed into following us or they will be demonized. Think Iran, Iraq under Saddam-though earlier an ally in his war with Iran in the 80′s-now the newly announced new cold war with Russia and soon to be China.

Light Sabers

Six Ukrainian soldiers killed in Donetsk as the people vote 90% in favor of establishing an independent region

Image
© Roman Pilipey/EPA
Ukrainian soldiers stand guard at a checkpoint: Kiev said six of its soldiers had been killed and a further eight wounded in the ambush.
A solution to the crisis in east Ukraine seemed as far away as ever on Tuesday, as six Ukrainian army servicemen were killed in an ambush by rebels and attempts to get Kiev and the armed separatists to negotiate came to nothing.

Ukraine's defence ministry released a statement saying that six of its soldiers had been killed and a further eight wounded during an ambush outside the town of Kramatorsk, in Donetsk region. The attackers used grenade launchers and automatic weapons to fire at the Ukrainian column, hitting an armoured personnel carrier.

More than 50 people have died in Donetsk region since Kiev began its "anti-terrorism operation" in the area, but Tuesday's attack represents the greatest loss of life for the Ukrainian army in a single incident.

The de facto separatist government in Donetsk repeated on Tuesday lunchtime that the Ukrainian army was now considered to be an "occupying force", and the ambush appeared to be a bloody restatement of their case.

The "Donetsk People's Republic" was proclaimed on Monday, after a hastily arranged referendum resulted in nearly 90% of votes being given in favour of its creation. Critics have pointed out that there were no observers and that most of those who remain loyal to Kiev simply stayed at home. Nevertheless, the region announced independence and immediately appealed to Russia to accept it as a new region.

Comment: It's rather ridiculous that the unconstitutionally installed puppet government in Kiev has the audacity to talk about the legitimacy of this referendum. Of course the US has had its say about the referendum as well.

"We do not recognize the illegal referendum that took place in portions of Donetsk and Luhansk over the weekend. It was illegal under Ukrainian law and an attempt to create further division and disorder in the country," said Jen Psaki , the U.S. State Department spokesperson to Reuters on Monday.

It must be hard for the psychopaths in Washington to understand that the people do not want to live under the thumb of fascist thugs and neo-nazis.

And you may have noticed how much attention the media has given to these six Ukrainian soldiers that were killed. Now compare that with the attention given to the Odessa and Mariupol massacres of the civilian population. The U.S. has become a full-fledged Soviet-era propaganda mill.


Piggy Bank

Poor Kentucky has no stomach for Obama

Guy in shack in Kentucky
© (AFP)
Rural Kentucky just surviving.
Jim Feltner's days are empty. He is a poor man in the poorest county in the United States and lives off government aid.

But the Kentucky resident has nothing but scorn for the head of that government, President Barack Obama, who has made the fight against economic inequality one of his battle cries.

Feltner sits in a plastic chair outside his ramshackle mobile home, surrounded by rusty cars and car parts. He has no television.

People around here, he says, are "just surviving, barely. I know, because I'm one of them."

A victim of two heart attacks, he lives off disability checks, and $105 a month in government food stamps.

Feltner voted for a previous Democratic president, Bill Clinton, but now says: "I will vote for anybody against Obama.

"I don't care who runs against him, I'll vote for him. I don't care if it's a Democrat, a Republican, an Indian, a Pakistani - even a Frenchman!"