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Sat, 29 Jan 2022
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Florida town threatening volunteers who feed homeless

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© Agency France Presse Photo / Saul Loeb
Volunteers hand out food to the homeless and needy at McPherson Square in Washington.
Authorities in Daytona Beach, Florida have increased efforts to dissuade unofficial organizations from feeding the city's homeless, threatening trespassing fines to longtime Good Samaritans should they counter the city's official social services plan.

A group of volunteers who have prepared food for the Daytona Beach homeless population - or anyone who is hungry, the organizers say - for the past year were given citations and trespass warnings by law enforcement this week.

Health

Mother launches online campaign to defend 3-year-old son from genital mutilation, i.e. circumcision

circumcision
© AFP Photo / noel Celis
Circumcision: modern barbarism whose time has come.
A Florida woman has successfully convinced a state appeals court to stop the father of her three-year-old son from having their child circumcised.

The Court of Appeals for Florida's fourth district this week granted a request made by the boy's mother, Heather Hironimus of Boynton Beach, in which she asked for justices to stay an earlier ruling ordering her son to be circumcised.

Hironimus and the boy's father, Dennis Nebus of Boca Raton, had the child in October 2010 and more than a year later entered into a legally-binding parenting agreement; Hironimus and Nebus never married.

A provision included in that contract referenced in recent court proceedings affirmed that Nebus was responsible for scheduling and taking their son to be circumcised, and would pay for any and all costs associated with the procedure. Hironimus, the contract continued, agreed to "timely execute any and all documents reasonably necessary to effectuate the circumcision" of the child.

According to a court order issued earlier this month, Hironimus claimed in recent testimony that she believes the procedure is not medically necessary and that her son risks dying as a result of the general anesthesia used. The court said, however, that the mother "expressed no other reason for now objecting to the procedure to which she'd already agreed," and on May 9 ruled "there is no reason why the parties should not be held to the terms of their Agreed Parenting Plan." Hironimus was in turn told that she could be held in contempt for not allowing Nebus to arrange for the procedure.

Comment: Only in a litigious culture like the States would such a 'legal document' be valued over plain common sense. Of course many people are brainwashed to think circumcision is just normal; when they learn the truth, they should have the freedom to change their minds. Plain and simple. Especially when it comes to a practice that is essentially child abuse.


Megaphone

Columbia university students publicize rapist list when school fails to protect the victims

rapists list
© bwog.com
One of the lists that have been appearing on bathroom walls at Columbia University since last week
The spring semester is winding down at colleges across the country, but at Columbia University debate over the mishandling of sexual assault cases is gaining momentum - most recently making its way onto the walls of campus bathrooms.

Last week a list of alleged "sexual assault violators on campus" written in marker pen popped up in a women's bathroom at the university's main campus in Manhattan. Campus facilities reportedly removed the text, which it qualified as graffiti, within 24 hours.

Columbia's student-run blog, the Lion, published a photo of the list with the names blacked out. The Lion's editor, Sean Augustine, told VICE News that staff had determined that at least three of the individuals had been punished through university judicial proceedings for sexual misconduct and were back on campus.

Comment: What's incredible is that most people don't make the obvious association: that the government itself is setting the example. Because if the U.S. can go across the oceans to rape and destroy other countries without any consequences for their reprehensible actions, then the message to all deviants in the society is "you can do it too".


Alarm Clock

Food prices skyrocket: "We're going to have a major problem coming into the fall"

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© Shutterstock
While government statisticians claim robust growth, recent data points suggest otherwise. Consumers are quickly running out of money, home sales have collapsed and hit their biggest drop in three years, there are more Americans out of the labor force than ever before, and one third of adults under the age of 35 are living with their parents because they can no longer afford to pay their own mortgage.

By all accounts, the reality is that we are now factually in a recession, a point further emphasized by the recent revelation that American companies are experiencing near zero percent earnings growth.

But that's just the beginning. As we warned earlier this year, food prices would see a steady rise through 2014 because of increased global demand, drought and continued degradation of the U.S. dollar.

Info

On Nakba day commemorating the expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians, Israelis forced to confront a guilty secret

Nakba day
© Unknown
For 66 years Israel's founding generation has lived with a guilty secret, one it successfully concealed from the generations that followed. Forests were planted to hide war crimes. School textbooks mythologised the events surrounding Israel's creation. The army was blindly venerated as the most moral in the world.

Once, "Nakba" - Arabic for "Catastrophe", referring to the dispossession of the Palestinian homeland in 1948 - would have failed to register with any but a small number of Israeli Jews. Today, only those who never watch television or read a newspaper can plead ignorance.

As marches and festivals are held today by Palestinians across the region to mark Nakba Day - commemorating the expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians from their homes and the erasure of more than 500 villages - Israelis will be watching.

In fact, the Israeli media have been filled with references to the Nakba for the past 10 days, since Israel celebrated its Independence Day last week. The two anniversaries do not quite coincide because Israel marks its founding according to the Hebrew calendar.

While Israeli Jews were trying to enjoy guilt-free street parties last week, news reports focused on the activities of their compatriots - the Palestinians who remained inside the new state of Israel and now comprise a fifth of the population. Estimates are that one in four of these 1.5 million Palestinian citizens is from a family internally displaced by the 1948 war.

Stock Down

The light bulb goes off in China: "You don't pay me and I pay others? I'm not that stupid."

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© AFP
As economy continues to cool in China, payment cycle has been extended and companies are finding it harder to get paid for their goods and services.
As China's economy continues to cool, companies are waiting longer and finding it harder to get paid for goods and services they have already sold, leading to record amounts of receivables - and potential write-offs - on corporate balance sheets.

At Longyuan Construction Group, an eastern China builder of high-rise offices, apartments and highways, receivables last year inched up 4.9 per cent to 4.1 billion yuan (HK$5.1 billion), while average collection times extended to 95.2 days, compared with 76.3 days for 2011.

Slow collection of money owed is causing Longyuan to delay its own payments to steel and cement suppliers, said Zhang Li, the company's board secretary, in a ripple effect being repeated across the economy.

"If you don't pay me and I pay others, aren't I just a sucker?" asked Zhang.

"I'm not that stupid."

Comment: This is yet another warning sign that the China miracle of perpetual economic growth is coming to an end. Expect hard times ahead, not that times are not hard already for many people!


Pistol

Where are the neurons? - Man in bulletproof vest says 'shoot me,' is killed

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© Anderson, S.C., Sheriff's Office
Deputies have charged an 18-year-old South Carolina woman with the fatal shooting of a male friend who had donned a bulletproof vest and allegedly asked her to "shoot me," according to local media.

The killing occurred Wednesday in Honea Path, S.C., after 25-year-old Blake Randall Wardell discovered the old vest in a garage where he had been hanging out with friends, WYFF-TV reports.

Anderson County deputy coroner Don McCown said Wardell asked Taylor Ann Kelly to "shoot me," the TV station reports.

Kelly allegedly fired a small caliber weapon at Wardell, but the bullet went through the edge of the vest and into his heart, McCown said.

McCown said there were as many as 10 other people at the home at the time. He said no evidence at the scene of a fight or struggle, The State newspaper reports.

Comment: While the story is tragic, it boggles the mind to think that someone could ask another person to shoot him, and the other person actually did it, bulletproof vest or not.


Stormtrooper

Welcome to Brazil! Brazil unveils scary 'Robocop' suit to protect super-elite police unit during World Cup

The paramilitary police riot body armour.
© AFP/GETTY
The paramilitary police riot body armour.
There will be a RoboCop style to the face of policing in Rio when football fans turn up for the World Cup in Brazil next month.

Members of a special unit set up for the tournament and the 2016 Olympics in Rio have been given 200 sets of the 22lb "RoboCop" protective equipment, which is flame resistant to up to 427C.

It includes a helmet and vest that protects the back, chest and shoulders, plastic shin pads, a pepper spray mask and a belt for a.40 calibre pistol, stun gun, handcuffs and baton.

The Major Events Police Battalion, a branch of the military police, was formed in January this year in response to widespread public demonstrations during last year's Confederations Cup.

That tournament was marred by ugly clashes between police and demonstrators as thousands protested against public spending on the World Cup. Rio de Janeiro will host seven games during the competition, including the final on July 13.

Bulb

Operation American Spring: "30 Million" Militias promise to oust Obama and top officials this Friday


A retired United States Army colonel expects as many as 30 million like-minded individuals will descend on Washington, DC this week and demand that President Barack Obama and other members of his administration be booted from office.

Those are just some of the demands that Col. Harry Riley, founder of "Operation American Spring," said he'll ask the Obama administration to adhere to when militia members and patriots of all sorts arrive in the nation's capital on Friday and begin demonstrating against a government the group considers to be in violation of the principles established by the founders of the country.

"We are calling for the removal of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Harry Reid, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, Nancy Pelosi and Eric Holder as a start toward constitutional restoration," Riley told the Before Its News website during an interview earlier this year.

"They have all abandoned the US Constitution," he said, and "are unworthy to be retained in a position that calls for servant status."

Comment: For sure this is an idea whose time has come, but are the American people really up to a 'revolution'? More to the point, do Col. Riley and those who plan to join him in D.C. (we'd be VERY surprised if anywhere near 30 million people showed up) represent the 'American people'? Riley and his followers are sponsored by the 'Tea Party'. Riley himself says that he plans to "oust President Obama from office and put him in Gitmo" to stop him "turning America into a socialist-fascist-communist-Marxist dictatorial, tyrannical system."

During an appearance last month on a birther radio program, Riley predicted that his protest campaign will work because "it's bathed in prayer" and "under God."

Are these ideas that 30 million American people resonate with? Does Riley understand the real problems in the USA and their source? Recently, there have been almost daily reports of psycho US cops either brutalizing or murdering innocent civilians. Why isn't Riley concerned about, or organizing a rally to protest that?

Whatever the case, since Riley said his protest was "sort of like an Arab Spring for the USA", there is little doubt that the CIA and FBI will be all over it.


Laptop

'My husband kills kids with drones': Michelle Obama's viral pic fuels anti-drone campaign

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When US First Lady Michelle Obama appeared in a picture supporting the 200 schoolgirls kidnapped in Nigeria, she was praised for taking a stand against Boko Haram. But others quickly subverted her message and turned it into an anti-drone campaign.

Michelle Obama appeared in the viral image last week, holding up a sign that said "#Bring Back Our Girls." The hashtag quickly spread online, hitting home with an online audience that had read about the tragic kidnapping of the schoolgirls by a radical Islamist group.