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Mon, 25 Jan 2021
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Your Tax Dollars Used to Manhunt Children as Police Seek Child Suspected of Robbery

Police are on the lookout for a 4ft tall suspect with a likely under-developed voice.

An unusual wanted ad posted by police in Washington, D.C. on Sunday night described their suspect as being merely 6 or 7 years old.

While with a group of boys described as being between the ages of 7 and 14, the child's accused in connection to a robbery at a McDonald's restaurant.

Light Sabers

We Won - for Now

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© AP/John Minchillo
Truthdig columnist Chris Hedges, who is suing the government over a controversial provision in the National Defense Authorization Act, is seen here addressing a crowd in New York’s Zuccotti Park.
In January I sued President Barack Obama over Section 1021(b)(2) of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which authorized the military to detain U.S. citizens indefinitely, strip them of due process and hold them in military facilities, including offshore penal colonies. Last week, round one in the battle to strike down the onerous provision, one that saw me joined by six other plaintiffs including Noam Chomsky and Daniel Ellsberg, ended in an unqualified victory for the public. U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest, who accepted every one of our challenges to the law, made her temporary injunction of the section permanent. In short, she declared the law unconstitutional.

Almost immediately after Judge Forrest ruled, the Obama administration challenged the decision. Government prosecutors called the opinion "unprecedented" and said that "the government has compelling arguments that it should be reversed." The government added that it was an "extraordinary injunction of worldwide scope." Government lawyers asked late Friday for an immediate stay of Forrest's ban on the use of the military in domestic policing and on the empowering of the government to strip U.S. citizens of due process. The request for a stay was an attempt by the government to get the judge, pending appeal to a higher court, to grant it the right to continue to use the law. Forrest swiftly rejected the stay, setting in motion a fast-paced appeal to the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and possibly, if her ruling is upheld there, to the Supreme Court of the United States. The Justice Department sent a letter to Forrest and the 2nd Circuit late Friday night informing them that at 9 a.m. Monday the Obama administration would ask the 2nd Circuit for an emergency stay that would lift Forrest's injunction. This would allow Obama to continue to operate with indefinite detention authority until a formal appeal was heard. The government's decision has triggered a constitutional showdown between the president and the judiciary.

"This may be the most significant constitutional standoff since the Pentagon Papers case," said Carl Mayer, co-lead counsel for the plaintiffs.

Footprints

Running scared: US withdraws diplomats from Tunisia and Sudan

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© Zoubeir Souissi/Reuters
A policemen checks damage to vehicles inside the US embassy in Tunis after it was attacked by protesters on Saturday.
The US state department has ordered non-essential staff from its embassies in Sudan and Tunisia to leave with their families and warned its citizens against travelling to the two countries owing to concerns over rising anti-American violence.

"Given the security situation in Tunis and Khartoum, the state department has ordered the departure of all family members and non-emergency personnel from both posts, and issued parallel travel warnings to American citizens," said a spokeswoman, Victoria Nuland.

In Tunisia, the warning advised Americans that the international airport in Tunis was open and encouraged all US citizens to depart on commercial flights.

It said Americans who chose to remain in Tunisia should use extreme caution and avoid demonstrations. On Friday, protesters climbed the walls into the US embassy in Tunis, torching cars, attacking the entrance building and setting fire to a gym and a neighbouring American school.

Book

Ex-Girlfriend Joyce Johnson on the "Very Odd" Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac
© John Cohen/Getty Images
On the Road author Jack Kerouac listens to himself on the radio in 1959.
The former girlfriend of the leading novelist of the beat generation Jack Kerouac has revealed details of their affair and his descent into bizarre behaviour on finding fame, in a new book to be published more than 40 years after his death.

Joyce Johnson, an accomplished author, also dispels the myth that Kerouac's writing was effortlessly spontaneous. Where he claimed his novel
On the Road was written in a blast of energy during three weeks in 1951 she recalls that he spent years revising his work and carefully crafted each paragraph.

Her book is just part of a revival of the cult that surrounded Kerouac which has this year prompted three feature films and a documentary, as well as books and an exhibition at the British Library.

Info

World's 'Ugliest Woman' Gives Courageous Interview

Velasquez
© YouTube
She has been bullied, ridiculed and stared at with mysterious looks since her childhood. And above all, she was dubbed 'world's ugliest woman' by insensitive cyber bullies when she was in high school. For Lizzie Velasquez life was never as simple as it was for others.

Born with a rare medical condition, Velasquez has no adipose tissue and cannot create muscle, store energy, or gain weight. She has zero percent fat in her body and weights only 60 pounds (22 kg). But despite all her physical complications her spirits and level of motivation has always been sky high.

After years of misery and self-doubt, Lizzie Velasquez from Austin, Texas says she can finally shrug off the hurtful comments about her looks as 'just words'.

When people in their comments on a 8-second-long YouTube video named as 'The World's Ugliest Woman' encouraged her to kill herself and called her a 'monster', she instead of paying heed to such insensitivity designed four goals for herself: to become a motivational speaker, to publish a book, to graduate college, and to build a family and a career for herself.

Lizzie is 23-years-old now, she has been a motivational speaker for seven years and has given various workshops on multiple topics like dealing with bullies, embracing uniqueness and overcoming obstacles. Her first book called Lizzie Beautiful came in 2010 and her second Be Beautiful, Be You arrived earlier this month. Above all, she is a senior majoring in Communications at Texas State University.

Info

Car Sales Could Slump in 'Unlucky' 2013

New Car
© Wheels
Triscadecaphobia (or triskaidekaphobia) is the fear of the number 13 as a harbinger of bad luck. And it's why new car sales will likely slump in the 2013 model-year.

Believers will want nothing to do with an "unlucky" 2013 car, and even non-believers might shun these autos fearing lower future resale values.

Rationally, we can dismiss such beliefs as nonsense, but the fact is that our society often accommodates this common superstition. For example, high-rises rarely, if ever, have a 13th floor - usually skipping from 12 to 14 in the numbering. Many developers also by-pass "13" when numbering homes in new communities.

In Ireland, known for its lucky charms (and inspiring a kids' cereal here by the same name), an auto industry group estimates 2013 car sales will plummet by one-third. To help counteract this, officials are being asked to change the car registration system to alter the year prefix to become "131" and "132" instead of the dreaded "13" alone.

So what's the solution for North America?

As a knee-jerk reaction, automakers might just jump ahead and call them "early" 2014 models. But then, that would bring us into the realm of tetraphobia where the number "4" is avoided because it's pronounced much like the word for "death" in Cantonese and other Asian languages. The number "14," as in the year 2014, is considered even more unlucky ("sure death") than "4" by itself.

Wine

Czechs Ban Spirits After Bootleg Alcohol Poisoning

Czech ban
© Reuters
Stores began clearing shelves soon after the ban was announced
The Czech government has banned the sale of all spirits containing more than 20% alcohol following a spate of poisoning that has left 19 people dead.

The ban covers all outlets including restaurants and hotels.

The poisonings have been blamed on bootleg vodka and rum tainted with the industrial chemical methanol and sold cheaply at markets and outdoor kiosks.

Czech police have arrested 10 people and seized 5,000 litres of spirits, as well as counterfeit labels.

Health Minister Leos Heger said the unprecedented ban was effective immediately and applied nationwide.

"Operators of food and beverage businesses... are banned from offering for sale (and) selling... liquor containing alcohol of 20% and more," he announced on national television.

The deaths - which began to emerge earlier this month - have been described as the Czech Republic's worst case of fatal alcohol poisoning in 30 years.

USA

One-Fifth of US Children are Living in Poverty

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© Agence France-Presse/Getty Images/Spencer Platt
A just released analysis of recent census statistics reveal that more than one-in-five children in the United States lives in poverty.

Demographers have mulled through US Census Bureau figures from 2011 to discover that economic conditions in the US may be even worse than what experts had previously suggested. In addition to the continuously stagnant unemployment level, poverty among Americans remains at record levels.

"The take-away is that the number of people living in poverty continues to be appallingly high," Julie Zaebst, policy manager with the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger, tells the Philly Inquirer. "This despite the economy being in recovery."

And as the poor continue to suffer, America's elite are in better standing than ever. While incomes for the country's bottom 40 percent of wage-earners remained relatively stable last year when compared with statistics from one year earlier, the top one percent of Americans saw their wages increase by around 6 percent, further widening the gap between the haves and have-nots.

According to the latest figures, the youth of the US are hit hardest. While adults make up a significant proportion of the population living below the poverty line, 21.9 percent of all children in the country - more than one in five - are poor. By comparison, only 8.7 percent of adults over the age of 65 live in similar standing.

Handcuffs

9 arrested as anti-GMO activists block Monsanto site in California

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© Reuters/Mario Anzuoni
Nine anti-GMO protesters were arrested for blocking the gates to a large Monsanto seed plant in Southern California. The action aimed to draw attention to a November ballot initiative that would require labels on genetically modified food.

­Around a dozen activists from the Occupy Monsanto movement, some wearing biohazard suits, arrived at the plant on Wednesday morning and chained themselves to vehicles they parked at the entrances to Oxnard's Seminis Vegetable Seeds.

The blockade prevented trucks from entering or leaving the facility for nearly six hours. Police arrested nine of the activist for trespassing, protest organizers said. The event was a preview of around sixty other events planned to take place next week in countries around the world, demonstrators said.

Padlock

Pedophile US pastor sentenced to 330 years in prison

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Sixty nine-year-old pedophile US pastor Oscar D. Perez (shown) is sentenced to a 330-year prison term for sexually assaulting five children between the ages of nine and 15.
A US Christian pastor has been sentenced to a 330-year prison term for sexually assaulting five children between the ages of nine and 15 at his Los Angeles home.

The 69-year-old priest, identified as Oscar D. Perez, was sentenced Friday in a California court for abusing the children at his apartment near Los Angeles between 2007 and 2011, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Perez, an Apostolic pastor and bishop at a Laguna Hills Episcopalian Church, befriended various families at the church, recruited children to help with church services and invited his victims to his apartment, according to prosecutors.

He was detained and initially charged with assaulting two of the victims in September 2011 after one of the children told his mother of the abuse. Ensuing probes by police investigators led them to three more victims.

According to the report, the Christian preacher was found guilty in July on 22 felony charges of lewd acts upon a child under 14 years of age, among other felony counts of vulgar behavior against multiple victims.