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Tue, 22 Sep 2020
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The 'perfect storm' of conditions that has worldwide food prices surging, itemized

The World Bank just published its Commodity Market Outlook.
"Most commodity prices are expected to ease marginally in 2013," they write. "[C]rude oil will average US$102/bbl in 2013, just 3 percent lower than in 2012. Agricultural commodity prices are also forecast to decline: food by 3.2 percent, beverages by 4.7 percent, and raw materials by 2.2 percent. Metal prices are expected to rise slightly but still average 14 percent lower than in 2011. Fertilizer prices are set to decline 2.9 percent, while precious metal prices will increase almost 2 percent."

Nuke

Massachusetts Nuclear plant shuts down during snowstorm

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission says a power plant in Massachusetts has lost power and shut down during a massive snowstorm.

The NRC says the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant in Plymouth experienced an automatic shutdown at around 9:15 p.m. Friday after losing off-site power. Spokesman Neil Sheehan says the plant has declared an unusual event, which is the lowest level of emergency classification.

Sheehan says that the reactor shut down without any problems and that backup generators are powering plant equipment.

The NRC says there's no threat to public safety.

The shutdown came as a major snowstorm began clobbering the New York-to-Boston corridor, knocking out power to more than 300,000 customers in Massachusetts.

Attention

Cherokee Elders attempt to end abuse of captive bears on Tribal land

Inhumane Treatment of Bears at 3 Facilities in Cherokee, NC

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© SOTT.net
THis bear cub huddles in the corner of his small pen.
An undercover investigation by the animal advocate group PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) has revealed bears living in deplorable conditions at three road-side zoos located on the Qualla Boundary in Cherokee, North Carolina. Details of the conditions of these facilities can be read under FINDINGS at the end of this article.

Most Cherokee people had no idea what was taking place behind the bars of these road-side zoos. Some Cherokee elders are so appalled that they have decided to take action in an attempt to shut down these facilities and bring a halt to the horrible treatment of these jailed bears. Along with other elders, Peggy Hill and Amy Walker plan to introduce a resolution to permanently close Chief Saunooke's Bear Park, Cherokee Bear Zoo, and Santa's Land in an upcoming Tribal Council meeting. Now that the deplorable conditions are known this will give the Principal Chief and Tribal Council an opportunity to make the right decision on behalf of the bears. The following words reveal some of the deep feelings the Elders hold regarding the inhumane treatment of the bears at these facilities.

"Our ancestors, the Kituwah, have been the keepers of these sacred mountains and all of the various life forms that inhabit our precious home land for more than 10,000 years.
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© SOTT.net
Underfed bear begs for food.

Our people have survived and sustained life here for thousands of years by respecting ALL life - whether plant, animal, bird, fish or creepy crawlers. We have been taught to give thanks for all Creation; for Creation itself gives us life. Generation after generation we have lived off the land - gathering plants, fishing, and hunting. With great respect for Creation we have learned the appropriate way - taking only what we need to sustain our lives, leaving plenty for others and maintaining these life forms for future use.

Our people knew that Creator had put us in charge of all living things, trusting us with such stewardship and showing us what we could use so that life could continue as planned. Every living thing was intricately designed so as to play a vital role within the circle of life and contributing to the cycle of life. They were placed within specific environments - soil for the plants; water for the fish; air for the birds, two-legged and four-legged beings and crawlers as well. We understand all life requires nurturing and specific elements for sustenance.


If you wish to support Cherokee Elders in their efforts to free the abused bears, please contact:
Principal Chief Michell Hicks
(828) 497-2771

House

Criminalizing poverty: Tenants who fail to pay rent can be arrested in Arkansas even if claims are false

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Arkansas is the only state in America that implements a law forcing tenants who do not pay rent and do not vacate a property to be placed in jail.

A recent report published by Human Rights Watch explores the law. In the report, titled "Pay the Rent or Face Arrest: Abusive Impacts of Arkansas's Criminal Evictions Law," it explains that renters have been "dragged into criminal court for transgressions that would not be a crime in any other U.S. state."

The failure-to-vacate law allows those who do not vacate a property to be charged in court.

Bizarro Earth

Maryland school promotes gay-to-straight therapy as a solution to bullying

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Prince George's County Public Schools on Wednesday decided to drop the use of a video that promoted so-called "ex-gay" therapy as one possible solution to the bullying of LGBT students.

According to a report published on Thursday by Washington City Paper, students in at least six middle-school health classes were shown the 21-minute film "Acception," which disguises talk about gay-to-straight therapy within a larger message about bullying.

The film's creator, Christopher Doyle, is a board member of Parents and Friends of Ex-Gays & Gays (PFOX).

Pistol

Hysteria: Second grader finds loaded handgun in backpack at school

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© Shutterstock
Police in Philadelphia said on Thursday that they were called to an elementary school after a second grader found a loaded gun in his backpack.

Officials at Universal Samuel Daroff Charter School told law enforcement that the 7-year-old boy noticed the gun when he was putting a folder in his backpack around 4 p.m., according to the Philadelphia Daily News.

Handcuffs

Amish beard-cutting ringleader sentenced to 15 years in prison

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© Photograph: Tony Dejak/AP
Amish men and women leave the US federal courthouse in Cleveland after Samuel Mullet Sr was sentenced.
Prosecutors had sought life sentence for Samuel Mullet Sr, found to have committed a hate crime over religious differences

The ringleader in a series of unusual hair- and beard-cutting attacks on fellow Amish religious followers in the US was sentenced Friday to 15 years in prison.

Before his sentencing, Samuel Mullet Sr told the judge that he had been blamed for running a cult and was ready to take the punishment. The judge also sentenced 15 other members of the deeply traditional group to prison terms ranging from one to seven years.

Amish believe the Bible instructs women to let their hair grow long and men to grow beards once they marry. Cutting it would be offensive to the group.

Health

Nine polio workers in Nigeria shot dead

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© Photograph: Chris Hondros/Getty Images
A schoolgirl in Kano, northern Nigeria, receives the oral polio vaccine during a nationwide immunisation campaign.
At least nine health workers gunned down in northern city of Kano amid increasing hostility towards polio immunisation drive

At least nine women who were vaccinating children against polio have been shot dead in northern Nigeria by gunmen suspected of belonging to a radical Islamist sect.

The killings drew comparisons with a series of incidents in Pakistan last December where five female polio vaccinators were gunned down, apparently by Islamist militants. It also signalled a fresh wave of hostility towards immunisation drives in Nigeria, where some clerics have claimed the vaccines are part of a western plot to sterilise young girls and eliminate the Muslim population.

The attacks took place in Kano, the biggest city in Nigeria's predominantly Muslim north, where families generally feel more comfortable allowing women inside their homes than men.

On Friday morning gunmen arrived by motor tricycle and opened fire in the Hotoro Hayi neighbourhood, killing at least eight female vaccinators, witnesses told Associated Press. Four people were killed in a second attack, in the Unguwa Uku neighbourhood, according to witnesses.

Eye 2

Accused witch Kepari Leniata burned alive by mob in Papua New Guinea

A young mother was burned alive in Papua New Guinea this week after townspeople accused her of being a witch.

According to multiple reports, Kepari Leniata, 20, was tortured and killed in front of a mob of hundreds in the town of Mount Hagen. The woman, stripped naked and covered in gasoline, was burned alive on a pile of trash by relatives of a young boy who had died earlier in the week. The relatives had accused Leniata of killing him with sorcery.

WARNING: GRAPHIC PHOTO FOLLOWS

Police and firefighters who tried to save Leniata were chased away by an overwhelming crowd. Agence France-Press writes that the woman "admitted to killing the boy, who died after being [hospitalized] with stomach and chest pains on Tuesday."

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© AFP / Getty Images
A photo taken on Feb. 6 shows a young mother accused of sorcery who was stripped naked, reportedly tortured with a branding iron, tied up, splashed with fuel and set alight on a pile of rubbish topped with car tyres, in Mount Hagen city in the Western Highlands of Papua New Guinea. According to the Post-Courier newspaper she was torched by villagers who claimed she killed a 6-year-old boy through sorcery, with police outnumbered by onlookers and unable to intervene.

Bomb

Feds allege San Jose man wanted to bomb bank to spark a civil war

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© AP
A San Jose man who purportedly wanted to spark a civil war in the U.S. was arrested by federal agents Friday after he allegedly attempted to detonate a car bomb at a bank in Oakland, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Authorities arrested Matthew Aaron Llaneza, 28, for allegedly trying to bomb a Bank of America branch at 303 Hegenberger Road, federal prosecutors said.

According to a press release, the arrest came as the result of an months-long undercover operation during which Llaneza was closely monitored by the Federal Bureau of Investigation's South Bay Joint Terrorism Task Force.

The press release details a plot being executed by Llaneza and an undercover FBI agent to detonate a bomb in an SUV parked outside the targeted bank on Thursday night.