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Cheeseburger

Good luck with that: After failing with worm burgers, Norwegian grocery chain to launch cricket burgers

cricket burger
After failing to convince consumers to buy worm burgers, a Norwegian grocery chain is trying to market burgers made from ground up crickets.

Supermarket Meny scrapped the idea of worm burgers after insufficient demand but seem convinced that they can stir up enthusiasm for people to chomp down on insects.

"It is difficult to see whether Norwegian consumers are more open to insects in a burger than bread, but the link to testing alternative protein sources, such as insects, is probably more closely linked to a burger," communications manager of Meny, Nina Horn Hynne, told E24.

Comment: See also:


Propaganda

Fake email 'from outside the country' made Ukrainians throw stones at Wuhan evacuees, BuzzFeed report implies

ukrainian police coronavirus
© REUTERS / Valentyn Ogirenko
Ukrainian police clear the way as demonstrators block a road to prevent the arrival of evacuees from coronavirus-hit China.
Violent protests in Ukraine over the evacuation of its citizens from infection-stricken China was triggered by a foreign psyop, a report at BuzzFeed wants reader to believe. Well, what isn't Russia's fault?

On Thursday, local residents in a small Ukrainian town tried to stop buses carrying people evacuated from Wuhan, China. Panicked beyond all reason, they erected roadblocks, burned tires, and ultimately pelted the vehicles carrying evacuees with stones - a reaction that left many people in the country and elsewhere disgusted.


Comment: Even Ukrainian President Zelensky said in this case Ukraine had reverted to the Middle Ages:
"You know, we always say that Ukraine is Europe," the president told the nation, referring to a slogan popular among pro-Western elements, which became particularly widespread following the 2014 Maidan coup. "To tell the truth, yesterday, we sometimes seemed to be the Europe of the Middle Ages," he added, chastising those who staged violent protests in central Ukraine.



Sure, a woman shouting "we will torch [the hospital] with the sick people inside" is not a pleasant sight to see. But if you read BuzzFeed, you might assume the culprit in this mess was Russia. "A Viral Email About Coronavirus Had People Smashing Buses And Blocking Hospitals," reads the headline of the story.


Comment: The number one rule of Ukrainian statecraft (though they're by no means the only ones): whenever possible, blame a foreign country for your own problems, preferably Russia.


Eye 1

New York City taxi commission accused of $810 million fraud

NYC taxi cabs
© James D. Morgan/Getty Images
Taxi's lined up at an intersection on Feb. 27th 2017, in New York City.Taxi's lined up at an intersection on Feb. 27th 2017, in New York City.
New York Attorney General Letitia James announced plans to sue New York City for allegedly fraudulent practices by its Taxi and Limousine Commission, accusing the agency of running a scheme on taxi drivers that created a "trapdoor of despair."

A taxicab medallion, often seen bolted to a vehicle's hood, is a numbered plate required to operate a yellow cab. James is alleging that the TLC played a role in inflating the price of thousands of medallions over a 14-year period, 2004 to 2017, sometimes by more than 200%.

"Government should be a source of justice, not a vehicle for fraudulent practices," James said in a statement, announcing a notice of claim for $810 million. She's alleging the city profited by that same amount selling medallions and by collecting a 5% tax on third-party transfers.

"These taxi medallions were marketed as a pathway to the American Dream, but instead became a trapdoor of despair for medallion owners harmed by the TLC's unlawful practices," she added.

Star of David

No racism here: Israeli taxi app 'Gett' sued for service option used to avoid Arab drivers

Israel gett taxi service
© Valerii Soloviov/Alamy
A Gett sign on a car in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Human rights lawyers in Jerusalem have sued Gett, an Israeli taxi-hailing app, for providing a service they allege was designed to give customers the option to practically guarantee they would not get an Arab driver.

Gett, a global firm that also works with black cabs in the UK, offers users in the holy city the choice to request a taxi that is not driven on the Sabbath, the weekly Jewish day of rest, and some Jewish holidays.

In addition to its "express" and "premium" offers, the unique service is labelled as "Mehadrin", referring to the most stringent levels of Jewish regulations. Unlike observant Jews, Palestinian Arab drivers in Jerusalem are generally Muslim or Christian and often work during the Sabbath.

Gett says drivers of any religion can register to provide this service if they confirm that their vehicle meets the requirements.

However, according to a class-action lawsuit filed this week, Gett Mehadrin is accused of being a cover for a discriminatory service.

Comment:


Newspaper

'America's defeat': NYT shredded online for op-ed by Taliban leader wanted by the FBI

New york times
© REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
Twitter users are scratching their heads and openly questioning the New York Times' standards after the outlet published an opinion piece by the Taliban's deputy leader - a man on the FBI's most-wanted list with a $5mn bounty.

Considering the current position of the US in the Middle East, the Times running a piece penned by Sirajuddin Haqqani, entitled 'What We, the Taliban, Want,' did not sit well with many.

Social media users were quick to denounce the piece as "propaganda," with several tweeting that publishing something written by the Taliban is "not a good look" for the NYT. One Twitter commenter wrote: "Nothing screams American defeat more than today's oped."

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No Entry

Ukrainian villagers STONE buses bringing countrymen evacuated from Wuhan to coronavirus quarantine

Ukrainian coronavirus
© REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko
A masked protester throws a brick at buses carrying Ukrainian coronavirus evacuees from China, in Novye Sanzhary, Poltava region, February 20, 2020
Ukrainians evacuated from Wuhan, China, have been less than welcomed at a village hosting the coronavirus quarantine facility. Videos show locals throwing stones at buses with evacuees, burning tires and clashing with police.

Dozens of villagers first attempted to block the road leading to Novye Sanzhary, in the Poltava region of central Ukraine, and stop the government's plan to quarantine the Ukrainian evacuees from Wuhan there. Their roadblocks were removed by force, with police using armored vehicles and arresting several locals.

Later on Thursday, the villagers gathered outside the local medical facility and threw stones at the buses bringing in the evacuees, smashing windows and damaging the vehicles.

Comment: Perhaps this behavior is more telling about the deteriorating conditions within Ukraine itself, made worse thanks to the hysteria whipped up by the mass media, because some experts are claiming that, at the moment, the coronavirus is more akin to 'a severe, localized common cold'.

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Pistol

9 dead after 'racist' man goes on shooting spree at two hookah bars in Hanau, Germany - UPDATE

Hanau
© Reuters / Kai Pfaffenbach
Special forces searching an area after a shooting in Hanau near Frankfurt, Germany, February 20, 2020
Shootings at two hookah bars in the German city of Hanau and nearby Kesselstadt have resulted in multiple casualties. Police believe the attacks are related and have detained one suspect.

German media reported that the first incident happened at Kurt-Schumacher-Platz in central Hanau. It was followed by the shooting in Kesselstadt, which apparently involved shots fired at another hookah bar from a moving car shortly afterward.

The two incidents are being treated as related.


A third shooting, in the Lamboy district, has been reported by local TV channel Hessischer Rundfunk, but remains unconfirmed as of yet.


Hanau is a city of about 100,000 residents, located just east of Frankfurt on the Mein, in the German state of Hesse.

Comment: Chancellor Merkel had this to say about it:
"There are many indications at the moment that the perpetrator acted on right-wing extremist, racist motives, out of hatred towards people of other origins, religion or appearance. Racism is poison, hatred is poison and this poison exists in society and it is to blame for too many crimes."
See also: UPDATE: Friday 21st February @ 15:32 CET

Turkey's FM has weighed into the discussion saying that racism in Europe is rising and that it needs to do more to combat this. While it does appear the murders were targeted, it's worth remembering that the gunman also killed his own mother.
It's impossible to see attacks like Hanau as isolated, the Turkish Foreign Ministry has said. Ankara called on Europe to avoid "this encouraging approach" to xenophobia, and to "unite against racism."

"The insensitivity shown towards the fight against increasing xenophobia in Europe leads to new attacks every day," said a statement published by the Turkish Foreign Ministry on February 20.

"It is time to put an end to these attacks. Otherwise, racism and xenophobia will reach more serious levels and lead us to a dangerous situation."

Primarily, Turkey wants other European governments to avoid "this encouraging approach" to hatred against Islam, and instead "unite against racism and xenophobia, and speak with one voice."

[...]

Far-right attacks have been rather common in Germany lately. In October 2019, a man in Halle killed two and wounded two outside a synagogue, before being caught by the police. In July, another man went out to find a random dark-skinned person to shoot and wounded one, who luckily survived. A Neo-Nazi killed a pro-migrant politician, Walter Luebcke, in his home the same year.

However, Germany has also been shaken by violence committed by supporters of hardline Islamists. In 2016, a failed asylum seeker, Anis Amri, drove a truck into a crowd in Berlin, killing 11. He had pledged allegiance to Islamic State.

In 2017, another man who'd sought asylum went on a stabbing spree in Hamburg, claiming later he tried to kill as many Christian Germans as possible.
Also this week, Macron declared a clamp down on the Turkish imams in France who are preaching Turkish, Islamic law.

See also: Is There a Hidden Hand Behind The 'Clash of Civilizations' in Europe?


Attention

Female prisoner claims she was raped by transgender inmate, sues prison

inmate andre patterson
A female inmate at the Logan Correctional Centre in Illinois is suing the prison after alleging they attempted to cover up her sexual assault by a transgender inmate that was housed with her.

The proceedings were covered by Public Broadcasting Service station WTTW, who reported the victim, referred to as Jane Doe, was sexually assaulted in June 2019. Doe alleges she was then coerced by a correctional officer into withdrawing her claim, which led to her being punished for having filed a false report under the Prison Rape Elimination Act.

Doe's alleged assailant is named as Janiah Monroe, a transgender inmate who identifies as female but has male genitalia. According to WTTW, Monroe and another transgender inmate recently sued the Illinois Department of Corrections, demanding transfers to women's facilities. Monroe, formerly known as Andre Patterson, had been sentenced to 12 years in prison for the attempted murder of a government employee, before receiving an additional 20 years for murdering a cellmate after being imprisoned.

Propaganda

'This should go well': Trolling and worry as Twitter reveals plan to flag 'lies & misinformation'

twitter
Twitter is experimenting with features that will supposedly help identify tweets containing lies with community help, but the social media giant's track record of bias and questionable banning standards has users concerned.

Tweets that spread "lies" or "misinformation" will be highlighted for users with a bright-colored warning that is nearly the same size as the offending post, according to a report from NBC News. The changes are supposedly part of a policy revamp at Twitter, scheduled to go into effect next month.


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Bizarro Earth

UN: 14 children among at least 22 dead in Cameroon massacre

Cameroon map
Armed men carried out the killings on Friday in the village of Ntumbo in the Northwest Region.

As many as 22 villagers, including 14 children, were found dead in the anglophone area of Cameroon, the United Nations said, with an opposition party blaming the killings on the army.

Armed men carried out the massacre on Friday in the village of Ntumbo in the Northwest Region, James Nunan, a local official with the UN's humanitarian coordination agency OCHA, told AFP news agency.

"Up to 22 civilians were killed, including a pregnant woman," Nunan said, adding 14 children - including nine under age five - were among the dead.

Eleven of the children were girls, said Nunan, head of OCHA's office for the Northwest and Southwest regions, which are home to the West African country's large English-speaking minority.

One eyewitness, who spoke to Al Jazeera on condition of anonymity fearing reprisals, confirmed the massacre and said he helped bury 21 bodies in "four graves in four different compounds" with the help of an associate.

Comment: More information suggests that the massacre was some kind of state-sponsored false flag including the bogus sounding reasons the government gives for the killings like it being "an accident":
"It was quite simply an unfortunate accident, the collateral result of security operations in the region," Atonfack said in a statement.

He said four soldiers and two gendarmes had been carrying out nighttime reconnaissance on foot near a home that had been "transformed into a fortress" with a stockpile of weapons.

They came under heavy fire, and exchanges caused "several containers of fuel to explode, followed by a blaze which spread several neighbouring homes", Atonfack said.

Defense Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Rene Claude Meke said told state broadcaster CRTV the military has been professional in its fight against the separatists.

"We need of the support of the population in these difficult moments," he said. "They should come to us, inform us and strictly respect orders and advice we give to them so that this crisis which has overstayed should come to an end."

Aid workers narrate what happened

[...] Bruno Ngeh, a 38-year-old teacher who escaped the attack, said he lost many family members including his wife's aunt and her eight children. He said the military was responsible for the killings.

"Little babies, pregnant women were killed. How do you explain this?" he asked. "They never knew that they will be killed in their sleep by the very military that is supposed to protect them."

A resident who wanted to remain anonymous told AFP by phone that 35 bodies had been recovered and the army was to blame.

The Movement for the Rebirth of Cameroon (MRC), one of the two main opposition parties, blamed "these crimes" mainly on the regime and the head of the security forces.

A key figure in the separatist movement, lawyer Felix Agbor Mballa, in a Facebook post also accused "state defence forces" of carrying out the killings.

Samuel Ikome Sako, who calls himself interim president of the Republic of Ambazonia, the state claimed by the separatists, blamed the military for the deaths of civilians.

"Our own people are living in forests like animals," he said. "This is wickedness, this is genocide going on. We are losing hundreds per day." [...]