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Tarek Mehanna: Son Of Liberty

From a statement read in court by Tarek Mehanna, a twenty-nine-year-old Massachusetts man who in April was sentenced to seventeen and a half years in prison on charges including materially supporting terrorism, for offenses such as translating and posting Al Qaeda propaganda online.

I was born and raised right here in America. This angers many people: How can an American believe the things I believe, take the positions I take? In more ways than one, it's because of America that I am who I am.

When I was six, I began putting together a massive collection of comic books. Batman implanted a concept in my mind, a paradigm as to how the world is set up: that there are oppressors, there are the oppressed, and there are those who step up to defend the oppressed. Throughout my childhood, I gravitated toward any book that reflected that paradigm - Uncle Tom's Cabin, The Autobiography of Malcolm X, even The Catcher in the Rye.

By the time I began high school and took a history class, I was learning just how real that paradigm is. I learned about the Native Americans and what befell them at the hands of European settlers. I learned about how the descendants of those European settlers were in turn oppressed under the tyranny of King George III. I read about Paul Revere, Tom Paine, and how Americans began an armed insurgency against British forces - an insurgency we now celebrate as the American Revolutionary War. I learned about the fight against slavery in this country, and the struggles of the labor unions, working class, and poor. I learned about the civil rights struggle.

Dollar

India's rich hoarding away banknotes, gold and art works in Swiss deposit boxes in record numbers

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© Unknown
Amid a global crackdown against alleged black money in secret accounts of Swiss banks, their bankers are selling a new safe-haven idea to their rich clients from India and other countries -- the high-value 1,000 franc notes to be stored in safe deposit boxes.

These boxes -- kept inside the premises of Swiss banks -- are also said to be being used to stash gold, diamond, paintings and art works among other valuables -- apparently because of limited risk of catching the preying eyes of foreign governments having signed banking information exchange treaties with Switzerland.

According to industry sources, bankers are telling their rich clients that Switzerland's tax and information exchange treaties with India and other countries are mostly limited to funds in customers' savings, deposit and investment accounts, and do not apply to the safe deposit boxes.

Binoculars

FBI arrests Peter Madoff in NYC

The FBI has taken Bernard Madoff's brother, Peter, into custody as a federal judge in New York prepares to accept his plea to criminal charges.

FBI spokesman J. Peter Donald says Madoff was arrested at his lawyer's Manhattan office around 7 a.m. EDT Friday.

Madoff is scheduled to enter a plea to conspiracy and falsifying records. The government told a judge that he has agreed to serve 10 years in prison and relinquish his fortune.

The plea by the 66-year-old chief compliance officer at the Madoff investment business comes three years after his brother admitted to mammoth fraud.

Bernard Madoff is serving a 150-year prison term. He has insisted he carried out his fraud alone for decades, cheating thousands of people of billions of dollars.

This is a BREAKING NEWS update. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

The younger brother of a man who became an icon for financial crime after the economy collapsed in 2008 is poised to plead guilty to criminal charges, taking his place in history alongside Bernard Madoff, the sibling he shared an office with for decades.

Footprints

Chinese 'cannibal' attack caught on camera as drunk bus driver leaps on woman and chews on her face

The recent terrifying spate of 'cannibal attacks' seems to have spread to China, as a drunk bus driver was caught on camera gnawing at a woman's face in a horrific random attack.

The unfortunate woman will apparently require plastic surgery to repair the damage done by her crazed attacker. According to local news reports, the driver, named Dong, had been drinking heavily during lunch with his friends before the outburst on Tuesday.

He then ran on to the road in the city of Wenzhou, in south-east China, and stood in front of the car being driven by a woman named Du, stopping her from moving.

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© Unknown
Attack: A man named Dong was seen gnawing on the face of a woman (left) but was later arrested (right)

Light Sabers

S. Korea to Resume Crude Imports from Iran

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© Unknown
Flags of Iran and S. Korea
South Korean officials said that the country will resume oil imports from Iran later this month after consultations between Korean oil refiners and Tehran over using Iranian oil tankers yield result.

Yonhap News Agency quoted a government source as saying that South Korea is considering accepting Iran's proposal to supply oil to Seoul using its own oil tankers.

Iran has proposed that South Korean oil refiners use Tehran's own oil tankers, a move that would allow them to receive crude shipments without concerns over insurance guarantees, the source said on the condition of anonymity.

"Korean oil refiners and the Iranian side have been in consultations over the matter of using Iranian-flagged oil tankers to resume oil shipments," the source said.

Using Iranian-flagged ships to import Iranian oil "is not internationally prohibited," the source said.

Arrow Up

Ahmadinejad Underlines Iran's Trans-National View

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© Unknown
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad underlined the Iranian nation's respect for humanity and all races and religions, and said Iran does not hold racist or nationalist beliefs as it wants progress and advancement for all nations.

"The emphasis on Iran's importance in man's exaltation is not rooted in nationalist and racist views at all since Iranians have never been racists in the history," Ahmadinejad said in Tehran on Monday.

He said Iranians are strongly opposed to racist views, and have always viewed other nations through an outlook beyond racial values and geographical borders and based on humane values.

His remarks came after the Zionist-led media launched an intensive propaganda campaign against the remarks of Iran's First Vice-President Mohammad Reza Rahimi at a recent UN anti-drug conference, where he condemned Zionists, and not Jews, for inciting global drug trade and addiction in a bid to annihilate other nations.

Bad Guys

Sex abuse scandal rocks U.S. air base

women cadets
© setyoufree-news.blogspot.com
A US air force investigation has identified 31 female cadets who were sexually assaulted by their trainers at a Texas military camp. The scandal has raised concerns that the US armed forces are not doing enough to protect women in the military.

An internal probe is currently looking at 12 male military instructors that were serving at Lackland Air Force base in San Antonio, Texas. Six of them face charges of misconduct, including allegations of rape and adultery.

The majority of those under investigation were from the 331st training squadron, whose commander was dismissed from duty last week. He was not charged with sex crimes but was relieved because of the unacceptable level of misconduct in his unit.

"We are taking a comprehensive look, not only at the cases we know, but in trying to assess whether there are other cases out there," said General Edward Rice during a Pentagon briefing. He added that to his knowledge, all 31 women who reported to have been victims of abuse were still in the military.

As well as the investigation, Rice has ordered an independent probe into the Air Force's reaction to the scandal to assess whether more action is needed. Moreover, Air Force command is currently looking at the possibility of female cadets being trained by only female instructors.

Beer

TSA Fires 14 After Drinking Incident

tsa
After having to fire workers for sleeping on the job and firing more employees for being implicated in a bribery scandal, the Associated Press is reporting that the Transportation Security Administration is now firing eight federal air marshals in the New York office, including a supervisor, for allegedly drinking alcohol during a training day. In addition, the TSA is suspending six more individuals for not reporting the misconduct, the agency said on Friday.

While one of the employees accused had probationary status and was therefore immediately fired, all of the other workers can appeal the decision. At the time the AP article was written, the TSA wasn't sure if any workers had retained attorneys.

The TSA said that the workers were drinking at a restaurant in February. The article said that "the incident was reported to a website that allows employees to alert leadership of inappropriate behavior."

Heart - Black

US airport security guard opens jar of man's ashes, spills them on the floor, then 'stands and laughs' as grandson scrambles to gather them up

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© theindychannel.com
John Gross, of Indianapolis, was trying to bring Mario Mark Marcaletti's ashes home from Florida and had them in his bag in a tightly sealed jar clearly marked 'human remains'.

A man suffered humiliation and distress at the hands of an airport security agent when she insisted on opening a jar containing his grandfather's remains and then dropped them on the floor.

John Gross, of Indianapolis, was trying to bring Mario Mark Marcaletti's ashes home from Florida and had them in his bag in a tightly sealed jar clearly marked 'Human Remains'.

The 91-year-old's remains had been divided up among family members after he died in 2002 and Gross had been given a share by his uncle during his trip.

He was confronted by the TSA officer and explained what was in the container.

'They opened up my bag, and I told them, "Please, be careful. These are my grandpa's ashes,"' he told theindychannel.com.


Black Cat

Cop with Violent History Keeps Job After Beating a Man into Critical Condition

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© Mike Archambault
Brian Vander Lee, 43, of Ramsey, lies in a hospital bed after he was allegedly punched by an off-duty Minneapolis police sergeant and SWAT officer on Saturday night.
A Minneapolis, Minnesota police officer with a history of violence is out of jail and on paid home assignment after allegedly beating a man into critical condition while off the clock.

Sgt. David Clifford is still on the force even after the man he pummeled nearly two weeks earlier remains hospitalized. Brian Vander Lee, 43, has received two separate brain surgeries after an altercation with the 47-year-old Minneapolis Police SWAT Unit officer earlier this month almost ended in tragedy.