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Mon, 26 Sep 2016
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Piggy Bank

Americans' money habits go 'from bad to worse' as 34% have $0 in savings, report finds

© Jim Watson / AFP
Americans are dipping into their savings, if they have any, even more than they did last year, a new survey finds. Nearly 70 percent of Americans report having less than $1,000 in savings, and the pattern touches all age groups.

Even those making $100,000 to $149,999 a year had less than $1,000 or nothing at all in savings 44 percent of the time, according to GoBankingRates.com, which released its findings Monday.

Spendthrift habits seem to have increased from last year, when the Los Angeles-based financial website found 62 percent of more than 5,000 adults had less than $1,000 in savings. This year's survey asking the same question to more than 7,000 adults, 69 percent of whom said their savings account total lacked a comma. Half of those, 34 percent, had saved a big fat goose egg, an increase of 6 percent from the year prior, when 28 percent reported having $0 in savings.

Comment: Here are some of the reasons people can't save:

Quenelle - Golden

People power: Thousands protest in Brussels against TTIP, CETA trade agreements

© Eric Vidal/Reuters
Thousands of people in Brussels have taken to streets to protest against the planned free trade deals between the US, the EU and Canada amid fears that they may affect labor conditions and environment as well as violate consumer rights.

Some 10,000 to 15,000 people from trade unions, environmental and consumer groups have taken part in protests against the US-EU Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) on Tuesday, the organizers said, according to AP. Police put the number of protesters at 6,000.

Comment: The three ugly sisters of transatlantic trade: TTIP, CETA & TISA

Heart - Black

Man posed as 15yo girl on Facebook to sexually abuse 60 young boys

© Dado Ruvic / Reuters
A man in his late 20s from the Norwegian city of Tromsø allegedly posed as a 15-year-old girl on Facebook to sexually abuse around 60 young boys.

The Tromsø police have disclosed some details regarding the investigation on Tuesday. Most of the victims were aged between 12 and 15 at the time, when the alleged crimes took place between 2014 and 2016. The suspect has been in custody since March, though few details in the case have been revealed until now.

"Police have so far provided little information to the media. The reason for this is our concern for the victims and the danger that they will not speak freely on the matter if it is discussed in the media," The Local Norway quotes the police prosecutor's statement as saying.

Most of the victims were from the Tromsø area, but the scope of the case is increasing as police search for possible victims in other parts of the Nordic country.

Eye 2

Newly released video shows shows cop murder man then plant gun on him

© Surveillance video
Surveillance video shows Anthony Lamar fleeing after police try to stop him on Dec. 20, 2011.
Video from a police SUV and a business, obtained by the Post-Dispatch, provide the most complete picture yet of a shooting in which a former St. Louis police officer is charged with murder.

Included are store surveillance video of the attempt by Officers Jason Stockley and Brian Bianchi to arrest drug suspect Anthony Lamar Smith on Dec. 20, 2011, and a police recording of a pursuit that ends with a crash and Stockley shooting Smith.

Stockley, now 35, who left the force in 2013, was charged this year with first-degree murder based on what Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce's office said was new evidence that she did not disclose. Bianchi was not accused of wrongdoing and remains on the force.

A federal judge had issued a protective order forbidding release of the material by lawyers who obtained it as part of a civil suit in which the St. Louis Board of Police Commissioners paid a $900,000 settlement in 2013 for Smith's young daughter. In August, the judge turned down a request from the Post-Dispatch to lift the order. Joyce had told the judge she did not want the material released.


'Put your hands up', bang: Cop gave man less than a second to comply before killing him

Tustin Police Officer Osvaldo Villarreal didn't give 31-year-old Benny Herrera more than a second before shooting him dead, an appeals court asserted in refusing to dismiss a wrongful death lawsuit Friday — but the undoubtedly disturbing dash cam video remains under court seal.

"Less than a second elapsed between Villarreal commanding Herrera to take his hand from his pocket and Villarreal shooting him," the Los Angeles Times quoted the court's statement. "Just as Herrera's hand came out of his pocket, Villarreal fired two shots in rapid succession ... The command and the shots were almost simultaneous."

Because he acted so swiftly, a three-judge panel for the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco found Villarreal could not have reasonably feared for his life — a finding which directly contradicts a 2013 determination by the Orange County district attorney's office claiming Herrera had ignored the officer's demands to raise his hands.


Election or revolution? An open letter to citizens of the US

As citizens of the USA with a presidential election approaching you have a wonderful opportunity to ponder whether to participate in this election or to participate in the ongoing American Revolution.

Your first revolution might have overthrown the authority of the British monarchy and aristocracy but the one in progress must remove the US elite which has executed a political coup against your government. And you cannot remove elite coupmakers in a fraudulently conducted election in which the 'choice' is essentially between two violently insane individuals, each of whom represents the violently insane US elite. See 'The Global Elite is Insane' and 'Why Violence?'

The real value of this second revolution, which moves along steadily with routine outbreaks over a multitude of peace, environmental and social justice issues and occasional 'uprisings', such as the Occupy Movement in 2011 which spawned a range of new and visionary initiatives, is that it could give citizens of your country the chance to finally reclaim the Republic for those people who genuinely care about 'life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness'. And, just as importantly, have sufficient vision to regard these aspirations as something to be shared with the entire US population, starting with Native Americans, and even those of us in the rest of the world including those countries that are currently victims of US elite violence, whether it be wars, drone strikes, coups, economic exploitation or ecological destruction.

Black Cat

Botswana deports US pastor after he calls for 'killing gays'

© YouTube / sanderson1611
Steven Anderson has been banned from entering the U.K., Botswana and South Africa due to his homophobic views.
U.S. pastor Steven Anderson was arrested and deported from the African nation of Botswana after calling for gay people to be killed, President Ian Khama told Reuters Tuesday, just days after the pastor was banned from neighboring South Africa over his anti-gay views.

Anderson, of the Faithful Word Baptist Church in Arizona, notoriously welcomed the gunning down in June of 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida by saying "there's 50 less pedophiles in this world," including Omar Mateen, the mass shooter.

Khama told Reuters he had ordered Anderson's immediate arrest and deportation after the pastor said in an interview with a local radio station in the capital Gabarone that gays and lesbians should be killed.


NYC on high alert as suspicious package closes down Times Square

Update: The Bomb squad just arrived:

As we detailed earlier, the NYPD has descended on 42nd St. between 7th and 8th Avenues in Manhattan where a suspicious package was reported. As Fox5NY reports, the street has been closed while police investigate.

It is unclear what the package consists of. Police have roped off the area in front of a McDonald's in Times Square.

People who work in businesses and office buildings in the area are being kept away by the NYPD.

The Times Square subway station was also not allowing passengers to enter or exit. That station is a major transportation hub in Midtown Manhattan.

Comment: Updates to follow.


US police kill black man 'armed with a book,' fire at protesters

© Reuters
Police officers wearing riot gear block a road during protests after police fatally shot Keith Lamont Scott in the parking lot of an apartment complex in Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S. September 20, 2016.
Police unleashed teargas on protesters after they fatally shot a Black man Tuesday afternoon in Charlotte, North Carolina, when they approached him as he was getting out of his car, with relatives and family members rejecting the police's claim that he was armed.

Twelve police officers have been injured in clashes between protesters and police, according to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department. According to Twitter users, protesters have blocked the Interstate 85, or I-85, a major highway in the south east.

The man who was shot and killed was identified late Tuesday as Keith Lamont Scott. The officer who fired the fatal shot was identified as Officer Brentley Vinson, a police statement said. The statement confirmed both men were Black, according to the Charlotte Observer, while the victims family have said he was holding a book, not a firearm.

Comment: Protests, tear gas, cops injured after 'disabled, unarmed' black man shot dead by Charlotte police

Gold Coins

Canadian Mint worker busted for smuggling gold nuggets using a common prison trick

© Sebastian Derungs/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
An employee of the Royal Canadian Mint allegedly smuggled about $180,000 in gold from the fortress-like facility, possibly evading multiple levels of detection with a time-honoured prison trick.

Hiding the precious metal up his bum.

The case against Leston Lawrence, 35, of Barrhaven concluded in an Ottawa courtroom Tuesday. Justice Peter Doody reserved decision until Nov. 9 on a number of smuggling-for-cash charges, including theft, laundering the proceeds of crime, possession of stolen property and breach of trust.

The Uck! factor aside, the case was also an illuminating look at security measures inside the Mint, the building on Sussex Drive that produces hundreds of millions of gold coins annually for the federal Crown corporation.