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Mon, 24 Oct 2016
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Hitler's birthplace to be demolished to prevent neo-Nazi pilgrimages

© Dominic Ebenbichler / Reuters
The house in which Adolf Hitler was born is seen in the northern Austrian city of Braunau.
The house where Adolf Hitler was born will likely be demolished, the Austrian government has announced. The move is partly aimed at eliminating the home's significance for neo-Nazis who visit the site to pay homage to the German Nazi dictator.

The country's Interior Ministry said the demolition of the house in the western Austrian town of Braunau has been recommended by a government-appointed commission.

"A thorough architectural remodeling is necessary to permanently prevent the recognition and the symbolism of the building," Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka said on Monday, as quoted by AP.

Comment: See also: The not-so-underground Reich: W. Germany's senior justice ministry was over 50% Nazi in 1950-70s

Post-It Note

Poll: Georgetown students can't name one Killary accomplishment

This week, Fox News released a poll indicating the majority of Americans view Hillary Clinton as a positive role model.

Campus Reform wanted to see if this same sentiment rang true on college campuses, and if young voters could point to a major accomplishment that indicated Secretary Clinton makes for a good role model.

To find out, I went to Georgetown University and first asked students who they were planning to vote for in November, followed by whether they agreed with the findings of the poll.

After discovering the vast majority of students interviewed were Hillary Clinton supporters who agreed that she was a strong role model, I asked if they could point to a single accomplishment or experience which stood out to them.

Comment: The American sheeple have spoken.

Arrow Up

Germany's fertility rate hits 33-year high due to migrant inpouring

© Stefanie Loos / Reuters
The EU's most populous country has reversed demographic trends going back decades, with statistics showing that the rise in fertility is almost exclusively down to immigrant women, while the lifetime birthrates among the German population remain static.

On Monday, the German Federal Statistical Office released its official report, stating that German women currently aged between 15 and 49 have given birth to an average of 1.5 live babies during their lifetimes, up from 1.43 last year.

The numbers have been rising since 2012, and the latest lifetime fertility rate is the highest since 1982.


Bloody man wielding a knife and chasing cars tased by Coral Gables police

© CBS4
Police look over a scene after a man was tased by officers in Coral Gables.
Coral Gables residents were put on edge after a bloodied man was carrying a weapon and reportedly chasing after cars.

It happened Thursday afternoon near the Publix at 2551 South LeJeune Road.

"I saw a man walking around with his tongue hanging out, throat cut, sliced arms," said Chris Fennel, who was working in the area. "He had a knife in his hand, blood dripping from the knife and from his hands."

Officers responded within a minute and confronted the man, believed to be in his 40's or 50's, covered in blood and a carrying a "six-inch blade."


Serial child abductor eludes FBI as they seek public's help

© cleveland.com/YouTube
A man suspected of kidnapping a 6-year-old in Cleveland in May and attempting to snatch a 10-year-old in Elyria, Ohio, in February continues to baffle the FBI. After receiving hundreds of tips, the agency has no leads and will expand its search.

The FBI has received 325 tips about a man suspected of abducting a 6-year-old girl in Cleveland, but they've come up empty-handed, despite splashing the suspect's picture across social media and advertising billboards.

Last Thursday, the FBI gave out more information about the kidnapping of the Cleveland 6-year-old girl for the first time by acknowledging that she had been harmed by her kidnapper.

"He didn't take her to have a tea party," FBI spokeswoman Vicki Anderson said. "He did things to her that we're not going to go into. But she was harmed. We're happy she's alive but they didn't play Barbies."

Comment: In the history of unhelpful statements, this goes down for special recognition as suggestive but conspicuously lacking the normal amount of detail. If he were a pedophile, they would have said so. Also, they would have rallied untold of support. So why dodge the question?

The Cleveland girl was held for roughly 17 hours with her attacker. She described the room she was held in as having a picture of a deer on the wall and told authorities that she heard a female voice asking her abductor if he wanted anything to eat.

Comment: This one goes up on the wall of weird.


Poor data fuels idea 'biased US police are killing black men at epidemic rates' - FBI chief

© Mike Blake/Reuters
Demonstrators march to protest the police shooting of Keith Scott in Charlotte, North Carolina, U.S., September 26, 2016.
Lack of data fuels idea that 'biased US police are killing black men at epidemic rates' - FBI chief

The FBI director said the absence of reliable data about how often police use force contributed to a regrettable narrative that "biased police are killing black men at epidemic rates."

"It is a narrative driven by video images of real and gut-wrenching misconduct, by images of possible misconduct, by images of perceived misconduct," Comey said at a conference of international chiefs of police on Sunday, according to AP. "It's a narrative given force by the awesome power of human empathy."

Comey said those videos of fatal police encounters that capture the public's attention and are shared broadly across the internet can fuel the perception that "something terrible is being done by the police," even if the data aren't there to back it up.

Americans "actually have no idea if the number of black or brown or white people being shot by police is up, down or sideways over the last three years, five years, 10 years," or if black people are more likely than white people to be shot during police encounters, Comey said.

Comment: Alas coming from Comey, after the Hilary debacle, this will hardly be believed. Somehow we imagine that's the point. The best way to get people to believe a lie is to only allow unpopular people to speak the truth.


Update: 2 dead, at least 6 injured in massive blast at BASF chemical plant in Germany

© Frank Rumpenhorst/dpa via AP
Smoke and fire rise from a facility belonging to chemical firm BASF in Ludwigshafen, southwestern Germany, Monday Oct. 17, 2016. The company said that several people were injured in a late-morning explosion.
An explosion at a facility belonging to chemical firm BASF in southwestern Germany killed two people and injured at least six others on Monday, authorities said. Another two still were missing hours after the blast.

The explosion occurred in the late morning at a river harbor in Ludwigshafen that is used to unload flammable liquids and liquefied gas.

Plant manager Uwe Liebelt said it was preceded by a fire in a pipeline between the area where the liquids are unloaded and storage tanks. The explosion happened after the company's fire service arrived at the scene.

"How the explosion happened is not clear at the moment," Liebelt told reporters. He added that it wasn't yet known what substances were involved and didn't elaborate on the identities of the victims.

Earlier in the day, the company had reported that one person had died in the explosion.

BASF confirmed on Monday evening that the death toll had risen to two, spokeswoman Silvie-Kristin Wemper said.

A large column of black smoke rose over the site. Residents in parts of Ludwigshafen, where BASF is based and has a sprawling plant, and Mannheim, on the other side of the Rhine river, were advised to stay indoors and keep their doors and windows closed.

Comment: Four injured, several missing as fire engulfs factory of German chemical manufacturer BASF

Arrow Down

Structurally unsound, mold and vermin infested: Over 40% of British live in squalid, substandard homes

© Neil Hall / Reuters
More than four in 10 homes in Britain are falling short of an acceptable standard to live in, with many not having hot or cold water and being infested with mold or pests, according to an alarming new report.

The housing charity Shelter asked Britons if their homes met a series of conditions which together make up what it calls the "Living Home Standard," and 43 percent of homes apparently failed the test.

The criteria came up with 39 tests to meet the standard which it divided into five areas - affordability, decent conditions, space, stability and neighborhood.

Comment: In addition to deplorable living conditions, the housing crisis which has caused rents to skyrocket is also forcing many people out of homes they have occupied for decades and has also caused a surge in homelessness.


Beard hysteria! French high school student threatened with expulsion for his 'sign of radicalization'

A student of a French high school was threatened with expulsion after he refused to comply with the headmaster's demand to shave his beard, which the headmaster considered a "sign of radicalization."

"You cut it or you leave," the headmaster reportedly told the student, as reported by newspaper Le Parisien. The head teacher also reportedly claimed that the student's beard is an apparent "sign of radicalization."

When the headmaster first asked the student to shave or shorten his facial hair, the young man, 21, explained that he had been cultivating his beard for two years for religious reasons.

"The Prophet [Muhammed] was wearing one. It is something important to me," the student, who wanted to remain unidentified out of fear of "being stigmatized even more," told Le Parisien, recalling his conversation with the head teacher.

He also added that the head teacher's "threats put pressure" on him and he "ended up" writing a letter to inform him that he was leaving the school. According to Le Parisien, the student has not attended school since October 13.


Fool me twice? Top police organization apologizes for 'historical mistreatment' of minorities

© Jonathan Ernst / Reuters
A formal apology from the International Association of Chiefs of Police to "communities of color" for "darker periods" in law enforcement is garnering a mixed reaction. Some are calling it appeasement, while others see it as paying phony lip service.

Clearly, this is a challenging time for policing," Chief Terrence M. Cunningham of the Wellesley Police Department in Massachusetts told a massive convention audience in San Diego on Monday.

Cunningham is the top police chief of the IACP, which represents some 18,000 police chiefs worldwide, many of whom attended the conference where all attendees reportedly rose to their feet in applause for Cunningham's address, an apology on behalf of the organization to minorities "for the actions of the past and the role that our profession has played in society's historical mistreatment of communities of color."

Reactions on social media and from civil rights organizations as well as from other police organizations were not as unanimous as the reception in San Diego.