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Thu, 26 May 2016
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Poll shows 77% of Germans want Merkel to take 'strong stand' against Erdogan

The majority of Germans want to see Chancellor Merkel take a strong stand against Turkish President Erdogan.

The German public is getting fed up with Chancellor Merkel's weakness when it comes to dealing with Turkish President Erdogan. To say that Erdogan "owns" Merkel is being polite. When Erdogan orders Merkel to jump, the German leader asks how high.

Merkel has shown that she is ready to do anything to stem the flow of refugees (her NATO country helped bomb), from entering the EU. This includes 6 billion euro "aid" packages (cough cough blackmail payments) to Turkey's leader.

Talk about a great racket. Turkey continues to destabilise Syria, then funnels in refugees (with a sprinkle of ISIS terrorists mixed-in) directly towards Greece and Europe...and then orders Merkel to pay up so as to stop the flow. This is textbook mafia...like a geo-political Goodfellas.

And of course Merkel, in her infinite weaknesses, caves-in. Unfortunately for the Chancellor, her German citizens don't like Merkel's handling of Turkey one bit.

Comment: Further reading: NATO-linked think tanks control Europe's reaction to refugee crisis


Handcuffs

Former officer of the year given a rare life sentence for child pornography charges


Micheal Edwin Harding, left.
In an unprecedented sentence for a police officer, a former cop with the Fort Pierce and Port St. Lucie police departments, was sentenced to life in prison Monday after being convicted of child exploitation.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Micheal Edwin Harding pleaded guilty in February to possession and distribution of material involving sexual exploitation of minors, attempting to coerce and enticing a minor to engage in sexual activity and production of child pornography.

This hero cop was named Officer of the Year in 2011, when he was an officer at the Fort Pierce Police Department. Shortly after he was given the award, Harding left the Fort Pierce Department to join Port St. Lucie in 2012.

Robot

Rise of the robots: Smartphone maker Foxconn eliminates 60,000 factory jobs by switching to robot workers

© SCMP Pictures
Industrial robots at work in Kunshan Daya Auto Parts Company
The manufacturing hub for the electronics industry, Kunshan, in Jiangsu province, is seeking a drastic reduction in labour costs as it undergoes a makeover after an industrial explosion killed 146 people in 2014.

The county, one-seventh the size of neighbouring Shanghai and the mainland's first county to achieve US$4,000 per capita income, was adjudged the best county for its economic performance by Forbes for seven years in a row.

However, the blaze, blamed on poor safety standards and haphazard industrialisation, dented Kunshan's pride.

More than a year on, the county, which attracts much of its investment from Taiwan, is trying to reinvent its growth strategy. It is accelerating growth by replacing humans with robots and encouraging start-ups.

Megaphone

Stephen King and hundreds of other American writers sign open letter decrying the rise of Trump

© RICK KERN/WIREIMAGE
Stephen King is the master of horror — but even he has never experienced anything quite as horrific as Donald Trump.

That's the gist of an open letter that's doing the rounds Tuesday, signed by King and more than 600 of his fellow well-known American writers. The luminaries include Cheryl Strayed, Dave Eggers, Junot Diaz, Amy Tan, Mary Roach, Tobias Wolff, Richard Russo, Michael Chabon and Roy Blount, Jr.

"As writers, we are particularly aware of the many ways that language can be abused in the name of power," the letter reads. "American history, despite periods of nativism and bigotry, has from the first been a grand experiment in bringing people of different backgrounds together, not pitting them against one another."

"The rise of a political candidate who deliberately appeals to the basest and most violent elements in society, who encourages aggression among his followers, shouts down opponents, intimidates dissenters, and denigrates women and minorities, demands, from each of us, an immediate and forceful response."

Eye 2

Planet Aid investigation reveals fraud and cult-like behavior of founders

At first, signing up for Planet Aid's "Manager In Training" program at its Elkridge, Maryland, headquarters seemed like the perfect job, Meredith Crocker said. She answered a Craigslist ad for the charity in 2013.

"The idea that they were both working for the environment and trying to help people at the same time seemed really cool," Crocker said.

Having just received her master's degree in international development economics, Crocker said she was initially attracted to Planet Aid's message of saving the environment by recycling the clothes donated to its bright yellow bins.

Planet Aid makes as much as $42 million a year selling those clothes, according to its financial filings submitted to the Internal Revenue Service, indicating the money goes toward feeding and educating impoverished communities in Africa.

Heart - Black

Detroit school cop beats and pepper sprays 15-year-old girl for using an elevator with an expired pass

A disturbing video uploaded to YouTube, shows a high school sophomore being pushed, kicked, dragged, and pepper sprayed by a Detroit Public Schools Public Safety Officer. The victim's alleged crime — using the elevator with an expired pass.

The victim of the attack was 15-year-old Destiny Heard and her attacker was Officer Charles Braziel.

According to the sophomore student, as reported by VICE,
the incident began after she arrived to school late and decided to use the elevator to get to her class on the sixth floor. Inside, a teacher asked to see her elevator pass, and when she produced an expired slip, Heard says she was told to get out. When she lingered by the elevator, the teacher accused her of trying to get back on and called a security officer. After a brusque exchange where Heard was asked to produce her identification, she says she headed to the second floor, where she was greeted by another security officer and then Orlando Bogins, the school's dean of students.

At this point, reports VICE, Heard says that Bogins—who had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication—began yelling at her for being insubordinate. She says she asked him not to shout at her in the hall, and when he continued to yell, she put her earbuds back on to ignore him. As Bogins continued to reprimand her, Heard says Officer Braziel came over and told her to give him her phone connected to the headphones. She refused, she says, at which point the officer apparently seized it from her, and in the process pushed her to the ground.

Around this point in time, the student claims, Bogins walked away, leaving her alone with the school cop. She says the officer told her to get up, and when she said no, instead asking for medical attention, he grabbed her. Seconds later, the incident on camera began, according to the teen.

Comment: Terrorizing students: The US Police State and the criminalization of children


Map

Montenegro farmer offers his lands to Putin and the brotherly Russian people to build base against NATO

In the village of Kralje, several people have taken the initiative to donate their extensive land holdings to Vladimir Putin and the brotherly Russian people.

"I would offer this territory to the Russians for a military base or hotels and vacation. This is my idea, as they'll know better what exactly to build here. This field is ideal for helicopter landing pads, and stretches another kilometer to the south. As for the forest, where I have fifteen hectares, there is about 150 thousand square meters, enough territory for a Russian missile system to defend against the aggressor," Dzhagisha Dzhurishich told "Life" in an interview.

The Orthodox Serbs living in the village of Kralje at the foot of the Komovi mountains are not satisfied with the course of joining NATO which the government of Montenegro has taken.

Comment: See more: Putin declares free land in Russia's Far East will be provided with infrastructure


House

More millennials are living with their parents than at any other time in American history

Millennials are staying at home.

According to a new study by the Pew Research Center, millennial men are more likely to live with their parents than with a spouse or partner, with 35% staying with mom and dad and just 28% living with a significant other.

Millennial women are less likely to live at home than with a partner, but not by much. Thirty-five percent live with a significant other, while 29% live with their parents. This is the smallest gap for young-adult women ever recorded by Pew.

In fact, more millennials (ages 18 to 34 as defined by Pew) are living at home than in any other living arrangement. This is the first time a plurality of young adults in that age bracket have lived with their parents, rather than on their own or with a partner or roommates, in American history, according to the Pew analysis. A grand total of 32.1% of millennials are living at home.

Comment: American nightmare: The death of the middle class and the rise in poverty


Arrow Down

152 inmates served extra jail time due to staff errors, neglect cost US gov't over $1 million

© Stephen Lam / Reuters
Staff errors in the US justice system led to 152 inmates staying in prison beyond their scheduled release between 2009 and 2014, according to a report by the Office of the Inspector General. The pricey mistakes cost the US government over $1 million.

Three inmates served more than one year of extra time, according to the report by US Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz. One of those inmates stayed in jail because federal prison officials simply neglected to check his online court records and therefore missed a judge's order substantially shortening his sentence.

Most of the other prisoners served a month or less of extra time, according to the report on Tuesday.

Comment: See also: Satanic Republican Senator Tom Cotton declares US is 'under-incarcerated' and should lock more people up


Stormtrooper

Authorities terrify Indiana residents after military holds urban training using gunfire, low-flying helicopters and explosions

© WRTV-TV
After residents of Beech Grove, Indiana, hit their pillows Monday night and turned off their lights, their collective shuteye was over and done just after midnight when explosions, gunfire and low-flying helicopters were heard nearby.

Of course 911 calls flooded police dispatch lines, but some folks took to social media as well:


"Whole neighborhood was out bc we thought the world was ending," one resident tweeted. Some reported seeing people rappelling from helicopters.