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Fri, 22 Feb 2019
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Shamans investigated for the ritual sacrifice of five camels to strengthen Russia

© Sputnik / Valery Melnikov
Camels in Buryatia
Prosecutors in Buryatia have launched an investigation into a video showing the ritualistic killing of five camels after it went viral and attracted condemnation. Those responsible insist the act was meant to strengthen Russia.

The controversial video was published on February 1, but attracted little attention until going viral this week. It shows Artur Tsibikov, who calls himself the deputy high shaman of Russia, leading a group of supporters in a ritual animal sacrifice. The camels were slaughtered, and their meat was cooked before being laid out along with their pelts on a giant pyre, which was then burned. Drums could be heard during the ritual.

Tsibikov, also known by his shamanic name Zaarin, said the ritual that he and his group conducted was a very rare one, which required a very strong shaman to oversee it. The burnt animals were meant to bring strength to Russia and unify the people inhabiting it, especially the less numerous, like the Buryat people.

No Entry

Drone seen flying above Dublin Airport brings flights to temporary standstill

Dublin Airport
Dublin Airport temporarily suspended all flight operations on Thursday following a "confirmed sighting of a drone" over the airfield.

"For safety reasons we are temporarily suspending flight operations @DublinAirport due (to) the confirmed sighting of a drone over the airfield," the airport said via its official Twitter account, adding that passengers should contact their airlines for flight updates.

A pilot reported the drone sighting to the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) -- which operates air traffic control at the airport -- at about 11.30 a.m. local time (6:30 a.m. ET), the airport said.

Less than an hour later, the airport said that flight operations had resumed and apologized for an inconvenience.

Comment: These drone appearances are becoming ever more pervasive...


Pro-independence protests grip Catalonia as tires burn and clashes with police ensue

Catalonia protest
© Global Look Press / Nicolas Carvalho Ochoa/dpa; Matthias Oesterle/ZUMAPRESS.com; Ruptly
Pro-independence activists in Catalonia are venting their anger at Madrid's trial of the region's provincial leaders. Baton-wielding police scuffled with some of the demonstrators as people also blocked roads and set tires ablaze.

The group behind the protest is called the Committees for the Defence of the Republic (CDRs) and has been involved in demonstrations against Spain's central government for months. The goal of Thursday's action is to 'paralyze everything,' as the group put it.

Comment: In further coverage of the protests we learn that clashes have spread to a metro station:
Scuffles broke out between the protesters and the law enforcement at the Plaza de Catalunya station. Footage from the scene showed police officers in riot gear confronting activists, trying and failing to evict the crowds from the transport hub. Further clashes occurred on the streets of Barcelona.

In a matter of minutes, protesters overran turnstiles and flooded the station. Many were seen walking along the tracks, effectively stopping traffic there.

Activists, chanting pro-independence slogans and waving Catalan flags, amassed at the station and tried to force riot police out. Scuffles continued outside, with officers wielding batons to disperse the crowd.
One has to wonder if the relative success of the Yellow Vests movement hasn't in some way revitalized the push for pro-independence in Catalonia. See also:


FBI & prosecutors open probes into deadly Houston drug raid

Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo
© Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo talks to reporters during a news conference at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston on Jan. 29, 2019.Godofredo A. Vasquez / Houston Chronicle via AP file
Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo talks to reporters during a news conference at Memorial Hermann Hospital in Houston on Jan. 29, 2019.
The Houston-area prosecutor's office said it is reviewing more than 1,400 cases spanning the career of a city narcotics officer at the center of questions swirling around a deadly drug raid last month.

The FBI also said it has opened an independent civil rights investigation into Jan. 28 raid that left a man and a woman who lived at the home dead and several police officers shot and injured. The agency's Houston office said the investigation is "into allegations that a search warrant obtained by Houston police officers was based on false, fabricated information."

Houston officials discovered in the aftermath of the raid that an affidavit for the warrant appears to have included "some material untruths or lies," the city's police chief said last week.

Comment: Also see: 5 Houston police officers injured in drug bust, 2 suspects dead

Bad Guys

Judge rules that federal prosecutors broke law in Jeffrey Epstein case

Jeffrey Epstein
© Splash News/AP
Federal prosecutors, under former Miami U.S. Attorney Alex Acosta, broke the law when they concealed a plea agreement from more than 30 underage victims who had been sexually abused by wealthy New York hedge fund manager Jeffrey Epstein, a federal judge ruled Thursday.

While the decision marks a victory for crime victims, the federal judge, Kenneth A. Marra, stopped short of overturning Epstein's plea deal, or issuing an order resolving the case. He instead gave federal prosecutors 15 days to confer with Epstein's victims and their attorneys to come up with a settlement. The victims did not seek money or damages as part of the suit.

It's not clear whether the victims, now in their late 20s and early 30s, can, as part of the settlement, demand that the government prosecute Epstein. But others are calling on the Justice Department to take a new look at the case in the wake of the judge's ruling.


Conservative activist punched in the face at UC Berkeley

Conservative attacked Berkeley
© screencap
A field representative from the Leadership Institute was punched in the face during an alleged attack at UC Berkeley on Tuesday while training student members for Turning Point USA.

A field representative for the Leadership Institute was allegedly physically assaulted on the campus of UC Berkeley on Tuesday morning while training members for Turning Point USA (TPUSA).

A witness captured the attack on video, which was then sent to TPUSA's founder and executive director, Charlie Kirk, who then posted it to Twitter. "Imagine if the attacker was wearing a MAGA hat," noted Kirk in his tweet.


West Hollywood's gay mayor refuses to resign over sex assault allegations, calls it a 'Salem witch hunt'

© Reuters/Mike Blake
Mayor John Duran with porn star Stormy Daniels
West Hollywood's city council is searching for ways to oust Mayor John Duran, after the scandal-prone gay mayor refused to step down in light of some serious sexual assault allegations that were compared to a 'Salem witch hunt.'

Even by the flamboyant standards of West Hollywood, Mayor John Duran stands out. The openly gay mayor has joked about wearing gold underwear, launched a public forum on anal cancer called 'Booty Call to Action,' and was accused by a fellow councilman of swiping for casual sex on Grindr during council meetings.

While Duran has built a political career on cheekily expressing his sexuality, the lawsuits have piled up.

First the city paid $500,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit against Duran from his former deputy Ian Owens. Duran hired Owens as his deputy after meeting him through Grindr and having sex with him.

Now, more allegations of harassment have surfaced, from the Gay Men's Chorus of Los Angeles, a choir that Duran once chaired. Its members accused the mayor of unwanted groping and inappropriate comments. Several members alleged that Duran cornered and fondled them, before slipping away when they expressed shock.

Comment: See also:
Mayor who honored Stormy Daniels settled $500K in a sexual harassment claim against him in 2016


Charges filed against all persons involved in Calvey's embezzlement case

Michael Calvey
© Sergei Bobylev/TASS
Michael Calvey
All of them have been charged with the "fraud committed by an organized group or on an especially large scale"

The investigation filed charges against all the persons involved in the case of embezzling 2.5 bln rubles ($37.5 mln) from the Vostochny Bank, where the founder and managing partner of Baring Vostok investment fund Michael Calvey is the key defendant, a source in investigative agencies told TASS.
"The investigation charged all persons involved in the case were charged under Part 4 of Article 159 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation (Fraud committed by an organized group or on an especially large scale). Philippe Delpal (investment partner for the financial industry sector at Baring Vostok - TASS) was the last who was charged."
The source added that all the defendants were re-interrogated and none of them pleaded guilty. Philippe Delpal's lawyer, Barbara Knutova, confirmed that her client was charged and did not admit guilt.

Comment: See also:


'Nothing to do with aid or democracy': Roger Waters rebukes Richard Branson's 'humanitarian' concert for Venezuela

Roger Waters
Pink Floyd ex-frontman Roger Waters is slamming Virgin tycoon Richard Branson's aid concert for Venezuela as a sham, warning fans and performers not to be "led down a garden path that ends in regime change."

Branson's "Venezuela Aid Live" concert "has nothing to do with the needs of the Venezuelan people, it has nothing to do with democracy, it has nothing to do with freedom, and it has nothing to do with aid," Waters declared in a video released on Tuesday.

Comment: Waters hits the bullseye on this one! See also: Sir Richard Branson feeds narrative to overthrow Maduro with Venezuelan-border PR stunt "Venezuela Aid Live"

Arrow Down

Texas man confessed to bludgeoning 2-year-old daughter to death with hammer

Yovahnis Roque
© Orange County Sheriff's Office via AP
This undated photo provided by the Orange County Sheriff's Office shows Yovahnis Roque. A police affidavit says the Southeast Texas man found naked and stained with blood told officers that he killed his 2-year-old daughter, who had been bludgeoned with a hammer. The affidavit says an officer's body camera captured 26-year-old Roque (RAHK) confessing in the death of his child in a home in Orange, near the Louisiana border.
A Southeast Texas man accused of bludgeoning his 2-year-old daughter to death with a hammer was naked and blood-stained when he told police officers he had killed the toddler, according to an affidavit.

An officer's body camera captured 26-year-old Yovahnis Roque confessing Tuesday in the death of his child at their home in Orange, near the Louisiana border, according to the police affidavit. Roque was arrested and charged with capital murder .

Roque lived with his mother at the house and it was she who found the girl's body and called police.

Officers found Roque "completely covered in blood" and discovered the girl's body in a closet, the affidavit says. Orange police Capt. Robert Enmon has described it as the most horrific crime he's dealt with in his 29-year career, calling it "the crime scene of nightmares."

Comment: It seems that with each passing horrific crimes are occurring ever more frequently: