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Wed, 19 Feb 2020
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Islamic terrorism hits... the Maldives? Australian and two Chinese injured in 'stabby-jihadi attack', allegedly claimed by 'ISIS sympathizers'

Maldives stabbing
© HAVEERU/AFP/Getty Images
Maldives police patrol the streets of Male. Police say three foreigners, one Australian and two Chinese, were attacked by ‘suspected extremists’
Three people including an Australian man have been stabbed in the Maldives in an attack claimed by Islamic State sympathisers.

Police in the South Asian archipelago said the Australian, 44, and two Chinese nationals were stabbed by "suspected extremists" between 7pm and 8pm on Tuesday on Hulhimalé, an island near the capital Male.

Three people had been arrested in relation to the attack on Thursday, police said.

"The Maldives Police Service is working closely with all relevant stakeholders in this matter, and assures the public of our continued efforts to ensure the safety and security of those in Maldives," said in a statement.


Maryland police officer faces murder charges after shooting handcuffed man seven times inside patrol car

cop charged with murder
On Monday night, a Maryland police officer in the eastern suburbs of Washington, D.C. shot 43-year old William Green seven times while he was handcuffed, with his arms behind his back, and seated in the front seat of the officer's police car.

With highly unusual swiftness, Prince George's County police charged the officer, Michael Owen, 31, with second-degree murder and manslaughter within 24 hours of the shooting. At a Tuesday press conference Prince George's County police chief Hank Stawinski admitted that he was "unable to come to our community this evening and offer you a reasonable explanation for the events that occurred last night. I have concluded that what happened last night is a crime."

At a court hearing Wednesday, a judge denied Owen bond, on the grounds that he is a danger to the community. State's Attorney Aisha N. Braveboy told the Washington Post that a grand jury will be convened in the case and she promised a full investigation.

Owen and another cop initially alleged that Green was under the influence of phencyclidine, known as PCP, when they arrested him after responding to reports of a car slamming into parked vehicles. According to police, when the officers arrived, Green was passed out behind the wheel of his vehicle. Stawinski stated at the press conference announcing the officer's arrest that "We do not believe PCP was involved."

Comment: While the World Socialist Website offers us many good insights in their analysis of news and world events, they would quite probably benefit from the perspective that pathology exists not only in capitalist systems, but in socialist systems as well. The answer is in recognizing where each and every domestic and foreign policy is beneficial or not - not in whether it is "capitalist" or "socialist" per se.

As for the seeming murder of William Green in cold blood by a police officer, we come once again to the fact that the US has pathologized its police force not only materially but psychologically. And we are likely to continue seeing such tragedies until there is some kind of nation-wide overhaul for training and hiring police personnel. Or the space rocks arrive. Whichever comes first.

See: Who Inflicts The Most Gun Violence in America? The U.S. Government And Its Police Forces

Arrow Up

Russia was second-biggest energy exporter to US in Autumn 2019, volumes hit 8-year high

Comment: The 'spice must flow'...

oil drilling rig
© REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko
Given the dire state of Russia-US political relations, and Washington's steadfast defense of its alliance with Saudi Arabia, it seems almost unbelievable that Moscow sends more energy exports America's way than Riyadh.

Nevertheless, figures recently published by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) say it's true: Russia is America's second-biggest source of crude oil and petroleum products.

Despite years of sanctions, the autumn of 2019 saw the amount of Russian 'black gold' sold to the US reach levels not seen since before the 2013/14 Ukraine crisis. Last October, imports sharply increased, with the Americans purchasing 20.9 million barrels.


Man accused of raping 5yo girl at US Embassy in India

us embassy
© REUTERS / Adnan Abidi
A 25-year-old man has been accused of raping a five-year-old girl at the US Embassy compound in India. Both the suspect and the victim are Indian nationals, who live at the mission's local staff premises.

The horrific sexual assault allegedly happened on Saturday, but the Indian police only made the case public on Wednesday.

According to the police, the victim's father is employed as a housekeeper at the embassy quarters and lives there. The accused rapist has a residency at the compound too because his father also works for the embassy. Indian media are giving conflicting reports on whether the man himself, a driver by profession, is an embassy employee or not.


Nord Stream 2 investors pledge to meet their commitments despite renewed threats of US sanctions

nord stream
© Nord Steram 2
European companies have already invested billions of dollars in the Nord Stream 2 underwater pipeline from Russia to Germany, and are not going to ditch the project despite the threat of new US sanctions.

Washington could be preparing to target the massive Russian-European energy project again after last year's restrictions failed to completely stop it. US lawmakers want to approve another sanctions bill, this time imposing restrictions on the European investors involved in it or the potential buyers of the gas, delivered via the route after its completion, the German business outlet Handelsblatt reported earlier this week citing its sources.

"We know that the Americans are determined to prevent Nord Stream 2​​​," Christine Bossak, a spokesperson for Uniper, one of the lenders of the project, told Sputnik on Thursday. "We have undertaken to provide financing for up to one tenth of the project costs and, under the circumstances, we will meet these obligations in accordance with contractual and legal requirements."

Red Flag

Scottish finance minister resigns after being exposed for repeatedly messaging a schoolboy online

Derek Mackay

Derek Mackay
The Scottish Government's finance minister, Derek Mackay, has resigned just hours before he was due to deliver the Scottish budget, after he was exposed for sending a deluge of messages to a schoolboy he found online.

Mackay, Member of the Scottish Parliament — roughly equivalent to a state legislature in the United States — for Renfrewshire North & West and, until today, Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Economy, and Fair Work in Scottish National Party (SNP) leader Nicola Sturgeon's devolved executive, bombarded the Glasgow schoolboy, 16, with messages on Instagram and Facebook after contacting him out of the blue.

Mackay persuaded the boy to give him his phone number and repeatedly fished for an invite to a rugby game, offered to pay to bring the boy to the Scottish Parliament for a Scottish Rugby Union event, and tried to get him out to deliver election leaflets with him.

The boy, who has a girlfriend and told Mackay, who left his wife and came out as homosexual in 2013, not to "try anything", broke off contact with the SNP heavyweight after he wrote to him asking if "our chats are between us?" and said he was "really cute".


25 quotes from Thomas Sowell: A beacon of reason in a nonsensical world

Thomas Sowell,
25 quotes from one of America's most prolific intellectuals.

When I hear the name Thomas Sowell, it gets my immediate attention. Dr. Sowell, recently retired from his position as Senior Fellow at Stanford University's Hoover Institution, is an American economist turned social theorist, political philosopher, and best-selling author.

Born in North Carolina in 1930, Sowell grew up in Harlem, New York. He dropped out of high school at age 17 due to financial difficulties and problems at home, but went on to serve in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War. Following the war, he received a bachelor's degree from Harvard, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 1958. The following year, he received a master's degree from Columbia University. In 1968, he earned a Doctorate in Economics from the University of Chicago.

Sowell served on the faculties of Cornell University and University of California, Los Angeles, and also worked for think tanks such as the Urban Institute. He has written more than 30 books and is a National Humanities Medal recipient for innovative scholarship which incorporated history, economics and political science.

What I appreciate most about Mr. Sowell is his unique perspective as an African-American conservative with libertarian leanings who came of age during the Jim Crow era.

The best way to experience Sowell is to view a sampling of his many famous quotes and dialogues. Here are 25 quotes to make you think.

Chart Bar

The Myth of Incompetence: DNC Scandals Are a Feature, Not a Bug

dnc chair oops
The Iowa caucus scandal has continued to get more egregious by the hour, with new revelations routinely pouring in about extremely suspicious manipulations taking place which all just so happen to disadvantage the campaign of Bernie Sanders in the first Democratic electoral contest of 2020. By the time you read this article, there will likely have been more.

Following the failure of an extremely shady app developed by vocally anti-Sanders establishment insiders which reportedly was literally altering vote count numbers after they were entered, Black Hawk County supervisor Chris Schwartz shared the election results in his county on Facebook so the public could have some idea of what's going on as the Iowa Democratic Party (IDP) slowly trickles out the results of the caucuses.

Comment: See also:


Passenger jet veers off runway and splits into pieces in Istanbul - 1 dead, 157 injured

plane turkey runway
© Getty Images / Anadolu Agency/ Handout / Istanbul Security Directorate
A passenger plane has overrun runway at Sabiha Gokcen airport in Istanbul, Turkey. Apparent footage from the scene shows the aircraft broken into two pieces with flames emitting from its fuselage.

The incident occurred at the international airport on Wednesday. The domestic flight from Izmir overran the runway during landing, according to local media reports.

Footage from the scene shows the plane, belonging to the low-cost Turkish airline Pegasus, broken into several pieces with flames coming from its fuselage.

Comment: A number of similar incidents have occurred in the last year:

No Entry

Twitter says it'll censor deepfakes, cheapfakes and basically anything else it wants to ahead of the 2020 election

Just days after banning Zero Hedge, Twitter has announced it'll also be implementing new rules to address deepfakes and "other forms of synthetic and manipulated media" as we head closer to the 2020 election.

Because we can't have a repeat of 2016, right?

The company said it is going to not allow users to "deceptively share synthetic or manipulated media that are likely to cause harm," according to CNBC. The rules go into effect after March 5 this year, where the company will now label some Tweets containing synthetic or manipulated media.

Social media can, and will, have a profound effect on the state of the election heading into November this year. Altered media often shows up, with candidates words sometimes parroted or mocked in certain ads that seek to undermine them. Lawmakers have been trying to figure out a way to hold social media companies accountable for the spread of misinformation.

According to CNBC, last month the "House Subcommittee on Consumer Protection and Commerce held a hearing where experts shared warnings of both deepfakes and potential over-regulation of tech platforms that host them."

Comment: See also: