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Tue, 25 Apr 2017
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LGBTQ SJWs fear the arrival of Chick-fil-A restaurant on campus

© Chicago Tribune
Some students at Pittsburgh's Duquesne University live in "fear" of the arrival of a Chick-fil-A fast-food restaurant to their college's food fair, Campus Reform reports.

It's not about the chicken sandwiches but the fact that the corporation had the temerity to support traditional marriage during the same-sex marriage debate.

Now student senators at the university say they can't abide a Chick-fil-A location at their school and are trying to cancel plans for the restaurant to open in the fall.

Chick-fil-A has been the subject of chickophobic protests from gay-friendly politicians and liberal activists everywhere since its president, Dan Cathy, acknowledged that it had donated money to organizations opposed to changing the traditional definition of marriage.

Comment: Crap food on campus is just fine, just don't have a differing opinion on gay marriage. Here's the ingredients ofChick-fil-A's deluxe sandwich:
chicken (whole breast filet, seasoning [salt, monosodium glutamate, sugar, spices, paprika], seasoned coater [enriched bleached wheat flour {with malted barley flour, niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid}, sugar, salt, monosodium glutamate, nonfat milk, leavening {baking soda, sodium aluminum phosphate, monocalcium phosphate}, spice, soybean oil, color {paprika}], milk wash [water, nonfat milk, egg], peanut oil [fully refined peanut oil, with Dimethylpolysiloxane, an anti-foam agent added]), bun (bleached, enriched wheat flour [wheat flour, barley malt, niacin, iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid], water, sugar, yeast, soybean oil, wheat gluten, salt, vinegar, calcium sulfate, citric acid, ascorbic acid, enzymes), butter oil (soybean oil, palm oil, salt, natural butter flavor and beta carotene for color), tomatoes, American cheese (cheddar cheese [milk, cheese culture, salt, microbial enzymes], milkfat, water, sodium citrate, salt, sodium phosphate, sorbic acid as preservative, oleoresin paprika [color], annatto [color]), lettuce, pickle (cucumbers, water, vinegar, salt, calcium chloride, alum, potassium sorbate [preservatives], natural flavors, polysorbate 80, yellow 5, blue 1).
Protest that!

Cardboard Box

Florida lawsuit: Discipline box for special-needs preschoolers

© Palm Beach Post
Detention for 3yo special needs children.
A lawsuit accuses Duval County Public Schools in Florida of punishing kids as young as 3 with a "discipline box" made of drywall. The filing alleges inadequate policies and training for special-needs teachers.

The lawsuit, first reported by WJAX, alleges that Love Grove Elementary School in Jacksonville had the box outside of a classroom for preschool special-needs children. Involved in the lawsuit is the mother of a 3-year-old with cerebral palsy who was one of the students placed in the box.

Duval County Public Schools does not have adequate policies for training and supervising staff to handle special-needs students, the lawsuit claims, adding that students understood that if they were sent to the discipline box, they were being punished.

The mother involved in the lawsuit took a photo of the "discipline box" in 2012, according to reporter Cole Heath. "I represent a family where a child had been placed in the box. Again, not a valid behavioral technique," said attorney Aaron Bates, according to WJAX. Mistreatment of special-needs students also occurred at another district elementary school and on a school bus, the 37-page lawsuit says.

A Duval County schools spokesman told WJAX that the district cannot comment on active litigation, but that it was seeking out teachers named in the suit to determine if they still work for the school district. The district's superintendent said Duval County schools have made progress in recent years.

"I think you have to look at every individual situation and what are the facts of the situations," Dr. Nikolai Vitti said, according to WJAX. "I think when you look at the way we serve [special-needs] students, we've made huge strides over the last four years."

Comment: "Huge strides," "progress in recent years"...so the detention box was an improvement? ...ongoing before 2012?


Chinese official demoted for 'timidity' in fight against religious extremism

© Kevin Frayer / Getty Images
A Chinese official was reportedly demoted because he was afraid to smoke in front of religious figures. The decision was taken in line with China's struggle against religious extremism, which includes banning full-face veils and "abnormal" beards.

The incident took place in the village near a town of Hotan in southwestern Xinjiang, an autonomous region in western China and home to the country's Muslim Uyghur ethnic minority, the Chinese Global Times newspaper reported.

Jelil Matniyaz, Party chief of the village, was downgraded from "senior staff member" to "staff member" in March this year. AFP identified him as "a village-level secretary for the ruling Communist Party."

Comment: Further reading:


Shooting reported at US elementary school in San Bernardino (Update)

© Google Maps
North Park Elementary School.
At least four people, including a teacher and two students, have been shot at an elementary school in San Bernardino, California. The incident is believed to have been a murder-suicide, according to police.

The shooting occurred in a classroom at North Park School. Along with the four victims, the suspect is believed to be down as well, according to San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan.


UPDATE from CBSLA: The gunman has been identified as Cedric Anderson of Riverside, who open fired on his estranged wife, Karen Elaine Smith. The two students who were struck by gunfire, were behind the teacher at the time of the shooting. One of the students, 8-year-old Jonathan Martinez, was pronounced dead at Loma Linda University Medical Center. The other student, a nine-year-old boy, is in stable condition. All other students were transported to Cajon High School for safety.

UPDATE 2: San Bernardino gunman was pastor, Navy vet with record of violence

The "deeply religious man" who entered a California school to kill his estranged wife was in a seemingly happy relationship. In reality, Cedric Anderson was "paranoid and possessive" and in a deteriorating marriage, family members said.

On Monday, Anderson, 53, received clearance from the front office of North Park Elementary School in San Bernardino, California, to access to a classroom to give something to his wife Karen Elaine Smith, 53, who taught special-education children.

Once inside, Anderson quickly opened fire, police said, killing Smith and Jonathan Martinez, an 8-year-old boy standing near her.

A 9-year-old boy was also shot but is in stable condition, according to reports. Anderson then reloaded and turned his .357 revolver on himself.

Anderson and Smith were married in late January after four years of friendship, Smith's mother, Irma Sykes, told the Los Angeles Times.

Anderson often posted on social media about their marriage and his faith, referring to Smith as his "angel." His Facebook page, which is no longer available, featured several posts and videos about his love for Smith all the way up to March 15, the date of his last public post, according to reports.

After moving in with Smith, Anderson's demeanor changed for the worse, Sykes said, and Smith was considering divorce.

"She thought she had a wonderful husband, but she found out he was not wonderful at all," Sykes said. "He had other motives. She left him and that's where the trouble began."

Smith, a devoted Christian who had four children from a previous marriage, had been a teacher for about ten years and was motivated to help children with autism and learning disabilities, the Times reported.

One of Smith's adult children, Joshua, said his mother was a "genuinely loving and caring person."

Anderson, however, was "different" at first and later became "paranoid and possessive," Joshua Smith told the Washington Post. This situation led his mother to leave Anderson shortly after their wedding, he said.

According to San Bernardino Police Chief Jarrod Burguan, Anderson had a criminal history. The maintenance technician had faced weapons charges and was accused of domestic violence in a previous marriage. He was charged in 2013 with assault and battery, brandishing a gun and disturbing the peace, according to Los Angeles County Superior Court records reported by the Times. Those charges were dismissed in 2014.

In 1993, Anderson was charged with two misdemeanor counts of battery in Kern County, California, but he was eventually exonerated after the charges were dismissed.

Anderson, who frequently posted on Facebook about guns, spent at least eight years in the military and lived in California, Georgia and Nevada. Around 2000, he was featured in a local news segment about housing fees at Nellis Air Force Base.

Local law enforcement, including a SWAT team, secured a Riverside home associated with Anderson on Monday afternoon, the Press-Enterprise reported. One car in the driveway had a "United States Navy" bumper sticker.

The veteran was also a pastor who sometimes preached on the radio and attended community meetings, according to Najee Ali, executive director of Project Islamic Hope.

"He was a deeply religious man," Ali said. "There was never any signs of this kind of violence ... on his Facebook he even criticized a man for attacking a woman."

His marriage to Smith seemed happy, neighbors and others said, which likely allowed Anderson safe passage into the school.

"He killed her, and he killed himself," said Sykes, Smith's mother. "And I want to see what he's going to say to God about that."

The school's staff followed all the proper entry procedures, including asking for identification, according to San Bernardino City Unified School District Superintendent Dale Marsden. Security at the school was increased following the terrorist attack at a San Bernardino government building in December 2015.


Police hold children at gunpoint in Muslim house raid in Birmingham, England

© All In One News/YouTube
Shocking footage has emerged showing police raiding a house in Birmingham and pointing machine guns at handcuffed children as young as 15.

The mobile phone footage shows armed officers storming the property on Pretoria Road before leading the youngsters out and forcing them to lie face down on the floor.

One of the children can be seen barefoot while some were still in their pyjamas when they were forced out of the house, according to one witness.

A West Midlands Police spokeswoman said the raid was carried out following reports of an armed man in the area.


Russia may ban charter flights to Turkey over tourist safety concerns

© Maksim Blinov / Sputnik
Russia's Federal Air Transport Agency Rosaviation has warned the country's airlines of a possible ban on charter flights to Turkey, citing a "complicated political situation".

According to the head of the Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR) Maya Lomidze, the restrictions are not yet in place but may be linked to the Turkish constitutional referendum on April 16.

"Taking into account the coup attempt in July last year, one cannot exclude that opponents of [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdogan, dissatisfied with the outcome of the referendum will make some attempts to provoke unrest," the ATOR spokesperson said.


UPDATE: Suspect detained after Norwegian police find & detonate 'explosive-like device'

© Fabrizio Bensch / Reuters
Norwegian police evacuated a large area in Gronland neighborhood in downtown Oslo after a suspected explosive device was discovered late on Saturday. Police carried out a controlled explosion of the device and have detained a suspect.

The detained individual is being questioned as a suspect, Oslo police service said on its official Twitter page.

Police have conducted a controlled detonation of the suspicious object, police spokesman Svein Arild Jørundland told VG, adding that at the moment it is unknown whether the device actually contained any explosive elements.

Comment: A Norwegian court has authorized a two-week arrest for the Russian 17-year-old suspected of plotting an attack. While his name hasn't been released, he comes from Russia's southern Caucasus region (Checnya, Dagestan, etc.). More from RT:
...he came to Norway as a 10-year-old with his family and had applied for asylum. The Russian embassy in Norway confirmed that the detained teenager is a Russian national living in the Scandinavian country with his parents.
The suspect was in possession of a device made of a "gas cylinder and strike elements," the media outlet reported.

Visitors or media interviews have been prohibited for the time the teen is under arrest.

Most of the hearing was conducted behind closed doors.

The young man was detained by police on Saturday night, after a witness alerted police of a person with a suspicious package, according to media reports. A bomb squad was deployed and the small object was destroyed with no one hurt in the incident. The teenager was later accused of possessing a primitive explosive device.

Norwegian police requested to keep the teenager in detention while investigating suspicions that he was plotting an attack with a "bomb-like" device. Under Norwegian law, two weeks is the maximum period allowed for a minor to be detained while being investigated under anti-terrorism laws.

The teenager's lawyer says the suspect pleads innocence.

"He is accused of having placed an object in a public place in Oslo. Security services thought that he was going to activate it. He says he was not going to harm anyone and that the object was of no particular threat," Aase Karine Sigmond told RT Russian.

The lawyer told Reuters the teen's actions were "a boyish prank."

Sigmond also told RT Russian that the teenager "considered himself to be a Norwegian." He was not going to apply for assistance to the Russian embassy, but was willing to cooperate with Norwegian authorities, she said. The young man denied talking to Russian diplomats, with the denial affirmed by the Russian embassy in Oslo.


UPDATE: At least three dead as truck drives into Stockholm crowd

© Reuters
At least three people have been killed and eight seriously injured after a truck crashed into a department store in central Stockholm. Swedish PM Stefan Lofven said it was likely a terror attack.

The attack took place at 2:55 p.m. local time (12.55 UTC) on Friday.

Swedish police said that no arrests have yet been made, after earlier reports of at least one arrest.

The head of Swedish police Dan Eliasson told a press conference in Stockholm later on Friday that the police are looking at several leads.

Shots were reportedly fired and people in the area fled the scene, Swedish broadcaster SVT reported.

The hijacked beertruck reportedly rammed into the upscale Ahlens department store on the busy Drottninggatan street, a major pedestrianized shopping area in the center of the city and above the city's main railway station.

A spokeswoman for transport company Spendrups told the French news agency AFP that the truck "had been stolen during a delivery to a restaurant."

Comment: Updates from RT:

Swedish police have issued a warning to avoid Stockholm's city center. All Stockholm subway services have been shut down, according to TT news agency.

The city's central train station has also been evacuated. All trains to and from the station have been canceled for the rest of the day, Sweden's national rail company SJ announced.

All Swedish government offices have been closed following the attack, and all ministers are safe, a source told Reuters.

Security has also been tightened at other locations throughout the city.

Facebook has activated its safety check for people in the Stockholm area.

Update (April 8): The suspect has been arrested. He's been identified as a 39-year-old Uzbek national, a "marginal character" previously named in "security information" but not under recent investigation. Big surprise, another terrorist previously known to the security services... Sweden's notoriously tight-lipped authorities haven't released anything else: how he got into the country, his name, whether or not explosives were found in the hijacked truck, only that some sort of "technical device" that shouldn't have been there was there. Other reports identified this "something" as a bag of explosives that didn't detonate, but which did burn the suspect.

Update (April 9): Swedish police say the suspect is "known to have expressed sympathies with extremist organizations", including ISIS. No word on what exactly that means, yet. He had been denied permanent residency in June 2016 and was being sought for deportation after he went "underground" at that time. A second suspect has also been arrested in connection with the attack, and about 5 other people of interest remain in custody. Thousands have gathered in Stockholm to commemorate the victims of the attack.

Update (April 11): The suspect, Rakhmat Akilov, has admitted to committing "a terrorist crime", according to his lawyer Johan Eriksson. He will be kept in custody until at least May 11. The second person arrested is no longer considered a suspect, but is being kept in custody due to a "previous deportation order".

Blue Planet

Poll reveals World feels less secure with Trump

© Neil Hall / Reuters
The world feels less secure with Donald Trump as US president, a recent poll says, adding that the majority of respondents in Germany, France, the UK and Brazil said they feel less safe since the Republican took office.

The poll was conducted by TNS Global, one of the largest research agencies worldwide, for Sputnik International news agency between February 16 and 22, 2017.

A total of 7,148 people across seven countries - France (1,004 people aged 16-64), Germany (1,014 people aged 16-64), Italy (1,050 people aged 16-54), Great Britain (1,037 people aged 16-64), the United States (1,027 people aged 18-64), Brazil (1,010 people aged 16-54) and Turkey (1,006 people aged 16-54) took part in the survey.


Moroccan migrant detained on suspicion of plotting 'revenge' attack on Russian embassy in Berlin

© John Macdougall / AFP
Russian embassy building in Berlin.
German security agencies have detained a Moroccan man suspected of plotting an attack at the Russian embassy in Berlin, Dresden prosecutors told RIA Novosti. The suspect apparently planned to approach the embassy by mingling with a crowd of protesters.

A 24-year-old Moroccan immigrant, identified in German media as Mohammed B.H., has been in police custody since Saturday and is said to have planned the potential assault.

"I can confirm that he is suspected of planning an attack at the [Russian] embassy," Steve Schulze-Reinhold, a representative for the prosecutor's office in Dresden, told RIA Novosti.

The investigation into the "serious, state-threatening act of violence" has been launched, but there is still no arrest warrant issued for the suspect, he added.