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Fri, 24 Feb 2017
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Human foot washes up at Sonoma County beach

Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office released the following photo, which officials said is similar to the shoe discovered with a human foot inside at Doran Beach.
A shoe washed ashore at Doran Beach in Sonoma County with the remains of a human foot inside, officials said Friday.

A beachgoer turned in the black canvas style shoe with black laces to a park ranger after 1 p.m. Tuesday, said Sgt. Spencer Crum, a Sonoma County Sheriff's Office spokesman.

The visitor at the beach, which is part of Doran Regional Park, found the footwear east of the Cypress Day Use parking lot, according to sheriff's officials.

Wedding Rings

Older adults embracing 'living apart together' as alternative to marriage

A new study finds that older Americans are embracing “living apart together.”
Researchers say couples need to discuss health decisions with families and partners

Since 1990, the divorce rate among adults 50 years and older has doubled. This trend, along with longer life expectancy, has resulted in many adults forming new partnerships later in life. A new phenomenon called 'Living Apart Together' (LAT)--an intimate relationship without a shared residence--is gaining popularity as an alternative form of commitment. Researchers at the University of Missouri say that while the trend is well understood in Europe, it is lesser known in the U.S. This means that challenges, such as how LAT partners can engage in family caregiving or decision-making, could affect family needs.

"What has long been understood about late-in-life relationships is largely based on long-term marriage," said Jacquelyn Benson, assistant professor in the College of Human Environmental Sciences. "There are now more divorced and widowed adults who are interested in forging new intimate relationships outside the confines of marriage. Recent research demonstrates that there are other ways of establishing long-lasting, high-quality relationships without committing to marriage or living together. However, U.S. society has yet to recognize LAT as a legitimate choice. If more people--young and old, married or not--saw LAT as an option, it might save them from a lot of future heartache."

Star of David

Sick! Rabbis refuse divorce decree to Israeli domestic violence victim because they 'could understand why her husband beat her up'

© Alex Levak
"Marriage is not a prison": A religious couple walks by a demonstrator protesting Jewish religious divorce policy in Jerusalem.
  • A woman who was beaten up by her husband was refused a divorce by Rabbis
  • The orthodox Jewish woman's motion was rejected by Rabbinical judges in 2016
  • After the first motion she was attacked by her husband who served 75 days in jail
  • The three judges said they understood why the man acted violently towards her
Rabbinical judges have rejected a motion for divorce from a woman whose husband physically abused her, saying they understood why he resorted to violence.

Last July a regional court rejected her first divorce petition and a few weeks after the verdict, she complained to police that he punched her in the face and bruised her shoulder.

After expressing regret, her husband was sentenced to 75 days in prison for the offence, but upon his release he attacked her on two more occasions.

In a written ruling, from February 1, the three presiding rabbis - Yosef Goldberg, David Birdugo, and Mordechai Ralbag noted: 'Unquestionably, any harm the husband causes the wife is unjustifiable in any circumstances; any violence should be treated gravely and condemned, especially severe violence like that described in the indictment.


Immigration 'raids' spawn fear in Los Angeles, though officials say arrests are 'routine'

© ABC7
Protesters block freeway entrance in Los Angeles.
The panicked emails and phone calls began streaming in from community members at about 11 a.m. Thursday morning, inundating Los Angeles immigration lawyers with far more cases than usual. Immigrant advocate groups claim that more than 100 people had been taken into custody by federal immigration officials in Southern California Thursday, indicating a "coordinated sweep" in arrests and heightening fears that Donald Trump's promise to crackdown on deportations had begun to take effect.

Police and immigration officials denied the "raids" and disputed the claim that the arrests were part of a more stringent approach, saying any detentions were simply part of "routine" enforcement activities. But a flurry of calls regarding arrests spurred immigration attorneys into rapid response efforts, and prompted protests on the streets of downtown Los Angeles.

"We know the daily patterns of people being picked up and taken," Angelica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, or CHIRLA, said in an interview with The Washington Post. "There's a natural flow of enforcement that happens every day. But this was not normal."

Comment: Local community support for illegals has a history of activism and organized opposition to ICE raids. None of the above report is particularly new, except a change in whom to blame. Trump's rhetoric on the campaign trail has been taken literally by organizations such as CHIRLA - a fodder for intensifying reactions. Time will tell if he adheres to the letter of his word or finds workable modifications. Irregardless, the momentum to blame and rise up communities against law enforcement seems to have no basis in whether the 'victims of deportation' are justifiably removed or unlawfully persecuted. It is perceived as all the same. In America tensions are at a high mark. The spread of increasing hysterics are not in the nations' best interest.

Further reporting:
Studio City Patch: Among the arrested were nationals from a dozen countries, and 95 percent were male, ICE officials said. 150 of the 160 immigrants rounded up in the region had criminal histories.

Eyewitness News ABC7 stated: Of the other 10, five had been ordered deported or had been deported in the past.

"Many of the arrestees had prior felony convictions for serious or violent offenses, such as child sex crimes, weapons charges, and assault," according to a statement put out by the agency.

In Los Angeles, agents arrested:
  • A Salvadoran national MS-13 member arrested in Huntington Park who is wanted in his native country for aggravated extortion;
  • A Brazilian national arrested in Los Angeles who is wanted in Brazil for cocaine trafficking; and
  • An Australian national taken into custody in West Hollywood who was previously convicted of lewd and lascivious acts with a child.
In countering claims by activists that the immigrants were primarily non-criminal immigrants who had unsuccessfully applied for refugee status, the ICE statements appeared aimed at quelling rising panic in the community that the Trump administration is targeting immigrants who pose little threat to the community.

"The rash of recent reports about purported ICE checkpoints and random sweeps are false, dangerous and irresponsible," according to ICE. "These reports create panic and put communities and law enforcement personnel in unnecessary danger. Individuals who falsely report such activities are doing a disservice to those they claim to support."

Democratic Senator CA Diane Feinstein weighed in:
"President Trump has already ignited widespread fear and confusion in our immigrant communities with his executive order and divisive campaign rhetoric. If the reports are accurate, these raids only add to the anxiety about what's to come from this administration."
Pew Research Center report released Thursday stated: There are an estimated 1M immigrations without proper documentation living in Los Angels and Orange counties.

Is there a history? One example:
January 26, 2016, a year ago, both San Francisco and Los Angeles had protest rallies for the exact same issues: accusations of the rising number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids throughout Latino communities nationwide. Immigration activists were arrested after chaining themselves together (literally chains) and blocking traffic at intersections near ICE headquarters. This was couched in refugees fleeing violence in Central America and public outbursts that deportations should be halted and the US take accountability.

Another report stated: The Obama administration has deported more than 2.5M people since 2009, more than any president.


Muslim teacher who didn't get job at Berlin school because of headscarf wins compensation for discrimination

© Colin Hawkins / Getty Images
A Muslim teacher who wasn't hired by a Berlin school because she was wearing a headscarf will receive €8,680 (US$9,250) in compensation for discrimination, a German court has ruled.

The labor court in the federal state of Berlin-Brandenburg concluded on Thursday that by wearing the headscarf the woman wouldn't have posed a threat to the school or its discipline, DPA reported.

According to Judge Renate Schaude, the fact that during her job interview the applicant was asked whether she wanted to teach children wearing a headscarf was an indication of discrimination, Kieler Nachrichten reported.

The defendant had appealed a court ruling which had rejected her complaint last year.

According to Berlin's so-called 'neutrality law,' policemen, teachers and judicial employees on duty should not wear religious clothing. However, Judge Schaude referred to a 2015 ruling by Germany's Federal Constitutional Court, which stated that headscarf bans in the western state of North Rhine-Westphalia violated religious freedom.

Dirk Behrendt of the Green party (Buendnis 90/Die Gruenen) welcomed the verdict.

Comment: See also: Wearing headscarf lowers women's chances for employment in Germany


17 dead, scores injured in football match stampede in Angola

© B7-Online / YouTube
Some 76 people got trampled, 17 of them to death, as hundreds of fans stormed stadium gates to try and get to a football match in Angola. People had to walk over one another and got suffocated as the crowd surged, hospital officials say.

The stampede occurred seven minutes into the game between Santa Rita de Cássia and Recreativo de Libolo at the January 4th stadium in the northern Angolan town of Uíge on Friday evening, DeportoAOMinuto reports.

"There had been a push that led to the suffocation of people. Some people had to walk on the top of other people. There were 76 casualties, of whom 17 died," Ernesto Luis, director general of the local hospital said, as cited by Reuters.


Christians join forces with Muslim group Hezbollah to fight ISIS in Lebanon

© Reuters
Hezbollah fighters
The Iran-backed Shiite Muslim militant group Hezbollah, classified for many years by U.S. Intelligence as a terrorist organization, is training Christians to fight ISIS in Lebanon and the Middle Eastern believers say their new and unlikely allies "accept us as we are."

Citing Lebanese sources, Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin says Christian villages in the Bekaa Valley area of Lebanon are forming militias to join Hezbollah fighters already engaging ISIS and the al-Qaeda-affiliated Jabhat al-Nursa Front in the Syrian Qalamoun mountains opposite villages in central and eastern Bekaa.

Rifit Nasrallah, a Catholic businessman who is part of the militias fighting ISIS in Ras Baalbek, discussed the alliance with Hezbollah in an International Business Times report last month.

"We're in a very dangerous situation," he said. "The only people who are protecting us are the resistance of Hezbollah. The only one standing with the army is Hezbollah. Let's not hide it anymore."


Army drone vanishes during flight in Arizona, found in Colorado

© defense.gov
RQ-7B Shadow drone
A short-range Army drone vanished during a training flight in southern Arizona, only to reappear nine days ‒ and 600 miles (965 km) ‒ later in the suburbs of Denver, Colorado. The $1.5 million military equipment was stuck in a tree.

The 14th Brigade Engineer Battalion from Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington was participating in a training mission at Fort Huachuca in Arizona when the Shadow RQ-7Bv2 unmanned aircraft "lost connectivity" with the ground station at on January 31.

The Army post is about an hour and 15 minutes southeast of Tucson, and equally far northeast of the US-Mexico border crossing in Nogales.

Star of David

Israeli settlers caught threatening to kill Palestinians: 'We go to heaven, you go to hell'

© Pixabay
A group of Israeli settlers rode a red ATV into a densely populated Palestinian area in the West Bank city of Hebron yesterday to taunt and threaten locals. The incident was recorded by Hebron 90.4 FM's correspondent Musab Shaawer and shared online by Palestinian media.

"Where are all the Arabs? They left you and joined us," an Israeli settler yells in the video to Palestinians nearby while a group of young women accompanying him look on and laugh. "We go to heaven, you go to hell," he adds.

And in a final ominous warning the settler says: "If war breaks out the Jews will come here and evict and kill you all."

Comment: Further reading: Terrorism: How the Israeli state was won

Star of David

Michael Bennett explains why he refuses to go to Israel as 'an ambassador of good will'

Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett will not be going to Israel on a trip with other NFL players sponsored by the Israeli government.

He sent out a tweet simply stating he wasn't going to go on Thursday, and then on Friday, he shared a letter he wrote to "the world" that explains his full reasoning for backing out of the trip.