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Senior Bolivian politician kidnapped, beaten to death by mob of striking mineworkers

© David Mercado/Reuters
Miners block a main highway during an anti-government protest in Panduro south of La Paz, Bolivia, August 25, 2016.
A senior Bolivian politician has been beaten to death by an angry mob of striking mineworkers, officials say. Rodolfo Illanes was reported to have gone to try to negotiate with the protesters, who subsequently kidnapped and killed him.

The alleged murder took place on Thursday evening in Panduro, which is 160 kilometers from the Bolivian capital of La Paz. Minister of Government Carlos Romero said that Illanes had gone to talk to the demonstrators, but was kidnapped by the striking miners.

"At this present time, all the indications are that our deputy minister Rodolfo Illanes has been brutally and cowardly murdered," he said, as cited by Reuters.

The director of a mining radio station, Moises Flores, wrote on his Twitter account that there has been visual conformation that Illanes was killed. "We have been able to see close up that vice-minister Illanes was dead. Colleagues told us that he had died of a beating," Flores told local radio.

Flores also suggested that Illanes' might have been killed in response to the deaths of three miners who died during the protests.

Heart - Black

Outrage in Russia after religious leaders back female genital mutilation

© Alexei Druzhinin/AFP/Getty Images
Ismail Berdiyev, seen here with president Vladimir Putin in 2015, has prompted controversy by urging universal female genital mutilation.
Two prominent religious leaders in Russia have provoked outrage after suggesting female genital mutilation could help reduce sexual promiscuity.

The scandal erupted on Wednesday when Vsevolod Chaplin, a former spokesman for the Russian Orthodox Church, rushed to the defence of Ismail Berdiyev, a senior Muslim cleric from Dagestan who said "all women" should be subjected to the practice to eliminate sexual depravity.

Mr Berdiyev, chairman of the Coordination Centre of North Caucasus Muslims, made the controversial comments when asked to comment on a report into the practice published earlier this week.

All women should be circumcised so there would be no debauchery on earth, so that sexuality is minimisedIsmail Berdiyev, senior Muslim cleric

"All women should be circumcised so there would be no debauchery on earth, so that sexuality is minimised," Mr Berdiyev, a prominent figure in Dagestan, told a correspondent from Interfax, a Russian news agency.

"The Almighty created woman to bear and raise children," he added. "[Circumcision] would not affect that. Women would not stop giving birth. But there would be less promiscuity."

He went on to clarify that although Islam does not prescribe the practice, "it is necessary to reduce female sexuality. If it was done to all women, it would be very good."

Ambulance

While victims of Pulse nightclub shooting don't have to pay hospital bills, first responders are stuck paying for treatment of PTSD

© Jim Young / Reuters
Gunshot survivor Patience Carter (2nd L) is comforted by Dr. Neil Finkler as fellow survivor Angel Santiago (R) looks on at a news conference at Florida Hospital Orlando on the shooting at the Pulse gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, U.S., June 14, 2016.
Victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida won't have to pay for their medical care, the two hospitals that treated them announced. Yet first responders suffering psychological trauma from that night won't receive workers' compensation.

Orlando Regional Medical Center and Florida Hospital will not charge victims for their medical treatment after a gunman opened fire at Pulse, a gay nightclub, killing 49 and wounding 53 more. Most victims went to Orlando Regional, which treated 44 patients, nine of whom later died. One person remains hospitalized at the Level 1 trauma center that is half a mile from the club. A dozen victims went to Florida Hospital.

Orlando Health, the nonprofit healthcare network that operates Orlando Regional, will bill patients' insurance companies, but will cover the remaining "unreimbursed costs" ‒ expected to top $5 million ‒ through other resources, such as a victims fund set up by city officials, disability insurance and Florida's crime victim compensation program.

Comment: Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting autopsies: Third of victims shot in head, half had 5 or more wounds


Health

Illinois home flattened, owners hospitalized after overnight 'explosion'

© Nexstar Broadcasting
A home in Washington is flattened and the homeowners sent to the hospital after what authorities are calling an overnight "explosion". It happened in the 24,000 Block of Farmdale Road in rural Washington just before 2:00AM Wednesday morning.

Now neighbors are describing what they saw and heard. "We were woken up about a quarter til 2 with just a loud boom and the whole house shook." Next-door-neighbor, Barbara Slagel, said. Tim and Barbara Slagel live next door to the home. "I said 'What's that?' And he said 'Must be thunder.'"

Slagel said. "But then we waited just a little bit thinking this is a pretty nasty storm and it never thundered again for a couple of minutes...looked over there and the entire house was engulfed in flames."

© Nexstar Broadcasting
"We got a call around 2 o'clock this morning for a house that had exploded we arrived to find the house fully involved in fire." Northern Tazewell Fire Chief Rick Ragan, said.

Chief Ragan tells us the homeowners were outside of the home when they got there. Investigators won't tell us how they were able to get out, but neighbors say the blast blew them out. "They were in bed, they were sleeping, and they were blown out of the house." Tim Slagel said.

House

Washington DC Ward 3 residents file lawsuit over planned homeless shelter

© Brendan Smialowski/AFP/Getty Images
A homeless man sits with his belongings on a sidewalk on Aug. 24, 2016, in the District.
The plan to establish a homeless shelter in the parking lot of a police station in Ward 3 in the District has run into a lawsuit by a group of residents.

The D.C. Council approved a 50-bed shelter in the parking lot of the 2nd District Station, on Idaho Avenue, without consulting the Advisory Neighborhood Commission on the location, NBC Washington reports.

David Brown, a lawyer for the neighbors of the proposed shelter site, tells NBC Washington that they want to "go back to the drawing board and give the (Advisory Neighborhood Commission) an opportunity to presents its issues and concerns." The suit adds that such input is required by D.C. law.

The shelter has been proposed under the 2016 Homeless Shelter Replacement Act, which aims to replace the D.C. General Family Shelter with a series of smaller shelters in each ward. In May, NBC Washington reports, the effort changed its goal from establishing shelters on private property to public property.

Mary Cheh, the Council member for Ward 3, tells NBC Washington that the ANC will get its chance to have input when the zoning change for the shelter is formally made.

Info

Officials tightlipped on low-flying Blackhawk helicopters, training drills in Boston, Massachusetts

For several days this week, people in Boston and the surrounding area have heard large helicopters flying around the area.

Many people reached out to FOX25 with concerns that the helicopters were passing very close to buildings.

FOX25 found a video posted on YouTube showing several helicopters flying low above the high rise buildings in Boston.

Boston police sent out a community advisory to alert residents about a planned training exercise in conjunction with the defense department. The advisory said the training is not in response to any world events.

FOX25 reached out to the Boston Police Department and was told "specifics are kept mysterious for good reason."

The Blackhawk helicopters were all lined up on the tarmac at a local airfield Wednesday. The Department of Defense would not comment on the exercise.

The exercise is expected to continue until Friday, and FOX25 is told the Boston Police Department will release more information after it ends.

Che Guevara

Supporters of Celtic football club, fined for waving Palestinian flags, raise over £110k for Palestinian charities


Screenshot from a Lajee Center video thanking Celtic fans. The center is a Palestinian cultural organization in the Aida Refugee Camp.
The defiant display of Palestinian flags in Glasgow last week by Scottish fans of the Celtic soccer team roused over £100,000 (just over $130,000) in donations online, all marked for helping Palestinians.

The news comes as Celtic gear up to play in Israel on Tuesday night against Hapoel Be'er Sheva. Israeli authorities have promised to arrest and prosecute any actions involving Palestine solidarity. And in Scotland, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) is mulling what consequences Celtic fans should face for showing solidarity with the "illicit" Palestinian emblem. The Green Brigade, the hardcore cadre of Celtic fans who raised the Palestinian flag, responded to the threat of sanctions with a call for donations for Palestinian medical aid and a refugee camp.

"In response to this petty and politically partisan act by European football's governing body, we are determined to make a positive contribution to the game and today launch a campaign to #matchthefineforpalestine. We aim to raise £75,000 which will be split equally between Medical Aid Palestine (MAP) and the Lajee Centre, a Palestinian cultural centre in Aida Refugee Camp on the outskirts of Bethlehem. From our members' experiences as volunteers in Palestine we know the huge importance of both organisations' work and have developed close contacts with them," the group writes on its GoFundMe page, MatchTheFineforPalestine. The total the group is seeking to receive has since been raised to £110,000.

Comment: Lots of people shared this video of supporters of Scottish premier league football club Celtic waving Palestinian flags before a match with an Israeli team. The supporters were asked not to show support for Palestine, and took that as a good reason to do so, along with the obvious reasons to do so.

But what a lot of people perhaps don't understand is that Celtic football club was founded by and for Irish immigrants in Scotland and has always had strong links with the Irish struggle for independence, especially over the last 40 years in Northern Ireland.

The natural affinity between those who have struggled for Irish independence and those who struggle for Palestinian independence is obvious. To illustrate the division, we need only look at both Celtic's 'enemy' in Scotland - Rangers football club - and the enemies of the struggle for Irish independence - the Pro-British Protestant ascendancy in Northern Ireland, both of whom are wont to raise the Israeli flag (as bizarre as that may seem) when caught up in a fit of imperial right-wing fervor.

Historically, the alliances between Irish nationalists and Palestinian resistance on the one hand, and die-hard supporters of British imperial injustice and Israel on the other, are the product of the decision by British governments in the early 20th century to promise, in perpetuo, Palestinian land to Jews and Irish catholic land to Protestant settlers.


Heart - Black

France's absurd, misogynist burkini ban is an Islamophobic assault on feminist values

© Abdul Azim/Twitter
One of several viral photos showing a woman removing her tunic while surrounded by police on a beach in Nice.
French police on Tuesday forced a woman to take off her clothes on a beach in Nice because she was wearing a "burkini," a bathing suit recently criminalized in 15 French cities.

In nearby Cannes, meanwhile, another woman was lying on the beach when approached by police for wearing the same swimsuit. The crowd around her cheered as the police forced her to pull off her clothes. Her daughter, who was swimming, was left crying and humiliated.

You read that right: these women were targeted by police for wearing a swimsuit, a swimsuit that French authorities have decided to ban because they consider it to be associated with "radical Islam." Both women were charged with wearing an "outfit not respecting good morals and secularism."

A French court will decide on Friday whether the burkini bans are legal, after a challenge by human rights and anti-Islamophobia groups. But the French Prime Minister has come out in support of the bans, and the ban has already stirred a wave of Islamophobia (including a riot targeting a majority-North African public housing complex in Corsica).

Arrow Up

Officer who fatally shot Philando Castile put back on administrative leave due to protests

© Adam Bettcher / Reuters
Attendees and the funeral procession for Philando Castile travel from the St Paul Cathedral in St Paul, Minnesota, U.S. July 14, 2016.
After briefly returning to work following the deadly shooting of Philando Castile, St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez is back on administrative leave. The city made the decision to once again remove him from duty, partly due to protests.

Officer Yanez was back on the force in a limited capacity for just one week when the city of St. Anthony reversed its decision Wednesday.

The city's statement read: "The City of St. Anthony has changed Officer Jeronimo Yanez's status with the city's police department. He will now return to administrative leave. The decision to change Officer Yanez's status was made after reviewing concerns and other feedback from the community. Out of respect to the sensitive nature of the tragic incident and the concerns from the community, the Mayor, City Council and City Manager have decided to make this change. Officer Yanez's status with the department will be reviewed when the investigation process related to the incident is complete."

Comment: See also: Disgraceful — Cop who gunned down in cold blood innocent Philando Castile is back on the job


Pirates

Survivor of 2007 Minneapolis bridge collapse faces IS terrorist charge

© kstp.com
Mohamed Amlin Ali Roble
A survivor of the 2007 Minneapolis bridge collapse that killed 13 people now faces terror charges after authorities say he traveled to Syria to join the Islamic State group, departing the U.S. just a few weeks after collecting more than $91,000 in settlement money for his injuries. Mohamed Amiin Ali Roble, 20, was charged Wednesday with providing and conspiring to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.

© www.finding dulcinea.com
2007 Minneapolis bridge collapse
He was weeks shy of his 11th birthday when the school bus he was riding in plummeted about 30 feet as the bridge collapsed. Roble, one of 145 people who were hurt, received the settlement funds on his 18th birthday.

Roble's name first surfaced in May during the federal trial of three Minnesota men who were convicted of conspiring to join the Islamic State group. The bridge collapse wasn't mentioned at trial, but The Associated Press made the connection using public records. Working phone numbers and current addresses for Roble's family members were not available and they could not be reached for comment.

Comment: Mr. Roble may be on another 'bridge over troubled water' about to collapse.