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National Front neo-Nazi comes out as gay Jew, quits movement

© YouTube
john kevin wilshaw
A prominent neo-Nazi and National Front organizer has come out as gay and revealed his Jewish heritage. He made the revelations about his violent past while renouncing far-right extremism.

Kevin Wilshaw, 58, spent his entire adult life promoting white supremacism and was a high-profile figure in the National Front (NF) in the 1980s. He was still speaking at extremist events as recently as this year and was arrested for spewing race hate online in March.

Speaking to Channel 4 News, he admitted to acts of violence and racism including smashing a chair over someone's head in Leeds and vandalizing a mosque in Aylesbury. He said he joined "because he didn't have many friends at school," and was looking for "comradeship" and to be "a member of a group of people that had an aim."

"Even though you end up being a group of people that through their own extreme views are cut off from society, you do have a sense of comradeship in that you're a member of a group that's being attacked by other people," he added.

Sherlock

Reporter Sharon Waxman finds witnesses backing claim that NYT killed 2004 story exposing Weinstein's sexual predations

© Getty
TheWrap's Sharon Waxman has found witnesses to back up her claim that the left-wing New York Times killed a 2004 story that exposed producer Harvey Weinstein's alleged sexual predations.

Just hours after the Weinstein scandal went nuclear earlier this month, Waxman revealed that way back in 2004, while working as a reporter for the Times, she nailed down a story about how Fabrizio Lombardo, the head of Miramax in London, had zero film experience and that his real job was to procure women for Weinstein.

According to Waxman, she had on the record sources ready to confirm "evenings [Fabrizio] organized with Russian escorts." Moreover, Waxman says she "tracked down a woman in London who had been paid off after an unwanted sexual encounter with Weinstein."

Waxman claims that after intense pressure from Matt Damon, Russell Crowe, and a personal visit from Weinstein, "The story was stripped of any reference to sexual favors or coercion and buried on the inside of the Culture section."

Comment: See also: NYT, Matt Damon, Russel Crowe colluded to kill Weinstein story over 10 years ago


Attention

Schizophrenic man stabs, castrates Kurdish neighbor, calls police to confess

© Avon and Somerset Constabulary
Jeffrey Barry
Police have released the chilling audio of a 999 call by a racist, paranoid schizophrenic who murdered his Kurdish refugee neighbor. Last year Jeffrey Barry, 56, entered the Bristol flat of Kamil Ahmad, 49, stabbed him to death and cut off his penis.

The murder took place just hours after Barry was released from a psychiatric hospital. Bristol Crown Court heard psychiatrists had opposed Barry's release, but a mental health tribunal ruled he could be discharged, according to the Telegraph.

In the phone call, Barry can be heard breathing heavily. He confirms his address to the call handler before admitting to the murder. He says: "I just killed Ahmad Kamil [sic]. I need to be arrested. I've got injuries to myself as well."

CCTV images showed Barry knocking on Ahmad's door at 1.30am and leaving, covered in blood, at 2.15am on July 7 last year. Neighbor Anthony Brink heard Ahmad saying: "Oh no, it's you," and screaming after Barry went into the flat.

Handcuffs

Former cop convicted of manslaughter in shooting death of his daughter's boyfriend

© KJRH -TV | Tulsa | Channel 2 / YouTube
Shannon Kepler
After three mistrials on murder charges, jurors have convicted a former Tulsa, Oklahoma police officer of first-degree manslaughter for the off-duty shooting of his daughter's African-American boyfriend.

Shannon Kepler was charged with the shooting death of Jeremey Lake, who had just started dating his teenage daughter, Lisa, according to AP. The jury deliberated for six hours before finding Kepler guilty on Wednesday.

The former police officer testified four times that he had become aware of his daughter's romantic relationship with Lake through her Facebook page, and that she had met Lake at a homeless shelter. The relationship had been a major source of conflict at home.

"You want your children to have a better life than you do," Kepler told the court, starting to cry, according to Tulsa World. "You can't help them if they won't accept help."

Attention

More Weinstein, Hollywood sex scandal fallout: Reese Witherspoon, America Ferrera, Molly Ringwald, Bjork and more tell their stories

Actress Reese Witherspoon has revealed that she was sexually assaulted by a director when she was 16 years old, the latest in a series of claims about abuse in the film industry.

"This has been a really hard week for women in Hollywood, for women all over the world, and a lot of situations and a lot of industries are forced to remember and relive a lot of ugly truths," Witherspoon said at an event in Beverley Hills this week. "I have my own experiences that have come back to me very vividly and I find it really hard to sleep, hard to think, hard to communicate a lot of the feelings that I've been having about anxiety, honestly, the guilt for not speaking up earlier."

Witherspoon, who debuted on the silver screen at 15, continued, "[I feel] true disgust at the director who assaulted me when I was 16 years old and anger at the agents and the producers who made me feel that silence was a condition of my employment."

The Academy Award-winning actress went on to claim that the incident was just one of a number of times she had been sexually abused throughout her career.

Comment: Twelve million women have used the #metoo hashtag on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, including celebs like Anna Paquin, Gillian Anderson, and Lady Gaga.

Corey Feldman has been bringing attention to Hollywood's pedophilia, too. A video from his 2013 appearance on The View with Barbara Walters has been making the rounds. In it, Walters shuts him down for speaking of his abuse, challenging his claims. Now many are calling for her to apologize. (She also defended Woody Allen.)

As for Weinstein-related news:
Fashion designer Donna Karan is "apologetic from the bottom of my heart" and embarrassed about "stupid" remarks she made last week that suggested sexual harassment victims were "asking for it" by the way they dressed.

Her comments on a red carpet touched off outrage online following sexual harassment and assault allegations against fallen movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.

Karan spoke to Women's Wear Daily in an interview published Monday, saying she spoke while sleep deprived and without knowing details of the mounting allegations against Weinstein, telling a red carpet reporter:

"How do we display ourselves, how do we present ourselves as women, what are we asking? Are we asking for it, you know, by presenting all the sensuality and all the sexuality? ... It's not Harvey Weinstein. You look at everything all over the world today, you know, and how women are dressing and, you know, what they're asking by just presenting themselves the way they do. What are they asking for? Trouble."

The designer told WWD, "I made a horrible mistake. I regret it from the bottom of my heart. This is never who I am as a woman."
Update (Oct. 19): Laura Dern revealed on Ellen that she too was assaulted in Hollywood, at the age of 14:
Dern, now 50, appeared on The Ellen Show and explained that hearing other actresses at the Elle Women in Hollywood event speak out about abuse they've experienced helped her come to grips with a past she said she had "justified."


"I woke up and I realized that in that space I talked about how I was one of the lucky ones because I was raised by actors who told me their stories and told me what to look out for, and I realized that I was I still justifying behavior," said Dern, whose the daughter of Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd.

"And it was my mom who said, 'No, no, no, Laura - that was sexual assault. That was harassment. That was assault. No, you were 14 then,'" the Jurassic Park star said.



Pumpkin 2

Another Massachusetts elementary school cancels Halloween to celebrate 'Black and Orange' spirit day, because 'inclusion'

© CBS BOSTON
Boyden Elementary School in Walpole, Massachusetts, will not have its annual Halloween costume parade this year.
The decorations are out and Halloween is two weeks away but there's controversy at Boyden Elementary School in Walpole. The school will not be having its annual Halloween costume parade this year.

"I think it's a lot of political correctness," a Walpole woman said. "I think it's a shame because Halloween is the funnest day of the year next to Christmas for children."

In a message to parents the school principal says, "...the costume parade is out of our ordinary routine and can be difficult for many students. Also, the parade is not inclusive of all the students and it is our goal each and every day to ensure all student's individual differences are respected."

On Friday the school will have a Halloween party after school hours, but the school says Halloween itself will be "Black and Orange" spirit day.

Comment: See also: Because 'inclusion': Massachusetts elementary school cancels children's Halloween festivities


Chalkboard

No more safe spaces! UK universities failing to protect freedom of speech on campus to be penalized

© SOLO / Global Look Press
Jo Johnson Minister of State for Universities and Science. - Annual Conservative Party Conference at the Birmingham International Conference Centre.
Universities adopting a 'no-platforming' policy could be fined as part of the government's clampdown on the restriction of freedom of speech in higher education. A newly-created external body would check whether institutions are complying.

Jo Johnson, the universities minister and brother of fellow Tory minister Boris Johnson, outlined plans to tackle the so-called 'safe spaces' in academic environments.

The proposed framework would allow for the newly designated Office of Students (OfS) to fine, suspend or deregister universities that fail to protect freedom of speech on campuses.

The proposals come as part of a consultation on how English universities will be regulated by the OfS, which will assume legal powers in April.

In an interview, Johnson told the Times: "No-platforming and safe spaces shouldn't be used to shut down legitimate free speech.

"Our young people and students need to accept the legitimacy of healthy, vigorous debate in which people can disagree with one another.

"That's how ideas get tested, prejudices exposed and society advances [sic].

"Universities mustn't be places in which free speech is stifled."

Comment: American universities would do well to adopt a similar policy.


Camcorder

Maidan in the making? New video calling for support of Catalonian democracy looks exactly like Maidan's 'propaganda' video

© Òmnium Cultural / YouTube
A new video promoting Catalonian democracy looks suspiciously similar to a production made about the 2014 Maidan protests in Ukraine - and many online are not impressed.

'Help Catalonia. Save Europe' is a new video published on the YouTube account of Catalonian cultural organization, Omnium Cultural.


It starts with a woman standing on an out-of-focus street, saying, "This is Barcelona." She points to people on the street and says, "We, the Catalans are taking back the streets to protest peacefully."

Briefcase

Veterans file lawsuit against U.S. and European drug companies for bribing Iraqi militia that attacked and killed Americans

© Associated Press
Major drug makers helped fund Iraqi militias that attacked U.S. troops, a lawsuit alleged Tuesday.
A group of American veterans filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against U.S. and European drug companies and medical device makers, accusing them of supporting an Iran-backed Iraqi militia that killed and wounded hundreds of Americans.

The suit is filed under a law that allows Americans injured by terrorism overseas to seek civil damages. The more than 100 plaintiffs include injured U.S. Iraq war veterans and their families. The defendants are either parent companies or subsidiaries of AstraZeneca plc (AZN); Johnson & Johnson (JNJ); Pfizer Inc. (PFE); Roche Holding AG (RHHBY); and the General Electric Company (GE).

The 203-page lawsuit accuses the companies of paying bribes to officials of Iraq's health ministry that benefited the Mahdi Army, an Iranian-backed militia that the suit says worked closely with Hezbollah, a Lebanese group that has been designated a terrorist organization by the U.S. government.

Snakes in Suits

Israel's regime of separation extends to Mizrahi and Ashkenazi Jews

The principle of white supremacy, which was brought to Israel from Europe, remains a prominent characteristic of Israeli society

"We are all Jews / and oh so nice / totally Jewish Jews / a schvartze and a vuzvuz too."

This song, We are all Jews (the lyrics are by Haim Hefer), expresses a central value of Zionism. No matter whether you are a schvartze (Yiddish for "black") or a vuzvuz (of European descent; an Ashkenazi), the main thing is that we are all Jews. Ever since Israel's founding, its leaders sought to promote a melting-pot policy, seeking to unify all the Jews who emigrated to Israel from different places so as to create a homogeneous society. The aspiration was to erase any and all existing differences between the diverse groups comprising Jewish Israeli society.

But this month we learned yet again that the idea is impossible, and perhaps inhuman. A noted Israeli poet of Moroccan extraction, Erez Biton, submitted to the Ministry of Education the conclusions of the work of a committee he chaired that was appointed to examine what should be added to the curriculum to educate Israeli children about Jews who arrived in the country from Arab and Muslim countries. Biton and his committee recommended a series of steps, including studying the history of Jews from the Middle East, fair representation of Mizrahi Jews (about half the population of Israel) in Israel's Council on Higher Education, the study of Mizrahi poetry as part of the required curriculum, and so forth.