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Sun, 26 Feb 2017
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Fire

$5K reward offered for information about Florida mosque arson

© Global Look Press via ZUMA Press
An overnight fire at a mosque in suburban Tampa, Florida was arson, authorities have ruled. The mosque endured minor damage, and no injuries have been reported. A nonprofit is offering a $5,000 reward for information about the fire.

Investigators with the state fire marshal and the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives believe a fire at the Islamic Society of New Tampa's Daarus Salaam Mosque in Thonotosassa, Florida, was intentionally set, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

Firefighters responded to a fire alarm at 2:10am local time, according to Hillsborough County Fire Rescue. The fire was quickly extinguished, and no injuries were reported. Only the interior of the mosque was damaged, that being from sprinkler water.

Comment: Who's responsible for the rising number of anti-Muslim hate crimes in the US?


Handcuffs

Muhammad Ali's son detained for 2 hours at Florida airport

© Istvan Bajzat / www.globallookpress.com
Muhammad Ali
The son of world-famous boxer Muhammad Ali was detained illegally by US immigration officials for two hours at a Florida airport, and asked twice about his religion, according to his attorney.

"He was very shook up about it. He has never been treated like this before," attorney Chris Mancini told RT. "He didn't know what was going on, and asked [immigration], 'Why are you doing this? My father is Muhammad Ali' and they just didn't seem to give a crap."

"He sat there for two hours, and then they let him go," Mancini added.

Muhammad Ali Jr., was traveling back from Jamaica with his mother, Ali's second of four wives, Khalilah, on February 7. They flew into Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport when immigration officers stopped them.

Attention

Kim Jong-nam murder suspect says she was 'paid $90' for deadly 'prank'

© Handout / Royal Malaysian Police / AFP
Siti Aisyah of Indonesia
Siti Aisyah, the Indonesian woman who is being held in Malaysia for poisoning Kim Jong-un's half-brother, Kim Jong-nam, in Kuala Lumpur airport last week, says that she was paid $90 dollars for the attack, which she believed to have been a prank.

"She only said in general that somebody asked her to do this activity. She only said in general she met with some people who looked Japanese or Korean," Indonesia's deputy ambassador to Malaysia, Andriano Erwin, said after a 30-minute meeting with the 25-year-old, who told the diplomat that she didn't want her parents to visit her in custody. "According to her, that person gave her 400 ringgits ($90) to do this activity... She only said she was given a kind of oil, like baby oil."

Malaysian police say that the "baby oil" was in fact VX, a powerful poison classified by the UN as a weapon of mass destruction, which is prohibitively expensive and mostly manufactured in state-sponsored military facilities.


Family

Psychotherapists struggle to deal with Trump issues

In her 35 years as a therapist, Arlene Drake has never heard so many clients talking about the same issue. Week after week, they complain of panic attacks and insomnia because of President Trump. They're too anxious to concentrate at work. One woman's fear turned into intense, physical pain.

"It's just a nightmare," said Drake, who practices in West L.A.

Drake was trained not to reveal her personal beliefs, but now will agree with clients if they say they don't support Trump.

"If this were just another session, if this weren't such a big thing, if this weren't so evil, I wouldn't," she said. "But I have to stand for what I stand for and that does cross over into politics."

Therapists nationwide say they've been overwhelmed by the strong feelings triggered by one of the most divisive figures in modern political history.

Comment: And now a bit of satire:




Blackbox

New Jersey to replace its broken bail system with a computer algorithm

© Stephen Lam / Reuters
The state is trying to fix the biased bail system—but do reform efforts go far enough?

New Jersey is trying a new algorithm to fix its broken bail system, a flashpoint for criminal justice advocates who argue that court-assessed fines can discriminate against low-income and highly policed communities—most often, people of color.

Guidelines for how judges set bail vary across the country, but generally use a combination of a bail schedule, which prices out fees for specific offenses, and their own assessment of whether the defendant will appear at their hearing or commit a crime before their trial. If you can't pay up, you stay in jail until your trial date, sometimes for up to a month.

War Whore

Los Angeles officials request ICE stop identifying themselves as police

© Lucy Nicholson / Reuters
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti
Three Los Angeles officials have signed a letter asking US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to stop introducing themselves as police. They argue that doing so undermines the trust built between immigrant communities and local law enforcement.

A letter from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, City Attorney Mike Feuer and City Council President Herb Wesson requested that ICE cease calling themselves police when interacting with the public to prevent alienating undocumented immigrants from the LAPD.

Inspired by a Los Angeles Times article discussing ICE officers who refer to themselves as "police" to get people to open their doors or talk to them, the letter says: "The LAPD manual states that participation by undocumented residents in police activities serves to 'increase the Department's ability to protect and serve the entire community.'"

The letter argues that ensuring undocumented immigrants feel comfortable reporting crime to police officers is integral to public safety, because it encourages "witnesses and victims of crime to come forward, irrespective of their immigration status."


Comment: See also: ICE 'removal orders' for 950K illegal immigrants is less than 1 percent captured in raids


Chart Pie

In attempt to balance US budget, Tennessee could be about to start a 'Constitutional crisis'

The State Senate of Tennessee has laid the legislative groundwork for something that hasn't been done in the United States of America since the Constitutional Convention of 1787 in Philadelphia. With a vote of 27-3, the Tennessee Senate has voted to call a "convention of the states" in order to draft and pass an amendment to the Constitution that would require balanced budgets to be passed every year.

For those who are little fuzzy on their high school U.S. history knowledge, the Tennessean explains that the U.S. Constitution can be amended in two ways. The first would require a two-thirds majority vote in both chambers of Congress, an unlikely outcome in today's hyper-partisan political arena. The second, on the other hand, requires that two-thirds of the states (34 in total) pass a resolution calling for a Constitutional Convention.
There are two ways to propose amendments to the Constitution. The first and more traditional method is through a two-thirds majority vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate. Then the amendment is sent to the state legislatures, where it needs ratification by three-fourths or 38 states in order to become law. Nearly all 27 amendments have followed this path.

But the Constitution also provides a second, more populist path to amending the document. If two-thirds or 34 states pass a resolution calling for a Constitutional Convention, delegates from all 50 states will meet to draft an amendment. This is what the Tennessee lawmakers are calling for in their resolution.

Comment: In order to arrive to a good solution, the people of the US have to more correctly identify the problems. With literally trillions of dollars gone missing from places like the unholy Pentagon - and no accountability - how could any new laws ever manage to shore up the economic health of the US? And this is just one (if not one of the worst) examples.

See: What would you do with 8.5 trillion and total secrecy? US government clueless about missing Pentagon cash


Heart - Black

BigPharma's quest for profit keeps life-saving medicines out of reach for the developing world

© Siegfried Modola / Reuters
Expensive medicines remain inaccessible for many. Lengthy patents prevent development or importation of cheaper generic drugs. The quest for profit trumps the needs of the developing world, violating the basic tenet of justice to provide healthcare to all.

Great scientific and medical advances were made over the course of the 20th century, manifesting in the development of myriad medicines, sophisticated surgical techniques, and significant improvements in healthcare provision. Average life expectancy in the USA increased by almost three decades during this period, concomitant with a steep fall in infant mortality. In England and Wales, average lifespans rose from 49 (males) and 53 (females) in 1910 to 75 (males) and 80 (females) by the end of the century.

The development of antibiotics, novel vaccinations, and an ever-widening array of medicines are some of the reasons behind the virtual eradication of infectious diseases such as measles, rubella, and TB in the developed world.

Not everyone has equally benefitted from this scientific progress, however. The aforementioned diseases are still frighteningly prevalent across the developing world. The average life expectancy in some African nations is as low as the sixth decade of life, as millions succumb to diseases and die without access to vaccinations, medicines, or decent healthcare.

Comment: It's not difficult to understand why the pharmaceutical industry is so despised. While poorer countries of the world suffer from a lack of necessary medicines, those in the developed world are over-medicated with drugs that are often harmful causing needless suffering and countless deaths.

Experts calling for urgent public inquiry into drugs firms' 'murky' practices - Big Pharma greed is killing tens of thousands around the world


Pistol

Case of a slain Palestinian framed by Israel as an Islamic State terrorist will undergo probe

© Keren Manor ActiveStills
Thanks to a human rights group petition, Yaqoub Abu al-Qiyan was buried on 24 January after Israel’s high court ordered the release of his body.
An Israeli justice ministry probe is expected to contradict police claims that a Palestinian citizen was attempting a car ramming attack when he was shot dead in January, Israeli media reported this week.

© Seen This
Yaqoub Abu al-Qiyan (Mossawa)
Yaqoub Abu al-Qiyan, 50, was shot by police while driving his vehicle, during a pre-dawn raid to destroy homes built without permits in Umm al-Hiran. The Israeli government seeks to evacuate the Palestinian Bedouin village in the south of Israel in order to build a Jewish settlement in its place. An officer was also killed and several demonstrators - including a Palestinian member of Israel's parliament - were injured by sponge-tipped bullets and other weaponry fired by police during the 18 January raid.

Eyewitnesses and the slain man's family told media that Abu al-Qiyan was attempting to leave the village and that his vehicle accelerated only after he was fired on, suggesting he became incapacitated and lost control of his car before it veered off course and drove into a group of police. But police and senior Israeli government officials wasted no time in framing Abu al-Qiyan as a terrorist immediately after his death.

Comment: Deflection with blame is an Israeli mastery.

See also: Father of slain Palestinian dies 'of shock' in Umm al-Hiran


Camcorder

Illegal Clinton fundraiser makes secret videotape as insurance against assassination


Trusted: Johnny Chung's fundraising made him someone the Clinton were keen to be seen with - and to thanks. But when the businessman (left) got caught up in scandal, he feared for his life. Quite how close they were is shown in this picture - signed by Hillary Clinton.

A Chinese-American businessman at the center of a Clinton campaign finance scandal secretly filmed a tell-all video as an 'insurance policy' - because he feared being murdered.

In footage provided exclusively to DailyMail.com, Johnny Chung spills details on how he illegally funneled money from Chinese officials to Bill Clinton's 1996 re-election bid.

The Chinese-American Clinton fundraiser recorded the 'elaborate videotaped testimony' while in hiding in 2000.

He smuggled it to trusted friends and family with instructions to release it to the media in the event of his untimely death because he believed he was at risk of being assassinated.

Chung is believed to still be alive and living in China.

The video was obtained by author and historian Doug Wead for his new book Game of Thorns, which traces Hillary Clinton's unsuccessful 2016 campaign and the Chinese government's long-running operation to buy political influence in Washington.