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Attention

US patrol ship fires warning shots at Iranian ship in Persian Gulf

© U.S. EUROPEAN COMMAND
A US patrol ship fired several warning shots from a heavy machine gun at an Iranian craft that approached within 150 yards and ignored other warnings, Pentagon officials told reporters on Tuesday.

USS Thunderbolt opened fire only after it tried to warn off the Iranians over the radio, by firing flares, and blowing five short blasts from its whistle, the officials said. The warning shots were fired into the water, out of concerns of a possible collision.

The Iranian ship had approached to within 150 yards (137 meters), but "ceased its provocative actions" after the warning shots, US officials added. The vessel stayed in the area, which was described as being in "international waters in the northern Arabian Gulf," the Pentagon's preferred term for the Persian Gulf.

Pocket Knife

Man shouting 'Allahu Akbar' attacks Spanish police officers with a knife

© Joseba Etxaburu / Reuters
A knife-wielding man shouting "Allahu Akbar" has attacked police on the Spanish-Moroccan border, injuring an officer, according to Spanish authorities. The attacker was immediately arrested by Spanish law enforcement.

The incident took place at a border post between the Moroccan town of Beni Enzar and the Spanish-controlled city of Melilla on Tuesday, local media reported.


Stop

St. Louis County cops brazenly cover up camera to hide their corruption

Newly-disclosed documents show St. Louis County police sleeping on the job, lounging in a security office, and even covering a security camera to hide it.

St. Louis County Police have made headlines for highly questionable conduct on the job, as newly obtained public records reveal officers slacking en masse for cell phone time, sleeping on the clock, failing to perform required duties - including basic patrolling - and even taping over a security camera, in regular apparent attempts to conceal all of the aforementioned ... if not more.

Documents, video, and other materials obtained by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch catalogue a number of similar incidents in which police tasked with patrolling Metro stations and protecting commuters instead slacked off en masse behind closed doors - and, at least once, away from the camera's watchful eye - even refusing to cooperate with transit officers.

Alarm Clock

More Transgender Rights? No, its Only the Death of Meaning, Dear!

So here we are on the cusp of gaining the "right" to alter our own birth certificates to change the sex that the midwife proclaimed when we exited our mother's womb. Midwives? They know nothing. For millennia they have had the audacity to look between the legs of newborn babes and declare them to be boys or girls, solely on the basis of certain anatomical features.

Crusader

Australian Baptist pastor calls Islam 'a virus, a cancer we must destroy'

© Keith Piper/YouTube
Pastor Keith Piper
An Australian Baptist church that provides scripture to government schools has come under fire after a video surfaced of its pastor describing Islam as "a cancer we must destroy."

Keith Piper, the pastor of Liberty Baptist Church, based in the Sydney suburb of Cherrybrook, uploaded a video of one of his sermons on his YouTube channel last year. The video has recently resurfaced in the Australian media, prompting calls for an investigation.

In the video, Piper described the Koran as "a virus infecting the brains [of Muslims]" and he said Islam is "culturally incompatible with western Christian values."

He also said that Australian schools were rejecting western values and teaching "sodomy."

"Ungodly, leftist western leaders are afraid to teach the Bible, salvation and Christian values in state schools," he said. "Instead they teach sodomy and how to become a weirdo.

"Islam and Qur'an-practising Muslims are culturally incompatible with western and Christian values ... Islamism is a cancer [and] we must destroy that cancer."


Display

Delaware allows corporations to use blockchain to create and maintain transaction records

© Getty Images
The "corporate capital of the world" has just made it legal for corporations to use blockchain technology for stock trading and record-keeping. At the same time, a digital currency trading platform has been authorized to provide clearing services.

On Friday, Delaware Governor John Carney (D) signed a bill that allows state corporations to "use networks of electronic databases (examples of which are described currently as 'distributed ledgers' or a 'blockchain') for the creation and maintenance of corporate records, including the corporation's stock ledger."

A Blockchain, also known as a distributed ledger, is a digital record of transactions between parties on a network.

Traditionally, corporations have relied on intermediaries like clearinghouses, custodians, exchanges, fiduciaries, or banks to settle transactions. Each intermediary had to verify transactions with their own ledgers, which adds time and cost to each transaction.

Mail

California Scholar for Academic Freedom Writes Open Letter Responding to Extremist Zionist Media Campaign

[Prefatory Note: Below is an Open Letter prepared under the direction of Vida Samiian of State University of California at Fresno on behalf of California scholars defending against any effort to abridge academic freedom anywhere in the world, but particularly in California and the United States. The group has been recently sensitive to issues surrounding Israel/Palestine, Zionism, and alleged Anti-Semitism, but it also references attacks elsewhere in the world that encroach upon academic freedom.

The Open Letter references a defamatory article about me that recycles the by now familiar litany of mistakes, distortions, smears, and array of cherrypicking (mis)interpretations to create a false impression as to my actual views on controversial current issues. The evidentiary background of the article relies on the work of UN Watch, a supposed NGO that takes on all critics of Israel, especially at the UN, and made a habit of regularly launching harassing attacks on me during my six years as UN Special Rapporteur for Occupied Palestine. Their efforts included writing long derogatory letters to UN diplomats and public officials in governments complaining about my views, and urging my dismissal by the UN Secretary General. On this occasion as discussed in the Open Letter the attacks on me were contained in an article in the current issue of the conservative magazine written by intern, National Review, and can be found at <http://www.nationalreview.com/article/449164/un-anti-israel-bias-richard-falk-pro-iran-9-11-truther-investigates-jewish-state>

Cult

Modern day slavery: North Carolina megachurch runs forced labor ring while authorities ignore victim's complaints


According to the investigation, the Word of Faith Fellowship set up two churches in Brazil and used it as a means of siphoning young laborers to the United States to use them for forced labor.
Scores of former slaves have come forward to expose the Word of Faith Fellowship congregation as a hub for modern slavery in the United States in which hundreds have been victims, according to a scathing report from the Associated Press. To date, the church leaders have yet to be held accountable.

According to the investigation, the Word of Faith Fellowship set up two churches in Brazil and used it as a means of siphoning young laborers to the United States to use them for forced labor.

Andre Oliveira was one of those slaves who tells the AP he was forced to work 15 hours a day, usually for no pay, first cleaning warehouses for the secretive evangelical church and later toiling at businesses owned by senior ministers. Any deviation from the rules risked the wrath of church leaders, he said, ranging from beatings to shaming from the pulpit.

"They trafficked us up here. They knew what they were doing. They needed labor and we were cheap labor - hell, free labor," Oliveira said.

The church's 35-acre compound in Spindale, NC provided the perfect core for this horrific human trade.

Comment: Taking a cue from Scientologists? FBI investigates Church of Scientology over claims of human trafficking, enslavement and violence


Arrow Down

Nanny state: Oregon removes children from competent caring parents simply because they have low IQ scores


These entirely competent, caring parents, with no criminal history or history of abuse, had their children stolen by the state for their low IQ scores.
Amy Fabbrini and Eric Ziegler are loving parents who had their children taken from them because the state thinks that their low standardized test scores make them bad parents.

Both Fabbrini and Ziegler are high school graduates who are self-sustainable living in a 1,200 square foot home provided to them by Ziegler's parents. They have no criminal record, no record of abuse, yet the state of Oregon deemed it justified to steal their children and give them to someone else.

According to the Oregonian, Fabbrini formerly worked as a grocery clerk. Ziegler worked as a carpet layer, he said, but now receives Social Security benefits for his mental disability.

"I have a learning disability, but it's very, very mild," Ziegler said. He understands that he learns more slowly than some, but says "everybody learns at their pace."

As the Oregonian reports, Ziegler has a driver's license. Both have standard high school diplomas. And seven years ago, after a divorce, Fabbrini was granted shared custody of twin boys she had with her ex-husband.

Bomb

Vienna police hunt for two metro riders discussing bomb in Arabic

© Peter Giovannini / Global Look Press
Two men were overheard speaking of a bomb in Arabic while riding the Vienna metro. Police in the Austrian capital have launched a manhunt for the two, and have released photos of them from CCTV cameras.

On July 17, one of the two men on the released images was overheard telling the other that he "had set the bomb timer for 5 minutes," police said in a statement, citing witnesses.

The man who spoke about the bomb was carrying a briefcase, the statement adds. Witnesses who overheard the conversation left the train the suspects were traveling in and immediately tipped off police.