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Fri, 20 Oct 2017
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US Olympic gymnast describes systemic sexual abuse by former team doctor Larry Nassar

© McKayla Maroney Brian Snyder / Reuters
McKayla Maroney
US gymnast McKayla Maroney, a part of the London 2012 winning squad, has claimed she suffered 'systematic sexual abuse' at the hands of disgraced former US team doctor Larry Nassar.

Inspired by the #MeToo movement, a campaign encouraging women to speak up to share their experiences of sexual harassment, Maroney decided to reveal her own story of abuse, which she claims began when she was 13.

In a Twitter post published on Wednesday, the former vaulter claimed Nassar sexually abused her for 7 years, from the Texas training camp when she was just 13 up to her retirement from professional sport in 2016.

"It seemed whenever and wherever this man could find the chance, I was 'treated,'" Maroney wrote. "It happened in London before my team and I won the gold medal, and it happened before I won my silver."

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

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


Palestine: Israeli soldiers arrest 24 journalists, 6 sentenced to long jail terms

Palestinian journalist clash with Israeli soldiers
The number of the Palestinian journalists arrested by the Israeli occupation reached 24 after two media personnel were detained at dawn yesterday, Quds Press reported.

According to the Palestinian Prisoners Club (PPC), brothers Ibrahim and Amer Al-Ja'bari are senior manager at the Transmedia Company which Israel shut down after confiscating its computers and broadcasting equipment.

The PPC said six of the 24 journalists have been sentenced to long jail terms, including Mahmoud Musa, who was handed a life term. He has been in jail since 1993.


Court finds Boston man guilty of conspiring to behead Mohammed cartoon contest blogger

© Reuters
Pamela Geller
A court in the northeastern U.S. city of Boston has found a 28-year-old man guilty of conspiring to behead a conservative blogger over a Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest.

David Wright was convicted on October 18 of conspiracy to commit acts of international terrorism and supporting the Islamic State (IS) extremist group for a 2015 plot to attack police and behead blogger Pamela Geller, who organized a "Draw Muhammad" cartoon contest.

Many Muslims consider cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad offensive.

Geller, who organized the Prophet Muhammad cartoon contest in Texas, said she meant it as an exercise of free speech.

Wright was accused of planning the attack with his uncle and a friend.

Heart - Black

Woman held hostage by bank robber left disabled after police shoot her 9 times

Julie Huff
A woman who was shot 9 times by police while she was being held as a hostage at a bank in Eufaula, Oklahoma, is now seeking compensation for the horrific attack that left her disabled.

Julie Huff was a customer at the Bank of Eufaula on Jan. 21, 2016, when a robber entered and took her hostage. Within 63 seconds of entering the building, Cedric Norris shot and killed Randy Peterson the bank's president, and shot and wounded a bank teller who refused to go with him as his hostage.

Norris then turned to Huff and took her as a hostage. He forced her into an SUV, which police pursued in a chase. After police "disabled the vehicle," Huff exited the car and ran into a nearby field, while Norris chased her and exchanged gunfire with officers, according to a report from Chickasha News.

While some police officers are cautious about firing at a suspect who is near an innocent hostage, the Oklahoma officers continued to fire bullets in Norris' direction, even when he caught up to Huff, grabbed her around the neck, and used her as a human shield.


Puerto Rican Secretary of State uncovers relief fraud - U.S. aid found unopened in dumpster

© Twitter screenshots
A shocking video recorded by Puerto Rico's Secretary of State, Luis Rivera Marin, shows that United States aid to Puerto Rico is going to waste and being thrown away in dumpsters before it can reach the millions of island residents afflicted by Hurricane Maria:

Most of Puerto Rico still does not have power, and its inhabitants are struggling with shortages in food, water, and essential supplies. However, yesterday Marin made the shocking discovery that a sizable portion of United States aid to Puerto Rico is going to waste before it ever reaches the hurricane victims.

The video shows countless unopened boxes full of ready-to-eat meals in a dumpster, presumably thrown away by Puerto Rican officials. The video was shot in Patillas, a city on the island's southeastern coast.


Mississippi school named after Jefferson Davis to be renamed for Obama

© Harold Gater
Davis Magnet School in Jackson, Miss.
A predominately black public school in Mississippi named after Confederate President Jefferson Davis will be stripped of that moniker next year and replaced with that of another president whose character students, parents and teachers have said is more fitting - Barack Obama.

Davis Magnet IB PTA President Janelle Jefferson announced at the Jackson School Board meeting Tuesday evening that school stakeholders voted on Oct. 5 to rename the school Barack Obama Magnet IB.

"Jefferson Davis, although infamous in his own right, would probably not be too happy about a diverse school promoting the education of the very individuals he fought to keep enslaved being named after him," she told the board.

A demographic breakdown of Davis Magnet's enrollment for 2017 shows 98 percent of the school's students are black.

Overall, JPS' enrollment is 97 percent black.

Comment: From a Confederate to a mass murderer. Good choice.


ICE issues detainer request for homeless immigrant arrested on suspicion of arson in California's wine country

© Getty
The U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement Agency (ICE) issued a detainer request on the Sonoma County Jail for Jesus Fabian Gonzalez, who was arrested Sunday on suspicion of arson in Wine Country fires that have killed at least 40 residents.

Breitbart News reported earlier this week that Sonoma County Sheriffs had arrested Jesus Fabian Gonzalez, 29, at Maxwell Regional Park in Sonoma County after a series of reports of ongoing fires in the region. Mr. Gonzalez was observed around 3:00 p.m. PDT wearing a jacket and walking "out of the creek area and a plume of smoke behind him," according to the Santa Rosa Press Democrat.

Mr. Gonzalez, who is homeless and reportedly known by law enforcement to have been living under a nearby bridge, claimed he was cold and had lit the fire to stay warm. But it was a balmy 78 degrees when he and the plume of smoke were first observed.

Mr. Gonzalez was booked into the Sonoma County Jail for suspicion of felony arson. His bail was set at a steep $110,000, according to the Sonoma County Sheriff Public Information Officer.


At least 43 Afghan servicemen killed in attack on military base, Taliban claims responsibility

© Ahmad Nadeem / Reuters
At least 43 servicemen were killed in an attack targeting a military base in Afghanistan's Kandahar Province, the country's Defense Ministry said.

The attack began with a suicide car bomb and was followed by an assault that overran the base. Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, a local spokesman for the Taliban, told Reuters that the attack killed at least 60 Afghan soldiers and injured many more.

At least ten Taliban were also killed in the attack.

Eye 1

US residents will soon require passports to travel domestically

© Jonathan Ernst / Reuters
They were previously allowed to use mere driving licenses.

But residents of some US states may soon require additional ID, such as passports, if they wish to embark on air travel - even if just domestically.

That's the new procedure on the horizon for people from states that have not yet introduced the standards required by the 2005 Real ID Act, which demands stricter regulations for state-issued IDs.

The states that haven't yet fallen into line each now have a grace period of three months to meet the revised criteria.

This deadline expires on 22 January 2018.


Cop who shot and killed unarmed dad begging for his life claims showing jury body cam is "unfair"

In March of 2016, Mesa Police Officer Philip Brailsford was charged with second-degree murder for gunning down Daniel Shaver, an innocent husband, and father of two. The shooting was captured on his body cam, part of which was released the following May.

Now, however, Brailsford's defense is claiming that the prosecution showing the jury the body cam during opening statements would be unfair to the killer cop.

According to AZ Central, Brailsford, 26, is scheduled to stand trial starting Oct. 23 on a charge of second-degree murder. The trial is expected to last 16 days. In a memorandum filed in Maricopa County Superior Court on Monday, attorney Michael Piccarreta says prosecutor Susie Charbel plans to show an 18-minute police body- camera recording during her opening statement, scheduled for Oct. 25.