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Sat, 27 Feb 2021
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Brian Mulligan, Deutsche Bank Exec, Files $50 Million Police Brutality Claim In Bizarre Bath Salts Episode

Brian Mulligan
© Getty Images
Deutsche Bank executive Brian Mulligan allegedly told the Los Angeles police during an incident in May that he ingested “white lightning,” which police say is a commercial name for bath salts.
Los Angeles - A senior executive at Deutsche Bank has filed a $50 million claim against the city of Los Angeles, alleging he was beaten by two officers during a bizarre incident after they dropped him off at a motel where they ordered him to stay until the following morning.

Brian Mulligan, 53, filed the claim, a precursor to a lawsuit, earlier this month, saying his injuries included a broken nose and shoulder. He said he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and his medical bill could reach $1 million because of his encounter with police.

"I think their actions were excessive," Mulligan's attorney, J. Michael Flanagan, said of the officers Monday. "I don't know why they did what they did, but as soon as we file a lawsuit, we can get depositions and find out what they did."

Police arrested Mulligan for investigation of resisting arrest, but county prosecutors declined to file charges. A declination letter from prosecutors said Mulligan had been "acting crazy" and was injured after he swung and lunged at officers who restrained him.

Police declined comment Monday, citing the pending claim.

The strange set of events began on the night of May 15 for the Deutsche Bank vice chairman, who also once served as co-chairman of Universal Studios and chief financial officer of Seagram Co. Flanagan wouldn't say what Mulligan was doing in Highland Park, about 10 miles from his home in La Canada-Flintridge, but maintained his client believes "someone was chasing him."

Heart - Black

Quebec Woman Remains in Coma after Acid Attack

WARNING: This story contains disturbing details

© Facebook
Nikolas Stefanatos, 27, has been charged with aggravated assault.
A woman from Longueuil, Que., is in a medically induced coma with serious burns to her upper body after she was attacked with acid during a conjugal fight on Sunday.

According to Martin Simard of the Longueuil police, Tanya St Arnauld, 29, has burns to 70 per cent of her body caused by a household cleaning liquid, like drain or cement cleaner.

Nikolas Stefanatos, 27, of Brossard, Que., has been charged with aggravated assault. His bail hearing was put over at his first court appearance on Monday.

Wall Street

Nearly 50 killed or missing in Chinese mine blast

Nineteen miners were killed and 28 are missing in China after a gas explosion in a coal shaft, the Xinhua news agency said on Thursday, marking one of the biggest disasters of the year in the accident-plagued industry.

Rescue teams from other mines had been sent to the Xiaojiawan Coal Mine in Sichuan province where 107 miners had been rescued after Wednesday's blast, it reported.

China's mines are the deadliest in the world because of lax enforcement of safety standards and a rush to feed demand from a robust economy. But the death toll from accidents has been falling, government statistics show.

The government work safety watchdog said that 1,973 miners were killed in coal mine accidents last year, according to state media. In 2010, 2,433 people were killed, down from a toll of 2,631 the previous year.

Xinhua said the Xiaojiawan mine was owned by Zhengjin Industry and Trade Co., Ltd. Police were questioning the owner.

Better Earth

Men Should Sit To Pee Says Taiwan Minister

Toilet Etiquette
© kclarkscorner.blogspot.com
Men should sit down to urinate in the toilet instead of standing up because it helps maintain a cleaner environment, says a Taiwanese government minister.

Stephen Shen is Taiwan's minister for Environmental Protection Administration (EPA). He has stirred up a widespread debate on whether men should sit down on the toilet to urinate, like women do.

Shen himself maintains he does, both at home and in public toilets.

The EPA carries out regular inspections of Taiwan's 100,000 or so public toilets and suggests while many of them are very clean, there is room for improvement. Standing up to urinate causes urine splatter which creates a bad smell, say EPA officials.

Local governments in Taiwan are being advised in the next few days to place public notices asking men to sit when urinating.

Cindy Sui, of BBC News, Taipei, says the announcement has stirred a lot of online debate. Although social media activity suggests women think it is a good idea, the men are likely to find it hard to change their ways.

Chart Pie

Majority of Americans Think the Rich are Greedy, Dishonest and Should Pay More Taxes

© AFP Photo / Nicholas Kamm
A new poll shows that the 58 percent of Americans believe the rich are intelligent and hardworking, but also greedy and dishonest, and should pay more taxes.

The poll, released by the Pew Research Center on Monday, also found that 52 percent of Americans - including the upper class - want upper middle class Americans to pay more in taxes, while only 10 percent said they pay too much.

As America's middle class is shrinking and poverty is reaching a record high since the 1960's, the wealth is increasingly distributed among the upper percentile of Americans, the Associated Press reports.

9 Things The Rich Don't Want You To Know About Taxes
Class War in America
How the Rich Soaked the Rest of Us: The Astonishing Story of the Last Few Decades is a Massive Redistribution of Wealth, as the Rich have Shifted the Tax Burden
US: Subsidies for The Rich and Famous


Clashes, Arrests as Over 30,000 Students Protest in Canada

© Facebook/Hubert Pineault
Eleven students have been arrested and are facing charges in Quebec following confrontations with police. The incident took place during an ongoing student-led strike against proposed tuition fee hikes, with over 31,000 participating in the protests.

The demonstrators are disobeying Quebec's back-to school law in Montreal, which demanded that students return to their universities on Monday despite their stated opposition to the proposed government tuition hikes. Over 31,000 students are striking - boycotting class, demonstrating, banging pots, disrupting classes and marching through university halls in masks, Canadian media reported.

A total of 49 classes were forced to be suspended at the University of Montreal, due to a lack of attendance.

Black Cat

Right Wing Billionaires Romney and Ryan Think it's Time to Take the Gloves Off

The right wing elite think they can make a major breakthrough, they can end the last vestiges of the welfare state

Comment: A scary team indeed:
Mitt Romney: Alien or Psychopath?
Paul Ryan's Economic Policies - Tax Cuts for Wealthy, Spending Cuts for Everyone Else
Romney Justifies Denying Health Care To People With Pre-Existing Conditions: 'We Can't Play The Game Like That'
US: Romney: 'I'm Not Concerned About the Very Poor'
Authoritarian Followers: How Ordinary People Come to Embrace Paul Ryan's Cruelty

Arrow Up

In Hard Times, "I Buy Gold" is Italy's Boom Business

Buy Gold
© Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters
A sign advertising the services of a pawnbroker, which reads "I buy Gold, Silver and Diamonds", is seen in Rome August 17, 2012. City centres are being transformed as traditional shops go out of business, their signs replaced by ones that announce "Compro Oro", or "I Buy Gold". The Eurispes thinktank estimates the number of "Compro Oro" shops has quadrupled in the last two years. The proliferation of pawn shops, with an estimated annual turnover of 7 billion euros, is a very visible sign that for millions of Italians life has changed for the worse.
Times are now so tough that Valerio Novelli, a ticket inspector on Rome's buses, is planning to sell his old gold teeth.

"I can't get to the end of the month without running up debts," said Mr. Novelli, 56, who has to support an ex-wife and daughter. "I know I won't get much, but I need the money."

In a country suffering from economic crisis, buying gold off desperate people has become one of the few boom industries.

City centres are being transformed as traditional shops go out of business, their signs replaced by ones that announce "Compro Oro", or "I Buy Gold".

The Eurispes thinktank estimates the number of "Compro Oro" shops has quadrupled in the last two years. The growth of the industry is "a very good indicator of the level of hardship in the country," said Gian Maria Fara, the think tank's president.

"Business is very good, you can really feel the crisis," said 30 year-old Alexia Messi, who works in Oro Change on Via Medaglie D'Oro in northern Rome. It opened its first branch five years ago and now has seven outlets in Rome.

"People are never happy to sell, but now they come in with anything - gold, silver, old stuff, new stuff. I would say we have twice as many customers a day as we did a year ago."

Meanwhile, the toll of the crisis is being felt by traditional retailers. In central Rome, Massimo Della Rocca, 57, who has run the men's' clothes shop EDEL since inheriting it from his grandfather 30 years ago, is planning to close up.

"Things have been getting worse for years but now it's becoming impossible. Sales this summer are down 25 per cent from last year," said Mr. Della Rocca, whose garments are all made in Italy from local fabrics. "It's sad because this shop has been going for 80 years."


Milgram's Experiment on Obedience to Authority

© Unknown
Why is it so many people obey when they feel coerced? Social psychologist Stanley Milgram researched the effect of authority on obedience. He concluded people obey either out of fear or out of a desire to appear cooperative--even when acting against their own better judgment and desires. Milgram's classic yet controversial experiment illustrates people's reluctance to confront those who abuse power. It is my opinion that Milgram's book should be required reading (see References below) for anyone in supervisory or management positions.

Comment: What is more disturbing is that little has changed since these original experiments were conducted:

More shocking results: New research replicates Milgram's findings
Hidden Camera Exposes Americans Will Submit and Not Question Authority When Ordered to Do the Most Absurd Things
Authoritarian Followers: The temptations and perils of blind obedience to authority
Questioning Authority: A Rethinking of the Infamous Milgram Experiments

Heart - Black

Defendant in Texas rape case disappears from trial

Eric McGowen
© AP Photo/Courtesy the Liberty County Sheriff's Department
This undated booking photo provided by the Liberty County Sheriff's Department in Liberty, Texas, shows Eric McGowen.
Liberty - One of the men accused in a series of repeated sexual assaults of a young Texas girl disappeared from his trial Wednesday, following a day of emotional testimony from the now 13-year-old girl who cried as a video of one of the encounters was played for jurors.

Testimony continued despite the absence of 20-year-old defendant Eric McGowen, who is one of 14 adults accused of having sex with the girl during a nearly three-month span two years ago. Six juveniles were also charged.

Prosecutors and defense attorneys huddled briefly with Judge Mark Morefield in front of his bench when McGowen failed to return to the courtroom following an afternoon break. The judge then told jurors the trial would go on without him.

Morefield later said a bench warrant had been issued, and McGowen's bond was increased from $35,000 to $250,000. The judge denied a defense motion for a continuance in the case and said the trial would resume Thursday morning.

"Your client left voluntarily," Morefield told defense attorney Matthew Poston.