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Thu, 27 Jan 2022
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Michigan man gets proned out at gunpoint for exercising 2nd amendment

© mlive.com
Johann Deffert discovers what its like to exercise your rights in America.
Grand Rapids - A man was forced to the concrete at gunpoint, handcuffed, and held with a pistol aimed at his back by an officer who didn't approve of him exercising his right to bear arms.

Johann Deffert, 28, was simply walking down the street - breaking no laws - while wearing a holstered pistol on his waistband.

Such an act is perfectly legal in the state of Michigan. Yet when the streets are patrolled by overzealous, uninformed law enforcers, exercising rights can be a serious hazard to one's health.

Grand Rapids police officer William Moe saw Deffert walking down the sidewalk. "It does look like he's got a handgun on," Moe told a dispatcher. Moe reacted to him like as if he had just robbed a bank. Moe exited his vehicle with his pistol trained on Deffert, barking orders and putting lives at risk.

"On the ground!! On the ground!! Put your hands on top of your head!"

Arrow Down

This slaughter is 'lawful', says Japan: More than 200 dolphins trapped in a remote bay are expected to be killed by hunters tomorrow

Taiji Cove
© The Independent, UK
Hundreds of dolphins are killed in a remote Japanese bay during hunting season. The town argues it is an important tradition, but conservationists maintain the bloody practice is inhumane.
Washington and Tokyo, normally the staunchest of allies, have been drawn into an unexpected diplomatic spat over the annual slaughter of dolphins in a secluded Japanese cove.

Japan's top government spokesman Yoshihide Suga, defended the controversial cull in the town of Taiji as "lawful", swatting away criticism from the US ambassador, Caroline Kennedy.

Ms Kennedy, the only surviving child of the assassinated US President John F Kennedy, joined the chorus of global outrage this week when she said her government opposed the practice. "Deeply concerned by inhumaneness of drive hunt dolphin killing," she tweeted, as fresh images appeared online showing apparently bloodied dolphins being herded into the cove for the slaughter, which is expected to take place today.

Conservationists say a rare albino dolphin is among about 250 of the animals thrashing behind nets overnight. "Babies and mothers will be torn from each other's sides as some are taken for captivity, some are killed, and others are driven back out to sea to fend for themselves," said the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, which is monitoring the cull.

The hunts are notoriously brutal. Fishermen on boats surround pods of migrating dolphins, lower metal poles into the sea and bang them to frighten the animals and disrupt their sonar. Once the dolphins are herded into the narrow cove, the fishermen attack them with knives, before dragging them to a harbour-side warehouse for slaughter. The best-looking dolphins are separated and sold to aquariums.

Arrow Up

Trust in government falling sharply worldwide

© Associated Press
Growing distrust of government a worldwide problem.
Trust in elected leaders has fallen sharply, a global survey revealed Monday, citing the protracted budget battle in Washington that nearly saw the U.S. default on its debts and Europe's stuttering response to its debt crisis as key reasons for the drop.

Ahead of the gathering of political and business leaders in the Swiss resort of Davos, the public relations firm Edelman found that only 44 per cent of university-educated people participating in the survey trusted government, down 4 percentage points from the previous year. As recently as 2011, trust in politicians stood at 52 per cent.

The 2014 Edelman Trust Barometer found the largest-ever gap in its 14-year history - 14 points - between trust in government and trust in business.

Arrow Down

Mad world: Charity pays boarding school fees for its chief executive

© Halo Trust/Getty Images.
Angeline Jolie and Prince Harry visiting the Halo Trust.

The Halo Trust, a mine clearance charity supported by Prince Harry and Angelina Jolie, is paying the boarding school fees for its chief executive.

One of Britain's biggest charities, whose patron is Prince Harry, has used hundreds of thousands of pounds of donors' money to pay the boarding school fees of its chief executive's children.

The Halo Trust, whose trustees include the actress Angelina Jolie, has sanctioned the payment of tens of thousands of pounds a year for more than a decade to fund the private education of Guy Willoughby's four children.

Mr Willoughby, who founded the mine clearance charity, receives a financial package worth between £210,000 and £220,000 a year, according to the most recent accounts. The package includes the cost of sending his children to two of Britain's most expensive private schools - Oundle School in Northamptonshire, attended by Mr Willoughby's son, and Queen Margaret's School in York, where two of his daughters study.

Oundle currently charges £30,705 a year for boarders while Queen Margaret's charges £27,825 although there is an additional discount for siblings. Mr Willoughby admitted to The Telegraph that the cost of boarding school was "staggering".

Eritrea Willoughby, Mr Willoughby's eldest child, is now at university but also had her boarding school fees paid for by the charity.

Eye 1

New York cops beat up 84-year-old man for jaywalking

© G.N. Miller/NY Post
A man is left bloodied, then arrested by cops, seemingly for jaywalking.
Cops bloodied an 84-year-old man and put him in the hospital Sunday when he jaywalked at an Upper West Side intersection and didn't appear to understand their orders to stop, witnesses said.

Kang Wong was strolling north on Broadway and crossing 96th Street at around 5 p.m., when an officer told him to halt because he had walked against the light.

Police were targeting jaywalkers in the area following the third pedestrian fatality this month around West 96th Street.

Wong, who lives a block away, appeared to not understand the cop, the witnesses said.

"The guy didn't seem to speak English. The cop walked him over to the Citibank" near the northeast corner of 96th and Broadway, said one witness, Ian King, a Fordham University law student.

"[The officer] stood him up against the wall and was trying to write him a ticket. The man didn't seem to understand, and he started walking away.

Heart - Black

Annual Japanese dolphin hunt spurs social media outrage

© Sundance Film Festival
A diver swims with dolphins in "The Cove"
The annual dolphin hunt at Taiji Cove in Japan continued Sunday, despite calls from conservationists for the practice to stop.

The Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, a Washington state-based non-profit marine wildlife conservation group, said on its Facebook page Sunday that more than 200 dolphins spent a second day trapped in the cove.

Fifteen of the animals were taken for a "life of imprisonment in captivity," the group said, adding that one dolphin died in the process. On Saturday, the group said 25 dolphins were removed from their pod, and one died.

The remaining dolphins will spend a third night in the cove before being killed Monday, the group said. CNN reported that the dolphins taken Saturday and Sunday were likely to be sold into captivity at marine parks in Japan and overseas, according to the conservation group.


Two injured in Philadelphia school shooting, teen suspect's lawyer says he's not responsible

© Matt Rourke, AP
SAFETY ALERT: Police enter the Delaware Valley Charter School on Jan. 17, 2014, in Philadelphia.

The lawyer for a boy charged as an adult in a Friday shooting in a Philadelphia high school gym says his client is not responsible for the crime.

The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office charged Raisheem Rochwell, 17, on Saturday with two counts of aggravated assault and weapons charges, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Bail for the teen was set at $500,000.

Police said surveillance video and information from witness interviews led them to charge Rochwell. A second suspect, 16, turned himself in Friday, but has yet to be charged.

Rochwell's attorney, Amato Sanita, told the Associated Press that he doesn't believe that the police account is accurate, adding Rochwell "is not the person who will ultimately be responsible for this act."


Fourteen killed as deadly blast hits Pakistan city of Rawalpindi

© Reuters.
The market is located near the army headquarters in Pakistan's Rawalpindi.
At least 14 people have been killed in a suspected suicide attack in Pakistan's Rawalpindi city, police say.

Those who died included six military personnel and eight civilians, a senior official told the BBC.

The explosion happened in a crowded market near Pakistan's army headquarters.

The incident comes a day after 20 soldiers were killed in the north-west of the country when a bomb blast struck an army convoy.

At least 24 others were injured in that explosion, which Pakistan's Taliban said it had carried out.

Soldiers and paramilitary forces were planning to leave Bannu town, in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, for Razmak in North Waziristan, when their convoy was rocked by the blast.

It was not immediately clear who was behind Monday's attack in Rawalpindi, located just south of the capital, Islamabad.


14th arrest in protest against Calif. officer acquittal in beating death of homeless man

© Reed Saxon, AP
Members of the ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) Coalition rally to protest the acquittal of two former Fullerton, Calif., police officers in the death of homeless man Kelly Thomas, at Pershing Square in downtown Los Angeles on Jan. 14, 2014.
Police have arrested a 14th person following a protest against the acquittal of officers in the beating death of a homeless man.

The protest in the Orange County city of Fullerton turned violent Saturday afternoon when a few of the 200 participants attacked a television news camera operator.

Initially, one person was arrested for assault, two for vandalism and 10 for refusing to follow police orders to disperse. Fullerton police Sgt. Jeff Stuart said Sunday a 14th protester was arrested later, after trying to steal from a nearby supermarket. More arrests are possible.

The protesters objected to a verdict earlier last Monday that absolved two Fullerton officers in the 2011 death of Kelly Thomas, whom police had kneed and jolted with an electric stun gun.

Red Flag

Social Decay: Golden Globes celebrate pedophile Woody Allen

© Andrew Medichini/AP
Woody Allen, who has been given the Cecil B DeMille Lifetime Achievement award.
Not everyone welcomed the director's Lifetime Achievement award - particularly Mia and Ronan Farrow. So is it OK to praise his work?

Is it OK to celebrate Woody Allen? Many fans thought, with some relief, that this question had finally been settled, with the public beginning to relax about the public scandals that destroyed his family in the 90s, and the filmmaker himself at long last returning to professional form. (It has never been clear to me, incidentally, which was deemed by the masses to be Allen's more grievous fault: running off with his longterm partner Mia Farrow's adopted daughter, Soon-Yi Previn, or going off the boil and making dross like The Curse of the Jade Scorpion. These, shall we say, missteps seemed, in the eyes of the media, to be interchangeable, probably with some mutual causation.) Clearly the Hollywood Foreign Press Association felt all that "unpleasantness" was over when they decided to give him the Cecil B DeMille Lifetime Achievement award this year, accepted on his behalf by his former partner Diane Keaton.

But, it turned out, they were wrong. Debates about Allen's morality began to roll like angry thunder early Sunday evening when various writers voiced their impatience with the Globes for giving Allen the prize and an awards event that in recent years has been celebrated as being one of the most fun (thank you, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler) became one of the most divisive. By the end, the anger erupted into fury:

"Missed the Woody Allen tribute - did they put the part where a woman publicly confirmed he molested her at age seven before or after Annie Hall?" tweeted Ronan Farrow, Allen and Mia Farrow's son, when the event finished. Mia Farrow was more vague in her digs during the evening ("Time to grab some ice-cream and switch over to Girls [sic]," she tweeted obliquely minutes before the Allen tribute), but by the morning, perhaps inspired by her son, she was on the case with a vengeance: "A woman has publicly detailed Woody Allen's molestation of her at age 7. GoldenGlobe tribute showed contempt for her & all abuse survivors [sic]," she tweeted, while the photo of her sweetly smiling face sat somewhat incongruously next to her raging comment.