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Mon, 20 Aug 2018
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Gaza Health Ministry reports 2 Palestinians killed, 241 injured in protests on Gaza border

Protests in Gaza
© AFP 2018/MAHMUD HAMS
The Gaza Health Ministry reported Friday that two protesters were killed amid demonstrations along the Gaza border fence.

The protesters were throwing rocks and firebombs at Israeli troops, hiding behind clouds of black smoke of burning tires. The Israeli Defense Forces responded with tear gas and live fire.

As the IDF stated, they "fired live rounds selectively according to standard operating procedures," adding that some Palestinians also threw improvised explosives at the fence and several others were spotted trying to infiltrate the Israeli territory.

Weekly Hamas Protest

The weekly protest led by Hamas was aimed to attract attention to the Israeli-Egyptian blockade, which was set after the militant group took control of Gaza in 2007. Apart of protests, Hamas has currently been holding meetings with Egyptian officials in Cairo, seeking a possible truce.

Light Saber

In defense of free speech: Censorship never ends well

alex jones zuckerberg
© Brooks Kraft/Getty Images, Alex Brandon/AP/REX Shutterstock
Infowars' Alex Jones and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
How America learned to stop worrying and put Mark Zuckerberg in charge of everything

Silicon Valley is changing its mind about censorship.

Two weeks ago, we learned about a new campaign against "inauthentic" content, conducted by Facebook in consultation with Congress and the secretive think tank Atlantic Council - whose board includes an array of ex-CIA and Homeland Security officials - in the name of cracking down on alleged Russian disinformation efforts.­ As part of the bizarre alliance of Internet news distributors and quasi-government censors, the social network zapped 32 accounts and pages, including an ad for a real "No Unite the Right 2" anti-racist counter-rally in D.C. this past weekend.

"This is a real protest in Washington, D.C. It is not George Soros. It is not Russia. It is just us," said the event's organizers, a coalition of easily located Americans, in a statement.

Attention

A given: More bridges will collapse

Broken bridge
© Andrea Leoni/Getty
Bridge collapse in Genoa, Italy
There's an old chestnut about infrastructure that goes: Infrastructure is everything you don't notice-until it fails. It's a definition that works for any kind of infrastructure, too: big or small, visible or invisible, bridges and garage doors, electric grids and Wi-Fi routers. Infrastructure is everything you take for granted. And you only notice that you take it for granted when it breaks.

Lately, a lot of things have broken. In two incidents over the past two days, hundreds of people were injured or killed: An elevated-highway bridge collapsed in Genoa, Italy, and a pier gave out in Vigo, Spain, during a music festival. The consequences are harrowing. In Genoa, cars dropped 150 feet to the earth as a span of the bridge fell underneath them. In Vigo, concertgoers were plunged into the sea, piled atop one another, when the boardwalk gave out.

It's too early to know for certain what the causes were of the two collapses, but "structural problems" were suspected at the Spanish boardwalk, and "signs of problems" had been observed on the Italian bridge. Those factors invoke concerns about general infrastructural decline caused by deferred maintenance (usually from lack of funding). That's a familiar story everywhere. In the early-20th century, many structures were over-engineered to hold massive loads. But as civil engineering matured, and as demand for structures increased, the profession designed structures to be safe, but also quick to erect economically. Eventually, those compromises would come home to roost. In 2007, a highway bridge in Minneapolis collapsed, killing or injuring hundreds. But even a decade later, the nation's "aging infrastructure" remained, mostly having become a political talking point rather than a program for renewal.

Comment: Physical bridges are in great disrepair but they aren't the only kind of connector in jeopardy. In parallel, there is a social-operational construct that builds bridges between ideologies, political positions, social issues, country relations, and so on. It seems that these connectors are also falling away, from neglect or increasing polarization, where the skill of compromise - a meeting in the middle or the meeting of minds - is no longer the goal and the gaps are increasing.


Smoking

Students in Copenhagen, Denmark banned from smoking during school hours

Copenhagen bans smoking during school hours
© Pixabay
A majority of local politicians at Copenhagen Municipality are keen to ban students from smoking during school hours.

A total ban proposal will be discussed by the municipality's children and youth committee today, and the idea has the support of the leadership of several city schools, though they admit that enforcing the ban could prove challenging.

"It is impossible to enforce such a ban, but I still believe that it's a good idea," Henrik Wilhelmsen, the head of Nørrebro Park School, told DR Nyheder.

Students to lead way

A smoking ban would mean that students won't be permitted to smoke on or outside school property during school hours.

Hammer

Rebuilding Syria: RT films repaired factories & roads as country is slowly getting back on track

Bridge
War-torn Syria is rebuilding after the successful expulsion of militants from large parts of the country. RT's crew visited strategic factories and roads, as well as peach orchards, as they return to normality.

A cable and electrics factory located in the town of Adra outside Damascus was looted clean by militants during the war. As the Syrian government got it back under its control, nothing but a bare, badly damaged building was remained. The factory is now back online, once again producing much-needed power cables which are used to fix the disrupted and ransacked electricity lines across the country.

Apart from the electricity network, Syria's road infrastructure has been badly damaged during the war. Two major cities - Hama and Homs - are located only 40km from each other, yet people were forced to take long detours though jihadist-held territories if they wished to travel from one city to the other.

Clipboard

Poll: Over 25% of Russians are supportive of Prague Spring suppression by Soviets

soviet tanks prague spring
© Yuryi Abramochkin / Sputnik
Prague Spring in Czechoslovakia. Soviet tanks in the streets of Prague
About a quarter of Russians believe the Soviet authorities were right to order the suppression of the 1968 Prague Spring uprising with military force - while 13 percent feel the actions were a mistake, a recent poll has shown.

According to the results of the research conducted by the Public Opinion endowment, 34 percent of Russians understand the history of the Prague Spring fairly well. Some 29 percent said they had heard something about these events and 35 percent claimed that they only learned about them from people who were conducting the poll. Just 2 percent of respondents could not give a direct answer to this question.

Comment: Polls show Putin now more popular than Merkel in Czech Republic


Post-It Note

'What imbeciles': Public blasts Barcelona posters calling for Brits to 'practice balconing'

Tourists
Posters in Barcelona calling on British tourists to throw themselves off balconies because it "improves neighbors' quality of life" have sparked outcry on social media. Several Britons fell to their death in Spain this year.

The yellow posters scattered across the city read: "Dear Tourist. Did you know balconing? Prevents gentrification, improves neighbors' quality of life, reduces the risk of heart disease, is LOTS of fun."

"Balconing" is the practice of falling from a height when climbing between balconies or, if in a hotel, lunging into a pool from a balcony.

The black-humor posters are believed to have been put up by a group of campaigners claiming that excessive tourism in the city is driving up rental prices and driving out local businesses.Most posters reportedly appeared in the popular tourist spot of Vallcarca, near Park Guell, which features work by the architect Antoni Gaudi.

Ambulance

'Social Distortion' frontman attacked Trump supporter during live show

Mike Ness (left) of Social Distortion.
© KEVIN WINTER / AFP
Mike Ness (left) of Social Distortion.
Dramatic video footage has captured the moment the lead singer of the punk rock band 'Social Distortion' allegedly attacked a supporter of US President Donald Trump during a live performance.

Local man Tim Hildebrand says the violent confrontation took place after frontman Mike Ness started bad-mouthing Trump at a concert in the Ace of Spades music venue in Sacramento, California.

The Republican took umbrage with the singer's political remarks and he made his feelings known with an insulting hand gesture. "I stood pretty much with my silent protest with my middle finger up for the next two songs," Hildebrand told CBS.

That act inflamed the situation further and before long Ness and Hildebrand allegedly came to blows. Video footage from the scene shows the singer remonstrating with Hildebrand from the stage before removing his guitar and launching himself into the crowd to confront the farmer.

Red Flag

After releasing child killers because of lack of evidence, Feds trash NM compound and destroy evidence

Taos NM compound
Adding to the already insane nature of five suspected terrorist child killers being released this week, on Wednesday, after a judge granted them release, federal agents raided the compound once more and destroyed all the evidence by razing it to the ground.

As TFTP reported, the five accused child abuse suspects - arrested last week for allegedly training children to carry out school shootings - were released by a New Mexico judge despite frightening evidence against them. Days later, their compound was mysteriously ransacked by feds.

On a condition of their release, the defendants must adhere to 13 items required by the state including posting a $20,000 appearance bond, wearing an ankle monitor, no contact with their children, and house arrest. The only problem is, their house-which was a stolen RV-was just seized and their compound demolished as part of a mysterious campaign by federal agents.

Sheriff

While trying to kill a family's dog, cop accidentally shoots 11-year-old boy

Gun, dog, child
Once again, a cop's fear of a dog has put others in harm's way, and, once again, an innocent person was hurt. This time, an 11-year-old boy was struck by a police officer's bullet when the officer was attempting to kill his dog.

This week, a deputy from the San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department was responding to a call over a possible disturbance at a home. When the deputy knocked on the door, the 11-year-old boy answered and-like most dogs in the world do when they hear a knock at the door-his pup ran out.

Instead of doing what any postal worker, pizza delivery driver, or UPS driver would do-by solving the situation without a gun-the cop pulled out his service weapon and attempted to kill the boy's dog. Luckily, for the dog, the cop is a terrible shot. However, the boy was not so lucky.