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Tue, 25 Oct 2016
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Express Scripts partners to distribute Daraprim for $1

© Cheryl Frazier
Drug maker Imprimis Pharmaceuticals just found a backer to distribute its $1 alternative to Daraprim, the infection-fighting drug whose price was hiked 5,000% by Turing Pharmaceuticals.

Express Scripts (ESRX), a major manager of prescription drugs, announced Tuesday that it will offer patients the low-cost Imprimis drug, instead of Daraprim, starting as soon as this week.

Comment: A happy ending to the insatiable greed of Valeant - the company that hiked the price of this drug by 5000%.


Flight attendant accused of attacking crew, air marshals; spoke of 'nonsensical things'

© Fox News
An American Airlines flight attendant faces federal charges after she began attacking fellow crew members and U.S. marshals on both legs of an international flight from Charlotte.

Joanne Snow is charged with interference with flight crew members and attendants, and assault on an officer or employee of the United States, according to court documents related to the case. Snow's erratic behavior disrupted both legs of American flight 704 from Charlotte to Frankfurt, Germany, on Nov. 23 and 24, according to a federal affidavit.

According to the affidavit by federal Air Marshal Joseph D. Fialka, who was assigned to the round trip, Snow slapped other flight attendants and shoved, punched or kicked at marshals. Fialka says that other flight attendants told him before takeoff from Charlotte that they had tried to have Snow removed from duty but that American did not replace her. American spokeswoman Katie Cody released this statement midday Monday:

"We are aware of the incident, along with the subsequent criminal complaint, and take this matter very seriously. We are cooperating fully with federal law enforcement in their investigation, and are working directly with our employees. The safety and security of our customers and employees is always the top priority."

In his affidavit, Fialka said Snow confessed to him several times before takeoff that she was "crazy" or a "train wreck." Once the doors closed, another attendant told Fialka that Snow had slapped her in the middle galley of the airport. Some 45 minutes later, Fialka says, Snow shoved him several times. "She was quite irrational at this time," the marshal said in his affidavit. "She proceeded to the back of the plane, I learned that, while in the back of the plane, she grabbed the collar of the clothing (of another marshal) ... and spoke nonsensical things."


California man imprisoned 16 years for rape cleared by DNA testing

© Reuters/Francine Orr/Pool
Luis Lorenzo Vargas breaks down in court as he is exonerated for three sexual assaults that he was convicted of and spent 16 years in jail.
A man who served 16 years in prison had his conviction for three sexual assaults thrown out after DNA testing proved that he was not the suspect. Luis Lorenzo Vargas broke down in court on 23 November when a Los Angeles County judge exonerated him from the crimes he was convicted of in 1999.

The Los Angeles Times reported that DNA testing in 2014 on evidence from one of the attacks excluded the 46-year-old as a suspect and instead led to an unidentified serial rapist nicknamed the "teardrop rapist". Lawyers for the California Innocence Project at the California Western School of Law in San Diego reported in court documents that prosecutors argued that the same suspect must have committed all attacks Vargas was accused of.

"The evidence now shows the prosecution's case against him was demonstrably false," the attorneys wrote, adding it "points unerringly to Vargas's innocence." According to the Times, the Los Angeles County district attorney's office joined the innocence project in asking Superior Court Judge William C Ryan to release Vargas since it "no longer has confidence in the convictions."

Vargas received the support of his daughter and his mother, who cried as the judge tossed out his case. "It's a relief because I believed that my father was innocent the day he told me he was innocent," daughter Crystal Vargas said outside the courthouse. Despite being ordered to be released, Vargas will be placed in federal custody due to an immigration hold, authorities said. He also previously served time for forcibly raping a girlfriend, the Times noted.

Comment: He lost 16 years of his life in prison due to a broken, ponerized, dead-end U.S. legal system.

Bad Guys

Four Minneapolis men charged over shooting of five Black Lives Matter protesters

© Via Facebook
Lance Scarsella
Minnesota prosecutors on Monday filed felony charges against four men in connection with the wounding of protesters near a demonstration that has continued outside a Minneapolis police station since the fatal police shooting of a black man.

Allen Scarsella, 23, who prosecutors said in a complaint had admitted to shooting five protesters, was charged with one count of second-degree riot while armed and five counts of second-degree assault. Joseph Backman, 27; Nathan Gustavsson, 21; and Daniel Macey, 26, were each charged with second-degree riot in the Nov. 23 late night shooting that left five demonstrators with wounds that were not life-threatening.

All four men had been in custody since last week in the shooting near the protest camp that sprung up after the fatal shooting by police of Jamar Clark, 24, two weeks ago. Hennepin County jail records indicate that Scarsella's bail has been set at $500,000 and the others at $250,000 each. All are scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday afternoon.

Scarsella, Gustavsson and Backman are white, while Macey is Asian, police said.

The criminal complaint said Scarsella told a friend who is a police officer in another jurisdiction that he had gotten into an altercation and shot protesters.

(Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

Comment: The murder of Sandra Bland and America's 'color revolution'

Eye 1

Walmart hired Lockheed Martin and contacted FBI to monitor labor protests by its workforce

The retail giant is always watching.
In the autumn of 2012, when Walmart first heard about the possibility of a strike on Black Friday, executives mobilized with the efficiency that had built a retail empire. Walmart has a system for almost everything: When there's an emergency or a big event, it creates a Delta team. The one formed that September included representatives from global security, labor relations, and media relations. For Walmart, the stakes were enormous. The billions in sales typical of a Walmart Black Friday were threatened. The company's public image, especially in big cities where its power and size were controversial, could be harmed. But more than all that: Any attempt to organize its 1 million hourly workers at its more than 4,000 stores in the U.S. was an existential danger. Operating free of unions was as essential to Walmart's business as its rock-bottom prices.

OUR Walmart, a group of employees backed and funded by a union, was asking for more full-time jobs with higher wages and predictable schedules. Officially they called themselves the Organization United for Respect at Walmart. Walmart publicly dismissed OUR Walmart as the insignificant creation of the United Food and Commercial Workers International (UFCW) union. "This is just another union publicity stunt, and the numbers they are talking about are grossly exaggerated," David Tovar, a spokesman, said on CBS Evening News that November.

Internally, however, Walmart considered the group enough of a threat that it hired an intelligence-gathering service from Lockheed Martin, contacted the FBI, staffed up its labor hotline, ranked stores by labor activity, and kept eyes on employees (and activists) prominent in the group. During that time, about 100 workers were actively involved in recruiting for OUR Walmart, but employees (or associates, as they're called at Walmart) across the company were watched; the briefest conversations were reported to the "home office," as Walmart calls its headquarters in Bentonville, Ark.

Comment: There is hardly a noticeable difference between government and corporate clampdowns on legitimate dissent.


Muslim taxi cab driver shot by Pittsburgh passenger ranting about ISIS

© Twitter
Muslim taxi cab driver was shot in Pittsburgh by a man who ranted against Islamic State militants before running into his house to grab a rifle instead of paying his fare. The 38-year-old Moroccan immigrant said he picked up the man about 1 a.m. Thanksgiving outside Rivers Casino, and he said the passenger began questioning him about his background, reported the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

"He started the conversation and began to ask questions like, 'You seem to be like a Pakistani guy. Are you from Pakistan?'" said the driver, who asked to remain anonymous because he feared for his safety. The driver explained he came from Morocco but insisted he was "an American guy" — but that didn't satisfy the passenger.

"Then he continued the conversation," the driver said. "He began to speak about ISIS killing people. I told him 'Actually, I'm against ISIS. I don't like them.' I even told him that they are killing innocent people. I noticed that he changed his tone and he began to satirize Muhammad, my prophet, and began to shift to his personal life. He mentioned that he has two kids and was in prison for some time."

When they arrived at the man's house in Hazelwood, he asked the driver to wait because he had left his wallet inside.
"I waited for just five minutes, I think, and I noticed that he came out of the house carrying a rifle in his hand," the driver said. "I noticed him coming toward me. I didn't hesitate. I [made] a fast decision to leave and drove my taxi away because I felt he was going to do something, there is danger he would shoot me or something. I felt like he had the intention to kill me."

The man fired multiple gunshots at the driver's cab, blasting out the rear window and shooting him in the back. The driver drove several blocks before pulling over and flagging down another driver to ask for help. He remains hospitalized in stable condition, the newspaper reported, but the bullet is still lodged between his shoulder blades.

Comment: Never again? The Nazis specifically targeted Jews in the same way. We are witnessing a piece of history repeating itself.


The American story line dissolves

Sometimes societies just go crazy. Japan, 1931, Germany, 1933. China, 1966. Spain 1483, France, 1793, Russia, 1917, Cambodia, 1975, Iran, 1979, Rwanda, 1994, Congo, 1996, to name some. By "crazy" I mean a time when anything goes, especially mass killing. The wheels came off the USA in 1861, and though the organized slaughter developed an overlay of romantic historical mythos — especially after Ken Burns converted it into a TV show — the civilized world to that time had hardly ever seen such an epic orgy of death-dealing.

I doubt that I'm I alone in worrying that America today is losing its collective mind. Our official relations with other countries seem perfectly designed to provoke chaos. The universities have melted into toxic sumps beyond even anti-intellectualism to a realm of hallucination. Demented gunmen mow down total strangers weekly in what looks like a growing competition to end their miserable lives with the highest victim score. The financial engineers have done everything possible to pervert and undermine the operations of markets. The political parties are committing suicide by cluelessness and corruption.

Eye 1

"Sovereign citizens" identified as potential terrorists, considered a rising threat in Australia

© www.abc.net.au
Retired dentist, John Wilson, 73, a sovereign citizen
Anti-government extremists known as "sovereign citizens" have been identified as a potential terrorism threat in Australia by a confidential NSW Police report.

The NSW Counter Terrorism and Special Tactics command assessment — obtained by 7.30 — suggests there are as many as 300 sovereign citizens in the state, and that their numbers are growing. It also suggests they have "the motivation and capability to act against government interests and should be considered a potential terrorist threat".

What are sovereign citizens?
  • Sovereign citizens don't accept Australia's legal framework or government
  • They consider themselves outside the law
  • Counter terror command warns they should be considered "a potential terrorist threat"
  • In NSW, police estimate there are about 300 sovereign citizens
  • The FBI considers them domestic terrorists
Police records show the number of Australian sovereign citizens in NSW doubled from 2009 to 2011 and nearly tripled from 2009 to 2012. Interactions with police increased 50 per cent in 2011, with a "notable increase in threats of violence". In the United States, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) classifies sovereign citizen extremists as domestic terrorists. The US Department of Homeland Security has listed them as the number one domestic terror threat in America.

Comment: Thirty-two law enforcement officers were murdered by "domestic extremists" in America. As of mid-November 2015, over 1000 civilians have been killed by police in the US record. 883 were fatally shot by a law enforcement officer; 47 died after being tasered; 33 died from being struck by a law enforcement vehicle; 36 were killed in custody, and the final victim received a deadly blow to the head from an officer. --The Counted, interactive map of US police killings, The Guardian (current total: 1036)

Sovereign Citizens: traitors, criminals, doers of evil...a segment of society at war with the state...or the imperfect counterbalance of tyranny. It is all in how you look at it, all in how you label it.


Putin, Syria, and the United Nations: Is America the Biblical Babylon?

News that the United Nations Security Council voted unanimously to adopt a French resolution to eradicate ISIL is sobering and paradoxical. Even as the UNSC deliberates on the best course to defeat what the body called "a global and unprecedented threat to international peace and security," the United States and other members still double deal on Russia's initiative to solve for terror in Syria. One has to wonder what it will take for the insensitive, even thickheaded American administration to acquiesce. It's as if we're all watching America melt down into a mud puddle of mindless mediocrity. Watching the world unite, and America falling by the wayside, we must question policy in an almost biblical sense.
"History does nothing; it does not possess immense riches, it does not fight battles. It is men, real, living, who do all this." - Karl Marx

Comment: Yes America, we are in bad shape in the worst way. All set up for a rude awakening.


Iran denounces Boko Haram attack on Shia Muslims, Nigeria

© www.abc.net.au
Shiite Muslims march in northern Nigeria, following a suicide bombing attack.
Iran has denounced a recent terrorist attack in Nigeria that targeted Shia Muslims during a religious ceremony in the northern state of Kano. "Extremism and terrorism are international threats and it is necessary for all countries to cooperate to counter and eradicate these big, global scourges," Iran's Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hossein Jaberi Ansari said on Monday. He also sympathized with the bereaved families of the victims as well as the Nigerian government and nation.

At least 21 people were killed on Friday when a bomber detonated his explosives among a crowd of Shia Muslims participating in a march organized by followers of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria in Dakasoye Village south of the city of Kano, the capital of the state with the same name.

The organizers of the procession said several people were also injured in the attack, which happened days before Shias in Nigeria are going to commemorate Arba'een, the 40th day since the anniversary of the martyrdom of Imam Hussein (PBUH) - the third Shia Imam - and his followers in the Battle of Karbala.

One of the organizers also said the assailant "was dressed in black, like everyone else. His accomplice was initially arrested and confessed they were sent by Boko Haram." On Saturday, Boko Haram released a photo of the bomber and claimed responsibility for the attack.

At least 20,000 people have been killed and more than 2.5 million made homeless since the beginning of Boko Haram militancy in Nigeria in 2009. The terrorists have recently pledged allegiance to the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group, which is primarily operating inside Syria and Iraq.

Comment: Death toll for this incident is up to 22 with an added 38 Muslims with injuries. Despite the attack, the march continued from Kano to Zaria in Kaduna state. BH has waged a six-year insurgency leaving approximately 17K dead and 2.6M homeless, with increasing use of suicide bombers.

We are a self-"deadicated" species, getting better at it all the time.