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Stormtrooper

U.S. war veteran released by North Korea returns home


An 85-year-old Korean War veteran held for more than a month by North Korea as a war criminal arrived in San Francisco on Saturday to be reunited with his family

Extinguisher

All is not well in 'paradise': First riot in 4 decades breaks out in Singapore


A crowd of about 400 foreign workers, angered by a fatal road accident, set fire to vehicles and attacked police and emergency services workers late Sunday in Singapore's ethnic Indian district, injuring at least 18 people in a rare riot in the city-state.

Police and eyewitnesses say the riot, the first major outburst of public violence here in more than four decades, started at about 9:23 p.m. local time (1323 GMT) after a bus hit and killed an unnamed 33-year-old Indian man in the Little India neighborhood, prompting large groups of South Asian workers to attack the bus with sticks and garbage bins.

Authorities quelled the violence before 11 p.m. after deploying 300 police officers to the scene, including its riot-control squad and Gurkha unit, police officials said in a news briefing early Monday, adding that officers didn't use any firearms to end the riot.

Police arrested 27 people, all of South Asian origin, who weren't named and couldn't be contacted. It wasn't clear if the arrested people have received legal representation. No Singaporeans were known to be involved in the violence, which didn't appear to be preplanned, officials said, adding that further arrests may be made in the coming days as investigations continue into the riot and the accident that sparked it.

Bad Guys

Victim of police in-custody beating takes step toward suing Milwaukee

Officer Gomez
© Mark Hoffman
Milwaukee Police Detective Rodolfo Gomez Jr., being interviewed for a case during a 2011 hearing in Milwaukee County Circuit Court, is accused of beating an inmate during interrogation. The victim has taken steps toward suing the City of Milwaukee.
The victim of an in-custody beating that led to the firing of Milwaukee Police Detective Rodolfo Gomez Jr. has taken the first step toward filing a civil suit, records show.

Deron Love, who was handcuffed to a wall when Gomez beat him in an interrogation room, is seeking more than $50,000 in damages, according to a notice of claim filed with the city. The document lists the city, the department and Gomez as potential defendants.

Love was taken to the hospital after being punched by Gomez on Aug. 14, according to court records. Love is charged with two felonies in connection with the death of his 7-month-old son. He has pleaded not guilty.


Comment: So, someone who is charged in the death of their 7-month old son deserves to be brutalized by police? Are we blaming the victim here?


Gomez, who was not involved in the arrest of Love, was called in to interrogate him. Earlier, the detective had questioned at least three witnesses in the case.

Gomez, 47, punched Love in the face and upper body, then struck him with a knee, according to the notice of claim. Another officer then rushed into the interrogation room "and pulled Detective Gomez off Love," the notice says. A short time later, Gomez re-entered the room, forcibly pulled Love's head back and kicked him again, the notice says.

As a result of the beating, Gomez has been charged with felony misconduct in public office. A scheduled Thursday court appearance in the case was postponed until January.

Comment: Officer Gomez has a history of violence and misconduct. He was arrested on allegations of sexual assault and domestic-violence-related disorderly conduct and lied on a search warrant affidavit resulting in a Franklin man being shot by police.


Airplane

U.S. airports sue TSA over who guards the exits but the solution they accept is as dehumanizing

TSA sued by airports
© David M Warren
At Philadelphia International, travelers walk through electronic scanning devices between Terminals D and E. The TSA wants to expand such applications.
Airports across the country have sued to block a new Transportation Security Administration directive that requires them, starting Jan. 1, to begin guarding exit security doors as passengers leave flights and head for baggage claims.

The agency, created in the aftermath of the September 2001 terrorist attacks, said the change will save $88.1 million a year. The TSA wants its workers to focus on screening passengers and baggage, and said exit-lane monitoring is an airport function.

Comment: We agree with Karen De Coster of LewRockwell.com that the TSA wants to remind you that you are a captive:
The new "exit" portals gulags at Syracuse Hancock Airport are bulletproof pods that are meant to make you feel like a prisoner who cannot leave.
They've been called pods, bubbles, capsules, even Willy Wonka's glass elevator, and they have caused confusion and frustration.

Adam Hayes, who was traveling from Fort Worth Texas, said "I've never seen those before, so I travel quite a bit through many airports and I don't understand the purpose of that right there. So it bottlenecks you coming out, when they should want you to leave."
A futuristic voice gives the captive instructions on how to handle the temporary imprisonment. And yes, these new "portals" were designed and approved by the TSA. We are told to expect these to spread to airports all over the US in the near future. Some really bloody, sick tyrants came up with this contraption.




Heart - Black

Retired San Diego schoolteacher and counselor sentenced to federal prison for child pornography

A retired San Diego public schoolteacher and counselor will serve 7 years in federal prison for collecting nearly a million images of child pornography.

James Rick Mitchell, of San Diego, taught in city schools for 34 years. He must surrender to prison by Feb. 7, 2014, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement announcing his sentence.

"According to documents filed in court, Mitchell collected 947,542 images and 4,751 videos depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct," the U.S. attorney said.

Nuke

Breaking: 'Loud, ground-shaking explosion' at Arkansas Nuclear One power plant

Image
© River Valley Leader
Just before 8 a.m., Monday morning, December 9, reports of an explosion at Arkansas Nuclear One were made to Pope County 911 operators. At this time details have not been released in the explosion, but fire officials are reportedly responding to the nuclear facility and a fire is being fought.

A resident in the vicinity of the Arkansas Nuclear One plant reported a "loud, ground shaking explosion and then saw smoke." It is believed that a transformer on site exploded, but the report remains unconfirmed at this time with Entergy and Arkansas Nuclear One officials.

At this time, there is no threat to the immediate area surrounding ANO or the community of Russellville and there are unknown reports of injury. As details develop on the cause of the explosion, origin, and any if injuries were caused by the explosion, River Valley Leader will update readers.

Attention

Sarah Jones case: Ex-cheerleader's defamation suit puts Internet giants on edge

sarah jones
From Twitter and Facebook to Amazon and Google, the biggest names of the Internet are blasting a federal judge's decision in a defamation lawsuit by a former Cincinnati Bengals cheerleader convicted of having sex with her former high school student.

The Internet giants recently filed briefs in the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.

The briefs are part of a lawsuit involving ex-Bengals cheerleader Sarah Jones against an Arizona-based website thedirty.com.

A jury found in July that posts on the site about Jones were substantially false and awarded her $338,000. The companies say that if upheld, the northern Kentucky judge's ruling in favor of the former cheerleader has the potential to "significantly chill online speech" and undermine a 1996 federal law that provides broad immunity to websites.

Question

Big Bertha remains idle after hitting mystery object

Big Bertha
© Komo News
Seattle -- Bertha, Seattle's tunnel-boring machine, is officially stuck.

According to a spokesperson with the Washington Department of Transportation, the giant drill hit some kind of obstruction and can't move through it or past it.

WSDOT says the trouble started Friday when Bertha's five-story tall cutter head felt some resistance, then stopped. WSDOT says engineers with Seattle Tunnel Partners, the company in charge of building the viaduct replacement tunnel, have been consulting with other experts to identify the obstruction - whether it's natural or manmade.

They say Bertha wasn't damaged in any way. They're keeping her idle until they decide whether crews need to dig the obstruction out from above or if Bertha can charge through it.Bertha has dug 1,000 feet of tunnel since July. She's sitting 60-feet underground between South Jackson Street and South Main Street among a mix of native dirt and fill tossed into place from as early as the 1800s.

She has just 450 more feet to travel before leaving that fill behind. It will also mark the end of phase one in the $4 billion tunnel project that will stretch 1.7 miles from adjacent to Safeco Field to Battery Street.

WSDOT doesn't know how long Bertha will remain stuck, but they say it's too early to say whether the delay will affect the project's bottom line or it's scheduled opening in late 2015.

Heart - Black

Brazil's child sex trade soars as 2014 World Cup nears

Image
© Reuters
Brazil's child sex trade: Jessica, 16, who was arrested during a raid at a sex club, shows her tattoo at a shelter for girls in Fortaleza
Officials and campaigners fear explosion in child prostitution amid rising demand from football fans

A tiny figure in minuscule white shorts and a pink strapless top leans against a metal fence outside a school in Fortaleza, the capital of Ceará state, north-east Brazil.

She has gloss-coated lips, and her yellow headband, holding back long hair, glows in the lamplight along Juscelino Kubitschek Avenue, which connects the city to the Castelão arena, one of the venues for the 2014 World Cup. A car pulls up. The girl climbs in.

This is a common scene around the stadium in Fortaleza, considered Brazil's child prostitution capital and a magnet for sex tourism, according to local authorities.

Transvestites also work the dusty pavements of this newly renovated thoroughfare but young girls are in higher demand. "As soon as they hit the avenue they're picked up," says Antônia Lima Sousa, a state prosecutor who works on children's rights in Fortaleza. "It's really a matter of minutes. You'll find them around town during the day too."

Despite more than a decade of government pledges to eradicate child prostitution, the number of child sex workers in Brazil stood at about half a million in 2012, according to the National Forum for the Prevention of Child Labor, a non-governmental organisation.

Megaphone

The Wire creator David Simon: 'There are now two Americas. My country is a horror show'

Image
© Stephen Voss/Redux / eyevine
David Simon, creator of The Wire, near his office in Baltimore. Photograph:
The creator of The Wire, David Simon, delivered an impromptu speech about the divide between rich and poor in America at the Festival of Dangerous Ideas in Sydney, and how capitalism has lost sight of its social compact. This is an edited extract

America is a country that is now utterly divided when it comes to its society, its economy, its politics. There are definitely two Americas. I live in one, on one block in Baltimore that is part of the viable America, the America that is connected to its own economy, where there is a plausible future for the people born into it. About 20 blocks away is another America entirely. It's astonishing how little we have to do with each other, and yet we are living in such proximity.

There's no barbed wire around West Baltimore or around East Baltimore, around Pimlico, the areas in my city that have been utterly divorced from the American experience that I know. But there might as well be. We've somehow managed to march on to two separate futures and I think you're seeing this more and more in the west. I don't think it's unique to America.

I think we've perfected a lot of the tragedy and we're getting there faster than a lot of other places that may be a little more reasoned, but my dangerous idea kind of involves this fellow who got left by the wayside in the 20th century and seemed to be almost the butt end of the joke of the 20th century; a fellow named Karl Marx.

I'm not a Marxist in the sense that I don't think Marxism has a very specific clinical answer to what ails us economically. I think Marx was a much better diagnostician than he was a clinician. He was good at figuring out what was wrong or what could be wrong with capitalism if it wasn't attended to and much less credible when it comes to how you might solve that.