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Sick society: California artist protests Trump inauguration by painting in human blood

© LAWeekly/Marnie Sehayek
"Rise Up Thy Young Blood"
Illma Gore caused quite a controversy during the presidential campaign last year with her illustration depicting a nude Donald Trump. This time she's teamed up with an artist collective to create a mural using human blood.

The Los Angeles-based artist was approached shortly after the election by Indecline, the artist collective that placed statues of a nude Trump in five cities around the United States.

The resulting mural is called "Rise Up Thy Young Blood," a paraphrase from Shakespeare's King Richard -- a call to action.

About 50 people donated blood. None of them was told what the project would look like. Gore says most of the donors are artists and friends and wanted to remain anonymous. Gore also used her own blood. "Blood is similar to watercolors. It smells a little weird. It's very metallic like iron."

A unifying message

Gore says the mural is meant to show a sense of solidarity for people who feel divided post-election and as Trump enters the White House. "I would say it's anti-racism, anti-divisiveness, it's anti-bigotry, it's anti-not listening people, except for coming together and saying we are here and we will do anything."


Federal bureau sues student loan servicer Navient for cheating borrowers - 'systematically and illegally failing'

© David Shankbone/Wikipedia
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is taking Navient, the nation's largest student loan servicer, to court for cheating borrowers by making them pay more for their loans than was necessary.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) filed a lawsuit Wednesday against Navient, formerly a part of Sallie Mae, for "systematically and illegally failing borrowers at every stage of repayment," according to a statement from the agency.

The CFPB claims Navient steered borrowers into payment options that made more money for Navient, and made borrowers pay more for their loans than was necessary.

Specifically, the CFPB claims that Navient purposefully incentivised their customer service representatives to push numerous borrowers into forbearance, without mentioning other payment plans that would be better for their income.

The CFPB website states between January 2010 to March 2015, Navient "added up to $4 billion in interest charges to the principal balances of borrowers who were enrolled in multiple, consecutive forbearances. The Bureau believes that a large portion of these charges could have been avoided had Navient followed the law."

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30 firefighters feared dead after blaze collapses Tehran's oldest high-rise, Plasco Trade Center

© Fatemeh Bahrami/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Fire engulfs high-rise building, Plasco, in Tehran, Iran on January 19, 2017.
Some 30 Iranian firefighters are feared dead after a high-rise commercial building engulfed by fire collapsed in Tehran, according to state TV. Over 200 people are reported injured.

Police have cordoned off the area, and rescue teams are on their way to the scene, state TV reported.

An official was quoted as saying that between 50 to 100 people are believed to have been trapped under the rubble, Press TV reported, adding that nearby buildings including the embassies of Turkey and the UK have been evacuated. More than 200 people injured in the fire have been taken to local hospitals, IRNA news agency reported.

"The building is one of the oldest buildings in Tehran," it said, adding that "the Plasco building is located in southern Tehran and is mostly a commercial building." The building came down in a matter of seconds, with a thick plume of smoke instantly rising over the site.

Arrow Down

St. Louis cop publicly searched woman's vagina for drugs, but found nothing

© State of Missouri / YouTube
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (L) and St. Louis police officer Angela Hawkins (R)
A female police officer in St. Louis publicly searched a woman's vagina in search of drugs while a male cop watched, but found nothing, according to a lawsuit. The officer later won a Missouri Medal of Valor for killing a suspect.

The reported sexual assault took place on October 19, 2012, according to the lawsuit, which was filed in November. Kayla Robinson, the plaintiff, said she was in a vehicle that was pulled over and searched in north St. Louis by officers with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department.

One of the officers, defendant Angela Hawkins, later wrote in an incident report that she thought Robinson was concealing drugs. In her lawsuit, Robinson admitted to handing Hawkins a small bag of marijuana, but the officer believed Robinson was also in possession of crack cocaine.

During the police search, Hawkins, a white woman, accused Robinson, a black woman, of hiding something in her pants, according to the lawsuit.

Despite her pleas for a cavity search to be conducted at the city jail, Robinson was then handcuffed and taken about 200 feet away to a tractor-trailer parking lot. Hawkins then called for rubber gloves, which were delivered by a male officer who stayed on the scene, the lawsuit said.


Suspected Orlando cop killer captured, after manhunt

© Orlando Police Department
Markeith Lloyd
After a nine-day manhunt and a $125,000 reward for tips leading to an arrest, Orlando Police say they have captured the man suspected of killing 17-year police veteran Sgt. Debra Clayton.

Markeith Lloyd, shown on local television with a beaten face and swollen eye, was led into Orlando Police Department headquarters on Tuesday night.

"They beat me up," Lloyd was heard saying three times during the perp walk, according to WKMG.

Orlando Police Chief John Mina told reporters Lloyd had sustained some minor facial injuries after he resisted arrest.


Florida man charged with threatening to kill President-elect Trump at his inauguration on Twitter was a close family friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton

The man arrested by Miami Beach police Tuesday for allegedly threatening President-elect Donald Trump online is a member of a prominent northeast family close to Bill and Hillary Clinton.

He once gave $20,000 to the Democratic National Committee, DailyMail.com has learned.

Suspect Dominic Puopolo Jr., 51, sat near Hillary Clinton when she delivered the eulogy at the funeral of Puopolo's mother, Sonia, who died in one of the jets that flew into the World Trade Center on 9-11.

Gold Seal

'In Trump We Trust' commemorative coin issued by Russian arms foundry

© Art-Grani
The coin’s obverse features Trump’s profile image as well as an inscription: "Donald John Trump, the 45th President of the United States of America" and the country’s flag.
Metal workers from a Russian weapons foundry, known as Art-Grani located in the Urals city of Zlatoust have minted a silver coin weighing one kilogram containing the profile of US President-elect Donald J. Trump, the manufacturers' press service said on Wednesday.

"We have produced the first coin of the Donald Trump collection. This is a limited edition dedicated to Trump's inauguration and will consist of 25 silver coins, 15 silver and gold coins and five gold coins," the Art-Grani foundry's press service said.

Each coin weighs about one kilogram and is 12 centimeters in diameter. The coin's obverse features Trump's profile image as well as an inscription "Donald John Trump, the 45th President of the United States of America" and the country's flag. The reverse bears the image of the Statue of Liberty with the US flag on the backdrop and the inscriptions "In Trump We Trust" and "The United States of America."

The press service said one of the coins will be sent to Trump who is set to take office on January 20.

Alarm Clock

Depressed 15-year-old shoots four, kills self at school in northern Mexico

© Reuters/Daniel Becerril
Police officers stand outside the Colegio Americano del Noreste after a student opened fire at the American school in Monterrey, Mexico January 18, 2017.
A teenage student suffering from depression shot three students and a teacher at a private school in northern Mexico on Wednesday before killing himself in what state officials called an unprecedented attack that was caught on security video.

The 15-year-old student pulled out a handgun inside a classroom at the bilingual Colegio Americano del Noreste and began shooting, the officials said, critically wounding three of his victims before turning the pistol on himself.

Hours after the shootings, Nuevo Leon state governor Jaime Rodriguez named the gunman as Federico Guevara and said he had died. His motive was being investigated, Rodriguez told a news conference.

Security camera footage showed the teenager quickly and calmly firing what appeared to be seven shots at seated students and a female teacher, some at point-blank range. At least two victims immediately slumped over after being hit.

Looking dazed, Guevara aimed at his own temple and pulled the trigger twice, but he had apparently ran out of bullets. He walked back to where he had been sitting, reloaded, and shot himself in the chin. He keeled over.

Blue Planet

The west was built on racism. It's time we faced that

Dead white men are revered by many as responsible for the advancement of civilization, says sociology professor Kehinde Andrews.

But, he argues, this so-called progress came at the expense of millions of people of colour. Global inequality is not an accident, he argues - it is designed to keep the hierarchy of race intact.

Comment: Do our readers agree?


Chinese tourists are avoiding Paris due to rising violence and crime

© Julien Chatelin/Rex Features
Big spenders … Chinese tourists carrying boutique shopping bags are easy prey for thieves, especially in the suburban hotels where they tend to stay
Tourists from China are avoiding France amid surging violence and crime, a Chinese tourism expert has said, reporting that customers are turning to Russia as a safer destination.

President of the Chinese Association of Travel Agencies in France, Jean-François Zhou, said "increasingly violent" thefts and assaults are turning France into "one of the worst destinations for foreign tourists".

Mr. Zhou, a representative for major Chinese travel agency Utour in France, reported a steep decline in visitor numbers from Asia, and said many tourists are now looking to Russia as a less dangerous holiday destination.

"In 2016, there were 1.6 million Chinese tourists compared to 2.2 million in 2015. The number of Japanese tourists dropped 39 per cent, and Koreans 27 per cent. Our tourists have turned to Russia, which is less attractive but at least it is a safe country. For Putin, it is an economic windfall", he told Le Parisien.

Rising violence and aggression account for the drop, according to Mr. Zhou, who said: "For a number of Chinese tourists, the dream of visiting France and Paris has turned into a nightmare.