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Sat, 25 Feb 2017
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Over 100,000 people in Alabama advised not to use tap water due to chemical contamination

Nguyen Huy Kham / Reuters
Chemical contamination has left over 100,000 Alabamans without drinkable tap water, possibly until the fall, according to a warning issued by officials on Thursday.

The West Morgan-East Lawrence Water Authority (WMEL) advised roughly 100,000 Alabama residents not to use their tap water for drinking or cooking, as it has been contaminated with potentially hazardous chemicals that can cause cancer, birth defects, and developmental problems in children.

The warning comes on the heels of a US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) advisory that revealed higher than previously thought levels of synthetic chemicals known as PFOS (Perfluorooctane sulfonate) and PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) in Alabama waters. Scientists found PFOS and PFOA in the blood of "nearly all the people they tested," but in low concentrations, the EPA said in its May 19 warning.

Comment: See also: Operation Flint provides much needed water to residents while the government and mainstream media sleeps


Outbreak of flesh-eating disease strikes Syria thanks to Western warmongering

© marlanwayans.tv
As if the people of Syria were not troubled enough with five years of Western-engineered destruction, warfare, and economic oppression, a new disease is working its way across the country. Cutaneous Leishmaniasis is a parasitic disease allegedly being spread by infected sand flies although the disease is also described as tropical in nature.

The disease causes open wounds and purplish scarring, a gross disfigurement of its victims.


Venezuelan security forces fire tear gas at people protesting against food shortages

Venezuelan security forces are deploying tear gas against demonstrators in the country's capital of Caracas, as people are protesting against food shortages, local media reported Thursday.

According to El Nacional newspaper, the protesters are blocking the streets and banging pots, while some are trying to loot local establishments.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro declared an economic emergency in Venezuela in January. The announcement came two days after Venezuela's oil price dropped to $24 a barrel, the lowest mark in 12 years. Up to 96 percent of Venezuela's budget depends on oil revenues. The measure has since been extended.

Arrow Down

Rape culture: Study finds college athlete's views about women used to justify sexual assault

An online study of male undergraduates shows that more than half of study participants on intercollegiate and recreational athletic teams - and more than a third of non-athletes - reported engaging in sexual coercion, including rape. The increased risk of sexual coercion by athletes was linked to "traditional" beliefs about women and a higher belief in rape "myths," which are used to justify sexual assault.

Previous research has shown that male college athletes are more likely than college students in general to commit sexual violence or engage in sexual coercion. In 2011, the U.S. Department of Education called for colleges and universities to institute efforts to educate athletes and address sexual violence.

"We wanted to know what these programs need to address," says Sarah Desmarais, an associate professor of psychology at North Carolina State University and co-author of a paper on the recent study. "What are the factors that contribute to these higher rates of sexual assault? And are these issues confined to intercollegiate athletes, or do they extend to club and intramural athletes?"

For this study, the researchers surveyed online 379 male undergraduates: 191 non-athletes, 29 intercollegiate athletes and 159 recreational athletes. The study was conducted by researchers at NC State, the University of South Florida, Northern Arizona University and Emory University.

Study participants were asked about their sexual behavior, their attitudes toward women, and the degree to which they believed in rape myths.

"We found that 54.3 percent of the intercollegiate and recreational athletes and 37.9 percent of non-athletes had engaged in sexually coercive behaviors - almost all of which met the legal definition of rape," Desmarais says.

Comment: When any society becomes saturated with psychopaths, their depraved inner nature and "values" spread throughout the culture:


Naked torsos and horned beasts: Swiss tunnel's bizarre opening leaves viewers baffled

© Arnd Wiegmann / Reuters
Switzerland celebrated the opening of the world's longest train tunnel, a 17-year project that cuts through the Alps and cost €11 billion to construct - but all anyone's talking about is its ridiculous opening ceremony.

Efforts to highlight the incredible engineering accomplishment of the 2,300 meter-long tunnel resulted in an utterly strange opening ceremony that reported cost €8 million.

Co-ordinated by German director Volker Hesse, the performances were supposed to represent various aspects of Swiss culture, but, at times, ended up resembling a Kanye West fashion show.


EgyptAir MS804 - Acars system sent at least 3 alerts prior to crash

© Christian Hartmann/Reuters
The EgyptAir plane assuring the following flight from Paris to Cairo, after flight MS804 disappeared from radar, taxies on the tarmac at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, France, May 19, 2016
At least three alerts were recorded by the on-board maintenance monitoring system of the EgyptAir A320 plane prior to its crash, the French Parisien newspaper reports.

The alerts from the Aircraft Communication Addressing and Reporting System (Acars) came each time the plane took off from various airports on May 19, the day of the crash, the newspaper said on Wednesday.

"This type of aircraft is equipped with several optical detectors that are responsible for capturing any smoke clearances and automatically transmit them to the Acars system to which they are connected," an airport source told the newspaper adding that the sensors can be disturbed by moisture or steam air conditioning, but have been recently "significantly improved" to avoid false alarms.

On May 19, EgyptAir Airbus A320 disappeared from radar screens over the Mediterranean Sea, 10 miles into Egyptian airspace. The plane was en route from Paris to Cairo and there were 56 passengers and 10 crew members on board.

Egyptian Minister of Civil Aviation Sherif Fathi has confirmed that some debris from the plane and remains have been recovered. The search operation is still underway and involves the naval and air forces of Egypt, France, Greece and the United States.

On Wednesday, Egyptian investigators confirmed a signal from a possible recorder (black box) from the flight MS804 plane. According to the Egyptian investigation committee, the signals were received through the equipment installed on the French La Place ship, which is engaged in the search operation.


Restorative justice: Victims in England and Wales could be allowed to meet offenders

A restorative justice scheme that would allow thousands more victims of crime to request a meeting with offenders to discuss the impact of their crimes may soon be extended across England and Wales under new ministerial plans.

The new restorative justice policy recommendations were outlined in a green paper drafted by justice minister Mike Penning. Under the plans, the meeting, which both victim and offender must consent to, could have an impact on sentencing and would enable victims to have a say in the punishment faced by offenders.

"Restorative justice is not a panacea, but it actually works, particularly for the victims," longtime scheme advocate Penning told a parliamentary committee meeting last week.

Nearly £23 million was given to police and crime commissioners between 2013 and 2016 to develop restorative justice programs. Last year, just 7,000 offenders in England and Wales took part in such schemes.

Research on restorative justice, which is generally used for lower level offenses such as petty theft of assault, has shown it could reduce reoffending by some 27 percent.

Comment: Like Mike Penning says above, restorative justice isn't a once-size-fits all solution. For example, it likely has no effect on psychopaths' recidivism rates. But for 'minor' crimes, their perpetrators and their victims, it is a much better system than punitive, traditional 'justice'. The justice and penal systems are broken. Restorative justice is at least a step in the right direction. If only more states would take it!


Pedophile Christian 'volunteer' raped and molested up to 200 kids, said 'poor kids are easier to seduce'

© NCA / Reuters
British national Richard Huckle is seen after his arrest on multiple charges of sexual abuse of children in an image handed out by Britain's National Crime Agency June 2, 2016
A pedophile Christian who targeted impoverished children is suspected of having raped and molested up to 200 children in Cambodia and Malaysia while undertaking voluntary work.

Richard Huckle, 30, has already admitted to raping and assaulting 23 children, aged between six months and 12 years, in Cambodia and the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur.

However, National Crime Agency (NCA) investigators fear he could have abused up to 200 children after they discovered more than 20,000 indecent images of minors on his computer and camera.

Huckle, from Ashford, Kent, posted hundreds of images to the dark web, where he said being a white Englishman meant poor people trusted him.

Huckle's parents reportedly begged police to take their son away after he admitted to the crimes when his mother questioned him on the allegations.

Comment: Huckle is only the tip of a very large iceberg. Protect your children; get educated: Predators: Pedophiles, Rapists, And Other Sex Offenders

Star of David

Australian Rob Martin: 'My weekend in Palestine changed my life'

Rob Martin
It's been a long weekend in the U.S. so here's a little inspiration: Rob Martin's weekend in Palestine.

Martin is an Australian activist and a model for engagement on the issue. He'd never been to Palestine before late 2014, but during the Gaza onslaught that summer, he began reading about the conflict in a serious way.

"What I heard and read in the mainstream seemed to contradict what I was reading elsewhere," he told me. "I had made a few friends in Gaza through social media and talked to them as bombs were being dropped. I was surprised that every time a Palestinian was mentioned they were always referred to as a 'terrorist,' including the children.

"The fact a country can kill so many civilian including children truly shocked me. I felt I needed to see for myself as relying on media and opinions didn't sit right with me."

Martin went out to Palestine in December 2014, and was promptly embroiled, during a visit to the West Bank. "It was my first time in Palestine and I had no intentions to be in the middle of it all. I didn't go looking for trouble, it just seemed to follow me," he said.

The occupation was far worse than he imagined, and he rose to the occasion. Here is Rob Martin's distressing report My Weekend in Palestine, shot by the great photographer Hamde Abu Rahme. Many of us have observed conditions like these. The thing that's particularly moving about the video is Martin's ready insertion into the conflict, and bold, fresh bearing of witness.

Star of David

Jewish terrorist released from prison - suspected of involvement in murder of Palestinian toddler

© Ammar Awad / Reuters
Jewish terrorist Meir Ettinger.
Israeli police have released a Jewish extremist that was held in administrative detention for almost 10 months on suspicion of playing a leading role in a terrorist group targeting Palestinians.

Far-right activist Meir Ettinger was released without being charged on Wednesday, although he is still under heavy restrictions, local media reported.

He was initially taken into custody in August of last year for allegedly taking part in an arson attack in the West Bank that killed an 18-month-old boy when he and his parents were burnt alive.

Several extremists were arrested at the time, two of which were eventually charged with the arson.

Israel's internal security agency, the Shin Bet, didn't elaborate on the reason for Ettinger's release.

Comment: How many Americans are unaware of the existence of Jewish terrorists in Israel and occupied Palestine? How many are aware that Israel has racial colonies? That would be the equivalent of having "white only" towns in the U.S. Despite his notoriety, even among Israeli law enforcement, Ettinger is a perfect symbol for the whole project of Israel.