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Mon, 26 Sep 2016
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"Being raped for a living": Chris Hedges interview with former prostitute Rachel Moran dispels the myths of sex work

Rachel Moran is a former prostitute, writer, blogger and prostitution abolition activist from Ireland. She is a founding member of SPACE International, an organization for survivors of prostitution. Her book is Paid For: My Journey Through Prostitution.


Riot police clash with homeless families squatting in an abandoned building in Italy

© Radio Città del Capo / YouTube
Riot police and protesters clashed in Bologna on Tuesday, as authorities attempted to evict dozens of families from an abandoned former Telecoms headquarters, local media has reported. Some of the protesters were injured.

Police surrounded the building, which has been housing over 250 people, in an attempt to evict the residents.

However, several dozen squatters including minors climbed onto the roof of the building, banging and screaming "no more homeless" and "we will not leave" in protest, local media reported.

Comment: It's a sad state of affairs in the world where people who need housing are removed from making a creative solution and re-using a building that was probably just going to decay while a "private fund" held onto it to make itself look richer.

Heart - Black

Growing wave of Islamophobia sparks racially-motivated attacks and harassment

© Brittney Martin/The Dallas Morning News
Protesters attend an anti-Muslim rally at the the Texas capitol.
Two incidents of racially-motivated attacks against Muslims in the American Midwest highlight what experts say is a growing wave of Islamophobia and violence.

Police in Streamwood, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, are investigating a disturbing flier found on a vehicle outside a Muslim family's home earlier this month:


11-year-old loses leg after mother pushes him in front of oncoming train in Hamburg, Germany

The boy is believed to have lost his leg after he was trapped under the wheels of the train for almost 40 minutes
An 11-year-old boy has serious injuries after his mother pushed him in front of an approaching train.

According to German media reports, travellers watched as the boy fell onto the tracks at Hamburg's Hoheluftbruecke railway station on Sunday.

The driver was unable to stop in time and the boy's leg was crushed under the wheels.

His mother, known only as 31-year-old Jana, then attempted to flee but was quickly apprehended by police, Germany's Bild newspaper reported.

According to Bild, it took rescue services almost 40 minutes to free the boy, who has been named as 11-year-old Leon, from underneath the train.

He is understood to have remained conscious throughout the ordeal.

Hamburg Police told Sky News the boy remains in a severe condition, but did not suffer life-threatening injuries. They would not comment on local media reports that doctors have had to amputate the boy's leg.

His mother is currently undergoing a psychiatric evaluation amid reports that she is suffering from a psychological condition.

A newspaper vendor who witnessed the incident told the Hamburger Morgenpost newspaper she was "completely hysterical" as she was taken from the scene.

Heart - Black

UK mother murders her daughter and partner to 'save them from turning into vampires'

© Alessia Pierdomenico / Reuters
A woman who murdered her partner and their four-year-old daughter claims "a lightbulb in the ceiling" instructed her to stab them before they turned into vampires, a court has heard.

On February 19, Shelley Christopher, 36, who is believed to suffer from a serious mental illness, stabbed her 42-year-old partner, Richard Brown, and daughter, Sophia, to death in their west London family home.

Christopher believed she saw an "orange signal instructing her to kill" her family to save them from turning into vampires, according to a psychiatrist.

After receiving this apparent signal, she strangled and stabbed one of her children with a small knife, but the girl, who has not been named for legal reasons, managed to survive, according to prosecutor Crispin Aylett QC.

When her partner heard the commotion, he ran into the room to investigate, but Christopher was convinced he was also "one of them."


NYPD officer indicted for stealing property from dead woman's family


New York City police officer Blanche O'Neal is taken into court on Oct. 29, 2015
A New York City police officer was indicted on Monday on charges including perjury and grand larceny for allegedly stealing a property in Brooklyn from a dead woman's family, DNAInfo reported.

Prosecutors said that 45-year-old Blanche O'Neal filed a false deed on the property in July 2012, saying that she bought it from Colie Gallman for $10,000. Not only was Gallman's signature forged, they said, he was identified as the "sole heir" to Lillian Hudson, the former homeowner. Hudson died in 1993.

Last September, O'Neal also identified herself as the property's owner while testifying during a burglary trial concerning a generator stolen from the premises.

Heart - Black

Former employee claims city fired her for reporting slaughterhouse-like conditions at animal shelter

© Wade Payne / Reuters
A former Detroit city employee says she was fired from an animal shelter after reporting disturbing conditions at the facility, likening it to a slaughterhouse. Now she's filing a whistleblower lawsuit alleging wrongdoing on the part of the management.

Former animal control officer Brittany Roberts claims to have witnessed and documented numerous instances of abuse that violated state law and department policy since she began her job at Detroit Animal Control in March.

Many animals died from filthy conditions that made them sick, and others met their end from a lack of food and medical care, according to the lawsuit.

"I was almost embarrassed with myself to be part of a team that played a role of the death of so many dogs in their cages,"she told FOX 2 Detroit. "The dogs, they don't get exercise; they're not let out of their cages; they're fed on the floor with feces."


Suspected gas leak levels commercial area in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

© Reuters
A suspected gas explosion in a pizzeria in northern Rio de Janeiro damaged 40 buildings early on Monday (19 October) and injured eight people, including one child, the Brazilian government said.

According to witnesses, the explosion took place at the Dell'Arco pizzeria. Several other commercial establishments in the area were completely destroyed. Windows and roofs of houses and apartment blocks were broken, and the glass windows of a bank situated 100m from the restaurant were completely shattered.

Rescue workers were busy in the area from the early hours of the morning, searching for any further victims amid the rubble where smoke continued to escape at noon. The fire service said it was unlikely more victims would be found, but that the rescue mission would last two to three days.

Seven people, including a nine-year-old girl, were taken to a local public hospital, and one other victim was treated at the scene of the accident. Amid the losses, local residents celebrated the fact that no lives had been taken.

"It is very painful because a lot of friends have lost everything, absolutely everything. Thank God no one was killed, some people were taken to hospital but they are ok, we have to be grateful for that, at least nobody died," said local resident, Maria de Conceicao.

Nevertheless, the atmosphere remained tense. "I heard a bang and I thought it was thunder, I thought: 'Oh, heavens a storm is coming.' I was very scared. Then I went to the door and I heard about this tragedy that just happened, and I was terrified, as is everyone," said another resident, Elianete Barbosa.

Investigations are under way into the cause of the explosion, which is suspected to have resulted from a gas leak from canisters stored in the back of the restaurant.

Comment: The explosions are piling up!

Eye 1

Man faces 18 months in jail for using police summons as toilet paper and throwing it at cop

© AFP photo
A New Jersey man could spend up to 18 months behind bars for doing what others are too shy to do when receiving a ticket. Joseph Greenwood is facing a felony rap for wiping "between his butt cheeks" with a police summons - and then throwing it at a cop.

The 45-year-old man is charged with deliberately subjecting a police officer, Lieutenant John Insabella, to "contact with a bodily fluid," The Smoking Gun reported.

The incident took place in June in Readington township, some 50 miles (80 km) from New York City. Greenwood was issued a summons by Insabella following his release from police custody. He had been cited for threatening assault.

Things went awry when Greenwood allegedly grabbed the document, placed it "between his butt cheeks" and started "wiping the paper in an upward and downward motion." After Greenwood was done, he threw the summons "in the direction" of Insabella, court records state. Apparently, the soiled indictment has been seized as evidence.

The charge carries a maximum 18-month jail sentence.

Comment: While it's pretty understandable for people to be upset at police these days, it does not seem like a smart choice to show up a policeman when he's just doing his job.


Mass shooting kills 1, injures 5 during ZombiCon in Florida


Police and EMTs attend to victims after shooting during Zombicon, Oct 18th 2015 in Ft Myers FL
Two days after a deadly shooting at Florida's Zombicon, police released the first description of the suspect and videos of the attack. The shooter is a white or Hispanic male in his late teens or early 20s, who fired a semi-automatic handgun into the packed crowds at Zombicon, killing one person and wounding five, Fort Myers police said Monday. Authorities have not named the suspect.

The shooting, which erupted at an annual charity event expecting about 20,000 people, sent hundreds fleeing through the downtown streets. Videos posted on social media show hordes of costumed patrons, most of them dressed as the undead, running for their lives. The crime scene was a "nightmare" for the first police officers to the shooting due to the chaotic mass of costumed people toting fake weapons.

"At that point you had 15,000 to 20,000 suspects. Because no one knew much of anything," Fort Myers interim police Chief Dennis Eads said at a news

Comment: For more on why these mass shootings are happening check out our radio show last Saturday. Bizarrely enough, it was the same day as the shooting at ZombiCon. If you want to read something shorter, there's another article that gets into the timing and frequency of these events. See also: One killed and four wounded at Florida's ZombiCon, shooter at large