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Wed, 23 Aug 2017
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LeBron James grandstands against Trump with 'safety pin' pic

© Sports Illustrated/Associated Press
LeBron James' transition from owner of one of the best stories in sports history to becoming one of the most thoroughly unlikeable celebrities in America is nearly complete.

As Sports Illustrated's "Sportsperson of the Year," James capitalized on his cover photo and attached a safety pin to his coat to make a political statement against Donald Trump. The safety pin signifies solidarity and support for women, minorities, and immigrants.

James campaigned with Hillary Clinton, and recently refused to stay at one of Donald Trump's hotels when the Cavaliers came to New York to play the Knicks.

James accepted the award while paying tribute to black athletes of the past, and their stands on racial justice. James said, "This award is for the great Muhammad Ali, for Bill Russell, for Jim Brown, for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. They sacrificed everything that could've happened to them. [They] could have been stripped of everything that they had accomplished to that point. But their calling and their reasoning for doing what they had to do was for a night like tonight.

Comment: In the meantime, Trump mended fences with Paul Ryan and cultivated another black celebrity..

President-elect Donald Trump's crowd in West Allis, Wisconsin on Tuesday night at his "Thank You" rally booed Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, a Wisconsin native, but cheered for rapper Kanye West.

"Speaker Paul Ryan I've really come...oh no, I've come to appreciate him," Trump said over the crowd booing when he mentioned Ryan, who attended the event."He has been, I'll tell you he has been terrific. Honestly, he's like a fine wine. Every day goes by, I get to appreciate his genius more and more, but now if he ever goes against me, I'm not going to say that."

"We're going to work on taxes, we're going to work on Obamacare...oh, we're going to work on the wall, Paul," Trump added, and the crowd cheered.

Although Ryan was booed in his home state, the crowed cheered for Kanye West, who met with Trump at Trump Tower on Tuesday.


Snowflake Michael Moore makes another uncanny prediction: Trump 'is gonna get us killed'

© David Shankbone/Flickr
Trumpet-blowing liberal Michael Moore is at it again. The Fahrenheit 9/11 director and political pundit has been making a number of uncanny predictions about the President-elect as of late. This time, Mr. Moore held nothing back Wednesday in a Facebook post warning: "Donald Trump is gonna get us killed."

Mr Trump confirmed reports he has been skipping daily intelligence briefings, telling Fox News he is "smart" and doesn't need to hear "the same thing over and over each day for eight years". Instead, Mr. Trump said he is receiving intelligence "when I need it". That, is what lead Mr. Moore to deliver his blistering attack on the President-elect.

"Most would agree the #1 job of the leader of any country is to keep its people safe. There is no more important meeting every day for the President than the one where he learns what the day's potential threats are to the country," he said.

"That Trump would find it too cumbersome or too annoying to have to sit through 20 minutes of listening to his top intelligence people tell him who's trying to kill us today, simply boggles the mind."

Comment: More on Moore:

Eye 2

Iraqi refugee who raped 10yo boy at Austrian swimming pool claiming a 'sexual emergency' given 7 years

© Thomas Ledl / Wikimedia Commons
The Theresienbad pool
An Iraqi refugee convicted of raping a 10-year-old boy at a Vienna swimming pool has had his sentence increased from six to seven years in prison as the result of a retrial.

A Vienna court slapped 21-year-old Amir A. with the longer prison sentence on Tuesday, after finding him guilty of serious sexual assault and rape of a minor.

The retrial came after a previous sentence of six years was overturned in October after a defense lawyer argued that the lower court had not done enough to determine whether the rapist had realized that the boy was saying no.

However, the court determined on Tuesday that sexual assault did, in fact, meet the conditions defining rape, Kronen Zeitung reported.

In addition to the sentence, the compensation the rapist must pay his victim's family was also increased, from €4,700 (US$4,938) to €5,000 ($5,253).

The assault took place in December of 2015 at Theresienbad pool in Vienna, where the man dragged a young boy, known only as Goran, into the changing rooms before locking the door and violently raping him.

The incident left the boy in need of emergency treatment, which he was given at a local children's hospital. He continues to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), his mother reportedly told the court.

Comment: Austria: Iraqi refugee rapes 10yo boy, conviction overturned


RT reports on the ground in Aleppo: Nusra torture devices, abuse of children, no attacks on evacuee buses - MSM quotes jihadis instead

© ReutersTV / Reuters
A still image from video taken December 13, 2016 of a general view of bomb damaged eastern Aleppo, Syria in the rain. Video released December 13, 2016.
Locals in Aleppo refute reports in the Western media claiming that the buses evacuating the militants had been fired upon by pro-Assad forces, RT's Lizzie Phelan reported from the scene.

"Here [in Aleppo], I've been speaking to a local journalist and locals who have been here since dawn... They say they heard no sound of gunfire," Phelan reported from Aleppo.

Earlier on Thursday, Reuters reported allegations that Syrian forces opened fire on the medical convoy in eastern Aleppo, killing at least one person.

"[Pro-government fighters] fired at us and at ambulance vehicles and those people opening up the road," Reuters reported, citing an unnamed 'spokesman for the civil defense rescue service.'

Reuters also cited an interview posted "via an online messaging service," in which a man who said he was a civil defense worker claimed snipers were targeting people in the convoy.

Comment: Contrast with John Kirby, who can't bring himself to admit that U.S. policy has failed repeatedly in Syria, and that it supports terrorists:

And here he is talking about how proud he is of his own lies and idiocy:

Green Light

Militants leaving Aleppo in buses and ambulances are accompanied by Russian servicemen

© Sputnik/ Ali Hassan
The Russian center for Syrian reconciliation said that the first convoy of buses with militants has already left eastern Aleppo.

The evacuation of 5,000 militants and their families from Aleppo started earlier in the day.

Meanwhile, the operation to evacuate 200 wounded is underway in the eastern part of the Syrian city of Aleppo, the Red Cross Syria said. "In Aleppo, conflicting parties appealed to the the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the Syrian Arab Red Crescent to help in the evacuation of the wounded," the Red Cross said.


Fugitive in biggest financial hack ever was arrested after returning to US from Moscow

Joshua Samuel Aaron
The FBI has arrested one of its most wanted cybercrime suspects, an American who fled to Russia. Under what conditions Joshua Aaron suddenly returned to the US is unclear, but he will face 2015 charges related to the largest financial hack in US history.

Aaron, 32, will be in a Manhattan federal district court Thursday morning, according to a Wednesday announcement from the US Attorney's Office in the Southern District of New York. He is one of nine co-defendants in a case involving over 100 million hacked accounts from dozens of companies, including more than 83 million JPMorgan Chase & Co. accounts compromised, in a hacking and fraud operation run from 2007 to mid-2015.

Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara called the scheme "hacking as a business model," in the announcement of Aaron's arrest. Aaron is a native of Maryland who attended college in Florida.

The US Attorney's Office also named Israelis Gery Shalon and Ziv Orenstein as co-defendants; they were extradited to the US by Israel earlier this year. Aaron and Shalon are charged in the "largest theft of customer data from a US financial institution in history," which facilitated their "securities market manipulation schemes" perpetrated with Orenstein, according to the US Attorney's Office.


British man in Las Vegas jailed over plot to kill Trump

© AP

Mr Sandford was dramatically arrested during a Las Vegas rally for Mr Trump
A British man has been sentenced to 12 months and one day in prison over his attempt to grab a gun in a bid to kill Donald Trump.

Michael Sandford, 20, pleaded guilty in September to being an illegal alien in possession of a firearm and disrupting an official function.

He was accused of grabbing a policeman's gun at a rally in Las Vegas in order to shoot at the candidate.

His mother says "he is remorseful over what he did".

Sandford, of Dorking, Surrey, had faced up to 10 years in prison over the alleged assassination plot.

The court heard that he could be eligible for release in four months' time, at which point he will be deported to the UK.

The defense team said their client is autistic and suffers seizures and obsession-compulsion anxiety.


Ex-Ukrainian lawmaker requests Moscow court to recognize Kiev regime change as coup d'état

© Alexandr Maksimenko / Sputnik
Burning car tires set on fire on Independence Square (Maidan) in Kiev by Maidan activists protesting the removal of barricades and a tent camp from the square.
A district court in Moscow has started looking into a lawsuit on recognizing the violent events in the Ukrainian capital in 2014, which eventually led to the installation of the current regime, as an illegal coup d'état in violation of the Constitution.

The lawsuit was filed by former Ukrainian lawmaker Vladimir Oleynik, who had been ousted from his post in the Ukrainian Rada and now seeks international recognition of the current Ukrainian authorities as illegitimate.

In earlier comments with Russian news agency RIA Novosti, Oleynik said that an official court ruling describing the 2014 power grab in Ukraine as a coup d'état would allow all persons responsible for it to be brought to justice.

"I am stating that the actions of the persons complicit with the adoption and realization of these decisions bear the hallmarks of crimes punishable under article 109 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code. These are actions aimed at forced change or displacement of constitutional order and lawfully elected regime. The common name for such actions is coup d'état," he said.


Over 5 miles of Ash Coulee Creek polluted by North Dakota oil pipeline spill

© Jennifer Skjod / North Dakota Department of Health / Flickr
A third of the oil has been cleaned-up a week after a spill the Ash Coulee Creek in North Dakota, up to 5 miles of which were polluted.

"An estimated 4,200 barrels of oil have leaked from the pipeline. Of that amount, 3,100 barrels of oil flowed into Ash Coulee Creek," said Bill Seuss, a spill investigator with the North Dakota Department of Health.
© Jennifer Skjod / North Dakota Department of Health / Flickr
Seuss said that, as of Sunday, 11,878 barrels of oil had been recovered at the site. Two cows have been reported dead near the site but Seuss said the cause of the deaths is unclear.

The pipeline is about 150 miles from where the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and other environmental groups have been protesting Energy Transfer's Dakota Access pipeline since April.



Hollywood celebrities urge electors not to vote for Trump, but not Clinton either

The push to pressure and overturn the Electoral College vote on December 19 escalated last night, when a group of celebrities created a video to urge Electoral College members to cast their votes for someone other than President-elect Donald Trump on Monday. "You have the position, the authority, and the opportunity to go down in the books as an American hero who changed the course of history," several celebrities say in turn.

The group, which calls itself Unite for America and was formed to try to prevent Trump from becoming president, created the video published Wednesday, which features actors Martin Sheen, Debra Messing and Bob Odenkrik, among others.

Their mission statement is presented below:

Comment: More on faithless electors: Harvard Professor claims he's rallied nearly enough GOP Electors to block Trump