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Sat, 27 Aug 2016
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8-month pregnant woman in China must choose between husbands's job or 2nd child

© Rolex Dela Pena/AP
A public outcry has been raised over the plight of a woman who's considering an illegal abortion at 8 months because the child would violate China's restrictive birth policy and would cost her husband his job as a police officer.

Members of the public have been phoning local officials in the couple's Yunnan province community to inquire about the case, and an online travel service reportedly has offered the husband a position if he loses his government job.

The case has rekindled debate over whether employment in the public sector should be used to enforce the policy that limits urban couples to one child in cases where both husband and wife have at least one sibling.

The 41-year-old woman, who spoke on condition that she be identified only by her surname, Chen, said in a telephone interview Monday that the couple felt under pressure to abort their second child to keep her husband's job with local police.

"I'm fearful," Chen said. "If my husband believes I must abort the child, there's nothing I can do."

She also grew uneasy about the public attention her case was drawing. "I am worried he would lose his job even after we lose the baby, if the situation gets messy."

Comment: China, Russia, and the West's geopolitical maneuvers against them


Texas lawyer exposes religious hiring test for peace officers: County only wanted Baptist constables

Williamson County Commissioner Lisa Birkman
A Texas judge ruled last week that a case against Williamson County could go forward after a job applicant claimed that commissioners had a religious test for constable jobs.

Robert Lloyd explained at a press conference that Williamson County asked about his views on marriage, abortion and religion during a 2013 interview for a job at the Williamson County Precinct 3 Constable's Office.

"I was shocked," Lloyd said, according to KVUE. "I was sick to my stomach when I left because I had never believed that things like this in government would go on."

Video depositions obtained by KVUE show Williamson County Commissioner Lisa Birkman and other commissioners admitting that applicants were asked about abortion and marriage.

Comment: The First Amendment to the United States Constitution provides that and Article VI specifies that "no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States."

Stock Down

The U.S. empire and its great unraveling of hegemonic control

© Christopher Halloran / Shutterstock
In times of national crisis and public outrage, strange and dangerous candidates often arise. Above, Donald Trump.
The ideological and physical hold of American imperial power, buttressed by the utopian ideology of neoliberalism and global capitalism, is unraveling. Most, including many of those at the heart of the American empire, recognize that every promise made by the proponents of neoliberalism is a lie. Global wealth, rather than being spread equitably, as neoliberal proponents promised, has been funneled upward into the hands of a rapacious, oligarchic elite, creating vast economic inequality.

The working poor, whose unions and rights have been taken from them and whose wages have stagnated or declined over the past 40 years, have been thrust into chronic poverty and underemployment, making their lives one long, stress-ridden emergency. The middle class is evaporating. Cities that once manufactured products and offered factory jobs are boarded up-wastelands. Prisons are overflowing. Corporations have orchestrated the destruction of trade barriers, allowing them to stash $2.1 trillion in profits in overseas banks to avoid paying taxes. And the neoliberal order, despite its promise to build and spread democracy, has hollowed out democratic systems to turn them into corporate leviathans.

Democracy, especially in the United States, is a farce, vomiting up right-wing demagogues such as Donald Trump, who has a chance to become the Republican presidential nominee and perhaps even president, or slick, dishonest corporate stooges such as Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and, if he follows through on his promise to support the Democratic nominee, even Bernie Sanders. The labels "liberal" and "conservative" are meaningless in the neoliberal order. Political elites, Democrat or Republican, serve the demands of corporations and empire. They are facilitators, along with most of the media and most of academia, of what the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin calls our system of "inverted totalitarianism."


Italy's highest court slams Amanda Knox investigation for "glaring errors" and "investigative bouts of amnesia"

Italy's top criminal court said Monday that it threw out the murder convictions of American student Amanda Knox and her former Italian boyfriend earlier this year because of "glaring errors" and a hit-and-miss hunt for a scapegoat to satisfy public opinion.

The stunning ruling in March — which wasn't explained until Monday's filing was published — marked one more twist in a years-long saga that boomeranged through the Italian criminal justice system, captivated two countries and left Knox and her ex-boyfriend, Raffaele Sollecito, to serve four years in jail.

At the center of the case was the brutal 2007 killing of Knox's 21-year-old roommate, Meredith Kercher.

Knox and Sollecito were arrested after Kercher was found dead in a pool of blood in the apartment the two women shared in the university town of Perugia, with as many as 40 knife wounds over her half-naked body.

Prosecutors argued that Kercher was killed as part of a sex game. Knox and Sollecito said they were alone together on the night in question, watching a movie, smoking pot and having sex, but they were convicted of the killing two years later.

Comment: This poor woman can finally get on with her life knowing that at least one authority in Italy has exonerated her. It's been clear for anyone who paid close attention that the prosecutors and lower courts in Italy were simply scapegoating Knox and Sollecito and fit the narrative around a preconceived idea - that the two of them were guilty. At least now it's made clear for the rest of the world to know.

See also:

Alarm Clock

Some 30 holistic practitioners suffer amphetamine poisoning at conference (criminal investigation underway)

© AP
Ambulance vehicles are parked side by side in Handeloh, in the German state of Lower Saxony, on Friday, Sept. 4, 2015. Authorities say that rescuers called to a conference center in northern Germany found some 30 people staggering and suffering from cramps, apparently as a result of poisoning with amphetamines.
30 Practitioners found with amphetamine poisoning at an alternative "Homeopathic Conference"
Depending on the sources it's either called, alternative, holistic or homeopathic, but one thing is clear: the articles state that the people say they took nothing (at least knowingly) that could cause them to become poisoned and so ill they are falling over. As you can see above ambulances and even one helicopter had to be sent out.

From the article:
Authorities say emergency workers called to a conference center in northern Germany found some 30 practioners staggering and suffering from cramps, apparently as a result of amphetamine poisoning.

The local government said 15 ambulances and a helicopter were sent to the scene Friday in the small town of Handeloh, south of Hamburg, the dpa news agency reported.

Fire service spokesman Matthias Koehlbrandt told broadcaster NDR the group was aged between 25 and 55. NDR reported they were alternative and homeopathic practitioners, and that they were taken to the hospital.

Authorities said their preliminary finding was that the group was poisoned with amphetamines, but Koehlbrandt said they didn't knowingly take the substance.

Che Guevara

Huge protest in Moldova demands new president, government, constitution - 100,000 people rally

© Valery Korchmar/Reuters
Protesters carry Moldova's national flags during an anti-government rally, organised by the civic platform "Dignity and Truth" (DA), in central Chisinau, Moldova, September 6, 2015.
Protesters have set up tents outside the government building in the Moldovan capital of Chisinau, following a demonstration that attracted up to 100,000 people. The opposition say they will stay until the resignation of the government and a crippling $1 billion bank scam is prosecuted.

"Today everything changes," Vasily Nastase, one of the leaders of Dignity and Truth, the broad non-party movement that organized the protest, told the crowd. "We will not leave here with our demands unmet. We will create a political alternative of uncorrupt professionals to give people a choice at the next election. Today, we will demand the resignation of president Nicolae Timofti, because he is not the true president of Moldova."
© Rusian Shalapuda/RIA Novosti
Protesters gesture during an anti-government rally, organised by the civic platform "Dignity and Truth" (DA), in central Chisinau, Moldova, September 6, 2015.
Organizers said that up to 100,000 people in a country which has a population of just over three million flooded the streets of Chisinau - the biggest demonstration since Moldova seceded from the Soviet Union. Many chanted "Shame!" and"Thieves!" The authorities estimated the number of protesters to stand at 40,000.

While most of the demonstrators have been markedly peaceful, scuffles broke out at an offshoot picket outside the prosecutor's office, as several protesters broke through a thin police cordon. Police say they have arrested a number of men concealing chains and other potential weapons in their backpacks.

Comment: South Front Foreign Policy Diary: Unrest in Moldova - another Western imperial 'success'?


Chicago park closed after child's body parts found in lagoon

© Sky News
The remains are thought to belong to a child aged between two and four as police search through missing persons cases.

A child's feet, hands and head were found in a lagoon in Chicago. The head and other body parts of a young child have been discovered in a lagoon in a west Chicago park.

A search was launched at Garfield Park after someone reported seeing an object floating in the water at the lagoon on Saturday afternoon. Detectives discovered the badly decomposed remains, which also included hands and feet, as investigators searched through the waist-high water over the weekend. Part of Garfield Park has been closed off during the search

Police said on Sunday that officers had found additional body parts, but did not release any further details. The Chicago Sun Times reported that a child's head had been found. A 20lb weight was also found nearby, authorities said. Jason Ervin, alderman for the district, said investigators had told him the victim was likely aged between two and four and said there was no indication the remains were from more than one child.

Star of David

What was and what is: Palestine pre-1948, before Zionism/Israel

© Unknown
Nakba 1948
The video contains pictures of different Palestinian cities during the 1920's and 1930's, before the creation of the state of israel by the zionists in 1948.
Video dedicated to Palestinians of all religions across the globe
And all those longing to return to a peaceful & free homeland


Brussels police fire water cannons as protesting farmers use tractors to break police cordon

© Emmanuel Dunand/AFP
Police have used water cannon during a farmers' protest in Brussels. Hundreds of protesters were throwing stones, eggs and firecrackers at officers and used two tractors to try and break through a cordon.

At least one police officer has been injured in the clashes with protesters, Ruptly video agency reports from the scene.

The farmers arrived in the EU capital on tractors to express their anger over falling milk and meat prices.

"Prices have gone down 30-40 percent for most farmers and our farms are really going bankrupt like this," Sieta van Keimpema, vice-president of the European Milk Board farmers group, told AP.

According to organizers, at least 6,000 farmers have gathered in Brussels and some 2,000 tractors are currently blocking traffic in and around the city.

"The milk price is under or around 28 cents [per liter, about 0.2 gallons]. And this is not enough even to cover the costs," Heinz Thorwarth, a farmer from Fuchsstadt, southern Germany, told AP.


'Fireball in the sky' erupts after pipeline explosion near Canada-US border

© Jeff French
Jeff French, the fire chief in Emerson, Man., took photos of this fire burning Saturday night at a TransCanada natural gas pipeline station in Kittson County, Minn.
Officials looking into cause of large fire at compressor station that took 4 hours to extinguish

A few homes were evacuated Saturday night near the Canada-U.S. border after a pipeline fire about 50 kilometres southeast of Emerson, Man., lit up the night sky. A TransCanada spokesperson said the fire started in the yard of the St. Vincent Compressor Station at about 9 p.m CT in Kittson County, Minn.

Fire crews initially received reports of an explosion, said Jeff French, the fire chief in Emerson. "When we got there it was just one big fireball with a big rumbling," said French. "You could hear the rumble probably 20 kilometres away." French said the flames were also visible kilometres from the compressor station. "It just looked like a huge fireball in the sky," said French. "It makes it look that much bigger when it's dark. It was probably 40 feet high; it was probably 10 to 15 feet wide at the base."

The fire burned until about 1:10 a.m. Sunday, TransCanada said. One or two homes in Dominion City were evacuated Saturday night as a precaution, French said, adding people were allowed back in their homes about an hour later.

'A big boom'

French could not confirm if there was indeed an explosion, but said he spoke with people in the area who reported hearing "a big boom." TransCanada said the facility has been shut down and the pipeline has been isolated.

No injuries have been reported. Investigators are looking into the cause of the fire.