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Wed, 23 Jun 2021
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Christian cult leader who had 24 wives under 17 faces 199 years' jail

© AP
Warren Jeffs
A Christian cult leader had 78 wives at a secret colony - with 24 of them underage girls, a court was told.

Warren Jeffs - who convinced his followers that he was God's spokesman on earth - faces 119 years in prison after he was convicted by a jury in Texas last week.

He was the leader at a remote colony where women were forced to dress in 19th-century outfits with hairdos similar to those seen in TV's Little House on the Prairie.

Jeffs, 55, was found guilty of sexually abusing a 12-year-old and 15-year-old girl.

When the jury came back from their deliberations, he thundered: "I, the Lord God of heaven, call upon the court to cease this prosecution against my pure, holy way.

"I shall send a scourge upon the counties of prosecutorial zeal to be humbled by sickness and death."

Che Guevara

Transit Workers to Join Occupy Wall Street Protesters

© DNAinfo/Ben Fractenberg
Transit worker Brian Brooks, 50, protests layoffs on August 19, 2010.
Manhattan - Occupy Wall Street, the group of demonstrators that has stationed itself in a Lower Manhattan park for nearly two weeks, got a vote of support from one of the city's most influential unions Wednesday.

The executive board for the Transport Workers Union Local 100, which boasts roughly 38,000 bus and subway workers plus an additional 26,000 retirees, voted Wednesday night to support the demonstrators, who have been camped out at Zuccotti Park, near the World Trade Center, since Sept. 17, according to spokesman Jim Gannon.

Gannon said the union would invite its members to join the Occupy Wall Street crowd for a march and rally at 4:30 p.m. on Oct. 5. The Working Families Party is also expected to participate in the Oct. 5 action, according to spokesman T.J. Helmstetter.

The TWU vote seemed to represent a growing sense of mainstream legitimacy for the Occupy Wall Street demonstrators, who have been criticized as lacking organization and political focus.

Celebrity activists Susan Sarandon, Cornel West and Michael Moore haven also given a boost to the demonstrators, who say they are there to protest corporate greed, among other things, by joining them in Zuccotti Park.

2 + 2 = 4

Teacher Penalizes Students for Saying "Bless You"


Australia: Croc Turns Bright Orange

orange crocodile
© Alex Coppel & Herald Sun
Snappy is expected to return to normal at some point.
A crocodile at a wildlife park in Australia has turned himself orange after attacking a water filter in the pool in his enclosure.

The reptile, named Snappy, obviously bit off more than he could chew - although he is expected to return to normal at some point.

The 2.5m-long animal is now bright orange from head to tail - much to the amusement of onlookers at Roaming Reptiles in the State of Victoria.


US: Wisconsin Judge "No Right to Produce or Eat Food of Choice"

big agriculture

In scary legal news a Wisconsin judge had gone completely loopy declaring that citizens have no right to produce or eat the foods of their own choice.
In response to a request from the Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund, the judge issued a clarification of his decision last week regarding his assessment of the constitutionality of food rights. The judge expanded on his original statement that such constitutional issues are "wholly without merit."

He explained that the FTCLDF arguments were "extremely underdeveloped." As an example, he said the plaintiffs' use of the Roe v Wade abortion rights case as a precedent does "not explain why a woman's right to have an abortion translates to a right to consume unpasteurized milk...This court is unwilling to declare that there is a fundamental right to consume the food of one's choice without first being presented with significantly more developed arguments on both sides of the issue." Gee, I thought they both had to do with the right to decide what to do with your own body.

As if to show how pissed he was at being questioned, he said his decision translates further that "no, Plaintiffs to not have a fundamental right to own and use a dairy cow or a dairy herd;

"no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to consume the milk from their own cow;"

And in a kind of exclamation point, he added this to his list of no-nos: "no, Plaintiffs do not have a fundamental right to produce and consume the foods of their choice..."

You have to wonder if maybe even the regulators are getting a tad uncomfortable with the rulings coming from the nation's judiciary on food rights. Many of these individuals, biased as they are against raw milk, dabble in farming to some extent, or grew up on farms. This judge has gone way beyond what many of them have come to assume - that everyone has the right to own a cow and consume its milk Even in places that ban raw milk sales, there's nearly always a provision in state law that anyone who owns a cow has the right to consume its milk.

It seems Judge Fiedler is saying it's not a "fundamental right," but rather a right granted us by the state.
-The Complete Patient


US: Felony Eavesdropping

Chicago- This is the story of Louis Frobe, but it's also about others who have run afoul of the Illinois eavesdropping law, one of the most restrictive of its kind in the country. It requires that all parties to a conversation give their consent before you can record legally record it.

Say you take out your smart phone and you start taking pictures of police officers making an arrest. The pictures and video are allowed by law, but you must have permission before you record the audio, even if the officer is on the public way.

"I'm just an ordinary citizen. I was on my way to the movies, and all of a sudden I'm facing a felony and 15 years in prison," Frobe told ABC7.

Che Guevara

Armies of Teachers Jolt France's Streets

© unknown
Picture shows demonstration in the city of Nantes in western France on September 27, 2011.
Thousands of teachers and their supporters take to the streets across France following a related national strike to protest at the government-ordered job cuts in the education sector.

On Tuesday, more than 165,000 demonstrators took part in over 100 nationwide protests, the Associated Press reported.

The public voiced outrage at French President Nicolas Sarkozy's government, which has shed tens of thousands of education-related positions since 2007 and plans to rid a further 14,000 in 2012.

The measures have caused schools to run into training problems and staff shortages.

The protest action was for the first time joined by private school teachers as well as their public sector colleagues.

According to France's Education Ministry, more than one in four school teachers went on the strike, though, two teachers' unions put the figure at over 50 percent of the workforce.


US: Disabled Woman Arrested for Sitting Outside in Chair

woman, arrested,walker
© Special
This photo, taken by a bystander, shows Officer Kenneth Thomas placing Shequita Walker under arrest.

A physically disabled Atlanta woman says a police officer threw her to the ground and arrested her when she refused to move from her chair.

Shequita Walker, 40, suffers from severe joint pain and has a limited range of motion. For several years, Walker has enjoyed sitting in a metal chair in the vacant lot next to her apartment complex on Boulevard. Walker says she isn't on the sidewalk or in anyone's way, and has spent many hot afternoons waiting on the ice cream truck to drive by so she can buy a cold treat.

But on April 21, an Atlanta police officer asked her to move when she was in her regular spot, next to three other people. Walker responded by telling Officer Kenneth Thomas she was within her rights to sit outside, and that other Atlanta officers had not had a problem with it.


US: Police Kill Two Dogs, Bella And Jordan, In San Mateo, California


A family in San Mateo, California is expressing outrage that police shot and killed their two dogs after they escaped and started barking at children in a park.

Carla Torres, 38, says her two boxers, a female named Bella and a male named Jordan, may have been loose and loud at Laurie Meadows Park, having escaped out a side gate at her home, but that there was no reason for officers to shoot them.

Police Shot Both Dogs

From The San Francisco Chronicle:

The incident happened on Monday, when a "frantic" citizen called 911, reporting that "two vicious boxer-type dogs" were at the park growling at people, including a group of small children practicing soccer, said police Sgt. Dave Norris.

Officers arrived and saw that the dogs were "behaving in an increasingly threatening manner, creating a clearly dangerous environment toward the officers and others in the park," Norris said.

As other officers cleared people from the park, an officer tried to use a Taser shock weapon on one of the dogs, but it didn't stop the dog.


Fear of Repression Spurs Scholars and Activists to Build Alternate Internets

© Yana Paskova / The Chronicle
Computer networks proved their organizing power during the recent uprisings in the Middle East, in which Facebook pages amplified street protests that toppled dictators. But those same networks showed their weaknesses as well, such as when the Egyptian government walled off most of its citizens from the Internet in an attempt to silence protesters.

That has led scholars and activists increasingly to consider the Internet's wiring as a disputed political frontier.

For example, one weekend each month, a small group of computer programmers gathers at a residence here to build a homemade Internet - named Project Byzantium - that could go online if parts of the current global Internet becomes blocked by a repressive government.

Using an approach called a "mesh network," the system would set up an informal wireless network connecting users with other nearby computers, which in turn would pass along the signals. The mesh network could tie back into the Internet if one of the users found a way to plug into an unblocked route. The developers recently tested an early version of their software at George Washington University (though without the official involvement of campus officials).