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Tue, 24 May 2016
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Nous sommes Charlie! The death of freedom and innocence

© Sott/Charlie Hebdo
Some of our favorite covers.
If anyone doubts that the attacks on Charlie Hebdo were personal, they are deluding themselves. This hate crime has rightly shocked the entire world, and it sounds a wake up call that the people of the world need constant vigilance in the face of terrorism.

While some may think that the French State could have done a bit more to stop these attacks, we see that they are making honest efforts to curb the liberal attitude that makes terrorism such an effective method of attack. Many people are mobilising to do more than just condemn terrorism, but to take an active role in weeding it out and ensuring the future prosperity of humanity.


Delta Air Lines flight forced to return to LAX for emergency landing after pilots lose control of plane


The Delta Air Lines Boeing 757, right, sits parked after making an emergency landing at Los Angeles International Airport
The pilots of a Delta Air Lines flight from Los Angeles to Minneapolis declared an emergency soon after takeoff Tuesday when they began having trouble controlling their Boeing 757.

Flight 2116 safely returned to Los Angeles International Airport after circling off the Southern California coast for about an hour to burn fuel. There were no reports of injuries among the 152 people on board.

One passenger, Nathan Smith, revealed that everyone on the plane was 'unnerved' and that some were in 'tears.'

Comment: See also these other recent reports: Plane lands safely at Heathrow after declaring urgent safety condition

Panicking passengers refuse to re-board AirAsia plane after engine stops with loud bang on Surabaya airport runway

Plane bursts tyre upon landing at Rio de Janeiro airport

Philadelphia-Manchester flight is forced to make emergency landing after flames appear under the plane

UK EasyJet flight makes emergency landing after pilot declares medical emergency

Air Asia plane overshoots runway in the Philippines

Thai Airways flight to London dumps fuel and returns to Bangkok due to 'hydraulic leak'

Problems with another Air Asia aircraft: Flight AK6242 makes emergency landing due to technical difficulties

SOTT EXCLUSIVE: Year of the planes: Cluster of plane problems as 2014 comes to a close

War Whore

Who is celebrating the NYPD work slowdown the most? Black New Yorkers - 'This is a taste of what it's like to be white.'

For the second consecutive week, New York City police have virtually ceased writing tickets and arresting people for many nonviolent crimes, on the order of a 90 percent drop from a year earlier. After perceived slights by Mayor Bill de Blasio, civil protests against police brutality, and the murder of two officers by a deranged gunman, the New York Police Department is fighting back by not doing its job. Or rather, police appear to be using their resentment as an organizing incentive to skip certain non-essential cop duties.

The police seem to be trying to teach a lesson to a city they feel doesn't adequately appreciate them. For New Yorkers who value fair policing, though, the slowdown is an occasion to celebrate.

Many of the offenses police have tacitly declared legal are considered quality-of-life (QOL) infractions. Those follow the broken window strategy, a policing philosophy that has been widely discredited since its heyday in Rudy Giuliani's mayoralty. QOL meets small transgressions with arrests and fines - a way, it's thought, to nip more substantial crimes in the bud. Perhaps because QOL policing grants cops near-unlimited discretion in determining whom to sanction, its penalties fall disproportionately on people of color. Between 2001 and 2013, the New York Daily News found, more than 80 percent of the 7.3 million people penalized for these infractions were black or Latino. The vast majority of African Americans and Latinos in all walks of life feel like they're treated unfairly by law enforcement, and consider police discrimination the most endemic form of societal mistreatment.It's unfair, brutal, racist, and financially burdensome, and it often follows such small transgressions as jaywalking, skipping $2.50 subway fares or merely irritating police.

To many of us from these communities, the past two weeks have amounted to a vacation from fear, surveillance and punishment. Maybe this is what it feels like to not be prejudged and seen as suspicious law breakers. Maybe this is a small taste of what it feels like to be white.

Comment: This pleasant interlude appears to be ending. NYC just can't seen to do without the revenue of its 'back door' taxes. A notice was posted in all precincts with an eye to the ending the slowdown. No time off until ticketing was back to acceptable levels. (Though that was never said, of course.)


Alabama: Browns Ferry nuke plants leaks tritium into the environment

© AP
Browns Ferry nuclear plant
A leak of radioactive water from a tank at the Browns Ferry Nuclear Power Plant released tritium into the environment this week, but a TVA spokesman said Saturday the leak was quickly contained and presented no public risk.

The Tennessee Valley Authority, which operates the plant near Athens, Ala., said a drain line leaked between 100 and 200 gallons of water containing tritium levels above acceptable EPA drinking water standards. The leak was fixed within three hours of when it was discovered and was largely contained within the plant area, according to TVA.

In an incident report to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, TVA said it has increased monitoring of water around the plant but has not detected any elevated tritium levels outside the plant.

"In the unlikely event any of the tritiated water enters either the intake or outflow channels, it would be significantly diluted in the 2 million gallon-per-minute flowrate (of the Tennessee River)" TVA spokesman Jim Hopson said. "Based on all of these factors, there is no danger to the public or plant workers."

Comment: See also:

US: Tennessee Valley Shuts All Browns Ferry Nuclear Reactors After Storm

Nuclear plant closed - Again


Police defend use of pepper spray and tear gas at Ohio State football celebration

© John Kuntz / Northeast Ohio Media Group
Ohio State Buckeye fans cheer as the clock expires and OSU wins the NCAA's College Football Playoff National Championship game in Dallas January 12, 2015. The party at Eddie George's Grill 27 in Columbus soon hits the streets as fans took over High Street and the police used tear gas and pepper spray to break up the crowd.
A Columbus police spokeswoman defended officers' use of pepper spray and tear gas against Ohio State fans celebrating Monday's football championship win, saying the least amount of force possible was used against the crowds.

Police and SWAT team members used the substances to disperse thousands of boisterous revelers who, following the Buckeyes' 42-20 win over Oregon, gathered along North High Street, Ohio Stadium, and around Mirror Lake, a campus pond.

A number of fans -- as well as a Northeast Ohio Media Group photographer -- said the crowd-control agents caused them to vomit or suffer from burning eyes and skin.

Columbus Police Department spokeswoman Denise Alex-Bouzounis said in an interview Tuesday that the use of pepper spray and tear gas was necessary to keep people safe and clear streets so fire trucks could be deployed to dozens of small fires being set around the campus area.

Comment: See also: Cops nonchalantly hose celebrating Ohio State fans with pepper spray for no reason


Cops nonchalantly hose celebrating Ohio State fans with pepper spray for no reason

Ohio State football fans on Monday celebrated the university's championship game win by going berserk in the streets of Columbus. The local police, in turn, responded by indiscriminately blasting the crowd with pepper spray and tear gas, as this video from The Columbus Dispatch show.

Black Magic

Mysterious smoke that filled DC train station leaves one person dead and over 80 hospitalized

Smoke fills a yellow line car near the L'Enfant Plaza Metro Station.
One person is dead and dozens more are injured after smoke poured into one of Washington, D.C.'s busiest metro stations Monday, creating what authorities described as a "mass casualty" incident.

The heavy smoke began billowing out of L'Enfant Plaza Metro Station around 3 p.m. after a disabled train became trapped inside an underground tunnel, DC Fire and EMS reported.

At least 83 people were taken to area hospitals for treatment, including a firefighter, and two were critically injured, authorities said.

"We have one fatality, a woman who was in distress on the train, which I'm very sorry to report," Metro General Manager and CEO Richard Sarles said at a press briefing.

Smoke fills the inside of L'Enfant Plaza Metro Station in Washington DC

Bizarro Earth

Restaurant in China charges customers based on attractiveness

© Imaginechina/Corbis
The Zhengzhou restaurant for 'goodlooking'
A restaurant in central China is offering free meals to its most attractive clients.

The Jeju Island restaurant, a Korean eatery in the Chinese city of Zhengzhou, says the 50 most handsome people to arrive at its gates each day will be spared paying their bills.

Those hoping for a free lunch have their looks evaluated by a panel of local plastic surgeons whose tummy-tucking talents the restaurant is attempting to promote.

Before eating guests are taken to a "beauty identification area" where they are photographed and considered. Potential diners are judged on the quality of their faces, eyes, noses and mouths. Protruding foreheads are a particular advantage, according to reports.

As news of the promotion spread, Chinese internet users debated how they might fare at the restaurant.

Comment: A preoccupation with superficiality is usually associated with the West, but as we can see here the values of the West have spread to the East. It's surely not a good sign.


US: Fort Hood soldier returning from West Africa found dead in yard

Killeen Police and Fort Hood Military Police currently have a home blocked off on the 3300 block of Cantebrian Drive where a man was found dead in a yard Tuesday morning.

Fort Hood officials confirm the man is a soldier who recently returned from a deployment to West Africa. Officials say there are no indications the soldier had Ebola, however medical personnel at Carl R. Darnall Medical Center are running tests as a precaution to make sure there is no threat to the community.

Troops returning from West Africa must undergo a 21-day monitoring period at a controlled monitoring site on post. Officials say this soldier was granted an emergency leave that was not medical related and involved a family emergency, according to officials. It is not known if the soldier was hospitalized or if the family emergency was a false report.

The soldier was under self monitoring where he had to check in with officials twice a day before his family emergency.


End of the traditional family: Less than half of children in the U.S. grow up living with a mother and father

Less than half (46%) of U.S. kids younger than 18 years of age are living in a home with two married heterosexual parents in their first marriage. This is a marked change from 1960, when 73% of children fit this description, and 1980, when 61% did, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of recently-released American Community Survey (ACS) and Decennial Census data.

Rapid changes in American family structure have altered the image of who's gathering for the holidays. While the old "ideal" involved couples marrying young, then starting a family, and staying married till "death do they part", the family has become more complex, and less "traditional".

Americans are delaying marriage, and more may be foregoing the institution altogether. At the same time, the share of children born outside of marriage now stands at 41%, up from just 5% in 1960. While debate continues as to whether divorce rates have been rising or falling in recent decades, it's clear that in the longer term, the share of people who have been previously married is rising, as is remarriage.


Comment: It can be very traumatic for a child to experience the divorce of their parents, and according to these numbers that experience is more and more common in today's modern world. That no doubt has an affect on society since those children are affected by the experience into adulthood. Perhaps it's one more reason why U.S. society is becoming more and more insane?