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Thu, 25 May 2017
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George Washington University hires de-radicalized Islamist as researcher in its homeland security center

© Ahmed Jadallah / Reuters
George Washington University has hired a former Al-Qaeda recruiter and founder of a jihadist propaganda outlet to work as a researcher at its center on homeland security. He is the first "de-radicalized" Islamist in the US to be offered such a role.

Jesse Morton, a former Al-Qaeda propagandist previously known as Younus Abdullah Muhammad who publicly vowed to "terrorize American unbelievers" and destroy society by waging jihad, was dubbed by the New York Times one of the "most prolific recruiters for Al-Qaeda."

Now he has been hired as a researcher by George Washington University's Center for Cyber and Homeland Security, reports the New York Times.

"As many people as may have traveled, or may have committed criminal acts, because of my words, I hope that I can deter just as many," he told the newspaper when asked if the public can trust his sincerity.

"I may never be able to repair the damage that I have done, but I think I can at least try."


Plane makes emergency landing after multiple passengers and crew sustain injuries due to severe turbulence

© united / Instagram
Twelve people were hospitalized after a transatlantic United Airlines flight was forced to make an emergency landing in Ireland.

The Boeing 767-300 was en route from Houston, Texas to London Heathrow when "severe" turbulence forced the plane, with 207 passengers and crew of 13 on board, to divert to Shannon Airport.

Of the 12 casualties initially treated at Limerick University Hospital, two are crew and 10 are passengers. The injuries are said to include cuts, broken bones and minor head trauma. Three children were among those treated.
"The aircraft diverted to Shannon Airport in Ireland where it was met by medical personnel. United Airlines is providing care and support to customers and crew of flight UA-880. We wish these passengers and crew a quick recovery from their injuries.

-United Airlines statement

Snakes in Suits

ACLU suing Alabama officials after woman was forced to remove headscarf for driver's license photo

© ACLU.org
Yvonne Allen
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is suing Alabama officials after a Christian woman was forced to remove her headscarf for a driver's license photo. The woman was told that only Muslim women are allowed to keep their heads covered.

When Yvonne Allen of Tuskegee went to renew her license at the local Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in April, the clerk told her that she would have to take off her headscarf because "only Muslim women have the right to cover their hair in their driver license photos."

The comment upset Allen, who says wearing a headscarf is an "integral part" of her Christian beliefs.

"I raised the issue with the clerk's supervisor, but she too claimed that the rule was policy, adding that she was a Christian and does not cover her hair. I told the supervisor that while she is entitled to her interpretation of the Bible, so am I," Allen wrote in a letter published on the ACLU's website.

Allen says she wears a headscarf every day, to "be obedient to God's Word and show my submission to Him." She says she believes removing her headscarf in public is "extremely shameful" and "dishonors God."


Survey reveals British kids as young as 3 think they're 'fat & ugly'

© Suzanne Plunkett / Reuters
Children as young as three are showing signs of body image issues, such as rejecting food because they worry it will make them "fat," a survey of childcare professionals has revealed.

The research, conducted by the Professional Association for Childcare and Early Years (PACEY), indicates that children start worrying about their weight as early as preschool. Nearly a third of childcare workers reported they have heard a child call themselves fat.



Whistleblower receives $22mn award for exposing Monsanto securities fraud; company pays a fine and no one goes to prison

© Charles Platiau / Reuters
An unnamed whistleblower responsible for exposing Monsanto's shady deals involving Roundup products to the federal government has been awarded over $20 million by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), in its second biggest payout in history.

The SEC Office of the Whistleblower Program was created by Congress in 2011 to provide monetary incentives for individuals to come forward and report possible violations of the federal securities laws to the SEC. Under the program, whistleblowers are encouraged to report financial mishandlings of over $1 million. For their services, whistleblowers receive an award of up to 30 percent of the monetary sanctions collected by the government.

The award of $22,437,800 given to an unnamed recipient, believed to be a former financial executive with Monsanto, was tied to an $80 million settlement between the SEC and Monsanto in February, lawyer in the case, Stuart Meissner said in a statement.

February's case settlement centered on Monsanto's reporting of revenue from its weed-killer Roundup generated through a corporate rebate program designed to boost product sales. Monsanto neither admitted nor denied the fraud charges and went on to settle the issue earlier this year.

"Without this whistleblower's courage, information, and assistance, it would have been extremely difficult for law enforcement to discover this securities fraud on its own," said Jane Norberg, acting chief of the SEC's Office of the Whistleblower.



'Dr. Love', the teenage doctor impersonator, arrested again over new charges, and is now facing up to 90 years in jail

© Malachi Love-Robinson / Facebook
Florida's "Dr. Love", a fake teenager practitioner, subjected to 12 felony charges for posing as a doctor, has now been arrested again, for the third time in the past six months. He is now facing charges of grand theft and writing a bad check.

Malachi Love-Robinson, 19, has been placed at Palm Beach County Jail. He was taken into custody at a courtroom following a brief hearing on Monday. He has been released on $8,000 bail.

The new accusations have added to Love-Robinson's existing 12 felony charges. Combined, they are punishable by up to 90 years behind bars: A potential 70 years for the initial charges and a further possible 20 for grand theft and writing a bad check.

"Dr. Love" was arrested for the first time on February 16 this year and for the second time two weeks after, on March 1. The teenager was set free on an $18,000 bail.

He has been charged with two counts of practicing medicine without a license; two counts of practice of naturopathy without a license; three counts of forgery; two counts of grand theft from a person 65 or older; and three counts of fraudulent use of personal identification information.

Comment: Doogie Howser wannabe: Florida teen arrested for practicing medicine without a license


Stanford rapist Brock Turner to be released from jail in midst of new legislation aimed at removing judge's discretion during sentencing of rape crimes

© Reuters
A combination booking photos shows former Stanford University student Brock Turner (L) on January 18, 2015 at the time of arrest and after Turner was sentenced to six months in county jail for the sexual assault of an unconscious woman, in Santa Clara County Sheriff's booking photo (R)
Brock Turner's six-month sentence for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman is coming to an end three months early. The ex-Stanford swimmer's light penalty provoked outrage and inspired California legislation now just one step away from becoming law.

Turner, 20, will likely be released from jail Friday having served only half of his six month sentence. Three months may be a short time to serve for sexual assault, but a lot has changed between when he was convicted and now.

Three months ago, Turner was found guilty of assault with intent to commit rape of an intoxicated woman, sexually penetrating an intoxicated person with a foreign object, and sexually penetrating an unconscious person with a foreign object. On top of his brief jail time, Turner will spend the rest of his life on the sex offender registry and will have to complete a sex offender management program.

Although life on the sex offender registry is no one's idea of fun, it is a far cry from what the prosecutors were originally seeking, which was a six-year sentence in federal prison.

Comment: This goes to show what kind of society we are living in when someone who raped a young woman and showed no remorse for it is sentenced to a mere 6 months only to have the term reduced, despite hundreds of thousands of signatures and protests launched against his trial and judge for giving him such a 'lightweight' sentence.

See also:


Facebook recommended that this psychiatrist's patients 'friend' each other

© Elena Scotti/FUSION
Facebook's ability to figure out the "people we might know" is sometimes eerie. Many a Facebook user has been creeped out when a one-time Tinder date or an ex-boss from 10 years ago suddenly pops up as a friend recommendation. How does the big blue giant know?

While some of these incredibly accurate friend suggestions are amusing, others are alarming, such as this story from Lisa*, a psychiatrist who is an infrequent Facebook user, mostly signing in to RSVP for events. Last summer, she noticed that the social network had started recommending her patients as friends—and she had no idea why.

"I haven't shared my email or phone contacts with Facebook," she told me over the phone.

The next week, things got weirder.


Identical death threats and picture of severed head sent to 25 British MPs

© Robert Galbraith / Reuters
At least 25 British MPs have been sent identical messages threatening to kill them and their families, alongside a picture of a severed head.

The death threats sent over the weekend come two months after the murder of Labour MP Jo Cox, who was shot and stabbed in her Batley and Spen constituency in June.

The messages are understood to have been sent to MPs of all political parties.

"Warning I am going to kill you and all of your family," it reads.


Woman killed after house leveled as truck carrying ammonium nitrate based airbag propellant detonates in Texas

© Christopher Hiller
Drone photo of the explosion
A woman was killed in her home and four other people were injured when a truck carrying Takata airbag parts and explosives crashed and detonated on a Texas road last week, the company and local authorities confirmed on Monday.

The immense blast — the victim's remains were not located for two days — highlighted the potency of the explosives used by Takata in its airbags as a propellent to activate its bags in a car crash. It also pointed to the risks associated with Takata's transport of the explosives across the country from a propellant factory in Washington State to Mexico.

Takata's airbags, and the explosive material used to make them, are at the center of the largest auto safety recall in history. Takata airbags installed in automobiles can explode violently when activated, and have been linked to the deaths of at least 14 drivers as well as to the injuries of over 100 people. Fourteen automakers have recalled more than 64 million inflaters over the defect.

The airbags use a propellant based on ammonium nitrate, which has come under scrutiny for its tendency to break down over time and combust violently when triggered.

In last week's accident, which occurred in the early hours of Aug. 22, the woman who died, Lucila Robles, 69, was apparently in her home in the town of Quemado, on the Mexico border, when the crash occurred on the road in front of her property before dawn.