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Thu, 30 Mar 2023
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California mall fight sends fearful shoppers running, rumors of gunman prove false

Sacramento, California - Chaos erupted inside Arden Fair Mall in Sacramento Wednesday amid false reports of a gunman in the mall, CBS Sacramento reports.

Three people were arrested for causing a disturbance that was considered criminal in nature.

Officer Doug Morse told CBS Sacramento that the rumors of a gunman began just before 5p.m. Wednesday.

"There was a group of juveniles going through the mall, pushing people around and knocking over signs," Morse said.

The sounds of signs hitting the floor were immediately confused for gunfire, which caused an instant panic and sent shoppers scrambling.

"Everybody was just running past us. We didn't know what was going on, so we ran out the door," shopper Kendall Elin told the station.


After Newtown, some parents impose (toy) gun control

© Shun Melson
Shun Melson's son threw his toy gun in the trash after hearing about the Newtown school shooting.
As the nation debates gun policy following the mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., some parents are imposing a different kind of gun control in their own homes: They are taking away their children's toy guns.

One Chicago mother, Anupy Singla, had been wrestling for months with whether to keep the Nerf revolver-style blasters that her daughters, ages 7 and 10, enjoyed playing with, several times tossing them into the trash and then retrieving them.

Her indecision ended abruptly on Dec. 14, as she watched the coverage of the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where 20-year-old gunman Adam Lanza killed 26 people and himself after fatally shooting his mother at home.

"It was just something that inside me really snapped," said Singla, 44, a cookbook author and food writer, and she threw the playthings away.

"It's me making a decision that this is not something that's right in our house," she said. "We don't believe in playing with something that represents something that could be potentially so dangerous."


Another man pushed to death in front of New York City subway train

New York - A mumbling woman pushed a man to his death in front of a subway train on Thursday night, the second time this month someone has been killed in such nightmarish fashion, police said.

The man was standing on the elevated platform of a 7 train in Queens at about 8 p.m. when he was shoved by the woman, who witnesses said had been following him closely and mumbling to herself, New York Police Department chief spokesman Paul Browne said. When the train pulled into the tracks, the woman got up from a nearby bench and shoved the man down, he said. The man had been standing with his back to her.

It didn't appear the man noticed her before he was shoved onto the tracks, police said. The condition of the man's body was making it difficult to identify him, police said.

The woman fled, and police were searching for her. She was described as Hispanic, in her 20s, heavyset and about 5-foot-5, wearing a blue, white and gray ski jacket and Nike sneakers with gray on top and red on the bottom.

It was unclear if the man and the woman knew each other or if anyone tried to help the man up before he was struck by the train and killed. There was no video of the incident at the station on Queens Boulevard in the Sunnyside neighborhood. Detectives canvassed the neighborhood for useable video.

Eye 1

Sandy Hook funeral-fund scam outrages, feds charge Nouel Alba

Nouel Alba
Nouel Alba, 37, of the Bronxis charged with a scam to profit from the Sandy Hook massacre.
The innocent blood spilled on the floors of a Connecticut elementary school was still warm when a Bronx woman hatched a sick scam to profit off the tragedy.

Nouel Alba, 37, was busted after allegedly posing as an aunt of 6-year-old Noah Pozner - one of 20 children massacred inside Sandy Hook Elementary School - to collect money for the child's "funeral fund," authorities said.

Alba was charged Wednesday with lying to the feds after they caught wind of the vile scam, which included using her Facebook account to solicit donations and spinning a tale about meeting with President Obama, court papers show.

"I'm disgusted by it," the child's uncle, Alexis Haller, told NBC. "I think it's disgusting behavior."

Alba, of Soundview, began posting on her profile - which was under the user name Victorian Glam Fairys - just hours after a gunman went on a gory rampage in the Newtown, Conn., school on Dec. 14, the papers show.


Delhi gang rape patient has brain injury and is fighting for life, doctors say

© Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
Ambulances parked outside the Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore where the 23-year-old gang rape victim is being treated.
The medical condition of the 23-year-old woman who was raped by several men and thrown off a moving bus on Dec. 16 is worse than previous reports had indicated, according to the Singapore hospital where she is being treated.

Dr. Kevin Loh, chief executive of Mount Elizabeth Hospital, said in a statement Friday:

"As at 28 Dec, 11am (Singapore time) the patient continues to remain in an extremely critical condition. She is still receiving treatment at Mount Elizabeth Hospital's Intensive Care Unit.

"Our medical team's investigations upon her arrival at the hospital yesterday showed that in addition to her prior cardiac arrest, she also had infection of her lungs and abdomen, as well as significant brain injury. The patient is currently struggling against the odds, and fighting for her life.

"A multi-disciplinary team of specialists has been working tirelessly to treat her since her arrival, and is doing everything possible to stabilize her condition over the next few days."

Arrow Up

Payback! Hundreds of homeowners associations threaten banks with foreclosure

Foreclosure Notice
© AlterNet
It's payback time - literally. In Florida, hundreds of homeowner and neighborhood associations are foreclosing on banks that have failed to upkeep their repossessed properties, according to - of all things - a CNN Money report.

Florida is one of the states hardest hit by foreclosures, and there are nearly a half-million foreclosed houses now standing vacant and often slowly deteriorating. When a bank forecloses on a house, evicts the family and then repossesses the property, it also assumes responsibility for maintaining the home and yard and paying homeowner or condo association fees.

Yet, some of the nation's largest and richest banks have been unable or unwilling to upkeep their properties - prompting neighbors across Florida to declare enough is enough.

One Miami lawyer, Ben Solomon, has filed more than 1,000 liens against banks for failing to maintain their properties or pay their homeowner association fees. And when the recalcitrant banks don't comply, Solomon slaps them with a foreclosure notice - 131 thus far.

The push to hold banks accountable for their properties isn't simply sweet justice against the world's worst neighbors. Unmaintained properties create a host of problems for the surrounding neighborhood - problems that Bank of America, JP Morgan, U.S. Bank and other major Wall Street institutions are going to have to start dealing with if they want to continue foreclosing on and repossessing millions of homes across the United States.

Eye 1

Near a quarter of U.S. female combatants report being sexually assaulted

© AFP Photo / Files / Patrick Baz
Almost half of all US women deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan say they were sexually harassed, while nearly one-quarter claim they were sexually assaulted. The findings shed light on the additional stress military women face when they work abroad.

Research by the Department of Veterans Affairs shows that sexual misconduct is a much greater problem than previously believed, since the Pentagon asserts that few reports were filed alleging sexual assault.

Only 115 such reports were filed in 2011, even though about 20,000 women were serving in Afghanistan in February. One of the study's lead researchers, Amy Street, believes the data demonstrates an emotional cost of war that has hardly been considered.

The "lion's share of the attention... has focused on combat exposure," she told USA Today.

Of the 1,100 women who served in Iraq or Afghanistan and were surveyed by Street's team, 48.6 percent admitted to being sexually harassed and 22.8 percent admitted to being sexually assaulted - and in some cases raped - while serving in a war zone.

Red Flag

High voter turnout does not imply a healthy democracy! Consider German elections resulting in Nazi dictatorship

e-voting machine
George Will argues in his Washington Post column today that what he terms the Justice Department's "drive to federalize voter registration" is an unnecessarily complex answer to "the non-problem of people choosing not to vote," and that high voter turnout isn't all it's cracked up to be, citing the German elections of the early 1930s that resulted in Nazi dictatorship.

Describing "obvious reasons for non-voting," he writes:
[T]he stakes of politics are agreeably low because constitutional rights and other essential elements of happiness are not menaced by elections. Those who think high voter turnout indicates civic health should note that in three German elections, 1932-33, turnout averaged more than 86 percent, reflecting the terrible stakes: The elections decided which mobs would rule the streets and who would inhabit concentration camps.
There's a lot to unpack here, but I'll try to keep it brief. Germany in the early 1930s was reeling from the global depression, increasingly bitter over the outcome of World War I and the punitive terms of the Treaty of Versailles, and overrun by extremist parties with their own paramilitary wings brawling in the streets and shooting at each other outside political rallies. Anti-Semitism was widespread, everyone hated the Weimar government, and nostalgia for the heady days of the Kaiser led most people to actually yearn for a dictatorship of some form. And in this toxic political environment, the Nazis managed to prevail over the other extremist groups -- largely due to popular support, but also through conspiracy and outright intimidation.

Comment: What difference does it ultimately make if the election results can be manipulated by the PTB?
US Voting System is a Complete Farce: Why It's Impossible to have a Legitimate Election
Your Vote Doesn't Count...
Evidence of electronic vote fraud pours in from both liberal and conservative sources


Conservative media gun advocates pushing for teachers to be armed

Conservative media are calling on teachers to be armed in response to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, even as law enforcement experts, educators, and others argue that bringing guns into schools would make classrooms more dangerous. This advice comes on the heels of legislation being considered by Republicans in at least six states that would allow or require teachers and staff to carry guns.

On December 14, a lone gunman killed 26 people, among them 20 children, at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, before shooting and killing himself.

During a segment on the tragedy, Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade dismissed arguments for gun control, saying that he favors "hardening the target and maybe arming the teachers" as a way to avert such massacres in the future. He also advocated for the hiring of retired law enforcement and military to police school halls.

Co-host Steve Doocy pointed to a school in Harrold, Texas, whose teachers carry concealed weapons to suggest that such a program would work well at other schools.

When co-host Gretchen Carlson dissented, saying she worries about what the consequences would be for children to grow up in a culture in which people are armed, Kilmeade stated: "They're in that culture." He added: "The reality is there's school shootings and I want my kid to get out alive."


Baby names predictions for 2013 - 5 trends that will shock you

PR Newswire Logo
© PR Newswire
One might think that we have seen it all - last year brought a lot of outrageous baby names. It would appear this is only the tip of the iceberg though, as 2013 is shaping up to be the year that pushes the boundaries of what was previously considered "normal." As parents strive for that distinctive name, social baby naming website, Belly Ballot (more here), is predicting some shocking New Year's trends. The site collects real-time data on what names parents are selecting from around the globe. Based on naming data from over 1,000 parents on the site, along with 10,000 votes from their friends and family, the site has released the following predictions for the new year:

1) Tech Inspired Names - One the heels of baby Hashtag, we expect people to continue this trend with more technology inspired names. Think Tweet, Android, and Kindle. We are a technology crazed world and people are carrying this trend over into the most intimate aspects of their lives, including naming their babies. Here comes little iMac.

2) Multiple Names - As the pressure mounts in baby naming, parents are trying to create that one unique name and they are finding themselves having a hard time choosing just one. So why not pick two, or three names. Or like Uma Thurman, five! She recently announced her baby girl's name, Rosalind Arusha Arkadina Altalune Florence Thurman-Busson. Parents are no longer limiting themselves to a first and middle name, but adding as many names as they like. They might want to save a couple for their next children.