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Mon, 19 Nov 2018
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Four Russian prison guards sentenced for beating an inmate to death

Map of Russia
Four guards at a penitentiary in the Russian city of Chelyabinsk have been handed prison terms for beating an inmate to death.

A court in Chelyabinsk on November 15 found the four men guilty of abuse of power with violence and sentenced them to prison terms between three and eight years.

Inmate Sultan Israilov was found dead in the Corrective Colony No. 2 penitentiary in December 2015.

The prison authorities initially claimed the death was a suicide.

But some 500 inmates started a hunger strike, demanding an investigation into Israilov's death, which led to a probe in which five prison guards were arrested.

One of the guards committed suicide in May 2016 while under house arrest.


So much Murika: Diabetes spike in Mexican town where Coca-Cola used as drinking water, currency & religious offering

Coca-Cola San Cristobal
© Martha Pskowski
In Zinacantán, a Tzotzil indigenous community outside San Cristobal, Coca-Cola is widely sold during the festival for the town's patron saint, San Jerónimo.
A Mexican town, next to a Coca-Cola plant, is running so low on water that locals have turned to the sugary drink as an alternative. It's drunk, used in religious ceremonies and even as a currency. While diabetes and obesity soar.

Cristobal de las Casas, in the Mexican state of Chiapas, has for years been caught between an inept local government and a multinational corporation which is draining its local water supply in a case of crony capitalism at its worst.

Coca-Cola is produced locally at the Femsa plant, which bottles and sells the drink across Mexico. Under a long-standing agreement with the Mexican government, the factory owns the rights to draw out more than 300,000 gallons (around 1,135,623 liters) of water per day.

Star of David

Attacks on Palestinian schools increase as Israel escalates settlement activities

Israeli army guys
© Israel Defense Force / Flickr
Soldiers in the Israel Defense Force during a training mission
Israeli settler violence - with IDF complicity - is becoming more and more commonplace, even targeting elementary schools. The government has also approved extensive Israeli settlement expansions and Jewish-only roads to be built on Palestinian land, which will result in isolation of Palestinian communities and loss of olive trees.

In addition, Jerusalem has seen an increase in extremist Jewish visits to the Al-Aqsa mosque.

School attacks and demolitions

In a clear violation of all laws and human rights principles, including the right to education and access to educational institutions, many Palestinian schools in the countryside and Bedouin communities were attacked by Israeli soldiers and settlers.


Jada Pinkett Smith claims she's triggered by white women with blond hair

Jada Pinkett Smith
Actress Jada Pinkett Smith revealed Monday that white women with blond hair trigger deep-seated prejudices in her that she's carried since she was a child.

The "Girls Trip" star said on the new episode of her Facebook chat show, "Red Table Talk," that she's had to keep herself in check when it comes to judging white women, acknowledging that they share the oppression she's also experienced because of their gender.

"White women understand what it feels to be oppressed ... because of their sex," Mrs. Pinkett Smithsaid. "What it feels to be ostracized or not being treated as an equal.

Eye 1

US airstrikes in Deir Ez-Zor kill at least 17 civilians

Raqqa Syria US airstrikes
© Morukc Umnaber / Global Look Press
A general view of destroyed houses on the front line in the Al Dariya neighborhood in western Raqqa, Syria, 24 July 2017.
Earlier in the day, Moscow confirmed that the US-led coalition has resumed airstrikes east of the Euphrates River in Syria, using white phosphorous munitions banned by the international law.

US-Led Coalition airstrikes targeting the village of Bu-Badran in the Syrian Deir ez-Zor province resulted in the death of 17 civilians on Thursday, SANA reported citing local sources.

"17 civilians died as a result of airstrikes conducted by the international coalition targeting Bu-Badran in the east of Deir ez-Zor province," the agency reported.

Comment: It's not out of the ordinary for the US to use banned white phosphorous munitions. They've sold them to Saudi Arabia for use in Yemen and they've used them repeatedly in the Iraq War - something they've even admitted to. Sputnik reports more on these (most likely true) allegations:
The US-led Coalition has resumed airstrikes east of the Euphrates River in Syria, and are using white phosphorous munitions, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said.

"The Americans have resumed intensive airstrikes against terrorist-controlled settlements along the eastern bank of Euphrates, including, according to local residents, the use of white phosphorus munitions," Zakharova said, speaking at a press briefing in Moscow on Thursday. [...]

Last week, SANA reported that the Coalition used white phorphorus in Hajin in strikes earlier this month. A spokesman said that the Coalition would investigate reported civilian casualties, but did not address the alleged use of white phosphorus. The Coalition has previously denied the use of the type of munitions, calling Syrian media claims on the issue "totally false."

Eye 1

ISIS fighters paid with gold & silver for shooting aircraft & launching chemical attacks

ISIS terrorist jihadi
© Reuters
ISIS jihadists were paid well for their service, documents belonging to the terrorist group, and obtained by RT in Iraq, reveal. Use of chemical agents was paid-for in silver, while taking down a chopper was rewarded with gold.

Despite the common belief that Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) fighters were often forced to join the terrorist group or were recruited based on the conviction of their faith to carry out jihad, documents from the Iraqi city of Mosul and seen by RT show that fighting for the self-proclaimed caliphate also had its financial incentives.


Australian Universities ban sarcasm as 'form of violence'

Australian University
© Jason Tong / Pixabay

Government launches probe into campus censorship

Australian universities have begun banning sarcasm by deeming it a "form of violence," according to a watchdog group.

Gideon Rozner, director of policy at the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA), a think tank "dedicated to preserving and strengthening the foundations of economic and political freedom," praised the Australian government's announcement that it is launching a probe into the suppression of free speech on campuses across the country.

Rozner explained to Sky News Australia the findings of a recent study conducted by IPA, which rated more than 80 percent of Australian universities as "hostile to free speech," while only one school earned a "green" rating for being supportive of free expression.

Comment: Any Australians thinking about attending university might want to take note of the only school getting a green rating: University of New England. After all, what good is attending an institution of "higher learning" if you know that no one there can freely speak their mind? It's the difference between an education and indoctrination.

See also:

Cardboard Box

Say it ain't so! Couple and homeless man charged with creating fake story that made them $400k in donations on GoFundMe page

Johnny Bobbitt Jr.

FILE- In this Nov. 17, 2017, photo, Johnny Bobbitt Jr., left, Kate McClure, right, and McClure's boyfriend Mark D'Amico pose at a Citgo station in Philadelphia. When McClure ran out of gas, Bobbitt, who is homeless, gave his last $20 to buy gas...
A New Jersey couple and a homeless man who used a GoFundMe page to raise $400,000 now face criminal charges.

Prosecutors tell WCAU that Mark D'amico and Kate McClure conspired with destitute Johnny Bobbitt to create the get-rich-quick scheme in 2017.

The couple created a GoFundMe page, claiming homeless drug addict Bobbitt spent his last $20 to fill up McClure's empty gas tank after her car broke down.

The charity campaign exploded, raising tens of thousands of dollars from unsuspecting donors in a matter of days.

All three face charges of conspiracy and theft by deception for working together to create the alleged ruse.

Comment: Sheesh! One of the very few feel-good stories we've covered here over the past few years that sparks a little faith in humanity and - poof - it's a fake! But take heart dear reader, the many thousands of good and sometimes great articles posted here are a testament to the many, many people who care about our world, getting at something close to truth of things, and sharing it for the betterment and elucidation of all - even if they make a living doing it. Not to mention the items on all the countries standing up to Empire.

Star of David

Palestinians flee homes moments before Israeli airstrikes level six buildings in Gaza

Rubble Gaza israeli airstrikes 11.13.18
© Mohammed Asad
Palestinians walk through rubble after Israeli forces struck the al-Yazji building in the Gaza Strip overnight Monday, November 13, 2018.
Israeli forces leveled six buildings overnight Monday in the most serious escalation of hostilities since the 2014 war between Israel and Hamas. By Tuesday afternoon, Israel and Palestinian factions had signed to an Egyptian brokered ceasefire, yet worry remains across the Strip.

Hours before the agreement was reached, Suhair Habboush, 39, was panic-stricken, fleeing her apartment in the middle of the night after a relative received a warning call from the Israeli military at 11:30 p.m.

"I fell asleep early Monday night and about 20 minutes into my sleep everything turned into massive chaos mixed with my brother-in-law loudly screaming," Suhair said who shares a flat with her six children, "I rushed to my children's bedrooms to check if they were alive."

"My brother-in-law received a warning call from an Israeli officer telling him to evacuate the six -story building within 10 minutes," she said, "The scene was similar to the 2014 war. We are scared that those black and bloody days might repeat themselves again. Nobody wants to lose their beloved."

Comment: Mainstream media on Gaza: Israelis get killed, but Palestinians merely 'die'

See also:


Video of Brooklyn man shouting 'Heil Hitler!' prompts free speech vs hate speech Twitter debate

street sign
© AFP / Olivier Douliery
A video of a man shouting "Heil Hitler!" on a Brooklyn street sparked online debate about whether such speech is protected by the First Amendment; a similar act caused a man to be removed from a Baltimore theater on Wednesday.

In the video posted to Twitter, the man, who was reportedly arrested for his outburst, is seen repeatedly shouting "Heil Hitler!" at another man who is filming from his car - and who is reportedly Jewish.

Comment: Have we really arrived at the point where we're arresting people over insults? The purpose of an insult is to insult; to deliver a low blow that rankles the insultee. It's certainly rude but it's not an arrestable offense.