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Six people killed after U.S.-registered private jet crashes on its way to Paris

Six people died after a US-registered private business jet crashed on its way to Paris today.The horrifying accident saw the single-engine Socata TBM-700 come down in Mouffy, in the Yonne department in Burgundy, at around 11.30am.It had taken off from the tourist town of Annecy, in the French Alps, and was due to land at Toussus-le-Noble, in the Yvelines department, which borders Paris.

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Tragedy: A single-engine Socata jet like this one has crashed on its way to Paris killing all six people on board
All those on board, who have not yet been identified, are thought to have died on impact with the ground.

Emergency services confirmed that the plane was registered in America, but the nationality of those on board was not known either.

The Socata TBM-700 is a high performance turboprop mainly used by business people and wealthy leisure flyers.

Hearts

JFK likely related to Michael Collins say West Cork genealogy experts (VIDEO)

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Cork genealogist believes there is a blood-link between President John F Kennedy and Michael Collins.

A new investigation is underway in West Cork to prove President John F Kennedy was related to Irish leader Michael Collins.

Both men are iconic figures and were assassinated at the height of their powers and questions have long lingered as to who shot them.

Locals in the town of Clonakilty are fascinated by the strong possibility that JFK and Collins shared a blood link.

The linking of two such iconic figures in Irish and American history could be a huge boost to the West Cork region.

President Kennedy spent time in Cork during his 1963 visit to Ireland.

The Irish Examiner reports that the link is to be investigated as three of John F Kennedy's great-grandparents came from West Cork.

The town will celebrate its strong links with JFK on Friday with a two part ceremony, involving the laying of a wreath and a lecture, on the 50th anniversary of his death.

Tim Crowley, founder of the Michael Collins Centre outside Clonakilty, told the Irish Examiner: "It's a little-known fact that three of his eight great-grandparents came from the West Cork area."

The report adds that two of JFK's great grandparents, Margaret Field and James F Hickey, came from the Clonakilty area.

It says that after emigrating to Boston during the Famine, they married and had a daughter, Mary Augusta Hickey, who went on to marry Patrick Joseph Kennedy. Their son was Joe Kennedy, JFK's father.

The paper also reports that Margaret Field's grandmother, JFK's great-great-great-grandmother, Mary Sheehy was born near Woodfield, Clonakilty, close to where Collins was born.

Crowley added: "The big question we are investigating is whether Michael Collins and JFK were related. JFK's ancestors, the Sheehys, were neighbors of Collins's ancestors.

"Rose Kennedy's family came from Bruff, Limerick. Her mother was a Hannon, but her grandmother was Mary Ann Fitzgerald from the Abbey area of Skibbereen."

Cult

Church of Scientology dedicates $145 million 'Super Power' building


Hollywood superstars Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Kelly Preston were reportedly among the thousands of Scientologists gathered Sunday in Clearwater, Fla., to dedicate the Flag Building, a multi-million dollar addition to the church's headquarters there.

The 377,-000-square-foot building, which cost $145 million to build, is the only one of the church's facilities to have special rooms for practicing the "Super Power" program designed by Scientology's founder L. Ron Hubbard. The church has been waiting since the 1970s, when Hubbard developed the program, to have a proper venue to unveil it, according to the Tampa Bay Times.

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Headquarters: The $145m building reportedly will be the only place where a highly classified Super Power program, first advanced by church founder L. Ron Hubbard in the 1970s, will be conducted

Comment: Watch the following Sott.net produced video on the problem of cults, including Scientology, around the world.




Eye 2

German news report charges U.S. with conducting illegal operations from German soil with government's knowledge

protest NSA
© Claudia Himmerlreich/McClatchy
Demonstrators in Berlin, Germany, protest against the data gathering by the United States and the NSA.
The breach in U.S.-German relations seemed likely to widen Friday after a joint German newspaper and television investigation titled "Secret War" reported that American intelligence and military use this nation for "tapping, code cracking, recruiting informants, observing suspects, kidnapping and abducting foreign enemies."

What's more, the reports added: "The Germans have known all that for years."

The reports come at a time when German-U.S. relations have been taking a beating. In June, documents released by former National Security Agency consultant Edward Snowden revealed that the NSA has spied on the electronic communications of tens of millions of Germans. In October, the news broke that the NSA had even been tapping the phone of German Chancellor Angela Merkel for years, even before she became chancellor.

The resulting freefall in American popularity was tracked by a poll by national German public television station ARD. That poll showed that only 35 percent of Germans still see the United States as a good partner, down from 49 percent in July. The poll also found that 61 percent of Germans now see the United States as an untrustworthy partner and that 60 percent of Germans consider Snowden - who has been called a traitor by American officials - to be a hero. President Barack Obama's star has fallen fast. In April 2010, 88 percent of Germans said they liked his politics; the new poll put that number at 43 percent.

The news organizations - the Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper and German public television station NDR, two of Germany's most respected - say that the eight reports they published Friday were just the first of many that will come in the next few weeks.

Stormtrooper

Taiwan police department unveils Special Forces' scary new Stormtrooper look

Taiwanese Special Forces

Taiwanese police officers
With the increase toward further "security" and consequential police militarization, law enforcement officers have recently more often resembled soldiers or stormtroopers instead of the peace keepers that the people of their communities, or nation, would expect them to be.

With the ever expanding usage of drones, armored vehicles, and high-capacity automatic weapons, it's no wonder that there is growing paranoia and fear toward those who sport a shiny badge and uniform, and other authority figures who carry out the will of the government. Taiwan has taken their special forces gear to a whole new level of scary. The uniforms, recently unveiled by the Taiwanese government, feature bullet-proof armor and a terrifying and extremely concealing ballistic face mask.

The armor is designed to protect the wearer from close range shots, but critics have said that they more closely resemble something from a horror movie than they do any sort of police officer or soldier. They may not have any peripheral vision, but they successfully achieve the intended intimidation factor. It is alleged that the masks can shield the soldiers from close-range shots from a .44 magnum, and that the mask distributes the impact of the bullet over a condensed surface area. One has to wonder what the restricted vision will do for their combat effectiveness though, or how it might hold up against a molotov cocktail, which currently seems to be the weapon of choice by violent demonstrators.

Bad Guys

Paris gun attacks: TV station, Liberation newspaper and Societe Generale bank hit

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Footage of the suspected gunman at the offices of BFMTV on Friday
A manhunt is continuing in Paris after a gunman attacked offices of the newspaper Liberation and fired outside the HQ of the Societe Generale bank.

A photographer, 27, was critically hurt at Liberation. The gunman later forced a motorist to drive him to the Champs Elysees before allowing him to go.

Police are looking for the same man who broke into the Paris offices of the 24-hour news channel BFMTV on Friday.

Police have now been stationed outside all the main media offices in Paris.

At a news conference, investigators held up two images, one of the suspect in a street and another taken from BFMTV surveillance cameras on Friday.

Paris prosecutor Francois Molins said the "most likely possibility" was that a lone gunman was behind the three attacks and the hijacking. He said the suspect had not yet been identified and the motive was still unclear.

The man is said to be between 35 and 45 years old, between 1.7m and 1.8m tall (5ft 6" and 5ft 10"), with stubble and greying hair.

Mr Molins said the suspect was wearing a black vest, a cap and white-soled green shoes.

Arrow Down

Video shows mother and police put van full of kids in harm's way


Taos - A New Mexico State Police dash-cam video released on Friday to KQRE News Channel 13 shows a bizarre incident that occurred on Oct. 28 outside of Taos, NM.

According to a KQRE News report, a State Police officer (whose name has not been released pending an internal investigation) pulled over Oriana Farrell for speeding; she was allegedly going 71 mph in a 55 mph zone.

Inside Farrell's minivan were her five children, ages 6 to 18. The dash-cam's audio and video shows the officer instructed Farrell to turn off her vehicle and wait while the officer returned to his patrol car to write the citation.

That is when Farrell sped away, only to be chased down by the same officer.

V

Over 2K trucks block French highways in protest

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© AP Photo/Claude Paris
Between 2,000 and 4,000 freight trucks closed off major French highways and slowed traffic to a crawl on nine roadways to protest a proposed environmental tax on heavy loads.

France's Socialist government in late October suspended the tax, which initially was the focus of sometimes violent demonstrations in the region of Brittany, where opponents donned red caps and torched the still-unused payment kiosks.

Stock Down

Is a Snowden effect stalking US telecom sales?

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© Sunshinepress | Getty Images
Is there a Snowden effect on American business?

Ever since former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden revealed elaborate cooperation between U.S. Internet and telecommunications firms and the nation's intelligence service, Washington has been watching to see whether the companies involved would be hurt.

Cisco this week became the one of the first companies to say publicly that its sales were down as a direct result of the NSA disclosures. The issue is whether overseas clients are reluctant to buy Cisco's telecommunications equipment for fear that the organization would gain access to their systems.

On an investor conference call Wednesday, Benjamin Reitzes of Barclays Capital asked Cisco CEO John Chambers whether the allegations had caused a slump in Cisco's emerging market business, adding, "It is an impact in China."

"I think we're all aware of that." said Robert Lloyd, Cisco's president of development and sales. "It's not having material impact, but it's certainly causing people to stop and then rethink decisions. And that is, I think, reflected in our results."

Question

Lion kills lioness as Dallas zoo visitors watch

Lion Kills Lioness
© WFAA
A lion at Dallas Zoo in the US has turned on a lioness it shared its enclosure with and killed her in front of horrified visitors.

The male wrapped his jaws around the neck of five-year-old Johari and within minutes she was dead. The Texas zoo said the pride of five - two brothers and three sisters - had lived together "peacefully" for years without incident and they have no idea what caused the attack.

"Johari was a remarkable animal, as are all of our lions," said Lynn Kramer, vice president of animal operations and welfare at the Dallas Zoo.

"This is a very rare and unfortunate occurrence. In my 35 years as a veterinarian in zoos, I've never seen this happen."

It is not rare for male lions to kill cubs in the wild. Families who had been watching the lions were moved away and a restaurant overlooking the enclosure was closed. Visitor Michael Henshaw described the shocking scene:
"At first you think they're playing; then you realise he's killing her ... and you're watching it," he told WFAA News. "You just can't believe your eyes."
Dallas Zoo tweeted that the remaining lions have been separated while the attack is investigated. A spokesperson added that it will "absolutely not" euthanise the killer lion.

It said: "Thank you, friends. It's a difficult day for us, but we're humbled by the outpouring of support."