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Mon, 28 Sep 2020
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Days after inauguration, Belarusian police use tear gas & flashbang devices against anti-Lukashenko protesters

© Reuters / BelaPAN
FILE PHOTO: Belarusian police disperse a rally in Gomel.
Belarusian cops employed tear gas and flashbang devices to disperse a rally against the country's long-time President Alexander Lukashenko, on Sunday, in the country's second largest city, Gomel.

Police said they resorted to using the equipment because "some people acted inadequately." The flashbangs were fired only as warning shots, a spokesman insisted.

Videos from the scene showed a large group of demonstrators advancing on officers in balaclavas and full riot gear, who were blocking the street.

Comment: It would appear that Lukashenko won the election fairly, and those protesting for change of any kind aren't doing their cause any favors following leaders that are cavorting with known regime change enthusiasts nor those attempting to seize power undemocratically:


The death of Andre Vltchek, a passionate warrior for truth

Andre Vltchek
"If the world is upside down the way it is now, wouldn't we have to turn it over to get it to stand up straight?"
Eduardo Galeano, Upside Down (1998)
For decades, Andre Vltchek, an old-school journalist and artist (but a young man) who travelled the world in search of truth and who always stood up straight, tried to revolve the world and encourage people to revolt against injustice.

In this age of arm-chair reporters, he stood out for his boldness and indefatigable courage. He told it straight.

This irritated certain people and some pseudo-left publications, who sensed in him a no bullshit fierceness and nose for hypocrisy that frightened them, so they stopped publishing his writing. He went where so many others feared to tread, and he talked to people in places that were often the victims of Western imperialistic violence. He defended the defenseless and encouraged their defense.

Eye 1

German professor arrested by Met Police after speaking at 'We Do Not Consent' rally

Dr. Heiko Schoening
After Metropolitan Police claimed they would only crack down on marchers flagrantly violating social distancing rules (though the hated "rule of six" had been suspended due to the gathering's "protest" status), German professor Dr. Heiko Schoening was arrested by a gang of British officers - he was filmed being loaded into a paddy wagon - after speaking out against using tactics like economy-destroying mandatory lockdowns during yesterday's "We Do Not Consent" rally in London.

Video of the arrest was shared on Twitter.

Several purported bystanders tweeted in protest, by the story appears to have gone largely unnoticed.


Donald Trump Jr. blasts media for ignoring Hunter Biden report as House Republicans call for FBI to investigate

hunter joe biden
© REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Donald Trump Jr. slammed the media for largely ignoring the damning revelations from the GOP-led Senate report on Hunter Biden's foreign financial ties.

The Senate Homeland Security and Finance Committees on Wednesday released an interim report on their months-long joint investigation into Hunter Biden's role on the board of Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma Holdings and his alleged "extensive and complex financial transactions," but also highlighted his questionable transactions with Russian and Chinese nationals.

None of the revelations, however, were given much coverage by many of the major news networks.

CNN and all three nightly news programs on ABC, CBS and NBC avoided the subject. MSNBC host Rachel Maddow was the only host on the network to address the Senate report but spent those roughly two minutes of coverage downplaying it.

Comment: House Republicans are also demanding an investigation by the FBI after the Senate uncovered the evidence of corruption. Rep. Jim Jordan is leading the calls for an probe:
"The report by Chairman Johnson and Chairman Grassley shows that the FBI has been aware of some alleged misconduct for years," Jordan wrote. "The report detailed widespread concern within the Obama-Biden Administration about Hunter Biden's role on the board of Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian company founded by oligarch Mykola Zlochevsky. Then-U.S. Special Envoy and Coordinator for International Energy Affairs, Amos Hochstein personally raised concerns to Vice President Biden and — after Vice President Biden spoke to Hunter — to Hunter Biden himself.

"In addition, senior State Department official George Kent raised concerns to the FBI about a $7 million bribe paid by Zlochevsky to Ukraine's prosecutor general seven months after Hunter Biden joined Burisma's board," Jordan said.

Jordan questions why Wray has not addressed the allegations, suggesting it further tarnished the bureau's reputation in the aftermath of the Russia collusion scandal.

"The FBI suffered from a pattern of misconduct and politicization at the highest levels of the FBI during the Obama-Biden Administration. The FBI used Democrat-funded opposition research and Russian disinformation — as well as doctored evidence — to illegally spy on a Trump campaign associate.The FBI sought to entrap Trump National Security Advisor LTG Michael Flynn 'to get him to lie, so we can prosecute or get him fired.' The new revelations in Chairman Johnson's and Chairman Grassley's report only add more concern about the FBI's actions," Jordan wrote.

Red Flag

US military suicides soar as service members struggle under Covid, war-zone deployments, national disasters & civil unrest

US miltary suicides deaths
Thousands of American flags filled a grassy expanse on the National Mall on Oct. 3, 2018, each representing a veteran or a servicemember who died by suicide in 2018. The 5,520 flags were placed on the Mall by Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans for America, an advocacy group trying to draw awareness to the issue of veteran suicide.
Military suicides have increased by as much as 20% this year compared to with same period in 2019, and some incidents of violent behavior have spiked as service members struggle under COVID-19, war-zone deployments, national disasters and civil unrest.

While the data is incomplete and causes of suicide are complex, Army and Air Force officials say they believe the pandemic is adding stress to an already-strained force.

And senior Army leaders — who say they've seen about a 30% jump in active-duty suicides so far this year — told The Associated Press that they are looking at shortening combat deployments. Such a move would be part of a broader effort to make the wellbeing of soldiers and their families the Army's top priority, overtaking combat readiness and weapons modernization.

The Pentagon refused to provide 2020 data or to discuss the issue, but Army officials said discussions in Defense Department briefings indicate there has been roughly a 20% jump in overall military suicides this year. The numbers vary by service. The active Army's 30% spike — from 88 last year to 114 this year — pushes the total up because it's the largest service. The Army National Guard is up about 10%, going from 78 last year to 86 this year. The Navy total is believed to be lower this year.

Army leaders say they can't directly pin the increase on the virus, but the timing coincides.

Comment: The increase in suicides within the US military is concerning as this crisis has been an issue for years. In addition to the causes mentioned, there are others that officials aren't willing to discuss:


UK: 700 Church leaders say NO to another lockdown

choir mask
© OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images
The York Minster Choir perform anthems to mark the resumption of choral signing at York Minster
Almost 700 church leaders have told Boris Johnson they must not be asked to close their churches again and have given a strong hint that they won't conform the next time he tries to suspend services in the name of virus prevention.

In an open letter to the Prime Minister and the leaders of the devolved administrations, Church ministers say a closure of churches "would cause serious damage to our congregations, our service of the nation, and our duty as Christian ministers."

The letter has been signed by ministers of several denominations in all four parts of the UK and is a strong hint that Christians in Great Britain and Northern Ireland, who up to now have acquiesced to coronavirus legislation, may defy a future instruction to shut their doors.

Comment: Similar sentiments have been voiced by various religions in those countries that continue to hand the threat of lockdowns over their citizens. Moreover, an elder from the Eastern Orthodox peninsula of Mount Athos went even further saying that 'this appears to be an excercise in how effectively the authorities can control people': It's notable that this comes at the same time that a number of Mayors - including the UK, France and Spain - have also voiced their objection to the 'unjustified and irrational' lockdowns. Could a significant backlash be finally brewing?

Arrow Up

Florida reopens: DeSantis lifts state's coronavirus restrictions

Key West
© Ed Schipil/Flikr Creative CommonsSA2.0
Key West, Florida: Ready when you are!
Florida will no longer require bars and restaurants to operate at less than full capacity, as Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an executive order Friday removing all remaining restrictions on those businesses because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The order, which takes effect immediately, also prohibits local governments from closing businesses or collecting fines related to pandemic-related mandates, such as mask requirements — leading to at least one Central Florida county being inundated with calls asking if people no longer have to wear one. But it does allow local authorities to limit restaurant and bar capacity to 50% if they can justify it.

DeSantis said during a news conference in St. Petersburg:
"We are today moving into what we initially called phase 3. And what that'll mean for the restaurants is there will not be limitations from the state of Florida. We're also saying in the state of Florida everybody has a right to work. (Local governments) can do reasonable regulations, but they can't just say no."


Duo allegedly planned terror attacks targeting Trump Tower, other sites: feds

Trump Tower
© Infowars
Two men plotted terror attacks on high-profile US targets, including Trump Tower and the New York Stock Exchange, where they claimed the destruction would be "Netflix worthy" and earn them "rock star status," federal authorities said.

Kristopher Sean Matthews, of Elgin, South Carolina, is accused of conspiring with other ISIS supporters over a period of months, including a Texas man named Jaylyn Christopher Molina, according to a 14-page criminal complaint filed in US District Court for the Western District of Texas in San Antonio.

The pair, who were arrested Monday, discussed several possible sites for US terror attacks and Matthews suggested to "hit government centers" rather than places "like malls where innocent children are," court documents show.

Star of David

Fundraising for Israeli terrorist exposes deep-rooted anti-Palestinian racism

Amiram Ben-Uliel
© Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images
Amiram Ben-Uliel, a Jewish extremist and his wife, city of Lod on June 9, 2020.
Deep-rooted anti-Palestinian racism is endemic across large segments of Israeli society. This was demonstrated yet again when an Israeli crowdfunding campaign raised over 1.38 million NIS (equivalent to £310,000) in just five days last week for the legal appeal fund of Amiram Ben Uliel, the Israeli terrorist who received three life sentences for killing three members of the Palestinian Dawabsheh family five years ago. Ben Uliel's arson attack on 31 July 2015, killed 18-month-old toddler Ali Dawabsheh and his parents Saad and Riham. Ahmed Dawabsheh, the sole survivor of the attack and only five years old at the time, was left with second- and third-degree burns on over 60 per cent of his body.

The racist campaign fund, set up by Ben Uliel's wife Orian and the far-right legal aid group Honenu after his sentencing last Monday, passed its campaign goals in just five days. To date, the campaign has received money from over 4,900 contributors and has been supported by a number of prominent Israeli personalities, including more than two dozen rabbis from across the national-religious spectrum and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's eldest son, Yair.

Car Black

Car plows through Trump supporters at BLM protest in California, police charge driver with attempted murder

Yorba Linda victim
© unknown
Victim of BLM vehicle incident in Yorba Linda, CA.
A car reportedly plowed through a crowd in California as Black Lives Matter protesters clashed with counter-protesters. This is the third vehicle to hit protesters in California in just one week.

The incident in Yorba Linda, California reportedly occurred after counter-protesters crossed the highway to confront Black Lives Matter demonstrators. Initial reports suggested that the white sedan tore through both groups as their demonstrations met in a parking lot, but footage shows that the driver got in [her] car following an argument with Trump supporters and ripped through them.

Police arrested the driver, 40-year-old Tatiana Turner, and charged her with assault with a deadly weapon and attempted murder. Initial reporting from The Orange County Register suggested that two people were injured.

Comment: Images of the incident were posted to social media:

Independent videographer Tomas Morales captured the aftermath of the violence:

"I was at their event & a BLM organizer was instructing people to use force against Trump supporters," Morales added.

Local reporter Brian Rokos tweeted a photo of a Sheriff helicopter, reportedly warning the crowd that they had five minutes to vacate the area.