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Mon, 25 Jul 2016
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Fire

Bavarian authorities allege 27-yo Syrian refused asylum in Germany is behind Ansbach attack

© Reuters
Emergency workers and vehicles are seen following an explosion in Ansbach, near Nuremberg July 25, 2016, in this still image taken from video.
Bavarian authorities have announced that the suspected suicide bomber, who was killed in the Ansbach explosion, had been a 27-year-old Syrian whose asylum request was rejected last year. The motive behind the attack, which injured 12 people, remains unknown.

The attacker was a 27-year-old Syrian who had entered the country about 2 years ago, but was refused asylum, Bavarian authorities told a press conference. His application was rejected a year ago but the man was allowed to stay in Germany temporarily, due to ongoing hostilities in Syria.

Police say they do not yet known if the attacker had any radical Islamist background. The investigations is currently focused on attacker's communications.

The suspect lived abroad in a hotel in Ansbach, the minister said. He had tried to commit suicide two times and was previously housed psychiatric hospital. In the coming days, the investigation will focus on establishing whether the man acted with suicidal intent, Bavarian Interior Minister Joachim Herrmann told journalists.

So far, the investigation has found no evidence of an attempted political assassination or extremism, but such a possibility cannot be ruled out. The type of explosives detonated has not yet been established, but Hermann said that "metal parts" were apparently used in the improvised device.

Bell

Trump ordered to pay nearly $300,000 in legal fees in Doral painter's lawsuit

© Michele Eve / Splash News
The Paint Spot of Doral sued for $34,000 in unpaid painting fees at Trump National. Tiny shop slapped a lien on the property; judge ordered foreclosure date that was later canceled. Trump must pay nearly $300,000 in attorney's fees

While developer Donald Trump was busy getting the Republican Party's presidential nomination this week, he was losing big in a Miami-Dade County courtroom.

Circuit Court Judge Jorge Cueto, presiding over a lawsuit related to unpaid bills brought by a local paint store against the Trump National Doral Miami golf resort, ordered the billionaire politician's company to pay the Doral-based mom-and-pop shop nearly $300,000 in attorney's fees.

All because, according to the lawsuit, Trump allegedly tried to stiff The Paint Spot on its last payment of $34,863 on a $200,000 contract for paint used in the renovation of the home of golf's famed Blue Monster two years ago.

Trump National's insistence that it had "paid enough" for the paint despite a contract, according to the lawsuit, caused The Paint Spot to slap a lien on the property and Cueto to order the foreclosure sale of the resort.

In time, Donald Trump's company got the judge to cancel the June 28 courthouse auction after it placed the $34,000 in escrow, and the case was put on hold while Trump National's owner, Trump Endeavor, considered an appeal.

But the lien remained.

Comment: Donald Trump is rightly infamous for lying, cheating and bullying those unfortunate enough to do business with him.


Heart - Black

Art of the con: Hundreds have filed lawsuits over the years against Donald Trump for not paying his bills

Donald Trump casts himself as a protector of workers and jobs, but a USA TODAY NETWORK investigation found hundreds of people - carpenters, dishwashers, painters, even his own lawyers - who say he didn't pay them for their work.

During the Atlantic City casino boom in the 1980s, Philadelphia cabinet-builder Edward Friel Jr. landed a $400,000 contract to build the bases for slot machines, registration desks, bars and other cabinets at Harrah's at Trump Plaza.

The family cabinetry business, founded in the 1940s by Edward's father, finished its work in 1984 and submitted its final bill to the general contractor for the Trump Organization, the resort's builder.

Edward's son, Paul, who was the firm's accountant, still remembers the amount of that bill more than 30 years later: $83,600. The reason: the money never came. "That began the demise of the Edward J. Friel Company... which has been around since my grandfather," he said.

Donald Trump often portrays himself as a savior of the working class who will "protect your job." But a USA TODAY NETWORK analysis found he has been involved in more than 3,500 lawsuits over the past three decades — and a large number of those involve ordinary Americans, like the Friels, who say Trump or his companies have refused to pay them.

At least 60 lawsuits, along with hundreds of liens, judgments, and other government filings reviewed by the USA TODAY NETWORK, document people who have accused Trump and his businesses of failing to pay them for their work. Among them: a dishwasher in Florida. A glass company in New Jersey. A carpet company. A plumber. Painters. Forty-eight waiters. Dozens of bartenders and other hourly workers at his resorts and clubs, coast to coast. Real estate brokers who sold his properties. And, ironically, several law firms that once represented him in these suits and others.

Comment: How can this cheating bully be good for America? His demographic is delusional.


Arrow Down

US Army intended to weaponise an episode of Pokemon in the 90's

© Flickr/Kate Haskell
While the Pokemon Go craze continues to spread across the world, a number of troublesome stories about the app and its GPS features are coming to light. While drivers crash into the back of police cars and teenagers mindlessly cross busy highways - whilst searching for their favorite virtual 90s creatures - others are delving into the darker mysteries surrounding the app and Pokemon franchise as a whole.

An activist discovered a declassified document from the Army's National Ground Intelligence Center, after filing a Freedom of Information Act request. Shockingly, the report revealed that the U.S. Army intended to weaponise an episode of the popular 90s children's program, Pokemon.

On December 16, 1997 thousands of children across Japan sat in front of their televisions, eagerly awaiting the latest episode of Pokemon. However, upon watching the episode, as many as 700 children experience seizures and were rushed to hospital.

The episode, called 'Electric Soldier Porygon', featured a scene in which Pikachu uses his lightning powers to blow up missiles. The flashing pulses within this scene caused the children to experience the unusual seizures. As a result, the episode was banned from airing, even in edited form. The effects of the episode were so damning, the entire show was removed from the air for four months.

While the world began to speculate what had caused the children's reaction to the episode, the U.S. Army researched the episode in an attempt to weaponize it. Imagine it: The U.S. Army in possession of a visual weapon that could overload the viewers brain and cause them to convulse.

Bizarro Earth

Nameless graves leave grim reminders of refugee plight on Turkey's coasts

© REUTERS/Giorgos Moutafis
Graves of unidentified refugees and migrants who drowned at sea during an attempt to cross a part of the Aegean Sea from the Turkish coast are seen at a cemetery near the village Kato Tritos on the Greek island of Lesbos, Feb. 4, 2016.
The Turkish coastal city of Izmir and the nearby Greek island of Lesbos have become the final resting places of refugees whose desperate journeys to Europe ended in tragedy in the Aegean Sea. The plot of land where Lesbos buried refugees ran out of space earlier this year, and a second plot of land was opened. In Izmir, wooden signs inscribed with numbers mark the graves in a potter's field converted into a refugee cemetery.

Izmir has been one of the main departure points for refugees seeking to cross from Turkey to Greece. Syrian families sleeping in parks and traffic islands had become a common sight across the city in the crisis days that led up to the Turkey-EU agreement to stem the flow in March. A "refugee industry" flourished in the city, including underground workshops manufacturing dinghies — often unseaworthy — and fake life jackets filled with non-buoyant material. Even shops on main streets sold life jackets and other supplies the refugees needed for their journeys, as Syrian child beggars became a fixture in the streets and better-off Syrians sent rental prices soaring.

Attention

One person killed, eleven injured by blast in south German city of Ansbach during music festival

© Twitter / Sunset
One person killed, eleven others were injured by an explosion that hit a restaurant in the south German city of Ansbach in the federal state of Bavaria, local media reported.

The incident took place at 10:00 p.m (20:00 GMT) in the central part of the city, not far away from a place where a music festival took place at the weekend, Suddeutsche Zeitung.

The local police has confirmed the number of victims.

Mayor of German city of Ansbach Karda Seidel said that the cause of the explosion in the city center was an explosive device. "This is not a gas explosion, it was caused by a bomb," said Seidel.

Clipboard

The truth about the situation in Venezuela - an insider's perspective

After three years as a correspondent in Venezuela, BBC's Daniel Pardo decided to share a look into five myths he's identified in relation to the country's situation, as perceived by people abroad. Those up-to-date with the news know that almost every mainstream media outlet paints a gloomy picture of famine, insecurity and censorship. But, how bad is the situation really?

1. There's Famine

While it is true that some areas in Venezuela are experiencing food shortages, and most people (90 percent according to an Encovi poll) have declared they now eat less and worse, there is no such thing as a widespread famine.

According to U.N. criteria, a famine is defined by severe food scarcity in more than 20 percent of households, a global acute malnutrition rate above 30 percent and death rates above 0.02 percent — two deaths per 10,000 people per day. In comparison, the most pessimistic figures for Venezuela point toward 20 to 25 percent malnutrition rate and a death rate that does not even reach one person per 1 million people per day.

Comment: Further reading:


Fire

Huge fire breaks out near NATO base in western Turkey

© secildemirkol / Instagram
A massive fire has erupted near a NATO base within the Buca district, Izmir, western Turkey. Authorities are investigating a possible act of sabotage, local media reports.

The inferno started on Sunday evening on the border of the Sahintepe and Mevkiinde districts. The fire engulfed the grassy wooded area and is spreading closer to NATO's military base because of strong winds.

According to CNN Turk, the fire is threatening a number of populated areas, and has already impacted a home for the elderly and its adjacent garden.

Comment: Authorities are suggesting this may have been an act of anti-American sabotage.


Snakes in Suits

Being human on a psychopathically controlled Earth: Three lessons from the movie 'Groundhog Day'

The 1993 movie Groundhog Day is the story of a person trapped to live the same day over and over. The main character responds to this situation in three phases:
  1. Manipulative control for selfish short-term desires.
  2. Depression and attempted rejection from no escape and no satisfaction.
  3. Self-expression for virtue and service with satisfaction.
After selfish desire is transcended, the character awakens on a new day with all the earned skills of practiced virtues.

Arrow Down

Girl's plight reflects misery of Libya after Gaddafi

© unknown
Unable to get specialist care for his six-year-old daughter in Libya or a visa for treatment abroad, Abdulhakim Shaybi bought a motor boat and set off with her last month across the Mediterranean.

Two-and-a-half hours into their journey from Sabratha in western Libya, they reached a European ship deployed to rescue migrants.