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Tue, 15 Jun 2021
The World for People who Think

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South Korea's Office of Supreme Prosecutors raided as part of Sewol ferry disaster probe

© Yonhap
This June 14, 2021, photo shows the entrance of the National Digital Forensic Center of the Supreme Prosecutors Office in southern Seoul.
A special counsel team investigating the 2014 Sewol ferry disaster raided the Supreme Prosecutors Office (SPO) Monday over allegations that evidence related to the ferry sinking has been forged.

The office of Special Prosecutor Lee Hyun-joo said the team was searching the server of SPO's digital evidence management system to seize evidence related to the incident, including footage of the collection of a digital video recorder that had closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage from the Sewol ferry stored on it.

Suspicion that the Sewol ferry's CCTV records may have been manipulated was first raised by the Special Commission on Social Disaster Investigation in 2019. The commission claimed that roughly one hour of footage is missing.

Arrow Down

Baltimore's attempted crime crackdown failing, even after businesses threatened to stop paying taxes

baltimore fells point street blm signs
© Google Street View
Bullets fired in Baltimore's Fells Point neighborhood on Saturday suggest the city's attempted crime crackdown amid a threatened tax revolt by businesses is off to a shaky start, regardless of how the gunfire might be euphemized.

Baltimore police told local media outlet WBAL Radio that they're investigating an overnight "discharging," not shooting, in Fells Point. The discharging, as it turns out, came from a gun or guns, and the bullets damaged several vehicles. A man sitting in one of the vehicles suffered a laceration to the head, perhaps when the discharging broke a window in his car.


Huge blaze breaks out at Illinois chemical site after enormous explosion, locals evacuated

chemical fire illinois
© Eyewitness News / WTVO/WQRF / Twitter
A huge blaze at a chemical plant in Rockton, Illinois may not burn out for several days, the local fire chief has warned. People living within a two-mile radius of the site have been evacuated from the area.

The fire was reported at around 7am local time (8am ET) on Monday at Chemtool Incorporated in Rockton, according to local media.

Rockton Fire Department ordered the mandatory evacuation, and drivers have also been told to avoid the area.

Comment: Other fires and explosions in the last month or so: See also: SOTT Exclusive: The growing threat of underground fires and explosions

Cardboard Box

Half of pandemic unemployment money from past year stolen, bulk of it in foreign hands says report

© Shutterstock
Benjamins MIA
A stunning $400 billion in unemployment claims were likely stolen via fraud over the past year — and a "bulk" of that money has come from crime syndicates in places like China, Russia, and Nigeria. Axios reported Friday:
"Criminals may have stolen as much as half of the unemployment benefits the U.S. has been pumping out over the past year. Unemployment fraud during the pandemic could easily reach $400 billion, according to some estimates, and the bulk of the money likely ended in the hands of foreign crime syndicates — making this not just theft, but a matter of national security."
When state and national leaders encouraged or mandated lockdown measures, disallowing millions of Americans from working, unemployment claims skyrocketed. States were unequipped to handle the influx in a timely manner, choosing to get out the money as quickly as possible with the expectation that some fraud would slip through.

But the fraud wasn't just from Americans — an estimated 70% of the fraud likely came from foreign criminal syndicates, CEO of LexisNexis Risk Solutions Haywood Talcove told Axios:
"[Talcove] estimates that at least 70% of the money stolen by impostors ultimately left the country, much of it ending up in the hands of criminal syndicates in China, Nigeria, Russia and elsewhere. These groups are definitely backed by the state. Much of the rest of the money was stolen by street gangs domestically, who have made up a greater share of the fraudsters in recent months."
The Biden administration responded to the report, seemingly blaming the state level "widespread fraud" on the Trump administration.

Star of David

Jerusalem, Dispossessed

Shepherd Hotel
© Yossi Zamir/Flash90
The demolition of the Shepherd Hotel in East Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood
January 9, 2011
I have always viewed interior spaces — how they are decorated and related to by their inhabitants — as a clearer reflection of character than clothes. Certain vintage posters ("Visit Palestine"), lithographs by David Roberts, Dome of the Rock models made of mother of pearl, Iznik pottery and tatreez-embroidered cushions are ubiquitous in Palestinian homes. It is rare not to find at least one, if not all, of these items in a Palestinian interior, whether under occupation, in refugee camps, in exile or in the diaspora.

Palestinian writers and artists living in all of those circumstances have circulated a letter in recent days that has quickly gathered more than 15,000 signatures from other artists and supporters around the world. It demands the end of apartheid:
"an immediate and unconditional cessation of Israeli violence against Palestinians," and "an end to the support provided by global powers to Israel and its military, especially the United States."
These calls have been building for decades, but they were triggered this time by Israel's looming evictions of Palestinian families from their homes in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah.


Black mom torches critical race theory: It's 'racist;' it's 'teaching hate;' it will destroy America

Keisha King
© Screenshot/The Florida Channel
Keisha King
A black mother in Florida unloaded on critical race theory during a speech to the Florida Board of Education, warning that the far-left ideology was racist and that it will destroy America if it is not stopped.

Keisha King, a Duval County parent representing Moms for Liberty, praised school choice and slammed the idea of dividing people on the basis on race 100 years after the Tulsa riots happened.
"...Just coming off of May 31st, marking the 100 years of the Tulsa riots, it is sad that we are even contemplating something like critical race theory, where children will be separated by their skin color and deemed permanently oppressors or oppressed in 2021. That is not teaching the truth, unless you believe that whites are better than blacks. I have personally heard teachers teaching CRT and we have had an assembly shutdown because a Duval County Public School System consultant thought it would be a great idea to separate students by race. This is unacceptable."
"CRT is not racial sensitivity, or simply teaching unfavorable American history, or teaching Jim Crow history. CRT is deeper and more dangerous than that. CRT - and it's out working today - is a teaching that there is a hierarchy in society where white male heterosexual able-bodied people are deemed the oppressor and anyone else outside of that status is oppressed. That's why we see corporations like Coca-Cola asking their employees to be less white, which is ridiculous. I don't know about you, but telling my child or any child that they are in a permanent oppressed status in America because they are black is racist, and saying that white people are automatically above me, my children or any child is racist as well."
"This is not something that we can stand for in our country. And don't take it from me, look at the writers of these types of publications, our ancestors, white, black, and others hung, bled, and died right alongside each other to push America towards that more perfect union. If this continues, we will look back and be responsible for the dismantling of the greatest country in the world by reverting to teaching hate and that race is a determining factor on where your destiny lies."

Comment: CRT is a mind virus. Time to 'remind' ourselves who we are, what we stand for and what we stand against.


Daniel Morgan report could link Rupert Murdoch empire to 'criminality'

Daniel Morgan
© Metropolitan Police/PA
Daniel Morgan, a private investigator, was murdered in south London in 1987.
No one has yet been brought to justice.
Rupert Murdoch's media empire could be criticised for its links to the suspects behind the murder of the private detective Daniel Morgan, the Guardian has learned.

The official inquiry investigating his death sent warning letters to people facing criticism in its long-awaited report, which is due to be published on Tuesday. One shows the panel investigating the 1987 killing has been considering describing the defunct News of the World tabloid as being "linked to the criminality associated with the murder". Murdoch's News UK told the Guardian it had not received any letter from the panel warning that it will be criticised, and said it had co-operated with the inquiry, a claim the Morgan family dispute.

Morgan was killed in 1987 in south London, with no one yet brought to justice.

The panel appointed by the government has examined claims that at least two of those arrested in connection with the killing carried out extensive work for the News of the World, which was owned by Murdoch at the time. It has also examined the paper's placing of the lead detective investigating the murder under surveillance. Murdoch closed the Sunday tabloid in 2011 as concerns mounted about its ethics and practices following the phone-hacking scandal.


Roger Waters tells the Zuck 'f*** you', forbids using Pink Floyd song to promote Instagram

roger waters mark zuckerberg
© AFP/Alberto Pizzoli; AFP/Josh Edelson
(L) Roger Waters (R) Mark Zuckerberg
Musician Roger Waters has said he has informed Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg in no uncertain terms that he is rejecting the social media mogul's request to use one his songs in an ad campaign for Instagram.

Speaking at a forum supporting jailed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, Waters, one of the founding members of Pink Floyd, said that Zuckerberg offered him "a huge amount of money" to use his classic 1979 track Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2).

He was defiant in his rejection of Zuckerberg's request, branding the businessman an "idiot" as he accused him of "preventing" Assange's story from "getting out to the general public."


11-year-old Jenna Miller kicked out of school after refusing to wear mask in hot classroom with no air conditioning

jenna miller kicked out school mask

Jenna Miller leaving her school after refusing to wear a mask
An 11-year-old girl is speaking out after being kicked out of her school for refusing to wear a face mask in her hot classroom.

"Today was a hard emotional day for me. Today I stood my ground and I was very adamant to standing up for what's right and making it known it's not a safe environment no longer being in a hot classroom with no Air conditioning with temperatures yesterday of 96° and today was a high of 86° masked and slaved to concentrate and do work at our desks with sweat pouring off of me," Jenna Miller said in an Instagram post, accompanied by a picture of her leaving her Saugerties, New York, school.

The 11-year-old student said that her hobby of riding BMX races in the hot summer makes it easier for her to deal with heat, but sitting in her hot classroom all day with a mask and no air conditioning became too much for her to take.


NY Post's Michael Goodwin: My top 10 media lies (so far)

trump church lafayette park bible st john riot
© Patrick Semansky/AP
Donald Trump
Another one bites the dust. Another media lie, that is.

The latest lie to die is the false claim the feds cleared Lafayette Park of protesters last year so then-President Donald Trump could hold a photo op. The Interior Department's inspector general says police planned to clear the park so a contractor could install a fence, a decision unrelated to Trump's walk to a nearby historic church burned in a riot.

If the debunking feels familiar, it's not your imagination. Only the details differ from earlier cases where the media mob got it all wrong. Sadly, the truth usually emerges not because of the press, but despite it.