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Wed, 24 Jan 2018
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Fire

Huge inferno engulfs under construction apartment complex in Las Vegas

Las Vegas fire at apartment complex
© saiyanrider / Instagram
A huge blaze has engulfed what is reported to be an apartment complex under construction in western Las Vegas, fire rescue services and witnesses on social media have reported.

The fire is located near Rochelle Avenue and Hualapai Way, KTNV report.

Some nine units are battling the two-alarm fire, the local Fire and Rescue Department said on Twitter.


People 2

'She Her Hers': Pronoun pins handed out at University of Kansas

Buttons advertising part of the University of Kansas Libraries
© Sara Shepherd / Lawrence Journal-World via AP
University of Kansas students are being offered buttons through the school's library system meant to make their preferred gender pronouns clear.

Various University of Kansas Libraries employees now sport the square-shaped pins, with extra ones also doled out to interested students, the Lawrence Journal-World reports.

Library leaders say the buttons are part of the library system's "You Belong Here" marketing effort meant to lure undergraduates and ensure that they feel welcome, including transgender students.

Comment: This pronoun confusion is really dangerous:


Red Flag

"Progressive" California Democrats pass bill decriminalizing child prostitution

sex work
A California Republican claims Democratic-backed legislation aimed at protecting underage sex workers actually pushes minors into prostitution.

"Beginning on Jan. 1, prostitution by minors will be legal in California. Yes, you read that right," Assemblyman Travis Allen, whose district covers parts of Orange County, wrote Thursday in the conservative D.C. publication the Washington Examiner.

Allen's attack on the "terribly destructive legislation" has lit up social media — but the intention of the law is not as alarming as he suggests, its supporters say.

Senate Bill 1322, which was signed into law by Democratic Gov. Jerry Brown in September, goes into effect on Sunday.

"So teenage girls (and boys) in California will soon be free to have sex in exchange for money without fear of arrest or prosecution," Allen wrote.

Holly

Real News Trumps Fake News! SOTT's Annual Fundraiser: Get your SOTT Calendar!

Sott Calendar
Dear Readers,

The end of 2016 is approaching, and if you've been following SOTT closely, you'll know that this has been a year full of surprises! The world keeps changing, and us with it. The planet has been speaking loud and clear, as you can see in our monthly weather videos, and the sociopolitical stage had some surprises in store.

This year could be described as a year of division and polarization. From the US elections, to the debate over "progressive liberal ideologies", people seem to be making a choice, for better or for worse. Some are aligning themselves with the increasingly blatant lies peddled by the mainstream media and the pathological governments of our world, and some have taken a stand against those lies and are reaching a point where they finally see that there is something terribly wrong with the version of reality with which they are presented. More than minorities vs. majorities of all kinds, that is perhaps the biggest division: the choice between aligning oneself with lies or truth. We think that many of our readers have naturally chosen the latter, and we hope that that knowledge will always protect you.

The recent fraudulent "Fake News Furor" emphasizes this Truth vs. Lies factor; indeed, SOTT.NET was defamed by The Washington Post along with many other respectable Alt News sites, some not so respectable, and some of dubious origins. As our attorney wrote in a demand for retraction letter,
...SOTT is one of the accused organizations in a PropOrNot report referenced by the Post, which, contrary to Fake News' claim that the report had not been published, was available on the Internet well before Fake News ran. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, SOTT's tax returns are publicly available and transparent, such that allegations of Russian government support due would have been known as false given even casual inquiry by your publication. ...

Your identification of SOTT as a "fake news site" and as an agent for Russian propaganda designed to undermine American democracy is defamatory per se. You accuse SOTT of spreading "Russian-backed phony news to outcompete traditional news organizations for audience." These serious allegations have caused and will continue to cause great harm to SOTT, including but not limited to damage to policy impact and reputation, diversion of scarce reporting and managerial resources to respond to concerned inquires and debunk this smear, loss of readers, and damage to the site's financial sustainability. Moreover, writers and editors associated with SOTT face ridicule, emotional distress, loss of reputation, and risk to future career advancement, including for example, difficulty passing background and security checks. ...

Your article did not provide even a single example of "fake news" allegedly distributed or promoted by SOTT or indeed any of the other 200-plus sites on the PropOrNot blacklist....
As our readers know, and as emphasized by our attorney above, SOTT.NET is TOTALLY reader supported and anyone can view our non-profit tax returns to verify this claim. We don't carry ANY paid advertising and we are beholden to no one except YOU, the reader, and our consciences (something that seems to be seriously in want at MSM news sites.) Obviously, we may have a legal battle ahead of us and that means we need your support more than ever as we sail into these turbulent waters of attempts to totally stifle free speech. With your help, we won't go down without a fight!

We should also tell you that those of us here at SOTT who daily monitor the news in order to bring together the most complete picture of the "State of the Planet" often find it difficult to keep going in the face of the apparent lack of hope in spite of the confidence that some have in the abilities of Donald Trump to get the USA back on course. We are painfully aware of the struggle that must take place in order to right the wrongs and set things back on a positive footing; we are also aware that it will have to be a decision of the masses, not just 10% or 20% or 48% of the people. And that is why it is so important to continue to share knowledge. As conditions across all spheres of life continue to degrade, there will inevitably be more pain and suffering. With that, there will be more and more people who, having believed the chaos would never enter their lives, find that this is not the case: chaos is coming everywhere; and that makes it ever more important that we continue to fire the lighthouse for as long as we can.

Saying goodbye to the year 2016, we'd like to tell you a little bit about our accomplishments, since you may not be aware of them all. We have reason to be proud of our stamina and perseverance, and much more reason to be thankful for you, our readers and supporters, who make it all possible because, frankly, if we did not receive so many messages of thanks and support, we would have no hope either! There is always much more we can do, but this year, just as we thought our plates were too full, thanks to our readers' support, and the impetus from many new volunteers around the world, we did even more!

V

Anonymous just hacked Bilderberg and issued ominous threat: 'Work for humanity' or lose it all

Anonymous and Bilderberg
It's one of the most secretive and powerful organizations you've probably never heard of; the Bilderberg Group. With virtually no mainstream corporate media coverage of the event, the ultra-exclusive events take place in the open as the world remains uninformed. In fact, many people still believe that the Bilderberg Group is a conspiracy theory — in spite of many of the world's elite admitting to attending as well as the group publicly listing their event.

Nearly 130 politicians, financiers, and industrialists attended this year's conference, with the guest list including the chief of the International Monetary Fund, as well as the former heads of the CIA and MI6. What was once considered among the world's most secretive meetings, the Bilderberg Meeting, has been held annually since 1954. Until recent decades, the actual existence of the meetings had been generally disregarded by the mainstream media as nothing more than a fringe "conspiracy theory."

Alarm Clock

Richard Pan just introduced a terrifying new bill for California

Richard Pan SB-18
© twitter
Richard Pan will always live in infamy after pushing through SB277. Pan used the Disney Measles "outbreak" as a way to herd the media and vaccine proponents into a frenzy, easily turning the state of California into a mandatory vaccine haven.

Well, now he's back up to his old tricks and he may well be topping his last performance with this new bill, which could stifle parental rights as a whole.

This was written today on Reason.com's blog.
The bill was introduced this month by Richard Pan, the pediatrician and state senator who sponsored the 2015 law that eliminated "personal belief" exemptions from state immunization requirements for children enrolled in school or day care. Critics of the new bill, who seem to consist largely of alternative medicine advocates, portray it as a threat to parental authority, gun rights, homeschooling, and health freedom. Snopes rejects those claims, noting that the critics have a grudge against Pan and that the bill does not give state officials any new authority to interfere with child rearing. Although Snopes is right on both points, Pan's seemingly anodyne bill does reflect some creepy and insidious moral premises.

As far I can tell, Pan's seven-point list of rights—which among other things declares that "all children and youth" have a right to "appropriate, quality health care," to "social and emotional well-being," to "appropriate, quality education and life skills leading to self-sufficiency in adulthood," and to "opportunities to attain optimal cognitive, physical, and social development"—would have no immediate practical effect. It builds on a 2009 concurrent resolution that likewise did not create any new programs, authorize any new spending, or give state or local officials any new powers.

Smoking

EU new legislation makes it illegal to smoke in cars with children present

UK smoking
As of this Sunday, 1 January 2017, new legislation will come into force making it illegal to smoke in private cars in the presence of children under 16 years of age.

"This legislative measure protects children and young people from the damaging effects of second-hand smoke. Children are at particular risk from the effects of passive smoking because they have an increased risk of developing chest infections during their first five years. Babies who are exposed to cigarette smoke are also at a greater risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), which is also known as cot death. As well as making children more vulnerable to ear infections, such as otitis media, passive smoking makes children more likely to develop asthma," a government statement read.

Comment: See also:


No Entry

Deaths of on-duty police grew by 10% nationwide in 2016

A makeshift memorial at Dallas Police Headquarters is seen one day after a lone gunman ambushed and killed five police officers at a protest decrying police shootings of black men, in Dallas, Texas, U.S., July 8, 2016.
© Shannon Stapleton / Reuters
A makeshift memorial at Dallas Police Headquarters is seen one day after a lone gunman ambushed and killed five police officers at a protest decrying police shootings of black men, in Dallas, Texas, U.S., July 8, 2016.
A preliminary report found law enforcement fatalities grew by 10 percent in 2016 from last year. For the first time, among the 135 officer fatalities, more deaths occurred by firearms than by automobile accidents.

Among the 64 officers killed by firearms, marking a 56 percent increase on the previous year's fatalities of 41, 21 were from ambush-style shootings. The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, who published the report Thursday, said it was "the highest total in more than two decades."

Comment: The increasing occurrences of police brutality and the police killing citizens probably had an impact on the number of officers who were killed by guns in 2016. A countless number of people have lost their patience with police.


Heart

China announces plan to end domestic ivory trade by end of 2017

elephants
© BRENT STIRTON, GETTY IMAGES, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC CREATIVE
China will shut down its domestic ivory trade by the end of 2017, according to an announcement made today by the Chinese government.

The announcement comes more than a year after China's President Xi Jinping and United States President Barack Obama pledged to enact "nearly complete bans" on the import and export of ivory, an agreement Wildlife Watch reporter Rachael Bale described as "the most significant step yet in efforts to shut down an industry that has fueled the illegal hunting of elephants."

It also follows a commitment made in October by the international community to close domestic ivory markets.

"This is the best New Year's present I've ever had," says Sue Lieberman, vice president of international policy for the Wildlife Conservation Society, a nonprofit based in New York City that works to help save elephants and other wildlife. "China is the world's largest market, both of small ivory items and high-end, expensive ones."

The global ivory trade has been banned since 1989, but during recent years large-scale poaching has resumed, and elephant numbers have fallen as low as 415,000. Advocates believe that legal domestic ivory markets perpetuate an illegal trade because older, pre-ban ivory can't easily be distinguished from poached ivory.

Heart - Black

As Saudi-led, US backed war on Yemen rages on, children continue to starve and die

yemen starving child
© Naif Rahma / Reuters
A nurse feeds a malnourished child at a malnutrition treatment centre in the northwestern city of Saada,

At least 1,219 children have died as a result of the fighting in Yemen, but a chronic lack of health care will causing an additional 10,000 preventable deaths per year, according to a briefing from the NGO Save the Children International.


The U.S.-backed, Saudi-led war on Yemen has devastated the civilian population, and poverty, disease, and starvation are taking a heavy toll on the country's children.

The Yemeni struggled for years with poverty and a lack of quality health care even before the war began, but the conflict has driven the nation to the verge of total collapse and pushed child mortality rates way up.

"Now, the situation is much worse and an estimated 1,000 children are dying every week from preventable killers like diarrhoea, malnutrition and respiratory tract infections," said Edward Santiago, Yemen director for the NGO Save the Children.

At least 1,219 children have died as a direct result of the war in Yemen, but a desperate lack of medical supplies, bombed-out hospitals, and missing or dead medical staff are likely to cause an additional 10,000 preventable deaths each year, according to "Struggling to Survive: Stories from Yemen's collapsing health system," a briefing published on Dec. 19 by Save the Children International.

Comment: Saudi Arabia has caused a horrific humanitarian disaster in Yemen that is beyond imagining, all of which has been aided and abetted by the US, UK and Israel.