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Sat, 29 Apr 2017
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When pathocrats rule: High levels of lead found in children's blood, state of emergency declared in Flint, MI

"The City of Flint has experienced a Manmade disaster," said the city's mayor Monday evening, as she declared a state of emergency over evidently staggering levels of lead in the city's tap water. Mayor Karen M. Weaver has requested federal assistance to deal with the fallout from over a year's worth of tainted water delivered to Flint residents and, allegedly, falsely declared safe by government officials.

In September, news broke that lead contamination was on the rise in Flint. Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha of the Hurley Medical Center concluded that since the water supply switched from the Detroit system to Flint River in April 2014, the number of infants and children with elevated levels of lead in their blood had doubled, from 2.1% to 4%. While the rise seems small, it is statistically significant. Even so, Attisha warned: "My research shows that lead levels have gone up. I cannot say it's from the water. But that's, you know, the thing that has happened."

Comment: Those leaders who are showing responsibility for this disaster and have expressed concern for the health of Flint's citizens should be made aware of this:

Iodine - Suppressed knowledge that can change your life

Bizarro Earth

French teacher who stabbed himself and claimed attack was from a terrorist sent to psychiatric hospital

© AP
The French teacher's false claim sparked a manhunt
A French teacher who falsely claimed he had been stabbed by a man shouting "Islamic State" has been sent to a psychiatric hospital, prosecutors say. The teacher at a school near Paris made the claim on Monday morning before admitting he had made the story up. He was taken into custody but has been moved to hospital after a psychiatric examination. France remains on high alert following the terror attacks in Paris on 13 November that left 130 people dead.

The psychiatric examination found that his "judgement had been impaired and that he was not in a fit state to be in custody", prosecutors said. They added that further psychiatric assessment would be sought. The teacher said he had been attacked while alone in a classroom in Aubervilliers, a suburb of Paris. But prosecutors said he had wounded himself with a box cutter. The 45-year-old teacher - who has not been named - was treated in hospital for superficial wounds to his side and neck.

The mayor of Aubervilliers, Pascal Beaudet, said the teacher had 20 years' experience and was "appreciated" by parents at the school. The education ministry said the man had been suspended. The incident sparked a manhunt in the northern suburb, as police tried to track down the alleged attacker. All classes at the Jean-Perrin preschool were cancelled.

Comment: Similar stories from across the pond:

Cop fabricates crime, shoots himself, and says it was suspect who doesn't exist
Cop commits suicide, stages death to look like he was killed in the line of duty

Red Flag

Clueless: 11yo gets homework detailing how cocaine supply chain works

© US DEA / Reuters
Parents of a sixth grader in the US state of Texas have complained to their child's school after they say he was given homework that spelled out how to become a coke dealer.

Scott Pick was shocked when he noticed that make-up work, given to his 11-year-old son after he missed class at Bear Creek Intermediate due to illness, detailed the supply chain of cocaine from cartel to the mean streets.

"I walked by and noticed that in big bold letters across the front of his assignment it said... cocaine," Pick told CBS 11. "I felt like they were giving my kid a diagram of how to become a drug dealer."

He explained the incident has spawned some uncomfortable drug-related questions and he refused to let his son complete the class paper, which asks students to think "critically" about the narcotic.

Eye 2

Released Guantanamo prisoner Shaker Aamer recounts brutal torture interrogations

© Leon Neal / AFP
A protestor holds up a sign calling for the release of Shaker Aamer from the Guantanamo prison during a demonstration in central London.
"It was worse than the beating," Shaker Aamer told the BBC about alleged threats of rape by interrogators against his then five-year-old daughter. Free after 14 years of uncharged detention in Guantanamo, Aamer has the US and UK addressing torture again.

"'If you don't start talking, we will rape your daughter and you will hear her crying daddy, daddy.' That was completely inhumane. It was worse than the beating as well, worse than everything, just thinking of my daughter, and I just sat there silent completely," Aamer told the BBC on Monday, describing an event at Bagram Air Base, where he was temporarily held before being transferred to the military detention camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, sometimes referred to as Gitmo. He relayed the same story to ITV News and other outlets as well.

When asked about the claim at a press briefing, State Department spokesman John Kirby gave a standard response, saying, "We don't torture. The United States does not torture."

Noting that he hadn't seen Aamer's comments, Kirby continued, "I don't know what he's referring to, but I can tell you that we meet our obligations under international law for the humane treatment of detainees."


Indian Point nuclear plant in New York shuts down, 5th incident this year

© Don Emmert / AFP
The Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant on the banks of the Hudson River in Buchanan, NY.
One of the reactors at the Indian Point nuclear power plant, 25 miles north of New York City, was shut down after transmission line trouble. It was the second shutdown at the complex this month, and the fifth incident this year.

The Unit 3 reactor was taken offline Monday evening, after an "an electrical disturbance on the non-nuclear side of the plant," said a statement from Indian Point's operator, Entergy Corporation. The company blamed a problem with the high voltage transmission line leading from the plant to an electrical switching station outside.

"There was no release of radioactivity and no threat to the safety of workers or the public," Entergy said.

Comment: See more:
  • Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant: A disaster in the making

Arrow Down

Le Pen acquitted of 'inciting hatred' after comparing Muslim street prayers to Nazi occupation in WWII

© Pascal Rossignol / Reuters
French National Front political party leader Marine Le Pen.
The leader of France's right-wing National Front, Marine Le Pen, has been acquitted of charges of inciting hatred after comparing Muslim street prayers to Nazi occupation in WWII. The controversial comments were made during the leader's 2010 campaign.

During a speech to National Front supporters at the time, Le Pen said that France had seen"more and more veils," and then"more and more burqas," and "after that came prayers in the streets."

Comment: See more: The "war on terror," imperialism, and anti-Muslim hysteria


The road to Galactic serfdom: War, tyranny, and terror in the first two Star Wars Trilogies

© Facebook
Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters this week, continuing the cinematic saga of an interplanetary civilization's struggles with galactic war and tyranny. It will be watched by millions whose own civilization is beset by global warfare driven by a planetary empire on the verge of descending into a militarized police state. So now would be a good time to review the lessons to be found in the first two Star Wars trilogies concerning the road to universal serfdom and how to keep off it.


Texas car dealer sells plumber's truck to jihadists with the decal still on it

"Hey, how'd my truck get in the hands of terrrorists!?"
Mark Oberholtzer, the owner of Mark-1 Plumbing in Galveston, Texas is suing a local car dealership after a vehicle that he sold them ended up in the hands of Syrian Jihadists, with his business decal still attached. According to Oberholtzer, a local dealership named AutoNation Ford Gulf Freeway would not allow him to remove the decal from his car when they sold it to them because it might damage the paint.

However, somehow the truck ended up in the hands of Syrian jihadists who drove the vehicle around firing weapons at people with Oberholtzer's business and phone number on the side. Ultimately, footage of the truck reached the media and the internet and created a massive backlash that totally blindsided Oberholtzer.

"Mark-1's office, Mark-1's business phone, and Mark's personal cell phone had received over 1,000 phone calls from around the nation," the lawsuit stated.

Oberholtzer and his employees were harassed by angry callers on a regular basis, receiving over 200 calls per day for weeks. Some of the callers even made death threats, and called Oberholtzer a terrorist.

Comment: AutoNation Ford Gulf Freeway has got some 'splainin' to do. Speaking of trucks, the most recent broadcast of Sott's Behind the Headlines sheds further light on how Texas Toyota truck dealers have got their hands in some shady business.

Snakes in Suits

AP reports Whole Foods, Wal-Mart and other retailers sell shrimp peeled by forced laborers under threat of violence and imprisonment

© Stephanie McGehee / Reuters
Systemic human trafficking in Thailand is the engine that helps supply cheap shrimp to the US, Europe, and Asia, the AP reports. Forced laborers, including children, work 16 hours a day under threat of violence, deportation, or imprisonment.

Lax enforcement and low awareness of forced-labor laws in Thailand allow powerless workers, most of whom are undocumented migrants at the mercy of their handlers and bosses, to fuel the country's $7 billion seafood export industry, the Associated Press reported. Shady exporters and subsidiary suppliers have been taking advantage of the situation, as parent companies that operate with a global reach claim ignorance of abuses they call abhorrent.

US custom records have linked slave-intensive shrimp production originating from the Gig Peeling Factory in Samut Sakhon, Thailand, to Thai exporters and subsidiaries associated with some of the world's largest seafood companies, including Japan's Maruha Nichiro Foods, as well as Thai Union, Kongphop Frozen Foods, and The Siam Union Frozen Foods.

This shrimp - processed by migrants including small children forced to work 16 hours for little if any pay under threat of jail, violence, or deportation - is eventually distributed by the top companies to locations across the world, winding up as part of seafood packaged under the label of 40 US brands, including Sea Best, Aqua Star, Chicken of the Sea, and pet food Fancy Feast. In the US, where 90 percent of shrimp is imported, millions of people dine on shrimp produced with forced labor every day.

Stock Down

Obama's approval rating plummets to nearly record low, 7 in 10 think country is headed in wrong direction

© REUTERS / Jonathan Ernst
Amid the nation's terrorism fears, President Barack Obama's approval rating has plummeted to nearly a record low. It now stands at 43 percent, as seven in 10 Americans believe the country is headed in the wrong direction, according to a recent poll.

The survey, conducted by the NBC/WSJ earlier in December, has revealed a 2 percentage point drop in Obama's job approval since late October - close to his lowest ever of 40 percent, recorded on several occasions during his time in office, mostly in 2014 and 2013, according to Gallup daily tracking.

According to the poll, only 37 percent of American's support Obama's handling of foreign policy. The president's approach in dealing with Islamic State (previously ISIS/ISIL) in Iraq and Syria has not won much approval, either, with 34 percent backing President Obama's handling of the situation.

At the same time, 73 percent of respondents would like to see the next US president to take another approach.

Comment: 7 in 10 Americans are correct; the country is headed in the wrong direction. Unfortunately it's been a long time since American leaders have concerned themselves with the interests of the American people. They serve the 1%, the rich and powerful who don't care about who is killed and what country is destroyed in order to further their psychopathic goals of global hegemonic control.