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Wed, 28 Sep 2016
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Russia not ignoring war crimes: Calls for probe into executions/beheadings in east Ukraine

Mikhail Fedotov
Russia is calling for an international investigation into the discovery of burial sites with signs of execution at locations where the Ukraine National Guard forces were stationed two days earlier.

The head of Russia's presidential human rights council, Mikhail Fedotov, has called on the authorities to do everything to "ensure an independent international probe" and "let international human rights activists and journalists" gain access to the site in Eastern Ukraine's embattled Donetsk region.

The crime, Fedotov noted, shouldn't "remain without consequences." He didn't exclude the discovery of other burial sites, reminding that mass killings are "the reality of the modern-day war" and that such crimes were committed in the wars in the former Yugoslavia.

The burial sites near the Kommunar mine, 60 kilometers from Donetsk, were first discovered on Tuesday by self-defense forces.

Four bodies have been exhumed, including those of three women. Their hands were tied, at least one of the bodies was decapitated, self-defense fighters said.

Comment: More evidence of crimes against humanity committed by Ukrainian forces: Note that the second link includes the discovery of another burial site, 8 bodies, one of them decapitated.


Silencing criticism of Israel through donor blackmail

© Ted Lieverman
A portion of the separation wall built by the Israeli government jutting into the town of Bethlehem to enclose the tomb of Rachel within the Israeli zone. Many portions of the wall contain graffiti and artwork by the Palestinians and their visitors.
Israel's never-ending persecution of Palestinians is opening a chasm between the world's public, which is growing disgusted by Israeli behavior, and Western elites who shy from criticism because of career fears and financial dependence, observes Lawrence Davidson.

Due to Israel's brutal racism and repeated attacks on Palestinian civilians, it is losing popular support internationally. As this happens, the Zionists appear to be intensifying pressure on societal and political elites, particularly in the U.S. and other Western states, to maintain policies that support and protect Israel's criminal behavior.

Their vehicle for achieving this goal has always been financial gifts and donations to elite individuals and institutions. These gifts and donations help grease the wheels, so to speak, of the systems of power through which the elites operate, and create a monetary dependency on, among others, Zionist donors. It also creates an obligation to respond to these donor's needs. The result is a growing disconnect between evolving popular attitudes toward Israel and the static positions held and actions taken by the elites.


16,000 demonstrators rally against restarting Japanese nuclear reactors


Cranes work at the tsunami-crippled Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Okuma, Fukushima Prefecture, northeast of Tokyo on July 9, 2014

Some 16,000 people rallied Tuesday in the Japanese capital against the government's plan to restart nuclear reactors, more than three years after the Fukushima disaster, Jiji Press said.

It was one of the largest anti-nuclear demonstrations since the nuclear watchdog on September 10 approved plans to restart two reactors at the Sendai plant in southern Japan.

"Three and a half years has passed since the nuclear accident, but self-examination has yet to be made," Nobel literature laureate Kenzaburo Oe told the Tokyo rally, according to public broadcaster NHK.

"(The government) is going ahead with the plan to resume operation at the Sendai plant without compiling sufficient anti-disaster plans," Oe said.

After the rally demonstrators marched through the capital, carrying banners reading: "We don't need nuclear plants".

On Sunday new industry minister Yuko Obuchi said the resource-poor nation should be realistic about its energy needs as the government tries to convince a sceptical public about the necessity of nuclear power.

Comment: See also here for more on the Japanese nuclear nightmare


Police receive backlash over armored vehicle

© Adrian Sanchez-Gonzalez/Chronicle
Bozeman Police Captain Steve Crawford showcases the department's armored rescue vehicle on Tuesday, Sept. 23, at the Gallatin County Law and Justice Center in Bozeman. The Bozeman Police Department received the vehicle in May.
Bozeman Police Captain Steve Crawford showcases the department's armored rescue vehicle on Tuesday, Sept. 23, at the Gallatin County Law and Justice Center in Bozeman. The Bozeman Police Department received the vehicle in May.

Mayor Jeff Krauss isn't the only one fired up over news that the city owns a new armored vehicle.

In the hours after Monday night's City Commission meeting, where City Manager Chris Kukulski admitted he made a mistake by never bringing the grant application for the vehicle before the commission, the public lashed out online against the police department's new 17,000-pound Lenco BearCat G3.

Some commenters went to the police department's Facebook page, usually known for its campy morning posts, and chastised the department for getting such a vehicle. Others hurdled criticism over the department sidestepping the usual process to get it.

The hashtag #senditback was used by some. A satire Facebook page titled "Send in the Rescue Vehicle" was created.

Critics say it's unnecessary and points to the militarization of local police. But police say it's a regional asset that will protect officers and residents.

The BearCat, which stands for Ballistic Engineered Armored Response Counter Attack Truck, was paid for by the Homeland Security Grant Program. Its base price was $188,793. After add-ons, which included things like a diesel engine and a four-wheel off-road package upgrade, it ended up costing $248,537.

A purchase agreement between the city of Bozeman and Lenco dated Nov. 26, 2013, for a $248,537 armored vehicle.


A good way to invest your money: Store large amounts of food, like now

There are many reasons for stockpiling a one-year supply of food. The value of food commodities generally increases at the same rate as inflation. Money in the bank doesn't do that. Investing in 500 cans of tuna or in dehydrated food that will last five to 10 years are better bets than putting $350 in the bank.

The most important reason to store food is that it comes in very handy in a crisis. It is comforting to know that you can use your home grocery store for an emergency and to help buffer lean money times. If you had to live on what you had in your basement for an extended period of time, you would wish you had a well-rounded supply of food.

In general, most households do not have more than a one-week supply of food. As a nation, we rely almost totally on the supermarket and fast food restaurants. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the cost of feeding a family of four at home in July ranged from $568 per month (thrifty plan) to $1,293.20 per month (liberal plan). Wow! With food prices rising, your best investment right now is food.

If you ask any supermarket chain manager to tell you how long it would take to empty the shelves in any store in the event of a crises, the answer would be about three days. People storm grocery stores and buy anything they could get. The water is the first thing that goes.


TSA officers try to screen passenger after his flight, threaten him after refusal

Screenshot from youtube by Kahler Nygard
A man was recently stopped by TSA agents in the Denver International Airport and asked to undergo additional screening after he had already flown from Minneapolis. The man refused their requests, capturing the encounter on video.

Kahler Nygard says he has assumed based on his treatment at airports in recent years that he has a low-level designation on the United States government's no-fly list, possibly given past contributions to web forums that discuss anti-government sentiments, he said.

Once he stepped off his plane that had just arrived in Denver, Nygard was approached by Transportation Security Administration officers who asked him to submit to an additional security screening. He resisted, asked why he was subject to a post-flight search. Nygard had a friend tape his initial screening before the flight, where he was "thoroughly screened" but had no problems.

"If I traveled from point A to point B safely, why does there now need to be more screening before I am allowed to leave? That would lead me to believe that I'm being detained," Nygard said.

The main TSA agent that confronted Nygard said he would call local police if Nygard would not comply.

"I am not going to argue with you. Are you going to comply, or are you not?" the TSA agent said repeatedly.

Nygard, with camera in hand, insisted that a post-flight screening would be a detainment, and that the TSA agents had no right to do so. He eventually walked away from the agents.


Charges dropped as residue on spoon not meth, just spaghetti sauce

© cyclonebill/Wikipedia Commons
Drug charges have been dropped against a woman from Commerce, Georgia.

Ashley Gabrielle Huff, 23, was charged with possession of methamphetamine after being arrested in July by the Gainesville Police Department.

Huff maintained her innocence and said the suspect residue on a spoon found in the car at the time of her arrest was merely spaghetti sauce.

"I think she said it had been SpaghettiOs," Gainesville Times reports Hall County assistant public defender Chris van Rossem said.

Huff was telling the truth as lab reports have confirmed the spoon did not contain any sort of drug residue, reports YJ News.

"The Crime Lab report showed no controlled substances on the spoon submitted for testing," according to a dismissal signed by Northeastern Judicial Circuit District Attorney Lee Darragh.

Prior to Huff's July arrest she had never been charged with any type of felony or drug-related offense.

Huff had been in the process of a plea deal before the district attorney's office filed a dismissal following the crime lab's analysis.

"I think what the unfortunate part about her case is that she was probably willing to take the felony to close out her case so that she get out of jail, even though she always maintained innocence," van Rossem said.


Extrajudicial killing: Suspected kidnappers of Israeli teens shot to death

The Israeli army says it has killed two Palestinians suspected of kidnapping and murdering three Israeli teenagers in June, an incident stoking tensions in the region and eventually leading to sustained Gaza bombings.

The suspects were killed in a shootout which took place before dawn on Tuesday, the IDF said.

Soldiers surrounded a house in Hebron, West Bank, with the two main suspects in the fatal kidnapping - Marwan Kawasme and Amer Abu Aysha - inside. The Palestinians eventually died in the exchange of fire.

"We opened fire, they returned fire and they were killed in the exchange," Israeli military spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Peter Lerner said in a telephone briefing, cited by Reuters. "We have visual confirmation for one. The second one, we have no visual confirmation, but the assumption is he was killed."

Comment: Shoot first, ask questions later.

Comment: If Israel is the only democracy in the Middle East, democracy is not worth it. The behavior of the IDF is inhuman. The Israelis have no conception of the presumption of innocence. No, they murder on mere suspicion. But there's more to it than that. By simply murdering their 'suspects', they avoid any pesky trial, which would prove what is plainly obvious: these men were innocent. For the guilty parties, the Israelis need only look in the mirror:


The slaughter begins: 8 civilians (3 children) killed in U.S. airstrikes in Syria

© Reuters/Stringer
People inspect a shop damaged after what Islamist State militants say was a U.S. drone crashed into a communication station nearby in Raqqa September 23, 2014.
Eight civilians, three of them children, have been killed in the US-led air strikes on Al-Qaeda Nusra front positions, Reuters reported, citing Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Washington carried a series of airstrikes on the city of Raqqa in the early hours of Tuesday. At least 30 militants died in the strikes, which were carried out on IS positions in Syria. Washington informed Damascus about the operation, according to a representative of Syrian Foreign Ministry.

"There is an exodus out of Raqqa as we speak. It started in the early hours of the day after the strikes. People are fleeing towards the countryside," one local resident told Reuters.

The strikes targeted residential buildings in Aleppo allegedly used by Al-Nusra Front, according to Rami Abdulrahman, who runs the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The US-led coalition's targets also included training camps, headquarters and weapon supplies in northern and eastern Syria, with many IS locations "destroyed or damaged" around the cities of Raqqa, Deir al-Zor, Hasakah and the border town of Albu Kamal, Reuters reported.

In particular, "[Islamic State] fighters, training compounds, headquarters and command and control facilities, storage facilities, a finance center, supply trucks and armed vehicles" were hit.

Comment: The first pointless deaths in yet another pointless war led by the United States. Utterly shameful.

Eye 2

Blaming the victims: Oklahoma police to local news: Best way for women not to get raped by police is to follow the law

Oklahoma Highway Patrol Capt. George Brown
Oklahoma Highway Patrol official reportedly told women that the best way not to get raped by an officer was to "follow the law."

In recent months, an Oklahoma Highway Patrol officer and an Oklahoma City Police officer have been accused of repeatedly raping women, often during traffic stops.

After a Tulsa County sheriff's deputy was arrested last week for sexually assaulting a woman while responding to a 911 call, Tulsa NBC News affiliate KJRH decided to ask the Oklahoma Highway Patrol how to stay safe during a traffic stop.

The department noted that troopers should always be in uniform, and that women were allowed to keep their car door locked, and to speak with officers through a cracked window. A trooper should rarely ask a person to come back to the patrol car, OHP advised.

Comment: The problem is that people are afraid to stand up for their rights during interactions with police. And for good reason, if you pay attention to the number of police shootings on civilians in the news. There are numerous instances of police responding negatively when civilians stand up for themselves. What's to stop the police from claiming that being uncooperative by keeping your door locked is probable cause and arrest them? Police shoot individuals with impunity these days, so you can't blame people for not wanting to be assertive in their interactions with police.

"There are certain situations where we do that," Capt. George Brown told KJRH. "If someone doesn't have a driver's license on their person. We asked for an ID or driver's licence, if they can't provide it, rather than stand outside the car writing [a ticket], which puts us in a bad location, we may ask a female back to the car so we can get her information."