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Thu, 24 Jun 2021
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Israeli officer charged in killing of autistic Palestinian

Mural Hallaq
© AP/Maya Alleruzzo
Mural depicting Eyad Hallaq on separation barrier • West Bank town of Bethlehem
Israeli prosecutors on Thursday charged a border police officer with reckless manslaughter in the deadly shooting of an autistic Palestinian man in Jerusalem's Old City last year.

The indictment came just over a year after the shooting of Eyad Hallaq, whose family has criticized Israel's investigation into the killing and called for much tougher charges. The shooting has drawn comparisons to the police killing of George Floyd in the United States.

Rights groups say Israel rarely holds members of its security forces accountable for the deadly shootings of Palestinians. Investigations often end with no charges or lenient sentences, and in many cases witnesses are not even summoned for questioning. The officer, who remains unidentified in the indictment submitted to the Jerusalem District Court on Thursday, was charged with reckless manslaughter, and if convicted could face up to 12 years in prison.

"We want justice for our son," Hallaq's father, Khairi, said in response to the indictment. "Why is it that when an Arab kills they say he is a murderer and when an Israeli kills they say reckless manslaughter?"

Hallaq, 32, was fatally shot just inside the Old City's Lion's Gate on May 30, 2020, as he was on his way to the special-needs institution that he attended. The officer's commander, who was also present during the incident, was not charged.

Comment: The inequity regarding Palestinians is never more pronounced than what is passed for justice in the Israeli court system.

Star of David

Israel to expel Black Hebrew Israelites

Black Hebrews
© AP
Members of the Black Hebrews community at Shavuot harvest festival in their Village of Peace in the town of Dimona, Israel.
Despite living in Israel for decades, Black Hebrew Israelites are being judged as not being authentically Jewish and face deportation as a result. Israel is preparing to deport dozens of Black Hebrew Israelites with residency permits who have been living in the south of the country for decades.

Prince Immanuel Ben-Yehuda, the spokesman for the African Hebrew Israelites, said the Israeli Interior Ministry had given notice to at least 46 families, saying they must leave the country within 60 days, calling it a "shock to the system."

Black Hebrews are a spiritual community of African-Americans who identify as descendants of an ancient Jewish tribe and view Israel as their ancestral homeland. With around 2,500-3,000 members, most of them live in the southern desert town of Dimona.

The community was founded by Ben Carter, a Chicago steelworker who renamed himself Ben Ammi Ben Israel after moving to Israel along with 30 of his followers in 1969. They were able to settle in the country as the Israeli Law of Return grants automatic citizenship to Jews who settle on historically Palestinian lands.

Oil Well

The end of gas guzzlers? EU mulls banning all new cars powered by diesel & gasoline by 2035

pumping gas, gasoline
© REUTERS/Jonathan Drake/File Photo
Emissions-reducing regulations being considered by Brussels could soon mark the end of the road for the internal combustion engine, according to a report. The radical proposal has faced pushback from the bloc's auto makers.

New cars powered by diesel and gasoline could be barred by the bloc in an effort to meet a zero-emissions target for vehicles sold beyond 2035, according to several EU officials who spoke with Politico.

The revolutionary rule could be included in the European Union's 'Green Deal', which seeks to make the bloc "climate neutral" by 2050. The European Commission could potentially increase its near-term 2030 target to require a 60% cut in car emissions, a far more ambitious goal than the 37.5% reduction outlined in the current plan. The target could be raised to 100% by 2035 - essentially outlawing new automobiles with combustion engines within the next 14 years, the officials explained to the outlet.

It's still unclear whether the proposal will make it into the final version of the 2030 plan, which is set to be published on July 14. The roadmap, along with the rest of the Green Deal, will then go before the European Parliament for approval.

The initiative has already triggered a strong negative response from the bloc's automobile manufacturers. Hildegard Muller, who leads Germany's VDA car lobby, said that the regulation would not only be the "end of the internal combustion engine, but also the end of plug-in hybrids."

Comment: These plans are neither feasible nor necessary, but that won't stop these brow-beating bureaucrats from telling people what they can or can't do. All in the name of protecting the planet, of course.


Entire Portland Police Rapid Response Team resigns after officer indicted for breaking up Antifa riot UPDATE

Portland Police Rapid Response team
© PMG File
Portland Police Bureau Rapid Response Team
Following the criminal indictment of a fellow officer, the entire Portland Police Rapid Response Team made the unanimous decision to resign, according to police sources via Portland news outlet KXL.

Cory Budworth, 40, is the first officer in the county to be prosecuted for using force during a violent protest.

The Rapid Response Team is a group of volunteer officers who respond to civil disobedience, demonstrations and riots. At the time of the incident, Officer Budworth was assigned to the Rapid Response Team for crowd control.

Indeed, Budworth was indicted for breaking up an Antifa riot in 2020, charged with misdemeanor fourth-degree assault. He was accused of "unlawfully, knowingly and recklessly causing physical injury" to Teri Jacobs on August 18.

Comment: Update 17/5/2021 More on the incident that led to the resignation of the riot squad:
In a statement released after the indictment, Schmidt said "In this case, we allege that no legal justification existed for Officer Budworth's deployment of force, and that the deployment of force was legally excessive under the circumstances."

Budworth's indictment is a blatant attempt to "hold police accountable," a source within the Portland Police Bureau told The Post Millennial, stating that "no victim came forward." Instead, they claim that an attorney saw the video and approached Jacobs about pressing charges against the officer.
"So, what typically happens, is the riot team gets called out to be prepared for a huge protest. Then patrol officers from all three precincts are on standby which gets activated when the protest starts. This means all patrol calls go to 'priority calls only,' basically only active assaults, shootings, and person crimes only get responded to. All other calls hold indefinitely until the protest is over or the next day."
In October, County District Attorney Mike Schmidt rejected over 540 riot related cases in "interest of justice" and has implemented catch-and-release policies for accused criminals and rioters.

A Portland police officer said:
"Now that the riot team is no more, we have no clue what's going to happen. We don't have enough patrol officers to be pulled from the road to handle huge crowds. We are only backups with no gear like the riot team has."


Harvard scientist says Trump hatred motivated experts who denied Wuhan lab leak theory

Chinese scientist swabs patient
A Canadian scientist and Harvard postdoctoral associate said she and fellow colleagues feared vocalizing support for the Wuhan lab leak hypothesis out of fear that it would be viewed as akin to holding potentially inflammatory views espoused by former President Trump.

Alina Chan is one of 18 experts who signed a letter in May calling for a thorough investigation into the origins of the coronavirus. But prior to the letter, Chan told NBC, experts were cautious to lean too close to the former president.

"At the time, it was scarier to be associated with Trump and to become a tool for racists, so people didn't want to publicly call for an investigation into lab origins," she said.

The lab leak theory, which hypothesizes that the novel coronavirus accidentally leaked from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, has gained traction in recent weeks. Circumstantial evidence, including a Wall Street Journal report that three researchers at the Wuhan lab fell ill in November 2019, challenge the conventional theory that the virus jumped species naturally. This has led President Biden and other world leaders to call for further investigations.

Comment: If it's true that these scientists decided to self-censure in order to not be associated with Bad Orange Man and "white supremacy", then it shows just how much power Leftist Woke narratives have over people in all areas of society and in effect undermines the position held by many that we must "trust the science". How can we "trust the science" when actual scientists are scared to and therefor don't speak the truth?

All other considerations and implications aside, the door has been opened for respectable scientists and lay people to question the origins of the virus, but unfortunately the narrative has already been set up to corral people in to blaming China when China at the start of the pandemic narrative had a good idea as to who really created the virus.

Red Flag

The tide is turning against the woke-liberal blob that misrules us

Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.
© The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.
For the past year, liberals unleashed on the nation an avalanche of ideological nonsense, coupled with brutal pressure to conform. Those who bucked the party line found themselves canceled and unpersoned and had their opinions subjected to mockery and claims of delusion and "anti-science" prejudices.

Until now. Because the tide is turning. And sometimes the break from the party line comes from surprising places.

Late-night comics are usually reliable parroters of the message of the day. So it says something that last week, Bill Maher launched an impassioned critique of "woke" culture, while this week, Jon Stewart went on Stephen Colbert's show to say in no uncertain terms that it looks like the Wuhan coronavirus came from ... the Wuhan lab.

Using a term from Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker, Maher accused liberals of "progressophobia" — "a brain disorder that strikes liberals and makes them incapable of recognizing progress."

That is, they're unwilling to admit that things have gotten better. To hear them talk about race, you'd think we were still in the era of Selma and Bull Connor. (My dad marched with Freedom Riders and at Selma; trust me, things have changed.) To hear them talk about women's rights, you'd think it was still 1958. And gay activists, despite "Pride Month" being celebrated by pretty much every corporation, are still somehow stuck in the pre-Stonewall era.

Maher's right.


San Francisco man arrested for allegedly stabbing 94-year-old Asian woman had been released by judge 9 days earlier

Stop Asian Hate rally
© Global Look Press /Xinhua/ Dong Xudong
People holding a banner take part in a Stop Asian Hate rally in Oakland, San Francisco Bay Area, the United States, May 15, 2021
The suspect in an unprovoked stabbing of a 94-year-old woman in San Francisco had been released by a judge nine days earlier despite his fifth burglary arrest since 2020, leading to renewed criticism of woke criminal justice.

Daniel Cauich, 35, was arrested on Wednesday morning, less than two hours after he allegedly stabbed an elderly Asian woman in the city's Tenderloin neighborhood, according to police. The woman, identified as Anh Taylor, was taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of multiple stab wounds.

Cauich had reportedly been granted an early release from jail on a burglary conviction in April, then was arrested for burglary again on May 18. He was released again on June 7, rather than being held in jail while awaiting trial.

His rap sheet included several other burglary arrests as well as a bust for homicide. Cauich and his brother were arrested in connection with the fatal stabbing of a 55-year-old man in 2016, but that case was dismissed for lack of sufficient evidence in 2019.


Arizona gunman goes on traffic shooting rampage, leaving one dead, 12 injured

Arizona shooting spree gunman vehicle
© 2021 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation)
Suspect vehicle involved in Surprise shooting
A lone gunman is under arrest after terrorizing drivers outside Phoenix during a one-and-a-half hour shooting rampage that killed one person and injured 12 others Thursday.

Police received the first of many 911 calls about shots fired in traffic in Peoria around 11:10 a.m., officials said in a Thursday evening press conference streamed by ABC 15 Arizona.

Over the next 90 minutes, the driver of a white SUV went on to open fire at eight other locations in Peoria, Surprise and Glendale, before being taken into custody safely and without incident in a parking lot, authorities said.

One victim was found shot dead in their car on the side of the 101 Freeway, police said.

Three people across the West Valley were hit by the crazed shooter's bullets and are expected to recover from their injuries, officials revealed.

Nine other people were injured in car accidents or by shrapnel during the mayhem, cops said.


Manchester Arena bombing inquiry: Police failings cost lives after officers took two-hour kebab break

people, Manchester bombing victims.

The inquiry found there were a number of missed opportunities to prevent or minimize the 'devastating impact' of the attack which led to the deaths of 22 people
Member of the public warned security of suspicions about Salman Abedi - one of nine missed chances to prevent suicide bombing, report says.

Police failings on the night of the Manchester Arena bomb cost lives, an inquiry report has found, after two officers on duty took a two-hour break to go for a kebab.

A report into the terror attack which killed 22 people was released on Thursday and heavily criticised "serious shortcomings in the security" on the night of the bombing.

On May 22, 2017, Salman Abedi detonated a homemade device in the foyer of the Manchester Arena, killing 10 children and 12 adults and seriously injuring 264 others.

The British Transport Police (BTP), the force responsible for patrolling the arena, was accused of failing "to give adequate consideration to the threat of terrorism" despite the UK facing a "severe" threat at the time.

A public inquiry into the attack has previously heard how BTP officers Pc Jessica Bullough and PCSO Mark Renshaw took an "inappropriate" two hour and nine minute dinner break to get a kebab five miles from the arena.

Comment: See also:


Scientists admit lab leak theory was dismissed due to fear of 'racism' accusations

chinese lab scientists
© Longhua Liao / Getty Images
"At the time, it was scarier to be associated with Trump and to become a tool for racists"

Leading scientists in the U.S. have admitted that they originally dismissed the theory that the coronavirus could have leaked from a lab in Wuhan because they didn't want to be associated with President Trump and his supporters, or accused of being 'racist' against Chinese people.

NBC news notes in a report that at least five virologists "noted that the context and circumstances of the origin debate have changed."

The report adds that "The shift reflects how some scientists who previously avoided the topic or were quick to dismiss it are grappling with enduring uncertainties about the virus's origin, free from the politicization that clouded such discussions during the Trump administration."

Comment: The lab leak theory is solid, but don't be so quick to assume it leaked from Wuhan.

See also: