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Fri, 13 Dec 2019
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Elementary school knowingly allowed drag queen convicted for prostitution to read to children

Miss Kitty Litter
A public-school librarian allowed a drag queen to read to students even after learning about his criminal background, a watchdog group has learned.

Texas Values used a Freedom of Information request to obtain text messages showing Roger Grape, a librarian at Blackshear Elementary School, was informed by drag queen David Richardson that he expected to fail a background check after a conviction for prostitution.

In the text message to Grape, Richardson predicted the "guidelines for submission automatically disqualify me" if his deferred adjudication for prostitution is considered a criminal conviction by the school district.

Take 2

Roman Polanski claims media trying to make him a 'monster' after new rape allegation & blames... Harvey Weinstein

Polanski/Geimer
© Reuters
Roman Polanski (left); Samantha Geimer (right)
Roman Polanski has accused none other than disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein of being behind a media campaign to tarnish his reputation and lashed out at the press for seizing on rape allegations without evidence.

In an interview with Paris Match magazine published this week, Polanski said Weinstein had tried to brand him a "child rapist" in order to prevent him from winning an Oscar for his 2003 film, The Pianist.

He claimed Weinstein's press agent was the first person to call him that, in what he believes was an effort to ensure his own film, Chicago, was the big winner at the Oscars that year.

Polanski's comments come in light of new allegations which he has dismissed as "absurd," complaining that the media are "trying to make me into a monster" again. The film director fled the US in 1978 after admitting statutory rape of a 13-year-old.


Comment: That makes him a "child rapist", no? Maybe Weinstein did engage in a petty smear campaign - it sounds like something he'd do. But that doesn't imply Polanski is much if any better.


French photographer Valentine Monnier accused Polanski last month of raping her in an "extremely violent" way in 1975, which included beating her into submission.

Comment: See also:


Binoculars

Clashes between followers of Shia parties, police taking place in downtown Beirut

beirut lebanese army
© REUTERS / MOHAMED AZAKIR
Lebanese police are clashing on Thursday with followers of the Shia parties, trying to prevent them from coming to the squares of Downtown Beirut, occupied by peaceful protesters, eyewitnesses told Sputnik from the site.
"The clashes between followers of the Hezbollah [movement], the Amal Movement and police are taking place on the Ring Bridge near the Martyr's Square and the Riad Al Solh Square. Police are using tear gas to prevent aggressive groups from access to peaceful demonstrators. Followers of the Shia parties are throwing stones to police officers", the eyewitnesses said.

Comment: Elijah Magnier provides some background:
War was avoided when Hezbollah issued a directive instructing all its members and supporters to leave the streets, asking its members to stop and persuade any ally members to come off the streets and to avoid using motorcycles to harass protestors. The instructions were clear: "If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also."

Hezbollah understood what the corners of Beirut are hiding: an invitation to start a war, particularly when for over a month the Lebanese army refused to open the main roads, allowing not only legitimate protestors but also thugs to rule.
So what's going on now, just a few days after the above was written? Did these alleged Hezbollah supporters not get the message?


Fire

Fire breaks out on Russian aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov, 2 people unaccounted for

Admiral Kuznetsov

Screenshot of the fire on Admiral Kuznetsov
A blaze has broken out during repair works on the Russian Navy's sole aircraft carrier, the Admiral Kuznetsov. Two servicemen have been injured, while two more people are reportedly missing.

The ship was undergoing repairs while docked at the Barents Sea port of Murmansk when fuel caught fire.

The blaze was sparked by welding in the first power section on the ship's deck, after which the fire spread to a space of 600 square meters (6,460 square feet), according to emergency services sources.

The Northern Fleet's press office later clarified that there was "a release of smoke into one of the compartments during welding works," and the source of the smoke was "localized." It added that there were no munitions on board.

Bomb

2019 was a year of global unrest — and 2020 is likely to be worse

protests 2019

2020 is probably going to be bloodier than 2019.
2019 may well go down as the most disrupted year in global politics since the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989 and the subsequent implosion of the former Soviet Union.

However, the likelihood is that 2020 will be worse, and bloodier.

Conditions that spawned global unrest on every continent in 2019 are unlikely to recede. Rather, they are likely to worsen in the face of a slowing global economy and little sign of causes of disaffection being addressed.

Washington as Disruptor

Comment: See also: World in Flames: Why Are Protests Raging Around The Globe?

And check out SOTT radio's:


Bizarro Earth

Opium production in Afghanistan up 50-fold since US Invasion

opium afghanistan
Secretary General of Iran's Drug Control Headquarters Brigadier General Eskandar Momeni said that opium production in Afghanistan has undergone a 50-fold increase since the US-led invasion of the country in 2001.

"Production of opium in Afghanistan has 50-folded since the US occupation of the country and it has increased from 200 tons to 9,000 tons," General Momeni said in the Central city of Qom on Tuesday.

He described cultivation of opium in Afghanistan as one of the most important reasons for drug addiction in Iran, saying, "650 tons of narcotics have been discovered in Iran since the start of the current year (March 21)."

Comment: The US' involvement in drug trafficking and profiteering leads one to think that this, and the related fall out, is just one the intended consequences of its war on the Middle East:


Red Flag

What could go wrong? GEDMatch genetics database sells out to FBI-linked forensic firm that mines data for law enforcement

DNA testing for law enforcement
A controversial genetics database has turned over 1.3 million customer profiles - believed to overlap with 60 percent of white Americans' DNA - to a forensics firm that mines genetic data for law enforcement. What could go wrong?

GEDMatch, one of the world's largest repositories of genetic data, has been purchased by Verogen, an FBI-linked forensic genetics firm dedicated to exploiting the crime-solving potential of biological evidence. While GEDMatch was founded in 2010 as something of a hobby site for amateur genealogists to upload the results of personal DNA tests (the company does not conduct its own tests) and uncover unknown family relations, it has become better known in recent years for its role in solving the Golden State Killer case - which earned plaudits from law enforcement but excoriations from privacy advocates. Jumping into bed with Verogen - a company founded specifically to weaponize genetic data for law enforcement - indicates GEDMatch is going long on the genealogical panopticon.

It isn't just the 1.3 million individuals - reportedly increasing by 1,000 every day - who have profiles on GEDMatch who are potentially imperiled by the Verogen acquisition. A 2018 study found that the same DNA search that nabbed the Golden State Killer could serve up data on some 60 percent of white Americans through distant relatives (third cousins or further), with that proportion increasing exponentially as more users sign up to the database. Only about 0.5 percent of US adults are currently subscribed to GEDMatch; when that number surpasses 2 percent, the DNA dragnet will be capable of ensnaring upwards of 90 percent of white Americans.

Comment: See also:


Attention

Pakistani lawyers storm cardiac hospital, clash with riot police & doctors, leaving 3 patients dead

Pakistan
© Reuters / Mohsin Raza
A lawyer throws an object towards police near a vehicle set on fire outside the Punjab Institute of Cardiology in Lahore, Pakistan December 11, 2019.
At least 3 patients were killed after scores of lawyers clad in business suits besieged a hospital in Pakistan, storming the building and attacking staff and patients alike. The crowd was eventually dispersed by police tear gas.

The angry mob descended upon the Punjab Institute of Cardiology in Lahore on Wednesday, attacking just about everyone in sight as the lawyers ransacked hospital wards, which forced staff to leave patients unattended, some in critical condition.

The number killed in the brawl could increase from the three officially acknowledged casualties - with Pakistan's Young Doctors Association claiming that up to 12 people might have lost their lives.

Bizarro Earth

Andre Vltchek: I Never Saw a World So Fragmented!

protestors
It is amazing how easily, without resistance, the Western empire is managing to destroy "rebellious" countries that are standing in its way.

I work in all corners of the planet, wherever Kafkaesque "conflicts" get ignited by Washington, London or Paris.

What I see and describe are not only those horrors which are taking place all around me; horrors that are ruining human lives, destroying villages, cities and entire countries. What I try to grasp is that on the television screens and on the pages of newspapers and the internet, the monstrous crimes against humanity somehow get covered (described), but the information becomes twisted and manipulated to such an extent, that readers and viewers in all parts of the world end up knowing close to nothing about their own suffering, and/or of the suffering of the other.

For instance, in 2015 and in 2019, I tried to sit down and reason with the Hong Kong rioters. It was a truly revealing experience! They knew nothing, absolutely zero about the crimes the West has been committing in places such as Afghanistan, Syria or Libya. When I tried to explain to them, how many Latin American democracies Washington had overthrown, they thought I was a lunatic. How could the good, tender, 'democratic' West murder millions, and bathe entire continents in blood? That is not what they were taught at their universities. That is not what the BBC, CNN or even the China Morning Post said and wrote.

Look, I am serious. I showed them photos from Afghanistan and Syria; photos stored in my phone. They must have understood that this was original, first hand stuff. Still, they looked, but their brains were not capable of processing what they were being shown. Images and words; these people were conditioned not to comprehend certain types of information.

But this is not only happening in Hong Kong, a former British colony.

Smiley

#fridgegate: All the best reactions to British PM Boris Johnson hiding from questions in a fridge

Boris Johnson ducking into a milk storage unit has been gleefully mocked on social media
© ITV
Boris Johnson ducking into a milk storage unit has been gleefully mocked on social media.
Nobody woke up this morning expecting to tweet about the prime minister leaping into a milk fridge, but thanks to Boris Johnson's cowardice around journalists we now have the hashtag #fridgegate with less than 24 hours before the nation goes to the polls.

Boris Johnson had been hoping for some positive press from his latest stunt, assisting on a milk round - but that all unravelled when his aide swore at the Good Morning Britain team on live television and the PM ducked into a nearby milk refrigerator in efforts to get away.

Twitter did what it does best and roundly mocked the prime minister.

CityMetric editor Jonn Elledge kicked things off by saying: "A senior Tory source tells me that, outside the liberal metropolitan bubble, the people of Britain hide in fridges all the time."

Jeremy Corbyn, campaigning in Middlesbrough, had his say - pointing out that he wasn't participating in staged photo-ops, nor hiding in fridges - and even did a passable impression of Johnson.


Comment: Two months ago at the Tory party conference, Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised UK's Good Morning Britain viewers that he would appear on the show to be interviewed by Piers Morgan and Susanna Reid. During the last day of campaigning for the party leaders ahead of the general election, correspondent Jonathan Swain attempted to talk to Boris:


It wasn't the first time the PM had avoided potentially awkward interviews during the election campaign. Here's what BBC presenter Andrew Neil had to say about Bojo's avoidance of his show:


'Where's the grilling you gave Corbyn?' UK TV breakfast show hosts slammed online for giving BoJo easy ride with 'cosy chat'