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Sun, 23 Jul 2017
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Unsuitable example: Justin Bieber banned from China over offensive behavior during previous Chinese tour

© Reuters
Justin Bieber performs in China in 2013, but is now banned from the country
Canadian pipsqueak Justin Bieber may have successfully turned around his reputation by staying out of the headlines and converting millions of cynical pop fans by releasing uncomfortably decent music, but his good behaviour tour hasn't yet worked on the Chinese government, who have banned the star from performing in the country.

When a Chinese Bieber fan contacted the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Culture to ask why her idol hasn't been seen in the country for several years, despite scheduling dates in nearby Hong Kong, Japan, Singapore and the Philippines on the Asian leg of his latest world tour, they were met with a friendly if firm response.

"Justin Bieber is a gifted singer, but he is also a controversial young foreign singer," the bureau told the fan in a statement. "In order to maintain order in the Chinese market and purify the Chinese performance environment, it is not suitable to bring in badly behaved entertainers.

"We hope that as Justin Bieber matures, he can continue to improve his own words and actions, and truly become a singer beloved by the public."

Bieber's bad behaviour in the USA, which included an arrest for drunk driving and a strange incident in which he urinated in a janitor's bucket and yelled "F--- Bill Clinton!" at a portrait of the former president, didn't result in much diplomatic intervention, but his offensive behaviour during his last Chinese tour created national outrage in the country.

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Berkeley group cancels atheist Richard Dawkins' talk due to his 'offensive and hurtful' tweets about Islam

© Reuters/Andrew Winning
Richard Dawkins
Richard Dawkins has a new collection of essays coming out next month in a book called Science in the Soul. Naturally, he'll be visiting the U.S. on a book tour.

One of the stops was going to be in Berkeley, California on August 9. It was sponsored by KPFA, a progressive radio station in the area, in a city known for being the hotbed of liberal activism.

But that talk has now been canceled.
While that website doesn't offer any reason for the cancellation, Jerry Coyne notes that people who had bought tickets received a more detailed email with this explanation:

Comment: This would've been a better reason to cancel his talk: Sick: Richard Dawkins defends pedophilia, saying it doesn't cause lasting harm


Cop who shot fleeing man six times in the back will not be granted immunity

Three years after a Knoxville police officer shot an unarmed man in the back six times and killed him, an appellate court has determined that the officer is not eligible for qualified immunity in the $3 million civil rights lawsuit he is facing.

The incident occurred during a stop on the side of the road when Officer David Gerlach encountered Ronald E. Carden, a 45-year-old man who was recently released on parole. It ended with Gerlach shooting Carden multiple times in the back, and then proceeding to shoot him as he was falling to the ground. The horrific incident now serves to illustrate that not only did police lie about what happened, they covered it up, and refused to bring charges against an officer who should have likely been charged with homicide.

Carden's son, Brandon, is suing Gerlach and the Knoxville Police Department for $3 million in a federal civil rights lawsuit. He recently won a small victory in court when an appellate judge refused to grant qualified immunity to Gerlach. The court ruled that not only did case law not sustain that the shooting was justified, but they denied Gerlach's claim of immunity from prosecution. The court wrote:


Police chief in Minneapolis resigns amid fallout of fatal shooting of Australian woman

© Kevin Lamarque / Reuters
Minneapolis Mayor Betsy Hodges has confirmed the resignation of the city's police chief Janeé Harteau, following the fatal and yet unexplained police shooting of an Australian woman that triggered global headlines.

Hodges asked Harteau to resign after the mayor had been away from her post on a personal hiking trip until Thursday, several days after a media storm erupted from the July 15 fatal shooting of Justine Maia Ruszczyk by Officer Mohamed Noor.

On her return, Harteau faced a barrage of questions around the department's response and why the two police officers, Noor and Officer Matthew Harrity, had not activated their body cameras.

Hodges praised Harteau's 30 years on the force, but said, "I've lost confidence in the Chief's ability to lead us further."

Heart - Black

'There was no remorse, only a smirk': Group of teens film drowning man (VIDEO) - UPDATE: Charges will be filed

© gofundme.com
Jamel Dunn
A group of teenagers watched, laughed and filmed as a 32-year-old man drowned in a lake in Cocoa, Florida, near Orlando. They later uploaded the footage to Facebook, sparking outrage across the web.

"He started to struggle and scream for help and they just laughed. They didn't call the police. They just laughed the whole time. He was just screaming ... for someone to help him," said Yvonne Martinez, spokeswoman for the Cocoa Police Department as cited by The Washington Post.

"Get out the water, you're gonna die," says one of the teenagers, speaking off camera.

"He keeps putting his head under," another says. "Wow."

"Bro, you scared to see a dead person?" another asks as the man slowly drowns in the distance.

"Oh, he just died," another teen says as the group erupts with laughter.

Comment: Contrary to the prediction above, the teens are facing criminal charges under a statute that requires a person to report a death:
CPD Chief Mike Cantaloupe said the day after the police found that the teens had not broken any laws, they conducted further research with the state attorney's office, which "yielded the decision to move forward with charges under this statute."

"It's our belief that this law has never been enforced in a scenario like this, but we feel it could be applicable," Cantaloupe said in a statement.

Under Florida Statute 406.12, any person who "becomes aware of the death of any person" is required to "report such death and circumstances forthwith to the district medical examiner." Anyone who fails to report a death can be charged with a first-degree misdemeanor.

Cocoa Mayor Henry Parrish also released a statement, imploring the state attorney to "follow through and file the charges presented by the Cocoa Police Department!"

"If this case can be used as an example to draft new legislation, then I am committed to move forward to make that happen," Parrish added.
On Friday, police said a neighbor's home security camera showed Dunn scaling a fence and going into the water "willingly and on his own."

"Regardless of the circumstances surrounding his decision to enter the water that day, there is absolutely no justification for what the teens did," Cantaloupe added. "Pursuing criminal charges is a way to hold them accountable for their own actions."

Dunn's fiancée filed a missing persons report on July 12 but Dunn's "badly decomposed" remains were not discovered until July 14, five days after the teens filmed the incident.


Smart fish tank exposes North American casino to hackers

© Global Look Press
Hackers targeted a casino through its fish tank.
A casino in North America was the victim of a hack infiltrated through the gambling house's internet connected smart fish tank, sending data to an unknown actor in Finland.

The smart fish tank contains sensors to regulate temperature and feeding. The casino used an individual VPN for the tank data, "to ensure these communications remained separate from the commercial network," cybersecurity company Darktrace explained.

Darktrace discovered the tank had been compromised and detected "highly unusual" data activity being sent from a device in Finland. The fish tank attack was revealed in its security report published this week.


Poll shows most Israelis think Netanyahu is corrupt or has 'knowledge of corruption'

© REUTERS/ Jonathan Ernst/File Photo
A new poll published Thursday indicates that nearly half of Israelis believe Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is corrupt, but still think he is the person best suited to fill his position.

Conducted by Panels Politics for the Hebrew-language newspaper Ma'ariv, the poll found that 48 percent of Israelis surveyed think Netanyahu is corrupt, 38 percent believe he isn't and the rest were uncertain.

When asked if they "believe or do not believe Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's claim he knows nothing about activities that led to the suspicions of corruption in the submarine and ship issue," Jerusalem Post reports that only 30 percent of people polled believe Netanyahu had no knowledge of misconduct while 55 percent feel he did have knowledge of shady dealings. Fifteen percent say they don't know.


RT, Sputnik editor-in-chief: 'Fearing court proceedings, Newsweek deleted the lies about us'

© Maksim Blinov / Sputnik
Sputnik and RT editor-in-chief Margarita Simonyan commented on the removal by Newsweek of false stories about Trump "conspiring with Russia," saying it "deleted the lies about us, fearing court proceedings."

"We'll continue explaining to various newsweeks that lying is bad," Simonyan told Sputnik.

Her comments come after Newsweek was forced to take down two erroneous articles by journalist Kurt Eichenwald, claiming that US President Donald Trump had conspired with Russia, as well as smearing former Sputnik editor William Moran.

On Friday, Moran said that a settlement had been reached, but did not provide any further details, saying that the deal was confidential between the two sides.


German media failed to objectively cover refugee crisis, sided with government agenda - study

© John MacDougall / AFP
Major German print publications have played to the tune of the German government in presenting the migrant crisis to the public, ignoring critical issues in their coverage of the biggest refugee flow into Europe since WWII, a new German study revealed.

After analysis of thousands of articles published in Germany between February 2015 and March 2016, researchers at the Hamburg Media School and the University of Leipzig found that major German publications failed to objectively cover the refugee crisis.

The report is available on the website of the Otto Brenner Foundation. According to German media, the full study will be officially published on Monday.

The investigation accuses mainstream newspapers such as Bild, Die Welt, the Sueddeutsche Zeitung, and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, of being in lockstep with German Chancellor Angela Merkel's refugee policy.

Comment: See also:

Snakes in Suits

Judge upholds injunction against Trump's EO on law enforcement of undocumented immigrants

© Business Insider
A federal judge in San Francisco, California has refused to reinstate President Donald Trump's executive order that seeks to get state local law enforcement to cooperate with federal authorities on undocumented immigrants.

The US Department of Justice had asked District Court Judge William Orrick to reverse his own April injunction against Trump's executive order. The judge refused to do so, effectively blocking the enforcement of the order across the country.

The Trump administration said it would slash federal aid to jurisdictions which did not comply with federal law (8 U.S.C. 1373 ) which prohibits local and state governments from enacting laws or policies which limits communication with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) about "information regarding the immigration or citizenship status" of individuals. Orrick decided that the threat to withhold federal funds from cities which did not cooperate with federal immigration enforcement could be unconstitutional.

Comment: Whether the executive order is legal or not, there is little doubt that even the suggestion of it, backed by rhetoric, has created quantifiable results. It has also polarized the country.