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Thu, 25 Aug 2016
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British Muslims ordered off plane after being accused of ISIL affiliation

© Sakina Dharas/Al Jazeera
From left: Maryam, Ali and Sakina Dharas felt 'embarrassed' after being interrogated in public.
Three British Muslim siblings were left traumatized after being escorted off a plane in London and interrogated on the tarmac as armed police kept watch, after fellow passengers accused them of being members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) group.

Sakina Dharas, 24, her sister Maryam, 19, and their brother Ali, 21, were on board EasyJet flight EZY3249 from London's Stansted Airport to the Italian city of Naples on August 17.

Sakina told Al Jazeera on Tuesday that as the plane was about to take off, a crew member ordered the siblings off the aircraft and escorted them down the staircase to the tarmac, where they were met by armed police and an MI5 agent who questioned them for one hour.

Red Flag

What the death of Gawker means for free speech and investigative journalism

Gawker.com, the pioneering and controversial media blog, officially died yesterday. It was killed by billionaire Peter Thiel in his successful quest to bankrupt Gawker Media Group through a series of lawsuits he funded - most notably wrestler Hulk Hogan, who sued over the publication of a portion of his sex tape four years ago.

Out of all the controversial topics that we've tweeted about at Freedom of the Press Foundation - and there have been a lot - by far the most negative response we've received is from Gawker critics who are happy to see the website die.

The Hogan case certainly brings up a lot of tangled questions about the tension between privacy and free speech and it's certainly understandable that many people have found Gawker's decision to publish a clip of Hulk Hogan's sex tape deplorable. (It's also true that Gawker did a lot of exemplary investigative journalism). But condemning a specific story and cheering the demise of a media organization at the hands of the legal system are two very different things.


UPDATE: 'Assange kill attempt'? Unknown man climbs Ecuador's London embassy

© Peter Nicholls / Reuters
Social media users are in a panic after WikiLeaks said an unknown man had climbed the Ecuadorian embassy in London where Julian Assange has been staying for four years. Users suggested that it was probably an assassination attempt, "ordered by Clinton."

"...At 2:47am an unknown man scaled the side wall [and the] window of the Ecuadorian embassy in London; fled after being caught by security," a statement from WikiLeaks said early Monday morning.

Comment: Hard to say what he was doing or who was behind it, but it wouldn't be a surprise if Killary was involved. Remember this? Clinton strategist & Politico senior staff writer calls for assassination of Julian Assange. There are some strange deaths surrounding her.

See also: Voting for Hillary? You may want to recall the Clinton body count


Police took 2hrs to reach building where Assange is holed up
Ecuador has criticized British police for their slow response to a call reporting that an unknown man was trying to break into at its London embassy, where WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been living for four years.

The Ecuadorian government condemned the "inadequate response" of London police, who it claims arrived two hours after the incident took place. The delayed response is especially surprising given the huge quantity of resources Britain has poured into surveillance operations outside the embassy since 2012.

Quito released a press statement on Tuesday afternoon in which it confirmed reports that an unidentified man had tried to break into its London embassy in the early hours of Monday morning.


US Army pegs Clinton and Petraeus as 'insider threats' during OPSEC training

© Mario Anzuoni / Reuters
The Army confirms a photo of Hillary Clinton was part of a lineup of "insider threats" for an Operations Security (OPSEC) training class. The lineup included whistleblowers Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning, as well as two mass murderers.

The photo of the Democratic presidential candidate appeared on an OPSEC training slide entitled: "Who is the Threat? Insiders."

"We have confirmed that the slide was developed 18 months ago and used locally as a part of a training presentation on best practices for handling classified material and maintaining operational security," Army Maj. Thomas Campbell, US Army Training and Doctrine Command spokesperson, told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Comment: Well, at least the military gets one thing right.


FBI launches terrorism investigation after knife attack

© Western Virginia Regional Jail
Wasil Farooqui
The FBI has launched a federal terrorism investigation into a weekend stabbing in Roanoke, Virginia, looking at whether the attacker may have been trying to behead his victim in an alleged ISIS-inspired assault, sources told ABC News.

Federal authorities have been aware of the alleged attacker, 20-year-old Wasil Farooqui of the Roanoke area, for some time, sources familiar with the case told ABC News. In the past year, sources said, he traveled to Turkey and may have tried to sneak into Syria, where ISIS is recruiting and inspiring sympathizers from around the world.

Farooqui was arrested Saturday by Roanoke County Police on charges of assault with malicious wounding, and he is being held without bond at the Western Virginia Regional Jail, according to the sources and a jail database.

On Saturday, Farooqui allegedly injured a man and woman at an apartment complex in Roanoke, yelling "Allahu akbar" -- God is great -- as he attacked them with a knife, sources told ABC News.

Comment: Did Farooqui really intend to behead him? Police don't think so. So all we really have is a violent crime, 'Allahu Akbar', and the trip to Turkey. While certainly suggestive, more evidence is clearly need to establish any definite ties. What did he do in Turkey? Who did he meet? Does he have any FBI friends, perhaps?


Russian soldier sentenced to life for Armenian family massacre

The hallway that Private Valery Permyakov allegedly entered on his way to carrying out the killings in the Avetisians' home. Five family members were shot; 6-month-old Seryozha and his mother, Araksia Pogosian (second and third from right), were stabbed with a bayonet.
An Armenian court has found a Russian soldier guilty of murder charges and sentenced him to life in prison for the 2015 massacre of seven members of an Armenian family.

The court in Armenia's northwestern city of Gyumri issued the verdict and sentence against Russian Army Private Valery Permyakov on August 23.

He was found guilty of all charges against him -- including the murder of seven people, a robbery attack, and an attempt to illegally cross the border.

The court did not specify where Permyakov would be imprisoned.

Red Flag

French national screaming 'Allahu Akbar' stabs British woman to death in Australia

© MiMiChung7 / Facebook
Australian police are investigating a possible "extremist" attack involving a French national who stabbed a British woman to death and injured two others while reportedly yelling "Allahu Akbar."

The assault took place on Wednesday at a backpackers' hostel near Townsville in northern Queensland. A 21-year-old British woman died at the scene, while a 30-year-old British man was taken to hospital in critical condition, state police reported.

"Initial inquiries indicate that comments which may be construed of being of an extremist nature were made by the alleged offender," Queensland Police Service Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski told reporters.

He added that the police were "not ruling out any motivations at this early stage, whether they be criminal or political."


No punishment for cop that pepper sprayed innocent motorists on the highway

© Freethoughtproject.com
Fort Worth, TX — In March, Fort Worth police confirmed that one of their officers was under investigation after a video was uploaded to Facebook showing him pepper spray innocent people as they drove by on motorcycles. On Friday, the Department quietly released a statement noting that they will not discipline the officer involved.

After Fort Worth police officer William Figueroa was seen shooting out pepper spray into the faces of motorcyclists as they drove by on a busy highway, he was placed on paid vacation pending an internal investigation. The investigation was wrapped up in June. However, investigators left it up to Figueroa's bosses to decide what, if any, punishment he would receive.

Now, nearly two months after the investigation, and Figueroa back on the streets, the department announced that he wouldn't be punished. Instead, the department said that Figueroa will receive "internal sanctions." When asked what "internal sanctions" are, Sgt. Marcus Povero, a police spokesman, said Friday that he could not specify. However, he added that they could include retraining or a "commander's admonishment."


Deputy that shot and killed his own brother is arrested and charged

© wtvr.com
Terrell Coles
Dinwiddie County, VA — A Virginia sheriff's deputy has been arrested and charged in the shooting death of his own brother.

Dinwiddie County Sheriff's Deputy Terrell Coles, 24, faces charges of second-degree murder for killing his 25-year-old brother, Brandon, after a heated dispute in the early morning hours on Sunday.

Coles is being held without bond in the county jail as state police conduct an investigation of the shooting, which happened at the deputy's home.

Heart - Black

With Windows 10, Microsoft blatantly disregards user choice and privacy: A deep dive

Microsoft had an ambitious goal with the launch of Windows 10: a billion devices running the software by the end of 2018. In its quest to reach that goal, the company aggressively pushed Windows 10 on its users and went so far as to offer free upgrades for a whole year. However, the company's strategy for user adoption has trampled on essential aspects of modern computing: user choice and privacy. We think that's wrong.

You don't need to search long to come across stories of people who are horrified and amazed at just how far Microsoft has gone in order to increase Windows 10's install base. Sure, there is some misinformation and hyperbole, but there are also some real concerns that current and future users of Windows 10 should be aware of. As the company is currently rolling out its "Anniversary Update" to Windows 10, we think it's an appropriate time to focus on and examine the company's strategy behind deploying Windows 10.