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Sun, 24 Oct 2021
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No charges after family member's gun fatally shoots 2-month-old on Christmas Eve

An autopsy was being conducted on Thursday after a 2-month-old girl was shot to death in Pennsylvania on Christmas Eve.

The Lancaster Intelligencer Journal reported that the infant had been killed by a single gunshot wound in East Lampeter Township on Tuesday just after 2 p.m.

Investigators said that the only person at home with the child at the time of the shooting was an adult male. According to The Patriot-News, police said that the gun was owned by a family member.

First responders were unable to revive the girl and she was later pronounced dead at Lancaster General Hospital.


Internet privacy as important as human rights, says UN's Navi Pillay

navi pillay un
© Martial Trezzini/AP
Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Navi Pillay, during a press conference in Geneva earlier this month.
The UN human rights chief, Navi Pillay, has compared the uproar in the international community caused by revelations of mass surveillance with the collective response that helped bring down the apartheid regime in South Africa.

Pillay, the first non-white woman to serve as a high-court judge in South Africa, made the comments in an interview with Sir Tim Berners-Lee on a special edition of BBC Radio 4's Today programme, which the inventor of the world wide web was guest editing.

Pillay has been asked by the UN to prepare a report on protection of the right to privacy, in the wake of the former National Security Agency analyst Edward Snowden leaking classified documents about UK and US spying and the collection of personal data.

The former international criminal court judge said her encounters with serious human rights abuses, which included serving on the Rwanda tribunal, did not make her take online privacy less seriously. "I don't grade human rights," she said. "I feel I have to look after and promote the rights of all persons. I'm not put off by the lifetime experience of violations I have seen."


U.S. bans 49 more books from schools in 2013

More books have been banned in US schools than ever before. Book burning next?


Flu hits Alaska Airlines crews, cancelling 24 flights

© AP
Alaska Airlines cancelled 24 flights on Sunday and Monday after flu-stricken pilots and flight attendants called in sick.

Alaska spokeswoman Bobbie Egan says about 270 passengers were affected by cancelled flights. Another 14 flights were cancelled Sunday due to bad weather.

Egan says a "very unusual" cold and flu season hit the airline's Pacific Northwest hub, and the entire region was affected.

Egan says pilots and flight attendants who were off-duty have volunteered to work while their colleagues are out sick.

The airline forecasts a less-busy Tuesday, and says it probably won't have to cancel any more flights because of illness.

Cell Phone

WATCH-READ: Edward Snowden's Alternative Christmas Message

As we reported on Tuesday, NSA leaker Edward Snowden will deliver Channel 4 UK's "Alternative Christmas Message," the network's annual response to the Queen's address. They aired on Christmas Day at 4:15 p.m. local time in England.

Snowden's remarks were filmed by Glenn Greenwald's film collaborator Laura Poitras, from an undisclosed location in Russia.

Full remarks transcribed below.
Hi and Merry Christmas. I'm honored to have a chance to speak with you and your family this year. Recently we learned that our governments, working in concert, have created a system of worldwide system of mass surveillance watching everything we do. Great Britain's George Orwell warned us of the danger of this kind of information.

The types of collection in the book - - microphones and video cameras, TVs that watch us - - are nothing compared to what we have available today. We have sensors in our pockets that track us everywhere we go. Think about what this means for the privacy of the average person.

A child born today will grow up with no conception of privacy at all. They'll never know what it means to have a private moment to themselves an unrecorded, unanalyzed thought. And that's a problem because privacy matters; privacy is what allows us to determine who we are and who we want to be.

The conversation occurring today will determine the amount of trust we can place both in the technology that surrounds us and the government that regulates it. Together we can find a better balance, end mass surveillance, and remind the government that if it really wants to know how we feel, asking is always cheaper than spying.

For everyone out there listening, thank you and Merry Christmas.


Turkish protesters urge PM's resignation as graft scandal shakes govt

Thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets of Turkey demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan amid a widening corruption scandal rattling his government. There are reports of tear gas and clashes with police in Istanbul.

Over 5,000 people gathered in Istanbul's Kadikoy district and some 1,000 in the Besiktas district on Wednesday, Xinhua news agency reports. Protesters have also gathered in the capital of Ankara, as well as in Izmir and other cities. Ruptly news agency says hundreds took to the streets of Istanbul.

Police in Istanbul have fired tear gas to disperse the demonstrators. At least four people have been arrested, according to Firat news agency.

Late on Wednesday, Erdogan announced a major cabinet reshuffle, replacing 10 key ministers. This came soon after the resignation of interior, economy, and environment ministers over a high profile corruption investigation. Resigned Environment Minister Erdogan Bayraktar turned against the Turkish leader, urging him to step down.

The scandal and ensuing feud between Erdogan and the judiciary have reignited anti-government protests against Erdogan's 11-year rule within the past week.

Comment: Don't expect the EU or the US to send top officials to support the protesters and to spur them on to continue the protests in the name of democracy and freedom and human rights. That is only when regime change is wanted like in Ukraine.


Animal Rights or Animal Welfare? On Humanity's relationship with fellow Earthlings

© Unknown.
According to official science, Homo is the genus of human-like great apes, with only one surviving species today - 'Modern Human', or Homo Sapiens. Strange as it may seem, the great majority of the 7 billion or so members of this species that presently inhabit planet Earth believe themselves to be active creators of, and participants in, what they call a 'highly advanced civilization'.

Yet there remain a few members of this species who, unlike the majority of their fellow sapiens who have cast off their bothersome critical thinking capacities in favor of a sonambulistic approach to life, can see quite clearly that this particular 'highly advanced civilization' is in fact a society where, to paraphrase hypnotist Michel Ellner, "Everything is backwards, everything is upside down; doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, psychiatrists destroy minds, scientists destroy truth, major media destroys information, religions destroy spirituality and governments destroy freedom."

The illusion of the 'great advancement in civilization' aside, if we really take a look at what's going on in the world around us these days, it becomes difficult to make any sense of inter-human relationships, to say nothing about our relationships with the other species with which we share this planet. Official science routinely stretches credulity in the obtuse and often deceitful way that it dismisses the many bizarre and 'out of place' anthropological and archeological artifacts and remains that have been discovered all over the planet in recent decades. If mainstream science refuses to take all the available evidence into account in its attempt to come up with a theory of humanity's origins, how can we expect to ever understand the true position of our species within the larger animal kingdom on Earth?

Comment: See also:

The Vegetarian Myth

The Myth of the Ethical 'Vegan'

Lierre Keith on 'The Vegetarian Myth - Food, Justice and Sustainability'

Burying The Vegetarian Hypothesis

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Florida girl wants mom's attacker on Santa's naughty list

christine beckwith

Christine Beckwith says the aggressive woman who attacked her had a problem with how she parked her car.
An unidentified woman beat Christine Beckwith, of Lake Mary, Fla., in front of her daughter Sunday night. 'Dear Santa, Today my mom, Christine, got physically hurt by a woman. I want you to put her on the naughty list!' the girl wrote to Kris Kringle.

Comment: Is this what is now deemed spreading 'Christmas cheer'?

Christmas Tree

Santa shot by pellet gun during D.C. toy giveaway while cameras rolled

black santa shot
An African-America Santa Claus was shot in the back with a pellet gun during a toy giveaway in Washington, D.C. on Christmas Eve - and the whole thing was caught on video by a local news crew.

A WJLA photographer was interviewing the Santa Claus as he was waving to children on a Washington, D.C. street. The Santa then began screaming in pain.

"Somebody just shot me!" Santa says. "Something in my back. Ahh! Ahh! My back! Oh!"

According to WJLA, the pellet was still lodged in Santa's shoulder when he was taken to a nearby hospital. A "Grinch" character filled in to finish the toy giveaway.

Fox News host Megyn Kelly recently told children that the only real Santa Claus was white.

Comment: The common tradition, the idea, is to leave cookies for Santa on Christmas Eve - not to shoot him - no matter what color he is.
Notice how mainstream media keeps playing the race card lately?


8-year-old girl who inspired community Christmas event dies of leukemia

delaney brown
An 8-year-old Pennsylvania girl who inspired thousands in her community to sing Christmas carols outside her door died of leukemia on Wednesday, the Reading Eagle reported.

The family of Delaney Brown released a statement confirming her death, four days after an estimated 10,000 people converged outside her home to fulfill her wish of hearing Christmas carols, part of an Internet-fueled campaign that earned her and her family support.

"We are eternally grateful for all of the love kindness, prayers and support that we have received from people across the world," her family said in a statement. "You will never know how meaningful it was for all of you to rally around Laney."

Brown was diagnosed with a rare form of the disease in May 2013, and her condition worsened over the past week, despite having undergone five rounds of radiation therapy and stem cell therapy.