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Fireball 2

Huge fireworks factory explosion near Colombian capital

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The explosion of a fireworks factory near the Colombian capital was captured on video and caused at least two injuries.

Firefighters in Granada, near Bogota, said two people were injured in the Sunday morning blast, including a driver who was passing by at the time of the explosion.

The Crue emergency center of Cundinamarca province said the driver suffered shrapnel wounds on his right arm and was released following treatment.

Carlos Espinoza, the man filming the explosion, was thrown by the force of the blast, the video shows.

Authorities said the factory blast and ensuing fire destroyed five warehouses that were being used to store gunpowder.

Provincial Gov. Alvaro Cruz said the cause of the explosion is under investigation.


Pistol

Canadian man goes on 'senseless' killing spree in Edmonton, murders 8 before turning gun on himself

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Edmonton police have identified the victims in this week's mass murder, saying Phu Lam's shooting rampage claimed the life of his wife, several of her family members - including her eight-year-old son and three-year old niece - and a family friend.

Lam, who took his own life after the killings, appears to have spared the lives of a one-year-old and an eight-month-old baby who may have been in the north Edmonton home at the time of the deadly attack.

Lam's wife, Thuy Tien Truong, 35, was slain along with her son, her sister, her parents, her niece and a friend at a north Edmonton home between 3:45 a.m. and 8 a.m. on Sunday, police said Friday.


Megaphone

Oliver Stone: U.S.'s narrative of events in Ukraine a "surreal perversion of history"

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Viktor Yanukovych and Oliver Stone in a picture posted to Stone's Facebook page.
I interviewed Viktor Yanukovych for 4 hours in Moscow for a new English language documentary produced by Ukrainians. He was the legitimate President of Ukraine until he suddenly wasn't on February 22 last year. Details to follow in the documentary, but it seems clear that the so-called 'shooters' who killed 14 police men, wounded some 85, and killed 45 protesting civilians, were outside third-party agitators. Many witnesses, including Yanukovych and police officials, believe these foreign elements were introduced by pro-Western factions - with CIA fingerprints on it.

Remember the Chavez 'regime change'/coup of 2002 when he was temporarily ousted after pro and anti-Chavez demonstrators were fired upon by mysterious shooters in office buildings. It also resembled a similar technique early this year in Venezuela when Maduro's legally elected Government was almost toppled by violence aimed at anti-Maduro protestors. Create enough chaos, as the CIA did in Iran '53, Chile '73, and countless other coups, and the legitimate Government can be toppled. It's America's soft power technique, called 'Regime Change 101.'

Comment: Stone knows that right now is 'do or die' time for people with conscience, and the means to share it, to get out there and spread the truth about where the U.S. is leading the world. Big Kudos to him for putting his butt on the line.

See chapter 10 of his sprawling documentary 'Untold History of the United States':




Airplane

Panicking passengers refuse to re-board AirAsia plane after engine stops with loud bang on Surabaya airport runway

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© AFP/Getty Images
Around 90 per cent of passengers refused to get back on an AirAsia plane after an engine struck a problem, it was reported.
Almost an entire plane-load of passengers refused to re-board an AirAsia jet after one of the engines struck a problem as it started to taxi at Surabaya airport, it was reported today.

It was the same airline that lost an Airbus last weekend as it flew from Surabaya to Singapore with the presumed loss of all 162 passengers and crew.

As search teams reporting seeing a fifth large object at the bottom of the Java Sea which might be parts of the missing plane, the new drama involving an engine was the kind of news the airline did not want.

Eye 1

Serial murderer & rapist to be euthanized in Belgium over 'psychological suffering'

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Frank Van Den Bleeken
Frank Van Den Bleeken, a serial murderer and rapist, who has spent 30 years in prison, is set to be euthanized in Belgium on January 11. He has asked to die due to his "unbearable" psychological suffering, local media reports.

Fifty-year-old Frank Van Den Bleeken has been convicted of repeated rape and murder, and the "euthanasia will indeed be implemented" in the northwestern town of Bruges, a justice ministry spokeswoman told local De Morgen newspaper.

"Now the time has come," she said.

Van Den Bleeken's euthanasia request was approved in September, but no date for the procedure was set then.

He has reportedly refused to be considered for early parole, viewing himself as a threat to society. However, he found the conditions behind bars inhumane, AFP reported, citing Belgian media.

Fireball

Giant firework shoots off course into the open window of family's home in Brazil

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Straight shooter: The firework strayed off course and ended up in the family's home
A freak incident led to distressing scenes as a family home was invaded by a high speed pyrotechnic

This was the terrifying moment a stray rocket shot directly into a family's apartment.

The occupants were fortunate to escape serious injury or worse as the footage shows a firework heading straight towards them at their home in Brazil.

With the accuracy of a heat seeking missile, the powerful pyrotechnic loops scarily away from its intended trajectory and towards the apartment block.


Bizarro Earth

5 arrested after 22yo Japanese tourist gang-raped for weeks in India

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Five men have been arrested for kidnapping a young Japanese woman, who managed to escape after some three weeks of repeated gang-rape at gunpoint near a Buddhist holy site in Bodh Gaya, a popular Indian tourist spot.

A gang of men, some of whom presented themselves as tour guides, reportedly raped a Buddhist student, who came from Japan, after kidnapping and taking her to Paro village in the East Indian state of Bihar.

Comment: India reels from another horrific gang rape case in wave of sexual violence
Swiss tourist gang raped in India, say police
India gang rape: Six men charged with murder


Heart - Black

Infant found unconscious in Harlem dies, police say

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© Robert Stolarik/The New York Times
Officers on Saturday outside the apartment in the Washington Houses in East Harlem where Deion McNeil was found bleeding from a gash on his forehead on Friday. He died at the hospital.
A 23-day-old boy died on Friday after the police found him wounded and unconscious in his family's apartment in East Harlem, the authorities said.

The infant, Deion McNeil, was unresponsive and bleeding from a gash on his forehead when he was found on the living room floor, the police said.

Detectives on Saturday were questioning Deion's mother, Ebony McNeil, who was the only adult at home with the boy when she called the police around 7:30 p.m. on Friday, the authorities said. Two other children - Ms. McNeil's 6-year-old son and 17-month-old daughter - were also at home at the time.

Emergency medical workers took Deion to Metropolitan Hospital Center, which is across the street from the family's apartment in the Washington Houses on Second Avenue at 97th Street. He was born in that hospital, according to a post on the Facebook account of Larry McPhail, his grandfather.

But doctors could not save Deion on Friday.

Comment: Seems like there are so many more tragic infant deaths lately.


Smiley

Are the American people that clueless about potential coming economic disasters?

Economy Stop Signs
The American people are feeling really good right about now. For example, Gallup's economic confidence index has hit the highest level that we have seen since the last recession. In addition, nearly half of all Americans believe that 2015 will be a better year than 2014 was, and only about 10 percent believe that it will be a worse year. And a lot of people are generally feeling quite good about the people that have been leading our nation. According to Gallup, once again this year Hillary Clinton is the most admired woman in America and Barack Obama is the most admired man in America. I don't know what that says about our nation, but it can't be good. Unfortunately, when things seem to be going well common sense tends to go out the window. A couple days ago, the Guardian ran an article entitled "Goodbye to one of the best years in history", and a whole lot of people out there are feeling really optimistic these days. But should they be?

Sadly, what we are experiencing right now is so similar to what we witnessed in 2007 and early 2008. The stock market had been on a great run, people were flipping houses like crazy and most people were convinced that the party would never end.

But then it did end - very painfully.

The signs of trouble were there, but most people chose to ignore them.

Sadly, the exact same thing is happening again.

Comment: There is no such thing as "the free market". Indeed there may have never been. The price of oil is simply another weapon US imperialists wield against their enemies, in this case, Russia and Iran, though if pesky Venezuala goes down too, so much the better. What the short-sighted morons running this show didn't seem to calculate was the damage being done to domestic oil production which can't survive at prices less than $80-$90 per barrel. It may go even deeper. Saudi Arabia has cheap oil and lots of it. It's also seems willing to run a budget deficit for the first time in its history due to dropping revenue. Perhaps they are playing to knock their 'friend' the US off as a competitor, too?


Newspaper

Lawlessness and death squads in Ukraine: Washington Post almost gets it right

Donetsk
© Efrem Lukatsky/AP
A car drives by a private house destroyed in a recent battle between the Ukrainian army and pro-Russian separatists in Semenivka, Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, Monday, Dec. 29, 2014.
Kiev is abuzz with creative reforms in governance, major anti-corruption initiatives and budgetary clawbacks against rent-seeking oligarchs. Civic activism is on the upsurge, and a new government team - populated with many foreign-born and Western-educated ministers - is largely free from the control of the country's super-rich, who dictated policy in the past.

In recent months, Ukraine's defenses have strengthened since the Russian takeover of Crimea and the eastern industrial Donbas region. Ukraine's security service, formerly riddled with corruption and Russian infiltration, has rebuilt its leadership. Combat readiness has improved and weapons production is on the rise, as are the refurbishment and modernization of tanks, artillery and armored personnel carriers. With winter in full swing, the danger of a major Russian offensive has faded.


Comment: It was never there to begin with!


Comment: This isn't the first time the Washington Post has posted something closely resembling the truth. See also: SOTT EXCLUSIVE: Shock! US media outlet Washington Post questions U.S. intervention in Ukraine. But despite presenting a whitewashed version of these battalions' early activities, and totally misrepresenting Russia's involvement in the conflict, at the very least they got across a good point: these groups are composed of lawless, nazi psychopaths. They are nothing more then mercenary death squads. And THOSE are the people the U.S. and NATO, and by extension all those people they represent, are supporting, directly and indirectly.