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Mon, 27 Mar 2017
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UK watchdog sounds alarm over doctored papers and security breaches at French nuclear parts supplier

© Robert Pratta / Reuters
Workmen are seen in the foundry at the Areva Creusot Forge site in Le Creusot, France.
Britain's Office for Nuclear Regulation (ONR) has questioned the adequacy of a French nuclear forge which had already supplied parts for UK nuclear sites. It follows revelations of doctored paperwork and security breaches by the French producer.

The ONR report, obtained under a Freedom of Information request and seen by Reuters, gives details on the December 16 visit by an international monitoring team to a French Creusot forge, operated by the country's state-owned nuclear supplier Areva.


Suspected ISIS fighters attacked refugees outside Mosul

Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) jihadists are suspected of attacking a town just outside Mosul used as a safe haven by refugees and reporters. RT's Murad Gazdiev visited the community to investigate.

The RT crew arrived in the city at 7am, and found Hamam al-Alil completely locked down, with heavily armed troops and roadblocks.

The Iraqi military told them that journalists were banned from entering the city, but the crew drove around the city for hours until, eventually, they came in from the back roads from the side of Mosul.


Cops shoot man over $100 pot sale, leaving him paralyzed, and lie about it

Julian Betton is moved from his wheelchair to a gurney so he can be transported from the courthouse to his Myrtle Beach apartment.
Radley Balko, of the Washington Post, writes a regular column for the newspaper called "The Watch." Author of Rise of the Warrior Cop: The Militarization of America's Police Forces," Balko blogs about criminal justice, the drug war, and civil liberties. In one of his latest pieces on badge abuses, the author addressed, once again, the near homicide of a low-level Myrtle Beach, South Carolina drug dealer (Julian Betton) at the hands of police. Here's his summary of the incident.
Julian Betton's offense was to sell $100 worth of pot to a friend. For that, South Carolina police battered down his door, fired 57 shots at him and hit him nine times, leaving him paralyzed and without the use of several major body organs. The cops then lied about the circumstances of the raid to make it seem as if Betton deserved every bullet. When Betton awoke from a coma, his leg was shackled to the hospital bed. Prosecutors then charged him with several felonies — enough of them to put him in prison for the rest of his life, should he survive his injuries. For those two sales of pot totaling $100, Betton will not only be saddled with paralysis and debilitating injury, he'll also have a felony record. The cops who broke down his door, filled him with bullets and then lied about what had happened will suffer no punishment at all.
What Balko's synopsis doesn't reveal, is that there were a series of cover-ups the police raid team engaged in, and what might seem like a team effort to coordinate their stories in the aftermath of the planned conflict. First, the team did not seek after, nor secure a no-knock raid warrant. Betton's high-definition security footage reveals the police officers made no such effort to knock on the door, which is required by law, even though their police reports stated they did knock and announce their presence.

Eye 2

Cop who forced oral sex on woman won't face charges

Angel Burgos
A Florida woman may be asking herself why she even spoke out against the perpetrator who sexually assaulted her, now that the man, (who also happens to be a police officer), will not face criminal charges for forcing oral sex upon her.

Detective Angel Burgos knew the woman from an unrelated case. As Christmas Day was fast approaching, he decided to pay a visit to her home on December 15th, 2016. She said she felt like she had no reason not to trust him when he approached her, and asked her to get into his unmarked squad car. "He was an officer, I didn't think much of it, I trusted him," the woman told BuzzFeed News.

After getting inside his vehicle, Buzzfeed wrote Det. Burgos, "began telling her how beautiful she is and kissed her, while unzipping his pants and exposing his penis. When Burgos asked the woman to put her hand on his penis, she declined, and he then touched himself with one hand while squeezing the woman's breasts with his other hand."

Comment: Until law enforcement agencies start charging officers with crimes and putting them in jail, people like Angel Burgos are going to continue to abuse their position of power knowing that their authority puts them in a different class than the rest of the public. Put cops in jail and they will learn that they are not above the law.


Is the DEA high? Approves synthetic marijuana for big pharma company against legalization

© Nir Elias / Reuters
A synthetic marijuana product could be available for commercialization after the DEA gave a newly approved drug a schedule II classification.

On Thursday, Insys Therapeutics announced that the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) issued an interim final rule that would put Syndros, their synthetic marijuana drug, on Schedule II of the Controlled Substances Act (CSA).

"Insys is looking forward to bringing this new drug product to chemotherapy patients to help alleviate their nausea and vomiting and AIDS patients with anorexia associated weight loss, respectively," Dr. Santosh Vetticaden, interim CEO, said in the announcement.

"We look forward to interacting with the FDA to finalize the labeling and subsequent launch of Syndros in the second half of 2017," Vetticaden said.

Comment: Watch the video below for more on the effects of synthetic marijuana.


Caught on video: Mass panic strikes Bellagio as robbers in pig masks open fire inside Rolex store

Mass panic struck the Bellagio early this morning as three pig-masked, armed robbers decided to try to knock off the Rolex store just as a bunch of drunk guests were stumbling home from their night of general debauchery. Luckily, the dulled senses of these plastered guests allowed them the courage to film the whole scene rather than duck for cover so we're able to present the whole dumbed-down version of an Ocean's Eleven remake in real time.

According to media reports, at least three people entered the Rolex store inside the Bellagio in the wee hours of Saturday morning. The robbers apparently used sledgehammers to break through the glass entrance of the store. While initial reports indicated that shots were fired, police subsequently confirmed those reports to be false.


Busted! North Carolina troops scammed $27 million from Afghanistan aid

A special investigation into how more than $115 billion in funding from the US was allocated in Afghanistan found that at least $1 billion was spent "questionably." Prosecutors have recovered $27.7 million just from their investigations into troops stationed in North Carolina.

John Sopko, special investigator general for Afghanistan reconstruction (SIGAR) berated military use of funds in 2014 when he famously declared that the US had dumped more money into Afghanistan in 11 years than it spent on 16 countries after World War II as part of the Marshall Plan.

Speaking at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, on March 23, Sopko said US troops designed and executed sophisticated schemes to steal money intended to rebuild Afghanistan.


Virginia police charge sword-carrying man dressed as Joker with felony for 'wearing a mask in public'

Jeremy Putnam, 31, was charged on March 24, 2017, in Winchester, Virginia, with wearing a mask in public.
A 31-year-old man in Virginia was arrested and charged with wearing a mask in public Friday after he was spotted walking around dressed as the iconic comic book supervillain the Joker, police said.

Police in Winchester -- located about 75 miles northwest of Washington, D.C. -- said the Winchester Emergency Communications Center received "several calls" around 2 p.m. on Friday of a suspicious male wearing a black cape and carrying a sword walking around the city.

Jeremy Putman was charged with wearing a mask in public, a felony that could land him in jail for up to five years, the Winchester Police Department said in a statement.


More gender pronoun craziness: Associated Press issues guidelines to 'avoid' referring to 'both' or 'either' sexes

© AP
Screen capture from an AP email on Stylebook changes effective March 24, 2017. Portion in red added by Ken Shepherd, Washington Times.
In a Friday email to subscribers listing updated entries for its style manual, the Associated Press is urging journalists to avoid making references in news stories that suggest there are only two sexes in the human race.

The term "gender," the AP Stylebook says, is "[n]ot synonymous with sex."

"Gender refers to a person's social identity while sex refers to biological characteristics," the style guide explains.

"Not all people fall under one of two categories for sex or gender, according to leading medical organizations, so avoid references to both, either or opposite sexes or genders as a way to encompass all people. When needed for clarity or in certain stories about scientific studies, alternatives include men and women, boys and girls, males and females."

The Stylebook issued further guidance for use of pronouns under an entry named "they, them, their." Those third-person plural pronouns are preferred by some transgender or gender fluid individuals who say they are not comfortable with traditional male or female personal pronouns.


Dangerous precedent: Court rules cops can go to wrong house, kill homeowner and walk free

A disturbing precedent has just been set in a federal appeals court which ruled in favor of police who knocked on the wrong door at 1:30 am, failed to identify themselves, and then repeatedly shot the innocent homeowner until he died.

The homeowner, 26-year-old Andrew Scott had committed no crime when officers came to his home that night on July 15, 2012. Police were actually in search of a person they witnessed speeding on a motorcycle when they began banging on Scott's door.

Deputy Richard Sylvester was the officer who saw the speeding motorcycle while on patrol. Sylvester initiated a pursuit but lost sight of it after the motorcycle sped off. For some reason, Sylvester believed the motorcycle driver was armed, might be wanted by another police department, and had been spotted at a nearby apartment complex, according to the police reports.

Sylvester, along with three other deputies, arrived at the apartment complex and began knocking on doors close to where the motorcycle was parked. They started with apartment 114 which was occupied by Scott and his girlfriend Amy Young who were playing video games and had zero connection to the motorcycle, the driver, or any illegal activity at all.