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Court denies Dylann Roof's request to fire defense lawyers because they are Jewish & Indian

© Randall Hill / Reuters
Dylann Roof (R)
A federal court denied convicted Charleston shooter Dylann Roof's request to replace his two defense lawyers, who are Jewish and Indian. Roof called the lawyers appealing against his death sentence his "political and biological enemies."

Roof, 23, killed nine and wounded three black parishioners at Charleston's Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in June 2015. He told police he wanted to start a "race war." He was found guilty in December 2016 and subsequently sentenced to death in a federal hate crimes trial.

On Tuesday, the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Columbia, South Carolina issued a one-page ruling dismissing Roof's motion to replace his two defenders.

"The court denies the motion for substitution of counsel on appeal," the 11-word ruling said.

Roof had submitted a handwritten appeal to the court on Monday, arguing that he could not trust the two attorneys as they were his "political and biological enemies," according to AP.



Fired whistleblower surgeon, 52, who exposed NHS malpractice now works as Uber driver

© David Hodges/SWNS
After an independent appeal upheld his sacking, finding that his behaviour amounted to gross misconduct, he decided to take the health board to court, alleging unfair dismissal
Peter O'Keefe is perhaps the last person you'd expect to find behind the wheel of an Uber car. For starters, there can't be many taxi drivers who would know what to do if their fare had a heart attack.

'Well, I wouldn't open your chest on the back seat, that's for sure,' he says, steering his black Skoda Octavia safely through the Cardiff traffic. 'But I would very much hope that with my medical skills and knowledge, I might be moderately useful.'

For Peter, 52, was a renowned consultant cardiothoracic surgeon at the University Hospital of Wales for more than a decade. Back then, he drove a Mercedes, earned £125,000 a year and wore smart suits or scrubs rather than jeans. He commanded respect and the gratitude of thousands of patients on whom he operated.

He developed treatments and techniques, travelled the world to give lectures and trained other surgeons. In 2011, he was recommended for a National Clinical Excellence Award.

These days, he still makes the familiar journey to the 1,000-bed Cardiff hospital, but only to deliver agency nurses or outpatients to the place where he used to save lives.

But there are few options open for NHS surgeons - no matter how brilliant - who have been dismissed.

'I'm over 50, I have no reference, no licence to practise medicine and I've been sacked for gross misconduct. It's not really the résumé of a champion, is it?' he says drily.

Comment: What a loss to Britain's medical system. But such things are common when a psychopathic bureaucracy entrenches itself in a system.

Heart - Black

Wisconsin man blows up home to cover up wife's murder; 8 families displaced

A Madison man shot and killed his wife weeks ago and blew up their Southwest Side house on Wednesday as an attempt to cover up the homicide, Madison Police Chief Mike Koval said Sunday.

Lee Anne Pirus, 50, was identified by the Dane County Medical Examiner's Office as the body found amid the rubble of a house at 7806 Stratton Way. Koval said she was shot by her husband, 59-year-old Steven Pirus, "weeks, if not months ago." He was arrested late Saturday on tentative charges of first-degree intentional homicide, arson and reckless endangerment, Koval said.

"Steven Pirus shot and killed Lee Anne," Koval said at a news conference. "Steven intentionally blew up this house. He's as much as admitted it over the course of several days of conversations."

Koval said investigators are looking into the couple's past to determine what the motive might have been.


Why didn't Florida's power company do more to prepare for Irma?

Florida Power & Light
Four days after Irma, millions of Floridians are still stuck without power in the sweltering summer heat. Those outages have now killed eight elderly people trapped in a Hollywood nursing home without air conditioning, due to circumstances that FPL was warned about at least two days before the tragedy.

Many of those powerless residents are now asking hard questions of the area's power monopoly, which has spent millions of dollars fighting policies that would have strengthened the grid in the event of a major storm like Irma and, more broadly, stemmed the carbon-fueled climate change likely fueling monster storms.

"I am one of the many that has now been without power for more than two days as a result of Hurricane Irma," Elise McKenna, a West Palm Beach resident, told New Times via email. "My confusion came when so many of us lost power during the early hours of the storm that basically avoided us. We've been told time and time again that rate increases were to help prepare us for future storms."

McKenna is far from alone. FPL's workers on the ground seem to be doing all they can to fix downed lines and restore power to homes, and they deserve huge credit for working around the clock in awful conditions.

But the company's corporate and government-relations wings have serious questions to answer this week after quashing regulations that could have made the energy grid stronger at a slight expense to FPL's billion-dollar bottom line.


University of Nebraska-Lincoln bans smoking on campus

© Lincoln Journal-Star
Smoking, tobacco and vaping products will no longer be allowed on the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus beginning Jan. 1, a move prompted by a student-led initiative.

A survey conducted by the Association of Students of the University of Nebraska showed wide support for blanket restrictions on UNL property. Nearly 84 percent of students and 88 percent of faculty said they supported a ban.

Under the policy, cigarettes, cigars, pipes, hookahs, e-cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, marijuana and synthetic smoking products are banned on campus, including parking lots and garages, in campus buildings, and in vehicles "owned, leased, occupied, operated, maintained or otherwise controlled by the University."

UNL will allow the use of "nicotine-replacement therapy" products approved by the Food and Drug Administration for smoking cessation.


"We're in control," say St. Louis Police as protests get squelched on fifth day

"We're in control," announced the head of the St. Louis, Missouri Police Department, Lawrence O'Toole, at a press conference Monday after a weekend of unrest in the city over the acquittal of a white cop who shot a black man to death in 2011.

"This is our city and we're going to protect it," O'Toole declared. The escalation of the brutal police crackdown in St. Louis came as the demonstrations entered their fifth day Tuesday.

In sharp contrast to the largely peaceful character of the protests, police have displayed alarming levels of belligerence and arrogance in their repression of protesters. Groups of police officers in riot gear were heard early Monday morning marching through areas forcibly cleared of demonstrators chanting, "Whose streets? Our streets!" mocking protesters with a slogan commonly used at rallies.

The authoritarian declarations of the police chief and his officers came on the heels of the arrest of 123 protesters in a massive roundup on Sunday night. The arrests were carried out using a highly criticized police technique called "kettling," in which police surround and trap protesters so they cannot escape. They are then arrested en masse for alleged refusal to disperse.

Cow Skull

Leah Remini to John Travolta and other famous Scientologists: 'Cut the s***'

On Tuesday's Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, the focus was on celebrities and what they mean to the Church of Scientology.

"Scientologists believe, and they're shown this in their events, that some of the celebrities in Scientology are responsible for big changes on this planet and for mankind," Remini said. "They believe, in a way, that these celebrities are, you know, deities, in some way."

Remini did not hold back in delivering her message to stars like John Travolta and Tom Cruise, among others.

Comment: Good on Remini for calling out celebrity Scientologists on their casting a blind eye to the pathological and criminal behavior of the Church of Scientology.

No Entry

Information war: Big Brother Google intensifies censorship of anti-war websites

Google has intensified its censorship of left-wing, progressive and anti-war websites, cutting the search traffic of 13 leading news outlets by 55 percent since April.

On August 2, the World Socialist Web Site reported that changes to Google's search algorithm had led the search traffic of these sites to drop by 45 percent, according to figures by the search analysis service SEMRush.

In the ensuing six weeks, the search traffic of every one of these sites, without exception, has plunged further, leading the total search traffic for the sites to fall by an additional nine percentage points.

The World Socialist Web Site, whose search traffic had fallen by 67 percent between April and July, has now experienced a total drop in search traffic of 74 percent.

Comment: Is all of this censorship in service to "authoritative" content any wonder considering that Google was Created and nurtured by the CIA?


Illegal immigrant who groomed children online found guilty of sexually assaulting 6yo girl

© West Midlands Police
An asylum seeker who posed as a 'Justin Bieber lookalike' online to groom children into performing sex acts on webcam has been found guilty of 14 sexual offences, including a sex attack on a six-year-old girl.

Mauritius-born Johann Ramchelawon - who months ago was wanted for immigration offences according to a local media report of previous, unrelated crimes - was arrested in Huddersfield after police traced an IP address used to message a 12-year-old girl in Manchester.

The 30-year-old set up fake accounts on social media websites including Facebook and Instagram in order to groom underage girls online, using profile pictures he stole from the internet of a teenage boy who police described as resembling 'a young Justin Bieber'.

Heart - Black

Heartless Indian couple abandons 3-year-old daughter to become Jain monks

© HT
Sumit Rathore and his wife Anamika will take deeksha under Sudhamargi Jain Acharya Ramlal Maharaj at Surat in Gujarat on September 23.
The Jain couple are scheduled to take deeksha, or the first step towards monkhood on September 23.

A young Jain couple's decision to relinquish the material world, including their three-year-old daughter, to become monks has triggered a debate as their families and the community argued the move amounts to cruelty towards the child.

Sumit Rathore, who is 35, and wife Anamika, a year younger, are scheduled to take deeksha or the first step towards monkhood under Sudhamargi Jain Acharya Ramlal Maharaj in Gujarat's Surat town on September 23.

Other than daughter Ibhya, they will be renouncing property worth around Rs 100 crore in their Madhya Pradesh hometown of Neemuch, about 400km from Bhopal.