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Wed, 18 Jan 2017
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Norwegian school takes five-year-old children to see reindeer being slaughtered

© Granstubben Barnehage / Facebook
Preschoolers in Norway took a break from learning their ABCs to watch reindeer being slaughtered and skinned in a move which school says was aimed at teaching them about indigenous peoples who herd the Arctic animals.

Though they're just learning to read and write, the administration of Granstubben Barnehage preschool believed their five-year-old students were ready to see Santa's sleigh-pullers be murdered right in front of their eyes.

A video posted on the school's Facebook page showed the children on the field trip, first viewing the reindeer while they were still alive.

The pictures later turned more gruesome, with one showing a dead reindeer turning the powdery white snow blood red. Another image showed a child dragging a reindeer skin across the snow.


British Red Cross warns of humanitarian crisis as severely overcrowded NHS hospitals unable to cope with demand

© Press Association
Bed shortages in some NHS hospitals are so severe more than 20 hospitals have issued a 'black alert'
Overcrowding in NHS hospitals has become so severe that last week more than 20 trusts issued 'black alerts', meaning they are unable to guarantee life-saving emergency care.

The top-level alert, considered a "serious incident" by NHS England, can result in scheduled operations being cancelled and patients being diverted to other hospitals as overflowing A&E departments struggle to cope.

At least 23 hospital trusts in England declared they were unable to manage demand last week, reported The Guardian.

In Leicester, patients were made to wait in ambulances until A&E staff were able to see them, according to the newspaper.

Comment: The head of the NHS recently warned that the the system was close to a breaking point because of its escalating cash crisis due to years of underfunding. Cuts to social care, mental health and public health have stretched the NHS to the limit.

Bad Guys

Suspects detained by German police for having explosives may be linked to neo-Nazi terrorist group

Two suspects detained with 155 kilograms of pyrotechnic explosives may have links to a neo-Nazi terrorist group, German DPA news agency reported, citing a local prosecutor's office. One reportedly had an explosive device bearing a swastika and SS signs.

The explosives were found in a private flat in Lauterecken in western Germany on December 29. A local prosecutor's office said the suspects may belong to a neo-Nazi group called the 'Oldschool Society,' DPA reports.

In addition to the explosives, investigators found an improvised explosive device bearing a swastika and SS runes, according to the report.

The detention of the two men and seizure of the pyrotechnic explosives was reported earlier in January by the prosecutor's office itself. One suspect was caught with 110 kilograms of the material, and the other with 45, according to their statement, which stressed that the priority of the investigation was to find out if they had connections to far-right extremists.


Map shows locations of underground sex-slave bars in the United States

© Polaris/Palantir
This map shows all sex trafficking cases, including cantinas, with a Mexico or Central America nexus, based on Polaris-operated hotline data.
Jessica was halfway into her teenage years when the dashing stranger with a silver tongue came to town. The older man singled out Jessica from all the other girls and approached her with a mouthful of promises: A new home, a loving family, money, education—and, most importantly, a way out of her small town in Mexico.

So Jessica packed her bag and followed the pied piper out of town. Shortly after giving birth to their first son, Jessica and her older suitor arrived in New York City with plans to get married and start a new life together. Or so she thought. That's when Jessica's American Dream went horribly sideways.

The man quickly became physically and emotionally abusive, Jessica would later tell counselors. He isolated her from everyone else and forced her to start working seven days a week in cantina bars that doubled as brothels.

Jessica, whose last name has been withheld to protect her identity, didn't realize it at first, but her "courtship" had really been a targeted recruitment by a skilled sex-trafficker. The headhunter had not come to town looking for a wife, rather a victim for the skin trade. And like most so-called padrotes, or Lothario-type recruiters who lure small-town teens into trafficking situations with false promises of romance, work and money, he was playing the long game.

Arrow Down

The 5 signs that show something may be going down on Inauguration Day (VIDEO)

Signs are coming out everywhere signaling some serious shenanigans might be going down on January 20. Let's hope it's all merely hype.

Either way, I have a feeling that this is going to be unlike any inauguration day America has ever seen.

Gold Coins

Black Lady Liberty to feature on US$100 commemorative gold coin

The United States Mint is celebrating its 225th anniversary in a very special way. On April 6, the first in a series of commemorative $100 24-Karat gold Lady Liberty coins will be issued, featuring Lady Liberty as an African American woman.
© US Mint
The $100 24-karat gold coin will be released in April 2017.
On Thursday, Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew, Deputy Treasury Secretary Sarah Bloom Raskin, and United States Mint Principal Deputy Director Rhett Jeppson unveiled designs for the 2017 American Liberty 225th Anniversary Gold Coin in the historic Department of the Treasury's Cash Room.

Smithsonian Magazine reports the issuing of the $100 coin is the kickoff to the Mint's 225th anniversary year and is the first in part of a series that will also depict Lady Liberty as Asian-American, Hispanic-American, and Indian-American, "to reflect the cultural and ethnic diversity of the United States."


Journalists create a 'safe space' to discuss how to cover the Trump presidency

After the president-elect's first press conference since the election this week, it appears the mainstream media is in need of a 'safe space'. As The Hill reports, so-called journalists from the Huffington Post, Slate, CNN, and Univision will gather days before Donald Trump's inauguration to publicly discuss "how the news media can and should proceed to cover" the president-elect.

After this happened...
© Branco
Slate will host the event next Wednesday, called "Not the New Normal." CNN's Brian Stelter will moderate the panel at New York University. As The Hill details,
The focus of the discussion will include "how journalists and media companies at large can play a bigger role in making sure that fact prevails over fiction in the coming months and years," according to Slate.

Slate's editor in chief Julia Turner and Slate Group chairman Jacob Weisberg — who hosts "Trumpcast," a podcast dedicated to covering the president-elect — will participate in the panel.

Joining them will be Borja Echevarría, Univision Digital's vice president and editor in chief; Huffington Post editor in chief Lydia Polgreen and New Yorker editor David Remnick.

Most of the panelists were staunchly critical of Trump during the campaign and since Election Day.
Tickets will cost $30, with proceeds benefiting the Committee to Protect Journalists.


Hand over your password!: U.S. Border agents interrogating Muslim Americans, demanding social media information, access to phones

© n/a
Customs and Border Protection agents have been invasively questioning Muslim-Americans at U.S. border crossings about their political and religious beliefs, asking for their social media information, and demanding passwords to open mobile phones, according to a set of complaints filed by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

In one case, a 23-year old American citizen alleges that he was choked by a CBP agent after declining to hand over his phone for inspection while crossing the border back from Canada.

The complaints deal with the cases of nine people who have been stopped at various U.S. border crossings, eight of whom are American citizens, and one Canadian. They were filed to the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection and the Department of Justice.

Comment: See also:

Going away gift: Obama just expanded surveillance powers for Donald Trump
Visitors to US to 'volunteer' social media account details
Foreign travelers will be asked to show their social media accounts when entering the US
Police state USA - The creation of a border security state

Heart - Black

'Bad day' leads woman to smash SUV into T-Mobile store, erratic behavior (VIDEO)

© Ruptly
Police were called to a T-mobile outlet in Palm Springs, Florida on Friday after reports that an SUV had smashed through the front window of the store and the driver had begun assaulting staff members.


Indian 14yo signs government contract to make anti-landmine drones

A 14-year-old Indian boy has signed a deal to commercially produce anti-landmine drones. The child prodigy, who has already developed a prototype, says the idea came to him after learning in the media about the high army casualties caused by land mines.

The zealous inventor, Harshwardhan Zala, is a tenth-grader from Gujarat state in western India.