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Tue, 21 Feb 2017
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"Arrest and recovery" program in Texas jails child sex trafficking victims

© Mimi Chakarova
The Free Thought Project has observed a disturbing trend in law enforcement. We've known for years the police have locked up innocent people, who get caught up in a police dragnet. But the latest practice by law enforcement crosses so many ethical boundaries it's unfathomable the good people of Texas are allowing it to take place on their watch. They're now jailing sex trafficking victims because they have no place to put them.

According to the Texas Tribune, many of them are minors — like Lena (17) who never found herself on the wrong side of the law. She was rescued from sex traffickers. But that's when another imprisonment occurred for her. In the fall of 2016, after police helped rescue her from her traffickers, she was booked into the county jail.

"The 17-year-old lived with two dozen women in a single room. She slept on a metal bunk and wore an oversized orange jumpsuit every day. She went to the bathroom with no privacy, using a toilet attached to the wall," the Tribune writes.

Having endured a troubled life, an abusive adoptive mom, several foster homes, only to end up running away from home, Lena found herself as the property of pimps who exploited her need for the love of a father.

Pirates

Man charged in plotting to bomb Target stores so he could buy cheap stock

© Mike Blake / Reuters
A Florida man has been charged by the Justice Department with a plot to bomb Target stores along the East Coast, and then buy cheap stock after the company stock price plummeted.

Mark Charles Barnett, 48, was charged with making explosive devices, hiring a man to plant them, and attempting to blow up Target stores. The federal complaint alleges the former convicted felon concocted a plan to disguise the bombs as food items and placing them in stores along the East Coast of the US, from New York to Florida.

Barnett has been charged with "possession of a firearm (destructive device) affecting commerce by a previously convicted felon," according to the US Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida.

Heart - Black

Tragic fate of two young Yazidi brothers forced to be suicide bombers by Daesh

© AFP 2016/ Safin Hamed
Members of Yazidi minority search for clues on February 3, 2015, that might lead them to missing relatives in the remains of people killed by the Islamic State (IS) jihadist group
The two brothers aged 15 and 16 were taken prisoner during an attack on Sinjar in August 2014 by Daesh terrorists.

In the video footage they first say that they are going to blow themselves up and then one of them commits an attack in the west of Mosul whereas, the other in the district of Tal Afar east of Mosul.

The head of the Department of the Ministry of Yazidis and Iraqi Kurdistan Hayri Bozani told Sputnik Turkey that Daesh terrorists abduct Yazidi children and then convert them into suicide bombers by exposing them to different sorts of training.

"There are more than 1,000 Yazidi children in the hands of the terrorists right now. First of all, the jihadists convert them to Islam. Then the children are taught the basics of Shariah and are prepared to carry out terrorist attacks as suicide bombers," Bozani said.

He further said that it is currently unknown how many Yazidi children have been used as suicide bombers, but it is known that there are more than 100 children undergoing training to commit terrorist acts right now.

Comment: See also: Freed Yazidi woman tells shocking story of sexual slavery under Daesh


Dollars

Mississippi city must repay $300,000 to the Federal DoJ after investigation concluded the city misspent drug forfeiture money

The city of Bay St. Louis, Miss., provides us with a $300,000 lesson on why the widespread use of asset forfeiture at a local, state, and federal level needs to end.

That is the amount the city must repay the Federal Department of Justice after an investigation concluded the city misspent drug forfeiture money.

According to WLOX, the city council voted unanimously to pay back the money owed, which had been spent on city operating costs. Now, they're trying to find a solution that doesn't injure local citizens' wallets.
"I think the only way we can recoup the money so that the taxpayers are not harmed is to go after the bonds of the individuals that we feel are responsible," said Councilman Joey Boudin. "We put the bonding companies on notice to go after the mayor's bond, the deceased police chief's bond, and the two city clerks."

"We're not saying this money was mismanaged or misspent intentionally, but it was. At the end of the day, it was mismanaged. We broke every rule that the Department of Justice has laid out on this money, so somebody needs to pay," Boudin said. "The taxpayer didn't break the rule."

Comment: See also: Trump says 'no reason' to curb asset seizures by police


Attention

Libyan rendition & torture victim pledges to 'fight UK govt until the end' - forgets to mention he's an al-Qaeda-linked terrorist and John McCain's best friend

© Youssef Boudlal / Reuters
Abdul Hakim Belhadj
Libyan torture victim Abdel Hakim Belhaj has vowed to fight his case against the UK government "until the end."

In 2004, Abdul Hakim Belhaj was kidnapped in Hong Kong with British complicity, along with his pregnant wife, and rendered back to his native Libya. He was then held and tortured by the Muammar Gaddafi regime for six years.

Speaking to Middle East Eye, Belhaj says he intends to pursue his quest for justice after the UK's top court ruled unanimously in January that he could bring a case against the UK government and Tony Blair's former Foreign Secretary Jack Straw for his role in the abduction.

Comment: For more information. Read:

Libya Tribes leader: Trump's travel restrictions justified, terrorists using fake Libyan passports to enter U.S.


Attention

Florida Man Planned To Blow Up Target Stores Along the East Coast To Buy Retailer Stock Cheap

A Florida man tried to redefine "activist investing" after he made at least 10 explosive devices with the intention of blowing up Target stores along the East Coast in an elaborate "scheme" to send Target stock plunging so he could buy it on the cheap, the Department of Justice alleged.

Mark Charles Barnett, 48, of Ocala was charged with "possession of a firearm (destructive device) affecting commerce by a previously convicted felon" after he offered an unidentified person $10,000 to put at least 10 explosives - disguised as food items - on the shelves of Target stores in New York, Florida and Virginia, according to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Ocala.

According to the DOJ's compaling, Barnett, a registered sex offender on probation for multiple felony kidnapping, sexual battery and grand theft counts, hatched a plan to place explosives disguised as food items in Target stores along the East Coast from Florida to New York, thinking the plot would cause the stock price for the retail giant to plummet, allowing him to buy cheap shares of the company before they rebound.

"Barnett theorized that the company's stock value would plunge after the explosions, allowing him to cheaply acquire shares of Target stock before an eventual rebound in prices" according to the criminal complaint.

Arrow Down

UKIP says Britain should cut its foreign aid budget

© DFID - UK Department for International Development / Facebook
The UK Independence Party (UKIP) is calling for an 80 percent cut to the foreign aid budget so the money can be spent on national infrastructure.

Britain currently spends around £12.5 billion ($15.5 billion) a year supporting developing and war-torn countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Somalia, and South Sudan.

But UKIP says the aid is inadequate, does not truly alleviate poverty, leaves those receiving it dependent on support, and perpetuates bad government.

Megaphone

Judge slams #fakenews outlet CNN for reckless reporting in defamation case

First BuzzFeed, now CNN: Our favorite fake news station has lost an important initial ruling to a hospital CEO who sued the network for defamation.

Too bad they still get away with misreporting basically everything else.

The details:
Davide Carbone, former CEO of St. Mary's Medical Center in West Palm Beach, filed a defamation lawsuit against CNN after they aired what he claims were a "series of false and defamatory news reports" regarding the infant mortality rate at the hospital. CNN's report said the mortality rate was three times the national average. However, Mr. Carbone contends that CNN "intentionally" manipulated statistics to bolster their report. He also claims that CNN purposely ignored information that would look favorable to the hospital in order to sensationalize the story.

Attention

Teacher: I Lost $100 Bet Because Trump Wasn't Shot on Inauguration Day

I received a rather disturbing report of yet another case of Trump Derangement Syndrome -- this time from a high school in Camarillo, California.

Jane Germaine said her son's English teacher at Rancho Campana High School told the class that she lost a $100 bet because President Donald Trump had not been shot on Inauguration Day.

Mrs. Germaine tells me the teacher's remarks were troubling.

"A public school teacher using classroom time to share with students how she lost a bet because the president was not shot on Inauguration Day is beyond reprehensible to me and I do not see how the school district does not find this troubling as well," she told me.

And it turned out not to be the first time she's heard about teachers at the high school making politically-charged statements in the classroom.

Comment: See also: Convergence of Trump & Putin Derangement Syndromes


People

Because key cards are so inconvenient, Belgian employees get microchipped

© Sputnik/ Anton Polyakov
A group of workers from Belgium have joined an increasing number of people with microchips inserted in their hand.

Employees at Newfusion, a Belgian digital marketing firm, have had microchips inserted under their skin which allow them to open and close doors and access the company's computers, Le Soir reported.

The microchips replace the badges which the workers used to wear, and also contain personal data about the user.

The chips cost 100 euros each and are the size of a grain of rice. They were inserted between the thumb and index finger of their hands.

While Newfusion is thought to be the first in Belgium to microchip their workers, other organizations are also considering chipping their employees.

In June last year it emerged that the US military had held meetings to discuss the possibility of implanting soldiers with chips fitted with global positioning (GPS) technology in order to track their movement.

Comment: See also: