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Modern day slavery: North Carolina megachurch runs forced labor ring while authorities ignore victim's complaints

Word of Faith Fellowship slavery ring North Carolina

According to the investigation, the Word of Faith Fellowship set up two churches in Brazil and used it as a means of siphoning young laborers to the United States to use them for forced labor.
Scores of former slaves have come forward to expose the Word of Faith Fellowship congregation as a hub for modern slavery in the United States in which hundreds have been victims, according to a scathing report from the Associated Press. To date, the church leaders have yet to be held accountable.

According to the investigation, the Word of Faith Fellowship set up two churches in Brazil and used it as a means of siphoning young laborers to the United States to use them for forced labor.

Andre Oliveira was one of those slaves who tells the AP he was forced to work 15 hours a day, usually for no pay, first cleaning warehouses for the secretive evangelical church and later toiling at businesses owned by senior ministers. Any deviation from the rules risked the wrath of church leaders, he said, ranging from beatings to shaming from the pulpit.

"They trafficked us up here. They knew what they were doing. They needed labor and we were cheap labor - hell, free labor," Oliveira said.

The church's 35-acre compound in Spindale, NC provided the perfect core for this horrific human trade.

Comment: Taking a cue from Scientologists? FBI investigates Church of Scientology over claims of human trafficking, enslavement and violence


Arrow Down

Nanny state: Oregon removes children from competent caring parents simply because they have low IQ scores

Amy Fabbrini and Eric Ziegler

These entirely competent, caring parents, with no criminal history or history of abuse, had their children stolen by the state for their low IQ scores.
Amy Fabbrini and Eric Ziegler are loving parents who had their children taken from them because the state thinks that their low standardized test scores make them bad parents.

Both Fabbrini and Ziegler are high school graduates who are self-sustainable living in a 1,200 square foot home provided to them by Ziegler's parents. They have no criminal record, no record of abuse, yet the state of Oregon deemed it justified to steal their children and give them to someone else.

According to the Oregonian, Fabbrini formerly worked as a grocery clerk. Ziegler worked as a carpet layer, he said, but now receives Social Security benefits for his mental disability.

"I have a learning disability, but it's very, very mild," Ziegler said. He understands that he learns more slowly than some, but says "everybody learns at their pace."

As the Oregonian reports, Ziegler has a driver's license. Both have standard high school diplomas. And seven years ago, after a divorce, Fabbrini was granted shared custody of twin boys she had with her ex-husband.

Bomb

Vienna police hunt for two metro riders discussing bomb in Arabic

Austria police car
© Peter Giovannini / Global Look Press
Two men were overheard speaking of a bomb in Arabic while riding the Vienna metro. Police in the Austrian capital have launched a manhunt for the two, and have released photos of them from CCTV cameras.

On July 17, one of the two men on the released images was overheard telling the other that he "had set the bomb timer for 5 minutes," police said in a statement, citing witnesses.

The man who spoke about the bomb was carrying a briefcase, the statement adds. Witnesses who overheard the conversation left the train the suspects were traveling in and immediately tipped off police.

Gold Seal

Cassie Jaye's 'Red Pill' documentary too truthful for feminists to tolerate

Cassie Jaye
© Ian Stroud
Cassie Jaye at the world premiere of The Red Pill earlier this month.
'The Red Pill: The movie about men that feminists didn't want you to see.' This was the provocative headline that ran in Britain's The Telegraph last November, a teaser for a documentary made by a feminist filmmaker who planned to take on men's rights activists but was won over and crossed to the dark side to take up their cause.

Despite a ferocious campaign to stop the movie being made, it's finally been released and the Australian screening was due next week in Melbourne. However, the gender warriors have struck again, using a change.com petition to persuade Palace Cinemas to cancel the booking. Palace took the decision after being told the movie would offend many in its core audience but by yesterday 8000 had signed petitions protesting the ban. Organisers are now scrambling to find another venue.

Comment: The Guardian and LA Times don't like it, and Netflix apparently won't touch it.

It's probably a must-see then.


Take 2

Trump dubbed 'brainless billionaire' by Al-Shabaab terrorist group

Pouter and alshabab
© Reuters
The Somalia-based Al-Shabaab terrorist group has mocked US President Donald Trump in a new video, calling him a "brainless billionaire." It comes after Washington intensified efforts against the extremists.

The video, according to the SITE Intelligence Group, refers to Trump as a "brainless billionaire" and accuses US voters of electing "arguably the most stupid president a country could ever have."

It goes on to state that Trump is "making the United States the greatest joke on Earth and is now propelling it further to its eventual defeat and destruction," AP reported, citing SITE.

It comes after Trump approved expanded military operations against Al-Shabaab, the deadliest Islamic extremist group in Africa. Those operations included more aggressive airstrikes and categorizing parts of southern Somalia as being areas of active hostilities.

Somalia is also one of the countries included in Trump's travel ban, which restricts visitors and refugees from six majority-Muslim nations.

Comment: Just can't please everybody!


People 2

Switching gender to become easier as 'intrusive' medical checks to be scrapped

All gender bathroom
© Brian Branch Price / Global Look Press
Brits will be able to change their gender without a doctor's report under government proposals to scrap "demeaning" and "intrusive" rules that force people to undergo medical checks.

The rules currently state that men wanting to be identified as female and women who want to be men must prove that they have been living as their desired gender for two years before they can change status legally.

They must also undergo medical checks. Currently, people need to be diagnosed with gender dysphoria before being allowed to legally change sex.

Campaigners say the tests, which involve seeing a panel of doctors, is embarrassing and intrusive, saying it should be a matter for individuals.

Comment: See also: Menace to society: It's dangerous and wrong to tell children they're 'gender fluid'


Stock Down

Putting U.S. race relations in perspective: They've actually been getting better for decades

Last week, the HumanProgress team gave a talk on Capitol Hill entitled "Don't worry, be happy." We focused on encouraging global trends ranging from growing wealth and increasing life expectancy, to falling crime and the shrinking gender pay gap in rich countries. Afterwards, the audience asked question after question about a topic that we didn't cover - race relations in the United States.

Fortunately, HumanProgress.org does include data on race and racism. So, here are five charts on the progress that has been made in the realm of U.S. race relations.

Even after the Civil War ended the institution of slavery, the lynching of African Americans continued. That plummeted rapidly over the following decades and disappeared completely mid-way through the last century.
lynchings graph

Cookies

Insane! Texas father raising 5 kids is ordered to pay $65,000 in child support to ex who had kid with another man

Gabriel Cornejo

Gabriel Cornejo
A Texas man is battling a court order that mandates he must pay tens of thousands in child support for a child that he did not biologically father and who he met only once.

In 2003, a child support court in Texas ruled that Gabriel Cornejo, 45, had to pay child support to his ex-girlfriend who had recently given birth because she vowed that there was no way he wasn't the rightful dad.

Cornejo, who is currently raising three children of his own and two nephews, claimed that he was not made aware of this and only found out about the child support payments last year when a deputy served him court papers claiming that the state of Texas lists him as having another child. He soon met the minor for the first and only time - describing her as a "wonderful girl" - but after taking a DNA test, learned she was not his after all.

Bomb

50 killed in car explosion in Nusra-controlled Idlib, Syria

syrian red crescent
© AFP 2017/ STR
Around 50 people, including militants, were killed as a vehicle with ammunition exploded late on Sunday in the city of Idlib in northwestern Syria, local media reported.

According to the Lebanese Al Mayadeen broadcaster, the car belonged to the Nusra Front, a terrorist organization outlawed in Russia.

Earlier in the day, local media reported that the Nusra Front has gained complete control over the city as Ahrar al-Sham, listed as terrorist group and banned in Russia, withdrew from Idlib.

Comment: Infighting between the Nusra and Ahrar al-Sham jihadist groups has been intense in the last couple weeks. Meanwhile, the Russians are still in talks with militants in Idlib to establish the terms of the safe zone. For the latest update on the situation across the country, see: Syria summary: Consolidating the west and marching east


Bad Guys

19-year-old girl found chopped up in London freezer in suspected honor killing - UPDATE: Suspects charged

Teenager found in freezer
© Maureen P. Sullivan/Getty Images
A 19-year-old girl's body was allegedly chopped up and stuffed in a freezer after she was stabbed to death in a suspected honor killing at a £1.5 million home in South West London.

A 21-year-old woman, understood to be the cousin of the victim, was also injured in the attack and is in "serious but stable" condition in hospital.

She reportedly managed to escape with a knife wound to the neck. Hospital staff alerted police, who then went to the home to find the remains hidden in a freezer.

According to The Sun, police arrested three suspects, including the builder working on the house for the owners who live next door. They are reportedly questioning two men, 33 and 38, and a 29-year-old woman.

Comment: Two men have been charged in connection with the murder:
Immediately following the murder, the Metropolitan police detained three suspects - two men and a woman - in connection with the killing. While the 29-year-old female has been released, police charged both male suspects.

The 33-year-old man was "charged with the murder, rape and kidnap of a 19-year-old woman," police said. "He is further charged with the rape, attempted murder and kidnap of a second victim, a woman aged in her 20s."

The second suspect in the case was "charged with the kidnap of both the 19-year-old woman and the woman aged in her 20s."

Both men, who have not been named, are scheduled to appear at the Wimbledon Magistrates Court Monday.

Earlier, media reports indicated that the perpetrators were believed to be the uncle of the 19-year-old and the step-father of the other victim. Neighbors also told local news outlets that the crime could have been an honor killing.

That has not yet been officially confirmed.

Police earlier noted that both kidnapped females knew their kidnappers who subjected them to the violent attack.

Police have also dismissed reports that the teenage victim had been "chopped up," saying the woman was discovered "intact," the Daily Mail reported.

A formal identification of the body has not yet taken place, but the post-mortem examination Friday confirmed an incised wound to the neck as the cause of death.

Police have identified the deceased and have informed her next of kin. They have yet to release her name.