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Tue, 25 Oct 2016
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Con artist charged with grand larceny as a hate crime for targeting elderly Chinese immigrants in 'blessing scam'

© Eduardo Munoz / Reuters
An accused scam artist has been charged with grand larceny as a hate crime after reportedly stealing $160,000 worth of cash and jewelry from elderly female Chinese immigrants.

Xuekun Su, 44, was arraigned in Brooklyn on Thursday on four counts of grand larceny as a hate crime. The relatively unheard-of offense was levied against Su after she and her cohorts targeted victims due to their ethnicity, age and religious beliefs, according to prosecutors. Su is also facing grand larceny as a standalone charge.

Su is accused of approaching a 61-year-old Chinese woman and posing as a clairvoyant in order to convince the woman that she or her family members were in mortal danger due to a curse that only she could lift, the New York Daily News reported. She is also accused of stealing from another family.

Arrow Down

Cop who murdered Sylville Smith now charged with two counts of sexual assault

© Aaron P. Bernstein / Reuters
The police officer at the center of massive protests in Milwaukee, Wisconsin over the shooting of a young African American man has been arrested on unrelated sexual assault charges. The officer is also accused of asking superiors to help him cover it up.

Officer Dominique Heaggan-Brown, 24, made headlines in August after shooting and killing Sylville Smith, 23, when Smith ran from a traffic stop. The two men knew each other from high school, Smith's sister told WITI. But on Thursday it was announced that Heaggan-Brown was charged with sexually assaulting a man in August along with other sexually-based crimes.


Alleged chemical incident leads to evacuation at London City Airport

© icicle_music/Instagram
Travellers were evacuated onto the tarmac.
Twenty-six people were treated for breathing difficulties with two individuals taken to hospital following an alleged chemical incident at London City Airport.

The site was evacuated after a fire alarm went off in the terminal building. Passengers and airport staff were left on the tarmac as three fire engines responded to the alarm.

"Three fire engines and a range of specialist appliances have been called to reports of a chemical incident at London City Airport this afternoon," London Ambulance said in a statement.

Ambulance crews and the Hazardous Area Response Team attended to the incident.

The airport terminal remains closed with officials investigating the cause. Passengers have been advised to check with their airline for the latest information.


Rolling Stone's 'fake rape' story defamation trial gets ugly

The $7.5 million lawsuit against Rolling Stone over its discredited story about a brutal gang rape at a US college frat house opened this week and proceedings have been nothing short of explosive.

The suit has been brought by University of Virginia's Associate Dean of Students, Nicole Eramo, who says the magazine's November 19, 2014 cover story, "A Rape on Campus," damaged her career and her health.

The article by reporter Sabrina Rubin Erdely, who is named as a co-defendant, described in alarming detail the sexual assault of a student called "Jackie" by seven men at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house in September 2012.

Ms. Eramo claims Ms. Erdely cast her as the "chief villain" who sought to protect the school by discouraging Jackie from reporting her alleged assault to police.

A subsequent police investigation found no evidence to back up Jackie's claims and scrutiny by other media organizations, in particular The Washington Post, uncovered serious inconsistencies and gaping holes in her narrative.


'My son isn't breathing!' When seconds mattered, police officer saves 3yo's life

© Granbury Media / YouTube
The fast reaction of a North Texas police officer to save the life of a three-year-old boy who had stopped breathing has been captured on audio and in a harrowing dashcam video.

Granbury Police Officer Chase Miller was in his patrol car on the evening of October 12 when he heard a dispatcher call for paramedics to help a child who had stopped breathing at a Kentucky Fried Chicken where the boy's mother was working.

"We are at the KFC, and my son is not breathing," Braydon Geis' father tells the dispatcher in an audio recording from the incident that was later posted on YouTube by the city of Granbury.

"He's not breathing at all?" said the dispatcher.

"He's not responding," said Geis' father, a woman is heard weeping in the background, and calling out the boy's name, "Braydon, Braydon."

Cloud Grey

Atchison, Kansas: Residents evacuate as chemical spill cloud covers parts of the city

© twitter
Chemical cloud in Atchison, Kansas forces evacuations.
Emergency services alerted residents of Atchison, Kansas there has been a chemical spill. Parts of the town are covered in a cloud of gas and residents report chlorine-like smell. 18 people were treated for respiratory discomfort but no injuries. Thousands were evacuated from a high school, elementary school and a college. "If you are not in Atchison, please stay out of town," Atchison County Emergency Management said on Facebook.

Headquartered in Atchison, MGP describes itself as a company where distilled alcohol products and food ingredients are produced. Authorities have not released details about what kind of chemical leaked.

Residents of Atchison who live north of the plant are being told to stay inside with their doors and windows shut, according to the Kansas City Star. Reporters on the scene reported a thick fog and chlorine-like smell in the area. Live footage from KMBC shows a fire truck hosing down a large silo at the plant.

According to the Atchison City Manager's Office, two chemicals were inadvertently mixed together which caused a reaction. No word yet on what two chemicals were mixed together. "We don't know what chemicals were mixed. All injuires are minor," said Trey Cocking, Atchison City Manager.

Comment: The statement all injuries are minor may be presumptuous.

© Kansas City Star
Projected path of toxic chemical cloud.

Comment: Students in the toxic area were evacuated to Wal-Mart.


Former NSA contractor to face espionage charges over 50TB of 'stolen data'

© Jason Reed / Reuters
The US Department of Justice may charge a former NSA contractor with espionage after discovering top secret documents and enough highly sensitive data to fill 10,000 DVDs at his home in Maryland.

Retired US Navy officer Harold Thomas Martin III, 51, has been dubbed 'the second Snowden' by the press. He worked for Booz Allen Hamilton, the same firm that employed the famous whistleblower who revealed global surveillance programs run by the US.

Martin was arrested late August, but his case was only made public earlier this month. He allegedly hoarded at least 50,000 gigabytes (or 50 terabytes) of classified information from the National Security Agency (NSA), reportedly including the US government's hacking tools. For reference, one gigabyte is enough to store some 10,000 pages of documents containing both images and text, so Martin allegedly stole enough data to fill 10,000 DVDs.


Mass DDoS attack cripples world's biggest websites

© Tom Leyden / Twitter
A widespread cyber-attack was carried out against some of the world's biggest websites on Friday, with users unable to access Twitter, SoundCloud, Spotify and many others for over two hours.

Major DNS host Dyn says access to websites was restored following a DDoS attack early Friday, stating that "services have been restored to normal as of 13:20 UTC," following hours of outages online.

According to Hacker News, a "Massive Dyn DNS outrage" caused Twitter, Etsy, Github, SoundCloud and Spotify to go down.

No-one has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Comment: It may well be blamed on Rusia in 3...2...1...

Other sites reportedly affected included Airbnb, Reddit and Vox Media. Users said they had a variety of issues, depending on their location, Tech Crunch reports.

Eye 2

Exorcist priest and soldier arrested for sex abuse carried out under guise of 'spiritual healing' and exorcism in Italy

© Shuttershock
A Sicilian priest and a soldier have been arrested for sexual abuse, which they carried out under the guise of spiritual 'healing', local media reported on Friday.

The pair, both based in Palermo, used the pretext of liberating victims from demonic possession in order to abuse women and children. The two were named by media as Salvatore Anello, 59, who belonged to the Capuchin order, and Salvatore Muratore, 52, who worked for the Italian army in Palermo.

The men reportedly convinced victims that they were possessed by evil spirits, before carrying out a 'healing prayer' in their homes which involved "repeatedly touching their genitals", Palermo Today reported.

Anello was arrested at dawn on Friday morning and is being held in police custody, following a six-month long investigation into Muratore, who was a member of a local prayer group, and claimed to be able to perform exorcism.

Muratore is thought to have abused at least four women and one girl, while the priest is charged with abusing two women and three minors.

According to La Stampa, prosecutor Giorgia Righi said Muratore "took advantage of victims in a state of psychological fragility", and justified his groping by saying he was freeing the 'demon of lust'.

The army said Muratore would be suspended immediately and that it would co-operate fully with investigations.

Mr. Potato

Al Smith dinner edition features Clinton, Trump - and a lot of jokes, but the real jokes are on the American people

© Mike Blake / Reuters
Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton
The Al Smith charity dinner benefits both Catholic charities as well as voters, who finally saw some levity by the presidential candidates. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both spoke, reciting their writers' best jokes about themselves and each other.

Every election year, the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel gives the presidential candidates a chance to present softer versions of their campaigns as they are encouraged to make light-hearted jabs and self-deprecating jokes.

The white-tie event raised over $6 million for Roman Catholic charities and hosted New York City's elite, such as Mayor Bill de Blasio, former Mayors Michael Bloomberg and Rudy Giuliani, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, along with members of the clergy.

Alfred E. Smith IV, the chairman of the dinner, acted as the master of ceremonies and set the tone for the evening.

"Before the dinner started, Trump went to Hillary and asked how you are. She said, 'I'm fine ‒ now get out of the ladies' dressing room,'" Smith said.

Comment: The world is burning and these idiots are telling jokes?!