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Tue, 03 Aug 2021
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Lady Gaga, Madonna facing punishment in Russia for proselytizing 'gay rights'

Pop stars Lady Gaga and Madonna are facing punishment in Russia after authorities determined they violated their visas when they held concerts there last year.

Technically, the artists were not allowed to work in Russia on their tourist visas, but experts say it appears the visa warning is a veiled attempt punish the pop stars for their vocal support of gay rights in Russia.

The investigation into their visas came at the urging of a lawmaker who has spearheaded Russia's anti-gay campaign.

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© Steve Sands/Getty Images | Gennadi Avramenko/Epsilon/Getty Images

People

The French forget so fast: Nicolas Sarkozy the most influential political figure in France, poll finds

Nicolas Sarkozy comeback ambitions received a major boost as he was declared the most popular influential political figure in France by a key poll.

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© REX FEATURES
Nicolas Sarkozy at the Festival de Ramatuelle, Saint-Tropez, France
The Right-wing former president came 20th in Sunday newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche's bi-annual Top 50 poll, some 24 places ahead of François Hollande, the Socialist who roundly beat him last year but now faces record low popularity ratings.

The two men were the only politicians present in the list, dominated by music, film, TV and sports celebrities.

The poll came a day after Mr Sarkozy reportedly received a rock star's welcome when he turned up to a pop concert in St-Tropez with his wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, during which half the audience gave him a standing ovation.

The 58-year-old's ranking is the highest he has ever achieved, including in a poll taken in the "honeymoon period" shortly after his election for a five-year term in 2007.

It will further fire up his supporters, who are increasingly vocal in calling for his return to spare France five more years of Socialist rule in 2017.

Dollars

Tawana Brawley begins paying damages to New York prosecutor she accused of rape in 1987

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© AP
OUTRAGE: Tawana Brawley attends an Atlanta rally with Al Sharpton in 1988, three months before a jury would rule that her rape tale was a hoax. She had been lying low until The Post last December found her living in Virginia.
Twenty-five years after accusing an innocent man of rape, Tawana Brawley is finally paying for her lies.

Last week, 10 checks totaling $3,764.61 were delivered to ex-prosecutor Steven Pagones - the first payments Brawley has made since a court determined in 1998 that she defamed him with her vicious hoax.

A Virginia court this year ordered the money garnished from six months of Brawley's wages as a nurse there.

She still owes Pagones $431,000 in damages. And she remains defiantly unapologetic.

"It's a long time coming," said Pagones, 52, who to this day is more interested in extracting a confession from Brawley than cash.

"Every week, she'll think of me," he told The Post. "And every week, she can think about how she has a way out - she can simply tell the truth."

Brawley's advisers in the infamous race-baiting case - the Rev. Al Sharpton, and attorneys C. Vernon Mason and Alton Maddox - have already paid, or are paying, their defamation debt. But Brawley, 41, had eluded punishment.

Comment: 'I'm not a liar' - Tawana Brawley stands by her account of kidnap, rape by 6 white men in 1987


Cell Phone

No Escape: The public-private surveillance partnership and why we the people have lost

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© Martin Cole
Imagine the government passed a law requiring all citizens to carry a tracking device. Such a law would immediately be found unconstitutional. Yet we all carry mobile phones.


Comment: Genius, wasn't it?

The alert ones were looking out for microchips under the skin... while mobile phones took over the world!


If the National Security Agency required us to notify it whenever we made a new friend, the nation would rebel. Yet we notify Facebook Inc. (FB) If the Federal Bureau of Investigation demanded copies of all our conversations and correspondence, it would be laughed at. Yet we provide copies of our e-mail to Google Inc. (GOOG), Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) or whoever our mail host is; we provide copies of our text messages to Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ), AT&T Inc. (T) and Sprint Corp. (S); and we provide copies of other conversations to Twitter Inc., Facebook, LinkedIn (LNKD) Corp. or whatever other site is hosting them.

The primary business model of the Internet is built on mass surveillance, and our government's intelligence-gathering agencies have become addicted to that data. Understanding how we got here is critical to understanding how we undo the damage.

Laptop

For Twitter, free speech is a high-wire act

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As micro-blogging site expands globally, it gets flak from many sides

Twitter Inc.'s growing ambitions are making it harder to carry the Internet's free-speech banner.

Chief Executive Dick Costolo promotes Twitter as a protector of more than 200 million people who broadcast their lives, be it love for a new pop song or Tahrir Square protests. But increasingly, freewheeling tweets are clashing with divergent global laws and standards in markets where Twitter is spreading its wings.

"You have to abide by the rule of law in the countries in which you operate," the 49-year-old Mr. Costolo said in an interview at Twitter's San Francisco headquarters. Defending free expression "gets more challenging for us as a company as we become an ever-growing global company, and have a presence and offices and people on the ground around the world."

In recent weeks, Twitter has found itself labeled a censor, an enabler of hate speech and a tool of Big Brother. It drew flak in July for turning over to French prosecutors information about users who tweeted anti-Semitic messages. U.K. lawmakers in the last week have blasted Twitter for failing to deal effectively with abusive tweets, after an activist was threatened repeatedly by other Twitter users.

Pistol

Over 500 people have been tased to death in U.S. in past decade

In the US - there's also strong concern over how far and with how much immunity, police can push their sweeping powers. A recent human rights group report blamed law enforcement officers for tasering 500 people to death over the last decade. And Tim Cavanaugh, managing director of Reason dot COM, says for Americans, the first reaction to police is fear, rather than trust.

Sheriff

Retired police officer in Orlando, Florida caught on video murdering his own son, found not guilty!

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© George Skene, Orlando Sentinel
In a trial set to begin today, Orlando prosecutors will be pitted against a retired police officer and his family, who say he accidentally fired his gun after his 22-year-old son jumped him during an argument, shooting him twice in the torso and killing him.

Retired cop Timothy Davis' wife and daughter side with him, saying an accidental shooting left Timothy Davis Jr. dead Oct. 1, 2011. But prosecutors say there is evidence suggesting otherwise, with surveillance video of Davis' allegedly retrieving a gun from his car and then aiming it at his son.

"I believe, I believe, I believe my son was shot. In front of my house," Tarsha Davis is heard saying on the 911 call.

As jury selection began Monday, Davis Sr. could be seen in court reading through a bible.

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Comment: The jury apparently fell for the Bible trick, mistaking a man who murdered his own son for a 'Jesus-loving Christian':




Handcuffs

Elderly woman slammed hard by police at Columbus, Ohio Walmart

I shot this video at Walmart in Columbus Ohio, and I think excessive force was used. You be the judge.....just to clear things up; she was left in the car, they were in the process of moving and had all the silverware and kitchen stuff in the car, she cut herself out of the seatbelt because she didn't know how to unbuckle it. She had NO INTENTION OF HURTING ANYONE!


Handcuffs

Cops out of control in America: Pastor beaten tased by Border Patrol DPS


Handcuffs

Cops out of control in America: Cop arrests news crew covering accident!