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Thu, 08 Dec 2022
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Toronto Artist Arrested Based Only on Facebook Photo

© Ashton's blog
Canada - A Toronto artist was arrested, charged with assault and forced to pay $3,000 in legal bills because someone pointed to her photo on Facebook and told police she was the person who assaulted her.

Because of privacy settings, the photo couldn't have been bigger than a thumbnail.

It all started for Lizz Ashton, who tells the Toronto Star she has never been in a fight before, in January when she received an email from Toronto police asking her about an incident at the Piston bar on Bloor St. The incident reportedly took place in November.

Ashton called police who told her a woman was assaulted at the bar and identified her as the assailant after seeing a picture on Facebook. Ashton then went to the police station and showed the police text messages proving she wasn't at the bar when it occurred and said she was with her boyfriend later in the evening.

Eye 1

Connections? Adviser to Britain's police chiefs jailed after downloading child porn including guide on 'how to abuse infants'


Nicolas White
An adviser to Britain's police chiefs downloaded more than 100,000 images of child porn - including a guide on how to abuse infants.

Among Nicholas White's sickening collection were images of youngsters being forced into sex acts with animals.

The 28-year-old was jailed for six months after he admitted 18 counts of making indecent images of children, two counts of possession of indecent images of children and two counts of possessing extreme pornography.

White, a communications officer who worked for the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo), was based with Cambridgeshire Police until his arrest last year.

He was found with level five images of abuse - the most severe category - and a guide to abusing children on his computer.


'Get away from me you damned priest!': Shocking documentary captures Vatican-approved exorcist working on 'possessed' woman

A young woman screams uncontrollably as a priest recites a passage from the bible in a final attempt to exorcise the devil which has possessed her for 15 years.

It sounds like something from a horror movie, but this sinister scene is from a new real life documentary that highlights the extraordinary work of one of Europe's only Vatican-approved 'exorcists'.

Produced by Norwegian filmmaker Fredrik Horn Akselsen, the film entitled The Exorcist in the 21st Century follows Father José Antonio Fortea on his one man crusade to rid the world of demons

Comment: For the real deal on 'exorcisms' read Malachai Martin's Hostage to the Devil and Laura Knight Jadczyk's High Strangeness


Mass Killer Charles Manson to Face New Parole Hearing

Charles Mason
© Agence France-Presse
Serial killer Charles Mason, now 77, is to face a new parole hearing. He is serving life for the killings of nine people, including actress Sharon Tate in 1969.

He may be old, grey and dishevelled, but the swastika tattoo on his forehead still tells a chilling story.

A new photograph has emerged of guru-psychopath Charles Manson, who has been in prison for more than 40 years for his role in a series of gruesome murders and is due for a new parole hearing.

The photo - dated June 2011 and released by California penitentiary authorities - shows Manson, 77, with grey hair and a full beard, and with the swastika tattoo emblazoned on his forehead.

The photo was released with Manson due for a regular parole hearing next Wednesday.

"The last time he had a parole hearing, it was in May of 2007, and he received a five-year denial," said Terry Thornton of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

"This is just his next regularly scheduled parole hearing. It's automatic."

One of the nation's most notorious inmates, Manson is incarcerated at Corcoran state prison, 300 kilometres northwest of Los Angeles. In 2007, he was denied parole for the 11th time.


Suicide of Greek Pensioner Triggers Protests

A Greek retiree has shot himself dead in Athens' main square, blasting politicians over the country's financial crisis in a suicide note that triggered violent clashes hours later between police and anti-austerity protesters.

Riot police fired tear gas and flash grenades after protests attended by some 1,500 people turned violent on Wednesday, and youths hurled rocks and petrol bombs outside Parliament. Authorities reported no injuries or arrests.

The 77-year-old retired pharmacist drew a handgun and shot himself in the head near a subway exit on central Syntagma Square which was crowded with commuters, police said. The square, opposite Parliament, has become the focal point of frequent public protests against Greece's two-year austerity campaign.

The incident, during morning rush hour, jolted public opinion and quickly entered political debate, with the prime minister and the heads of both parties backing Greece's governing coalition expressing sorrow.

"A pharmacist ought to be able to live comfortably on his pension," said Vassilis Papadopoulos, a spokesman for the "I won't pay" group. "So for him to reach the point of suicide out of economic hardship means a lot. It shows how the social fabric is unraveling."


Americans Brace for Next Foreclosure Wave

© Reuters/Joe Skipper
A member of the protest group Occupy Fort Lauderdale Foreclosure Mobilization, who identified himself as "Peace", sits in front of a home owned by 84-year-old Adeline Pierre in North Miami Beach, Florida, March 28, 2012. The Occupy group hopes to stop a pending eviction order on Pierre, who has lived with her family for 20 years in the home.
US: Garfield Heights, Ohio - Half a decade into the deepest U.S. housing crisis since the 1930s, many Americans are hoping the crisis is finally nearing its end. House sales are picking up across most of the country, the plunge in prices is slowing and attempts by lenders to claim back properties from struggling borrowers dropped by more than a third in 2011, hitting a four-year low.

But a painful part two of the slump looks set to unfold: Many more U.S. homeowners face the prospect of losing their homes this year as banks pick up the pace of foreclosures.

"We are right back where we were two years ago. I would put money on 2012 being a bigger year for foreclosures than 2010," said Mark Seifert, executive director of Empowering & Strengthening Ohio's People (ESOP), a counseling group with 10 offices in Ohio.

"Last year was an anomaly, and not in a good way," he said.

In 2011, the "robo-signing" scandal, in which foreclosure documents were signed without properly reviewing individual cases, prompted banks to hold back on new foreclosures pending a settlement.

Five major banks eventually struck that settlement with 49 U.S. states in February. Signs are growing the pace of foreclosures is picking up again, something housing experts predict will again weigh on home prices before any sustained recovery can occur.


Judge orders psych exam for JetBlue captain

Clayton Osbon
© The Associated Press
Police yesterday escort JetBlue captain Clayton Osbon (right) from an Amarillo, Texas, hospital to court, where he faced charges of interfering with a flight crew over his midair meltdown.
A federal judge on Wednesday ordered a psychiatric exam for the JetBlue Airways captain accused of interfering with a flight crew when he disrupted a Las Vegas-bound flight after he left the cockpit and screamed about religion and terrorists

The order U.S. District Judge Mary Lou Robinson in Amarillo signed will send Clayton Osbon to a medical facility for federal prisoners for tests to determine if he was legally sane when passengers wrestled him to the floor after witnesses said he ran through the cabin yelling about Jesus and al-Qaida.

The exam also will determine if he's competent to stand trial.

The prosecution's motion filed Wednesday comes the day Osbon's attorney asked another judge to reschedule a Thursday detention hearing. That judge set the hearing for Monday.

The motion seeking the psychiatric states that events enumerated in an FBI affidavit "establish a likelihood that Osbon may be suffering from a mental disease or defect."


Prison time for New Orleans ex-cops in post-Katrina killings

© Reuters/Sean Gardner
U.S. Attorney Jim Letten (C) speaks to the media after the sentencing of former New Orleans police officers who were convicted in deadly shootings New Orleans April 4, 2012.
Four former New Orleans policemen convicted of shooting unarmed people following Hurricane Katrina were sentenced to lengthy prison terms on Wednesday in what the U.S. government described as the most important police misconduct case since the Rodney King beating nearly two decades ago.

The four former officers - Kenneth Bowen, Robert Faulcon, Robert Gisevius and Anthony Villavaso - were sentenced by a federal judge to between 38 and 65 years in prison. A fifth former officer - Arthur "Archie" Kaufman - who did not participate in the killings but engineered a four-year cover-up of the crimes was sentenced to six years.

The New Orleans police case was the "most significant police misconduct prosecution since Rodney King," U.S. Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division Thomas Perez said, referring to the beating of a black motorist by Los Angeles police officers in 1991 that was caught on videotape.

In both the Los Angeles and New Orleans cases, the federal government stepped in to prosecute the police officers for misconduct after local efforts failed.

The five former New Orleans officers sentenced on Wednesday were among a dozen officers who responded to a radio call that police were being shot at near the Danziger Bridge in eastern New Orleans just days after Hurricane Katrina.


Owning Pigs a Felony in Michigan? Big Ag-Inspired Law Targets Small Farms

© Shutterstock/ PRILL Mediendesign und Fotografie
Owning certain kinds of pigs -- namely the ones not raised on industrial hog farms -- could land you in jail for 4 years.

The mangalitsa pig is different than other pigs. For one thing, it's covered in thick wool, like a sheep. It's got upright ears, and a flat tail. The farmers at Michigan's Baker's Green Acres are fond of the pig. The thick fur protects them from harsh Michigan winters, and their status as a 'lard' pig means that customers prize their marbled meat. They grunt, they eat, and they care for their young just like any other domesticated swine. In short, they're just regular pigs -- that happen to have black fur.

To Michigan's Department of Natural Resources (DNR), the black-furred pigs are a threat that must be eliminated. A law passed in 2010, set to go into effect on April 1, 2012, outlaws the mangalitsa, and many other pigs that don't fall within their guidelines:
"Possession of the following live species, including a hybrid or genetic variant of the species, and/or offspring of the species or of a hybrid or genetically engineered variant, is prohibited:

(b) Wild boar, wild hog, wild swine, feral pig, feral hog, feral swine, Old world swine, razorback, eurasian wild boar, Russian wild boar (Sus scrofa Linnaeus). This subsection does not and is not intended to affect sus domestica involved in domestic hog production."


Athens' Syntagma Suicide Victim

State media has reported that Dimitris Christoulas, the man who took his own life using a pistol on Syntagma Square, in central Athens, on Wednesday morning, left a suicide note.
Suicide Victim
© Reuters
People gather at the spot where Dimitris Christoulas, 77, took his own life on Wednesday morning.
"The Tsolakoglou government has annihilated all traces for my survival, which was based on a very dignified pension that I alone paid for 35 years with no help from the state. And since my advanced age does not allow me a way of dynamically reacting (although if a fellow Greek were to grab a Kalashnikov, I would be right behind him), I see no other solution than this dignified end to my life, so I don't find myself fishing through garbage cans for my sustenance. I believe that young people with no future, will one day take up arms and hang the traitors of this country at Syntagma square, just like the Italians did to Mussolini in 1945"
the note said.

Georgios Tsolakoglou was the first collaborationist prime minister during Germany's occupation of Greece during the Second World War.

The reference has been widely interpreted as a comparison between the wartime collaborationist government and the current government of Lucas Papademos.

The suicide occured shortly before 9am, as people went about their business on the square. Christoulas, 77, shot himself while standing next to a tree on one of the grassy areas on the square. He died from a single shot to the head, reports say.

He was a retired pharmacist, with a wife and a daughter. He sold his pharmacy in 1994.