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Leaked Memo Exposes Toxic US 'Burn Pit' in Afghanistan Another 'Agent Orange scenario'?

January 2012. An Army memo from 2011 found the burn pit is associated with
© U.S. Army
A bulldozer dumps a load of trash into a burn pit just 300 yards from the runway at Bagram Airfield, January 2012. An Army memo from 2011 found the burn pit is associated with "long-term" health effects on soldiers at Bagram.
A recently leaked 2011 Army memo obtained by Danger Room reveals startling negligence by US officials regarding 'burn pits', or toxic waste sites at US bases in Afghanistan.

The leaked memo outlines the "long-term adverse health conditions" for troops breathing in toxic air from military trash burning sites. The adverse health affects have previously been hidden from public knowledge; however, the leaked memo states that high concentrations of dust and burned waste from such burn pits can cause "reduced lung function or exacerbated chronic bronchitis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), asthma, atherosclerosis, or other cardiopulmonary diseases."

The memo specifically references Bagram airfield's apparently infamous 'burn pit' known by its expansiveness and pungent smell -- a "smoldering barbecue of trash, from busted furniture to human waste, usually manned by Afghan employees who cover their noses and mouths with medical breathing masks," according to Spencer Ackerman at the Danger Room.

Alarm Clock

Campaign calls for open investigations into deaths of mental health patients

Mental health campaigner Janey Antoniou, photographed in 1999. Antoniou died in 2010 at a hospital in north London.
© Graham Turner/Guardian
Mental health campaigner Janey Antoniou, photographed in 1999. Antoniou died in 2010 at a hospital in north London.
Anger as hospital's internal inquiry into death of leading schizophrenia campaigner Janey Antoniou not made public

Campaigners are fighting for investigations into the deaths of mental health hospital patients - of which there are on average one a day in England and Wales - to be independent and open to scrutiny.

The move follows an inquest into the death of Janey Antoniou, a leading mental health campaigner who had influenced many organisations including Mind, the Royal College of Psychiatry and Rethink Mental Illness.

Janey, 53, was diagnosed with schizophrenia at the age of 30. She campaigned tirelessly, acting as an advocate for those using mental health services and becoming a trainer with services such as the police. She died in 2010 in her room at Northwick Park hospital in Harrow, London.

Pistol

Gunman in Indiana Office Standoff Identified

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© The Associated Press/The Times of Northwest Indiana/Jon L. Hendricks
Police enter the Prudential Executive Group Real Estate office Friday, May 25, 2012, in Valpariso, Ind., where a gunman was holding an unknown number of hostages before shooting himself twice in the head.
Valparaiso, Indiana - A Texas man who took hostages in a northwestern Indiana realty office and held police at bay for several hours suffered three gunshot wounds before dying, likely from two different weapons, a coroner said Saturday.

Roy L. Ferguson, 48, of Fulshear, Texas, died at 6:30 p.m. Friday, Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris said. That was two hours after the end of the nearly seven-hour standoff at Prudential Executive Group Real Estate office in Valparaiso, about 40 miles southeast of Chicago.

"The likelihood of all three gunshot wounds coming from the same weapon is not good," Harris said. He said that wouldn't be confirmed until an autopsy is performed. It had not yet been scheduled because of Memorial Day weekend.

Valparaiso Police spokesman Sgt. Michael Grennes said Saturday that Ferguson had only one firearm - a handgun. Grennes also said the SWAT officers who rushed inside the office after hearing gunshots at 4:30 p.m. did not fire on Ferguson, but officers exchanged gunfire with Ferguson when the standoff started.

Asked Saturday if police had shot Ferguson, Grennes said, "It's under investigation."

The Times of Munster posted a video report on its website showing police officers crawling through a window of a Valparaiso house owned and rented out by Ferguson to execute a search warrant. The newspaper said Ferguson moved to Texas about four years ago after his wife died.

Airplane

Plane Crash at Southern Utah Airport Kills 4

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© The Associated Press/Samantha Clemens/The Spectrum
Emergency officials respond to a fatal plane crash near the St. George Municipal Airport on Saturday, May 26, 2012, in St. George, Utah.
St. George, Utah - A small plane that crashed early Saturday at a municipal airport in southern Utah killed all four people on board, authorities said.

The downed single-engine Cessna 172 was found at about 6 a.m. some 400 feet from the runway, said Marc Mortensen, assistant to the St. George city manager. It's uncertain whether the crash occurred shortly after takeoff or upon landing, he said.

The plane crashed under "unknown circumstances," Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said.

Although the area saw windy conditions on Friday and later Saturday, there was no severe weather at the airport during the early morning hours on Saturday, National Weather Service meteorologist Monica Traphagan told The Spectrum of St. George.

Pistol

Naked Man Shot, Killed by Miami Police after Allegedly Chewing Another Man's Face

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© Local10.com
Scene at a bike path off the MacArthur Causeway near Biscayne Boulevard in downtown Miami where a naked man was reportedly spotted eating another man's face about 2 p.m. Saturday afternoon.
The police news release said the identities of the two men were not known

A Miami police officer on Saturday fatally shot a naked man who was chewing on the face of another man on a downtown causeway off-ramp, police and witnesses said.

The Miami Herald reports that gunshots were heard at about 2 p.m. on the MacArthur Causeway off-ramp, which is near the newspaper's offices. Witnesses said that a woman saw two men fighting and flagged down a police officer, who came upon a naked man mauling the other man. The newspaper quoted witnesses as saying that the officer ordered the naked man to back away, and when he ignored the demand, the officer shot him. Witnesses said that the naked man continued his attack after being shot once, and the officer shot him several more times.

Police said the other man was transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital Ryder Trauma Center. The newspaper said he had suffered critical injuries.

Padlock

Texas Honor Student Thrown in Jail for Missing School

11th-grader working two jobs to support family says she's too exhausted to make it to class


A 17-year-old high school student working two jobs to support her siblings, while juggling college-level classes, spent 24 hours in jail this week for missing too much school, KHOU 11 News reported.

Diane Tran, an 11th-grader at Willis High School in Willis, Texas said she was often too exhausted to get to school in time.

Judge Lanny Moriarty said he warned the student last month not to miss any more classes or she would be violating truancy law, KHOU 11 News reported. When she missed school again, he had her thrown in jail.

"If you let one run loose, what are you gonna do with the rest of 'em? Let them go too?" Judge Moriarty asked the TV station.

Yoda

Act of Conscience: Why I Threw Back My 'Global War on Terror' Medal

"I was a Nuclear Biological Chemical Weapons Specialist for a war that didn't have any Weapons of Mass Destruction! So I deserted. I'm one of the 40,000 people that left the United States Armed Forces because this is a lie!"


Those were the words I screamed into a microphone before thousands of people as I threw my Global War On Terror Service medal back to NATO. I had to throw it because no one from NATO came out to get it, and the police wouldn't allow us up to the barricade. Their fear of us -- US war veterans who challenge ten years of US war-making and publicly advocate for peace -- is symbolic of their fear to confront real problems.

I threw my medal back, though, in fact, I never deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan.

How was I even awarded this medal? Any service member who served in active duty after 9/11 was awarded this medal for NATO's Global War on Terror. Why? If you didn't know it, terrorists are everywhere, anywhere, and can strike at any time. Even in Omaha, Nebraska, where I waited to be deployed. Terrorists could have been there and so I was awarded this medal.

Heart - Black

Racism of Jewish Mob: Thoughts on an attack by a Jewish mob

Two days ago, my girlfriend and I were attacked by a mob of proud Jews in south Tel Aviv. Still trying to understand why.

I went to a demonstration led by MK Michael Ben-Ari two days ago (Tuesday), and was joined by my girlfriend, Galina. Ben-Ari, a Kahanist, was inciting the crowd against the African refugees in a distinctly anti-Semitic manner, peppering his talk with incessant references to excrement and urine. At some point, Galina couldn't take it any longer, and shouted something back.

Within minutes we were surrounded by an angry mob of about 20 people, composed mostly of women, who hurled curses at her. Someone pulled out a tear gas canister and waved it at her face.

jewishmob_attack1
© Unknown
Racist and sexual slurs filled the air repeatedly. Time and time again, people expressed the wish she would be raped by Sudanese, and asked her if she was bedding them. A boy, between 10 and 11 years old, screamed at her point blank that what she needs is a "nigger's cock." David Sheen videotaped much of it.

For my part, I was busy trying to pull her out of there, and pushing away the hands in her way - there were plenty of them. There was also spitting. At a certain stage, when Ben-Ari and his travelling circus went on their way, a cop wended his way to Galina, and whispered to her that the police were pulling away, and she should, too.

We tried to get out of the market. The mob was screaming with glee that she was being arrested. More spitting and curses. A woman aimed a kick at Galina's head from behind her, I blocked the kick with a snarl. She was smiling. On the way to the train station we were attacked, physically, by a hoodlum, and as I was trying to get in between him and Galina after he hit me in the back, I decided that if he attacks me again, I'd take the metal part of the camera and smash it into his jaw, and take my chances with the police later.

People

Prejudice and Homosexuality: Half of Russians Believe Media Makes People Gay

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© wikipedia.org
Half of Russians Believe Media Makes People Gay – Poll
Almost half of Russians believe homosexuality is a human behavior acquired under the influence of the media, according to a poll taken by state-run pollster VTsIOM earlier this month.

"Forty-seven percent of the respondents said media and propaganda were the key factors contributing to development of a person's non-traditional sexual orientation," the pollster said in a press release issued Thursday.

Among other vital factors that impact the development of homosexuality, respondents named the influence of friends and parents (35 and 33 percent, respectively). Only 16 percent said that negative experience of past relationships with people of the opposite sex brings about homosexuality.

Stop

Organ Trafficking: Israeli Police Arrest 10 'Body Snatchers'

Israeli police have detained 10 members of an international crime ring suspected of organ trafficking and illegal transplant surgeries, an Israeli law enforcement source told RIA Novosti.

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© AFP/ Armend Nimani
The Medicus clinic owner Lutfi Dervishi, and six others are currently on trial in Pristina on charges of organ trafficking
"The data that we have received indicates that an organ trafficking network that involved Israeli citizens has been operating here [in Israel], the source said on Friday.

"The suspects sought out donors who experienced financial difficulties and convinced them to sell their organs without warning of possible consequences and side effects, and without proper post-surgery treatment," he added.