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Thu, 21 Nov 2019
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Handcuffs

Moscow policeman 'assaulted' by protestor says man does not deserve punishment

Nikita Chirtsov
© TASS
Nikita Chirtsov in a Moscow court on November 12.
A Moscow police officer who authorities say was assaulted by an activist has said the suspect "does not deserve imprisonment."

Investigators say Nikita Chirtsov pushed Yuriy Mikhalyonok during an unsanctioned protest on July 27, inflicting physical pain on the officer.

A Moscow court on November 12 ruled that Chirtsov must remain in pretrial detention until April 30, despite Mikhalyonok saying during the hearing that he "did not feel any pain during the attack" and that he is "ready to make peace" with Chirtsov.

Prosecutors have asked the court to sentence Chirtsov to 3 years and 2 months in prison.

Mikhalyonok told RFE/RL after the hearing on November 12 that Chirtsov's "action against me was not that heavy."

"I think the punishment for this action should not be imprisonment. He [Chirtsov] does not deserve a prison term," Mikhalyonok said.

Comment: Moscow police went a bit overboard in their response to the Moscow protests. Luckily, public outcry resulted in overturning some of the more obviously manufactured charges: Needless to say, the foreign interventionists didn't get the "big show" they were hoping to in Moscow, despite their fervent wishes.


Dominoes

The inevitable finale of the Nord Stream 2 saga

oil refinery
© nord-stream2.com
Nord Stream 2 may have become one of the most geopolitically charged energy projects in history, but its completion was inevitable since before construction even begun.

Europe is quickly becoming one of the most important export destinations for gas exporters. Production is decreasing quickly due to political and technical developments. The next few decades are promising for exporters. Nord Stream 2 is arguably one of the most contentious projects currently under development. Denmark recently granted the last necessary permit to start construction activities in its EEZ and analysts now agree that the project's completion is only a matter of time. In reality, the pipeline's future was decided long before construction even started due to external factors such as Poland's decision to diversify away from Russian gas and Western Europe's determination to turn away from nuclear and fossil fuel production.

NPC

The next generation of journalists wants to comfort the comfortable & afflict the afflicted

news stand
© Reuters / Carlo Allegri
A renowned journalism school's paper recently apologized for 'traumatizing' students by posting photos of their participation in a public protest. Is protecting people from the consequences of their actions now the media's duty?

The purpose of journalism is "comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable," according to a quote frequently attributed to newspaper baron William Randolph Hearst. At Northwestern University - home to a renowned journalism school - the profession's task seems to be comforting the comfortable, while belittling the afflicted.

University paper The Daily Northwestern printed a fulsome apology for "contributing to the harm students experienced" as they protested an appearance by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions at a campus College Republicans event. The nature of that harm? Reporters assigned to cover the event photographed the protesters and posted the photos on social media - a breathtakingly normal act of journalism that they realized only afterwards was "retraumatizing and invasive," according to the apology.

Dig

Russian metals plant to start bitcoin mining

bitcoin
© Igor Kralj / PA Images / TASS
A Russian aluminum plant closed as a result of U.S. sanctions is set to be transformed into a bitcoin mining hub.

The Nadvoitsy Aluminum Plant in Russia's northern Karelia region, owned by Russian metals giant Rusal, stopped production last summer after it lost access to American customers following the introduction of U.S. sanctions against Rusal in April 2018.

Part of the old production site is now being leased to the Russian Mining Company (RMC), which plans to ramp up bitcoin mining across Russia, Russian business site RBC reported.

"Now the plant is unprofitable for Rusal, the electricity supplied to it is barely utilized, and people living in the single-industry town near the plant have nowhere to work," said Dmitry Marinichev, Russia's internet ombudsman and RMC founder.

Red Flag

Bad precedent: Supreme Court clears way for Newtown shooting victim families to sue AR-15 gun-maker

Sandy Hook memorial
© Robert F. Bukaty/AP, FILE
A makeshift memorial with crosses for the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre
The case will now proceed to trial in Connecticut for the families of the victims of the shooting, which took place in December 2012 at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. Twenty children and six adults were killed at the school.

The justices did not offer an explanation for their decision to deny the request to take up the case.

"The families are grateful that the Supreme Court upheld precedent and denied Remington's latest attempt to avoid accountability," the attorney representing the families, Josh Koskoff, said in a statement. "We are ready to resume discovery and proceed toward trial in order to shed light on Remington's profit-driven strategy to expand the AR-15 market and court high-risk users at the expense of Americans' safety."

The lawsuit was first filed over four years ago and has overcome a series of hurdles to go to trial.

Arrow Down

New study reveals that US poverty has plunged

abandoned trailer
© Getty Images
The government says that America's poverty rate is 11.8 percent. It also says that the poverty rate has hovered around 11 to 15 percent since 1970 suggesting little or no progress against poverty in decades.

But the Census Bureau's official poverty rate is biased upwards and kind of meaningless. In terms of material well-being, families near the bottom are much better off today than in past decades because of general economic growth and larger government hand-outs.

In a Cato study, John Early recalculated the U.S. poverty rate using more complete data and found that it fell from 19.5 percent in 1963 to just 2.2 percent in 2017. (The study's charts are updated here.) Early is a former Assistant Commissioner of the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Comment: It's hard to reconcile the competing lines on poverty in the US. Just last year, the UN Poverty in the US Report was released stating that poverty in the US is the worst its ever been, and only sinking. It was criticized, however, for being politically motivated and really just an attempt to smear Trump.

See also: Meanwhile, in the UK:


Brick Wall

UN Envoy's grim warning over Assange's life

julian assange video conference
© Wikimedia
A United Nations expert in torture diagnosis has in the past week issued a stark warning that Australian whistleblower Julian Assange is in danger of dying from extreme prison conditions in Britain.

It is testimony to the rank hypocrisy of British and American governments who lecture others around the world about democracy, human rights and international law.

One can only imagine the hysterical outcry among Western governments and media if somehow Assange was being detained in a Russian prison.

Comment: See also:


Hammer

Canada's identity crisis: Wokeness clashes with WWI remembrance in Don Cherry scandal

don cherry
© Reuters / Chris Wattie
Canadian hockey commentator Don Cherry speaks to journalists on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on November 7, 2006.
Calling out immigrants who do not wear a poppy in memory of WWI veterans got legendary Canadian sportscaster Don Cherry fired and further polarized the nation struggling to reconcile "woke" values with its history and tradition.

Red poppy badges are a must-have accessory around Remembrance Day - November 11 - across the British Commonwealth, symbolizing the armistice that ended the First World War. When Cherry - the octogenarian sports commentator and former hockey coach - called out immigrants who refused to wear the badge, however, he was fired from Sportsnet and accused of being xenophobic and racist.

During an episode of his Coach's Corner show on Saturday, Cherry lamented that "nobody wears the poppy" in downtown Toronto, unlike in smaller towns across Canada.

Comment: In reality, there was nothing bigoted or racist in what Cherry said. And despite the fact that his co-host, Ron McLean, nodded in agreement at the time, he has since apologized and toe'd the line. Good on Cherry for sticking to his guns.


Nuke

Nuclear plant leak is coming from pipe at South Carolina power station, safety regulators not worried

south carolina nuclear plant
© Tim Dominick tdominick@thestate.com
SCE&G’s V.C. Summer nuclear plant in Fairfield County, S.C.
A leak at the V.C Summer atomic power plant north of Columbia is occurring on the welding of a six-inch pipe that is losing one-fifth of a gallon of water every minute, according to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

That isn't much of a leak and it poses "little to no safety significance'' as employees work to make repairs, NRC spokesman Joey Ledford said in an email Tuesday. Ledford said the leaking pipe is among hundreds in the nuclear reactor's containment area.

Atomic safety watchdog Tom Clements questioned last weekend why Dominion had not notified the public of the leak, saying atomic safety should not be taken lightly.

Comment: See also:


Attention

NBC, ABC And CBS appear to have run cover for world's most powerful rape rings

Epstein Weinstein
© Left: New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services/Handout via REUTERS Right: REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
NBC, ABC and CBS News have all now appeared to run cover for some of the world's most powerful rape rings, allegedly killing stories and firing employees who tried to expose the outlets.

As three of America's biggest networks, these outlets have each become embroiled in controversy in 2019 following multiple separate reports that they have played a part in covering up some of the world's most powerful rape and pedophile rings.

The allegations range from killing entire stories outing disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, shutting down an interview detailing accusations against alleged child sex-trafficker Jeffrey Epstein and firing an employee who might have tried to hold an outlet responsible.

Comment: Given this damning evidence, it's a wonder that anyone trusts the mainstream media with ANYTHING.

See also: