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Thu, 19 Jan 2017
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Jewish Community Centers in cities across the U.S. receive bomb threats

© NBC News
The scene at a reported bomb threat at a Jewish Community Center in Connecticut.
Bomb threats have been reported at 16 Jewish centers in nine US states. Several Jewish Community Centers (JCC) have been evacuated after receiving near-simultaneous bomb threats, according to local reports.

Around 200 preschool children were in the middle of a swimming program at Mandell JCC in West Hartford, Connecticut when the threat was made on Wednesday morning, leading to an evacuation.
Police allowed people back into the building after conducting a search and determining the threat was not credible.

A similar threat was made at the JCC of Greater New Haven made by a woman caller, who said a bomb was in the building, a senior staff member told WNBC.

Nashville's JCC was also evacuated and later given the all clear, according the Tennessean.

Threats have also been reported at Jewish centers in Florida, including in Palm Beach and Miami. The Alper JCC in Miami was evacuated due to an unsubstantiated bomb threat on January 9, along with eight other centers in six states the same day.


Anti-corruption campaigners slam Britain for 'failure to tackle tax havens'

© Inconnu
Anti-corruption campaigners have accused the British government of falling short on its longstanding commitment to fight corruption, voicing concerns over the government's "rejection of the need to stop the UK tax havens selling secrecy."

Responding to recommendations by the International Development Committee (IDC) in its October 2016 report 'Tackling corruption overseas', officials once again asserted on Monday the UK is a "leader in the fight against corruption and promoting transparency."

The government has rejected the IDC's allegation it had "failed to persuade the UK's Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies to create central public registers of beneficial ownership" designed to end tax secrecy.

Heart - Black

3 victims of bullying from same school found dead in less than a year

© GoFundMe
Arin Lyth, 13, has become the third victim of bullying to die from the same school in less than a year
A teenager has become the third victim of bullying from the same school to be found dead in less than a year.

Arin Lyth, 13, was found dead last week after moving from Northfield School in Billingham, Teeside, where he had been the victim of bullying.

Comment: Three children have been found dead in less than one year and it sounds like bullies are getting off without punishment. It's difficult to take the inspectors' word that 'students feel safe in school' and that 'bullies are dealt with swiftly' seriously. Something very wrong is taking place in this school.


Palestinian genocide continues: Israeli forces kill first child in 2017; others killed at checkpoint, home raid

Qusay al-Amour, buried on Tuesday, is the first Palestinian child to be killed by Israeli forces so far this year.
Israeli forces were shown on video opening heavy gunfire on a Palestinian man at a checkpoint in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday.

The footage shows a man standing next to a concrete barrier, several feet away from any Israeli soldiers.

The man stands in place for several seconds, and remains standing as a group of soldiers shout at him to stop and sit on the ground and a first shot is fired. He then walks towards the soldiers who are firing near his feet before he eventually collapses, apparently shot in the upper body, as he comes closer to the soldiers at a faster pace.

The Israeli army claimed that the man, identified by Palestinian sources as Nidal Daoud Mahdawi, 44, attempted to stab soldiers. Mahdawi reportedly held Israeli residency and was a married father of five.

No Israelis were injured during the incident.

Youth dragged before declared dead

The fatal shooting of Mahdawi came one day after Israeli forces were shown on video dragging an injured Palestinian teenager who would later be declared dead.

War Whore

Militarized Police at Standing Rock just deployed a missile launcher, seriously...

© Jon Ziegler/Facebook
Over the last several months, the world has watched the American police state in action as cops from more than a dozen states beat, gassed, pepper sprayed, tasered, shot, and severely injured water protectors and protesters in North Dakota. Using their militarized gear, police have blinded at least one person and blown up the arm of another. With all the heavily armed police and military in the area, one would think that having a missile launcher would be entirely unnecessary — however, one would be wrong.

Jon Zeigler has been live streaming from DAPL since last year. On Monday, he found something quite disturbing — the Avenger AN/TWQ-1 Air Defense System.

Bad Guys

Bison slaughter begins at Yellowstone National Park

© whitewolfpack.com
At least 100 Yellowstone National Park bison have been trapped in corrals near the town of Gardiner since Saturday as the National Park Service begins its grim winter work of shipping some of the wild animals to slaughter.

One large cohort of bison annually migrates north from the park in winter in search of forage as deep snow covers the interior. Another band migrates along the Madison River on the west side of the park exiting near West Yellowstone.

"We've been seeing them migrate through the month of December," said Morgan Warthin, park spokeswoman. "We had anticipated this given the predictions of wintry weather. On the plateau there's been a lot of snow and cold."

Animals trapped by the Park Service are shipped to slaughter facilities for processing with the meat distributed to designated tribes.

Hunt zone

When the animals cross the park boundary into Montana near either entrance they become fair game for licensed state hunters as well as tribal members with treaty hunting rights. So far this winter, tribal hunters have reported taking 80 bison, 36 from the west side and 44 from the north, while state hunters have harvested 19 bison, only six of which came from the north side, according to the Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks.

Dollar Gold

Rolls-Royce apologizes for bribery scandal and pays a record $830 million

© Jumana El-Heloueh / Reuters
The iconic "Spirit of Ecstasy" emblem is pictured on a Rolls-Royce "Phantom" car.
British engineering company Rolls-Royce has agreed to pay a record £671 million ($830 million) to British, US and Brazilian authorities to settle bribery and corruption allegations.

The company said it "apologized unreservedly for the conduct which has been uncovered."

The three countries launched the investigation five years ago, as they suspected Rolls-Royce of hiring intermediaries to pay bribes to win better contracts internationally.

According to Britain's Serious Fraud Office (SFO), this is the "largest individual investigation conducted by the SFO to date."

The SFO concluded that in Indonesia, senior Rolls-Royce employees agreed to pay $2.25 million and give a Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit car to an intermediary in exchange for a "favor to Rolls-Royce on a contract" for Trent aero engines. Separately, the British firm bribed a rival bidder to submit an uncompetitive bid to keep the contract.

Snakes in Suits

Sao Paulo: Protesters hurl Molotovs at police, burn barricades and vehicles

© Ruptly
Street clashes, smoke and fire.
Clashes erupted in the Brazilian city of Sao Paulo, after police moved to evict around 700 squatter families in the east of the city, with Images from the scene showing molotov cocktails thrown at police.

A week ago, the commune - home to some 700 families numbering over 3,000 people - received a notice from the authorities informing them that they were on private property and would have to leave. On Tuesday morning, military police arrived to enforce the court order.

Residents of the squatter camp in the Sao Mateus neighborhood tried to negotiate with authorities at approximately 7.00 am local time, asking officers to delay the eviction until the judge responsible for the suit, Jurandir de Abreu Júnior, could analyze a request by the Public Prosecutor's Office regarding the case and the suspension of the eviction order.

The police refused and moved in at approximately 8.20 am, where they were met with burning barricades and hundreds of activists. In response, the police used tear gas and pepper spray on the protesters.

"After the officers attempted to negotiate with the families, to no avail, the settlers resisted by harassing the police, hurling stones, bricks and firecrackers and setting three barricades on fire," read a statement from the police as quoted by O Globo. "A military police officer was lightly wounded by a homemade bomb and two vehicles of the Shock Troop were damaged. The MPs [military police] acted to ensure compliance with the court order."

The police also arrested Guilherme Boulos, the leader of the Homeless Workers' Movement (MTST) who participated in the protest, along with another activist José Ferreira Lima. The pair was charged for civil disobedience and incitement of violence. In a statement posted to the MTST's official Facebook page, the group described Boulos' arrest as absurd.

Comment: There is something to be said for finding a humanitarian solution to a problem before it creates another. There is a bigger statement made in arresting the person who is trying to do so.


Protester tries to set himself on fire outside Trump hotel in Washington, DC

© Joshua Roberts / Reuters
Plywood covers protest graffiti at an entrance to the Trump International Hotel in Washington, DC, October 2, 2016.
A California man tried to set himself on fire outside Donald Trump's luxury hotel in Washington, DC, without success. He later told reporters he was protesting Trump being elected president, and was taken to a hospital with minor burns.

The man, who was not identified by name, tried to start a fire at the intersection of 12th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW around 9:30pm local time on Tuesday. One of the witnesses, a construction worker, said he saw the man surrounded by flames and "uttering the name of President-elect Trump in what appeared to be an angry manner," according to the Washington Post.

As DC firefighters put out the blaze, the man - who did not appear severely injured - spoke with reporters and told them he tried to set himself on fire because Trump was a "dictator" who is "completely incapable respecting the constitution of the United States."


Three Florida utility workers die, one after the other, after entering manhole

When a utility worker in Key Largo, Fla., noticed that a section of a paved street was not settling properly, he decided to remove a manhole cover and descend into the earth.

Moments later on Monday morning, the 15-foot-deep hole went silent. Sensing the man was trapped, a fellow utility worker climbed into the drainage hole to rescue him. When he, too, stopped responding, a third worker entered the same hole.

All three men died, overcome by poisonous fumes underground, the Monroe County Sheriff's Office said in a statement. A Key Largo firefighter who made a desperate attempt to save the men also became unconscious within seconds. The firefighter, Leonardo Moreno, an eight-year veteran of the department, was flown to a hospital and was in critical condition Tuesday.