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Thu, 22 Jun 2017
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Former Navy SEAL and CIA agent arrested on drugs charges

© Pixabay
James Dennis Smith, a former CIA special agent and US Navy SEAL, was arrested Saturday in connection with a national drug smuggling investigation.

Smith, 49, was arrested in Charlotte, North Carolina, the same day authorities also picked up Bryon and Carl Rye, two brothers based in South Carolina, as part of the investigation.

A criminal complaint states that all three men were charged with distributing at least 1,540 pounds of marijuana since 2014, a crime that could land them in prison for five to 40 years.

A storage unit belonging to Carl Rye, 41, contained marijuana that was seized, and though the pot was legally grown in California for medical purposes, the criminal complaint said it was marked as being "unlawful to distribute."


Financier found dead after gay bondage hookup gone wrong

© Gabriella Bass
Police outside 1 Main St. in Brooklyn, where a naked man was found dead inside his apartment on Tuesday.
A Brooklyn financier was found naked and dead in his tony Dumbo pad — after a gay bondage hookup went awry, police sources said Tuesday.

Neil Rodney Smith, 57, CEO of the investment firm Infraccess, was discovered lying on his back in bed with a wet towel stuffed in his mouth and a pillow over his face inside the apartment at 1 Main St. around 1:45 p.m. Monday, police sources said.

"He went online and hooked up with some guy and, whatever they were doing, he died", a police source said.

Not long before his death, "A roommate heard a guy in there with him. He heard them having sex," the source added.

Sounds from the room stopped, and a roommate later found Smith dead, the police source said.

Blue Planet

Report on the best and worst countries to spend your childhood -- the US is not even in the top 20

© Anton_Ivanov / Shutterstock.com
ACCRA, GHANA: Unidentified Ghanaian girl and her little brother. Children in Ghana suffer due to the county's unstable economic situation.
Norway is the best place in the world to be a kid and Niger is the worst, according to a new report by the international children's rights organization Save the Children.

For 700 million or more kids around the world, childhood ends too soon. This is the premise that prompted a new report called the End of Childhood Index, which ranks 172 countries based on whether or not childhood has ended early for the children living there. Inadvertently, the report maps out the best and worst places to be a kid in today's world.

Save the Children created the 44-page report using eight primary indicators:
  • Malnutrition that stunts growth
  • Under-5 mortality
  • Out-of-school children
  • Child labor
  • Early marriage
  • Adolescent births
  • Displacement by conflict
  • Child homicide


After 25 years, couple exonerated on child sex abuse charges

© Jana Birchum
Fran and Dan Keller sign their exoneration paperwork in Austin, Texas, on June 20, 2017.
Twenty-five years after they were convicted of a crime that never happened, Fran and Dan Keller were formally exonerated on June 20 in Austin, Texas.

The couple's prosecution in 1992 was part of a wave of cases across the country amid an episode of mass hysteria known as the Satanic Panic. Beginning in the 1980s, accusations flew that the childcare industry had been infiltrated by bands of Satanists hell-bent on brainwashing and sexually abusing young children. The Kellers' exoneration closes a decadeslong chapter of profound injustice for a couple that paid an exceptionally high price for the credulousness of local law enforcement.
"I still can't believe it's happening," Fran, now 67, said on Tuesday morning while driving with her husband to sign the legal paperwork. She's still wary; they've been waiting for this day for so long she isn't yet sure it is real. "I guess I'm just tired of having to hang on for so long."

Dan, 75, is slightly more upbeat — he always thought this day would come. He recalled a sleepless night in prison in 1995 when he said he heard God. "He said, 'You're going home, but I have some things to sort through first.'" Dan said he slept soundly that night. "We have to try to not have doubt in our life."

Heart - Black

Day care center sued by parents for duct taping 4yo daughter

© Thomas Eisenhuth / Global Look Press
The girl allegedly refused to settle down during nap time and was bound with duct tape at a day care center in St. Louis, Missouri, according to a lawsuit filed by the girl's parents.

Details of incident in March were first revealed when Laura Day was bathing her four-year-old daughter, who seemed to be talking a lot about duct tape, a word previously not in her vocabulary.

When her mother pressed her on it, the little girl said that "Mr. Josh" at day care told her, "I have some shiny red duct tape with your name on it."

The lawsuit claims Day repeatedly pushed her daughter, who revealed that she had been running around when she was supposed to be napping, and the day care teacher, Josh Reeves, bound her legs together with duct tape.

Snakes in Suits

Unrequired: Corbyn didn't bow to the Queen, a tradition at opening of Parliament

© RT
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn broke with tradition by failing to bow to the Queen as he entered the House of Lords for the monarch's speech on Wednesday. Instead, he gave an unseen observer a cheeky wink.

Corbyn entered the Lord's Chamber with Prime Minister Theresa May ahead of the Queen's Speech, but was seen standing upright as those around him bowed to the monarch. It is not clear whether Corbyn was deliberately avoiding the gesture.

Corbyn's aides have denied he failed to show respect for the Queen by not bowing, saying the protocol was that the Speaker and officials bowed on behalf of MPs. Other politicians including senior Tories Boris Johnson and Damian Green could be seen arriving behind Corbyn, and also appeared not bow their heads. Footage of past State Openings also show former PM David Cameron making his way into the chamber without bowing.

Comment: 'Queen's Speech,' part of the parliamentary procedure in Britain and the dominions of the Commonwealth, is the speech at the opening of each session of Parliament in which the Government outlines its legislative program. It is read by the sovereign or his or her representative. Also called King's Speech accordingly.


French "intellectuals" have ruined Western civilization: Postmodernism and its impact

Michael Foucalt
Postmodernism presents a threat not only to liberal democracy but to modernity itself. That may sound like a bold or even hyperbolic claim, but the reality is that the cluster of ideas and values at the root of postmodernism have broken the bounds of academia and gained great cultural power in western society. The irrational and identitarian "symptoms" of postmodernism are easily recognizable and much criticized, but the ethos underlying them is not well understood. This is partly because postmodernists rarely explain themselves clearly and partly because of the inherent contradictions and inconsistencies of a way of thought which denies a stable reality or reliable knowledge to exist. However, there are consistent ideas at the root of postmodernism and understanding them is essential if we intend to counter them. They underlie the problems we see today in Social Justice Activism, undermine the credibility of the Left and threaten to return us to an irrational and tribal "pre-modern" culture.

Postmodernism, most simply, is an artistic and philosophical movement which began in France in the 1960s and produced bewildering art and even more bewildering "theory." It drew on avant-garde and surrealist art and earlier philosophical ideas, particularly those of Nietzsche and Heidegger, for its anti-realism and rejection of the concept of the unified and coherent individual. It reacted against the liberal humanism of the modernist artistic and intellectual movements, which its proponents saw as naïvely universalizing a western, middle-class and male experience.


Michigan airport evacuated after police officer stabbed

The Bishop International Airport (FNT) in Flint, Michigan has been evacuated after a police officer was stabbed in the neck, local media report. The suspect is in custody, while the airport is closed until further notice.

All passengers are safe and have been evacuated, the airport said in a statement, urging flyers to check with their airlines for potential cancellations or delays.

The incident happened on the second floor of the main terminal, around 9:45 am local time on Wednesday, according to WNEM-TV.

People 2

Survey finds Americans among the most stressed in the world

© Global Look Press
A decade-long study shows a disturbing trend of anxiety levels among US citizens. Deep concerns of war and natural disasters continue to distress people across the country, the newly published survey has found.

In the survey conducted by the global information technology company, Unisys, the US jumped to 8 out of 13 countries surveyed. Americans are now on par with Colombia in terms of their perceptions of security, according to the Miami Herald.

The last time the US was included in the survey was in 2014.The score for the US spiked 37 percentage points in the wrong direction in just two years. The Unisys survey was completed in April with 13,000 people canvassed in 13 countries, according to the Herald.

The US sits behind New Zealand, Australia, Belgium, Germany and The Netherlands.


Paris attacker swore allegiance to ISIS, had gun permit - was also on terror watch list

© Charles Platiau / Reuters
Members of the scientific police inspect a burned car on the Champs-Elysees Avenue in Paris, France, June 19, 2017.
The man who rammed a car into police officers in Paris had a gun permit, despite being on a terrorist watch list. He is said to have been raised in a Salafist family and had sworn allegiance to Islamic State. Four of his relatives have been detained.

The perpetrator, who died in the attack on the Champs-Elysees on Monday, has been identified as 31-year-old Adam Djaziri from the Paris suburb of Argenteuil. An assault rifle, two handguns, ammunition, as well as two gas canisters were found in his car after the attack.

Djaziri was in possession of at least nine registered weapons, including pistols and an assault rifle, an unnamed source close to the probe told AFP.

The man pledged allegiance to Islamic State (IS, ISIS or ISIL) in a letter to his brother-in-law, according to a source close to the probe as cited by Reuters. Djaziri has been described by media as a person raised in a Salafist family. Four of his relatives were detained by police following the attack - his father, ex-wife, brother, and sister-in-law.

Comment: See also: Paris counter-terrorism unit launch investigation into Champs-Elysees incident - Update: car contained 'number of firearms and explosives'