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Wed, 03 Mar 2021
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Moment police raid illegal rave inside London barbers

blurry rave photo
© Metropolitan Police
Although blurry, the footage shows a number of people present.
More than 20 people are facing fines after police shut down an illegal party at a south London barber shop.

Neighbours reported the large gathering and loud music at the premises on London Road in west Croydon shortly before midnight on February 19.

Body-worn camera footage shows officers walking through an empty section of the shop before opening a door to a separate room where a group of people had crammed inside.

In total, 22 people were referred for fixed penalty notices and the event organiser has also been reported for a £10,000 fine.


Who would have thought the Beastie Boys 80s' anthem "Fight For Your Right To Party" would become so relevant thirty five years later? And who would have thought it would take an unjust lockdown to revive the illegal rave scene?

See also:


Masks have no place in the classroom

students with masks
'You can't teach with face coverings; you can't expect people to learn with face coverings.' Back in August, Boris Johnson was clear: getting children to wear face masks in the classroom was 'clearly nonsensical'. He was absolutely right. Interaction is an essential part of teaching and learning and it is impossible to engage fully in classroom activity if half of your face is covered.

But now, as the government's roadmap out of lockdown has revealed, secondary-school pupils will be expected to mask up in the classroom when they return to school next month. A shrug of the shoulders, a flick of the pen, one more item added to the ever-expanding list of Boris's u-turns. What happened to the belief that this was 'clearly nonsensical'? It seems we don't even deserve an explanation.

Since September, many secondary-school pupils have had to wear masks in corridors and communal areas, as well as on public transport getting to and from school - when they have been permitted to attend, that is. This latest requirement for them to wear masks in the classroom means that children as young as 11 will spend the majority of their waking hours donning a face mask.

Comment: See also:


FBI seized congressional cellphone records related to Capitol attack

tear gas
© Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images
Gas is deployed as rioting Trump supporters breach the Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 6, 2021.
Within hours of the storming of the Capitol on January 6, the FBI began securing thousands of phone and electronic records connected to people at the scene of the rioting — including some related to members of Congress, raising potentially thorny legal questions.

Using special emergency powers and other measures, the FBI has collected reams of private cellphone data and communications that go beyond the videos that rioters shared widely on social media, according to two sources with knowledge of the collection effort.

In the hours and days after the Capitol riot, the FBI relied in some cases on emergency orders that do not require court authorization in order to quickly secure actual communications from people who were identified at the crime scene. Investigators have also relied on data "dumps" from cellphone towers in the area to provide a map of who was there, allowing them to trace call records — but not content — from the phones.

The cellphone data includes many records from the members of Congress and staff members who were at the Capitol that day to certify President Joe Biden's election victory. The FBI is "searching cell towers and phones pinging off cell sites in the area to determine visitors to the Capitol," a recently retired senior FBI official told The Intercept. The data is also being used to map links between suspects, which include members of Congress, they also said. (Capitol Police are reportedly investigating whether lawmakers helped rioters gain access to the Capitol as several Democrats have alleged they did, though Republican officials deny this.)

Comment: See also:


#FireFauci trends as he tells vaccinated people to remain under lockdown, blames Trump's 'denial' for massive death count

© REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo
Calls for White House adviser Anthony Fauci to be fired have intensified as he continues pushing lockdown restrictions and criticizing former President Donald Trump over Covid-19 deaths.

After cautioning vaccinated individuals from resuming normal activities like dining out or attending large group events, Fauci tried clarifying his stance in a Tuesday interview with CNN, saying more relaxed guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) will be coming "soon."

The agency, Fauci said, needs to "sit down, talk about it, look at the data and then come out with a recommendation based on the science."

"Common sense tells you that, in fact, you don't have to be as stringent in your public health measures," he added, but "we want to get firm recommendations from the CDC."

The CDC did update its guidance earlier this month to say those who have received both doses of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine do not need to quarantine if they have been exposed to someone who is Covid-positive.

Comment: Many more individuals have become wise to how Fauci's defense of vaccines, masks, lockdowns, etc. - increasingly make no sense whatsoever - and what's worse - have a detrimental effect on the psychological and physical well-being of the vast majority of society.


'Blacklist' site asks people to report everyone who voted for Trump to 'unmask' them

Trump rally
© REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst/File Photo
Conservatives are up in arms over a website that is asking people to report any acquaintance who voted for Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election.

"This is insane. The Founders are rolling over in their graves," RealClearPolitics cofounder Tim Bevan tweeted on Tuesday, including a link to the site in a subsequent tweet.


The US loves to accuse other nations of being unable to cope in a crisis, but the chaos in Texas shows it can't look after its own

houston storm
© Reuters
The US has finger-wagged at other countries for decades, alleging they can't care for their people. But when disaster strikes at home, America is not prepared, with the winter storm in the Lone Star State just the latest example.

The storm that ravaged Texas and moved northeast last week revealed, once again, major failures in America's infrastructure, causing unnecessary suffering, and even death, in affected areas. Power outages worsened during the week, depriving over 4 million people of electricity.

Pipes froze and burst, water treatment plants shut down and household taps stopped flowing. Even some hospitals were without water for days while people lost heat and stood in long lines searching for food. The big chill contributed to a deadly toll of over 70 fatalities across several states among people who perished from carbon monoxide poisoning, in house fires, during road accidents, and by freezing to death.

Blue Planet

Kiribati and China to develop farm land in Fiji, land had been predicted to 'disappear under a rising ocean'

© Christopher Pala/The Guardian
The seaward half of the Natoavatu Estate in Fiji is used mostly to raise cattle and collect coconuts for copra. The land was purchased by Kiribati in 2014, ostensibly as a refuge for its citizens displaced by climate change, but will now be converted into a farm to help feed the nation.
A block of land the government of Kiribati bought in Fiji half a decade ago - ostensibly to serve as a refuge when their country disappeared under a rising ocean - will be transformed into a commercial farm to help feed the i-Kiribati people, with "technical assistance" from China.

Comment: Clearly the prediction that it would have been swallowed by a rising ocean has not come to pass nor do the government foresee that it will do so at anytime in the near future: Pacific atoll regrows new islands despite sea level rise

The president of Kiribati, Taneti Maamau, announced last week that China would help fulfil his administration's plan to resume farming on a 22 km sq parcel of land in Fiji, sparking widespread speculation the land would be gifted or sold to China. Maamau has ruled out any military application - "any land or sea base" - for the land.


In landmark case German court sentences ex-Syrian intel agent over involvement in 2011 protests crackdown

germany syrian torture
A 44-year-old former Syrian official was sentenced to jail time by a German court for crimes committed in his home country. German justice claimed jurisdiction based on universal application of law against serious crimes.

The sentence passed in the city of Koblenz marks the first time the principle of universal jurisdiction was used in Germany against a person who represented Damascus in the protracted Syrian conflict. The defendant, Eyad al-Gharib, was found guilty of being an accessory to crimes against humanity for helping the government to crack down against mass protests in 2011.

As an agent of Syria's General Intelligence Directorate, he rounded up anti-government activists in the Douma neighborhood of the Syrian capital and brought them to a clandestine detention center to be interrogated, tortured and sometimes killed, German prosecutors said. His superior at the time, identified as Anwar Raslan, is currently standing trial in Germany in a related case, with a verdict expected to arrive in October.

Comment: See also: Australia's SAS murdering Afghan civilians undeniable thanks to video footage and whistleblower exposing war crimes


German court convicts 'IS recruiter' Abu Walaa

Abu Walaa
A court in the northern German city of Celle has convicted a radical Islamist preacher and three co-defendants for recruiting and radicalizing young people in Germany for the "Islamic State" terrorist group.

He has been sentenced to 10 and a half years in prison.

Prosecutors sought a sentence of 11.5 years for Abu Walaa, who is believed to be the "Islamic State" jihadist group's de facto leader in Germany.

The defense, however, demanded an acquittal, with Walaa himself declining to make a closing statement last week.

What did the court say?

The court pronounced Walaa guilty of supporting and being a member of the terrorist organization.

The judges said the Islamist preacher and his network radicalized young people — mainly in the country's Ruhr region and the state of Lower Saxony — and sent them to the IS combat zones.


Georgia's GOP-led Senate passes bill requiring ID for absentee voting

Georgia voting
© smartboy10/Getty Images/KJN
The Georgia state Senate on Tuesday passed legislation that would require voters to submit a driver's license number, state identification card number or a photocopy of an approved form of identification in order to vote absentee in the state.

Senate Bill 67 passed the upper chamber in 35-18 vote on Tuesday and now heads to the state House for consideration, The Associated Press reports.

The bill has already been met with opposition from Democrats and voting rights groups who say the legislation would make it difficult for voters who don't have a driver's license or state identification card to vote absentee. According to the AP, absentee ballots are currently tallied using signature verification.

State Sen. Larry Walker, one of the Republicans sponsoring the bill, said the bill would not affect about 97 percent of voters, according to the AP. The remaining percentage of voters, Walker said, could vote in person.

Comment: Perhaps those 230,777 persons who remain unregistered should validate their status to vote and participate in a standard voter process. Closing the loopholes and coming to a common understanding should be on both parties' agendas. Instead, this is one of many states hamstrung by party politics.