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Tue, 21 Jan 2020
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L. Lin Wood, libel attorney for Nicholas Sandmann and Richard Jewell, gives out a warning to the media

Attorney L. Lin Wood
© Apu Gomes / Getty Images
Attorney L. Lin Wood speaks to the media about his client British rescue diver Vernon Unsworth as they arrive at U.S. District Court on Dec. 3, 2019, in Los Angeles.
The other day, as my friend and Tribune colleague Kristen McQueary and I were filling in as hosts on the national broadcast of The Dan Proft Show, we took a call.

The caller's name is L. Lin Wood. He's a famous libel lawyer from Atlanta who's been called "The Lawyer for the Damned."

Wood had read my weekend column about two innocent Americans wrongly shamed by the media mob — Nicholas Sandmann and the late Richard Jewell — and wanted to talk.

Wood represented Jewell. And now he's one of the lawyers for Sandmann.


Authorities brace for massive gun rights rally in Richmond, Virginia

Law enforcement officials will be on high alert Monday as activists from around the country are expected to descend on Richmond, Virginia, to rally against the state's progressive gun control proposals.

Gun rights groups such as the Virginia Citizens Defense League and Gun Owners of America are planning a protest on the state's Lobby Day. Lawmakers in Virginia have proposed a ban on assault rifles and a "red flag" law, which would give officials the power to confiscate weapons from an individual who poses a threat, among other gun control measures.

Law enforcement officials and Gov. Ralph Northam warned that this planned show of force has put Virginians in danger. On Sunday, people sported signifiers for gun rights on the bumper stickers and clothing as they quietly filled into downtown Richmond ahead of the rally.

There were no overt signs of white supremacists or counter-protesters. On Monday, police will not be separating counter-protesters within the fenced area in Capitol Square, officers told ABC News.

Star of David

Leshem: A designer villa with a panoramic view of the Zionist occupation

illegal settlement west bank deir ballut
© Alex Levac
The fence between Deir Ballut and Leshem.
Today, when one goes through the front door of Idris Abdullah's house, one is confronted by an iron fence, its closely fitted bars topped with snarls of barbed wire, part of the fence that surrounds the nearby settlement of Leshem, in the central West Bank. Until a few years ago, what greeted one instead on departing the house was an olive grove. On the hilltop beyond the fence, a new neighborhood of villa-style homes is under construction, being built by workers from Hebron. A truck from the Shomrat Hazorea furniture company is already unloading merchandise in the yard of one of the new dwellings, and next door some trendy garden furniture has already been set up.

When the Palestinian construction workers finish building these designer homes, the iron gate in the fence will be shut, and farmer Aamar Abdullah, who is one of the owners of this land, who is accompanying us as we drive around, will no longer have access to the remnants of his olive grove. Meanwhile, sewage from plastic pipes that emerge from under the Leshem villas is seeping into the grove and forming a puddle there.


At least 75 inmates flee from Paraguay prison; many from Brazil gang

Paraguay prison
At least 75 inmates, many of them members of a notorious Brazilian gang, escaped from a Paraguayan prison in a border town on Sunday, according to authorities who said they immediately fired the prison's director.

Officials said they discovered a tunnel and found cells filled with as many as 200 bags of earth.

"It's not possible that nobody saw anything in all this time," Justice Minister Cecilia Pérez told the Telefuturo station. "This isn't the work of one day or one night."

Interior Minister Euclides Acevedo said in a statement that the tunnel itself may have been a ruse to cover complicity by prison officials and that many of the inmates may have been allowed to walk out of the prison's main gate.


Not to become the world's garbage dump: Malaysia sends back thousands of tons of trash

Garbage dump
© Reuters / Lai Seng Sin
Plastic waste piled outside an illegal recycling factory in Jenjarom, Kuala Langat, Malaysia, 2018.
Malaysia has returned 150 shipping containers loaded with plastic waste, with the country's environment minister saying it won't become the "garbage dump of the world."

Environment Minister Yeo Bee Yin announced the return of the containers, which had been imported illegally, on Monday. The containers held more than 3,700 tons of plastic waste, and originated from 13 countries. Forty-three came from France, 42 from the UK, 17 from the US, and 11 from Canada.

The cost of returning the containers was paid by the exporting countries and shipping lines, Yeo said, declaring "we don't want to pay a single cent."

"People dump the rubbish into your country, we are not supposed to pay them to send it back," she added.

Comment: See also: Japan is awash in plastic trash thanks to China's waste import ban


Iran: Ukrainian Airlines PS752 black boxes will be sent to Kiev - UPDATE

Comment: Of all the places to send that data...

No chance they'll ever get to revise their position on the downing of that plane now. Sending it to Ukraine is like sending it directly to the Mossad, CIA and MI6.

Debris field of PS752
Debris field of PS752
Iran has confirmed it will send the black-box flight recorders recovered from a Ukrainian passenger jet that was shot down over Tehran on January 8 to Kyiv.

Hassan Rezaifer, head of the accident investigations unit of Iran's civil aviation authority, told the Tasnim news agency on January 18 that it had not been possible to read the black boxes in Iran. He said French, American, and Canadian experts will work with the equipment after it arrives in Kyiv.

"If this effort is unsuccessful, then the black box will be sent to France," Rezaifer said.

On January 15, Oleksandr Ruvin of the Kyiv Research Institute of Forensic Studies said the international team would begin studying the black boxes on January 20.


UPDATE 19/01/2020: Iran is examining the downed Boeing's black boxes, but has made no decision yet on sending them anywhere
The head of the Iranian investigation team denied earlier reports that the black boxes from the downed Ukrainian airliner would be sent to Kiev. Tehran tried to extract the data on its own, he said.

"We are trying to read the black boxes here in Iran. Otherwise, our options are Ukraine and France, but no decision has been taken so far to send them to another country," Hassan Rezaeifar, who leads the investigation into the incident along with the nation's Civil Aviation Organization, told local news agency IRNA on Sunday.

He added that Iran so far has "no plans" to send the flight recorders to Kiev.

Rezaeifar had earlier been quoted by Iranian media as saying that the black boxes would be sent to Ukraine, where experts from the US, Canada and France would work at extracting the data from them. The official has also said that Iran lacks proper software and hardware to download the data from the recorders.


Martin Luther King's critique of scientific racism, scientific materialism - still powerful today

martin luther king
© Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS
Martin Luther King delivers his famous "I Have a Dream" speech from the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963
On this Martin Luther King Day weekend, I will be visiting Athens, Texas (a town south of Dallas) for a free public screening of my documentary Human Zoos, which explores the sordid legacy of scientific racism and eugenics in America. I'd like to think that the event will be a fitting activity for MLK Day weekend, because King was a powerful opponent of both scientific racism and scientific materialism.

Dr. King accepted the animal ancestry of humans as taught by Darwinian evolution, but he was sharply critical of the misuse of science to promote racial discrimination, and he also spoke forcefully against the idea that humans are the products of a blind material process.

Many of King's thoughts on science are interspersed throughout a short book titled Strength to Love, a collection of sermons King originally published in 1963. I've been reading the book on my trip to Texas, and much of its wisdom is just as pertinent today as when the book was first published.

Gold Coins

Oxfam report: Richest 1% now own more than TWICE as much wealth as 6.9 billion people

gold plate luxury car
© Global Look Press/ZUMAPRESS.com/c40
A gold-gilt Infiniti G37 Coupe Convertible
A super-rich one percent of the world's population has accumulated twice as much wealth as the remaining 90 percent, global charity Oxfam said in a newly-released report.

The gap between the obscenely rich and the rest of humanity has reached grotesque proportions, according to the annual report by Oxfam, published on Monday on the eve of the World Economic Forum in Davos.

The new report, 'Time to Care', which focuses on the largely unpaid care work many women and girls take upon themselves, says that the world's top 22 richest men now have more wealth than all the women in Africa.

Comment: Jesus may have said "The poor will always be with you.", but this is obscene.


Western 'political correctness' cannot make all people 'equal'

poor child poverty
In the West, there is a new wave of political correctness at work: it is all about one's sexual orientation; who has sex with whom, and how. Suddenly, the mass media in London, Paris and New York is greatly concerned about who has the right to change his or her sex, and who does not want to belong to any 'traditional' gender bracket.

Thinking about 'it', writing about it, doing it, is considered "progressive"; cutting edge. Entire novels are being commissioned and then subsidized, as far away as in the Asia Pacific. Western organizations and NGOs (so-called "non-government organizations", but financed by Western régimes), are thriving on the matter.

These days it is not just LGBT that are in the spotlight, glorified and propagandized; there are all sorts of new types of combinations that many people never even heard about, or imagined could exist.


Two police officers killed, multiple homes set on fire in Hawaiian capital shooting

honolulu police
© REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao
Two police officers have been shot dead in the Diamond Head area of Honolulu, Hawaii, and the suspect remains at large. A huge fire has also broken out in the neighborhood.

The officers were responding to a report of assault when they were confronted by a man wielding a firearm, according to local news outlets. The suspect then opened fire and struck both officers.

The FBI said it is also responding to the incident.