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Sun, 18 Aug 2019
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Epstein connections may prove problematic for Democrats, Hollywood

Jeffrey Epstein
© AP Photo/Palm Beach Post, Uma Sanghvi, File
Jeffrey Epstein in court, West Palm Beach, 2008.
Democrats and Hollywood may have another #MeToo problem on their hands with the late Jeffrey Epstein.

Much has been made of President Trump's one-time association with Epstein, found dead in his jail cell Saturday of an apparent suicide, but the picture emerging of the financier and convicted sex offender reveals an A-lister who hobnobbed with celebrities and gave generously to Democrats.

And not just former President Bill Clinton. Epstein donated $147,426 to Democratic candidates from 1990-2018, versus $18,250 to Republicans. His last GOP donation came in 2000, meaning that he never contributed to the 2016 Trump presidential campaign, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Judging from the media focus, however, viewers would be forgiven for assuming that Epstein was a regular at Make America Great Again rallies.

"I know they keep trying to tie Trump to this, but Trump is the only person who is ever named in the Jeffrey Epstein debacle who stood up to Epstein and said that he was a dirtbag and a bad guy and banned him from his club," said conservative talk-show host Buck Sexton on his podcast.


Russian airliner with 233 on board suffers birdstrike, makes safe belly landing in cornfield near Moscow

russian passenger jet emergency landing
© Reuters
Ural Airlines' A321 crash-landed on a field outside Moscow
A narrow-body airliner operated by Russia's Ural Airlines and carrying 226 passengers and seven crew, landed with its wheels up in the countryside near Moscow after suffering a "rare" birdstrike.

Bound for Simferopol, Crimea, the Airbus A321 unexpectedly struck "numerous" seagulls or crows shortly after departing from Moscow's Zhukovsky Airport.

Having no time to dump fuel and with no deployed undercarriages, the heavy-loaded jet made a belly landing in a cornfield just 1km from the runway. A spine chilling footage from inside the airctaft surfaced online a while later.

Comment: Footage of the birdstrike has emerged:
The footage shot by a passenger seated next to the window shows the two-engine, narrow-body airliner speeding down the runway at Moscow's Zhukovsky Airport. In a matter of seconds, the left wing crosses the path of a flock of birds.

The emergency landing was conducted without the landing gear deployed. In a separate video, a sputtering sound can be heard, presumably from the engines. It was reported that both engines were switched off prior to the landing.
Flattened cornstalks and a dented nose cone make up the bulk of the damage in the aftermath of an emergency landing near Moscow.

Footage shows the wreckage of the largely intact aircraft up close. Russia's Investigative Committee rushed to the scene of Thursday's accident, near Moscow's Zhukovsky Airport, but what they found was atypical for crash sites.With all 226 passengers and seven crew surviving the emergency landing, officials marveled at an almost entirely intact aircraft.
moscow jet crash bird strike
© Russian Investigative Committee
Passenger hailed the crew's skill and courage:
It was a chilling experience for passengers of the A321 jet as they watched it descend for an emergency landing in a field outside Moscow after a troublesome take off. They are now lauding the pilots for saving their lives.

"As the plane was taking off, it was clear that something was wrong with the engines. It took a very long time to gain speed," a passenger, a man in his 20s, told RT.

"We started falling, we had that distinctive sound when the plane tried to restart the engines but they couldn't do it," a young woman added.

The pilots, 41-year-old Captain Damir Yusupov and his 23-year-old First Officer Georgy Murzin, didn't have time to return to the airport as they were flying quite low above ground level.

In fact, they had only few seconds left to quickly find an open space below them and prepare to make a bumpy but fortunate belly landing. As the protocol prescribes, the engines were shut down but the landing gear wasn't deployed.
moscow jet crash bird strike
© Moscow News Agency/Handout via Reuters
"We saw the field approaching, everyone grouped as I tried to protect my kids," another woman recalled. "But the captain did well, he landed the plane and everyone applauded him when he exited [the cockpit]."

"I think we are all alive thanks to him," she suggested.

There was no panic on board even though the touchdown was rough, passengers said. "They evacuated the plane on their own ... the pilot did a great job, he landed the plane really carefully," the young woman continued. Flight attendants told everyone to leave their stuff behind and escape using the A321's eight doors.

In countless videos that have spread swiftly across social media, survivors can be seen calmly exiting the aircraft, reaching out to loved ones by phone and making sure that others made it out alive.

"This is my second birthday!" an old woman was heard exclaiming in a video taken by one of the passengers, as other evacuees made their way through the cornfield. "Now I believe in God, for sure," a Twitter user confessed, uploading an image of the jet.

As the public called for the crew to be honored, the Kremlin announced that it will give state awards to the "hero" pilots who carried out the emergency landing. Aviation pundits have also reflected on the remarkable event, telling RT that the conduct of the pilots and crew was "brilliant."
Many aviation experts compared the landing to the famous 'Miracle on the Hudson' landing:
Captain Damir Yusupov and First Officer Georgy Murzin manually landed their A321 Airbus in a cornfield just 1km from Moscow's Zhukovsky Airport, after their airplane struck "numerous" seagulls or crows shortly after takeoff.

Aviation experts have been quick to draw parallels between Thursday's incident and the famous 'Miracle on the Hudson', in which a US Airways flight made an emergency landing after colliding with a flock of geese. The pilots decided to land the plane in the Hudson River, saving the lives of all 155 passengers and crew.

RAF instructor David Learmount described the two incidents as "identical" - except that the American pilots "got a little bit higher before the birds hit them," giving them more time to react.

"Like this event, everybody survived. And like this event, the pilot did not put the gear down," Learmount noted.

Aviation expert Julan Bray agreed with the comparison.

"[Captain Yusupov] took a calculated risk. He decided to go for what we call a 'belly flop'. And he landed it beautifully."

'A textbook emergency landing'

Choosing the cornfield to make their impromptu landing, coupled with the decisions to cut the engines and forgo deploying the landing gear, were critical decisions which likely saved lives.

Learmount pointed out that the landing gear would have snapped off it had come in contact with the soft soil of the cornfield, arguing that the pilots made the right decision to land without it, even though they had "very, very little time" to act. He noted that complications with the landing gear could have ruptured a fuel tank, increasing the likelihood of a fire.

"These pilots did brilliantly because they were really quite low [to the ground]," he said.

What the pilots did under the circumstances was "absolutely right," Bray told RT, adding that there was no fire because the plane's crew "very correctly followed procedure."
"I take my hat off to the two pilots and to everybody on board, the crew and the passengers. Because this was a textbook emergency landing. Nobody panicked, everybody got off."
The decision to land in a cornfield was particularly adept, Bray said.

"Corn is quite an oily crop, so you've got ready-made lubricant in that field. So it's like landing on an ice rink. But it was a nice, gentle landing."

Citing photographs and videos of the crash scene, Bray marveled at the technique and skill employed by the pilots to land the plane safely.

"The plane slides in a straight line, it isn't veering off its course. So I think [they] knew exactly where [they] was going to put it down. And [they] calculated how long the slide would be."

The impressive feat of aviation is something of a national tradition, Learmount said.

"Russia does have a history of having very good pilots."
The pilots who landed the packed Russian plane will be receiving state awards:
Damir Yusupov moscow plane landing bird strike
© e1. ru
2018 photo of Ural Airlines Captain Damir Yusupov
The Kremlin will "undoubtedly" honor two "hero pilots" who safely landed the packed A321 in the countryside near Moscow's Zhukovsky airport, saving 233 lives, a presidential aide said.

"Once all formalities are done, they will be given their awards without doubt," Dmitry Peskov announced.

The two pilots, Captain Damir Yusupov and First Officer Georgy Murzin, were earlier praised by the public after manually landing the aircraft in a corn field just 1km from the airfield they departed from.

Despite having no time to dump fuel, the crew managed to safely land the heavy-loaded aircraft and evacuate all 226 passengers.Commenting on the fortunate landing, Peskov wished a speedy recovery to those injured (76 including children) and praised "the hero pilots who saved lives and landed the plane."

The Ural Airlines' A321 was flying to Simferopol in Crimea when it hit the flock of birds shortly after take-off, disrupting its two engines.


Philadelphia cheese and Volkswagen ads banned in UK for 'gender stereotyping'

sexist ad
Two ads for Volkswagen and Philadelphia cheese have been banned from the UK by its advertising watchdog under new rules on gender stereotypes. The regulator's decision was both mocked and criticized for its "depressing direction."

The offending Volkswagen eGolf ad showed a female rock climber asleep while a man closes their tent on a cliff to make sure the moonlight won't disturb them, two male astronauts in a spaceship, a disabled male athlete performing a long jump and finally a mom on a bench next to a pram. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) received three complaints about it and ruled the ad breached the code by "showing men engaged in adventurous activities in contrast to a woman in a care-giving role."

Comment: Talk about first-world problems...

The car manufacturer disagreed with the ruling, claiming that 'the core message of the ad was centered on the ability of the human spirit to adapt to challenges and change brought about by circumstances," and explained the final scene of the woman in the park as another example of a challenge and "adaptation to change, as they believed that welcoming a newborn into the family was a life changing experience."

Comment: Nope, it's purely a patriarchal oppression of the feminine spirit, apparently.

The Philadelphia cream cheese ad, which received 128 complaints, showed two young dads getting distracted by lunch leaving their children on a conveyor belt circulating with food.

Mondelez UK Ltd - which makes Philadelphia cheese - said the advert was intended to highlight the appeal of the product by showing a humorous situation in which parents found it so delicious they got momentarily distracted and that the gender roles could be reversed.

Moreover, according to the brand, they specifically chose two men to avoid the typical stereotype of two new mothers with childcare responsibilities. Apparently, that didn't help: the ASA acknowledged the video was intended to be light-hearted and comical but the ban was upheld.

Comment: Damned if you do, damned if you don't. This what happens when you give power to humorless bureaucrats.

Christmas Tree

Lost forests: Russia considers banning lumber exports to China over concerns about illegal logging

© Sputnik / Aleksey Nikolskyi
Moscow may impose a full embargo on lumber exports to its largest trade partner, China, if Beijing fails to deal with illegal logging, Russia's Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has warned.

"China should have a clear understanding that if it fails to engage in solving this problem, we will have no other choice but to ban the export of lumber completely," minister Dmitry Kobylkin told Russia's Vedomosti newspaper.

"They come, buy up the [illegal] timber and leave us to clear up the debris," Kobylkin said of Chinese loggers.


Peak PC logic: To shield students from 'offensive' image, activists opt to censor anti-racist mural

george washington
© Global Look Press/ imageBROKER.com /Petra Wallner
Who would ever have thought it would be liberal students and activists leading the charge to have an anti-racism mural removed from public view at an institute of education?

That is the absurd situation that has arisen at one San Francisco high school, where an ongoing campaign to remove murals depicting the life of George Washington has resulted in a decision to have the art hidden from view. The school had earlier even considered destroying the work completely.

The mural, which includes images of slaves on Washington's plantation and a slain native American figure has apparently "upset" students and is regarded by some as a "racist" painting. But there is a crucial distinction to be made here. The mural is not "racist" - rather, it depicts racism, and the two are very different things.


Employee stabbed outside UK Home Office in central London

Items including a sheathed knife and a mobile phone were seen behind a police cordon near the Home Office building
A man has been stabbed outside the Home Office building in central London.

The victim, who is in his 60s, was taken to hospital with non life-threatening injuries, police said.

Metropolitan Police officers were called to the building in Marsham Street, near the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, at 13:06 BST.

A 29-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of causing grievous bodily harm and possession of CS spray. He remains in police custody.

The wounded man went into the building to seek assistance, an eyewitness said. The building is now in lockdown.

Eyewitness Gareth Milner said he was outside the Home Office when "a number of armed police officers arrived on scene and entered the building".

Comment: The man's injuries were originally described as life-threatening, but medics said his condition improved. There are photos of them leading the man out of the building:
home office stabbing
© REUTERS/Simon Dawson


CNN anchor Don Lemon is sued by a Hamptons bartender over alleged assault

Don Lemon

Don Lemon
Don Lemon is being sued by a Florida man who claims that the CNN anchor sexually harassed and assaulted him while out at a Hamptons hotspot.

Dustin Hice, 38, claims that he was with co-workers at Murf's Backstreet Tavern in Sag Harbor on or around July 15, 2018, when Lemon allegedly assaulted him, detailing the incident in a complaint that was filed over the weekend in New York Supreme Court for Suffolk County court and obtained by DailyMail.com. Lemon denies the assault.

Upon recognizing Lemon, Hice made what he describes as a 'cordial gesture' and 'tried to get Mr. Lemon's attention and offered to buy Mr. Lemon a drink'.

Lemon, 53, responded to Hice's offer by declining the drink and telling the young man he was 'just trying to have a good time', according to the court filing.

Bad Guys

Truck drives into protester group blocking entrance to ICE detention center

jewa ice protest rhode island
© Never Again Action
A video made by protesters shows the moment a pickup truck drives into sit-in demonstrators blocking the street entrance to an ICE detention center in Rhode Island. A crowd starts banging on the car then gets pepper-sprayed.

Protesters had gathered at the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) center in Central Falls, Rhode Island, on Wednesday evening, with dozens of activists blocking the entrance to the center's parking lot.

Organized by Never Again Action, a newly-formed Jewish group protesting US immigration policy, the act of civil disobedience quickly turned ugly. Footage shows a truck driving through a line of sitting protesters in an attempt to enter the blocked entrance.

Comment: The driver should not have been so aggressive. On the other hand, if these virtue-signallers are 'putting their bodies on the line', shouldn't they be prepared for the possible consequences?


Autopsy finds broken bones in Jeffrey Epstein's neck, deepening questions around his death

prison epstein
© Mary Altaffer/AP
The Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan.
An autopsy found that financier Jeffrey Epstein sustained multiple breaks in his neck bones, according to two people familiar with the findings, deepening the mystery about the circumstances around his death.

Among the bones broken in Epstein's neck was the hyoid bone, which in men is near the Adam's apple. Such breaks can occur in those who hang themselves, particularly if they are older, according to forensics experts and studies on the subject. But they are more common in victims of homicide by strangulation, the experts said.

The details are the first findings to emerge from the autopsy of Epstein, a convicted sex offender and multimillionaire in federal custody on charges of sex trafficking. He died early Saturday morning after guards found him hanging in his cell at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan and he could not be revived.

Comment: See also:


These 3 lawsuits are protecting the rights of companies like Beyond Meat to call their products 'burgers', 'hot dogs,' and other words associated with meat

beyond meat burger
© Facebook/Beyond Meat
As demand for plant-based meat and dairy alternatives is booming, so is legislation around how such products can be labeled in grocery stores - and lawsuits protecting the free speech rights of companies that make them.

In nearly half of the states in the US, bills have been announced or passed that would monitor how products derived from plants are labeled when sold to consumers. A number of the labeling laws try to make it illegal to use works like "milk," "burger," and "rice" to describe anything made from plants.

The reasoning? States argue that it is misleading to use words associated with meat or dairy to describe a product that does not come from an animal.

Comment: When it comes down to it, it's rather unlikely that customers are unaware that the meat alternatives they're buying are not actually meat. The same could likely be said of milk alternatives and whatever other fake animal products exist now or in the future. For one thing, the alternatives are far more expensive than the real thing. It's understandable that meat industries would want to protect their brands, so to speak, but this seems like a silly place to be making a stand.

See also: