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Sat, 14 Dec 2019
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Hong Kong police defuse two home-made bombs containing 10kg of high explosives found on college campus

hong kong police find explosives Wah Yan College
© K.Y. Cheng
Police officers display evidence of the two home-made devices.
Bomb disposal officers in Hong Kong defused two home-made devices containing 10kg (22lb) of high explosives that were found on school grounds and designed to kill large numbers of people, police said late on Monday.

Officers said the bombs were "complete, fully functional and ready to be used" radio-controlled improvised explosive devices, or IEDs, and had one purpose only - to kill and maim.

A school janitor spotted the devices in the grounds of Wah Yan College Hong Kong on Queen's Road East in Wan Chai at about 5.30pm.

Alick McWhirter, senior bomb disposal officer, said the devices contained two types of high explosives: a primary high explosive, which was designed to act as the detonator and booster, and a second one based around ammonium nitrate. They were also designed to fragment and included shrapnel, in the form of nails.


Bizarro Earth

Merriam-Webster has named "they" its word of the year

The US dictionary also recently added a new definition of "they", reflecting its use as a singular personal pronoun for non-binary people.

Searches for "they" on Merriam-Webster's website were 313% higher this year than they were in 2018.

British pop star Sam Smith came out as non-binary in March, and in September confirmed on Instagram that their pronouns were "they/them".

Announcing their pronouns, Smith wrote: "I understand there will be many mistakes and misgendering, but all I ask is you please please try. I hope you can see me like I see myself now."

Comment: Looks like 2016 saw where the future was headed.

Ornament - Red

Hope or Despair — the choice facing Britain on 12 December

corbyn nhs nurses
The issue of class has never more prominent or salient in British politics than now. Clear evidence of this is the paroxysm into which Britain's ruling establishment, Tory in every particular, has been pitched since Jeremy Corbyn first arrived in its midst as the most unlikely leader of the Labour Party imaginable in 2015.

Here he was, this slightly unkempt figure for whom socialism is a creed to live by rather than a pose to assume, having the temerity to be elected leader of Her Majesty's Opposition.

Worse in the eyes of his establishment-supporting detractors was the fact that his abiding commitment to the oppressed and dispossessed at home and abroad was married to an absence of personal vanity and ego — this in an age when both had become coterminous with success in politics, the non-negotiable qualification for political leadership.

Yellow Vest

Tens of thousands march in Paris in ongoing strikes against pension reform

Paris on December 10, 2019.
© Twitter
Paris on December 10, 2019.
Thousands of people have turned out again across France in support of ongoing strikes against proposed pension reforms by President Emmanuel Macron's government.

The Ministry of the Interior estimates some 339,000 people demonstrated throughout France, with 31,000 in the capital. The CGT union claims 885,000 protesters took to the streets on Tuesday around the country, with 180,000 in Paris alone.

While the numbers of protesters were massive, the turnout was almost twice as low compared to the protest held on December 5. Back then, 1.5 million took to the streets nationwide with 250,000 in Paris alone, according to the CGT figures.

Comment: One must bear in mind these protests have, in one form or another, been going on for over a year now and they're still able to bring together over 1.5 million people.

Comment: See also: Also check out SOTT radio's:


Shooting at Czech hospital leaves at least 6 killed, suspect takes own life while being chased by police

University Hospital Ostrava
© Czech police
The University Hospital Ostrava.
Six people have been killed in a hospital shooting in Ostrava, Czech Republic. The police are on the hunt for the suspected perpetrator and have ramped up security in other places.

The shooting happened on Tuesday morning at University Hospital Ostrava in the northeastern part of the country. The Czech police initially said four people were killed and two others were seriously injured. Those two succumbed to their wounds, Prime Minister Andrej Babis confirmed.

The shooting reportedly happened in the traumatology ward of the hospital.

Ostrava Technical University, which hosts the hospital, said the perpetrator was wearing a red jacket. The police released a photo of the suspected gunman on Twitter, requesting public assistance in finding him, and warning that he poses a threat. The university campus was put on lockdown.

Interior Minister Jan Hamacek said the rapid response unit and police helicopters have been deployed in response to the emergency.

Comment: Czech police say they discovered the body of the 42-year-old shooter; he had shot himself in the head:
They had earlier released two photos of the suspect. One photo appeared to have come from a document, while another was taken from CCTV footage of the suspect walking down the hospital hall. The police have not released the man's name.

Czech media, meanwhile, have identified the suspect as Ctirad V. and described him as construction worker. The man's employer, who had recognized Ctirad V. from the police photo, told reporters the suspect had claimed he had become ill and complained that "no one wanted to treat him."

The shooting occurred in the hospital's trauma ward at around 7am local time. Four people were killed on the spot, while two later succumbed to their wounds. Three more people were wounded in the hospital's waiting room. The attacker had reportedly shot his victims at close range, aiming for the head and neck.

Prime Minister Andrej Babis has cancelled his trip to Estonia and is heading to Ostrava. He called the shooting "an insane tragedy" and offered condolences to the victims and their families.

The hospital attack is the second-deadliest mass shooting in the Czech Republic. In 2015, a gunman killed eight people at a restaurant in the town of Uhersky Brod before taking his own life.


Sanity prevails: Supreme Court denies inmate's appeal for sex reassignment surgery

supreme court
The Supreme Court on Monday declined to hear a convicted murderer's appeal to receive gender reassignment surgery, leaving in place a lower court's ruling in favor of the Texas prison officials who refused the inmate the procedure.

The court rejected the appeal of a Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling by transgender inmate Vanessa Lynn Gibson, formerly known as Scott Gibson, who claimed the prison's refusal to grant the surgery violates the Constitution's Eighth Amendment, which bans cruel and unusual punishment.


School resource cop-in-training films himself raping a 12-year-old girl

school cop
Last year, TFTP reported that another Texas school cop had been arrested and charged with rape. Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District police officer Jorge Luis Bastida, 22, was arrested and charged with aggravated sexual assault on a 12-year-old girl he stalked online. This week, unlike so many cops who get away with similar crimes, Bastida was sentenced to 10 years in prison. "He swore an oath to protect children," Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg said this week. "He promised to protect and serve one of our most vulnerable populations and instead, he exploited and violated a young girl. He stole her childhood."

Prosecutors said Bastida met the young girl on a smartphone app called "Meet Me" where she reportedly sent the police officer nude photos. After a few days of online flirting, the police officer sent an Uber to pick up the girl on Monday night before he brought her to a nearby hotel where the girl says the officer raped her.

The girl says Bastida held her down and raped her despite her pleas for the police officer to stop. She says she told him she was only 12 but he continued. The two spent the night in the Guest House Hotel and checked out on a Tuesday morning.

The Fairmont Junior High School student was reported missing by her family Monday night. Lt. Chris Brown of the Deer Park Police Department described the missing persons investigation:

Bad Guys

Saudi Arabia condemned for outrageous mistreatment of jailed human rights lawyer

Waleed Abu al-Khair
Amnesty International condemned as "outrageous" the continued detention of prominent Saudi human rights lawyer Waleed Abu al-Khair and his ill-treatment, as a crackdown led by Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman against Muslim preachers, members of the press and intellectuals widens in the conservative oil-rich kingdom.

The London-based organization said in a statement that it had received credible reports that authorities at Dhahban Central Prison near the Red Sea port city of Jeddah had in late November arbitrarily placed Abu al-Khair in solitary confinement under tightened security, PressTV reported. He has been on hunger strike since November 29 in a show of protest against his ill-treatment.

Comment: It's helpful to remember that the United States isn't just looking the other way when it comes to Saudi Arabia's savage policies, it actively aids them in such pursuits.


Man sentenced to life for St. Petersburg subway bombing, 10 others receive prison terms

st petersburg suspects

Lawyers of the convicted defendants said they would appeal the verdicts.
A military court in St. Petersburg has sentenced a man to life in prison for financing a deadly 2017 subway blast, while 10 other defendants in the case received prison terms of between 19 and 28 years.

The court in Russia's second-largest city sentenced Abror Azimov to life in prison on December 10 after finding him guilty of financing the attack, which killed 15 people and injured 67 others.

The only woman among the defendants, Shokhista Karimova, who was sentenced to 20 years in prison, broke down after the Judge Andrei Morozov announced her punishment.

Lawyers of the convicted defendants said they would appeal the verdicts.

All had denied the charges, and some of them claimed they were tortured while in detention, including Kyrgyz-born Abror Azimov and his brother, Akram, who was also among those convicted in the case.

Investigators have said that on April 3, 2017, 22-year-old suicide bomber Akbarjon Jalilov, an ethnic-Uzbek Russian citizen born in Kyrgyzstan, detonated a bomb in a subway carriage while it was between two stations.

A second explosive was left at a station platform, but it was found and safely defused.

Comment: Se also:


Title IX injustice: Women threatens to blackmail professor after he tries to end flirty email exchange - inquisitor says she's the victim

New Mexico's Anderson School of Management

New Mexico's Anderson School of Management
It began, unlike most epic love stories featuring two cosmically intertwined souls rediscovering their connection from some past life, in the printer room of the University of New Mexico's Anderson School of Management.

It ended with a graduate student attempting to blackmail a professor into continuing their flirtatious banter, a sexual harassment investigation that treated the blackmailer as a victim, and, ultimately, a one-year unpaid suspension for the professor.

The professor made serious mistakes. He shouldn't have let the conversation become romantic and sexual — an exchange he actively participated in. He shouldn't have floated the possibility of hiring the student for a low-paid research position — an opportunity she initially expressed interest in taking, then turned down, and then used against him when he rebuffed her, according to documents obtained by Reason.

But the professor and the student never slept together. She never worked for him, and she never took one of his classes. They never even met in person, except for their initial five-minute introduction.

The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has taken the professor's case, and it is urging the university to reverse course.

"The university reached conclusions that defied reason and were completely at odds with all of the established facts of the case," attorney Samantha Harris, a vice president of FIRE, tells Reason.