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Tue, 25 Feb 2020
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Probe reveals abuse at America's oldest school for the deaf, finds 'appalling truths'

American School for the deaf

American School for the Deaf, in West Hartford, Connecticut
An investigation into inappropriate conduct at America's oldest school for deaf people corroborated multiple allegations of sexual and physical abuse that stretched decades, school officials said.

In a report, officials at the American School for the Deaf, in West Hartford, Connecticut, said Friday that the allegations involved former dorm supervisors, a maintenance worker, a dean and the school's longtime executive director.

The alleged abuse occurred from the 1950s to the 1980s, the report said. The school was founded in 1817.

"The results of this investigation reveal startling and appalling truths," Executive Director Jeffrey S. Bravin and Catherine Burns, president of the board of directors, said in the report. "As a school community, we offer a sincere and heartfelt apology to the survivors of the inexcusable actions identified in this report and for the fact that the school did not prevent or stop them."


We're asking one question in Assange's case: Should journalists be punished for exposing war crimes?

assange illustration
This is a speech I gave yesterday at a demonstration for Assange with the Socialist Equality Party Australia.

Tomorrow in the UK a judge will start the process of answering a very important question. It's a question that many of us knew was the heart of this debate back in 2010, ten years ago, when this all started. It's a question that they have been obfuscating, bloviating, huffily denying, smearing, gaslighting, and distracting from — basically doing anything they can to hide it from view.

It's a question that they don't want the public to know that we are answering. A question that goes to the heart of democracy, and to the heart of the role of the fourth estate, journalism. And that question is this:

Should journalists and publishers be punished for exposing US war crimes?

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Shops stripped bare, towns on lockdown as coronavirus fears sweep Italy

coronavirus italy
© REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane
Driven by fears of the rapidly-spreading coronavirus, Italians in the Lombardy region have begun stockpiling food and basic necessities, leaving shops in a post-apocalyptic-looking state.

Supermarket shelves were stripped in mere hours as stocks ran low and queues lengthened, as evidenced by eyewitness footage from Milan.

Some wistfully joked that it was almost pleasant to be living through what they dubbed a "zombie apocalypse."

Schools and museums have been closed, events such as the Venice Carnival have been cancelled while Fashion designer Giorgio Armani reportedly held a closed-door event to conclude Milan Fashion Week on Sunday by streaming his latest collection from an empty theater.

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X-rated drag queen called 'Flowjob' visits primary school sparking backlash

Flowjob 4
© Twitter
The drag queen has been at the centre of a Twitter storm
A drag queen called 'Flowjob' who shares sexually explicit images of herself on Twitter has sparked a furious backlash after she visited a primary school to educate children as part of LGBT history month.

The drag queen's social media feeds show pictures of her simulating a sex act with a dildo, laying spread eagle in a bath tub with a ball in her mouth and simulating oral sex.

In another post she shared 'Flowjob', who refers to themself as 'she/her', tweeted a picture of EastEnders star Ian Beale being throttled by Max Branning with the caption 'I need a Daddy like this'.

During the visit 'Flowjob' read a story to Primary 1 children aged between four to five.

Glencoates Primary School in Paisley has come under fire for allowing 'Flowjob' to visit the kids with many saying it was ''inappropriate'', ''outrageous'' and ''disgusting''.

The school and its headteacher Michelle Watson have since locked their Twitter accounts following the barrage of complaints on social media over the weekend.

Comment: Apparently, there is no oversight when it comes to inviting drag queens to interact with your children. See also:


Over 1,000 journalists from across the world unite in defence of Julian Assange

journalists for assange

A collage of journalists who have defended jailed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

The WikiLeaks founder faces extradition to the US and 175 years behind bars

Journalists from nearly 100 countries have united to defend jailed Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, as he faces extradition to the US and 175 years behind bars.

A statement signed by more than 1,200 media workers warned of an unprecedented attack on press freedom as Mr Assange's court hearing begins on Monday.

Comment: It looks like some actual journalists still exist. The rest are glorified stenographers.

See also:


Shocking study shows police chases over minor crimes kill thousands of innocent bystanders

police chase car crashes
We've long known police officers shoot and kill on average about 1,000 citizens in the U.S. every year for a variety of reasons, none of which seem take place in other parts of the world. But we were shocked to learn just how many motorists and innocent bystanders are killed by cops every year when officers give chase to suspects. The numbers are quite staggering.

According to a recently published research study by the Fine Law Firm and 1Point21 Interactive, over 2,000 citizens over a four-year period were killed by cops as police were chasing suspect vehicles. Surprisingly, more than half of those killed were not the suspects!
An analysis by the Fine Law Firm and 1Point21 Interactive found that there were 1,699 fatal crashes involving police chases from 2014-2018, killing at least 2,005 people - 1,123 were not the driver of the fleeing vehicle.
That number might be much higher because, just as with officer involved shootings, those killed by cop statistics are not required to be reported to any federal government database anywhere. Currently, officer-involved shooting deaths are only voluntarily reported to the FBI.

We spoke to Brian Beltz, Research Lead at 1Point21 Interactive via email, who tells TFTP that this study hits home as he knew someone who died from a police chase.


5 Biggest pesticide companies are making billions from 'highly hazardous' chemicals

Poor people in developing countries are far more likely to suffer from exposure to pesticides classified as having high hazard to human health or the environment, according to new data that Unearthed analyzed.

The analysis shows that the world's top five pesticide makers are making billions, accounting for more than 36 percent of their income, from chemicals that are proven to hazards to humans and the environment and are contributing to the precipitous demise of bee populations, as Unearthed reported.

The researchers found that the sale of these highly hazardous pesticides (HHPs), disproportionately occurred in poorer nations, which often have fewer regulations than industrialized nations, according to The Guardian. In India, for example, sales of HHPs were nearly 60 percent, while in the UK it was just 11 percent.

The report from the investigative team at Unearthed focused on the practices of Bayer, BASF, Corteva (formerly Dow and DuPont), FMC and Syngenta, which are continuing to sell HHPs like neonicotinoids and glufosinate that have been banned in other parts of the world, according to the produce industry publication Fresh Produce Journal.

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Arrow Down

Ontario police arrest First Nations protesters amid standoff with Canada government over pipeline

© REUTERS/Chris Helgren
Railway blockade in Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory camp, Ontario, Canada February 24, 2020.
Police in Ontario arrested 10 people and dismantled the Tyendinaga Mohawk blockade that had shut down much of Canada's rail traffic for the past two weeks, but the battle over a pipeline going through indigenous lands continues.

Mohawks set up barricades on the Canadian Pacific railway track on February 8, in solidarity with the Wet'suwet'en hereditary chiefs over in British Columbia, who are protesting efforts to build a natural gas pipeline through the land they claim. They demand that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau order the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) out of their territory before any negotiations can begin.

Ten people were arrested on Monday morning as Ontario Provincial Police began clearing up the blockade, which had crippled Canada's freight and passenger traffic for the past two weeks. Other protesters set up short-term blockades on roads and bridges throughout Canada, including a border crossing with the US at Niagara Falls at one point.

Mohawks responded to the arrests by blocking the railway in Kahnawake and the road in nearby Kanesatake, as well as slowing down traffic on two highways heading into Montreal, Quebec.

Comment: See also:


As coronavirus cases surge in Italy, EU states take measures to prevent disease from crossing the Alps

Carabiniere virus checkpoint Italy
© Miguel MEDINA / AFP
A carabiniere at a checkpoint near Castiglione d'Adda.
As Italy deals with a surge of confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus, other European Union member states are considering what measures to take to prevent the disease from crossing the Alps.

Italian authorities confirmed on Monday that a fifth person had died on its soil from the novel coronavirus and that the number of cases had risen to more than 200.

The governments of Slovenia and Croatia, where no cases have been reported, convened emergency meetings on Monday. Zagreb has since announced that all travellers arriving from Italy would be monitored and that all scheduled school trips to Italy over the coming weeks would be cancelled.

The Croatian Foreign Affairs ministry also updated its travel advisory, advising its nationals to avoid visiting the northern Italian regions of Veneto and Lombardy because of the "risk of coronavirus infection".

Further east in Romania, authorities have announced that all Italian nationals from Italian regions where cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed will be quarantined for 14 days. The AP news agency reported however that people at the border are only required to fill a form.

Comment: See also:

Stock Down

Panic mode on: Dow plunges 1000+ points on mounting fears over coronavirus spreading

stock market
© REUTERS/Brendan McDermid
Stocks fell sharply on Monday as the number of coronavirus cases outside China surged, stoking fears of a prolonged global economic slowdown from the virus spreading.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed 1,031.61 points lower, or 3.56%, at 27,960.80. The S&P 500 slid 3.35% to 3,225.89 while the Nasdaq Composite closed 3.71% lower at 9,221.28. It was the Dow's biggest point and percentage-point drop since February 2018. The Dow also gave up its gain for 2020 and is now down 2% for the year. The S&P 500 also had its worst day in two years and wiped out its year-to-date gain as well.

"The second-largest economy in the world is completely shut down. People aren't totally pricing that in," said Larry Benedict, CEO of The Opportunistic Trader, adding a 10% to 15% correction in stocks may be starting. He also said some parts of the market, particularly large-cap tech stocks, appear to be over-owned. "It seems like there's much more to come."