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Fri, 28 Oct 2016
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'My son isn't breathing!' When seconds mattered, police officer saves 3yo's life

© Granbury Media / YouTube
The fast reaction of a North Texas police officer to save the life of a three-year-old boy who had stopped breathing has been captured on audio and in a harrowing dashcam video.

Granbury Police Officer Chase Miller was in his patrol car on the evening of October 12 when he heard a dispatcher call for paramedics to help a child who had stopped breathing at a Kentucky Fried Chicken where the boy's mother was working.

"We are at the KFC, and my son is not breathing," Braydon Geis' father tells the dispatcher in an audio recording from the incident that was later posted on YouTube by the city of Granbury.

"He's not breathing at all?" said the dispatcher.

"He's not responding," said Geis' father, a woman is heard weeping in the background, and calling out the boy's name, "Braydon, Braydon."

Cloud Grey

Atchison, Kansas: Residents evacuate as chemical spill cloud covers parts of the city

© twitter
Chemical cloud in Atchison, Kansas forces evacuations.
Emergency services alerted residents of Atchison, Kansas there has been a chemical spill. Parts of the town are covered in a cloud of gas and residents report chlorine-like smell. 18 people were treated for respiratory discomfort but no injuries. Thousands were evacuated from a high school, elementary school and a college. "If you are not in Atchison, please stay out of town," Atchison County Emergency Management said on Facebook.

Headquartered in Atchison, MGP describes itself as a company where distilled alcohol products and food ingredients are produced. Authorities have not released details about what kind of chemical leaked.

Residents of Atchison who live north of the plant are being told to stay inside with their doors and windows shut, according to the Kansas City Star. Reporters on the scene reported a thick fog and chlorine-like smell in the area. Live footage from KMBC shows a fire truck hosing down a large silo at the plant.

According to the Atchison City Manager's Office, two chemicals were inadvertently mixed together which caused a reaction. No word yet on what two chemicals were mixed together. "We don't know what chemicals were mixed. All injuires are minor," said Trey Cocking, Atchison City Manager.

Comment: The statement all injuries are minor may be presumptuous.

© Kansas City Star
Projected path of toxic chemical cloud.

Comment: Students in the toxic area were evacuated to Wal-Mart.


Former NSA contractor to face espionage charges over 50TB of 'stolen data'

© Jason Reed / Reuters
The US Department of Justice may charge a former NSA contractor with espionage after discovering top secret documents and enough highly sensitive data to fill 10,000 DVDs at his home in Maryland.

Retired US Navy officer Harold Thomas Martin III, 51, has been dubbed 'the second Snowden' by the press. He worked for Booz Allen Hamilton, the same firm that employed the famous whistleblower who revealed global surveillance programs run by the US.

Martin was arrested late August, but his case was only made public earlier this month. He allegedly hoarded at least 50,000 gigabytes (or 50 terabytes) of classified information from the National Security Agency (NSA), reportedly including the US government's hacking tools. For reference, one gigabyte is enough to store some 10,000 pages of documents containing both images and text, so Martin allegedly stole enough data to fill 10,000 DVDs.


Mass DDoS attack cripples world's biggest websites

© Tom Leyden / Twitter
A widespread cyber-attack was carried out against some of the world's biggest websites on Friday, with users unable to access Twitter, SoundCloud, Spotify and many others for over two hours.

Major DNS host Dyn says access to websites was restored following a DDoS attack early Friday, stating that "services have been restored to normal as of 13:20 UTC," following hours of outages online.

According to Hacker News, a "Massive Dyn DNS outrage" caused Twitter, Etsy, Github, SoundCloud and Spotify to go down.

No-one has yet claimed responsibility for the attacks.

Comment: It may well be blamed on Rusia in 3...2...1...

Other sites reportedly affected included Airbnb, Reddit and Vox Media. Users said they had a variety of issues, depending on their location, Tech Crunch reports.

Eye 2

Exorcist priest and soldier arrested for sex abuse carried out under guise of 'spiritual healing' and exorcism in Italy

© Shuttershock
A Sicilian priest and a soldier have been arrested for sexual abuse, which they carried out under the guise of spiritual 'healing', local media reported on Friday.

The pair, both based in Palermo, used the pretext of liberating victims from demonic possession in order to abuse women and children. The two were named by media as Salvatore Anello, 59, who belonged to the Capuchin order, and Salvatore Muratore, 52, who worked for the Italian army in Palermo.

The men reportedly convinced victims that they were possessed by evil spirits, before carrying out a 'healing prayer' in their homes which involved "repeatedly touching their genitals", Palermo Today reported.

Anello was arrested at dawn on Friday morning and is being held in police custody, following a six-month long investigation into Muratore, who was a member of a local prayer group, and claimed to be able to perform exorcism.

Muratore is thought to have abused at least four women and one girl, while the priest is charged with abusing two women and three minors.

According to La Stampa, prosecutor Giorgia Righi said Muratore "took advantage of victims in a state of psychological fragility", and justified his groping by saying he was freeing the 'demon of lust'.

The army said Muratore would be suspended immediately and that it would co-operate fully with investigations.

Mr. Potato

Al Smith dinner edition features Clinton, Trump - and a lot of jokes, but the real jokes are on the American people

© Mike Blake / Reuters
Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic U.S. presidential nominee Hillary Clinton
The Al Smith charity dinner benefits both Catholic charities as well as voters, who finally saw some levity by the presidential candidates. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both spoke, reciting their writers' best jokes about themselves and each other.

Every election year, the Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation Dinner at the Waldorf-Astoria hotel gives the presidential candidates a chance to present softer versions of their campaigns as they are encouraged to make light-hearted jabs and self-deprecating jokes.

The white-tie event raised over $6 million for Roman Catholic charities and hosted New York City's elite, such as Mayor Bill de Blasio, former Mayors Michael Bloomberg and Rudy Giuliani, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, along with members of the clergy.

Alfred E. Smith IV, the chairman of the dinner, acted as the master of ceremonies and set the tone for the evening.

"Before the dinner started, Trump went to Hillary and asked how you are. She said, 'I'm fine ‒ now get out of the ladies' dressing room,'" Smith said.

Comment: The world is burning and these idiots are telling jokes?!

Snakes in Suits

Obamacare premiums jump: When does the death spiral blow up?

Obamacare premiums are skyrocketing out of sight. A jump of a mere 30% looks like a good deal compared to jumps of over 50% in six states, and 93% in New Mexico.

Congratulations are in order for those living in a handful of states whose premiums only rose 20%.


Former top executives of mining giants Vale and BHP Billiton face homicide charges over Brazil dam disaster

© Ricardo Moraes / Reuters
A rescue worker touches the face of a horse as they try to save it in Mariana, Brazil, November 6, 2015
Brazilian prosecutors have filed homicide charges against 21 people over a mining dam collapse a year ago that killed 19 people and left hundreds homeless in the Minas Gerais region.

Among those charged include current and former top executives of mining companies Vale and BHP Billiton who jointly owned the Samarco mine. If found guilty of qualified homicide, the individuals could face sentences of between 12 and 30 years in prison.

Prosecutors claim employees of BHP and Vale knew there was a risk of collapse but ignored it, prioritizing their profits over the safety of local people. The companies have denied the charges and said they would defend their staff. They also accused prosecutors of ignoring the evidence against those claims.

Arrow Down

EPA delayed intervention in Flint water crisis by seven months despite knowledge of disaster

The US Environmental Protection Agency should have intervened to protect the people of Flint, Michigan from lead-contaminated water at least seven months sooner, an EPA "alert report" has found. It also urged updates to the Safe Drinking Water Act.

The EPA's Office of the Inspector General (IG) said the agency had "sufficient" information and the authority to issue an emergency order already in June 2015, but it did not do so until January 21, 2016.

Among factors that affected its delayed response to the Flint environmental crisis was the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) and its Section 1431, which set the "jurisdictional bar" for the EPA to act while local authorities were sitting idle.

"By June 2015, EPA Region 5 also knew that the state and local authorities were not acting quickly to protect human health," inspector Arthur Elkin said in a report sent to the Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance (OECA) Thursday. "While events were complicated, given what we know about the consequences of the Flint drinking water contamination, it is clear that EPA intervention was delayed."

Comment: The crisis in Flint is about more than water
What is in the mind of someone who knowingly poisons children and impairs their lives? Why did the politicians, regulators and bureaucrats who knew the water in Flint, Mich.,was toxic lie about the danger for months? What does it say about a society that is ruled by, and refuses to punish, those who willfully destroy the lives of children?

The crisis in Flint is far more ominous than lead-contaminated water. It is symptomatic of the collapse of our democracy. Corporate power is not held accountable for its crimes. Everything is up for sale, including children. Our regulatory agencies—including the federal Environmental Protection Agency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Michigan's Department of Environmental Quality—have been defunded, emasculated and handed over to corporate-friendly stooges. Our corrupt courts are part of a mirage of justice. The role of these government agencies and courts, and of the legislatures, is to sanction abuse rather than halt it.


A scene out of 'Breaking Bad': Police officer 'killed & dissolved in acid' after Grindr sex date

© Chor Sokunthea / Reuters
A Morgan Stanley worker accused of strangling a police officer he met on a gay dating app before trying to dissolve his dismembered body in acid was trying to re-enact a plotline from the US TV drama 'Breaking Bad', a court has heard.

Stefano Brizzi, 50, is alleged to have murdered Gordon Semple, 59, at his flat in Southeast London in April after using the Grindr dating app to invite him there for a drug-fueled "hot, dirty, sleazy" sado-masochistic party.