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Mon, 17 Jun 2019
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Jury awards $1.1 million to mother whose son was shot, stomped on by O.C. deputy

screenshot $1.1 million given to mother whose son was shot, stomped on by O.C. deputy
The Orange County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a $1.1-million settlement for the mother of a man who was shot 18 times and had his skull fractured after a sheriff's deputy stomped on his head.

A federal jury ruled in January that the deputy used excessive force in the death of Connor Zion, 21, and decided his family should receive $360,000 in damages. An additional $740,000 was tacked on for the "tremendous amount of litigation" after the lawsuit slogged through the legal system for four years, said Dan Stormer, the attorney for Zion's mother.

"You always have mixed feelings at the end of a case in which someone was killed," Stormer said. "One million dollars seems like a lot of money, but it's money being spent because police chiefs keep allowing their officers to use excessive force."

Comment: As long as police aren't held accountable, and are even rewarded, for lawlessness and excessive force, such activity will continue.


Morality police: Iran shutters hundreds of restaurants in unusually severe Ramadan crackdown

Tehran cafe, Iran ramadan crackdown
© Getty/Kaveh Kazemi / Contributor
Mixed-sex couple in one of the discreet smoking lounges at the back of a Tehran cafe. Such establishments were targeted in the past month.
Police have closed hundreds of restaurants in major Iranian cities during a more-severe-than-usual Ramadan crackdown, while authorities have urged citizens to report "immoral behavior" by texting a dedicated hotline.

"The owners of restaurants and cafes in which Islamic principles were not observed were confronted, and during this operation 547 businesses were closed in Tehran and 11 offenders arrested," Tehran police chief Hossein Rahimi said on the official department website.

The establishments were shut down in the past fortnight over "unconventional advertising in cyberspace, playing illegal music and debauchery."

Similar mass police interventions were reported throughout the country, including the sealing-up of over 300 restaurants in the third-largest city, Ishafan.

Arrow Up

Ohio bakery awarded $11M from Oberlin College in libel suit over racist smear campaign

Gibson's bakery
In December 2017, as reported by TGP reporter Cassandra Fairbanks, an Ohio bakery filed a lawsuit against Oberlin College and its dean for slander, after the establishment was branded as "racist" after three black men assaulted the shopkeeper and were arrested for attempting to steal wine.

The men had claimed that they were simply trying to purchase the wine from Gibson's Bakery using fake identification cards, but pleaded guilty to attempted theft and aggravated trespassing in August. Campus Reform reports that part of their plea agreement included an admission that their actions were wrong and that the store had no racist intentions.

Allyn Gibson, the person working at the shop at the time, was repeatedly accused of racial profiling after being assaulted by the men - though no evidence was ever provided of his alleged racism. The Oberlin Student Senate even passed a resolution claiming that Gibson had "a history of racial profiling and discriminatory treatment."

"Racism can't always be proven on an Excel sheet," Kameron Dunbar, an Oberlin junior and vice chair of the student senate, told the Chicago Tribune.

Comment: Background: Bakery labeled 'racist' after shopkeeper assaulted by three black students who pleaded guilty to shoplifting


Georgia professor claims illegal immigrants drain the US economy, outrage ensues with calls for his firing

Fang Zhou at Georgia Gwinnett College, illegal immigration

“I am against political correctness,” says Zhou, a LEGAL immigrant from China. 'My students learn about the financial drain of illegal immigration on the economy and the high crime rates of illegal immigrants.'
A college professor in Georgia is drawing criticism for his online comments about illegal immigrants, including his contention that people in the U.S. illegally can be a drain on the nation's economy.

"If you are going to reward illegal immigrants, there will be more illegal immigrants," Fang Zhou, an associate professor of history at Georgia Gwinnett College near Atlanta, told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Zhou says he welcomes the criticism, including from those who say he should lose his job, according to the report.

"I am against political correctness," Zhou, a legal immigrant from China, told the newspaper. "I speak truth to power in class and my students learn about the financial drain of illegal immigration on the economy and the high crime rates of illegal immigrants.

"My students are 'woke' and are overwhelmingly against illegal immigration after taking my class," he added.

Comment: Statistics suggest Professor Zhou's statements have merit: The true cost of illegal immigration
"At the federal, state, and local levels, taxpayers shell out approximately $134.9 billion to cover the costs incurred by the presence of more than 12.5 million illegal aliens, and about 4.2 million citizen children of illegal aliens." This, the report says, is a nearly $3 billion increase in the cost since 2013. It is also rather more than the single payment of $25 billion that it will cost to build a wall - five and a half times more, and every year.

The same goes for the cost of deporting illegal immigrants. According to Steven A. Camarota, director of research at the Center for Immigration Studies,
"...The average cost of a deportation is much smaller than the net fiscal drain created by the average illegal immigrant," in part due to the fact that "illegal immigrants overwhelmingly have modest levels of education - most have not completed high school or have only a high school education...creating more in costs for government than they pay in taxes."
And on the criminality of illegal aliens:
The findings are unequivocal, as the following summary illustrates:

"Undocumented immigrants are at least 142% more likely to be convicted of a crime than other Arizonans. They also tend to commit more serious crimes and serve 10.5% longer sentences, more likely to be classified as dangerous, and 45% more likely to be gang members than U.S. citizens...There are dramatic differences between in the criminal histories of convicts who are U.S. citizens and undocumented immigrants...

"[Y]oung undocumented immigrants commit crime at twice the rate of young U.S. citizens. These undocumented immigrants also tend to commit more serious crimes. If undocumented immigrants committed crime nationally as they do in Arizona, in 2016 they would have been responsible for over 1,000 more murders, 5,200 rapes, 8,900 robberies, 25,300 aggravated assaults, and 26,900 burglaries."

Black Cat

AFP raids on journalists: Laws against terrorism and espionage are actually being used to intimidate whistleblowers

Annika Smethurst austrialia police raid
© AAP/Twitter ; AAP/Twitter
The home of News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst (left) was raided by federal police.
Around the globe, people are embracing the information age. But in Australia, the Government doesn't want you to be informed.

In case you missed the media coverage, Australian Federal Police Officers raided the home of a News Corp Journalist and the offices of the ABC this week with warrants relating to published stories which exposed some of the decisions and actions that go on behind the closed doors of government.

The story so far

News Corp journalist Annika Smethurst published a story last year about proposed new powers which would allow some intelligence agencies within the Australian Government to spy on the general public. The story included primary source material including correspondence between politicians.

SOTT Logo Radio

MindMatters: How Responding to Evil Can Unite Humanity

What is the fate of the average individual when psychopaths openly govern a country and pathological individuals occupy every office of importance across society? Join us today as we seek answers to these questions and continue our conversation on Chapter 5 of Andrew Lobaczewski's Political Ponerology.

In previous shows we discussed how schizoid individuals create grand ideologies, character-disturbed people weaponize them and turn them into a mass movement, and how psychopaths infiltrate these movements and, through their influence, serve as conduits for something that is as close to 'hell on earth' as we can imagine.

But today we talk about what comes after the pathocracy has firmly established itself. How do ordinary people learn to navigate a labyrinth of evil while still maintaining functioning families, economies, and society as a whole? And how is all of this relevant for the West today?

Running Time: 01:11:27

Download: MP3 - 65.4 MB


Cat among the pigeons: Russian-made TV show on Chernobyl to suggest possible CIA involvement in nuclear accident

chernobyl tv show
Russian state TV is working on its own version of Chernobyl, a series based on the worst nuclear accident in history.

The NTV drama will deviate from the acclaimed HBO series - and from historical reality - by claiming that the CIA was involved in the disaster.

Director Aleksey Muradov claims it will show "what really happened back then."

HBO's miniseries, which concluded on Monday, received the highest ever score for a TV show on IMdB, as well as a 9.1 rating on Russian equivalent Kinopoisk.

But in an interview with Komsomolskaya Pravda, Russia's most widely-read tabloid, Mr Muradov said his version of the show "proposes an alternative view on the tragedy in Pripyat".

"There is a theory that Americans infiltrated the Chernobyl nuclear power plant," he told the paper. "Many historians do not rule out the possibility that on the day of the explosion, an agent of the enemy's intelligence services was working at the station."

Comment: Those last sentences are true, like the show's by-line about "the price of lies"... of the Anglo-American-led 'West'.

We wonder how many Westerners watching Chernobyl realised that the show - whether intended or not - is actually metaphor for the structural precipice the West currently stands on, projected back in time and 'over there'...

Russia has been on that precipice, and grown from it.

It's not at all clear that the West will too...


Moscow named among world's top 10 most attractive tourism destinations

St. Basil's Cathedral
© Reuters / Christian Hartmann
People stand in front of St. Basil's Cathedral at the Zaryadye Park off Red Square in central Moscow
A study by international consulting company BCG has found that Moscow will continue attracting more travelers; the influx of tourists to the Russian capital will grow by almost half to more than 30 million visits a year.

"The successful hosting of the World Cup tournament in summer 2018 showed that Moscow can already offer world-class tourism services, and its infrastructure could accept much more intensive tourist flows than before," the authors of the research said.

The growth in the number of tourists visiting Moscow after the World Cup (from September to December 2018) was up 117 percent from the same period a year earlier. Half of the visitors said that were ready to recommend Moscow to other travelers. Before the World Cup (from January to May) the growth of the tourist influx was less than 13 percent.


What 'Chernobyl' TV show got right and wrong - According to Major General who oversaw clean-up

tarakanov ineson

(L) Ralph Ineson as Nikolay Tarakanov in ‘Chernobyl’ miniseries - (R) Portrait from private archive of Nikolai Tarakanov
No one told rookie troops to shoot cows in Chernobyl and the miners there never worked naked, Major General Nikolai Tarakanov, who headed the real 'liquidators' in 1986, has told RT's documentary channel.

Tarakanov praised other aspects of the show, adding that the actor who played him in the HBO hit did a "great job."

Major General Tarakanov was one of the key participants of the events in Chernobyl in 1986, receiving a high dose of radiation while in charge of the troops working to decontaminate the ill-fated power plant.


'Chernobyl' is a blast of a TV series - but don't call it 'authentic'

© 'Chernobyl' HBO / Liam Daniel
Building film sets out of old Soviet buildings is easier than understanding the people who inhabited them - and the hit HBO show doesn't grasp either why the nuclear accident was allowed to happen, or the heroism that followed.

Authenticity is not an essential virtue even for a docudrama, but it has been one of the main selling points of Chernobyl, the five-part mini-series that is currently the highest-ever rated TV program on film database IMDB.

Now, my qualms aren't with the factual inaccuracies, the creation of Emily Watson's fictional female scientist in place of the thousands of women actually involved, or the squeezing of such a grand-scale, multi-faceted story into what is, for the most part, a disaster film with two leads.