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Sun, 21 Apr 2019
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Man in wheelchair 'sets himself on fire' outside White House, detained by Secret Service

man fire DC
© Reuters/Kevin Lamarque
Police and secret service remove a man on a stretcher from Lafayette Park, outside the White House in Washington, DC, April 12, 2019.
A man has apparently attempted to set himself on fire outside the White House. He caused a commotion by lighting his jacket on fire before Secret Service agents stepped in and whisked him away. He is being treated for injuries.

The man rode up to the presidential residence on a motorized wheelchair before his apparent attempt at self-immolation, said reporter Christal Hayes of USA Today.

As the Secret Service apprehended the man, the White House was placed on lockdown and reporters ushered inside.


Manning's team says Assange indictment proves contempt charge is grand jury abuse

manning prison
© Reuters
Chelsea Manning served seven years in prison
Chelsea Manning's legal team will file a reply brief in their appeal asking the Fourth Circuit to vacate District Court Judge Hilton's March 8 finding of civil contempt. Ms. Manning, a staunch advocate for government transparency, asserted legal grounds for her refusal to participate in what she views as an assault on the free press. She remains in detention as a result of the contempt finding. The Assange indictment disclosed this morning strengthens their claims of grand jury abuse, say Manning's attorneys.
"The indictment against Julian Assange unsealed today was obtained a year to the day before Chelsea appeared before the grand jury and refused to give testimony. The fact that this indictment has existed for over a year underscores what Chelsea's legal team and Chelsea herself have been saying since she was first issued a subpoena to appear in front of a Federal Grand Jury in the Eastern District of Virginia - that compelling Chelsea to testify would have been duplicative of evidence already in the possession of the grand jury, and was not needed in order for US Attorneys to obtain an indictment of Mr. Assange. Grand Juries may not be used for the sole and dominant purpose of preparing for trial, including questioning potential trial witnesses. Since her testimony can no longer contribute to a grand jury investigation, Chelsea's ongoing detention can no longer be seriously alleged to constitute an attempt to coerce her testimony. As continued detention would be purely punitive, we demand Chelsea be released."


Americans will need 'Real ID' if they want to fly starting next year

florida real ID
Have you heard of a REAL ID-compliant driver's license?

You'll need to make sure you're familiar with the term and that you have one in your wallet, if you plan on traveling commercially any time after Oct. 1, 2020.

Just look for the star, as shown in the photo above.

The new rule applies to every traveler who is 18 years or older, starting in the fall of next year.


Russian Spetsnaz storms house in Siberian city in Anti-ISIS OP

Russian FSB
© Sputnik/FSB (file photo)
A counter-terrorism operation is ongoing in the Siberian city of Tyumen, where the FSB says Islamic State militants were planning a terrorist attack.

Russian Special Forces are storming a private home in Tyumen where armed militants affiliated with Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) are currently holed up.

The Federal Security Service (FSB) has confirmed that an anti-terrorist operation was underway in the city late on Friday, saying that the militants planned attacks in the Siberian city.

Numerous unconfirmed videos on social media appear to show the nighttime operation in full swing, with heavy gunfire, a score of police cars and military vehicles amassed in the streets.


WikiLeaks editor & Assange lawyer promise Wikileaks 'not going anywhere': Will fight 'chilling' attack on press

Assange robinson Hrafnsson lawyer editor Wikileaks
© Reuters / Hannah McKay
Assange lawyer Jennifer Robinson and WikiLeaks editor Kristinn Hrafnsson
The prosecution - and persecution - of Julian Assange is meant to silence others who would speak out against abuses of power, WikiLeaks editor Kristinn Hrafnsson and Assange lawyer Jennifer Robinson say, promising to fight back.

"This is a precedent... that effectively means that any journalist or media organization anywhere in the world can be extradited and prosecuted for having published truthful info about the United States, and that is, as a matter of principle, wrong and ought to be resisted. And we will be fighting it," Robinson told RT.


Jordan Peterson and the new chivalry


Image excerpted from The Vinkhuijzen Collection of Military Uniforms (1940).
In his recent appearance at Liberty University, Jordan Peterson delivered this verdict on the dominant attitude toward masculinity among our society's elites: "I don't think we do a very good job at the moment of encouraging men. We have this idea that there's something intrinsically oppressive about the patriarchy and about masculinity in general. And I think that's nonsense. I think that strong, honest, truthful, courageous men pursuing noble goals is of great benefit to everyone, male and female alike." Members of the student audience applauded loudly, little knowing that not 10 minutes later, a scene would unfold in which Peterson would have an opportunity to match action to words.

By now, tens of thousands of people have seen the clip of the desperate young man who slipped past security to rush the stage and appeal to Peterson for help. The high-definition video feed was cut, but amateur footage shows Peterson leaving his seat and following David Nasser, Liberty University's Campus Pastor, to engage. Nasser assures the troubled boy that he is "in the right place," telling security to stand down while he leads the audience in prayer. As the student collapses in sobs, Peterson can be seen kneeling down to put a calming hand on his heaving shoulders. After the student is escorted offstage, the video feed comes back up as Nasser and Peterson return to their seats. Peterson seems shaken and visibly moved to tears.

The whole vignette plays out in less than two minutes. Yet it affords an opportunity for reflection - by shedding light not only on the specific nature of Jordan Peterson's appeal, but also on the larger question of what masculine virtue can and should look like in the modern age.


Johnny Bobbitt, homeless veteran involved in GoFundMe scheme, gets 5 years probation

Johnny Bobbitt, from left, Katelyn McClure and Mark D'Amico.
© Burlington County Prosecutors office/AP
This November 2018 combination of photos provided by the Burlington County Prosecutors office shows Johnny Bobbitt, from left, Katelyn McClure and Mark D'Amico.
Johnny Bobbitt, who concocted a feel-good story with a woman and her boyfriend to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars as part of a GoFundMe campaign, has been sentenced to five years probation.

Part of the terms of the probation sentence, which was handed down in a New Jersey court Friday, include that he attend a drug treatment program and cooperate with prosecutors in their case against his co-conspirators, according to ABC station WABC.

If the probation is violated, however, he will be sentenced to five years in prison, WABC reports.

The veteran pleaded guilty in March to the state charges of conspiracy to commit theft by deception. Bobbitt faces an additional, separate federal sentencing at a later date for one count of money laundering conspiracy, which he also pleaded guilty to in March.

Eye 2

Ohio becomes the latest state with a heartbeat abortion ban, but will likely face legal challenges

Gov. Mike DeWine signs a bill
© Fred Squillante/The Columbus Dispatch via AP
Gov. Mike DeWine signs a bill imposing one of the nation's toughest abortion restrictions, April 11, 2019 in Columbus, Ohio. DeWine's signature makes Ohio the fifth state to ban abortions after the first detectable fetal heartbeat. That can come as early as five or six weeks into pregnancy, before many women know they're pregnant.
None of the six-week abortion bans have been enacted due to legal challenges.

Ohio has now added itself to a growing list of states where the governor has signed a ban on abortions after a heartbeat can be detected.

Republican Gov. Mike DeWine signed the controversial ban, which is one of the most stringent in the country, on Thursday.

Similar bills had been proposed in Ohio in the past, but the state's last Republican governor, John Kasich, vetoed those saying that they were unconstitutional.

The legality of abortion bans that start at the point of a detectable heartbeat - which can be as early as six weeks into a pregnancy when some women may not know that they are pregnant - has been challenged in a number of other states.


Judge Andrew Napolitano calls Julian Assange a hero

Assange and Andrew Napolitano
Judge Andrew Napolitano called Julian Assange a "hero" after the WikiLeaks founder was arrested by British police Thursday moments after Ecuador withdrew his asylum for "repeatedly violating international conventions and protocol."

"I have to tell you, in my opinion Julian Assange is a hero. What he published was truthful information that the American public and the world had the right to see," Napolitano, a Fox News legal analyst, said on "Fox & Friends" Thursday about an hour after Assange was arrested.

The 47-year-old Australian native has been in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since 2012 when British courts ordered him extradited to face questioning in a sexual assault case. That matter has since been dropped, but Wikileaks, an anti-secrecy site, is facing a federal grand jury investigation over its publication of American diplomatic and military secrets during the Iraq War.

Moments before he was arrested, Ecuador announced it had withdrawn Assange's asylum for "repeatedly violating international conventions and protocol."


'How about paying your taxes?': Amazon and Walmart engage in war of words over worker pay

Jeff Bezos  and Doug McMillon
© Getty Images | CNBC
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and Doug McMillon, CEO of Walmart.
Amazon and Walmart are in war over worker pay - and now corporate taxes.

After Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos on Thursday issued a challenge to other retailers, not naming which ones specifically, to match Amazon's pay and benefits, Walmart has responded, albeit quietly.

"Today I challenge our top retail competitors (you know who you are!) to match our employee benefits and our $15 minimum wage. Do it! Better yet, go to $16 and throw the gauntlet back at us. It's a kind of competition that will benefit everyone," Bezos wrote in his annual letter to shareholders.

Walmart's executive vice president of corporate affairs, Dan Bartlett, then shared an article Thursday morning on Twitter about Amazon paying $0 in federal taxes on more than $11 billion in profits last year. He wrote: "Hey retail competitors out there (you know who you are) how about paying your taxes?"

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