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Sun, 29 Mar 2020
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Nirbhaya gang rape convicts executed at Delhi prison, bringing shocking 7+ year case to a close after countless delays

tihar jail
© Reuters / Mansi Thapliyal
The four men convicted for the grisly 2012 gang rape and murder of a young student in India have been executed by hanging, finally bringing the seven-year 'Nirbhaya' case to an end after a lengthy ordeal of appeals and delays.

The assailants were hanged at New Delhi's Tihar Jail 5:30am local time Friday, following a marathon legal proceeding the night prior which saw last-ditch attempts to appeal their sentence shot down.

"Now I will get peace," Asha Devi, the mother of the victim, - who has come to be known as 'Nirbhaya', or 'the fearless one' in Hindi - told PTI after the mens' final hanging date was set in stone early Friday morning.

The ghastly crime saw a group of attackers descended upon a 23-year-old student and her male companion riding on a bus in India's capital on the evening of December 16, 2012, savagely beating both and taking turns raping the young student. Though the woman lived through the initial onslaught, she later died of severe internal injuries, while her friend was critically injured but survived the encounter.


Coronavirus sends (some) British forces home from Iraq

© Reuters / Azad Lashkari
FILE PHOTO: British troops with Peshmerga forces take part in training in Erbil, Iraq, March 17, 2016
Britain has pulled some of its forces home from a training mission in Iraq, due to a slowdown in operations as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. The illness has forced the British military to reassess its priorities.

An unspecified number of the 400 or so British troops will be pulled from Iraq and sent home to "support loved ones facing the challenges of the virus," the Ministry of Defence announced on Thursday. Some "key military personnel" will be left behind, the MoD added.

The troops were deployed to Iraq in 2014 to train Kurdish forces battling Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) militants, but Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said that the virus had slowed the "tempo of training," and led to the mission being paused for the last 60 days. Before training the Kurds, British soldiers fought alongside US and coalition forces in Iraq between 2003 and 2011, in a war that cost 180 British lives and remained unpopular with the public throughout.

Comment: See also: The looting begins: Gang of thugs smash doors of south London Sainsbury's after raiding store for alcohol

Bizarro Earth

CNN reporter praises Trump's coronavirus response, immediately clarifies on Twitter before she loses lib credibility

Dana Bash
© REUTERS/Lucas Jackson
Dana Bash at second US 2020 presidential Democratic debate in Detroit, Michigan
Veteran CNN reporter Dana Bash furiously backpedaled on Twitter after getting praise from conservatives - and heat from 'the Resistance' - for calling President Donald Trump's coronavirus press conference "remarkable."

"He is being the kind of leader that people need, at least in tone, today and yesterday, in tone that people need, and want, and yearn for in times of crisis and uncertainty," Bash, CNN's chief political correspondent, said on-air Tuesday in response to Trump's coronavirus press conference.

She also called Trump "remarkable," an adjective you don't typically hear used on CNN to describe the president.

Comment: We're seeing anti-Trump hysteria play off with the coronavirus hoax pandemic hysteria. Who will win?

No Entry

The problem with 'eminent domain': Government should play by the same private property rules as we do

© bigstock
If you want to buy a piece of land, then you have to pay a price that the owner is willing to accept. But too often, government doesn't have to play by the same rules — and in Arizona, one town is trying to use that special treatment to acquire a utility company branch at a bottom-dollar price.

Last year, Bullhead City filed a ballot initiative (Prop 415) with Mohave County to use eminent domain to acquire a branch of the private utility company EPCOR. The valuations on the costs of the utility company varied widely — ranging around $55 million according to the city to $130 million according to EPCOR. The city's valuation relied on public records, views of the system from behind a chain-link fence, and other questionable methods (other abuses aside from those addressed in this post can be read here).

Eminent domain — the power of government to confiscate private property for the so-called "public good" — is often little more than legalized theft. While Arizona has taken steps to ensure its residents enjoy the strongest protections for property rights in the nation, even the Goldwater Institute's home state has experienced its share of eminent domain abuse. Bullhead City's move to acquire the EPCOR branch is just the latest example.

Russian Flag

Eva Bartlett: Crimeans tell the real story of the 2014 referendum and their lives since their return to Russia

Crimean flag crowd
© Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP
Crimeans gather with Russian and Crimea flags, Sevastopol, Crimea, March 14, 2018.
Eva Bartlett traveled to Crimea to see firsthand out how Crimeans have fared since 2014 when their country reunited with Russia, and what the referendum was really like.

In early August I traveled to Russia for the first time, partly out of interest in seeing some of the vast country with a tourist's eyes, partly to do some journalism in the region. It also transpired that while in Moscow I was able to interview Maria Zakharova, spokeswoman of the Foreign Ministry.

High on my travel list, however, was to visit Crimea and Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) — the former a part of Russia, the latter an autonomous republic in the east of Ukraine, neither accurately depicted in Western reporting. Or at least that was my sense looking at independent journalists' reports and those in Russian media.

Both regions are native Russian-speaking areas; both opted out of Ukraine in 2014. In the case of Crimea, joining Russia (or actually rejoining, as most I spoke to in Crimea phrased it) was something people overwhelmingly supported. In the case of the Donbass region, the turmoil of Ukraine's Maidan coup in 2014 set things in motion for the people in the region to declare independence and form the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics.


The coronavirus 'suicide fears' as the health crisis deepens

elderly suicide
A senior councillor has urged the people of St Helens to "look after our neighbours" as the coronavirus health crisis deepens.

Cllr Anthony Burns, cabinet member for public health, leisure and libraries, stressed the importance of pulling together during a meeting of the People's Board, which features a rang of partners from across the borough.

During a discussion about the borough's suicide rate, Cllr Burns warned the coronavirus outbreak is adding to peoples' existing worries.

Comment: The sensationalist reporting of COVID-19 by the mainstream media and the extreme measures taken by governments across the globe, may have a lot to answer for when all is said and done. The current epidemic of loneliness and stress will only be intensified in these trying times. It's a good reminder for everyone to stop and take a breath, talk to loved ones, spend some time in nature (this includes the garden) and most of all... not to panic!

For more information:


The next woman to get away with murder

What is the best way to get away with murder? In the United States especially, it is to wear a badge. Police officers who shoot innocent citizens are seldom brought to book. In the UK, police shootings do happen, but they are extremely rare. Domestic murders on the other hand are sadly all too common. Men murder their wives and lovers; women murder their husbands and lovers. The big difference is that when a woman is the perpetrator rather than the victim, there will always be some mischief-maker waiting to cry foul, to turn the perpetrator into the victim and the victim into the perpetrator.

One such mischief-maker is the lawyer Harriet Wistrich; she's done this quite a few times over the years, and is hoping to do it again soon with two women: Farieissia Martin and Emma-Jayne Magson (pictured above with the tattooed chest). Like Sally Challen who put a hammer in her handbag then battered her estranged husband over the head twenty times, they are guilty as sin. Years after Challen's conviction, she told Wistrich's lover and collaborator Julie Bindel how Richard Challen had raped her on a number of occasions. Yet she still went back for more. At her trial in 2011, the jury heard how she had accessed his e-mails, monitored his Facebook page, and his voicemail messages. She asked a neighbour to spy on him, yet curiously, all this was later interpreted as him stalking and harassing her.

The Martin case was discussed here in a recent article. Magson is cut from the same cloth, a violent woman who took a knife to the man with whom she lived. So how does Miss Wistrich plan to spring Martin and Magson from prison?

Both these women were convicted of murder on overwhelming evidence, and normally new evidence will not be admitted on appeal. The same provision applies broadly in the United States and most countries that have fair criminal justice systems. However, under the Criminal Appeal Act, 1995, fresh evidence can be admitted subject to two broad criteria. It must be evidence that is "capable of belief" and evidence that was not available at the time, or if it was available at the time, there must be a reasonable explanation for its not being adduced at trial. No one is entitled to more than one trial.


Australia's SAS murdering Afghan civilians undeniable thanks to video footage and whistleblower exposing war crimes

australia afghan
The graphic footage, filmed by body cameras worn by the elite troops and broadcast on national television, must lead to the soldiers being tried for murder.

Australians always look forward to celebrating Anzac Day, but this year it will be different because a pall of shame has fallen over our armed forces thanks to a jaw-dropping TV expose aired this week that showed elite Aussie soldiers murdering Afghan civilians in cold blood when they were supposed to be protecting them from the Taliban.

While a four-year inquiry into the behavior of its soldiers in Afghanistan, by the Inspector General of the Australian Defence Force, is still to deliver on its investigation, the chances of alleged war crimes being swept under the rug thanks to lying soldiers misguidedly protecting their comrades, misinformation from witnesses, or from a political cover-up, have just been blown out of the water.

Thanks to whistleblower Braden Chapman, a former army intelligence officer who witnessed the atrocities first hand in 2012, no one can ignore the reality of what happened as the Aussie Special Air Services Regiment (SAS) stormed the dusty villages of Afghanistan in search of those it considered legitimate targets.

Comment: Few - if any - Western nations have clean hands when it comes to the endless war of terror on the Middle East. And, as noted above, and as seen in the innumerable other abhorrent actions by soldiers of other nations, it gives free reign for sick individuals to channel their rage or satisfy their blood lust:

Arrow Down

Marvel goes full social justice with Snowflake and Safespace characters

Marvel woke characters

Marvel is completely dripping with soy. The woke comic book publisher is now doubling down with its foray into social justice.
Marvel is completely dripping with soy. Not tired of having the lowest sales figures at any point in history, the woke comic book publisher is now doubling down with its foray into social justice with the introduction of an all new comic book called "The New Warriors" that features not one, but three social justice-infused characters, two of which are named "Snowflake" and "Safespace."

Yes, you read that correctly. They're naming the characters precisely after what pretty much every normal person on the planet refers to social justice warriors derogatorily.

As the comic's creator, who himself looks like the spitting image of the Nu-Male Wojak made fun of by the likes of PewDiePie and Paul Joseph Watson, Daniel Kibblesmith explains:

Comment: It's like Marvel is actively seeking the dumbest ideas out there. Surely this time pushing sanctimonious SJW garbage on uninterested fans will work. Afterall, if you throw enough mud at the wall, shouldn't some of it stick at some point??


"Amazon puts us at risk:" Warehouse workers discuss company's inaction in the face of coronavirus

Amazon warehouse workers
Amazon whistleblower Meghan King has been working off and on at the GSP-1 warehouse in Spartanburg, South Carolina, where she has been injured twice, since 2012. She spoke this week with the World Socialist Web Site about the effect of the pandemic on her life and her co-workers' lives.

Warehouse workers have already tested positive in Spain, Italy, and in the US state of Washington. A recent online petition calling for measures to prevent the spread of the virus has been signed by 1,500 Amazon workers.

With millions of people quarantined or otherwise confined to their homes, orders through Amazon have mounted precipitously. In the UK, where Amazon employs approximately 27,000 workers, warehouse workers report being subjected to compulsory overtime to meet increased demand.

On Friday, schools in Meghan's area closed, and many Amazon workers are now staying home to care for their children. In Meghan's case, she cares for three children. Management has indicated that workers will not be penalized for not showing up in March, but at the same time, workers are not receiving paid time off.

How will she survive without pay? "That's a good question," Meghan says. "I live paycheck to paycheck now. Many working class families, they have a buffer. I quite literally live paycheck to paycheck. Three weeks with no income and I'm screwed."

Comment: While its clear that a panic about the severity of the virus has clearly taken hold among Amazon workers and others, its clear that the fear of losing income and the potential for losing jobs altogether, is a very legitimate reason to be concerned about how upper managers deal with the knock-on effects of the disease. And we won't just be seeing stories like this one among workers of Amazon either; greater economic distress will be the new normal.