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Fri, 24 Feb 2017
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Sentencing delayed in trial of 10yo guilty of rape over psychological capacity concerns - Boy returns to school

© Jens Kalaene / www.globallookpress.com
A 10-year-old boy in Perth, Australia who pleaded guilty to raping an eight-year-old has had his sentencing delayed over concerns he does not have the capacity to understand the court process. The child has been attending school while on bail.

Sentencing was delayed after concerns were raised over the child by Magistrate Andree-Marie Horrigan, who told the court a psychologist's report on his welfare "raises a number of issues, one of which is capacity." The matter requires further consideration, Horrigan said, ordering the boy to appear in court again on March 15, The Australian reports.

Representing the child, who cannot be identified due to his age, his lawyer Neville Barber told the court he disputed the psychologist's findings. "(The offender) was well aware of what he should not have done," he said. "On my instructions he is well aware that he did what he should not have done."


'No place in America for hatred': Vice President Pence condemns anti-Semitism at vandalized Jewish cemetery

© Getty Images / AFP
US Vice President, Mike Pence addresses the crowd during a press conference at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery.
Vice President Mike Pence made an unannounced stop to tour a vandalized Jewish cemetery in Missouri, where he helped clean up the toppled graves and strongly condemned anti-Semitism. He also praised the local Jewish community.

On Wednesday afternoon, Pence and Missouri Governor Eric Greitens (R) visited the Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in University City, where more than 150 headstones were toppled and broken on Sunday evening. The damage was concentrated in an area holding the cemetery's oldest graves.

"There is no place in America for hatred, prejudice, or acts of violence, or anti-Semitism," Pence said, speaking through a bullhorn.

"I must tell you that the people of Missouri are inspiring the nation by your love and care for this place and the Jewish community," he told volunteers who were there to clean up the vandalism. "I want to thank you for that inspiration. For showing the world what America is all about."


Tear gas, arrests in Paris as students protest alleged rape of detainee by French police

Police have deployed tear gas during protests against police brutality in Paris, French media and Ruptly reported. Residents, mostly students, have taken to the streets of French capital to denounce the alleged rape of a black man by police.

Hundreds of students have taken to the streets for the demonstration, LCI TV reports.

Up to 16 high schools in Paris were totally blocked by protesters, while 12 others were partially blocked. The protest is trending under the hashtag #BLOCUSPOURTHÉO (Bloc for Theo).


James O'Keefe & Project Veritas release more than 100 CNN tapes online (VIDEO)

© veritasvisuals / YouTube
Conservative activist James O'Keefe has warned that "this is the beginning of the end for the MSM" after releasing 119 hours of raw audio from CNN. The tapes were recorded by an anonymous source inside the organization in 2009, according to O'Keefe.

The tapes contain soundbites from current and previous CNN employees including Joe Sterling, Arthur Brice, and Nicky Robertson. O'Keefe is releasing the tapes under 'Project Veritas' in a series of WikiLeaks-style dumps.

O'Keefe is offering a reward of $10,000 to anyone who exposes media malfeasance on the tapes and has asked the public to help listen to the hours of recordings and transcribe their information.


Police begin arresting, removing last Dakota Access Pipeline protesters

© Still from Facebook video Jon Ziegler
Hundreds of police in riot gear and carrying night sticks arrested several of the final Dakota Access Pipeline protesters remaining on federal land in violation of orders to vacate by the governor. Protesters consider the land to be indigenous property, Standing Rock, under treaty.

Enforcements included units from the Wisconsin State Troopers and Morton County officers, according to Unicorn Riot, an independent media collective. The collective also reported seeing a National Lawyers Guild observer being arrested.

Police regrouped following several arrests, returning to formation opposite protesters on the road. Remaining protesters anticipated them rushing at any moment.

Arrow Up

Japan ordered to pay $267 million to Okinawan residents suffering from US air base jet noise

© Isssei Kato / Reuters
Kadena U.S. Air Force Base in Okinawa, southwestern Japan
A Japanese court has ruled that Tokyo should pay about 30.2 billion yen ($267 million) in damages to residents suffering from noise coming from the biggest US base on Okinawa, but rejected a call to suspend night and early morning flights.

On Thursday, the Okinawa branch of the Naha District Court ordered the Japanese government to pay the compensation to residents near Kadena Air Base, which hosts the largest combat wing in the US Air Force. The base hosts some 22,000 US soldiers, family members, and Japanese employees in the towns of Kadena and Chatan and the city of Okinawa in Okinawa Prefecture, according to base data.

According to presiding Judge Tetsuya Fujikura, the noise burden on locals has continued despite a 2009 ruling that called upon Japanese authorities to improve the situation.

Comment: The noise levels are but one of the many reasons the Japanese have been protesting against the presence of the US military for decades.


Video of off-duty LAPD officer firing gun in dispute with teens sparks LA protests & 24 arrests (VIDEO)

© higosha / Instagram
Hundreds of people took to the streets of Anaheim, California on Wednesday night after footage of an off-duty LAPD officer firing a gun during a confrontation with teenagers sparked outrage online.

The incident took place after the officer, whose identity has not been revealed, confronted a group of teens from a nearby high school for walking across his lawn. Anaheim police said in a statement that it was part of an ongoing dispute between the officer and teens.

No-one was injured by the gunfire but two teens were arrested when Anaheim police arrived at the scene. One was taken into custody for making criminal threats and battery, and the other was picked up for assault and battery.
Anaheim police confirmed that the off-duty officer is cooperating with the ongoing investigation and is not being arrested at this time. LAPD also announced that they are carrying out an investigation.

Comment: See also: LA City Council agrees to pay $1.5mn to family of unarmed police shooting victim

Che Guevara

Protests erupt after Trump rolls back federal bathroom protections for transgender students

© Jonathan Ernst / Reuters
Washington, U.S. February 22, 2017.
President Donald Trump has rolled back Obama-era guidelines granting transgender students access to bathrooms that conform with their gender identity. Trump said the issue caused "so little trouble" during his campaign.

On Wednesday, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Department of Education (DOE) sent a "dear colleague" letter to public schools, informing them of changes to the "sex discrimination" code that the Obama administration instructed schools to follow.


20-year-high crime rates menace 4 American cities

© Jim Young / Reuters
Homicide rates are increasing in the majority of major US cities, but Baltimore, Chicago, Memphis and Milwaukee are struggling with some of the worst violence seen in a quarter-century.

Chicago, Baltimore, Memphis and Milwaukee are already seeing a rise in homicide in 2017, compared to the same time last year. While violence keeps climbing, many are desperately searching for a solution to the problem.

Chicago's murder rate returned to 1996 levels when the city was struggling with a drug epidemic and gang wars. The problem is now exacerbated by years of mistrust of police, leading to "the withdrawal of some local communities [from cooperating with police] and police disengagement," as Richard Rosenfeld, a criminologist at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, told the Wall Street Journal.

Control Panel

Danish man charged with blasphemy for setting fire to the Quran on video

© Getty Images
The man posted the footage to a Facebook group called 'Yes to Freedom - no to Islam'
A Danish man who posed a video of himself setting fire to the Quran on Facebook has been charged with blasphemy in the first such prosecution for 46 years.

The 42-year-old suspect put the clip, entitled "Consider your neighbour: it stinks when it burns" to a group called "YES TO FREEDOM - NO TO ISLAM" in December 2015.

Jan Reckendorff, from the public prosecutor's office in Viborg, said: "It is the prosecution's view that circumstances involving the burning of holy books such as the Bible and the Quran can in some cases be a violation of the blasphemy clause, which covers public scorn or mockery of religion.

"It is our opinion that the circumstances of this case mean it should be prosecuted so the courts now have an opportunity to take a position on the matter."

Judges in Aalborg will heard the case, although a date has not yet been set. The maximum sentence for blasphemy is four months in prison but Mr Reckendorff said prosecutors were more likely to seek a fine.