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Tue, 25 Apr 2017
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US Supreme Court will not review police-force case, justifies cop immunity

© Carlo Allegri / Reuters
The US Supreme Court will not review a case in which lower courts had decided that a Texas cop's version of events - involving the officer shooting an unarmed man in the back - are "undisputed facts" that effectively block a jury trial.

The case, Ricardo Salazar-Limon v. City of Houston, hinges on Houston police officer Chris Thompson's version of events regarding a 2010 traffic stop during which Thompson shot an unarmed Ricardo Salazar-Limon in the back, leaving him partially paralyzed. The officer said he feared for his life when he shot Salazar-Limon. Salazar-Limon sued, seeking a jury trial to decide the validity of Thompson's claims.

At issue is whether a court could accept the officer's version of events as "undisputed fact" and grant summary judgment to Thompson, effectively avoiding a full trial on Salazar-Limon's excessive force claims.

"The police officer didn't have the right to do this," Salazar-Limon told the Houston Chronicle in 2013. "I didn't abuse him. I didn't insult him. I didn't try to hit him or do anything against him for him to use that kind of force."

Justice Sonia Sotomayor dissented over the Supreme Court's decision to let stand a lower court's dismissal of the suit. She wrote in a dissent supported by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg that the court's refusal of the case continues a "disturbing trend" of protecting cops from lawsuits and bad behavior.


New Orleans removes Liberty Monument, prominent symbol of confederate legacy

© WWLTV / YouTube
A prominent symbol of the confederate legacy in the southern United States was removed Monday morning by masked workers wearing bulletproof vests and under heavy police protection.

The Liberty Monument in New Orleans has been removed following a 2015 city council vote to take down a total of four statues associated with the confederate movement but a series of lawsuits had prevented any action until now.

"There's a better way to use the property these monuments are on and a way that better reflects who we are," New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu told the Associated Press on Sunday.

The city has refused to name the contractors who are carrying out the four removals as there have been multiple threats of violence and intimidation. Work will take place at night to ensure police can sufficiently secure each site while minimizing the impact to traffic flows through the city.

People 2

US high school students' entrepreneurial aspirations at lowest level on record - report

© Jim Young / Reuters
Fewer US high school students want to build their own business, with figures hitting their lowest level since 2011, a survey has revealed. However, those in grades five to eight are more optimistic, and show more enthusiasm about potential startups.

The latest Gallup-HOPE Index report suggests that a little over one in four high school students, or 27 percent of respondents, see their future as linked to owning a business.

The numbers are slightly down on the 34-35 percent range over the five-year period since the study began in 2011.

This might be due to teens having a clearer perspective about their career goals as they grow older, the report's authors say.

Another reason suggested for the smaller number of high school students wanting to own a business is that they experience a large number of special courses at school or are interned with a local business, which puts them off starting up on their own.

Red Flag

UK police: Pedophile hunters interfere with investigations into sexual predators

© Fabrice Cateloy / Global Look Press
'Pedophile hunters' posing as children online to catch potential sexual predators could undermine the effectiveness of police investigations, a senior officer has said.

Chief Constable Simon Bailey, of the National Police Chiefs' Council, said that self-styled hunters could interfere with investigations and undermine both the suspect's and the victim's safety.

Bailey's comments come after a court ruled in favor of a group who argued that it should not be subjected to official scrutiny.

"Revealing the identity of suspected pedophiles gives the suspect the opportunity to destroy evidence before the police can investigate them," he said.

"It can jeopardize ongoing police investigations and these people have no way of safeguarding child victims," he said, according to the Guardian.

Comment: Maybe if there weren't so many pedophiles escaping justice or getting extremely light sentences for their terrible crimes there wouldn't be so many people taking justice into their own hands. If the police had the same tenacity as the homemade pedophile hunters, it's possible that the pedophiles would get scared enough to stop their sick behavior.

Star of David

6 Israeli men facing charges for beating Arabs who date Jewish women

© Darren Ornitz / Reuters
Six young Israeli men in the city of Be'er Sheva have been charged with severely assaulting Arab men over their romantic relationships with Jewish women.

The Israeli men are aged between 17 and 20, and two of them are soldiers, according to Haaretz.

In at least six incidents from last December to April 6, they used knives, clubs and metal bars to attack the Arab men for pursuing romantic relationships with Jewish women.

The most severe of the assaults involved 19-year-old Raz Ben-Shalom Amitzur, who approached a Jewish-Arab couple and stabbed the man several times with a knife in his back, chest, abdomen, and arm.

Comment: About Lehava:

Complaint filed by Hebron settlers against Palestinian who filmed execution
Itamar Ben-Gvir and Bentzi Gopstein, far-right settlers and followers of the late Rabbi Meir Kahane, have filed a complaint with Israeli police against Emad Abu Shamsiya, the Palestinian videographer who captured the execution of an incapacitated Palestinian suspect in Hebron.

Ben-Gvir is a lawyer who defends Jews suspected of vigilante attacks including the killers of the Dawabshe family. Gopstein is founder of the state-funded anti-miscegenation movement Lehava, and has called for churches to be burned.
Wedding between Arab man and Jewish women in Tel Aviv incites media frenzy and picketing from far-right group Lehava

Arrow Down

The 'March to Silence' - Shots fired at building housing leading climate skeptic scientists

© Image via Google Maps Street View
National Space Science and Technology Center (NSSTC) building.
A total of seven shots were fired into our National Space Science and Technology Center (NSSTC) building here at UAH over the weekend.

All bullets hit the 4th floor, which is where John Christy's office is (my office is in another part of the building).

Given that this was Earth Day weekend, with a March for Science passing right past our building on Saturday afternoon, I think this is more than coincidence. When some people cannot argue facts, they resort to violence to get their way. It doesn't matter that we don't "deny global warming"; the fact we disagree with its seriousness and the level of human involvement in warming is enough to send some radicals into a tizzy.

Our street is fairly quiet, so I doubt the shots were fired during Saturday's march here. It was probably late night Saturday or Sunday for the shooter to have a chance of being unnoticed.

Maybe the "March For Science" should have been called the "March To Silence".

Campus and city police say they believe the shots were fired from a passing car, based upon the angle of entry into one of the offices. Shell casings were recovered outside. The closest distance a passing car would have been is 70 yards away.

This is a developing story. I have no other details.


Jordan closes legal loophole - rapists who marry their victims can still be charged and convicted

© Adrees Latif / Reuters
Jordan scrapped a law on Sunday that protected rapists from prosecution if they married and stayed with their victim for at least five years.

This follows an amendment to the law, entitled Article 308, made last year which allowed rapists to marry only victims between the ages of 15 and 18.

The law also afforded the option of a pardon for perpetrators of sexual assault in cases that were deemed to be "consensual."

Lawmakers previously defended the clauses saying they were put in place "to protect her [the victim], because in some instances, she could be harmed or killed by her family if she did not marry her rapist," reports The Jordan Times.


True social justice warriors: How grassroots activists defeated anti-BDS legislation in Maryland

© Kim Jensen
From left to right, Steve France, Maria Baroody, Rachel Roberts, Zainab Chaudry, Shelley Cohen Fudge, Reverend Marvin Silver, Reverend Alex Vishio, Chips Shutt, Susan Kerin, Jodie Zisow-Mclean, Saqib Ali, Samira Hussein.
Monday, April 10, 2017, marked a significant victory for social justice activism in the state of Maryland. After a vigorous and well-organized campaign, anti-BDS legislation was roundly defeated for the third time in four years.

Like similar legislation that has been enacted in states across the U.S., Senate Bill 739 and House Bill 949 would have denied public benefits and state contracts to businesses, organizations, and individuals who participate in the boycott of Israeli entities. The legislation would have created a de facto blacklist for those who choose to exercise basic first amendment rights. Though the bills are notoriously unconstitutional, it hasn't stopped pro-Israel leaders and politicians from trying to push them onto the books across the country.

This time they lost. Again.


George Carlin: 'Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners'

© Via YouTube/Temet Nosce Ousia Nosce
Political Correctness: Based on the non-existent "right" to not be offended.

Heart - Black

Two family dogs found decapitated, mutilated in Western Colorado

© Fox31
An Orchard Mesa woman is grieving and hoping the public will help identify a suspect after her two pit bull dogs were found decapitated near railroad tracks in the area on Wednesday.

In a disturbing scene detailed in an incident report, several passersby reported seeing two dogs decapitated on the tracks by the shooting range just before 5:45 p.m. Wednesday. A man and a woman who were walking in the area moved the dogs from the middle of the tracks because they didn't want a train to further mutilate the animals, according to a report by the Mesa County Sheriff's Office.

The dogs' owner, Christin Ormond, said her dogs — B.B., a 6-month-old black and white spotted male, and Calypso, 1-and-a-half-year-old white and brindle female — had been missing since about midnight Monday. Her husband let the dogs out to go to the bathroom and they jumped the back fence, she said.

"They were the sweetest dogs. They didn't have a mean bone in their bodies," Ormond said Friday. "I'm a CNA (certified nursing assistant). I've been a CNA for 16 years and I've seen some pretty bad stuff. This is probably the worst thing I've ever seen."