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Thu, 27 Oct 2016
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OSCE to send more election observers to U.S. amid claims of vote fraud

Amid claims from both presidential campaigns of election interference, an international agency is planning to dramatically expand the number of observers deployed to U.S. polling locations - though they've had to scale back their original game plan since some states won't allow the foreign poll watchers.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, or OSCE, originally announced it would send 100 long-term election observers "to follow the electoral process countrywide" and 400 short-term observers "to follow election day proceedings." The 500 observers would mark a tenfold increase from 2012, when the group had just 44 observers in the United States. The OSCE is better known for sending observers into countries where democracy seems shaky, such as Ukraine.

The move comes as Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has warned about a "rigged" election, and called for his supporters to act as citizen election observers as well. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, and Obama administration officials, have said the Russian government is attempting to influence the U.S. election.

Comment: Grab your popcorn, because November 8 and its aftermath will be a show worth watching! There are already signs of vote switching in early voting stations, and guess who it benefits:

But there's nothing to worry about. This is just the result of Russian hackers making it look like Killary is stealing the election...


Tech takes over the economy: Workers will simply try to survive, rather than thrive

© Getty images
An assumption was that new jobs in new industries would take up displaced workers — but that hasn't happened

For most people, a secure, well-paid job is the difference between a reasonable life and penury. Today, changes in the structure of the work force driven by globalization and technology make this objective increasingly elusive.

Technology has exacerbated declines in employment and incomes by eliminating tasks and "de-skilling" many jobs.

Robotics and complex computerized equipment has successfully replaced skilled labor. Computer software is now replacing journalists, synthesizing news items electronically by crawling the internet. Even traders in financial markets are being replaced by automated algorithms.

Comment: Read more about how 'Robotics and complex computerized equipment has successfully replaced skilled labor' : Automation, economic collapse, basic income slavery: Our dystopic future?


Study finds Ku Klux Klan underground cells currently active in Germany

© Rainier Ehrhardt / Reuters
Members of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK)
The KKK has four clandestine cells currently active in Germany, according to local media, citing a parliamentary inquiry. Despite being "marginal," the white supremacist group's influence on German far-right groups is not to be downplayed, an MP warned.

Klan members burn crosses, display swastika flags and sing "anti-constitutional songs," according to the government response to the Left Party's parliamentary inquiry seen by Sueddeutsche Zeitung.

The four secretive cells have "a very small number of members" and remain marginal within Germany's right-wing extremist scene, the government said in its response. Martina Renner, a Left Party MP, however, told the newspaper that the KKK's influence on the German far-right should not be underestimated.

"A small number of members cannot downplay the threat that emanates from such organizations," she said.


Mississippi NAACP urges federal probe of alleged racial attack on black student

© Reuters
A black high school student claims he was attacked by white students who put a noose around his neck in Wiggins, Mississippi. No students were expelled and law enforcement was not notified, prompting the Mississippi NAACP to demand a federal probe.

The student claims that as many as four white students attacked him near a locker room on October 13 at Stone County High School during a break from football practice, Mississippi NAACP President Derrick Johnson told reporters on Monday.

Johnson said the white students "yanked backward" on the noose after wrapping it around the black sophomore.

The NAACP president further noted that the accused students, whose names were not released, "earlier this year came to school brandishing Confederate flags in their vehicles." The student's parents, Hollis and Stacey Payton, were present at the news conference but did not speak.


Head-on train collision in South Africa kills 1, injures over 240 passengers

© Africa Junkies / YouTube
A human error may have caused a horrifying head-on crash of two commuter trains northeast of Johannesburg, which resulted in one fatality and left more than 200 people injured.

Two Metrorail trains collided on Monday afternoon, on the track split between Tembisa and Kaalfontein.

"Both trains were travelling in the opposite directions on one lane," William Ntladi, a disaster and emergency management spokesman for the municipality of Ekurhuleni, told local media. Ntladi said it was unclear how this could have happened.

Heart - Black

Innocent victims: Aleppo cancer kids denied medicine, food due to EU & US sanctions against Assad

© RT
No life-saving drugs, necessary equipment, or chance of survival - RT's Murad Gazdiev visited children in an Aleppo hospital who are suffering from cancer - some treatable - but vital medicine can't reach them due to EU and US sanctions.

Dozens of young cancer sufferers gathered at Cancer Care Syria, a small organization which helps cancer patients. Since the EU and US imposed sanctions on Syrian President Bashar Assad, some of these children have almost lost all hope for recovery. The sanctions, which target the Syrian regime and its supporters, have deeply affected the economy, including the health care sector.

The center helps children with forms of cancer that can be easily treated with western medicine. Three-year-old Waffa could have had her eye cancer cured, but the sanctions made the medicine unavailable, and she had to have her eye amputated. On top of that, the only hospital in Aleppo that specialized in cancer was taken by rebels and destroyed in fighting.

Comment: The brutal sanctions are punishing all ordinary Syrians - they have made the delivery of humanitarian aid almost impossible while weapons pour in unabated. Similar barbaric sanctions against Iraq resulted in the deaths of at least half a million young Iraqi children, and their nightmare continues to this day. It's quite clear that the US and EU have no concern for the plight of children.


Uranium rock discovery in Austrian school lead to finding 38 more radioactive rocks in 11 schools across the region

© salzburg.gv.at
A science class meeting with an anti-nuclear activist at an Austrian school ended in an evacuation, after a radioactive uranium rock was found on display in the classroom. The incident led to a city-wide check which found at least 11 other schools had radioactive rocks.

The discovery was made as anti-nuclear campaigner Thomas Neff was giving a lecture at the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart School in Salzburg, the fourth-largest city in Austria, local media reported earlier in October.

Neff brought along a wristwatch from the 1960s with dials covered with a substance containing radium-226, which makes the numerals glow in the dark. He was planning to use the timepiece as an example of the dangers of radiation, of which little was known half a century ago.

"I brought the old watch from the 60s which lights up brightly at night because of the radiation," Neff said, as cited by Austrian media. He added that the watch was carefully sealed and didn't emit any radiation.

Even before Neff had got the watch out, however, his Geiger counter began to show that there was a source of radiation in the room. It displayed 1,200 counts per minute, some 20-25 times higher than the normal value.


Working until death: Retirement only a dream for low-income workers

© AP / Lynne Sladky
In this photo taken Oct. 18, 2016, Gwen Strowbridge, 71, poses for a photograph wearing her work uniform at her home in Deerfield Beach, Fla. Strowbridge works six days a week caring for a 100-year-old woman. She has worked all her life and plans to work until she can't physically work anymore.
It was a striking image. A photo of an 89-year-old man hunched over, struggling to push his cart with frozen treats. Fidencio Sanchez works long hours every day selling the treats because he couldn't afford to retire. The photo and his story went viral and thousands of people donated more than $384,000 for his retirement.

His story is a window into a dark reality: Many low-wage workers say they can't afford to retire.

With no money saved for retirement, home care worker Gwen Strowbridge, 71, of Deerfield, Florida, plans to stay on the job until she can't physically work anymore.

"I can't see it in the future. I'll stop working if my health won't allow me to keep working," said Strowbridge. Now 71, she works six days per week caring for a 100-year-old woman in Florida.

Arrow Up

Breaking: Constitutional challenge filed in Canada's Federal Court against CETA trade agreement

© belgiumconnect.com
Lawyer Rocco Galati, on behalf of the Honourable Paul Hellyer, P.C., and others, launches a constitutional challenge against the CETA, in the Federal Court of Canada

The statement of claim challenging the Canada-EU Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) was filed at the Federal Court of Canada on Friday October 21. This development comes at a time when the EU country of Belgium refused to sign the free trade pact citing objections from the Belgian territory of Wallonia.

There has been a lot of pressure to see this agreement ratified, and those powerful entities pushing for its passage will likely not let Wallonia's NO interrupt their ambitions. This constitutional challenge is therefore highly important, and has implications for other such international agreements, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which the Canadian government is pursuing.

Comment: See also:


Norway nuclear reactor dealing with radioactive leak

© FinnWikiNo / Wikipedia
The reactor hall of the Halden Reactor
The Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority (NRPA) has said that one of the country's research reactors suffered a leak of radioactive iodine on Monday.

It added that the leak was small and the focus now is on fixing the problem.

"The radioactive leak was due to a technical failure during treatment of the fuel in the reactor hall. Emissions are low," a statement from the NRPA said on Tuesday.

The leak is not expected to pose a health risk or danger to the environment outside the facility, the NRPA says.

The incident happened at 1:45pm local time on Monday at the Halden Reactor, located in Ostfold county in southeast Norway.

Those working at the reactor at the time of the incident were promptly evacuated when the alarm went off.