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Fri, 26 Aug 2016
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Inspector General report - NYPD surveillance of Muslim groups violated laws

© Andrew Burton / Reuters
An independent police monitor found the New York Police Department violated surveillance laws, particularly when spying on Muslim groups. The report found NYPD's intelligence division often continued surveillance after court permission for it expired.

As far back as 2004, the NYPD failed to get permission to continue investigations of Muslims groups, the New York Inspector General said. For its investigation, the IG used a sample of all cases closed between 2010 and 2015, some of which go back to 2004.

In 25 percent of the cases, surveillance investigations continue for more than a month past the when the bureau should have obtained renewed authorization.

The report, released on Tuesday, found that more than 95 percent of the people under investigation in the cases were "associated with Muslims and/or engaged in political activity that those individuals associated with Islam."

The findings were "more evidence that the NYPD's surveillance of American Muslims was highly irregular, operated in a black box and violated even the weaker rules that existed before our proposed settlement," Donna Lieberman, executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union, told AP.

The report comes eight months after the city agreed to settle two federal lawsuits with Islamic groups which argued the NYPD routinely violated their civil rights by conducting unwarranted surveillance of Muslims. As part of the settlement Mayor Bill de Blasio agreed to a committee with some civilian oversight of the NYPD's Intelligence Bureau.

Heart - Black

Girls as young as 3 subjected to genital mutilation in Russia's Dagestan - practice considered 'obligatory' for females

Despite being condemned by the UN and many countries across the world, female genital mutilation is common in remote villages of Russia's Republic of Dagestan, where girls as young as three are subjected to the practice, often in unsanitary conditions.

Speaking exclusively to RT, one woman in the region said the practice is considered obligatory for females in her community, adding that she sees no problem with it.

"According to Islam, it's necessary to cut. If the girl hasn't been cut, she can't be considered a Muslim," the woman said, adding that "because it's tradition, we have to do it."

Local gynecologist Hadijat Ajubova also sees nothing wrong with the procedure, saying it "doesn't harm women's health."

Cell Phone

Japan: Pokémon Go playing truck driver kills woman, injures another

© Tokyo Broadcasting System
A truck driver killed a woman and seriously injured another after hitting them because he was playing Pokémon Go.
Tokushima Prefectural Police on Wednesday arrested a male truck driver in Tokushima City after one woman was killed and another seriously injured due to an accident caused by his playing of the popular game Pokemon Go while he was behind the wheel.

Keiji Goou, 39, was arrested on reckless driving charges for allegedly hitting two women while playing Pokemon Go on a road in the Katanokamicho area at around 7:25 p.m. on Tuesday, Jiji Press reports (Aug. 24). One woman died in the incident while the other was seriously injured.

Goou has admitted to the charges, telling police, according to the Tokyo Broadcasting, he "wasn't looking ahead properly because I was playing Pokemon Go."

Comment: The psychology of 'Pokémon Go': What's fueling the obsession?

Arrow Down

Ohio man arrested 'acting like gorilla', stripping naked and masturbating in public

An "erratic" Ohio man who was "acting like a gorilla" and "masturbating on the sidewalk" is facing a disorderly conduct charge, according to police.

Responding to 911 calls about a pair of "white males running around the lot taking off their clothes," Warren City Police Department cops Friday morning encountered Timothy Cook, 32, who reportedly had been "growling and punching the cement."

Cook, a witness told officers, had entered a state motor vehicles office and began waving his arms around. He then exited the building and "began masturbating on the sidewalk," according to a police report.

When a cop subsequently approached Cook, the suspect was sweating profusely and "acting like a gorilla." Cook, an officer noted, was "squatting on all fours, punching the blacktop and jumping up and down screaming noncoherently."

Comment: As our leaders' behavior is increasingly exposed as inhuman, and as that inhumanity reaches new depths of depravity, people's minds are literally reverting to animalistic behavior. Just another sign of the times, we suppose.


Alleged terror attack on Saudi mosque foiled by security forces

© AP Photo/ Hassan Ammar
Saudi Arabia's security forces have foiled a terrorist attack on a Shiite mosque in the eastern city of Qatif.

According to the Al Arabiya broadcaster, a man wearing an explosive belt planned to blow up al-Rasoul al-A'dham mosque, but was killed by Saudi security forces.

The suspect had an accomplice, who was reportedly arrested. Both men were not Saudi citizens, having the status of residents.

Earlier this summer, Saudi Arabia has been hit by a series of terror attacks. On July 4, an assailant set off an explosive device at the Prophet's Mosque parking lot in Medina, targeting security forces reportedly breaking their fast on the second-to-last day of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

Comment: The Saudi regime rules with an iron fist. Any dissent in such a totalitarian state is crushed mercilessly. At the same time, the Saudis have thought they could export the worst of their extremists for use in countries like Libya and Syria. But terrorism is a Frankenstein's monster, and there is 'blowback' even for terrorist states like Saudi Arabia. What happened in this case is anyone's guess.

Update: The Interior Ministry says they questioned a Pakistani man the day before after discovering he was carrying explosives in a sports bag. Police shot him and he died on the way to the hospital.


Police murder innocent autistic man for alleged traffic infraction

Joseph Nathaniel Weber, 36, was described by the community and his family as a person full of life and excitement. However, on Thursday, that life was taken from him by a Hays police officer. During a traffic stop last week, Weber, who had autism, was shot and killed.

Known to family as Joey, Weber was an upstanding member of the community who learned to embrace his autism, allowing him to lead a happy and mostly normal life. Weber was employed at Joe Bob Outfitters and a member of Knights of Columbus at his church.

Weber was also a participant of New Age Services which provides activities and services to members of the community with mental disabilities — like Weber. Throughout their Facebook page, Weber is seen participating and many different events. The owner of New Age Services provides jobs to those with mental disabilities at his company, Joe Bob Outfitters — where Weber worked.

Comment: To any human with even a rudimentary level of experience and empathy, it is not difficult to see when another individual is autistic or suffering from some other type of mental disability. The fact that these police officers ended up murdering Weber just shows that they are poorly trained, incompetent, overly violent, and have zero interpersonal and conflict deescalation skills. In other words, they are pretty much failures at being human, all around.


Huh? New York taxi drivers no longer required to speak English

New York Mayor Bill DeBlasio has lost his liberal mind. According to DeBlasio, it is not necessary for taxi drivers to speak English to do their job. None, not one word. The city council has determined that the English proficiency exam was 'a significant barrier' to non-English speaking people.

How much of a significant barrier is it going to be for people who give an address or general location to a driver who has no idea what you are talking about?! Can you imagine sitting there saying 'you speaky English,' and wondering if the driver is wasting your money driving around town trying to figure out where you want to go.

According to the the Daily Mail, the change is the result of a new law that Mayor Bill DeBlasio signed in April and went into effect on Friday eliminating the English proficiency exam for taxi and for-hire vehicle drivers.

Comment: Will employers be penalized for breaking the law for not hiring non-English speaking cabbies?


Russian prosecutors to investigate farmers' claims of land grabs by major agricultural holdings

© Проект РЕАЛЬНОСТЬ / YouTube
Participants of the 'tractor rally' protest at the start of their voyage in Krasnodar Region
Prosecutors in southern Russia's Krasnodar Region have launched an investigation into claims of illegal land grabs by major holdings. The claims were made by a group of farmers who have begun a tractor rally to Moscow to draw attention to their cause.

A statement posted on the Krasnodar Prosecutors' Office website says the head of the agency, Leonid Korzhenik - together with the head of the regional administration, Veniamin Kondratyev, and several senior law enforcement officials - held a meeting with a group of farmers who earlier this week announced they were starting a 'tractor rally' to Moscow.

The farmers are seeking to deliver their complaints personally to the country's top authorities, and said about 100 people in 17 tractors and several cars are taking part in the protest.

At the meeting, the farmers expressed their grievances over a number of major deals in the region in which large land plots ended up being given to major agricultural holdings, including several cases in which the property rights had been awarded by courts.


Child neglect: Children found in Brevard home with feet 'caked' in dog feces

A Central Florida woman has been charged after authorities say she kept her two children and 24 Chihuahuas in a home filled with dog feces, trash and bugs.

Officials said the Port St. John home had dried, caked feces and urine, roaches and trash inside it, describing that the environment was in "no way safe for the animals, let alone the children who also were in the residence."

Investigators said two children, who weren't enrolled in school, had dog feces "caked" to the bottom of their bare feet. The Department of Children and Families removed the children from the home.

Comment: Another sign that society is disintegrating.


University study shows how prison populations skyrocket despite record low crime

The justice system's aversion to repeat offenders — not a rise in actual crime — feeds the prison-industrial complex, a new study has essentially found, as a record number of people receiving prison sentences have prior convictions.

Ohio State University sociologist Ryan King examined 33 years of data from the Minnesota Sentencing Guidelines Commission — around 355,000 felony convictions — and found despite the sharp decline in the crime rate since the mid-1990s, judges are often faced with repeat-offenders, whom they tend to sentence more harshly.

"The issue is that the average offender who appears before a judge for sentencing today has a much more extensive criminal record than they did in the past," noted King, a professor of sociology at OSU.

"It is much harder for judges not to give prison sentences to repeat offenders, so we have more convicted people going to prison."