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Net neutrality battle rages: FCC swamped with 11mn comments, twice as many as 2015

© Robert Schlesinger / Global Look Press
The US government has been flooded with more than 10 million comments about rolling back net neutrality regulations.

Net neutrality is the principle that the internet is free, open, and accessible, meaning internet users can access any sites they want, and internet service providers (ISPs) can't block or slow down content and websites as they choose.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) wants to reverse net neutrality rules it passed in 2015, which prevent ISPs from blocking and prioritizing certain content online over others.

Comment: For more information:


'Gun them down; give them no mercy': Indonesian president sounds like Duterte

© Beawiharta Beawiharta / Reuters
Indonesia's President Joko Widodo
Indonesian President Joko Widodo has ordered police officers to shoot drug dealers in the country if they attempt to resist arrest, drawing immediate comparisons with his Filipino counterpart, Rodrigo Duterte.

"I have told you, just be firm, especially with foreign drug dealers who enter the country and resist [arrest]. Gun them down. Give no mercy," The Jakarta Post reports Widodo as saying during a speech Friday.

The heavy metal loving president gave the order because he believes his country is facing an "emergency" when it comes to drug trafficking. "We are indeed in an emergency situation in dealing with drug trafficking," he said.

His controversial remarks echo those of Duterte who, upon being elected, launched a brutal crackdown on suspected drug dealers in the country, which to date, has reportedly left thousands dead. In March, Duterte issue an emphatic warning to drug dealers, "You will die. Either you kill me or I kill you," he added. "I am committed to stop drugs before I get out."

Indonesia is known for it's tough drug laws, which often end in those convicted paying the ultimate price. Widodo has been criticized for ordering the deaths of convicted drug traffickers.

Indonesia has executed 18 people for drug trafficking since Widodo assumed office in 2014. Australians Myuran Sukumaran, 33, and Andrew Chan, 31, were among eight convicted smugglers who were killed by firing squad on 'Execution Island' in April, 2015.

Comment: A couple of guys getting people's attention in extremely unorthodox ways with a mix of finality, sensationalism and the absurd. Effective? Legal? Humanitarian? Depends on your perspective. It's their people and their countries. If folks don't like it, they will rise against the cause.


'I was sure painful death was ahead': Disabled man who spent almost 3 weeks in detention talks with RT

A disabled man who spent almost three weeks behind bars told RT about his time in jail, how his family reacted to his freedom, and how he managed to run a night club from a wheelchair.

Anton Mamayev, 28, was put in detention on June 30 for alleged armed assault and sentenced to 4.5 years. However, the man has a rare disease with major muscular atrophy as a constant condition. He can't eat or move on his own, so a few days ago, due to the efforts of lawyers and human rights activists, Mamayev was freed.

RT was among the first media to speak with the released man.


Moroccan Spring is now in play

It's been over nine months of perpetual protests in the northern region of Morocco known as Rif since the parties seem unable to reach a compromise since neither protesters, nor the government are capable of putting forward a solution that would satisfy all sides. Those protests broke out last October after the tragic death of a young merchant Mohsen Fikri, who was crushed by a trash compactor when he was trying to save his goods that the local police had previously confiscated.

Like the suicide of Mohamed Bouazizi, a Tunisian street vendor, who became a symbol of the "Jasmine revolution" in Tunisia, which would then trigger the "Arab spring" events across the Middle East, Mohsen Fikri will forever remain in the history books in his country.


Man sues police department after vicious mauling from K-9

James Cicco
Beaver County resident, James Cicco has recently filed a lawsuit against the Beaver Police Department claiming officers used excessive force. The incident was captured on dash cam and shows a graphic take down of a non-threatening man who was brutally assaulted by police for no reason. Part of the attack happened after he was placed in handcuffs as well.

Cicco told his lawyers he has been harassed by police in the past, so when Beaver Police Officer Jeffrey Wijnen-Riems attempted to pull over Cicco for a traffic violation in August of 2016, the man decided the best place to pull over would be at his home.

Cicco's lawyer, Geraldo Benyo, told reporters it only took 13 seconds to pull over, and that his client was being compliant for the entire duration of the traffic stop which took a violent turn for the worst. Wijnen-Riems can be seen in the dash cam footage approaching Cicco's car.

"The video does depict Mr. Cicco getting out of his vehicle with both hands palms out and raised and then he only retreats into his vehicle as officer releases the K-9," Benyo explained.

He opened up Cicco's car door and then began to attempt to extricate the man from his small SUV. However, we consulted with a close-quarters hand-to-hand combat expert who concluded Wijnen-Riems tactics were not standard procedure.


Over 100 missing minors from Calais could be subjected to sexual abuse by smugglers - report

© Frederik Sadones / Global Look Press
More than 100 refugee minors remain missing after being smuggled into the UK illegally from France during the last 12 months, the Independent has learned, warning of potential sexual abuse of children by their smugglers.

Out of 167 children that were trafficked from France to the UK since last August, 104 minors remain missing, the Independent reported, citing figures provided by the Refugee Youth Service (RYS), a Calais-based charity.

Months after the Calais 'Jungle' was bulldozed by French authorities in October 2016, refugees, including unaccompanied minors, are still arriving on the banks of the English Channel, hoping to reach the UK. In response, Britain has scrapped the Dubs Amendment, allowing for the resettlement of 3,000 unaccompanied minors.

RYS tracks the records of minors who are known to have reached the UK from France illegally. Once on British soil, the charity refers them to the NSPCC's Child Trafficking Advice Centre (CTAC), providing it with all the information needed to help locate them in the UK. CTAC then reports those cases to the National Referral Mechanism (NRM) - a process set up by the government to identify and support victims of trafficking in the UK.

Comment: See also: 'Sexual assault, violence, rape far too common' at France's Dunkirk refugee camp


French poll: Macron's popularity drops 10 percent in 3 months but still high

© Gonzalo Fuentes / Reuters
The popularity of French President Emmanuel Macron has tumbled by 10 percent since he came to power, a new survey shows. Apart from Jacques Chirac, who fell 15 points between May and July 1995, it is the biggest drop for a French leader.

The poll was carried out by Ifop for the Journal du Dimanche newspaper, and indicated that the percentage of those satisfied with the president fell from 64 in June to 54 in July.

Among those surveyed, 47 percent say they are "mostly satisfied" with Macron (compared with 54 in June), while seven percent say they are "very satisfied" (10 percent in June).

In all, 1,947 adults took part in the survey, which was conducted from July 17 to 22, AFP reports.

However, Macron's rating is still quite high, especially compared with his predecessors.


Missing 16yo German girl suspected of working with ISIS police found in Iraq

© Muzaffar Salman / Reuters
A 16-year-old German girl, who went missing a year ago after converting to Islam, has been identified among those captured by the Iraqi military last week, a prosecutor confirmed. According to Iraqi officials, the girl was working with ISIS police.

Named only as 'Linda W.' in accordance with German privacy laws, the teen from the town of Pulsnitz has been confirmed to be the one detained in Iraq recently, Dresden prosecutor Lorenz Haase said.

"We do not know where she was staying last year, whom she contacted, what she did. We must determine this in the near future in order to find out whether she committed a criminal offense or not," Haase told n-tv news.

"Our information ends with the girl's arrival in Istanbul about a year ago," Hasse said, as cited by AP. He added that he could not verify whether Linda W. worked with Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).


Eugenics revisited? Tennessee judge introduces sterilization program for inmates

A Tennessee judge is gaining national media attention for his unique incentive offered to inmates upon sentencing: convicts can undergo a free taxpayer funded sterilization procedure and get a 30 day reduction in jail time. Dozens have already taken advantage of the program since Judge Sam Benningfield of White County signed a standing order in May which offers vasectomies for men and a less permanent birth control implant, called Nexplanon, for women. Currently, 38 male and 32 female inmates are signed up for the program which the county district attorney is now seeking to get shut down.

Judge Benningfield described the arrangement's purpose as "breaking a vicious cycle of repeat offenders who constantly come into his courtroom on drug related charges, subsequently can't afford child support and have trouble finding jobs." The Tennessee Department of Health has reportedly given its approval for the local county program, which is now receiving fierce push back at the local and national levels, prompting a statement from the ACLU, which called an environment of coerced or legally pressured contraception and sterilization "unconstitutional" as a violation of basic individual rights.

White County District Attorney Bryant Dunaway has instructed his staff of prosecutors not to enter into any agreement related to Benningfield's program, and told local Channel 5 News that, "It's comprehensible that an 18-year-old gets this done, it can't get reversed and then that impacts the rest of their life." Local news presented the judge as innovative and benevolent, merely looking out for the community's interests, yet the endeavor is really nothing new. It actually hearkens back to a dirty little secret of the Progressive Era in America which rarely makes it into school textbooks: states once forced mass sterilization upon tens of thousands of citizens deemed "unfit" to produce families in a nation wide Eugenics movement that Hitler himself learned from.

Heart - Black

Freak accident sees Indian TV presenter crushed by falling palm tree in Mumbai (GRAPHIC VIDEO)

© Ruptly
A falling palm tree has claimed the life of an Indian TV presenter in a freak accident that was filmed on CCTV.

Former anchor for India's public broadcaster, Kanchan Nath, was struck by the tree last Thursday in Chembur, east Mumbai, the Times of India reports.

Nath had been returning from a yoga class.

Images of the accident show Nath - dressed in a blue t-shirt - walking down a street before a tree suddenly collapses on top of her.