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Fri, 21 Oct 2016
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DOJ files criminal charges against corrupt Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio

© Darryl Webb / Reuters
Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
Maricopa County's notorious Sheriff Joe Arpaio is about to see the criminal justice system from the other side. Arpaio is being charged with contempt of court after violating a 2011 injunction to stop enforcing federal civil immigration law.

The Arizona sheriff's legal troubles continue to plague Maricopa County. Department of Justice (DOJ) attorneys filed criminal charges against Arpaio on Monday after US District Court Judge Susan Bolton requested to continue criminal proceedings against him.

The charges stem from violating a December 2011 injunction that barred both him and the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office "from enforcing federal immigration law or from detaining persons they believed to be in the country without authorization but against whom they had no state charges," according to the court filing.

The court filing explained that Arpaio violated that order by continuing to detain people that were believed to be in the country illegally without any state charges. In layman's terms, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office had taken it upon themselves to enforce federal laws when that was not their job.


Fire breaks out on premises of Russian space rocket center

© sam.olkets / Instagram
A huge fire has broken out at a warehouse of the Progress State Research and Production Rocket Space Center in the southern Russian city of Samara, local media report. Up to 1,000 sq meters may have been affected.

"A two-storey warehouse... on the center's premises is on fire," Tatiana Kovaleva, of the press service of the Samara emergency services, told RT.

At least 60 people and 17 vehicles are currently battling the blaze, Kovaleva said. She added that there are no reports of casualties or evacuations. A 400-sq-meter area has been affected by the blaze, according to Kovaleva.

A source in the Samara emergency services, however, told RIA Novosti the fire has engulfed 1,000 sq meters. The cause of the fire may have been a short circuit, Interfax reported, citing sources close to the incident.

The Progress State Research and Production Rocket Space Center is the developer of Soyuz rockets. The Progress Center's press service said the fire has been contained. The warehouse affected did not contain items "connected to the space industry" and was used for storing syringes, said spokesperson Yulia Izumova.


The time is now: Human rights group B'Tselem calls on world to act and stop 'more perfect occupation,' Netanyahu goes ballistic

Hagai El-Ad, director of B'Tselem
This is an important developing story about Israel's moral crisis/delegitimization in the eyes of the world.

Last Friday, Hagai El-Ad, the head of the Israeli human rights group B'Tselem, spoke at the United Nations Security Council in a special discussion on Israeli settlements and urged it to take action at last against the occupation because, as he explained later, "The reality will not change if the world does not intervene. I suspect that our arrogant government also knows this, so it's busy fearmongering against such an intervention."

At the U.N., El-Ad described the administration of the territories as "a legal guise for organized state violence." He itemized how every aspect of the illegal colonization project receives the legal blessing of Israeli judges and officials, and how human rights atrocities against Palestinians are never investigated.
We have had plenty of time to work towards a more perfect occupation.... Look at the occupation and all the legal pretense surrounding it, and call it for what it is: a legal guise for organized state violence.
And he threw in this challenge to the U.S.


Man who held 15 hostage in robbery gone wrong at Belgian supermarket has been captured by police

© Yves Herman / Reuters
The armed attacker, who took people hostage in a supermarket in the Forest suburb of Brussels, has given himself up to the police, authorities have confirmed.

Eyewitnesses told local channel VRT that the hostage-taking unfolded at about 7 p.m. local time, in a Carrefour chain store, after what they claimed was a robbery attempt gone wrong. Those who managed to leave the supermarket said the suspect was armed with a knife, and forced shoppers to lie down on the floor.

Heart - Black

Cops with riot gear, armored vehicle, LRAD surround 5 praying Native Americans at Dakota pipeline protests

Over the past several weeks, the police state has come out in full force as Native Americans fight to protect their water sources from the threat of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Mainstream media remained largely silent as federal, state and local authorities worked on behalf of Energy Transfer Partners to squash dissent.

Even prominent journalists found themselves targets of the State, charged with dubious "crimes" such as "inciting a riot" and "conspiracy to theft of services" - for doing nothing more than filming protests and the ensuing violent crackdowns.

The First Amendment is no obstacle when it comes to advancing the interests of the corporatocracy.

This was put on display again on October 15 when five Native American Water Protectors left a protest near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation to pray on the shoulder of a public road.

In response to this peaceful behavior, 40 cops from at least eight departments in three different states - complete with riot gear, automatic rifles, an armored vehicle and even an LRAD acoustic weapon - swarmed the five praying, unarmed Native Americans.


Arrow Up

Justice served: Cop receives jail sentence for attack on innocent man that caused him to lose his job and home

Deric Baize had committed no crime and was in his own home when a belligerent cop, with a history of brutality, attacked him, tasered him in the back, kidnapped him and threw him in a cage for weeks — causing him to lose his job, his house, and his dignity. On Monday, that cop, deputy Matthew Corder with the Bullitt County Sheriff's Office, was sentenced to more than two years in jail for that fateful night.

The incident began in October of 2014 as Corder arrived in the neighborhood responding to an unrelated call and chose to park in front of Baize's driveway instead of on the shoulder. When Baize asked the deputy to move his car and not block the driveway, Corder, being the belligerent cop that he is — refused.

After Corder refused to move his vehicle, Baize told the officer to "F**k off." This response caused the deputy to snap and immediately resort to abusing his authority.

Without probable cause, or a warrant, or reason, Corder ordered Baise out of his home, who refused. So, Corder, drunk on power and anger, forced his way in and attacked the innocent man.

Comment: It is an all too rare, yet refreshing turn of events to see a brutal police officer finally being held accountable for his crimes and actually having to pay restitution to his victim.


A Rose in the Desert: Asma Al-Assad, Lady Diana of the Middle East

Comment: The Syrian first lady recently gave her first foreign televised interview in 7 years. Despite being trashed in recent years by the mainstream media, there was a time when she was much admired in the West. She has certainly always been loved in Syria.

Honored alongside his wife at Western capitals throughout the 2000s, Bashar al-Assad went from being held up as 'an asset in the war on terror' and 'progressive and secular' to 'brutal dictator' overnight when he refused to commit to US-brokered deals that would see the US win control over a nexus of Middle East pipelines delivering natural gas to Europe, thus replacing Russia's existing pipelines.

The following article about Asma al-Assad was published by Vogue just before the West launched its brutal war on Syria to oust her and her husband in 2011. It was her last major media appearance. It praised the al-Assad family, lauding their reforms in Syria, before the magazine took down the article and attempted to erase its online presence...

© James Nachtwey
Asma al-Assad is glamorous, young, and very chic - the freshest and most magnetic of first ladies. Her style is not the couture-and-bling dazzle of Middle Eastern power but a deliberate lack of adornment. She's a rare combination: a thin, long-limbed beauty with a trained analytic mind who dresses with cunning understatement. Paris Match calls her "the element of light in a country full of shadow zones." She is the first lady of Syria.

Syria is known as the safest country in the Middle East, possibly because, as the State Department's Web site says, "the Syrian government conducts intense physical and electronic surveillance of both Syrian citizens and foreign visitors." It's a secular country where women earn as much as men and the Muslim veil is forbidden in universities, a place without bombings, unrest, or kidnappings, but its shadow zones are deep and dark. Asma's husband, Bashar al-Assad, was elected president in 2000, after the death of his father, Hafez al-Assad, with a startling 97 percent of the vote. In Syria, power is hereditary. The country's alliances are murky. How close are they to Iran, Hamas, and Hezbollah? There are souvenir Hezbollah ashtrays in the souk, and you can spot the Hamas leadership racing through the bar of the Four Seasons. Its number-one enmity is clear: Israel. But that might not always be the case. The United States has just posted its first ambassador there since 2005, Robert Ford.

Iraq is next door, Iran not far away. Lebanon's capital, Beirut, is 90 minutes by car from Damascus. Jordan is south, and next to it the region that Syrian maps label Palestine. There are nearly one million refugees from Iraq in Syria, and another half-million displaced Palestinians.

Comment: And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why the Al-Assads must go and why Syria must be razed to the ground.Can't have principled people not willing to sell out to the Western Order running a free country, now can we?

Vogue, incidentally, removed this article from their website and issued an 'apology' for publishing something contrary to the propaganda dictates of the brutish oligarchs ruling the Western Empire.


Police call it 'civil unrest' as demonstrators gather after Alfred Olango memorial is removed

© World Socialist Web Site
A memorial for Olango
Protesters have taken to the streets of El Cajon, California, after the shooting of African-American man Alfred Olango by police and the removal of a memorial to the dead man. Officers have described the situation as "civil unrest."

Demonstrators gathered in the San Diego suburb at around 6pm on Monday, according to El Cajon Police. Footage posted on social media showed protesters gathered while police stood guard. Reports have claimed some of the protesters are armed, citing information obtained through a police scanner.

Some citizens told local news outlet NBC 7 that the demonstration was called because a memorial for Olango, set up near the restaurant where he was killed last month, was taken down on Sunday. Police are asking motorists to avoid Broadway and N. Mollison Avenue, where the protest is taking place.

Olango was shot and killed in the parking lot behind a restaurant by El Cajon officers Richard Gonsalves and Josh McDaniel on September 27. Police arrived at the scene following a 911 in which the person on the phone, reportedly Olango's sister call described the 38-year-old as "not acting like himself," while stressing that he was mentally ill and unarmed.

It took police 50 minutes to arrive at the scene. As an officer prepared a taser, Olango reportedly drew an object from his pocket and held it in both hands "like you would be holding a firearm," Police Chief Jeff Davis said. Police then opened fire, shooting Olango multiple times. It was later revealed that Olango was holding a cylindrical vape pen. Footage of the shooting was released by the El Cajon Police Department.

The 38-year-old's death led to days of protests in El Cajon, in which demonstrations ranged from peaceful to violent.

Comment: See also:


Tory MP's aide arrested on allegation of rape within Houses of Parliament

© The Telegraph
Sam Armstrong, the accused.
A Conservative MP's aide has been arrested on suspicion of rape inside his Parliamentary office. Sam Armstrong, chief of staff to South Thanet MP Craig Mackinlay, was remanded in custody last week by police investigating an allegation of rape.

The 23-year-old is accused of taking a woman into Mackinlay's office after he and other Tory aide had been drinking in a taxpayer-subsidized bar within Parliament from late Thursday night to early Friday morning. Armstrong has been bailed pending further enquiries to a date in mid-January 2017.

"There were a group of Tory advisers and female guests drinking there all night. Some were very drunk indeed," an unnamed source told the Sun. The drinking session reportedly took place on the House of Lords' terrace - a publicly-subsidized bar that backs on to the River Thames. According to the Sun, Mackinlay's office was raided by police on Friday and sealed off as a potential crime scene.


Amnesty report: Nauru asylum system explicitly designed to inflict damage, torture

© The New York Times
The battle to close Australia's brutal island-based asylum centers is set to rage even harder as Amnesty International has come out with a scathing report on the torture of refugees and the government's complicity in deliberate torture and the purpose of its cover-up.

Australians and other countries and international institutions have all campaigned for the veil of secrecy to drop, as more compelling evidence of rampant human rights abuse kept coming in from the desolate tiny island state of Nauru. Previous reports by Amnesty and others have already detailed the scale of the misery faced by this most vulnerable group of people at the hands of their guards and the system.

Saturday's report, entitled Island of Despair, deals another blow to the system that keeps the island prisons running. It reveals systematic denial of health services, coupled with physical abuse and legal and psychological intimidation carried out by staff and companies hired by the Australian government to oversee the island facility. Children are particularly at risk, and "the extent to which child refugees are subjected to abuse on Nauru is chilling," the authors write, as they list particular cases of asylum-seeker children falling into deep psychological distress and bad health.

The organization documents numerous cases of self-harm and attempted suicides. This would often take place as a result of both treatment at the facility and the recycling of the stigma against asylum-seekers on the island, leading to their shunning by locals and peers.

Comment: See also: