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Tue, 25 Jun 2019
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Israeli settlers torch Palestinian fields over Eid holiday, high court and IDF turn a blind eye

Torched crops in fields set ablaze by Israeli settlers
© MEE/Shatha Hammad
Torched crops in fields set ablaze by Israeli settlers
When Palestinians in villages around Ramallah should have been celebrating the end of Ramadan and the coming harvest, instead they were dousing flames

As the families of al-Mughayyir village prepared to celebrate the start of Eid al-Fitr, Israeli settlers set fire to their fields, twice.

On the first day of Eid, 5 June, the families, who largely depend on their livelihood from farming and shepherding, rushed to the scene only to find their lands northeast of the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah engulfed in flames.

Rather than rejoice over the holiday, the village's residents spent the morning putting out the blaze.

A day later, Ayham Abu Naeem received a dismaying call from a friend in the nearby village of Kufr Malek, informing him that his fields, too, had been torched.

In less than an hour, Abu Naeem's months of hard work became a worthless pile of ashes.


Your tax dollars at work: Journalists, activists disturbed by State Dept's anti-Iran troll campaign

© Reuters / Benoit Tessier
Victims of anti-Iran trolling campaign were shocked to learn it was taxpayer- funded by the State Department, but not so shocked to see the government attempting to cover it up or mainstream media giving it little coverage.

Journalists, human rights activists, academics, and even outspoken critics of the Iranian government were all targeted by @IranDisinfo, which smeared any and all critics of President Donald Trump's hawkish Iran policy as paid operatives of the regime in social media assaults that some say veered into personal attacks. Now, they want answers as to how this $1.5 million operation - bristling with the hallmarks of a totalitarian propaganda campaign - was allowed to see daylight.

"How can individuals who are not willing to adhere to the norms of American civil society be entrusted with resources to promote civil society in other countries?" asked Jason Rezaian, a Washington Post columnist who was on the troll's hit list - despite spending time in an Iranian jail.

Heart - Black

Elephants beaten and jabbed by handlers to 'play games' in horrifying footage

A disturbing video from Nepal shows a number of elephants, forced to take part in the Chitwan Elephant Festival, being hit and gouged with sharp bullhooks, sticks, and other weapons, and their ears being violently pulled.

Elephant handlers, known as mahouts, are seen beating the animals with the hooks and jabbing them into their skin during a football match the animals were forced to partake in.

Bizarro Earth

Three female athletes file federal discrimination complaint over transgender competition

Bloomfield High School transgender athlete, wins the final of the 55-meter dash over transgender athlete Andraya Yearwood, far left, and other runners in the Connecticut girls Class S indoor track meet at Hillhouse High School in New Haven, Conn.
In this Feb. 7, 2019 file photo, Bloomfield High School transgender athlete Terry Miller, second from left, wins the final of the 55-meter dash over transgender athlete Andraya Yearwood, far left, and other runners in the Connecticut girls Class S indoor track meet at Hillhouse High School in New Haven, Conn.
Three Connecticut girls who have run high school track have filed a federal discrimination complaint saying a statewide policy on transgender athletes has cost them top finishes in races and possibly college scholarships.

The complaint filed Monday with the U.S. Education Department's Office for Civil Rights was submitted by the conservative Christian law firm Alliance Defending Freedom on behalf of the girls, who are asking for an investigation of the policy and orders that would make competitions fair. The complaint also cites the federal Title IX rules aimed at equal rights in sports for female athletes.

"Girls deserve to compete on a level playing field," said Christiana Holcomb, legal counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom. "Women fought long and hard to earn the equal athletic opportunities that Title IX provides. Allowing boys to compete in girls' sports reverses nearly 50 years of advances for women under this law. We shouldn't force these young women to be spectators in their own sports."

Red Flag

Teen kicked out of class for saying there are only 'two genders'

© Youtube/Paris Cloud
The entire discussion was caught on camera. The student and the teacher are unidentified in the video.

The student asks the teacher why he kicked him out of class.

"You aren't being inclusive," the teacher said on the video. "I know what the authority thinks and point of view. It's very clear that we make no discrimination on the grounds. I'm sorry what you choose to make an issue about a point that is contrary to policy," he added.

"I think it's silly to have anything other than two genders," the student responded. "It's not scientific what so ever. I stated something that I believe in and you kicked me out of class. I wasn't making a discrimination. I was simply saying there are two genders, male and female. Anything else is a personal identification," he said.


New video shows Chatsworth police officer tasing 87-year-old woman

Georgia Police Tase 87-Year-Old Woman

Georgia Police Tase 87-Year-Old Woman Who Was Cutting Dandelion Leaves With Kitchen Knife, Family Says
The video was captured from the body camera of one of three Chatsworth police officers who responded back in August 2018.

An attorney has released police body camera video showing his 87-year-old client being tased by a Chatsworth police officer.

Channel 3 spoke to Martha Al-Bishara's granddaughter by phone on Wednesday. She says her family is aware of the video, but it has been hard for some of them to watch. Their attorney, Jeff Dean, shared the video with Channel 3 on the family's behalf.

The video was captured from the body camera of one of three Chatsworth police officers who responded back in August 2018. It shows the moments before and after Al-Bishara was tased.

"Stop. Throw it down. Drop the knife. You're going to get tased," an officer says.

This was shortly after a 911 caller spotted Al-Bishara on the Boys and Girls Club's property cutting dandelions with a knife.


Russian video game maker gets a year in jail for buying F-16 manuals on eBay

Oleg Tishchenko
© Vkontakte / Oleg Tishchenko
A court in Utah has sentenced Oleg Tishchenko to a year and a day in prison for buying F-16 and F-35 fighter jet manuals, which he says he was using to design a flight simulator.

Despite the long sentence, Tishchenko, 42, will be deported to Russia on June 19, according to court filings released Wednesday, having been credited with timed served while pending trial.

Tishchenko, who works for leading combat flight simulator designer Eagle Dynamics, apparently took his quest for realism too far when he purchased the US fighter jet manuals from an online auction in 2011. He then had them shipped to Moscow by an American man from Texas he met in the game-makers' online forum.

Heart - Black

Alaska teenagers allegedly killed friend after Indiana man offered $9 million to record 'rape and murder'

Cynthia Hoffman
Cynthia Hoffman
An Indiana man implicated in the murder of an Alaska teenager had allegedly promised millions of dollars to the teens who killed her in exchange for images of the killing, CBS affiliate KTVA reported. Court documents say that investigators believe Darin Schilmiller of New Salisbury, Indiana, posed as a millionaire named "Tyler" online and offered 18-year-old Denali Brehmer $9 million or more to "rape and murder someone in Alaska," the station reported.

Brehmer was supposed to send photos and videos of the killing back to Schilmiller, according to the court documents.

Brehmer is charged with first-degree murder in the death of Cynthia "CeeCee" Hoffman. Hoffman was killed June 2 near a rural Anchorage trail. Police found her bound with duct tape in the Eklutna River near Thunderbird Falls. She had been shot in the back of the head.

On Tuesday, Schilmiller and Brehmer were indicted on child pornography charges, KTVA reported. The pornography was discovered while police were looking for evidence related to Hoffman's murder on Brehmer's phone. Text messages between Brehmer and the man discussed plans to sexually assault a minor and contained videos of Brehmer performing the act.


Oberlin College is paying the price of wokeness

Gibson's Bakery Oberlin College
Oberlin College is known for its 'social justice' activism and is considered one of the most PC colleges in the US. In recent years, Oberlin students have demanded trigger warnings on classic literature, called for a ban on 'F' (failed) grades, and complained about the cultural appropriation of sushi in the dining hall. So, it wasn't all that surprising when, in November 2016, students launched a campaign against a local bakery, claiming it was racist for calling the police on a shoplifter who happened to be black.

What is surprising is the ultimate outcome of these protests. Last week, a jury determined that Oberlin owes Gibson's Bakery a whopping $44million in damages (which may get reduced to $33million). This should be a wake-up call to Oberlin and other colleges: go woke, go broke.

This is a David versus Goliath case, featuring a fifth-generation family business up against an elite higher-education institution (where it costs about $280,000 to obtain a degree in four years, and a majority of the students are from families in the top 10 per cent of earners).

The details of the court case - as reported by the Legal Insurrection website - were eye-opening. The case exposed how Oberlin's administration was willing to engage in a campaign based on false allegations of racism, a campaign that sought to smear and destroy this small downtown shop. The millions of dollars in damages spoke to the jury's assessment of not only economic loss, but also the need to punish Oberlin for the malice it displayed. The verdict will not bankrupt Oberlin, but the case has revealed the college's intellectual and moral bankruptcy.

Comment: See also:


Coleman Hughs: None of the issues facing black America can be solved with reparations

Coleman Hughs

Coleman Hughs
Columnist Coleman Hughes expressed his opposition to reparations for slavery at a House Judiciary subcommittee hearing Wednesday. Hughes, a writer for 'Quillette,' said the moment one is given reparations they are made a victim without their consent.
COLEMAN HUGHES: Black people don't need another apology. We need safer neighborhoods and better schools. We need a less punitive criminal justice system. We need affordable health care. And none of these things can be achieved through reparations for slavery...

Reparations by definition are only given to victims, so the moment you give me reparations, you've made me into a victim without my consent. Not just that, you've made 1/3 of black Americans who poll against reparations into victims without their consent, and black Americans have fought too long for the right to define themselves to be spoken for in such a condescending manner.