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Mon, 18 Jun 2018
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Red Flag

When #MeToo goes too far: Film crews for Netflix not allowed to look at anyone for longer than 5 seconds

Netflix has introduced new anti-harassment training in the wake of the #metoo movement that rocked Hollywood and seriously disrupted production on its House of Cards show.

New rules imposed on set reportedly include no looking at anyone for longer than five seconds, no lingering hugs, no flirting and no asking for a colleague's phone number.

"Everyone was spoken to about #MeToo," an on-set runner currently working on the new season of Black Mirror told The Sun.

Red Flag

'Cameras off': Newly released video shows Las Vegas strike team being told to turn off body cams

Las Vegas Shooting - cameras off
After being forced to release information on the October 1 massacre, the Las Vegas police department-in an insultingly futile attempt at transparency-has been dumping information related to the shooting. In what appears to be a deliberate attempt to muddy the waters, much of the video released by the department has no time stamps and is provided without context. However, one particularly suspicious set of videos was released Thursday which shows cops being told to turn off their body cameras.

For months, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has been caught lying, railroading journalists, and done everything in their power to keep the facts on what happened on 1 October from ever reaching the public.

The department's desire to keep the information secret was so overwhelming that they fought its release all the way to the Nevada Supreme Court. Early last month, however, the court rejected the police department's bid to keep the records secret and they are now forced to hand everything over. Instead of cataloged evidence and detailed reports, however, they're merely releasing random unlabeled pieces of information.

Comment: See also: Las Vegas Terror Attack: Clear Evidence of Multiple Shooters at Multiple Hotels


Secret Service agent, teacher arrested in massive child sex trafficking sting

sex trafficking
This week the U.S. Department of Justice announced the arrest of more than 2,300 suspected child sex offenders, including a member of the U.S. Secret Service, and identified nearly 400 abused children during the three-month operation that ended in May. Of those arrested, 195 were suspected of producing child pornography or committing child sexual abuse.

"No child should ever have to endure sexual abuse," Attorney General Jeff Sessions noted in a Justice Department press release. "And yet, in recent years, certain forms of modern technology have facilitated the spread of child pornography and created greater incentives for its production. We at the Department of Justice are determined to strike back against these repugnant crimes. "

The operation, dubbed "Broken Heart," was conducted by Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) taskforces operating in all 50 states across and involved more than 4,500 federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies.

Operation Broken Heart, which is funded through the U.S. Justice Department's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, has been an annual law enforcement operation since its inception in 2014. It has resulted in the arrests of thousands of suspected child sex predators.


Angry Canadians boycott US goods in response to Trump's trade tariffs

angry canadian
Blame America.

Canadians have taken to practicing pocketbook diplomacy in defense of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, who is caught in a trade war of words with President Trump, by boycotting American goods and canceling vacations to the United States, according to a report.

Shoppers are shunning Kentucky bourbon, California wine and Florida oranges, and avoiding American companies like Starbucks, Walmart and McDonald's, Canadian network CTV News reported on Wednesday.

On Twitter, hashtags like #BuyCanadian, #BoycottUSProducts and #BoycottUSA are spreading as outrage over Trump's trade tariffs grows.

An Ottawa man posted a "Trump-free grocery cart" full of products from Canada or from "countries with strong leadership."

Vacationers said they would be staying up north this summer instead of booking trips to the US.

Light Saber

Growing a spine? UN resolution slams Israeli murder of Palestinians in Gaza

Nikki Haley UN Israel

No one wants to play with Nikki
Needless to say, Nikki Haley isn't too happy

A resolution has passed in the UN General Assembly slamming Israel's use of 'excessive force' against Palestinian protesters during their Great March of Return in Gaza, with more than 130 killed and thousands injured.

Many of the protesters were unarmed but encountered live ammunition from Israeli snipers. Victims included journalists and first aid responders, who were well marked but were targeted and slaughtered anyway.

Nikki Haley, the American UN envoy, was adamantly opposed to the resolution and submitted an amendment of her own in which Hamas was to be condemned as the aggressor, with no attention being paid to the death toll racked up by the Israelis who were not being attacked by civilian protesters, which failed to obtain the necessary support in the Assembly.

Comment: Watch Nikki get turned away by one official after another trying to get the earlier Kuwait resolution defeated. It's a beautiful thing:

Microscope 2

Really? Cancer researchers remove the word 'woman' from pap smear campaign to encourage checks by transgenders

lab worker
© Getty Images
The campaign wants “everyone aged 25-64 with a cervix” to get checked.
The word "woman" has been dropped from material of a new smear test campaign by Cancer Research UK as part of efforts to be more inclusive of transgender men and those with different gender identities.

Launched on Monday, campaign material for Cervical Cancer Awareness Week now uses the phrase "everyone aged 25-64 with a cervix," as opposed to "women aged 25-64," as the charity looks to encourage a greater uptake in cervical screening, more commonly known as smear tests, among transgender men.

The campaign comes as cervical screening rates have fallen to a 20-year low in England. Every year more than 3,200 women are diagnosed with cervical cancer and 890 die, according to figures provided by The Times.

Comment: We suppose the campaign makes sense if transgendered men are so out of touch with reality that they forget they have cervixes.


Massachusetts cops fired for brutally beating half-naked drunk man rehired by mayor

Cops beating half-naked, drunk man
Three police officers so horrifically beat a man in custody, all of them - a sergeant and two veteran patrolmen - were fired. Now, however, thanks to a corrupt system that fails to hold officers accountable, Mayor William P. Sapelli is rehiring them in spite of the gruesome video showing the abuse.

"You bring them back. It's that simple," he said Tuesday, noting that one of the officers, John P. Moccio, has not returned to work. His case is still before the state Civil Service Commission, according to the mayor, who made resolving the issue a priority after taking office in January, according to Masslive.com.

Two of the cops seen horrifically beating the man on video are back on the job and despite being demoted, one officer had his rank of sergeant reinstated.

As TFTP reported at the time, then-Mayor Richard A. Cohen announced the termination of officers, John P. Moccio, Officer Edward B. Connor and Sgt. Anthony Grasso for their roles in the arrest and subsequent beat down of 27-year-old David Desjardins at Six Flags New England on June 19, 2016.

Comment: See also: Video of cops beating Massachusetts man so bad, all the officers were fired


Florida man ends up in jail after asking cops to test 'low quality' meth and bust his dealer

Crystal meth
© Romeo Ranoco/Reuters
In a reckless attempt to take revenge on his drug dealer for selling him methamphetamine of unsatisfactory quality, a 49-year-old man in Florida contacted the police to have the substance tested and to press formal charges.

Unhappy with the quality of the drugs sold to him by his dealer, and having suffered an allergic reaction to the substance, Douglas Kelly, 49, from Hawthorne, Florida, called the police on Tuesday, asking them to test the batch of crystal meth.

Once Kelly revealed that he actually wants to press charges against the dealer, Putnam County Sheriff's Office asked the 49-year-old to come to the station so they could "ensure the quality of the drug the suspect purchased."


Czech president sets red underpants ablaze in front of cameras to troll reporters

Czech President Milos Zeman underpants
© AFP 2018 / Michal CIZEK
Czech President Milos Zeman invited journalists to Prague Castle, where he unveiled an large pair of underpants. He passed them to two firemen, who set the "artifact" on fire. Zeman explained his action as a desire to show that policy should be carried out "on the basis of an exchange of opinions, and the time of underwear in politics is over."

Zeman burnt the giant red underpants in public. The video was published on the channel POLITIKA 24 on YouTube.

In 2015 these underpants were hung over the residence of the head of state by the Czech art group Ztohoven, demonstrating their attitude to Zeman and his policies. The presidential administration bought them from the Committee on State Property Management for one crown.

Comment: For those of us who don't immediately get the joke, there's a bit more context here:
The visibly frail 73-year-old Zeman abruptly announced a press conference on Thursday afternoon, raising speculation about his possible resignation.

"I apologise to the journalists whose intelligence I tested, unsuccessfully as always," Zeman told reporters gathered for the briefing the gardens of Prague Castle where he was flanked by his spokesman, assistants and several firemen.

To their amazement, Zeman then proceeded to burn a huge pair of red underpants in a fire pit, assisted by two firemen dressed in full gear.

"The time of underwear in politics is over," Zeman declared. "I'm sorry to make you look like little idiots, you really don't deserve it," he told reporters before leaving in his car.

The red underpants, measuring roughly one square metre, resembled a pair that Czech pranksters had flown from a flag pole atop the presidential palace in 2015 in protest against Zeman.

The pranksters said that the red colour of their boxer-short style protest flag symbolised the unhealthily close link they believed Zeman, a former communist, had with China and Russia.

Staunchly pro-Russian and pro-Chinese, Zeman once dubbed journalists "manure" and "superficial" before telling Russian President Vladimir Putin in China in May 2017 that "journalists should be liquidated".

He also showed up at a press conference in October 2017 with a toy Kalashnikov in his hand labelled "for journalists".

Zeman narrowly won a second consecutive term in January elections, beating his pro-European liberal rival Jiri Drahos in a knife-edge run-off that underscored deep divisions in the EU and NATO state.

Zeman's stunt drew a barrage of criticism on Thursday, with Jiri Pospisil, leader of the right-wing TOP 09 party, exclaiming "let us wake up from this nightmare!"

Zeman's health has come under heavy scrutiny in recent months.

He walks with a cane, is diabetic and is a former heavy drinker and smoker.

Eye 1

Anti-vaccination billboard sparks outrage amongst Australian doctors

© Schneyder Mendoza / AFP
A new anti-vaccination billboard in Perth has sparked outrage amongst Australian doctors and caused a dispute to flare on social media. The ad poses the controversial question "Do you know what's in a vaccine?"

The billboard was met with fierce criticism from Australian doctors and the authorities, which vowed to pull it down, as social media users argued about whether this could violate freedom of speech. Placed on a street corner, the billboard provided a link to an American anti-vaccination group called 'Learn The Risk.' It defines its mission as one of raising people's awareness of "the dangers of pharmaceutical products, including vaccines."

However, the message wasn't received so well by the Australian Medical Association. As soon as the billboard was spotted, the Association insisted on having it pulled down by the local authorities. Their outrage was reinforced by Health Minister Roger Cook, who in turn branded the billboard "nasty and devious" and warned that its "misleading" nature could seriously endanger people's lives. Cook vowed to pull all the necessary strings to have it removed as soon as possible and said he was considering toughening laws to fight against this sort of "misinformation."

Comment: See also: