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Zimmerman Makes Court Appearance in Florida Shooting

George Zimmerman
© The Associated Press/Gary W. Green/Orlando Sentinel/Pool
George Zimmerman, center, is directed by a Seminole County Deputy and his attorney Mark O'Mara during a court hearing Thursday April 12, 2012, in Sanford, Fla. Zimmerman has been charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of the 17-year-old Trayvon Martin.
US: Stanford, Florida - Neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman made his first court appearance Thursday on a second-degree murder charge in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, as a court document provided new details on the prosecution's case.

During the brief appearance, Zimmerman stood up straight, looked straight ahead and wore a gray prison jumpsuit. He spoke only to answer "Yes, sir," twice after he was asked basic questions about the charge against him and his attorney.

His hair was shaved down to stubble and he had a thin goatee, which appeared consistent with his booking photo from the day before. He had resurfaced Wednesday to turn himself in after weeks in hiding.

Judge Mark E. Herr said he found probable cause to move ahead with the case and that an arraignment would be held on May 29 before another judge.

A document prepared by prosecutors shed some light on why they chose to charge Zimmerman. The affidavit says Martin's mother identified screams heard in the background of a 911 call as her son's. There had been some question as to whether Martin or Zimmerman was the one calling for help.

Prosecutors also interviewed a friend of Martin's who was talking to him just before the shooting. The affidavit says Martin told the witness he was being followed and was scared.

Martin tried to run home, the affidavit says, but was followed by Zimmerman: "Zimmerman got out of his vehicle and followed Martin."

The affidavit says that "Zimmerman disregarded the police dispatcher" who told him to stop, and "continued to follow Martin who was trying to return to his home."

Comment: Please read the Sott Focus: Hysterization Via Racism in the Trayvon Martin Case for a better understanding of the dynamics at play in the Trayvon Martin case.


Texas Christian Values: School Fires Unwed Pregnant Teacher

© American Broadcasting Company
A Christian school in Texas has fired an unmarried science teacher because it claimed she was not a good "Christian role model" - even after she offered to get married.

Cathy Samford, who is now 39 weeks pregnant, told ABC News that she was "totally shocked" when Heritage Christian Academy in Rockwall, Texas fired her from her job as a science teacher and volleyball coach after they discovered she was pregnant late last year.

"I'm not just some teacher that went out to a bar and got pregnant and went back to school saying it's okay," Samford explained. "I was in a committed relationship the whole time and probably would have been married if things had gone differently and this would be a non-situation."

"I didn't think I would lose my job," she said. "I was in shock and devastated and that's when I said, 'If this is the problem, I'm willing, and so is my fiancé, to go ahead and get married.' That wasn't the issue. We were going to get married regardless."


Cindy Sheehan vs. The Empire

cindy Sheehan
© Unknown
Even if one only counts foreign military invasions, the United States of America has long been an Empire, but if we talk about our nation's First People, it has always been so.

This is a true story: A few months before I went to Crawford, Texas in August of 2005, to ask George Bush the infamous question, "What Noble Cause," I visited my Congressional Representative, George Miller (D). I begged him to do what he could to end the wars and hold the Bush crime syndicate accountable for killing my son, Casey.

Miller told me that he was sympathetic to my cause, but he couldn't do anything because the Democrats were at that time, a "minority." (We would all soon learn that the Democrats wouldn't do anything even when they were the majority, but that's another story.)

Anyway, I said, "George, I am only one person, but I will do whatever I can to hold Bush accountable. The Bush family has been murdering people for generations, but when they murdered by son, Casey, they murdered the wrong person."

Well, since that meeting, I have been doing everything I can to hold BushCo (etc) accountable, but in my quest for accountability, I learned my target was too narrow--George Bush was never the bullseye. The bullseye is the Robber Class that uses the Military Empire for profit and power.


Humanitarianism - How Nato Left Boat People to Die

© AFM Air Wing
The 19 interviews by Goldsmiths researchers into the 'left-to-die-boat' ignored by Nato vessels in the Mediterranean in April 2011 has determined that 72 migrants were ignored by all Nato and non-military entities encountered in the two weeks drifting slowly in the sea, despite a clear distress call.

The migrants' vessel was established to have been within Nato's maritime surveillance area for 15 days, drifting in Libyan territorial waters, while Nato patrolled the area to prevent the flow of arms and mercenaries and prevent attacks.

The area was populated by at least 38 maritime assets as well as many additional aerial assets during the time of the event.

Nato maritime command in Naples and participating states were informed of the presence of a vessel in distress, and the military and naval assets had the detection capability to detect the migrants' vessel during its 14 days of drift back towards the coast of North Africa.

The independent research's geospatial report determined the movements of the boat, using a drift model to simulate the trajectory of the rubber vessel after the boat drifted in high waves for two weeks between 28 March and 10 April, when it landed in Ziltan.


Charles Manson Denied Parole, With Next Parole Hearing Set for 2027

Charles Manson
© unknown
Charles Manson, shown in a June 2011 prison photo, has accumulated 108 serious disciplinary violations in prison since 1971.
US: Corcoran, California - Notorious killer Charles Manson, 77, was denied parole Wednesday after a California parole panel "could find nothing good as far as suitability" for his being paroled, a commissioner said.

Manson didn't show up for his parole hearing, which was held at a state prison in Corcoran, California, where he is serving a life sentence.

Manson's next parole hearing was scheduled for 15 years from now, meaning he could die in prison.

California Board of Parole Hearings Commissioner John Peck said that Manson has accumulated 108 serious disciplinary violations in prison since 1971 and that he has shown no indication of remorse for his nine murder convictions.

Manson hasn't participated in any self-help programs or vocational training, Peck said. Manson also hasn't shown any parole plans, he said.

Peck also cited Manson's statement to a psychologist in a prison interview on November 2, 2011, in which Manson stated:

"I am special. I am not like the average inmate. I have put five people in the grave. I've been in prison most of my life. I'm a very dangerous man," Manson told the psychologist, according to a report read aloud by Peck during the hearing.


Parents Find Newborn Alive in Morgue 12 Hours After She Had Been Declared Dead

© Agence France-Presse/Getty Images
Fabian and Analia Bouter, parents of a premature baby who had been declared dead and was found alive 12 hours later in the morgue.
Argentina, Buenos Aires - premature baby who had been declared dead was found alive 12 hours later in the morgue by her mother.

The Argentinian parents of the baby, who is now critically ill in hospital, were going to name her Luciana Abigail but changed their minds and are calling her Luz Milagros instead, her middle name the Spanish word for "miracles."

"Luz is a miracle," Analia Bouter, the baby's mother, told the local press. "If we had left it to go and see her another day, she may not have held on."

Luz was born three months premature at the Hospital Perrando, in the city of Resistencia, in Argentina's northern Chaco province. Doctors said she had no vital signs.

After the birth, the parents left the hospital but decided later they wanted to go and see their daughter's body, which was being stored in a drawer in the morgue.


Connecticut Lawmakers Vote to Repeal Death Penalty

© Andrew Sullivan / The New York Times
Representative Patricia M. Widlitz was for the repeal bill.
US - The Connecticut House of Representatives gave final legislative approval on Wednesday to the repeal of the state's death penalty, moving it one step closer to becoming the fifth U.S. state in recent years to abandon capital punishment.

The 86-62 vote followed 10 hours of debate in the Democratic-controlled House and came after last week's Senate vote to abolish the death penalty. The bill now goes to Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy, who has vowed to sign it into law.

"The death penalty doesn't bring finality," said Democratic Representative Gerald Fox, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee. "The cost of the death penalty and the litigation that ensues places a financial burden on the judicial system and the state. We have learned in recent years, we have made mistakes."

Connecticut would join 16 other states and the District of Columbia without capital punishment. Its measure would replace the death penalty with life in prison without the possibility of parole. The repeal applies only to future sentences. The 11 men now on Connecticut's Death Row would still face execution.

But some legal experts have said defense attorneys for current Death Row inmates could use the repeal measure to win life sentences for their clients.


Zimmerman Charged with Second-Degree Murder in Trayvon Martin Shooting

George Zimmerman
© The Associated Press
George Zimmerman
US - George Zimmerman, the 28-year-old neighborhood watchman who shot and killed Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26 in Sanford, Fla., has been charged with second-degree murder in the 17-year-old's death. Zimmerman has been transferred to Seminole County jail, according to news reports, and is being held without bail.

"Just moments ago we spoke by phone with Tracy Martin and Sybrina Fulton," Angela Corey, the special prosecutor investigating the case, said at a news conference in Jacksonville. "Three weeks ago our prosecution team promised those sweet parents we would get answers to all of their questions, no matter where our quest for the truth led us. And it is that search for justice for Trayvon that has brought us to this night."

"We did not come to this decision lightly," she said, declining to discuss specifics of the investigation. "We do not prosecute by pressure or petition ... We're law enforcement. We enforce the law."

Comment: Please read the Sott Focus: Hysterization Via Racism in the Trayvon Martin Case for a better understanding of the dynamics at play in the Trayvon Martin case.


Anti-Smoking Fascism: Health Canada Debuts Graphic New Cigarette Pack Warning Labels

© unknown
Health Canada has unveiled a new set of gruesome images to adorn cigarette packages.

The Toronto Sun calls the new warning labels, replacing those first mandated in 2000, the toughest the Canadian tobacco market has ever seen.

Under new guidelines first announced in March, the warnings must cover three quarters of cigarette and little cigar (cigarillo) packages, up from 50 per cent under the previous rules.

Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq said larger warnings are intended to "better reach people with low literacy levels, heavy smokers, and people thinking about quitting," the Sun reported.

"As a result of action taken by our government, smoking rates in Canada are at an all-time low."

The war on tobacco has been non-partisan, with Progressive Conservatives, Liberals and now the laissez-faire Conservatives committed to reducing smoking rates and their inevitable health costs.

Pocket Knife

Syria truce deadline passes, no reported violence

The deadline for a U.N.-backed ceasefire aimed at halting more than a year of violence in Syria passed on Thursday with no immediate reports of fighting, activists said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported the sound of explosions in the town of Zabadani, close to the border with Lebanon, shortly after the 6 a.m.deadline expired, but said it was not clear what had caused the blasts.

A resident of the town said there had been shelling of the town overnight, but that she heard nothing after the deadline. Other activists in the cities of Hama, Homs and Damascus said the situation was calm.

Syria's Defense Ministry said on Wednesday it would halt operations on Thursday morning, but made no mention of an army pullback from cities and said it would confront "any assault" by armed groups. Attacks on opposition neighborhoods over the last week have fuelled doubts it would comply with the truce.

Comment: Needless to say, keep an eye on this topic.

One can imagine the defenders have only their limited means. To psychopaths salivating at their prey, the joy of destruction and plundering may be about to begin. Why war, misery, false posturing, deception? How has the more empathic race become sick and willing to do the bidding of these creatures? What do psychopaths, that spend human lives as if they are a commodity, think about humans?

"Human beings are a disease, a cancer of this planet, you are a plague, and we are the cure." -Agent Smith The Matrix

Think about it.