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Rocket blast near US Embassy in Baghdad's Green Zone, first such incident in weeks

Green Zone
© Global Look Press / Xinhua / Khalil Dawood
FILE PHOTO: A security member guards an entrance to the Green Zone, Baghdad, Iraq, on June 4, 2019.
At least one rocket fell near Baghdad's heavily fortified Green Zone, which houses the US Embassy and other diplomatic compounds in Iraq, according to reports, possibly marking the first attack on the facility in weeks.

The explosion set off sirens at the US Embassy compound on Tuesday morning, local media said. The rocket was fired from an eastern district of Baghdad and hit an empty building inside the zone, Reuters reported, citing the Iraqi military. No casualties have been reported in the incident.

Though the sprawling Green Zone complex and the surrounding area have been a frequent target for rocket strikes over the years - at least 27 so far in 2020 alone - such incidents have decreased in recent weeks, with the last one coming on May 6 near the Baghdad International Airport, located some 25 kilometers west of the Green Zone. If confirmed, Tuesday's strike would also come as the first since the appointment of Iraq's new Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi, a former intelligence chief.

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Pistol

FBI: Shooter at Pensacola base coordinated with al-Qaida

Mohammed Alshamrani
© FBI via AP
This undated photo provided by the FBI shows Mohammed Alshamrani. The Saudi student opened fire inside a classroom at Naval Air Station Pensacola on Friday before one of the deputies killed him. The FBI has found a link between the gunman in a deadly attack at a military base last December and an al-Qaida operative. That’s according to a U.S. official who spoke to The Associated Press on Monday.
The gunman who killed three U.S. sailors at a military base in Florida last year communicated with al-Qaida operatives about planning and tactics in the months leading up to the attack, U.S. officials said Monday, as they lashed out at Apple for failing to help them open the shooter's phones so they could access key evidence.

Law enforcement officials discovered contacts between Mohammed Saeed Alshamrani and operatives of al-Qaida after FBI technicians succeeded in breaking into two cellphones that had previously been locked and that the shooter, a Saudi Air Force officer, had tried to destroy before he was killed by a sheriff's deputy.

"We now have a clearer understanding of Alshamrani's associations and activities in the years, months and days leading up to his attack," Attorney General William Barr said at a news conference in which he chastised Apple for not helping open the phones.

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Cheeseburger

'Rotten from the top': Sexual harassment 'RAMPANT' at McDonald's, international labor group tells OECD in complaint

mcdonalds golden arches
© Reuters / Stringer
An international group of labor unions has filed a complaint alleging "systemic" and "rampant" sexual harassment at McDonald's restaurants around the globe, arguing the corporate fast food giant has ignored the problem for years.

The complaint was filed with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) on Monday by the International Union of Food Workers (IUF), which said McDonald's had allowed a "sexual harassment crisis" to persist in restaurants all over the world, including in the US, Brazil, Australia, France, the UK, Chile, and Colombia, among other countries.

"McDonald's workers have sounded the alarm about sexual harassment and gender-based violence for years, but a company with a culture rotten from the top has failed to take meaningful action to address the problem," Sue Longley, IUF's general secretary, said in a statement.

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Cross

Dozens of churchgoers defy Illinois' coronavirus stay-at-home order, Chicago mayor to issue citations

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot
© AP Photo/Teresa Crawford
Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot speaks to reporters Sunday, March 15, 2020, at O'Hare International Airport.
Churchgoers in Chicago could face citations for attending in-person services on Sunday, according to the mayor's office.

Dozens of churches across the country, including a handful in Illinois, participated in "Peaceably Gather Sunday," organized by Kentucky pastor Brian Gibson, which sought to defy states' coronavirus stay-at-home orders. In Illinois, Gov. J.B. Pritzker's order doesn't allow more than 10 people at a place of worship.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the city was prepared to enforce the orders against houses of worship that hold in-person services, and though Chicago police said there were no arrests made or citations issued Sunday, that could change in the coming days, the Chicago Tribune reports.

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USA

California: Man arrested for choking child minutes after release from jail

daniel orozco
Daniel Orozco, 28-years-old, was released from Monterey County Jail in California after he was arrested for driving the wrong way and driving under the influence of drugs. Within ten minutes of his release, Orozco hijacked a car and choked the owner's 11-year-old son.

Democrats may not have a clue on how to create jobs but when it comes to creating crime victims, they are unsurpassed. One man was arrested and released three times in one day in New York.

Orozco waylaid the woman and demanded her car keys and when she refused to give them up, the man began choking her 11-year-old son. She handed him the keys and pulled her son out of the car. Orozco took off, where he was later rearrested.

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Cut

Oregon salon owner says Child Protective Services went to her home when she reopened business in defiance of lockdown order

Lindsey Graham salon owner
A salon owner in Oregon claimed that Child Protective Services was sent to her home to check in on her children after she reopened her establishment in defiance of the governor's stay-at-home order.

Lindsey Graham of Salem said an agent from the state's Child Protective Services came to her home when she reopened her salon, Glamour, in early May and was also fined $14,000 for reopening.

"On May 7, I got a phone call from my nanny," Graham told SiriusXM's Breitbart News Sunday. "As soon as I went to work, a DHS officer came to my home and tried to speak to her, and she said, 'I don't feel comfortable answering any questions for you. I think you need to call the homeowner.' So DHS basically stopped by my house and said they had some claims against me and my family about our home being unfit."

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Sheriff

'Have a good day & be safe': New Jersey cops are latest police force to refuse enforcing Covid-19 restrictions

new jersey police
© Atilis Gym Twitter
Footage of police in New Jersey informing anti-lockdown protesters they're in violation of Covid-19 executive orders, but will not face consequences, is the latest example of officers taking a more hands-off approach to the rules.

People began gathering outside Atilis Gym in southern New Jersey hours before it opened on Monday to show support for the business defying executive orders from the governor, and to protest the continuing lockdown measures in place across the state.

While almost no protesters wore face coverings and were clearly breaking social distancing guidelines by gathering in a big crowd, police simply informed those gathered that they were in violation of current orders - and to "have a nice day."

"Formally, you are all in violation of the executive order," an officer told the crowd. "On that note, have a good day. Everybody be safe." Police then left the area to the sound of cheers from the protesters.

Red Flag

'I'm only human': Top German politician in hot water over hug during Covid-19 lockdown

Christian Lindner
© Twitter / @Second_Best_yet
The head of the German Free Democrats, Christian Lindner, has found himself in a tight spot after hugging a friend in brazen violation of Covid-19 social distancing rules that Germans are still obliged to follow.

The misdeed by the business-friendly Free Democratic Party (FDP) leader has been made public by the BZ Berlin daily, which published a photo of him hugging businessman Steffen Goepel in front of one of the city's most-popular restaurants on Friday evening. To make matters worse, the politician was also seen with his facemask hanging under his chin.

The photo, which in a different time would be considered quite innocent, has since been deleted by the newspaper. But it has sparked a wave of criticism in Germany, where many are tired and angry over protracted coronavirus quarantine measures.

The politician faced a flurry of angry comments on social media as people argued that he apparently considers himself above the rules ordinary Germans have to follow.

Bullseye

'Swedish model' of no-lockdown response to Covid-19 worked, its architect says

stockholm
© TT News Agency via Reuters / Henrik Montgomery
Sweden, which chose a famously hands-off opt-in way to fight the coronavirus epidemic, may have over four times the deaths per capita compared to its Nordic neighbors, but the approach ultimately worked, the man behind it insists.

While most nations in the world relied on strict lockdown procedures to slow the spread of Covid-19, Sweden put only a few obligatory restrictions in place. That won high approval ratings for the government, but also resulted in a significantly higher death toll than in other Nordic countries, with elder-care homes affected particularly badly.


Comment: Take a look at the numbers from this article by Rob Slane on the comparison between deaths in the UK and Sweden. It makes the above statement about "significantly higher death tolls in Sweden" very dubious:
The chart below compares the daily death rate for the UK and Sweden, per million population, with the date of the UK lockdown clearly marked. Can Mr Johnson show from this chart any correlation between the lockdown that was imposed on Britain and the lockdown that wasn't imposed on Sweden, and death rates (more on Sweden below)?

slane stats covid

Anders Tegnell, Sweden's chief epidemiologist, whose role in creating the 'Swedish model' elevated him to a celebrity in the country and spiked interest internationally, insists his approach was right.

Comment: Of course it worked... BECAUSE THERE IS NO 'KILLER VIRUS' OUT THERE!!!


Burka

Swedish girl, 17, was decapitated by her Iraqi migrant boyfriend last November


Comment: Once again, the authorities are only releasing information about migrant crimes many months AFTER the fact, during a time when it's hoped fewer people will notice...


Andersson

Wilma Andersson, pictured, disappeared in November last year. Police found her severed head two weeks later and her ex-boyfriend has now been charged with her murder
A 17-year-old girl was beheaded by her ex-boyfriend after breaking up with him in Sweden, it is alleged.

Wilma Andersson vanished on November 14 last year and police found a 'body part' two weeks later - which was later revealed to be her head.

Her ex-boyfriend Tishko Ahmed Shabaz was arrested at the time and has now been charged with her murder, which he denies.

Shabaz is accused of decapitating Wilma when she went to collect her belongings before wrapping her head in foil and hiding it at his home.

Charges against the 23-year-old suspect were announced last week in a case that has shocked Sweden, which has long held a reputation as one of the world's safest countries.


According to human rights monitor HRS, the suspect was born in Iraq and took up Swedish citizenship in 2014.

Comment: See also: French activist murdered by Afghan migrant he housed