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Three U.N. peacekeepers killed in Darfur

UNAMID peacekeepers
© www.un.org
UNAMID peacekeeper troops in East Darfur.
Two peacekeepers serving in the joint United Nations-African Union force in Sudan's troubled Darfur region were killed in an attack, and a third later died from his injuries, the U.N. secretary-general said Thursday.

Ban Ki-moon strongly condemned the attack and said it has been "a bloody October for U.N. peacekeeping," with 14 peacekeepers killed this month in Darfur, Mali and the Central African Republic. This amounts to "nearly one per day," he told reporters.

The Ethiopian soldiers were guarding a water borehole in Korma, North Darfur, when they came under attack by a group of unidentified armed men, Ashraf Eissa, the spokesman for the joint mission in Darfur, said by telephone.

"This highlights the exceptionally challenging environments in which today's peacekeepers operate," Ban said.

2 peacekeepers, child
© treealerts.org
In a statement, Abidoun Bashua, acting Joint Special Representative of the mission, said the attack was reported to the Sudanese foreign minister and called on Sudan's government to act swiftly to bring the attackers to justice. He said an attack on peacekeepers is a war crime.

Rebel groups have been fighting in the vast western region of Sudan for more than a decade, and the security situation has worsened this year. The U.N. says 61 peacekeepers have been killed in Darfur since the start of the mission in 2007.

Comment: The African Union - United Nations Hybrid Operation in Darfur (UNAMID) is a joint African Union and United Nations peacekeeping mission formally approved by a UN Security Council resolution in 2007 to bring stability to the Darfur region of Sudan while peace talks on a final settlement continue. Seven years later, the need for this peacekeeping mission is still in play. During this span of time, approximately 385,000 people have been displaced due to the ongoing conflict begun in 2003.

UNAMID has the protection of civilians as its core mandate, but is also tasked with contributing to security for humanitarian assistance, monitoring and verifying implementation of agreements, and assisting an inclusive political process aimed at ending the conflict that erupted in the Darfur region of Sudan over 10 years ago.

It is also tasked with contributing to the promotion of human rights and the rule of law, and monitoring and reporting on the situation along the borders with Chad and the Central African Republic.

Nearly one peacekeeper has died per day this October. The price of peace?



Land of the Free - 1 in 3 Americans are on file with the FBI in the U.S. Police State

Authoritarian police state
© oreaddaily.blogspot.co.nz
The sickening transformation of these United States into an authoritarian police state with an incarceration rate that would make Joseph Stalin blush, has been a key theme of my writing since well before the launch of Liberty Blitzkrieg. One of the posts that shocked and disturbed readers most, was published a little over a year ago titled:American Police Make an Arrest Every 2 Seconds in 2012. In the event you never read it, I suggest taking a look before tackling the rest of this piece.

Fast forward to fall 2014, and the Wall Street Journal has a powerful article about how children in schools systems across the U.S. are being arrested or turned over to police custody for doing things that children have always done since the beginning of time. Things such as wearing too much perfume, sharing a classmates' chicken nuggets, throwing an eraser or chewing gum.

As a result of our insane societal obsession with authority and disproportionate punishment, the WSJ reports that "nearly one out of every three American adults are on file in the FBI's master criminal database."


Candy Cane

Galician separatists in W. Ukraine want to join Europe without the rest of Ukraine

Galicia in Ukraine map
© Unknown
European Galician Assembly has become more active in Lvov. It is known for its advocacy of separatism. Activists of the organization held a conference, at which the City Mayor Andriy Sadovyi and former economic development Minister Pavel Sheremet were among the guests.

The Galician Assembly consists of local intellectuals who have never concealed their separatist views (they recently registered the Ukrainian Galician party). The head of organisation Vladimir Pavliv became famous as a "Galician autonomist" even before the war. In his view, a change in the format of the administrative-territorial status is not far off.
"I am interested in autonomy for Western Ukraine or Galicia, and what happens beyond Zbruch, I don't care about," - he confessed two years ago. "The integrity of Ukraine for me is less important than the well-being of Galicia ".

Comment: It is clear that it is becoming less and less interesting to be part of Ukraine under the current fascist rule.


Arizona jury to consider death penalty for murderer Jodi Arias

Jodi Arias
© Reuters/Tom Tingle
Jodi Arias, (R), speaks to prosecutor Juan Martinez during a hearing in Maricopa County Superior Court in Phoenix, Arizona in this file photo taken August 13, 2014.
An Arizona jury will be sworn in on Tuesday to decide whether 34-year-old convicted murderer Jodi Arias will be executed for the 2008 slaying of Travis Alexander, court officials said.

After months of delays, a 12-member jury is set to be impaneled in Maricopa County Superior Court in downtown Phoenix in the penalty phase retrial of the former California waitress.

Arias was found guilty of first-degree murder in May 2013 for killing Alexander, 30, in his Mesa, Arizona, home. Alexander was found slumped in his shower after being stabbed 27 times, having his throat slashed and being shot in the face.

Arias testified for 18 days, claiming she acted in self-defense, while prosecutors said she murdered Alexander in a jealous rage.

The jury found her guilty and quickly decided that she was eligible for the death penalty. But they deadlocked on what her punishment should be, prompting Judge Sherry Stephens to declare a mistrial.


Japanese man sentenced to two years in jail for making guns with 3D printer

3-D Gun
© SCMP Pictures
A 3D-printed handgun a man made at home.
A Japanese court has jailed a man for two years for making guns with a 3D printer in what is believed to be a first in a nation with strict gun controls.

Yoshitomo Imura, 28, was found guilty of making two guns at his home and publishing a video online detailing the process, said the Yokohama District Court.

"The criminal responsibility for this act is serious" as it could encourage others to replicate the act, said the presiding judge Koji Inaba.

Imura, a former employee of the Shonan Institute of Technology, used internet-based information to build the two functional guns, according to the ruling.

He then posted a video online detailing how he built them. Imura's lawyers argued that he did not know his acts were illegal, a notion that the court rejected.


Update! Moscow's Snowplow driver drunk in collision with Total CEO's aircraft - Claim now rejected

© Screenshot from LIFENEWS video
The driver of the snowplow that caused the Falcon-50 plane crash in Moscow's Vnukovo airport
It was determined in the course of the investigation into the Moscow plane crash that killed the CEO of French oil giant Total that the driver of the snowplow which likely caused the crash was drunk.

"It has been determined that the driver of the snowplow was under the influence of alcohol," head of Russia's Investigative Committee Vladimir Markin told the reporters on Tuesday.

Markin added that "there is a possibility that a number of airport staff will be suspended from carrying out their duties pending criminal investigation."

Comment: This claim that anyone was drunk has since been refuted by a lawyer for the snowplough driver.

What's highly alarming about this 'accident' is that De Margerie was clearly against the anti-Russian sanctions: French oil CEO dies in plane crash at Moscow's Vnukovo Airport


CIA-MI6 hit? French oil CEO dies in plane crash at Moscow's Vnukovo Airport

© Aradianoilandgas.com
The CEO of France's oil and gas giant Total, Christophe de Margerie, was reportedly among five people killed in a business jet crash at Vnukovo Airport in Moscow after the aircraft hit a snowplow on take-off.

Total's chairman and CEO was the only passenger in the Falcon 50 business jet besides three crewmembers, LifeNews cited a source as saying. Another source confirmed to TASS that de Margerie was the only passenger who checked in for the private flight to Paris, adding that the 3 crewmembers were also French citizens.

Total has so far not confirmed the reports of its CEO's death. "To date, I have no information that I could tell you. When and if it appears, you can get it from the press secretary or read the communiqué," a representative of the company told RIA Novosti.
CEO of France's Total dies in jet crash at Moscow's Vnukovo Airport - report http://t.co/AWNpuaAuCqpic.twitter.com/oA8aWLRCOZ
- RT (@RT_com) October 20, 2014
During take-off at around 0:10am Moscow time on Tuesday, the light aircraft, according to preliminary data, hit a snow-clearing machine with its landing gear. Due to the damage, the pilot reportedly decided to turn back and land.

Comment: Mr. de Margerie stated the following in July:
Oil major Total's chief executive said on Saturday the euro should have a bigger role in international trade although it was not possible to do without the U.S. dollar.

Christophe de Margerie was responding to questions about calls by French policymakers to find ways at EU level to bolster the use of the euro in international business following a record U.S. fine for BNP.
"There is no reason to pay for oil in dollars," he said. He said the fact that oil prices are quoted in dollars per barrel did not mean that payments actually had to be made in that currency.

Bye bye petrodollar! French CEO of one of the world's largest energy majors "sees no reason for petrodollar"
Famous last words?

Total was not toeing the party line regarding isolating Russia:
According to Russia's Vedomosti newspaper, Mr de Margerie had just come from a meeting with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev at his country residence outside Moscow to discuss foreign investment in Russia.

Mr de Margerie was a staunch defender of maintaining ties, despite Western sanctions against Moscow over its actions in Ukraine.

Total is one of the biggest foreign investors in Russia and is planning to double its output from the country by 2020.

It is working on the Yamal project, a $27bn joint venture to extract natural gas in northwest Siberia.
On another occasion, De Margerie said:
"Can we live without Russian gas in Europe? The answer is no. Are there any reasons to live without it? I think - and I'm not defending the interests of Total in Russia - it is a no."

De Margerie had recently expressed his support for a wider use of other currencies in transactions outside the US - for oil purchases in particular - after the scandal involving France's largest bank, BNP Paribas, which was slapped with a record $9 billion fine and a 1-year dollar trading ban.

"Nothing prevents anyone from paying for oil in euros," de Margerie said in July. "The price of a barrel of oil is quoted in dollars. A refinery can take that price and using the euro-dollar exchange rate on any given day, agree to make the payment in euros."
"Are we going to build a new Berlin Wall?" he told Reuters in July. "Russia is a partner and we shouldn't waste time protecting ourselves from a neighbour ... What we are looking to do is not to be too dependent on any country, no matter which. Not from Russia, which has saved us on numerous occasions."
These are un-American statements and activities. De Margerie had to go.


3-year old killed in crossfire of Facebook argument

© Handout photos
Amiracle Williams
Amiracle Williams was just 3 years old when she was shot and killed this week due to a Facebook argument. Some teenagers from the local high school were in a dispute that stemmed from Facebook and escalated in front of the Williams home.

A group of young women were locked in a physical fight with Amiracle's older sister, 17. Amiracle's father, 47, "felt his daughters may have been in some sort of danger and responded by shooting one person at the scene," Detroit Police Chief James Craig told the Huffington Post.

Another person involved in the fight responded by unleashing a hail storm of bullets into the Williams' home using a high-powered TEC-9 machine gun. Amiracle's mother, father and sister were also injured, but are expected to recover. It is suspected that Amiracle's father, who has yet to be identified, shot someone during the altercation.

The investigation is ongoing but as of last Friday, the Detroit Police Department had two suspects in custody, the 22-year-old suspected second shooter and his 23-year-old getaway car driver, who was shot in the gunfire exchange. According to police, the second shooter has an outstanding warrant on a felony charge in Virginia. At least one of the men is known to have ties to local gangs.

Light Saber

ATF scared off Annual Gathering of Juggalos by event organizers with cameras

© Copblock
Date of Incident: July 2014
Outfit: ATF

This year the 15th Annual Gathering Of The Juggalos took place from July 23rd-26th, 2014 at Legend Valley Campground in Ohio. Police were inside the grounds this year, which is a drastic change from the last several Gatherings where no police were allowed inside due to the grounds being private property. The police within the grounds made no attempt to stop any of the partying that was going on within the grounds and had been even quoted as saying "really, who cares if they have a little marijuana?" Those officers never left their golf carts during the entire event.

The ATF, however, tried to strong arm their way in. They called Robert Bruce (a.k.a. Jumpsteady), who was the organizer of the event, and told him that they were on the grounds and wanted to know where they could set up camp. He told then to wait a minute. Then, he quickly called the owner of the campground (Steve), the camera crew who were filming a documentary at The Gathering that year, and the Juggalo's own personal lawyer, Farris. They got together quickly and came to the conclusion that the ATF was not allowed to be on their property because Steve had not given them permission, yet they had already stormed onto the grounds demanding to be let in.

Bruce, Farris, the camera crew and several others then went out to meet the ATF where they were sitting. When they got there, they discovered a small crew of ATF officers standing there, as well as about eight more officers sitting on already running Razor 4-wheelers and four more officers who were clearly in charge sitting at a picnic table. When the officers saw a group of about 20 people coming towards them, waving cameras, boom sticks, and the like, their mouths dropped open in shock.


Facebook slams DEA for creating fake profile, violating its terms of use

© Unknown
DEA uses confiscated pictures on woman's cellphone to create fake facebook account for drug trafficking investigation
Facebook's chief security officer, Joe Sullivan, in a letter to the DEA and their Administrator, Michele Leonhart, has stated that the same rules apply to law enforcement agencies about being truthful and not lying about identity as civilians.
"Facebook has long made clear that law enforcement authorities are subject to these policies," Sullivan wrote. "We regard DEA's conduct to be a knowing and serious breach of Facebook's terms and policies."
Facebook has stated that it wants assurances that fake profiles will not be used in conducting investigations. The letter comes on the heels of a New York woman, Sondra Arquiett, suing in federal court over claims that a fake Facebook page was created using her name and pictures by a DEA agent, Timothy Sinnigen, in an effort to forward a drug investigation.

Initially the Department of Justice defended the tactic. They argued in an August court filing that although Arquiett didn't give direct authorization to Sinnigen to create the bogus account, she "implicitly consented by granting access to the information stored in her cellphone and by consenting to the use of that information to aid in... ongoing criminal investigations."

The Department of Justice last week changed course and opened a review of the case after Arquiett sued the U.S. government, and Sinnigen in federal court.

Investigators had initially seized Arquiett's cell phone when she was arrested as part of a July 2010 drug investigation by a county drug task force, Homeland Security and the DEA, according to court documents.