Welcome to Sott.net
Tue, 26 Sep 2023
The World for People who Think

Society's Child

Che Guevara

Greeks to greet visiting Merkel with protests

Angela Merkel
© Agence France-Presse
Angela Merkel
People in debt-stricken Greece are to stage a demonstration in the capital to protest against a planned visit by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who the Greeks blame for pressuring their government to enforce harsh austerity measures.

Anti-austerity protesters are expected to take to the streets in Athens on Tuesday to take part in a protest organized by labor unions and opposition parties against Merkel's 6-hour-visit to the country.

"She does not come to support Greece, which her policies have brought to the brink. She comes to save the corrupt, disgraced and servile political system," Alexis Tsipras, the leader of the opposition Syriza alliance, said.

"We will give her the welcome she deserves," Tsipras added.


Media's favorite Anonymous hacktivist charged with conspiracy against FBI agents

Barrett Brown
© YouTube
Project PM founder Barrett Brown speaks to the camera in a YouTube video uploaded before his September 12, 2012 arrest in Dallas, Tx.
Nearly one month after being arrested at gunpoint by federal agents during an FBI raid streamed live on the Web, Project PM founder and Anonymous-linked hacktivist Barrett Brown has been indicted on three counts relating to threatening an officer.

Brown, a 31-year-old activist often portrayed by the media as an unofficial spokesperson for the Anonymous movement, was participating in a live webcam chat on September 12 at his Dallas, Texas home when a squadron of FBI agents unexpectedly stormed the residence and brought him into custody. Brown was booked at a local jail shortly after, but details surrounding the case have since been scarcely made available to the public, until now.

On Wednesday, The Dallas Morning News embedded a copy of the official indictment as it was released, revealing that Brown has officially been charged with three counts: making Internet threats; conspiracy to make publically available restricted personal information of an employee of the United States; and retaliation against a federal law enforcement officer.

All counts are related to perceived threats of violence and intimidation that prosecutors say Brown issued over the Web in the days leading up to September's arrest. Brown's home had been raided months earlier in an unrelated investigation linked to the FBI's arrest of LulzSec hacker Hector Xavier Monsegur, or "Sabu," whom Brown described in a March 2012 dispatch as "a degenerate pussy traitor who couldn't face two fucking years in prison, making him the biggest pussy in the history of mankind." Monsegur reportedly ratted out several alleged Anonymous operatives and associates to the FBI and had been serving as an undercover informant in the months before authorities surprised Brown and others. During March's raid, Brown's laptops and other electronics were subsequently confiscated by the FBI, to which he demanded an immediate return shortly before his latest arrest.


Police Brutality: NYPD officer shoot unarmed driver to death

Noel Polanco
© Courtesy Polanco Family
National Guardsman Noel Polanco was shot and killed by NYPD officers on the Grand Central Parkway on October 4.
New York - Cutting off a policeman with his car cost a US Army National Guardsman his life. After getting pulled over by an angry cop Friday morning, the victim was shot to death by the detective while his hands were allegedly still on the steering wheel.

The New York police detective, 39-year old Hassan Hamdy, fired one fatal bullet through the open car window of 22-year old Noel Polanco, who was declared dead within one hour of the shooting.

Polanco was driving himself and two friends, one of which was an off-duty police officer, home after work around 5:15 a.m. After cutting off the cops in their unmarked car - which the trio did not realize was a police car - the three friends were harassed in what they described as "an act of road rage."

The police chased them, "sticking their middle fingers at us and screaming obscenities," said 36-year-old Diane DeFerrari, a bartender who sat in the passenger seat of Polanco's car.

DeFarrari told the New York Post that with rifles drawn, the police officers pulled over the vehicle and ordered Polanco and his friends to put their hands up. But in an instant - before Polanco had time to take his hands off the steering wheel - he was shot dead.

"I heard [Polanco] gasp. He just looked at me." DeFarrari said.

"There was no time to put your hands up at all. They shot in front of my face. Had I moved an inch, it would probably have been me," she added.


'Choose Love': Pro-Muslim ads to appear in New York City subways

© thinkprogress.org
A subway ad by United Methodist Women is a response to the anti-jihad ad.
After anti-Muslim ads hit NYC subways last month, Jewish and Christian groups respond with a message of love - hanging pro-Muslim posters to condemn intolerance and celebrate the city's diversity.

Rabbis for Human Rights - North America and the Sojourners Christian group will place their adverts right next to the anti-jihad messages that were released by pro-Israel group, the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI).The organization covered 10 Manhattan stations, despite strong objection by the city's Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

The original text by the AFDI declared "In any war between the civilized man and the savage, support the civilized man. Support Israel. Defeat Jihad."

The ad by Rabbis for Human Rights- North America will say "In the choice between love and hate, choose love. Help stop bigotry against our Muslim neighbors."

"Love your Muslim neighbors," is the message on the Sojourners' ad.

"Our subway platforms and buses should not be the platform for messages of hate that divide friends, neighbors, and colleagues," read a message on the Rabbis for Human Rights - North America's website.


Justice department calls Megaupload case a success despite catastrophic flaws

Kim Dotcom
© Agence France-Presse/Pool
Megaupload founder Kim Dotcom
Even as the US government's case against Kim Dotcom and the vast copyright infringement conspiracy they allege he orchestrated crumbles in their hands, the Justice Department has only nice things to say about their take-down of Megaupload.

The Obama administration has all but thrown in the towel in the federal copyright infringement suit against Megaupload.com, but Attorney General Eric Holder is celebrating the seizure of the file storage site nearly a year later even despite a steady series of setback both domestically and abroad expected to heavily jeopardize the outcome of the case.

Speaking at the Intellectual Property Law Enforcement Grant Award Event in Towson, Maryland on Wednesday, Attorney General Holder praised the DoJ's attempts at prosecuting Megaupload and its associates for copyright infringement, calling the case yet another example in the courts' "record of success" when it comes to fighting and preventing IP crimes.

At this week's ceremony, Mr. Holder said, "In this year alone, we have prosecuted a number of significant IP cases," citing specifically the seizure of Dotcom's file-storage locker as a significant accomplishment under the Obama administration.


Dozens arrested at San Francisco protest

© flickr/Steve Rhodes
About 22 protesters were arrested in an "unpermitted" San Francisco march while police officers tried to disperse them for blocking traffic. Demonstrators wore black clothing, masks and threw rocks, paint and flares at police, injuring one officer.

The protest started Saturday as anti-capitalist and anti-colonialist march in San Francisco's financial district that was reportedly part of the Columbus Day actions.

© flickr/Steve Rhodes
The protest began with an unsanctioned rally, according to police department spokesman Officer Gordon Shyy. When officers tried to approach the crowd, demonstrators began to throw objects at the officers, injuring one.

Also, protesters smashed the window of a local Starbucks coffee shop.

Police encircled the protesters in a roadway and began to detain them. Some protesters managed to flee, but were later found and arrested as well.


Police nab alleged TSA thief, hundreds already fired

Los Angeles, California - A TSA employee working in a Los Angeles airport could become the 382nd worker fired from the security agency for allegedly stealing from travelers, a years-long problem highlighted in a recent ABC News investigation.

Los Angeles police released a statement late Friday saying a passenger came to the authorities after he said money had been taken out of his wallet while he was going through airport security at Los Angeles International Airport. After a brief investigation, police arrested 47-year-old TSA employee Clyde Reese for the alleged theft.

As of Friday, the TSA said Reese would be removed from screening duties and could be fired should wrongdoing be proven, according to a report by the Los Angeles Times. Reese was reportedly booked in Los Angeles on a misdemeanor theft charge.

The alleged theft occurred just a day after Sen. Charles Schumer (D-New York) called on the TSA to strengthen its internal anti-theft policies in response to the ABC News investigation.

As part of the investigation, ABC News tracked an iPad that was purposefully left behind at an airport security checkpoint to the home of a TSA agent who was later fired for the alleged theft. That officer was the 381st TSA employee fired for alleged theft since the agency's founding a decade ago, the TSA said.


California gov. takes action as gas prices keep rising

© The Associated Press/Noah Berger
Gasoline prices higher than $5 per gallon are posted at a Menlo Park, Calif., Chevron station on Friday, Oct. 5, 2012.
Los Angeles - Gov. Jerry Brown is taking action in an effort to drive down the cost of gasoline as California drivers cope with record-breaking prices at the pump.

For the second straight day Sunday, the statewide average price for a gallon of regular rose to an all-time high, hitting $4.655, according to AAA.

That topped Saturday's price of $4.6140, which broke the previous record high of $4.6096 per gallon set on June 19, 2008.

Due to a temporary reduction in supply, California gas prices in recent days have surpassed those in Hawaii to become the highest in the nation.

Che Guevara

Western peace activists protest in Pakistan against drone strikes

© T. Mughal/European Pressphoto Agency
The Pakistani opposition politician Imran Khan greeted supporters on Saturday as their convoy headed to South Waziristan to protest U.S. drone strikes in the tribal area.
Dozens of Western peace activists, including 32 Americans, participated in a convoy in Pakistan over the weekend to protest deadly American drone strikes in the tribal belt between Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The motorcade was turned away Sunday from entering South Waziristan and reaching the town of Kotkai, the hometown of the founder of the Pakistani Taliban. The Pakistani government, as my colleague Salman Masood reported, had been expected to block the group.

The activists, most of them from the group Codepink, object to the civilian deaths that occur in the aerial strikes against Taliban fighters and other militants. (Rendezvous recently explored the controversy over drone warfare in a piece, "Are Drone Strikes Worth the Costs?")

"We kill a lot of innocent people," said Medea Benjamin, a cofounder of Codepink and part of the delegation in Pakistan. She called the attacks "barbaric assassinations."

Speaking of the tribal areas, she said, "This is a culture that very much believes in revenge, and then they seek revenge by trying to kill Americans. So we are just perpetuating a cycle of violence and it's got to stop somewhere, and that's why we are putting our bodies on the line by trying to go to Waziristan to say no."


Maine Senate candidate slammed for World of Warcraft fandom

© The Associated Press
The state GOP will mail pieces to be sent to voters attacking Lachowicz this week.

Maine state Senate candidate Colleen Lachowicz is not a witch.

She is, however, an orc assassination rogue with a potty mouth - and the Maine Republican Party believes that disqualifies her from public office.

In an unusual press release issued Thursday, the Maine GOP attacked Lachowicz for a "bizarre double life" in which she's a devotee of the hugely popular online role-playing game World of Warcraft. In the game, she's "Santiaga," an "orc assassination rogue" with green skin, fangs, a Mohawk and pointy ears.

Lachowicz is a Democrat running against incumbent state Sen. Tom Martin in south-central Maine, a heavily Democratic district of about 80,000 people. Martin, elected in 2010, is the first Republican to hold the seat since the 1960s, and his seat is one Democrats are eager to flip back.

Lachowicz has blogged under her own name about her World of Warcraft achievements as well as left-wing politics in a dedicated section of the liberal DailyKos.Com. The Maine GOP excerpted several provocative lines form her posts including one on tax policy that concludes, "Now if you'll excuse me, I may have to go and hunt down Grover Norquist and drown him in my bathtub."

Other postings use curse words and make to the joy of "stab[bing] things," joke about "being in a Socialist guild" and admit to "seriously slacking off at work."