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Wednesday, 15 October 2014

#Ferguson Protests Bring Over 70 Arrests on Monday

© Cassandra Rules/The Free Thought Project

The Weekend of Resistance, part of Ferguson October's four days of uprising for Michael Brown, wrapped up on Monday with a day of many demonstrations, direct actions, and arrests. It was named "Moral Monday", and was organized as a day calling for mass uprising all over St. Louis. Hundreds of activists traveled from around the country to participate in the resistance.

The civil disobedience began with a march from Wellspring Church to Ferguson Police Department lead by religious leaders, including scholar and activist, Dr. Cornel West. As the leaders and activists marched through the rain and cold to the station they read out the names of those we have lost to police brutality nationwide.

Upon arriving at the station, the peaceful protestors were met by a line of 40-50 officers, who they marched right up to- demanding they repent for their sins of killing black youth.

Soon after, Rev. Osagyefo Sekou- organizer of the march, along with Dr. Cornel West crossed the police line.

"I didn't come here to give a speech, I came here to go to jail!"

Dr. West declared at an event on Sunday evening.

#Ferguson PD not interested in Cornel West's words. #FergusonOctober http://ift.tt/1vnX6qq

- Robert Cohen (@kodacohen) October 13, 2014

Many more followed their lead, breaking through the police line in a beautiful act of defiance.

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More pictures and videos at The Free Thought Project

Archaeologists discover bronze remains of Celtic Iron Age chariot

iron age chariot part

© University of Leicester

Here is the chariot linch pin from three angles, showing the intricate decoration at the ends.

University of Leicester archaeologists have made a "once-in-a-career" discovery of the decorated bronze remains of an Iron Age chariot.

A team from the University's School of Archaeology and Ancient History has unearthed a hoard of rare bronze fittings from a 2nd or 3rd century BC chariot which appears to have been buried as a religious offering.

The archaeologists found the remains during their ongoing excavation of the Burrough Hill Iron Age hillfort, near Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire.

The School has led a 5-year project there since 2010, giving archaeology students and volunteers valuable experience of archaeological excavations.

iron age chariot part

© University of Leicester

This is a selection of chariot fittings: miniature terret ring (upper left), large terret ring (upper right), strap junction (lower left) and barrel-shaped harness fitting.

Burrough Hill is owned by the education charity, the Ernest Cook Trust, which has also funded site tours and school visits to the excavation.

While digging a large, deep pit near the remains of a house within the hillfort, a group of four students found a piece of bronze in the ground - before uncovering a concentration of further parts very nearby.

Taken together, the pieces are easily recognisable as a matching set of bronze fittings from a mid to late Iron Age chariot. As a group of two or more base metal prehistoric artefacts this assemblage is covered under the Treasure Act.

After careful cleaning, decorative patterns are clearly visible in the metalwork - including a triskele motif showing three waving lines, similar to the flag of the Isle of Man.

Nora Battermann, from University of Leicester was one of the students who made the discovery. She said: "Realising that I was actually uncovering a hoard that was carefully placed there hundreds of years ago made it the find of a lifetime. Looking at the objects now they have been cleaned makes me even more proud, and I can't wait for them to go on display."

iron age chariot part

© University of Leicester

This image shows an iron "curry comb " found with the chariot fittings.

The pieces appear to have been gathered in a box, before being planted in the ground upon a layer of cereal chaff and burnt as part of a religious ritual. The chaff might have doubled as a "cushion" for the box and also the fuel for the fire.

After the burning, the entire deposit was covered by a layer of burnt cinder and slag - where it lay undisturbed for more than 2200 years until the team uncovered it.

The archaeologists believe the chariot would have belonged to a high-status individual, such as a "noble" or "warrior".

The team believe the burial may have taken place to mark a new season, or the final closure or dismantling of a house at the fort.

Dr Jeremy Taylor, Lecturer in Landscape Archaeology at the University's School of Archaeology and Ancient History and co-director of the Burrough Hill field project, said: "This is a matching set of highly-decorated bronze fittings from an Iron Age chariot - probably from the 2nd or 3rd century BC.

"This is the most remarkable discovery of material we made at Burrough Hill in the five years we worked on the site. This is a very rare discovery, and a strong sign of the prestige of the site.

"The atmosphere at the dig on the day was a mix of 'tremendously excited' and 'slightly shell-shocked'. I have been excavating for 25 years and I have never found one of these pieces - let alone a whole set. It is a once-in-a-career discovery."

John Thomas, co-director of the project added "It looks like it was a matching set of parts that was collected and placed in a box as an offering, before being placed in the ground. Iron tools were placed around the box before it was then burnt, and covered in a thick layer of cinder and slag.

"The function of the iron tools is a bit of a mystery, but given the equestrian nature of the hoard, it is possible that they were associated with horse grooming. One piece in particular has characteristics of a modern curry comb, while two curved blades may have been used to maintain horses hooves or manufacture harness parts."

The parts have been taken to the University of Leicester's School of Archaeology and Ancient History for further analysis - and the archaeologists hope they will be put on public display in due course.

Before then, there will be a temporary display of the objects at the Melton Carnegie Museum, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, from Saturday October 18th until Saturday December 13th.

The Burrough Hill excavation was undertaken to a detailed research design with the consent of the Department for Culture Media and Sport (advised by English Heritage), and the permission of the Ernest Cook Trust (landowners), and Leicestershire County Council (site management).

Pictures: Retiree with metal detector finds 1000-year old Viking treasure hoard in Scotland

© Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Darren Webster examines a silver arm-ring he discovered dating from 900 AD which is part of the Silverdale Viking Hoard on December 14, 2011 in London, England. Another hoard of Viking gold and silver artifacts dating back over 1,000 years has been discovered by a treasure hunter with a metal detector in Scotland, in a find hailed by experts as one of the country's most significant.

A hoard of Viking gold and silver artifacts dating back over 1,000 years has been discovered by a treasure hunter with a metal detector in Scotland, in a find hailed by experts as one of the country's most significant. Derek McLennan, a retired businessman, uncovered the 100 items in a field in Dumfriesshire, southwest Scotland, in September. Amongst the objects is a solid silver cross thought to date from the 9th or 10th century, a silver pot of west European origin, which is likely to have already been 100 years old when it was buried and several gold objects.

"Experts have begun to examine the finds, but it is already clear that this is one of the most significant Viking hoards ever discovered in Scotland," Scotland's Treasure Trove unit said in a statement.

The Viking hoard is McLennan's second significant contribution to Scotland's understanding of its past. Last year, he and a friend unearthed around 300 medieval coins in the same area of Scotland.

"The Vikings were well known for having raided these shores in the past, but today we can appreciate what they have left behind," said Scotland's secretary for cultural and external affairs, Fiona Hyslop.

The Vikings, of Scandinavian origin, made successive raids on Britain from the 8th to the 11th centuries, burying their valuables for safe-keeping, which have gradually been discovered by generations of treasure seekers. A 10th-century Viking hoard was found in 2007 in northern England, while in 1840 over 8,600 items were found in northwest England. The latest find, also containing a rare silver cup engraved with animals which dates from the Holy Roman Empire, and a gold bird pin, is the largest to be found in Scotland since 1891 and could be worth a six-figure sum, the BBC said.

© Derek McLennan/PA

An archaeologist prepares the top level for removal of items found at an undisclosed location in Dumfries and Galloway.

© Treasure Trove Unit/PA

A large silver alloy Carolingian lidded vessel.

© Derek McLennan

An early medieval cross, part of a hoard of Viking treasure which has been unearthed by metal-detecting enthusiast Derek McLennan

© Stringer/Reuters

A golden pin is one of the Viking gold and silver artifacts discovered by a treasure hunter with a metal detector in Scotland.

Retiree with metal detector finds 1000-year old Viking treasure hoard in Scotland

© Oli Scarff/Getty Images

Darren Webster examines a silver arm-ring he discovered dating from 900 AD which is part of the Silverdale Viking Hoard on December 14, 2011 in London, England. Another hoard of Viking gold and silver artifacts dating back over 1,000 years has been discovered by a treasure hunter with a metal detector in Scotland, in a find hailed by experts as one of the country's most significant.

A hoard of Viking gold and silver artifacts dating back over 1,000 years has been discovered by a treasure hunter with a metal detector in Scotland, in a find hailed by experts as one of the country's most significant. Derek McLennan, a retired businessman, uncovered the 100 items in a field in Dumfriesshire, southwest Scotland, in September. Amongst the objects is a solid silver cross thought to date from the 9th or 10th century, a silver pot of west European origin, which is likely to have already been 100 years old when it was buried and several gold objects.

"Experts have begun to examine the finds, but it is already clear that this is one of the most significant Viking hoards ever discovered in Scotland," Scotland's Treasure Trove unit said in a statement.

The Viking hoard is McLennan's second significant contribution to Scotland's understanding of its past. Last year, he and a friend unearthed around 300 medieval coins in the same area of Scotland.

"The Vikings were well known for having raided these shores in the past, but today we can appreciate what they have left behind," said Scotland's secretary for cultural and external affairs, Fiona Hyslop.

The Vikings, of Scandinavian origin, made successive raids on Britain from the 8th to the 11th centuries, burying their valuables for safe-keeping, which have gradually been discovered by generations of treasure seekers. A 10th-century Viking hoard was found in 2007 in northern England, while in 1840 over 8,600 items were found in northwest England. The latest find, also containing a rare silver cup engraved with animals which dates from the Holy Roman Empire, and a gold bird pin, is the largest to be found in Scotland since 1891 and could be worth a six-figure sum, the BBC said.

Physicists develop model of ammonite' coiled spiral shell


© Henrich Harder/Wikipedia

Ammonites as they would appear in life

Ammonites are a group of extinct cephalopod mollusks with ribbed spiral shells. They are exceptionally diverse and well known to fossil lovers. Régis Chirat, researcher at the Laboratoire de Géologie de Lyon: Terre, Planètes et Environnement (CNRS/Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1/ENS de Lyon), and two colleagues from the Mathematical Institute at the University of Oxford have developed the first biomechanical model explaining how these shells form and why they are so diverse. Their approach provides new paths for interpreting the evolution of ammonites and nautili, their smooth-shelled distant "cousins" that still populate the Indian and Pacific oceans. This work has just been published on the website of the
ammonite shell

© Derek Moulton, Alain Goriely and Régis Chirat

The mechanical model predicts the correlations observed between rib frequency and amplitude and the shell's general shape in ammonites (blue morphological space) and nautili (red morphological space) The 3D-views produced by the model are juxtaposed with fossil specimens, ammonites and nautili, that have a similar shape. The ribs tend to disappear for the broadly open shell shapes that have characterized nautili for almost 200 million years. W = expansion rate D = coiling tightness

The shape of living organisms evolves over time. The questions raised by this transformation have led to the emergence of theories of evolution. To understand how biological shapes change over a geological time scale, researchers have recently begun to investigate how they are generated during an individual's development and growth: this is known as morphogenesis. Due to the exceptional diversity of their shell shapes and patterns (particularly the ribs), ammonites have been widely studied from the point of view of evolution but the mechanisms underlying the coiled spirals were unknown until now. Researchers therefore attempted to elucidate the evolution of these shapes without knowing how they had emerged.

Régis Chirat and his team have developed a model that explains the morphogenesis of these shells. By using mathematical equations to describe how the shell is secreted by ammonite and grows, they have demonstrated the existence of mechanical forces specific to developing mollusks. These forces depend on the physical properties of the biological tissues and on the geometry of the shell. They cause mechanical oscillations at the edge of the shell that generate ribs, a sort of ornamental pattern on the spiral.

ammonite shell

© Derek Moulton, Alain Goriely and Régis Chirat

Diagram representing the shell's production area. The mantle secretes calcified shell and periostracum, an organic layer that covers the outside of the shell. It is there that mechanical interactions spontaneously generate oscillations that produce the ribs. Right: A theoretical prediction (blue line) produced by the model is superimposed on an ammonite dating from the Jurassic.

By examining various fossil specimens in light of the simulations produced by the model, the researchers observed that the latter can predict the number and shape of ribs in several ammonites. The model shows that the ornamentation of the shell evolves as a function of variables such as tissue elasticity and shell expansion rate (the rate at which the diameter of the opening increases with each spiral coil).

By providing a biophysical explanation for how these ornamentations form, this theoretical approach explains the diversity existing within and between species. It thus opens new perspectives for the study of the morphological evolution of ammonites, which seems to be largely governed by mechanical and geometric constraints. This new tool also sheds light on an old mystery. For almost 200 million years, the shells of nautili, distant "cousins" of ammonites, have remained essentially smooth and free of distinctive ornamentation. The model shows that having maintained this shell shape does not mean that nautili - wrongly referred to as "living fossils" - have not evolved, but is due to a high expansion rate, leading to the formation of smooth shells that are difficult to distinguish from one another.

More generally, this work highlights the value of studying the physical bases of biological development: understanding the "construction rules" underlying the morphological diversity of organisms makes it possible to partially predict how their shape evolves.


The morpho-mechanical basis of ammonite form; D.E. Moulton, A. Goriely, R. Chirat; ; Vol. 364; January 7, 2015 (date for paper publication; article already available online). DOI: 10.1016/j.jtbi.2014.09.021

NYPD appeals ban on stop-and-frisk policy

© Reuters / Adrees Latif

New York City police unions are arguing that they should have the right to continue the appeal of a federal judge's 2013 ruling that deemed unconstitutional the New York Police Department's stop-and-frisk policy.

Lawyers for the unions are due to appear before US appeals court judges on Wednesday, according to AP, where they will counter a previous ruling that said the unions did not ask soon enough to be included in the lawsuit against the New York Police Department's stop-and-frisk policy, found to have disproportionately targeted minorities throughout the city.

Last August, a federal judge ruled that the NYPD's 4.4 million stops from 2004 to 2012 - of which 80 percent were of black or Hispanic individuals who made up more than half of total frisks - were done in violation of the Fourth Amendment and singled out targets for their race, violating the Fourteenth Amendment. A lawsuit filed in 2004 by four men, all minorities, became the class action case against stop-and-frisk.

© Reuters / Brendan McDermid

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg

Former mayor Michael Bloomberg's administration appealed US district court judge Shira Scheindlin's ruling against the policing tactic. His successor, Bill de Blasio, took office in January and later decided to drop the appeal. The unions now say they want to resume that appeal.

The racial profiling associated with the program created much animosity between city communities and the police department. In addition to the program's civil rights violations, multiple reports by the likes of the New York Civil Liberties Union and New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman found that stop-and-frisk policing in the city was ineffective in recovering firearms and dismal at securing convictions for violent crime. The studies also found that violent crime decreased as stop-and-frisk checks dropped in later years.

The federal ruling demanded reforms to the NYPD policy, overseen by a monitor. These reforms have started to materialize, including a pilot program that will supply body cameras to officers in five precincts.

In 2011, the stop-and-frisk policy hit a peak of 685,000 stops. In the first half of 2014, there have been 27,527 stops total, according to the NYPD.

New York City has paid over $400mn in civil rights settlements since 2009 involving NYPD

© Cindy Ord / Getty Images / AFP

Released documents show that New York City shelled out hundreds of millions of dollars to settle civil rights lawsuits involving the New York Police Department(NYPD).

The documents - released by the New York City Law Department - show more than 12,000 cases since 2009 where the city paid out $428 million in police-related settlements. The records were released after a Freedom of Information Act request was made by MuckRock, asking the department just how many civil rights lawsuits were filed against the city when the police department was listed as a defendant over a five-year period.

While the list will require further review since the case histories are not provided, the Gothamist has argued that not all the settlements seem to be the result of police misconduct. The largest payout of $11.5 million went to Google engineer Sasha Blair-Goldensohn, who was nearly killed in 2009 when a tree branch fell on him in Central Park. Another large settlement went to the family of Ronald Spear, who died after being beaten by Rikers Island guards - officials who work for the Department of Corrections, not the NYPD. Without those two cases, though, there are still several thousand cases in which the NYPD was listed as a defendant.

Are police a costly liability? RT @StacyLeMelle: $428 Million in NYPD-Related Settlements Paid http://t.co/M477e1GJD4 via @intelligencer

- AliasHere (@AliasHere) October 13, 2014

Meanwhile, many of the lawsuits filed were found to have alleged false arrest, the discovered in an analysis of lawsuits filed against the city and the NYPD over a decade. Scores of cases involved injured people who had criminal charges against them thrown out, and people who lost or almost lost their jobs, kids, pets, or homes.

© Spencer Platt / Getty Images / AFP

The list also doesn't say how long cases have been pending against the city. For example, the Central Park Five jogger case took a decade to reach a settlement. The Central Park Five - five black and Latino teenagers - were accused, charged, and incarcerated for allegedly raping a jogger in the park. The five had their convictions vacated in 2002 after the real rapist confessed to the crime. They sued the city for wrongful conviction, but the case was only recently settled in 2014 - for $41 million.

At the announcement of their settlement, Raymond Santana told reporters what the five had experienced: "It's been twenty-five years since we went through this great injustice. The labels, the forced imprisonment, the destruction of our family structures, the turning of the backs, the ridicule."

In the first six months of this year, New York City has spent nearly $103 million on police misconduct and civil rights settlements, according to figures provided by the city comptroller's office. For all of last year, the city paid out $96 million for such lawsuits, as Mayor Bloomberg routinely dismissed the relevance of civil suits against the NYPD - even as the number of claims over the past decade rose to a record high in 2012.

As part of a broader strategy to shrink claims costs across New York, city comptroller Scott Stringer said he is launching a program called ClaimStat - a "data-driven claims review that will identify patterns and practices across city agencies that lead to claims and work with agencies to find solutions that save taxpayers money."

Foreign news outlets are linking US bio-warfare labs and Ebola outbreak

ebola whitehouse

Russian news outlet Ria Novosti recently featured an interview with Professor Francis Boyle, University of Illinois College of Law, implicating the United States military-industrial complex in the current Ebola outbreak which the World Health Organization claims has now taken over 4,000 lives in West Africa.

Via Ria Novosti:

"US government agencies have a long history of carrying out allegedly defensive biological warfare research at labs in Liberia and Sierra Leone. This includes the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), which is now the point agency for managing the Ebola spill-over into the US," Prof. Francis Boyle said.

"Why has the Obama administration dispatched troops to Liberia when they have no training to provide medical treatment to dying Africans? How did Zaire/Ebola get to West Africa from about 3,500km away from where it was first identified in 1976?"

"Why is the CDC not better-prepared for this emergency after the US government spent about $70 billion since the anthrax attacks of October 2001 to prepare for this exact contingency?" Boyle said.

Great question...how exactly the Ebola virus get to West Africa from 3,500km away where it was first discovered in the Democratic Republic of the Congo?

Why isn't anyone else asking that question? That question should be asked by every talking head on every mainstream media outlet on repeat 500 times a day every day until it is answered. Of course, predictably, none of the Western establishment media puppets are asking any of the tough questions about Ebola.

Questions like what happens if a mosquito bites an infected person, then flies off and bites someone else. Can Ebola spread then? Bill Gates certainly seemed to think so when he was funding research into mosquitoes as vaccine deployment systems.

Aside from that, of dollars have been poured into the CDC over the years. Mac Slavo of SHTFPlan.com recently asked similar questions to those of Professor Boyle after CDC Head Dr. Thomas Frieden claimed that it was a protocol breach which led to the first ever diagnosis of Ebola caught within the U.S. in the case of the Dallas Hospital nurse who reportedly tested positive after caring for Patient Zero Thomas Duncan.

Duncan's nurse somehow contracted the deadly virus despite reportedly wearing all the requisite protective gear. In response, Director Frieden claimed it was a breach in protocol, despite Frieden's nearly continuous reassurances in the media leading up to the diagnosis that there was "rigorous protocol" in place to stop the disease both before and after Duncan brought it here.

Quite obviously the CDC's "rigorous protocol" has utterly failed. Now Frieden, a man who contradicted himself live on CNN as to how the virus is even spread, has once again changed his tune, responding that, "We have to rethink the way we address Ebola infection control."

Four decades and billions of dollars later and now the CDC has to rethink the whole darn thing, huh?

"The 2014 budget for the Centers for Disease Control is $6.6 billion," Slavo wrote. "What, exactly, have these people been doing since Ebola was first discovered nearly 40 years ago? You'd think for $6.6 billion a year we'd have already thought through the infection control protocols."

Yes. You would. (Unless, of course, the government is being intentionally evasive or dishonest about the way in which Ebola is spread...)

Back when Duncan first brought the virus with him to the U.S. from Liberia, Dr. Frieden repeatedly told the media almost on loop that he was "confident" that officials could stop Ebola from that point on, even claiming, "We will stop it in its tracks."

The CDC has yet to specify exactly what specific protocol was supposedly breached in the case of Duncan's nurse, but the virus has definitely not been stopped in its tracks. The alternative media is reporting the truth: that most U.S. hospitals are ill-equipped to safely handle Ebola patients and stop the virus from spreading.

Even though the CDC and the National Institutes of Health have both gone on record to say that any American hospital should be able to adequately and safely handle a deadly disease like Ebola, Duncan was the only patient not treated at one of the nation's hospitals with specialized units specifically designed for dealing with such a highly infectious disease, and he is the only one out of six patients treated for Ebola here who has died thus far.

Then again, the entire government response to Ebola in America has been like watching a bad scary movie from the start.

Ria Novosti isn't the first foreign news outlet to openly implicate the U.S. government in the 2014 West African Ebola outbreak, either. Dr. Cyril Broderick, Professor of Plant Pathology at the University of Liberia's College of Agriculture and Forestry, recently wrote the article, "Ebola, AIDS Manufactured by Western Pharmaceuticals, US DoD? Scientists Allege ," in which he made the following five points out the outbreak:

1. Ebola is a genetically modified organism (GMO)

2. Ebola has a terrible history, and testing has been secretly taking place in Africa

3. Sites around Africa, and in West Africa, have over the years been set up for testing emerging diseases, especially Ebola

4. The need for legal action to obtain redress for damages incurred due to the perpetuation of injustice in the death, injury and trauma imposed on Liberians and other Africans by the Ebola and other disease agents

5. African leaders and African countries need to take the lead in defending babies, children, African women, African men, and the elderly. These citizens do not deserve to be used as guinea pigs!

When Western media outlets responded to this article and its points, they largely attempted to portray the people of these nations as woefully ignorant, but as Broderick himself points out, "African people are not ignorant and gullible, as is being implicated." I've written before about how large swaths of the West African population have believed and still believe this Ebola outbreak is a government conspiracy.

Perhaps that's why such a massive 24/7 propaganda campaign has been launched there to inundate the population with the message first and foremost that, indeed, Ebola is real.

Then again, you won't hear about any of this in the mainstream press over here.

'Yes on 3': Tennessee to vote on banning income tax in perpetuity

Income tax

© Reuters / Athar Hussain

On Election Day, Tennesseans will vote on whether or not to amend the state constitution to permanently ban income and payroll taxes in the Volunteer State. But even if the resolution fails, it is unlikely the legislature will institute new taxes.

Republican state Sen. Brian Kelsey sponsored the resolution putting the amendment on the ballot and heads the 'Yes on 3' committee urging its ratification. He said not having an income tax makes Tennessee "more fiscally responsible" and that permanently banning one would appeal to businesses, according to the Associated Press.

"Not having an income tax has already brought jobs to Tennessee, and permanently banning an income tax will bring even more jobs to the state," Kelsey said.

Income Tax Free Campaign

© Unknown

Currently Tennessee has the so-called "Hall tax," which is a six percent tax on interest and dividends, but doesn't tax income. "The state constitution gives the government the right to tax property as well as income from stocks and bonds, but it does not mention personal income," the Motley Fool noted. "Every so often lawmakers try to institute an income tax, as the constitution does not specifically bar this."

There is also a seven percent sales tax. In 2011, the average per-capita state and local tax paid was the second-lowest in the US at $2,777, according to the Tax Foundation.

Until 1999, it was widely thought that the state constitution already banned an income tax, Ben Cunningham, spokesman for Tennessee Tax Revolt, a Tea Party-allied group pushing the amendment, told . But that year, the state attorney general issued an opinion saying that because the state taxed dividend and interest income, it could also adopt a regular income tax.

In 2001, then-Gov. Don Sundquist, a Republican, moved to adopt an income tax, saying the state needed additional revenue to balance the budget. His plan proposed a four percent income tax with a $7,000-per-person exemption and was coupled with a reduced sales tax rate and abolishing the sales tax on food. That attempt failed in 2002 after protests outside the statehouse in Nashville, which included a brick being thrown through the window of the governor's office and demonstrators banging on the doors of the Senate chamber while lawmakers attempted to go about their business inside.

Republican state Sen. Rusty Crowe told the Johnson City Press that the amendment is directly related to Sundquist's attempts to impose an income tax.

"Some of us that read the Tennessee Constitution know that we tax privileges, not rights," Crowe said. "From time to time in our state's history, a general income tax has been proposed and challenged in the Tennessee Supreme Court. Each time it was ruled unconstitutional. I think Sundquist felt he could get enough votes from the bench to change that."

Kelsey's proposed constitutional amendment reads:

Shall Article II, Section 28 of the Constitution of Tennessee be amended by adding the following sentence at the end of the final substantive paragraph within the section: Notwithstanding the authority to tax privileges or any other authority set forth in this Constitution, the Legislature shall not levy, authorize or otherwise permit any state or local tax upon payroll or earned personal income or any state or local tax measured by payroll or earned personal income; however, nothing contained herein shall be construed as prohibiting any tax in effect on January 1, 2011, or adjustment of the rate of such tax.

That provision would allow the continuation of the state's Hall tax.

Opponents of Amendment 3 believe that a personal income tax would limit the options of future generations and could help reduce taxes overall.

"This is not a referendum on whether or not to have an income tax or a payroll tax but it is a question on whether we should enshrine in the constitution a limitation on future decisions that voters may feel the need to decide. It may be an emergency or something," Dick Williams of Citizens for Fiscal Sanity, a group opposing Amendment 3, told the Memphis Commercial Appeal.

"We believe that passing this amendment will inevitably lead to either higher sales taxes or higher businesses taxes, and on the local level, higher property taxes," he continued. "If things got serious and this amendment got enshrined, possibly a statewide property tax could be considered. We think it's clear that like everything else, governmental costs will rise and they won't be offset by economic growth alone."

Vote No On 3

© Unknown

However, research by Travis Brown and Dr. Art Laffer, co-authors of , shows that states without personal income taxes have outperformed those that do.

"States without personal income tax over the past 50 years have grown faster in population and grown their economy more relative to states with them," Brown told the . "Not having a personal income tax puts [Tennessee] at a distinctive advantage."

Brown believes that passing the amendment will "greatly help the path of prosperity the state has seen over the past few decades," which would be "an important long-run signal."

TN amendment 3

© Unknown

There are seven states with no income tax: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington and Wyoming. New Hampshire joins Tennessee as the states that have no income tax, but levy charges on interest and dividends. Even if the proposed constitutional amendment fails, Tennesseans will likely not face any new taxes on their income. Republicans have a super-majority in both houses of the Volunteer State's legislature, as well as a Republican governor (who told the he plans to vote for the amendment), so the likelihood any such measure would be introduced in the Nashville is slim-to-none.

A child psychopath? 10 year-old boy kills 90 year-old woman in Pennsylvania


Tristen Kurilla, 10 years old, confessed to the murder of Helen Novak

"I killed that lady," the 10-year-old boy told a Pennsylvania state trooper, after a 90-year-old woman was found dead in the home of the boy's grandfather. Tristen Kurilla, a fifth grader, made the chilling confession Saturday, police said, after his mother brought him to the Pennsylvania State Police Barracks in Honesdale, about 140 miles north of Philadelphia.

Now, Kurilla is being held at the Wayne County Correctional Facility and charged as an adult with criminal homicide, the Wayne County district attorney's office said. The boy is separated from adult offenders and is being constantly supervised, CNN affiliate WBRE reported. The boy admitted to grabbing a wooden cane, holding it against 90-year-old Helen Novak's throat for several seconds and punching her in the throat and stomach, according to the police affidavit.

Kurilla told police he was angry at Novak because she had yelled at him when he entered her room. He said he wanted to ask her a question. Were you trying to kill her? the trooper asked the boy.

"No, I was only trying to hurt her," Kurilla replied, according to the affidavit.

The boy was ordered to be held without bail after his arraignment and is set to appear in court October 22. Bernie Brown, his lawyer, said he was petitioning the court to get the fifth-grade Damascus Elementary School student out of jail, WBRE reported.

"Tristen really kind of doesn't have an idea of what is going on," Brown told the station.

Brown added, "Jail is still jail, no matter what part of the facility you are in."

Brown also can petition a judge to transfer the case to juvenile court. Janine Edwards, Wayne County district attorney, said Pennsylvania law made it mandatory "that a criminal homicide charge be first directly filed in adult court by the prosecutor regardless of the age of the perpetrator," WBRE reported.

"It is not a choice I made," she told the station, adding that a juvenile detention center will not accept a child charged with homicide. "It's not a choice the warden made. It's not a choice Pennsylvania State Police made."

The age of the defendant was unusual, she told the station.

"That's not something I've seen," she said. "I'm not sure how many times that's been seen in Pennsylvania or not."

Police were initially called to the home of Kurilla's grandfather, Anthony Virbitsky, in Damascus Township on Saturday morning with a report that an elderly woman had died there, the affidavit said. Virbitsky was the woman's caretaker, authorities said. The county coroner responded to the home, found Novak's body and transported it to the morgue, the affidavit stated. A few hours later, the boy's mother, Martha Virbitsky, appeared at the state police post with her son and told Trooper John Decker that the boy had confessed to killing Novak, the affidavit said.

The boy's mother told police that she "has had a lot of trouble with Tristen and that he has some mental difficulties" and had been violent in the past, the affidavit said.

Kurilla had told his grandfather that Novak was bleeding from the mouth, but denied having done anything to her, Decker wrote in the affidavit.

Anthony Virbitsky told police he checked on Novak but found no blood, although she was breathing heavily. He asked her if she wanted to go to a hospital, the affidavit said, but she refused. When he went to check on her less than an hour later, she was dead, Virbitsky told police, and then his grandson confessed that he had hit her.

An autopsy performed Monday discovered "blunt force trauma to Novak's neck" and her death was ruled a homicide, the district attorney's statement said.

Some residents in Damascus Township took issue with locking up the boy in the county jail.

"I know they see a lot of things but I don't think that they understand what they're doing," Kristy Tirney told WBRE. "I don't know."

5 things about Ebola you should know

ebola worker

© Reuters / Christopher Black

The UN's health watchdog, the WHO, says there are 60 days left to contain the Ebola outbreak, which has already claimed almost 5,000 lives. This is what you need to know about the killer virus.

1. It has been here for decades

The virus lives naturally in animals, mostly in sub-Saharan Africa. The first two recorded outbreak were in 1976. The Ebola virus (EBOV) is one of five members of the Ebolavirus genus, four of which cause lethal hemorrhagic fever. It was previously called Zaire virus, after the country that is now called the Democratic Republic of Congo.

There are currently two separate Ebola outbreaks underway. In addition to the one in Western Africa, which has already spread to the US and Europe, there is another one in the Congo.

Bats are the natural reservoir of the virus, because they can carry it without getting ill. Apes can suffer from it too. Humans may get infected by eating bushmeat or through feces, after which the virus can spread from human to human via blood, saliva and other fluids.

CG Environmental HazMat team member

© Reuters / Jaime R. Carrero

A member of the CG Environmental HazMat team disinfects the entrance to the residence of a health worker at the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital who has contracted Ebola in Dallas, Texas, October 12, 2014.

2. There is no cure

Ebola's high mortality rate and gruesome symptoms have given it the air of something out of a horror movie. But statistically speaking, the virus was a minor threat, with outbreaks quickly fading out claiming a few hundred lives at most.

So it's not surprising that institutions researching infectious diseases never invested many resources into finding a cure, preferring to spend money on more wide-spread (and, cynically speaking, more profit-generating) threats.

The exception to that are bioweapons specialists, who concluded that the virus that could not go airborne and is an ineffective means to attack the enemy (or serve as a weapon for terrorists, for that matter).

So when the current outbreak started beating records - in fact killing more people than all previous outbreaks combined - and spreading into cities, nobody had a working treatment at hand.

A handful of experimental vaccines are in the pipeline, including three developed in Russia. But they are far from being mass produced, while the virus is spreading.

ebola workers 2

© Reuters / Christopher Black

3. No adequate response

The countries affected by the current outbreak are poor, their healthcare systems are rudimentary, and the tradition-dictated hygiene habits of many of its citizens are not suitable for stopping the infection. Where Western countries can rally experts in biohazard suits, quarantine every person a suspected carrier had contact with and run blood tests, countries like Guinea, Sierra Leone, and Liberia have neither the resources nor experience to take such measures. And the problems only start with healthcare: the epidemic spreads panic, fear and violence, causing deterioration in whatever social order is in place.

The assistance from international organizations helps a lot, but it's not a magic wand that can stop the outbreak with a deft wave. Organizations like the WHO have their difficulties too. For instance, the UN's health body had its budget cut, leaving it with less than $4 billion to spend in 2013-2014. In contrast, the budget of the US agency tackling infections, the CDC, was about $6 billion in 2013.

Just like scientists researching treatments, doctors preventing them in the field have to prioritize. Ebola was not a priority, and the outbreak went under the radar for an estimated three months, before it was declared as such by Doctors Without Borders. By that time it was already in Guinea's capital Conakry, a city of 2 million people.

hospital ebola medical staff

© AFP Photo / Pedro Armestre

Medical staff wearing protective suits work at the Carlos III hospital in Madrid.

4. The West is not prepared

Or at least not as well prepared as it should be! Even if Ebola manages to get into developed nations with some travelers slipping through airport cordons, the spread of the virus would not be large. It takes between four to 21 days for an infected person to become contagious, which means once a case is discovered, everyone who had contact with the person can be quarantined and tested before they can spread the disease. But being among the few unlucky victims is little consolation for those who do get infected. And the fact that in the US and Spain, health workers who provided care to known Ebola sufferers got infected, despite knowing what they were dealing with, is less than reassuring.

In both countries there is criticism over how the treatment of Ebola patients is conducted and how reports of new suspected cases have been responded to.

ebola dead body

© Reuters / Josephus Olu-Mammah

5. Epidemic cost: Tens of billions of dollars

Battling the outbreak is difficult and costly. The WHO estimates that by November there could be 10,000 new cases of the disease each week in two months, unless it's taken under control.

This would require having 70 percent of infected people in a care facility and 70 percent of burials done without further infections. Otherwise the breakout would reach a stage, for which there is no plan.

The World Bank says in the worst case scenario the economic damage from the epidemic could reach $33 billion.

The US Department of Defense said it needs over $1 billion to cover the cost of the effort to fight the disease in Africa. It may send as many as 3,000 soldiers to the epidemic zone, with an estimated cost of $750 million over a six-month period.

Other states, world bodies and charities have promised to chip in to stem the tide of the developing outbreak and provide aid to the most afflicted West African nations.

In September, the European Union pledged 150 million euros to fight the virus in West Africa. The World Bank Group has pledged US $230 million in emergency funding to help Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone contain the spread of Ebola infections.

Last month the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation released $50 million to the UN and other international aid agencies working to contain the epidemic. The International Committee of the Red Cross, in tandem with the Red Cross and Red Crescent societies, has set aside 34.7 million Swiss francs to tackle the epidemic as well.

The price tag of developing and distributing drugs, however, is less than one would expect.

Ripley Ballou, who heads the Ebola vaccine program for GSK, estimated the company could make 100,000 to 500,000 doses for just $25 million. The problem: it would take around 9 months.

In any such epidemic, however, the real cost comes not from the cure, but treating the consequences of human fear, WHO director general Margaret Chan said. According to Chan, 90 percent of the economic costs incurred from any such outbreak "come from irrational and disorganized efforts of the public to avoid infection.

Putin, Poroshenko to talk gas, Ukraine crisis in Milan, Italy


© Reuters / Sergei Bondarenko

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) shakes hands with his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko, as Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev (C) stands nearby, in Minsk August 26, 2014.

The presidents of Russia and Ukraine are to meet at a business breakfast in Milan on Friday, with the fragile peace in Ukraine and gas supplies to Europe expected to dominate. The summit carries hopes of further progress in resolving the crisis.

The breakfast, organized by Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi is scheduled for Friday, on the sidelines of EU-Asia (ASEM) summit, which starts on Thursday.

"At the request of the European side, there was a phone-in session on the extremely important meeting in Milan tomorrow, where the leaders of the European states and the European Union together with me, the president of Ukraine, will hold the talks with the leadership of the Russian Federation concerning extremely important issues: establishment of peace in Ukraine, securing the peace process, development of the political process, de-escalation of the situation in the east of the country," President Poroshenko said ahead of the meeting.

Poroshenko stressed that "the whole world has high expectations" of the meeting between the two leaders

Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller

© AFP Photo / Odd Andersen

Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller (C) leaves after talks on energy security between EU-Commissioner for Energy, Russian Energy Minister and Ukrainian Energy Minister on September 26, 2014 in Berlin.

Yury Ushakov, the Russian President's aide, has confirmed that there will be a meeting between Poroshenko and Vladimir Putin, which will be also "attended by [German Chancellor Angela] Merkel, [French President Francois] Hollande, [Ukrainian President Petro] Poroshenko, [British Prime Minister David] Cameron, as well as apparently [European Council President Herman van] Rompuy and [European Commission President Jose Manuel] Barroso."

A bilateral meeting between Putin and Poroshenko is not planned yet. But he did not rule out that leaders of the two countries will agree on it at a meeting in a larger format, Ushakov said.

For the European side negotiations in Milan are also an encouraging sign as natural gas supplies to Europe will be on the agenda. A long-running dispute over gas sales is one of the main concerns for the European states, which are potentially facing energy shortage as cold winter is approaching.

It now depends on supplies agreement between Russia and Ukraine. About 15 percent of Europe's total energy supply runs from Russia through Ukraine. In June, Gazprom shut off supplies to Ukraine, but continue to deliver to European neighbors.

On September 26, Russia, Ukraine and the EU held three-way gas negotiations in Berlin, where a so-called "winter plan" was discussed. According to it Ukraine will pay Gazprom $2 billion as part of its gas debt by the end of October and an additional $1.1 billion in advance payment by year's end for 5 billion cubic meters of gas, the EU Energy Commissioner Gunther Oettinger said.

However, no final documents have been sealed, as price and payment schedule remain the stumbling blocks in the negotiations.


© AFP Photo / Alain Jocard

Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel chat at the international D-Day commemoration ceremony in Normandy, on June 6, 2014.

Russian Energy Minister Aleksandr Novak and Gazprom CEO Aleksey Miller are also expected to discuss Russian gas deliveries to Europe via Ukraine, Ushakov said.

"Miller and Novak will be present in Milan, because it is possible that talks on the gas issue will be held during the [Asia-Europe Meeting] summit... European Commission officials in charge of this issue are also expected to attend,"

Putin might also meet with German and French leaders as well as Ukrainian leadership in the so-called 'Normandy format'.

The first such meeting was held in Normandy this June during the 70th anniversary of the D-Day invasion.

The US sees the ASEM as a possibility for reaching next steps of the reconciliation of the internal conflict in Ukraine.

"There is an agreement reached in addition to the Minsk Agreement itself through further discussions between President Poroshenko and President Putin where they've agreed on some timelines on some of these things," US Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday after talks with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. "So we'll wait to hear from that meeting and the results of that meeting sort of where things stand at that point in time," he added.

UK lobbying laws: Charities ordered to monitor employee's social media

charity watch

© Reuters / Fabrizio Bensch

Charities must record when their employees use social media to campaign or comment on political issues, the Electoral Commission has said, adding that it would monitor social media activity to confirm posts comply with lobbying laws.

Speaking at the annual Charity Law Association conference last week, the Electoral Commission's head of policy, Kate Engles, said charities should consider whether campaigns could be classed as "political" even if they do not endorse a party or candidate.

"The activity and spending can be covered if it doesn't specifically mention parties or groups of candidates. That's to cover where people are trying to get around the rules and say they are doing something else," she said.

While charities may be non-partisan, the charity commission says social media activity, particularly relating to political campaigns, could "reasonably be regarded as intended to influence voters" to vote in a particular way at a local or general election.

Therefore, the Commission argues the costs incurred in creating and distributing social media should be accounted for by the charities themselves.

"If the organization is encouraging its staff to do that, then they need to keep a record of the fact that they have told their staff on X number of occasions that we would like you to post a tweet about the charity's campaign," a spokesperson for the Electoral Commission told Civil Society News.

Under the Transparency of Lobbying, Non Party Campaigning and Trade Union Administration Act 2014, known as the "lobbying bill", charities that spend more than £20,000 per annum in England, or over £10,000 anywhere else in the UK, are required to register with the Electoral Commission.

However, a spokesperson for the Commission told RT that only social media posts conducted through official charity channels, as part of a campaign, would be accounted for under the lobbying guidelines.

"This is not about counting the number of tweets that are posted or whether followers are being asked to share tweets or Facebook posts about a campaign. The assessment is about the time spent by a member of staff working on regulated campaign activities," the spokesperson said, adding that tweets posted on personal accounts outside of working hours were not included.

"If charities are planning a large scale, multimedia campaign ahead of the election, that can reasonably be regarded as intended to influence voters; then it's likely that the costs of running that campaign via social media including a reasonable assessment of staff time producing content, will need to be accounted for."

Earlier this year, the UK based charity Oxfam was accused of politicking after it published posters criticizing the government's ongoing austerity program, sporting a headline which read: "Lifting the lid on austerity Britain reveals a perfect storm - and it's forcing more and more people into poverty".

The anti-poverty campaign, which also called on people to lobby their MPs to tackle food poverty, was slammed by a number of Conservative MPs, including Conor Burns, who told he had reported the organization to the Charity Commission.

Watch: Dozens of teens vandalize Brooklyn store

© http://ift.tt/1wKGpCr capture

Dozens of youths are seen on surveillance video in Crown Heights, Brooklyn, before a smaller group burst into the Gourmet Butcher grocery store, trashing shelves and allegedly assaulting a worker.

A surveillance video posted online shows a group of teens trashing a Brooklyn store Saturday night, the store's owner said. Dozens of teens gathered outside of Gourmet Butcher on Troy Ave. near Carroll St. in Crown Heights before several rushed into the store and knocked over shelves and pushed products to the floor, a video posted on CrownHeights.infoon Monday shows.

The Store's owner, Yanki Klein, told CBS 2 the vandalism happened on Saturday around 9 p.m., only hours after he reopened his store following the Jewish holiday Sukkot.

"They screamed, they yelled, they made noise, whatever," Klein told CBS 2.

The owner told the station one of the teens also assaulted his 23-year-old brother. Police said they were investigating an assault at the location, but did not have details on the vandalism or if the attack could be bias-fueled. The assaulted man, who was punched in the head, declined medical attention at the scene, police said.

Los Angeles: Yellow fever mosquitoes spread fear of deadly viruses

© Image from wikipedia.org

Ebola may not be the only cause of fear to arrive in the US recently. Yellow fever mosquitoes ‒ which can transmit dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever itself ‒ have been found in the Los Angeles region, officials announced Wednesday.

These mosquitoes can spread the three deadly tropical viruses to humans through their bites. They were found Oct. 7 and 8 in Commerce and Pico Rivera, respectively, according to the Greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District (GLACVCD) and San Gabriel Valley Mosquito & Vector Control District (SGVMVCD).

Dengue virus is a leading cause of illness and death in the tropics and subtropics, mostly in urban and semi-urban areas, with as many as 400 million people infected yearly, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported. The infection causes flu-like illness, and occasionally develops into a potentially lethal complication called severe dengue (also known as Dengue Haemorrhagic Fever), according to the WHO.

Chikungunya is a viral disease that causes fever and severe joint pain. Other symptoms include muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue and rash, similar to dengue, which can cause misdiagnosis in areas where both viruses are common. Since 2004, chikungunya fever has reached epidemic proportions, with considerable morbidity and suffering, the WHO said. Most patients recover fully, but in some cases joint pain may persist for several months, or even years. Occasional cases of eye, neurological and heart complications have been reported, as well as gastrointestinal complaints. Chikungunya occurs in Africa, Asia and the Indian subcontinent.

The first reported case of chikungunya in the US was reported July 17 in Florida. "This newly reported case represents the first time that mosquitoes in the continental United States are thought to have spread the virus to a non-traveler," the CDC announced.

Now the viruses spread by the yellow fever mosquito could potentially arrive clear across the country from Florida.

"While these debilitating viruses, so far, aren't locally transmitted in LA County, the mosquitoes that can transmit them are now here," Susanne Kluh, director of scientific-technical services, said in a statement. "Infected travelers can bring these viruses to Los Angeles County."

"This is the latest in a series of identified mosquito introductions into the southland Levy Sun, the GLACVCD's public information officer said in the district's joint statement with SGVMVCD.

The Aedes aegypti species, better known as the yellow fever mosquito, has black and white stripes and grows to about a quarter-inch in size. It is primarily a forest species that has become adapted to rural, suburban and urban human environments. In recent decades Aedes albopictus has spread from Asia to Africa, the Americas and Europe, notably aided by the international trade in used tires as mosquitoes deposit their eggs in tires containing rainwater, the WHO said.

© Reuters / Lang Lang

The Aedes albopictus species ‒ the Asian tiger mosquito ‒ is a native of Southeast Asia, and was first identified in El Monte and South El Monte, Calif. in September 2011. Since then, this mosquito has spread to 10 neighboring cities despite aggressive measures to eradicate the population, the vector control districts said. It also spreads dengue, chikungunya and yellow fever.

The Australian backyard mosquito (Aedes notoscriptus), a native of Australia, was found in two neighborhoods in Montebello and Monterey Park this summer. It can transmit canine heartworm and is the primary transmitter of the Barmah Forest and Ross River viruses in Oz.

All three mosquitoes are aggressive day-biting mosquitoes that thrive in urban environments because they prefer to lay eggs in small man-made containers that hold water.

The two vector control districts are working closely with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, which tracks imported human diseases.

"Both agencies have specialized teams that target these invasive species," said Jason Farned, public information officer at SGVMVCD. "We're aggressively attacking the populations wherever we find them."

Officials are asking residents to report any sightings of the small, black-and-white mosquitoes, especially if someone is bitten during the day. They are also requesting people dump and drain all stagnant water, and to "thoroughly scrub" places susceptible to standing water on a weekly basis.

The districts have not determined how the yellow fever mosquito or either of the other disease-transmitting biters arrived in California. Along with imported tires, plants are typically to blame, officials noted. The bugs can also travel via planes, ships and other vehicles.

Antikythera shipwreck discoveries cast light on ancient culture


© Flickr

A statute of the goddess Athena with her spear

The Antikythera wreck was first discovered back in 1900 by sponge divers who were blown off course by a storm. They subsequently recovered an outstanding haul of ancient treasures including bronze and marble statues, jewellery, furniture, luxury glassware, and the surprisingly complex Antikythera Mechanism. However, they were forced to end their mission prematurely at the 55-meter-deep site after one diver died of the bends and two were paralysed. Ever since, archaeologists have been left wondering if the site is home to even more treasure buried beneath the seabed.

Now a team of international archaeologists including Brendan Foley from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Theotokis Theodoulou from the Hellenic Ephorate of Underwater Antiquities have returned to the treacherous site, this time accompanied with state-of-the-art technology. During the first excavation season, taking place from September 15th to October 7th 2014, the researchers have created a high-resolution, 3D map of the site using stereo cameras mounted on an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). Divers proceeded to recover a series of finds that prove that much of the ship's cargo is indeed still preserved beneath the sediment.

Components of the ship, including multiple lead anchors over a metre long and a bronze rigging ring with fragments of wood still attached, prove that a large proportion of the ship survives. The discoveries were also scattered over a much larger area than the sponge divers anticipated, covering 300 metres of the seafloor. This, along with the huge size of the anchors and recovered hull planks, proves that the Antikythera ship was much larger than previously thought, possibly up to 50 metres long.

"This evidence shows that this is the largest ancient shipwreck ever discovered," says Foley. "It's the Titanic of the ancient world."

The archaeologists also recovered a beautiful intact table jug, part of an ornate bed leg, and most impressive of all the finds, a two-metre-long bronze spear buried just beneath the surface of the sand. It is too large and heavy to have been used as a weapon, therefore, it must have belonged to a giant statue, perhaps a warrior or the goddess Athena, says Foley. In 1901, four giant marble horses were discovered on the wreck by sponge divers, it is thought that these possibly formed a complex of statues involving a warrior in a chariot that was pulled by four horses.

The shipwreck dates from 70 to 60 BC and is thought to have been carrying a luxury cargo of Greek treasures from the coast of Asia Minor west to Rome. Antikythera is located in the middle of this major shipping route and the ship probably sank when a violent storm smashed it against the island's sheer cliffs.

The wreck is too deep to dive safely with regular scuba equipment, so the divers had to use rebreather technology, in which carbon dioxide is scrubbed from the exhaled air while oxygen is introduced and recirculated. This enabled them to dive on the site for up to three hours at a time.

The archaeologists plan to return next year to excavate the site further and recover more of the ship's precious cargo. The finds, particularly the bronze spear, are "very promising," says Theodolou. "We have a lot of work to do at this site to uncover its secrets."

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Home is where the car is

© Aljazeera

Paula Corb

For four years, the only life Paula Corb and her two daughters have known is the one inside their 2000 Mazda minivan - stopping once in a while for take-out, groceries and gas.

Corb and the girls Alice and Emily are among 214,000 "unsheltered" homeless people in America, meaning they sleep in places not intended for human beings to sleep, like bus stations, abandoned buildings, parks or cars. For them, making a pit stop for gas is the equivalent of paying rent.

"We go on about a four-block radius," Corb explained. "It's $5 to $10 a day. You see, that's $70 a week times four. I mean, that's more than we really have got."

The vast majority of the country's 71,000 homeless families live in shelters, but almost 10,000 are living life like the Corbs.

For two decades, Paula Corb, her engineer ex-husband and two daughters lived in a four-bedroom house just outside of Santa Barbara. She described their life as a "fairy tale." But after her eight-year divorce, Corb went broke. The money from selling the house - at the bottom of the housing market - went to her debts and her lawyers. And as a homemaker for more than 20 years, she's had trouble finding work. The family packed up their stuff and moved into the van, where they live off of food stamps, gift cards for gas and food and Alice receives a Social Security disability check.

"It was scary. It was depressing," said Alice Corb, 22, the older daughter, of the first night living in the van. "I just kept thinking, 'How could this have possibly happened?' And this mantra in my head just repeated over and over: 'I want to go home.' And I just kept avoiding this one thought in my head that says, 'You don't have a home to go back to.'"

Paula Corb gets maybe four hours of sleep before she's awake and doing the family's laundry in a church annex. To avoid the crowds, she's started around 3 a.m. She uses a suitcase and microwave stacked on the passenger to stretch out her legs to sleep.

Doing a 180°

In Santa Barbara, a city famous for its coastline and its moneyed, Mediterranean ease, it's illegal for anyone to sleep in a vehicle parked on public roads. Being among the "hidden homeless" and getting through the day can be a serious struggle.

"The first concern is space," said Emily Corb, 18. "A lot of the time [was] how I going to sleep? Where am I going to put my things? Where am I going to put my books so they're safe? ... Another big concern is bathrooms. Will the bathroom be taken? Will they be cleaned? Will we have gas to go to that bathroom? When will it close?"

But the Corbs have been able to find a semblance of stability through a Santa Barbara initiative that's helped the hidden homeless for more than a decade. The "Safe Parking" program works with churches, businesses and other groups willing to host a small number of homeless in their vehicles overnight.

About one in five area homeless people lives in a vehicle, said Kristine Schwarz, the executive director of the New Beginnings Counseling Center, the nonprofit behind the $246,000-a-year program.

"What started as a program serving a couple people in one or two lots has now mushroomed into serving 112 people or more per night in 20 lots," said Schwarz, who added that the program combined with another effort to get people back into traditional housing serve 800 to 900 people a year.

But the efforts go well beyond trying to give people a better night's sleep..The group meets with their clients every 30 days - the length of time a permit is good for.

"We always try to check up to make sure they need any medical attention, if there's anything we can do, any referrals...we see how their job is going," said Amanda Staples, a coordinator for Safe Parking Program. "If people are constantly on the lookout for housing placement, we'll go on Craigslist with them."

Craig Burleigh, a patrol officer who has worked the streets for 13 years, said that since the launch of Safe Parking, tensions between people sheltering in their cars and law enforcement has eased.

"I think we've done a 180 in this city," he said. "They have the correct paperwork and now they can feel safe sleeping in their vehicles, or RVs, knowing that the police will do the perimeter check, and then not be woken up at a 3 o'clock in the morning when you have children in their vehicles."

A community

Safe Parking has guided other communities in northern California, like Monterrey, San Jose, San Francisco and San Diego, as they embraced the model, according to Schwarz. This summer, advocates pushed for it in L.A. County, when a federal circuit court overturned its ban on living in vehicles. According to the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority, of the nearly 40,000 known homeless people there, roughly 8,000 live in vehicles. In Venice Beach, where the number of unsheltered people is among the highest in the country, homeless people in vans have become so much a part of the local culture that they attract tourists.

© America Tonight

Paula Corb gets maybe four hours of sleep in the family's van before she’s awake and doing laundry in a church annex. To avoid the crowds, she’s starts around 3 a.m.

But the proposal ran into opposition. So while the unsheltered homeless in L.A. are no longer a target of police, the conflict between them and the community is far from resolved.

But for Paula Corb, one of the greatest gifts of the "Safe Parking" program has been the community she's gained.

"You have to understand: This is very humiliating," she said. "If I were to go to the grocery store and see one of our old neighbors, I'd hurry up and leave... I didn't want to be associated with the homeless community, which is why we stayed to ourselves for so many years."

But, she added: "It was through these programs that started hooking homeless people up to create a community."

Her daughter Alice stopped asking when the family could go home a long time ago, but she can't stop thinking that things might be better in the morning.

"I believe it's going to happen and I'm willing to keep going until it does. There's no point in stopping here," Alice said. "They keep saying, 'What does not kill me makes me stronger.' After this, whatever doesn't kill me had better start running."

And after years of studying under street lamps during high school, Emily Corb was awarded scholarships to college. She's now a freshman at Santa Barbara City College. Last week, she started renting a room at a friend's house, giving her some luxuries that she hasn't had for years. But she still spends much of her time worrying about her mother and her sister.

"I feel survivor's guilt almost," she said.

Disaster capitalism: Appeasers of Israel's obliteration of Gaza pledge $5.4 billion towards its reconstruction

Nations pledged $5.4 billion to help rebuild Gaza at a donor conference in Cairo on Sunday, a sum that far exceeded the Palestinian Authority's expectations.

Half the amount pledged "will go to rebuilding Gaza and the assistance will be distributed in response to the daily needs of the Palestinian people," Norway's Foreign Minister Borge Brende said in comments translated into Arabic on Egyptian state television.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas had asked for the more modest sum of $4b.

The largest pledge of $1b. was from Qatar, which has close ties to Hamas, the terrorist organization that controls Gaza. Kuwait and United Arab Emirates promised $200 million each and Turkey pledged $200m.

"The most recent Israeli attack on the Gaza Strip, which resulted in vast destruction and uncountable catastrophes is unbearable and cannot pass without consequence," Abbas told the conference. Some 61,800 homes were destroyed or damaged, with another 18,200 yet to be repaired from past conflicts with Israel, he said, adding that about 2,145 people were killed and 11,200 injured over the summer.

"Infrastructure, public facilities and private-sector establishments were massively damaged, including the only electricity generation plant in the Strip. Not to mention the water, sanitation, electricity, telecommunication, and transportation networks," he said.

"As a result of this war, innumerable and unspeakable tragedies befell the people of Gaza, including the destruction of entire neighborhoods, and eradication of more than 90 families from the population registry. More than 100,000 remain without shelter, and hundreds of thousands of others are now displaced once again," Abbas said.

The reconstruction and development of Gaza is important for the Palestinian national economy, the PA president added.

"The the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and east Jerusalem constitute one single geographic whole in which we seek the removal of the occupation," he said.

US Secretary of State John Kerry pledged $212m. of aid in addition to previous US contributions.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said pledges from member states would reach 450m. euros.

France said it would contribute 40m. euros, while Germany offered 50m. euros. Britain's ambassador to Egypt, John Casson, said London would donate $32m. to the reconstruction efforts.

"We can't allow people in Gaza to sink into despair," German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said in a statement.

Israel, the PA and the UN have worked out a mechanism to monitor building material that enters Gaza to ensure that it is not used by Hamas to build infiltration tunnels into Israel.

"This mechanism is what we should be concerned with," said Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman, stressing the importance of making sure that the building material and funds are not diverted to terrorist activity.

Sea lion throws fisherman across trawler like a rag-doll

‘It’s my ship now!’

You can add sea lions to the top of the list of animals you shouldn't mess with.

One Russian fisherman found out the hard way the sheer strength of an angry sea lion, when he was hurled onto his ship's deck by the creature.

The sea mammal had been caught in the nets and the fishermen were quick to cut it free.

But the moment the sea lion gets its head and neck free it grabs one of the fishermen in its teeth and throws him across the deck.

As the huge creature breaks free the fishermen and a very frightened dog keep their distance.

But the sea lion pounces on the dog as it takes a few tentative steps forward, the canine barking as it tries to break free.

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Eventually the fishermen use a hose to get the sea lion back into the ocean.

Sea lions have been known to jump into nets to catch fish and can often get hauled onto boats as a result.

Taronga Zoo marine mammal keepers believe the animal to be a female Steller sea lion.

"This poor creature was obviously very frightened of the situation it found itself in and although the fishermen were trying to free it, it reacted to what it may have perceived as a threat," a spokesperson told ninemsn.

"That is also why it confronted the dog."

Sea lions can weigh up to 400kg and are surprisingly powerful.

"They are muscular and can propel themselves through the water at speeds of around 30 km/h," the spokesperson said.

"They have strong jaws and teeth, so flinging a fisherman aside so easily as in the video would be effortless for the sea lion."

It is also possible a lack of air from being caught in the fishing net contributed to the sea lion's disorientation.

How an Ebola outbreak would be an absolute boon for globalists

ebola workers

© Reuters/Jim Young

Workers wearing hazardous material suits arrive at the apartment unit where a man diagnosed with the Ebola virus was staying in Dallas, Texas, October 3, 2014.

Regional or widespread war, terrorism, cyber attacks, etc., are all useful vehicles to conjure mass confusion, and can also be used as scapegoats for the eventual downfall of our economy. That said, a viral pandemic truly surpasses them all in effectiveness. All other tragedies could easily be tied to the first "domino" or "linchpin" (as Rand Corporation calls it) of Ebola transmission, but the strategy goes deeper than this.

This is an incredibly useful strategy when used on the ignorant. And as I pointed out last week in my column, "U.S. government fails to stop yet another invasion," it's a sad fact that most of the people you meet in this life are fundamentally and functionally ignorant.

So I believe the spread of Ebola may be desired by certain power brokers. Here's why.

It's the perfect cover event

I have been warning for quite some time that the banking establishment in particular is well aware that an economic collapse of incredible proportions is coming. In fact, they have done everything in their power to make one possible. This collapse, according to my research, is designed to clear the way through monetary carpet bombing for a new international Bretton Woods-style agreement which will plant the foundation of a truly global economic system centralized and controlled by a highly select few elites. Needless to say, the internationalists would prefer not to take the blame for such a calamity.

An act of nature

Even though most people are well aware of the fact that governments have been engineering biological weapons for decades, few people think political leadership would ever use them at all, let alone use them on the people they are tasked to protect. Even with the complacency and inaction of our government in terms of the response to Ebola, the general assumption by most of the American population will be that any viral outbreak is a product of nature, not of men.

Acts of nature are not things that the common man can easily rebel against. People rebel against governments and corrupt despots all the time, but not the plague. If a viral pandemic strikes, nearly everything a government does after the fact, no matter how corrupt or destructive, can be rationalized as necessary for the greater good of the greater number. If anyone does rebel, they will be labeled as pure evil, for they are now disrupting the government's ability to stop the pandemic from spreading, and thus, are partly responsible for the mass deaths that follow.

During a viral outbreak, government becomes mother, father, nurse and protector. No matter how abusive they are, most people will still look to them for safety and guidance, primarily because they have no understanding of disease. What they do not understand, they will fear, and fear always drives the ignorant into the arms of tyrants.

Rationalized economic collapse

Who would question the event of an economic collapse in the wake of an Ebola-soaked nightmare? Who would want to buy or sell? Who would want to come in contact with strangers to generate a transaction? Who would even leave their house? Ebola treatment in First World nations has advantages of finance and a cleaner overall health environment, but what if economic downturn happens simultaneously? America could experience Third World status very quickly, and with it, all the unsanitary conditions that result in an exponential Ebola death rate.

The Treasury and Labor departments and private Federal Reserve have gone to vast lengths to skew statistics and rig markets with trillions in fiat dollars. Despite historic numbers of Americans falling off unemployment rolls and the U.S. teetering on the edge of global "de-dollarization," a large portion of the citizenry has been led to believe that economic recovery is assured. What they do not understand is that fiscal implosion is unavoidable, and the whole bull market is a circus designed to distract.

Amidst even a moderate or controlled viral scenario, stocks and bonds will undoubtedly crash, a crash that was going to happen anyway. The international banks that created the mess get off blameless, while Ebola, an act of nature, becomes the ultimate scapegoat for every disaster that follows.

Rationalized travel restrictions

If you want to lock down the movement of a population to prevent the spread of dissenting groups or ideas, I can't think of a better way than to claim it is to prevent the spread of a deadly virus. Our government and world health officials are approaching Ebola with an attitude of nonchalance right now, because prevention is part of the plan. When Ebola strikes hard within our country, that is when the government will finally decide that strict measures are needed. Suddenly, those borders that could never be secured will become impassable for you and me. And traveling between states or perhaps even counties may be extraordinarily difficult. "Papers please..." will become the new mantra of petty authority.

Forced health measures

Do not be surprised if an Ebola vaccine of some kind suddenly appears on the market just as the situation begins to turn tragic. And, do not be surprised if said vaccine is a total sham that ends up making more people sick. Expect that forced vaccinations will take place, especially as a prerequisite for receiving treatment from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or Federal Emergency Management Agency hazmat facilities. Expect that these facilities will become nothing more than obscure prisons for the sick where people quietly die. Expect that every American will be required to be tested and screened, with biometric data carefully stored. The options are endless for abuse in terms of totalitarian health laws when the public thinks they could end up bleeding from every orifice and dying of liver failure.

Rationalized martial law

Imagine if some Americans decide they don't like being poked, prodded, tagged and bagged by the establishment. Imagine they decide to fight back, Ebola be damned. An already uphill battle becomes an epic struggle when a large percentage of the population thinks you are a monster that wants to hasten the spread of Ebola. Not that the ignorant count for much in the grand scheme of history, but waking at least some of them up in the future to the bigger threat (the globalists) is hard to do when all they can see is devilish microbes. Those who plan to combat the rise of the internationalists, as I plan to, should accept now the likelihood that the only people we will have on our side tomorrow are the people we have been able to wake up today. Martial law will be welcomed by the rest.

International response

An international response is almost guaranteed during a major pandemic. Sovereignty will be tossed in the dirt. United Nations and World Health Organization teams, and perhaps even troops, could accompany an aid package to the U.S. Think of the glorious propaganda, as globalists tell stories of how they "saved humanity" by surpassing the barbaric practices of national and individual sovereignty, defeated the Ebola virus (after millions of deaths, of course), and out of the ashes, the "phoenix" of global governance was born. If they succeed, imagine what the history books will say for the next several centuries.

What do we do?

There are no silver bullet solutions. There never have been and there never will be. People looking for them will be sorely disappointed and ill prepared after wasting so much time searching for an easy out. The only answer is for communities of people to take their own survival into their own hands and become as self-sufficient as possible. This means that neighborhoods, towns and counties will have to take precautions now to steel themselves for a pandemic event, instead of simply sitting on their hands and expecting government officials to save them.

The treatments for Ebola in most cases involve nothing more than the steady replacement of vital fluids, electrolytes and plasma until the patient's body can build up an immunity to the virus. Those with stronger immune systems before contraction are more likely to survive and beat back the disease. Government care, for the most part, is not going to save many people either way. That is to say, your survival will depend on you and your immune system, not them. Communities that make efforts to prevent contact and that strengthen individual immunity will have a better chance of survival than going into any government run hazmat facility. Government is not needed, and will often end up being more of a threat than the virus itself. Groups I work closely with and talk with, many with their own doctors and nurses, are already setting prevention guidelines in motion.

If you can prove you don't need the system to save you, their rationale for attempting to control you is weakened. The ignorant will still try to demonize us for our efforts, but self-sufficiency is all we have in the face of this kind of storm. If we can lead by example with our own successful health standards while saving people where the establishment could not, perhaps we can turn the tide.