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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Video shows Cleveland cop shot Tamir Rice seconds after encountering him

The police officer who fatally shot a 12-year-old boy carrying a pellet gun fired within 1½ to two seconds of pulling up in his cruiser, police said Wednesday. During those few moments, he ordered the youngster three times to put up his hands, they said.

The city released a surveillance video that shows the shooting of Tamir Rice, who was carrying an airsoft gun that shoots non-lethal plastic pellets.

Much of the footage shows what appears to be a bored kid alone in a park on an unseasonably warm November afternoon. Tamir is seen pacing, occasionally extending his right arm with what appears to be a gun in his hand, talking on a cellphone and sitting a picnic table with his head resting on his arms.

The gun wasn't real. It can be bought at sporting goods stores for less than $20. Tamir's was lacking the bright orange tip that is usually put on such weapons to indicate they're not real guns.

The patrol officer who shot Tamir was identified Wednesday as Timothy Loehmann, a 26-year-old rookie who began his career in Cleveland on March 3. He previously spent five months in 2012 with a department in the Cleveland suburb of Independence, but four of those months were in that city's police academy.

Loehmann's partner that day was identified as Frank Garmback, 46. He has been with the department since 2008. Both are on paid administrative leave pending a decision by the Cuyahoga County prosecutor's office whether to pursue any criminal charges.

The video police showed Wednesday had no sound and was choppy, showing about two frames per second. What is striking about it is the speed at which the shooting occurred.

At one moment, Tamir is sitting at a picnic table in a gazebo. He stands and a police car zooms into the frame from the right and stops on the grass, just a few feet from Tamir. The passenger door opens and Loehmann shoots Tamir before Garmback can get out the driver's side door.

It's unclear how far Tamir was from Loehmann when the officer shot him, but Deputy Chief Ed Tomba said Wednesday that it was less than 10 feet.

The low-resolution video shows Tamir reaching to his waistband and then bending over after being shot. His body is mostly obscured by the patrol car when he falls to the ground. Garmback can be seen walking around the car and kicking what is said to be the airsoft gun away from Tamir.

Tomba told reporters at a news conference Wednesday that an FBI agent who was working a bank robbery detail nearby arrived within a few minutes and administered first aid to Tamir. Paramedics arrived three minutes later. The boy died on Sunday at a Cleveland hospital.

Tomba said the city was releasing the video at the behest of Tamir's family.

"This is not an effort to exonerate. It's not an effort to show the public that anybody did anything wrong," Tomba said Wednesday. "This is an obvious tragic event where a young member of our community lost their life. We've got two officers that were out there protecting the public that just had to, you know, do something that nobody wants to do."

On Saturday, a person had called 911 about a male pointing a gun at others at the park. The caller told the 911 dispatcher that the gun was "probably fake," then added, "I don't know if it's real or not."

Tomba would not discuss statements the two officers gave after the shooting, saying they were part of the investigation. Nor would he discuss details of the radio conversation between the officers and a dispatcher except to say they were apprised that they were on a "gun run."

David Malik, one of the attorneys representing Tamir's family, said Wednesday that he hoped the shooting of Tamir would lead to reform. He cited Cincinnati, where he said the police department, police union and the community worked collaboratively.

"Hopefully, incidents like this won't occur again," Malik said.


Police reveal Cleveland boy shot by cop did not point BB gun at him

Citizen warns that 12-yr-old child's toy gun on playground is FAKE, cops shoot and kill child anyway

Greedy pastor refuses to bury woman for not tithing enough while in nursing home and a coma


Barbara Day says that a Houston pastor refused to bury her mother

A Houston pastor has come under fire for refusing to bury a 93-year-old woman who had been a member of his church for 50 years but had not tithed enough as her death neared.

Barbara Day told KRIV that she was devastated by the way pastor Walter F. Houston treated her when she contacted him about a funeral at Fourth Missionary Baptist Church for her mother, Olivia Blair.

"It was like the last insult in the world, there was nothing else that I could do for my mommy but funeralize her in the church that she loved and worshiped all of her life, even as a little girl," Day said, explaining that Houston told her that Blair "had not paid her dues, and she had not attended the church in recent years."

"For the last two years, my mother has been in either a nursing home or she's been in a hospital," she pointed out. "And the last few months, she was in a coma!"

Day said that she could not understand why Houston would force her to find another place for the burial after her mother had supported him for so many years, and her stepfather had also been buried at the church.

"There's no explanation for anybody that has been paying dues for a church that long, for him to make me have to roll my mother's body around town, and somebody finally picks her up and says, 'Yeah, we'll do the best we can,'" Day insisted. "They knew she was ill! They don't care! All they care about is getting money money money money money!"

"Even retail stores give people more respect than that," she continued. "I don't understand why we've become so commercialized with religion! What does this have to do with God? Why can't I give my mother her last wish to be funeralized in a church that she loved so much?"

Tyrone Jacques of PimpPreacher.com, who first reported Day's story, told KRIV's Isiah Carey that he "pleaded" with Pastor Houston to change his mind, but he refused. Houston later explained to Carey that Blair was no longer a member of the church because she had not supported it financially in the last 10 years.

Day, however, said that her mother had supported the church up until two years ago, but then she became ill and was unable to attend Fourth Missionary or any church.

"I asked the pastor, I said, 'Well, why didn't someone go check on her? Why didn't someone go reach out to her?'" Jacques recalled. "And his reply to me was it was up to the family to notify him. And the comment that really set us off was, if the family cared so much, why didn't they at least send a dollar to the church a week to reserve her membership?"

On his website, Jacques noted that he had offered to pay for the funeral, and to have it on a day the church was already closed.

"Sir even though your church is closed on Friday, and I have offered to pay the cost to have this funeral in your church, you're still refusing to allow this funeral for a member who has been a part of this ministry for 50 years?" he asked Houston.

"Membership has its privileges," the pastor reportedly replied.

In memory of Day's mother, PimpPreacher.com is sponsoring the Olivia Blair Project to "focus on the abuses of Tithing and the horrific financial trauma it inflicts on the elderly and those living on fixed incomes."

22,729,389 U.S. households will celebrate Thanksgiving on food stamps

Nearly one in five U.S. households will celebrate Thanksgiving on food stamps this year, according to the latest data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture on participation in the Supplemental Nutrition and Assistance Program.

Back in fiscal 2000, there were 106,061,000 households in the United States and, according to a USDA report published in November 2012, there was a monthly average of 7,335,000 households - or 6.9 percent - getting food stamps that year.

As of this August, according to the most recent data released by USDA, there were 22,729,389 households on food stamps. That equaled 19.75 percent of 115,048,000 households in the country at that time.

In each of the two previous fiscal years, the percentage of American households on food stamps in the average was near 20 percent, hitting 19.4 percent in 2012, 20.4 percent in 2013.

As of August, according to the Department of Agriculture, there were 46,484,828 individuals in the food stamp program.


Are you celebrating American war crimes when you sit down for your turkey dinner?


© Rigourous Intuition

When Americans celebrate Thanksgiving, they don't know what they are celebrating.

In American folklore, Thanksgiving is a holiday that originated in 1621 with the Pilgrims celebrating a good harvest. Some historians say that this event is poorly documented, and others believe that the Thanksgiving tradition travelled to the New World with the Pilgrims and Puritans who brought with them the English Days of Thanksgiving. Other historians think the Pilgrims associated their relief from hunger with their observance of the relief of the siege of Leiden.

The Pilgrims' Thanksgiving, if it happened, might not have been the first in the New World. Historians say the Virginia colonial charter declared a Day of Thanksgiving in 1619, and other historians say the first Thanksgiving was observed by the Spanish in Florida in 1565.

Apparently, the different English colonies and later American states each had their own day of Thanksgiving, if they had one. Abraham Lincoln tried to make Thanksgiving a national holiday in 1863, but the country was divided by the War of Northern Aggression.

Thanksgiving became a national holiday with the completion of the Reconstruction of the South after the War of Northern Aggression and the extermination of the Plains Indians by the Union generals in the 1870s. This taints Thanksgiving as a celebration of the preservation and expansion of the American Empire and accurately reflects the goal of the political forces behind Lincoln.

Today, Thanksgiving is simply known as "Turkey Day" and a time of retail sales. But as you eat your Thanksgiving meal, contemplate that what you are really celebrating is an Empire rooted in war crimes. If Lincoln had lost, and if there had been at that time a Nuremberg War Crimes Tribunal, Lincoln, Grant, Sherman, and Sheridan would have been hung as war criminals.

Sheridan was probably the worst of the lot. His war crimes against the South, especially those he committed in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, must have been forgotten by Southerns who vote Republican, the Party of Lincoln and Sheridan. But Sheridan's crimes against the Indians were worse. He attacked the Indians in their winter quarters, destroying their food supplies, and sent professional hunters to exterminate the Buffalo, declaring: "Let them kill until the buffalo is exterminated," thus depriving the Plains Indians of their main food source.

Considering the enormity of the Republican Party's crimes against the South, it is a testament to the forgetfulness of people that Southerners vote Republican. Sheridan expressed well the Republican attitude toward the South, declaring on several occasions that "if I owned Texas and Hell, I would rent Texas and live in Hell."

In the 1870s when Democrats won elections in Louisiana, Sheridan, who had power over the state, declared the Democrats to be bandits who would be subjected to his military tribunals.

Sheridan graduated near the bottom of his West Point Class, but his immorality and viciousness propelled him to the rank of Commanding General of the US Army. Today he would delight in the endless US bombings of women and children in seven countries.

Note: The War of Northern Aggression is the South's description for what those dedicated to preserving the Union called the Civil War. The South's term seems more correct. The Union forces invaded the South. A Civil War occurs when contending parties engage in violence for control of the government. But the Southern states were not contending for control of the US government; they exercised their right of self-determination and withdrew from the union into which they had voluntarily entered. It was an act of secession based in divergent economic interests between an export agricultural economy in the South and a rising industrial economy in the North in need of protective tariffs. The Southern secession was not an act of war for control over the government in Washington.

Unionists saw secession as a threat to empire. Another country could be a contender for the lands to the West. In his books, and , Thomas DiLorenzo makes a case that the War of Northern Aggression was waged in behalf of empire. He quotes Lincoln to the effect that he would preserve slavery if it would preserve the Union, and, if memory serves, DiLorenzo quotes Lincoln's generals advising him not to throw a bone to abolitionists by saying it was a war to end slavery or much of the Union army would desert.

Today Americans think of themselves as citizens of the United States. But in 1860 people thought of themselves as citizens of states. When Robert E. Lee was offered a top command in the Union army, he declined on the grounds that he could not draw his sword on his native state of Virginia. Lincoln used the war to establish the supremacy of the central government in Washington over the states to which the Constitution had given most functions of government.

The supremacy of the central government that Lincoln established advanced the forces of empire.

The "war to end slavery," like the Iraq war to protect America from "Saddam Hussein's weapons of mass destruction," looks more like fictional cover for the employment of violence in pursuit of empire than a moral crusade.

Twenty-one porcelain dolls on bamboo stakes found in Alabama swamp, some missing heads

Twenty-one dolls on bamboo stakes have been mysteriously found in an Alabama swamp.

Autauga County sheriff's deputies traveled by canoe into Bear Creek Swamp on Tuesday to recover the dolls, whose faces and hair were painted white.

Most of the dolls are porcelain and have the appearance of being antique, reports The .

'I noticed the dolls several weeks ago while driving through the swamp working on a stolen vehicle report,' he sad.

'I noticed the dolls several weeks ago while driving through the swamp working on a stolen vehicle report,'said Autauga County Chief Deputy Joe Sedinger

'I just thought they were a Halloween prank, and really didn't give it much thought after that.'

But on Tuesday morning they decided to investigate after people expressed concerns on social media.

'I admit it looked kind of creepy,' Sedinger said.

'You could see them from the road. We figured it was best to get them up.'

The newspaper reports that it has been a rite of passage for generations of teenagers to enter the area at night looking for creatures said to roam the swamp.

He said the dolls are being inventoried back at the courthouse.

Media spin in action: CNN's Amanpour show edits out criticism by visiting RT host

cnn Christiane Amanpour

© Agence France-Presse/Mike Coppola

Christiane Amanpour

Last week, CNN's Christiane Amanpour invited RT's Anissa Naouai to discuss what the US channel called 'a heated propaganda war' by the Russian government. But it never showed viewers Naouai's criticism of Amanpour's own propaganda exercises.

Naouai, host of RT's In The Now, was invited to speak along with Mikhail Kasyanov, a former Russian prime minister and a fierce critic of President Vladimir Putin's policies.

[embedded content]

RT offers a complete video of Naouai's answers, as well as the full transcript of the discussion below.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR: Mr. Kasyanov, Anissa Naouai in Moscow, thank you both very much indeed for joining me. Let me first ask you, Mikhail Kasyanov, Mr. Putin, President Putin seems to believe that Russia has an image problem and wants to change the way Russia is portrayed around the rest of the world. It is an image problem or is there a problem, a policy problem?

MIKHAIL KASYANOV: That's a deep problem of the policy. The problem of Mr. Putin, because Mr. Putin believes that such a policy he pursues internally and externally, that's normality in 21st century, which is absolutely not. And therefore he is sometimes even angry on the Western society, why the Western society doesn't accept his regime as normal one. Therefore that's a problem of mentality rather than of image.

CA: Anissa, let me ask you, do you feel that "Russia Today" and other state-sponsored media is specifically designed to counter what your government, your president believes is a bad image problem, an unfair shake in the West?

ANISSA NAOUAI: Just to be clear he's not my president. I'm an American. He's the Russian president. And "Russia Today" airs to a global audience. So it's not really watched in Russia; it's in English; many people across Russia don't really turn to Russia Today to get their news. And I certainly don't represent the Russian media as a whole. I represent RT and more so myself. But I think specifically about RT - because it's been in the media quite a lot recently to focus on that - I think the thing about RT which is misunderstood by a lot of people, not our viewers, because they know very well, is that we have nothing to hide. People know where our funding comes from. We're "Russia Today." We're funded by the Kremlin, despite the sort of addressing by foreign media that it's some kind of revelation of investigative journalists. Our budget is completely open. It's completely transparent, even though it's misquoted very often. And so it's interesting to us that these kind of questions are asked by the mainstream media, by a channel like CNN, who has journalists that have left the channel because documentaries on Bahrain haven't been run like I-Revolution a couple of years ago, which air programs like Eye on Georgia, Eye on Kazakhstan, Eye on Lebanon, which are essentially government-sponsored programs. And that's barely, very, very secretly disclosed to the audience. You really have to go on the site and dig for it to find that these are not sort of just basic, unbiased reporting on the ground. These are government sponsored programs aired on television. So it's interesting to have questions asked of us, staff at "RT," how do we feel about kind of representing the Russian government. Our viewers know that we're funded by the Kremlin. They watch RT with this in mind. And this is why we're getting viewers. Because if you actually turn on RT, you'll see that we cite the Ukrainian government. We cite NATO. We cite the State Department. We cite the American side. Yes, of course, we also cite the Russian perspective, and of course maybe even more so because that's the perspective that we feel is being sidelined.

Watch the show as it aired on CNN

CA: Anissa, you have now had a long preamble. But I didn't actually get you to answer my question and that is does one believe - do you believe that you're there specifically to counter a weight problem when it comes to the weight of information? And let me ask you specifically about the whole idea, which is one of the big issues at play inside Russia and RT's representation of it abroad, and that is describing the nature of what's happening in Ukraine. For months and months and months now, Russians and Russian state media and Kremlin-funded media, such as yourself, have portrayed Ukraine as sort of phobic to pro-Russian separatists or minorities there as neo-Nazis, fascists who just want to abuse and assault them. And that has appeared on your channel. And President Putin has said it several times. My question obviously is what is the point of that? And let me first just play this piece of an interview from President Putin not to your channel, but he said it before to a German channel just this weekend. [TECHNICAL PROBLEMS] From President Putin, this past Sunday: "We're truly concerned that the wish to start ethnic cleansing may soon arise there." He's talking about Ukraine. "We're afraid that the Ukraine will become immersed in neo-Nazism. You can see people wearing swastikas on their sleeves and the SS insignia on the helmets of some units fighting in the Eastern Ukraine at the moment." And of course, you all remember the big - the big sort of billboards that Russian television and media put up during the Crimea referendum, equating, you know, Russia - or rather saying the choice is Russia or neo-Nazism. So I guess, Anissa, my point to you is, why go to such efforts to brand Ukraine as such, when the polling data itself says that less than two percent of the people actually voted for any kind of far right group? You know, I'm asking you because it's so important in the way people understand what's happening in Eastern Ukraine.

AN: Yes, I agree it's important. I think what you're trying to say is that it's perhaps being exaggerated, the threat of neo-Nazis, which perhaps is true. I'm not Russian. The Russian people lost almost 30 million people fighting fascism during the Second World War. Who am I to say that this is a made-up threat? There's clear documentation, Christiane, which obviously you have access to, obviously your audience, our audience has access to. There are people that walk through the streets of Kiev with swastikas on. There are - there is this trend of tying in this kind of glorification of Nazism with the anti-Russian sentiment that is trying to be up in the West. And there's also, I think what Putin was referring to there was not so much the Nazi trends, but the civilians being killed, which organizations like Human Rights Watch, like Amnesty International, like your own reporter - one of my, I think, one of the most powerful reports I've seen from the East, to be quite frank, was not from Russia Today. It was from your reporter, Diana Magnay. And she's in the East. And basically it's a phenomenal report. I mean, it's horrific and it was civilians in the East calling themselves Ukrainians and saying stop killing us, Petro Poroshenko. Stop killing us. So to imply that this is not going on, that civilians are not being killed by the Ukrainian army - let's be very specific here - and this is what you have on camera. Was this report run on CNN around the clock? No!

CA: But that's not what I was asking, Anissa. Anissa, I was asking - obviously there's a war going on and we understand there are hundreds if not thousands of people have been killed. I'm talking about the specific characterization of a policy of fascism and neo-Nazism, which your president - or rather the Russian president - and the foreign minister and other senior officials keep repeating. So let me turn to Mr. Kasyanov, who used to be prime minister there. Is there, do you believe - Anissa admitted there might be exaggeration. Is it more than exaggeration? And as such, is it a fair interpretation of what's going on and what are the consequences?

MK: That's not -

AN: I didn't admit that it was an exaggeration. I said who are we to say that it's an exaggeration as non-Russians. 30 millions of them were killed in World War II. I said, "Who are we to say it's an exaggeration?" That's what I said exactly.

CA: No, you didn't say that. You said they may - that might be an exaggeration, but then who are we to say that fears are exaggerated? I've got that on record. So don't worry about it. That's going to be played.

AN: Yes, I didn't admit that it was an exaggeration.

CA: All right. But you actually did and I'll play it and you can dispute it afterwards if you like. But I will play it and it's not a problem. It's what you said. Now I'm putting it to you, Mr. Kasyanov. What are the consequences of inflating these numbers? And I will say that there is a huge attempt to tar the Ukrainian government as neo-fascist when two percent, less than two percent, voted for far right groups in the last elections in May.

MK: I will say that's not exaggeration, that's deliberate policy of Mr. Putin. And just all these reasons and arguments Mr. Putin provides, they are simply bizarre. How can -

CA: But it's designed for something, Mr. Kasyanov. What is it designed to do?

MK: Yes, exactly. Just Mr. Putin thinks just all people just simply just idiots all over the world. Just you have just mentioned nice figures, just less than two percent voted for far right people, politicians in Ukraine. And what the reason for annexation for Crimea, what the reason of acceleration of these military conflict in the Eastern Ukraine? That is, as you said, correctly, that's some kind of imagination that there is a danger for Russian-speaking people and for just pressing them and just putting them in a just bad position. That's absolutely lie.

How successful, though, has Anissa's channel been and other Kremlin-sponsored state-funded media in Russia? How successful are they?

MK: All these channels, they never describe reasons why just this annexation and the war started. They prefer to describe what's going on now, there. Hundreds of people killed and just problems - other people just having problems because of the war.

CA: Right, but my question to you is how successful is it in convincing people in Russia or around the world?

MK: In Russia, it's absolutely successful. People are fooled by state propaganda. All media under full control of Mr. Putin. And this enhanced adoration by him and his team and in fact they popular social - sociological poll for 85 percent of support of Putin's policy in Ukraine, that is a result of - that's the result of this propaganda. And unfortunately, I have to admit that even educated people who understand that it's not possible to behave in 21st century in this manner Mr. Putin does, they think that annexation or just joining of Crimea to Russia is fair, because of the simple reason - all people living in Russia today, they got their information through their textbooks in schools, history that Crimea was always Russian. And they don't support Mr. Putin. But they believe Mr. Putin will disappear but Crimea will still be part of Russia. That's why that there is a such a - I wouldn't say consensus, but popular view on what's going on in Ukraine.

CA: Anissa, can I come back to you? Because that's one issue. But another gathering fear, certainly in the West - and the Financial Times has been writing about it - is the idea that President Putin, either publicly or with certain individuals who he talks to and other powerful figures in Russia, are, quote-unquote, "putting the nuclear gun on the table now." And let me read you a few things that have been written over here. Apparently President Putin has told domestic audiences that outsiders should, quote, "not mess with us, because Russia is one of the leading nuclear powers." Does it worry you, that kind of thing? And when Russians start to talk about their nuclear arsenal, do you - does your sensibility start getting heightened? How do you decide to cover this when you have your editorial meetings?

AN: Again, Russia Today airs to the West. So we have a global audience. And we cover stories that we think affect a global audience and especially with the Ukraine crisis, a lot of the mainstream narrative dictates what exactly we cover. We come to work and we see a lot of holes in the stories that you're telling your audience, holes that can be easily closed by just going online, trying to verify videos, trying to get kind of different sorts of perspectives on the air. So that helps a lot in trying to decide what we're going to cover. And I think it's careful when - you need to be careful when you start bringing these sort of nuclear threats taken out of context. This is a very serious issue. And as journalists, we need to be careful when we pick and choose what quotes we want to give to a global audience. I have to say I do not know what you're referencing specifically about this Russian - what Putin said to a Russian television. To be honest, I work a lot and I don't exactly watch the Russian media every night. RT airs to a global audience.

CA: I know you keep saying that, but RT is -

AN: I'm not sure exactly what channel you're referring to or what speech you're referring to. But I do know - but I want to - I want to make this clear, that I do know that Putin has made it very clear to the Russian people that he's not looking for war, but he will continue to protect Russian interests. And when you're talking about military aggression and about perspectives of Russia around the world, all you need to do is look at a map. Look at a map and look where Ukraine is and look where Russia is and look where the United States is and then look at all of the countries and bases surrounding Russia. And tell the audience again that Russia is the aggressor here.

CA: Let me ask you, because you brought up verifying video - and again it's on a state-run television, it's not RT, but it's state-run television. And let's be - let's be fair also - RT and all its other incarnations does get traction inside Russia. But anyway, Channel 1 made international headlines last week because it broadcast, quote, "sensational photographs of what it said were satellite images of a Ukrainian fighter jet shooting down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17." As we know, what happened then, 289 people on board. Now critics immediately pointed out discrepancies in this imagery. Apparently it displayed the wrong markings for the Malaysian flight and it just was a fake image. When that happens, do you feel that it's in your realm of responsibility also to point that out?

AN: Again, I have to point out that I don't represent the Russian media, but RT. I know the image you're talking about, of course. It should be pointed out also that that image was on the Internet for quite a couple of months - unfortunately this channel [Channel 1] took the bait. They didn't verify it. We did, of course. That's why we didn't show it. But to sort of condemn the First Channel for mistakes that we've all make - and I remember very well Jim Clancy of CNN showing a video in Donetsk in May of this year of a supposed helicopter being downed by these anti-Kiev fighters. We went online; we checked the video. The video was from Syria. We never even saw a retraction from CNN. So it's a little difficult to judge. Obviously this is a market, they were trying to perhaps have a scoop. It's a dangerous thing. It's very unfortunate that they took the bait and it's a very dangerous trend. So all I can do as a journalist is, yeah, condemn it. It was a mistake. But they're certainly not the only journalists in the world that make mistakes like that.

CA: Alright, point taken. Let me ask you, Mr. Kasyanov, what I just started to talk to Anissa about. And this is a sort of a gathering private sending out messages of, "hey, we are a nuclear power, too". And the NATO commander has said that Russia has moved weaponry into Crimea that is nuclear capable, should is so choose to make it such. Let's face it. This is Europe; this is a hot war right now, and it's between a major nuclear power, Russia, and a nuclear alliance. How dangerous is that right now? What message is President Putin trying to send?

MK: I think it's very dangerous. That is absolutely irresponsible and reckless policy. I don't want the president of my country to behave this way and just use us as some kind... getting people scared about just Russia's behavior in the near future. Therefore, there's perhaps such a tension between the West and Russia. And Mr. Putin simply destroys the future of our country. And through this policy he'd like to achieve some kind of acceptance that his policy and his behavior is normal.

CA: Could this kind of rhetoric, though, this kind of chest beating or quiet warnings in private - could it have unintended consequences? I mean, one of the worst things in history is the tragic miscalculation.

MK: It could. That's why I'm saying that's reckless and irresponsible, because just the leader of such a country, a member of the Security Council, a prominent member of the Security Council responsible for global security, cannot behave this way, and cannot use this rhetoric just in settling other issues, which are absolutely of different nature.

CA: All this really is to ask both of you or anybody whether we know what President Putin wants. Anissa, do we know what President Putin wants? There was a ceasefire agreed in Minsk, there was an agreement, it's been violated, there are Russian forces moving again into Eastern Ukraine. What does President Putin want? What do you think he wants, given that you are a Kremlin funded sanctioned media? We cannot get Russian officials to talk to us.

AN: I think President Putin has made it very clear to both Russia and to the international community that what he wants is for Russia to be respected, mutually respected on an equal playing base, and that he wants dialogue to prevail. And so I think it's very dangerous to sort of talk about these kind of warnings in secret. I mean, there's nothing secret. All of this gets out. Obviously you went and found this apparent secret nuclear conversation that he had to Russian media that wasn't supposed to get out. Everything is available.

CA: I didn't say secret.

AN: There are so many perspectives available. You can go online. You can analyze Russian media. You can analyze CNN. And the audience can go and view for themselves. But I think Putin has made it very clear that he wants stability in his - for his country, and in this region, and he wants to get there through dialogue.


CA: Mr. Kasyanov, what do you think President Putin wants?

MK: In fact, I think Mr. Putin doesn't want just to build up a new Russian empire. What he wants, the main motivation for all these aggressions - first talking about for in Georgia and Mr. Putin at that time tested waters. And as we all remember, three months after this aggression, so-called just peace plan of Mr. Sarkozy - at that time he was chair of European Union - was destroyed. None of the points, none of the obligations of Russian government were implemented by Russian government. And three months after, the whole relations between the West and the Russian Federation stand on the point as business as usual.

CA: But what's him aim?

MK: The aim is now...

CA: The end game?

MK: - first just to strengthen his support inside Russia, to keep power. For authoritarian regime it's important always to have external enemy and quick victories. Georgia was one victory, which helped him to establish his own strengthening inside Russia. Now just Ukraine. And secondly, he, of course, wants to - the West to accept his regime as normal.

CA: And what do you think his takeaway is about Western leaders, given how they've reacted over the last, I don't know, several months?

MK: That was a real shock for him. He didn't expect, first of all, transatlantic unity, which is absolute basis right now for all, I would say, just talking of normalization of all this environment, of all this situation. And secondly that European Union just taken just such unified position, together with the United States. And of course Mr. Putin spent quite a lot of efforts to have a - to divide the policy and to divide countries inside European Union. But when major European Union countries just initiated and directly supported those sanctions - sanctions I would underline, not against the Russian Federation, Russian people, but against individuals who are responsible for all just these misdeeds. And also against just instruments, which is in the hands of Mr. Putin, like state corporations and state banks.


CA: Listen, last question and then we'll say goodbye and you can get back to your work, because I know you have your show coming up. So here we go. Anissa, you told me that you're American and so I want to know from you what your thoughts are about the whole media landscape because there are less and less independent media there, certainly less and less independent television, more and more of them being shut down. I mean, even the Russian government is legislating to make it impossible for CNN and other external broadcasters to actually broadcast because of the tough terms they're putting on us. Do you think that's a good thing? Is that healthy or bad? I mean, if everything is state controlled media, is that healthy for the society or not?

AN: I don't think that's a really accurate picture of what's happening. I can't name one television station that's been shut down, first of all.

CA: But it is...

AN: What - I can't name one television station which has been shut down. I just came back from News Exchange, where we asked CNN executives why they were supposedly stopping their broadcast in Russia. And they said it was a technical glitch with the cable companies.

CA: Well, I'm telling you right now...

AN: You're announcing right now that the Russian government is making it difficult to work in Russia.

CA: Alright. I'm telling you right now that there is legislation underway that makes it difficult for us to broadcast. And it's not just us. It's television all over the place. But my real question to you is: do you feel that it's healthy for a society just to get a diet of one side rather than the other? And that is what's happening.

AN: I disagree that that's what's happening. Certainly at Russia Today, like I said, we always cite the Ukrainian government. We always cite Western governments, Europe. If you want to analyze internal Russian news, I'm not sure I'm the best person to do it, to be honest. But certainly, at Russia Today, we always try to show both sides of a - do we show more of a Russian perspective? Of course we do, because that's the perspective that's being sidelined. But it's an absurd question coming from someone that's propagated the line of the State Department for over 15 years. I mean, it's absolutely absurd.

[embedded content]

CA: Well, are you talking to me?

AN: Yes. Absolutely I'm talking to you. Who else would I be talking to?

CA: Are you talking to me?

AN: Absolutely.

CA: You've got to be kidding me...

AN: You've propagated the line of the State Department for over 15 years, starting with Yugoslavia and all the way into Syria. And now you're doing it for Ukraine, essentially. Absolutely, I'm talking to you.

CA: Oh, my goodness. Have you seen any of my reports about Syria? Have you seen any of my reports about Syria?

AN: I've seen lots of your reports and in not one report where you find you questioning the United States government and their policy. And we, with our Russian propaganda, question those arms to the FSA, question those arms to al-Nusra and other leagues. And now today we have ISIS.

[embedded content]

CA: Anissa, I'm really now - listen, I invited you on this program - I invited you on this program to have an adult discussion.

AN: Absolutely. But your audience should be aware of this, Christiane. Your audience should be aware of this. You should disclose this to them.

CA: And I would like you to go back and... Oh, yes. They are aware of it, which is why they've been watching me for a long time. But listen to me, I would like you seriously...

AN: I'm glad they do, and I'm sure they know who James Rubin is, I'm sure they watch your work in Yugoslavia.

CA: - as an act of research and as an act of education, go back and find all my work on Yugoslavia and all my work on Syria and match that with the - with the - with the policy of the United States government and furthermore, go back and watch what launched me and that was a to-and-fro with President Clinton challenging his policy on Bosnia and Yugoslavia. So Anissa, listen, I have respected you but I really don't think that you should be doing this to me, of all people, on this - on this broadcast and on this satellite link. And you're wrong. And I challenge you to go back...

AN: Yes, how dare someone tell CNN to check who their sponsors are, what governments they are working with!

CA: No! No!

AN: How dare someone come on CNN and say that!

CA: No! Hey, excuse me, no, no, no, you just said whatever you wanted to say. When you become ad hominem to me, that's a problem, because you're not doing it from a basis of knowledge.

AN: Well, let your viewers decide, Christiane. I think that's the fairest way out of this debate.

CA: You're doing it - I don't know why you're doing it. But you're not doing it from a basis of knowledge.

AN: Let your viewers decide. Let them go back to your work in Yugoslavia.

CA: What did you say?

AN: Let your viewers decide. Let them go back to your work in Yugoslavia and see if it doesn't fall exactly in line with the State Department's line.

CA: I tell you what. You just go and see the interview with President Clinton and then you'll be able to choose, because you can be sure I'm not putting this on the air, Anissa. It's a personal attack.

AN: I know that interview very well. I know that interview very well, Christiane, and you were propagating war.

CA: You're... Exactly. Good.

AN: You were basically encouraging Bill Clinton to go to war.

CA: Oh, and that was what Bill Clinton wanted, was it?

AN: I don't know what Bill Clinton wanted. I'm talking about your work as a journalist.

CA: Anissa, come on; you've lost me, babe. Thank you very much. Thank you very much indeed. I really appreciate it. I'm sorry; I thought we could have an adult discussion. And we can't. Thank you so much. Alright. Now I have to pretend to thank you.

Anissa, Mikhail Kasyanov, thank you very much indeed for joining me.

MK: Thank you.

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NATO top commander reiterates 'Russian threat' while pledging more military aid to Kiev

Philip Breedlove

© Reuters / Valentyn Ogirenko

U.S. General Philip Breedlove, NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe, reacts during a news conference in Kiev, November 26, 2014.

The US and NATO have started helping the Ukrainian military 'increase its capacities and capabilities,' NATO's top military commander said during a visit to Kiev.

US Air Force General Philip Breedlove, who is the commander of the US European Command and NATO Allied Command Operations, said at a press conference during his Ukrainian visit on Wednesday that a "comprehensive" plan has been developed.

The general said that a plan to address the requirements of Ukraine's military has been created as a result of 25 visits, with parts of it already being executed. "The work is good, it has been given great support from my command," Breedlove said, adding that the forces will proceed with developing a "series of train-advise-assist capabilities" with the Ukrainian army.

The top military official has had a number of meetings with Ukraine's political and military leaders, including the country's president and defense minister. Stating that the partnership is important under "severe challenges," the general failed to elaborate on the alleged Russian military presence in Ukraine.

"The numbers that we have been using for some weeks haven't really changed much - between eight to ten battalion task groups on the border, but that's not the important part," Breedlove said, stating that what concerns the US is "the capability that is there."

"It's less about the exact number, it's more about the fact that there is a great force there that can be exerted if it's required," the US general said, adding that Russians inside Ukraine are "involved primarily in training, advising, assisting and helping" forces in the east of the country.

At the same time, US and NATO allies remain "firmly committed" to providing finances, equipment, and expert advice to the Ukrainian military, in order to be able to "defend against the attacks they're facing daily from Russian troops," according to Breedlove. He added that NATO is also providing a "package of measures," including cyber defense and logistics.

NATO - and its supreme allied commander in Europe, General Breedlove - has previously made statements on Russia's military presence in Ukraine, without providing any concrete proof of such. The Russian Defense Ministry has called NATO's claims "groundless," reminding of earlier accusations by the alliance which were not backed up by any evidence.

Speaking about the possibility of sending lethal equipment into Ukraine, the general said that "nothing at this time is off the table," but the "focus remains on pursuing a diplomatic solution."

Announcing the "international community's" full support to Kiev, the general did not shed any light on Ukraine's possible acceptance into the North Atlantic military alliance. "We do not go out and seek NATO members, they seek membership in NATO," Breedlove said.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has previously suggested that NATO give "special" status to the country outside the bloc, calling on Washington to provide Kiev with more "lethal and non-lethal" military equipment. Ukraine's appeal was turned down by US President Barack Obama, who promised Poroshenko only non-lethal assistance - which, according to the latter, is not enough.

© Reuters / Roman Baluk

Polish servicemen take part in military exercises outside the town of Yavoriv near Lviv, September 19, 2014.

While Ukraine is not a NATO member, the US Department of Defense intends to increase its military presence for constant army drills on the territory of the neighboring countries in Eastern Europe, including Poland and the Baltic states. Russia has warned the bloc that its progress towards the east and Ukraine will trigger a strong reaction.

Electromagnetic Radiation and your health

© ascendingstarseed.wordpress.com

"Life is electromagnetic." - Dr. Erica Mallery-Blythe

Awareness continues to increase surrounding the pervasive dangers of Electromagnetic Fields (EMFs). Our modern world is becoming an electromagnetic soup filled with pulses, radio frequencies, computer screens, wireless signals, as well as personal devices such as cell phones and gadgets that are emitting damaging radiation.

There are many peer-reviewed scientific studies drawing conclusions that should concern us all, but particularly for young children and pregnant women. Government agencies are even doing battle amongst themselves over outdated scientific information that still impacts current regulations. A prominent neuroscientist recently went on record in a lecture to the medical community which gave strong credence to the concerns of everyday citizens. A world-renown biochemist joined the chorus of warnings, and went as far as to say that wireless radiation is a biohazard and should be abolished in certain settings.

As you will see in the poignant video below, British ER physician and founder of Physicians' Health Initiative for Radiation and the Environment (PHIRE), Dr Erica Mallery-Blythe, is yet another credible voice who is analyzing the exponential growth of damaging sources of EMFs - damaging to all life, as life could be defined as anything that possesses an electromagnetic field. She concludes with some practical solutions that can be taken to mitigate the effects of bio-active frequencies which can cause disruption of our DNA fractal antenna and promote a host of stress responses.

[embedded content]

Transparency?! Why do we allow Kiev to write the official report on MH17?


"The Russkies are comin'! ... Where's the damn safety on this thing?!"

There are only two suspects in the shoot-down of the MH17 Malaysian airliner over Ukraine on July 17th: the separatist rebels, whom the Ukrainian Government charge had shot it down mistaking it for one of the Ukrainian Air Force bombers that routinely drop bombs onto the separatists and their families and indiscriminately onto everyone else in that region; or otherwise the Ukrainian Air Force itself, as a means for President Obama to be able to win increased international sanctions against Russia for Russia's support of those blamed rebels.

That's it, and that's all.

One of these two suspects, the Ukrainian Government, was granted by the other three member-states of the official MH17 'investigating' commission, a veto-power over anything that's written into that 'investigating' report.

In other words, basically what exists is this:

The Ukrainian Government gets to write the official 'investigation' report on that 'accident.' The other three Obama-allied nations will place their signatures onto it - or else there simply won't be any such 'final report.'

This agreement on Ukraine's veto-power was signed on August 8th, by Ukraine, Australia, Belgium, and Netherlands, the four member-nations of the official 'investigation.'

This fact, of a Ukrainian veto, was made public on August 12th, in an obscure Ukrainian announcement.

Then, on August 23rd, the first English-language news report on it was published at Global Research.

The very next day, the present writer published a news-report placing that secret agreement into a fuller context.

And, on November 20th, Russian Television reported that the four-member 'investigating' team are still refusing to say anything about the earlier news reports that the Ukrainian Government possesses this veto-power.

Do Western Governments, and their now (in the wake of Obama's coup) client-state of Ukraine, really think that the public are so stupid as not to recognize that this is an admission by the West (i.e., by the U.S. President and his various international stooges) that Russia was framed by themselves and their colleague U.S. client-states, into those economic sanctions?

That's the basic question, now, isn't it?

How many 'reporters' in the Western 'news' media are asking it? Why do their bosses refuse to allow them to ask it?

Here is why: If 'journalists' don't report it, then who's to blame, for the public's not knowing it, isn't really their respective public (as any elite likes to claim: "Democracy is really just mobocracy"), but is instead those 'news' media themselves, for hiding this important information from them. So: that's what the 'news'-elite wants - an ignorant or misinformed public, a public that can be led around by the nose, like animals to their slaughter.

Western diplomacy has become a scam, basically. Russia faces economic sanctions for what Obama did . And that's the news that none of the Western 'news' media will report.

This cover-up of that scam is, itself, very big news. How will Western 'news' media cover it? Or will they instead cover-up the cover-up; and, to the extent that they report about it at all, will they charge that the authentic news-reports about the matter, such as this one, are 'mere opinion pieces, not really news-stories at all,' and so simply ignore the solidly documented facts that are reported in these news-stories?

However, is it really fair to expect the public to form truth-based opinions about things of which they are intentionally being kept ignorant, and even outright deceived (such as whether the sanctions against Russia are based on what they were told they were)?

Is the problem really democracy, as so many executives in the 'news' business say? Or is it actually oligarchy itself: that this 'democracy' is merely fake?

Will the Western 'news' media please, just for once, stand up and answer that? Or will they instead merely ignore it, as they ignore other vital truths?

(One high 'news'-executive at one of the largest 'news'-organizations privately answered that question to me by saying "I would highly doubt" that they would ever even consider to make the reality, which they already know quite well, public.)

How much longer can the public accept being raped by the press, and by their allegedly 'democratic' government?

How much longer will they, in fact, accept it?

But how can they accept it, if they are being constantly lied-to? Is that what the Western press will continue to do?

Big news can have big consequences. But not so long as it's still being kept secret, and lied-about.

Like this. But wasn't Hitler supposed to have lost World War II? And weren't we his enemies? So, why is today's U.S. President leading this restoration of nazism - of racist fascism - only this time against ethnic Russians?

In fact, why does NATO itself even still exist, after the Cold War against communism was won? What are we fighting for now? What are we fighting against? Why are we fighting at all, so constantly at war?

Who benefits from this? Why do we allow it?

Perhaps, when a nation's press is like this, controlled by oligarchs, the political drift towards and into fascism is inevitable. A 'democratic' fascism results if the public are deceived by an oligarchy. Racist fascism becomes then the way to build a passionate reactive compliance among the public, so they're devoted to destroying what the oligarchs want them to fight and kill, thus to grab for the oligarchs land and resources the oligarchs want to conquer. Such a reactive passion among the public produces for oligarchs cheap soldiers. It cuts oligarchs' costs, and thereby increases oligarchs' profits. The idea that the press is merely a passive component in the body-politic is false; maybe it's actually an oligarchic fraud. But, in any case, a press like this doesn't merely result from racist fascism; it produces racist fascism. And maybe that explains what is happening in our time. Maybe that's it. Maybe this press doesn't merely result from fascism; maybe it causes fascism. Maybe that's why Hitler posthumously is winning the ideological war he waged against America's President in his time, FDR. Maybe that's how fascism is taking over America, at last.

If this is the case, then the answer to our title-question is, of course, likewise clear.

Israel sees rainiest season in center of country in 20 years - parts hit with up to 110 mm. of rain

© Skymet Weather

Floods wreak havoc in Lebanon, Israel and Palestine |

Heavy rains battered Israel from north to south on Wednesday, as part of what the Israel Meteorological Society said is the wettest rainy season in central Israel in 20 years.

Some of the heaviest rain fall was in Petah Tikva, where over 110mm of rain was recorded, while similar levels were recorded in the Negev, flooding dry creek beds and causing serious road congestion. The North saw significantly less rainfall, only between 20-50mm, the IMS said.

So far the amount of rainfall this season is far higher than average for this time of year, the IMS said, adding that over the past 75 years there have only been three years that saw more rain by the end of November.

By Wednesday morning, the overnight rains had caused the Sea of Galilee to rise by 3.5cm.

There were several incidents of damag caused by the heavy rains, including felled trees and flooded houses and streets in towns across Israel. In Herzliya, the wall of a supermarket parking lot collapsed and caused severe damage to a few cars, while in Tel Aviv, a wall at a construction site was felled by the storm, damaging cars on the street.

Tragedy was averted on Wednesday evening in Shorek River Nature Reserve, where three men were driving in the afternoon when their car was swept away when their path was flooded. They called police and a team of firefighters and Border Police officers managed to arrive and rescue them without harm.

The storm caused heavy gridlock during Wednesday's morning rush hour, but by midday the National Traffic Police said that all intercity highways were running as normal.

The rainy weather is expected to continue in the coming days, though by Saturday the skies are expected to clear up.

SOTT EXCLUSIVE: U.S., Canada, Ukraine whitewashing fascism - CrossTalk


U.S. and Canada: supporting their Nazi brothers in Ukraine!

Today, RT's CrossTalk features Dmitry Babich, Alexander Mercouris and Nebojsa Malic talking about the recent vote by the U.S., Canada and Ukraine against a Russian-proposed UN resolution condemning the heroization of Nazism. (See Revealing their fascist allegiance: US, Canada & Ukraine vote against Russia's anti-Nazism resolution at UN for details.) As host Peter Lavelle asks, "Is this an attempt to whitewash fascism, or merely a desperate maneuver to protect the Kiev regime?"

[embedded content]

It goes without saying that both the U.S. and Canada are rabidly pro-Israel, thus anti-anti-Semitism, so you'd think that ideological stance would logically extend to anti-Nazism. Well, think again. The resolution they voted against can be read in its entirety here (pdf here). The resolution was uncontroversially titled "Combating glorification of Nazism and other practices that contribute to fuelling contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance" and included such language as follows, which seemingly any decent human would agree with:

Alarmed, in this regard, at the spread in many parts of the world of various extremist political parties, movements and groups, including neo-Nazis and skinhead groups, as well as similar extremist ideological movements,

Deeply concerned by all recent manifestations of violence and terrorism incited by violent nationalism, racism, xenophobia and related intolerance, ...

Expresses deep concern about the glorification, in any form, of the Nazi movement, neo-Nazism and former members of the Waffen SS organization, including by erecting monuments and memorials and holding public demonstrations in the name of the glorification of the Nazi past, the Nazi movement and neo-Nazism, as well as by declaring or attempting to declare such members and those who fought against the anti-Hitler coalition and collaborated with the Nazi movement participants in national liberation movements;

While the U.S., Canada and Ukraine actively voted against the resolution, several countries abstained from the vote: a passive and spineless accession to the West's ideological stance. See Sputnik's infographic below to see the West's shame in all its fascist glory (full-size version can be viewed here):

un resolution

© Sputnik

As it turns out, this isn't the first time Canada and the U.S. have voted against similar resolutions (official voting record available here). But given what's going on in the word today, this decision acquires a whole new meaning. The West (and that includes all those European countries who abstained from the vote - may of which have their own laws criminalizing exactly things this resolution proposed: anti-Holocaust denial laws) has been open and extremely vocal about their absolute support for the vassal-state, coup-imposed junta in Ukraine, a regime that fights its war against the people of Novorussia with openly neo-Nazi battalions, and even decorates its leaders with medals and commendations. Don't believe me? Read Your friendly neighborhood Nazis in Ukraine:

Instead of prison sentences, Ukraine's swastika enthusiasts receive guns and laurels from their civilized government. In August, Poroshenko awarded the leader of the pro-choice knitting club Azov Battalion, Andriy Biletsky, with the Order For Courage.

Biletsky is not only a courageous Wolfsangel-bedazzled freedom fighter, he is also the head of Ukraine's creatively named Social-National Assembly, which is committed to "punishing severely sexual perversions and any interracial contacts that lead to the extinction of the white man."

Close your eyes and try to imagine the font size 72 Caps Lock front page screamfest if it was discovered that Vladimir Putin had decorated a brain-dead maniac who has promised "to prepare [Russia] for further expansion and to struggle for the liberation of the entire White Race."

Here's Biletsky, a freshly minted member of Ukraine's parliament, in his own words:

  • "... our National body should start with a Racial cleaning of the Nation ... the healthy racial body will revive ... culture, language and everything else."

  • "We must pay attention to the question of the value of Race. Ukrainians are a part (and one of the largest and the most high quality) of European White Race."

  • "The historical mission ... is to head and lead the White Peoples of the whole world in the last crusade for their existence. Crusade against Semite-led subhumanity."

  • "... if we are strong, we will take all that is rightfully ours, and even a little more, we will build our superpower-Empire - Great Ukraine"

  • "Not 'democratic vote' ... but natural selection of the best representatives of the Nation - born chiefs-leaders."

Nazis are now also getting top positions in Ukraine's police and intelligence organizations.

So what gives? As Mercouris said in today's CrossTalk: "from some people in Washington ... there is absolutely nothing it seems that trumps anti-Russianism." Not even anti-Nazism will get in the way of voting against something Russia proposed! What are these people, 8-year-olds?! But whether the decision comes from some closet Nazi tendencies (likely, they're psychopaths at heart!) or it's all 'just politics', either way, it's utterly shameful, and as Babich said in the show: it's "one of the most shameful moments for Canada."


Harrison Koehli (Profile)

Harrison Koehli hails from Edmonton, Alberta. A graduate of studies in music performance, Harrison is also an editor for Red Pill Press and has been interviewed on several North American radio shows in recognition of his contributions to advancing the study of ponerology. In addition to music and books, Harrison enjoys tobacco and bacon (often at the same time) and dislikes cell phones, vegetables, and fascists.

Graves of 'vampires' discovered in Poland were cholera victims

Cholera Victim

© PLOS One

Excavations of graves suggested the deaths of six occupants were likely to have been viewed with fear and suspicion.

When archaeologists discovered graves in Poland where the dead had been buried with sickles across their throats and rocks under their chins, they assumed the unfortunate victims were suspected vampires.

But a new study suggests they actually died of cholera, and villages were afraid they would rise from the dead, bringing the deadly disease back with them form the underworld.

In post-medieval northwestern Poland little was understood about how diseases spread and it was thought the first to die in deadly outbreaks would return from the dead as vampires.

So they were subjected to funerary rites involving traditional practices intended to prevent evil.

These rites occurred throughout the 17th and 18th centuries as cholera epidemics swept through Eastern Europe.

The unusual graves were among hundreds of normal burials.

Excavations of graves suggested the deaths of six occupants were likely to have been viewed with fear and suspicion and perhaps because they were seen as social outcasts.

Initially scientists thought they belonged to migrants but tests found they were locals who had been singled out for the special treatment in death.

The study published in the open-access journal tested permanent molars from 60 individuals, including the six "special" or deviant burials, using radiogenic strontium isotope ratios from archaeological dental enamel.

They then compared the results to strontium isotopes of local animals.

Results found that those in deviant burials seem to be a predominantly local population, with all individuals buried as potential vampires exhibiting local strontium isotope ratios.

Dr Lesley Gregoricka from University of South Alabama said: "People of the post-medieval period did not understand how disease was spread, and rather than a scientific explanation for these epidemics, cholera and the deaths that resulted from it were explained by the supernatural - in this case, vampires."

Dead humpback whale washes up on Nantucket beach, Massachusetts

© Nantucket Natural Resources Department

A 25-foot humpback whale was found dead on a Nantucket beach.

A 25-foot humpback whale was found dead on a Nantucket beach early Tuesday morning.

The whale was found on Miacomet Beach, said Maggie Mooney-Seus, spokeswoman for the Greater Atlantic Regional office of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It had has no visible wounds, Mooney-Seus said. She speculated it could have died from disease or been hit by a boat.

Mooney-Seus said with a nor'easter expected to hit the region Wednesday, the whale might have to stay put for a while.

"They're not anticipating being able to get in and move it at this point" because of the approaching storm, she said. It could also be a while until the carcass is removed because NOAA does not have staff who cover Nantucket and because marine officials' focus is currently on the hundreds of sea turtles that have been washing up along the Cape with hypothermia.

"Right now, I guess we're just monitoring the situation," Mooney-Seus said.

Mooney-Seus said she did not know if a necropsy would be performed to determine the cause of death.

Mooney-Seus said people should stay away from the whale and keep their pets away, too.

The whale was found around 7:30 a.m. Tuesday morning, Environmental Police spokeswoman Amy Mahler said in an e-mail.

Hiker killed by bear in New Jersey took photo shortly before attack

© AP Photo/Darsh Patel via West Milford Police Department

A New Jersey hiker killed by a bear in September took a series of photos of the animal with his cellphone before it mauled him to death.

Police in West Milford have released five photos taken by 22-year-old Darsh Patel before he was killed by the 300-pound black bear while hiking with four friends in the Apshawa Preserve, 45 miles northwest of New York.

The photos show the bear behind a fallen tree in the woods. Investigators say the phone was found with puncture marks from the bear.

The photos were released after NJ.com filed an open records request.

West Milford police and the state Environmental Protection Department said last month that the bear did not seem interested in food and exhibited "stalking type behavior."

Japan's huge Mt. Aso belching smoke and ash 1,000 metres into the air

Mt Aso

A huge volcano in southern Japan was belching smoke and ash 1,000 metres (3,000 feet) into the air Wednesday, the latest eruption in one of the world's most volcanically-active countries, AFP reported.

Mount Aso, whose huge caldera dominates the southwestern main island of Kyushu, rumbled into life on Tuesday.

Meteorologists warned volcanic stones and ash could fall in a one-kilometre (half a mile) radius of the volcano. The eruption is Aso's first in 19 years and comes two months after Mount Ontake in central Nagano killed more than 60 hikers when it erupted without warning.

Last month, experts warned a disaster on Kyushu island, which has been struck by seven massive eruptions over the past 120,000 years, could see an area that is home to seven million people buried by molten rock in just two hours.

[embedded content]

From Russia with love and support: Russia sends humanitarian cargo for Palestine

While Israel continues to kill and torture Palestinians, Russia sends humanitarian aid. So who's the "bad guy" here?

Russia sent a humanitarian cargo to Palestine on Wednesday. A transport plane of the Emergencies Ministry took on board 26 tons of humanitarian supplies that will be airlifted to Jordan, the ministry's spokesman Alexander Drobyshevsky said Wednesday. The cargo will be handed over to representatives of the Palestinian embassy in Amman.

"Interaction with the authorised Jordanian charitable organizations will make it possible to timely transfer the cargo to Palestinian territory and distribute it among the local population," Drobyshevsky said.

The humanitarian aid is provided pursuant to Russian government's resolution in connection with Palestinian authorities' request for medications and medical equipment.

Healthcare institutions in the Gaza Strip experience severe shortages of medical supplies after the Israeli military operation Protective Edge.

Russia's mission to the State of Palestine in Ramallah on the West Bank told TASS that the humanitarian aid handover ceremony in Amman will be attended by Palestine's high-ranking officials, delegations of the Russian Foreign Ministry and Emergencies Ministry and the International Civil Defense Organisation. The cargo will be handed over at Marka airport near Amman.

Israel's in Gaza was conducted from July 8 to August 26, 2014. As many as 2,140 people were killed in the Palestinian enclave during this period and more than 11,000 injured. Over 50 days of the operation the Israeli army hit in attacks from the air, sea and land 5,263 targets in Gaza.

Shoot first: Cop shoots at unarmed man rushing home during daughter's asthma attack

Brian Dennison

A Florida sheriff's deputy averted a gunshot at the last second Tuesday to avoid wounding a man he realized was not armed.

Officer J.C. Garcia mistakenly believed a driver who led him on a brief pursuit was armed, so he drew and fired his weapon about 9:15 p.m., investigators said.

But the Jacksonville sheriff's officer managed to wave his gun off immediately upon determining the driver, 29-year-old Brian Dennison, was not actually holding a weapon.

Garcia began following the green Ford Focus driven by Dennison after spotting the car speed through a parking lot to avoid a traffic signal.

The officer said the car had expired tags, and he said Dennison drove away from an automatic teller machine as he approached from behind.

Garcia turned on his lights after the driver ran a stop sign, but the officer said Dennison did not stop and nearly caused a crash after driving the wrong way into a traffic lane.

Dennison pulled into an apartment complex and got out of his vehicle, and Garcia initially thought he spotted a weapon and fired his own.

Dennison was not injured, and he explained to the five-year veteran he had been rushing home to get an inhaler after his 6-year-old daughter suffered an asthma attack.

The girl was frightened by the gunshot, her mother said.

"She just thought that they were going to shoot her, and she was afraid for her dad,"said Nacoya Ransom. She said Dennison held his hands out the car window after stopping to show the officer he was unarmed.

Dennison's cousin overheard the incident and doesn't understand why the officer fired his service weapon. "I think he just shot to shoot, you know," said Dekierian Cook. "There's really no reason."

The police report filed by Garcia does not mention the shooting, which a spokeswoman for the department explained was part of a separate investigation.

Garcia will not be placed on leave during the investigation.

Dennison was arrested on misdemeanor charges of knowingly driving with a suspended license and driving with a suspended license, and he was taken to the Duval County Jail.

A Jacksonville police officer shot and killed another man Tuesday evening during a traffic stop.

Officer Cecil Grant stopped 33-year-old Leonardo Marquette Little shortly after 7:30 p.m. after noticing his vehicle had expired tags.

The officer said Little gave several names and dates of birth during the stop, but he was still able to determine the driver had a suspended license and attempted to arrest him.

Grant said the man attempted to flee with one handcuff on, and the officer used his Taser three times before he said Little was able to take control of the non-lethal weapon.

The officer shot and killed Little, who police said told a woman riding in his car that he would not go back to jail.


USGS: Earthquake Magnitude 6.8 - 160km NW of Kota Ternate, Indonesia

Ternate Quake_261114


Event Time

2014-11-26 14:33:43 UTC

2014-11-26 22:33:43 UTC+08:00 at epicenter


1.975°N 126.546°E depth=41.1km (25.5mi)

Nearby Cities

160km (99mi) NW of Kota Ternate, Indonesia

161km (100mi) NW of Ternate, Indonesia

162km (101mi) ENE of Bitung, Indonesia

165km (103mi) W of Tobelo, Indonesia

1061km (659mi) SW of Koror Town, Palau

Scientific Data

British tourist victim of 'worst-ever' attack by Gibraltar monkey

A British tourist needed 40 stitches after being attacked by one of Gibraltar's famous apes.

Stuart Gravenell, 53, was walking through the Upper Rock Nature Reserve with his son, Bradley, when he was attacked.

A pack of apes charged at them, and one male sunk his teeth into Stuart's forearm and shook its head, opening up two bloody wounds.

Stuart collapsed and was rushed to hospital, where nurses said it was the worst injury inflicted by a local ape that they'd ever seen.

Stuart, a retired IT worker, told the Gloucester Citizen: "You just wouldn't believe how traumatic it was. It was a very very upsetting experience.

"It was supposed to be a nice family holiday and it was totally ruined.

"I have no recollection of the actual incident - I think I must have blocked it out.

"But Bradley said it just ran up and stopped dead in its tracks and jumped on me - half on my back and half of my shoulder.

"He said it grabbed my arm - I've got claw marks - and it bit into me arm and just shook. It was so aggressive. It savagely bit my arm, tearing it open.

"It jumped off and was just sat on the wall looking at me. Blood was pouring and spurting everywhere - it was like a tap."

Stuart, from Hardwicke, in Gloucestershire, had driven from home to Casares del Sol in Spain for a three-week break with his wife Diane and his son.

The keen walkers took a day trip to nearby Gibraltar and paid 50p each to enter the Upper Rock Nature Reserve when the incident occurred on 24 September.

Albert Poggio, the UK-based representative for the colony, told the Mirror: "It is very very sad but what can one say?

"These monkeys are wild. We do give as much notice all over the place. It is very unfortunate.

"We are trying to keep the numbers down and we have just exported 30 to Scotland."

Free speech no more: Man sues police for arresting him at home after he called them racist on Facebook

A federal lawsuit filed by a Wisconsin man alleges that Arena police violated his civil rights by charging him for calling officers racists on Facebook.

In 2012, Thomas G. Smith had seen an Arena Police Department Facebook post thanking community members for helping to detain two black children. Smith responded with a profanity-laced message about how Arena officers were racists.

A federal lawsuit obtained by the StarTribune said that Officer Nicholas Stroik had deleted Smith's comments, and the comments of others who accused police of targeting suspects based on race.

Smith then received a call from officers, who wanted to know if he had posted the comment. Smith replied that he had posted the Facebook message, and that he had meant it.

That night, officers arrested him at his home in Arena. He was charged with disorderly conduct and unlawful use of computerized communications.

Prosecutors asserted that his words had not been protect by the First Amendment of the Constitution because they could incite violence. Smith was convicted, and sentenced to probation with community service.

But in July, a state appellate judge overturned the case on the grounds that the Supreme Court's so-called "fighting words doctrine" only applied when the speaker was in close proximity to the listener. The judge ruled that Smith's Facebook messages should have been protected under the First Amendment.

Smith's lawsuit alleges that the officers retaliated against him. He is seeking legal fees and unspecified damages. The lawsuit noted that his arrest could have the effect of chilling free speech, and that the department only chose to delete Facebook messages that were critical of officers.

It was so cold that . . .

Freezing temperatures didn't stop intrepid passengers from "helping out" a Russian plane that couldn't move, because its wheels were frozen to the ground. The "selfie" won the day in a remote Siberian town beyond the Arctic Circle.

74 passengers, who were on board, offered the seven-member crew and technical staff to help move the frozen Tupolev Tu-134 plane to the takeoff runway on Tuesday, a spokeswoman for the UTair company told TASS.

"The passengers disembarked to lighten the weight, and then they volunteered to move it," she said.

[embedded content]

The temperatures in Igarka, in the Krasnoyarsk region, hit a low of about 52C. Locals, living some 163 km north of the Arctic Circle, are quite used to cold weather, but machines turn out to be more delicate.

Having spent over 24 hours on the tarmac, the airplane's wheels simply froze to the ground. However, the brake system wasn't harmed. According to the company, the ice-covered ground was the reason the plane couldn't be moved. The incident is currently under investigation, and will involve airport staff, the airline, crew and passengers.

The passengers of the charter flight were rotation workers, heading to Krasnoyarsk. They didn't regard their activity as anything outstanding. There just was no other way for the plane to take off, they said.

[Translation: "The pilot asked the passengers to push the plane !!! Russia Krasnoyarsk region g.Igarka ... -40 overboard !]

"Planted a tree, built a house, pushed a plane," goes a new joke, referring to the three vital actions of a real Russian man, which also includes having a son, according to a local TV.

Nonetheless, the director of the local airport said that "The passengers - rotation workers - must have decided to make some sort of a 'selfie'. The joke proved right and became a good one in the internet."

He was doubtful whether people could actually move a 70-ton aircraft. This was backed by the prosecutor's words, who added that it would be hard to reach its two-meter-high wings, and if you did manage, the cover and flaps could get damaged.

The plane successfully made it to Krasnoyarsk, albeit it with a little delay.

Villager trampled to death by elephant in West Bengal, India

In Early hours on Wednesday, at Dhupguri area in Jalpaiguri district of West Bengal, a local villager was trampled to death by an elephant, a forest official said.

This shocking incident of animal attack on a human took place when a herd of elephants from the neighbouring forest entered Duramari village. This group of elephants damaged paddy crops and was on the way towards the dwellings of the village.

Jalpaiguri Wildlife Warden Seema Chowdhury said, The villager of Duramari Village named Dinesh Chandra Roy was killed by a pachyderm when he came face to face with the elephant as he stepped out of his house.

After killing a villager, the herd of elephants then returned to the forest.

U.S. baiting Russia by increasing number of armored vehicles next to its borders

© Reuters / Ints Kalnins

U.S. soldiers deployed in Latvia perform during a drill at Adazi military base October 14, 2014

American armored vehicles sent to Poland and the Baltic States for military drills are to remain for the constant training of local troops and rotation of US forces. More fighting vehicles will be "pre-positioned" at US military bases in Germany.

The US Department of Defense intends to boost the number of its armored vehicles on the territory of the NATO member states in Eastern Europe.

Next year the number of M1 Abrams tanks and M2A3 Bradley Fighting Vehicles will reach 150 vehicles.

"The troops will come over and train, and they'll go back. The equipment will stay behind," the newly-appointed head of US Army forces in Europe, Lieutenant General Ben Hodges, told AFP in a phone interview from Estonia.

This is going to be "a lot cheaper" than transporting tanks across the Atlantic for ongoing joint training missions of European and US troops, which are currently deployed in the region for several months, he said on Tuesday.

Deployment of additional hardware to Baltic States and Poland goes on within the framework of the US 'Operation Atlantic Resolve' effort, established to reassure American allies in Eastern Europe anxious about a "resurgent Russia."

After the reunification of the Crimean Peninsula with Russia and the civil war in Ukraine, waged between the coup-imposed government in Kiev and rebels in the eastern regions of the country, NATO members say they no longer feel secure.

"I was in Lithuania yesterday, Estonia today, Poland a few weeks back. All I get is 'thank you, thank you, thank you' from those host nations for what these soldiers represent," Hodges said.

The US currently has nearly 50 Abrams tanks and Bradley IFVs, taken to Latvia and Poland this autumn.

Out of about 600 US Army troops of the 1st Cavalry Division, based at Fort Hood, Texas, some 150 soldiers along with five M1A2 Abrams tanks, as well as 11 Bradley Fighting Vehicles were deployed in Adazi, not far from the Latvian capital, Riga. The rest of hardware and personnel went to Poland.

The 100 fighting vehicles supposed to be brought to Europe next year will be "pre-positioned" in Germany - or elsewhere for the US troops conducting drills with NATO partners, Hodges said.

"I'm going to look at options that would include distributing this equipment in smaller sets, company-size or battalion-size, perhaps in the Baltics, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, places like that," he said.

© Reuters / Ints Kalnins

U.S. soldiers deployed in Latvia perform during a drill at Adazi military base October 14, 2014

These are not the first tanks newly deployed to Europe since the end of the Cold War. In January this year, 29 M1A2 SEPv2 Abrams tanks arrived at Germany's Grafenwöhr training facility as replacements for 22 previously retracted older vehicles, versions of the same military vehicles.

Until recently, the US had some 29,000 personnel permanently deployed in Germany, Italy and Belgium. Now their number is set to grow, as NATO member states have asked the Pentagon to send more troops to Eastern Europe to counter the perceived threat of Russia.

The 'Operation ' drills are set to "provide assurance to those allies that are closest to the [Russian] threat," Hodges said.

American tankers will be replacing each other every several months, he said. The 1st Cavalry Division will be replaced in winter by personnel from the 2nd Cavalry Regiment based in Vilseck, Germany. In spring, members of the 3rd Infantry Division will come to replace colleagues.

"This is going to go on," confirmed the general, noting that presence of American armored vehicles will continue through 2015 and well into 2016.

© Reuters / Kacper Pempel

Members of the U.S. 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division discuss in front of an Abrams tank during a joint military exercise with Poland's 1st Mechanized Battalion of the 7th Coastal Defence Brigade near Drawsko-Pomorskie November 13, 2014

Although Hodges does not question that Moscow seeks ways to drive a wedge between the US and NATO member states, he doubts that Russia is about to enter a military conflict with the alliance.

"I don't think that Russia has any intention of some sort of a conventional attack into NATO territory because they know that would generate an Article 5 response by the rest of the alliance," Hodges said, as cited by the .

The fact that NATO 28-nation military bloc is concentrating forces closer to Russian borders has brought repeated and strident objections from Moscow.

"We shall provide an adequate and well-measured response to NATO's expansion towards Russia's borders, and we shall take note of [the West] setting up a global missile defense architecture and building up its arsenals of precision-guided weapons," Russian President Vladimir Putin said at the emergency Security Council meeting in Moscow on July 22.

"No matter what our Western counterparts tell us, we can see what's going on. As it stands, NATO is blatantly building up its forces in Eastern Europe, including the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea areas. Its operational and combat training activities are gaining in scale," Putin said.