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Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Police State: Abusive cop picked to head police reform commission


© whitehouse.gov

Philadelphia Police Chief Charles Ramsey, one of two co-chairs apppointed by President Obama to head a commission on ways to demilitarize local police, is known for leading repeated bloody and abusive crackdowns on protesters when he was Washington, D.C.'s chief a decade ago, according to a civil rights attorney who won millions in damages for 100s of citizens attacked by D.C. police.

"If the president's idea of reforming policing practices includes mass false arrests, brutality, and the eviscerating of civil rights, then Ramsey's his man. That's Charles Ramsey's legacy in D.C.," said Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, Executive Director of the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund (PCJF), speaking of the ex-D.C. chief and current Philadelphia Police Commissioner. "Obama should immediately rescind his appointment of Commissioner Ramsey, who is a mass violator of civil rights and civil liberties."

On Monday, Obama appointed Ramsey and Laurie Robinson, a George Mason University professor of criminology, law and society, to head a commission that the president said will suggest steps that the executive branch can take to unwind the most visible aspects of America's militarized police - its domestic use of military gear.

"They are going to co-chair a task force that is not only going to reach out and listen to law enforcement, and community activists and other stakeholders, but is going to report to me specifically in 90 days with concrete recommendations, including best practices for communities where law enforcement and neighborhoods are working well together," Obama said Monday, continuing, "How do they create accountability; how do they create transparency; how do they create trust; and how can we at the federal level work with the state and local communities to make sure that some of those best practices get institutionalized?"

Obama's focus on militarized policing is sparked by the overly aggressive response by St. Louis area departments to the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, this past summer and fall after a white police officer shot and killed an unarmed black teenager, Michael Brown. Those protests were broken up by police SWAT teams in battle dress, the use of tear gas, and other outsized and disproportionate surplus military weaponry that is distributed across America through a mix of Pentagon and Department of Justice programs.

More than a decade ago, when Ramsey was the D.C. police chief, he lead numerous crackdowns and mass arrests of protesters - starting in 2000. His most high-profile assault was in September 2002 at Pershing Park, where demonstrators protested World Bank and International Monetary Fund meetings. The police locked down the park and arrested everyone there - 400 people - including journalists, legal observers and bystanders.

The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund sued and won millions for protesters. The April 2000 protest settlements totalled $13.7 million and Pershing Park/2002 settlement was $8.25 million. Verheyden-Hilliard said the settlements highlight a larger and especially bloody pattern of police crackdowns on protesters ordered by Ramsey. She listed the following six events in an e-mail that "are demonstrative of his leadership and the force under his command." The first example is an earlier three-day World Bank/IMF protest from spring 2000 in downtown Washington.

- April 2000 protests IMF/World Bank. "(It is noteworthy that Ramsey deployed the National Guard against the protesters during these protests). A group of peaceful protestors sat in a circle in an intersection [20th and K Street], notably one that was already closed to traffic by the police cordon blocking vehicular traffic in areas of downtown for the IMF/WB meetings. They sat there peacefully with their arms immobilized in that PVC piping. A bus pulls up. A platoon of MPD officers get off. They have their badges obscured either by removal, taping over or punching out numbers (all common practices under Ramsey). The leader of the platoon shouts something to the effect of "let's do this" and they charge the protesters who are immobilized and cannot flee, with their batons out and begin beating them. The officers smash in their faces with their batons, breaking noses and teeth. Blood is pouring out. For years the MPD, under Ramsey denied this happened, and it was pre-cell phone videos. We eventually obtained a video, which it turned out, had been turned over to the MPD's General Counsel's office directly after the incident. They had lied and withheld evidence for years. There was no investigation or discipline of any one involved. In addition, we established that Chief Ramsey was on notice to the practice of officers hiding their identity as they engaged in misconduct and allowed it."

- Going after videographers taping the police: "A young man taking photographs of police misconduct was attacked by an undercover plainclothed officer on detail to the FBI while MPD officers stood by and did nothing to stop him. He pulled out an asp baton clubbed him in his head and attempted to smash the camera. The victim was dragged, bleeding, to a corner. CNN caught this incident. Ramsey was on the scene. There was no investigation or discipline of the MPD officers who stood by and did nothing. It took us years to identify the perpetrator."

- Pepper-spraying demonstrators and other abusive tactics. "Ramsey deployed mass indiscriminate use of pepper spray against protesters, using those fire extinguisher-like canisters to soak through groups of peaceful people with burning OC spray."

- First major mass arrest. "Chief Ramsey, personally on the scene, oversaw the mass false arrest of over 700 persons on April 15, 2000 who were protesting peacefully and lawfully (and also journalists, tourists, passersby), using illegal trap and detain tactics. He then had them hog tied wrist to opposing ankle in stress and duress positions where they were left on the floor of police gym and in cells for 24 hours or more. He did the same thing again in September 2002 illegally trapping and arresting nearly 400 people [at the Pershing Park protest] (protesters, legal observers, tourists, passersby) in a public park, again with no order to disburse and no opportunity to disburse, and then subjecting them to stress and duress hogtying for 24 hours or more."

- Police seeking and inciting confrontation. "January 2001 (protests at the Inauguration of GW Bush) Two DC MPD officers acting as agents provocateur attacked a group of demonstrators standing peacefully and lawfully along the parade route. They were both undercover, in plain clothes, and they pushed through the crowd punching and pepper spraying. The MPD, again under Ramsey's command, denied that these were their officers until the PCJF was able to prove it in litigation - even with there being video and photographic evidence of their identities. They even tried to suggest that these were demonstrators attacking other demonstrators. This incident was featured in the movie and on Bill Moyers. Chief Ramsey and the MPD never disciplined these officers."

- Going after Iraq War Protesters. "April 2003, Iraq war protest. Peaceful, lawful protest, with a permit for a planned street march, attacked by the police under Ramsey's command - and he was on the scene - repeatedly throughout the march using clubs, fists and even their motorcycles. In one of these attacks, officers held down our client, who was taking photographs, and repeatedly clubbed him in the head. No discipline, years of litigation. Also caught on camera."

Protesters sue and win

The Partnership for Civil Justice obtained the largest protest settlements in U.S. history for those victimized in these two mass arrests, and has since gone on to represent people who were falsey arrested in New York City during the Occupy Movement's heyday in 2011. Washington spent more than $1 million defending Ramsey to date, PCJF said, apart from the multimillion settlement awards.

Verheyden-Hilliard said the legal settlement included new police procedures that were intended to de-escalate the culture of policing that treats the public as enemies.

"For us, the most significant result of the litigation - and a key focus of our litigation as a public interest legal organization - was major rule reform in the District," she explained. She went on:

Each of our settlement agreements had major reforms in police practices and training requirements. The D.C. City Council conducted a major investigation in the MPD under Ramsey's command and ultimately passed the First Amendment Rights and Police Standards Act which tracked much of the injunctive relief that the Partnership for Civil Justice was demanding in litigation. We worked with them in this process, and the law - which explicitly bans Ramsey's illegal tactics - has had a major impact on protest in D.C. and the police response to it. Two federal judges referred to our litigation as "historic" for its benefit on future generations, and one can already see the difference in the way the MPD has handled the D.C. Ferguson protests of the last several months. Peaceful, but militant, demonstrators have gone out to demonstrate shutting down intersections in key business and entertainment areas at night, in particular on Saturday nights.

They have been able to conduct their demonstrations and have peacefully disbursed at the conclusions," she said. "The MPD has not deployed police to line, or confront the demonstrations or to interfere. The MPD has not been deployed in riot gear. They have at points simply blocked traffic themselves to allow for the orderly re-routing of cars as necessary. This would not have happened under Ramsey, and indeed is not happening in other cities. This is happening here, not because of the largesse of the police, but because of the laws and binding agreements put into place that have substantially restricted illegal police conduct against demonstrators and have required retraining of the police. Most significantly, the Nation's Capitol is none the worse for it, and is so far proving itself hospitable to free speech rights as it should be.

Verheyden-Hilliard said that the stakes in Obama's commision on militarized policing are very high and extend far beyond the Ferguson Missouri Police Department.

"The police throughout the United States have implemented a form of paramilitary policing viewing the civilian population as a military enemy," she said. "Once that shift happens, once they are trained to perceive the people of the United States, the residents of their cities and towns, as "enemy" targets in their sites, abuse, false arrest, brutality, and suppression of rights necessarily follows. You can see the origin of this in the modern era with the "war on drugs" in which police were sent into communities as an occupying force. The fact is that police routinely kill with impunity, sending a clear message that police command and prosecutors will do nothing to stand in the way of the most egregious act there can be."

Verheyden-Hilliard said that only ongoing protest actions, where police tactics can be seen by the public as abusive and disproportionate, has lead to reforms.

"The only successes in affecting and restraining illegal and repressive police conduct have come as a result of popular uprising and opposition and uncompromising litigation which push back and restrict police conduct," she said. "No police force has ever 'reformed' itself. And Chief Ramsey is among the least capable people of changing the reality of, or even meaningfully altering, militarized policing in America. He was among those who implemented it."

UK: Sexism, harassment are becoming part of daily life for young girls - study

© Reuters/Darren Staples

Girls as young as seven are experiencing sexual taunts from boys, according to Girlguiding UK. The charity says sexism and harassment are becoming a part of daily life for British girls.

Sexual taunts at a young age intensify into sexual harassment during girls' teenage years, the youth charity claims. Almost 60 percent of girls and young women aged 13 to 21 report sexual harassment at school or college.

Meanwhile, 20 percent experiencing unwanted touching, the Girls' Attitudes survey revealed. Under UK law, "inappropriate touching and groping" constitutes sexual assault.

More than 1,400 girls and young women aged between seven and 21 across the UK were polled. The study warns that such experiences are coming to be seen as just "a normal aspect of being a girl."

Of particular concern, more than half of the girls surveyed, aged between 11 and 16, said teachers had told them to ignore incidents of sexual harassment, or dismiss them as "banter."

In the older age group (13 to 21), 59 percent said they had faced some form of sexual harassment. Many don't talk about these incidents out of shame or fear of being bullied.

Of girls aged between 13 and 16, 70 percent thought those who reported incidents of sexual harassment may be bullied or teased, the research revealed.

Girl Guide Ashvini Rae, 16, told Laura Bates, the founder of the Everyday Sexism Project, she has frequently witnessed sexual harassment.

"It's got to the stage where girls sometimes don't feel comfortable going to school," she told the . "Secondary and even primary school students experience it, and they might feel it's something they have to get used to because it's happening on a daily basis for most people.

"A boy in my class told a rape joke recently. Even though he's a nice, sweet guy, it's just so normal that so many people say it."

A quarter knew someone who had experienced violence from a partner and 35 percent of those surveyed aged 11 to 21 said they knew girls their age who had controlling or bullying partners.

"Girlguiding's latest research paints a disquieting picture of a society that too often normalizes sexual harassment," Chief Guide Gill Slocombe told the .

"As the leading charity for girls and young women, Girlguiding passionately believe girls should be allowed to live in a safe, fair and equal society that lets them fulfill their potential.

"We need the support of decision makers to make this a reality and make sure no girls falls victim to everyday violence and abuse."

In addition, sexual harassment and "lad culture" are widespread on British university campuses, a study released in September showed. In a survey by the National Union of Students (NUS), more than one-third of women reported that they have suffered advances in the form of inappropriate groping and touching.

Out of 2,156 men and women surveyed, 37 percent of women and 12 percent of men said they had faced unwelcome sexual advances. Sexism, sexual harassment and assault are widespread within the university environment, the study revealed.

"These stats show that harassment is rife on campus, but we still keep hearing from universities that there is no fear, no intimidation, no problem - well this new research says otherwise," NUS President Toni Pearce said.

"Sadly, all of these elements exist in campus life, we know because we hear it from students. Today I say to universities everywhere the pass the buck approach of, 'Not on my Campus,' is now completely unacceptable. They must acknowledge the problems and join us in confronting them."

Research study shows essential oils can kill 90% of breast cancer cells

chamomile essential oil

There is a myriad of natural foods and compounds that have been studied for their disease-preventing and even disease-treating abilities. While the pharmaceutical industry pushes patented drugs that cause numerous side-effects, researchers are unveiling how we can use nature's gifts to prevent and treat ailments ranging from diabetes, to arthritis, to even cancer. For example, Chinese researchers have shown how oils as simple as chamomile or thyme can kill up to 90+ percent of breast cancer cells.

Studying some of the most popular essential oils in current use, such as mint, ginger, lemon, grapefruit, jasmine, lavender, chamomile, thyme, rose, and cinnamon, researchers sought out to discover how these oils may combat cancer. They did so by testing antibacterial potency as well as in vitro toxicology against human cancer cell lines. The cancer cell lines evaluated were the MCF-7 breast cancer cells, the A-549 lung cancer cells, and the PC-3 prostate cancer cells.

At a concentration of about 0.2%, all of the essential oils were relatively effective at inhibiting both the prostate cancer cells and the lung cancer cells, with the exception of mint essential oil.

Though when it came to the breast cancer cell lines, some of the oils were especially effective. Essential oils from cinnamon, thyme, chamomile, and jasmine were significantly potent against the breast cancer cells lines, offering greater protection.

The breast cancer cells were mostly destroyed by all four of these oils, with chamomile killing up to 93% of them in vitro. Even more effective was thyme oil, which led to a 97% kill rate of the MCF-7 breast cancer cells. Though it is important to remember that this research was performed in vitro - meaning that the cells were studied outside their normal biological context - like in a petri dish.

"For MCF-7 cell, the cytotoxicities of cinnamon, thyme, chamomile, and jasmine essential oils was significantly stronger than that of the other six essential oils," explains the study. "The fractions of viable cells were reduced to 5.31%, 3.47%, 6.93% and 4.34%, respectively."

Complimenting the findings of this research, another study published in the journal found that chamomile oil harnesses powerful antioxidant properties. The research, evaluating 11 essential oils including lavender, thyme, winter savory, rosemary, sage, peppermint, French tarragon, bitter, and sweet fennel, found Roman chamomile to have the highest antioxidant activity.

"Thyme and winter savory oils exhibited the greatest inhibition against the growth of all the tested organisms possibly due to the high content of thymol and carvacrol respectively," states the study's abstract.

Of course you don't need to wait for further research to be done before experiencing all that chamomile has to offer. Here are 9 amazing benefits of chamomile tea - drink up!

Monkeys aren't fooled by luxury prices

Price and Quality

© zhrkznn/iStockphoto

Unlike humans, monkeys don't assume high price means better quality.

Monkeys do not share our irrational preference for more expensive, branded goods over cheaper equivalents, researchers have found.

A study in capuchin monkeys, published today in , showed that unlike humans, they are less swayed by price and more likely to choose based on personal preference.

Co-author Professor Laurie Santos, from Yale University, says the work stems from an interest in economic biases in primates.

"We got interested in trying to look at what parts of human cognition are evolutionarily old, and we were particularly interested in some of our more irrational biases to try to see where those came from," Santos says.

The capuchin monkeys in the study had been previously trained in a 'token market', so they knew how to use tokens to purchase flavoured ice blocks from the experimenter.

They also knew that some flavours were more expensive than others, in that a single token would buy them less of one particular flavour than of another flavour.

After this training, the researchers placed the monkeys in the situation where the flavoured ice blocks were freely available, without any need for tokens, and the monkeys were allowed to choose whichever flavours they liked.

"Learning which kind of ice was more expensive in the price learning phase did not seem to affect monkeys' preferences in the preference assessment phase," the authors wrote.

"This result suggests that learning that a food is expensive doesn't seem to make monkeys like it more."

Santos says this is in direct contrast to human behaviour.

"Imagine you go to your shop and you know which wine is expensive, and you might not buy the wine that is three times as expensive, but if you went to a cocktail party and you could just have those wines for free, you might think that the expensive one is going to be better."

"It means that we're more irrational than monkeys, and it also raises this question of where these price effects come from."

One theory is that we use our understanding of supply and demand to use price as a proxy indicator of quality.

"We know if a wine was really awful, no one would buy it if it cost a ton of money, and so we get a sense that maybe there is this connection between price and value," Santos says.

Another possibility is that we are simply following the herd, using price as an indicator of popularity.

"It might not be that the wine is actually better, but I know rich people like that wine or rich people like that watch or rich people drive that car," she says.

"What the monkeys lack -- and there is some other work suggesting that they might lack this -- is a tendency to go with what everybody else is doing, or what the important people are doing."

'Functionally obsolete' draw bridge crashes down on mega yacht


There was no party for a mega yacht called "RockStar" after a draw bridge unexpectedly came down on the passing vessel.

Chopper 4 was over the scene as the ship called the "Rockstar," was being towed from Fort Lauderdale to Miami.

The yacht, which costs a little more than quarter of a million dollars to charter for a week was waiting for a visit from the Coast Guard and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission before it could continue on.

The broad causeway that connects North Miami with Bay Harbor Islands and Bal Harbour is undergoing tests to make sure the locking mechanism works.

Assistant City Mananger J.C. Jimenez said the vessel was under tow when the tow company requested the bridge tender to raise both sides so it could pass.

As the ship passed through, the East side of the draw bridge suddenly started to slip and crashed down on the yacht, taking out part of the roof causing tens of thousands of dollars in damages.

Fifteen people were reported to be aboard the yacht with no injuries.

Incidentally, the broad causeway, which is about 60 years old, is about to undergo a $13-million dollar rehab project which includes replacing parts of the draw bridge mechanism because of past electrical problems.

The city has engineers are evaluating the causeway bridge and what to do next.

As of Tuesday evening, large vessels were still unable to go under the bridge. Vehicle traffic across the bridge was also restricted.

The FWC is investigating the cause of the incident.

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Israel: Netanyahu fires two ministers, dissolves Parliament, calls for early elections

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said today he would dissolve parliament and seek early elections and ordered the dismissal of his Finance and Justice ministers.

"The prime minister plans to call for parliament's dissolution as soon as possible and to go to the people and get a clear mandate to lead Israel," a statement from his office said.

Netanyahu, who leads the right-wing Likud party, also said he ordered the dismissal of Finance Minister Yair Lapid and Justice Minister Tzipi Livni, who both head centrist parties.

"In past weeks, including the past day, ministers Lapid and Livni have harshly attacked the government that I head. I will no longer tolerate an opposition inside the government," Netanyahu said in the statement.

Stop the insanity! Dennis J. Kucinich: Speak out against proposed legislation H. Res. 758 by US congress to "greenlight" war on Russia

© John Shinkle/POLITICO

Representative Dennis J. Kucinich: one of the very few voices of sanity left in US political spheres.

H. Res. 758.

Russia's response to the terror unleashed by western-backed neo-nazis in Crimea and Odessa came after the local population appealed to Russia to protect them from the violence. Russia then agreed to Crimea joining the Russian Federation, a reaffirmation of an historic relationship.

The Western press begins its narrative on the Crimea situation with the annexation, but completely ignores the provocations by the West and other causal factors which resulted in the annexation. This distortion of reality is artificially creating an hysteria about Russian aggressiveness, another distortion which could pose an exceptionally dangerous situation for the world, if acted upon by other nations. The US Congress is responding to the distortions, not to the reality.

Similar distortions are developing now in the coverage of events in the eastern part of Ukraine, in Donetsk and Luhansk.

Tensions between Russia and the US are being fueled every day by players who would benefit financially from a resumption of the Cold War which, from 1948 to 1991 cost US taxpayers $20 TRILLION dollars (in 2014 dollars), an amount exceeding our $18 trillion National Debt.

With wars re-igniting in Afghanistan and Iraq, and Syria being a staging ground for an ongoing proxy war between the great powers, the US treasury is being drained for military adventures, our national debt is piling up, and we are demonstrably less safe.

Tomorrow the US House will debate and vote on H. Res. 758 which is tantamount to a 'Declaration of Cold War' against Russia, reciting a host of grievances, old and new, against Russia which represent complaints that Russia could well make against the US, given our nation's most recent military actions: Violating territorial integrity, violations of international law, violations of nuclear arms agreements.

Congress' solution? Restart the Cold War!

The resolution demands Russia to be isolated and for "the President, in consultation with Congress, to conduct a review of the force posture, readiness and responsibilities of United States Armed Forces and the forces of other members of NATO to determine if the contributions and actions of each are sufficient to meet the obligations of collective self-defense [my emphasis] under Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty, and to specify the measures needed to remedy any deficiencies..." In other words, 'let's get ready for war with Russia.'

This is exactly the type of sabre rattling which led to the initiation and escalation of the Cold War. It is time we demanded that the US employ diplomacy, not more military expenditures, in the quest for international order.

It is time the US stepped out of this expensive dialectic of conflict and seek to rebuild diplomatic relations with Russia and set aside the risky adventurism in the name of NATO.

If you agree, please contact your congressperson today, 202-224-3121, and ask them to vote against H. Res. 758.






Greek protesters smash cars, clash with police in Athens (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

At least 15 people have been arrested after a peaceful support rally for jailed hunger strike anarchist turned into violent confrontation with police. Authorities used tear gas and stun grenades to quell rioters carrying Molotov cocktails.

As an estimated between 8,000 and 10,000 protesters marched through the central Athens shouting slogans in support of Nikos Romanos, the imprisoned anarchist who is staging a hunger strike as he demands the right to be able to attend university, anarchists’ march got violent on the streets of Exarchia, downtown Athens.

Protesters have been smashing cars, setting fire to bins, burned cars and erected barricades in several streets of the popular neighborhood. At least 10 cars have been overturned with five of them destroyed, local media reports.

Youths wearing hoods broke the glass front of the National Bank while overturning a bus to make barricades.

The focus of the riots became the gate of the Athens University, on Stournari road, where some 80 rioters entered the premises.

By 21:30 local time police responded by using tear gas and stun grenades as they engaged the anarchists who responded with stone-throwing and Molotov cocktails. The police arrested at least 15 people on the narrow streets of Exarchia, Tovima news reports.

Anarchists carry a banner reading

Tuesday's violence followed a large, up to 10,000 people strong rally in support of a jailed Romanos, who has been on hunger strike since November 10 to protest prison authorities’ refusal to let him leave the prison to attend university.

Romanos, now serving a term for robbery, was denied leave to attend classes, even after he was accepted to Athens University while in a prison education program.

Thousands march in central Athens on December 2, 2014 during a massive march in solidarity with a 22-years old anarchist hunger striker, Nikos Romanos (AFP Photo / Louisa Gouliamaki)

Doctors have earlier voiced concern about his health.

On Tuesday, Nikos Romanos’s father Giorgos told reporters that his son's life is in mortal danger.

“The life of my child is in great danger and the Minister of Justice, with his hypocritical and calm and sober style has been dealing with [electric] bracelets for two years,†Giorgos Romanos said Thetoc online quotes.

Nikos Romanos was good friends with Alexandros Grigoropoulos, the unarmed pupil who was shot dead by a policeman during the anti-austerity riots in the Greek capital in 2008. Fifteen years old at the time, he witnessed his friend die. Romanos then became one of the symbols of public rage against authorities that has triggered rioting against police violence.

Tampa Christian-based homeless program forces impoverished to work for free

© You Tube

Tom Atchison

Christian-based Florida homeless program catering to recovering alcoholics and drug addicts has been accused of providing work crews to businesses and local events, then keeping their pay without them ever seeing it in exchange for room and board.

In an investigation conducted by the , New Beginnings CEO Tom Atchison is accused of exploiting residents staying in his residences by farming them out as unpaid labor, including working concessions at Tampa Bay Rays, Lightning, and Bucs games, the Daytona 500 and the Florida State Fair.

Workers who put in a day of work are unaware of how much they are being paid for their labor since their paychecks go straight to Atchison and the shelter.

Atchison, who claims to have a doctorate in theology he earned from a now defunct online school, is currently applying to run Hillsborough County's new homeless shelter with a contract worth millions of public dollars.

For residents who are able to pay, New Beginnings charges $150 a week, or $600 a month, which covers rent and three meals per day.

The program's CEO calls the labor "work therapy," but advocates for the homeless and labor lawyers say it is exploitative, calling it "indentured servitude."

Atchison defended sending residents out in work crews, saying, "Because of what we do at those games, we can afford to take guys off the street who have nothing and give them the opportunity to work and get their lives back together. We take the guys no one else does."

Former employees and residents of New Beginnings dispute that, saying Atchison is more concerned with the financial future of his program than with providing genuine help.

"It needs to stop," said Lee Hoffman, a former New Beginnings resident and minister. "There are a bunch of homeless people who are being exploited."

Labor lawyers say companies may compensate employees with shelter and food but need to document hours worked and the value of the housing and meals provided in order to ensure workers earn at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.

According to Atchison, New Beginnings does not keep track of hours worked.

"This is outrageous," said Catherine Ruckelshaus, general counsel for the National Employment Law Project. "These workers are doing a job. They need to be treated with dignity."

According to a former residents and staff, Atkinson also takes residents' Social Security checks and food stamps, even if they amount to more than residents owe in program costs.

"He would say, 'They're drug addicts, they're alcoholics, they're just going to spend it on cigarettes and booze,' " said Hoffman. "The only way they get any of it is if they complain hard enough."

Former employee Victoria Denton said, "If a check comes in, it doesn't matter if it's your name, my name, or Timbuktu's name, it's going in his (Atchison's) name."

"People who are homeless are desperate," said Nan Roman, president and CEO of the National Alliance to End Homelessness. "It's not an equal, typical relationship between a landlord and a tenant. ... It should err on the side of protecting the homeless people who are more vulnerable in the relationship, and making sure their rights are preserved."

Watch video of Atchison explaining his homeless program below, uploaded to YouTube by FSNTV:

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Psychopaths in action: Corporate bribery and corruption grease the gears of global capitalism

© Tax Credits

Though substantial, report authors say that the documented cases of corporate bribery are only "the tip of the iceberg."

Large multinational corporations are behind the majority of documented bribes worldwide, with most payers and takers hailing from rich nations, according to a study released Tuesday by the 34-nation Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The report, which evaluated data obtained from 427 bribery offense cases spanning the past 15 years, found that 57 percent of all bribes examined involved corporate efforts to obtain public contracts - mostly in western, more developed states. Customs and defense officials accounted for a significant proportion of bribe recipients, at 11% and 6% respectively.

According to the study, the average bribe amounts to 10.9% of the total value of the transaction, with the average payout calculated at nearly $14 million for the cases reviewed.

Regarding the impact such bribery is having on business and governance, the report states:

"The true social cost of corruption cannot be measured by the amount of bribes paid or even the amount of state property stolen. Rather, it is the loss of output due to the misallocation of resources, distortions of incentives and other inefficiencies caused by corruption that represent its real cost to society."

When it comes to corporate bribes, the analysis found that these instances are generally not committed by lone low-ranking individuals. According to the report, 53 percent of known bribery cases directly involved high-level corporate managers or CEOs. "Most international bribes are paid by large companies, usually with the knowledge of senior management," the study states.

Almost two-thirds of bribery cases occurred in just four sectors, the report revealed. The highest proportion of bribes occur in the extractive industries - such as fossil fuels and other mining activities - and account for 19 percent of all bribery cases. This was followed by the construction, transportation and storage, and information and communication sectors.

However, the report states that, due to the complex and secretive nature of global corruption, its findings are just "the tip of the iceberg."

More posturing in Western media - The myth of the "reckless" Russian Air Force

© Unknown

Western media trumpets ridiculous claims by a comically obscure "think-tank" that is loaded with pro-NATO politicians

What I wanted to talk about today is the emergence of a disturbing meme - that whenever aircraft of the Russian Air Force conduct sovereignty patrols or reconnaissance flights, they endanger civil aviation.

This notion has been floated by several sources lately, and it is bulls***.

The first I noticed it (more accurately, it was brought to my attention) was a month ago, at the end of October.

NATO, U.S. Army Chief of Staff General Ray Odierno and Pentagon spokeswoman Vanessa Hillman all voiced what they described together as a "troubling trend" (and which Odierno referred to as "Russian aggression").

Russian aircraft - frequently the Tupolev TU-95 "Bear" bomber, a favoured Soviet reconnaissance aircraft which first flew in 1952 and entered service in 1956 - flying in international airspace now have NATO's panties in a bunch, because they might be a danger to passing civilian flights.

"We have been keeping track of incidents and have noticed an increase in Russian flights close to NATO airspace since the start of the Ukraine crisis," said Lt. Col. Hillman;

"We don't think those flights help de-escalate the current situation at all."

Close to NATO airspace.

Which means not in it.

Russian aircraft flying in international airspace should clear their flight plans with NATO and the Pentagon beforehand, so that those authorities could lecture Moscow on flight safety. Anything else is "escalation".

I'm sure you can imagine what the reaction from Washington and Brussels would be if the Kremlin announced it wanted to be consulted before any NATO aircraft conducted reconnaissance patrols in international airspace. Yeah; that'll happen.

Next up was a mention of Russian carelessness in the crowded skies by The Independent. Owned by Russian oligarch Alexander Lebedev, The Independent frequently runs virulent anti-Russian pieces, while it is generally approving to the point of cheerleading of capitalistic moneymaking, as you might expect of a paper run by an oligarch.

Nobody in the west calls him that, though, or goes on about his having been a KGB agent. All forgiven, all friends together now, since Lebedev lives in London.

The British press playfully soft-pedals Lebedev's KGB activities as having been no more harmful than reading the British newspapers every day, ho, ho, how sinister, my dears!!

Vladimir Putin did essentially the same in East Germany for his KGB stint, but you would think from those same press sources that he had slit more throats than Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard.

The Independent tells us:

"The European Leadership Network (ELN) said Russia is risking military escalation across Europe with Cold War-style military "brinkmanship", following 39 "near-misses" involving its planes and ships where military confrontation or the loss of life was narrowly avoided."

More about that in a minute - who is the European Leadership Network?

Well, they're a "non-partisan, non-profit organisation based in London and registered in the United Kingdom. The network is led by its Director, Dr. Ian Kearns, and the Chair of the pan-European Executive Board, Lord Browne of Layton."

That Executive Board is stiff with former Foreign Ministers and Defense Ministers, including those of Turkey, Denmark, the Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, and Russia.

The Russian - Igor Ivanov, was Russia's Foreign Minister before Sergei Lavrov, and since 2000 has worked for The Moscow Times.

Here's a sample of Director Dr. Ian Kearnes' work: "Sanctions Are Not Enough". An excerpt from it:

" ...the West should make it unequivocally clear to Putin that any incursion on to the territory of a NATO member state will be viewed as an attack on NATO as a whole and will be met with a military response.

This statement should be backed up with more forward basing of NATO forces in Eastern Europe to re-assure allies in the region.

Ambiguity is the friend only of miscalculation in a crisis. A line has to be drawn, and Putin needs to be clear as to where it is."

Uh huh, sure: that sounds non-partisan to me.

The report , entitled "Dangerous Brinksmanship" includes incidents in which Canadian and American warships are dragging their coattails up and down the Russian coast in the Black Sea, and Russian aircraft which pass close aboard are "acting aggressively".

You want to see passing close aboard? Remember the former Turkish Foreign Minister, on the Board at ELN? Here's a Turkish F-16 passing over the heads of observers at the Waddington Air Show, just this year. Is that passing close enough for you, Mr. Foreign Minister?

I see Poland's former Defense Minister sits on the Board as well - remember the head-on collision at the Radom Air Show in Poland in 2007? Nobody killed but the pilots, but the show remains the most popular of its type in Poland, doesn't it?

But those are air show crashes, right? Although the pilots are among the best-trained and most highly skilled flyers in the world, accidents do happen and the audience must know that. We're talking here about commercial aircraft, and Russia playing fast and loose with safety.

Incidents abound recently, and civil aviation has every reason to be scared, right?

Of who? According to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the ultimate authority for commercial pilots of the world, the Russian Federation is quite responsible in the air.

In its 2013 report on the State of Global Aviation Safety, North America and Europe are almost tied for the highest number of accidents.

Ahhh, but Europe probably includes the Russian Federation! Yes, it does - so lets look at who had the most accidents. You'll find that information in Appendix II (2012 accidents) and Appendix III (2013 accidents), starting on page 41. For 2012 - accidents involving aircraft of: The United States of America (24), the United Kingdom (10), and the Russian Federation (3).

While the greatest number of fatalities resulted from Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT), as might be expected, the majority of accidents in 2012 were attributed to RS, Runway Safety. Patrolling aircraft of the Russian Air force are hardly likely to contribute to accidents in either case. The only category in which they might be presumed to have an effect - LCIF, or Loss of Control In-Flight - is by far the lowest accident category.

In 2013, accidents were as follow: aircraft of the United States (6), the United Kingdom (2) and the Russian Federation (1). The report appears to have been produced during the 2013 year, so that only accidents up to June of 2013 were recorded.

Now you know very well we're talking about the danger to civil aviation caused by Russian aircraft: we have it on no less an authority than Jens Stoltenberg, the NATO Secretary-General.

Yes, just a few days ago the Secretary told us

"Russia's growing military presence in the skies above the Baltic region is unjustified and that its aircraft regularly fail to file flight plans or communicate with air controllers, and fly with their transponders off, posing a risk to civil aviation."

As substantiation for this, he cited an incident in which a Russian Ilyushin-20 surveillance aircraft flying in international airspace came within 300 feet of a Scandinavian Airlines jet taking off from Copenhagen airport. The Russian aircraft was flying without its IFF transponder turned on.

Copenhagen is in international airspace? Gee, I'm pretty sure it's not. It's also not attached to a Baltic country.

Oh, wait - thank God we have ELN's report to clear things up. It tells us the incident happened 50 miles southeast of Malmo. Wait - the plane was still taking off from Copenhagen airport, 50 miles southeast of Malmo? That's, like, 70 miles from Copenhagen airport !

The report says the plane was carrying 132 passengers: were they Rush Limbaugh and 131 clones of him? Seems like it must have been quite a load if they still weren't at cruising altitude 70 miles away.

And how does Copenhagen know the IL-20 did not have its transponder on? It wasn't even in Danish airspace. Maybe Sweden reported it, just like that Russian submarine that was crippled off Stockholm and firing off distress calls a couple of weeks ago. Uh huh.

Listen, Mr. Secretary. Military aircraft do not file flight plans with enemy countries; you'd think information like that would not come as a surprise to the NATO Secretary-General.

They file a flight plan with the base or station they take off from, and that's it, unless they plan to land at a different airfield on completion of their patrol - NATO aircraft, too.

Was that the Norwegian Air Force's practice when you were Prime Minister - file a flight plan with Moscow when they intended to test Russia's surveillance capability? Please don't embarrass me in front of the Russians by saying such stupid things.

They don't turn on their transponders unless they are part of an exercise, or flying in a civilian air corridor, which they typically do not do, because it's dangerous, and because they don't conduct probes at 35,000 feet where early-warning radar can see you hundreds of miles away with your transponder on. Russian military aircraft can reach the Baltics without flying in any civil air corridors, provided they avoid the Riga/Moscow route.

The ELN report also cited instances in which Russian fighters responded to probes by NATO surveillance aircraft in the Russian Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) as examples of the Russian Air Force "behaving aggressively", when it is NATO's standard practice to do the very same when Russian surveillance aircraft are detected in international airspace, but near a NATO country.

What a bonus - Russian surveillance aircraft are misbehaving when they test NATO surveillance capability, and then Russia is misbehaving again when their Air Force responds to NATO doing the same thing to them - I guess they're just a naturally aggressive people, whereas NATO can be trusted to go wherever it wishes and do whatever it likes.

There is no reason for Air Traffic Controllers to be contacting Russian aircraft which are outside their control zone in international airspace, and therefore no reason for such aircraft to reply.

I recommend the ELN's report be re-titled "Dangerous Dinkmanship", and that it carry pictures of the report's authors and nothing else. Maybe a nice photo of Stoltenberg on the cover.

Bibi bets big: Netanyahu fires key centrist ministers 'plotting coup'

© Reuters / Jim Hollander

Israel's Justice Minister Tzipi Livni (L) and Finance Minister Yair Lapid (R) attend the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem November 23, 2014.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Tuesday that he would be calling early elections, firing two of his key ministers prior to the dissolution of the Knesset and suggesting they were plotting a putsch against him.

Netanyahu fired Finance and Justice Ministers Yair Lapid and Tzipi Livni respectively, saying that they had "harshly attacked both himself and the coalition government.

In a televised statement on Tuesday evening, Netanyahu said that "from within the current government, it is impossible to lead a state."

Netanyahu accused Livni and Lapid of playing "old politics" and claimed that they had conspired against him.

"Something Lapid and Livni have in common in their leadership is grandiloquent statements about new politics. But in effect they are part of the same old politics," he said. "In recent weeks they attempted to entice the ultra-Orthodox parties into deposing the prime minister while sitting in government."

In comments shortly after a meeting on Tuesday he also criticized the current coalition government.

"I will no longer tolerate an opposition within the government. I will not tolerate ministers who, from within the government, attack government policies and the person who leads the government," he added.

"If the unprecedented behavior of some government ministers continues, there will be no choice but to go to elections again," Netanyahu said in a statement after an hour long meeting, reported .

© Reuters / Gali Tibbon

Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a news conference at his office in Jerusalem December 2, 2014.

Shortly after this statement was released, a further statement announced the plan to call elections. "The prime minister plans to call for parliament's dissolution as soon as possible and to go to the people and get a clear mandate to lead Israel," a statement from Netanyahu's office said.

The centrist Yesh Atid party headed by Lapid, responded with a statement that "Prime Minister Netanyahu has failed in his management of the country and in dealing with the needs of the Israeli public."

Livni also met Netanyahu Tuesday and said after that "already yesterday at midnight it was clear that we're going to elections," reports.

Relations became strained during a series of disagreements over economic and political issues, among them, Lapid's opposition to Netanyahu's version of the Jewish nation-state bill.

The more political falling out about a nationality bill had by this week developed into further conflict over housing and budgetary issues.

Prior to the announcements, Netanyahu demanded Lapid to drop his opposition to Jewish nation-state bill, and freeze "the zero-VAT bill" - a project set into motion by Lapid which would cancel value-added tax on the purchase of first homes.

However, there have been suggestions Netanyahu is eliminating more centrist politicians from his government as the move has further strengthened Netanyahu's right-wing bloc, given his comments about the coalition being forced on him.

Humans are capable of precognition on a subconscious level

science head

Over the past few decades a significant and noteworthy amount of scientific research has emerged contributing to the notion that human precognition could very well be real, and that we all might possess this potential -amongst various other extended human capacities. Thanks to the research by various scientists presented in this article, extended human capacities are beginning to exit the realm of superstitious thinking, delusion and irrationality and find their way into the world of confirmed phenomena. Claims of precognition or "future telling" have occurred "throughout human history in virtually every culture and period." (source- PDF)

It's not hard to see why we are so fascinated with these concepts, they are embedded in popular culture today throughout various outlets such as movies -which can sometimes be counter productive given the fact that they are merged with fictional stories and events. Similar to the extraterrestrial phenomenon, the validity of these concepts seems to shrink due to the fact that they are "just movies." Although the stories that accompany these types of phenomena in movies is probably largely factious, the concepts do hold some validity. Let's examine the truth behind precognition and claims of "future telling."

The Science

"There seems to be a deep concern that the whole field will be tarnished by studying a phenomenon that is tainted by its association with superstition, spiritualism and magic. Protecting against this possibility sometimes seems more important than encouraging scientific exploration or protecting academic freedom. But this may be changing." - Cassandra Vieten, PhD and President/CEO at the Institute of Noetic Sciences

So what exactly is precognition? It's basically the ability to have a premonition of a future event that could not otherwise be anticipated through any known process. It's the influence of a future event that has yet to take place on an individuals responses. These responses can come in the form of their biology, they can be conscious responses the individual is aware of, or they can be non-conscious responses that the individual is not aware of (which is mostly the case when it comes to the scientific examination of precognition) and more.

"Precognition refers to the noninferential prediction of future events." (source-PDF)

A recently published study (meta analysis) in the journal titled "Predicting the unpredictable: critical analysis and practical implications of predictive anticipatory activity" examined a number of experiments regarding this phenomenon that were conducted by several different laboratories.

These experiments indicate that the human body can actually detect randomly delivered stimuli that occur 1-10 seconds in advance. In other words, the human body seems to know of an event, and reacts to an event that has yet to occur. What occurs in the human body before these events are physiological changes that are measured regarding the cardiopulmonary, the skin, and the nervous system. (1)

It's important to note that these types of responses to future events that are measured in the body are unconscious responses, meaning that the subject (human) is not aware that they are actually taking place. So it is a form of precognition, but not full blown conscious premonitions.

The fact that changes in our physiological activity in the autonomic nervous system changes and prepares for future events is remarkable, and the fact that this is "unconscious precognition" should not take away from the fact that it helps us better understand the phenomenon of conscious precognition in a scientific sense. We are still waiting for science to catch up and provide an explanation for conscious precognition, regardless of whether the phenomenon has been observed or not.

More than 40 experiments investigating this phenomenon in humans have been published over the past 36 years. This is what promoted the meta-analysis.

The analysis concluded that:

"The predictive physiological anticipation of a truly randomly selected and thus unpredictable future event, has been under investigation for more than three decades, and a recent conservative meta-analysis suggests that the phenomenon is real." (1)

Another recently published paper via the by Cornell university professor Dr. Daryl J. Bem suggests that precognition may be real. Dr Bem is a leading social psychologist and has been well-respected throughout his long and esteemed career. So his work suggesting that precognition may be real is quite a large leap for this type of phenomenon.(2)

Dr. Bem's study outlines nine experiments that involved more than 1000 participants that "test for retroactive influence by time reversing well-established psychological effects so that the individual's responses are obtained before the putatively causal stimulus events occur." (2)

After going through and examining these experiments, Dr. Bem concluded that all but one of them yielded statistically significant results. The paper and experiments are provided within the sources listed.

Again, precognition has been well documented and observed in laboratories all over the world. Just because there is a lack of ability for psi research to provide an explanation for the observed phenomena does not discredit the phenomenon itself.

"Historically, the discovery and scientific exploration of most phenomena have preceded explanatory theories, often by decades or even centuries."- Dr. Bern (source-PDF pg 3)

Another study from Dr. Dean Radin, one of the several authors noted in the first study used in this article conducted four double blind experiments that also show that some intuitive hunches, measured by fluctuations in the autonomic nervous system involve unconscious perception of future events that have yet to occur, and the experiments supported this idea.(3)

Another significant study (meta-analysis) that was published in the by Charles Honorton and Diane C. Ferrari in 1989, examine a number of studies that were published between 1935 and 1987. The studies involved attempts of individuals to predict "the identity of target stimuli selected randomly over intervals ranging from several hundred million seconds to one year following the individuals responses." These authors investigated over 300 studies conducted by over 60 authors, using approximately 2 million individual trials by more than 50,000 people. (4)

It concluded that their analysis of precognition experiments "confirms the existence of a small but highly significant precognition effect. The effect appears to be repeatable; significant outcomes are reported by 40 investigators using a variety of methodological paradigms and subject populations. The precognition effect is not merely an unexplained departure from a theoretical chance baseline, but rather is an effect that covaries with factors known to influence more familiar aspects of human performance." (4)

Why is this type of precognition unconscious? And does it have the potential to become conscious?

Again, as mentioned earlier in the article, the science behind precognition refers to unconscious precognition. This means that the response to future events prior to when they happen is measured through physiological changes, and that seems to be quite clear.

But why should this be the case? If our body (parts of our nervous system) can obtain information about events seconds in the future, why would we not have the inability to not make this information conscious? Maybe we do have that potential.

Researchers in the first study used in this article suggest that this might be the case because the information is not useful, similar to the majority of information that is usually processed unconsciously. They also suggest that the conscious mind may not be able to make such quick decisions. They state "it might be evolutionarily advantageous for unconscious processing to assess upcoming events, filter them, mobilize resources, and only then inform conscious awareness."(1)

Parapsychological Phenomenon, Consciousness & How They Relate To The Nature Of Our Reality

Precognition is one small aspect of a much larger body of what is termed as parapsychological phenomenon. For more information from CE on some areas of this larger body of information you can check out this article:

Scientific Studies That Prove Consciousness and Our Physical Material World Are Somehow Intertwined.

If you want to further your research even more, a great place to start would be the The Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS)


(1) http://ift.tt/1Fzb60J

(2) http://ift.tt/17UhnYw

(3) http://ift.tt/1Fzb6hj

(4) http://ift.tt/1vrbdud

FLASHBACK: Eye witness releases video recorded right after shooting of Michael Brown

darren wilson

Officer Darren Wilson was caught on cellphone footage looking at Michael Brown's lifeless body after he fired six shots at the unarmed teen on a Ferguson, Missouri street on August 9

A woman who claims she saw a police officer shoot dead Michael Brown has released video of his lifeless body in the street as the cop who killed him paces back and forth.

Piaget Crenshaw lives in an apartment with a balcony overlooking the street in Ferguson, Missouri where the 18-year-old was killed on August 9.

She said today that she waited until now to release the video as she feared for her safety and the officer's name had not been released.

On the cellphone footage, Ms Crenshaw can be heard saying: 'God bless his soul, police shot this boy outside my apartment.'

She told CNN today that she had recorded the incident because she believed that something was wrong.

'From it all initially happening, I knew this was not right,' Miss Crenshaw said.

'I knew the police shouldn't have been chasing this boy and firing at the same time. And the fact he got shot in his face, something clicked in me and I thought someone else should see this so I recorded.'

Piaget Crenshaw

Piaget Crenshaw (pictured today) said that she recorded the shooting of Michael Brown because she felt something wasn't right

Ms Crenshaw said that police had her footage after confiscating her phone following the shooting.

She questioned why they did not release this at the same time as the video of Michael Brown allegedly stealing cigars from a convenience store on Friday.

Ms Crenshaw said Officer Wilson paced back and forth along the street next to Michael Brown's body as if he was 'in disbelief' by what had just happened.

The woman was unclear what exactly happened between Brown and Wilson at the police cruiser but said that it appeared as if the officer was trying to pull the teenager into the car.

She said Brown got away and she heard shots fired, none of which appeared to hit Brown although she believed one grazed him.

It was then Brown 'turned around and was shot multiple times'.

She added: 'He was running away and when he [Brown] turned around he was shot.'

Officer Wilson is now on paid administrative leave following the shooting death of Michael Brown, pending the outcome of the investigation into the shooting.

The 28-year-old officer won a commendation for 'extraordinary effort in the line of duty' on February of this year.

'He never intended for any of this to happen,' Ferguson police Chief Thomas Jackson said last week. 'It's devastating, absolutely devastating.'

A friend of Officer Wilson reportedly came to his defense on Wednesday saying that the cop shot and killed Michael Brown because the teen tried to grab his gun, punched him in the face and then charged at him.

A woman calling herself 'Josie' called a local St Louis radio station on Friday claiming to be a friend of the 28-year-old Ferguson police officer.

The woman, who said she was a friend of the cop's girlfriend, said friends and family were too afraid to speak out but she wanted the public to know that Brown, 18, had 'bum-rushed' Officer Wilson prior to the shooting.

'He pulled up ahead of them. And then he got a call-in that there was a strong-arm robbery. And, they gave a description,' the friend told .

'Tries to get out of his car. They slam his door shut violently. I think he said Michael did. And, then he opened the car again. He tried to get out. He stands up,' she continued.

'And then Michael just bum-rushes him and shoves him back into his car. Punches him in the face and them Darren grabs for his gun. Michael grabbed for the gun. At one point he got the gun entirely turned against his hip.

'And he shoves it away. And the gun goes off.

'Well, then Michael takes off and gets to be about 35 feet away. And, Darren's first protocol is to pursue.

'So, he stands up and yells, ''Freeze!'' Michael and his friend turn around.

'And Michael taunts him... And then all the sudden he just started bum-rushing him. He just started coming at him full speed.

So [Wilson] really thinks [Brown] was on something, because he just kept coming. It was unbelievable.

'And so he finally ended up, the final shot was in the forehead, and then he fell about two to three feet in front of the officer.'

Michael brown darren wilson

Michael Brown (pictured right) was shot multiple times by police officer Darren Wilson as he turned around with his hands up, an eye-witness said today

The friend's report, which has not been verified, added to the growing number of different versions of events from the day of the fatal shooting.

An independent autopsy revealed on Monday that Michael Brown died from a 'kill shot' to the top of the head - but could have survived his five other bullet wounds.

Dr Michael Baden, who was asked by the family to perform post-mortem examination, told a press conference that he had reassured the teen's mother, Lesley McSpadden, that her son had not suffered.

The family's autopsy, which was released on Sunday, revealed the unarmed 18-year-old had been shot at least six times by police officer Darren Wilson including twice in the head and four times in the right arm.

brown autopsy

Attorney Benjamin Crump holds a drawing of a preliminary autopsy report of Michael Brown showing six bullets struck his body

Eye-witnesses have also claimed that Brown had his hands up to signal that he was surrendering.

However assistant pathologist Shawn Parcells told CNN on Monday afternoon that it cannot be proved from the initial autopsy whether Brown was rushing the officer or simply standing at a distance.

Family lawyer Benjamin Crump described the teen's death as an 'execution in broad daylight'. He said it was important for the family to have their own autopsy results as they did not trust the work of the local police.

Later on Monday the St Louis County medical examiner also confirmed that Brown had been shot between six and eight times.

Ferguson Police Chief Thomas Jackson released the name of Officer Wilson last Friday after mounting public pressure. He had waited after saying that the officer received death threats on social media.

The shooting of the unarmed black teenager has sparked eight days of protests in the once quiet Missouri suburb.

Protests over the teen's shooting on August 9 had seen looting and violence in the area. Following a brief calm, trouble returned at the end of last week, prompting Missouri Governor Jay Nixon to put a curfew in place from midnight to 5 a.m.

Nixon lifted the curfew on Monday while ordering the National Guard to help restore order.

He deployed the Guard on Monday following an overnight clash between armored police and what he called 'a violent criminal element intent upon terrorizing the community'.

Nixon said the Guard will be under the direction of the state Highway Patrol.

Calling for understanding in the face of racially charged anger, President Barack Obama said on Monday that the vast majority of protesters in a St. Louis suburb were peaceful, but warned that a small minority was undermining justice.

During a brief pause in his summer vacation, Obama expressed sympathy for the 'passions and anger' sparked by the death of Brown but said giving in to that anger through looting and attacks on police only stirs tensions and leads to further chaos.

He said overcoming the mistrust endemic between many communities and their local police would require Americans to 'listen and not just shout.'

'That's how we're going to move forward together, by trying to unite each other and understand each other and not simply divide ourselves from one another,' Obama told reporters at the White House.

Obama also said that Eric Holder would travel to Ferguson this week to meet with FBI and other officials carrying out an independent federal investigation into Brown's death.

After Obama spoke, the Attorney General announced that over 40 FBI agents are currently conducting an independent 'civil rights investigation' into Brown's death.

'The full resources of the Department of Justice are being committed to our federal civil rights investigation into the death of Michael Brown,' he said.

"During the day today, more than 40 FBI agents continued their canvassing of the neighborhood where Michael Brown was shot. As a result of this investigative work, several new interviews have already been conducted.'

President Obama had earlier told Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon he wanted to ensure the use the National Guard in help calm tensions in Ferguson would be limited in scope. He said he would be monitoring that operation in the coming days to see whether the guard's involvement was helping or hurting.

Obama also weighed in for the first time publicly on the militarization of some local police departments, saying it probably would be useful to examine how federal grant dollars had been used to allow local police to purchase military-style equipment, an issue that's come to the forefront amid the violent protests in Ferguson.

Obama said the distinction between the military and domestic law enforcement was one of the great things about America.

Just hours after Obama's speech, which included calls for the rights of a free press, a photographer working for the Getty photography agency was arrested in Ferguson. Scott Olson was arrested because he wasn't in the required media area, said police.

Watch the video and Piaget Crenshaw's interview below.

[embedded content]

And more eye-witnesses accounts:

[embedded content]

SOTT EXCLUSIVE: Updates from Ukraine and Novorussia: Poroshenko shipped arms to rebels, Givi promises a surprise

Donetsk International Airport: before.

After months of operations at the Donetsk airport, Lieutenant Colonel "Givi" (call-sign) of the Novorussian Armed Forces and his battalion "Somali" are apparently on a break, resting from the constant fighting taking place there. The airport itself is an interesting topic. Once a modern international hub (rebuilt in 2012 for around USD $875 million), it is now a steaming pile of rubble.

Donetsk airport


Why the stubborn focus on the airport from Kiev, where Ukrainian forces forces have been holed up for months, surrounded on all sides by the NAF? That's a whole other topic from the updates I want to give today, so I'll just mention a couple of points. Rumor has it that, holed up with the Ukrainians (including Right Sector thugs), there were or are also foreign mercenaries, including Poles. As Poland is a NATO member, this would be bad press if it came to light, to say the least, which may explain why they have consistently refused offers to surrender and have safe passage back to Ukraine.

Givi became something of an Internet sensation over the last few months, for example, with his 'cooler than Siberia' response to shelling from the Ukrainian Army during an interview. (Check that footage out here.) He's been featured regularly in video reports from journalist Graham Phillips (who was recently wounded in a shelling attack from Kiev) and also makes an appearance in Miquel Santiago's documentary on Donetsk for RT. Just watch some of the videos and you'll see why he's so popular, and why the people of Donetsk and Lugansk are doing all right in the information war with Kiev and the West, despite lacking the fancy tools and busloads of money.

Along with commanders like "Vasya" (also featured in Santiago's documentary), "Motorola" (who leads the Sparta battalion currently stationed at the airport along with Khodakovsky's Vostok battalion) and others, watching them give a lot of insight into the mentality of the 'pro-Russian separatists' who have joined the fight for their rights, land, culture, and their very lives, and why they'll never submit to the genocidal monsters in Kiev. First of all, they have a sense of humor! (Don't miss this one, either.) But more important, it's their morale. They are truly fighting for their existence, they know what the stakes are, they have either lost everything or given up everything to defend their most basic human rights, and they are fully committed. They have lost family, friends, and fellow countrymen to Kiev's butchery, and unlike the Nazi battalions in the service of Kiev, they have kept their humanity. It's what drives them. And that is a force to be reckoned with.

That said, here's the latest from Givi, who has been relatively quiet since 'taking a rest' from the fighting at the airport.

[embedded content]

The comment about Poroshenko comes from this recent video, in which another NAF commander, Igor Bezler, reminds Poroshenko that before becoming president, he sold arms to the rebels. As Givi says above, anything to make a buck, right?

But there's also this, from the Ukrainian side. The man interviewed below is Oleksandr Taran, a Ukrainian major and military expert.

[embedded content]

The things he says are not exactly news: Ukrainian forces do not want to fight. Neither do the Novorussians. The only solution Taran sees is to put a stop to the military operations. Also, despite seeing some Russian volunteer fighters, Taran is clear that he didn't see any Russian military units. In other words, no, the Russians have not invaded Ukraine. It's really only the psychopaths at the top of the food chain that want war, and the Nazi 'volunteer' and mercenary battalions. In fact, there have been reports of actual fighting between Right Sector and regular Ukrainian forces. The NAF just sits back and watches them kill each other. Then, there's this: Kolomoisky declares war on Poroshenk:

The confrontation escalates. Property expropriations carried out by Kolomoisky using territorial battalions result in attempts to subdue these battalions (which are armed groups with carte blanche to exercise unlawful acts) by the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.

But these attempts, in turn, are instantly responded to with ultimatums to the President by commanders of these battalions.

The commanders now have diplomatic immunity (which of course, no one will cancel at this point for the most ridiculous reasons).

The majority of Ukrainians may not support the Nazi and mercenary elements in Ukrainian politics/business/military, but that doesn't mean they don't wield a large amount of power and influence. And that doesn't mean they can't get even more. Poroshenko better watch out.


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.

Is nearsightedness an epidemic?

© Unknown

For Christine Wildsoet, a professor of vision science and optometry at the University of California--Berkeley, the coffee shop hosts some of the worst offenders. There are the new moms chatting while their babies are parked in front of iPads, and the dads reading while their toddlers play games on cellphones.

"I just don't know what the implications of new technology [are] going to be" on kids' eyesight, says Wildsoet, who studies myopia, or nearsightedness, a condition experts say is beginning earlier in life, worsening later in life and rising to epidemic levels worldwide.

"There's a major lifestyle shift that's been brewing over the last 30 years," including kids and adults doing more close-up work and spending more time indoors, says Mark Jacquot, clinical director of vision care at LensCrafters. "This is contributing to a reduced ability to focus on things farther away, which is essentially myopia."

In the early 1970s, about 25 percent of 12- to 54-year-old Americans were myopic. By the 2000s, more than 41 percent had the condition, research finds. Wildsoet and her team have trouble finding non-myopic controls for their studies, and clinicians like Maria Liu, head of Berkeley's Myopia Control Clinic, see children as young as 4 with severe myopia.

Other countries, particularly those in East Asia where schooling starts earlier and lasts longer each day, have beat us to the chase. In Singapore, for one, the military realized it could no longer rule out recruits due to nearsightedness; there would be too few prospects left. It's since offered laser eye surgery to members and dedicated impressive resources to myopia research at all levels, including exploring potential school-based interventions, Wildsoet says.

In Taiwan, the myopia prevalence among 7-year-olds increased from 5.8 percent in 1983 to 21 percent in 2000. And in South Korea, a large, representative study of 19-year-olds showed that more than 96 percent were myopic in 2010. "So you can pretty much say everybody's myopic" there, Wildsoet says.

That's a problem because myopia -- characterized by eyeballs that are more egg-shaped than spherical -- is linked with a higher risk for various eye diseases such as retinal detachment, glaucoma and cataracts.

What's more, Wildsoet says, the epidemic poses a public health problem. "Not only the cost of correction, but the cost of actually managing these diseases associated with myopia has huge consequences as the myopia prevalence goes up," she says.

Fortunately, myopia is not entirely genetic, and therefore, not fate, says Liu, an assistant professor of clinical optometry and vision science at Berkeley. "I have so many parents [with bad eyesight] coming to the clinic saying, 'No matter what we do, my kids are doomed,'" she says. "This is a very wrong message."

The right message is that "numerous genetic studies" have shown that the 20-plus genes associated with nearsightedness explain only about 15 percent of the condition's prevalence, Liu says. That means "it matters how they use their eyes -- it's not preprogrammed," she says.

Here's how to use your eyes right:

Get Outside

Australia is one country that's traditionally lagged behind in myopia progression trends. That's likely due in part to the down-under lifestyle and landscape that promotes time outdoors, says Wildsoet, who's Australian.

On the opposite end of the spectrum are some Asian countries, where after school work -- not play -- is the norm, says Liu, who was born and trained as an optometrist in China. "Not only do they start doing near work at a much earlier age, the total duration of the near work at a very early age is very, very astonishing," she says.

Those of us stateside can take a cue: Research has linked more time outdoors with decreased risk of myopia progression, even when controlling for the amount of time indoors and reading, Liu says. "If we can encourage kids to stay outdoors as much as they can, that itself serves as a very good protective mechanism for faster progression."

Take Breaks

Jacquot calls it the "20-20-20" rule: Every 20 minutes of close-up activity -- be it reading a book, working on a laptop or texting on a cellphone -- look at something about 20 feet away for about 20 seconds. "It can give your eyes a little bit of a break; it of course gives your mind a bit of a break, too," he says.

That strategy is well- founded. Animal studies, for instance, show that "the total impact to the overall myopic development is very, very different" for long stretches of near focus compared with that same amount of time broken into smaller stints, Liu says.

Taking breaks can also help prevent against computer-aggravated discomforts, including eye strain and fatigue, blurry vision, dry eye and watery eye -- "all part of something we've come to call 'computer vision syndrome,'" Jacquot says.

Practice Good "Visual Hygiene"

In the past, vision experts expected vision to stop getting worse by the time patients reached adulthood. "That doesn't happen anymore," Jacquot says. "We all have these close-up demands that mean nearsightedness is progressing in our 20s, 30s and even 40s -- which used to be the time the eyes started to come back the other direction."

That's one of the reasons it's important to continue to get an annual eye exam -- even if you have 20/20 vision now, Jacquot says. That's different from a vision screening, which only flags major vision problems and can miss eye health conditions, he says.

It's also important to practice other "visual hygiene" techniques such as making sure your computer monitor is just below eye-level and eating a diet full of leafy greens, fatty fish like salmon, yellow and orange vegetables, and even some dark chocolate and wine, Jacquot says.

"Just being aware of some of these things -- eating good foods that are rich in nutrients, making sure we're taking care to take breaks throughout the day and getting that eye exam every year -- those are all things that people can do to take good care of their eyes," he says.

4-year old boy savaged by family's rottweiler in New Port Richey, Florida

The dog is currently under a 10-day rabies quarantine.

Kathryn Monroe is still trying to come to grips with what happened to her great grandson on Sunday. "I know we're all heartbroken. We're in tears." Said Monroe. "He's fighting for his life. That's all I can say. His one ear was severed, it's horrible."

Pasco County Sheriff's Deputies say 4-year old Jasper Debow Bridgeman was bitten by the family's Rottweiler at his grandmother's home at 9136 Suffolk Lane in New Port Richey shortly after 4pm on Sunday. Paramedics airlifted the boy to St. Joseph's hospital where he is recovering from his injuries. Pasco Animal Control took the dog to the shelter in Land O' Lakes.

The dog is currently under a 10-day rabies quarantine. Once the quarantine is completed, the dog's owners will then have an opportunity to determine if they want to keep the dog.

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Mike Shumate is the manager at Pasco Animal Services and says it's not clear what, if anything, prompted the attack. "The dog was tethered outside, the child was playing outside by the dog, the child got up to go into the house and at that point the dog attacked the child." Said Shumate, who said animal bite cases are quite common. "Believe it or not, we (Pasco County) average about 100-140 bite cases a month. "A lot of those are reported from hospitals, clinics, things like that."

Monroe and other family members say all they can do is pray for Jasper's speedy recovery. "All I know is the dog got behind him and attacked him. That's all I know." Said Monroe. "It was horrible. All I know is the little guy isn't be the same as when he left here."