Archive for the ‘International’ Category

Mascara From MH370 Victim Allegedly Used On InstagramA woman identified as Ekaterina Parkhomenko from Torez has become the very face of inhumanity and greed around the Malaysian Air crash site in the Ukraine. People around the world have been disgusted by stories of the Russian-backed militia stealing credit cards and cellphones from the crash site as well as preventing investigators from detailing the facts about the crash. However, pro-Russian local Parkhomenko allegedly went further and actually posted pictures on social media sites bragging about how she was able to snatch looted mascara from a dead woman and then took selfies showing how the mascara looked on her.

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_51889481__47552719_daughterThere is an interesting (and tragic) case out of France where Andre Bamberski, 76, was convicted for organizing the kidnapping five years ago of retired doctor Dieter Krombach. Krombach was accused at the time of raping and murdering Kalinka Bamberski, 15: the daughter of Bamberski and the step daughter of Krombach. When a German court refused to extradite Krombach for the 1982 murder, Bamberski had him kidnapped and dumped (tied up) in front of a French courthouse in 2009. Bamberski was found guilty and was looking at ten years but was given a one-year suspended sentence.
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Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw)-Weekend Contributor

Since the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence voted in April of this year to declassify its long-awaited Torture Report, the intelligence agencies have been working behind the scenes to convince the Executive Branch to further sanitize it or keep it entirely secret.  Needless to say, the declassification process used to prepare the report for public consumption has been dragging on.  With the CIA and other defense agencies working overtime to keep a lid on the report, the truth may never reach the public.

What can Congress do to make sure that its report gets declassified and distributed to the public if the President agrees with the intelligence agencies and does not order the release? (more…)

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Screen shot YouTube

Screen shot YouTube

For the residents of Zhejiang, the sight was unnerving to say the least. The river that they regularly fish in had turned blood red overnight. It is the latest example of China’s horrific pollution problems. On this occasion, however, the results were more than evident to the eyes and noses of the residents.

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250px-Holt_Renfrew_MannequinsThe Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) continues to show the world how systemic murder and terror can be justified in the name of religion as the work of the faithful. Now, after brutalizing the population of Mosul, ISIS has turned its attention to those godless tramps of fashion: mannequins. ISIS has ordered that all mannequins be covered in veils as another application of medieval Sharia law.

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200px-Codex_Gigas_devilAn Egyptian court this week sentenced three al-Jazeera journalists to long jail terms despite international outcry over the attack on the freedom of the press. To further guarantee that nobody would mistake this for a real court, the judge further accused them of being guided by the devil in their work as reporters. Australian journalist Peter Greste, Egyptian-Canadian Mohamed Fadel Fahmy and Egyptian producer Baher Mohamed were convicted in June of aiding the Muslim Brotherhood by covering the “civil war” in Egypt. The court gave Greste and Fahmy seven-year terms and Mohamed a 10-year term. It also tried eleven defendants in absentia, including one Dutch and two British journalists. They were given 10-year sentences.
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220px-AlfedPalmersmokestacksWhile the United States continues to spend billions on foreign wars above the $4 trillion spent on Iraq and Afghanistan, we continue to receive new studies showing how the country is failing behind in education, science, and other programs needed for future growth. The latest is the study of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, which found that we have now dropped to 13th out of 16 major nations in energy efficiency — a key economic factor for future growth.

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Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw)-Weekend Contributor

I have been watching the water crisis in Detroit for some time now and I have been amazed that it is not a bigger story.  If you haven’t heard, the new city Administrator of the City of Detroit that was appointed by the Governor and his Water Department have been turning off the water of needy citizens in Detroit when their past due bills are as little as $150.00. In a city with over 20% unemployment and countless vacant buildings, it seems like Detroit is slowly being destroyed.  (more…)

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By Mike Appleton, Weekend Contributor

“Taking a child he placed it in their midst, and putting his arms around it he said to them, ‘Whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me, but the one who sent me.’ “

-Gospel of Mark, Ch. 9, verses 36-37, New American Bible (Thomas Nelson, 1989)

“If kids come in my backyard, I’ll shoot them.”

-unidentified Murietta, California resident protesting the sheltering of undocumented child immigrants (July 1, 2014)

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“Collective fear,” wrote Bertrand Russell, “stimulates herd instinct, and tends to produce ferocity toward those who are not regarded as members of the herd.” The ugliness in Murietta, California several weeks ago provided ample evidence, if any were needed, of the power of collective fear. But even more disturbing than the angry shouts at frightened children unable even to understand the words hurled at them has been the reaction of political leaders. Appearing on Fox News Sunday, Gov. Rick Perry demanded that the President dispatch National Guard troops to the border, for who knows what purpose. Rep. Louie Gohmert (R. Texas) has been even more vocal. Most of you may recall Rep. Gohmert’s rants several years ago about “anchor babies” born in the United States to be trained as terrorists. This time around he is claiming that the Administration is encouraging the influx of unaccompanied children as part of a plot to turn America “blue” and “ensure Republicans will never get elected again.” Of course, that will require that all of these tens of thousands of children survive the various diseases with which he also claims them to be infected and carrying over the border. Rep. Gohmert could be dismissed as another congressional crackpot but for the fact that he currently serves as vice chair of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism and Homeland Security. (more…)

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Submitted By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Streisand Estate

Le Cap Streisand

We previously reported of an outrageous lawsuit by the owners of the Il Giardino Restaurant in Cap Ferret, France who sued a blogger critical of the dining experience, HERE. Essentially Caroline Doudet was sued by the restaurant’s owners because her allegedly disparaging blog post ranked highly on Google searches for the restaurant–fourth in a Google search return the lawsuit claimed. The title of her critique was in the English, “The place to avoid in Cap Ferret, Il Giardino” and was the cause leading to the lawsuit, according to paperwork filed.

“I was really stunned and disgusted, and of course I will worry now [whenever I] write a negative review,” Doudet said of the effect of the case in an e-mail to Wired.co.uk. “I regret the article, because it’s so much noise for nothing.”

Nevertheless a French Court handed down an emergency ruling blocking the article’s title and awarding Il Giardino €2,500 in fines and court costs.

The restaurant’s owners claimed the title defamed them, causing great damage to a business they worked fifteen years, seven days a week to build and the Google ranking was causing them increasing harm. But in what became a new definition of “Damage Award” the internet came alive and rendered a harsh judgment in its court of appeals. Fame became infâme. And the repercussions were magnifique.

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Submitted By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

Manuel NoriegaManuel Noriega, the former leader of Panama known for his indictment in the United States for drug smuggling, racketeering, and money laundering and his subsequent imprisonment, filed suit in Los Angeles County Superior Court alleging the game maker Activision Blizzard defamed him. The game in question is the popular “Call of Duty: Black Ops II”.

Manuel believes being portrayed “as a kidnapper, murderer and enemy of the state” in the game damaged his reputation. He further claims the company used his likeness and name in order to make money. Therefore, he is entitled to a share of the profits.

The game returned over a billion dollars in sales worldwide within months of release.

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225px-Richard_Durbin_offici300px-Flickr_-_Israel_Defense_Forces_-_Iron_Dome_Intercepts_Rockets_from_the_Gaza_StripThe US Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee just approved the transfer of $351 million to Israel for the Iron Dome missile defense system — that will bring the appropriations this week for Israel to $621 million. There has been virtually no debate about such huge payments to another nation’s defense budget when cities and schools continue to cut back on programs for lack of fund. In Fairfax county, our kids are being placed in classes of over 30 kids with a single teacher because there is no money to hire more staff. Congress has cut historic programs and environmental projects for lack of a few million dollars but approves these transfers with little debate. It is not just Israel, as we have previously discussed, but the continuation of huge expenditures abroad in various countries from Pakistan to Iraq to Afghanistan to Egypt. It is not necessarily the ultimate appropriation decision as much as the lack of any discussion on such budgetary priorities and policies that is so striking.

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300px-Flickr_-_Israel_Defense_Forces_-_Eight_Qassam_Launchers_in_GazaIsrael has long accused Palestinian groups of using schools and hospitals as launching or storage areas for weapons. The practice effectively uses patients, children, and others as human shields and increases civilian fatalities when Israel retaliates after rocket attacks. It is obviously a despicable practice that violates basic rules of international law as well as the law of war. On Thursday, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency confirmed this practice when it found 20 rockets at a UN-funded school in Gaza in “the course of the regular inspection of its premises.”

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220px-AYELET_SHAKED220px-Erdogan_croppedThe situation in Israel and Palestine continues to grow worse on both sides. First you had the savage murder of three Israeli teens. Then you had the retaliation burning of a Palestinian teenager. Now protests are erupting all over Israel and the world on both sides. Some of the coverage is focusing on statements made by Israeli lawmaker Ayelet Shaked on Facebook that day before three Israeli men went out and picked up Muhammad Abu Khdeir, 16, at random and burned him alive. Shaked’s post calls Palestinians “little snakes” and declares that “the entire Palestinian people is the enemy.” Now comments by Israeli Knesset member Ayelet Shaked has caused an international outcry including contributing to a continuing rift with Turkey. Turkey’s Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has denounced the remarks and denounced Israel in an analogy to the Nazi regime. The situation is clearly getting worse by the day in the region.

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200px-Tony_Abbott_-_2010220px-AlfedPalmersmokestacksIn a major setback to effort to combat climate change, Australia’s Abbott government has secured a repeal of the carbon tax. It is the first major country to rollback on the basic environmental protection. Abbott’s government is suggesting that it will pay corporations not to pollute — a proposal that would cost a huge amount and environmentalists insist is unlikely to be successful.

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