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Member since: Wed Oct 7, 2015, 08:51 AM
Number of posts: 2,208

Journal Archives

Marco Rubio: women with Zika should not be allowed abortions

Source: The Guardian - UK

Florida senator Marco Rubio has said women infected with the Zika virus should not be allowed to have abortions, even if their babies have microcephaly, the severe developmental disorder than can result from infection with the disease.

Florida cleared to release genetically modified mosquitoes in Zika fight
Read more
“If I’m going to err, I’m going to err on the side of life,” the Republican told Politico. Rubio, who has championed Zika funding bills in the Senate, also blamed Democrats for the failure to pass such federal aid.

According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) figures, Florida is the state second-worst affected by Zika, after New York, but is the only state to have infections caused by local mosquitoes. Most Zika cases in the US have been found in people who travelled to affected countries and territories.

On Sunday, the Florida governor, Rick Scott, told NBC that despite his state having identified 16 cases of mosquito-borne Zika infections, “what we’re doing is working.”

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/aug/07/marco-rubio-zika-virus-abortions-florida

It's not YOUR choice to make, Marco.

Most Germans want to end EU migrant deal with Turkey: poll

Source: Reuters

Most Germans think the European Union should scrap a landmark migration deal with Turkey, also scuppering negotiations on its accession to the bloc, according to a poll published on Sunday.

The deal, agreed by Ankara in exchange for the revival of financial aid, the promise of visa-free travel to much of the EU and accelerated membership talks, has sharply cut the number of refugees entering Europe via eastern routes.

Last year Germany took in around 1.1 million people fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East and beyond, far more than any other EU state, creating conditions that have led to a rise in social and political tensions in Europe's powerhouse economy.

But the Emnid survey for mass-circulation Bild am Sonntag showed 52 percent were in favor of the migration deal being terminated, compared with 35 percent who wanted it to continue.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-eu-turkey-germany-idUSKCN10I0KP

Iran executes nuclear scientist for spying for U.S.

Source: Reuters

Iran has executed an Iranian nuclear scientist detained in 2010 when he returned home from the United States, after a court convicted him of spying for Washington, a spokesman for the judiciary said on Sunday.

"Through his connection with the United States, (Shahram) Amiri gave vital information about the country to the enemy," Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei told a weekly news conference, state news agency IRNA reported.

Mohseni Ejei said a court had sentenced Amiri to death and the sentence had been upheld by Iran's Supreme court, IRNA said.

Amiri, a university researcher working for Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, disappeared during a pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia in 2009, and later surfaced in the United States. But he returned to Iran in 2010 and received a hero's welcome before being arrested.

A U.S. official said in 2010 that Washington had received "useful information" from Amiri.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-iran-nuclear-scientist-idUSKCN10I0ES

Shirtless Justin Trudeau accidentally photo bombs B.C. beach wedding


A wedding that took place on a public beach in Tofino, B.C., earlier this week had a very high-profile and unexpected guest — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Wedding photographer Marnie Recker snapped a photo of the prime minister standing in the background just as the bride was making her way down the aisle.

She says Trudeau was departing the beach when he realized he had stumbled into the path of a wedding procession, as the bride was walking down the aisle.

"It was her moment and he respectfully stood aside and witnessed her walk down the aisle to her husband-to-be," wrote Recker on her Facebook page.



Source: The Intercept

THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION has released its internal guidelines for how it decides to kill or capture alleged terrorists around the globe, three years after they came into effect. They provide a look at the drone war bureaucracy behind hundreds of strikes in Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia and elsewhere, a system President Obama will hand off to his successor.

The guidelines show the process is concentrated at the White House, specifically in the National Security Council. They also describe the process for approving so-called signature strikes, where the target of the strike is not a known “high value terrorist,” but rather some other “terrorist target,” which could be a group of people exhibiting suspect behavior, or a vehicle, building or other infrastructure.

Amid all these procedural details, however, the presidential policy guidance, or “playbook,” as it has been called, does not provide new insight into when, where, and under what authorities someone can be killed, or what kind of intelligence is necessary to make that decision.

Much of the document, which is dated May 22, 2013, echoes public statements by administration officials over the past several years and previously-released material. The general standards for killing terrorist targets away from active battlefields were made public that May, when the president gave a speech and issued an abbreviated version of the guidance, promising that the United States would only undertake lethal action against a terrorist if they posed a continuing, imminent threat to U.S. persons, and if capture was not feasible.

Read more: https://theintercept.com/2016/08/06/white-house-finally-releases-its-playbook-for-killing-and-capturing-terror-suspects/

CAPs in headline were from the original article, sorry, but LBN rules say we should use original headlines.

Austria threatens to block acceleration of Turkish EU talks

Source: Reuters

Austria's foreign minister has threatened to block the expansion of negotiations with Turkey on its accession to the European Union, which could scupper a landmark migration deal between Brussels and Ankara.

Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz's comments, published on Sunday, risk exacerbating a row between Austria and Turkey that flared last week when Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern suggested ending Turkey's EU membership talks altogether because of the country's democratic and economic deficits.

Talks on Turkish accession have made only slow progress since they began in 2005, with just one "chapter" concluded of 35 such policy areas where Turkey must adopt and implement EU rules.

"I have a seat and a vote in the (EU) foreign ministers' council. There the question is whether new negotiation chapters will be opened with Turkey, and I am against it," Kurz said in an interview with Austrian daily Kurier, threatening to block the unanimous agreement required.

The Turkish government's crackdown on followers of a U.S.-based cleric whom it blames for last month's failed coup has strained relations with the 28-nation bloc, which depends on Ankara to restrict the westward flow of migrants.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-turkey-eu-austria-idUSKCN10I0CO

Edward Snowden Dead? Mysterious Tweet Is Sending Conspiracy Theorists Into A Meltdown

Source: Inquisitr

What is up with Edward Snowden? The former NSA contractor turned whistle-blower tweeted out a cryptic message to more than 2 million of his followers on Friday, sparking unrest as to his safety and whereabouts. While Mashable reports that the string of letters and numbers may be a cryptic code that Snowden sent someone through the micro-blogging site, or it may be that Snowden simply typed some gibberish on his phone to send the internet into a meltdown so he could amuse himself, some others contend that the mysterious tweet could point towards something way more ominous.

According to Your News Wire, the mysterious tweet has sparked fears that it may be a “dead man’s switch,” which would effectively mean that Edward Snowden is either missing or dead. For those of you who might not know, a dead man’s switch is a message set up to be sent automatically if the account holder does not perform a regular check-in. In Snowden’s case, the automatically-generated message would be the key to the encrypted files he distributed among journalists.

In 2013, Snowden sent the entire intelligence community into shock when he released a set of classified files which confirmed that the National Security Agency — and consequently the American government — had been snooping around in people’s private lives. The release confirmed long-held fears that the NSA, in association with Five Eyes Intelligence Alliance and the cooperation of telecommunication companies and European governments, was using advanced surveillance techniques to intrude into people’s lives, sparking a vigorous public discourse about mass surveillance and privacy in the information age.

Read more: http://www.inquisitr.com/3389936/edward-snowden-dead-mysterious-tweet-is-sending-conspiracy-theorists-into-a-meltdown/

Interesting and more interesting...

Mass Incarceration in the USA

Recognizing that all human rights derive from the inherent dignity of the human being, international human rights law requires that the essential aim of all penal systems must be to allow, encourage, and facilitate rehabilitation. Yet, since 1980, the US prison population has quadrupled, an increase largely driven by heavier penalties for non-violent offenses. At the same time, as prison building costs escalate, many states have cut funding for rehabilitation, education and other programs.

The United States accounts for only 5% of the world’s population, but is responsible for nearly 22% of the world’s prison population. More than 2 million people are incarcerated in U.S. prisons as well as local and county jails. 1 in 3 black men in the United States will go to prison or jail if current trends continue. An average of 5 million people are under state or federal supervision in the form of probation or parole.

The U.N. Human Rights Committee, which monitors states’ compliance with their obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, has expressed ongoing concern about racial disparities at different stages in the U.S. criminal justice system, including sentencing disparities and the overrepresentation of individuals belonging to racial and ethnic minorities in prisons and jails. These issues point to the failure of the United States’ to respect, protect and fulfill its obligations in regard to the rights to be free from discrimination, to liberty and security of the person, to be equal before the law and to equal protection of the law. To that end, the Committee has called for reform of mandatory minimum statutes and for retroactive application of the Fair Sentencing Act.


Chicago police may have violated policy in fatal shooting: official

Source: Reuters

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson said on Saturday that videos of the police shooting of a black man in the city last month indicate three officers may have violated the department's policies.

Johnson told a news conference it was against departmental policy to fire at or into a moving car when the vehicle was the only potential use of force by a suspect, and police were taking a hard look at training and tactics following the shooting.

Authorities on Friday released videos that captured the moments before and after police shot Paul O'Neal, 18, on July 28, but not the shooting itself because a police officer's body camera was not recording. No firearms were found on O'Neal, who was shot in the back, according to police.

Johnson was named in March to lead the department, which is facing accusations of racism and a federal investigation into its practices after the city waited more than a year to release video of a separate 2014 fatal shooting by officers.

On Saturday, he said the ongoing investigation prevented him from discussing details about the O'Neal shooting.
"I was concerned by some of the things that I saw on the videos and that is why we took such a swift action that we did last week to relieve the three officers of their police powers," Johnson said.

Read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-police-chicago-idUSKCN10H0M0

US-led coalition accused of killing civilians using 'scorched earth policy' in Syria

Source: The Independent - UK

Members of the US-led coalition have been accused of deploying a “scorched earth policy” in Syria by activists who claim to have documented scores of civilian deaths.

One group of anti-Isis activists, called Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, has said air strikes supporting a key offensive in Manbij are killing innocent families.

“The international coalition is using a scorched earth policy in the city and supporting the Syrian Democratic forces that have been surrounding the city for two months,” the group said.

“The attacking militias and the international coalition have dealt with Manbij civilians, who are estimated to be around 3,000 in number, as if they were terrorists or Isis supporters," it added.

Read more: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/war-against-isis-us-led-coalition-accused-of-killing-civilians-using-scorched-earth-policy-in-syria-a7174736.html

"Allegations that two separate bombing raids killed at least 100 civilians in nearby villages in little over a week are already under investigation, but there was concern over continuing strikes supporting the predominantly Kurdish Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF).

British authorities say they have found no evidence of civilian casualties caused by British military action in Iraq or Syria, while a coalition spokesperson said forces "work very hard to... ensure the safety of non-combatants on the battlefield."

The bombardment of Manbij has destroyed its infrastructure, with electricity and water cut off and families forced to bury their loved ones in their gardens because local cemeteries are inaccessible.

Isis is preventing civilians from leaving the city as the humanitarian situation worsens and the group’s ranks are forced into an ever-shrinking residential target zone being pounded by air strikes and shelling."

Sounds similar to the situation in Aleppo, innocent civilians being caught between different sides in the Syrian civil war.
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