Category: Justice

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the guardian

Thomas Smith said he was unaware that taking bottles and cans left in shopping carts violated store policy as advocate argues race issues were behind firing

Walmart: all your trash are belong to us.
Walmart: all your trash are belong to us. Photograph: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

An Albany-area Walmart employee fired from his job for redeeming $2 worth of cans he collected while gathering shopping carts in the store’s parking lot has drawn widespread sympathy and support on social media.

Thomas Smith, 52, told the Albany Times Union that he was fired in early November for redeeming a total of $5.10 worth of cans and bottles on two occasions, and said he was unaware that doing so violated store policy.

Support for Smith grew after a story on his termination from the Albany Times Union. A GoFundMe drive for Smith set up by Dounya Hamdan, of Chicago, has nearly reached the $5,000 goal as of Friday afternoon.


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Members of the Anonymous Army, with their signature Guy Fawkes masks, gather in front of the White House during their protest in Washington, November 5, 2015. © Gary Cameron

Anonymous-inspired activists are taking to the streets across the globe as the Million Mask March circles the world. Hiding behind symbolic Anonymous masks, the demonstrators are protesting censorship, government corruption, and police brutality.

05 November 2015

22:30 GMT

People have started gathering at New York City’s Union Square.

View image on Twitter
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22:04 GMT

In Washington, DC, participants chanted “Hands up, don’t shoot” while marching down the street.



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Anonymous plot bonfire night Million Mask March

Protesters hold up their Guy Fawkes masks on the Liberty Bridge during a demonstration by supporters of the Anonymous movement as part of the global "Million Mask March" protests, in Budapest, November 5, 2014. © Bernadett Szabo
Activist collective Anonymous have released details of the 2015 Million Mask March, which will see coordinated demonstrations in cities across the globe protesting against corruption, human rights abuses and censorship.

Following in the footsteps of previous marches, the worldwide demonstration will take place on November 5, coinciding with bonfire night in the UK.

This year’s message is “building a better future through collective action,” a statement from the group released on Monday reads.

The London march in 2014 attracted over 1,000 participants who marched through the city center wearing distinctive Guy Fawkes masks, which have become the unofficial emblem of the movement.

Fawkes, part of a band of persecuted English Catholics, was captured and executed by the British state after attempting to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605. His image was popularized by the 2005 film adaptation of the Alan Moore graphic novel V for Vendetta.



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Jared Fogle pays $1 million to victims

Staff Reporter
Oct, 25, 2015

Jared Fogle, the former Subway pitchman, has paid $1 million total in restitution to 10 of his 14 victims after pleading guilty to sex acts with minors and distribution of child pornography, and he faces a possible sentence of five to 12 years in federal prison.

In a related report by NewsOXY, the fallout continued between the pitchman and the Subway sandwich chain after a whistleblower admitted a wire for evidence to the FBI. The recording allegedly provided vital information to investigators leading to raid of the Subway pitchman’s home.

The prosecutor Jared Fogle, 37, made payments of $1.4 million under the terms of a plea agreement. The remaining four victims will also each receive $100,000 before a sentencing scheduled for Nov. 19, said the prosecutor, Steven DeBrota of the United States attorney’s office in Indianapolis.


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Apple loses patent lawsuit to University of Wisconsin, faces hefty damages

Apple Inc could be facing up to $862 million in damages after a U.S. jury on Tuesday found the iPhone maker used technology owned by the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s licensing arm without permission in chips found in many of its most popular devices.

The jury in Madison, Wisconsin also said the patent, which improves processor efficiency, was valid. The trial will now move on to determine how much Apple owes in damages.

Representatives for the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) and Apple could not immediately be reached for comment.

WARF sued Apple in January 2014 alleging infringement of its 1998 patent for improving chip efficiency.

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The jury was considering whether Apple’s A7, A8 and A8X processors, found in the iPhone 5s, 6 and 6 Plus, as well as several versions of the iPad, violate the patent.



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Nelson Mandela dead at 95


View images of civil rights leader Nelson Mandela, who went from anti-apartheid activist to prisoner to South Africa’s first black president.

Nelson Mandela, the revered South African anti-apartheid icon who spent 27 years in prison, led his country to democracy and became its first black president, died Thursday at home. He was 95.

“He is now resting,” said South African President Jacob Zuma. “He is now at peace.”

“Our nation has lost his greatest son,” he continued. “Our people have lost their father.”

A state funeral will be held, and Zuma called for mourners to conduct themselves with “the dignity and respect” that Mandela personified.

“Wherever we are in the country, wherever we are in the world, let us reaffirm his vision of a society… in which none is exploited, oppressed or dispossessed by another,” he said as tributes began pouring in from across the world.

Though he was in power for only five years, Mandela was a figure of enormous moral influence the world over – a symbol of revolution, resistance and triumph over racial segregation.

He inspired a generation of activists, left celebrities and world leaders star-struck, won the Nobel Peace Prize and raised millions for humanitarian causes.

South Africa is still bedeviled by challenges, from class inequality to political corruption to AIDS. And with Mandela’s death, it has lost a beacon of optimism.

Feb. 1990: NBC’s Robin Lloyd reports on Nelson Mandela on the eve of his release from prison in 1990. Mandela’s name has become a rallying cry for the overthrow of apartheid, but no one but prison guards and visitors have actually seen him since he was jailed 27 years ago.

In his jailhouse memoirs, Mandela wrote that even after spending so many years in a Spartan cell on Robben Island – with one visitor a year and one letter every six months – he still had faith in human nature.

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion,” he wrote in “Long Walk to Freedom.”

“People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

Mandela retired from public life in 2004 with the half-joking directive, “Don’t call me, I’ll call you,” and had largely stepped out of the spotlight, spending much of his time with family in his childhood village.

His health had been fragile in recent years. He had spent almost three months in a hospital in Pretoria after being admitted in June for a recurring lung infection. He was released on Sept. 1.

In his later years, Mandela was known to his countrymen simply as Madiba, the name of his tribe and a mark of great honor. But when he was born on July 18, 1918, he was named Rolihlahla, which translated roughly – and prophetically – to “troublemaker.”

Mandela was nine when his father died, and he was sent from his rural village to the provincial capital to be raised by a fellow chief. The first member of his family to get a formal education, he went to boarding school and then enrolled in South Africa’s elite Fort Hare University, where his activism unfurled with a student boycott.

As a young law scholar, he joined the resurgent African National Congress just a few years before the National Party – controlled by the Afrikaners, the descendants of Dutch and French settlers – came to power on a platform of apartheid, in which the government enforced racial segregation and stripped non-whites of economic and political power.

As an ANC leader, Mandela advocated peaceful resistance against government discrimination and oppression – until 1961, when he launched a military wing called Spear of the Nation and a campaign of sabotage.

April, 1994: Former political prisoner Nelson Mandela is on the verge of being elected South Africa’s first black president.

The next year, he was arrested and soon hit with treason charges. At the opening of his trial in 1964, he said his adoption of armed struggle was a last resort born of bloody crackdowns by the government.

“Fifty years of non-violence had brought the African people nothing but more and more repressive legislation and fewer and few rights,” he said from the dock.

“I have cherished the ideal of a democratic and free society in which all persons live together in harmony and with equal opportunities. It is an ideal for which I hope to live for and achieve. But if needs be, it is an ideal for which I am prepared to die.”

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Nelson Mandela Dead at 95

The New York Times The New York Times

Published on Dec 5, 2013

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Nelson Mandela, who led the emancipation of South Africa from white minority rule and served as his country’s first black president, died at 95.

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Steubenville case: Four more charged, including superintendent, volunteer coach

Steubenville case   Four more charged   including superintendent  volunteer coach photo SteubenvillecaseFourmorechargedincludingsuperintendentvolunteercoach_zpsae159d6e.jpg
NBC News Video  00:07

“How do you hold kids accountable, if you don’t hold the adults accountable,” asks Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine during a press conference to discusses new developments in the special grand jury investigation into the Steubenville teen rape case.

The charges were announced Monday by the state’s top prosecutor, who decried “blurred, stretched and distorted boundaries of right and wrong” by students and grown-ups alike.

“How do you hold kids accountable if you don’t hold the adults accountable?” Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine asked.

Superintendent Michael McVey, 50, was charged with tampering with evidence and obstruction of justice in the aftermath of the incident at the center of the case: the sexual assault of a drunken 16-year-old girl by two high school football players after a booze-fueled party in August 2012.

An assistant coach, Matthew Belardine, 26, was charged with allowing underage drinking, obstructing official business and making a false statement.

Two school employees, strength coach Seth Fluharty, 26, and elementary-school principal Lynnett Gorman, 40, were charged with failure to report child abuse.

The indictment did not contain details of what each person allegedly did.

“What you have is people who were not worried about a victim. They were worried about other things,” DeWine said.

“People made bad choices and the grand jury said there are repercussions.”

A small city of 19,000 about 40 miles from Pittsburgh, Steubenville and its high-school football team, Big Red, became the center of a firestorm last year after the rape allegations surfaced.

Though charges were brought against two players, activists questioned why more people weren’t charged — including other students who sent photos, videos of texts about the assault, or adults who may have known about it but didn’t report it.

After Trent Mays, 17, and Ma’Lik Richmond, 16, were convicted of rape and sentenced to at least a year in juvenile prison in March, a grand jury was convened to determine if anyone else broke any laws.

Jason Cohn / Reuters file

Harding Stadium, home of the Steubenville High Big Red football team.

It met 18 times and heard from 123 witnesses, ultimately issuing six indictments.

Last month, it charged William Rhinaman, 53, the Steubenville schools’ technology director, with tampering with evidence and obstructing justice. His 20-year-old daughter, Hannah, was charged with a theft unrelated to the rape case.

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  • Andy Lopez was spotted by cops in Sonoma County carrying what they believed was a rifle
  • They ordered him to drop his weapon and opened fire when he didn’t comply
  • He was hit multiple times and died on the spot
  • Now a witness has now come forward to say that deputies continued to shot at the boy’s body even after he had fallen to the ground
  • The cops claim Lopez had his back to them so they didn’t realize that he was just 13 years old
  • Local residents in Santa Rosa, California, angered by the shooting carried out a March For Justice on Wednesday night
  • Federal law requires replica guns to have an orange tip, but Lopez’s toy rifle didn’t have one
  • An eighth-grade student who played trumpet in his school band, Lopez was described as a bright and popular student


By David Mccormack and Associated Press Reporter





Cops unloaded a further six or seven shots into the body of dying teenager Andy Lopez even after he had already hit the ground, claims a neighbor who witnessed the shooting.

Lopez was spotted by deputies on Tuesday afternoon in Santa Rosa, California, carrying a toy rifle which they mistakenly thought was a real assault weapon.

Hundreds of local residents marched on Wednesday night to remember the popular teen and protest at the senseless shooting. They chanted ‘We need justice’ as they questioned how the deputies could mistake a pellet gun for an assault rifle.



Popular student: Andy Lopez, 13, was shot and killed by police officers for carrying a replica assault weapon in Santa Rosa, California, on Tuesday afternoon






Protesters walk towards the site where Andy Lopez was shot and killed as part of a march to voice the local community’s anger at his death

According to a police statement, Lopez was twice instructed to put down his weapon and they only opened fire after he failed to comply.

But Ethan Oliver, who lives across the street, told that the deputies continued to shoot at the boy, even after he had fallen to the ground.

Oliver said he went outside after hearing two gun shots and by that time Lopez was already on the ground. ‘Then the cops went at it again and unloaded like six to seven shots,’ he said.


When asked if he meant that the deputy shot Lopez while he was on the ground, Oliver said, ‘Yeah. Exactly what I saw.’

Authorities haven’t responded to his claims, but it raises the possibility that Lopez was still alive when he hit the ground after the first two shots were fired.

During a news conference on Wednesday authorities displayed a real assault weapon and the pellet gun – which resembled an AK-47 with a black magazine and brown butt – to demonstrate how difficult it is to tell them apart.


Sujey Lopez and her husband Rodrigo Lopez mourn for their son by a memorial set up at the site where he was shot and killed by a Sonoma County sheriff’s deputy


Neighbor Ethan Oliver, left, witnessed the shooting and claims police continued to shot at the body of Andy Lopez, right, even after he had fallen to the ground




Federal law requires replica guns to have an orange tip, but Lopez’s toy rifle didn’t have one.

Police also revealed that Lopez had his back to the deputies, so they didn’t realize he was so young. He was wearing a hooded sweatshirt and shorts.

They claim Lopez was about 20 to 30 feet from them when he turned with the barrel of the gun pointing toward them and they opened fire because they feared for their lives.

‘The deputy then fired several rounds from his service weapon at the subject,’ said Santa Rosa Police Lt. Paul Henry, ‘striking him at least one time. The subject immediately fell to the ground.’

‘The deputy’s mindset was that he was fearful that he was going to be shot.’

Hundreds of people marched through the Santa Rosa neighborhood where Lopez was killed on Wednesday night to protest and demand justice.

‘We don’t know the reason why they killed him,’ Katia Ontiveros, 18, told the Press Democrat of Santa Rosa. She said her brother was Andy’s friend. ‘They should know if a gun is real.’


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Published time: October 25, 2013 21:10
Edited time: October 27, 2013 22:13

The website for the US National Security Agency suddenly went offline Friday in what some claimed was an Anonymous DDoS attack. The agency denied it was under attack, however, saying it was merely updating software. was unavailable globally for several hours on Friday. Twitter accounts belonging to people loosely affiliated with the Anonymous hacktivism movement suggested they were responsible.

Twitter users @AnonymousOwn3r and @TruthIzSexy both were quick to comment on the matter, and implied that a distributed denial-of-service attack, or DDoS, may have been waged as an act of protest against the NSA

Anonymous Own3r @AnonymousOwn3r

So If it’s a attack comming from me, or maybe from a country? won’t say! It’s just looks like a start of a cyber war


S.3xe @TruthIzSexy

NSA remains down! :D You do not fuck the peoples human rights and information!


Allegations that those users participated in the DDoS — a method of over-loading a website with too much traffic — are currently unverified, and @AnonymousOwn3r has previously taken credit for downing websites in a similar fashion, although those claims have been largely contested.


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Mexican vigilantes take on drug cartels – and worry authorities

Mexico militias take on drug cartels

Self-defence forces gather near Buenavista in Michoacan, Mexico, part of a growing movement of militias taking on the drug cartels. Photograph: ZUMA/REX


With their scuffed shoes, baggy trousers and single shot hunting guns, the eight men preparing to patrol their hillside barrio in the southern Mexican town of Tixtla hardly looked like a disciplined military force. But this motley collection of construction workers and shopkeepers claim to have protected their community from Mexico‘s violent drug cartels in a way the police and military have been unable – or unwilling – to do.

“Since we got organised, the hit men don’t dare come in here,” said one young member of the group, which had gathered at dusk on the town’s basketball court, before heading out on patrol. “Extortions, kidnappings and disappearances are right down.”

Over the past year, vigilante groups like this have sprung up in towns and villages across Mexico, especially in the Pacific coast states of Guerrero and Michoacán. They make no pretence to be interrupting drug trafficking itself but they do claim to have restored a degree of tranquillity to daily life.

In a country where the police are commonly felt to commit more crime than they prevent, the militias have won significant popular support, but they have also prompted fears that the appearance of more armed groups can only provoke more violence.

Tensions exploded this weekend when a march by self-defence groups triggered a gun-battle between gunmen and federal forces in the city of Apatzingán, followed by attacks on power stations that left hundreds of thousands without electricity.

Nearly seven years after the government launched a military-led crackdown on the cartels, the weekend’s events have caused many to ask if the new government of President Enrique Peña Nieto is presiding over the first rumblings of an undeclared civil war.

“Perhaps the closest antecedent is the civil wars of central America,” said an editorial posted on the widely-read news site Sin Embargo.

The weekend’s violence began on Saturday when a group of militiamen marched on the city, saying they were responding to calls for support by residents there who want to set up their own self-defence group. Similar groups claim to have forced the brutal Knights Templar cartel out of smaller towns in the region, but Apatzingán, capital of the Tierra Caliente region, has remained largely in the hands of the drug barons.

Troops allowed the marchers into the city after they had disarmed, but when they gathered in the central square, they came under attack from gunmen on the rooftops – including some who were reportedly stationed in the cathedral belltower. A video shows people running for cover as federal police officers appear to return fire at the attackers.

At the end of the day, the marchers withdrew after the army agreed to step up patrols and include observers from the self-defence groups. But the movement’s leader, José Mirales, warned reporters that the fight was not over. “We are going to make sure that organised crime is expelled from Apatzingán,” he said. “They will try to respond.”

That response came just hours later, when, shortly after midnight, nine electricity substations were firebombed in a string of almost simultaneous attacks. More than 400,000 people were left without electricity. At least four petrol stations were also torched.

In a statement, Mexico’s interior ministry promised that: “The actions of the criminals will not stop the actions of the government to protect the population.”

But while the government claimed order had been restored to Aptazingán, the tension continued into Sunday when a second group of civilians marched on the local army base. The Knights Templar were widely believed to be behind this second march that demanded federal forces withdraw their protection from the self-defence groups. Also on Sunday, five bodies were reportedly found on the outskirts of the city, all wearing t-shirts identifying them as members of the self-defence groups.


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5 Dead as Mexican Vigilante Groups, Cartel Clash

Clashes in which self-described “self-defense” forces sought to oust the Knights Templar drug cartel from the western Mexico state of Michoacan left at least five men dead and hundreds of thousands of people without electricity.

The weekend confrontations followed a daring march by a self-defense force into the city of Apatzingan, the central stronghold of the pseudo-religious Knights Templar cartel that for years has dominated Michoacan, a state that sends a steady stream of avocados and migrants to the United States.

State Interior Secretary Jaime Mares said soldiers and federal police had taken over security in Apatzingan following the clashes.

Since rising up in February against systematic extortion by the Knights Templar, residents of a half dozen towns that formed self-defense patrols have lived without access to Apatzingan, a commercial and road hub that is home to the region’s main hospital and markets.

Self-defense leaders said they finally grew tired of the cartel blocking services and commerce in an attempt to strangle their uprising and showed up Friday on Apatzingan’s outskirts, armed and ready to “liberate” the city. They were turned back by soldiers who said they couldn’t enter with weapons.

A convoy of hundreds of unarmed self-defense patrol members returned on Saturday and successfully entered the city, where they were met by gunfire, presumably from the Knights Templar.

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