Category: Justice


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People Are Waking Up to the Dark Side of American Policing, and Cops Don’t Like It One Bit

Pushing back against a creeping police state.

If you’ve been listening to various police agencies and their supporters, then you know what the future holds: anarchy is coming — and it’s all the fault of activists.

In May, a Wall Street Journal op-ed warned of a “new nationwide crime wave” thanks to “intense agitation against American police departments” over the previous year. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie went further. Talking recently with the host of CBS’s Face the Nation, the Republican presidential hopeful asserted that the Black Lives Matter movement wasn’t about reform but something far more sinister. “They’ve been chanting in the streets for the murder of police officers,” he insisted. Even the nation’s top cop, FBI Director James Comey, weighed in at the University of Chicago Law School, speaking of “a chill wind that has blown through American law enforcement over the last year.”

According to these figures and others like them, lawlessness has been sweeping the nation as the so-called Ferguson effect spreads. Criminals have been emboldened as police officers are forced to think twice about doing their jobs for fear of the infamy of starring in the next viral video. The police have supposedly become the targets of assassins intoxicated by “anti-cop rhetoric,” just as departments are being stripped of the kind of high-powered equipment they need to protect officers and communities. Even their funding streams have, it’s claimed, come under attack as anti-cop bias has infected Washington, D.C. Senator Ted Cruz caught the spirit of that critique by convening a Senate subcommittee hearing to which he gave the title, “The War on Police: How the Federal Government Undermines State and Local Law Enforcement.” According to him, the federal government, including the president and attorney general, has been vilifying the police, who are now being treated as if they, not the criminals, were the enemy.

Beyond the storm of commentary and criticism, however, quite a different reality presents itself. In the simplest terms, there is no war on the police. Violent attacks against police officers remain at historic lows, even though approximately 1,000 people have been killed by the police this year nationwide. In just the past few weeks, videos have been released of problematic fatal police shootings in San Francisco and Chicago.

While it’s too soon to tell whether there has been an uptick in violent crime in the post-Ferguson period, no evidence connects any possible increase to the phenomenon of police violence being exposed to the nation. What is taking place and what the police and their supporters are largely reacting to is a modest push for sensible law enforcement reforms from groups as diverse as Campaign Zero, Koch Industries, the Cato Institute, The Leadership Conference, and the ACLU (my employer). Unfortunately, as the rhetoric ratchets up, many police agencies and organizations are increasingly resistant to any reforms, forgetting whom they serve and ignoring constitutional limits on what they can do.

 

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Waking Times

By December 14, 2015

Court Finds Monsanto Responsible for Poisoning French Farmer

monsanto failAlex Pietrowski, Staff.
Waking Times

 

The court of appeals in Lyon, France, has found agribusiness giant Monsanto guilty of poisoning a man named Paul François. François is a farmer who claimed that he suffered a multitude of ailments, including headaches, memory loss, neurological problems and stammering, after he unintentionally inhaled Monsanto’s herbicide, Lasso.

François used Lasso for over 15 years, and in 2004 accidentally inhaled the product. After the incident, the farmer began getting severe headaches and experienced moments of mental absence and an inability to speak.

The chemical’s effects on François were so severe that he fainted, was hospitalized and fell into a coma. François was diagnosed with monochlorobenzene poisoning by his doctors, who found that the chemical permanently damaged his brain. Monochlorobenzene makes up 50% of the herbicide Lasso.

It is worth noting that the herbicide was prohibited in France and the rest of the European Union in 2007, and at the time of the incident, it was already banned in Canada (since 1985), Great Britain and Belgium (since 1992).

During the court hearing, Monsanto’s attorneys repeatedly claimed that the herbicide Lasso was not dangerous. François claimed that the company was aware of the toxic nature of the herbicide but failed to adequately warn about the potential health risks.

 

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‘Murderers’: Thousands gather in Montenegro capital to protest NATO membership (VIDEO)

© Ruptly
 
Shortly after Montenegro’s bid to join the North Atlantic Alliance was given the green light, thousands flooded the streets of the capital to protest the upcoming membership and remind people of lives taken during the NATO invasion of 1999.

Former Montenegrin President Momir Bulatovic and opposition leaders called the rally on Saturday in Montenegro’s capital, Podgorica. They gathered at least 5,000 supporters outside the parliament, according to the local Vijesti newspaper. The protesters held national flags while patriotic and pro-Russian chants ringing out from the assembled crowd.

Bulatovic, who was also prime minister of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia from 1998 to 2000, told the rally that joining NATO would mean “blood of innocent people on our hands,” and emphasized his country had been against the alliance’s wars until recently.

“What has Afghanistan done wrong, what has Iraq done wrong? Why has Libya been destroyed, what’s happening today in Syria? Can we close our eyes to that?” he said.

 

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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
View image on Twitter

 

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

 By:
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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Reuters

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

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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.

Read the story: http://nyti.ms/1jrjEyE

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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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