Saturday, January 09, 2016
POLICE-GUNMAN SAID HE SHOT PHILADELPHIA POLICE OFFICER IN THE NAME OF THE DEATH CULT ISLAMIC-MOON GOD ALLAH AND PEDOPHILE PROPHET MOHAMMAD.
South Korea detects small amount of xenon after North Korea nuclear test-Reuters-JAN 8,16-YAHOONEWS
SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korea's nuclear safety agency said on Friday it detected the presence of a miniscule amount of xenon gas following North Korea's nuclear test on Wednesday.More analysis and the collection of more samples were needed to determine whether the xenon particles came from the North's nuclear test, it said. The amount detected does not significantly exceed levels that would ordinarily be present.The presence of xenon would not indicate whether the blast was from a hydrogen bomb, experts have said. Many governments and experts doubt the North's claim that its nuclear test was of a hydrogen bomb.(Reporting by Ju-min Park; Editing by Jack Kim, Robert Birsel)
WORLD POWERS IN THE LAST DAYS (END OF AGE OF GRACE NOT THE WORLD)
EUROPEAN UNION-KING OF WEST-DAN 9:26-27,DAN 7:23-24,DAN 11:40,REV 13:1-10
EGYPT-KING OF THE SOUTH-DAN 11:40
RUSSIA-KING OF THE NORTH-EZEK 38:1-2,EZEK 39:1-3
CHINA-KING OF THE EAST-DAN 11:44,REV 9:16,18
VATICAN-RELIGIOUS LEADER-REV 13:11-18,REV 17:4-5,9,18
11 The earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence.(WORLD TERRORISM,MURDERS)(HAMAS IN HEBREW IS VIOLENCE)
12 And God looked upon the earth, and, behold, it was corrupt; for all flesh had corrupted his way upon the earth.
13 And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence (TERRORISM)(HAMAS) through them; and, behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
2 PETER 2:5
5 And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;
2 PETER 3:7
7 But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men
16 I also will do this unto you; I will even appoint over you( sudden) terror(ISM), consumption, and the burning ague, that shall consume the eyes, and cause sorrow of heart: and ye shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it.
11 And the angel of the LORD said unto her,(HAGAR) Behold, thou art with child, and shalt bear a son, and shalt call his name Ishmael;(FATHER OF THE ARAB/MUSLIMS) because the LORD hath heard thy affliction.
12 And he (ISHMAEL-FATHER OF THE ARAB-MUSLIMS) will be a wild (DONKEY-JACKASS) man;(ISLAM IS A FAKE AND DANGEROUS SEX FOR MURDER CULT) his hand will be against every man,(ISLAM HATES EVERYONE) and every man's hand against him;(PROTECTING THEMSELVES FROM BEING BEHEADED) and he (ISHMAEL ARAB/MUSLIM) shall dwell in the presence of all his brethren.(LITERAL-THE ARABS LIVE WITH THEIR BRETHERN JEWS)
12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer,(SATAN) son of the morning!(HEBREW-CRECENT MOON-ISLAM) how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!
13 For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:
14 I (SATAN HAS EYE TROUBLES) will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.(AND 1/3RD OF THE ANGELS OF HEAVEN FELL WITH SATAN AND BECAME DEMONS)
ISAIAH 33:1,18-19 Woe to thee that spoilest,(destroys) and thou wast not spoiled;(destroyed) and dealest treacherously, and they dealt not treacherously with thee! when thou shalt cease to spoil,(destroy) thou shalt be spoiled;(destroyed) and when thou shalt make an end to deal treacherously, they shall deal treacherously with thee.
18 Thine heart shall meditate terror. Where is the scribe? where is the receiver? where is he that counted the towers?
19 Thou shalt not see a fierce people, a people of a deeper speech than thou canst perceive; of a stammering tongue, that thou canst not understand.
2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.(ISLAM MURDERS IN THE NAME OF MOON GOD ALLAH OF ISLAM)
IS sympathizer shoots Philadelphia cop in 'chilling' ambush-AFP By Jennie Matthew-JAN 8,16- YAHOONEWS
New York (AFP) - A man claiming allegiance to the Islamic State extremist group shot and seriously wounded a policeman in Philadelphia, opening fire multiple times at point-blank range with a stolen police gun before he was arrested, officials said Friday.The apparent assassination attempt comes amid heightened security in the United States following last month's assault by a radicalized Muslim couple in California that killed 14 people, and the November terror attacks in Paris.Policeman Jesse Hartnett, 33, was shot three times in his left arm as he sat in his patrol car late Thursday in the northeastern city. "I'm shot. I'm bleeding heavily," he yelled in a dispatch call.Authorities said they were astonished he survived.Philadelphia police commissioner Richard Ross called the attack "absolutely chilling" and described the officer's injuries as "very, very serious."Stills captured from video surveillance and released to the press show the suspect opening fire as he walks towards the patrol car, extending his arm into the vehicle and then continuing to fire as he flees on foot."If that doesn't just make the hairs on your neck just rise when you see that, it's scary," Ross told reporters.The officer got out of his vehicle, despite being injured, and managed to return fire, hitting the suspect, who was quickly arrested."He stated that he pledges his allegiance to Islamic State, follows Allah and that is the reason he was called upon to do this," homicide police Captain James Clark told a news conference.Police said the suspect, named as Edward Archer, 30, has a criminal record, but that it was unclear whether he acted alone or as part of a wider conspiracy."He doesn't appear to be a stupid individual, just an extremely violent one," said Ross.Ross, said he was "absolutely amazed" that Hartnett, an officer with five years experience, had survived. "This man fired at least 11 shots from a nine millimeter at close range," he said.- 'Nothing to do with Islam' -Police said it was unclear how the suspect obtained the firearm, which was stolen from police in October 2013."That is one of the things that you absolutely regret the most, that an officer's gun is stolen and it is used against one of your own," Ross said.Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney praised Harnett's bravery but urged people to draw no link between the criminal act and Islam."That is abhorrent, it's terrible and it does not represent the religion in any way, shape or form or any of its teachings," Kenney said."This is a criminal with a stolen gun trying to kill one of our officers. It has nothing to do with being a Muslim."Thursday's shooting is likely to raise further concerns about the threat posed by homegrown extremists within the United States, inspired to act by IS jihadists based in Iraq and Syria.Muslim community activists have already decried what they call an unprecedented anti-Muslim backlash in the wake of the Paris attacks.Elsewhere on Friday, two suspects with alleged ties to the IS group were due to appear in court in California and Texas.Aws Mohammed Younis al-Jayab, an Iraqi-born Palestinian, was arrested on Thursday and came to the United States from Syria as a refugee in 2012.He is accused of fighting in Syria for various terror groups.Another Iraqi-born Palestinian, Omar Faraj Saeed Al Hardan, was due to make an initial court appearance after being indicted in Texas for providing material support to the IS group.The head of the FBI, James Comey, told lawmakers last year that upwards of 200 Americans have traveled or attempted to travel to Syria to join IS extremists.
Police: Gunman said he shot Philadelphia cop in Islam's name-Associated Press By ERRIN WHACK-JAN 8,16-YAHOONEWS
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A man using a gun stolen from police said he was acting in the name of Islam when he ambushed an officer sitting in his marked cruiser at an intersection, firing more than a dozen shots at point-blank range, authorities said Friday. Both the officer and suspect were wounded during the barrage of gunfire.The suspect, 30-year-old Edward Archer, also pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group when he was questioned after his arrest in the shooting late Thursday, police said.Police Commissioner Richard Ross described the attack on Officer Jesse Hartnett, captured on a police surveillance camera, as an attempted assassination."He just came out of nowhere and started firing on him," Ross said. "He just started firing with one aim and one aim only, to kill him."Ross said Archer told police he believed the department defends laws that are contrary to Islam. Police said there was no indication anyone else was involved. But Ross also said "it stands to reason there is more unknown than known."The FBI and agents from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security were joining Philadelphia police in the execution of search warrants at two Philadelphia area properties associated with Archer, police said.Archer's mother, Valerie Holliday, told The Philadelphia Inquirer he has been hearing voices recently and that family asked him to get help. She also said her son felt targeted by police. She described him as devout Muslim.The gunman fired at least 13 shots toward Hartnett and eventually got up next to the car and reached through the driver's-side window.Despite being seriously wounded, Hartnett got out of his car, chased the suspect and returned fire, wounding his attacker in the buttocks, police said. Other officers chased Archer and apprehended him.Hartnett, 33, was shot three times in the arm and will require multiple surgeries, but was listed in stable condition. Archer was treated and released into police custody.Ross called it "absolutely amazing" that Harnett survived. "It's nothing short of miraculous and we're thankful for that," he said.Last March, Archer pleaded guilty to firearms and assault charges stemming from a 2012 case but was immediately released and placed on probation, court records show. Records also show he was scheduled to be sentenced Monday in suburban Philadelphia in a traffic and forgery case.The attorney who represented him in the firearms case was unavailable to comment Thursday afternoon because he was in court, his office said. A message to his lawyer in the forgery case was not immediately returned.Surveillance footage of the attack showed Archer dressed in a white, long-sleeved tunic. When asked if the robe was considered Muslim garb, Ross said he didn't know and didn't think it mattered."We've already established why he believes he did it, and that's probably enough," Ross said.The 9 mm pistol used by Archer was recovered at the scene of the shooting, police said. It had been stolen from an officer's home in October 2013, investigators said. Officials said they were trying to figure how Archer got the weapon and whether it passed through other people's hands in the time since the theft.The officer's father, Robert Hartnett, said his son was in good spirits."He's a tough guy," he said.Hartnett served in the Coast Guard and has been on the Philadelphia force for four years. He always wanted to be a police officer, his father said.When Hartnett called in to report shots fired, he shouted, "I'm bleeding heavily!" into his police radio.Jim Kenney, in his first week as mayor of the nation's fifth-largest city, called Archer's actions "abhorrent" and "terrible" and said they have nothing to do with the teachings of Islam."This is a criminal with a stolen gun who tried to kill one of our officers," he said. "It has nothing to do with being a Muslim or following the Islamic faith."___This story has been corrected to show the officer's first name is spelled Jesse, not Jessie.___Associated Press writers Michael R. Sisak and Kristen de Groot contributed to this report.
Migrants in Germany fear backlash after sex assaults-AFP By Romain Fonsegrives-JAN 8,16- YAHOONEWS
Cologne (Germany) (AFP) - When asylum seeker Asim Vllaznim heard about the New Year's Eve spate of sexual attacks in Germany, blamed on a crowd of migrants, he says his spirits fell."Our first reaction was: now the Germans will hate us," said the 32-year-old Kosovar, sitting with his family in their room at a migrant shelter in the western city of Cologne.The city's ugly mob violence -- including groping, other assaults, thefts and two reported rapes -- has inflamed public opinion already strained by the influx of a record 1.1 million refugees and irregular migrants last year.Germany has been shocked by reports of fearful women running the gauntlet in a drunken and aggressive crowd of men, described by witnesses as being of Arab and North African appearance.Vllaznim said he fears the anti-foreigner backlash has only just begun, as furious critics have blamed Angela Merkel's liberal refugee policy for the mob attacks."It's a shame what they did at the central station," said the father of five about the violence in the square between Cologne's railway station and the city's famous Gothic cathedral.The perpetrators should be sent to prison, he said, adding that he hoped alcohol had not driven some young refugees to do "terrible things".Police -- under fire for failing to prevent the attacks, and then for initially downplaying them -- have since struggled to review video footage to identify the culprits in the chaotic crowd.- 'We are not bad people' -A week on, police have received more than 120 criminal complaints. On Friday the interior ministry said police had identified 31 suspects, including 18 asylum seekers, for mostly theft and assault offences, but reported no arrests so far.The suspects include two Germans, an American and a Serbian but most are from Arab and North African countries; nine Algerians, eight Moroccans, five Iranians, four Syrians and one from Iraq."It is not good news for Merkel," Vllaznim sighed, offering tea as his children bounced on the bed behind him.He expressed faith in the chancellor dubbed "Mama Merkel" by grateful refugees, and her motto of "we can do it", but said he knows she is under mounting pressure."I thank the Germans for having us ... I would tell them not to be afraid," he said.His own family fled because of discrimination against their Albanian-speaking Ashkali ethnic minority, hoping for a brighter future for their children, he told AFP."We are not bad people, we only want a better life."- 'Germans are afraid' -Fear and anger have gripped many citizens of Cologne, a city of about 600,000 which took in more than 10,000 asylum seekers in December alone.Since the New Year's Eve attacks, police vans have been parked outside the main railway station as the city nervously readies for next month's Rhineland Carnival street parties, expected to draw hundreds of thousands at the start of the Christian Lent."It would be great if you knew who did it so the culprits could be arrested and sent back home, no matter what country they come from," said one resident, 42-year-old Rute Graca, on her way to work.The growing climate of distrust worries Ghaith Anthipan, a 20-year-old Syrian standing outside the cathedral this week in the freezing rain.With a friend he held up signs in broken German that read: "What happened to women in Cologne on New Year's hurts."A Bosnian woman in a local shelter, who asked not to be named, said that "in every culture, there are people who behave badly"."Do not put all the refugees in the same bag," said the 36-year-old mother of two daughters, standing in the corridor of the shelter that was meant to house 550 people but now shelters 623 asylum seekers.The Muslim woman said that, as xenophobic attacks have spiked in Germany, she stopped wearing her headscarf several months ago and no longer goes out after dark.After the Cologne attacks, she said, "we understand that some Germans are afraid", but voiced hope the culprits will turn out to be people other than refugees.Abdul Baldeh, a 28-year-old Guinean waiting at a nearby railway station, also said that in his new host nation, "people are more distrustful than they have been in recent months"."We did not come to cause problems," he said. "What I want is to learn German, get a job and be free."
Analysis-One year on, France still feels Charlie Hebdo shock By Eric Maurice-EUOBSERVER
BRUSSELS, 7. Jan, 10:10-A year on, things seem back to normal with Charlie Hebdo. On the cover of the satirical weekly's latest issue, published Wednesday (6 January), God is running away, with blood on his beard and tunic and a Kalashnikov on his back. The headline: "One year on: the assassin is still at large."As in the good old days, the cover has infuriated the Vatican.“Behind the deceptive flag of uncompromising secularism, the weekly is forgetting once more what religious leaders of every faith unceasingly repeat to reject violence in the name of religion," wrote the Osservatore Romano, the Holy See's official newspaper. The cover, the Catholic newspaper said, is a refusal "to acknowledge or to respect believers’ faith in God, regardless of the religion".But despite the row, the kind of which "Charlie", as it is usually called, has always relished, these are still not the good old days.The issue, of which 1 million copies were printed, is to commemorate the killing of 11 people in the magazine's office on 7 January 2015. The victims were cartoonists and journalists as well as a visitor and a policeman."Something special happened on January 7, 2015, around 11:35. Something we had thought about but never really considered," Charlie Hebdo editor in chief Riss wrote in the commemorative issue."It was unthinkable that in the 21st century, in France, a religion might kill journalists. We saw France as a secular haven, in which it was possible to take the piss, to lampoon, to have fun without a thought for dogmas or lunatics," Riss added.-High security-Another sign that all is not back to normal is that Charlie Hebdo journalists now work in a high security building, whose address in Paris is kept secret.A year after the loss of its director and star cartoonists, the weekly also remains torn by internal conflicts about its editorial line and money management. Several people left, including Charb, the cartoonist who took over as editor-in-chief after the killings.From an unexpected and unlikely symbol a year ago of French values of freedom of thought and expression, Charlie Hebdo is in a way a metaphor of today's France: under siege and not knowing where it stands.The attack on Charlie Hebdo was a game changer for France. It was also only a prologue of worse things to come.On 13 November, 130 people were killed in Paris in coordinated attacks in bars, restaurants, a concert hall and next to a stadium. After the attack on Charlie Hebdo, followed 2 days later by an attack on a Jewish supermarket that killed 4 people, an estimated 3 million people marched in French cities to defend the French republique's values.A motto, "Je suis Charlie" ("I am Charlie") summarised the national consensus to uphold these values in the face of islamist radicalism but also against the far-right's attempts to conflate Islam and muslims with terrorism.-Stripping citizenship-A year later, as it commemorates the January 2015 attacks, France is under a state of emergency that is going to be constitutionalised and the hottest political debate is about stripping dual nationals convicted of terrorism of their French citizenship.The measure on citizenship was demanded by the right and far-right and is being introduced into the constitution by the socialist government.It has created a rift within the Socialist Party and between the party and its left-wing allies. Critics say that targeting only dual nationals is pointing the finger at French muslims and creating second-class citizens.But according to a poll, 86 percent of French people are in favour of it, including 74 percent of socialist supporters.On Tuesday (6 January), prime minister Manuel Valls defended the measure."It will be applied to people convicted of very serious crimes, who tear off the national contract," he said. But he ruled out extending it to all citizens because it would create stateless people.-Far-reaching move-More widely, the constitutional changes, which will be debated in parliament from 4 February, detail the conditions for the state of emergency.The government says that it will be a guarantee against abuse, critics say it will make it easier to reduce freedoms.This far-reaching move by president Francois Hollande was triggered by the large scale attack in November. But it was already in the making after the Charlie Hebdo attack.Last spring, the parliament adopted a surveillance law that enabled security services to tap phone and electronic communications more easily and forced phone companies and internet providers to hand over data.Since November, Hollande has repeated that France is at war with the Islamic State group. But the word was used by Valls in January already. A year ago, France felt attacked for what it represents. In November, it felt attacked for how it lives. With the debate on the state of emergency and the stripping of citizenship, some now feel its core political values are under attack.In one year, the French presidential election and legislative elections will be held. For the main candidates - the embattled president Hollande, the insecure opposition leader Nicolas Sarkozy and the over-confident far-right leader Marine Le Pen, these issues will be at the centre of the campaign.How French voters will transform the "Je suis Charlie" spirit into a long-term political decision is too early to tell.
Analysis-How the Cologne assaults stunned authorities and media By Peter Teffer-JAN 8,16- EUOBSERVER
Brussels, Today, 11:11-“I am Syrian, you must treat me kindly! Mrs Merkel has invited me.”This quote from an internal police report about Cologne's chaotic New Year's Eve, during which more than a hundred women were robbed or molested by "migrants", illustrates why the events in Cologne will influence the debate on migration in Germany for many months to come.Even before the report was leaked and published by German media Bild and Sueddeutsche Zeitung on Thursday (7 January), the connection was already made between the assaults, made by groups emerging from a gathering of some 1,000 young “North African or Arab” men, and chancellor Angela Merkel's relatively welcoming refugee policy.“There are some very serious questions which arise from what has happened which have relevance beyond Cologne”, said Merkel Thursday (7 January).She said those questions include whether “contempt for women” exists structurally in certain groups in Germany, and that there must be a debate about “the fundamentals of cultural co-existence in Germany”.Germany is now facing the daunting challenge of interpreting the “horror Silvester”, but also of asking itself some tough questions about integration, political correctness, and sexism.The leaked report described how on New Year's Eve, called Silvester in Germany, “crying and shocked girls/women” told police of “sexual assaults by multiple male migrants/groups”.It said one of the perpetrators taunted the police by tearing up a residence permit and saying: “I can get a new one tomorrow”.The local police forces were apparently completely overwhelmed and unable to protect women from the intoxicated mob. They were “just too many [assaults] at the same time”.“Since they could not help all crime victims and apprehend the perpetrators, the deployed officials reached the limit of their frustration”, the police officer that wrote the report continued, adding that the police encountered “a lack of respect I have not witnessed in 29 years of service”.-'Peaceful' New Year's Eve?-The report is the antithesis of a press release published just ten hours after the events in Cologne.On Friday (1 January) at 8:57, the Cologne police said that most Silvester festivities in the city took place “peacefully”.However, quickly accounts began appearing on social media of the grim atmosphere around Cologne's main train station and cathedral.While local media such as the Koelner Stadt-Anzeiger and the Express did write about some women being assaulted on Friday (1 January), it took a long time before the extent of the attacks was acknowledged in the greater public sphere.Some media reported later that some women felt they were not taken seriously by the police.Either the spokespersons of the Cologne police underestimated the events, or willingly downplayed what had happened.It was not until the following day that the Cologne police announced in a press release that it had received 30 reports from women who were assaulted by groups of “according to witness accounts North African-looking” men.While the police is not the only one to blame for the slow public realisation, it received much of the flak.On the front page of the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), commentator Helene Bubrowksi wrote Thursday (7 January) “that the citizen in the centre of a large German city can not rely on the state”, adding that the state “has not protected her when she needed it the most”.-Slow media response-But Bubrowksi's paper was also slow to pick up the news. Readers who only read FAZ in print and avoid online news websites did not learn about the Cologne assaults until Tuesday (5 January), five days after they occurred.As FAZ author Reiner Burger wrote, this only happens “in the modern connected world” when there is a natural disaster in a remote area, and the perceived magnitude of the disaster increases day by day, with only scarce reports.Many media saw themselves forced to write about why it took such a long time.The country's most popular paper, Bild, said that on 1 January the extent of the crimes was not yet known and that they were “relatively small and commonplace”.The technique that reportedly was used – assaulting women as a distraction to rob them – was not new.“Journalists report about aggressive gangs of thieves generally only when it is in the public interest, for example when the victim is famous”, the tabloid noted.But already on Monday afternoon, police president Wolfgang Albers said in a press conference the scale of the assaults was of a “completely new dimension”.Public broadcaster ZDF was criticised for not reporting on this press conference in its 7PM news programme, and it has since said in a statement that this was a “miscalculation”.'Inform, not speculate'-One explanation that was given, was that more research was needed. Were the perpetrators really of North African or Arab origin? How could the victims know for sure? If media reported this but it turned out to be wrong, they would influence how migrants are perceived.“ Journalists should inform, but not speculate”, said Frank Uberall, head of the German Federation of Journalists.But even so, the size of coverage also says something about the importance media gave the development.Newspapers Die Welt and Suddeutsche Zeitung reported on Albers' press conference in their Tuesday (5 January) editions, but on page 24 and 8 respectively. They were written as features rather than has hard news.It was not until Wednesday when these papers, and others, devoted their front page and several additional articles to the topic.The main angle for those stories was the reaction of chancellor Merkel and other politicians. This showed that German mainstream media – like those elsewhere on the continent – are still susceptible to classical authoritative voices.Despite the many available reports on social media, most media waited to report on the issue until the police, and later politicians, discussed it.This recalls the findings of media researcher Nick Davies, who in his book Flat Earth News (2008) reported that British media based between 60 to 80 percent of their articles on official sources, press releases and wire copy. Media are often followers of the agenda, not agenda-setters.-Political correctness-Some politicians are now saying that media can also be too careful. Not reporting plays into the hands of populist movements.A reporter from Die Welt on Wednesday interviewed Julia Klockner, deputy federal chairwoman of Merkel's centre-right CDU party. The paper asked Klockner why it took so long for the scandal to become public.“That is a question that you and the media should ask yourselves”, said Klockner.“Surely it is a difficult journalistic consideration, to report truthfully on the one hand, but also on the other hand not to feed prejudgements and prejudices. But [putting on] blinkers and misunderstood political correctness don't help us along either”, she added.-Sexism-And then there is the position of women in society in general.Feminist activist Anne Wizorek told newspaper Frankfurter Rundschau Thursday that the background of the Cologne perpetrators should not make a difference.“Everyone who does something like that should be punished”, she said, adding that the assaults were now being used for racist ends.“Sexism does not limit itself to [migrants]. (…) We should not only discover this issue when the perpetrators have a migrant background. Those people who criticise what happened in Cologne are often also the ones that play down sexual violence by Germans and blame the affected women.”The paper noted that one in four German women encounters sexual or physical violence during her life. According to a 2014 EU-wide survey by the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, one in three European women has experienced physical and/or sexual violence since she was 15 years old.But the political focus has already shifted from the victims onto how to punish migrants and refugees who commit crimes.
Merkel: Sexual assaults raise 'serious questions' By Eric Maurice-JAN 8,16-EUOBSERVER
BRUSSELS, Today, 09:30-The German chancellor said "the fundamentals of cultural co-existence" must be discussed, as more cases of assault by alleged migrants are reported in Cologne and other European cities.German chancellor Angela Merkel said the mass sexual harassment of women in Cologne on New Year's eve raised "some serious questions" about "cultural co-existence in Germany", while it appears that women were similarly assaulted in other European cities.Finnish police said that "widespread sexual harassment" was reported in Helsinki during New Year's celebrations on the city's central square. "This is a completely new phenomenon," the Finnish capital's deputy police chief told AFP news agency."The suspects were asylum seekers. The three were caught and taken into custody on the spot," he said, adding that two cases were filed.In Zurich, six women reported being assaulted by "several dark-skinned men". "It's a little bit similar" to what happened in Cologne, the Swiss city's police spokesman told AFP, although the scale of the alleged attacks was "difficult to compare".In Cologne, 120 complaints have been filed for robbery, sexual abuse and rape after dozens of reportedly mainly North African and Arab-looking men attacked women at the city's main train station. Police said it was investigating "16 young men, mostly of North African origin". Similar incidents were also reported in Hamburg, where 70 complaints of sexual assault have been filed, and Dusseldorf."What happened at New Year's is completely unacceptable," Merkel said Thursday (7 January) at a press conference in Berlin."The feeling women had in this case of being completely defenceless and at mercy is for me personally intolerable and so it is important that everything that happened must come out into the open," she said.In her New Year's address broadcast a few hours before the incidents, Merkel had asked Germans to consider the arrival of migrants and refugees as "an opportunity for tomorrow" and warned them against division and hatred.She had also said that Germany's "values, traditions, sense of justice, language, laws [were] the basic requirement for a good common life imbued with mutual respect". Faced with incidents that could trigger a backlash against migrants and her policy of welcoming them, Merkel said Thursday that they raised "some serious questions that go beyond Cologne".She said Germany "must decisively confront" the behaviour of the assaulters, adding that she did "not believe that these are only individual cases"."We must consistently discuss the fundamentals of cultural co-existence in Germany," Merkel said, admitting that "people [were] rightly expecting action".The chancellor also warned that Germany needed "to re-examine if everything necessary has been done with regards to expulsions to send a clear signal to those who do not respect our law".Her vice-chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, from her coalition partner, the Social Democratic Party, proposed that convicted foreigners serve their sentence in their country of origin."We must examine all the possibilities of international law to send back criminal asylum seekers to their country," Gabriel told Bild newspaper Friday."Why should German taxpayers pay for the prison term of foreign criminals," he said, adding that countries of origin should see aid being cut if they refuse to take their convicted nationals back.New Year's harassment cases have also spurred debate in Belgium, where the asylum and migration minister, Flemish nationalist Theo Francken, said he planned to introduce classes to teach migrants respect towards women and how to behave with them."We'll copy the Norwegian model and introduce these classes in the coming weeks in all our reception centres," Francken told Belgian media."This decision is based on an incident that occurred in Germany for which we have no convincing element …. This is racism under thin disguise," said the minister for women's rights in Wallonia, Socialist Isabelle Simonis.
Canada rejects African-American's asylum claim-Reuters-JAN 8,16-YAHOONEWS
TORONTO (Reuters) - A Canadian tribunal has rejected a claim for refugee status from an African-American man who said he feared persecution and police abuse in the United States based on his race, the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada said on Friday.While saying he did find Kyle Lydell Canty to have a genuine fear of returning to his home country, adjudicator Ron Yamauchi said that was not enough to grant asylum.A string of shootings of black men by U.S. police over the past 18 months have led to widespread protests and the issue has fueled a civil rights movement under the name Black Lives Matter." The Act does not protect claimants from every form of ill-treatment, suffering, and hardship," he wrote in the decision, dated Dec. 3. "It is addressed at situations of persecution, which is serious harm, an interference with a basic human right."He added: "There are no substantial grounds to believe that his removal to the United States of America would subject him personally to a danger of torture."Canty filed for asylum in September after coming to Canada as a tourist.It was not immediately possible to ascertain Canty's whereabouts. He has the right to appeal the decision."If I receive a negative decision of my asylum application, I'm already 10 moves ahead as far as my appeal process goes," Canty wrote in November. "The United States government is always murdering, undermining and underestimating its black citizens – and I have no intention of going back."(Reporting by Alastair Sharp; Editing by Sandra Maler)
Vietnamese man pleads guilty in U.S. to helping al Qaeda affiliate-Reuters By Nate Raymond- JAN 8,16-YAHOONEWS
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A Vietnamese man who prosecutors said traveled to Yemen to join an al Qaeda affiliate and was instructed there to detonate an explosive at London's Heathrow Airport pleaded guilty to U.S. terrorism charges on Friday.Minh Quang Pham, 33, pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court to three counts including that he provided material support to al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, three weeks before he was set to face trial.Speaking in a quiet voice, Pham admitted to providing support to the Islamic militant group, including through helping prepare the group's online propaganda magazine, Inspire, and receiving military-type training.Prosecutors have said that Pham, who had attended a university in South London, while in Yemen also directly trained with Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born radical Islamic cleric who was killed in a 2011 U.S. drone attack.In court, Assistant U.S. Attorney Sean Buckley said after his arrest, Pham admitted that al-Awlaki instructed him in how to make an explosive device out of household material.Buckley said al-Awlaki "directed Pham to return to the United Kingdom, where he was to construct and detonate the device at the arrival area of Heathrow." Buckley added that al-Awlaki gave Pham $10,000 for the plot. Bobbi Sternheim, Pham's lawyer, said her client accepted "full responsibility" to the charges to which he pled. But she said there was "no proof" Pham did anything to follow through with causing any harm at Heathrow. Pham faces a mandatory minimum of 30 years in prison and a maximum term of life. He is scheduled to be sentenced April 14.Prosecutors said Pham traveled from the United Kingdom to Yemen in December 2010 and took an oath of allegiance to the militant group, which the United States lists as a terrorist organization. He spent a year in Yemen, where he received "military-type" training and helped prepare the group's magazine, Inspire, working directly with Samir Khan, a U.S. citizen who served as its editor and died in a U.S. drone strike in 2011.Pham returned to the United Kingdom in July 2011, where he was detained by authorities at Heathrow Airport, who discovered various items including a live round of .762 caliber armor-piercing ammunition.He was subsequently arrested in the United Kingdom in June 2012 at the request of U.S. authorities and extradited to the United States in February 2015.(Reporting by Nate Raymond in New York; Editing by Bernard Orr)
Syrians rush to Turkey ahead of new visa requirement-By EUOBSERVER-JAN 8,16
Today, 08:58-Thousands of Syrians have been scurrying to Turkey in recent days before a decision by Ankara that will require them to obtain visas takes effect Friday, Lebanese media reports. Turkey announced the new visa requirements for Syrians after EU states offered Ankara €3bn for discouraging migrants from traveling to Europe.
Timmermans travels to Turkey as plan to stem migrant flow flops-By EUOBSERVER-JAN 8,16
Today, 08:52-The European Commission’s first vice-president Frans Timmermans is to fly to Turkey this weekend to discuss with Turkish authorities why the number of refugees arriving in the EU from Turkey has not dropped significantly since the EU agreed in November to pay €3bn in aid in return for a crackdown.
Northern countries report large number of missing passports By Nikolaj Nielsen-JAN 8,16-EUOBSERVER
BRUSSELS, Today, 09:29-Almost half a million German passports were either stolen or lost in 2013, with Nordic countries also reporting large numbers.Sweden's interior ministry revealed the sums on Thursday (7 January) as part of a new bill designed to tighten security against passport fraud in a wider crackdown against terrorism."It is part of an agreement on anti-terrorism issues because we want to decrease the use of Swedish passports by the wrong people abroad", said a spokesperson from Sweden's interior ministry.The ministry said some 477,000 German passports were snatched or lost in 2013, followed by Denmark at 195,000, Sweden (177,000) and Finland (44,000).The bill makes it more difficult for people to engage in "lookalike fraud", whereby a person with similar features uses another's passport to enter the country.The proposal would require fingerprint scans for people of all nationalities entering Sweden if they are not from one of the countries in the EU's passport-free Schengen zone."In the long term, consideration should be given to whether such controls are to be introduced for outward journeys as well", it notes.The vast majority of "lookalike fraud" cases are from people travelling with a Swedish passport from Turkey.The new bill would also limit the number of passports that can be issued to a Swedish national, imposing a three passport limit over a five-year period.The French delegation at the EU Council, representing member states, floated a similar idea last October calling for EU-wide rules that would require travelling EU nationals to give their fingerprints and possibly have their faces scanned.That plan is part of the larger so-called 'Smart borders' package, a digital dragnet set to be unveiled by the European Commission before the summer.Passport demand in Sweden is due, in part, to the gradual replacement of 10-year passports with five-year ones.The proposal has broad political support and is expected to sail through parliament and become law on 1 April.The cases of detected abuse of Swedish passports averages at around 950 per year but a summary in the legislative proposal notes "there is much to indicate that a large number of cases go undetected".The low risk of detection, a lack of police guidelines, and minimal penalties are among the factors behind the abuse.The Swedish ministry says discussions on tightening the passport controls were launched before the migrant crisis."Of course the situation has a bearing on the migration situation as well but that is not the main reason why the legislation was put forward," noted the spokesperson.Sweden has the highest per capita asylum numbers compared to any other EU state.Last week, it imposed identity checks with anyone coming from Denmark in an effort to stem migrant inflows.Sweden's migration minister Morgan Johannsson said the border control crackdown would not last longer than needed."We are a country that can do a lot and has done a lot but we cannot do everything. We have to share responsibility," he told reporters earlier this week.
Iran holds mass protests against Saudi Arabia amid tensions-Demonstrators chant ‘Death to Al Saud’ referencing kingdom’s royal family, as anger over execution of Shiite cleric refuses to die down-By Nasser Karimi January 8, 2016, 2:58 pm-THE TIMES OF ISRAEL
TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranians held mass protests Friday across the Islamic Republic, angered by Saudi Arabia’s execution of a Shiite cleric that has inflamed regional tensions between the Mideast rivals.The crisis has seen Saudi Arabia sever ties with Iran after crowds of protesters in Iran attacked two of its diplomatic posts. Those assaults came after Saudi Arabia executed Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, a prominent opposition Shiite cleric, on January 2.After Friday prayers in Tehran, thousands of worshippers joined the rally, carrying pictures of al-Nimr and chanting “Death to Al Saud,” referencing the kingdom’s royal family. They also chanted “Down with the US” and “Death to Israel,” traditional Iranian slogans at protests.The rally in Tehran lasted some 40 minutes and took place in an outdoor space at the Mosalla Mosque, the main site for Friday prayers in Tehran.Iranian state media reported similar protests taking place in other Iranian cities and towns. In Bahrain, more protests were planned Friday, while Shiites across the greater Mideast have rallied throughout the week over al-Nimr’s execution.The protests come after Iran claimed Thursday that a Saudi-led airstrike the previous night had hit the Iranian Embassy in Sanaa, citing Iran’s Foreign Ministry. However, an Associated Press reporter who reached the site just after the announcement saw no damage to the building, which sits in a neighborhood near a presidential palace that’s seen many previous strikes.Iran vowed to file a report about their claim to the United Nations, while the Saudi military issued a statement through the kingdom’s state news agency, dismissing the allegation as false.In eastern Saudi Arabia, the home of al-Nimr and much of the kingdom’s roughly 10 to 15 percent Shiite population, Shiites held a memorial service for the cleric Thursday night. It wasn’t a funeral, as the sheikh’s brother has said Saudi authorities had already buried his body in an undisclosed cemetery.The service ended peacefully, despite gunfire echoing in the night in the region over the last week. On Friday, the state-run Saudi Press Agency said that a man complained of being kidnapped at gunpoint by a gang and beaten in eastern Saudi Arabia. It quoted police as saying an investigation was ongoing.
23 Thus he said, The fourth beast (EU,REVIVED ROME) shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth,(7TH WORLD EMPIRE) which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.(TRADING BLOCKS-10 WORLD REGIONS/TRADE BLOCS)
24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings(10 NATIONS-10 WORLD DIVISION WORLD GOVERNMENT) that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.(THE EU (EUROPEAN UNION) TAKES OVER IRAQ WHICH HAS SPLIT INTO 3-SUNNI-KURD-SHIA PARTS-AND THE REVIVED ROMAN EMPIRE IS BROUGHT BACK TOGETHER-THE TWO LEGS OF DANIEL WESTERN LEG AND THE ISLAMIC LEG COMBINED AS 1)
EU to invest €1bn in regions along its external borders-By EUOBSERVER-JAN 8,16
Today, 08:51-The European Commission has adopted a package of cross-border cooperation programmes totalling €1bn. The programmes will finance projects in 27 countries – 14 EU member states, Norway and Turkey, as well as five countries bordering the EU in the east, including Russia plus Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Tunisia.
Opinion-How international trade deals threaten democracy and climate By Magda Stoczkiewicz- JAN 8,16-EUOBSERVER
BRUSSELS, Today, 17:40-If there was any doubt that international trade agreements threatened both democracy and the climate, then thank the TransCanada Corporation for making it abundantly clear.Less than a week into the new year, and less than a month after the international climate talks in Paris, the Keystone XL pipeline developers are demonstrating exactly who the real beneficiaries of international trade deals are – corporations.The controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which would have bisected the United States carrying climate-killing tar sands from Canada, was rejected by US President Obama in November. Obama cited the pipeline's projected contribution to climate change in deeming it not in the national interest.The pipeline would have opened up global markets to exports of tar sands – one of the world’s dirtiest fuels.Blocking the pipeline was a major victory for the climate movement, putting the interests of people ahead of corporations.On 6 January this year, TransCanada initiated international trade proceedings against the US government over its decision to block the pipeline.Under the investment chapter of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), TransCanada is demanding USD$15 billion in compensation, from taxpayers’ money.The vast majority of the claim is based on missed future profits, as the company has only invested USD$2.4 billion so far. To put this in perspective, in 2014 the US government only provided USD$430 million for climate-vulnerable countries to mitigate the impacts of climate change.-Investor-state dispute settlements (ISDS)-In effect, a decision made by a democratically elected government, in the interest of both people and the environment, is being challenged by a corporation interested only in its projected profits.In addition, the case will be heard in a private international tribunal, composed of unelected corporate lawyers.The case adds to the long list of past and ongoing investor-state dispute settlements (ISDS), a mechanism included in thousands of international trade agreements, and under growing criticism in the context of the negotiations for the EU-US Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the Transpacific Trade Partnership (TPP), and the EU-Canada trade agreement.Famous examples include the energy giant Vattenfall challenging Germany’s decision to phase out nuclear energy, LonePine Resources disputing Quebec’s introduction of a precautionary moratorium on the controversial technique of fracking, and Ethyl achieving the reversal of Canada’s ban on the toxic chemical MMT.The ISDS not only allows foreign investors to sue host governments for financial compensation in private tribunals, but may create a chilling effect on legislators keen to protect the public interest, due to the threat of lawsuits and financial losses.This latest case sends American, Canadian and EU decision-makers a clear signal: trade and investment deals, including investor-state dispute settlement mechanisms, are an enormous threat to the climate.There can no longer be any doubt that they threaten democracy, and benefit only a handful of corporate players.Once corporations are entitled to special privileges without obligations, they will stop at nothing to secure profits at the expense of the environment and essential public safeguards.Therefore, it’s time to put a stop to international trade deals like TTIP, TPP and the EU-Canada trade agreement, and put the interests of people and the planet before the profits of big business.Magda Stoczkiewicz is director of Friends of the Earth Europe.
Affluenza' teen's mom complains about jail conditions-Associated Press By EMILY SCHMALL- JAN 8,16-YAHOONEWS
FORT WORTH, Texas (AP) — A "woman with means" who was arrested at a Mexican beach resort city with her fugitive teenage son who invoked "affluenza" as a defense after killing four people in a drunken-driving wreck has complained about the conditions of her Texas jail cell, a sheriff said Friday."She expressed a slight displeasure about her accommodations, and I told her this was a jail and not a resort," Tarrant County Sheriff Dee Anderson said at a news conference.Tonya Couch, 48, and her 18-year-old son, Ethan Couch, have been the objects of derision since Ethan was sentenced to probation, rather than jail time, for the 2013 wreck. The case drew renewed rancor when the mother and son fled to Mexico after a video surfaced that appeared to show Ethan Couch, fresh from a rehabilitation center, at a party where people were drinking. If Couch drank alcohol, he violated the terms of his probation.Tonya Couch made an initial appearance in a Texas courtroom Friday on a charge of hindering the apprehension of a felon. She did not enter a plea because her attorney was not present for the arraignment.Tarrant County Judge Wayne Salvant advised Couch of the charge against her and asked whether she understood. The mother, wearing a yellow jail jumpsuit, said she did.Salvant set bond at $1 million and Couch's attorney, Stephanie Patten, filed a motion asking for the bond to be reduced. "We think anything $25,000 or under would be fair," Patten told reporters.Patten later issued a statement criticizing the public manner in which Anderson has handled the case and questioning why he spoke to Couch in court without her attorney present. Patten suggested Anderson may be using the case to get attention because he is up for re-election this year."During a contested election, to piggyback on a case that has drawn extensive media coverage by doing things that have never been done in recent memory on any other case is very troubling," she said in the statement.According to Salvant, Patten missed the hearing because she was stuck in traffic, but she was able to meet briefly with Couch before she was returned to her jail cell.Anderson said he opposed a bond reduction because Couch is "a woman with means who can get out of the country with the right connections."Couch told the judge that she surrendered a temporary passport in Los Angeles, where she was deported from Mexico last week.Authorities believe the mother and son fled Texas together in November as prosecutors investigated whether the teenager had violated probation. They were arrested in Puerto Vallarta late last month.Ethan Couch was driving drunk and speeding near Fort Worth in June 2013 when he crashed into a disabled SUV, killing four people and injuring several others, including passengers in his pickup truck. He pleaded guilty in juvenile court to four counts of intoxication manslaughter and two counts of intoxication assault causing serious bodily injury and was sentenced to 10 years' probation.Couch is being held at an immigration detention center in Mexico City after winning a delay in deportation, a ruling that could lead to a drawn-out court process if a Mexican judge decides Couch has grounds to challenge his deportation based on arguments that kicking him out of Mexico would violate his rights.Such cases can take anywhere from two weeks to several months, depending on the priorities of the local courts and the actions of defense attorneys, according to Richard Hunter, chief deputy for the U.S. Marshals Service in South Texas.
Benghazi panel Republican 'hopeful' Clinton will be charged-Associated Press By MATTHEW DALY-JAN 8,16-YAHOONEWS
WASHINGTON (AP) — A Republican member of the House Benghazi committee says he is "hopeful" the Justice Department will bring charges against Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for having classified information on her private email server.Rep. Mike Pompeo of Kansas said there is increasing evidence that "an enormous amount of information" on Clinton's private server is classified."It was classified when it was on her server, and it was classified when it was sent," Pompeo told conservative radio host Lars Larson on Thursday.Pompeo said he is "anxious" for the Justice Department and FBI to make a determination on whether to bring charges against Clinton as quickly as possible. If charges are made, a grand jury will determine whether to indict."I think that there is only one answer that can be reached, and I am hopeful that will be the outcome that the FBI achieves," said Pompeo, who also serves on the House Intelligence Committee."These are just facts," Pompeo added. "We've all seen the reports of the classified information on her server. It could not and should not have been lawfully handled in the way that she did it."Pompeo's comments came as the panel interviewed former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta behind closed doors Friday for nearly six hours. Panetta endorsed Clinton's presidential bid on Thursday.Pompeo's remarks are the latest by a congressional Republican suggesting an unfavorable judgment against Clinton before the committee or the FBI concludes their respective investigations.House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said last fall that the Benghazi panel could take credit for Clinton's recent drop in public opinion polls. He later retracted the comment.Rep. Richard Hanna, R-N.Y., said "a big part" of the Benghazi investigation "was designed to go after ... Hillary Clinton."Clinton was secretary of state at the time of the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya.Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, the senior Democrat on the Benghazi panel, called Pompeo's comments unfortunate and said they are evidence of GOP bias against Clinton."I think it's inappropriate," Cummings said. "It's very unfortunate when we have a committee that is supposed to be about the business of finding out facts, for anyone to come out with those kinds of statements."Pompeo's comment will make it harder for the American people to accept the committee's report as unbiased and nonpartisan, Cummings said.Panetta had not testified before the Benghazi panel until now, but he told Congress in 2013 that time, distance and the lack of an adequate warning prevented a more immediate response to the Sept. 11 attacks that killed U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. Panetta told MSNBC this week that "there was never any order to stand down. On the contrary, the whole effort was to do everything possible to try to save lives."The Republican staff on the committee issued a statement Friday defending the panel's work and criticizing Democratic members, underscoring how Benghazi remains a highly politically charged issue more than three years after the attacks.
Clinton told aide to send talking points by 'non-secure' system-Reuters By John Whitesides-JAN 8,16-YAHOONEWS
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Hillary Clinton, who has been hounded by questions about her use of a private email account while heading the State Department, instructed a staffer in 2011 to send her a talking points memo by a nonsecure system after it could not be sent by secure fax.Clinton also expressed surprise in another 2011 email that a State Department staffer would use a private email account for work, according to the latest batch of Clinton emails released by the State Department under a schedule ordered by a federal judge.Questions about Clinton's use of a private email account while leading the State Department have been a recurring problem for her Democratic presidential campaign. Republicans have criticized her for skirting the rules and endangering national security.Clinton, the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination in the November 2016 White House election, has apologized for using the private email server set up at her New York home. She has repeatedly said she never sent or received classified information through it.But the latest batch of emails sheds light on her sometimes contradictory attitudes about email security.In June 2011, after an aide said staffers were having trouble sending her talking points by secure fax, Clinton advised: "If they can't, turn into nonpaper w no identifying heading and send nonsecure."It was unclear what the talking points, which are typically used to summarize material to be discussed in public, were about or whether they contained any sensitive or classified information.State Department spokesman John Kirby said the department was unable to find any evidence the document was eventually emailed to Clinton. He said the fact it was originally to be sent on a secure fax did not mean it was classified."It's not atypical for documents - unclassified documents - to be created, crafted, edited, shared on a classified system," he told reporters.Republican Senator Chuck Grassley, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, called the email "disturbing" and said it raised "a host of serious questions" about whether classified information was sent through her private email server.In another 2011 email, Clinton asked where the author of an an analysis of the situation in Libya worked. When informed he was a State Department employee, Clinton wrote: "I was surprised that he used personal email account if he is at State."The emails were among 3,000 pages made public on Friday by the State Department, which was running late on a court-ordered schedule requiring that 82 percent of her 55,000 emails be released by the end of December.On Thursday, a report by an independent auditor said the State Department has long failed to produce complete and timely records in response to public information requests.The Office of the Inspector General cited the department for taking more than 500 days, or more than 16 months, to furnish records for the Office of the Secretary under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which calls for them within 20 working days.The auditor said the problems predate Clinton, who was President Barack Obama's secretary of state from 2009 until 2013, citing "procedural weaknesses" as well as inadequate staffing, poor training and a lack of a written procedures.The report, which reviewed public information requests from 1996 to 2015, called on the department to develop an improvement plan and boost staff levels.(Additional reporting by Arshad Mohammed and Susan Heavey; Editing by Dan Grebler, Bernard Orr)
Maryland court grants stay on order for officer to testify in Gray trial-Reuters-JAN 8,16-YAHOO NEWS
BALTIMORE (Reuters) - A Baltimore police officer facing manslaughter charges in connection with the death of a black man while in police custody will not immediately have to testify against a fellow officer charged with murder following an appeals court ruling on Friday.The Maryland Court of Special Appeals agreed to stay, or temporarily halt, a lower-court judge's order for William Porter to take the stand in the trial of Caesar Goodson, who was charged with second-degree depraved heart murder in the April death of Freddie Gray.Porter's lawyers on Thursday appealed a Baltimore City Circuit Court's order that their client take the witness stand in Goodson's trial, which is scheduled to begin on Monday. Both Porter and Goodson are black.Goodson was the driver of the police van where Gray, 25, sustained the broken neck that killed him after his arrest. He faces the most serious of the criminal charges filed against the six officers involved in Gray's arrest.Porter's trial ended last month in a mistrial after the jury was unable to reach a verdict. He is scheduled to be retried in June.(Reporting by Donna Owens; Writing by Scott Malone; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)
Self-styled militia group joins Oregon occupation, could raise tensions-Reuters By Jonathan Allen-JAN 8,16-YAHOONEWS
BURNS, Ore. (Reuters) - Several members of self-described militia groups have joined armed protesters occupying the headquarters of a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon, threatening to raise tensions in the week-long siege over land rights.One of those organizations, the Pacific Patriots Network, issued a "call to action" for its members to establish a safety perimeter around the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in remote southeastern Oregon as leaders of the protest again said they had no immediate plans to leave."We wish to establish a safety perimeter of protection for the occupiers so as to prevent a Waco-style situation from unfolding during this peaceful occupation," leaders of the group said in a statement posted on its website." That's really the point of militias: it's community involvement," Brandon Rapolla, a member of Pacific Patriot Network, told Reuters in an interview near a building being used by Ammon Bundy and his brother, Ryan, to run the occupation. "If something happens in your community, that's what militias are for."The Pacific Patriot Network earlier in the standoff said it did not support seizing federal property.In 1993 federal agents laid siege to a compound in Waco, Texas, being held by the Branch Davidians religious group for 51 days before the standoff ended in a gun battle and fire in April of that year. Four federal agents and more than 80 members of the group died, including 23 children.Some two dozen armed protesters have occupied the headquarters of the refuge since last Saturday, marking the latest incident in the so-called Sagebrush Rebellion, a decades-old conflict over federal control of land and resources in the U.S. West.The move followed a demonstration in support of two local ranchers, Dwight Hammond Jr. and his son Steven, who were returned to prison earlier this week for setting fires that spread to federal land.A lawyer for Hammond family has said that the occupiers do not speak for the family.Ammon Bundy met briefly with Harney County Sheriff David Ward on Thursday but rejected the lawman's offer of safe passage out of the state to end the standoff.During a press conference on Friday morning, Bundy seemed to soften his position slightly, saying: "We will take that offer but not yet and we will go out of this county and out of this state as free."Both Bundy and the sheriff have said that the two sides would talk again on Friday.Following Bundy's press conference on Friday morning a lands right activist opposed to the occupation spoke to the media."This is about furthering an extremist right-wing agenda," Barrett Kaiser, a Montana resident and a representative of the Center for Western Priorities, said angrily, as supporters of Bundy tried to interrupt him and argue with him. "They need to be charged and prosecuted."Local residents have expressed a mixture of sympathy for the Hammond family, suspicion of the federal government's motives and frustration with the occupation.The leaders of the armed occupation are Ammon Bundy and his brother, Ryan Bundy. Their father, Cliven Bundy, along with a band of armed men, stared down federal agents trying to seize his livestock in Nevada in 2014. Many of the other occupiers also are from outside Oregon.The Bundys say they want the federal government to turn over its land holdings in the area to local authorities and that they will leave after they have accomplished their goal.Federal law enforcement agents and local police have so far kept away from the occupied site, maintaining no visible presence outside the park in a bid to avoid a violent confrontation.(Reporting by Jonathan Allen in Burns, Oregon; Writing by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)
Texas trooper booked, released in case of woman who died in jail-Reuters By Jon Herskovitz-January 7, 2016 6:44 PM-YAHOONEWS
AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - A Texas trooper who arrested a black motorist later found hanged in her jail cell turned himself in on Thursday and was booked on a misdemeanor perjury charge related to the arrest six months ago, authorities said.The family of the woman, Sandra Bland, said earlier on Thursday that the charge against trooper Brian Encinia was not enough and he should be indicted for assault, battery and false arrest.Encinia was booked and had a mug shot taken at the same facility where Bland died. The process took about 30 minutes and he left after bond of $2,500 bond was posted, the Waller County Sheriff's Office said."We don't show favoritism for anybody," Sheriff R. Glenn Smith told reporters.Encinia surrendered to Texas Rangers after being indicted-on Wednesday by a grand jury in Waller County, outside Houston, on suspicion of lying in a police report about why he pulled Bland out of her car in July 2015. She died three days later of an apparent hanging.The case was one of many in recent months that raised questions about racial bias in U.S. policing. Bland's family has questioned autopsy reports she committed suicide.The misdemeanor charge is punishable by up to a year in jail and a $4,000 fine. After the indictment was handed up, the Texas Department of Public Safety said it would fire Encinia."There is no one who believes this is right for the crime," Geneva Reed-Veal, Bland's mother, said at a news conference in Chicago. "No one should be OK with this."Reed-Veal said she did not trust local prosecutors and authorities, adding they had not given the family information on the grand jury process or returned Bland's personal items to them.Encinia has not spoken about the indictment.Bland was stopped on July 10 by Encinia for failing to signal a lane change in Prairie View, about 50 miles (80 km) northwest of Houston.A prosecutor said Encinia reported he pulled Bland out of the car to investigate the traffic violation.The traffic stop escalated into a verbal altercation after Encinia asked Bland to put out a cigarette and she refused. A dashcam video of the incident showed Encinia brandishing what appeared to be a Taser and telling Bland: "I will light you up."The Texas Department of Public Safety faulted Encinia for his conduct during the traffic stop. The video showed him shouting at Bland and failing to answer her when she asked numerous times why she was being arrested. Bland was charged with assaulting an officer, a felony, and critics said her race was an underlying factor in the traffic stop and the way in which the trooper allowed the confrontation to escalate.Bland's was found dead in her cell three days later with a trash bag around her neck. Her family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit. Local officials have said she was not mistreated in jail.(Reporting by Jon Herskovitz; Additional reporting by Jim Forysth in San Antonio and Suzannah Gonzales in Chicago; Editing by Steve Orlofsky and Peter Cooney)
Alabama chief justice orders halt to same-sex marriage licenses-Reuters By Colleen Jenkins-January 6, 2016 7:22 PM-YAHOONEWS
(Reuters) - The chief justice of Alabama's Supreme Court ordered the state's probate judges on Wednesday not to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples despite a ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court last year legalizing gay marriage.Gay marriage activists and legal experts assailed the order, arguing last June's landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision afforded same-sex couples the right to marry in all 50 states.In a phone interview Chief Justice Roy Moore, who issued the order, said judges were bound by the state Supreme Court's decision last March halting same-sex marriage until that court determines the effect on the state of the national ruling.A federal judge in Alabama overturned the state's ban on same-sex marriage last January."There is a great confusion out there as to what orders to obey," Moore said. "I’m not causing the confusion, I’m trying to clarify it."Many probate judges were issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples while others refused to do so, he said.One probate judge, Steven Reed in Montgomery, Alabama, said his office would not heed the administrative order. "Judge Moore's latest charade is just sad & pathetic," Reed posted on Twitter.But the Mobile County probate court said on its website that it would stop issuing marriage licenses to any applicants gay or straight until further notice "to ensure full compliance with all court rulings."The Southern Poverty Law Center, which has an ongoing ethics complaint against Moore, said he should be removed from the bench for telling the state's judges to enforce Alabama's ban on same-sex marriage."It’s a disgrace to his office that he occupies it," said Richard Cohen, president of the Alabama- based law center. Cohen said judges who follow Moore's order risked being held in contempt of court for violating the federal judge's ruling.In Kentucky last year, County Clerk Kim Davis was jailed for five days after refusing to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples despite the U.S. Supreme Court ruling, making her a focal point in the U.S. gay marriage debate.Moore, a Republican, has been a hero of conservative causes before. In 2003, he was removed from office after a federal judge ruled he was placing himself above the law by refusing to take down a Ten Commandments monument.He won the chief justice job back in a 2012 election, vowing not to do anything to create further friction with the federal courts.(Reporting by Colleen Jenkins in Winston-Salem, N.C.; Additional reporting by Steve Bittenbender in Louisville, Kentucky; Editing by Tom Brown and Sandra Maler)
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