Ken Cuccinelli is probably going to be confirmed soon as Donald Trump's new head of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. He once praised and amplified a racist rant attacking Muslims by Brigitte Tudor, aka Brigitte Gabriel, a prominent anti-Muslim organizer based in the United States. Read the rest
Gosh, it only took 'em 4 whole years
New Zealand is one of the Five Eyes countries (UK, USA, Canada, Australia, NZ) who collaborate on mass surveillance, and it has a notoriously off-leash, invasive surveillance apparatus that has been caught spying on NZ Greenpeace, the NZ Green Party, the Mana Movements and anti-TPP activists; the state was also caught giving private corporate spies access to its national surveillance data to help them hunt down and neutralize activists; unsurprisingly, the NZ police also abused these records, accessing them without a warrant on thousands of occasions (NZ also recruited the NSA to spy on kiwi activists).
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A white man in his 20s was taken into custody after killing 49 and wounding dozens more at two Christchurch mosques, reports the BBC. Authorities described him as an "extremist right-wing terrorist"; he live-streamed one of the attacks on the internet.
The attack, which came around the time people were attending the mosques for Friday prayers, was the deadliest in the nation's history.
A gunman live-streamed footage of his rampage to Facebook, filmed with a head-mounted camera. The footage showed him firing indiscriminately at men, women and children from close range inside the Al-Noor mosque.
Police called on the public not to share the "extremely distressing" footage online. Facebook said it had removed the gunman's Facebook and Instagram accounts and was working to remove any copies of the footage.
He's been named by some media as Brent or Brenton Tarrant. A 74-page anti-immigration manifesto posted online and attributed to the killer rants about "white genocide".
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The 74-page document, called The Great Replacement, consists of a rant about white genocide and lists various aims, including the creation of “an atmosphere of fear” against Muslims.
The document, which suggests an obsession with violent uprisings against Islam, claims that the suspect had “brief contact” with the Norwegian mass-murderer Anders Behring Breivik and that Breivik gave a “blessing” for the attack. ... In a question-and-answer section of the manifesto, the author claims he was not seeking fame and was actually a “private and mostly introverted person”.
He describes himself as an ethnonationalist and a fascist.
A couple who tested the effects of the poison ricin on their hamster have been charged by the government of Germany with plotting a terrorist attack. Read the rest
Hundreds of Nicaraguans who took to the streets over the last eight months to protest President Daniel Ortega's corrupt government have been forced into hiding and, in some cases, to flee the country for their own safety. It's the end result of the Nicaraguan government's crackdown against protesters who voiced their outrage over Ortega's plans to gut the nation's social security system.
From The New York Times:
...many people in this desperately poor Central American nation now live in a bleak new reality. They have exchanged their routine lives as lawyers, engineering majors, radio broadcasters and merchants for one of ever-changing safe houses, encrypted messaging apps and pseudonyms.
They are hiding from an increasingly authoritarian state that is methodically tracking down those who participated in the large-scale and often violent protests against the government of President Daniel Ortega and his wife, Vice President Rosario Murillo.
“They are hunting us like deer,” said Roberto Carlos Membreño Briceño, 31, a former legal clerk for a Nicaraguan Supreme Court justice, who gave up his law license and fled this year after his bosses saw a photo of him at a protest. He now lives in hiding on a ranch in Costa Rica with 50 strangers, including a ballet dancer who goes by code name “The Eagle.”
Instead of listening to the concerned voices of his constituents, Ortega, paranoid, autocratic shitbird that he is, declared that the uprising had nothing to do with anything he was doing. Rather, the protesters were in the street, acting on behalf of "well-financed political parties" who wanted to toss him and his cronies out on their ass as part of a coup. Read the rest
CNN's Brian Stelter is reporting that a bomb threat has led to the evacuation of CNN's NYC offices. Read the rest
Another suspicious package addressed to CNN was found at the Atlanta post office this morning – the third one headed for CNN in one week. It looks identical to the two other packages sent by "pipe bomb suspect Cesar Sayoc, who was arrested on Friday," according to CNN.
The other two packages addressed to CNN were apparent mail bombs. The first package arrived Wednesday morning in the mailroom at Time Warner Center, home to CNN's New York offices. It spurred a five and a half hour long evacuation of the building.
That package was addressed to former CIA director John Brennan, who actually works for NBC. The second package was addressed to both CNN contributor James Clapper, the former director of National Intelligence, and CNN. It was found Friday morning at a post office six blocks away. It was addressed to Time Warner Center.
There was no immediate word from authorities on Monday about whether the suspicious package in Atlanta is linked to last week's wave of mail bombs.
Since the first suspicious package found last Wednesday, all mail is screened before it enters CNN's offices.
Image: Picryl/Public Domain Read the rest
Authorities from the FBI, NYPD, and New York Mayor Bill De Blasio gave an update to reporters today in New York about the series of explosive devices sent to former presidents and public figures, and the news network CNN. Read the rest
THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS STORY, AND WILL BE UPDATED. Authorities in New York are holding a press conference on 7 or more suspicious packages, some of which contained pipe bombs, sent to political targets, mostly in New York state. On the face of it, the coordinated attack appears to be an attempt to assassinate up to 7 different perceived political enemies of President Donald Trump. Read the rest
For many of us, the Cliven Bundy story started when a fringey rancher got a bunch of his militia pals to flex their white privilege by threatening to shoot federal law enforcement officers who'd demanded that Bundy stop stealing public land and grazing; then Bundy's loathsome offspring led a terrorist takeover of a wildlife refuge in Oregon.
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It’s been a while since we’ve heard a lot about the so-called Islamic State. Since the "defeat" of ISIS in Iraq and the majority of Syria, much of the focus in the war-torn regions of the Middle East has been on: the ongoing pissing match between the United States, Russia and Turkey in Syria, what will become of the civilians whose lives were shattered during the Syrian Civil War, hostilities between Iran and damn near everyone, Palestinian rights, and what the Israelis have cooking in regards to Gaza and the protection of their populace from a variety of aggressors.
Would you be surprised to learn that ISIS is still kind of a big deal? Because it sort of sounds like the United Nations was. According to the CBC, a report from U.N. Terrorism experts says that ISIS is still doing fine, thank you very much, boasting as many as 30,000 members stationed in Syria and Iraq. However, after multiple ass-kickings at the hands of professional and volunteer military forces across the Middle East, they’ve decided to tone things down a bit. That overt, "we're gonna build a freaking caliphate" look of theirs? SO last year. Currently, ISIS is playing it cool by conducting covert operations in its bases of operation while the terrorist group regroups and rebuilds.
From The CBC:
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While many ISIS fighters, planners and commanders have been killed in fighting, and many other fighters and supporters have left the immediate conflict zone, the experts said many still remain in the two countries — some engaged militarily, "and others hiding out in sympathetic communities and urban areas."
Documents obtained by CNN outline a plan to eliminate TSA security screenings at more than 150 small and medium sized airports that mostly service planes with 60 seats or fewer. Read the rest
On Wednesday, the CIA released nearly 500,000 files recovered from the 2011 raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan hideout. According to the CIA's web page
, the files are "temporarily unavailable pending resolution of a technical issue." From Wired
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Hailed by researchers and international relations experts as a valuable gesture of transparency, the stash offers a window into the former Al-Qaeda leader's approach and plans, and insight into the terrorist group's global organizational structure, global network, and allies.
It also contains hallmarks of any person who uses the internet: copies of venerable film classics like Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs and Final Fantasy VII, episodes of Tom and Jerry, an IMAX version of Mysteries of Egypt, a download of the Charlie Bit My Finger viral YouTube video, a Mr. Bean episode, and 28 crocheting tutorials—including one for an "iPod Sock."
“It’s like, ‘ooh Osama bin Laden is a Tom and Jerry fan!’ And maybe he is, it’s quite possible. I like Tom and Jerry, too,” says Bill Roggio, a senior fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the editor of its Long War Journal, which got early access to the trove from the CIA. “But I suspect a lot of the sort of frivolous or the personal stuff was more for his family...."
Other gems include a lot of clip art, a video called "HORSE_DANCE," numerous episodes of a Jackie Chan television show, image files of the Yahoo logo, a few "funny cat" videos, and an image of a cute stuffed animal monkey.
The driver of a Home Depot truck who plowed into people in a Lower Manhattan bike lane today is said to have shouted 'Allahu Akbar' while he killed them. Read the rest
58 are dead and hundreds more injured after 64-year-old gunman Stephen Paddock began shooting into a concert crowd on the Las Vegas strip. Taking aim from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel, he killed himself as officers charged into his room,
was killed by officers reports the BBC.
The attack is the worst mass shooting in recent US history.
Sheriff Joe Lombardo described the shooting as a "lone wolf" attack. He added that police were now confident they had located a woman, earlier named as Marilou Danley, who was suspected of travelling with the gunman before the attack.
Sheriff Lombardo said he was unable to give accurate details of dead and wounded, but confirmed two off-duty police officers were among those killed.
A video taken by a concertgoer shows the moment automatic gunfire erupted. No victims are depicted in this footage.
Extended footage here show the first minutes of the attack. Three bouts of gunfire, each 10-20 seconds long with about 30 seconds between, into the crowd, followed by more shots and muffled automatic fire about a minute later. If that was the end of it, it was all over in 2 minutes.
This is more harrowing footage illustrating the view of the crowd that Paddock had from the Mandalay Bay and the helpless panic as more shots were fired. Read the rest
On September 11, 2001, this was astronaut Frank Culbertson's view of New York City from the International Space Station.
"The world changed today," Station Commander Culbertson wrote the next day. "What I say or do is very minor compared to the significance of what happened to our country today when it was attacked...
"It's horrible to see smoke pouring from wounds in your own country from such a fantastic vantage point. The dichotomy of being on a spacecraft dedicated to improving life on the earth and watching life being destroyed by such willful, terrible acts is jolting to the psyche, no matter who you are."
(NASA) Read the rest