[MAIL] A bloodied motorist was filmed hanging on for dear life to the hood of a semi-trailer truck that was driving at high speed northbound on the Florida Turnpike near Boynton on Saturday afternoon. According to the Florida Highway Patrol, dispatchers were told that a white male was driving a Toyota SUV with a male passenger traveling southbound on the Turnpike. The passenger told dispatchers that the driver started acting erratically and stopped the vehicle on the exit ramp to Boynton Beach. The driver then got out of the Toyota and started walking on the highway. According to the FHP, the man hopped over the media concrete wall from the southbound side to the northbound side, causing traffic to slow down. He then jumped on top of the hood of a semi tractor-trailer that was driving northbound.
[Red State] Late today, the District Court in the Southern District of New York unsealed several court documents that are part of the case file in civil cases filed against the Estate of Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell by a young woman who claims she was a victim of sexual assault at the hands of Epstein, Maxwell, and many others. Jeffrey Epstein was a convicted pedophile and successful suicide practitioner, while his ex-girlfriend Maxwell is now facing federal charges of sex trafficking in the Southern District of New York after her recent indictment.
Epstein was indicted in 2019 but hanged himself — allegedly — in his New York jail cell while awaiting trial.
The long history of this matter is beyond the scope of this article. But the basics are that Epstein was a wealthy "financier" from New York who was investigated beginning in 2004 for engaging in sexual conduct with minor girls at various properties owned by him in New York, Florida, and a private island he owned in the Caribbean. In 2008, Epstein pled guilty to state charges in Florida for procuring an underage girl for prostitution. As part of that arrangement, the US Attorney for the Southern District of Florida agreed to a "Deferred Prosecution Agreement" (DPA) to resolve an indictment on similar charges that had been filed under seal by a Florida grand jury. If Epstein successfully completed his sentence in the state case, the federal case would be dismissed without further proceedings.
There is nothing "ordinary" about the disposition of the federal case in Florida, and the details of that case are not well known beyond the reporting by the Miami Herald. But one aspect of the DPA that no one connected to federal law enforcement that I know has ever seen done before is that it supposedly grants immunity to other individuals, including ANY unnamed "potential co-conspirators". Ghislaine Maxwell’s attorneys have publicly stated that they intend to assert the language of the DPA as a defense on her behalf in the federal indictment recently returned against her.
It is reported that Alan Dershowitz negotiated the terms of the DPA on Epstein’s behalf.
As violent protesters start fires in downtown Portland, police responded to a shooting where at least 150 rounds were fired. There has been a large uptick in shootings & homicides in Portland since @tedwheeler abolished the Gun Violence Reduction Team. https://t.co/4gp1IieSnH
With two long fire seasons, Californians see potential wildfire threat almost year round. From October until April, Santa Ana winds kick up and pose a threat to The Golden State. Then, from June until September, summer heat can create perfect conditions for wildfires to thrive. That said, it’s not the summer months that worry Californians.
Although summer fires are just as serious — and typically last longer — they generally burn a lot slower and less intensely. Santa Ana wildfires, on the other hand, are as intense as they come. The wildfires caused by wind in October through April tend to spread at a rapid pace and often impact more developed areas along the coastline — such as Ventura’s Thomas Fire in December 2017.
According to a study conducted by the U.S. Forest Service along with the University of California at Irvine, UC Davis, and UCLA, the two fire seasons are as different as they come. Summer fires can occur anywhere in the state and typically target more wild and remote areas. For those along the coast — San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco Bay Area, Santa Barbara, Napa, to name a few — Santa Ana fires are a major concern and economically devastating.
[Al Ahram] A sudden collapse of a dam in Sudan's Blue Nile State has destroyed 600 houses, local Sudanese media reported late on Friday.
"Over 600 houses in the neighborhoods of Bout town in Blue Nile State have been destroyed due to a sudden collapse of Bout dam which is used to store around 5 million cubic meters of water coming from the valleys of al-Angsana Mountains," local media quoted Nusaiba Farouq Kalol, acting executive director of Al Tadamun locality in Sudan's Blue Nile State, as saying.
"The water surrounded another 600 families in a neighbourhood, with no access to them as the water flooded the area from three directions," she added.
The local official warned against a big wave of displacement in the area, noting that the Bout dam constitutes the backbone for the area where there is a large market and more than nine basic education schools.
Annually during June and July, Sudan witnesses waves of floods due to heavy rains.
On Thursday, Sudan meteorological authorities warned of medium to heavy rains, accompanied by high-speed winds on Friday that would continue until Saturday afternoon, in various parts of the country.
[EN.ALGHADEER.TV] An unnamed British politician and the former minister were arrested on Saturday after police received allegations of rape, sexual assault, and coercive control, The Sunday Times reported.A woman in her twenties reported to police she had been assaulted and forced to have sex, the newspaper reported. The woman was a former parliamentary employee, it said.
London’s Metropolitan Police said it had received on Friday allegations relating to four separate incidents between July 2019 and January 2020.
"A man in his 50s was arrested on Saturday, 1 August on suspicion of rape and is currently in jug in an east London cop shoppe," the police statement said.
[EN.ALGHADEER.TV] Facebook said on Saturday it has put a global block on certain accounts controlled by supporters of Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro implicated in a fake news inquiry, a day after it was fined for not complying with a Supreme Court judge’s order to do so.A spokesperson for Facebook said the order was "extreme" and threatens "freedom of expression outside of Brazil’s jurisdiction", but said the company has agreed to the order.
"Given the threat of criminal liability to a local employee, at this point we see no other alternative than complying with the decision by blocking the accounts globally, while we appeal to the Supreme Court," the spokesperson said.
Justice Alexandre de Moraes had ruled on Thursday that Facebook and Twitter failed to comply with orders to block the accounts because they were only blocked within Brazil, but remained accessible with foreign IP addresses.
On Friday, he ruled that Facebook must pay a 1.92 million reais ($367,710) fine for not complying and face further daily fines of 100,000 reais per day if it does not block the accounts in question globally.
Before the fine was announced, Facebook said on Friday that it would appeal the decision. The world’s largest social network said it respects the laws of countries where it operates, but that "Brazilian law recognizes the limits of its jurisdiction."
The judge’s fine only addressed Facebook’s non-compliance. It was not clear whether Twitter would face a similar fine.
The judge originally decided in May to block 16 Twitter accounts and 12 Facebook accounts of Bolsonaro supporters who have been linked to a probe into the spreading of fake news during Brazil’s 2018 election.
The accounts were blocked due to allegations that they violated laws on hate speech.
This is how twisted US social media companies are. They do not want to ban right wingers in Brazil but do want to ban them in the US. The one good thing learned from this particular situation is US social media companies will buckle if they are fined financially.
[YNet] - A state of disaster was declared in Australia's Victoria on Sunday, with the local government implementing a night curfew as part of its harshest movement restrictions to date to contain the coronavirus.
State Premier Daniel Andrews said that the new restrictions, to be in place for six weeks until mid-September, will allow only one person per household to go shopping once a day.
Melbournians will not be able to go further than 5 km (3 miles) from home.
My sister says she has never seen the buildings at her college so sparkling clean. But she is talking about the classroom and administration buildings. One can understand why the dormitories have been getting less attention thus far.
[HindustanTimes] India and China have been engaged in a standoff in Eastern Ladakh beginning in early May that flared up on June 15 into the bloodiest clash between soldiers of the two countries in 45 years.
New Delhi China has mobilised a battalion strength of People’s Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers near Uttarakhand’s Lipulekh Pass, one of the locations along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) where movement of Chinese troops has been noticed over the last few weeks outside of the Ladakh sector, people familiar with the matter told Hindustan Times.
India and China have been engaged in a standoff in Eastern Ladakh beginning in early May that flared up on June 15 into the bloodiest clash between soldiers of the two countries in 45 years. Twenty Indian soldiers and an unspecified number of PLA men died in the clash.
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[EN.ALGHADEER.TV] More than 60 people have died after drinking toxic bootleg alcohol in the Indian state of Punjab, officials and reports said.The victims died in three districts of the northern state and police have arrested 10 people, the officials said.
Hundreds of people die every year in India from poisoned alcohol made in backstreet distilleries which sells for as little as 10 rupees (13 US cents) a litre.
An official told AFP that 11 people had died in Gurdaspur district. Press Trust of India news agency and other media said Saturday the illicit booze had claimed 53 lives in neighbouring Amritsar and Tarn Taran districts.
Other deaths were suspected in recent days but could not be proved as the bodies had been cremated without a post-mortem examination. "Somebody strucka match.."
Punjab state chief minister Amarinder Singh said Friday he had ordered a special inquiry into the deaths and "anyone found guilty will not be spared".
The Indian Express newspaper said one of the suspects had died in Amritsar district after consuming the illegal liquor and that his wife had been arrested for selling the alcohol.
The case came after authorities in the southern state of Andhra Pradesh said on Friday that nine people had died after drinking alcohol-based sanitiser.
The victims drank the sanitiser as a substitute for alcohol which has been restricted during a coronavirus (aka COVID19 or Chinese Plague) ...the twenty first century equivalent of bubonic plague, only instead of killing off a third of the population of Europe it kills 3.4 percent of those who notice they have it. It seems to be fond of the elderly, especially Iranian politicians and holy men... lockdown in India.
The corpse count in the Punjab 1.) Little Orphan Annie's bodyguard
2.) A province of Pakistain ruled by one of the Sharif brothers
3.) A province of India. It is majority (60 percent) Sikh and Hindoo (37 percent), which means it has relatively few Moslem riots.... hooch tragedy rose to 84 as 43 more people died on Saturday, officials familiar with the matter said.
A majority of the deaths, 62, were reported from Tarn Taran district, with Amritsar and Gurdaspur districts registering 11 deaths each. The police have arrested 25 people, including one of the key accused-- Darshan Rani, alias Faujan, in connection with the deaths across the three districts, officials said.
The police have seized large quantities of ’lahan’ (raw material used for making liquor) from various villages and ’dhabas’ in the region around the Shambhu border, Rajpura and Patiala, Director General of Police Dinkar Gupta said. The raids have exposed a massive liquor racket, extending across several districts, he said, adding that several dhabas at Shambhu, Banur and Rajpura of Patiala have been sealed.
An excise department official said on condition of anonymity that though reports of the chemical analysis of the material seized in police raids were yet to arrive, a preliminary check showed that the material was denatured spirit, generally used in the paint or hardware industry.
News agency PTI reported that chief minister Amarinder Singh has ordered the suspension of seven excise officials, along with six coppers over negligence of duty. Among the suspended officials are two deputy superintendents of police and four station house officers, the news agency said. The CM also announced Rs 2 lakh ex gratia for each of the families of the dear departed.
[Rudaw] Iraq continued to cut its oil exports in July, in compliance with an OPEC+ agreement, but brought in more revenues thanks to higher prices.
In July, Iraq exported an average of 2.763 million barrels per day (bpd), bringing in $3.487 billion in revenue, the Oil Ministry announced Saturday. The average price per barrel was $40.708.
"Despite the reduction in production and export in compliance with the OPEC+ agreement, financial revenues increased compared to previous months," said ministry spokesperson Assem Jihad.
July exports included an average of 8,000 bpd to Jordan, resuming the trade as prices rebounded. Oil prices of less than $20 per barrel made it too costly for more than 200 oil tankers transporting crude from Kirkuk to Jordan.
Oil producers of OPEC and allies have been cutting production since May by 10 percent of global supply after the COVID-19 virus slashed demand. OPEC+ agreed to ease the measure from August as the global economy shows signs of recovery.
Iraq was slow to comply with the production cuts. Oil Minister Ihsan Abdul Jabbar Ismail said it would be in full compliance by August and would compensate for overproduction in May and June.
In June, Iraq exported 2.816 million bpd, bringing in $2.861 billion. In May, Iraq exported 3.212 million bpd with revenues of $2.91 billion. In April, Iraq exported 3.438 million bpd, but with a price of $13.801 per barrel, revenues were just $1.423 billion.
[LIVE SCIENCE] Male cicadas infected by a particularly gruesome parasitic fungus become zombies with an undercover mission: They broadcast a female's sexy come-hither message to other male cicadas, luring their unsuspecting victims to join the zombie cicada horde.
Researchers recently discovered this unusual twist to the cicada's already horrific zombification story. As the parasitic fungus called Massospora eats away at a cicada's abdomen, replacing it with a mass of yellow spores, the fungus also compels males to flick their wings in movements that are typically performed by females to attract mates.
Healthy males that hurry over for female company, then try to mate with the infected male, which passes along the Massospora infection. This and other new discoveries are helping scientists to piece together how Massospora turns cicadas into mind-controlled zombies, according to a new study published online June 18 in the journal PLOS Pathogens.
This zombie-host relationship can be challenging to observe. Though the fungus can affect cicadas that emerge annually, many of its cicada hosts are in the Magicicada genus, also known as periodical cicadas. These black-bodied and red-eyed cicadas spend 13 to 17 years (depending on the species) underground as immature nymphs. Luckily for the scientists who study periodical cicadas, local populations known as broods that follow this cycle emerge during different years in different locations.
[Tech Times] The mysterious Neuralink chip was previously in the headlines when the founder of the company, Elon Musk, said that the chip will be able to stream music straight into the wearer's brain--and now, the tech CEO has revealed more details about it.
In a report by Independent, Musk revealed that the chip will allow the wearer to hear things that they weren't able to hear before as it was out of a human's hearing range, meaning the Neuralink chip can be used to "extend range of hearing beyond normal frequencies and amplitudes."
Additionally, and perhaps even more interesting and exciting, is that the mysterious chip will apparently be able to help restore movement for people with a fully severed spinal cord.
If that proves to be true, it could help millions of people who have had spinal injuries and were unable to move since then, providing the best and perhaps the only cure available on the market.
A multi-volume chronology and reference guide set detailing three years of the Mexican Drug War between 2010 and 2012.
Rantburg.com and borderlandbeat.com correspondent and author Chris Covert presents his first non-fiction work detailing
the drug and gang related violence in Mexico.
Chris gives us Mexican press dispatches of drug and gang war violence
over three years, presented in a multi volume set intended to chronicle the death, violence and mayhem which has
dominated Mexico for six years.