A 22-year-old man celebrating the Fourth of July was killed instantly over the weekend when authorities said he tried to launch fireworks from atop his head.
Devon Staples had been drinking with family and friends Saturday night in Calais, Maine, a small town near the Canadian border, when he put a reloadable fireworks mortar tube on his head and threatened to light it, Maine Department of Public Safety spokesman Stephen McCausland told the Associated Press.
“His friends they thought dissuaded him from doing it, and the next thing they knew, he ignited the fireworks and he was killed instantly,” McCausland said.
When the game was up, when the global house of credit cards collapsed in the late Aughts, European leaders had a choice. They had knowingly and purposefully brought weak states into the Eurozone, because they genuinely, even nobly, wished to build a large, strong, United Europe. When they did so, they understood there would be crises. A unified Europe, they had always claimed, would be forged one crisis at a time. The right thing to have done for Europe at this point would have been to point out the regulatory errors and misaligned incentives that encouraged profligate lending and enabled corruption and waste among borrowers, and fix those. Banks that had made bad loans would acknowledge losses. The banks themselves would have to be restructured or bailed out.
But “bank restructuring” is a euphemism for imposing losses on wealthy creditors. And explicit bank bailouts are humiliations of elites, moments when the mask comes off and the usually tacit means by which states preserve and enhance the comfort of the comfortable must give way to very visible, very unpopular, direct cash flows.
The choice Europe’s leaders faced was to preserve the union or preserve the wealth, prestige, and status of the community of people who were their acquaintances and friends and selves but who are entirely unrepresentative of the European public. They chose themselves. The formal institutions of the EU endure, but European community is now failing fast.
It is difficult to overstate how deeply Europe’s leaders betrayed the ideals of European integration in their handing of the Greek crisis. The first and most fundamental goal of European integration was to blur the lines of national feeling and interest through commerce and interdependence, in order to prevent the fractures along ethnonational lines that made a charnel house of the continent, twice. That is the first thing, the main rule, that anyone who claims to represent the European project must abide: We solve problems as Europeans together, not as nations in conflict. Note that in the tale as told so far, there really was no meaningful national dimension. Regulatory mistakes and agency issues within banks encouraged poor credit decisions. Spanish banks lent into overpriced real estate, and German banks lent to a state they knew to be weak. Current account imbalances within the Eurozone — persistent and unlikely to reverse without policy attention — implied as a matter of arithmetic that there would be loan flows on a scale that might encourage a certain indifference to credit quality. These were European problems, not national problems. But they were European problems that festered while the continent’s leaders gloated and took credit for a phantom prosperity. When the levee broke, instead of acknowledging errors and working to address them as a community, Europe’s elites — its politicians and civil servants, its bankers and financiers — deflected the blame in the worst possible way. They turned a systemic problem of financial architecture into a dispute between European nations. They brought back the very ghosts their predecessors spent half a century trying to dispell. Shame. Shame. Shame. Shame.
Greece should see its debts forgiven, pretty much wholesale. That forgiveness should be understood as a default, with future investors warned. Insured deposits in Greek bank accounts should be made whole, uninsured deposits should be “bailed in”, Greece’s banking system should be integrated into a much more carefully regulated European banking system that eschews investment in individual sovereigns entirely, Germany as much as Greece. Let sovereigns sell securities to the market, where incentives for careful credit allocation are sharper than they are within banks. Let European banks hold only claims against the ECB when they want a risk-free instrument. If Spain or Portugal or Italy wish to haircut or repudiate their existing debt, let them, at cost of future market access. Sovereigns have an option to default full stop. Investors in sovereign securities must price that. If perceived credit risk leaves public finance too expensive Europe-wide, then the EU should develop a mechanism whereunder states are permitted to sell equity securities to the ECB up to a fixed limit, set uniformly across Europe in per capita terms.
Euroelite apologists cite the small upturn at the very end of the graph to say, “See! Things were going swimmingly until the five-month old Syriza government screwed it all up. They just had to stick with the program! It was working! The darkest hour comes before the dawn!” These people, they are sophisticated highly educated people. You can trust them. Check out this track record:
The fact of the matter is no country, not Germany, not France, would voluntarily put up with the sort of “adjustment” that has been forced on Greece, for the good reason that gratuitous great depressions are not actually helpful to an economy. Creditors have had five years to mismanage Greece and they’ve done a startlingly effective job. Syriza has had five months to object. However much you may dislike their negotiating style, however little you think of their competence, Greece’s catastrophe was not Syriza’s work. If creditors respond to Syriza’s “intransigence” with maneuvers that cause yet more devastation, that will be on the creditors. Blaming victims for having insufficiently perfect leaders is standard fare for apologists of predation. Unfortunately, understanding this may be of little comfort to the disemboweled prey.
The entire staff at a Tennessee county clerk’s office submitted their resignations this week rather than issue same-sex marriage licenses, reports WBIR.
Decatur County Clerk Gwen Pope — along with employees Sharon Bell and Mickey Butler — said their last day on the job will on July 14, and that they are leaving because the Supreme Court’s decision to allow same-sex marriages clashes with their religious beliefs.
Speaking for the three employees whose resignations take effect July 14, Pope said they were doing it for “for the glory of God,” and not for the publicity.
This must be the same crew that would refuse marriage licenses to non-virgins, and to process divorce paperwork because it’s a violation of biblical principles.
About 200 people have been arrested after the fourth night of unrest in The Hague following the death of a Caribbean tourist at the hands of police.
The arrests were for breaching a ban on public assembly in the inner-city district of Schilderswijk after three nights of clashes led to the arrest of 61 people, mostly teenagers. Police chief Paul van Musscher said protesters pelted officers with stones and fireworks and threw petrol over them.
The violence first erupted on Monday night after demonstrators gathered outside a police station to protest at the death of Aruban holidaymaker Mitch Henriquez. The 42-year-old father of three died in hospital on Sunday, a day after he was pinned to the ground in a chokehold by officers at a concert in Zuiderpark.
A postmortem examination ordered by the Dutch prosecution service found he died of asphyxiation, apparently as a result of police handling.
Five officers from the city’s police division were suspended from duty on Wednesday after being identified as suspects in the case.
The incident has ignited tensions in Schilderswijk, which contains three of the 10 poorest postcodes in the Netherlands and where about 85% of the population is made up of first- or second-generation migrants.
Police stations in the area have been at the centre of allegations of brutality and discrimination by officers, claims senior officers have denied.
A report by Amnesty International in 2013 found ethnic minorities were disproportionately more likely to be stopped and searched. But police have rejected claims of systematic discrimination and pointed to research by Leiden University that concluded there was no evidence of ethnic profiling.
And to make things really interesting, the biggest chief of Police has written a blog entry where he gives many examples of ethnic profiling and systematic discrimination.
THE Shanghai Consumer Rights Protection Commission yesterday formally announced it has taken legal action against manufacturers Samsung and Oppo over their practice of pre-installing apps on their smartphones.
The Shanghai No. 1 Intermediate People’s Court said on Wednesday it had accepted separate cases against Tianjin Samsung Telecommunications Technology Co Ltd and Guangdong Oppo Mobile Telecommunications Co Ltd.
Tao Ailian, secretary-general of the commission, said it filed the public interest lawsuits after investigating complaints from the public about unwanted apps.
In a study of 20 smartphones, the commission found several that were sold with apps already installed, many of which could not be removed. It also claimed that some phones “stole” cellular data.
Two of the offending models were a Samsung SM-N9008S, which had 44 apps installed prior to purchase, and the Oppo X9007 model, which had 71 such programs, the commission said.
Die Redaktion des SPIEGEL ist ins Visier US-amerikanischer Geheimdienste geraten. Dies ergibt sich aus einem Vorgang aus dem Sommer 2011. Damals warnte die CIA-Spitze den Geheimdienstkoordinator im Bundeskanzleramt, Günter Heiß, vor angeblichen Kontakten des SPIEGEL in deutsche Regierungsstellen. Konkret verdächtigte die CIA Heiß’ Stellvertreter Hans Josef Vorbeck, Dienstliches ausgeplaudert zu haben.
If you tried to visit r/IAmA (one of Reddit’s biggest subs) recently, you were probably greeted by the image above. And if you’ve been absolutely anywhere else on the site at all in the past few hours, you probably noticed that everyone is flipping their collective shit over speculation that Victoria Taylor, the high-profile coordinator that kept IAmA afloat, was suddenly and mysteriously fired. Also, something about Jesse Jackson.
First they came for the fappening and I didn’t speak out because I wasnt fapping , then they came for the fatpeoplehating and I did not speak out coz I wasnt hating , then they came for Victoria and I didn’t speak out coz I wasnt Victoria finally they came for me and no one spoke out coz I was shadow banned
Fifa president Sepp Blatter says he has a clean conscience and anyone who calls him corrupt should be sent to jail.
Sepp, you’re corrupt.
The first diploma course of its kind within a Catholic environment – a one-semester diploma course in the protection of children – is being launched by the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.
Broken down into six two-week seminars, the first course is set to run from February to June 2016.
Seminars, according to this report, will delve into topics including terms and definitions surrounding the protection of minors, child rights, development and safety, safeguarding and prevention, theology, truth and justice, and care for those who have been abused.
Jesuit Father Hans Zollner, President of the Pontifical Gregorian University’s Center for Child Protection (CCP) said at the recent announcement of the course that this was a “first” for pontifical and Catholic universities.
Zollner, a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, created by Pope Francis last autumn, added that the spiritual and theological approach to child protection has “not been substantially reflected upon” since the full gravity of the clerical abuse crisis began to surface 40 years ago.
Zollner said that “strangely enough”, no theologian has really taken on the task of developing a theological understanding of the issue.
Let’s save them some time: when you discover someone is raping kids, you call the police. If your moral framework has to struggle with such an ethical no-brainer, you should scrap the whole thing as worthless.
The Icelandic Parliament (‘Alþingi’) has voted today to decriminalise blasphemy in Iceland.
As reported by Iceland Monitor in February this year, three Pirate Party MPs moved a bill before Alþingi to have the clause removed from the Icelandic Penal Code, in the aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris.
The three MPs took to the Alþingi lectern today, one after another, while the vote was under way and declared, “I am Charlie Hebdo.”
A statement on the Pirate Party website reads: “The Icelandic Parliament has issued the important message that freedom will not bow to bloody attacks.”
One MP voted against the bill, while three abstained. All four are from the current ruling coalition.
One day, in a philosophy seminar, I sat around a table with my fellow students, the boys in sports jackets, the girls in sweaters. It was a beautiful, crisp fall day. The professor gave us a thought experiment: You’re a ferry captain with two passengers. Your boat is sinking. One passenger is old and one is young. Who do you save?
With this, my veneer of decorum started to crack. Before I arrived on campus I asked the headmaster not to share my history. Nobody knew who I was. “Do you want to know what’s that really like?” I blurted out. “This is an abstract question to you?” Everybody stared.
David Cameron has signalled that he intends to ban strong encryption — putting the British government on a collision course with some of the biggest tech companies in the world.
The Prime Minister was asked by Conservative MP Henry Bellingham in Parliament on Monday whether “companies such as Google, Facebook and Twitter… understand that their current privacy policies are completely unsustainable?”
Britain is not a state that is trying to search through everybody’s emails and invade their privacy … We just want to ensure that terrorists do not have a safe space in which to communicate. That is the challenge, and it is a challenge that will come in front of the House.
We have always been able, on the authority of the home secretary, to sign a warrant and intercept a phone call, a mobile phone call or other media communications, but the question we must ask ourselves is whether, as technology develops, we are content to leave a safe space—a new means of communication—for terrorists to communicate with each other.
My answer is no, we should not be, which means that we must look at all the new media being produced and ensure that, in every case, we are able, in extremis and on the signature of a warrant, to get to the bottom of what is going on.
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Conservatism and conservation are now about as far apart as it’s possible to get. Friends of Conservation are the ones protecting the countryside. The ones who stand around self-consciously in terrible fancy dress, holding passive-aggressive placards in praise of the noble, selfless badger. Or basically any mammal that looks good in a waistcoat.
Friends of Conservatism, on the other hand, are the ones who roll up on heavy machinery like a pissed Ukrainian militia. The ones who drill deep beneath that area of local countryside whose only “use” so far has been as a picnic site. And who then pump into the ground powerful jets of high-pressure hydrogunk, splintering rock as easily as a walnut. And who, having sucked up a sky’s worth of valuable gas through a massive crack pipe, then pack up and lumber off to fracture and steal someone else’s underground treasure.
Welcome to capitalism’s late late show. If you can power-hose the last drop of value out of something, you now have an amoral imperative to do it.
In 2014, it really looked like Europe was moving towards strong net neutrality, while the US was going to allow for special fast lanes on the internet. In 2015… everything has gone the other way. The US passed real net neutrality rules, while Europe has not only decided to kill net neutrality, but has done so in a way where they pretend that they’re actually supporting net neutrality.
In a decision published Tuesday (PDF), the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, known as the FISA court, ruled Monday night that the NSA can resume bulk phone data collection for at least five more months.
De vijf agenten die betrokken waren bij de aanhouding zijn buiten functie gesteld, zei het hoofd van de politie in Den Haag, Paul van Musscher. Ze worden officieel verdacht van betrokkenheid bij de dood van Henriquez.
A test pilot report obtained by defense journalist David Axe of War is Boring detailed the performance of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter in a mock air battle against a two-seat F-16D in January. The F-16D—based on a design developed 40 years ago and from a production run in the mid-1990s—bested the F-35 in close-range combat maneuvers.
In the report, which Axe had obtained but did not publish in full, the F-35 pilot reported that his aircraft was in a “clean” configuration for the test, carrying nothing under its wings or in its internal weapons bays. The F-16, on the other hand, was flying with under-wing external fuel drop-tanks, which in theory would have put the aircraft at an aerodynamic disadvantage.
Apparently, it didn’t. “Even with the limited F-16 target configuration, the F-35A remained at a distinct energy disadvantage for every engagement,” the F-35 pilot reported. That means the F-35 constantly found itself flying slower and more sluggishly, unable to effectively maneuver to get the F-16 in its sights.
Furthermore, the F-35’s high-tech helmet, which is supposed to give the pilot the ability to essentially “see through” the plane with the assistance of external cameras and sensors, didn’t help matters. “The helmet was too large for the space inside the canopy to adequately see behind the aircraft,” the pilot reported, which made it impossible to keep visual contact with the F-16 during the dogfight.
In an interview with the CBC’s The Fifth Estate in November of 2014, F-16 co-designer Pierre Sprey berated the F-35 “inherently a terrible plane, because it’s built based on a dumb idea”—a multirole, multi-service aircraft. “You’ve compromised the aircraft horribly for three different missions, and then you’ve compromised it again for three different services.” He said the aircraft was “astonishingly unmaneuverable” because of its ratio of wing surface to weight. “In dogfighting, it’s hopeless. “While much of what Sprey said in that interview has been rebutted at length elsewhere, the F-35 test pilot report seems to offer the same conclusion.
On the other hand, it is a massive success for the purpose it was originally designed: sending gobs of cash to defense contractors.
Een Rijksrecherche-onderzoek is belangrijk voor het vaststellen van de toedracht rondom het overlijden van Mitch Henriquez, eventuele genoegdoening richting nabestaanden en zo nodig maatregelen tegen betrokken agenten.
Gezien het dramatische verloop op zaterdag en het overlijden van Henriquez op zondag, de ontstane commotie en de suggestie dat er sprake zou zijn van racistisch politieoptreden, stelt Amnesty dat een Rijksrecherche-onderzoek alleen onvoldoende is.
Immers een Rijksrecherche-onderzoek beperkt zich tot onderzoek naar het vermeend strafbare gedrag van de betrokken politieagenten. Dit in tegenstelling tot het type onderzoek waarin de behoorlijkheid en professionaliteit van het politieoptreden wordt onderzocht en getoetst, en algemene beleidsmaatregelen, instructies en trainingen worden geëvalueerd. Een andere beperking van Rijksrecherche-onderzoek is dat de onderzoeken (en de adviezen die daarop soms volgen) veelal niet worden gepubliceerd. Iets wat de politiek-maatschappelijke discussie kan belemmeren.
Voor een aanvullende onderzoek zou de minister van Veiligheid en Justitie een externe onderzoekscommissie kunnen instellen. Ook de Inspectie Veiligheid en Justitie kan zelf besluiten – of door de minister worden gevraagd – om een zogenaamd incidentonderzoek te doen. Ook de Nationale ombudsman kan besluiten tot een onderzoek uit eigen beweging.
Een breed evaluatief onderzoek moet uitdrukkelijk ingaan op de vraag in hoeverre negatieve stereotype opvattingen over Antilliaanse mannen een rol hebben gespeeld bij de (risico-)inschatting, de wijze van aanhouding en de behandeling na aanhouding van Henriquez.
Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis shut her blinds at work Tuesday to block the view of rainbow-clad protesters outside. They carried flowers and flags and signs saying “you don’t own marriage.” They chanted “do your job.”
Moments later, she told a lesbian couple who walked in asking for a license to try another county.
Davis is among a handful of public officials across the Bible Belt so repulsed by the thought of enabling a same-sex marriage that they are defying the U.S. Supreme Court and refusing to issue a license to anyone, gay or straight.
“It’s a deep-rooted conviction; my conscience won’t allow me to do that,” Davis told The Associated Press. “It goes against everything I hold dear, everything sacred in my life.”
Some judges and clerks in Alabama and Texas have done the same, ordering their offices in the name of religious liberty and free speech to issue no marriage licenses at all.
Legal experts are dubious that religious freedom arguments will protect public officials who not only refuse to participate due to their own beliefs, but also decline to make accommodations so that others who don’t object can serve the public instead.
Two things can happen if a Kentucky clerk won’t issue a marriage license to a same-sex couple: They can resign, or go to jail, said Sam Marcosson, a constitutional law professor at the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville.
“If it means that you simply cannot fulfill your duties because of your religious beliefs, what is required of you is that you can no longer hold that office,” Marcosson said. “That applies to a judge, that applies to a senator, that applies to anyone who holds public office.”
Norway is claiming $5.1m compensation from the Catholic church for exaggerating membership numbers to obtain more state aid, the Oslo diocese said on Monday.The diocese, its bishop and the financial officer are suspected of fraudulently registering thousands of people on its membership lists between 2010 and 2014, which enabled it to obtain 50 million kroner (more than $6.0m) in state subsidies.Norway’s church denies engaging in fraud, but has admitted its past methods were “unsatisfactory”.
She told AFP that the church would not be paying the sum and would take the matter up with the culture ministry.
“We have a very different understanding of the law,” she said.
Of course they do.
Perhaps she should research one of those pesky 10 Commandments…Thou Shalt Not Lie
…with a young boy as you would lie with a woman…
A 42 year old man from Aruba died on Sunday night in a hospital in The Hague after becoming unwell following a violent arrest. The police have launched an investigation into the matter.
According to a statement by the Public Prosecutor, Henriques was arrested around 9:45 p.m. on Saturday at the Night at the Park music festival in The Hague after shouting that he had a weapon. The man resisted arrest and the police had to use force to bring him under control. He became unwell en route to the police station. Officers started administrating CPR and an ambulance took him to the hospital in very critical condition.
Video images show that Henriquez became ill on the festival grounds already.
— Joelle (@JoelleJanuary) June 29, 2015
Volatility in the euro jumped by the most since the 2008 global financial crisis and the currency dropped 1.4 percent top $1.1013 as of 5:43 a.m. in London.
Tuesday marks the expiry of Greece’s current bailout package as well as the deadline for a payment to the IMF.
While there’s no rule to say Greece would have to leave the euro if it skips that payment or fails to extend its financing arrangements, it may prove difficult to stay in if, for example, the country has to start printing its own currency to keep its financial system afloat.
El-Erian said that some sort of parallel currency may well be issued by Greece because the government has to find some way to pay its bills.
So Greece reintroduces the new Drachma, values it at 1:1 against the Euro, states that all debts are now valued in Drachma instead of Euro, and in a short while devalues it significantly. The economy will be hit hard, and the Greek will suffer a lot, but in a few years they will recover. At which point other countries in the Euro who are in trouble will consider an exit as well – after all, the Greek came out all-right in the end. And THAT’s the only reason the other European governments are still talking. The IMF doesn’t care about that result, so they’re out already.
Huffington Post has reconfirmed its reporting from over the past weekend, namely, that the Administration has a hairball to untangle to get Malaysia to sign the TransPacific Partnership. Basically, Malaysia needs to have an anti-slavery provision that was inserted in the bill in committee watered down. And the reason that that has to happen, as our reader Antifa pointed out in comments, is that Malaysia controls the Straits of Malacca, a critical shipping choke point. One of the major objectives of the pact is to strengthen America’s position in the region relative to China. Thus Malaysia’s location makes it a critically important signatory to the pact.
Put away the marshmallows.Texas Pastor Rick Scarborough issued a statement clarifying his statement that he would be willing to set himself on fire in his fight against gay rights, now declaring, “We do not support any violence or physical harm.” .
Fortunately for the organisers of Pride in London, but unfortunately for CNN editor Lucy Pawle, the flag shown to shocked viewers across the world was in fact a celebration of anal sex toys.