Nerve Center

NRA gives Pajit a gun for saving the internet

(Reuters) - The National Rifle Association (NRA) on Friday honored the head of the Federal Communications Commission with a rifle after braving death threats and other opposition as he worked to undo the Obama administration's 2015 net neutrality rules.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai was honored at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Oxon Hills, Maryland, by the NRA with the "Charlton Heston Courage Under Fire Award," an honor named for the late actor who was an NRA president.

The award is a Kentucky long rifle that will stay at the NRA's museum in Fairfax, Virginia. The NRA was not allowed to bring the weapon on stage, said Carolyn Meadows, an NRA official.

It was not immediately clear why the NRA was not able to present the long gun to the FCC chairman. The FCC, CPAC and the NRA did not immediately respond to questions.

A Reuters reporter at the event said there were no visible prohibitions against weapons at the event but metal detectors were present before President Donald Trump’s address earlier on Friday.

At the event, Pai defended his aggressive approach to undoing numerous telecommunications regulations put in place under former President Barack Obama.

"Some people urged me to go for sacrifice bunts and singles and try to nibble around the edges — make some minor changes," Pai said. "But I don't play small ball."

Pai canceled his appearance in January at a large consumer electronics event in Las Vegas after receiving deaths threats, sources told Reuters.

The repeal of the net neutrality rules was a victory for internet service providers like AT&T Inc (T.N), Comcast Corp (CMCSA.O) and Verizon Communications Inc (VZ.N), conferring power over what content consumers can access and allowing them to offer paid fast lanes for certain content.

On the other side, technology companies including Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O) and Facebook Inc (FB.O) have thrown their weight behind the congressional bid to reverse the net neutrality repeal.

On Thursday, 22 state attorneys general filed sued to block the repeal.

Fight for the Future, a group that backs net neutrality, said in a tweet the NRA gave Pai an award that will "allow Internet service providers (ISPs) to censor websites and information about guns."

Several corporations have cut ties with the NRA after the group launched a counter-offensive against a student-led campaign for tighter U.S. gun ownership laws after a gunman killed 17 people at a Florida high-school.

Insurer Chubb Ltd (CB.N) said on Friday that it would stop underwriting an NRA-branded insurance policy for gun owners that covers legal costs in self-defense shootings. Insurance company MetLife Inc (MET.N) ended an auto and home incentive program for NRA members, while several rental car companies announced they were ending discount programs for NRA members.

Neanderthals – not modern humans – did those cave paintings

eanderthals painted on cave walls in Spain 65,000 years ago – tens of thousands of years before modern humans arrived, say researcher

More than 65,000 years ago, a Neanderthal reached out and made strokes in red ochre on the wall of a cave, and in doing so, became the first known artist on Earth, scientists claim.

The discovery overturns the widely-held belief that modern humans are the only species to have expressed themselves through works of art.

In caves separated by hundreds of miles, Neanderthals daubed, drew and spat paint on walls producing artworks, the researchers say, tens of thousands of years before modern humans reached the sites.

The finding, described as a “major breakthrough in the field of human evolution” by an expert who was not involved in the research, makes the case for a radical retelling of the human story, in which the behaviour of modern humans differs from the Neanderthals by the narrowest of margins.

Until now, the evidence for Neanderthal art has been tenuous and hotly contested, often because the works were not old enough to rule out modern humans as the real artists. But the latest findings, based on new dates of symbols, hand stencils and geometric shapes found on cave walls across Spain, make the most convincing case yet.

“I think we have the smoking gun,” said Alistair Pike, professor of archaeological sciences at the University of Southampton. “When we got the first date for the art, we were dumbfounded.”

The Neanderthals were already firmly at home in Europe when modern humans left Africa and made their way to the continent about 40,000 years ago.

The remnants of Neanderthals, in the form of skeletons, tools and decorative adornments, reach back more than 120,000 years in the region.

Student investigated after retard classmates confuse square root symbol for a gun


>Criminal charges will not be filed against a student after allegedly saying a math symbol looked like a gun.

>On Tuesday afternoon, Allen Parish Sheriff's Office deputies investigated an allegation of terrorist threats at Oberlin High School, according to the department's Facebook page. The investigation revealed that a student was completing a math problem and drew the sign for square root. Deputies say another student made a comment that the symbol looked like a gun and several other students made similar comments. According to investigators, the comment made by the student in question "could" sound like a threat when taken out of context.

>Detectives also searched the students home and found no evidence that he possessed or had immediate access to any type of firearm. Investigators say there was no evidence that the student had any intent to commit harm to students or faculty.

>"The student used extremely poor judgment in making the comment, but in light of the actual circumstances, there was clearly no evidence to support criminal charges," stated on the Allen Parish Sheriff's Office Facebook page.

>The matter was turned over to the Allen Parish School Board for determination of disciplinary action.

Anti gun Trump wants tighter checks for guns and raise age to 21 to buy

Trump didn’t mention gun control in his initial response to the Florida shooting. But he’s come around to limited policies

1 The White House last week said that Trump supports the Fix NICS Act, although potentially with some tweaks to the measure’s language. The bill, which has so far stalled in Congress, pushes federal agencies to better report criminal records to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) with the threat of financial penalties, and encourages states to do the same with financial incentives.

2 Trump on Tuesday signed a memo directing the attorney general to propose regulations that “ban all devices that turn legal weapons into machine guns,” like the bump stocks a gunman used to kill 58 people and injure hundreds more in Las Vegas in 2017.

3 Trump also supports raising the minimum age for buying assault weapons from 18 to 21

JUST: Brendan Fraser claims he was sexually assaulted by a Hollywood boss

BRENDAN Fraser has revealed the real reason he drifted away from acting.

The 49-year-old enjoyed years of success following his breakout role in 1992’s Encino Man, and in the early to mid-2000s, Fraser was riding high on the back of box office hits like Bedazzled, The Quiet American, Journey To The Centre Of The Earth, The Mummy and George Of The Jungle — but his career appears to have taken a nosedive in recent years.

In a new profile by GQ (titled ‘Whatever Happened To Brendan Fraser?’), Fraser described the “depressing” incident that made him retreat from the public eye.

According to the actor, he was groped in 2003 by Philip Berk — who was then president of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association — during a luncheon at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

“His left hand reaches around, grabs my ass cheek, and one of his fingers touches me in the taint. And he starts moving it around. I felt ill. I felt like a little kid. I felt like there was a ball in my throat. I thought I was going to cry,” he told the magazine.

Berk has vehemently denied the accusation.

Fraser claimed he left the event immediately and didn’t tell anyone other than his wife about the incident.

“I didn’t want to contend with how that made me feel, or it becoming part of my narrative. I became depressed. I was blaming myself and I was miserable — because I was saying, ‘This is nothing; this guy reached around and he copped a feel.’ That summer wore on — and I can’t remember what I went on to work on next.”

Fraser explained that the encounter “made me retreat. It made me feel reclusive”.

Afterwards, the actor felt shunned by the Association.

“I don’t know if this curried disfavour with the group, with the HFPA. But the silence was deafening.”

He told GQ he was rarely invited back to the Golden Globes after 2003, but Berk dismissed the claim to the magazine, telling them the HFPA never acted against him, and that Fraser’s career “declined through no fault of ours”.

Berk also insisted that Fraser’s version of events was a “total fabrication”. In his memoir, he described placing his hand on the star’s backside during a hug — but as a joke.

Watch The Boston Dynamics Robot Dog Fight Back Against A Human

One week ago, the world watched mesmerized as Boston Dynamics' robotic dog, Spot Mini, showed off its brand new skill: entering a room after opening a door on its own by using a claw attached to its head. The video prompted an avalanche of dystopian humor.

Now, for its latest trick, the Boston Dynamics’ door-opening robot dog can also fight off humans to fulfill its simple door opening prerogative.

On Tuesday, the company published a new video that shows SpotMini successfully opening a door and walking through it, despite the best efforts of a man armed with a hockey stick trying to impede the robot.

In the clip, a human "armed" with a hockey stick does everything in his power to stop the robot from opening the door, including tugging on the machine, which struggles in what Wired called "an unsettling manner." But the ambush doesn’t work. The dogbot wins and gets through the door anyway.

As Wired notes, however, the most subtle detail here is also the most impressive: The robot is doing almost all of this autonomously. Since Boston Dynamics is a notoriously tight-lipped company, the few sentences it provided with this clip is a relative gold mine. It describes how a human handler drove the bot up to the door, then commanded it to proceed. The rest you can see for yourself. As SpotMini grips the handle and the human tries to shut the door, it braces itself and tugs harder—all on its own. As the human grabs a tether on its back and pulls it back violently, the robot stammers and wobbles and breaks free—still, of its own algorithmic volition.

Interview with Russian doping whistleblower Grigory Rodchenkov

In his first international broadcast interview since defecting, the 59-year-old whistleblower insisted on wearing a face mask to conceal his new identity because of a perceived security threat from Russian agents.

The former head of Moscow's anti-doping laboratory said the IOC was "falsifying" the anti-doping movement, which he said is also being "sabotaged by international sporting federations".

Rodchenkov fled Russia in late 2015 with detailed evidence of the far-reaching state-sponsored doping regime he masterminded.

The IOC banned the Russian team from Pyeongchang in the wake of Rodchenkov's damning testimony to the World Anti-Doping Agency's (Wada) McLaren report, and forced its athletes to compete under the Olympic flag.

However, it may try to draw a line under the scandal by lifting the suspension for the closing ceremony and allowing the Russian flag to be flown. The IOC is set to make a decision on Saturday.

"The IOC should show how they are consistent with the fight against doping," said Rodchenkov.

"Russian officials reject any charges, they say I am a liar, they humiliated all whistleblowers, they gave false information in court, and if the flag will be allowed to appear it will be the worst decision.

"People understand what the IOC is doing; falsifying the fight against doping. It will scratch out all previous achievements, and its absolute disregard to all commissions, all conclusions, and to McLaren."

Rodchenkov also warned that a failure to implement thorough anti-doping reforms could have a devastating impact.

"The IOC and Olympics are [in a] huge crisis. We need reforms. It requires some necessary things to be done, especially more money.

"There are 'incorrigibles' who, under any situation, will continue their smuggling, selling and using doping. We should be criminalising such cases.

"Sporting international federations are the biggest problems in doping control. I am sure they are hiding or not discovering dozens of positives.

"They don't like to go into depth, and that is why doping control should be taken away from federations [and given] to Wada, and also be absolutely independent.

"In general many countries and many national anti-doping organisations are not interested at all to catch leading athletes in their countries."

Rodchenkov's story was the subject of the Oscar-nominated documentary 'Icarus'.

Before the film's release, he exposed the elaborate nature of doping procedures at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, where positive urine samples were swapped for clean ones through a hole in his lab wall.

Rodchenkov reiterated his claim that he was just part of a system which went to the very top of the Russian state, including President Vladimir Putin and Deputy Prime Minister Vitaly Mutko.

The Russian government insists that he was effectively acting alone, and that there was no government-sponsored doping plot.

"It's impossible to do on my own," he said. "I absolutely followed orders. It was teamwork. FSB [Russian State Security Services] was involved when we had to control co-ordination.

"[Mutko] knew absolutely everything, and he reported to the president. I know he reported to Putin - he told me that. Putin is denying. It's the usual situation."

Mutko, who was minister for sport at the time, is currently appealing a lifetime ban from the IOC and has denied allegations of wrongdoing, while President Putin has frequently dismissed Rodchenkov's claims, recently labelling him an "imbecile" who "could not be trusted".

Rodchenkov is adamant that his remarkable journey as a whistleblower has led to a perilous threat to his safety.

When asked where he would be if he had not left Russia, he replied: "In a tomb, of course. I would be done.

"There is absolutely strong evidence that I am in jeopardy. I don't want to underestimate the danger.

"[If I was to return] they may find some other way around - put me in a psychiatric clinic, they have many plans. It will be torture. It's no way to go back to Russia, it's a big, big danger and threat to my life."

Rodchenkov is also facing a legal challenge after a defamation lawsuit was filed in New York State Court this week by Olga Zaytseva, Yana Romanova and Olga Vilukhina - three former Russian biathletes - over claims linking them to the Sochi doping scheme.

The suit is backed by Mikhail Prokhorov, the Russian owner of the NBA team the Brooklyn Nets, and head of the Russian Biathlon Federation during the Sochi Games.

"I'm ready for everything," said Rodchenkov. "In regards to all these charges I know many things which remain undisclosed and were they to continue this, they will deeply regret their decision to sue me.

"In this particular case I know everything; welcome to court!"

Niggers Furious As South Carolina wants to outlaw saggy pants

A new law in South Carolina would make it unlawful for people to expose skin or underwear by wearing their pants below their hips. The move is an attempt to curb the apparent popularity of saggy pants across the state.

South Carolina House Bill 4957 would make it illegal for a person to appear in public wearing trousers which are "three inches below the crest of his ileum exposing his skin or undergarments". It is presumed the lawmakers meant the ‘ilium’, (the hip bone) rather than the ‘ileum’ which is part of the small intestine.

Read more

Saggy pants are still a trend. Sagging Pants: Trend or Trouble?

"It's unbecoming, it's unprofessional", Democrat Representative Joe Jefferson from Berkeley County, one of the bill's sponsors, told WLTX.

Violations would not lead to a criminal record however, he assured his audience.

"I understand that some people are assuming that if one is caught, then they won't be allowed to go to college, grants, loans, all these other opportunities will be taken away. That's not the case at all. This is just to prevent these fellas and giving them at least an obligation to realize that they're walking around and they're convincing others to follow them.” Jefferson said.

Saggy pants could lead to offenders getting caught short in more ways than one. A first-time violation would incur a fine of $25. Thereafter, it would be $50 or three hours of community service for a second offense, and $75 or six hours of community service for a third offense or more.

Civil rights groups fear that the bill unfairly targets ethnic minorities, and African-American men in particular.

Second Russian athlete fails doping test at Winter Games

PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (Reuters) - A second Russian athlete has tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, a major blow for the nation’s hopes of regaining its Olympic status and drawing a line under years of doping scandals.

Bobsledder Nadezhda Sergeeva tested positive for a heart drug on Feb. 18, five days after a previous doping test returned a negative result for her, the Russian bobsleigh federation said in a statement on Friday.

“On Feb. 13, her sample was clean. The team’s medical staff did not prescribe the drug to the athlete,” the federation said in a post on its official Facebook page.

“The Bobsleigh Federation of Russia and the athlete herself understand the extent of their responsibility and understand how what has happened can have an impact on the fate of the whole team.”

Earlier this week, Russian curling medalist Alexander Krushelnitsky agreed to hand back his mixed-team bronze medal after testing positive for meldonium, which can aid in endurance.

Krushelnitsky’s case shocked the Russian athletes, who are competing at the Games as neutral athletes as punishment over allegations that the sporting powerhouse ran a systematic, state-backed doping program. Moscow denies this.

But his case also raised doubts about whether the violation was intentional because meldonium would offer few benefits in curling, which does not involve intense physical exertion.

At that point, there were still Russian hopes that the International Olympic Committee (IOC) would go ahead and lift its suspension of Russia’s Olympic committee and allow them to march with the Russian flag at Sunday’s closing ceremony.

That prospect is now severely complicated by the second positive test of a Russian athlete. Russia now accounts for two out of four positive tests during the Games.

The IOC did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The news came a few hours after hundreds of Russian fans roared in celebration when teenage figure skater Alina Zagitova delivered their team’s first gold medal.

UK millennials worst off in earnings of any advanced economy except for poor Greeks

UK millennials have suffered the second-worst falls in their earnings of any of the dozen advanced economies surveyed by a think tank over the past decade.

In a new report, the Resolution Foundation calculates that average real hourly earnings for under-30s in Britain fell 13 per cent between 2007 and 2014.

Only Greece, where real earnings slumped by 25 per cent over the same period as the eurozone country plunged into depression, saw a worst performance for this age group among the dozen advanced economies Resolution analysed in the latest research from its Intergenerational Commission.

British millennials experienced bigger earnings falls than other crisis-hit southern eurozone states such as Portugal and Italy, where they fell 12 per cent and 6 per cent respectively.

Average earnings for Spanish millennials fell by only around 2 per cent.

Resolution also found that the gap between the pay performance of UK millennials and workers aged between 50 and 59 was particularly pronounced, with older UK workers seeing their pay fall by around half the extent of the younger group.

In Italy and France the declines were roughly in line. In Germany, Spain and Italy the older group of workers saw larger pay declines than millennials

Swedish Porn Conference Drops Leftist Journalist Who Says Gender Is Biological

Questioning the idea that gender is a social construct is seemingly a no-no in Swedish feminist circles, as it cost a renowned journalist her participation in a conference.

Swedish journalist Kajsa "Ekis" Ekman was scheduled to participate in a porn-related conference in Gothenburg earlier this week. However, her attendance was canceled after she wrote a text in which she claimed that gender was "biological."

The conference on the connection of pornography with prostitution was organized by the National Organization for Women's Shelters (Roks), which asked Ekman for an article about gender.

Roks previously stated that they address "whoever defines themselves as women or girls." The fact that Ekman regarded gender as biological, as opposed to a social construct, was therefore not consistent with the organization's values.

Putin's Syria mercenaries recorded"It's a total fuckup,US beat our asses like we were little shits

On February 11, acquired three separate audio recordings from a source close to Kremlin, who claimed the people speaking on the recordings are personnel from “CHVK Wagner,” and the audio-clips are recorded phone conversations. CHVK is the Russian abbreviation for “Private Military Company.”

The man on the longest audio clip, speaking Russian with a Moscow accent, detailed what he said was “our failed attack” against a U.S.-held oil refinery in Deir el-Zour on the night of February 7-8.

Although, private military groups are illegal in Russia, multiple intelligence reports and experts say CHVK Wagner is a Russian government shadow paramilitary group that is used in conflicts around the world, including Ukraine, Georgia and Syria.

CHVK Wagner is known to hire paramilitary personnel from Russia and, more recently, from other places, such as eastern Ukraine. It is unclear how many of the scores said to have been killed in the incident were citizens of countries other than Russia.

Below is an English transcript of the audio recordings and the actual audio clips in Russian with English captions:

The first audio clip:

“The reports that are on TV about … well, you know, about Syria and the 25 people that are wounded there from the Syrian f* Army and – well … to make it short, we’ve had our asses f* kicked. So, one squadron f** lost 200 people …right away, another one lost 10 people… and I don’t know about the third squadron but it got torn up pretty badly, too… So three squadrons took a beating… The Yankees attacked… first they blasted the f* out of us by artillery and then they took four helicopters up and pushed us in a f* merry-go-round with heavy caliber machine guns….They were all shelling the holy f* out of it and our guys didn’t have anything besides the assault rifles… nothing at all, not even mentioning shoulder-fired SAMs or anything like that…So they tore us to pieces for sure, put us through hell, and the Yankees knew for sure that the Russians were coming, that it was us, f* Russians… Our guys were going to commandeer an oil refinery and the Yankees were holding it… We got our f asses beat rough, my men called me… They’re there drinking now… many have gone missing… it’s a total f*-up, it sucks, another takedown….Everybody, you know, treats us like pieces of sh* … They beat our asses like we were little pieces of sh*… but our f*** government will go in reverse now and nobody will respond or anything and nobody will punish anyone for this… So these are our casualties…

Hundestag? Germany’s SPD red-faced after dog joins party

Members of Germany’s Social Democratic Party (SPD) began casting their votes on Tuesday to decide whether they would enter into government with Angela Merkel’s conservatives. One of them was a new member - a dog called Lima.

The three-year-old mutt was signed-up for membership by Germany’s daily tabloid Bild. The paper claims that the stunt was designed to test the validity of the SPD’s online membership application process, specifically the identity-checking procedures, in the run-up to the vote.

For the ruse, Bild journalists applied for party membership using Lima’s personal details. They called her Lima B, using her owner’s surname, included her occupation as unemployed and her age in dog years: 21

According to the publication, the party failed to spot the fraud and Lima was accepted as a member. The floppy-eared pooch was sent a postal ballot so she could participate in the vote due to end on March 2.

South Apefreaka's New Bolshevist Nigger ANC President Wants To Confiscate Land From White Farmers

If you’ve been following much international news, you’ve probably heard that, after literally years of scandal, abuse, and incompetence, South Africa’s president Jacob Zuma was finally forced to resign last week.

This is a big deal for South Africa.

The country has been suffering for nearly a decade under Zuma’s corruption.

And people are certainly hoping that the new President, Cyril Ramaphosa, will represent a positive, new chapter for South Africa.

Yesterday Ramaphosa addressed the nation’s parliament in Cape Town and made clear that his priority is to heal the divisions and injustice of the past, going all the way back to the original European colonists in the 1600s taking land from the indigenous tribes.

White Nationalist Nikolas Cruz kills 17 in Florida School,after they wouldn't meet up with him

Seventeen people – children and adults – were killed when a gunman entered the high school on Wednesday afternoon and launched an attack. Twelve people were found dead inside the school, two were killed outside the building, one in the street, and two died later in hospital from their injuries.

The suspect has been named by police as 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz. He was arrested at the scene and when questioned by investigators,said,"I want to kill White nationalists people who wish to meet up without me.

The killer was armed with an AR-15 rifle and “multiple magazines”, police said.

Cruz was formerly a student at Douglas, but was expelled for wanting to kill White nationalists people who wish to meet up without him.

A teacher at the school said staff had been warned not to let him back on campus. The suspect had reportedly been receiving treatment for mental health issues.

Twelve of those killed have been identified, police said on Wednesday evening. No names of victims have yet been released, but Sheriff Scott Israel said a football coach was among those lost.

Fifteen victims remain in hospital: five in a life-threatening condition and 10 with injuries that are not life-threatening.

Students who had been at school with Cruz said many classmates had predicted he could “do something” to harm them and that he had previously brought guns to school and said he wanted to kill White nationalists who wished to meet up without him.

Trump crab makes it's wig from sponges,tell him so offshore drilling won't hurt Maryland crabs

The sponge crab is drawn toward its hairpiece by a deep, evolutionary need for protection. A young crab will approach a sponge and "feel around with its pincers and snip off a piece," says Mary Wicksten, a biologist at Texas A&M University. It then tailors the sponge to fit its shell and goes through a rather elaborate hairdressing ritual, hoisting the sponge onto its back with a pair of short, hooklike legs. Only then is the crab complete.

Once the crab is sponged, its fear of death is somewhat eased, as sponges smell bad to kani-loving octopuses and fish(like President Trump's hair smells to democrats).

It is then free to troll the ocean floor(as President Trump does twwitter) for seaweed, worms, and other morsels of protein.

When it comes to food, says Wicksten, "Like President Trump, the crab is not fussy at all."

Heavy Fire Destroys Mobile Home, Propane Tanks Cooled

NASHUA, N.H. (AP) — Firefighters have acted quickly to put out a heavy fire that destroyed a mobile home and approached two propane tanks in Nashua, New Hampshire.

At least half of the home was on fire when firefighters arrived early Friday.

Firefighters cooled two, 200-pound propane tanks near the home.

No one was inside at the time.

The case of the fire wasn't immediately known. The state fire marshal's office is investigating


Iceland's mooted circumcision ban sparks religious outrage

Religious groups have condemned a bill in Iceland's parliament that would ban circumcision for non-medical reasons.

The draft law would impose a six-year prison term on anyone guilty of "removing part or all of the [child's] sexual organs", arguing the practice violates the child's rights. Jewish and Muslim leaders however have called the bill an attack on religious freedom. Iceland would be the first European country to ban the procedure. The country is thought to have roughly 250 Jewish citizens and around 1,500 Muslim citizens.

Before anyone asks the definition of moot/mooted is different in bongland compared to the USA.

China vows to crack down on funeral strippers

China has launched a fresh crackdown on funeral strippers.

The Ministry of Culture said it would target "obscene, pornographic and vulgar performances" at funerals and weddings.

It followed reports in the state run Global Times newspaper about roaring crowds, applauding and cursing as women performed at funerals.

The tabloid claimed that they sauntered into the crowd and rubbed mens crotches, while occasionally reminding them not to take pictures.

The culture ministry set up hotlines to offer monetary rewards for those who report "funeral misdeeds" in 19 cities in Henan, Anhui, Jiangsu and Hebei provinces.

Some rural communities in China believe hiring performers can increase attendance at funerals, with high attendance seen as a way of honouring the deceased.

In a bid to show off their disposable income and boost numbers, some households pay out more than their annual incomes for strippers, but also actors, singers and comedians, the Global Times reported.

Woman brings civil case against man cleared of raping her

A former St Andrews University student is suing a man who was cleared of raping her following a High Court trial two years ago. The landmark case is thought to be the first time in almost a century a woman has mounted a civil action in Scotland after an unsuccessful rape prosecution.

The burden of proof required in civil cases is lower than criminal cases. In a civil action, the case must be proved "on the balance of probabilities" whereas in criminal cases it must be "beyond reasonable doubt".

The chief executive of Rape Crisis Scotland, Sandy Brindley, said that since last year's Denise Clair case a number of women had spoken to her about the possibility of a civil action. She said: "People are saying to us they are desperate for some sort of validation or justice after rape. The civil route is not easy but it does give some possibility of justice."

Ms Brindley added: "I think there are a lot of barriers to a civil rape cases, not least how to fund it. "It is also not people's first choice. What they want is justice through the criminal justice system. "If you listen to the words of Denise Clair, she was always really clear this was not the justice she was looking for. "We really need to concentrate on the criminal justice system and why it 'feels like it has let down so many rape complainers."



QANON is compromised - stop contradicting me until you watch this video. Sorry, people. It's a total sham: when someone promotes a fake Podesta email as real, they lose all of my respect. Focus on what we really have- the WikiLeaks emails, the forthcoming memo. Give the egomaniac on 8chan a rest already. I don't care. And I believe the earlier Q on 4chan may have been legit, as the posts led to specific events right afterward. New Q is a Yoda wannabe wasting our time: no trust in him or her left! Time to arrest Podesta! No more puzzles or riddles! Where is SESSIONS? I don't trust him any more - not at all. Everyone is still free, FBI is totally rigged, so much time for the Clintons and Podestas to cover their tracks!



Trump Ordered Mueller Fired, but Backed Off When White House Counsel Threatened to Quit

President Trump ordered the firing last June of Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel overseeing the Russia investigation, according to four people told of the matter, but ultimately backed down after the White House counsel threatened to resign rather than carry out the directive.

>The West Wing confrontation marks the first time Mr. Trump is known to have tried to fire the special counsel. Mr. Mueller learned about the episode in recent months as his investigators interviewed current and former senior White House officials in his inquiry into whether the president obstructed justice.

>Amid the first wave of news media reports that Mr. Mueller was examining a possible obstruction case, the president began to argue that Mr. Mueller had three conflicts of interest that disqualified him from overseeing the investigation, two of the people said.

>First, he claimed that a dispute years ago over fees at Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Va., had prompted Mr. Mueller, the F.B.I. director at the time, to resign his membership. The president also said Mr. Mueller could not be impartial because he had most recently worked for the law firm that previously represented the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner. Finally, the president said, Mr. Mueller had been interviewed to return as the F.B.I. director the day before he was appointed special counsel in May.

>After receiving the president’s order to fire Mr. Mueller, the White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, refused to ask the Justice Department to dismiss the special counsel, saying he would quit instead, the people said. They spoke on the condition of anonymity because they did not want to be identified discussing a continuing investigation.

Anti-gay ‘vote Putin’ video goes viral in Russia

A homophobic video urging Russians to re-elect President Vladimir Putin has gone viral less than a month before the country’s election.

The video, which appeared on social media on Friday, tells voters that if Putin’s rivals win they will take Russia into a “nightmare” future in which they are forced to co-habit with gay men.

The video stars well-known screen actors but it was unclear who published it.

It has had more than three million views on the Facebook page of pro-Kremlin political analyst Alexander Kazakov.

In it, a middle-aged man dreams of a future without Putin, who is expected to win a fourth term in the March 18 vote.

In one of them, the character sees a gay man sitting in his kitchen filing his nails and eating a banana suggestively.

One of Putin’s election rivals, liberal candidate Ksenia Sobchak, has called for Russia to allow gay marriage — an unlikely prospect in a socially conservative country.

Some observers have suggested that Sobchak’s candidacy was part of a strategy to create a semblance of diversity in an election that Putin is all but certain to win.

She has denied being a “Kremlin project.”

Sobchak spoke out against the video on Monday, condemning it as “vile”.

“Presenting LGBT people as a threat in a homophobic country is no joke,” she wrote on Instagram.

Homophobic attitudes are widespread in Russian society and no mainstream public figures have come out as gay.

Russian legislation makes it illegal to present homosexual relationships in a positive way to minors.

Pro-Gun Russian Bots Flood Twitter After florida school Shooting

Pro-Gun Russian Bots Flood Twitter After florida school Shooting

In the wake of Wednesday’s Parkland, Florida school shooting, which resulted in 17 deaths, troll and bot-tracking sites reported an immediate uptick in related tweets from political propaganda bots and Russia-linked Twitter accounts. Hamilton 68, a website created by Alliance for Securing Democracy, tracks Twitter activity from accounts it has identified as linked to Russian influence campaigns. As of morning, shooting-related terms dominated the site’s trending hashtags and topics, including Parkland, guncontrolnow, Florida, guncontrol, and Nikolas Cruz, the name of the alleged shooter. Popular trending topics among the bot network include shooter, NRA, shooting, Nikolas, Florida, and teacher.

On RoBhat Labs'

, a website created by two Berkeley students to track 1500 political propaganda bots, all of the top two-word phrases used in the last 24 hours—excluding President Trump's name—are related to the tragedy: School shooting, gun control, high school, Florida school. The top hashtags from the last 24 hours include Parkland, guncontrol, and guncontrolnow.

Fake News outlet 'Newsweek' in Chaos as Top Editors, Reporters Fired and Staff Sent Home

The staff turmoil comes amid questions about the media company’s financial viability amid legal woes over sexual harassment and questions about the veracity of its online traffic.

“IBT employees were not paid last night,” a current Newsweek employee told TheWrap. “They claimed we were about to get paid by 3 and 5 today and if we don’t get paid by 5 I am going to lead the f—ing revolution.”

Company management fired “everyone on that investigative team and a ‘payroll error’ last night means nobody in the company got paid,” said the employee.

A second Newsweek insider said a general panic had swept remaining employees.

On Friday, Newsweek’s chairman, Etienne Uzac, and his wife, finance director Marion Kim, both left the company after a report in BuzzFeed said that the media company had engaged in ad fraud and used dodgy tactics to artificially increase traffic.

Last month, Newsweek’s office was raided by the NYPD and the Manhattan District Attorney’s office for reasons that remain unclear. Employees at the time reported that officers had been taking pictures of computer servers.

Also last month, the company’s chief content officer, Dayan Candappa, was placed on leave after sexual misconduct accusations at a previous employer surfaced.

Putin cucks Netanyahu

>Russian President Vladimir Putin put an end to the confrontation between Israel and Iran in Syria and both sides accepted his decision. That’s the apparent conclusion to be reached from the chain of events this past weekend.

>On Saturday afternoon, after the second wave of bombardments by the Israel Air Force against Syrian targets and Iranian installations in Syria, senior Israeli officials were still taking a militant line and it seemed as if Jerusalem was considering further military action. Discussion of that ended not long after a phone call between Putin and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

>"The response to the downing of the Israeli jet was intended to be a lot more violent," according to Ronen Bergman, an Israeli investigative journalist. Israeli generals brought out plans "for a huge offensive operation in Syria," Bergman writes in a New York Times op-ed.

>A "furious" phone call from Putin "was enough to make Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel cancel the plans," Bergman writes.

Putin owns Trump

Trump’s real estate empire has taken large amounts of money from shady oligarchs linked to the Kremlin — so much that they literally own him; or rumors are true that he engaged in sexual misbehavior while he was in Moscow running the Miss Universe contest, which Russian intelligence has on tape and he doesn’t want released; or Trump actually believes Russian President Vladimir Putin when he says he is innocent of intervening in our elections — over the explicit findings of Trump’s own C.I.A., N.S.A. and F.B.I. chiefs.

In sum, Trump is either hiding something so threatening to himself, or he’s criminally incompetent to be commander in chief. It is impossible yet to say which explanation for his behavior is true, but it seems highly likely that one of these scenarios explains Trump’s refusal to respond to Russia’s direct attack on our system — a quiescence that is simply unprecedented for any U.S. president in history. Russia is not our friend. It has acted in a hostile manner. And Trump keeps ignoring it all.

Up to now, Trump has been flouting the norms of the presidency. Now Trump’s behavior amounts to a refusal to carry out his oath of office — to protect and defend the Constitution. Here’s an imperfect but close analogy: It’s as if George W. Bush had said after 9/11: “No big deal. I am going golfing over the weekend in Florida and blogging about how it’s all the Democrats’ fault — no need to hold a National Security Council meeting.”

At a time when the special prosecutor Robert Mueller — leveraging several years of intelligence gathering by the F.B.I., C.I.A and N.S.A. — has brought indictments against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian groups — all linked in some way to the Kremlin — for interfering with the 2016 U.S. elections, America needs a president who will lead our nation’s defense against this attack on the integrity of our electoral democracy.

What would that look like? He would educate the public on the scale of the problem; he would bring together all the stakeholders — state and local election authorities, the federal government, both parties and all the owners of social networks that the Russians used to carry out their interference — to mount an effective defense; and he would bring together our intelligence and military experts to mount an effective offense against Putin — the best defense of all.

What we have instead is a president vulgarly tweeting that the Russians are “laughing their asses off in Moscow” for how we’ve been investigating their interventions — and exploiting the terrible school shooting in Florida — and the failure of the F.B.I. to properly forward to its Miami field office a tip on the killer — to throw the entire F.B.I. under the bus and create a new excuse to shut down the Mueller investigation.

It is so obvious what Trump is up to: Again, he is either a total sucker for Putin or, more likely, he is hiding something that he knows the Russians have on him, and he knows that the longer Mueller’s investigation goes on, the more likely he will be to find and expose it.

Donald, if you are so innocent, why do you go to such extraordinary lengths to try to shut Mueller down? And if you are really the president — not still head of the Trump Organization, who moonlights as president, which is how you so often behave — why don’t you actually lead — lead not only a proper cyberdefense of our elections, but also an offense against Putin.

My guess is what Trump is hiding has to do with money. It’s something about his financial ties to business elites tied to the Kremlin. They may own a big stake in him. Who can forget that quote from his son Donald Trump, Jr. from back in 2008: “Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross section of a lot of our assets.” They may own our president.


>A California judge ruled Monday the state couldn’t force a cake shop owner to bake a cake for a gay couple’s wedding, ruling that doing so would constitute a violation of free speech.

>Superior Court Judge David Lampe denied the State of California’s request for a preliminary injunction that sought to force bakeshop owner Cathy Miller to design a wedding cake for a gay couple.

>“For this court to force such compliance would do violence to the essentials of Free Speech guaranteed under the First Amendment,” Lampe ruled, according to a press release sent to The Daily Caller News Foundation. The injunction also posited that if Miller refused to design the cake, the state would force her to close her Tastries Bakery shop altogether.

>“We are pleased that the judge recognized that the First Amendment protects Cathy’s freedom of speech,” chief counsel and Freedom of Conscience Defense Fund (FCDF) president, Charles LiMandri, said after the ruling, the press release reports. LiMandri argued in Friday’s court hearing that Miller doesn’t discriminate against same-sex couples, but refuses to use her artistic talents to express a message that conflicts with her religious beliefs about marriage.

>The ruling comes after two women asked Miller to design their wedding cake and filed a complaint with the state, alleging that Miller discriminated against them on the basis of sexual orientation. They also posted about the event on social media. Following their complaint, the state launched an investigation and sought a court order to force Miller to bake their wedding cake.

>“This is a significant victory for faith and freedom because the judge indicated in his ruling that the State cannot succeed in this case as a matter of law,” LiMandri said. “No doubt the California officials will continue their persecution of Cathy, but it is clear that she has the Constitution on her side.”

Ragnarök Watch: As Russia Wants US to leave southern Syria, Turkey threatens to invade Greece

In an incident that took place less than two weeks after the Greek Defense Ministry announced that Turkey had violated Greek airspace 138 times in a single day, a Turkish coast guard patrol boat on February 13 rammed a Greek coast guard vessel off the shore of Imia, one of many Greek islands over which Turkey claims sovereignty.


Most of the areas within modern Greece's current borders were under the occupation of the Ottoman Empire from the mid-15th century until the Greek War of Independence in 1821 and the establishment of the modern Greek state in 1832. The islands, however, like the rest of Greece, are legally and historically Greek, as their names indicate.

Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), however, and even much of the opposition seem intent on, if not obsessed with, invading and conquering these Greek islands, on the grounds that they are actually Turkish territory.

In December, for instance, Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, the leader of the main Turkish opposition CHP party, stated that when he wins the election in 2019, he will "invade and take over 18 Greek islands in the Aegean Sea, just as former Turkish PM Bulent Ecevit invaded Cyprus in 1974." He said that there is "no document" proving that those islands belong to Greece.

Meral Akşener, the head of the newly established opposition "Good Party," has also called for an invasion and conquest of the islands. "What is required must be done," she tweeted on January 13.

The most garish muscle-flexing has come from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, of course, who seems emboldened by his military invasion of the Afrin region in northern Syria having gone virtually unchallenged.

Trump says he never denied Russian meddling-liar,liar,pants on fire

"I never said Russia did not meddle in the election," Trump wrote Feb. 18. "I said ‘it may be Russia, or China or another country or group, or it may be a 400 pound genius sitting in bed and playing with his computer.’ The Russian ‘hoax’ was that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia - it never did!"


In a May 2017 interview with NBC’s Lester Holt, Trump said "this Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story." Trump continued in that interview to say, "It's an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should've won."

In September 2017, when reports of Russian-backed Facebook ads came out, Trump tweeted, "The Russia hoax continues, now it's ads on Facebook. What about the totally biased and dishonest Media coverage in favor of Crooked Hillary?"

In a December 2016 interview with Time, Trump said two things: He didn’t think Russia meddled, and that it might have.

"I don’t believe they interfered," Trump said. "That became a laughing point, not a talking point, a laughing point. Any time I do something, they say ‘oh, Russia interfered.’"

During an overseas trip to Asia in November 2017, Trump spoke of his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. A reporter asked how Trump brought up the issue of Russian meddling in the U.S. election.

"Every time he sees me, he says, ‘I didn't do that,’ " Trump said. "And I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it."

Asked again if he believed Putin, Trump called several top U.S. intelligence officials "political hacks," and argued that other matters were more important.(THAN AN ATTACK ON THE US)

Finally he said

At a January 2017 news conference, he said he thought Russia did hack into the DNC, but he blurred the picture.

"As far as hacking, I think it was Russia," he said. "But I think we also get hacked by other countries and other people."

Pressed on his apparent acceptance of the intelligence agencies’ findings, Trump backpedaled.

"All right, but you know what, it could have been others also," Trump said.

Trump Jr is wooing India to make his real estate empire great again! Poo in the Woo!

Here’s what Trump Jr’s been up to

•On Feb. 20 he held meetings at Delhi’s Oberoi Hotel with developers partnering with his firm in the upcoming Trump Towers project in Gurugram near Delhi. These included Tribeca’s Kalpesh Mehta and M3M’s Pankaj and Basant Bansal.

•In an interview with CNBC-TV18 on Feb. 20, Trump Jr. spoke extensively on the company’s business and political interests in India:

I am here as a businessman and I think when you talk about the two largest, I guess the US is the second-largest democracy and we don’t like being second too often. But, in this case, we will make an exception and say that’s okay. You know there is a lot there. There is a reason why India is way before we were ever in politics, but a place where we were looking to do deals and do investment because I think there is a lot more similarity. And when you talk about this sort of natural business relationship, beyond the political relationship of the two largest democracies in the world, I think that is an important relationship to maintain especially when you look at what’s going on in the world today in many of the other markets and in many of the upcoming powers.

•On Feb. 20, he was invited for lunch at Delhi’s Birla House, flanked by the country’s top business executives, including Shobhana Bhartia, promoter of the Hindustan Times newspaper, politician Milind Deora, and Deepak Parekh of HDFC.