Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Country Wide Protests Over Grand Jury Decision

ST. LOUIS, MO - NOVEMBER 23: Demonstrators march through the streets while protesting the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown on November 23, 2014 in St. Louis, Missouri. Tensions in Ferguson remain high as a grand jury is expected to decide this month if Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson should be charged in the shooting death of Michael Brown. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
FERGUSON, Mo. - Protesters returned to the riot-scarred streets of Ferguson on Tuesday, a day after crowds looted businesses and set fire to buildings in a night of rage against a grand jury's decision not to indict the white police officer who killed Michael Brown.
Hundreds of additional National Guard troops were sent to the St. Louis suburb to help local authorities keep order. Hours after nightfall, tensions escalated as a police car was set on fire outside City Hall, and authorities released tear gas.

Meanwhile, officer Darren Wilson broke his long public silence, insisting on national television that he could not have done anything differently in the confrontation with Brown. In the aftermath of Monday's violence, Missouri governor Jay Nixon sent a large contingent of extra National Guard troops, ordering the initial force of 700 to be increased to 2,200 in hopes that their presence would help local law enforcement keep order in the St. Louis suburb.
"Lives and property must be protected," Nixon said. "This community deserves to have peace."

About 50 protesters converged on a barricade guarded by 30 Guard members. The group chanted "Whose streets, our streets," ''This is what democracy looks like" and "Hands up don't shoot," a slogan that has become a rallying cry in protests over police killings.
Outside police headquarters in Ferguson, one woman was taken into custody after protesters threw what appeared to be smoke bombs, flares and frozen water bottles at a line of officers. Two other protesters wearing masks were arrested after defying police instructions to get out of the street.
Other demonstrations were held across the country for a second day. Hundreds of Seattle high school students walked out of classes, and several hundred people marched down a Cleveland freeway ramp to block rush-hour traffic.

During an interview with ABC News, Wilson said he has a clean conscience because "I know I did my job right."
Wilson, 28, had been with the Ferguson police force for less than three years before the Aug. 9 shooting. He told ABC Brown's shooting marked the first time he had fired his gun on the job.

Attorneys for the Brown family vowed to push for federal charges against Wilson and said the grand jury process was rigged from the start to clear Wilson.
"We said from the very beginning that the decision of this grand jury was going to be the direct reflection of the presentation of the evidence by the prosecutor's office," attorney Anthony Gray said. He suggested the office of the county's top prosecutor, Bob McCulloch, presented some testimony to discredit the process, including from witnesses who did not see the shooting.
During Monday's protests, 12 commercial buildings in Ferguson burned down, and firefighters responded to blazes at eight others, fire officials said. Other businesses were looted, and 12 vehicles were torched.
Brown's parents made public calls for peace in the run-up to Monday's announcement, and on Tuesday, their representatives again stressed that the people setting fires were not on Michael Brown's side. Videos that were widely circulated on Tuesday showed Brown's mother, Lesley McSpadden, standing atop a car and breaking down as the announcement of the grand jury decision blares over the stereo.
Her husband, Brown's stepfather, comforts her, then begins angrily yelling "Burn the bitch down!" to a crowd gathered around him. Asked about the comment at a news conference, family attorney Benjamin Crump said the reaction was, "raw emotion. Not appropriate at all. Completely inappropriate."

Protests continued during the day on Tuesday. In Clayton, where the grand jury met, clergy members and others blocked morning traffic for several hours. In downtown St. Louis, where demonstrators swarmed the steps of a federal courthouse and stopped traffic, at least four people were arrested.
Attorneys for Brown's family said they hope an ongoing federal civil rights investigation leads to charges. But federal investigations of police misconduct face a steep legal standard, requiring proof that an officer willfully violated a victim's civil rights.

Testimony from Wilson that he felt threatened, and physical evidence almost certainly complicates any efforts to seek federal charges. Under federal law, "you have to prove as a prosecutor that the officer knew at the moment that he pulled the trigger that he was using too much force, that he was violating the Constitution," said Seth Rosenthal, a former Justice Department civil rights prosecutor.
The Justice Department has also launched a broad probe into the Ferguson Police Department, looking for patterns of discrimination.
Attorney General Eric Holder said the department aims to complete those investigations as quickly as possible "to restore trust, to rebuild understanding and to foster co-operation between law enforcement and community members." Regardless of the outcome of the federal investigations, Brown's family also could file a wrongful-death lawsuit against Wilson.
Speaking in Chicago, President Obama said he knows the grand jury's decision "upset a lot of people" but that the "the frustrations that we've seen are not just about a particular incident. They have deep roots in many communities of colour who have a sense that our laws are not always being enforced uniformly or fairly."
Wilson's lawyers issued a statement praising the decision and saying the officer is grateful to his supporters.
"Law enforcement personnel must frequently make split-second and difficult decisions," the lawyers wrote. "Officer Wilson followed his training and followed the law."

Scott Holtgrieve, a St. Louis County man who attended an August fundraiser on Wilson's behalf, always viewed with skepticism witness accounts that Wilson shot Brown while Brown held his hands up in a form of surrender and was on his knees.
"What they were saying just didn't seem rational — that an officer would shoot someone in cold blood that way at point-blank range, especially in that neighbourhood where you know a lot of people are watching," Holtgrieve said.


Marching in center city the Ferguson protestors on South Broad at City Hall, Philadelphia, Monday, Nov. 24, 2014. (AP Photo / The Philadelphia Daily News, Steven M. Falk )
Marching in center city the Ferguson protestors on South Broad at City Hall, Philadelphia, Monday



People protesting the Ferguson, Missouri, grand jury decision took to the streets in cities across the U.S. for a second day Tuesday, showing that the racially charged case has inflamed tensions thousands of miles from the predominantly black St. Louis suburb.
Peaceful demonstrators marched in Seattle and disrupted traffic in St. Louis and Cleveland. Rallies also formed in Michigan, Maine, Georgia and mid-Atlantic states.
For many, the shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown by Officer Darren Wilson recalled other troubling encounters with law enforcement. The refrain "hands up, don't shoot" became a rallying cry over police killings nationwide.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Footage of Extremely Rare Angler Fish

 
An extremely rare type of anglerfish, the Black Seadevil, has been captured on video for what is believed to be the first time. The clip, released by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, clearly shows one of the ugliest and meanest-looking fish at a depth of about 600 metres.
According to MBARI Senior Scientist Bruce Robinson, this type of fish is so rare that he's only seen three of them despite diving in the Monterey Canyon for 25 years.




In the video, Robinson describes the unique appearance of the fish:
Anglers have a remarkable apparatus on their heads: a fishing pole, with a luminous lure at the tip, which they use to attract their prey. In the darkness of deep water, they flash the light to attract prey and draw them near the angler's mouth. When a fish or a squid swims up, it is quickly inhaled by the angler's huge mouth and trapped by its long, sharp teeth.
Robinson says this Seadevil has a broken tooth. And despite it's horrific appearance, it is only about 3.5 inches in length.
According to the video, this Seadevil is a female of the species – males are described as smaller, without the signature "fishing pole" attachement that females use to lure prey into their gaping maws.
"Males are ill-equipped for feeding, and their sole responsibility appears to be to find a female and mate with her as soon as possible," Robison narrates in the video.  Robinson said males essentially die while mating with a female Seadevil.
"The male bites into the body of the female, their tissues fuse," he said. "The male's body degenerates until it's a lump of tissue surrounding testicles." The female will then carry the male's remaining corpse with her for the rest of her life. Robinson said he has seen female Devilfish with as many as 11 males attached to a single female.
Robinson is researching the impacts of climate change in the deep sea, where the pace of life is slower due to less oxygen in the Monterey Bay.
Indeed, the oceans are filled with many rare and unusual creatures. And ugly.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Evacuation plans readied as Buffalo flooding looms

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) -
First came the big storm, then the big dig. Now comes the big melt.

Residents of flood-prone areas around Buffalo should move valuables up from the basement, pack a bag and prepare for the possibility of evacuation as up to 7 feet of melting snow posed the threat of flooding, Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned Sunday.

"Err on the side of caution," Cuomo said at a news conference in Cheektowaga. "You prepare for the worst and hope for the best, and that's what we're doing."

Across the Buffalo region - where rising temperatures were expected to approach 60 degrees on Monday - people took that advice to heart.

In Hamburg, Pete Yeskoot bought a portable generator to make sure his sump pump will keep working once the roughly 80 inches of snow that fell on his property melts. Possessions are up on blocks in the basement and he has food for several days.

"Behind us is an 18-mile creek so everything in the village will come through us at some point, so we have to get ready for the possibility of flooding," he said. "And given all this snow, we have to expect that this is real."

Rain fell Sunday, with temperatures rising to 50. It was expected to be even warmer Monday, accompanied by more rain and rising winds, leading to the threat of toppled trees and power outages.

National Guard members spent Sunday clearing storm drains and culverts to facilitate runoff, and shoveling snow off roofs.

The National Weather Service said core samples of the deep snowpack showed it contained as much as 6 inches of water. Forecasters said some stretches of road in urban areas might become submerged under several feet of water if storm drains remained clogged.

The melt could first cause basements to fill up and roads to flood, but another concern was creeks overflowing. In West Seneca, there was already a sewer pump stationed near Michelle Pikula's house along the Buffalo Creek.

"Hopefully the rain won't be here until later and this will be a slow thaw, but flooding is our major, major concern here," she said.

Cuomo said evacuation plans and emergency shelters were being readied in case of flooding Sunday night and Monday. As a backup to Red Cross shelters, Cuomo said the state would have shelters at community colleges and state university campuses.

The state Thruway, which had been closed for 132 miles at the height of the lake-effect storm last week, was entirely open Sunday. All driving bans were lifted except in Lackawanna, where snow-removal crews worked to open up streets that had become parking lots with hundreds of abandoned, buried vehicles.

Most snow-affected school districts remained closed Monday, and at least four called off classes for the entire Thanksgiving week.
 










 
This  is  not  a dream ,  I'm still here  .  Just wait  until they  get  my  damn  bill  , gonna take  a much needed  vacation .
Mr. Humble  at your  service .

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Hitler watercolor sold for $162,000 at auction

In this photo taken Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014, a picture titled “The Old City Hall” that - as the auction house said - was painted by Adolf Hitler is displayed in an auction house in Nuremberg, Germany. The 100-year-old watercolor of Munich’s city hall is expected to fetch at least 50,000 euros (US$ 60,000) at auction this weekend, not so much for its artistic value as for the signature in the bottom left corner: A. Hitler. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
The Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014 photo shows the signature "A. Hitler" on a picture titled “The Old City Hall” that - as the auction house said - was painted by Adolf Hitler in Nuremberg, Germany. The 100-year-old watercolor of Munich’s city hall is expected to fetch at least 50,000 euros (US$ 60,000) at auction this weekend, not so much for its artistic value as for the signature in the bottom left corner. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)
BERLIN (AP) - A watercolor of Munich's old city hall believed to have been painted by Adolf Hitler a century ago was sold for 130,000 euros ($162,000) at an auction in Germany on Saturday.

Kathrin Weidler, director of the Weider auction house in Nuremberg, said the work attracted bidders from four continents and went to a buyer from the Middle East. She declined to elaborate.

The auction house says the painting is one some 2,000 by Hitler and is thought to be from about 1914, when he was struggling to make a living as an artist, almost two decades before rising to power as the Nazi dictator.

The painting, which had been expected to fetch at least 50,000 euros, was sold by a pair of elderly sisters whose grandfather purchased it in 1916.

Hitler's paintings surface regularly, but the auction house said the 28-by-22 centimeter (11-by-8.5 inch) scene auctioned Saturday also includes the original bill of sale and a signed letter from Hitler's adjutant, Albert Bormann, brother of the dictator's private secretary Martin Bormann.

From the text of the undated Bormann letter, it appears the Nazi-era owner sent a photo of the painting to Hitler's office asking about its provenance. Bormann wrote that it appears to be "one of the works of the Fuehrer." 
 
 
 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Sky Falls on Buffalo


 Buffalo is hit by blizzard onTuesday, Nov.18, 2014... Parts of New York measured the season's first big snowfall in feet, rather than inches, as 3 feet of lake-effect snow blanketed the Buffalo area. The Thruway Authority said white-out conditions caused by wind gusts of more than 30 mph forced the closure of Interstate 90 in both directions from the Rochester area to Ripley, on the Pennsylvania border 60 miles southwest of Buffalo. Heavy snow also fell in Southern Ontario with gusting winds and below freezing temperatures. Winter has arrived in grand fashion.

Steven Gros shovels snow from outside his home in Orchard Park

Wintry Weather

UNITED STATES - WEATHER - LAKE EFFECT SNOW
  
Wintry Weather 

UNITED STATES - WEATHER - LAKE EFFECT SNOW

UNITED STATES - WEATHER - LAKE EFFECT SNOW

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Silence is Not Always Golden.....Bill Cosby


After Bill Cosby settled a civil lawsuit in 2006 alleging that he'd repeatedly sexually assaulted a woman, his image as America's dad may have been temporarily tarnished, but was far from destroyed.
But in recent weeks as allegations of other sexual assaults have taken hold in published reports and on social media, his rock-solid persona seems in danger of permanent erosion.
"It's not like, if you have goodwill, you can borrow against that," says Eric B. Dezenhall, a Washington-based crisis management consultant. "And if your goal is to get everybody to un-remember what they just heard — well, that's just not doable."
Cosby, 77, has never been charged with a crime and so far has steadfastly refused to address the uproar. He's granted few in-person interviews to media. And an attempt to put out the fire with a positive social media buzz backfired, generating criticism rather than praise.
There is no sign that his silent treatment — outside of a statement from his attorney Sunday characterizing the accusations as "discredited" — will placate the two accusers who have recently told their stories or outlast their demands that he answer to their claims.
His staunchest fans have dismissed the assault accusations that have dogged him for years while they overlooked his admissions of marital infidelity. For them, his image remains snugly aligned with that of Cliff Huxtable, the gentle, all-knowing husband and father he played on "The Cosby Show" as a champion of family values who, 20 years earlier, broke TV's colour barrier with his 1960s series "I Spy."
But that image could hurt now more than help, even placing his legacy at risk.
"We love the concept of hypocrisy, whether it's true or not," says Dezenhall, who recently published the book "Glass Jaw — A Manifesto for Defending Fragile Reputations in an Age of Instant Scandal." ''We love learning that somebody in reality may be the opposite of what they seem. ... The squeakier-clean your reputation, the more the public embraces these stories."
For older Cosby fans, Cosby undisputedly is "a venerated figure who stands for education and achievement and common sense," says NPR television critic Eric Deggans, who has reported on the accusations. "But there's an entire generation for whom his projects are distant memories with distant impact. And in later years, he has gone around demanding that poor black people pull themselves up by their bootstraps, get their house in order."
Cosby's blunt call for personal responsibility has often stigmatized him in young eyes not as America's dad but as America's cranky granddad "taking aim at youth culture," Deggans says.
It was this sort of attitude that may have prompted standup comedian Hannibal Buress to take aim at Cosby last month in Philadelphia where, during a performance, Buress mocked him, chiding the audience to "pull your pants up, black people, I was on TV in the '80s," and labeling Cosby "a rapist." (Buress has not responded to repeated requests from The Associated Press to discuss that performance.)
The sequence was captured on video and may have served as a major flashpoint. Barbara Bowman, who since 2006 has publicly accused Cosby of sexually assaulting her, gave Buress credit for bringing her long-voiced words new urgency in a Nov. 13 WashingtonPost.com column, whose headline asked, "Why did it take 30 years for people to believe my story?"
Accusations from Cosby's past may also have been rekindled by their very absence from a new book, "Cosby: His Life and Times," an affirmative biography that makes no mention of those allegations. Author Mark Whitaker did not respond to a request for comment.




The firestorm against Cosby has flared as he was enjoying a revival that began a year ago when a standup TV special — his first in three decades — aired on Comedy Central.
"There's a gap," Cosby told the AP a few days before its Nov. 23 premiere, "between people knowing what I do and really believing that I still do that — and wondering what it is I really do."
Titled "Far From Finished," the program seemed to bridge that gap, attracting a robust 2 million viewers on the youth-skewing network.
Two months later, NBC confirmed rumours that a new sitcom starring Cosby as the patriarch of a multigenerational comedy series was on the drawing board.
NBC hasn't commented on the status of that project in recent months. Meanwhile, Cosby's busy standup schedule (he has at least 35 performances scheduled throughout the U.S. and Canada through May of 2015) so far seems untouched by the rising controversy.
But Cosby has dropped out of interviews planned to promote his upcoming Netflix standup special. (Netflix on Monday declined to comment on whether plans have changed for its Nov. 27 premiere.) He cancelled an interview scheduled for Tuesday with the AP, and last week confirmed that he would not be making a scheduled appearance on Wednesday's "Late Show with David Letterman."
Attempting to ride out the storm may not work. But what's the alternative?
As Dezenhall points out, gone are the days before social media when a public figure in a jam could sit down with Oprah Winfrey or Barbara Walters for a tell-all TV interview where he bared his soul and gained forgiveness from the masses.
"In the current culture, no matter what you do to defend yourself in one of these high-profile media vortexes, it generates multiple waves of new and negative coverage. Cosby has got to be thinking, 'Is the better of my very bad options to remain silent?'"

Monday, November 17, 2014

Europeans have prominent role in ISIS beheading video

PARIS (AP) -- The cold-eyed militants lined up behind their victims in the latest Islamic State video appear to come from outside the Middle East, including one from France and possibly two from Britain, as the extremist group tries to show a global reach.

The grisly video - clearly aimed at a Western audience - lingers as much on the faces of the camouflaged extremists as the men who are beheaded. The victims include American aid worker Peter Kassig and more than a dozen Syrian soldiers.

The images of the Islamic State militants, who are shown one by one in close-up, allowed authorities to identify one of them Monday as a 22-year-old Frenchman who converted to radical Islam.

Maxime Hauchard has been on the radar of French authorities since 2011 when he took two trips to Mauritania to attend a Quranic school, said Paris prosecutor Francois Molins. The prosecutor said investigators were trying to determine if another Frenchman also is in the video.

President Barack Obama confirmed Kassig's slaying after a U.S. review of the video.

The overwhelming majority of Islamic State fighters are from the Mideast, but the extremist group is trying to cement its claim on an Islamic empire straddling Iraq and Syria. Europe appears to be a fertile ground to find supporters, with officials saying thousands of young Europeans have headed off to jihad. More than 1,000 people in France alone are under surveillance for suspected plans to join the militants, officials said.

In the video released Sunday, some of the knife-wielding extremists standing behind their kneeling victims had distinctly Asian features. Another whose face was hooded had the familiar London accent of the jihadi who also appeared in beheading videos with American hostages James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and with British hostages David Haines and Alan Henning. There also were indications that a Welsh medical student may be the man standing next to Hauchard.

"It's quite transparent that IS is trying to exaggerate its base of support," said Charlie Winter, a researcher at the Quilliam Foundation in London. "They are trying to show that Muslims from all over the world are protecting their Syrian brethren and their Iraqi brethren."

European officials are trying just as furiously to counter that message.

"I call solemnly and seriously on all our citizens, and notably our young people who are the primary target of the terrorist propaganda, to open your eyes to the terrible reality of the actions of Daesh," said French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve, using an Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group. "These are criminals that are building a system of barbarity."

Hauchard gave an interview to France's BFM television in July, telling the network he had helped capture Mosul, the Iraqi city whose fall eventually prompted the United States to resume military operations in Iraq.

"We're waiting for death," Hauchard said at the time. "My objective is to be a martyr."

A man from Wales, Ahmed Muthana, said he thinks he saw his son, 20-year-old Nasser Muthana, in the latest video, and Winter, the British researcher, confirmed the likeness.

"It resembles him. I was shown a picture of the video. I cannot confirm it is him, but I think it might be," Ahmed Muthana told Britain's Press Association.

Kassig had gone to Syria on a humanitarian mission.

"(Our son) lost his life as a result of his love for the Syrian people and his desire to ease their suffering," the slain hostage's parents, Ed and Paula Kassig, said in a statement.

As for the French militant in the video, Molins said he had used aid work as a pretext.

"The humanitarian action was a facade. In fact, he wanted to fight and join Islamic State agents," Molins said.

With Kassig's death, the Islamic State group has killed five Westerners it was holding.

Unlike previous videos of slain Western hostages, the latest one did not show the decapitation of Kassig, the moments leading up to his death or threaten to kill any other Western hostages.

It identified the militants' location as Dabiq, a town in northern Syria that the Islamic State group uses as the title of its English-language propaganda magazine and where they believe an apocalyptic battle between Muslims and their enemies will occur.

The high-definition video also showed the beheadings of about a dozen men identified as Syrian military officers and pilots, all dressed in blue jumpsuits.

All of the militants wore brand new camouflage uniforms, except for the black-clad man who spoke with a British accent and warned that U.S. soldiers will meet a similar fate.

"We say to you, Obama: You claim to have withdrawn from Iraq four years ago," the militant said. "Here you are: You have not withdrawn. Rather, you hid some of your forces behind your proxies."

A U.S.-led coalition is targeting the Islamic State group in airstrikes in northern Syria, supporting Western-backed Syrian rebels, Kurdish fighters and the Iraqi military. The U.S. said 31 airstrikes had been carried out from Nov. 14-17 against Islamic State group targets.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the Islamic State group could grow worldwide if left unchecked. Already, he said, the IS has seized more land and resources "than al-Qaida ever had on its best day of its existence."

IS "leaders assume that the world will be too intimidated to oppose them," Kerry said. "But let us be clear: We are not intimidated."

Kassig served in the U.S. Army's 75th Ranger Regiment, a special operations unit, and was deployed to Iraq in 2007. After being medically discharged, he returned to the Middle East in 2012 and formed a relief group, Special Emergency Response and Assistance, to help Syrian refugees.

The Islamic State group still holds other captives, including British photojournalist John Cantlie, who has appeared in several videos delivering statements, likely under duress, and a 26-year-old American woman captured last year in Syria while working for aid groups. U.S. officials have asked that the woman not be identified for er safety.

The group's militants have beheaded or shot dead hundreds of captives, mostly Syrian and Iraqi soldiers, celebrating the mass killings in graphic videos.

The Islamic State group has declared a self-styled Islamic caliphate in areas under its control, which it governs according to its violent interpretation of Shariah law.


 
Hey guys , still filling  in for  'The  Genie'