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At least 13 dead, 100 injured in Barcelona van attack
« Reply #7755 on: August 17, 2017, 02:42:21 PM »
One person was killed Thursday in an explosion at a house in Catalonia in an incident connected to the Barcelona van attack, the head of the Catalan Police said. The victim is Spanish and was not on police radar.

At least 13 people were killed and more than 100 injured after a van rammed through crowds in the heart of Barcelona on Thursday in what the Spanish Prime Minister described as a barbaric act of terror.
Eyewitnesses reported scenes of panic and chaos as the van plowed down the renowned Las Ramblas avenue in the early evening.
Catalan police were treating the incident as an act of terrorism and sealed off the area. Catalan President Carles Puigdemont said two suspects had been arrested. More than 100 people were injured, authorities said, 15 of them in a serious condition.

One Belgian was killed in the attack, Belgian Foreign Ministry spokesman Jose de Pierpont said.

Barcelona officials ordered all public events to be canceled, and metro and train stations in the area were closed.

Reports of the incident emerged on social media about 5 p.m. (11 a.m. ET). Photographs and videos showed people fleeing the area. About two hours later, police confirmed a terror attack.
It was the latest in a series of attacks in Europe in which vehicles have been used to mow down pedestrians in public spaces. More than 100 people have died in similar attacks in Berlin, London and Nice.
ISIS' media wing, Amaq, said the perpetrators of the Barcelona attack were "soldiers of the Islamic State." However, ISIS has not explicitly claimed responsibility.

Catalan police said they were continuing to hunt for the perpetrators and that the force had activated its terror response protocols. Unconfirmed reports suggested the suspects may have been attempting to reach a getaway vehicle.
Catalan police later tweeted that a driver had run over two police officers at a security checkpoint in Barcelona and that the driver had been found near the city. The two officers suffered minor injuries and did not need hospital treatment, police said. It was unclear whether that incident was related to the terror attack.
Local Spanish media earlier reported that two armed men had entered a restaurant. But Catalan police dismissed rumors the attacker had been holed up near Las Ramblas and said there "was never a hostage situation."
As the incident unfolded, police told everyone in the vicinity of Plaça de Catalunya and Las Ramblas to remain indoors until told it was safe to go outside. Footage posted to social media by witnesses showed chaotic scenes with people lying in the street, apparently dead or injured.
Witness reports gunshots
One witness told local media the situation was "very tense" and that all surrounding shops were being evacuated. The witness said at least eight ambulances were at the scene. Emergency services said the area had been cordoned off and all public transportation stopped.

Another witness who was hiding in a shop nearby heard gunshots, according to state-run broadcaster TVE24. A third said he saw a van driving "around 80" kph, or 50 mph. He said "there is no doubt it was intentional," according to TVE24.
Ali Shirazinia, who was cycling alongside Las Ramblas at the time, told CNN he heard "a lot of screams" and saw the crowds of people split along the busy promenade.
Then he heard what sounded like the driver flooring the accelerator and saw a white van with blue markings come hurtling down the street. "It literally came right down the Ramblas and ran into people on every side," he said.
"The Ramblas is full of pedestrians, street merchants, street performers, and I saw people flying into the air and everyone was running into the shops on either side of the Ramblas, a lot of people were shocked."
Tourist Susan McClean told CNN she saw a "tidal wave" of people running away from Las Ramblas after the incident.
She ducked into a nearby shop and the shutters were pulled down while police sped toward the scene.
"There was clearly a lot of distress," she said.
McClean said she returned to her hotel one street away after leaving the shop.

Government officials respond
The Catalan regional government said it was holding an emergency meeting to discuss the incident.
The Catalan emergency services urged people via Twitter to avoid going out or undertaking any other type of movement that is not "strictly necessary" to facilitate police operations.

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy tweeted: "The terrorists will never defeat a united people who love freedom versus barbarism. All of Spain is with the families and their victims."
The Spanish royal family tweeted: "They are assassins, simply criminals who are not going to terrorize us. All of Spain is Barcelona. Las Ramblas will return to be everyone's."
The Union of Islamic Communities of Catalonia expressed "condemnation and repulse" for the Barcelona attack.
"Faced with this criminal fact, the union of Islamic communities in Catalonia reiterates its full commitment to the fight against any type of terrorism, and it is expected that those responsible for these attacks may be detained and brought before the courts as early as possible," its statement said.

NATO chief: We stand united
World leaders were quick to voice their condemnation of the attack and offer support to Barcelona via Twitter.
"My thoughts are with all those affected. We stand united in the fight against terrorism," said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg.
US President Donald Trump said: "The United States condemns the terror attack in Barcelona, Spain, and will do whatever is necessary to help. Be tough & strong, we love you!"

London Mayor Sadiq Khan also gave his support, saying: "London stands with Barcelona against the evil of terrorism."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel called the attack in Barcelona "revolting," her spokesman tweeted. "We are mourning the victims of this disgusting attack in Barcelona -- in solidarity and friendship side by side with the Spanish."
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker branded the Barcelona attack "cowardly," adding: "We will never be cowed by such barbarism."
Las Ramblas is a predominantly pedestrianized street popular among tourists in Barcelona. Extending for about three-quarters of a mile through the center of the city, the tree-lined street is especially crowded in the summer, the height of tourist season.
The promenade passes by kiosks, flower sellers, pavement cafes and bars. It includes a number of the city's most popular sites.
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efferson Davis Memorial Highway monument tarred and feathered
« Reply #7756 on: August 17, 2017, 04:23:46 PM »

GOLD CANYON, Ariz. (KSAZ) - The Jefferson Davis Memorial Highway Monument that sits in the far East Valley has been tarred and feathered. An investigation is ongoing.

The monument sits near Gold Canyon along the U.S. 60, just north of the Renaissance Festival. The monument bears the name of Jefferson Davis, who was the first and only president of the Confederate States of America.

This is the second monument to be defaced in the past several days. The Confederate Troops Memorial outside the Arizona Capitol was spray painted white sometime before Thursday morning.

Confederate monuments around the country have been removed or defaced since the weekend as the country grapples with a violent rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, where white nationalists and white supremacists protested plans to remove a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Black leaders have called for the removal of such monuments for several years, saying they glorify racism.

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Hindu and Jewish women wed in 'UK's first interfaith lesbian marriage'
« Reply #7757 on: August 17, 2017, 04:29:48 PM »
'I hope many many gay people - no matter what religion or culture they're in - are in loving relationships'

Kalavati Mistry and Miriam Jefferson

A Hindu woman and her Jewish soulmate have married in what is believed to be the UK's first interfaith lesbian wedding.

Kalavati Mistry and Miriam Jefferson met more than 20 years ago on a training course in America, and tied the knot on Saturday in a Hindu ceremony, wearing traditional red-and-white bridal colours.

Ms Mistry, 48, had kept her sexuality a secret for years and said it had been "very difficult for me as an Asian gay woman".

But her friends and family have been "welcoming and embracing" to Ms Jefferson since she revealed their relationship, she said, adding: "I hope many many gay people - no matter what religion or culture they're in - are in loving relationships."

The couple, who both work for an interfaith organisation, married at the Chutney Ivy restaurant in Leicester.

Ms Jefferson revealed they had already had a Jewish wedding in her hometown of San Antonio, Texas, earlier this year.

She told Mail Online: "It's really nice to now have a Hindu wedding here, because it brings both of us together and completes both of us in my eyes."

The couple will return to live in the US after the wedding.
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Leading elephant conservationist shot dead in Tanzania
« Reply #7758 on: August 17, 2017, 04:36:47 PM »
Wayne Lotter had received numerous death threats while battling international ivory-trafficking networks

Wayne Lotter, founding member of the PAMS conservation NGO.

The head of an animal conservation NGO who had received numerous death threats has been shot and killed by an unknown gunman in Tanzania.

Wayne Lotter, 51, was shot on Wednesday evening in the Masaki district of the city of Dar es Salaam. The wildlife conservationist was being driven from the airport to his hotel when his taxi was stopped by another vehicle. Two men, one armed with a gun opened his car door and shot him.

Lotter was a director and co-founder of the PAMS Foundation, an NGO that provides conservation and anti-poaching support to communities and governments in Africa. Since starting the organisation in Tanzania in 2009, he had received numerous death threats relating to his work.

Police in Tanzania have launched an investigation into his death.

Wayne Lotter with primatologist Jane Goodall (centre) and PAMS co-founder Krissie Clark.

The PAMS Foundation funded and supported Tanzania’s elite anti-poaching National and Transnational Serious Crimes Investigation Unit (NTSCIU) which was responsible for arrests of major ivory traffickers including Yang Feng Glan, the so-called “Queen of Ivory” and several other notorious elephant poachers. Since 2012, the unit has arrested more than 2,000 poachers and ivory traffickers and has a conviction rate of 80%. The NTSCIU was recently featured in the Netflix documentary The Ivory Game. In a previous interview, Lotter said he believed its work had helped to reduce poaching rates in Tanzania by at least 50%.

The latest elephant census data suggests that elephant populations fell by 30% in Africa between 2007 and 2014. Tanzania experienced one of the biggest declines in elephant numbers, where the census documented a 60% decrease in the population.

Lotter rarely took credit for PAMS’ success in helping reduce poaching rates in Tanzania, and was always quick to credit the work of the communities and agencies he worked with.

Wayne Lotter with his colleagues at PAMS.

Lotter was a big figure in the international conservation community, having served on the boards of several conservation groups and was the Vice President of the International Ranger Federation. The news of his death has sent the community into mourning. “Wayne was one of Africa’s leading and most committed conservationists. He had over two decades worth of experience in wildlife management and conservation, and can be credited as the driving force behind ending the unscrupulous slaughter of Tanzania’s elephants,” said Azzedine Downes, CEO of the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW).

“Wayne devoted his life to Africa’s wildlife. From working as a ranger in his native South Africa as a young man to leading the charge against poaching in Tanzania, Wayne cared deeply about the people and animals that populate this world,” read a statement released by the PAMS Foundation team. “Wayne’s charm, brilliance and eccentric sense of humour gave him the unique ability to make those around him constantly laugh and smile. He died bravely fighting for the cause he was most passionate about.

“Wayne leaves behind his wife Inge, daughters Cara Jayne and Tamsin, and parents Vera and Charles Lotter. We all grieve with his family, colleagues and friends. His legacy will continue in our work.”
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Everything Is So Bad
« Reply #7759 on: August 17, 2017, 04:43:20 PM »

I don’t think Donald Trump really is a Nazi, in the same way and for the same basic reasons I don’t think he’s really a Confederate apologist, or a Republican, or a Russian operative, or anything. Honestly, even his white supremacism is a second-order thing, an artifact of the coincidence that he, himself, is white, and cannot tolerate less than personal supremacy. He likes the things in the world that gratify him, and those things happen to be good for preserving the power of white people, men in particular, literally any of whom he’d run over with a combine harvester in a moment if it got the New York Times to treat him like a True New York Big Shot.

He’s too fucking stupid and narcissistic for being something other than Donald Trump, for sublimating any part of himself into any bigger idea of how the world ought to do anything other than direct its attention at Donald Trump. It would take at least some minor capacity to imagine himself as a discrete thing moving within a larger reality, as opposed to the entirety of that reality. It would require a cerebral cortex, even one as depressingly smooth and unwrinkled as his son-in-law’s.

Don’t get me wrong! I am not saying you have to be smart to be a Nazi, or a Republican, or a Russian operative, or an ideological white supremacist. Stupidity and moral dwarfism are prerequisites for those. Likewise, I am not exculpating Donald Trump from moral responsibility. His solipsism comes about as close as I think an actual human can get to real, pure evil. It’s just that when you accuse him of ideological Nazism or Confederate sympathy or whatever, you’re flattering him. You’re granting him more depth and dimension than he contains, infinitely more. He’s just a brainstem. President Lizard.

“Nazi” and “Republican” and “fork” and “war” and “hello”: For Donald Trump these are just noises you make with your mouth. You make the ones that get people to look at you; if they also smile, fine, but if their eyes widen in shock or horror or disgust, that’s fine too, so long as they don’t look away. He’s only a fascist of convenience: For the guy in charge, “fascism” just means everybody pays attention to him all the time.

It turns out that this makes him a handy window through which to observe the society that has now made him its most powerful person! It also turns out that all you can see through it is dismally familiar: Racism and ignorance and childish self-gratification and so on; dull incuriosity, bad taste, apocalyptic discernment, terminal, metastatic stupidity. You can imagine an alternate universe in which “loudmouthed shit-for-brains inheritance baby” describes the person who arouses the least public fascination, rather than the most, in which the meager feat of surviving to adulthood without accidentally walking into an alligator’s mouth is not held to qualify some bigoted slumlord’s asshole brat for synonymity with the word “success.” I can, anyway. But we don’t live there.

Here in this reality, the president of the United States woke up this morning and tweeted some dumbass shit about how like if you take down cheap, hollow, sheet-metal statues of the white-supremacist halfwits and slavers who went to war against the United States to preserve their power to own people, does it not also follow that you will also take down statues of the founders of the United States, and would this not thus result in the erasure of American history or the de-beautifying of our public spaces, or some shit. Who knows. This is a shit-sprinkler spray of false equivalences and logical leaps you couldn’t put past a fucking kindergartener without catching a side-eye.

Did he believe any of it? The question doesn’t apply. He is immune to belief. The tweets will dominate today’s news cycle. The rat mashes the button that makes food appear. In this awful cage, it’s all rats and buttons everywhere.
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Big Game Hunter Crushed To Death By Elephant He Was Stalking
« Reply #7760 on: August 17, 2017, 04:51:39 PM »

Big game hunters aren’t having much luck with elephants as of late. Despite being armed to the teeth and equipped with vehicles, tracking equipment, and more, they’re finding out the hard way that these massive wild animals aren’t that happy being shot at.

Back in May, it was reported that, in Zimbabwe, a well-known South African hunter was crushed beneath the corpse of an elephant that his rifle-wielding friends had shot at. Now it looks like an Argentinian hunter has also reached the end of the road after being trampled to death by his own elephantine target.

The body of Jose Monzalvez, a 46-year-old oil company employee, was found with severe compressional wounds at a private wildlife area in Namibia last weekend. He was with three Namibian colleagues when he was killed.

According to reports, Monzalvez was stalking a herd of elephants and looking for a prime opportunity to shoot at them without being seen. One of the elephants spotted him sleuthing around and, recognizing the threat humans pose in that wildlife reserve, charged at him. Clearly, he wasn’t fast enough to outrun it, and was subsequently crushed.

As we mentioned the last time this happened, on a very basic level, this is an unfair fight, and hunters are overwhelmingly more likely to kill their target than the other way around. Nevertheless, as this example clearly shows, it happens – and although the death of a person is always regretful, you can’t blame the animal for fighting back.

It’s important to note that Monzalvez was engaging in a legal activity; he had a license to hunt elephants in that area. Poaching is easy to condemn, but there are some ecological proponents of legal big game hunting, who have argued in the past that carefully managed hunting can actually foster conservation.

The evidence for this is decidedly shaky, however. Most of the time, big game hunting just involves shooting endangered animals to death in a large, outside cage for profit that doesn’t always go to the local community.
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ISIL claims responsibility for van attack in Barcelona
« Reply #7761 on: August 18, 2017, 04:00:31 AM »
Suspected driver on the run after 13 are killed and 100 injured as a vehicle rams a crowd in the busy Las Ramblas area.

The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS) has claimed responsibility for a deadly van-ramming attack in one of Barcelona's busiest tourist areas.

At least 13 people were killed and 100 injured after a suspect ploughed a white van into a crowd at around 5pm local time (15:00 GMT) on Thursday in the bustling Las Ramblas area, a 1.2-kilometre stretch of shops and restaurants usually heaving with tourists.

Spanish police said the suspected driver was still on the run and that they had arrested two other people in connection with the attack. Police cordons had been set up around the city.

"The executors of the Barcelona attack were soldiers of the Islamic State," ISIL's Amaq outlet said on its Telegram messenger account, without naming those it claimed were behind the attack.

Amaq said ISIL had launched the attack in response to calls to target states taking part in the United States-led coalition battling the group in Iraq and Syria.

ISIL has claimed several similar attacks in Europe over the past year.

Police described Thursday's violence as a "terrorist attack".

El Pais newspaper said the driver of the vehicle had fled on foot after the attack.

It was still unclear how many attackers had been involved in the incident.

Catalan police said on Friday they had killed the perpetrators of a "terrorist attack" in the town of Cambrils, south of Barcelona, following a police operation.

Spain's public broadcaster, RTVE, reported that regional police troopers killed four people and injured another. It was not clear if the operation was connected to Thursday's van attack.

Catalan emergency services said on Twitter that people in Cambrils should "stay home, stay safe".

The Thursday van attack in the northeastern Catalan city was the country's deadliest since 2004 when al-Qaeda-inspired bombers killed 192 people in coordinated attacks on Madrid's commuter trains.

Joaquim Forn, Catalonia's interior minister, confirmed the death toll on Twitter.

There were fears the death toll could rise given the severity of some injuries.

At least one Belgian national - a woman - was among those killed, the country's Foreign Minister Didier Reynders said on Twitter.

There were at least 18 nationalities among the victims who came from countries as varied as France, Venezuela, Australia, Ireland, Peru, Algeria and China, according to Spain's civil protection agency.

Catalan police chief Josep Luis Trapero said that an explosion which killed one person and destroyed a house in the town of Alcanar, 200km south of Barcelona, on Wednesday night, was "clearly" linked to the attack.

Residents of the house were preparing explosives using gas cylinders, a Catalan police source told Reuters news agency.

However, Trapero said that so far there was no evidence that another incident, in which police shot dead a man after he tried to evade a checkpoint while leaving Barcelona hours after the attack, was connected.

'It was brutal'

People have been warned against travelling to Placa Catalunya.

Nafees Hamid, a witness, told Al Jazeera: "There are helicopters everywhere above, and armed police are rushing into the area. Police have cordoned off Las Ramblas."

He explained by phone that most people heeded a police warning to go inside while the situation was active.

Another witness told Al Jazeera he heard a lot of people screaming, then he saw the van going down the boulevard.

"You could see the bodies lying all through Las Ramblas. It was brutal. It was a very tough sight," he said.

Witness Aamer Anwar told Britain's Sky News television that he was walking down Las Ramblas, which he described as "jam-packed" with tourists.

"All of a sudden, I just sort of heard a crashing noise and the whole street just started to run, screaming. I saw a woman right next to me screaming for her kids."

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy rushed to the city and announced three days of mourning, calling the killings a "savage terrorist attack" and said Spaniards "are not just united in mourning, but especially in the firm determination to beat those who want to rob us of our values and our way of life".

Emergency services asked metro and train stations to close, according to reports.

The alleged attack took place at the height of the tourist season in Barcelona, which is one of Europe's top travel destinations with at least 11 million visitors a year.

Meanwhile, a second van linked to the attack was found in the small town of Vic in Catalonia, local authorities there said on Twitter.

Catalan police also said a driver earlier hit two officers in Barcelona, but it was unclear whether this incident was related to the early evening attack in Las Ramblas.

James Glancy, a defence and security consultant, told Al Jazeera that the Las Ramblas attack bears the hallmarks of ISIL-inspired attacks.

"What they are trying to do is coordinate and prolong the attack to maximise their media attention and therefore appeal to a recruitment base and improve their funding," he said.

Glancy said that if confirmed, it would be the first ISIL attack on Spanish soil.

"There is also definite coordination across Europe from different cells of ISIL," he said. "This is a planned attack, and it's had the effect that they wanted in order to get the media there and create hysteria and fear within Spain."

Diego Muro, a lecturer in International Relations at the University of St Andrews, told Al Jazeera that although ISIL had claimed responsibility, the group may not have directly organised or masterminded the attack.

"It is also possible that the attack has [just] been inspired by [ISIL]. Both possibilities should be on the table," said Muro.

Muro said that while Spanish security forces are well respected, their resources are limited and the number of "radicalised" people is growing.

"Attacks such as these are reliant on very little technology and very little logistics," he said.
International condemnation

Russian President Vladimir Putin was among those who expressed his solidarity, calling for the world to unite in an "uncompromising battle against the forces of terror", the Kremlin said.

"What happened once again confirms the need for a genuine unification of efforts by the entire world community in an uncompromising battle with the forces of terror," Putin said in a telegram of condolences to Spanish King Felipe VI, describing the incident as a "cruel and cynical crime".

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson sent condolences and offered US assistance to Spanish authorities.

French President Macron expressed France's solidarity after what he termed a "tragic attack".

German Chancellor Angela Merkel described the incident as "a revolting attack".

British Prime Minister Theresa May condemned the "terrible" attack and said the UK "stands with Spain against terror".

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker expressed his "profound sorrow and anguish".

Pope Francis said he was praying for the victims.

While full details of the incident were not immediately clear, since July 2016 vehicles have been used to ram into crowds in a series of attacks across Europe, killing more than 100 people.

Al Jazeera's Tyson Shine, reporting from Barcelona, said the attack was a "grim reminder of an ever-increasing list of similar attacks".

"Nice, London, Brussels, Berlin, and Stockholm - now Barcelona. An everyday vehicle once again used as a deadly weapon," he said.
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Is Donald Trump giving a voice to white supremacists?
« Reply #7762 on: August 18, 2017, 04:04:12 AM »
The US president is being widely criticised for his response to the Charlottesville white supremacist rally.

Race relations in the United States are causing yet more fury and soul searching - and raising more questions about President Donald Trump and his stance on white supremacists and neo-Nazis.

Critics are appalled at his reaction to the violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday.

A protest by the 'Unite the Right' movement turned ugly. And a woman was killed when a car ploughed into the crowd.

Trump has blamed both sides for the violence - infuriating many Americans, including in his own Republican party.

So where is the US heading?
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As Vehicle Attacks Rise, an Ordinary Object Becomes an Instrument of Fear
« Reply #7763 on: August 18, 2017, 04:08:45 AM »

The van that plowed into the crowd on Las Ramblas, in Barcelona, Spain, being towed away early Friday. At least 13 people were killed and 80 injured in the attack.

This time it was Barcelona. An ordinary van was transformed into a deadly and indiscriminate weapon.

It seemed to be yet another blow to trust in a basic social compact: that people are essentially safe when they walk down the street, relying on drivers to at least try to follow the rules. That accidents would be impersonal and random, and that everyone would try to avoid them.

Even though the automotive terrorist attacks of the past two years are far rarer than accidents, they are a warning that a driver can wield the ordinary car as a weapon. If anything — even something as ubiquitous as a car — can be a weapon, that adds a sense of menace to daily urban life.

Years of research has found that fear can eventually divide and poison societies, hardening people against perceived outsiders, even causing them to abandon key values. This kind of attack, using one of the most ordinary objects of daily life, could heighten that effect.

The political scientists Marc Hetherington and Elizabeth Suhay, for instance, have found that when people who are usually open and trusting toward outsiders feel they are at risk of a terrorist attack, they become more likely to support harsh, authoritarian policies and more willing to sacrifice civil liberties in exchange for perceived safety.

Terrorist attacks are designed to draw public attention and inspire widespread terror. They force us, as members of the public, to make a mental calculation: Could this happen to me or someone I love? Is there a way I can stay safe? What would it take to protect me?
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To find reassurance, we look for strategies that make it possible to answer those questions in a reassuring way.

After the attacks of Sept. 11, for instance, many avoided flying. People who worked in small, anonymous offices could comfort themselves that only buildings as high-profile as the World Trade Center or the Pentagon were at risk of being targeted.

But cars, trucks and vans are all around us. There is no set of rules or limits, short of withdrawing entirely from public life, that would fully protect against an attack like this.

The risks of being killed in this kind of attack are low. In the United States alone, car accidents kill 30,000 to 40,000 people a year. Worldwide, terrorist attacks using cars or other vehicles have killed a tiny fraction of that number.

But that calculus cannot reason fear away. The possibility of an accident feels different from the possibility of being deliberately, if randomly, targeted for murder.

Still, the story of cities has always been one of managing seemingly widespread dangers, including terrorism.

In the early 1990s, after Provisional I.R.A. terrorists placed a bomb in a garbage can in London's Victoria train station, the city removed many of the bins. Visiting the city, one was left either to puzzle at the absence of refuse or, if one knew why the cans were absent, to see every bin-less street as a reminder that a bomb could be waiting around any corner. The fear eventually grew less shocking, transmuting into the background of dangers inherent in living in a city.

By twisting the purpose of a commonplace machine, attacks like the one in Barcelona create a sense that public life is tinged with inescapable danger. When anything can become a weapon, that chips away at the hope that terrorist attacks are somehow predictable or controllable. It does not take any special skills or resources to obtain a van and drive it into a crowd of innocent people. All it takes is motivation.

That fear is not merely unpleasant. It can have real impact on society and politics.

The recent attacks in Europe may help to explain, for instance, why a recent study from Chatham House, a British research organization, found that over half of Europeans support a ban on immigration from Muslim-majority countries.

Other research shows that when people feel they are under attack because of their membership in a particular group, like their religion, their nationality or their race, they become more attached to that identity, and more hardened and suspicious toward outsiders. That can promote what social scientists call “outgrouping” — fear of outsiders and a desire to control or punish them. When terrorist organizations target, say, Westerners, that leads to outgrouping behavior.

That feeling of “us” versus “them” divides society, heightening prejudices and creating social battle lines — precisely the sort of politics championed by right-wing populists who have grown popular in Europe and the United States.

This research suggests that the fear created by the attack, by undermining public trust and unity, could cause another deep and lasting harm, less visible than the immediate casualties but still tremendously powerful.

Whatever the effect of such attacks on Western politics, they are already changing, in subtle but unmistakable ways, the mental geography of urban life. As cities inevitably produce more barriers to wall off the remote threat of another attack, we will grow only more conscious of the ever-present threat posed by ordinary objects.
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Antifa’ Grows as Left-Wing Faction Set to, Literally, Fight the Far Right
« Reply #7764 on: August 18, 2017, 04:13:15 AM »

White nationalists, foreground, clashing on Saturday with counterprotesters, some of them members of the so-called antifa movement, in Charlottesville, Va.

Last weekend, when a 27-year-old bike messenger showed up at the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va., he came ready for battle. He joined a human chain that stretched in front of Emancipation Park and linked his arms with others, blocking waves of white supremacists — some of them in full Nazi regalia — from entering.

“As soon as they got close,” said the young man, who declined to give his real name and goes by Frank Sabaté after the famous Spanish anarchist, “they started swinging clubs, fists, shields. I’m not embarrassed to say that we were not shy in defending ourselves.”

Sabaté is an adherent of a controversial force on the left known as antifa. The term, a contraction of the word “anti-fascist,” describes the loose affiliation of radical activists who have surfaced in recent months at events around the country and have openly scuffled with white supremacists, right-wing extremists and, in some cases, ordinary supporters of President Trump. Energized in part by Mr. Trump’s election, they have sparred with their conservative opponents at political rallies and college campus speaking engagements, arguing that one crucial way to combat the far right is to confront its supporters on the streets.

Unlike most of the counterdemonstrators in Charlottesville and elsewhere, members of antifa have shown no qualms about using their fists, sticks or canisters of pepper spray to meet an array of right-wing antagonists whom they call a fascist threat to American democracy. As explained this week by a dozen adherents of the movement, the ascendant new right in the country requires a physical response.

“People are starting to understand that neo-Nazis don’t care if you’re quiet, you’re peaceful,” said Emily Rose Nauert, a 20-year-old antifa member who became a symbol of the movement in April when a white nationalist leader punched her in the face during a melee near the University of California, Berkeley.
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“You need violence in order to protect nonviolence,” Ms. Nauert added. “That’s what’s very obviously necessary right now. It’s full-on war, basically.”

Others on the left disagree, saying antifa’s methods harm the fight against right-wing extremism and have allowed Mr. Trump to argue that the two sides are equivalent. These critics point to the power of peaceful disobedience during the civil rights era, when mass marches and lunch-counter protests in the South slowly eroded the legal enshrinement of discrimination.

“We’re against violence, just straight up,” said Heidi Beirich, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Project, which tracks hate groups. “If you want to protest racists and anti-Semites, it needs to be peacefully and hopefully somewhere away from where those guys are rallying.”

Antifa adherents — some armed with sticks and masked in bandannas — played a visible role in the running street battles in Charlottesville, but it is impossible to know how many people count themselves as members of the movement. Its followers acknowledge it is secretive, without official leaders and organized into autonomous local cells. It is also only one in a constellation of activist movements that have come together in the past several months to the fight the far right.

Driven by a range of political passions — including anticapitalism, environmentalism, and gay and indigenous rights — the diverse collection of anarchists, communists and socialists has found common cause in opposing right-wing extremists and white supremacists. In the fight against the far right, antifa has allied itself at times with local clergy, members of the Black Lives Matter movement and grass-roots social-justice activists. It has also supported niche groups like Black Bloc fighters, who scrapped with right-wing forces in Berkeley this year, and By Any Means Necessary, a coalition formed more than two decades ago to protest California’s ban on affirmative action for universities.

George Ciccariello-Maher, a professor at Drexel University in Philadelphia who counts himself as both an antifa follower and a scholar of the movement, said it did not have a single origin story. The group has antecedents in Europe, especially Germany and Italy, where its early followers traded shots with Nazis in the 1930s and fought against Benito Mussolini’s Blackshirts. Its more recent history has roots in the straight-edge punk rock music scene, the anti-globalization protests of the 1990s and the Occupy Wall Street movement.

The closest thing antifa may have to a guiding principle is that ideologies it identifies as fascistic or based on a belief in genetic inferiority cannot be reasoned with and must be physically resisted. Its adherents express disdain for mainstream liberal politics, seeing it as inadequately muscular, and tend to fight the right though what they call “direct actions” rather than relying on government authorities.

“When you look at this grave and dangerous threat — and the violence it has already caused — is it more dangerous to do nothing and tolerate it, or should we confront it?” Frank Sabaté said. “Their existence itself is violent and dangerous, so I don’t think using force or violence to oppose them is unethical.”

Another antifa activist, Asha, 28, from Philadelphia, who also declined to give her full name, said that “when people advocate for genocide and white supremacy, that is violence.” She added, “If we just stand back, we are allowing them to build a movement whose end goal is genocide.”

In the days after the violent events in Charlottesville, some antifa members responded with an angry call to arms, saying they could not back down from what they described as the “aggressors” on the right, even if it meant an escalation into gunfights.

“I hope we never get there,” said a 29-year-old antifa anarchist from California who goes by the pseudonym Tony Hooligan. “But we are willing to get there.”

Not all antifa followers are as belligerent, nor are their tactics exclusively violent. When not attending what he called “big mobilizations” like the one in Charlottesville, Frank Sabaté has done ordinary community organizing, advocating prison reform and distributing anarchist literature at punk rock shows. Others say they do the same in antifa strongholds like Philadelphia, the Bay Area of California and the Pacific Northwest.

The Berkeley campus has been a particular hotbed of antifa activity, and university officials have criticized the group. In February, black-clad protesters, some of whom identified themselves as antifa, smashed windows, threw gasoline bombs and broke into a campus building, causing $100,000 in damage.

“The very notion of contesting ideas and perspectives with violence is antithetical to everything a university stands for,” said Dan Mogulof, a spokesman.

One of antifa’s chief functions, members said, is to monitor right-wing and white supremacist websites like The Daily Stormer and to expose the extremist groups in dispatches on their own websites like According to James Anderson, who helps run ItsGoingDown, interest in the site has spiked since the events in Charlottesville, with more than 4,000 followers added for a total of over 23,000.

But antifa is “not some new sexy thing,” Mr. Anderson added. He noted that some of those who had scuffled with those on the right at Mr. Trump’s inauguration or at more recent events in New Orleans and Portland, Ore., were veterans of actions at the Republican National Convention in Minneapolis in 2008, where hundreds of people were arrested, and at Occupy encampments in cities across the country.

Nonetheless, Mr. Anderson said, the far right’s resurgence under Mr. Trump has created a fresh sense of urgency. “Suddenly,” he said, “people are coming into your town with hate. It has to be confronted.”

One of the most vivid examples of antifa violence occurred in January at Mr. Trump’s inauguration, where a masked member of the movement punched the prominent white supremacist Richard B. Spencer (who was pepper-sprayed by an antifa activist in Charlottesville). That single blow started a national debate over whether it was morally justifiable to “punch a Nazi.”

Mr. Spencer, an avid opponent of the left, still drew distinctions among factions within the left-wing community.

“It’s important to differentiate antifa from liberals,” he said. “I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say that antifa believes in whatever means necessary. They have a sadistic streak.”

Other right-wing figures, like Gavin McInnes, the founder of the Proud Boys, a so-called conservative fraternity of Western chauvinists, have said antifa has done itself no favors by assuming that its enemies all share the same views. Mr. McInnes was invited to Charlottesville but declined to go, he said, because of the presence of explicit white supremacists like Mr. Spencer.

In the past, antifa activists have engaged with people who were clearly something less than outright neo-Nazis, raising questions about who, if anyone, deserves to be punched and whether there is such a thing as legitimate political violence.

Like many of their opponents, some antifa members insist that they are merely reacting to pre-existing aggression.

“The essence of their message is violence,” Jed Holtz, an antifa organizer in New York, said of his right-wing foes. “The other side” — his side — “is just responding.”

But Ms. Nauert said she believed that, now more than ever, “physical confrontation” would be needed.

“In the end,” she said, “that’s what it’s going to take — because Nazis and white supremacists are not around to talk.”

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Confederate leaders' descendants want monuments pulled down
« Reply #7765 on: August 18, 2017, 04:16:30 AM »

This Wednesday, June 28, 2017 file photo shows the statue of Confederate Gen. Stonewall Jackson on Monument Avenue in Richmond, Va. Two men who identify themselves as the great-great-grandsons of Stonewall Jackson are calling for the removal of the statue of the Confederate general in Virginia’s capital city. Jack and Warren Christian say in a letter published by Slate late Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017, that the removal of the Jackson statue and other Confederate monuments on Richmond’s famed Monument Avenue will “necessarily further difficult conversations about racial justice.”

A handful of descendants of Confederate Civil War leaders Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson and Jefferson Davis are siding with those who believe monuments to their famous ancestors should be pulled down and moved to other settings, such as museums.

And a relative of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee says he would be fine with removing statues to his storied ancestor if it helps the country heal.

The director of a Mississippi estate that was Davis' retirement home, meanwhile, has suggested that the monuments could be relocated there.

Criticism of Confederate monuments has been intensifying since Saturday, when a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, turned violent after white nationalists opposed to the city's plan to remove a statue of Lee clashed with counter protesters.

President Donald Trump agrees with some in the South who say the monuments speak to America's history and heritage; but opponents of such symbols believe they glorify a shameful era of slavery.

On Thursday, a great-great-grandson of Stonewall Jackson told The Associated Press that he believes the monument to his legendary Confederate ancestor, as well as others in Virginia's capital of Richmond, were constructed as symbols of white supremacy and should be taken down.

"They were constructed to be markers of white supremacy. They were constructed to make black people fearful," Jack Christian said. "I can only imagine what persons of color who have to walk and drive by those every morning think and feel."

Christian told the AP that he used to be open to the idea that the statues on Richmond's famed Monument Avenue — which memorialize southern Civil War leaders, including Jackson — might be acceptable if context were added to explain why they were built.

However, the racially charged violence in Charlottesville has shown that to be impossible, Christian said.

A descendant of Jefferson Davis, the only president of the Confederate States of America, said he supports moving the statues to appropriate settings, such as museums.

Bertram Hayes-Davis told the AP on Thursday that he believes that "complete removal is wrong" and believes the best solution would be to put the statues "in a historic place where the entire story can be explained."

Tom Payne says he knows the perfect place: Beauvoir, a privately run museum on 52 acres (20 hectares) in Biloxi, Mississippi, that once served as Davis' retirement home. Payne, executive director of the museum, issued a statement Thursday offering to accept monuments that "any city or jurisdiction has decided to take down."

Payne said he would hope for donations, but would consider raising funds to cover any costs of relocating the monuments. He said the monuments could serve an educational purpose for Beauvoir visitors while being displayed in gardens out of general public view.

Robert E. Lee V, an athletic director at The Potomac School in McLean, Virginia, the great-great-grandson of the Confederate general, said the family hates to see the statues be a source of division.

"If taking down the statues helps us not have days like Charlottesville, then we're all for it," Lee said. "Take 'em down tonight."

Christian and his brother, Warren Christian, said in a letter to Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney published by Slate on Wednesday that it is "long overdue" for the city to remove overt symbols of white racism and white supremacy. The men said they want to make clear that the statue — and their great-great-grandfather's actions — do not represent them.

"While we are not ashamed of our great-great-grandfather, we are ashamed to benefit from white supremacy while our black family and friends suffer," the brothers and Richmond natives wrote. "We are ashamed of the monument."

Michael Shoop, who wrote a book on the genealogy of the Jackson family, confirmed that the men are descendants of the Confederate general.

Christian said he would like to see the statues preserved after they are removed from public display. He said he has heard from one relative who said she agreed with the sentiments expressed in the letter.

Christian said he's pleased the Richmond mayor has decided that the former capital of the Confederacy will consider removing or relocating its statues.

The mayor had previously said he thought the monuments should stay but have context added about what they represent and why they were built, but changed course after the events in Charlottesville, where white supremacists rallied after the city voted to remove a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee.

Chaos erupted at the Charlottesville rally, which included neo-Nazis, skinheads, and Ku Klux Klan members, and is believed to be the largest gathering of white supremacists in a decade. They clashed violently with counterdemonstrators, and after authorities ordered the crowd to disperse, a car plowed into a group of marchers, killing a woman and injuring 19 people. Two state police troopers who had been monitoring the chaos were also killed when their helicopter crashed outside the city.

The events in Charlottesville have quickened the pace of the removal of Confederate monuments across the country. Four Confederacy-related monuments were hauled away on trucks under cover of darkness late Tuesday night and early Wednesday in Baltimore. In Birmingham, Alabama, a 52-foot-tall (15-meter) obelisk honoring Confederate soldiers and sailors was covered by wooden panels at the mayor's order.
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Spotify pulls white supremacist 'hate music' from platform
« Reply #7766 on: August 18, 2017, 04:20:46 AM »
SAN FRANCISCO — Music-streaming service Spotify announced it would remove "hate music,"  music by white supremacists, from its vast streaming library.

The move comes after a music news blog, Digital Music News, published a story on Monday identifying 37 white supremacist bands that could still be found on Spotify. Those artists were first flagged by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a group that researches extremism, in 2014.

In response to the article, Spotify's press office said in a statement that it removes material "that favors hatred or incites violence against race, religion, sexuality" as soon as it is "brought to our attention." Billboard first reported the removal.

Of the 37 bands Digital Music News found, Spotify said it removed several while the rest were under review. Already, many artists on the list appear to have artist pages on the platform, but no songs.

Bands that have been removed or are under view include Blood Red Eagle, Freikorps, Skinfull and Skull Head.

Spotify may also start blocking white supremacist bands from being recommended by its algorithms, Billboard reported. 

The SPLC first singled out bands that identify with the White Power movement or have racist lyrics in 2014, but at the time targeted Apple's iTunes, which started to remove the music, according to the SPLC. The organization also noted at the time that Amazon was slower to react.

Neither Google, which operates Google Play, nor Amazon immediately responded to requests for comment. Some of the bands identified by the SPLC are available on their sites.

Spotify pulled the songs just days after a white nationalist protest in Charlottesville, Va. turned violent over the weekend. The incident has become a tipping point for technology and social media companies, who in the wake of the protest have begun removing white supremacists and Neo-Nazis from their platforms.

The music streaming service is continuing its activist streak. In January, the company made playlists supporting refugees after president Donald Trump's travel ban.
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Zoo animals 'stolen to be eaten' amid Venezuela shortages
« Reply #7767 on: August 18, 2017, 04:24:33 AM »
Police are investigating whether pig-like mammals were taken for food as the South American country's economic crisis continues.

Two collared peccaries were taken from the zoo

Police in crisis-hit Venezuela believe animals stolen from a zoo were taken to be eaten amid chronic food shortages in the South American country.

Two collared peccaries, a mammal similar to a pig, went missing over the weekend from the Zulia Metropolitan Zoological Park, near Venezuela's northeastern border with Colombia.

"What we presume is that they (were taken) with the intention of eating them," said a local police official.

An economic crisis gripping socialist-run Venezuela has left many supermarket shelves empty.

A recent study revealed 93% of Venezuelans cannot afford to buy enough food and 73% have lost weight in the last year.

But the zoo's chief Leonardo Nunez denied the thefts were related to food shortages.

He claimed drug dealers seeking to sell animals were behind a recent crime wave affecting 10 species of animal, including a buffalo he said was cut into pieces.

"They take everything here. The animals weren't stolen to be eaten," said Mr Nunez.

Former zoo director Mauricio Castillo said thieves had made off with two tapirs - another mammal similar to a pig that is classed as vulnerable to extinction.

Venezuela's president Nicholas Maduro has blamed the country's food shortages on an "economic war" waged by right-wing opponents and the US.

The shortages have left zookeepers unable to properly feed their animals, with some 50 estimated to have died within six months last year at one of the country's main zoos in the capital Caracas.

The government denied the animals had starved.

This year, more than 100 people have been killed in four months of anti-government protests in Venezuela, with hundreds more in prison, to bring international condemnation of Mr Maduro's regime.

Critics have claimed the country, which has the world's largest reserves of crude oil, is heading towards dictatorship after the recent election of a new legislative body to redraft Venezuela's constitution, following a "sham" vote.

Two leading government critics, Leopoldo Lopez and Antonio Ledezma, were jailed in the wake of the vote.

Earlier this month, US President Donald Trump revealed he would not rule out a "military option" amid Venezuela's political crisis, having already imposed sanctions on Mr Maduro.
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Feds Just Upped The Catch Limit On A Fish Environmentalists Claim Is Endangered
« Reply #7768 on: August 18, 2017, 04:30:11 AM »
The National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) will allow fishermen to catch 30 metric tons more Atlantic bluefin tuna in 2017, according to a rule published in the Federal Register Wednesday.

The NMFS is transferring tuna from its “reserve category,” a fixed amount of catchable fish held in reserve, into the “harpoon category,” the total amount fishermen are able to catch under a harpoon license.

The bluefin tuna was denied “endangered”status under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) on Aug. 8 after the Department of Commerce (DOC) found that the fish was not facing any significant threat of extinction.

A petition from the Center of Biological Diversity (CBD) to list the fish under the ESA triggered the Commerce Department’s review. The review began under former President Barack Obama, and lasted for 12 months before the NMFS issued its findings, according to the Federal Register.

The CBD based its petition on work done by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). The IUCN found that the tuna was in danger of extinction if actions were taken to preserve and protect it.

“Pacific bluefin tuna will spiral toward extinction unless we protect them. The Endangered Species Act works, but not when the Trump administration ignores the plight of animals that need help,” CBD attorney Catherine Kilduff said in a statement after the bluefin was denied federal protection. “This disappointing decision makes it even more important for consumers and restaurateurs to boycott bluefin until the species recovers.”
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Re: Knarf's Knewz Channel
« Reply #7769 on: August 18, 2017, 07:44:04 AM »

The Preppers pretty much rejected the extreams of the least at first...but then got co opted and just started repeating all the same old bad survival advice. The newbies just repeat the old shit without thinking "Why?". Survivalism then becomes just a recruting tool for, guess who? White supremacists, christian reconstructionsts and the military flag wavers.

Over on my own site, the week end article will get alittle darker than usual. Oh, by the way, the link is here just in case I forget. As I said, the next article gets darker than usual, because I have been given permission to repost an old series, The Fallacy Of Bugging Out, buy Survival Acres, and we are at part 4, BOB, The Reality. The dark part, is his assumption that one of the Tasks on the Honey, Do, to kill these starving, dangerouse, idiology driven, "Survivalists" of questionable origen.

Checked out your blog. Looks very interesting. Want to read it more when I get some time-- late in the day for me.

You obviously come here with a good deal of experience and have seen a lot of this shit before, especially the bullshit artists. RE, when he gets is feet underneath him, ought to enjoy your body of work.

Why thanks. I am certainly not above shameless self promotion.

Speaking of wich, I got up the "dark post" mentioned above...and cut and paste some lines from this post into it.
(I have already lost one subscriber because of it) (I do that alot...on purpose)
If you do visit, please understand, this post needed to happen...but it is not the general flavour of my site. For the last few months, it has been about documenting low energy survival strategies in South America. Once I am back at the farm in Canada, we will move onto the RESEARCH part of Dark Green Mountain Survival Research Centre...were I do alot of experiments in low cost Adaptation...and whether certain survival advice can produce "Actual Survival".