Cost to oust Islamic State from Mosul: 9,000+ civilians dead
MOSUL, Iraq — Between 9,000 and 11,000 people were killed in the nine-month battle to liberate the Iraqi city of Mosul from the Islamic State group, a civilian casualty rate nearly 10 times higher than has been previously reported, an Associated Press investigation has found. The deaths are acknowledged neither by the U.S.-led coalition, the Iraqi government nor IS's self-styled caliphate. Iraqi or coalition forces are responsible for at least 3,200 civilian deaths from airstrikes, artillery fire or mortar rounds between October 2016 and the fall of IS in July 2017, according to the AP investigation, which cross-referenced morgue lists and multiple databases from non-governmental organizations. Most of those victims are simply described as "crushed" in health ministry reports.
The coalition, which did not send anyone into Mosul to investigate, acknowledges responsibility for only 326 of the deaths.
"It was the biggest assault on a city in a couple of generations, all told. And thousands died," said Chris Woods, head of Airwars, an independent organization that documents air and artillery strikes in Iraq and Syria and shared its database with AP. "Understanding how those civilians died, and obviously ISIS played a big part in that as well, could help save a lot of lives the next time something like this has to happen.
Trump issues first commutation
Trump's commutation of the sentence of Sholom Rubashkin, 57, marks his first commutation and the second use of his clemency powers since taking office, including his controversial pardon earlier this year of former Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio.
The White House, in its statement announcing the move, claimed bipartisan support for the action. The case against Rubashkin started after an immigration raid on a kosher meatpacking company that he owned.
Row over French anti-racist lands minister in mess
after she was deselected from an official advisory committee apparently because of her outspoken views.
Rokhaya Diallo, a 39-year-old journalist of West African origin, was one of 30 personalities named a week ago to the National Digital Council, a
quasi-governmental body whose task is to analyse the impact of new information technologies on society.
But just a few days later the minister for digital affairs, Mounir Mahjoubi, asked for a new list of names, making it clear that Ms Diallo's presence on the panel was not conducive to the necessary "serenity" for the
council to do its job.
It followed pressure from opponents of Ms Diallo - not all of them on the political right - who say her past comments decrying "state racism"
in France and defending the Islamic veil show
she is unfit for a position advising ministers.
But the government's decision to remove her has
now backfired badly, with the council's president on Tuesday leading a mass resignation of members in protest against the interference.
U.N. Human Rights Investigator Barred By Myanmar
U.N. describes as ethnic cleansing. Yanghee Lee, a U.N. special rapporteur who works with the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, says she has been told that the Myanmar government will neither cooperate with her nor grant her access to the country for the remainder of her tenure.
Lee was scheduled to visit Myanmar in January to assess human rights in the country, particularly in western Rakhine state, where the Rohingya are concentrated.
European Court Says Uber Is A Transport Company, In A Win For Taxi Drivers
The Court of Justice of the European Union has ruled that Uber is a transport service, not merely a tech platform, citing the "indispensable" link the company creates between drivers and passengers. Siding with taxi drivers in Spain, the court said Uber should be regulated in the EU. A taxi drivers association in Barcelona had complained that Uber was guilty of unfair competition and misleading business practices, seeking to overturn the status quo that has allowed Uber to avoid licensing and regulation under transportation service laws. Today's ruling resolves much of that years-old case. With the ruling by Europe's highest court, Uber can now be regulated as a transport service at the national level within the EU's member states.
While acknowledging Uber's status as an intermediary service between drivers and riders, the court ruled that because Uber's purpose "is to connect, by means of a smartphone application and for remuneration, non-professional drivers using their own vehicle with persons who wish to make urban journeys, [Uber] must be regarded as being inherently linked to a transport service and, accordingly, must be classified as 'a service in the field of transport' within the meaning of EU law."
Poland judiciary reforms: EU takes disciplinary measures
The European Union has launched unprecedented disciplinary measures against Poland, saying its judicial reforms threaten the rule of law. It said 13 new laws in two years have allowed the government to
in the judiciary. Poland has been given three months to address the concerns.
In defiance of the EU move, President Andrzej Duda signed into law two bills reforming the Supreme Court and the National Council of the Judiciary.
Mr Duda said this would deepen democracy in Poland, improve the justice system and restore citizens' faith in the judiciary.
Poland's conservative government called the EU decision "political".
It has repeatedly stated that the reforms are needed to curb inefficiency and corruption.
What is the EU saying?
After almost two years monitoring the situation in Poland, the European Commission - the EU executive - said this was a matter of "common concern" for the 28-member bloc.
At a meeting in Brussels, the Commission decided to launch disciplinary measures, called Article 7, and asked Warsaw to: Not apply lower retirement age to current judges Remove the discretionary power of the president to prolong the mandate of Supreme Court judges Remove the new retirement regime for judges including the discretionary powers of the Minister of Justice Restore the independence and legitimacy of the Constitutional Tribunal
Damian Green resigns from cabinet
found to have made "inaccurate and misleading" statements about what he knew about claims pornography had been found on a computer in his Commons office in 2008.
In his resignation letter, Mr Green apologised for his actions.
In her response, Mrs May expressed "deep regret" at his departure.
Mr Green, who as first secretary of state was the PM's deputy, had been under investigation regarding allegations of
He denied suggestions that he made unwanted advances to a female journalist, Kate Maltby, in 2015 and viewed pornography on a computer in his Commons office in 2008. An official report by the Cabinet Office found that statements he had made about being unaware pornographic material had been found on his computer were "inaccurate and misleading" and as such fell short of the ministerial code.
Jerusalem UN vote: Trump threatens US aid recipients
US President Donald Trump has threatened to cut off financial aid to countries that back a United Nations resolution opposing the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital. Earlier this month, Mr Trump took that step amid international criticism.
"They take hundreds of millions of dollars and even billions of dollars, and then they vote against us," he told reporters at the White House. "Let them vote against us.
We'll save a lot. We don't care."
His comments come ahead of a UN General Assembly vote on a resolution opposing any recognition of Jerusalem as Israel's capital.
The draft resolution does not mention the US, but says any decisions on Jerusalem should be cancelled. Earlier, US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley warned member states that President Trump had asked her to report on "who voted against us" on Thursday.
The status of Jerusalem goes to the heart of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Israel occupied the east of the city, previously occupied by Jordan, in the 1967 Middle East war and regards the entire city as its indivisible capital.
Procedural Snag Delays GOP Tax Victory
With Children’s Health Program Running Dry, Parents Beg Congress: ‘Do the Right Thing’
WASHINGTON — With more and more states running out of money for the Children’s Health Insurance Program, parents took their case to Capitol Hill on Tuesday, pleading with Congress to provide money before their sons and daughters lose health care and coverage.
But the program, known as CHIP, which insures nearly nine million children, took a back seat as lawmakers raced to pass a $1.5 trillion tax cut. CHIP’s fate, it appears, is now caught up in a messy fight over an end-of-the-year deal on spending that must be struck by Friday to avert a government shutdown.
“CHIP is being used as a pawn in larger debates and negotiations,” Linda Nablo, the chief deputy director of the Virginia Department of Medical Assistance Services, said Tuesday in an interview.
A Federal Ban on Making Lethal Viruses Is Lifted
Such work can now proceed, said Dr. Francis S. Collins, the head of the National Institutes of Health, but only if a scientific panel decides that the benefits justify the risks. Some scientists are eager to pursue these studies because they may show, for example, how a bird flu could mutate to more easily infect humans, or could yield clues to making a better vaccine.
Critics say these researchers risk creating a monster germ that could escape the lab and seed a pandemic. Now, a government panel will require that researchers show that their studies in this area are scientifically sound and that they will be done in a high-security lab. The pathogen to be modified must pose a serious health threat, and the work must produce knowledge — such as a vaccine — that would benefit humans. Finally, there must be no safer way to do the research.
San Bernardino woman, detained by ICE despite being US citizen, sues
LOS ANGELES - The American Civil Liberties Union and a law firm have filed a lawsuit on behalf of a San Bernardino woman who spent a day in immigration custody despite repeatedly saying that she was an American citizen. Guadalupe Plascencia, 60, spent the night of March 29 in jail because of a decade-old bench warrant related to her alleged failure to appear as a witness in a court case. She said a San Bernardino County sheriff's deputy asked her to sign documents that night acknowledging that officials with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement had inquired about her immigration status.
As she tried to leave the West Valley Detention Center in Rancho Cucamonga, Plascencia said she was met by immigration enforcement agents, handcuffed and placed in the back of a van. She spent the rest of the day in ICE custody, fearful that she would be deported despite becoming a citizen nearly 20 years ago.
A recount just knocked Virginia’s statehouse out of Republicans’ hands — by a single vote
A key House of Delegates race flipped to a Democratic candidate, setting up a 50-50 chamber. The recount of the vote tally for a key race in last month’s Virginia House of Delegates elections concluded on Tuesday. And incredibly enough, when the dust settled, the Democratic challenger led the Republican incumbent by just one vote — an outcome that, when certified, would deprive Republicans of their majority in the chamber. Yes, that’s right:
A single vote in a single race appears to have tipped a chamber in Virginia’s state legislature from what looked like a 51-49 Republican majority to instead a 50-50 even split between the parties (if the current tallies in other races hold up). The outcome in this district is expected to be certified by judges tomorrow.
6 Republicans Who Said They Oppose Arctic Refuge Drilling Just Voted To Allow It
WASHINGTON — Less than three weeks after signing onto a letter opposing the latest GOP-led effort to open up 1.5 million acres of Alaska’s fragile Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil and gas development, six House Republicans voted in favor of a tax bill that allows just that.
In a late November letter to congressional party leaders, GOP Reps. Dave Reichert (Wash.), Brian Fitzpatrick (Pa.), Ryan Costello (Pa.), Patrick Meehan (Pa.), Mark Sanford (S.C.) and Carlos Curbelo (Fla.) ― and six of their colleagues ― said the refuge, also known as ANWR, “stands as a symbol of our nation’s strong and enduring natural legacy.”
“Any development footprint in the refuge stands to disrupt this fragile, critically important landscape,” the group wrote to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
But on Tuesday, Reichert, Fitzpatrick, Costello, Meehan, Sanford and Curbelo all voted in favor of the final tax proposal.
The bill includes a provision, introduced by Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), that would require Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke to approve at least two lease sales for drilling — each covering no less than 400,000 acres — in the refuge’s coastal plain area.
This region in northeast Alaska, also know as the 1002 Area, is home to polar bears, moose and caribou, and it has been the subject of a decades-long battle between energy companies and conservationists.
More Civilians Than ISIS Fighters Are Believed Killed In Mosul Battle Listen· 8:15
Some of the markers are broken slabs of concrete painted with the names of the neighborhoods where the bodies were found.
"Boy and girl" reads one from the Zinjali district. In other places, a single headstone gives no indication of the multiple bodies buried
underneath. But the gravediggers remember everything.
"We dug these graves with a bulldozer. This is an entire family. One, two, three, four, five, six," says Hamid Mahmoud Hussein, counting the bodies in a single grave. He and the
others buried bodies while shooting was still going on around them.
Months of vicious fighting — the battle started in October 2016 and ended in July 2017 — left
destruction so extensive that U.S. commanders compare it to the World War II battle for Stalingrad.
More than five months later, the civilian death toll is still being calculated. The Iraqi government won't talk about casualties.
But figures obtained by NPR from the Mosul morgue put the number of civilians killed at over 5,000. That is likely more than the number of ISIS fighters believed to have been in Mosul and presumed dead.
Zambia's new Chinese police officers removed after outcry
The new reservists were commissioned in the capital, Lusaka, on Monday.
But the decision prompted widespread anger, especially in light of a ruling taken earlier this year that bans police officers from marrying foreigners for "security reasons".
Not even Zambians with dual-nationality are allowed to join the police.
Dickson Jere, a lawyer and former presidential spokesman, said the constitution was clear on the matter.
He told the BBC's Focus on Africa radio programme that the entire incident was an "insult" - to others in the police, but also other Zambians. "When we see a uniform of the police, it signifies our identity. It signifies our sovereignty," Mr Jere said. "How would we be feeling to see a police officer and be saluting a Chinese [national] in our own country?"
At least 61 dead after days of violence in Ethiopia's Oromiya region
ADDIS ABABA (Reuters) - At least 61 people have been killed in clashes between different ethnic groups in Ethiopia's Oromiya region, officials said, the latest bout of violence to highlight increasing instability in a province racked by bloody protests in
2015 and 2016.
From Thursday, 29 ethnic Oromos were killed by ethnic Somali attackers in the region's Hawi Gudina and
Daro Lebu districts, regional spokesman Addisu Arega Kitessa said.
The violence triggered revenge attacks by ethnic Oromos in another district,
resulting in the killing of 32 Somalis who were being sheltered in the area following a previous round of violence. "The region is working
to bring the perpetrators to justice," the spokesman said in a statement.
The cause of the latest violence was not known, but it followed protests in Oromiya's Celenko town where the region's officials said 16 ethnic Oromos were shot dead on Tuesday by soldiers trying to disperse the crowd.
"We do not know who ordered the deployment of the military. This illegal act should be punished," said Lema Megersa, the region's president. The clashes are likely to fuel fears about security in Ethiopia, the region's biggest economy and a staunch Western ally. Lema's comments also illustrate growing friction within Ethiopia's ruling EPRDF coalition, since unrest roiled the Oromiya region in 2015 and 2016, when hundreds of people were killed.
Mom, Pop -- you're the losers in this tax plan
(CNN)As the Republican tax plan continues to advance -- and morph -- with dizzying speed, those of us in the accounting business continue to be astonished by the thickening maze of loopholes emerging from the bill.
As a CPA, I could be celebrating these loopholes.
After all, I would be able to save my clients a lot on taxes and could be invited to fly along to, say, the Cayman Islands to set up an offshore account under the new regulations.
Four days at the beach with a fully-stocked hotel minibar and all the HBO and Showtime programs I can watch -- all fully deductible for me and my client.
Sounds nice, right?
Wrong. As someone who has served small businesses for more than 30 years, and co-chair of an organization called Businesses for Responsible Tax Reform, I am not cheering. Small business owners aren't cheering the bill either.
Jerry Richardson Puts Panthers Up for Sale Amid Misconduct Allegations
Protesters storm Congress to fight tax bill, as cameras point elsewhere
More than a hundred protesters crowded into the meeting and dining rooms of the Capitol Skyline Hotel to get trained before the final burst of civil disobedience against the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.
They chanted “When we fight, we win,” but the meaning of “winning” was slightly tweaked. “When we fight,
we win; when we drag this out, we win,” said Paul Davis, the national advocacy coordinator at the left-leaning Housing Works. “They thought that
they would pass this thing before Thanksgiving, and it’s halfway to Christmas!”
Like the Republican attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and like the ACA itself in 2009, the GOP’s tax cut package has spurred protests in Washington and around the country.
There have been sit-ins (and sleep-ins) at congressional offices, rallies on the lawn outside the Capitol, and daily arrests outside of the rooms where the tax bill has been voted out.
The likely passage of the bill, however — both parties expect it to slide through Congress this week — has already sparked a discussion of why the opposition failed.
Key Republicans who seemed to shift after health-care protests, such as Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine), have listened to protesters and gotten behind the tax bill anyway. Protesters, like the Democratic Party itself, have watched the public support for the tax bill sink to somewhere between 25 and 40 percent, just as ACA repeal did.
Special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian contacts with President Donald Trump's campaign has gained access to thousands of emails sent and received by Trump officials before the start of his administration, according to several people familiar with Trump's transition organization.
Trump denounced the bureau for its handling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation, calling it "really disgraceful" and continuing his practice of questioning his country's intelligence and law enforcement institutions like no president before. "It's a shame what's happened with the FBI," the president said. "We're going to rebuild the FBI, it'll be bigger and better than ever, but it is very sad when you look at those documents, and how they've done that is really, really disgraceful and you have a lot of very angry people that are seeing it."
Democrat Doug Jones wins stunning upset victory in Alabama Senate race 12/13/17
Voting can address your problem
withflawed people in " POWER "
Top-ranked Baltimore officer cleared in police van death 11/22/17
Zero Accountability for the
Death of a American Citizen
Analysis: Trump mocks Franken, reticent on Moore, despite his own history 11/19/17
The Good, Bad, and
The Ugly, Exposed by today's Media
Former NJ police chief accused of espousing violence toward African-Americans
Racism..., with Black Americans as the Target...
Video shows officers handcuffing a shrieking 11-year-old at gunpoint
Mentally Flawed ought not be allowed a Badge & a Gun
We continue to see the "acts and actions", of some Police Officers that suggest that the individual, could not possibly be allowed to wield a Badge of Power, based on a act of pointing a gun at a "child", handcuffing the child, and actually physically slamming a child.
In this instance, the officer, both, pointed his gun at the child, and actually, handcuffed child, as the child was crying hysterically.
The issue is, the person that the officer was in search of was a 40 year old white woman, and not a 12 year old child.
Not only should the officer be fired for "Stupidity", but the people who supervise this officer, should be suspended for allowing this officer to actually work.
Training, is no longer allowed..., to be the issue.
A Love & Trust used against Children for "rape"
In the first decade of the 21st Century, America was deep into the psychological and emotional realizations of learning of the acts and actions of Male Adults serving for the Catholic Church, using their positions of trust and love of Priest, to rape the young male children of unknowing parents, blind with loyalty to the church.
The Second decade of the 21st Century began with the same revelations for South American Nations, in that, the discovery of abuses by Representatives of the Catholic Church, began to slowly come to light.
Suddenly, stories of rape and abuse of young boys, spread to entities such as the Boy Scouts, and Athletic environments, places where society have freely delivered their male children, with a open heart and blind trust, to the Pedophile.
Europe and Australia, have become the physical locations for these deeply disturbing abuses by members of the
This issue speaks to 2 issues:
1. Religion and the lack of accountability for flawed acts and actions by representative of the faith.
2. The Human Being's willingness to abuse when the individual is placed in the position of power.
Accountability, consciously known and understood, as a possible result of a flawed act or action, will minimize the number of people who would be willing to abuse their awarded authority
in any way.
Female Democratic Candidate drops do to
a list of
Sexual Harassment claims against them, that took place in the past, ...it is very rare that we find a Female, who fall to these types of allegations.
However, what remains the same, in the body of what this display by flawed behavior, is based on a person's position of power, in that, the candidate, Andrea Ramsey position at the time of the allegations, was that of "vice president of human resources at the company LabOne", a position of leadership over the subordinate, who apparently, rebuffed her advances....
Nonetheless, the common denominator in flawed and abusive behavior, is the "position of power", which seems to serve as drug for some individuals, causing the individual to be embolden... to
use the position of power... to demand, or impose his/her will over those of lesser ranks.
A systemic circumstance fostered by a lack of accountability for flawed behavior of those in seats of power in any company, organization or environment.
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