Posted by DanielS on Friday, 06 January 2017 08:59.
Cédric Herrou, arrested for smuggling migrants to his Alpine farm
Vice News, “On trial for helping migrants: French farmer faces charges for helping migrants cross the Italian border”, 5 Jan 2017:
A farmer in southern France who smuggled migrants across the country’s border with Italy is waiting to discover his sentence after being prosecuted this week for his actions.
Hailed a hero by many in Europe, denounced by others, 37-year-old Cédric Herrou estimates that so far he has helped more than 400 migrants stuck in Italy pass into France.
Herrou drove the migrants across the border in his van – the same van he uses to deliver eggs in his tiny Alpine village – deftly avoided police checkpoints using mountain lanes, and later provided shelter at his hilltop farm.
VICE News followed Herrou in the autumn, when he opened a temporary refuge housing 53 migrants in a derelict government building high in the Alps. With 15 people already at his home, he’d run out of space. Herrou was arrested just days later and on Wednesday went on trial in Nice for smuggling migrants.
The case typifies the region’s struggle to resolve the migrant crisis and the public disagreement over how to handle it; drawing hundreds of demonstrators sympathetic to his cause to the court steps.
Herrou is the most prominent member in a migrant-helping collective formed in the valley village of Breil-sur-Roya. Their activities are well-documented by the local press and – until the arrest – they were tolerated by authorities.
“It is dangerous,” he told us, shortly before he was detained. “I expect many people would want my arrest. But we are well organized… and the law is completely absurd, and stupid.”
More than 170,000 mostly African refugees and migrants reached Italy in 2016, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Many paid traffickers to pack them into trucks for the long drive across Libya and the Sahara. Almost all clambered aboard the now emblematic rusting vessels which risk disaster to cross the Mediterranean Sea to Italy. But very few intended to remain there.
Posted by DanielS on Friday, 06 January 2017 03:01.
News Sentinel, “Horror of Christian/Newsom killings in focus: What happened on Chipman Street”
In one of Knoxville’s most horrific crimes, Channon Christian, 21, and boyfriend Christopher Newsom, 23, were carjacked, kidnapped, raped and slain in January 2007. Five suspects were identified. One was tried federally as an accessory. Four others were tried in Knox County Criminal Court.
A drug scandal involving the judge in those state court proceedings would upend the convictions against two of those suspects. New trials were held, the most recent of which occurred last week.
Through it all, details of the horrors this young couple suffered have eked out. But with each suspect pointing the finger of blame at the other and jurors limited by law in what they are allowed to know, the real story of what happened when the couple were taken hostage and ultimately slain has proved just as elusive as the court cases convoluted.
Setting the stage
The News Sentinel has covered this case since its beginning. With the aid of interviews, trial coverage and transcripts of each defendant’s statement to authorities, the newspaper can now offer up a snapshot of not only what happened to these two innocents but exactly who did what to them.
Chipman Street resident Lemaricus Davidson was broke and angry. His girlfriend, Daphne Sutton, had left him. He had no car and no way to earn money.
“Selling dope, that’s what I do,” Davidson would later tell law enforcement.
Law enforcers knew, however, that Davidson was not simply a drug dealer. He was on parole for carjacking and, in the days leading up to the abduction of Christian and Newsom, was suspected in a series of robberies.
In the days before the couple’s abduction, Davidson’s brother Letalvis Cobbins came to Knoxville from Kentucky to stay with him. He brought along friend George Thomas and girlfriend Vanessa Coleman.
None of the three had jobs, money or vehicles. Cobbins and Thomas were homeless. Coleman had a salt-of-the-earth family to turn to for help but chose not to.
Davidson grew increasingly angry over what he viewed as the freeloading of his brother and his guests. He turned that anger on Sutton. She left him on Jan. 5, 2007.
A day later, Davidson had concocted a plan to solve all his woes. He, with help from Cobbins and a buddy, Eric Boyd, would carjack someone. Cobbins insisted that he wasn’t happy with the idea.
“Me and my brother got to arguing because he said he was going to do some crazy (expletive),” Cobbins said in an interview with law enforcement. “He like, man, I’m fixing to go carjack somebody, man, try and get me some money.”
Savaging the victims
Christian and Newsom disappeared Jan. 6, 2007, from the Washington Ridge apartments where Christian’s best friend lived.
Hours later, Newsom’s body was found alongside railroad tracks near Chipman Street in East Knoxville. He had been raped with an object and then shot three times. The final shot was delivered execution style. He had been gagged with a sock stuffed in his mouth. His ankles were bound with his own belt. His hands were secured behind his back. His face was wrapped in a bandanna. His head was covered with a sweatshirt tied around his neck with shoestrings.Forensic evidence showed that he had been raped in the final hours of his life. He was forced to walk barefoot to the railroad tracks that ran parallel to Chipman Street and shot in the neck and back. As Newsom lay paralyzed on the ground, the muzzle of a .22-caliber gun was placed against his covered head and fired. His body would later be wrapped up in a comforter, doused in gasoline and set afire.
Christian, meanwhile, was tied up inside the Chipman Street house of Davidson, a stranger to her. She was repeatedly raped orally, vaginally and rectally. At some point, she was savagely attacked in her genital region, either kicked or beaten with an object. She suffered two blows to the head and was dragged into the carpeted living room of Davidson’s Chipman Street home. Bleach was sprayed down her throat, an apparent effort to destroy DNA evidence. She was hogtied with strips of fabric from a bedding set. Still alive, her body was encased in black garbage bags and her head wrapped in a white plastic grocery bag. Christian was then stuffed inside a trash can and left to die, slowly suffocating.
The house at 2316 Chipman St., Knoxville
Suspect Boyd has long denied any role in the couple’s abduction. With no forensic proof tying him to the crimes, authorities were left to prosecute him for hiding out Davidson after the slayings. He is serving an 18-year sentence as a result.
But his statement to authorities provides striking details of the carjacking, details he insisted came from Davidson, not his own memory.
Christian was angry with Newsom because he had tarried in picking her up for the birthday party of a friend. As she sat in the front seat of her Toyota 4-Runner parked outside, Newsom sought to set things right, hugging and kissing her as he stood just outside the driver’s side door.
The couple never saw Boyd cruise into the parking lot at Washington Ridge with passengers Davidson and Cobbins. An armed Boyd and Davidson jumped from the car, leaving Cobbins behind. At that point, the pair intended only to rob Christian and Newsom of the SUV. But as they approached the couple, guns drawn, headlights from another vehicle spooked them. They pushed the couple into the SUV.
Testimony has shown that Christian and Newsom were bound in the SUV with whatever cords the assailants could find. Newsom was forced facedown in the vehicle. A bound Christian was dumped onto his back.
With Davidson behind the wheel of Christian’s SUV and Cobbins trailing behind in a car Boyd had borrowed from his cousin, the crew headed back to Davidson’s Chipman Street home.
There was no doubt then that the couple would die.
“Two white people, white kids, this (expletive) fixing to get crazy, man, you know what I mean?” Cobbins said.
Davidson and his cohorts are black, the victims white. Racial differences have never been suggested as a motivator for what authorities view as a random carjacking.
The perpetrators were never charged with “hate crimes.”
Alex Cioni, leader del Comitato Prima Noi, condannato dal Tribunale di Vicenza a 5 giorni di galera e 1.310 euro di ammenda per manifestazione non autorizzata.
Virtually every day, when I read Italian patriot sites, I see stories about asylum seekers, mainly sub-Saharans, staging spontaneous demonstrations, blocking traffic, holding up hand-scrawled placards protesting about something or other, usually the quality of the food they are given. Usually I don’t even bother posting articles about these incidents here, because there are simply too many of them.
Sometimes the police divert traffic so the invaders can carry on their protests undisturbed; sometimes they talk to them and persuade them to return to their accommodation; they almost never arrest them unless the invaders physically attack them. But here we have an incident where a small group of Italian patriots gathered and held up banners for a few minutes at a hotel that had been marked as a future asylum centre. And were charged and convicted for doing so. The incident in question is shown in the video above. Their banners say things like “Stop fake refugees. Stop the Asylum Industry”.
Five days in prison and a fine of 1,310 euros. This is the penalty imposed on Alex Cioni, leader of the Prima Noi Committee, by the Vicenza Tribunal His offence was to have demonstrated in front of a hotel marked as a future reception centre for migrants to show his disagreement with the arrival of the refugees.
The incident took place last 17 July when some representatives of the Prima Noi Committee displayed a banner and placards in front of the glass door in the Hotel Eden in Schio, expressing their unhappiness about the announced arrival of a substantial number of asylum seekers. An unauthorised demonstration, because - according to the judge - no request had been made in advance to the authorities responsible for public security.
Cioni was convicted for this reason, although the sentence was suspended because he had no criminal record. “The complaint filed by the Digos officials and the related judgement from the tribunal in Vicenza,” said the Committee management, “represents an unequivocal clumsy attempt to intimidate our activity.”
“A banner in a private place is not a demonstration for which reason the conviction for demonstrating is absurd,” the person involved explained to the Alto Vicentino Online. “It makes no sense to call an initiative like ours a demonstration, lasting only a few minutes. It is clear the incident has been instrumentalised.” Cioni will file an appeal however
Posted by DanielS on Tuesday, 03 January 2017 03:21.
New Observer, “Violent African Invaders Storm Ceuta”, 2 Jan 2016:
Thousands of violent Africans attempted to storm the Spanish enclave of Ceuta in Morocco on New Year’s Day, attacking Moroccan and Spanish police with such ferocity that ten officers were badly wounded and one lost an eye.
A mob estimated to be between one and three thousand strong tried to jump over the double fence which surrounds the enclave—Europe’s only land border with Africa. Thousands of Africans, fleeing their self-created economic disaster nations—regularly congregate around the enclaves in the hope of breaking in.
According to the central government’s representative office in Ceuta, a first group of at least 1,100 sub-Saharan Africans stormed the border fence just after 4 a.m. on New Year’s Day in an “extremely violent and organized” manner.
About 100 of the invaders managed to climb up the external fence and stayed on top for hours.
None however managed to get through, apart from two who were badly injured and taken to the hospital in Ceuta, the office said in a statement. A similar assault on December 9 saw more than 400 invaders smash their way into the tiny territory.
They tried “to force open some of the doors in the external fence, using iron bars, wire cutters, and large stones with which they assaulted Moroccan forces and (Spanish) Guardia Civil (police) agents,” it added.
20 Dec 2016: Terror around the world in the past few days…no thanks to these three ‘leaders.’
Pictures speak a thousand words….
How many of you remember that when Obama took office, Turkish President Erdogan was supposed to be his best (only!) friend among world leaders? Later, after she opened the gates to migrant Muslim invaders, Erdogan and Merkel became pals.
Austin, TX mayor works with White House to welcome Syrians against official state position.
Obama State Department approves 100 Syrian Muslims for West Virginia state capitol
Where were you WV Republican Senator Shelley Moore Capito and Republican Rep. Alex Mooney? Only two choices!—either asleep-at-the-switch or in support of this move by a local ‘interfaith’ group to be named a federal subcontracting agency for the purpose of beginning a new refugee resettlement site in the state. (Charleston previously received a few refugees through Catholic Charities, but no where near this scale).
If Capito and Mooney had put up significant opposition, we would have heard about it and this decision might have turned out differently.
So why go ahead with this new site at the West Virginia state capitol?
For new readers we have followed the growing controversy in Charleston extensively for months, see here.
West Virginia is one of the Whitest (and poorest) states in The United States. It is also one of the most beautiful, at least where Massey Corporation has not strip-mined its mountain tops (and poisoned drinking water and given cancer to locals with that same operation).
21 Dec: 23 years after Black Hawk Down we admit Somali ‘refugees’ to US at highest rates ever
Here is the map of where they went (again these are the numbers for October 1, 2016 to December 10, 2016). This is the number for resettled refugees only:
Posted by DanielS on Wednesday, 30 November 2016 10:00.
The Somali shooter at Ohio State had apparently been inspired by neo-liberal propaganda presuming that Muslim incursions and compradors which had been promoted and backed in Burma by right-wing Western sources supposedly had some right to remain there.
Washington Post, “I can’t take it anymore’: Ohio State attacker said abuses of Burma’s Muslims led to ‘boiling point”, 29 Nov 2016:
Participants in a vigil at Jacob’s Porch pray after the attack of Ohio State University, who rammed his car into a crowd of pedestrians and attacked them with a butcher knife.
The Ohio State University student who carried out a knife attack on campus Monday wrote in a Facebook post shortly before the rampage that the abuse of a little-known Muslim community in Burma had driven him to the “boiling point,” writing, “I can’t take it anymore,” CNN reported.
“Seeing my fellow Muslims being tortured, raped and killed in Burma has led to a boiling point,” Abdul Razak Ali Artan allegedly wrote on his Facebook page shortly before Monday’s rampage, where he injured 11 people with a butcher knife before police killed him.
“America! Stop interfering with other countries,” he wrote.
Artan’s Facebook post throws a little-known and long-persecuted Muslim community in western Burma, also known as Myanmar, into the spotlight.
More than 1 million Rohingya Muslims live in Burma, but they have long been denied citizenship and other basic rights, and many from Burma’s Buddhist majority consider them illegal immigrants from Bangladesh. Aung San Suu Kyi — the Nobel laureate leading Burma’s new civilian government — has been criticized for refusing to use the term “Rohingya,” which she says is inflammatory.
In recent weeks, thousands of Rohingya Muslims have been fleeing into the forests and neighboring Bangladesh on the heels of a brutal military crackdown that followed a terrorist attack on police posts Oct. 9, allegedly carried out by Rohingya militants.
Human Rights Watch has alleged that the military has perpetrated a scorched-earth campaign, providing before-and-after satellite images that showed three villages completely burned. The death toll estimates vary, but several dozen have been killed since October, activists say.
Earlier this week, a U.N. refugee agency official, John McKissick, was in the Bangladesh region of Cox’s Bazar — where more than 30,000 people, many of them Rohingya, have fled to — and told the BBC that Burmese troops were “killing men, shooting them, slaughtering children, raping women, burning and looting houses, forcing these people to cross the river” into Bangladesh. He said that the “ultimate goal” of Burma’s government is “ethnic cleansing of the Muslim minority.”
Kosher/ Neo-liberal media jerking the tears and prayers from fellow Abrahamics
Having emerged through that casting call, “Hamilton” cast member Brandon Victor Dixon (a black playing White Vice President Hamilton) lectured Vice President-elect Pence on diversity and racism -
NYT, “Brandon Victor Dixon: At the end of the show on Friday, he told Mr. Pence, “We truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf all of us.” 19 Nov 2016:
As the play ended, the actor who played Vice President Aaron Burr, Brandon Victor Dixon, acknowledged that Mr. Pence was in the audience, thanked him for attending and added, “We hope you will hear us out.”
“We, sir — we — are the diverse America who are alarmed and anxious that your new administration will not protect us, our planet, our children, our parents, or defend us and uphold our inalienable rights,” he said. “We truly hope that this show has inspired you to uphold our American values and to work on behalf of all of us.”