Report: Milwaukee police suspend officer in Sterling Brown incident for just 2 days (Source Yahoo)
With a startling lack of self-awareness, the Milwaukee Police Department has issued a two-day suspension for the officer whose actions first escalated the incident involving Milwaukee Bucks rookie Sterling Brown outside a Walgreens this past January, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The department also suspended a pair of supervisors who arrived on the scene for 10 and 15 days, and more officers received warnings, the report said. Milwaukee police did not name any of the officers in question, but the Journal Sentinel identified the officer first on scene as Joseph Grams.
Video released by the department on Wednesday showed Grams approaching Brown outside his vehicle, which was parked across multiple handicapped spaces in an empty drug-store parking lot at 2 a.m. on Jan. 26. The officer called for backup, harassed Brown and accused him of “getting up in” his face, which did not happen on camera. At least half a dozen more officers arrived on scene, where Brown was ultimately tackled and tased by multiple officers despite no visual signs of resistance.
LANDMARK LAWSUIT CLAIMS MONSANTO HID CANCER DANGER OF WEEDKILLER FOR DECADES (Source blacklistednews.com) At the age of 46, DeWayne Johnson is not ready to die. But with cancer spread through most of his body, doctors say he probably has just months to live. Now Johnson, a husband and father of three in California, hopes to survive long enough to make Monsanto take the blame for his fate. On 18 June, Johnson will become the first person to take the global seed and chemical company to trial on allegations that it has spent decades hiding the cancer-causing dangers of its popular Roundup herbicide products – and his case has just received a major boost.
Last week Judge Curtis Karnow issued an order clearing the way for jurors to consider not just scientific evidence related to what caused Johnson’s cancer, but allegations that Monsanto suppressed evidence of the risks of its weed killing products. Karnow ruled that the trial will proceed and a jury would be allowed to consider possible punitive damages.
“The internal correspondence noted by Johnson could support a jury finding that Monsanto has long been aware of the risk that its glyphosate-based herbicides are carcinogenic … but has continuously sought to influence the scientific literature to prevent its internal concerns from reaching the public sphere and to bolster its defenses in products liability actions,” Karnow wrote. “Thus there are triable issues of material fact.”
Johnson’s case, filed in San Francisco county superior court in California, is at the forefront of a legal fight against Monsanto. Some 4,000 plaintiffs have sued Monsanto alleging exposure to Roundup caused them, or their loved ones, to develop non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL). Another case is scheduled for trial in October, in Monsanto’s home town of St Louis, Missouri.
Russian sub test-fires 4 intercontinental missiles in salvo (Source Associated Press)
A Russian nuclear-powered submarine successfully test-fired four intercontinental ballistic missiles on Tuesday, the navy said. The navy said the submarine, named Yuri Dolgoruky after the medieval prince who founded Moscow, launched the Bulava missiles in a single salvo from a submerged position in the White Sea. The navy said the mock warheads the missiles carried reached their practice targets on the opposite side of Russia — the Kura shooting range on the far eastern Kamchatka Peninsula.
The exercise marked the first simultaneous launch of four Bulava missiles, which can carry multiple nuclear warheads and has a range of up to 9,300 kilometers (about 5,770 miles.) The Bulava has been commissioned by the Russian navy after a long cycle of development. Russian officials said the missile has quicker start than its predecessors, helping it dodge missile defenses.
The Yuri Dolgoruky is one of the three new Borei-class submarines the Russian navy has. Another five such submarines are under construction to gradually replace some of the older Soviet-built ones.
California Bill Could Criminalize the Bible’s View on Homosexuality (Source thetrumpet.com)
California is on track to add reparative therapy to a list of fraudulent business practices. The California State Assembly passed Assembly Bill 2943 on April 19 by a vote of 50 to 18. If this bill becomes law, it will make it illegal to advertise or sell counseling services to people trying to overcome gender confusion or change their same-sex attraction.
It is already illegal in California to sell reparative counseling to a minor. This bill aims to expand the ban to include adults. It becomes law if it passes the Senate and is signed by the governor.
Assemblyman Evan Low, the homosexual lawmaker who introduced the bill to the California state legislature, says reparative therapy is harmful and should be outlawed. But other lawmakers worry that this bill aims to censor free speech and infringe upon religious freedom by muzzling discussion concerning gender confusion.
“AB 2943 would amend the California Consumer Legal Remedies Act—a consumer law that outlaws unfair and deceptive practices—by adding so-called ‘sexual orientation change efforts’ to a list of banned practices,” wrote Monica Burke, a research assistant at the DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society. “It would, in effect, ban all practices that the state deems attempting to change one’s sexual orientation—including practices as indirect as the publishing of certain material. This expansive law would impose widespread censorship that could implicate authors, speakers, counselors, colleges and universities, and even religious leaders seeking to address unwanted same-sex attraction or gender identity confusion.”
Assemblyman Low told skeptics that the bill does not impede freedom of speech or religion because it applies only to commercial and financial transactions. Therefore pastors and therapists can still counsel people about how to overcome gender confusion as long as no financial transaction takes place. Christian groups have pointed out that a ban on advertising or selling services that help a person overcome gender confusion and same-sex attraction could be broadly interpreted to ban the sale of certain books—including the Bible. Attorney Anthony Sampson, who advises Assemblyman Low’s office, assured the Associated Press that the vaguely worded bill would not be interpreted to ban books. Instead, it would only apply to “practices” and counseling services. Not everyone believes Sampson.
Some are taking preemptive measures to protect themselves from the effects of this proposed legislation. Summit Ministries, a Colorado-based organization that teaches that homosexuality is a sin, has decided to cancel a summer conference at Biola University in the Los Angeles area.
The pope says God made gay people just as we should be (Source theguardian.com)
It is immensely powerful to hear that Pope Francis, the leader of the Roman Catholic church, reportedly told Juan Carlos Cruz, a gay man: “God made you like this and loves you like this.” Cruz is a survivor of clerical abuse who spoke privately with the pope a few weeks ago, and has since reported his conversation to Spanish newspapers. His abuser, Fernando Karadima, was found guilty of abuse by the Vatican in 2011. As a practising Catholic, I find it deeply moving to have Pope Francis appear to confirm what many Catholics already know to be true: God made us just as we should be, there are no mistakes. Lesbian, gay, bi and trans people exist in every community, from every ethnic background and in every religion. However, religion can often be the area of life that people find the most difficult to reconcile with their identity. Some people will say that LGBT people can’t exist in faith communities; that faith communities don’t accept same-sex relationships or those whose gender doesn’t match the one that they were assigned at birth. Some believe that LGBT people can and should be “cured”. As a result of these beliefs, LGBT people often need to find a way to God despite their leaders, rather than because of them. But the pope’s reported words are a striking affirmation that LGBT people of faith belong in church and in religious communities.
‘Star Wars’ writer confirms Lando Calrissian is pansexual in ‘Solo’ (Source usatoday.com) Here’s something Star Wars fans have long known about Lando Calrissian: He’s likely the most charismatic character in the galaxy. Here’s something they just learned, via Solo: A Star Wars Story writer Jonathan Kasdan: Lando (played by Donald Glover and, earlier, Billy Dee Williams) is pansexual. When explicitly asked about Lando’s gender identity by Huffington Post, Kasdan said, “There’s a fluidity to Donald and Billy Dee’s (portrayal of Lando’s) sexuality.” He continued, “I mean, I would have loved to have gotten a more explicitly LGBT character into this movie. I think it’s time, certainly, for that, and I love the fluidity ― sort of the spectrum of sexuality that Donald appeals to and that droids are a part of.”
HYPERSONIC GLIDER: US INTELLIGENCE IN PANIC MODE OVER RUSSIA GETTING INVINCIBLE WEAPON ‘BY 2020 (Source RT) Russia’s state-of-the-art hypersonic glide vehicle, which analysts say is capable of easily cutting through the existing US missile shield, will become operational by 2020, reports citing US intelligence have warned. Speaking to CNBC on the condition of anonymity, sources aware of US intelligence reports, said the Russian military successfully tested the weapon twice in 2016. The sources believe the device would be a significant breakthrough which could enable Russian military to surpass US counterparts. The intelligence sources claimed that the hypersonic gliders will get onboard countermeasures to enable them to defeat even the most advanced missile-defense systems. “These kinds of boost glide vehicles attack the gaps in our missile defense system,” Thomas Karako, director of the Missile Defense Project at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, told CNBC. The analyst noted there is no time “to modify our current missile defense posture,” adding it was “unfortunate that we have let Russia come this far.” Earlier, US commanders acknowledged there is little the military could do to counter Russia’s advanced hypersonic technologies. “We don’t have any defense that could deny the employment of such a weapon against us,” General John Hyten, head of US Strategic Command, told the Senate Armed Services Committee in March.
“Both Russia and China are aggressively pursuing hypersonic capabilities,” he said. The General, who once referred to Russia as the “most significant threat” to the US, urged America to develop new strategic weapons to match Russian capabilities. In early March, Russian President Vladimir Putin unveiled some of the new sophisticated weapons during his state of the nation address. He showcased two versions of hypersonic weapons systems that have been in development in Russia. One was an aircraft-launched vehicle which travels at a speed of Mach 10 and has a range of 2,000km (1,240 miles). The weapon, called Kinzhal (“Dagger” in Russian) comes either as conventional or nuclear-capable weapon.
Trump Gives Merkel An Ultimatum: Drop Russian Gas Pipeline Or Trade War Begins (Source Zero Hedge)
The U.S. State Department warned European corporations that they will likely face penalties and sanctions if they participate in the construction of Russia’s Nord Stream 2 on the grounds that “the project undermines energy security in Europe”, when in reality Russia has for decades been a quasi-monopolist on European energy supplies and thus has unprecedented leverage over European politics, at least behind the scenes. “As many people know, we oppose the Nord Stream 2 project, the US government does,” State Department spokeswoman, Heather Nauert said during a late March press briefing adding that “the Nord Stream 2 project would undermine Europe’s overall energy security and stability. It would provide Russia [with] another tool to pressure European countries, especially countries such as Ukraine.” And speaking of Ukraine, recall that in 2014, shortly after the US State Department facilitated the presidential coup in Ukraine, Joe Biden’s son Hunter joined the board of directors of Burisma, Ukraine’s largest oil and gas company. Surely that was merely a coincidence.
Nauert also said that Washington may introduce punitive measures against participants in the pipeline project – which could be implemented using a provision in the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).
Fast forward to today, when the dreadfully named CAATSA act just made a repeat appearance; around the time Europe made it clear it would openly defy Trump’s Iran sanctions, the WSJ reported that Trump told Merkel that if she wants to avoid a trans-Atlantic trade war, the price would be to pull the break on Nord Stream 2, according to German, U.S. and European sources. The officials said Mr. Trump told German Chancellor Angela Merkel in April that Germany should drop support for Nord Stream 2, an offshore pipeline that would bring gas directly from Russia via the Baltic Sea. This would be in exchange for the U.S. starting talks with the European Union on a new trade deal.
Putin says Russian frigates(warships) in Mediterranean on standby over Syria threat (Source Reuters) Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that Russian military vessels with Kalibr cruise missiles would be on permanent standby in the Mediterranean to counter what he said was the terrorist threat in Syria. The deployment shows how Russia has increased its military presence in the Middle East since it launched an intervention in Syria in 2015, turning the tide of the civil war in favor of its close ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. Russia has in the past fired Kalibr cruise missiles from frigates and submarines stationed in the Mediterranean Sea at militant targets to support Syrian army offensives. Putin said only warships armed with Kalibr missiles would be on permanent standby, and not submarines. Announcing the deployment while addressing the Russian high military command at a meeting in the Black Sea city of Sochi, Putin said it was “due to the remaining terrorist threat in Syria.” Moscow already has a permanent naval base at Tartus, on the Syrian coast, and an air base at Hmeimim in Syria. Last month Russia hinted it would also supply advanced S-300 ground-to-air missiles to Assad despite objections from Israel, which has lobbied Russia hard not to transfer the missiles. On Friday, however, in an apparent U-turn following a visit to Moscow by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Russia said it was not in talks with Syria about supplying the missiles. It said it did not think they were needed. The Kremlin denied it had performed a U-turn on the missile question or that any decision was linked to Netanyahu’s visit.
Putin meets Assad, calls for ‘political process’ on Syria (Source AFP) Russian President Vladimir Putin held a rare meeting with Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad on Thursday and said the “military success” in Syria allowed for a large-scale “political process” leading to the withdrawal of foreign forces and the reconstruction of the country. A day after UN special envoy to Syria Staffan de Mistura warned a regime assault on the rebel-held area of Idlib could affect 2.3 million people, Putin met Assad in the southern Russian city of Sochi. “After the success of the Syrian government army in the fight against the terrorists” the condition are in place for “the start of a political process on a major scale,” Putin said in a statement released by the Kremlin following the meeting. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that “there were detailed discussions” between the two leaders, who last met in December at a Russian military air base in Syria’s coastal province of Latakia. “With the start of the political process in its most active phase, foreign armed forces will withdraw from Syrian territory,” Putin said, without specifying which foreign forces.
Russia has been involved in Syria’s civil war since September 2015. Its military support not only ensured the survival of Assad’s regime but also changed the course of the war.
Putin also congratulated Assad on the “successes of the Syrian government’s army in the fight against terrorist groups”. “The next task, of course, is the economic recovery and humanitarian aid for those people in a difficult situation,” Putin added.