EPA Scientist Persecuted for Exposing the Agency’s Lies about Toxic Dust from 9/11

Christine Todd Whitman, the head of the EPA on 9/11, falsely assured New York residents, rescuers, and first responders that the air was safe to breathe following the destruction of the WTC buildings. In truth, however, the event released clouds of toxic dust that has caused thousands of deaths. Dr. Cate Jenkins, an Environmental Scientist at the EPA attempted to expose the EPA’s fraudulent air-quality testing and cover-up but, for her efforts, she has endured years of harassment and legal battles with her own agency. -GEG

Dr. Cate Jenkins joined the EPA as an Environmental Scientist in December 1979. Beginning shortly after 9/11, and continuing for years afterward, Dr. Jenkins attempted to bring the EPA’s faulty and fraudulent air quality testing practices to the attention of anyone who would listen. For her efforts, she endured a years-long legal battle with her own agency. This is her story.

To watch the full 9/11 Whistleblowers series, please CLICK HERE.

TRANSCRIPT

Of the many scenes from September 11, 2001, that have been etched into the public consciousness, few are as iconic as the images of the survivors and first responders escaping Ground Zero completely covered in dust from the destruction of the Twin Towers.

And of the many, many lies told by government officials in the days following the attacks, few have been as blatant or as clearly documented as the lies about the safety of that dust propounded by the EPA and its administrator at the time, Chrstine Todd Whitman.

CHRISTINE TODD WHITMAN: We know asbestos was in there, was in those buildings. Lead is in those buildings. There are the VOC’s [Volatile Organic Compounds], however, the concentrations are such that they don’t pose a health hazard.

SOURCE: Christie Whitman says air is safe days after 911

WHITMAN: Well, if there’s any good news out of all this, it’s that everything we’ve tested for, which includes asbestos, lead, and VOCs, have been below any level of concern for the general public health. Obviously, for those who are down here, these are very important . . .

SOURCE: Sanjay Gupta reports: Terror in the dust

WHITMAN: Statements that EPA officials made after 9/11 were based on the judgment of experienced environmental and health professionals at the EPA, OSHA and the CDC, who had analyzed the test data that 13 different organizations and agencies were collecting in Lower Manhattan.

I do not recall any EPA scientist or experts responsible for reviewing this data ever advising me that the test data from Lower Manhattan showed that the air or water proposed long-term health risks for the general public.

SOURCE: Air Contamination at Ground Zero – C-Span

As we now know, these statements were all lies.

As early as September 18th, the very same day that Whitman was assuring New Yorkers that the air was safe to breathe, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) had already detected sulfur dioxide levels in the air so high that “according to one industrial hygienist, they were above the EPA’s standard for a classification of ‘hazardous’.” And even in those early days, first responders were already reporting a range of health problems, including coughing, wheezing, eye irritation and headaches. Even so, Whitman and the EPA persisted in perpetuating the lies about the dust, assuring New Yorkers that respirators were not needed outside of the “restricted area” around Ground Zero.

And, as we examined in 9/11 Suspects: Christine Todd Whitman, it was later confirmed that the White House had been editing the EPA’s press releases on the air quality in Manhattan and removing warnings about the air safety all along.

LISA MYERS: In the wake of 9/11, there were serious concerns about whether the air around Ground Zero was filled with toxins, unsafe for workers and residents. But by September 18th, many New Yorkers were back in their apartments and on the job, partly because of this press release that day from the Environmental Protection Agency, reassuring New Yorkers that their air is safe to breathe.

Was that press release misleading?

NIKKI TINSLEY: It was surely not telling all of the truth.

MYERS: In an exclusive interview, Inspector General Nikki Tinsley, the EPA’s top watchdog, tells NBC News the agency simply did not have sufficient data to justify such a reassurance. In fact, a new report by Tinsley’s office says at the time, more than 25 percent of dust samples collected before September 18th showed unsafe levels of asbestos. And the EPA had no test results at all on PCBs, dioxins or particulates in the air that can cause respiratory problems.

TINSLEY: The EPA did not give the people of New York complete information.

MYERS: So what happened? Tinsley’s report charges in the crucial days after 9/11 the White House changed EPA press releases to “add reassuring statements and delete cautionary ones.” September 13th, the EPA draft release, never released to the public, says, “EPA ‘testing terrorized sites for environmental hazards.’” The White House changes that to EPA “reassures public about environmental hazards.” September 16th, the EPA draft says, “recent samples of dust on Water Street show higher levels of asbestos.” The White House version: “new samples confirm ambient air quality meets OSHA standards and is not a cause for public concern.” And the White House leaves out entirely this warning, that “air samples raise concerns for cleanup workers and office workers near Water Street.”

SOURCE: Officials claim EPA Misled Public about Safety of Air Quality at Ground Zero

What many do not know, because their story has been largely ignored and marginalized, is that there were officials within the EPA who were desperately trying to blow the whistle on the agency’s lies. Officials like Cate Jenkins.

Dr. Cate Jenkins had joined the EPA in December 1979, serving as an Environmental Scientist with EPA’s Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER). Her work included “detecting hazardous waste and developing regulations for their control,” a role that took on special importance in the wake of the toxic dust clouds covering Manhattan on 9/11. Unlike many of the other 9/11 whistleblowers, however, the events of September 11, 2001, did not represent the first time Dr. Jenkins had to blow the whistle on her own agency.

Jenkins dealt with many hazardous waste products in her job, but she specialized in dioxin (a.k.a. Agent Orange), a contaminant of wood preservatives that was used in the Vietnam War as a defoliant. Monsanto Chemical Corporation was the largest producer of Agent Orange during the Vietnam War, and it was a series of Monsanto-sponsored studies in the early 1980s that led the EPA to conclude that “human evidence supporting an association” between dioxin and cancer “is considered inadequate.”

In February 1990, Jenkins wrote a memo to the EPA Science Advisory Board alleging that the Monsanto-sponsored studies were fraudulent, and that the studies, if performed correctly, would have shown the carcinogenic effects of dioxin. The memo caught the attention of the press and, under the glare of a media spotlight, the EPA launched a criminal investigation of Monsanto. That investigation was opened on August 20th and closed less than two years later, but, as EPA whistleblower William Sanjour notes, “the investigation itself and the basis for closing the investigation were fraudulent.” No attempt was even made to determine the scientific validity of the studies in question, and the EPA declined to pursue the matter because of statute of limitations technicalities.

The EPA did, however, find time to mount a campaign of retribution against Jenkins for having the audacity to blow the whistle on the agency and its listing practices for hazardous chemicals. Her workload was reduced and higher-ups at the EPA immediately began talking about shunting her off into a purely administrative position where she would “not be involved with anything that puts her in direct contact with the regulated community or the public.” Her supervisor even wrote a letter to Monsanto apologizing for Jenkins’ memo questioning their studies.

Jenkins filed a complaint with the Department of Labor, and, in a series of cases that were appealed all the way up to the Secretary of Labor himself, it was found that she had been unfairly retaliated against for her whistleblowing and the EPA was ordered to reinstate her in her previous position.

But as nightmarish as that years-long, potentially career-ending ordeal in whistleblowing was for Dr. Jenkins, it was nothing compared to the ordeal she would have to face after “the day that changed everything.”

Beginning shortly after the attack, and continuing for years afterward, Dr. Jenkins attempted to bring the EPA’s faulty and fraudulent air quality testing practices to the attention of anyone who would listen. According to the Administrative Review Board of the US Department of Labor:

“Beginning in 2001, Jenkins made numerous disclosures and complaints alleging that the EPA engaged in improper laboratory testing, falsified a regulation governing exposure safety standards, and knowingly covered up the toxic properties of the dust emanating from the September 11, 2001 [9/11] World Trade Center [WTC] disaster. The improper testing and cover-up, Jenkins claimed, contributed to excessive and harmful toxic dust exposures of WTC ‘First Responders’ and others sufficient to later cause respiratory and other serious and debilitating disease. Jenkins disseminated these disclosures and complaints to her supervisors and others at EPA, to the EPA Inspector General’s Office, members of Congress, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as to state officials, state elected representatives, law firms representing WTC First Responders, citizens, and the media. Her disclosures were posted on web sites and repeatedly quoted in the press and television broadcasts, and by members of Congress.”

One of these early memos, dated January 11, 2002, was written on EPA letterhead and addressed to “Affected Parties and Responsible Officials.” It examines the case of Libby, Montana—a designated “Superfund” site, where the federal government is paying to help residents clean the “interiors of homes and residential soils [that] have been contaminated with asbestos from an adjacent vermiculite mining operation.” Jenkins compared the levels of contaminated dust particles found inside apartments in Lower Manhattan after 9/11 to dust samples taken in Libby, finding that the New York samples contained 22 times higher concentrations of asbestos than the Montana samples. As Jenkins noted: “The logical question thus arises: Why is EPA leaving people to their own devices in the cleanup of New York City, while intervening to clean homes at taxpayer expense in Libby?”

Worse, a team of independent scientists hired by tenant groups and New York political leaders found much higher samples of asbestos in the dust than what the EPA was reporting. As Dr. Jenkins told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch at the time: “For every asbestos fiber EPA detected, the new methods used by the outside experts found nine. [. . .] This is too important a difference to be ignored if you really care about the health of the public.”

CATE JENKINS: New York City directly lied about the test results for asbestos in the air. When they finally released them, they doctored the results. They changed high hazardous levels to zero when they finally released them.

SOURCE: 911 Dust and Deceit at the World Trade Center

After years of internal memos, press interviews and other tireless efforts to blow the whistle on the severe health issues that would develop as a result of the EPA’s deliberate  cover-up, the mainstream media was finally forced to begin covering the issue in 2006, after many of the Ground Zero clean-up workers and the residents of Manhattan were beginning to succumb to the effects of the deadly dust.

In 2006, after a federal judge ruled that Whitman’s post-9/11 lies were “conscience-shocking” and that she would not be granted immunity for her actions, the media finally began to cover the story. The New York Times, CBS and other outlets all ran stories on the scandal, and they all quoted from Jenkins’ memos and featured interviews with Jenkins herself. After the 5th anniversary came and went on September 11, 2006, however, the media’s attention turned elsewhere and the story drifted out of the attention of the public once again.

But Dr. Jenkins’ attempt to obtain justice for the victims of this horrendous crime did not end there. In 2007, she penned a remarkable 134-page letter addressed to then-Senator Hillary Clinton, as well as Congressmen Jerrold Nadler and Carolyn Maloney, calling for a Senate investigation of the falsification of pH corrosivity data for World Trade Center dust. The thoroughly documented letter, containing over 300 footnotes and citations, included a detailed analysis of the falsification of WTC pH data by groups like the US Geological Survey, and the remarkable story of how “In May 1980, EPA’s hazardous waste program falsified pH levels (changed the numbers) that the UN World Health Organization (WHO) International Labour Organization (ILO) determined would invariably result in corrosive permanent tissue damage (chemical burns).”

In a much shorter—though no-less-explosive—letter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation written at the same time, Jenkins also called for the FBI to open a criminal investigation into the EPA’s cover-up. This was followed up with an additional letter to the FBI in 2008, where Jenkins went even further, alleging fraud in pH testing of WTC dust and providing documentation that the EPA lab had diluted WTC dust almost 600 times with water before testing it for corrosivity.

Read full article here…




San Francisco Board of Supervisors Labels the NRA a ‘Domestic Terrorist Organization’

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors passed a resolution declaring the National Rifle Association as a “domestic terrorist organization”. Anti-Second Amendment politicians are using recent mass shootings to push for more gun control. In contrast to that, crime-ridden San Francisco has introduced new sanitized language to describe criminals, getting rid of words such as “offender”, “addict”, or felon. These people now are described as a “justice-involved person.” San Francisco is the headquarters of a real domestic terror organization called Antifa, but the Board has expressed no concern over their activities. -GEG

According Fox News, Sept 4, “San Francisco Officials Brand NRA A ‘Domestic Terrorist Organization'”:

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors has passed a resolution declaring the National Rifle Association a “domestic terrorist organization” and urged the federal government to do the same – the latest escalation in the heated rhetoric from Democrats regarding the NRA in the wake of several deadly mass shootings.

The resolution, which passed Tuesday and says the U.S. is “plagued by an epidemic of gun violence,” accuses the NRA of using “its considerable wealth and organization strength to promote gun ownership and incite gun owners to acts of violence.”

The Board of Supervisors adopted the changes last month even as the city reels from one of the highest crime rates in the country and staggering inequality exemplified by pervasive homelessness alongside Silicon Valley wealth.

The local officials say the new language will help change people’s views about those who commit crimes.

Read full article here…




Hong Kong Administrator, Appointed By Chinese Government, Agrees to Scrap Extradition Bill that Would Subject Hong Kong Residents to Communist-Controlled Courts – But Demonstrators Want Want More

Hong Kong chief executive, Carrie Lam, said she would scrap the new extradition bill that would allow the Chinese government to demand the extradition of people from Hong Kong with near-impunity, effectively exposing Hong Kongers to Communist Party-controlled courts. The bill was the catalyst that set off protests that have been raging for three months, resulting in four deaths and 1,183 arrests. Demonstrators want all of the other demands met, as well, including (1) dropping the use of the word “riot” by the Chinese government when referring to the protests, because riot carries specific penalties up to ten years in prison, (2) the release of all protesters and dropping charges against them, (3) an independent inquiry into police brutality against protesters, and (4) the ability to elect their own leaders. China hopes to end the protests as the world will be watching the celebration of 70 years of Communist Party rule next month, and it is expected that, to create the appearance of benevolence, the Party will make promises that it has no intention of keeping. -GEG

Offering her first concession since protests began three months ago, Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam on Wednesday said she would scrap the hated extradition bill that had initially galvanized the protest movement when the HK government tried to fast-track it this spring.

If passed, the bill would have allowed the Chinese government to demand the extradition of people from Hong Kong with near-impunity, effectively exposing Hong Kongers to Communist Party-controlled courts.

However, many activists are now saying that this gesture is too little, too late – and that the movement has evolved from its opposition to the extradition bill to supporting broader pro-democracy themes.

 

Before Lam had even finished her speech, pro-democracy activists were already complaining that her concession was too little, too late. And the endorsement of Global Times editor Hu XiJin didn’t do much to help that perception, since he has functioned like the voice of Beijing since the demonstrations began.

Read full article here…

Additional source:

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/hong-kong-protest-carrie-lam-withdrawing-china-extradition-bill-too-little-too-late-today-2019-09-04/




Cloudflare Drops 8chan for Posting Alleged El Paso Shooter Manifesto. FBI Caught Covertly Posting on 8chan in June.


On Saturday, a manifesto attributed to Patrick Crusius, the alleged El Paso shooter, was posted on 8chan, an image board where anyone can post images or content, and is known to be politically incorrect, with no monitoring from site administration. Cloudflare, a system that protects websites from cyber attacks, dropped 8chan and blamed the website for “inspiring” mass murder.

Apparently, the FBI is also posting on 8chan, which was discovered earlier this summer after an application for a search warrant for 8chan was unsealed, revealing that a federal agent , FBI Special Agent Michael J. Rod, was trolling the site, and trying to redirect blame for the April 27th synagogue shooting toward the Russian government, and away from the users’ conspiracy theories against the CIA or Mossad. [Hey, the FBI is supposed to investigate criminal activity, not initiate it.] -GEG


On Saturday the El Paso mass murderer posted a “manifesto” on 8Chan and then went off and murdered 20 at a Walmart.

On Monday Cloudflare Blog terminated service with 8Chan.
Cloudflare also blamed the website for “inspiring” the mass murderer.

This is where we are today with hard left activists running all of our internet properties.

Read full article here…

FBI agent accidentally reveals own 8chan posts; attempts to redirect white supremacist rage against Russia

The unsealing of an application for a search warrant
by the federal government on 8chan’s servers has unintentionally
revealed that a federal agent has been trolling the site and attempting
to redirect the users’ conspiracy theories against the Russian
government instead of the CIA or Mossad.

The legal case stems from the April 27th shooting at a California synagogue
by white supremacist and 8chan user John Earnest. The day of the
shooting, Earnest is believed to have posted to 8chan a link to an
anti-Semitic Pastebin manifesto and a not-so-cryptic suggestion that he
was about to commit a murderous act of violence to back up his beliefs.
In the accompanying affidavit to the search warrant application, FBI
Special Agent Michael J. Rod requests the “IP address and metadata
information about Earnest’s original posting and the postings of all of
the individuals who responded to the subject posting and/or commented
about it. Additionally, agents seek information about any other posting
coming from the IP address used by Earnest to post the subject posting.”

Read full article here…

Additional sources:

http://archive.is/hP7qN




GOP Congressmen Lindsey Graham and Dan Crenshaw Join Democrats in Call for Gun Control, Sell Out Their Conservative Base Following Mass Shootings


Republican Representative Dan Crenshaw and Senator Lindsey Graham are joining with Democrats in a push to disarm their own voter base in the wake of several recent mass shootings, including  the Antifa-supporting leftist Connor Betts’ mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio. Lindsey Graham said that he will create legislation to expand police powers to preemptively seize firearms from people believed to be a danger to themselves or others. The hostile and corrupt leaders in government refuse to address real problems, and instead makes them worse, and then removes the Constitutional right to protect ourselves.

GOPers Dan Crenshaw and Lindsey Graham joined with Democrats in a push to disarm their own voter base in the wake of antifa-supporting leftist Connor Betts’ mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio.

From Buzzfeed, “Lindsey Graham Is Writing A Bill To Take Guns Away From People Deemed Dangerous”:

Senate Judiciary Committee chair Lindsey Graham told
BuzzFeed News he will start crafting legislation next week to expand
police powers to preemptively seize firearms from people believed to be a
danger to themselves or others.

Graham is angling to get bipartisan support for his bill, and has been
in discussions with Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal. Neither would
outline specifics Thursday beyond saying it will be an original piece of
legislation. Graham said work on hammering out the contents of the bill
will begin next week.

Why do Republican sell-outs always
push for their own law-abiding supporters to be disarmed after some
unhinged criminal commits a crime?

Read full article here…




There Are 9.2-Million Slaves in Africa Today


PBS.org and Dr. Henry Louis Gates reported that between 1525 and 1866, in the entire history of the slave trade to the New World, 12.5 million Africans were shipped to the New World. Only about 388,000 were shipped to North America. Today in Africa there are an estimated 9.2-million people living in modern day slavery, but Western politicians do not speak out against this injustice. CNN reported in March that 20,000 children were believed to be working as slaves on Lake Volta in the fishing industry in Ghana, Africa. Slavery exists in other countries that suffer from poverty, including China, India, Pakistan, North Korea, and more. -GEG

Map of Modern Incidence of Slavery from Wikipedia:

According to PBS.org and Dr. Henry Louis Gates, between 1525 and 1866, in the entire history of the slave trade to the New World, according to the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database, 12.5 million Africans were shipped to the New World. Only about 388,000 were shipped to North America. That’s right: a tiny percentage.

Today in Africa there are an estimated 9.2 million people living in modern day slavery.

If Democrats and Republicans were serious about eliminating the blight of slavery they may want to focus on modern day Africa.

This week Nancy Pelosi and 12 Democrats will travel to Ghana to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the first slaves from Africa arriving on American shores.

Read full article here…




South Africa Plunged into Chaos: Army Troops Are Deployed Against Gangs in Cape Town – and Homeowners Fight ‘Land Invaders’ Squatting on Their Land


South Africa: As land expropriation without compensation is planned for white farmers, homeowners in Johannesburg are dealing with ‘land invaders’ who live in shacks on vacant land near their homes and hack into the homeowners’ water and electricity utilities. Syndicates, in ‘cahoots’ government officials and police, are reported to be selling shacks on social media for as little as $180. Homeowners now are organizing to protect their property.

A woman spokesperson for a group of black homeowners says the media’s claim that Indian residents are attacking blacks and shooting them is not true, and that the media is provoking racial discord. She says homeowners are not fighting the people int the shacks but object to being forced to pay for their water and electricity. She blames the government and the media for creating chaos and conflict.

An elderly resident says she has lived in the area for 22 years and wants to sell her 3-bedroom home to escape intimidation by the shack dwellers but cannot do so due to the drop in her property value.

In Cape Town, the government sent in the army to quell drug gang violence. Civilians are killed who get caught in the crossfire. -GEG


A massive, land grab is taking place by affluent blacks who own nice cars who are squatting on land in order to take possession of it. Government officials and police are ignoring the problem and apparently condone the activity. Meanwhile, a precedent for lawlessness and land theft is being set.

Army troops in Cape Town.

As land invaders accused property owners of being racist, Gauteng MEC for Human Settlements Lebogang Maile said the widespread land invasions in Johannesburg South are the work of syndicates in cahoots with officials, and in some instances, police officers.

“There
are syndicates who are making money out of the desperation of our
people. It is alleged that the syndicate has connections and is working
with some government officials and in some instances police officers.
It’s a serious concern”.

Johannesburg
South residents have vowed to go to war with land invaders if the
government continues to allow land invaders to build shacks in the area.
The threat comes on the back of widespread protests last week in
Zakariyya Park, Lenasia and Ennerdale.

By Friday 19 July, the protests had spread to other areas in the south of Johannesburg including Protea South and Kliptown.

More officers were deployed to the areas on Friday morning as the protests spread.

Many
property owners said they had decided to take matters into their own
hands because the government was not willing to address the issue of
random land grabs in the area. The affected areas were on lockdown on
Friday, with the main roads leading in and out of Lenasia blockaded with
burning tyres and rubble. Traffic also built up on the Golden Highway
as Eldorado Park and Zakariyya Park residents voiced their unhappiness
by blocking it.

The
Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) denied suggestions on
Saturday that the land grabbers and property owners were attacking one
another.

Johannesburg
Metro Police Spokesperson Wayne Minnaar said, “A group of people went
past houses to meet the MEC for Human Settlements, Lebogang Maile. It
was exaggerated that people were being attacked. The people were only
passing to get to the MEC.”

One land grabber, Sabelo Mbuyisa, denied claims by property owners that land invaders were making illegal electricity connections and devaluing property. Mbuyisa said such claims were fueled by hatred and racism.

“We
have not encroached on anyone’s property. We are a distance away from
their houses. We do not make illegal connections, we don’t steal and we
are not responsible for damage to electricity infrastructure. They are
racists who cannot bear to live side-by-side with black communities. We
are going nowhere. They can send in Metro Police, we won’t budge.”

Maile promised residents all their challenges would be addressed, but stressed that this would require a concerted effort.

“It needs a multi-sectoral, multi-pronged approach,” said Maile.

Asked where the money would come from, Gauteng MEC for Infrastructure Development Tasneem Motara, who accompanied Maile, said:

“It
has to be included in our budgetary process and plans, and if it needs
further engagement with national Treasury and national departments, we
will facilitate that. But for the non-budgetary issues like the court
orders, these will simply be enforced”.

Addressing
residents on Saturday, Maile pleaded with them and the land invaders to
retain calm while the City, premier’s office, the department of
infrastructure, and the department of human settlements devise a
strategy.

“The
problems are complex. We cannot resolve them on our own. When we
return, we will ask Premier David Makhura to come along so that he can
assist in detailing a plan for addressing the land invasions.”

Many
property owners said they were done with negotiating or seeking
government intervention, and would fight to preserve the value of their
properties.

Michael
Loonat from Lenasia South said: “We will fight to preserve the value of
our properties. We will go to war because the government is aware of
the matter but still dragging its feet. We are tired of being bystanders
in matters that directly affect us. We hoped the government would
intervene but now look at what is happening.”

Fatima
Faranaaz from Lenasia South said: “We are done talking. How do you talk
to a government that doesn’t listen? It’s time we fought to defend our
houses. It’s time we fought to protect our electricity infrastructure
which is also under threat from these illegal land invaders. Even if I
die, I’ll die peacefully knowing that it was within my rights to fight
to protect what is mine.”

Read full article here…

Additional source:

https://www.iol.co.za/dailynews/news/kwazulu-natal/pics-bonela-residents-living-in-fear-as-illegal-shacks-continue-to-mushroom-unabated-28417079




Italy Arrests 18 People for Allegedly Brainwashing and Selling Children


Reggio Emilia, Italy: Police have arrested 18 people including a mayor, doctors and social workers for allegedly brainwashing vulnerable children into thinking their parents had sexually abused them so they could then be sold to foster parents. Some of the foster parents who paid for the targeted children have been accused of sexually abusing them.

Italian police have arrested 18 people including a mayor, doctors and
social workers for allegedly brainwashing vulnerable children into
thinking their parents had abused them so they could then be sold to
foster parents.

Police in the northern city of Reggio Emilia made the arrests after
an investigation started in 2018 revealed an alleged network of carers
who used methods including electroshock to make the children believe
they had been sexually abused.

The network then allegedly gave the
children to foster families in exchange for cash, while keeping gifts
and letters sent to the children by their real parents hidden in a
warehouse that was discovered by police.

Read full article here…




New Zealand Man to Go to Prison for Two Years for Sharing the Video of the Christchurch Mosque Shooting


New Zealand: A court sentenced Philip Arps to two years in jail for sharing a video of the mass shooting in the mosque in Christchurch this past March. Soon after the attack, New Zealand’s Office of Film and Literature classified the video as “objectionable,” making it a criminal offense to possess, share, or host it under the threat of imprisonment up to 14 years. Arps holds controversial views against the country’s Muslim population and was charged in 2016 with “offensive behavior” after he dumped a pig’s head outside Christchurch’s Al Noor mosque.

A New Zealand court sentenced a man to nearly two years in jail on Tuesday for sharing a video of the terrorist attack at a Mosque in Christchurch in March.

Philip Arps, 44, was sentenced to 21 months in prison at a court in
Christchurch on Tuesday, having previously pleaded guilty to two charges
of distributing objectionable material.

The attack,
live-streamed on social media, saw the self-described
“ethno-nationalist” Brenton Tarrant murder 51 people and injure dozens
more at Christchurch Mosque during Friday prayers.

Soon after the attack, New Zealand’s Office of Film and Literature classified the
video as “objectionable,” making it a criminal offense to possess,
share, or host it. Those found guilty doing so can face up to 14 years
in jail.

According to RNZ, Arps sent footage of the attack to around 30
people, even asking an unknown individual to add cross-hairs and a body
count to “make it more fun.” During sentencing on Tuesday, District
Judge Stephen O’Driscoll said that Arps had described the video as
“awesome.”

“Your offending glorifies and encourages the mass murder carried out
under the pretext of religious and racial hatred,” District Court Judge
Stephen O’Driscoll said. “It is clear from all the material before me
that you have strong and unrepentant views towards the Muslim
community.”

“Your actions in distributing the day after the attack, when families
were still waiting to hear whether family members had been killed,
demonstrates particular cruelty on your part and callousness on your
part,” he continued

Read full article here…




The Dark Side to China’s Smart Cities: Everyone’s Being Watched


About 500 of the roughly 1,000 smart cities being built worldwide are in China, but the money allocated for the cities, $74 billion in public and private investment, has instead been spent on enhancing government surveillance of Chinese citizens. The security apparatus uses a vast network of cameras, facial and even gait recognition along with artificial intelligence and cloud computing to identify and track many of China’s 1.34 billion people. Most citizens are required to download apps on their phones that let the authorities monitor what they look at and track their movements, which can land someone in one of the gulags.

Earlier this year, a U.S. congressional committee commissioned a
report on China’s development of “smart cities,” with a particular focus
on whether they were smarter than their American counterparts.

The
U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission’s (USCC) request for
submissions was revealing because it showed that, despite the hype, not
much is known about the fruits of China’s efforts to build such cities.
Smart cities are highly digitally connected and use the latest
technology to manage services.

About 500 of the roughly 1,000
smart cities being built worldwide are in China, according to Chinese
state media, government figures and estimates from Deloitte. Under a
five-year plan to the end of 2020, the Chinese government expects $74
billion of public and private investment in these cities.

Yet while scattered futuristic pilot examples can be found — from intelligent lighting and power grids to smart traffic management — there is little evidence that this grand vision is dramatically improving the lives of the masses.

Instead, it appears that the bulk of the resources poured into smart
city development has gone into improving surveillance of Chinese
citizens by the pervasive domestic security services. For nearly a
decade, China has spent more on internal security than on its defense
budget. Put another way: The Communist Party spends more on monitoring
its own people than on guarding against foreign threats.

“It’s
very clear that surveillance is a significant element in China’s
conception of smart cities,” says Rogier Creemers, an expert in Chinese
law and technology at Leiden University in the Netherlands. “This
involves across-the-board surveillance that is partly political and
partly about mechanizing ordinary street-level policing.”

The
security apparatus uses a vast network of cameras, facial and even gait
recognition along with artificial intelligence and cloud computing to
identify and track many of China’s 1.34 billion people.

Read full article here…




Hong Kong Police Fire 150 Cans of Tear Gas at Demonstrators at Mass Protests Against Extradition Law


Citizens gathered for mass protests in Hong Kong against their communist rulers in mainland China as they consider a new law allowing extraditions from Hong Kong to greater China. Hong Kong officials complained that the lack of extradition created a haven for criminals from the mainland. Hong Kong Police Commissioner Stephen Lo has said “low fatality weapons,” including rubber bullets, bean bags and tear gas canisters, were used to clear the protests, claiming that demonstrators charged police lines with weapons.[/su_note

Over the past few days, huge numbers of protestors have gathered in Hong Kong to take a stand against another change in Hong Kong law instituted by Mainland China.  The protests turned ugly when police fired tear gas at the outraged demonstrators.

China instituted another change in Hong Kong law that has infuriated Hong Kong citizens.
The Hong Kong Free Press reported:

Hong Kong Police Commissioner Stephen Lo has said “low fatality weapons” were used to clear Wednesday’s anti-extradition law protests because demonstrators charged police lines with weapons.

Lo said the protests were organised, describing them as a “riot.” He added that around 150 tear gas canisters,
“several” rounds of rubber bullets, and 20 beanbag shots were fired
during the protest clearance. In comparison, 87 rounds of tear gas
canisters were used during the 2014 Umbrella Movement protests.

Eleven people were arrested for crimes in relation to disorderly
conduct in public, unlawful assembly, assaulting police officers, and
riot-related offences. He said 22 police officers were injured.

The protests are in response to changes to be voted upon in Hong Kong law –

It explicitly allows extraditions from Hong Kong to
greater China – including the mainland, Taiwan and Macau – for the first
time, closing what Hong Kong government officials have repeatedly
described as a “loophole” that they claim has allowed the city to become
a haven for criminals from the mainland.

Read full article here…




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