Brazil: The Fire This Time. Jair Bolsonaro sends in army to tackle Amazon fires

Forget all the Trump nonsense. It’s a waste of time. He will be out of the picture soon enough. This American  media creation is just an Idiot’s messenger boy.  It’s good for the talking heads and bloviators.  The Amazon conflagration is the genuine crisis and will be with us long after this Orange headed clown is gone.

Nature is taking its revenge on the Planet as destructive, clueless leaders continue to defy the laws of nature. These reckless, selfish mindless politicians will reap the whirlwind for themselves and the rest of us, too.

Excerpted from Deutsche Welle 8.23.2019

The Brazilian president has been coming under increasing pressure as European leaders criticize his environmental policies. Wildfires continue to rage in the Amazon rain forest.

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro on Friday promised to send in troops to fight wildfires in the country’s Amazon rainforest, blaming dry weather for this year’s spike in outbreaks.

Bolsonaro said his government was very aware of the situation and will fight “environmental crime” the same way it combats other types of crime, amid accusations that he had turned a blind eye to illegal deforestation by farmers and land grabbers in the region.

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The military will “act strongly” to control the blazes, the president promised, as he signed the decree that states the armed forces will collaborate with public security and environmental protection agencies.

“The protection of the forest is our duty,” he said. “We are aware of that and will act to combat deforestation and criminal activities that put people at risk in the Amazon.”

Fires are a regular occurrence during the yearly dry season but environmentalists blamed this year’s jump on farmers increasingly clearing land for pasture.

World leaders react

Bolsonaro’s reaction came as international criticism mounted  over his failure to protect the Amazon, nicknamed “the lungs of the planet.” The 64-year-old had previously described rainforest protections as an obstacle to Brazil’s economic development.

Asylum-seeker convicted of killing which resulted in 2018 Chemnitz Neo-Nazi riots

The  August 2018 incident in Chemnitz, Germany which resulted in the murder of a German citizen and caused days of riots, upheaval and worldwide attention has come to a closure of sorts.

Excerpted from Deutsche Welle 8.22.2019

The man accused of the killing that led to a week of far-right violence last year in Chemnitz, Germany was found guilty of manslaughter at a court in Dresden on Thursday, and sentenced to nine and a half years in prison.

Alaa S., a 23-year-old Syrian asylum-seeker, had always maintained his innocence, while state prosecutors had demanded an 10-year prison sentence for “joint manslaughter and serious physical injury.” The prosecution case was largely based on the testimony of an employee at a nearby kebab shop.


In an interview with public broadcaster ZDF a few days before the verdict, Alaa S. swore that he did not touch either the victim or the knife that killed him. His lawyers pointed out there was no DNA evidence linking him to either, though in their final statement on Thursday, prosecutors said his guilt had been proved.

The main suspect, 22-year-old Iraqi Farhad A. who had previously been accused of stabbings, has not been found and is believed to have fled the country. A third suspect, another young Iraqi, was released last September for lack of evidence.

For the people of Chemnitz, the verdict is unlikely to bring closure to what escalated into a series of ugly events last year, and attracted major media coverage to the city.

Chemnitz verdict III 8.22.2019

‘Moralizing’ riles people

Despite the city’s best cultural efforts at fostering tolerance, many Chemnitzers resist what they see as attempts to impose an ideology. “If it becomes too demonstrative, then it becomes divisive,” said Franz Knoppe, project director for the Chemnitz cultural and educational organization ASA-FF, the “Network for Global Learning.”

“The ‘Wir Sind Mehr’ demos are an act of self-assurance: ‘Maybe we are more,’ but it doesn’t open the people who maybe didn’t want to march with the Nazis, but also didn’t like the fact that Daniel H. was killed.”

On the day after Daniel H.’s killing, a city street festival that had been running the whole weekend turned sour, and some people were filmed chasing migrants, while the police appeared unable to control the situation. When the festival was abruptly shut down, it gave way to a week of far-right protests, attended by thousands of neo-Nazis from across the country, often in violent confrontation with Antifa counterprotests, and desperate attempts by the local government to find dialogue with citizens.

These were followed by a major rock concert in Chemnitz, and huge demonstrations in Berlin and other German cities under the hashtag #WirSindMehr (“We are more”), meant to highlight Germany’s open and inclusive culture.

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But beneath these efforts at political engagement in Chemnitz, the politics in the city can’t be hidden. The results of the city council election in May this year returned the far-right Alternative for Germany (AfD) 18% of the vote, a close second to the conservative Christian Democratic Union (CDU). That doesn’t sound that much, except that the far-right group Pro Chemnitz, which includes some neo-Nazis, and which organized last year’s far-right demo in the wake of Daniel H.’s death, took another 8% and now has five of the 60 seats in the city council.

German defense minister meets Islamic State enslaved and abused women in Iraq

This is the kind of recognition which should be coming from the American government since it is largely responsible for the turmoil and carnage visited upon this Region during the past nearly 30 years.

Excerpted from Deutsche Welle 8.21.2019

Germany’s defense minister has met with female victims from the Yazidi minority group in northern Iraq. It is the German minister’s third and final day of her inaugural tour of the Middle East.

German Defense Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer concluded her three-day tour of the Middle East on Wednesday, full of admiration for the women and girls from the Yazidi minority group in northern Iraq who were enslaved and abused by “Islamic State” militants.

“These women have witnessed unspeakable things,” Kramp-Karrenbauer said.

The recently installed defense minister was wary of history repeating itself as she said: “They need more targeted help so that they are not victims of this terrorism a second time.”

The fight against IS has not finished, the German politician admitted.


“This was a very emotional moment for me this morning, and that alone is a good reason to say: We should continue acting here in this region,” she said.

Kramp-Karrenbauer expressed her gratitude to the Iraqi Kurdish fighters for their help in fighting the militants.

“We have a joint goal. This goal is to defeat the Islamic State terrorism in the long term,” she said.

The defense minister, also known by her initials, AKK, concluded that Germany would not forget the sacrifices made by Iraqi Kurds. “You have lost lives and fought this fight, not only for the security of your own region, but for the security of Europe and Germany as well,” she said.

The 56-year-old visited Jordan, in addition to Iraq, as part of her first trip to the region and said the mission was to help her gain a better understanding of the anti-terrorist mission the German troops are involved in on the ground there.

Succumbing to herd mentality Judge orders Embarcadero attack suspect to jail

The alleged assailant in two incidents has become political fodder in San Francisco. The Judge, following an outcry from law enforcement and a portion of the population, has decided to put the suspect behind bars.  The Judge may be correct procedurally speaking. But there is also a belief that she bowed to the pressure in making her ruling.  

It is distressing that a candidate for District Attorney in the November 2019 election has jumped into the fray for what can charitably be described as political purposes.

San Francisco Examiner 8.20.2019

The San Francisco Superior Court judge who came under fire for releasing a man charged  in a widely publicized attack near the Embarcadero has had a change of heart.

Judge Christine Van Aken decided Tuesday that Austin James Vincent would beheld in custody pending trial after prosecutors filed new charges against him.

Vincent, a 25-year-old homeless man, is said to have been suffering a mental health crisis when he allegedly grabbed a woman outside her Embarcadero condo building Aug. 11.

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News that Van Aken, the judge, had initially released Vincent, upset the rank-and-file police union. The San Francisco Police Officers Association issued a statement calling for her demotion to Traffic Court.

“Van Aken should not be allowed to preside over any criminal cases,” said Tony Montoya, president of SFPOA . “She may have been a reasonably competent civil attorney, but she’s a catastrophe of a criminal judge.”

Unlike Van Aken, the District Attorney’s Office has largely not been blamed for the release. Yet court transcripts obtained by KPIX may raise eyebrows.

The transcripts show that Chang, the prosecutor, did not articulate the evidence included in the police report or video of the Embarcadero assault to Van Aken when she decided to release Vincent last Tuesday.

Van Aken did, however, have a copy of the police report, and Chang told her that Vincent had a criminal history from New York including a petty theft and a misdemeanor conviction for menacing with a weapon.

“You can present the evidence in a way that’s more persuasive,” said Nancy Tung, a prosecutor who is running for district attorney.

Van Aken did, however, have a copy of the police report, and Chang told her that Vincent had a criminal history from New York including a petty theft and a misdemeanor conviction for menacing with a weapon.

“I’m not discounting the fact that defendant might be — might have been at a point of crisis, but there is enough evidence to show that he’s a public safety risk,” Chang said at the initial hearing, according to the transcripts.

Tung was at the most recent hearing to see whether Van Aken would decide torelease Vincent again.

“She should have detained him in the first place,” Tung said. “This was heropportunity to right that wrong and she made the right decision this time.”

But after a widely shared video of the attack surfaced and outrage mounted overher decision, she ordered Vincent to be placed on GPS monitoring Friday.

Van Aken said his concerns about public safety grew when police obtained a warrant for Vincent’s arrest Friday night in connection with a February assault in the South of Market.

Vincent surrendered to authorities Monday morning at the Hall of Justice.

On Tuesday, Van Aken said she was too concerned about public safety to release Vincent again after learning that the new allegations involved criminal threats and a knife.

“I take this very seriously,” Van Aken said.

Vincent shook his head in court as the judge decided to hold him in custody.

His attorney, Saleem Belbahri, had argued that Vincent should be let out because he was a “model client” in the treatment program Van Aken initially released him into.

“He’s been open to getting treatment,” Belbahri told the judge.

Belbahri told reporters outside the courtroom that he was disappointed in the decision.

“He was getting the help that he needed,” Belbahri said. “He was having the root causes of his issues being addressed and now he’s in jail where he’s not going to get help with those issues”

District Attorney Assistant Edward Chang had argued for Vincent’s detention.

“This is America.Trump has made the Third Reich family friendly.”

Right here in Deep Blue California.  This is disturbing. Ignoring the reality of a strong and growing Nazi sentiment in America is a recipe for Disaster.

The Guardian 8.19.2019

High school students in southern California appeared to give the Nazi salute in disturbing video footage taken at a sports team awards ceremony.

Among outraged reaction on social media, the musician and activist Bill Madden blamed the president, writing on Twitter: “This is America. Trump has made the Third Reich family friendly.”

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A video purportedly shows around 10 members of the boys’ water polo team at Pacifica high school in Garden Grove giving the salute while facing a figure at a lectern who is saluting and singing.

According to the Daily Beast, which published the video, the incident occurred before an awards ceremony late last year. The website reported that the song is an obscure Nazi marching song from the second world war.

The video was reportedly shared on Instagram by a student, who allegedly also posted lyrics to the song in his bio on the social network which he later removed.

It is the second incident involving Nazi depictions and high school students in the region to come to national attention this year. In March, pupils from nearby Orange county appeared to do the Nazi salute while surrounding cups arranged in the shape of a swastika.

The Garden Grove Unified School district, which oversees Pacifica high school, said both organizations “strongly condemn” the video, which it said was “recorded last year of some students who engaged in offensive Nazi-related gestures”.

A district spokesperson told the Guardian that the incident took place before an “after school hours, off-campus” student athletics banquet and shared with “a small group of students” on Snapchat.

“It was not brought to the attention of the administration of Pacifica high school until March of 2019, four months following the banquet, at which time school administrators took immediate action and addressed the situation with all students and families involved,” she added.

The district declined to comment on whether any disciplinary measures were taken, citing the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act. But the spokesperson said following the incident, the school has “reached out to community organisations to provide support that will continue to ensure an anti-bias learning environment and address issues of hate, bias, and exclusion with all staff and students”.

She added: “Pacifica high school, along with our other district schools, will be working with students, staff, and parents to continue to address these issues in the fall in collaboration with agencies dedicated to anti-bias education.”


French Waiter shot dead. ‘Too slow with sandwich,’ say shocked Parisians

The chaos of senseless violence and mayhem continues to spread.

The Guardian 8.18.2019

A customer fatally shot a waiter at a pizzeria on the outskirts of Paris, apparently enraged at being made to wait for a sandwich, according to witnesses.

With the shooter still on the run on Saturday, shocked residents gathered outside the pizza and sandwich eatery. “He was killed for a sandwich?” one asked, unbelievingly.

The waiter’s colleagues called police after he was shot in the shoulder with a handgun in the Noisy-le-Grand suburb, 15km east of Paris’s city centre on Friday night.

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Attempts to revive the 28-year-old failed and he died at the scene.

The gunman, who a witness said lost his temper “as his sandwich wasn’t prepared quickly enough”, fled the scene.

Police have opened a murder investigation.

“It is sad,” said a 29-year-old woman. “It’s a quiet restaurant, without any problems. It just opened a few months ago.”

Others noted high crime levels in the area, notably drug-dealing and public drunkenness.