Category Archives: News

Brief note

Dear readers,

Last week, I mentioned that our brother RRND/FND editor R. Lee Wrights had been hospitalized and was home recovering. Today, I'm sorry to report that Lee is once again in the hospital. The last word I have is that he's unconscious and in the Intensive Care Unit, but improving. Please keep Lee in your thoughts and, if you are a believer of any type, in your prayers.

Yours in liberty,
Tom Knapp

France: Macron, Le Pen advance to presidential runoff

Source: USA Today

"Centrist independent Emmanuel Macron and far-right anti-immigration nationalist Marine Le Pen will advance to a showdown for president of France that will determine whether the nation stays the course or upends European unity and its liberal immigration policies, results of first-round voting Sunday showed. The election was a historic repudiation of major party candidates, who quickly rallied around Macron in the May 7 runoff to prevent the election of Le Pen, who wants to ban Muslim immigration and pull France out of the European Union it helped found 60 years ago. With 34% of the vote counted, France’s Interior Ministry says Le Pen is leading with 24.6% of the vote followed by Macron with 21.9%, the Associated Press reports. Le Pen said Sunday her National Front party will represent 'the great alternative' to the French people. Macron and Le Pen have vastly different visions for how to govern France, and of French identity." (04/23/17)

Trump pressures Democrats on ObamaCare to get border wall deal

Source: Reuters

"President Donald Trump put pressure on Democrats on Sunday as U.S. lawmakers worked to avoid a government shutdown, saying Obamacare would die without a cash infusion the White House has offered in exchange for their agreement to fund his border wall. The escalated push to get Trump's priorities, which Democrats reject, into spending legislation could jeopardize prospects for an agreement to keep the government open. If talks fail, the government would shut down [sic] on Saturday, Trump's 100th day in office. 'Obamacare is in serious trouble. The Dems need big money to keep it going — otherwise it dies far sooner than anyone would have thought,' the Republican president said in a Twitter post." (04/23/17)

Luhansk People's Republic: American paramedic killed by mine

Source: Reuters

"An American paramedic working for European security watchdog OSCE's monitoring mission in [the Luhansk People's Republic, which seceded in 2014 from] Ukraine was killed and two others were injured on Sunday when their vehicle struck a mine, triggering a U.S. call for a transparent, timely investigation. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) said the killing was the first death of one of its members while on patrol in [the seceded state], where more than 700 international observers help report on a [Ukrainian invasion] that has deeply strained relations between Russia and the West. A 2015 ceasefire between Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists in [areas seceded from the] country is regularly violated, and Washington cites the conflict as a key obstacle to improved relations between Russia and the United States." (04/23/17)

CA: Santa Rosa woman arrested for allegedly inhaling drugs while talking with cops

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

"A woman was arrested after doing drugs while talking to police officers in the parking lot of a Santa Rosa hospital Saturday, police said. Police were summoned to Memorial Hospital around noon when a caller said there was a woman with a gun sitting in a car in the parking lot. Officers found the car near the emergency room entrance, and one officer began talking with the woman, identified by police as Vanessa Harlan, 36. As they spoke, the woman began doing 'whip its' — inhaling shots of nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, from a canister in order to get high, police said. Harlan was removed from the car, where officers found a .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol, according to police. She was arrested for inhaling nitrous oxide with intent to get high and carrying a concealed firearm in a vehicle." (04/23/17)

KY: GOP school board member charged with human sex trafficking of a minor

Source: Raw Story

"A former judge now serving as a school board member in suburban Cincinnati has been charged with felony human trafficking of a minor, felony inducing a minor to engage in sex and a third count of giving alcohol to a minor. The indictment was obtained by River City News publisher Michael Monks, who described Nolan as an 'outspoken and controversial' political figure. Judge Tim Nolan of California, Kentucky represents District 5 on the Campbell County School Board. Yesterday afternoon he was lead into court wearing handcuffs as the 'perp walk' was filmed by the local CBS station. News anchor Cammy Dierking of WKRC described Judge Nolan as an 'outspoken supporter of the local Tea Party.' The sex trafficking allegedly occurred in August 2016 — while Judge Nolan was serving as the chair of the Donald Trump campaign in Campbell County, KY." [editor's note: while Raw Story chose to focus its headline on the Trump connection, it seems far more distressing that this creep was on a school board – SAT] (04/23/17)

VA: Navy SEAL charged in child porn, assault cases

Source: Fox News

"A U.S. Navy SEAL raped an unconscious woman in Virginia, kept images of child porn involving sex with animals on his phone and may have filmed his own sexual assault of a sleeping girl, authorities alleged in recently unsealed federal charges. SEAL Team 1 Petty Officer 1st Class Gregory Kyle Seerden, 31, was arrested in San Diego on April 3 on child pornography and child sex assault charges that stem from an investigation into a rape in Virginia, The LA Times reported. An unidentified Virginia woman said Seerden raped her after she blacked out in his hotel room at Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek–Fort Story. The woman quickly reported her account to authorities, and Naval Criminal Investigative Service agents probing the charge allegedly found nearly 80 images of child pornography on Seerden’s phone, The Virginia Pilot reported." (04/23/17)

UK: Corbyn says Labour government would suspend Syria airstrikes

Source: Independent [UK]

"A Labour government would move to suspend British air strikes against targets in Syria, Jeremy Corbyn has said. The Labour leader said his foreign policy priority in the country if he became the Prime Minister would be to urge US President Donald Trump to resume international peace talks in Geneva. RAF warplanes are currently hitting Isis targets in Iraq and Syria, though they are not engaging with Assad regime targets. The US has made strikes against the Assad regime under Mr Trump, however." (04/23/17)

American detained in North Korea

Source: CNN

"North Korea detained an unidentified US citizen for unknown reasons as he was planning to fly out of Pyongyang International Airport on Saturday morning. The detention was confirmed by Martina Aberg, deputy chief of mission at the Embassy of Sweden in Pyongyang. The Swedish Embassy represents US interests in North Korea, since Washington and Pyongyang do not have direct diplomatic relations. … The detained American is a professor with the frequently-used Korean surname "Kim," according to South Korea's Yonhap News Agency. At least two other US citizens are known to be in North Korean custody." (04/23/17)

Aurora photographers find new night sky lights and call them Steve

Source: BBC [UK state media]

"Eric Donovan from the University of Calgary in Canada spotted the feature in photos shared on a Facebook group. He did not recognise it as a catalogued phenomenon and although the group were calling it a proton arc, he knew proton auroras were not visible. Testing showed it appeared to be a hot stream of fast-flowing gas in the higher reaches of the atmosphere. … There are reports that the group called it Steve in homage to a 2006 children's film, Over the Hedge, where the characters give the name to a creature they have not seen before." [editor's note: while it's nice to see something "named after me" I am certainly not "a hot stream of fast-flowing gas" – SAT] [additional editor's note: Well, sometimes your friends think maybe you are, at least a little 🙂 – TLK] (04/23/17)