Missouri gov. declares state of emergency ahead of Ferguson verdict

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (Reuters / Kenny Baht)

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (Reuters / Kenny Baht)

The governor of Missouri declared a state of emergency on Monday ahead of the anticipated grand jury decision surrounding Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson and the potential protests the verdict may bring to that city and others.

Citing what he called the “possibility of expanded unrest” ahead of the impending verdict, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon said in a declaration on Monday that the St. Louis County Police Department and the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department will operate as a Unified Command “to protect civil rights and ensure public safety in the City of Ferguson and the St. Louis region”.

A grand jury is expected to announce any day if they will charge Wilson with the August killing of Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager.

“In the days immediately following Michael Brown’s death, peaceful protests were marred by senseless acts of violence and destruction,” Gov. Nixon said last week.”That ugliness was not representative of Missouri, and it cannot be repeated.”

In addition to declaring a state of emergency, Nixon issued an executive order which in turn has activated the Missouri National Guard to assist local law enforcement.

Due to the periods of unrest that Ferguson and the St. Louis region have experienced in the wake of Brown’s death, Nixon said the state of Missouri will be prepared to respond “appropriately” in order to protect citizens and local businesses from “violence and damage.”

“I further order that the Unified Command may exercise operational authority in such other jurisdictions it deems necessary to protect civil rights and ensure public safety and that other law enforcement agencies shall assist the Unified Command when so requested and shall cooperate with operational directives of the Unified Command,” the governor wrote in the executive order.

The move follows Nixon’s decision to put the National Guard on standby in order to ensure it can support police officers and rapidly respond to any reports of violence. Elaborating on where the Guard fits into the governor’s latest action, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay suggested on Monday that it will not be the primary force at any protest.

“The way we view this, the Guard is not going to be confronting the protesters and will not be on the front line, interacting directly with the demonstrators,” the mayor said.

Nixon, meanwhile, said the executive order was needed to provide for an orderly and effective response to whatever decision the grand jury announces.

“As part of our ongoing efforts to plan and be prepared for any contingency, it is necessary to have these resources in place in advance of any announcement of the grand jury’s decision,” the governor said in a news release, according to local KSHB News. “These additional resources will support law enforcement’s efforts to maintain peace and protect those exercising their right to free speech.”

Last week, the governor said it was necessary for the state to avoid the kind of confrontation that occurred following Brown’s death.

“In the days immediately following Michael Brown’s death, peaceful protests were marred by senseless acts of violence and destruction,” he said. “That ugliness was not representative of Missouri, and it cannot be repeated.”

It’s unclear how exactly the grand jury will rule, as competing accounts of the fatal incident have surfaced. Some witnesses say Brown was surrendering to Wilson when he was shot, while others, including Wilson, say Brown had confronted the officer and went for his gun.

It’s unclear how exactly the grand jury will rule, as competing accounts of the fatal incident have surfaced. Some witnesses say Brown was surrendering to Wilson when he was shot, while others – including Wilson – say Brown had confronted the officer and went for his gun.

Even with no decision, some demonstrators have taken to the streets. A crowd of protesters staged a peaceful rally in St. Louis on Sunday, marking 100 days since the tragedy. Protesters laid down on chalk outlines representing shooting victims, pretending they had been killed.

Duma calls for international community to investigate Ukrainian atrocities

A Donetsk bus stop, which was destroyed by a Ukrainian military artillery attack. (RIA Novosti/Gennady Dubovoy)

A Donetsk bus stop, which was destroyed by a Ukrainian military artillery attack. (RIA Novosti/Gennady Dubovoy)

The Russian Lower House is calling on international organizations and national parliaments and governments to investigate crimes against civilians in south-east Ukraine, and to step up efforts to find a peaceful settlement in the region.

The motion was passed by 428 votes in favor with only one abstention.

The proposal draws special attention to the mass graves recently discovered near Donetsk. Russian MPs say that the bodies belong to victims of pro-Kiev forces, and are calling on the international community to give an unbiased assessment of the activities of those who committed the crimes against civilians, and those who gave orders in Kiev and financed the punitive units.

The State Duma calls upon the UN, the OSCE, and the international community to hold an objective, independent and all-sided international investigation of the crimes that have caused numerous victims among the civilian population in the south-east of Ukraine,” the motion reads.

All participants in criminal acts against the Ukrainian people must stand before a court and receive a well-deserved punishment,” it adds.

At the same time, Russian lawmakers asked legislative and executive bodies in foreign countries to step up their efforts to promote peace, and called for a broad international conference about modern threats and the role of parliamentary diplomacy in overcoming these threats.

A Donetsk People's Republic militiaman is at the site of the graves of peaceful residents discovered near Mine 22 "Kommunar" outside Donetsk (still from video courtesy of the Ruptly international news agency.)

A Donetsk People’s Republic militiaman is at the site of the graves of peaceful residents discovered near Mine 22 “Kommunar” outside Donetsk (still from video courtesy of the Ruptly international news agency.)

The State Duma also voiced concern over Western nations sending weapons and military advisors to the Ukrainian authorities. “Such actions can undermine the settlement process and provoke a new round of violence,” the lawmakers warned.

The head of the Lower House Committee for relations with the CIS bloc, Leonid Slutsky, said in a speech that the situation in Ukraine remained exceptionally tense. “The international law is still being violated in Donbass, people continue to perish and more and more mass graves are being discovered. These graves are filled with bodies of people who gave their lives simply for the right to remain Russians, to bring up their children in a free and democratic country,” he said.

Slutsky also said that Russia had repeatedly drawn attention to numerous violations of human rights in Ukraine. “However, the political leaders of the Western nations refuse to see the objective picture of the current events and leave Russia’s requests without attention. Besides, the US and the EU are rendering political, financial and moral support to the Kiev regime since the moment of destabilization.”

‘Cologne protests caused by government’s ignorance of migration and Islamism problems’

To contain the situation in the German city of Cologne on October 26, riot police used batons, pepper spray and water cannons against far-right protesters and football fans. (AFP Photo / DPA / Thilo Schmulgen / Germany out)

To contain the situation in the German city of Cologne on October 26, riot police used batons, pepper spray and water cannons against far-right protesters and football fans. (AFP Photo / DPA / Thilo Schmulgen / Germany out)

 

RT news

Journalist Jan Raudszus on Cologne protests: “Those protests started out as hooligans against Salafists but then you hear people shouting “We don’t want any foreigners” and stuff like that, like a very skewed typical normal neo-Nazi behavior that we have seen in the past.”

The Cologne protests indicate a growing number of people are not willing to accept the German policy of supporting violent extremism in Syria, and ignoring the problems of mass migration and Islamism, journalist Manuel Ochenreiter told RT.

RT: Why have these protests been held in Cologne in particular?

Manuel Ochenreiter: It’s an interesting development, we face such protests… For example, we had clashes between Kurds and Islamists in some German cities with a lot of injured people, also injured policemen. The problem of mass migration, the problem of Islamism seems to be ignored by established mainstream politics and more and more people ask questions where the answers don’t seem to come. We face this violence…and I’m worried that we will face such scenes much more in the future as long as there will be no solution to those problems.

RT: Most of the people who marched the streets were far-right activists and self-proclaimed “soccer hooligans.” Does this discontent spread beyond these small groups?

MO: These were not just far-right protests. These were also football hooligans that are hooligans who were not political at all before. It was a mix of people, among them of course far-right protesters. But in the end these were a couple of thousands of people protesting in Cologne in clashes with police, were showing that among those protesters there were also a lot of violent people. Of course we cannot say that they represent the majority of the people. But the problem of Islamism, the problem of violence, also a problem that Germany is a country which supports violent Islamism, for example, in Syria by promoting, funding and supporting the so-called rebel factions which are nothing else [but] violent Islamist extremists, shows that more and more people are not confident with the politics. Normal people are not going on the street and beating the policemen, not protesting. It shows an atmosphere, a sort of sentiment that an increasing number of people are not willing to accept this politics anymore. And politicians are now asked to find a solution, but they seem to have been ignoring all those problems for many years. The ignorance of those problems causes this violence, blood, injured policemen and injured civilians on German streets.

Editor-in-chief of Geheim magazine Michael Opperskalski on Cologne protests: “The internal Intelligence service of Germany is extremely hypocritical, even in their statements, because they created problems in order to develop an uprising against a democratic elected government in Syria of Bashar Assad, and now this problem is coming back to Germany”.

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Boys of war: ISIS recruit, kidnap children as young as 10 yo

     Home /     News / ​Boys of war: ISIS recruit, kidnap children as young as 10 yo Published time: July 02, 2014 21:07 Edited time: July 04, 2014 12:05 Get short URL Published photo of young boys lined up in front of a “membership office” for ISIL, in the Syrian town of Al-Bab. Published photo of young boys lined up in front of a “membership office” for ISIL, in the Syrian town of Al-Bab.


​Published photo of young boys lined up in front of a “membership office” for ISIL, in the Syrian town of Al-Bab.

Sunni ISIS jihadists are recruiting children as young as 10 years old to fight for an Islamic state in Iraq and Syria. While there are boys who voluntarily join the ISIS, there are many more who are being forced to fight for jihad.

10-year old Abdullah is the youngest known volunteer fighting with the ISIS in Iraq’s Mosul, according to The Daily Beast. It describes the moment of Abdullah casually walking into a local grocery store. This would be a common picture, except that the boy was masked and had a heavy machine gun, “about as big as him.”

Abdullah is reportedly hopeful about the prospects for the ISIS.

“We believe they will conquer all of Iraq and Persia and that they will liberate Jerusalem,” a gunman, who the news website assumed was responsible for the boy, said. “They have a dream and their dream is to establish an Islamic state.”

ISIS that has seized large parts of northern Iraq is, according to different estimates, between 7,000 to 10,000 fighters.

READ MORE: Live updates on ISIS offensive in Iraq

Militant Islamist fighters parade on military vehicles along the streets of northern Raqqa province June 30, 2014. (Reuters)

Militant Islamist fighters parade on military vehicles along the streets of northern Raqqa province June 30, 2014. (Reuters)

In Mosul, which the group overran two weeks ago, the group is believed to have 4,000 troops and is desperate for more foot soldiers, the Daily Beast reported.

As soon as the ISIS took over the city, Sunni jihadists started looking for young men aged between 10 and 30 “both to control the territories they have and to join the fight on other fronts within Iraq.”

While the 10-year old Abdullah voluntarily joined ISIS, following in his father’s and brother’s footsteps, there are boys who are taken away from their families and forced to be in the group.

In neighboring Syria, a 14-year-old from Raqqa was lured into one of the ISIS camps, The Syria Deeply reported.

Mohammed was convinced the camp, specially designed for boys 15 and younger, had been established to teach Quran and the foundation of Islam.

Still from YouTube video/ITN

Still from YouTube video/ITN

“ISIS said this was the purpose of the camp,” the teenager told The Syria Deeply.

However, it turned out to be more than just that.

“The training was divided into two parts. In religious classes, they taught us their version of Islam, the extremist methods they follow, and the necessary foundations of creating an Islamic caliphate state – their ultimate goal. They also try to convince us of jihadist ideology, like the greatness of martyrdom,” Mohammed said.

The camp’s “curriculum” also included combat training and lessons on how to use arms. The “course” lasted for 25 days.

Abdullah and Mohammed are, obviously, far from the only children in the ISIS ranks.

Last week footage appeared online showing young boys holding what appeared to be assault rifles and sitting in trucks full of militants parading through captured Mosul, ITV reported.

There are cases of children being kidnapped and “brainwashed” by ISIS. Abducted in May in the city of Aleppo, Syria, the fate of 133 of 159 teenagers remain uncertain.

Two of the boys who escaped told the media that ISIS was forcing the children to undergo lessons in Sharia and jihadist ideology. Jihadists beat children who misbehaved.

In its report published on June 24, the Human Rights Watch said that in Syria, ISIS specifically recruited children through free schooling campaigns that included weapons training, and have given them dangerous tasks, including suicide bombing missions.

In its annual report issued mid-May, the UN also said that “children fighting with ISIS [in Syria] are reportedly paid like adults (35,000 Syrian pounds, approximately $200) and undergo both weapons and jihadist indoctrination training.”

 

4th mass grave found in E. Ukraine, self-defense forces report

mass grave - ukraine

mass grave – ukraine


By RT

Published time: September 28, 2014 22:36

One more mass grave has been found in a village in eastern Ukraine, say self-defense forces. The site was located days after OSCE mission confirmed the discovery of three mass burial sites in areas recently abandoned by Kiev forces.

The new site of the suspected murders is near Nyzhnia Krynka village, not far from the town of Makeevka, self-proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) First Deputy Prime Minister Andrey Purgin told ITAR-TASS. The number of bodies and their identities have yet to be determined.

Taped hands, gun wounds’: RT witnesses exhumation of mass graves in E. Ukraine

“Another grave discovered … How many bodies and how these people died will be established during the exhumation,” Purgin said.

In the meantime, a group of international experts have already arrived at the area of mass burials in the village, a source from the DPR told RIA Novosti.

“About 10 international observers are currently working at the site of mass graves near the village of Nyzhnia Krynka,” said the source, adding that the group includes experts from Russia and France.

A Donetsk People's Republic militiaman is at the site of the graves of peaceful residents discovered near Mine 22 "Kommunar" outside Donetsk (stills from video courtesy of the Ruptly international news agency / RIA Novosti)

A Donetsk People’s Republic militiaman is at the site of the graves of peaceful residents discovered near Mine 22 “Kommunar” outside Donetsk (stills from video courtesy of the Ruptly international news agency / RIA Novosti)

Several weeks ago, before a ceasefire was agreed, this area of Ukraine was under the control of the Ukrainian army and the National Guard’s Aidar battalion. Earlier this month, an Amnesty International report has confirmed that war crimes including abductions, executions and extortion were committed by this particular Ukrainian battalion.

Last week RT crew went to investigate the previously discovered site where four bodies have been found buried in shell craters behind a burnt-out coal mine, days after the OSCE confirmed that three mass graves, allegedly with many bodies, have been found near Donetsk in eastern Ukraine.

Maria Finoshina - Reality of war.

Maria Finoshina – Reality of war.

 

 

Professor Cornel West arrested in DC

Prof Cornell West @ a protest

Prof Cornell West @ Occupy Wall Street protest

RT news

Acclaimed professor and activist Dr. Cornel West was arrested with 18 others on the steps of the Supreme Court building in Washington DC on Saturday during a local demonstration with the growing Occupy Wall Street movement.

Dr. West says that he was in Washington earlier in the day to witness President Barak Obama’s dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, only to join protesters hours later at Freedom Plaza on Pennsylvania Avenue. It is there that activists have been congregating for over a week down as part of the October 2011 Stop the Machine protest that hopes to draw attention to the ongoing war in Afghanistan — which earlier this month reached the 10-year mark, making it the longest-going American war ever.

Once at Freedom Plaza, West and dozens others marched through Washington to the Supreme Court building. A spokesperson for the high court confirmed that West was one of 19 people arrested for refusing to the leave the grounds. Video shows that protesters remained peaceful as they sat on the steps of the courthouse awaiting arrest.

Speaking from the steps of the building, West told a crowd of protesters and reporters, “We want to bear witness today that we know the relation between corporate greed and what goes on too often in the Supreme Court decision. We want to send a lesson to ourselves, to our loved ones, our families, our communities, our nation and the world that out of deep love for working and poor people that we are willing to put whatever it takes, even if we get arrested today, and say, we will not allow this day of Martin Luther King Jr’s memorial to go without somebody going to jail.”

Before his arrest, Dr. West told a reporter with NoCureForThat.org that the ongoing movement, approaching a full month of protests, has already reached historical status. “The question is where it will continue and what form it will take. We just don’t know at this point.”

Dr West added that “Martin King would be here right with us, willing to throw down out of deep love.”

“We love poor people, we love working people and we want Martin Luther King Jr to smile from the grave that we haven’t forgot him,” said Dr West.

The Princeton University professor that formerly taught at Harvard has spoken publically of the ongoing protests for several weeks now. To CNN earlier this month, Dr. West asked, “Who’s going to really speak for poor people? Who’s going to really speak for working people? That’s very much what I think the . . . ‘Occupying Wall Street’ movement is all about.”

In an interview earlier this year, Dr West accused President Obama as being “a black mascot of Wall Street oligarchs and a black puppet of corporate plutocrats.”

Cornel West will be arraigned at the Supreme Court this afternoon.

Politics British Politicians To Face Criminal Investigation Over Scottish Referendum

In a television interview with the BBC just four days before the referendum John McTernan, a former adviser to Tony Blair said, "It's important to remember that about a fifth of the electorate, that will be about a quarter of the total turn-out, have voted already. They have voted by postal vote. Those postal votes are running very strongly towards 'no'. There is a whole bank of votes in."

In a television interview with the BBC just four days before the referendum John McTernan, a former adviser to Tony Blair said, “It’s important to remember that about a fifth of the electorate, that will be about a quarter of the total turn-out, have voted already. They have voted by postal vote. Those postal votes are running very strongly towards ‘no’. There is a whole bank of votes in.”

 

EDINBURGH, October 04 (RIA Novosti), Mark HirstPolice in Scotland will formally investigate allegations that anti-Scottish independence campaigners breached electoral law during the referendum held on September 18.

“We can confirm that Crown counsel has instructed Police Scotland to commence an investigation into alleged breaches of Schedule 7, Paragraph 7, of the Scottish Independence Referendum Act 2013,” a statement issued on Saturday by the Crown Office, Scotland’s prosecution service reads.

The allegations relate to comments made by Ruth Davidson, a Member of the Scottish Parliament and leader of the Scottish Conservatives, in which she appeared to know the general results of postal votes arising from “sample opening” of ballot boxes.

Postal vote opening sessions are permitted before the formal poll is conducted to verify signatures and dates of birth against records held by the local Returning Officer. Agents for the two campaigns were allowed to monitor these sessions, but it is a criminal offense, punishable with up to a year’s imprisonment if found guilty, to communicate any information witnessed during the sample opening sessions.

In a television interview with the BBC shortly after the formal poll closed Davidson said “we’ve been incredibly encouraged by the results [of the postal vote],” implying the Scottish Conservative leader knew the outcome of the postal votes before the first formal results had been announced.

In another BBC interview just four days before the referendum John McTernan, a former adviser to Tony Blair said, “It’s important to remember that about a fifth of the electorate, that will be about a quarter of the total turn-out, have voted already. They have voted by postal vote. Those postal votes are running very strongly towards ‘no’. There is a whole bank of votes in.”

McTernan told RIA Novosti he had not been contacted by Police adding, “No reason to believe free speech is a crime.”

According to The Herald newspaper, Davidson has been contacted by Police with the paper quoting a Conservative Party source who said there was, “no suggestion she was accused of doing anything wrong at this stage.”

The independence referendum, which took place on September 18, saw a turnout of 84.59 percent. Scotland has chosen to stay in the United Kingdom with 44.7 percent of Scots having voted in support of independence and 55.3 percent having voted against.