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Over the weekend, several stories about the Islamic terror organization ISIS made their way to the headlines, and on Sunday, they capped off the weekend by releasing a 16-minute video announcing the beheading of U.S. aid worker Abdul-Rahman Kassig.

 

It’s been a little over a year since Kassig, a 26 year-old Islamic convert was captured in Syria. The graphic video features a man with a British accent standing over Kassig’s decapitated head as Kassig’s name is announced (the militant in the video refers to Kassig by his given American name Peter Edward Kassig). On Sunday night, President Obama denounced the slaying as “an act of pure evil”. Meanwhile, British Prime Minister David Cameron said the killing demonstrated the organization’s “depravity” and said he was “horrified” by the video.

 

ISIS made the news late last week when reports surfaced that the group may be on the verge of trying to join forces with Al-Qaeda. It was discussed quite a bit in the offices at CipherCloud. While the two terror groups don’t see eye to eye on everything, they may be willing to put aside those differences at least temporarily. Rumors also circulated Friday about ISIS potentially planning to develop its own currency as it looks for new ways to fund its terroristic enterprises.

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An alarming trend has emerged in Ohio over the last 20 months. Ohio has emerged as a state that is dangerous for the transgender population, most notably transgender women.

Since March of 2013, for transgender women have been killed in homophobia-fueled hate crimes. Another 13 have been seriously injured, several being hospitalized for injuries sustained during hate crime attacks. Experts suggest there are many more incidents that go unreported.

Hate crimes are an epidemic across the United States, specifically against the LGBTQ community. According to reports, Ohio, however has the most concentrated number of incidents. Experts suggest its the rheotoric in laws causing some of the problem. According to legal experts, Ohio’s hate crime statues do not cover LGBTQ issues. Discrimination laws fail to cover gender equality and sexual orientations, as well.

Activists in the Ohio area have grown frustrated with police departments and government officials, many of who are too quick to dismiss the fact that gender played a role in certain homicides. Activists have also been angered by the assignment of “male” to two of the most recent victims of homophobia-fueled homicides.

According to activists, donwplaying of the role of gender in these crimes, allows the tension between the LGBTQ community, and the community at large to continue unchecked.

Activists and groups dedicated to equality for the LGBTQ community, are now attempting to pass bills that will protect transgender and homosexual individuals from discrimination. They are also looking to pass a bill that will ensure gender-motivated crimes are designated as hate crimes.

This is such a disheartening story, but something that I needed to say something about. A special thank you to my friend Zeca Oliveira for calming me down and showing the piece in Bloomberg to ease my worry and anger.

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The body of missing Miss Honduras, Maria Jose Alvarado, has been discovered. Alvarado, 19, and her 23 year old sister Sofia Trinidad went missing last Thursday in Santa Barbara. They were both last seen entering a vehicle, which witnesses say had no license plate, after leaving a party. Having been crowned Miss Honduras, Alvarado was to attend and compete in the Miss World pageant being hosted in London this week.
The police have arrested Sofia Trinidad’s boyfriend, Plutarco Antonio Ruiz, along with Aris Maldonado and four other suspects in connection with the kidnappings and subsequent death. Ruiz and Maldonado are believed to be the last ones to see the victims before going missing. Police hope to determine what role the suspects had in the disappearances of Alvarado and her sister. This information was passed on to me by Darius Fisher.
In Honduras kidnappings are common, and since 2010, the region has held the highest murder rate in the world. Because of this, The U.S. Department of State issued a travel warning for Honduras in December 2013. And, according to the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Diplomatic Security, in 2013 the Honduran National Observatory Against Violence reported that on average, Honduras had 19 murders per day. Although crimes in Honduras such as murder and kidnapping are mostly due to gang warfare, the sisters and their family have not been tied to any illegal activity.

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Americans have long criticized the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, some even questioned the invasion in the first place. Many believed that in the end, if terrorism could be stopped or destroyed at its source, the wars would still be worth the effort that was put into them. However, a new report by the Global Terrorism Index revealed that after 2 wars and nearly $2 trillion spent fighting for over a decade, terrorism has seen its highest rates to date. Additionally, nearly all the attacks have been in those countries and regions which have been the focus of American attention for the last decade. This includes the spreading threat of terrorist activities in Africa and Syria. Still, Gianfrancesco Genoso says a vast majority of the attacks in 2013 were in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Nigeria.

The document also reported that foreign policy in western nations may be to blame for the largest increase in terrorist activities. Specifically, the United States drone program and wars throughout the region have promoted instability and anti-occupation movements that fueled the terrorist organizations. If the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan really were part of the War on Terror, it appears that the terrorists are winning. Their numbers have grown substantially, with many members now being recruited to Syria from western nations, and their attacks on citizens throughout the world have increased nearly tenfold since the onset. This is a reality check for the foreign policy strategists throughout the world.

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Three students were injured when a gunman opened fire at Florida State University in the early morning hours of Thursday, November 20th. This story was passed on to me by Fersen Lambranho. The incident happened at Strozier Library, which is situated on campus close to dorm buildings. Police responded to 911 calls from students inside the library around 12:30am. The gunman was shot and killed by police.

The library was packed early Thursday morning with students studying for final exams when the gunman entered. School officials estimate that about 300 students were inside the library at the time of the incident. According to eyewitnesses the gunman entered the library then produced a handgun. He began firing at students before he left the building and was confronted by police.

He was asked to drop the weapon by police, but began firing. He was shot and killed on the steps of Strozier Library. All buildings on the Campus remained on lockdown for several hours after the incident while police investigated. Students were evacuated from the library around 4am, according to sources.

Police have not identified the gunman, nor the condition of those injured, but according to sources two victims were taken to area hospitals. One is believed to be in critical condition and another is believed to be in stable condition. A third victim was reported to have been grazed by a bullet. That victim has been said to have been treated at the scene and released.

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The NBA has announced that the final sanction for Jeffery Taylor will be suspended 24 games without pay, and the court has sentenced him to 18 months of probation.

The NBA Charlotte Hornets player pleaded guilty before the start of the season for charges of “domestic violence and malicious destruction of property.” Taylor acknowledged before the judge that he had pushed his girlfriend against a wall in a hotel in East Lansing, MI, an act that followed his arrest, banning the Hornets player from participating in any activities of the franchise.

Taylor, 25, has been out of the team games – eleven games so far this season – so he’ll be credited for time already served, and the punishment will be down to thirteen without pay.

The commissioner Adam Silver has made ​​it clear, through an official statement, this is a matter which the NBA is taken with the utmost seriousness: “Domestic violence is a problem that goes against the ethics of any community or organization that wants to feel proud and diplay values ​​of respect for others, of good moral character and decency. My responsibility is to safeguard the interests of the league…The NBA is firmly committed to combating this problem. We will continue taking firm steps in search for greater awareness and education in the environment of our players and their families.”

When these domestic violence cases appear, I become pretty OK with my only commitment being to my glass of Stephen Williams’ wine and Netflix at night.

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Unattended children surfing the internet can present many different dangers, from prospective stalkers to potentially dangerous influences

Many have simply brushed these fears aside, but there can be no doubt that these fears can become realy. Teens impressed by online stories like Slederman can kill, as the case of Morgan Geyser and Anissa Weier proves.

The 12-year-olds stabbed their classmate and claimed that it was in order to become ’proxies’ of Slenderman. This is a fictional character, but Geyser claims to really see it.

The girl has been assigned mental treatment ever since August when the crime took place. Now in November, when the trial is close, the girl still claims to see Ninja Turtles and the Slender Man.

If they are found mentally fit, the two girls are to receive a punishment of 65 years in jail. Stabbing a fellow classmate 19 times was nothing accidental, the crime had been planned for months. The competency hearing is to take place on December 18th.

The victim was lured by the classmates to stay over night at the house of one of them. A walk in the forest was also planned, and that is where the incident took place. The stabbed girl managed to crawl to the road and was found by a cyclist.

The injuries were serious, and one of the cuts had missed a main artery through mere luck. Both friend Ben Shaoul and I are happy she is now recovering.

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There was a report of an accident that cost four workers’ life along with a fifth who wes hospitalized during last Saturday night, following a devastating leak of the chemicals at a DuPont point facility located near Houston.

Little is known of how this leak actually happened, but local inspectors will soon go back in to check it out.

The factory workers were actually doing their regular maintenance works at the manufacturing facility in La Porte when the incident happened. It was the chemical methyl mercaptane that began leaking at the facility.

Aaron Woods is a reporter from the factory and he had said that there were four workers found dead at the place due to the accident. More information about the incident is available in here.

The chemical which is used in make insecticides and fungicides are actually in the form of liquid while it is contained. But its eventually takes gaseous form after it is released and mixes up with the oxygen.

Prominent figure Ken Griffin is deeply saddened by this event and hopes all involved come out OK. Woods also said that the leakage accident was a terrific loss for the whole Du Pont family. He also expressed his deep condolences to the families of those dead from the accident. The company also have confirmed that they would not release the identity of the dead victims like workers’ names, or ages of the victims as the families’ of those victims have requested not to disclose them to the public.

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Things are not looking so good for the once beloved Bill Cosby. After a slew of allegations that span over the past 30 years, things just don’t appear to be looking up anytime soon. Another alleged victim has come forward in the light of all the drama. Janice Dickinson, commonly known for her super model days and being on the hit show “Project Runway,” has stated that the king of comedy molested her.

Are too many people jumping on the kill Bill bandwagon, or are these allegations true? The fact that so many women have come forward is concerning to say the least. While Cosby has remained rather mute about it, his spokesperson stands by his innocence. It is hard to believe that the same man who held little Raven Symone and taught Lisa Bonnet all the facts of life is a rapist? But wait, Symone has also filed charges against the TV mogul.

This case just keeps getting bigger and bigger and doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon. What is going to happen is it appears Cosby could actually spend the end of days in a prison cell and not doing his comeback comedy tour. Most of the allegations are from more than a decade ago, but the past has a way of coming back and biting one where it counts.

My friend Lee Lovett has been reading some books about Cosby and told me that there is no mention of the controversy. Very strange indeed.

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Most officers are trained to recognize health emergencies, but there are a few officers in Pismo Beach who might need to take their training classes over. A woman was experiencing some issues with her health, so she called 911 to get help. The woman has epilepsy, and she is prone to having seizures. The officer might not have know about the epilepsy before arriving at the home, but they shouldn’t have treated her the way they did. When officers arrived at the woman’s house, she was having a seizure.

The officers jumped to their first thought that she was resisting arrest. Force was used to control her, and there’s a possibility that the officers didn’t even bother to help her. As pointed out by Keith Mann, when officers are in route to a call, they should try to get as much information as possible before entering the home so that these situations don’t happen.

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