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Ebola vs. Shootings in Chicago: 3 Dead, 6 Wounded on Monday

Via Chicago Sun-Times:

Three men were killed and another six people were wounded in shootings across the city Monday, police said.

The most recent fatal shooting happened about 9 p.m. in the in the Auburn Gresham neighborhood on the South Side, police said.

A 39-year-old man was riding a bicycle about 9 p.m. in the 7600 block of South Hoyne when a red vehicle pulled up next to him and someone exited the vehicle and fired shots, police said. The man was struck in the chest and arm and was pronounced dead at the scene, police said.

The Cook County Medical Examiner’s office could not confirm the death early Tuesday.

About 4:35 p.m., a man, 26, was shot to death in the Englewood neighborhood on the South Side. . .

Another night of multiple deaths in Chicago and still the national media doesn't care. - Greg Pollowitz

ISIS Fighting to Control Iraq’s Water, Electricity

Via Fox News:

Militants from the Islamic State are battling ferociously to control one of Iraq’s most vital resources: water.

Fighters with the group launched a three-pronged attack over the weekend in a drive to capture Haditha Dam, in western Iraq, a complex with six power generators located alongside Iraq’s second-largest reservoir. At the same time, they are fighting to capture Iraq’s largest dam, Mosul Dam, in the north of the country.

Seizing the dams and the large reservoirs they hold would give the militants control over water and electricity that they could use to help build support in the territory they now rule by providing the scarce resources to residents. Or they could sell the resources as a lucrative source of revenue. . .

Not good. - Greg Pollowitz
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Marine Andrew Tahmooressi Back in Tijuana Court

Via Fox News:

On Day No. 127 of imprisonment, Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi entered a federal court in Tijuana to face four border officials who were involved in his March 31 arrest on weapons charges.

In the Monday hearing that is expected to last several hours, defense attorney Fernando Benitez will grill the officials, looking for discrepancies in what they said and originally reported on the night of the arrest, according to Jill Tahmooressi, Andrew’s mother, who is in Tijuana for the hearing.

Benitez asserts Tahmooressi’s civil rights were violated because he was not provided a translator to adequately explain why he was being arrested. He also alleges the 26-year-old Marine was held at the port of entry, where her crossed from San Ysidro, Calif., for more than eight hours before being transported to the federal police headquarters and formally charged with the Mexican federal crime of bringing weapons and ammunition used by the military into the country. He was not charged with weapons trafficking. . .

Fingers crossed. - Greg Pollowitz

Maliki Orders Air Force to Help Kurds Fight ISIS

Via Reuters:

Iraq’s Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki ordered his air force for the first time to back Kurdish forces against Islamic State fighters after the Sunni militants made another dramatic push through the north, state television reported on Monday.

Kurdish peshmerga fighters, who cut their teeth fighting Saddam Hussein’s troops, were regarded as one of the few forces capable of standing up to the Sunni insurgents who faced almost no opposition from Maliki’s U.S.-trained army during their lightning advance through the north in June.

Then on Sunday the Islamic State inflicted a humiliating defeat on the Kurds with a rapid advance through three towns to reach the Mosul Dam, acquiring a fifth oil field to fund its operations along the way. . .

Well, this is welcome news. And maybe Iraq should consider bombing the oil fields now controlled by ISIS? - Greg Pollowitz

Russian Soldier Posts Selfies to Instagram and Reveals He’s in Ukraine

Via Daily Mail:

Alexander Sotkin may have thought he was harmlessly posting selfies to his friends back home, but last night the 24-year-old Russian soldier was at the centre of international intrigue.

For the photographs he has posted on the web appear to offer evidence that Vladimir Putin’s forces have been operating inside Ukraine.

Geotagging – the process of adding a location to a photograph taken by a mobile phone camera – creates a trail that leads Sotkin, a sergeant in the signals corps, from a military base in southern Russia across the troublesome border to villages inside rebel-held parts of Ukraine. . .

Hilarious. What a moron. - Greg Pollowitz
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Cease-Fire Over? IDF Reports Hamas Kidnapped Soldier During Suicide Bomb Attack

Via CNN:

A cease-fire in Gaza unraveled Friday less than two hours after it took effect, with both sides accusing each other of violating the fledgling truce and the Israeli military saying one of its soldiers possibly was kidnapped.

Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said an Israeli attack on Rafah in southern Gaza killed at least 27 people and wounded more than 100.

The official Palestinian news agency WAFA said assault involved Israeli artillery shelling, calling it a “violation of the cease-fire.”

Hamas spokesman Osama Hamdan told CNN that the latest cease-fire attempt between Israel and Hamas made it clear that there was to be no military action whatsoever, and Israel violated it by attacking houses in Rafah. Hamas is still committed to the cease-fire, but will protect itself, he said. . .

If the entire timeline of events as reported above is true, I don't know 1. why Israel would agree to another cease fire anytime soon and 2. every death in Gaza from this point on is Hamas's fault. - Greg Pollowitz

CIA Admits Searching Senate Computers

Via Washington Post:

CIA Director John O. Brennan has apologized to leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee after an agency investigation determined that its employees improperly searched computers used by committee staff to review classified files on interrogations of prisoners.

The embarrassing admission by the agency follows a dispute that erupted earlier this year when the CIA and the committee traded accusations of snooping on one another, allegations that led to an extraordinary public feud between Brennan and senior lawmakers.

The conflict centered on computers that the CIA set up at a secret office in Northern Virginia to enable committee aides to examine records of the agency’s use of harsh interrogation measures on al-Qaeda suspects after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

A statement released by the CIA on Tuesday acknowledged that agency employees had searched areas of that computer system that were supposed to be accessible only to committee investigators. Agency employees were attempting to discover how congressional aides had obtained a secret CIA internal report on the interrogation program.

“Some employees acted in a manner inconsistent with the common understanding reached” between the CIA and lawmakers in 2009, when the committee investigation was launched, according to the agency statement, which cited a review by the CIA’s inspector general. The CIA statement was first reported by the McClatchy news service. . .

Exit question: Can Brennan survive? - Greg Pollowitz

Obama Foreign Policy Watch: Updates on Israel, Ukraine, and Libya

Via Multiple Sources:

Israel

Times of IsraelFrom tunnels to R-160s, a primer on Hamas and its deadly capabilities

Reuters: Israel must be probed for war crimes by world powers, UN rights chief says

HaaretzBritish PM: Two-state solution beginning to look impossible

New York TimesQuest for demilitarization of Gaza is seen getting Netanyahu only so far

And from Twitter, maybe the UN should tell Hamas to stop storing rockets in UNRWA facilities:

Ukraine

BBC News: Forensic scientists reach jet crash site

The Moscow TimesSeparatists’ faults my give Putin a way out

Kyiv Post: G7 leaders: Russia’s aggression against Ukraine ‘unacceptable and violate international law’

Evidence collection at this point has to take a back seat to recovering the bodies of the murdered:

Libya

NBC News: Deadly Libya violence pushes country toward ‘failed state’

New York Times: Don’t abandon Libya

Libya Monitor:

 

 

 

Weird. All bad news for the president. Maybe next week will be better! - Greg Pollowitz

Lois Lerner Called Some Republicans ‘***holes’ and ‘Crazies’ in Newly Released Emails

Via Fox News:

House Republicans have dug up emails from Lois Lerner in which the former IRS official refers to some in the Republican Party as “—holes” and “crazies” – an exchange they say shows her “animus” toward conservatives.

The November 2012 emails were released Wednesday by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., as part of his renewed call for the Justice Department to appoint a special counsel to investigate. Lerner is the ex-IRS official who led the unit accused of targeting conservative groups seeking tax-exempt status for extra scrutiny.

In the email exchange, Lerner appears to be chatting with another unidentified individual about a vacation in Great Britain. She describes how she overheard “some ladies” talking about how America is “going down the tubes.”

The person she tells this to responds that “you should hear the whacko wing of the GOP. The US is through; too many foreigners sucking the teat; time to hunker down, buy ammo and food, and prepare for the end. The right wing radio shows are scary to listen to.”

Lerner responds: “Great. Maybe we are through if there are that many —holes.”

After another email to her about how “rabid” the radio show callers are, Lerner responds: “So we don’t need to worry about alien teRrorists. (sic) It’s our own crazies that will take us down.”. . .

And sill no DOJ investigation. - Greg Pollowitz

Hamas Rockets Found in Third UNRWA School

Via Times of Israel:

A UN aid agency for Palestinian refugees said Tuesday that a stockpile of Hamas rockets was found in one of UNRWA’s Gaza schools — for the third time since the onset of Operation Protective Edge.

The incident, however, was not publicized by UNRWA on its website or official Twitter feed, or that of its spokesperson.

In its press release, UNRWA’s spokesperson said that the discovery was made during a routine inspection of the school, “which was closed for the summer and not being used as a shelter.”

“All the relevant parties have been notified,” UNRWA said, without elaborating which parties. Hamas, the terror group that controls the Gaza Strip, has launched over 2,000 of rockets at Israel in the past month. 

“We condemn the group or groups who endangered civilians by placing these munitions in our school,” said UNRWA Spokesperson, Chris Gunness. “This is yet another flagrant violation of the neutrality of our premises. We call on all the warring parties to respect the inviolability of UN property.”. . .

The UN would have us believe that the rockets are only stored at the school during summer break? - Greg Pollowitz

Chicago Solves it Budgetary Woes with -- Wait For It -- New Taxes!

Via Chicago Sun Times:

Desperate to avoid a pre-election property tax increase, Chicago aldermen advanced an alternative Tuesday that could end up costing their constituents even more money: a 56 percent increase in the monthly surcharge tacked on to telephone bills.

Effective Sept. 1, the City Council’s Finance Committee agreed to raise the surcharge from $2.50 to $3.90–$1.40 more-per-month or $16.80-a-year–for every land line and cell phone in Chicago. The tax applied to pre-paid phones will rise from 7-to-9 percent, effective Oct. 1.

A family of four with four cell phones and a land-line would end up paying $84 in additional taxes each year. That’s $34-per-year more than the $50 price of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s original plan to raise property taxes by $250 million over a five-year period to shore up two of Chicago’s four city employee pension funds.

Emanuel assured Gov. Pat Quinn that he would steer clear of the property tax to meet the city’s new statutory obligations to put the Municipal Employees and Laborers pension funds on the road to financial health. . .

For all of Rahm and Co.'s talk of the 1%, this is a tax aimed squarely at th 99%. Bonus: Rahm gets to hide the tax in phone bills. - Greg Pollowitz

Hypocrisy Watch: De Blasio Voted for the ‘Poor Door’ Zoning He’s Now Against

Via New York Post:

Mayor Bill de Blasio and other officials denouncing “poor door” entrances for subsidized tenants in luxury buildings actually voted in favor of a measure that made such separation possible, a Post review found.

When the lengthy text of a zoning resolution was amended by the City Council in July 2009, then-Councilman de Blasio — who arrived late to the meeting — was among the majority who voted “Aye.”

One provision said developers of market-rate condos could include affordable units on site, instead of off site, while allowing for the separation of a number of services that included the entrances.

But de Blasio’s vote didn’t stop City Hall officials last week from putting the blame for the controversial Extell Development project at 40 Riverside Blvd. — which will have a separate entrance for subsidized tenants — solely on former Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s team.

“The previous administration changed the law to enable this kind of development,” City Hall spokesman Wiley Norvell said last week.

Asked about the role of de Blasio and the council in approving the 2009 measure, administration officials said it was a single provision in a 104-page zoning change, which was otherwise beneficial. . .

I guess maybe next time he should read what he's voting for? -

Video: Watch ‘Spider-Man’ Attack a NYPD Officer

Via New York Post:

Meet your Un-Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man!

A panhandler dressed as the iconic webslinger repeatedly punched a cop in the face during a violent Times Square tussle Saturday afternoon, police said.

It had been just another routine day of bedlam at the Crossroads of the World, with crowds of costumed characters shaking down tourists for cash — until Spidey came out swinging in a caught-on-video outburst.

The not-so-Marvel-ous comic-book creature had been demanding $10 from tourists who wanted to pose for pictures, ­police said.

“Fives, tens, or 20s only,” he allegedly demanded.

It was at about 2 p.m. when a cop overheard the outrageous prices and confronted the superzero.

That’s when the angered arachnid went anarchic, sources said.

De Blasio's New York City is quickly becoming one where criminals think that small crimes aren't crimes at all. - Greg Pollowitz

Palestinians From Gaza Attack Israeli Village During ‘Truce Day’

Via Reuters:

Palestinian fighters slipped into an Israeli village from the Gaza Strip and fought a gun battle with troops on Monday as an unofficial truce called for the Muslim Eid al-Fitr festival disintegrated.

The clash, in which Israeli television said five gunmen were killed and the Islamist Hamas movement said it had killed 10 Israeli soldiers, appeared to wreck international hopes of turning a brief lull in fighting into a longer-term ceasefire.

After the infiltration at Nahal Oz, a kibbutz collective village due east of Gaza City, the Israeli army warned thousands of Palestinians to flee their homes in areas around Gaza City. Such warnings usually precede retaliatory strikes.

As night fell over Gaza, army flares illuminated the sky and the sound of intense shelling could be heard.

The incident was not the only breach of the fragile truce. Eight children and two adults were killed by a blast at a park in northern Gaza and four Israelis were reported to have been killed by cross-border Palestinian mortar fire.

Residents blamed the park explosion, which also wounded 40 adults, on an Israeli airstrike, but Israel said a misfiring rocket launched by Hamas militants had hit the public garden in the Beach refugee camp.

Israeli media said four Israelis were killed by a mortar round fired out of Gaza in a separate incident. The military declined immediate comment. . .

What a shock. - Greg Pollowitz

What Did Obama Know About the Rise of ISIS and When Did He Know It?

Via McClatchy:

Like the rest of the world, the U.S. government appeared to have been taken aback last month when Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, fell to an offensive by jihadis of the Islamic State that triggered the collapse of five Iraqi army divisions and carried the extremists to the threshold of Baghdad.

A review of the record shows, however, that the Obama administration wasn’t surprised at all.

In congressional testimony as far back as November, U.S. diplomats and intelligence officials made clear that the United States had been closely tracking the al Qaida spinoff since 2012, when it enlarged its operations from Iraq to civil war-torn Syria, seized an oil-rich province there and signed up thousands of foreign fighters who’d infiltrated Syria through NATO ally Turkey.

The testimony, which received little news media attention at the time, also showed that Obama administration officials were well aware of the group’s declared intention to turn its Syrian sanctuary into a springboard from which it would send men and materiel back into Iraq and unleash waves of suicide bombings there. And they knew that the Iraqi security forces couldn’t handle it.

The group’s operations “are calculated, coordinated and part of a strategic campaign led by its Syria-based leader, Abu Bakr al Baghadi,” Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Brett McGurk told a House committee on Feb. 5, four months before fighting broke out in Mosul. “The campaign has a stated objective to cause the collapse of the Iraqi state and carve out a zone of governing control in western regions of Iraq and Syria.”. . .

Wonderful. - Greg Pollowitz

U.S. Embassy Evacuated in Tripoli

Via Fox News:

The United States shut down its embassy in Libya Saturday and evacuated its diplomats to neighboring Tunisia under U.S. military escort amid a significant deterioration in security in Tripoli as fighting intensified between rival militias, the State Department said. 

“Due to the ongoing violence resulting from clashes between Libyan militias in the immediate vicinity of the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, we have temporarily relocated all of our personnel out of Libya,” spokeswoman Marie Harf said.

The withdrawal underscored the Obama administration’s concern about the heightened risk to American diplomats abroad, particularly in Libya where memories of the deadly 2012 attack on the U.S. mission in the eastern city of Benghazi are still vivid and the political uproar over it remain fresh ahead of a new congressional investigation into the incident. A senior military official told Fox News the Pentagon has been advising the State Department leave the post for weeks. . .

Another jewel for the president's foreign-policy crown. - Greg Pollowitz

Bye-Bye: Putin’s Daughter Has Left the Netherlands

Via New York Post:

Vladimir Putin’s daughter has fled her home in the Netherlands amongst overwhelming criticism from disgusted locals who demanded she be deported after the downing of Flight MH17.

“We have not seen her here since the plane went down,” a neighbor of Maria Putin told the British Mirror newspaper on Thursday, as 51 of the 193 bodies of Dutch victims were returned home.

The Russian president’s 29-year-old daughter had been living with her boyfriend Jorrit Faasen on the outskirts of Amsterdam, just 20 miles from the airport where the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines flight departed from. . .

Is the boyfriend still there I wonder? - Greg Pollowitz

War on Women: Obama Motorcade Delays Woman in Labor From Entering Hospital

Via NBC Los Angeles:

A pregnant woman in labor was prevented from crossing an LA street Wednesday afternoon because the road was closed for President Barack Obama’s motorcade.

The woman was seen sitting a bus stop bench on the south side of 3rd Street just east of Robertson Boulevard. She needed to cross to get to Cedars Sinai Medical Center.

NBC4’s Robert Kovacik shot video on his cell phone of a woman sitting at a bus stop bench and posted it to his Instagram account with the caption, “Woman in labor on bench as motorcade passes; not allowed to cross street to get to #CedarsSinai.”. . .

If only she had free birth control, this never would have happened. I kid, I kid. This really isn't the president's fault, but why do the cops on the scene not do anything for this woman? - Greg Pollowitz

New Book: Hillary Said Bill Was Abused by His Mother

Via NY Daily News:

A year after the Monica Lewinsky scandal shook the presidency, Hillary Clinton told an interviewer that Bill Clinton’s mother abused him and caused his sex addiction, an explosive new book claims.

The comments were made to Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Lucinda Franks in a 1999 interview — and Franks admits in her new memoir that she watered them down for publication.

The Daily News obtained galleys of the memoir, due out next month, in which Franks — the wife of former Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau — reveals that she published only part of the interview in her story for Tina Brown’s short-lived Talk magazine and focused on the conflict between the President’s mother and grandmother rather than the abuse itself.

In her book, Franks recounts the comments she earlier suppressed — in which Hillary Clinton blames Bill’s mother Virginia Kelley for ruining her son’s childhood.

She was a “doozy,” Hillary said, according to the book. . .

Maybe Hillary can say she doesn't remember ever saying this because of her concussion? - Greg Pollowitz

Chinese City Quarantined for Bubonic Plague

Via AP:

Parts of a northern Chinese city have been quarantined after state media said a man there died of bubonic plague.

China’s official Xinhua News Agency said Tuesday that 151 people were under observation in the city of Yumen in Gansu province after authorities determined they had come in contact with a man who died of the plague July 16.

Investigators believe the man contracted the bacterial infection after contact with a marmot, Xinhua said. . .

The Max Brooks prophecy is coming true?

- Greg Pollowitz

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