The Invention of Adolescence*
Enslaving the population with their approval…
The Invention of Adolescence*
Enslaving the population with their approval…
Thousands of U.K. Parents to take Children out of School in Protest*
By Rachael Pells
Parents across England are preparing to take their children out of school for a day of protest over “unnecessary” new examinations and a lack of creative learning within the primary school curriculum.
The protest, organised by anonymous members of the Let Our Kids Be Kids campaign, comes as head teachers warn that children as young as six are becoming anxious and stressed over National Curriculum tests (SATs).
Almost 30,000 people have signed a petition in favour of the SATs boycott on Tuesday May 3, with thousands pledging to take part in a day of “fun learning out of school” with their children to promote the value of creative outdoor learning.
In an open letter to Education Secretary Nicky Morgan, campaigners said their children’s mental health was at risk from the stress of sitting exams too young.
“Children as young as six are labelling themselves failures and crying about going to school,” the letter said.
“All year, their curriculum has been centred around comprehension and arithmetic in order to pass these tests.
”Outdoor learning has decreased, childhood anxiety has increased, games have been replaced with grammar, playing with punctuation.”
“We want an end to SATs now.”
In May, Year 2 pupils are due to sit a week’s worth of exams as part of government testing policies. The new curriculum has been met with concern by teaching unions who have called for Key Stage 1 and 2 SATs to be suspended.
One campaign organiser said as many as 50% of children in some schools are expected to take part in Tuesday’s “strike” action.
“We’re doing this as a group of parents and teachers who are just fed up,” she said.
“Teachers will still be working, and there may of course be some parents who think it’s not for them but that’s ok. We’re doing this to show our support for teachers who are speaking out against the new test requirements.”
More than 10,000 people have posted details on group Facebook pages of around 200 events planned for parents around the country to attend with their children during Tuesday’s boycott.
The “alternative learning” events include picnics, visits to wildlife reserves, woodland trails and arts activities.
Campaign leaders said that the majority of head teachers were understanding of the boycott day, with one school in Newcastle Hotspur set to take all of their pupils out of school for the whole day.
One parent said:
“My children will be striking, not just for themselves but for every child in the country who has to suffer a curriculum which is slowly becoming so narrow and yet so hard that learning is becoming a chore”.
An anonymous teacher added:
“The current assessment arrangements and the culture of testing goes against my principles and beliefs. I will not stand by and watch this Government destroy education. I fully support parents and believe that together we have strength.”
Let Kids Be Kids have prepared template letters for those wishing to protest to present to their head teachers, but schools have warned they could face fines for taking children out of school without permission.
A Department for Education spokesman said:
”We know mastering the basics of literacy and numeracy at primary school has a huge impact on how well children do at GCSE, which is why we are determined to raise standards.
“We have updated the Key Stage 2 tests to reflect our new, more rigorous curriculum, which will help every child fulfil their potential regardless of their circumstances.
”Tests help teachers identify and provide the support pupils need as well as giving parents a picture of how their child is doing.“
Nigerians Tell U.K. To Stop Money Laundering for Corrupt Individuals*
An army of 95 Nigerian civil society groups has banded together to demand that the United Kingdom end the country’s role as a safe haven for Nigeria’s looters.
The call comes in a letter sent to Prime Minister David Cameron yesterday as he prepares to host global leaders in London for the International Anti-Corruption Summit next month.
The conference is scheduled for May 12, and President Muhammadu Buhari, who was elected principally to combat runaway corruption in Nigeria, has been invited to attend.
The groups said they will ask the President to represent their views at the Summit, and that they will be prepared to further its outcomes once commitments have been made.
They told Prime Minister Cameron:
“The leadership you have taken on fighting corruption has seen the world begin to grasp the devastating effects of corruption, not only for human development and economic prosperity but also in contributing to violent conflict and mass migration, which in turn feed the cycle of poverty and corruption.”
Citing Nigeria as one of those countries that have most bitterly suffered the impact, the groups noted that despite the blessings of nature which endowed the nation with abundant oil wealth, its infrastructure is deplorable.
“Classrooms overflow while teachers go underpaid and parents are forced to give “gifts” to ensure their children get attention; police officers spend their time shaking down motorists or locking them up on some spurious pretext so as to extort a few naira. It is because of these abuses that the people of Nigeria participated with unparalleled energy in the 2015 presidential election. Now we are embarked on a nationwide anti-corruption campaign.”
They declared those efforts to be “sadly undermined” if countries such as the U.K. are welcoming Nigeria’s corrupt to hide their ill-gotten gains in its luxury homes, department stores, car dealerships, private schools and anywhere else that will accept their cash with no questions asked.
“The role of London’s property market as vessels to conceal stolen wealth has been exposed in court documents, reports, documentaries and more,” the letter said.
“The problem is clear, now is time to do something about it.”
They drew attention to several Nigerian officials named in the Panama Papers, including the allegation that Nigeria Senate President Bukola Saraki, who has dual British/Nigeria citizenships, has an undeclared £5.7 million property in his wife’s name in London, saying it raises concerns about how it was possible to hide undeclared wealth in the U.K. property market.
They described the summit as an opportunity for the major financial centres to finally acknowledge the role they are playing in perpetuating corruption, pointing out the irony that the countries that pride themselves on their own lack of corruption are the very ones providing most of the corruption services to Nigeria’s corrupt officials.
“Corruption is not an issue limited to developing countries or the global south,” they said. “It’s a truly international problem. We hope your summit will help bring about real change and raise the ambition of anti-corruption efforts around the world.”
U.S. Troops Illegally in Syria*
By H. Said
Syria asserted on Thursday that the entry of 150 U.S. troops into Syrian territory is totally rejected and illegitimate.
“We received with deep concern the news that 150 U.S. troops have entered the Syrian territory into Rmeilan area,” an official source at the Foreign and Expatriates Ministry said in a statement to SANA.
The source expressed Syria’s strong condemnation of this move, dismissing it as a “blatant act of aggression that constitutes a dangerous intervention and a gross violation of the Syrian sovereignty.”
“This intervention is rejected and illegitimate, and it happened without the Syrian government’s approval,” the source said, reiterating that this move transgresses against the international laws and conventions as it is a “direct attack” that violates the Syrian territory.
While stressing its total rejection of this act of aggression, Syria calls on the international community to take all necessary measures to stop it, the source noted.
‘Israeli Extremists Backed by Security Forces’ Stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque Four Times during Passover Week*
Israeli police accompany Jews past the Dome of the Rock mosque during a visit to the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in the Old City of Jerusalem on April 25, 2016 during the Jewish Pesach (Passover) holiday.
Israeli settlers reportedly backed by security forces have stormed the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem for the fourth time since the beginning of the Passover week. They shouted racist slogans and attempted to conduct religious rituals forbidden at the site.
A new string of clashes erupted at the Al-Aqsa mosque, a major holy site for Muslims and Jews, on Wednesday as far-right Israeli settlers under heavy protection from police broke into the mosque, local media reported. Two groups of around 50 men were said to have shouted racist and provocative slogans and attempted to pray although it is forbidden for Jewish people to do so at the site.
A number of Israelis and Palestinians were detained for violating the site’s regulations since the first day of Passover. The clashes were first reported on Friday when Israeli settlers stormed the mosque and took a baby goat to the site to carry out a sacrificial ritual. Police managed to prevent the procedure by arresting at least seven people.
A number of arrests were also made this week.
“Israel Police escorted roughly 1,050 people to the Temple Mount, including 885 tourists and over 100 Israelis, and during the visit 13 were removed from the area for not behaving according to the security measures that were implemented,” said Micky Rosenfeld, a police spokesman, the Jerusalem Post reported on Sunday.
“Police also had to move out of the area Palestinians who were chanting ‘Allahu Akhbar’, but no other incidents took place, and no one was injured or arrested,” he said.
On Tuesday ultra-nationalist Israelis allegedly beat up the site’s guards and threatened to slaughter them, according to local media.
“Israeli settlers stormed Al-Aqsa Mosque this morning under the protection of the Israeli police. They beat the guards and threatened to slaughter them,” spokesman of the Public Relations Department in the Jerusalem Islamic Awqaf Firas Al-Dibs said as quoted by Middle East Monitor.
According to the spokesman, the settlers said “we will slaughter you during our festivals instead of goats”.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced last week Israel would heighten security around the site during Passover in order to prevent “riots.”
“As Passover approaches, all sorts of extremists will spread lies about our policy concerning the Temple Mount,” he said.
On Sunday in a statement given to Petra news agency, Jordan’s Sate Minister for Media Affairs condemned the storming of the Al-Aqsa mosque by Israeli settlers and police, saying that such actions are a violation of international law and will lead to serious consequences. He demanded that Israeli security forces immediately halt such practices and deny entry to Israeli settlers approaching the site, and called for the removal of Israeli security forces from the area.
Two People Involved in Flint Water Investigation Found Dead*
The Flint Water Treatment Plant Foreman (an important part of the investigation) and a woman leading the Flint lead poisoning lawsuit were both found dead in less than a week.
Everything about the Flint water crisis is as toxic and disgusting as the water that is being pumped into Flint homes. From the crass negligence that allowed such an insidious thing to happen, to the lack of will to fix it in timely fashion – not to mention the obvious attempts at covering up the truth: The situation is poisonous. And that poison could easily spread across America.
This is not simply a water cleanliness issue. It is about allowing parts of America to devolve into toxic cesspools, where problems are “solved” with underhanded police-state tactics. In the span of a few weeks, crucial files mysteriously disappeared from the Flint city hall, the Water Treatment Plant Foreman died suddenly at age 43 and a woman leading the lawsuit against Flint was murdered in her home.
The Flint water crisis began exactly two years ago, on April 2014, when Flint changed its water source from treated Detroit Water and Sewerage Department water to the Flint River – to which officials had failed to apply corrosion inhibitors. Almost immediately, Flint residents complained about the water’s colour, taste and odour. In the following months, numerous water issues arose, with little to no governmental action to fix them.
Far from taking decisive action, governments denied that the water was toxic.
“While the local outcry about Flint water quality was growing in early 2015, Flint water officials filed papers with state regulators purporting to show that “tests at Flint’s water treatment plant had detected no lead and testing in homes had registered lead at acceptable levels.” The documents falsely claimed that the city had tested tap water from homes with lead service lines, and therefore the highest lead-poisoning risks; in reality; the city does not know the locations of lead service lines, which city officials acknowledged in November 2015 after the Flint Journal/MLive published an article revealing the practice after obtaining documents through the Michigan Freedom of Information Act.” – Robin Erb, Flint doctor makes state see light about lead in water
The net result is that over 10,000 children (mostly Black) were exposed to water contaminated with lead. Lead poisoning has devastating effects on the brain:
“Childhood lead exposure causes a reduction in intellectual functioning and IQ, academic performance, and problem-solving skills, and an increased risk of attention deficit disorder, aggression, and hyperactivity. According to studies, children with elevated levels of lead in the blood are more likely as adults to commit crimes, be imprisoned, be unemployed or underemployed, or be dependent on government services.” – Julie Mack, Lead levels elevated for thousands of Michigan children outside of Flint
A massive investigation is now underway and lawsuits are being filed. And things are turning uglier.
Now that the federal government opened an investigation on the issue, news emerging from Flint is downright sordid.
First, in March, important documents went missing, the police openly admits that it was an inside job, and that the crime will most likely remain unresolved.
Days before the federal government opened an investigation into the Flint water crisis, someone broke into a vacant City Hall office full of documents related to the embattled Michigan city’s water system.
Nearly three months later, officials have confirmed that a TV went missing, but little else is known, according to the Flint Journal.
Without suspects or a firm handle on what else may have been swiped, authorities told the paper last week that the crime may remain unsolved.
No warrants have been issued in the case, but officials don’t shy away from speculative statements that stop just short of conspiracy theories.
“It was definitely an inside job,” police chief Tim Johnson told the Journal.
“The power cord (to the TV) wasn’t even taken. The average drug user knows that you’d need the power cord to be able to pawn it.”
“It was somebody that had knowledge of those documents that really wanted to keep them out of the right hands, out of the hands of someone who was going to tell the real story of what’s going on with Flint water.”
Days before the federal government opened an investigation into the Flint water crisis, someone broke into a vacant City Hall office full of documents related to the embattled Michigan city’s water system. – Washington Post, The mystery surrounding missing water files at Flint City Hall: ‘It was definitely an inside job’
On April 16th, Water Treatment Plant Foreman Matthew McFarland (who had been interviewed regarding the water crisis) was found dead at the young age of 43. Cause of death? Unknown.
Water Treatment Plant Foreman Matthew McFarland, 43, of Otter Lake died suddenly on Saturday, April 16, according to his obituary.
The Lapeer County Sheriff’s Department said a friend found McFarland unresponsive at a home in Otter Lake. There were no signs of foul play.
An autopsy did not determine a cause of death and police are awaiting toxicology reports. The investigation remains open.
“My thoughts and prayers go out to Matt’s co-workers, his family and especially his children,” said Flint Mayor Karen Weaver.
“He worked for the City of Flint for more than 18 years and we thank him for his devotion and service.”
“We all have been brought together by this water crisis and we are all mourning his death,” Weaver said in a statement.
“In lieu of flowers, the family has expressed they would appreciate donations to establish a fund for (his children) Vance and Ella’s college expenses.”
McFarland’s death comes as Flint’s water plant deals with news that Flint Utilities Manager Michael Glasgow is one of three men facing criminal charges in connection with the city’s water crisis.
Glasgow is accused of tampering with evidence when he allegedly changed testing results to show there was less lead in city water than there actually was. He is also charged with wilful neglect of office.
Michigan Department of Environmental Quality employees Stephen Busch and Michael Prysby are charged with misconduct in office, conspiracy to tamper with evidence, tampering with evidence and violations of the Michigan Safe Drinking Water Act.
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s office confirmed that McFarland was previously interviewed as part of its ongoing investigation into the city’s water crisis. – mlive, Flint water plant continues to reel with sudden death of foreman
A few days later, a 19-year old woman leading the Flint water crisis lawsuit was found shot dead in her home. A culprit was arrested. Was he a patsy?
A woman at the centre of a bellwether Flint water crisis lawsuit was one of two women who were shot to death inside a townhouse earlier this week.
Sasha Avonna Bell was one of the first of a growing number of people to file a lawsuit in connection to the Flint water crisis after she claimed that her child had been lead poisoned.
Bell was found dead April 19 in the 2600 block of Ridgecrest Drive at the Ridgecrest Village Townhouses. Sacorya Renee Reed was also found shot to death in the home.
An unharmed 1-year-old child was also found inside of the Ridgecrest home when Bell’s body was discovered and was taken into custody by child protective services. Police declined to confirm if it was Bell’s child discovered in the home.
“Sasha was a lovely young woman who cared deeply for her family, and especially for her young child,” said her attorney Corey M. Stern.
“Her tragic and senseless death has created a void in the lives of so many people that loved her. Hopefully, her child will be lifted up by the love and support from everyone who cared deeply for Sasha.”
Bell’s case was one of 64 lawsuits filed on behalf of 144 children by Stern’s firm, New York-based Levy Konigsberg, and Flint-based Robinson Carter & Crawford.
The lawsuit named six companies that had various responsibilities with respect to the treatment, monitoring, and safety of the Flint water prior to and during the Flint water crisis, according to her attorneys. The case also named three individual government, or former government, employees who played significant roles in the alleged misconduct that led to the alleged poisoning of thousands of children in Flint, her attorneys claim.
The Bell case, however, played an important role in determining the future of the more than five dozen other lawsuits that were filed. – mlive, Woman in leading Flint water crisis lawsuit slain in twin killing
Everything about this story is revolting and dirty facts are emerging from everywhere. However, mass media largely ignores this story. Those that do are flooded with comments about “tin foil hats” and “conspiracy nutters”. It is as if shills are paid kill that story online … or maybe that poisonous lead has already done its debilitating, mind-numbing job.
Ancient Text Reveals Ibn Sina’s Sighting of Supernova*
By Bob YirkaA trio of German researches has uncovered evidence of the Arabic scholar Ibn Sina’s sighting of supernova 1006 (SN 1006). The new evidence will sit alongside that of others around that globe that reported details of what has been described as the brightest stellar event ever recorded by human beings. In their paper uploaded to the preprint server arXiv, Ralph Neuhaeuser, Carl Ehrig-Eggert and Paul Kunitzsch describe the text under study, their translation of it and the relevance of the information recorded by the ancient skygazer.
Ibn Sina was a Persian scientist and philosopher, who as part of his observations, travelled a lot and wrote about what he saw, along with his interpretations of subjects ranging from medicine to astronomy. It was one of those texts, called Kitab al-Shifa, about physics, meteorology, and especially astronomy that caught the attention of the researchers—most particularly a section that described a bright object appearing in the sky in the year 1006. The section had been studied before, but the account had been attributed to a discussion of a comet. In this latest look, the researchers suggest that the description was actually that of SN 1006. In addition to the timing, the detailed description, they note, sounds more like the sudden appearance of an exploding star. In their translation, Sina describes an object that was very bright and that changed colour over time before fading away—even noting at one point that the object threw out sparks.
SN 1006 was noted and described by others around the world, from places as far-flung as Morocco, Japan, Yemen and China, but none of those descriptions included information about the object changing colours. Sina wrote that the object started out as faint greenish-yellow, that it twinkled a lot, especially at its brightest, and that it became whitish before it disappeared altogether.
Most modern astronomers believe that SN 1006 was not just a Ia supernova (which occur when a white dwarf is pulled into another star causing it to blow up due to the overabundance of matter), but that it was the result of two white dwarfs colliding. This new information from an ancient part-time astronomer, the researchers suggest, may help to better understand an event that occurred over a thousand years ago.
More information: An Arabic report about supernova SN 1006 by Ibn Sina (Avicenna) arXiv:1604.03798 [astro-ph.SR] arxiv.org/abs/1604.03798v1