Archive | December 17, 2016

FBI Shuts Down Two Entire Police Depts. over for Massive Drug Dealing*

FBI Shuts Down Two Entire Police Depts. over for Massive Drug Dealing*

A massive raid was carried out by the FBI on Thursday of Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Hammond Police Department. The raids were part of a year-long investigation into a U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency task force accused of a massive conspiracy to rob drug dealers and profit from selling the stolen narcotics.

According to the Advocate, two former members of the New Orleans-based task force — both of whom worked for the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office — are facing federal charges, and one pleaded guilty earlier this year to state drug conspiracy charges.

During the raids on Thursday, both departments were completely shut down as FBI agents seized computers, cellphones and case files. The raids involved an earlier investigation the Free Thought Project reported on in March.

After Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office Deputy and DEA task force member Johnny Domingue took a plea deal and began rolling over on his co-conspirators, the FBI has nabbed more crooked cops.

Before he started selling out his fellow criminal DEA cops, Domingue acknowledged that drugs had been stolen “with the dual purpose of ingesting them and selling them for profit.” He also admitted to selling cocaine that had been stored in evidence bags at the DEA’s office in Metairie.

During the raid on Dominque’s house in January, authorities found a whopping 300 grams of cocaine hydrochloride, oxycodone pills, methadone, Xanax and “a voluminous number of manila envelopes that contained additional prescription medications,” according to court documents.

According to the Advocate, the materials taken during Thursday’s raids included a computer from the office of Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Daniel Edwards, said one law enforcement official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to discuss the operation. Edwards is the brother of Gov. John Bel Edwards.

“They’re basically treating these buildings like crime scenes,” the official said.

When multiple police departments are treated like crime scenes there might be a problem.

“The investigation is ongoing, with many more investigative actions to take place,” Jeffrey Sallet, the special agent in charge of the FBI’s New Orleans office, told reporters.

As the Advocate reports, Thursday’s searches marked an escalation of the misconduct investigation, which has been steeped in secrecy for months as investigators dug into the background of several task force members, including Chad Scott, a longtime DEA agent.

The investigation into Scott goes back decades, as this corrupt cop, who’s since been stripped of his badge, is accused of manipulating witnesses in murder cases as well as leading the crooked drug task force who robbed people and sold drugs.

In fact, as reported by the Advocate, Scott helped to create a pipeline of task force officers who began their careers in Tangipahoa Parish, having recruited Domingue and others to join the narcotics team.

Scott was literally building his own gang of criminal cops.

On Thursday, the FBI refused to elaborate on why they raided the Hammond Police Department. However, DEA task force member, Karl Newman worked for the department. In March, Newman was implicated in the drug and cash conspiracy and is currently facing charges, including robbery and possession with intent to distribute cocaine and Oxycodone.

What this case illustrates is the criminal incentive created by the war on drugs and the monopoly of power granted specifically to those tasked with carrying it out. Making arbitrary substances illegal, and then tasking individuals with the control of those substances creates a temptation of easy money that is hard to pass up.

This case is hardly isolated as this scenario is but a broken record of corruption, playing over and over again in departments across the country.

As the Free Thought Project reported in January, a California police officer was busted after driving 247 pounds of marijuana all the way across the country. Yuba County Deputy Christopher M. Heath was caught in York, Pennsylvania with a shipment of marijuana that was worth over $2 million.

This cases were similar as Heath was an officer on a narcotics task force, meaning that he was responsible for putting nonviolent people in prison for using and selling drugs as well. Meanwhile, he was selling drugs and taking part in the same actions that he was locking people up for. State hypocrisy at its worst.

Source*

Related Topics:

Citizens Reclaim their Town from Corrupt Cops

Dozens of Cops Implicated in Suit for “Trafficking, Raping, Victimizing” Underage “Sex Slave”*

NYPD Officials, Prominent Jewish Business Men in Bribery Corruption Scandal*

Feds Seize Student’s Life Savings on Trumped-up Charge; Judge Makes Them Give It Back — with Interest*

Police Now Illegally Seize More Money than the Criminals*

Entire Police Dept Busted Laundering Millions for International Drug Cartels*

 

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How the Gullah/Geechee Nations Are Fighting Against Culture Vultures Set on Destroying Them*

How the Gullah/Geechee Nations Are Fighting Against Culture Vultures Set on Destroying Them*

 

By Feathers Scott

The Gullah/Geechee Nation, whose population spans the southern Atlantic coastline in rural communities, is the only group of African-Americans that have retained West African culture as it was when Africans were first brought to the United States as slaves.

Unfortunately for people of Gullah/Geechee descent, however, the deep satisfaction of holding on to their rich heritage and direct African connection has come with twice as much despair.

Photo credit: Jen Wilson Photo

 

In the past few decades, both the Gullah/Geechee’s culture and their land have become a bull’s-eye target for gentrifiers, real estate developers, large corporate entities and culture vultures alike. To make matters worse, Gullah/Geechee coastline communities also are being adversely affected by climate-change issues such as hurricanes and rising sea levels. Community leaders have been working tirelessly to safeguard what remains of their land and culture from these disasters — both natural and man-made — but it is proving to be an uphill battle on all fronts.

I had the opportunity to speak with the nation’s Matriarch, Marquetta Goodwine — also known as “Queen Quet”  — on how the Gullah/Geechee are being impacted by all of these issues, as well as the fallout from the recent Revelry Brewing Co. scandal.

First, Queen Quet made it clear that when referencing the nation, always cite it as “Gullah/Geechee.” She said using only “Gullah” or “Geechee” or using “Gullah Geechee” without the slash negates the solidarity of the group as a whole. This is one of the reasons members of the Gullah/Geechee community consider the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor a “mock” organization of academics and politicians, many of whom have no blood ties to the Gullah/Geechee. There also is empirical evidence that this organization has been the catalyst for some troubles that the Gullah/Geechee face, such as the Revelry Brewing Co. scandal.

In late September of this year, a Charleston, S.C., company, Revelry Brewing Co., came under fire from the Gullah/Geechee nation for its “Gullah Creme Ale” beer. Unbeknownst to nation, the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor had given the company permission to use the name in exchange for passing out their brochures.

Dr. J. Herman Blake, executive director of the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor, had this to say in response to criticism of the group’s actions: “The word ‘Gullah’ is not owned by anybody.”

Blake met with Revelry Brew Co. before the product was finalized and claimed the company had good intentions, according to CBS News Charleston.

Though he is the executive director of the GGCHC, Blake is originally from Mount Vernon, New York, and, according to many academic sources, only began studying the Gullah/Geechee in college. He also has no Gullah/Geechee ancestry. This holds true for other executive members of the organization, as well. Most of them are transplants and not of Gullah/Geechee descent, according to the website. That fact confirms at least some of the claims and suspicions about the organization made by Gullah/Geechee community members.

Revelry’s website says that proceeds from Gullah Creme Ale will go toward the Gullah Geechee Cultural Heritage Corridor and other awareness initiatives, but, according to Gullah/Geechee members, the initiative has not benefited their particular community in any way.

Queen Quet said Revelry Brewing Co. officials wrote her a letter in which they apologized and expressed regret for working with the GGCHC. However, they did not rebrand the beer, as Queen Quet and the Gullah/Geechee nation’s Wisdom Circle Council of Elders had advised.

Heirs’ Property and Heritage Loss

The beer scandal, however, pales in comparison to the ongoing deluge of legal battles the Gullah/Geechee have faced concerning what is known as “heirs’ property,” which is mostly rural land that was bought during the Civil War and passed down through the years, often with no formal documentation like a will or deed.

Image Credit: Gullah/Geechee Men Reenacting History (Mary Ellen Junda)

 

South Carolina lawmakers claim that heirs’ property owners were given 10 years to resolve the issues and further their ownership, but most of the Gullah/Geechee were either uninformed, unable to financially afford the legal counsel or just flat-out distrustful of the legal system itself. Although Gullah/Geechee descendants without documentation can buy their land, it must go up for auction first and when it does, a third party can step in and buy the heirs’ interest. This is known as a “land grab” and many of the Gullah/Geechee have lost acres of heirs’ property for less than $1,000 through this process.

In lieu of this heirs’ property issue, many bandits have been able to take advantage of the forever-expanding loopholes of heirs’ property ownership, according to the Center for Heirs’ Property.

Hilton Head Island real estate developer Adolf D. Brown is the founder of Heirsproperty.com, which purports to help people with heirs’ property matters “realize its full potential,” according to the website. According to VICE, his dealings in the Gullah/Geechee communities aren’t living up to those promises. Brown moved to South Carolina from New York City after finding out that he had inherited heirs’ property from his mother’s side of the family. Since then, he has helped to make way for gentrification and development in the area.

In his defense, Brown told VICE News, “The world changes. You have to be progressive or you will get run over.” He also told VICE that he felt the only real solution for the Gullah/Geechee communities was for them to develop the land.

Larger entities also have used heirs’ property loopholes to force individual heirs to sell their shares, since each family member usually has a share and an heirs’ property could be divided into tens or hundreds of shares, based upon family size. According to the Center for Heirs’ Property, many of the Gullah/Geechee rely too much on legal morality and goodwill and come into the center believing they are the rightful owners of the property when, in reality, they’re not. Resolving these legal issues can take months, sometimes years, to accomplish, according to the center.

The Closing of Gullah/Geechee Waterways

Image Credit: Gullah/Geechee Fisherman (New York Times)

 

Khetnu Nefer, a Johns Island, S.C., native, has witnessed firsthand the slow but relentless destruction of her community. Her grandmother was the community herbalist, which inspired Nefer to start her own wellness practice, A Soulful Touch.

“We were solely reliant upon the land,” she recalled.

She admitted she often reminisces about her youth, when her Gullah/Geechee family had full access to the waterways that are now being used as resorts. She says they were able to feed their entire community for months at a time with the food they caught.

According to Nefer, the gentrification and development of South Carolina’s Sea Island region is so devastating that people are now forced to travel more than 5 miles to the nearest supermarket. She lamented that many of the fishing areas are now gated waterfront properties or golf courses.

Nefer despaired that so very many people have been displaced and that real estate developers have knowingly built properties over graveyards that contain both enslaved people and their Gullah/Geechee descendants.

How the Gullah/Geechee Are Planning to Move Forward

Image Credit: Gullah/Geechee Basket Weaving

The Gullah/Geechee Sea Island Coalition has been working tirelessly for over 20 years to preserve its West African heritage by any means necessary. The coalition’s head, Queen Quet has been traveling the world to educate about Gullah/Geechee culture and has attended many United Nations conferences addressing their concerns, as well. She recently attended a Human Rights UN conference in Marrakech, Morocco, that addressed the climate change issues in South Carolina’s Low Country.

In the meantime, she encourages everyone to support authentic communities, tours and activities to know the true wonder that is the Gullah/Geechee experience. (Community members have expressed outrage that the GGCHC and other similar organizations hire Black Americans who aren’t a part of the Gullah/Geechee nation to perform as if they are members when they host events and tourism campaigns.)

Queen Quet: “We da binya an ain da gwine nowhey!”

Ways To Support/Stay Updated On The Gullah/Geechee Nation:

Source*

Related Topics:

The Taino of the Caribbean: the People Who Do Not Exist

The Guarani: Reclaiming One’s Conditions of Life

Danny Glover: Venezuela Vindicating Afro-descendents*

Black and Afro-Indigenous Farmers Will Share 2015 Food Sovereignty Prize*

CIA Plot to Exterminate Haitian Population Exposed*

14+ U.S. Coalition Military Officers Captured by Syrian Special Forces in East Aleppo Bunker*

14+ U.S. Coalition Military Officers Captured by Syrian Special Forces in East Aleppo Bunker*

By Patrick Henningsen and Vanessa Beeley

Syrian Army soldier holds up Al Nusra Front (al Qaeda in Syria) flag in the Umayyed Mosque, Old City, after government troop liberated terrorist-occupied East Aleppo this week (Image: Vanessa Beeley for 21st Century Wire)

 

According to two reports coming out of Aleppo today, at least 14 U.S. Coalition military officers were captured this morning in an East Aleppo bunker by Syrian Special Forces.

This story was quietly leaked by Voltaire.net, who announced, “The Security Council is sitting in private on Friday, December 16, 2016, at 17:00 GMT, while NATO officers were arrested this morning by the Syrian Special Forces in a bunker in East Aleppo.”

Fares Shehabi MP, a prominent Syrian Parliamentarian and head of Aleppo’s Chamber of Commerce published the names of the Coalition officers on his Facebook page on the 15th December (emphasis added):

Mutaz Kanoğlu – Turkey
David Scott Winer – USA
David Shlomo Aram – Israel
Muhamad Tamimi – Qatar
Muhamad Ahmad Assabian – Saudi
Abd-el-Menham Fahd al Harij – Saudi
Islam Salam Ezzahran Al Hajlan – Saudi
Ahmed Ben Naoufel Al Darij – Saudi
Muhamad Hassan Al Sabihi – Saudi
Hamad Fahad Al Dousri – Saudi
Amjad Qassem Al Tiraoui – Jordan
Qassem Saad Al Shamry – Saudi
Ayman Qassem Al Thahalbi – Saudi
Mohamed Ech-Chafihi El Idrissi – Moroccan

In addition to Voltaire.net, the other original report was provided by Damascus-based Syrian journalist Said Hilal Alcharifi. According to Alcharifi, captured “NATO” officers were from a number of member states including the U.S., France, Germany and Turkey, as well as Israel. Here is his statement (translated from French):



“Thanks to information received, Syrian authorities discovered the headquarters of high ranking western/NATO officers in the basement of an area in East Aleppo and have captured them alive. Some names have already been given to Syrian journalists, myself included. The nationalities are U.S., French, British, German, Israeli, Turkish, Saudi, Moroccan, Qatari etc. In light of their nationalities and their rank, I assure you that the Syrian government have a very important catch, which should enable them to direct negotiations with the countries that have tried to destroy them.”

Although these initial reports describe the individuals in question as “NATO” officers, it’s unlikely they would have been carrying NATO colors on a covert operation – and might be more accurately labeled as U.S/ Coalition officers. Note that early reports suggest that these are not standard ‘street rebel’ or jihadi terrorists but actual Coalition military personnel and field commanders.

21WIRE have also received unconfirmed reports yesterday that militants had fired a missile into Ramousa area and then tried, unsuccessfully, to get cars out of East Aleppo. It’s possible this incident could be related to today reports of captured western operatives.

This report from the Syrian Arab News Agency (emphasis added):

“The agreement on evacuating militants and weapons from the eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo city has been suspended after terrorist groups breached it, special sources told SANA correspondent in Aleppo.

The sources said that the suspension of the agreement will remain in place until obtaining guarantees that oblige the terrorist groups to abide by all the agreement’s provisions, stressing on the Syrian side’s full adherence to the agreement and its keenness to end the bloodshed and restore security and stability to the entire city of Aleppo.”

Earlier, SANA reporter said that the terrorist groups have breached the agreement as they smuggled heavy weapons, including TOW missiles, heavy machineguns and kidnapped people via the buses and cars transporting terrorists and their families towards the southwestern countryside of Aleppo city.

The reporter added that the terrorist groups fired shells and sniper bullets on the buses and ambulances at al-Ramousseh crossing, noting that the Syrian Arab Red Crescent (SARC) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) which are supervising the evacuation process had to withdraw all buses and cars from the crossing.

Over the past 24 hours, some 8079 terrorists and members of their families were evacuated on ten batches via busses and ambulances from the neighborhoods of Salah-Eddin, al-Ansari, al-Mashhad and al-Zibdiyeh to the southwest countryside of Aleppo city”

If true, then this latest news would also mean that both the Syrian and Russian governments would have additional leverage going forward in any bilateral negotiations with the U.S.-led Coalition.

If, however, this story is kept under wraps by NATO member governments and summarily blacked out by the U.S. and European media outlets, then it might indicate that a deal has been struck, albeit behind the scenes, for the return of captured NATO operatives in exchange for other concessions.

If today’s report from East Aleppo is accurate, this might also help explain the hysterical behavior by the U.S. State Department and western U.N. officials who have been demanding “an immediate ceasefire” – despite the fact that 99% of East Aleppo has already been liberated by Syrian government forces.

The western establishment hysterical reactions to Al Nusra’s defeat in Aleppo have included wild claims that the Syrian Army had ‘unleashed death squads,’ on its own residents in East Aleppo and were openly ‘executing women and children in the street,’ and ‘burning children in the street,’ as well what appear to be more fictional reports circulated in U.S. media mainly by Michael Weis of The Daily Beast via CNN, claiming that Syrian Army was committing “mass rape” against residents of East Aleppo. His article entitled, Women in Aleppo Choose Suicide Over Rape, Rebels Report, made a number of outlandish claims including:

“Activists and rebels in the besieged city say mass executions have begun and children are burned alive as Assad’s Iranian- and Russian-backed forces move in.”

Not surprisingly, aside from unnamed “U.N. sources”, Weiss claims to have got his information from none other than the discredited U.S. and U.K.-financed pseudo ‘NGO’ known as the White Helmets.

Back in September, numerous reports suggested that a western command centre located behind terrorist-held lines had been targeted and destroyed by a Russian missile strike. Prof Michel Chossudovsky wrote:

The U.S. and its allies had established a Field Operations Room in the Aleppo region integrated by intelligence personnel. Until it was targeted by a Russian missile attack on September 20,  this “semi-secret” facility was operated by U.S., British, Israeli, Turkish, Saudi and Qatari intelligence personnel.”  

This report was neither admitted, nor was it denied by U.S. Coalition sources at the time. However, one mainstream Israeli source, The Times of Israel, did report the incident.

For anyone who has been paying close attention to the Syrian Conflict, seeing NATO Special Forces or “contractors” working with ‘rebel’ or terrorist fighters inside of Syria is nothing unusual. Numerous reports have been filed of British soldiers assigned to fighting groups to help with training, strategy and logistics. In June 2016, The Telegraph admitted that British special forces were helping one rebel group, “… with logistics, like building defences to make the bunkers safe,” said one ‘rebel’ fighter. Other reports, including the LA Times which detailed CIA operations used to arm militants, including Al Nusra Front (al Qaeda in Syria) who were the terrorist force in charge in East Aleppo. Other revelations of U.S. covert involvement include The New York Times, and also information on U.S. (NATO by another name only) covert operations provided to the Wall Street Journal.

Throughout fighting in the Donbass in eastern Ukraine, during the period of May 2014 to the present, numerous incidents have been reported where NATO military soldiers and operatives have been both spotted, and captured by rebel forces, and in most cases these reports have been muted, more than likely because of ‘horse trading’ taking place as an extension of wider diplomacy.

Source*

Related Topics:

Most of the Terrorists in Aleppo were Turkish, Saudi (Israeli) Officers*

US-led Coalition Airstrikes Kill 60+ Civilians in Mosul*

U.S. Coalition Killed Civilians near Kirkuk*

U.S.-Led Coalition Hits Deir Ez-zor Again*

U.S. Coalition Air Strikes Kills 60 Civilians in Tokhar near Manbij, Syria*

Three Children, a Woman Killed by U.S.-led Coalition’s Airstrikes in Deir Ezzor*

Data Reveals Airstrikes on Syrian Hospital Launched by U.S.-Led Coalition*

U.K. – U.S. Responds to Aleppo Siege with More Sanctions against Syrian Civilians*

$17k per Month for Journalists Could Have Spent on the NHS was used for Fake News on Syria*

The “Free Syrian Army” Media Campaign is a British Government Operation*

British SAS Special Forces “Dressed Up as ISIS Rebels” Fighting Assad in Syria*

German Paper Admits Ghouta Sarin Attack in Syria Committed By U.S.- backed Al-Qaeda*

360,000 Foreign Nationals from Tens of States Fighting Alongside Terrorists in Syria*

U.S and French Warplanes Massacre Civilians in Syria on Phony Pretext of Combating ISIS*

Most of the Terrorists in Aleppo were Turkish, Saudi (Israeli) Officers*

Most of the Terrorists in Aleppo were Turkish, Saudi (Israeli) Officers*

A former advisor to the Syrian Media Minister disclosed that a large number of Turkish and Saudi officers had been battling against the Syrian government forces in the Eastern districts of Aleppo city shoulder to shoulder with Jeish al-Fatah coalition of terrorist groups.

Abdul Hadi Narsi told Arabic Sputnik a few hours before the start of the militants’ evacuation from Aleppo on Thursday evening that a large number of Saudi and Turkish officers had been leading war on the Syrian army in the Eastern neighborhoods of Aleppo city.

“Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan tries to transfer terrorists (in Aleppo) to Turkey,” Nasri added.

“The Syrian government has found out that there is a black box of the Saudi and Turkish officers and a diversity of intelligence services in the militant-held part of Eastern Aleppo city,” Nasri disclosed.

He further added that the terrorist groups told us that there are 1,000 militants (in their front) in order to prevent us from realizing the black box and other relevant information, but later presence of 5,000 militants (in their front) surprised us.

Nasri went on to say that Erdogan plans to transfer these militants to Turkey. The Turkish president’s decision is testifying that the entire affairs (related to the terrorists’ battle against the Syrian government in Aleppo) had been directed in Turkey, adding, “In the meantime, there are people (Turkish agents) in Syria that are leading affairs (war on Damascus). The Syrian army is currently tracking those people.”

Thousands of militants started evacuating Aleppo city Thursday afternoon in yet another landmark victory for the Syrian army and its allies, Iran, Hezbollah, Russia and Iraqi popular forces from al-Nujaba.

The Russian Defense Ministry announced on Thursday afternoon that the first group of militants, including 1,500 armed men and their families, left Eastern Aleppo on buses and ambulances under the ceasefire agreement.

The Defense Ministry said in a statement that ambulances and buses with militants leaving Aleppo were accompanied by Russian servicemen and Red Cross staff.

Also, the Russian Centre for Reconciliation in Syria said that the first convoy of buses with militants left Eastern Aleppo. The evacuation would take place in several stages. In the first stage, a sum of 1,500 militants, including most the wounded rebels and their family members, left Aleppo. A sum of 4,000 to 5,000 militants and an estimated number of 10,000 people who were said to be their family members were to leave Eastern Aleppo under the deal.

Meanwhile, the Russian General Staff said that the pullout of militants and their families through a humanitarian corridor began in Eastern Aleppo, adding that wounded militants would be evacuated by the Russian Reconciliation Centre with International Red Cross involvement.

 “To allow the militants leave the city, a 21km humanitarian corridor has been set up. Of those, 6km lie across Aleppo’s territories controlled by government troops and the other 15km to the West of the city go through militant-held areas,” Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov said.

He added that 20 buses and 10 ambulances were being used for the evacuation in addition to over 100 vehicles belonging to the militants themselves.

“Following the order of the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, President Vladimir Putin, the evacuation of 5,000 militants and members of their families from the Eastern districts of Aleppo has begun today,” the General added.

Also, Spokesperson for the ICRC in Syria, Ingy Sedky said that “we expected that during the day there would be around 250 wounded and critically wounded to be evacuated”, adding that, “the whole operation would take some time because it would require multiple rotations, but the operation was going as planned”.

Reports said that the militants who were preparing to evacuate Aleppo under an internationally-negotiated ceasefire deal opened fire on residential areas in Eastern Aleppo again as tens of buses arrived in their region to start their relocation to Idlib, after Turkey demanded to take them out to Northern Aleppo province to take part in the Euphrates Shield Operation.

Syria’s state TV reported on Thursday that terrorists restarted artillery attacks on residential areas in the Eastern districts of Aleppo city, breaching the truce once again.

The terrorists had also in a similar case earlier jeopardized the agreement on Tuesday night after they received some messages from Ankara about Turkey’s increasing pressures on Damascus through military intervention in Northern Aleppo province combined with the western states’ mounting pressures on Syria and its allies that accused the latter of war crimes in Eastern Aleppo. The ceasefire agreement that was reached on Tuesday went off after the terrorists violated its terms, making the warring sides to initiate a new round of talks that resulted in an agreement on Wednesday.

On Thursday and as tens of buses and ambulances were taking wounded militants to areas South-West of Aleppo, the militants once again violated the ceasefire after Turkey, in a unilateral move against the internationally-endorsed ceasefire agreement – negotiated by Syria, Iran, Russia and the militants and their sponsors – announced that it intended to take the militants to Northern Aleppo province to give them a role in Ankara’s Euphrates Shield Operation.

Meantime, Sky News reported on Thursday that tens of Turkish ambulances arrived in the Western parts of Aleppo province to transfer the wounded terrorists to Turkey as Ankara intruded again in violation of the agreement between the two warring sides that included relocation of all militants and their wounded members and families to Idlib in Northwestern Syria.

The violation of the ceasefire happened as all measures and preparations were made for the evacuation of terrorist groups and their family members from Eastern Aleppo to Idlib province in the next stage.

Syria’s state TV reported that based on the agreement between the Syrian authorities and the terrorists’ leaders, 4,000 militants and their family members – that were said to be around 10,000 people – would leave Eastern Aleppo.

Estimates said some 15,000 to 20,000 civilians were at the time in the very few districts controlled by the terrorists in Eastern Aleppo.

The terrorists were allowed to take only light arms with themselves during the evacuation.

The terrorist groups started setting fire on their bases, vehicles, weapons caches and extra food supplies. They also sought to destroy the documents which revealed their ties with foreign states that support them.

Meantime, al-Mayadeen news channel reported that the agreement to relocate the militants includes evacuation of civilians from the two towns of Fua’a and Kafraya in Idlib, besieged by the terrorists.

According to reports, the two warring sides pledged to remain committed to the terms of the agreement.

After ambulances started evacuating the wounded from Eastern to Western Aleppo in the morning, the latest reports said on Thursday morning that the Syrian and Russian forces were ready to start evacuation of militants from Aleppo to relocate them to Idlib province.

According to the Russian reconciliation centre, about 20 buses and 10 ambulances would carry out evacuation of the wounded militants.

The wounded were to be sent to Ramouseh, South-West of Aleppo, first to be dispatched to Idlib via Khan Touman and the roads in Northern Hama.

The Russian reconciliation centre said in a statement that it was “preparing to evacuate the remaining militants and their family members from the Eastern districts of the city of Aleppo in collaboration with the Syrian authorities”.

The reconciliation centre was monitoring the situation in the area using surveillance cameras and drones, adding that Russian soldiers would also accompany the militants during the evacuation from Aleppo to Idlib.

The Syrian authorities were guaranteeing that all members of armed groups who decided to leave Eastern Aleppo would be safe, the center said.

“The Syrian authorities are guaranteeing safety of all members of armed groups who decided to leave the Eastern districts of Aleppo,” the centre added in the statement.

The Syrian authorities and terrorist groups stationed in the Eastern parts of Aleppo reached an agreement to evacuate militants from the region in return for relocating thousands of besieged civilians from Fua’a and Kafraya in Idlib to government-ruled territories.

The latest reports said 29 buses and ambulances are on their way to Idlib to evacuate the wounded, women and children from Faua’a and Kafraya to government-held territories via Northern Hama. According to official statements, the evacuation would take place in several phases.

A sum of 1,200 wounded people along with their family members are to leave the two besieged towns in Idlib in the first stage.

Local sources close to the dissidents said that all preparations have been made for the evacuation of militants and their families from Aleppo.

The latest reports from Eastern Aleppo said tens of ambulances and Green Buses have arrived at militant-held territories, and terrorists are readying to start evacuation any moment.

Evacuation of wounded militants started at 9 am (Syria Times). Reports said the ambulances were heading for medical centers in Western Aleppo.

Syrian officials confirmed earlier reports that 15,000 residents of Fua’a and Kafraya in Idlib who are under the terrorists’ siege would be evacuated under the Aleppo ceasefire and evacuation agreement.

Russia’s U.N. envoy Vitaly Churkin had told the U.N. Security Council meeting in New York on Tuesday that the fighting in Eastern Aleppo stopped and the Syrian government regained control over the territory after the withdrawal of militants from the city was agreed.

But, terrorists resumed fire Wednesday morning and pushing the deal into complete failure.

The Jeish al-Fatah coalition of terrorist groups was targeting the Eastern and Western districts of Aleppo city regardless of the ceasefire declared on Tuesday night, inflicting heavy casualties on the people and blocking their exit from the war-hit city, local sources stressed.

The sources said that clashes resumed between the militants and the Syrian government forces in the Eastern Aleppo neighbourhoods of Salahuddin and Seif al-Dowleh after Jeish al-Fatah terrorists dropped agreement on the exit of militants and violated the truce.

The sources added that the militants opened fire at the army and civilians in flagrant violation of the ceasefire, killing and wounding scores of people, including children.

Following the attacks, evacuation of the militants from Aleppo came to a halt.

“Everything has been ready for the withdrawal (of militants from Aleppo) since the night fell,” RIA Novosti quoted a sources as saying, adding

“It was expected that the withdrawal would start early in the morning, but it has not started yet”.

Another news website reported that Fatah al-Sham Front (previously known as the al-Nusra Front) is disturbing the exit trend of the militants from Aleppo city.

Militants in Aleppo violated the agreement on leaving the city and used the ceasefire to regroup and begin hostilities again, the Russian Peace Coordination Center in Syria said in a statement on Wednesday.

The centre added that it had prepared means for evacuation of militants to Idlib, in accordance with the deal reached by the Syrian authorities and the militants.

“When the transport arrived at the previously agreed loading place, the militants began shelling the convoy. Having used the ceasefire, the militants regrouped at dawn and renewed hostilities, trying to break through the positions of the Syrian army in the Northwestern direction,” the statement read.

According to the statement, the army repelled the attack and continued the operation to liberate Eastern Aleppo.

The Syrian Army’s victories in Eastern Aleppo finally forced militant groups to leave the war-torn city as Jeish Al-Fatah terrorists are now encircled in a very small area left with the only two options of surrender or die.

The terrorist groups in Eastern Aleppo asked the Syrian Army to allow them leave the city for Idlib similar to other militant groups throughout the country that have opted for the same choice.

The Syrian army troops and popular forces squeezed Jeish al-Fatah terrorists in an area no larger than 2.5 sq/km, after taking control of nearly 99 percent of entire Eastern Aleppo.

A field source also disclosed that the defense lines of the terrorists completely collapsed and they were not able to resist against the government forces’ strikes, saying the army men and Hezbollah will soon liberate the remaining neighborhoods.

The Syrian army units started special operations in Aleppo after several humanitarian pauses declared by Damascus and Moscow to give a chance to the civilian population as well as the militants to leave the Eastern parts of the city through 8 corridors.

District after district have fallen into the hands of the Syrian army soldiers and their allies in the city of Aleppo, as the pro-government troops have recaptured most of the blocks and districts in the Northern and Southern parts of Eastern Aleppo.

Also, tens of thousands of civilians, including hundreds of children and newborn babies, have also left the Eastern part of the besieged Syrian city of Aleppo in recent days, while thousands of militants laid down their arms and left Eastern Aleppo through the special corridor.

Over the recent months, Aleppo has been a battlefield between government forces and numerous terrorist groups, however, in recent weeks, the Syrian Army has made significant gains in Eastern Aleppo and is close to liberating it from the militants.

Source*

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Internet Use in Class Tied to Lower Test Scores*

Internet Use in Class Tied to Lower Test Scores*

Michigan State University researchers studied laptop use in an introductory psychology course and found the average time spent browsing the web for non-class-related purposes was 37 minutes. Students spent the most time on social media, reading email, shopping for items such as clothes and watching videos.

And their academic performance suffered. Internet use was a significant predictor of students’ final exam score even when their intelligence and motivation were taken into account, said Susan Ravizza, associate professor of psychology and lead author of the study.

“The detrimental relationship associated with non-academic internet use,” Ravizza said, “raises questions about the policy of encouraging students to bring their laptops to class when they are unnecessary for class use.”

Funded by the National Science Foundation, the findings will be published online soon in the journal Psychological Science. The article is titled “Logged in and zoned out: How laptop internet use impacts classroom learning.”

The research was conducted in a one-hour, 50-minute lecture course with 507 students taught by Kimberly Fenn, MSU associate professor of psychology and study co-author. In all, 127 students agreed to participate in the study, which involved logging onto a proxy server when the students went online. Of those participants, 83 checked into the proxy server in more than half of the 15 course sessions during the semester and were included in the final analysis.

Intelligence was measured by ACT scores. Motivation to succeed in class was measured by an online survey sent to each participant when the semester was over.

Interestingly, using the internet for class purposes did not help students’ test scores. But Ravizza said she wasn’t surprised.

“There were no internet-based assignments in this course, which means that most of the ‘academic use’ was downloading lecture slides in order to follow along or take notes.”

Previous research, she added, has shown that taking notes on a laptop is not as beneficial for learning as writing notes by hand.

“Once students crack their laptop open, it is probably tempting to do other sorts of internet-based tasks that are not class-relevant.”

In her courses, Ravizza said she has stopped posting lecture slides before class. Instead, she waits until the week before the exam to upload them so there is no reason for students to bring a laptop to class.

“I now ask students to sit in the back if they want to bring their laptop to class so their internet use is not distracting other students,” she said.

Source*

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College Turns Its Own Football Field into an Organic Farm and Sees Students Transform*

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Let the Teachers Teach!

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