Archive | February 6, 2017

San Francisco Police Department Cut Ties with FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force*

San Francisco Police Department Cut Ties with FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force*

By Tim Cushing

In the wake of President Trump’s travel ban, the San Francisco Police Department has offered up an unprecedented response: it’s breaking up with the FBI.

On Wednesday, San Francisco officers took a bold stance against Trump’s new immigration laws. In response to Trump’s Muslim ban, they are cutting ties between the police department and an FBI task force.

The San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) has worked with the FBI on a Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) since 2007, with the purpose of investigating terrorism threats, collecting intel, and making arrests.

Generally speaking, federal partnerships are forever… especially in Forever Wars. Local law enforcement agencies have been working side-by-side with federal agencies since the Drug War began. The same goes for the War on Terror. Wars keep government agencies in good health, awash in perpetual funding and re-purposed military gear. Local governments are seldom interested in ending these lucrative arrangements, whether or not the underlying activity is productive.

But San Francisco already sees its supply of federal funding drying up. President Trump has made it clear he’ll cut off this flow to cities that care more about immigrants than he does. So, there’s some gamemanship in this move — one that sends a message to Trump while expressing some resignation to the eventual fiscal punishment to come. The city of Austin, Texas is doing the same thing, but fighting the battle on two fronts, as its decision to call itself a “sanctuary city” has also earned it the displeasure of the state’s governor.

But the SFPD’s rejection of the FBI’s “assistance” in the War on Terror suggests a couple of things — neither of them complimentary — about the federal agency’s usefulness in this “war.”

The first is explained in the Think Progress article.

[T]he SFPD will no longer work with the JTTF on the grounds that the federal agency will likely increase efforts to surveille Muslims, following Trump’s recent executive order to prevent Muslims from entering the county.

The other part is implied. By telling the feds to beat it, the SFPD is suggesting the FBI isn’t doing much to actually make San Francisco safer. The Joint Terrorism Task Force seems to be more about expanding surveillance and obtaining perpetual funding than preventing terrorist attacks or uncovering their conspiracies.

This much can be ascertained by the FBI’s counter-terrorism efforts to date. For the most part, the FBI’s terrorism busts have relied heavily on FBI informants being the brains, muscle, and wallet behind supposed future acts of terrorism. Undercover agents have pushed some of the weakest humans in the nation towards acts of violence — acts which would likely never have materialized on their own. The FBI has poked and prodded easily-influenced people — some elderly, some with mental problems — into professing their support for [Current Top Terrorist Organization], helped them plan trips to [Top Terrorist-Associated Foreign Country], and purchased everything from duct tape to latex gloves to weapons for would-be terrorists that seemingly would have difficulty opening a savings account, much less coordinating an act of terrorism.

The SFPD feels it will be fine without the FBI’s dubious assistance, which appears to be mostly limited to trampling civil liberties and ever-expanding surveillance with minimal oversight. The city can apparently handle the terrorism threat without federal intervention — suggesting it’s not much of a threat… and the FBI isn’t much of a counter-terrorism agency.

What the city’s rejection says about President Trump’s orders and directives is pretty damning. What it says about the FBI and its counter-terrorism efforts is even worse.


Related Topics:

U.S. Cop Stops Innocent Woman for Walking, Demands to See her ‘Papers’*

How FBI Targets American Muslims With ‘Romantic Allure’*

Appeals Court Supports FBI Policy of Entrapping Individuals to Plot Acts of Terrorism*

FBI Official Thought He Could Hide Information on Hillary’s Email, Then He Got Served With…*

FBI Running ‘Hundreds’ of ISIS Sting Operations*

FBI Errors Lead to Discovery that DNA Evidence is not Reliable*

FBI Admits Falsifying Evidence for Decades*

40,000 Falsely Accused with Drug Charges after State Lab Found Falsifying Test Results*

High Court Denies Trump Request to Immediately Restore Travel Ban*

Trump Blocked From Addressing U.K. Parliament for ‘Racism and Sexism’*

Rothschild Bank under Criminal Investigation over Missing $4bn in Global Corruption Probe*

Rothschild Bank under Criminal Investigation over Missing $4bn in Global Corruption Probe*

But what happened to the previous investigations…..

By Jay Syrmopoulos

Last year the veil of invincibility seemingly came off the secretive Rothschild banking empire, as Baron David de Rothschild and his company the Rothschild Financial Services Group were indicted by French prosecutors for allegedly defrauding British pensioners in a scheme that saw large sums of money embezzled.

Only two months ago, we reported on the Swiss branch of the Edmond de Rothschild Group announcing that they were the target of a French criminal probe “regarding a business relationship managed by a former employee.”

Now, the Luxembourg unit of Rothschild banking empire is being investigated by the Luxembourg state prosecutors office — alleged to have sent hundreds of millions of dollars to an account at a bank in Luxembourg that originated from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB).

The fund, 1MBD, was established by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak in 2009 as a government investment fund. There have been widespread accusations of corruption surrounding Razak after $1 billion dollars in deposits into his personal bank accounts were revealed. The deposits totaled hundreds of millions of dollars more than had previously been exposed by probes into state fund 1MDB, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The Luxembourg investigation stems from an international probe of money that may have flowed from the Malaysian government investment fund, which is at the center of various worldwide corruption probes.

According to a report in the WSJ:

“The Luxembourg unit of Edmond de Rothschild Group, a private bank that manages money on behalf of wealthy clients, said it is “cooperating” with an official investigation of money that may have flowed from a Malaysian government investment fund at the center of various world-wide corruption probes…”

The Luxembourg investigation widens probes of 1MDB already under way by authorities in Switzerland, Malaysia, Singapore, Hong Kong and Abu Dhabi. Swiss authorities said in January that 1MDB-related losses from misappropriation could reach $4 billion. The Luxembourg prosecutor said its case was connected to the investigation in Switzerland.

1MDB was created to invest in local energy and real-estate projects to boost the Malaysian economy. The fund amassed $11 billion in debt which it has struggled to repay. Last July, The Wall Street Journal reported that almost $700 million was transferred to Mr. Najib’s bank accounts via a web of entities, money which investigators believe originated with 1MDB. 1MDB has denied sending money to Mr. Najib’s accounts and denied wrongdoing and said it is cooperating with probes

“Edmond de Rothschild Europe is actively cooperating in the judicial proceedings,” a spokeswoman for the Edmond de Rothschild Group told the WSJ.

The Edmond de Rothschild Group oversees roughly $164 billion in assets, according to Bloomberg. The private bank and asset management firm to the elite was founded by Edmond de Rothschild in Paris in 1953. Edmond’s son Benjamin de Rothschild succeeded his father as head of the group in 1997. Last year, Benjamin appointed his wife, Ariane, chairwoman of the executive committee. The Swiss unit traces its roots to the acquisition of Banque Privee in Geneva in 1965.

But the history of the Rothschild banking empire stretches far further back in time.

moneyblackholeAccording to The Richest:

The Rothschild Family as we know it is descended from Mayer Amschel Rothschild, who was born in what is now Frankfurt, Germany. The son of Jewish moneychanger and trader Amschel Moses Rothschild, Mayer Amschel Rothschild was the fourth of 8 children, and went on to establish a huge international banking empire.

Through his 5 sons, Mayer Amschel Rothschild expanded his banking business, which was founded in the 1760s, to international areas and, as such, managed to bequeath his huge wealth, unlike many rich members of the Jewish community at the time. Mayer Amschel’s 5 sons were each stationed at one of the major European financial centres, one in Frankfurt, London, Naples, Vienna, and Paris.

This passing on of Mayer Amschel’s wealth and business meant that his sons could continue to build on the foundations of their father’s success. In the 19th century the Rothschild Family were at the height of their powers, and were known all around the financial world. Their great fortune and ingenious business minds meant that they carried great power during this time. They utilised this power by affecting some very significant events in human history in order to profit greatly from it. This included backing the British forces with huge sums of money during the Napoleonic Wars (more on that later) and funding Brazil’s claim for independence from Portugal.

The Rothschild banking dynasty is a family line that has been accused of pulling the political strings of many different governments through their control of various economic systems throughout the world. Historically, there is ample evidence to show that the family has used insider trading to bilk money from both private and public funds.

Towards the end of the Napoleonic Wars, in 1813, Nathan Mayer Rothschild saw Napoleon’s war efforts as a threat to his business practices and decided to step in to help defeat the French conqueror. He became the most important financier of the British war effort pouring the equivalent of $900 million dollars in today’s dollars in 1815 alone. The defeat of Napoleon, and subsequent ending of the Napoleonic Wars, which started in 1803 and raged throughout the continent for 12 years before finally coming to an end in 1815.

During the Battle of Waterloo in the Napoleonic wars, Nathan Rothschild was responsible for one of the oldest cases of “insider trading,” which led to the Rothschild family robbing a whole nation blind. When the battle of Waterloo took place in 1815, horse messengers were the fastest method of communicating information. The Rothschild’s took advantage of this by having their own spies on the frontlines of the battle that would then expedite the information to the family faster than the messengers used by the military.

When the British won the battle, Nathan Rothschild, was, of course, the first to know, and he immediately went to the stock exchange and started selling stocks while putting out the rumor that the French had won the war. This created a panic on the floor of the stock exchange and investors all over England began frantically selling their stocks. With the price of all stocks plummeting Rothschild was able to buy out the whole English market for a fraction of its cost. When word returned that the English had actually been victorious, the value of the market soared, and overnight Nathan Rothschild expanded his family’s wealth and cemented their position as one of the richest, and most influential families in the world.

Although the Rothschild family now keeps a very low public profile, they still have significant business operations across a wide spectrum of sectors. While you may not find any one particular Rothschild on the Forbes’ most rich list, the family is estimated to control $1 trillion dollars in assets across the globe, thus having a strong voice across the geopolitical spectrum that many perceive as a hidden hand manipulating events silently from behind a veil of virtual secrecy and silence.


Related Topics:

Luxembourg unit of Rothschild Under Criminal Investigation Over Missing $4 Billion In Global Corruption Probe*

Rothschild Bank Now Under Criminal Investigation*

Only 3 Countries Left Without a ROTHSCHILD Central Bank!*

Rothschild Family Wealth Is Five Times That of World’s Top Billionaires Combined*

Rothschild Billion Dollar Money Laundering Plot in Africa*

President Putin has Banned Rothschild Family from entering Russian territory “under any circumstances”*

Rothschild’s Summit Fine-tuning Capitalism into Global Economic Tyranny*

The Global Money Supply Flows in One Direction!

Behind the Global Financial Reset*

Trump Blocked From Addressing U.K. Parliament for ‘Racism and Sexism’*

Trump Blocked From Addressing U.K. Parliament for ‘Racism and Sexism’*

By Tyler Durden

In a striking announcement by John Bercow, the speaker of the British House of Commons, Donald Trump is to be barred from giving a historic address in Westminster Hall, the British Parliament’s grandest and most prestigious hall.

Bercow announced he would not give the U.S. President permission to speak in the 11th Century Westminster Hall when he makes a state visit. John Bercow slammed Trump for “racism and sexism”, his undermining of judges and his migrant ban. Bercow’s intervention is unusual because Speakers are expected to remain above Parliament’s partisan fray.

He was cheered by lawmakers when he said that, although Britain values its relationship with the U.S., “our opposition to racism and to sexism, and our support for equality before the law and an independent judiciary, are hugely important considerations.” Trump is due to visit Britain later this year.

As The Mirror reported, Bercow added that although he does not have as much say over a speech in the glittering Royal Gallery in the House of Lords,

“I would not wish to issue an invitation”.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn tweeted:

 “Well said John Bercow. We must stand up for our country’s values. Trump’s State Visit should not go ahead.”

It comes after 163 MPs signed an internal petition demanding Trump be refused the honour due to his migrant ban and comments on torture and women.

Westminster Hall is where ex-President Barack Obama addressed both houses of Parliament in 2011 and is a venue previously used by Nelson Mandela.

Barack Obama addressing both Houses of Parliament in Westminster Hall in 2011

Barack Obama addressing both Houses of Parliament in Westminster Hall in 2011

Barack Obama addressing both Houses of Parliament in Westminster Hall in 2011

Speaker Bercow said he is one of three “keyholders” that would agree to any address in the historic hall. The other two are the Lord Speaker and Lord Great Chamberlain. He told MPs a Westminster Hall address “is not an automatic right – it is an earned honour.”

He added:

“Ordinarily we are able to work by consensus that the hall would be able to be used for an address by agreement of the the three key holders. Before the imposition of the migrant ban I would myself have been strongly opposed to an address by President Trump to Westminster Hall. After the imposition of the migrant ban by President Trump I am even more strongly opposed to an address by President Trump to Westminster Hall.”

The Speaker added:

“We value our relationship with the United States. If a state visit takes place, that is way beyond and above the pay grade of the Speaker.

“However, as far as this place is concerned I feel very strongly that our opposition to racism and to sexism and our support for equality before the law and an independent judiciary are hugely important considerations in the House of Commons.”

Bercow also outlined his opposition to Mr Trump being invited to address MPs and peers in the Royal Gallery, a room often used for state receptions.

He said: “So far as the Royal Gallery is concerned, and again I operate on advice, I do not perhaps have as strong a say in that matter. It is in a different part of the building although customarily an invitation to a visiting leader to deliver an address there would be issued in the names of the two speakers. I would not wish to issue an invitation to President Trump to speak in the Royal Gallery.”

After his announcement, veteran anti-establishment Labour MP Dennis Skinner bellowed:

“Two words – well done”.

Labour MP Stephen Doughty, who started the ‘Early Day Motion’ signed by 163 MPs, said after the Speaker’s comments: “Our Parliament stands for liberty, equality and independence from government. We choose who we honour.

As usual, we look forward to Trump’s angry tweet once he learns that he is effectively non-grata in the British Parliament.


Related Topics:

Theresa May Alone in the Trump Debate U.K. Parliament Unites to Send its own Message*

Over One Million Britons Petition against Trump’s Official State Visit*

Argentina Trumps U.S. on New Immigration Laws*

Iran Finally Ditched the Dollar: Here’s Why It Matters*

High Court Denies Trump Request to Immediately Restore Travel Ban*

Iran Sticks to Nuclear Deal in Spite of Threats from Warmongers*

Iran Sticks to Nuclear Deal in Spite of Threats from Warmongers*

© AFP 2016/ Mahmood Hosseini /TASNIM NEWS

© AFP 2016/ Mahmood Hosseini /TASNIM NEWS

© AFP 2016/ Mahmood Hosseini /TASNIM NEWS

Although Iran’s recent ballistic missile test doesn’t violate the P5+1 agreement, increasing tensions between Washington and Iran have put the deal at risk, Middle Eastern affairs expert Vladimir Sazhin told Sputnik.

On January 28, Iran test launched new generation IR-8 uranium centrifuges in the course of developing its civil nuclear program, under the auspices of the JCPOA nuclear deal which it agreed to with the P5+1 group of countries in July 2015.

However, just a few days later, Tehran was stiffly rebuked by the Trump White House. In response to a medium-range ballistic missile test on January 29, National Security Adviser Michael Flynn said that “as of today, we are officially putting Iran on notice.”

On Friday, the White House announced new sanctions against Iran for conducting the test. The U.S. Treasury Department imposed sanctions on 12 entities, as well as 13 individuals based in Iran, China, Lebanon and UAE which it deemed to be “supporters of Iran’s Ballistic Missile Program and Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.”

Iran maintains that the missile test, which occurred on January 29, did not violate the nuclear agreement or U.N. Security Council Resolution 2231, which affirmed the implementation of the nuclear deal.

“The missile issue is not part of the nuclear deal,” Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif said.

According to Resolution 2231,

“Iran is called upon not to undertake any activity related to ballistic missiles designed to be capable of delivering nuclear weapons.”

From Infowar.comExpert in Middle Eastern affairs Vladimir Sazhin told Sputnik that the Trump administration is following through on his pre-election rhetoric, which criticized the Iran nuclear deal.

“Indeed, these two events occurred almost simultaneously in late January. Moreover, they happened as the new U.S. President Trump entered office and began forming his administration and, accordingly, the official American political doctrine.”

“It should be remembered that during the election campaign, Mr. Trump made anti-Iranian statements, in particular calling the nuclear deal with Iran “a disgrace” and “the worst deal ever negotiated,” Sazhin said.

As U.S. opposition to the deal mounts, Sazhin pointed out that within Iran too, there are powerful opponents to the nuclear agreement, including within Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). He said that some factions within Iran could end the deal by provoking the U.S. at a time when Washington is engaging in tough rhetoric.

“We should not forget that Iran’s missile program (as well as nuclear) is under the auspices of the IRGC. As a whole, that structure stands opposed to the current political course of President Hassan Rouhani. Many members of the opposition oppose Tehran’s nuclear agreement with the international community, claiming that Iran has paid too high a price in concluding the agreement.”

“Rouhani’s opponents believe that this deal, in particular, caused serious damage to the development of the country’s nuclear program. It is quite possible that in order to provoke President Trump, the IRGC timed its missile test for just the moment when the new U.S. administration began come out with strong statements against Iran and its missile program.”

“To summarize, neither the work with IR-8 nuclear centrifuges nor Iran’s testing of medium-range ballistic missiles, violate the country’s international obligations under the law, but, as they say, an unpleasant aftertaste remains,” Sazhin said.

In a further escalation on Monday, Iran announced the preparation of counter-sanctions against the U.S.

Iran’s sanctions list is almost complete and “includes the names of American entities and individuals involved in backing Daesh, al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups as well as backing the Zionist regime in suppressing the Palestinian people,” Iran’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi was quoted as saying by the Mehr news agency.


Related Topics:

True To Form U. S. not meeting commitments under Iranian deal Says Judge*

Netanyahu’s Temper Tantrum over Iran deal has Obama Bearing ‘Gifts’*

340 Rabbis Urge Congress to Support Iran Nuclear Deal*

Nuclear Deal with Iran Prelude to War, Not a Breakthrough*

One Country that does not Cheat: Netanyahu said He fears Iran will Honour Nuclear Deal*

How a United Iran, Russia and China are Changing the World For the Better*

Whoever Controls Eurasia Controls the World*

Queen Elizabeth Warns Of ‘Holy War To End All Wars’ *

Rouhani urges Muslims to Unite against ‘great plot’*

Putin on the Declining Values of the West and Rising Practice of Satanism

British Government Killed 10 Million Iranians In 1919*

Standing Rock Sioux Speak Out Following Violent Removal of Water Protectors*

Standing Rock Sioux Speak Out Following Violent Removal of Water Protectors*

Law enforcement vehicles line a road leading to a blocked bridge next to the Oceti Sakowin camp where people have gathered to protest the Dakota Access oil pipeline in Cannon Ball, N.D. (AP/David Goldman)

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is set to press on in its legal battle against the Dakota Access pipeline Monday after leaders issued statements over the weekend condemning recent violence against demonstrators and clarifying that they don’t want to see activists forcibly removed from the protest site.

They also have called on allies to join the tribe in demanding a fair legal review of the multi-billion dollar project that U.S. President Donald Trump plans to usher through to completion.

On Wednesday, law enforcement officers arrested 76 protesters who were camped on land owned by the Dakota Access pipeline’s developer, Energy Transfer Partners. While the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe said leaders were working with federal authorities to stabilize the situation at the protest site, they indicated that they did not want protestors to be arrested or ousted from the spot by force.

“We want to stress that we are cleaning the camps, not clearing them. We do not support or endorse any ‘raids’. We have not asked for law enforcement to assist in clearing camps and in fact have repeatedly told them there will be no forcible removal,” the tribe noted in a statement posted on its Facebook page.

Last month, Trump gave the green light to the Army Corps of Engineers to expedite its review of Energy Transfer Partners’ application so the pipeline construction could move forward. Last week, officials indicated that they were quickening their review process, but had not yet come to a final conclusion.

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe officials also clarified that while they will continue in their fight against the pipeline, protesters need to be more sensitive to nearby residents at the reservation.

Watch: Drone footage of police in the process of raiding the Standing Rock camps:

 “One of the key tenets of any movement is being considerate about how we treat the community in which we bring our voices and respect the places where we are visitors,” they stated.

“The community of Cannonball has every right to choose how it wants people to help them. We are still focused on defeating DAPL on all fronts.”

The movement against the pipeline won a victory late last year when the Obama administration blocked the completion of Dakota Access along its current route, pending an environmental impact study — a review process that could take months if not years. But many activists noted at the time that the fight against the controversial project, which has been slammed for desecrating sacred Indigenous sites and jeopardizing important water sources, was not over, particularly in light of anticipated pro-pipeline and anti-environment policy-making under the Trump administration.

Despite the challenging, the Standing Rock Sioux expressed optimism in recent statements, calling for solidarity to propel the movement.

“We are heartened by the successful legal challenge against the discriminatory travel ban overturned and sustained this weekend. We believe DAPL project requires the same legal scrutiny and consideration,” the tribe stated.

“We must stand together against actions and policies that unlawfully discriminate and hurt sovereign nations and Native Americans.”


Related Topics:

Call on Feds to Consult with Tribes, Follow the Rule of Law before Moving Forward on Oil Pipeline*

Standing Rock Sioux Tribe’s Message to Water Protectors and Allies*

Jury Finds Eight #NoDAPL Protectors Guilty*

Jury Refuses to Convict Activist for Shutting Down Pipeline*

Seattle Council Votes to Divest Billions from Wells Fargo over DAPL Support*


Soros’s Coup Causes Hundreds of Thousands of Fake Protestors Rock Rumania*

Soros’s Coup Causes Hundreds of Thousands of Fake Protestors Rock Rumania*

From Sean Adl-Tabatabai

Hundreds of thousands of protestors have taken to the streets in Rumania in an attempted coup by George Soros to overthrow the Rumanian government.

Amid chaotic riots across the country, Rumanians geared up for a sixth day of protests on Sunday under the guise of forcing its government to rid the country of corruption – despite the fact the President had already vowed to do so.

According to Alex Balan, President of the Union of Banat Rumanians, the protests are funded and orchestrated by George Soros in an effort to incite violence and overthrow the democratically elected government in order to install a more globalist-friendly regime.

By Alexa Balan

The following is an official statement, in Mr. Balan’s capacity as President of the Union of Banat Rumanians, in Serbia **
Yesterday’s massive demonstrations in Rumania, where around 100,000 people gathered, were sponsored and organized by Soros financed NGO’s in Romania, and by the Soros funded political party, the USR. They were praised and supported by the openly masonic German president of Rumania, Klaus Iohanis, who incited violence and called for a revolution.

This impostor won a rigged election, he is against Rumanian interests and calls for the so-called Europeanization of Rumania. Their excuse for rioting was the judiciary reform laws adopted by the new Socialist government, which are amnesty laws which would halt the political persecution of patriotic anti-globalist politicians in Rumania, at the hands of the CIA and Soros funded anti-corruption agency DNA. These protect the interests of multinational companies, and prosecutes nationalists by indicting them with false charges.

The present Socialist PSD government was elected by an overwhelming majority vote in December, over 50%, on their promises they would halt the further selling of Rumanian resources to foreigners, their anti IMF stance, Eurosceptic views, raising of pensions, eliminating taxes etc. The USR Soros party which led the maidan protest yesterday, only won 8% in the election. They recruited young deluded people over the internet, their aim was to storm the parliament building and seize power. They openly called for the lynching of government officials by publishing their addresses and phone numbers on the net.

Had they not been defeated by our brave police forces in Bucharest yesterday, they would have set up tents and other maidan like structures in the Bucharest city centre, Victoria square, and we all know to where that leads. We, the Rumanians of Serbia condemn the Soros protest and so do the majority of Rumanians in Rumania, and all over the world in our diaspora. My view is shared also by the Serbian Radical Party leader Dr. Seselj, whom I visited today.


Related Topics:

Waves of Mysterious Sonic Booms Shake Ground, Shatter Windows in Romania*

U.S. Legalizes Lethal Weapon Deliveries to Ukraine*

Soros, the Puppet Master of Ukraine*

‘Stop Soros’ Movement Sweeps Europe*

Colour Revolutions? Soros-Funded Groups Back Anti-Trump Women’s March*

Soros gave Clinton step-by-step Instructions on how to Tackle Albania Unrest*

Soros Kicked out of his Own Country*

Eliminating Alternative Media: Soros and Gates behind Facebook’s “fake news” Detector*


Flight Attendant Saves Girl from Human Trafficking*

Flight Attendant Saves Girl from Human Trafficking*

By May Bulman

A flight attendant rescued a victim of human trafficking after she spotted the girl looking “dishevelled” on a plane accompanied by a well-dressed man.

Sheila Frederick, 49, was working on an Alaska Airlines flight from Seattle to San Francisco when she noticed the girl, who looked around 14 or 15 years old, and immediately knew something was wrong, according to 10 News.

“Something in the back of my mind said something was not right. He was well-dressed. That’s what got me because I thought why is he well-dressed and she is looking all dishevelled and out of sorts?” Ms Frederick told the programme.

When she tried to speak with the two passengers, the man reportedly became defensive and the girl wouldn’t engage in conversation.

Ms Frederick said she subsequently left a note for the teenager in the plane’s toilet, which she later responded to with the message:

“I need help.”

The flight attendant informed pilots who were then able to communicate the message to police in San Francisco, and the man was arrested when the flight landed.

It comes amid increased efforts since 2009 to train American flight staff to recognise signs of human trafficking and flag them up. Common signs include someone who appears to be being controlled, is battered or won’t answer questions or make eye contact.

Emphasising the importance of such training, Ms Frederick added:

“I’ve been a flight attendant for 10 years and it’s like I am going all the way back to when I was in training and I was like, I could have seen these young girls and young boys and didn’t even know.”

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement are reported to have arrested 2,000 human traffickers and identified 400 victims last year.



Related Topics:

Strangers Brave Paedophile to Save Teen Girl*

The Clinton-Silsby Trafficking Scandal and the Media Cover-Up*

Planned Parenthood was Caught Covering up Child Sex Trafficking*

One Man Helped to Rescue 6,000 Sex Trafficking Victims*

Israelis Trafficking in Syrian Children’s Body Organs*

Egypt Busts Int’l Organ Trafficking Network*

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

Child Trafficking in the U.K. and the Child Protection System*



MRI Study Shows Spaceflight Physically Changes Astronauts’ Brains*

MRI Study Shows Spaceflight Physically Changes Astronauts’ Brains*


By Bruce B. Vanderburg

Scientists know that extended periods of time spent in space can have effects on the human body, caused by altered vestibular inputs and lack of gravity. But what happens to your brain in space?

A new study from University of Michigan researchers used MRI scans to examine how astronauts’ brains compress and expand in spaceflight. The findings could have implications for treating other health conditions that affect brain function.

The retrospective follow-up study is believed to be the first to examine structural changes during spaceflight. Results show that the volume of gray matter increased or decreased, and the extent of the alteration depended on the length of time spent in space.

Grey Matter Alterations

Researchers looked at structural MRIs in 12 astronauts who spent two weeks as shuttle crew members, and 14 who spent six months on the International Space Station. All experienced increases and decreases in gray matter in different parts of the brain.

The top row shows brain changes with long duration bed rest; the bottom row shows brain changes with spaceflight. Orange shows regions of increase; blue = decrease. There is some overlap but also notable differences with spaceflight showing more changes in the cerebellum, a structure that is involved in motor learning. Credit: U. Michigan

The top row shows brain changes with long duration bed rest; the bottom row shows brain changes with spaceflight. Orange shows regions of increase; blue = decrease. There is some overlap but also notable differences with spaceflight showing more changes in the cerebellum, a structure that is involved in motor learning. Credit: U. Michigan

The longer the astronaut spent in space, the more pronounced the changes were. Rachael Seidler, professor of kinesiology and psychology at the University of Michigan, said:

“We found large regions of gray matter volume decreases, which could be related to redistribution of cerebrospinal fluid in space. Gravity is not available to pull fluids down in the body, resulting in so-called puffy face in space. This may result in a shift of brain position or compression.”

Possibly reflecting changes related to the brain learning how to move in microgravity, researchers also found increases in gray matter volume in regions that control leg movement and process sensory information from legs (precentral gyrus, postcentral gyrus, the posterior cingulate gyrus, and precuneus cortex). These changes were greater in space station astronauts because their brains were learning and adapting around the clock.

“It’s interesting because even if you love something you won’t practice more than an hour a day,” Seidler says.

But the brain changes researchers observed were equivalent to someone practicing a new skill round-the-clock. In space, it’s an extreme example of neuroplasticity in the brain because you’re in a microgravity environment 24 hours a day.”

Extreme Neuroplasticity

Though they haven’t pinpointed the exact nature of the changes, the findings may lead to new ways of thinking about certain health conditions.

For example, people on long-duration bed rest or people who have normal pressure hydrocephalus, a condition in which cerebrospinal spinal fluid accumulates in ventricles in the brain and causes pressure.

Grey matter volume changes Blue shows areas of grey matter volume decrease, likely reflecting shifting of cerebrospinal fluid. Orange shows regions of grey matter volume increase, in the regions that control movement of the legs. Credit: U. Michigan

Grey matter volume changes. Blue shows areas of grey matter volume decrease, likely reflecting shifting of cerebrospinal fluid. Orange shows regions of grey matter volume increase, in the regions that control movement of the legs. Credit: U. Michigan


The brain changes could reflect new connections between neurons, says Seidler, who is leading another long-term study that will help determine the repercussions on cognition and physical performance, as well as how long the brain changes last.

For example, even after balance returns, the brain might still recruit different pathways to compensate for the structural brain changes caused by spaceflight.

“The behavior may return to normal, but the way the brain controls the behaviour may change,” she says.

The study was funded by a grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).


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