North Korea Releases Bible Thumping American

North Korea Releases AMerican

American Jeffrey Fowle has been released from a North Korean prison camp and is on his way home. Perhaps Kim Jong Un’s cheese-induced gout is making him a little soft?

Jeffrey Fowle, 56, an Ohio municipal worker, was turned over to U.S. officials by authorities in Pyongyang and boarded a U.S. government aircraft sent to retrieve him.

Fowle was arrested for allegedly trying to leave a Bible at a sailors’ club in North Korea. Six months of detainment in a North Korean labour camp later, Fowle is back in Ohio reuniting with his family.

“We’d like to thank God for his hand of protection over Jeff these past six months,” family spokesman Tim Tepe said, giving thanks to the U.S. State Department, the Swedish government, and others for helping secure Fowle’s release.

I think it was God who got you into this mess in the first place, but whatever, at least Fowle’s release gives hope to the two other American detainees in North Korea: Matthew Miller, 24, of Bakersfield and Kenneth Bae of Lynnwood, Washington, a suburb of Seattle. The State Department said it is working on achieving their releases as well.

While Jeffrey Fowle was detained, the city terminated his employment as an equipment operator for Moraine, Ohio because of his prolonged absence, but City Manager David Hicks says can have his job back.

“The reinstatement opportunity is available to him. Assuming he wants to be reinstated, he will,” Hicks said. “I’m sure that we’ll have some celebration upon his return.”

Ugh. Continue working as a poorly paid equipment operator in small town Ohio and attend a depressing office party? He might have been better off in the North Korean labour camp.

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Gunman/men Attack Canada’s Capital

Current Event Cat - Canada Attack Gunman

What is going on in Canada?! Two days after two military officers were run over in Quebec, a gunman (or possibly gunmen) attacked Canada’s capital, wounding and killing a Canadian soldier and opening fire inside the nation’s parliament.

The gunman fatally shot a soldier who was standing guard at the National War Memorial then ran into the nearby parliament building and opened fire.

MPs and other witnesses reported several shots fired inside Parliament, but no one was seriously injured – except for the gunman. Police say the shooter was killed inside after exchanging fire with police – but that’s not the end of that. Police believe that there may be more than one assailant on the loose.

“The indications are there is more than one gunman. There may be several,” Canadian MP Marc Garneau said, adding he and fellow politicians were evacuated from the area.

And for those Stephen Harper fans out there, don’t worry – his director of communications tweeted that the Prime Minister “is safe and has left Parliament Hill”. Opposition Leader Tom Mulcair and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau are also reported safe, but no one cares.

In the meantime, downtown Ottawa is on lockdown as police search for the other gunman. The nearby University of Ottawa has been placed on lockdown, as well as all local police buildings and the US Embassy.

The latest attack comes two days after a radicalized Muslim struck two Canadian soldiers with his car in Quebec, killing one of them. Earlier on Wednesday, the Canadian government raised its terror threat alert from low to medium reportedly in response to an increase in online “general chatter” from radical groups including Islamic State and al-Qaeda.

Details are still developing but I think it’s safe to say that “Dead Canadian Soldier” and “Wounded MP” can now join “Rob Ford’s Tumor” on the list of Canada’s Top Taboo Halloween Costumes.

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New Jersey School Combats Ebola by Banning Kids From Non-Ebola Countries

Ebola Jersey

Although two African countries have now been declared officially free of Ebola and most are unaffected by the recent Ebola outbreak, one elementary school in New Jersey isn’t taking any chances. 

Nigeria was declared Ebola-free on Monday after six weeks with no new cases, following an announcement that Senegal is also rid of the virus. But despite these Ebola success stories, the virus is still rapidly spreading in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone. As the death toll continues to increase, one elementary school in New Jersey is taking matters into their own hands… by banning children from Rwanda.

Two students from Rwanda, who were scheduled to start classes at a New Jersey school Monday, are being encouraged to stay home and complete a 21-day waiting period—the incubation period for Ebola—before they can enter the school, plus another week (you know, just in case).

The school informed teachers of two children from Rwanda who were set to start school today, but word got out and parents went nuts. Despite the fact that Rwanda hasn’t had one case of Ebola and it is 2,600 miles from the closest afflicted country in West Africa, the parents decided to err on the side of Ebola hysteria caution and object to their attendence. There’s no time to consult a map when faced with an Ebola outbreak!

The parental backlash worked and the parents of the symptom-free Rwandan students decided (with a little pressure from the school…) to keep their kids out of school for the next 21+ days.

“The Maple Shade School District takes the health of all students and staff very seriously. As many of you are aware, we have students who have spent time in the eastern portion of Africa that were scheduled to start in our schools on Monday. This area of Africa has been unaffected by the Ebola virus. Despite the fact that the students are symptom-free and not from an affected area, the parents have elected to keep their children home past the 21 day waiting period. The family is looking forward to joining the Maple Shade Schools the following week,” the school wrote in a statement.

Many parents seemed happy with the family’s decision to keep their possibly disease-ridden children away for 28 days.

“I think for another couple weeks. I don’t think it would hurt, I mean you have a lot of children that are involved, so I don’t think it would hurt,” said local parent Billy Dennison.

“Them taking an extra week beyond the 21 days before coming to school is more than appreciated,” another parent said.

Interestingly enough, Dallas, Texas has had 3 cases of Ebola and is only 1,500 miles away from New Jersey. Yet for some reason the school hasn’t taken any steps to quarantine any students from Texas…

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Current Event Cat of the Day: NHL Suspends Player for Domestic Abuse

Current Event Cat Domestic Abuse NHL

Turns out the NFL doesn’t own the rights to domestic abuse – hockey players can be violent too.

The NHL indefinitely suspended Los Angeles Kings defenseman Slava Voynov after he was arrested for domestic violence on Monday morning.

According to TMZ, the woman who was allegedly attacked by the L.A. Kings star was injured so badly, she was rushed to the hospital. Voynov, who accompanied her to the hospital, was arrested shortly after staffers called authorities to report him as the suspected attacker.

Not wanting to pull a Ray Rice, the NHL took a stronger stance on domestic abuse charges than they have in the past. Last season, when Colorodo Avalanche player Semyon Varlamov was charged with second-degree kidnapping and third-degree assault charges, he was allowed to keep travelling and playing with the team.

But the NHL’s response still wasn’t that strong. Although Slava Voynov will remain suspended until the league completes a formal investigation, he will continued to be paid during this suspension.

“These developments are of great concern to our organization,” the Kings said in a statement. “We support the NHL’s decision to suspend Slava Voynov indefinitely during this process, and we will continue to take appropriate action as the legal proceedings and the investigation by the NHL take their course.”

There have been 9 NHL players arrested since 2011 – not bad compared to the NFL, but still not great.

2014 – Slava Voynov – Domestic violence

2014 – Claude Giroux – Groping a cop

2014 – Ryan Malone – DUI, drug possession

2013 – Semyon Varlamov – Domestic violence

2012 – Ben Eager – Bar fight

2012 – Ondrej Pavelec – DUI

2011 – Dustin Byfuglien – Drinking while boating

2011 – Sean Avery – Pushing a cop

2011 – Nikolay Zherdev – Domestic violence

Now I’m not saying there’s a correlation between Russians and domestic violence… but there’s a definite correlation between Russians and domestic violence.

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Florida DOESN’T Let Someone Get Away With Shooting an Unarmed Black Teen… And Other News

Florida Dunn Trial

Michael Dunn, the Florida man who shot and killed 17-year-old Jordan Davis in a dispute over loud music, has received a life sentence (plus 105 years) without possibility of parole. Hopefully there’s no loud music in prison…

Michael Dunn shot and killed Davis outside of a Jacksonville, Florida convenience store in what he claimed was self-defense but everyone else claimed was just plain crazy. According to Dunn’s version, Davis and his buds were listening to some super loud rap music in their SUV. When he asked them to turn it down, he claims that one of them pulled a shotgun on him. Instead of overreacting, Dunn got his loaded gun from his car and shot 10 rounds into the SUV. The only catch? Davis and his friends were unarmed. At his sentencing Dunn publicly apologized for the first time, saying, “If I could roll back time and do things differently, I would. I was in fear for my life and I did what I thought I had to do. Still, I am mortified I took a life, whether it was justified or not.” Spoiler alert: it wasn’t justified. USA Today

K PopAt least 16 South Korean pop music fans were killed and 11 seriously injured Friday after a ventilation grate buckled under the weight of concertgoers in Seongnam, South Korea. The victims fell about 20 meters into a parking structure after the gate they had been standing on to get a better view of the performance by the popular South Korean girl band 4Minute collapsed. There were 700 people at the concert and while witnesses said many of the spectators were female students, most of the dead were men in their 30s and 40s who stopped to watch the concert, which was part of a local festival, after leaving work. Although standing on a flimsy metal grate with a group of people looks no safer than licking a frayed electrical cord, at least they were smart enough not to attend a PSY concert. Imagine the last words they ever heard were “Oppa Gangnam Style”? AP

boko-kidnapAnd six months later, the Nigerian schoolgirls are coming back – but in what state? The Nigerian government says that it has come to an agreement with Boko Haram, the militant group that kidnapped the almost 300 schoolgirls back in April. Nigeria’s chief of defence staff, Alex Badeh, announced the truce, telling his troops to stand down for a ceasefire. Boko Haram has not yet made a public statement but the negotiations are said to have the blessing of Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau. The government would not reveal what concessions it made to Boko Haram in order to bring the girls back, but I bet it was something good. BBC News

EbolamaniaEbolamania is sweeping the nation! After a vomiting passenger died (from non-Ebola realted causes) on a Nigeria-to-JFK flight, tension in the sky is high. On Thursday, a middle-aged African-American woman was locked in the lavatory of an American Airlines flight from Dallas to Chicago after she began vomiting. According to another passenger on the flight, after the woman vomited in the aisle, the crew feared the spread of Ebola and forced her to reveal all her recent travel and remain in the bathroom for the last 45 minutes of the trip. But was it really fear of Ebola that prompted this overreaction… or was it fear of black people? The witness, a University of Texas professor, thinks the latter, chalking the incident up to racial profiling. “If I had puked on the plane, would they have they done that to me? I’m a 60-year-old white woman with gray hair. No, they would not have,” she said. Actually, they probably would have. Ebola seems to bring out the hysteria in people. I’m surprised they didn’t push this woman out the door at 35,000ft. Houston Chronicle 

MEXICO SPRING BREAKThe French want to bid adieu to binge drinking. A draft health bill presented to French ministers on Wednesday aims to target binge drinking by hitting people who incite it with €15,000 fines and sentences of up to a year in jail. “It will be made illegal to sell products that make alcohol appear pleasant,” French health minister Marisol Touraine reportedly told RTL radio, such as “telephone cases or T-shirts that show amusing scenes based on drunkenness.” While France is among the world’s most liberal countries in terms of alcohol consumption, some feel the Irish-style binge-drinking has gotten out of control. “We see more and more seriously drunk young people in the emergency room, who will stay for 24 hours, sometimes two days, to sober up,” a French doctor told TV channel France24 last year. The proposed law presented to the Assemblée Nationale early next year, but hopefully legislators will be too drunk to pass it. Washington Post

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Guns Rights Trump Death Threats for Video Game Critic

Video Game Critic 

Feminist writer and video game critic Anita Sarkeesian canceled her Wednesday speech at Utah State University (USU) after the school said it is not legally permitted to block people from carrying concealed weapons into the venue despite a disturbing death threat.

Anita Sarkeesian, a feminist cultural critic who has become a target of harassment by gamers, planned to speak at the school despite email threats of a “Montreal Massacre style attack” until campus police told her that state law allowed anyone with a concealed firearm permit to bring their weapon to the event.

The director of Utah State University’s Center for Women and Gender, along with several other people, received an email promising a mass shooting if they didn’t cancel the speaking engagement. The letter, which claims to be written by a Utah State student, states that “feminists have ruined my life and I will have my revenge”. The writer claims to have “a semi-automatic rifle, multiple pistols, and a collection of pipe bombs” and plans to carry out a “Montreal Massacre-style attack”.

In light of the threat, Sarkeesian requested firearm searches at the venue but was ultimately turned down because of Utah’s relaxed open-carry laws.

“In accordance with the State of Utah law regarding the carrying of firearms, if a person has a valid concealed firearm permit and is carrying a weapon, they are permitted to have it at the venue,” the university said in a statement.

Thinking that angry gamers plus concealed weapons equaled a recipe for disaster, Sarkeesian decided to opt out.

Screenshot 2014-10-15 14.00.54

Screenshot 2014-10-15 14.13.05

Meanwhile, the angry little gamer is probably in his room working on his excuse for when his mom catches him trolling around the internet. “You don’t understand, mom! She said stuff about my video games.”

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Current Event Cat of the Day: Texas Hospital Botches Ebola Outbreak

Ebola Opps Texas Hospital

Nurses at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas are making some scandalous accusations about how the facility treated the first Ebola case in the United States.

On Tuesday, several anonymous nurses spoke to reporters in a conference call organized by National Nurses United and complained that the hospital’s sloppy Ebola protocols left workers and hospital systems prone to contamination. One nurse said Thomas Eric Duncan, the first Ebola patient diagnosed in the United States, languished for hours in a room with other patients upon arrival and that officials resisted isolating him. “Oh, you’re coming from Liberia and your temperature is 103? Well just sit over here in this crowded waiting room for a few hours!”

Others accused the hospital of providing nurses with flimsy protective gear while they were dealing with Duncan’s highly contagious blood, vomit, and feces. Plus, Duncan’s lab samples were sent through the hospital’s pneumatic tubes, which nurses say could’ve contaminated the entire system.

Based on this testimony, it was no surprise when the Texas Department of State Health Services confirmed Wednesday that a second health-care worker who treated Duncan has tested positive for Ebola.

The latest infected nurse reported a fever on Tuesday and was immediately isolated – but not before she flew to Cleveland and back. Although this was the day before she felt sick and people with Ebola are not contagious until they exhibit symptoms, the CDC wants to contact all 132 passengers “because of the proximity in time between the evening flight and first report of illness.”

CDC Director Thomas Frieden said that the nurse should not have been traveling on a commercial airline (no kidding) and admitted that the Dallas hospital was still learning how to cope with the Ebola crisis (again, no kidding).

“I wish we had put a [rapid response team] on the ground the day the first patient was diagnosed,” Frieden said. “That might have prevented this infection.”

The infected health-care worker will soon be transferred from the Dallas hospital to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta, because clearly Dallas didn’t handle the first case all too well.

On a lighter Ebola note, yelling “I have Ebola” on a plane can lead to trouble of the “I have a bomb” variety. A man on a US Airways flight from Philadelphia to the Dominican Republic reportedly sneezed and joked that he had Ebola. Big mistake. Flight attendants reported the incident and when the plane landed, passengers were told to stay on the plane as crews in hazmat suits came onto the aircraft and whisked away the Ebola joker despite his insistence that “I ain’t from Africa!”

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Texas: Ebola for Some, Abortions for Others!

Abortion Restrictions Texas

While some Texans are busy fearing an Ebola outbreak, others are out celebrating/cursing the latest Supreme Court decision which has blocked vital components of the strict antiabortion laws enacted in Texas last year by Gov. Rick Perry.

The Texas law, which Rick Perry and his fellow Lone Star conservatives say is designed to protect women’s health, required all abortion clinics in the state be “ambulatory surgical centers,” regulated under the same standards as hospitals and forced doctors performing abortions to first obtain admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. The new restrictions effectively shut down all but eight abortion clinics throughout the state – which are all clustered in metropolitan regions in the eastern part of Texas. And by abortion clinics, I mean family planning clinics, which provide a multitude of services to women who otherwise cannot afford them, of which abortions are only one part.

But now, in a 6-3 ruling (Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito opposed, obvs), the Supreme Court has ordered Texas not to enforce parts the law – at least until more appeals can be filed on the larger questions of the Texas law’s constitutionality. The Supreme Court blocked the surgical-center requirement entirely and the admitting-privileges requirement as it applied to clinics in McAllen and El Paso.

“The U.S. Supreme Court gave Texas women a tremendous victory today,” said Nancy Northup, president of the Center for Reproductive Rights. “Tomorrow, 13 clinics across the state will be allowed to reopen and provide women with safe and legal abortion care in their own communities.”

“This fight against Texas’ sham abortion law is not over. HB2 was designed to gut the constitutional protections of Roe v. Wade and half of the state’s clinics remain closed,” she added.

“We’re seeing the terrible impact these restrictions have on thousands of Texas women who effectively no longer have access to safe and legal abortion,” said Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. “We’re relieved that the court stepped in to stop this, and we hope this dangerous law is ultimately overturned completely.”

Although it’s only temporary, Tuesday’s ruling could lead to access by the millions of women unable to reach the major cities where the few remaining facilities are still open.

But the court’s ruling won’t stop Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, a Republican who is the favorite in next month’s governor’s race, from defending Rick Perry’s restrictive abortion bill to the death – because it’s not like there are more pressing medical crises happening in Texas right now…

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Where in the World is Kim Jong Un? And Other News…

Kim Jong Un

Where in the world is Kim Jong Un? The mystery surrounding the whereabouts of Kim Jong Un, who has not been seen in public since early September, grew even more mysterious Friday after the Supreme leader missed a ceremony to pay tribute to his late father and grandfather on what is a VERY important national anniversary.

Kim Jong Un’s absence and rumored illness has recently fueled speculation that he’d been overthrown in a coup, but the prevailing theory is that the dictator hurt his leg and doesn’t want to appear weak in front the people who worship him. Sources say the injury, possibly related to cheese induced obesity or gout, took place around late August or early September while Kim was inspecting military exercises. Either way, North Korean sources say Kim Jong Un will be Kim Jong Unavailable for at least 100 days. Reuters

Secret ServiceThe biggest threat to President Obama is… internet trolls. More than half of the threats made against Obama are made online, but given the recent missteps of the Secret Service, government officials are now questioning how adept the security team has been at handling them. Lawmakers and private security officials are sceptical about whether the Secret Service can adapt to the new social-media landscape. “I don’t know if they’ve adapted to these new threats,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee on national security. “The attacks are going to come, no matter what. Are there new and creative ways of detecting them? I’m not convinced they’ve tied those loops.” If the Secret Service can’t stop a man from running with a knife in the White House or prevent an armed felon from getting on an elevator with the president, how can they sort through zillions of social-media postings to determine who is a harmless internet troll and who is a not-so-harmless internet troll with a detailed plan? Washington Post

ISIS militantsThe unnamed war on ISIS and other various terrorist organizations… isn’t going well. According to American intelligence officials, the 46 cruise missiles the U.S. fired last month at a Syrian terrorist cell killed just one or two key militants. The strikes on a compound near Aleppo didn’t do much to deter the Khorasan Group since earlier news reports caused many militants to scatter before the strikes hit, minimizing the missiles’ effect. Meanwhile, ISIS is quickly taking over the Syrian border town of Kobane from the Kurds and are also threatening to overrun a key province in western Iraq. The ISIS invasion has gotten so bad that local residents are fighting back – with tea. Four ISIS militants at a check point in Jalawla, 70 km north east of Baqubah were poisoned by a local resident after he offered them some tea that he had poisoned earlier. Looks like the tea had a higher success rate than the 46 U.S. cruise missiles. AP

Mexico GravesMexi-noooooo! Two weeks after 43 students disappeared in rural southern Mexico after clashes with police, authorities say the suspects have led them to new burial pits and more bodies. Attorney general Jesus Murillo Karam announced on Thursday that the suspects revealed four additional mass graves last weekend in the city of Iguala containing 28 badly burned bodies. Four new suspects were arrested on Thursday, taking the total number of those detained to 34, including 26 police officers. Wait, the police did this? I guess life in Ferguson, Missouri isn’t looking so bad now. Prosecutors attribute the student disappearances to police, who killed six people and wounded at least 25 in two separate attacks in the city of Iguala, after which officers rounded up some protesting students and drove off with them. Police are believed to have turned over the students to a local drug gang that apparently had ties to the family of Iguala’s mayor. Holy Mexican soap opera! BBC News

Ebola Worst Since AIDSEbola is the worst things since unsliced bread AIDS. While speaking before a World Bank forum on the Ebola crisis, CDC Director Thomas Frieden declared that the virus is the worst thing ever – minus AIDS. “I would say that in the 30 years I’ve been working in public health, the only thing like this has been AIDS,” he said, adding that the world needs to work fast to stop the outbreak, which has killed more than 4,000 people, including 200 health workers. Luckily, a prominent “pro-life” Republican in South Carolina has the solution: kill anyone who has Ebola. Unless, of course, they’re a fetus. Todd Kincannon, the former executive director of the South Carolina GOP, took to Twitter to express his views that “people with Ebola in the US need to be humanely put down immediately” and “the protocol for a positive Ebola test should be immediate execution and sanitation of the whole area.” He also blames the spread of Ebola on the people of Africa for: “Eating each other.” NBC News

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What Poses A Greater Threat to World Peace: ISIS or America?

Harvard ISIS Threat

According to Fox News, neither. The greatest threat to world peace is a “bunch of snot-nosed brats” from Harvard.

Several Harvard students were asked by Campus Reform’s Caleb Bonham whether the U.S. or ISIS pose the greater threat to world peace.

“It’s America. America’s making decisions that are much more likely to affect the world,” one student said.

“As a Western civilization, we’re to blame for a lot of the problems that we’re facing now,” one student said during the interview. “I don’t think anyone would argue that we didn’t create the problem of ISIS, ourselves.”

“American imperialism and our protection of oil interests in the Middle East are destabilizing the region,” another added.

The Fox Outnumbered hosts were shocked and appalled by the students’ answers, with their responses ranging from disbelief to rage to simply mocking the students with snobby British accents (see reactions here). Clearly these kids do NOT SUPPORT OUR TROOPS and clearly they have fake British accents because apparently that’s a thing among rich unpatriotic anti-American brats?

The guest judge, country star John Rich, who sporting a cowboy hat (presumably to lend credibility to his thoughts), was especially outraged at the anti-American sentiment he was hearing.

“These are obviously kids that don’t know somebody who’s serving. They don’t have anybody in their family that’s ever taught them about this country and what the DNA of our country is about,” said Rich, who added that his grandfather served in WWII and his father taught him about the importance of saying the Pledge of Allegiance each morning.

Now, the hosts over at Outnumbered were quick to point out that America is by no means perfect (although it comes pretty close) and it’s perfectly acceptable to criticize your country. Unless they disagree even in the slightest with that criticism – then you’re just a snot-nosed brat who hates the troops. Next.

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