Tag Archives: Civil

White Nationalists Arrested ahead of Richmond Rally Planned to Kill Gun-Rights Demonstrators to Spark Civil War

White Nationalists Arrested ahead of Richmond Rally Planned to Kill Gun-Rights Demonstrators to Spark Civil WarThree alleged members of a white supremacist group were plotting to murder demonstrators at Monday's gun rights rally at the Virginia Capitol before they were arrested by the FBI last week, according to court documents.The men were caught discussing their plans on a hidden camera set up in their Delaware apartment by FBI agents.“We can’t let Virginia go to waste, we just can’t,” said Patrik J. Mathews, one member of the hate group "the Base" that promotes violence against African-Americans and Jews.According to authorities, the 27-year-old former Canadian Armed Forces reservist also discussed creating "instability" in Virginia by killing people, derailing trains, poisoning water, and shutting down highways in order to "kick off the economic collapse" and possibly start a "full blown civil war."Mathews also discussed the possibility of "executing" police officers and stealing their belongings and remarked that, “We could essentially be like literally hunting people.”“Virginia will be our day,” said 33-year-old Brian M. Lemley Jr., adding, “I need to claim my first victim.”“Lemley discussed using a thermal imaging scope affixed to his rifle to conduct ambush attacks,” the court filings read.The two were arrested along with a third man, 19, last Thursday. They are charged with federal firearms violations and “transporting and harboring an alien,” referring to Mathews, who is a Canadian national. Four more members of The Base have also been arrested and charged in Georgia and Wisconsin.In a search of the apartment, prosecutors said that FBI agents found propaganda fliers for The Base, communications devices, empty rifle cases, "go bags" with "numerous Meals-Ready-to-Eat," knives, and materials for building an assault rifle.Tens of thousands of gun rights advocates rallied in Richmond on Monday to protest the state’s Democratic legislature's gun-control agenda. Critics raised fears beforehand that militant white supremacists could disrupt the rally, but the day ended peacefully with no violence.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Feds: White supremacists hoped rally would start civil war

Feds: White supremacists hoped rally would start civil warA hidden camera captured members of a white supremacist group expressing hope that violence at a gun rights rally in Virginia this week could start a civil war, federal prosecutors said in a court filing Tuesday.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos held in civil contempt for violating judge's order on student loan collection

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos held in civil contempt for violating judge's order on student loan collectionThe Department of Education had been ordered to stop collecting on federal loans of students who attended Corinthian College, which closed in 2015.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Hizbollah leader warns of civil war after days of Lebanon protests

Hizbollah leader warns of civil war after days of Lebanon protestsThe leader of Hizbollah on Friday warned Lebanon that nationwide protests calling for the overthrow of the government could lead to chaos and civil war.  Hassan Nasrallah praised protesters for achieving “unprecedented” economic reforms but also suggested foreign intervention had a role in the demonstrations.  Over a quarter of Lebanon’s population are reported to have taken to the streets in anti-corruption protests over the past week. Hizbollah supporters have in recent days organised counter-attacks on the protests, which have so far remained largely free of sectarian division.  The powerful Shiite group, which is backed regionally by Iran, is in coalition with the government of Prime Minister Saad Hariri.  Speaking to the nation for the first time on day nine of the mass protests, Nasrallah warned that he had “intelligence” of foreign “conspiracies” to drag Lebanon into civil war.  Lebanon has been swept by more than a week of nationwide protests against the political elite Credit: AFP The leader claimed that the protests had started spontaneously, but were now being funded and organised by local and foreign actors who were exploiting the naivety of protestors. His speech echoed those given earlier this week by Mr Hariri and Michel Aoun, the country's president.  On the streets, protesters appeared unmoved. “All of them means all of them” they chanted, in reference to the demand for the country's entire cabinet to be replaced.   For the second day, security forces had to create human walls between the protestors and Hizbollah supporters in attempts to stop scuffles. “We are not going to stop our protests until we get what we want. We have been suffocated in these conditions for years. They have to go. All of them means all of them,” said Hieba, a 42-year-old restaurant owner.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Bulletproof memorial to Mississippi civil rights icon Emmett Till replaces vandalized sign

Bulletproof memorial to Mississippi civil rights icon Emmett Till replaces vandalized signA new, 500-pound reinforced steel memorial honoring slain civil rights icon Emmett Till was dedicated in Mississippi. Past signs were vandalized.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Extreme weather and natural disasters make Japan's civil protection agencies among world's busiest

Extreme weather and natural disasters make Japan's civil protection agencies among world's busiestAs Super Typhoon Hagibis bore down on Japan on Saturday – the most violent storm to strike in more than 80 years – the country was rattled on another front by a magnitude 5.7 earthquake. The quake, which shook large parts of the east just as Japan was on the highest level of alert for the approaching typhoon, underlined the threat that natural disasters constantly pose to the Japanese people.  At a depth of around 50 miles beneath the seabed close to the mouth of Tokyo Bay, it was felt several hundred miles from the epicentre. The Japan Meteorological Agency released an assessment three minutes after the tremor to confirm that there was no threat of a tsunami and there were no immediate reports of casualties.  The magnitude 9 earthquake and the tsunami that it triggered in March 2011 are still fresh in the memories of most Japanese, and it is fortunate that Saturday’s quake was not more serious. Out in force to respond to the typhoon, emergency services and the Japanese military could have been stretched beyond breaking point if they were also required to cope with victims of yet another tragedy. In the last decade, Japan has experienced some of the most extreme weather conditions and catastrophic natural disasters anywhere on the planet. And as a result, the country's civil protection and monitoring agencies are among the busiest in the world.  Predictions on dangerous weather systems and the monitoring of seismic activity across the archipelago falls to the Japan Meteorological Agency, which has observation equipment and regional facilities that are staffed around the clock from Hokkaido in the far north to the islands of Okinawa.  Weather patterns are tracked via satellites to provide data that is constantly updated on the agency’s web site and is shared, in times of emergency, with the government and rescue services. Earthquakes are measured by seismic monitors that instantly transmit critical data on the size of the tremor and the likelihood of a tsunami. The system is also linked to emergency alerts that are issued through mobile phones and radio and television in areas that are most at risk.  Seismic activity has always been a threat to life and limb here, with the 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake claiming more than 18,000 lives and devastating towns and communities along hundreds of miles of the north-eastern coastline.  Even today, the scars of that tragedy are clearly visible in districts that are yet to be completely rebuilt and towering sea walls intended to deflect the ocean the next time that a similar event occurs. Whether they will be able to withstand the full power of the Pacific should another tsunami emerge remains to be seen.  In September 2014, Mount Ontake erupted without the slightest warning, killing 63 people who had been out for a day’s hike. It was the worst death toll from a volcanic eruption in the previous seven decades, and demonstrated once again that nature is effectively impossible to predict.  Alarmingly, tradition holds that Tokyo and the surrounding regions experience a major earthquake every 70 years or so. The last big tremor was in September 1923, a 7.9 megathrust quake that triggered a tsunami that was in places nearly 40 feet high and killing as many as 140,000 people.  Experts say that earthquakes do not adhere to timelines; others worry that the “Big One” is overdue and that pressure has been building up in the tectonic plates that sit directly beneath one of the world’s most densely populated cities in the world.  And while the Japanese have always lived with periodic seismic events – a fact of life for a nation that sits on the Pacific “Ring of Fire” and experiences as many as 1,500 tremors every year, most of them too small to be felt by humans – the archipelago does seem to have experienced more than its fair share of extreme weather in recent years. Seventy people died in rural parts of Hiroshima Prefecture in August 2014 after torrential rain weakened mountainsides and caused a series of landslips. A typhoon that hit Osaka in September last year flooded large parts of the city’s airport, built on a man-made island in the bay, and was the largest storm to hit Japan in more than 25 years.  That typhoon has been firmly eclipsed by two similar weather systems that have this autumn forced eastern Japan to batten down the hatches.  Typhoon Faxai swept in from the Pacific on September 9, killing three people and leaving widespread devastation in its wake. Nearly 1 million people were without power and the damage was so widespread that it took two weeks to restore power to some communities.  Super Typhoon Higibis is significantly larger and more powerful than that storm and the people of eastern Japan have heeded the lessons of previous disasters. Shops have run out of food and bottled water, as well as batteries.  After that, there is not much more that anyone can do other than to wait for Sunday morning to assess the scale of the damage.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Neil Gorsuch fears 'massive social upheaval' if Supreme Court rules in favor of civil rights protections for LGBTQ workers

Neil Gorsuch fears 'massive social upheaval' if Supreme Court rules in favor of civil rights protections for LGBTQ workersSupreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch is expected to be the deciding vote in a ruling over whether the Civil Rights Act of 1964 applies to LGBTQ people. Gorsuch, a conservative who has shown a propensity for carving out his own judicial path, said there are strong arguments favoring LGBTQ workers who were fired for their sexual orientation or transgender status, but he wasn't quite ready to rule in their favor, calling the cases "really close."One of the things Gorsuch is considering is the aftermath of the ruling. He wondered whether the justices should take into account the "massive social upheaval" that could follow a ruling in the workers' favor.That reasoning led to a little bit of head scratching.> So Neil Gorsuch apparently was concerned today about "massive social upheaval" if SCOTUS rules LGBTQ can't be fired under Civil Rights Act. > > Except, 21+ states have these laws now, including his beloved Colorado, where he was law professor. > > There's been no upheaval.> > — Michelangelo Signorile (@MSignorile) October 8, 2019The justice also hinted that, although he is "with" the workers "on the text," he thinks that it may be up to Congress, not the Supreme Course to handle this situation, since it likely couldn't be determined whether the 1964 law meant to include sexual orientation or gender identity. "It's a question of judicial modesty," he said.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

China's civil liberties crackdown can happen here

China's civil liberties crackdown can happen here"We must save Hong Kong, the present Hong Kong and the future Hong Kong," declared the city's chief executive, Carrie Lam, in a Friday announcement of a ban on wearing masks in public. Enacted under a colonial-era emergency powers ordinance, the mask ban takes effect Saturday and is ostensibly a "deterrent to radical behavior," a way to tamp down the rising violence from a minority segment of the anti-government protesters who have flooded the city's streets for weeks.Yet, as demonstrators have been quick to note, punishing the use of face coverings with jail time will do far more than make the violent few easier to apprehend. It will also expose thousands to tear gas employed by increasingly brutal police, and it bares protesters' identities to China's panopticon surveillance state. Hong Kong is right to bristle at this ban — and we in the United States would do well to take it as a warning. The civil liberties violations now underway in China can happen here, and they almost certainly will if we do not proactively reject them.In some arenas, the march of technological development does not substantively change the questions policymakers must address. Civil liberties are different. A century ago — even a few decades ago — the surveillance capabilities now available to the government were the stuff of science fiction. Imagine telling someone in 1919 or 1979 that in some cities the state can tap into thousands or even millions of cameras to spy on citizens.Chinese cities top the global list of camera concentration, with as many as 168 cameras for every 1,000 people, per a recent study. And this is not the grainy, black-and-white footage of a gas station security cam. Chinese researchers have built a camera capable of taking images five times more detailed than those perceived by the unaided human eye. Paired with facial recognition technology, it will be able to identify individuals in crowds of thousands. China's facial recognition tech will soon gatekeep much of the country's internet usage, too, as a facial screening will be required to obtain new cell phone service beginning in December.This degree of spying is difficult to fathom, and it is not hyperbolic to say it is a legitimately new development in state power. Think of our stories of heroic outlawry, historic and fictional alike: Robin Hood, the Scarlet Pimpernel, the Underground Railroad, resistance to the Nazis in occupied Belgium and France. Would any of that be possible now? Can Robin give the sheriff the slip when his escape is caught on camera? How do you run the Underground Railroad under the watchful eye of CCTV? How do you resist a tyranny that can listen to your every word and watch your every move?I'm not sure we've grasped the extent to which this technology makes preemptive limits of state authority vital. It is inherently and perhaps uniquely self-preservative. The omniscience of which modern surveillance tech is capable gives it a built-in omnipotence. By its nature, it makes resistance extremely difficult. Other forms of state oppression may be more obviously threatening, but pervasive surveillance has a special quality of self-enforcement.That quality is what makes the warning from China so urgent. The technology available to Beijing is available to Washington, and the lust for power which encourages its employ knows no national bounds. What is happening there absolutely can happen here. Chinese cities lead the list of surveillance camera concentration worldwide, yes, but Atlanta and Chicago make the top 20, and Washington, D.C., San Francisco, San Diego, and Boston are in the top 50. Facial recognition use is growing among American law enforcement, too, including at the federal level.Our situation and that of the demonstrators in Hong Kong (and Chinese citizens more broadly) are not as far apart as we might like to think. All that really stands between the two is law.That is why the civil liberties crackdown in Hong Kong, of which this mask ban is but a portion, should prompt us here in the States to get our legal house in order. We must strengthen privacy protections before we have finished assembling a panopticon of our own. The surveillance state suppresses the very dissent it occasions. Once the cameras go up, they are exceedingly unlikely to come down.Want more essential commentary and analysis like this delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up for The Week's "Today's best articles" newsletter here.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

Theranos founder accused of bilking lawyers in civil case

Theranos founder accused of bilking lawyers in civil caseThe founder of scandalized blood-testing startup Theranos is now being accused of skipping out on bills owed to the lawyers defending her against fraud charges in a civil lawsuit. Elizabeth Holmes, who ran Theranos until its 2018 collapse, hasn’t paid her Palo Alto, California, attorney John Dwyer and his colleagues for the past year, according to documents filed Monday in Phoenix federal court. The documents cited Holmes “current financial situation” without elaborating.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines

'OK' hand gesture, 'Bowlcut' added to civil rights group's online database of hate symbols

'OK' hand gesture, 'Bowlcut' added to civil rights group's online database of hate symbolsThe "OK" hand gesture, a mass killer's bowl-style haircut and an anthropomorphic moon wearing sunglasses are among 36 new entries in a Jewish civil rights group's online database of hate symbols used by white supremacists and other far-right extremists.



Yahoo News – Latest News & Headlines