His childhood friends called him Pote, which loosely translates to “can of goodness” in New York’s Puerto Rican street slang.
Thousands of police officers from across the country and from Canada and residents from every corner of New York City arrived early Saturday to attend the funeral of “the can of goodness,” Rafael “Ralph” Ramos, the police officer and 40-year-old father of two who was shot dead with his partner as they sat in their squad car on a meal break in Brooklyn last week. Police in their blue uniforms arrived by bus, car, train and plane from a distance and from the precinct around the corner. By 7 a.m. Saturday, the line of mourners stretched more than six blocks.
With threats to police continuing online, security was high with police on rooftops watching the crowd through binoculars. Canine units moved through the mourners and helped to check cars parked along adjacent streets. Emergency Services Units officers patrolled with assault rifles.
Sorry for the source on this, I could not find it elsewhere. The Ukrainian statement about this this blockade is that they are worried about saboteurs infiltrating.
Ukraine has decided to suspend all rail and bus services to Crimea over what it calls security concerns.
The decision came days after Russia decided to halt its train service to Crimea due to low demand. The Black Sea peninsula has no overland connection to Russia and relies on a land bridge to Ukraine for basic needs. Now, most of the region’s residents will have to reach Ukraine by car or cross into Russia by ferry. Earlier this week, Kiev temporarily cut power supplies to Crimea, saying the Russian-controlled peninsula had exceeded consumption limits. In March, Crimeans voted to break away from Ukraine and rejoined Russia in a referendum that angered Kiev and its Western allies.
The rest of the story: with the Russian economy in freefall, they have to sell to everyone they can.
Russia has agreed on a new deal to supply coal and electricity to Ukraine, which is struggling with a lack of raw fuel for power plants due to a separatist conflict in the industrial east, Russian officials said on Saturday.
The move comes a day after Kiev said it would suspend train and bus services to Crimea, effectively creating a transportation blockade to and from the region annexed by Moscow in March this year. Kiev has briefly cut off electricity to Crimea before.
Russia will supply coal and electricity to Kiev without advance payment as a goodwill gesture from President Vladimir Putin, his spokesman Dmitry Peskov told TASS news agency.
PlayStation network services were slowly being restored, Sony said early Saturday - more than two days after a suspected attack by hackers that also brought down Microsoft’s Xbox Live. “PS4, PS3, and Vita network services are gradually coming back online - thanks for your patience,” the company said in a Twitter update to frustrated users who have been without the gaming network since late Christmas Eve. Xbox Live was back “up and running” on Friday, Microsoft said.
A hacker group called “Lizard Squad” gleefully claimed responsibility for knocking the services offline, saying on Twitter on Thursday that it had overwhelmed Sony and Microsoft’s servers with bogus user traffic. On Friday, however, it claimed the cyber attacks had stopped.
“Rumbling past 50 hours now,” one gamer wrote on Twitter. “Day two of owning a $350 piece of plastic,” wrote another. “No internet, no log in, no nothing.”
Stunning Timelapse from ESA and Alexander Gerst
Watch Earth roll by through the perspective of ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst in this six-minute timelapse video from space. Combining 12 500 images taken by Alexander during his six-month Blue Dot mission on the International Space Station this Ultra High Definition video shows the best our beautiful planet has to offer.
Marvel at the auroras, sunrises, clouds, stars, oceans, the Milky Way, the International Space Station, lightning, cities at night, spacecraft and the thin band of atmosphere that protects us from space.
Often while conducting scientific experiments or docking spacecraft Alexander would set cameras to automatically take pictures at regular intervals. Combining these images gives the timelapse effect seen in this video.
Watch the video in 4K resolution for the best effect and find out more about Alexander Gerst’s Blue Dot mission here: esa.int
Follow Alexander Gerst via alexandergerst.esa.int
Pakistani warplanes and ground forces killed 39 militants as part of an ongoing operation in a volatile tribal region near the Afghan border, the Pakistani military said.
The airstrikes were carried out Friday evening in the Datta Khel area of the North Waziristan tribal region, an army statement said Saturday, adding that an underground tunnel system and a large underground cache of weapons and ammunition were also destroyed.
The military claimed several important militant commanders were among the dead, but didn’t provide further details on the identities of the slain militants.
Also late Friday night, Pakistani troops ambushed a large assembly of militants on the border between the Orakzai and Khyber tribal regions, the statement said.
From the 1937 FBI memorandum on “Communist Infiltration of the Motion Picture Industry”:
“With regard to the picture ‘It’s A Wonderful Life’, [REDACTED] stated in substance that the film represented a rather obvious attempt to discredit bankers by casting Lionel Barrymore as a ‘scrooge-type’ so that he would be the most hated man in the picture. This, according to these sources, is a common trick used by Communists.
In addition, [REDACTED] stated that, in his opinion, this picture deliberately maligned the upper class, attempting to show the people who had money were mean and despicable characters.
The irony here is that a real Communist would never say that the problem is with the bad behavior of some bankers, as if the problem could be fixed with more regulation or better business ethics. To blame the individual bad actor is part of the capitalist ideology.
Yet another Republican-led House investigation has turned up no evidence for daily wingnut talking points, and certainly won’t stop them from believing the continued kvetching about Lois Lerner and the IRS “scandal.”
Issa’s big dud: No White House connection to IRS ‘scandal”
by Michael Hiltzik
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista) wasted enormous congressional resources over the last 18 months trying to inflate the IRS “scandal” into a mountain. The release Tuesday of his final, petulant report on the affair marks what may be its final decline into a mouse.
The bottom line: Contrary to his assertions in countless appearances on Fox News, there’s no evidence that the Obama White House directed — or indeed was involved in any way — in the supposed targeting of conservative nonprofit groups for special scrutiny by the IRS. There’s no evidence that “tea party” groups were exclusively targeted, as opposed to tax-exempt “social welfare” organizations from across the political spectrum.
The evidence set forth in the report, which was issued by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform’s GOP majority without sharing it first with the Democratic minority, instead depicts an IRS struggling to apply complicated rules for nonprofits engaging in political activity, all without guidance from Congress.
More at L.A. Times
On December 10, the work of the Brazilian National Truth Commission (NTC) came to an end, after two years and seven months. The commission delivered a 2,000-page report to President Dilma Rousseff.
Aiming to investigate serious human rights violations committed by the Brazilian state in the period of 1946 to 1988, the NTC collected 1,121 testimonies from victims, perpetrators and state officials, resulting in a list of 434 names of dead or missing victims of the civil-military dictatorship.
The commissioners were sensitive to the demands of marginalised sectors and ended up expanding the scope of the report, incorporating a variety of unexplored themes. For example, they changed the traditional interpretation of who counted as a “victim”; until recently this concept was applied only to those who took part in the resistance. The NTC ended up including the stories of violence and abuse suffered by women, indigenous peoples, peasants and homosexuals and dedicated special chapters to them in the final report.
The commissioners also used their legal prerogative permitting them to release the names of human rights violators, while collecting evidence. As a result, for the first time in Brazilian history, we have the names of 377 public officials who were responsible for carrying out acts of violence during the military dictatorship.
Full Show: American Indians Confront “Savage Anxieties”
December 26, 2014
Earlier this month, as part of the $585 billion defense bill for 2015, Congress passed a measure that would give lands sacred to American Indians in Arizona to a foreign company. The deal gives the Australian-English mining firm Rio Tinto 2,400 acres of the Tonto National Forest in exchange for several other parcels so it can mine a massive copper deposit.