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Gregzs

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Andy Warhol computer artwork rescued from Amiga floppy disks

Previously unknown Andy Warhol artwork, made on a 1985 Commodore Amiga computer, was recently extracted from obsolete floppy disks.

The Andy Warhol Museum said in a statement released Thursday that a forgotten cove of computer graphic art made by the pop artist was found in the museum’s archive collection.

Artist Cory Arcangel initiated a search with the Carnegie Museum of Art and The Warhol Museum’s chief archivist, Matt Wrbican, to retrieve the lost artwork after he came across a YouTube clip of Warhol presenting at a Amiga 1000 computer launch event. At the time, Commodore International commissioned Warhol to “demonstrate the [Amiga 100’s] graphic arts capabilities.”

Warhol’s digital experiments include several doodles, a three-eyed Venus, a portrait of punk rock singer Debbie Harry and variations of classic Warhol fascinations — from the banana and Marilyn Monroe to a Campbell’s soup can.

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/arts/w...WWWdOPh7aTFijy21uI1R5Tsk3x-q1puqJoEJ9lh0_N_T4
 

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Germany's Far Right is Surging

 

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How Lithium Became a Hot Commodity

 

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The Reality of the US Withdrawal From Afghanistan

 

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How tax laws disadvantage Black Americans but subsidize white Americans

 

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Russian Mercenaries Are Allegedly Raping and Murdering Central African Civilians

 

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New York man charged with disability fraud after showing up jacked on pro-bodybuilder wife’s Instagram


A New York bodybuilder allegedly spent years collecting disability benefits by claiming he was in no shape to work – all while running a limousine business and pumping iron, the state’s top prosecutor announced Thursday.

Attorney General Letitia James said investigators caught onto the ruse after seeing Anthony Ragusa’s fit form on the Instagram account of his wife, International Federation of Bodybuilding and Fitness pro Loly Ragusa. She even tagged his business in some of the posts.

"Disability benefits exist to help those who need a safety net when their bodies cannot fulfill day-to-day obligations," James said in a statement. "While cheating the state out of thousands of dollars, Anthony Ragusa was simultaneously running a business and posing for pictures of his bodybuilding on the Internet. Fraudulently collecting these benefits was not only a shameful slap in the face to those who actually live with disabilities, but a vast waste of taxpayer dollars."

Photos show the barrel-chested Ragusa, of Huntington, N.Y., posing with his wife in the gym, at the beach and elsewhere.

In one November 2019 image, she describes him as her "partner in crime." If only she knew.

Prosecutors said Ragusa initially filed for disability benefits in 2013, when he said he fell while working as an electrician and suffered severe injuries that made it difficult to put on shoes, walk for more than 15 minutes or even sit for more than a half-hour at a time.

He also said he suffered from severe pain that made working in any capacity impossible. But he allegedly continued to own and operate the White Star Limousine company, based in New Hyde Park.

Between 2015 and 2020, he reiterated his claims of disability, prosecutors alleged.

Then in 2017 he "began a physical transformation into a bodybuilder," according to the attorney general’s office, citing "extensive video and photographic evidence" on his wife’s Instagram.

For his efforts, he now faces felony charges of grand larceny and offering a false instrument for filing. He was released on his own recognizance, or without bail.

Ragusa’s attorney did not immediately respond to a Fox News request for comment.

https://www.foxnews.com/us/new-york-man-disability-fraud-pro-bodybuilder-wifes-instagram
 

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17-Year-Old Pushes Away Bear: ‘I Didn’t Know I Had It In Me’

 

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Remains of at Least 17 People Found Under Alleged Serial Killer's House


Authorities found thousands of bone fragments on the outskirts of Mexico City at the home of a 72-year-old man, allegedly a former butcher and now serial killer.

MEXICO CITY — Authorities have found thousands of bone fragments underneath the home of a suspected serial killer in Mexico, and believe that they could belong to at least 17 different victims.

The owner of the home has been identified as a 72-year-old man known as Andrés, whose last name hasn't been released due to Mexican privacy laws regarding suspected criminals. Investigators have suggested that the killings could have spanned decades.

Police arrested Andrés in the town of Atizapán de Zaragoza in mid-May, shocking the community on the outskirts of Mexico City in neighboring Mexico State. Andrés had been a well-known local fixture who worked as a community representative in regional politics.

Authorities allege that his heinous crimes came to light when the 34-year-old wife of a police commander disappeared after having accompanied Andrés while shopping. The police officer suspected Andrés in her disappearance and gained access to surveillance cameras that showed her entering his house, then never leaving. The officer confronted Andrés at his home and discovered her dismembered corpse inside.

When investigators searched the house they found numerous identification cards of other potential victims.

Andrés has already confessed to several of the murders, but the exact number of victims is still unknown. Over the past month forensics experts dug below the house and recently released their findings about the bone fragments. They also announced the discovery of women's clothing, makeup, jewelry, and a number of cell phones, along with nearly 100 photographs, 28mm video tapes, and 25 VHS cassettes.

The outdated video recordings additionally suggest that the killings may have spanned a significant portion of time, although it's not uncommon for older technology to remain in use in Mexico.

It appears that the majority, if not all of his victims, may have been women. Mexico is generally considered one of the most dangerous countries for women and sees shocking levels of domestic abuse and femicides. Mexico State has regularly seen some of the highest levels of femicides in the country, along with the disappearances of women.

News reports have identified an alleged modus operandi from the confessed murderer, who courted women in their 30s and 40s and gained their trust, before murdering them.

The husband of the final victim told authorities that his wife didn't have a romantic relationship with Andrés and it pained him to see that reported on the news. The police officer said that Andrés was an elderly family friend that he and his wife felt sorry for. They invited him to family gatherings and had tried to help him out economically because of his advanced age.

Andrés reportedly used to work as a butcher, and actually sectioned and filleted at least his latest victim. In total, 3,787 bone fragments have been identified at the house which suggests that he may have instituted that tactic on his other alleged victims. Authorities announced that they intend to continue searching other parts of the property where they believe that there could be additional victims.

Mass graves are frequently discovered in Mexico, which currently has more than 30,000 people listed as missing. But those remains and victims are often understood to be the victims of organized crime, the drug trade and corruption rather than serial killers.

https://www.vice.com/en/article/qj8...zb6PUfIZ37tZREBOUNm4Sr677FMDcBXt8NOxU0ymkqtNI
 

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Cop Under Investigation After Video Shows Him Kicking Suspect in Head

A Sheriff's deputy in Southern California is under investigation due to a video of him winding up and kicking a suspect in the head AFTER the guy appeared to surrender.

Surveillance footage from a Toyota dealership in Victorville, CA captured Wednesday's violent interaction on camera ... you see the suspect roll out from under a parked car before he's confronted by a deputy with a flashlight, who appears to order the suspect on the ground.

The man complies, but then the cop takes a big step and unloads a couple kicks to the suspect's face.

Video shows the cop stand over the man for a few seconds before beginning to slap some handcuffs on him as another deputy arrives to assist.

The San Bernardino County Sheriffs Department tells TMZ the incident started with an attempted traffic stop of a motorcycle. Police say the driver led cops on a high-speed chase, and ditched his bike near the dealership before fleeing on foot. Cops say they found the suspect hiding in the dealership lot, and admit there was a "use of force" during the arrest.

The Sheriff says a review of the footage raised immediate concerns about the deputy's actions and he's on leave while under investigation.

https://www.tmz.com/2021/06/18/cop-...N_Vkp2Z4izBN0_lXkSqcqhhBC0pqV1jDHNejEPiY0uGdc
 

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Get Shredded!
Spectator to be sued after Tour de France crash

The roadside fan who caused a giant crash at the Tour de France on Saturday is to be sued by the organisers.

The woman concerned held up a banner slightly into the road and was looking straight at the television motorbike cameras with her back turned on the speeding peloton.

German rider Tony Martin brushed past her and was knocked off balance racing near the head of the peloton, and when he fell it caused a horrifying domino effect ending in a tangle of bikes and bodies.

DSM's German rider Jasha Sutterlin was the only one who had to pull out at that moment but several people were hurt, including spectators.

"We are suing this woman who behaved so badly," Tour deputy director Pierre-Yves Thouault told AFP.

"We are doing this so that the tiny minority of people who do this dont spoil the show for everyone," he said.

Italian champion Sonny Colbrelli and Dutch rider Wout van Aert, who ran over Martin before falling head over heels, had both been amongst the favourites to win the first stage hilltop finish but were both badly delayed.

Two Ineos riders Richie Porte and Tao Geoghegan Hart both lost time, while champion Tadej Pogacar saw his right hand man Marc Hirschi badly hurt.

According to regional newspaper Ouest France the woman who was wearing a yellow jacket fled the scene and has yet to be found.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/worl...tour-de-france-crash/ar-AALtCXk?ocid=msedgntp
 

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Allison Mack Sentenced to 3 Years in Prison for Role in NXIVM ‘Sex Cult’

The 'Smallville' actress was facing up to 17 years in prison for her role as NXIVM leader Keith Raniere's number two in a secretive group that branded and blackmailed women.

BROOKLYN, New York— Allison Mack, once a cheery actress on a popular teen superhero show, was sentenced to three years in federal prison on Wednesday for her role in a racketeering scheme orchestrated by jailed NXIVM cult leader Keith Raniere.

Mack, 38, appeared in Brooklyn federal court with her lawyers and read a statement calling her actions “abusive, abhorrent and illegal.”

Government guidelines recommended a sentence between 14 and 17.5 years for conspiring to extort women into submission as “slaves” to Raniere, but prosecutors requested a lower sentence because Mack provided key evidence that led to Raniere’s conviction.

Judge Nicholas Garaufis said Mack was an “essential accomplice” in carrying out Raniere’s DOS-related crimes. “He could not have done that without you,” he said. “You did that together.” He sentenced her to three years in prison, plus a three-year term of supervised release.

Mack was first arrested in April 2018 on sex trafficking and forced labour charges. At the time prosecutors called her Raniere’s “second-in-command” in a secretive women’s empowerment group that blackmailed and branded women. She pleaded guilty to racketeering and racketeering conspiracy the following year, admitting to extortion and forced labor.

For more than a decade Mack was a coach and recruiter for NXIVM, a collection of self-help programs that claimed to help free people from limiting beliefs. Expensive entry-level courses built an elaborate mythology around Raniere, who at one time claimed he had an IQ of 240 and went by the title “Vanguard.” Followers like Mack adhered to strict low-calorie diets, sacrificed sleep to take on unpaid work, and recruited new members using multi-level marketing tactics.

Raniere faced trial in 2019 on a slew of charges ranging from sex trafficking and forced labor to wire fraud, identity theft, and sexually exploiting a minor. He was convicted on all counts and sentenced to 120 years in federal prison in October 2020.

Mack served as one of Raniere’s top-line “masters” in DOS, a slavery-themed blackmail scheme that called itself a women’s empowerment group. Women initiated into the group were pitched on a secret mentorship opportunity, then instructed to submit damaging secrets and nudes as proof of their commitment to secrecy. According to court records, as many as 150 women submitted potentially life-ruining “collateral” just to hear details about the secret group.

Once women submitted collateral, DOS members took a vow of lifetime obedience to upper-level recruiters like Mack. As part of her plea Mack admitted she lied about the group’s real leadership and purpose and instilled fear that collateral would be released if women went against orders or spoke out about the group.

Raniere’s role as “grandmaster” commanding over the group was concealed from the vast majority of members. Two women who testified at Raniere’s trial said Mack ordered them to “seduce” Raniere under threat that their collateral would be released.

One woman who was identified in court as Jay testified that Mack framed sexual contact with Raniere as an opportunity to work through her trauma as a victim of childhood sexual abuse.

The woman, who has since publicly identified herself as model and actress Jessica Joan, called Mack a “predator and an evil human being.” She compared Mack to Ghislaine Maxwell, alleged groomer for Jeffrey Epstein, and described Mack’s “sick and sadistic smile” whenever she punished women.

Mack is the third high-ranking member to be sentenced as part of the NXIVM case. Heiress Clare Bronfman pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six years and nine months in federal prison for illegally harbouring a migrant and visa fraud last year.

NXIVM cofounder and president Nancy Salzman and her daughter Lauren have also pleaded guilty to racketeering charges and are expected to be sentenced later this year.

https://www.vice.com/en/article/z3x...J-fZQrwXyy-5Zo_1nmiP0Qvr30yRZmlcKnyAcNuUz3vNc
 

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Biden administration cancels additional $55.6 million in student debt

The Department of Education canceled an additional $55.6 million in student loan debt for 1,800 students who were victims of a for-profit college fraud, bringing the total amount of canceled student loan debt by the Biden administration to $1.5 billion.

"Today’s announcement continues the U.S. Department of Education’s commitment to standing up for students whose colleges took advantage of them,” Miguel Cardona, the secretary of education, said in the department’s statement released Friday.

The latest loan cancellation is for students who attended Westwood College, Marinello Schools of Beauty and the Court Reporting Institute. This is the first time the department approved loan forgiveness to students who attended schools other than Corinthian Colleges, ITT Technical Institute and American Career Institute since 2017.

“Today’s action continues efforts by the Biden Administration to ensure borrower defense and other targeted loan cancellation, forgiveness, and discharge programs deliver relief to students and borrowers,” the department’s statement said.

The borrower defense is a federal regulation by the Department of Education that allows federal student loan borrowers the opportunity to seek forgiveness on their loans if they were defrauded by a college or university.

With the additional 1,800 students, the Biden administration has canceled student loans for nearly 92,000 people. The $1.5 billion of canceled loan debt is an attempt by the Biden administration to address the backlog of forgiveness claims left by the prior administration.

“The Department will continue doing its part to review and approve borrower defense claims quickly and fairly so that borrowers receive the relief that they need and deserve. We also hope these approvals serve as a warning to any institution engaging in similar conduct that this type of misrepresentation is unacceptable," Cardona added.

Some Democrats are pushing for more and broader student loan forgiveness.

More than 60 Democrats sent a letter to Biden on June 23, urging him to extend the pause of payments and interest for federal student loans, stating that the pause provided immense relief to borrowers and families during the pandemic and would “present a significant challenge” if ended.

Democrats also previously asked Biden to commit to $50,000 in student loan forgiveness per borrower, something he said he would not do, stating that he’d prefer the money be invested in early childhood education.

Will that "be forgiven, rather than use that money to provide money for early education for young children who come from disadvantaged circumstances?" Biden said during a CNN town hall.

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news...dA95GafsNmPQZw3LDRhy5desRi2fqL0cq2-8erO0YkTYA
 

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Pita Taufatofua has made headlines every time he's appeared at the Olympics. The Tongan flag bearer is best known for the shirtless, oiled-up look he has sported during each opening ceremony during his three Olympic appearances. He even did it at the 2018 Winter Olympics, despite it being the Winter Olympics.

It's obviously impressive to make it to any Olympic competition, but Taufatofua has now entered the record books. Following his appearance in men's +176 lbs tournament in tea kwon do, he is the first athlete to appear in three straight Olympic Games—summer and winter—since the introduction of the Winter Olympics in 1924, per NBC.

He has competed at Rio 2016, Pyeongchang 2018, and, now, Tokyo 2020. In Rio, he also competed in tea kwon do, losing in the first round of competition. Then he became the first-ever Winter Olympics athlete from Tonga when he qualified for cross-country skiing. Fortunately, the Olympic record books don't have a "no shirt, no shoes, no service" policy.

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https://www.thrillist.com/news/nati...-taufatofua-first-athlete-three-olympic-games
 

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Millions of tenants at risk as federal eviction ban ends

 

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Blackrock is poised for the kill.
 

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Human Body Parts Found Inside Nose Of Bullet Train


On route to Tokyo, a driver of a bullet train heard an abnormal sound as he headed through a tunnel with over 200 passengers on board.

The noise, a dull thud, came from the train's bonnet, the Japan Times reports. Thinking nothing of it, the driver continued his journey without reporting it to the authorities. He dismissed the sound as caused by hitting a small animal, a spokesperson from the train line told Sora News 24. He'd heard a similar noise before, and decided not to stop as there was no threat to passenger safety.

However, some 32 kilometers (20 miles) later at Kokura Station, a large crack in the front of the train was discovered. Despite the superficial damage done to the train, it was allowed to continue on to the main island of Honshu, where it was inspected more thoroughly. It was here that staff made a rather grim discovery.

Inside the crack in the nose of the train, they found parts of a human body. The dull thud heard inside the tunnel turned out to be caused by a collision with a man, rather than an animal as the train driver had thought. The impact had been enough to crack the front of the bullet train, and part of his body had become lodged within the crack in the train's nose.

Later on, authorities found more body parts inside the tunnel, which they matched to the body parts they found inside the train through fingerprinting. An unoccupied car was found near an access ladder used by maintenance workers, the Japan Times reports. The police are treating the death of the 52-year-old carer from Fukuoka Prefecture as a suicide.

The incident is being investigated upon the transport minister's instruction, with the West Japan Railway Co. focusing on the driver's decision not to alert the authorities straight away upon hearing the collision.

If you or someone you know are in crisis, call the toll-free National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), available 24 hours a day. The service is available to anyone and all calls are confidential.

https://www.iflscience.com/health-a...q7l4J1d8ndLKMCUszRsm-NjfTMJrywrM5Splx30Pq5Jk8
 

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Wow a very old Curt James thread, where did everyone go?
 

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Reality Check:

JUST IN - U.S. producer price inflation soars 7.8% annually in July, the highest increase on record.


 

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After two decades and billions spent, Afghan government collapses as Taliban takes Kabul


In a swift and stunning rout, Taliban fighters seized control of Afghanistan’s capital on Sunday, completing their sweep of the besieged nation as the Afghan government collapsed after two decades of efforts by the U.S. to reshape the region as part of its “war on terror.”

Embattled President Ashraf Ghani fled the country as the Taliban entered the capital city of Kabul, and American troops scrambled to evacuate thousands of U.S. diplomats and Afghans from the U.S. Embassy.

The Taliban, which for hours had been in the outskirts of Kabul, announced soon after it would move farther into a city gripped by panic throughout the day as helicopters raced overhead to evacuate personnel from the U.S. Embassy. Smoke rose near the compound as staff destroyed important documents. Several other Western missions prepared to pull their people out.

The Pentagon authorized an additional 1,000 U.S. troops to be deployed to Afghanistan to help with the evacuation efforts, said a defense official who was not authorized to speak publicly. That is on top of the 5,000 troops that President Joe Biden announced Saturday would be sent to ensure "an orderly and safe" drawdown and evacuate U.S. personnel as well as Afghans who helped American forces.

The Taliban is soon expected to declare the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan from the presidential palace in Kabul, an official told the Associated Press. Al Jazeera broadcast footage of Taliban fighters inside the presidential palace, sitting behind a desk that the network said was presumed to be Ghani's and placing their guns on it.

In Washington, Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris met via videoconference with their national security team to hear updates on the drawdown of civilian personnel in Afghanistan and the evacuation of allies who worked alongside the U.S. government during the 20-year war.

The fall of Kabul marked the final chapter of America's longest war, which began after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks masterminded by al-Qaida's Osama bin Laden, then harbored by the Taliban government. A U.S.-led invasion forced the Taliban to retreat.

For some, the U.S. pullout was a reminder of America’s ignominious withdrawal from Vietnam in 1975, which ended with iconic images of U.S. helicopters evacuating Americans from the roof of the embassy in Saigon.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken flatly rejected such comparisons. "This is manifestly not Saigon," Blinken argued, characterizing the drawdown of embassy and other personnel as "very deliberate."

Still, analysts predicted that history would view the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan as a failure.

“On day one, we go in and the Taliban is in charge. Twenty years later, the Taliban is back in charge,” said Jack Weinstein, a former Pentagon official and expert on international security.

“I don’t know how you couch that as a victory,” he said.

Though Kabul had been expected to fall, the speed of its collapse clearly caught the Biden administration off-guard.

Biden set an Aug. 31 deadline to withdraw all U.S. forces from Afghanistan and bring an end to the 20-year conflict. Just last week, an American military assessment estimated it would be a month before the capital would come under insurgent pressure.

Defying expectations, the Taliban seized nearly all of Afghanistan in a short time, despite the hundreds of billions of dollars spent by the U.S. and NATO over nearly two decades to build up Afghan security forces. Afghan security forces were defeated by the Taliban or fled much of the country, even though they had some air support from the U.S. military.

The U.S. Embassy in Kabul warned Sunday the security situation in Afghanistan was deteriorating and instructed American citizens to "shelter in place" amid reports of gunfire at the airport in Afghanistan's capital. The embassy's security alert came as American troops were in the midst of evacuating all diplomatic staff from the embassy to the airport and as the Taliban entered Kabul, seemingly poised to take over the government.

Ghani flew out of the country, according to multiple media outlets.

Ghani later Sunday offered an explanation in a Facebook post: "Today, I came across a hard choice; I should stand to face the armed Taliban who wanted to enter the palace or leave the dear country that I dedicated my life to protecting and protecting the past twenty years. ...The Taliban have made it to remove me, they are here to attack all Kabul and the people of Kabul. In order to avoid the bleeding flood, I thought it was best to get out."

Abdullah Abdullah, the head of the Afghan National Reconciliation Council, criticized Ghani's exit. “The former president of Afghanistan left Afghanistan, leaving the country in this difficult situation," Abdullah said. "God should hold him accountable.”

Afghans fearing that the Taliban would reimpose the kind of brutal rule that all but eliminated women’s rights rushed to leave the country, lining up at cash machines to withdraw their life savings, the AP reported.

For years, U.S. and Afghan forces focused on controlling key supply chains and major cities in the country, forcing the Taliban into Afghanistan’s rugged hinterland. The Taliban remained strong in the country’s mountainous rural areas, using those regions as bases of attack to seize territory once U.S. forces began their drawdown.

The Taliban also remained in control of strategic border crossings, according to the Associated Press, allowing them to smuggle weapons and other key goods while also rejuvenating forces outside the country.

In February 2020, Washington under then-President Donald Trump signed a deal with the Taliban that limited direct military action against the insurgents. That allowed the fighters to gather strength and move quickly to seize key areas when President Joe Biden announced his plans to withdraw all American forces by the end of this month.

On Sunday, Taliban insurgents approached Kabul. Taliban negotiators in the capital discussed the transfer of power, said an Afghan official who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals, according to AP.

It remained unclear when that transfer would take place and who among the Taliban was negotiating. The negotiators on the government side included former President Hamid Karzai, leader of Hizb-e-Islami political and paramilitary group Gulbudin Hekmatyar and Abdullah, who has been a vocal critic of Ghani.

Karzai, with his three daughters, appeared in a video, saying he remained in Kabul.

“We are trying to solve the issue of Afghanistan with the Taliban leadership peacefully,” he said, while the roar of a passing helicopter could be heard overhead.

Afghanistan’s acting defense minister, Bismillah Khan Mohammadi, lashed out at Ghani.

“They tied our hands from behind and sold the country,” he wrote on Twitter. “Curse Ghani and his gang.”

Taliban fighters tried to calm residents of the capital, insisting they wouldn’t enter people’s homes or interfere with businesses. They also said they’d offer an “amnesty” to those who worked with the Afghan government or foreign forces.

“No one’s life, property and dignity will be harmed and the lives of the citizens of Kabul will not be at risk,” the insurgents said in a statement, according to AP.

But there have been reports of revenge killings and other brutal tactics in areas of the country the Taliban have seized in recent days. One female journalist, weeping, sent voice messages to colleagues after armed men entered her apartment building and banged on her door.

“What should I do? Should I call the police or Taliban?” Getee Azami cried. It wasn't clear what happened to her after that.

Many chose to flee, rushing to the Kabul airport, the last route out of the country as the Taliban now hold every border crossing. NATO said it was “helping to maintain operations at Kabul airport to keep Afghanistan connected with the world.”

One Afghan university student described feeling betrayed as she watched the evacuation of the U.S. Embassy.

“You failed the younger generation of Afghanistan,” said Aisha Khurram, 22, who is now unsure of whether she’ll be able to graduate in two months' time. “A generation ... raised in the modern Afghanistan were hoping to build the country with their own hands. They put blood, efforts and sweat into whatever we had right now."

Sunday began with the Taliban seizing the nearby city of Jalalabad — which had been the last major city besides the capital not in their hands. Afghan officials said the militants also took the capitals of Maidan Wardak, Khost, Kapisa and Parwan provinces, as well as the country's last government-held border post.

Later, Afghan forces at Bagram air base, home to a prison housing 5,000 inmates, surrendered to the Taliban, according to Bagram district chief Darwaish Raufi. The prison at the former U.S. base held both Taliban and Islamic State group fighters.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/worl...t-collapses-as-taliban-takes-kabul/ar-AANl6rt
 

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The US Carefully Documented Its Total Failure in Afghanistan for 12 Years

For 12 years, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan issued grim and detailed reports about America’s failures in the country. No one listened.


"Whenever I think about the U.S. government's failure in Afghanistan, I remember the goats. In 2013, a government project meant to kickstart Afghanistan's economy granted Colorado State University $1.5 million to start a goat farm in Herat Province, Afghanistan. It bought five cashmere-producing Italian goats and transported them to Afghanistan for the purposes of breeding them in large numbers and turning Afghanistan into a cashmere-producing hotspot.

But CSU ran into problems immediately. It had 300 goats, only nine of them the expensive cashmere goats from Italy. The college was bad at farming and the expensive Italian goats caught a disease that killed most of them. Worse, they were spending $50,000 a year to feed the rest, an incredible amount of cash to spend on an animal that will eat almost anything.

When CSU tried to turn the farm over to locals and told them what it was spending to feed the goats, the Afghan called the farm a “poisoned chalice.” Keep in mind that Afghan farms have been raising goats for generations and already had cashmere-producing animals.

According to a goat expert who testified in the fallout, the college “had no idea what they were doing and the CSU staff determined what the project should cost, despite no one at CSU having any experience with cashmere.”

https://www.vice.com/en/article/bvz...P7bdh3T7RqtrnckD3oi9wKkZ7GT-0rP0zDDWYWZE2K1ns
 

Multislacking

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The US Carefully Documented Its Total Failure in Afghanistan for 12 Years

For 12 years, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan issued grim and detailed reports about America’s failures in the country. No one listened.


"Whenever I think about the U.S. government's failure in Afghanistan, I remember the goats. In 2013, a government project meant to kickstart Afghanistan's economy granted Colorado State University $1.5 million to start a goat farm in Herat Province, Afghanistan. It bought five cashmere-producing Italian goats and transported them to Afghanistan for the purposes of breeding them in large numbers and turning Afghanistan into a cashmere-producing hotspot.

But CSU ran into problems immediately. It had 300 goats, only nine of them the expensive cashmere goats from Italy. The college was bad at farming and the expensive Italian goats caught a disease that killed most of them. Worse, they were spending $50,000 a year to feed the rest, an incredible amount of cash to spend on an animal that will eat almost anything.

When CSU tried to turn the farm over to locals and told them what it was spending to feed the goats, the Afghan called the farm a “poisoned chalice.” Keep in mind that Afghan farms have been raising goats for generations and already had cashmere-producing animals.

According to a goat expert who testified in the fallout, the college “had no idea what they were doing and the CSU staff determined what the project should cost, despite no one at CSU having any experience with cashmere.”

https://www.vice.com/en/article/bvz...P7bdh3T7RqtrnckD3oi9wKkZ7GT-0rP0zDDWYWZE2K1ns

Lol...this is what happens when the govt "helps".
 

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Remains of Dead Afghan Found in Landing Gear of US Military Plane

Human remains have been found in the landing gear of a U.S. Air Force plane that took off from the Kabul airport, after Afghans were seen clambering onto evacuating aircraft in a desperate attempt to flee the country.

The C-17 plane’s crew declared an emergency after its landing gear wouldn’t go up and, after it landed, found the human remains in the wheel well, the Washington Post reported, citing two sources. A POLITICO report said the remains belonged to one Afghan person.

Stowaways who hide in plane’s wheel wells face a high risk of death from falling or being crushed by the landing gear. The lack of oxygen and low temperature during the flight could also be fatal.

Footage from the Kabul international airport on Monday showed a throng of Afghans trying to board departing planes to escape the country, after Taliban fighters entered Afghanistan’s capital city on Sunday.

One shocking clip showed people holding on to the outside of a taxiing U.S. C-17 plane, as hundreds of others ran alongside it on the tarmac. In another clip, people were seen falling to their deaths from the aircraft in midair.

It is unclear if the plane where the body was found is the same one in the videos. At least seven people died in the airport chaos, including several who fell from a C-17 flight, the Associated Press reported, citing American officials. U.S. Defense Spokesman John Kirby said U.S. troops had shot dead two armed Afghans at the airport.

Although the Taliban has said it would not harm civilians, many Afghans, including those who have worked for the U.S. troops and other Western governments, fear retaliation and rights abuses under the fundamentalist group’s hardline rule.

With land borders controlled by the Taliban, the Kabul airport, now guarded by American troops, is the only way for Afghans to flee.

A U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III evacuated about 640 Afghans from Kabul on Sunday, according to Defense One, even though the cargo plane was designated to carry 134 soldiers along with their equipment. A photo from the flight showed Afghans sitting shoulder-to-shoulder in the packed cabin.

U.S. troops temporarily closed the airport on Monday to clear the crowds on the runway. Evacuation flights resumed on Tuesday morning, according to Reuters.

Since U.S. troops began their pullout from Afghanistan after a 20-year war with the Taliban, the Islamist group took over the country’s regional capitals one by one as it advanced towards Kabul. Having taken over the capital, the Taliban seeks to establish a new government based on its hardline interpretation of Islamic law.

https://www.vice.com/en/article/bvz...sgAEYoj53pAbhdcKgp6IZxumPnDaQiF0XUyLkeTqR5H9Y
 

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NYC Ferry is starting its first-ever ferry service on the Hudson River

NYC Ferry, which shuttles New Yorkers up and down the East River, is finally expanding to the Hudson — and to Staten Island.

Not only will it be the first NYC Ferry route on the Hudson but it'll be the first connecting to Staten Island, allowing those in midtown and higher to skip catching the Staten Island Ferry downtown and for those coming from Staten Island to be taken right to midtown rather than stopping at Whitehall Terminal.

The new St. George route between St. George on Staten Island and Midtown West at West 39th Street takes just 35 minutes, with a scenic stop in Battery Park City along the way. It'll only take 18 minutes to get to Manhattan from Staten Island.

image.jpg


Commuters will also be able to connect to other NYC Ferry routes by getting off at Battery Park City and walking 25 minutes (or taking a taxi/bus) to Wall Street Pier 11, where all ferry routes make a stop. You can also hop on the free Downtown Connection shuttle provided by the Downtown Alliance that can transport you between the landings within 11 minutes.

And remember, tickets to ride the ferry start at the same price as a ride on the MTA— $2.75 per trip.

All in all, the new ferry service is a welcome addition to the transit map. Thankfully, getting to Staten Island will be less of a long journey.

The St. George Route officially launches on Monday, August 23.

https://www.timeout.com/newyork/new...wdc3eWcoW66Z26i-fDF29g24KE#Echobox=1629146377
 

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President Biden signs PAWS Act, allowing VA to pay for service dogs for veterans

Rory Diamond, CEO of K9s for Warriors, says for the first time in American history, the VA can pay for service dogs for veterans with PTSD.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — President Biden signed the PAWS Act into law Wednesday.

The PAWS ACT, or 'Puppies Assisting Wounded Service members for Veterans Therapy Act,' authorizes the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to create a pilot program on dog training therapy that will provide dog-training skills and service dogs to veterans with mental illnesses.

"This has been a five-year battle to try and convince the federal government that what we do every day is valuable and helps veterans," Rory Diamond, CEO of K9s for Warriors said to First Coast News. "They're finally agreeing and we're getting a big breakthrough here."

The U.S. Senate unanimously passed the bill earlier this month after it was passed by the House in March.

Once signed, Diamond said the $10 million, five-year pilot program will take effect on Jan. 1, 2022. For the first time in American history, he says the VA will pay for service dogs for veterans with PTSD.

“We commend the White House for supporting this bill as a critical step in combatting veteran suicide, and we’re confident in the path ahead for Service Dogs ultimately becoming a covered VA benefit to veterans with PTSD,” Diamond said in a news release. “In communicating with veterans and their healthcare providers, it’s more imperative than ever to embrace the lifesaving impact of a Service Dog and to raise awareness for this treatment option as a proven method for mitigating debilitating symptoms of PTSD and suicidal ideations.”

The news release says the new law will also:

Designate eligible veterans to receive dog training instruction from nongovernmental accredited 501(c)(3) nonprofit Service Dog training organizations (i.e., K9s For Warriors)

Allow eligible veterans to learn positive reinforcement training in skills that are unique to their own needs to help address or alleviate their PTSD symptoms

Provide veterans participating in the program with the opportunity to adopt a dog that they actively assisted in their training, provided that the veteran and their health provider determine it to be in the best interest of the veteran.

"There are over 100,000 veterans, we think who need a service dog because of their post-traumatic stress. Right now, K9s for Warriors can help a couple of hundred a year. What this will do is to take that little tiny hose pipe and turn into a whole avalanche of service dogs, eventually down the road, we'll see that happen," Diamond said earlier this month. "Twenty-two veterans a day taking their lives every day by suicide. This is one of the best ways we can fight it."

The pilot program will involve organizations across America.

"We know we are going to be able to save so many more warriors," Diamond said. "Of course, K9s for Warriors being the largest and best known for doing it, we will be leading the way."

https://www.13newsnow.com/article/n...3Rx7Geeto0FDocR6KwfLZ2734HAYzrj0PryUGnYv4YNg8
 

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San Francisco skyscraper sinks further, halting renovation project

A major construction project aimed at leveling San Francisco's leaning Millennium Tower was abruptly halted this week after officials noticed the building sank another inch in the past month, CBS San Francisco reports.

Work began on the 58-story condo tower, which first made headlines in 2016, earlier this year. The project, expected to cost $100 million, involves reenforcing the foundation by drilling into bedrock below the tower and installing massive support beams, known as pilings, CBS San Francisco reported. The building had actually been sinking less in the past few years – but then began to sink again when work started earlier this year.

"The monitoring has indicated an increased rate of settlement associated with pile installation," Doug Elmets, spokesperson with the Millennium Tower Association, said in a statement to CBS San Francisco. "Out of an abundance of caution, we have placed a two to four-week moratorium on pile installation while we try to understand better the mechanisms associated with the increased settlement rate and available means of mitigating this."

"There has been no material harm to the building and it remains fully safe," he added.

Oakland consulting structural engineer David Williams told CBS San Francisco that the pause was a "no brainer" given the amount the building moved. He said the work has reactivated portions of the settlement below the building, causing it to tilt to one side.

"You may expect a little disturbance when you go in and do construction around it, but the rate of settlement is very severe," he said.

"The loads have to be distributed from the existing foundation out to the perimeter, and that's a pretty risky operation," he added. "It will have to be very carefully monitored if they proceed with it."

Millennium Tower first opened in 2009. By 2016, the building had sunk 16 inches. Satellite imagery from the European Space Agency showed the skyscraper in San Francisco's financial district was sinking at a steady rate.

Residents sued the developers and designers, and a settlement reached last year included the $100 million for the project.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/s...further-halting-renovation-project/ar-AANMSaN
 

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Good morning from New York City.

PRESS CONFERENCE: Today at noon at the United Nations, @LookAheadOrg along with @CAPPcitizens will deliver a formal complaint to the UN's Human Rights Committee regarding our government's abuse of J6 Political Prisoners.
 

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Gregzs

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Texas' homeless struggle as public camping is criminalized

 

Multislacking

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Here's some good news, instead of all the depressing stuff we are being bombarded with.

 

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Despite being downgraded to a storm, Ida pummeled East Coast states

 
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