First Russia shoots down the Malaysian flight 17

and then 2 fighter jets and now this?

WTF is going on really?

Putin really wants to get into something

I’m done – I would throw a bomb on Russia so quick if I were President.

I know Obama doesn’t want to do that and get us all into WW3

but I believe it’s inevitable

Putin keeps cruisin’ for a brusin’


Russia Fired On Ukraine, U.S. Says

Posted: 07/24/2014 2:28 pm EDT Updated: 44 minutes ago

(Reuters) – The United States said on Thursday that Russia was firing artillery across the border into Ukraine to target Ukrainian military positions in the conflict against pro-Russian separatists.

“We have new evidence that the Russians intend to deliver heavier and more powerful multiple rocket launchers to the separatist forces in Ukraine, and have evidence that Russia is firing artillery from within Russia to attack Ukrainian military positions,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said.

Harf, speaking at a regular media briefing, cited intelligence reports, but said she could give no more information of what the reports were based on.

Russia has in the past denied it is directly involved with the rebellion in its western neighbor, but the United States and its European allies accuse Moscow of arming and encouraging the uprising and have imposed sanctions on Moscow in response.

Ukraine’s Security Council said on Wednesday preliminary information indicated that missiles which brought down two government fighter jets over eastern Ukraine were fired from Russia.

Russia’s Defense Ministry on Thursday dismissed this, saying it was “an attempt to mislead the public,” Interfax news agency reported, citing a defense ministry official.

(Reporting by David Storey; Editing by Eric Beech)



All of these planes that have gone missing or have crashed are MUSLIM oriented. What’s up with that?



French warplanes search Mali desert for crashed Air Algerie plane

ALGIERS Thu Jul 24, 2014 1:00pm EDT

An Air Algerie Airways plane prepares to land at Houari Boumediene Airport in Algiers July 24, 2014.  An Air Algerie flight crashed on Thursday en route from Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso to Algiers with 110 passengers on board, an Algerian aviation official said. REUTERS-Louafi Larbi
A screengrab of the homepage of the Ouagadougou airport's Internet site ( shows a map displaying AH5017's last contact zone, July 24, 2014. REUTERS-Ouagadougou airport
The sister-in-law of Lebanese passenger Randa Daher reacts as she holds her mobile phone displaying a picture of Randa and one of her children at her home in the southern Lebanese village of Srifa July 24, 2014. REUTERS-Ali Hashisho

1 OF 5. An Air Algerie Airways plane prepares to land at Houari Boumediene Airport in Algiers July 24, 2014. An Air Algerie flight crashed on Thursday en route from Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso to Algiers with 110 passengers on board, an Algerian aviation official said.

(Reuters) – An Air Algerie flight with 110 passengers onboard, nearly half of them French citizens, crashed on Thursday after the jet disappeared over northern Mali en route from Burkina Faso to Algiers, an Algerian official said.

There were few clear indications of what might have happened to flight AH5017, or whether there were casualties, but Burkina Faso’s transport minister said the crew asked to adjust their route at 9.38 p.m. EDT because of a storm in the area.

“I can confirm that it has crashed,” the Algerian official told Reuters, declining to be identified or give any details about what had happened to the aircraft on its way north.

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said the Air Algerie flight was still missing, but had probably crashed. “Despite intensive search efforts no trace of the aircraft has yet been found,” Fabius told journalists in Paris. “The plane probably crashed.”

French President Francois Hollande canceled a planned visit to overseas territories and said all military means on the ground would be used to locate the aircraft.

Two French Mirage warplanes have been scouring the vast desert area around the northern Malian city of Gao for the aircraft, which had 51 French nationals on board.

“The search will take as long as needed,” Hollande told reporters. “Everything must be done to find this plane. We cannot identify the causes of what happened,” he said.

Niger security sources said planes were flying over the border region with Mali to search for the flight.

Two Mali-based diplomats said in addition to the area around Gao, where the plane is believed to have last been in contact with authorities, searcher were also scouring the rugged region around Aguelhoc toward the Algerian borders.

An aid worker in Mali who asked not to be named said his organization had received several calls from residents based in the villages of Tessalit and Tinzawaten in the northeastern region of Kidal after hearing a loud explosion.

It was not immediately clear if this was linked to the crash.

But searching in northern Mali will be complex task.

The area where the flight is suspected to have crashed is a vast, sparsely inhabited region of scrubland and desert dunes stretching to the foothills of the Adrar des Ifoghas mountains.

It is a stronghold of Tuareg separatist rebels, who rose up against the government in early 2012, triggering an Islamist revolt that briefly seized control of northern Mali.

Security sources said the French military was leading the search in the difficult terrain. The Malian government, which is holding talks with the separatists in neighboring Algeria, has only a weak presence in the region and relies on French and U.N. peacekeepers for aircraft and logistical support.

Whatever the cause, another plane crash is likely to add to nerves over flying after a Malaysia Airlines plane was downed over Ukraine last week, a TransAsia Airways crashed off Taiwan during a thunderstorm on Wednesday and airlines temporarily canceled flights into Tel Aviv due to the conflict in Gaza.


Algeria’s state news agency APS said authorities lost contact with flight an hour after it took off from Burkina Faso, but other officials gave differing accounts of the times of contact, adding to confusion about the plane’s fate.

Swiftair, the private Spanish company that owns the plane, confirmed it had lost contact with the MD-83 operated by Air Algerie, which it said was carrying 110 passengers and six crew.

It said it took off from Burkina Faso at 9.17 p.m. EDT and was due to land at 1.10 a.m. EDT but never reached its destination.

An Algerian aviation official said the last contact Algerian authorities had with the missing Air Algerie aircraft was at 9.55 p.m. EDT when it was flying over Gao, Mali.

Burkina Faso officials said the flight asked the control center in Niamey, Niger, to change route at 9.38 p.m. EDT because of a storm in the Sahara.

An Air Algerie representative in Burkina Faso, Kara Terki, told a news conference that all the passengers on the plane were in transit, either for Europe, the Middle East or Canada.

Burkina Faso authorities said the passenger list comprised 27 Burkinabe, 51 French, eight Lebanese, six Algerians, two from Luxembourg, five Canadians, four Germans, one Cameroonian, one Belgian, one Egyptian, one Ukranian, one Swiss, one Nigerian and one Malian.

The Lebanese Foreign Ministry said its embassy in Abidjan estimated the number of Lebanese citizens on the flight was at least 20. Some of these may have dual nationality.

A spokeswoman for SEPLA, Spain’s pilots union, said the six crew were from Spain. She could not give any further details.

The MD-83 is part of the McDonnell Douglas MD-80 family of twin-engined jets that entered service in 1980. A total of 265 of the MD-83 model were delivered before McDonnell Douglas, by then part of Boeing (BA.N), halted production in 1999.

“Boeing is aware of the report. We are awaiting additional information,” a spokesman for the U.S. planemaker said.

According to the Ascend Fleets database held by British-based Flightglobal, there are 187 MD-83s still in operation, of which 80 percent are being flown in the United States.

The aircraft’s two engines are made by Pratt & Whitney, a unit of United Technologies (UTX.N).

Swiftair has a relatively clean safety record, with five accidents since 1977, two of which caused a total of eight deaths, according to the Washington-based Flight Safety Foundation.

Air Algerie’s last major accident was in 2003 when one of its planes crashed shortly after take-off from the southern city of Tamanrasset, killing 102 people. In February this year, 77 people died when an Algerian military transport plane crashed into a mountain in eastern Algeria.

(Additional reporting by Patrick Markey, Daniel Flynn, David Lewis, Mathieu Bonkoungou,Emma Farge, Julien Toyer, Tracy Rucinski, Laila Bassam, Marine Pennetier, John Irish andTim Hepher; Writing by Patrick Markey; Editing by Alison Williams)



PROBABLY TO GET AT THE BODIES but they Russian are interested in keeping that plane parts for some reason

Even Obama is asking why and NOW

The EU and USA are taking away the 2017 WORLD CUP from RUSSIA because of their aggressions towards the Ukraine.

GOOD – morons!




MH17 Found Sawed In Half

Posted: 07/22/2014 1:54 pm EDT Updated: 07/23/2014 1:59 am EDT
A pro-Russian rebel touches the MH17 wreckage at the crash site of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, near the village of Hrabove, eastern Ukraine, Tuesday, July 22, 2014. A team of Malaysian investigators visited the site along with members of the OSCE mission in Ukraine for the first time since the air crash last week. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

Parts of the Malaysia Airlines plane shot down over Ukraine were found sawed in half, USA Today reported.

According to the newspaper, international monitors, who had only recently gained access to the area, found that the cockpit of the plane had been breached with a saw.Until Monday, Russian-backed separatists had controlled the site.

It is unclear who damaged the plane or why.

Fergal Keane, a BBC correspondent, confirmed USA Today’s report. Investigators told Keane that the plane had been hacked into with a diesel-powered saw. Keane said that the first-class area had been found damaged.

Many in the international community have accused separatists of gunning down the commercial plane. Both the separatists and the Kremlin have denied such allegations.

President Obama lashed out at Russia on Monday for blocking access to the crash site, asking, “What exactly are they trying to hide?”

On Tuesday, the EU announced increased sanctions on Russia in light of the crash.













I admire Bill Maher for outing Garrett who is a total asshole and needs to get lost but ROY CHO?









Bill Maher recently made it official that Scott Garrett is one of 16 finalists for #FlipaDistrict  and now Bill’s sister, Park Ridge resident, Kathy Maher has put out a video supporting Roy Cho.

Bill Maher, host of HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher,  announced the first two members of “Flip A District” on Friday — the viewer-driven competition to nominate representatives that they want voted out of office. Making the initial cut for the “Tweet Sixteen” are Reps. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.) and Blake Farenthold (R-Texas), whom Maher panned as the “first two public embarrassments.”

According to Maher’s offical Reat Time Twitter account, @RealTimers, New Jersey’s Scott Garrett  has also made the “Tweet Sixteen”.

Once the “Tweet Sixteen” is rounded out, that list will eventually be narrowed to one member. At that point, Maher explained back in January that he will turn to that person’s race for reelection, performing standup targeted at the chosen representative.


New Jersey’s 5th District

The Census of 2010 left New Jersey minus one seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Redistricting split Bergen County in to two separate districts, one being New Jersey’s 9th district represented by Former Paterson Mayor, Democrat Bill Pascrell Jr. The other, which includes Hackensack, Bergen County’s largest city, is New Jersey’s 5th district, represented by Tea Party Republican Scott Garrett.

New Jersey’s 5th District includes:

Bergen County – Allendale, Alpine, Bergenfield, Bogota, Closter, Demarest, Dumont, Emerson, Fair Lawn, Franklin Lakes, Glen Rock, Hackensack, Harrington Park, Haworth, Hillsdale, Ho-Ho-Kus, Lodi, Mahwah, Maywood, Midland Park, Montvale, New Milford, Northvale, Norwood, Oakland, Old Tappan, Oradell, Paramus, Park Ridge, Ramsey, Ridgewood, River Edge, River Vale, Rochelle Park, Rockleigh, Saddle River, Teaneck (most), Township of Washington, Upper Saddle River, Waldwick, Westwood, Woodcliff Lake, and Wyckoff

Passaic County – Ringwood, West Milford

Sussex County – Andover Borough, Andover Township, Augusta, Branchville, Frankford, Franklin, Glenwood, Greendell, Green, Hamburg, Hampton, Hardyston, Highland Lakes, Lafayette, Layton, McAfee, Middleville, Montague, Newton, Sandyston, Stillwater, Stockholm, Sussex, Swartswood, Tranquility, Vernon, Walpack, and Wantage

Warren County – Allamuchy, Belvidere, Blairstown, Buttzville, Changewater, Columbia, Frelinghuysen, Great Meadows, Hackettstown, Hardwick, Hope, Independence, Johnsonburg, Knowlton, Liberty, Mansfield, Oxford, Port Murray, Vienna, Washington Borough, Washington Township, and White

As the son of Korean immigrants who came to the United States with little more than the optimistic belief that hard work could lead to opportunity and success, Roy Cho was raised to believe in the promise of America.

Roy attended public schools in New Jersey and graduated from Freehold Township High School in 1999. During high school, Roy was class president, a state-ranked wrestling champion, a Taekwondo black belt state champion, a Junior Olympic team qualifier, and selected to participate in the New Jersey Governor’s School of Public Affairs. Roy was also a recipient of the New Jersey State Interscholastic Athletic Association Scholar Athlete award and a finalist for the Star Ledger/News 12 New Jersey Scholar Athlete of the Year. Roy graduated with honors from Brown University where he studied political science, was a starting member of the Division I wrestling team, and served as President of his fraternity and on the Executive Committee of the Greek Council through which he organized community service events and programs.

Roy is currently on a leave of absence as a mergers and acquisitions and private equity attorney from the New York office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP where he provided legal counsel to companies as they expanded in the increasingly complex and competitive corporate arena. Previously, he was a corporate attorney in the New York office of Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP.  While at the firm, he also spent time working with the Lawyers Alliance for New York which provides pro bono legal counsel to urban environmental groups and community development nonprofits serving low-income areas.

Roy earned his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center where he served as the Editor in Chief of the Georgetown Immigration Law Journal. While studying as an evening student, Roy worked full-time as Correspondence Director to U.S. Senator Byron L. Dorgan where he prioritized constituent concerns for the Senator and supervised legislative correspondents who responded to constituents on an array of federal issues such as health care, foreign relations, agriculture, immigration and fiscal policy. Prior to law school, Roy worked as an Aide to the Governor of New Jersey and as Special Assistant to the Deputy Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.  At the Authority, he focused on the infrastructure and transportation needs of the metropolitan region, analyzed airport security protocols, and worked on a number of pioneering public-private collaborations.

Most recently, Roy joined the board of New Jersey Needs You, the sister nonprofit of the highly successful New York Needs You organization. Both New Jersey Needs You and New York Needs You focus on mentoring college students from low-income backgrounds who are the first in their family to attend a four-year college, helping them to graduate while securing internships and landing jobs.

Roy is currently a full time candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in New Jersey’s 5th Congressional District.



















Memphis Businessman Allegedly Raped Woman On Job Interview In His Home (GRAPHIC CONTENT)

Recently released police documents detail an alleged grotesque rape of a mother of four who wanted a housekeeping job in the home of a Memphis businessman.

The suspect is the businessman himself,Mark Giannini, the co-founder of IT company Service Assurance, according to WREG. He allegedly repeatedly raped a 26-year-old for several hours until she blacked out on June 19.

Police seized a trove of sex toys, women’s underwear, prescription drugs and firearms from the 49-year-old’s Eads, Tennessee, home and a Lamborghini sports car, according to the newly released Shelby County Sheriff’s department files reported by WMC.

(Complete copies of the report can be read here, though readers should be aware it contains a graphic description of the alleged rape.)

The woman told sheriff’s investigators she allowed Giannini to drive her to his home for an overview of the house cleaning and office work he needed someone to do.

Giannini allegedly served her “a drink that tastes like a pop-up.” The woman told Giannini that she wanted to leave but he began kissing her aggressively and pulling her hair.

The crime report says Giannini performed several sexual acts on the woman against her will and forced her to consume urine, blood and fecal matter, telling her it was part of the job interview, according to WBTV.

The woman says she blacked out and doesn’t know how she got back to her room in a nearby Motel 6 where her family found her.

Relatives brought her to a hospital where ER staff said she was frothing at the mouth and exhibiting symptoms similar to someone who had overdosed on drugs.

An attorney for Giannini said his client is not guilty and claims he was set up,according to WNCN.

Detectives arrived at Giannini’s gated home on June 23, but a man who answered the intercom system said the suspect was not home and he refused to allow the investigators to enter the property, according to another affidavit. The detectives forced themselves onto the grounds and found wet footprints leading into the woods from the back of the home.

Giannini soon presented himself to officers on the street outside of his home. He was “perspiring profusely and had fresh cuts and scratches on his legs,” according to a detective’s sworn statement.

The subsequent search turned up more than $16,000 in cash, 24 firearms and various pills of Viagra, Xanax, hydrocodone and other medications.

Detectives also removed an inventory of items, spanning several pages, that includes samples of human hair, boxes and baskets of women’s panties and shoes sorted by size, a sheriff’s badge and ID, handcuffs, duct tape, sex toys and nipple clamps.

Giannini has been charged with two counts of aggravated rape, two counts of possession of a controlled substance and one count of possession of a firearm, according to Fox 13.

He was released after posting $150,000 bond.










Texas Abortion Rate Drops Dramatically As Women Seek Other Options

Posted: 07/23/2014 12:00 pm EDT Updated: 5 minutes ago

Since Texas’ sweeping new anti-abortion law went into effect last November, the number of legal abortions performed in the state has dropped 13 percent, according to a new study released Wednesday by the The Texas Policy Evaluation Project.

The report finds that the number of reproductive-age women living more than 200 miles from a provider has increased nearly 30-fold over the past year, since 19 of the 41 clinics in Texas have had to shut down as a result of Texas’ many new restrictions on abortion clinics. And while the overall abortion rate has dropped dramatically, second-trimester abortions have gone slightly up as a percentage of all abortions, suggesting women are being forced to wait later into their pregnancies to have the procedure.

The study looked specifically at the effects of HB 2, a law that was passed in the summer of 2013 and partially went into effect in November. The law limits medication abortion, a popular non-surgical method that is often preferred in the first trimester; requires abortion providers to have admitting privileges at a local hospital; and bans abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy. In September, a fourth provision of the law will take effect requiring all abortions to take place in ambulatory surgical centers, or mini-hospitals.

Many clinics have already had to shut their doors because their doctors could not get admitting privileges at a nearby hospital. Hospitals often turn down abortion providers for political or logistical reasons having nothing to do with the provider’s competence or safety record. When the final portion of HB 2 takes effect in September, all but six of the state’s remaining clinics are expected to close.

The study finds that as a result of reduced access to abortion, there were 9,200 fewer legal abortions in Texas over the past year than in the previous year. But that does not necessarily mean that all the women are simply going through with their pregnancies, said Daniel Grossman, the author of the study and vice president for research at Ibis Reproductive Health. He said he does expect the unintended birth rate to rise, especially considering the combination of abortion restrictions and the state’s massive cuts to family planning funding in 2011. But many women, he believes, are likelyresorting to illegal and unsafe methods of self-inducing.

Researchers “suspect that self-induced abortion will rise in Texas as access to clinic-based care becomes more difficult,” Grossman told The Huffington Post. “Depending on the method used and when in pregnancy women attempt to do this, there may be health risks for women associated with self-induction.”

Grossman plans to study self-induced abortion in Texas in more depth over the next year. He said it is also likely that women are traveling out of state for the procedure — although that will become more difficult as neighboring states continue to enact similar restrictions.

“Historically, few Texas women have traveled out of state, but more women may be forced to do so given the long distances many women need to travel to access a provider in Texas,” he said. “This additional travel certainly raises the cost to women of obtaining an abortion.”

When the clinics forced to close in September leave the state with six ambulatory surgical centers concentrated in urban areas, it will be even more difficult for women to access the procedure.

“It does not appear that the existing [ambulatory surgical centers] could meet the demand for abortion services for the entire state when the final provision of HB2 goes into effect,” said Grossman.

In addition to clinics closing, one significant effect of the new law is that medication abortions have dropped by 70 percent. Many women seeking abortion early on in their pregnancy preferred medication abortion, because they could avoid a surgical procedure and take a regimen of prescription medication at home. But the new law requires women to take the pills in front of a doctor at an outpatient surgical center, which dramatically reduces access to the medication for women who do not live near such a facility.

While medication abortions have reduced dramatically, the report found a “small but significant increase” in the rate of second-trimester abortions, which suggests the lack of access to abortion is forcing women to wait longer to have the procedure. The longer a woman waits to have an abortion, the more likely she is to experience a medical complication.

“There is no evidence that any of the provisions in this law has improved the safety of abortion in the state,” said Grossman. “They have just made it harder for women to access the services they want and need.”




WJ BRATTON should never have become Commissioner again

he is a nazi

He started racial profiling under Giuliani – we called it “GIULIANI TIME”

He is a very power hungry crazy asshole who helped run and ruin the LAPD after he finished with NYC

and he’s a REPUBLICAN

HE’S BEEN MARRIED 4 TIMES – NOW TO A LAWYER – he needs her – she’s going to have to defend him from jail soon.


Huff Post article

Chokehold Death Puts New York’s Controversial Police Chief Back In The Spotlight

Posted: 07/21/2014 8:31 pm EDT Updated: 07/22/2014 8:59 am EDT

NEW YORK — On a freezing day this past winter, a small group of protestersgathered outside police headquarters in downtown Manhattan. They were barely noticed by the throngs of reporters who streamed through the doors of 1 Police Plaza to watch a celebrated cop be sworn in for his second turn at the helm of America’s largest police force.

Calling themselves “New Yorkers Against Bratton,” the protesters warned that the new chief, William J. Bratton, wouldn’t mend the New York City Police Department’s troubled relationship with people of color. Some had lost family members to police violence, and they had not forgotten who led the force when cops gunned down 13-year-old Nicholas Heyward Jr. in a housing project in 1994, when they strangled 29-year-old Anthony Baez in a scuffle after a football hit a police car the same year, when they filled Anthony Rosario and his cousin with bullets as — according to one investigation — the two men lay facedown on the floor of a Bronx apartment in 1995.

Outside City Hall on Monday, the protesters were back. This time, reporters surrounded them. “What Commissioner Bratton has shown is that he’s unable to control his own police officers, and he has never done anything to address the systemic brutality that keeps happening for low-income, predominantly people of color in New York City,” Josmar Trujillo told the crowd. “Another black man is dead at the hands of the NYPD.”

bill bratton
A young protester outside New York City Hall on July 21, 2014, holds a T-shirt naming people killed by the NYPD over the years.

The man in question, 43-year-old Eric Garner, died on Friday after an NYPD officer in Staten Island grabbed him in an illegal chokehold. Garner did not have a weapon and had not committed a violent crime. According to Commissioner Bratton himself, what Garner did wrong was sell untaxed individual cigarettes, or “loosies.”

The Police Department didn’t respond to questions from The Huffington Post on Monday afternoon. But at a press conference on Friday, Bratton said that the sale of untaxed cigarettes constitutes “a seemingly minor quality-of-life offense, if you will.”

That “seemingly” is a loaded word. Bratton built his career on the theory that what may at first appear to be mere petty offenses, like graffiti and small-time pot dealing, are in fact the seeds of deeper troubles, like the widespread violence that plagued the city before his first stint as commissioner from 1994 to 1996. Now, as he again faces anger over the conduct of the officers under him, the validity of this idea is being called into question.

In the first six months of Bratton’s second stint as commissioner, he has aggressively gone after low-level offenders, such as panhandlers and subway performers. Earlier this month, a viral video showed cops arresting a black man for sleeping in an empty subway car. “For what!? For what!?” the man yells at the beginning of the video, which has since been taken down. “‘Cause I’m sleeping?”

Last week, moments before he died, Garner expressed a similar sense of bewilderment. “Every time you see me, you want to mess with me!” he shouted. “I’m tired of it!”

The campaign Communities United for Police Reform called Garner’s death “yet another example of unnecessary police encounters resulting from broken windows-style policing that targets New Yorkers of color — in this case escalating with fatal consequences.”

Bratton offered a general explanation of his hard-nosed approach back in April, when asked by reporters why he had ordered his officers to crack down on people dancing in the trains.

“Those activities just create a sense of fear or that we’re not paying attention to disorder,” he said. “We are paying a lot of attention to disorder.”

Disorder has preoccupied Bratton from the beginning. Long before he was arresting subway dancers, he seized upon an influential article about the hidden dangers of “broken windows.”

“Consider a building with a few broken windows,” wrote social scientists James Q. Wilson and George L. Kelling in The Atlantic Monthly in 1982. “If the windows are not repaired, the tendency is for vandals to break a few more windows. Eventually, they may even break into the building.”

Bratton hailed Kelling as an “intellectual mentor” and invoked his “broken windows theory” as a justification for getting tough on turnstile hoppers and dime-bag peddlers back in the ’90s. The city’s arrest rate soared under Bratton’s watch, and reports of serious crimes plummeted. Supporters praised him for his “zero-tolerance” approach; Kelling compared him to Plato. Police departments from Philadelphia to Seattle adopted his methods.

But as New York’s arrest rate climbed, so did the charges of police misconduct, especially in heavily black and Latino areas. According to police statistics cited in a1996 report by Amnesty International, 31 civilians were shot dead by cops in Bratton’s first year as commissioner, compared with 23 the year before; the number of civilians who died in police custody similarly rose from 15 to 23. Nearly all the victims were black or Latino.

According to Alex Vitale, a sociology professor at Brooklyn College, it was all for naught. “No one has produced a real academic study showing how enforcement of low-level crimes has resulted in a drop in major crime,” he told HuffPost at the City Hall rally Monday. Instead, Vitale characterized the drastic drop in New York’s crime rate over the last 20 or so years as part of a “national and international phenomenon” that can’t really be explained.

“Everyone thinks, ‘Oh, in New York we solved the crime problem with this aggressive policing,’ but that does not explain why there was a similar plummeting of crime in Montreal, San Diego, Chicago,” Vitale said, pointing to cities where the strategy wasn’t used.

When Mayor Bill de Blasio took over the city some seven months ago, many hoped that press conferences about New Yorkers’ deaths at the hands of police would largely be a thing of the past. De Blasio had surged ahead of his election rivals while promising to stop the abuses of “stop and frisk” — a key weapon in the broken-windows arsenal.

Bratton, often credited as an architect of stop-and-frisk, has suggested that the department wielded the tactic recklessly under Ray Kelly, the police chief who most recently preceded him. At Bratton’s swearing-in ceremony on that frigid day back in January, he professed a commitment to getting “every member” of the NYPD to treat all New Yorkers with respect, “regardless of their background, their class, their race.”

“Why is it,” he asked that day, “that so many in this city do not feel good about this department that has done so much to make them safe? What is it about our activities that have made so many alienated?”

Nicholas Heyward was among the protesters standing outside in January. The police had shot and killed his 13-year-old son 20 years ago. The boy had been playing with a toy gun in his Brooklyn apartment building.

“We’ve been opposed to Bratton from the very beginning, because of his practices and his policies,” said the father on Monday. “And to bring him back, what made people believe that things were going to be different?”

(Warning: This video contains content that may be disturbing to some readers.)

William Bratton

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
William Bratton
Bill Bratton at the seminar on his new book Collaborate or Perish! Lessons for Politics, Business and Public Services.jpg

Bratton speaking in 2012
New York Police Department
Nickname(s) Bill
Years of service Boston PD: 1970–1983, 1992–1994
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Police: 1983–1986
Boston Metropolitan District Commission PD: 1986–1990
NYC Transit PD: 1990–1992
NYPD: 1994–1996, 2014-
LAPD: 2002–2009
Rank Commissioner
Awards Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire[1]
William Bratton
New York City Police Commissioner
Assumed office
January 1, 2014
Appointed by Bill de Blasio
Preceded by Raymond Kelly
In office
January 1, 1994 – April 15, 1996
Appointed by Rudolph W. Giuliani
Preceded by Raymond Kelly
Succeeded by Howard Safir
Chief of Police of the Los Angeles Police Department
In office
October 27, 2002 – October 31, 2009
Appointed by James Hahn
Preceded by Martin H. Pomeroy
Succeeded by Michael P. Downing Interm
Commissioner of the Boston Police Department
In office
June 30, 1993 – January 1, 1994
Appointed by Raymond Flynn
Preceded by Francis Roache
Succeeded by Paul F. Evans
Personal details
Born William Joseph Bratton
October 6, 1947 (age 66)
Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Rikki Klieman
Alma mater University of Massachusetts, Boston

William JosephBillBratton CBE (born October 6, 1947) is an American law enforcement officer and the current New York City Police Commissioner, the second time he has held that position. He has previously served as the Commissioner of the Boston Police Department (BPD) (1993-1994), New York City Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner (1994–1996), and Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) (2002–2009).

Bratton began his police career at the Boston Police Department before becoming Police Commissioner in New York City, where his zero-tolerance policy has been credited with reducing petty and violent crime. He moved to the Los Angeles Police Department in 2002 reforming the police after the 1992 Los Angeles Riotsand crime was reduced.[2]

Bratton’s policing style is influenced by the broken windows theory that if minor, petty crime is not dealt with, crime will increase.[3] He advocates having an ethnically diverse police force representative of the population,[4] maintaining a strong relationship with the law-abiding population,[5] tackling police corruption,[3]being tough on gangs and having a strict no-tolerance of anti-social behavior.[6]

Bratton was approached by British Prime Minister David Cameron to become the new Metropolitan Police Commissioner in July 2011, but this was blocked by the Home Office on the grounds the Commissioner must be a British national with experience of English law.[7] Bratton instead was offered an advisor role to the British government, which he accepted in August 2011.[8]

On December 5, 2013, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that Bratton would return to the post of Police Commissioner in New York City.[9]

Police career[edit]


Bratton is from the Dorchester neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. He attended Boston Technical High School, graduating in 1965. From there, he served in the Military Police Corps of the United States Armyduring the Vietnam War, returning to Boston in 1970 to start a police career in the Boston Police Department. He quickly rose to the rank of lieutenant, and in 1980, at the age of 32 and ten years after his appointment to the BPD, Bratton was named as the youngest-ever Executive Superintendent of the Boston Police, the department’s second highest post. He was dismissed as executive superintendent after he told a journalist that his goal was to be the Police Commissioner. He was reassigned to the position of Inspector of Bureaus, a sinecure which was responsible for liaison with minority and LGBTQ communities. He was later brought back into police headquarters to handle labor relations and 9-1-1 related issues.

Between 1983 and 1986 Bratton was Chief of Police for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, following which he became Superintendent of Boston’s Metropolitan District Commission Police. Bratton was Superintendent in Chief of the Boston Police Department from 1992 until 1993, then he became that city’s 34th Police Commissioner. He holds the Department’s highest award for valor.

New York City[edit]

Bratton became the chief of the New York City Transit Police in 1990. In 1991 the Transit Police gained national accreditation under Bratton. The Department became one of only 175 law-enforcement agencies in the country and only the second in New York State to achieve that distinction. The following year it was also accredited by the State of New York, and by 1994, there were almost 4,500 uniformed and civilian members of the Department, making it the sixth largest police force in the United States. Bratton had left the NYC Transit Police returning to Boston in 1992 to head the Boston Police Department, one of his long-time ambitions.

In 1994, Bratton was appointed the 38th Commissioner of the New York City Police Department (NYPD) by Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani. He cooperated with Giuliani in putting the broken windows theory into practice. He had success in this position, and introduced the CompStat system of tracking crimes inNew York City, which is used to this day as a focal point in the development of law enforcement policy. Some have argued that CompStat has created perverse incentives for officers to allow crimes to go unreported,[10] and has encouraged police brutality, citing that complaints by citizens that involved incidents where no arrest was made or summons was issued more than doubled during the Giuliani administration.[11]

During Bratton’s tenure, a new tax surcharge enabled the training and deployment of around 5,000 new, better educated, police officers; police decision-making was delegated to the individual precincts; a backlog of 50,000 unserved warrants were cleared; and, in 1995, New York’s housing and transit police were merged into the New York Police Department. Bratton was also instrumental in the return of the standard NYPD uniform shirt from light blue to the dark blue it had been prior to 1972—and which was also the uniform color Bratton himself had worn as a police officer in Boston.[12]

Bratton resigned in 1996, while under investigation by the Corporation Counsel for the propriety of a book deal that he signed while in office as well as accepting multiple unauthorized trips from corporations and individuals. These offenses were generally considered minor.[13] Front and center were alleged personal conflicts with Giuliani, partly due to Giuliani’s opposition to some of Bratton’s reforms and partly due to Giuliani’s belief that Bratton was getting more credit for the reduction in crime than Giuliani.[14]

The experiences of Bratton and New York Deputy Police Commissioner Jack Maple were used as the inspiration of the television series The District.

Los Angeles[edit]

Bratton and fourth wife, Rikki Klieman, at LA/Valley Pride

Bratton worked as a private consultant with Kroll Associates, also known as LAPD’s Independent Monitor,[15] until his appointment by the Mayor of Los Angeles James Hahn as the LAPD’s 54th Chief of Police in October 2002. Bratton was one of three candidates recommended to Hahn by the Los Angeles Police Commission under Commission President Rick J. Caruso.[16] Under Bratton’s tenure, crime within the city dropped for six consecutive years.[17]

On June 19, 2007, the LA Police Commission reappointed Bratton to a second five-year term, the first reappointment of an LAPD chief in almost twenty years.

Bratton has been criticized for his extensive travel; in 2005, he was out of town for a full third of the year on both official and personal business.[18]

In March 2009, Councilman Herb Wesson proposed an amendment[19] to the City Charter, allowing Bratton to serve a third consecutive term as Police Chief.

United Kingdom[edit]

On September 11, 2009, he was awarded with the honorary title of Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II “in recognition of his work to promote cooperation between US and UK police throughout his distinguished career.”[20] On 12 August 2011, Bratton said he was in talks with the British Government to become an adviser on controlling the violence that had affected London the prior week. He said he received a phone call from U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron, and that he would continue speaking with British officials to formalize an agreement.[21] Prime Minister Cameron initially wanted to appoint Bratton Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis of London, but was overruled by Home Secretary Theresa May, who insisted that only a British citizen should be able to run the Service.[22][23]

On December 4, 2013 (one day before his return to New York City was announced), Bratton appeared on the BBC‘s Newsnight programme to discuss policing, and in particular, the possibility of him one day leading the Metropolitan Police. Asked if he was still interested in the job, Bratton said: “That remains to be seen. I happen to be, I think, a good friend and admirer of your current commissioner… And understanding that you have got political issues that are being wrestled with at this time over there… I’ve made it quite well known that at some point in my life that if the position were to open that would be certainly something I would take a look at. The position is not open and is not likely to open for a few years and in the meantime I think you have got somebody in the position there that’s doing a pretty good job.”[24]


On December 27, 2012, he was hired as a consultant for the city of Oakland, California.[25] On January 13, 2013, The Oakland City Council approved the hiring of Bratton with a vote of 7-1.[26]

Return to New York City[edit]

On December 5, 2013, New York City mayor-elect Bill de Blasio named Bratton as New York City’s new Police Commissioner to replace Raymond Kellyafter de Blasio’s swearing-in on January 1, 2014. The New York Times reported that at Bratton’s swearing in on January 2, 2014, the new Police Commissioner praised his predecessor Raymond Kelly, but also signalled his intention to strike a more conciliatory tone with ordinary[who?] New Yorkers who had become disillusioned with policing in the city: “We will all work hard to identify why is it that so many in this city do not feel good about this department that has done so much to make them safe — what has it been about our activities that have made so many alienated?”.[27]


Bratton Technologies, Inc.[edit]

Bratton co-founded and previously served as CEO of Bratton Technologies (, a venture backed company that operates BlueLine, the first secure, global law enforcement professional network. BlueLine was modeled after LinkedIn[28] and today serves as a platform where officers can find each other by name or expertise and safely communicate.[29]


On August 5, 2009, Bratton announced that after nearly seven years he would be stepping down as chief of police for the City of Los Angeles, continuing to serve as chief until October 31, 2009.[30]

Bratton moved back to New York City to take a position with private international security firm Altegrity Risk International, serving as a Chairman of a new division where he would consult on security for police departments worldwide.[31]


Bratton became the Chairman of Kroll, a corporate investigations and risk consulting firm based in New York City on September 16, 2010. In November 9, 2012, Bratton stepped down as Chairman and was retained by Kroll as a Senior Adviser. Bratton continued working with public entities and private organizations facing complex security or investigatory challenges. Kroll is one of Altegrity, Inc.’s three core businesses.[32]


As of June 27, 2013, Bratton joined NBC News and MSNBC as an analyst specializing in criminal justice policy and practice, domestic intelligence gathering and the role of local law enforcement in counter-terrorism. His analyses appeared across the various platforms of NBC News and MSNBC and their digital properties.

The Bratton Group[edit]

As Chief Executive Officer of the Bratton Group LLC, Bratton provided a wide range of collaborative consulting, leadership, management and public safety network services to both the public and private sector in the U.S. and abroad.

Crest Advisory[edit]

Bratton joined Crest Advisory on 5th November 2012.[33]

Crest Advisory[34] provides expert advice to prospective police and crime commissioners (PCCs), criminal justice agencies and the security sector. Crest’s team offer a fusion of policy expertise, political insight, delivery experience and communications support to help communities prevent crime, fear and disorder.

Homeland Security Advisory Council[edit]

Bratton is the Vice Chairman of the Homeland Security Advisory Council, whose members provide advice and recommendations on a variety of homeland security issues to the Secretary of the United States Department of Homeland Security.

Policing style[edit]

Since 1990 in New York City, Bratton adopted a zero tolerance policing policy. This manner of policing has won both plaudits and criticism,[35] but the implementation of zero tolerance policy coincided with a reduction of petty and serious crime in New York City by 2001.

Bratton has stated that racial tensions and distrust of the police are hindrances to reducing crime. Bratton’s solution in Los Angeles and New York was to make police forces more ethnically diverse and “reflect[ive of] the ethnic make-up of their cities.”[4]

Comments on Brazilian police forces[edit]

Bratton expressed a critical view of Brazilian police promotion policy to a local magazine in 2009.[36] According to Bratton, junior police officers without a law degree cannot reach top positions, undermining motivation.

Personal life[edit]

Bratton holds a Bachelor of Science in Law Enforcement from the University of Massachusetts Boston and was a research fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.

Bratton has been married four times. He is married to attorney and TruTV analyst Rikki Klieman, and has one son, David, from a prior marriage. Bratton was previously married to attorney and Boston Police spokeswoman and newscaster Cheryl Fiandaca.

In 1998, Random House published his memoir Turnaround: How America’s Top Cop Reversed the Crime Epidemic, written with co-author Peter Knobler. It was named a New York Times Notable Book of the Year.

Bratton addressed the Roger Williams University graduating class at the May 22, 2010 commencement ceremony and also received an honorary degree during the ceremony.[37]



Jews have told me that as an American of Armenian descent my people had not suffered like the Jews did in Nazi Germany. When a Jew tells me this I know they have no soul. They are empty headed and hearted; to compare two genocides is a genocide in itself, imo. However I shoot back with this remark always: “Until Jews can cross that border into the land of their Semitic brothers- Palestinians – then really? Who are the real Anti-Semites? Yes, Jewish people – that would be YOU, Hypocrites.


SO, IN MY TRUTH – there was a Jewish family who lived in my parents building whom my mom liked. They couldn’t have kids so they went to Russian orphanage to adopt a baby who turned out to be a mental basket case and whom I am sure is still one as a young adult.

This same woman, the mother, on the day of Armenian Martyr’s day (April 24) one year told me and my mother that the Jews suffered far worse than the Armenians because the Nazi’s killed them and created furniture with their skin and bones. I got up, looked this woman straight in the eye and said this: “HOW DID HITLER MISS YOU?”

And then I walked out. I never spoke to that bitch again and I don’t speak to other Jews who say these types of things. In face, Israel is responsible for siding with THE TURKISH GOVERNMENT (both past & current) against the Armenians trying to discredit the Genocide of 1915 to 1920 which will reach 100 years old in 2015.

I am appalled by these people in Israel and America who are paid off by the Turkish government to say these horrible untruths and frankly I hope Israel drops off the face of the earth with all it’s people in tow. They deserve it and must reap what they have sowed.

US academics join rush to deny Turkish massacre of Armenians

Slaughter viewed as accident of First World War

Barely an hour after The Independent had telephoned an American public relations company which is bidding to work for the Turkish government,documents was delivered to my Washington hotel, all of them purporting to prove that the Ottoman Turks never set out to slaughter 1.5 million Armenians in 1915. Many suggested that the tens of thousands of Armenian women and children sent on death marches into what is now Syria during the First World War were the tragic victims of civil war unrest rather than the victims of deliberate annihilation.

One paper, by Justin McCarthy, a history professor at the University of Louisville, stated bluntly: “I do not believe the Ottoman government ever intended a genocide of Armenians … it was in fact in the regions where Ottoman control was weakest that columns of Armenians suffered most.”

In reality, captured Turkish government papers, diplomatic accounts, contemporary newspaper reports and witness evidence prove beyond doubt that the Turkish authorities – suspecting treachery among the Ottoman empire’s minority Christians – set out to annihilate their Armenian community in 1915.

Across southern and eastern Turkey, Armenian men were rounded up and butchered in mass Bosnia-style killings while their families were sent into the Syrian desert where they died in their tens of thousands, raped and murdered by Kurdish tribesmen as well as by Turkish gendarmerie. A cave in which thousands of Armenians were deliberately asphyxiated with smoke by Turkish militiamen – the 20th-century’s first primitive gas chamber – still exists in the Syrian desert. Western newspaper correspondents, Methodist missionaries and Henry Morgenthau, the US ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, all compiled evidence of the massacres in which the Turks were involved. Even military advisers from Germany – Ottoman Turkey’s First World War allies – complained to Berlin about the atrocities, which were debated in the Reichstag.

Yet denial of the Armenian holocaust continues to gather pace in the US. Turkish government endowments to American universities suggest that Ankara might, in the words of the Boston Globe, be trying “to buy academic absolution from the dark past of the Armenian massacre”.

The Turkish government has given $3m (pounds 1.8m)to US universities, including Harvard – which denies there are any conditions attached. But the most controversial appointment has been at Princeton where Dr Heath Lowry, who disputes the reality of the Armenian holocaust, holds the Ataturk Chair in Turkish Studies. In one of his works, Dr Lowry claims that the account of the genocide by Ambassador Morgenthau, who was Jewish, comprises “crude half-truths and outright falsehoods … from cover to cover”.

In his new book Black Dog of Fate, Armenian history professor Peter Balakian – whose family survived the Armenian massacres – describes how, while he was speaking at a meeting in New York to mark Armenian holocaust day, Turkish demonstrators handed out pamphlets claiming “Armenians were deported because they were a security threat and were massacring Muslims …”.

Mr Balakian, who is also a poet, has lobbied Congress to mark 24 April, when the massacres started among the Armenian intelligentsia, as Armenian holocaust day.

But to no avail. Turkish lobbyists have regularly prevailed upon the US administration not to mark the day, reminding congressmen of the vital Nato role played by Turkey and its alliance with Washington, and insisting that the Armenian holocaust was merely a badly handled “relocation” of Turkey’s Armenian population.

Mr Balakian believes that Turkish pressure groups began to achieve success in the US as long ago as 1934 when MGM dropped a project to film The Forty Days of Musa Dagh, the story of the Armenian resistance to Turkish attacks on a mountain town in 1915.

Yet despite the support of Jewish academics for acknowledgement of the earlier Holocaust, Israel failed the Armenians in 1982 when it gave way to pressure from Turkey and forced the cancellation of a conference on the Jewish Holocaust and its 6 million victims in which Armenians would have described their own genocide. Elie Wiesel, the Jewish Holocaust survivor, pulled out of the conference after pressure from the Israeli foreign ministry. Turkey is today Israel’s most powerful Muslim military ally.

Mr Balakian said. “What this is about is a refusal to acknowledge genocide. We should have apologies from the Turks and the proper moral representation in history.

“Genocide denial is the last phase of genocide. It denounces the victims and rehabilitates the perpetrators. It also robs the victim’s culture of all moral order … I feel we Armenians are being stalked by the perpetrators 82 years later.

“We can’t heal until there is a full confirmation of the Armenian genocide in the public discourse of world history.”


By the way that was some accident.
Eleanor Dahlstrom
Aye its called “the auld pals act in Glasgow” because America and Israel are pally with Turkey. I’ve heard that its a crime to mention the Armenian Genocide in Turkey. That’s why I cant go there. Am afraid I mention it. The Germans took ownership of the murder of 6 million Jews. And it wasn’t Armenian fellows who died. Tell the truth, it was women, children babies and infants. Just like the Nazis.

Jon Stewart Learns What Happens When You Talk About Israel

Posted: 07/22/2014 5:05 am EDT Updated: 07/22/2014 4:59 pm EDT

Many have accused Jon Stewart of being pro-Hamas for expressing sympathy for the residents of Gaza, where more than 500 people have been killed — including at least 100 children — in recent fighting with Israel.

So on Monday night’s “Daily Show,” just about the entire roster of correspondents popped up to scream at him any time he uttered the word “Israel.”

“Look, obviously there are many strong opinions on this,” Stewart said when the shouting subsided. “But just merely mentioning Israel or questioning in any way the effectiveness or humanity of Israel’s policies is not the same thing as being pro-Hamas.”

That of course led to a new round of shouts and insults, prompting Stewart to turn to a “lighter” topic: Ukraine.

Russia downs two Ukrainian planes now

On top of everything else that has happened

Russia fronted by the Rebels have dropped two Uk planes killing 4 men; 2 in each plane. These jets were fighter jets from Ukraine but still – and now

Putin is just cruising’ for a brusing and so many people want to give it to him but at what cost?

So the supposing is this: The reason the rebels shot down these jets is to intermingle these parts with MH17 and confuse the world.

The world is NOT confused, Putin.

Your daughter MARIA is living in the Netherlands with her Dutch boyfriend. Mark my words – your daughter is a goner.


2 Ukrainian jet fighters shot down in rebel-held area

KIEV, Ukraine — Two Ukrainian attack jets were shot down Wednesday over territory held by Russian-back separatists in eastern Ukraine, the Ukrainian Defense Ministry said.

The Ukrainian government said the planes were downed by missiles fired from Russia, raising questions about whether Ukrainian separatists who had crossed the border were responsible or whether Russians fired the weapons.

Whatever the answer, the incident highlighted the growing conflict in eastern Ukraine between separatists who want autonomy for the region, where many ethnic Russians live, and the national government, which is trying to seize back control of the territory.

“According to the preliminary information we have, the missiles were fired from the territory of Russia,” Andriy Lysenko, spokesman for Ukraine’s National Council for Security and Defense told a news conference Wednesday.

He said the planes were flying at 17,000 feet when they were struck. “Such altitude is too high to be reached by portable air-defense systems,” he said, referring to field weapons used by the insurgents . “It can be reached only by heavy missile complexes.”

The attack and Lysenko’s suggestion of Russian involvement come a day after senior U.S. intelligence officials warned that Russia was continuing to supply rebels with arms and training despite U.S. evidence that separatists used Russian weaponry to shoot down Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 last week, killing all 298 aboard. The separatists and Russia blame Ukraine’s military for downing the Boeing 777.

The defense ministry said on its Facebook page that the jets were among four Russian-built fighters that were returning to base after providing air support for Ukrainian troops near the border.

The pilots of both jets ejected from the aircraft, the ministry said. Their condition was not immediately reported.

Ukraine’s parliament approved a presidential decree Wednesday on a third mobilization of men to be called up to serve in the army. The first two mobilizations took place on March 17 and May 6.

As of Tuesday, 280 troops have died in the conflict and 780 have been wounded, according to Defense Minister Valeriy Geletey. The national government has vowed to regain control of key cities in eastern Ukraine now held by the separatists.

Three senior U.S. intelligence officials who briefed reporters Tuesday said rebels have shot down about a dozen aircraft over the past several months. The rebels stepped up their attacks on Ukrainian planes after its military had begun to make progress against the rebels, according to the officials, who shared intelligence findings on condition that they not be identified by name.

The Ukraine military’s ability to attack rebels from the air and move troops quickly by helicopter provides an advantage over the rebels.

Defense Ministry spokesman Oleksiy Dmitrashkovsky said the Sukhoi-25 attack aircraft were downed in an area called Savur Mogila in the Shaktersky region near the Russian border.

The Sukhoi-25 are typically used for supporting ground troops and may have been flying low. Many of the aircraft downed by rebels were attacked by ground fire.

The Malaysia plane was flying above 33,000 feet when it was downed by a sophisticated SA-11 surface-to-air missile fired from rebel-held territory, according to evidence the U.S. intelligence officials described. They said Russia provided the missile system and training on how to use it.

The site of Wednesday’s attack is only a few miles from where the Malaysia Airlines jetliner crashed.

The U.S. military is supplying Ukraine’s military with a $33 million package of “non-lethal” aid, including radios, body armor, first aid kits and night-vision goggles, the Pentagon said.

Ukraine’s military has asked for arms and ammunition, but for now the Pentagon said it was continuing to focus on the non-lethal aid.

In addition, the Pentagon in coming weeks is sending a second assessment team to Ukraine to examine ways to provide long-term assistance to Ukraine’s military. The plans for the assessment team were in the works before the downing of the Malaysia Airlines flight.

Michaels reported from Washington. Contributing: Doug Stanglin, Associated Press


The Heartbreaking Last Hours Of MH17′s Victims

Posted: 07/23/2014 9:33 am EDT Updated: 2 minutes ago

In a bedroom in a townhouse near Amsterdam, Miguel Panduwinata reached out for his mother. “Mama, may I hug you?”

Samira Calehr wrapped her arms around her 11-year-old son, who’d been oddly agitated for days, peppering her with questions about death, about his soul, about God. The next morning, she would drop Miguel and his big brother Shaka at the airport so they could catch Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, the first leg of their journey to Bali to visit their grandmother.

Her normally cheerful, well-traveled boy should have been excited. His silver suitcase sat in the living room, ready to go. Jetskiing and surfing in paradise awaited. But something was off. A day earlier, while playing soccer, Miguel had burst out: “How would you choose to die? What would happen to my body if I was buried? Would I not feel anything because our souls go back to God?”

And now, the night before his big trip, Miguel refused to release his mother from his grasp.

He’s just going to miss me, Calehr told herself. So she stretched out beside him and held him all night.

It was 11 p.m. on Wednesday, July 16. Miguel, Shaka and the 296 other people aboard Flight 17 had around 15 hours left to live.

samira calehr
In this undated photo released by The Calehr family, Miguel Panduwinata, right, poses his mother Samira Calehr. (AP Photo/The Calehr family)

The Boeing 777 tasked with shepherding its passengers from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, held the promise of beginnings and endings for many on board: the thrill of a new adventure or dream vacation for some, and the comfort of going back home for others.

It was love and a fresh start that had lured Willem Grootscholten aboard. The burly, 53-year-old divorced former soldier from the Netherlands — a gentle giant of a man — had sold his house and was moving to Bali to build a new life with his darling Christine, a guesthouse owner.

He’d met her by chance on a trip to the Indonesian island last year.

Christine, who like many Indonesians has only one name, had heard through a friend that some guy had fallen off a cliff and hurt his back. She told her friend to take him to a traditional healer she knew. The next day, Grootscholten called Christine to thank her.

They connected over coffee. Grootscholten had to return to the Netherlands, where he was working as a bouncer at a pot-selling cafe. But the two stayed in touch online, and their relationship blossomed. On New Year’s Eve, he surprised her by showing up at her doorstep. He stayed three weeks.

The father of Christine’s two children, 14-year-old Dustin and 8-year-old Stephanie, had died six years ago, and they quickly bonded with Grootscholten, calling him “Daddy.” The four stayed in touch online. Almost every day, they shared meals via Skype by placing their iPads on their tables during dinner for Christine’s family and lunch for Grootscholten.

In May, Grootscholten returned to Bali to celebrate Christine’s birthday and told her he wanted to spend the rest of his life beside her. She drove him to the airport on June 3 and kissed him goodbye.

It would be their last kiss.

willem grootscholten
Indonesian Christine holds a portrait of her fiance Willem Grootscholten of the Netherlands who was a passenger of the crashed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, at her guesthouse in Bali, Indonesia, June 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Firdia Lisnawati)


For 29-year-old New Zealander Rob Ayley, Flight 17 marked both the end of a month-long European trip and the start of a new career.

Life hadn’t always been easy for Ayley. Diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome as a teen, he’d struggled to understand others’ emotions. At 16, he dropped out of school and hopped from job to job — fast food, horticulture, cheese-making. He flitted between obsessions, from cars to drumming and eventually, to Rottweilers, after his parents bought him a puppy.

Along the way, he fell in love with a woman named Sharlene. They married and had two sons, Seth and Taylor. Fatherhood changed him; he was determined to provide for his family. He enrolled in college to study chemical engineering and decided to turn his Rottweiler fixation into a profit by becoming a breeder.

That dream prompted Ayley to book a trip to Europe with his friend Bill Patterson, a kennel owner. Ayley’s goal: to look at Rottweilers and hopefully bring back breeding dogs to New Zealand.

The duo spent a month driving all over Europe, visiting kennels and grabbing a coffee, beer or meal with the owners. They delighted in speeding along the German autobahns in the small Peugeot they’d rented.

Finally, it was time to come home. On Wednesday night, Ayley sent his mother an email:

“It’s been a long, long journey. We’ve seen the world’s greatest Rottweilers, we have established contacts, and made life-long friends, but now I’m just ready to come home. I hope all is well, if we don’t talk before hand, I will see you on Saturday. Lots of Love Rob”

rob ayley
This Nov. 27, 2010 file photo released by the Ayley family, shows Rob Ayley, left, with wife Sharlene Ayley pose for a photo on their wedding day in Nelson, New Zealand. (AP Photo/The Ayley Family, File)

Flight attendant Sanjid Singh was looking forward to getting home, too. He hadn’t originally been scheduled for Flight 17, but he wanted to get back to Malaysia a day early to visit his parents in northern Penang state. So he asked a colleague to switch shifts.

Only five months ago, a similar last-minute switch had saved his family. His wife, also a flight attendant, had agreed to swap assignments with a colleague who wanted to be on board Malaysia Airlines Flight 370. The plane vanished en route to Beijing.

The near-miss rattled Singh’s parents, who fretted about the pair continuing to fly. But Singh was pragmatic. “If I am fated to die, I will die,” he said. “You have to accept it.”

On Wednesday, he called his mother and told her the good news — he’d nabbed a spot on Flight 17 and would be there on Friday. Take care of yourself, he told his mother.

After they hung up, she said a prayer for Singh, the way she always did.

sanjid singh
In this Sunday, July 20, 2014 photo, Jijar Singh Sandhu, 71, looks at his son Sanjid Singh, a Malaysia Airlines flight attendant who was onboard the crashed Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, during an interview at his home in Bukit Mertajam, northern Malaysia. (AP Photo/Gary Chuah)

Family was also the reason Irene Gunawan had booked a seat on Flight 17.

She was headed to an annual family reunion in the Philippines: a major event held at a resort that would include specially-designed shirts, drinking, singing and dancing. And 53-year-old Gunawan would — as always — be the star.

Gunawan was the light and laughter of her clan. The fifth of six children, the bubbly, music-loving girl had wanted to see the world outside her sleepy rural village. After high school, she moved to Japan to sing and drum in a band. There, she met Budy, a fellow band member.

They toured Europe together, playing music and eventually falling in love. They married and settled in the Netherlands, where she gave birth to Daryll and Sheryll, now 19 and 14. Gunawan took up office work, and sent money to her family in the Philippines. Budy worked as a supervisor at Malaysia Airlines in Amsterdam.

Gunawan flew back occasionally to the family’s neighborhood, called “Heaven,” in the town of Pagbilao, outside Manila. At reunions, she belted out songs by Norah Jones and Diana Ross. When neighbors heard the music, they knew she was in town.

This year, the couple and their two children were flying to Pagbilao, and Daryll was bringing his DJ equipment. They’d planned to leave earlier, but a typhoon was lashing the Philippines, so they delayed their trip until it subsided.

By chance, they nabbed seats on Flight 17.

Albert and Maree Rizk weren’t supposed to be on that flight either.

Every year, the fun-loving 50-somethings from Melbourne, Australia, went on a month-long vacation with friends. They had hopscotched the globe, from Thailand to Fiji to Europe.

This time, the Rizks had nearly skipped the trip due to family commitments. Family came first for Albert, a real estate agent, and Maree, parents of two and beloved fixtures in their community.

A change of plans freed them up to join their friends, Ross and Sue Campbell, but they weren’t able to snag a seat on the Campbells’ return flight. So they bought tickets for the same route, a day later: Flight 17.

The Rizks and the Campbells had become more like family than friends since Sue and Maree met at a mother’s group when their now-grown children were babies. They had a ball traveling through Italy, Switzerland and Germany. It felt like they’d laughed for a solid month. Together, they realized a lifelong goal: climbing to the top of the Klein Matterhorn in Switzerland.

On Tuesday night, the four gathered at an Italian restaurant for a final meal. They reminisced about their latest adventure — one of their best — and made plans for a reunion back in Australia. On Saturday, they would get together to feast on the delicious Dutch cheese they’d bought, drink wine and pore over their vacation photos.

The four headed back to the hotel, exchanged hugs and retired to their rooms.

Some friends were surprised that the Rizks were willing to fly Malaysia Airlines, after the disappearance of Flight 370. Maree’s stepmother, Kaylene Mann, had lost her brother and sister-in-law in the disaster.

Albert’s buddy of 30 years, Jack Medcraft, got in a friendly dig: Why Malaysia Airlines?

“Lightning never strikes twice,” Albert replied.

They burst out laughing. The nonchalant explanation had a double meaning.

Albert’s house had been struck by lightning last year.

albert rizk
This June 26, 2014 family photo released by Ross Campbell, shows Sue Campbell, left, Ross Campbell, Albert Rizk, second from right, and Maree Rizk, right, while they are on holiday in Florence, Italy. (AP Photo/Ross Campbell) 

Thursday, July 17, dawned warm and sunny in Amsterdam.

Before leaving his house for Schiphol Airport, Grootscholten called Christine and the children for one last Skype chat. He was so excited, he began to dance.

“Daddy’s flying to see you!” he told the kids. “We will be together forever!”

Meanwhile, Ayley was struggling. Patterson, his Rottweiler business partner, had flown out Wednesday, so he had to get himself to the airport — and it was not going well. “Missed the airport bus,” he wrote to his wife on Facebook. “Waiting for the next one.”

Back in Malaysia, Singh’s excited parents awaited their flight attendant son’s arrival. His mother had prepared his favorite dishes — spicy prawns, blue crab curry, roast pork and vegetables.

Irene Gunawan couldn’t wait to get home to Heaven to see her own family. She asked her sister-in-law to make that syrupy custard cake she loved. Gunawan’s daughter was eager to stop at Jollibee, a popular burger chain.

Samira Calehr and her friend Aan had ushered her sons onto the train to the airport. They were joking and laughing, excited to spend time with their grandmother in the mountains of Bali. Shaka, 19, had just finished his first year of college, where he was studying textile engineering, and promised to keep an eye on Miguel. Their other brother, Mika, 16, hadn’t been able to get a seat on Flight 17 and would travel to Bali the next day.

At the check-in counter, Calehr fussed over her boys’ luggage. Shaka, meanwhile, realized he’d forgotten to pack socks. Calehr promised to buy him some and send them along with Mika.

Finally, they were outside customs. The boys hugged Calehr goodbye and walked toward passport control. Suddenly, Miguel whirled around and ran back, throwing his arms around his mother.

“Mama, I’m going to miss you,” he said. “What will happen if the airplane crashes?”

What was this all about? she wondered.

“Don’t say that,” she said, squeezing him. “Everything will be OK.”

Shaka tried to reassure them both. “I will take care of him,” he said to his mom. “He’s my baby.”

She watched the two boys walk away. But Miguel kept looking back at his mother. His big brown eyes looked sad.

Then he vanished from view.


They all converged at Gate G3.

Singh and his fellow flight attendants finished their preparations. The announcement finally rang out. It was time to board.

Miguel and Shaka made their way to their seats in the first row of economy. Grootscholten was in the same row, two seats to their left. He’d just changed his Facebook cover photo to an image of Schiphol’s air traffic control tower.

Farther back, Ayley settled into his seat. Against all odds, he’d made it. The anxious flier had shot one final message to his friend Patterson: “Gidday mate, leaving Amsterdam now. Great trip, not looking forward to the plane.”

Up front, Albert and Maree Rizk slid into the first row of business class. Budy Gunawan sat down next to Maree. His wife Irene and their children settled in a few rows behind them. They’d been among the last to check in.

Irene, still worried about how her family was coping with the typhoon, sent one last text to her sister-in-law: “Hehehe Lov u, turning off cellphone, time to take off…take care always, you may get hit by falling trees.”

She was on her way to Heaven.

irene gunawan
In this July 2011 photo provided by Ron Peter Pabellon, Irene Gunawan poses with her son Darryl at a resort in her Philippine hometown of Pagbilao, Quezon province, while attending a family reunion with her husband Budy, who is of Indonesian descent, and daughter Sherryl. (AP Photo/Ron Peter Pabellon)

Flight 17 took off around 12:15 p.m. on what should have been an 11 hour and 45 minute flight.

It lasted two hours.


The bodies began to fall. The phones began to ring. The confusion erupted, the hearts broke. And the twists of fate or happenstance that brought these people to this plane on this day unfurled.

In New Zealand, Ayley’s frantic family began sending him messages, hoping his email about missing the bus meant he’d also missed the flight.

“Your booked plane has been blown up, literally,” his mother Wendie wrote. “So wherever you are, whatever mess you’re finding yourself in, we’d be delighted to hear that you missed your flight. … We love you heaps and heaps and we just want to know you’re alive my darling.”

In Australia, the Campbells had just arrived when they heard that a Malaysia Airlines plane had been shot down over Ukraine. Fearing the worst, they rushed over to the Rizks’ house to check on their kids. And for the second time in five months, Maree’s stepmother learned she’d lost a loved one to a Malaysia Airlines disaster.

In Bali, Christine prayed. “Hope you will be fine… ohhhhhhhhhh GODDDDDDDDDDDD… PLEASEEEEEEEEEE!!! I beg You…” she posted on Facebook.

And in Amsterdam, Calehr had just finished buying Shaka’s socks when her phone rang. It was her friend Aan. “Where are you?” he screamed. “The plane crashed!”

She made it home just in time to faint.


They grapple now with the what-ifs, the astronomical odds, the realization that the world they knew has turned alien in a blink.

In the Philippines, the Gunawan family home has grown quiet. Irene is gone, and with her, the community’s joy.

Friends stop by to offer condolences and pray. Irene smiles out of an old picture on an altar ringed by candles. A videoke machine and microphone she bought on her last visit lie idle in the corner.

Her best friend, Zenaida Ecal, is furious. What does she want as punishment for those who stole Irene?

“What is worse than death?” she replies.

In Malaysia, the food Singh’s mother had so lovingly prepared remains in the fridge. She cannot bear to look at it.

The parents cannot comprehend how something as simple as a swapped shift could have proven so kind to their daughter-in-law and so cruel to their son.

“It saved her life,” Jihar Singh says. “Now my son has saved someone else’s life.”

In New Zealand, Wendie Ayley’s work as a hospice nurse has given her a different perspective. She knows the end must come for everyone, including her son, who missed the bus but not the flight.

“When he died he was 30,000 feet closer to God. He would have known he was dead, and opened his wings,” she says. “I believe his first thought would have been, ‘This is awesome.’”

In the Netherlands, Samira Calehr thinks about how her baby boy seemed to sense that his time on earth was running short. She imagines the futures that will never be: Shaka’s dream of becoming a textile engineer, gone. Miguel’s dream of becoming a go-kart race driver, gone.

How could he have known? How could she have known?

“I should have listened to him,” she says softly. “I should have listened to him.”

malaysia airlines
Linda Pabellon, left, and Tirso Pabellon, sister and brother respectively of Irene Pabellon Gunawan, leave the Department of Foreign Affairs Monday, July 21, 2014 at suburban Pasay city south of Manila, Philippines. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)


Associated Press writers Nick Perry in Wellington, New Zealand; Jim Gomez in Pagbilao, Philippines; Firdia Lisnawati in Bali, Indonesia; Mike Corder in The Hague, Netherlands; and Eileen Ng in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia contributed to this report.


Separate U.S. Appeals Court Upholds Subsidies Under Obama Health Law

Posted: 07/22/2014 12:28 pm EDT Updated: 3 hours ago

WASHINGTON, July 22 (Reuters) – The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld a federal regulations that implemented subsidies that are vital to President Barack Obama’s healthcare overhaul, in direct conflict with another ruling on the issue handed down earlier on Tuesday.

A three-judge panel unanimously said the law was ambiguous, and that it would defer to the IRS’s determination that subsidies could go to individuals who purchased health insurance on both federal and state-run exchanges.

A separate panel from a federal appeals court in Washington on Tuesday morning said the IRS could not offer premium tax credits to people who purchase insurance through the federal insurance marketplace that serves most of the 8 million consumers who have signed up for private coverage for 2014. (Reporting by Aruna Viswanatha)