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Massachusetts man arrested after son, 5, allegedly takes heroin to school and brags it makes him feel like Spider-Man -

Massachusetts man arrested after son, 5, allegedly takes heroin to school and brags it makes him feel like Spider-ManA father is facing drug possession charges after his son, 5, allegedly took heroin to school and said tasting it made him feel like Spider-Man.

Sun, 17 Nov 2019 20:42:09 -0500

Shock Poll Has Sweden Nationalists More Emboldened Than Ever -

Shock Poll Has Sweden Nationalists More Emboldened Than Ever(Bloomberg) -- The leader of a party once shunned for its ties to far-right extremism is now riding a wave of popularity that he says may pave the way to a century of political dominance in Sweden.Jimmie Akesson, the 40-year-old head of the Sweden Democrats, woke up on Friday to news that his party was now polling as the country’s biggest. At 24%, it’s a few percentage points ahead of the ruling Social Democrats that have towered over Sweden’s political landscape for most of the postwar era.“We want to be part of shaping this country over the next 100 years, just as the Social Democrats have been doing for 100 years,” Akesson said in an interview at the Swedish parliament in Stockholm. “We want political influence, and we want a significant influence.”The kind of influence Akesson is talking about would mark an historic break with the balance of power in Sweden, where the political establishment once vowed to keep the Sweden Democrats out of any coalition. The more established groups on the right and left have pointed to the party’s past ties to neo-Nazis and white supremacists in defense of their efforts to isolate the group.But that stance seems increasingly out of step with what voters in Sweden want. A separate poll from Sifo also out on Friday put support for the Sweden Democrats at 23%, the highest level ever registered by that pollster. While still trailing the Social Democrats, Sifo said the difference between the two parties was not statistically significant.As a result of the surge in popularity, some corners of parliament have shown signs of softening to the Sweden Democrats. The conservative-leaning Christian Democrats and the Moderates -- Sweden’s biggest opposition party -- recently signaled an increased willingness to work with Akesson. In charge of the party since 2005, Akesson has been weeding out extremists in a process of self-gentrification.“Voters are seeing us, perhaps not formally, but still, as part of a conservative bloc,” Akesson said. “I think that makes them more willing to give us their votes. That’s the main reason why this is happening now.”The shift in Sweden’s political landscape follows a punishing election cycle last September. The Social Democrats ultimately emerged as the victors, but only after four months of grueling coalition talks that resulted in a fragile alliance.In the meantime, the government has been accused of inaction in handling a growing wave of violence in the country. In late August, an 18-year-old woman was shot dead in Stockholm’s Vallingby suburb, and in the southern city of Malmo another young woman was shot dead while carrying her baby. In the same city, a 15-year-old boy was shot dead outside a pizza restaurant.There has also been an increase in the number of bombings, prompting defense experts to compare Sweden with Northern Ireland in the 1980s and even contemporary Afghanistan.The surge in violence on the streets of some of Sweden’s biggest cities has left voters angry. And the Sweden Democrats have been quick to respond; the party called for a vote of no confidence against the justice minister, which was backed by the Moderate Party.Though the motion was dismissed, the fact that the Sweden Democrats were able to team up with the largest opposition party for a key vote marked a “milestone,” according to Akesson.Understanding Sweden’s history with populism also requires taking a look at developments over the past decades, and more recently during the Syrian refugee crisis. The country’s policy of giving permanent residency to Syrians landing on its shores backfired in 2015, when a spike in immigration became too much for the authorities to handle. The Social Democrat-led government of Stefan Lofven introduced border checks and has since toughened its rhetoric on immigration.Akesson is enough of a realist to know he’s unlikely to achieve a formal collaboration with the parties that make up the conservative wing of parliament before elections due in 2022. But he says it’s “clear” that the Sweden Democrats will be a more regular partner in legislative talks. Akesson said he has been concerned that his party could also suffer when rival parties emulate Sweden Democrat policies.“That is something we have seen with the Moderates and more recently with the Christian Democrats,” he said. “Social Democrats are sending mixed signals but they have a desire to appear tougher to stop bleeding voters to us. But I think we have been able to fend that off rather well.”(Adds results of Sifo poll in fifth paragraph)To contact the reporters on this story: Rafaela Lindeberg in Stockholm at;Niclas Rolander in Stockholm at nrolander@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Niklas Magnusson at, Tasneem Hanfi Brögger, Nick RigilloFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Sun, 17 Nov 2019 19:00:00 -0500

Hong Kong police threaten to fire live ammunition at democracy protesters -

Hong Kong police threaten to fire live ammunition at democracy protestersHong Kong police stormed into Hong Kong Polytechnic University on Monday after an all-night standoff with protesters, with police threatening to use live ammunition against protesters in the face of barrages of Molotov cocktails from demonstrators who have occupied a university campus.  While three protesters have been shot during the 24 weeks of protests so far, this is the first time in the crisis the police have issued the stark warning.  "If they (protesters) continue such dangerous actions, we would have no choice but to use minimum force, including live rounds," said police spokesman Louis Lau during a Facebook live broadcast. The president of the Poly U Professor Ten Jin Huang released a statement saying:  "I have been communicating closely with the police since last evening. We have now received the assurance of police of a temporary suspension of the use of force, under the condition that if the protesters do not initiate the use of force, police will not initiate the use of force. "In addition, we have received permission from the police for you to leave the campus peacefully and I will personally accompany you to the police station to ensure that your case will be fairly processed, " he continued.  An anti-government protester is silhoutted at the entrance to Hong Kong Polytechnic University Credit: Tyrone Siu/Reuters "For students from Poly U, our office of counselling and wellness will provide you with counselling and all the necessary support to help you during this difficult time. I hope that you will accept the proposed temporary suspension of force and leave the campus in a peaceful manner." The warning came after a Hong Kong police officer was shot in the leg with an arrow fired by protesters during a day-long tear-gas and petrol-bomb fuelled standoff between anti-government protesters and police.  Police on Monday morning had surrounded the Hong Kong Polytechnic University to prevent protesters from escaping as they move in.   Photographs of the injured officer were posted on the Hong Kong Police’s Facebook page, showing the arrow sticking out of the officer's lower leg.     An officer was hit in the calf by an arrow fired by protesters outside the Polytechnic University of Hong Kong Credit: EPA-EFE/REX/Hong Kong Police Force Police confirmed that the man hit was a media liaison officer, who often join police lines acting as a buffer for the press in the protests.  On Sunday afternoon, police deployed water cannons and armoured vehicles, which broke through blockades strewn with bricks and nails and dispersed protesters with bursts of blue dye laced with pepper spray.    Protesters retreated back towards the campus, blocking projectiles and tear gas with umbrellas and makeshift shields. There are estimated to be 200 protesters barricaded inside the university.  Meanwhile, on the roof of the university, protesters fired arrows and catapults with flaming projectiles towards police lines.   Warning shots were reportedly fired by police and tear gas was still being launched towards the university at 4am local time after an ultimatum for students to surrender expired, as tensions showed no sign of easing.  Anti-government protesters were hosed down inside the campus by volunteer medics Credit: ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP via Getty Images The university is near the Hung Hom cross-harbour tunnel, a 10-lane thoroughfare between the Kowloon Peninsula and Hong Kong Island.  The crossing has been a key target for protesters, who have vandalised the toll booths at the crossing, shutting down the crucial transport tunnel for more than five days.   Protesters on Sunday night also set fire to a footbridge overlooking the cross-harbour tunnel, causing a large explosion.   The university is stockpiled with Molotov cocktails and petrol bombs, many which were strewn on the footbridges in anticipation for a police assault.  University campuses have been the latest battlegrounds of fierce clashes between protesters and police, with multiple campuses across Hong Kong vandalised and barricaded by protesters dressed in black, who say they are defending the universities from the police.  The Polytechnic University is the last remaining campus in Hong Kong still held by protesters, while the others that were once occupied have been largely abandoned.   An armoured police truck burns after being hit with Molotov cocktails,  Credit: REUTERS/Adnan Abidi Speaking on Sunday afternoon, Sir Malcolm Rifkind, the former Foreign Secretary, urged restraint from Carrie Lam, Hong Kong's Chief Executive, and protesters.   “Hong Kong’s Chief Executive has the responsibility to do everything possible to prevent a massacre. She must order the police to exercise restraint and not to use live ammunition or other forms of lethal force," he said.  "A bloodbath on a Hong Kong campus would be devastating for Hong Kong as a whole. I also urge those students who have engaged in violence to stop. I condemn violence on all sides and I call on both sides to show restraint and pull back from the brink.” Read More | Hong Kong crisis The Hong Kong Education Bureau announced that primary and secondary schools will stay closed on Monday across the city, citing safety concerns.  The protests initially began with the demand to withdraw a now-shelved extradition bill, which pro-democracy figures feared was a sign of increasing control being exerted on Hong Kong from Beijing and the Chinese central government.  The unrest and protests has since evolved into calls for greater democratic reforms and an independent investigation into police violence.

Sun, 17 Nov 2019 18:48:09 -0500

Child abuse victims should have right to sue paedophiles caught with images of them, children charities say -

Child abuse victims should have right to sue paedophiles caught with images of them, children charities sayChild abuse victims should be given new rights to sue paedophiles caught viewing or sharing indecent images of them, children charities have said. The Children’s Charities’ Coalition on Internet Safety (CCCIS) called for the initiative arguing it would act as a deterrent for offenders, who now know they are unlikely to go do jail, as it could mean potentially losing their homes and pensions if caught with abuse material. The CCCIS, which represents charities such as the NSPCC and Barnardo’s, said those convicted of indecent images should also face a new automatic surcharge to fund the treatment and therapy costs of victims of abuse. The call comes as police have previously said they are struggling to cope with the now more than 5,000 arrests being made for indecent images every year. Police chiefs have argued that some paedophiles caught with indecent images could be dealt with by conditional cautions to lighten the caseload.  John Carr OBE, Secretary of the CCCIS, said : "If you assume these offenders are rational, they must know that the chances of them being caught, convicted and sent to jail are very close to zero. "But if they knew that if they were caught their house, their car, their pension, their assets could be at risk as they are obliged to pay compensation to the victims, that would act as a major deterrent. "Why should the taxpayer pick up the entire bill (for victim treatment) if the guys who are responsible can fund it? We’ve got the phrase ‘the polluter pays’ - here we want the abuser to pay." Victims of child abuse can currently sue their abusers through the civil courts, however their rights regarding people caught with images or recordings of their abuse are far less clear. The CCCIS, said that explosion in abuse images being shared on the internet was causing long-lasting trauma to victims whose abuse had been recorded. Last year the US-based watchdog, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, said it received reports of 18 million images worldwide being shared across major tech platforms, including 16 million just from Facebook. The CCCIS also argued an automatic surcharge should be levied on the growing numbers of people caught with images, on top of the current victim surcharge, which would fund care for victims. Currently all people convicted in UK courts pay a victim surcharge of up to £181, the proceeds of which are dispersed among various victims' charities. Mr Carr added: "The victims of sexual abuse are completely clear and know that those images are circulating on the internet and being downloaded. Some of these young people will have that pain and burden the rest of their lives. "That is a huge source of stress and anxiety for them, and so the who business of downloading needs to be discouraged and stopped."

Sun, 17 Nov 2019 16:30:00 -0500

Racist, anti-Semitic incidents prompt Syracuse to halt fraternity activities; Alpha Chi Rho suspended -

Racist, anti-Semitic incidents prompt Syracuse to halt fraternity activities; Alpha Chi Rho suspendedSyracuse suspended a fraternity and halted social activities at all of them for the semester after a series of racist and anti-Semitic incidents.

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