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Monthly Archives: December 2017

2 Men Killed On Portland Train After Trying To Stop Anti-Muslim Rant, Police Say

Two men have been killed after trying to stop a man abusing two women on a train because they appeared to be Muslim, say police in Portland, Oregon.

Police arrested Jeremy Joseph Christian, 35, of North Portland, following the stabbing deaths on a MAX train at the Hollywood Transit Station at 4:30 p.m. Friday. They charged him with offenses including two counts of aggravated murder over the incident, which occurred hours before the start of the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan.

Witnesses said at least one of the women the suspect targeted was wearing a hijab, and it appeared the abuse was religiously and racially motivated. 

?He said, ?Get off the bus, and get out of the country because you don?t pay taxes here,?? Evelin Hernandez, a passenger on the train, told KATU-TV.

He?s always been spouting anti-establishment stuff but he?s a nice person I just can?t imagine.?
Mary Christian, the suspect’s mother

Three men intervened amid the suspect?s ?ranting and raving,? Portland police spokesman Pete Simpson said during a news conference. ?They were attacked viciously by the suspect.?

The suspect?s mother, Mary Christian, told HuffPost early Saturday that she had no idea that her son might have been involved.

?It?s scary,? she said. ?I can?t imagine he would do anything like this, unless he was on drugs or something. He?s been in prison, he?s always been spouting anti-establishment stuff but he?s a nice person I just can?t imagine.?

Police said one of the men who intervened died on the train. The other died later in hospital, while the third man was treated for non-life threatening injuries.

Officers detained Christian soon after he got off the train, police said. They were unable to interview the women, however, as they?d already left the area.

Police booked Christian into the Multnomah County Jail early Saturday. Along with the aggravated murder charges, he faces two counts of intimidation in the second degree, one of attempted murder and one count of being a felon in possession of a restricted weapon.

Christian has previously been convicted for felony robbery, kidnapping and possession of weapons. He will be arraigned in Multnomah County Court on Monday, where he may face additional charges, authorities say.

He?s also had ties to white supremacy in the area, according to authorities. On April 29, police confiscated a baseball bat from him at a ?March for Free Speech? rally, after which he screamed racial epithets and gave the Nazi salute throughout the day, the Portland Mercury reports. Police said they were familiar with him but they did not see him as a threat to public safety, adding that he suffered from mental illness. His mother told HuffPost Saturday that she didn?t believe he was mentally ill.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations issued a statement in response to the attack Friday calling on President Donald Trump to speak out against anti-Muslim incidents, which it said had increased more than 50 percent in the U.S. from 2015 to 2016.

?President Trump must speak out personally against the rising tide of Islamophobia and other forms of bigotry and racism in our nation that he has provoked through his numerous statements, policies and appointments that have negatively impacted minority communities,? said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. 

?Only a strong statement from the nation?s leader will send a message to bigots that such acts of violence targeting racial, ethnic or religious minorities are unacceptable.?

TriMet, the transit provider in the Portland region, confirmed there would be delays following the incident and issued messages of condolences over the deaths:

Police said the Oregon State Medical Examiner would conduct autopsies on the two men on Saturday morning. They will release the names of the three victims soon after, they added.

This article has been updated throughout.

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Artist Turns Life With His Wife Into Adorably Relatable Comics

Artist Yehuda Devir takes life with his wife Maya in Tel Aviv and turns it into relatable comic book-style illustrations.

The pair has been together for eight years and will be celebrating their first wedding anniversary in two months. 

?My inspiration for these comics is simply our daily lives,? the artist told HuffPost. ?These are real cases that happen to us.?

The couple met while they were in the army, became best friends and, over time, the platonic relationship turned into a romantic one. 

?Because of her, I make these illustrations ? she just gives me laughter and happiness for life,? Devir told HuffPost. ?She is also an artist, in my opinion, better than me, and I sometimes get her reviews about the illustrations I do.?

To see more of Devir?s work, visit his website or follow him on Facebook and Instagram

H/T Bored Panda

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People Whose IDs Were Stolen In Bot Push Against Net Neutrality Demand FCC Probe

Several victims of imposters who used their names to send messages opposing net neutrality are calling on the Federal Communications Commission to investigate the acts.

The 14 victims are also calling on the FCC to inform up to 450,000 others whose names might also have been hijacked in the sham campaign ? and remove the faked comments from the commission?s messages site.

Thousands of identical comments opposing net neutrality were sent to the FCC, according to the activist group Fight for the Future, which helped arrange the group letter to the FCC.  Spam bots attached to names snatched in data hacking are believed to have generated the comments.

Both the GOP and Democrats, along with 80 percent of Americans, support net neutrality, which would follow current FCC regulations to continue to allow internet users access to everything on the web regardless of a consumer?s service provider. Yet the Trump administration wants to restrict access in a drive toward increased commercialization of the internet and higher fees for consumer access to information and ?fast lane? charges for content providers.

The 14 victims also want the FCC to share any information from an investigation into who is responsible for the hijacking operation.

?We are disturbed by reports that indicate you have no plans to remove these fraudulent comments from the public docket,? they wrote to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. ?Whoever is behind this stole our names and addresses, publicly exposed our private information without our permission, and used our identities to file a political statement we did not sign onto. Hundreds of thousands of other Americans may have been victimized too.?

Trump picked Pai to champion his war on net neutrality. HuffPost has contacted the FCC for comment.

Fight for the Future has established the Comcastroturf website, where people can check to see if their names have been included in the spam campaign.

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Californian Sues Jelly Belly Over Sugar-Packed Jelly Beans

A California woman claims that the candy company Jelly Belly tricked her into buying its Sport Beans, a candy that doubles as a diet supplement to ?fuel? the body and help burn fat, which had more sugar than she thought.

Jessica Gomez, of San Bernardino County, filed a class-action lawsuit against the jelly bean company in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles in February. She claims that the company attempted to mask how much sugar was in its Sport Beans Energizing Jelly Beans by labeling sugar as ?evaporated cane juice? on the list of ingredients, Forbes magazine reported.

?The term ?evaporated cane juice? is false or misleading because it suggests that the sweetener is ?juice? or is made from ?juice? and does not reveal that its basic nature and characterizing properties are those of a sugar,? an attorney representing Gomez wrote in a letter to the company.

The lawsuit also alleges that Jelly Belly misleads its consumers by claiming the Sport Bean contains carbohydrates, electrolytes and vitamins as a way of advertising the product for athletes, according to court newswire Legal News Line.

Gomez accuses the company of fraud, negligent misrepresentation and product liability.

The nutritional information on the Sport Beans? packaging says that one serving size of the product (28 grams) contains 17 grams of sugar and lists ?evaporated cane juice? as the first ingredient for each flavor.

However, the Sport Beans website lists ?cane sugar? on its ingredient list and says that one serving contains 19 grams of sugar.

In an April motion to dismiss the case, attorneys for Jelly Belly said, ?This is nonsense,? according to the San Francisco Gate.

?No reasonable consumer could have been deceived by Sports Beans? labeling,? the motion read. ?Gomez could not have seen ?evaporated cane juice? without also seeing the product?s sugar content on its Nutrition Facts panel.?

While it may seem shortsighted to assume that a jelly bean does not contain sugar, Gomez?s lawsuit does point to a larger issue on food labels.

Marion Nestle, a professor of nutrition and author of Food Politics: How the Food Industry Influences Nutrition and Health, said in a 2014 blog post that ?evaporated cane juice is the food industry?s latest attempt to convince you that … it is natural and healthy, better for you than table sugar and much better for you than high fructose corn syrup.?

And the U.S. Food and Drug Administration seems to agree.

Last year, the FDA announced that labeling sweeteners derived from sugar cane as ?evaporated cane juice? is misleading and encouraged companies to relabel the ingredient as ?sugar.?

The FDA said in a 2016 press release that the term is misleading because ?it suggests that the sweetener is fruit or vegetable juice or is made from fruit or vegetable juice, and does not reveal that the ingredient?s basic nature and characterizing properties are those of a sugar.?

Gomez?s attorneys and representatives of Jelly Belly did not respond to HuffPost?s requests for comment by the time of publication.

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2 Pennsylvania Drug Counselors Die Of Opioid Overdoses

Two Pennsylvania drug counselors, who had been charged with helping addicts, instead succumbed to their own addictions when they fatally overdosed on opioids at a recovery center.

The facility, Freedom Ridge Recovery Lodge, is an unlicensed recovery home in West Brandywine Township. The counselors, who have not been identified beyond their ages, 24 and 33, died Sunday after taking a toxic cocktail of heroin and fentanyl, according to Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan. 

?They were found by the other residents,? Hogan told NBC News on Thursday. ?They came over to get their programming and medication and found the bodies.?

Baggies stamped with ?Danger? and a skull-and-crossbones logo were found along with needles and other drug paraphernalia on the desk of one of the counselors, according to Hogan. Other baggies filled with a white powder featured a Superman logo. 

?Opioids are a monster that is slowly consuming our population,? Hogan said in a press release.

The opioid epidemic has spread across the United States in recent years. In Ohio, a coroner has had to rent extra room for corpses because of the rise in fatal drug overdoses. President Donald Trump?s recently proposed budget cuts have been criticized for seeming to ignore the epidemic. 

Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf told state lawmakers in September that Pennsylvania faces a ?public health crisis the likes of which we have not before seen.?

Sunday?s case is still under investigation, according to the West Brandywine Police Department.

?If anybody is wondering how bad the opioid epidemic has become, this case is a frightening example,? Hogan said

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