Police Officers Fall Victim to Racist Shooting

Two New York Police Department officers Rafael Ramos, 40, and Wenjian Liu, 32, were shot dead while sitting in their car on a Brooklyn street corner, last Saturdy.

New York police officials believe that the suspect was 28-year-old Ismaayil Brinsley, who had declared an attack on police officers as revenge for the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown. Brinsley then turned the gun and shot himself. His body was later found on a nearby subway platform.

Brinsely had also allegedly shot his girlfriend in the stomach in Baltimore earlier that day.

Although Baltimore police sent a warning to the NYPD of Brinsley’s likely route to New York, the fax arrived at 2:45 pm, only five minutes before the attack.

Just hours before the shooting, Brinsley had posted threats to his social media accounts, saying that he was going to, “Put wings on pigs.” He had also posted a photo of himself holding a silver automatic handgun, which was later ruled the murder weapon of the assault.

“No warning, no provocation — they were quite simply assassinated, targeted for their uniform,” Police Commissioner William Bratton said.

Brinsley had a criminal record before the attack. He had been arrested 15 times in Georgia and four times in Ohio. Police stated that Brinsley traveled frequently from southern states to New York, where he had a son. He was said to have been in the city earlier that week.

Brinsley was not alone in his police threats and verbal online attacks. The hashtag #Shootthepolice had already gone viral on Twitter, with masses of people calling for the murder of officers around the country in protest of alleged white police brutality on African Americans.

Were this the intention, Brinsley had failed. Ramos was hispanic, and Liu was Asian. No white officers were harmed in the outcome of the attack.

US marine to face murder charges for death of transgender woman in the Philippines

Manila, Philippines—Prosecutors in the Philippines are calling for the indictment of United States marine Joseph Scott Pemberton, 19, for the murder of 26-year-old Jennifer Laude, once named Jeffrey, a Filipino transgender woman last October.

Pemberton is currently being held in joint Phillipines-US custody and is guarded by American and Filipino troops on a military base in Manila, the capital and chief port of the Philippines.

Three fellow marine eyewitnesses stated that Pemberton met Laude in a night club in Olangapo City after finishing military exercises on Oct. 11. He was later seen checking into the Celzone Lodge Hotel with her, where Laude was found undressed and with a broken neck in the room’s bathroom.

According to the police biopsy, she died from “asphyxia by drowning.”

Marine Lance Corporal Jairn Michael Rose told prosecutors that Pemberton later admitted that, after discovering she was a transgender woman, he strangled her until she stopped moving and dragged her into the hotel room’s bathroom. Pemberton claimed that he was not aware that she was transgender until they had entered the room.

Olangapo City prosecutors are asking that Pemberton be charged with murder, not homicide, and described the crime as “aggravated treachery, abuse of superior strength and cruelty.”

If charged with murder, Pemberton can face up to 40 years of jail time. He has urged the prosecution to rule on it as a homicide, a crime which can be punished with no more than 20 years of detainment in federal prison.

The court that has jurisdiction over this case has yet to come to a decision as to whether there is enough evidence for Pemberton to stand trial.

Temple student shot on off campus street

November 8th, Philadelphia—A 20-year-old Temple University Student was mugged and shot around 1 a.m. last saturday on the 1500 block of 17th street, just a short walk from the university’s campus and two streets away from Temple’s Liacouras garage.

The student was standing outside of his home when an unidentified person approached him and revealed a silver handgun clipped onto his belt.

Instead of complying to the attacker’s demand for his money or attempting to flee, the victim charged at the perpetrator and attempted to hit him. Before he could reach him, the man withdrew the weapon and shot the student in the hip. Because of a party going on in the house behind them, no one inside heard the gunshot.

Police officials have confirmed that the assailant was a 5’8″ African American male between the ages of 21 and 26, and was wearing a red hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans and a red beanie.

A similar assault took place in the same area on two females about one and a half hours earlier that day. The suspect allegedly stole two cell phones and $30, but neither woman was physically injured.

Temple University’s police department immediately sent email alerts to all students, faculty and alumni describing the suspect and advising them to stay away from the area until told otherwise.

After undergoing surgery to remove the bullet at Hahnemann University Hospital, the victim is in stable condition and is expected to make a full recovery.

The suspect still has not been arrested and his identity remains unknown.

Camden hosts thousands of ‘Warped’ fans

One of the biggest nationwide music events of the summer is in motion, and millions of fans across the country are in a frenzy. Vans Warped, an outdoor tour that moves about 90 bands around the United States, hit the Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden on July 12.

Nine stages were set up, and each had about ten bands lined up to play. The entire event was more like a festival, with vendors selling food, games being played and prizes being handed out while the music blasts in the background. The artists also had individual tents where souvenirs stamped with the band’s name are sold and an hour for CD signing is scheduled.

The tour was created to showcase bands that are seeking publicity as well as bands who have already made it big in the music world, like 3oh!3 and The Used. Forever the Sickest Kids, a band from Texas with a large fan-base world-wide, had made their musical debut in the Vans Warped tour of 2001.

“We were asked to do Warped Tour in 2007, and we were a new band back then. We got to jump on from Kevin Lyman asking us to play the East coast Indie stage, which is no longer a stage. We formed in December of 2006, and have played this tour several times since then,” said Kyle Burns, the drummer of Forever the Sickest Kids.

A vast majority of the musicians in the show played some form of rock music, but this year a few new genres have been thrown in the mix. A dubstep duo hailed all the way from Germany to join the tour, and hope to make Vans Warped their shot to remain in the United States. Their name, Kairo Kingdom, was created after one of the band members saw a spray painted wall in Germany.

“We had to come up with a name quickly but didn’t like anything we thought up, and then I was walking in the street in Frankfort one day when I saw the word ‘Kairo’ written on a wall. The word kingdom popped into my head, and that was it. It was perfect for us,” said Frank Ellrich, one of the DJs in Kairo Kingdom. “It’s different here than in Germany. Back home we just make people put their hands up and dance, but here you have to interact with the crowd.”

Another surprising addition to this year’s tour was a hip hop artist by the name MC Lars, who writes raps about Shakespeare. He writes his lyrics with a completely different twist on today’s definition of what rap music is.

“I do hip hop music. I’ve been doing it for a while. Then all of a sudden I get a call from Vans Warped, and they’re telling me, ‘Uh dude, we totally want you because you rap about Edgar Allen Poe.’ So I said, ‘Cool. I’m all about The Black Cat. Take notes. There’ll be a test at the end of this interview.’ The Black Cat is real mean,” said MC Lars, who plays music with his drummer, John.

Just outside the gates, many unsigned bands walked around holding T-shirts and fliers to promote themselves to potential fans. Some even walked around with a set of headphones and asked people to give them a listen. Since tickets were being picked up and lines were long, people took the time to listen to tracks and even took down the names to check out later.

Rain hit the venue around 4 p.m., but this far from deterred the fans. People pulled out umbrellas, converted bags into ponchos and rocked on. The bands kept going even as the rain hit them. None of the music anywhere in the venue faltered. The concert continued through the downpour and the crowd didn’t thin until night fell, showing that for hardcore music fans, the show must always go on.

Pictures: http://temple-news.com/arts/camden-hosts-thousands-of-warped-fans/

Google changes outrage YouTube community

After Google’s YouTube takeover in 2006, the personal video website has been undergoing a seemingly endless amount of modifications that have often been more than a little inconvenient, but the recent Fall 2013 changes in particular have YouTube users in a frenzy.

In 2011, Google changed the sign-in process so that users must log into their Gmail accounts in order to access their full privileges on YouTube. This included commenting on and liking videos. It became the first step in YouTube’s transformation from an independent website to a Google subset.

This change alone caused many problems for YouTube users who did not have Gmail accounts or no longer had the password to the Google account associated with their YouTube username. Despite this issue, Google did not change the policy.

An unconnected Gmail account could not be signed in while simultaneously being signed into YouTube, either. Users who wished to continue to be part of the YouTube community had to adapt to this policy, and they managed it.

That time.

Last August, Google also made a move to block all Microsoft windows phones from downloading and using the YouTube app, forcing Windows phone users who want to access the website to do so straight from an internet browser. On this, Google spokesmen stated that Microsoft neglected to make appropriate changes in software to accommodate the new app, and instead released their own that violated Google’s terms of service.

Many design changes developed thereafter, but none were substantial enough to cause a stir, until the end of last September. Now, YouTube users can only access full website privileges if they have a Google plus account. The comment sections on all videos have been grouped into clusters of conversations, making it difficult to scroll through individual comments.

The system, however efficient it may have been intended to be, has many glitches. For example, the reply button is missing on several comments, causing the option to respond to other users to disappear.

The website also now opens a new window for each hidden comment clicked, creating eight or nine windows in order to follow a simple conversation.

There have been some perks that came from this update. Clickable links can be posted in comments and users can now create the hashtags that have taken over all online social networks. These improvements, however, have far from appeased the inconvenienced YouTubers.

For the first time in eight years, YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim has spoken out against Google’s updates to the website. Instead of uploading a video, Karim merely posted a passive aggressive question to his personal account:

“Why the **** do I need a Google+ account to comment on a video?”

Many other, more hostile, comments and videos have been posted on the subject. The anger of the YouTube community has reached a point where users have actually created petitions to get Google to revert to the old design.

Google has yet to respond to any of these, but judging by how Google has handled protests to changes before, YouTube users may have no choice but to get used to it.