Day: April 2, 2017


Muslim school nixes teacher who told students Adam and Eve are 'not real'

An argument over Adam and Eve between a city-paid teacher and third-graders at a private Muslim school has landed the instructor in pedagogical purgatory, The Post has learned.

English teacher Nina Kossman committed the sin of “telling the truth,” she said of her expulsion from the Razi School in Woodside, Queens, which uses taxpayer-funded city Department of Education teachers in a federally mandated program for poor kids.

Kossman infuriated parents by telling their children that Adam is “not real.” She noted that Judaism, Christianity and Islam share the myth, thinking it would “help build up tolerance” for other faiths. She also inadvertently showed kids a classical painting of the first couple as imagined in the Garden of Eden — nude.

A group of angry parents showed up at the school the next day to complain that she “discussed Jews with them and showed them pictures of naked people,” Kossman said Imani Al-Amin, an assistant to the principal, told her.

“The parents were in shock — in a fury,” the assistant said, according to Kossman. “You have to understand that this is a different environment.”

Last week, Kossman was cast out of Razi and exiled to a DOE “rubber room,” a Queens office used for educators facing discipline. While she does nothing but menial paperwork, taxpayers foot her $90,000 salary.

Click to read the full story in the New York Post.

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Rare Adolf Hitler propaganda pictures show dictator posing with kids, baby deer

These are the never-before-seen photos of evil Adolf Hitler produced by the Nazis to try and show what a nice chap he was.

Hundreds of black-and-white images show the Nazi dictator grinning and interacting with children in an effort to portray him as a “personal friend and guardian of the German youth”.

At the time, the propaganda worked as thousands of young people came to believe Hitler as a personal friend and father figure.

Thus, through the encouragement of the many youth organisations were set up for that very purpose.

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There were also numerous pictures depicting Hitler working tirelessly for the German people – even though historically, he was known not to be a morning person who rarely woke up before midday.

The series of propaganda postcards have been published in Hitler’s Alpine Headquarters by James Wilson – which takes a look at how Hitler transformed the small mountainside region of Obersalzberg into his home and the Nazis’ southern headquarters.

Read more from The Sun.

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'Duck' creators' serious loss

The founders of Gurney Productions are still not able to return to the company following the latest decision from the judge overseeing the bitter legal battle between Scott and Deirdre Gurney and ITV America.

The judge on Tuesday declined a request by the Gurneys’ legal team that could have paved the way for the couple’s return to the production banner behind “Duck Dynasty” and other unscripted shows. The pair were removed in December after ITV filed a lawsuit accusing the couple of fraud and deceit in the management of the company, which ITV America bought in 2012.

Last week, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Susan Bryant-Deason granted the Gurneys’ request for a preliminary injunction that restored the Gurneys as the controlling managers of the company. ITV filed a notice of appeal on the decision, which put a stay on the injunction. However, the Gurneys’ legal team questioned whether ITV’s notice of appeal was sufficient to stay the injunction. The Gurneys sought to set a date for an emergency contempt hearing against ITV, which has continued to bar the Gurneys from returning to the West Los Angeles-based company. But the judge on Tuesday declined that request.

“We have held from the very beginning that we are extremely confident of success in the merits of our case,” ITV said in a statement. “The amount of compelling evidence against the Gurneys continues to mount, beyond what was included in our initial filing, and we fully expect to win once the allegations of deceit, fraud and self-dealing by the Gurneys are exposed at a full trial. We are happy to be moving toward the discovery phase of the case.”

The Gurneys maintain the allegations in ITV’s lawsuit were fabricated to drive down the price that ITV would pay to buy out the couple’s remaining interest in the company, as stipulated in the initial sale agreement. The couple filed a $100 million breach of contract lawsuit against ITV in January.

“Nothing has changed from last week’s detailed 10-page opinion from the court which in granting a preliminary injunction against ITV found as to each and every claim alleged by ITV that the Gurneys are likely to prevail, including the court’s findings that they were terminated without good cause and that they remain the controlling managers of Gurney Productions,” said Phil Kelly, an attorney for the Gurneys.

Tuesday’s legal sparring means the court of appeals will decide on the question of whether the type of injunction the judge issued was stayed by ITV’s notice of appeal, or if ITV is in contempt of the judge’s order. Beyond that, the sides are expected to return to court on May 3 for a status conference on both lawsuits.

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Texas church bus crash: Witness account highlights dangers of texting while driving – VIDEO: New video of driver swerving before crash in Texas – VIDEO: Do tragedies like Texas bus crash create crisis of faith? – At 3 dead, 19 injured in Swedish bus crash

A witness who claims the driver of a pickup truck that collided with a church minibus in rural Texas, killing 13 people on Wednesday, acknowledged he had been texting while driving — highlighting the danger of being on the phone behind the wheel.

Texas Department of Public Safety Sgt. Conrad Hein wouldn’t comment Friday on whether texting might have played a role in the Wednesday collision on a two-lane road about 75 miles west of San Antonio, near the town of Concan. But officials have said the truck driver appeared to have crossed the center line.

Jennifer Morrison, the investigator in charge of the team from the National Transportation Safety Board, would only say that distracted driving will be among the issues investigated.

The witness, Jody Kuchler, a 55-year-old self-employed welder, told The Associated Press he and his girlfriend were driving back to their home in the nearby town of Leakey when he came across a truck that was driving erratically across the road.

“He kept going off the road and into oncoming traffic and he just kept doing that,” said Kuchler, who first shared the account of what happened with the San Antonio Express-News.

Kuchler, who followed the truck for at least 15 minutes, said he called the sheriff’s offices for both Uvalde and Real counties and told them “they needed to get him off the road before he hit somebody.”

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Kuchler told the AP he witnessed the crash and afterward, he checked on both the bus and the truck and was able to speak with the driver of the truck, who the Department of Public Safety has identified as 20-year-old Jack Dillon Young, of Leakey.

“He said, ‘I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I was texting.’ I said, ‘Son, do you know what you just did?’ He said, ‘I’m sorry. I’m sorry,'” Kuchler recalled.

The wreck on Wednesday occurred along a curve in the road where the speed limit is 65 mph, according to Department of Public Safety officials. The bus occupants — members of First Baptist Church of New Braunfels in Texas — were returning from a three-day retreat in Leakey, about 9 miles from where the crash happened.

Twelve people on the bus died at the scene, authorities said. Another died at a hospital. One bus passenger remains hospitalized in serious but stable condition, according to the church. Young, the driver of the pickup, also remains hospitalized.

While dozens of cities across Texas prohibit the practice, there is no statewide ban on texting while driving. Local ordinances however may not have applied in the rural area where the crash occurred. Laws in 46 other states ban sending or reading email, using apps or engaging in other use of the internet while driving.

The Republican-controlled Texas Legislature approved a statewide ban in 2011 but it was vetoed by then-Gov. Rick Perry, who characterized such prohibitions as government micromanagement and said educating drivers was the key to deterrence. A similar proposal passed the Texas House a few weeks ago but has yet to make it to a Senate floor vote.

The number of motor vehicle deaths in the U.S. last year topped 40,000 for the first time since 2007, according to the National Safety Council. The number of vehicle crash deaths in Texas rose 7 percent last year to 3,464, slightly higher than the national rise. One-in-10 driving fatalities in 2015 were caused by some kind of distraction, the U.S Department of Transportation said.

One family recalled their last moments with their loved ones before the deadly wreck in an interview with FOX San Antonio.

“It was a great day. One we hadn’t had in a long time,” Charlotte Banks told the television station about the last day with her 83-year-old mother Avis Banks.

Banks said her mother was like her superwoman, she kept the family together.

As reality sets in, Banks told Fox San Antonio she’ll forever hold the last memory she has telling her mother “I love you”.

“If you forgot to tell somebody today you love them you might want to stop and pick up the phone really quick. If you are texting and you are so busy with those little thumbs, make sure the last thing you tell them when you get off is you love them,” she said.

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Over 200 dead in Colombia after rivers overflow, toppling homes – Landslide buries over 2 dozen people in central Indonesia

The search continued Sunday for loved ones in a small city in southern Colombia after heavy rains sent floodwaters, mud and debris surging through homes, killing at least 207 and leaving many injured or missing.

The streets of Mocoa were covered in thick sand, mud and tree limbs from the rivers and forest that surround the city. A lack of drinking water and power forced authorities to suspend the search and rescue effort during the night.

President Juan Manuel Santos, who has declared Mocoa a disaster area, said Sundaythat at least 207 were killed but that the death toll was changing “every moment.” Authorities said another 200 people, many of them children, were injured and just as many were unaccounted for amid the destruction.

Throughout the city, people dug through the ruins, salvaging what they could of their possessions and looking for the missing. Dozens of people were in the door of a hospital looking for family members who were not on the list of those confirmed injured or dead. Others frantically knocked on the doors of neighbors, hoping to find someone with information about their relatives. Search and rescue teams also combed the rubble for signs of life.

“People went to their houses and found nothing but the floor,” said Gilma Diaz, a 42-year-old woman from another town who came in search of a cousin.

The devastation was triggered by intense rains in that caused the rivers that surround Mocoa, a city of about 40,000 tucked between mountains near Colombia’s southern border with Ecuador. Muddy water and debris quickly surged through the city’s streets, toppling homes, ripping trees from their roots, lifting cars and trucks and carrying them downstream. Many didn’t have enough time when the floods struck before dawn to climb on top of their roofs or seek refuge on higher ground.

Juan Chanchi de Ruiz, 74, said the noise of the surging flood woke her up and gave her enough time to get to higher ground. Her house wasn’t damaged but the homes of several neighbors were heavily damaged and many people were fleeing with their belongings as the river water remained high.

“Around here, there’s nobody. Everybody left,” she said.

Authorities and residents in the city tucked between mountains along Colombia’s southern border spent Saturday tending to victims, trying to find homes on streets reduced to masses of rubble and engaged in a desperate search to locate loved ones who disappeared in the dark of night. Authorities expect the death toll to rise.

Eduardo Vargas, 29, was asleep with his wife and 7-month-old baby when he was awoken by the sound of neighbors banging on his door. He quickly grabbed his family and fled up a small mountain amid the cries of people in panic.

“There was no time for anything,” he said.

Vargas and his family huddled with about two dozen other residents as rocks, trees and wooden planks ripped through their neighborhood below. They waited there until daylight, when members of the military helped them down.

When he reached the site of his home, nothing his family left behind remained.

“Thank God we have our lives,” he said.

Herman Granados, an anesthesiologist, said he worked throughout the night on victims. He said the hospital didn’t have a blood bank large enough to deal with the number of patients and was quickly running out of its supply.

Some of the hospital workers came to help even though their own relatives remained missing.

“Under the mud,” Granados said, “I am sure there are many more.”

Santos blamed climate change for triggering the avalanche, saying that the accumulated rainfall in one night was almost half the amount Mocoa normally receives in the entire month of March. With the rainy season in much of Colombia just beginning, he said local and national authorities need to redouble their efforts to prevent a similar tragedy.

The crisis is likely to be remembered as one of the worst natural disasters in recent Colombian history, though the Andean nation has experienced even more destructive environmental catastrophes. Nearly 25,000 people were killed in 1985 after the Nevado del Ruiz volcano erupted and triggered a deluge of mud and debris that buried the town of Armero.

As rescuers in Mocoa shifted through debris, many residents were conducting their own searches for lost loved ones.

Oscar Londono tried in vain throughout the night to reach his wife’s parents, whose home is right along one of the flooded rivers. He decided it was too dangerous to try to reach them in the dark. So he called over and over by phone but got no answer.

Once the sun began to rise he started walking toward their house but found all the streets he usually takes missing. As he tried to orient himself he came across the body of a young woman dressed in a mini-skirt and black blouse.

He checked her pulse but could not find one.

“There were bodies all over,” he said.

When he finally reached the neighborhood where his in-laws live he found “just mud and rocks.” Rescue workers with the military oriented him toward the mountain, where he found his relatives camped with other survivors.

“To know they were alive,” he said, “it was a reunion of tears.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Pakistan shrine custodian kills 20 for custodianship, officials say

The custodian of a local shrine and his accomplices killed 20 devotees after intoxicating them in eastern Punjab province, police said Sunday, in what officials said was the outcome of a dispute over custodianship of the shrine.

Senior police officer Mohammad Bilal said the shrine custodian in a village near the city of Sargodha some 200 miles north of Multan was arrested Sunday morning along with four others for killing worshippers with batons and knives. Bilal said another four people were in critical condition.

A doctor at Sargodha hospital told Geo TV that the victims were killed while nude and the bodies bore multiple stab wounds and blunt weapons marks.

Liaquat Ali Chatta, area government administrator, said Abdul Waheed and his four alleged accomplices were arrested and the matter was being investigated. Chatta said Waheed is a retired government employee and seemed “mentally unstable.”

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Chatta said the custodian was allegedly in the practice of “beating and torturing” devotees to “cleanse” them. He said Waheed had confessed to the murders.

Zulfiquar Hameed, regional police officer for Sargodha and surrounding districts, said the main suspect’s confession and other relevant statements suggested the incident was the “outcome of jealousy and dispute over custodianship” of the shrine.

“This man was afraid of losing prominence and that the position would go to somebody else,” said Hameed, who is heading the probe of the incident. “The issue of custodianship ends to this level of incident.”

Rana Sanaullah, law minister for the Punjab provincial government, said an initial investigation showed that Waheed had a collection of followers who would regularly visit the shrine and face torture in the name of religious cleansing.

The shrine was built about two years ago on the grave of local religious leader Ali Mohammad Gujjar. Shamsher Joya, a local police officer, said Waheed would come to the shrine twice a week from Lahore, and his followers would submit to “beating and torturing with a red hot iron rod.”

Joya said Waheed divulged during the investigation that he had acted to kill the victims after unearthing a plot to poison him.

Waheed alleged the plot was hatched by Asif Gujar, only son of the religious leader buried in the shrine, according to Joya. The 35-year-old Gujjar is among the 20 victims.

Police said the victims were killed at a house adjacent to the shrine and their clothing was found burned.

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'FOX & FRIENDS WEEKEND': Chicago mayor needs a 'nice warm jail cell' if he ignores sanctuary city crackdown, Donald-Kyei says

Brunell Donald-Kyei, of the National Diversity Coalition for Trump, said her hometown’s mayor should be ousted if he defies the federal government on sanctuary city policy.

Donald-Kyei said Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D-Chicago) “should get just what’s coming to him” if he ignores Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ enforcement of the policy against harboring illegal alien criminals.

Pirro: ‘Bozos’ Still Haven’t Figured Out What Russia Did to Stop ‘Queen Hillary’s Coronation’

Carr: Real ‘Fake News’ Is Media’s Failure to Cover Illegal Immigrant Crimes

Senate’s ‘Institution Is At Stake’: Manchin Pressing Dems to Allow Gorsuch Vote

Last week, Emanuel questioned the legality of President Trump’s impending policy of withholding federal funds from designated sanctuary cities.”

Emanuel called the plan “a bit of a joke,” citing Trump’s trimming of the Justice Department budget and added that 34 other cities stand with him.

“If he wants to thwart federal law, he should get what’s coming to him: Loss of his mayorship and a nice warm jail cell,” Donald-Kyei said.

Chicago stands to lose $526 million in federal funding if Emanuel follows through on his plan to defy the federal order.

Donald-Kyei said 25 to 50 Chicago schools have recently “failed” and closed under Emanuel’s tenure, and that the billions allocated to help illegal immigrants would be better used to help veterans, the homeless, and youth in troubled neighborhoods.

She pressed Sessions to follow through on his plan, and called Emanuel’s tenure “a travesty” and “disgusting.”

DNC Chair: Trump ‘Didn’t Win Election’, GOP ‘Doesn’t Give a S–t About People’

Roger Stone Gives Bill Maher ‘Marijuana Cake,’ Spars Over Russia Claims

Trump Applauds NYT Report Showing ObamaCare in Trouble

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Missouri man beaten, held at gunpoint believes he'd be dead if cops hadn't come to help

The homeowner injured in the violent home invasion Wednesday in which an Independence police officer was shot, is grateful to Officer Tom Wagstaff for coming to help him. He believes if police hadn’t responded, he’d be dead.

“I would tell him how sorry I am, and that our prayers and thoughts are with him and to get well,” said Don Fowler.

Fowler, 82, says the only reason he’s able to do an interview with FOX 4, is because the heroes in blue came to his home Wednesday to save him.

“Physically I will get well, emotionally it is going to take some time because it happened right here in this house, right by where we are taking this interview,” said Don Fowler. “I firmly believe that they saved my life and that they intervened and stopped what was going on.”

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Police say Joseph E. Wyatt, 28, and Ronar Santiago-Torres, 27, went to Fowler’s home to rob Fowler, restrained him and held him at gunpoint. The men repeatedly struck him, and the wounds are still visible on his face and arms.

Thankfully, Fowler’s friend was watching his home’s surveillance cameras at the time. She saw two men with stocking caps and bandannas covering their faces, beating Don Fowler. She dialed 911 in a panic, telling the dispatcher to get police to the 3600 block of Delaware.

When the men heard police sirens they fled in Fowler’s car. When they crashed through the garage door, Wagstaff was outside, and was injured by gunfire. According to a police source, he was shot in the head.

Fowler says when he heard police sirens outside his home, at first he didn’t really think they were coming to help him.

“I don’t believe that’s for me, but it was,” he said. “And that’s when I was very thankful that this was coming to a close maybe.”

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Newspaper carrier kills complaining customer, German police say

Police say a newspaper carrier in the northern German city of Lueneburg stabbed and killed a customer who had repeatedly complained about delivery problems.

Police said Sunday that the 42-year-old paper man got into an argument with the 51-year-old customer outside the customer’s home Saturday afternoon, and stabbed him multiple times with a knife.

A 23-year-old relative of the victim who witnessed the fight grabbed the newspaper carrier and held him until police arrived and arrested him.

The homeowner was rushed to a hospital, but died a short time later.

Neither man was named in keeping with German privacy laws.

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Central Park blast: Nearly 9 months later, explosion in NYC remains a mystery

Detective Paul Arroyo and Special Agent Peter D’Antonio are frustrated.

For nearly nine months, the investigators have tried to find out how exactly a small, clear plastic bag full of readily available, highly explosive chemicals found its way to Central Park on July Fourth weekend. The homemade concoction blew up when a park visitor stepped on it; the tourist from Virginia lost his left foot.

Arroyo, D’Antonio and other members of a team of New York police and federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents have tracked down the origin of the bag, identified the chemicals in it and reviewed thousands of hours of video to see who might have brought it into one of the country’s most popular tourist destinations.

But so far finding out who is responsible for the homemade concoction that injured 19-year-old Connor Golden remains a mystery, despite a $25,000 reward for information leading to an arrest.

“We handle a lot of investigations but a case like this, it kills you because you look at your own son,” said Arroyo, a father of two boys and the lead detective on the case. “We take it to heart.”

Central Park itself — with 250,000 daily visitors and dozens of potential entry and exit points surrounding its 843 acres — makes the investigation a challenge. Authorities are desperate for new photos or video that can help them, at a minimum, narrow the timeline of when the bag was placed at the base of a large rock near the southeast corner of the park and, at a maximum, identify a suspect.

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“It really is a needle in a haystack,” said Lt. Michael Ruzzi, commanding officer of the police department’s Arson Explosion Squad. “But we’re going to look at every piece of hay.”

Golden, an avid outdoorsman and Eagle Scout, was with two friends looking for the best place to hang up a tightrope July 3 when he climbed off a large rock near the southeast entrance to Central Park and stepped on the bag, said his father, Kevin Golden.

That provided more than enough force to initiate the blast, which set off a loud boom severing the then-18-year-old University of Miami student’s foot.

Paramedics rushed Golden to a hospital, where doctors said he would lose his leg below the knee, said the elder Golden, who learned of the injury when his son called from the hospital, just before going into surgery.

“His foot had been blown off and he’s sitting there talking to us on the phone,” recalled Golden, who hopped in a car with his wife and sped from Fairfax, Virginia, to New York. “A million different thoughts go through your mind when your child tells you that.”

Despite immediate concerns of terrorism, authorities ruled that out as a possibility, noting there has been no claim of responsibility or online chatter to indicate a terrorist act.

Then city officials indicated, incorrectly, that the explosion was the result of a homemade firework set off over the holiday weekend — a theory quickly disproved after forensic examinations showed there was no fuse or device. The investigators declined to name the substances in the bag, saying they didn’t want to give copycats any reason to make their own combustible mixture. They said instructions for such explosives can be found online.

Golden and his two friends were also intensely questioned and vetted at first. Authorities are now certain they had nothing to do with the blast.

“In this day and age, we’re perplexed by who would have done this and the reasons he may have done it,” said Kevin Golden.

The younger Golden, who through his father declined to be interviewed, remains optimistic, his dad said, returning to school on schedule to begin his sophomore year where he’s pursuing a degree in music engineering and adjusting to his new prosthetic. So far, friends and strangers alike have donated almost $85,000 to an online fundraising site meant to cover ever increasing health care costs.

“By all appearances he wants to put that in the past,” said Kevin Golden. “At the same time, whoever did this and is responsible for it is out there … this guy or people or whatever it is could do this again to someone else.”

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