Category: New Posts

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Pack of teens preying on food deliverymen in NYC…


– The hunt is on for five teens who have stolen electric bicycles from food deliverymen in New York City. The robbery victims were also assaulted, an in at least two cases, robbed of their money.

The NYPD said the incidents occurred between 7 p.m. and midnight, on Sept. 14 to Sept. 30 in northern Manhattan.

The suspects punched or kicked their victims in the face or body before taking off with the E-bike.

The man assaulted in front of 70 East 115th Street was also robbed of $40. The victim in the Sept. 28 incident at the corner of Third Ave. and East 88th St. was robbed of his wallet. Surveillance camera video of the assault was released by police.

None of the victims was seriously injured.

Anyone with information in regards to this incident is asked to call the NYPD’s Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. The NYPD says all calls/texts are strictly confidential.



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FLOODING — ALREADY…


Hurricane Michael continues its ascent toward the Florida Panhandle, and while the storm is expected to continue intensifying as it passes more than 200 miles off the coast of Tampa Bay, that doesn’t mean the region will not feel its effects.

But it is becoming more apparent that the region will avoid the most devastating impact.

Just about 24 hours before Michael is expected to make landfall in the Florida Panhandle as a potentially catastrophic Category 3 storm on Wednesday, storm surge and high tides were causing localized street flooding at various Pinellas beach locations, and officials in Pasco and Hernando counties were urging residents to voluntarily evacuate from flood-prone areas.

Winds from the south will pick up throughout Tuesday, but the real change will begin to occur Tuesday night. That’s when dark clouds will begin to roll in, spreading an increased chance of rain throughout the area, according to Tony Hurts, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Ruskin.

“Our biggest weather change will be increased showers,” Hurts said. “Probably 1-2 inches of rain in our area.”

HURRICANE GUIDE: Emergency information, tracking map and storm resources

By Tuesday morning, Michael had strengthened into a Category 2 storm with 100 mph winds. It was located roughly 300 miles south-southwest of the mouth of Tampa Bay and traveling north at around 12 mph. It is forecast to speed up and strengthen into a possibly catastrophic Category 3 hurricane before making landfall Wednesday evening, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Areas from the Anclote River in Pasco County to the south remained under a Storm Surge Watch and Tropical Storm Watch, while areas to the north were under a Storm Surge Warning.

EXTENDED FORECAST: The 10-day outlook for the Tampa Bay area

Hurts said the majority of the impact across Tampa Bay will be felt on Wednesday. Residents can expect gusty winds, thunderstorms, locally heavy flooding and possible isolated tornadoes for most of the day.

Wind speeds could increase to around 35-40 mph, according to the National Weather Service, and officials would be forced to close the Sunshine Skyway Bridge if maximum sustained winds reach the 40 mph threshold. Hurts said it’s still too early to tell if that would be the case.

Storm surge, not wind, is what the region should monitor the closest.

“Our biggest threat is the storm surge of about 2-4 feet,” Hurts said. “There may be some increased wind speed, a little breezier than usual, (and) what you would expect from how far we are from the eye of the storm. There is a threat of isolated tornadoes. Right now it doesn’t look like too great a threat, but it is there.”

But from the speed of the storm, Hurts said it seems more certain Michael’s path won’t slip east before it makes landfall.

“It is currently heading 12 mph toward the Panhandle and it’s only predicted to increase its speed,” Hurts said. He doesn’t expect it to run into the area of low pressure that will curb its trajectory east until after it reaches landfall.

By Thursday evening, Michael will have moved inland and most of the storm’s effects will have dissipated around Tampa Bay, forecasters said. Friday is expected to have some residual moisture and an increased chance of rain, but by the weekend Tampa Bay should dry out.

MORE WEATHER

DOWNLOAD: Get the tbo Weather App and see where storms are headed

LIVE RADAR: Interactive storm track, hourly outlooks, 10-day forecasts and weather alerts

ALERTS: The latest advisories from the National Weather Service

Contact Devin Rodriguez at [email protected] or follow @devinreports on Twitter.



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REPORT: 5G Network Uses Same EMF Waves As Pentagon Crowd Control…


By Terrence Newton

The global rollout of 5G is well underway, and we soon may see new small cell towers near all schools, on every residential street, dispersed throughout the natural environment, and pretty much everywhere. But the safety of this technology is in serious question, and there is a raging battle to stop the taxpayer funded implementation of 5G.

The new cell network uses high-band radio frequency millimeter waves to deliver high bandwidth data to any device within line of sight.

Today’s cellular and Wi-Fi networks rely on microwaves – a type of electromagnetic radiation utilizing frequencies up to 6 gigahertz (GHz) in order to wirelessly transmit voice or data. However, 5G applications will require unlocking of new spectrum bands in higher frequency ranges above 6 GHz to 100 GHz and beyond, utilizing submillimeter and millimeter waves – to allow ultra-high rates of data to be transmitted in the same amount of time as compared with previous deployments of microwave radiation. [Source]

One of the ways 5G will enable this is by tapping into new, unused bands at the top of the radio spectrum. These high bands are known as millimeter waves (mmwaves), and have been recently been opened up by regulators for licensing. They’ve largely been untouched by the public, since the equipment required to use them effectively has typically been expensive and inaccessible. [Source]

Among the many potential problems with exposure to 5G radio waves are issues with the skin, which is interesting when you consider that this technology is already being used in the military for crowd control purposes.

This kind of technology, which is in many of our homes, actually interacts with human skin and eyes. The shocking finding was made public via Israeli research studies that were presented at an international conference on the subject last year. Below you can find a lecture from Dr. Ben-Ishai of the Department of Physics at Hebrew University. He goes through how human sweat ducts act like a number of helical antennas when exposed to these wavelengths that are put out by the devices that employ 5G technology. [Source]

The U.S. military developed a non-lethal crowd control weapon system called the Active Denial System (ADS). It uses radio frequency millimeter waves in the 95GHz range to penetrate the top 1/64 of an inch layer of skin on the targeted individual, instantly producing an intolerable heating sensation that causes them to flee.

This video demonstrates:

This technology is becoming ubiquitous in top world militaries, demonstrating how genuinely effective this radio frequency energy can be at causing harm to humans and anything else.

U.S., Russian, and Chinese defense agencieshave been active in developing weapons that rely on the capability of this electromagnetic technology to create burning sensations on the skin, for crowd control. The waves are Millimetre waves, also used by the U.S. Army in crowd dispersal guns called Active Denial Systems. [Source]

Final Thoughts

The fight over 5G is heating up at the community level, and awareness of this important issue is spreading fast. For more background on 5G, watch this video from Take Back Your Power, featuring Tom Wheeler, Former FCC Chairman and corporate lobbyist, who delivers a rather intimidating and presumptuous speech praising this new technology. The fight over 5G is heating up at the community level, though, and now is the time to speak out against it.

Read more articles from Terence Newton.

Terence Newton is a staff writer for WakingTimes.com, interested primarily with issues related to science, the human mind, and human consciousness.

This article (5G Network Uses Same EMF Waves as Pentagon Crowd Control System) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Terence Newton and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution, author bio, and this copyright statement. 



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Life on Dirtiest Block in San Fran…


SAN FRANCISCO — The heroin needles, the pile of excrement between parked cars, the yellow soup oozing out of a large plastic bag by the curb and the stained, faux Persian carpet dumped on the corner.

It’s a scene of detritus that might bring to mind any variety of developing-world squalor. But this is San Francisco, the capital of the nation’s technology industry, where a single span of Hyde street hosts an open-air narcotics market by day and at night is occupied by the unsheltered and drug-addled slumped on the sidewalk.

There are many other streets like it, but by one measure it’s the dirtiest block in the city.

Just a 15-minute walk away are the offices of Twitter and Uber, two companies that along with other nameplate technology giants have helped push the median price of a home in San Francisco well beyond a million dollars.

This dichotomy of street crime and world-changing technology, of luxury condominiums and grinding, persistent homelessness, and the dehumanizing effects for those forced to live on the streets provoke outrage among the city’s residents. For many who live here it’s difficult to reconcile San Francisco’s liberal politics with the misery that surrounds them.

According to city statisticians, the 300 block of Hyde Street, a span about the length of a football field in the heart of the Tenderloin neighborhood, received 2,227 complaints about street and sidewalk cleanliness over the past decade, more than any other. It’s an imperfect measurement — some blocks might be dirtier but have fewer calls — but residents on the 300 block say that they are not surprised by their ranking.

The San Francisco bureau photographer, Jim Wilson, and I set out to measure the depth of deprivation on a single block. We returned a number of times, including a 12-hour visit, from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m. on a recent weekday. Walking around the neighborhood we saw the desperation of the mentally ill, the drug dependent and homeless, and heard from embittered residents who say it will take much more than a broom to clean up the city, long considered one of America’s beacons of urban beauty.

Human waste has become such a widespread problem in San Francisco that the city in September established a unit dedicated to removing it from the sidewalks. Rachel Gordon, a spokeswoman for the public works department, describes the new initiative as a “proactive human waste” unit.

At 8 a.m. on a recent morning, as mothers shepherded their children to school, we ran into Yolanda Warren, a receptionist who works around the corner from Hyde Street. The sidewalk in front of her office was stained with feces. The street smelled like a latrine.

“Some parts of the Tenderloin, you’re walking, and you smell it and you have to hold your breath,” Ms. Warren said.

At she does every morning, she hosed down the urine outside her office. The city has installed five portable bathrooms for the hundreds of unsheltered people in the Tenderloin but that has not stopped people from urinating and defecating in the streets.

“There are way too many people out here that don’t have homes,” Ms. Warren said.

Over the past five years the number of homeless people in San Francisco has remained relatively steady — around 4,400 — and the sidewalks of the Tenderloin have come to resemble a refugee camp.

The city has replaced more than 300 lampposts corroded by dog and human urine over the past three years, according to the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. Replacing the poles became more urgent after a lamppost collapsed in 2015, crushing a car.

A more common danger are the thousands of heroin needles discarded by users.

The Public Works Department and a nonprofit organization in the Tenderloin picked up 100,000 needles from the streets over the past year. The Public Health Department, which has its own needle recovery program, has a more alarming figure: It retrieved 164,264 needles in August alone, both through a disposal program and through street cleanups.

Larry Gothberg, a building manager who has lived on Hyde Street since 1982, keeps a photographic record of the heroin users he sees shooting up on the streets. He swiped through a number of pictures on his phone showing users in a motionless stupor.

“We call it the heroin freeze,” Mr. Gothberg said. “They can stay that way for hours.”

Hyde Street is in the heart of the Tenderloin, a neighborhood of aging, subsidized single-occupancy apartment buildings, Vietnamese and Thai restaurants, coin laundromats and organizations dedicated to helping the indigent. Studio apartments on Hyde Street go for around $1,500, according to Mr. Gothberg, cheap in a city where the median rent for apartments is $4,500.

A number of people we met on Hyde Street distinguished between the residents of the Tenderloin, many of them immigrant families, and those they called “street people” — the unsheltered drug users who congregate and camp along the sidewalks and the dealers who peddle crack cocaine, heroin and a variety of amphetamines.

Disputes among the street population are common and sometimes result in violence. At night bodies line the sidewalks.

“It’s like the land of the living dead,” said Adam Leising, a resident of Hyde Street.

We met Mr. Leising late one evening after he had finished a shift as a server at a restaurant. As we toured the neighborhood, past a man crumpled on the ground next to empty beer bottles and trash, Mr. Leising told us that the daily glimpses of desperation brought him to the brink of depression.

“We are the most advanced country in the world,” Mr. Leising said. “And that’s what people are having to live with here.”

Mr. Leising, who is the founder of the Lower Hyde Street Association, a nonprofit that holds cleanup activities on the street, feels that the city is not cracking down on the drug trade on the block because they don’t want it to spread elsewhere.

Mayor London Breed, who was elected in June, campaigned to clean up squalor.

Ms. Breed has announced plans to provide an additional 1,000 beds for the homeless over the next two years but she is also targeting a relatively small group of people living on the streets whom she says are beyond the point of assisting themselves. The concept of this involuntary removal is known as conservatorship. A law recently passed in Sacramento strengthens the city’s powers of conservatorship with a judge’s permission.

“There are about 100 to 150 people who are clearly mentally ill and who are cycling through the system and who need to be forced into conservatorship,” Ms. Breed said in an interview. “We know all of them.”

According to Ms. Breed’s office 12 percent of people who use the services of the San Francisco Department of Public Health account for 73 percent of the costs. The majority of these heavy users have medical, psychiatric and substance use issues, according to the department.

Ms. Breed has made unannounced inspections of neighborhoods, sometimes carrying a broom.

On a Saturday morning in September she walked past a woman on Hyde Street slouched on the pavement and preparing to plunge a syringe into her hand. “Put that away,” said a police officer accompanying the mayor.

On a recent afternoon we dropped by a barbershop on Hyde Street.

Glenn Gustafik opened Mister Hyde two years ago to escape the high rents of downtown San Francisco, where he was quoted a $10,000 monthly rent for a similarly small space. Since opening on Hyde Street he has been engaged in a battle with drug users in the neighborhood who break the branches off a London plane tree in front of his shop and use the sticks to clean their crack pipes. This harvesting of twigs has killed the previous four trees, Mr. Gustafik said. At Mr. Gustafik’s request the city protected the fifth tree with wire mesh, the kind used in suburban areas to discourage hungry deer.



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Lights up CA sky…


SpaceX rocket contrail over L.A.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti tweeted out this picture of the SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket’s contrail, glowing in Southern California’s skies after sunset. “Nope, definitely not aliens,” Garcetti wrote. (@MayorOfLA via Twitter)

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket executed its first on-land touchdown on the West Coast tonight after sending Argentina’s SAOCOM 1A satellite into orbit, putting on a show punctuated by a sonic boom for Southern California.

After a trouble-free countdown, the two-stage rocket blasted off right on time at 7:21 p.m. PT from California’s Vandenberg Air Force Base, leaving a post-sunset contrail glowing in the cloudless skies above.

Minutes after launch, the rocket’s second stage separated from the first-stage booster and continued rising spaceward. The booster, meanwhile, relit its engines to maneuver itself for the return trip to SpaceX’s landing zone, not far from the launch pad. The retro firings slowed the rocket down from supersonic speeds, setting off a sonic boom that could be heard in some areas (but not others).

Cheers went up from SpaceX’s headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif., as webcams showed the first stage setting itself down on Landing Zone 4. (The other landing zones are in Florida for East Coast launches.)

“Vandenberg, LZ-4, the Falcon has landed,” a member of SpaceX’s launch team reported.

Later, SpaceX reported that the SAOCOM 1A radar satellite was placed in its proper pole-to-pole orbit. “This is fantastic news,” SpaceX launch commentator Tom Praderio said.

The satellite will be operated by Argentina’s space agency, known as the National Commission on Space Activites or by its Spanish-language acronym, CONAE.

The SAOCOM 1 mission aims to study soil moisture using synthetic-aperture radar readings from two identical satellites in low Earth orbit, SAOCOM 1A and 1B.

SAOCOM 1, together with the Italian COSMO-SkyMed X-Band SAR constellation, make up the Italian-Argentine Satellite System for Emergency Management, or SIASGE. Flying both satellite constellations along the same orbit supports a rapid response by providing radar readings in emergency situations.

Proving out a successful booster retrieval system at the former site of Vandenberg’s Space Launch Complex 4W marks another step in SpaceX’s drive to increase rocket reusability and as a result drive down the cost of access to space. SpaceX had previously landed five Falcon boosters at sea after West Coast launches, but this was the first West Coast attempt to pull off a “land landing.”

There have been 30 successful SpaceX booster landings in all, including the at-sea and on-land touchdowns in Florida.

SpaceX has also been experimenting with a procedure to save additional millions of dollars by retrieving the Falcon 9’s fairing, or nose cone. During previous West Coast launches, it sent out a ship equipped with a giant net to catch parafoil-equipped components of the nose cone as the descend. This time, however, the ship — nicknamed Mr. Steven — stayed in port, perhaps due to rough seas in the Pacific.

The fact that the launch and landing took place near Los Angeles meant there were ample opportunities for Southern Californians to catch the show (and for unwitting observers to register UFO reports). Here are some of the reactions and images tweeted out afterward:



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Rare death row slaying at San Quentin…


One condemned inmate killed another Friday, the first slaying of a death row inmate in California in more than 20 years, officials said.

Jonathan Fajardo, 30, was stabbed in the chest and neck with an inmate-made weapon in a recreational yard of the cell house that holds the bulk of condemned inmates at San Quentin State Prison, said corrections department spokeswoman Terry Thornton.

Luis Rodriguez, 34, is considered the suspect, she said. Investigators were trying to determine a motive and how he obtained or was able to make the weapon, she said.

Such slayings are common in California prisons but rare on death row, where the last one occurred in 1997.

“It’s very unusual,” said San Francisco State University associate professor Amy Smith, who studies capital punishment and the psychological impacts of death row. “It’s not supposed to happen, of course.”

There is high security on death row, were every inmate is housed separately but most are allowed to congregate in small groups in the exercise yard where Fajardo was killed, Thornton said.

Aside from the higher security, Smith said that statistically, prisoners serving life sentences and “folks who are on ‘the row’ generally have the lowest levels of prison violence, even though it would seem that they might do anything because they have the worst penalty. In fact, they actually have very, very low incidences of violence in prison.”

Fajardo was awaiting execution on two counts of murder in Los Angeles County in what was considered a hate crime. He also received seven life sentences.

He was identified as a Latino gang member who killed a 14-year-old black girl in a racially motivated shooting. He was also condemned for the stabbing death two weeks later of a man who prosecutors said was killed because fellow gang members believed he might be cooperating with police.

Rodriguez is awaiting execution on two counts of murder, also from Los Angeles County. Local media reports identified Rodriguez as a member of another Latino gang convicted of killing two men from a rival gang. He was already suspected of another murder that resulted in a life sentence.

No one has been executed in California since 2006, though voters in 2016 passed an initiative that is attempting to speed up capital punishment. Far more condemned inmates on the nation’s largest death row have died of natural causes or suicide than have been executed since California reinstated capital punishment in 1978.



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Brazil Votes Amid Anger at Ruling Class…


SAO PAULO (AP) — With some voters hoping for a fresh start and others fearing the worst is yet to come, Brazilians cast ballots on Sunday in a divisive election that comes on the heels of major political scandals and economic demise.

As Brazilians lined up in polling places, polls showed an increasingly tight race between a far-right congressman who waxes nostalgically about the dictatorship and a leftist stand-in for jailed ex-President Luiz Inacio da Silva, who was barred from running.

The starkly competing visions have alienated as many people as they have attracted, bringing to the surface deep divisions along the lines of class, race, sexual orientation and “traditional values.”

A year ago, many believed that “throw-the-bums-out” rage would buoy the chances of an outsider and end the hegemony of the center-left Workers’ Party and the center-right Brazilian Social Democracy Party, which have for years battled it out for the presidency.

Like much in this election, it hasn’t turned out as predicted. The man who has benefited most from widespread anger in the electorate is a 27-year veteran of Congress — Jair Bolsonaro of the Social Liberal Party — whose outsider status is based largely on hard-right positions that have alienated as many as they have attracted. His campaign has included nostalgia for a military dictatorship, insults to women and gay people and calls to fight crime by loosening controls on already deadly police forces.

“The Workers’ Party is the party of corruption,” Sergio Cervone, a 54-year-old doctor in Sao Paulo who voted for Bolsonaro. “Despite all his years in Congress, (Bolsonaro) was never involved in any corruption crimes.”

Enzo Vito, a 20-year-old student voting in the same place, had a different take: Brazil’s biggest problem is inequality, which the Workers’ Party has worked to eradicate.

“The Workers’ Party is the only party that wants to make use of all that this country has to offer,” said Vito, who voted for the party’s standard bearer, former Sao Paulo mayor Fernando Haddad.

Haddad, appointed by da Silva after the former president’s candidacy was barred last month, is second in the polls.

After voting in Sao Paulo, Haddad spoke briefly with reporters. However, his voice was drowned out as detractors banged pots in nearby buildings and supporters chanted that he would be president, a vivid display of a deeply polarized electorate.

Haddad said that Brazilians would see Bolsonaro’s weaknesses in coming weeks.

“He struggles in debates. He doesn’t have a team, or any big projects. I understand a desire (many people have) to have a result today. But it will be better for Brazil to compare” what the leading candidates want to do, Haddad said.

Meanwhile, Bolsonaro voted in Rio de Janeiro, which he has represented in Congress for 27 years. Bolsonaro predicted he would get more than 50 percent of the vote, enough to avoid a second round runoff on Oct. 28.

“The people realize that Brazil can’t continue the way of socialism. We don’t want to be tomorrow what Venezuela is today,” Bolsonaro said.

Though they come from opposite sides of the political spectrum, both Bolsonaro and Haddad ran campaigns based on nostalgia for a better time. Bolsonaro frequently evoked the country’s 1964-1985 military dictatorship amid promises of a return to traditional values and safer, simpler times. In one of his last appeals to voters before Sunday’s voting, Bolsonaro tweeted that he would “defend the family and the innocence of children, treat criminals as such and not get involved in corruption schemes.”

The Workers’ Party, meanwhile, pushed the narrative that a vote for Haddad would be a vote to bring back the boom years that Brazil experienced under the leadership of da Silva, his mentor. On the eve of the election, da Silva tweeted: “Reach back into your memory, remember what my eight years of government were like.”

Bolsonaro garnered 36 percent in the latest Datafolha poll, with Haddad 14 points behind. The poll interviewed 19,552 people Friday and Saturday and has a margin of error of 2 percentage points.

Bolsonaro’s poll numbers have increased by about 15 percent since he was stabbed Sept. 6. He was unable to campaign as he underwent multiple surgeries, but he was able to skip debates during his three week stay in the hospital and bring messages directly to voters via Facebook and Twitter.

“For a front-runner, the best thing to do is commit as few errors as possible,” said Andre Portela from Getulio Vargas Foundation, a leading university and think tank. “Getting stabbed helped Bolsonaro in that. He wasn’t exposed to debate, to people questioning him.”

The campaign to run Latin America’s largest economy, which is a major trade partner for countries in the region and a diplomatic heavyweight, has been unpredictable and tense. Da Silva led initial polls by a wide margin, but was banned from running after a corruption conviction. Bolsonaro’s stabbing forced candidates, and Bolsonaro himself, to shift strategies and recalibrate.

All along, Brazilians have said their faith in leaders and their hopes for the future are waning.

This election was once seen as the great hope for ending a turbulent era in which many politicians and business executives were jailed on corruption charges, a president was impeached and removed from office in controversial proceedings, and the region’s largest economy suffered a protracted recession.

Instead, the two front-runners merely reflect the rabid divisions that have opened up in Brazilian politics following former President Dilma Rousseff’s impeachment and the revelations emerging from the “Car Wash” graft probe.

Launched in 2014, prosecutors alleged that Brazil’s government was run like a cartel for years, with billions of dollars in public contracts handed out in exchange for kickbacks and bribes.

Revelations of suitcases of cash, leaked recordings of incriminating exchanges between powerbrokers and the jailing of some of the of the country’s most powerful people, including da Silva, unfolded like a Hollywood script — and then became one: Netflix released a (barely) fictionalized account of the probe this year.

Bolsonaro, whose base tends to be middle class, has painted a nation in collapse, where drug traffickers and politicians steal with equal impunity, and moral rot has set in. He has advocated loosening gun ownership laws so individuals can fight off criminals, giving police a freer hand to use force and restoring “traditional” Brazilian values — though some take issue with his definition of those values in light of his approving allusions to dictatorship era torturers and his derisive comments about women, blacks and gay people.

Haddad and the Workers’ Party, meanwhile, have portrayed a country hijacked by an elite that will protect its privileges at all costs and can’t bear to see the lives of poor and working class Brazilians improve.

Haddad has promised to roll back President Michel Temer’s economic reforms that he says eroded workers’ rights, increase investment in social programs and bring back the boom years Brazil experienced under his mentor, da Silva.

Caught in the middle are Brazilians who dislike both candidates and see them as symbols of a broken system.

Terezinha Gomes, 70, says that she voted for former Sao Paulo Gov. Geraldo Alckmin, who is considered the establishment candidate but has struggled to gain traction in the polls.

“I went for a moderate candidate. I don’t like the extremes,” said Gomes. “But in the run-off I will vote for Bolsonaro. He has those weird comments, but he could be like one of the good military leaders.”

___

Prengaman reported from Rio de Janeiro.



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Vatican takes off gloves, accuses papal critic of 'defamation'…


VATICAN CITY (Reuters) – A top Vatican official on Sunday issued a scathing open letter accusing an archbishop who launched an unprecedented attack on Pope Francis of mounting a “political frame job devoid of real foundation”.

Cardinal Marc Ouellet talks during a news conference to announce the canonisation of Fray Junipero Serra at the Vatican April 20, 2015. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

Cardinal Marc Ouellet said in the detailed, three-page letter that calls by Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano for the pope to resign because he had allegedly covered up sexual misconduct by a senior American churchman were “calumny and defamation”.

Ouellet, who heads the Vatican’s powerful Congregation for Bishops, issued the letter in response to a bombshell statement on Aug. 26 by Vigano in which he accused a long list of current and past Vatican and U.S. Church officials of covering up for Theodore McCarrick, 88, the former archbishop of Washington, D.C., and called on the pope to resign.

Vigano said the pope knew for years about sexual misconduct by McCarrick, the former archbishop of Washington, D.C., with adult male seminarians but did nothing about it.

Ouellet’s stinging letter, unusually blunt between churchmen, was a point-by-point rebuttal of Vigano’s statements.

He said Vigano, who is in hiding and has issued his accusations exclusively through conservative Catholic media which are traditionally antagonistic toward the pope, had let himself “be convinced of this monstrous accusation”.

Ouellet, a Canadian, said: “I conclude, therefore that your accusations are a political frame job devoid of any real foundation.”

He urged Vigano to “Come out of hiding, repent for your revolt and return to better feelings toward the Holy Father instead of worsening hostility against him”.

He added: “Should not ministers of the truth above all stay away from calumny and defamation?”

CHURCH IN TURMOIL

Vigano’s statement, combined with a recent spate of sexual abuse crises in several countries, has thrown the Catholic Church into turmoil.

In July, McCarrick became the first cardinal to resign in nearly 100 years after American Church officials said allegations made in a separate investigation that he had sexually abused a 16-year-old boy almost 50 years ago were credible and substantiated..

That investigation was not related to the accusations that McCarrick, who rose to be a key power broker in the American Church, had engaged in sexual misconduct with adult males for years.

McCarrick has said he had no recollection of alleged abuse of the minor, but has not commented on the allegations of misconduct with the seminarians, which allegedly took place mostly at a beach house in New Jersey when he was a bishop in that state.

Vigano alleged that former Pope Benedict, who resigned in 2013, had placed sanctions on McCarrick because of his sexual misconduct with adult males and had ordered him to retire to a life of prayer and penitence and refrain from public ministry.

Vigano claimed that Francis had lifted the sanctions, effectively rehabilitating McCarrick. Ouellet said this was “false”.

In his letter, Ouellet said there had been no formal sanctions against McCarrick, who had been retired for seven years by the time Francis was elected in 2013.

But Ouellet acknowledged that he had told Vigano that McCarrick should adhere to “certain conditions and restrictions because of rumors regarding his past behavior”.

He also denied Vigano’s assertion that McCarrick had become a “great counselor” to Francis.

“I find it abhorrent that you take advantage of the clamorous scandal of sexual abuse in the United States to inflict an unheard of and unwarranted” attack on the pope, Ouellet said.

He was referring to a grand jury report in Pennsylvania in August that found that 301 Catholic priests in the state had sexually abused minors over the past 70 years.

Reporting by Philip Pullella; Editing by Dale Hudson

Our Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.



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Bolsonaro on brink…


Bolsonaro would garner 36.7 percent of first-round votes, followed by Workers’ Party candidate Fernando Haddad with 24 percent, according to the MDA/CNT poll. Bolsonaro had 28.2 percent in a previous MDA/CNT poll published on Sept. 30, while Haddad had 25.2 percent. Later on Saturday, surveys from Ibope and Datafolha pollsters also showed Bolsonaro consolidating his lead, with 36 percent of votes in the first round.



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Pomeranian stolen from PETLAND returned with pink fur…