current-event

South Miami-Dade man who raped, murdered sister as a teen hopes for shorter sentence

A U.S. Supreme Court decision banning mandatory life sentences for juvenile killers got Ronald Salazar his first chance to publicly describe the years that lead up to the most disturbing of crimes:

At age 14, he strangled his 11-year-old sister, sawing her throat from ear to ear, then raping her as she lay dying in the bedroom of their South Miami Heights home.

He’d had a tough childhood, Salazar told Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Ellen Sue Venzer in court during a first-of-its-kind resentencing hearing on Monday.

“My whole life has been messed up,” a weeping Salazar said.

His parents abandoned him in El Salvador, leaving him in squalor with abusive relatives. At 10, he traveled in car trunks and crossed the Arizona desert for three days to enter the United States. And when he was finally reunited with his parents and new siblings in Miami, they treated him like an outcast even though he just “wanted to feel what it was to be a normal kid.”

But, even after a decade behind bars to think about his crime, Salazar acknowledged none of it was an excuse for his savagery.

“I feel like I don’t deserve a second chance but I want to prove I’m not that animal,” Salazar told Venzer during tearful testimony. “I wish I could say I didn’t do it. But the truth is, that I did it and I don’t have no answers to why.”

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Batkid Saves San Francisco

A boy’s wish to be Batman inspired thousands of volunteers to help turn the streets of San Francisco into Gotham City today.

Five-year-old Miles, aka Batkid, has been fighting Leukemia since he was a baby. The Make-a-Wish Foundation helped organize an entire day catered to the caped crusader. Miles, whose cancer is in remission, rode in a Batmobile, rescued a damsel in distress and helped police capture the Riddler and the Penguin. San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee even gave Miles a key to the city.

To see more of Miles’s day of crime-fighting adventure, follow @abc7newsbayarea on Instagram or check out the #sfbatkid hashtag

When Ferguson happened, people posted about it, talked about for weeks, they still are.

When Eric Garner happened, people also posted about it non stop for weeks, these are still trending topics on twitter.

So now that Peshawar has happened, you give your attention to this for what, a few days and then it’s old news??

Pakistan is not less important. The 132 children and 9 teachers that died are not less important. The hundreds that were injured are not less important, the drone strikes from the U.S in Pakistan and Afghanistan are not less important.

We didn’t forget Michael Brown or Eric Garner or Tamir Rice.

Let’s not forget Ali Khan, Awais Ullah, Farhad Ussain, Fazal Raheem, Gulsher Nasir, Hamayun Iqbal, Hamza Ali and many, many more,

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Capturing the 2014 Holi Festivals on Instagram

To view more photos and videos from Holi festivals, browse the #holi and #holi2014 hashtags on Instagram.

On Monday, Hindus everywhere celebrate Holi, an annual festival of colors that marks the beginning of spring. The festivities start out with bonfires held on the eve of Holi, which symbolize the victory of good over evil in Hindu mythology.

On the day of Holi, thousands of people take to the streets to celebrate the abundant colors of spring by throwing colored powder and water at one another in mass gatherings. In Hindu temples, devotees enter into a shower of colors as they gather for holiday prayers. The festivities are traditionally held by Hindu communities in India, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal, and nowadays are spreading across non-Hindu communities as an opportunity to engage with the Hindu culture. Drawn by the vibrant colors, many Instagrammers taking part in the celebration are capturing and sharing this joyous and colorful day with the world.

what's going on in sydney right now

I’m seeing a lot of misinformation going around tumblr, so I’m going to clear a few things up.

  • At 9:45 this morning, a lone man with a backpack walked into the Lindt Cafe at Martin Place in the Sydney CBD and pulled out what current reports say is a handgun. Initially believe to be an armed robbery, by 10AM police had been called and informed of a hostage situation. The front doors of the Lindt Cafe were locked.
  • Around 11:30, reports began that the gunman had planted “four devices” around the city. The Sydney Harbour Bridge was shut down and the Sydney Opera House was evacuated. Both have since been declared safe, but are not fully operational at this time.
  • The buildings surrounding the Lindt Cafe in Martin Place have mostly been evacuated. Those that have not are being directed by NSW Police.
  • A black flag with Arabic writing is being held by two hostages in he window of the Lindt Cafe. It reads “There is no god but the God, Muhammad is his messenger.” It is NOT an Islamic State flag, nor is it a Jihadist flag. The Shahada is a testimony of all Islamic people that has been co-opted for this hostage situation. Channel Seven misreported this earlier in a tweet which has since been deleted.
  • Some reports indicated that there were forty hostages in the building. The number has since been reduced to twenty, with five having escaped at present. It is possible there may be less.
  • The counter-terrorism unit of the NSW Police is currently treating this as a terrorist threat. However, it is currently still a hostage situation with no confirmed links to either ISIS/ISIL or known terrorist groups.
  • Around 4PM, two men escaped from the front doors of the Lindt Cafe. Moments later, a male staff member escaped through the fire escape.
  • At 5PM, two female staff members exited via the front doors. It is unknown if they escaped or were released as part of the negotiations.
  • The NSW Police is currently in contact with the perpetrator, as confirmed by Deputy Commissioner Burn.
  • Police are advising that anyone in Sydney avoid the CBD and Martin Place in particular. Those working in Martin Place should follow police directions. Public transport is functioning again, however there are delays in the north and east of the CBD and Martin Place train station remains closed.
  • Martin Place, Castlereagh St, Elizabeth St and Phillip St are closed. People in this area are under lockdown and being evacuated and the streets have been blocked off.
  • If you are in the city, follow police direction where necessary. Otherwise, stay home until the situation has been resolved. Early in the day Police Commissioner Scipione stated that if it becomes necessary to evacuate, they will, but currently the police are advising that people go about their business as usual and remain in their homes if possible.

This is all the information we currently have. Please keep updated by the NSW Police Twitter and Channel Nine’s live coverage.

Getting There! - Sewol Disaster

We’re almost there to the victims who are currently in darkness right now. KBS has tweeted that: at 10:05AM (Korea time) they have successfully entered the ship and 10:50AM (Korea time) they have successfully injected the air to the air pockets. 

They are currently checking for survivors. 

Read the tweet here

It has been released that this information was false and divers did not enter the ship and were looking for survivors. They were only briefly in the ship to follow through their air injection to the air pockets plan. 

Read the article here

Keep your fingers crossed and please don’t forget your prayers! 

#PrayForSouthKorea

If you would like more translated articles with regards to the Sewol Disaster, please click here
Current stats on death, missing, and rescued are here
Have an article you’d like to be translated? Submit it here

Please excuse my terrible English, it is not my first language. 

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Cherry Blossoms Bloom Around the World

To see more cherry blossoms in bloom visit San Francisco’s Japantown, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Kyoto’s Maruyama Park (円山公園) and Tokyo’s Chidorigafuchi (千鳥ヶ淵).

Cherry blossoms are tiny pink and white flowers that bloom en masse and grow from the branches of the Japanese Cherry tree. As many cities around the world celebrate with festivals, picnics under the sakura and flower-viewing parties, Instagrammers around the world are capturing beautiful photographs of the short-lived blossoms.

❝Many feel as if it’s impossible for Kanye to operate in the One Percent while speaking for the 99%. Those people are basic, and missing the point. It’s spectacularly natural to participate and relish in a process, especially a capitalistic one, while also realizing that it’s terrible. And who better to realize the machine is inherently flawed and should be destroyed than somebody who’s a prominent cog in it? Subsequently, it’s much easier for that cog to destroy the machine from the inside.

Kanye West might legitimately be the voice of our generation, and I think in the past couple of years he’s started to understand what that’s supposed to mean. America is at a weird point socially, where a lot of dominoes are being set into place, and what happens the next couple of years may very well determine the course of the next ten. Occupy was a push in the right direction, but we can’t let its momentum wear out and become complacent with a society characterized by so much inequality. Kanye understands this. We got a black president, but that didn’t cure racism, and it didn’t stop Kanye from getting unfairly shamed when he spoke out against Taylor Swift, a white woman, unjustly receiving an award over Beyoncé, a black woman. It was a trivial act on the part of Yeezy, yes, but the racist attitudes and words that his actions evoked damn sure weren’t. Kanye West is having a child, and he wants to make that world better before he brings his child into it. Is that egotistical? Of course. Does it make him an asshole? Maybe. But this isn’t about whether or not you’d get a beer with Kanye. It’s about him being an icon with a message that’s greater than himself and a platform from which to spread it. He’s the flawed, egomaniacal revolutionary that our culture deserves, and he’s here to save us from ourselves.

Drew Millard, The Revolutionary Politics of Kanye West
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I want off.

I’m sitting here, scrolling through my dash and I feel a lump in my throat. My eyes are pooling with tears and the thoughts hit me like I’ve been punched in the gut. What in the actual fuck is happening? People are FEARING for their LIVES. People are LOSING their LIVES. Black men and women cannot even walk the streets without fearing and questioning whether they’ll even be alive to come back home. Muslim women are terrified to go out in their religious attire. Parents send their healthy, beautiful children to school in the morning only to receive their cold bodies in return. Men, women, and children are being raped and NO ONE is doing anything about it. How the fuck can someone sleep peacefully knowing that the world is literally falling apart? There is no justice system. How can someone look a child in the eyes and take away their innocent lives? How can someone take ANYONE’S life away?! Just because of their skin color or because of what they are wearing? Are you kidding me? We are HUMAN. HUMAN. FLESH AND BLOOD. WE ARE ALL EQUAL. It doesn’t matter whether you are black, white, brown, woman, man, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Jewish, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, WHATEVER YOU ARE. YOU SHOULD NOT BE FEARING FOR YOUR LIFE. Also, fearing for your life because of the people who took an oath to protect the streets and people walking on them?! This is absolutely ridiculous. As I sit here and shed tears, there are people shedding blood on the streets, their houses, and wherever the hell else people are being brutally murdered and beat up. Fuck this world. Seriously. Get it through your head and stop being ignorant fucks, people. 

Black people are NOT thugs/criminals.

ISIS, the Taliban, and whatever other God forsaken terrorist group out there murdering innocent lives are NOT Muslim nor do they represent Islam. 

NO ONE IS ‘ASKING FOR IT’ no matter their gender, age, or how they are dressed. 

Do yourself a favor and don’t be ignorant. Do not believe what the media portrays. Educate yourself. Do not be another downfall of this world. 

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Long Island City Says Goodbye to 5 Pointz

To view more photos and videos of 5 Pointz both before and after the whitewashing, be sure to visit the 5 Pointz location page.

For over 20 years, the 5 Pointz building in Long Island City, Queens, has been a hub for street artists from around the world to showcase their work. Many Instagrammers in New York have visited 5 Pointz to document the dynamic, vibrant graffiti on its exterior.

The building is privately owned by Long Island developer Jerry Wolkoff who has plans to raze 5 Pointz at the end of this year. Early Tuesday morning, the structure’s artwork was quietly painted over with white paint. In the wake of this news, locals and visitors alike are documenting the changes that herald the building’s final days.

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For those who are curious, the Pakistan army has already started the rescue. Hundreds of children have been rescued from the school and surrounding areas. While most are injured, none of them are on the verge of death thankfully and they’re resting in hospitals. As we speak, many teenagers and adults are donating blood to the victims. The army has shot and killed 6 of the terrorists and the hostages have been saved.

Along with the death of 130+ students and teachers, the citizens of Pakistan are creating hope. We lost so many lives today and we all stand in prayer for them. The ones murdered are gone now, so we are working towards saving the ones who are still alive. Parents and families are in our prayers, ones who lost their loved ones and ones who don’t know if their child will live or not.

Keep them in your thoughts guys. Spread awareness of the situation. Understand that the terrorists are just naming their attack ‘Muslim’. All these innocent people were Muslim too, so something doesn’t add up.