Air Asia Confirms Lost Contact With Indonesia Flight After Crew Asked For “Unusual Route”, 155 Passengers On Board

UPDATE: *SINGAPORE AVIATION: SEARCH AND RESCUE OPERATIONS ACTIVATED

An Air Asia Indonesia flight from Surabaya in east Java to Singapore carrying 155 passengers has gone missing, Air Asia has confirmed. As Bloomberg reported, the flight departed Surabaya at 5:20am local time and lost contact soon after… Contact was lost at 6:17 a.m. local time (23:17 GMT on Saturday), after the crew asked for an “unusual route.” The latest discussions are that the loss of contact could be weather-related.

Supreme Court Rules Police Can Violate The 4th Amendment (If They Are Ignorant Of The Law)

Via The Rutherford Institute,

U.S. Supreme Court Rules 8-1 that Citizens Have No Protection Against Fourth Amendment Violations by Police Officers Ignorant of the Law

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a blow to the constitutional rights of citizens, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 8-1 in Heien v. State of North Carolina that police officers are permitted to violate American citizens’ Fourth Amendment rights if the violation results from a “reasonable” mistake about the law on the part of police. Acting contrary to the venerable principle that “ignorance of the law is no excuse,” the Court ruled that evidence obtained by police during a traffic stop that was not legally justified can be used to prosecute the person if police were reasonably mistaken that the person had violated the law. The Rutherford Institute had asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hold law enforcement officials accountable to knowing and abiding by the rule of law. Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the Court’s lone dissenter, warned that the court’s ruling “means further eroding the Fourth Amendment’s protection of civil liberties in a context where that protection has already been worn down.”

The Rutherford Institute’s amicus brief in Heien v. North Carolina is available at www.rutherford.org.

“By refusing to hold police accountable to knowing and abiding by the rule of law, the Supreme Court has given government officials a green light to routinely violate the law,” said John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute and author of the award-winning book A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State. “This case may have started out with an improper traffic stop, but where it will end—given the turbulence of our age, with its police overreach, military training drills on American soil, domestic surveillance, SWAT team raids, asset forfeiture, wrongful convictions, and corporate corruption—is not hard to predict. This ruling is what I would call a one-way, nonrefundable ticket to the police state.”

In April 2009, a Surry County (N.C.) law enforcement officer stopped a car traveling on Interstate 77, allegedly because of a brake light which at first failed to illuminate and then flickered on. The officer mistakenly believed that state law prohibited driving a car with one broken brake light. In fact, the state traffic law requires only one working brake light. Nevertheless, operating under a mistaken understanding of the law, during the course of the stop, the officer asked for permission to search the car. Nicholas Heien, the owner of the vehicle, granted his consent to a search. Upon the officer finding cocaine in the vehicle, he arrested and charged Heien with trafficking. Prior to his trial, Heien moved to suppress the evidence seized in light of the fact that the officer’s pretext for the stop was erroneous and therefore unlawful. Although the trial court denied the motion to suppress evidence, the state court of appeals determined that since the police officer had based his initial stop of the car on a mistaken understanding of the law, there was no valid reason for the stop in the first place. On appeal, the North Carolina Supreme Court ruled that even though the officer was wrong in concluding that the inoperable brake light was an offense, because the officer’s mistake was a “reasonable” one, the stop of the car did not violate the Fourth Amendment and the evidence resulting from the stop did not need to be suppressed. In weighing in on the case before the U.S. Supreme Court, Rutherford Institute attorneys warn against allowing government agents to “benefit” from their mistakes of law, deliberate or otherwise, lest it become an incentive for abuse.

North Korea Calls Obama A “Monkey”, Threatens “Inescapable Deadly Blows”

In a televised address to the nation, North Korea slammed US President Obama following the release of The Interview, which features a fictional plot to kill its leader Kim Jong-Un, as a “monkey inhabiting a tropical forest,” accusing President Obama of encouraging the release of the film, and threatened the United States with “inescapable deadly blows”. The reportedly “deeply racist society” statement from North Korea is notably juxtaposed with President Obama's comments today during an NPR interview that “America is less racially divided than when he took office in 2006.”

As Sky News reports,

North Korea has blasted the US President following the release of The Interview, which features a fictional plot to kill its leader Kim Jong-Un.

After Hong Kong’s “Money Drop”, 2 Arrested For ‘Picking Up’ $2 Million

As we reported Christmas Day, the streets of Hong Kong’s Wan Chai district were awash with cash when a security van accidentally ‘spilled’ millions of dollars scattered among busy traffic. Onlookers rapidly ‘picked up’ the spilled cash but as RT reports, Christmas joy was short-lived for two people, who scavenged almost $2 million dollars in cash. “We found the money stored under the bed at their homes and they admitted they took the money on Gloucester [Road] after getting off the taxi they were in,” Police Chief Inspector Addy Li Chi-kin said at a media briefing. The ‘scavengers’ were clearly not Keynesian economists who would have passed-by the money assuming someone else would have picked it up.