August 24th, 2012
08:35 AM ET

Norway killer Anders Breivik ruled sane

Anders Behring Breivik, the man who killed 77 people in a bomb attack and gun rampage just over a year ago, was judged to be sane Friday by a Norwegian court, as he was sentenced to 21 years in prison.

Breivik was charged with voluntary homicide and committing acts of terror in the attacks in Oslo and on Utoya Island on July 22, 2011.

The issue of Breivik's sanity, on which mental health experts have given conflicting opinions, was central to the court's ruling.

Breivik, who boasts of being an ultranationalist who killed his victims to fight multiculturalism in Norway, wanted to be ruled sane so that his actions wouldn't be dismissed as those of a lunatic.

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Norway prosecutors want mental institution for Breivik
Anders Breivik boasts of being an ultranationalist who killed his victims to fight multiculturalism in Norway.
June 21st, 2012
11:04 AM ET

Norway prosecutors want mental institution for Breivik

Norwegian prosecutors have asked that alleged mass killer Anders Breivik be transferred to a psychiatric institutions because they believe he is mentally ill, a spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office told CNN.

If that does not happen, prosecutors will ask for 21 years of prison for Breivik.

Breivik is on trial on charges of voluntary homicide and committing acts of terror in the July 22, 2011, attacks. He has admitted carrying out an attack on a youth camp on Utoya Island that killed 69 people and a bombing in Oslo that killed eight.

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Filed under: Anders Behring Breivik • Norway
Overheard on CNN.com: What's prison for?
May 24th, 2012
04:46 PM ET

Overheard on CNN.com: What's prison for?

Editor's note: This post is part of the Overheard on CNN.com series, a regular feature that examines interesting comments and thought-provoking conversations posted by the community.

Norway's Bastoy Prison seems almost idyllic. Inmates have almost everything they could possibly want on the lush, 1-square-mile island except for their freedom.

CNN.com commenters had mixed reactions to the story. Some agreed that getting inmates ready for life after prison is the most important thing - even if it means giving them jobs and spa-like living conditions. Others said Bastoy fails at a prison's most important job, which they said is punishing and deterring crime.

Welcome to the world's nicest prison

intventor121 "Caging of the offender serves a two fold purpose. 1. Takes away the "liberty" of the offender. 2. Protects the rest of society. I can't think of any other purposes for prison can you?

yellownumb5 "Rehabilitate the offender into a productive member of society rather than pay to house them and release them with no prospects or reform only to offend again.

Some commenters argued that Norway's low crime rate suggests that the system is working

max555544333 "I personally think the approach sounds nuts, but I'm no expert on crime and criminals. You don't really need any expertise to see that the U.S. system doesn't work."

Civildiscors "If you think this isn't harsh enough, or punishment enough, and it's rewarding the criminal, look again. If you value humanity and human beings, you will see that they are worth rehabilitating, treating and being given a chance to prove themselves worthy. If you don't value human life, you will say 'just kill them to save taxpayers money,' as if money is more valuable than people. And if that's your philosophy on life, you are surely doomed."

Scooter111 "Norway has a very low crime rate. Whatever works for them. You are twice as likely to be the victim of a violent crime in our state of Oregon and 4 times more likely in Texas. The goal of any justice system is to keep the non-criminal population safe. So Norway is doing a pretty good job, better than we are."

Others, like Goose66 said that focusing on rehabilitation misses the point:

"It may 'work,' but what about basic fairness. Is it fair to pay to house and feed outlaws in a resort-style environment, where they can fish and eat without working, while law abiding citizens toil away everyday and can't afford to buy food or a cottage of their own? When did fairness go out the window?"

RPTX "I'm sorry. While I'm all for lenient sentences for drugs, white collar crimes, and theft, as a parent I could not fathom someone strangling my daughter and getting a 10-year sentence on some resort island. I don't care how "enlightened" Norway seems to be, that is not fair to victims and their families. Period!"

mathews0723 "Where is the punishment? You stay in a dorm and get to call your parents? Sounds like college to me. I wonder what the murder victims' families think about the way the criminals are being treated. I am not a super vengeful person but I do think they should live without some of the extra perks. Geez."

What do you think? Share your opinion in the comments area below and in the latest stories on CNN.com. You can also use your web cam to record your response on CNN iReport. Just click on the blue button below and record your response.

Compiled by the CNN.com moderation staff. Some comments edited for length or clarity.


Filed under: Norway • Overheard on CNN.com • Prisons
May 15th, 2012
08:35 AM ET

Norway: Man sets himself alight outside Breivik trial

A man set himself on fire Tuesday outside the court in Norway's capital, Oslo, where Anders Behring Breivik is on trial over terror attacks last summer that killed 77 people.

"We don't know much about his motives, but he set himself alight outside the courthouse. Police were quick to put the fire out and he has now been taken to hospital," Unni Groendal, head of press for Oslo police, told CNN.

The man is still alive, according to police. He did not try to force his way through the cordon as some reports have suggested, police said.

Norwegian daily newspaper VG reported that several court house employees ran out with water bottles to pour water over the man.

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Shoe thrown at Norway mass killer during trial
Norwegian killer Anders Behring Breivik is escorted out of court by police after Friday's shoe-throwing incident in Oslo.
May 11th, 2012
11:38 AM ET

Shoe thrown at Norway mass killer during trial

The trial of admitted Norway mass killer Anders Behring Breivik was disrupted Friday when a brother of one of the 77 people killed in last summer's massacre threw a shoe at the defendant.

"You killed my brother. Go to hell! Go to hell," the spectator yelled as he threw the shoe, which missed Breivik but hit one of his defense lawyers, Vibeke Hein Baera, who was sitting closest to the courtroom spectators, according to a report from Views and News from Norway.

"If someone wants to throw something at me, do it at me while I'm entering or leaving, and not at my lawyer," Breivik said, according to a report from  BBC News.

Police escorted the thrower, who was not identified, from the courtroom, but his actions were greeted by applause and shouts of "Bravo!" by others spectators, reports said.

Views and News, citing Norway's VG Nett, reported that the shoe thrower lives outside of Norway and had flown into Oslo on Wednesday so he could be at the trial when his brother's autopsy was presented.

Some reports said the shoe thrower was from Iraq, a country where the action is seen as a grave insult because the bottom of shoes are unclean.

Shoe throwing gained international attention in 2008 when an Iraqi reporter threw a shoe at then-U.S. President George Bush during a news conference in Baghdad.

Friday's incident occurred as a prosecutor was finishing up a presentation on autopsy reports of  victims shot by Breivik on Utoya Island, where 69 people were killed while attending a Labor Party summer youth camp.

According to the BBC News report, Breivik said in court Friday that during that assault, "Someone threw an object at me and it hit me in the face" in an attempt to stop him. He did not say what the object was.

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Norwegians sing to annoy mass killer
An estimated 40,000 people gather in Oslo's Youngstorget square to sing "Children of the Rainbow," a song derided by mass killer Anders Behring Breivik.
April 26th, 2012
10:21 AM ET

Norwegians sing to annoy mass killer

Norwegians raised their voices in unison on Thursday to get under the skin of admitted mass killer Anders Behring Breivik.

An estimated 40,000 people turned out in central Oslo's Youngstorget square to sing "Children of the Rainbow," a Norwegian version of "My Rainbow Race," written by American folk singer Pete Seeger.

During his trial for the killings of 77 people last summer, Breivik cited the song as an example of Marxist influence on Norwegian culture.

The Norwegian version of the song describes a "World where – every sister and every brother – shall live together – like small children of the rainbow," according to a report in the Norway Post.

Breivik, whose trial in Oslo City Court began last week, boasts of being an ultranationalist who killed his victims to fight multiculturalism in Norway.

Thursday's event, which included a march to the courthouse to drop roses outside, was “a beautiful, touching scene,” said Geir Engebretsen, the court chief justice in charge of Breivik's terror trial, according to a report on Views and News from Norway.

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April 18th, 2012
04:29 AM ET

Myanmar lawmakers' oath creates problem for Suu Kyi's party

The party of Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi has requested a change in the wording of the oath that lawmakers have to take, presenting a potential hurdle to her taking up the parliamentary seat she won this month.

The National League for Democracy has asked the authorities to adjust the wording of the oath to say that parliamentarians will "abide by the law" rather than "protect the constitution," Nyan Win, a spokesman for the party, said Wednesday.

Suu Kyi's party won 43 of the 44 seats it contested in by-elections on April 1. She is scheduled to attend her first session of parliament on Monday after she was elected in the constituency of Kawhmu.

Nyan Win said the NLD was waiting for Myanmar authorities to respond to the request. He declined to say what Suu Kyi and the other elected members of the party would do if the oath wasn't changed before the parliament session began.

News of the complication emerged as Norway announced that Suu Kyi would visit the country in June, her first overseas trip since she was released from decades of house arrest in 2010.

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Filed under: Myanmar • Norway
April 16th, 2012
10:44 AM ET

Norway rampage suspect claims self-defense justifies killings

The man accused of killing 77 people in a bomb-and-gun rampage in Norway last summer claimed as he went on trial for terrorism and murder Monday that self-defense justified his actions.

"I acknowledge the acts but do not plead guilty, and I claim I was doing it in self-defense," Anders Behring Breivik told a court in Oslo. The court recorded a plea of not guilty for him.

Prosecutors played a recording of a terrified girl phoning for help during the shooting spree that left 69 people dead, many of them teens and young adults. The audio was punctuated by constant firing in the background.

They also showed security camera video of the central Oslo bomb blast that killed eight people, images that participants in the trial watched with ashen faces.

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April 10th, 2012
07:37 AM ET

Experts: Norway mass murder suspect sane

A man accused of killing 77 people in a bomb and gun rampage in Norway last summer was sane at the time of the alleged crimes, two court-appointed psychiatric experts said in a report released Tuesday.

Anders Behring Breivik was charged last month with committing acts of terror and voluntary homicide. He is accused of killing eight people in a bomb attack in Oslo, then going to Utoya Island outside the city and systematically gunning down 69 more people, many of them teens and young adults.

The mass killing on July 22 was the single largest loss of life in Norway since World War II.

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Norway mass murder suspect charged
Norwegian gunman who killed 77 people, Anders Behring Breivik looks on in court in Oslo on February 6, 2012.
March 7th, 2012
07:33 AM ET

Norway mass murder suspect charged

Anders Behring Breivik, accused of killing of 77 people in a bomb and gun rampage in Norway last summer, was formally charged Wednesday with committing acts of terror and voluntary homicide, prosecutors said.

Prosecutors say he was psychotic at the time of the killings and should be transferred to "compulsory mental health care."

A fierce debate has raged over whether Breivik is mentally competent to face criminal punishment.

The mass killing was the single largest loss of life in Norway since World War II.

– CNN's Laura Perez Maestro contributed to this report.

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January 13th, 2012
11:24 AM ET

Suspect in Norway killings faces new sanity test

The man accused of killing 77 people in Norway last summer will undergo a new psychiatric evaluation, justice officials said Friday, after an earlier test found him to be insane.

Judge Wenche Elizabeth Arntzen told reporters Friday that the court wanted a second opinion because of the importance of the question of his sanity to Anders Behring Breivik's trial, due to start in April.

This was not a criticism of the previous report, she said.

Breivik has been assigned two new psychiatrists to carry out the evaluation, court spokesman Geir Engebretsen told CNN.

The decision follows requests from the families of some of the victims, amid wide public debate in Norway over the initial psychiatric report, he said.

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Tons of dead fish appear on, then disappear from Norwegian beach
A dog walks among tons of dead herring that washed up on a beach at Kvaenes in northern Norway on New Year's Eve.
January 4th, 2012
11:02 AM ET

Tons of dead fish appear on, then disappear from Norwegian beach

Tons of dead herring that washed up on a Norwegian beach on New Year's Eve are now gone, and no one is sure how they got there or where they went.

Local resident Jan-Petter Jorgensen told Norway's TV2 he went to look at the thousands and thousands of fish after seeing a Facebook posting about them, according to a report on The Foreigner.

Joregensen said it was fortunate the icy cold prevented the mass of dead fish from raising a stink.

“It is 15 degrees below zero today, so the cold means they don’t smell. Nevertheless, the smell will be pretty intense in the long run,” he said, according to The Foreigner report.

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Norwegians angry terror suspect deemed insane, want him to face prison time
Anders Breivik's trial is set to take place in April for the rampage that killed 77 people.
November 30th, 2011
12:58 PM ET

Norwegians angry terror suspect deemed insane, want him to face prison time

A panel of psychiatrists this week found Norwegian Anders Breivik, the man accused of killing 77 people in a terrorist rampage, to be insane and suffering from "paranoid schizophrenia."

Breivik took months to plan the July attacks in Oslo and at a youth camp on nearby Utoya Island. He orchestrated complicated financial transactions to obtain chemicals used to make bombs detonated at Oslo governmental buildings. He went through great lengths to ensure family, friends, police and even his landlord did not discover his plot.

Breivik spent hours each day working on a political manifesto that, while rambling and self-involved, still presented a cohesive set of principles. He described himself as trying to start a war that would ultimately rid Europe of Islamists and other groups to which he objected.

Despite the planning, his political manifesto and Breivik's own stated rationality, psychiatrists determined he was insane. While that finding could be overturned, it places Breivik on a legal path where it's possible he may never serve jail time.

He has pleaded not guilty but admits carrying out the attacks, the judge handling his case has said. At his trial in April, Breivik will have the opportunity to present evidence, police said.

Many Norwegians are questioning the psychiatrists' conclusion and say they are angry that Breivik may not spend time in a prison.

Listen to a CNN Radio report on the matter here:


"The ruling makes no sense,"  said Kristian Andeneas, head of the University of Oslo's Department of Criminology and Sociology of Law. "This is astonishing. I thought they would come to a different result."

Former politician and Norwegian writer Aslak Sira Myhre more bluntly told Britain's The Guardian, "As the terrorist of Oslo is declared insane, the Norwegian faith in our judicial system is challenged."

But the biggest outcry has come from the families of victims and the survivors of Breivik's attacks. If the insanity finding is allowed to stand, he would receive a hearing every three years. Norwegian law mandates these hearings, meaning many victims would be forced to relive the horrific events of July 22.

"That's not good for victims," Andeneas says. "And it's not very good for Norway as we try to move beyond these crimes."

You can also listen to the CNN Radio Reports podcast on itunes or subscribe to the podcast here.

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Police: Norway mass murder suspect insane, cannot be sentenced to prison
November 29th, 2011
07:23 AM ET

Police: Norway mass murder suspect insane, cannot be sentenced to prison

[Posted at 7:23 a.m. ET] Norway mass murder suspect Anders Behring Breivik cannot be sentenced to prison or preventive detention because he is insane, but can be confined to a mental hospital for the rest of his life, police said Tuesday.

He suffers "grandiose delusions" and "believes he is chosen to decide who is to live and who is to die," police announced, saying psychiatrists had found Breivik paranoid and schizophrenic.

Experts based their decision on 36 hours of interviews with Breivik, police said.

He will still be tried to determine whether he committed the murders, police said.

[Posted at 7:15 a.m. ET] Anders Behring Breivik, the man accused of killing 77 people in a bomb and gun rampage in Norway in July, is insane, police said Tuesday.

He was psychotic at the time of the attacks and during 13 interviews experts conducted with him, they said.

Experts based their decision on 36 hours of interviews with Breivik, police said.

He is accused of killing dozens of people in a bomb attack in Oslo followed by a shooting rampage on nearby Utoya island.

Most of the victims were at a political summer camp held by the youth wing of the governing Labour Party at the time of the July 22 shooting attack.  Most survivors made it out alive by hiding among rocks or diving into the chilly waters around the island. The victims were aged from 14 to 61, with an average age of 21, the government said.

Eight people were killed in a bombing in Oslo; 69 young people were killed on Utoya island, in the deadliest attack in Norway since World War II.
October 17th, 2011
12:13 PM ET

'Occupy' movement goes global as a symbol of shared economic frustration

Editor's note: iReporters all over the globe are showing us what Occupy Wall Street is like in their towns and cities through the Open Story: from the Aleutian Islands to Raleigh, North Carolina; from Reykjavik, Iceland, to Zadar, Croatia. Check out a map of the reports, videos and pictures here.

The Occupy Wall Street movement, which swept across the United States as thousands demanded that government institutions change to help fix a struggling economy, gained a major boost as the world began to come together in solidarity over shared economic frustrations.

As the sun rose on each country, one-by-one in the same way each stock market would open, protesters took to the streets. What began as a movement that was largely ignored by the mainstream media can't be dismissed anymore, not when thousands of people are sharing rally cries from Zucotti Park in New York to City Hall Square in Copenhagen, Denmark. Perhaps that's what organizers hoped for when they called the global day of protest "Solidarity Saturday."

But that global push may not end with the one day of solidarity. Some would say it has bolstered the ambitions and confidence of those who began Occupy Wall Street. It was a hint that, with the right support and organization, they can spread the message they've so desperately tried to get across: They want change, and they want it now. And even though the frustrations and complaints may differ from country to country, the theme remains that governments aren't handling economic crises properly.

The protests spread amid the growing financial troubles for several Western countries. Maybe that's why it's no surprise the global movement came during a G20 meeting of ministers and bankers in Paris. Finance ministers with the Group of 20 pledged Saturday to take "all necessary actions" to stabilize global markets and ensure that banks are capitalized.

Europeans turned out to protest amid debt troubles and austerity plans in Greece, Belgium, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Portugal and Germany. And in an increasingly intertwined global economy where Americans watch what happens in the Greek debt crisis, the world too is watching to see how the United States is handling its economic issues.

In the spirit of that solidarity, thousands stepped out to support the frustrations of the unemployed in the U.S. and, in some cases, to share their own grievances.

We're taking a look at scenes from across the world to find out more about the main frustrations being lodged and how the protests are drawing support from each other through the lenses of our reporters and iReporters around the world.

London

The movement gained traction in London especially because of the presence of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Some Brits, who have not been shy to share their frustrations with their economic situation during riots months earlier, echoed American sentiments that governments need to focus not just on the rich but on the little man.

Amedeo d'Amore , an iReporter, was at a demonstration near St. Paul's Cathedral, where he said there were about 1,500 to 2,000 protesters along with a few hundred police officers.

Protesters gather at the London Stock Exchange on Saturday.

"Essentially, they are very disappointed by the current economic system," he said. "From my understanding, they feel that governments have done too much to protect companies while doing very little to assist the average citizen."

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Filed under: Canada • Economy • Europe • France • Iceland • Italy • Japan • Jobs • Julian Assange • Netherlands • Norway • Occupy Wall Street • Taiwan • U.S. • United Kingdom
Accused Norway killer gets 4 more weeks in solitary
September 19th, 2011
01:28 PM ET

Accused Norway killer gets 4 more weeks in solitary

Anders Breivik, who has admitted killing 77 people in Norway in July, will remain in solitary confinement for another four weeks, a judge ruled Monday.

Breivik will remain in police custody for eight more weeks, until November 14, with the first four in solitary confinement, Judge Anne Margarethe Lund ruled Monday.

Breivik admits carrying out a bomb and gun rampage in July, but has not pleaded guilty, a judge and his lawyer say.

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September 15th, 2011
09:16 AM ET

Two killed, several injured in Norwegian cruise ship fire

Two people have died after an engine room fire on a Norwegian cruise ship and nine have been taken to the hospital, Norwegian police confirmed Thursday.

The two killed are believed to be crew members, a spokeswoman for Sunnmore police district told CNN. There were 55 crew on board the ship, MS Nordlys.

All 207 passengers aboard have been safely evacuated and taken to a hotel in the town of Alesund, operator Hurtigruten ASA said. They are of various nationalities.

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September 15th, 2011
06:06 AM ET

At least 3 hurt in cruise ship fire

Three crew members have been injured after an engine room fire on a Norwegian cruise ship, the operator said Thursday.

All 207 passengers aboard the ship, MS Nordlys, and some of the crew of 55 are now back on shore in Alesund in Norway, operator Hurtigruten said in a statement.

The local fire department is working to put out the fire, the operator said.

Two people were seriously injured and a dozen taken to the hospital, CNN affiliate TV2 reported.

The cruise ship was operating on a popular route from Bergen to Kirkenes when the fire broke out, forcing the vessel to stop at Alesund, according to the affiliate.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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Filed under: Norway • Travel
On the Radar: Kansas City curfew, Norway island visit, mortgage rates
Mounted police patrol in Kansas City, Missouri.
August 19th, 2011
06:16 AM ET

On the Radar: Kansas City curfew, Norway island visit, mortgage rates

Three things you need to know today.

Kansas City curfew: Kansas City, Missouri, is imposing a 9 p.m. curfew for those age 17 and younger in five areas of the city after violence last weekend in which three teens were wounded by gunfire in the city's Country Club Plaza entertainment district.

Last Saturday's gunfire occurred just yards from the city's mayor, Sly James, who was making an appearance in the Plaza district to address problems of large groups of teens gathering in some of the city's entertainment and shopping areas, CNN affiliate KCTV reported.

The new curfew, which the City Council passed Thursday night and the mayor is expected to sign Friday, will cover the city's downtown, Westport, Zona Rosa and 18th and Vine Historic Jazz District as well as Country Club Plaza, according to local media reports. It will be in effect through the last Sunday in September and will begin again the Friday before Memorial Day.

Violators face fines of up to $500 and court costs, KCTV reported.

Kansas City is the second major city this month to impose earlier curfews in popular entertainment districts. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, began earlier curfews last weekend in reaction to violence from mobs of teens.

Norway massacre: The families of the victims of a mass shooting rampage on a Norwegian island are due to visit the scene Friday, a month after two attacks plunged the Scandinavian nation into mourning.

Sixty-nine people died July 22 on Utoya island, where hundreds of mostly young people were gathered for a summer camp held by the youth wing of the governing Labour Party.  Eight others died in the bombing of Oslo government buildings hours earlier.

Anders Breivik, the man accused of carrying out both attacks, is expected to appear in court in Oslo on Friday.

Police or prosecutors are expected to speak to reporters after his appearance, which will not be open to the public or media.

Mortgage rates: The average interest rate on a 30-year fixed rate mortgage loan dipped to 4.15% this week, the lowest level recorded in 50 years, CNNMoney reports.

The average rate beat the previous low of 4.17%, set last November, according to mortgage backer Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

The average interest rate for a 15-year fixed rate loan was 3.36%, according to the report.

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Filed under: Crime • Curfews • Economy • Missouri • Norway • On the Radar
Manifesto evokes blurry line between myth and reality of Knights Templar
Anders Breivik's purported manifesto says he is a member of a new order of the Knights Templar.
July 28th, 2011
09:49 PM ET

Manifesto evokes blurry line between myth and reality of Knights Templar

“Perfect Knight I have always strived to be.”

Anders Breivik supposedly wrote those words in his diary last winter. Breivik admitted killing 76 people in a bombing and shooting rampage in Norway last week, his lawyer said.

CNN could not independently verify that the diary, titled "2083: A European Declaration of Independence," was written by Breivik, 32.

According to the diary, he's a warrior on a quest to save Europe from Muslim colonization. Breivik wants the world to know he is a member of a new order of the Knights Templar, the medieval order that protected Christian pilgrims from Muslims in the Christian holy land between the 12th and 14th centuries.

Breivik wrote that the new order is devoted to fighting against the influx of Muslims and non-Europeans to the West.

The cover of the manifesto and the medals he forged for his fake military uniform have the sign of the Templars, a blood red cross on a white background.

Scotland Yard and experts on right-wing extremism don’t rule out there might be such a modern-day group named for the Knights Templar. But they have no evidence of it, other than what Breivik has said.

Click to hear story from CNN Radio's Libby Lewis:


Historian Paul Crawford has devoted his career to understanding the real Knights Templar. He doesn’t make the real Knights Templar out to be gods or heroes.

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