-- April 16, 2011, Statement by New York City Police Officer Michael Daragjati, boasting of his false arrest of another African-American male.
Top News Story!
Updated: 5:34 AM EST, Thu December 27, 2012 - updated 7:53 AM PST, Thu December 27, 2012
A Threat to U.S.!
New York (WCJB) -- The FBI extensively monitored the Occupy Wall Street movement around the United States, using counterterrorism agents and other resources, according to recently released FBI internal documents.
The heavily redacted documents indicate that FBI counterterrorism agents were in close communication with law enforcement agencies, businesses, universities and other organizations across the country about the Occupy Wall Street movement, even before Occupy Wall Street set up a camp in New York's Zuccotti Park in September 2011.
In August 2011 the FBI informed New York Stock Exchange officials of a "planned Anarchist protest titled Occupy Wall Street" scheduled for September 17, 2011. The FBI also notified several New York businesses of the impending protests, according to the documents.
The documents, released under a Freedom of Information Act request, contain references to an October 2011 FBI domestic terrorism briefing in Jacksonville, Florida, regarding the spread of the Occupy Wall Street movement and "the emergence of Occupy chapters in and around the North Florida area." FBI officials also recommended setting up tripwires with Occupy event organizers.
The FBI was concerned that the Occupy venues could provide "an outlet for a lone offender exploiting the movement for reasons associated with general government dissatisfaction," according to the documents At a Joint Terrorism Task Force meeting in November 2011, FBI agents reported about Occupy Wall Street activities in Anchorage, Alaska, according to the documents.
The documents also described instances from California, Colorado Mississippi, Virginia, and other states involving cooperation between the FBI and other agencies.
FBI counterterrorism agents are traditionally tasked with investigating and curtailing both domestic and foreign terrorism threats.
The agency prepared surveillance and precautionary measures despite acknowledging that Occupy Wall Street organizers "did not condone the use of violence during their events" and, and that the organizers had called for peaceful protest, according to the documents.
The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund, which describes itself on its website as a Washington-based organization "dedicated to the defense of human and civil rights secured by law, the protection of free speech and dissent, and the elimination of prejudice and discrimination," obtained the documents through the Freedom of Information Act.
"This production, which we believe is just the tip of the iceberg, is a window into the nationwide scope of the FBI's surveillance, monitoring, and reporting on peaceful protestors organizing with the Occupy movement," stated Mara Verheyden-Hilliard, executive director of the organization.
"These documents show that the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security are treating protests against the corporate and banking structure of America as potential criminal and terrorist activity."
The FBI, responding to the release of the documents regarding Occupy, said it recognizes the rights of individuals and groups to engage in constitutionally protected activity but must take precautions to deal with any potential threats of violence.
"While the F.B.I. is obligated to thoroughly investigate any serious allegations involving threats of violence, we do not open investigations based solely on First Amendment activity," FBI spokesman Paul Bresson said in a statement to CNN. "In fact, the Department of Justice and the F.B.I.'s own internal guidelines on domestic operations strictly forbid that."
The Partnership for Civil Justice Fund said it believes the FBI is withholding more information regarding its surveillance of the Occupy movement, and will be filing an appeal demanding full disclosure of its operations, according to Verheyden-Hilliard.
Published Sun, May 20, 2012 - Modified Mon, May 21, 2012 02:04 PM PDT
Chicago, Ill. -- In 1968 Chicago officers were condemned for engaging in a “police riot” in their clashes with protesters during the Democratic convention. Even with images of baton-wielding police leaving protesters bloodied, authorities in the third-largest U.S. city moved to revamp their reputation in part through a pair of pre-emptive strikes -- in the courts and then on the streets. The city’s handling of protesters has been a sensitive issue in Chicago since the 1968 Democratic convention. A federal investigation later called the clashes between convention demonstrators and officers a “police riot.”
Prosecutors made the first use of a state anti-terror charge, accusing three men of making Molotov cocktails, before demonstrators hoisted a placard. Then police responded to the mercurial movement of protesters with a display of overpowering force. Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy commended the restraint shown by his officers. “Cops are not here to be assaulted,” he said.
Posted: March 26th, 2012 - 08:26 AM ET - Updated: March 26th, 2012 - 01:26 PM PT
"The United States congratulates the Russian people on the completion of the Presidential elections."-- Statement by Barack Obama during a personal phone call he made to Vladimir Putin from Air Force One congratulating the Russian leader on his election as Russia's next president, despite the fact Russian elections were widely seen to have been compromised by fraud and intimidation by Putin loyalists. Seoul, South Korea (WCJB) - In a private conversation about the planned U.S.-led NATO missile defense system in Europe, President Barack Obama asked outgoing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev for space on the issue. "This is my last election," Obama told Medvedev. "After my election I have more flexibility."
March 20, 2012
(Federal Prison) -- Master swindler Bernie Madoff (pictured above, center, March 12, 2009) claims one thing that still bugs him: People who insist his Ponzi scheme started in the ‘80s, not the ‘90s. The mastermind of the $65 billion ripoff, in correspondence printed in the April 9 issue of Forbes magazine and online at Forbes' website, says his guilty plea cost him a shot at refuting charges that his scam began prior to 1992.
The letters and e-mails were sent to Diana Henriques, author of the Madoff book “The Wizard of Lies” and his self-described prison pen pal. In a February 2011 message, Madoff explains why he didn’t take the money and run before his fiscal house of cards collapsed. “I certainly had the opportunity over the last few years to stash money somewhere with all the connections I had everywhere,” he wrote. “Certainly that is the way the criminal mind works. The truth is that it never was something I ever gave any thought to.”
Madoff, destined to die in a federal prison, remains irate over claims by prosecutors and trustee Irving Picard that his operation was a scam from the start. “This is part of (Picard’s) grab strategy,” Madoff wrote on Jan. 7, 2011. “I’m very sorry that I chose not to go to trial.” Two months later, Madoff was more emphatic: “I would love to know what evidence (Picard) has to date my crime back to 1983 … THE FACT IS THAT THERE IS NONE.”
Madoff, in an October 2011 letter, recounts in part his complicated relationship with his clients — a roster that included old friend Fred Wilpon, owner of the Mets, and Hollywood couple Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick. “I will always feel remorse towards those who I betrayed,” he wrote. “However the pure greed and untruthful cries of some who now have to sell their second and third vacation homes, which were paid for with the years of LEGITIMATE profits but because they now find themselves without the income stream I provided is what angers me.”
Posted: Fri Mar 16 2012 07:50:14 GMT-0700 (PDT) - Updated: Sat. Mar 17 2012 03:43:14 GMT-1500 (PDT)
BERKELEY, CA -- A growing chorus of voices is calling for the firing of a UC Berkeley administrator who helped triple her secret sex partner's pay over five years. Calling Diane Leite's punishment "an affront" to the university, several UC Berkeley professors have asked the school's provost to investigate how the matter was handled. They are aghast that, instead of firing her, the university reassigned Leite from her assistant vice chancellor post and will still pay her $175,000 a year.
The scandal was revealed Monday when a newspaper reported that Leite, 47 (pictured left) had given five raises in two years to Jonathan Caniezo, 30, a subordinate employee with whom she had a sexual relationship. Caniezo made less than $41,000 in 2005, but his pay jumped to $120,000 in 2010, amid the affair, according to university records. The university approved the pay hikes over the objections of Caniezo's supervisor, who later told investigators she did not believe he had earned them. As head of UC Berkeley's office of administrative services for campus research, Leite supervised Caniezo's boss, then later directly supervised him herself, according to a campus investigation launched in August after first an anonymous complaint and then a formal one exposed the relationship.
Investigators found that Leite had completed sexual-harassment training three times in recent years, but she told the university she was unaware her actions were wrong. After the investigation, Leite was removed from her $188,000-a-year position but reassigned as an adviser to Fleming, the vice chancellor. Although Leite's boss, Vice Chancellor Graham Fleming, has defended his handling of Leite's punishment, the university said Thursday that the matter was not over. "The administration is ... reviewing compensation and classification issues that came to light in the course of the investigation," UC Berkeley spokesman Dan Mogulof said in a written statement.
In their letter to Breslauer, the university's chief academic officer, the professors criticized the "surprisingly mild measures" taken after Leite was discovered to have broken sexual-harassment policies. "It's an outrage," said engineering professor Samer Madanat, one of at least 13 professors who signed the letter to Provost George Breslauer. "That's all I can say." In addition to the letter from faculty members, about 150 people by Thursday afternoon had signed an online petition calling for Leite and her boyfriend, Caniezo, to be fired.
"Having Diane Leite hold any position of responsibility or power on this campus is harmful to our institution," the professors wrote. "We are surprised at the evident protection that has repeatedly been bestowed upon her, which, in our view, is counter to the interest of the university and to the morale of its faculty and staff." The solution is simple, said astronomy professor Leo Blitz: Fire Leite. "For a highly paid administrator, this is not a small matter," said Blitz, who signed the letter to Breslauer. In a piece published Wednesday in a local newspaper, biology professor Kevin Padian complained that "rules on this campus apply to everyone but the administrators."
As a learning institution, a university should have higher standards than other employers, said Judy Nadler, a former Santa Clara mayor and now a senior fellow in government ethics at Santa Clara University's Markkula Center for Applied Ethics. "If (Leite's violation) doesn't rise to the level of significant punishment, what do you have to do to get fired?" Nadler said. "At a corporation, I think it's pretty clear this wouldn't be tolerated."
Breslauer did not respond to an interview request. Leite's attorney did not respond to an interview request. Caniezo, who remains under investigation, did not respond to a message left at his Rodeo home.
March 9, 2012
Gubmint Pages & Tweets!
March 6, 2012
HOUSTON, TX -- A federal jury convicted international financier R. Allen Stanford (pictured above, center) on 13 of 14 charges of money laundering and fraud in a Ponzi scheme that lost billions of dollars for investors. The Texas financier stood accused of masterminding one of the biggest Ponzi schemes in U.S. history. The jury of eight men and four women found him not guilty on one count of wire fraud. The verdict on Tuesday, coming on the fourth full day of deliberations after a month long trial, marks a comedown for Mr. Stanford, 61 years old, who rose from owning a bodybuilding gym in Texas to become a billionaire knighted in Antigua. As the verdict was read Mr. Stanford, wearing a dark suit, turned to where his family members were sitting and appeared to mouth the words, "It's OK."
Prosecutors had accused Mr. Stanford of swindling thousands of investors by selling them certificates of deposit issued by a bank he controlled in Antigua. They said he invested these proceeds in risky real-estate assets and his own businesses, funding a lavish lifestyle aboard yachts and jets and even sponsoring cricket tournaments. The verdict caps a three-year criminal prosecution that has blocked investors from attempting to recover hundreds of millions of dollars from Mr. Stanford and which has stalled a civil lawsuit against him brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission. It came a day after jurors said they couldn't reach a unanimous verdict on all counts. U.S. District Judge David Hittner had ordered them to keep deliberating.
Mr. Stanford's lawyers, who ultimately chose not to let him testify in his own defense, countered that he ran a legitimate business that was ruined when the SEC raided his office in 2009 and froze his assets. They portrayed Mr. Stanford as an absentee chief executive and argued that any fraud would have been committed by his chief financial officer, James Davis, a government witness.
The SEC Complaint against Stanford charges: •» Since 1994, Stanford International Bank claims it has never failed to hit investment returns in excess of 10 percent a year; •» In 2008, the bank said its "diversified portfolio of investments" lost only 1.3 percent, while the S&P 500 U.S. stocks benchmark declined 39 percent; •» SEC says the bank's historical returns are "improbable, if not impossible;" •» The bank quoted certificate of deposit rates of more than 7 percent during 2005 and 2006, and quoted a 3-year CD at 5.375 percent annual rate in November 2008, against comparable U.S. bank CDs of 3.2 percent; and •» Did not disclose that its investment portfolio includes a significant portion in illiquid private equity and real estate investments.
Stanford, 61, pleaded not guilty to all charges and later claimed he developed amnesia after a fellow inmate assaulted him in 2009. His defense attorney said in separate documents that the inmate smashed Stanford's face into a pole and threw him onto the concrete floor. Shackled, chained to a gurney and coughing up blood after a vicious prison beating sparked by a spat over a telephone, R. Allen Stanford (pictured below, center) seemed baffled by a simple question: What is your name? "Arthur," Mr. Stanford responded. That was the first name printed on the badge of the doctor treating Mr. Stanford's multiple injuries. In a separate motion, Stanford's attorney said his client "suffered a traumatic brain injury" in the assault and the medications given to him by prison medical staff, which included anti-anxiety drugs and antidepressants, made his condition worse. An assessment of Stanford's health was prepared for a court by Victor Scarano, a forensic psychiatrist. He wrote: 'Mr Stanford described himself as a breathing corpse with increased episodes of despair, hopelessness and helplessness'. R. Allen Stanford, whose lawyers failed to convince a judge that he’s mentally unfit to stand trial, was ordered to face a jury. “I have found by a preponderance of the evidence that Stanford is competent to stand trial,” U.S. District Judge David Hittner in Houston said in finding Stanford able to assist in his defense. Hittner delayed Stanford’s trial, first set for last January, after three doctors testified that the financier was incapable of assisting in his defense because of his drug dependency and potential effects from the head injury. Stanford, a Mexia native, was convicted of 13 counts of conspiracy, fraud, obstruction and money laundering. The counts of which he was found guilty carry total penalties of 230 years.
The Global Occupation!
Posted: Wed. May 2, 2012 - 12:12:52 PDT - Updated: Wed. May 2, 2012 - 12:14:52 PDT
Oakland Police officers are hit with paint after they tackled one protester and held him down on Broadway Street.
Oakland, CA -- In Oakland, the scene of several violent clashes between activists and police during last fall's Occupy-inspired protests, the situation threatened to boil over again when police fired tear gas, sending hundreds of demonstrators scrambling. Downtown, the day started tensely with hundreds of Occupy demonstrators amassing at and around City Hall. Police Chief Howard Jordan called for mutual aid from area police agencies by 9 a.m., and around lunchtime the first of several brief but volatile clashes with police erupted. Officers also fired "flash-bang" grenades to disperse protesters converging on police as they wrestled people to the ground while trying to make arrests, and used more tear gas on Tuesday night to break up the bottle-throwing remnants of what had been a peaceful rally of several thousand. Earlier, some protesters tried to force businesses to shut down for not observing calls for a "general strike."
Posted: Tuesday, March 20, 2012, 12:58 PM EDT - Tuesday, March 20, 2012, 03:21 PM PDT
About 40 hard-core Occupy demonstrators have been in the park’s plaza area on 14th St. since Saturday night, with the crowd often swelling to more than 100 during the day. The move came after protesters were kicked out of downtown’s Zuccotti Park during a six-month anniversary rally Saturday night. At Union Square, protesters have set up an impromptu library and information stand, akin to the ones which were in Zuccotti during their two-month occupation of the lower Manhattan plaza.
“This is the fourth day we’re here,” said Augusto Sandino, a 20-year-old protester from Brooklyn. “We’re planning to stay here.” Sandino, who volunteers at the Occupy Wall Street Info Desk, said the group is not just planning to stay in Union Square Park, but actively trying to get more people to take up residence by using social media and the website OccupyWallStreet.org.
“We’re starting from scratch right now,” Sandino said. “We haven’t had a physical occupation since November 15th,” he added, referring to the date booted Occupy Wall Street from Zuccotti Park in an overnight raid. “We’re hoping to have enough people so that Union Square Park is at capacity,” he said.
Sandino said the group hopes to use the occupation as a launching point for upcoming events, including planned weekly marches down to Wall Street every Friday in March.
They are also trying to gain support for a general strike on May 1. “We want to grow the occupation until the police start giving us problems,” he said. “So far they haven’t been telling us to leave.”
Authorities say the group can sit and lie down in the park on the condition they do not swell in number to more than 25 overnight. They also cannot block access to the park with banners, books or other objects. However, a Parks Department police source told media sources that the agency is working with the NYPD and its “higher ups” on a plan to deal with the protesters, especially those who want to camp out overnight, hinting that their days may be numbered.
Occupy Wall Street!
NY Union Square!
March 19, 2012
Occupy Wall Street!
NYPD: The Sequel!
Posted: Thursday 16 February 2012 17.23 EST - Wednesday, March 21, 2012, 03:42 PM PDT
A controversial US police chief, John Timoney (pictured above, center) and has been hired by the government of Bahrain to train and reform the nation's security forces. Timoney spent nearly three decades with the New York City police department before serving as head of police in Philadelphia and Miami. He's been hired – along with former assistant commissioner of Britain's Metropolitan Police, John Yates – to implement reforming policies and tactics for Bahrain's security forces. The two were brought on after a report was published detailing the torture and death of Bahraini protesters held as prisoners held by Bahraini authorities. Bahrain’s protesters claim they are fed up with the greed, corruption and nepotism that has marred their country.
Timoney, the former Philadelphia and Miami police chief is now the Al Khalifa family’s top hired gun has a mixed legacy--and that comment is being kind. His tactics used at the Republican Convention in Philadelphia in 2000 and later in Miami include a love affair with rubber bullets, Tasers, electronic shields and most tragically in Bahrain, tear gas. Bahrain’s police and military forces were already using all of the above and more before Timoney and Yates. But with Timoney at the helm, the future for Bahrain’s flight for justice and equal opportunity will probably become nothing but more violent.
Timoney's supporters view him as a tough, smart cop with a record for turning failing police departments around and controlling mass demonstrations. In effect, they argue, he's the perfect candidate to improve Bahrain's security forces, which have been linked to the killing, torture and flagrant suppression of dissident protesters. The chief's critics, however, say Timoney's handling of protests and gatherings in each of the cities he's served in are wrought with examples of police abuse, illegal infiltration tactics, fear-mongering and a blatant disregard for freedom of expression.
The use of tear gas has been a particularly contentious issue in Bahrain's protest crackdowns. According to Amnesty International, Bahraini human rights groups have reported at least 13 deaths resulting from the use of tear gas since the protests began last year. At least three of those deaths occurred after Timoney was hired, and include Salma Mohsin Abbas, 81, and Yaseen Al Asfoor, 14, who reportedly died after canisters were set off in their homes. Sayyed Hashem Saeed, 15, meanwhile, died on December 31 after being hit with a canister at close range.
While it is unclear whether Timoney has advised Bahraini authorities in their use of tear gas, his reliance on the tactic – as well as other less-lethal implements – was on full display during the end of his policing career in the United States.
Gas & Money!
Posted: 02/07/2012 07:45:32 AM PST - Updated: 02/07/2012 03:20:09 PM PST
Oakland, CA -- The hacker group, which last year infiltrated BART's computer system after the agency shut off cell phone service in its tunnels to thwart protesters, released a statement on its website admonishing the city for its treatment of Occupy Oakland demonstrators. It also posted personal contact information for Mayor Jean Quan, City Administrator Deanna Santana, police Chief Howard Jordan, City Attorney Barbara Parker, and seven City Council members. Only Council member Rebecca Kaplan was spared from intrusion. The site only posted her public office number along with the message: "Thank you for your support and being a true leader in the community."
PUBLISHED: Sunday, February 5, 2012
Oakland, CA -- Another American flag was burned at an Occupy Oakland rally late Saturday, capping off a smaller, more peaceful march compared to last weekend’s burst of violence. Local news media reported that there were only dozens of protesters who marched Saturday night, and there were no reports of violent clashes with police. Saturday’s Occupy march, however, was the second to feature a burning U.S. flag in a week.
A San Francisco media source reported that Zachary Running Wolf, 48, a veteran demonstrator in Oakland and Berkeley, ignited the flag and dropped it on Broadway. Running Wolf is known for leading a 21-month tree sit-in to protect oak trees at UC Berkeley that were later razed to make way for a student athlete training facility. He also occupied a tree during Occupy Oakland protests. Running Wolf came in fourth in the 2008 Berkeley mayor's race, securing less than 1% of the vote.
The source reported that Gary Easley, 33, of Oakland picked up the burned flag, telling the newspaper: “I felt bad.” The media said protesters threw a bottle of urine at a KTVU-TV Channel 2 truck and a wooden board at a KPIX-TV Channel 5 truck. Last weekend, more than 400 people were arrested after a violent Occupy Oakland demonstration in which marchers broke into City Hall, smashed display cases, cut electrical wires and burned an American flag.
First Posted: 02/04/2012 - Updated: 2:58 PM PST - 02/05/2012
MOSCOW — Tens of thousands of Russians embraced the numbing cold and marched to a frozen riverbank near the Kremlin on Saturday, demonstrating their determination to keep up the pressure on Vladimir Putin for fair elections and honest government. Two months after disputed parliamentary balloting ignited Russia’s first significant protest movement in more than a decade, Saturday’s turnout showed that the demonstrators are not fading away. In size, the rally was in the same ballpark as two large demonstrations in December; the police said 36,000 came out, the organizers said 120,000. More determined than they had been at those earlier rallies, which in some ways resembled street fairs, the marchers attacked Putin with gusto. “The longer we freeze here, the longer they’ll freeze in Siberia,” chanted one group as it surged up Bolshaya Yakimanka Street toward Bolotnaya Square, referring to the country’s leadership.
The protesters, from the entire width of the political spectrum, gathered in four columns, one after another. First came the “white-ribbon” group, the apoliticals; then, their order chosen by lot, came liberal democrats, nationalists with their Russian imperial flags, and Communists with their hammer-and-sickle banners. The segregation seemed to energize each contingent, without engendering name-calling or hostility. “We need a big coalition against Putin,” said one nationalist, Alexander Razumov, 31. “We have no other choice.” At the same time it emphasized their philosophical differences and raised questions about whether a single leader could emerge to unite them and challenge an entrenched Putin government.
“Power to the millions, not the millionaires,” said Sergei Udaltsov, leader of the Left Front. “We are the millions.”
“Away with the Chekists!” shouted a group of young men, using the name by which KGB officers, such as Putin, liked to call themselves.
Yet it was also clear that a great many protesters had shown up out of a realization that they enjoy the act, and the feelings of solidarity that come with it. That would not be good news to Putin, who has appeared to be holding back in hopes that the movement would run out of steam on its own accord before the March 4 presidential election.
On Saturday, government investigators hit back at the opposition, which has made clean elections one of its central demands. The Investigations Committee charged that most of the videos showing apparent election fraud in December were concocted in the United States and disseminated by a server in California, the Russian news agency reported. It said the government was determined to discover who was responsible. Blaming the United States for whatever annoys him in Russia has become a favorite Putin theme. Before the December elections he suggested the country’s only independent election monitor was in the pay of the United States. When the protests began, he accused Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton of signaling the opposition to take to the streets. One protester Saturday carried a sign saying: “I came for free.”
First Posted: 18:37 (Moscow) 29/01/2012 - Updated: 3:13 PM PST - 29/01/2012
Enraged: Protesters carry the Russian Empire’s black, yellow and white flag during a rally against the December 4 parliament elections in Moscow on Dec. 24, 2011. “…protesters shouted ‘New Elections, New Elections,’ and organizers say their densely packed mass on Sakharov Avenue reached 100,000 people.
Moscow, Russia -- Hundreds of cars flying white ribbons - a symbol of Russia's protest movement - drove around a major Moscow thoroughfare on Sunday to demand a fair presidential vote in March. Up to 3,000 cars took part in “the biggest motorist protest in Russia’s history,” said Pyotr Shkumatov, leader of the grassroots motorists’ group Blue Buckets. “Nobody has forgotten the December 4 [parliamentary] elections and people are ready to stand their ground,” Shkumatov told Russian media sources. The Russian capital’s traffic police said only 300 cars took part in Sunday’s protest. White balloons and anti-Putin banners were also attached to some of the vehicles which circled the 16-kilometer Garden Ring road in central Moscow on Sunday. One car had a Putin doll strapped to its hood, a Russian media correspondent reported. White ribbons emerged as an opposition symbol during mass anti-government protests last month which erupted after Russia’s disputed parliamentary vote won by Putin's United Russia party.
Sunday's action was designed to maintain momentum ahead of the next anti-government demonstration on February 4, one month before a crucial presidential poll that is widely predicted to bring Prime Minister Vladimir Putin back to his old job in the Kremlin. Opposition leaders fear the March 4 vote may be rigged in Putin's favor. Putin served two terms as president from 2000 to 2008 but was constitutionally barred from standing for a third consecutive term. A win by Mr. Putin could result in his maintaining power until 2024. “It’s absolutely unacceptable that the man who’s in power [already] for 12 years will be here for 12 years more!” one demonstrator told a US News Source. He later stated, “We don’t want another revolution, or bloodshed, but if Putin is going to win then there may be a ‘Russian Spring’—not an Arab Spring but a Russian one.”
The opposition claims the authorities are now using the state machinery to boost support for the prime minister. Over the past several weeks, Putin has enjoyed extra-positive coverage on Russia's state-dominated TV, including several documentaries promoting him as the country's "savior" during the economic downturn in the 2000s. He has also refused to take part in TV debates ahead of the March vote - his spokesman said they would "impede his ability to duly carry out his duties." There have also been reports in the liberal media of state employees being coerced to cast their votes for Putin, or else face the sack.
Another motorist protest, this time nationwide, is planned for February 19.
‘Russian Spring’ - 2012!
PUBLISHED MON, JAN 30, 2012 02:14 PM - MODIFIED
WASHINGTON, DC – Republican lawmakers last week questioned why the Park Service has allowed Occupy protesters to camp for months on federal land. National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis said protesters have a right to be in the park and won't be evicted, but they will be encouraged to sleep elsewhere. Monday morning a sign board carried a National Park Service notice that regulations banning camping will be enforced starting at noon. It defined camping as having temporary structures to store personal belongings and "laying down of bedding for the purpose of sleeping." Park Police surveyed the encampment earlier in the day followed by chanting protesters and surrounded by a phalanx of television cameras and photographers. Protesters blew whistles and chanted "from Oakland to D.C. defy the police."
A noon deadline passed to remove camping equipment from two Occupy Wall Street sites in Washington, D.C., after officials said they planned to enforce a no-camping rule and start moving out protesters. At Freedom Plaza tents flapped in the wind. The National Park Service has warned protesters that those who violate the camping rule at Freedom Plaza and McPherson Square will be subject to arrest, but by mid-afternoon nothing had happened. At McPherson Square seven blocks away park spokesman David Schlosser said that people are not allowed to camp so the first step of enforcement will be to remove bedding and other belongings. He said police gave protesters pamphlets informing them of the regulations. Schlosser said police want voluntary compliance. If that doesn't happen he said "incremental measures" will be taken but he wouldn't elaborate on what that meant.
‘D.C. Occupied’ - 2012!
PUBLISHED MON, JAN 30, 2012 08:38 AM - MODIFIED MON, JAN 30, 2012 01:06 PM PST
CHAPEL HILL, NC -- Seven people charged with misdemeanor breaking and entering are due in Orange County court today in connection with last fall's incident at the former Yates Motor Co. building in downtown Chapel Hill. The incident and police raid that removed the squatters after one day has divided the community. Supporters of the squatters plan to rally at the Orange County courthouse beginning at 9 a.m. today. Speakers pro and con have spoken at several Town Council meetings.
The debate could return to Town Hall tonight when Town Manager Roger Stancil may provide his recommendation on whether the town should approve an outside investigator to review the incident.
A new town-appointed Community Policing Advisory Committee formally requested the investigator last week to help it compile a factual time-line of events during the Nov. 12-13 incident and to help the committee make policy recommendations.
A majority of council members, however, indicated last week they do not support the investigator because he or she would not be able to compel witnesses to speak or to speak truthfully and because the town could not protect those who spoke with the investigator from civil or criminal liability.
The council's reaction has left committee members "curious," committee chairman Ron Bogle said.
On Sunday, A crowd of about 60 people rallied outside the downtown post office on Peace and Justice Plaza. They were protesting Stancil's proposal to start enforcing restrictions on public gatherings that were lifted during the three-month Occupy Chapel Hill-Carrboro tent encampment. Council member Laurin Easthom has asked for a discussion before enforcing the rules, which restrict overnight gatherings and in some cases require a permit.
The Yates building takeover on West Franklin Street was by "anti-capitalist occupiers," according to their literature. The group said it wanted to turn the long vacant building into a community center with a clinic, daycare and beds for the homeless. Some members also were members of the Occupy encampment and movement down the street.
‘Chapel Hill’ - 2012!
First Posted: 1/20/12 - Updated: 01/21/2012 02:44:16 PM PST
The Financial Di$trict!
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The "REAL" KONY (2007)
Description: 2007 documentary on the middle east conflict.