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Che Guevara

Robin Hood: Spanish Mayor Stages Grocery Store Robberies to Feed the Poor


Juan Manuel Sanchez Gordillo (center), a Spanish mayor, has become a cult hero after stealing groceries and giving them to Spain's poor.
Madrid - A Spanish mayor who became a cult hero for staging robberies at supermarkets and giving stolen groceries to the poor sets off this week on a three-week march that could embarrass the government and energise anti-austerity campaigners.

Juan Manuel Sanchez Gordillo, regional lawmaker and mayor of the town of Marinaleda - population 2,645 - in the southern region of Andalusia, said food stolen last week in the robberies went to families hit hardest by Spain's economic crisis.

Seven people have been arrested for participating in the two raids, in which labour unionists, cheered on by supporters, piled food into supermarket carts and walked out without paying while Sanchez Gordillo, 59, stood outside.

He has political immunity as an elected member of Andalusia's regional parliament, but says he would be happy to renounce it and be arrested himself.

"There are people who don't have enough to eat. In the 21st century, this is an absolute disgrace," he told Reuters this week in an interview in the Atocha train station in Madrid, tugging on his greying Fidel Castro-style beard.
Star of David

Israeli School Textbooks Brainwash Children into Hatred and Contempt of Palestinians and Arabs

At the height of Israel's brutal 2008-09 assault on the Gaza Strip, then-foreign minister Tzipi Livni claimed that "Palestinians teach their children to hate us and we teach love thy neighbor" (232).

The first part of this myth is propagated by people like US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and more recently Newt Gingrich, who both spread the baseless claim that Palestinian schoolbooks teach anti-Semitism. This calumny originated with anti-Palestinian propagandandists such as Israeli settler Itamar Marcus and his "Palestinian Media Watch."

In an important new book, Palestine in Israeli School Books, Israeli language and education professor Nurit Peled-Elhanan buries the second part of Livni's myth once and for all.

Peled-Elhanan examines 17 Israeli school textbooks on history, geography and civic studies. Her conclusions are an indictment of the Israeli system of indoctrination and its cultivation of anti-Arab racism from an early age: "The books studied here harness the past to the benefit of the ... Israeli policy of expansion, whether they were published during leftist or right-wing [education] ministries" (224).
Arrow Down

United Airlines Cares Only About Its Image - Loses Ten-Year-Old Girl and Refuses to Help Until Media Gets Involved

United Airlines has put two parents through the wringer after their 10-year-old child went missing in a Chicago airport on her way to camp. The girl was supposed to be under the supervision of an unaccompanied minor service, but no one helped her board her next flight.

According to a story published on gawker.com and an account given on Work Matters, Annie and Perry Klebahn sent off their daughter, Phoebe, to camp in Grand Rapids. The trip involved a flight from San Francisco to Chicago.

The Klebahn's only found out about her missing status when the camp called to inform them of her absence.

More stress ensued after the parents called United Airlines wanting to know where she was, and the airline was repeatedly uncooperative. No one was able to find out information and no one seemed concerned.
Gear

Sick Propaganda! Circumcision, Declining in U.S.May Get Boost from Pediatric Association

© outfrontonline.com
When Tamar Jacobs became pregnant, she found herself hoping for a girl, mainly because she was dreading a difficult rite of passage that often comes with the birth of a boy - circumcision.

Growing up Jewish in Baltimore, "I never really questioned it," she said, but the more she read and thought about it, the more "unnecessary and even cruel" circumcision seemed. By the time the grainy 20-week sonogram showed the outward sign of an XY chromosome, she knew she could not go through with it.

"It seemed like such a severe, out-of-this-time thing to do," she said.

The 32-year-old fiction writer and community college professor is part of a new wave of parents who are questioning not just an ancient Jewish tradition but a long-entrenched American one.

More than 1.2 million infant boys undergo the surgery each year, making the United States one of the industrialized world's leading producers of circumcised men. But the once ubiquitous practice, in which the foreskin is removed from the penis, is waning.

From a high of about 80 percent in the 1960s, the portion of baby boys leaving hospitals with petroleum-jelly-covered wounds in their diapers dropped to 56 percent in 2008, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (The figures do not include those circumcised in outside clinics or by religious providers.)

Comment: Circumcision is horrific ritualized child abuse:
Circumcision - Conditioning the Adult by Torturing the Child
Circumcision Fight: Profit, Pleasure, or Population Control?
Infant Died After Contracting Herpes Through Circumcision
Severe Complications Of Circumcision: An Analysis Of 48 Cases

Pistol

South Africa Mine Shooting: Police Fire At Striking Mine Workers

police mine shooting south africa
© AP Photo
Bodies of striking miners lay on the ground after police opened fire on a crowd at the Lonmin Platinum Mine near Rustenburg, South Africa, Thursday, Aug. 16, 2012.
Johannesburg - South African police opened fire Thursday on a crowd of striking miners that charged a line of officers trying to disperse them, killing some and wounding others in one of the worst shootings by authorities since the end of the apartheid era.

Police declined to offer casualty figures after the shooting at the Lonmin PLC mine near Marikana, a dusty town about 70 kilometers (40 miles) northwest of Johannesburg. However, police ministry spokesman Zweli Mnisi acknowledged late Thursday some of the miners there had been killed as more police and soldiers surrounded the hostels and shacks near Lonmin's shuttered platinum mine.

The shooting happened Thursday afternoon after police failed to get the striking miners to hand over machetes, clubs and other weapons.
Dollar

Businesses in UK City queue up to join local currency scheme

bristol
© Getty
Businesses can pay local taxes in Bristol pounds and the council has offered its 17,000 staff the option of receiving part of their pay in the currency
As Britain loses faith in its banks and feels shockwaves from the euro crisis, one city is trying to keep local wealth in local pockets with the launch of its own currency.

The Bristol pound - usable only with member businesses in the city in southwest England - is to launch in September, and organisers are deluged with local firms wanting to sign up.

"The perception of banking and money is that it's a very ruthless system: people are out for what they can get," co-founder Ciaran Mundy told AFP.

"This is about saying yes to something new. It's tapping into a different set of values about money."

The scheme has "captured people's imaginations", he added, in a recession-hit year when British banks have been beset by scandals and ministers talked openly of a possible euro collapse.

Hundreds of businesses have joined, from the acclaimed Arnolfini arts centre to the Chandos deli chain, and the launch had to be postponed from May to September 19 because of the level of interest.
Bizarro Earth

Tensions flare in France over full-face veil ban

© Frank Perry/Getty Images
French police block Lies Hebbadj, who is wearing full-face veil, from entering the court of justice in Nantes
Though it was almost midnight, streets were full of Muslim families taking a stroll after breaking the Ramadan fast with a late dinner. As two police officers drove by a storefront recycled as the Grand Sunna Mosque, they noticed a woman wearing flowing black robes and a full-face veil.

The police officers alighted from their patrol car and challenged the woman about her veil, which has been illegal in France since April 2011. After an angry exchange, police said later, the woman shouted that she would not abide by the anti-veil law, and a youth told police that they had no business patrolling the neighborhood and accosting its predominantly Muslim residents.

The confrontation quickly escalated into a shoving match, with several dozen young bystanders joining in and carloads of police reinforcements speeding up to lend a hand. Before long, it erupted into what was described in the National Assembly in Paris as a riot, during which a female police officer was bitten on the arm and two of her male colleagues were bashed and bruised.
Bad Guys

Parents Duct Tape "Demon Possessed" Children


Lawrence, KS - Two parents who admittedly duct taped their children inside an SUV in a Walmart parking lot said they did so because they were "demon possessed."

During Tuesday's court hearing, the judge dropped five felony counts of aggravated child endangerment against both parents. The couple still faces three felony counts.

A police officer testified in court that the couple's 12-year-old daughter said her two youngest siblings, ages seven and five, were occasionally tied up with their faces and eyes covered with duct tape to keep the demons out.

Adolfo Gomez, 52, and Deborah M. Gomez, 43, were arrested June 13 in a Walmart parking lot in Lawrence, Kan., after a customer saw two children bound with tape. They have been charged with two counts of child abuse and five counts of child endangerment.
Display

'Online firestorm' erupts after Progressive Insurance defends woman's killer

The insurance company Progressive is facing what "CBS This Morning" called on Thursday an "online firestorm," after a man's blog post describing how Progressive defended his sister's killer sent throngs of angry customers to the company's social media sites.

Appearing on "CBS This Morning" on Thursday, Fisher explained that the other driver was under-insured, but that his insurance company, Nationwide, paid up immediately. However, since his sister Katie had a $100,000 policy with Progressive, he says they decided to defend her killer and try to blame the wreck on her.

"The guy who, for better or worse, killed my sister had more than one attorney," Fisher told CBS. "He had two attorneys and one of them identified himself at the beginning of the case as an employee of Progressive."

Light Saber

U.S. Loses Fight to Keep Tight Hold on Megaupload Evidence

kim dotcom
© David Rowland/dpa
Kim Dotcom
New Zealand's High Court has upheld a ruling ordering the U.S. to turn over material to Megaupload's legal team.

The U.S. government lost a bid on Thursday to withhold some evidence in advance of the extradition hearing for four Megaupload defendants charged with criminal copyright infringement.

The U.S. had asked for a judicial review following a New Zealand District Court ruling on May 29 ordering it to turn over some evidence to allow the four -- Kim Dotcom, Finn Batato, Mathias Ortmann and Bram Van Der Kolk -- to prepare for the hearing.

In a ruling released Thursday, Justice Helen Winkelmann upheld the earlier court's decision, writing that "the person sought is entitled to adduce evidence" related to the extradition hearing.

"Without disclosure, the person sought will be significantly constrained in his or her ability to participate in the hearing, and the requesting state will have a significant advantage in terms of access to information," Winkelmann wrote.

Although Megaupload was not granted all of the evidence it wanted, it is a significant amount of material. The District Court ruled that the U.S. should turn over all documents that support the allegation that Megaupload "willfully" infringed copyrighted material.

The court also ordered the release of all documents related to charges of money laundering, racketeering and wire fraud.
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