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Exorcism Boom in Poland Sees Magazine Launch

Father Andrzej Grefkowski
© PAP/Tomasz Gzell
Exorcist Father Andrzej Grefkowski.
Warsaw: With exorcism booming in Poland, Roman Catholic priests here have joined forces with a publisher to launch what they claim is the world's first monthly magazine focused exclusively on chasing out the devil.

"The rise in the number or exorcists from four to more than 120 over the course of 15 years in Poland is telling," Father Aleksander Posacki, a professor of philosophy, theology and leading demonologist and exorcist told reporters in Warsaw at the Monday launch of the Egzorcysta monthly.

Ironically, he attributed the rise in demonic possessions in what remains one of Europe's most devoutly Catholic nations partly to the switch from atheist communism to free market capitalism in 1989.

"It's indirectly due to changes in the system: capitalism creates more opportunities to do business in the area of occultism. Fortune telling has even been categorised as employment for taxation," Posacki told AFP.

"If people can make money out of it, naturally it grows and its spiritual harm grows too," he said, hastening to add authentic exorcism is absolutely free of charge.

Posacki, who also serves on an international panel of expert Roman Catholic exorcists, highlighted what he termed the "helplessness of various schools of psychology and psychiatry" when confronted with extreme behaviours that conventional therapies fail to cure.


US Teachers' Strike To Enter Day 3; Union Boss Calls Progress 'Glacial'

© Scott Olson/Getty Images
Chicago public school teachers and their supporters picket in front of the Chicago Public Schools (CPS) headquarters on the second day of a teachers’ strike on September 11, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois.
UPDATED 09/11/12 - 10:20 p.m.

CTU President Karen Lewis Doubtful A Deal To End Strike Will Be Done On Wednesday

The Chicago teachers' strike will head into its third day on Wednesday, after the latest round of talks ended Tuesday night without a deal to bring teachers back to work, and the head of the Chicago Teachers Union describing their progress as "glacial."

Talks between Chicago Public Schools officials and the union ended around 8 p.m. Tuesday, after negotiators spent all day trying to hammer out an agreement on a new teacher evaluation system.

After negotiations ended Tuesday night, Chicago Teachers Union Karen Lewis said progress toward a deal was "glacial."

CBS 2′s Dana Kozlov reports it was clear even before talks officially ended for the day that no deal was likely on Tuesday, and perhaps not even on Wednesday.

"We have been working hard on evaluations all day. There has not been as much movement as we would hope," Lewis said shortly before 6 p.m. Tuesday. "There's been - let's put it this way, centimeters, and we're still kilometers apart."


Pakistan factory fires kill 105 workers

A fire raced through a garment factory in the Pakistani city of Karachi overnight killing up to 80 people, while another fire in a shoe factory in Lahore killed at least 25 people, police and government officials said on Wednesday.

"People started screaming for their lives," said Mohammad Asif, 20, a worker at the Karachi factory. "Everyone came to the window. I jumped from the third floor."

The fires could raise fresh questions about Pakistan's industrial safety. Critics say the government is too corrupt and ineffective to tackle an array of problems, from struggling industries to suicide bombings in the South Asian nation.

Senior Superintendent of Police Amir Farooqi told Reuters that police were raiding parts of Karachi to search for the factory owners.

Farooqi said 35 people were injured in the garment factory fire and bodies were still being recovered from the facility which employed about 450 people.

The latest death toll was up to 80, according to Provincial Information Minister Sharjeel Inam Memon.

The cause of the garment factory fire was not clear.

"Within two minutes there was fire in the entire factory," said factory worker Liaqat Hussain, 29, from his hospital bed where he was being treated for full-body burns.

"The gate was closed. There was no access to get out we were trapped inside."

Comment: Update: As of 11:00 am EST, the death toll is 314.


Mob sets fire to US consulate in Libya, staffer dies

An armed mob protesting over a film they said offended Islam, attacked the US consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi.
© Mohamed Abd El Ghany / Reuters
Protesters outside the U.S. Embassy in Cairo demonstrate their outrage over a movie produced in the U.S. they say insults the Prophet Muhammad.
An American staff member of the U.S. consulate in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi has died following fierce clashes at the compound, Libyan security sources said on Wednesday.

"One American staff member has died and a number have been injured in the clashes," Abdel-Monem Al-Hurr, spokesman for Libya's Supreme Security Committee, said, adding that he did not know the exact number of injured and could not say what the cause of death was.

An armed mob protesting over a film they said offended Islam, attacked the US consulate in the Libyan city of Benghazi on Tuesday and set fire to the building, witnesses reported.

The attack happened on the same day as a similar group of hardliners waving black banners attacked the US embassy in Cairo and tore down the US flag, but it was not immediately clear if the two incidents were coordinated.


Cairo protesters scale U.S. Embassy wall, remove flag

© The Associated Press/Mohammed Abu Zaid
Demonstrators destroy an American flag pulled down from the U.S. Embassy in Cairo today in protest of a film deemed offensive to Islam.
Egyptian demonstrators climbed the walls of the U.S. Embassy in Cairo today and pulled down the American flag to protest a film they say is insulting to the prophet Mohammad.

Update at 2:07 p.m. ET: CNN reports that U.S. security guards fired a volley of warning shots as the crowd gathered outside the embassy walls.

CNN adds that the embassy had been expecting a demonstration and cleared all diplomatic personnel earlier from the facility.

Original post: The Associated Press reports that embassy officials say there was no staff inside at the time.

Reuters reports that protesters tried to raise a black flag carrying the slogan: "There is no god but Allah and Mohammad is his messenger."

The news agency says about 2,000 protesters have gathered outside the embassy and about 20 have scaled the walls.

The AP says the protesters were largely ultra-conservative Islamists.

Iran's FARS news agency says the film is the work of a group of "extremist" members of the Egyptian Coptic Church in the United States.

Arrow Up

Spain Refuses Bailout Terms

© Diego Crespo/EPA
Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy answers journalists questions during a rare TV interview.
Mariano Rajoy puts Spain on collision course with ECB after ruling out any bailout terms despite bank president's insistence

Mariano Rajoy, the Spanish prime minister, has said he is more determined than ever to avoid having to ask for a bailout - despite the insistence last week by ECB president, Mario Draghi, that it would be a condition of the central bank helping to keep down a country's borrowing costs.

"If there is one overriding priority for creating employment it's reducing the public deficit. That is far more important than what people like to call a bailout," Rajoy said in a televised interview on Monday night.

Draghi announced last week that the bank would buy unlimited quantities of sovereign debt to ensure eurozone governments retained access to funding, but he made it clear that there would be strings attached. However, Rajoy said he was not prepared to accept such conditions. "I couldn't accept anyone else telling us what our policies should be or where we have to make cuts," he said.


Alps Shootings: How French Press Buried the Story

© Laurent Cipriani/AP
Flowers on the crime scene four people were killed in the French Alps. The French press treated the story as small in comparison to front-page headlines on British pages.
Murder of British family and French cyclist seen by Gallic press as small story despite hitting front pages in UK newspapers

For the French press, the murder of a British family and a French cyclist on the edge of an Alpine forest was what is known as a "fait divers", a term mostly used to describe a trivial miscellaneous news item.

Reports of the multiple killing emerged well in time for newspaper deadlines on both sides of the Channel. However, it made front-page headlines on Thursday only in Britain.

Libération, the leading leftwing daily newspaper, carried a short report on page 14 under the headline: "Unexplained carnage in Haute-Savoie", while its rival, the right-of-centre Le Figaro relegated the story to page 8. Even on Friday, when one of the victims had been identified as a local Frenchman, father-of-three Sylvain Mollier, who happened to be cycling past when he was gunned down, only the local papers and the national tabloid Aujourd'hui put the story on the front page.

Heart - Black

Pat Robertson Tells Man To Move To Saudi Arabia So He Can Beat His Wife (Legally, of Course)

This morning on the 700 Club's regular segment "Bring It On," in which horrible people ask other horrible people how to continue being horrible people, a man asked Pat Robertson how to work things out with his wife who "has no respect for [him] as head of the house." Pat Robertson responded, unblinking:
Well you could become a muslim and you could beat her.
Whole seconds pass before Pat chuckles as if he were kidding (which, as it becomes clear, he is not) and continues to deep-throat his own foot:
Somebody's gotta stand up to her, and he can't let her get away with this stuff... I don't think we condone wife-beating these days, but something's gotta be done to make her -


Toronto slayings, shootings linked to battle for gang leadership

© Tony Smyth/CBC News
One of the victims of the shooting on Danzig Street in Toronto's east end is rushed to hospital.
A spate of killings and shootings in Toronto's east end are tied to a leadership vacuum inside one of the city's most notorious gangs, police say. And the worst mass shooting ever in Toronto's history is linked to that same gang.

On Tuesday morning, at a news conference in a parking lot where one of the killings happened, police said they have evidence that links three homicides and a series of shootings to the gang known as the Galloway Boys.

"We have some information that the shooters in these incidents are vying for the leadership within the Galloway Boys group," said Det.-Sgt. Brett Nicol, who is leading the investigation into one of the slayings.

"These guys are involved in all sorts of criminality from drug dealing, weapons trafficking and prostitution," he said.

Police also revealed that the shooting death of D'Mitre Barnaby was a tragic case of mistaken identity.

Barnaby was found shot to death outside an apartment building on Dec. 30, 2011, just a few blocks from where the street party took place.

No charges have been laid in that slaying.

Light Saber

Idaho Abortion Ruling States Pregnant Women Can't Be Prosecuted For Having Abortions

Jennie Linn McCormack
© Kim Murphy/Los Angeles Times/MCT
Jennie Linn McCormack's civil suit challenges an Idaho law that makes it illegal to obtain abortion pills from out-of-state doctors over the Internet. She is shown in Pocatello, Idaho.
An Idaho law that bans the use of medication to induce abortion cannot be used to prosecute a woman who took the pills to abort her pregnancy, a U.S. appeals court decided on Tuesday.

Bannock County prosecutors brought a case against Jennie Linn McCormack in 2011 after she used medication that she obtained online to induce her own abortion. McCormack, a single mother of three, claims that she could not find a licensed abortion provider in Southeastern Idaho, so she had to violate a state law that requires abortions to be performed at a hospital or medical clinic.

An Idaho federal judge dismissed the charges against McCormack in September 2011 on the grounds that the law cannot be enforced. McCormack then challenged the law itself, arguing that it imposes an undue burden on women's access to abortion in Idaho.