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US: TSA: Children pose little risk, can keep shoes on during security check

TSA
© unknown
It turns out that children do not actually merit all the fuss the Transportation Security Administration has made over them since the shoe bomber tried to blow up an airliner almost 10 years ago.

So in a welcome step for little feet and parents, children 12 and younger are no longer required to remove their shoes every time they go through airport security.

Kids also are less likely to face pat-downs under newly revised rules. It is part of an effort to show Congress that the agency is getting serious about replacing a one-size-fits-all security program with a more risk-based approach that relies on gathering intelligence and terrorist watch lists to determine the level of scrutiny each passenger receives.

"Intelligence and history have shown that allowing (young) passengers to leave their shoes on poses little risk," the TSA said.

Children who at the discretion of TSA screeners appear to fall in the 12-and-younger category can keep their shoes on during security.

"We travel with 2 1/2-year-old twins, a stroller, two car seats and our carry-ons. So not having to take the boys' shoes off definitely made things a lot easier," said Tracey Fine, 33, of Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood, who recently flew from Midway Airport to Houston and back with her husband and their sons.

Che Guevara

UK: Protesters bring London to standstill

Hundreds of British activists have occupied Westminster Bridge in London in a last-ditch effort to stop ratification of the National Health Service (NHS) reform bill at the House of Lords.
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© unknown

Protesters closed the bridge on Sunday in a symbolic act that disconnected parliament from St Thomas' Hospital, on the other side of the Thames, creating severe disruption in central London, British media reported.

During the protest, crowds chanted "we are the 99%" -- a slogan associated with the Wall Street protests in New York, and activists unveiled a huge banner reading, "Save our NHS."

"By blocking Westminster Bridge we symbolically block the bill from getting from parliament to our hospitals," organisers said.

Bizarro Earth

Egypt: Cairo Comes Under Curfew After Clashes

Egyptian military authorities impose a curfew on parts of the country's capital after clashes between protesting Coptic Christians and military forces killed at least two dozen people.
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© unknown
Egyptian Coptic Christians clash with military forces and police during a protest in Cairo on October 9, 2011.

State TV announced that the night-time curfew, imposed on Monday on Cairo's Tahrir (Liberation) Square as well as the downtown area, would last from 02:00 to 07:00 am (local time), Reuters reported.

The angry demonstrators were rallying against the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF). Their major demand was that the military rulers rebuild a church in southern Egypt that was allegedly torched in October.

More than 200 people were also injured during the confrontation.

The casualties were caused after the forces started firing live rounds at the protesters outside the TV's building in the Maspero district.

At least three soldiers were among the fatalities from the clashes, which also saw a number of Army vehicles being set on fire.

Laptop

US, Texas: Man Assaults Wife for Not "Liking" His Facebook Update

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© unknown
A 36-year-old Texas man has pleaded not guilty to battery charges after allegedly attacking his estranged wife for failing to "Like" a status update he posted to Facebook.

Benito Apolinar had posted an update to his Facebook page about the anniversary of his mother's death. Angry that the post had elicited no response from his wife of 15 years, he confronted her after dropping off their children at her home in Carlsbad, New Mexico on Tuesday.

"That's amazing everyone 'Likes' my status but you, you're my wife. You should be the first one to 'Like' my status," he allegedly told her before punching her in the cheek and pulling her hair. He was reportedly under the influence of alcohol at the time.

Apolinar was arrested the same evening of the incident. He is scheduled to appear in court on December 22.

Source: MSN News

Family

US, Alabama: Immigrants Fearing Deportation Make Plans for Kids

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© The Associated Press/Jay Reeves
In this Oct. 6, 2011 photo taken from video, Jazmin Rivera, right, a case manager with the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama, works with an unidentified immigrant in her office in Birmingham, Ala. Parents living in the country illegally are scared of deportation under Alabama's new immigration law, and Rivera has helped many with paperwork to provide care for their children in case the parents are arrested.
Terrified by Alabama's strict new immigration crackdown, parents living in the state illegally say they are doing something that was unthinkable just days ago - asking friends, relatives, co-workers and acquaintances to take their children if they're arrested or deported.

Many illegal immigrants signed documents in the past week allowing others to care for their children if needed, assistance groups say, and a couple living illegally in nearby Shelby County extracted a promise from the man's boss to send their three young children - all U.S. citizens - to Mexico should they be jailed under the law.

A key sponsor of the measure, state Sen. Scott Beason, said such concerns weren't raised when legislators were considering the bill, and he wonders if the stories now are designed to "pull on heart strings" and build sympathy for illegal immigrants.

But for Maria Patino - who prays every time she leaves home - even a chance encounter with police could end with her two elementary-age children being left alone or taken to foster care if she and her husband are sent back to Mexico. Both are in the country illegally and have no friends or relatives close enough to take in the kids.

"Every time I leave I don't know if I will come back," Patino, 27, said through tears. "I can't stop working. My daughters need shoes and other things."

Heart - Black

Iran actress sentenced to 1 year in jail, 90 lashes for film role

Image
© Granaz Moussavi
Actress Marzieh Vafamehr has been sentenced to a year in jail and 90 lashes for her role in a film about the limits imposed on artists in the Islamic republic, an Iranian opposition website reported Sunday.

"A verdict has been issued for Marzieh Vafamehr, sentencing her to a year in jail and 90 lashes," Kalameh.com reported.

"Her lawyer has appealed the sentence, which was handed down yesterday (Saturday)," the report added, without giving further details.

Vafamehr was arrested in July after appearing in My Tehran for Sale, which came under harsh criticism in conservative circles.

Star of David

Israeli Navy fires at fishing boats in Gaza & Settlers attack Hebron... just another Saturday in Palestine

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© newspalestina.blogspot.com
A Fishing Boat After Being Attacked By The Navy
Israeli Navy Fires At Fishing Boats In Gaza

On Friday evening, the Israeli Navy opened fire on a number of Palestinian fishing boats in Palestinian territorial waters near Beit Lahia, in the northern part of the Gaza Strip; no injuries were reported.

Violent clashes break out in Ras al-Amud

An outbreak of violent clashes erupted Friday after Israeli occupation forces cordoned off East Jerusalem's Ras al-Amud district in conjunction with the Jewish Yom Kippur holidays.

Settlers attack a village near al-Khalil

Dozens of Jewish settlers at dawn Friday attacked the village of Khirbat Tuwwana, to the east of Yatta in the southern West Bank al-Khalil district.

Che Guevara

Pakistani Tribes Hold Anti-US Rally

More than one thousand people in Pakistan's northwestern Bajaur tribal agency have taken to the streets to condemn the so-called 'war on terror' led by the United States, Press TV reports.


The latest protests were organized by the Jamaat-e-Islami Pakistan - the country's largest religious-political party.

Angry protesters chanted anti-US slogans and condemned the alliance between Washington and Islamabad. They also held US responsible for the ongoing violence and unrest across Pakistan

"Due to Pakistan's involvement as a partner with the US on the War on Terror, the whole of Pakistan particularly the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province and the tribal belt is wearing a deserted look," Jamaat -e- Islami's Haroon ur Rasheed said.

After explaining that Pakistan's agriculture, economy, education, and infrastructure was now "completely ruined", Rasheed pointed to the 35,000 innocent civilians who have been killed since 2007.

Bizarro Earth

Egypt: 19 Dead in Worst Cairo Riots Since Mubarak Ouster

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© The Associated Press/Ahmed Ali
Clashes erupt at a protest of a recent attack on a church in Cairo Egypt, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2011. Fierce clashes erupted Sunday between Christians protesting a recent attack on a church and the Egyptian military, leaving more than a dozen people dead and scores injured, Health Ministry officials said.
Massive clashes raged Sunday in downtown Cairo, drawing Christians angry over a recent church attack, hard-line Muslims and Egyptian security forces. At least 19 people were killed and more than 150 injured in the worst sectarian violence since the uprising that ousted Hosni Mubarak in February.

The violence lasted late into the night, bringing out a deployment of more than 1,000 security forces and armored vehicles to defend the state television building along the Nile, where the trouble began.

The clashes spread to nearby Tahrir Square, drawing thousands of people to the vast plaza that served as the epicenter of the protests that ousted Mubarak. On Sunday night, they battled each other with rocks and firebombs, some tearing up pavement for ammunition and others collecting stones in boxes.

At one point, an armored security van sped into the crowd, striking a half-dozen protesters and throwing some into the air.

Christians blame Egypt's ruling military council for being too lenient on those behind a spate of anti-Christian attacks since the ouster of Mubarak. The Coptic Christian minority makes up about 10 percent of the country of more than 80 million people.

As Egypt undergoes a chaotic power transition and security vacuum in the wake of this year's uprising, Christians are particularly worried about the increasing show of force by the ultraconservative Islamists.

Target

US: Protesters Accused of Hurting New York City Economy



Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Friday accused the Wall Street demonstrators of trying to cripple New York City's economy.

"What they're trying to do is take the jobs away from people working in this city," the mayor declared in his harshest criticism of the three-week-old protest that has caught the attention of the nation.

"They're trying to take away the tax base we have because none of this is good for tourism."

Although he expressed sympathy for "some of their complaints," Bloomberg warned that addressing them has to be accomplished "without hurting people and making the problem worse."

"If the jobs they are trying to get rid of in this city -- the people that work in finance, which is a big part of our economy -- we're not going to have any money to pay our municipal employees or clean the blocks or anything else."