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Crossing Police Lines: US cops defect to OWS

Police in Los Angeles have cleared one of the last and longest-standing 'Occupy' camps in the U.S, making 300 arrests in the process. These latest arrests bring the total across the whole 'Occupy' movement to almost 5,000, but now police are starting to defect to the other side. Our correspondent Marina Portnaya has been finding out why some people have been choosing to make history instead of making arrests.


Mr. Potato

US: Governor Walker intends to charge citizens fee to protest

Image

Free speech is getting expensive in Wisconsin.

Following demonstrations earlier this year which drew up to 100,000 people to the Wisconsin Capitol, Republican Gov. Scott Walker has proposed new policies that would require future protesters to pay in advance to stage an event, at a cost of $50 per hour, per Capitol Police officer.

Police may also require a liability insurance or a bond, according to The Milwaukee Journal Sentinal.

Demonstrators will also be on the hook for any damage and cleanup following protests. Walker's administration had claimed that the pro-union protests earlier this year had costs as much as $7.5 million, but later admitted that the actual costs were far less.

Under the new policy, permits will be required for groups of four or more people who want to do any activity inside the Capitol. Groups of 100 or more gathering outside the Capitol must also apply for a permit 72 hours in advance. Police will have some leeway if unforeseen events lead to spontaneous gatherings.

American Civil Liberties Union of Wisconsin executive director Chris Ahmuty agreed with the state's allowance for spontaneous protests, but worried that some groups might have their right to freedom of assembly curbed because they could not afford to pay.

"It leaves too much discretion to the Capitol Police," Ahmuty told the Journal Sentinel.

For their part, many activists are vowing not to be cowed by the new rules.

"This will only embolden people and get them to protest louder," Nicole Desautels, who participates in a daily pro-labor, sing-along protest, explained to The Chicago Tribune.

Laptop

Canada: A Facebook comment, a dead girl, and an anti-bullying bill

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© The Canadian Press
Marjorie Raymond is shown in a undated photo taken from a facebook tribute page. Raymond took her own life on Nov. 28 in the tiny town of Ste-Anne-des-Monts, Que., telling her mother in a suicide note that she couldn't endure the physical and psychological abuse any longer.
A flip comment made on Facebook several weeks ago cut chillingly to the heart of a debate on bullying raging Wednesday in Canada.

"Suspended 5 days! ahahaha! Not bad," the teenaged alleged aggressor of Quebec schoolgirl Marjorie Raymond wrote on Facebook on Nov. 1, apparently unperturbed by the penalty handed down by her school.

Within a month, Raymond had killed herself.

Cases like this one were the inspiration behind legislation tabled Wednesday in next-door Ontario. Following other high-profile teen suicides in that province, the McGuinty government introduced a bill that would allow schools to permanently expel students for bullying.

The Facebook post was one of several referring to the teen's run-ins with Raymond, who became severely depressed over the torment she faced at school.

When Raymond committed suicide, someone posted on the other girl's page: "You must be proud of yourself with a death on your conscience. . . .Pathetic."

Airplane

US, Florida: Teen Stopped at Airport for Design on Purse

17-year-old missed flight to Jacksonville after agents inspected gun replica


A teenage girl's sense of style got her in trouble at the airport.

Vanessa Gibbs, 17, claims the Transportation Security Administration stopped her at the security gate because of the design of a gun on her handbag.

Gibbs said she had no problem going through security at Jacksonville International Airport, but rather, when she headed home from Virginia.

"It's my style, it's camouflage, it has an old western gun on it," Gibbs said.

But her preference for the pistol style didn't sit well with TSA agents at the Norfolk airport.

Gibbs said she was headed back home to Jacksonville from a holiday trip when an agent flagged her purse as a security risk.

Die

Iraq Veterans Against The War Releases New Statement: The 1 Percent Is Profiting From Our Sacrifices

veterans protesting
Unemployed for two years and still recovering from a war injury, Dottie Guy has just about blown through her life savings. While the Iraq veteran qualifies for disability payments, she has no idea when the agency will set a date for her hearing.

"I have no income right now and it's scary," Guy, 29, told the Huffington Post.

The former military policewoman is just one of about 2,000 disgruntled veterans who say they've risked their lives and well-being only to come home to a country that profits from their sacrifices. Iraq Veterans Against The War issued a statement Monday saying that they feel betrayed by the nation's leaders and will continue to join the Occupy Wall Street protests to broadcast their grievances.

"The VA services are abysmal," Guy said. "But yet the corporations who are making all this money from these wars are living high off the hog."

Dollar

Our whole system's in crisis: Mervyn King warns mortgage rates are likely to soar and tells banks to slash bonuses

Mervyn King
© PA
Crisis: Sir Mervyn King, pictured speaking yesterday, warned resolving the eurozone crisis was 'beyond the control' of any UK authority
  • Sir Mervyn King warns eurozone crisis 'beyond the control' of any UK authority
  • Bank of England preparing for the worst case scenario
  • Downing Street says Britain is in the grip of a second credit crunch
  • But Governor says Britain's banks are among the strongest in the world

  • Mortgage rates are set to soar as the Governor of the Bank of England warned the 'extraordinarily serious and threatening' crisis in the eurozone is damaging Britain.

    The Bank's financial policy committee said banks were facing higher borrowing rates and may try to pass this on within months - resulting in a 'significant increase' in lending rates.

    The sobering report came as governor Sir Mervyn King issued a dire warning about the threat posed to Britain by the euro crisis - because our banks have more than £500billion tied up in European institutions.

    Sir Mervyn said the situation was spiralling out of control and deteriorating conditions in the markets were 'characteristic of a systemic crisis'.

    'Faced with a crisis of the euro area system, we are seeing at first hand the costs of financial instability,' he said.

    Mr. Potato

    US: Gingrich- Children of poor families are lazy, should be put to work

    Newt Gingrich

    Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA), now seemingly the Republican party's new frontrunner for their presidential nomination, took rhetorical aim on Thursday at an all new threat to America's economy, one that's been with us all along: lazy children of poor families.

    Speaking to a crowd in Iowa yesterday, Gingrich for the second time in recent weeks called for child labor laws to be repealed.

    "Really poor children, in really poor neighborhoods have no habits of working and have nobody around them who works so they have no habit of showing up on Monday," he insisted. "They have no habit of staying all day, they have no habit of I do this and you give me cash, unless it is illegal."

    Arrow Up

    Raise Taxes on Rich to Reward True Job Creators

    tax the rich
    © Unknown
    It is a tenet of American economic beliefs, and an article of faith for Republicans that is seldom contested by Democrats: If taxes are raised on the rich, job creation will stop.

    Trouble is, sometimes the things that we know to be true are dead wrong. For the larger part of human history, for example, people were sure that the sun circles the Earth and that we are at the center of the universe. It doesn't, and we aren't. The conventional wisdom that the rich and businesses are our nation's "job creators" is every bit as false.

    I'm a very rich person. As an entrepreneur and venture capitalist, I've started or helped get off the ground dozens of companies in industries including manufacturing, retail, medical services, the Internet and software. I founded the Internet media company aQuantive Inc., which was acquired by Microsoft Corp. in 2007 for $6.4 billion. I was also the first non-family investor in Amazon.com Inc.

    Even so, I've never been a "job creator." I can start a business based on a great idea, and initially hire dozens or hundreds of people. But if no one can afford to buy what I have to sell, my business will soon fail and all those jobs will evaporate.

    That's why I can say with confidence that rich people don't create jobs, nor do businesses, large or small. What does lead to more employment is the feedback loop between customers and businesses. And only consumers can set in motion a virtuous cycle that allows companies to survive and thrive and business owners to hire. An ordinary middle-class consumer is far more of a job creator than I ever have been or ever will be.

    People

    General Strike Rocks Nation: Workers Across Britain Confront Conservative Austerity Demands

    Public workers prepare to march
    © Linn Washington Jr.
    Public workers prepare to march through Central London in Wednesday's UK General Strike.
    Standing on a picket line in front of her work place at a world renowned heart-lung hospital in London wasn't Jeanette Anderson's first choice for how to spend her day.

    However, Anderson said protesting was her "only choice."

    Protesting as part of a nationwide general strike in the UK, Anderson said, was necessary to combat austerity measures from Britain's conservative led government that now targets the pensions of public sector workers like Anderson and her picket line colleagues at the Royal Brompton Hospital in this city's up-scale Chelsea section.

    "We do not get the fat-cat pensions like the rich," Anderson said, noting that participating in the one-day strike action wasn't something she took lightly.

    "Public sector workers are already into a two-year pay freeze and now the government plans to extend that pay freeze for another two years."

    Arrow Down

    War On Drugs Is A Hoax - US military Admits to Guarding, Assisting Lucrative Opium Trade in Afghanistan

    Image
    © africaresource.com
    Afghanistan is, by far, the largest grower and exporter of opium in the world today, cultivating a 92 percent market share of the global opium trade. But what may shock many is the fact that the US military has been specifically tasked with guarding Afghan poppy fields, from which opium is derived, in order to protect this multibillion dollar industry that enriches Wall Street, the CIA, MI6, and various other groups that profit big time from this illicit drug trade scheme.

    Prior to the tragic events of September 11, 2001, Afghanistan was hardly even a world player in growing poppy, which is used to produce both illegal heroin and pharmaceutical-grade morphine. In fact, the Taliban had been actively destroying poppy fields as part of an effort to rid the country of this harmful plant, as was reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on February 16, 2001, in a piece entitled Nation's opium production virtually wiped out.

    But after 9/11, the US military-industrial complex quickly invaded Afghanistan and began facilitating the reinstatement of the country's poppy industry. According to the United Nations Drug Control Program (UNDCP), opium cultivation increased by 657 percent in 2002 after the US military invaded the country under the direction of then-President George W. Bush.