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Sun, 19 Jan 2020
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Monkey Wrench

U.S. Tourism's 'Lost Decade' Cost Some 500,000 Jobs

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The travel industry today became the latest to slam federal rules and bureaucracy, charging that tough visa rules for potential tourists have robbed the nation of $600 billion and hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Two grim facts: More Chinese now visit France than the United States, in part because it's hard to get a U.S. visitors visa. And while the U.S. used to be the destination for 17 percent of the world's tourists in 2000, that's dropped to 12.4 percent and shows no sign of changing.

USA

US: Top One-Word Reaction to Republican Presidential Candidate Herman Cain Is a Number: 9-9-9

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More Negative than Positive Words for Perry - Even Among Republicans

When Americans are asked to describe Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain in a single word, they most frequently offer a series of numbers: "9-9-9." Cain's tax proposal is mentioned more often than his background as a businessman.

For Mitt Romney, the most frequently used single word is his religion - "Mormon." And the most frequently offered word for Rick Perry is his home state - "Texas."

The latest survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and The Washington Post, conducted Oct. 13-16 among 1,007 adults, finds that many Americans are unable to come up with words to describe the three GOP candidates. Nearly half (46%) did not offer a one-word description of Cain, 44% did not offer a word to describe Perry and 37% did not have a one-word description of Romney.

Heart - Black

Tear gas used on protesters after second Turkey earthquake

Riot police fired tear gas and used batons to disperse protesters angry at the state's relief efforts after the second earthquake in eastern Turkey in three weeks killed at least 10 people in the city of Van.

Rescue teams searched for survivors after the 5.7 magnitude tremor on Wednesday night heaped misery on the predominantly Kurdish region where more than 600 people died following a major quake on October 23.

"How can you fire pepper spray on people who have already suffered so much?" said Abdulrahim Kaplan, 32. He had gone to the crisis center for a tent when police began firing tear gas, he said.

"Our people are freezing. We are sleeping outside -- all seven of my family," he said, complaining bitterly over the alleged unfair distribution of tents. "Some people take five tents, some 10 and others get nothing. This is wrong."

Thousands of families are living in makeshift camps with temperatures falling to freezing with the onset of winter. The latest tremor cut power to the area.

Heart - Black

Investigating Britain's 'sex gangs'

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© Unknown
Tazeen Ahmad talks to Shakeel Aziz, right, a youth worker in the north of England who uses religion to deter men from getting involved with gangs that groom young girls for sex.
London - Abby sat in the back of the car twisting her fingers nervously. She pushed her bangs out of her eyes but her hands quickly returned to her lap, clasped tightly together. Her chipped pink nail polish served as a reminder that these are the hands of a schoolgirl - a schoolgirl living a nightmare.

For the last two years, Abby had been repeatedly raped by men far older than she is. She was 13 years old the first time it happened.

"It went on from 7 o'clock, when it started getting dark, to roughly 3 or 4 o'clock in the morning," she said.

Abby smiled, but the smile never reached her pretty hazel eyes. On this drizzly Friday afternoon, she showed us the places in the northern English city of Leeds her rapists had taken her: fast-food restaurants, hotels, alleyways.

We pulled up outside a children's playground. Abby was brought here by someone she thought was her friend and then was raped by 20 different men. It was the same park she played in with her sisters. She said being here again made her feel sick.

Abby isn't alone. The British government estimates that as many as 10,000 children in the U.K. may be victims of sexual exploitation by gangs, and fears the number could be much higher.

Family

Palestinian Freedom Riders to Challenge Segregation By Riding Settler Buses to Jerusalem: 11.15.11

Palestinian activists will reenact the US Civil Rights Movement's Freedom Rides to the American South by boarding segregated Israeli public transportation in the West Bank to travel to occupied East Jerusalem.

Palestinian activists will attempt to board segregated Israeli public transportation headed from inside the West Bank to occupied East Jerusalem in an act of civil disobedience inspired by the Freedom Riders of the U.S. Civil Rights Movement in the 60′s.


Fifty years after the U.S. Freedom Riders staged mixed-race bus rides through the roads of the segregated American South, Palestinian Freedom Riders will be asserting their right for liberty and dignity by disrupting the military regime of the Occupation through peaceful civil disobedience.

The Freedom Riders seek to highlight Israel's attempts to illegally sever occupied East Jerusalem from the rest of the West Bank, and the apartheid system that Israel has imposed on Palestinians in the occupied territories.

Several Israeli companies, among them Egged and Veolia, operate dozens of lines that run through the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem, many of them subsidized by the state. They run between different Israeli settlements, connecting them to each other and cities inside Israel. Some lines connecting Jerusalem to other cities inside Israel, such as Eilat and Beit She'an, are also routed to pass through the West Bank.

Attention

US: Battle Still Rages for Vets in College

War Vets
© ChameleonsEye | Shutterstock
They may not be on the battlefield anymore, but young war veterans in college struggle with PTSD, which may lead to risky behaviors.

Americans on Veteran's Day often remember the old-timers who served in past wars. But two new studies reveal how some of the youngest veterans, enrolled in college, are having trouble putting their military service behind them despite having no visible scars.

Recent veterans from the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq who now attend college are far more likely to engage in risky behaviors, such as fighting, weapon carrying, and binge drinking compared with their non-veteran counterparts enrolled at a university.

And some of this risky behavior appears to be the result of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to researchers at the University of Minnesota and Minneapolis VA Medical Center.

The two studies, both published in the American Journal of Health Promotion, highlight the fact that efforts to send vets to college should be coupled with programs that cater to their special behavioral health needs.

More than 270,000 veterans from Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom enrolled in college in 2009 on the G.I. Bill, according to U.S. Army data, and likely more will attend college in the coming years as the troops come home, according to the study researchers.

Syringe

US, Oklahoma: Parents avoid chicken pox vaccine with mail ordered candy

Chickenpox Vaccine
© KXII-TV
It is a new trend that health officials are calling dangerous, parents ordering candy online that is infected with a contagious disease and giving it to their children.

Vaccines have always been a controversial issue for some parents but others believe in them.

Mother of two Erin Bantis said, "Yes, I have gotten vaccines. All of them that are required at this point for my kids."

Originally parents who did not want their child to receive the chicken pox vaccine, Varicella, let their child contract it naturally.

Now, thanks to a growing trend, hard candy, like lollipops, are being infected with the chicken pox virus and sold online, and some parents are buying them to infect their children.

Ardmore Public School nurse Renita Dotson said, "I just cant believe it. I can't believe that when you look at things that are out there and the things on the internet I guess I'm not really surprised."

Comment: Considering all the contaminants and adjuvants and other toxic substances used in vaccines, could a chicken pox infected lollipop really be that bad? While we certainly cannot condone letting kids eat potentially infected candy from strangers, the dangers of vaccines should also be weighed by the authorities as well - which doesn't seem to be the case here. The CDC calling the chicken pox vaccine "effective and safe" means absolutely nothing beyond propaganda value.


Info

US, Virginia: Authorities say Marine was beaten to death by fellow Marine


A Marine found dead in his barracks room at Camp Pendleton early Sunday was beaten to death, a spokesman for the investigating agency said Tuesday.

Ed Buice of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service said Lance Cpl. Mario Arias Jr. died from injuries he suffered at the hands of another Marine sometime late Saturday night or shortly after midnight. That Marine then jumped from a third-floor balcony of the barracks and suffered what Buice described as "significant" injuries.

Authorities are refusing to release that Marine's name and rank until charges are filed, Buice said.

"The pace of the investigation depends on his recovery," Buice said during a telephone interview from the agency's headquarters at Quantico, Va.

Arias' death is considered a homicide and the Marine who leaped from the balcony is the sole suspect.

Bomb

US, Colorado: Man Threatens To Blow Up Store When Video Game Not In Stock


Employees at a Best Buy in Aurora said a man threatened to blow up the store after he learned a video game he had pre-ordered was not in stock.

The man walked into the Best Buy just after midnight in the 3500 block of N. Salida Court near Interstate 70 and Tower Road.

"The last store I called was the Best Buy by my house and they said okay, we have three copies, two are on reserve and one is here available," said Lomon Sar. "She charged the card, it was $108... She put my name on the box."

Police said Sar, 31, went to pick up a hardened copy of the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 he said he pre-ordered and paid for earlier in the day. When he arrived, it wasn't there and he became irate and angry at the customer service desk.

"He says what's your name and starts typing in my name and he couldn't find anything. The manager deleted me off their system! Like, took me out of the system! Took all my information out of the system everything," said Sar.

Evil Rays

US: Emergency Alert System Fails

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© Paul Keleher/Flickr
At 2 pm today the National Emergency Alert System is supposed be tested for the first time in its history on a federal level. As of 2:03 the system has yet to be activated.

Every TV and radio station in the nation is supposed to broadcast the test alert - sent from inside the White House - for 30 seconds.

The system was created in 1963 to allow the President to address the nation in the time of nuclear attack or other national crisis.

UPDATE: Brian Stelter tweets: At the NYT media desk, we heard the test via a radio, but we haven't seen it via cable television.

UPDATE 2: It's 2:07 and we still haven't seen the test on any cable network. We're calling the FCC, which oversees the system, for comment.