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Ambulance

2-week-old girl, mom rescued from Turkey quake rubble

Mother clutched infant to her chest when rescuers reached them
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© Cem Ozdel/Abaca
Rescue workers and heavy equipment work at the site of a collapsed building following the earthquake in Ercis, on Tuesday, Oct. 25.

Ercis, Turkey - Rescuers pulled a two-week-old baby girl alive from the wreckage of a collapsed apartment block Tuesday as they battled to find survivors from a earthquake in eastern Turkey that killed at least 432 people and left thousands homeless.

The baby's mother and a grandmother were also brought out alive on stretchers to jubilant cries from onlookers who followed the dramatic rescue under cold, pouring rain.

"It's a miracle!," said Senol Yigit, the uncle of the baby, Azra, whose name means "purity" or "untouched" in Arabic. "I'm so happy. What can I say. We have been waiting for two days. We had lost hope when we first saw the building," he said sobbing.

Television footage showed rescuers in orange jumpsuits clapping as the baby was removed from the wreckage. A rescuer cradled the naked infant, who was wrapped in a blanket and handed over to a medic.

The baby's mother, Semiha, had been pinned next to a sofa inside the flattened building before her rescue. She had been clutching the infant to her chest when rescuers reached them.

Sheriff

California, US: Police Clear Protesters Near Oakland's City Hall

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© Ben Margot/AP Photo
Protesters walk along a path beside tents erected in front of Oakland City Hall on Wednesday.
Police in riot gear cleared anti-Wall Street protesters on Tuesday morning from the plaza in front of Oakland's City Hall where they have been camped out for about two weeks.

Television news footage showed numerous people in plastic handcuffs being led away from the site by police around 5 a.m. The protesters did not appear to be resisting, although an officer did fire a non-lethal projectile from a shotgun at a protester who lobbed a bottle, authorities told the San Francisco Chronicle.

One of those arrested, Aiyahnna Johnson, 30, of Oakland, had been living at the camp with her 2-year-old daughter. "We want the best for you guys, that's all," she was quoted by the San Francisco Chronicle telling two officers who were leading her away.

The police action began around 4:40 a.m. when an officer on a loud speaker told the protesters they were illegally blocking the plaza and were subject to arrest, according to the Chronicle. The newspaper reported that several hundred people appeared ready to defend the camp about an hour before police moved in, placing Dumpsters, boards, pallets and even metal police-style barricades around the plaza.

Alarm Clock

Millions of aborted girls imbalance India

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© Davinder Kumar/Plan International
India has only 914 girls for every 1,000 boys, according to the latest census

Gender selective abortions have skewed birthrates, so millions of men will never find wives, potentially causing strife.

Dr Neelam Singh is on the front line of India's battle to save its girls.

Modern medical technology - specifically ultrasounds for determining the baby's sex - coupled with ancient cultural values which give preference to boys, mean that hundreds of thousands of girls are never being born.

There were only 914 girls for every 1,000 boys under the age of six in India, according to the 2011 census, compared with 927 for every 1,000 boys in the 2001 census. Today's ratio is the highest imbalance since the country won independence in 1947.

Bad Guys

Millionaires and Corporations are Using Tax Breaks to Help Sway Public Opinion

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© Daniel Pudles
Since the late 19th century, the very rich have been paying people to demand less government. The work of Herbert Spencer, for example, was sponsored by Andrew Carnegie, John D Rockefeller and Thomas Edison. Spencer believed that society changed according to evolutionary laws. Humans were evolving towards perfection, but this process was inhibited by interference from the state. By protecting people from the consequences of their own actions (or their own bad luck), it stopped the winnowing process that would otherwise result in the survival of the fittest.

Social security, publicly funded education, compulsory vaccination, laws enforcing safety at work all interrupted social evolution. But a self-regulated free market would swiftly ensure that those who were best adapted would survive and triumph. It's not hard to see why the millionaires loved him. They saw themselves as winners of the evolutionary race, taking their rightful place at the pinnacle of the social order. Any attempt to limit their freedoms would prevent society from achieving perfection.

Today, sponsorship by millionaires and corporations explains why free-market thinktanks outnumber and outspend the thinktanks arguing for public services and the distribution of wealth. Or so I guess. But their absence of accountability means that guesswork is all we've got. As I showed last month, only one of the rightwing thinktanks I contacted was prepared to reveal who funded it. All the others refused on the grounds that they had to respect the privacy of their donors. These organisations exert great influence in public life. But we have no means of discovering on whose behalf they do it.

People

US: New York cops defy order to arrest hundreds of 'Occupy Albany' protesters

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© Agence France-Presse
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo takes questions at a press conference.
Occupy Albany protesters in New York's capital city received an unexpected ally over the week: The state and local authorities.

According to the Albany Times Union, New York state troopers and Albany police did not adhere to a curfew crackdown on protesters urged by Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) and Albany mayor Gerald Jennings.

Mass arrests seemed to be in the cards once Jennings directed officers to enforce the curfew on roughly 700 protesters occupying the city owned park. But as state police joined the local cops, protesters moved past the property line dividing city and state land.

With protesters acting peacefully, local and state police agreed that low level arrests could cause a riot, so they decided instead to defy Cuomo and Jennings.

"We don't have those resources, and these people were not causing trouble," a state official said. "The bottom line is the police know policing, not the governor and not the mayor."

Pistol

North Carolina, US: Cape Fear High School Shooting Spurs Hunt for Gunman

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© ABC News
At least one student has been shot outside of Cape Fear High School, near Fayetteville, N.C.
A school shooting in Cape Fear, N.C., has left one teen injured and two schools on lockdown while police hunt for a shooter this afternoon.

At least one student was shot and injured outside of Cape Fear High School, near Fayetteville, N.C., according to ABC News affiliate WTVD.

The girl, who is between 15 and 17 years old, was eating lunch outside a building on the school's campus just after 1 p.m. when the shooting occurred, police said. A manhunt is underway around the school for the gunman and to determine that the area is safe.

"No one has seen anyone on this campus with a gun," Cumberland County Sheriff Earl "Moose" Butler told WTVD.

Witnesses said they saw the teen fall to the ground, bleeding, but no one saw a gun, the report said. The teen was taken to a hospital.

Che Guevara

You Say You Want a Revolution or How I Learned to Love the Goddam Hippies

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© Newsweek
Daniel, Erica, Larry, and Daniel Jr. Nunez "Now with the wealth of information that is online, people cannot get away with things that are morally incorrect ... it’s a kind of collective awareness that’s growing."
A lot of us have to confess something about the Occupy Wall Street protests: we have a hippie problem. As a post-boomer, I've been trained to giggle at them my whole life. And anyone who has had to listen to an unsought diatribe about corporations in a line at Target, or has a friend who's been trying to talk you into going to Burning Man for a decade, will know what I'm talking about. The crustier edges of the fringe can be as smug as they are alienating - from replacing applause in Zuccotti Park with silent finger-wiggling to the occasional, asinine assertion that the U.S. government is a greater evil than al Qaeda. I have to say I feel exactly the same ambivalence toward the Tea Partiers, with their strange 18th-century costumes, occasional racist diatribes, and gun-toting. Their cultural signifiers distract from their message - which is diffuse and vague enough to begin with. Before too long, I find myself inclined to move on, to zoom out.

And yet this time, the goddam hippies, as South Park's Eric Cartman famously calls them, have slowly drawn me back in. Maybe it was seeing a more diverse crowd in D.C. than I expected, or absorbing online testimonies from 99 percenters, or reading yet another story about how corrupt the banking system has become (Citigroup was the latest to have me fuming). Maybe it was seeing the same kind of phenomenon popping up in Frankfurt and Madrid or Tel Aviv or outside St. Paul's Cathedral in London. From the massive crowds in Madrid, bursting at one point into a mass singing of Beethoven's "Ode to Joy," to the tent cities in Israel, bringing right and left together against poverty, it all suggested a much deeper shift in consciousness than a mere pop-cultural fad. So somewhere along the line, my skepticism began to falter. And in a strange kind of way, Occupy Wall Street made me think more fondly of the Tea Party as well.

The theme that connects them all is disenfranchisement, the sense that the world is shifting deeply and inexorably beyond our ability to control it through our democratic institutions. You can call this many things, but a "democratic deficit" gets to the nub of it. Democracy means rule by the people - however rough-edged, however blunted by representative government, however imperfect. But everywhere, the people feel as if someone else is now ruling them - and see no way to regain control. In Europe, you see millions unemployed because of a financial crisis that began thousands of miles away in the U.S. real-estate market - and grim austerity being imposed to save a currency union that never truly won mass democratic support in the first place. In the U.S., the hefty majority for sweeping reform behind Barack Obama's victory in 2008 has been stopped in its tracks by slightly more than half of one House in the Congress and by a historically unprecedented filibuster in the Senate. Even when it is perfectly clear what the only politically viable, long-term solution is to our debt crisis - a mix of defense and entitlement cuts and tax increases - it is beyond our democratically elected leaders to reach a deal. In fact, one major party has gone on record declaring that it would risk national default rather than cede a millimeter on taxes. The Tea Partiers too are revolting against a Republican establishment that overspent and overborrowed throughout the Bush-Cheney years, and treated principled conservative critics as traitors or irrelevant. Bush and Cheney also failed to do what any viable government must: secure the border so that it can recognize who is a citizen and who is not. Members of the Tea Party too feel disenfranchised and alienated - from a popular culture that seems hostile to traditional ways of life to a political system so in hock to special interests that pork and partisanship triumph over sane budgeting time after time after time.


No Entry

UK: A Cathedral Turns Its Back on the People

St Paul's Cathedral in the City of London
© Bernard Gagnon
St Paul's Cathedral in the City of London
What is religion for? The Archbishop of Canterbury offered some ideas during his recent tour of Zimbabwe, when he challenged President Mugabe over the persecution of Anglicans there: it is about telling truth to power, whatever the consequences, he indicated, about the meek inheriting the earth, about justice.

Then this week the people who run St Paul's Cathedral gave us a lesson in what it's not for.

X

Poll: Most Americans Support Occupy Wall Street

National Journal's latest survey shows broad support for the protest movement and Democrats' plan to make the rich pay more
Occupy Wall Street

At a time when protests have erupted across the country over a growing inequality of wealth and Congress is considering measures to impose a surtax on those earning more than $1 million annually, the public seems to be in a populist mood--one that's tempered by skepticism about Washington's ability to do anything about the grim economy.

A new survey shows that Americans overwhelmingly support the self-styled Occupy Wall Street protests that not only have disrupted life in Lower Manhattan but also in Washington and cities and towns across the U.S. and in other nations. Some 59 percent of adults either completely agree or mostly agree with the protesters, while 31 percent mostly disagree or completely disagree; 10 percent of those surveyed didn't know or refused to answer.

What's more, many people are paying attention to the rallies. Almost two-thirds of respondents--65 percent--said they've heard "a lot" or "some" about the rallies, while 35 percent have said they've heard or seen "not too much" or "nothing at all" about the demonstrations.

The results appear in the latest edition of the United Technologies/National Journal Congressional Connection Poll.

Bad Guys

Muammar Gaddafi's grisly death raises questions the length of Libya's revolutionary road

The manner of Gaddafi's killing raises questions for the militias that make up the new Libya, writes Andrew Gilligan in Sirte.


The highway from Benghazi to Sirte was the Libyan revolution's battleground and success gauge: the road it drove up, retreated down, drove up again, then got stuck on for months; the road, this Thursday, on which it trapped and killed Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

All along the revolutionary road, less than 48 hours after that final triumph, we found something unexpected: a smidgeon of sympathy for the dead dictator.

In Benghazi, on the main square where it all started, they were slaughtering camels in celebration. There they sat, eight of them, feet tied so they could not move, quivering with fear as they were beheaded one by one. As soldiers fired rifles in the air, members of the cheering crowd held up the severed heads as trophies. They daubed their hands in the camel-blood, and gave the V-for-victory sign with dripping fingers.

But away from the square, the birthplace of the revolution was not in party mood. The streets were fairly quiet. And in the cafes, people were watching TV pictures - more graphic than any shown in Britain - of a bloodied Gaddafi dragged along and beaten, feebly protesting, before a gun was put to his head.

The picture then cut to the dead ex-leader being rolled onto the pavement, blood pooling from the back of his skull.