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Jerusalem's Armenians outraged as city approves Jews-only parking lot in Old City

Armenian priest
© Tomer Appelbaum
An Armenian priest and a Haredi man in Jerusalem’s Old City.

For decades, the parking lot was open to all, though Jewish Quarter residents paid far less for a parking sticker than their Armenian neighbors.

Armenian residents of Jerusalem's Old City are protesting a municipal decision to designate a parking lot in the area solely for Jews, although part of it stands on land belonging to the Armenian Patriarchate.

Parking is a major problem in the Old City, and some residents of the Jewish Quarter claim it is one reason secular families have been moving out. One of the parking lots serving this quarter is adjacent to the Armenian Quarter and is partially built on land owned by the Patriarchate, though the land has been leased by the Jewish Quarter Development Company since the 1970s.

For decades, the parking lot was open to all, though Jewish Quarter residents paid far less for a parking sticker than their Armenian neighbors. But around two years ago, Armenians were forbidden to park there.

"One day I came home from work and the lot was closed," said Mussa Marizian, an Armenian Quarter resident whose windows overlook the parking lot. "The quarter's management decided we shouldn't park there; they just got rid of us. Jews who live in the Muslim Quarter are allowed to park there, but I, who live right on top of the parking lot, am not allowed."

Telephone

Anonymous intercepts secret FBI-Scotland Yard conference call

Anonymous on Friday, released a 17-minute recording of a secret conference call last month between the FBI and Scotland Yard. In the tape a British and American agent discussed strategies for tracking and prosecuting hacking groups, including Anonymous. The conversation, according to BBC, took place on January 17, and begins with a light hearted exchange in which the agents talk about "cheese," and "McDonald's at the Pentagon."


The U.S. agent on the line was identified as "Bruce," and the British agent he was talking with was identified as "Stuart." After the conversation had been going on for some time, Bruce said to Stuart: "'I'm not sure if we're the only two on right now or not." Stuart answered: "Bruce, don't say anything too bad, I'm here with Matt."

At a point in the conversation, the FBI agent thanked the Metropolitan police for giving assistance and the British agent answered: "We're here to help. We've cocked things up in the past, we know that."

Anonymous, evidently feeling triumphant, boasted on Twitter: "The FBI might be curious how we're able to continuously read their internal comms for some time now."

Padlock

Cambodia: Khmer Rouge Chief Jailer Gets Life in Prison

Image
© The Associated Press/Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia/Nhet Sok Heng
Former Khmer Rouge S-21 prison commander Kaing Guek Eav, also known as Duch, greets judges on his arrival in the courtroom for a session of U.N.-backed tribunal in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, as the court gives verdict on appeal filed by Duch against his conviction Friday, Feb. 3, 2012.
A U.N.-backed tribunal's Supreme Court lengthened the sentence for the Khmer Rouge's chief jailer to life imprisonment on Friday because of his "shocking and heinous" crimes against the Cambodian people.

The surprise ruling increased a lower court's 19-year sentence for Kaing Guek Eav, known as Duch. Prosecutors had appealed the sentence as too lenient, and outraged survivors had feared the man who oversaw the torture and killing of thousands could one day walk free.

Duch was the first defendant to be tried by the tribunal. He was commander of Phnom Penh's top-secret Tuol Sleng prison, code-named S-21. He admitted to overseeing the torture of his prisoners before sending them for execution at the "killing fields."

A coalition of 23 local civic groups, the Cambodian Human Rights Action Committee, welcomed Friday's decision and said Duch's victims had finally received justice.

In July 2010, the tribunal's lower court convicted Duch (pronounced DOIK) of war crimes, crimes against humanity, torture and murder.

He was sentenced to 35 years in prison but had 16 years shaved off for time served and other technicalities. The sentence was appealed both by prosecutors, who called for life imprisonment, and by Duch, who argued it was too harsh because he was merely following orders.

Pirates

US, California: Jack Sparrow Character Pepper-Sprayed in Hollywood Brawl

Fight among several costumed figures erupts in front of the Kodak Theatre
Image
© Steve Boelhouwer
A photo from a similar fight on Hollywood Boulevard in September 2011 shows a SpongeBob SquarePants character's costume left on the pavement

A brawl among several costumed figures erupted in front of the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood on Thursday evening, resulting in a Jack Sparrow character being pepper-sprayed, according to Los Angeles police.

The Jack Sparrow character was treated for minor injuries in the fight that reportedly included Cat Woman, an alien and a second pirate.

Cat Woman, the alien and the pirate fled following the free-for-all that played out in front of tourists on busy Hollywood Boulevard.

The incident was the latest run-in between characters who pose for pictures with tourists and then aggressively demand money.

Dollar

Canada: Is CBC Using Public Money to Pay for Porn?

James Moore
© Reuters/Blair Gable
Minister of Canadian Heritage James Moore.
The Sun News Network strikes again.

In their latest attack against the CBC, the right-leaning media conglomerate is accusing our state broadcaster of paying for and broadcasting soft-core porn.

Sun News is referring to Hard, a program produced in France and broadcast on Radio Canada's on-demand web portal Tou.tv.

The show, which is featured prominently on Tou.tv's homepage, includes scenes with nudity and explicit sexual activity all the while the CBC logo sits atop the digital player.

Even the pro-CBC New Democrats are shaking their heads at this latest revelation.

Pistol

Illinois, US: Family Furious After Calumet City Police Shoot, Kill Boy With Autism

Police in Calumet City were defending their actions Wednesday after officers shot and killed a 15-year-old boy, who has a form of autism, after he threatened them with a knife.

Stephon Watts' family said he suffered from Asperger's Syndrome - a high-functioning form of autism - and attention deficit disorder.

As CBS 2′s Susanna Song and WBBM Newsradio's Steve Miller report, they claimed the boy was only holding a butter knife. Police would only describe it as a "kitchen knife."

The deadly encounter happened at the boy's home at 541 Forsythe Av. in Calumet City, police said.


People

French Elle denies Obama fashion piece 'racist'

black fashion power
© Elle
French fashion bible Elle has denied charges of racism after unleashing a storm by suggesting that a black American elite, inspired by the Obama couple, was finally embracing "white" fashion.

The January 13 blog post entitled "Black fashion power" has drawn volleys of angry protest on both side of the Atlantic, with the New York Daily News tabloid saying it managed to "insult black Americans as a whole".

In the piece, which has since been removed from Elle's website, journalist Nathalie Dolivo cited singers Erykah Badu or Rihanna and the actress Zoe Saldana, as black Americans who understood "the importance of style".

"In an America governed for the first time by a black American president, chic has become a plausible option for a community up until then bound by its streetwear codes," she wrote.

X

US: Stolen Babies? Immigrant Mother Loses Four Kids


The scars of childbirth were still healing on Amelia Reyes Jimenez's stomach in 2008 when police came to her Phoenix apartment and took her three-month-old daughter from her arms.

Laptop

Do You Like Online Privacy? You May Be a Terrorist

surveillance graphic
© n/a
A flyer designed by the FBI and the Department of Justice to promote suspicious activity reporting in internet cafes lists basic tools used for online privacy as potential signs of terrorist activity. The document, part of a program called "Communities Against Terrorism", lists the use of "anonymizers, portals, or other means to shield IP address" as a sign that a person could be engaged in or supporting terrorist activity. The use of encryption is also listed as a suspicious activity along with steganography, the practice of using "software to hide encrypted data in digital photos" or other media. In fact, the flyer recommends that anyone "overly concerned about privacy" or attempting to "shield the screen from view of others" should be considered suspicious and potentially engaged in terrorist activities.

Logging into an account associated with a residential internet service provider (such as Comcast or AOL), an activity that could simply indicate that you are on a trip, is also considered a suspicious activity. Viewing any content related to "military tactics" including manuals or "revolutionary literature" is also considered a potential indicator of terrorist activity. This would mean that viewing a number of websites, including the one you are on right now, could be construed by a hapless employee as an highly suspicious activity potentially linking you to terrorism.

The "Potential Indicators of Terrorist Activities" contained in the flyer are not to be construed alone as a sign of terrorist activity and the document notes that "just because someone's speech, actions, beliefs, appearance, or way of life is different; it does not mean that he or she is suspicious." However, many of the activities described in the document are basic practices of any individual concerned with security or privacy online. The use of PGP, VPNs, Tor or any of the many other technologies for anonymity and privacy online are directly targeted by the flyer, which is distributed to businesses in an effort to promote the reporting of these activities.

Nuke

'US Uses Depleted Uranium, Makes Graveyards in Afghanistan'

Afgan father with ill child
© n/a
An Afghan activist reveals the US is still using horrific depleted uranium weapons in Afghanistan, creating graveyards of people who die of cancer and other unusual diseases, Press TV reports.

"These weapons are still used. In fact, a US aircraft called A-10 warthog, normally, even if it doesn't use a uranium projectile in the machine gun, every third projectile is a uranium projectile and that's the working horse of the US army in Afghanistan. They use it left and right," Dr. Mohammad Daud Miraki said in an interview with Press TV.

"Apache helicopters and Bradley vehicles also utilize these projectiles in these weapons," he added.

The activist also noted that 62.7 percent of the population of Afghanistan has been targeted by the dangerous radioactive ammunitions.