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Hamas frees Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit in prisoner swap

'I hope this deal will promote peace,' says Israeli soldier freed after 5 years

Israel releases 477 Palestinians in return for tank crewman who was seized in 2006; another 550 will be released at a later date.


Jerusalem - Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit and hundreds of Palestinians crossed Israel's borders in opposite directions on Tuesday as a thousand-for-one prisoner exchange brought joy to families but did little to ease decades of conflict.

Sergeant Shalit, 25, returned home to a national outpouring of emotion in Israel after five years in captivity in the Gaza Strip, while the first few hundred of over a thousand Palestinians being freed in stages from Israeli jails were greeted with kisses and flags in Gaza and the West Bank.

"I missed my family," a pale and extremely thin Shalit said in an interview with Egyptian TV conducted before he was transferred to Israel and broadcast after he went free.

"I hope this deal will promote peace between Israel and the Palestinians," said Shalit, whose breathing labored at times.

Shalit was examined by military doctors after being freed. An Israeli military official who spoke on condition of anonymity told The Associated Press that the freed soldier showed signs of malnutrition and lack of exposure to the sun.

Comment: Many things can be said about Hamas, but the media only gives the Israeli, U.S. version. Simply put, Hamas was Democratically elected, something (true elections, not selections) the U.S. knows little about. So what makes a political body a terrorist organization? It appears to be the fact that they will govern as they choose, which is contrary to the desire of America and Israel who would prefer to make subjects of the Palestinians or any 'considered' satellite nation.


People

Hamas release captured Israeli soldier

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© AP Photo/GPO, HO
In this photo released by the Israeli Government Press Office, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, right, welcomes released Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit, as arrives at Tel Nof Air base in southern Israel, Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2011.
Gaza City, Gaza Strip - Looking dazed, a thin and pale Gilad Schalit emerged from a pickup truck Tuesday under the escort of his Hamas captors and the Egyptian mediators who helped arrange the Israeli tank crewman's release after more than five years in captivity.

Freed in exchange for more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners, an ashen-faced Schalit struggled to breathe in an interview with Egyptian TV minutes after his release on the Egyptian side of the border with Gaza, saying that he had feared he would remain in captivity for "many more years." He said he was "very excited" to be headed home and that he missed his family and friends.

A short while later, the 25-year-old soldier was transferred to Israel, said Israeli army spokesman Brig. Gen. Yoav Mordechai, who told a news conference: "Today, Gilad Schalit is with us."

In the first public sighting of Schalit since he was captured, he appeared thin with dark circles around his eyes in the brief video clip and interview broadcast on Egyptian TV. Wearing a black baseball cap and gray shirt, Schalit was taken from a pickup truck and escorted by a contingent of Egyptian officials and masked Hamas gunmen who had whisked him across the border.

Cow

Foodies, Get Thee to Occupy Wall Street

banks occupy wall street
© Ryan Harvey/Flickr
Because Big Food makes Big Finance look like amateurs.

The Occupy Wall Street protests grew out of anger at the outsized power of banks. But as they've expanded nationwide, the uprisings have evolved into a kind of running challenge to the way power is concentrated in all aspects of our economy - concentrated into the hands of people with an interest in maintaining the status quo.

No doubt, the financial sector is a stunning example. This MoJo chart shows how the 10 largest banks came to hold 54 percent of US financial assets, up from 20 percent in 1990. As big banks gobbled smaller banks and became megabanks, they managed to extract more and more wealth out of the economy. Even after the epochal meltdown and bailout, the financial sector now claims fully a third of US corporate profits. They've invested a chunk of that windfall in what is probably Washington's most formidable lobbying machine - which is precisely how they managed to slither away unscathed despite the economic carnage they caused.

bank consolidation
© Mother Jones

Heart - Black

US: 3 held after disabled adults found in Philadelphia basement

The four people found in the basement have the mental capacity of 10-year-olds

Three people have been charged after police found four mentally disabled adults chained in the basement of a northeast Philadelphia apartment building with only a container of orange juice as nourishment.


Officers were investigating a report of squatters in a building Saturday when they found three men and a woman in a 15-by-15-foot room behind a steel door that was chained shut. At least one victim was chained to a boiler, police said.

The subbasement room they were in called to mind a Cold War-era bomb shelter and contained a makeshift bed, mattress and sheets, Officer Tanya Little, a police spokeswoman, said Sunday. It was too small for an adult to stand up straight and also reeked of waste from the buckets they used to relieve themselves, police said.

Family

Occupy Wall Street - Chris Hedges shuts down CBC Kevin O'Leary

Chris Hedges shuts down CBC Kevin O'Leary:


No Entry

US: Hull, Wisconsin, Seeks to Outlaw Bicyclists and Pedestrians

The town of Hull is considering restricting bike and pedestrian use on some of its roads, a measure one advocacy group says is illegal.

A town public safety committee, which examined general safety on town roads this summer, came up with a draft ordinance in September that requires biking, running or walking groups to register their travel plans with the town or bans them from using roads outright.

The ordinance is in response to what town officials say is a growing problem with road safety, but local groups are concerned about the impact on biking and running in the town.

Attention

US: Photos Reveal Abused Toddler Duct-Taped to Wall by Mom

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© ABC News
Photos of a teen mother and her boyfriend duct-taping her 2-year-old son to a wall have been made public by Nebraska prosecutors, weeks after they were convicted for the incident in which they took pictures of the toddler for fun.

The child, temporarily removed from his mother's custody, is again living with the mother, an 18-year-old admitted drug user.

Sentenced late last month, Jayla Hamm, who was 17 at the time of the abuse, received 10 days in jail and two years probation. Her boyfriend, Corde Honea, 19, an ex-convict, was sentenced to three to five years for child abuse and received an additional 12 to 24 months on felony possession of stolen firearms.

High on drugs, Hamm held the boy in place while Corde taped his body to the wall of their Beatrice, Neb., home using bright-green duct tape, authorities said.

In some of the photographs, the boy, dressed in a red onesie, is seen hunched over, unable to escape, his wrists firmly taped to the wall behind his back and above his shoulders.

Passport

Fury as Air India jet stranded in London for 9 hours

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© Agence France-Presse
Hundreds of air travellers were left stranded on Sunday after an incoming Air India flight was grounded for nine hours at London's Gatwick Airport by a combination of fog and aviation rules
Hundreds of air travellers were left stranded after an incoming Air India flight was grounded for nine hours at London's Gatwick Airport by a combination of fog and aviation rules.

Police were called onto the Boeing 777 jet as tempers frayed among the 200 passengers after the airline prevented them from disembarking.

The flight from Ahmedabad via Mumbai was due to arrive at Heathrow, London's other major airport, at 08:00 local time (07:00 GMT) but was diverted to Gatwick due to fog.

The plane was unable to complete the 44-mile (70-kilometre) cross-city journey as aviation law limits the length of time for which flight crew are allowed to work in one shift.

Wolf

US, Maryland: TSA Agent Charged With Child Porn


Michael Scott Wilson's Perry Hall Home Searched

A Transportation Security Administration security officer is out on bail after he was arrested and charged with child pornography.

Michael Scott Wilson, 41, has been suspended from his job following the arrest.

Wilson was charged Monday with possession and distribution of child pornography after agents searched his Perry Hall home.

Neighbors said he's married with no children. They said they're stunned and disturbed by the charges, especially since most of them described Wilson as a straight-laced federal worker who took pride in his position and the trust that comes with it.

"As a parent, it's disturbing to find out that someone is living so close, especially employed in his capacity," said neighbor Malik Kelly.

Briefcase

Update On The Legal Situation in France

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Dear readers,

You may have noticed that we have removed articles and updates on the investigation of SOTT.net by the Toulouse Police.

Our motivation in publishing these articles, which included details of our interviews by the police and our analysis of them, was to express our frustration and dismay at being unjustly denounced as a 'cult'. Having had time to reflect on the situation we have come to the following conclusion:

We believe that our initial response to being, as we see it, unfairly accused, was both normal and understandable. However, we do not believe that we can reasonably justify directing our frustration at the Toulouse Police, or any other official law-enforcement institution in France.

In short, we are willing to take it on good faith, that in pursuing an investigation of SOTT.net, the Toulouse Police are simply fulfilling, in the normal procedural way, their duty to pursue an official complaint they received. As such, we would like to make it clear that we are willing to co-operate with the Police investigation in any way that is required of us, in the hope that our own good faith in this matter is duly recognised as swiftly as possible.

We trust we can count on your continued support.

The Editorial Board of SOTT.net