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Beware, female journos in Cairo warned

© The Associated Press
Paris - Press watchdog Reporters Without Borders urged media organisations on Friday to take care to protect female reporters from sexual assault while covering unrest in Egypt, following several serious attacks.

The group initially warned women journalists not to work in Cairo's Tahrir Square, epicentre of the revolt against Egypt's junta, at all, but after protests from press unions decided instead to advise great caution.

"It is more dangerous for a woman than a man to cover the demonstrations in Tahrir Square. That is the reality and the media must face it," RSF said.

"It is the first time that there have been repeated sexual assaults against women reporters in the same place. The media must keep this in mind when sending staff there and must take special safety measures.

"We are not saying the international media should pull out and stop covering events in Egypt, but they need to adapt to the threats that currently exist. Women journalists going to Tahrir Square should be aware of this situation."


US, California: Mayor: Occupy LA must leave City Hall camp Monday

© Robert Gauthier, Los Angeles Times
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, left, and Police Chief Charlie Beck hold a news conference to announce plans to close the City Hall park to Occupy protesters.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa gave a lengthy tribute to Occupy LA protesters on Friday before telling them they must leave their encampment on the lawn of City Hall by 12:01 a.m. Monday, citing public health and safety concerns.

Villaraigosa, who has expressed sympathy for the protest's aims from its beginning seven weeks ago, announced the ouster at an afternoon news conference with police Chief Charlie Beck. He said the movement that has spread in two months from New York to numerous other U.S. cities has "awakened the country's conscience" - but also trampled grass at City Hall that must be restored.

"The movement is at a crossroads," the mayor said. "It is time for Occupy LA to move from holding a particular patch of park land to spreading the message of economic justice and signing more people up for the push to restore the balance to American society."

The camp of about 485 tents was unsustainable because public health and safety could not be maintained, and the park had to be cleared, cleaned and restored for the public's access, he said.

Outside City Hall, Occupy LA protester Opamago Casciani, 20, said he found the Mayor's priorities insulting, and he intends to continue demonstrating peacefully through the deadline.


US: Black Friday Wal-Mart Violence: Police Taser Man, Arrest Grandpa

If they're not pepper spraying each other or rioting over waffle makers, Black Friday customers are being tasered by cops and being violently arrested for shoplifting.

WAAY reports that cops said they had to use a stun gun to subdue belligerent customer Christopher Blake Pyron at a Wal-Mart in Florence, Ala.


US: Police use pepper spray to calm Black Friday crowd at North Carolina Walmart

An incident involving pepper spray used at a Walmart in Kinston during Black Friday is under investigation.

Authorities say the off-duty officer was hired by the store to help with security and was trying to subdue a disturbance and make an arrest when he used his pepper spray.


US, Pittsburgh: 'Girls Punching Each Other' Over Yoga Pants Sale at Victoria's Secret

People camped out, lined up and pushed through the doors when stores opened as early as midnight for early bird specials this Black Friday.

Everyone was looking for a good deal on that holiday gift, but not everyone was in a giving mood. A small scuffle reportedly broke out at one sale in the Monroeville Mall.

Some consider Thanksgiving to be the start of the holiday season, but dedicated shoppers say it's today, and they were out in full force.

Arrow Down

US: Man rescued from quicksand in Utah after 8 hours

© Joe Austin, ABC 4 News
Utah authorities say they rescued a 25-year-old man who was stuck in a pool of quicksand for eight hours.

The Wayne County Sheriff's Office says dispatchers were contacted at 5 p.m. Wednesday by a Florida military agency about an emergency alert beacon transmitting from an area along the Dirty Devil River.

Police tell KTVX of Salt Lake City a helicopter spotted the man stuck in a thick, muddy, wet substance.


US: Latest Developments in the Occupy Protests

© Reuters/Anthony Bolante
Chris Natale (left) and Rhiannon Hemsted, both of Seattle, carry signs while they along with dozens of Occupy Seattle protestors demonstrate during the 'Black Friday' holiday shopping rush at the Wal-mart retail store in Renton, Washington on November 25, 2011.
New York - California

In Los Angeles, city leaders hope the seven-week-old Occupy LA encampment will disband sometime next week. More than 480 tents were erected on the lawns of City Hall. The camp has remained largely peaceful since police and city officials established a relationship early on based on dialogue instead of dictates.

Thursday, activist Teri Adaju, 46, said she typically serves dinner to homeless people on Thanksgiving and knows that many at the Los Angeles encampment were just that.

In San Francisco, 400 occupiers at a plaza in the financial district were served traditional Thanksgiving fixings sent by the renowned Glide Memorial Church to volunteers and supporters of the movement fighting social and economic inequality.

"We are thankful that we are, first and foremost, in a country where we can protest," said the Rev. Cecil Williams, the founder of Glide and a fixture in the city's activist community.

Oakland police say that when a truck driver tried to deliver a portable restroom to protesters Thursday at Frank Ogawa Plaza, officers ordered the driver to leave because he had no permit. Police and about 150 protesters squared off; one person was arrested.


US: Occupy movement targets Black Friday; 16 arrested

Occupy Honolulu protesters demonstrate at a Wal-Mart store in Honolulu early Friday
The Occupy Wall Street movement is taking its anti-corporate directly to Black Friday shoppers.

Ten Occupy Oklahoma City protesters were arrested Friday morning after a protest at a Walmart store in Del City, Okla., The Oklahoman reported.

Del City police Capt. Jody Suit told the newspaper that officers working off-duty security jobs at the store called for assistance about 2 a.m. because the protesters were causing disturbances in the back of the store.

One of those arrested, Mark Faulk, 55, of Oklahoma City told the newspaper that he was filming the group's "mike check" - in which one member of the group shouts something and then the others in the group repeat what the speaker said - when "Del City police ran and started tackling people from behind."

Police Lt. Steve Robinson told The Associated Press that no excessive force was used.

Heart - Black

US, Oregon: Real life sword slaying sends shiver of horror through home of Shakespeare festival

© Jeff Barnard
A memorial displays a photo of David Grubbs on Friday, Nov. 25, 2011, at a bike path in Ashland, Ore.,where he was killed last weekend in an apparent random attack by a stranger wielding a sword or a machete. The attack has sent a shiver of horror through the small town, where murder is usually carefully staged in theaters of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
In this storybook town, murder is commonplace on the stages of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, where sword fights are carefully choreographed entertainment, and the blood that spurts is fake.

The real-life slaying of a young grocery clerk nearly decapitated by an apparent stranger wielding a sword or machete has sent a shiver of horror through residents and visitors alike, and stumped investigators desperately searching for clues.

A small shrine is growing on the side of the bike path where 23-year-old David Grubbs was killed last weekend while walking home from work, the way he had countless times, just as darkness was falling. It's an open place next to a parking lot where the path goes through a park with ball fields and tennis courts - and past an elementary school - where parents bring their small children to play.

"I'm freaking out," said Zhawen Wahpepah, who came to the shrine Friday morning with her boyfriend, August Haddick, to burn sage and leave a booklet of music that she and Grubbs had played together as members of a school chamber orchestra. She added it to the candles, flowers, carrot cake, NY Times Sunday crossword puzzle, music CDs, photos, and lyrics from the song, "Stairway to Heaven." They were all carefully placed on the ground next to a green metal cross painted with the name David and driven into the ground.

Bizarro Earth

US: Black Friday Violence Reported at Stores Across the Country as Sales Soar

Despite a lagging economy and high unemployment rates, retailers are reporting this year is one of the best for sales, with 152 million shoppers expected to hit stores this Black Friday.

Early reports suggest that bigger crowds were found at the nation's malls and stores as retailers like Macy's and Target opened their doors at Midnight.

It what seems to be a burgeoning Black Friday tradition, reports of violence erupted throughout the country.

Authorities in Los Angeles say that 20 people suffered minor injuries at a local Walmart when a woman used pepper spray on them to get to the front of the line when the store opened Thursday evening.

Police in Fayetteville, N.C. are hunting for two suspects after gunfire went off early Friday in the Cross Creek Mall.