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Bahraini protesters form human chain around capital

© AFP Photo
Thousands of Bahraini Protesters march during an anti-regime demonstration in the capital, Manama, on March 4, 2011.
Thousands of demonstrators form an enormous 'human chain' around the capital Manama as protests continue against the rule of the monarchy.

Protesters joined hands to encircle the capital as the nation enters its third week of protests, The Daily Express reported.

No police presence was reported during the peaceful demonstration. Organizers reported that some of the Sunnis, which constitute a minority in Bahrain, joined Saturday's event.

Protesters have accused the government of discriminatory policies and political persecution.

Friday saw an estimated 100,000 demonstrators in the capital's financial district following the Friday Prayers. Protesters then marched towards Pearl Square, the epicenter of the movement demanding the government to step down.


Yemen attack on protesters injures 25

Forces loyal to unpopular Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh have attacked anti-government protest camps south of Sana'a, killing three and injuring over two dozens of people.

"Large groups from the ruling party attacked the protest headquarters with stones and batons, and 25 people were injured including six in critical condition," a protest leader in the town of Ibb, south of the capital, was quoted by Reuters as saying on Sunday.

Meanwhile, opposition forces have called on protesters to continue their anti-government drive.

Mohammed Sabri, a leading member of the Common Forum opposition collation said "the president is a political corpse," AFP reported.

He said the dysfunctional character of his leadership was proven by the ruler's recent refusal to accept a proposal by the opposition and religious figures to give in to a "peaceful transition of power."

No Entry

Egypt not granting Israelis travel visas

© Unknown
A poster held by supporters of Egypt's revolution celebrating in the capital, Cairo
Egypt's embassy in Tel Aviv has been refusing to issue travel visas for Israeli applicants, who usually do not have trouble obtaining the permission.

The embassy has not explicitly declared any travel ban, but it is delaying their visa requests, Israel's commercial television outlet, Channel 2 reported on its website on Sunday.

Yossi Fattal, the director-general of the Israel Travel Agents Association said the Israelis are told to come back next week for processing of their applications and the postponements continue.

People, however, continue to transit between the two sides through the Taba crossing in the northeastern Egypt.

The development comes weeks after a popular revolution in Egypt, where people say they are tired of being ruled by US-backed a regime.

Egypt's former President Hosni Mubarak was forced to step down on February 11 as a result of the revolution.


Moore: Protesters have 'aroused a sleeping giant'

© Associated Press
Michael Moore addresses a crowd at the Capitol on Saturday, the 18th day of protests over Gov. Scott Walker's proposed budget that would eliminate collective bargaining rights for many state workers.

Protesters in Madison have "aroused a sleeping giant" in the national fight for workers' rights, filmmaker Michael Moore told thousands at the Capitol Square on Saturday, as rallies opposing Gov. Scott Walker's budget proposals wrapped up their third week.

"Right now the Earth is shaking and the ground is shifting under the feet of those who are in charge," said Moore, the Oscar-winning maker of Bowling for Columbine, whose documentaries also include Fahrenheit 911 and Capitalism: A Love Story.


Shiite protesters in Bahrain encircle capital

© Associated Press
A Bahraini woman waves a national flag and carries a sign reading 'The people want the fall of the government' during a march tens of thousands strong
Manama, Bahrain - Thousands of Shiite protesters in Bahrain have formed a huge human chain around the capital, Manama, as their campaign to loosen the Sunni monarchy's grip on power in the strategic Gulf nation enters its third week.

No police were in sight Saturday as protesters - men and women - held hands to encircle Manama, where Bahrain's Shiite majority has been leading daily demonstrations to end what they say are discriminatory policies and political persecution.

Tensions have been high in the Gulf kingdom, the host of the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet, since a street battle between Sunnis and Shiites on Thursday left at least a dozen people injured.

Organizers say some members of the Sunni minority joined Saturday's event.


US: Charlie Sheen latest: 'I'm Jewish, off to Haiti'

© Agence France-Presse
Troubled US actor Charlie Sheen rounded off a rollercoaster week by claiming that he couldn't be anti-Semitic because he is Jewish -- and saying he is off to Haiti, to help out there
Troubled US actor Charlie Sheen rounded off a rollercoaster week by claiming that he couldn't be anti-Semitic because he is Jewish -- and saying he is off to Haiti, to help out there.

Sheen, whose children were taken away from him a week after the hit TV series in which he stars was cancelled, said he should have mentioned his Jewishness when he was accused of anti-Semitism last week.

"My mom is Jewish. Here's where it gets confusing -- we don't know who her father was," he told the TV show Access Hollywood Live. "But she is, in fact, Jewish. So, I guess that would make me Jewish, and my children Jewish.

"And Brooke, my ex-wife is Jewish. So, I guess I should've rolled all that out too," he added.

Challenged about why he didn't mention this earlier, he added: "I know, I know -- stupid me .. I just got caught sleeping. Caught napping. Which is rare for me."

The comments came a week after hit TV show Two and a Half Men was canceled for the rest of the season following Sheen's repeated attack on its producer, Chuck Lorre.


U.S. Kids Who Skip School are Tracked by GPS

© Rose Palmisano, The Orange County Register
Juan Cruz Sr. signs an agreement with the Anaheim Union High School District to begin tracking his son's whereabouts through a hand-held GPS. The GPS was handed out to several students who have excessive truancy.
Anaheim - Frustrated by students habitually skipping class, police and school officials in Anaheim are turning to GPS tracking to ensure they come to class.

The Anaheim Union High School District is the first in California to test Global Positioning System technology as part of a six-week pilot program that began last week, officials said.

Seventh- and eighth-graders with four unexcused absences or more this school year are assigned to carry a hand held GPS device, about the size of a cell phone.

Each morning on schooldays, they get an automated phone call reminding them that they need to get to school on time.

Then, five times a day, they are required to enter a code that tracks their locations - as they leave for school, when they arrive at school, at lunchtime, when they leave school and at 8 p.m.


Risk mounts for refugees from Libya

© Emilio Morenatti/Associated Press
Men from Bangladesh, who worked in Libya but recently fled the unrest, wait for information during their repatriation process in a refugee camp at the Tunisia-Libyan border, in Ras Ajdir, Tunisia, on Saturday. Most Bangladeshis appear to have arrived in Tunisia penniless because their Libyan employers did not pay them or because they were robbed on the way.
Ras Adjir, Tunisia - Thousands of migrant workers were on the move in Libya on Saturday, trying to flee the fighting between rebels and forces loyal to Moammar Gadhafi's regime, U.N. refugee agency officials said.

Most of the thousands of foreign workers in Libya's rebel-held port of Benghazi were evacuated, the officials said, and about 10,000 others inside Libya were heading for a border crossing at Salloum, Egypt.

At the Libya-Tunisia border, thousands spent the night in a 20,000-capacity tent camp, awaiting evacuation. Some of those coming from Libya in the past two days said they had attempted the journey before but were held back by heavy fighting along the way.

There has been a marked drop in the number of migrant workers coming across the border, from a peak of 20,000 several days ago to between 1,400 and 1,800, the U.N. said. On Saturday, only 500 had crossed into Tunisia by midday, said a U.N. official at the border.


Saudi Arabia bans protest rallies

© Unknown
King Abdullah unveiled $37bn in benefits for citizens after returning from abroad last week
Interior ministry vows to use all steps "to prevent attempts to disrupt public order" following recent Shia protests.

Saudi Arabia has banned all protests and marches following recent anti-government protests in the kingdom's east, reports say.

State television on Saturday quoted the interior ministry as saying that security forces would use all measures to prevent any attempt to disrupt public order.

The ban on public demonstrations comes amid media reports of a huge mobilisation of Saudi troops in Shia-dominated provinces in order to quell any possible uprising.

Black Cat

Louisiana, US: Child molester undergoes castration for parole

Port Allen, Louisiana - A convicted child molester in Louisiana has undergone surgical castration to win release from prison on parole.

Francis Phillip Tullier, who had faced hundreds of molestation counts involving young girls, pleaded guilty to three counts in 1999 and was sentenced to 27 years in prison. He is now 78.

His lawyer, Nathan Fisher, said that under the agreement Tullier could only be eligible for parole once he underwent castration.

A sheriff's investigator said Tullier agreed to have the surgery at his own expense. It was done Thursday after years of delays while Tullier was treated for various medical issues.

The Advocate newspaper reports that Tullier is due for release next week. He will live in Iberville Parish and has to register as a sex offender.