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

Image
© 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

Image
© 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.

Stormtrooper

US, Utah: Police pepper spray Haka dancers at football game


Police in a small Utah town are being accused of overreacting after using pepper spray to break up a group of Polynesian men and boys performing a traditional dance called the Haka after a high school football game.

The police action came after a pair of officers unsuccessfully attempted to disperse the dozen or so performers who were blocking an exit after the Union-Uintah game Thursday night, the Deseret News and Salt Lake Tribune reported.

A form of the Haka has been popularized by rugby players in New Zealand who chant, beat their chests and gesture aggressively before matches. The Maori tradition also can include fierce facial expressions. Haka are now performed at football and rugby games around the world.

The group in Roosevelt, a town of 8,000, had traveled about 125 miles east from the Salt Lake City area to watch a relative play his final game for Union, which lost to rival Uintah and finished the season without a victory.

Pistol

US, Georgia: Sheriff: Fort Gordon soldier kills deputy, self

police, crime scene
© unknown
Authorities say a Tennessee National Guardsman training at a Georgia military post shot and killed a sheriff's deputy, then committed suicide alongside a road.

Richmond County Sheriff Ronnie Strength said evidence shows 26-year-old Christopher Michael Hodges fired 35 rounds from his M4 semiautomatic rifle during the incident early Sunday morning. The Augusta Chronicle reports that Hodges and 47-year-old Deputy James D. Paugh were found dead on the side of Bobby Jones Expressway.

Hodges had been training at Fort Gordon.

Strength said Paugh was off duty and on his way home when he saw a suspicious car on the side of the road. He was shot several times when he stopped to check on the car and apparently fired two shots from his service weapon before he was killed.

Info

Life's Extremes: Tightwads vs. Spendthrifts

Infograph
© Karl Tate / Live Science

In the shop window gleams the coolest pair of shoes ever. Despite being able to afford them, some people will walk away, while others - though the purchase blows a hole in their personal finances - grab the kicks anyway.

We all have to spend money for necessities, such as groceries or rent. Occasionally, we also indulge on unhealthy treats and entertainment. Two contrary sorts of people, however, struggle to open their wallets even for things they really need - "tightwads" - while others can't stop their shopping sprees - "spendthrifts."

"Tightwads spend less than they should," said George Loewenstein, a professor of economics and psychology at Carnegie Mellon University. "They recognize that they should be spending more for their own wellbeing. The spendthrifts are the opposite. They spend more than they should spend by their own self-definition."

Studies have revealed a possible basis in the brain for why money burns a hole in some peoples' pockets while the mere thought of spending makes others grimace. Understanding why people under- and over-spend can help with ensuring they don't unduly burden themselves - or their bank accounts - when making a purchase.

Phoenix

Fire halts Swedish nuclear reactor

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© © AFP/ Paul Madej / Scanpix Sweden
Oskarshamn. Archivbild.
A nuclear reactor in the Swedish town of Oskarshamn was closed down on Saturday night after a fire broke out at the nuclear power plant, Sweden's newspaper Local reported on Sunday, referring to the plant's operator, OKG.

The fire broke out in the turbine hall of unit 2 and was quickly put out by the plant's own emergency services, after which the reactor and the turbine were closed down as a precautionary measure.