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Mexico Mayan Region Launches Apocalypse Countdown

Mayan Calander
© unknown
Only a year is left before Dec. 21, 2012, when some believe the Maya predicted the end of the world.

While some doomsday theorists may suggest putting together survival kits, people in southeastern Mexico, the heart of Maya territory, plan to throw a yearlong celebration. And to make a profit while they party.

Mexico's tourism agency expects to draw 52 million visitors over the coming year just to the five states richest in Maya heritage. Mexico as a whole is expected to lure just 22 million foreigners this year.

It is selling the date, the Winter Solstice, as a time of renewal. Most Mexican archaeological authorities say that the 2012 reference on a 1,300-year-old stone tablet only marks the end of a cycle in the Mayan calendar, not an apocalypse.

"The world will not end. It is an era," said Yeanet Zaldo, a tourism spokeswoman for the Caribbean state of Quintana Roo, home to Cancun. "For us, it is a message of hope."

Heart - Black

US: 2 Charged In Attack Of New Jersey Homeless Man After Video Posted On YouTube


Police say two young men have been charged in connection with an assault of a homeless man after videos of the attacks were posted on YouTube.

The videos, which have since been taken down, show a young man walking into a wooded area in Wall Township.

The cameraman asks him what he's about to do.

"About to go beat up this bum," he says in the video.

Then in the video, a man who police later identified as homeless, is seen being tackled, punched, pushed, kicked and kneed by the young man.

Phoenix

US: Occupy Denver Camp Set Ablaze as Cops Move In

Image

Daniel Petty/The Denver Post/The Associated Press
Police arrested four people at the site of Occupy Denver, including two charged with arson for allegedly setting the makeshift shelters on fire as officers moved in just before midnight.

Two other people were arrested for failing to obey a police officer's order, KUSA reports.

Some of the protesters took a knee in Tim Tebow-style as the police began clearing the area near the Civic Center shortly before midnight, The Denver Post reports. The crowd of around 40 then sang God Bless America before retreating.


Che Guevara

Egypt: Mass March by Cairo Women in Protest Over Soldiers' Abuse

Image
© Asmaa Waguih/Reuters
Women protested against the military council violations against female demonstrators in Cairo, on Tuesday.
Thousands of women massed in Tahrir Square here on Tuesday afternoon and marched to a journalists' syndicate and back in a demonstration that grew by the minute into an extraordinary expression of anger at the treatment of women by the military police as they protested against continued military rule.

Many held posters of the most sensational image of violence over the last weekend: a group of soldiers pulling the abaya off a prone woman to reveal her blue bra as one raises a boot to kick her. The picture, circulated around the world, has become a rallying point for activists opposed to military rule, though cameras also captured soldiers pulling the clothes off other women.

The march, guarded by a cordon of male protesters, was a surprising turn. In Egypt, as in other countries swept by the revolts of the Arab Spring, women played important roles, raising hopes that broader social and political rights would emerge along with more accountable governments. But with the main popular focus on preparing for elections and protesting the military's continued hold on power, women here had grown less politically visible.

Airplane

US: 5 Killed in Small Plane Crash on New Jersey Highway


A small plane headed for Georgia crashed Tuesday on one of the New York City area's busiest highways, spiraling out of control, losing a wing, hitting the wooded median strip and exploding. Five people on board were killed.

There were no casualties on the ground from the crash on Interstate 287, State Police Lt. Stephen Jones said.

Wreckage was scattered over at least a half-mile-wide area, with a wing found lodged in a tree of a home about a quarter-mile away, near a highway entrance ramp.

Helicopter footage from CBS2 showed charred wreckage stretching across the median and the highway, a heavily used route that wraps around the northern and western edges of the New York City area. Both sides of the highway were shut down.

Handcuffs

30 Anti-Israel Youths Arrested in Turkey

Turkish police have arrested 30 youths after they began an anti-Israeli protest during a basketball match between Turkey and Israel in the central Turkish city of Kayseri.


Police entered the basketball stadium in Kayseri city on Monday after a crowd of Turkish spectators, waving Palestinian flags, began the protest.

As the protest continued, Israeli players left the playing ground.

"They have been accused of insulting Israel," the police said, referring to the Turkish protesters.

This is not the first time the Israeli players have been forced off the court. In 2009, Israeli players left the court when some 3000 Turkish fans disrupted a basketball game in the capital city of Ankara.

V

Occupy London Wins UBS Court Appeal, Fights St. Paul's Eviction

Image
© Graeme Robertson
The Occupy London camp outside St Paul's cathedral
Occupy London protesters who took over a vacant UBS AG office building in the city's financial district won court permission to appeal their eviction after a judge ruled they weren't given proper notice of a trial.

The bank's notice to the protesters, in the form of a document posted on the building and a text message sent to a leader 45 minutes before a 10 p.m. hearing, was insufficient to give the group time to prepare or determine how to participate in the case, Court of Appeal Judge Timothy Lloyd ruled today.

There was "really no effective notice of the hearing at all -- especially in circumstances like this, where a hearing took place late at night," Lloyd said. "There is at least a compelling reason why permission to appeal should be granted."

The court victory against Zurich-based UBS comes as the protesters, who seek global economic-equality and claim the bank behaves unethically, are in a separate trial to avoid being evicted from their primary encampment outside St. Paul's Cathedral. More than 200 tents have clustered around the building since the middle of October, inspired by the Occupy Wall Street protest that has since been broken up by police.

"This ruling is a vindication of the right of everyone in this country to due process," Naomi Colvin, a spokeswoman for Occupy London, said after the ruling. "These people labor under the misconception that they can throw money at a problem; it's emblematic of what the Occupy movement is trying to combat."

UBS's press office in London didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Arrow Up

US: Homeless In New York Highlighted In Aftermath Of Occupy Wall Street Zuccotti Eviction

Image
© Getty Images
When Occupy Wall Street protesters took over a park in Lower Manhattan this fall, they drew attention, perhaps inadvertently, to a problem playing out on the very lowest end of the economic spectrum: Homelessness.

Their cardboard signs demanded all sorts of political and economic reforms -- increased financial regulation, taxes on the rich -- but perhaps the starkest and most complicated indication of the economic problems they drew attention to was a scene unfolding in the park itself, where many people had come to avail themselves of shelter, food and clothing that they could not find or preferred not to seek elsewhere.

Reports spread that some homeless people gathering at the Zuccotti camp were causing problems, both for the protesters and for the surrounding area. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said he had to clear out the encampment over "safety concerns," such as reports of EMTs responding to homeless people with mental illness.

But some people saw these issues as indicative of a failure on Bloomberg's part to provide the city's homeless population with the resources it need.

Info

US: House Votes To Ease Airport Screening For Troops

TSA Scanners
© Nautral Society
This past summer I reported on how the TSA gave returning troops a difficult time as they arrived in Indiana. Granted, they were falling protocol, but it seemed a bit "over-the-top." It seems our representatives thought the same.

On Tuesday, 29 November, the House voted unanimously to allow military travelers on official duty to receive special preference in moving through airport security checks faster.

The bill would give the Homeland Security Department six months to devise a preference system for the Armed Forces. The legislation has now gone o the Senate. If the bill becomes law, the earliest beneficiaries would likely be troops returning from Afghanistan next year and would also apply to their family members.

Although it's a policy, not law, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) already makes some accommodations to Servicemembers in uniform with a proper identification card and also expedites screening for wounded troops. (Unless you happen to fly into Indiana.)

So, if you or your loved one is planning on an airport visit here in the next six months, the greeting may be a bit more welcoming!

Bizarro Earth

US: TSA Screenings Aren't Just for Airports Anymore

Image
© Brian Bennett/Los Angeles Times
A Transportation Security Administration behavior-detection officer patrols a train station in Charlotte, N.C.
Roving security teams increasingly visit train stations, subways and other mass transit sites to deter terrorism. Critics say it's largely political theater.

Rick Vetter was rushing to board the Amtrak train in Charlotte, N.C., on a recent Sunday afternoon when a canine officer suddenly blocked the way.

Three federal air marshals in bulletproof vests and two officers trained to spot suspicious behavior watched closely as Seiko, a German shepherd, nosed Vetter's trousers for chemical traces of a bomb. Radiation detectors carried by the marshals scanned the 57-year-old lawyer for concealed nuclear materials.

When Seiko indicated a scent, his handler, Julian Swaringen, asked Vetter whether he had pets at home in Garner, N.C. Two mutts, Vetter replied. "You can go ahead," Swaringen said.

The Transportation Security Administration isn't just in airports anymore. TSA teams are increasingly conducting searches and screenings at train stations, subways, ferry terminals and other mass transit locations around the country.

Comment: Apparently the TSA have gone beyond transit security checks and road checkpoints and are now bringing the Gestapo checkpoints to a Wal-Mart in the middle of nowhere in Illinois. We hope that you don't shop at Wal-Mart, but if you do.. don't be surprised if you see the TSA Gestapo there wanting to search you for bombs.