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Scent of freedom in North Korea

Beijing - "The riots are expanding even into North Korea. Hundreds of protesters have collided with the authorities," said South Korea's largest-selling Chosun Ilbo newspaper on Thursday, as top news on its website. Now finally, the global cascade of "Jasmine revolutions" in the Middle East and North Africa appears to have entered North Korea.

Chosun posted a North Korea map with large red circles around multiple cities to mark "riot zones", adding more drama to the report.

One of the circles is the town of Sinuiju on the border with China. "Hundreds of people clashed with security forces ... The militarywas deployed to quell the demonstration, leaving some protesters wounded," said Chosun. While the protest was sparked by a crackdown in a market, it was "an eruption of long pent-up discontent", it said.

Eye 1

Dangerous doctors slipping through the cracks

It took the discovery of guns and grenades to suspend the license of a psychiatrist who some say should have come under scrutiny years earlier.

One night a Crestwood police sergeant doing a routine building check noticed an open door to the office of psychiatrist Joel Carroll. Stepping inside the cluttered office, he discovered roaming cats, a Colt AR-15 assault rifle and other guns, ammunition, military-grade smoke grenades, sex toys, and pornography.

"Well, for the lack of better terminology, we considered it a pigsty," Sgt. Thomas Kaniewski testified about his April 2009 discovery. "It looked in complete disarray. We couldn't believe that someone could actually conduct business in an office like that because of the conditions it was in."

When state regulators determined that Carroll had engaged in sexual misconduct and committed other violations of the state Medical Practice Act, they suspended his license, proclaiming him "a danger to his patients," according to state records.

But the psychiatrist's practice could have been shut down years earlier, after the Illinois Department of Corrections in 2007 found that Carroll - as a state contractor - committed inappropriate conduct with a female inmate and barred him from working in a prison, a Tribune investigation showed.

Critics say the case raises questions about a crucial part of the medical disciplinary system.

2 + 2 = 4

US: Race To Nowhere: Silent Epidemic In Our Schools...

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© racetonowhere.com
Film Set For Stackhouse Theatre, March 10, 7 P.M.

A concerned mother turned filmmaker aims her camera at the high-stakes, high-pressure culture that has invaded our schools and our children's lives, creating unhealthy, disengaged, unprepared and stressed-out youth. Featuring the heartbreaking stories of young people in all types of communities who have been pushed to the brink, educators who are burned out and worried that students aren't developing the skills they need, and parents who are trying to do what's best for their kids, Race to Nowhere points to the silent epidemic in our schools: cheating has become commonplace; students are disengaged; stress-related illness and depression are rampant; and many young people arrive at college and the workplace unprepared and uninspired.

In a grassroots sensation already feeding a groundswell for change, hundreds of theaters, schools and organizations nationwide are hosting community screenings during a six month campaign to screen the film nationwide. Tens of thousands of people are coming together, using the film as the centerpiece for raising awareness, radically changing the national dialogue on education and galvanizing change. For the calendar of local screenings: www.racetonowhere.com/screenings-calendar

The Washington Post recently covered a screening of Race to Nowhere:
"Riveted to this disturbing tableau were more than 300 parents and educators, including Elise Browne Hughes, 46, who wiped away tears one recent evening in Bethesda while watching the documentary Race to Nowhere, which is becoming a growing grass-roots phenomenon in the achievement-minded Washington area and beyond. "It's in the culture, and it kind of feeds on itself," said Hughes, a mother of two sons who paid $10 for a ticket and braved the heavy rain to watch the film at Walt Whitman High School. For her and thousands of others nationwide, the film has raised difficult questions about how to raise well-adjusted children at a time when schools seem test-obsessed, advanced classes are the norm and parents worry that their children will not go as far in life as they have."
(Washington Post, 10/7/2010)

Stormtrooper

Libya's entire Arab League mission resigns over Gaddafi violence

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Cairo -- Members of Libya's Arab League mission say they have resigned en masse because of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi's use of force against his opponents.

The 11 members said in a statement Friday they decided to quit and join the opposition demanding that Gadhafi abandon power.

The head of the delegation, Abdel-Moneim al-Houni, had already resigned as Libya's ambassador to the 22-member Arab League on Sunday.

Magnify

Obesity new US national security issue

Obese Trainee
© Unknown
A file photo of an obese trainee
The increasing rate of obesity in the US has turned into a national security issue amid growing concerns about a shortage of fit youths capable of serving the military.

Concerns over obesity has even forced the US First lady Michelle Obama to take her anti-obesity campaign to the army's largest training base at Fort Jackson near Columbia on Thursday where she called on young Americans to follow a rigorous dieting regime applied at the military post.

Michelle Obama stressed that obesity in the United States is "not just a health issue but a national security issue," AP quoted her as telling the trainees on the base.

X

US: Lawmaker condemns question about shooting Obama

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© The Associated Press / Carolyn Kaster
President Barack Obama meets with Democratic Governors, Friday, Feb. 25, 2011, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington.
A Georgia Republican said Friday he didn't immediately condemn a constituent who asked about assassinating President Barack Obama because he was stunned by the question and didn't want to dignify it with a response.

Rep. Paul Broun, a conservative who has harshly criticized the president, confirmed that at a town hall event in Oglethorpe County, Ga., on Tuesday a man asked, "Who's going to shoot Obama?"

After the exchange was reported by the Athens Banner-Herald, Broun issued a statement Friday calling the question "abhorrent."

"I deeply regret that this incident happened," Broun said in a statement. "I condemn all statements - made in sincerity or jest - that threaten or suggest the use of violence against the president of the United States or any other public official. Such rhetoric cannot and will not be tolerated."

His office refused to say whether it had audio or video footage of the exchange.

Attention

Canada: Judge's Sex-Assault Remarks Under Review

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© CBC News
Protesters carry signs demanding Justice Robert Dewar's resignation.
The Canadian Judicial Council is reviewing complaints received against Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench Justice Robert Dewar in regard to comments he made in recent days.

During a sentencing hearing last week in Thompson, Dewar commented on the way a woman was dressed and her actions the night she was forced to have sex by a man in the woods along a dark highway outside that city in 2006.

There have been numerous media reports and public reaction to the comments, Norman Sabourin, CJC executive director, stated in a news release issued Friday afternoon.

"Council takes the review of all complaints seriously. The complaints against Justice Dewar will be reviewed in accordance with the council's complaints procedures," he said.

Coffee

Chinese online gamer dies after three-day session

internet cafe
© BBC
Online gaming is becoming increasingly popular with young Chinese internet users
A Chinese man has died after a three-day online gaming session in which he did not sleep and barely ate, reports say.

The man reportedly lost consciousness at an internet cafe on the outskirts of the Chinese capital, Beijing.

He was rushed to a clinic but could not be revived, the Beijing Times said.

Dollar

US warns banks on Libya transfers

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The US treasury has warned banks on Libyan transfers

Washington - The Treasury Department has warned US banks to be vigilant of transfers linked to Libya's political leaders, as the international community moves to slap sanctions on top government officials.

The Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network told banks to be aware of "the potential increased movement of assets that may be related to the situation in Libya," in a statement released Friday.

It also demanded financial institutions "apply enhanced scrutiny for private banking accounts held by or on behalf of senior foreign political figures."

Vader

Groups of militants attack South Russia's Nalchik

Nalchik
© RIA Novosti. Alexandr Grashenkov
Nalchik
Several groups of militants attacked various law-enforcement buildings in Russia's North Caucasus Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria on Friday.

The city came under attack from "several small groups of militants in cars," a police source said.

"The militants fired four shots from a grenade launcher at the local FSB [Federal Security Service] department. Subsequently, two traffic police stations came under attack, one of them is still under fire," the source said.

At least one person was injured in the shooting.

"In addition, a blast occurred at an FSB health resort, it could have been a bomb or grenade," he added.