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Red Flag

Walmart asks judge to stop Black Friday protests

A pro-union website is promoting walkouts and protests at Walmart stores, and the company has filed a charge with the National Labor Relations Board to stop it.

Image
© UFCW Local 400
Protesters gather outside of a Walmart store near the company's headquarters in Bentonville, AR.
The site, MakingChangeAtWalmart.org, encourages employees of the retail giant to join Organization United for Respect at Walmart (OUR Walmart). The group had about 30,000 Facebook followers and 2,600 Twitter followers by Monday night.

The charge filed by the company Nov. 16 claims OUR Walmart is illegally acting as an agent or affiliate of United Food and Commercial Workers, which the union disputes.

The board is expected to rule on the claim quickly, according to Bloomberg Business Week.

The company wants a judgement to stop protests that would disrupt shopping on Thanksgiving and Black Friday, one of the busiest shopping times of the year for retailers.

Kory Lundberg, a Walmart spokesman, told The Nation that employees asked the company to do something about the union's "publicity stunts."

The website claims it is unfair for workers and their families to have the store open Thanksgiving Day.

Also, demonstrations are expected to take place nationwide Thursday. However, some Walmart employees already began protesting the company's policies.

In addition to a repeal of the Thanksgiving opening, employees at stores and distribution centers are asking for a minimum hourly wage of $13 and an increase in full-time employment.

Workers are asking for more affordable healthcare as well, after Walmart decided to reduce its contribution to the employee insurance plan. Premium costs for the workers are expected to increase by as much as 36 percent.

Candle

We will NOT go down in Gaza tonight!


A blinding flash of white light
Lit up the sky over Gaza tonight
People running for cover
Not knowing whether they're dead or alive

They came with their tanks and their planes
With ravaging fiery flames
And nothing remains
Just a voice rising up in the smoky haze

Bad Guys

New York police seek possible serial killer

Ray Kelly
© Getty Images/AFP/File, Mario Tama
New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.
New York's police chief appealed Monday for witnesses as a hunt intensified for a possible serial killer in Brooklyn, where three storekeepers have been shot dead in the last five months.

The last slaying was of Rahmatollah Vahidipour late Friday in the She She Boutique in the working class Flatbush area of Brooklyn. The 78-year-old had been shot three times.

"We're asking anyone who was a customer in that store on that Friday to come forward, even if it was in the morning hours," Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said on NY1 television.

"We believe that this murder took place after 4:00 pm, but even if you were there in the morning we'd like to have people come forward and make themselves available to us," Kelly said.

The same .22 caliber gun was used in each shooting and all three victims are storekeepers of Middle Eastern descent, raising speculation over possible hate crimes.

Another theory that has dominated New York newspapers has been that the killer is obsessed with the number eight, which features in all three murder scene addresses.

However, robbery has not been excluded as the main motive, police said.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation will come in to help determine if a serial killer is at work, police said.

The other victims died on July 6 and August 2 in different areas of Brooklyn.

Attention

Who owns the media? Massive corporations!

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Massive corporations dominate the U.S. media landscape. Through a history of mergers and acquisitions, these companies have concentrated their control over what we see, hear and read. In many cases, these companies are vertically integrated, controlling everything from initial production to final distribution. In the interactive charts [here] we reveal who owns what.

Comment: For more in-depth information on these media giants, read:
Who Owns The Media? The 6 Monolithic Corporations That Control Almost Everything We Watch, Hear And Read


Arrow Down

Moody's strips France of triple-A rating

Moody's Investors Service downgraded France's sovereign rating by one notch to Aa1 from triple-A, the agency said on Monday, citing the country's uncertain fiscal outlook as a result of "deteriorating economic prospects."

Moody's said it is maintaining a negative outlook on the country due to structural challenges and a "sustained loss of competitiveness" in the country.

Standard & Poor's has a AA+ rating on France, which it downgraded by one notch in January from AAA.

Heart - Black

Not numbers: Named 108 Gazans killed (11pm Nov. 19 2012)

Harry Fear names the 108 Gazans killed by Israel as of 11pm local time on 19 Nov 2012.


Thanks to Gazan Shahd Absalama for collating these names.
gaz Candle
© Raging Whisper 2009
Rest in Peace

Comment: Harry Fear's Live U stream: ustream.tv/channel/operation-pillar-of-cloud and continuous text feed of those updates sanaasultan.wordpress.com/


Cult

Extremism in Israel: Pro-war hate rally in Tel Aviv and calls to "flatten" and "paint Gaza red" and "mow" its population

Gaza child murdered
© Majdi Fathi / APA images
Palestinian doctors gather to pray around the bodies of four children from the al-Dallu family killed along with seven other persons when an Israeli missile struck a family home in Gaza City on 18 November.
Among the latest horrifying examples of incitement to mass murder by Israeli public figures, Gilad Sharon, the son of former prime minister and notorious war criminal Ariel Sharon, has called for the Israeli army to "flatten" Gaza as the US flattened the Japanese city of Hiroshima in 1945 with an atomic bomb.

"The residents of Gaza are not innocent, they elected Hamas. The Gazans aren't hostages; they chose this freely, and must live with the consequences," wrote Sharon in the extremist publication The Jerusalem Post. Sharon elaborated:
We need to flatten entire neighborhoods in Gaza. Flatten all of Gaza. The Americans didn't stop with Hiroshima - the Japanese weren't surrendering fast enough, so they hit Nagasaki, too.

There should be no electricity in Gaza, no gasoline or moving vehicles, nothing. Then they'd really call for a ceasefire.

Were this to happen, the images from Gaza might be unpleasant - but victory would be swift, and the lives of our soldiers and civilians spared.
Sharon added that "There is no middle path here - either the Gazans and their infrastructure are made to pay the price, or we reoccupy the entire Gaza Strip."

As of Sunday night, the end of the fifth day of Israel's air assault on Gaza, more than 70 Palestinians, half of them civilians, had been killed in hundreds of Israeli airstrikes.

Comment: Happily not everyone in Israel is the same. The hate rally on the video took place as a confrontation to an anti-war demonstration across the street, headed by the communist Hadash party.


Yoda

Israeli assault leads to reconciliation, unification of opposing Palestinian groups

Image
© Unknown
The Palestinian groups, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Fatah announced in Ramallah on Monday that they have put aside their differences and stand united against the Israeli regime.

A prominent Fatah leader, Jibril al-Rajoub, addressing a protest rally in Ramallah said "We and other Palestinian groups' leaders announce an end to (our) differences."

He said that the now unified Palestinian groups have already started activities and a national program to halt the Israeli aggressions on Gaza.

Mahmoud al-Ramhi, a Palestinian parliamentarian and Hamas' representative, also announced his movement's agreement with the reconciliation among Palestinian groups.

Thousands of Palestinians took part in a protest rally in Ramallah (a stronghold of Fatah) in the West Bank on Monday. They chanted slogans in support of Gazans and against the Israeli aggressions.

Israel's fresh assaults on Gaza started on Wednesday and the Israeli military launched a series of new air and sea attacks against the Palestinians in the coastal territory.

A least 90 Palestinians have been killed and more than 700 others injured in the new wave of the Zionist regime's attacks on Gaza.

Heart - Black

More children die in latest Israeli airstrike as charity warns hundreds of thousands of youngsters face food and water shortages in Gaza

  • More than 90 Palestinians and three Israelis have died since Operation Pillar of Defence began last Wednesday
  • Israel says it is 'ready' for ground invasion, but would prefer a 'diplomatic solution'
  • Israeli gunboats unleashed a steady tattoo of heavy machine gun fire and shells at Gaza's coastal road
  • The UN secretary general has called for an immediate ceasefire as he prepares to join truce talks in Egypt
  • Israeli Prime Minister: ready to expand the operation, after Israel authorised the mobilisation of 75,000 army reservists
  • U.S. senator threatens to cut off Egyptian aid saying 'Watch what you do and how you do it'
Two children have been killed and several injured in the latest Israeli airstrike as a charity warns hundreds of thousands of youngsters trapped in Gaza face prolonged power cuts and depleting supplies of food and water.

Save the Children has called for an immediate end to the conflict between Israel and Gaza as fears grow that the situation will have a devastating affect on children who make up nearly half the 1.7 million population of the Gaza Strip.

Israel's Defense Forces (IDF) said it had targeted around 80 sites overnight as airstrikes continued to hit the enclave during the early hours of this morning as the violence entered its sixth day.
Image
© Reuters

Stormtrooper

Police Brutality: Philadelphia cop charged for sucker punching woman

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© Screenshot from youtube.com @Gisela Valentin
A former police lieutenant who punched a woman in the face at a Philadelphia street party was charged with simple assault on Thursday

Jonathan Josey, who was a veteran police supervisor at the time of the incident, was responding to a notice of a rambunctious street party in north Philadelphia. The street festival was in honor of the city's annual Puerto Rican Day Parade. There were reports of a driver doing doughnuts with his car, as well as people throwing water and shooting "silly string" at police.

Aida Guzman, a 39-year-old mother, was among the crowd when Lt. Josey punched her in the face, causing her to fall down. With her face and arm bleeding, the woman was then led away in handcuffs. Her lip had a gash and her elbow was bloodied from falling.

"After he hit me, he didn't even ask if I needed to go to the hospital," Guzman told CBS News.

After leading her away, the police charged Guzman with disorderly conduct, but later retracted that charge when a 36-second YouTube video of the incident surfaced, which went viral.

District Attorney Seth Williams said the woman had not posed a threat.