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Iran's president: Mideast upheaval will reach US

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© Associated Press/Vahid Salemi)
A cameraman films Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's car, as it is displayed at an auto show for auction for a charity in the city of Abadan, 600 miles (1000 kilometers) southwest of the capital Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2011. Iran's populist president is putting his 33-year-old Peugeot up for auction for a charity that funds housing projects for young people. Ahmadinejad's move is seen as a bid to appeal to the young and attract attention to housing projects he espoused during his campaigns, promising to put a roof over the head of every poor Iranian.
Tehran, Iran - Iran's president said Wednesday he is certain the wave of unrest in the Middle East will spread to Europe and North America, bringing an end to governments he accused of oppressing and humiliating people.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, whose own country resorted to violence to disperse an opposition rally earlier this month, also condemned Libya's use of force against demonstrators, calling it "grotesque."

Iran's hard-line leaders have sought to claim some credit for the uprisings in Arab nations, saying they are evidence that its 1979 Islamic Revolution, which ousted the U.S.-backed shah, is being replayed.

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Mystery behind two Libyan fighter jets landing in Malta, revealed

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© Unknown
AP reports that two Libyan air force jets arrived in Malta today. Military officials say their pilots have asked for political asylum amid a bloody crackdown on anti-government protesters in Libya, in which air force pilots were ordered to fire on civilian demonstrators (see previous BB post). Apparently, these pilots refused to follow those orders.

Above: a Libyan airforce pilot walks next to his Mirage F1 fighter jet after landing at Malta International Airport outside Valletta today.

Two Libyan fighter jets and two civilian helicopters landed unexpectedly. The office of Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi said at the time it was not clear whether the two fighter pilots intended to ask for asylum - they later did. They initially had asked to refuel. (REUTERS/Darrin Zammit Lupi)

Stormtrooper

World Slams Gaddafi Brutal Crackdown

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© Unknown
Libyans prepare to bury their dead after 1,000 pro-democracy protesters were killed in airstrikes on Monday.
The Libyan regime is facing growing international condemnation over its brutal crackdown on pro-democracy protesters as the death toll from the country's revolution climbs.

EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said Wednesday that the 27-member bloc has decided to suspend talks with Libya on the EU-Libya Framework Agreement and promised to "take further measures" in response to the brutal violence against Libyan civilians.

The UN Security Council has also condemned Libya's deadly crackdown on the pro-democracy protesters and demanded an immediate end to the violent repression of peaceful demonstrations against Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi's regime and expressed "deep regret for the death of hundreds of civilians."

Target

Libyan protesters closing in on Tripoli

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© Unknown
Protesters are seen close from the sea port of Benghazi city, Libya, February 23, 2011.
The Libyan government vigilantes and snipers struggle to regain control of the capital after pro-Gaddafi forces lost several cities to revolutionary protesters.

Reports say the revolution flag is now flying over Tajuraa city close to Tripoli. The western cities of Zwaara and Azzawiya are also under the control of the protesters.

This comes as more and more soldiers are now joining the popular revolution.

Anti-government protesters have also overrun the eastern province of Cyrenaica. This follows the fall of the second largest city of Benghazi.

Soldiers in the coastal town of Tobruk say Gaddafi's forces have lost control of the region. They say they no longer back the Libyan ruler. Tobruk lies close to the Egyptian border.

Radar

Malta denied entry to Gaddafi daughter

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© Unknown
A Libyan airforce pilot, after having landed in Malta
A plane possibly carrying Gaddafi's daughter has been refused a permission to land and was sent back to Libya after flying over Malta in an unscheduled flight, reports say.

Malta International Airport denied landing rights to a Libyan Arab Airlines aircraft, reported to be carrying Libyan tyrant Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's daughter, Ayesha, on Wednesday.

The plane circled for 20 minutes before heading back to Libya, Reuters reported.

A plane carrying several family members and Gaddafi's wife to her home country of Lebanon was also denied a landing permission.

The pilot of the ATR42 turboprop aircraft provided the airport with details from a previous flight, supposed to have landed in Malta on Tuesday, reports said.

People

Ahmadinejad condemns civilian killings in Libya

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© Wikipedia
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has condemned the killing of protesters in Libya and called on the Libyan government to respect the people's will. Demands for change shaking the Middle East would end the oppression of "arrogant" powers and would reach other continents like Europe or America,
unless discrimination and military occupation ended, he predicted.

"Instead of killing people, listen to them," Ahmadinejad said in comments aired on state television. He did not mention Libya's leader Muammar Gaddafi by name.

"How is it possible that a state leader uses bombers, tanks and cannons to kill his own people and afterwards warns that whoever says something will be killed. That is really ugly," Ahmadinejad added.

People

'I Won't Pay' Movement Spreads Across Greece

Metro station in Athens
© Thanassis Stavrakis / AP
A passenger passes a covered ticket machine with a plastic bag during a protest by PAME, a Communist Party-backed labor union, at the Syntagma Metro station in Athens.
In light of austerity measures, citizens ignore tolls, transit ticket costs, even bills for healthcare

Athens, Greece - They blockade highway toll booths to give drivers free passage. They cover subway ticket machines with plastic bags so commuters can't pay. Even doctors are joining in, preventing patients from paying fees at state hospitals.

Some call it civil disobedience. Others a freeloading spirit. Either way, Greece's "I Won't Pay" movement has sparked heated debate in a nation reeling from a debt crisis that's forced the government to take drastic austerity measures - including higher taxes, wage and pension cuts, and price spikes in public services.

What started as a small pressure group of residents outside Athens angered by higher highway tolls has grown into a movement affecting ever more sectors of society - one that many say is being hijacked by left-wing parties keen to ride popular discontent.

A rash of political scandals in recent years, including a dubious land swap deal with a rich monastery and alleged bribes in state contracts - has fueled the rebellious mood.

Stormtrooper

Governor Scot Walker Takes Union Busting Tactics from the Master

May 1933: Hitler Abolishes Unions

Madison protest1
© Jess Denni
Madison protest
On May 2nd, 1933, the day after Labor day, Nazi groups occupied union halls and labor leaders were arrested. Trade Unions were outlawed by Adolf Hitler, while collective bargaining and the right to strike was abolished. This was the beginning of a consolidation of power by the fascist regime which systematically wiped out all opposition groups, starting with unions, liberals, socialists, and communists using Himmler's state police.

Fast forward to America today, particularly Wisconsin. Governor Walker and the Republican/Tea Party members of the state legislature are attempting to pass a bill that would not only severely punish public unions (with exception for the police, fire, and state trooper unions that supported his campaign), but it would effectively end 50 years to the right of these workers to collectively bargain.
Collective bargaining is a process of voluntary negotiations between employers and trade unions aimed at reaching agreements which regulate working conditions. Collective agreements usually set out wage scales, working hours, training, health and safety, overtime, grievance mechanisms and rights to participate in workplace or company affairs. -wiki

Stormtrooper

Greek Police in Fresh Clashes With Protesters

Greek police clashed with protesters on Wednesday as around 100,000 workers, pensioners and students marched to parliament in protest at austerity policies aimed at helping Greece cope with a huge debt crisis.


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US: Anti-abortion Billboard in New York Sparks Outrage

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© Splash
The controversial poster on corner of Sixth Avenue and Watts Street, SoHo, New York
An anti-abortion billboard featuring a young black girl and the slogan "the most dangerous place for an African-American is in the womb" has provoked sharp criticism in New York.

The poster advertises a Texas-based group called Life Always, which campaigns against what it calls a "genocidal plot" against unborn babies. It is on display in the SoHo area of Manhattan.

On its website, Life Always states: "Abortions among African-American women are three times that of the rest of the population. Over 25 per cent of the next generation is being wiped out as we speak".

Bill de Blasio, the city's public advocate, described the advertisement as "grossly offensive to women and minorities". "This billboard simply doesn't belong in New York City," said Mr de Blasio.