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Che Guevara

Tens of Thousands of Syrians in New "Day of Rage"

Nicosia - Tens of thousands of people poured into Syria's streets after Friday Muslim prayers in a "day of rage" against an increasingly lethal crackdown by President Bashar al-Assad's regime, activists said.

Mass anti-regime gatherings were reported in the capital Damascus, the central city of Homs, Baniyas on the Mediterranean coast, Deir ez-Zor in the east and Kurdish-majority parts of the north.

Police were already reported to be responding with violence, as demonstrators shouted "down with the regime."

Eye 1

US: CBS Reporter Recounts a 'Merciless' Assault

Lara Logan
© Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times
Lara Logan, a CBS News reporter, was sexually assaulted while working in Cairo on Feb. 11.
Lara Logan thought she was going to die in Tahrir Square when she was sexually assaulted by a mob on the night that Hosni Mubarak's government fell in Cairo.

Ms. Logan, a CBS News correspondent, was in the square preparing a report for 60 Minutes on Feb. 11 when the celebratory mood suddenly turned threatening. She was ripped away from her producer and bodyguard by a group of men who tore at her clothes and groped and beat her body. "For an extended period of time, they raped me with their hands," Ms. Logan said in an interview with The New York Times. She estimated that the attack involved 200 to 300 men.

Ms. Logan, who returned to work this month, is expected to speak at length about the assault on the CBS News program 60 Minutes on Sunday night.

Her experience in Cairo underscored the fact that female journalists often face a different kind of violence. While other forms of physical violence affecting journalists are widely covered - the traumatic brain injury 'suffered by the ABC News anchor Bob Woodruff in Iraq in 2006 was a front-page story at that time - sexual threats against women are rarely talked about within journalistic circles or in the news media.

With sexual violence, "you only have your word," Ms. Logan said in the interview. "The physical wounds heal. You don't carry around the evidence the way you would if you had lost your leg or your arm in Afghanistan."

Heart - Black

India: Man Beheads Girlfriend in Front of Classmates at University

It was a college romance with a horrific ending. On Wednesday, a student of St Xavier's College, Ranchi, was beheaded by her boyfriend inside the campus in the heart of the city. Bijendra Kumar alias Golu, 23, an engineering diploma student of Jamshedpur, used a small dagger to severe the head of Khusbu, 18, an intermediate student. He was nabbed by students and security guards.

Khusbu belonged to Tatilsilwai on the outskirts of Ranchi, but she visited her uncle's house in Jamshedpur's Sonari locality. "The duo apparently met in Jamshedpur and had an affair, which might have turned sour," said city SP Sambhu Thakur.

Kumar's family in Jamshedpur had no information about the crime. When HT contacted the family, his mother Yamini Devi said, "He left the house around 8.30am for the institute and we haven't heard from him yet."

Pistol

27 people injured in shooting in Turkey

Image
© file photo
At least 27 people, including an opposition candidate, have been injured after an armed man opened fire on a group of people at an election meeting in Turkey's southern city of Samandag on April 28, 2011.
At least 27 people have been injured after an armed man opened fire on a group of people at an election meeting in Turkey's southern city of Samandag.

A parliamentary candidate from the main opposition Republican People's Party was injured during the shooting incident which took place on Thursday at an election meeting ahead of the parliamentary elections set for June, Anatolia news agency reported.

Reports say at least two of the victims are in critical conditions and Turkish security forces are searching for the gunman who managed to flee the scene.

The shooter, who has been identified as a convicted criminal, reportedly used a pump-action hunting rifle in the incident.

Meanwhile, Refik Eryilmaz, the parliamentary deputy from the opposition Republican People's Party, or CHP, who was injured in the incident condemned the attack, and said it was fortunate that there were no fatalities.

Handcuffs

UK: More anti-monarchy protesters arrested

London Police
London police have arrested three more anti-monarchy protesters, trying to perform a mock execution of Prince Andrew with a guillotine on the royal wedding's eve.

Three protesters demonstrating against the monarchy through a theatrical show have been arrested and jailed at Lewisham police station.

Professor Chris Knight, a principle member of the G20 Meltdown group, was arrested in south east London at 6.15pm. His partner Camilla Power and Patrick Macroidan playing the role of an executioner are also in prison now.

Metropolitan Police spokesman said: "This evening, 28 April, officers arrested three people - two males aged 68 and 45, and a 60-year-old woman - in Wickham Road, SE4 on suspicion of conspiracy to cause public nuisance and breach of the peace. They are currently in custody at Lewisham police station."

Bell

UK: Unfair Wedding Threatens Royals Future

Prince William and Kate Middleton
© unknown
Kate Middleton and Prince William
Analysts are questioning the 'fairness' of imposing the astronomical costs of the Royal Wedding on British taxpayers amid growing public weariness of the wide coverage given to the 'unpleasant' event.

While there are claims that the royal wedding will at the end of the day benefit the British public both economically by triggering retailers' sales as well as attracting interested tourists and socially by spreading happiness London-based writer and journalist Peter Carty believes the opposite is true.

Carty said in an interview with Press TV that as the widely hyped event is not going to "bring in more income in the country as a whole" one comes to believe "it's quite clearly unfair" on the populous.

"I don't think it is going to bring in more income in the country as a whole. Our overall income will probably go down by six billion pounds and the amount of extra revenue we're going to get back from tourism, sales of memorabilia etc, would be about one billion pounds best estimate - something like 1.5 billion US dollars, so overall the country is going to lose out very heavily," he said. "The question of whether that's fair on the populous as a whole - It's quite clearly unfair."

Carty also said, to add insult to injury the media are giving a pointlessly wide coverage to the event despite the solely symbolic and ceremonial position of the royal family in the British politics and the low opinion of the people about the monarchy.

Wolf

US: Eugene probation officer pleads guilty to sex assault of woman he supervised

Image
© Multnomah County Sheriff's Office
Mark John Walker
A former federal probation officer pleaded guilty this morning to a felony count of aggravated sexual abuse, admitting that he forced a woman that he supervised to have sex with him.

Mark John Walker, 52, of Eugene also pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Ralph Beistline to four misdemeanor counts stemming from his fondling and kissing four other female offenders under his supervision. He admitted that he willfully deprived the women of their constitutional right to bodily integrity.

Assistant U.S. attorney Pamala Holsinger said that if a trial were to proceed the government was prepared to show evidence that Walker singled out women with mental health problems or histories of sexual abuse. He often arranged to visit the women he was supervising when they were home alone, would make sexual comments and in several instances, touched their buttocks and breasts and kissed them.

People

Japanese drop their traditional politeness over nuclear crisis

Image
© Kyung-hoon/Reuters
Protesters in the Japanese capital hold an anti-nuclear rally in front of the headquarters of Tokyo Electric Power Co., the operator of the tsunami-crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
Fishermen, students, workers and small-town officials publicly blame Tepco and the government.

Kenji Kadota long followed the dual credo drilled into him during childhood: Hide your anger and trust the powers that be.

Yet in the wake of last month's triple whammy of earthquake, tsunami and radiation release, the 55-year-old construction chief has thrown all such cultural lessons out the window.

Kadota faults the firm that runs the crippled Fukushima Daiichi power plant for its mishandling of the nuclear crisis that has followed the March 11 natural disasters. He believes dithering public officials have compounded the public's anxiety by withholding information about the true dangers facing people who live near the plant.

So for the first time in his life, Kadota is speaking up. He's joined a growing chorus of college students, ruddy-faced fishermen, small-town mayors and even a combative prefecture governor voicing dissatisfaction in a manner highly uncommon in a nation known for taking politeness to the extreme.

"Japanese are raised to keep their feelings to themselves, but now that's impossible," said Kadota, who complained that officials failed to deliver water and emergency supplies to his hometown of Iwaki, not far from the stricken plant. "We've been abandoned. And I am angry."

Cowboy Hat

US: Governor Rick Perry Says Obama Leaving Texas in the Dust

Rick Perry

Texas Governor, Rick Perry
Texas Governor Rick Perry criticized the Obama administration on Thursday for not responding to a request for a disaster aid for the parched state, where wildfires have scorched nearly 2 million acres.

"You have to ask, 'Why are you taking care of Alabama and other states?' I know our letter didn't get lost in the mail," Perry, a Republican and frequent critic of the federal government, said after addressing a Texas emergency management conference.

President Barack Obama declared a state of emergency for Alabama, where storms -- including a tornado that ravaged Tuscaloosa on Wednesday -- killed nearly 200 people this week.

The White House said Obama will visit the state on Friday.

"There is a point in time where you say, 'Hey, what's going on here?'" Perry said.

Info

US: WikiLeaks suspect to be housed with other inmates

Bradley Manning
© EPA
Army Pfc. Bradley Manning, in an undated file photo.
The Army private accused of passing classified documents to WikiLeaks was cleared Thursday to live alongside other inmates at a military prison, a dramatic change from his previous quarters in a brig where he spent 23 hours a day alone in his cell.

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning passed the lengthy physical and psychiatric evaluation given to new inmates at the Fort Leavenworth prison and received final clearance just before a mid-day media tour of the facility, its commander Lt. Col. Dawn Hilton said.

Manning was transferred there last week from the Marine Corps brig in Virginia, where he had been held for the eight months since his arrest.

At Quantico, Manning had to surrender his clothes at night in favour of a military-issued, suicide-prevention smock. Manning's attorney and supporters said that was unnecessary and argued his living conditions, including his isolation from other inmates, were inhumane.

Jeff Paterson, a member of the Bradley Manning Support Network, said Thursday he was "heartened" by the news that Manning's conditions were improving.