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US, California: On Halloween, homeless sex offender parolees pulled off streets

Halloween, jack-o-lanterns
© unknown
California's homeless sex offender parolees will be rounded up and kept indoors Halloween night under a new initiative announced under the state's annual Operation Boo crackdown.

The state corrections department began the Halloween night initiative in 1994 and has expanded it since.

Sex offenders on parole are required to remain indoors from 5 p.m. Halloween night to 5 a.m. the next day and are banned from turning on external lights or decorating their houses for Halloween.

During the curfew they may only open the door to law enforcement.

Info

Russian Clocks Stay on Summertime

Clocks Reset
© Agence France-Presse
Northern Europe put its clocks back an hour on Sunday.
Russia has not put its clocks back for winter this year, after President Dmitry Medvedev decided the country would stay permanently in summertime. Mr Medvedev announced his decision in March, saying it was in order to relieve the stress of changing clocks.

Officials at the time talked about an annual increase in suicides. It means that this winter in Russia the mornings will be darker for longer, but there will be more daylight in the afternoons.

So, as almost all of Northern Europe set its clocks back overnight, Russia did nothing, opting instead to remain on summertime for the whole year.

But because Russia is almost alone in sticking to summertime it has meant that businesses like banks, and in particular airlines and railways, have had an extra complication this autumn.

Pumpkin

US, Virginia: Condemnation for Republican Halloween montage featuring zombie Obama with gunshot to forehead

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© www.tooconservative.com
A screen capture shows an email from the Loudon County Republican Party depicting President Obama with a forehead wound.
A Halloween-themed graphic featuring a zombie President Barack Obama with a bullet hole in his forehead provoked widespread outrage and the attention of the Secret Service Monday after a local Republican committee in Virginia used it to scare up interest in Halloween parade political activities.

The montage, a banner on a mass email to Republicans in a Virginia county, mingles seasonal images including a jack-o-lantern, a disfigured U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi and a throng of flesh-hungry zombie Obama supporters.

The posterized image of a rotting, undead Obama with a bleeding, large-calibre hole an inch above his right eye prompted Democrats to cry foul and Virginia's Republican governor to denounce it as "shameful and offensive."

"This is a disgusting and violent portrayal of the president of the United States," said Democratic Party of Virginia spokesman Brian Coy.

Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell, through spokesman J. Tucker Martin, called on the Loudoun County Republicans to "apologize for their actions, and to immediately ensure that such imagery is never used again."

Gear

Armed Citizen Militia Shows Up At Occupy Phoenix

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Armed citizen militia group US Border Guard is making its presence felt at the Occupy Phoenix demonstration to protect free speech rights, arguing that the second amendment prevents the state from abusing the first amendment.

The group has been labeled "neo-nazis" by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which is usually a demonization tactic, but the individual shown in the clip, "JT Ready" has attended neo-nazi rallies and is closely affiliated with the fringe National Socialist Party.

The group has also operated as a "Minutemen on steroids" outfit, organizing armed patrols of the US border with Mexico.

Attention

War and the Return of Populism

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Why Obama is targeting Iran

What's behind the recent upsurge in anti-Iranian war propaganda coming out of the Obama administration? This is the question Stephen Walt posed on his blog at ForeignPolicy.com:
"What's the endgame here? What is the positive purpose to be gained from this new campaign? If there really is hard and reliable evidence of a serious Iranian plot to bomb buildings in the United States and to kill foreign emissaries on our soil, then that's one thing. But if this turns out to be a much more ambiguous business - either a rogue Iranian operation, a false flag scheme, or a case of FBI entrapment - then what are we trying to accomplish by rolling out a seemingly well-orchestrated round of new accusations, especially when there's little chance of getting the sort of 'crippling sanctions' that might actually alter Iran's behavior? Are we just trying to divert attention from other issues (the economy, the 'Arab Spring,' the failed diplomacy on Israel-Palestine, etc.), or is this somehow linked to the 2012 campaign?"
He's getting warmer. The Obama cult is drawing what sounds like its last breath on the American political scene, with the President's reelection increasingly in doubt. Yet that doesn't begin to explain why Obama is risking alienating his base with yet another overseas conflict that we can't afford, and the American people don't want. Nor does it explain why he is making unambiguous statements in support of a narrative that has been met with undisguised disdain by nearly every Iran expert with any credibility: almost no one believes the Quds force, the Iranian version of our "Special Forces," would employ an alcoholic used car salesman to recruit a Mexican drug cartel to off the Saudi ambassador and commit terrorist acts in the US (and Argentina, an allegation that appears to have been thrown into the mix for good measure). No one, that is, but the President of the United States and the anonymous high government officials who have been spinning this absurd story behind the scenes.

Info

Jury convicts US man of 9 murders for serial killings that terrorized Phoenix in 2006

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© unknown
Mark Goudeau
A jury on Monday found a former construction worker guilty of killing nine people in the so-called Baseline Killer case that terrorized the Phoenix area during the summer of 2006.

Mark Goudeau was accused of attacking his victims as they went about daily activities, such as leaving work or washing their car. He left most of them with their pants unzipped and partially pulled down. The victims - eight of them women - ranged from 19 to 39 years old.

Police named the series of killings and other crimes after Baseline Road in south Phoenix where many of the earliest attacks happened. Goudeau lived only a few miles from many of the attack sites.

Prosecutors had called the 47-year-old Goudeau a "ravenous wolf" driven by a hunger to rape women and kill those who didn't co-operate with his demands. Defence attorneys insisted that there are likelier suspects than Goudeau and questioned DNA tests linking Goudeau to the crimes.

In all, Goudeau faced 72 counts, including the nine murders and various counts of kidnapping, sexual assault and robbery. He was found guilty of all but four counts, and the jury failed to reach a verdict on one charge.

"Hopefully there's going to be some closure in my mind now," said Alvin Hogue, 53, whose wife was killed with another woman as they cooked food inside a lunch truck in Phoenix. His wife left behind Hogue and six children, including their then 4-month-old twin boys.

Padlock

US soldier jailed for 10 years for South Korea rape

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© Agence France-Presse
A South Korean court on Tuesday jailed a US soldier for 10 years for raping a teenager, Yonhap news agency reported, in a case which prompted an apology from a top US diplomat. Visiting Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell (pictured) last month offered an apology to the Korean people for "the tragic and inexcusable rape"
A South Korean court on Tuesday jailed a US soldier for 10 years for raping a teenager, Yonhap news agency reported, in a case which prompted an apology from a top US diplomat.

The private was sentenced for raping the 18-year-old multiple times in Dongducheon, which hosts the US Second Infantry Division base and is near the border with North Korea.

The US military handed him over to South Korean authorities.

Visiting Assistant Secretary of State Kurt Campbell last month offered an apology to the Korean people for "the tragic and inexcusable rape".

Stop

US North Carolina: Homeless Man Assaults Occupy Asheville Protesters

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© Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images
Demonstrators with Occupy Wall Street continue their protest at Zuccotti Park in New York on Oct. 21, 2011.
The Occupy Asheville movement may be faced with a new opponent that represents a different kind of 1 percent - homeless people.

On Friday, a homeless man threatened to fight members of Occupy Asheville, harassing women with inappropriate comments and also spraying a soda at protesters before being arrested. The Asheville Citizen-Times reports that the man was arrested for assault and making threats.

Asheville police responded to the scene around 5:30 a.m. Friday, arresting the homeless man for the alleged assault. Protesters accuse the homeless man of keeping Occupiers up for six straight hours when they were attempting to sleep, even bragging about a bike he allegedly stole from the camp. It does not appear the man was a part of the Occupy Asheville movement.

The incident came just days after Asheville leaders forced the Occupiers to move from their original protesting position, which led them to a spot in front of the Federal Building. Asheville Police Lt. Wallace Welch told CBS Charlotte that although he doesn't know if the arrest will be an isolated incident, the group's presence could determine if there will be future interactions.

Black Cat

US: Accident?? 17 Yr. Old in Critical Condition after Getting Tangled in Noose at Haunted House

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Accident: The girl, who was working as an actress at the attraction in St Louis, Missouri, was found unconscious with the prop around her neck
A 17-year-old girl is in a critical condition after she became tangled in a noose at a Halloween haunted house.

Police said the girl, who was working as an actress at the attraction in St Louis, Missouri, was found unconscious with the prop around her neck.

The girl is thought to have fallen off a bathtub at Creepyworld where she had been working for two weeks.

Arrow Down

US: Second Energy Department-backed Company Goes Bankrupt

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A Massachusetts company that received a $43 million Energy Department loan guarantee last year filed for bankruptcy Sunday, a step certain to fuel criticism of federal green energy financing in the wake of the solar company Solyndra's collapse.

Beacon Power Corp., which develops energy storage systems, filed for bankruptcy protection in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware.

Beacon Power had received a federal loan guarantee to help build an energy storage plant in Stephentown, N.Y., that began operating in January. The Treasury Department's Federal Financing Bank provided the loan.

Beacon sought bankruptcy protection two days after the White House ordered an independent 60-day evaluation of the Energy Department's loan programs aimed at ensuring effective management and monitoring.