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American girl, just 12, builds 27 homes in Haiti

Image
© NBC News
Rachel Wheeler
Leogane, Haiti - If there really is something called "helper's high" - that feel-good sensation that comes from extending a helping hand to others - Rachel Wheeler is soaring.

The 12-year-old Florida resident has done more to aid others than many grown-ups do in a lifetime.

Three years ago, when she was only nine, Rachel tagged along with her mother to a very adult meeting about charity work in Haiti. She listened as Robin Mahfood, from the aid agency Food For The Poor, describe children so hungry that they eat cookies made of mud, so poor that they sleep in houses made of cardboard.

At the time, Julie Wheeler wasn't even sure her young daughter understood much of what was being discussed - "until Rachel stood on a chair in front of all those adults and pledged to help Food For The Poor," Wheeler said.

Then a fourth grader, Rachel promised to raise money to build a dozen homes in Haiti.

"Rachel didn't just want to help," her mother remembers, "but she said she had to help."

Comment: Empathy: Empathy is being conscious of, or sensitive to, the emotions of another person or group of people.


Light Saber

Oakland Mayor's Legal Adviser Resigns Over Raid and Says: "Support Occupy Oakland, Not the 1% and its Government Facilitators"

Police Evict Protesters and Flatten Occupy Oakland Camp ... Mayor's Legal Adviser Resigns In Protest

Oakland police broke up the Occupy Oakland camp this morning:


In response, the mayor of Oakland's legal adviser resigned in protest.

Heart - Black

Mayor "1%" Bloomberg Tries to Make it Harder for Homeless to Get Into Shelters (Temporary Reprieve Granted)

New york city homeless bloomberg
© Unknown
New York's Department of Homeless Services has tried to launch a new policy restricting access to shelters.

Last week the Bloomberg administration announced new eligibility rules that would make it harder for homeless people to get into city shelters, a cost-cutting measure astutely timed to coincide with the approach of winter. After a major outcry by homeless advocates and city council members including Speaker Christine Quinn, the city agreed last night to delay the measure pending a court review on December 9th.

Under the policy, originally set to go into effect next week, the city could refuse someone a bed at a shelter unless they proved they had no other housing options, such as staying with relatives or friends. Department of Homeless Services commissioner Seth Diamond claimed the new eligibility guidelines would prevent people who have alternatives to the shelter (like a princely spot on someone's floor) from filling up space reserved for the chronically homeless. Critics pointed out that redefining what counts as "homeless" and throwing bureaucratic obstacles at people in desperate financial straits is not the same thing as actually combatting homelessness.

Council member Annabel Palma and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn slammed the policy in a joint statement, saying it is, "cruel, risky, unacceptable, and will not reduce homelessness in the city of New York. Denying people shelter because they have found another option for some period of time is punishing people for trying to do the right thing."

Handcuffs

3 French aid workers freed in Yemen

Image
© St. Pete for Peace
Yemen Map
Paris - Three French aid workers held hostage by al-Qaida militants in Yemen have been freed after nearly six months in captivity, thanks to help from the sultan of Oman and a possible ransom payment, officials said Monday.

Kidnappers linked to al-Qaida's offshoot in the region had demanded $12 million in exchange for the three and had threatened to kill the hostages if ransom wasn't paid imminently, according to Yemeni officials.

The hostage ordeal came amid an uprising against the 30-year reign of President Ali Abdullah Saleh that has unraveled security in Yemen, the Arab world's poorest country. Al-Qaida-linked militants have taken control of entire towns in the country's restive south.

The aid group Triangle Generation Humanitaire said the three workers were in good health. But the circumstances of their release remained murky.

Comment: Al-Qaida once again the source of world tensions, fears and kidnappings. Isn't it strange how Al-Qaida is always at the heart of these affairs world wide? How would a government or newspaper know so much about militant links, how they operate or if they're an offshoot without 'inside' information?


Life Preserver

Turkish official calls quake-hit Van a 'ghost city,' says survivors need more aid

Turkey Earthquake Fire
© Bertan Ayduk / Associated Press
Survivors of a quake warm themselves around a fire as rescue workers search for survivors in the rubble of a collapsed hotel in Van, Turkey, Saturday, Nov. 12, 2011.
Two powerful earthquakes that struck eastern Turkey have left a city of half a million a virtual ghost town, and survivors need relief aid desperately, a local official said Monday.

A magnitude-7.2 quake last month and a magnitude-5.7 quake last week flattened some 2,000 buildings, killed 644 people and left thousands homeless in the eastern Turkish province of Van, where an unusually cold November is forcing survivors to endure even more suffering.

Very few state-owned buildings in the provincial capital, also called Van, survived the quake, provincial Gov. Munir Karaloglu told the state-run Anatolia news agency. Many residents have fled because they fear going back into their homes even if they are not damaged.

"It is a ghost city," said Karaloglu. "Almost none of the buildings are in use."

Karaloglu called on the country to show "even more mercy" in the face of mounting needs, ranging from housing to food and warm clothing.

Pistol

US: Cop shot at fellow officer then ordered pizza

Image
© Broward Sheriff's Office
Police officer Kristopher John Bieger, following his arrest.
Lauderhill - A Florida police officer who allegedly shot at a fellow cop before driving off and ordering pizza on Saturday night has been identified.

Officer Kristopher John Bieger, 30, is charged with attempted first degree murder and discharging a firearm from a vehicle, according to Lauderhill Police Department.

The bullet missed the intended victim - a female colleague whose name is not being released.

According to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, the shooting took place by Inverry Boulevard and NW 56 Ave. in Lauderhill at about 7:30 p.m. on Saturday.

A report in the Miami Herald said Bieger then drove to a Publix shopping center near the corner of Griffin and Volunteer roads, where he entered Donato's Ristorante and ordered two slices of pizza.

Comment: Amazing! If your a police officer in Florida and you attempt to murder, you'll only be faced with suspension without pay. John must be loving his unpaid vacation.


Megaphone

US: Ex-Marine injured in Oakland protest makes public statement

Image
© Reuters/Lucas Jackson
Veterans Jose Mediavilla (L) and Jason Matherne hold signs in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement and in support of Marine Scott Olsen who was wounded marching in Oakland, California, near Zuccotti Park in New York November 2, 2011.
Los Angeles - Ex-Marine Scott Olsen, whose injury during clashes between Oakland police and demonstrators gave impetus to anti-Wall Street protests, said on Sunday he is "feeling a lot better" in his first public statement since his injury.

In a message posted to social networking site Google Plus, 24-year-old Olsen thanked those who had been tracking his progress for their outpouring of support.

"I'm feeling a lot better, with a long road in front of me," Olsen wrote. "After my freedom of speech was quite literally taken from me, my speech is coming back but I've got a lot of work to do with rehab."

The post is accompanied by a photo of Olsen, smiling with a neck brace on and a visible scar on his forehead.

"Thank you for all of your support, it has meant the world to me," he continued. "You'll be hearing more from me in the near future and soon enough we'll see you in our streets!"

2 + 2 = 4

Sott.net Interview with Andrew Lobaczewski

In 2006, Sott.net interviewed Political Ponerology author Andrew Lobaczewski.


Stormtrooper

Norway killer interrupted at 1st open court hearing, attended by survivors of bloody rampage

 Anders Behring Breivik
© unknown
Anders Behring Breivik
The Norwegian right-wing extremist who confessed to a bombing and shooting massacre that killed 77 people tried to give a speech describing himself as a resistance leader at his first public court hearing Monday but was cut off by the judge.

Wearing a dark suit, Anders Behring Breivik was escorted by guards into an Oslo court room packed with dozens of reporters and members of the public, including survivors of his shooting at a youth camp outside the capital who were seeing him in person for the first time since the bloody rampage.

Breivik began portraying himself as the "commander" of a Norwegian resistance movement before the judge interrupted him and told him to stick to the issue at hand. The hearing was to decide whether to extend Breivik's custody pending his trial on terror charges.

Prosecutors asked for a court order to keep him jailed for 12 more weeks, with restrictions on media access, visitors and mail.

Previous court hearings in the case have been closed to the public. At the end of Monday's hearing, the judge lifted a ban on reporting on the proceedings.

Stormtrooper

US: Occupy Portland Protests: Evicted By 1984 Police State!

Occupy Portland Protests Stand Off With Police All Night


Mayhem seemed only one step away from reality Sunday night as Occupy Portland protesters and police stood face to face for 9 consecutive hours into the night. Midnight Saturday, Portland City Mayor Sam Adams followed through on his promise to put an end to Occupy Portland protests. One of America's greatest displays of solidarity and patriotism for that matter, Occupy Portland protests marked the single largest O.W.S. movement inside the United States today. Larger than camps in; San Francisco, Oakland, Utah, Boise, Texas, D.C., Philadelphia, Boston and even New York; Occupy Portland protests are/were a "village of protesters." People began camping in two neighboring downtown city parks on Oct. 6th 2011, after 50,000 people rallied in Portland early last October. Regardless of the massive size and scope of the movement, on the 39th day of the Occupy Portland protests the "village," where thousands of Americans found refuge during record unemployment rates, was torn down by over 150 armed Portland police officers. Both parks where the protests took place were disassembled just before 10am Sunday morning. Currently fences are being erected by city officials in order to block the park off from future protests.