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Heart - Black

US: Court-martial begins for sergeant accused of killing civilians

Calvin Gibbs
© Peter Millett /Associated PressIn this courtroom sketch, Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs is seated at lower left as Army prosecutor Capt. Dan Mazzone stands at center and the military judge, Lt. Col. Kwasi Hawks, listens at top left.
The court martial for Staff Sgt. Calvin Gibbs, accused ringleader of a rogue U.S. Army platoon accused of murdering civilians in Afghanistan for sport, opened Monday, with Gibbs' lawyer admitting Gibbs kept fingers from three victims as souvenirs.

But the defense lawyer, Phil Stackhouse, says Gibbs saw the killings as legitimate engagements, not premeditated murder.

Gibbs was set up for blame by fellow squad members who already have admitted their roles in the killings, Stackhouse said. In proceedings reported by the Associated Press, Stackhouse said Gibbs was misunderstood by his fellow soldiers when he talked about previous killings of civilians during an earlier deployment to Iraq.

The court martial is being held at Joint Base Lewis-McChord in Washington state.

Heart - Black

Rogue US army unit leader saw Afghans as 'savages'

Afghanistan US army
© AFP/File, Yuri CortezThe crimes of a rogue US army unit has threatened Abu Ghraib-style embarrassment for the US military in Afghanistan
The ringleader of a rogue US army unit accused of killing Afghan civilians for sport treated the locals like "savages," a court martial heard.

The so-called "kill team" led by Staff Sergeant Calvin Gibbs was "out of control," prosecutors added as grisly photos of soldiers posing with a corpse were shown in court.

Gibbs, who sat expressionless in a tiny courtroom where the week-long case is being heard, also allegedly brandished fingers cut off dead bodies in a failed attempt to silence members of his team.

The 26-year-old faces life in prison if convicted on charges including three counts of premeditated murder, in a scandal that has threatened Abu Ghraib-style embarrassment for the US military.

Heart - Black

US: One protester dead in Oklahoma City, nine arrested in Portland

© YouTube
In what was an otherwise calm night across the country, one Occupy Oklahoma City protester was found dead and nine Occupy Portland protesters were arrested.

In a press advisory Monday, Occupy Oklahoma City organizers expressed their sadness at the passing of a homeless protester who went by the name "Street Poet."

"The Poet was found dead in his tent at Kerr Park earlier this afternoon by other participants," they wrote. "Police and emergency personnel were immediately contacted. Occupy OKC is withholding information concerning The Poet's identity pending notification of his family by authorities."

Oklahoma City police Capt. Dexter Nelson said that although the man appeared to be in his 20s, the death was not suspicious.

In a video posted to Facebook, Street Poet explained that he had been "traveling the road on foot doing poetry" since his dad kicked him out at the age of 16 or 17. Another video posted to Google Plus shows the man performing poetry.


US: OU Professor Accused Of Questionable Medical Practices On Students

Using students as guinea pigs and making deals with companies to make money off his research. These are serious allegations against an OU professor.

A former teaching assistant is speaking out about the questionable experiments. This graduate student and several others went to the university to report what they say are questionable practices.

Now that professor is on a leave of absence, and another professor has left the university as well. And we must warn you, some of the video and pictures in this story are graphic.


US: Corzine's MF feels heat as feds eye missing $$

Just a few months ago, former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine was rumored to be off to the White House. Now, after the sudden collapse of his MF Global, the outhouse seems more likely.
Jon Corzine, the CEO of bankrupt broker-dealer MF Global, saw his reputation tossed from the frying pan right into the regulatory fire yesterday when investigators discovered as much as $700 million in customer funds missing from the firm.

Officials from two US regulators, the Commodities Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission, were looking into whether the loot was diverted to support some of the firm's own trades.

As if the allegedly missing funds, which happened on Corzine's watch, are not bad enough, it was learned late yesterday that the $700 million was responsible for capsizing a potential deal between MF Global and rival Interactive Brokers Group that could have saved the firm and the jobs of the company's 2,870 employees worldwide.


US, New York: Lawyer Wants 'Psycho' NYPD Cop Charged for Punching Protester

© TS
The attorney for an Occupy Wall Street protester who was allegedly punched by New York City Police Department Deputy Inspector Johnny Cardona last month is calling on the district attorney to charge the officer like any other civilian suspect.

Civil rights attorney Ron Kuby and his client, Felix Rivera-Pitre, met with the Manhattan District Attorney's office Monday to discuss video tape that appears to show Cardona's violent actions.

"It was a careful questioning," Kuby told Raw Story Tuesday. "The sort of very meticulous kind of questioning that you would expect from somebody doing an investigation. ... I've seen this act before. I've been doing this for 30 years and, historically, they have always acted like they are taking it seriously, but they seldom do."

"The usual process that I've seen over and over and over again is that they conduct a very long, very thorough investigation. They present it to a grand jury. It's a secret proceeding. It's a black box of law. And then the district attorney announces that the grand jury has failed to indict. ... It provides the perfect political cover for timorous prosecutors."


Flashback Gaddafi crowned Africa's 'king of kings' by over 200 kings and tribal elders

A meeting of more than 200 African kings and traditional rulers has bestowed the title "king of kings" on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.
A meeting of more than 200 African kings and traditional rulers has bestowed the title "king of kings" on Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi.

The rulers, wearing gold crowns, sequined capes and colourful robes met in the Libyan town of Benghazi in what was billed as a first of its kind.

Col Gaddafi urged the royals to join his campaign for African unity.

Africa's political leaders are lukewarm about his vision of merging their powers to create a single government.

"We want an African military to defend Africa, we want a single African currency, we want one African passport to travel within Africa," Col Gaddafi told the assembled dignitaries, who come from countries such as Mozambique, South Africa, Ivory Coast and the Democratic Republic of Congo.


Women Still Prefer Taking Husband's Last Name

Just Married
© Olga Vladimirova, ShutterstockWill she be Mrs. HisLastName?

As a girl, Andrea Grimes assumed that she would take her husband's last name when she grew up and got married. But at 27 and newly engaged, the Dallas journalist and feminist blogger now has no interest in switching her surname.

But not everyone has caught up: Both Grimes' mother and her fiancé's stepmother have already referred to her with her fiancé's last name. Those assumptions aren't surprising, given that decades after the feminist revolution, most women still take their husband's last name upon marriage. While no national statistics exist, some recent studies suggest that women keeping their own name is actually becoming less popular. And a recent nationally representative survey found that half of Americans support women being legally required to take their husband's name upon marriage. These traditional attitudes persist even as divorce, remarriage, gay marriage and blended families make naming more complex.

"It's not unlike other sorts of signals of traditionalism," said study researcher Brian Powell, who along with his colleagues reported the results of that survey in the journal Gender and Society in April 2011.

"Wedding services today still have so many markings of the traditional gender divide," Powell, a sociologist at Indiana University, Bloomington, told LiveScience. "The symbolic aspects of gender are still very powerful."


Poland: Plane Crash-Lands at Warsaw's International Airport, No One Injured

© Peter Andrews/ReutersEmergency evacuation slides are deployed after the Boeing 767 crash-landed in Warsaw on Tuesday.
230 passengers on board aircraft which flew from Newark airport

A Boeing 767 from Newark carrying 230 passengers made an emergency landing in Warsaw after its landing gear failed to open.

Leszek Chorzewski, the spokesman for LOT, the Polish airline that operated the flight, said none of the passengers was injured.

"All safety procedures worked perfectly fine and, thanks to this, nobody was injured," Chorzewski said.

Live television footage showed the plane landing on its belly, with a few sparks flying as the craft hit the runway which had been covered with flame retardant foam.

There was no blaze but firefighters hosed the plane with water and foam as a precautionary measure.

Passengers could be seen fleeing the plane. The airport has been closed until 8 a.m. on Wednesday.

Light Sabers

US, UK and France's 'Libyan rebels' turn on each other as 'Free Libya' prepares for descent into Hell

© AFPA file photo of 'Libyan National Transitional Council fighters' also known as TERRORISTS in action
Hundreds of revolutionaries fought each other at a hospital in Tripoli early on Monday, in the biggest armed clash between allies since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi.

The fighting fuelled growing fears that nobody is in control of thousands of swaggering armed men who are still based in Tripoli and that the country's interim government will struggle to impose law and order.

Two people died from bullet wounds and at least seven fighters were injured during a battle that started when militia from the town of Zintan were stopped by guards from the Tripoli Brigade from entering the city's Central Hospital to kill a patient.

The hospital front door and entrance hall were afterwards left pocked with bullets, doctors and patients had to flee the building and two elderly patients died of heart attacks during the shooting, which lasted from about 1am until dawn. Heavy machine guns and anti-aircraft guns were used by both factions, supposed allies who in reality nurse a dangerous rivalry.

The shoot-out started when a group of gunmen arrived at the hospital in search of a man they had shot earlier in the night. Witnesses said the gunmen were drunk, and had come to finish the man off after learning that he had survived and been taken for medical treatment.

Doctors asked them to leave, at which point one of them pulled out a pistol and began shooting.