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New Zealand: Seal-Attack Duo to be Charged

© Auckland Zoo
The baby seal being tube-fed liquids at Auckland Zoo after it was brutally beaten and found by a DOC ranger in a west Auckland stream.

The Department of Conservation will lay charges against two men who admitted beating a seal pup with a boat oar and left the bloodied mammal to float down a West Auckland creek.

Two men, a 39-year-old from Massey and a 22-year-old from Henderson, were seen bashing the 1m fur seal at Henderson Creek at around 8pm on Monday night. Witnesses reported the attack to police who yesterday questioned the pair.

The 1-year-old seal's head was swollen on one side and its nose and muzzle bleeding after the attack.

"We're hoping the injuries are fairly superficial. One of our rangers picked it up from police [on Monday night] after they were looking after it at the water's edge," DoC biodiversity programme manager Phil Brown said.

The seal is now being treated at the New Zealand Centre for Conservation Medicine at Auckland Zoo.

Che Guevara

Egypt Simmering as Protests Spread; Regime Takes Down Twitter

© Press TV
Angry Coptic Christians protest earlier this month in Cairo.
Egypt's protests today appear to be the largest public call for democratic reform and an end to the Mubarak regime for years.

The scope of Egypt's protests today, calling for greater freedom and downfall of strongman President Hosni Mubarak, is unprecedented.

Though tens of thousands took to the streets of Cairo in 2005 calling for democratic reform, today's protests are far beyond the action in the capital. Reporters and activists on the scene in Cairo say there was a spirit of anger and defiance in the crowds and there were protests of varying sizes in at least a half-dozen Egyptian cities.

By late afternoon, thousands of protesters converged in Tahrir Square, not far from the US embassy, the Interior Ministry and the five-star hotels looming over the Nile. Police water cannons and tear gas barrages did little to deter them.

For now, it's hard to imagine the aging Mr. Mubarak and the apparatus of the state being swept from power in the same way that President Ben Ali was chased from Tunis. Egyptian military spending is much higher than in Tunisia and the circle of people who have everything to lose if the system is upended much wider.

Megaphone

Former BBC newscaster Peter Sissons treated as a lunatic for daring to dissent against Global Warming cult

Image
© RexMailPix
Concerns: Peter Sissons checks a report for accuracy, but says his time at the BBC was categorised by poor leadership and the fact that journalistic mistakes were not punished
Institutionally biased to the Left, politically correct and with a rudderless leadership. This is Peter Sissons' highly critical view of the BBC in his new memoirs, in which he describes his fascinating career over four decades as a television journalist. Here, in the latest part of our serialisation, he reveals how it was heresy at the BBC to question claims about climate change . . .

My time as a news and ­current affairs anchor at the BBC was characterised by weak leadership and poor ­direction from the top, but hand in hand with this went the steady growth of political correctness.

Indeed, it was almost certainly the ­Corporation's unchallengeable PC culture that made strong leadership impossible.

Leadership - one person being in charge, trusting his or her own judgment, taking a decision and telling others what to do - was shied away from in favour of endless meetings of a dozen or more ­people trying to arrive at some sort of consensus.

Laptop

Hackers break into Nicolas Sarkozy's Facebook page and announce his resignation

Image

The message was posted on Mr Sarkozy's Facebook page and was sent to thousands of 'friends
Hackers have managed to break into the Facebook page of French President Nicolas Sarkozy and post that he would be quitting next year.

The message meant that more than 350,000 'friends' of the head of state would have been sent messages informing them of his apparent resignation.

Many passed the message on to thousands of others, creating a storm of interest into whether the resignation was genuine.

In a misspelled post, Mr Sarkozy is meant to have written: 'Dear Compatriots, given the exceptional circumstances facing our country I have decided not to put myself up for re-election in 2012.'

The post also included a reference to another Facebook page, 'Farewell to Nicolas Sarkozy', which suggested people meet outside Le Fouquet's restaurant in Paris on May 6, 2012, to celebrate his resignation.

Ambulance

Mexican police: Gunmen open fire at soccer game, 7 dead

© CNN
A body lies below a sign that reads Live Better in Spanish -- a slogan in Juarez's anti-violence campaign.

A group of heavily armed men opened fire at a soccer match between two local teams in western Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, killing seven people and wounding two others, according to a municipal police spokesman.

The soccer field is at a community center opened four months ago as part of a program to decrease drug violence in a city that has been racked by violence and killings linked to drug cartels. Police said Monday they had not determined a motive for the shooting.

The dead from the shooting Sunday evening were males ranging in age from 19 to 26, police said. At least one was a soccer player -- an image from the scene showed the dead player face down on turf. Above him was a posted sign reading in Spanish, Live Better -- a slogan in Juarez's anti-violence campaign.

Three victims died at the scene, while four others died on the way to area hospitals.

The gunmen -- reportedly traveling in three vehicles -- sprayed the soccer field with about 180 rounds from assault rifles around 6 p.m., just before the game got started, police said.

Info

Thousands of Abortion Opponents Rally in March on Mall

Image
© unknown
Thousands of bundled-up abortion opponents rallied Monday on the Mall, encouraged by recent federal and state GOP wins and hopeful about proposed measures that would further tighten bans on federal funding for abortions.

The Youth Rally and Mass for Life, hosted by the Archdiocese of Washington, marked the 38th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion. Annual events tend to focus on mobilizing the young, and Catholic high schools, youth groups and colleges were out in force Monday in Washington.

For the first time, a morning Mass at Verizon Center was expanded to the D.C. Armory, where a parallel event was held. More than 27,000 young people attended the events, which began after dawn and included readings by youths in hooded sweatshirts and jeans, contemporary praise music and dozens of priests hearing confessions in the sports arena's dining area.

The Rev. Mark Ivany of the Catholic Church of the Little Flower in Bethesda, who delivered the homily at Verizon Center, compared attendees to activists from previous eras who fought against slavery and for women's right to vote.

"The greatest difference between other civil rights movements and this one is that most of the people affected by Roe v. Wade can't march on Washington," Ivany said. "They can't give great speeches."

The Verizon Center crowd spilled on to downtown streets to join a premarch rally on the Mall about noon. Some signs and buttons were evergreen: "De-fund Planned Parenthood," "I was adopted not aborted" and "I regret my abortion." Others mentioned President Obama, whom the movement hopes will be challenged by recently elected conservatives. "Stop the Obama abortion agenda," a common sign said.

Health

Pakistan begins assault on polio with vaccinations for 32 million children

Image
© Declan Walsh for the Guardian
Six-year-old Zahid, who was diagnosed with polio last December, pictured at home in Karachi with his uncle, a factory labourer.
Zardari launches emergency drive to safeguard under-fives after virus infection rates in Pakistan rise by 65%

Beset by war against violent extremists, Pakistan is now thrusting itself on to the frontline of a silent battle: the world's final assault on polio.

Asif Ali Zardari, the country's president, is launching an emergency drive to immunise 32 million children under the age of five against polio, aiming to reverse an alarming surge in cases last year.

Under the plan, to be launched , tomorrow armed police and paramilitary soldiers will protect teams of vaccinators in the most dangerous areas, a presidential spokesman said.

Bill Gates, who met Zardari in Washington last week, is funding the effort with a $65m donation through the Gates Foundation.

Pakistan's polio crisis represents one of the last big hurdles in a 23-year campaign run by the World Health Organisation. Doctors say they are on the cusp of eradicating the disease, with infection rates falling elsewhere. In Pakistan, however, the infection rate has risen by 65%, undoing progress made over the last decade.

Pistol

What Is It About Walmart? Nine Shootings In Ten Months

In the last 10 months we have recorded 9 shootings outside Walmart supermarkets in the USA. What is it about Walmart??

Walmart Parking Lot Shooting

Monday January 24, 2011

Port Orchard, Wash.. - A shootout in front of a Walmart in Washington state left two people dead and two sheriff's deputies wounded Sunday afternoon, a sheriff's spokesman said.

One of the dead was a man who shot at deputies, said Scott Wilson of the Kitsap County Sheriff's Office. The other victim was a young woman who died after she was taken to a Tacoma hospital, he said

The store was immediately locked down. Customers in the store were being allowed to leave after investigators questioned them and the store closed for the night, Wilson said.

The investigation "is real basic right now," he said, adding that officers don't know why the man fled and began firing.

"The big question of why is unanswered now," he said.

Walmart shooting raises more questions about gun safety

January 19, 2011

Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) - Tuesday's shooting in a Walmart parking lot in North Las Vegas has sparked a bit of controversy. Some are now wondering whether the victim of that attempted robbery made the right choice by pulling out his gun during the altercation.

Officer Coon says citizens fighting back against their assailants is a growing trend.

In Tuesday's incident, the suspect pushed the victim to the ground while attempting to steal his wallet. The victim then took out his gun and fired at him.

While authorities acknowledge that it was in self defense and that the victim had a legal permit to carry the weapon, they say it was very risky move.

This latest incident, along with the Tucson massacre, has placed gun safety back in the spotlight.

So with thousands of firearm advocates in Las Vegas for the gun convention Action News asked some of them how they would have reacted under the same circumstances.

"I would have done the same thing. I would have pulled out my gun," said Billy Rugh.

But not everyone sees it that way.

Man Shot At Kissimmee Walmart

January 17, 2011

KISSIMMEE - Two suspects are charged with attempted murder for Sunday night's shooting outside the Walmart Supercenter on Osceola Parkway,

The shooting occurred about 7 p.m. after the two groups of young men began arguing inside the Walmart store. When Townsend and Allwood left to go to their car in the parking lot, Wells and three unidentified men followed them for what appeared to be a fight, and the shots were fired, according to police.

Managers at the store, at 1471 E. Osceola Parkway, near Florida's Turnpike, placed the store in lockdown, and it remained closed until 9 p.m.

Huntsville Police Investigating Double Shooting at Wal-Mart on University Drive

December 7, 2010

Huntsville, Alabama The man accused of shooting two people outside a Walmart store in Huntsville was reportedly taken off life support Tuesday morning at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. The woman who was shot was discharged from Huntsville Hospital late Monday.

A second victim, Stan Ryan Malone, died shortly after the shooting on Monday.

Police: Gunman in custody after Nevada Walmart shooting

October 29, 2010

Reno, Nevada A Reno Walmart employee who apparently feared for his job is accused of shooting and wounding three Walmart employees Friday morning, including a manager. He then ...

Arrests Made In Fatal Shooting Outside Walmart

September 26, 2010

Colorado Springs police have arrested two men suspected of shooting a man outside of a Colorado Springs Walmart.

Christopher Harmon, 26, was shot and killed outside the Walmart at 3201 East Platte Avenue. Police say the shooting happened just after midnight in the parking lot on September 26.

Suspect Dies After Galax, Virginia. Walmart Shooting

May 2, 2010

GALAX, VA. - A Galax, Va. man entered a Walmart store Saturday night and allegedly shot an employee before turning the gun on himself, according to police and witness accounts.

Police put the store under lockdown Saturday night while they interviewed witnesses and checked surveillance video.

Warrants Issued In Walmart Shooting

March 13, 2010

WILKESBORO, NC -- Wilkesboro police have issued arrest warrants in a shooting at the Wilkesboro Walmart that left one person injured Sunday evening.

Police said it is possible the shooting may have been an accidental discharge of a concealed weapon. Carlton is seen on surveillance video near the victim when the shooting happens, and is then seen fleeing the store, police said.

Texas Wal-Mart Shooting: Suspected Gunman Killed By Police

March 7, 2010

Commerce, Texas - A man walked into a Walmart in Texas carrying at least two guns before engaging in a shootout with police outside the store, authorities said. The man was killed and an off-duty officer in the store who had tried to stop him was injured.

The incident in the east Texas city of Commerce began when police received a call of shots being fired from a car in nearby Greenville, about 50 miles northeast of Dallas, said City of Commerce spokeswoman Marty Cunningham.

Commerce police intercepted the car just outside the city limits, where the man exchanged gunfire with officers, Cunningham said. He then drove to Walmart and entered the store "carrying a long gun and pistol," the spokeswoman said.

Che Guevara

British activists plan Scotland Yard blockade to expose undercover cops who used sexual tactics

Image
© Andy Rain/EPA
Activists are expected at Scotland Yard in London today to protest over surveillance methods on women and state-endorsed sexual predation.
Women activists are to blockade Scotland Yard today, intending to demand to know the identity of any undercover police who have infiltrated their organisations.

As evidence continued to emerge of police officers having had sexual relations with people they were monitoring, the women said they wanted to know if they had been "abused" by police.

Though senior police insisted that sleeping with activists during such operations was banned, a former agent claimed such "promiscuity" routinely had the blessing of commanders.

The activists' concerns follow the revelation that the undercover PC Mark Kennedy had sexual relationships with several women during the seven years he spent infiltrating environmental activists' groups. Last week the Guardian identified more officers who had sex with the protesters they were sent to spy on. One officer, Jim Boyling, married an activist and had two children with her.

Phoenix

US: Man Burned Alive in Mysterious Phoenix Car Fire. Dead Dog Found in Trunk

An unidentified man is dead after he was seen engulfed in flames on a Phoenix street Saturday morning. The man's car was also on fire when police responded to the scene, and authorities want to know what happened.

Phoenix police and fire officials responded to a call about 10:30 a.m. Saturday regarding a man on fire near 2800 South 7th Avenue. The man was still alive when authorities arrived on the scene and found him aflame outside of his vehicle.

The victim was taken to the Maricopa County Burn Unit where he died several hours later.