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Protesters Converge on Iraq Capital

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© European Press Association
Iraqi protesters have decried a lack of improvement in their daily lives eight years after the US-led invasion
Thousands of Iraqis take to the streets across the country to protest against corruption and unemployment.

Thousands of people have converged on Baghdad's Tahrir, or Liberation, Square to protest against corruption and unemployment, despite a vehicle ban that forced many to walk for hours to the heart of the Iraqi capital.

Al Jazeera's Jane Arraf reported from Baghdad that the situation was heading towards a stand-off, as security forces demanded the protesters leave, blocking their route across a bridge leading to the Green Zone, where the government has its base.

Concrete blocks were set up by authorities on all of Baghdad's bridges ahead of the protests.

"What we're seeing here is a bit of a test, of how the government will respond when these people clearly want their demands to be heard," Arraf said.

Oscar

The Bizarre Death and Mysterious Burial of a Hollywood Oscar Winner

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© Unknown
Almost nobody remembers Gig Young now, but 41 years ago he was the toast of Hollywood.

The Academy Awards for 1969 were presented on the evening of April 7, 1970, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles.

It was the second year the Oscars were televised worldwide and it was also the second year there was no host a brief interregnum between the Bob Hope era and most of the 1970s when hosting was done by committee (before one last hurrah for Bob Hope and the beginning of the Johnny Carson era).

Winning the Oscar for Best Picture was Midnight Cowboy, the only X-rated film in the history of the Academy Awards to win Best Picture.

John Wayne got the only Oscar of his career as Best Actor for his role of crusty Rooster Cogburn in True Grit and Maggie Smith won Best Actress as an eccentric Scottish teacher in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.

Goldie Hawn (in one of those typical Oscar "huh?" decisions) got the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for Cactus Flower.

And the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor goes to Gig Young for his performance as Rocky, the sleazy and manipulative promoter of a Depression-era dance marathon in They Shoot Horses, Don't They?

Pistol

Agent: I Was Ordered to Let U.S. Guns Into Mexico

ATF agent says "Fast and Furious" program let guns "walk" into hands of Mexican drug cartels with aim of tracking and breaking a big case

Washington - Federal agent John Dodson says what he was asked to do was beyond belief.

He was intentionally letting guns go to Mexico?

"Yes ma'am," Dodson told CBS News. "The agency was."


An Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms senior agent assigned to the Phoenix office in 2010, Dodson's job is to stop gun trafficking across the border. Instead, he says he was ordered to sit by and watch it happen.

Investigators call the tactic letting guns "walk." In this case, walking into the hands of criminals who would use them in Mexico and the United States.

Sherlock

US: Missouri Welfare Benefits Being Spent in Hawaii

A KMOV News 4 Investigation reveals Missouri residents receiving food stamps and welfare payments are spending them in places like Hawaii, California, and Florida.

News 4 requested public information regarding these expenses through the Missouri Department of Social Services. The agency provided a state by state break down of where Missouri benefits are being spent, click here to see the list.

In January Missouri EBT cards were used to withdraw $362,682 in cash outside the state. During that same time period Missouri EBT cards purchased $3,521,974 worth of food outside Missouri. Those card users racked up $752 worth of ATM fees, they were also paid by taxpayers.


Many of the EBT purchases were in border states, but a large chunk of change was spent in hard to reach places like California, Alaska, and Hawaii.

Light Saber

Texas Legislation Proposes Felony Charges for TSA Agents

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Rep. David Simpson (R-Longview) introduced a package of bills into the Texas House of Representatives on Tuesday that would challenge the TSA's authority in a number of ways. The first bill, HB 1938, prohibits full body scanning equipment in any Texas airport and provides for criminal and civil penalties on any airport operator who installs the equipment. The second bill, HB 1937, criminalizes touching without consent and searches without probable cause.

HB 1938 reads in part:
(b) An airport operator may not allow body imaging scanning equipment to be installed or operated in any airport in this state.

(c) An airport operator commits an offense if the operator fails to comply with Subsection (b).

(d) An airport operator who commits an offense under Subsection (c) is subject to a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed $1,000 for each day of the violation.

Sheriff

Kiwi One of 4 Mystery Deaths at Thailand Hotel

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© Unknown
Sarah Carter (right) died after suffering from food poisoning in Thailand
Thai police are investigating the unexplained deaths of three others who stayed in the same Chiang Mai hotel as New Zealand tourist Sarah Carter.

Auckland-born Miss Carter died in mysterious circumstances on February 6, and police now say an elderly British couple and a female Thai tour guide died after staying in the Downtown Inn last month.

Miss Carter, 23, died in a Thai hospital and her friends Amanda Eliason, 24, and Emma Langlands, 23, were violently ill.

Initial reports said they were hit by food poisoning but tests had proved inconclusive, said Thai police.

The tour guide died the day before Ms Carter fell ill and the two British tourists [died] several days later.

Police said there was nothing to indicate the deaths were linked.

Megaphone

Thousands take to Yemen's streets for new Day of Rage

Tens of thousands of demonstrators took to Yemen's streets on Tuesday, dedicating a new "Day of Rage" to the people killed in protests in recent months and calling for an end to President Ali Abdullah Saleh's three-decade rule.

Huge crowds poured onto the streets of the Yemeni capital Sanaa on Tuesday in what the opposition hailed as the biggest protest yet against President Ali Abdullah Saleh's three-decade rule.

The veteran leader, whose supporters staged a large counter-demonstration, dismissed the opposition rally as a copycat action mimicking protests in other Arab countries that he charged had been fanned by Israel and the United States.

He then sacked the governors of five provinces where anti-regime protests have been raging, mostly in the regions that made former South Yemen.

An official announcement said Saleh has removed the governors of Aden, Lahij and Abyan in the south, as well as Hadramut in the southeast and Hudayda in the west.

Saleh's opponents massed from early morning in streets leading to a square near Sanaa University, where students and pro-democracy demonstrators have been camped for more than a week.

"The people want Ali Abdullah Saleh to leave," the protesters chanted. "The people want to overthrow the regime."

Eye 1

Face recognition scanners at Manchester Airport suspended after man re-enters Britain on his WIFE'S passport

Hi-techface recognition gates at a busy airport were suspended after they allowed a man back into the country on his wife's passport.

It is understood an immigration officer double-checking the data on a computer picked up the blunder and the man was stopped before he left Manchester Airport's Terminal One.

The couple are thought to have swapped passports accidentally. The woman could not pass through the gates, which match a face to a digital photo stored on 'chipped' passports.

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© Manchester Evening News Syndication
Blunder: High-tech face recognition gates at Manchester Airport were suspended after they allowed a man back into the country on his wife's passport

Arrow Down

Canada: Toronto Community Housing Corporation Citizen Board Members Resign En Masse

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© CBC News
TCHC CEO Keiko Nakamura is not assenting to Mayor Rob Ford's demands that she resign. Chair David Mitchell, right, tendered his resignation with six other citizen board members on Thursday.
Spending shows 'blatant disregard': auditor general

Seven of the nine citizen board members of the Toronto Community Housing Corporation have tendered their resignations in the wake of a scathing report that uncovered questionable spending and millions in improperly tendered contracts.

The seven, including TCHC Chair David Mitchell, said they were stepping down at a public meeting Thursday morning.

"The appointees take full responsibility for the finding in the ... report," Mitchell said, adding the members felt they couldn't work with Mayor Rob Ford, who has demanded their resignations.

X

France: Ban on Wearing Face Veils to Come into Effect April Despite Concerns

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© Reuters / Amit Dave
Indian Muslims wearing niqab (face veils).

French authorities will begin enforcing a new ban on wearing full Islamic veils in public in April, officials said Thursday. Women wearing coverings that hide the face will be asked to remove them or pay a fine.

France will start enforcing a ban next month on full Islamic face veils, officials said on Thursday, meaning any veiled woman can be summoned to a police station and asked to remove her face-covering or pay a fine.

Officials say the law is mainly symbolic and police will not call in every veiled woman they see to avoid stigmatising Muslims.

But a Paris imam said forcing veiled women to present themselves at a police station would be just as uncomfortable.

When France passed the ban on full face veils last year, Muslim leaders voiced concern it could lead to veiled women being unfairly treated by police or singled out for harassment.