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Earthquake: Turkey Ends Search for Survivors, Toll Nears 600

© Reuters/Morteza Nikoubazl
Turkish Interior Minister Idris Naim Sahin (C) gestures while visiting a campsite for earthquake victims, set up at a stadium, in Ercis .
The death toll from last week's earthquake in southeast Turkey rose to 596 Sunday, the day after authorities stopped searching for survivors and focused on helping thousands of homeless families in crisis.

In Ercis, the town hit hardest by the 7.2 magnitude quake that devastated Van province on October 23, some shops reopened on Sunday, electricity was switched back on in parts of town and one bank's ATM started working.

But with barely any of Ercis's nearly 100,000 residents ready to return to their damaged homes with strong aftershocks still rattling the area, life is anything but normal. One aftershock Sunday morning registered at magnitude 5.3.

Winter is fast approaching, temperatures plunge at night, and young and old in particular are falling sick in tent encampments set up by relief agencies on the outskirts of town.

The government's disaster management website said more than 43,000 tents had been handed out in Van. Officials say that is more than needed because people whose homes are not so badly damaged are demanding tents as they feel safer under canvas.


"Legal Immunity for Elite": Glenn Greenwald on Occupy Wall Street, Banks Too Big to Jail and the Attack on WikiLeaks

Glenn Greenwald nails the purpose of Occupy Wall Street Saying "It is not a Democratic Party organ... or demanding a single bill.... it is because the system itself is radically corrupted, and we no longer are willing to tolerate it"

The prominent political and legal blogger Glenn Greenwald comments on the growing Occupy Wall Street movement. "What this movement is about is more important than specific legislative demands. It...is expressing dissent to the system itself," says Greenwald. "It is not a Democratic Party organ. It is not about demanding that President Obama's single [jobs] bill pass or anything along those lines. It is saying that we believe the system itself is radically corrupted, and we no longer are willing to tolerate it. And that's infinitely more important than specific legislative or political demands."


US: New Veterans Hit Hard by Economic Crisis

© Chip Litherland / The New York Times
Andrew Spurlock, cleaning his daughter Aaliyah’s hand in their kitchen in Longwood, Fla., has had trouble finding a job after he returned from duty in Iraq.
After a mortar sent Andrew Spurlock hurtling off a roof in Iraq, ending his Army career in 2006, the seasoned infantryman set aside bitterness over his back injury and began to chart his life in storybook fashion: a new house, a job as a police officer and more children.

"We had a budget and a plan," said Mr. Spurlock, 29, a father of three, who with his wife, Michelle, hoped to avoid the pitfalls of his transition from Ramadi, Iraq, to Apopka, Fla.

But the move proved treacherous, as it often does for veterans. The job with the Orange County Sheriff's Office fell through after officials there told Mr. Spurlock that he needed to "decompress" after two combat tours, a judgment that took him by surprise. Scrambling, he settled for a job delivering pizzas.

Mr. Spurlock's disability claim for his back injury took 18 months to process, a year longer than expected. With little choice, the couple began putting mortgage payments on credit cards. The family debt climbed to $60,000, a chunk of it for medical bills, including for his wife and child. Foreclosure seemed certain.

War Whore

US missiles kill 6 suspected militants in Pakistan's tribal region, say officials

US Drone
© unknown
Pakistani intelligence officials say suspected U.S. unmanned aircraft fired six missiles at a vehicle near the Afghan border, killing six alleged militants.

The officials say Sunday's attack occurred in the Datta Khel area of the North Waziristan tribal region. A house was also partly destroyed.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.

The identities of the suspected militants killed in the strike were unknown.

The U.S. has carried out many drone strikes in the past in Datta Khel, killing both Pakistani and Afghan Taliban fighters.

The U.S. refuses to acknowledge the CIA-run drone program in Pakistan publicly, but officials often laud the strikes in private.

Source: The Canadian Press


Gas explosion in central China coal mine kills 29 workers; 6 survive

© Agence France-Presse
China's mining industry has a poor safety record with its mines considered among the most deadly in the world
A gas explosion at a coal mine in central China has killed 29 workers, Chinese authorities said Sunday.

Six other miners survived Saturday evening's blast at a state-owned coal mine in Hengyang city in Hunan province, China's State Administration of Work Safety said in a statement on its website.

Five of the workers were rescued, while one climbed out of an air shaft of the Xialiuchong Coal Mine, the statement said.

The work safety administration said rescue work was complete as no other miners were working at the time of the explosion.

Song Yuanming, the chief of the provincial coal mine safety bureau, told state broadcaster CCTV that there was a large outburst of gas in the mine 250 metres (820 feet) underground that was ignited by sparks produced by machines.


US: Family of Sacramento girl who needed amputations after ER delay is awarded $10 million

The family of a Sacramento girl who waited for hours for treatment of an infection that resulted in the amputation of parts of all four of her limbs has agreed to a $10 million settlement with Methodist Hospital and various emergency room workers.

The settlement on behalf of Malyia Jeffers is believed to be one of the largest of its kind in California history.

Malyia was 2 years old when her parents, Ryan Jeffers and Leah Yang, took her in November to Methodist's emergency room with a persistent fever, skin discoloration and weakness. According to their lawsuit, the parents begged for attention by doctors and nurses as Malyia's condition deteriorated.

After about five hours, the lawsuit maintains, Malyia finally was seen by a doctor and was flown to Stanford University's Lucile Packard Children's Hospital for lifesaving care. Physicians there found that Streptococcus A had invaded her blood and organs, and as a result she suffered amputations of both feet, her left hand and part of her right hand.

Stanford doctors said Malyia's sickness may have been the result of a quirk of genetics. They said they are uncertain whether a quicker response would have saved her limbs.


US: Hawaii Couple's Daughter Taken Away for 18 Hours Over Alleged Sandwich Theft

A Hawaii couple's 3-year-old daughter was taken away from them for 18 hours after they were arrested for forgetting to a pay for two $5 sandwiches.

"This is unreal this could happen to a family like ours," Nicole Leszczynski told Hawaii's KHON.

The outing-turned-nightmare happened Wednesday while the family was shopping at a local Safeway.

"We walked a long way to the grocery store and I was feeling faint, dizzy, like I needed to eat something so we decided to pick up some sandwiches and eat them while we were shopping," Leszczynski told the news station.

Leszczynski, who is 30-weeks pregnant, her husband, Marcin, and daughter Zophia bought $50 worth of groceries -- but forgot about their two chicken salad sandwiches.

Alarm Clock

US - Occupy San Francisco: the teenager who was refused cancer treatment

Miran Istina, 18, joined protests after four years of being denied life-saving bone marrow transplant for leukaemia

As Miran Istina puts it, she has been living on borrowed time since she was 14. Diagnosed with cancer, she was given just months to live after her health insurer refused to provide her with life-saving surgery.

Now 18, Istina, from the city of Sisters in Oregon, has spent the past three weeks living in a tent at the Occupy San Francisco protest and says she will stay there indefinitely, despite her illness.


US, California: Assemblywoman charged with shoplifting at Neiman Marcus

Mary Hayashi
© unknown
Mary Hayashi
Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi (D-Hayward) has been charged with felony grand theft after allegedly shoplifting at Neiman Marcus in San Francisco.

The incident, caught on video surveillance, occurred Tuesday afternoon when the lawmaker left the department store with a shopping bag containing items worth $2,450 that she hadn't paid for, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Friday.

Hayashi was charged with one count of felony theft and pleaded not guilty, the newspaper said. Neither representatives from the San Francisco Police Department nor the city's district attorney's office returned calls for comment. Her spokesman, Sam Singer, called the incident "a mistake and a misunderstanding," adding "she has never had more than a speeding ticket in her life."

He said Hayashi had planned to purchase the items - even calling a salesperson to set up the transaction on a separate floor - but then "got distracted, had a snack in the cafe" and left the store.


US: Reward Offered for the Identity of the Police Officer Who Shot Marine Vet Scott Olsen

A generous friend is offering a $4,000 reward for the identify of the policeman who shot Scott Olsen.

The officer can likely be seen in publicly available videos (see this and this). But his badge and face are not visible.

Similarly, Anonymous is already leaking names and information of officers in the Oakland P.D., but it is still difficult for outsiders to identify the shooter.

As such, the tip will likely have to come from someone within the Oakland Police Department or the other law enforcement agencies present at the protest.

Do your force proud and stand up for liberty ... identify the shooter.

Update: As this video shows, he might actually be with the San Francisco Sheriff instead of Oakland police:

See this for a detailed analysis.