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Fri, 31 Mar 2023
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Che Guevara

Spain's indignados return to the streets amid fears of crackdown

© Pedro Armestre/AFP/Getty Images
Demonstrators occupy Puerta del Sol in Madrid last year in May.
Protesters plan four-day campaign to mark the anniversary of Madrid's 'occupy' movement

The exhibition at Madrid's Ateneo cultural centre is full of precious artefacts carefully conserved to tell the story of a remarkable event in Spanish history; a moment when the world looked on in amazement at the eruption of a new utopian movement for change.

But this is no tribute to the distant past. The nylon tents, hand-painted cardboard signs and posters telling people to share their "dreams of a better world" are only a year old. They come from Spain's indignado movement as it marks its first birthday by reclaiming the streets and defying a rightwing government that has pledged to stop it reoccupying Madrid's Puerta del Sol square.

Police helicopters clattered overhead as indignado marches headed towards the square. Several thousand people were taking part in a good-humoured demonstration that included a loud birthday party and chants of "the people united will never be defeated". There were similar demonstrations in Barcelona and other cities around the country.


George Zimmerman's lawyer outraged over Trayvon Martin shooting target hoodie prints

Seller claims they sold out in 2 days

© WKMG Local 6
An anonymous entrepreneur seeking to profit off Trayvon Martin's death was selling these prints online.
The attorney for George Zimmerman says he's disgusted by the Trayvon Martin-inspired targets that recently surfaced for sale on a gun website.

"This is the highest level of disgust and the lowest level of civility," Mark O'Mara told WKMG Local 6, a CNN affiliate in Florida.

"It's this type of hatred - that's what this is, it's hate-mongering - that's going to make it more difficult to try this case."

Comment: Hysterization Via Racism in the Trayvon Martin Case


Profit Motive Drives Surgery Patients Home Too Early

Doctor Visit
© Shutterstock
The desire of hospitals to make a buck is driving some surgery patients home before they're ready, a new study finds. The study finds a link between readmission rates - someone who has to check back in after being sent home - and how full the hospital was when the surgery patent was discharged. That suggests patients went home before they were healthy enough, the researchers say.

"Discharge decisions are made with bed-capacity constraints in mind," said University of Maryland Professor Bruce Golden, who conducted the research with Ph.D. student David Anderson and other colleagues.

"Patient traffic jams present hospitals and medical teams with major, practical concerns, but they can find better answers than sending the patient home at the earliest possible moment," Golden adds.

The findings are detailed in the journal Health Care Management Science.

The research examined patient movement at a large, academic U.S. medical center. They found that patients discharged when the hospital was busiest were 50 percent more likely to return for treatment within three days.

Heart - Black

Marissa Alexander gets 20 years for firing warning shot after Stand Your Ground defense fails

Marissa Alexander, whose case brought allegations that Florida's Stand Your Ground law is being unfairly applied, was sentenced to 20 years in prison Friday after being convicted of three counts of aggravated assault after firing a warning shot during a dispute with her husband.

The case sparked a confrontation between a congresswoman and the prosecutor after the sentencing in Jacksonville, Fla., WJXT-TV reported.

Alexander, 31, claimed she fired a shot from a handgun into the wall to protect herself during a confrontation with her husband, who she said had abused her, WJXT reported. Two children were with him when she fired a shot in his direction, and she was charged with three counts of aggravated assault.

Heart - Black

Linda Clappison Convicted Of Enslaving Her Children After Fortune Teller Told Her To

Children enslaved by mother after fortune teller
Shortly after a meeting with a fortune teller, a British woman locked her children in their rooms, confiscated their lightbulbs, toys and mattresses and later made two of them work as slaves for Roma people, otherwise known as gypsies, prosecutors said. The abuse apparently lasted for six years.

Linda Clappison, of Keyingham Marsh, East Yorkshire, was convicted of two counts of child cruelty. She was sentenced to three years in prison, according to the Telegraph. Before a fortune teller told her to submit her children to this abuse, Clappison was a fine mother, her children testified.

But after the meeting, her son Andrew Clappison, now 18, told the court, "We were treated like dogs."

Che Guevara

Spanish students hold massive protest rallies against cut plans


Spanish students protesting in Valencia on February 29 against education cuts
Thousands of Spanish students have taken to the streets across the country to protest against the government's new education cut plans.

University students, high school pupils and teachers joined the protests organized by the national Student's Union in more than 50 towns across the country on Thursday, AFP reported.

"We have called this demonstration as an initial response to this attack on public education, which is without precedent in the past 35 years," said the union leader, Tohil Delgado.

Several hundred university students took to the central streets of the capital, Madrid, marching behind a banner that read, "Everyone together against the cutbacks".


Syria gives names of foreign terrorists to UN Security Council


Picture shows the aftermath of the blasts that rocked the Syrian capital Damascus on May 10, 2012.
The Syrian government has handed to the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) the names of 26 foreign terrorists involved in recent violence in the country.

The Syrian Ambassador to the UN, Bashar al-Jafari told the Security Council on Thursday that the 26, some of whom were affiliated to al-Qaeda, had admitted that they were terrorists and had entered Syria to carry out terrorist attacks, AFP reported.

"The terrorist operations committed in Syria bear the fingerprints of al-Qaeda," he said.

Al-Jafari noted that the terrorists were in the Syrian government's detention and that they had made confessions shown on Syrian television.

He added that 12 foreign terrorists had also been killed in recent clashes with Syrian security forces.

"We have a list that contains 12 names of foreign terrorists killed in Syria, including one French citizen, one British citizen, one Belgian citizen," he told the council.

Che Guevara

30,000 UK police officers join nationwide strike


Police officers march in London, joining the UK-wide public sector strike on 10 May
More than 30,000 off-duty police officers in London have joined a massive nationwide strike staged by British public sector workers against the government's changes to pays and pensions.

Trade unions in Britain have said over 400,000 people took part in the 24-hour UK-wide strike on Thursday 10 May. Furthermore, London's Metropolitan Police said around 32,000 off-duty police officers joined the striking public servants marching through London.

Unions are angry with the government's pension changes saying that public sector workers are being "robbed" as they will have to pay more and work longer for lower pensions.

"We care very deeply about the communities that we serve. We have seen what happens when we have a government that has given policing a very low priority. If you are cutting our jobs, then you are cutting the service we can deliver and the public's safety is at risk", said Paul McKeever, chairperson of the Police Federation, the union which represents officers.

However, the British government tried to downgrade the nationwide strike as Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude described it as "futile". Maude also said the figure released by unions was "widely inaccurate" and only 150,000 public servants took part in the strike.

"It is now time that union leaders put the best interests of their members first by asking them to accept our generous offer", said Maude.

Bizarro Earth

Woman blinded in attack by boyfriend urges victims: don't suffer in silence

Shane Jenkin has been detained in a psychiatric hospital after his attack on girlfriend Tina Nash.
A woman whose boyfriend blinded her by gouging her eyes with his thumbs has urged other victims of domestic abuse not to suffer in silence but to alert the police or support groups.

Tina Nash spoke out as former partner Shane Jenkin began a life sentence for the barbaric, unprovoked assault on her at her home in Cornwall.

Nash said: "I urge anyone out there suffering domestic abuse to contact the police before it is too late. Don't be frightened or embarrassed - there are specially trained officers who can and will help you.

"If you really feel unable to contact the police, there are charities and support groups such as Women's Aid who will help, advise and support you in doing so."


Going to Jail? Sarkozy prepares to hand over presidency - and judicial immunity

Outgoing French president likely to return to law practice, but could be forced to explain himself over series of scandals

He has spent 30 bruising years in politics, often saying it would have been more pleasant to earn big money in private business, and now plans to return to work as a lawyer while his millionaire pop star wife takes to her tourbus with a new album. But after he hands power to the Socialist François Hollande next week, Nicolas Sarkozy's biggest post-presidential headache is likely to come from the justice system.

Comment: It should be clarified that "30 bruising years" really means 30 years of bruising (and murdering) others.

In a ceremony at the Élysée palace on Tuesday, Sarkozy will pass the presidency to France's first leftwing leader since François Mitterrand. He will then walk the final metres of red carpet to his grace-and-favour chauffeur-driven car and return home to Carla Bruni's west Paris mansion. He has said he wants to quit politics, although few believe him, and he has warned journalists: "You won't hear from me again."

But when Sarkozy's presidential judicial immunity officially ends on 16 June, he risks dominating the headlines once more, as he could be forced to explain himself to magistrates over a series of party funding scandals that have dogged his time in power.