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Light Saber

Wall Street protests go global; riots in Rome

day of rage, rome,occupy wallstreet

Rome - Demonstrators rallied Saturday across the world to accuse bankers and politicians of wrecking economies, but only in Rome did the global "day of rage" erupt into violence.

Galvanized by the Occupy Wall Street movement, the protests began in New Zealand, rippled east to Europe and were expected to return to their starting point in New York. Demonstrations touched most European capitals and other cities.

They coincided with the Group of 20 meeting in Paris, where finance ministers and central bankers from the major economies were holding crisis talks.


Police Stage Mass Eviction of 'Occupy Denver' Activists; 23 Arrested

© The Denver Post
Colorado state police arrested 23 people early this morning, hours after officers began forcibly evicting protesters from the "Occupy Denver" camp in front of the state's capitol.

Individuals arrested were facing likely charges of "unlawful conduct on public land," according to The Denver Post. Several others were being charged with assault and impeding traffic.

The video below shows the scene from the early hours of Friday morning.

Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) claimed on Thursday morning that the police action was needed to ensure the protesters' health and safety. Following the eviction, police said they plan to maintain a constant presence in the park to prevent protesters from returning.

Arrow Down

Yemen Police Kill 12 Protesters, Wound Dozens

© Agence France-Presse/Marwan NaamaniYemen has faced ten months of street protests with protesters openly calling for the removal of President Saleh
Yemeni police shot dead 12 people and injured dozens of others on Saturday as they opened fire on demonstrators in Sanaa demanding President Ali Abdullah Saleh's resignation, medics said.

Security forces used live rounds as well as tear gas and water cannon to try to disperse hundreds of thousands of Saleh opponents trying to march on loyalist areas of the city centre from their Change Square stronghold, witnesses said.

The death toll went up to at least 12 according to several medics as bodies were taken to four different hospitals.

Doctor Mohammed al-Qubati, the coordinator at a field hospital in the square, said two bodies were brought to the facility, and many others wounded, including at least 30 hit by gunfire, while 10 were in serious condition.

One of those killed with a bullet to the head was taken earlier to the same field hospital, along with 90 injured demonstrators, medics said, adding that the casualty toll was only preliminary.


Young Women Arrested for Raping Men at Gunpoint in Zimbabwe

Three women in possession of 33 condoms containing semen were arrested and charged with 17 counts of aggravated sexual assault by the Zimbabwe police Friday. The arrest is believed to be a break in a series of sexual assaults over male hitchhikers over the past two years by women.

The women, in their mid-20s, were arrested in Gweru last Sunday, when their car met with an accident. The police found the condoms inside their car at the accident site.

Prosecutor Michael Reza told a court in Harare that the counts were for each of the 17 men who had identified the women as having sexually attacked them in the past years.

"Since Monday, 17 men came and positively identified the women as having raped them," said a police official, whose name was withheld on request. "Most of the men said the women would offer a drink either laced with something to tranquilize them or were forced at gunpoint."


California, US: Men Sold Guns from Hot Dog Stand

© Silar
Authorities say a Northern California hot dog vendor offered undercover officers more than just mustard, ketchup and relish on the side

Fifty-eight-year-old Jose Gilberto Ortiz was arraigned in U.S. District Court in San Jose on Thursday on charges of selling firearms to the officers from his hot dog stand.

His partner, 23-year-old Guillermo Gonzalez Castillo, was also arraigned on weapons charges. Castillo is additionally accused of selling the San Jose police officers methamphetamine.

Authorities say the officers purchased a sawed off shotgun, a machine gun and other firearms from the pair. They were arrested at the hot dog stand on Sept. 2.

Messages for the men's attorneys were not immediately returned.


Seal Beach, California, US shooting rampage: Scott Dekraai charged with murder

© ReutersThe alleged gunman, Scott Evans Dekraai, was involved in a custody dispute with his ex-wife
Prosecutors say they will seek the death penalty in the case of a man who allegedly went on a shooting rampage in a hair salon in Seal Beach, California.

Scott Dekraai, 42, has been charged with eight counts of murder and one count of attempted murder.

He was arrested a short distance from the salon - where his ex-wife worked - moments after Wednesday's attack.

Meanwhile, police have released the names of the eight shooting victims, confirming local news reports.

Orange County District Attorney Tony Rackauckas said on Friday that the shootings were triggered by a long-running custody dispute with Mr Dekraai's ex-wife, Michelle Fournier.


Kansas, US: Bishop Finn indicted for failure to report priest's child-porn discovery

© diocese-kcsj.orgBishop Robert Finn
A Missouri Catholic bishop faces criminal charges for his failure to inform police about child pornography discovered on a priest's computer.

Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City has become the first American bishop to face prosecution in connection with his handling of the sex-abuse scandal.

He entered a not-guilty plea on October 14, after a Jackson County grand jury indicted both the bishop and the diocese on misdemeanor charges. Lawyers representing the diocese also entered a not-guilty plea.

Bishop Finn has acknowledged that he was aware in December 2010 that child pornography had been discovered on the computer of a diocesan priest, Father Shawn Ratigan. But he did not inform police about the photos until May. Father Ratigan now faces his own trial on child-pornography charges.


EU considering massive cuts to food aid for poor

© Unknown
Brussels: The European Union is considering a roughly 75 percent cut in funding for a program that helps feed 18 million of its poorest citizens.

The cuts, set to take effect after New Year's, would come at a time of rising unemployment and consumer food prices in many parts of Europe, as well as overall economic turmoil on the continent. The looming cuts already have raised fears among people who rely heavily on the program.

"We poor, small people, we cannot face up to this," said Rene Waltener, 41, who is unemployed and married with four children. "We sometimes have difficulties getting through the month, so a bit of milk here, a tin of cassoulet, a bit of yogurt - the kids are happy with that and it allows us to continue."

The Food for the Deprived program dates back to 1987. At first, it relied heavily on food surpluses from farms that benefited from a bloated and inefficient subsidy regime. But over time, as the farming became more efficient, food was increasingly purchased on the market to keep the program going.

Black Cat

UK: Senior Catholic Monk Skips Bail, on the Run From Child Sex Probe

Ealing Abbey: The abbey is attached to St. Benedict's Ealing Catholic Church, a spokesman told The Times Fr Soper had betrayed police trust
Police are expected to fly out in hunt for missing cleric
Abbey says 'We have heard nothing from him. He has betrayed trust'

A Roman Catholic cleric who skipped bail before he could be charged with sex offences against children dating back 20 years may be in hiding in Italy.

Father Laurence Soper, a former abbot of Ealing Abbey, is wanted over allegations of child abuse which are said to have occurred when he was a teacher at St Benedict's, the private school attached to the Abbey.

Former pupils came forward last year with allegations after another teacher at the school, Fr David Pearce was jailed in 2009 for child abuse offences stretching back 30 years.

Bad Guys

Next Layer of Air Security: Chat-Downs on Top of Pat-Downs?

chat down, tsa
© Josh T. Reynolds/USA TODAYA TSA agent interviews a traveler in Boston as part of Logan International Airport's pilot program for enhanced behavior detection at airport security.
As Ingrid Esser hands a Transportation Security Administration officer her identification and boarding pass for a flight from Logan International Airport to Washington, D.C., she faces a flurry of questions.

Where is she going? Why? How long is she staying?

"It was a new experience," says Esser, 31, who works in public relations. "It doesn't bother me at all. I understand their job, and it's keeping America safe."

In that exchange, Esser became part of an experiment that, if successful, could change how every passenger who seeks to board a commercial flight in the USA is screened: Besides going through a metal detector, and possibly a full-body scanning machine and pat-down, they'd first undergo a "chat-down," or face-to-face questioning by a TSA officer. The tactic is similar to what air travelers in Israel face under a program aimed at averting terrorism in the skies.