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Star of David

Israel considers racially-segregated bus lines in West Bank

segregated bus lines
© Anne Paq/Activestills
Don't call it apartheid, but.... Israel is weighing segregated bus lines in the West Bank, which is occupied territory, to separate Palestinians who live there from the Jewish settlers who now call the land home. (Thanks to Ilene Cohen)

Che Guevara

Tension high in Cairo after mass protests

Police and protesters clash after thousands rally overnight against President Morsi's assumption of expanded powers.

Egyptian police have fired tear gas into Cairo's Tahrir Square, where several hundred protesters spent the night after a mass rally to denounce President Mohamed Morsi's assumption of expanded powers.

Clashes erupting on streets near Tahrir Square spilled into the square on Wednesday morning, with canisters falling into the crowd forcing protesters to run and sending clouds of tear gas over the tents housing the demonstrators.

Al Jazeera's Hoda Abdel-Hamid, reporting from Cairo, said there was a huge difference between Wednesday and Tuesday's turnout, which she said was a huge success for the opposition in terms of the amount of people they were able to rally.

"Today, you have those die-hards who say that they will stay in the square until the president retracts his constitutional declaration."

Light Saber

American Hero: Bradley Manning demands dismissal of his case due to inhuman punishment

Army Pfc. Bradley Manning.
© Reuters / Jose Liis Magaua
Army Pfc. Bradley Manning.
Bradley Manning is expected to testify in a pretrial hearing that he has been punished illegally by being locked in solitary confinement. The whistleblower hopes that his inhumane punishment is grounds for having all charges against him dismissed.

Manning, who is accused of sending classified information to WikiLeaks, will testify in a pretrial hearing in Fort Meade, Maryland.

"Until now we've only heard from Bradley through his family and lawyers, so it's going to be a real insight into his personality to hear him speak for himself for the first time," said Jeff Paterson of the Bradley Manning Support Network.

Manning's lawyers will maintain that his treatment in a small cell at the Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Virginia was illegal and unnecessarily severe. If pretrial punishment is particularly flagrant, military judges have the right to dismiss all charges.

Manning, a 24-year-old Army private and intelligence analyst, was allegedly involved in the largest security breach in US history and was charged with 22 crimes, including violating the Espionage Act and aiding the enemy. He allegedly accessed 250,000 US diplomatic cables, 500,000 army reports, and videos of the 2007 Baghdad airstrike and the 2009 Granai airstrike, and sending them to the whistleblower website WikiLeaks for publication in 2010. He is the only suspect arrested for his involvement in the security leak.


France to recognise Palestinian state at UN

France has announced that it plans to vote in favour of recognising a Palestinian state at the UN General Assembly this week.

With the announcement, France becomes the first major European country to come out in favour, dealing a setback to Israel. The timing of the announcement appears aimed at swaying other European nations.

Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius told parliament that France has long supported Palestinian ambitions for statehood and "will respond 'Yes'" when the issue comes up for a vote "out of a concern for coherency."

The Palestinians say the assembly is likely to vote Thursday (Friday, NZ time) on a resolution raising their status at the UN from an observer to a nonmember observer state, a move they believe is an important step toward a two-state solution with Israel. A Palestinian state would still not be a full General Assembly member, however.

Eye 1

Alabama deputies' shooter struggled with mental illness

© Baldwin County Sheriffs Department/The Associated Press
These photos provided by the Baldwin County Sheriffs Department show Michael Jansen, right, of Fairhope, Alabama and Baldwin County Sheriff Deputy Scott Ward. Jansen was shot during an armed confrontation with police Friday Nov. 23, 2012 in Fairhope and Baldwin County Sheriff Deputy Scott Ward, left. Both were killed Friday Nov. 23, 2012. Authorities say the Alabama deputy sheriff was fatally shot and another deputy has been critically wounded while checking on Jansen, who was also killed.
Fairhope, Alabama - The mother of an Alabama man accused of shooting two sheriff's deputies wrote of his increasingly erratic and threatening behavior in three requests to have him placed in mental institutions against his will in recent years, according to court documents that have surfaced since the shooting that left one of the men dead.

Hundreds of mourners lined the streets and packed a civic center to say goodbye to the slain deputy Tuesday as more details of the suspect's troubled past emerged.

Baldwin County Sheriff's officials say Michael Jansen, 53, shot and killed Deputy Scott Ward and wounded Deputy Curtis Summerlin on Friday afternoon before the officers returned fire and killed Jansen. A third deputy was unhurt.

Court papers show Jansen's mother, 84-year-old Helen Jansen, had tried for years to get mental health treatment for him. Since 2009, the mother filed three petitions to have her son involuntarily committed to mental institutions. He was committed twice in 2010.

The court records paint a picture of a troubled man who once cut himself so badly he required more than 100 stitches and 37 staples to close the wounds. Another time Jansen stood in a road making obscene gestures at motorists. He claimed to be a Marine general and believed psychiatric medicine was "poison." His mother said he was verbally abusive and uncooperative her efforts to help him, according to the court records.

A psychiatrist wrote in 2010 that Jansen was bipolar, had manic episodes and was dependent on marijuana and alcohol.

People 2

Gay men, moms sue New Jersey Jewish gay conversion therapists

Chaim Levin
© The Associated Press/Amy Sussman

Chaim Levin,now 23, alleges he received "humiliating" gay conversion therapy and was "misled" into thinking he could become straight.
Four gay men and two of their mothers filed a lawsuit today against a New Jersey conversion therapy group that claims to rid men of same-sex attractions and turn them straight.

The lawsuit, filed in Superior Court of New Jersey Hudson County, alleges that methods used by the Jersey City-based Jews Offering New Alternatives to Healing (JONAH) do not work and constitute fraud under the state's consumer protection laws.

Arthur Goldberg, JONAH's co-director, and Alan Downing, a "life coach" who provides therapy sessions, were also named in the suit.

The plaintiffs include Michael Ferguson, Benjamin Unger, Sheldon Bruck and Chaim Levin, all of whom used the services of JONAH when they were in their teens or young 20s.

Two of the men's mothers, Jo Bruck and Bella Levin, who paid for therapy sessions that could cost up to $10,000 a year, were also plaintiffs.

One of the plaintiffs alleges that therapy sessions that involved a virtual "strip tease" in front of an older male counselor, as well as reliving abuse and homophobia were "humiliating."

They are seeking declaratory, injunctive and an undisclosed amount of monetary relief, as well as court costs, according to the lawsuit.


Insane cop delivers flying knee to back of 17-year-old's head then threatens to kill him

Contributor Madison Ruppert - Editor of End the Lie

There is no shortage of disturbing videos and stories dealing with disturbing episodes of police brutality and yet I still manage to be appalled by the actions of some out of control police officers.

Even with brutal assaults on 66-year-olds for no reason, highly suspicious deaths related to police violence, and even outright homicide (with no consequences, of course), this particular video is especially troubling.

In the below video at the bottom of this post, captured by Jordan Rojas, a friend of 17-year-old Andrew Rodriguez, we see an officer identified as "Officer Arnold" by the Dallas Observer (later identified by police as Officer Disraeli Arnold, a four and a half year veteran of the Hurts Police Department) sprinting towards Rodriguez and then slamming him in the back of the head with a flying knee.

After the brutal strike, Arnold screams, "Move, move, move and die! Move and fuckin' die!"

"You wanna die here? F**kin' move again! F**kin' move again!" Arnold screamed.

Arnold then turns to the young man filming the incident and says, "Get up, get over here!"

Then, nonsensically, Arnold screams, "Stay down and shut the f**k up. Sit down and shut the f**k up! Don't say nothing else!"

Moments later he screams at Rodrigquez, "Yeah faggot!"

The video has gone viral since it was posted on Nov. 23 with one posting receiving over 28,000 views and another on World Star Hip Hop receiving over 431,000 views and it was even picked up by local Dallas/Fort Worth news outlet WFAA.


Driving under influence, manslaughter suspect was substance counselor

© Torrance Police Department/The Associated Press
Sherri Wilkins was arrested for hit-and-run and driving under the influence in Torrance, Calif.
Torrance, California - A California woman accused of hitting a pedestrian and driving 2 miles with his body on her car's hood was a substance abuse counselor, officials confirmed.

Sherri Lynn Wilkins, 51, of Torrance allegedly hit Phillip Moreno, 31, at 11:25 p.m. Saturday as Moreno was walking home from a bar. Police said Wilkins panicked and kept driving until other motorists managed to stop her and take the keys out of her car's ignition.

Wilkins had recently posted on her MySpace page that "she used to be into drugs very heavy" but "terrible choices" came with that, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday. She wrote that she had been sober for 11 years and had turned her life around -- re-establishing relationships with her family and becoming a state-certified drug and alcohol counselor, the newspaper said.


Ohio Senate puts end to 'heartbeat' abortion bill

Tom Niehaus
© The Associated Press
Ohio Senate President Tom Niehaus
Columbus, Ohio - The leader of the Ohio Senate put a stop Tuesday to a bill that would have imposed the most stringent restriction on abortions in the nation.

The chamber doesn't plan to vote on the so-called "heartbeat bill" before the end of the legislative session next month, Republican Senate President Tom Niehaus said, citing concerns the resulting law might have been found to be unconstitutional.

"I want to continue our focus on jobs and the economy," Niehaus told reporters. "That's what people are concerned about."

The bill proposed banning abortions after the first fetal heartbeat is detected, as early as six weeks into pregnancy. It had fiercely divided Ohio's anti-abortion community, while energizing abortion rights proponents who protested against it.

Backers hoped the stringent nature of the bill would provoke a legal challenge with the potential to overturn the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion up until viability, usually at 22 to 24 weeks.

Ohio Right to Life, the state's largest and oldest anti-abortion group, and many state lawmakers expressed concern the limit would be unconstitutional - jeopardizing other abortion limits in Ohio and expanding access to legal abortions.


29 Tennessee courthouses receive bomb threats

© The Associated Press/The Citizen Tribune/Aletheia Davidson
Morristown Police prepare to sweep the Hamblen County Courthouse Tuesday Nov. 27, 2012 in Morristown, Tenn.
Memphis, Tennessee - Bomb threats to 29 courthouses across Tennessee forced many to be evacuated Tuesday morning, including the federal building in Memphis, but authorities said no explosives were found.

Tennessee became the fourth state to deal with similar bomb hoaxes. One targeted 28 courthouses in Oregon and similar threats were reported in Nebraska and Washington this month.

Nine threats were reported in West Tennessee counties - including the Memphis federal building - six in Middle Tennessee and 14 in East Tennessee, said Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security spokeswoman Dalya Qualls.

No arrests have been made in Tennessee and authorities had searched about 14 courthouses by Tuesday afternoon.