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Texas poised to pass bill allowing guns on campus

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© Associated Press/Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Rodger Mallison
FILE - In this April 15, 2010 file photo, Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry fires a six shooter filled with blanks as NASCAR driver Colin Braun looks on at an event in downtown Fort Worth, Texas. Texas is preparing to give college students and professors the right to carry guns into their classrooms, adding momentum to a national campaign to open up another prominent part of society to firearms

Austin, Texas - Texas is preparing to give college students and professors the right to carry guns on campus, adding momentum to a national campaign to open this part of society to firearms.

More than half the members of the Texas House have signed on as co-authors of a measure directing universities to allow concealed handguns. The Senate passed a similar bill in 2009 and is expected to do so again. Republican Gov. Rick Perry, who sometimes packs a pistol when he jogs, has said he's in favor of the idea.

Texas has become a prime battleground for the issue because of its gun culture and its size, with 38 public universities and more than 500,000 students. It would become the second state, following Utah, to pass such a broad-based law. Colorado gives colleges the option and several have allowed handguns.

Supporters of the legislation argue that gun violence on campuses, such as the mass shootings at Virginia Tech in 2007 and Northern Illinois in 2008, show that the best defense against a gunman is students who can shoot back.

Comment: Warped thinking by the Texas legislators. Using their logic, we will only be safe when everyone packs a gun.


Che Guevara

Anger on the streets: unrest in Iran, Algeria, Yemen, Morocco and China

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© Abdeljalil Bounhar/AP
Protesters march in Rabat, Morocco to demand a new constitution that would bring greater democracy and an end to corruption.
Peaceful demonstrations staged in Morocco but violence breaks out elsewhere in the Middle East and Chinese police crackdown on planned unrest

Morocco: Peaceful protests against prime minister

Thousands took to the streets of Rabat, Casablanca, Tangier and Marrakech in peaceful protests demanding a new constitution, a change in government and an end to corruption.

Sunday's protests were a test for King Mohamed VI's regime, which boasts that it is more liberal and tolerant than other countries in the region that have seen violence and revolution.

Despite a heavy secret police presence, uniformed police stayed in the background as demonstrators carefully avoided overt criticism of the king or Islamist chanting. "Where has the money gone?", "The people of Morocco want change" and "We need a new constitution" were among the cries of 5,000 marchers in the capital, Rabat.

"The atmosphere today is peaceful, as it is in our Moroccan nature to be peaceful," a 50-year-old doctor, Mohamed Bebakri, said.

Said Benjibli, the creator of Facebook protest group and one of the few prepared to complain about the monarch, said: "The king has too much power and he needs to distribute more money to the people." Much of the rage was directed against prime minister Abbas El Fassi and his many family members in government posts.

USA

The battle of the US-Mexico frontier

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© David Mcnew
Mexican migrants try to illegally cross border fence into California.
The United States has built a huge fence to keep Mexican immigrants out. It has cost billions, split communities - but does it work?

Charlie Bruce was a Texas police chief of the old school. In more than four decades on the force he gave homegrown criminals good reason to steer clear of Del Rio, his small town on the United States's southern border, but held no grudge against the steady flow of Mexicans across the frontier in search of opportunity. He admired them for their hard work and the chances they took to better themselves. Besides, some of them built his house.

What happened on the other side of the border, in Mexico, was another matter. There, Bruce unashamedly admits that for years he used his authority as a Texan police officer to run a lucrative smuggling racket. Mostly he dealt in duty-free whisky and cigarettes shipped in to Mexico, bribing officials with tens of thousands of dollars a time to avoid taxes, and then promptly selling the contraband on to Americans who brought it back across the border.

Occasionally Bruce branched out. He laughs when he recalls the handsome profit made from exploiting a sugar shortage in the 70s by paying off an official to illegally sell him a stock of subsidised sugar sitting in a Mexican government warehouse, which he shipped to a pie-maker in Philadelphia.

Now 75 and retired to a new house a stone's throw from the border, he recounts his years as a smuggler with undisguised pride and admits that it was all made possible by being a police officer. "That's exactly why I got by with it, because I was well known over there. My shield was law enforcement. I got by with murder more than other people," he says. "Other people may think it's wrong but the border's its own world."

Che Guevara

Libyans sack state TV HQ and public buildings

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Demonstrators protest Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi outside the country's embassy in London, England, on Sunday.
Libyan protesters have raided the country's state TV headquarters and torched the central government building as well as police stations in the capital Tripoli.

"The headquarters of Al-Jamahiriya Two television and Al-Shababia radio have been sacked," AFP quoted a witness as saying on Monday.

Other witnesses are quoted to have said that the protesters set the People's Committee offices and police stations ablaze.

In Benghazi, Libya, thousands of people have taken to the streets since last week, calling for the ouster of the 68-year-old Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi, who has been in office since September 1969.

The Libyan regime has brutally cracked down on protesters, and has opened fire with machine guns, as well as sniper fire, killing at least 233 people according to the Human Rights Watch.

Eye 2

Gaddafi's son warns his family will unleash bloodbath in Libya if protesters don't go home

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Son of Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi, Saif al-Islam Gaddafi
The son of Libyan ruler Muammar Gaddafi, Seif al-Islam, has warned against an ominous civil war in the North African country amidst Libya's popular uprising.

"Libya is at a crossroads. If we do not agree today on reforms, we will not be mourning 84 people, but thousands of deaths, and rivers of blood will run through Libya," Saif al-Islam Gaddafi said in a televised speech on Sunday.

He accused the factions of attempting to stir chaos in the country and offered dialog and the establishment of local governments in a bid to quell the nationwide uprising.

He also warned that the situation has become extremely dangerous in Libya, emphasizing that his country is not Tunisia or Egypt.

Bizarro Earth

Scientist finds Gulf sea floor still oily, covered with dead creatures

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© AP Photo/ University of Georgia, Samantha Joye
This Dec. 1, 2010 photo provided by the University of Georgia, made from the submarine Alvin, shows a dead crab with oil residue near it on a still-damaged sea floor about 10 miles north of the BP oil rig accident. Marine biologist Samantha Joye of the University of Georgia said, “We consistently saw dead fauna (animals) at all these sites. It’s likely there’s a fairly large area impacted,” she said.
Washington - Oil from the BP spill remains stuck on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, according to a top scientist's video and slides that she says demonstrate the oil isn't degrading as hoped and has decimated life on parts of the sea floor.

That report is at odds with a recent report by the BP spill compensation czar that said nearly all will be well by 2012.

At a science conference in Washington Saturday, marine scientist Samantha Joye of the University of Georgia aired early results of her December submarine dives around the BP spill site. She went to places she had visited in the summer and expected the oil and residue from oil-munching microbes would be gone by then. It wasn't.

"There's some sort of a bottleneck we have yet to identify for why this stuff doesn't seem to be degrading," Joye told the American Association for the Advancement of Science annual conference in Washington. Her research and those of her colleagues contrasts with other studies that show a more optimistic outlook about the health of the gulf, saying microbes did great work munching the oil.

Video

Rising anger in US over austerity measures: Wisconsin State Representative Gordon Hintz on the "Budget repair bill"

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© WisconsinEye
Uploaded under Fair Use. Original audio and video copyright WisconsinEye Public Affairs Network.

It seems some pretty shady tactics are being used to push the bill through. Rep Gordon Hintz provides some insight on the bill's handling from an opposing representative's point of view.

Transcript provided by AffirmationNow.


Wolf

US: Annandale Civic Association Elects Dog as President

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© Rob Baird (NB: Ms Beatha Lee not pictured) Source: Herald Sun
Boss with bite ... Members of the Hillbrook-Tall Oaks Civic Association elected Ms Beatha Lee as its president, not knowing she was a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier.
For more than 20 years, candidates running for office in the Hillbrook-Tall Oaks Civic Association in Annandale have stood, waved and received polite applause at the annual meeting in June. Everyone votes, eats ice cream, chats with neighbors and goes home.

This past election, to make the meeting move faster, only the names and qualifications of the candidates were announced. Running for president, Ms. Beatha Lee was described as a relatively new resident, interested in neighborhood activities and the outdoors, and who had experience in Maine overseeing an estate of 26 acres.

Though unfamiliar with Lee's name, the crowd of about 50 raised their hands, assuming that the candidate was a civic-minded newcomer. These days, it's hard to get anyone to volunteer to devote the time needed to serve as an officer. The slate that Lee headed was unanimously elected. Everyone ate ice cream, watched a karate demonstration and went home.

Only weeks later did many discover that their new president was, in fact, a dog.

Che Guevara

China Web Users Call for 'Jasmine Revolution'

Postings circulating on the Internet have called on disgruntled Chinese to gather on Sunday in public places in 13 major cities to mark the "Jasmine Revolution" spreading through the Middle East.

The calls have apparently led the Chinese government to censor postings containing the word "jasmine" in an attempt to quell any potential unrest.

"We welcome... laid off workers and victims of forced evictions to participate in demonstrations, shout slogans and seek freedom, democracy and political reform to end 'one party rule'," one posting said.

The postings, many of which appeared to have originated on overseas websites run by exiled Chinese political activists, called for protests in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and 10 other major Chinese cities.

Protesters were urged to shout slogans including "we want food to eat," "we want work," we want housing," "we want justice," "long live freedom," and "long live democracy."

Chinese authorities have sought to restrict media reports on the recent political turmoil that began in Tunisia as the "Jasmine Revolution" and spread to Egypt and throughout the Middle East.

Family

The world's biggest family: The man with 39 wives, 94 children and 33 grandchildren


  • Ziona Chana lives with all of them in a 100-room mansion
  • His wives take it in turns to share his bed
  • It takes 30 whole chickens just to make dinner
He is head of the world's biggest family - and says he is 'blessed' to have his 39 wives.

Ziona Chana also has 94 children, 14-daughters-in-law and 33 grandchildren.

They live in a 100-room, four storey house set amidst the hills of Baktwang village in the Indian state of Mizoram, where the wives sleep in giant communal dormitories.

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© Richard Grange / Barcroft India
The full monty: The Ziona family in its entirety with all 181 members

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© Richard Grange / Barcroft India
You treat this place like a hotel: With 100 rooms the Ziona mansion is the biggest concrete structure in the hilly village of Baktawng