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Thu, 07 Dec 2023
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US: New York Police Can't Use Bus Drivers in Protest Arrests, Union Says

Police should be barred from forcing New York transit workers to abandon their routes and transport anti-Wall Street demonstrators arrested for disorderly conduct, an employees' union told a federal judge.

The Transport Workers Union Local 100, which said last week that it's supporting the protests, asked U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer to prohibit the New York City Police Department and the New York City Transit Authority from requiring drivers to transport such protesters.

A court hearing is set for today on the request, said Jim Gannon, a spokesman for the union, which represents 38,000 members, including about 9,000 city bus drivers. Drivers were ordered on Oct. 1 to convey some of the 700 demonstrators arrested over the weekend during anti-Wall Street protests in lower Manhattan.

"The actions of the NYPD on Oct. 1, 2011, amounted to a seizure of the bus drivers," Arthur Schwartz, a lawyer for the union, said in court papers. The police department "deprived the drivers of their liberty without due process of law," he said.


Murders and Forced Evictions: Honduran Deaths Trigger EU Carbon Credit Clash


The deaths of 23 Honduran farmers involved in land disputes with UN-approved palm oil plantations are raising an international outcry against alleged "human rights abuses." EurActiv reports members of the European Parliament (EP) are planning an investigative mission to Honduras this month while others are calling for a ban on carbon credits to the plantations under the EU's Emissions Trading System (ETS). Additionally, it says the UN Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is weighing its validation process which originally accredited the plantations, a process critics call "only rudimentary, completely unregulated and badly documented."

Protests erupted in July when six international human rights advocacy groups presented a report to the EP detailing what they called murders and forced evictions of peasants in El Bajo Aguán Valley of northern Honduras. The International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) report accuses UN-sanctioned palm oil mills of stealing farmland from Honduran natives and killing or wounding them when they attempt to defend their property. It says the companies, acting with government impunity, regularly target members of local land-rights movements who end up murdered in feigned car accidents or hunted down and shot by private security guards.

Examples of the violence are gruesome. Security guards ambushed 15-year-old Rodving Omar Villegas near his village and shot him to death with an AK-47. A car ran down and killed 60-year-old Juan Ramon Mejia. And José Leonel Guerra Álvarez was murdered inside his home in front of his wife and children by armed assailants firing from outside the house.

Wall Street

US: Nader, Paul, Kucinich & Chomsky: "End The Left-Right Delusion, Corporatism Is The True Enemy"

Wars cost the U.S. $30 million per hour..."

Heart - Black

US: Pennsylvania - Scranton police seek city couple after diaper-clad boy, 7, tells of abuse

Scranton police said they are searching for a city couple after a diaper-clad 7-year-old boy told officers harrowing stories of abuse last week when they found him in a dark, bug-infested basement.

"Are you here to help me?" the frightened child said as he hugged one officer who entered the 823 Raines St. home on Sept. 26, according to an affidavit filed Friday.

"I am hungry and I didn't get dinner yet," he reportedly told another officer who asked why he was crying.

According to the affidavit, the child said he had been locked in a coffin in the basement and also duct-taped to a chair in the home, which has been condemned by the city.

Felony counts of endangering the welfare of a child and unlawful restraint were filed Friday against Lori Gardner, 26, and Brian Sleboda, 31, both of 823 Raines St.

City police were still searching for the pair Monday night, Chief Dan Duffy confirmed.

"It's a very sad case," Chief Duffy said. "That's pretty much all I can say."

Police said the boy told them the couple put him in the home's basement "often" to punish him, and told him ghosts lived there. They would even "pick up chains and drop them to scare him," arrest papers said.


US: Intermittent outages hit major websites

Major websites from Gmail to Facebook and the New York Times went down completely for short periods of time Tuesday.

The sources of the outages - which in some cases lasted minutes, some longer - weren't immediately known.

The DownRightNow website reported Facebook as having a "likely service disruption," and Gmail as "possible service trouble."

© DownRightNow website

Che Guevara

Anti-cuts march in Manchester: More than 35,000 attend

More than 35,000 people have taken part in a march through central Manchester protesting against government cuts.

The TUC organised the March for the Alternative to coincide with the Conservative Party conference. Many protesters wanted tax avoidance tackled and spending to encourage growth.

On the eve of the conference, David Cameron pledged no U-turns on cuts and dismissed calls for extra spending.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said no arrests had been made during the march.

'People are angry'

A post-march rally was held at Number One First Street close to the conference centre.

About 200 protesters from the anti-cuts group Occupy broke away from the main march and positioned themselves in Albert Square, where they said they intended to stage a sit-in.

GMP said that some people had initially covered their faces, but were asked to remove hoods and scarves.


Egypt to substantially raise price of gas to Israel: report

Egyptian natural gas pipeline
Egyptian natural gas pipeline
Egypt will substantially raise the price of its gas exports to Israel, which have stopped after militants blew up a Sinai desert pipeline, an Egyptian newspaper reported on Tuesday.

Oil minister Abdullah Ghurab said there would be "a large increase in the price" after the revision which would be announced soon, the state-owned Al-Ahram newspaper reported.

The sale of gas to Israel, which signed a peace treaty with Egypt in 1979, has always been controversial in the most populous Arab country.

Former president Hosni Mubarak, on trial for allegedly ordering the shootings of protesters during a revolt that ousted him in February, also faces charges of exporting the gas at cheap prices.


Kercher's Family Looks for Answers after Knox Freed

Amanda Knox
© Reuters/ANSA/TeleNews
U.S. student Amanda Knox smiles at the Leonardo Da Vinci airport in Fiumicino October 4, 2011. Amanda Knox, cleared of the murder of British student Meredith Kercher, on Tuesday thanked supporters who believed in her innocence as she prepared to return home to the United States after four years in jail.
The family of British student Meredith Kercher said on Tuesday their ordeal would not end until they found out the truth about her murder, after Amanda Knox and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito were acquitted by an Italian appeals court.

Stephanie Kercher, Meredith's sister, said they would first wait for the court's written explanation of Monday's verdict.

"Once we've got the reasons behind the decisions for this one, then we can understand why they have been acquitted of it and work toward finding those who are responsible," she told a news conference.

"That's the biggest disappointment, not knowing still and knowing that there is someone or people out there who have done this," she said.

The acquittal of Knox and Sollecito leaves Rudy Guede, an Ivorian drifter and drug dealer, as the only person convicted of the killing which investigators believe was committed by more than one person.

Wall Street

Anonymous - The Bankers Are The Problem

A message from Anonymous concerning Occupy Wall Street and the bankers.


US: Police have action plan for protests

© Spencer Platt/Getty Images/AFP
'Occupy Wall Street' demonstrators opposed to corporate profits march in the Financial District of New York.
Police do not expect large scale issues with protesters during CHOGM but are urging protesters not to break the law.

This follows the announcement that Occupy Perth, a group affiliated with protesters in the United States who caused havoc on the Brooklyn Bridge on the weekend, were planning to protest during CHOGM.

Police arrested 700 people as a result of the protest by Occupy Wall Street.

Counter Terrorism and State Protection's assistant commissioner Duane Bell said WA Police were aware of many groups planning to protest at CHOGM.

"We do not expect to see any large scale public order issues during CHOGM 2011, however it is our responsibility to be prepared for any incident that takes place as we have a duty to protect the visiting dignitaries and the community," he said.