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Articles Posted by DeaconBenjamin

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  • Peace activists in failed bid to swarm NATO HQ

    04/01/2012 2:33:12 PM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 8 replies
    AFP ^ | 2 hrs 28 mins ago
    Hundreds of peace activists on Sunday tried in vain to break into the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in Brussels, with 483 of them arrested by police. The demonstration, organised by the Belgian association Action for Peace two months before a NATO summit in Chicago, was called to protest the alliance's intervention in Afghanistan and Libya, and nuclear arming. "No demonstrator was able to enter NATO headquarters," spokesman for Brussels police, Christian De Coninck, told AFP. "We detained 483 people for questioning and all of them should be free in the evening." De Coninck said no one was...
  • Distressed Cities Weigh Bold Tactics in a New Fiscal Era

    04/01/2012 1:52:32 PM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 25 replies
    NY Times ^ | March 31, 2012 | By MICHAEL COOPER and MARY WILLIAMS WALSH
    Robert Stout, the former finance director of Vallejo, Calif., was talking about the spiraling public safety costs that ultimately led his city to declare bankruptcy when he mentioned a fire that broke out two blocks from his home, not long after the city had closed some of its firehouses to save money. “The first fire truck that went by was yellow,” Mr. Stout recalled. “Our fire trucks are red. So the first fire truck to respond was on mutual aid from a town 20 miles away. That gives you some sense of what you are facing when you get into...
  • NBC to do ‘internal investigation’ on Zimmerman segment

    03/31/2012 8:40:58 PM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 59 replies
    washington post ^ | By Erik Wemple
    NBC told this blog today that it would investigate its handling of a piece on the “Today” show that ham-handedly abridged the conversation between George Zimmerman and a dispatcher in the moments before the death of Trayvon Martin. A statement from NBC: “We have launched an internal investigation into the editorial process surrounding this particular story.”Great news right there. As exposed by Fox News and media watchdog site NewsBusters, the “Today” segment took this approach to a key part of the dispatcher call: Zimmerman: This guy looks like he’s up to no good. He looks black.Here’s how the actual conversation...
  • Video shows Obama stuck on repeat

    03/31/2012 11:40:01 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 7 replies
    The Local (Norway) ^ | 29 Mar 2012 05:25 GMT+1
    Norway's not the only country "punching above its weight": the US president has used the same metaphor to describe a string of Washington's "closest allies", an eagle-eyed Danish TV team has found. In October, Norway's prime minister Jens Stoltenberg fulfilled a long-held ambition to pay a visit to the White House. A staunch NATO ally, Norway received high praise from Barack Obama for its part in helping bring about the downfall of Muammar Gadhaffi. Beaming from ear to ear, Stoltenberg basked in the Washington glow, Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet recalled on Thursday. But in likening Norway to a boxer brawling in...
  • At last – an English bishop with the courage to reintroduce the traditional Latin Mass

    03/30/2012 7:38:43 PM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 8 replies
    Telegraph (UK) ^ | March 26th, 2012 | By Damian Thompson
    Bishop Mark Davies in a proper mitre Here's a photograph to gladden the heart of any traditional Catholic and to give The Tablet's Bobbie Mickens a fit of the vapours. The prelate wearing that magnificent mitre is a bishop of England and Wales, believe it or not, presiding at a solemn Latin Mass to mark the re-opening of a parish where the worship will be in the Extraordinary Form. More than a thousand people attended. Yes, you read that right. Summorum Pontificum has finally been fully implemented by a diocesan bishop – the Rt Rev Mark Davies, Bishop of Shrewsbury,...
  • Child labour re-emerges in Naples

    03/30/2012 7:20:19 PM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 1 replies
    Le Monde ^ | 30 March 2012
    In one of Europe’s poorest cities, thousands of children are leaving school to help their families make ends meet. Part of a trend that has been accentuated by the crisis, they find work in the black economy or they are recruited for sinister purposes by the mafia. 7 a.m. in San Lorenzo in the heart of Naples: the kid is struggling to carry a heavy crate of canned goods through a humid labyrinth of city streets. Dressed in his faded overalls, hoodie and and busted trainers, little Gennaro has already begun his day at work. No one is surprised to...
  • Amid Debt Crisis, Athens Falls Apart

    03/30/2012 7:12:40 PM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 13 replies ^ | By Julia Amalia Heyer
    Even Mayor Kanakis, a Greek and an Athenian, avoids certain blocks. He calls the area around Aghios Pantelimonas Square a "national liberated zone." The extreme right rules the area, and the balconies are decorated with flags. There are suspicions that many police officers sympathize with the Chrysi Avgi ("Golden Dawn") party. The name is intended to convey the hope that Greeks will return to glory, "as in the days of Homer," says party leader Nikos Michaloliakos, 54, a member of the Athens city council. "We are nationalists," says Michaloliakos, who points out that his party has more than 10,000 members...
  • Very high radiation, little water in Fukushima No. 2 reactor

    03/30/2012 2:54:01 PM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 6 replies
    Japan Today ^ | Mar. 28, 2012 - 11:20AM JST | By Mari Yamaguchi
    One of Japan’s crippled nuclear reactors still has fatally high radiation levels and hardly any water to cool it, according to an internal examination that renews doubts about the plant’s stability. A tool equipped with a tiny video camera, a thermometer, a dosimeter and a water gauge was used to assess damage inside the No. 2 reactor’s containment chamber for the second time since the tsunami swept into the Fukushima Daiichi plant a year ago. The data collected Tuesday showed the damage from the disaster was so severe, the plant operator will have to develop special equipment and technology to...
  • L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa calls for layoffs of city workers

    03/29/2012 8:45:05 PM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 66 replies
    LA Daily News ^ | 03/29/2012 05:15:08 PM PDT
    LOS ANGELES - Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said today he will call for layoffs of city workers as part of his budget to be released next month. "We're going to lay off a large number of employees. I'm not going to say how many," Villaraigosa said during a speech to the City Administrative Officer Investors Conference at the Grammy Museum today. The city's employee negotiating committee, which includes Villaraigosa and several City Council members, recently asked thousands of city workers to put off raises until the city's budget improves. City Administrative Officer Miguel Santana said this week the city's budget deficit...
  • Total-FINA-Elf Weighs Options As Explosion Fears Mount

    03/29/2012 9:22:17 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 7 replies ^ | By Christoph Seidler and Nina Weber
    French energy giant Total is frantically trying to respond to a natural gas leak discovered this week on a platform off the eastern coast of Scotland. As it weighs options for plugging the leak, the threat of a major explosion and environmental catastrophe loom. Helplessness has apparently gripped senior officials at Total, the platform's French owner, since the leak was discovered on Sunday. Although the company finally succeeded in pinpointing the source of the high-pressure leak, it is still far from being in a position to plug it in a reliable way. Some experts are worried about the gas flame...
  • Azerbaijan denies giving Israel air base access

    03/29/2012 9:13:50 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 1 replies
    Agence France Press ^ | 5 hours ago
    Azerbaijan on Thursday denied allegations made by a US magazine that it had granted Israel access to its air bases which could assist in potential strikes against its neighbour Iran. Citing anonymous senior US diplomats and military intelligence officers, the article published in Foreign Policy magazine on Wednesday suggested that cooperation between Azerbaijan and Israel was "heightening the risks of an Israeli strike on Iran". The article suggested that access to Azerbaijani airfields near the Iranian border could give Israeli fighter planes logistical advantages in carrying out sorties against nuclear facilities in Iran, which the Jewish state suspects of developing...
  • Why Don't Young Americans Buy Cars?

    03/27/2012 7:47:55 PM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 159 replies
    The Atlantic ^ | Mar 25 2012, 9:00 AM ET | By Jordan Weissmann
    Kids these days. They don't get married. They don't buy homes. And, much to the dismay of the world's auto makers, they apparently don't feel a deep and abiding urge to own a car. This week, the New York Times pulled back the curtain on General Motors' recent, slightly bewildered efforts to connect with the Millennials -- that giant generational cohort born in the 1980s and 1990s whose growing consumer power is reshaping the way corporate America markets its wares. Unfortunately for car companies, today's teens and twenty-somethings don't seem all that interested in buying a set of wheels. They're...
  • Live ammunition used in Chinese Army Tibet night drill

    03/26/2012 7:46:16 PM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 3 replies · 34+ views
    South China Morning Post ^ | Mar 22, 2012 | Teddy Ng in Beijing
    The People's Liberation Army staged its first night drill with live ammunition on the Tibetan plateau last month, a move analysts believe serves as a warning to India over a long-running border dispute. A report yesterday by China Military Online, a website sponsored by the PLA Daily, included photographs from the drill, conducted by a regiment based in Chengdu , Sichuan . "It is the first time for the air force to stage a night-time drill with live ammunition in a high-altitude area and launch attacks against authentic targets of different natures," the report said. It added that the drill...
  • Baltimore May Sell Historic Landmarks

    03/26/2012 6:52:24 PM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 18 replies · 22+ views
    CBS Baltimore ^ | March 25, 2012 10:56 PM
    BALTIMORE (WJZ) — More than a dozen historic landmarks in Baltimore may be up for sale soon. But as Gigi Barnett reports, the city first wants to know how much they will bring in first. The city says its historic buildings are a liability, an eyesore and a drain on its pockets. Baltimore’s Shot Tower was the tallest building in the nation back in 1828 and became a national historic landmark in the early 1970s. The city says it wants to know how much the Shot Tower is worth to a private developer. “We have some great properties in unique...
  • Gold investors ditch equity funds, favor bullion

    03/26/2012 2:48:35 PM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 6 replies · 10+ views
    REUTERS ^ | Fri Mar 23, 2012 2:33pm EDT | By Eric Onstad
    Investors keen on gold showed frustration at underperforming funds that invest in mining firms as liquidations extended for more than four straight months, while money flowed into funds that invest in the underlying metal, data from Lipper showed. Since November, including data for the first half of March, $3.75 billion has flowed into U.S. commodity precious metals funds while about $850 million was liquidated from the equity funds during the same period. The flows reflect the sharp different in performance between the two categories. Over the past 12 months, precious metals equity funds shed 12.1 percent while underlying metal funds...
  • Rising price of groceries forces families to make changes

    03/26/2012 2:41:28 PM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 46 replies · 57+ views
    Tulsa Beacon ^ | 3/22/12 | by Charles Biggs
    According to the federal government, food prices rose 4.4 percent in 2011. That’s hogwash. I do a lot of the grocery shopping for my family (my wife cooks wonderful meals and cleans up the kitchen – it’s only right that I help in some fashion). And I can tell you, from direct experience, that food prices are skyrocketing. We buy most of our groceries from Sam’s Club, Reasor’s, Food Pyramid, Wal-Mart and Braums. You tend to buy groceries close to your home (you don’t want the ice cream to melt on the way home). We are charter members of the...
  • Government to deploy Patriot missiles in Tokyo

    03/26/2012 8:54:28 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 19 replies · 3+ views
    Japan Today ^ | National Mar. 26, 2012
    Japan is to deploy surface-to-air missiles in central Tokyo in readiness for North Korea’s planned rocket launch, Defense Minister Naoki Tanaka said Monday. The siting of an anti-missile battery in the densely packed capital city would be in addition to facilities on the southern island chain of Okinawa, Tanaka told lawmakers. “We are working on procedures to deploy the Patriot in the Tokyo metropolitan area, acting on precedent,” Tanaka told upper house members, referring to the PAC-3 surface-to-air missile defense system. “We are also preparing to deploy the Patriot in the Nansei (southwestern) islands including Okinawa,” as the second stage...
  • Doing union work on the government clock?

    03/26/2012 8:39:32 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 1 replies · 2+ views ^ | By Melissa Maynard, Stateline Staff Writer
    The Arizona legislature is considering making it illegal for local governments to pay workers for time they spend doing union work. This so-called “release time” is bargained for alongside salary and vacation and sick pay and included in many local contracts. One version of the legislation passed the Senate but stalled in a House committee. Now Senate leaders are attempting to resuscitate the measure by sending it directly to the House floor in an unrelated bill that the House has already passed. Supporters of the legislation say paying union leaders to do union work is an inappropriate use of taxpayer...
  • Federal judge says [Maine Governor] LePage’s decision to remove mural was ‘government speech’

    03/26/2012 8:36:08 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 9 replies · 13+ views
    Bangor Daily News ^ | March 23, 2012, at 6:21 p.m. | By Tim Allen and Jim McCarthy, BDN Staff
    Panel 8 (center) of the controversial labor mural removed by Gov. LePage shows Francis Perkins, President Franklin Roosevelt's labor secretary and an untiring labor activist. Some Republicans claimed that a face in that panel bears a striking resemblance to former Department of Labor Commissioner Laura Fortman.BANGOR, Maine — A federal judge on Friday ruled in favor of Gov. Paul LePage in a lawsuit concerning the governor’s controversial removal of a Department of Labor mural, saying LePage’s action amounted to “government speech.” In a 90-page opinion, U.S. District Judge John A. Woodcock Jr. granted motions for summary judgment in favor of...
  • Alabama's prepaid tuition program will go broke in three years by one estimate

    03/26/2012 8:29:58 AM PDT · by DeaconBenjamin · 11 replies · 5+ views
    The Birmingham News ^ | Sunday, March 25, 2012, 9:00 AM
    Alabama's ailing prepaid college tuition program will go broke in about three years without a court settlement or an influx of hundreds of millions of dollars from the state, the state treasurer estimated. The Prepaid Affordable College Tuition plan has about $347 million in investments, but it's paying out about $100 million each year in tuition to families, said Alabama Treasurer Young Boozer. "That gives me basically three years of cash flow," Boozer said. PACT officials thought they had a solution to the program's money woes in a lawsuit settlement with parents that would have capped tuition benefits at 2010...