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From the editor
Posted Oct 16, 2011 by Loren Omoto
Updated Oct 16, 2011 at 09:15 AM
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Bulldozers demolish Gaddafi compound
Posted Oct 16, 2011 by Yasmine Saleh, Reuters
Updated Oct 16, 2011 at 08:32 AM
TRIPOLI - Two bulldozers guarded by armed men started to demolish the walls around ousted leader Muammar Gaddafi’s former home in the Libyan capital Tripoli Sunday.
As the bulldozers set to on the Bab al-Azizyah compound, men chanted, “God is greatest. This is for the blood of the martyrs.” Some fired machine guns into the air.
“We are destroying it because we want to demolish anything that belongs to Gaddafi,” one gunman, Essam Sarag, told Reuters.
People driving past stopped their cars and joined a crowd waving new Libyan flags.
“We will continue until we destroy everything that belongs to Gaddafi,” said Etman Lelktah, who said he was in charge of the fighters at the scene.
“We ask that a peace organization be built instead of Gaddafi’s place.”
The heavily fortified compound, six sq-km (2.3 sq mi), was both the seat of Gaddafi’s power and his Tripoli home.
It was targeted by NATO warplanes several times before Tripoli fell to the now ruling National Transitional Council in August.
Thousands join NYC protest against corporate greed
Posted Oct 16, 2011 by Associated Press
Updated Oct 16, 2011 at 08:08 AM
NEW YORK — From coast to coast and North to South, the Occupy Wall Street protest against corporate greed that started out with a few young people in a lower Manhattan park grew to vocal thousands with weekend rallies in about two dozen states and supporters joining in from Canada and overseas.
Tens of thousands nicknamed “the indignant” marched in cities across Europe on Saturday. Violence broke out in Rome and dozens were injured.
Marches in the United States remained largely nonconfrontational, although dozens of people were arrested in New York and elsewhere when police moved to contain overflowing crowds or keep them off private property. Two police officers in New York City were injured and had to be hospitalized.
In Times Square, thousands of demonstrators mixed with gawkers, Broadway showgoers, tourists and police to create a chaotic scene in the midst of Manhattan.
“Banks got bailed out, we got sold out!” protesters chanted from within police barricades. Police, some in riot gear and mounted on horses, tried to push them out of the square and onto the sidewalks in an attempt to funnel the crowds away.
Sandra Fox, 69, of Baton Rouge, La., stood, confused, on 46th Street with a ticket for “Anything Goes” in her hand as riot police pushed a knot of about 200 shouting protesters toward her.
“I think it’s horrible what they’re doing,” she said of the protesters. “These people need to go get jobs.”
The Times Square rally lasted several hours before the crowd dispersed. Over the course of what was billed as “a global day of protest,” city police arrested more than 80 people in demonstrations at Times Square, Washington Square Park and a nearby Citibank bank branch. Police cited violations such as wearing masks, criminal trespass, and refusing to leave the park at midnight when police warned them it was closed.
Police spokesman Paul Browne said one of the police officers hospitalized suffered a head injury, the other a foot injury. Two dozen were arrested when demonstrators entered the Citibank bank branch and refused to leave, police said.
Citibank said in a statement that police asked the branch to close until the protesters could be taken away. “One person asked to close an account and was accommodated,” Citibank said.
Earlier in the day, as many as 1,000 demonstrators paraded to a Chase bank branch, banging drums, blowing horns and carrying signs decrying corporate greed. A few protesters went inside the bank to close their accounts, but the group didn’t stop other customers from getting inside or seek to blockade the business.
Lily Paulina of Brooklyn said she was taking her money out because she was upset that JPMorgan Chase was making billions, while its customers struggled with bank fees and home foreclosures.
“Chase bank is making tons of money off of everyone ... while people in the working class are fighting just to keep a living wage in their neighborhood,” the 29-year-old United Auto Workers organizer said.
Police told the marchers to stay on the sidewalk, and the demonstration seemed fairly orderly as it wound through downtown streets.
Sergio Jimenez, 25, said he quit his job in Texas to come to New York to protest. He participated in an anti-war march to mark the 10th anniversary of the Afghanistan War.
“These wars in Afghanistan and Iraq were all based on lies,” Jimenez said. “And if we’re such an intelligent country, we should figure out other ways to respond to terror, instead of with terror.”
Throughout the country — from about 50 people in Jackson, Miss., to some 2,000 in Pittsburgh — the protest gained momentum.
Nearly 1,500 protesters gathered for a march past banks in downtown Orlando, Fla. Hundreds marched on a Key Bank branch in Anchorage, and declared it be foreclosed. In Arizona, reporters and protesters saw an estimated 40 people detained around midnight Saturday at a park just north of downtown Phoenix.
In Colorado, about 1,000 people rallied in downtown Denver to support Occupy Wall Street and at least two dozen were arrested. Nearly 200 people spent a cold night in tents in Grand Circus Park in Detroit, donning gloves, scarves and heavy coats to keep warm. Helen Stockton, a 34-year-old certified midwife from Ypsilanti, said they planned to remain there “as long as it takes to effect change.”
“It’s easy to ignore us,” Stockton said. Then she referred to the financial institutions, saying, “But we are not going to ignore them. Every shiver in our bones reminds us of why we are here.”
Hundreds more converged near the Michigan’s Capitol in Lansing with the same message, the Lansing State Journal reported.
Rallies drew young and old, laborers and retirees. In Pittsburgh, marchers included parents with children in strollers. The peaceful crowd stretched for two or three blocks.
“I see our members losing jobs. People are angry,” said Janet Hill, 49, who works for the United Steelworkers, which she said hosted a sign-making event before the march.
Retired teacher Albert Siemsen said at a demonstration in Milwaukee that he’d grown angry watching school funding get cut at the same time banks and corporations gained more influence in government. The 81-year-old wants to see tighter Wall Street regulation.
Around him, protesters held signs reading: “Keep your corporate hands off my government,” and “Mr. Obama, Tear Down That Wall Street.”
In Massachusetts, Gov. Deval Patrick visited protesters in Boston’s Dewey Square for the first time. He said after walking through the camp that he better understands the range of views and was sympathetic to concerns about unemployment, health care and the influence of money in politics.
The Rev. Al Sharpton led a march in Washington that was not affiliated with the Occupy movement but shared similar goals. His rally was aimed at drumming up support for President Barack Obama’s jobs plan. Thousands of demonstrators packed the lawn in the shadow of the Washington Monument to hear labor, education and civil rights leaders speak.
Hundreds protested in the heart of Toronto’s financial district. Some announced plans to camp out indefinitely in St. James Park. Protests were also held in other cities across Canada from Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Vancouver, British Columbia.
Overseas, tens of thousands nicknamed “the indignant” marched in cities across Europe, as the protests that began in New York linked up with long-running demonstrations against government cost-cutting and failed financial policies in Europe. Protesters also turned out in Australia and Asia.
In the violence that broke out in Rome, police fired tear gas and water cannons at the protesters who broke away from the main demonstration, smashing shop and bank windows, torching cars and hurling bottles.
Associated Press writers Bob Seavey in Phoenix, Kevin Begos in Pittsburgh, Eric Tucker in Washington, Jay Lindsay in Boston, Corey Williams in Detroit, Dinesh Ramde in Milwaukee and Jack Elliott Jr. in Jackson, Miss., Charmaine Noronha in Toronto, and Colleen Long, David B. Caruso and AP Radio correspondent Martin Di Caro in New York contributed to this report.
Gaga channels Marilyn Monroe at Clinton’s concert
Posted Oct 16, 2011 by DERRIK J. LANG, AP
Updated Oct 16, 2011 at 08:31 AM
LOS ANGELES — Lady Gaga enjoyed her “first real Marilyn moment” with former President Bill Clinton.
The envelope-pushing pop superstar was one of several musicians who performed Saturday night at the Hollywood Bowl during a concert celebrating the 10th anniversary of Clinton’s foundation, which has sought to improve global health, strengthen economies worldwide, promote healthier childhoods and protect the environment for the past decade.
“I always wanted to have one, and I was hoping that it didn’t involve pills and a strand of pearls,” she joked.
Emerging from atop an all-white treehouse, Lady Gaga sported a wavy blonde ‘do and red lips like Marilyn Monroe, who famously crooned “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” to President John F. Kennedy in 1962. Lady Gaga similarly serenaded Clinton and changed several of her lyrics to reference him, including swapping the title of “Bad Romance” for “Bill Romance.”
“I thought, ‘My God. I get Lady Gaga, and I will have a heart attack celebrating my 65th birthday,” Clinton later said.
Clinton, who turned 65 on Aug. 19 but celebrated his birthday at a posh Hollywood party Friday night, sat between wife Hillary and daughter Chelsea in the front row throughout Saturday’s event at the outdoor venue set against the Hollywood Hills. Other famous attendees included Maria Bello, Ashton Kutcher, Jason Segel, Ellen DeGeneres, Colin Farrell and Chevy Chase.
“I am the only person in history who got to be President and then had a post-presidential birthday party attended by both Lady Gaga and the Secretary of State,” Clinton joked on stage. “I want to thank Hillary because we met 40 years ago this year. When I met her, she was already doing the kind of work you see here long before it was cool.”
Ticket prices for “A Decade of Difference: A Concert Celebrating 10 Years of the William J. Clinton Foundation,” which was streamed live on Yahoo.com, ranged from $50 to $550. Other performers included Motown legend Stevie Wonder, country star Kenny Chesney, Somali rapper K’Naan, Colombian crooner Juanes and R&B singer Usher.
Usher kicked off his performance with a take on Joe Cocker’s rendition of the Beatles classic “With a Little Help From My Friends” before launching into his hits “Yeah” and “OMG.” The R&B singer accidently split his pant legs while dancing to reveal his bare left leg. The wardrobe malfunction didn’t stop Usher, who continued with his routine, telling the crowd: “I work hard.”
Bono and The Edge of U2 closed the concert with a mostly acoustic set that included such tunes as “Desire,” ‘‘One” and “Sunday Bloody Sunday,” which Bono sang directly to Clinton. The duo — who were accompanied by a string quartet and Edge’s laptop — closed with “Miss Sarajevo.” Bono tackled the operatic part of the tune originally sung by the late Luciano Pavarotti.
Clinton himself is no stranger to performing. The saxophone-playing politician memorably belted out “Heartbreak Hotel” when he visited Arsenio Hall’s show during his 1992 presidential campaign. Clinton didn’t pick up the instrument Saturday night, despite a plea from Lady Gaga, who informed him: “I wish you were playing sax with me tonight, baby.”
Storm delays rescue of ill woman from Antarctica
Posted Oct 15, 2011 by THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Updated Oct 15, 2011 at 10:17 PM
WELLINGTON, New Zealand — Efforts to evacuate an ill American woman from the South Pole have been delayed due to a storm, a newspaper reported.
Renee-Nicole Douceur, whom doctors suspect suffered from a stroke or brain tumor in late August, had hoped to fly Monday to the city of Christchurch in New Zealand.
But a planned rescue flight from Chile, which was due to fly into a British research station in Antarctica en route to the South Pole, was not able to land because of bad weather, the Christchurch newspaper The Press said. The weather could clear and allow a landing some time during the weekend, the paper said.
The 58-year-old Douceur had earlier asked for an emergency evacuation but was turned down due to concerns over the safety of making such a flight. Her symptoms include faulty vision, as well as speech and memory problems.
Douceur, who is from the small coastal town of Seabrook in New Hampshire, works as a manager for contractor Raytheon Polar Services Co.