Monday, October 17, 2011

Albanian Falls To His Death From Eurostar - 18th Oct 2011

A man who died when he fell from a high-speed Eurostar train was an Albanian national who had been refused entry to the UK.

The 22-year-old was returning voluntarily when he fell from a London to Brussels service in Cheriton, Kent, at about 5.50pm on Monday.

British Transport Police (BTP) said the incident was being treated as "non-suspicious".

There were long delays to the Eurostar service as police launched an investigation. Paramedics declared the man dead at the scene. Read More

It defies logic, how you get a door open on a train at high speed

Passenger Richard Ashworth, MEP for South East England

Liam Fox Breached Ministerial Code..well I am sure he won't be the first - 18th Oct 2011

A damning report into Liam Fox's links with his friend Adam Werritty will confirm he breached the Government's Ministerial Code of Conduct.

The report by Cabinet Secretary Sir Gus O'Donnell, handed to David Cameron on Monday night and due to be published later, will conclude Dr Fox allowed a potential conflict of interest to arise.

Sir Gus will say the former Defence Secretary should have distanced himself from Mr Werritty after a warning from the MoD's permanent secretary Ursula Brennan about his use of unofficial business cards.

It will also criticise Dr Fox for gaps in his diary when he was on overseas trips with Mr Werritty and criticise the funding of those trips by wealthy Tory donors.

Sir Gus will also rule that Dr Fox, aided by Mr Werritty, was pursuing what appeared to be an independent foreign policy, promoted by the right-wing think tank Atlantic Bridge, which may have been at odds with official Foreign Office policy. Read More

5.2 Magnitude Earthquake JUJUY, ARGENTINA - 18th Oct 2011

A magnitude 5.2 earthquake has struck Jujuy, Argentina at a depth of 192.4 km (119.6 miles), the quake hit at 01:39:33 UTC Tuesday 18th October 2011.
The epicenter was 105 km ( 65 miles) WSW of Abra Pampa, Jujuy, Argentina
No reports of Damage or Injuries r
eported at this time

4.9 Magnitude Earthquake AMSTERDAM ISLAND, MID-ATLANTIC RIDGE - 17th Oct 2011

A magnitude 4.9 earthquake has struck Amsterdam Island, Mid-Atlantic Ridge at a depth of 10 km (6.2 miles), the quake hit at 21:28:26 UTC Monday 17th October 2011.
The epicenter was 66 km ( 41 miles) ENE of Amsterdam Island
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No reports of Damage or Injuries r
eported at this time

U.S. Marine Sgt. Shamar Thomas Stands up for the People/Against NY Cops

Occupy Wall Street: Army Veteran scares off NYPD at Times Square!



The Coming Crisis issues a call out for all military personnel to begin joining the protests of the Occupy Wall Street movements and protecting the protestors. The police state officers will be far less willing to beat defenseless people if those people have their constitutional rights defended by men and women sworn to protect the document from which those rights came.

Brothers and sisters in uniform: You are brave enough, even when policy suggests the action is insanity, to give your lives in far-flung foreign countries in order to do what you feel you must to protect your nation. Your nation is now calling upon you to take up the same task at home. Citizens, right or wrong, are being clubbed, maced, illegally detained and brutalized by a crust of elite that are supposed to be serving Americans, not dictating to them. Will you answer their cries? Will you help?

Autistic Man Singing National Anthem Gets Some Help: The Power of Unity

A third of teachers face 'devastating' false claims by pupils

Tens of thousands of British school teachers have been subjected to false allegations from a pupil that has placed their careers at “significant” risk, new research suggested yesterday.

Nearly a third of teachers has faced “hugely damaging” false claims from a student that had caused devastating consequences on their personal lives, it was claimed.

The survey of nearly 8000 teachers across the country found two in three educators would not intervene to break up a fight between students because of the potential risk to their career.

At least 20 per cent of teachers feel that most pupils have no respect for them, it found while a further 92 per cent felt the law gave too much protection to pupils and not enough to teachers.

Despite “99 per cent” of the profession expressing fears about the consequences a false claim could have, four in five teachers believe protections were currently “inadequate”.

Last night campaigners said the survey’s findings, highlighted the “continuing and significant risks facing teachers”. more

Italian town bans any new kebab shops or other 'ethnic food'

Forte dei Marmi, a leafy beachfront retreat for politicians, artists and writers on the Tuscan coast, has rebutted accusations that the prohibition is xenophobic and small-minded.

The town's council, which passed the decree unanimously this week, said the ban also applied to more familiar "foreign" establishments such as burger joints and English-style pubs.

The move is the latest expression of a culinary nationalism that is sweeping the country, as Italians struggle to hold onto centuries-old culinary traditions in the face of globalisation and immigration.

"This measure has nothing to do with xenophobia – it is about protecting and valuing our culture," said Umberto Buratti, the centre-Left mayor of the town. "We would also say no to American hamburger chains." The ban is aimed at encouraging the survival of Tuscan and Italian cuisine, although existing "ethnic" restaurants will not be closed down.

"There's a sushi takeaway, although it's not in the town centre," said the mayor. "You will still be able to eat ethnic food, we just want to limit the number of outlets." Forte dei Marmi has become popular in recent years with rich Russian tourists and a restaurant serving Russian food opened recently. more

Mystery condition makes woman age 50 years in just a few days

Doctors have been left baffled by a strange condition which saw a woman of 23 age 50 years in a matter of days.

Vietnamese woman Nguyen Thi Phuong now looks like a septugenarian after the rapid aging affliction took hold following an allergic reaction to seafood.

Her sad story began in 2008, when her youthful beauty began to fade over the course of just a few days, leaving her with sagging, wrinkled skin all over her face and body.

Until now she has been forced to wear a mask in public to hide her appearance from prying eyes, but now doctors are attempting to establish what caused her sudden and horrifying aging.

Her husband, carpenter Nguyen Thanh Tuyen says his love for his once beautiful wife has not faded while Phuong, now 26, says her condition has only worsened since she was first struck with the condition.

The couple, from the Mekong Delta province of Ben Tre, in Vietnam, have agreed to talk to the media for the first time in order to ask for help.

Some have argued that the condition is lipodystrophy - a rare syndrome that causes a layer of fatty tissue beneath the surface of the skin to disintegrate while the skin itself continues to grow at a startling pace.

The syndrome with no cure leaves its victims with loose folds of skin all over their bodies, wrinkled faces and the gaunt features of people decades their senior.

The condition is extremely rare and out of around seven billion people on the planet, only 2,000 are thought to have lipodystrophy. more

5 New Rules for an Economy That Works

Jim Hightower likes to tell the story of the moving company in Austin whose slogan is, "If we can get it loose, we can get it moving." The thousands of people occupying Freedom Plaza in Washington and Zuccotti Park in New York, along with the tens of thousands others protesting around the country may have pried us loose from our cynicism and despair.

The 99% is growing stronger and larger. The next step is to move the country. Which requires us to decide where we want to go and how we want to get there. Which in turn requires us to agree on the new rules for a new economy.

Last week the General Assembly of Occupy Wall Street adopted a declaration of principles that will inform the new rules.

As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.

As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments. We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known. more

Banking Has Become an Oligopoly Instead of a Competitive Business -- And That's Really Bad News for Us 99%

Some folks have responded to Bank of America's announcement of a new $5 per month fee on debit cards with a glib, "If you don't like it, just pick another bank. It's a free market, baby!" They say that competition will punish BofA for its evil ways.

Sounds easy enough. Except for one small problem.

Banking is not really a competitive industry. In reality, it's more like an oligopoly -- a scenario in which an industry is controlled by a small number of firms. An oligopoly is a lot like a monopoly, where one firm controls the whole show. Only in an oligopoly, you have two or more firms calling the shots, and they love to do things contrary to the notion of a free market, like, say, colluding to raise prices. There are a few common signs that tell you when competition has left the building in a given industry. See if any of these look familiar.

The last time big banks blew up the economy, causing the Great Depression, they got broken up. Tight regulation protected small banks, so they could get in on the action. But a massive trend of consolidation in the industry starting in the mid-'80s shrank the total number of banks in the United States as bigger banks gobbled up little ones. Result? The biggest banks control a larger and larger share of deposits.

Concentration of deposits is one measure -- perhaps the best measure -- of competition in the banking industry. The number of depository organizations in the U.S. fell from 15,416 in 1984 to 8,191 in 2001, a drop of 46.9 percent. The share of deposits held by the biggest five banks swelled to 23 percent in 2001 from just 9 percent in 1984. Sound like a competition-driving trend to you? more

5 Conservative Economic Myths Occupy Wall St. Is Helping Bust

For decades the corporate media has force-fed “conventional wisdom” free-market economic nonsense to the American public. We have been told that it’s good to give more and more to the wealthy few, that it’s good to send jobs and money out of the country, and especially that the people who run the big corporations are better and more “efficient” at deciding what’s best for the rest of us. As those decades passed we watched as the wealthy few get wealthier and fewer, while the rest of us – the 99 percent – fall further and further behind. But we have had it explained to us that our lying eyes aren’t seeing what they are seeing, and that the obvious isn’t what it is. We have been seemingly powerless to change this.

Asleep

While time passed and these economic time-bombs messed up the economy, it seemed as if this fog of propaganda had lulled people to sleep. The uncontested repetition of free-market slogans led many to a bland acceptance that there was no alternative. Many of us even incorporated the concepts into our own thinking. Others seemed to accept the cutbacks, the fees, the scams, the disappointments and the obviously false statements as the way things are.

Occupy Wall Street has changed all that. You can take that stuff and stuff it, they said. We’re tired of this. We aren’t going to listen anymore. We won’t passively accept the economic nonsense the corporate media tries to feed us and that we can see just doesn’t work. At least, it doesn’t work for 99 percent of us. more

How Television Can Make You Believe Things That Aren't True

Our beliefs about the world are shaped by many factors. The courses we took in college. The lessons we learned from our families.

And, of course, the prime-time courtroom drama we watched a couple of weeks back.

Newly published research suggests nuggets of misinformation embedded in a fictional television program can seep into our brains and lodge there as perceived facts. What’s more, this troubling dynamic seems to occur even when our initial response is skepticism.

That’s the conclusion of a study published in the journal Human Communication Research. It asserts that, immediately after watching a show containing a questionable piece of information, we’re aware of where the assertion came from, and take it with an appropriate grain of salt. But this all-important skepticism diminishes over time, as our memory of where we heard the fact or falsehood in question dims.

A research team led by the University of Utah’s Jakob Jensen conducted an experiment in which 147 students watched a specific episode of the David E. Kelley drama Boston Legal. Immediately afterward, they completed a survey in which they revealed how strongly they related to the characters, how closely they felt the show reflected reality, and the degree to which they felt transported into the narrative of the show. more

Topeka, Kansas decriminalizes spousal abuse

Wife-beaters and child abusers have found a safe haven in America’s Midwest. As of today, domestic abuse charges in Topeka, Kansas have been ripped from the local law books as the city tries to pinch pennies to avoid an economic crisis.

On Tuesday night, the city council of Topeka repealed the local law that lists domestic violence as a crime, in turn making any actions that would have previously necessitated police involvement a matter of the state of Kansas, who the council says must rely on the county to enforce the charges. The county district attorney, however, has already stopped prosecuting would-be criminals citing budget shortfalls of their own.

“We had hoped that he would not put that group of victims at risk, that he would find some other way to absorb the cuts,” Shelly Buhler of the Shawnee County Commission tells The New York Times.

"I absolutely do not understand it," Rita Smith, executive director of the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, tells McClathcy Newspaper. "It's really outrageous that they're playing with family safety to see who blinks first. People could die while they're waiting to straighten this out."

Sharon Katz off Safehome in nearby Johnson County adds, “There needs to be a higher priority for people who are going to start getting killed.” With the state unwilling to have county prosecutors go after cases in the Topeka area, Katz is concerned that the epidemic could spread through Kansas and elsewhere in the Midwest and America.

Upon the repeal of the law yesterday, around 18 suspects awaiting trials of domestic abuse had those charges dropped and been released back into the public sans trial and sentencing. more

Anti-capitalism protests across the world: Photo Gallery

El Hierro Update: Residents can return to La Restinga within 24 Hours - 16th Oct 2011

President of the Canary Islands, Paulino Rivero, announced this morning that the residents of La Restinga could return to their homes in the next 24 hours. During this time the tunnels Roquille in the town of Frontera will also be reopened.

This decision is based on reducing the level of seismic activity that scientists have detected and parameters observed in the evolution of the eruptive process. In this sense, it was determined that there is no danger to the public on the current situation and that this could be extended in time from days to months.

In any case, the Prime Minister stressed that the return home of the inhabitants of La Restinga they will have to take important precautions and extreme vigilance day and night, so that if any change occur in the development of the eruptions, they are ready for a quick evacuation.

Note that the teaching of the classes will remain in El Pinar, and people that are bedridden will have to remain away from La Restinga for the time being.

The Chairman also announced the installation of several hydrophones in the spring of La Restinga, by Jaume Almera Institute (CSIC). This equipment will allow the position to know which is the central issue, and the direction of the crack, and could detect if it were to produce the appearance of a new source of emission.

On the other hand, the Prime Minister said that drop of seismic intensity and placing a mesh estarse protection in tunnels Roquille reduces the risk of landslides.Therefore the Executive is planning to open the tunnel to traffic within 24 hours "under control measures, security and surveillance extreme".

Regarding navigation, Rivero reiterated that maintaining the exclusion zone but allow fishermen to move their boats to the port of La stake for them to continue fishing.

Finally Rivero stressed the exemplary behavior of the population of El Hierro and especially the residents of La Restinga, and confirmed that it would take a package of measures aimed at individuals, freelancers and small businesses who have been affected by the consequences of this phenomenon . Source

UPDATE: 17th Oct 2011

The evacuation order for La Restinga stayed in place today and residents were told they could not go back home at this time.

There will be another update 18th October 2011


4.9 Magnitude Earthquake OFF THE EAST COAST OF HONSHU, JAPAN - 17th Oct 2011

A magnitude 4.9 earthquake has struck off the East Coast of Honshu, Japan at a depth of 33.3 km (20.7 miles), the quake hit at 20:34:01 UTC Monday 17th October 2011.
The epicenter was 204 km ( 126 miles) East of Morioka, Honshu, Japan
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No reports of Damage or Injuries r
eported at this time

4.0 Magnitude Earthquake SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA - 17th Oct 2011

A magnitude 4.0 earthquake has struck Southern California at a depth of just 1.8 km (1.1 miles), the quake hit at 20:05:57 UTC Monday 17th October 2011.
The epicenter was 13 km ( 8 miles) WSW from Ludlow, California
No reports of Damage or Injuries r
eported at this time.

Evacuation As Floods Hit Thai Factories - 17th Oct 2011

Thai authorities have ordered a new evacuation of an industrial park north of the nation's capital Bangkok, as the economic impact of ongoing floods worsened.

The move at the Nava Nakorn industrial estate in Pathum Thani is a big blow for several major companies with operations there, including Casio, Seiko, Nestle and Toshiba.

The hardest-hit firms were Honda and Toyota, which use Thailand is a major production base.

Both have been forced to stop all work there due to flooding of their facilities.

The evacuation order, which was made in a live television broadcast from the Flood Relief Operation Centre, came after water burst through one of several protective walls hurriedly constructed in the past few days. Read More

5.3 Magnitude Earthquake NEW BRITAIN REGION, PAPUA NEW GUINEA - 17th Oct 2011

A magnitude 5.3 earthquake has struck the New Britain Region, Papua New Guinea at a depth of 47.2 km (29.3 miles), the quake hit at 19:51:55 UTC Monday 17th October 2011.
The epicenter was 107 km ( 66 miles) ESE of Kimbe, New Britain, Papua New Guinea
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No reports of Damage or Injuries r
eported at this time

4.4 Magnitude Earthquake BANDA SEA, INDONESIA - 17th Oct 2011

A magnitude 4.4 earthquake has struck Banda Sea, Indonesia at a depth of 168 km (104.4 miles), the quake hit at 16:52:26 UTC Monday 17th October 2011.
The epicenter was 233 km ( 144 miles) Northwest of Saumlaki, Kepulauan, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No reports of Damage or Injuries r
eported at this time

Somali militants threaten to enter Kenya if troops don't withdraw - 17th Oct 2011

Islamic militants in Somalia have threatened to "come into Kenya" if Kenyan forces do not leave Somalia, according to an online message posted on a jihadist website.

"Kenyan troops have entered 100 kilometers into Somalia, and their planes are bombarding and killing residents," said Sheikh Ali Mahmud Ragi, spokesman for Al-Shabaab, an Islamic extremist group considered a terrorist organization by the United States, in the posting. "We shall come into Kenya if you do not go back."

Kenyan forces crossed into Somalia to pursue Al-Shabaab fighters after the recent abductions of tourists and aid workers in Kenya heightened tensions in East Africa. Kenya invoked the United Nations charter allowing military action in self-defense against its largely lawless neighbor.

"If you are attacked by an enemy, you have to pursue that enemy through hot pursuit and to try (to) hit wherever that enemy is," said Kenyan Defense Minister Yusuf Haji in a news conference aired on CNN affiliate NTV on Sunday.

Al-Shabaab, which is linked to al Qaeda, has been fighting to impose its own interpretation of Islamic law, or sharia, on Somalia. Read More

4.4 Magnitude Earthquake KEPULAUAN KAI, INDONESIA - 17th Oct 2011

A magnitude 4.4 earthquake has struck Kepulauan Kai, Indonesia at a depth of 13.9 km (8.6 miles), the quake hit at 16:27:47 UTC Monday 17th October 2011.
The epicenter was 85 km ( 52 miles) Northwest of Dobo, Kepulauan Aru, Indonesia
No Tsunami Warning Issued - No reports of Damage or Injuries r
eported at this time

Megler, Washington Seismic Activity picking up again, Why no reports? - 17th Oct 2011


'Occupy the Tundra', Alaska

'They will attack us': Iran's former president warns of U.S. military attack over Saudi ambassador plot - 17th Oct 2011

Iran's former president Mohammad Khatami has warned the country of a possible U.S. military attack, following charges that Iran was behind a plot to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador to Washington.

Mr Khatami told the opposition website Rahesabz: 'Our political officials should be careful not to give the U.S. any pretext to target our security and territorial integrity.'

After eight years as president, Mr Khatami was succeeded by President Ahmadinejadin 2005. He has since become a senior member of the Iranian opposition and blamed Mr Ahmadinejad for creating international crises by making provocative remarks.

He said: 'I am worried because the pretexts for starting campaigns against Iran are constantly increasing, and escalation of the current pretext and use of any hostile language could have consequences that eventually only harm the Iranian people.

'We should all stand united with regards to any possible threats against our land and people, but at the same time also be more careful not to give any pretexts to others to raise such charges against us.'

Meanwhile Iran's supreme leader warned the United States on Sunday that any measures taken against Tehran over an alleged plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador would elicit a 'resolute' response. Read More

Occupy Santa Cruz - Bank of America refusing to close account



Where Did Global Warming Go?

IN 2008, both the Democratic and Republican candidates for president, Barack Obama and John McCain, warned about man-made global warming and supported legislation to curb emissions. After he was elected, President Obama promised “a new chapter in America’s leadership on climate change,” and arrived cavalry-like at the 2009 United Nations Climate Conference in Copenhagen to broker a global pact.

But two years later, now that nearly every other nation accepts climate change as a pressing problem, America has turned agnostic on the issue.

In the crowded Republican presidential field, most seem to agree with Gov. Rick Perry of Texas that “the science is not settled” on man-made global warming, as he said in a debate last month. Alone among Republicans onstage that night, Jon M. Huntsman Jr. said that he trusted scientists’ view that the problem was real. At the moment, he has the backing of about 2 percent of likely Republican voters.

Though the evidence of climate change has, if anything, solidified, Mr. Obama now talks about “green jobs” mostly as a strategy for improving the economy, not the planet. He did not mention climate in his last State of the Union address. Meanwhile, the administration is fighting to exempt United States airlines from Europe’s new plan to charge them for CO2 emissions when they land on the continent. It also seems poised to approve a nearly 2,000-mile-long pipeline, from Canada down through the United States, that will carry a kind of oil. Extracting it will put relatively high levels of emissions into the atmosphere.

“In Washington, ‘climate change’ has become a lightning rod, it’s a four-letter word,” said Andrew J. Hoffman, director of the University of Michigan’s Erb Institute for Sustainable Development.

Across the nation, too, belief in man-made global warming, and passion about doing something to arrest climate change, is not what it was five years or so ago, when Al Gore’s movie had buzz and Elizabeth Kolbert’s book about climate change, “Field Notes From a Catastrophe,” was a best seller. The number of Americans who believe the earth is warming dropped to 59 percent last year from 79 percent in 2006, according to polling by the Pew Research Group. When the British polling firm Ipsos Mori asked Americans this past summer to list their three most pressing environmental worries, “global warming/climate change” garnered only 27 percent, behind even “overpopulation.” more

'EU's actions could lead to revolutions in Greece and Portugal'



The expanded bailout fund will not help if Italy or Spain is dragged into the economic crisis, and the austerity packages are driving Greece and Portugal to revolutions, warned British European Parliament member Nigel Farage.

­“They are having austerity packages pushed upon them, which is forcing them into downward deflation, which in my opinion could lead to revolution in Greece and possibly in Portugal, too,” Farage told RT. “What we are doing is stupid, and very, very dangerous indeed.”

“If Italy goes down, they would need a couple of trillion to bail it out,” he said. “And what it the point of bailing these countries out anyway? Are these bailouts helping people in Greece or Portugal? No, they're not!”

“What they are actually doing,” he continued, “is giving money to these countries to give back to our banks, who over-lent to them in the first place. I mean, the whole thing is mad. What these countries trapped inside this economic prison called the Eurozone need is to devalue.”

Within the course of actions chosen by the EU, the Greek default is inevitable, Farage stated.

“I've been asking for nine months for a Plan B,” he said. “Could we please be grown up, could we please be mature, could we please be good Europeans and recognize that when the inevitable Greek default comes, unless we have a Plan B, on the first day there will be no money in the banks, on Day 2 there will be no bread in the bakeries. To date they have prepared absolutely nothing. I think what will happen now is that senior economists will begin to put together a contingency plan that allows Greece, Portugal and Ireland, too, to leave the Eurozone, reschedule their debts, get a new currency that devalues 50, maybe 60 percent. And as Iceland proved back in 2008, sometimes it is best to take the bad news, accept where you are, and start again. That is what needs to happen.” more

‘Occupy Wall Street’ Movement Stretches to Korea

Occupy Wall Street, the four-week old protest movement against the excesses of corporate America, has now taken root 7000 miles away in Seoul, South Korea.

According to reports, a group of Korean activists, in tandem with about thirty civic groups, plan to demonstrate in the streets of Seoul this weekend to protest against the wealth gap in the country.

“Angry Americans are occupying Wall Street, the origin of the world’s financial capital, and we believe the protest is targeting the nerve center of greedy U.S. capitalism,” the groups planning the protest said in a statement.

“Many people in Korea have fallen victim to rampant speculation by domestic financial institutions out to bag huge windfalls in short periods of time.”

The Korea Finance Consumer Association (KOFICA), a prominent consumer rights organization, will play a prominent role in the protests and expects at least 1,000 to show up for the rally. more

Occupy Wall Street still largely ignored by CNN



While MSNBC and Fox are starting to show more interest in covering Occupy Wall Street, CNN is rarely seen on the ground talking to normal protesters.

It took some time but much of mainstream media is finally showing up to report on the movement that started as Occupy Wall Street and is spreading, across the entire country and even the entire world, to what some are calling Occupy Everywhere.

But one network seems to not have gotten the memo – CNN, also known as “the most trusted name in news.” They have instead been covering the other “Breaking” news, like Michael Jackson’s doctor’s trial, Amanda Knox’s tearful thank you and Paul McCartney's wedding.

Erin Burnett, host of CNN’s newest show OutFront, did go to the protest. She spoke to one single protester, and taught him a lesson.

“So do you know that taxpayers actually made money on the Wall Street bailout?” she asked the young man.

“I was unaware of that,” he said.

“Not on GM but they did on the Wall Street part of the bailout, does that make you feel any differently?” she pressed him.

Also featured in her report was video of people hula hooping, cheerleaders, a man dressed as “Uncle Samta” and a crazy man beating a drum.

Not featured, however, was Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz, who attended the protest and showed his support, and other regular Americans, like 89-year-old retired teacher Dominik Zollo or 67-year-old Leonard Tekkat who came from California

“I have enough money to survive my lifetime but it’s my great grandkids,” Tekkat said. “My grandkids they can’t make it." more

Bringing the Salt March to Wall Street

In a few days the Occupy Wall Street movement arrives in my town, Oakland, and I am thinking a lot about what I want to do. As I reflect on what’s been happening in the last number of weeks, I feel quite uplifted and so, so relieved. For months I was watching with growing discomfort the absence of action in the US while nonviolent resistance was spreading like wildfire to more and more countries. Now, finally, the movement is spreading in this country which I have made my home since 1983. City after city now has its own occupy location, with a similar spirit in many of them. I am quite sure I am not alone in holding tremendous curiosity to see how things will unfold, and some hope that perhaps some shift could result, even a fundamental systemic change.

At the same time, I feel quite a bit of unease. Nonviolence, for me, is far from being simply the absence of overt physical violence. Nonviolence is a positive approach that requires tremendous courage. Nonviolence, if I listen carefully to Gandhi and Martin Luther King, Jr., rests on a deep love of all humans, including the ones the struggle and the resistance are mounted to topple. Nonviolence at its source emerges from clear vision, and is dramatically different from a purely oppositional movement. When Gandhi orchestrated the Salt March, he was at one and the same time violating the law as well as demonstrating with his actions the world he wanted to create. The same was true of the actions of young people during the Civil Rights Movement. A picket line outside segregated restaurants would have been pure protest. Boycotting the restaurants and blocking people from entering them would have been a disruption of business as usual. Actually sitting at the lunch counters, blacks and whites together, was what Sharif Abdullah calls “vision implementation.” Just like the Salt March, these actions were already part of the world being created, the transformation already taking place. more

Out-of-work Americans are the real losers in jobs bill spat

Barack Obama did not mince words Wednesday in slamming Republicans in the Senate for blocking his $447-billion jobs bill in a procedural vote on Tuesday night.

“No other jobs plan has that kind of support from actual economists – no plan from Congress, no plan from anybody,” the President said in a speech to Hispanic activists in Washington.

“But apparently, none of this matters to Republicans in the Senate. Because last night, even though a majority of senators voted in favour of the American Jobs Act, a Republican minority got together as a group and blocked this jobs bill,” he said.

It’s true a Republican filibuster in the Senate, where the GOP has 47 seats, made it impossible to get the 60 votes needed to cut off debate and proceed with an up-or-down floor vote on the measure. Had it met that threshold, the bill would have needed only 51 yeas to pass in a final vote.

But it is far from clear that a majority of senators support the bill. Some Democrats who voted to break the Republican filibuster also made it known that they opposed the bill outright or wanted major changes to it before it could pass. That’s the case for Jim Webb of Virginia and Joe Manchin of West Virginia. more

Ryanair Plans to Remove Bathrooms to Cut Costs: Thank you, Capitalism

If you’re flying on Ryanair, remember what dad always said and do your business before takeoff. Europe’s biggest airline, ever on the cutting edge of new ways to squeeze money out of its flights, had been considering charging passengers to use the bathroom on its flights, but now it’s decided to instead just remove two of the three bathrooms on each plane entirely to make room for more seats, the Independent reports

All Ryanair flights use the Boeing 737-800, outfitted with the maximum 189 seats, but Ryanair is asking Boeing if it will recertify the plane to hold six more seats if the two bathrooms are removed. “We very rarely use all three toilets on board our aircraft anyway,” says Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary, adding that the move “would fundamentally lower air fares by about 5% for all passengers.” Most of Ryanair’s flights are short, with the longest clocking in at 4 hours and 25 minutes. No decision yet from Boeing. source

America: The hard truth about going ‘soft’

Barack Obama has apparently committed blasphemy. In an interview in Florida on Sept. 29, he dared to say that America had gotten “soft.” The denunciations have come in fast and furious from the right. Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Eric Cantor and the Wall Street Journal editorial page are all shocked—shocked—that the President could say such a thing. “America is the greatest nation in the world,” Cantor declared. Romney concocted a confusing metaphor about America carrying Obama on its shoulders, but his basic point was the same. Now, if you watch the clip, here’s what the President said: “The way I think about it is, you know, this is a great, great country that had gotten a little soft, and we didn’t have that same competitive edge that we needed over the last couple of decades. We need to get back on track.” Isn’t this self-evidently true? Isn’t this what conservatives have been saying for decades?


The evidence on the topic is pretty clear. The U.S. is slipping, by most measures of global competitiveness. It has dipped slightly in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) rankings to No. 5, behind Sweden, Singapore, Finland and Switzerland. But the WEF rankings are based, in good measure, on surveys—polls of CEOs and the like. Other studies, using hard data, show America slipping further behind. The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation finds that in category after category—actual venture-capital funding, research and development—the U.S. has dropped well behind countries like Japan, South Korea and Sweden. The foundation measures 44 countries and regions on their efforts to improve their competitiveness over the past decade. The U.S. comes in next to last. more

China's latest craze: dyeing pets to look like other wild animals

They only look like baby pandas.

These little bundles of joy are actually chow chow dogs that have been dyed black-and-white to look like pandas.

Dyeing pets has been a trend in pet pampering for quite some time. At last summer's Pets Show Taipei, there was a fierce dog-dyeing competition. Check out photos.

But dyeing your pets to look like other wild animals is a more recent development.

The trend demonstrates how quickly and dramatically attitudes toward pets — particularly dogs — have changed in many parts of Asia.

Read: Can China censor its leading artists, Ai Weiwei?

In Taiwan, for example, just 10 years ago, dogs were still eaten in public restaurants and raised on farms for that purpose. Traditional Chinese medicine held that so-called "fragrant meat" from dogs could fortify one's health.

Now, eating dog is viewed by many as an embarrassing reminder of a poorer time.

With more money to spend, newly wealthy Chinese have embraced dog-owning culture with a vengeance. Dogs are brought into restaurants, fussed over in public, dressed up in ridiculous outfits and dyed to look like ferocious tigers. more

Explaining the Iran-Saudi rivalry

Yesterday afternoon, the U.S. government charged Mansoor Arbabsiar, a dual U.S.–Iranian citizen, and Gholam Shakuri, an alleged member of the Iranian Quds Force (a division of the Revolutionary Guards), with conspiracy to assassinate the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States, Adel Al-Jubeir, and to attack both the Saudi and Israeli embassies in Washington, D.C. Although the nature of Iranian government involvement remains to be seen, the indictment is just the latest story in the intricate cold war now developing between Iran and Saudi Arabia.

The two countries, at odds since the 1979 revolution in Iran and ever more so in the wake of the Arab Spring, are competing for dominance in global energy markets and nuclear technology and for political influence in the Persian Gulf and the Levant. Their conflict, with its sectarian overtones, has the potential to weaken pro-democracy forces in the Middle East and North Africa, empower Islamists, and drag the United States into military interventions. To avoid all this, the United States will need strategic imagination to devise ways to mitigate and manage the rivalry between Riyadh and Tehran.

Iran and Saudi Arabia are neither natural allies nor natural enemies but natural rivals who have long competed as major oil producers and self-proclaimed defenders of Shia and Sunni Islam, respectively. Until the Iranian revolution in 1979, their rivalry was managed and controlled by the United States, with whom they were both strategic allies. But after the Shah was overthrown, Saudi Arabia’s leadership became frightened by the Ayatollah Khomenei’s denunciation of the Saudi monarchy as antithetical to Islam and his ambition to export to the revolution to the Arab world. Saudi Arabia remained an ally of the United States; Iran became an implacable foe. Thereafter, the rivalry between Iran and Saudi Arabia became defined by the new U.S. strategy - ally with Saudi Arabia to offset Iran. more

Birth rate tanks with economy: US

Birth rates in the United States took a tumble during the recession, particularly in the economically hardest-hit states, according to a new report by the Pew Research Center.

In the analysis, released on Wednesday, the sharp decline in fertility rates started in 2008 and has continued to drop since the recession hit. In 2007, the U.S. had a record high number of births -- about 4.3 million -- before starting to decline in 2008 to 4.25 million. The number kept dropping in 2009 to 4.13 million, and in 2010, data shows there were just 4.01 million births. Politico

The analysis reveals Hispanics, who were hit hardest in terms of employment and wealth by the recession, also experienced the largest drop in birth rates since the economic crisis kicked off. From 2008 to 2009, the birth rate among Hispanics dropped 5.9 percent, Pew found. Blacks saw a 2.4 percent drop, and whites had a 1.6 percent decline. Politico

The research, the center wrote, shows a link between economic and fertility declines -- and it means once the economy bounces back, the U.S. should expect the birth rate to do the same. Politico

"Experts suggest that much of the fertility decline that occurs during an economic decline is postponement of childbearing and does not represent a decision to have fewer children," the study's authors write. "In other words, people put off having children during the economic downturn, and then catch up on fertility once economic conditions improve." Politico

Nevada, where housing prices have dropped by more than half since 2006, saw its birth rate drop to 71.2 births per thousand women aged 15 to 44 in 2009 from 74.8 in 2008, the report said. North Dakota, with an unemployment rate of just 3.1 percent in 2008, was the only state to show an increase in births from 2008 to 2009, Pew said. Nationwide, the birth rate dropped to 66.7 in 2009 from 68.5 the year before. more

Housing bust worst since Great Depression: Homeownership rate fell to 65.1 percent last year, census figures show

The American dream of homeownership has felt its biggest drop since the Great Depression, according to new 2010 census figures released Thursday.

The analysis by the Census Bureau found the homeownership rate fell to 65.1 percent last year. While that level remains the second highest decennial rate, analysts say the U.S. may never return to its mid-decade housing boom peak in which nearly 70 percent of occupied households were owned by their residents.

The reason: a longer-term economic reality of tighter credit, prolonged job losses and reduced government involvement.

Unemployed young adults are least likely to own, delaying first-time home purchases to live with Mom and Dad. Middle-aged adults 35-64, mostly homeowners who were hit with mortgage foreclosures or bankruptcy after the housing bust in 2006, are at their lowest levels of ownership in decades.

Measured by race, the homeownership gap between whites and blacks is now at its widest since 1960, wiping out more than 40 years of gains.

"The changes now taking place are mind-boggling: the housing market has completely crashed and attitudes toward housing are shifting from owning to renting," said Patrick Newport, economist with IHS Global Insight. "While 10 years ago owning a home was the American Dream, I'm not sure a lot of people still think that way." more

Decline and fall of the US' decline and fall

The United States is going through difficult times. Its post-2008 recovery has slowed, and some observers fear that Europe's financial problems could tip the American and world economy into a second recession.

American politics, moreover, remains gridlocked over budgetary issues, and compromise will be even more difficult on the eve of the 2012 election, when Republicans hope that economic problems will help them unseat President Barack Obama. In these circumstances, many are predicting America's decline, especially relative to China.

And it's not just pundits who think so. A recent Pew poll found that in 15 of 22 countries surveyed, most people believe that China either will replace or has replaced America as "the world's leading superpower". In Britain, those putting China on top rose to 47 per cent, from 34 per cent in 2009. Similar trends are evident in Germany, Spain, and France.

Indeed, the poll found more pessimistic views of the US among our oldest and closest allies than in Latin America, Japan, Turkey, and Eastern Europe. But even Americans are divided equally about whether China will replace the US as a global superpower.

Such sentiments reflect the slow growth and fiscal problems that followed the 2008 financial crisis, but they are not historically unprecedented. Americans have a long history of incorrectly estimating their power. In the 1950s and 1960s, after Sputnik, many thought that the Soviets might get the better of America; in the 1980s, it was the Japanese. Now it is the Chinese. But, with America's debt on a path to equalling its national income in a decade, and a fumbling political system that cannot seem to address the country's fundamental challenges, are the "declinists" finally right? more

America's food chain slaves

Is a new Arab order emerging?



Tensions between Saudi Arabia and Iran have increased this year, particularly over Bahrain and Syria, and relations are likely to worsen on the news of the alleged Iranian plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington.

But ironically, the rise of more representative governments in key Arab countries poses risks to both Iran and Saudi Arabia.

While each country will seek to defend its allies against uprisings (for Saudi Arabia, the Bahraini ruling family; and for Iran, the Syrian regime), neither will be able to control or dominate the changing regional dynamics -- and both have reasons to worry about the risk of unrest at home. more

Latest architectural wonders take ‘greenhouse’ effect to new level



With ecologically-friendly policies on the rise, new homes appearing on the Russian horizon are unlike anything this country has ever seen.

One of them is the Active House project, a prototype for green living being undertaken by a society keen to get in line with new federal energy efficiency laws.

First on the list of priorities is daylight, which is in huge demand across Russia. The daylight factor in this house is 10 times higher than the Russian norm. The second priority is fresh air. Carbon monoxide detectors alert windows to open automatically or high grade ventilation systems to kick in when oxygen levels need to be replenished. The price of construction is about $1 million for a 230-square-meter house.

“This project in a way reflects those recent tendencies in Russian society to think more,” Vera Leonova, manager of the Active House Project, told RT. “And for us, as a development company, it’s important to be a pioneer and to be at this early stage of interest in this field. Because it’s quite a sophisticated field, and you need some time to investigate it to understand how things work, to understand how things cost, so as to be successful at a later stage when this type of housing becomes more popular in the market.”

Leonova’s team will measure energy consumption when the family lives there, look at the results, then find a more affordable design model for the modern Russian family in the future. more

Yue Yuem JUST TWO YEARS OLD, run over TWICE as dozens of people ignore her lying stricken on the road, China - 17th Oct 2011

****WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT****

Video footage of a two-year-old girl being run over by a van and ignored by passersby in China has sparked outrage after being posted online.

The graphic surveillance video of the incident on October 13 in Foshan city, Guandong province, shows the girl run over by a van, which then drives off leaving her bleeding on a narrow street.

More than a dozen people walk or drive past the critically injured girl without going to her aid before she is run over by a second truck.

A woman - the 19th person to pass the girl - pulls her to the side of the street before her mother, a migrant worker in the city, rushes into the picture.

The girl, named online as Yue Yuem, is in a coma in hospital according to Xinhua news agency.

China Daily, the country's official English-language newspaper, said she had been declared 'brain dead' and could die at any time. Read More

WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT - IS THIS REALLY A SOCIETY WORTH PROTECTING?


Body of woman Pc is found in woodland as colleagues arrest male detective from the same force - 17th Oct 2011

A former policeman was under arrest tonight for the murder of his policewoman wife whose body was found dumped in woodland.

The woman, aged in her 30s, was believed to have been taken from her £700,000 home and driven four miles to the dense woods where her body was concealed with leaves.

Detectives who found the body on the border between Surrey and Sussex on Sunday night later arrested the woman's husband on suspicion of murder.

Senior detectives confirmed that she had been killed on Sunday night and that her body was discovered hours later.

They also revealed that a 35-year-old detective who recently left the police force, had been arrested on suspicion of murder.

The killing of the police officer sent shock waves through the Surrey Police force, renowned for its close-knit workforce. Read More

4.7 Magnitude Earthquake NORTHERN PERU - 17th Oct 2011

A magnitude 4.7 earthquake has struck Northern Peru at a depth of 39.7 km (24.7 miles), the quake hit at 15:22:43 UTC Monday 17th October 2011.
The epicenter was 77 km ( 47 miles) NNW of Moyobamba, Peru
No reports of Damage or Injuries r
eported at this time

Occupy Wall Street wrapping the planet: Rebellions taking place in over 1000 cities across Earth

Somali militants threaten to enter Kenya if troops don't withdraw

Islamic militants in Somalia have threatened to "come into Kenya" if Kenyan forces do not leave Somalia, according to an online message posted on a jihadist website.

"Kenyan troops have entered 100 kilometers into Somalia, and their planes are bombarding and killing residents," said Sheikh Ali Mahmud Ragi, spokesman for Al-Shabaab, an Islamic extremist group considered a terrorist organization by the United States, in the posting. "We shall come into Kenya if you do not go back."

Kenyan forces crossed into Somalia to pursue Al-Shabaab fighters after the recent abductions of tourists and aid workers in Kenya heightened tensions in East Africa. Kenya invoked the United Nations charter allowing military action in self-defense against its largely lawless neighbor.

"If you are attacked by an enemy, you have to pursue that enemy through hot pursuit and to try (to) hit wherever that enemy is," said Kenyan Defense Minister Yusuf Haji in a news conference aired on CNN affiliate NTV on Sunday. more

Russia Overrun with Locusts

Ottawa says 6,800 exposed to HIV, Hepatitis infection risk: Canada

Ottawa Public Health says it will send letters to nearly 7,000 people who had procedures at a local medical facility to warn them they may have been exposed to Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and HIV.

Stressing that he is not aware of any people who have become ill, Ottawa's medical officer of health Isra Levy said the letters are being sent so people can be made aware of the risk.

"Even though the risk of infection to those who had the procedures related to this issue is very low, I wanted to ensure that affected patients are made aware of the situation, so they can consider being tested for these infections," said Levy, at a hastily called news conference on Saturday afternoon.

Ottawa Public Health said it has been investigating an unnamed non-hospital facility for the past several months because of "lapses in infection control."

Because OPH doesn't know exactly when the lapse started, the 6,800 patients who will be contacted by registered letter next week cover a 10-year period.

"We don't know how long the problem has been going on for. We were notified at public health earlier in the summer," Levy said. more

Occupy Capitalism: 'No freedom of press in London' - 15th Oct 2011

Susan Burke, Teacher, Accused of Choking First Graders in Court

A trial is set to begin Monday for a Montgomery County teacher, accused of punching and choking several of her first grade students.

Susan Burke, 36, was arrested in February, after nine of her first grade students at Greencastle Elementary School claimed they were abused. According to investigators, Burke allegedly choked, kicked, punched and scratched children in her class.

Montgomery County police learned of one incident on Jan. 7, when a Greencastle Elementary School student complained of being physically assaulted on several occasions.

Police interviewed all of the students in Burke's class, and their investigation revealed eight more victims, all ages 6 or 7, police said. In addition to being choked, some students also reported being kicked, punched, scratched or squeezed on the arms, police said. Additional students reported witnessing the attacks, police said.

Burke was also charged in an alleged March 2010 assault of a student as a result of this investigation, police said. The incidents allegedly took place on school property and during school hours. more

Packs of Wild Dogs Roaming the North Side Of St. Louis, Parents Takes Children to School with Golf Clubs



Ten years after a fourth-grade boy was attacked and nearly eaten alive by wild dogs in north St. Louis, city leaders are scrambling to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Aldermanic President Lewis Reed is sounding the alarm. “I’ve witnessed packs of dogs, 10 and 15 dogs running together, and I’ve seen all these dogs I’m talking about they don’t have collars, they don’t have tags, these are truly wild dogs,” he said.

Reed says stray dogs are terrorizing the north side. ”It’s obscene that parents have to walk their kids to school, in some parts of the city, with a golf club to fend off wild dogs.”

Reed isn’t only one sounding the alarm. 21st Ward Alderman Antonio French posted a video on his YouTube channel showing a dog menacing some local residents.

Health Director Pam Walker says for the year the city has reported 360 dog bites, many of them serious enough for the dog to be euthanized.

“Bite cases are owned dogs. They keep talking about this like it’s packs of feral dogs running through the city, we don’t,” she says.

Aldermanic President Reed strongly disagrees, he told KMOX News “we have an explosion of wild stray dogs in St. Louis and a great number of them are born out of captivity.” more

US warship visits Georgia despite Russia anger

A US warship arrived Monday in Georgia's Black Sea port of Batumi for exercises with the country's coast guard, the US embassy said, in the latest of a series of such calls which have angered Russia.

The guided missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea's "regularly scheduled" port call will include "combined training exercises with the Georgian Coast Guard," the US embassy in Tbilisi said in a statement.

"This visit serves to continue US 6th Fleet efforts to build global maritime partnerships with Black Sea nations and improve maritime safety and security," the embassy said.

US warships delivered humanitarian aid to Georgia after the Caucasus nation fought a brief war with Russia in August 2008.

Moscow has criticised the decision to send the sophisticated warships, saying it might contravene international conventions and that the ships were unsuited for aid missions. more

Detroit struggles to keep lights on: Copper thieves, aging equipment darken blocks in cash-starved city

Like many swaths of the city, Keith Wicks' historic Indian Village neighborhood has remained largely dark at night after vandals destroyed transformers in nearly every streetlight pole that powers them.

On a recent rainy day, Wicks, 64, a retired GM engineer who has lived in Detroit for decades, watched as city Public Lighting workers put new transformers at the top of the aging wooden poles. Just days later, those streetlights were out — again.

"We've still got a ways to go," Wicks said with a laugh.

The growing lack of public lighting has become a troubling problem for cash-starved Detroit, where entire stretches of neighborhoods and thoroughfares — such as portions of the Southfield Freeway — are feeling the effects.

"This city…it's dark without streetlights," said Wicks, who lives on Iroquois. "You look down Iroquois at night now, it's black. It's very dangerous."

The war to keep the lights on in Detroit is a serious one. Thieves, antiquated equipment and a lack of funding have made it impossible for city officials to catch up to the problem.

City officials estimate 15-20 percent of the 88,000 lights in the Motor City are not working, and they acknowledge that figure could be as high as 50 percent in some neighborhoods. Providing lighting to the city costs $10.7 million annually.

And often when they are fixed, they break down weeks and months later — or thieves steal the high-grade cable for its copper materials. more

Van Gogh was Murdered, Claims New Book

Vincent van Gogh might have lopped off his own ear, but he didn't kill himself, say the authors of a new book about the master painter.

"Van Gogh: The Life," a 900-page tome by Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith, casts doubt on the long-accepted version that the Dutch artist shot himself in the chest in a French field in 1890, at the age of 37. The book, according to the Telegraph, says the most likely cause of Van Gogh's death was an accidental shooting by a local boy.

After being mortally wounded, van Gogh staggered more than a mile back to an inn in Auvers, where he died the next day. When he was asked if he meant to commit suicide, he said: "Yes I believe so."

While the authors acknowledge that no one knows what happened, they posit an alternative version of events. The shot was fired by a 16-year-old boy named Rene Secretan, who lived nearby and who got to know van Gogh, buying him drinks but also taunting him.

Noting their was no suicide message and that the artist went into the field with his easel and paints, Naifeh told the BBC it was "very clear to us that he did not go into the wheat fields with the intention of shooting himself". more

Scientists believe the volcano of El Hierro has more magma than the Teneguía, La Palma of 1971. - 17th Oct 2011

The eruption on La Palma in 1971 drove forty million cubic meters of magmatic material to the surface and lasted 24 days. The El Hierro Volcano could take up to a month and a half and release fifty million cubic meters of Magma.

Scientists who have been working around El Hierro believe the volcano that rumbles beneath the soil of the smallest island of the Canary Islands can hide a magma chamber bigger than Teneguía which erupted in La Palma, in 1971 . This conclusion was reached after complex mathematical calculations that lead them to have a real close approximation of what lies along the 12 km route where they believe the magma has accumulated over the past three months, Since the first detected earthquake swarm started in July. The Swarm had scientists from around the world watching the area closely.

On October 26, 1971 the Teneguía made an appearance in La Palma. The eruption lasted over 24 days, until 18 November and, according to studies, it is believed that drove about forty million cubic meters of magma. At that time, due to lack of technical means, nothing could be anticipated, but after the end of the eruption itself Scientists studied in detail the volcano and reached different conclusions. One was the amount of magma expelled.

Now, just 40 years later, scientists are based on the deformation suffered by the island in the last three months (about 5 centimeters) and in the path of the lava under the earth during that time (about 12 miles) that runs under El Hierro, are expecting the output will be near 50 million cubic meters of lava.

With this data on the table, the rash that breaks through at this time under the waters of the Sea Calm in La Restinga, could take between a month and a half, according to estimates calculated by the scientific community which moved to Meridian Island. Source

Texas High School Students Made to Recite Mexican National Anthem, Pledge of Allegiance



Students in a Texas public high school were made to stand up and recite the Mexican national anthem and Mexican pledge of allegiance as part of a Spanish class assignment, but the school district maintains there was nothing wrong with the lesson.

It happened last month in an intermediate Spanish class at Achieve Early College High School in McAllen, Texas — a city located about 10 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border.

Wearing red, white and green, students had to memorize the Mexican anthem and pledge and stand up and recite them in individually in front of the class.

That didn’t go over well with sophomore Brenda Brinsdon. The 15-year-old sat down and refused to participate. She also caught it all on video. more