Showing posts with label daily news. Show all posts
Showing posts with label daily news. Show all posts

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Dutch Cup game abandoned after goalkeeper attacks pitch invader at AZ Alkmaar vs Ajax

AZ Alkmaar
AZ Alkmaar's goolkeeper fights with supporter
A FOOTBALL match was abandoned after a goalkeeper fought with a pitch invader - and was then sent off for protecting himself.

The Dutch Cup game between AZ Alkmaar and Ajax ended when AZ keeper Esteban Alvarado was shown a red card for battling the drunk 19-year-old hooligan.

The Costa Rican keeper, 22, launched into a kung-fu kick when the thug attempted to attack him, before kicking him twice after he had been floored.

Security guards dragged the drunk away before referee Bas Nijhuis dismissed the keeper for violence and insisted Esteban should have walked away.

Furious Alkmaar coach Gertjan Verbeek then ordered his side to walk off in protest after just 36minutes, forcing the game on Wednesday night to be abandoned.

Referee Nijhuis said: “I understand that Esteban was defending himself, but he walked to him (the supporter) and kicked him multiple times. He could also have walked away.”

Ajax apologised for the security lapse and said the supporter would receive a lifetime ban from games.

Jeroen Slop, a director of the Dutch giants, said: “This was a terrible incident and we deeply regret it and offer our sincere apologies.

“The supporter has been handed over to the police.

“It was a 19-year-old man who was probably under the influence of alcohol. He said he hated the AZ goalkeeper and had therefore attacked him.”

Toon Gerbrands, an Alkmaar club director, said his players “didn’t feel safe any more in this situation” at the Amsterdam Arena.

Ajax were leading the game 1-0 at the time, and Dutch Football Association director Bert van Oostveen said that although organisation was considering the incident, but is not certain whether the game will be replayed.

The Dutch FA today rescinded the red card, saying Alvarado’s reaction was triggered by the unprovoked attack on him - but adding that referee Bas Nijhuis was right according to the rules when he sent the goalkeeper off.

They confirmed that Alvarado’s reaction “will not result in a ban.”

It also emerged the fan responsible had already been banned from Ajax’s stadium for a year due to a previous run-in with security guards, but managed to sneak into the cup match with a ticket purchased by a friend.

He has now received a lifetime ban from all Ajax matches.

- Eric Cantona: The temperamental Manchester United star famously kung-fu kicked a racist Crystal Palace fan in January 1995. He received an eight-month ban from the FA.

- Brian Clough: The legendary Nottingham Forest manager punched one of his own pitch-invading fan in 1989 after beating QPR.

- Trevor Brennan: Toulouse Rugby Union star Brennan punched an Ulster fan who had been hurling abuse at him during a Heineken Cup game in 2007. He was given a life ban from the dame.

- Peter Schmeichel: The giant Man United keeper hurled an invading fan of Turkish club Galatasaray off the Old Trafford pitch in 1993.

- Ty Cobb: a legendary baseball players who rarely went a game without fighting fans, oppostion players or his own team-mates. He once said: “I had to fight all my life just to survive. They were all against me.”

News by Mirror

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Japan relaxes decades-old arms exports ban

japanese fighter
Japanese Fighter
(Reuters) - Debt-riddled Japan Tuesday relaxed its self-imposed decades-old ban on military equipment exports in a move that will open new markets to its defense contractors and help the nation squeeze more out of its defense budget.

The government's security council agreed to the relaxing of the ban to allow Japan to take part in the joint development and production of arms with other countries and to supply military equipment for humanitarian missions, Chief Cabinet Secretary Osamu Fujimura said at a news conference.

"The new standards (on weapons exports) are a result of the government considering measures that required attention amid recent changes to the environment surrounding international defense equipment," Fujimura said, referring to rising arms costs that could put strain on the government, with public debt twice the size of its economy.

The rule adopted in 1967 banned sales to communist countries, those involved in international conflicts or subject to United Nations sanctions.

It later became a blanket ban on exports and on the development and production of weapons with countries other than the United States, making it impossible for manufacturers to participate in multinational projects.

"The regulations on weapons exports are based on the concept that as a pacifist country Japan should aim to avoid fanning international conflicts, and we will keep a close watch on exports," Fujimura said.

The relaxing of the rules does not mean Japan will begin openly selling its military products to the world -- exports will be limited to strategic allies like the U.S.

The move could still allow companies such as Mitsubishi Heavy (7011.T) to join the development of Lockheed Martin's (LMT.N) F-35, which Tokyo picked last week as its next frontline fighter, planning to buy 42 machines at an estimated cost of more than $7 billion.


Although Japan is the world's sixth-biggest military spender, it often pays more than double other nations for the same equipment because local export-restricted manufacturers can only fill small orders at a high cost.

Removing the ban would stretch its defense purse further as military spending in neighboring China expands.

This year, Beijing raised military outlays by 12.7 percent. That included money for its own stealth fighter, the J-20, which made its maiden flight in January.

In contrast, Japan's defense budget has been shrinking in past years as ballooning costs for social security and servicing its growing debt pile squeeze other spending.

Given fiscal restraints, Tokyo is keen to make its defense program more efficient to maintain its military capability in the face of China's rise and growing uncertainties in the region.

The relaxation of the ban, that has been modified in the past to allow sharing of military technology with the U.S., could also be a boon for Japanese manufacturers as the strong yen weighs on their civilian exports and weak domestic demand and budget constraints restrict growth at home.

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Monday, December 26, 2011

7 People Shot Dead In Texas Home, Motive Unclear

                                       7 People Shot Dead In Texas
GRAPEVINE, Texas -- Investigators believe that seven people who were found dead Christmas Day were cleaning up holiday wrapping paper when they were shot inside a suburban Fort Worth apartment, but a motive remains unclear.

All of the victims appeared to be related, and Grapevine police said they believe the shooter was among the dead. Investigators were meticulously searching the apartment, along with three vehicles parked outside, and didn't expect to finish until dawn on Monday.

"It appears they had just celebrated Christmas. They had opened their gifts," Grapevine Police Sgt. Robert Eberling said, adding that the apartment was decorated for the holiday, including a tree.

The four women and three men, aged 18 to 60, were found dead in an adjoining kitchen and living room area when police arrived midday Sunday, shortly after receiving a 911 call in which no one was on the other line, Eberling said. Two handguns were found near the bodies, he said.

None of the victims has been identified, but Eberling said it appears they all died of gunshot wounds. He said authorities still don't know what sparked the incident.

Grapevine Police Lt. Todd Dearing said investigators believe that the victims were related, though some were visiting and didn't live in the apartment. He said police are looking for other relatives to inform of the deaths.

"Seven people in one setting in Grapevine, that's never happened before. Ever," Dearing said.

Police and firefighters first rushed to the Lincoln Vineyards complex after receiving the open-ended 911 call at about 11:30 a.m., Eberling said.

"There was an open line. No one was saying anything," he explained.

So police went into the apartment, located in the middle-class neighborhood of Grapevine, not far from the upscale Fort Worth suburb of Colleyville. The apartment was at the back of the complex, overlooking the athletic fields of Colleyville Heritage High School.

But many of the nearby apartments are vacant, and police said no neighbors reported hearing anything on a quiet Christmas morning when many people were not around.

Jose Fernandez, a 35-year-old heavy equipment mechanic who moved to the complex with his family about six months ago, said he always felt safe in the area, but is now afraid to let his 10-year-old son play freely outside.

"This is really outrageous especially on Christmas," said Fernandez, who was visiting family for the holiday and returned to find several police cars parked outside his home.

"This has shocked everybody. It has scared everybody. I guess something like this can happen anywhere, but seven people dead. It's just very scary," he added.

Eberling agreed the area is fairly quiet, noting this would be the first homicide in Grapevine since 2010.

Christy Posch, a flight attendant who moved to the complex about six months ago so her son could attend the high school, said she lives a few buildings away and did not hear any gunshots.

"It's all families. That's why I moved here. No burglaries, no nothing," Posch said.

News by Huffingtonpost

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Friday, December 23, 2011

Last Minute Shopping Tips for Guys

Maxim Model
We got some help from an AskMen editor to save your procrastinating ass.

Last year you left your holiday shopping to the last minute. It stressed you out, you spent way more money than you had to, and, as you downed a pitcher of Wild Turkey to numb the pain, you also swore you'd never find yourself in the same hole next year. Well, it's next year!

That’s why us guys at AskMen teamed up with Maxim to tell you how to pull off last-minute shopping like a pro. (The Maxim guys disappeared the moment we mentioned "pitcher of Wild Turkey.")

You Have: 24 Hours Left
Lucky you, a whole day. Your first instinct is to use the Internet -- but you’re wrong. Because you’re so late in the game, you’ve missed the shipping deadline, which means you’ll have to hit the mall. Yes, the mall, where you’ll find yourself spending 20 minutes looking for parking and get stuck in line behind a snot factory masquerading as a five-year-old brat. (Quit, eyeballin' us, you little jerk!) You know what? Suck it up -- it’s the price you pay for leaving it till the eleventh hour.

Focus on one store, like a department store, so you can get in and get out. If you’re shopping for her, things like lingerie -- as long as it’s lingerie for her body type -- will be just fine. In fact, in a survey I took among the women at AskMen, they all said they’d love lingerie. And they’re hot, so it doesn’t get more valid than that. Also, since we know you’ve been hanging on to her every last word this year, getting her favorite author’s latest book or her favorite musician’s latest album works. Sometimes small, thoughtful gestures like these deliver a lot of impact.

You Have: Half A Day Left
Forget about the mall; at this point, all you’ll find left are those I’m-not-putting-out-tonight pajamas. Believe it or not, the local chain drugstore is your best bet. A lot of them sell gift-worthy stuff, like perfumes and beauty products for her (we recommend Lola by Marc Jacobs), and electronics for the guys in your life (tablets, Blu-ray players, digital cameras, etc.). Sure, it may seem unsettling knowing that you’re offering a gift to your loved one from the same place you buy your condoms, but remember: No one’s going to know where that perfume came from.

You Have: Less Than Five Minutes Left
Relax, it’s totally doable -- now’s when you go online and buy things that are for a future date. For example, buying tickets to an upcoming concert or a show she wants to see, or booking a weekend getaway in the new year. Just print out the paperwork, stick it in a card and surprise her with it.

You Have: Zero Minutes Left
For some of you, it’s game over. For the rest, you’ll have to convince her that what you got her is on the way, which usually calls for something extravagant or custom-made. But that’s another article.

News by Maxim

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Monday, November 14, 2011

Penn State's Sandusky denies he is a pedophile

jerry sandusky
Jerry Sandusky
(Reuters) - Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State University assistant football coach charged with child sex abuse, says he is not a pedophile, but admits he showered with young boys.

In a full-court media press across two television networks, Sandusky and his attorney, Joe Amendola, said they have answers for all 40 charges that Pennsylvania prosecutors have leveled.

"I am innocent of those charges," Sandusky told NBC's Bob Costas in excerpts released by the network on Monday night.

The former coach and founder of The Second Mile charity for disadvantaged youth, acknowledged that after workouts he has showered with boys.

"I have hugged them and I have touched their leg without intent of sexual contact," Sandusky told Costas.

Sandusky is just a "big overgrown kid," Amendola told CNN in a separate interview on Monday night.

The lawyer painted a sympathetic picture of his 67-year-old client, saying he is worried for Sandusky's health.

Amendola said he had advised Sandusky and his wife to leave State College, Pa., to relax, but Sandusky told him he would be recognizable anywhere.

For each charge, "We have an answer," Amendola said.

The defense team is having trouble finding some of the alleged victims mentioned in a grand jury report that was released November 4, Amendola said.

Sandusky, once considered a likely successor to legendary Penn State football coach Joe Paterno, is accused of sexually assaulting eight boys over more than a decade.

He is free on bail and is technically free to go anywhere ahead of his next court appearance, provided he does not contact witnesses, alleged victims, or any minor.

The allegations led to the firings of Penn State President Graham Spanier and Paterno. Athletic Director Tim Curley was placed on administrative leave and Gary Schultz, interim senior vice president for finance and business, retired.

Sandusky retired from Penn State in 1999. The grand jury alleged, among other charges, that Sandusky had sexually assaulted a boy in a Penn State football locker room in 2002 and university officials failed to report the incident.

Penn State assistant football coach Mike McQueary, who witnessed the alleged incident, is on paid administrative leave from the university.

The Big Ten athletic conference said on Monday it will remove Paterno's name from the trophy that will be given to the winner of its first-ever championship game, scheduled to be played in Indianapolis in December.

"The trophy and its namesake are intended to be celebratory and aspirational, not controversial," Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said in a statement.

The intertwined relationship between Penn State, its football program and The Second Mile charity continues to be a focus of the developing scandal.

On Sunday it was reported that the district court judge who ordered Sandusky to be freed on $100,000 unsecured bail had donated to the charity and worked as a volunteer for the group. Prosecutors had requested a $500,000 bail for Sandusky and that he be required to wear a leg monitor.

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Obama administration launches $1 billion healthcare drive

barack obama
Barack Obama
(Reuters) - The Obama administration on Monday said $1 billion of federal funds allocated in last year's health reform law will go toward innovation programs designed to boost jobs and improve patient care.

The announcement is the administration's latest attempt to show that it is working outside of a deeply divided Congress to create jobs.

The administration will award grants in March to people who come up with the best ideas to lift care and save money for those enrolled in the federal healthcare programs Medicare, Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program.

However, the administration did not say how many jobs the measure would create.

Don Berwick, head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, said a good example includes the Baylor Heart Hospital in Dallas which has worked to lower readmission rates for congestive heart failure.

"With the healthcare innovation challenge, we're going straight to the source," Berwick said during a news conference for the announcement.

"We want to find them, we want to help them, we want to spread what they know and what they've learned."

The $1 billion of awards will cut into the $10 billion that Congress set aside in the Affordable Care Act to fund a new CMS Innovation Center. The center is meant to promote better care and health at reduced costs by identifying, testing and spreading new models of care and payment.

To get a grant, projects must start within six months and the program will concentrate on those ideas that spur the most hiring and workforce training, the Department of Health and Human Services said.

Awards will range from around $1 million to up to $30 million and be spread over three years. Applications are open to providers, payers, local government, community organizations and public-private partnerships.

Separately on Monday, the Supreme Court agreed to decide the legal fate of Obama's healthcare law, with an election-year ruling due by July.


President Barack Obama has been aggressively promoting programs that hold potential to boost hiring, amid 9 percent U.S. unemployment which will hurt his re-election chances next year unless job creation improves.

Republican lawmakers have held up passage of most of a $447 billion jobs bill that Obama proposed in September, and which Democrats want funded by a tax on millionaires.

So far, only two modest proposals in the package have been approved by the Senate with Republican support.

Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives have meanwhile passed a number of measures to boost jobs, but these have yet to be taken up by the Democratic-controlled Senate.

Asked how many jobs the grants would create, Dr. Rick Gilfillan, acting director of the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation, said: "This is not about a specific number. This is about recognizing that there are going to be more people involved in healthcare" as the population ages.

"The question is what are they going to be doing," he said, adding that the program would help identify high-value jobs in healthcare and help train people for them.

Some Republicans have questioned the innovation center's approach.

"We are concerned that at a time of significant uncertainty for the fiscal health of the U.S. government, funds are being expended by the Innovation Center with little to no actual value provided," three Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee wrote to Health and Human Service Secretary Kathleen Sebelius last week.

Senators Orrin Hatch, the top Republican on the committee, Mike Enzi and Tom Coburn said the innovation center received $10 billion in federal funding but has not yet produced recommendations or implemented any reforms.

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

Hugo Chavez: the U.S. and the EU "infiltrate terrorists" in Syria

Hugo Chavez
AFP - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez Sunday slammed the attitude in the Syrian crisis of the United States and the European Union, which he said "redouble their offensive against Syria" and "infiltrate terrorists" there. Chavez made the remarks during a speech to several thousand supporters gathered in central Caracas. Was the first time taking part in such a public gathering since he was treated for cancer. "The United States and its European allies redouble their offensive against Syria, infiltrate terrorists to generate violence, blood and death, as they have done in Libya earlier this year," he told Mr. Chavez, leader of the radical left in Latin America.

"A bombs, they managed not only to overthrow the Libyan government, but also to destroy this country and assassinate Colonel Muammar Gaddafi (...) and now they are Syria," said the Venezuelan president. Chavez, who was a strong support of Colonel Gaddafi, has strongly condemned from the beginning the military operation in western Libya. He described as "killing" the death of Colonel Gaddafi, who died in suspicious circumstances after being captured by rebels after an air strike against its NATO convoy. In Syria, President Bashar al-Assad is facing since mid-March to suppress an uprising that hard. According to the UN, the repression has more than 3,500 dead.

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Obama ready to show unbelievers the hospital where he was born

Barack Obama
Barack Obama
AFP - U.S. President Barack Obama joked Saturday about the controversy surrounding his birthplace, enjoying his return to Honolulu, her hometown, to offer unbelievers to show them the hospital where he was born. "I want to thank our hosts for their warm hospitality Hawaiian," Obama said to an audience of business leaders meeting in the margins of the Forum of Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec). "As many of you know, this is my birthplace," said Bush. "I know that the thing has been challenged for a while, but I can show you the hospital, if you want to check it out," he said as the laughter and applause from the audience.

Obama has had to resolve in April to publicly release a copy of their birth certificate establishing that he was born in Honolulu Aug. 4, 1961, following a controversy fueled by growing some of his opponents. The latter asserted that Mr. Obama, born of Kenyan father, was not born on American soil and therefore could not claim to be President of the United States. Obama also joked about the formalism of the APEC summit that was held to organize in his hometown with the leaders of 21 Pacific Rim countries. "I must say that after all the years I spent in Hawaii, is the first time I find myself wearing a suit," he said.

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Saturday, November 12, 2011

Shoppers rebel against early Black Friday

Rebel Shoppers
For the first time in years, Michelle Nyberg probably will not be standing in line when stores open for their Black Friday sales.

She still loves a good deal — last year she spent a couple of thousand dollars on markdowns that day, the Friday after Thanksgiving — but Ms. Nyberg says that she does not want retailers to ruin the holiday for her or their own employees.

Ms. Nyberg is drawing the line now that major chains like Target, Macy’s, Best Buy and Kohl’s say they will open for the first time at midnight on Thanksgiving, and Wal-Mart will go even further, with a 10 p.m. Thanksgiving start for deals on some merchandise.

Retailers, eager to be the first to draw customers on one of the biggest shopping days of the year, are pulling the equivalent of the Republican primary shuffle by opening earlier and earlier than competitors.

Last year, a few stores, including Toys “R” Us, pushed into Thanksgiving.

But judging from the negative reaction among dedicated Friday after Thanksgiving shoppers on blogs, Twitter and Facebook, the wave of midnight openings this year has crossed a line.

Part of the objection is inconvenience. To be at or near the front of the line, shoppers say they will now have to leave home hours earlier — in the middle of the turkey dinner for some. But the wider objections reflect sentiments like those of the Occupy Wall Street movement, including a growing attention to the rights of workers and a wariness of decisions by big business.

Either way, many in the shop-till-you-drop crowd have had enough with Black Friday creep.

“I just don’t think that’s good business, in a sense, to make your employees come in on one of the biggest holidays of the year and cut their family time short,” said Ms. Nyberg, 31, a saleswoman in Villa Rica, Ga., for a molecular biology company. “With the economy the way it is, no one’s going to say, ‘I’m not going to do that, I’m going to quit or get fired over it.’ ”

One retail executive sounded sad about the decision to open earlier. Brian Dunn, the chief executive of Best Buy, said that the midnight opening “became an operating imperative for us” after competitors moved their openings back. “I feel terrible,” he said.

A handful of retailers are holding out, like J. C. Penney, which will open at its usual 4 a.m. on Friday. “We wanted to give our associates Thanksgiving Day to spend with their families,” said Bill Gentner, senior vice president for marketing.

Still, some of the big retailers making the switch said that the response from workers and customers had been positive.

“There are many associates who would prefer to work this time as they appreciate the flexibility it affords their schedules for the holiday weekend,” Holly Thomas, a Macy’s spokeswoman, wrote in an e-mail. A Target spokesman, Antoine LaFromboise, said that employees will get holiday pay for Thanksgiving work, and “we’ve heard from our guests that they are excited.”

But even with increased pay, some retail workers said in interviews that the holiday hours were a raw deal.

Anthony Hardwick, 29, who works at a Target store in Omaha, said he would have to leave Thanksgiving dinner with his fiancée’s family so he could sleep before starting a shift around 11 p.m. on Thanksgiving, followed on Friday by a shift at his other job, at OfficeMax.

Mr. Hardwick says he is glad to have a job, and does not mind the early hours on Friday, but “cutting into our holidays is just a step too far.”

He added, “Even though it’s a desperate time doesn’t mean that we should trade all the ground that our fathers and our grandfathers, everyone that came before us, fought really hard for.”

He has created an online petition urging Target to open at 5 a.m. Friday instead, which had attracted a handful of signatures as of Thursday.

The concern among customers about retail workers recalls an earlier era, when consumer advocates encouraged people to consider the impact of their shopping on sales clerks, said Lawrence B. Glickman, the chairman of the history department at the University of South Carolina.

In the late 19th century, as labor organizers pushed for eight-hour days and holidays off, consumer advocates told shoppers to “watch out for their complicity in the exploitation of workers through shopping” he said. That sentiment faded after the 1930s, he said, as consumer advocacy focused more on protecting shoppers.

For shoppers themselves — and the stores hoping to profit from them — the rush to midnight could have unintended consequences.

Last year, for instance, an adept shopper could be in the Toys “R” Us line for its 10 p.m. opening Thanksgiving Day, then line up at Wal-Mart to get a wrist band at 2 a.m. that assured a place in line for its sales starting at 5. In between, the shopper could swing by Kohl’s at 3, and Target or Macy’s at 4, and perhaps finish with Best Buy after its 5 a.m. opening.

“This year, people are going to have to pick and choose what store they’re going to leave behind,” said Jennifer Carr, 30, a homemaker in Jonesboro, Ga. She regularly hits the Friday sales, but says she is reconsidering that this year.

Wal-Mart said in a statement that “customers told us they would rather stay up late to shop than get up early.” But like Ms. Carr, many dedicated Black Friday shoppers say they are rethinking shopping on that day altogether.

Jill Paffrath usually attacks the Friday sales at Target like a ninja. After Thanksgiving lunch, she, her four sisters and two sisters-in-law study the Target ads and make a list of presents they want to buy. After dinner and card games, they drive to the Target in southeast Lincoln, Neb., four hours before it opens, ask a relative who is a police officer to drop off coffee, and bring a DVD player so they can watch “Christmas Vacation” every year.

As much as she loves that ritual, Ms. Paffrath said, she may now skip it.

“Where can it go from here?” she said. “We really don’t want to wait in line and miss Thanksgiving.”

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Monday, November 07, 2011

Tokyo's gigantic flood prevention system

Tokyo's gigantic flood prevention system
Tokyo's gigantic flood prevention system
The Metropolitan Area Outer Underground Discharge Channel, also known as the G-Cans Project or the "Underground Temple", is an subterranean water infrastructure project built to protect the capital Tokyo against floodwaters during rain and typhoon seasons. It is believed to be one of the largest water collection facilities in the world. Building began in 1992 and the massive structure now consists of five concrete silos, a large water tanks and 59 pillars connected to a number of pumps that can pump up to 200 tons of water into the Edogawa River per second. It has also become a tourist attraction, as well as a location for movies, TV shows and commercials.

The pressure-controlled water tank at the Metropolitan Area Outer Underground Discharge Channel in Kusakabe, north of Tokyo. The facility, which is believed to be one of the largest facilities in the world, is composed of giant concrete containment silos (65m tall, 32m wide), connected by 3.97 miles of underground tunnels 50m beneath the surface as well as a large water tank called the "Underground Temple" which is 25.4m tall, with a length of 177m and 78m wide, with 59 concrete pillars.

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Thursday, November 03, 2011

First "kiss" space managed for China

Shenzhou-8, China

China has, on the night of Wednesday 2 to Thursday, November 3, a further step to become a major space power by passing the docking of two unmanned vessels, crucial step towards building a space station planned by 2020. At 17 h 36 GMT Wednesday, the Shenzhou-8 has joined to the module Tiangong-1 at a speed of about 28 000 km / h to 343 km above the Earth, said Thursday the spokesman Chinese manned space flight program, "Wu Ping." Shenzhou-8, whose name means "divine vessel" had taken off Tuesday from the base of Jiuquan, which was also a party on September 29 module test Tiangong-1 ("heavenly palace").

Chinese leaders including Premier Wen Jiabao attended at night to the retransmission of the operation, described as a "kiss" space in the media from the control center in Beijing. President Hu Jintao, who is in France to attend the G20 summit in Cannes, has sent a congratulatory message. ORBITAL STATION CHINA Shenzhou-8 and Tiangong-1 will remain docked for about twelve days before separating, to unite again for two days. Seconds after their separation, "Shenzhou-8 must return to Earth on November 17 in the afternoon," said Wu Ping during a press conference.

The first tie is part of the program for providing, by a decade, China a space station in which a crew can live independently for several months, as the old Russian space station Mir and the ISS (ISS). If the Shenzhou-8 is successful, China will launch next year two other ships to join Tiangong-1, Shenzhou-9 and successively Shenzhou-10, which at least will be inhabited.

News by Lemonde
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Wednesday, November 02, 2011

VU - The FBI is playing videos of Russian spy Anna Chapman

videos of Russian spy Anna Chapman
Videos of Russian spy Anna Chapman

The FBI on Monday on its website videos, photos and documents from its investigation ten years in Anna Chapman, the glamorous Russian spy, and nine other officials expelled from Moscow in July 2010 by the United States. The first video shows the beautiful declassified spy, whose nude photos have been around the world, the table of a cafe in New York June 26, 2010 with an undercover U.S. agent. You can see the young redhead dressed in jeans and white T-shirt and wearing sunglasses, a bag out of his book and what appears to be headphones.

The other six videos show three Russian agents expelled with Anna Chapman. We see them exchange or retrieve objects and documents in the street in New York, in the bushes, in a café and a staircase with a Russian official, between May 2004 and March 2010. These eight videos have been published with hundreds of photos and documents related to this investigation a decade called "Ghost Stories". These arrests remind us that "espionage on American soil has not disappeared with the Cold War," the FBI on its website, commenting on the release of documents. "While the 'illegal' the SVR (Russian intelligence services abroad) have never got hold of classified documents, their intention was serious, extensive and funded by the SVR."

This group of ten spies had been arrested and pleaded guilty of espionage in June 2010. They were evicted two weeks later in an exchange worthy of the Cold War. The United States had given to the Moscow against four Russians, three convicted of spying for the West. On his return to Moscow, Anna Chapman chose to expose themselves in the media, contrary to the tradition of the secret services. In particular, posed scantily clad for a men's magazine and appeared in an issue of public television.
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Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Emergency Declared At San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant

San Onofre nuclear generating station
San Onofre nuclear generating station
An emergency was declared at the San Onofre nuclear generating station on Tuesday afternoon. The threat turned out to be an ammonia leak, not a a nuclear one, and officials say it does not pose any public danger.

At 3:10pm on Tuesday, the plant issued a level 3 alert, according to CBS2. According to the International Nuclear Events scale, this means that a "serious incident" had occurred. A level 3 incident could mean anything from nuclear exposure in excess of ten times the annual limit for workers to a misdelivered, highly radioactive sealed source.

Workers discovered the ammonia leak just before 3pm, reports NBC LA. Southern California Edison spokesman Steve Conroy told NBC LA that no nuclear material was released, and there is no danger to the public.

According to the Associated Press, Southern California Edison spokesman Gil Alexander said that today's alert was the lowest of the four possible emergency classifications used by the nuclear industry. Alexander didn't know the size of the ammonia leak, but it came from a unit in the power plant that generates electricity. It is separate from radioactive systems at the plant.

Besides the two aforementioned causes of a level 3 emergency, the International Atomic Energy Agency has more (PDF) on what the threat could mean:

    * Non-lethal deterministic health effect from radiation, like a burn.
    * A certain level of nuclear exposure in an operating area.
    * Severe nuclear contamination in an unexpected way, but with low probability of significant public exposure.
    * Near accident at a nuclear power plant with no safety provisions
    * Lost or stolen highly radioactive sealed source

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Occupy Wall Street arrests in Texas, Oregon

wall street
Wall Street
(Reuters) - Dozens of protesters at economic inequality demonstrations in Austin, Texas, and Portland, Oregon were arrested peacefully early on Sunday over allegedly failing to comply with rules in each city.

Both protests were among many held across the country since September by demonstrators who say they are angry over economic inequality and what they see as Wall Street greed.

At Occupy Austin, some 38 people were arrested on Saturday night and early Sunday after refusing to let police take down food tables and clean the City Hall plaza where they had camped for several weeks, police told Reuters on Sunday.

They were charged with criminal trespass and issued citations that mean they can't return to the protest site.

"We've had a very peaceful Occupy Austin, especially compared to the rest of the nation, but we do have rules that have to be enforced," said Austin Police Officer Dennis Farris.

Makeshift encampments sprouting up in cities nationwide have forced local officials to tread carefully between allowing peaceful assembly and addressing concerns about trespassing, noise, sanitation and safety.

In Portland, protesters' attempt to extend their occupation to a third city park in an upscale downtown neighborhood was broken up by police early Sunday morning.

Some 25 protesters were arrested on charges related to rules about use of the park.

"It was peaceful, methodical and business-like," said police spokesman Pete Simpson.

Protesters at the Nashville, Tennessee, Occupy encampment were spared a curfew check on Saturday night after more than 50 arrests last week over curfew violations. They were released after a court official said there were no grounds for charges.

Other weekend protests struggled against the elements.

In New York, a day after authorities confiscated their generators, hundreds of protesters struggled to stay warm and dry Saturday after more than an inch of snow fell in the city.

In Washington, demonstrators marched in sleet to the Treasury to urge higher taxes on the financial sector, beating a drum and chanting "Banks got bailed out, we got sold out!"

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Saturday, October 29, 2011

The 20 Best Views in the World

beautiful scenery
Beautiful Scenery

Fortunately for us, a great view can happen at any place and at any moment: a sunset over an empty field, an unexpected panorama from the top of an office building, the morning sun on a crowded street. There are some classic views, however, that are certainly worth a trip. As a travel writer, I am lucky to behold a number of spectacular sights, but the following ones I'll remember for a very long time.

1. The Grand Canyon from the South Rim
People come from all over the world to take in this vista, which at sunset resembles an impressionistic painting brought to life. Hopi Point, on the West Rim Drive, extends far out into the canyon and is an excellent vantage point among many. Try to visit during the shoulder seasons of April-May and September-October, when the weather is milder and the park is less crowded.

2. Hong Kong Island from Kowloon
Hong Kong Island is clustered with dizzying neon-lit skyscrapers, and the view from the Kowloon Peninsula across Victoria Harbour is straight out of a science-fiction film. This dense urban scene is especially impressive every evening at 8, when it promptly erupts into a laser light show!

3. Phang Nga Bay, Thailand
This remarkable bay between the island of Phuket and the Thai mainland is dotted with hundreds of tall limestone formations that rise hundreds of feet from the sea. Ten thousand years ago, you could walk among these towers; now only their tops are visible, like the skyline of a sunken city.

4. Manhattan from the top of Rockefeller Plaza
The Empire State Building has some very serious competition when it comes to sweeping views of Manhattan. I now prefer the relatively new Top of the Rock Observation Deck in Rockefeller Center, mostly for its incredible panorama of Central Park to the north. Look hard and you can spot Yankee Stadium in the Bronx.

5. Istanbul skyline from the Bosphorus strait, Turkey
The Bosphorus strait, which runs squarely through the middle of Istanbul, famously divides Europe and Asia. Both sides of the city slope down to the water like an urban valley. The view from Galata Bridge includes several of the city incredible mosques, whose graceful domes and towering minarets are the stuff of fairytales.

6. The Ngorongoro Crater from North Ngorongoro Crater Lodge, Tanzania
The Ngorongoro Crater is one of the world largest calderas, which are formed when volcanoes explode and collapse upon themselves. The result is an elevated plateau perfectly ringed with tall mountains. From this hotel, the caldera spreads out below like a vast natural basin, and to know that it�s teeming with elephants, lions and wildebeest is especially exciting.

7. St. Paul from Waterloo Bridge, London
Waterloo Bridge, which has been around in various guises since the early 19th century and has inspired all manner of songs and poems, is cannily situated on a bend of the Thames that affords one of the best views in London. Looking east toward the city, St. Paul Cathedral (the dome of which recalls the U.S. Capitol) sits like a graceful dowager queen in the midst of cranes and skyscrapers.

8. The Golden Gate Bridge from the Marin Headlands
Walking across the Golden Gate Bridge is vastly overrated; it incredibly windy, and rushing traffic is just steps away. You are much better off heading up to the Marin Headlands (particularly Hawk Hill) and taking in the view from a calm park bench, with the Bay, the bridge, the city and the blue Pacific spread out far below.

9. Machu Picchu, Peru
Perched on a mountain ridge high above the Urumba Valley in central Peru, this remarkable Incan city is surrounded on three sides by steep valleys, giving visitors the distinct impression that they are hovering in air. The fact that the ruins are frequently draped in a light cloud layer only adds to the thrilling vertigo of the place.

10. The Yucatan Peninsula from the top of Chichen Itza, Mexico
It 365 steps to the top of El Castillo, the main temple of this sprawling Mayan city, but the view from the top is well worth it. The soft green expanse of Yucatan jungle stretching out in every direction is truly mesmerizing. And with a good pair of binoculars, you can spot distant ruins rising up from the canopy.

11. Florence from the loggia of Villa San Michele, Italy
The town of Fiesole, perched on a hillside northeast of Florence, was where wealthy Florentines chose to escape the heat and humidity of the Arno River Valley in the gardens of their lavish villas. The Villa San Michele was constructed in the 15th century and is now a famous hotel. A loggia (open-sided gallery) runs along one side of the building, from which you can look out across the entire city of Florence, an expanse of terra-cotta roofs dominated by the great dome of its 14th-century cathedral. The view, which has changed little in 500 years, offers a kind of time travel back to the world of the High Renaissance.

12. Paris from the Pont des Arts, France
A pedestrian bridge across the Seine, the Pont des Arts is at the epicenter of Paris. On the right bank is the Cour Carr of the Louvre; on the left, the Institut de France; directly upstream is the far of Notre Dame Cathedral. Standing on the bridge, the great art historian Kenneth Clark famously remarked: What is civilization? I do not know. But I think I can recognize it when I see it: and I am looking at it now."

13. The medina of Fes from the Palais Jamai, Morocco
The ancient walled city of Fes is dramatically sited in a bowl of hills. From the Palais Jamai (now a hotel) you gaze down on the white and beige roofs of the medieval medina, a vast warren of alleys and courtyards in which it is all too easy to become hopelessly lost. At is center are the green-tiled roofs of the University of Al-Karaouine, founded in 859 and the oldest university in the world.

14. Annapurna from Sarankot, Nepal
The Himalayas are unlike any other mountains on earth: They are simply much bigger and grander. Arguments rage about which is the most unforgettable view: The Kangshung Face of Everest in Tibet; K2 from the snout of the Baltoro Glacier; Kanchenjunga across the tea terraces of Darjeeling. The list is endless. The first time I saw the Himalayas in all their incomparable splendor was from the village of Sarankot, 5,000 feet up in the foothills of Nepal. It is a famous panoramic view of immense peaks, dominated by the 26,000-foot Annapurna massif. And to this day, it remains my most indelible memory.

15. Sydney Harbour from Taronga Zoo, Australia
Which is the most spectacular harbor in the world: Rio, Hong Kong or Sydney? It si hard to say, but on a sunny day, the view from Taronga Zoo across a yacht-strewn expanse of blue water to the Opera House, the Harbour Bridge and the towers of downtown Sydney certainly takes the cake.

16. The Potala Palace from across the Lhasa River, Tibet
Throughout the 19th century, Lhasa was the most mysterious city in the world, a magnet for intrepid European travelers. Today, it is a Chinese regional capital, increasingly swamped by shoddy and depressing concrete buildings. At its heart, however, the magnificent Potala Palace, the winter residence of Tibet Dalai Lamas, is still as extraordinary as ever. Its 13 stories are terraced 400 feet up the side of Marpo Ria, contain more than 1,000 rooms and have walls 16 feet thick. There are few more remarkable and impressive structures on earth.

17. The Parthenon from Mount Lycabettus, Athens, Greece
Athens is not a particularly beautiful city, but every time you turn a corner and catch a glimpse of the Parthenon, high on the Acropolis, your spirits are instantly lifted. The most stirring view is not from down in the city itself, however, but from the top of 900-foot Mount Lycabettus, one of the isolated limestone peaks that rise from the Plain of Attica. It is possible to walk to the summit through pine trees from Kolonaki, Athens chicest residential district.

18. The Lemaire Channel, Antarctica
Nicknamed Kodak Gap, of the Lemaire Channel extends for seven miles between the Antarctic Peninsula and Booth Island. Snowcapped 3,000-foot peaks rise almost vertically from a sea littered with ice floes. For some reason, the water usually has a mirror-like surface, and the reflections, especially in December and January at the time of the midnight sun, are almost psychedelic.

19. The City Palace from the Lake Palace, Udaipur, India
The Lake Palace, apparently afloat in the middle of Lake Pichola, is an image familiar from innumerable photography books and India Tourist Board posters. But the view the other way, from the Lake Palace to the city of Udaipur, is equally, if not more, extraordinary. The colossal City Palace, a mass of golden stone rising from the sapphire waters of the lake, was a scene beloved by 18th- and 19th-century European watercolorists.

20. The temples of Bagan, Myanmar
Dotted across a plain beside the Irrawaddy River in central Myanmar, the ruins of Bagan cover 16 square miles. Dozens of immense stupas and temples rise from the red, dusty soil, all that remains of a major city sacked by the Mongol Kublai Khan. The scene at sunrise is unforgettably romantic.

By Andrew Harper

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At least three deaths as snowstorm hits Northeast

snow storms in newyork
Snow Storm in Newyork

 (Reuters) - A rare October snowstorm barreled up the East Coast on Saturday, cutting power to more than two million households, forcing cancellation of scores of airline flights and causing at least three deaths.

Slippery conditions on a roadway caused the crash and death of a man driving in Colchester, Connecticut, said Scott Devico, a spokesman for the Connecticut Department of Emergency Management.

In Temple, Pennsylvania, an 84-year-old man was killed when a snow-caked tree fell through his home, said a Muhlenberg Township Police Department dispatcher.

And a 20-year-old man was electrocuted in Springfield, Massachusetts when he stepped out of his vehicle and touched an electrified guard rail, a Springfield police spokesman said.

New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Massachusetts declared weather emergencies because of the storm.

"We are expecting the snow to continue to fall from New York City through Maine. By tomorrow morning it should be pretty much wrapped up across most areas," said senior meteorologist Alan Reppert.

Snow was falling across most of Pennsylvania well into Massachusetts after blanketing parts of Virginia, West Virginia and Maryland earlier in the day, Reppert said.

The unseasonably early storm broke a snow record that had stood since 1925 for New York's Central Park, said. New York City was expected to end up with three to six inches of snow from the storm.

"Are we allowed to curse?" said Philadelphia area resident Marjory Levitt. She had discovered that an expensive pair of boots were not waterproof when she ventured out to the supermarket.

Widespread power outages caused by snow, ice and falling trees were reported from the Mid-Atlantic into New England, leaving some two million customers in the dark.

Major delays were reported at Philadelphia International Airport and at New York area airports. At least 1,000 flights had been canceled and Teterboro Airport in New Jersey closed for a period of time, according to flight tracking service

In Connecticut, Governor Dannel Malloy ordered non-emergency vehicles off the Wilbur Cross and Merritt Parkways due to dangerous driving conditions.

The snow posed traffic and parking problems for some 100,000 college football fans attending a game between Penn State and the University of Illinois in State College, Pennsylvania. Snow plows had to clear the field before the game.

In New York City, several hundred people camped in a park in the city's financial district to protest against economic inequality hunkered down in their tents from the wind, rain, sleet and snow.

They desperately tried to stay warm just a day after the fire department, citing safety hazards, confiscated generators that had been powering heat, computers and a kitchen.

For some, the big flakes and accumulation caused excitement, instead of headaches.

"There's almost like an electric buzz when the first snow falls," said Anna Weltz, communication director for Seven Springs Mountain Resort, located about 60 miles southeast of Pittsburgh.

By early afternoon, six inches of snow was already on the ground at the family ski resort, where phones were ringing off the hook with people asking about opening day.

"And it's still coming down," said Weltz. "What a sight."

The storm caused massive power outages including 606,388 customers reported by Connecticut Light and Power; 214,000 by PPL Electric Utilities in Pennsylvania; 341,000 without power from PSE&G in New Jersey; more than 300,000 by First Energy in Pennsylvania and New Jersey; more than 77,000 by Con Edison in New York and more than 66,000 by Allegheny Power in Maryland, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Another 205,890 customers of National Grid in Massachusetts and New York were without power and 17,467 customers reported by The United Illuminating Company in Connecticut.

"It's a strong storm for October," said senior meteorologist Paul Walker. "We don't usually see storms this deep and this strong."

While October snow is not unprecedented, this storm could be record-setting in terms of snow totals.

Cities along the East Coast including Boston and New York City, typically see their first measurable snowfalls late November into mid-December, according to The Weather Channel.

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The wax effigy of Kareena at the Madame Tussauds museum

wax of karina
Wax effigy of Kareena

 The wax effigy of Kareena has been unveiled at the Madame Tussauds museum in Blackpool, Britain. "It is an honor and a privilege for me to have my own wax figure at Madame Tussauds Blackpool and even more so to launch a global Bollywood exhibition. This is a moment of pride for the Indian cinema," Kareena said.

It took almost four months to create the wax statue, which is said to have cost £150,000.

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Euro-2012: Lviv opens a new stage topless protest

hot pics
Topless Protest

AFP - The Ukrainian city of Lviv (West) opened Saturday a stage of more than 32,000 seats to host matches of Euro 2012 co-hosted by Poland and Ukraine, a ceremony marred by the arrest of two activists topless. Two activists of the Ukrainian movement FEMEN, used brilliant shots, protested topless with an inscription "F. .. Euro" on their bodies at the entrance to the VIP box, chanting "Ukraine will lose". They were quickly arrested, said a journalist from AFP.

Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych considered pro-Russian and unpopular in Western nationalist visited the stadium the day before but decided not to attend the ceremony where the organizers have waited until the last minute. Video broadcast address after the dance of children in costumes was was booed by the audience. The cost of this stadium built since 2008 with an area of ​​243,226 m2 and will host three matches of the Euro-2012 is 2.2 billion hryvnias (201 million). Some 2,000 spectators attended the opening ceremony that Anastacia sang the American and Ukrainian Ruslana who won the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest with the song "Wild Dance" (Dance wild).

UEFA has long expressed concern about the slow pace of preparations in Ukraine. During his last visit to Ukraine in late September, the UEFA President Michel Platini has said, however, "completely reassured," noting "small problems" to solve, especially with regard to infrastructure development necessary for the Euro to be held from 8 June to 1 July 2012.

Former Brazilian President Lula with cancer of the larynx

Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva
Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva
Former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva is a cancer of the larynx, said Saturday, Oct. 29 in a statement the Syrian-Lebanese Hospital in Sao Paulo where he was admitted. The former president aged 66, who ruled Brazil from 2003 to 2010, will undergo chemotherapy, the hospital said. "The patient is doing well and should follow the treatment as outpatients," says the same source. Lula, a former mechanic, left the presidency last year after being considered one of the most popular presidents of Brazil. During his tenure, he implemented social programs that have allowed 29 million Brazilians out of poverty and placed his country in the center of the international diplomatic scene.

Syro-Lebanese Hospital specializes in the treatment against cancer, and had treated José Alencar, Vice President Lula, who died last March in a generalized cancer in the abdominal area, he had developed since 1997. In 2009, Dilma Rousseff, who took over from Lula, had been treated for cancer of the lymphatic system, following which the doctors have declared completely healed.

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Friday, October 28, 2011

The mystery of 53 dead in Sirte Mahari Hotel casts a new shadow on the CNT

Mystery of 53 dead in Sirte Mahari Hotel
Mystery of 53 dead in Sirte Mahari Hotel
Sirte (Libya) Special Envoy - What happened in the days before the fall of Sirte and the death of Colonel Qaddafi, Thursday, October 20th at the Hotel Mahari? When he returned home, the morning of Saturday, October 22, Faraj Mohammed, near the luxury hotel, found 53 bodies lying on the grass: all men, all shot dead. They were lying on the lawn that slopes gently toward the sea still dark spots indicate the locations where the bodies were. Half of the bodies had their hands tied behind his back and wore casts and bandages, indicating their status as prisoners or wounded. All appear to have been summarily executed judging wounds to the head or the neck. Who are they? Faraj Mohammed claims to have found four people, the people of Sirte, which Ezzeddine Al-Hencheri, former Minister of Gaddafi and Moftah Dabroun, an officer.

It is impossible to know with certainty the date of death without an autopsy in good standing. It dates back between 14 and 19 October, according to Peter Bouckaert, emergencies chief of the division to the NGO human rights Human Rights Watch. Mahari Hotel is located near the Quarter Number 2, where Colonel Gaddafi and the last four of his supporters were entrenched, resisting fiercely, almost all civilians who then fled the city. The rest is history. Gaddafi tried to flee on Thursday morning October 20, aboard a convoy halted by NATO. Captured by the revolutionaries, he died while being transported by ambulance to Misrata, the result of his injuries, provides the National Transitional Council (CNT), a summary execution, accusing his family. Moatassim his son, who was arrested the same day, was seen on an amateur video talking calmly with the rebels who held.

The Mahari, transformed into a place of detention by the forces of anti-Gaddafi, he witnessed a mass execution of prisoners pro-Qaddafi. The establishment was controlled by Misrata forces since the end of the first week of October, between 7 and 10. Several groups of thowar the revolutionary fighters, had made their base, as evidenced by the walls of the hotel covered with graffiti of different brigades Misrata. The Al-Nimr katiba (the tiger in Arabic) is the present, it is one of the most powerful of Misrata, which has 230. There were also present katibas Al-Fahad (the jaguar), Al-Assad (lion) and Al Qasba (the citadel).

Misrata fighters, drunk with anger at the atrocities committed during the five months of siege and shelling of their city, they would have wanted revenge. The commander of the Al-Nimr katiba denies any involvement. "The hotel has never been a place of detention. On the morning of October 20, we were attacked by Gaddafi and his forces. We had to leave the place. When we came back the next day the bodies were there." To him, they were probably killed by Gaddafi "which would prevent them from speaking." An explanation unconvincing, since the Libyan seemed especially concerned about his flight that morning. The head of the military council of Misrata, Ramadan Zarmouh, for his part said that Sirte is full of graves of revolutionary arrested or disappeared for months and calls into question the identity of victims of the hotel Mahari. "They are prisoners removed by Gaddafi before their departure," he says.

Detail worse, the staff of the hospital Ibn Sina Sirte ensures that a week before the fall of the city, the revolutionaries entered the school, locked in a room physicians, and toured the rooms to retrieve injuries alleged to have participated in the fighting to take them to an unknown destination. For fear of reprisals, no one is willing to testify openly or give a figure, even the Ukrainian pediatrician remained throughout the siege. Upstairs, the wounded also show evasive, some even refusing to disclose the nature of their injuries for fear of being identified as combatants. If this massacre is found, it will not be the first attributed to the rebels. The Gaddafi regime, he, has been used to a much more systematic and significant. Peter Bouckaert, Human Rights Watch, the murders of the Mahari Hotel "require the immediate attention of the Libyan authorities," who must conduct a survey.

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