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Rhiannon12866's Journal
Posted by Rhiannon12866 in Latest Breaking News
Mon Jan 09th 2012, 04:14 AM
Source: Los Angeles Times

An Iranian court has convicted an American man of working for the CIA and sentenced him to death, state radio reported Monday.

An Iranian court has convicted an American man of working for the CIA and sentenced him to death, state radio reported Monday.

Iran charges that as a former U.S. Marine, Amir Mirzaei Hekmati received special training and served at U.S. military bases in Iraq and Afghanistan before heading to Iran for his alleged intelligence mission.

The radio report did not say when the verdict was issued. Under Iranian law, he has 20 days to appeal.

Hekmati, 28, was born in Arizona. His family is of Iranian origin. His father, who lives in Michigan, said his son is not a CIA spy and was visiting his grandmothers in Iran when he was arrested.



Read more: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/wo...
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Posted by Rhiannon12866 in General Discussion
Sat Jan 07th 2012, 08:46 PM
There used to be just two Stephen Colberts, and they were hard enough to distinguish. The main difference was that one thought the other was an idiot. The idiot Colbert was the one who made a nice paycheck by appearing four times a week on “The Colbert Report” (pronounced in the French fashion, with both t’s silent), the extremely popular fake news show on Comedy Central. The other Colbert, the non-idiot, was the 47-year-old South Carolinian, a practicing Catholic, who lives with his wife and three children in suburban Montclair, N.J., where, according to one of his neighbors, he is “extremely normal.” One of the pleasures of attending a live taping of “The Colbert Report” is watching this Colbert transform himself into a Republican superhero.

Suburban Colbert comes out dressed in the other Colbert’s guise — dark two-button suit, tasteful Brooks Brothersy tie, rimless Rumsfeldian glasses — and answers questions from the audience for a few minutes. (The questions are usually about things like Colbert’s favorite sport or favorite character from “The Lord of the Rings,” but on one memorable occasion a young black boy asked him, “Are you my father?” Colbert hesitated a moment and then said, “Kareem?”) Then he steps onstage, gets a last dab of makeup while someone sprays his hair into an unmussable Romney-like helmet, and turns himself into his alter ego. His body straightens, as if jolted by a shock. A self-satisfied smile creeps across his mouth, and a manically fatuous gleam steals into his eyes.

Lately, though, there has emerged a third Colbert. This one is a version of the TV-show Colbert, except he doesn’t exist just on screen anymore. He exists in the real world and has begun to meddle in it. In 2008, the old Colbert briefly ran for president, entering the Democratic primary in his native state of South Carolina. (He hadn’t really switched parties, but the filing fee for the Republican primary was too expensive.) In 2010, invited by Representative Zoe Lofgren, he testified before Congress about the problem of illegal-immigrant farmworkers and remarked that “the obvious answer is for all of us to stop eating fruits and vegetables.”

But those forays into public life were spoofs, more or less. The new Colbert has crossed the line that separates a TV stunt from reality and a parody from what is being parodied. In June, after petitioning the Federal Election Commission, he started his own super PAC — a real one, with real money. He has run TV ads, endorsed (sort of) the presidential candidacy of Buddy Roemer, the former governor of Louisiana, and almost succeeded in hijacking and renaming the Republican primary in South Carolina. “Basically, the F.E.C. gave me the license to create a killer robot,” Colbert said to me in October, and there are times now when the robot seems to be running the television show instead of the other way around.

More:
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/08/magazine...


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Posted by Rhiannon12866 in General Discussion
Sat Jan 07th 2012, 07:42 PM
Michelle Obama's 2010 push for an overhaul of a White House advisory team she viewed as more concerned with electioneering than backing expansive health-care reforms and other major initiatives that President Obama espoused before his historic 2008 win reflects a coming of age for a woman initially dubious about Washington life.

That and other details of Michelle Obama's coming of age are contained in "The Obamas," a new book exploring the politics and personal lives of the first couple that goes on sale Tuesday. Its author, New York Times Washington correspondent Jodi Kantor, emailed ABC News that she was unavailable for an interview today.

But the opening anecdote of a roughly 3,300-word extract of Kantor's new book, appearing in today's Times, depicts a Michelle Obama "privately fuming" in January 2010 over the loss of Democrat Edward Kennedy's long-held Massachusetts senate seat and the outward calm with which her husband was absorbing that defeat:

"... Barack Obama was even-keeled as usual in meetings, refusing to dwell on the failure or lash out at his staff," the Times' distillation reads. "The first lady, however, could not fathom how the White House had allowed the crucial seat, needed to help pass the president's health care legislation and the rest of his agenda, to slip away, several current and former aides said.

Continued:
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/book-evolvi...

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Posted by Rhiannon12866 in Latest Breaking News
Sat Jan 07th 2012, 07:34 PM
Source: USA Today

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – Four soldiers with an Indiana-based National Guard unit were killed in Afghanistan and a fifth was injured when their vehicle struck a roadside bomb as they were working to clear a supply route of the improvised bombs, guard officials said Saturday.

Indiana Adjutant General Martin Umbarger said the four members of the Valparaiso-based 713th Engineer Company died Thursday morning in southern Afghanistan. He said all of the men were combat engineers who specialized in clearing major supply routes.

The blast occurred as their vehicle traveled along a road, scouting for signs of roadside bombs and other potential problems convoys might encounter as the move supplies in the decade-long war in Afghanistan, Umbarger said.

"Their mission is to keep the major supply routes clear of all obstacles for the convoys. And what that means is they're the first ones to go out to make sure the route can be used, so it's a very important mission — but it's also extremely dangerous," he told The Associated Press.



Read more: http://www.usatoday.com/news/military/stor...
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Posted by Rhiannon12866 in General Discussion
Sat Jan 07th 2012, 10:48 AM
TUCSON, Arizona (Reuters) - Survivors of a deadly mass shooting that gravely wounded Representative Gabrielle Giffords on January 8 last year will join thousands of Tucson residents at emotional memorial events this weekend.

A gunman toting a semiautomatic pistol pumped bullet after bullet into a crowd gathered for a congressional outreach event outside a Tucson supermarket a year ago.

Six people were killed and 13 suffered bullet wounds. Giffords was shot through the head and is recovering.

"The closer we get to Sunday, the more emotional it gets," said Bill Badger, a retired Army colonel hailed as a hero for tackling accused gunman Jared Loughner as he attempted to reload.

"It's tough. I'll be glad when it's over," he added.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/sns-rt-...

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Posted by Rhiannon12866 in Latest Breaking News
Sat Jan 07th 2012, 10:35 AM
Source: ABC News

An American-born teen from Texas who told law enforcement officials that she was a 21-year-old Colombian woman and ended up deported to that South American nation was returned to her waiting family at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

Jakadrien Turner, 15, was reunited with her mother Friday night, ABC News' Dallas affiliate WFAA reported.

"After they said she was on the plane, I didn't hear anything else they were saying. I'm going to hug her tight and let her know we love her, and everything's going to be alright," grandmother Lorene Turner told WFAA, which broke the news of Jakadrien's fluke deportation.

Dana Ames, of Urban Search and Rescue, which also helped locate Jakadrien said finding the teen is a "tremendous blessing for the family."


Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/US/jakadrien-turner-...



This has got to be one of the more bizarre stories out there...
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Posted by Rhiannon12866 in General Discussion
Sat Jan 07th 2012, 10:09 AM
DALLAS - A Texas teenager who was deported to Colombia after claiming to be an illegal immigrant was back in the United States on Friday and at the center of an international mystery over how a minor could be sent to a country where she is not a citizen.

Her family has questioned why U.S. officials didn't do more to verify her identity and say she is not fluent in Spanish and had no ties to Colombia. While many facts of the case involving Jakadrien Lorece Turner remain unclear, U.S. and Colombian officials have pointed fingers over who is responsible.

Jakadrien arrived in Dallas on Friday evening and was reunited with her family. She was flanked by her mother, grandmother and law enforcement when she emerged from the international gate at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport shortly before 10 p.m.

"She's happy to be home," the family's attorney, Ray Jackson, said, adding that the family would not be issuing any statements Friday night.

http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-201_162-573542... /

This has got to be one of the more bizarre stories out there...
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Posted by Rhiannon12866 in General Discussion
Sat Jan 07th 2012, 09:19 AM
Google Honors 'Graveyard Guru' Charles Addams With Doodle

Google is giving a nod to the Addams Family.

The Internet search leader is celebrating what would have been the 100th birthday of Addams Family creator Charles Addams with a Doodle featuring the creepy, kooky, mysteriously spooky family.

Its home page features Morticia, Gomez, Cousin Itt, Pugsley, Wednesday, Lurch, and Uncle Fester meshed with Google's logo in a black and white cartoon. Click on it and you'll get a page with search results for the cartoonist, including a link to the Tee and Charles Adams Foundation, which provided the Doodle to Google.

While the 1960s TV show and its finger-snapping jingle might come to mind when you think of the Addams Family, the characters actually had their genesis earlier -- in cartoons, many of which appeared in The New Yorker starting in 1938. Initially, the family members didn’t have names and they didn’t get them until the show was in development.

http://www.pcworld.com/article/247460/goog...


http://www.google.com /

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Posted by Rhiannon12866 in Political Videos
Fri Jan 06th 2012, 12:21 AM

 
Jon Soltz, Iraq War Veteran and Chairman of VoteVets.org, appears on News Nation with Tamron Hall to talk about President Obama's new defense policy.
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Posted by Rhiannon12866 in Political Videos
Thu Jan 05th 2012, 11:59 PM

 
With the year we've had, he could turn this into a full length feature...
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Posted by Rhiannon12866 in Latest Breaking News
Thu Jan 05th 2012, 10:45 PM
Source: CNN

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- General Motors is recalling the Chevrolet Volt to make changes that it says will help prevent fires from coolant leaks which may follow a severe side impact.

Coolant leaks days after National Highway Traffic Safety Administration side crash tests caused several fires.

The fires were sparked when the cars were being slowly rotated as part of a post-test procedure causing the coolant to come into contact with circuit boards. The cars' batteries were still charged at the time.

The recall applies to all of the approximately 8,000 Volts on the road today. Dealers will also make changes on cars on their lots awaiting delivery to customers



Read more: http://money.cnn.com/2012/01/05/autos/volt...




Volt owners will be asked to bring their cars to the dealer to have changes made that will help prevent coolant leaks after side impacts.

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Posted by Rhiannon12866 in Latest Breaking News
Thu Jan 05th 2012, 07:29 AM
Source: Los Angeles Times

REPORTING FROM SEOUL -– In North Korea, a new Kim may be in command but the same old human rights violations are still in play, including a renewed lethal crackdown on defectors, according to South Korean media reports.

Weeks after 20-something Kim Jong Un assumed power following his father Kim Jong Il’s sudden death by heart attack last month, border guards have began shooting down would-be defectors who try to flee the impoverished nation.

Three people who tried to flee the represssive regime were reportedly killed in recent days as they tried to cross the Yalu River along the Chinese border, part of a policy of tightened border controls that Pyongyang is enforcing after Kim Jong Il's Dec. 17 death.

Under Kim Jong Un, North Korea has pledged to hunt down and imprison, or even kill, three generations of family left behind by escapees, successful or not, according to Seoul’s Joongang Daily newspaper.



Read more: http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/world_now/...





Photo: North Koreans vow loyalty to their new leader, Kim Jong Un, at a rally in Pyongyang. Credit: EPA/Korea Central News Agency
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Posted by Rhiannon12866 in Latest Breaking News
Thu Jan 05th 2012, 06:59 AM
Source: USA Today

BEIRUT (AP) – Syrian authorities have released more than 500 prisoners accused of involvement in anti-regime activities, state TV reported Thursday, in what appeared to be another gesture to comply with the Arab League plan to end the regime's 9-month-old crackdown on dissent.

The plan, being monitored by about 100 Arab League observers now in Syria, requires President Bashar Assad's regime to remove security forces and heavy weapons from cities, start talks with opposition leaders and free political prisoners. The League claims it has won some concessions from Syria, including the pullout of heavy military weaponry from cities and the release of thousands of prisoners.

However, Syria's opposition is accusing the regime of misleading the monitors by taking them to areas loyal to the government, changing street signs to confuse them, painting army vehicles blue to look like those of police and sending supporters into rebellious neighborhoods to give false testimony.

Arab League chief Nabil Elaraby said Tuesday Syria had released about 3,500 detainees in recent weeks. And state television said Thursday another 552 had been released. But activists said Syria was still holding at least 25,000 political detainees.


Read more: http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/story/2...
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Posted by Rhiannon12866 in Latest Breaking News
Wed Jan 04th 2012, 11:55 PM
Source: BBC News

At least 25 people have been killed and 100 more are missing after a landslide struck a mining village in the southern Philippines, officials say.

The landslide occurred at about 3:00 a.m. on Thursday morning (19:00 GMT Wednesday) in Pantukan, Compostela Valley province, on Mindanao island.

Civil defence chief Benito Ramos told the BBC it was triggered by "continuous rain" over two days.

A nearby village was also hit by a landslide last year that left 14 dead.

"A military unit is in the area but they are basically digging with their hands," Mr Ramos told the AFP news agency


Read more: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-16420...



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Posted by Rhiannon12866 in Latest Breaking News
Wed Jan 04th 2012, 11:47 PM
Source: Alanta Journal Constitution

BAGHDAD — Iraqi officials say two explosions in a Shiite neighborhood of eastern Baghdad have killed six people and wounded at least 16 others.

In the first attack, police officials say a motorbike bomb went off near a gathering of day laborers in the Sadr city neighborhood Thursday morning, killing six people and wounding 10 others.

Half an hour later, a roadside bomb exploded near a small tea shop in the same neighborhood, wounding six people.

Medical officials at nearby hospitals confirmed the casualties. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information.



Read more: http://www.ajc.com/news/nation-world/twin-...
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