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 veryhotthread  Author  Topic: Stuff & Nonsense  (Read 44365 times)
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« Reply #5265 on: Oct 14th, 2011, 5:21pm »

New York Times

October 14, 2011

Obama Sending 100 Armed Advisers to Africa to Help Fight Renegade Group

By THOM SHANKER and RICK GLADSTONE

WASHINGTON — President Obama said Friday that he had ordered the deployment of 100 armed military advisers to central Africa to help regional forces combat the Lord’s Resistance Army, a notorious renegade group that has terrorized villagers in at least four countries with marauding bands that kill, rape, maim and kidnap with impunity.

The deployment represents a muscular escalation of American military efforts to help fight the Lord’s Resistance Army, which originated as a Ugandan rebel force in the 1980s and morphed into a fearsome cult-like group of fighters. It is led by Joseph Kony, a self-proclaimed prophet known for ordering village massacres, recruiting prepubescent soldiers, keeping harems of child brides and mutilating opponents.

“For more than two decades, the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has murdered, raped and kidnapped tens of thousands of men, women and children in central Africa,” Mr. Obama wrote in a letter to Congress announcing the military deployment. “The LRA continues to commit atrocities across the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan that have a disproportionate impact on regional security.”

The decision by Mr. Obama to deploy armed military advisers into the region was welcomed by human rights advocates who have chronicled the atrocities committed by Mr. Kony and his subordinates. But it also raises the risk of putting American military personnel in harm’s way in another region of the world while the United States is winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Mr. Obama wrote that he had decided to act because it was “in the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States.”. He also wrote that the deployment was justified by a law passed by Congress in May 2010, the Lord’s Resistance Army Disarmament and Northern Uganda Recovery Act, which favored “increased, comprehensive U.S. efforts to help mitigate and eliminate the threat posed by the LRA to civilians and regional stability.”

American efforts to combat the group also took place during the Bush administration, which authorized the Pentagon to send a team of 17 counterterrorism advisers to train Ugandan troops and provided millions of dollars worth of aid, including fuel trucks, satellite phones and night vision goggles, to the Ugandan army. Those efforts scattered segments of the LRA in recent years; its remnants dispersed and regrouped in Uganda’s neighbors. In the spring of 2010, apparently desperate for new conscripts, Mr. Kony’s forces killed hundreds of villagers in the Congolese jungle and kidnapped hundreds more, according to witnesses interviewed at the time.

Unlike the earlier effort, the 100 military advisers dispatched by Mr. Obama will be armed. They will be providing assistance and advice to their African hosts, Mr. Obama said, and “will not themselves engage LRA forces unless necessary for self-defense.”

The initial deployment will be in Uganda, the president said, and the advisers will operate in South Sudan, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo “subject to the approval of each host nation.”

A senior Pentagon official underscored that the American military personnel would not be operating independently nor carrying out unilateral operations.

The official also said the United States had provided about $33 million in support to regional efforts to battle the Lord’s Resistance Army since 2008, an effort that has not been sufficient to guarantee that local security forces dismantle the group.

One specific effort has trained a light infantry battalion of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s military, with that unit now deployed in the Dungu region of northeastern Congo where the Lord’s Resistance Army has been operating.

The Special Operations forces assigned to the new mission “bring the experience and technical capability to train, advise and assist partner security forces in support of programs designed to support internal security,” the Pentagon official said.

“Our intention is to provide the right balance of strategic and tactical experience to supplement host nation military efforts,” the official said. “Ultimately, Africans are responsible for African security, but we remain committed to our partners to enable their efforts to provide for their own security.”

Tom Malinowski, the Washington director of Human Rights Watch, said his group had been advocating for such a deployment. Putting more skilled advisers in the field with the armed forces of these countries would be a significant improvement over the previous level of assistance, he said. “I would not suggest that U.S. forces should be fighting the LRA themselves,” he said, but “there are lot of things they can do with this kind of deployment that they weren’t able to do previously.”

Mr. Malinowski also said the Lord’s Resistance Army probably has only a few hundred fighters, “but they are incredibly vicious and have committed numerous massacres. It’s a group that seems to exist for no other purpose than to kill.”

Thom Shanker reported from Washington, and Rick Gladstone from New York.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/15/world/africa/barack-obama-sending-100-armed-advisers-to-africa-to-help-fight-lords-resistance-army.html?_r=1&smid=tw-nytimesnational&seid=auto

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« Reply #5266 on: Oct 14th, 2011, 5:29pm »

"Obama Sending 100 Armed Advisers to Africa to Help Fight Renegade Group"

Uh oh, here we go again......


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« Reply #5267 on: Oct 15th, 2011, 08:48am »

on Oct 14th, 2011, 5:29pm, Swamprat wrote:
"Obama Sending 100 Armed Advisers to Africa to Help Fight Renegade Group"

Uh oh, here we go again......




tongue

My thoughts exactly Swamp.
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« Reply #5268 on: Oct 15th, 2011, 08:52am »

LA Times

U.S. deaths in drone strike due to miscommunication, report says

The Pentagon says Marines in Afghanistan and the crew controlling the drone in Nevada were unaware analysts watching the firefight via live video in Indiana had doubts about the targets' identity.

By David Zucchino and David S. Cloud, Los Angeles Times
9:15 PM PDT, October 14, 2011
Reporting from Washington

A Marine and a Navy medic killed by a U.S. drone airstrike were targeted when Marine commanders in Afghanistan mistook them for Taliban fighters, even though analysts watching the Predator's video feed were uncertain whether the men were part of an enemy force.

Those are the findings of a Pentagon investigation of the first known case of friendly fire deaths involving an unmanned aircraft, the April 6 attack that killed Marine Staff Sgt. Jeremy Smith, 26, and Navy Hospitalman Benjamin D. Rast, 23.

The 381-page report, which has not been released, concludes that the Marine officers on the scene and the Air Force crew controlling the drone from half a world away were unaware that analysts watching the firefight unfold via live video at a third location had doubts about the targets' identity.

The incident closely resembles another deadly mistake involving a Predator in early 2009. In that attack, at least 15 Afghan civilians were killed after a Predator crew mistook them for a group of Taliban preparing to attack a U.S. special forces unit.

In that case, analysts located at Air Force Special Operations Command in Florida who were watching live battlefield video from the aircraft's high-altitude cameras also had doubts about the target. Their warnings that children were present were disregarded by the drone operator and by an Army captain, who authorized the airstrike.

Because names are redacted in the Pentagon report, it is unclear which Marine officer made the final decision to order the airstrike that killed Smith and Rast. But a senior Marine officer familiar with the investigation said commanders at the battalion or regimental level would have the ultimate authority, not the lieutenant who led the platoon during the battle.

The friendly fire deaths in April occurred at 8:51 a.m. in Helmand province after Smith and his platoon, members of a reserve unit from Houston, came under enemy fire. The platoon had split up while trying to clear a road near the crossroads town of Sangin, an area in which Marines were engaged in nearly daily combat with insurgents.

Smith, Rast and another Marine had separated from the others and had taken cover behind a hedgerow, where they were firing on insurgents in a cluster of nearby buildings.

Infrared cameras on the Predator overhead had picked up heat signatures of the three men and detected muzzle flashes as they fired their weapons at insurgents.

Air Force analysts who were watching the live video in Terre Haute, Indiana, noted that the gunfire appeared aimed away from the other Marines, who were behind the three. The analysts reported that gunshots were "oriented to the west, away from friendly forces," the Pentagon report says.

But the Predator pilot in Nevada and the Marine commanders on the ground "were never made aware" of the analysts' assessment.

Smith, a combat veteran on his fourth deployment, knew the airstrike was coming, but assumed the missile was aimed at a suspected Taliban position in a building 200 yards away. Smith declined to take cover in a canal with other Marines because he wanted to make sure the Predator hit the insurgent target, Pentagon officials told his father, Jerry Smith.

But the Predator crew didn't realize that Smith and the two others had separated from the other Marines, and assumed they were enemy, according to the report.

The pilot radioed "time of flight 17 seconds." A Marine at the scene suddenly radioed a warning: The missile was headed for "the wrong building." But the Hellfire exploded on Smith's position, killing him and Rast.

The analysts, who communicated with the Predator pilot via a written chat system, were never certain who Smith and Rast were. At one point, the analysts described the pair as "friendlies," but withdrew that characterization a few seconds later. They later wrote, "Unable to discern who personnel were."

Even a written assessment that the gunfire was aimed in the wrong direction was not passed along to the pilot by the Mission Intelligence Coordinator, a crew member responsible for relaying information to the pilot, the report says. The coordinator was a trainee supervised by a trainer.

The report blames the attack on a fatal mix of poor communications, faulty assumptions and "a lack of overall common situational awareness." It recommends that a Marine lieutenant and two sergeants in Smith's platoon be "formally counseled" and suggests detailed reviews of battlefield procedures, but it said no one involved in the attack was "culpably negligent or derelict in their duties."

"The chain of events … was initiated by the on-scene ground force commander's lack of overall situational awareness and inability to accurately communicate his friendly force disposition in relation to the enemy," the report said.

The report, which was originally classified secret and written by a Marine colonel, criticizes the analysts for failing to make sure the pilot understood that the gunfire was aimed away from the Marines. The analysts "should have been more assertive," it says, "and "should have persisted with their assessment until the crew either accepted or refuted the assessment."

The report also criticizes the Marine lieutenant who led the battle for lacking "a complete understanding" of where his forces were located, and the sergeant in charge of the element that included Smith and Rast for not giving clear reports during the fight.

The analysts in Indiana told investigators that they did not believe they should intervene to block an airstrike if U.S. troops were possibly in danger, even if they had doubts about the targets.

When U.S. troops were under fire, the analysts told investigators, "they were to adopt a non-interference role, unless they observed an imminent violation" of the laws of war or women and children were present, the report said.

The email chat system also contributed to the breakdown in communications, investigators said.

After the Afghan civilians were mistakenly targeted in early 2009, the Air Force began installing equipment so drone video analysts could talk directly with drone pilots. The new equipment was not in place at the Indiana base in April, however.

The investigation of the deaths of the Marine staff sergeant and Navy hospitalman was completed in May and the findings were presented to Army Gen. David H. Petraeus, who was in command in Afghanistan at the time. Military officers briefed Smith's father, Jerry, on Wednesday in Fort Worth and met with Rast's father, Robert, on Friday in South Bend, Ind.

"Everybody was convinced everybody knew where everybody else was — including Jeremy," Jerry Smith said in a telephone interview after he was briefed. "It was just a horrible set of circumstances."

Smith said he was briefed on the investigation for more than three hours by a Marine investigator and by Marine and Air Force officers. He said he has not yet read the report.

Smith was shown video images taken by the Predator, he said. He saw "three blobs in really dark shadows" — his son, Rast and the other Marine mistakenly identified by the Predator crew as Taliban. He said it was impossible to see uniforms or weapons.

"You couldn't even tell they were human beings — just blobs," he said.

Smith said he asked investigators about the reflective tags that U.S. forces wear on their uniforms to help identify them to friendly aircraft. He was told the tags didn't work in low-light conditions such as the shaded area where his son took cover.

Smith said he didn't blame anyone for his son's death, and did not want "scapegoats." He said he favored improved training and procedures to prevent future friendly fire attacks and counseling for those involved in the April 6 attack.

"I know whoever was at that [Predator] joystick is devastated," he said. "If I could meet them, I'd hug them and tell them I don't have any ill feelings toward them. I know their daddies are just as proud of them as I am of my son."

When Smith met his son's platoon and company commanders as the 1st Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment, returned to Houston this month, he said both men broke down and sobbed. He said he assured the officers he did not blame them.

"I'm sure everyone involved is second-guessing themselves worse than I ever could."


http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-pentagon-drone-20111014,0,1311972,full.story

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« Reply #5269 on: Oct 15th, 2011, 08:55am »

CNN

Official: Drone attack kills Al-Awlaki's son in Yemen

From Hakim Almasmari, For CNN
updated 6:06 AM EST, Sat October 15, 2011

(CNN) -- The son of U.S.-born militant cleric Anwar Al-Awlaki was among those killed in a trio of drone attacks in southern Yemen on Friday night, a security official said.

The attacks, carried out in the Shabwa district, killed seven suspected militants, the defense ministry said. It would not confirm that Abdul Rahman Anwar Awlaki was among them.

The senior security official in Shabwa, who did not want to be named because he is not authorized to speak to the media, said the younger Awlaki had been hiding in the mountains of Shabwa for more than eight months. He had first-hand knowledge of the death, he said.

The Awlaki family did not want to comment.

On September 30, a U.S. drone strike killed Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S.-born miltant cleric who was a key leader of the terrorist group al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

President Barack Obama hailed that death as a "major blow" for the terror group.

Friday night's attack also killed Ibrahim al-Banna, the head media officer for AQAP, the Yemeni defense ministry said.

http://www.cnn.com/2011/10/15/world/meast/yemen-drone-attack/index.html

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« Reply #5270 on: Oct 15th, 2011, 08:59am »

Geeky Gadgets

Scientists Develop Wireless Bike Braking System

By Roland Hutchinson on Saturday 15th October 2011 7:54 am in Design, Gadgets, Technology News

Computer scientists at the Sarland University have developed a new wireless braking system for bicycles, and instead of cables and levers to activate the brakes, it is all done with a range of wireless devices.

The wireless braking system for bicycles is made up of a a wireless transmitter on the hand grip and a motorized disk brake caliper, when the hand grip is squeezed, the data is transmitted to the caliper and the brakes are applied.

The developers of the technology are testing it out on bicycles, and intend to use it for something else when it is fully developed, the idea is that the technology could be applied to trains, cars and also planes.

http://www.geeky-gadgets.com/scientists-develop-wireless-bike-braking-system-15-10-2011/

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« Reply #5271 on: Oct 15th, 2011, 09:01am »

Science Daily

'Robot Biologist' Solves Complex Problem from Scratch
ScienceDaily (Oct. 14, 2011)

First it was chess. Then it was Jeopardy. Now computers are at it again, but this time they are trying to automate the scientific process itself.

An interdisciplinary team of scientists at Vanderbilt University, Cornell University and CFD Research Corporation, Inc., has taken a major step toward this goal by demonstrating that a computer can analyze raw experimental data from a biological system and derive the basic mathematical equations that describe the way the system operates. According to the researchers, it is one of the most complex scientific modeling problems that a computer has solved completely from scratch.

The paper that describes this accomplishment is published in the October issue of the journal Physical Biology and is currently available online.

The work was a collaboration between John P. Wikswo, the Gordon A. Cain University Professor at Vanderbilt, Michael Schmidt and Hod Lipson at the Creative Machines Lab at Cornell University and Jerry Jenkins and Ravishankar Vallabhajosyula at CFDRC in Huntsville, Ala.

The "brains" of the system, which Wikswo has christened the Automated Biology Explorer (ABE), is a unique piece of software called Eureqa developed at Cornell and released in 2009. Schmidt and Lipson originally created Eureqa to design robots without going through the normal trial and error stage that is both slow and expensive. After it succeeded, they realized it could also be applied to solving science problems.

One of Eureqa's initial achievements was identifying the basic laws of motion by analyzing the motion of a double pendulum. What took Sir Isaac Newton years to discover, Eureqa did in a few hours when running on a personal computer.

In 2006, Wikswo heard Lipson lecture about his research. "I had a 'eureka moment' of my own when I realized the system Hod had developed could be used to solve biological problems and even control them," Wikswo said. So he started talking to Lipson immediately after the lecture and they began a collaboration to adapt Eureqa to analyze biological problems.

"Biology is the area where the gap between theory and data is growing the most rapidly," said Lipson. "So it is the area in greatest need of automation."

Software passes test

The biological system that the researchers used to test ABE is glycolysis, the primary process that produces energy in a living cell. Specifically, they focused on the manner in which yeast cells control fluctuations in the chemical compounds produced by the process.

The researchers chose this specific system, called glycolytic oscillations, to perform a virtual test of the software because it is one of the most extensively studied biological control systems. Jenkins and Vallabhajosyula used one of the process' detailed mathematical models to generate a data set corresponding to the measurements a scientist would make under various conditions. To increase the realism of the test, the researchers salted the data with a 10 percent random error. When they fed the data into Eureqa, it derived a series of equations that were nearly identical to the known equations.

"What's really amazing is that it produced these equations a priori," said Vallabhajosyula. "The only thing the software knew in advance was addition, subtraction, multiplication and division."

Beyond Adam

The ability to generate mathematical equations from scratch is what sets ABE apart from Adam, the robot scientist developed by Ross King and his colleagues at the University of Wales at Aberystwyth. Adam runs yeast genetics experiments and made international headlines two years ago by making a novel scientific discovery without direct human input. King fed Adam with a model of yeast metabolism and a database of genes and proteins involved in metabolism in other species. He also linked the computer to a remote-controlled genetics laboratory. This allowed the computer to generate hypotheses, then design and conduct actual experiments to test them.

"It's a classic paper," Wikswo said.

In order to give ABE the ability to run experiments like Adam, Wikswo's group is currently developing "laboratory-on-a-chip" technology that can be controlled by Eureqa. This will allow ABE to design and perform a wide variety of basic biology experiments. Their initial effort is focused on developing a microfluidics device that can test cell metabolism.

"Generally, the way that scientists design experiments is to vary one factor at a time while keeping the other factors constant, but, in many cases, the most effective way to test a biological system may be to tweak a large number of different factors at the same time and see what happens. ABE will let us do that," Wikswo said.

The project was funded by grants from the National Science Foundation, National Institute on Drug Abuse, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency and the National Academies Keck Futures Initiative.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/10/111013162937.htm

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« Reply #5272 on: Oct 15th, 2011, 09:10am »

Deadline Hollywood

Larry Hagman May Scale Back ‘Dallas’ Role After Cancer Diagnosis

By NELLIE ANDREEVA
Friday October 14, 2011 @ 2:29pm PDT

Dallas star Larry Hagman has been diagnosed with what the actor describes as a “very common and treatable” form of cancer. As a result, he may not be in all 10 episodes of TNT’s Dallas reboot, in which he reprises his iconic role as J.R. Production on the series is slated to begin soon, and for now, Hagman is confirmed to appear in the first 4 episodes, including the pilot, which is already in the can. Depending how his treatment goes, he may do more.

Hagman has had health problems before including a liver transplant. “As J.R. I could get away with anything – bribery, blackmail and adultery. But I got caught by cancer, Hagman said in a statement, first released to TVGuide. “I do want everyone to know that it is a very common and treatable form of cancer. I will be receiving treatment while working on the new Dallas series. I could not think of a better place to be than working on a show I love, with people I love. Besides, as we all know, you can’t keep J.R. down!”

TNT, the Dallas producers and the studio behind the series, Warner Horizon, also issued a statement. “Everyone at Warner Horizon Television, TNT and the entire Dallas family completely supports Larry Hagman during this time. We look forward to watching Larry once again work his magic by bringing one of television’s most interesting, complex and controversial characters back to the screen in the new Dallas series.”

http://www.deadline.com/2011/10/larry-hagman-may-scale-back-dallas-role-after-cancer-diagnosis/

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« Reply #5273 on: Oct 15th, 2011, 10:39am »

7,000,000,000

How world's population hit huge landmark


By TIM SPANTON
Published: October 15, 2011

THE world's population will hit SEVEN BILLION in the next few days, according to United Nations estimates.

The landmark comes just 12 years after the total reached six billion.

The rate of increase is staggering. Many people alive today were born when the world population was less than two billion.

When the last big Ice Age began 70,000 years ago, there were just 15,000 Homo sapiens.

Humans only reached Britain 30,000 years ago. When people first left Africa they followed warm coastal routes and headed south.

By 1300, the population of England, Scotland and Wales hit six million. The world population was around 450million.

Crowded towns and cities helped diseases evolve. Thanks to the Black Death, a plague caused by fleas on rats, the British population fell to three million by 1350.

During the reign of Queen Victoria, industrialization helped the British population rise from 10.5 million in 1801 to 38 million in 1901. The world's total rose from 900 million to 1.6 billion.

Vaccines, antibiotics and pesticides led to a population boom. The UN estimates the world's population was 1.65bn in 1900, 1.86bn in 1920, 2.3bn in 1940, 3.02bn in 1960, 4.44bn in 1980, 6.12bn in 2000 and seven billion today.

Fertility rates worldwide have fallen dramatically. In 1950 the world fertility rate was 4.95 children per woman, by 1975 it was below four and today it is less than three. The birth rate still exceeds the death rate but the gap is narrowing and the population may level off at around ten billion in 2100.

Read More: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/features/3873640/7000000000.html
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« Reply #5274 on: Oct 15th, 2011, 3:21pm »

on Oct 15th, 2011, 10:39am, Swamprat wrote:
7,000,000,000

How world's population hit huge landmark


By TIM SPANTON
Published: October 15, 2011

THE world's population will hit SEVEN BILLION in the next few days, according to United Nations estimates.

The landmark comes just 12 years after the total reached six billion.

The rate of increase is staggering. Many people alive today were born when the world population was less than two billion.

When the last big Ice Age began 70,000 years ago, there were just 15,000 Homo sapiens.

Humans only reached Britain 30,000 years ago. When people first left Africa they followed warm coastal routes and headed south.

By 1300, the population of England, Scotland and Wales hit six million. The world population was around 450million.

Crowded towns and cities helped diseases evolve. Thanks to the Black Death, a plague caused by fleas on rats, the British population fell to three million by 1350.

During the reign of Queen Victoria, industrialization helped the British population rise from 10.5 million in 1801 to 38 million in 1901. The world's total rose from 900 million to 1.6 billion.

Vaccines, antibiotics and pesticides led to a population boom. The UN estimates the world's population was 1.65bn in 1900, 1.86bn in 1920, 2.3bn in 1940, 3.02bn in 1960, 4.44bn in 1980, 6.12bn in 2000 and seven billion today.

Fertility rates worldwide have fallen dramatically. In 1950 the world fertility rate was 4.95 children per woman, by 1975 it was below four and today it is less than three. The birth rate still exceeds the death rate but the gap is narrowing and the population may level off at around ten billion in 2100.

Read More: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/features/3873640/7000000000.html


World hunger will only get worse.
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« Reply #5275 on: Oct 15th, 2011, 3:35pm »

Yes, Virginia, cats CAN love you like a dog.....

http://www.youtube.com/user/shimi777#p/u/26/HdPZqW7Z_9A
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« Reply #5276 on: Oct 15th, 2011, 6:11pm »

on Oct 15th, 2011, 3:35pm, Swamprat wrote:
Yes, Virginia, cats CAN love you like a dog.....

http://www.youtube.com/user/shimi777#p/u/26/HdPZqW7Z_9A


shocked


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« Reply #5277 on: Oct 16th, 2011, 09:19am »

LA Times

Protests against corporate greed spread across the globe

In London and other European capitals, in Australia and Tokyo and Seoul, and in New York, where the protests began last month,
and other U.S. cities, fed-up citizens march against the financial system.

By Janet Stobart and John M. Glionna, Los Angeles Times
5:10 PM PDT, October 15, 2011
Reporting from London and Seoul

The protests against corporate greed born last month on New York's Wall Street spread across the world Saturday, with fed-up demonstrators staging marches in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.

In London, a crowd of placard-waving protesters, watched by scores of vigilant police, gathered on the steps of St. Paul's Cathedral, and then moved toward the London Stock Exchange building nearby.

"We are here in solidarity with those protesting in the United States," said Sean Murray, an engineering student at the University of London. "The problems we face are exactly the same: a system in which a financial crisis was caused by bankers and people who make money, and people who don't make money have to pay for it."

The principal organizer of the protest was the anti-austerity movement UK Uncut, but several other groups joined the throng calling for a clampdown on bonuses given bankers and more vigilance about and penalties for high-income tax dodgers.

Anti-austerity movements have mushroomed throughout Europe as more public-sector workers fight their governments' programs to cut their jobs, salaries and pensions. On Saturday, protesters took to the streets of other European capitals, including Rome, Madrid and Athens. In Rome, police fired tear gas as protesters smashed shop windows and set cars on fire.

In Sydney, Australia, hundreds of activists chanted anti-big-business slogans in front of the nation's central bank headquarters, with some holding up banners reading, "You can't eat money." Protesters declared that the events were "only the start," according to Australian news reports.

About 600 people joined rallies in Tokyo, marching on the headquarters of Tepco, the utility that owns the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, which suffered a major meltdown after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami. In Seoul, members of 30 civic groups banded together to protest the "super-wealthy" with demonstrations across the South Korean capital.

In the United States, protests continued in New York, where about 1,000 protesters marched to a Chase bank branch, a few going inside to close their accounts. About 24 people were later arrested at a Citibank branch near Washington Square Park after refusing to leave the bank, authorities said.

In Washington, about 200 protesters gathered in front of the white columns of the Treasury Department headquarters shouting, "Poverty stinks, tax the banks!"

Miles Drake, 60, a delivery truck driver from Upper Marlboro, Md., traveled an hour to join the Washington protests. "I've been outraged for a decade," Drake said. "I see the inequality in the social structure."

New protests sprang up in Tucson and in Orlando, Fla., with hundreds marching through downtown streets in each of the cities.


http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-world-protests-20111016,0,1901863.story

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Guardian

Roy Rogers rides again at the BFI London film festival

He's been all but forgotten, but the LFF's restrospective should spur new interest in the singing cowboy and his palomino, Trigger

by Geoffrey Macnab guardian.co.uk,
Friday 14 October 2011 08.15 EDT


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Roy Rogers … always squeaky clean.
Photograph: Sportsphoto Ltd/Allstar/Cine Text



It's as if Roy Rogers never existed. The "singing cowboy" has almost entirely disappeared from our screens. The only time you're likely to catch a glimpse of him is when Bob Hope movie Son of Paleface turns up on television – it features Rogers gently sending himself up, as well as his beautiful palomino Trigger, surely the most good-looking horse in the history of westerns, performing a dance.

Rogers (whose real name was Leonard Slye) made more than 80 films. Early in his career, he was one of the original Sons of the Pioneers, the cowboy singing group whose songs included Tumbling Tumbleweeds (featured in The Big Lebowski) and Cool Water. He had his own radio show, his own TV show and there was even a restaurant chain bearing his name. Kids who grew up in Britain in the 1970s will remember Roy Rogers movies as a regular staple of after-school TV, and Roy Rogers annuals as familiar Christmas presents. He was a marketeer and businessman extraordinaire. Nonetheless, since his death in 1998, the Roy Rogers trail has run cold. Not even Quentin Tarantino's enthusiasm for one or two of his films ("I find myself moved by his common decency," Tarantino told The New York Times) helped prise Rogers back out into view. Today, kids don't have any idea who he is.

Last summer's successful auction of 344 lots from the Roy Rogers and Dale Evans Museum Collection showed that the "singing cowboy" at least retains his nostalgia value. Trigger, who died in 1965 and was promptly stuffed, sold for more than $250,000 to a Nebraska cable TV network, RFD-TV. USA Today reported the network's chief financial officer Steve Campione as saying: "Rogers reflects the company's values."

What values are those? Rogers was nothing if not wholesome. Whereas other cowboys might look grimy and weatherbeaten, Rogers was always squeaky clean. His very natty shirts were always perfectly pressed and his hat sat tidily on his head, however fast he galloped. Watch the opening of his TV show and you'll understand some of his appeal. Roy is shown galloping very fast, but with perfect poise while shooting off his gun. His partner (and third wife) Dale Evans is riding in his wake, an inane grin on her face. The comical sidekick Pat Brady is third in line and then comes the wonder dog, Bullet, keeping up the rear. Roy Rogers offered a combination of action and suburban folksiness; cowboys are often loners but Rogers liked an entourage.

This year is the centenary of Rogers's birth and to mark the occasion, the BFI London film festival is screening two of his films in versions specially restored by the UCLA archive. One, Under Western Stars (1938), is his first starring role. This was the one he made when his fellow "singing cowboy" Gene Autry failed to turn up to work; Republic Pictures, which had put Rogers under contract and changed his name, drafted him in instead. Rogers was instantly popular in a Capra-esque tale about a cowboy taking on a big, bad businessman. When Autry went off to war in the early 40s, Rogers became undisputed "king of the cowboys". Not that the rivalry between Autry and Rogers was ever vicious; "There's plenty of room on the prairie," Rogers said of the star whose lustre he stole.

The festival's other film is Rainbow Over Texas from 1946, by which time he was successful enough to play himself – and gets to sing a duet with Dale.

"I find Rogers more interesting (than Autry) because he turned his hand to a lot more roles than just straightforward, Boy Scout B-westerns," says Clyde Jeavons, archive consultant at the LFF. "Autry had a 10 commandments for the cowboy and was very moralistic in the parts he played. Rogers was slightly more dangerous. He was a very flash dresser and he had a very pretty horse." Jeavons admits he felt a certain trepidation when he approached LFF artistic director Sandra Hebron about staging a Roy Rogers tribute. "But she jumped at it."

In the 1940s, Rogers was among the biggest stars in Hollywood. He plotted his career with great guile and had a relentless work ethic. However he couldn't claim all the credit for his success. As Jeavons says, a certain palomino played a crucial role in his ride to the top. "Trigger was known as the smartest horse in the movies … a heavily bridled horse and a very pretty coloured horse, almost a blonde horse, really. "

Jeavons says that Rogers is one among many once popular B-movie stars who've vanished from the public's sight. "They've disappeared into the background. Who has ever heard of Hoot Gibson or Tim McCoy or Ken Maynard or people like that? Rogers and Autry were top of that heap, but still are only vaguely remembered. Maybe it's time to have a little revival. What do you think?"

• Rainbow Over Texas and Under Western Stars are showing on Saturday 15 October 2011 at noon, NFT1. The programme is presented by UCLA's Robert Gitt. For tickets go to www.bfi.org.uk.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/filmblog/2011/oct/14/roy-rogers-london-film-festival

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