Firedoglake: Wisconsin Teachers Will Teach By Day, Protest By Night as Solidarity Spreads Across Nation
Mary Bell, the President of the Wisconsin Education Association Council, just announced that teachers across the state will return to work on Monday, instead joining protests at night in their communities. Teachers, and in many cases their students, have been at the forefront of the protests in the state capital, Madison. Local school districts have been shut for up to three days as teachers demonstrated against a measure to strip their collective bargaining rights. The entire statement is at the end of this piece.
Bell reiterated that the employees she represents have agreed to Governor Walker’s cutbacks in pension and health care benefits. Those are the only actual fiscal issues affecting state workers in the budget repair bill. But public employees refuse to accept the loss of their rights as workers. Here’s the key excerpt:
Tomorrow they begin again in their schools and classrooms. Their voices will remain strong – and they will continue to be heard wherever and whenever they can. To educators whose contracts do not recognize Presidents’ Day, we call on them to return to duty by day – and find ways to be vocal and visible after their workday is done. To those whose contracts recognize Presidents’ Day as a holiday, we call on them to return to Madison. We send this message to Wisconsin’s educators and parents as a show of good faith.
Al Jazeera: Libya clashes spread to Tripoli
Anti-government protesters in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi have reportedly seized army vehicles and weapons amid worsening turmoil in the African nation.
A local witness said that a section of the troops had joined the protesters on Sunday as chaos swept the streets of the city, worst hit by the uprising against Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year old rule.
Meanwhile, there were reports of clashes between anti-government protesters and Gaddafi supporters around the Green Square in the capital, Tripoli.
"We are in Tripoli, there are chants : 'Where are you? Where are you? Come out if you're a man," a protester told Al Jazeera on phone.
Los Angeles Times: Tens of thousands march peacefully in Morocco for political reform
In what is being called an unprecedented show of political unity and strength, tens of thousands of protesters from various political strains marched peacefully in cities and towns across the country Sunday demanding rapid political reform.
The mass rally, marchers said, was aimed at expanding democratic rights in a nation that has long been a hereditary monarchy and at times been as oppressive as its autocratic northern African neighbors.
"We no longer want to be subjects," said Abdelilah Benabdeslam, a leader of the Morrocan Human Rights Organization. "We want to be citizens."
France24.com: Yemen police arrest southern opposition leader: son
Yemeni police arrested the main southern opposition leader, Hassan Baoum, on Sunday, shortly after he arrived in the regional capital Aden to take part in an anti-government protest, his son said.
Baoum was arrested along with his son Fawaz at the Naqib hospital after he had undergone some medical tests, another son said.
He said that Baoum arrived in the port city from nearby Lahij earlier in the day with the intention of joining the protest.
Police have killed 10 people in Aden in the past week, according to an AFP tally, as they resorted to gunfire to disperse frequent protests against the government of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.
Haaretz: U.S. condemns crackdown on Arab world protests, but stops short of calling for regime change
Top U.S. diplomats on Sunday condemned violent crackdowns on protesters in Libya and Bahrain but stopped short of calling for a change of government in countries facing a wave of pro-democracy demonstrations.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said the Bahraini government should step up reform efforts rather than attacking peaceful protesters.
"We've been very clear from the beginning that we do not want to see any violence. We deplore it. We think it is absolutely unacceptable," Clinton told the ABC News program This Week, according to a transcript released by the network.
"We very much want to see the human rights of the people protected, including right to assemble, right to express themselves and we want to see reform," Clinton said.
Yahoo: Peru cracks down on illegal gold miners in Amazon
Peruvian security forces launched a massive operation this weekend to destroy illegal gold mining equipment that is damaging fragile Amazonian habitats.
Nearly 1,000 military troops and police officers, assisted by helicopters and motor boats, took part in the first day of the operation that began on Saturday and is due to last a month.
They seized 13 river dredgers pumping silt up from the riverbed and sunk, burnt or otherwise destroyed seven, the defense ministry said Sunday.
"These are no small cottage industries," Defense Minister Jaime Thorne said, pointing to destroyed Chinese-made dredgers that cost about $250,000 each
Guardian: American who sparked diplomatic crisis over Lahore shooting was CIA spy
The American who shot dead two men in Lahore, triggering a diplomatic crisis between Pakistan and the US, is a CIA agent who was on assignment at the time.
Raymond Davis has been the subject of widespread speculation since he opened fire with a semi-automatic Glock pistol on the two men who had pulled up in front of his car at a red light on 25 January.
Pakistani authorities charged him with murder, but the Obama administration has insisted he is an "administrative and technical official" attached to its Lahore consulate and has diplomatic immunity.
Based on interviews in the US and Pakistan, the Guardian can confirm that the 36-year-old former special forces soldier is employed by the CIA. "It's beyond a shadow of a doubt," said a senior Pakistani intelligence official. The revelation may complicate American efforts to free Davis, who insists he was acting in self-defence against a pair of suspected robbers, who were both carrying guns.
Haaretz: Israel and Chile cooperated to spy on Iran, WikiLeaks reveals
Israel was working with the Chilean government to spy on the Iranian Embassy in Chile, according to a diplomatic cable released by WikiLeaks.
A cable from the U.S. Embassy in Santiago to the State Department in Washington, dated July 21, 2008, stated that the Israeli military attache in Chile, Col. Yoeli Or, had informed his American counterpart of Israel's activities.
According to the cable, Or said "that he works with Chile's Investigative Police (PDI ) and 'other agencies' (presumably Chile's Intelligence Agency, ANI ), sharing information, and providing training when possible."
"While there are no signs of GOI affiliation with terrorist groups in Chile," the cable also said, "the Chilean intelligence service and the Israeli government are screening for anything they deem suspicious."
Yahoo: Memories of 1995 haunt GOP as shutdown talk grows
Few memories haunt Republicans more deeply than the 1995-96 partial shutdown of the federal government, which helped President Bill Clinton reverse his falling fortunes and recast House Republicans as stubborn partisans, not savvy insurgents.
Now, as Congress careens toward a budget impasse, government insiders wonder if another shutdown is imminent — and whether Republicans again would suffer the most blame.
Leaders of both parties say they are determined to avoid a shutdown. But they have not yielded on the amount of spending cuts they will demand or accept. Meanwhile, shutdown talk is rippling through Washington and beyond.
"It's good for political rhetoric to talk about a government shutdown. But I don't know anybody that wants that to happen," Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., said on "Fox News Sunday."
CBS: Van Hollen: GOP budget would cost 800,000 jobs
Maryland Democrat Chris Van Hollen argued on Sunday that 800,000 Americans could lose their jobs if the GOP's budget proposal was enacted, and warned against making "reckless" cuts to the federal budget.
In an appearance on CBS' "Face the Nation," Van Hollen said that "everybody agrees we need to get the deficit under control," but argued that drastic cuts in 2011 would damage an already fragile economy.
"The bipartisan commission on fiscal responsibility specifically warned against deep, immediate cuts in the year 2011. Why? Because it would hurt a fragile economy and put people out of work," he told CBS' Bob Schieffer. "In fact, there are estimates that about 800,000 Americans would lose their jobs if you do this in a reckless manner."
Van Hollen criticized House Speaker John Boehner for what he described as a "callous" attitude toward the prospect of American job loss in the face of budget cuts, and argued that Republicans were taking the "wrong approach" toward mending the economy.
MSNBC: Hijacked yacht reportedly nears Somalia coast
A hijacked yacht with four Americans on board is nearing the Somali coast is being shadowed by a warship, two pirates and a Somalia official said Sunday.
The three said the yacht Quest is in the waters between Yemen and northern Somalia. One pirate gave his name as Bile Hussein. The second, who gave his name only as Hassan, said he is in contact with the pirates on the Quest. The official from the northern region of Puntland asked not to be named because he wasn't authorized to speak publicly.
Hussein said a warship with a helicopter on its deck was near the Quest. The nationality of the warship was unclear.
Four Americans sailing around the world are aboard the yacht, which was hijacked off Oman on Friday. If they are taken to land, it would likely lengthen their hostage ordeal considerably.
Digital Journal: Philippines' Mount Bulusan eruption causes major explosion of ash
It has been reported that there has been a major volcanic eruption at Mount Bulusan, which is on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. The built up steam led to a major eruption of ash that has reached two kilometres high.
In November, Digital Journal reported on two occasions about eruptions at Mount Bulusan in the Philippines. Ash from the eruption hit villages 10 kilometres away and also led to a strong 6.0-magntude earthquake just hours later.
On Sunday, ABS-CBN News reported of another intense eruption that spewed a two-kilometre ash cloud. The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) said the cloud is heading in a southwest direction towards a town called Irosin.
“We expected this. We are on Alert Level 1,” said director of PHIVOLCS, Renato Solidum. “At this stage, it is possible to have steam-triggered explosions which are not really very strong. People are still advised not to enter the 4-kilometer permanent danger zone.”
Guardian: Ten killed in Estonian orphanage fire
A fire raced through an orphanage for disabled children in western Estonia today, killing 10 of them, a rescue service spokesman said.
There were 37 children and nine adults inside the wooden building when the fire started at 2.30pm local time in the coastal town of Haapsalu, said Viktor Saaremets, a spokesman for the Western Estonia Rescue Services Centre.
"By the time rescue workers and firefighters arrived at the scene three or four minutes later the building was completely in flames," he said.
Ten children were killed and one adult was injured, Saaremets said. The others were evacuated to a nearby building and were not hurt, he said.
Yahoo: Police arrest 33 people at Long Island cockfight
A New York man and woman were being arraigned on Sunday on felony animal fighting charges following a weekend raid of a cockfight that resulted in the arrest of 33 people, authorities said.
In part of an ongoing investigation, police broke up the cockfight in the basement of a house in Central Islip, N.Y., on Saturday night, authorities said.
They arrested 31 spectators and two alleged ringleaders, Rosa Medero, 37, and Pablo Lopez, 34, who were charged with felony counts of prohibition of animal fighting.
Some three dozen roosters were rescued from the basement, where authorities said they found equipment used to prepare the roosters for fighting, a fighting ring, scales and spectator seating.
SI: Bayne makes history as youngest driver to win Daytona 500
Dale Earnhardt Jr. insisted he didn't believe in fairy tales and happy endings.
Trevor Bayne was too young to know any better.
Bayne, in just his second Sprint Cup Series start, pulled off a stunning victory in his first Daytona 500 on Sunday, becoming the youngest winner in the 53 years of the Great American Race. Bayne, who turned 20 the day before the biggest race of his career, took the Wood Brothers back to Victory Lane for the first time since 2001.
As he crossed the line, Bayne screamed into his radio: "Are you kidding me?!"