Britain orders closure of Iranian embassy, withdraws officials
"a breach of international responsibilities": Such was British Foreign Secretary William Hague’s analysis of the recent storming of a British embassy in Iran by 200 or so students, protesters who belonged to a movement believed to be under the sway of the Iranian government itself. Britain has recalled their officials from the embassy in Tehran, and has ordered the Iranian embassy in Britain to be closed and for its officials to depart within 48 hours. That there’s a tense diplomatic posture between the two states is no surprise — last week Britain opted to cut off all financial ties with Iran, in opposition to its nuclear program. source
LA sanitation department has a tall task with Occupy camp
30tons of stuff to be cleared out of disbanded Occupy LA site source
» Dumping the lot of it: Of the above-mentioned 30 tons of stuff (referenced in the article as a mixture of garbage, debris and personal effects, so likely a blend of stuff people both would and would not like to have had back), 25 tons have already been hauled off and taken to a landfill. We haven’t been able to find much information about whether the Occupy LA Library has seen its catalog meet this fate, as well — following the NYPD raid on Occupy Wall Street, protesters claimed thousands of their library’s books were missing or destroyed when they retrieved them from storage.
“You may not want to admit this, but this is a character assassination on me. Why? Because I was doing so well. There is no other reason to basically explain it.”—Herman Cain • Denying, to Fox News’ Neil Cavuto, that he carried on a thirteen-year affair with a woman named Ginger White. This is a familiar rhetorical stance by Cain, when compared to his handling of sexual harassment claims against him — he has been very vocal in declaring his nearly blanket innocence, at one point suggesting an accuser, Sharon Bialek, had been brought forward by “the Democrat machine.” On that occasion he admitted that he had no factual basis to make such a claim, and he’s at least again being candid, saying that he believes somebody was “putting up” White to her claims, but that “we don’t know, we have no idea who that is.” source (via • follow)
WASHINGTON — Congress has lifted a de facto ban on the slaughter of horses, a move hailed by Missouri farmers and state political leaders who say the prohibition had inadvertently caused more harm to the animals than good.
But some animal-rights activists decried the little-noticed provision, which sailed to passage earlier this month and was signed into law by President Barack Obama on Nov. 18. And they vowed to keep the issue alive, pressing for an outright prohibition of horse slaughtering in the U.S.
“I supported a friend. I’m proud that I did. I think if you know somebody and you work with somebody for 36 years and know them for 48 years, I think you owe a debt of allegiance and gratitude for what he did for the program. That’s what my reaction was.”—Syracuse basketball head coach Jim Boeheim • Explaining his initial defense of former assistant coach Bernie Fine, with whom Boeheim had worked in Syracuse basketball for nearly four decades. Following news of child molestation claims against Fine, Boeheim vociferously leapt to his assistant’s defense, calling the allegations “a bunch of a thousand lies,” and suggesting the accusers had financial motives. This reactionary and tone-deaf response sparked calls for his resignation, among them those of Rev. Robert Hoatson, who works as an advocate for victims of child sex abuse. It was just last night that Hoatsen revealed he’d been contacted by a fourth person bringing molestation claims against Fine, saying that the abuse began when the man was a young teen. source (via • follow)
One of Bernie Fine's accusers interviewed by Pittsburgh PD
Zach Tomaselli goes on record: The Pittsburgh police department’s Sgt. Joseph Gannon has interviewed the young man, now 23, who alleges former Syracuse basketball associate head coach Bernie Fine molested him in 2002. Tomaselli, one of four people now accusing Fine of child sexual abuse (the two of whom are former SU ballboys), claims Fine arranged for him to ride on a bus to Pittsburgh with the SU athletic department staff, and that upon reaching their destination Fine molested him in a hotel room. Fine was fired from his job at Syracuse on Sunday. source
Secretary of State Clinton arrives in Myanmar today
56years since a U.S. official had last visited Myanmar source
» When preparing to fly into the isolated South Asian country, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was forced to depart early from a stop in South Korea, because the airfield in Myanmar’s capitol lacks runway lights to facilitate nighttime landings. On her schedule for the next three days: a meeting with Thein Sein, the General-turned-President, who despite being viewed as a moderate reformer (compared to the norms under decades of brutal military rule) still has the familiar trappings of a leader wrapped in a fraudulent democratic process — he won the last election with over 90% of the vote. She’ll also be visiting opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, a dissident who’s been jailed or under house arrest for most of the last twenty years.
“There’s not another candidate who has more gratuitously promoted the state of New Hampshire. I’ve gone on all the talk shows. I’ve gone on Saturday Night Live for heaven’s sake.”— Jon Huntsman, begging, Concord Monitor, 11/30 Read more bonus quotes of the day. (via nationaljournal)
“You have nothing to feel ashamed of. I want you to know you didn’t do anything wrong. Please know that you were chosen by a monster. It’s not your fault. You didn’t ask for it and, most of all, you didn’t deserve it.”—Writer-director Tyler Perry • In an open letter, published by The Daily Beast, to an 11-year-old alleged victim in the Jerry Sandusky case. “Do you know that at the young age of 11 you had more courage than all the adults who let you down?” he writes. “All of the ones who didn’t go to the proper authorities, all of the ones who were worried about their careers, reputations, or livelihoods. All of the ones who didn’t want to get involved. Or even the ones who tried to convince your mother not to fight. You are stronger than them all! I wonder what they would have done if it were their own child.” You rock, Tyler.
Two major Occupy encampments close; protests mostly end peacefully
200+number of people arrested during the closing of the Occupy L.A. encampment early Wednesday
52number of people arrested at Occupy Philly when their camp closed at roughly the same time source
» However … In a major difference between the end of a number of other protests (most notably Occupy Oakland), police did not have to pull out pepper spray to end these protests. The LAPD was very careful with their strategy in this department. Despite the mayor calling for the closure of the camp early Monday, the police department held off two days, giving protesters time to leave on their own. That thinned out the numbers. As for those that remained, they had some minor scuffles with police at first, but those eventually faded, and protesters only got arrested after they didn’t immediately leave the park. Only a handful of major Occupy encampments remain at this point, most notably in DC and San Francisco. (EDIT: Updated Occupy Philly arrest count; the protesters left the encampment peacefully but were arrested for disturbances outside of the encampment.)
“The Iranian Chargé in London is being informed now that we require the immediate closure of the Iranian Embassy in London and that all Iranian diplomatic staff must leave the United Kingdom within the next 48 hours. If any country makes it impossible for us to operate on their soil they cannot expect to have a functioning Embassy here.”—British Foreign Secretary William Hague • Warning Iran to close its embassy, in a ratcheting-up of tensions between the two countries a day after activists raided the British Embassy in Tehran, upset over new sanctions against Iran. Hague was careful to emphasize diplomatic ties still exist between the two countries: “This does not amount to the severing of diplomatic relations in their entirety,” he said. “It is action that reduces our relations with Iran to the lowest level consistent with the maintenance of diplomatic relations.” In other words, they may get a phone call, but don’t expect it to be friendly. source (via • follow)
“The whole campaign was a highlight reel. The singing! The mustache! The pizza! ‘9-9-9!’ That smoking ad! That creepy, slow smile! Remember when he was the front-runner, and everyone attempted to generate serious commentary on his plans as he looked on and attempted not to giggle?”—Washington Post humorist Alexandra Petri • Begging Herman Cain to stay on the campaign trail. “Say what you will about Herman Cain, the man was the best joke we had,” she writes. “He can’t leave just yet.” This column is amazing.
Today’s awful story of sexual predation: Did you know that sex offenders on probation, under California state law, can’t light their houses up on Halloween? Well, they can’t, and when authorities in Los Angeles conducted a four-day sweep of 251 houses occupied by sex offenders, they found five probationers in violation of this law. According to LA County Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, one of them ”had a trap door in his bedroom leading to a basement where officers found a chair and rope.” There was also a married couple with a fully decorated home, on probation for molesting their own children and found to be in possession of child pornography. If anyone has any stories involving, say, a bunch of puppies who courageously drag their owner to safety from a burning house, now would be a great time to let us know, ‘cause we sure need an upper.
For fans of math: They got fined $270,000 for numerous instances between 2007 and 2011. The maximum the USDA can fine a group for violations of the Animal Welfare Act is $10,000 per instance. So … in other words, a lot of violations.
BEST PRACTICES The Tumblr community very much rewards authenticity, originality and social graces. I always reduce this to:
Be Engaging: Have interesting…
In which Tumblr’s Mark Coatney tells you how to win at the game of Tumblr. By the way, the stats in this post would probably be incredibly helpful for those in the room looking to start up a hyperlocal blog network.
Michael Jackson death: Conrad Murray sentenced to four years in prison
Murray gets the max: Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor issued a sentence for Conrad Murray today, opting for the maximum imprisonment (four years) and coupling that choice with scathing denunciations of the disgraced former doctor: “Not only isn’t there any remorse, there is umbrage and outrage on the part of Dr. Murray against the decedent… Michael Jackson died not because of an isolated one-off occurrence or incident. He died because of a totality of circumstances which are directly attributable to Dr. Murray, not some mistake or some accident in the early morning hours of 2009.” During the trial, the prosecution argued that Murray delayed summoning paramedics to help Jackson after the singer suffered cardiac arrest, and lied to emergency responders when they arrived. (Left: Murray’s booking photo.)source
“In a conference call this morning, Herman Cain told his senior staff that he is “reassessing” whether to remain in the race. He told them he will make his final decision “over the next several days.”—The National Review claims that Herman Cain is having second thoughts on his campaign after word of an alleged affair surfaced last night. Game over?
“Mr. Frank is incapable of feeling shame, regret or a sense of personal responsibility. These are emotions for lesser beings. He’s leaving because of redistricting or to avoid having to raise money or facing those nasty little voters every two years. The House will be a better place for his departure.”—Tell us how you really feel about Barney Frank, Karl Rove. While you’re doing so, here’s a soundtrack to play while you’re talking. (thanks Awl)
Aw, Zucks. We're hoping this won't "poke" our portfolios too badly.
Want to own a piece of Facebook? You might be able to in the spring of 2012. It looks like, despite founder Mark Zuckerberg’s well-known resistance to the idea over the years, the company is on its way to its “initial public offering” — the sale of stock that a private company makes available to the public. (Groupon just had an IPO, and it hasn’t been going quite so well for them.) The social media trailblazers could raise as much as $10 billion from first-day stock sales; that would put the company’s total value at $100 billion. Not bad for a guy who screwed over most of his friends from Harvard (and a couple of Winklevi) to get there. source
Cyber Monday's version of Black Friday drama: Counterfeit stuff
150counterfeit websites taken down on Cyber Monday source
» Don’t mess with our passion for shopping. After such a turnout for Black Friday, shoppers were ready for online deals on Monday. So were websites touting fake merchandise — from sports jerseys to DVDs to accessories. This was a part of the investigation called “Operation In Our Sites,” which has seized 350 such counterfeit sites since 2010.
“The negative outlook indicates a slightly greater than 50 percent chance of a downgrade over a two-year horizon.”—Credit ratings agency Fitch • Explaining the negative outlook they gave the U.S.’ AAA credit rating. Why the lower outlook? Well, they say there’s “considerable uncertainty surrounding the economy’s potential output.” Well, there won’t be as long as we can figure out a way to turn riots over $2 waffle irons into a sustainable moneymaking endeavor for the U.S. economy at large. We’re sure we can make it happen. Fitch’s downgraded outlook follows S&P’s straight-up downgrade a few months back. source (via • follow)
“It’s wrong to go around and adopt radically different positions based on your need of any one election, then people will have to ask themselves, ‘What will you tell me next time?’”—2012 GOP candidate Newt Gingrich • Dropping a clear attack at Mitt Romney for his tendency to flip-flop. This is a change for Gingrich: Before this week, he was known for going out of his way to avoid criticizing his fellow candidates and pointing the trigger directly at Obama. Now that he’s suddenly in the thick of the race, it looks like he’s getting braver about going after the perceived frontrunner. source (via • follow)