Farmers drove out Communist officials and began arming themselves
‘A long-running dispute between farmers and local officials in southern China exploded into open rebellion this week after villagers chased away government leaders, set up roadblocks and began arming themselves with homemade weapons, residents said.
‘The conflict in Wukan, a coastal settlement near the country’s booming industrial heartland in Guangdong Province, escalated on Monday after residents learned that one of the representatives they had selected to negotiate with the local Communist Party had died in police custody. The authorities say a heart attack killed the 42-year-old man, but relatives say his body bore signs of torture…’
TIME Person of the Year
The choice isn’t surprising since the News of the Year is Occupy
Prelude to the Revolutions
‘It began in Tunisia, where the dictator’s power grabbing and high living crossed a line of shamelessness, and a commonplace bit of government callousness against an ordinary citizen — a 26-year-old street vendor named Mohamed Bouazizi — became the final straw. Bouazizi lived in the charmless Tunisian town of Sidi Bouzid, 125 miles south of Tunis. On a Friday morning almost exactly a year ago, he set out for work, selling produce from a cart. Police had hassled Bouazizi routinely for years, his family says, fining him, making him jump through bureaucratic hoops. On Dec. 17, 2010, a cop started giving him grief yet again. She confiscated his scale and allegedly slapped him. He walked straight to the provincial-capital building to complain and got no response. At the gate, he drenched himself in paint thinner and lit a match. (See pictures of Sidi Bouzid.)
‘”My son set himself on fire for dignity,” Mannoubia Bouazizi told me when I visited her.
‘”In Tunisia,” added her 16-year-old daughter Basma, “dignity is more important than bread.”…’
Italian Author Goes Amok, Kills 2
Right-wing extremist sci-fi author targeted African traders
‘An Italian man has opened fire in two markets in central Florence, killing two Senegalese traders and injuring three others.
‘The attacker, 50-year-old Gianluca Casseri, belonged to a far-right group, Italian media said.
He killed two men and injured a third in Dalmazia Square before opening fire in San Lorenzo Square, wounding two.
‘Casseri was later found dead in an underground car-park, having turned the gun on himself, police said…’
Marriage More Unpopular Now
51% says ‘I don’t’
‘Marriage — it’s so last century. A new report out on Wednesday finds the share of all U.S. adults who are married has dropped to its lowest on record, at just 51 percent. If the trend continues, the institution will soon lose its majority status in American life…’
The ‘Doorway Effect’ on Human Memory
Why Walking through a Doorway Makes You Forget
‘The French poet Paul Valéry once said, “The purpose of psychology is to give us a completely different idea of the things we know best.” In that spirit, consider a situation many of us will find we know too well: You’re sitting at your desk in your office at home. Digging for something under a stack of papers, you find a dirty coffee mug that’s been there so long it’s eligible for carbon dating. Better wash it. You pick up the mug, walk out the door of your office, and head toward the kitchen. By the time you get to the kitchen, though, you’ve forgotten why you stood up in the first place, and you wander back to your office, feeling a little confused—until you look down and see the cup…’
Public Awareness / Avaaz.org
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