Yesterday, June 4th, 2009, marked the 20th anniversary of the military crackdown on student protesters gathered in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China. Beginning in April of 1989, thousands of students and other citizens started gathering in groups large and small, protesting many issues, centered on a desire for freedom and democratic reform. By mid-May of 1989, hundreds of thousands of protesters occupied the square, staging hunger strikes, and asking for dialogue. Chinese authorities responded with a declaration of martial law, and sent soldiers and tanks from the People’s Liberation Army, preparing to disperse the crowds. Late on June 3rd, 1989, the tanks and armored personnel carriers rolled into the square, killing and wounding many, mostly civilians – estimates vary widely, from several hundred to several thousand dead. The first 17 photos below were taken in 1989, the rest are from this year, as people remember the events, the ideals, and the fallout from that fateful day. (32 photos total)
In this June 5, 1989 file photo, a Chinese protestor blocks a line of tanks heading east on Beijing’s Cangan Blvd. June 5, 1989 in front of the Beijing Hotel. The man was shortly pulled away and the tanks continued on their way. (AP Photo/Jeff Widener) #
Chinese police check documents of foreign journalists trying to enter Tiananmen Square on June 4, 2009. Foreign media were harrassed and barred as China kept Tiananmen Square under tight surveillance for the anniversary. (PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images) #
On May 21, a judge of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California dismissed a complaint filed by a woman who said she had purchased “Cap’n Crunch with Crunchberries” because she believed “crunchberries” were real fruit. The plaintiff, Janine Sugawara, alleged that she had only recently learned to her dismay that said “berries” were in fact simply brightly-colored cereal balls, and that although the product did contain some strawberry fruit concentrate, it was not otherwise redeemed by fruit. She sued, on behalf of herself and all similarly situated consumers who also apparently believed that there are fields somewhere in our land thronged by crunchberry bushes.
Finally, the court held that while a first-time loser on a motion to dismiss would typically get a chance to amend the complaint, this one wouldn’t:
In this case, . . . it is simply impossible for Plaintiff to file an amended complaint stating a claim based upon these facts. The survival of the instant claim would require this Court to ignore all concepts of personal responsibility and common sense. The Court has no intention of allowing that to happen.
Just wait until somebody tells this lady about Girl Scout Cookies…
Medical bills are involved in more than 60 percent of U.S. personal bankruptcies, an increase of 50 percent in just six years, U.S. researchers reported Thursday.
More than 75 percent of these bankrupt families had health insurance but still were overwhelmed by their medical debts, the team at Harvard Law School, Harvard Medical School and Ohio University reported in the American Journal of Medicine.
“Using a conservative definition, 62.1 percent of all bankruptcies in 2007 were medical; 92 percent of these medical debtors had medical debts over $5,000, or 10 percent of pretax family income,” the researchers wrote. “Most medical debtors were well-educated, owned homes and had middle-class occupations.”
Former Countrywide Financial Corp. Chief Executive Officer Angelo Mozilo and two other people were accused of fraud by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission following an investigation of the firm’s role in the subprime mortgage crisis.
The agency will hold a press conference at 4 p.m. today in Washington to discuss the case, it said in a statement. The SEC may accuse Mozilo of withholding information from investors about the mortgage lender’s condition and selling shares based on inside information to avoid losses, people familiar with the matter said, requesting anonymity because the case isn’t public.
One in nine Americans are using federal food stamps to help buy groceries as the country’s deep recession forced another 591,000 people onto the federal anti-hunger program at latest count.
Enrollment jumped 2 percent to 33.2 million people in March, the fourth consecutive month that rolls hit a record, said the Agriculture Department. The average monthly benefit was $113.87 per person.
Mousavi said Ahmadinejad was moving toward dictatorship, and that his Holocaust denial had hurt Iran’s dignity; the President said Mousavi had conspired with former presidents Hashemi Rafsanjani and Khatami against him. Ahmadinejad then pulled out a dossier on Mousavi’s wife, saying she didn’t have proper qualifications for graduate school. Mousavi replied “This is typical of your government. Instead of finding solutions, you send your deputies to make files on the people.“
The election is June 12th. There will be several more debates among other candidates including Ahmadinejad, Mohsen Rezai and Mehdi Karroubi .
Youtube: Debate clips
It comes as no surprise that Indiana Democrat Pete Visclosky’s favorite word to say in Congress is “Indiana.” While staying out of the spotlight in Washington, he has been a champion for his Northwestern Indiana congressional district, bringing home millions of federal dollars to create jobs and win fans. Since the decline in manufacturing, new jobs have become essential for this Rult Belt region and Visclosky, from his position on the House Appropriations Committee, has sought to get as big a piece of the federal pie as he can for his constituents.
This hard work bringing home federal dollars has made Visclosky a national news name as his connection to a lobbying firm, the PMA Group, which represented many of the recipients of federal money earmarked by the congressman, has brought him under investigation by the FBI.
After studying campaign contribution data for 1998-2008 (compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics) and earmark data for FY2008 and FY2009 (from both Taxpayers for Common Sense and Legistorm), the connection between those PMA Group clients that contributed money to Visclosky’s campaigns and the earmarks they received is clearly evident.
The Obama administration’s pick for a top intelligence post at the Homeland Security Department has ties to the CIA’s harsh interrogation program, a congressional aide said.
This could become an issue during Philip Mudd’s confirmation hearing, which is expected next week. Mudd was nominated to be under secretary of intelligence and analysis at Homeland Security.
The aide confirmed that Mudd, who was deputy director of the Office of Terrorism Analysis at the CIA during the Bush administration, had direct knowledge of the agency’s harsh interrogation program. The aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity, was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.