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As the occupation of Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan finished its first month, the Occupy Wall Street movement spread to cities and college campuses across the United States and to more than 70 other countries. A city-mandated cleanup of Zuccotti Park by its owners, which protesters believed was a pretext for their removal from the area, was cancelled, and Vikram Pandit, the CEO of Citigroupâ??which announced third-quarter profits of $3.8 billion, a 74 percent increase over last yearâ??called the sentiments of protesters “completely understandable,” adding that he would “be happy to talk to them anytime.” Hundreds of people were arrested while demonstrating, among them antiwar activist Cindy Sheehan, in Sacramentoâ??s Cesar Chavez Park, and philosopher Cornel West, on the steps of the Supreme Court. “We will not allow this day of the Martin Luther King memorial to pass,” West said, “without somebody going to jail.”Huffington PostAl JazeeraNew York TimesHuffington PostMercury NewsWashington PostAt the dedication of a memorial to Martin Luther King Jr. in Washington, President Barack Obama said that were King alive today he “would remind us that the unemployed worker can rightly challenge the excesses of Wall Street without demonizing all who work there.”TimeSolyndra, the bankrupt solar-power company that received a $528-million government loan as part of the Obama Administrationâ??s green-energy policy, announced the resignation of CEO Brian Harrison; 33-year-old Indy Car driver and former Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon died in a 15-car crash at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway; and 31-year-old Brandon Kelly was arrested after throwing a hot dog at Tiger Woods during a golf tournament. “I threw the hot dog toward Tiger Woods because I was inspired by the movie Drive“, Kelly said. “As soon as the movie ended, I thought to myself, ‘I have to do something courageous and epic.’”MSNBCNew York TimesESPN
President Obama announced that he was sending 100 armed “military advisors” to central Africa to combat the Lordâ??s Resistance Army, a Ugandan rebel group known for such tactics as massacring civilians, mutilating opponents, and deploying child soldiers. “For more than two decades,” Obama wrote in a letter to Congress, “the Lordâ??s Resistance Army (LRA) has murdered, raped and kidnapped tens of thousands of men, women and children in central Africa.” “Lordâ??s Resistance Army are Christians,” said Rush Limbaugh on his radio program. “They are fighting the Muslims in Sudan.”New York TimesRush LimbaughUmar Farouk Abdulmutallab, a Nigerian who tried to blow up a U.S.-bound plane in 2009 with a bomb sewn into his underwear, pleaded guilty to all charges against him, including attempted murder and terrorism.BBCJigme Khesar Namgyal Wangchuck, the fifth Dragon King of Bhutan, married Jetsun Pema, the 21-year-old daughter of an airline pilot.Associated PressMansour Arbabsiar, an Iranian-born U.S. citizen and used-car salesman, was arrested for planning to hire a Mexican drug cartel to assassinate a Saudi diplomat on behalf of the Iranian government. Attorney General Eric Holder said the plot was “directed and approved by elements of the Iranian government and, specifically, senior members of the Quds Force.” “[Arbabsiarâ??s] socks would not match,” said Tom Hosseini, his former college roommate. “He was always losing his keys and his cell phone. He was not capable of carrying out this plan.”New York TimesNew York Times
Researchers in Scotland reported that women who are on the pill when they meet their partners are less sexually satisfied overall but more satisfied about nonsexual elements in their relationships and ultimately stay in those relationships longer. The reportâ??s author suggested that trying alternative forms of contraception “might be one way for a woman to check or reassure herself that sheâ??s still attracted to her partner.”BBCA 13-month-old Bronx boy died after swallowing the medication in a pill bottle allegedly given to him by his parents to use as a rattle, and the doctor who performed Michael Jacksonâ??s autopsy told jurors in the manslaughter trial of Jacksonâ??s former physician, Conrad Murray, that Jackson probably didnâ??t administer the anaesthetic that killed him, and that the cause of his death was homicide.GothamistThe GuardianA plane crash in Papua New Guinea killed 28 people, a series of bombings in Baghdad killed 23, and a high school math teacher in southern France died after setting herself on fire in the schoolâ??s playground. “Several people tried to put her out,” said one student. “She said “No, leave me alone. I donâ??t need help. God told me to do this.â??”The Globe and MailAssociated PressBBC
More from Christopher Beha:
From the Vault — February 7, 2014, 3:15 pm
Is it worth carrying on with the Olympic Games?
Acres of hemp grown by âpatrioticââ U.S. farmers in 1942 at the behest of the U.S. government:
A study suggested that the health effects of exposure to nuclear radiation at Chernobyl were no worse than ill health resulting from smoking and normal urban air pollution.
Greenpeace apologized after activists accidentally defaced the site of Peruâs 2,000-year-old Nazca Lines when they unfurled cloth letters reading âtime for changeâ near the ancient sand drawings. âWe fully understand,â the group wrote in a statement, âthat this looks bad.â
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âI hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y.Â M.Â C.Â A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.â