Thursday, November 3, 2011

Pregnant Woman Goes Into Labor During Driving Test

Occupy Protestors In Oakland CA Clash With Police

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Police and protesters supporting the Occupy Wall Street movement have clashed downtown following a day of peaceful protests throughout Oakland.

The confrontation began after protesters started a large bonfire in the middle of a downtown street. Dozens of police in riot gear moved in on hundreds of protesters as the flames leapt more than 15 feet in the air from several large metal and plastic trash bins that had been pushed together.

Police warned protesters to clear out before firing several rounds of tear gas and "flash bang" grenades to clear the area.

In the aftermath of the police actions, protesters with cloth wrapped around their faces to protect them from the stench of the gas marched through the area chanting, "Whose streets? Our streets."

Some marchers wore gas masks.

Glass covered streets and sidewalks from windows of area businesses that were shattered.

Graffiti on the wall next to one of the damaged shops read, "This act of vandalism was not authorized by the general assembly. Peaceful protest."

Shortly after the clash, police and protesters separated by only a few feet stared each other down in a tense standoff. A few dozen people sat on the ground right in front of officers, some with their heads bowed as if in prayer.

There were scores of police in riot gear on the scene, about as many officers as demonstrators.

The clash and subsequent standoff came only hours after Occupy Wall Street protesters declared victory after thousands of demonstrators shut down one of the nation's busiest shipping ports late Wednesday, escalating a movement whose tactics had largely been limited to marches, rallies and tent encampments since it began in September.

The nearly 5-hour protest at the Port of Oakland, the nation's fifth-busiest shipping port, was intended to highlight a daylong "general strike" in the city, which prompted solidarity rallies in New York, Los Angeles and other cities across the nation.

Police estimated that a crowd of about 3,000 had gathered at the port at the height of the demonstration around dusk. Some had marched from the city's downtown, while others had been bused to the port.

Read More From Yahoo News

China Supplying Missles To Iran Could Be In Violation Of U.N Policies

China is continuing to provide advanced missiles and other conventional arms to Iran and may be doing so in violation of U.N. sanctions against the Tehran regime, according to a draft report by the congressional U.S.-China Commission.

“China continues to provide Iran with what could be considered advanced conventional weapons,” the report of the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission says.

According to the report, which will be made public Nov. 16, China sold $312 million worth of arms to Iran, second only to Russia, after Congress passed the Iran Freedom Support Act in 2006 that allows the U.S. government to sanction foreign companies that provide advanced arms to Iran.

The report also noted that, after Russia began cutting back arms transfers to Iran in 2008, China became the largest arms supplier to the Iranian military.

Most of the weapons transfers involved sales of Chinese anti-ship cruise missiles, including C-802 missiles that China promised the United States in 1997 would not be exported to Iran.

China also built an entire missile plant in Iran last year to produce the Nasr-1 anti-ship cruise missile.

“Because of the relatively short range of these missiles, China’s provision of them to Iran does not violate the Iran, North Korea and Syria Nonproliferation Act of 2006, which seeks to prevent the transfer of only those missiles that can carry a 500-kilogram warhead more than 300 kilometers,” the report says.

“It is possible, however, that these transactions violate the Iran Freedom Support Act, or the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability and Divestment Act of 2010, which both use the ambiguous term ‘advanced conventional weapons.’ “

Regarding China’s professed claims to have ended all backing for Iran’s nuclear- and ballistic-missile programs, the report says “there has been speculation that China, or Chinese entities, have quietly continued to provide some support for Iran’s pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile capabilities.”

The report says China also is supporting North Korea’s military and providing economic and technical assistance to Pyongyang.

The report concludes: “Despite Beijing’s stated claim to be acting as a responsible major power, China continues to place its national interests ahead of regional stability by providing economic and diplomatic support to countries that undermine international security.”

Chinese Embassy spokesman Wang Baodong denied China violated U.N. sanctions.

“When it comes to the issue of nonproliferation, China has been strictly adhering to the relevant U.N. resolutions and faithfully carries out its international obligations while strictly implementing its relevant domestic policies and regulations in the field.”

He said the commission “should cast off its Cold War mentality, respect the facts and stop making unwarranted allegations against China.”

Read More From Washington Times

Nearly 15% Of U.S Population Relies On Food Stamps

Nearly 15% of the U.S. population relied on food stamps in August, as the number of recipients hit 45.8 million.

Food stamp rolls have risen 8.1% in the past year, the Department of Agriculture reported, though the pace of growth has slowed from the depths of the recession.

The number of recipients in the food stamp program, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), may continue to rise in coming months as families continue to struggle with high unemployment and September’s data will likely include disaster assistance tied to the destruction and flooding caused by Hurricane Irene.

Mississippi reported the largest share of its population relying on food stamps, more than 21%. One in five residents in New Mexico, Tennessee, Oregon and Louisiana also were food stamp recipients.

Food stamp rolls exploded during the downturn, which began in late 2007. Even after the recession came to its official end in June 2009, families continued to tap into food assistance as unemployment remained high and those lucky enough to find jobs were often met with lower wages.

Read More from The Wall Street Journal