December 14, 2008

Police stop anti-Kremlin rallies in Moscow

Anti-Kremlin protestors were stopped Sunday by Moscow police in Moscow after being warned not to rally.

The Other Russia movement gathered in the heart of Russia to call for the resignation of the Putin government, the BBC News reported.
Moscow police had denied permission to the group to rally. The police said they told the group they would stop a protest if it were to start.

When the protestors lined the streets, plice began to arrest them and throw them into trucks, the New York Times reported.

Moscow police said they detained 90 people, one of whom was the co-leader of the group, Eduard Limonov. The movement however said that 130 of its members were detained.

Bush does not allow Obama family early White House move in

On Friday, President-elect Barack Obama asked White House officials if his family could move into the White House guest home early, which he was refused, MSNBC reported.

The Blair House, the official guest house of the White House, becomes the home of the President-elect until he moves into the White House once in office.

Obama had asked to move in early because he wanted to make the transition easier for his two daughters who are to start school in Washington Jan. 5th, the Star Tribune reported.

Though the two week request is not unusual, White House officials had to deny Obama's request due to previous engagements in which the Blair House would be in use.

An Obama aide said that the President-elect still remains optimistic about the tansition, despite being denied early entrance.

Local comedian set to host show on Discovery Channel

A Twin Cities comedian gets his own show on the Discovery Channel which will premeire Jan. 6th, the Pioneer Press reported.

Dave Mordal is the host of the new show "Wreckreation Nation," in which the comedian travels around the country in search of unconventional pastimes and contests, the Star Tribune reported. Mordal came up with the plot of the show himself.

Mordal has alreadystrted filiming for his show, finding places thus far that teach people how to wrestle with alligators, and play tug of war across large bodies of water.

Mordal was previously a contestant on NBC's "Last Comic Standing."

December 6, 2008

Bollywood King Khan to star in film tackling Islam issues

Shah Rukh Khan, one of Bollywood's biggest stars, is set to star in a film that exposes the misconceptions of Muslims and terrorism in a post 9/11 world.

The film, titled "I am Khan," follows six men with the Muslim surname Khan who are all targets of discrimination after the 9/11 attacks, Yahoo News reported.

The goal of the movie is to show that not all Muslims are terrorists.

"(The film) is an attempt to try and do that in an entertaining way," Khan said.

The film was written by Shibani Bhatija, a popular screenwriter in the UK, the BBC reported.

Khan is an advocate against religious fundamentalism and said he hopes this movie will bring light to the issue but will also teach viewers not to judge someone based on their looks.

Laid-off Chicago workers refuse to leave factory

Nearly 250 Chicago workers occupied their factory Saturday after learning they would be out of jobs in three days.

The workers, who were employed by Republic Windows and Doors, said they would not leave the building until they were guaranteed their severance and vacation pay, the Star Tribune reported.

The workers are blaming Bank of America for their factory closing, stating that the lender cut off credit to the factory, forcing it to close, the New York Times reported.

Some workers carried signs that read "You got bailed out, we got sold out."

Chicago police say they have no plans to remove the strikers, though they are monitoring the situation.

Popular KSTP radio show host let go

KSTP-AM fired radio show host Tommy Mischke Friday, shortly after his weekly radio show aired.

Mischke was a radio personality with KSTP for the last 16 years.

Mischke and KSTP would not comment about why the radio host was fired, the Star Tribune reported.

Mischke confirmed his departure from KSTP on a blog on their website.

"I've been let go by the station," he wrote. "I want to thank all you listeners for your kindness to me over the years. It's been an honor to be able to hang out with you every day. Perhaps we'll meet again one day, somewhere down the line."

KSTP laid off 18 other workers Thursday, the Pioneer Press .

November 30, 2008

Obama will name Clinton secretary of state Monday

President-elect Barack Obama will officially announce Sen. Hillary Clinton as his choice for secretary of state Monday, a Democratic official said.

Clinton, along with three others, will be given positions in Obama's cabinet, the Star Tribune reported.

In addition to Obama's secretary of state pick, he will also announce his choices for U.N. ambassador, attorney general and homeland security secretary.

According to a Democratic official, Sen. Clinton's husband, former President Bill Clinton, had to make a deal with Obama's administration to release some financial records, the New York Times reported.

Among those records was a list of the names of every contributor to his foundation since 1977, something the former president has been hesitant to give out in the past.

The official announcement will come Monday.

Thai protesters occupying 2 airpots, meet with police

Thai anti-government protesters in Bangkok that occupied the city's two airports, turned to police, Sunday, to ask for help.

Thai activists are protesting for the resignation of the government, which they believe to be bringing corruption to their monarchy, the BBC News reported.

The tensions have been growing between the protesters and pro-government groups. On Saturday, a grenade attack from a pro-government group left 50 of the protesters injured, the New York Times reported.

The recent attacks against the protesters have caused them to turn to the police for help. The protesters have been in negotiations with police stemming from Saturday's attack.

"We are in a negotiation process. We want to avoid any violent confrontation. We will not use weapons," police spokesman Pongsapat Pongcharoen said.

While the talks are taking place, Thai protesters are adamant that they will not budge on their stances.

A St. Paul man surrenders after standoff with police

A St. Paul man was jailed Saturday after having an hour and a half long standoff with St. Paul police and a SWAT team.

Police arrived to the 38-year-old man's home after receiving a call from his ex-girlfriend stating that the man was threatening to kill her with a gun, the Pioneer Press reported.

According to a statement from the St. Paul Police Department, the police arrived on the scene of the 1100 block of Arundel Street at 3:45 p.m. and the man would not answer the door.

The officers called in a SWAT team and the man still refused to answer the door. The standoff lasted for an hour and a half until eventually the man was arrested.

While the victim was not injured, the man was brought to jail on the charge of aggravated assault, the Star Tribune reported.

November 23, 2008

Bill Richardson set to be named commerce secretary in Obama cabinet

President-elect Barack Obama will name Gov. Bill Richardson his commerce secretary.

A Democratic official, who wanted to remain anonymous as they did not have permission to leak the information, said Obama will officially announce the selection after Thanksgiving, CBS News reported.

Richardson, who was recently an opponent of Obama's for the Democratic presidential nominee, has prior experience in Washington. Before becoming governor of New Mexico, he served under President Bill Clinton as U.N. ambassador and energy secretary, the Star Tribune reported.

Richardson's name came up earlier in the week as a possible contender for the Secretary of State position, which is rumored to be going to another former opponent for the presidential nominee, Sen. Hillary Clinton.

Denny Hecker sells 3 dealerships and closes 6

Denny Hecker said Friday he would be closing six of his car dealerships and selling three due to the bad state of the economy.

With the closing of the dealerships, 400 employees are out of a job, the Pioneer Press reported.

Earlier in the month, Hecker filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Minneapolis against Chrysler Financial Services saying that they had unexpectedly stopped financing forcing Hecker to renege on contracts with his customers and business partners.

The Big Three automakers are also seeing negative results from the dwindling economy and have asked for a $25 billion federal bailout package, the Star Tribune reported.

Hecker sold his Inver Grove Heights Hyundai, Inver Grove Heights Volkswagen and Peninsula Dodge in California to private investors and closed his Blaine Bargain Lot, Forest Lake Chrysler Jeep Dodge Mitsubishi, Monticello Dodge Ford and Mercury Suzuki Kia, Rosedale Hyundai, Shakopee Chrysler Jeep Dodge and Stillwater Ford Lincoln Mercury.

Nepalese teenager believed to be reincarnation of the Buddha

A Nepalese teenager has been drawing crowds of thousands as he meditates and blesses the people in a Nepal village, leading them to believe he is the Buddha's reincarnate.

Ram Bahadur Bamjan, 18, was first discovered three years ago meditating in the Ratanapuri village in Nepal's Bara district. It was said by village witnesses that he did not stop meditating for six months and went without food and water, the BBC News reported.

Now, Bamjan is at it again, meditating in a nearby jungle in Ratanpur, sitting under a peepal tree with his legs crossed, all imitations of Siddhartha Gautama, the original Buddha, who Buddhists believe was born in Nepal in 560 BC.

On Friday, Bamjan silently greeted the thousands of spectators and began to bless them by tapping them on their foreheads, Yahoo News reported.

Although the villagers believe Bamjan to be a reincarnation of the Buddha, Buddhist scholars say the feat is not likely.

In the Buddhist religion, becoming the Buddha means reaching enlightenment and therefore it is the highest and final level one can achieve in reincarnation. The scholars say the Buddha cannot have another reincarnation as a Buddha.

November 16, 2008

India successfully sent a probe on to the moon

Saturday, India celebrated as it succesfully sent their first lunar probe, Chandrayaan 1, to the moon.

"We have now successfully put our national flag on the lunar surface," said Madhavan Nair, the chairman of India's space program.

Chandrayaan 1 orbitted the moon just three weeks after it was launched in Southern India.

Russia, the US, Japan and the European Space Agency, were the only places to have landed moon probes in the past, Yahoo News reported.

The probe will chart water and ice precence, as well as map a three-dimensional atlas of the Moon, the BBC News reported.

India has set a second mission already for 2012.

Barack Obama interviews Hillary Clinton, among others, for Secretary of State

President-elect Barack Obama met with Sen. Hillary Clinton and Gov. Bill Richardson Friday to interview them as possible contenders for the Secretary of State position.

Clinton and Richardson were both Obama’s former opponenets for the democratic presidential nominee earlier in the year, the Star Tribune reported.

If Clinton were offered the job, she would have a Senate confirmation hearing where it is likely her husband's financial dealings would be brought up. She prevented this from happening during her presidential run.

Clinton and Obama have similar stances on global issues, especially when it comes to Iraq strategies, the New York Times reported.

If Obama were to choose Clinton as his Secretary of State, it would ensure she would not challenge him in 2012. It could also be a stepping stone for Clinton to run again in 2016 should Obama serve two terms.

700 Minnesotans gather to protest the banning of gay marriage in other states.

Saturday 700 Minnesotans gathered in Minneapolis in front of the Hennepin County Government Center to protest the new bans on gay marriage in other states.

"Love is something we all experience in our own way and it's very unfortunate that certain people think there should be a right way and a wrong way to love,? University of Minnesota student Kendra Atkins, 21, said.

Minnesota took part in a nationwide protest of the recently passed propositions, which modifies the constitution to ban gay marriage in California, Florida and Arizona, the Star Tribune reported.

Join the Impact, the group responsible for planning the nationwide protests Saturday, said they wanted peaceful protests, not violent ones, the Pioneer Press reported.

Overall 300 cities in the country took part in the protests Saturday, with over 1 million participants.