Oakland raid is latest in Occupy camp crackdowns

Posted Nov. 14, 2011, at 8:12 p.m.
Last modified Nov. 22, 2011, at 1:52 p.m.

OAKLAND, Calif. — Police decked in riot gear and armed with tear gas cleared out Oakland’s anti-Wall Street encampment early Monday, the latest law enforcement crackdown amid complaints around the country of health and safety hazards at protest camps.

The raid at the Occupy Oakland camp, one of the largest and most active sites in the movement, came a day after police in Portland, Ore., arrested more than 50 people while shutting down its camp amid complaints of drug use and sanitation issues.

Police in Burlington, Vt., also evicted protesters after a man fatally shot himself last week inside a tent.

Police staged a previous raid on the Oakland encampment on Oct. 25, but Mayor Jean Quan allowed protesters to re-establish their tent city. On Monday, however, Quan said officials could no longer ignore the problems posed by the camp.

Demands increased for Oakland protesters to pack up after a man was shot and killed Thursday near the encampment at the City Hall plaza.

Protesters claimed there was no connection between the shooting and the camp. But police identified the slain man as Kayode Ola Foster, 25, of Oakland, saying his family confirmed he had been staying at the plaza.

Witnesses also told police that one of two suspects in the shooting had also been a frequent resident at the plaza. The names of the suspects have not been released.

Conn. seeks $254M Powerball winner

HARTFORD, Conn. — Could somebody be carrying a $254 million lottery ticket and not even know it? Did they buy the ticket while passing through the state and forget about it? Or is the winner of the biggest jackpot in Connecticut history taking time to consult first with a financial adviser?

The search is still on for the winner of the Nov. 2 Powerball drawing, with billboards across the state urging the ticket holder to step forward and end the mystery.

The person who bought the ticket at an undisclosed location in Fairfield County has six months to claim the prize, which ranks as the 12th biggest jackpot in Powerball history. If no winner comes forward by April 30, the money would go back to the states that fed the pot.

House GOP leader Cantor says deficit deal likely

WASHINGTON — Sidestepping controversy, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., declined to take sides Monday on a proposal for higher tax revenues backed by fellow Republicans on Congress’ supercommittee, yet expressed confidence the panel would agree on a deficit-reduction plan of at least $1.2 trillion by a Nov. 23 deadline.

A proposal for $300 billion in higher taxes has stirred grumbling within the ranks of congressional Republicans, for whom opposition to such measures has been political bedrock for more than two decades.

Two of the party’s presidential hopefuls, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, said Monday they wouldn’t support any committee deficit-reduction plan that includes higher taxes.

The principal stumbling blocks revolve around taxes on the one hand, and the large federal programs of Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security on the other.

Syria defiant as pressure mounts on Assad

BEIRUT — Syrian President Bashar Assad faced heightened economic and political pressures Monday as Europe imposed a new round of financial sanctions and King Abdullah of Jordan called on the embattled autocrat to step down.

Meanwhile, the Arab League, which on Saturday moved to suspend Syria because of its failure to implement a league-brokered peace deal, said it was preparing to send a delegation of up to 500 observers into Syria. Details were still being worked out with Damascus, the league’s general secretary, Nabil al-Araby, told reporters in Cairo.

Syria has said it would welcome Arab League observers, but the Assad regime has remained defiant in the face of Arab demands that it halt violence against civilian protesters.

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