Occupy Philly protesters outlast deadline to dismantle

Posted Nov. 27, 2011, at 7:37 p.m.
Last modified Nov. 28, 2011, at 5:19 a.m.

PHILADELPHIA — A deadline set by the city for Occupy Philadelphia to leave the plaza it has occupied for some two months came and went without scuffles or arrests as police watched nearly 50 demonstrators lock arms and sit at the entrance of Dilworth Plaza.

Occupy Philadelphia has managed to avoid the mass arrests and conflict that have arisen at other sites nationwide.

Sunday night, there was hope that Philadelphia would continue to be largely violence-free.

“Right now, we have a peaceful demonstration,” said Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Joe Sullivan, nearly 45 minutes after the 5 p.m. deadline.

In Los Angeles, another deadline was getting closer, too, for hundreds of demonstrators to abandon their weeks-old Occupy Los Angeles protest.

Although city officials have told protesters they must leave and take their nearly 500 tents with them by 12:01 a.m. Monday, just a handful were seen packing up Sunday.

The Philadelphia movement, aligned with the Occupy Wall Street protest in New York along with others around the country, opposes economic inequality and corporate influence on government.

U.S. to restart construction of nuclear reactors; Toshiba arm to deliver new model

TOKYO — After 34 years, the United States is expected to resume construction of nuclear reactors by the end of the year, and Toshiba Corp. will export turbine equipment for the reactors to the U.S. early next month, it was learned Saturday.

According to sources, construction will begin by year-end on the Nos. 3 and 4 reactors of the Alvin W. Vogtle Electric Generating Plant in Georgia and the Nos. 2 and 3 reactors of the Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Generating Station in South Carolina.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission is expected to shortly approve the construction and operation of the reactors, which have been designed by Westinghouse Electric Co., a subsidiary of Toshiba.

The decision to resume construction of reactors is expected to pave the way for Japan to export related equipment to the United States, observers said.

The reactors to be constructed are of the AP1000 type, an advanced 1,100-megawatt pressurized water reactor, and are targeted to go into operation in 2016 at the earliest.

NASA launches largest-ever Mars rover

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — NASA on Saturday began its boldest venture yet to another planet, launching the Mars Science Laboratory on an eight-month journey to the Red Planet.

After a one-day delay to replace a faulty battery, the launch went off flawlessly at 10:02 a.m., the Atlas 5 rocket rising on a column of white smoke into a blue sky.

Its payload was the rover Curiosity, the largest and most sophisticated in a series of robotic vehicles that NASA has sent to Mars.

Its mission, NASA officials have stressed, is not to find life on Mars, but to find out whether life ever could have existed there in the form of microbes, tiny organisms that are abundant on Earth. It also will try to find further evidence to suggest whether astronauts could survive on Mars, part of NASA’s long-term plan to send a manned mission there.

3 face prison time in million-dollar toilet paper scam

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Federal prosecutors in Florida say at least three people working for a septic tank company duped customers into buying about $1 million in unnecessary products — in some cases enough toilet paper to last more than 70 years.

More than a dozen customers were told they needed special toilet paper to avoid ruining their septic tanks because the federal government changed regulations on toilet paper. The federal government does not regulate septic tank products.

The trio pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiring to commit wire fraud.

The Miami Herald reported the people worked for FBK Products.

The trio faces up to two decades in prison when they are sentenced in February.

Pakistan seethes after U.S. border attack

KARACHI, Pakistan — Tension between Pakistan and the United States rose Sunday over a U.S. airstrike that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers, as the two sides offered widely disparate accounts of what might have happened.

NATO officials said Afghan and U.S. troops operating inside Afghanistan early Saturday had been fired on from the Pakistani side of the border and had requested close air support to help defend themselves. What happened next is still under investigation, officials said.

But Pakistan’s chief military spokesman said he did not believe any fire was directed at the Americans from Pakistan and he did not believe the attack could have been inadvertent.

No NATO casualties have been acknowledged in Saturday’s clash. A military official in Washington identified the NATO forces involved as American.

The Saturday incident was the worst to date for the two supposed allies along the rugged Afghan-Pakistani border, and sent U.S.-Pakistani relations to their lowest point since the May raid on Osama bin Laden’s hideout, when U.S. troops entered Pakistan without notifying Pakistani officials and killed the al-Qaida leader in the Pakistani city of Abbottabod. U.S. officials believe bin Laden had lived for years in Abbottabod, the site of the Pakistan’s premier military academy.

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