Monday, October 29, 2012

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Guy Flashes Penis At Feminist Rally "Slutwalk"

Statue of 'Band of Brothers' hero Richard Winters unveiled


(CBS News) Along the Normandy coast in Saint-Marie du Mont France, people gathered to unveil a statue to Maj. Dick Winters and to all junior officers who led American men on D-Day, 68 years ago.

Wednesday marks the 68th anniversary of the Allied invasion of Nazi-occupied Europe, D-Day.

On that day, 73,000-thousand American GI's stormed Normandy's beaches and helped save the world. But 13,000 paratroopers had already jumped behind enemy lines hours before.

Sgt. Bill Guarnere, now 89, was one of them. In June of 1944 Guarnere was a 21-year-old from South Philadelphia. He belonged to Company E of the 101st Airborne, nicknamed "Easy Company." None of them had ever seen combat.

"Band of Brothers" inspiration dies at 92
More about Dick Winters

Easy Company's commander had been killed in the jump. Lt. Dick Winters found himself in charge. The 26-year-old's first battlefield was part of the largest amphibious assault in history.

"He led us all the way," Guarnere said of Winters.

The heroics of Easy Company inspired the acclaimed HBO series, "Band of Brothers," based on historian Stephen Ambrose's best-selling book.

Eight hours after they landed, Winters led a dozen men in an attack in Brecourt Manor. Fifty German soldiers in trenches guarded an artillery battery and its four heavy guns shelling Omaha Beach.

Winters improvised an attack on a fixed position that's still taught at West Point. Easy Company destroyed all four guns. He personally seized military maps revealing the German army's positions all along the Normandy coast.

Winters was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the Army's second highest medal for valor. He retired to his hometown of Lancaster, Penn., and died last year at 92.

Watch: Andy Rooney on D-Day (1979)

Jordan Brown also lives in Lancaster. In Winters' heroism, Brown discovered a cause. "Letting them know that they are not forgotten, that they are remembered," Brown said.

D-Day hero returns to Normandy 67 years later

Two years ago, when Jordan was 11, he read about people raising money to build a statue of Winters in Normandy. Jordan began selling bracelets inscribed with Winter's motto: "Hang Tough." The Winters statue costs $250,000. Jordan alone raised $99,000.

Jordan spoke last today at the ceremony honoring Winters. He represents a new generation saluting the Greatest Generation."He was always honest with his men," Jordan said. "Therefore they trusted him. He never thought of himself as anything special. Not even after the war."

Winters never sought attention. He was known for his humility as much as his heroics. But in 2000, he gave an interview that closed the "Band of Brothers" saga.

"My grandson asked me, 'Grandpa, were you a hero in the war?'" Winters said. "Grandpa said no. But I did serve in a company of heroes.

Guarnere still lives in South Philadelphia. Until "Band of Brothers" came out, his son, a Vietnam veteran, never knew what his father had done during the war.

History of the United States of America

PC Craziness

Monday, October 22, 2012

Monday, October 15, 2012

Chuck Feeney: The Billionaire Who Is Trying To Go Broke


Chuck Feeney (David Cantwell for Forbes)

On a cool summer afternoon at Dublin’s Heuston Station, Chuck Feeney, 81, gingerly stepped off a train on his journey back from the University of Limerick, a 12,000-student college he willed into existence with his vision, his influence and nearly $170 million in grants, and hobbled toward the turnstiles on sore knees. No commuter even glanced twice at the short New Jersey native, one hand holding a plastic bag of newspapers, the other grasping an iron fence for support. The man who arguably has done more for Ireland than anyone since Saint Patrick slowly limped out of the station completely unnoticed. And that’s just how Feeney likes it.

Chuck Feeney is the James Bond of philanthropy. Over the last 30 years he’s crisscrossed the globe conducting a clandestine operation to give away a $7.5 billion fortune derived from hawking cognac, perfume and cigarettes in his empire of duty-free shops. His foundation, the Atlantic Philanthropies, has funneled $6.2 billion into education, science, health care, aging and civil rights in the U.S., Australia, Vietnam, Bermuda, South Africa and Ireland. Few living people have given away more, and no one at his wealth level has ever given their fortune away so completely during their lifetime. The remaining $1.3 billion will be spent by 2016, and the foundation will be shuttered in 2020. While the business world’s titans obsess over piling up as many riches as possible, Feeney is working double time to die broke.

Feeney embarked on this mission in 1984, in the middle of a decade marked by wealth creation–and conspicuous consumption–when he slyly transferred his entire 38.75% ownership stake in Duty Free Shoppers to what became the Atlantic Philanthropies. “I concluded that if you hung on to a piece of the action for yourself you’d always be worrying about that piece,” says Feeney, who estimates his current net worth at $2 million (with an “m”). “People used to ask me how I got my jollies, and I guess I’m happy when what I’m doing is helping people and unhappy when what I’m doing isn’t helping people.”

What Feeney does is give big money to big problems–whether bringing peace to Northern Ireland, modernizing Vietnam’s health care system or seeding $350 million to turn New York‘s long-neglected Roosevelt Island into a technology hub. He’s not waiting to grant gifts after he’s gone nor to set up a legacy fund that annually tosses pennies at a $10 problem. He hunts for causes where he can have dramatic impact and goes all-in. “Chuck Feeney is a remarkable role model,” Bill Gates tells FORBES, “and the ultimate example of giving while living.”

For the first 15 years of this mission Feeneyobsessively hid the type of donations that other tycoons employ publicists to plaster across newspapers. Many charities had no idea where the piles of money were coming from. Those that did were sworn to secrecy. “I had to convince the board of trustees that it was on the level, that there was nothing disreputable and this wasn’t Mafia money,” says Frank Rhodes, the former president of Cornell University who later chaired Atlantic Philanthropies. “That was difficult.” Eventually Feeney was outed ( in part due to FORBES), but his fervent desire for anonymity remained (until this year he had done about five interviews in his life). Now that his quest to give until nearly broke is coming to its conclusion, he’s opening up a bit. What emerges is one of strangest, most impactful lives of all time.

Feeney prefers showing to telling. In Dublin he sends me on a three-hour tour of Trinity College to witness everything from the library gift shop he designed to his genetics complex and department of neuroscience, complete with lab rats with electrodes implanted in their heads. The next day he endures the six-hour round-trip to the University of Limerick to personally walk me through its Irish World Academy of Music & Dance, its new medical school and its new sports center (now home to Ireland’s Munster rugby team), where hundreds of young kids were playing soccer on the all-weather turf. Rather than walk me through his life story, he invites Conor O’Clery , the author of the Feeney biography , The Billionaire Who Wasn’t(PublicAffairs, 2007), to dinner in Dublin’s Peploe’s Bistro. At dinner Feeney sits quietly in a frayed navy blazer, sipping chardonnay that he dilutes with a splash of water, occasionally throwing in a point for emphasis or, more often, a witty, self-deprecating joke.

The story that emerges is this: Feeney grew up in an Irish-American neighborhood in the blue-collar town of Elizabeth, N.J., coming of age in the Great Depression. He served in the Air Force during the Korean War before attending the Cornell School of Hotel Administration on the GI Bill. After graduation in 1956 he traveled to France to take more college classes and later got involved in the business of following the U.S. Navy’s Atlantic fleet, selling tax-free booze to sailors. Competition was intense, but he got ahead by using his military experience to talk his way directly onto ships and gathering intelligence on the fleet’s next destination by chatting up local prostitutes.

He brought fellow Cornell alum Bob Miller into the business, and the pair started selling cars, perfume and jewelry to servicemen and tourists. They later added tax lawyer Tony Pilaro and accountant Alan Parker as owners to help manage the bootstrapped business more professionally. By 1964 their Duty Free Shoppers had 200 employees in 27 countries.

It was a nice little business, but soon the Japanese economic boom would transform the scrappy operation into one of the most profitable retailers in history. In 1964, the same year as the Tokyo Olympics, Japan lifted foreign travel restrictions (enacted after World War II to rebuild the economy), allowing citizens to vacation abroad. Japanese tourists, along with their massive store of pent-up savings, surged across the globe. Hawaii and Hong Kong were top destinations. Feeney, who had picked up some Japanese language and customs while in the Air Force, hired smart, pretty Japanese girls to work the stores and filled his shelves with cognac, cigarettes and leather bags that gift-crazy Japanese snatched up for co-workers and friends. Soon Feeney and company had tour guides on the payroll who herded tourists to DFS stores before they had even checked into the hotel so they couldn’t spend money anywhere else first.

The Japanese were such lucrative customers that Feeney hired analysts to predict which cities they’d flock to next. DFS shops sprung up in Anchorage, San Francisco and Guam. Another target was Saipan, a tiny tropical island just a short flight from Japan that he predicted could become a hot beach spot for Tokyo residents. There was a catch: The island lacked an airport. So in 1976 DFS invested $5 million to have one built.

The aggressive growth strategy placed DFS in the perfect position for the subsequent Japanese economic explosion. Feeney received annual dividend payouts worth $12,000 in 1967, according to O’Clery. His payout in 1977? Twelve million dollars. Over the next decade Feeney banked nearly $334 million in dividends that he plowed into hotels, retail shops, clothing companies and, later, tech startups. He remained obsessively secretive and low key, but the money was now too big to ignore.

In 1988 The Forbes 400 issue included a four-page feature that exposed the success of DFS and the vast wealth of its four owners. The story by Andrew Tanzer and Marc Beauchamp, and the subsequent attention, was so jarring to Feeney that O’Clery devoted an entire chapter of his biography to the episode. The article pulled back the curtain on how DFS operated: its Japan strategy, the 200% markups, the 20% margins and blistering annual sales of roughly $1.6 billion. FORBES estimated that Feeney’s Waikiki shop annually generated $20,000 of revenue per square foot–$38,700 in current dollars, more than seven times Apple’s current average of $5,000. “My reaction was, ?Well, there goes our cover, ‘ ” says Feeney. “ We tried to figure out if it did us any damage but concluded no, the info was in the public domain.” The piece identified Feeney as the 31st-richest person in America, worth an estimated $1.3 billion. His secret was out.

But FORBES had made two mistakes: First, the fortune was worth substantially more. And second, it no longer belonged to Feeney.

Only a close inner circle knew of the latter: that Feeney himself was worth at most a few million dollars and didn’t even own a car. Feeney’s team contemplated a secret meeting with Malcolm Forbes to see how they could set the record straight but in the end decided to let the issue go. Feeney would be listed on The Forbes 400 until 1996.

Although he had shifted his ownership to Atlantic via a complex Bahamas-based asset swap to minimize disclosure and taxes, Feeney continued to aggressively expand DFS, traveling the globe to conquer new markets, expand margins and outmaneuver rivals. He loved making money but had no need for it once it was made. Feeney was happy with simple things. He had grown up in a humble, hardworking house and watched his parents constantly help others. In an oft-told story, each morning his mother, Madaline, a nurse, would jump in the car and conveniently drive by a disabled neighbor as he walked to the bus just to give him a ride. This tradition of charity was not extended to business rivals. “I’m a competitive type of person whether it’s playing a game of basketball or playing business games,” says Feeney. “I don’t dislike money, but there’s only so much money you can use.”

The money was how Feeney kept score, and while it no longer flowed into his pocket, he helped rake in as much as possible as an active DFS board member throughout the 1990s. Since his foundation’s wealth was built on the illiquid stake in DFS, his grants lived and died on the cash dividends the company paid out–a major problem when the Gulf war and subsequent dive in global tourism restricted the once gushing cash flow to a trickle. Even as the economy recovered, a desire for the freedom of a cash pile, plus a gut instinct that DFS’ best days were behind it (Japan was clearly slowing down), motivated Feeney to push his three other partners to start looking for a suitor to buy DFS. There were few companies big enough to absorb and run the global operation. The French luxury powerhouse LVMH, helmed by billionaire Bernard Arnault, was the clear favorite. Feeney got owner Alan Parker on his side early. Pilaro and Miller would prove harder to convince.

For two years the four owners battled with themselves and Arnault over prices and deal terms. Each player brought their own high-powered attorneys into the scrum. “Every time I’d see a new a lawyer I’d say, ?Holy Christ, how much are we paying this guy? ‘ ” Feeney laughs.

Feeney’s philanthropic secret ended in 1997, after he (along with Pilaro and Parker) sold their share of DFS to LVMH, and the world learned Feeney’s $1.6 billion cut belonged not to the man but to his foundation. Through the sale he reluctantly gave up his anonymity but in the process gained a better tool for good: a powerful following. Two of the world’s richest men, Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, credit Feeney as a major inspiration for both the $30 billion-strong Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Giving Pledge, which has enlisted more than 90 of the world’s richest to (eventually) grant half their wealth to charity. “ Chuck is fond of saying that none of us has all the answers,” says Gates, “but I know that Melinda and I have learned a great deal from him in the time we’ve spent together.”

Part of the kindred spirit that Feeney and Gates share stems from their entrepreneurial backgrounds and how they apply them to giving back. In many ways Atlantic was the forerunner to the Gates Foundation, practicing high-margin philanthropy: choosing causes that will maximize the impact of each dollar pledged, whether it’s $250,000 for Haiti earthquake relief or $290 million to build a new medical campus for the University of California, San Francisco.

He forces charities to compete for his cash, requesting detailed business plans with clear milestones and full transparency. If a project runs off course, Feeney cuts funding. He chooses programs that promise exponential returns that will allow people to lift themselves up. He pumps billions into university research in places like Ireland and Australia because he believes it creates a skilled workforce and attracts top talent, setting the table for high-tech industry and foreign direct investment. Operation Smile, a charity that corrects cleft palates in children from poor nations, is a classic Feeney cause: a one-time $250 investment to cover the cost of a simple surgery that will markedly improve every day of the patient’s life. He’s given $19.5 million there.

To further maximize return, Feeney leverages every dollar the foundation gives–using the promise of substantial gifts to force governments and other donors to match. In one famous example, in 1997 he proposed pledging roughly $100 million to Ireland’s universities but only if the cash-strapped government matched the amount. It did. (A total of $226 million in Atlantic grants have leveraged $1.3 billion of government money to its university system.) He works the same tactic with other wealthy people and development offices. Feeney never slaps his name on a library or hospital, since he can collect additional money for the project from more egocentric tycoons who gladly pay millions for the privilege.

Casual observers categorize Feeney as frugal, but that’s a simplistic diagnosis. On the spending side Feeney obsesses over value, and on the cost side, he loathes waste. Atlantic’s president and CEO, Chris Oechsli, recalls staying in a Vietnam hostel with him on one business trip but adds that Feeney also once sent him back to the U.S. on the Concorde because he understood the need to get him home in time for the holidays. As for Feeney, he flew millions of miles in coach because first class didn’t get him to his destination any faster. He wears a rubber Casio watch because it keeps time like a Rolex. During our train back from Limerick he would curse and shake his head each time we passed one of many abandoned housing developments (ghost estates) left over from the country’s real estate bust. “I’m always the first guy to ask how much is that or what does it cost?” Feeney says about living the high life. “I never tried it because I knew I wouldn’t like it.” Feeney rarely owned a car because they were difficult to park in cities–although he admits briefly owning a used Jaguar when he lived in Hong Kong. No yacht? “I guess the answer to that is I get seasick easy.”

Although he raised his family in multimillion-dollar mansions (his ex-wife and five children later split $140 million of the DFS fortune), today Feeney lives out of three foundation-owned apartments in Dublin, Brisbane and San Francisco, and crashes in his daughter’s apartment while in New York. Atlantic’s Irish operations are housed in a stately town house in the posh district off St. Stephen’s Green–Feeney and wife Helga (his former secretary) live in a small stone mews apartment out back. Even Feeney’s taxes underscore how he thinks: He has aggressively tried to avoid taxes at every stage in his career–from setting up his early business in Lichtenstein, incorporating his holding company in Bermuda and listing it under the name of his then wife Danielle, a French citizen–despite gaining no personal advantage in his later years. Eventually, less taxes meant that he could give away more.

This waste/value mind-set explains how a frenetic penny-pincher is also completely comfortable deploying massive amounts of cash on projects where he sees the chance of a high return. Take his recent $350 million pledge that helped Cornell, along with Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, win the bid to build a $2 billion technology institute on Roosevelt Island. This Silicon Valley East will attract the best engineers and students to the region. Feeney is betting top tech firms and new startups will follow, eventually producing thousands of jobs and billions of revenue for the region. “The visionary gift will pay dividends not just for Cornell but for New York City,” says Mayor Michael Bloomberg. It’s a textbook Atlantic investment, including leverage in the form of $100 million plus land courtesy of New York City taxpayers. Feeney’s only regret is that the opportunity came late for him and he won’t live to see the project completed.

That’s a lesson he wants to teach the new class of philanthropists: Don’t wait to give your money away when you’re old or, even worse, dead. Instead, make substantial donations while you still have the energy, connections and influence to make waves. “People who have money have an obligation,” says Feeney. “I wouldn’t say I’m entitled to tell them what to do with it but to use it wisely.” That’s why that man who obsessively guarded his privacy for decades has participated in the biography, spent three days with me and on Sept. 6 publicly accepted an honorary doctorate of law granted jointly from every university on the island of Ireland–the first time such an award has been given.

Feeney might soon gain access to the biggest megaphone of all: Hollywood. George Clooney has reportedly considered adapting Feeney’s story for the silver screen. Who should play him in the film? Feeney thinks deeply on our way back from Limerick and chuckles before sharing his answer: “Probably Danny DeVito.”

(Follow me on Twitter at @StevenBertoni)

How do you give away $7.5 billion? Follow timeline below of the Atlantic Philanthropies’ greatest hits.

1982: Makes first grant of $7 million to Cornell. Total gifts will reach $937 million.

1984: Transfers his 38.75% DFS ownership to Atlantic.

1988: Gives $142,000 to support the Cancer Research Institute.? Worldwide cancer grants will hit $370 million.

1990: Atlantic makes its first grant to University of Limerick to construct advanced research, conference and cultural facilities. Lifetime grants: $170 million.

1991: Funds peace-building and reconciliation in Northern Ireland.

1997: Feeney goes public about his charity activities.

1999: Invests in Vietnam in the areas of higher education and health care.?

2001: Funds biomedical research at Australia’s Queensland U. of Technology; Total Aussie medical grants: $320 million.

2002: Makes grant for South Africa AIDS relief: has invested over $117 million in South African health care.

2004: Begins funding efforts to abolish the death penalty in the U .S. –has invested $28 million to date.

2006: Starts efforts to ensure health coverage for the almost 8 million uninsured children in the U .S.

2008: Makes $125 million grant for medical center at the University of California, San Francisco Mission Bay campus. Total UCSF grants: $290.5 million.

2012: With a $350 million investment, supports Cornell’s winning bid to develop NYC Tech Campus on Roosevelt Island.

2016: Will complete $1.3 billion worth of grants.

2020: The Atlantic Philanthropies will close.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Amazing escape as bar collapses on cliff edge


Richard Henriksen Almost Dies From Acrobatic BASE Jump, A gymnast BASE jumper in Norway has survived a 1200m fall after a metal rod he was somersaulting around broke, sending him flying off a cliff.

Video footage of the accident, filmed by a TV documentary crew, shows BASE jumper Richard Henriksen making his first rotation around the metal bar when it suddenly collapses with a loud crash.

Henriksen, a father-of-five, then flies off the cliff head-first as onlookers watch in horror.

TV presenter Are Sende Osen, who was filming the stunt for a TV show on the NRK TV network, said everyone watching let out a huge gasp when it happened and he initially thought Henriksen had died.

In an extremely lucky chain of events, Henriksen narrowly missed falling against the rock face of the cliff and managed to open his parachute on the way down, NRK TV reports.

The BASE jumper said he was disappointed the stunt did not work but he was proud of how he handled the situation when it went wrong.

The full gravity of the situation did not hit home until he was playing with his children after watching video of his brush with death, he said.

"I sat with the two youngest children, reading and singing to them Then it dawned on me that my children could be without a dad," he said.

Henriksen, who works as a surgeon at St. Olav's Hospital, said he had operated on some of his closest friends who had been in BASE jumping accidents.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Understanding Suits

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Monday, October 1, 2012

Killed In An Instant


Incredible photographs show the horrifying moment a government tank blast killed three rebel fighters in the battered Syrian city of Aleppo.

The series of haunting images tell a tragic tale, first showing a calm street scene, then the terrifying moment the tank fire lands, followed by the chaotic aftermath of the hit. 

The powerful photographs, which shine a harsh light on the brutality of daily lives for Syrians under President Bashar Assad’s regime, were captured by Tracey Shelton, a correspondent for the GlobalPost. 

Scroll down for video
Preparation: Syrian rebels in the city of Aleppo manning a checkpoint grab their weapons in readiness, just seconds before their position is targeted by an army tank
Moment they died: The photographer captions the split second the tank shell hit the check-point killing three men as it detonates
Moment they died: The photographer captures the split second the tank shell hit the check-point killing three men as it detonates

Shelton wrote about her experience of getting the photographs, explaining how she spent time camping with members of the Noor Den al-Zenke battalion who man a block of streets which now form the final battle line between government troops and opposition forces.

She described how on the morning of the attack, the men were relaxed and joked around as they cleared up the area after a tank attack from the previous day. 

During that attack, the tank had fired too short, she explained. But this time, the assault took the men by surprise and killed three men. 

Shelton describes in heart-rendering detail how they ran back from the clouds of smoke and waited for others to escape through the debris. 
No time to move: The soldier in the fore-ground remains rooted to the spot as his three comrades are obliterated by the blast
No time to move: The soldier in the foreground remains rooted to the spot as his three comrades are obliterated by the blast
Survivor: This man was the only person who managed to escape, running away from the smoke-filled scene
Survivor: This man was the only person who managed to escape, running away from the smoke-filled scene

'As the cloud of smoke engulfed the street we ran back and frantically waited for the others to escape through the cloud of smoke and debris. But no one came. In that split second, three men were reduced to broken, bleeding masses,' she writes.   

The harrowing photos come as the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights estimates that more than 26,000 people have been killed in the country since the revolt began in March last year - more than two-thirds of them civilians.

It has been another deadly week for Aleppo residents with government forces launching a devastating air strike on Monday.  

Local residents say the attack was launched by Syrian government forces onto a densely populated area of the city and that further assaults followed.
It is believed that in one of the deadly attacks this week, seven children were killed. 

Rebels scored a major victory late Friday when they seized part of the Hanano barracks, one of the army's largest posts in the area, activists said.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said rebels were able to reach the edge of the barracks, which house more 2,000 than soldiers including many reinforcements brought from other parts of Syria.

Aleppo activist Mohammed Saeed said rebels also were able to free scores of detainees from the sprawling barracks, which is close to the city center.

Rebels also attacked a main army checkpoint linking Aleppo with Turkey, where many Syrians have taken refuge from the fighting. The Observatory said six rebels were killed in the attack.
asdf Haunting: Having survived the deadly blast, the soldier checks his injuries

The Observatory and another activist group known as the Local Coordination Committees also reported fresh clashes in the Damascus neighborhood of Tadamon, claiming an army helicopter had been shot down.

Syria's civil war witnessed a major turning point in August when Assad's forces began widely using air power for the first time to crush the revolt. Several warplanes and helicopters have been shot down over the past weeks.

The fighting also reached Aleppo, which had been relatively quiet for most of the 18-month-old revolt. While the military largely was able to quell a rebel offensive launched in Damascus in July, it is still struggling to stamp out the push to take control of the northern city of Aleppo.

Today a major water pipeline in Syria's largest city was damaged during intense fighting, leaving several Aleppo neighborhoods without drinking water. The Syrian government and opposition traded blame over the damage to the water pipeline in the central neighborhood of Midan.

The LCC and Aleppo-based activists said a Syrian army warplane hit the pipeline with a missile.

The Observatory said the pipeline was hit as warplanes bombed the area while clashes raged on the ground, but it said it was not immediately clear exactly what caused the damage.

'Water was completely cut from several neighborhoods in the city,' Saeed said via Skype. 'Electricity was cut and now water. This will only increase the suffering of people.'
Devastation: Three men died in this particular attack; the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights estimates that more than 26,000 people have been killed in the country since the revolt began in March last year

Aleppo's governor Mohammed Wahid Akkad said two water pumps were subjected to an act of sabotage by 'terrorists,' the term used by the regime for the rebels.

Akkad was quoted by state-run news agency SANA as saying that water was cut in the neighborhoods of Midan, Suleimaniyeh and Aziziyeh and work is under way to repair them.

Amateur videos posted online showed one of Midan's streets after it was turned into a small river by the flow of water gushing from the pipeline.

The authenticity of the video and activist claims could not be independently confirmed. The regime has strictly limited independent reporting in the country.

The uprising against Assad began in March 2011, when protests calling for political change were met by a violent government crackdown by government troops. Many in the opposition took up arms, and activists say more than 23,000 people have been killed. The government says more than 4,000 security officers are among the dead.

The Observatory and the LCC also reported clashes in the Damascus suburbs as well as the northern province of Idlib, the southern province of Daraa and central Hama and Homs.

In Damascus, the Observatory reported intense fighting Saturday in the Palestinian refugee camp of Yarmouk, which had been subjected to government shelling the day before.

When Syria's unrest began, the country's half-million Palestinians tried to stay on the sidelines. But in recent months, young Palestinian refugees, enraged by mounting violence and moved by Arab Spring calls for greater freedoms, have been taking to the streets and even joining the rebels.asdf
Before the hit: Issa Aiash, 30, father of three, left, his 17-year-old brother Ahmed, centre, and Sheihk Mamoud, 42, father of a newborn son, laugh and joke as they clean their post Saturday, explains photographer Tracey Shelton
 VIDEO: Aftermath of an airstrike by the Syrian government in Aleppo which activists say killed dozens

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