Photos: "Hands Off Ukraine" Protesters March in Manhattan on Sunday

As the prospect for armed conflict with Russia appears more and more likely in Ukraine, pro-Western activists marched in New York against armed intervention on Sunday.

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France: A Land of Baguettes, Cafe Au Laits and... Socialism!

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We knew The Artist was a sign of what was to come. Salut, Sarkozy, c'est la vie.

This afternoon, President Nicolas Sarkozy, head of the center-right Union for a Popular Movement, conceded his re-election for a second term to Francois Hollande, the first President-elect from the French Socialist Party since Francis Mitterand left the office in 1995. Sarkozy is also the first incumbent to lose since 1981. Ouch, monsieur.

With a staggering unemployment rate of 10%, Hollande based his message on battling the austerity measures that have hit Europe in the midst of a deep recession. By attacking Sarkozy's economic record and stewardship of rough times, Hollande was able to come out with a 51% of the popular vote. 

You heard it, folks; don't listen to the Tea Party - the real Socialist isn't in the White House... he's in Paris. But Hollande's election poses an interesting outlier in European politics and its influence could end up back here.

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Riots Erupt in Greece Over Austerity

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Flames spread around Athens as demonstrators protested a vote in parliament on an austerity measures, which have been ordered upon the country in exchange for €130 billion from the International Monetary Fund and other European countries. The New York Times reports that demonstrators were throwing firebombs, and according to the Associated Press at least 10 buildings have been set on fire. The BBC cites reports saying as many as 80,000 people were involved in the Athens demonstration with 20,000 more in Thessaloniki.

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Costa Concordia Questions Emerge As Death Toll Rises

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New details and more questions have emerged Sunday about the Costa Concordia crash that occurred last Friday off the coast of the Italian island of Giglio. The New York Times reports that the arrested captain of the ship, Francesco Schettino, told prosecutors that Costa Cruises executives had actually asked him to bring the ship close to shore "for the publicity."

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Snow Hits The City; MTA Works on 7 Line; South Carolina Primary Today

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It's snowing! Did you notice? Winter finally decided to grace us with its presence, and it brought with it a winter weather advisory that will be in effect until 4 p.m. today. The National Weather service predicts 4 to 5 inches of snow, but says the heaviest downfall will happen before noon. The MTA says is prepared to fight whatever the snow may bring with equipment that's been "fueled, prepped and deployed near outdoor locations historically vulnerable to heavy snowfall." But don't be discouraged if you're eager to get somewhere, much subway construction has been canceled because of the snow. [NWS, MTA, NYP]

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Seventeen Still Missing From Cruise Ship; Miss America Crowned; Three-Alarm Fire In Bushwick

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After three more people were found alive Sunday, at least 17 people are still missing from the Costa Concordia, the cruise ship that ran aground off the Italian coast Friday night. Francesco Schettino, the captain of the ship, has been arrested for, according to CNN, "investigation of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship while passengers were still on board." The New York Times said that his arrest was "amid concerns that the megaship had steered dangerously off course." [NYT, CNN]

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Cruise Ship Runs Aground In Italy; Imam Sentenced in JFK Terror Plot; Bloomberg Bets Cheesecake On Giants Game

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A cruise ship ran aground off the coast of Italy near the island Giglio Friday night, killing three and leaving 69 missing. The ship "hit an obstacle" that tore a 160 foot gash in the ship, according to a coast guard official. Occurring around dinner time, one woman said she heard a "scraping noise" while watching a magic show with her husband. Survivors reported disorganization and chaos as the evacuation effort got underway. "Have you seen 'Titanic?' That's exactly what it was," one woman said. The ship, which photos show turned on its side, carried about 3,200 passengers and 1,000 crew members. [CNN, WP]


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Sweden Allows Citizens to Run Its Official Twitter Account

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Sweden has started a new policy of allowing one of its citizens to take over its official Twitter account every week. The policy is basically a marketing move, as expressed by the CEO of the country's tourism agency in The Next Web's writeup: "No one owns the brand of Sweden more than its people. With this initiative we let them show their Sweden to the world."

They have quite the lineup planned:

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Olek Remarkably Forgiving of Polish Youths Who Burned Her Art

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Olek
Olek's Polish installation.
Olek, an artist who is dear to our hearts, has crocheted pretty much everything: grocery carts, bikes, the Astor Place cube, the Wall Street bull. She has done it in London, and she recently did an outdoor installation for an art festival in Poznan, Poland. At the Polish festival, two teenage boys vandalized Olek's installation, as teenage boys are wont to do, first by attempting to rip off the yarn and then burning it.

Olek was unfazed!

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Ryanair Finally Adds Standard Porn Amenities

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The Ryanair cabin, where you'll be watching porn.
Ryanair, "bus of the sky," preferred travel mode of student backpackers and tightfisted Europeans, is adding some new in-flight entertainment. Porn. Now, you can sit next to a skeevy old man and watch him watch porn while you fly. Another bonus to the scariest airline this blogger has ever flown with.

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