PHOTOS: Turkish Anti-Government Movement Has Friends in Zuccotti Park

C.S. Muncy
On Saturday, hundreds gathered in Zuccotti Park, roughly three miles from the Turkish consulate, to demonstrate their solidarity with the thousands of Turks protesting Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan's regime. Photographer C.S. Muncy was on the scene to capture the action--check out his photos after the jump.

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North Korean State-Run News Agency Responds To Failed Missile Launch With 33 Stories Praising "Supreme Leader"

Extra! Extra! Read all about it. Missile? What missile? Kim Jong-un's friggin' awesome!

North Korea pissed off just about everyone yesterday when it launched a missile that the international community fears could be the precursor to the communist dictatorship developing an intercontinental missile that could potentially carry a nuclear warhead. The missile, thankfully, failed.

If you haven't already heard about it (it was pretty much the biggest story in the world yesterday), you probably live in North Korea, where the state-run -- and only -- news agency barely mentioned the failed rocket launch (natch). It instead ran 33 stories praising the country's dictator, Kim Jong-un, and his grandfather, Kim Il-sung -- who founded the country's current dictatorship, and whose 100th birthday was being celebrated by attempting to launch a rocket into space, defying international warnings not to do so.

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Syrian President Bashar Assad's E-mail Hacked by Anonymous, Hilarity Ensues

Our favorite hacker group of questionable motivations, Anonymous, has set its sights on its next target: Syrian president Bashar Assad. Late on Sunday night, Anonymous gained access to 78 different e-mail accounts at the Syrian Ministry of Presidential Affairs, including that of the Minister of Presidential Affairs, Mansour Fadlallah Azzam, and Assad's media adviser, Bouthaina Shaaban.

The Israeli news organization Haaretz was able to obtain some of the e-mails, and posted them online for all to read.

Sadly, it's clear that no one bothered to give Assad's office a lesson in basic computer security, because several of the accounts apparently had the password 12345. C'mon, guys, your password should never be sequential or easy to guess! We learned not to do that in the fifth grade!

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Next Step For North Korea: 'Kim Jong-il Haunting Things'

kim jong il haunting things .jpg

Kim Jong-il's death has had a number of ripple effects, not least of which is the sudden obsolescence of the Kim Jong-il Looking at Things tumblr. Lucky for us, it's been replaced with a creepy new one: Kim Jong-il Haunting Things.

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81-Year-Old Brooklyn Florist Mourns Loss of His Pen Pal, Muammar Gaddafi

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The joys of pen pals. (Not a letter from Gaddafi.)
Following the death of "one of the world's longest-serving dictators," former Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, on October 20, the New York Post has found one person, his 81-year-old pen pal Louis Schlamowitz, a retired Brooklyn florist, who is actually a bit bummed -- not that he didn't see it coming. The two had corresponded since the late '60s, and Schlamowitz has a "pile of letters and autographed pictures," though no song dedicated in his honor (after all, there is only one Condi Rice).

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Iran Accused of Sponsoring Plot to Assassinate Adel Al-Jubeir, Saudi Ambassador

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan have charged two men with conspiracy to assassinate Adel Al-Jubeir, the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States, in what they allege is an Iranian government-backed plot.

The U.S. Department of Justice charged Manssor Arbabsiar and Gholam Shakuri with conspiracy to murder a foreign official and for attempting to commit an act of international terrorism. The two men were also charged in a federal complaint with conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction.

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Ambassador Says 40% of Male Visitors to Philippines are Sex Tourists; Apologizes via Text

via Wikipedia
Ambassador Harry Thomas
At a human trafficking conference last month, the U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines said that 40% of male visitors to the country are sex tourists. Harry Thomas, who was appointed as the ambassador last year, sent a text message to the Philippine foreign secretary to apologize for using an unverified figure. "I should not have used the 40% statistic without the ability to back it up. I regret any harm that I may have caused," the Guardian reports his text message said. Good to see that's all cleared up, then.

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Foreign Diplomats Owe New York City $17 Million in Parking Tickets

As we freak out over possible $16 muffins purchased by the Justice Department -- how could they? Muffins? Muffins aren't even good -- and the overall implosion of the U.S. economy, let us freak out more, about something with some pretty egregious dollar signs. Back in May, Representatives Michael G. Grimm (R,C-Staten Island/Brooklyn), Peter T. King (R-Long Island), and Edolphus Towns (D-Brooklyn) introduced legislation that would impose sanctions against foreign countries whose diplomats have come to New York to do diplomatic things that "require" parking in illegal places (in some cases, blocking fire hydrants). These diplomats have incurred $17 million over the years in outstanding parking tickets and fines. That is a lot of muffins.

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Americans Are Cool, Says World's Coolest Poll

Just a couple of Cool-mericans.
Have you heard of Badoo? It's "the world's largest social network," and though we don't talk about it too terribly much in America, because we are too cool for such things, it is talking about us! According to a recent online poll on, in which 30,000 people were asked to vote for the world's "coolest nationality," Americans were the coolest! Yay, us. Oh, actually, whatever. We're too cool to care.

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Libyan Soccer Team to Wear Rebel Colors, Ending Qaddafi Family's Reign on the Sport

Saadi Qaddafi signing for Perugia
The Libyan national soccer team has abandoned the green uniforms favored by Muammar Qaddafi in favor of jerseys sporting the rebels' colors. The Guardian reports that the change has been made for the team's African Cup of Nations qualifier against Mozambique today. While it may be a small, ceremonial change, it signifies a greater national shift. Members of the team were reported to have joined the rebels early in the summer, and now the entire squad will wear the black, red and green flag of the National Transitional Council.

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