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SeaWorld: Yes, Our Workers Spied as 'Animal Activists'

But company promises it's not going to do it anymore

(Newser) - SeaWorld has told "management to end the practice in which certain employees posed as animal rights activists," company CEO Joel Manby said Thursday morning, per the Orlando Sentinel . He told an earnings call that the practice was ostensibly "to maintain the safety and security of employees, customers... More »

Mass-Media Prof Asks for 'Muscle' to Remove Journo

Mizzou activists mob photographer, cameraman, tell them to leave 'safe space'

(Newser) - A University of Missouri photojournalist on freelance assignment for ESPN found himself in a confrontation with student activists Monday as they tried to ban him from the tent city they'd set up on campus in response to recent racial strife there, the New York Times reports. A tense video... More »

Ukrainian Women: Russians Beat and Jailed Us

Three activists say they were kidnapped in Crimea

(Newser) - Three female Ukrainian activists drove into Crimea just before its referendum and ended up kidnapped, beaten, and tossed in the same jail, they tell the Daily Beast . They were driving into Crimea—one on her own, and two together—to spread their views when Cossacks, Russian militia, and Ukrainian "... More »

Russia Tossing Charges Against Greenpeace Activists

They could be home for New Year: rep

(Newser) - Yesterday, Pussy Riot members left prison under Russia's new amnesty measure ; today, the country's charges against at least some Greenpeace activists are being dropped. RT reports that at least three of 30 crew members from the organization's Arctic Sunrise ship have seen charges dropped; the same will... More »

In Blow to Revolution, Egypt Activists Sent to Prison

The nation's old order wants revenge, analysts say

(Newser) - Three Egyptian activists who played key roles in the 2011 uprising were handed prison sentences yesterday—a sign that officials may be retaliating against the pro-democracy movement, the New York Times reports. Ahmed Maher, Mohamed Adel, and Ahmed Douma each received three-year sentences and more than $7,000 in fines.... More »

Overreaction? UAE Jails Dozens in 'Coup Plot'

Activists say mass trial was just designed to clamp down on dissenters

(Newser) - More than 65 suspects accused of plotting an Islamist coup in the United Arab Emirates received prison sentences of up to 15 years today in a mass trial that underscored the widening crackdowns on perceived Arab Spring-inspired dissent across the Gulf Arab region. Rights groups have accused the UAE of... More »

In Liberal Vermont, a Secession Movement Rises

Unlikely coalition has a voice in state politics

(Newser) - It's not only Texans : A small but dedicated band of Vermont activists also want to secede from the Union, reports. Railing at the effects of big business and bureaucracy on daily life, they speak at the state legislature, get bills introduced, and run candidates—though none so... More »

Ai Weiwei's Design Firm Loses License

Artist says needed documents were confiscated

(Newser) - Days after losing his last appeal in a tax case , embattled Chinese dissident Ai Weiwei is facing another legal battle. China has canceled his design firm's business license because he hasn't re-registered the company, the BBC reports. But the artist says he couldn't re-register after officials confiscated... More »

China, Japan Trade Stunts Over Disputed Islands

With big gas fields under islets, neither country backing down

(Newser) - Chinese and Japanese activists are causing headaches in both countries over some islands in the East China Sea controlled by Japan, but claimed by both countries, reports the BBC . Called Senkaku in Japan and Diaoyu in China (and in Taiwan, which also claims them), the uninhabited islands made the news... More »

On Average, 1 Eco-Activist Killed Every Week

Rate nearly doubles in 3 years: report

(Newser) - Last year, environmental activists were killed at the rate of one per week—a rate that has nearly doubled in just three years. The shocking statistic comes from a Global Witness report, released on the eve of the Rio+20 sustainable development conference in Brazil—one of the most dangerous countries... More »

Blind Activist's Brother Makes It Back Home

Chen Guangcheng's brother had disappeared after fleeing his village

(Newser) - The brother of blind Chinese activist Chen Guangcheng has returned home to his village after apparently vanishing yesterday in Beijing, Reuters reports. Chen Guangfu, a 55-year-old laborer and farmer, had fled his home earlier this week to seek legal help for his son, who is in Beijing facing attempted murder... More »

Celebs Who Are Surprisingly Charitable

Taylor Swift donates $4M to Country Music Hall of Fame

(Newser) - Taylor Swift is donating a sizable $4 million to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, the largest gift ever donated to the museum by an artist. It will fund the Taylor Swift Education Center, a new classroom and exhibit space opening in 2014, the AP reports. Swift proves... More »

Blind Chinese Activist Lands in the US

Chen Guangcheng arrives with family in Newark

(Newser) - The blind legal activist who suddenly left China after years of prison and house arrest has landed safely in the United States, the AP reports. Chen Guangcheng's wife and two children accompanied him today at Newark Liberty International Airport near New York City. A few hours ago, Chinese officials... More »

Syria Uses Skype Malware to Spy on Activists: Tech Firm

Impersonators send infected files

(Newser) - The Syrian government is hacking into the computers of activists and secretly surveilling them by spreading malicious software through Skype, reports TechWeek Europe . Recently, an activist thought she was Skype-chatting with an ally, but she suddenly realized her friend was in jail and could not possibly be online. She received... More »

30 Students Pepper-Sprayed in Santa Monica

They chanted against cuts and fees outside trustees meeting

(Newser) - At least 30 Santa Monica College students were pepper-sprayed when they chanted outside a trustees meeting last night to protest budget cuts and fee hikes. "I got pepper-sprayed with no warning," said one student, 21, who had been standing in a hallway outside the meeting. A college spokesman,... More »

How Homemade Pics Boosted 'Occupy Wall St'

People are revealing their economic misery on Tumblr blog

(Newser) - Suffering in this recession? A photo of you with a short description of your problems can be posted online—and might just inspire people to take action. So figured a New York activist who devised the Tumblr blog, "We Are the 99 Percent," to promote the first Occupy... More »

Bush-Era FBI Put Liberal Activists on Terror List

PETA, Greenpeace, others unfairly targeted

(Newser) - The FBI investigated and monitored a variety of liberal activist groups without proper cause during the Bush Administration, the Justice Department concluded today. Though the Inspector General cleared the FBI of the most serious allegation against it—that it targeted the groups based on how they exercised their First Amendment... More »

Tea Partiers Just Plain Ignorant

Anti-tax activists have no idea how much they pay in taxes

(Newser) - For a movement that frets so much about the “burden of federal taxation,” Tea Party adherents have a remarkably dim understanding of what they actually fork over to Washington. In a recent survey of anti-tax activists in Washington Tuesday, tea partiers thought, on average, that 42% of GDP... More »

ACORN 'Hooker' Hits on Liberal Journalist

Hannah Giles wanted to be a nutritionist, and respects Newsweek writer

(Newser) - Hannah Giles—best known as the conservative activist who dressed up as a prostitute for a video sting operation targeting ACORN—holds twentysomething liberal journalists in generally low esteem. The young on the right are "thinking types," vital and numerous, while most on the left are “professional... More »

Tea Partiers Are the New Hippies

Anti-establishment activists using '60s tactics: David Brooks

(Newser) - The anti-establishment types in the Tea Party movement remind David Brooks of another group of protesters who wanted to bring power back to the people and stick it to The Man. The Tea Partiers have adopted many of the tactics the New Left used in the 1960s, from street theater... More »

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