Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Celeb-Approved Holiday Gift Guide

These celeb-approved products will have your gift list covered!

For Women

Mariah Carey adds a finishing touch to her outfit with a butterfly necklace from her HSN collection.

Rachel Bilson bundles up with polka-dot sweaters from Madewell.

Michelle Trachtenberg captures special holiday moments with her Polaroid 300 Classic Instant Camera.

Listen to holiday tunes with Monster Cable Heartbeats 2.0 High Performance Headphones designed by Lady Gaga.

For Men

John Krasinski totes scripts around in this Jack Spade messenger bag.

Bravo?s Andy Cohen celebrates while enjoying some smooth Tequila Don Julio-Blanco.

Browse the Internet, watch your favorite videos and take photos like Brad Pitt does with the Blackberry Playbook.

Look smoking hot in a G-Star denim jacket, the same one Jay-Z rocks when he is out with his wife Beyonc?.

For Kids

Become your teenager?s biggest fan by giving Justin Bieber?s Deluxe Totebag, complete with his holiday CD.

Jessica Alba and Jennifer Garner?s little ones sleep through the night with their Cloud B Soothing Sounds stuffed animals.

The Hello Kitty mini fridge is perfect for college students like Elizabeth Olsen who may need to spice up their dorm rooms.

Teach your kids about the gift of giving early, like Ali Larter and Ivanka Trump have with this Disney, It's a Small World by Feed body suit and pants set. A portion of the proceeds goes to the U.S. Fund for Unicef.

For more celeb-favorite gifts, check out In Touch Weekly, on stands now.


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Facebook?s Settlement With FTC Confirmed: Privacy Changes Must Be Opt In ? UPDATED

Facebook Privacy FTCFacebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg just issued a statement on the Facebook Blog confirming that his company has settled with the FTC over charges that it has violated user privacy over the years. Facebook is now "required to obtain consumers' affirmative express consent before enacting changes that override their privacy preferences", effectively making opt in all future privacy control changes to the audience of previously shared data or content. Facebook must also submit to privacy audits every 2 years for the next 20 years, bar access to content on deactivated accounts, and avoid misrepresenting the privacy or security of user data.


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Microsoft enables Android and iOS users to experience Windows Phone 7... via the web

Still tempted by the fruit of another? If you're looking Microsoft's way, but aren't quite ready to toss your adoration for iOS or Android aside, the coders in Redmond are giving you an alternative to quitting cold turkey. By visiting on one's iOS or Android browser, you'll be immediately tunneled into a emulation of Windows Phone 7. We gave it a test run here at Engadget HQ, and it seems that every tile and swipe save for Apps runs properly. Can't say the fonts and such looked as smooth on our Galaxy S II as they do on the Radar, but it's a solid effort that'll definitely serve you well if you're considering the switch. Just don't try to flip the demo horizontally -- that's clearly a no-no.

Microsoft enables Android and iOS users to experience Windows Phone 7... via the web originally appeared on Engadget on Tue, 29 Nov 2011 13:36:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink Windows Phone Thoughts, Windows Phone (Twitter)  |  sourceMicrosoft  | Email this | Comments


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Ohio officials take 200-pound boy from mother

(AP) ? The case of an 8-year-old Cleveland Heights boy taken from his family because he weighs more than 200 pounds has renewed a debate on whether parents should lose custody if a child is severely obese.

The boy was removed from his family and was placed in foster care in October after county case workers said his mother wasn't doing enough to control his weight. The boy, at his weight, is considered at risk for developing such diseases as diabetes and high blood pressure. Government growth charts say most boys his age weigh about 60 pounds.

Roughly 2 million U.S. children are extremely obese ? weighing significantly more than what's considered healthy.

Cuyahoga County removed the boy because case workers considered the mother's inability to get his weight down a form of medical neglect. The county's Children and Family Services agency said Monday it stood by its custody move, which was approved by a judge.

"We have worked very hard with this family for 20 months before it got to this point," agency Administrator Patricia Rideout said.

Rideout said the issue has created a buzz among agency staff members and she has heard it was a popular Internet item. She said she was following state law in withholding the boy's name in his best interest.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity tries to address the roles of nutrition and physical activity in improving public health and preventing and controlling chronic diseases. It says achieving and maintaining a healthy weight is part of an ongoing lifestyle that can be adopted. It offers resources to help people determine which foods are needed for a healthy diet and promotes regular physical activity to reduce the risk for diseases and control weight.

There's no easy answer when it comes to determining who's to blame in such obesity cases, said Dr. Naim Alkhouri, who works with overweight children and their families at Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital and leads its pediatric metabolic clinic.

"It's not only the parents or the child," he said. "Obesity is an epidemic in the United States. As a society we're all responsible."

It's not enough to just encourage some children to eat healthier and exercise, he said, because there's also "a big psychological component."

"When it comes to involving the authorities, I don't think we have clear guidelines," he said. "Starting the debate is a good thing. We need more guidance on how to react to the issue."

County workers were alerted to the boy's weight early last year after his mother took him to a hospital for breathing problems. He was diagnosed with sleep apnea, which is characterized by pauses in breathing during sleep and can be weight-related, and he was given a breathing machine.

Parents have lost custody of obese children a few times in the United States, and an opinion piece in the Journal of the American Medical Association in July said putting children temporarily in foster care is in some cases more ethical than obesity surgery, which can involve removing part of the stomach.

Dr. David Ludwig, an obesity specialist at Harvard-affiliated Children's Hospital Boston, said the point isn't to blame parents but rather to act in children's best interest and get them help their parents can't provide.

Dr. Norman Fost, a medical ethicist at the University of Wisconsin's Madison campus, said Monday that foster care wouldn't cure the Ohio boy's obesity but might help.

"The goal is to make him less obese," he said.

Fost said the boy's sleep apnea could be related to his weight and could be imminently dangerous. A target weight of 150 pounds might improve the apnea problem, he said.

The boy's mother said she has worked on the weight issue.

"They are trying to make it seem like I am unfit, like I don't love my child," she told The Plain Dealer newspaper, which didn't reveal her identity because the case could involve abuse.

A public defender, Sam Amata, said Monday the custody removal would be challenged based on the contention that the boy is not in imminent danger.

"We don't feel there's that kind of requisite danger," he said.


Associated Press writer John Seewer in Toledo contributed to this report.

Associated Press


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Woman alleges long affair with Cain

Ginger White poses for a photo near Dunwoody, Ga. on Monday, Nov. 28, 2011. In an explosive allegation, White said Monday she and Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain had a 13-year extramarital affair that lasted nearly until the former businessman announced his candidacy for the White House several months ago. (AP Photo/Greg Bluestein)

Ginger White poses for a photo near Dunwoody, Ga. on Monday, Nov. 28, 2011. In an explosive allegation, White said Monday she and Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain had a 13-year extramarital affair that lasted nearly until the former businessman announced his candidacy for the White House several months ago. (AP Photo/Greg Bluestein)

ADVANCE FOR SUNDAY, NOV. 27 AND THEREAFTER - FILE - In this Oct. 3, 2011 file photo Republican presidential candidate, Herman Cain stops to address the media as he arrives for a meeting with developer Donald Trump, in New York. He's a mathematician, a minister, a former radio talk show host and pizza magnate. But most of all, Herman Cain is a salesman. And how he sells. "The sleeping giant called 'we the people' has awakened," Cain thunders, pacing the stage in his trademark dark suit, brown fedora and "lucky" gold tie, delivering a rollicking, 45-minute performance that evokes an old-fashioned church revival, complete with cries of "Amen" from his audience. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) ? In an explosive allegation, a Georgia woman said Monday she and Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain had a 13-year extramarital affair that lasted nearly until the former businessman announced his candidacy for the White House several months ago.

"Here we go again. I didn't do anything wrong," Cain said in a pre-emptive denial that lumped a detailed claim of a consensual affair in with earlier allegations of sexual harassment.

But the woman, Ginger White, said in an interview with Fox 5 Atlanta that over the years, Cain bought her airplane tickets so she could join him in cities as far-flung as Palm Springs, Calif., and Atlanta.

"It was fun," the 46-year-old White said. "It was something that took me away from my sort of humdrum life at the time. And it was exciting."

Although Cain flatly denied the affair, his lawyer issued a public statement that included no such denial and suggested that the media ? and the public ? had no business snooping into the details of consensual conduct between adults.

After the initial report and Cain's denial, White told The Associated Press that Cain was not being truthful when he said there had been no affair.

"That would be false," White said. "What I said in the interview was true."

Cain's candidacy was soaring in the polls until he was hit less than a month ago with accusations that he sexually harassed several women and groped one while he was a high-ranking official at the National Restaurant Association. He has since fallen back in the public opinion surveys, and been eclipsed by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich in the race to emerge as the principal conservative alternative to Mitt Romney.

At her apartment in Dunwoody, Ga., White declined to elaborate on her statements during a brief interview with the AP. "I can't make any comment on this," she said. "We're trying to be slightly sensitive."

In its report, the television station said White had Cain's name in her cell phone contacts, and when its reporter sent a text message to the number, he called right back.

"He told us he knew 'Ginger White' but said these are more false allegations," the station reported. Cain said that White had his number because he was trying to help her financially.

In a written statement released immediately after the story aired, Cain's campaign said detractors were trying to "derail the Cain Train with more accusations of past events that never happened."

Later, at a fundraiser in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., Cain avoided reporters' questions.

In his initial denial, televised on CNN, Cain vowed to remain in the presidential race, as long as he has the support of his wife, with whom he said he had discussed the most recent allegation.

In her interview, White said she decided to come forward after seeing Cain attack his other accusers in an appearance on television.

"It bothered me that they were being demonized, sort of, and being treated as if they were automatically lying, and the burden of proof was on them," she said. "I felt bad for them."

White told the Atlanta TV station she expects to be scrutinized by Cain and the media.

Georgia court records show a series of judgments against White for not paying rent in Atlanta area apartments, including one filed about two weeks ago.

In the interview, she said she first met Cain in the late 1990s in Louisville, Ky., when he was president of the National Restaurant Association. They had drinks and he invited her to his hotel room, she recalled.

She quoted Cain as telling her, "You're beautiful to me and I would love for us to continue this friendship," then produced his personal calendar and invited her to meet him in Palm Springs.

In this case, unlike the others, Cain took the unorthodox step of issuing a denial in advance.

"I did not have an affair, and until I see and hear exactly what's going to be, what accusations are going to be made, let's move on," he said.

Asked if he suspected his accuser had emails, letters, gifts or other possible evidence of an affair, he replied, "No."

In a statement provided to AP, Cain's lawyer, Lin Wood, said the former businessman has no obligation to "discuss these types of accusations publicly with the media and he will not do so even if his principled position is viewed unfavorably by members of the media."

The statement drew a distinction between "private alleged consensual conduct between adults" and a case of harassment. It did not include an explicit denial of an affair along the lines that Cain himself provided in his television interview.

Contacted by AP, Wood added, "If any candidate wants to publicly discuss his private sex life, that is his or her life. But I don't believe that there's an obligation on the part of any political candidate to do so."

White has been accused of lying before. A former business partner, Kimberly Vay, filed a libel suit as part of a larger business dispute with White. White's attorney, Edward Buckley, acknowledged the libel suit, which Vay said she won. Buckley said that White thought the libel claim had been settled as part of a larger settlement.


Ray Henry reported from Atlanta. Associated Press writer Greg Bluestein in Dunwoody, Ga., and researcher Barbara Sambriski in New York contributed to this report.

Associated Press


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Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What you need to buy now: Hottest gadget gifts of the season (Digital Trends)

gift checklistHoliday shopping induced panic happens to the best of us. Days before exchanging gifts, you realize all those items you intended to buy remain on your list and you?ve got nothing?or poor substitutions?to show for it. Practice some seasonal diligence and take note: there are some products you just shouldn?t hold out on when this time of year rolls around. ?

apple-iphone-4s-white-frontiPhone 4S

In the world according to Apple, the iPhone 4S may as well have just been released. We?re all just getting out of the new iPhone haze, but that doesn?t mean you?re golden when it comes to shopping season. Expect the iPhone 4S to be on many a gift list?and if Apple loves anything, it?s keeping people anxiously waiting to get their hands on these products.

While Apple retailers are always worth checking out, given the nature of this beast, we?d advise keeping your eye on iPhone carriers.


Kindle Fire

Amazon is shouting the Kindle Fire?s Black Friday/Cyber Monday sales numbers from the rooftops. And surprise, they?re good. The Android tablet from Amazon has been a hit (be sure to check out our review) and is another item consumers will be on the hunt for.?It?s $199 on Amazon, but some people are reporting savings, like one customer who posted on SlickDeals he got his for $123 at Target. Some places are also charging the full $199 but throwing in gift cards to sweeten the deal.?

Nook TabletNook Tablet

While it hasn?t gotten quite the attention the Kindle Fire has, the Nook Tablet is getting plenty of love from shoppers. Both this and the Kindle Fire are sure to be go-tos for the tablet-buying crowd that already has Barnes & Noble or Amazon allegiance, and doesn?t need or want the tech or price tag that goes with the iPad 2.

We?ve already seen a couple of deals attached to the Nook Tablet (buy with your Mastercard get a $25 gift card from Barnes & Noble), so act fast and save while you can.

Xbox 360-Kinect bundles

xbox-360-250gb-kinect-bundleBoth of these gadgets are last season?and then some. But the Xbox and motion-sensor gaming system can?t be thwarted by time and continue to rake in the sales. So if you?re looking to bring not one but both of these home, we?d get a head start on the bundles because they are selling incredibly fast.

star wars blu rayStar Wars on Blu-ray

The Star Wars collection Blu-ray edition has been on some wish lists for years?for some of us, since Blu-ray came out. The complete saga isn?t cheap ($89.99 on Amazon) but if you want to get the entire thing, we?d advise doing so sooner rather than later.

BlackBerry PlayBook

The PlayBook has had its fair share of storms to weather. While it might be a disappointment for RIM, that doesn?t mean consumers won?t scramble to get their hands on it. We know what marked down tabletsBlackBerry PlayBook can do to people (we can now officially refer to it as HP TouchPad syndrome) regardless of their questionable futures or stale reviews. So if you?re eyeing the discounted device, you best grab one while you can instead of waiting for the next best PlayBook bargain.

Sony NEX-7

Sony-Alpha-NEX-7The Sony NEX-7 is a great, powerful camera with some stunning technology for its size. Unfortunately, Sony has had issues with manufacturing and inventory because of natural disasters, so there might be fewer of them on sale this holiday season. If this particular camera is on your list, you might want to call a few retailers or try Sony?s customer service. This isn?t an item you?re likely to find great steals on. If you see one, snag one.

Samsung-Galaxy-S-IISamsung Galaxy S II

Right now, the 4G Android phone is a penny for AT&T users with a two year contract. While we definitely think you should be on the prowl for these savings over the shopping season, this is a hot new phone and one that Android fanboys will be asking for. We?d label it high priority.

iPad 2

Think the iPad 2 has been out long enough that there?s no need to get one before the last minute? Think again. This is yet another Apple product that will be in high demand this holiday season, and while you might get lucky come December 23, don?t put yourself at the mercy of the Blue Shirts or spend the day frantically watching eBay.?



This article was originally posted on Digital Trends

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Transaction results in savings of $1.3 million for district taxpayers

November 27, 2011 (San Diego?s East County)??Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD)?has?announced the successful implementation of Proposition H 2004 series bond refunding, which was approved by the Board at its meeting on Oct. 13, 2011. The transaction represents a savings of $1.3 million for taxpayers in the district over the next six years.

Refunding bonds are used to refinance certain 2004 bonds (?prior bonds?) that have higher interest rates than the refunding bonds. The proceeds of the sale of the refunding bonds are kept in an interest-bearing escrow account until the prior bond?s maturity or redemption date. At that time, the monies in the escrow account are used to pay off the prior bonds along with related interest and redemption costs. The refunding bonds will then be serviced using the same property tax payments initially used to pay the prior bonds, but at a reduced overall cost
. ?This is very much like a refi on a home loan,? Catherine Martin, district spokeperson, said of the bond refund.? ?The principal loan amount stays the same, but we get a lower interest rate.?

?The district?s taxpayers placed their trust in us by voting to approve both Propositions H and U,? said Deputy Superintendent Scott Patterson. ?The process of continually monitoring the financial markets to most efficiently implement the financing of these programs is part of our duty within that trust. We are gratified to be able to return these savings to our taxpayers.?


The transaction, executed on Thursday, Nov. 3, is summarized as follows:


  • Total Amount of Bonds Refunded: ?$20,920,000
  • True Interest Cost:??????????????????????????2.533%
  • Net Present Value of Savings:???????? $1,145,145
  • Savings as % of Refunded Bonds:????5.638%?
  • Average Life of Bonds:??????????????????? 6.137 years?



?Any taxpayer savings, or bond money saving measures on behalf of the public by the GUHSD is good,? said Bill Weaver, an Alpine resident and 2009 Alpine Leadership and Public Service Citizen of the Year. But he added, ?We still expect the GUHSD, its Board, and Administration, to remember that the voters passed two bond measures that stipulated a 12th High School be built. A strong case is being made that the 12th HS will be self-supporting if the Board and Administration look at all the data in-depth. There should be an operational expense or complete budget plan, with accurate revenue and cost projections. We have yet to see a comprehensive operational budget study for the 12th high school.

Proposition H, a $274 million program, was approved by 62 percent of voters in March 2004 to fund repairs of aging schools in the district as well as the construction of a new school. With state school facility program dollars, the Proposition H program is $327 million. To date, nearly $322 million has been expended.

Proposition U is a $417 million General Obligation Bond Measure passed by voters in November 2008. When combined with projected state funding, the estimated program budget is $605.1 million. The program substantially completes the modernization of district schools, providing classrooms and equipment for Career Technical Education, multi-purpose facilities to support the superintendent?s vision for the arts in education, and the construction of a new high school in the Alpine/Blossom Valley area. Nearly $80 million in Prop U funds have been expended to date.



About Grossmont Union High School District


Established in 1920, Grossmont Union High School District encompasses an area of approximately 465 square miles, including all of the cities of El Cajon, Santee and Lemon Grove, most of the city of La Mesa, a small portion of the city of San Diego, and the unincorporated areas of Alpine, Dulzura, Jamul, Lakeside and Spring Valley. Over 24,000 students are served by the District?s schools. The district consists of nine comprehensive high schools, three charter schools, one continuation high school, two alternative education sites, four special education facilities, a middle college high school program, a Regional Occupational Program (ROP) and an adult education program. The District employs 2,300 full-time employees, as well as hundreds of hourly employees, making it the largest employer in the East County. More information about Grossmont Union High School District can be found at?






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War drawdowns wreak havoc on Guard soldiers' lives (Providence Journal)

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Fuzhou Rockchip teases Android 4.0 PAD, brings Ice Cream Sandwich to the big screen (video)

A tablet running Ice Cream Sandwich? That's what China's Fuzhou Rockchip has apparently produced with the Android 4.0 PAD, as seen by our brethren over at Engadget China. According to the manufacturer, this slate is the very first to run Android 4.0, having been put together only a couple of weeks after Google released the source code for its latest OS. Rockchip's being rather mum on specifics and release dates for supported devices, though it has revealed that this particular prototype's powered by its 1GHz RK2918 processor. The company's released a teaser video as well -- check it out for yourself after the break, and do also head over to Engadget China for some hands-on shots.

Continue reading Fuzhou Rockchip teases Android 4.0 PAD, brings Ice Cream Sandwich to the big screen (video)

Fuzhou Rockchip teases Android 4.0 PAD, brings Ice Cream Sandwich to the big screen (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Mon, 28 Nov 2011 03:18:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Justin Bieber Beats Kim Kardashian and Lady Gaga for Bing?s Top Searched Celebrity and Musician in 2011

Kim Kardashian may have reigned the news this year with her marriage and divorce, but Justin Bieber is the top celebrity according to search data released by Bing this morning. The Biebs beat out Kim K for the overall most-searched celebrity, a spot she reigned last year, as well as last year?s top musician Lady [...]


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Monday, November 28, 2011

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Deadline passes for Occupy Philly, LA

By wire reports

Update at 3:30a.m. ET: Occupy movement protesters in Los Angeles defied the mayor's early Monday deadline to vacate their encampment near City Hall, with about 1,000 demonstrators flooding into the area as the village of hundreds of tents remained standing as it has for nearly two months.

A celebratory atmosphere filled the night outside City Hall and the encampment near it: a group of protesters on bicycles circled the block, one of them in a cow suit, while organizers led chants with a bull horn.

"The best way to keep a non-violent movement non-violent is to throw a party, and keep it festive and atmospheric," said Brian Masterson.

Shortly after the 12:01 a.m. PST Monday deadline, there was only a small police presence, about two dozen motorcycle officers who remained across the street from the camp.

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa said earlier that the grounds would be closed after the deadline, while Police Chief Charlie Beck promised that arrests would eventually be made if protesters did not comply.

But in a statement issued shortly before midnight, the mayor said police "will allow campers ample time to remove their belongings peacefully and without disruption."

Villaraigosa said police and social workers will walk through the park handing out information on the closure and services available, and expressed hope it would happen in a "spirit of cooperation."

But many including the protest's chief organizers said they had no intention of cooperating, and only a handful of campers cleared out over the weekend.

Scott Shuster was one of those breaking down his camp, but he said it was only to protect his property and he planned to remain.

"I just don't want to lose my tent," he said.

Chief Charlie Beck told the Los Angeles Times in an interview published Sunday that he expected to make arrests at some point.

"I have no illusions that everybody is going to leave," Beck said. "We anticipate that we will have to make arrests

Updated at 11:56 p.m. ET: Earlier, in Pennsylvania, 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 and arrests as police watched nearly 50 demonstrators lock arms and sit at the entrance of Dilworth Plaza.

The scene was far different from other, previous encampments in cities elsewhere where pepper spray, tear gas and police action resulted in the decampment of long-situated demonstrators, but Occupy Philadelphia has managed to avoid the mass arrests and conflict that has 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. By 11 p.m., the crowd had thinned a bit, but the calm remained.

Along the steps leading into a plaza, about 50 people sat in lines with the promise that they would not leave unless they were carried out by authorities. For a time, they linked arms. But as it seemed that a forceful ouster was not imminent, they relaxed a bit. A police presence was heavier than usual but no orders to leave had been issued.

A few dozen tents remained scattered on the plaza, along with trash, piles of dirty blankets and numerous signs reading, "You can't evict an idea."

Several hundred supporters surrounded those who were prepared to face arrest for one of the Occupy movement meetings known as a general assembly.

"There are some shelters that some of us are going to go to, some of us are going to end up on the street, some of us are going to be able to find a family member to take us in and others might go to jail," a protester told NBC Philadelphia.

"We can definitely claim a victory," said Mike Yaroschuk, who was in the process of dismantling his tent. "We've opened a lot of minds, hearts and eyes."

Yaroschuk said he was leaving the plaza not because of the city-issued deadline but because of a request by unions whose workers will be involved in the long-planned construction project there in the coming weeks. He said it made more sense to pick and choose when it comes to Occupy and its efforts to draw attention to the 99 percent.

"This place is not a key battle for me ... This is a marathon, not a sprint," he said.

Diane Ackerman, a member of the group's legal collective, said the movement itself will remain strong regardless of what happens. Occupy Philadelphia has been largely peaceful since it began. Despite a few dozen arrests, there have been no violent confrontations with police.

Philadelphia's eviction notice is unique in that protesters are being asked to move to make way for a construction project.


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