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‘Occupy Wall Street’ protest get a thumbs-up from Harry Belafonte

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WASHINGTON — Calypso singing legend and social activist Harry Belafonte saluted young Americans behind the Occupy Wall Street movement, saying Tuesday: “We’re lucky we got ’em.”

“I would suggest that they stay the course,” Belafonte, 84, told AFP on his way into a private screening in Washington of “Sing Your Song,” an upcoming HBO television documentary on his life and times.

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“I think that what they are doing is critical and necessary,” he added.

“A lot of people have asked what happened to the current generation. I think they (the younger generation) have awakened to that question and talked to the world at large. We’re lucky we got ’em.”

Born in New York to Caribbean immigrants, Belafonte introduced calypso to the world in the 1950s with such chart-toppers as “Matilda,” “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)” and “Jamaica Farewell.”

Success enabled him to give vital financial support to Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement in the 1960s. Later in life he engaged in issues as varied as apartheid, AIDS, African hunger and US foreign policy.

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American exceptionalism is killing the planet

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Ever since 2007, when I first started writing for TomDispatch, I’ve been arguing against America’s forever wars, whether in Afghanistan, Iraq, or elsewhere. Unfortunately, it’s no surprise that, despite my more than 60 articles, American blood is still being spilled in war after war across the Greater Middle East and Africa, even as foreign peoples pay a far higher price in lives lost and cities ruined. And I keep asking myself: Why, in this century, is the distinctive feature of America's wars that they never end? Why do our leaders persist in such repetitive folly and the seemingly eternal disasters that go with it?

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Joni Ernst accused of involvement in ‘dark money’ re-election scheme: report

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According to a report from the Associated Press, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) has been accused of illegally working with an outside group to help her re-election prospects in a tough 2020 fight with Donald Trump on the ballot.

According to AP: "An outside group founded by top political aides to Sen. Joni Ernst has worked closely with the Iowa Republican to raise money and boost her reelection prospects, a degree of overlap that potentially violates the law."

"Iowa Values, a political nonprofit that is supposed to be run independently, was co-founded in 2017 by Ernst’s longtime consultant, Jon Kohan. It shares a fundraiser, Claire Holloway Avella, with the Ernst campaign," the report continued. "And a condo owned by a former aide — who was recently hired to lead the group — was used as Iowa Values’ address at a time when he worked for her."

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What makes Christmas movies so popular

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If you are one of those people who will settle in this evening with a hot cup of apple cider to watch a holiday movie, you are not alone. Holiday movies have become firmly embedded in Americans’ winter celebrations.

The New York Times reports a massive increase in new holiday movies this year. Disney, Netflix, Lifetime and Hallmark are now in direct competition for viewers’ attention, with both new releases and reruns of the classics.

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