11 26 2014
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  • 'If you’re sitting at the Thanksgiving table where we’re told that you don’t talk about sex, you don’t talk about religion, you don’t talk about politics, throw some fuel on the fire'  
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  • Protestors shut down streets demanding systemic change   
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  • Nearly one in three retailers in Multnomah County illegally sold tobacco to minors last summer  
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  • PHOTO: Still image from The Imitation Game.   BIG BUDGET FILMS Horrible Bosses 2 (R for pervasive profanity and crude sexuality) Jason Bateman, Jason Sudeikis and Charlie Day reunite for revenge-fueled sequel as inept entrepreneurs-turned-kidnappers who hatch a cockamamie plan to hold the son (Chris Pine) of a ruthless businessman (Christoph Waltz) for ransom. Cast includes Jennifer Aniston, Jamie Foxx, Kevin Spacey and Keegan-Michael Key. The Imitation Game (PG-13 for sexual references, mature themes and smoking) Historical biopic about Alan Turing (Benedict Cumberbatch), the British cryptologist who helped the Allies defeat the Nazis by cracking the Enigma Code, only to be prosecuted and chemically castrated following World War II for being gay. With Keira Knightley, Matthew Goode and Mark Strong.   Penguins of Madagascar (PG for mild action and rude humor) 4th installment in the animated franchise finds the peripatetic quartet of penguin protagonists (Tom McGrath, Chris Miller, Conrad Vernon and Christopher Knights) joining forces with an undercover, inter-species task force to apprehend a diabolical madman (John Malkovich) bent on world domination. Voice cast includes Benedict Cumberbatch, Dr. Ken Jeong and Peter Stormare. INDEPENDENT & FOREIGN FILMS Antarctica: A Year on Ice (PG for mild epithets and mature themes) Subzero documentary chronicling what life is like at a couple of ice stations located near the South Pole. The Babadook (Unrated) Haunted house flick, set in Adelaide, Australia, about a grieving widow (Essie Davis) who comes to substantiate her young son’s (Noah Wiseman) complaints about a monster inhabiting their home. Cast includes Daniel Henshall, Tim Purcell and Cathy Adamek. Before I Disappear (Unrated) Surrealistic saga, set in NYC, about a suicidal twenty-something (Shawn Christensen) who finds new meaning in life by babysitting his prepubescent niece (Fatima Ptacek) for his long-estranged sister (Emmy Rossum). With Ron Perlman, Paul Wesley and Richard Schiff. Escobar: Paradise Lost (Unrated) Romance thriller, set in Colombia in the summer of 1991, about a Canadian surfer dude (Josh Hutchinson) who is pressured to serve as a hit man after falling for the niece (Claudia Traisac) of drug cartel kingpin Pablo Escobar (Benicio del Toro). Support cast includes Anne Giradot, Carlos Bardem and Brady Corbet. The Immortalists (Unrated) Fountain of Youth documentary chronicling the efforts of a couple of eccentric biologists desperate to live forever. The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness (Unrated) Reverential biopic revisiting the six-decade career of legendary Japanese filmmaker, artist, animator, illustrator, producer and scriptwriter Hayao Miyazaki. (In Japanese with subtitles) Remote Area Medical (Unrated) Domestic doctors without borders documentary about the free healthcare offered uninsured Appalachians once a year at a pop-up clinic set up for three days at a NASCAR speedway in Bristol, Tennessee. The Rule (Unrated) Inspirational documentary about the overachieving students at St. Benedict’s Prep, a Catholic school in Newark, New Jersey whose mostly Latino and African-American graduates enjoy a nearly 100 percent college acceptance rate. A Small Section of the World (Unrated) Tale of female empowerment about a group of women who sparked a coffee-growing revolution in Costa Rica. Touch the Wall (Unrated) “Bound for Greatness” biopic about Missy Franklin, the Olympic swimmer who won a quartet of gold medals at the 2012 games in London. Featuring appearances by Lara Lynn Joyce, Rowdy Gaines and Michael Phelps. Women Who Flirt (Unrated) Romantic comedy, set in Shanghai, revolving around a college student (Zhou Xun) who relies on her womanly wiles to woo the classmate (Xiaoming Huang) she has a crush on when he returns from a trip to Taiwan with a new girlfriend (Sonia Sui) in tow. With Yi-Lin Hsieh. (In Cantonese with subtitles)  
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Syria mapONCUPINAR BORDER CROSSING, Turkey (CNN) -- Al Qaeda-linked militants were on the verge of capturing a strategic border gate between Turkey and opposition-controlled northern Syria late Wednesday night.
Hardline Islamist fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) made their advance toward the Turkish border hours after they attacked and pushed more moderate Syrian rebels out of the nearby Syrian town of Azaz.

"We are trying to bring reinforcements to make sure that the border crossing is not lost to the ISIS," said Abu Rashid, a commander from the Northern Storm Brigade, a rebel contingent from the opposition Free Syrian Army.

That rebel faction has controlled Azaz and the Syrian side of the Oncupinar-Bab el Salama border crossing with Turkey for the past year after it wrested control of the town from the government of Bashar al-Assad.

The fighting erupted first erupted in Azaz between FSA rebels and ISIS militants on Wednesday afternoon.

The clashes raised tensions on the Turkish side of the border as convoys of ambulances raced back and forth through the border gate and large numbers of Turkish border guards and plain-clothed security personnel deployed throughout the customs terminal, prohibiting journalists from filming the commotion.

The advance of the jihadist fighters threatens the main entry point for international aid on the main highway linking the Turkish city of Gaziantep and the divided Syrian northern metropolis of Aleppo.

In recent months, deliveries of U.S. humanitarian and nonlethal assistance to the opposition-held north have been trucked through the Bab el Salama gate. This was also the border crossing used by U.S. Sen. John McCain when he made a brief surprise visit to Syria to meet the commander of the Free Syrian Army.

During Wednesday's battle between the rival opposition groups in Azaz, a prominent opposition activist named Omar Hajouleh was shot dead by a sniper from ISIS, his brother said. Hajouleh was the head of the Azaz Media Center, a rebel-affiliated group that has long facilitated visits for foreign journalists to northern Syria.

"These guys (ISIS) are infidels. They killed my brother and wounded my other brother," said Hajouleh's older brother, Khaled, who wept as he spoke to CNN.

The elder Hajouleh said he had previously helped facilitate the arrival of foreign jihadist fighters from Turkey, some of whom volunteered to fight with the hardline ISIS militia in Syria.

"I let these guys in, and I totally regret it," said Khaled Hajouleh. "I thought these guys were coming to help us and protect us."

The apparent power play at the border by ISIS, one of the newest and most ideologically extreme jihadist groups to have established itself in Syria, immediately triggered calls for vengeance from the more moderate Free Syrian Army.

"[ISIS] are not rebels anymore; from this point, they are terrorists now," said Louay Almokdad, the political and media coordinator for the FSA, said in an interview broadcast live on CNN.

"We are fighting two terrorist teams on two fronts; one al-Assad regime and Hezbollah militia and the Iranian revolutionary guards and the other the extremists al Qaeda, ISIS," Almokdad added.

Until recently, there had been cooperation between the two groups.

Last month, ISIS' al Qaeda-linked fighters fought alongside the FSA to capture a long-besieged Syrian government airbase that's less than 20 minutes' drive from the Turkish border.

Government troops barricaded inside Minnigh Airbase had succeeded in holding out for months against the rebel siege. Their defenses finally collapsed on August 5, after an ISIS suicide bomber drove a captured armored personnel carrier loaded with explosives to the gates of the airbase and then detonated the huge mobile bomb.

The stated goal of ISIS is to establish an Islamic caliphate uniting Iraq and Syria. The group includes many foreign militants hailing from North Africa, Iraq, Lebanon, Turkey and other countries.

Eyewitnesses say some of the fighters wear suicide bomb belts as part of their daily uniform.

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