Society's Child

Red Flag

New report shows human trafficking and slavery in UK on the rise while victims are branded like cattle

Nearly 3,000 people have been trafficked for slavery and exploitation in the UK, according to a new report produced from the National Crime Agency (NCA), with the internet being one of the biggest drivers in proliferating abuse.

According to the NCA, slavery from the UK has jumped by 22 percent since 2013, as traffickers use online dating, social media and job recruitment sites to lure their victims.

In some instances, victims were lured into trafficking rings under the pretense of meeting someone posing as a love interest online.

The report, published on Tuesday, identified 2,744 people, including over 600 children, being trafficked. More than 40 percent of the victims were involved in the sex trade, while many ended up being used for forced manual labor.

Around 19 percent of trafficking victims were involved in other forms of criminal exploitation.

The report shows that most of the victims being trafficked into the UK are from Eastern Europe, namely Romania, while those forced into manual labor mostly came from Poland. However, the victims identified by the NCA also had origins in Albania, Slovakia and Lithuania.

Sick Society: UK economy propped up by £11 billion spent yearly on prostitution and illicit drugs

© Reuters / HO
Britons spending on prostitution and illegal drugs bolsters the UK economy by as much as £11 billion per annum, newly published government figures suggest.
Britons' spending on prostitution and illegal drugs bolsters the UK economy by as much as £11 billion (US$17.8 billion) per year, according to newly published figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

Revised data released by the government statistical body indicates that household spending increased in 2012, partially as a result of Britons' consumption of narcotics and prostitution services.

The ONS estimated the average yearly impact of illegal narcotics - such as heroine and cocaine - on household expenditure between 1997 and 2013 to be £6.7 ($10.8) billion per year.

Meanwhile, prostitution contributes £4.3 billion ($6.9 billion) per year to Britain's economy if gauged in terms of current market prices, the body suggests.

Data released by the ONS in May estimated that illegal drugs and prostitution contributed approximately £10 billion ($16.2 billion) to the UK economy between 1997 and 2009. This figure exceeded the amount spent on the construction of houses across the state over the same period.

Jury awards man beaten by cops $562K after surveillance video contradicts police claims

Jason Cox
Jurors awarded the full $562,000 sought by an Oregon veteran who was beaten by police three years ago when he was suspected of drunken driving.

Jason Cox testified that he feared for his life as three officers threw him to the ground, punched him at least six times, and shocked him four times with a Taser after they stopped him June 28, 2011, in the parking lot of a Portland strip club.

Police claimed Cox was argumentative, furrowed his brow, and tensed his muscles as officers attempted to place him in handcuffs, reported The Oregonian.

But surveillance video recorded outside the Pallas Club contradicted police claims, showing that Cox did not swing at officers or reach for a weapon.

"Mr. Cox did not appear to present a threat," said juror Dan Roberts. "He looked pretty compliant to me."

Cox admits he drank two vodka and Red Bull energy drinks on an empty stomach before driving to the club, and officers stopped him as he got out of his vehicle and asked him to undergo a field sobriety test.

Officers attempted to place Cox in handcuffs after he failed to maintain his balance while walking a straight line, and the video shows the officers throw him to the ground when he placed his hands behind his back.

CDC Ebola response team heading to Dallas for patient who may test positive for Ebola

© David Woo/Staff Photographer
Dallas County health officials on Tuesday told county commissioners that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is dispatching a team to Dallas in case a patient at a local hospital tests positive for Ebola.

The report was delivered after Health and Human Services officials cut short a presentation on the threat of an Ebola outbreak for a conference call with the CDC. Officials said the CDC team would lead the response if test results, expected today, come back positive for the patient at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital of Dallas.

During a media briefing outside the commissioners meeting, Dr. Christopher Perkins, the health department's medical director, said it was after arriving home from West Africa that the patient started showing symptoms, the point at which Ebola becomes contagious.

"We know at this time this person was not symptomatic during travel but became symptomatic once arriving here and being home for several days," Perkins said. "So that decreases the threat that might be to the general population."

Symptoms of the deadly virus can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and body aches unrelated to any other disease.

Health and Human Services officials told commissioners that they had already begun an investigation to find people who had been in contact with the patient. Director Zachary Thompson said it was not unusual for the department to begin tracing contacts after being notified about a possible contagious disease. County nurse epidemiologists are tracking down the patient's family members, friends and work colleagues, basically anyone who might have been exposed, if the virus is confirmed, he said.

Argument leads to shooting episode at Charlotte NC high school

School shooting Charlotte North Carolina
School shooting in North Carolina
An argument between two male students outside a North Carolina high school on Tuesday ended with one of them shooting the other before classes began, police said.

Police received a call about shots fired at Albemarle High School at 7:40 a.m. EDT and arrived to find a student shot in the lower extremities, said William Halliburton, the police chief in Albemarle, about 40 miles northeast of Charlotte.

The suspected shooter, who was not identified, surrendered to police, Halliburton said.

The shooting occurred in a courtyard outside the school's front entrance, and police recovered the handgun that was used, according to Halliburton.

Russia hardly isolated: New resource-sharing deal signed with Caspian neighbors

Rouhani and Putin

President Vladimir Putin has called the summit a “breakthrough” because its participants managed to agree “on the principles of cooperation and solving of key issues of interaction in the Caspian Sea”
In a monumental move, Russia just sealed a deal with its Caspian neighbors to delineate the disputed maritime borders between them.

This move carries with it enormous geopolitical meaning, and in no particular order, here are some of the most significant results:
  • Russian Leadership: Russia has demonstrated that it is capable of leading a regional and diverse group of actors to an understanding that even the UN and its Convention on the Law of the Sea couldn't achieve after over two decades (and to which Azerbaijan and Iran almost went to war over in 2001).

Three killed in Peshawar, Pakistan attack

Police officials stand beside a mangled auto-rickshaw at the site of a suicide bomb.
At least three people have been killed in a bomb attack in Peshawar in northwest Pakistan, officials say. Nine others were injured in the blast which took place in the morning near the city's railway station.

Officials said a convoy of the paramilitary Frontier Corps (FC) was the apparent target. Peshawar has borne the brunt of militant attacks in recent years but violence has dropped dramatically since a military offensive in June.

If the convoy is confirmed as the target it would be the first major attack on the military in Peshawar since the assault was launched against militants in their stronghold of North Waziristan.

The BBC's M Ilyas Khan in Islamabad says grenade attacks and targeted killings have already resumed in the city. Peshawar police chief Ijaz Khan told the media that 45kg of explosives had been packed in a vehicle which was remotely exploded.

Frontier Corps vehicle involved in the attack.
Mushtaq Ghani, information minister for Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of which Peshawar is the capital, said a woman was among the three dead in the blast.

Television pictures showed the charred and twisted frame of an Frontier Corps vehicle which was still on fire. Reports said one FC soldier was among those killed.

The dead woman was said to be travelling in an auto-rickshaw which was also hit by the explosion, and parts of its engine were strewn across the road.

Comment: Another source stated the number of wounded were 13, two of which were civilians. The presumed target appeared to be Brigadier Khalid Javed, the second senior officer in the FC force. Peshawar is the gateway to the seven semi-autonomous tribal regions and has been under a military push to clear out militants, including Al-Qaeda, Tehreek-e-Taliban and foreign fighters Uzbeks and Uighurs, from their hideouts and retake the territory.


The West has forgotten us: Children of Donetsk having their say

© Mark Batalmai
Paulina, Nastya and Katya: We hope that other children do not need to see this, that they are doing well at home
Three girls sitting in front of my camera. Shy you might think. But this shyness is something else - they are traumatized. From a war that does not exist actually, if you would believe the western and German media. A war in Europe that no one sees. Because it does not take place in the media. Because it is hidden and hushed up. And though it exists here in Donetsk in southeastern Ukraine, where I live since over 2 months. In the middle of a metropolis that is heavily bombarded daily by the Ukrainian army.

The war is here among us, it is in the midst between us, between me and these three girls - Paulina, Nastya and Katya. It is in their eyes, their voices, burned into their souls. And they recognize me, because I also now live in this war like them.

It is mid-September 2014 and we are sitting together in a bare room of a refugee house in Donetsk. It took us some time to get this interview. The people in Donbass no longer believe in the West, in Europe, in Germany. For the West, they say, "they have forgotten us, they let us down". The West knows nothing about the dead civilians, the bombing demand here every day. "The West does not care about us. Assists even the junta in Kiev, which kills us here." I always swallow when they tell me - I know that they are right. No one in Germany knows that children like Paulina, Nastya and Katya have no home, that it was bombed away. Just like their school and the kindergarten there in the northwest of Donetsk, close to the airport. Just as the homes of more than 100 other children and their families solely in this house of refuge. And there are many of these refugee camps and homes in and around Donetsk.

Comment: The difference between these girls who in the midst of turmoil and misery still feel empathy and compassion for others and the cold-hearted and cruel actions of the psychopaths in Kiev is humongous. Thank you, girls, for sharing your experiences with us. We need to know about this.


Cops sued for breaking into home, arresting woman for recording their actions

Screenshot from NBC10
© Screenshot from NBC10
A Pennsylvania couple is suing three Collingdale police officers for entering their home without permission in an effort to confiscate a cell phone legally used to record the officers during a February confrontation in front of their home.

In the lawsuit, Kia and Michael Gaymon say that Officer Carl White entered the home without a warrant and arrested Kia after threatening to use a Taser on her. The officers are accused of unlawful arrest, malicious prosecution, retaliatory arrest, and unlawful search, according to NBC10.

The Gaymons say the incident on Feb. 22 began when police were notified to address a car allegedly parked illegally on the curb of the Gaymons' next-door neighbor. The car belonged to Michael's visiting mother.

The Gaymons said they had done nothing wrong, and that the neighbor was falsely accusing them. Kia Gaymon said that one officer began to yell at them in an "aggressive and accusatory manner," leading her to retrieve her cell phone and record the interaction.

"His behavior was so aggressive that the first thing I thought was to pull out my phone and video," Kia Gaymon told NBC10.

Filming on-duty police officers is legal in all 50 states as long as the filming does not physically interfere with officers' ability to work. A federal appeals court recently affirmed this First Amendment right, as RT reported.
Stock Down

New survey reveals one out of five U.S. workers laid off in past 5 years, 22% still unemployed

© Andrew Burton / Getty Images
A job fair at the Bronx Public Library in New York last week.

Comment: The true numbers are probably much worse than this survey suggests.

One in five U.S. workers was laid off in the past five years and about 22% of those who lost their jobs still haven't found another one, according to a new survey that showed the extent Americans have struggled in the sluggish labor market since the Great Recession ended.

Those who did find work had a difficult time with their job search and the effects of unemployment, the survey by the John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development at Rutgers University found.

Nearly 40% said it took more than seven months to find employment and about one in five of laid-off workers said all they could find was a temporary position.

Almost half -- 46% -- of the estimated 30 million layoff victims who found new jobs said they paid less then their old ones, according to the survey of 1,153 U.S adults done over the summer.

"While job growth has been consistent, it has been insufficient to produce enough full-time jobs for everyone," the study said.