Society's Child


U.S. gunman kills three young Muslims; motive disputed

A gunman who had posted anti-religious messages on Facebook and quarreled with neighbors was charged with killing three young Muslims in what police said on Wednesday was a dispute over parking and possibly a hate crime.
© REUTERS/Chris Keane
Namee Barakat and his wife Layla Barakat, parents of shooting victim Deah Shaddy Barakat, react as a video is played during a vigil on the campus of the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Craig Stephen Hicks, 46, a full-time paralegal student from Chapel Hill, was charged with first-degree murder in Tuesday's shootings around 5 p.m. two miles (three km) from the University of North Carolina campus.

The victims were newlyweds Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23, a University of North Carolina dental student, and his wife Yusor Mohammad, 21, and Yusor's sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, 19. All were involved in humanitarian aid programs.

Comment: US president Barack Obama denounced the murders of 3 muslims, days after the killing and world-wide outrage.
On Thursday, Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan criticized Obama and other U.S. leaders for their silence about the incident, which has garnered international attention and left some U.S. Muslims feeling concerned about their safety.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday praised the three victims, who were all involved in humanitarian aid work, as representing the best values of global citizenship and said he was deeply moved by scenes of thousands of people mourning their deaths.
Also see: Anti-Muslim hate crimes skyrocket: Legacy of 'war on terror'?


Ten million stolen passwords were released

© Unknown
Earlier this week, noted security researcher and consultant Mark Burnett made waves when he posted 10 million stolen usernames and passwords on his blog. Of course, the security expert didn't post the passwords with malicious intent. Instead, his goal was to "release a clean set of data" that gives the world insights into user behavior, and also to draw attention once again to the arrest and prosecution of Barrett Brown.

Burnett didn't steal the passwords in question, of course, but they're now easily accessible to anyone and everyone — here's how you can quickly and easily find out if you are affected.

Comment: Let's hope that this leak will serve as a wake-up call to users about internet security.

Heart - Black

Paranoid America: Alabama cop accused of paralyzing Indian man during pat-down

An Alabama cop is under investigation after allegedly using excessive force while handcuffing a man visiting from India who has since been diagnosed as partly paralyzed.

The altercation occurred last Friday when Sureshbhai Patel, a 57-year-old Indian citizen from the small town of Pij, was approached by an officer of the Madison Police Department while outside his own son's home in an affluent up-and-coming community in northern Alabama.

Police say they were responding to calls concerning a suspicious person in the neighborhood when they confronted Patel, according to a statement provided to the news portal, and learned he did not speak English.

According to local news network WHNT, Patel's son said his dad told the officers: "No English. Indian. Walking," then pointed to the family home he had been staying in for less than two weeks.

Comment: Meanwhile, an Alabama policeman has been charged with assault:
Sureshbhai Patel, 57, sued the city and two officers in a civil rights complaint filed on Thursday, alleging race factored into his treatment, his attorney said. The FBI said it was also investigating.

Police officials in Madison, Alabama, apologized to Patel and his family at a news conference on Thursday afternoon. They said one of the officers involved in the incident last Friday had been arrested on an assault charge, and officials had recommended he be fired.


The typical profile of America's most violent extremists are angry, armed and white

© Shutterstock
Police in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, say they're investigating the role racial hatred played in the killing of three Muslim students by suspect Craig Stephen Hicks. They're saying the 46-year-old white man had a history of fights over a parking space with the victims, suggesting the killings could be reduced to road rage.

Meanwhile, Hicks' social media posts show that he was an ardent atheist who equally mocked Muslims and Christians, an avid defender of the Constitution's separation of church and state, and a gun nut who posted pictures of his revolver. The Associated Press quoted neighbors who say "he always seemed angry and frequently confronted his neighbors" and "his ex-wife said he was obsessed with the shooting rampage movie Falling Down" and showed "no compassion at all."

The Wall Street Journal further reported that the father of two victims, who were sisters, "said this man was hateful. He was picking fights, knocking on their door." The Journal also said Hicks obsessively called tow truck companies to have his neighbors' cars towed, and once even met tow truck drivers in the street waving a gun.

Comment: Very surprising statistics which goes to show how mainstream media misrepresents the real threats to our society.


Crowds attack Ebola facility, health workers in Guinea

© REUTERS/Michelle Nichols
A billboard with a message about Ebola is seen on a street in Conakry, Guinea October 26, 2014.
Crowds destroyed an Ebola facility and attacked health workers in central Guinea on rumours that the Red Cross was planning to disinfect a school, a government spokesman said on Saturday.

Red Cross teams in Guinea have been attacked on average 10 times a month over the past year, the organisation said this week, warning that the violence was hampering efforts to contain the disease.

During the incident on Friday in the town of Faranah, around 400 km (250 miles) east of the capital Conakry, angry residents attacked an Ebola transit centre and set ablaze a vehicle belonging to medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres.

A Red Cross burial team was also targeted and forced to flee, said Fodé Tass Sylla, spokesman for the government campaign against the disease.

Comment: Multiple computer models are predicting Ebola deaths - Which one is accurate?


Arson not ruled out in fire at Islamic center in Texas

© Screenshot from youtube video by amazing videos
A building at an Islamic institute in Houston, Texas burst into flames shortly before members began arriving for morning prayers at the campus' mosque. Now investigators are trying to determine whether arson is to blame for the blaze.

The fire broke out in a vacant building on the Quba Islamic Institute campus in southeast Houston early Friday morning. Heavy smoke filled the air as flames flared from the roof.

Comment: Hopefully this was just an accident. We don't need anymore hate crimes. Islamophobia has gone way too far already.

Cell Phone

Image shows woman paid to manipulate App Store rankings

An image posted to Chinese social media site Weibo allegedly shows a "ranking farm" of racks of iPhones that are used to manipulate ratings and reviews of apps in the App Store.
The photo shows a Chinese employee sitting in front of about 100 iPhones and apparently manipulating app store rankings.
The image shows a woman sat in front of a rack of over 50 iPhone 5Cs linked together in a tangled mess of cabling. There appear to be more iPhones surrounding her, with the App Store running on their screens.

Although the photos cannot be verified, The Verge reports that it is easy to find adverts for such services on Chinese e-commerce sites, leading to an indication that this is genuine.


Police state will strap you down, choke you out, and draw your blood - without your consent

A lawsuit has been filed alleging that Austin police put a hood over a woman's head, restrained her arms and legs, put her in a choke hold until she went limp, and pinned her arm down with a boot, all to draw her blood over a DUI test.

Caroline Callaway is suing the city of Austin, Travis County, Austin police officers, county sheriff's officers, Pro-touch Nurses and one of its employees, alleging unlawful search and seizure, excessive force, assault and battery, negligence and medical malpractice, Court House News reports.

The scene painted by the lawsuit reads like the horror stories we hear from Guantanamo Bay, yet it took place here in Texas- over a would-be misdemeanor.

The woman, who suffers from an anxiety disorder that she uses prescription medications to manage, was arrested by Officer Patrick Oborski after refusing to submit to a breathalyzer test.

Callaway claims that upon arriving at the Travis County Jail she was taken into a small padded room and strapped into a chair with her legs, wrists, and shoulders restrained; all while surrounded by police officers. The situation caused the woman to tremble with fear, which she says prompted the officers to place a "protective hood" over her head. The bag covered her eyes, nose, and mouth and made it difficult for Callaway to breathe.

Comment: The video is extremely disturbing. How could such a clear-cut constitutional violation be 'legal'? Is it reasonable to strap someone down, forcefully take their blood, potentially injure and traumatize them over a misdemeanor?


120,000 deaths per year in the U.S. caused by job stress

© Reuters / John Kolesidis
Job stress can be fatal and contribute to the deaths 120,000 Americans a year. It can also lead to hypertension, cardiovascular disease and decreased mental health, a new study argues. It also costs tens of billions of dollars in healthcare.

On the bright side, the study also found that improving management practices could save lives.

The Harvard and Stanford Business School working paper published in the Management Science journal looks at why Americans spend $180 billion every year on healthcare yet experience average or subpar health outcomes compared to the rest of the world.

The study combined common job stressors - including layoffs and unemployment, lack of health insurance, shift work, long working hours, job insecurity, low organizational justice - with management choices such as long hours, lack of control, job insecurity and perceptions of unfairness in the workplace.
Job stress 'making staff unhealthy' and will only get worse if Govt insist on low paid, insecure, poor quality work

— I'm a JSA claimant (@imajsaclaimant) February 12, 2015
Co-author Professor Joel Goh of Harvard Business School told Working Knowledge, "These factors affect health in two ways. They are both inherently stressful on the body, and also lead to unhealthy behaviors like alcoholism and overeating."


Firing squad executions are one step closer to coming to Wyoming

© The Independent, UK
The Wyoming House of Representatives passed the bill on Thursday, moves on to Senate.
Half of the Wyoming legislature on Thursday passed a bill that would permit firing squads to be used in executions in the state, though it still must be approved by the state Senate before it can be signed into law.

The Wyoming House of Representatives narrowly passed the bill, called Senate File 13, which would call up firing squads to carry out executions in the event lethal injection drugs weren't available, according to the Wyoming Tribune Eagle.

Wyoming's Senate had a chance to pass the bill on Thursday but could not get enough votes for concurrence on an amendment adopted in the state House. The Senate will try again on Tuesday and if the bill is approved it will go to the governor's desk to be signed into law.