Society's Child


Priest's accuser of child-mo­lest­ation and rape "unexpectedly" dies

The wit­ness against a 75-year-old Ro­man Cath­ol­ic priest ac­cused of mo­lest­ing a North­east al­tar boy died sud­denly, the dis­trict at­tor­ney's of­fice an­nounced this af­ter­noon.

The 26-year-old man, who in Janu­ary had ac­cused the Rev. Robert Bren­nan of sexu­ally ab­us­ing him from 1998 to 2001, was found dead this week­end by Phil­adelphia po­lice de­tect­ives, ac­cord­ing to a DA's of­fice news re­lease. The man, whose name has not been re­leased, died of an ac­ci­dent­al drug over­dose, ac­cord­ing to Marci A. Hamilton, one of his at­tor­neys.

"It is with great sad­ness that I have to an­nounce that the vic­tim in the rape and as­sault case against Robert Bren­nan passed away un­ex­pec­tedly," stated Dis­trict At­tor­ney Seth Wil­li­ams. "The dec­ades-long demons and scars the vic­tim in this case en­dured ended this week­end when he was found dead by Phil­adelphia Po­lice De­tect­ives. I can not say enough about the bravery this young man dis­played in com­ing for­ward to bring these crimes to light. This young man's cour­age should serve as an in­spir­a­tion to us all."

House stenographer yanked from chamber ranting about God, freemasons

A government stenographer is believed to be in a Washington, DC-area hospital on Thursday after being forcibly removed from the House of Representatives chamber Wednesday night while shouting into the microphone during the vote on a compromise bill that ended the government shutdown and raised the debt limit.

U.S. Capitol Police told ABC News that the stenographer, who helps keep the record of the proceedings of the House, was interviewed by officers before being transported to a hospital "for evaluation."

The woman was Dianne Reidy, an official reporter with the Office of the Clerk, two sources told ABC News.

She was not arrested or charged and it remains unknown whether she will keep her job. Since last night, the Office of the Clerk has not responded to inquiries seeking comment.


Dozens, not thousands, show up for DC trucker protest

truckers for constitution2
© Associated Press

A trucker protest aimed at clogging the Capital Beltway around Washington to protest government "corruption" was not shaping up to be quite the commuter nightmare organizers had threatened.

As of Friday morning, dozens of tractor-trailers were said to be on the road as part of the protest convoy.

Virginia state police say they stopped four tractor-trailer drivers on the Beltway, pulling them over after they began driving side-by side across all four northbound lanes of the Beltway in Fairfax County.

Their actions slowed traffic to about 15 mph. Officers warned the drivers not to impede traffic and did not write any tickets.

Police say a convoy of about 30 trucks began traveling north on Interstate 95 from Doswell, Va., on Friday morning. The truckers are circling the Beltway.
Brick Wall

Alexandra Harris, jailed Greenpeace activist, writes heartbreaking letter to parents from Russia

Alexandra Harris
© Greenpeace
Alexandra Harris
A British environmental campaigner facing 15 years for alleged piracy has said she is "trying very, very hard not to lose hope," in heartbreaking letter to her parents in which she describes her dire conditions in a Russian jail.

Greenpeace activist Alexandra Harris was yesterday denied bail following a month in prison for her part in a protest against oil company Gazprom's platform in the Arctic's Pechora Sea.

She is one of six Britons among 30 people detained when armed Russian officials boarded their vessel, the Arctic Sunrise, last month.

Blonde girl found in Roma camp in Greece prompts search for parents

blonde girl found

This is one of the pictures of the blonde girl that the Greek police issued in hopes that her biological parents are found
Greek police have asked Interpol to help them track down the real parents of a blonde girl with green eyes who was found in a Roma camp in central Greece.

Known as Maria, the four-year-old was spotted peeking out from under a blanket at a Romasettlement near the town of Farsala during a police sweep on Wednesday for suspected drug trafficking.

She speaks just a few words in the Roma dialect and Greek, and police think she may be of northern or eastern European origin, possibly from Scandinavia or Bulgaria.

Police have sent Interpol a file with all the evidence they have on the girl, including DNA samples, to seek a possible match with its records on missing children, a police official said. They have also contacted international groups and charities that deal with lost or abducted children.

"Mystery - a blonde angel without an identity," top-selling daily Ta Nea wrote on its front page on Saturday.

Photos released by police of Maria staring blankly at the camera with muddy hands and scruffy pigtails have dominated the media. Parallels were drawn to the case of Briton Madeleine McCann, who vanished while on holiday in Portugal in 2007, when she was three years old.
People 2

Powerful ads use real google searches to show the scope of sexism worldwide

Here's a simple and powerful campaign idea from UN Women using real suggested search terms from Google's autocomplete feature. Campaign creator Christopher Hunt, head of art for Ogilvy & Mather Dubai, offers this summary: "This campaign uses the world's most popular search engine (Google) to show how gender inequality is a worldwide problem. The adverts show the results of genuine searches, highlighting popular opinions across the world wide web." Each ad's fine print says "actual Google search on 09/03/13." While Google users in different countries are likely to get different results, a quick test shows that several of these suggested terms definitely come up in U.S. searches. Since its creation, autocomplete has become a popular device for social debate and even inspired a recent epic visual from xkcd, but these ads do a stellar job driving home the daunting fact that enough people around the world share these vile opinions that Google has come to expect them. Check out all the design versions after the jump. Via Design Taxi.

women need to
Airplane Paper

Plane crash in southern Belgium kills 10

Pilatus porter aircraft
© Unknown
A Pilatus Porter aircraft similar to the one which crashed on the outskirts of the village of Marchovelette in southern Belgium on October 19, 2013.
At least ten passengers onboard a small plane have been killed when the aircraft went down shortly following takeoff in southern Belgium.

The Pilatus Porter aircraft had just lifted into the air from Temploux aerodrome on Saturday, but crashed about ten minutes later in a field on the outskirts of the village of Marchovelette, part of the Belgian municipality of Fernelmont, and burst into flames.
"The plane took off from Temploux aerodrome with 10 parachutists and probably a pilot on board and crashed around 10 minutes later in a field. All those onboard are unfortunately dead. The toll is 10 or 11 victims," Mayor of Fernelmont, Jean-Claude Nihoul, said.
He added that it was "very difficult" to be more precise given the state of the aircraft which was "unrecognizable" after being "burned up."

Argentine commuter train slams into station, again

Train crash in Argentina
© Eduardo Di Baia, AP
Police officers and paramedics inspects the debris of a commuter train that slammed into the end of the line when arriving to Once central station early this morning in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
An Argentine commuter train slammed into the end of the line Saturday morning at the same station in Buenos Aires where 52 people were killed in a similar crash last year. This time there was no immediate report of deaths, but at least 58 people were injured.

A mob quickly formed, unleashing its fury at the train operators. Passengers chanted "murderer, murderer!" at the injured driver through the shattered cabin window. Officers intervened and the driver was soon hospitalized under police custody. Police in riot gear then took control of the Once station after the angry crowd broke glass and threw stones in the street outside.

Altogether 58 people were injured, five of them with broken bones, but none of the wounds were life-threatening, said Security Secretary Sergio Berni. Some of the injured were hit by shattered glass from the train's windows, he said.
Light Saber

2 kidnapped Turkish pilots freed in Lebanon

Freed Turkey pilots
© AP
Two Turkish pilots kidnapped in Lebanon were freed Saturday as part of a deal that saw nine abducted Lebanese pilgrims in Syria released from captivity, officials said.

Turkish Airlines pilots Murat Akpinar and Murat Agca had been held by militants since their kidnapping in August in Beirut. Turkey's state-run Anadolu news agency issued a bulletin Saturday announcing the pilots' release, without offering any other details.

The Turks' release is part of a negotiated hostage deal that included the freeing of the kidnapped pilgrims, as well as dozens of women held in Syrian government jails.

The nine Shiite pilgrims, kidnapped in May 2012 while on their way from Iran to Lebanon via Turkey and Syria, were expected to arrive in Beirut later Saturday night.
Arrow Down

80% US population face near-poverty, no work

American welfare
© Debra McCown AP
Four out of five U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives.

Four out of 5 U.S. adults struggle with joblessness, near-poverty or reliance on welfare for at least parts of their lives, a sign of deteriorating economic security and an elusive American dream.

Survey data exclusive to The Associated Press points to an increasingly globalized U.S. economy, the widening gap between rich and poor, and the loss of good-paying manufacturing jobs as reasons for the trend.

The findings come as President Obama tries to renew his administration's emphasis on the economy, saying in recent speeches that his highest priority is to "rebuild ladders of opportunity" and reverse income inequality.