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Top official in U.S. tornado-ravaged county indicted

© Charles Bertram/Herald Leader
Morgan County Judge-Executive Tim Conley in his office in West Liberty on Feb. 20, 2013.
The top elected official in an Appalachian county ravaged by a tornado nearly two years ago was arrested Monday on charges of mail fraud, theft and conspiring to launder money in an alleged scheme to steer work to a construction contractor in exchange for kickbacks.

An indictment against Morgan County Judge-Executive Tim Conley included a charge that he misused his position to ensure the contractor received excessive payments to clean up storm debris in the aftermath of the deadly tornado that hit the area March 2, 2012.

As the county's chief executive officer, Conley became the public face behind recovery efforts after the tornado leveled much of downtown West Liberty, the county seat, and damaged other areas. The storm killed six people in Morgan County, part of an outbreak of tornadoes that killed 25 people statewide.

Arrow Down

Brazilian mother forced to flee to her country's embassy in Norway after officials try to take her daughter, 3, into care 'for not eating like a Norwegian'


In hiding: Vitoria Alves Jesumary has fled to the Brazilian Embassy in Oslo after claiming social services tried to take her daughter because she is not 'eating like a Norwegian' (stock image)
A Brazilian woman has fled to her embassy in Oslo with her three-year-old daughter after Norwegian child protection services threatened to take the child into care.

Vitoria Alves Jesumary, 37, a Brazilian native, claims social services tried to take her daughter Sofia because she is not 'eating like a Norwegian'.

Ms Jesumary has now been hiding at the embassy for a week and is refusing to leave until she is allowed to return to Brazil with her daughter.

Chart Bar

Irish emigration poses a threat to economic recovery

© Flickr/Julie Danielle
Generations of young people and skilled workers are leaving Ireland to seek out a better life abroad, the Financial Times reports. Ireland's inflows and outflows of population have shifted drastically over the course of the past few years. While the country once posted one of the higher immigration rates across the continent, in 2012 it led the way in emigration, with some net 35,000 people leaving the country. The financial crisis appears to have been the trigger for the shift, causing many Irish residents to think that they have better futures outside of their home country.

The problem has only been exacerbated by the status of Ireland's youth. With youth unemployment above 25 percent, as it is in many parts of Europe, young people in the country have increasingly found themselves without work. Plus, with unemployment benefits for youth being trimmed in Ireland's austerity measures, many people simply do not have the means to sit around and wait for work to become available. For such people, emigration becomes the only option.

Stock Down

Irish exodus casts shadow on recovery from financial crisis

As an unemployed electrician, Alan Douglas has endured a difficult few years, not least because of the collapse of the once buoyant Irish building industry. But getting a letter from the Irish welfare authorities advising him to take a job in Coventry in the UK was a new low.

"It made me feel like I was being pushed out of my own country," says Mr Douglas, 26, from Bray, near Dublin.

He is one of 6,000 people who have received letters encouraging them to look for jobs abroad. One jobseeker was sent details of a job as a bus driver in Malta, which paid just €250 (£209) a week but came with a "Mediterranean climate".


Emigration has reached record levels, with 75,800 people between 15-44 leaving last year.

Arrow Down

Texas teen who killed four people got off on probation because he's rich

© Shutterstock
A 16-year-old boy who drunkenly killed four people got probation this week because the judge - with no apparent irony - agreed with the boy's defense that he was a victim of "affluenza," whose parents taught him wealth and privilege shield consequences. The teen had faced up to twenty years in prison.

Sixteen-year-old Ethan Couch admitted to four counts of manslaughter after he and seven other boys stole alcohol from Walmart, piled into his car and struck and killed four pedestrians while going 70 miles per hour in a 40 zone.

One of his passengers remains in the hospital with severe brain damage, and nine other bystanders were also injured.

Couch's BAC was a .24 and he also had Valium in his system. According to reports, he was belligerent at the scene, at one point saying, "I'm outta here." Prosecutors were hoping to get up to 20 years.

Vader

"Oh you're gonna shoot me?" Last words of former valedictorian shot to death by police officer

Image

Cameron Redus
Another tragic police shooting happened last week in San Antonio. A 23 year old college student and prior valedictorian, Cameron Redus, was killed by a University of the Incarnate police officer Thursday night. Redus was pulled over for allegedly speeding when the situation escalated into the officer firing multiple shots at Redus, killing him on site.

"I heard (a man) say, 'Oh, you're gonna shoot me?' like sarcastic almost," said Mohammad Haidarasl, 22, who was on his couch in his ground-floor unit at the Treehouse Apartments in Alamo Heights at about 2 a.m.

Less than a minute later, Haidarasl heard four to six gunshots.

According to KTRK,

It's news that has shocked two communities - the shooting death of 23-year-old Cameron Redus by an officer with the University of the Incarnate Word Police Department in San Antonio.

"He's not an aggressive person at all, so the story just doesn't really make sense to any of us," said Sarah Davis, one of Redus' longtime friends

"Cameron was the sweetest, kindest, gentlest person," added friend Annie Jones. "So compassionate."

Redus graduated from Baytown Christian Academy: where he was co-valedictorian. His mother is a teacher there.

Comment: All over America police are acting like ruthless thugs, shooting or tasering people and animals for little if any reason.
The entire country has been transformed into a police state, and most unfortunately quite a few Americans seem to like it that way. See: Why have police in America turned into such ruthless thugs?


Meteor

Obamacare could force THOUSANDS of volunteer fire departments to close


Volunteer fire departments all across the U.S. could find themselves out of money and unable to operate unless Congress or the Obama Administration exempts them from the Affordable Care Act.

'I thought the kinks were worked out of Obamacare at the first of the month,' Central Florida volunteer firefighter Carl Fabrizi told Sunshine State News.

'Man, oh, man, this could potentially destroy some real good companies in Florida.'

The U.S. Department of Labor takes the term 'volunteer' literally, but the IRS says volunteer firefighters are technically employees if they're on the job more than 30 hours per week, making them subject to Obamacare's employee-mandate rules.

Pirates

Fullerton police lawyers: Kelly Thomas killed himself

© Orange County Register
District Attorney Tony Rackauckus, holding a baton police used to smash a defenseless Kelly Thomas, says Fullerton cops should be accountable for the gruesome, fatal beating.
Day One of the prosecution's case against two Fullerton cops accused of using excessive force in 2011 to kill an unarmed homeless man had an eerie resemblance to another trial that landed Orange County in embarrassing international headlines a decade ago.

In Corona del Mar, three young men--including the son of a wealthy, corrupt assistant sheriff--got a 16-year-old girl highly intoxicated and, after she'd fallen unconscious, stripped her before videotaping themselves sexual assaulting her vagina and rectum with a Tree Top Apple Juice can, pool cue, Snapple bottle and lit cigarette.

Defense lawyers put Jane Doe, that victim, on trial and brought in so-called expert witnesses who opined that the girl faked her stupor for the Sony camcorder after asking her assailants to film her in a necrophilia sex scene she could presumably use to enter the Los Angeles porn world.

Today, inside Judge William R. Froeberg's 10th floor courtroom--just beneath the location of the infamous Haidl Gang Rape trial, acclaimed defense lawyers for ex-officers Manuel Ramos and Jay Cicinelli offered jurors similarly ludicrous stories.

Ramos attorney John Barnett, who also served as a losing defense lawyer in the Haidl case, portrayed victim Kelly Thomas as a menacing physical specimen who scared a large group of towering, fully-armed, veteran cops that chased, surrounded, punched, kicked, restrained, clubbed and shot Taser blasts into the homeless man's relatively small frame for five minutes.

Heart - Black

Insanity! School suspends six-year-old for kissing classmate on the cheek, calling it "sexual harassment"

© Unknown
Hunter Yelton, a six-year-old boy in Canon City, Colorado, had a big crush on a girl in his class, so he thought there was nothing wrong with giving her a kiss on the hand. He had previously given her a kiss on the cheek. The girl was seemingly unfazed, but the school was not happy with it. Now, the first grader has been suspended for what school officials call sexual harassment.

"She was fine with it, they are 'boyfriend and girlfriend'," said Yelton's mother Jennifer Saunders. "The other children saw it and went to the music teacher. That was the day I had the meeting with the principal, where she first said 'sexual harassment'. This is taking it to an extreme that doesn't need to be met with a six year old. Now my son is asking questions... what is sex mommy? That should not ever be said, sex. Not in a sentence with a six year old."

Most would agree with Saunders that it was an innocent kiss between two young children, but school officials don't see it that way, and now the six-year-old will have sexual harassment on his school record.

"How can you do this? How can you say this about my child? Remove sexual harassment, remove it from his record. I'm going to stand up and fight for him because that's not the case, that's not what happened at all," said Saunders.

Candle

Yuanyuan has reportedly survived a beating by a girl, 10, in Chongqing, China

© News.com.au
Yuanyuan: the baby boy who was beaten by a 10-year old girl in the Chinese city of Chongqing.
New reports suggest a toddler who was beaten by a 10-year-old girl has actually survived and is in hospital with fractures and a ruptured lung.

Earlier reports said that Yuanyuan, who is nearly two years old, died after being beaten by the 10-year-old and thrown off a 25th floor balcony in Chongqing, China.

CCTV footage showed Yuanyuan's mother accidentally leaving her child in an elevator. The girl is then seen getting in the elevator, picking up the child before dropping him twice, kicking and stomping on him.