Society's Child


Florida closer to waiving gun laws during riots, other emergencies

© Reuters/Andrew Innerarity
Hurricanes, toxic events, riots, and other emergencies in Florida could soon be enough to allow residents to circumvent the state's gun laws and carry a weapon without a permit if a bill passed Friday is signed into law.

The bill would allow any Floridian without a criminal record to flaunt an assault weapon or pistol with a high-capacity magazine during a state of evacuation. Known as HB 209, the legislation passed in the state house by a 80-36 margin with support from the National Rifle Association. Six Democrats voted for the bill, ignoring Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri's objection that the bill was too vague.

"To allow people to go into a riot while concealing a gun without a permit is the definition of insanity," he told the Miami Herald. "The bill is crazy, it's absurd."

Among Gualtieri's issues with the bill is the lack of clarity regarding how long, or over what geographic area, a firearm owner may qualify to conceal a weapon in an evacuation. Also, the bill permits those who are "in lawful possession" of guns to carry weapons. What exactly that means is unclear, with columnists speculating if the law would allow the adult children of gun owners to carry guns.

Press kit on Human Rights violations in Ukraine

Barbed wire
© Unknown
The situation of human rights in Ukraine has deteriorated markedly since the pro-NATO coup. While the Western media turn a blind eye to this every day reality, Oriental Review highlights thirty particularly significant incidents, revealing that the street is in the hands of Nazi thugs who beat up and kill people with complete impunity.

The flywheel of political repressions in Ukraine is gaining momentum these days. In sharp contrast with the liberal approach by president Yanukovych to the "Euromaidan" rout, the interim Kievan administration did not hesitate much about cracking down the public uprising against the "neo-Nazi regime" on the rise in the East and South of Ukraine. Today only in Kharkov at least 70 activists have been arrested during the so-called "anti-terrorist operation" [1]. According to the reports, foreign mercenaries presumably from the US Greystone Ltd private military contractor firm were participating in the operation along with the National Guard (majorly consisting of the ultranationalist Pravy (Right) Sector fighters) and some loyal Interior Ministry units.

Clinton shoe thrower apparently conspiracy theorist obsessed with aurora shooter

Hillary Clinton
© AFP Photo / Isaac Brekken
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ducks after a woman threw an object toward her while she was delivering remarks at the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries conference on April 10, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada
The woman who threw a shoe a Hillary Clinton on Thursday night in Las Vegas appears to the be same woman who interrupted the court proceedings of James Holmes and filed a motion to have the confessed Aurora, Colo., theater shooter released from jail.

Alison Michelle Ernst was arrested Thursday after sneaking past security to throw a soccer cleat at Clinton during the former secretary of State's speech to an industry association in the city. The shoe missed its target, and Clinton laughed off the would-be attack unharmed.

Depopulation of rural America

New Mexico, 'where the Great Plains meet the mountains' - rural populations have declined for three years running.
The years 2010 - 13 mark the first extended period of depopulation in rural and exurban America, although the latest figures show the pace slowed last year.

US Department of Agriculture data indicate a net loss of 28,000 from rural and non-metropolitan counties between July 2012 and July 2013, following a decline of 48,500 a year earlier. The total net loss since 2010 has been around 100,000, despite growth in the general population.

"This period [of decline] may simply be an interruption . . . or it could turn out to be the end of a major demographic regime that has transformed small towns and rural areas throughout the country for decades," the USDA said.
Bad Guys

Bhakkar cannibals return to eating human flesh

© Express News
The cannibal brothers
Two brothers who were previously found guilty of cannibalism and detained by the police have now returned to eating human flesh and an FIR has been registered against them on the charges of terrorism, Express News reported on Monday.

Arif and Farman, who are from the small town of Darya Khan in Bhakkar district, were first arrested in April 2011 after they were found to have disinterred corpses in the local graveyard for the purpose of eating them.

It was reported that the brothers had dug up and devoured parts from upto 150 bodies before they were finally caught.

Today, the police conducted a raid at their house and recovered the head of a boy. According to DPO Bhakkar Ameer Abdullah, Arif has been arrested and he admitted to eating human flesh while his brother Farman is still on the loose.

Comment: Previously: Macabre meeting with Pakistan cannibal


Basque town votes in referendum on independence from Spain

Citizens of Etxarri Aranatz in Navarre voted in an unofficial referendum on Sunday over whether they wished to be citizens of a separate Basque country and secede from Spain.
© AFP Photo / Rafa Rivas
File photo. Thousands of people take part in a Basque separatist demonstration demanding autonomy for the Basque Country and Navarra province, in the northern Spanish Basque city of San Sebastian.
From 9am, nearly 2,500 eligible residents voted on the question: "Would you be a citizen of an independent Basque Country?"

The Basque country is made up of the regions of Álava, Biscay and Gipuzkoa, in Northern Spain. The area has had a long history of regional demands for autonomy along with Catalonia, and both regions have their own language.

Locals of Navarre celebrated over the course of the day with Basque songs and traditions. Support for Basque independence is particularly strong in Navarre.

"This is a significant and meaningful day today, not only for the Basques but also for the Catalans and also for all nations in Europe that actually are in the process of self-determination," Anna Arqué, Catalan spokesperson for the 'European Partnership for Independence' (EPI) told RT.

Bodies of seven babies found in Utah house

Megan Huntsman, 39, apparently kept her pregnancies hidden from her husband, neighbours and her other children
A Utah woman has been accused of killing six of her own babies after their bodies were discovered in cardboard boxes at her former house.

Megan Huntsman, 39, gave birth to the babies between 1996 and 2006.

Seven bodies were found by police at the house in Pleasant Grove; it is unclear why she has only been charged on six counts.

Her estranged husband, who has not been charged, discovered the first body in the garage before alerting authorities.

Megan Huntsman was charged with six counts of murder at Utah Country Jail on Sunday.

Darren West, who has himself been in prison recently on drug-related charges, is believed to have been her partner when the children were born.

"We don't believe he had any knowledge of the situation," police spokesman Michael Roberts said.

When asked how the husband could not have known his wife had given birth to seven children, Mr Roberts replied: "That's the million-dollar question. Amazing."

Three dead in Kansas City Jewish Community Campus shootings

Three people, including a man and his grandson, have been shot dead at a Jewish community site and a retirement home in Kansas City in the US Midwest.

The shootings occurred at the Jewish Community Campus at Overland Park and a nearby assisted living centre, Village Shalom, local media said.

Police said a suspect, a bearded white man in his 70s, was in custody.

Dallas police insist filming cops 'a major safety issue' for civilians

© Reuters/Jim Bourg
Dallas police officers, including the union that represents them, are asking citizens organized to keep watch over cops with recording devices to stop filming law enforcement because it is causing unspecified "major safety issue[s]."

The calls for camera disarmament come after an incident two weeks ago that seems to have shaken the Dallas Police Department. According to CBS Dallas-Fort Worth, a woman with the local police accountability group Cop Block was "following" a police officer, according to CBS Dallas-Fort Worth, recording him making traffic stops with a "video camera."

"He was conducting traffic stops," DPD Sergeant Derek McCarter told CBS-DFW. "The officer called for cover to further investigate. The woman refused information and gave leading answers."

Dallas Police Association President Ron Pinkston said this business of taping police officers is worrisome, as these citizens could get hurt.

America's ghost malls

Randall Park Mall
Randall Park Mall, North Randall, Ohio
Shopping malls are not meant to be sinister. And, yet, in 1977, George A Romero chose to film sequences of Dawn of the Dead, his cult horror zombie movie, in a deserted mall. Shorn of life and light, the great echoing chambers of the enclosed shopping centre took on a very eerie tone indeed. Curiously, Romero's set design has much in common with photographs of the ever-increasing number of abandoned malls strewn across the United States from California to New England. There are well over a hundred of these lifeless concrete and steel behemoths sprawled beside freeways on the fringes of far-flung American suburbs.

Economic decline in certain areas − notably the mid-West − combined with an accelerating trend towards online shopping and new forms of urban shopping centres have pushed the once seemingly invincible and all-American shopping mall into decline. Many are thriving, and being renovated and extended, yet 'ghost malls' are fast becoming the 'ghost towns' of the early 21st Century, and photographers have begun to see them as fascinating, if decidedly disturbing ruins.

Inside, their acres of kitsch design seem even sorrier than a seaside funfair out-of-season. All that marble, those wall tiles, the broad, Hollywood-like stairs − leading nowhere today − and sorry details like a sign on a wall of the Crestwood Court mall, St Louis, reading "Rest Easy", is both a little trashy and rather poignant.