Society's Child
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Book

Young Persons Called to Private Grand Jury for Owning Books

Just a few weeks ago, an FBI task force raided a home* in Portland, Oregon very early in the morning. They broke down the front door with a battering ram and threw in a stun grenade, which is non-lethal but produces a very loud and disorienting noise and a blinding bright light. The team locked down the building and secured the sleepy, compliant occupants. The operation was one of several which also occurred in Olympia, WA and Seattle, WA, involving some 60-80 officers.

Just who were these dangerous criminals, these domestic terrorists whose threat level is so high that an FBI team with stun grenades, battering rams, and assault rifles needed to burst into their homes in the wee hours of the morning?

Why, it's these two young folks,

Leah-Lynn Plante:
and Matt Duran:

Reportedly, the FBI search warrant was for black clothing, paint, sticks, computers and cell phones, and 'anarchist materials or literature.' According to an FBI Domestic Terrorism guide published by greenisthenewred.com, "anarchists are criminals seeking an ideology to justify their actions," and are "not dedicated to a particular issue." Common meeting places are "college campuses, underground clubs, coffee houses/ internet cafes." The implication is that owning "anarchist" literature is enough to indicate to the FBI that one is a criminal - even if that person happens to be a student studying political thought. Or maybe particularly if you are a student - the FBI document states that anarchists are "educated persons of various backgrounds, often students."
Handcuffs

Former Yale Student in Los Angeles Held on $1M Bail Over Death Threats to Children on ESPN's Website

California - A former Yale University student remained jailed on $1 million bail, an amount normally reserved for murder or other crimes that could result in life sentences, after authorities say he made online death threats to children.

Eric Yee, a 21-year-old who recently withdrew from the Ivy League university, posted on ESPN's website that he was watching children and wouldn't mind killing them, Los Angeles County sheriff's officials said Tuesday.

Yee was taken into custody Monday at his parents' home, which is on a street that overlooks two schools in Santa Clarita, Calif. Several guns were found there.

Sheriff's Lt. Steve Low said Yee was arrested for investigation of making terrorist threats.

Experts said the bail amount was very high for a person suspected of making terrorist threats.

"To put it in perspective, $1 million is the presumptive bail for murder," said Hanni Fakhoury, an attorney for the Electronic Frontier Foundation and a former federal public defender who is not involved in the case. In comparison, the presumptive bail for making terrorist threats is $50,000 and it would take many specific circumstances to push it much higher, Fakhoury said.

Sheriff's Deputy Josh Dubin told the Los Angeles Times that the department had requested "a bail enhancement because of the totality of the situation," but would not elaborate.
Eye 2

StandUp for Kids Founder, 69, Arrested on Child Sex Assault Charges


  • Richard Koca, 69, faces seven felony counts of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust involving a pattern of abuse
    Richard Koca Sr faces seven felony counts of sexual assault on a child
  • Charges so far relate to a single victim
  • Concerns there may be many more victims as Koca's extensive contact with juveniles goes back decades
  • Koca retired as charity's CEO in 2010, but continued to serve on board of directors until his arrest
The founder of StandUp for Kids, the national group for at-risk and homeless children, has been arrested in Aurora, Colorado on child sexual assault charges.

Richard Koca Sr., 69, faces seven felony counts of sexual assault on a child by a person in a position of trust involving a pattern of abuse, according to an Arapahoe County Court case summary. The court record indicates the alleged abuse began in August 2009 and continued into 2012.

Aurora police spokeswoman Sgt. Cassidee Carlson said Koca was arrested Saturday on a felony arrant for sexual assault on a child by one in a position of trust for acts with a child he was supervising in Aurora.
Heart - Black

California Chef Murdered His Wife, Told Police He Slow-Cooked Her Body for Four Days

© KTLA.com
David Viens is on trial for the murder of wife Dawn, who has been missing since 2009.
The grisly detail emerged during the second week of the murder trial of David Viens, accused in the death of Dawn Viens in October 2009.

A California chef told police he slow-cooked his wife's body for four days after accidentally killing her, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The grisly detail emerged Tuesday during the second week of the murder trial of David Viens, accused in the death of 39-year-old Dawn Viens in October 2009.

In two March 2011 interviews with authorities that were played for the jury on Tuesday, David Viens recounted how he caused the death of his wife and disposed of her remains. The interviews were conducted in a hospital because Viens had jumped off an 80-foot cliff when suspected by police in his wife's disappearance.
Heart - Black

Exploiting Children? Elizabeth Hurley's Leopard-Skin Bikini Line for Little Girls Creates Controversy


'Inappropriate': A child models the 'Mini Cha Cha Bikini' on Liz Hurley's fashion website
British model Elizabeth Hurley made her name flaunting her beautiful face and body, but now she's making headlines for promoting a line of children's bikinis that critics say would be more appropriate for her than for little girls.

The suits in question are part of the Elizabeth Hurley Beach 2012 collection. One questionable design is the "Mini Cha Cha Bikini", a leopard print string bikini for kids under 8 that is modelled by a young girl who poses with her hands on her hips while gazing directly at the camera.

In the 8 to 13 age range, the "Colette Bikini" is held together in the front by a metal ring and is described as being "great for girls who want to look grown up."

The collection is available online worldwide, and it hasn't taken long for parenting groups to chastise Hurley -- who is a mom herself -- for the suits and the way they are being marketed.

"The poses in the photographs bother me more than the clothing," says Doone Estey, a partner at Canada's Parenting Network -- an agency that offers parenting courses. "Kids this age should be playing, running, swimming and doing sports, not showing off their bodies."

Comment: 6-Year Olds Striving To Be Sexy, Skinny, and Thinking of Themselves As Sex Objects

Question

Poisoning the (Female) Tourist in Asia

This summer, four young women set off on vacations in Southeast Asia. Here's what they had in common: They were all from North America; they were all in their 20s; they were all pretty, bright, adventurous. And one more commonality: They all died.

Two of these deaths occurred in June in Thailand, two in June in Vietnam. All four women were diagnosed with the symptoms of acute poisoning. And while some explanations have been offered by the authorities, these have been either vague, improbable (see my recent post on the deaths in Thailand) or opaque (see CNN's Friday story on the deaths in Vietnam). My favorite statement is one from the Thai police declaring that it could be "months before official results are revealed if ever." (Emphasis mine).

If ever? What kind of a police response is that? Does it mean that investigators know something they don't want to tell? Or that they don't have a clue? It's no wonder that the rumor mills are spinning stories of murder, of a serial killer stalking female tourists in Southeast Asia, of a police cover-up to protect the valued tourist industry. The serial killer idea, of course, builds on earlier mysteries: the 2009 death of a Seattle woman, still unsolved today. The similar and also unexplained death of a 22-year-old woman from Norway the same year. An odd cluster of deaths in another Thai city during winter of last year, including a 23-year-old woman from New Zealand.

The other theory circulating is that the police are covering up the careless use of insecticides by Asian hotels; an explanation denied, of course, by the hotel industry. It doesn't explain, of course, why most of these deaths involve females in their 20s. But there's some support for it from an independent investigation into the 2011 death of New Zealander Sarah Carter.
Arrow Down

Family in Court Over Violent Bethnal Green Exorcism

A woman was whipped with a walking stick during a brutal exorcism organised by members of her own family, a court heard.

Asma Hussain was also said to have been tied to a bed and covered with holy water after relatives became convinced she was possessed by a demon.

Her husband Ahmed, 60, summoned the local Muslim preacher to carry out the ceremony and encouraged him to hit his wife harder, Snaresbrook crown court heard.

Mrs Hussain's back was described as "one massive bruise" and she also suffered injuries to her face and hands.

Ahmed Hussain, his son Mohammed, 28, daughter Salma, 22, daughter-in-law Halima Khatun, 28, and son-in-law Mohammed Azia, 21, are all on trial accused of false

imprisonment and assault occasioning actual bodily harm. They are said to have believed "black magic" had been cast on their victim.

"It appears that members of Asma Hussain's family believed that she was possessed by demons," said prosecutor Babatunde Alabi.

"As a result of this belief, it is alleged they kept her captive in her own home, tying her to a bed in the living room. They also arranged for an imam to carry out an exorcism on her.

"During the course of the exorcism, she was held down, had water poured all over her and was beaten with a cane."
Stop

Alberta Aboriginal Rock Etchings Defaced with Drill, Power Washer, Acid

Defaced Ancient Drawings_1
© National Post
One of two spots where drills were used to eradicate images that were carved into rock.
Historians are comparing it to the Taliban's destruction of massive Buddhist statues in Afghanistan: Ancient aboriginal pictograms and petroglyphs on an Albertan rock formation have been systematically destroyed by cultural vandals using a rock drill, acid and a power washer.

The obliteration of the etchings on the Glenwood Erratic near Pincher Creek in southern Alberta was discovered last week, just as an historian was about to photograph and test the markings.

"The site is part of the earliest heritage of Canada," said Michael Dawe, Curator of History at Red Deer Museum. "It looks like an ancient ceremonial/religious site at Glenwood, Alta., was deliberately destroyed. If true, this is a shocking and appalling incident."

The carvings formed a large face on the top surface of the stone, facing the sky, and also included evidence of early syllabic writing, said Stanley Knowlton, head of interpretive services at Head Smashed-In Buffalo Jump, a Unesco World Heritage Site.

"It is almost like someone wants to block this kind of research," said Mr. Knowlton, who discovered the destruction. The attack is a mystery, he said.

"Why? Well, that's the big question. If you find out why, you might be able to find out who."

He wonders if someone wants to destroy evidence suggesting the Blackfoot First Nations had a written language before European migration. The damage is the latest destruction of aboriginal pictograms and petroglyphs in Alberta, he said.
No Entry

West Virginia Coal Mine Closes, Cutting 1,200 Jobs

Morgantown, West Virginia - Coal producer Alpha Natural Resources said Tuesday it was cutting production by 16 million tons and eliminating 1,200 jobs companywide, laying off 400 workers immediately by closing mines in Virginia, West Virginia and Pennsylvania.

The mine shutdowns start Tuesday, while the rest of the layoffs will be completed by the end of the first quarter after Alpha fulfills current sales obligations, Chief Executive Officer Kevin Crutchfield said. In all, the layoffs amount to nearly a tenth of Alpha's 13,000-person workforce.

Alpha said it was closing four mines in West Virginia, three in Virginia and one in Pennsylvania. They are a mix of deep and surface mines, and all are non-union operations.

Company spokesman Ted Pile said most of the displaced workers may eventually be rehired, either assigned to new jobs in other locations or replacing outside contractors. Only 150 workers in West Virginia and three in Pennsylvania will not have any other employment opportunities with the company, he said.

Though some miners will stay on to seal the operations, most will either be reassigned or laid off immediately.

Support positions will also be cut proportionally as Alpha reduces its operating regions from four to two, Crutchfield said, and two executives will retire Nov. 1.

It wasn't immediately what other states would be affected by the still looming layoffs.
Phoenix

Burning Body Found in South Los Angeles Street

The burning body was discovered near 94th Street and Grand Avenue


A body was found burning in a South Los Angeles street Monday night, according to fire officials.

The woman was pronounced dead at the scene in the 300 block of West 94th Street between Broadway and Grand Avenue (map), said Brian Humphrey with LAFD. The initial report from a passer-by was received at about 10 p.m., said LAPD Lt. Gerald Woodyard.

Aerial video showed a charred body in the road not far from the sidewalk.

Anyone with information can call 213-485-4341.
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