Society's Child


Feds Trumpet Alleged LulzSec Hacker's Arrest

Federal authorities have arrested an accused member of the LulzSec hacking group, 20-year-old Raynaldo Rivera of Tempe, Arizona, after indicting him on charges related to a 2011 computer attack waged against Sony.

Rivera surrendered to the FBI on Tuesday after a grand jury indictment finalized on August 22 was unsealed. If convicted on the charges of conspiracy and unauthorized impairment of a protected computer, Rivera faces as much as 15 years in prison.

Using the online handles "neuron," "royal" and "wildicv," Rivera allegedly participated in a LulzSec-sponsored hack of Sony Corp's Sony Pictures' computer systems. On his personal Facebook page, Rivera describes himself as, "just your common computer geek."

By means of a SQL injection attack, the FBI says River assisted in the LulzSec operation that involved illegally accessing the personal records of 37,000 account holders, according to the company, then publishing the information.

"Why do you put such faith in a company that allows itself to become open to these simple attacks?" the group said in a press release last June. Authorities say the Sony hack cost the company upwards of $600,000.

LulzSec, short for Lulz Security, waged a 50-day-long rampage of hacks and other computer attacks last year before unexpectedly calling it quits in June. Later that fall, authorities announced that the alleged ringleader of the group, 28-year-old Hector Monsegur of New York City, aka Sabu, had been arrested in the midst of the crime spree and had been working as an FBI informant in the months since. The FBI confirmed his cooperation in September to coincide with the announcement that other alleged LulzSec members had been arrested around the globe thanks in part to Sabu agreeing to snitch to the feds in exchange for leniency in regards to his own sentencing.

100-Year-Old Driver Hits 11 Near Los Angeles School

© The Associated Press/Mark J. Terrill
A young victim is transported by firefighters after a car driven by a 100-year-old Preston Carter went onto a sidewalk and ploughed into parents and children outside a Los Angeles elementary school.
Los Angeles, California - The screams of women and children didn't cause a 100-year-old driver to stop as he backed his large powder blue Cadillac onto a sidewalk across from an elementary school and hit 11 people, including nine children.

So people began pounding on his windows screaming for him to stop, a witness said.

Alma Solache said she was buying her children an afterschool snack Wednesday just before the accident outside a South Los Angeles school.

"He was not paying attention," said Solache, 24, adding that it was at least two or three seconds before the vehicle halted and people began pulling children out from beneath the car.

Four of the children were in critical condition when firefighters arrived but they were stabilized and were in serious condition at a hospital, city fire Capt. Jaime Moore said. Everyone was expected to survive, he said.

Children's backpacks, shoes, candy and loose change were strewn about the scene behind a discount grocery store across from Main Street Elementary.

Police said the driver, Preston Carter, was being very cooperative and drugs or alcohol were not a factor in the crash.

Ever Meek, Ever Malleable

I INSTANTLY bought the strip-search. The nude jumping jacks, too.

But the spanking?

That's the point in the provocative, gripping new movie "Compliance," about the degradation of a restaurant employee, when some people in the audience reportedly shake their heads and walk out.

Like them, I was tempted to reject the plausibility of what was happening on-screen. It's hard to swallow. But Compliance asks questions too big - and too relevant to a political season of grandiose persuasion and elaborate subterfuge - to be dismissed or ignored. Although it's playing in just nine theaters nationwide for now, it deserves a higher profile, broader notice and a viewing from start to finish.

It's an essential parable of human gullibility. How much can people be talked into and how readily will they defer to an authority figure of sufficient craft and cunning? Compliance gives chilling answers.

Made on a modest budget and set during one shift at a fictional fast-food restaurant called ChickWich, it imagines that the manager, a dowdy middle-aged woman, gets a call from someone who falsely claims to be a police officer. (I haven't spoiled much yet but am about to, at least for anyone unfamiliar with the real-life events on which Compliance is based.)

The "officer" on the phone tells the manager that he has evidence that a young female employee of hers just stole money from a customer's purse. Because the cops can't get to the restaurant for a while, he says, the manager must detain the employee herself in a back room. He instructs her to check the young woman's pockets and handbag for the stolen money. When that doesn't turn up anything, he uses a mix of threats and praise to persuade her to do a strip-search. And that's just the start.

Six Found Alive from Missing Indonesia Asylum Boat, 144 Still Missing

© Agence France-Presse/Basarnas
A boat believed to be carrying up to 180 asylum-seekers sails towards Australian waters in July 2012
Sydney - Six people were plucked alive from the ocean by a cargo ship Thursday after an asylum-seeker boat went missing off the Indonesian coast, as hopes faded for the 144 still unaccounted for.

The recovery of the survivors by the APL Bahrain, after nearly a day in the water, came after Indonesian rescuers abandoned their search.

"We have had confirmation that six survivors have been rescued by a merchant vessel," an Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) spokeswoman told AFP, adding that the distress call they received said 150 were on board.

In an update, AMSA said crews at the scene had made sightings of debris, but there were no further reports of survivors or bodies being recovered.

Indonesia's National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) received an alert from AMSA early Wednesday that a boat was in distress between Java and Sumatra, 220 nautical miles from the Australian territory of Christmas Island.

Basarnas sent two police rescue boats and a helicopter but found nothing and returned to base, only for AMSA to task the Bahrain, which responded to an earlier broadcast to shipping, to attend a broader search area.

The captain of the Bahrain said screams and whistles alerted his crew as it scoured the Sunda Strait in darkness.

Minister Warns British Columbia Universities Sex Recruiters May Prowl Campuses for Workers

Canada, Vancouver - The B.C. government is warning of a new kind of head hunter targeting Canadian campuses, but the job description requires skills not on offer at the institutions.

British Columbia's advanced education minister has sent a letter warning post-secondary schools to keep an eye out for adult entertainment businesses that may try to recruit strippers in exchange for tuition.

Naomi Yamamoto wrote this week she's concerned recruiters may attempt to set up booths at post-secondary job fairs across Canada this fall.

"Students, who often feel new stresses due to new living environments and managing their own affairs for the first time, may be tempted by these monetary inducements," Yamamoto wrote.

"Many initiatives are in place to ensure students have access to our province's world class institutions. It should not be necessary for students to submit themselves to the risks potentially involved in working in the adult entertainment business."

She said in her letter that her information comes from a series of news stories out of Windsor, Ont. about the trend occurring at some of the city's campuses.

"The concern is our post secondary institutions should be considered safe places for students, and some of these adult entertainment businesses are luring students into what most people would consider risky behaviour," she said later in an interview.

"What we're not doing is telling students they can't pursue job opportunities or career opportunities in the adult entertainment business. We're saying we just don't want them aggressively recruiting on our campuses."

She also noted in her letter that during the spring, the sex industry suggested it would recruit near Vancouver public schools.

Feared Hijacking on Spanish Plane Was False Alert

© The Associated Press/ Cris Toala Olivares
A Vueling plane is parked at a remote corner of Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport, Netherlands, about 1.5 miles from the main terminal.
Amsterdam - The Netherlands scrambled two F16 fighter jets Wednesday to escort a Spanish passenger plane to Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport after air traffic controllers could not make contact with the aircraft's crew.

Dutch media initially reported a possible hijacking, but local police and Vueling, the Spanish carrier whose jet was at the center of the scare, later confirmed there was never a hijacking or a hostage situation. "Amsterdam's protocol for security was activated owing to a temporary loss of communication between the plane and air traffic control," Vueling said in a tweet.

The Dutch Defense Ministry said the F16s were scrambled when no radio contact could be made with the plane, which was carrying more than 180 passengers. The ministry's statement said that F16s are sent up to "establish visual contact with the crew" whenever a plane is in Dutch airspace and cannot be contacted by radio.

After it landed, the Vueling Airbus 320 taxied to a remote corner of Schiphol about 1.5 miles from the main terminal and was immediately surrounded by security personnel and several ambulances. A bus later arrived to ferry the passengers to the airport.

National Dutch broadcaster NOS spoke by phone with a person it identified as one of the passengers who said that there was no panic on board. "Everything is calm," the passenger said shortly after the plane landed.

Brian Mulligan, Deutsche Bank Exec, Files $50 Million Police Brutality Claim In Bizarre Bath Salts Episode

Brian Mulligan
© Getty Images
Deutsche Bank executive Brian Mulligan allegedly told the Los Angeles police during an incident in May that he ingested “white lightning,” which police say is a commercial name for bath salts.
Los Angeles - A senior executive at Deutsche Bank has filed a $50 million claim against the city of Los Angeles, alleging he was beaten by two officers during a bizarre incident after they dropped him off at a motel where they ordered him to stay until the following morning.

Brian Mulligan, 53, filed the claim, a precursor to a lawsuit, earlier this month, saying his injuries included a broken nose and shoulder. He said he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and his medical bill could reach $1 million because of his encounter with police.

"I think their actions were excessive," Mulligan's attorney, J. Michael Flanagan, said of the officers Monday. "I don't know why they did what they did, but as soon as we file a lawsuit, we can get depositions and find out what they did."

Police arrested Mulligan for investigation of resisting arrest, but county prosecutors declined to file charges. A declination letter from prosecutors said Mulligan had been "acting crazy" and was injured after he swung and lunged at officers who restrained him.

Police declined comment Monday, citing the pending claim.

The strange set of events began on the night of May 15 for the Deutsche Bank vice chairman, who also once served as co-chairman of Universal Studios and chief financial officer of Seagram Co. Flanagan wouldn't say what Mulligan was doing in Highland Park, about 10 miles from his home in La Canada-Flintridge, but maintained his client believes "someone was chasing him."
Heart - Black

Quebec Woman Remains in Coma after Acid Attack

WARNING: This story contains disturbing details

© Facebook
Nikolas Stefanatos, 27, has been charged with aggravated assault.
A woman from Longueuil, Que., is in a medically induced coma with serious burns to her upper body after she was attacked with acid during a conjugal fight on Sunday.

According to Martin Simard of the Longueuil police, Tanya St Arnauld, 29, has burns to 70 per cent of her body caused by a household cleaning liquid, like drain or cement cleaner.

Nikolas Stefanatos, 27, of Brossard, Que., has been charged with aggravated assault. His bail hearing was put over at his first court appearance on Monday.
Wall Street

Nearly 50 killed or missing in Chinese mine blast

Nineteen miners were killed and 28 are missing in China after a gas explosion in a coal shaft, the Xinhua news agency said on Thursday, marking one of the biggest disasters of the year in the accident-plagued industry.

Rescue teams from other mines had been sent to the Xiaojiawan Coal Mine in Sichuan province where 107 miners had been rescued after Wednesday's blast, it reported.

China's mines are the deadliest in the world because of lax enforcement of safety standards and a rush to feed demand from a robust economy. But the death toll from accidents has been falling, government statistics show.

The government work safety watchdog said that 1,973 miners were killed in coal mine accidents last year, according to state media. In 2010, 2,433 people were killed, down from a toll of 2,631 the previous year.

Xinhua said the Xiaojiawan mine was owned by Zhengjin Industry and Trade Co., Ltd. Police were questioning the owner.
Better Earth

Men Should Sit To Pee Says Taiwan Minister

Toilet Etiquette
Men should sit down to urinate in the toilet instead of standing up because it helps maintain a cleaner environment, says a Taiwanese government minister.

Stephen Shen is Taiwan's minister for Environmental Protection Administration (EPA). He has stirred up a widespread debate on whether men should sit down on the toilet to urinate, like women do.

Shen himself maintains he does, both at home and in public toilets.

The EPA carries out regular inspections of Taiwan's 100,000 or so public toilets and suggests while many of them are very clean, there is room for improvement. Standing up to urinate causes urine splatter which creates a bad smell, say EPA officials.

Local governments in Taiwan are being advised in the next few days to place public notices asking men to sit when urinating.

Cindy Sui, of BBC News, Taipei, says the announcement has stirred a lot of online debate. Although social media activity suggests women think it is a good idea, the men are likely to find it hard to change their ways.