Society's ChildS


French, Saudi Warplanes Collide in Saudi

Mirage Jet
© unknownA Mirage jet
A French Mirage and a Saudi F-15 collided in the kingdom's northern region of Tabuk without causing casualties, state news agency SPA quoted a military official as saying on Saturday.

"During a joint exercise on air engagement a French Mirage aircraft belonging to the French armed forces collided with a Saudi armed forces' F-15," said the statement.

"The Saudi pilot and the two French pilots ejected safely, and were taken to the Northern Sector Command. Investigations are under way to determine the circumstances of the incident," the official told SPA.

"Investigations are ongoing to uncover the circumstances surrounding the accident," it added.

Last May a Saudi F-15 crashed in the kingdom's east and its pilot was killed. The aircraft had been on a "training mission" in the Eastern Province when it came down, the news agency said at the time.

Source: Agence France-Presse


Bank of America Told Federal Reserve it Could Sell Branches in Emergency

Bank of America
© Bank of America
Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) told Federal Reserve officials in June that it could shed branches in some parts of the country if it needed to raise capital in an emergency, a person familiar with the matter said.

The proposal was part of a series of options provided to the Fed, including issuing a tracking stock for its Merrill Lynch operations. The fact that the bank proposed selling branches doesn't mean it's a desirable move or highly probable, the person said.

Bank of America Chief Executive Officer Brian Moynihan has been under pressure to raise capital to absorb mortgage-related losses and meet new international standards. The second largest U.S. bank received government bailouts during the financial crisis and emerged as one of weaker institutions in its aftermath.

Since June, Moynihan has taken a number of steps to boost capital levels, including selling nearly $15 billion in China Construction Bank Corp shares and swapping preferred shares for common stock. The bank has said a measure of capital against risk-weighted assets improved to at least 9.25 percent at the end of December, up from 8.65 percent at the end of September.

Heart - Black

Cambodia Police Find 5 Bodies in Frenchman's Car

© Agence France-PresseCambodian police examine a car as they try to retrieve the vehicle from a pond in Kampong Speu province.
Cambodian police on Saturday found five bodies, two of them stuffed in a suitcase, in a car belonging to a Frenchman who had been missing for months with his four children, officials said.

The gruesome discovery was made after the white 4x4 vehicle owned by widower Laurent Vallier, 42, was retrieved from a pond on his property in the southern province of Kampong Speu, said Chhay Sinarith, director of the interior ministry's internal security department.

"After removing the car from the pond, we found the remains of five people. We conclude that they are those of the missing French family," he told AFP.

"The bones of two kids were put in a suitcase that was also in the car," he said, adding that police were still investigating the cause of death for all five victims.


Captain Arrested Amid Growing Anger After Italian Cruise Ship Runs Aground

Francesco Schettino investigated for manslaughter and abandoning ship after three die and 41 unaccounted for

© screenshot here to watch video.
The Italian captain of the ship that sank off the coast of Tuscany was detained by prosecutors as efforts continued to search for the missing.

Three people were confirmed to have died and 41 were still unaccounted for after the 114,000-tonne Costa Concordia smashed into rocks near the island of Giglio.

Authorities said that Francesco Schettino, 52, who has worked for the owners of the cruise liner for 11 years, was being investigated for manslaughter and abandoning his ship. Prosecutor Francesco Velusio was quoted as saying that the vessel "was mistakenly close" to the island on a route ordered by Schettino through well-mapped sea lanes.

There was speculation that a power failure on board the ship could have led to a loss of navigational control, sending it smashing into the rocks. Experts said that passengers reported a power blackout and a large blast, which may have indicated an explosion in the engine room.

Heart - Black

US, California: New San Francisco Sheriff Charged with Domestic Violence

© unknownJan. 13, 2012: San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi walks away after speaking to reporters at City Hall in San Francisco.
San Francisco's new sheriff is vowing to fight domestic violence and other misdemeanor charges that prosecutors allege are related to a New Year's Eve incident with his wife.

Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi faces one count each of domestic violence battery, child endangerment and dissuading a witness, San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon said Friday.

Mirkarimi was booked at San Francisco County Jail, said San Francisco police Sgt. Michael Andraychak. He was released on $35,000 bail. A police mugshot showed Mirkarimi with his eyes closed.

The sheriff, 50, vowed to remain in office while he fights the charges. He told reporters outside his office Friday afternoon the he denies the allegations.

"The charges are very unfounded," he said calmly. "We will fight the charges."

"We are cooperating," he said.


US: Mall Shooting at Independence Center in Kansas City Metro, Two Injured

© unknown
Another mall shooting is starting to trickle out through the news from the Kansas City area. The mall shooting took place on January 14th, 2011 in the late afternoon. The mall was the Indepence Center shopping mall located in Independence, MO which is part of the Kansas City metro area.

The mall had been put in full lockdown as police attempted to find the suspect who has shot at least two people. A phone interview of a man live on the news revealed that most of the shooting happened in the end of the Independence Mall where Sears Deparment store is located.

Stores had started to pull down lock gates as the shooting took place. Some stores in the Independence, Missouri mall allowed customers to come in and stay in the back of the stores until things calmed down.

Personal accounts are mentioned at The Examiner reported by Kelly Evenson. The interview of three sisters revealed the girls heard three shots in the mall and they quicly returned into the CJ Banks store to take shelter as the store locked the customers down. The three sisters said that after the shots were heard shoppers were seen, "screaming and running like a herd of cattle."


US: Priest Gets 3 Years in Prison for Stealing from Church

© Jeff Scheid/Las Vegas Review-Journal St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Msgr. Kevin McAuliffe, left, outside the courthouse in Las Vegas.
Msgr. Kevin McAuliffe stole about $650,000 from his Las Vegas-area parish over nearly a decade to feed a gambling addiction. His parishioners had urged the judge to show mercy.

For years, Msgr. Kevin McAuliffe lived something of a double life.

He was widely admired by his flock at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, which he helped build into one of the largest Roman Catholic parishes in the Las Vegas area. But at the same time, he was stealing money from the church.

Over nearly a decade, he pocketed about $650,000. His motive was all too familiar in Nevada. McAuliffe was a gambling addict.

On Friday, U.S. District Judge James C. Mahan judge waved off the defense's request to give McAuliffe probation. He sentenced the priest, who pleaded guilty to charges stemming from the thefts, to more than three years in prison and ordered him to pay restitution.

McAuliffe's attorney, Margaret Stanish, had asked the court to consider his lifelong devotion to the Catholic Church, which started with helping nuns when he was a schoolboy. McAuliffe has also been diagnosed with social anxiety disorder and depression, she said, but in recent months had "excelled" in gambling addiction treatment.


US: Billionaire Detroit Bridge Owner Released from Jail

© Reuters/Wayne County Sheriff's OfficeManuel ''Matty'' Moroun (L), an owner of the company that controls the Ambassador Bridge connecting Detroit with Windsor, Canada, and company executive Dan Stamper are seen in a combination of booking photos
The billionaire owner of the Ambassador Bridge, the busiest crossing between the United States and Canada, was released after one night from the jail where a judge ordered him held for failing to complete a road construction project.

Manuel "Matty" Moroun, 84, who controls the Detroit International Bridge Co, and company President Dan Stamper were ordered jailed on Thursday by a Wayne County judge until they complied with his order in February 2010 to complete the project or until they no longer have the power to do so.

The Michigan Court of Appeals on Friday ordered both men freed while they appealed the contempt ruling by Wayne County Judge Prentis Edwards. The court scheduled oral arguments in the appeal on February 2.

"All other aspects of the order are not stayed during the pendency of this appeal," the appeals court ruled.


US: Occupy 'Will Never Die': Protesters in Washington

Occupy Wash protestors
© flickr
Protesters with the "Occupy" movement in the US capitol said Friday the authorities' efforts to evict them would fail, after the city mayor called for their removal.

"They are trying to annoy us, to get our spirits down but I really think it's not working," said Sam Mellot from Virginia who has been camping at McPherson Square, a few blocks from the White House, one of two downtown sites being used for an encampment by "Occupy Washington" and "Occupy DC" demonstrators.

"Evict us, we'll multiply - Occupy will never die," he said.

Washington Mayor Vincent Gray asked the National Park Service on Thursday to remove protesters from McPherson Square, saying he wants the protesters removed to eliminate rats and trash and allow restoration of the park.


US: Police Believe Man in Custody is Responsible for California Homeless Killings

© The Associated PressJanuary 13, 2012: A crowd gathers at the intersection of Imperial Highway and La Palma in Anaheim, Calif. Friday night following the discovery of a dead man behind a Carl's Jr.
Police in Southern California said Saturday they believe a man in their custody is responsible for all four recent killings of homeless men in Orange County.

Anaheim police said at a news conference that investigators have tied 23-year-old Itzcoatl Ocampo of Yorba Linda to the killings.

Ocampo was detained Friday night after a fourth homeless man was found slain in the parking lot of a fast-food restaurant.

Three other homeless men have been found stabbed to death in north Orange County since mid-December, and a task force of police officers, sheriff's deputies and FBI agents had been looking for the single suspect they believed was responsible for all three.

Ocampo could not immediately be reached for comment. A phone number listed in his name rang without an answer, and no one answered the door at two addresses listed in his name.