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Cow Skull

Hunger on the rise: Spain recoils as its hungry forage trash bins for a next meal

hunger in Spain
© Samuel Aranda / New York Times
In Spain, the unemployment rate is over 50 percent among young people.
Madrid - On a recent evening, a hip-looking young woman was sorting through a stack of crates outside a fruit and vegetable store here in the working-class neighborhood of Vallecas as it shut down for the night.

At first glance, she looked as if she might be a store employee. But no. The young woman was looking through the day's trash for her next meal. Already, she had found a dozen aging potatoes she deemed edible and loaded them onto a luggage cart parked nearby.

"When you don't have enough money," she said, declining to give her name, "this is what there is."

The woman, 33, said that she had once worked at the post office but that her unemployment benefits had run out and she was living now on 400 euros a month, about $520. She was squatting with some friends in a building that still had water and electricity, while collecting "a little of everything" from the garbage after stores closed and the streets were dark and quiet.

Such survival tactics are becoming increasingly commonplace here, with an unemployment rate over 50 percent among young people and more and more households having adults without jobs. So pervasive is the problem of scavenging that one Spanish city has resorted to installing locks on supermarket trash bins as a public health precaution.

A report this year by a Catholic charity, Caritas, said that it had fed nearly one million hungry Spaniards in 2010, more than twice as many as in 2007. That number rose again in 2011 by 65,000.

As Spain tries desperately to meet its budget targets, it has been forced to embark on the same path as Greece, introducing one austerity measure after another, cutting jobs, salaries, pensions and benefits, even as the economy continues to shrink.

Most recently, the government raised the value-added tax three percentage points, to 21 percent, on most goods, and two percentage points on many food items, making life just that much harder for those on the edge. Little relief is in sight as the country's regional governments, facing their own budget crisis, are chipping away at a range of previously free services, including school lunches for low-income families.

Che Guevara

Rome: 30,000 government employees protest Italy's austerity policy

Rome protests
© AFP
Some 30,000 public employees have taken to the streets of Rome to protest against the government policy of belt-tightening.
The general strike was organized by Italy's two biggest unions.

The protesters demanded that the government give up its reform programme slashing government spending, including expenditures on social programmes.

The austerity measures also provide for tax increases and job cuts.

Cow Skull

Francesco Fucilla: Impossible science doesn't exist

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'The Brain Drain'
On May 13, in "Piezopoli, Italian thriller", we announced the discovery of a new form of energy extracted by fragmentation of stones and the transmutation of nuclear waste. To design and build a reactor capable of exploiting this energy, only one billion euros of public or private funds was needed. Today we are pleased to announce that the reactor is on sale thanks to the generosity of Francesco Fucilla, an industrialist head of a conglomerate, on which, as in the case of the Empire of Charles V, the sun never sets. This is because you can, by and large, find this particular empire only on the Internet.

The activities of the philanthropist - something of a Pico della Mirandola, i.e. 'shy and reserved' - include publications, awards, medals and degrees to honor scientists, partners and relatives whose creativity is a source of revolutionary innovations. With the participation of celebrated Italian researchers, or those who soon hope to be , Fucilla's group develops products that solve the problems of mankind. Based on resolutely 'alternative' scientific theories, these products include those that guarantee food security, multiply energy resources and treat almost every disease, known and unknown. The following is a brief world-view of the multinational Fucilla & Co., beginning with his 'man Friday', who is perhaps already familiar to some readers.

Comment: SOTT has also written an expose on Francesco Fucilla and the Telesio-Galilei Academy of Science, read it here:

Corruption in Science: Francesco Fucilla and the Telesio-Galilei Academy of Science


Heart - Black

$1m lottery winner, 25, who was busted for fraud after claiming welfare is found dead in home from 'overdose'

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© Facebook
Probation: Amanda Clayton, 25, was still claiming $200 a month in food stamps despite winning $1 million on a state lottery last year.
Three months after pledging to turn her life around and get a job, a lottery winner convicted of fraud has died from a suspected overdose.

In June Amanda Clayton pleaded no contest to fraud, having continued to collect state welfare handouts despite pocketing her $1 million prize.

She accepted her punishment and was said by her lawyer to be trying to move on. But on Saturday morning she was found dead at her Michigan home.

Ecorse police Sgt. Cornelius Herring confirmed that the 25-year-old's was discovered at about 9 am, thought to be the result of a drug overdose.

No further details were given and Clayton's relatives did not immediately return a phone message for comment.

Clayton won the Michigan Lottery in September 2011, continuing to collect $5,475 in food handouts over the subsequent months.

Pistol

California Governor Jerry Brown signs dozens of bills: Bans open-carry of guns

Brown signs open-carry ban on rifles and shotguns in cities, plus college, carpool bills.
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© Christina House/Los Angeles Times
A supporter of open carry laws carries an unloaded carbine on a Hermosa Beach street, which will be illegal under a law signed by Gov. Jerry Brown.
Sacramento, California - Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Friday outlawing the open carrying of rifles and shotguns in cities across California.

The measure was among dozens of bills the governor approved that take effect Jan. 1, including proposals intended to help curb student fee hikes at the state's public universities and exempt hybrid drivers from toll charges in carpool lanes.

Brown also signed a measure banning state agencies from regulating Internet phone service - a priority for the tech industry - and took steps to establish a state-run retirement plan for low-wage, private-sector workers.

Brown vetoed bills that would have increased fines for Californians who use a cellphone while driving and required motorists to provide at least three feet of space between their vehicle and bicyclists they pass.

He has until the end of Sunday to act on proposals sent to him by the Legislature in the session that ended last month. Nearly 200 bills remain on his desk.

The gun measure sprang from the actions of gun rights advocates who toted long guns to coffee shops and other public places to declare their right to bear arms. It took on new urgency after the mass shootings at an Aurora, Colo., movie theater and a Milwaukee Sikh temple.

Heart - Black

Masked Connecticut teen killed by dad was a 'good kid'

New Fairfield, Connecticut - Tyler Giuliano had no trouble with the law. The teenager loved flying small planes as a Civil Air Patrol cadet and seemed happy as he played an online game with friends Wednesday night. But hours later, authorities say, Tyler was outside wearing a black ski mask and wielding a knife when he was shot by his father, who thought he was a prowler.


No immediate charges were brought against Jeffrey Giuliano, a popular fifth-grade teacher, in the slaying of 15-year-old Tyler, who was gunned down in his aunt's driveway next door to his own home in New Fairfield around 1 a.m. Thursday.

"It's something out of a Hollywood script," said John Hodge, the first selectman, or top elected official, in the town of nearly 14,000 people about 50 miles from New York City. He said he couldn't recall another killing in his eight years on the job.

State police spokesman Lt. J. Paul Vance said the boy had never been in trouble with the law, and some of those who knew him described him as a good kid with an easygoing personality. Investigators and acquaintances said they were at a loss to explain what he was doing outside dressed all in black and carrying a weapon.

"Certainly, that is the major question we are trying to answer at this point," Vance said.

Pistol

Border agent fatally shoots California mother of five who 'accidentally' ran him over

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© 10News.com
Valeria 'Monique' Alvarado, 32, was fatally shot through the windshield of her car by a Border Patrol agent
  • San Diego housewife Valeria Alvarado was killed while driving just yards from her home
  • Police claim the plain-clothed agent acted out of self- defense
  • 'I want justice', says her husband
A 32-year-old mother of five was fatally shot by a Border Patrol agent just yards from her home in suburban San Diego on Friday, after she ran him over.

The agent fired after being driven several hundred yards on the hood of Valeria Alvarado's car.

Her husband, Gilbert Alvarado, is furious about what happened and believes the agent who shot her overreacted.

'My wife got killed for no reason,' Gilbert told NBC 7. Show me that my wife had a gun or something that threatened the guy's life where he had to use lethal force against her.'

The shooting occurred about five miles north of the Mexican border as plainclothes agents were looking to serve a felony warrant in the area to someone other than Alvarado, Border Patrol Deputy Chief Rodney Scott told U-T San Diego.

'Fearing for his life, he discharged his weapon to get the vehicle to stop,' Scott said. No other agents fired.

Dollar

Catarina Migliorini, 20, auctioning her virginity to help poor people

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Catarina Migliorini, a 20-year-old Brazilian student, is offering her virginity to the highest bidder to raise money to build homes for poor people in Santa Catarina, Brazil.

Migliorini insists that she is not a prostitute. So far the bids are up to $155,000.

The physical education student will be filmed, before and after her first sexual encounter, by a film crew for a documentary called 'Virgins Wanted,' reports the Daily Mail.

Migliorini told the Folha newspaper:
"I saw this as a business. I have the opportunity to travel, to be part of a movie and get a bonus with it. If you only do it once in your life then you are not a prostitute, just like if you take one amazing photograph it does not automatically make you a photographer. The auction is just business, I'm a romantic girl at heart and believe in love. But this will make a big difference to my area."

Heart - Black

Rapist demands visitation rights to the child he fathered

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An unidentified man, who plead guilty to statutory rape of a 14-year-old girl in 2009 and got her pregnant, is now filing for visitation rights to see the toddler produced by the rape.

The man was sentenced to 16 years probation in 2011, reports the Daily Mail. Part of the probation required that he pay child support, however, that also entitles him to seek visitation rights.

The man met the 14-year-old girl at church and, later, had sex with her and got the teen pregnant. However, she was too young to legally consent to sex, reports Fox 25.

Black Cat

Bigoted congresswoman defends soldiers caught urinating on corpses in Afghanistan

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Texas Rep. Debbie Riddle (R) was apparently infuriated by the unclassified Red Team report which detailed the abusive behavior of American soldiers against their Afghan military allies [ANSF] and Afghan citizens.

The Red Team report said that ANSF members found many U.S. soldiers to be "extremely arrogant, bullying, unwilling to listen to their advice, and were often seen as lacking concern for civilian and ANSF safety during combat."

The Red Team report described vulgar and crude acts the American soldiers engaged in, such as urinating in public, cussing, disrespecting women and bullying people during night raids.

Rep. Riddle was not offended by the actions of American soldiers, but rather by the conclusion of the Red Team report which recommended sensitivity training for American soldiers in Afghanistan.

According to the thedailydolt.com, Rep. Riddle wrote on her Facebook:

"Our soldiers do NOT need to be taught how to be sensitive to radical Muslims. They do not need to be worried about blowing their nose wrong or using their left hand and offending someone. . . . They should not be bothered with being sensitive to people who want us all dead! We need a true leader in the White House - a vote for Obama is a vote to destroy our country."