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EU considering massive cuts to food aid for poor

Image
© Unknown
Brussels: The European Union is considering a roughly 75 percent cut in funding for a program that helps feed 18 million of its poorest citizens.

The cuts, set to take effect after New Year's, would come at a time of rising unemployment and consumer food prices in many parts of Europe, as well as overall economic turmoil on the continent. The looming cuts already have raised fears among people who rely heavily on the program.

"We poor, small people, we cannot face up to this," said Rene Waltener, 41, who is unemployed and married with four children. "We sometimes have difficulties getting through the month, so a bit of milk here, a tin of cassoulet, a bit of yogurt - the kids are happy with that and it allows us to continue."

The Food for the Deprived program dates back to 1987. At first, it relied heavily on food surpluses from farms that benefited from a bloated and inefficient subsidy regime. But over time, as the farming became more efficient, food was increasingly purchased on the market to keep the program going.

Black Cat

UK: Senior Catholic Monk Skips Bail, on the Run From Child Sex Probe

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Ealing Abbey: The abbey is attached to St. Benedict's Ealing Catholic Church, a spokesman told The Times Fr Soper had betrayed police trust
Police are expected to fly out in hunt for missing cleric
Abbey says 'We have heard nothing from him. He has betrayed trust'


A Roman Catholic cleric who skipped bail before he could be charged with sex offences against children dating back 20 years may be in hiding in Italy.

Father Laurence Soper, a former abbot of Ealing Abbey, is wanted over allegations of child abuse which are said to have occurred when he was a teacher at St Benedict's, the private school attached to the Abbey.

Former pupils came forward last year with allegations after another teacher at the school, Fr David Pearce was jailed in 2009 for child abuse offences stretching back 30 years.

Bad Guys

Next Layer of Air Security: Chat-Downs on Top of Pat-Downs?

chat down, tsa
© Josh T. Reynolds/USA TODAY
A TSA agent interviews a traveler in Boston as part of Logan International Airport's pilot program for enhanced behavior detection at airport security.
As Ingrid Esser hands a Transportation Security Administration officer her identification and boarding pass for a flight from Logan International Airport to Washington, D.C., she faces a flurry of questions.

Where is she going? Why? How long is she staying?

"It was a new experience," says Esser, 31, who works in public relations. "It doesn't bother me at all. I understand their job, and it's keeping America safe."

In that exchange, Esser became part of an experiment that, if successful, could change how every passenger who seeks to board a commercial flight in the USA is screened: Besides going through a metal detector, and possibly a full-body scanning machine and pat-down, they'd first undergo a "chat-down," or face-to-face questioning by a TSA officer. The tactic is similar to what air travelers in Israel face under a program aimed at averting terrorism in the skies.

Eye 2

Psychopath Boasts on Facebook: 'I'll be the new Foxy Knoxy' But why was he allowed on the site?

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Jailed: Joshua Davies, left, attacked ex-girlfriend Rebecca, right, with a rock - in a bet over a free breakfast if he killed her.
A teenager who murdered his ex-girlfriend for a free breakfast has used Facebook to boast he will be freed 'just like Amanda Knox'.

Joshua Davies, 17, posted the sick message from a secure unit, where he is serving a minimum of 14 years for killing Rebecca Aylward.

Her mother, Sonia Oatley, broke down in tears after reading Davies's message.

The 44-year-old, who has called for the return of the death penalty, said: 'It is unbelievable that Davies can use Facebook to spin his twisted thoughts to anyone who will listen.

'It is hurtful to us as a family. He has been convicted of murdering my daughter and should not be using Facebook from behind bars.'

Nuke

UK: More Radiation Discovered on Beach

Fife Beach
© Press Association
A beach in Fife was partially closed off after scientists found highly radioactive material.
Scientists combing a beach where highly radioactive material was found have uncovered more contaminated particles.

Experts are conducting a "systematic clearance" of a stretch of beach in Dalgety Bay in Fife where a lump of contaminated metal was discovered a few days ago. The object was 10 times more contaminated than any found before at the beach.

The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (Sepa) said 17 more particles were discovered, although the environmental watchdog said the latest finds were not thought to be as significant as those from earlier in the week.

A spokeswoman for Sepa said the site will continue to be surveyed over the weekend and could not rule out further discoveries being made. Laboratory tests on the recovered material will also be carried out in future.

Camcorder

Amanda Knox is a fantastic actress, says bar owner she accused of murder

Lumumba

Flashback: Patrick Lumumba (centre) was arrested and detained for two weeks after Amanda Knox told police he was the killer
The bar owner wrongly named as the killer of Meredith Kercher by Amanda Knox has condemned her as a 'fantastic actress'.

Patrick Lumumba, 38, was arrested and spent two weeks in prison after Knox told detectives she 'had covered my ears in the kitchen' while 'Patrick killed Meredith'.

However, the claim was false and Italian prosecutors alleged Knox had made it to throw suspicion off herself.

Speaking in a telephone interview with MailOnline from Poland, Mr Lumumba said: 'I feel so angry. When I heard the verdict I was shocked for poor Meredith. I have always said that Amanda is a fantastic actress and that's what she will always be for me.

'I spent two weeks in jail for something I didn't do because Amanda said I was the killer. I will never forget when the police banged on my door and took me away.

Wine

US: Walmart Heiress Spends Birthday in Jail for DWI

alice Walton
The daughter of Walmart founder Sam Walton spent the final hours of her birthday in jail Friday night after being arrested for drunk driving.

Texas Highway Patrol Senior Trooper Gary Rozzell told The Weatherford Democrat that Trooper Jeff Davis stopped Alice Walton on Interstate 20 in a construction zone for a traffic violation.

"Through an investigation at the scene, [Walton] was determined to be intoxicated during a field sobriety test," Rozzell explained. "We're going to treat this like anybody else."

The heiress declined to submit to a breathalyzer and was arrested for first offense driving while intoxicated. She was taken to the Parker County Jail, where she spent the next nine hours behind bars before being released on $1,000 bond at around 8:40 a.m. ET.

X

Yellow Journalism: Italian magazine gives away set of knives... with picture of Amanda Knox on its front cover

Oggi magazine

Inappropriate: The glossy weekly Oggi gave away four black handled kitchen knives and a pizza slicer in the edition featuring a tearful Knox on the cover
An Italian magazine slammed by a prosecutor in the Amanda Knox case for biased backing of her has raised eyebrows after it gave away a set of knives in an issue featuring her on the cover.

The glossy weekly Oggi, which has a circulation of more than one million, gave away four black handled kitchen knives and a pizza slicer in the edition featuring a tearful Knox on the cover.

During the final stages of the dramatic appeal which saw her and her former boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, 27, cleared of murdering student Meredith Kercher, 21, who was found semi naked and with her throat slashed, prosecutor Giuliano Mignini criticised the magazine for its biased coverage of the case.

He said it had been entirely pro Knox and said that it was a result of the million dollar PR machine that her family had hired.

Newspaper

Ten Syrian forces killed in ambush

syria army personnel killings

Army personnel killed by armed terrorists are laid to rest in Syria
Media reports from Syria say armed groups have killed 10 government forces and injured scores of others in the northwestern province of Idlib.

Police and army soldiers were killed in an ambush in the town of Binnish on Thursday, SANA reported on Friday. The attack also left 19 others wounded.

Government forces also seized large quantities of weapons, ammunition and communications equipment in Idlib.

This is while activists accuse Syrian forces of killing 10 protesters on the outskirts of Dara'a, Saqba, Damascus and in Aleppo.

Alarm Clock

Cholera kills 116 children in Somalia

malnourished child

File photo shows a severely malnourished child from southern Somalia is being held in a makeshift shelter in a refugee camp in Mogadishu
At least 116 Somali children have been killed in southern Somalia over the past 12 hours due to a cholera outbreak, Press TV reports

Hundreds of children have been rushed to hospitals and medical centers in Lego Town and Balad Town in southern Somalia, a local physician told Press TV.

Poor sanitary conditions, scarcity of clean drinking water and overpopulation have resulted in the spread of waterborne diseases in Somalia.

Cholera claims the lives of dozens in Somalia on a daily basis.