Society's ChildS


US: Michigan Bar Owners Ban Lawmakers for Banning Smoking!

Michigan Bar Owners Ban Lawmakers for Banning Smoking!


U.S Customs Use Canadian Medical Records: Canadians with Mental Illnesses Denied U.S. Entry

Lois Kamenitz
© Sarah Bridge/CBCLois Kamenitz contacted the Psychiatric Patient Advocate Office in Toronto after she was blocked entry to the United States because U.S. officials knew she had attempted suicide.
Data entered into national police database accessible to American authorities: WikiLeaks

More than a dozen Canadians have told the Psychiatric Patient Advocate Office in Toronto within the past year that they were blocked from entering the United States after their records of mental illness were shared with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Lois Kamenitz, 65, of Toronto contacted the office last fall, after U.S. customs officials at Pearson International Airport prevented her from boarding a flight to Los Angeles on the basis of her suicide attempt four years earlier.

Kamenitz says she was stopped at customs after showing her passport and asked to go to a secondary screening. There, a Customs and Border Protection officer told Kamenitz that he had information that police had attended her home in 2006.

"I was really perturbed," Kamenitz says. "I couldn't figure out what he meant. And then it dawned on me that he was referring to the 911 call my partner made when I attempted suicide."

Kamenitz says she asked the officer how he had obtained her medical records.

A document completed by a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officer says that at a secondary inspection at Pearson airport in Toronto, it was ascertained that Lois Kamenitz had 'attempted suicide in 2006,' and a medical clearance would be required for a further attempt to enter the United States.A document completed by a U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officer says that at a secondary inspection at Pearson airport in Toronto, it was ascertained that Lois Kamenitz had 'attempted suicide in 2006,' and a medical clearance would be required for a further attempt to enter the United States.


Egypt: Protest of Thousands in Cairo Turns Violent

© AP PhotoA protester holds the Egyptian national flag as a fire burns outside the building housing the Israeli Embassy in Cairo.
A demonstration that brought tens of thousands to this city's central Tahrir Square turned violent on Friday, when thousands of people - led by a heavy contingent of soccer fans - tore down a protective wall around the Israeli Embassy, while others defaced the headquarters of the Egyptian Interior Ministry.

The Egyptian state news agency said 448 people were injured and 17 protesters were arrested in the clashes, mostly around the Israeli embassy. Protesters scaled the walls of the Israeli Embassy to tear down its flag, broke into offices and tossed binders of documents into the streets.

Mustafa el Sayed, 28, said he had been among about 20 protesters who broke into the embassy. He showed a reporter video from a cellphone, of protesters rummaging through papers and ransacking an office, and he said they had briefly beaten up an Israeli employee they found inside, before Egyptian soldiers stopped them. The soldiers removed the protesters from the building, he said, but let them go free.

Arrow Down

Africa: Ship Carrying At Least 600 Sinks Off Tanzanian Coast; At Least 40 Dead and Hundreds Missing

© Marton Dunai/ReutersDeck hands aboard the tourist diving vessel Kisi throw bottles of water to the parched survivors of the Zanzibar ferry sinking.
An overcrowded ship carrying at least 600 people sank in deep sea off mainland Tanzania on Saturday, leaving at least 40 people dead and some 370 more believed missing or dead.

The ferry, M.V. Spice Islanders, was heavily overloaded and some potential passengers had refused to board when it was leaving the mainland port of Dar es Salaam, said survivor Abdullah Saied. It sank in an area with heavy currents in deep sea between mainland Tanzania and Pemba Island at about 1 a.m. Saturday.

About 230 people had been rescued and 40 bodies had been recovered, said Mohamed Aboud, the minister for the vice president's office.

Thousands of residents mobbed the docks of Stone Town on Zanzibar, an island near Pemba, waiting for news. One man was screaming that he had lost 25 members of his family, including his sisters, his wife and grandsons. He was too upset to give his name. Many of the crowd were crying or screaming.


Libyans Find Mass Grave, Signs that Detainees Were Shot at Close Range By Gadhafi Loyalists

© AP Photo/Francois MoriA Libyan medic checks the remains of one of the 18 bodies of prisoners who suffocated while locked in a shipping container by their captors from Moammar Gadhafi's military in Qhoms, 100 km south east of Tripoli, on their transfer at the morgue of the hospital in Tripoli, Libya, late Thursday Sepot. 8, 2011.
In a grove of pine trees near this mountain village, residents have dug up the remains of 35 bound and blindfolded men who they say were shot at close range by Moammar Gadhafi's military.

Dozens of miles away, a search team has exhumed the bodies of 18 detainees who died on a hot summer day while locked in a shipping container by Gadhafi guards.

As Libyans cope with the aftermath of their six-month civil war, more evidence is emerging that loyalists of the former regime savagely abused and in some cases killed detainees just before fleeing from advancing rebel troops.

There's no proof of systematic killings ordered from above, but Gadhafi's incitement against the rebel fighters he called rats "opened the door for this kind of barbaric conduct," said Fred Abrahams of Human Rights Watch.


The Local-Global Flip, or, "The Lanier Effect"

A Conversation with Jaron Lanier

Introduction by John Brockman

We used to think that information is power and that the personal computer enabled lives. But, according to Jaron Lanier, things changed about ten years ago. He cites Apple, Google, and Walmart as some of the reasons.

In a freewheeling hour-long conversation, Lanier touches on, and goes beyond the themes he launched in his influential 2006 Edge essay "Digital Maoism: The Hazards of the New Online Collectivism." What he terms "The Local-Global Flip" might be better expressed as "The Lanier Effect".

Transcript below:

Bizarro Earth

US: Long-term jobless give mixed reviews to Obama's speech

© The Associated Press/Julie JacobsonTera Burbank and John Clark had been out of work over two years in February 2011
You've heard what the pundits and expert analysts are saying about President Obama's jobs speech. But what about the real targets of the address: the long-term unemployed?

We asked Yahoo! readers who've recently been out of work for six months or more to tell us whether they heard anything last night that makes them more optimistic, or whether they saw the speech as more of the same. The verdict? We'd call it mixed.

Lisa W. was pleased. "I liked what the president said. It gave me hope," she told us. "Especially the part about the extension of unemployment benefits. Which I hope I don't have to use."

Lisa also gave high marks to the jobs training program that Obama announced. "I would work anywhere for more training," she wrote. "I'm not ashamed. It beats the heck out of sitting at home waiting for the phone to ring."

Another of the president's ideas appealed to James F. "Of particular interest to my situation were tax breaks for companies hiring those unemployed for more than 6 months (I'm getting close to 2 years)," he wrote.


US: Cherokees Expel Descendants of Slaves from Tribe

© The Associated PressIn late March, freedmen rallied supporters at the state capitol in Oklahoma City.
One of the nation's largest American Indian tribes has sent letters to about 2,800 descendants of slaves once owned by its members, revoking their citizenship and cutting their medical care, food stipends, low-income homeowners' assistance and other services.

The Cherokee Nation acted this week after its Supreme Court upheld the results of a 2007 special vote to amend the Cherokee constitution and remove the slaves' descendants and other non-Indians from tribal rolls. The 300,000-member tribe is the biggest in Oklahoma, although many of its members live elsewhere.

Olive Anderson, 70, of Kansas City, Mo., called the letter she received "a slap in the face."

"It tears me up to think they can attack my ancestors," Anderson said.

The tribe never owned black slaves, but some individual members did. They were freed after the Civil War, in which the tribe allied with the Confederacy. An 1866 treaty between the tribe and the federal government gave the freedmen and their descendants "all the rights of native Cherokees."

But more than 76 percent of Cherokee voters approved the amendment stripping the descendants of their citizenship. Tribal leaders who backed the amendment, including then-Principal Chief Chad Smith, said the vote was about the fundamental right of every government to determine its citizens, not about racial exclusion.


US: Dallas, Texas mother 'glued two-year-old daughter's hands to wall and beat her into a coma'

A two-year-old girl is fighting for her life after her mother allegedly glued her hands to the wall and beat her into a coma because she was struggling with potty training.

Elizabeth Escalona, 22, faces child abuse charges after she allegedly dragged her daughter through the house in Dallas and tortured her, leaving her with countless injuries and possible brain damage.

The toddler, Joselyn Cedillo, is on life support in hospital. According to police records, glue and paint were stuck to her palms, with skin torn away in places.


After Death: 8 Burial Alternatives That Are Going Mainstream

© Stephanie Pappas, LiveScienceA cemetery in Red Lodge, Montana.

The ancient world is full of examples of burial customs that seem strange now, from Egyptian mummification to bodies dumped in bogs to departed Vikings launched out on ships-turned-crematoriums. But space constraints and environmental concerns are pushing modern man to explore new options for dealing with the dead.

The most recent of these to land on American shores is a process that uses heat, pressure and chemicals to liquefy a body in just a few hours, leaving behind sterile remains that can be poured into the wastewater system.

But unusual customs, from launching cremated remains into space to old-fashioned burials in hand-dug graves, are a growing trend. Here are some of the newest choices (not all eco-friendly) for the end of life.