Society's ChildS


Americans are flocking to Mexico to take advantage of its better healthcare system

Another surprise about US/Mexican relations...

For years, thousands of Americans have been going to Mexico for medical procedures that would otherwise be too expensive in the US.

Now, some are ever taking advantage of Mexico's free health care.

Given the unfolding collapse of any semblance of competence, sanity and humanity in the US health care system, this trickle could easily become a flood.


Best of the Web: Polar vortex and food stamp cuts create perfect storm of hunger

The freezing temperatures across the country mean higher heating costs for everyone. Many low-income families are struggling with this increase in prices. They are already under the strain of trying to afford food.

Last year 47 million hungry Americans lost food stamp benefits, and Congress may be bringing more cuts to the table. Needy families are placed in the awful situation of having to choose between heat or food.

The combination of this winter's "polar vortex" with the cuts in food stamps has created a perfect storm of increasing hunger in America.

Feeding America's CEO Bob Aiken says, "The high cost of heat this winter due to prolonged and brutal cold spells will strain many household budgets and send more people to food pantries, soup kitchens and other emergency-food charities."

In a study released prior to the cold spell, Feeding America said about 46 percent of its clients "report choosing between paying for food and paying for heating fuel or other utilities." With the massive drop in temperatures this winter, this figure is likely much higher.

In Cincinnati, Ohio, temperatures have been in the single digits or below zero multiple days this month. Sarah Cook of the Freestore FoodBank says, "We are seeing more people right now because of utility issues. "

However, the Freestore and other food banks across the country face dwindling donations following the holidays, making it tougher to keep up with any increase in demand. In addition, with the cuts in food stamps, hungry Americans are turning to food banks for more support than ever. Food banks, even with the generosity of its donors, cannot make up the difference for major cuts in federal food aid.

Che Guevara

Protest turns into riot as 120,000 take to Paris streets to demand President's resignation

© Reuters/Philippe WojazerDemonstrators gather near a sign portraying French President Francois Hollande wearing donkey ears with a school grade of Zero and which reads, "You, President Resign" as several thousand people attend the "Journee de la Colere" (Day of Anger) march in protest of France's President Francois Hollande, in Paris January 26, 2014.
Clashes have broken out during anti-government protests in France. Thousands of people took to the streets of Paris in a "Day of Anger" against a host of policies introduced by President Francois Hollande.

An anti-government protest in Paris ended in violence on Sunday when police used tear gas to disperse several hundreds youths throwing bottles, fireworks, iron bars and dustbins.

Police said at least 150 people were arrested and 12 police officers were injured in the clashes.

According to official figures at least 17,000 people carrying banners saying "The French are angry" marched through central Paris in a mass rally against the embattled president Francois Hollande.

Organizers put the turnout at around 120,000.

Comment: "Mainly right-wing protesters"?

Try telling that to the the various socialist groups that joined the protest!

The international media has clearly bought the French government line about dissent in France being predominantly the 'work of right-wing extremists'.


Aaron Swartz's documentarian on the life and death of an anti-establishment icon

Aaron Swartz
© wikimedia commonsAaron Swartz at Wikimedia Meetup in Boston
On Monday, documentary filmmaker Brian Knappenberger premiered his documentary on Aaron Swartz, The Internet's Own Boy, at the Sundance Film Festival. With Aaron's family in attendance, and buoyed by two standing ovations, it was an emotional moment.

Knappenberger is no stranger to films that straddle the fine line between objective observer and "angsty activist." His last film, We Are Legion: The Story of the Hacktivists, carved out similar territory, blunting government and corporate talking points by giving Anonymous hacktivists a direct voice in their own story. In truth, Anonymous is quite good at this on its own, but We Are Legion brought a lot of the loose hacker collective's voices together in a single vehicle.

Who killed Aaron Swartz?
Aaron Swartz's suspicious death
The inspiring heroism of Aaron Swartz
Remembering Internet prodigy and activist Aaron Swartz (1986-2013): Your life is an inspiration


Anti-François Hollande protests in Paris degenerate into violence‏

Anti Hollande Protest
© Philippe Wojazer/Reuters'You, President, get out': anti-François Hollande protests in Paris.
Nineteen police officers were injured and 250 people detained as a protest in Paris against President François Hollande's leadership degenerated into violence, police have said.

Police said that none of the injuries was critical. The numbers of injuries and detentions are high compared with other protests in recent weeks expressing discontent with Hollande, who is particularly unpopular for his handling of the economy.

Police said 17,000 people took part in Sunday's largely peaceful protest, while organisers put the number several times higher.

Fifty associations were involved, including conservative and far-right groups. Also present were supporters of the provocateur-comic Dieudonné, who has been repeatedly convicted of antisemitism and racism.

Bizarro Earth

'I am not ill; I am grieving': Judge orders urgent release of mother held in psychiatric hospital against her will for a MONTH after fighter pilot husband strangled son, 14, and hanged himself

© FacebookFree at last: Christina Schumacher, 48, was ordered released from a Vermont psychiatric ward more than five weeks after she was hospitalized against her will in the wake of her husband and son's murder-suicide
A Vermont woman committed to a psychiatric ward against her will after her estranged husband killed their son and then hanged himself was ordered released by a judge Friday.

Christina Schumacher, 48, was ordered released immediately from Fletcher Allen Health Care in Burlington by Vermont Superior Court Judge Kevin Griffin.

Schumacher had been at the hospital since December 19, a day after 14-year-old Gunnar 'sonny' Schumacher and 49-year-old Ludwig Schumacher were found dead in an Essex apartment.

Police said the father, a former Vermont National Guardsman and F-16 pilot, strangled the high school freshman before he hanged himself.

It was unclear whether Schumacher had left the facility by Friday night.

Griffin said in his ruling that he disagreed with a doctor's assessment before Schumacher arrived for a regular appointment the day after the murder-suicide that she needed to admit herself or be taken into custody.


Child exploitation by ISIL terror group in Syria war

The notorious al-Qaeda-linked terrorist group called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has lately released a video footage of a young child proclaiming membership in the radical militant gang, raising suspicions that the terror group is also engaged in child abuse practices.


TransCanada pipeline explosion in Manitoba shuts off gas for 4,000 residents in sub-zero temperatures - Cause unknown

Manitoba pipe explosion
© Youtube/Roberto Gomez

A natural gas pipeline operated by TransCanada Corp. exploded and caught fire in the Canadian province of Manitoba on Saturday, shutting off gas supplies for as many as 4,000 residents in sub-zero temperatures.

"We could see these massive 200- to 300-meter high flames just shooting out of the ground and it literally sounded like a jet plane," resident Paul Rawluk told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.


How much of what we hear about North Korea is pure propaganda? Inside the North Korea Rumor Mill

Last August, Kim Jong Un's ex-girlfriend, singer Hyon Song Wol, was arrested for violating North Korea's pornography laws. Three days later, Hyon and 11 other performers rounded up with her, were machine-gunned to death in front of their families. Or, maybe they weren't.

In December, Kim Jong Un had his uncle Jang Song Thaek handcuffed and marched out of a meeting of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers Party of Korea. He and five aides were later stripped naked and eaten alive by 120 dogs that had been starved for three days. Or not.

Was Kim Jong Un "very drunk" when he ordered the execution of two of his uncle's former aides last fall? It was reported as fact in South Korea's JoongAng Ilbo, citing the Japanese Yomiuri Shimbun, which relied on nothing more than "a source." Has Kim Jong Un's younger sister really been put "in charge of the regime's coffers since the execution of his uncle? The Chosun Ilbo quotes a group of North Korean activists in South Korea who say they heard as much from "a North Korean source." Without any way to confirm much of what we hear about the daily machinations going on within North Korea's borders, the short answer is: who knows

Eye 2

20-year-old Indian woman gang-raped by 13 men under court order because she fell in love with man from another community

Indian police escort men accused of the attack to court. 13 men have been arrested and remain in custody.
Police in India's West Bengal state have arrested 13 men in connection with a gang rape of a woman, allegedly on orders of village elders who objected to her relationship with a man.

The 20-year-old woman has been admitted to a hospital in a critical condition. Unofficial courts in India's villages often sanction killings of couples deemed to have violated local codes. Scrutiny of sexual violence in India has grown since the 2012 gang rape and murder of a student on a Delhi bus.

The government tightened laws on sexual violence last year after widespread protests following the attack. But violence and discrimination against women remain deeply entrenched. The suspects were produced in court and have been remanded in custody. They have not yet made any public comment.

Police said the latest incident on Monday night was prompted by the relationship between a woman belonging to the Santhal tribal group and a non-tribal man from a nearby village in Birbhum district.