Society's ChildS


Number of dead pigs in Shanghai river jumps to almost 6,000

© AFP Photo
The number of dead pigs found in Shanghai's main river doubled in two days to nearly 6,000, the government said, as officials from a nearby area blamed for the porcine deluge sought to deny it was the source.

Shanghai had pulled 5,916 dead pigs out of the Huangpu river, which cuts through China's commercial hub and creates its waterfront Bund district, the local government said in a statement late Tuesday.

The city had earlier put the number of deceased swine - believed to have been dumped by farmers after dying of disease - fished out of the river at 2,813 as of Sunday evening.

Shanghai has pointed the finger at Jiaxing in the neighbouring province of Zhejiang, a major centre for hog-raising, Shanghai media have reported.


Swiss reject full ban on smoking in public spaces

Have vote, will smoke!
Voters in Switzerland have rejected a total ban on smoking in enclosed public places at a referendum.

Although Geneva voted slightly in favour, results from the country's other 25 cantons showed a majority of voters rejected a full ban.

Hotels, restaurants and bars are allowed rooms for smokers but critics say workers' health is at risk.

Restrictions introduced two years ago were watered down after lobbying from the catering trade and tobacco firms.

In some cantons, more than 70% of voters rejected the ban, according to Geneva newspaper La Tribune de Geneve. Geneva itself bucked the trend by supporting the ban by 52% to 48%.

Comment: A very interesting result. Geneva is the headquarters of the UN and many large multinational firms have offices there, a factor that undoubtedly attracts higher percentages of psychopaths and other character-disturbed people.

Geneva and seven other cantons have already imposed their own comprehensive bans on indoor smoking in places of employment while the remaining, smaller cantons have been less restrictive.

Comment: It would be interesting to see how many national smoking bans remain standing after they were all put to a public vote.


Venezuela cancels smoking ban

A day after a smoking ban is promulgated, it is annulled

Venezuela's Ministry of Health has annulled by decree an anti-smoking law which would have prohibited smoking in public places and offices of work a day after it was published. By contrast to the US, Canada, Europe and Asia, Venezuela is one of the few countries that still allowed smoking in a wide variety of public places, restaurants, bars, nightclubs and stadiums.

A day after the anti-smoking law was printed in the Official Gazette, the annulment resolution was published in the Official Gazette. All laws must be published in the government's Official Gazette to be official. The text read: "to declare the absolute annulment of the resolution of environments free of smoke identified by number 014 and the date of February 24." No motive or explanation was given for the sudden annulment.

Sources at the Ministry of Health have not given out any official or non official statements as to the reasons for annulling a law which, in addition to banning smoking, would have mandated the obligatory posting of signs indicating: "This is an environment 100% free of tobacco smoke by resolution of the Ministry of Popular Power for Health."

Che Guevara

Protests against rising food prices begin in UK, how long until the European Spring?

Members of the Shropshire group of the World Development Movement set up a 'Bankers Anonymous' stall on the High Street on Saturday outside the Shrewsbury Unitarian Church.

Organisers claim that banks and hedge funds are helping to drive up food prices through their financial speculation tactics, resulting in the cost of basic foods increasing beyond the reach of millions of the world's poorest people.

The campaign comes after Barclays announced last month that it would end its food price speculation work, with chief executive chief Antony Jenkins saying the work was 'not compatible with our purpose'.

The World Development Movement estimates the bank made £278 million from the trade in 2012.

The organisation is calling for tough controls on speculation and for other banks to follow the example of Barclays.


Michelle Obama's private info leaked online

Michelle Obama
© unknown
The first lady and the Vice President are among the latest public figures to have their private information posted on a mysterious website, and the Secret Service has joined the investigation into the postings that include documents from people ranging from rapper Jay-Z to the head of the FBI.

The site includes Social Security numbers,credit reports, addresses and phone numbers.

It bears an Internet suffix originally assigned to the Soviet Union,and many of the pages feature unflattering pictures or taunting messages of the person featured. Others whose information is posted include pop star Britney Spears, Attorney General Eric Holder, former Alaska governor Sarah Palin and former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Both the FBI and the Secret Service said Tuesday they were investigating the site.

White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said he had "no assessments to offer" on the situation and referred questions to the Secret Service, which wouldn't provide further details.

The site grew from 11 names to 18 in the first 24 hours since it became public, with its operator adding additional features to count the number of visitors and a link to a Twitter account. It offers no explanation about why the targets were selected or how the information was obtained. The Twitter account includes an anti-police message in Russian.

Bizarro Earth

9 year old girl gets thrown off Moscow bus, spends hours in freezing cold

© Photo from lizaalert.orgJenya Melnikova
A schoolgirl from a Moscow suburb had to spend seven hours in freezing - 10 C (14 F) weather, after she was reportedly turfed off a bus because she didn't have the fare. The driver is now facing criminal charges for leaving a child in danger.

Nine year-old Zhenya Melnikova left her music lessons at a Moscow art school at 4 pm on Monday. When 5 hours later she was still not home her parents reported her missing to the police.

Officers joined by volunteers searched for the girl until midnight when she was eventually found at a railway station.

The girl told police she got on a shuttle bus after school. For some reason, which is not yet clear, the girl didn't have with her the 40 roubles (US$1.30) her mother usually gave her to pay the fare, nor a mobile phone. Despite Zhenya's young age and the freezing cold outside, the driver allegedly ordered the child to get off.

Heart - Black

Chicago baby Jonylah Watkins dead after being shot 5 times

© Watkins FamilyBaby Jonylah Watkins died after she and father were shot in Chicago, March 11, 2013.
A 6-month-old baby has died in a Chicago hospital after being shot five times while her father, the intended target in the shooting, was shot several times and now remains in critical condition.

Jonylah Watkins was shot along with her father Jonathan Watkins, 25, in Chicago's Woodlawn neighborhood Monday afternoon, police confirmed this morning, in the latest death in the city's escalating gang violence dilemma. Baby Jonylah was transported to Comer Children's Hospital where she underwent five hours of surgery, according to ABC affiliate WLS.

The Cook County Medical Examiner's office confirmed the baby's death early Tuesday.

Jonathan Watkins is recovering from his wounds at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Garry McCarthy, Chicago's police chief, said that Watkins underwent several surgeries and is in critical but stable condition.


Visiting priest arrested on suspicion of child molestation

A Catholic priest has been arrested on suspicion of child molestation, according to a press release from the Diocese of Stockton.

The Rev. Julio Guarin-Sosa, pictured, a visiting priest from Columbia, was arrested on suspicion of sexual battery and molestation of a minor in Yuba City. He is being held in the Sutter County Jail and is scheduled to be arraigned today.

Guarin-Sosa had been helping out at St. Anne's parish in Lodi. Stockton Bishop Stephen E. Blaire had required, and was provided a letter, attesting to Guarin-Sosa's good standing prior to the priest's ministry work at St. Anne's.

Eye 2

New York 'cannibal cop' convicted of kidnapping plot

New York City police officer Gilbert Valle was convicted on Tuesday of conspiring to kidnap and eat young women.

The New York Times reported that Valle could be sentenced to life in prison for kidnapping conspiracy, and also faces a five-year jail sentence for using a law enforcement database to research potential victims.

During the trial, prosecutors highlighted internet records showing Valle, who became known as the "cannibal cop," visiting several websites devoted to fetishes involving the kidnapping and cooking of young women. During his bail hearing in November 2012, they said, Valle said in an online chat that he wanted to have "girl meat" as a Thanksgiving meal.

Heart - Black

Ted Nugent claims to have killed 455 pigs with machine gun 'for Bill Maher'

Gun rights activist and musician Ted Nugent claimed in a radio interview on Monday that he killed more than 450 pigs with a machine gun while shooting from a helicopter. According to the website RumorFix, Nugent made the claim in an interview with Brett Winterble on Sirius XM Radio and said that he dedicated the kill to HBO host Bill Maher and "all those other animal freaks out there."

"I took my machine gun in the helicopter - in the Texas hill country - me and my buddy 'Pigman' ... his name is 'Pigman' - I'm the swine czar," said Nugent. "I killed 455 hogs with my machine gun. i did it for Bill Maher and all those other animal rights freaks out there."

Boasting that the weapon he used fired 750 rounds a minute, the right-wing provocateur said, "My haters will hate me more for that."