Society's ChildS


NY postpones clearing of anti-Wall Street square

occupy wall street
© AFP Timothy A. ClaryOn Thursday the protesters cleaned the
square themselves

New York - Anti-Wall Street protesters declared victory on Friday after a last-ditch deal saw New York authorities postpone evacuation of the park turned tent city that has become their home in the past month.

The owners of the property suspended their request for the city to clear it for routine cleaning and said they believed they could reach an agreement with the protesters, Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway said in a statement.

The demonstrators had vowed a pre-dawn show of strength to prevent their eviction from the makeshift base that is the symbolic epicenter of their fledgling but growing movement which has spread nationwide in recent weeks.

But it never came to pass. "Our position has been consistent throughout: the city's role is to protect public health and safety, to enforce the law, and guarantee the rights of all New Yorkers," Holloway said.


Gap Plans Store Closures in US, While Opening New Locations in China

© AP Photo
New York - Gap Inc. plans to close stores in the U.S., while expanding in China.

The struggling retailer, which runs the Gap, Old Navy and Banana Republic chains, detailed plans on Thursday to close 189 locations, or 21 percent of its namesake Gap stores in the U.S., by the end of 2013. At the same time, the largest U.S. clothing chain said it plans to triple the number of Gap stores in China from about 15 by the end of the year to roughly 45 by the end of next year.

The moves are related to the company's previously stated goal of reducing its overall square footage in the U.S. by 10 percent from 2007 to the end of 2013, while roughly doubling revenue from outside of the U.S. to 30 percent by the end of the same year.

"The combination of our global strategy and formidable growth platform puts us in a strong position to expand our reach into the top 10 apparel markets worldwide," said Glenn Murphy, Gap's CEO, in a statement. "In North America, we're taking a number of steps to improve sales in the near-term, and I'm confident that with a strong management team in place, we're well positioned for sustained growth across the business."


US: 30 girls assault another girl in Jersey City park

© Google MapA 15-year-old Hoboken girl was accosted by as many as 30 girls in a Wayne Street park in Jersey City, according to a police report.
A 15-year-old Hoboken girl was assaulted in a Downtown Jersey City park Friday night by a group of roughly 30 girls who stole her cellphone, police reports said.

Police were called to the park on Wayne Street between Barrow Street and Jersey Avenue at 9:57 p.m. on the report of a large, disorderly group and after dispersing the group of up to 30 people, police noticed the 15-year-old girl standing at the corner of the park with a bloody nose, swollen lip and bloody ear, reports said.

The victim said she was walking in the park with her cousin when the pack of teenage girls swarmed around her and assaulted her before stealing her cellphone, reports said.

The girl's mother, who was called to the scene, told police that just as she was arriving, she came across the group, asked for the phone back and one of the girls returned it to her, reports said.

Light Saber

US: Warren Jeffs' Wife Escapes Polygamist Community

© ABC NewsWarren Jeffs' Wife Escapes Polygamist Community
One of the wives of polygamist leader Warren Jeffs, who is currently serving a life sentence for child sexual assault, has escaped the confines of the isolated Arizona community where his 85 other wives live.

Arizona authorities have said that the 25-year-old woman who fled the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which was led by Jeffs, is now undergoing counseling and psychiatric care at a women's shelter. She was reportedly barefoot when she was found.

The secluded community of the church in Colorado City, Ariz., contains about 5,000 residents and is a world where outsiders are not welcomed. Now a woman that is highly familiar with the isolated community and its controversial former leader has escaped.

Willie Jeesop, a former FLDS spokesman who was kicked out of the religion by Jeffs, said that the unidentified woman was under duress when she sought refuge with Jeffs in Colorado City.


US: New York - Occupy Wall St. Prepares for Crackdown - Will Bloomberg Try to Tear It All Down?

Free health care, a sanitation team, a public library, solar power, and free childcare are just a few of the services the Occupy Wall Street protesters are providing.
"If Bloomberg really cared about sanitation here he wouldn't have blocked portapotties and dumpsters."
© Unknown
On Thursday afternoon Occupy Wall Street called an emergency General Assembly down at Liberty Plaza to deal with the announcement that Friday will see a cleanup of the park by the City, starting at 7 am. Representatives of Brookfield, the company that owns the park, said in the clean-up notice that everything left behind will be thrown away. On Thursday it was also revealed that Brookfield had sent a letter to police commissioner Ray Kelly asking the NYPD help clear out the protestors. A group of New York civil liberties lawyers warned the CEO of Brookfield that forcing protestors from the park violates their first amendment rights, stating, "Under the guise of cleaning the Park you are threatening fundamental constitutional rights. There is no basis in the law for your request for police intervention, nor have you cited any. Such police action without a prior court order would be unconstitutional."

Che Guevara

I AM NOT MOVING - Short Film - Occupy Wall Street

© N/A

The powerful "I Am Not Moving" juxtaposes Occupy scenes with footage of the Arab Spring alongside a righteous-sounding Hillary Clinton and Obama on the people's rights of expression and assembly. Watch it, post it. The powerful "I Am Not Moving" juxtaposes Occupy scenes with footage of the Arab Spring alongside a righteous-sounding Hillary Clinton and Obama on the people's rights of expression and assembly. Watch it, post it.


Gallup: More Americans "Struggling" to Afford Food Than Chinese

For all the discussion of "knowledge economies" and the associated rise in overall standard of living, the country that makes our iPads seems to be better off these days than the country that dreamed them up.

According to a new Gallup survey, "the percentage of Americans saying they did not have money for food in the previous 12 months more than doubled from 9% in 2008 to 19% in 2011."

By comparison, the percentage of Chinese surveyed who said they "did not have enough money to buy food that they or their family needed" over the past 12 months, dropped from 16% to 6%.

Gallup Survey_1
© Minyanville
From Gallup's Rajesh Srinivasan and Bryant Ott:


In A Down Economy, Drinking Goes Up

Alcohol Consumption
© redOrbit

Researchers from the University of Miami and the University of Colorado find a connection between macroeconomic conditions and excessive alcohol drinking

Previous studies have found that health outcomes improve during an economic downturn. Job loss means less money available for potentially unhealthy behaviors such as excessive drinking, according to existing literature on employment and alcohol consumption. A new study by health economist Michael T. French from the University of Miami and his collaborators has concluded just the opposite - heavy drinking and alcohol abuse/dependence significantly increase as macroeconomic conditions deteriorate.

French and his team found that binge drinking increased with a rise in the state-level unemployment rate. Driving while intoxicated and alcohol abuse and dependence also increased for both genders and across ethnic groups. The study is relevant considering that many economists predict the unemployment rate in the United States to remain above pre-crisis levels for several years.

"The study is timely, technically advanced, and original," says French, professor of health economics, director of the Health Economics Research Group at the UM College of Arts and Sciences and principal investigator of this study. "We are one of the first to show that, even though incomes decline for most people during an economic downtown, they still increase problematic or risky drinking."


Denmark Is Happiest Country, U.S. Misses Top 10

How Happy
© OECD calculations based on Gallup World PollData refer to 2010 except for 2008 for Iceland and Norway; and to 2009 for Estonia, Israel, Switzerland and South Africa.
A new report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has found that Danish people are the happiest among those in the 40 countries that were studied. Depending on the happiness scale used, Americans rank somewhere between No. 12 and No. 19 in the results.

In the "How's Life?" initiative, the results of which were published online Oct. 12, the OECD used data from 2010 Gallup world polls to calculate the happiness and well-being of people in 40 different countries, and investigated which factors have the strongest influence on people's happiness.

On a scale of 0 to 10, citizens of Denmark rated their life satisfaction at 7.8, on average. Citizens of Canada, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, The Netherlands, Australia, Israel and Finland were next most satisfied, followed by people in Ireland, Austria, and the United States, where people rated their life satisfaction at 7.2. Chinese and Hungarian people reported the lowest overall life satisfaction, both at 4.7.


Radiation hotspot in Tokyo linked to mystery bottles under a house?

A radiation hotspot has been detected in Tokyo seven months into Japan's nuclear crisis, but local officials said on Thursday that the high readings appeared to be coming from mystery bottles stored under a house, not the tsunami-crippled Fukushima atomic plant.

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, struck by a devastating quake and tsunami in March, has released radiation into the atmosphere that has been carried by winds, rain and snow across eastern Japan.

Officials in Setagaya, a major residential area in Tokyo about 235 km (150 miles) southwest of the plant, said this week it found a radioactive hotspot on a sidewalk near schools, prompting concerns in the country's most populated area far from the damaged nuclear plant.

The radiation measured as much as 3.35 microsieverts per hour on Thursday, higher than some areas in the evacuation zone near the Fukushima plant, the centre of the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl 25 years ago.

But the local government found several bottles under the floor of a nearby house emitting high levels of radiation.

"A measuring device, when pointed at them, showed very high readings. Radiation levels were even exceding the upper limit for the device," Setagaya Mayor Nobuto Hosaka told a news conference.