Society's ChildS


Siberian woman died in 'suicide pact' with her boyfriend in Edinburgh

© The Siberian Times Daria Kuchuk, Igor Pavlov with his parents Alexander and Tatiana in UK.
Daria Kuchuk, 35, born in Omsk, had followed her mother to Scotland in search of a new life, but her quest ended in tragedy.

Our exclusive pictures show Daria - who was an academic high achiever in Siberia, Moscow and at Oxford University in England - with her long-time boyfriend Igor Pavlov, 27, from Moscow. The couple died from cyanide poisoning after checking into a $500 a night room at The Scotsman five star hotel in Edinburgh, one of the best in Scotland.

It was close to a flat they shared near the Royal Mile in the heart of the Scottish capital. The couple died on 1 August but these are the first pictures of the couple, obtained by The Siberian Times. They show the couple with Igor's parents several years ago in the UK. In one, they are posing with the wax models of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip at tourist attraction Madame Tussauds.

Family friends of 35 year old Daria (Dasha) from Siberia spoke of the 'appalling shock' of her death and the 'waste of such a brilliant mind'.

'They were not officially married but it is known that they lived together as partners for a considerable time,' said a spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry press centre in Moscow. 'As far as we know neither of them had children'.


Politicians Lie - and Reporters Can't Report That

There's an interesting Politico story (8/22/12) about Andrea Seabrook, who until recently was a Capitol Hill reporter for NPR. She's moved on to a new independent reporting project, but it's what she said about her previous gig that's most revealing:
"I realized that there is a part of covering Congress, if you're doing daily coverage, that is actually sort of colluding with the politicians themselves because so much of what I was doing was actually recording and playing what they say or repeating what they say," Seabrook told Politico. "And I feel like the real story of Congress right now is very much removed from any of that, from the sort of theater of the policy debate in Congress, and it has become such a complete theater that none of it is real.... I feel like I am, as a reporter in the Capitol, lied to every day, all day. There is so little genuine discussion going on with the reporters.... To me, as a reporter, everything is spin."

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Market Watch: Is the bond bubble finally bursting? U.S. rates creep up

U.S. stocks barely moved Monday. But bond yields continued to creep higher amid chatter that the Federal Reserve could begin winding down its stimulus sooner rather than later. Worries that the central bank could taper its $85 billion a month in bond purchases, or quantitative easing, as early as September has spurred a huge sell-off in bonds. Investors have yanked nearly $20 billion from bond mutual funds and exchange traded funds so far in August. That's the fourth highest pullback ever, according to TrimTabs data.

In June, investors took out $69.1 billion - the highest on record. The heavy selling has pushed long-term bond rates to two-year highs, with the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield nearing 2.87%. "As much as bond professionals say they've never really liked QE, they're trading as though they miss it already," said Jim Vogel, interest rate strategist at FTN Financial. The Fed will remain in focus this week as investors look ahead to Wednesday. That's when the Fed releases minutes from its last monetary policy meeting. The Kansas City Fed also hosts its annual conference in Jackson Hole, Wyo. later this week. Concerns about the Fed tapering have hit stocks as well. The Dow Jones industrial average, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq have dropped for two consecutive weeks. But with no economic data or significant earnings reports on tap Monday, the three major market indexes were only slightly higher. -CNN


Once Again: Lax regulations allows Nestlé free B.C. water to sell back to consumers

The Nestlé Waters Canada operates in Hope, B.C. and uses 230 million litres of fresh water every year from an aquifer in the Fraser Valley. It's the same aquifer the residents of the valley use for their water.

The food and beverage giant is not required to measure, report or pay for the water because of B.C.'s lack of regulations on its use. Nestlé then takes the 'free' water and sells it back to consumers across Western Canada.

This has left Fraser Valley residents wondering if their portion of that underground supply could soon run out.

"They weren't concerned with having to pay for water," says Sheila Muxlow, The Water Wealth Project. "But if they were going to have to pay for water they wanted to see everybody have to pay for water. That's an issue for us because corporations are not local residents."

Comment: See the world according to the Nestlé CEO.


Texas cops raid farm commune when mistaking tomato plants for marijuana

Police in Arlington, Texas are being criticized for their tactics during a drug raid on a local farm that came up empty while allegedly damaging both the property and the crops.

"They can't even tell the difference between tomato plants and a marijuana drug cartel," farm resident Quinn Eaker told KXAS-TV. "That's just really bad intel."

Eaker said to KXAS that he and several residents at the "Garden of Eden" sustainability garden were handcuffed at gunpoint by officers during the Aug. 2 raid, which also involved a SWAT team, after an undercover officer and helicopter surveillance allegedly gave authorities probable cause to believe there was marijuana being grown on the premises.

"They came here under the guise that we were doing a drug trafficking, marijuana-growing operation," owner Shellie Smith told WFAA-TV. "They destroyed everything."


Texas Police hit organic farm with massive SWAT raid

A small organic farm in Arlington, Texas, was the target of a massive police action last week that included aerial surveillance, a SWAT raid and a 10-hour search.

Members of the local police raiding party had a search warrant for marijuana plants, which they failed to find at the Garden of Eden farm. But farm owners and residents who live on the property told a Dallas-Ft. Worth NBC station that the real reason for the law enforcement exercise appears to have been code enforcement. The police seized "17 blackberry bushes, 15 okra plants, 14 tomatillo plants ... native grasses and sunflowers," after holding residents inside at gunpoint for at least a half-hour, property owner Shellie Smith said in a statement. The raid lasted about 10 hours, she said.

Local authorities had cited the Garden of Eden in recent weeks for code violations, including "grass that was too tall, bushes growing too close to the street, a couch and piano in the yard, chopped wood that was not properly stacked, a piece of siding that was missing from the side of the house, and generally unclean premises," Smith's statement said. She said the police didn't produce a warrant until two hours after the raid began, and officers shielded their name tags so they couldn't be identified. According to ABC affiliate WFAA, resident Quinn Eaker was the only person arrested -- for outstanding traffic violations

Comment: This is the complete, unedited interview with Garden of Eden owners. No drugs were found, no crimes were committed, but their organic farm was destroyed anyway. Still think we aren't living in a Police State?


Police tell victims: Call 911 and you'll get evicted under 'nuisance' laws

© Jessica Kourkounis for The New York TimesLakisha Briggs, a victim of domestic violence, faced eviction last year under a public nuisance ordinance in Norristown, Pa., that punishes landlords for 911 calls.

The police had warned Lakisha Briggs: one more altercation at her rented row house here, one more call to 911, and they would force her landlord to evict her.

They could do so under the town's "nuisance property" ordinance, a law intended to protect neighborhoods from seriously disruptive households. Officials can invoke the measure and pressure landlords to act if the police have been called to a rental home three times within four months.

So she faced a fearful dilemma, Ms. Briggs recalled, when her volatile boyfriend showed up last summer, fresh out of a jail stint for their previous fight, and demanded to move in.

"I had no choice but to let him stay," said Ms. Briggs, 34, a certified nursing assistant, even though, she said in an interview, she worried about the safety of her 3-year-old daughter as well as her own.

"If I called the police to get him out of my house, I'd get evicted," she said. "If I physically tried to remove him, somebody would call 911 and I'd be evicted."

Over the last 25 years, in a trend still growing, hundreds of cities and towns across the country have adopted nuisance property or "crime-free housing" ordinances. Putting responsibility on landlords to weed out drug dealers and disruptive tenants, the laws aim to save neighborhoods from blight as well as ease burdens on the police.

Comment: There is absolutely no reason for these "nuisance ordinances" except to allow the Police to harass and terrorize the poor. Landlords already have a mechanism with which they can evict a truly troublesome tenant, it's called a "lease." The fact that the government is forcibly inserting itself into the landlord / tenant relationship, often with devastating results for low income crime victims, is yet further proof that we are living in a Police State.


Australia to cut tax benefit for parents who don't immunise children

© Reuters/BeawihartaParents who do not vaccinate their children will miss out on payments of $700 per child under Labor's plan.
Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has today announced that parents who choose not to have their children vaccinated will miss out on thousands of dollars in government benefits.

Speaking at Westmead Hospital in Sydney, Mr Rudd said that those who do not vaccinate their children will not get the Family Tax Benefit A end-of-year supplement.

The payment is worth $726 per child, per year and is paid when children are vaccinated at one, two and five years of age.

Since last year, parents who have not immunised their children have not received the benefit; however, those registering as so-called conscientious objectors have.

Under Labor's policy, exemptions would only be made on religious or medical grounds.

Labor says it wants to boost immunisation rates and prevent children who are not vaccinated from getting diseases like whooping cough and measles, and putting others at risk.

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Sioux Falls Police: No Bigfoot sighting in Sioux Falls

Sioux Falls Police have officially gone on record saying Bigfoot was not seen in Sioux Falls Thursday night.

Cpt. Greg VandeKamp addressed the matter at the daily police briefing Friday. A reporter asked VandeKamp if he could explain some of the recent claims of Bigfoot being spotted in downtown Sioux Falls.

Joseph Kucera sent two pictures to KSFY News from the Jazz concert in Downtown Sioux Falls Thursday night, and if you look closely you can see a strange looking creature.


British police are investigating Diana's death again

Princess Diana
© Paul Vicente, epa
Give her a rest.

Just short of the 16th anniversary of her shocking demise, British police announced Saturday they are investigating Princess Diana's death - again.

British media and the Associated Press reported that Scotland Yard is examining the "relevance and credibility" of newly received information relating to the deaths of Diana and her companion, Dodi Fayed, who also was killed, along with their driver, in a car crash in a Paris traffic tunnel on Aug. 31, 1997.

What information could they have that has not already been examined by the French police, the British police and by a British coroner's inquiry? The Yard is not saying.

Its statement said only that the assessment will be carried out by officers from its specialist crime and operations unit.

Palace press officials representing Diana's sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, declined to comment.

The Telegraph reported that the new information alleges that Diana was "murdered" by a member of the British military, and that the allegation came to the Yard from the Royal Military Police, who in turn got it from the in-laws of a former soldier.