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US: DA Who Never Charged Sandusky Has Been Missing Since 2005

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Centre County, Pa., prosecutor Ray Gricar, missing since April 2005, is shown March 31, 2005.
Why didn't Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar prosecute Jerry Sandusky the first time he was accused in 1998? We may never know, as Gricar disappeared in 2005.

It is strange that Centre County District Attorney Ray Gricar never prosecuted Jerry Sandusky on child-rape charges 13 years ago, some speculate, because Gricar was known for being fiercely independent and hard on crime.

But it is even stranger that we cannot ask Gricar why Sandusky was not put behind bars, because the tough-as-nails district attorney disappeared in 2005. And though he was declared dead July of this year, his body has never been found.

"People ask why Ray did not prosecute, and I have no problem saying, because he clearly felt he didn't have a case for a 'successful' prosecution," Tony Gricar, Ray Gricar's nephew , told The Patriot-News.

"... One thing I can say is that Ray was beholden to no one, was not a politician."

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The American-Western European Values Gap

American Exceptionalism Subsides
American Exceptionalism Subsides The American-Western European Values Gap
© Pew Research Center

As has long been the case, American values differ from those of Western Europeans in many important ways. Most notably, Americans are more individualistic and are less supportive of a strong safety net than are the publics of Britain, France, Germany and Spain. Americans are also considerably more religious than Western Europeans, and are more socially conservative with respect to homosexuality.

Americans are somewhat more inclined than Western Europeans to say that it is sometimes necessary to use military force to maintain order in the world. Moreover, Americans more often than their Western European allies believe that obtaining UN approval before their country uses military force would make it too difficult to deal with an international threat. And Americans are less inclined than the Western Europeans, with the exception of the French, to help other nations.

These differences between Americans and Western Europeans echo findings from previous surveys conducted by the Pew Research Center. However, the current polling shows the American public is coming closer to Europeans in not seeing their culture as superior to that of other nations. Today, only about half of Americans believe their culture is superior to others, compared with six-in-ten in 2002. And the polling finds younger Americans less apt than their elders to hold American exceptionalist attitudes.

These are among the findings from a survey by the Pew Research Center's Global Attitudes Project, conducted in the U.S., Britain, France, Germany and Spain from March 21 to April 14 as part of the broader 23-nation poll in spring 2011.

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Is economy best birth control? US births dip again

The economy may well be the best form of birth control.

U.S. births dropped for the third straight year - especially for young mothers - and experts think money worries are the reason.

A federal report released Thursday showed declines in the birth rate for all races and most age groups. Teens and women in their early 20s had the most dramatic dip, to the lowest rates since record-keeping began in the 1940s. Also, the rate of cesarean sections stopped going up for the first time since 1996.

Che Guevara

OWS's "National Day of Action" across US: 177 Occupy Wall Street protesters arrested in NYC

'All day, all week, shut down Wall Street!' crowd chants


At least 177 people have been arrested during clashes between police and Occupy Wall Street demonstrators in New York City, part of a day of mass gatherings in response to efforts to break up Occupy Wall Street camps nationwide.

Thousands of protesters took to the streets around the U.S., including Los Angeles, Dallas, Portland, Ore., to mark two months since the movement's birth. Dozens of arrests were reported, including 23 in Los Angeles.

One of the largest demonstrations was in New York, where at least 1,000 demonstrators tried to clog up streets around the stock exchange. Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said five of the protesters arrested were charged with felony assault and that seven police officers and 10 protesters were injured.

Five other officers were treated after being hit in the face with stinging liquid.

Smoking

Hysteria Alert!: UK doctors call for ban on smoking in cars

smoking
© bureaucrash.com
The British Medical Association is calling on the government to ban smoking at all times in cars, a step that would go beyond regulations elsewhere.

In research released on Wednesday, the group that represents U.K. doctors said the confined environment in cars exposes drivers and passengers to 23 times more toxins than a smoky bar. Children are particularly vulnerable to second-hand smoke since they absorb more pollutants. Smoke can linger in cars long after cigarettes have been smoked.

In countries including Australia, Canada, and parts of the U.S., smoking in cars is banned when children are present. In the U.K., smoking in public vehicles like buses and trains is banned but there is no law against smoking in private cars.

Dr. Vivienne Nathanson of the association said Wednesday that the government should now take a "bold and courageous step."

Pocket Knife

Parents furious after new campaign suggests co-sleeping is as dangerous as babies sleeping with knives

Baby knives ad 1
© Milwaukee Health Department
Controversial: The public service ads by Milwaukee's Health Department are intended to capture attention, but some deem the images 'over the top'
A sweetly sleeping baby lies amongst soft bedding, a chubby finger brushing against a giant meat cleaver.

One of two images, the photo is part of an ad campaign that has outraged parents and experts, who see its shock tactics as 'over the top.'

The public service ads by Milwaukee's Health Department are the latest weapon in a fight to alert parents to the dangers of sharing a bed with babies.

While many deem the message as timely and necessary, the way in which authorities have gone about the visual imagery is seen as offensive.

The images are run alongside the slogan: 'Your baby sleeping with you can be just as dangerous.'

People

Some 30,000 Greek protestors march on U.S. Embassy in Athens, clashes ensue

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© Yiorgos Karahalis, Reuters
Riot police secure the U.S Embassy in Athens, November 17, 2011, during a rally marking the anniversary of a 1973 students uprising against the dictatorship then ruling Greece and to protest against the U.S. for having supported the 1967-1974 military junta.
Some 30,000 people took to the streets in Athens in commemoration of the 38th anniversary of the ultra-right junta of the "Black Colonels" on Thursday, police said.

Several demonstrations in Athens poured together and joined one mass peaceful demonstration against Greece's government decisions on austerity measures to receive loans from the European Union and the International Monetary Fund.

The protestors were marching toward the U.S. Embassy because the ultra-left organization blames the United States for supporting the "Black Colonels" in their suppressing a university students' uprising on November 17, 1973. During the uprising in 1973, several youth were killed and thousands were injured.

USA

US: House GOP Classifies Pizza As A Vegetable To 'Prevent Overly Burdensome' School Lunch Regulations

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© Unknown
This meal is chock full of vegetables, according to the House GOP.
Earlier this year, the USDA made an attempt to bolster the nutrition guidelines for the federal school lunch program. Under the new guidelines, for instance, school lunches would be limited to one cup of starchy vegetables a week and the ability of schools to count tomato sauce on pizza towards their fruit and vegetables requirement would be scaled back. But House Republicans, in a new spending plan unveiled yesterday, have done away with those changes:
The spending bill also would allow tomato paste on pizzas to be counted as a vegetable, as it is now. The department's proposed guidelines would have attempted to prevent that.

The changes had been requested by food companies that produce frozen pizzas, the salt industry and potato growers. Some conservatives in Congress have called the push for healthier foods an overreach, saying the government shouldn't be telling children what to eat.

Alarm Clock

10-year-old Mexican girl gives birth to baby boy after 31-week pregnancy

pregnant 10 yr old
© Unknown

Country's laws prohibit abortion procedures for children under 12

A 10-year-old Mexican girl has given birth to a baby boy after a 31-week pregnancy, according to reports.

The premature infant, which weighed 3.3 pounds, was born by Caesarian section at the Women's Hospital in the city of Puebla and is in the intensive care unit recovering from pneumonia.

The young mother, who is from the nearby San Francisco Totimehuacan community, has returned home after the procedure but visits the baby every day to breastfeed, officials said.

Attention

US school board sells ad space on report cards

Faced with stinging budget cuts, a county school board in the Rocky Mountain state of Colorado is selling advertising space on report cards to help make ends meet.

Jefferson County Public Schools expects to make $90,000 over three years from Collegeinvest, a college savings plan, for the two-inch (five-centimeter) ads on report cards issued by its 91 elementary schools.

That seems like a drop in the bucket for the school board, which last year slashed its spending by $40 million in the face of reduced state and federal government support and a slump in revenue from school property taxes.

But school board spokeswoman Melissa Reeves told AFP by telephone on Monday: "We're obviously looking for revenue generators and taking them where we can find them."