Society's ChildS


Occupy Wall Street Protesters March Against Police Brutality

Thousands of demonstrators take to the streets in New York to highlight police brutality at last week's protest against the power of the US finance industry

© Stan Honda/Getty ImagesA man holds up an anti-Wall Street placard on the march to NYPD headquarters.
Several thousand anti-Wall Street protesters marched through downtown Manhattan on Friday night to protest against incidents of police brutality at a previous demonstration.

The group was part of the Occupy Wall Street movement which has camped for almost two weeks in a New York square to protest against the finance industry, among other grievances.

The group had attempted a march last weekend which ended in scores of arrests. Numerous incidents of police roughing up protesters were caught on film including one senior officer spraying mace at several female demonstrators being kept behind a police barrier.

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Syrian Forces Take Back Most of Rebel Town

© ReutersDemonstrators protesting against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad march through the streets in Homs September 30, 2011.
Syrian soldiers have taken control of most of the town of Rastan from deserters and gunmen, an activist said on Saturday, after the most prolonged armed clashes of the six-month uprising against President Bashar al-Assad.

Rami Abdel-Rahman, head of the British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, said a force of 250 tanks was sent to the region on Friday and the army was deployed across 80 percent of Rastan.

Communication with the town of 40,000 people, 180 km (110 miles) north of Damascus, was difficult but Abdel-Rahman said a resident who managed to escape early on Saturday reported heavy gunfire throughout the night.

Syria says it is fighting terrorists there. The state news agency said on Friday seven soldiers and police were killed in the operation but had succeeded in inflicting "big losses on the armed terrorist groups."


US: California Pulls out of Nationwide Wrongful Foreclosure Settlement

Citing a troubling surge of recent foreclosures in California, state Attorney General Kamala Harris today pulled out of a pending nationwide settlement with major U.S. banks over foreclosures abuses.

In a letter to Associate U.S. Attorney General Thomas Perrelli and Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, Harris said the deal is "inadequate" for homeowners while providing too much immunity for bank officials.

"After much consideration, I have concluded that this is not the deal California homeowners have been waiting for," wrote Harris.

"(The) relief contemplated would allow too few California homeowners to stay in their homes."


US: Book Advocating Extreme Discipline May Be Connected to Deaths of Adopted Children

© No Greater Joy Ministries
Court documents suggest parents follwed teachings in book titled To Train Up a Child.

When 13-year-old Hana Grace Rose Williams died, she was found naked, face down in the mud in the backyard, in 42 degree weather.

Charging documents in the murder case against her adoptive parents show Hana was the victim of on-going abuse and neglect, a corporal punishment style of parenting straight out of a book sold on The book is titled To Train Up A Child.

A family friend told detectives that Hana's mother, Carri Williams, gave her the book during a visit to the family's home. It's written by Michael Pearl, an Amish fundamentalist preacher in Tennessee, who encourages parents to go to extreme measures to discipline their children.

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US: Hispanic Students Vanish from Alabama Schools

© AP Photo/Dave MartinMothers arrive to pick up their children from Flowers School in Montgomery, Ala., Friday, Sept. 30, 2011.
Hispanic students have started vanishing from Alabama public schools in the wake of a court ruling that upheld the state's tough new law cracking down on illegal immigration.

Education officials say scores of immigrant families have withdrawn their children from classes or kept them home this week, afraid that sending the kids to school would draw attention from authorities.

There are no precise statewide numbers. But several districts with large immigrant enrollments - from small towns to large urban districts - reported a sudden exodus of children of Hispanic parents, some of whom told officials they planned to leave the state to avoid trouble with the law, which requires schools to check students' immigration status.

The anxiety has become so intense that the superintendent in one of the state's largest cities, Huntsville, went on a Spanish-language television show Thursday to try to calm widespread worries.


Texas, US: Woman Dies After Being Struck by Car Driven by Son

© Fox News
A 68-year-old woman died Thursday night when she was intentionally hit by a car driven by her son as she was being loaded into an ambulance, police said.

Police and Emergency Medical Services responded to a domestic disturbance call near the Lamar Plaza Shopping Center in South Austin about 7 p.m. and found a woman with minor injuries, said Cpl. Wuthipong "Tank" Tantaksinanukij.

As paramedics were loading the woman, who was on a stretcher, into the ambulance, they heard a car accelerate toward them, Tantaksinanukij said.

"They tried to get her out of the way, but the vehicle hit her and she died around 7:45 p.m.," he said. No one else was injured.

He said as the man, who is 50, attempted to drive away, he hit a marked police cruiser. He was arrested nearby.

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Rescuers Find 18 Bodies in Indonesia Plane Crash

© AP Photo/Indonesia Air Force's Elite ForceThe wreckage of a Spanish-designed aircraft CASA C-212 is seen in Bahorok, North Sumatra, Friday, Sept. 30, 2011.
The bodies of all 18 people who were on board a plane that crashed into the jungle-covered mountains of western Indonesia were recovered from the wreckage Saturday, an official said.

The Spanish-designed CASA C-212 lost contact with air traffic control early Thursday while flying from North Sumatra to Aceh province. Minutes later, it sent out a distress signal, then dropped off the radar.

Rugged, forested terrain and bad weather had prevented rescuers from reaching the crash site by foot, and the wreckage was spotted from a helicopter Friday in the Leuser mountains at an altitude of 5,000 feet (1,524 meters).

Early Saturday, 13 rescuers were lowered by helicopter by rope to the crash site, following two others who had reached the site just before darkness fell Friday.

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Plane Hits Ferris Wheel in Australia; No Injuries

© AP Photo/Carl MuxlowTwo men and their ultra-light plane hang from a Ferris wheel while two children sit in a carriage near the top of the ride at a country festival at Old Bar, Australia.
An ultra-light plane crashed into a Ferris wheel at a rural festival in eastern Australia on Saturday, trapping two children on the ride and two adults in the aircraft for hours. There were no serious injuries.

The Cheetah S200 carrying two men did not topple the Ferris wheel when it hit the frame near the top on the first morning of an annual three-day festival at Old Bar, a coastal village 220 miles (350 kilometers) north of Sydney, New South Wales Rural Fire Service spokesman Ben Shepherd said.

Two children - a 9-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl - were trapped in a carriage at the top of the wheel near the wrecked plane for 90 minutes, police said.

The 52-year-old pilot and his 32-year-old passenger were trapped inside the mangled aircraft more than 30 feet (10 meters) above ground for almost three hours, police said.

Shepherd said rescuers used a crane to free the four.

"Thankfully, everyone was taken down and were able to walk away from it," Shepherd said.

The pilot, Paul Cox, said he did not see the Ferris wheel before his plane hit it.


World population could hit seven billion this month

© RIA Novosti. Artur AlexandrovWorld population could hit seven billion this month
The population of the earth could grow to seven billion this month, up from just three billion fifty years ago, and may reach ten billion by 2100, the UN's population department says.

There is no precise information about when the world's population will reach this symbolic figure. The UN world population fund declared 31 October as the symbolic date to mark the event and is to hold a number of events to mark it.

The world's population grew slowly until reaching one billion around 1804. However, it only took another 125 years to double and growth was then exponential. The world's population then grew seven-fold in just two centuries. The world's population has doubled since the 1960's.

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Greek public-sector workers occupy 6 ministries and lock out IMF and ECB inspectors

© John Kolesidis/ReutersGovernment employees blocking the entrance to the interior ministry in Athens.
Surprise sit-ins start with civil servants declaring that they had taken over six ministries early this morning

International experts with the task of compiling a crucial review of Greece's fiscal progress ran into trouble before they could even start the job as public-sector workers protesting against wage cuts, layoffs and higher taxes locked them out of office buildings.

Inspectors from the European Union, International Monetary Fund and European Central Bank were greeted on Thursday with banners deploring the "barbaric measures" the so-called "troika" has meted out in exchange for propping up the moribund Greek economy. At the finance ministry - the hub of talks between the debt-stricken country and creditors - protesters shouted "take your bailout and leave" and prevented auditors from entering the building.

"We are sending a loud message to the government and the European Union that we have reached our limits, that it is the workers in our country and especially workers in the public domain who have carried the burden [of cost-cutting policies]," said Costas Tsikrikas, president of Adedy, the union of civil servants.