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US: Mom faces jail after son, 4, died jaywalking with her

Four-year-old A.J. Nelson
© TODAY
Four-year-old A.J. Nelson was killed by a hit-and-run driver. Because she did not use a crosswalk, his mother faces up to three years in jail.

Drunk driver got six months after hitting boy; she could get up to three years

A mother who could serve more jail time for jaywalking than the man who killed her 4-year-old son in a hit-and-run accident tried to come to grips with that brutal reality in an emotional interview with TODAY's Ann Curry on Monday.

Raquel Nelson, 30, faces up to three years in prison after being convicted July 12 of second-degree vehicular homicide, reckless conduct, and failure to use a crosswalk during an incident that occurred on the night of April 10, 2010. She and her three children had gotten off at a bus stop in Marietta, Ga., and were trying to cross a four-lane highway without using a crosswalk in order to reach their apartment. Jerry Guy, a man who had two prior hit-and-run convictions, struck the family with his van as they were crossing, killing 4-year-old A.J. Nelson in the process.

Guy served a six-month prison sentence after pleading guilty to a hit-and-run and was released on Oct. 29. He is currently serving five years of probation. Nelson faces up to 36 months in jail when she is sentenced at a hearing on Tuesday.

Arrow Down

US and France More Depressed Than Poor Countries

Sad Man
© Live Science
Sad older man.

Depression is more likely to strike in high-income countries than in poor ones, according to new research on depression rates across 18 countries worldwide.

The study, published July 25 in the open-access journal BMC Medicine, found that the average lifetime prevalence of major depression in the 10 high-income countries in the study was 14.6 percent. In the eight low- and middle-income countries, the lifetime prevalence of major depression was 11.1 percent.

Across countries, depression was linked to social factors such as age, marital status and income, though sometimes in complicated ways. In low-income and middle-income countries, for example, the average age of a first depressive episode was 24. In high-income countries, depression was likely to hit almost two years later, at 25.7.

The researchers speculate the wealthier countries experience more of the blues because richer countries also have more income inequality. In addition, depression may be a disease of the affluent, a phenomenon that isn't fully understood, they say. Figuring out the causes of depression around the world will help initiatives to combat the mental-health problem, which has been linked to Alzheimer's disease. In severe cases, depression can end in suicide, which leads to about 850,000 deaths per year, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Gear

Like Daughter, Like Mother

Like Daughter, Like Mother
© Tomer Lichtash
Moms, your daughters don't want to be like you when they grow up - or at least, they don't want to dress like you. It's the other way around, according to a forthcoming study in the Journal of Consumer Behaviour. Researchers polled 343 mother-daughter pairs (average ages 44 and 16, respectively) and found that mothers intentionally mimic their daughters' style - an effect the authors call the "consumer's doppelganger effect."

Subjects were asked about their perceived age, fashion consciousness, expertise in clothing and cosmetics, and the extent to which their mothers or daughters influenced their fashion tastes. If a mother thought her daughter was a style expert and perceived herself as youthful, she had a 25% chance, on average, of copying her daughter's clothes and cosmetics.

Daughters, on the other hand, even if they felt older than their actual age and thought that their mothers were stylish, only had a 9% chance, on average, of mimicking them. While it has long been known that children influence their parents' consumptive behavior when it comes to products the family consumes as a whole, such as cars or food, this is the first study to show that children can influence their parents' purchase of goods they consume for themselves, suggesting that children's influence on their parents is much more profound than previously thought.

Attention

Children Abandoned on East Africa's "Roads of Death"

Somali Child
© Reuters / Kabir Dhanji
A newly arrived Somali refugee carries her child as they await medical examinations at the Dadaab refugee camp, near the Kenya-Somalia border, July 23, 2011.

Desperate Somali mothers are abandoning their dying children by the roadside as they travel to overwhelmed emergency food centers in drought-hit eastern Africa, U.N. aid officials said Monday.

Josette Sheeran, executive director of the United Nations World Food Program, told a conference in Rome that a combination of natural disaster and regional conflict was affecting more than 12 million people.

"We are seeing all the points able to distribute food completely overwhelmed," she said, adding that a camp in Dadaab in Kenya that was built for 90,000 people now housed 400,000.

"We want to make sure the supplies are there along the road because some of them are becoming roads of death where mothers are having to abandon their children who are too weak to make it or who have died along the way," she said.

Women and children were among the most at risk in the crisis, Sheeran said, calling it the "children's famine" given the number of children at risk of death or permanent stunting of their brains and bodies due to hunger.

The WFP will feed 2.5 million malnourished children and is trying to raise money for more, she said.

Magic Wand

South Africa: 'Dead man' wakes up inside morgue

Image
© BBC
A 50-year-old South African man woke up inside a mortuary over the weekend and screamed to be let out - scaring away attendants who thought he was a ghost.

His family presumed he was dead when they could not wake him on Saturday night and contacted a private morgue in a rural village in the Eastern Cape.

He spent almost 24 hours inside the morgue, the region's health department spokesman told the Sapa news agency.

The two attendants later returned and called for an ambulance.

The man - whose identity has been withheld - was treated in hospital for dehydration.

Stormtrooper

US, Michigan: Man Says TSA Screener Mishandled Urostomy Bag -- Again!

Thomas Sawyer
© Fox 2
Thomas Sawyer
A man with bladder cancer whose humiliating security pat down at Detroit Metro Airport ended with urine from his urostomy bag spilled on him said Friday that he was mishandled again by a screener last week.

Thomas Sawyer of Houghton Lake made national news in November when a security agent's aggressive pat down caused the lid of his urostomy bag to loosen, spilling urine on his shirt and pants. Transportation Security Administration head John Pistole personally called Sawyer to apologize and pledge an investigation into how screeners handle passengers with sensitive medical conditions.

"I thought that I had really made a difference for people flying with urostomies, I really did," the 62-year-old told the Free Press on Friday. "I'm angry this time. They can't be training them properly."

Sawyer said he went through security July 14 at the McNamara Terminal for a flight to Orlando -- the same destination he was flying to in November -- and a screener disregarded his warning that he had a urostomy bag beneath his untucked shirt.

Bizarro Earth

Return of Mass Layoffs a Grim Sign for U.S. Workers


Putting pressure on an already lousy job market, the mass layoff is making a comeback. In the past week, Cisco, Lockheed Martin and Borders announced a combined 23,000 in job cuts.

Those announcements follow 41,432 in planned cuts in June, up 11.6% from May and 5.3% vs. a year earlier, according to Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

Meanwhile, state and local governments have cut 142,000 jobs this year, The WSJ reports, and Wall Street is braced for another round of cutbacks. This week, Goldman Sachs announced plans to let go 1000 fixed-income traders.

If these trends continue, we may soon be talking about losses in the monthly employment data -- not just disappointing growth, says Howard Davidowitz, CEO of Davidowitz & Associates

"Everything in business is confidence," Davidowitz says. "You lose confidence and businesses can't deal with that [and] who could have confidence with what's going on in Washington?"

Davidowitz is bipartisan in his criticism, calling the U.S. political system "dysfunctional and deranged."

Arrow Up

Gold hits new high as debt talks stall

gold bars
Gold rose to fresh record high on Monday as talks over lifting the debt ceiling appeared to be stalling just days before the August 2 deadline, raising the prospect of a debt default.

Spot gold climbed as high as $1,622.49 an ounce versus Friday's high of $1,607.01 and the previous record of $1,609.51 before easing back to $1,614.66 by 0007 GMT, Reuters data showed.

President Barack Obama and congressional leaders struggled late on Sunday to break a partisan deadlock on a budget deal and bullion dealers said investors were ditching stocks in favor of safe haven assets, such as gold, until the outcome of talks become clearer.

A slightly weaker U.S. dollar at the start of early trading in Asia gave gold its initial lift, though bullion continued to firm even as the greenback later stabilized, according to bullion dealers.

"Gold is moving on its own," a dealer said.

Attention

Dominique Strauss-Kahn Accuser Tells Her Story


Image
© ABC News
The hotel maid who has accused former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn of trying to sexually assault her in a New York City hotel room has broken her public silence in an exclusive broadcast interview with ABC News.

"I want justice. I want him to go to jail," Nafissatou Diallo told ABC's Robin Roberts in an interview to air Monday on Good Morning America and World News with Diane Sawyer and Tuesday on Nightline. "I want him to know that there is some places you cannot use your money, you cannot use your power when you do something like this."

Strauss-Kahn may not go to jail. Manhattan District Attorney Cy Vance is considering whether to drop the charges amid "concerns" he has said he has about Diallo's credibility.

Camera

US: Entering Police State (for your own good)

Amerikan Police State
© Woodcock
There's a story out of New York by Taylor Hatmaker, Secret Service raids Apple store artist for snapping 1000 spy photos , that caught my attention the other day. The secondary title was a bit more accurate, "A young digital artist secretly recorded shoppers peering into computers at New York Apple stores"; too late, I was already looking for James Bond behind every iPad.

The article indicated Kyle McDonald asked for permission to install a computer program of his own design which would secretly take photographs of potential customers as they contemplated purchasing items at the store. McDonald collected the photographs to make a short artistic video which he posted on the internet; a video which is no longer available for viewing.

Who hit the alarm button, the one to alert Homeland Security, Secret Service, the CIA and MI-6 to save us from having our pictures taken in a public setting? "All units, unauthorized picture taking on 14th Street; seek and destroy. Call out the black ops helicopter and get Maxwell Smart out of retirement; the security of our civilized society is now at Defcom 3". Somebody took photographs in New York City; oh my heavens, call out the guard!
"The stealthy undertaking resulted in the confiscation of McDonald's two computers, his iPod, and some other storage devices, but it isn't yet clear if the McDonald was actually in violation of any laws. While the Secret Service warrant cited 'computer fraud' as the cause for the raid..."
Did you catch that, "it isn't yet clear if the McDonald was actually in violation of any laws"? The "state" always knows best so it must be for our own good.