Society's ChildS


US: Mysterious Powder Sparks Evacuation at Utah Federal Building

Field test negative for any radiological substances

Ogden - The James V. Hansen Federal Building was evacuated Thursday after an envelope addressed to the IRS was found to contain an unknown powder.

Approximately 200 employees were evacuated from the building at 324 25th St. and sent home. A handful were kept in the building and decontaminated by hazardous materials teams wearing hazmat suits with air tanks.

The FBI is in charge of the investigation.

Debbie Dujanovic Bertram, spokeswoman for the Salt Lake City FBI office, said in an email Thursday evening that a field test of the substance by the Ogden Fire Department was "negative for any radiological substances." Biological testing is being conducted at a lab, and no one in the area where the substance was found has experienced any symptoms.

The incident is the second of its kind in the area in a week. On Friday, a white powdery substance was found at an IRS building in Farr West. The substance turned out to be harmless.


U.S.: Farmers sue Army Corps of Engineers after levee explosion destroys farmland

© Jeff Roberson / AP Missouri farmers worry that their land will be buried under feet of sand and silt, rendering it useless for years.

Washington - Attorneys have filed a class action complaint on behalf of farmers whose land was flooded when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers exploded a levee on the Mississippi River, sending water onto 130,000 acres of prime Missouri farmland.

The complaint, filed in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, contends the property rights of the farmers and landowners under the 5th Amendment to the Constitution were violated when a 15-foot high wall of water was released and flooded their property.

Better Earth

Teens Sue States to Protect Climate, Declare Atmosphere a Public Trust

blue sky
© Andres Rueda/Creative Commons

Love the idea, not sure it will succeed: Lawsuits have been filed in several states by climate activists, attempting to declare the atmosphere a public trust and force the US to meaningfully act on climate change. Previously such an approach has been used to clean up polluted waterways, but success here will likely depend on a judge will to break new ground.

The suits were filed in California, Colorado, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, and Washington. Additional legal action is planned for Alaska, Arizona, Massachusetts, and New Jersey.

Writing in The Guardian, 16 year old Alex Loorz, listed as plaintiff in the California suit, writes:
Our parents' and grandparents' generation have created a problem. They've developed a society that depends on burning fossil fuels, like coal and oil, to survive. They never realized that there were any huge consequences to running our lives with fossil fuels. But now, we do.

Today, I and other fellow young people are sueing the government, for handing over our future to unjust fossil fuel industries, and ignoring the right of our children to inherit the planet that has sustained all of civilization. I will join with youth and attorneys in every state in the US to demand that our leaders to live and govern as if our future matters.

The government has a legal responsibility to protect the future for our children. So we are demanding that they recognize the atmosphere as a commons that needs to be preserved, and commit to a plan to reduce emissions to a safe level.


Sir Paul McCartney to wed for third time

The Beatles legend, 68, confirmed he has proposed to long-term girlfriend Nancy Shevell.
© PacificCoastNews.comShe loves you ... Paul McCartney and Nancy in New York this week

And last night, American businesswoman Nancy - 17 years his junior - said: "It's true."

Macca has been dating Nancy since 2007. Their relationship began after his bitter split from former glamour model Heather Mills - known as Mucca over her porn past.

Eye 1

Australia: Flood victim's bizarre claims

© Rob WilliamsZachary Jibson and father Danny McGuire at the funeral of three of their family members.

Flood survivor Danny McGuire was yesterday at the heart of a bizarre story involving claims he could be charged with causing the tragic deaths of his family in the floods.

Acting Police Commissioner Ian Stewart and even Premier Anna Bligh were eventually forced to dismiss claims made by Mr McGuire yesterday morning.

Mr McGuire told media he would be charged with driving an emergency vehicle causing death and driving the vehicle while unlicensed.

Evil Rays

U.S.: Mysterious gas smell triggers neighborhood lockdown

San Diego- It was a mystery that took roughly four hours to figure out for a section of a Paradise Hills neighborhood.

San Diego Fire and Rescue crews along with Hazardous Materials crews from both the city and county responded to investigate a gas odor in the 6200 block of Childs Avenue.

The primary odor seemed to linger in one area, but reports came in from a four to five block area, according to San Diego Fire and Rescue Deputy Fire Chief Perry Peake.

As a precautionary measure firefighters went door to door notifying residents to stay inside and not to start up their barbecues.

Alarm Clock

Japan utility delays decision on halting reactors

© Kyodo News / APHamaoka nuclear power plant of Chubu Electric Power Co., in Omaezaki city, Shizuoka prefecture.
Tokyo - A Japanese power company postponed its decision Saturday on a government request that it halt three reactors at a coastal nuclear plant until safety measures can be improved to guard against future earthquakes and tsunamis.

Shutting down the reactors would likely worsen power shortages expected this summer.

On Friday, Prime Minister Naoto Kan said he had asked Chubu Electric Power Co. to suspend operation of the reactors at the Hamaoka Nuclear Power Station in Shizuoka prefecture until a seawall is built and backup systems are improved. Though not legally binding, the request is a virtual order.

The government is reviewing the safety of the country's 54 atomic reactors since a March 11 earthquake and tsunami crippled the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant in the north. The disaster left more than 25,000 people dead or missing on the northeast coast.

The Hamaoka plant, which is about 125 miles (200 kilometers) west of Tokyo in an area where a major quake is expected within decades, has been a major concern for years.

Chubu Electric executives failed to reach a decision after discussing the request Saturday afternoon and decided to meet again after the weekend, company official Mikio Inomata said.

Evil Rays

Child abuse an 'epidemic' in Costa Rica

teddy bear
© Mónica Quesada A Classless Act: Officials at the National Children’s Hospital are drawing attention to an increasing number of child abuse cases reported in Costa Rica. The victims are society’s most innocent.

Child abuse in Costa Rica has reached epidemic proportions.

Officials at the National Children's Hospital made this dramatic statement on January 19 to draw attention to the growing problem, which now affects more than 1,000 Costa Rican children every year, although officials believe the actual number is much larger.

Hospital officials say they are using the term epidemic because of an alarming increase of reported child abuse cases committed over a short period of time across a broad segment of Costa Rican society.

The World Health Organization uses the term when a health phenomenon affects 10 of every 100,000 habitants.


Bullets and Tumors...

© Seattle Post-Intelligencer Paul Kitagaki Jr.Fatma Rakwan, 6, who has leukemia, is held by her mother at a hospital in Basra, Iraq.
If I am to choose between dying from a bullet or a tumor, I'd choose the former...

I have seen the agony of those with tumors...I stood by their side, and saw them exhale their last breath...I saw the bald heads of chemotherapy, the bloated faces with cortisone, the final cry of mercy...

This sight is no joke...

Later on, I stood there, and prayed when their finally rested bodies showed up in coffins...

I will never forget the agony, nor the cries of pain...the coffin is relief, a sign that a clement God does really exist. And how many a times I prayed for Death, for Deliverance...

Is that what we've been reduced to - praying for the angel of Death to deliver us ?

Deliver us from your bullets or your tumors ?

Because I tell you, every single person I come across that arrives from Iraq will tell me the same...they tell me if you are not killed with a bullet, you will be killed with a tumor.

Iraq has become a disaster area, a health hazard...the levels of toxicity and pollution are so high, none are allowed to measure.

A relative arrived from Basra, I wanted to ask...she beat me to it and said "Don't".

I offered her lunch, tea, and tried again...


US: World's Last Radio Telescope Searching for Aliens Closed Due to Funding Cuts

It's a question which has always fascinated humans: Are we alone in the universe?

But the search for other intelligent life in space has been dealt a devastating blow which means we may never find out the answer.

The planet's only radio telescopes dedicated to searching for other life has been shut, the victim of U.S. government spending cuts.

© unknownClosure: The Allen Telescope Array, the world's last radio telescopes, are to be mothballed due to U.S. government spending cuts
The Allen Telescope Array in California has been mothballed after funding ran out, said senior astronomer Seth Shostak.