Society's ChildS


Narcissists Look Like Good Leaders, but They Aren't

Narcissists rise to the top. That's because other people think their qualities -- confidence, dominance, authority, and self-esteem -- make them good leaders.

Is that true? "Our research shows that the opposite seems to be true," says Barbora Nevicka, a PhD candidate in organizational psychology, describing a new study she undertook with University of Amsterdam colleagues Femke Ten Velden, Annebel De Hoogh, and Annelies Van Vianen. The study found that the narcissists' preoccupation with their own brilliance inhibits a crucial element of successful group decision-making and performance: the free and creative exchange of information and ideas. The findings will be published in an upcoming issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

Arrow Up

US: California - Jerry Brown Signs Popular Vote Bill

More than a decade after George W. Bush beat Al Gore for president despite winning fewer votes nationwide, California has given a movement to overturn the nation's Electoral College system perhaps its greatest lift yet.

Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation this morning committing California to an interstate compact to award electoral votes to the presidential candidate who wins the most votes nationwide.

The agreement would become effective only if states possessing a majority of the nation's 538 Electoral College votes agree. Eight other states and the District of Columbia have signed on, committing 74 electoral votes. The bill Brown signed today adds California's 55.


Economic Uncertainty Leading to Global Unrest

set ablaze in north London
© Leon Neal | AFP | Getty ImagesTwo police cars and a large number of buildings were on Saturday set ablaze in north London following a protest over the fatal shooting of a 29-year-old man in an armed stand-off with officers. The patrol cars were torched as dozens gathered outside the police station on the High Road in Tottenham.
London is reeling from three nights of rioting that's poured hundreds of people into the streets, leaving several local neighborhoods in shambles. One man is dead, dozens injured and arrested.

The protests have now spread to other cities, with violence reported in parts of Birmingham, Liverpool and Bristol.

Great Britain and other parts of the world are experiencing unrest at a time of global economic uncertainty and stock market volatility.

Here's a look at what's happening around the world and how economic downturns are bringing protestors into the streets.


UK Riots: Lockdown in London, While Trouble Flares in Nottingham and Manchester

UK rioters
© West Midlands police/PAWest Midlands police issued CCTV images of suspects in the Birmingham disorder.
A firebomb was launched at a Nottingham police station, while shops were ablaze in Manchester

A police station in Nottingham was firebombed late on Tuesday by a group of up to 40 men, police said, while there was looting in Manchester and there were tense scenes in Salford.

Canning Circus police station in Nottingham was attacked by the group but no injuries were reported, Nottinghamshire police said just after 10pm.

The force said a number of men were detained nearby.

There was also trouble in Birmingham and other parts of the West Midlands, but relative calm in London as Scotland Yard attempted to put the capital in lockdown with 16,000 police on the streets, in contrast to 6,000 on Monday.


US: Philadelphia Mayor Imposes Curfew to Stop Flash Mobs

Philadelphia mob
During an early afternoon press conference on the growing problem of mobs of African-American teens assaulting pedestrians, Mayor Michael Nutter announced further details of the city's plan to crack down on the violence before it goes any further.

A 9 p.m. curfew in the Center City District for children under the age of 18 will be strictly enforced. That area has been extended from Brown Street to Bainbridge Street and everything in between the Delaware to Schuylkill Rivers.

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Northern Ireland: Shock over 47% rise in suicide rate since 2006

The number of people taking their own lives in Northern Ireland jumped by almost 50% in the last five years, shocking new statistics reveal.

The figures, published by the Public Initiative for the Prevention of Suicide and Self Harm (PIPS), show that since 2005 the number of people dying by suicide has risen from 213 to 313 last year - a 47% increase.

And while some years have shown a reduction in the death rates, on the whole there has been a steady rise in the number of people taking their own lives.

The alarming statistics emerged as PSNI Chief Constable Matt Baggott visited the charity's offices in north Belfast yesterday.

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Russian markets battered again over U.S. recession fear

© RIA Novosti. Alexey PanovMICEX
The Russian stock market extended losses on Tuesday and the ruble plunged against the dollar and the euro for a second consecutive day over fears that the U.S. economy was in danger of going back into recession.

The dollar-denominated RTS stock exchange index lost 7.03 percent by 13:20 Moscow time to 1,541.20, falling well below the psychologically important 1,600 point level. The RTS closed 7.84 percent lower on Monday at 1,657.77 for the first time since December 10, 2010.


Eleven dead as plane crashes in Russia's Far East

© RIA Novosti. Dmitry PetrochenkoAn-12 transport plane
Eleven people died on Tuesday when a plane crashed in Russia's Far East, officials said.

The An-12 transport plane carrying nine crew members, two passengers and 16 metric tons of food disappeared at 07.34 Moscow time (03.34 GMT) some 300 kilometers from its take-off point. It went off radar screens while en route from Magadan to Chukotka shortly after reporting a fuel leak and fire in an engine.


So much for illusion of privacy: Most Canadians can be uniquely identified from their date of birth and postal code

© Unknown
New research unveils privacy risks from combinations of demographics.

There are increasing pressures for health care providers to make individual-level data readily available for research and policy making. But Canadians are more likely to allow the sharing of their personal data if they believe that their privacy is protected. A new report by Dr. Khaled El Emam, the Canada Research Chair in Electronic Health Information at the University of Ottawa and the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, suggests that Canadians can be uniquely identified from their date of birth, postal code, and gender. This means if this triad of data exists in any database, even if it has no names or other identifying information, it would be possible to determine the identity of those individuals. The report is now available in BMC Medical Informatics and Decision Making Journal.

"Most people tend to think twice before reporting their year of birth [to protect their privacy] but this report forces us all to think about the combination or the totality of data we share," said Dr. El Emam. "It calls out the urgency for more precise and quantitative approaches to measure the different ways in which individuals can be re-identified in databases - and for the general population to think about all of the pieces of personal information which in combination can erode their anonymity."


Australia: Ex-NetRatings CEO's daughter freed from collar 'bomb'

New South Wales police have worked for ten hours, with calls to the Australian Federal Police and bomb disposal experts in the UK, to free a Sydney girl from what was believed to be an explosive.

The ordeal for Mosman 18-year-old schoolgirl Madeleine Pulver began when a balaclava-clad intruder broke into the family home and attached a device around her neck.

Only after the "box-shaped device" strapped to her neck was removed were police able to confirm that it was not, in fact, an explosive. However, Assistant Commissioner of NSW Police Mark Murdoch said that instructions left by the attacker had led them to believe the device was explosive.