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Tue, 07 Feb 2023
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US: 18 charged in gang rape of 11 year old girl

Eighteen suspects have been arrested in the alleged gang rape of an 11-year-old girl in Texas, authorities said.

Darrell Broussard, assistant police chief in Cleveland, Texas, said the suspects so far include 13 adults and five juveniles, ages 14-27, CNN reported.

"There have been leads during our investigation that have alerted us to other possible persons of interest," Broussard said. "The investigation is ongoing."

Four students in the city's school district who had been arrested Friday appeared in a Liberty County courtroom Monday and pleaded innocent to charges of aggravated sexual assault of a child under 14, KHOU-TV, Houston, reported.


NPR broadcaster Vivian Schiller quits over 'racist Tea Party' video

© Michael Benabib/AP
Vivian Schiller, who resigned as president of NPR after the release of a "sting" video.
President of National Public Radio falls on her sword after one of her staff is recorded attacking Republicans

The president of the US public broadcaster National Public Radio (NPR) has resigned following the release of a "sting" video in which one of its fundraising executives criticises the Republican party and refers to Tea Party supporters as "seriously racist, racist people".

Vivian Schiller, who was also chief executive of NPR, stepped down as the row over the video intensified.

She described the executive's comments as "an affront to NPR as a news organisation", adding: "Those comments were really contrary to what we stand for, everything we do."

The video, which was choreographed by the Republican activist James O'Keefe, shows NPR executive Ronald Schiller (no relation to Vivian) meeting a group of people posing as Muslim philanthropists.

In it Ronald Schiller tells the people - ostensibly potential donors from the "Muslim Education Action Centre Trust" - that the Republicans have been "hijacked" by the Tea Party movement, whom he describes as "xenophobic, I mean basically they are; they believe in sort of white, middle America gun-toting. I mean, it's scary. They're seriously racist, racist people."

Comment: For more information regarding media firings, see this Sott link:

"You Cannot Criticize Israel In This Country And Survive" - Helen Thomas Defends Comments on Israelis in Radio Interview


US: Woman Kept Son in Dog Crate: Cops

© unknown
The boy slept there for two weeks, police said.

An Old Saybrook woman is accused of making her son sleep in a locked dog crate because he was acting out and soiling his bed.

Police started investigating Kathlyn Anthony, 54, after the boy's sister said at school that she was tired because she kept getting up at night to let her brother out of his "sleep locker."

School officials called police, who learned that the "sleep locker" was a 30-inch-high 36-inch-by-22-inch crate that the family had used to hold cats, police told the Day of New London.

Anthony is accused of keeping her son in the crate for about two weeks, the Day reports.


US: Wish Comes True for Cancer-Stricken 10-Year-Old Inducted into Army

© unknown
Most kids might hope to get an Xbox or an iPod Touch for their 10th birthday. Brennan Daigle got a reception from a formation of soldiers, a ride in a camouflaged National Guard Humvee--and induction as an honorary member of the Army.

Since October 2009, Brennan, from Sulphur, Louisiana, has been battling embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma--a rare form of cancer in which muscular tumors attach themselves to bones, writer Rachel Reischling reports in the Fort Polk Guardian. Last month, doctors told his family there was nothing more they could do, and gave Brennan just weeks to live.

Brennan has always loved the Army. His mother had created a Facebook page--Brennan's Brigade--to keep family and friends informed of his condition. People from around the world, including soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan, have left comments of encouragement and support. One group of soldiers in Afghanistan posted a picture of themselves holding an American flag, and told Brennan: "We're flying this flag in honor of you; we're here to back you. Stay Army strong."

Becky Prejean, who runs a charity for sick kids called Dreams Come True of Louisiana, heard about Brennan's illness, and got in touch with his mother, Kristy Daigle. Brennan's greatest wish, Daigle told Prejean, was to meet some soldiers in person, before his illness worsened. So the two women contacted the Fort Polk Community Relations Office, which put out a call for a few soldiers to attend Brennan's tenth birthday on Feb. 26.

Forty showed up.


US: Ex-Ottawa Cop Wanted Teen Sex Romp, Gets 10 1/2 Years In prison instead

A former Ottawa police officer who was caught in an online teen sex sting after expressing his desire in a fetish chat room to experience the "gift of a 14-year-old's virginity" was sentenced Tuesday to 10 1/2 years in prison.

Paul Maher, 60, of Richmond, Ont., plans to petition the government in Canada to allow him to serve most of his jail time north of the border, public defender Thomas Livingston said after the sentence was imposed by a federal judge in Pittsburgh.

Maher pleaded guilty in October to two counts: travelling with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, and coercion and enticement of a person he believed to be a 14-year-old girl. He faced a mandatory minimum 10-year sentence and could have received up to 11 years and three months in prison under sentencing guidelines.

Maher was arrested June 27, 2008, after travelling nearly 1,000 kilometres to a Pennsylvania motel for a meeting he had arranged with the "teen" - actually an undercover police officer from Mount Pleasant, a borough about 50 kilometres southeast of Pittsburgh.

He didn't go through with the meeting because he believed he was under police surveillance, court heard.

"Your criminal conduct in this case was depraved and vile," U.S. District Judge Terrence McVerry said before sentencing Maher, who opted not to address the judge. "You are without doubt a sexual predator.


People Power! 'Make Wall St. Pay' campaign debuts by occupying bank branch, House speaker's office

Bank Protests
© The Raw Story

A new campaign by a national network of activists kicked off Monday morning with a splash as it led hundreds of fed up homeowners in a series of protests that brought business to a halt at a major bank and the House speaker's office.

The National People's Action network picked Monday to launch the "Make Wall Street Pay" campaign thanks to another show in town: the National Association of Attorneys General's Convention in Washington, D.C.

But they didn't stop there.

Moving from the meeting of all 50 Attorneys General, the crowd made their way to a Bank of America branch on Pennsylvania Ave. While about 300 stood outside, another 300 moved indoors, filling up the lobby and bringing business to a standstill.


Mya Guarnieri: Xenophobia in Tel Aviv

This morning, I woke to the news that a woman had been stabbed to death in South Tel Aviv. Two men - dubbed migrant workers by the Hebrew press, but referred to as "African descent" in the English-language media, suggesting they were probably asylum seekers - were briefly held under suspicion for the crime. They were interrogated and released without being charged.

The story hit me on many levels: I used to live in South Tel Aviv, an impoverished area that is home to migrant workers, African refugees, and poor Jews. During my time there, I volunteered in a black market Filipino kindergarten. I developed a deep attachment for the "foreign" community. I put quotes around the word "foreign" because, as cliché as it might be to say this, I quickly realized that migrant workers and African refugees aren't foreign at all. I have never met anyone, anywhere in the world, that I have been unable to connect with on some basic level, even if I don't agree with their politics or decisions.

Cell Phone

Chinese Factory Workers Write to Steve Jobs

A Bad Gas

© Unknown
Many of our computers and electronic gadgets are possible thanks to the production facilities in China. The focus on production capacity sometimes leads to neglect for the conditions that human beings must endure just to make the latest piece of technology.

Now several workers from Wintek, which make touch screens for Apple devices, has written a letter to Steve Jobs regarding the hardships they had to endure, particularly with regards to the use of hexyl hydride, also called n-hexane, from May 2008 to August 2009.

According to Reuters, part of the letter read: "This is a killer, a killer that strikes invisibly. ... From when hexyl hydride was used, monthly profits at Apple and Wintek have gone up by tens of millions every month, the accumulated outcome of workers' lives and health."

Wintek used n-hexane in the production of touch-panels, but has since stopped when it found out that it was making its workers ill. Now the plant has switched back to alcohol, which achieves the same result but slower.

It's not immediately clear what the workers are hoping to achieve by sending an English version of the letter to Apple. One technician said, "I hope Apple can respect our labor and our dignity. I hope they can stand up and apologize to us," while another worker explained, "We are unable to cope with the medical costs of treatment in the future."


Talk Doesn't Pay, So Psychiatry Turns Instead to Drug Therapy

Note from CCHR: One of the most common misconceptions about psychiatry is that they help patients navigate through life's problems with conversation or dialogue. While that may make for interesting drama on The Soprano's - its a far cry from real life psychiatry. Psychiatrists are drug pushers. They diagnose and drug, plain and simple. And they diagnose patients without the aid of any medical tests for the simple reason, there aren't any. Psychiatry as a profession must maintain that all life's problems are the result of brain malfunction, otherwise known as the biological model of mental disorders as "disease" in order to maintain their partnership with Big Pharma that garners billions in government funding and convinces the public to take drugs. And what a brilliant marketing campaign it has been; the public, legislators, governments and the press have all been convinced that mental disorders are medical conditions, requiring drugs to "treat" them, despite the fact there is not one chemical imbalance or blood test, MRI or X-ray to prove this theory. Now that, is what billions of dollars spent on lobbyists, pharmaceutical front groups like the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) and paid psychiatric experts can buy you. However, it also stands to reason that the psychiatric industry cannot really employ or endorse talk therapy, because they would be admitting that life's problems are not the result of chemically imbalanced or faulty brains, that people can get better without the use of mind-altering and life-threatening drugs. So while the article below has some good points, it misses a big one - the psychiatric industry is the one that sold insurance companies, governments and the general public on the fraudulent "mental disorders are biological/medical conditions" marketing campaign that is the foundation upon which their $82 billion-dollar-a-year drug industry rests. For more information watch Dr. Niall McLaren, a practicing psychiatrist for 22 years, explaining how psychiatry's reliance on the biological model of mental disorder as disease and how the facts could unravel the entire profession

Or read Psychiatric Disorders


In Devastating Complaint, Louisiana Demands $1 Million a Day from BP and Others

New Orleans - Louisiana demands more than $1 million a day from each of the companies responsible for the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, in accord with the Louisiana Oil Spill Prevention and Response Act of 1991, the Oil Pollution Act, and the Louisiana Environmental Quality Act.

In his federal complaint, Louisiana Attorney General James "Buddy" Caldwell outlines BP's and the other defendants' disregard of safety practices and regulations every step of the way.

The attorney general says that before the Deepwater Horizon exploded, "warning signs of well flow were being transmitted to the rig, to Halliburton's Houston office and BP E&P's Houston office in real time for almost an hour before hydrocarbons reached the rig, alerting rig workers to shut down the well. Nevertheless, the rig workers apparently ignored these warning signs until it was too late. Moreover, during the critical hour before the well blowout, there was no one at the Halliburton or BP E&P offices to monitor this data and issue the appropriate warnings." (BP E&P stands for BP Exploration & Production.)

The complaint continues: "The initial explosion on the Deepwater Horizon on the night of April 20, 2010, was caused when an engine in the rig's engine room sucked in the gas vapors from the MGS vent pipe, causing the engine to overspeed.