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US, Connecticut: More Lawsuits Filed Over Sex Abuse of Haitian boys

Douglas Perlitz
© ST, Jeff Bustraan / Connecticut Post
Douglas Perlitz
Seventeen Haitian men are suing Fairfield University in Connecticut, the Society of Jesus and others alleging they failed to protect them from a man who sexually abused them when they were poor children or young adults attending a school he founded in Haiti.

The lawsuits bring to 21 the number of alleged victims suing Douglas Perlitz and the others. Perlitz was sentenced in 2010 to nearly 20 years in prison for sexually abusing children at Project Pierre Toussaint.

The victims ranged from ages 9 to 21 at the time of the abuse and are now 18 to 29.

The lawsuits seek $20 million for each victim. They contend Perlitz's supervisors disregarded warning signs of inappropriate behavior with boys.

The Rev. Paul Carrier, a Jesuit priest who was Fairfield University's chaplain, saw Perlitz show a student a pornographic video and saw boys in his bedroom, according to the lawsuits. A school board member, Hope Carter, flew to Haiti in 2008 and removed Perlitz's computer, according to the lawsuits.

Pistol

Gunmen Kill 6 in Nigeria Church Attack

Gunmen opened fire on a church service in Nigeria on Thursday, killing six people and wounding 10, the church's pastor said, the latest in a string of attacks that has raised fears of sectarian conflict in Africa's most populous nation.

"The attackers started shooting sporadically. They shot through the window of the church, and many people were killed including my wife," Pastor Johnson Jauro told Reuters by telephone from his Deeper Life church in Nasarawa, Gombe state in northern Nigeria.

"Many of my members who attended the church service were also injured," he said.

The gun attack followed a warning from violent Islamist sect Boko Haram published in local newspapers on Tuesday that Christians had three days to leave majority Muslim northern Nigeria or they would be killed.

Analysts say it looks increasingly likely the group - or factions within it - wants to trigger reprisals from Christians against Muslims to bring on a full religious conflict.

Laptop

Google, Amazon, Facebook may shut down to stop SOPA

censored

Despite many protests, things are still looking pretty good for SOPA to pass next month. While every little bit helps - things like writing to your representatives - the NetCoalition may be pulling out the big guns.

The coalition, which includes AOL, Google, Facebook, eBay, PayPal, Twitter, Wikipedia, and Yahoo! (among others), is considering a complete black-out - temporarily shutting down their sites with a message informing visitors about the dangers of SOPA and urging them to take action before it's too late. From CNET:
True, it would be the political equivalent of a nuclear option - possibly drawing retributions from the the influential politicos backing SOPA and Protect IP - but one that could nevertheless be launched in 2012.

"There have been some serious discussions about that," says Markham Erickson, who heads the NetCoalition trade association. "It has never happened before."

Alarm Clock

America Doomed

Image
© Lasha Darkmoon
“I realized America was lost. Evil had prevailed.”
Writers who are critical of Washington's illegal wars and the overthrow of the US Constitution could soon find themselves in indefinite detention. This is because criticism of Washington's policies can be alleged to be aiding Washington's enemies - which might include charities that provide aid to bombed Palestinian children and flotillas that attempt to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza.

The Bush/Obama regimes have put the foundation in place for imprisoning critics of the government without due process of law. The First Amendment is being all but restricted to rah-rah Americans who chant USA! USA! USA! Washington has set itself up as world prosecutor, forever berating other countries for human rights violations, while Washington alone bombs half a dozen countries into the stone age and threatens several more with the same treatment, all the while violating US statutory law and the Geneva Conventions by torturing detainees.

Washington rounds up assorted foreign politicians, whose countries were afflicted with civil wars, and sends them off to be tried as war criminals, while its own war crimes continue to mount. However, if a person exposes Washington's war crimes, that person is held without charges in conditions that approximate torture.

Pistol

Wave of Shootings Baffle Swedish Police

A new wave of execution-style shootings in Sweden's third largest city has left police puzzled, raising concerns that Malmo has become a magnet for gang-related killings.

On Thursday dozens of police took to the streets in the southern Swedish city of 250,000 to try calm the public and to collect tips about the attacks, which come only a year after a suspected serial shooter was arrested there.

"We've never experienced anything like this before. It's exceptional that there have been so many murders in such a short period of time," police spokesman Lars-Hakan Lindholm said. "People are worried of course and want to talk about it."

In less than six weeks, five people have been shot dead in execution-style killings, prompting local police to ask for back-up from national investigators and for Malmo Mayor Ilmar Reepalu to call on the country's justice minister to implement tougher gun laws.

Sweden's gun control laws are fairly strict. Penalties for possessing illegal arms typically involve fines or up to one year in prison, but serious breaches of the law can result in a four-year sentence.

Stormtrooper

US: Texas police kill 8th-grader carrying pellet gun

Brownsville Police officer directs a parent
© AP Photo/The Brownsville Herald, Brad Doherty
A Brownsville Police officer directs a parent to a building at Dean Porter Park in Brownsville,Texas, Wednesday, Jan. 4,2012. The park is across the street from Cummings Middle School, where a 15-year-old student was shot and killed by Brownsville police at the school after he was seen brandishing a weapon inside the school.

Brownsville - The parents of an eighth grader who was fatally shot by police inside his South Texas school are demanding to know why officers took lethal action, but police said the boy was brandishing - and refused to drop - what appeared to be a handgun and that the officers acted correctly.

The weapon turned out to be a pellet gun that closely resembled the real thing, police said late Wednesday, several hours after 15-year-old Jaime Gonzalez was repeatedly shot in a hallway at Cummings Middle School in Brownsville. No one else was injured.

"Why was so much excess force used on a minor?" the boy's father, Jaime Gonzalez Sr., asked The Associated Press outside the family's home Wednesday night. "Three shots. Why not one that would bring him down?"

Camera

US: Kodak Teeters on the Brink

Image
© Bloomberg News
A box of Eastman Kodak Co.'s Tri-X 400 film.
Eastman Kodak Co. is preparing to seek bankruptcy protection in the coming weeks, people familiar with the matter said, a move that would cap a stunning comedown for a company that once ranked among America's corporate titans.

The 131-year-old company is still making last-ditch efforts to sell off some of its patent portfolio and could avoid Chapter 11 if it succeeds, one of the people said. But the company has started making preparations for a filing in case those efforts fail, including talking to banks about some $1 billion in financing to keep it afloat during bankruptcy proceedings, the people said.

A Kodak spokesman said the company "does not comment on market rumor or speculation."

A filing could come as soon as this month or early February, one of the people familiar with the matter said. Kodak would continue to pay its bills and operate normally while under bankruptcy protection, the people said. But the company's focus would then be the sale of some 1,100 patents through a court-supervised auction, the people said.

Airplane

US: Boeing Will Lay Off More Than 2,100 Workers At Wichita Plant

Image
© Agence France-Presse/Getty Images/ Joel Saget
Boeing says it will shut down over 2,000 jobs in Kansas.
Faced with defense budget reductions, the Boeing Co. announced Wednesday it will close its defense plant in Wichita by the end of 2013, moving future aircraft maintenance, modification and support to its plant in San Antonio, Texas, and engineering work to Oklahoma City. Work on the Air Force refueling tanker will be performed in Puget Sound, Wash.

Boeing did not clarify whether the work would be done in Everett or Seattle.

The closure will cost more than 2,160 workers their jobs and end the firm's presence in a city where it has been a major employer for generations.

The decision was not entirely unexpected. The company said in November it was studying whether to close the Wichita facility, which specializes in modifying commercial aircraft for military or government operations, to address Defense Department budget cuts. The first layoffs are expected to begin in the third quarter of 2012.

The company said the 24 Kansas suppliers on that program will continue to provide parts as originally planned.

Dollar

US: Personal Incomes Fall More During 'Recovery' Than During The Recession

America's longest economic recession since WWII, ended in June of 2009. The recession's end means that our economy has allegedly been in recovery mode since July of 2009, more than two and a half years.

If we are in recovery, why have American's incomes dropped more during the recovery than they did in the recession? The facts are clear.
Personal incomes fell during the recession by 3.2%.

During the recovery (since July 2009), personal incomes have fallen an additional 6.7%.
Those numbers were posted in a report by Sentier Research using numbers provided by the U.S. Census. (The RED line is the Household Income Index)

Pistol

US: Oklahoma Woman Shoots, Kills Intruder: 911 Operators Say It's Okay to Shoot


A young Oklahoma mother shot and killed an intruder to protect her 3-month-old baby on New Year's Eve, less than a week after the baby's father died of cancer.

Sarah McKinley says that a week earlier a man named Justin Martin dropped by on the day of her husband's funeral, claiming that he was a neighbor who wanted to say hello. The 18-year-old Oklahoma City area woman did not let him into her home that day.

On New Year's Eve Martin returned with another man, Dustin Stewart, and this time was armed with a 12-inch hunting knife. The two soon began trying to break into McKinley's home.