Society's ChildS


Hundreds trapped as ferry catches fire between Greece and Italy

Ferry Disaster
© AP Photo/SKAI TV Station
Ten hours after the fire began, some 131 people had been rescued, leaving 347 on board according to the Italian navy.
Hundreds of people have been stranded for ten hours on the top deck of a burning ferry in the Adriatic sea as strong gales and rough waves hampered attempts to save them.

As the sun set, rescue helicopters had resorted to the slow process of lifting the passengers on board the Norman Atlantic from the top deck in pairs, as a fire blazed around them.

At least two Britons were among the 478 people who were travelling on the car ferry between Patras in Greece and Ancona in northern Italy.

The mother of Nicholas Channing-Williams, a British horse rider who lives in Greece, said she had spoken to her son, but that the line had been cut off.

"People in Greece are saying that their communications have been cut off, so as not to hamper rescue operations which I can fully understand," said Dotty Channing-Williams, to Sky News. "They're keeping me updated via the news coming over the Greek television. But nevertheless it is very, very worrying and very scary.


Remember Libya? Civil war escalates with govt airstrikes on opposition

© Flickr/ Ben Sutherland
Libya's official government conducted several tactical airstrikes in the vicinity of the town of Misrata Sunday, another episode in the ongoing war between the internationally recognized government of Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thinni and the coalition of his political opponents known as Libyan Dawn.

According to the official reports, the Libyan air force, controlled by Thinni, hit several targets in the Libyan Dawn controlled city of Misrata, including a sea port, an air force academy near the airfield and a steel mill, the largest in the country, in an attempt to disrupt the town's economic viability. Representatives for Libyan Dawn confirmed the airstrikes, claiming no immediate victims or damage.

Comment: Thanks, America! Thanks, NATO! We need more folks like you spreading democracy and making the world a better place. We can't imagine how much worse things would've been if you hadn't had Gaddafi murdered and destroyed Libya.


Millions of Britons facing malnutrition and relying on food banks

UK food bank
© unknownShocking' figures show that for the first time since the Second World War, the poor cannot afford sufficient calories.
Millions of the poorest people in Britain are struggling to get enough food to maintain their body weight, according to official figures published this month.

The Government's Family Food report reveals that the poorest 10 per cent of the population - some 6.4 million people - ate an average of 1,997 calories a day last year, compared with the average guideline figure of about 2,080 calories. This data covers all age groups.

One expert said the figures were a "powerful marker" that there is a problem with food poverty in Britain and it was clear there were "substantial numbers of people who are going hungry and eating a pretty miserable diet".


Indonesian VP not ruling out AirAsia plane crashed -- not confirming either

© REUTERS/ Darren Whiteside
The missing AirAsia plane with 162 people on board might have crashed, according to Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla, Chinese news agency Xinhua reports Sunday.

"We haven't got any information that indicates where the plane crashed," Kalla said during a televised press conference Sunday evening, as quoted by Xinhua.

Previously, it was reported that Kalla was directly in charge of supervising the rescue operation of the missing plane at the headquarters of the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas) in Kemayoran, North Jakarta, according to Jakarta Post.

However, rescue teams had to halt the search operation as the night settled in. Indonesia's Transport Ministry said the search operation would resume on Monday morning, as early as 7 a.m. local time (12 a.m. GMT).

Comment: Could this be another MH370, gone without a trace? If nothing is found, it will certainly be suspicious, especially given that the possible crash zone is probably much easier to identify and search than was the case with 370.

Brick Wall

Herded like cattle: The plight of Palestinian workers

Poverty and unemployment in the West Bank - a direct result of the occupation - drive Palestinian laborers to endure the pain and humiliation of working in Israel.
West bank checkpoint
© APJust another day. Palestinians on their way to work go through an army checkpoint near Jenin.
Israelis see them and they don't see them. They are on the scaffold of the building going up next to ours. We see them and we don't see them. We have no idea what they endure and we don't care. The people who build our homes and pave our roads left their own homes at around 2 A.M. last night. They will return in the evening, after a long, exhausting day of work, nearly 24 hours of hard labor, hard traveling and humiliation. Tonight they will again leave their homes for jobs in Israel. While some Israelis come to work bleary-eyed because their baby woke them up two or three times during the night, these people know no day or night.

Comment: Just another example of the psychopathic Israeli system. It's not enough that Palestinians are kept in the world's largest open-air prison, they must be subjected to daily humiliation and oppression that wears on their psyches and breaks them down.


Civil asset forfeiture: Only the rich can afford to keep their homes

© Steven M. Falk / Staff PhotographerChristos and Markela Sourovelis at their Somerton home, from which they were ousted because of a son's drug dealing.
Philadelphia prosecutors agreed Thursday to halt efforts to seize the homes of two of the lead plaintiffs in a widely publicized federal suit challenging the city's use of civil forfeiture laws in drug cases.

Philadelphia drops a Civil Asset Forfeiture case to prevent any court from ruling just seizing people's property is unconstitutional. Phily.COM has reported the case of Christos Sourovelis and Doila Welch, who were both caught up in having their homes seized to pay police pensions when the police arrested a relative they claimed was dealing drugs on their properties. Today, you basically have to shun relatives and never pick up a hick-hiker in trouble for if they have any drugs, even marijuana, there goes your assets.

The prosecutors, only after these people with money for lawyers and the press got involved, moved for dismissal in Common Pleas Court. The prosecutor agreed to drop the cases against properties as long as both owners took "reasonable measures" to ensure no further drug crimes occurred there.

Comment: How much more can people take before finally realizing the horror of the situation?


Ferry catches fire off Greek coast, 466 passengers and crew are being evacuated

© AFP Photo / Philippe Huguen
466 passengers and crew are being evacuated from an Italian car ferry that caught fire near a Greek island on Sunday morning. The evacuation is being complicated by strong winds and lack of places in lifeboats, according to the media.

Fire broke out on an Italian Norman Atlantic car ferry traveling from western Greece to eastern Italy at around 6.00 am local time (0400 GMT), coast guard officials said on Sunday.

"The captain has requested the evacuation of the ship, according to initial information," spokesman Nikos Lagkadianos said.

The international evacuation effort including Italian and Albanian forces is complicated by dangerous weather conditions with strong winds blowing in the area northwest of Corfu.

The ferry has 411 passengers and 55 crew on board, as well as 222 vehicles. An official told Sputnik news agency that within the framework of the rescue operation some 150 people had already been transferred from a lifeboat to a container ship that had been sailing nearby.
© Unknown
A Greek TV station got comments of some passengers, who dramatically described the evacuation.

"They tried to lower some boats, but not all of us could get in. There is no coordination," one said, as cited by Reuters. "It's dark, the bottom of the vessel is on fire. We are on the bridge, we can see a boat approaching... we opened some boxes and got some life vests, we are trying to save ourselves."


Problems with another Air Asia aircraft: Flight AK6242 makes emergency landing due to technical difficulties

© East News/ AP
AirAsia's flight AK6242 en route from Penang to Langkawi has made an emergency landing due to technical problems.

An AirAsia aircraft has reportedly made an emergency landing due to technical problems during its flight from Penang to Langkawi (Malaysia) hours after another of the company's planes went missing.

AirAsia's flight AK6242 en route from Penang to Langkawi has made an emergency landing due to technical problems, the Malaysian New Strait Times newspaper said on Twitter.

Earlier in the day, another AirAsia aircraft, flight QZ8501, en route from Surabaya, Indonesia to Singapore lost contact with air traffic control and went missing with 162 people on board.

Search and rescue operations are being conducted in the Java Sea by the Indonesian National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas), but no traces of the aircraft have been found so far.

AirAsia issued a statement confirming the crash of the aircraft due to bad weather conditions. Nevertheless, the Indonesian Ministry of Transportation said it was too early to confirm this information.

AirAsia Indonesia operates domestic flights within the Indonesian archipelago and international flights to Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and Thailand. The company is an affiliate of the Malaysian company AirAsia. In 2007, AirAsia Indonesia was banned from operating flights to the European Union (EU) due to safety concerns; however, the ban was lifted in July 2010, the BBC reports.

Comment: First a whole plane goes missing and then another one lands due to technical problems. Just what is going on?

Air Asia flight from Indonesia to Singapore 'missing'


Air Asia flight from Indonesia to Singapore 'missing'

Air Asia Airbus A320
© AFPAir Asia Airbus A320
Air Asia flight number QZ8501, bound from the Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore, has reportedly lost control with air traffic control. The missing flight is an Airbus A320-200 with 155 people on board, Reuters reports.

The plane lost contact with Jakarta air traffic control on Sunday, Indonesian media said, citing Transport Ministry official Hadi Mustofa.

Mustofa said the contact was lost at 6:17 a.m. local time (23:17 GMT on Saturday), after the crew asked for an "unusual route."

According to an unnamed Indonesian transport official, there are 155 passengers and crew aboard the plane.

The flight was due to land in Singapore at 8:30 a.m. local time (00:30 GMT) and is currently listed as "delayed."


Police taser and arrest severely autistic man for walking down the street

Tario anderson
Tario Anderson was simply walking down the street. Because of that he was assaulted, kidnapped, and charged with a crime and the Greenville police department doesn't see anything wrong with it.

An innocent 34-year-old autistic man was tasered and arrested by police on Christmas eve because he walking down the street at night.

Greenville City Police were in the area responding to reports of gunshots when they came across Tario Anderson and shined a spotlight in the innocent man's face. Anderson reacted by walking away from this stressful sensory overload.

"When they put their spotlight on him, he immediately put his head down, put his hands in his pockets and began to walk away from him," Officer Johnathan Bragg with Greenville Police said. "They then got out of the vehicle and approached him and ordered him to stop at which point he did flee from the officers and they pursued him."

Anderson had committed no crime but since he did not immediately bow down to the police, he was tasered and cops piled on top of him.

His mother, Carolyn Anderson, said he has severe autism, does not understand much and did not need to be arrested or shocked with a Taser.

"Tario can say yes or no, he might ask for a thing or two, but just verbal, no," Carolyn Anderson said.