Society's ChildS


Outcry in Italy over video of naked refugees being disinfected in public

Parliamentary speaker Laura Boldrini condemns treatment of migrants seen stripping naked at Lampedusa reception centre

Video footage appearing to show migrants at the reception centre on Lampedusa standing naked in the open air while waiting to be sprayed for scabies has provoked a storm of protest in Italy.

Broadcast by the Rai 2 television channel on Monday night, the pictures appeared to show a practice that was labelled "unworthy of a civilised country" by Laura Boldrini, the speaker of the lower house of parliament. Coming barely two months after hundreds of people died in two separate disasters in the Mediterranean, the footage provoked renewed criticism of Italy's creaking reception system for asylum seekers and refugees.

"Italy should be ashamed," Giusi Nicolini, mayor of Lampedusa, told Rai 2 television. "It [the reception system] has to change. This is not what we were expecting to see just two months after the shipwrecks which prompted weeping, tears, commitments and promises."

In the footage, which appeared to have been shot on a mobile phone, at least two men at the reception centre are shown standing with no clothes on, while others are undressing.


China says six arrested after deadly riot in Xinjiang

Chinese police have arrested six people they suspect of taking part in a riot near the old Silk Road city of Kashgar, in the restive far western Muslim region of Xinjiang, in which 16 people were killed, the regional government said.
© Rooney Chin/ReutersA security officer holds out a detector on a street in Urumqi, Xinjiang.
The arrests, reported by the Xinjiang government in a statement on an official news site late on Monday, came a day after Chinese police shot and killed 14 people during the riot. Two policemen were also killed.

The government statement called the incident "an organised, pre-meditated, violent terror attack".

"The gang repeatedly gathered to watch violent, terrorist videos, promoted extremist religious ideology, manufactured explosive devices and guns, conducted test explosions several times and planned to carry out violent terrorist activities," the Xinjiang government said.

China has previously called some of the violence in Xinjiang the work of Islamist militants plotting holy war.

On Monday, China's Foreign Ministry stopped short of directly blaming Islamist militants but said a "violent terror gang" attacked police with explosives.

The Xinjiang government said the "terror gang" made up of 20 members was formed in August and was led by a person they named as Hesen Ismail.


Another cracked windshield? Russian plane to Dubai turns back due to windshield crack

© RIA Novosti. Alexander PaniotovAirport in Krasnoyarsk
A plane bound for Dubai from the eastern Russian city of Krasnoyarsk was forced to turn back because of a crack on its cockpit window, officials said Tuesday.

The crew noticed during the plane's initial ascent that the glass on the co-pilot's side of the front windshield was cracked, and so decided to turn around, the Western Siberian Transport Prosecutor's office said in a statement.

Comment: Another cracked windshield? We wonder if there is any connection to the following case:
Explanation for 13 cracked airplane windscreens doesn't fly!


Boston Bombings investigation reveals murdered accused Tamerlan Tsarnaev suspected he had been mind-programmed by "majestic mind control"

The Tsarnaev Bros: Made in the USA
Suspected Boston Marathon bomber Tamerlan Tsarnaev heard voices inside his head and had an alter-ego, a report published in The Boston Globe claimed yesterday.

As part of a five-month investigation, the Globe spoke to a number of sources close to Tsarnaev. Donald Larking, 67, who attended the same Boston mosque as the suspected bomber, said Tsarnaev believed the voices were part of a "majestic mind control", which was "a way of breaking down a person and creating an alternative personality with which they must coexist."

Larking also told the Globe that Tsarnaev was "torn" between himself and an alter-ego. "You can give a signal, a phrase or a gesture, and bring out the alternate personality and make them do things," he said; "Tamerlan thought someone might have done that to him."

According to the report, the voices "came to [Tsarnaev] at unexpected times, an internal rambling that he alone could hear. Alarmed, he confided to his mother that the voice 'felt like two people inside of me.'

Comment: Shades of Lee Harvey Oswald, Sirhan Sirhan, Timothy McVeigh, James Holmes, etc, etc.

To the question of whether or not MK-Ultra type programs ended in the late 1960s, here is the answer!


Land of the free? U.S. has 25 percent of the world's prisoners

© shutterstock
The United States has about five percent of the world's population and houses around 25 percent of its prisoners. In large part, that's the result of the "war on drugs" and long mandatory minimum sentences, but it also reflects America's tendency to criminalize acts that other countries view as civil violations.

In 2010, The Economist highlighted a case in which four Americans were arrested for importing lobster tails in plastic bags rather than in cardboard boxes. That violated a Honduran law which that country no longer enforces, but because it's still on the books there its enforced here. "The lobstermen had no idea they were breaking the law. Yet three of them got eight years apiece." When the article was published 10 years later, two of them were still behind bars.

A UN report noted that Alabama officials had arrested dozens of people who were too poor to repair septic systems that violated state health laws. In one case, authorities took steps to arrest a 27-year-old single mother living in a mobile home with her autistic child for the same "crime." Replacing the system would have cost more than her $12,000 annual income, according to the report.

As The Economist put it:
America imprisons people for technical violations of immigration laws, environmental standards and arcane business rules. So many federal rules carry criminal penalties that experts struggle to count them. Many are incomprehensible. Few are ever repealed, though the Supreme Court... pared back a law against depriving the public of "the intangible right of honest services", which prosecutors loved because they could use it against almost anyone. Still, they have plenty of other weapons. By counting each e-mail sent by a white-collar wrongdoer as a separate case of wire fraud, prosecutors can threaten him with a gargantuan sentence unless he confesses, or informs on his boss. The potential for injustice is obvious.

Arrow Down

Argentina to tighten food price controls (again) in effort to calm mass unrest

Looters in Argentina carry out the example set for them by their leaders
Argentina will intensify control over price limits on food products after the fastest inflation in two years sparked police strikes and looting.

The government will widen controls to include food producers as well as vendors and monitor prices in real time by tracking bar codes in a pact with companies that will be voluntary, Cabinet Chief Jorge Capitanich told reporters in Buenos Aires today. The agreement will span more than 180 goods including meat, cooking oil and bread, he said.

The government in June froze the price of 500 goods on supermarket shelves in a bid to rein in the region's second-fastest inflation. Speculation by businessmen, not government spending and money printing, is causing prices to rise, Capitanich said. At least eight people have died this month in looting across the country sparked by police strikes demanding higher wages to cope with the surging cost of living.

"There's a contagious effect on prices - if the price of milk rises, so does the price of a haircut," Capitanich said. "We are going to be rigorous with price controls on basic products. We want to protect consumers' pockets."

Inflation in November quickened to 26.8 percent in November from a year earlier, according to a monthly survey of economists published by opposition lawmakers. That's the fastest pace since lawmakers began distributing the report in May 2011 to protect the identity of the analysts who were fined by the government for reporting data that differed from official figures.

Comment: See also:

Argentina freezes supermarket prices in attempt to break inflation spiral brought on by skyrocketing food prices

24 hours of looting and civil unrest in Córdoba, Argentina


Why are Americans staying put?

moving truck
© llustration by Kelsey Dake
Economists admire Americans for many traits: our profound respect for property rights, our tendency to forgo vacation days, our ingenious methods of mass-producing "food." Another important attribute is our willingness to move, between houses, between states and across the country. Some economists believe our inborn rootlessness makes the country's work force more dynamic and strengthens our economy's growth. Imagine how much worse off the country might be if the 49ers had decided against making the trek to California or the sharecroppers chose to stay in the South.

Economic mobility and geographic mobility have been closely linked for much of American history, so economists find it troubling that migration rates have been in decline lately. The proportion of Americans moving has fallen to new postwar lows in the past few years. According to Census Bureau data from 2013, about 4.8 million Americans moved across state lines in the previous year. That is down from 5.7 million in 2006 and 7.5 million in 1999. All in all, the percentage of Americans moving across state lines has fallen by about half since the 1990s.

The slowdown represents a tectonic shift in our economy and labor market: It has affected a huge swath of Americans across all industries and of all incomes and ages. Even immigrants to the United States are more likely to stay put where they first settle than they were 30 years ago. But economists are divided on why that is and on what it all means - and especially on whether a less-mobile labor force will mean a more sluggish economy.

Comment: Or, we could also look at it this way: perhaps with the rise in service-industry related jobs, the decrease in manufacturing, the outsourcing of previously U.S. based positions, and the much lower wages offered across the board in the service industry that now 'blankets' the U.S., a significant number of Americans are experiencing enough trouble just keeping food on the table and making ends meet, let alone scraping together enough money to relocate across state lines.


The end of childhood in the era of the emerging American Police State

Child Arrested
© Information Liberation

It wouldn't be a week in America without another slew of children being punished for childish behavior under the regime of zero tolerance which plagues our nation's schools. Here are some of the latest incidents.

In Pennsylvania, a ten-year-old boy was suspended for shooting an imaginary "arrow" at a fellow classmate, using nothing more than his hands and his imagination. Johnny Jones, a fifth grader at South Eastern Middle School, was suspended for a day and threatened with expulsion under the school's weapons policy after playfully using his hands to draw the bowstrings on a pretend "bow" and "shoot" an arrow at a classmate who had held his folder like an imaginary gun and "shot" at Johnny.

Principal John Horton characterized Johnny's transgression as "making a threat" to another student using a "replica or representation of a firearm" through the use of an imaginary bow and arrow.

In Utah, a seven-year-old boy was arrested and berated by police because he ran away from school. The boy showed up at his mother's house late in the afternoon, at which point he explained that he had left the school of his own accord. The mother called the school and explained what happened, at which point the principal decided to call the police, despite knowing the boy was in the protection of his mother. An officer arrived at the house, told the boy to "straighten up," took him outside, handcuffed him, and yelled at him saying, "Is this the life you want?"

In Colorado, a six-year-old boy was suspended and accused of sexual harassment for kissing the hand of a girl in his class whom he had a crush on. Child psychologist Sandy Wurtele commented on the case noting that for first graders like Hunter Yelton things like kissing are a normal part of development, and that the school's reaction sends mixed messages to developing minds. After a good deal of negative publicity, Canon City Schools Superintendent Robin Gooldy decided to alter the offense from "sexual harassment" to "misconduct."


Glaxo says it will stop paying doctors to promote drugs

andrew witty
© Neil Hall/ReutersAndrew Witty, Glaxo’s chief executive, said the changes are part of an effort “to try and make sure we stay in step with how the world is changing.”
The British drug maker GlaxoSmithKline will no longer pay doctors to promote its products and will stop tying compensation of sales representatives to the number of prescriptions doctors write, its chief executive said Monday, effectively ending two common industry practices that critics have long assailed as troublesome conflicts of interest.

Andrew Witty, Glaxo's chief executive, said the changes are part of an effort to "to try and make sure we stay in step with how the world is changing." The announcement appears to be a first for a major drug company - although others may be considering similar moves - and it comes at a particularly sensitive time for Glaxo. It is the subject of a bribery investigation in China, where authorities contend the company funneled illegal payments to doctors and government officials in an effort to lift drug sales.

Andrew Witty, Glaxo's chief executive, said in a telephone interview Monday that its proposed changes were unrelated to the investigation in China, and were part of a yearslong effort "to try and make sure we stay in step with how the world is changing," he said. "We keep asking ourselves, are there different ways, more effective ways of operating than perhaps the ways we as an industry have been operating over the last 30, 40 years?"

For decades, pharmaceutical companies have paid doctors to speak on their behalf at conferences and other meetings of medical professionals, on the assumption that the doctors are most likely to value the advice of trusted peers.

Comment: Let's see: A bribery investigation underway in China and changes in healthcare legislation that will reveal Big Pharma payments to doctors publicly next year...the timing of Glaxo's new changes is simply spot on, no?


51 U.S. Navy sailors fall ill from Fukushima radiation

USS Ronald Reagan Captain tells the crew they have moved the ship to fresher water
and radiation is now down to acceptable levels, so they can begin using the water again!

Crew members in their mid-20's from the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan are coming down with all sorts of radiation-related illnesses after being deployed less than 3 years ago to assist with earthquake rescue operations off the coast of Japan in 2011.
It looks as though the on-board desalinization systems that take salt out of seawater to make it drinkable, were taking-in radioactive water from the ocean for the crew to drink, cook with and bath-in, before anyone realized there was a massive radiation spill into the ocean.

Charles Bonner, attorney representing sailors from the USS Ronald Reagan said "the crew members were not only going to the rescue by jumping into the water and rescuing people out of the water, but they were drinking desalinated sea water, bathing in it, until finally the captain of the USS Ronald Reagan alarmed people that they were encountering high levels of radiation."

Bonner says that as a result of this exposure, the 51 sailors have come down with a host of medical problems, "They have testicular cancer, they have thyroid cancers, they have leukemias, they have rectal and gynecological bleeding, a host of problems that they did not have before ... people are going blind, pilots who had perfect eyesight but now have tumors on the brain. And it's only been 3 years since they went in."

Bonner pointed out that these service men and women are young people, ages 21, 22, 23 years old and no one in their family had ever suffered any of these kinds of illnesses before.

What the Captain told the crew when the ship WAS HEADING BACK INTO the radiation!