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Why Do People Bully?

Allegations that Mitt Romney harassed classmates during his prep school years brings to light the longstanding issue of bullying.

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© Cranbrook Schools
Mitt Romney shown in his 1965 senior class photo from Cranbrook Schools
The Gist
  • Contrary to popular belief, bullies often have high self-esteem.
  • Bullies can lose their moral compass when driven by their peers.
Gov. Mitt Romney has found himself on the defensive responding to allegations that as a teenager he harassed two prep school classmates who later came out as gay.

Some have questioned the timing of a report in the online version of the Washington Post, since it was published one day after President Obama personally endorsed gay marriage.

Others say the story, which referenced four named sources (former classmates of Romney), paints a disturbing portrait of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, at least during his teenage years.

Either way, the story brings up the ever-present question -- why do people bully?

Target

Bus Monitor Bullying and Crowd-Shaming

When 68-year-old bus monitor Karen Klein rode to school Monday afternoon, she probably wasn't expecting the torrent of verbal abuse that a group of middle school children hurled at her, as seen in a widely-viewed online video (below). The children made fun of her age and weight, and even suggested she doesn't have a family because "they all killed themselves because they didn't want to be near you." Klein's son had in fact taken his own life some 10 years earlier.

Klein also could not have anticipated the reactions of the Internet masses who rallied to support her. Around $400,000 had been raised at the time of this writing on Klein's behalf on Indiegogo by a Toronto nutritionist, who sympathized with Klein's plight. The money is intended to give Klein a long vacation or perhaps an early retirement.


X

Mount Rainier Ranger Killed in Climbers' Rescue

Rainer
© Ted S. Warren, AP
Ranger Nick Hall was helping to prepare the climbers to be taken off the 14,411-foot Cascade Range peak when he fell.
Mount Rainier National Park says a climber who spent the night on the mountain after an accident has started walking down with rangers.

Spokeswoman Patti Wold says the park still hopes a helicopter will be able to pick her up and recover the body of a ranger who was killed Thursday during the rescue of three other members of her climbing team.

Wold says the weather may prevent the Chinook from Joint Base Lewis-McChord from flying. It's raining at the ranger station at Longmire. The National Weather Service says it's snowing above 10,000 feet.

A Mount Rainier ranger slid more than 3,000 feet to his death as he helped in efforts to rescue four injured climbers who fell on a glacier, a National Park Service spokesman said.

Ranger Nick Hall was helping prepare the climbers to be taken from the 14,411-foot Washington state peak when he fell shortly before 5 p.m. Thursday, spokesman Kevin Bacher said.

The 34-year-old Hall didn't respond to attempts to contact him and wasn't moving, and he was dead when other rangers reached him at the 10,000-foot level several hours later, Bacher said.

Chart Pie

The Bank of Dave: How compassion bucks an uncaring system

bank of dave
© Unknown
David and Goliath story: His loans are not the cheapest deals on the market but, unlike the big banks, Dave is at least lending
How one man, struck by the plight of firms unable to get loans in his home town, came up with a unique solution

It is, if you like, a story of Dave and Goliath - one man's attempt to take on the giant high-street banks he says are helping destroy towns such as Burnley in Lancashire. And, so far, Dave Fishwick is winning.

Dave is a self-made millionaire, the owner of a company that manufactures and sells minibuses, so it is fair to say he has no problems getting credit on his own behalf. But when banks started refusing to lend money to his customers, Dave knew he had a problem, too. Local firms could no longer buy his vehicles.

'The lending dried up almost overnight,' he says. 'It was killing their businesses and damaging mine.'

So he took the most practical approach possible - and decided to go into the credit business himself.

The Bank of Dave was born. Today, hundreds of businessmen and women hold accounts at his modest town-centre shop, marking a return to the sort of old-fashioned, face-to-face banking that the big operators have mostly chosen to leave behind.

'The banks were turning down committed people who needed investment,' he says. 'They were destroying this town. You mention Burnley down South and people just think of the riots in 2001.

'That's nonsense. Burnley's going through a tough time, like most of the country. But there's a lot of decent, hard-working people in this town and they're the people I wanted to help.'

Stormtrooper

Israeli soldier shoots blindfolded and handcuffed Palestinian man at point blank range [Video]

The video shows an Israeli soldier aim and fire his weapon at a Palestinian man's legs.


Airplane

Hundreds evacuated from Airport terminal

Hundreds evacuated from terminal at JFK airport in NYC after metal detector malfunction.
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© Unknown
John F. Kennedy International Airport

Hundreds of air passengers and staff were evacuated from a terminal at New York City's Kennedy Airport after a metal detector malfunctioned at one of the security checkpoints.

The Transportation Security Administration says it closed Kennedy's Terminal 7 for about two hours Saturday morning after discovering the equipment problem and realizing that people had been let through without being properly screened.

Procedures call for the entire terminal to be emptied and the passengers re-checked whenever that happens.

Some travelers have posted photographs on Twitter showing the terminal lobby jammed with people waiting to get back in.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey says the screening checkpoints were reopened to passengers by 11:45 a.m.

The terminal is used by British Airways, United, and other airlines.

Evil Rays

India Working on Insurance for Iran Oil Imports

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© Unknown
India has sped up efforts to ensure insurance cover for tankers that bring in crude-oil from Iran, about a week before the onset of European Union sanctions against Iran.

India is facing logistical challenges in importing oil from Iran as the EU sanctions, which come into effect on July 1, are affecting its ability to get insurance for ships carrying Iranian crude.

Indian Oil Secretary G.C. Chaturvedi said Friday that the oil ministry has asked the shipping ministry to allow refiners to import crude from Iran on Iranian ships.

The current system for importing oil favors Indian shippers as part of the federal government's policy to support the local shipping industry. Allowing Iranian ships to bring crude to India would free refiners from the responsibility of arranging insurance for the tankers.

"The ministry of shipping is considering our proposal," Mr. Chaturvedi told reporters.

He said the oil ministry has also asked the finance ministry to press state-owned reinsurer General Insurance Corp. to provide insurance cover to Indian ships carrying crude from Iran. The oil ministry is also working to get sovereign guarantees for Indian vessels, he added.

"We are providing for the contingency. We are taking all steps to ensure supplies are not hit," Mr. Chaturvedi said.

Asian countries that import oil from Iran, such as India, Japan and South Korea, have been working to find a way around EU sanctions. Earlier this month, Japan passed a bill that would enable the government to back insurance plans for tankers carrying Iranian crude-oil to the country.

"We are receiving supplies from Iran," said Oil Minister Jaipal Reddy. "We are adopting all possible legitimate means," he said, adding that India has "decided not to discuss these things too loudly and too frequently."

Better Earth

Iranian President Arrives in Venezuela

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© Fars News
Iran's President Ahmadinejad arrived in Caracas on the last leg of his tri-nation tour of Latin American, which also took him to Bolivia and Brazil.

Upon arrival in Caracas on Saturday morning, the Iranian president was welcomed by senior Venezuelan officials.

Ahmadinejad and his Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Chavez are due to meet later today to discuss bilateral ties and international issues.

President Ahmadinejad left Tehran for Latin America on Monday night. After visiting his Bolivian counterpart Eva Morales in La Paz, Ahmadinejad left the Bolivian capital La Paz for the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro to attend the Rio+20 Summit.

He had stopped in Bolivia en route to Brazil and was welcomed by Morales at the El Alto airport on Tuesday.

Delegates from around the world will descend on Rio de Janeiro this week for 'Rio+20' summit, a major United Nations meeting on the environment. The event will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the first 'Earth Summit'.

Cut

2 Dead after Ex-Principal Goes on Stabbing Rampage

Lealman, Florida -- A former middle school principal who was busted in 2007 for crack cocaine use was taken into custody for going on a crime spree that left two people dead, and eight more injured.


The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office said they had Anthony Giancola, 45, in custody earlier in the day Friday, but announced shortly after 8:30 p.m. that they officially arrested him.

He has been arrested on two counts of First Degree Murder and two counts of Attempted Murder for the stabbings that took place around 10:30 a.m.

Sheriff Bob Gualtieri says Giancola is responsible for a total of four crime scenes, all targeted in 30 minutes.

"This is the worst of the worst, and does appear to be random," says Gualtieri. Investigators say Giancola appears to have been high on drugs and possibly alcohol at the time.

Cult

U.S. Catholic Priest Found Guilty in Child Abuse Case

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© Reuters/Tim Shaffer
Monsignor William Lynn (R) returns to the courthouse after lunch recess on the opening day of his child sex abuse trial in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania March 26, 2012.
Philadelphia - A monsignor who oversaw hundreds of priests in the Philadelphia Archdiocese was found guilty on Friday of one count of endangering the welfare of a child, making him the first senior U.S. Roman Catholic Church official to be convicted for covering up child sex abuse.

The jury acquitted Monsignor William Lynn on two other counts - conspiracy and another charge of child endangerment -after 10 weeks of testimony in a trial that raised questions about personal responsibility and institutional constraints within the church hierarchy.

Removing his black clerical jacket but leaving on his collar, a stoic Lynn, 61, was led out of the courtroom and into custody by deputy sheriffs as his family members wept.

"Every juror there wanted to do justice. ... We wanted to do what was right," jury foreman Isa Logan, 35, a bank customer service representative, told reporters outside the courtroom.

Sentencing for Lynn, who faces up to seven years in prison, was set for August 13 by Judge M. Teresa Sarmina.

"This is a monumental victory for the named and un-named victims," said Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams. "This was about evil men who did evil things to children."

While the district attorney's office argued that Lynn should immediately be jailed, the judge said she would consider house arrest if the defense asked for it.

The jury deliberated 13 days before reaching the mixed decision in the trial of Lynn, who, prosecutors charged, covered up child sex abuse allegations, often by transferring priests to unsuspecting parishes.

Lawyers for Lynn said they planned to appeal the case.

"He's really upset," said one of his attorneys, Jeff Lindy. "He's upset, he's crushed. He didn't want anything other than to help kids, he's crushed about this."