Society's ChildS


German gynecologist caught with 35,000 pictures of naked female patients

A German gynecologist is being investigated by police after secretly taking 35,000 pictures of female patients naked inside his practice.

So far 700 victims have filed criminal complaints against the 56-year-old doctor, who practised in the small town of Schifferstadt, in Rhineland-Palatinate in the west of the country.

"We are still in the middle of the investigation, it may well be that more victims come forwards," Lothar Liebig, the director of public prosecutions in Frankenthal, told the German tabloid Bild.

Approximately 3,000 women were unknowingly snapped by the perverted doctor while undergoing clinical examinations, the report said.

The doctor no longer practises, and could face up to one year in prison.


US: Screening Still a Pain at Airports, Fliers Say

© unknown
The lines will still be long and the screening still invasive at airport checkpoints this Thanksgiving.

While the government has made some changes to security procedures, many passengers and travel executives contend that the moves do not go far enough.

Since last November, the Transportation Security Administration has adopted a policy to reduce pat-downs of children 12 and under, altered some body scanners to display a generic outline of a human figure and begun testing programs that offer expedited screening to pilots and select frequent fliers.

Still, some travelers are bothered by a screening process that has become increasingly time-consuming and intimate, and industry representatives say they are worried that these frustrations are contributing to a decline in air travel.

Che Guevara

US: Protesters Disrupt Obama New Hampshire Speech

Hecklers apparently connected with the Occupy Wall Street movement interrupted President Obama's speech Tuesday at a high school in Manchester, N.H.

The president had just begun his remarks, urging Congress to expand a payroll tax cut, when a protester in the crowd shouted "mic check!" Mr. Obama stopped speaking as other protesters shouted in unison, "Mr. President - over 4,000 peaceful protesters - have been arrested." The call-and-response tactic has been used by Occupy protesters in other locations around the country.


US: Iowa Principal Gets 30 Years for Taping Students

© unknownArrested: Authorities found school principal Robert Burke with more than 32,000 images of child pornography
A federal judge on Monday sentenced a former Iowa elementary school principal to 30 years in prison for secretly videotaping dozens of young male students using the bathroom, calling his actions a shocking abuse of trust and among the worst crimes against children she'd seen.

U.S. District Judge Linda Reade said former Sageville Elementary School principal Robert Burke was a danger to the community who betrayed children, their parents and a society that puts great trust in school administrators. She said he deserved the maximum prison term after pleading guilty to producing child pornography in August.

Reade recounted how Burke, 43, hid a small video camera near a bathroom sink or on his own belt on 12 occasions between January and June to capture images of the genitals of at least 59 students between the ages of 5 and 11. She said he had one of the biggest collections of child pornography she'd ever heard of - 32,000 images and 12,000 videos, mostly of young boys performing sex acts.

"This is one of the most aggravating circumstances and crimes that I've ever seen," she said. "This, I must say, is the most depraved I have had for some time."

Reade issued the sentence, which also included a fine of $25,000, after six parents of boys who were taped urged her to lock him away. Speaking in open court without giving their names to protect their children's identities, they said their kids would be scarred for the rest of their lives after learning someone they trusted had violated their privacy in such a way.


US: Obama pardons 5, commutes 1 sentence for convictions including selling drugs, gambling

© unknown
President Barack Obama on Monday pardoned five people convicted of charges ranging from intent to distribute marijuana to running an illegal gambling business.

And he issued his first commutation, ordering the release of a woman next month after serving 10 years on a 22-year sentence for cocaine distribution.

The actions mark Obama's third set of pardons. He pardoned eight people earlier this year, and issued nine pardons in December 2010.

None of those pardoned was well-known, as was the case with the president's previous orders. The cases date back to 1984, when Martin Kaprelian of Park Ridge, Ill., was sentenced to nine years in prison for conspiracy to transport stolen property in interstate commerce, and other related charges.


Fox News Leaves Viewers Knowing Less, New Survey Shows

FOX news logo
The latest results from a new Fairleigh Dickinson University survey show some news sources, such as Fox News, leave their viewers less informed than those who watch no news at all.

The latest PublicMind Poll reveals some news sources leave us less likely to stay on top of current events than people who watch no news at all. According to the study, some news outlets, especially Fox News, lead people to be even less informed than those who say they don't watch any news at all.

Dan Cassino, political science professor at Fairleigh Dickinson and an analyst for the PublicMind Poll, said: "Because of the controls for partisanship, we know these results are not just driven by Republicans or other groups being more likely to watch Fox News," in a news release. "Rather, the results show us that there is something about watching Fox News that leads people to do worse on these questions than those who don't watch any news at all," he added.

2 + 2 = 4

SOTT Focus: Thanksgiving, or 'Consumer Deathmatch'

Something Wicked This Way Comes

As Thanksgiving quickly approaches, I feel a sense of doom knowing that Black Friday (BF) looms like a coming storm and wonder who will get hurt or die this time. This time every year, just after dinner, the countdown to shopping madness begins in the US and we are inundated with news of who got trampled in the crazed rush to buy stuff. We shake our heads with pity and cluck our tongues in self-satisfactory hubris that we are somehow better than they are and then return to having our third or fourth helping of leftovers. Yes, I'm guilty of this as well.

It reminds me a bit of the television show Celebrity Deathmatch where, essentially, a few are pitted against each other for the entertainment purposes of the many. We wonder, "Who are these people?" Who indeed. Little do we realize, they are us.


Court finds Bush and Blair Guilty of War Crimes

© Agence France-Presse/Jim WatsonGeorge W. Bush (R) and Tony Blair (L)
Those who lobbied to have George W. Bush and Tony Blair tried for their role in the Iraq War have finally got their wish. Though the verdict of the court carries no legal weight, its supporters believe its symbolic value is beyond doubt.

The court in Malaysia where the trial took place may not have the power to convict, but the verdict against the former British and American leaders was unanimous.

"War criminals have to be dealt with - convict Bush and Blair as charged. A guilty verdict will serve as a notice to the world that war criminals may run but can never ultimately hide from truth and justice," the statement from the Perdana Global Peace Foundation read.

The foundation was set up by former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamed, who was always a staunch opponent of the war against the regime of Saddam Hussain in 2003. He previously branded Blair and Bush "child-killers".

Better Earth

Turkish PM apologizes over 1930s killings of Kurds

© Associated PressTurkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses his party members at the parliament in Ankara, Turkey, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2011.
Ankara - Turkey's prime minister apologized Wednesday for the first time for the killings of nearly 14,000 people in a bombing and strafing campaign to crush a Kurdish rebellion in the 1930s.

The apology by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was no big change of heart but a political tactic to tarnish the reputation of the opposition party, which was in power at that time. Still, comes at a tense time for relations between Turkey and its minority Kurds, and it sparked calls for Turkey to face another dark chapter of its history, the mass killings of Armenians in 1915.

Erdogan's government is currently fighting against autonomy-seeking Kurdish rebels and despite efforts to seek peace, says it is determined to crush the rebels if they don't lay down their arms.

The fighting has killed tens of thousands since it began in 1984, but it is only the latest of several uprisings by Kurds in Turkey's largely Kurdish southeast.

Erdogan on Wednesday offered his apology for the killings of 13,806 people in the southeastern town of Dersim - now known as Tunceli - between 1936 and 1939. The apology came after a war of words between Erdogan and the leader of the main opposition party.


Yemen's president agrees to step down

© UnknownYemen's President Ali Abdullah Saleh
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia - Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh agreed Wednesday to step down after a long-running uprising to oust him from 33 years in power.

Saleh, seated beside Saudi King Abdullah in the Saudi capital Riyadh, signed a U.S.-backed deal hammered out by his country's powerful Gulf Arab neighbors to transfer his power within 30 days to his vice president, Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi. That will be followed by early presidential elections within 90 days.

Dressed smartly in a dark business suit with a matching striped tie and handkerchief, he smiled as he signed the deal and then clapped his hands a few times. He then spoke for a few minutes to members of the Saudi royal families and international diplomats, promising to cooperate with the new Yemeni government.

"This disagreement for the last 10 months has had a big impact on Yemen in the realms of culture, development, politics, which led to a threat to national unity and destroyed what has been built in past years," he said.