Society's ChildS

Heart - Black

US, Arizona: Critics: 'Tough' sheriff botched sex-crime cases

© The Associated Press/Jack Kurtz/PoolIn this Oct. 18, 2011 file pool photo, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio testifies during the State Bar of Arizona's ongoing disciplinary hearings against former Maricopa County attorney Andrew Thomas and two assistants, at the Arizona Supreme Court in Phoenix. According to some current and former police officers, hundreds of sex-crimes investigations were allegedly mishandled by Arpaio's office.
The 13-year-old girl opened the door of her home in this small city on the edge of Phoenix to encounter a man who said that his car had broken down and he needed to use the phone. Once inside, the man pummeled the teen from behind, knocking her unconscious and sexually assaulting her.

Seven months before, in an apartment two miles away, another 13-year-old girl was fondled in the middle of the night by her mother's live-in boyfriend. She woke up in her room at least twice a week to find him standing over her, claiming to be looking for her mother's cell phone.

Both cases were among more than 400 sex-crimes reported to Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio's office during a three-year period ending in 2007 - including dozens of alleged child molestations - that were inadequately investigated and in some instances were not worked at all, according to current and former police officers familiar with the cases.

In El Mirage alone, where Arpaio's office was providing contract police services, officials discovered at least 32 reported child molestations - with victims as young as 2 years old - where the sheriff's office failed to follow through, even though suspects were known in all but six cases.

Many of the victims, said a retired El Mirage police official who reviewed the files, were children of illegal immigrants.


China - Scorpios Need Not Apply: Zodiac Signs Inspire Job Bias

© Life's Little MysteriesIf you were born between March 21 and April 19, your astrological sign is said to be Aries. But this was only true for a while, back when the system was set up in 600 BC. Today, the Sun is no longer within the constellation of Aries during much of that period. From March 11 to April 18, the Sun is actually in the constellation of Pisces!

Everyone knows (or should know) that it's illegal for businesses to discriminate against people because of their gender, race, religion and other things, at least in the United States. But what about rejecting an applicant based on their astrological sign?

According to a job listing in the Chutian Metropolis Daily newspaper in Wuhan, China, a language training company there is seeking qualified applicants - as along as they're not Scorpios or Virgos. The Toronto Sun reported that Xia, a spokeswoman for the company, said that in her experience Scorpios and Virgos are often "feisty and critical." Xia said, "I hired people with those two star signs before, and they either liked quarreling with colleagues or they could not do the job for long."

She preferred potential applicants who were born under certain constellations, such as Capricorns, Libras and Pisces. To some it may seem like a bad joke, but it's not funny to qualified applicants desperate for a job who get turned away because of the company's credence in astrology.

It's not the first time an employer has come under fire for zodiac sign discrimination. In 2009 an Austrian insurance company advertised, "'We are looking for people over 20 for part-time jobs in sales and management with the following star signs: Capricorn, Taurus, Aquarius, Aries and Leo."


UK: The moment protesters found a plain-clothes cop in their midst

occupy london
© The Independent

Campaigners complain of invasive policing tactics against Occupy movement in London

Usually, it is the police who kettle protesters. The tables were turned, though, when demonstrators unmasked and surrounded a plain-clothes officer who had infiltrated their midst during this week's public sector protests.

The hoodie-wearing interloper was discovered by protesters from the Occupy movement from St Paul's while they were attempting to take over a building near Piccadilly Circus in central London on Wednesday.

The incident, which occurred outside the offices of the mining company Xstrata, was captured on video by The Independent (above, left). Protesters asked the man whether he worked for the Metropolitan Police. He can be seen in the film nodding and answering: "Yeah, I'm a Met Police officer, yeah."


The Great Global Warming Fizzle

global warming fraud t-shirt
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How do religions die? Generally they don't, which probably explains why there's so little literature on the subject. Zoroastrianism, for instance, lost many of its sacred texts when Alexander sacked Persepolis in 330 B.C., and most Zoroastrians converted to Islam over 1,000 years ago. Yet today old Zoroaster still counts as many as 210,000 followers, including 11,000 in the U.S. Christopher Hitchens might say you can't kill what wasn't there to begin with.

Still, Zeus and Apollo are no longer with us, and neither are Odin and Thor. Among the secular gods, Marx is mostly dead and Freud is totally so. Something did away with them, and it's worth asking what.

Consider the case of global warming, another system of doomsaying prophecy and faith in things unseen.

As with religion, it is presided over by a caste of spectacularly unattractive people pretending to an obscure form of knowledge that promises to make the seas retreat and the winds abate. As with religion, it comes with an elaborate list of virtues, vices and indulgences. As with religion, its claims are often non-falsifiable, hence the convenience of the term "climate change" when thermometers don't oblige the expected trend lines. As with religion, it is harsh toward skeptics, heretics and other "deniers." And as with religion, it is susceptible to the earthly temptations of money, power, politics, arrogance and deceit.


Best of the Web: No, America's Unemployment Rate is Not 8.6 Percent

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That's just another lie fed to you by the mainstream media and the US government.

News from the Labor Department on Friday revealed that the unemployment rate in America miraculously improved, with only 8.6 of the country without jobs. If you think the news was too good to be true, that's because it is.

As the Department of Labor tells America that the percentage of the country without jobs is at a two year low, many Americans celebrate what hopes to be a recovery from a long-lasting recession that has spawned dire unemployment figures for over two years. On the contrary, the statistics for November are represented as good as the government makes it up to be because just that - it makes them up.

Yes, the US economy spawned around 120,000 jobs last month, but at the same time, around 315,000 Americans left the labor force - that is, they simply gave up. While 8.6 of Americans are unemployed in the sense that they are out of a job and actively seeking work, hundreds of thousands of people have simply stopped even trying to get a paycheck.


Canada Flight Delayed by Portuguese Suspect

© unknownA WestJet plane lands on the tarmac in this undated file photo. A WestJet flight headed to Toronto was forced to make an unexpected landing in Thunder Bay, Ont. after a bomb scare.
A Portuguese man on a Toronto-bound Boeing 737 jet whom airline staff wrongly believed was carrying a bomb prompted a late-night emergency landing, Canadian police told AFP on Sunday.

The WestJet Airlines plane left Vancouver with 118 passengers on board but it was diverted to Thunder Bay airport late Saturday after an in-air incident and bomb squad officers were called in, police said in a statement.

"The man has a history of mental health issues. He had become agitated during yesterday's flight from Vancouver to Toronto and had to be restrained by the flight crew," and he was arrested after landing, the statement said.

The aircraft was searched overnight and "an agitated 27-year-old male passenger," was held for a medical evaluation, according to police.


Monsanto to Stand Trial for Child's Death and Effects of Controversial Weed Killer

It has been almost nine years since the death of the Paraguayan child Silvino Talavera, and Monsanto Company has yet to acknowledge that it has anything to do with it.

Eleven-year old Silvino was on the way home on January 2, 2003, passing next to fields growing glyphosate resistant soybeans. He had meat and noodles that his mother asked him to buy for lunch. Suddenly, he was enveloped in a cloud of the toxic herbicide Round-up (glyphosate), being sprayed on the genetically-modified crops from a tractor.

After they ate the meat and noodles, all the family fell ill with nausea and stomach ache, and his younger sister was taken to a hospital. A few days later, a cocktail of pesticides containing glyphosate was again sprayed 15 meters away from Silvino's house. The family, seeking protection, gathered inside one room, but the strong winds carried the pesticides inside the house. Silvino and his sister Sofia became very ill. Their mother again took them to the hospital, where Silvino died on January 7.

It was a clear case of poisoning, and yet Monsanto, the U.S.-based manufacturer of glyphosate, was never held liable by any court of law. This is the anomaly that the Permanent People's Tribunal (PPT) on Agrochemical Transnational Corporations (TNCs) seeks to correct.


Bomb explodes near British embassy in Bahrain

© Bahrain interior ministry/EPABahrain has tightened security around embassies in the country after a bus blast near the British embassy in Manama
Bahrain's interior ministry says small blast near embassy in Manama was caused by bomb under a parked minibus

A bomb has exploded near the British embassy in Manama, the Bahraini capital, according to the country's interior ministry.

"Given the strength of the explosion and the debris it scattered, it was a highly explosive substance that was used," a ministry spokesman tweeted from a news conference. "The explosion was the result of a package placed under the front tyre," he said. He described the vehicle as a minibus parked some 50 metres from the embassy compound.

A Foreign Office spokesman said there were no casualties or damage to the compound as a result of the blast, which occurred at around 1.30am. "We are working with Bahrain's interior ministry and we have requested a temporary increase in security," he said. "We cannot yet identify the cause or the responsibility."

There has been widespread tension in Bahrain since pro-democracy protests erupted in February after revolts in Egypt and Tunisia. The government imposed martial law for nearly three months and ordered mass detentions and trials to crush the protests.


Best of the Web: How Unemployment is Tearing America Apart

© Geoff Lister/The Ubyssey
With 25 million out of work or underemployed, the U.S. is in the grips of a jobs depression

Eight months ago, Deborah Burnley, an administrative assistant in Baltimore, suddenly found herself among America's growing army of unemployed. Losing her job at a cash-strapped non-profit was a demoralizing and debilitating experience, she says, and to keep her spirits from crashing she's sought solace in, of all things, the bleak arithmetic of her job hunt: 226 positions applied for, six temp agencies engaged, and countless miles travelled across the region for interviews. "I try to think of it as a numbers game, that each day is basically one more step closer to being employed," says Burnley, 52. In other words, if she applies for enough positions, and meets enough prospective employers, some day - eventually - she's bound to find work. But even as she clings to that hope, Burnley acknowledges she and her husband, who also lost his job as a facilities manager six weeks ago, have depleted their savings and almost maxed out their credit cards. "It can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel."

Two-and-a-half years after the Great Recession was deemed officially over, that light has never seemed dimmer for the close to 25 million Americans who are either out of work or underemployed today. Like a gaping wound at the heart of the economy, the U.S. job crisis has cast a vast swath of the population into a state of semi-permanent unemployment. At the same time, America's housing market is in a shambles and poverty is on the rise. Even if economists weren't already once again warning of another global recession, a realization is slowly setting in: the United States is suffering from an outright economic depression, and it threatens to leave a deep scar on the American psyche for decades to come. As Robert Reich, a professor of public policy at the University of California at Berkeley and a former secretary of labour, put it recently: "America's ongoing jobs depression, which is what it deserves to be called, is the worst economic calamity to hit this nation since the Great Depression."


Pepper spray inventor: it was intended solely for combative people, NOT peaceful protestors

Since the Occupy movement began we have see cops nationwide abuse pepper spray. From the first incident where NYPD sprayed a group of women protesters to a UC Davis cop spraying a group of non-combatitative student protesters in California. What was the intial purpose of pepper spray? Kamran Loghman, the inventor of pepper spray, tells us what the intentions of the chemical agent are for and why he thinks police are abusing his invention.