Society's ChildS

Brick Wall

US: Largest dam removal aims to bring salmon back

Concrete chipped away on dam
© Olympic National ParkAn excavator hammers away at the concrete wall of the Glines Canyon Dam in the Elwha River Valley on Thursday. At 210 feet high, the dam is the tallest ever removed, the conservation group American Rivers says.

Ceremony with tribal blessing marks beginning of effort on Washington's Olympic Peninsula

Port Angeles, Washington - In an emotional ceremony Saturday marked by a tribal blessing and the use of a large piece of earthmoving equipment with a golden bucket, crews began to set a river free.

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and a couple hundred other people gathered on the Elwha River near Port Angeles for the ceremony, marking the beginning of the biggest dam removal project in the United States.

Two dams on the Elwha River inside Olympic National Park are slowly being removed, with the goal of restoring runs of six species of salmon.

The ceremony Saturday included drumming, singing, dancing and a blessing by Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe elder Ben Charles Sr.


New Zealand - Sex Ed Shock for Angry Parents

Sex Education
© Thinkstock

Schools are being accused of going too far in what they teach children about sex.

Children as young as 12 are being taught about oral sex and told it's acceptable to play with a girl's private parts as long as "she's okay with it".

In other cases, 14-year-old girls are being taught how to put condoms on plastic penises, and one female teacher imitated the noises she made during orgasm to her class of 15-year-olds.

The often-graphic nature of today's sex education lessons is considered perfectly acceptable, and necessary, by some parents, but many others are shocked and say it has gone too far.

One concerned father, who did not want to be identified, phoned Newstalk ZB to say he had taken his 12-year-old son out of a sex education class at his all-boy school after he came home upset about what had happened during one of the lessons.

It included a question-and-answer session that focused on, "I have learned that my girlfriend has a thing called a clitoris. I really want to play with it. Is that okay?" The answer was: "Yes, if you ask her and she's okay with it."

Light Sabers

Russian oligarchs brawl on live TV!

Independent and Evening Standard owner 'neutralises' fellow TV debate guest in reaction to the latter's 'threatening manner'

The Russian billionaire Alexander Lebedev may pride himself on not interfering with the editorial policy of his UK newspapers, the Independent and Evening Standard, but there was no sign of such restraint when he took exception to the words of a fellow guest on Russian television.

Clad in very tight grey jeans, Lebedev showed a glimpse of his past as a KGB agent as he launched two blows at the former property developer Sergei Polonsky during a television debate on the financial crisis. Polonsky, once ranked Russia's 40th richest man, had said he wanted to "stick one in the mouth" of Lebedev. In the clip posted on the NTV channel's website, Polonsky was sent tumbling to the floor and Lebedev then stood over him in a crouched fighting stance.


Mubarak minister jailed for corruption

© Ahmed Ali/APZohair Garanah is the latest senior member of the former Egyptian regime to be convicted of corruption since the popular uprising toppled Mubarak in February.
Ex-tourism minister Zohair Garanah is already serving a five-year term for allowing investors to illegally acquire state land

An Egyptian court has sentenced one of Hosni Mubarak's cabinet ministers to three years in prison after convicting him of corruption.

The businessman and former tourism minister Zohair Garanah is already serving a five-year jail term for allowing investors to illegally acquire state land. His first sentence was passed by a Cairo court on 10 May.

Under Egyptian law, he will serve the longer of the two sentences.

On Thursday, the steel magnate Ahmed Ezz was sentenced to 10 years in prison after being convicted of corruption. Ezz was a powerful insider in Mubarak's now-dissolved ruling party and a close aide to Mubarak's younger son and one-time heir apparent, Gamal.

The former trade minister Rachid Mohamed Rachid, who is at large, was also sentenced to 15 years on Thursday.


US: Protesters invade NYC Financial District

NYC Wall Street protest
© Eric Thayer / ReutersProtesters demonstrate Saturday near New York's Wall Street against banks and corporations.
More than 1,000 demonstrators descended on New York City's Financial District on Saturday for what could be a days-long protest of what they said was corporate greed favoring the rich at the expense of ordinary people.

The rally, dubbed #OccupyWallStreet on social networks such as Twitter and Facebook where word was spread, spurred the New York Police Department to lock down Wall Street near the New York Stock Exchange and Federal Hall, local media reported.

Police set up checkpoints to allow only those who could prove they lived or worked on Wall Street to enter, the New York Daily News reported.

Heart - Black

The US Hospital Gestapo: You May Never See Home Again

Cash Cow
© Dean MacAdam
American hospitals have devised a scheme to guarantee they never get stuck with an unpaid bill. It's called guardianship.

Thinking of checking into a hospital? Think again. You may never see home again.

Ginger Franklin, Hendersonville, Tennessee, fell down the stairs in her condo and suffered a bump on her head. She was declared "temporarily mentally incapacitated" and a guardian was appointed through the courts. < Within six weeks, the guardian had soldFranklin's home, car, furniture, and drained her bank account. Today, Franklin has her freedom back, but she is having to start all over.


'The Amazing' Randi, Renowned Supernatural Investigator, Immersed in Mystery About Partner's Alleged ID Theft

Skeptic James 'The Amazing' Randi is renowned as a scourge of paranormal frauds and hoaxers, but it just may be that identity theft isn't one of his areas of expertise. Federal authorities have arrested his partner of more than two decades, 'Jose Luis Alvarez', saying that his identity was stolen from a man in New York some 24 years ago:

Heart - Black

Canada: Hundreds of dogs seized from Quebec puppy mill in mass-scale animal abuse case

animal abuse canada
© The Canadian PressDr. Barry Kellogg, Humane Society International veterinary medical doctor, holds a breeding female at an emergency shelter that was rescued from a breeding operation in southwestern Quebec.
More than 500 dogs have been seized from a Quebec puppy mill in what could represent the largest animal cruelty case in the province's history.

The dogs were found Friday on a property in a rural area west of Montreal. They were living in poor conditions without sufficient food and water.

Guy Auclair, a spokesman for the Quebec Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, said the scale of the seizure is without precedent in Quebec.

"We have had this kind of situation before, but (with) a lower number of animals," Auclair said in an interview Saturday.

Auclair said the dogs were different breeds and ranged in age from puppies to fully-grown.

Many were found suffering from skin and respiratory problems, he said.

They were placed under the care of Humane Society International, which had already transported several hundred dogs to a treatment centre Saturday.


Why We Left The United States

© Unknown
Because on December 12, 2000, the United States Supreme Court nullified the results of a national election and installed George W. Bush as president. And then I saw millions of my fellow Americans deliriously happy the Rule of Law was broken by the Supreme Court of the Land so "their guy" could ... "win."

That's when I knew partisanship had ultimately won out over reality. More Americans believe in angels than election fraud. If millions of Americans could turn a blind eye to a stolen election, simply because their side stole it, and then have that coup legitimized by not only the Supreme Court ... but by all of MainStreamMedia ... then I knew the country I lived in was not the land of my birth.

I can't emphasize this enough. Millions of Americans were ecstatic that George W. Bush won regardless of how he won. Unquestioning blind partisanship was more important than the law to these people. But more ominous was MainStreamMedia ratifying the coup. At that moment Corporate Media proved they were committed to the destruction of our democratic republic.

2 + 2 = 4

Text teens Can't Do Joined-Up Writing as They Learn to Type Before Putting Pen to Paper

© N/ATexting has overtaken handwriting in the classroom
Pupils' handwriting is deteriorating amid growing reliance on computers and poor teaching, it has been revealed.

Vital developmental stages are being skipped as young children learn to type on a keyboard before putting a pen to paper.

But this means some children have not mastered the basic skill by the time they start their A-levels - even though they are experts at texting and communicating online.

Examiners complain some A-level and GCSE scripts are illegible, while pupil referrals to occupational therapists are now 'widespread'.

Ian Toone, of the Voice teaching union, said:
'Some teachers, especially in the younger age bracket, argue that it is a waste of time teaching joined-up handwriting because soon "everyone will be doing everything on computers".

'Other teachers believe that joined-up writing is more efficient than print and aids fluency of expression and speed of thought.

'Practising handwriting helps children learn letters and shapes, and can improve the creation and expression of ideas and help to develop fine motor skills, much more so than using a keyboard.'
He added:
'The secondary curriculum only requires children to write legibly, rather than cursively (joined-up).