Society's ChildS

House

Uncle Sam is a Reluctant Landlord of Foreclosed Homes

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© Carlos Barria/ReutersAn empty mail box is seen at the front door of a foreclosed house in Miami Gardens, Fla. With even more homes moving toward default, the government is looking for ways to unload them without swamping the already depressed real estate market.
Washington has issued a plea to the public for ideas on how to get rid of houses

For sale or rent by distressed owner: 248,000 homes. That's how many residential properties the U.S. government now has in its possession, the result of record numbers of people defaulting on government-backed mortgages. Washington is sitting on nearly a third of the nation's 800,000 repossessed houses, making the U.S. taxpayer the largest owner of foreclosed properties. With even more homes moving toward default, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration are looking for a way to unload them without swamping the already depressed real estate market.

Trouble is, they haven't figured out how to do that. The government admitted as much in August, when Fannie, Freddie and FHA issued a joint plea to the public for ideas about how to solve the problem. (Give it your best shot: You have until Sept. 15 to email ideas to reo.rfi@fhfa.gov.) "They're stuck," says Karen Shaw Petrou, managing partner of Federal Financial Analytics, a Washington-based consultant that advises banks and other clients on government policy. "They don't know what to do."

Since the 2008 financial collapse, the government has spent billions of dollars trying to extricate borrowers from high-cost loans, aid delinquent homeowners and stabilize neighborhoods. The results have been disappointing. The Obama Administration's signature loan-modification program has helped about 657,000 homeowners - far short of its goal of 3 to 4 million. The program was a victim of its complexity and its inability to cope with overwhelming demand. Many families hit hardest by the housing downturn are concentrated in states that are having the most difficulty recovering from the recession, including Florida, Ohio and Nevada.

Stop

Australia: Man takes female hostage in Sydney office bomb siege

Police are negotiating with a shirtless man wearing a barrister's wig who is thought to have a bomb and young female hostage in a law office near Sydney.

The siege began shortly before 9am when the man, aged in his 50s, and his daughter, aged 10 or 11, entered the barristers' chambers on the main street of Parramatta, a suburb about 20 kilometres from central Sydney.

Receptionist Betty Hor said he demanded to talk to a man whom she had never heard of, and when she told him that there was no one in the building of that name he became angrier and more frustrated until he "snapped" and threw a book at the reception desk.


"He said, 'Call the attorney general, I've got a bomb in my backpack". she said.

Laptop

Hackers steal SSL certificates for CIA, MI6, Mossad

Criminals acquired over 500 DigiNotar digital certificates; Mozilla and Google issue 'death sentence'.

The tally of digital certificates stolen from a Dutch company in July has exploded to more than 500, including ones for intelligence services like the CIA, the U.K.'s MI6 and Israel's Mossad, a Mozilla developer said Sunday.

The confirmed count of fraudulently-issued SSL (secure socket layer) certificates now stands at 531, said Gervase Markham, a Mozilla developer who is part of the team that has been working to modify Firefox to blocks all sites signed with the purloined certificates.

Among the affected domains, said Markham, are those for the CIA, MI6, Mossad, Microsoft, Yahoo, Skype, Facebook, Twitter and Microsoft's Windows Update service.

Arrow Down

World markets don't bode well for US Tuesday

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© Gallo/GettyThe US economy has been in continuous recession as it combats massive national debt, a housing crisis and the declining strength of the dollar.
London - Wall Street braced for losses on Tuesday after world stock markets took a beating over fears that the U.S. economy was heading back into recession.

Any troubles in the world's largest economy cast a long shadow over the markets, and a report Friday that the U.S. economy failed to add any new jobs in August caused European and Asian stock markets to sink sharply Monday.

That jobs figure was far below economists' already tepid expectations for 93,000 new U.S. jobs and renewed concerns that the U.S. recovery is not only slowing but actually unwinding. U.S. hiring figures for June and July were also revised lower, only adding to the gloom.

The full impact of the jobs report will hit U.S. markets on Tuesday, since trading there was closed Monday for the U.S. Labor Day holiday.

The jobs crisis has prompted President Barack Obama to schedule a major speech Thursday night to propose steps to stimulate hiring.

Until then, however, traders coming back from the U.S. holiday weekend will have little to hold onto. The uncertainty has already pushed many to pull out of any risky investments - such as stocks, particularly financial ones, the euro and emerging market currencies - and pile into safe havens: U.S. Treasuries, the dollar, the Japanese yen and gold.

Eye 1

US: DHS- We Lost Our Own Explosives During Live Drill In Phoenix

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© Snip

DHS has misplaced their own bomb used in a live drill at Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix.

For the past few days the Department of Homeland Security and other officials have been hunting for live explosives that have "gone missing" from a drill conducted late last week.

The fact that the agency that is supposed to protect Americans from terror is now possibly aiding terrorists by losing track of deadly explosive compounds that could be used or blamed in future events to further control the populace shows just how corrupt and inept most government officials have become.

The following is a Fox News clip:

Star of David

Israel: Huge economic protest rocks Tel Aviv

israel protests
© SkyNewsMore than 400,000 people have taken to the streets of Israel's biggest cities to show their anger about rising house prices and other economic issues.
The demonstration on Saturday 3, 2011, was the largest of months of action.

The wind of the "Arab spring" revolution is being felt in the state of Israel.

A "one-million person march" took place Saturday in Tel Aviv with a call for "tzedek hevrati" - meaning social reform.

Like in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya, youngsters are spearheading this demand for reform.

Handcuffs

US: 6-Year-Old Kids Handcuffed in Class

Handcuffs
A lawsuit out of Chicago, Illinois alleges that several 6 and 7-year-old students at a city public school were handcuffed and threatened for hours all for talking during their first grade class.

LaShanda Smith, one of the student's mothers, is seeking $100,000 from the city for damages both "permanent" and "personal" that she says her son suffered as a result of the incident, which allegedly occurred in 2010 at a school in the south side of the city. Smith's attorney Michael Carin tells the Chicago Tribune that he has attempted to resolve the issue without bringing the battle into the courtroom, but the school Board officials have ignored his attempts at reaching a settlement.

Gear

Bank of America 'Called Grieving Widow 48 Times a Day to Remind Her of Husband's Debt'

Bank of America
© AFP/Getty ImagesLawsuit: Bank of America is being sued by a widow who said she was harrassed by constant phone calls after the death of her husband
Bank of America bombarded a grieving widow with calls up to 48 times a day to remind her that her recently deceased husband had missed a mortgage payment, it is claimed.

Deborah Crabtree, from Honolulu, Hawaii, is suing the bank after she said she was called by debt collectors as often as every 15 minutes including during the wake for her husband.

According to papers filed in Hawaii, Mrs Crabtree told the bank that she would pay the debt as soon as she received her husband's life insurance pay out, but the bank continued to threaten to foreclose on her home.

The bank told the widow that it was unable to stop the calls until the debt was paid as they were computer generated.

Pistol

Jordan Woman Killed in Hospital Over Pregnancy

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© Agence France-PresseA Jordanian has been charged with killing his 24-year-old widowed daughter in hospital after she gave birth to twins, a judicial official told AFP
A Jordanian man was charged on Sunday with killing his 24-year-old widowed daughter in hospital after she gave birth to twins, a judicial official said.

"Amman's criminal court prosecutor charged the man with premeditated murder after he confessed to shooting dead his daughter on Saturday," in Deir Alla in the Jordan Valley, the official told AFP.

The official quoted the suspect as saying "I was shocked that she was pregnant. I was enraged and shot her dead because she did something shameful."

The woman has been a widow for four years.

"The man claimed he wanted to check on the condition of his daughter ... then he shot her in the head," said Ahmad Hwarat, head of the hospital where the killing took place.

People

US: 90-Year Old Woman In Serious Condition After Gator Attack

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© Associated Press
Copeland, Florida: A 90-year old southwest Florida woman remains hospitalized after she lost her leg in an alligator attack.

Florida wildlife officials said Margaret Webb was walking near her home in Copeland, a small community east of Ft. Myers, on Wednesday when an 8-foot alligator lunged out of a canal. The gator clamped onto Webb's leg and tried to drag her into the water.

Webb, however, was able to hang on long enough for a man driving by to stop and help her. That good Samaritan tried to shoot the alligator but it got away.

Wildlife officials at the time said the leg was "barely attached" after the attack and had to amputated.

Officials at Lee Memorial Hospital said her condition has been upgraded from critical to serious.