Society's ChildS


Evil Rays

Lawmakers Blast TSA for Airport Security Measures

Image
© The Associated Press
Lawmakers blasted the Transportation Security Administration on Wednesday for ineffective security at the expense of taxpayer dollars, after the Department of Homeland Security released documents showing there have been 25,000 security breaches since 2001.

Although the breaches represent a tiny fraction of the 5.5 billion passengers since 2001, Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, reminded the committee that terrorists only need to slip through security once to cause serious damage, while reprimanding the TSA for doing more to appear secure than actually be secure.

"A lot of what we have been participating in here, in my opinion, has been security theater," Chaffetz said, "and has not truly done the job to secure the airports to the degree we need to."

Another report from the Government Accountability Office said that only 17 percent of the nation's airports have received joint vulnerability assessments, which Chaffetz said was "not acceptable."

The TSA has come under heavy criticism in recent months for using pat downs and body scanning machines which some passengers say makes them feel uncomfortable and violates their privacy.

Briefcase

Cyprus leader vows 'thorough' probe of deadly explosion

cyprus protest
© Associated PressProtesters shouts slogans as they run from tear gas during a protest over a fatal blast at a naval base that killed 12, outside of Presidential palace in Nicosia, Cyprus
The Cypriot president promised on Thursday a thorough investigation into the explosion of munitions at a naval base that killed 12 people and knocked out the country's major power plant

In his first public address since the Monday morning blast, which also injured 62 people and damaged hundreds of homes, The Cypriot president, Demetris Christofias said "the demand of everyone is to find those responsible and apportion responsibility, even if this is from the lowest to the highest level."

"I assure you responsibility will be apportioned and taken," he said in a televised speech, announcing that he had appointed lawyer Polis Polyviou to head the investigation.

Polyviou's remit will be to expedite the police investigation into "every aspect and all the circumstances of this tragedy." Only a "thorough investigation," in which people are made accountable, will suffice "to restore the public's trust in the state and its institutions," he said.

Binoculars

Hawaii: Tourists Saw California Man Fall Into Maui Blow Hole

Image
© AP Photo/Rocco PiganelliIn this Saturday, July 9, 2011 photo provided and shot by Rocco Piganelli, Piper Piganelli, Marley Meyer, and Maddie Meyer, lower left, pose for a photo Piganelli says was taken moments before a man, in the spray at right, fell to his apparent death in a blow hole at Nakalele Point in Maui, Hawaii. Piganelli, of La Jolla, Calif., told The Associated Press that he watched the man spiral down the blowhole, pop up briefly before disappearing when the next wave hit. The 44-year-old man, identified as David Potts of San Anselmo, Calif., has not been found since Saturday afternoon.
Witnesses who watched a Northern California man get sucked into a Maui blow hole to his apparent death say that the tourist was dancing around and frolicking in the sprays of water moments before a wave knocked him down.

Rocco Piganelli, of La Jolla, Calif., said he stared in horror as he watched a large wave push the tourist into the hole off Nakalele Point on Saturday afternoon. The man popped up briefly with the next wave, then disappeared.

Life Preserver

Russian boat disaster death toll rises

Russian boat accident
© Reuters/Roman KruchininExpanding search: 29 people are still unaccounted for.
Divers widened their search for 29 remaining missing boat passengers after the death toll in Russia's worst river disaster in three decades reached 100, the country's Emergencies Ministry said overnight.

Officials say 79 of 208 passengers survived the sinking of an ageing, overcrowded tourist boat in the Volga River on Sunday.

The 29 people still unaccounted for are feared dead.

The Bulgaria, a 79-metre river cruiser built in 1955, listed onto its right side during a thunderstorm and sank in minutes in a broad stretch of the Volga in the Tatarstan region, trapping many passengers inside as the vessel sank to the riverbed.

"The bodies of 100 people killed have been extracted," said regional Emergency Situations Ministry official Igor Panshin.

Heart - Black

US: New York man accused of killing, dismembering boy is "hearing voices"

Murder suspect Levi Aron
© Reuters/Brendan McDermidMurder suspect Levi Aron is escorted out of a New York Police Department precinct in Brooklyn, New York, July 14, 2011.

A Brooklyn man who confessed to smothering and dismembering an 8-year-old boy lost on his first walk home alone was ordered on Thursday to undergo a psychiatric evaluation after complaining of "hearing voices."

Levi Aron, 35, pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and kidnapping in state Supreme Court in Brooklyn.

At the request of defense lawyer Pierre Bazile, Judge William Miller place Aron on a suicide watch and ordered him to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

Bell

World's Greatest Ongoing Humanitarian Disaster Reaches a Crisis Point

Somali refugees
© Associated Press/Rebecca BlackwellSomali refugees lead their herds of goats home for the night, inside Dagahaley Camp, outside Dadaab, Kenya, Sunday, July 10, 2011
With more than 60,000 starving and thirsty Somalis camped outside of the world's largest refugee camp, what some aid agencies deem the world's worst humanitarian crisis is facing its "critical days," according to a UNICEF spokesperson.

Kenya's Dadaab refugee camp, originally constructed to hold 90,000 people - making it the biggest camp in the world - is now home to approximately 400,000 people according to Bettina Schulte, Dadaab spokeswoman of the U.N. refugee agency, UNHCR. Well beyond capacity, the camp is drawing thousands upon thousands of drought-fleeing Somalis, many of whom have no choice but to live in even more tenuous circumstances in the environs around the camp. Yearly dry seasons often send inhabitants of the warn-torn country fleeing into neighboring Kenya, but the Horn of Africa's worst drought in 60 years will provoke an even more desperate crisis should the current refugees in eastern Kenya and the 1,400 new ones arriving each day not receive sufficient aid.

Card - VISA

US: Personal Banking Info Stolen from Phoenix TSA Employees



Police are looking into the theft of personal financial information at Sky Harbor, and all it took for the information to be stolen was a swipe of their credit or debit cards.

So far FOX 10 has confirmed TSA security screeners have been the targets. Their bank accounts were broken into and drained.

Police say the culprits or culprits may have used a skimmer to take information directly off a credit or debit card. A few dozen employees have already come forward to report problems with their bank accounts.

Flight attendant Tina Coffee is on her way to Tampa. As an airline employee, she spends three to four days in the air and knows all too well the dangers of working at airports.

"We travel all the time so they know that we are the ones to target," she acknowledges.

Handcuffs

US: Mom Jailed for Raging on TSA Agents Over Daughter's Pat Down; Didn't Want Girl's 'Crotch Grabbed'

Image
© handoutAndrea Fornella Abbott, 41, was arrested after she raged on TSA agents at Nashville airport for trying to give her daughter a pat down search.
An overprotective mom's trip from Nashville to Baltimore took a brief detour to the slammer.

Andrea Fornella Abbott, 41, was arrested at Nashville airport after she went wild on Transportation Security Administration agents for trying to give her daughter a pat down search.

Nashville police said Abbot, from Clarksville, Tenn., shouted and swore at TSA agents, saying she didn't want her young daughter to have her "crotch grabbed."

The trouble started on Saturday after Abbott refused to go through the airports body scanning device, The Tennessean reported.

"(Abbott) told me in a very stern voice with quite a bit of attitude that they were not going through that X-ray," security officer Sabrina Birge told police.

Birge said she told Abbott that the machine was "not an X-ray" and "10,000 times" safer than her cell phone.

Eye 1

China Tried to Play Down Size of Bohai Bay Oil Spill

 Bohai Bay, oil spill,china
© CFPA screen grab from China’s Central Television (CCTV) on July 6, 2011, shows the devastation caused by the oil spill at the Penglai 19-3 oil field in Bohai Bay off China's eastern coast.

The sea area polluted in an oil spill in China's Bohai Bay was five times as large as Beijing previously announced. A probe conducted by the Chinese State Oceanic Administration found that some 4,240 sq.km of water, or seven times the size of Seoul, were polluted by oil leaks from the Peng Lai 19-3 oilfield in Bohai Bay, the daily Xin Jing Bao reported Wednesday.

Beijing admitted the oil spill for the first time on July 5, a month after two oil leaks occurred at China's largest marine oilfield on June 4 and 17, saying only 840 sq.km were polluted. But the water quality of a 3,400 sq.km area nearby dropped from Grade 1 to Grade 3.

China National Offshore Oil Corp. and ConocoPhillips, the joint operators of the oilfield, said the oil spill was quickly contained and cleaned up, but earlier this week Beijing admitted that oil continues to leak out.

Family

UK: Mother Repeatedly Stabbed Daughter, 11, As Child Cried Out "I Love You"

Image
© Philip IdeThe Old Bailey heard how a nursery worker plunged a large knife into her 11-year-old daughter and stabbed her repeatedly as the little girl cried 'I love you'
A nursery worker plunged a large knife into her 11-year-old daughter and stabbed her repeatedly as the little girl cried 'I love you,' the Old Bailey has heard.

Mid-way through the attack she paused to hug the child who was begging her mother to stop.

But she then resumed the vicious onslaught, stabbing her daughter ten times at the side of a canal.

After the youngster collapsed in St Margaret's Field, Ealing, west London, the 48-year-old woman turned the knife on herself, causing blade wounds to her stomach.

Both survived the ordeal but the girl - who received multiple cut wounds to her hands and arms - has been left with long-lasting injuries and scarring.

She was saved by a ten-hour operation to repair wounds to her abdominal organs.

The woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to attempted murder in August last year, and was detained under the Mental Health Act without limit of time.