Society's ChildS


India: Mystery surrounds the Apollo aircraft crash in Delhi

Mystery surrounds the crash of the mini aircraft that crashed in Jawaharnagar locality in Faridabad near the Delhi airport yesterday night.

While initial reactions have blamed strong winds for smashing the nine-seater onto a house -- killing three women on the roof of the house -- air traffic records show that the plane lost an inordinate amount of altitude suddenly before the crash.

The plane, according to air traffic authorities, was flying at the usual cruising height of 11,000 feet (3.5 km) up in the air.

"We told the plane to keep at 11,000 feet as there were five other planes to touch down before it," pointed out a source in the airport.

While the plane should have circled at 11,000 feet, it started losing altitude and descended rapidly. "We have to see why it came down so rapidly.. whether there was wind at the high altitude or whether it got caught in the wind only after climbing down from the high altitude," the source pointed out.


US: Former street preacher sentenced to life in federal prison for kidnapping Elizabeth Smart

© George Frey/Getty ImagesElizabeth Smart (R) and her father Ed Smart (L) walk away from federal court after the sentencing of Elizabeths kidnapper Brian David Mitchell May 25, 2011 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Mitchell was sentenced to life for the kidnapping of Elizabeth Smart in 2002.
Elizabeth Smart finally got her chance Wednesday to confront the street preacher convicted of holding her captive and raping her for months when she was just 14. Now 23, she stood tall in the courtroom - stoic, with an even voice and a strength Brian David Mitchell clearly lacked.

Mitchell, frail and skinny with a long, peppery white beard, sang hymns softly and closed his hollow eyes, just as he did throughout his trial, just as he would moments later as the judge gave him two life sentences without parole. That did not stop Smart from looking right at him and coolly speaking her piece.

It took her about 30 seconds.

"I don't have very much to say to you. I know exactly what you did," said Smart, wearing a houndstooth checked skirt, an ivory jacket and pearls. "I know that you know that what you did was wrong. You did it with full knowledge ... but I have a wonderful life now and no matter what you do, you will never affect me again.


Feet washed ashore in British Columbia, Canada identified: Foul play ruled out

Two feet that washed ashore on two separate B.C. islands in 2008 belonged to a 21-year-old Surrey resident who went missing four years earlier, according to the provincial Coroners Service.

DNA testing has confirmed the feet that were found on Feb. 8 on Valdes Island and June 16 on Westham Island belonged to the missing man, the Coroners Service said in a statement issued Tuesday. The feet were found inside matching Nike running shoes.

The coroner determined the feet were not cut from the body, but separated through natural decomposition. Foul play has been ruled out in the incident, but the person's name was not released.


Don't Worry, The Rapture Is Still Totally On

© Unknown
A lot of people were making fun of radio preacher Harold Camping when no one was raptured up the heavens on Saturday, but he's come up with a perfectly logical explanation: It was just "an invisible judgment day" when Jesus double checked his naughty and nice lists. "We've always said May 21 was the day, but we didn't understand altogether the spiritual meaning," said Camping. Now he's rescheduled Judgement Day for October 21, the day he previously said the planet would be consumed by a fireball. He hasn't set a new date for our fiery demise, so just hang on to your tinfoil hats for the time being.


Best of the Web: Risk From Spent Nuclear Reactor Fuel Is Greater in U.S. Than in Japan, Study Says

Spent nuclear fuel pool
© n/aSpent nuclear fuel pool
The threat of a catastrophic release of radioactive materials from a spent fuel pool at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi plant is dwarfed by the risk posed by such pools in the United States, which are typically filled with far more radioactive material, according to a study released on Tuesday by a nonprofit institute.

The report, from the Institute for Policy Studies, recommends that the United States transfer most of the nation's spent nuclear fuel from pools filled with cooling water to dry sealed steel casks to limit the risk of an accident resulting from an earthquake, terrorism or other event.

"The largest concentrations of radioactivity on the planet will remain in storage at U.S. reactor sites for the indefinite future," the report's author, Robert Alvarez, a senior scholar at the institute, wrote. "In protecting America from nuclear catastrophe, safely securing the spent fuel by eliminating highly radioactive, crowded pools should be a public safety priority of the highest degree."


Nuclear Insanity

Dr. Vandana Shiva
© n/aDr. Vandana Shiva
Fukushima has raised, once again, the perennial questions about human fallibility and human frailty, about human hubris and man's arrogance in thinking he can control nature. The earthquakes, the tsunami, the meltdown at Japan's nuclear power plant are nature's reminders of her power.

The scientific and industrial revolution was based on the idea that nature is dead, and the earth inert matter. The tragedy in Japan is a wakeup call from Mother Nature - an alarm to tell us she is alive and powerful, and that humans are powerless in her path. The ruined harbours, villages and towns, the ships, aeroplanes and cars tossed away by the angry waves as if they were tiny toys are reminders that should correct the assumption that man can dominate over nature - with technology, tools and industrial infrastructure.

The Fukushima disaster invites us to revisit the human-nature relationship. It also raises questions about the so-called "nuclear renaissance" as an answer to the climate and energy crisis. President of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, Arjun Makhijani, speaking at Public Interest Environmental Law Conference, said that "nuclear renaissance" would need 300 reactors every week and two-three uranium enrichment plants every year. The spent fuel would contain 90,000 bombs of plutonium per year if separated. Water required would be 10-20 million litres per day.


US: Accused Tucson Shooter Due in Court for Competency Hearing

© euters/U.S. Marshals Service/HandoutTuscon shooting rampage suspect Jared Lee Loughner is pictured in this undated booking photograph released by the U.S. Marshals Service on February 22, 2011.
Accused Tucson shooting suspect Jared Loughner will appear in federal court in Arizona on Wednesday for a hearing to determine whether he is mentally competent to stand trial.

Loughner is charged with opening fire at a political event outside a Tucson grocery store on January 8, killing six people and wounding 13 others, including Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot through the head.

U.S. District Judge Larry Burns ordered the hearing in March to determine if Loughner understood the legal proceedings against him and could assist in his own defense. His own legal team has described him as "gravely mentally ill."

The 22-year-old college dropout spent five weeks in Missouri where he underwent mental competency examinations at a federal prison hospital. A report by Dr. Christina Pietz and Dr. Matthew Carroll was lodged with the court.

In a possible sign that he will be found not competent to stand trial, prosecutors and defense attorneys agreed in papers filed last week that their reports were sufficient to reach a conclusion, and that neither Pietz nor Carroll need testify.

Heart - Black

US: Elizabeth Smart to Address Kidnapper at Sentencing

Elizabeth Smart
© Reuters/Michael BrandyElizabeth Smart talks to the media after Brian David Mitchell, a homeless street preacher, was found guilty of kidnapping then teenager Smart in June 2002, outside federal court in Salt Lake City, Utah, in this December 10, 2010 file photo.
Kidnapping victim Elizabeth Smart will directly address the homeless street preacher convicted of abducting her nine years ago at his sentencing, her father told Reuters on Tuesday.

Ed Smart said his daughter, who is now 23, considered it important to confront Brian David Mitchell in court on Wednesday before he is sent to prison for her June 5, 2002, kidnapping and subsequent nine-month ordeal -- a crime that gripped much of America.

Elizabeth Smart, who was 14 when Mitchell snatched her at knifepoint from her upscale Salt Lake City home, testified during the self-styled prophet's six-week trial in federal court but did not directly address him.

Mitchell, 57, was ejected from the courtroom daily, including during Smart's testimony, for disrupting the proceedings with loud singing.

Smart returned to Utah two weeks ago after completing a religious mission in Paris, France, for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.


Why is the media still giving this attention? Harold Camping issues new apocalypse date

© AFPThe predicted doomsday was publicised worldwide. Now why was that?
The evangelical broadcaster who left followers crestfallen by his failed prediction that last Saturday would be Judgement Day says he miscalculated.

Harold Camping said it had "dawned" on him that God would spare humanity "hell on Earth for five months" and the apocalypse would happen on 21 October.

Mr Camping said he felt "terrible" about his mistake.

But he said he could not give financial advice to those who spent their life savings in the belief the end was nigh.

Mr Camping had predicted that on 21 May, true believers would be swept up to heaven while a giant earthquake would bring destruction for those left behind.

Comment: Religion May Cause Brain Atrophy

Bad Guys

US: Utah Woman Accused of Trying to Sell Girl's Virginity

stop sexual exploitation
© n/a
A Salt Lake City woman has been charged with offering her 13-year-old daughter's virginity to a man for $10,000.

The 32-year-old woman was charged Monday in Utah's 3rd District Court with two first-degree felony counts of aggravated sex abuse of a child and two second-degree felony counts of sexual exploitation of a minor.

If convicted, the woman faces a lifetime prison sentence for each first-degree felony and a zero to 15 year sentence for each second-degree felony.

In court papers, prosecutors allege that the woman had discussed letting her daughter perform oral sex and other sex acts with an adult male. The negotiated offer and an arrangement to exchange the teen's virginity for money were detailed in a string of text messages which were seen by the woman's boyfriend, who called police, court papers say.