Society's ChildS


Texas House passes bill banning TSA 'groping'

The Texas House of Representatives late on Thursday approved a bill that would make invasive pat-downs at Texas airports a crime, after a former Miss USA said she felt "molested" at the Dallas/Fort Worth airport last month.

Transportation Security Administration agents could be charged with a misdemeanor crime, face a $4,000 fine and one year in jail under the measure.

The proposal would classify any airport inspection that "touches the anus, sexual organ, buttocks, or breast of another person including through the clothing, or touches the other person in a manner that would be offensive to a reasonable person" as an offense of sexual harassment under official oppression.

Red Flag

Every 30 Minutes: Farmer Suicides and the Agrarian Crisis in India

The Indian government must uphold its human rights obligations by responding immediately to its farmer suicide crisis, said the Center for Human Rights and Global Justice (CHRGJ) in a new report released today. The report, Every Thirty Minutes: Farmer Suicides, Human Rights, and the Agrarian Crisis in India, looks critically at India's farmer suicide epidemic - which has been claimed the lives of an estimated 250,000 farmers since 1995 - and proposes steps that the government should take toward upholding the human rights of this vulnerable population.

"On average, one farmer commits suicide every 30 minutes in India," said CHRGJ Faculty Director and report co-author Smita Narula. "It's simply unacceptable to ignore a tragedy of such epic proportions and go on with business as usual. The Indian government's limited interventions have failed to adequately assess or address this deepening crisis."

Over the past two decades, economic reforms - which included the removal of agricultural subsidies and the opening of Indian agriculture to an increasingly volatile global market - have increased costs, while reducing yields and profits for many farmers, creating widespread financial distress. As a result, smallholder farmers are often trapped in a cycle of insurmountable debt, leading many to take their lives.

Heart - Black

Haiti still ailing from child 'slavery' epidemic

Fourteen-year-old Rose Manette Sully lives a twisted Cinderella tale. She works from dawn to dusk as a maid for her master. She sleeps on the floor of a tent.

The lanky teen is far from an isolated case in Haiti. She's just one among tens of thousands of child servants in Haiti who endure what the United Nations calls a modern form of slavery.

Underaged domestic help is everywhere in Port-au-Prince's tent cities, which formed after last year's devastating earthquake and remain because of the glacial pace of reconstruction. The January 2010 quake caused many more of these young indentured servants to be put to work. And now, their lives are harder than ever before, experts said.

Heart - Black

US: Authorities Investigate Mom Who Says She Injects 8-Year-Old Daughter With Botox

San Francisco authorities are investigating a mother who said on a national television program that she gives her 8-year-old daughter Botox injections.

Trent Rhorer with the city's Human Services Agency tells KGO-TV that officials need to sit down and talk with Kerry Campbell and her daughter, Britney.

Rhorer says it was unusual for a mother to inject a child with the anti-wrinkle shot.

Campbell appeared with her daughter Thursday on ABC television. She enrolls Britney in beauty pageants and says she got the idea to give her daughter Botox from other pageant mothers.

Rhorer says his office received numerous calls from people concerned about Britney's well-being after the TV appearance.

Botox injections can be painful and are not recommended for anyone under the age of 18.

Source: The Canadian Press

Light Sabers

At least 1 dead as Syria regime changes tactics against protesters

Activist said Assad adviser told him of 'definitive presidential orders' not to shoot
© AFP/Getty ImagesAn image taken from footage uploaded by Sham SNN, a Syrian opposition web channel, shows Syrian anti-regime protesters marching during a rally in the northeastern Syrian Kurdish town of Amuda on Friday.

Beirut - Syrian security forces opened fire on thousands of protesters Friday, killing at least one person with a gunshot to the head as soldiers tried to blunt demonstrations by occupying mosques and blocking public squares, activists said.

The death in the central city of Homs marks the latest bloodshed in what has become a weekly rhythm during the two-month uprising, with protesters taking to the streets every Friday, only to be met with bullets, tear gas and batons.

Leading human rights activist Mazen Darwish said Friday's victim was shot in the head. A second activist in Homs put the death toll at two.

"At first they opened fire in the air but the people continued their way, and then they shot directly into the crowd," the second activist said, asking that his name not be used for fear of reprisals from the government.

He said security forces dressed in black and pro-regime gunmen known as "shabiha" were doing the shooting.


Murder Accused 'Genius Whose Only Flaw Was He Can't Stop'

Former nurse Malcolm Webster got away with murder for 17 years by making the death of his first wife in a fireball car crash look like an accident, a jury has been told.

Webster, 52, denies murdering first wife Claire Morris, 32, on an Aberdeenshire road in 1994.

In his closing speech to the jury at Webster's trial in the High Court in Glasgow yesterday, prosecutor Derek Ogg QC said: "For 17 years it was the perfect murder. He got away with it for 17 years because he made it look like an accident."

He said Webster - also accused of trying to kill second wife, Felicity Drumm, by drugging her and staging a car crash in New Zealand in 1999 - was "a brilliant criminal genius whose only flaw was he can't stop himself".

Bad Guys

Bin Laden's Revenge: 70 Dead after the Explosion of Two Bombs in Pakistan

Pkistan bomb casualty
© n/a
Two bombs caused the explosion on Friday, killing 70 people in northwest Pakistan, in particular the cadets of the police paramilitary unit, the Taliban allies of Al-Qaida claiming as "their first action" in Osama bin Laden's revenge.

This attack takes place 11 days after the "architect" of the September 11 attacks was killed by a U.S. Special Forces commando in northern Pakistan. Pakistani Talibans have vowed to retaliate immediately, intensifying their attacks against the Pakistani government and security forces, which Washington considers accomplice in the raid, and against U.S. interests.

Friday dawn, at Shabqadar, a city of the Charsadda district in north-west of the country, a man on a motorcycle detonated a bomb he had on him when the cadets, dressed in civilian clothes, were preparing to climb into a bus that would take them home for a furlough of ten days, explained to AFP Marwa Nisar Khan, police chief of Charsadda.


Homeless Chicago Man Donates Thousands to Down-On-Her-Luck Banker

© FOX Chicago News
Chicago - A year ago, everything was going right for a woman we'll call Sandy.

She had a good job at a bank in the suburbs.

She and her 10-year-old son had a safe home.
But then the world came crashing down around the 39-year-old. She lost her job. She lost her house. And she and her son moved into her truck. Police found her and DCFS threatened to take away her son if she didn't find a safe place to stay.

She moved into a hotel with the help of a social worker who paid for a few nights stay with her own money. That's when Sandy's knight in shining armor showed up. And he's kept showing up, every day, paying her hotel bill, so she and her son can stay off the streets.

But Sandy's Good Samaritan isn't a Chicago big shot. He isn't living in a Loop highrise. He doesn't even have a job.


Egyptian Activists Gear Up For Third Intifadah

© Khaled Moussa al-Omrani/IPSProtest outside Israel’s embassy in Cairo.
Cairo - Following the February ouster of Egypt's longstanding President Hosni Mubarak, calls have been circulating in Egypt and throughout the region for a 'Third Intifadah' to begin May 15. "Unlike the first two Palestinian uprisings, the proposed Third Intifadah is meant to involve the entire Arab world," Egyptian journalist and political analyst Abdelhalim Kandil told IPS.

It began with the appearance of a page in early March calling for a 'Third Intifadah' against the ongoing Israeli occupation of Palestinian land. The page, reportedly founded by Arab pro- Palestinian groups, set the launch date for May 15 - the day on which hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were driven from their homes in 1948 to make way for the nascent state of Israel.

The page attracted some 230,000 members within two weeks, prompting Israeli officials to lodge a complaint with the popular California-based social-networking website. On Mar. 29, removed the page - which had at that point surpassed the 500,000-member mark - claiming that its contents were found to "promote violence".


US: Sidwell Friends Sued for $10 Million by Cuckolded Dad

Lawsuit claims "severe emotional distress" caused by alleged affair between a staff psychologist and the married mother of a student he was treating.

The father of a 5-year-old Sidwell Friends School student has filed a $10 million suit against the school for allegedly allowing its staff psychologist to carry on an affair with his wife.

In court filings, Arthur Newmyer claims he and his daughter suffered "severe emotional distress" when then-school psychologist James Huntington carried on a lengthy affair with his wife, Tara Newmyer. Huntington was treating Newmyer's daughter at the time, and the suit alleges that the girl was routinely present when he and Tara Newmyer would meet to spend time together.