Society's ChildS

Cell Phone

Falling iPhone sales signal an economy in decline

Apple iphone
© Regis Duvignau / Reuters
Corporate revenues in the United States have been falling for quite some time, but now some of the biggest companies in the entire nation are reporting extremely disappointing results. On Tuesday, Apple shocked the financial world by reporting that revenue for the first quarter had fallen 7.4 billion dollars compared to the same quarter last year. That is an astounding plunge, and it represents the very first year-over-year quarterly sales decline that Apple has experienced since 2003. Analysts were anticipating some sort of drop, but nothing like this. And of course last week we learned that Google and Microsoft also missed revenue and earnings projections for the first quarter of 2016. The economic crisis that began during the second half of 2015 is really starting to take hold, and even our largest tech companies are now feeling the pain.

This wasn't supposed to happen to Apple. No matter what else has been going on with the U.S. economy, Apple has always been unshakeable. Even during the last recession we never saw a year-over-year decline like this...


Russian poll shows Putin still enjoys 82% approval rating in April

Russian President Vladimir Putin
© Sputnik/ Sergey Guneev
Russian President Vladimir Putin's performance is approved by 82 percent of Russian citizens, an opinion poll for the month of April released on Wednesday said.

According to the survey conducted by the non-governmental Russian research company Levada-Center, 82 percent of those interviewed said that they generally approve the work of Putin. The indicator remained the same since the start of the year.

Another 56 percent named him as the public figure they trust the most, followed by Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Red Flag

Dangerous precedent: Parents of toddler who died of meningitis found guilty by jury for not providing proper care

David Stephan and his wife Collet Stephan
© DAVID ROSSITER / POSTMEDIADavid Stephan and his wife Collet Stephan leave the courthouse on Tuesday, April 26, 2016 in Lethbridge, Alberta. The Stephans are charged with failing to provide the necessaries of life to 19-month-old Ezekiel in 2012.
The mother of a toddler who died of meningitis began weeping uncontrollably Tuesday after a jury found her and her husband guilty of failing to provide their ill son with the necessaries of life.

David and Collet Stephan were charged after 19-month-old Ezekiel died in March 2012.

The couple testified at their trial in Lethbridge that they believed their son had croup or flu, so they treated him for 2 1/2 weeks with remedies that included smoothies with hot peppers, garlic, onions and horseradish.

He eventually stopped breathing and died after being rushed to hospital.

The four-man, eight-woman jury had been deliberating since Monday afternoon. There was a gasp in the courtroom as the decision from the jurors came down. Observers in the courtroom's gallery started to cry.

Comment: This case appears to be a situation where the Canadian government is finding a loophole into forcing vaccinations. Canada cannot legally force vaccinations due to the Canadian Constitution, but the outcome of this trial could have a chilling effect on parental rights throughout Canada. It appears that they may have found a back door to mandating vaccines, by prosecuting parents who choose not to vaccinate, thereby setting a judicial precedent if they win. For more details on this case, see: The Stephan family faces criminal prosecution & loss of children for not vaccinating


Landmark study shows audiences want more foreign news sources, fresh perspectives

RT news room
© Evgeny Biyatov / Sputnik
An extensive PwC study has confirmed that since RT was established in 2005, audiences are taking in more foreign news, from more sources, and with more varied views, promising a bright future for the channel and other alternative media sources.
News sources chart
Following an online survey of 5,000 news consumers from 10 significant countries, including the US, UK, and Russia, PwC discovered that 79 percent of respondents were more interested in news offering "a different perspective" than a decade earlier. Additionally, those who read or watched news from a country other than their own were accessing 4.1 different media outlets a month, as opposed to 2.5 in 2005.


For the second day in a row White House on lockdown

U.S. Secret Service
© Jonathan Ernst / Reuters
The executive mansion has been locked down for the second time in less than 24 hours. The lockdown is due to an unknown situation, according to reporters in the press briefing room.

The president is believed to be inside the White House.

A Secret Service agent told RT that it "might be an hour" before the lockdown is lifted.

The lockdown was prompted by a package containing papers and a phone that was thrown over the fence, CNN reported. The Secret Service, which protects the president and the White House, is still checking for any possible threats in the area.


Report finds over 5 million children in the US have a parent in jail

mom embracing child
© Jim Young / Reuters
A new report examining the devastating toll of incarcerated parents on children, families and their community has found that over five million children have a parent in jail, leading to poor education outcomes, economic strife and psychological problems.

"The saying is all too familiar: Do the crime, do the time. But in America's age of mass incarceration, millions of children are suffering the consequences of their parents' sentences and our nation's tough-on-crime practices," stated the report, A Shared Sentence released on Monday by The Annie E. Casey Foundation.

Over a period of four decades, the report found that the number of children with a father in prison or jail at some point in their childhood rose by 500 percent. The sharp increase came along with the emergence of laws and policies mandating long sentences for drug possession as well as three-strikes laws and incarcerations for low-level crimes.

For the children, most younger than 10, these circumstances created great instability. When fathers are incarcerated, family income can drop by an average of 22 percent, the report found. Many of the families already relying on public programs such as food stamps struggled with the loss of income and became more dependent.

" being unable to pay for necessities such as food, utilities, rent and medical care for their children," stated the report.


The shoe fits: Dutch paper's cartoon depicts Erdogan as ape crushing free speech

© Joshua Roberts / Reuters
A front-page caricature went public in a popular Dutch daily De Telegraaf, showing Turkish President Recep Tayip Erdogan as a sinister ape squashing freedom of speech in Europe.

The cartoon illustrates a brawny ape with President Erdogan's face - turned red and puffy - squashing a slim woman resembling Dutch columnist Ebru Umar.

In the caricature, called "The long arm of Erdogan", the Turkish president stands on a rock labeled "Apenrots," Dutch for"ape rocks." The word is also used to refer to a place in The Hague where the Foreign Ministry's premises are located.

The Dutch cartoon is a reflection on the latest developments in Ankara's crackdown on freedom of speech in Turkey and beyond.
Erdogan ape
© De Telegraaf


IS-aligned hackers allegedly breach US State Dept, DHS, other agencies, release "wanted killed" lists

The Islamic State-aligned United Cyber Caliphate claims to have hacked into US State Department records, releasing online information on 43 employees it wants dead. The leak also includes staff with Homeland Security and other agencies, media reported. The information was released through the group's account on the messaging app Telegram. The departments of energy, commerce, health and defense have been compromised along with the State Department and DHS, the SITE Intelligence Group reported.

The document is entitled 'wanted to be killed' and contains threats to the US, which the group sees as its main enemy. Various staff members from all over the world were identified, including embassy workers in Sudan and Togo, Vocativ was able to verify. The list included other officials, Homeland Security among them. However, according to Vocativ, the hack is unlikely to reveal much new. A lot of what was listed is publicly-available information, while many numbers are simply office lines.

The hack comes barely a day after the group aligned with Islamic State (ISIS/IS, formerly ISIL) jihadists posted 3,600 purported New York residents' details, again, under the hashtag 'We Want Them #Dead'.

These activities are the result of a merger of three distinct pro-IS groups to form the so-called United Cyber Caliphate (UCC). The UCC has been taking on the Anonymous hackers and other groups that target IS online. One of the group's most components are hackers with the Cyber Caliphate Army (CCA), which, according to Foreign Desk News, has previously also issued a kill list of 36 Minnesota police officers. The group also allegedly tried hacking Google, but mistakenly hit an Indian SEO company, Add Google Online.

Comment: Chutzpah and threats...a tactic exploited by psychopaths to create a state of fear resulting in the dynamic of submission.


Vivid language listing protections given to whistleblowers actually inhibits their reporting of misconduct

silencing whistleblowers
A new study by researchers at Florida Atlantic University and Providence College has found that vivid language intended to assure potential whistleblowers they will be protected from retaliation is instead likely to evoke fear and make them less likely to report misconduct.

"When you start listing all the protections that you're giving them you start raising their awareness of the risks and dangers," said James Wainberg, Ph.D., a professor of accounting at FAU's College of Business and co-author of the study with Stephen Perreault, Ph.D., assistant professor at Providence College School of Business. "It serves to raise their level of anxiety and has the opposite of its intended effect. All the protections are really a list of the things that can go wrong."

It's the first study to demonstrate that promoting explicit whistleblower protections can have the unintended consequence of actually inhibiting reporting of misconduct by intensifying the perceived risk of retaliation.

The researchers surveyed a group of students in a university graduate auditing course. The results suggest that explicitly raising the specter of retaliation, even to reassure potential whistleblowers they will be protected from it, increases perceptions of risk on average by about 25 percent over what it would be otherwise.

"That's really counterintuitive," said Wainberg, who's also researching the impact of financial incentives for whistleblowers. "You really should be getting people to feel at ease and interested in calling."

Comment: As governments and corporations have little to gain by encouraging whistle-blowers, one might assume that such explicit language is used deliberately to provoke fears of retaliation.

The history of the U.S. government's attacks, intimidation, and murder of whistleblowers


Police State: Parents outraged over arrests of 10 elementary students for watching fight, police chief apologizes

Police chief Karl Durr
© Murfreesboro Police Department
In a public outcry, the community sought two specific actions in response to the April 15 arrests of 10 Murfreesboro elementary school students: an investigation and an apology.

They now have both.

"I am so saddened, and I'm so sorry this incident happened," Murfreesboro Police Chief Karl Durr said, "because I truly think it could have been avoided."

In an exclusive interview with The Tennessean, Durr expressed his concern over the outcomes in a case that has garnered attention nationwide and put a spotlight on police-community relations. The matter is before the Juvenile Court of Rutherford County. There are no plans to dismiss the charges at this point.

Durr reiterated that his department is now conducting an internal review of the arrest incident with three goals: 1) to determine if there are policies that have been violated by the department or if there is policy that is lacking, 2) to determine what training may need to be done as a result of what occurred, and 3) to determine if there has been any department misconduct in this case.