Society's ChildS


USA

Shameful milestone: Majority of children attending U.S. public schools live in poverty

Image
For the first time in at least 50 years, a majority of U.S. public school students come from low-income families, according to a new analysis of 2013 federal data, a statistic that has profound implications for the nation.

The Southern Education Foundation reports that 51 percent of students in pre-kindergarten through 12th grade were eligible under the federal program for free and reduced-price lunches in the 2012-2013 school year. The lunch program is a rough proxy for poverty, but the explosion in the number of needy children in the nation's public classrooms is a recent phenomenon that has been gaining attention among educators, public officials and researchers.

"We've all known this was the trend, that we would get to a majority, but it's here sooner rather than later," said Michael A. Rebell, the executive director of the Campaign for Educational Equity at Columbia University, noting that the poverty rate has been increasing even as the economy has improved. "A lot of people at the top are doing much better, but the people at the bottom are not doing better at all. Those are the people who have the most children and send their children to public school."


Comment: Yes, the rich are getting richer and poor are getting poorer. It has been that way for a long time in the United States. It's a system that rewards the greedy, psychopathic individuals and those with a conscience get left behind. One wonders why so many other countries wish to emulate the U.S.


The shift to a majority-poor student population means that in public schools, more than half of the children start kindergarten already trailing their more privileged peers and rarely, if ever, catch up. They are less likely to have support at home to succeed, are less frequently exposed to enriching activities outside of school, and are more likely to drop out and never attend college.

It also means that education policy, funding decisions and classroom instruction must adapt to the swelling ranks of needy children arriving at the schoolhouse door each morning.

Black Magic

Pakistani father sacrifices five children 'to gain magic powers'

Sacrifice
© Naharnet.com
A Pakistani father-of-six is on the run after strangling five of his children to death, apparently believing the sacrifice would endow him with magical powers including alchemy, police said Friday.

Ali Nawaz Leghari, 40, killed the two girls and three boys, aged between three and 13 overnight Thursday in the village of Saeed Khan, some 230 kilometers (140 miles) north of the city of Karachi.

"The man's financial condition was bad but he was also learning black magic and it seems that he made the sacrifice to excel in the craft," police officer Qamaruddin Rahimo told AFP.

Amjad Sheikh, the district's police chief, confirmed the incident which occurred while Leghari was undertaking a 40-day spiritual journey, known as a Chilla prescribed to him by a pir (living saint) that he hoped would teach him the art of alchemy.

Rahimo said that on Tuesday Leghari had attempted to poison the family's dinner but was spotted by his wife, resulting in a bitter quarrel.

The wife along with their eldest son left the house to go and stay with her parents. With the pair out of the way, Leghari was able to successfully carry out his plan to sedate the remaining five children and then used a rope that was found at the scene to strangle them, said Rahimo.

"He strangled them one by one inside the room and later dumped them on a bed in the courtyard," he said, adding police were now hunting Leghari down.

Black magic practices are rooted in mystic Sufi lore and have traditionally been the domain of pirs and aamils (sorcerers). The practice is particularly strong in rural parts of the country including the impoverished southern Sindh province where the killings took place.

Source: Agence France-Presse

Stormtrooper

Cop shoots unarmed man in the back, pepper sprays his dying body, then runs away

Former Rocky Ford police officer will be standing trial on second degree murder charges after a preliminary hearing Thursday morning.

James Ashby was arrested on Nov 14., and fired that day for the killing of 27-year-old Jack Jacquez on October 12.


Jaquez was reportedly out skateboarding when Officer Ashby approached him. Ashby then followed the man home and into his mother's house. Jaquez reportedly knocked on the back door and when his mother let him in the officer followed.

According to court records released Thursday, Ashby told investigators that he followed Jaquez into his own home because he thought he was a burglar. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation found that Ashby never identified himself as a police officer and had no reason to believe the Jaquez was committing any crime before the shooting,

According to the family, Ashby then raised his gun just inches from Jaquez' mothers head and shot her son in the back, causing the bullet to pierce his heart. The officer proceeded to pepper spray the man's back as he lay bleeding out on the floor, then fled the residence.

Officer Ashby said Jacquez was reaching into his backpack, but eventually followed orders to show his hands. According to Ashby's statements, Jacquez then grabbed a baseball bat and started swinging it around, an action that caused him to fear for his life.

Viola Jacquez, the victim's mother witnessed the killing. She watched as the officer chased her son into her home and then shot him in the back just before pepper spraying her dying son. She claims there was a brief struggle between the officer and her son over his skateboard, before her son let go and walked away.
"I froze," Viola Jacquez, the victims mother, told The Denver Post. "Honestly, I froze. I could not speak, but I could see. It was one of those moments where you're falling off a cliff."

Sheriff

Some folks will get tortured: Gitmo guards being recruited as police officers

Torture
© Unknown"You're hired!"
This week, as millions of Americans demand that Guantanamo Bay guards be prosecuted for war crimes, it seems that some of them may be getting jobs as cops instead.

It was recently reported that large numbers of military police officers who were formerly stationed at the infamous torture prisons, are now getting jobs as local cops, and could be coming to a town near you. The Worcester Police department in Massachusetts is testing a pilot program, in which former Guantanamo prison guards will be given jobs as police.

Although it is common practice for police departments to hire from the military, Worcester police sergeant Richard Cipro said that this is the first program in the country to specifically recruits from military prisons. He called the effort a "life-changing opportunity" when speaking to new recruits during a recent training class.


Comment: "Life-changing" for the poor souls who have to deal with these torturing thugs, no doubt.


New recruits from Guantanamo Bay receive a full-time, paid 35 week training course which is apparently designed to help them make the transition from military police to neighborhood cop. Each class is filled with dozens of potential recruits, many of whom have worked in Guantanamo Bay. There are many hundreds and even thousands more who worked at lesser known military prison camps that are run in very much the same way, being accepted to police departments nationwide.

Comment: As if America's non-Gitmo trained cops weren't bad enough.


Health

West Africa: Hundreds of people per week are still dying of Ebola

Ebola workers
© skynews
Although it's not making the headlines as it was when the epidemic started, Ebola is still killing hundreds of people a week in Africa. With the death toll now heading towards 9,000, and with sporadic cases occurring elsewhere in the world, complacency could literally be the death of us all.

British nurse Pauline Cafferkey, was diagnosed with the disease after returning from an aid mission is West Africa, she remains in isolation in the Royal Free Hospital, London. Today Infowars is reporting a soldier recently returned from a tour of duty in Liberia, was found dead in a pool of vomit outside his home. He was apparently self-monitoring in lieu of quarantine.


The World Health Organization has admitted it has fallen short of its January target of treating 100% of Ebola victims and providing a biologically safe and dignified burial for those that die of the condition. You can read the latest situation report from the WHO here. Since the report, dated January 7th, many more have died of the disease.

Roses

6-year old Minnesota girl's hanging death ruled suicide

Image
© Kendria Johnson FamilyKendrea Johnson
Police in Minnesota have closed their investigation of a 6-year-old girl's hanging death by ruling out foul play, and said the evidence points to an accident or suicide.

Kendrea Johnson was found unconscious in a bedroom of her foster home in Brooklyn Park with a jump rope around her neck Dec. 27. There were no witnesses in the room.

"All of the evidence leads back to either suicide or accidental," Deputy Chief Mark Bruley said. "The reality is she was in the room by herself and we'll probably never know the answer to that."

Bruley said Kendrea had been getting treatment for emotional problems including suicidal thoughts. Child protection workers put the girl in foster care in December 2013 after her mother allegedly abused drugs. She had been at that particular home since March.

Citing police investigative records, the Star Tribune reported Thursday that investigators found a note written in purple marker in a child's handwriting reading: "I'm sorry." A second note said: "I'm sad for what I do."

Kendrea's foster mother said the girl had said she wanted to jump out a window and kill herself because "Nobody likes me," the newspaper reported. She drew pictures at school of a child hanging from a rope, and police found healed ligature marks on both sides of her neck, the newspaper said.

Suicides among young children are rare. There were 33 suicides among children ages 5-9 in the U.S. between 1999 and 2006, according to statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Kendrea's biological mother and grandmother have said they believe somebody else killed her. Bruley said it was hard for him and his investigators to accept that a 6-year-old could have deliberately taken her own life.

"She clearly had emotional issues. Does that mean she fully understood the consequences? I don't know," he said.

Comment: Children that young lack the verbal and cognitive ability to properly express their frustrations, fears, anxieties and other emotions. This tragedy could have been prevented - all of the signs were there.

Emotion Detectives Program Uncovers Ways to Fight-Off Youth Anxiety and Depression


Question

Canada's 'Highway of Tears': Notorious stretch of road where dozens of women have disappeared or turned up dead

Image
© Supplied
Officially it is called Highway 16. But to many, the notorious stretch of road where dozens of women have simply disappeared or turned up dead, has come to be known as the Highway of Tears.

No one knows exactly how many have vanished along the 800km road through British Columbia in Canada, though some say the number could be as high as 40.

Signs along the highway warn of a serial killer on the loose, cautioning girls not to hitchhike, though the killer theory has not been proved.

The lack of answers only adds to the mystery, and for local people, the growing sense of alarm.

Many of the missing belong to remote indigenous communities, with little or no transport or phone coverage, and who are forced to hitchhike to get around.

Most disappeared on a remote stretch linking the cities of Prince George and Prince Rupert.

"A lot of women are forced to hitchhike along the highway because there is no other option,'' anti-violence campaigner Wendy Kellas, who works on the Highway of Tears project to raise awareness, told news.com.au.

She said one official estimate listed 18 women as missing or murdered in the past 30 years, however indigenous communities claim that number is far higher.

The high number of cases have even sparked claims of at least one serial killer targeting vulnerable women along the remote route.

The first killing was recorded back in 1969 when the body of Gloria Moody was found. The 26-year-old had gone out to a bar but never returned home, The Mirror reported.

Comment: Missing 411: Unexplained disappearances of people that have never been solved


MIB

New York SVU detective investigated for sexual assault of rape victim

Image
© Shutterstock
Manhattan Special Victims Unit detective has been demoted and is under investigation for allegedly assaulting a rape victim while working on her case, telling her during an evening of drinking, "You're my favorite victim," according to the New York Daily News.

In an exclusive, the News reports that Det. Lukasz Skorzewski, 31, along with his supervisor Lt. Adam Lamboy, 44, have both been transferred from the sex crimes unit following their actions in Seattle where they were interviewing the woman who had alleged that she was raped while a student in New York City in 2013.

According to the unidentified 24-year-old woman, the two detectives initially interviewed her in an office on July 15 of last year before agreeing to meet with her the next day to answer some additional questions she had.

The woman states that she met the two policeman, who were accompanied by another unidentified woman, at a pier and they invited her to go have drinks which she agreed to after Lamboy assured her, "You'll be safe with us."

The woman claims she spent the evening drinking with the detectives, during which time Skorzewski reportedly said to her, "You're my favorite victim."

She says she stayed with the two officers after the other woman left - reportedly after having an argument with Lamboy - before pointing out that her car was located some distance away. The woman said that Skorzewski offered to let her stay in his hotel room, giving her the bed while he slept on the couch.

Skorzewski reportedly told her "You're really cool. No, you're awesome," before turning in for the night.

Comment: Sexual predators often take positions where they are trusted and have easy access to their victims. See or read the SOTT editor's interview with Dr. Anna Salter, author of Predators: Pedophiles, Rapists, And Other Sex Offenders.

SOTT Talk Radio: Predators Among Us - Interview With Dr. Anna Salter

See also:
"Honey Traps" and the Strauss-Kahn Affair: A Stealthy Coup d'état at the IMF?


Heart

One third of Americans would give up sex for their cell phone

cell phone
© AFP Photo / Don Emmert
In a sign of a new type of connectedness, almost one-third of the American population would forgo sexual relations for a year than surrender their mobile phone for that long, according to a new survey.

The survey of 1,003 Americans was conducted from September through November of last year by the Boston Consulting Group, and was commissioned and partly paid for by semiconductor maker Qualcomm Inc. (QCOM), Bloomberg reported.

America's love affair with the communication devices was proven in a number of other scenarios as well: More than 55 percent said they'd be willing to stop eating out for one year rather than part with their mobile phones, many of which give users an Internet connection, access to social media and an abundance of apps that Americans seem to find more indispensable than a healthy romp.

Comment: Brainwashing complete? We don't know what's sadder: the slavish dependency and attachment to a technology that takes you out of the real world or the suggestion that so many people seemingly lack a healthy, loving relationship in which sex can express that love.


Alarm Clock

Going to sleep: Tranquilizer use spikes in France after Paris attacks

pills
© Reuters / Srdjan Zivulovic
People in France have reportedly consumed a record number of tranquilizers over the week that followed the deadly Charlie Hebdo attack, with the intake increasing by 20 percent in just a few days.

The research was conducted by French health data consultancy firm Celtipharm, the Times reported.

After contacting 4,800 chemists, Celtipharm reported skyrocketing consumption of tranquilizers over the several days after the attack. Between January 9 and 13 there was an 18.2 percent rise.

"This type of phenomenon has never been observed before," Celtipharm CEO Patrick Guerin told The Times.

Comment: How symbolic. The French, in response to a flagrant manipulation of their society and emotions chooses to 'go to sleep' rather than wake up and take a stand against their real enemy: the psychopaths in their own government and intelligence agencies. The Charlie Hebdo attacks were brutal, criminal, and highly traumatic. But after every trauma, it's important first of all to understand it. The French seem to have skipped that step, and are reacting based on manipulated emotional impulses, impulses that are only strengthening the racist tendencies advanced by publications like Charlie Hebdo.