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Nearly 2,000 arrested in China's counterfeit drug crackdown

Chinese government authorities have detained nearly 2,000 people as part of a nationwide crackdown on the sale of fake or counterfeit drugs and health care products, according to a report on Sunday from Xinhua, the official news agency.

The government said that it had mobilized more than 18,000 officers in recent weeks to break up drug counterfeiting rings and that officials had seized about $182 million in fake medicine, including fraudulent drugs for the treatment of cancer, hypertension and diabetes.

The crackdown comes amid growing concerns about the prevalence of counterfeit drugs and tainted food supplies in China, and increasingly sophisticated counterfeiting operations. The government acknowledged Sunday that the manufacturing of fake drugs had become harder to detect. Earlier this year, the authorities in Zhejiang Province, not far from Shanghai, discovered that hospital workers were saving old packages, including those of high-end medications, and reselling them to drug counterfeiters to refill with fake drugs.

Attention

Violent Video Games Incite Kids to Crime, Says Australian Police Commissioner

Video Game
© The Daily Telegraph, Australia
Violent video games have been blamed for an increase in knife crime.
Knife crime is soaring among youngsters because brutal video games that reward players for murder, rape and theft have made violence seem acceptable, the state's top cop said yesterday.

Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione believes young people are being desensitised by spending hours acting out deadly scenarios on their computer screens.

"The thing that's concerning me is the prevalence of people who are at this stage not just prepared to carry a knife, but prepared to use it," Mr Scipione said.

"That has increased significantly."

He said he had reached the conclusion that there was "nothing more potentially damaging than the sort of violence they're being exposed to, be it in movies, be it in console games they're playing."

"How can it not affect you if you're a young adolescent growing up in an era where to be violent is almost praiseworthy, where you engage in virtual crime on a daily basis and many of these young people (do) for hours and hours on end," he said.

"You get rewarded for killing people, raping women, stealing money from prostitutes, driving cars crashing and killing people.

"That's not going to affect the vast majority but it's only got to affect one or two and what have you got? You've got some potentially really disturbed young person out there who's got access to weapons like knives or is good with the fist, can go out there and almost live that life now in the streets of modern Australia. That's concerning."

Sherlock

Witness Says Four Shooters at Sikh Temple Shooting


Comment: Interesting that the witness speaks of four shooters and the police officer of one. No prizes for guessing which version will prevail as the official story.


Heart - Black

Boy Scout Files Reveal Repeat Child Abuse by Sexual Predators

Steven Terry Hill
© Reuters
Steven Terry Hill, pictured here, is one of many known pedophiles alleged to have been knowingly appointed by the Boy Scouts of America to work with young boys.
Los Angeles Times review of Boy Scout documents shows that a blacklist meant to protect boys from sexual predators too often failed in its mission.

For nearly a century, the Boy Scouts of America has relied on a confidential blacklist known as the "perversion files" as a crucial line of defense against sexual predators.

Scouting officials say they've used the files to prevent hundreds of men who had been expelled for alleged sexual abuse from returning to the ranks. They've fought hard in court to keep the records from public view, saying confidentiality was needed to protect victims, witnesses and anyone falsely accused.

"It is a fact that Scouts are safer because the barrier created by these files is real," Scouts Chief Executive Robert Mazzuca said in video posted on the organization's website in June.

That barrier, however, has been breached repeatedly.

Handcuffs

Vietnam Detains Anti-China Demonstrators

Image
© The Associated Press/Margie Mason
In this Sunday, July 1, 2012 file photo, about 200 protesters march through the capital’s streets, in Hanoi Vietnam, following China's recent announcement that it will open nine oil and gas lots to international bidders, even though the area overlaps with Vietnam’s current foreign exploration contracts. Witnesses and a rights group said Vietnam has detained demonstrators who were protesting recent actions by China concerning the South China Sea, including Le Hien Duc, 81, center, Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012.
Hanoi, Vietnam - Vietnam detained more than 30 protesters on Sunday who expressed their anger over China's recent actions in the South China Sea, a participant said.

Human Rights Watch said four bloggers along with anti-corruption activist Le Hien Duc, 81, were among those detained in Hanoi.

Duc told The Associated Press she was taken from her wheelchair, put in a car and driven to a police station where she was held for over two hours and instructed not to join rallies because she is too old. Police later returned her wheelchair to her house, she said.

After being released, she went to Loc Ha rehabilitation center - generally reserved for drug addicts and prostitutes - to wait for news about more than 30 other protesters who were detained there, she said.

"I participated in the protest to show the Vietnamese people's patriotism and that we should not allow China to invade Vietnam," the former elementary school teacher said.

Vietnam, China and other Asian nations have competing territorial claims in the potentially resource-rich South China Sea, which is home to vital shipping lanes.

Better Earth

Hiroshima Marks 67th Anniversary of Atomic Bomb Attack with Call for Nuclear Disarmament

Image
© The Associated Press/Itsuo Inouye
Anti-nuclear protesters stage a rally in Hiroshima, western Japan, Monday, Aug. 6, 2012. Hiroshima marked the 67th anniversary of the atomic bombing Monday. A banner, third right, reads "Osprey and nuclear plants are unnecessary."
Hiroshima marked the 67th anniversary of the world's first atomic bomb attack on Monday with a call for the elimination of nuclear arsenals.

About 50,000 people gathered in Hiroshima's peace park near the epicenter of the 1945 blast that destroyed most of the city and killed as many as 140,000 people. A second atomic bombing Aug. 9 that year in Nagasaki killed tens of thousands more and prompted Japan to surrender to the World War II Allies.

The ceremony, attended by representatives of about 70 countries, began with the ringing of a temple bell and a moment of silence. Flowers were placed before Hiroshima's eternal flame, which is the park's centerpiece.

Hiroshima Mayor Kazumi Matsui said Japan must take a bolder role in leading global disarmament efforts and called on world leaders to come to his city to "contemplate peace."

He also said the nuclear accident at Fukushima last year has shown the dangers of nuclear technology, even for peaceful purposes, and urged the government to create a mix of energy sources for Japan that is safe and secure.

Black Cat

Republicans Pounce on Obama Plan for Young Illegal Immigrants

This post has been corrected. See note below.

Barack Obama
© AFP Photo/Jewel Samad
US President Barack Obama.
House Republicans, responding to new details of the Obama administration's plan to allow some young illegal immigrants to apply for work permits and stay temporarily, charged that it could create delays for legal immigrants trying to enter the United States.

"This will lead to a backlog for legal immigrants who followed the rules, while allowing lawbreakers to skip to the front of the line," Rep. Lamar Smith, the Texas Republican who heads the House Judiciary Committee, said in a statement.

Obama administration officials released new information about the application process on Friday.

The plan, originally announced in June, is "another example of how the president's policies put the interests of illegal immigrants ahead of the interests of U.S. citizens and legal immigrants," said Smith, who is concerned that applicants will lie about their age and when they came into the United States.

Smith is concerned that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, faced with a surge in paperwork, will be "forced to put off processing legal immigration applications in favor of the illegal immigrant applications." The government is not hiring more immigration officers to handle the additional work.

Heart - Black

The State of America's Children 2012

Image
© Unknown
This report is a portrait of where our children are right now and a tool to spur us to set the vision of where we need to go to stop the downward mobility of our children and grandchildren and the diminution of America’s future.
Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once said, "We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." When we look at the state of our union and the state of America's children in 2012, his words ring very true. It's impossible to deny that our nation's economy, professed values of equal opportunity, future, and soul are all in danger right now.

There are 16.4 million poor children in rich America, 7.4 million living in extreme poverty. A majority of public school students and more than three out of four Black and Hispanic children, who will be a majority of our child population by 2019, are unable to read or compute at grade level in the fourth or eighth grade and will be unprepared to succeed in our increasingly competitive global economy. Nearly eight million children are uninsured. More children were killed by guns in 2008-2009 than U.S. military personnel in both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars to date. A Black boy born in 2001 has a one in three chance of going to prison in his lifetime; a Latino boy a one in six chance of the same fate.

Comment: While millions of children in the good old U.S.A are living in destitution, Congress voted for a $604.5 billion defense budget for next year and to fund more ships, cargo plans and drones that the military doesn't even want. How long will people of conscience stand around and do nothing?


Gear

Outrage Over Preacher Who 'Cures' Cancer by Hitting People

Todd Bentley
© YouTube
An American evangelist who reportedly strikes his followers in a bid to cure them of cancer has provoked controversy ahead of his visit to the United Kingdom, with one MP urging the government to ban him from entering the country.

Todd Bentley, who is reported by the Daily Mail as having been convicted of a sexual attack on a seven-year-old when he was 15, is to tour Britain later this month.

The tattooed preacher, who shot to prominence four years ago through his church, Fresh Fire Ministries, claims God uses him to heal the sick. However, it is his 'healing techniques' which have caused outrage.

In one show he is filmed kneeing a colon cancer sufferer in the stomach, with the man falling to the floor. In another a man is pushed over on stage and loses a tooth, reports the Daily Mail.

On one Youtube clip he says: "And I'm thinking why is the power of God not moving? And He said, Because you haven't kicked that woman in the face.

"And there is this older lady worshipping right in front of the platform and the Holy Spirit spoke to me. The gift of faith comes on me. He said, "Kick her in the face with your biker boot." I inched closer and I went bam! And just as my boot made contact with her nose, she fell under the power of God."

Pistol

Update: 7 dead in shooting at Sikh temple in Wisconsin

Sikh Temple
© AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps
A man wipes away tears outside the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wis. where a shooting took place on Sunday, Aug 5, 2012.
Oak Creek - At least six people were killed Sunday when a gunman opened fire at a Sikh temple near Milwaukee, authorities said. The suspected shooter was later killed in exchange of gunfire with police.

Police were called to the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in the suburb of Oak Creek on Sunday morning, when witnesses said several dozen people were gathering for a service.

Greenfield Police Chief Bradley Wentlandt said the first officer to arrive encountered a man police believe was the shooter. The two exchanged gunfire, and the suspect was killed, he said.