Society's ChildS


Kiev forces bomb the Ukrainian city of Lugansk into ruins: No electricity, water, or communications

© AFP PhotoA woman cooks over a campfire due to gas cuts in her building on August 3, 2014 in eastern Ukrainian city of Popasna, Lugansk region
250,000 people have been left without water, electricity and communications for over a week in the eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk. The town is subject to siege conditions and under heavy bombardment.

"We're being bombed so severely, there's hardly anything left to bomb. People are running out of money. How are we supposed to survive in this heat? What if some sort of epidemic breaks out? What should we do?" local woman Nadezhda Essaulinka exclaimed, emotionally.

The local administration says that "pension, salaries, and social benefits haven't been paid. Some employees haven't received their salaries for a month - others for over two-and-a-half months."

Most of the shops in the city are closed, and produce is sold in the streets.

No deliveries of food, medical supplies, or fuel have been reported, according to the Itar-Tass news agency.

Phones are down all over the city and the locations that still have it are sometimes marked with "Shelling zone" signs, RT's Maria Finoshina said.

A city resident blamed Kiev for what is happening to them.

"We used to have food and water. But now Kiev has completely destroyed our city. There's no water and electricity now, there's nothing," Lidia Ostroverkhova told RT.


7 Year old boy survives shark attack in Lake Pontchartrain, LA

It was to be a day of sailing and on New Orleans' Lake Pontchartrain.

But after Shelly Trentacosta and her family ventured out to the middle of the lake with a friend's sailboat Friday, the calm conditions - along with the clear water - made it even better for swimming, noted.

So the anchor went down and the family jumped in, the paper said.

Trentacosta's 7-year-old son, Trent, was enjoying himself along with everybody else - until the screaming started.

"The kids were bunched up together playing, and Trent just started screaming," his mother told NOLA. "We started swimming to him, and I didn't know what was going on. I grabbed his leg, and there was a lot of blood."

Trentacosta got her boy back into the boat but couldn't tell exactly what happened as his foot was covered with blood, the paper noted.

But once she got Trent to a doctor, NOLA noted they got the surprising news - he was bitten by a shark. His cleaned-up foot revealed the bite marks on his heel and big toe.

Che Guevara

Hacktivists target Ferguson, Missouri after police kill unarmed teenager

© AFP Photo / Jose Cabezas
Hacktivists have set their sights on the town of Ferguson, Missouri after police there on Saturday shot and killed an unarmed man, 18-year-old Michael Brown, elevating a wave of protests that have occurred in the days since to the digital realm.

Demonstrations and vigils across the St. Louis, MO suburb have taken place ever since Saturday afternoon's incident in which Brown was shot eight times by a Ferguson cop after an altercation allegedly occurred between the two, reportedly just days before the victim was expected to begin college. By Sunday, however, peaceful protests aimed at raising awareness of the shooting death began to turn violent in the city of barely 20,000, and local law enforcement responded to reports of riots and looting by deploying SWAT teams and heavily weaponized police.

Comment: The US has turned into a police state where cops have become so maliciously violent that anyone can be killed for little to no reason, and generally there are no repercussions for their outrageous behavior.

Missouri teen murdered by police for not walking on the sidewalk - protest ensues
Why have police in America turned into such ruthless thugs?
Top 10 astonishing U.S. police brutality videos caught on surveillance cameras
Human rights activist and international lawyer: U.S. police agencies use same brutal tactics that Israeli police use in Gaza


American held without bail after tweeting support for Islamic State

© ReutersCustomers wait in line at the Terminal at JFK airport in New York
An American accused of conspiring to aid the militant group Islamic State was ordered by a New York judge to be held without bail after he was arrested at John F. Kennedy International Airport earlier this month, according to the New York Daily News.

Donald Ray Morgan was arrested by FBI agents on August 2 at Kennedy Airport when he returned to the United States following an eight-month stay in Lebanon where his wife lives, the Daily News reported.

Morgan was allegedly attempting to broker deals for military-style weapons and ammunition in his home state of North Carolina. He was indicted for possessing a firearm as a felon since he has a previous conviction in North Carolina for firing a gun.

Yet officials also cited concern over his aggressive rants on Twitter under the name "Abu Omar Al Amreeki" during his time in the Middle East.

At a bail hearing last week, assistant Brooklyn US Attorney Nadia Moore painted Morgan as too dangerous to return to North Carolina.

"It's possible that he traffics in guns to people in this organization (Islamic State)," Moore said in Brooklyn Federal Court before Magistrate Ramon Reyes. Islamic State is also known as ISIS, or Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Stock Up

Despite sanctions, Russia's GDP increased in second quarter of 2014

© RIA Novosti / Vladimir Astapkovich
Russia's gross domestic product (GDP) increased by 0.8 percent between April and June, compared to the same period last year, according to a preliminary estimate by Russian statistics bureau Rosstat.

The announcement was made by Rosstat on Monday, and is only a preliminary reading. A final, revised calculation will follow.

The growth is enough to escape falling into a technical recession (two consecutive quarters of contracted growth) but still disappoints the Ministry of Economic Development's baseline estimate that the Russian economy would grow by 1.1 percent in the second quarter.

In the first quarter of 2014, between January and March, Russia's seasonally adjusted GDP fell by 0.5 percent.


California teen dies after smoking synthetic marijuana sprayed with chemicals

Connor Eckhardt
© FacebookConnor on life support at the hospital. Connor Eckhardt's family wants the story of his tragedy shared, so others will know about the dangers of synthetic pot. Facebook photo
Parents of a 19-year-old California teen who recently died after smoking synthetic marijuana spoke to KTLA about trying to prevent similar deaths from happening in the future.

On July 11, Connor Eckhardt inhaled one hit of dried herbs that had been sprayed with chemicals to cause a pot-like high, his parents said.

"In a moment of peer pressure, he gave into that, thinking that was OK, it was somehow safe, and one hit later, he goes to sleep and never wakes up," Connor's father, Devin Eckhardt, said.

Connor Eckhardt quickly slipped into a coma and experienced brain swelling, his parents said.

Light Saber

Open letter: Jewish survivors and descendents of survivors of Nazi genocide unequivocally condemn the massacre of Palestinians in Gaza

© Socioecohistory.wordpress.comHedy Epstein, one of the signers of the letter.
A group of Holocaust survivors and their descendants from the U.S. and Europe have signed onto a letter challenging a letter published in the New York Times by fellow Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel, who they contend promoted "blatant falsehoods to justify the unjustifiable". They argue that their experience of surviving the Nazi genocide has led them to believe that "Never Again" should apply to everyone, including Palestinians.

Their letter reads as follows:

Comment: The letter has been updated with even MORE signatures.

Birthday Cake

The outrage is growing: Georgia officials oppose federal restrictions on school bake sales, fundraisers

Outrage is growing against federal restrictions on school bake sales and fundraisers.

"We don't have enough teachers in our classrooms and now we are expected to hire some type of food police to monitor whether we are having bake sales or not. That is just asinine," John Barge, Georgia state school superintendent tells WSB-TV.

Barge and the state Board of Education are attempting to get an exemption from the snack rules, which would allow only 30 sales per year per school.

Tennessee recently received such a restriction and even still, they were mad. State Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman said it was "quite remarkable" there would even be a cap at all. Other states have not plead for leniency from their federal overlords, so even 30 would be against the law.

"We need this money for competition, for outfits, for buses, without those sales we can't go," Harmony Hart tells the news station. She adds her dance team in Rockdale County is reliant on bake sales.


Petition of 60K: Send Royal Navy hospital ship to Gaza

Brit crowd petitioners
© gather for a Hyde Park rally to send hospital ship to Gaza.
Tens of thousands of people have signed a petition demanding the British government send hospital ship RFA Argus to Gaza to help treat the escalating number of causalities. Downing Street has so far committed a small team of NHS medics.

Currently moored in Falmouth, Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) Argus is a 100-bed nautical hospital, which has a "four-bay operating theater with a 10-bed Critical Care Unit, a 20-bed High Dependency Unit and a CT Scanner," according to the Ministry of Defence website.

RFA Argus
© navy-matters.beedall.comThe RFA Argus - Joint Casualty Treatment Ship
Campaigners are pushing the UK government to increase its humanitarian aid to the region as the death toll in Gaza broaches 2,000. Their goal is 75,000 signatures. Israel launched operation Protective Edge on July 8. While the international community works toward a ceasefire, protesters have marched worldwide against the Israeli military operation.
A team of NHS medics will soon be deployed to Gaza to help treat the wounded. Downing Street announced it is sending doctors, paramedics, surgeons and anesthetists, who will initially be stationed with Medical Aid for Palestinians at Al Mokassed hospital in East Jerusalem until they are able to enter Gaza itself.
Petitioners, however, argue the prime minister's commitment doesn't go far enough, as they continue to call for the ship's deployment.

Comment: As a UK campaign organizer states: "The scenes coming out of Gaza are truly horrific and we need to act. A health crisis is looming for trapped civilians with dire conditions in the main Gaza City El Shifa hospital. Doctors operate on the floor and in corridors. People die untreated. Only one X-ray machine is working with a lack of doctors, nurses, paramedics and the most basic equipment. We should be at the forefront of the humanitarian response..."

And what from the United States?


Gideon Levy to Israelis: Go to Gaza, see for yourself

In the absence of hatred, one can understand the Palestinians. Without it, even some of Hamas' demands might sound reasonable and justified.
gaza hell
Can we possibly conduct a discussion, however brief, that is not saturated with venomous hatred? Can we let go for a moment of the dehumanization and demonization of the Palestinians and speak dispassionately of justice, leaving racism aside? It's crucial that we give it a try.

In the absence of hatred, one can understand the Palestinians. Without it, even some of Hamas' demands might sound reasonable and justified. Such a rational discourse would lead any decent person to clear-cut conclusions. Such a revolutionary dialogue might even advance the cause of peace, if one may still dare say such things. What are we facing? A people without rights that in 1948 was dispossessed of its land and its territory, in part by its own fault. In 1967 it was again stripped of its rights and lands. Ever since it has lived under conditions experienced by few nations. The West Bank is occupied and the Gaza Strip is besieged. This nation tries to resist, with its meager powers and with methods that are sometimes murderous, as every conquered nation throughout history, including Israel, has done. It has a right to resist, it must be said.