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Mother Forces 10-Year-Old Boy To Rob Home

Police Line Do Not Cross
Lynnwood, Washington - Lynnwood police say a mother used her 10-year-old boy to rob a home.

Police tell KOMO-TV that Marie Shafique, 33, made her son climb through an open window, but didn't know that she was being watched by neighbors and the house's security camera.

Michelle Geronimo was inside of her home when the child tried to break in. She told the station that the boy was "peering inside" her open window.

"I was just shocked that it was a little boy, and when you figure out what's going on, it's sad," Geronimo told KOMO.

Shafique and her son ran away but Lynnwood police arrested her. They found a stolen laptop and crack cocaine.

Shafique is being held and her bail is $25,000 the boy and his three siblings are currently under their father's custody.

Shoe

Fears Rising, Spaniards Pull Out Their Cash and Get Out of Spain

spain
© Bloomberg News

It is, Julio Vildosola concedes, a very big bet.

After working six years as a senior executive for a multinational payroll-processing company in Barcelona, Spain, Mr. Vildosola is cutting his professional and financial ties with his troubled homeland. He has moved his family to a village near Cambridge, England, where he will take the reins at a small software company, and he has transferred his savings from Spanish banks to British banks.

"The macro situation in Spain is getting worse and worse," Mr. Vildosola, 38, said last week just hours before boarding a plane to London with his wife and two small children. "There is just too much risk. Spain is going to be next after Greece, and I just don't want to end up holding devalued pesetas."

Mr. Vildosola is among many who worry that Spain's economic tailspin could eventually force the country's withdrawal from the euro and a return to its former currency, the peseta. That dire outcome is still considered a long shot, even if Spain might eventually require a Greek-style bailout. But there is no doubt that many of those in a position to do so are taking their money - and in some cases themselves - out of Spain.

In July, Spaniards withdrew a record 75 billion euros, or $94 billion, from their banks - an amount equal to 7 percent of the country's overall economic output - as doubts grew about the durability of Spain's financial system.

Attention

Depression, Suicides Rise as Euro Debt Crisis Intensifies

Depression
© George Doyle | Stockbyte | Getty Images
Europe is approaching a crisis as the region's debt crisis and austerity measures increase the rates of depression, suicide and psychological problems - just as governments cut healthcare spending by up to 50 percent, according to campaigners, policy makers and health organizations.

A growing number of global and European health bodies are warning that the introduction and intensification of austerity measures has led to a sharp rise in mental health problems with suicide rates, alcohol abuse and requests for anti-depressants increasing as people struggle with the psychological cost of living through a European-wide recession.

"No one should be surprised that factors such as unemployment, debt and relationship breakdowns can cause bouts of mental illness and may push people who are already vulnerable to take their own lives," Richard Colwill, of the British mental health charity Sane, told CNBC.

"There does appear to be a connection between unemployment rates and suicide for example," he said, referring to a recent study in the British Medical Journal that stated that more than 1,000 people in the U.K. may have killed themselves because of the impacts of the recession. "This research reflects other work showing similar rises in suicides across Europe."

According to Josée Van Remoortel, advisor to the European organization Mental Health Europe (MHE), the financial crisis is affecting "all areas of life," not just economies, and its impact on mental health is creating a "deep chasm in our society."

"The credit crunch [has] had one unexpected consequence and one that reflects a deep chasm in our society - a sharp rise in mental health problems, largely caused by uncertainty and fear for the future," he writes in a paper entitled "The Sane Approach."

A recent survey of general practitioners (family doctors) in Britain by the Insight Research Group seems to support Van Remoortel's view.

The data showed that out of 300 family doctors surveyed, the majority reported that austerity was damaging their patients' health. Seventy six percent said their patients were unhealthier due to the economic climate and 77 percent said more patients were seeking treatment for anxiety.

Stormtrooper

Columbus Ohio Airport Video Shows TSA's Bizarre New Security Policy

Federal agency tests drinks purchased inside airport


A video clip shot yesterday at Columbus Ohio Airport illustrates how the Transportation Security Administration has dreamed up a bizarre new way to waste time and taxpayer dollars - by testing drinks purchased by travelers for explosives inside the airport long after they have already passed security.

The footage shows TSA agents walking around a departure lounge asking to test passengers' drinks for explosive residue with a swab they hold over the liquid.

"Now remember that this is inside the terminal, well beyond the security check and purchased inside the terminal...just people waiting to get on the plane," writes the You Tube user who uploaded the video.

"My wife and son came back from a coffee shop just around the corner, then we were approached. I asked them what they were doing. One of the TSA ladies said that they were checking for explosive chemicals (as we are drinking them). I said "really - inside the terminal? You have got to be kidding me." I asked them if they wanted to swab us all. She responded with something like, 'yes sometimes we need to do that'. I then asked if she wanted a urine sample...nonetheless, the TSA is way out of control," he adds, joking that the TSA's next move could be to visit people's homes before they even leave for the airport (they're already in the parking lot demanding to search people who a...)

As we have previously highlighted, the drinks policy was recently introduced with virtually no explanation from the TSA whatsoever. The much vaunted 2006 liquid bomb plot on which this nonsense is all based completely collapsed in court and was revealed to be farcical at best.

Sheeple

Tourists treating 9/11 Memorial like a playground

mother, child
© J.C. Price
They're treating it like a national playground.

At the National September 11th Memorial, tourists balance coffee cups and soda bottles on the parapets bearing the names of the dead.

Parents hoist their children to sit on the bronze plaques, while other visitors splash water from the two waterfalls onto their faces to cool themselves on a hot summer day.

On the plaza, tourists break out lunch foods and lie on their backs.

A year after the memorial's opening, the almost-cheerful atmosphere at what was supposed to be a solemn site has appalled first responders and victims' families.

Ambulance

Pennsylvania dad charged in drug-laced baby bottle death

Philadelphia - Prosecutors believe a Philadelphia man put heroin and methadone in his infant son's bottle to quiet him but instead killed him, two days before his first birthday.

Orlando Rosado will face a third-degree murder trial after waiving his right to a preliminary hearing Tuesday.

Rosado, 45, told police he accidentally put drugs in the bottle during a 3 a.m. feeding in May. But Assistant District Attorney Lorraine Donnelly plans to argue the drug mixture - though not baby Christopher's death - was intentional.

"He admits putting it in the bottle. His version is, It must have been accidental because he was high," Donnelly said. "My theory is the baby was fussy, and he was trying to put him to sleep."

Arrow Down

Ghana Witch Camps: Widows' Lives in Exile

Sana Kojo
© Jane Hahn/ActionAid
Sana Kojo, alleged witch in Kukuo.
Kukuo, Northern Ghana - When misfortune hits a village, there is a tendency in some countries to suspect a "witch" of casting a spell. In Ghana, outspoken or eccentric women may also be accused of witchcraft - and forced to live out their days together in witch camps.

A rusty motorbike speeds across the vast dry savannah of Ghana's impoverished northern region, leaving a cloud of reddish dust in its wake. Arriving at a small group of round thatched huts, the young motorcyclist helps his old mother to dismount to begin her new life in exile.

Frail 82-year-old Samata Abdulai has arrived at the village of Kukuo, one of Ghana's six witch camps, where women accused of witchcraft seek refuge from beating, torture or lynching.

The camps are said to have come into existence more than 100 years ago, when village chiefs decided to establish isolated safe areas for the women. They are run by tindanas, leaders capable of cleansing an accused woman so that not only is the community protected from any witchcraft but the woman herself is safe from vigilantes.
Accused Witches
© Jane Hahn/ActionAid
Sisters Safia, left, and Samata, at Kukuo.
Today they are still run by local chiefs, and accommodate up to 1,000 women in spartan huts with no electricity or running water, and roofs that leak.

For water, the inhabitants of the Kukuo camp walk three miles each day to the River Otti, struggling back uphill with heavy pots of water. It's an intolerable way for an elderly woman to live, but it's a life they are prepared to endure so long as they are safe.

They survive by collecting firewood, selling little bags of peanuts or working in nearby farms.

Samata lived some 40km (24 miles) away in the village of Bulli. There she spent her autumn years caring for her twin grandchildren while her daughter worked in the fields.

Arrow Down

Manufacturing sector shrinks for third straight month

Manufacturing shrank at its sharpest clip in more than three years in August, the third month of contraction in a row, and firms hired the fewest workers since late 2009, a survey on Tuesday showed.

The Institute for Supply Management said its index of national factory activity fell to 49.6 in August from 49.8 in July.

The reading fell shy of the 50.0 median estimate in a Reuters poll of economists. A reading below 50 indicates contraction in the sector.

The index's employment component fell to 51.6, the lowest since November 2009, from 52.0 in July.

"It is without question a soft report on manufacturing and what is particularly disconcerting is that the new orders index deteriorated again," said Tom Porcelli, chief U.S. economist for RBC Capital Markets. "It has become increasingly clear that the manufacturing sector is losing momentum. This soft report leading into Friday's payrolls will only solidify additional action from the Fed if we see another soft jobs report."

New orders, a forward-looking sub-index, fell to 47.1 in August, the worst showing since April of 2009. It stood at 48 in July.

The exports index ticked up to 47 last month from 46.5 in July but remained in contraction territory as recession in parts of Europe and slower growth in Asia sapped demand for U.S. goods.

"Given everything we see internationally in terms of demand for our manufacturers, a little slowdown is to be expected, especially with the euro zone still under pressure and emerging economies experiencing relatively slow growth," said Patrick O'Keefe, director of economic research at J.J. Cohn. "Domestically, new orders for manufacturing were up a bit but not robustly so it isn't unexpected to see something a bit more cautious."

Reuters contributed to this report.

Comment: Manufacturing has been down for three or four years, not months.

We hope you're preparing for what is to come. The following will help.

Social Harmony in Times of Global Dischord


Cow Skull

Why You're a Lot Poorer Than You Thought You Were

foreclosure

You're a lot poorer than you thought you were.

According to a report by Sentier Research "real median annual household income... has fallen by 4.8 percent since the 'economic recovery' began in June 2009."

That's worse than the 2.6 percent decline that took place during the recession itself. (between July 2007 to June 2009) All told - from the beginning of the slump in 2007 until today - median household income has dropped an eyewatering 7.2 percent. ("Changes in Household Income During the Economic Recovery: June 2009 to June 2012″, Sentier Research)

Like I said, you're a lot poorer than you thought you were.

Cow Skull

Are You Better Off Than You Were In 1970?

Thoughts for a Labor Day in 2012:

The real question isn't whether we are better off than we were four years ago. It takes a long time to recover from burst bubbles and near-depressions (the Japanese have still not recovered from their burst bubble of the early 1990s). The real question is whether the working and middle classes of the United States will go on allowing themselves to be taken advantage of by our super-rich, who are gathering to themselves more and more of the national income. The top 1% owned 25% of the privately held national wealth in the United States in the 1950s, but have 38% of it today.

In contrast, real wages per hour for the average worker in the United States, adjusted for inflation, peaked in 1970. We're now down from that, with a generation and a half blocked from meaningful economic advancement.

hourlt wages chart
© Faustian urGe