Society's ChildS

Eye 1

DHS agent cites private medical history to deny disabled Canadian woman entry to U.S.

DHS border agent
© Agence France-PresseU.S. Department of Homeland Security border agent
A Canadian woman said she was denied entry into the U.S. by a Customs and Border Protection Agent who cited her hospitalization last year for clinical depression.

Ellen Richardson, of Weston, Ontario, said she intended to fly Monday to New York City on her way to a 10-day Caribbean cruise, but she said the agent working with the Department of Homeland Security told her she must first get medical clearance.

Richardson, who is paraplegic and set up her cruise through the March of Dimes with about a dozen other travelers, said the agent told her she must be examined by one of three Toronto physicians approved by DHS.

"I was so aghast. I was saying, 'I don't understand this. What is the problem?'" said Richardson, who paid about $6,000 for the trip. "I was so looking forward to getting away . . . I'd even brought a little string of Christmas lights I was going to string up in the cabin . . . It's not like I can just book again right away."

Richardson, who said she hadn't discussed her private medical history or background with agents at the airport, said she was told that a call to her psychiatrist wasn't sufficient.


Florida cop arrested for refusing to remove Guy Fawkes mask during Obamacare protest

florida policeman
© AFP Photo / Scott Olson
A Florida police officer who was protesting US President Obama's newly implemented healthcare law has been arrested because he refused to take off a Guy Fawkes mask he was wearing at a demonstration.

Ericson Harrell, 39, was wearing a mask, a black cape, and holding an inverted American flag when police approached him in Plantation, Florida. Harrell told officers he was "protesting Obamacare" but the police report notes "he refused each time" when he "was asked several times to remove his mask and produce some form of identification or tell us his name" and taken into custody.

The mask is the same one popularized in the film V for Vendetta and then by the activist hacking collective known as Anonymous.

The police report does not mention whether other protesters were at the scene or if Harrell was holding his own individual rally. It does say Harrell was not willing to tell police who he was, "stating his anonymity was his cause, thus the mask...He stated the mask was used by movement groups around the world for protests."

He only told responding officers "I'm a cop, I'm a cop" and was apprehended when one policeman found a .40 caliber pistol in his waistband.

Harrell, who was charged with obstruction of justice and with wearing a hood or mask on the street, was given a notice to appear in court and not jailed.


Mystery of boy who 'fell from the sky' and landed in Coventry

Mystery Boy
© ALAMYThe boy was discovered after approaching a person at a bus station who he heard speaking a language he understood.
A teenager who doesn't know his name, age or country of origin, may as well have "fallen from sky", a charity has said, after the boy was found wandering around Coventry.

The youth, who is believed to be in his late teens, is thought to be the victim of trafficking although he is not able to describe what has happened to him.

He is thought to have fled a house in London.

The boy was discovered after approaching a person at a bus station who he heard speaking a language he understood. The person put him in touch with staff at the Coventry Refugee & Migrant Centre in Bishop Street after the boy asked for help.

All he had in his possession when he arrived in Coventry was a letter from a solicitor saying he was "stateless".

He told staff he did not know his name, age, or country of origin. He said he had been trafficked into the country.

Paul Wheeler, from the centre, said: "As far as we can tell he could have fallen out of the sky.

"He doesn't know his own name or his country of origin. We don't know how long he has been in the UK - all we know is that he tells us he got on a bus in London and arrived in Coventry."

Magic Wand

'He's alive!' Man rescued after spending days underwater, whole thing caught on tape

How is this possible? A shipwreck survivor is stuck underwater for 60 hours, surviving only on pockets of air and sips of Coca-Cola. Watch the above video. At about the 5:30 mark, something unbelievable happens. A diver literally stumbles onto the man and shouts with glee, "He's alive! He's alive!"

Now here's the story behind the rescue: In June, a South African rescue diver was searching the wreckage of a capsized tugboat to recover bodies when a hand suddenly reached out to him. The hand belonged to Harrison Okene, the ship's cook, who had survived for days underwater in a 4-foot air pocket. The diving team fitted Okene with an oxygen mask and brought him to the surface.

Afterward, the man had to spend 60 hours in a decompression chamber, but he's since been reunited with his family. The video of the dramatic rescue surfaced online this week and, not surprisingly, has gone viral.


After boy mauled, Balkan animal cruelty in focus

© AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda
A litter of puppies wrapped in a blanket and set on fire. A dog roaming the streets with its jaw hacked off. Cats found at the bottom of an apartment block, spines snapped.

It's part of a catalog of cruelty in recent months that has gone barely noticed in Romania.

The struggling EU country has seen a spate of brutal attacks against animals following the deadly mauling of a 4-year-old boy in August by one of Bucharest's tens of thousands of street dogs. Police and animal welfare officials say the attacks were fueled by relentless and "hysterical" media coverage of the case.

The Four Paws animal welfare group registered 15 cases of people savagely attacking animals in the six weeks after the boy's death, compared to six cases of similar cruelty in the previous nine months.

But animal cruelty has long been a problem in Romania - where animal protection laws are weak, people still grapple with the trauma of a brutal communist regime, and anger builds over economic misery and government incompetence.


Fla. Woman seriously injured in rare bear attack

© Unknown.

Florida officials searched a gated community for a black bear that attacked a mother, who was hospitalized and underwent emergency surgery for her injuries.

The Longwood, Fla., woman was attacked at 8:05 p.m. Monday as she was walking her dogs in a subdivision, Seminole County Fire Rescue Lt. Alisa Keyes told ABC News. The unidentified woman was able to break free and run to a nearby residence where a neighbor called 911.

She was alert and oriented but had suffered serious undisclosed injuries, Keyes said. The woman was rushed to Orlando Regional Medical Center and her condition was not known.

The attack took place within about a mile of the Wekiva River basin, which is known as a bear habitat.

Heart - Black

Bolshoi Ballet acid attack: Dancer sentenced for planning assault on director

© Alexander NemenovPavel Dmitrichenko, a leading dancer at Russia's Bolshoi ballet, is escorted in a court in Moscow.
A Bolshoi star dancer has been sentenced to six years in prison over an acid attack on the ballet's director that exposed vicious backstage bickering and intrigue at the renowned theater.

The judge pronounced Bolshoi soloist Pavel Dmitrichenko guilty of making plans to attack Sergei Filin. Ex-convict Yuri Zarutsky, who splashed the acid in Filin's face on Jan. 17, was sentenced to 10 years; a driver, Andrei Lipatov, got four years.

The dancer had pleaded not guilty but admitted "moral responsibility" because he spoke badly of Filin in front of Zarutsky. Filin lost most of the sight in one eye and 20 percent in the other.

Prosecutors had sought a nine-year sentence for Dmitrichenko.

Bizarro Earth

Update: Helicopter crashed into Glasgow pub, leaving 8 dead, 14 injured - Tragic event marked black St Andrew's Day for Scotland

© Andrew Milligan/PAPolice and Scottish Fire and Rescue services at the scene of the crash at the Clutha Bar in Glasgow
Planned national day celebrations were called off in Glasgow and elsewhere as the city and the country came to terms with the full horror of the tragedy, which has claimed at least eight lives.

First Minister Alex Salmond, ashen faced at a morning press conference, described it as a "black day" for Scotland, adding: "It's also St Andrew's Day and a day we can take pride and courage in how we respond to adversity."

The Archbishop of Glasgow, Philip Tartaglia, held a special Mass at St Andrew's Cathedral, which is just a few hundred yards away from The Clutha Bar. Priests from the parish were on hand throughout Friday night to help injured and concerned relatives.

The Archbishop said: "I was distressed by the news of last night's incident in central Glasgow near our cathedral when the helicopter crashed into the Clutha pub.

"Prayers will be offered for everyone, especially for those who have died, for the injured and for the bereaved."

Comment: No distress call was made from the helicopter, and it appears to fallen vertically into the building.


Bob Dylan sued in France for alleged racism

© Unknown.Bob Dylan performs on-stage in June 2009 in California
Bob Dylan is being sued for alleged racism after he likened Croatians to Nazis and slave owners.

The legendary singer/songwriter is now facing a lawsuit filed by the Council of Croats in France (CRICCF) in relation to an interview he gave to French Rolling Stone in 2012.

Dylan, who was one of the public faces of the civil rights movement in the US during the 1960s, made the comments when asked how much he felt America had progressed since the Civil War in the 19th century.

"This country is just too f***** up about colour. It's a distraction. People at each others' throats just because they are of a different colour. It's the height of insanity, and it will hold any nation back - or any neighbourhood back. Or any anything back," Dylan said.

"Blacks know that some whites didn't want to give up slavery - that if they had their way, they would still be under the yoke, and they can't pretend they don't know that. If you got a slave master or Klan in your blood, blacks can sense that. That stuff lingers to this day. Just like Jews can sense Nazi blood and the Serbs can sense Croatian blood."


Two German students have vandalised part of the Pyramid of Khufu to help 'prove' their Lost Civilisation theory

Ancient Cartouche
© ancient cartouche, believed scrawled in the ceiling of Khufu's burial chamber by workers during its construction. The chamber has since become a magnet for vandals over the centuries.
Valid research or vandalism? Egyptian authorities are in uproar after two German students scraped away some ancient writing to "prove" the Great Pyramids are 20,000 years old.

Supporters of the popular story that the Pyramids are evidence of a lost civilisation from the dawn of time consider the reaction all part of an ancient conspiracy.

Internet forums, books and doccumentaries all rage against the "old guard" for hiding the "truth" and refusing to take their ideas seriously. Now, they have a pair of Indiana-Jones style heroes: Two German students who stole into the Great Pyramid to scrape away at an ancient cartouche.

The painted cartouche which named Pharaoh Khufu (Cheops) is scrawled in a small compartment above his burial chamber in one of the three Great Pyramids at Giza.

Their idea is a popular one: That the Great Pyramids were merely "refurbished" by the Old Kingdom Pharaoh credited with its construction in the 26th Century BC. They argue the official dating of the Pyramids is solely based on the presence of the ancient red cartouche.

The two students from Dresden University recently took matters into their own hands: With Egypt's political turmoil distracting security forces, the pair conspired to sample the red paint and smuggle the pigment out of Egypt.

They have since asserted the fragments support arguments that the construction of date of the Pyramids was much older than Khufu's reign.

Accredited archaeologists dismiss the claim as a fanciful conspiracy theory.

"This is totally false and nonsensical," said Ahmed Saeed, professor of ancient Egyptian civilisation at Cairo University.