Society's ChildS

Snakes in Suits

The man who made Femen: new film outs Victor Svyatski as the mastermind behind the protest group and abuser of its members

© Olivier Hoslet/EPAA Femen activist is arrested by Belgian police outside the EU council headquarters in Brussels
It's the Ukranian feminist group that embarrassed President Putin. Its activists have staged many protests against sexual and political repression by stripping to their waists in carefully choreographed media stunts.

"Our mission is protest, our weapons are bare breasts," runs their slogan. Now, a new documentary screening at the Venice Film Festival has revealed that Femen was founded and is controlled by a man.

Ukraine is not a Brothel, directed by 28-year-old Australian film-maker Kitty Green, has "outed" Victor Svyatski as the mastermind behind the group. Mr Syvatski is known as a "consultant" to the movement. According to the Femen website, he was badly beaten up by the secret services in Ukraine earlier this summer because of his activities on behalf of the group.

Star of David

The Most Telling Poll of All: Israelis want US, Europe to attack Syria, but against IDF

Two-thirds of respondents to Gal Hadash poll concerned American attack on Syria would lead to Israeli involvement in war.

IDF Drill
© REUTERSIDF SOLDIERS take part in a drill on the Golan Heights, near the Syrian border, yesterday.
The US and European countries should attack Syria, but Israel should not be involved in the assault, two polls in weekend Hebrew newspapers found.

While polls in the US and United Kingdom have found overwhelming opposition to their countries attacking Syria, a Gal Hadash poll published in Israel Hayom found that 66.6 percent of respondents would be in favor of American and European military intervention in Syria.

Only 17% opposed a US/EU strike and 16.4% did not know.

When asked whether they thought such an attack would take place, 72.8% said yes, 15.8% no, and 11.4% did not know.

Asked whether they were concerned that American intervention in Syria would lead to Israeli intervention in the war, 66.8% said yes, 28.7 said no and 4.5% did not know. Regarding what Israeli intervention there would be, 57.4% said limited IDF activity, 14.1% said Syria would attack Israel but the IDF would not respond, 12.9% said there would be all out Middle East war, and 15.6% did not know.

A separate Ma'agar Mohot poll published in Friday's Ma'arivfound that Israelis overwhelmingly oppose an Israeli strike on Syria. If America does not intervene in Israel's northeastern neighbor, 77% of respondents who expressed an opinion said Israel should not get involved militarily, 11% said the IDF should, and 12% said they did not know and other answers.


Hundred thousand attend Syria peace vigil at Vatican

Syria Peace vigil
© AP Photo/Riccardo De LucaPeople hold Syrian flags and signs against a possible attack to Syria, prior to the start of a vigil for peace attended by Pope Francis in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2013. Tens of thousands of people have answered Pope Francis' call and massed in St. Peter's Square for a 4-hour-long prayer vigil for peace in Syria. It was believed to be one of the first, and certainly the largest popular rally in the West against U.S.-led plans to strike Syria following the Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack near Damascus.
Tens of thousands of people filled St. Peter's Square for a four-hour Syria peace vigil late Saturday, answering Pope Francis' call for a grassroots cry for peace that was echoed by Christians and non-Christians alike in Syria and in vigils around the world.

The Vatican estimated about 100,000 took part in the Rome event, making it one of the largest rallies in the West against proposed U.S.-led military action against the Syrian regime following the Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack near Damascus.

Francis spent most of the vigil in silent prayer, but during his speech he issued a heartfelt plea for peace, denouncing those who are "captivated by the idols of dominion and power" and destroy God's creation through war.

"This evening, I ask the Lord that we Christians, and our brothers and sisters of other religions and every man and woman of good will, cry out forcefully: Violence and war are never the way to peace!" he said.

"May the noise of weapons cease!" he said. "War always marks the failure of peace, it is always a defeat for humanity."

In Damascus, a few dozen Syrian Christians attended a service in the al-Zaytoun Church, joining Francis' invitation for a global participation in the day of fasting and prayer and to oppose outside military intervention in the conflict.


Stork detained as "winged spy" in Egypt found dead

Stork Spy?
© AP
A stork once detained by Egyptian authorities on suspicion of being a winged spy has been found dead.

Mahmoud Hassib, the head of Egypt's southern protected areas, said Saturday that local residents found the dead bird on an island in the Nile, south of the ancient city of Aswan.

In August, a local resident found the stork in Egypt's Qena governorate, some 450 kilometers (280 miles) southeast of Cairo. Both he and police were suspicious of the European wildlife tracker found on it. Authorities later let the bird go.

However, controversy trails the bird into death. An Egyptian wildlife organization claimed on its Facebook page the bird was "eaten by local villagers." Hassib denied that the bird had been eaten, though he didn't know an exact cause of death.

Heart - Black

370,000 elderly people were abused in UK last year

Elderly people are being routinely ill-treated by carers or relatives, says Lib Dem MP Paul Burstow

UK elderly people
© Paul Doyle / Alamy/Alamy

As many as 370,000 older people have been abused in their own homes by a carer, relative or friend in the last year, according to figures, exposing what has been described as a "hidden national scandal".

The number aged over 65 who are physically, psychologically or financially persecuted at home every year is likely to reach almost half a million by the end of the decade.

Elderly men and women across the country, from all walks of life, are routinely ill-treated, yet former health minister Paul Burstow warns that their plight is often ignored or dismissed.

The scale of the abuse, and its rapid growth, has prompted Burstow, who uncovered the figures, to demand a series of radical changes in the law to aid the detection and punishment of those misusing their positions.

As it stands, social services are constrained in their ability to gain access to the elderly in their own homes when a carer is proving an obstacle, even where abuse is suspected. There is also no criminal charge of neglect available against those mistreating a vulnerable and older person who is judged to be of sound mind.

Burstow, a Liberal Democrat MP, told the Observer that elderly people looked after in their homes enjoyed few legal protections and were all too often condemned to living their last years in misery, "out of sight and out of mind". He said: "This is a hidden national scandal. The thing that worries me is what this says about our society.

"There is a feeling that people who are elderly have had a good innings already, or that by the time that the abuse can be uncovered the victim will be dead. The cases that do feature rarely prompt the revulsion that follows cases of child abuse, or the system being galvanised to say 'never again'."

The former minister is due to meet the prime minister in Downing Street to discuss the crisis, along with the Older People's Commissioner for Wales and Gary FitzGerald, chief executive of the charity Action on Elder Abuse.

Burstow said: "The prime minister should use the care bill to toughen up the law and send a powerful message that abusing and neglecting older and vulnerable people won't go undetected and unpunished.


"Stop spying on us": Thousands in Germany joined the anti-NSA protest

German protest against NSA
© UnknownA man takes part in a protest outside a US National Security Agency (NSA) listening station in Griesheim near Darmstadt, Germany, on July 20, 2013. Thousands took to the streets in Berlin Saturday in protests against Internet surveillance activities by the US National Security Agency and other intelligence agencies, and the German government's perceived lax reaction to them.
Thousands took to the streets in Berlin Saturday in protests against Internet surveillance activities by the US National Security Agency and other intelligence agencies, and the German government's perceived lax reaction to them.

Organisers, among them the opposition Greens, The Left and Pirates parties, said 20,000 people turned out. Police would not confirm the figure, saying only their "tally differs from that of the organisers".

The protest was organised under the slogan "Freedom Rather Than Fear" and demonstrators carried banners saying: "Stop spying on us" and, more sarcastically: "Thanks to PRISM (the US government's vast data collection programs) the government finally knows what the people want".

"Intelligence agencies like the NSA shamelessly spy on telephone conversations and Internet connections worldwide (and) our government, one of whose key roles is the protection from harm, sends off soothing explanations," said one speaker, Kai-Uwe Steffens.

On Thursday, newly leaked documents alleged that US and British intelligence agencies have cracked the encryption that secures a wide range of online communications -- including emails, banking transactions and phone conversations.

Arrow Down

New files may detail sex abuse in Scouts

© WeAreTroop208!!
Minneapolis - Confidential files turned over for a lawsuit set to go to trial in Minnesota may shed new light on the problem of sexual abuse within the Boy Scouts of America.

The documents were produced in litigation brought against the Boy Scouts and a former scoutmaster, Peter Stibal II, who is serving 21 years in prison for molesting four Scouts. Attorneys for one former Scout won a court order for the nationwide internal files, commonly known as "ineligible volunteer" or "perversion files." They cover the years 1999-2008, much more recent than similar files forced into the open in an Oregon case last year.

"We are intending to use those to show they have had a longstanding knowledge of the scope of a serious problem like Stibal," said Jeffrey Anderson, the lead attorney for the molested Scout. "They kept files not known to the troops and members of the public and had a body of knowledge that was not made public."

Anderson, who built a national reputation for frequent lawsuits in clergy abuse cases, declined to say what the new documents might show ahead of the trial that begins Monday in St. Paul. He said he expects attorneys for the Scouts to try to block the introduction and release of the files. He wouldn't say how many former leaders the files cover. But the release of more than 1,200 files in the Oregon case suggests the number could be large.


Why does NASA need a SWAT team? To steal moon dust from retirees!

© tactical-life.comNASA’s SWAT team
A recent weapons purchase by NASA piqued the interest of some of my readers, prompting questions such as, "What is NASA doing with assault rifles?" In post 9/11 America, no self-respecting federal agency - from the Environmental Protection Agency to the Department of Education - can exist without its own SWAT team. A strong trend of militarizing law enforcement has been occurring for some time, and if this is a surprise to you, its time to catch up. Yes, even NASA has a SWAT team, and you may be surprised with some of their assignments, which include militarized perimeter security and robbing grandmothers of heirloom decorative paperweights.

NASA's recent purchase of Armalite AR-15 rifles, documented on, is only the tip of the iceberg regarding NASA's equipment and capabilities. The space agency also has its own police department and round-the-clock SWAT team.

The purpose of all this security is protection from "troublemakers," as the agency states, as well as criminal investigations, which I will discuss shortly.

Some security is surely warranted to protect NASA's equipment and personnel. How much? I will leave that for you to decide. describes its SWAT team in a post they titled, SWATting Trouble:

© LuisSantanaPhoto.comOne of NASA’s $250,000 Lenco Bearcat
Along with the formidable force of standard security at Kennedy, a highly trained and specialized group of guardians protect the Center from would-be troublemakers. They are the members of the Kennedy Space Center Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team and they mean business.

"We're here 24-7," said SWAT commander David Fernandez. "There's never a point when SWAT is not here, so we're ready to respond to something if needed at a moment's notice."
The SWAT team is equipped with helicopter(s) and armored Lenco Bearcat vehicles - priced at $250,000 each - both of which the agency enjoys taking selfie pictures with



Indiana man sentenced to 8 months in federal prison for teaching people to beat lie-detectors

Is teaching others to lie a protected form of free speech? Apparently not.

© The Telegraph
An Indiana man thought he had the freedom to speak about controversial topics and teach others what he knows. The Federal Government disagreed. This week that man found out that the penalty for free speech is 8 months in federal prison. He taught people how to beat polygraph tests. The case has sparked a debate about whether or not the right to lie, or teach others to lie, should be protected under the First Amendment.

"My wife and I are terrified," said Chris Dixon, of Marion, Indiana. "I stumbled into this. I'm a Little League coach in Indiana...never in my wildest dreams did I somehow imagine I was committing a crime."

Dixon, 34, had been struggling to find work as an electrical engineer and began working as a polygrapher. He soon began giving lessons on defeating the polygraph test.

A polygraph test measures blood pressure, sweat activity, respiration and movement to identify people who lie or try to beat the test. While polygraph data is not admissible in court, polygraphers use the information to detect what they believe are lies, followed by an attempt to elicit a confession to confirm their suspicions.

Polygraph instructors, like Dixon, claim to teach methods that help the test-subjects avoid scrutiny. Polygraph countermeasures include controlled breathing, muscle tensing, tongue biting and mental arithmetic.

"It may be unfortunate for federal law enforcement ... but it is protected speech to tell people how to lie on a polygraph," Dixon's lawyer, Nina Ginsberg, said.

Despite having no criminal record, the Federal government found out about his lessons and began pursuing him for obstructing federal proceedings and wire fraud.


Camp 22 inmates disappear: Over 22,000 prisoners unaccounted for in North Korean labor camp

© Screenshot/HRNKA screenshot of the cover of the new report that in part covers the prisoners that disappeared from Camp 22 in North Korea.
Over 22,000 inmates at Camp 22, a labor camp in North Korea, have disappeared, according to a new report.

The Committee for Human Rights in North Korea, based in the U.S., reports that the number of prisoners in the camp dwindled rapidly from 30,000 to between 3,000 and 8,000 amid reports of severe food shortages inside the camp.

Prison camps in North Korea, which has a communist-like regime, hold prisoners that are deemed "wrong-thinkers" or "wrong-doers." They are mostly punished through forced labor and sometimes through more extreme measures such as strict rationing and torture.

Camp 22, an area that covered about 31 miles by 25 miles, was recently closed - but a number of missing prisoners haven't been accounted for.

Drawing on several media outlets that have sources inside the closed-off country and several other sources such as a former prison guard, the report outlines that some of the "missing" prisoners were likely transferred to a nearby camp, but about 22,000 are still left unaccounted for.