Society's ChildS


Detroit: Black woman shot to death while seeking help after car crash

Renisha McBride
Renisha McBride
Police are seeking charges against a resident who's accused of shooting a Detroit woman to death as she sought help after a late-night car crash.

Family members say 19-year-old Renisha McBride crashed about 2:30 a.m. Saturday in Dearborn Heights and knocked on the door of a home in the 16000 block of Outer Drive because her cell phone battery had died.

Preliminary autopsy results showed McBride was shot in the head by a shotgun, killing her.

Her aunt said the young woman, who'd recently started a job at Ford Motor Co., was shot as she turned to walk off the porch of the home where she'd sought assistance.

Police initially said they believed the shot was fired in self-defense, and a neighbor said officers told them shortly afterward that the homeowner had gotten scared and shot someone during an apparent break-in attempt.

Her family said they were initially told by police that McBride's body had been dumped and discovered near Warren Avenue, but police are now saying the woman died on the home's front porch.


Florida teacher suspended for forcing kids to say pledge on Sept. 11 or 'go to your home country'

pledge of allegiance child
© shutterstock
A Florida teacher was recently suspended without pay for five days after school officials said that she forced a fourth grade student to violate his religious beliefs and say the Pledge of Allegiance.

The Tampa Bay Times reported that the student, whose Jehovah's Witness religion forbids him from worshiping objects, was used to standing silent while the other students put their hands over their hearts and recited the pledge.

But on the morning of Sept. 11, Explorer K-8 School teacher Anne Daigle-McDonald forcibly placed the boy's hand over his heart.

"You are an American, and you are supposed to salute the flag," she said, turning to the class. "In my classroom, everyone will do the pledge; no religion says that you can't do the pledge."

"If you can't put your hand on your heart, then you need to move out of the country," the teacher reportedly added.

Hernando County Schools Division of Business Services-Heather Martin Executive Director later told Daigle-McDonald that nearly all of the students in her fourth grade class had recalled her telling them the next day to move back to their home country if they didn't want to say the pledge.


No ethics: Report says military, CIA compelled medics to abuse detainees

restraint chair
© Getty imagesRestraint chair
Defense Department and CIA interrogation policies after 9/11 forced medical professionals to abandon their ethical obligations to "do no harm" to those in their care and some prohibited practices, including force-feeding of hunger strikers, continue today, a report issued Monday alleges.

The report, Ethics Abandoned: Medical Professionalism and Detainee Abuse in the War on Terror, was carried out by a 19-member task force of Columbia University's Institute on Medicine as a Profession and the Open Society Foundations. The researchers spent two years examining public records of medical professionals' involvement in military and intelligence interrogations and treatment of detainees.

It accuses the counter-terrorism operations of having "improperly demanded that U.S. military and intelligence agency health professionals collaborate in intelligence gathering and security practices in a way that inflicted severe harm on detainees in U.S. custody."

The involvement of medical professionals in abuse and interrogation occurred at the Guantanamo Bay detention center for terrorism suspects as well as at Bagram air base near Kabul, Afghanistan, and at other CIA "black sites," the report claimed.

Doctors, nurses, psychologists and medics, in violation of their ethical commitments, were said to have been compelled to take part in "enhanced interrogation" methods, including the simulated drowning procedure called waterboarding that has been defined as torture and prohibited from practice by any U.S. agents.


In Tehran, 'death to America' still rings 34 years later

Tehran protest image
© BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty ImagesAnti-US sentiment alive and strong in Iran
Despite recent signs of a thaw in relations between Washington and Tehran, Iran is going ahead with a 34-year-old November ritual: anti-U.S. demonstrations to commemorate the takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran.

With each passing year, the impact of the annual protests has diminished. But the anniversary still symbolizes tensions and mistrust at the center of the U.S.-Iran relationship, and hard-line conservatives are calling for "death to America" chants to be a key part of Monday's event.

Now under the control of the hard-line Student Basij Organization, the old embassy grounds remain known here as the "Den of Espionage,'' and anti-American propaganda fills the walls inside and outside the compound.


60 Minutes' Benghazi source, British mercenary Dylan Davies, admits lying

 US consulate compound in Benghazi
© AFP/Getty ImagesThis file photo taken on September 11, 2012 shows an armed man waving his rifle as buildings and cars are engulfed in flames after being set on fire inside the US consulate compound in Benghazi.
In an explosive report on CBS's "60 Minutes" on Sunday, the British supervisor of local security guards protecting the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, on the night of Sept. 11, 2012, provided a harrowing account of the extremist attack that killed four Americans.

The man whom CBS called Morgan Jones, a pseudonym, described racing to the Benghazi compound while the attack was underway, scaling a 12-foot wall and downing an extremist with the butt end of a rifle as he tried in vain to rescue the besieged Americans.

The "60 Minutes" broadcast, in which Jones also recounted his clandestine visit that night to a Benghazi hospital to view the body of slain U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, helped propel a new round of partisan conflict this week over the attack.

Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (S.C.) and other Republican lawmakers referred to it repeatedly during a Wednesday news conference. Graham said he would block confirmation of all of President Obama's nominees, including Jeh Johnson as homeland security secretary and Janet L. Yellen as head of the Federal Reserve, until the administration allowed government witnesses to the attack to appear before Congress.

Comment: The very fact that Senator Graham is making an issue out of this tells us that 'the Benghazi affair' is a red herring.

Benghazi Attacks, Political Theatre and Wild Speculations


Cross country runner refuses to run after being assigned "666" number

A Whitley County student athlete says it would have gone against her religious beliefs to run with the race number '6-6-6'. She and her coach tried to get her a different number, and were told they could not.

Nerves over the race turned to frustration for Whitley County High School junior Codie Thacker because of a different number. It would have been her third time running this race. "I've trained since June for this race," she said.

And if she won the regional, it would have been her first time competing for the state championship. "I was so nervous I thought about it all week," said Thacker.


Former House Speaker Jim Wright denied voter ID under new Texas law

Former House Speaker Jim Wright
© UnknownFormer House Speaker Jim Wright
Former House Speaker Jim Wright, D-Texas, was denied the identification he needs in order to vote under the state's strict new voter ID law.

Wright told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that he was denied an ID on Saturday when he and his assistant, Norma Ritchson, went to the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS).

"Nobody was ugly to us, but they insisted that they wouldn't give me an ID," he said.

The 90-year-old, who served as Speaker from 1987 to 1989, only has an expired driver's license and faculty ID card from the Texas Christian University, neither of which are valid to vote under the new law.


"Why the dangerous "thigh gap" trend makes me mad", model Robyn Lawley

© Getty"Thigh Gap"
"Thinspiration" has always been a scary subject online -- when unhealty images and messages proliferated on social networks such as Pinterest, Tumblr, and Instagram are used to encourage users to be unhealthily thin.

There is now a disturbing breed of thinspiration that pressures women and girls to pursue a "thigh gap," which is defined as the space between one's thighs. Everywhere online, users are posting aspirational pictures of thigh gaps, used as inspiration for weight loss and dieting. "I want the thigh gap. Right now, I could start a fire b/t my thighs," one user laments on Pinterest. "No goal was ever achieved without thigh gap."

The sad reality is that I've known about the "thigh gap" since I was 12 - and there is nothing about this trend that's new to me. Watching countless fashion shows as a teenager, I was unfortunately inundated with images of women and girls who had pronounced space between their thighs. The models' legs would never come close to touching, even as they stomped down the runway. Staring down at my own thighs, I can safely say that has never been the case for me. I'm now classified as a "plus size" model in the fashion industry.


The "Dark Mail Alliance": Keeping the NSA out of your email

Edward J. Snowden
© Photo by AFPTV/AFP/Getty ImagesEdward Snowden inspired the "Dark Mail Alliance."
Email might be on the verge of a radical makeover. And the NSA is not going to like it.

On Wednesday, two American companies with a track record of offering encrypted private communications are set to join forces in an unprecedented bid to counter dragnet Internet spying. Some of the world's top cryptographers are behind the secure communications provider Silent Circle, and they've teamed up with the founder of Lavabit, the email provider used by Edward Snowden, which recently shut down in a bid to resist surveillance. They're calling it the "Dark Mail Alliance." For months, the team has been quietly working on rebuilding email as we know it - and they claim to have had a breakthrough.

The newly developed technology has been designed to look just like ordinary email, with an interface that includes all the usual folders - inbox, sent mail, and drafts. But where it differs is that it will automatically deploy peer-to-peer encryption, so that users of the Dark Mail technology will be able to communicate securely. The encryption, based on a Silent Circle instant messaging protocol called SCIMP, will apply to both content and metadata of the message and attachments. And the secret keys generated to encrypt the communications will be ephemeral, meaning they are deleted after each exchange of messages.


Remember, remember the 5th of November! Million Mask March in London

Jason N Parkinson was on the ground in central London to observe the Million Mask march. London was the biggest of the worldwide chain of protests. In Parliament Square protesters burned energy bills to oppose the rising cost of fuel and there were minor clashes with police in riot gear as demonstrators also gathered near Buckingham Palace, where a fire was started yards away from its gates. No arrests took place, according to the Metropolitan police.