Society's ChildS


French oppose Syria action by two-thirds margin, poll finds

More than two-thirds of French people are against the country taking part in international military action in Syria, according to a newspaper poll published Saturday.

The survey for French daily Le Figaro showed the country's opposition to military action against the Damascus regime has increased markedly since the end of August.

Asked whether they would be in favour of French participation -- which President Francois Hollande strongly supports -- 68 percent of respondents said no.

That was an increase of nine percentage points on a survey published on August 29.

The survey also showed that 64 percent oppose all international military action in Syria -- irrespective of French involvement -- compared with just 45 percent on August 29.

France is the only international power to have vowed to join any US military action in Syria, which Russia strongly opposes.

Grey Alien

Alien-themed promotion for Alabama radio station leads to concern over school safety

War of the Worlds
© All AlabamaTuscumbia police compared concern over an alien-themed promotion by a Shoals-area radio station to H.G. Wells' War of the Worlds.
Florence, Alabama - A radio promotion spoofing aliens hacking into an Alabama radio station spooked students into believing schools would be attacked.

It was all a mysterious misunderstanding, a Shoals area radio official said, that has no logical explanation. Still, law enforcement in the area beefed up security at schools to calm fears from parents.

"It's a very innocuous promotion that got blown out of proportion," said Brian Rickman, program director for Shoals Radio Group.

To bring attention to a format change at Star 94.9 - which is owned by Shoals Radio Group - Rickman said the station on Monday began airing conversations between aliens.

"We came up with what we thought was a really fun storyline and that would be that these aliens or star people were hacking into the radio station," Rickman said. "The concept being that they heard our frequency several light years away, they didn't like Justin Bieber and the pop music we were playing and they were going to take over the radio station and adjust the format.

"We thought it was clever."


Drone-hunting permits on hold - Colorado town to let voters decide in November

ShadowHawk drone
© Vanguard Defense Industries via Associated PressSWAT team members are posted next to a ShadowHawk drone in Texas. Worried about violations of civil liberties, at least 19 states are considering limits on how the unmanned craft can be used.
For the people of Deer Trail, Colo., November elections usually are reserved for electing town board members and state and federal lawmakers.

But in November, residents of the small town will decide whether to license the nation's first official "drone hunters."

On Tuesday night, the town board split evenly, with three members voting "yes" and three voting "no," on an ordinance that would have made it legal for residents to apply for licenses and then shoot unmanned aerial vehicles out of the sky in exchange for a $100 cash reward.

The controversial measure now will appear on the November ballot, leaving the decision up to voters in the town of about 550 people.

Some Deer Trail officials and residents - along with many others across the nation - fear that the rapid rise of domestic drones poses grave new threats to personal privacy. Echoing the concerns of privacy groups, civil liberties activists and many state and federal lawmakers, those pushing the Deer Trail ordinance argue that citizens must resist the unprecedented surveillance capabilities brought by drones.

2 + 2 = 4

Michelle Obama takes credit for 'cultural shift' in US eating habits (Video)

Michelle Obama credited her anti-obesity program with bringing about a "cultural shift" in the way Americans eat.

"Make no mistake about it. We are changing the conversation in this country. We are creating a cultural shift on how we live and eat. And our efforts are having an impact on our children's lives."

The first lady touted the success of her Let's Move anti-obesity program during a visit on Friday to Orr Elementary School in Washington, D.C.

Obama said when she first began her signature initiative, she couldn't imagine a time when fast-food commercials advertised for breakfast sandwiches made with egg whites. And she praised restaurants like Red Lobster and Olive Garden for offering healthy choices.

Bad Guys

The perils of homeschooling: German police storm home, seize four children

Wunderlich family
© HSLDA WebsiteWunderlich family
In Darmstadt, Germany, police officers armed with guns and a battering ram stormed a home and seized four children because the family living there had defied a national ban on homeschooling. The officers were accompanied by a throng of social workers and special agents.

The terrifying team of about 20 government officials forcibly removed all four of the family's children at around breakfast time on Thursday morning, according to a press release from the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA).

The sole reason for the brutal abduction of the children is that the parents, Dirk and Petra Wunderlich, have defied the German government's ban on home education. There are no claims of mistreatment or neglect.

The children range in age from seven to 14.

2 + 2 = 4

Public school teachers go ballistic over teacher dress code in West Va., threaten to sue

Blue jeans
© Flickr/SAN_DRINO
The last time The Daily Caller's education section checked in on West Virginia, police in Logan County had arrested an eighth-grader over an NRA shirt and the kid was facing a year in jail.

Now, teachers a few counties over are pitching a fit because the local board of education voted to prohibit them from wearing blue jeans, faded jeans and shorts to work.

The Lewis County Board of Education's vote at a Monday board meeting in favor of the ban was unanimous, reports WBOY-TV.

The ban has been a highly rancorous issue in the rural county for some time now.

2 + 2 = 4

Little Rock school district will now make teachers wear underwear

© Getty Images
The school district in Little Rock, Ark. has announced plans for a dress code that will require teachers to wear underwear. Every single day. Female teachers will have to wear bras, too.

An Aug. 29 letter from the Little Rock School District's Office of the Superintendent to all employees explains that the dress code will officially go into effect in the fall of 2014.

"Foundational garments shall be worn and not visible with respect to color, style, and/or fabric," the letter reads. "No see-through or sheer clothing shall be allowed, and no skin shall be visible between pants/trousers, skirts, and shirts/blouses at any time."


Fukushima: Crane leaned down at Reactor 3

According to Tepco, the remote controlling 600 tones crawler crane leaned down beside reactor 3.

Tepco reports it didn't cause any damage on reactor 3 building, data shows no abnormality.

The cause is not verified.

At 8:35 AM of 9/5/2013, the operator observed the crane gradually leaned. It is located on the west side of reactor 3 building.

A crack was found on the joint part for the main mast and jib.


No technical failure on North Sea crash helicopter, says report

An ongoing investigation into a North Sea helicopter crash which killed four oil workers has found the engines were still working when it hit the water and there is no evidence so far of technical failure.

Three men and a woman died when a Super Puma plunged into the sea off Shetland on 23 August. There were 14 survivors.

The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said in a report that both the helicopter's engines were giving out power when the aircraft hit the water. "The rate of descent remained constant for a period, before increasing rapidly. Shortly thereafter the helicopter, which was intact, struck the sea in a near-level pitch attitude with a slight right bank. Both engines were delivering power until impact," the report said.

It said that "no evidence of a causal technical failure has been identified" to date, but added that a detailed examination of the combined voice and flight data recorder and wreckage was continuing.

The helicopter was travelling from the Borgsten Dolphin support vessel when it came down on the way to Sumburgh airport with 16 passengers and two crew on board.

Pat Rafferty, the Scottish secretary of the Unite union, said: "The AAIB report does nothing to alleviate offshore workers' fears about the safety of the Super Puma fleet, nor does it provide any further detail into why four people could not escape the crash with their lives."

Source: PA

Arrow Down

Number of reported rapes nearly doubles at Harvard

Cambridge - A troubling new statistic has Ivy League women concerned. "It's very frightening," says Harvard sophomore Emily Jones. She's talking about the number of reported rapes in Harvard's latest crime report, which has nearly doubled in the last year.

In 2011, there were 12 confidentially reported rapes. In 2012, the number jumped to 23, and they all occurred on campus. "That's a very serious statistic," says Jones.

But rape victim advocates are surprisingly positive about the news. "I don't think increased reporting numbers tell us necessarily about a spike in incidents," explains Meg Bossong of the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center. "I think it tells us about a spike in work and comfort about making sure students know how to access resources."