Society's ChildS

Bizarro Earth

Naked man braves flooded river and crocodiles to win some bourbon

This man stripped off, jumped on a log and braved the crocodile-infested waters of the Daly River so he could win a bet.
A fisherman has risked his life for what he considered a good cause - booze.

He won two cases of bourbon for jumping on to a log racing down a flooded, crocodile-infested river - in the nude, The Northern Territory News reports.

The tiler, who didn't want to be named, rode the makeshift raft for about three minutes before clambering back into a boat.

"I'd enjoyed a few beers and it seemed a good idea at the time," he said.

Witness Billy Innes said his mate thought nothing of the dangers of drowning or being eaten by a saltwater crocodile, which inhabit the river in large numbers.

Bizarro Earth

Media blockage? Dispatches from Exxon's spill zone, day 2

exxon spill,dead lake
© UnknownThe American flag flies over a dead lake
Mayflower,Arkansas - We had hoped to interview some affected residents, but they were too sick to talk to us. They live on a street immediately adjacent to the ones which were evacuated. Some homes which were not evacuated are actually closer to the spill than those which were - they're a couple minutes by car but they're only separated by a small grove of trees. The residents had not been contacted by Exxon or warned in any way about the dangers of tar sands. Both canceled the interview because they were feeling too sick to meet. Vomiting, headaches, dizziness, burning throats and coughing: the exact same symptoms felt by Kalamazoo residents after the Enbridge tar sands spill there in 2010.

Evacuated residents are being housed in hotels. Exxon says it plans to rent homes for them. Non-evacuated residents who are actually closer to the spill site have been given nothing. No medical attention, no offers of alternate housing, no information.

Exxon finally admitted today that what spilled from the pipe was tar sands. Before that, they had admitted that it wasn't crude but were coy with the semantics. One evacuee who had asked about the distinction in meetings with Exxon told us that he'd been asked "well what's your definition of tar sands?"

Arrow Up

U.K. food prices set to soar after big freeze

Snow North Yorkshire
© UnknownSnow covers a field in North Yorkshire, with many crops affected

Months of heavy rain followed by extreme cold are set to hit harvests and push the price of the weekly shop up ever higher.

More than a quarter of winter wheat could not be planted last autumn because of waterlogged fields and attempts to catch up this spring have been hampered by frost.

But poor grain yields do not just affect the price of bread and biscuits.

Animal feed is 50% more expensive than 15 months ago, in turn increasing the cost of producing meat, milk and eggs.

Light Saber

Women hit back at India's rape culture

self-defence group
© Gethin Chamberlain for the ObserverYoung women from the Red Brigade walk through the Midiyav slum in the city of Lucknow. Their leader, Usha Vishwakarma, 25, is in white.
A self-defence group in Lucknow have a simple message to the men who make their lives a misery - stop it, or else

The male tormentor of the young women of the Madiyav slum did not spot the danger until it was too late. One moment he was taunting them with sexual suggestions and provocations; the next they had hold of his arms and legs and had hoisted him into the air.

Then the beating began. Some of the young women lightly used their fists, others took off their shoes and hit him with those. When it was over, they let him limp away to nurse his wounds, certain that he had learned an important lesson: don't push your luck with the Red Brigade.

Named for their bright red outfits, the Red Brigade was formed in November 2011 as a self-defence group for young women suffering sexual abuse in the northern Indian city of Lucknow, 300 miles south-east of Delhi. Galvanised by the gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old medical student in Delhi last December and the nationwide protests that followed against a rising tide of rapes, they are now gaining in confidence.

From a core membership of 15, ranging in age from 11 to 25, they now have more than 100 members, intelligent and sassy and with a simple message for the men who have made their lives a misery: they will no longer tolerate being groped, gawped at and worse. Their activities are a lesson in empowerment.


Death toll rises to 72 in residential building collapse, Mumbai, India

Mumbai building collapse
© UnknownPeople gather around debris at the site of the building collapse as the rescue operation continues.
Police say the death toll in the collapse of an illegal and half-constructed residential building in India's financial capital has climbed to 72.

On Saturday, rescue workers continued to search through the rubble of the eight-story building -- which collapsed into a mangled heap of steel and concrete in the Mumbai suburb of Thane on April 4 -- amid diminishing hopes for possible survivors.


Two dead in daycare shooting, Gatineau, Quebec

Quebec daycare shooting
© The Canadian Press / Sean KilpatrickPolice officer carries child from a safehouse to waiting parents and guardians in Gatineau, Que. after Friday's shooting.
Terror-stricken parents and caregivers scrambled to retrieve their children from a Quebec daycare Friday after a brazen daylight shooting that left two adults dead - violence police say was likely witnessed by some of the kids.

Police in the city of Gatineau, Que., across the river from Parliament Hill, say they safely evacuated 53 children - five of them infants - from the Montessori daycare after responding to a report of shots being been fired.

Two people were found dead at the scene - a man who worked at the daycare and the suspected gunman himself. Gatineau police Chief Mario Harel said it's likely at least some of the kids witnessed the violence.


Pregnant woman tasered by cops after calling for help in parking lot fender bender incident in Springfield, Illinois

Lucinda White
© ksdk.comLucinda White, 29, who is eight months’ pregnant, was tasered and arrested by Springfield police after she reported a minor car accident in the parking lot of a Best Buy store.
Cell phone footage shows Lucinda White, 29, being wrestled to the ground of a Best Buy parking lot in Springfield, Ill. on Saturday.

Shocking video shows the moment cops tasered and forced a heavily pregnant woman to the ground after she'd called them for help in a fender bender incident.

Cell phone footage shows Lucinda White, 29, being wrestled to the ground of a Best Buy parking lot in Springfield, Ill. on Saturday.

She had dialed 911 after she and boyfriend Frederic Thomas, 31, started arguing with another man they accused of hitting her car.


New York Dad's pistol license suspended over something his 10-year-old son said

© Shutterstock

A New York father has had his firearms all but confiscated after the Suffolk County Pistol License Bureau suspended his pistol license indefinitely over a perceived threat made by his 10-year-old son and two of his classmates at school.

John Mayer, of Commack, N.Y., told TheBlaze that the incident occurred on March 1. It was like any other day, the father explained. He put his son on the bus and sent him off to school.

Later that day, Mayer got a call from school officials at Pines Elementary School informing him that his 10-year-old son and two other students were talking about going to a boy's house with a water gun, "paint gun" and a BB gun. There had reportedly been a school yard pushing incident the day before involving the boys, excluding Mayer's son, and they were seemingly talking about getting even in some way.

Mayer told TheBlaze that a teacher overheard the students talking and informed the principal, who then immediately called police and filed a report. He said the principal told police something to the effect of, there's a "kid with a gun, ready to go." Mayer maintains that no serious death threats were made by the students. The Hauppauge Public School District has not returned several messages left by TheBlaze, therefore, it is not clear what they are claiming was said.

School officials then "interrogated" the boys, Mayer explained. It was later determined that the 10-year-old boys did not have access to a BB gun, paintball gun or any actual firearms.

Bizarro Earth

Italian appellate judge stands by Amanda Knox's acquittal

© AP Photo/Ted S. WarrenAmanda Knox talks to reporters, Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011, in Seattle. Knox was freed Monday after an Italian appeals court threw out her murder conviction for the death of her British roommate, Meredith Kercher.
The Italian presiding appellate judge who acquitted American student Amanda Knox in the murder of her British roommate says he remains certain there is no evidence of her guilt.

Now retired, Judge Pratillo Hellmann was quoted Thursday by Italian newspapers as saying the only evidence that tied Knox and co-defendant Raffaele Sollecito to the crime was refuted by new expert testimony entered on appeal.


As U.S. economy flails, debtors' prisons thrive

© iStockphoto
Thousands of Americans are sent to jail not for committing a crime, but because they can't afford to pay for traffic tickets, medical bills and court fees.

If that sounds like a debtors' prison, a legal relic which was abolished in this country in the 1830s, that's because it is. And courts and judges in states across the land are violating the Constitution by incarcerating people for being unable to pay such debts.