Society's ChildS

Red Flag

Ramping up hysteria! Police detonate pressure cooker left at hotel

© Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Image
Police in Dearborn are trying to understand why a pressure cooker was left in the restroom of the Adoba Hotel, forcing the evacuation of guests until the early morning hours.

The evacuation also canceled Sunday night's banquet of the University of Muslim Association of America.

Asgar Zaidi of Washington D.C. has been attending the organization's conference for the past 11 years. He says it's the first time it's ever been held in Dearborn.

"We all look forward to this time of year, Memorial Day weekend ... we have fun, we learn and it's just disheartening to see this type of stuff happen here," said Zaidi.

The pressure cooker discovered at the hotel was detonated by police as a precaution, but contained no explosives.

Dearborn officers have determined that the pressure cooker had not been converted into any type of explosive device.

Eye 1

Majority of Americans think federal government too powerful

A majority of Americans said they believe the federal government today wields too much power, a Gallup Daily tracking survey released Monday indicated.

The 54 percent that expressed that belief, however, is only slightly higher than reported in 2012 and slightly lower than reported in 2010 and 2011, Gallup said.

Only 8 percent of Americans said they thought the federal government has "too little" power, while 36 percent said the government has about the right amount of power, the Princeton, N.J., polling agency said.

Results indicated more than twice as many Republicans as Democrats said the government has too much power, 76 percent to 32 percent.

Forty-six percent of Americans said they agreed with the statement that the federal government "poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens," while 53 percent disagree, Gallup said.

Eye 1

German railways to use mini drones to stop graffiti

© Unknown
Germany's railway operator plans to deploy mini drones to catch vandals who deface its trains with graffiti, with the aerial vehicles shooting thermal images of its train depots at night.

Deutsche Bahn plans to soon start testing the vehicles which have four helicopter-style rotors and can shoot high-resolution pictures.

"We are going to use this technology in problem areas, where taggers are most active," a spokesman who asked not to be named told AFP.


Father says he was suspected of kidnapping his kids by Walmart security -- due to his children being mixed

A Prince William County man says he was suspected by Walmart security of possibly kidnapping his three young daughters -- all because they aren't the same race.

Joseph, who doesn't want his family's last name revealed, and his wife Keana are an interracial couple. They have been married for nearly 10 years and have three daughters: a 4-year-old and 2-year-old twins.

On Thursday evening, Joseph took all three girls to the Walmart in Potomac Mills in Woodbridge to cash a check. He says they weren't there long, but spent a few extra minutes in the parking lot while he buckled the girls in and then made a phone call.

Joseph says he then went to up his wife, Keana, and as they were arriving home, they were shocked to find a Prince William County police officer waiting for them.

"He asks us very sincerely, 'Hey, I was sent here by Walmart security. I just need to make sure that the children that you have are your own,'" Joseph says.


Train collides with big-rig and derails, with explosion, flames near Baltimore, Maryland

A CSX freight train derailed Tuesday afternoon in the Rosedale area, damaging nearby buildings, shutting down US Route 40 and causing a loud explosion that could be felt several miles away.Authorities in Baltimore County said the 15-car train struck a commercial truck near the 7500 block of Lake Drive, veering off the tracks near an industrial park. Initial reports were that no one was hurt, but County Executive Kevin Kamenetz later said the driver of the trailer was extricated and taken to Maryland Shock Trauma center in serious but stable condition.The National Transportation Safety Board announced at around 4 p.m. that it was sending a "go-team" that includes rail and hazmat investigators.

Baltimore County spokeswoman Elise Armacost said the train was carrying unknown chemicals but said the smoke did not include toxic inhalants. Still, a 20-block area around the accident was evacuated. "The evacuation would be much more significant if there were toxic chemicals," said Baltimore County Fire Chief John J. Hohman. He said he expected the fire to burn into the night, and firefighters were huddling with CSX officials about how best to attack the blaze.

Only two people were aboard the train, and they were uninjured, Armacost said.

MTA spokesman Terry Owens said the agency did not expect any disruption of service on the Penn Line between Baltimore and Perryville, which operates on Amtrak's Northeast Corridor. Minor delays were possible on the CSX-owned Camden Line between Washington and Baltimore's Camden Station, as CSX shuffles previously scheduled freight trains.


Cops: U.S. Marine goes on shooting spree

© Allen Breed, APThe globe and anchor stand at the entrance to Camp Lejeune, N.C.
Authorities say Marine from Camp Lejeune was killed and a sheriff wounded after a central Texas gunbattle with police ended a shooting spree that left one other person dead and five injured.

The suspected gunman was identified as Esteban J. Smith, 23, who was stationed at the Marine Corps base in North Carolina, the Texas Department of Public Safety said in a statement Monday.

He was declared dead following a shootout with authorities in Concho County, the department said.

Master Sgt. Jonathan Cress at Camp Lejeune, said Monday that the Marine was wanted for questioning in a homicide in nearby Jacksonville, N.C.

Concho County Sheriff Richard Doane was being treated for non-life threatening injuries at Shannon Medical Center in San Angelo, Texas, Department of Public Safety spokesman Tom Vinger said in a written statement.

The events began around 4:30 a.m. Sunday when shots were fired on a vehicle in the Eden area, leaving a woman injured and hospitalized in San Angelo, the department said. She was reported to have suffered non-life threatening injuries.

A short time later, two people were wounded when they were fired upon as they sat in their vehicle at a convenience store in Brady, in McCulloch County. They were treated and released.

Heart - Black

Baby rescued from toilet sewer pipe in China

Chinese firefighters have rescued a newborn boy from a sewer pipe below a squat toilet, sawing out an L-shaped section and then delicately dismantling it to free the cocooned baby, who greeted the rescuers with cries.

A tenant heard the baby's sounds in the public restroom of a residential building in Zhejiang province in eastern China on Saturday and notified authorities, according to the state-run news site Zhejiang News. A video of the two-hour rescue that followed was broadcast widely on Chinese news programs and websites late Monday and Tuesday.


Flashback Howard Zinn on Memorial Day

Another Memorial Day. Another war. Yes, let's honor those who died in the nation's many wars. But if we do not want to keep adding to the soldiers' graves, let's also ask why they died.

We know our political leaders will speak solemnly to the nation while the flags are unfurled and the bugles blow, and they will say, as they always do, "They gave their lives for their country."

And that is supposed to satisfy the families of the dead, supposed to satisfy all of us whose children and grandchildren may be called upon to serve in future wars.


Glitch in widely used polygraph can skew results

© John J. Kim/MCTDonny McGee was arrested for murder in 2001 after a Chicago police officer and a detective fabricated a polygraph result and false confession and spent three years in prison before being acquitted in a jury trial in 2004. McGee plays with his children in Bourbonnais, Illinois.
Washington - Police departments and federal agencies across the country are using a type of polygraph despite evidence of a technical problem that could label truthful people as liars or the guilty as innocent, McClatchy has found.

As a result, innocent people might have been labeled criminal suspects, faced greater scrutiny while on probation or lost out on jobs. Or, just as alarming, spies and criminals may have escaped detection.

The technical glitch produced errors in the computerized measurements of sweat in one of the most popular polygraphs, the LX4000. Although polygraphers first noticed the problem a decade ago, many government agencies hadn't known about the risk of inaccurate measurements until McClatchy recently raised questions about it.

The manufacturer, Lafayette Instrument Co. Inc., described the phenomenon as "occasional" and "minor," but it couldn't say exactly how often it occurs. Even after one federal agency became concerned and stopped using the measurement and a veteran polygrapher at another witnessed it repeatedly change test results, the extent and the source of the problem weren't independently studied nor openly debated. In the meantime, tens of thousands of Americans were polygraphed on the LX4000.

The controversy casts new doubt on the reliability and usefulness of polygraphs, which are popularly known as lie detectors and whose tests are banned for use as evidence by most U.S. courts. Scientists have long questioned whether polygraphers can accurately identify liars by interpreting measurements of blood pressure, sweat activity and respiration. But polygraphers themselves say they rely on the measurements to be accurate for their daily, high-stakes decisions about people's lives.


Mistakes of teens will stay with them forever by way of the internet

© BFvsGF/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET) When you search "teens do stupid things" on YouTube, you get a treasure trove.
Speaking at a festival in the U.K., Google's executive chairman offers that the things teens do now will stay with them forever, by way of the Web. He also suggested some people are sharing too much online.

It must be peculiar for children of the Internet age.

They are the first to have a complete record of their whole lives. They are the first who'll be able to offer concrete proof of every one of their days, friends, and actions.

Eric Schmidt worries, however, that they'll be the first who'll never be allowed to forget their mistakes.

As the Telegraph reports, Schmidt spoke Saturday at the Hay Festival in the U.K. and offered some sobering thoughts for those addled by online life.

He said: "There are situations in life that it's better that they don't exist. Especially if there is stuff you did when you were a teenager. Teenagers are now in an adult world online."

Some days, you could hardly describe most of what happens online as "adult." Still, Schmidt says he believes the online world has gone too far in forcing teens to never forget.

In bygone times, he said, they were punished, but allowed to grow beyond youthful indiscretions.