Society's ChildS

Bizarro Earth

Focusing on Casey Anthony Rather than the Child Murder Epidemic

© Red Huber/Orlando SentinelCasey Anthony arrives at Friday's hearing.
Babies and children are killed by their parents and caregivers every day. So what's the big deal about Casey Anthony's case?

Forbes Magazine's women's writer, Kiri Blakeley, points to the number of African American babies and children murdered this winter and spring as ample reason why the Casey Anthony murder trials deserves little attention.

In Blakeley's mind, all children murdered by their caregivers and parents deserve national media attention. Children like Caylee Anthony and Jon Benet Ramsey get far too much attention, Blakely argues.

And while most people are long past their grief for the murdered daughter in the Caylee Anthony murder trial, Casey Anthony's denial and her inability or refusal to admit guilt (or relay any information at all) about her daughter's death, brings people from all over the nation into the Florida courtroom to witness this trial.

When the nation is shocked or fascinated with a person and an incident, they are also shocked by the complete disconnect and lack of empathy that the accused displays while proclaiming innocence.

Scott Peterson, to date, is the strongest example of presumed and declared innocence in such murder trials. For as long as he could, Peterson ran a baton race with the basic and fundamental right of any US citizen---he was innocent until proven guilty.


US: To Catch a Predator host who traps sex perverts in TV stings 'caught cheating on his wife'... by hidden cameras

He's made his name with a controversial show that catches would-be internet sex perverts in televised stings.

But now Chris Hansen has found himself on the receiving end of his own hidden camera tactics, after the married NBC anchor was secretly filmed on an illicit date with a blonde television reporter 20 years his junior.

Hansen, 51, has allegedly been having an affair with Kristyn Caddell, a 30-year-old Florida journalist, for the last four months.

Affair: Married NBC anchor Chris Hansen is allegedly having an affair with Florida television reporter Kristyn Caddell, who is more than 20 years his junior
Last weekend he was recorded taking Miss Caddell on a romantic dinner at the exclusive Ritz-Carlton hotel in Manalapan, before spending the night at her Palm Beach apartment.

Hansen, who has two young sons, was caught in an undercover sting operation arranged by the National Enquirer.


UK: Snake Sanctuary Owner Luke Yeomans Dies from Cobra Bite

The owner of a Nottinghamshire snake sanctuary has died after apparently being bitten by one of his own animals.

Luke Yeomans, 47, was due to open the King Cobra Sanctuary, in Eastwood, to the public this weekend.

Police confirmed they were called to a property in Brookhill Leys Road, near Eastwood, where Mr Yeomans had suffered a suspected heart attack.

Officers confirmed the snake had been contained and there was no danger to the public.


Google+ Challenges Facebook in Social Network Battle

© GoogleGoogle+ has been released for use by a small, selected number of users
Online search giant Google has launched a new social networking website in its latest attempt to take on Facebook, which now claims more than 500m users.

Google+ allows individuals to share photos, messages and comments but also integrates the company's maps and images into the service.

It also aims to help users easily organise contacts within groups.

But some analysts say Google has simply reproduced features of Facebook while adding a video chat function.

Google, which handles roughly two out of every three internet searches in the US, has taken several stabs at Facebook in recent years.

But its previous efforts ended in failure, with both Google Wave and Google Buzz proving unpopular with users.

Alarm Clock

Thom Hartmann: Second Japan Nuke... More Dangerous Than Fukushima?

Kevin Kamps, Nuclear Waste Watchdog at Beyond Nuclear joins Thom Hartmann. If Japan didn't have its hands full with one melted down nuclear plant at Fukushima - it certainly does now with another nuclear power plant on the verge of melting down. About 300 miles southwest of Fukushima sits the Monju nuclear reactor - a prototype fast-breeder reactor filled to the brim with plutonium - the deadliest element on the face of the planet. And last year - a 3 ton device of some sort fell into the Monju reactor blocking access to the nuclear fuel rods in the reactor core - and despite several attempts - has yet to be recovered. Another attempt will be made next week to clear the 3 ton object from the reactor - but critics caution that the procedure is extremely dangerous and could trigger an explosion in the nuclear fuel rods. One ominous sign of just how dangerous the situation is - a top manager at the plant just recently committed suicide. Think of the damaged Monju plant as a nuclear bomb just waiting to go off that could take out the city of Kyoto which is just 60 miles from the plant - and has a population of 1.5 million people. And Japan's largest city Tokyo is downwind from the crippled Monju plant. So what does this all mean? And what's the latest with the two nuclear plants that are in danger right here in the United States - in Nebraska?

Heart - Black

North Carolina, US: Frontier Worker Charged with Animal Abuse

© The Sylva HeraldPepper, an 8-year-old miniature schnauzer owned by Gina and John Rarick of Dillsboro, is still recovering from injuries she sustained after being hit by Frontier Communications employee Joshua Gray, according to Gina Rarick. Gray has been charged with misdemeanor cruelty to animals, and his court date is July 12. Rarick said earlier this week that Pepper had improved slightly, but the dog can’t hold her head up and is unable to walk straight.
Joshua Gray of Sylva, a Frontier Communications employee, has been charged with misdemeanor cruelty to animals after a June 17 incident, according to the Jackson County Sheriff's Office.

Pepper, an 8-year-old miniature schnauzer owned by Gina and John Rarick of Dillsboro, sustained severe brain injuries after Gray hit her with a large test phone, according to Gina Rarick.

Pepper is currently in the care of Sylva Animal Hospital during the day, but Gina Rarick takes her home at night. Pepper's condition is unstable, but she can walk, and by early this week, Pepper was doing better, Gina Rarick said.

"She can walk but she walks in circles. That's the brain damage," she said. "She'll probably always walk in circles."

Heart - Black

US: Texas man dumps 4-year-old son by highway

© AP Photo/Saginaw Police Dept.This booking photo provided by the Saginaw Police Department shows 22-year-old Carlos Rico. Police say Rico abandoned his 4-year-old son along a West Texas highway, and the injured boy spent several hours alone in the dark before a passing motorist picked him up.

Sweetwater - A father abandoned his 4-year-old son along a West Texas highway, and the injured boy spent several hours alone in the dark before a passing motorist picked him up, police said.

Carlos Rico, 22, stopped his car along a cactus-lined stretch of Interstate 20 near Sweetwater at about 3 a.m. Tuesday and "threw the boy out of the car like a bag of garbage," Sweetwater police Chief Jim Kelley told the Abilene Reporter-News on Tuesday.

The boy was picked up about three hours later by the local high school basketball coach and taken to a hospital, where doctors removed at least 500 cactus spines from the child's body, Kelley said. The boy was in the state's custody on Wednesday.


Saudi Arabian woman challenges male guardianship laws

© Getty ImagesGuardianship rules severely restrict the freedom of women in Saudi Arabia
When she was a little girl, Samia* would practice medical procedures on watermelons.

Back then, her dream was to become a successful surgeon and to marry a good man.

"I started to dream of the [wedding] gown when I was 10 or 11 years old. I dreamed of forming a small family - having a kid like my mum and to be a surgeon at the same time".

More than 30 years on, Samia is a fully-qualified doctor.

But in a country where the guardianship system means a woman's life is not her own, her dreams of a happy marriage - with a man of her own choosing - have been taken away from her.


In Burma, a woman's inner freedom, unbroken by fear

Aung San Suu Ky
© Unknown
Burma's Aung San Suu Kyi reveals in a BBC lecture the source of her spiritual strength in surviving as an isolated dissident and as a champion of democracy.

Many a visitor to Burma (Myanmar) who sees the headquarters of Aung San Suu Kyi's political party calls it a "cowshed." The ramshackle structure is hardly a symbol of her great ability to keep alive the people's hopes for democracy in a country run by despots.

So where does Ms. Suu Kyi's strength lie in leading a dissident movement despite being isolated for 15 years, either in prison or under house arrest?

The answer can be found in a talk recorded in secret for the BBC's Reith Lectures, just months after her release. The tapes were smuggled out of Burma for broadcast this week and next (click here).

Suu Kyi's insights about her inner strength build on the works and writings of previous freedom fighters, such as Vaclav Havel. But they are unique to her experience as the daughter of modern Burma's founder, someone raised in a Christian school but who lives in a Buddhist country that has been in simmering revolution since 1988.

These lectures could not be better timed to inspire the faltering Arab Spring - as well as the Burmese.

She says a basic human right is freedom from fear, something that Arabs learned quickly after Tunisia's revolution in January. For her, living under a repressive regime, "fear is the first adversary we have to get past when we set out to battle for freedom, and often it is the one that remains until the very end."

Bizarro Earth

Nuclear experts killed in Russia plane crash helped design Iran facility

© Associated PressThe wreckage of Tu-134 plane, belonging to the RusAir airline, is seen on a highway near the city of Petrozavodsk Tuesday, June 21, 2011.
The five Russian scientists were among 44 killed earlier this week; no official investigation of foul play has been opened, though Iranian nuclear experts have in the past been involved in similar accidents.

The five nuclear experts killed in a plane crash in northern Russia earlier this week had assisted in the design of an Iranian atomic facility, security sources in Russia said on Thursday.

The five Russian experts were among the 44 passengers killed when the Tupolev-134 plane broke up and caught fire on landing outside the northern city of Petrozavodsk on Monday.