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Tue, 11 May 2021
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Pistol

Rape victim Sara Reedy, accused of lying and jailed by U.S. police, wins $1.5 million payout

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Pittsburgh woman raped at gunpoint and charged with fabricating her story has won a settlement after a marathon legal battle, changing federal law along the way, reports Joanna Walters


Sara Reedy remembers clearly the start of her ordeal, and how surprisingly painful it was to have a gun jammed to her temple. Then her attacker demanded oral sex, saying he would shoot her if she refused. She was shaking, gagging.

"I had images of my family finding me dead," she told the Observer. "I closed my eyes and just tried to get it over with."

Reedy was 19 when the man entered the petrol station near Pittsburgh where she was working to pay her way through college and pulled a gun. He emptied the till of its $606.73 takings, assaulted her and fled into the night. But the detective who interviewed Reedy in hospital didn't believe her, and accused her of stealing the money herself and inventing the story as a cover-up. Although another local woman was attacked not long after in similar fashion, the police didn't join the dots.

Yoda

Heroic teacher recounts hellish school shooting

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The 15 first graders cowered in a dark, barricaded bathroom as gunfire boomed outside, shot after shot after shot killing their classmates and teachers.

Terrified as they were, their teacher played loving mother hen, even as she feared they - ages 6 and 7 - and she were next and would die any minute.

Sandy Hook Elementary School teacher Kaitlin Roig cried, sniffled and fidgeted as she recounted her harrowing and heartbreaking chapter of the Connecticut school shooting to ABC News.

When gunfire rang out, she gathered her kids together - their classroom had a big, exposed and thus dangerous window - and rushed them into the small bathroom.

Footprints

Circumcision horror: Four-week-old baby dies after 'botched £100 home operation using scissors'

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© Steve Allen
Grace Adeleye was found guilty of manslaughter
Newborn Goodluck Caubergs died the day after Grace Adeleye carried out the procedure without anaesthetic and using only a pair of scissors, forceps and olive oil.

A nurse has been found guilty of the manslaughter of a four-week-old baby who bled to death after a botched home circumcision near Oldham.

Goodluck Caubergs died the day after Grace Adeleye carried out the procedure without anaesthetic and using only a pair of scissors, forceps and olive oil, a trial at Manchester Crown Court heard.

The 67-year-old is originally from Nigeria, as are the youngster's parents, where the circumcision of newborns is a tradition for Christian families, the jury heard.

Adeleye, who is also a midwife, was paid £100 for the operation as Goodluck's parents were not aware the procedure was available on the NHS.

The Royal Oldham Hospital was just a mile and a half from the family home in Chadderton, near Oldham, but by the time an ambulance was called the infant could not be saved, the court heard.

On Friday a jury of eight women and four men found Adeleye guilty of manslaughter by gross negligence by a majority verdict of 10 to 2 after deliberating for eight hours and 20 minutes.

Sentencing was adjourned to a date to be fixed for the preparation of pre-sentence reports.

Adeleye, of Sarnia Court, Salford, Greater Manchester, was granted bail with conditions.

The trial heard that the nurse botched the procedure by leaving a "ragged" wound which bled, and her post-operative care was also woefully inadequate.

Adrian Darbishire QC, opening the case for the prosecution, told the jury: "The allegation essentially here is that the care she provided in the course of that procedure was so bad that not only did it cause the death of that young baby wholly unnecessarily, but it amounted to gross negligence and a crime."

Comment: Circumcision - conditioning the adult by torturing the child


Gear

China cracks down on "slay red dragon" doomsday cult

Red Dragon
© Lucid Raven Productions
China has launched a crackdown on a cult it says is calling for a "decisive battle" to slay the "Red Dragon" Communist Party, and which has been spreading doomsday rumors, state media said on Friday.

In recent weeks, hundreds of members of the "Almighty God" group have clashed with police, sometimes outside government buildings, in central Henan, northern Shaanxi and southwestern Gansu provinces, according to photos on popular microblogs.

(The group) has "incited followers to launch a decisive battle with the 'Big Red Dragon', to make the 'Red Dragon' extinct and to establish the reign of the kingdom of the 'Almighty God'", the provincial Shaanxi Daily said on its website.

It added that the sect's followers have been distributing leaflets saying that the world will end in 2012.

China's Communist Party brooks no challenge to its rule and is obsessed with social stability.

Black Magic

'White witches' who conducted 'horrifying' ritualistic sex abuse on children as young as three

Two pagans were sentenced to more than a decade in prison today after being found guilty of abusing children in bizarre sex rituals as part of a witches' coven.

Peter Petrauske and Jack Kemp were said to have worn ceremonial robes and pagan paraphernalia while they abused young girls in Cornwall during the 1970s.

Police believe one of their victims may have been as young as three when the abuse started.

The judge described the victims' experiences as 'nothing less than harrowing' as he condemned their 'utterly horrifying' crimes, sentencing Petrauske to 18 years in prison and Kemp to 14.
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Convicted: Peter Petrauske, above, and Jack Kemp, below, have been found guilty of sexually abusing young girls


Heart - Black

Female inmate claims guard sexually assaulted her minutes after she gave birth

contracted security guard is accused of raping a woman in his care
© KDVR/FOX
A contracted security guard is accused of raping a woman in his care just minutes after she gave birth.
Lone Tree, Colorado - A female inmate claims a security guard sexually assaulted her minutes after giving birth at Sky Ridge Medical Center in Lone Tree.

The 34-year-old Arapahoe County jail inmate claims this happened in September. Her accused attacker is also now in jail.

Under the supervision of the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office, contracted security guard Michael Arnold was hired to watch her.

But according to court documents obtained by FOX31 Denver, just 15 minutes after the inmate gave birth, the woman claimed Arnold raped her while her newborn infant was in the bed with her.

The sheriff's office would not comment on the story except to say they are aware of the criminal investigation.

Officials say they do contract private security in these situations to save money.

Stock Up

Myth that Reagan raised $1 in taxes for every $3 in spending cuts

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© Ronald Reagan Library, Michael Evans
"In 1982, Ronald Reagan sat down with the Democrats and they had a deal - a $3 cut in spending for every dollar they raised in taxes. Guess what? They raised the taxes, and they never cut the spending."

- oft-repeated story told in Washington during "fiscal cliff" negotiations

It had become an article of faith by conservatives that President Reagan reluctantly agreed to raise taxes in his first term in office - and that Congress then failed to follow though on promised spending cuts. The frequent recitation of this story during the current fiscal debate made us wonder: What actually happened three decades ago?

It's not hard to find the source of this story - Reagan's own memoir, An American Life. Here's what he wrote: "I made a deal with the congressional Democrats in 1982, agreeing to support a limited loophole-closing tax increase to raise more than $98.3 billion over three years in return for their agreement to cut spending by $280 billion during the same period; later the Democrats reneged on their pledge and we never got those cuts."

When Reagan made a nationally-televised speech in support of the tax hike - trying to refute charges that it was the biggest tax increase in U.S. history - he also cited a 3-to-1 agreement:
"Revenues would increase over a three-year period by about $99 billion, and outlays in that same period would be reduced by $280 billion. Now, as you can see, that figures out to about a 3-to-1 ratio - $3 less in spending outlays for each $1 of increased revenue. This compromise adds up to a total over three years of a $380 billion reduction in the budget deficits."
The Washington Post did not have a Fact Checker column back then, and this speech certainly would have been ripe for fact checking. (We would have been suspicious of his use of the word "outlays.") Let's go back in time to show what really happened, using documents, news reports and memoirs of the period.

Comment:
10 Things Conservatives Don't Want You To Know About Ronald Reagan
US: 8 reasons why Ronald Reagan was the worst President of our lifetime


Chart Pie

Charitable deductions: Battle rages between White House and non-profit groups

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© economonitor.com
The White House and the nation's most prominent charities are embroiled in a tense behind-the-scenes debate over President Obama's push to scale back the nearly century-old tax deduction on donations that the charities say is crucial for their financial health.

In a series of recent meetings and calls, top White House aides have pressed nonprofit groups to line up behind the president's plan for reducing the federal deficit and averting the year-end "fiscal cliff," according to people familiar with the talks.

In part, the White House is seeking to win the support of nonprofit groups for Obama's central demand that income tax rates rise for upper-end taxpayers. There are early signs that several charities, whose boards often include the wealthy, are willing to endorse this change.

But the White House is also looking to limit the charitable deduction for high-income earners, and that has prompted frustration and resistance, with leaders of major nonprofit organizations, such as the United Way, the American Red Cross and Lutheran Services in America, closing ranks in opposing any change to the deduction.

"It's all castor oil," said Diana Aviv, president of Independent Sector, an umbrella group representing many nonprofits. "And the members of the nonprofit sector I represent don't want any part of it. It's a medicine we're not willing to drink."

The dispute is the latest in a long-standing struggle over the popular tax provision, which allows people to deduct charitable donations from their taxable income. The battle is playing out at the highest levels of government and in the corridors of K Street.

Comment: Why not reduce the Pentagon budget?
A New Record is Set for Military Spending: The Shame of Nations
Why is the Most Wasteful US Government Agency Not Part of the Deficit Discussion?


Blackbox

Mandela - dead or alive?

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© en.wikipedia.org
Nelson Mandela
Johannesburg, December 14, 2012 - South Africans seemed satisfied this week that Nelson Mandela's health was taking a turn for the better - until it emerged the government had lied.

Despite a long hospital stay, South Africa was relatively calm after receiving news about the health of Nelson Mandela this week - until it emerged the government had lied (at best, by omission), again. At which point the conspiracy theories broke out, again.

It was a statement remarkable in its sophistry.

"President Mandela is being treated at a Pretoria hospital as said from the first statement we issued," the presidency said on Monday night. "We have refrained from disclosing the hospital in order to ensure privacy and also to allow doctors space to do their work of caring for Madiba without interruptions or undue pressure."

That followed what the presidency called "media speculation"; hours before Eyewitness News reported that Mandela was not, in fact, at 1 Military Hospital, but at another institution - which it declined to name - in the city.

Eyewitness News editor Katy Katopodis said it had confirmed the location with at least four different people, and were confident the report was accurate. Afrikaans daily Beeld also on Thursday uncovered the true location where the former president was being treated.

It remains unclear whether Mandela was transferred to the private hospital during the course of the week, or was there all along, although Beeld cited unconfirmed information that he was admitted under a pseudonym on Saturday.

Heart - Black

Teenager commits suicide in response to Ask.fm online bullying

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Jessica Laney, 16, hung herself after being bullied online by some internet trolls, one of whom said: "Can you kill yourself already?"

Laney (pictured with her boyfriend) was found dead at her home in Hudson, Florida, on Sunday night, reports the Daily Mail.

Laney created a profile on Ask.fm, where people can post questions anonymously. Some website bullies wrote that she was "fat" and a "slut."

Valeria Canales told ABC News: "My friend Jessica Laney took her life. She was constantly bullied and bullied. And she was pushed and pushed to the point where she couldn't handle it anymore."

"Ask.fm is a website where people can ask anonymous questions to anyone they want. And that's how Jessica was constantly put down and bullied... It needs to be shut down. She was a beautiful girl & everyone loved her. She's gonna be missed. We have to put an end to bullying. Please help."

Comment: Mark Terebin is ducking responsibility - how difficult would it be to have the site monitored and have vicious posters banned and their comments deleted?