Society's ChildS

Family

In Russia, teen complains of adoptive US parents

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© Nikolay Alexandrov/AP PhotoIn this photo taken on March 20, 2013, Alexander Abnosov shows his American passport to journalists in the Volga river city of Cheboksary, Russia with his 72 -years old grandmother is in the background.
A teenager adopted by an American couple has returned to Russia after five years claiming that his adoptive family treated him badly and that he lived on the streets of Philadelphia and stole just to survive, according to Russian state media reports.

The allegations by Alexander Abnosov, now 18, will likely fuel outrage here over the fate of Russian children adopted by Americans. It's an anger that the Kremlin has carefully stoked to justify its controversial ban on U.S. adoptions.

Russia's Channel 1 and Rossiya television - which are both state controlled - reported Tuesday that Abnosov returned from a Philadelphia suburb to the Volga river city of Cheboksary, where his 72-year-old grandmother lives.

Russian media identified the teen as Alexander Abnosov, but also show him displaying a U.S. passport that gives his name as Joshua Alexander Salotti.

Abnosov, who spoke in a soft voice and appeared somewhat restrained, complained to Rossiya that his adoptive mother was "nagging at small things."

"She would make any small problem big," he said on Channel 1. He also told Channel 1 that he fled home because of the conflicts with his adoptive mother, staying on the streets for about three months and stealing.

Briefcase

Amanda Knox 'shocked' by court ruling that she will be tried again for murder

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Amanda Knox
was "shocked" by Italy's Supreme Court ruling today that she must be retried for the 2007 murder of her roommate Meredith Kercher.

Knox spent four years in prison before an Italian appeals court threw out her murder conviction in 2011 and she had been hoping the court would uphold the appeals court ruling and end her six year ordeal.

Instead she was told that the marathon legal battle would continue for her and for her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, who had been convicted along with her.

The court also refused to vacate her conviction for slander over her identifying her employer, Patrick Lumumba, as the person who killed Kercher. It was a statement, she claims, she made under police duress.

"She is shocked and very sad," Knox's lawyer Carlo Dalla Vedova said. "She thought this was the end of a nightmare."

In a statement Knox said the court's decision was "painful" and "completely unfounded and unfair."

Phoenix

Man set himself on fire at Costa Mesa, California nail salon

A man walked into a Costa Mesa nail salon about noon Sunday, doused himself in flammable liquid and set himself on fire, police said.

A woman from whom the man had been estranged, either his wife or his girlfriend, was inside the salon at the time, according to a Costa Mesa police spokesman.

Someone grabbed a fire extinguisher and doused the flames and the man was rushed to a nearby hospital, police said.

Cardboard Box

Poverty hits America's suburbs

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© David Friedman | NBC NewsTara Simons, left, and her daughter Alexis talk in their kitchen in West Hartford, Conn.
Like many Americans who move to the suburbs, Tara Simons came to West Hartford, Conn., because she wanted her daughter to grow up in a nice, safe place with good schools.

Her fall from a more financially secure suburban life to one among the working poor also happened for the same reason it's happened to so many others. She had a bout of unemployment and couldn't find a new job that paid very well.

As a single mother, that's made it hard to hold on to the suburban life that is, in her mind, key to making sure her daughter gets off to the right start.

"I'm basically paying to say I live in West Hartford," she said. "It is worth it."

It's a struggle that many Americans bruised by the weak economy can relate to.

The number of suburban residents living in poverty rose by nearly 64 percent between 2000 and 2011, to about 16.4 million people, according to a Brookings Institution analysis of 95 of the nation's largest metropolitan areas. That's more than double the rate of growth for urban poverty in those areas.

"I think we have an outdated perception of where poverty is and who it is affecting," said Elizabeth Kneebone, a fellow at the Brookings Institution and co-author of the research. "We tend to think of it as a very urban and a very rural phenomenon, but it is increasingly suburban."

Comment: The mainstream media rarely reports the truth about America's ongoing economic descent but the statistics tell a different story:
Extreme Poverty Is Now At Record Levels - 19 Statistics About The Poor That Will Absolutely Astound You
America's Descent into Poverty
Half of America In Poverty? The Facts Say It's True


Coffee

Starbucks CEO rebukes anti-gay corporate pressure group

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Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has attracted a large measure of notice from the blogosphere following a shareholder meeting this past Wednesday, where he inadvertently waded into political waters by rebuking an opponent of same sex marriage.

The incident occurred when Starbucks shareholder Tom Strobhar of the Corporate Morality Action Center, an anti-gay corporate pressure group, raised the issue of Starbucks having been recently boycotted by the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). This, Strobhar suggested, had lost the company money and suggested they might want to backtrack on the issue.

"In the first full quarter after this boycott was announced, our sales and our earnings, shall we say politely, were a bit disappointing," Strobhar said.

Schultz could have responded to this indictment with platitudes, or simply addressed it in the least offensive way possible. This, however, he did not do. Rather, he launched into a full-throated defense of the company's pro-gay stance.

Monkey Wrench

Confirmed: 'Rat-like animal' caused massive Fukushima power outage

rat like animal
© AFP Photo / TepcoThis handout picture taken by Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO) on March 20, 2013 shows the body of a dead rat which may have caused the short-circuit of a switchboard at TEPCO's Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in the town of Okuma in Fukushima prefecture

A "rat-like animal" was the cause of a power supply problem that disabled cooling systems at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant last week. The rodent touched a switchboard and triggered a short circuit, Tepco Electric Power Company (TEPCO) said.

The 25-centimeter-long animal was found dead in the switchboard, a TEPCO official told Kyodo News.

Arrow Down

Shocking photos show seven murdered men lined out on lawn chairs in Mexico

Shocking photos from Mexico show seven murdered men lined out in chairs near a roundabout in the city of Uruapan.
Mexican Murders_1
© Irish IndpendentThe bodies of seven men arranged in chairs are pictured in Uruapan, in the Mexican state of Michoacan.
Some of the men have warning messages nailed into their flesh with stakes.

Heart - Black

Jerry Sandusky interview: 'Maybe I tested boundaries' (ya think?)

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Jerry Sandusky said in interview excerpts broadcast Monday that a key witness against him misinterpreted him showering with a young boy in Penn State football team facilities more than a decade ago.

Sandusky told documentary filmmaker John Ziegler, in recordings played on NBC's "Today" show, that he does not understand how Mike McQueary concluded "that sex was going on" when he witnessed Sandusky showering with a boy in 2001.

"That would have been the last thing I would have thought about," Sandusky said during what Ziegler described as 3ยฝ hours of interviews. "I would have thought maybe fooling around or something like that."

McQueary, a graduate assistant in 2001, testified at trial that he heard "skin-on-skin smacking sound" and had no doubt he was witnessing anal sex.

Stormtrooper

Nebraska police chase down man video recording their abuse while second man video records it all


Arrow Down

Fewer people have toilets than cellphones, according to the UN

Sanitation
© Clive Chilvers/Shutterstock
More people worldwide own a cellphone than have access to toilets or latrines, United Nations (UN) Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson revealed as part of what the global governing body has deemed "a call for urgent action to end the crisis of 2.5 billion people without basic sanitation."

According to statistics released by the UN on Thursday, six billion of the world's seven billion people have mobile phones, but only 4.5 billion can get to clean restroom facilities when they need them. The remaining 2.5 billion, most of whom live in rural areas, do not have proper sanitation.

Furthermore, Mashable's Zoe Fox reports more than one billion people are forced to defecate out in the open. That practice is prevalent in countries with the highest rate of fatalities amongst children under the age of five, as well as elevated malnutrition and poverty rates and other significant health issues, Fox added.

"While that might seem like an apples to oranges comparison, the contrast is interesting and somewhat alarming," explained Gizmodo's Leslie Horn, adding "in Indonesia, for example, it's pretty normal to see someone in a metal roofed shack without a bathroom checking Facebook on a phone. And though many countries' governments aren't responding to basic needs in terms of infrastructure, tech companies will damn well get phones in people's hands."