Society's ChildS

Heart - Black

Moroccan girl commits suicide after being forced to marry her rapist

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A 16-year-old Moroccan girl has committed suicide after a judge ordered her to marry her rapist, according to Moroccan media reports.

Last year Amina's parents filed charges against their daughter's rapist, a man 10 years older than her but it was only recently that a judge in the northern city of Tangier decided that instead of punishing him, the two must be married.

The court's decision to forcibly marry Amina to her rapist was supposed to "resolve" the damage of sexual violation against her, but it led to more suffering in the unwelcoming home of her rapist/husband's family.

Traumatized by the painful experience of rape, Amina decided to end her life by consuming rat poison in the house of her husband's family, according to the Moroccan daily al-Massae.


Major Airport Ousts TSA Screeners Opting for Private Ones

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US , Florida - The Orlando Sanford International airport, one of the busiest in the nation, has announced that it will be opting out of using the Transportation Security Administration workers to screen passengers. The announcement is significant as it could lead the charge for other airports in the nation to reduce the more unpleasant aspects of the unpopular federal agency.

"The president of the airport said Tuesday that he would apply again to use private operators to screen passengers, using federal standards and oversight," reports the Miami Herald.

It was Sanford International airport that originally wanted to opt out of the TSA in 2010 when the TSA prevented airports from being able to use their own private screeners.

However, the United States Senate passed a law last month that forces the TSA to reconsider applications. "Security companies would have an easier time winning contracts to operate airport checkpoints," reports Businessweek.

The TSA has been slow to respond to the call for new guidelines prompted by the new law. Republican Representatives John Mica (R.-Fla., pictured above), Darrell Issa (R.-Calif.), and Jason Chaffetz (R.-Utah) have called on TSA head John Pistole to quickly implement the new mandate.

"It was the intent of Congress that the Screening Partnership Program be a viable option for airports wishing to opt-out of the all-federal screening model," wrote Mica in a letter to Pistole. "Airport operators have expressed tremendous interest in the SPP and that expansion beyond the small fraction of the U.S. airports that currently participate in the SPP will allow the TSA to focus on security and oversight activities. It is important that TSA take steps to immediately reopen the SPP, reissue guidelaines in compliance with the law, and begin the process of converting the screening program from its current model of the SPP operations under federal supervision as directed by H.R. 658."

Alarm Clock

Republican Congressman Wants to 'Sell Off Some of US National Parks'

Mount St. Nicholas in Glacier National Park
© National Park ServiceMount St. Nicholas in Glacier National Park. Rep. Cliff Stearns recently expressed the view that the United States should sell some of its national parks.

A video showing Rep. Cliff Stearns (R, Florida) announcing his desire to "sell off some of our national parks" was recently filmed and released on the Internet by the Florida Political Action Cooperative.

In a speech given at a town hall meeting in Belleview Florida, Stearns explained his position.
I got attacked in a previous town meeting for not supporting another national park in this country, a 200-mile trailway. And I told the man that we don't need more national parks in this country, we need to actually sell off some of our national parks, and try and do what a normal family would do is - they wouldn't ask Uncle Joe for a loan, they would sell their Cadillac, or they would take their kids out of private schools and put them into public schools to save to money instead of asking for their credit card to increase their debt ceiling.

Arrow Down

Veteran's Gulf War Syndrome Struggle

Shaun Cole, 47, from Stowmarket, is a veteran of the 1990/91 Gulf War. He is suffering from various health problems as a result of his time there. He feels he has been forgotten by the government and that illness among Gulf War veterans is largely disbelieved.
UK - A Gulf War veteran twice turned down by the MoD for a war veterans pension has spoken out about his experience of living with Gulf War Syndrome.

Shaun Cole, 47, of Stowmarket, braved the Middle East warzone while a corporal in the Grenadier Guards in the 1990/91 conflict.

He left the Army in 1993 and started working as a self-employed builder.

But 10 years ago, Shaun was rushed to hospital after he suddenly developed a full body rash and became paralysed for four days.

Since then he has relied on crutches and a wheelchair and, due to depression, lost his business, his three-bedroom home and his family.

But Shaun says the Ministry of Defence has twice turned down his requests for a war pension as it does not officially recognise Gulf War Syndrome as a condition.

Shaun said: "I have been ill for about 10 years now.


Double Standards on 'Terrorism': Don't Terrorists Ever 'Go Berserk'?

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Mental State Appears to be Only Relevant to Great White Men of the West

I was sipping my first morning coffee while staring at the headlines on the latest massacre committed by our military in Afghanistan. The phrase of the day to describe this latest massacre which resulted in more than a dozen innocent people - sleeping children and women - being viciously murdered and set on fire is 'Man Gone Berserk.' That's right.

Unfortunately Oprah is not around any longer, otherwise she'd have a session on this: bring in the Berserk Man's parents and grandparents to talk about his less than perfect childhood; showcase dozens of PhD psychologists to talk about his 'tough' experiences in Iraq; introduce his buddies from the 'fields' to talk about his 'rough' encounters ... But no worries. The Pentagon, their tentacles in the networks, their pet puppets and madams like Huffington are doing their best to compensate for Oprah's absence. The crafty stories are coming out: PTSD, depression, isolation, brain damage, head injuries, concussions, not enough candy or lollipops in childhood, too early start in potty training, chronic constipation, severe allergies, recent hernia operation ... or for the common men and women of America, 'A Man Gone Berserk,' and that, justifiably so:
The U.S. soldier who allegedly attacked and killed 16 Afghan civilians Sunday may have experienced a relatively rare state of mental derangement characterized by a blind killing rage, a disregard of pain and danger, and a total disconnection from his fellow troops, military mental health specialists said.

It's not clear what might have ignited his rage, said Dr. Jonathan Shay, a clinical psychiatrist who for decades has treated combat veterans with mental trauma. But he said what is known of the incident fits a pattern in which someone literally goes berserk.

"It's a painful and destructive thing and usually fatal for the soldier. And it's fairly rare - in 20 years I had only two patients who unmistakably had episodes of berserkness," Shay said. The term "berserk" is an Old Norse word describing the frenzied trance in which some warriors fought.


Body parts found in University of Cologne's cellars

Hundreds of human body parts have been found in the cellars of the institute of anatomy, apparently abandoned for years
© Stefano Paterna/AlamyHundreds of body parts have been found in the cellars of the University of Cologne's anatomy department.

The University of Cologne is investigating after hundreds of human body parts were found in the cellars of its institute of anatomy, apparently abandoned there for years.

The scandal has shaken the German academic world, especially as last month the former head of the anatomy department was found dead, apparently having taken his life when rumours began to circulate.

According to a first report made available to Spiegel Online, university staff discovered a room full of human adult corpses and animal cadavers, as well as a large number of plastic buckets, labelled "noses", "newborns" and "shark head". Evidence gathered by hygiene experts and fire safety officers accompanying the staff indicated that the room might have been left unused for a decade or more.

About 100 corpses of people who had donated their bodies to medical research, but who should by then have long been buried, were among the macabre discoveries. The institute has been trying to identify them using a highly muddled donor archive.


Cameras at U.K. Gas Stations Will Block Uninsured Drivers from Refueling

© The Associated Press/Wong Maye-E
A new plan from the British government will use closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras at gas stations that will automatically prevent uninsured drivers from filling up their gas tanks - that is, until their vehicle information has been logged in the system.

The Mirror reports that the plan is meant to address the 1.4 million uninsured motorists in Britain and act as a deterrent. That may not sound like a huge number compared with the estimated 13.8 percent of uninsured American motorists, but the 1.4 million figure represents four percent of all U.K. drivers.

The British government decided to make use of the CCTV cameras after hearing a presentation from accounting firm Ernst & Young, which will help implement the new system. And while the proposal comes from the private sector but will be used by the government, it's hard to not immediately think of British author George Orwell's seminal novel 1984.

"The key to this is simplicity. Connecting the existing technology ... is relatively inexpensive and wouldn't be a big information technology program" Ernst & Young partner Graeme Swan told the Telegraph. "There shouldn't be concerns about 'big brother' because there is no new database, no vehicles are tracked and no record is kept. It's simply a new rule of no insurance equals no fuel."

Alarm Clock

Goldman Banker Quits In Disgust, Blasts Firm For "Ripping Off" Clients

US - Another PR disaster is unfolding for Goldman Sachs (GS), the Wall Street investment bank that has already borne the brunt of popular wrath in the aftermath of the financial crisis.

A senior executive at the firm, Greg Smith, quit today in spectacular fashion, announcing his resignation in a scathing New York Times editorial in which he accused the firm of gleefully "ripping off" its clients and succumbing to short-term greed.

Within today's Goldman Sachs, Smith says, senior bankers often refer to the firm's clients as "muppets."

The firm has lost the culture of integrity, teamwork, and humility that once made it great, Smith says, and instead has become a place that is "as toxic and destructive as I have ever seen it."

Heart - Black

Bus Crash in Swiss Tunnel Kills 28 People

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Geneva - A bus carrying Belgian students returning from a ski holiday crashed into a wall in a Swiss tunnel, killing 22 Belgian 12-year-olds and six adults, police said Wednesday.

Another 24 students were hospitalized with injuries, Valais cantonal (state) police spokesman Jean-Marie Bornet told The Associated Press.

The bus carrying 52 people, including 12-year-old students from two different Belgian schools, crashed around 9 p.m. local time Tuesday inside a tunnel on the A9 highway near Sierre, Switzerland, in the southern Swiss canton (state) of Valais, an area of popular ski resorts in the Swiss Alps.

Authorities were still identifying all the victims, said Didier Reynders, the Belgian foreign minister.

"It is incomprehensible. There were three buses and only one was in (an) accident without any contact with another vehicle," Reynders said.

Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo said this is "an extremely sad day for all of Belgium."


Flashback British Police Investigate Website of Cannibalistic Cult

A further insight into the extent of child abuse and exploitation published on the internet was revealed yesterday when British detectives said they were trying to close a website showing pictures of a man eating a dismembered baby.

Scotland Yard is liaising with the FBI in the US to close the website, based in California, which has been linked with the ritual abuse of children. Last night the website was still accessible.

The discovery of the site comes just a week after seven British men were jailed for their involvement in the Wonderland paedophile ring.

While this site was not specifically uncovered by Operation Cathedral which investigated the ring, British detectives are currently at the forefront of efforts to close it down. A second website showing similar scenes of sadistic and ritualistic abuse has been successfully