Society's ChildS


Canada: Slavery Charge Issued Against British Columbia Woman

© CBCAn African woman claims she was held as a virtual slave in this West Vancouver home for one year.
Captive woman fed table scraps, police say

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of a West Vancouver woman accused of keeping a slave.

The Crown laid one charge of human trafficking and a charge of human smuggling against the woman after investigating a report from a 21-year-old female who was allegedly recruited from Africa with a promise of a job in a West Vancouver hair salon, said RCMP Const. Michael McLaughlin.

"When she got here the reality was very different," McLaughlin said Monday. "She was working up to 18 hours a day, seven days a week in a private home. She wasn't paid. Her identity [papers] and passport were kept by the owner of the home and she wasn't getting enough food."

McLaughlin said the woman was fed table scraps, had to wash the cars of people who came to visit the house and wasn't allowed to go to bed until the owners had retired.

The young woman left the home in June 2009 after living there for one year and made her way to a women's shelter, police said.

Bizarro Earth

Nuclear Incest

Did industry-government collusion contribute to Japan's nuclear disaster?
© UnknownFukushima nuclear power plant

As Japan struggles to regain control of its Fukushima Daiichi power plant, there's lots of talk about which technical safeguards the plant lacked and which should be required in future nuclear facilities. But a new report points to another kind of safeguard that failed: public institutions.

Nuclear power plants are designed for what the industry calls defense in depth: the inclusion of backup safeguards in case the primary safeguards fail. No single layer of protection should be trusted entirely.

The same is true of people. No power plant operator should be trusted to maintain the safety of its reactors. We need multiple layers of scrutiny - inspectors, regulators, independent nuclear experts - to double- and triple-check the operator's work.

These layers of scrutiny failed in Japan, according to a story in Wednesday's New York Times. The report, by Norimitsu Onishi and Ken Belson, details a web of collusion among Japanese regulators, politicians, and power companies. It's a sobering illustration of what can happen when institutions that should be checking one another merge into a complacent team.


Full Steam Ahead

© UnknownA U.S. nuclear power plant
Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis., represents Madison in the House. Her district leans to the left, and so does she. But on at least one issue she may be at odds with Madison's stereotypical constituency, which is to say aging bearded liberals who wear "No Nukes" T-shirts from the 1980s and until recently could be seen all over the State Capitol: She supports the building of new nuclear power plants.

"I think that climate change poses such a significant challenge to us that we have to have all the tools on the table, and this is a very significant source of energy that doesn't release greenhouse gases into the environment," said Baldwin. She laughed. "It's a very cautious support, if you will."

In Japan, there is a race against time to stop meltdowns at reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant. In Washington, no one wants to overreact. There is near unanimity on the idea that the United States needs to keep building those plants, as President Obama requested in his budget and as Republicans request every day.

"If we can learn any lessons from Japan's experience, sure," said House Majority Leader Eric Cantor at a press briefing. (He was answering the only question, of about 20, about Japan.) "But I believe nuclear power is part of this country's energy strategy and the president has said so."

Bizarro Earth

The True Costs of Nuclear Power

© UnknownFukushima nuclear power plant
In the aftermath of a disaster, the strengths of any society become immediately visible. The cohesiveness, resilience, technological brilliance, and extraordinary competence of the Japanese are now on full display. One report from Rikuzentakata - a town of 25,000, annihilated by the tsunami - describes volunteer firefighters working to clear rubble and search for survivors; military personnel and police efficiently directing traffic and supplies; survivors not only "calm and pragmatic" but coping "with politeness and sometimes amazingly good cheer."

Thanks to these strengths, Japan will eventually recover. But at least one Japanese nuclear power complex will not. As I write, three reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station appear to have lost their cooling capacity. Engineers are flooding the plant with seawater - effectively destroying it - then letting off radioactive steam. There have been two explosions. By the time you read this article, the situation may be worse.

Yet Japan's nuclear power stations were designed with the same care and precision as everything else in the country. More to the point, Japan is the only country in the world to have experienced true nuclear catastrophe. They had an incentive to build well, in other words, as well as the capability, the laws, and regulations to do so. Which leads to the unavoidable question: If the competent and technologically brilliant Japanese can't build a completely safe reactor, who can?

Black Cat

The Hachiko Coalition Calls for Immediate Evacuation of Animals Inside Japan's Nuclear Exclusion Zone


San Francisco, -- The Hachiko Coalition is calling for the organized and immediate evacuation of all uncontaminated domestic animals, pets and livestock inside the 20km radiation contaminated exclusion zone Fukushima, Japan.

The Hachiko Coalition has also published a rush translation of a report previously available only in Japanese. A special committee issued this report after their landmark conference on handling animals exposed to radiation. The report contains the opinions of wildlife and radiological experts on how to deal with the animals inside the radiation zone.

On April 22, 2011, Japanese policy makers began enforcing a strict "no-entry" policy into the 20km evacuation area around the destroyed TEPCO nuclear reactor.

Heart - Black

Schwarzenegger reveals he had child with staffer

© Matt Sayles/APArnold Schwarzenegger speaks at the Israel 63rd Independence Day Celebration hosted by the Consulate General of Israel in Los Angeles, May 10.
Los Angeles - Former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has acknowledged that he fathered a child with a member of his household staff, a revelation that apparently prompted wife Maria Shriver to leave the couple's home before they announced their separation last week.

Schwarzenegger and Shriver jointly announced May 9 that they were splitting up after 25 years of marriage. Yet, Shriver moved out of the family's Brentwood mansion earlier in the year after Schwarzenegger acknowledged the child is his, The Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

"After leaving the governor's office I told my wife about this event, which occurred over a decade ago," Schwarzenegger told the Times in a statement that also was sent to The Associated Press early Tuesday. "I understand and deserve the feelings of anger and disappointment among my friends and family. There are no excuses and I take full responsibility for the hurt I have caused. I have apologized to Maria, my children and my family. I am truly sorry.

Heart - Black

IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn stuns European media

© ReutersThe "DSK" affair is having a big impact in France and elsewhere in Europe
The sexual assault charges against IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn in New York have sent shockwaves across Europe.

Nicknamed "DSK", he was widely expected to challenge Nicolas Sarkozy for the French presidency next year, as a powerful Socialist candidate. He has also been a key player in the eurozone bail-outs of debt-laden Greece, the Irish Republic and Portugal.

What do Europe's media make of the Strauss-Kahn case?
In a few instants DSK risks having lost everything: the IMF, his reputation, the presidential election, his family honour. A charge of "sexual aggression" does not mean a conviction... and it cannot be ruled out immediately that he was the target of manipulation. But the feeling of an enormous mess has already spread everywhere.

It has all come crashing down. The left has lost its favourite just a few weeks from the Socialist primary and Strauss-Kahn dropping out of the race has exploded the whole campaign.

For 2012 DSK seemed the best equipped to respond to the distress of the French people, exhausted by the crisis and upset by the crazy reign of [President Nicolas] Sarkozy. -Liberation, France

Eye 1

SOTT Focus: The Unexamined Victim: Women Who Love Psychopaths

[This article first appeared in Issue 13 of The Dot Connector Magazine]

"We can't prevent what we don't identify, we can't treat what we don't diagnose. And we can't teach how to spot them unless we understand pathology ourselves."
Millions of dollars have been spent researching and writing about psychopaths while almost nothing has been spent, either in terms of time or money, on the profoundly disturbing byproduct of psychopathy - its victims. Since male psychopaths outnumber the female variety by about 3 or 4 to 1, I'll be talking mainly about female victims of male psychopaths in this article.

Despite the fact that psychopaths devastate everyone in their path including the women and children who love them, why have clinicians not seen fit to study and write about the single most obvious source of insight into this issue: the survivors of intimate relationships with psychopaths? The study of any disease involves carefully collecting and examining its symptoms, and psychopathy is definitely a societal disease. Even our legal system gathers information about criminals by taking testimony from on-site, first hand witnesses. So again, I ask: why is there no clinical material about - much less interest in - the psychopath's partner?

Eye 1

US: School Punishes Child for Witnessing Sex

An Ohio woman says a charter school is punishing her daughter for not immediately reporting that she saw two classmates having sex on a school bus and for changing her seat during the bus trip.

Saundra Roundtree told The Associated Press on Monday that her 14-year-old daughter had changed seats with a boy who wanted to sit beside a girl on a Dayton View Academy school trip.

Roundtree says her daughter told her at home afterward that she later saw the two having sex but was afraid to say anything.

Roundtree notified school officials. She says they told her Friday that her daughter cannot attend the eighth-grade prom or picnic. The mother thinks that's unfair.

The school did not immediately return calls Monday.


Irish Army Discovers Bomb 'Hoax' in Dublin

© unknown
The Irish army has discovered a suspicious device in Ireland, shortly after it carried out a controlled explosion to ward off the threat of a booby-trapped bus.

Irish soldiers performed a controlled explosion of a makeshift bomb found on a bus outside Dublin, ahead of the first state visit to the country by Britain's Queen Elizabeth II.

The bomb was found in the town of Maynooth, 25 km (15 miles) from Dublin and blown up by an army bomb disposal unit in a controlled explosion, the military said.

Police later said the army's bomb squad was investigating a second suspicious device found at a Dublin tram station, but an army spokesman said the second device was a hoax.