Society's ChildS


Greek Police in Fresh Clashes With Protesters

Greek police clashed with protesters on Wednesday as around 100,000 workers, pensioners and students marched to parliament in protest at austerity policies aimed at helping Greece cope with a huge debt crisis.

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US: Anti-abortion Billboard in New York Sparks Outrage

© SplashThe controversial poster on corner of Sixth Avenue and Watts Street, SoHo, New York
An anti-abortion billboard featuring a young black girl and the slogan "the most dangerous place for an African-American is in the womb" has provoked sharp criticism in New York.

The poster advertises a Texas-based group called Life Always, which campaigns against what it calls a "genocidal plot" against unborn babies. It is on display in the SoHo area of Manhattan.

On its website, Life Always states: "Abortions among African-American women are three times that of the rest of the population. Over 25 per cent of the next generation is being wiped out as we speak".

Bill de Blasio, the city's public advocate, described the advertisement as "grossly offensive to women and minorities". "This billboard simply doesn't belong in New York City," said Mr de Blasio.


Canada: Teacher Sex Trial Ends in Hung Jury

© CBC/Mike LaanelaA mistrial has been declared in a Vernon, B.C., provincial court in the trial of a teacher accused of having sex with a student.
A B.C. schoolteacher charged with having sex with a 12-year-old male student walked free Wednesday after a hung jury prompted the judge to declare a mistrial.

Deborah Ashton, now 45, was charged with invitation to sexual touching, sexual assault and touching for sexual purposes a person under 14 years of age while she taught in Vernon, B.C., in the province's southern Interior.

The jury sent a note to the judge Wednesday, saying they were hopelessly deadlocked after two days of deliberations.

The judge then declared a mistrial.

The case has been put over until April 11 when a new trial date will be set.

Her accuser, now 21, and who cannot be identified, said he and Ashton had about 200 sexual encounters, starting in 2003 when he was her 12-year-old student.


US: Study: 'Sidewalk Rage' Plagues New York City Streets

© File/AP PhotoPedestrians on 5th Avenue, New York City
City Has Thousands Upon Thousands Of People Per Square Mile

You're walking to work, making good time, and then... someone steps in front of you, moving at a snail's pace. Or a tourist blocks your path to snap a picture. Or some knucklehead in front of you is focused on their Blackberry, not where they're going.

We've all been there. If just the thought of any of these scenarios makes you reach the boiling point, though, you may have a problem. Apparently, you don't have to hit the road to feel the rage.

Researchers say "sidewalk rage" is real.

1010 WINS' John Montone tries to stop and talk to some aggressive walkers in Midtown

Aggressive walkers can express their frustration in different forms and intensity levels - ranging from staring down a slow walker to physically bumping into them. Experts say acting out on sidewalk rage may be a sign of a psychiatric condition known as "intermittent explosive disorder."

"I am one of those sidewalk ragers, it just drives me crazy," Joe Camposo, of Westbury, confessed to 1010 WINS' John Montone. "It's either move or get out of the way. I have no patience."

Two women from Brooklyn told Montone they've been victims of sidewalk rage getting pushed, knocked down and elbowed.

Researchers are conducting studies to determine what sets people off and how it can be curbed - especially since the sidewalks aren't getting any less crowded.

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US: New York House Found With Filthy Animals Including Calf

Dozens of flea-infested animals and several rotting animal corpses were removed from a filthy New York home where an elderly woman with dementia lived with two younger people, authorities said on Wednesday.

Living in the house were a calf, fancy hens, rats, rabbits, a chinchilla, a Mallard duck, a pheasant and other animals, said Sergeant Regina Benfante of the Suffolk County, New York, Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

"You name it, and that type of animal was in there," she said. All told, 76 live animals and about 10 corpses were found, she said.

Three people also lived in the house -- the 87-year-old owner who suffers from dementia, family friend Alan Warner, 23, and his fiance, she said.

Warner was cited for violating town codes regarding the animals but no animal cruelty charges had been filed while the SPCA investigates, she said.


US: Large Group of Illegal Immigrants Found in Arizona

Border agents said Wednesday they arrested an unusually large group of illegal immigrants crossing through the western Arizona desert in what authorities said is proof that increased border technology is working.

Border Patrol surveillance video operators Friday morning spotted a group of more than 100 people walking just north of the Mexico border about 15 miles west of Lukeville, Ariz., Agent Eric Cantu said.

When agents responded, Cantu said they were able to arrest 22 people but the rest of the group scattered.

A helicopter team found much of the group hiding in thick brush, and agents arrested 106 additional illegal immigrants. The smugglers and other suspected illegal immigrants may have gotten away, Cantu said.

The 128 men who were apprehended have either been returned to Mexico or were jailed because of prior convictions.

The Border Patrol's Tucson sector typically sees such large groups of border crossers no more than once or twice a year, Cantu said. Illegal immigrants typically travel in groups of five to 15, he said, because larger groups are much easier to detect.


Is Scott Walker Cutting Off Internet Access To Thwart Protesters?

Imperial Walker
© ThinkProgess

According to pro-labor protesters in Wisconsin, Gov. Scott Walker (R) may be taking a page from former Egyptian Dictator Hosni Mubarak and cutting off internet access to key protest organizers within the state Capitol building.

If you are in the Capitol attempting to access the internet from a free wifi connection labeled "guest," you cannot access the site The site has been used to provide updates on what is happening, where you can volunteer, and where supplies and goods are needed to support protesters. Administrators of the website were notified on Monday that the page is being blocked. Wisconsin Democratic Party Chairman Mike Tate says that the site was put on a blacklist typically used to filter out pornography sites so that protestors inside the Capitol could not access this key site.

Former Wisconsin Assistant Attorney General Charles Hoornstra said that, if Walker is blocking the website, it could be a violation of state and federal laws concerning free speech laws. The accusation by the Wisconsin Democratic Party accompanies an accusation by the Teaching Assistants Association that Wisconsin state authorities cut off wifi access to a room they had taken over as a headquarters inside of the Capitol.

Eye 1

Another senior Libyan diplomat resigns

Protesters carry a Libyan flag during a street protest in a square in Benghazi, Libya, February 23, 2011

A senior Libyan diplomat has resigned from his post as counselor at the country's embassy in Canada in protest at the violent crackdown on pro-democracy protesters.

Ihab al-Mismari announced his resignation on Wednesday, saying his decision was due to the embassy's effort aimed at hiding and downplaying the brutal attacks against protesters in his homeland, AFP reported.

"They are killing the friends with whom I grew up; they are killing my brothers and sisters," al-Mismari said.


US: Update - Indiana official who urged 'Use live ammunition' on Wisconsin protesters loses job

An Indiana state official who tweeted that riot police in neighboring Wisconsin should "use live ammunition" to clear out pro-union demonstrators has lost his job.

The Indiana Attorney General's Office said Wednesday that Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Cox "is no longer employed by this agency."

The office made the announcement after reviewing statements Cox purportedly made in tweets and blog posts, including one in which he said he advocated "deadly force" against "thugs" who threatened state elected officials in Wisconsin.

The tweets that got Cox in trouble were made in an exchange with Adam Weinstein, a copy editor at Mother Jones who has been writing about the worker protests at the Wisconsin Capitol. Wisconsin workers and their supporters have been demonstrating for well over a week against Republican Gov. Scott Walker's plan to strip public sector workers of nearly all their bargaining rights. Walker says the legislation is needed to help solve Wisconsin's looming budget deficit.


House Democrat: Wisconsin Governor Walker like a 'dictator'


Washington - Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), the co-chair of the House progressive caucus, said Wednesday that Wisconsin's Republican Gov. Scott Walker is behaving like a "dictator."

Walker has been "absolutely unreasonable, and is basically taking on the posture of a dictator," Ellison told reporters on a conference call organized by the Progressive Change Campaign Committee.

The standoff between Republicans and Democrats in Wisconsin continues for a second week as Walker refuses to back down on a budget measure curtailing the collective bargaining rights of public employee unions. Fourteen Democrats fled the state last week to protest the measure and prevent Republicans from getting the votes.