Society's ChildS


UK: With millions set to strike, Michael Gove accuses militant union bosses of 'trying to sabotage recovery'

© PANot true: The Education Secretary said it was a 'myth' that he wanted to force every teacher to stay in the classroom until they were 68
  • Education Secretary says hardliners are 'itching for a fight'
  • Labour leader Ed Miliband says he does not support strikes because they were 'always a sign of failure'
  • At least 90% of schools due to close and airport chaos expected
  • Army on standby to deal with impact of 2m workers striking on Wednesday
Hardline trade union leaders were yesterday accused of a deliberate attempt to sabotage the economic recovery as they threatened a programme of industrial action to continue throughout next year.

In the strongest ministerial attack on the unions for a generation, Education Secretary Michael Gove blamed the strike on 'militants' who were 'itching for a fight' - and warned more than nine in ten schools will be closed as a result of tomorrow's walkout of up to two million workers.

'They want scenes of industrial strife on our TV screens, they want to make economic recovery harder, they want to provide a platform for confrontation just when we all need to pull together,' Mr Gove said.


US: Utah Professor Charged With Watching Child Porn On Flight To Boston

A professor at the University of Utah pleaded not guilty Monday to charges he viewed child pornography on his laptop during a flight from Salt Lake City to Boston.

47-year-old Grant Smith of Cottonwood Heights, Utah was arraigned in East Boston District Court. Bail was set at $75,000.

If he is released, Smith will not be allowed to have any contact with children without supervision.

State police say Smith was sitting in first class on a Delta flight Saturday afternoon when another passenger saw the pornographic images and alerted the flight crew.


Feds Seize 150 Websites in Counterfeit Crackdown

© unknown
Federal authorities have shut down 150 websites accused of selling knock-off or pirated merchandise to unsuspecting online bargain hunters.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton and Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer announced the results of the ICE and FBI three-month investigation on "Cyber Monday," the day that for many shoppers kicks off the online holiday shopping season.

The government seized the domain names for the sites that sold everything from fake replica NBA jerseys to replica Louis Vuitton handbags and imitation Ugg boots.

"This is straight crime," Morton said. "This is people being duped into buying a counterfeit."

Heart - Black

US: Parents Say to Sue After Florida Band Drum Major Dies

© ABC News/Good Morning America Robert Champion, 26, died Nov. 19 after being rushed to a hospital following a performance by the internationally renowned Florida A&M Marching "100" band at the annual Florida Classic football game against Bethune-Cookman University in Orlando.
The parents of the Florida A&M University drum major who died after suspected hazing said on Monday they will file a lawsuit against the school to stop what they say is a violent initiation rite.

"This is not going to go away like other incidents," said the family's attorney, Christopher Chestnut. "The culture of hazing within the FAMU band has got to be eradicated."

Robert Champion, 26, died November 19 after being rushed to a hospital following a performance by the internationally renowned FAMU Marching "100" band at the annual Florida Classic football game against Bethune-Cookman University in Orlando.

Champion, a music major from Atlanta who served as one of six drum majors for the 375-member Marching "100" band, vomited and complained that he could not breathe in a band bus in the parking lot of a hotel after the game.

The medical examiner's office said a cause of death will not be known for about 10 weeks, but local law enforcement officials suspect that Champion died following a hazing incident aboard the bus.


Canada: Manitoba Girl, 4 Shot and Injured by Five-Year-Old Brother

© unknownThe four-year-old girl was rushed to hospital following the shooting in the RM of Whitewater.
A five-year-old boy shot his little sister in southwest Manitoba on the weekend. The four-year-old girl was rushed to hospital in Winnipeg where she remains in the intensive care unit.

On Monday, the children's father spoke about the shooting.

"Apparently, it was about a millimetre away from hitting a major blood vessel right by her kidney that would have killed her instantly," said Dan Lachapelle.

He said his son got a hold of a 22-caliber gun after the boy's mother was putting it away in storage, but stopped to change her baby's diaper.

"You worry about the electrical plug-ins and the child locks on the poison cupboards, but you never really think your kid's going find a bullet, load a gun and shoot his baby sister by accident," said Lachapelle.


Creative Thinkers More Likely to Cheat

SAT Test
© Aspen Photo | shutterstockCreative individuals were significantly more likely to cheat during experiments that involved standardized tests than those who were less creative, according to the study.

When it comes to money, creative people are more likely to cheat to get it than the less-imaginative crowd, a new study suggests.

The reason? Creative types may be more skilled at coming up with reasons for their less-than-ethical actions, according to the researchers.

In the new study, scientists measured the intelligence and creativity of 97 students from local universities in the southeastern United States by asking them to complete a series of recognized psychological tests. The participants then took part in five experiments to determine whether creative people are more likely to cheat under circumstances where they can justify their dishonest behavior.

In one experiment, participants looked at drawings with dots on two sides of a diagonal line and had to figure out which side had more dots. However, in half of the 200 trials, it was virtually impossible to tell by looking if one side of the drawing contained more dots than the other.

The participants were told that they'd receive 10 times as much for each "right side" decision as for a "left side" decision, or 5 cents vs. 0.5 cents. Participants who had scored highest on creativity on the psychological tests were significantly more likely to give the answer that paid more, despite how ambiguous it was.

Bizarro Earth

Black Friday Violence Worse Than Ever As American Consumers Fight Over Deals Like Crazed Animals

black friday
© n/a
We all knew that this was coming, didn't we? Each year Black Friday violence just seems to get worse and worse. What does it say about American consumers when they are willing to fight like crazed animals just to save a few bucks on cheap plastic crap made in China? Not that retailers are innocent in any of this. It certainly seems as though many of them purposely create wild situations on Black Friday where customers will rush like crazy people into their stores and nearly riot as they fight over discounted merchandise. The more Black Friday madness there is, the more of an "event" it becomes, and the higher the profits of the retailers go.

This year there was more Black Friday hype than ever and there was also more Black Friday violence than ever. It is being projected that this year a record-setting 152 million Americans will go shopping between Thanksgiving and Sunday night. That may be good news for the big corporate retailers, but the shocking lack of character being displayed by American consumers all over the country this weekend is very bad news for the future of this nation.

Most Americans would agree that there is a tremendous amount of selfishness and greed on Wall Street, but as the videos posted below demonstrate, there is also a tremendous amount of selfishness and greed on "Main Street" as well.

This year, Black Friday violence included robberies, gunfire and shootings, but the most shocking incidents actually happened inside the big retail stores.


'Perfect' Celebrity Photos to Get Reality Check

Retouched Kim
© PNASActress Kim Cattrall after digital retouching.
Intuitively, we know the images we see of celebrities and models are too beautiful to be true. And now two researchers are proposing a system intended to offer a reality check for images photoshopped to super-human perfection.

"Impossibly thin, tall, and wrinkle- and blemish-free models are routinely splashed onto billboards, advertisements and magazine covers," write researchers Hany Farid, a professor of computer science and Eric Kee, a doctoral student, both of Dartmouth College, in an article published today (Nov. 28) in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "The ubiquity of these unrealistic and highly idealized images has been linked to eating disorders and body-image dissatisfaction in men, women, and children.

They aren't alone. Earlier this year, for example, the American Medical Association (AMA) adopted a policy intended to discourage the alteration of photos in ways that could "promote unrealistic expectations of appropriate body image." Research has linked exposure to unrealistic body images to eating disorders and other child- and adolescent-health problems, according to the AMA.

Hany and Kee think viewers should know how much an image has been altered.


US: Obese Ohio Child Taken from Parents, Placed in Drug-Crazy Foster Care

© Natural Society

Ohio social workers have taken a 200-pound third-grader from his parents and placed him in foster care, where children are given as many harmful antipsychotics as the mentally disabled. The government workers said that his mother was not doing enough to lower his weight, clearly deeming her an irresponsible parent.

State officials reported that this is the first case of a child being put in foster care over a weight-related issue in Ohio. The 8-year-old was considered to be severely obese and subsequently at risk for the development of diseases like diabetes and hypertension. However, the county in which the boy lived in, Cuyahoga County, does not have a specific policy on dealing with obese children.

According to a spokesman for the Department of Children and Family Services, the child was a victim of 'medical neglect' as his mother ignored the instructions of a doctor to help control his weight.
"This child's problem was so severe that we had to take custody," the spokesman said. The agency worked with the mother for more than a year before asking Juvenile Court for custody of the child, she said.
The lawyers for the mother argue that while intervention is necessary, obesity is not grounds to pull a child from his family and place him into foster care.
"I think we would concede that some intervention is appropriate," Juvenile Public Defender Sam Amata said. "But what risk became imminent? When did it become an immediate problem?"
Beyond the arguments of both parties lies an even greater question: will foster care ruin the health of this third-grader far more than his original lifestyle, or help him?


Pakistan says NATO ignored its pleas during two-hour attack

Islamabad - NATO airstrikes that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers lasted almost two hours and continued even after Pakistani commanders had pleaded with coalition forces to stop, the army claimed Monday in charges that could further inflame anger in Pakistan.

NATO has described the incident as "tragic and unintended" and has promised a full investigation.

Unnamed Afghan officials told the Associated Press that Afghan commandos and U.S. special forces were conducting a mission on the Afghan side of the border and received incoming fire from the direction of the Pakistani posts. They responded with airstrikes.

Ties between Pakistan and the United States were already deteriorating before the deadly attack and have sunk to new lows since, delivering a major setback to American hopes of enlisting Islamabad's help in negotiating an end to the 10-year-old Afghan war.

Army spokesman Maj. Gen. Athar Abbas said the Pakistani troops at two border posts were the victims of an unprovoked aggression. He said the attack lasted almost two hours and that commanders had contacted NATO counterparts while it was going on, asking "they get this fire to cease, but somehow it continued."

Comment: "That image was cemented after al-Qaida's chief Osama bin Laden was found to have been hiding in an army town close to the Pakistani capital when he was killed."

© UnknownCatapult the propaganda (lies, deception, stealth).