Welcome to Sott.net
Tue, 18 May 2021
The World for People who Think

Society's Child
Map

Dollars

Cancer victim kept in solitary confinement for 2 years without trial wins millions

Image
© AFP Photo / Timothy A. Clary
A 59-year-old cancer-stricken man spent two years in solitary confinement in a New Mexico prison, where he suffered from tooth decay, bedsores and a deterioration of mental health. His crime? Drunk driving.

And the man was never even convicted.

Now, former inmate Stephen Slevin has received a $15 million settlement to compensate for the torture he endured in the New Mexico jail cell. Slevin spent 22 months in solitary confinement, where he was denied access to a dentist and was forced to pull out his own tooth.

"He rocked [the tooth] back and forth over a period of eight hours before he was able to pull it out of his mouth," his attorney, Matthew Coyte, told the Associated Press.

Slevin was also deprived of showers, human contact, and outdoor recreation. While incarcerated from 2005 to 2007, fungus grew on his skin, his toenails grew so long they began to curl up, he suffered from malnutrition, and he lost a significant amount of weight.

Locked up in a 6-by-11 foot cell with no outside contact, Slevin's mental health quickly deteriorated.

"They left him long enough where he fell into a delirium and began to decay, essentially, as a human being," Coyte said.

Red Flag

Law lets South Dakota teachers bring guns into classrooms

Image
© Shutterstock
South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R) signed a bill into law on Friday that allows teachers to pack heat in classrooms, becoming the first state in the nation to do so.

Similar proposals have been considered in about two dozen states since the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre last December, according to The New York Times.

Attention

Poaching pushing South African rhino towards edge

Image
© AFP Photo
South Africa's white rhino population will begin to decline by 2016 if the current rate of poaching continues, authorities warned on Friday, following the killing of scores of the creatures this year.

The stark warning was issued by the country's Environment Minister Edna Molewa on the sidelines of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) in Bangkok.

"We think we will start to have problems around the year 2016," she said, adding 146 rhinos have been killed illegally since the start of the year with 50 suspected poachers arrested over the same period.

Some 668 rhinos were slaughtered in 2012, a grim record that on current trends will be surpassed this year.

The white rhino population is estimated at just over 18,000 and its birth rate is higher than mortality rates, according to Fundisile Mketani, an official from the nation's Department of the Environment.

Heart - Black

Indian starving children's fund used to fix buses

Image
© AFP Photo
A fund of millions of dollars raised to help malnourished children in western India has been diverted to maintain public buses, a report said on Friday.

The "Child Nutrition Surcharge" was set up 16 years ago to collect a small percentage of each bus ticket fare in major cities in Maharashtra state, where thousands of children die from malnutrition each year.

But public transport officials say that millions raised have yet to be transferred to the state treasury because they allegedly need the funds to maintain buses and keep them on the road, the NDTV news channel reported.

Heart - Black

Mentally ill man missing in alleged pattern of 'patient dumping' by Nevada health officials

Image
A schizophrenic man has gone missing after an instance of alleged "patient dumping" by Nevada state mental health officials. According to a Wednesday report by Las Vegas' CBS Channel 8, a patient named James Brown was allegedly sent from Rawson-Neal psychiatric hospital in Las Vegas to Sacramento, California with only a one-way bus ticket, three days' worth of medication and instructions to call 911 for services when he arrived.

A California homeless advocacy group called Loaves and Fishes said that Brown was sent to their state without a destination in a pattern of systematic patient dumping by the state of Nevada. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Brown arrived in Sacramento on Feb. 12 after a 15-hour bus ride with no connections and nowhere to go.

Loaves and Fishes found Brown shelter for the night. The man told social workers that he had been sent to Sacramento against his will, a city where he had never been and knew no one. Joan Burke, advocacy director for the organization said that Brown has since disappeared, but social workers expect him to return to Las Vegas where the man said, "At least I know where the homeless shelters are in Las Vegas."

"Putting somebody on a bus who indicates a high level of disability and inability to function is reprehensible," Burke told the Register-Journal. "This gentleman was adamant that he had no connections here."

Info

Britain's 'atheist church' set to go global

The Sunday Assembly
© Leon Neal/Getty Images
British comedian Sanderson Jones, a co-founder of The Sunday Assembly, an atheist service held at a converted church, leads a service in north London.
Echoing with joyful song and with a congregation bent on leading better lives, this London church is like any other -- except there's no mention of God.

Britain's atheist church is barely three months old but it already has more "worshippers" than can fit into its services, while more than 200 non-believers worldwide have contacted organisers to ask how they can set up their own branch.

Officially named The Sunday Assembly, the church was the brainchild of Pippa Evans and Sanderson Jones, two comedians who suspected there might be an appetite for atheist gatherings that borrowed a few aspects of religious worship.

Held in an airy, ramshackle former church in north London, their quirky monthly meetings combine music, speeches and moral pondering with large doses of humour.

Question

Hot stuff: Are fire facials the next beauty trend?


The latest spa treatment from China has people burning, literally, for a more youthful appearance and a healthier physique.

Known as huǒ liáo or "fire treatment," the bizarre beauty procedure involves placing a cloth that's been soaked in alcohol and some kind of special elixir over the face, back, legs, belly or another problem area, according to RocketNews24.

Once everything is in place, the cloth is set aflame for up to a minute or so; an attendant then smothers the flames using a towel. The procedure is a widely practiced health and beauty treatment in parts of Asia, according to MSN.com.

Heart - Black

Elderly woman forced off Metrorail for singing hymns


Miami, Florida -- A South Florida woman claims a security guard forced her to exit the Metrorail last month for refusing to stop singing religious hymns.

The incident involving 82-year-old Emma Anderson and the guard occurred Feb. 20 at the Brickell Metrorail station, was caught on cell phone video. The footage shows the guard approaching Anderson, who was singing loudly on a corner seat and tapping her thigh with a rolled-up piece of paper to keep time with the music.

The guard asked Anderson several times to stop singing before grabbing her cart and escorting her off the train. "You're getting off here, let's go," the guard is heard telling Anderson, who was heading to the Brownsville station.

"It was not right for them to drag her off the train," said Donal Anderson, the rider's son, "Not by the way I've seen in the video." As the footage shows, a tug of war between the devout woman and the guard ensued after he grabbed her bag.

Anderson's efforts were no match for the guard's strength as she was dragged toward the exit. It was at this point, once the guard had forced Anderson off the train and onto the platform, that she fell down.

Bad Guys

The Army doesn't want you to see the results of its shady PTSD probe

flag
© Reuters
This past fall, the Army found out the results of a probe meant to determine if psychiatrists were reversing soldiers' PTSD diagnoses to save the government money by denying them medical retirements. Months later, they still don't want anyone knowing what's in those files. The Army has refused to release the results of the so-called Madigan inquiry, and attempts to get the report through Freedom of Information Act requests have all been denied.

"George Wright, an Army spokesman at the Pentagon, told NBC News that 'concerns brought up in the Madigan matter will be addressed' in a separate forthcoming report by the Army's Task Force on Behavioral Health," reports NBC News's Rebecca Ruiz. ("Madigan" is the Madigan Army Medical Center in Tacoma, Washington.) According the same report, three Seattle-based news agencies have been denied Freedom of Information Act requests on the inquiry.

That's troubling because the Madigan inquiry was an internal probe into whether forensic psychiatrists at Madigan Army Medical Center were reversing PTSD diagnoses to save the federal government money. This group of forensic psychiatrists had reversed more than 300 diagnoses, suggesting these were more than just cautious second opinions. The evidence:

Dollar Gold

Money-laundering scheme run by IRA and Mafia broken up by Italian police

Image

The operation against the Mafia money laundering scheme
Italian police have broken up a huge money-laundering scheme run by the IRA and the Mafia which has allegedly duped hundreds of holiday home investors across Europe.


A British man, said to be involved with the republican terrorist organisation, is being sought by detectives investigating the £390m fraud which was based around a development on the beautiful coast of Calabria in Southern Italy.

Italian authorities arrested 16 people in dawn raids and issued a warrant for the arrest of Henry James Fitzsimons, 63, from Belfast, saying he was "a subject considered by the British authorities to be close to the IRA, the Irish terrorist organisation."

Nicola Gratteri, a veteran anti-mafia prosecutor based in the southern port city of Reggio Calabria, described Mr Fitzsimons as someone "delegated by the IRA to recycle the proceeds of terrorist activities and to reinvest the financial resources of the movement."

The wanted man is understood to be the same person as Henry James Fitzsimmons, now 63, who once served 15 years in jail for an attack on a Belfast hotel.

He was jailed in 1973 for blowing up the Woodburn House Hotel in Suffolk, Belfast in November 1971 when he was described as "one of the most active officers in the Provisional IRA during their 1971 bombing campaign."