Society's ChildS


US protesters clash with guards at Washington museum

Smithsonian protest
© AFP Photo/Brendan SmialowskiPeople listen to a program outside the Smithsonian's Air and Space Museum during a demonstration on the National Mall in Washington, DC, June 2011.
Protesters clashed with security staff when they tried to enter a museum in Washington on Saturday, prompting one guard to use pepper spray and leading to at least one arrest, a spokeswoman said.

The incident occurred at The Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum around 3:15 pm (1915 GMT), after hundreds of activists had marched from Freedom Plaza, near the White House, along the National Mall towards the US Capitol.

Some of those in the demonstration were affiliated with the Occupy DC protest group that sprung up earlier this week as a spin-off of the larger Occupy Wall Street movement in New York, angered at "corporate greed."


Sudan: Mysterious 'nodding' disease strikes children

Nodding disease
© AsiaOne
Martha Halim, 13, suffers from a strange affliction that makes her nod vigorously at the sight of food.

Her parents have tried everything from witch doctors to anti-epilepsy drugs, but the disease has experts and officials worldwide baffled.

The affliction is loosely termed 'nodding disease' by its victims in Sudan, Uganda and Tanzania, where it is currently contained.

Named after its primary symptom of pathological nodding, it has a peculiar set of symptoms, reportedly affecting only children below 15 years of age.

The seizures are triggered by the food and low temperatures, but is strangely not present when victims are given unfamiliar food, said a World Health Organization (WHO) report.

The seizures stop once the child stops eating or feels warm again.


Occupy Wall Street-style protests spread to Britain

occupy britain
A young woman spray-paints the final letter on a floral-patterned sheet. Unfurled it reads: "Occupy London, 15 Oct,"

The small group of assembled activists applaud its look. "I love the kitschiness of it. It's so 'Laura Ashley' English - perfect for a protest," one says, namechecking the British brand known for its prim-and-proper fashions.

Inspired by the Occupy Wall Street protests on the other side of the Atlantic, demonstrators plan to establish a tent city in London's City financial district next weekend.


UK: 'Anti-Terror' Row Over Family Photo Taken in Shopping Centre

chris white photo
© Chris WhiteTerrorist? - Chris White took this picture of his daughter in Braehead
A Facebook campaign is calling for people to boycott a shopping centre after claims a man was questioned by police for taking photographs of his own four-year-old daughter.

Chris White took a picture of Hazel eating an ice cream in the Braehead shopping centre, near Glasgow.

A security guard told him it was illegal to take pictures in the centre.

A spokesperson for Braehead said it wanted to "maintain a safe and enjoyable environment" for shoppers.

Mr White told BBC Scotland he was approached by a security guard after photographing his daughter "looking cute on the back of a vespa seat at an ice cream bar" at about 16:00 on Friday.

He said the security guard asked him to delete any photos he had taken from his mobile phone.

Bizarro Earth

New Zealand oil spill reaches shore as bad weather holds up response

© Getty/Fairfax Media Oil streams from the Rena.
Tarballs appear on Bay of Plenty beaches as stricken freighter Rena threatens environmental catastrophe

Oil has begun washing up on a popular beach on New Zealand's east coast, five days after the container ship Rena struck a reef in the Bay of Plenty. Officials urged people to avoid the area, warning that the water off Tauranga city had become "highly toxic".

Efforts to remove oil from the ship, which ran aground on Astrolabe Reef in the early hours of Wednesday, have been suspended in the face of deteriorating weather conditions.

On Sunday about 10 tonnes of fuel oil had been pumped into safe storage from the 236-metre-long ship but that represented a fraction of the 1,700 tonnes on board.


Poland re-elects PM Donald Tusk

© Agencja Gazeta/ReutersPoland's prime minister Donald Tusk celebrates the election results.
Donald Tusk looks to have won a historic second term as prime minister of Poland, with his Civic Platform becoming the first party to win two consecutive terms since the collapse of communism.

Full official results are not expected until Tuesday, but with 93% of the votes counted, Tusk's free market party had 39% of the votes in Sunday's election. Its main rival, Jaroslaw Kaczynski's Eurosceptic nationalist-conservative Law and Justice party (PiS), trailed on 30%.

Markets reacted positively to the news, with Polish shares and the zloty up.

On current projections, Civic Platformwould secure 206 seats in the 460-member lower chamber, or Sejm. It also won a clear victory in the upper chamber, or senate, where it was set to win 62 of the 100 seats.

Its ally, the rural-focused Peasants' party, was on track to win 30 seats, giving Tusk enough support to rebuild the same coalition that has steered Poland smoothly through the economic turmoil of the past four years. The two parties enjoyed a drama-free relationship, at least in public, that added to the government's stable image.


UK: Your husband will never be promoted if you wear trousers: An RAF wife reveals her VERY bizarre life in a military base

It was the moment that I began to realise what I'd let myself in for. I casually remarked to a wing commander's wife that I might wear a sharp trouser suit to an annual reception and she turned to me with a look of incredulity on her face.

'You don't really expect your husband to get promoted if you wear trousers, do you?' she asked.

The faintest whiff of rebellion was clearly intolerable at RAF Lyneham, the Wiltshire base where my husband had been stationed. A new millennium was about to dawn, but to me it felt as if I had been transported back to the Fifties.
© unknownWedding bliss: Life as the wife of a serving RAF officer threw up some rather interesting situations for Annie Waller


US: TSA: Children pose little risk, can keep shoes on during security check

© unknown
It turns out that children do not actually merit all the fuss the Transportation Security Administration has made over them since the shoe bomber tried to blow up an airliner almost 10 years ago.

So in a welcome step for little feet and parents, children 12 and younger are no longer required to remove their shoes every time they go through airport security.

Kids also are less likely to face pat-downs under newly revised rules. It is part of an effort to show Congress that the agency is getting serious about replacing a one-size-fits-all security program with a more risk-based approach that relies on gathering intelligence and terrorist watch lists to determine the level of scrutiny each passenger receives.

"Intelligence and history have shown that allowing (young) passengers to leave their shoes on poses little risk," the TSA said.

Children who at the discretion of TSA screeners appear to fall in the 12-and-younger category can keep their shoes on during security.

"We travel with 2 1/2-year-old twins, a stroller, two car seats and our carry-ons. So not having to take the boys' shoes off definitely made things a lot easier," said Tracey Fine, 33, of Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood, who recently flew from Midway Airport to Houston and back with her husband and their sons.

Che Guevara

UK: Protesters bring London to standstill

Hundreds of British activists have occupied Westminster Bridge in London in a last-ditch effort to stop ratification of the National Health Service (NHS) reform bill at the House of Lords.
© unknown

Protesters closed the bridge on Sunday in a symbolic act that disconnected parliament from St Thomas' Hospital, on the other side of the Thames, creating severe disruption in central London, British media reported.

During the protest, crowds chanted "we are the 99%" -- a slogan associated with the Wall Street protests in New York, and activists unveiled a huge banner reading, "Save our NHS."

"By blocking Westminster Bridge we symbolically block the bill from getting from parliament to our hospitals," organisers said.

Bizarro Earth

Egypt: Cairo Comes Under Curfew After Clashes

Egyptian military authorities impose a curfew on parts of the country's capital after clashes between protesting Coptic Christians and military forces killed at least two dozen people.
© unknownEgyptian Coptic Christians clash with military forces and police during a protest in Cairo on October 9, 2011.

State TV announced that the night-time curfew, imposed on Monday on Cairo's Tahrir (Liberation) Square as well as the downtown area, would last from 02:00 to 07:00 am (local time), Reuters reported.

The angry demonstrators were rallying against the ruling Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF). Their major demand was that the military rulers rebuild a church in southern Egypt that was allegedly torched in October.

More than 200 people were also injured during the confrontation.

The casualties were caused after the forces started firing live rounds at the protesters outside the TV's building in the Maspero district.

At least three soldiers were among the fatalities from the clashes, which also saw a number of Army vehicles being set on fire.