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US: Police Kill Two Dogs, Bella And Jordan, In San Mateo, California

boxer

A family in San Mateo, California is expressing outrage that police shot and killed their two dogs after they escaped and started barking at children in a park.

Carla Torres, 38, says her two boxers, a female named Bella and a male named Jordan, may have been loose and loud at Laurie Meadows Park, having escaped out a side gate at her home, but that there was no reason for officers to shoot them.

Police Shot Both Dogs

From The San Francisco Chronicle:

The incident happened on Monday, when a "frantic" citizen called 911, reporting that "two vicious boxer-type dogs" were at the park growling at people, including a group of small children practicing soccer, said police Sgt. Dave Norris.

Officers arrived and saw that the dogs were "behaving in an increasingly threatening manner, creating a clearly dangerous environment toward the officers and others in the park," Norris said.

As other officers cleared people from the park, an officer tried to use a Taser shock weapon on one of the dogs, but it didn't stop the dog.

Chalkboard

Fear of Repression Spurs Scholars and Activists to Build Alternate Internets

Image
© Yana Paskova / The Chronicle
Computer networks proved their organizing power during the recent uprisings in the Middle East, in which Facebook pages amplified street protests that toppled dictators. But those same networks showed their weaknesses as well, such as when the Egyptian government walled off most of its citizens from the Internet in an attempt to silence protesters.

That has led scholars and activists increasingly to consider the Internet's wiring as a disputed political frontier.

For example, one weekend each month, a small group of computer programmers gathers at a residence here to build a homemade Internet - named Project Byzantium - that could go online if parts of the current global Internet becomes blocked by a repressive government.

Using an approach called a "mesh network," the system would set up an informal wireless network connecting users with other nearby computers, which in turn would pass along the signals. The mesh network could tie back into the Internet if one of the users found a way to plug into an unblocked route. The developers recently tested an early version of their software at George Washington University (though without the official involvement of campus officials).

Eye 1

Pedophile Case Judge Breaks Down in Belgian Court

Jean-Marc Connerotte

Jean-Marc Connerotte

The Belgian judge who saved two young girls from Marc Dutroux's pedophile dungeon has broken down in the witness box, alleging high-level murder plots to stop his investigation into a child-sex mafia.

Jean-Marc Connerotte was in tears on the fourth day of the trial on Thursday, describing the bullet-proof vehicles and armed guards needed to protect him against shadowy figures determined to stop the full truth coming out.

"Never before in Belgium has an investigating judge at the service of the king been subjected to such pressure," he said.

Cult

Thou shalt fear knowledge! Church Wants France To Shelve 'Pro-Gay' High School Biology Text

Paris high school
© faungg
A Paris high school
Catholic leaders in France slam public school textbook that delves into "gender theory." With help from allies of Nicolas Sarkozy, the Church is demanding changes to the curriculum, which explores how society and culture can affect an individual's sexual identity.

As a sign of how much the Catholic Church cares about biology, the Vatican was quick to chime in on a debate over the "becoming man or woman" section of France's new high school biology curriculum.

The goal of the section is to introduce teenagers to what is known as "gender theory," which distinguishes between biological sexual differences and sexual identity, which can be influenced by social and cultural factors. The Church, which is critical of the theory, has rushed to publish a pamphlet entitled Gender, the Controversy. A collection of essays written by various theologians, the document warns young people about the "risks" of gender theory.

Megaphone

Greek protesters occupy key ministries

greek protesters

Protesting taxi drivers stand in front of a protest banner placed at the Transport Ministry during a demonstration in Athens on September 28, 2011.
Greek civil servants protesting the government's austerity measures have occupied several ministries ahead of upcoming talks between the IMF and EU officials.

According to local media, the occupations began in the early hours of Thursday and will continue until Friday.

The protesters are opposing a new round of pay-cuts and layoffs imposed by the government and aimed at slashing its runaway deficit.

The protesters say they want to prevent the Greek Finance Minister from meeting the EU, the IMF, and the European Central Bank officials in Athens.

Wolf

US: Head Of Immigration In South Florida Busted For Child Pornography

anthony mangione
© Broward County Sheriffs Office
Anthony Mangione faces three charges related to child pornography, the Justice Department says.
The head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement for South Florida has been arrested on child pornography charges, the Department of Justice said Wednesday.

Anthony Mangione, 50, of Parkland, Florida, was charged in a three-count indictment unsealed Wednesday with transportation of child pornography, receipt of child pornography and possession of child pornography, authorities said in a statement.

"According to the indictment, between March 2010 and September 2010, Mangione allegedly transported and received visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct," the statement said. "The indictment also alleges that Mangione possessed electronically stored messages that contained additional images of child pornography during the same time period."

Bad Guys

Chinese Business Owners Disappearing as "Underground Loans" Come Due

Credit Crunch
© Minyanville

As China tries to put the brakes on inflation, a tightening credit market has many businesses turning to what Reuters describes as the country's "vast and growing informal lending market."

But, with annual interest rates as high as 200%, "many business owners who were believed to be having trouble paying back loans to underground banks have disappeared," according to Yu Ran of China Daily.

One of the "disappeared," Wenzhou eyeglass factory owner Hu Fulin, suddenly vanished on September 21.

"We've confirmed that Hu has disappeared, and we're still not sure whether the rumors saying he left more than 2 billion yuan in debts behind are true," a government official told Yu. "But current information has proved that he borrowed about 130 million yuan from private lenders."

Hu's suppliers in Wenzhou, which the People's Daily calls "the cradle of China's private economy," are in "a panic" and "gathered in his factory demanding payments." And angry employees protested to demand the two months' salary they are owed, as well.

Cult

US, Illinois: Legal Cases Involving Minister's Naked Ritual Reopens Cult Debate

Image
© Christopher Hoffman/Chicago Tribune/MCT
Philip Livingston, pictured in this 2007 photo, testified in a Kane County, Illinois case that he repeatedly performed a naked ritual claiming it helped cure everything from drug addictions to yeast infections.
In a small house overlooking a lake in Wauconda, Ill., a minister directed his female followers to go into a back room and take off their clothes.

In one-on-one sessions, he got naked, touched their bodies and told them to touch his.

He called them prayer sessions.

What allegedly happened in that room over a series of months would spur a criminal probe in one county, spark civil litigation in two others, and reopen the age-old debate on what's a cult.

Calling it "light therapy," the minister, Philip Livingston, testified in a Kane County case that he repeatedly performed the naked ritual - claiming it helped cure everything from drug addictions to yeast infections. He said it was done only with consenting adults who were members of his donor-funded Light of the World Ministries. But one participant testified that a teenage girl was involved too.

The case offers a window not only into the evolution of a fringe church, but also the struggles of authorities to know when such a group warrants their attention.

Livingston's supporters have maintained he's an earnest, albeit unconventional minister who has done no wrong. But a Kane County judge this summer ordered that three children be kept away from Livingston and his church. That was after police in Wauconda, where Livingston's church is now based, launched a criminal investigation.

Since then, a Cook County judge has ordered Livingston, his wife and his top assistant to stay away from the one-time follower whose allegations of child endangerment sparked the latest legal rounds.

Comment: Perhaps if the Toulouse police read this article they'd have a basis for understanding what constitutes 'cultic abuse'. There is no comparison between this predator's 'naked light therapy', designed to manipulate and control people seeking spiritual guidance, and our Éiriú Eolas program, a scientifically-supported series of breathing and meditative techniques which relieves stress and heals people from the actions of cultic abusers like Philip Livingston.


Dollar

Most Choose Cash Over Happiness, Study Shows

Money
© Dreamstime
Most people would rather take a high-paying job with longer work hours than a lower-paying job that would make them happier, a new study shows.

Given the choice, most people would take a high-paying job with longer work hours over a good-paying job with reasonable demands on their time, a new study shows.

In fact, most of the study participants said they'd choose a high-paying job even if it only permitted them to get six hours of sleep a night and would bring them less happiness overall, the researchers said.

In the study, 2,699 participants were asked to consider a variety of scenarios: One scenario involved choosing between a job that paid $80,000 a year with reasonable work hours that would permit 7.5 hours a night of sleep, or a higher-paying $140,000-a-year job with long work hours and time for only six hours of sleep. Participants were also asked questions about which option they thought would make them happier.

Despite the probability that the less-demanding, lower-paying job would allow them more sleep, free time and make them happier overall, participants tended to choose the higher-paying job.

Stormtrooper

Canada: Ottawa threatens to withdraw RCMP service in British Columbia

Image
© CBC News
B.C. Solicitor General Shirley Bond, seen in a file photo, says the federal government has stonewalled RCMP contract talks and is threatening to withdraw the service.
B.C. Solicitor General Shirley Bond says she's been given an ultimatum by the federal government.

In a written statement, Bond said negotiations on a new RCMP contract are "stalled and stonewalled on the federal side of the table."

She said Ottawa has threatened to withdraw service if a new contract is not reached by November. The current contract expires next year.

"We have found it difficult to get meaningful federal engagement on key issues and because of their stalling, we are seeking to extend the current RCMP contracts to allow more time for negotiations," Bond said.

B.C. has worked hard for four years toward a new agreement, Bond said, and she's not going to give up.

"I am committed to making a deal that reflects a true partnership, strengthens accountability and contains costs in specific ways - matters the federal side has been ignoring in the interest of giving us an ultimatum," she said.