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Fri, 30 Oct 2020
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US: Michigan Father Kills Wife, Sons 4 and 6, Self: police

A Michigan man was believed to have killed his wife and two young sons before committing suicide, police said on Saturday.

Mark Schons, 39, was found dead in his sports utility vehicle in a parking lot on Friday, two hours after police discovered the bodies of his wife and children in their home, authorities said.

Police went to the house in Novi, Michigan after a friend of the family notified authorities that the two children, Tynan, 6, and Camden, 4, did not show up for school and their mother, Jennifer Schons, 38, had missed an appointment.

Jennifer Schons had suffered multiple "sharp force injuries" and the boys had been asphyxiated with neck compressions, suggesting they were strangled, William Presley, Oakland County Medical Examiner's Office investigator, said on Saturday.

Family

Japanese government: Young men losing interest in sex

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© na

Young Japanese men are losing interest in sex, according to a study commissioned by the government, in a further warning sign for a nation notorious for its low birth rate, a doctor said Friday.

The survey also found that more than 40 percent of married people said they have not had sex in the past month, said Kunio Kitamura, head of the clinic of the Japan Family Planning Association, who took part in the survey.

"This is directly linked with falling birth rate. Policy actions are necessary," Kitamura told AFP.

Star of David

Vera Macht Reports from Gaza

Children in Gaza
© n/a
Children in Gaza look for food in a garbage dump.
The air is filled with the noise of the Israeli F-16s, which are flying so low that it's almost like the air is trembling. You can positively feel the bombs before they fall, before they explode with a horrendous bang, that is unmistakable, with a pressure wave that breaks the windows of the houses in the whole surrounding area, and makes the walls shake miles away.

And even if you know rationally that you are not in an immediate danger, this bang triggers a primal fear, the feeling of vulnerability, of being absolutely exposed. "We people of Gaza die hundreds of times", a young Palestinian woman said. "In our thoughts, we are buried every night under the rubble of our crumbling house, we are shot every morning by a sniper on a carelessly chosen path, we may starve to death every day, because no more food is coming in."

This night four bombs fall, three in the middle area of Gaza Strip, one in Khan Younis. All places have been declared "terrorist targets" in the official statement of the Israeli military, including a Navy police building.

They fly overhead for about an hour, and you try to ignore the noise by focusing on something else, on your laptop, the text before you. The people of Gaza might watch TV, but the images are constantly disturbed by dozens of drones in the sky above. Their pervasive, never-ending buzz can drive you crazy, not to mention the prospect of how they record every single detail of each house, each car and each movement of the people, of yourself. Always aware of how they can transform into a deadly weapon at any moment. And perhaps their bombs aren't aimed at yourself, but at the car next to you, the person behind you, or at the friend on the motorcycle seat in front of you. This happened yesterday afternoon in Khan Younis, as a resistance fighter was executed in broad daylight as he rode his motorcycle with a friend.

Whoever writes about Gaza, whoever writes about the buffer zone without writing about the rockets, which are shot from there to Israel, is accused of writing only half the truth. Half of the truth about farmers being killed, stone collectors who are shot at, and bombs in the night. The other half of the truth would then be the approximately 20 mortar shells and missles that have landed in Israel since the beginning of the year, the Israeli soldier who died by "friendly fire", which was actually aimed at a Palestinian, and the Thai workers, who were injured by fragments of a missile. The whole truth would then be a mutual terror, incited on both sides, and in which both parties would be equally responsible for the spiral of violence.

Health

Sick Gulf Residents Beg Officials for Help

oil spill cleanup crew
© n/a
New Orleans, Louisiana - In an emotionally charged meeting this week sponsored by the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill, fishermen, Gulf residents and community leaders vented their increasingly grave concerns about the widespread health issues brought on by the three-month-long disaster.

"Today I'm talking to you about my life," Cherri Foytlin told the two commissioners present at the Jan. 12 meeting. "My ethylbenzene levels are 2.5 times the 95th percentile, and there's a very good chance now that I won't get to see my grandbabies...What I'm asking you to do now, if possible, is to amend [your report]. Because we have got to get some health care."

Ethylbenzene is a form of benzene present in the body when it begins to break down. It is also present in BP's crude oil.

"I have seen small children with lesions all over their bodies," Foytlin, co-founder of Gulf Change, a community organisation based in Grand Isle, Louisiana, continued.

"We are very, very ill. And dead is dead. So it really doesn't matter if the media comes back... or the president hears us, or... if the oil workers and the fishermen and the crabbers get to feed their babies and maybe have a good Christmas next year... Dead is dead...I know your job is probably already done, but I'd like to hire you if you don't mind. And God knows I can't pay you. But I need your heart. And I need your voice."

"We hear what you are saying," said Beinecke. "We will take these health issues and concerns back to the president."

The commission, appointed by President Barack Obama, released its final report this week after a six-month investigation into the nation's worst-ever oil disaster.

The report recommended a massive overhaul of the oil industry's failed safety practices in the Gulf, as well as the creation of a new independent agency to monitor offshore drilling activity.

However, most of the 250 people at the meeting here focused on the health crisis that has exploded in the wake of the April 2010 disaster, leaving former BP clean-up workers and Gulf residents alike suffering from ailments they attribute to chemicals in BP's oil and the toxic dispersants used to sink it.

Fish

Fishkill in Lapu-Lapu: Residents Gather, Eat Dead Fish Floating in Barangay Ibo

Maribel Mori asked her teenage son to fetch water yesterday morning.

Michael John came back with a pail of fish locally known as "potpot."

He and other residents had collected the fish, which were floating dead along the coastal waters of barangay Ibo, in Lapu-Lapu City.

A few hours after eating the fish, which was cooked with vinegar as inun-onan for breakfast, Maribel was at the barangay health center complaining of nausea, vomiting and headache.

Attention

Poul Thorsen is Still In Charge of Public Danish Autism Registers

The scandalised danish autism researcher, Dr. Poul Thorsen, who once was chief of the now defunct research unit Nanea at Aarhus University is still in a powerful position as an autism researcher.

Seemingly unaffected by the suspicions of financial fraud surrounding him and by the charges raised by danish police for coarse tax evasion, Poul Thorsen is still in charge as "data responsible" for three danish public registers.

One of these registers is the "National Register for Autism Spectrum Disturbances". Another is "Biomarkers Associated with the Development of Autism." The third register concerns "Identification of biologic/biochemical markers for preterm birth." The research is classified as "Private research."

This can be checked by anybody who wish to do so, at the homepage of the danish authority, Datatilsynet.

Bizarro Earth

US - 'Toddlers & Tiaras' Mom Forces 5-Year-Old To Get Eyebrow Wax (VIDEO)

Image
© Styleite.com
Another week, another episode of Toddlers & Tiaras, and another horrifying act of child cruelty. While there were no cone bras this time, there was an absolutely terrified five-year-old whose mother forced her to get her eyebrows waxed.

Honestly, this video is actually quite difficult to watch. While it's absolutely understandable that a child wouldn't want hot wax poured onto her face and then ripped off by an uber-coiffed salon worker, in this case, the young girl had actually experienced a traumatizing wax prior to this incident, in which the wax was too hot and actually tore off her skin. Her mother admits this to the cameras while her daughter (who is screaming and shaking) is being cajoled by the salon worker with a bag of candy. "Normally I woulda just held her down and ripped it off," she adds.

That said, the most terrifying part of this clip might be the end, when the mother turns to her daughter and says, "There! Doesn't that look pretty?"

Stop

Houston Stops Couple's Outreach to Homeless; Must Have 'Feeding' Permit...

homeless pray
© Eric Kayne/Houston Chronicle
Bobby "Tre9" Herring, center, prays with John Bradley who had been on the streets for 41/2 months after his roommate lost his job and created financial stress during Feed a Friend anniversary event, Nov. 12, 2010, in Houston, under the Main Street bridge near downtown.
Couple must have proper permit to continue feeding dozens each day

Bobby and Amanda Herring spent more than a year providing food to homeless people in downtown Houston every day. They fed them, left behind no trash and doled out warm meals peacefully without a single crime being committed, Bobby Herring said.

That ended two weeks ago when the city shut down their "Feed a Friend" effort for lack of a permit. And city officials say the couple most likely will not be able to obtain one.

"We don't really know what they want, we just think that they don't want us down there feeding people," said Bobby Herring, a Christian rapper who goes by the stage name Tre9.

Anyone serving food for public consumption, whether for the homeless or for sale, must have a permit, said Kathy Barton, a spokeswoman for the Health and Human Services Department. To get that permit, the food must be prepared in a certified kitchen with a certified food manager.

The regulations are all the more essential in the case of the homeless, Barton said, because "poor people are the most vulnerable to foodborne illness and also are the least likely to have access to health care."

Bobby Herring said those rules would preclude them from continuing to feed the 60 to 120 people they assisted nightly for more than a year. The food had been donated from area businesses and prepared in various kitchens by volunteers or by his wife.

Bad Guys

One Year After Haiti Earthquake, Corporations Profit While People Suffer

A Haitian girl sits
© Internews Network
A Haitian girl sits in a displaced persons camp in December of 2010.
One year after an earthquake devastated Haiti, much of the promised relief and reconstruction aid has not reached those most in need. In fact, the nation's tragedy has served as an opportunity to further enrich corporate interests.

The details of a recent lawsuit, as reported by Business Week, highlights the ways in which contractors - including some of the same players who profited from Hurricane Katrina-related reconstruction - have continued to use their political connections to gain profits from others' suffering, receiving contacts worth tens of millions of dollars while the Haitian people receive pennies, at best. It also demonstrates ways in which charity and development efforts have mirrored and contributed to corporate abuses.

Lewis Lucke, a 27-year veteran of the US Agency for International Development (USAID) was named US special coordinator for relief and reconstruction after the earthquake. He worked this job for a few months, then immediately moved to the private sector, where he could sell his contacts and connections to the highest bidder. He quickly got a $30,000-a-month (plus bonuses) contract with the Haiti Recovery Group (HRG).

HRG was founded by Ashbritt, Inc., a Florida-based contractor who had received acres of bad press for their post-Katrina contracting. Ashbritt's partner in HRG is Gilbert Bigio, a wealthy Haitian businessman with close ties to the Israeli military. Bigio made a fortune during the corrupt Duvalier regime and was a supporter of the right-wing coup against Haitian President Aristide.

Although Lucke received $60,000 for two months work, he is suing because he says he is owed an additional $500,000 for the more than 20 million dollars in contracts he helped HRG obtain during that time.

As Corpwatch has reported, Ashbritt "has enjoyed meteoric growth since it won its first big debris removal subcontract from none other than Halliburton, to help clean up after Hurricane Andrew in 1992." In 1999, the company also faced allegations of double billing for $765,000 from the Broward County, Florida, school board for cleanup done in the aftermath of Hurricane Wilma.

House

Over 1 Million Americans Seen Losing Homes in 2011

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© Reuters/Joshua Lott
A realtor and bank-owned sign is displayed near a house for sale in Phoenix, Arizona, January 4, 2011. The five largest mortgage loan servicers, including Bank of America Corp and JPMorgan Chase & Co, may be the first to settle with 50 state attorneys general who are investigating foreclosure practices, Bloomberg reported, citing Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller.
The bleakest year in the foreclosure crisis has only just begun.

Lenders are poised to take back more homes this year than any other since the U.S. housing meltdown began in 2006. About 5 million borrowers are at least two months behind on their mortgages and industry experts say more people will miss payments because of job losses and also loans that exceed the value of the homes they are living in.

"2011 is going to be the peak," said Rick Sharga, a senior vice president at foreclosure tracker RealtyTrac Inc. The firm predicts 1.2 million homes will be repossessed this year.

The blistering pace of foreclosures this year will top 2010, when a record 1 million homes were lost, RealtyTrac said Thursday. One in every 45 U.S. households received a foreclosure filing last year, a record 2.9 million of them. That's up 1.67 percent from 2009.

On Thursday, Freddie Mac reported that fixed mortgage rates dipped this week for the second straight time, extending a sliver of hope for some home owners. The average rate on the 30-year mortgage dropped to 4.71 percent from 4.77 percent the previous week. The rate on the 15-year loan, a popular refinance choice, slipped to 4.08 percent from 4.13 percent.