Society's ChildS

Eye 2

Snakes invade a Norcross, Georgia apartment complex

Residents of a Gwinnett apartment complex told Channel 2 Action News they've been overrun by snakes in recent weeks. Channel 2's Tom Regan learned more about the snake invasion and what could be causing it.

The most recent snake sighting happened in the breezeway of the Bradford Gwinnett Apartment building. It was described as a giant copperhead that terrified residents.

"If it got into my house, I don't know what I would have done," said resident Juanita Kennemore.

Kennemore said one of the venomous copperheads was caught last Sunday. A resident took a picture of the snake after killing it with a brick.


Famous Indian guru's arrest on sex charges divides nation amid rise in godman scandals

Asaram Bapu
© Rama Lakshmi/The Washington Post An image of the guru Asaram Bapu, Asumal Harpalani, adorns the walls of the ashram in Motera. Harpalani is in jail, arrested last month on charges of sexually assaulting the 16-year-old daughter of two of his followers.
In Motera, India, Men lie prostrate on the floor in front of the elevated seat of their guru - the man they call Asaram Bapu. Pictures of his avuncular face, with its flowing white beard, hang everywhere in this sprawling, 30-acre ashram in western India.

But these days, the guru's enclosed wood-carved altar, where millions once worshiped him, is empty. All that's left is a large photograph, an air purifier, blingy lights and fake red roses.

The guru, whose real name is Asumal Harpalani, is languishing in a Jodhpur jail, arrested last month on charges of sexually assaulting the 16-year-old daughter of two followers.

In recent weeks, the allegations against the mega-guru - who has a massive network of 20 million devotees and hundreds of ashrams worth an estimated $760 million - have stunned and split India.

The scandal has raised questions about the unprecedented boom in spiritual gurus in the world's largest democracy - and the enormous power and wealth they wield. Harpalani is not alone among them in amassing riches or getting in scrapes with the law. One holy man, Sathya Sai Baba, died in 2011 and left behind nearly $8 million in gold, silver and cash. In recent years, other gurus have been charged with murder, sexual abuse, running prostitution rackets and illegal land acquisition.


Kenyan mall killings: Interpol issues arrest notice for 'white widow' Samantha Lewthwaite

Ruhila Adatia-Sood Funeral
© Thomas Mukoya /ReutersRelatives and friends carry the coffin of Kenyan journalist Ruhila Adatia-Sood, who was killed in the Westgate Premier Shopping Mall attack, during her funeral in Nairobi.
Interpol has issued an arrest notice for Samantha Lewthwaite, the British woman known as the "white widow" whose husband, Jermaine Lindsay, was one of the suicide bombers in the July 7, 2005, attack on the London transit system. Many have speculated that Lewthwaite might have been involved in the recent assault at the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi, but Interpol did not associate her with the violence there:
Lewthwaite - a 29-year-old Muslim convert whose first husband was one of the suicide bombers in the 2005 attack on the London transit system that killed 52 commuters - is wanted by Kenyan authorities over alleged involvement in a plot to bomb holiday resorts there.

Social media reports that a white female was leading last week's terrorist attack on an upscale Nairobi shopping mall - followed by comments from Kenya's foreign minister that a British woman had been involved - led some British broadcasters and newspapers to link Lewthwaite to the recent attack on the Westgate mall, despite the lack of hard evidence that she was involved.

The Interpol notice made no mention of Westgate, however, saying that Lewthwaite is wanted on charges of possessing explosives and conspiracy to commit a felony in December 2011.

African authorities have linked her to other attacks as well - again, without presenting evidence of her involvement. She is believed to have been questioned by police once but was not taken into custody. - Associated Press

Eiffel Tower

France public debt to hit record 95.1% of GDP in 2014

French public debt
© Unknown
France says its public debt will hit a new record high of 95.1 percent of the country's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2014, far higher than previous estimates.

Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici and Budget Minister Bernard Cazeneuve presented the draft budget on Wednesday.

Public sector debt, including central government, welfare and local authority debt, stood at 90.2 percent of GDP at the end of last year. The French government had been counting on public debt to peak in 2014 at 94.3 percent of GDP.

The draft budget included measures that amount to an "unprecedented' 15-billion-euro cut in public spending.

The two ministers said some 80 percent of fiscal saving in next year's budget will come from public spending cuts and the remaining 20 percent from tax hikes.

The government also plans to issue treasury bills worth over eight billion euros to overcome the worst than expected budget deficit.


Cops accused of forcing woman to delete video of husband's arrest

© Heather Donald
A man in Crawford County, Mich., was arrested and charged with felony assault with a deadly weapon on Sunday after he called authorities about a trespassing suspect on his property, his wife tells TheBlaze. There are also serious allegations being made about officers demanding that video footage of the incident - taken by the man's wife - be deleted.

Thomas Donald, a military veteran, was reportedly out hunting with his 11-year-old son and armed with an "unloaded" single-shot .410-gauge shotgun (his son chose to use a crossbow instead) when he confronted a man riding a dirt bike on his 10 acres of land. The man and his son then reportedly escorted the trespasser to the front of his property and told his wife, Heather, to call the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to file a "recreational trespass."

What happened when the Crawford County Sheriff's Department arrived shocked them both, though Sheriff Kirk Wakefield tells TheBlaze quite a different story.

In an exclusive interview with TheBlaze, Heather Donald recounted what happened from the couple's perspective. Her husband, Thomas, declined to speak with us on the advice of his attorney and due to the charges against him. His attorney also declined an interview request.

Bad Guys

Russian senate OKs controversial Academy of Sciences reform

© RIA Novosti. Alexei NaumovAcademy of Sciences
The upper house of Russia's parliament approved a contentious reform of the country's Academy of Sciences on Wednesday, as some 200 protesters gathered outside the legislature's building in downtown Moscow.

The bill outlining the reform passed the Federation Council with 135 members voting in favor and two abstaining.

Its main provisions transfer the management of most academic property to a new federal government agency and merge three previously existing academies - focusing on the sciences in general, medicine and agriculture - into one, but bar the state from interfering in the academy's scholarly activities.

An earlier version of the bill approved by the lower house of parliament, the State Duma, provided for the abolition of the academy, but the bill was reworked considering strong protests from the scientific community.

Light Sabers

Truth becomes treason in an empire of lies: Attacks on health reporters and their readers are escalating

Truth becomes treason in an empire of lies. Attacks against health web sites like yours truly and others, and our readers - yes, that would be you - are rapidly escalating.

Thinly veiled threats are issued not just by industry spokespersons (many of whom hide their industry ties from their readers), but also international organizations like UNICEF. It's become very evident, very quickly, that now more than ever, we need your support to counter the increasingly dirty tactics of these industry players.

Simply by reporting the scientific evidence - which is published in peer-reviewed journals, mind you - I've been labeled as a top "anti-vaccine influencer" for my pro-safety stance on vaccines, and a "media supporter of domestic eco-terrorists" for my reporting on the hazards of Roundup and genetically engineered foods.
Why Is UNICEF Accusing Health Journalists of Lying? A recently published report1 by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) reveals that the organization is tracking "the rise of online pro-vaccine safety sentiments in Central and Eastern Europe," and has identified the most influential pro-vaccine safety influencers" on the web.

UNICEF included me on the list, along with other independent health websites like, and, just to name a few. In their opening reference, they use a quote by Mark Twain that reads:
"A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes."
Clearly, UNICEF is inferring that I and other vaccine-safety advocates are lying about the situation and therefore should be ignored. This would be hilarious if it wasn't so serious.

Eye 2

Employee finds copperhead snake inside Charleston day care

© Wikimedia CommonsClose up of head of the copperhead (Agkistrodon contortrix).

Wildlife biologists will inspect the Sacred Heart Early Learning Center in Charleston after an employee found a small copperhead snake in a drawer beneath a crib on Tuesday.

The employee captured the 8-inch snake inside a Styrofoam cup until a biologist with the state Division of Natural Resources arrived. How the snake got there is still a mystery, said DNR spokesman Hoy Murphy.

The center is housed inside the Sacred Heart Pavilion on the corner of Quarrier Street and Leon Sullivan Way.

"This is not typical," Murphy said. "We are talking about it being right in the middle of downtown Charleston."

Eric Richmond, a DNR wildlife biologist, said the agency would sweep the building Tuesday night and early this morning and would then recommend how to prevent other snakes from getting in, Murphy said.

Even though the snake was small, it carried as much venom as an adult-sized copperhead, Richmond said. The snake was turned over to Noel Braley of Wildlife Removal Service in Charleston.

Dawn Snyder, director of the Sacred Heart Early Learning Center, did not return phone messages. The center is licensed by the state to provide care for 52 children age 6 weeks to 3 years, according to its website.


Portland company creates 'placenta prints' in unique new moms trend

Placenta Art
© Portland Placenta Services.
Portland - Placenta is being used to create art in a growing trend for new moms.

The placenta prints, as they're called, involve placing the placenta and the umbilical cord on acid-free paper and making a work of art that looks something like a tree. Some families frame and display their prints while others save them as personal keepsakes.

A local company called Portland Placenta Services specializes in making placenta prints and was featured in the NBC Today Show's Mom blog this week.

Doula Raeben Nolan runs and owns Portland Placenta Services. She has an art background and started honing her skills at making the prints six years ago. These days, it's not uncommon for her to work with 10 clients a month as interest has grown for the unique art.

"Portland is definitely more amenable to it," she said. "People really love it. I think it's a really great way to honor the birth."

Nolan said sometimes the moms, dads or even the grandparents ask to help make the print.


Number of Dutch killed by euthanasia rises by 13 per cent

Dutch people killed
© AlamyThe number of Dutch people killed by medical euthanasia in Holland has more than doubled since it was legalised 10 years ago
The number of Dutch people killed by medical euthanasia has more than doubled in the 10 years since legislation was changed to permit it, rising 13 per cent last year to 4,188.

Voluntary euthanasia or physician assisted suicide, where a doctor is present while a patient kills themselves, usually by drinking a strong barbiturate potion, has been legal in the Netherlands since 2002.

Requests have risen steadily since 2003 when 1,626 people applied for medically administered euthanasia, in most cases by a lethal injection, or assisted suicide.

As previously controversial "mercy killings" have become socially and medically acceptable, the number of cases, the vast majority of medical euthanasia, have more than doubled over the decade to 2012.