Society's ChildS


Double Standards: Iowa law enforcement agent fired after reporting republican governor's car for speeding

larry hedlund
Larry Hedlund was fired for doing his job, and now intents to sue the state of Iowa
An agent of the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) claims he was fired from his job after reporting Gov. Terry Branstad (R)'s vehicle for speeding. According to the Des Moines Register, Larry Hedlund, 55, intends to sue the state after being fired at the end of a 2 and a half month investigation that could leave him unemployable in law enforcement.

"I've been treated like a criminal," Hedlund, who has a 25-year record with the Division with no previous discipline issues, said to the Register Wednesday. "The best analogy I can give you is that they investigated me like I was a murderer, and in the process they murdered my career."

DCI officials would not comment on personnel matters to the Register, but paperwork Hedlund provided to the paper said that he was being dismissed from the division due to "negative and disrespectful messages" he emailed to subordinates about DCI leadership, for misusing a state vehicle and for being "deceptive" with supervisors.


Air Force drone crashes and explodes in Florida, shutting down highway

A United States military drone presumed to be a QF-4 crashed, exploded and sent up a large black cloud of smoke Wednesday morning at Tyndall Air Force Base.

Local news outlets from the Florida panhandle region reported Wednesday morning that an unmanned aerial vehicle crashed on the drone runway at Tyndall AFB during take-off at 8:20 a.m. EST that morning.

Eyewitnesses told WJHG News that the drone "came in hard and fast" before it crashed.

According to the network, Tyndall officials said the drone was carrying a small self-destruct charge and "had to be destroyed for safety considerations during its return to base following a routine operation."

Following the accident, the UAV reportedly went up in flames and started a ground fire, prompting authorities to close nearby Highway 98. They've reported no injuries.

Black Magic

23-yr-old engineer ends life. Reason: A crow sat on his head

© Bangalore Mirror
Anand V H was all of 23, and an engineering graduate to boot. But he was superstitious too - so superstitious that he ended his life on Thursday, all because a crow perched itself on his head -- twice -- the previous day. Anand committed suicide allegedly by consuming poison at his rented accommodation on 3rd Cross, 5th Main, Manjunath Nagar in Rajajinagar. The incident came to light Thursday morning after his older brother, who was in Gadag (420 km from Bangalore near Dharwad), got worried and came to check on him.

Preliminary investigations revealed that Anand got very upset after a crow sat on his head on Wednesday. He immediately called up his mother and narrated the entire incident to her, expressing fears that it augured ill - a belief among a section of Hindus. His mother tried to allay his fears and told him to visit the Hanumantharaya Swamy temple and light a lamp. Anand, however, was not convinced and went home and locked himself up before taking the drastic step.

"My brother had called my mother, Parvathi, and told her about the crow. He was very tense when he spoke. My mother rushed to an astrologer and on his advice told Anand to pray at the Hanumantharaya Swamy temple," V H Hampanna, elder brother of the victim, told Bangalore Mirror.
He went on to add that a few minutes later he called up Anand, but didn't get any response. He presumed his younger sibling was resting as he used to wake up by 5.30 am to go to work and take a nap after returning from work around 4.45 pm.


Siberian driver kills pedestrian for walking slowly

A 77-year-old man was fatally beaten by the driver of a Lexus in Novosibirsk because the driver "did not like" that the man "was crossing the road slowly," police said Friday.

The driver, aged 59, hit the pedestrian several times in the face, inflicting injuries that later proved fatal, police said in a statement posted online.

Stock Down

Reports confirm austerity leads to deepening recession in Europe

A series of new reports confirm that the policy of austerity dictated by the troika - the European Commission, European Central Bank, International Monetary Fund - after the financial crisis of 2008 is plunging Europe ever deeper into recession.

On Tuesday the European Union's statistics agency issued a report stating that in the month of May, imports to and exports from the euro zone both fell over 2 percent. Euro zone exports to the rest of the world fell by 2.3 percent in May after a sharp decline the previous month.

The decline in both imports and exports reflects the contraction of the European economy as a whole. After years of austerity, social spending cuts and growing mass unemployment, the broad mass of European consumers can no longer afford many commodities they took for granted only a few years ago.


Texas passes one of toughest anti-abortion laws in U.S.

© Tamir Kalifa/APAbortion rights advocates filled the rotunda of the Texas state capitor as the senate prepared to vote.
Texas governor Rick Perry to sign off law that bans abortions after 20 weeks after senate approves bill in late-night vote

Texas politicians have given final approval to one of the US's toughest anti-abortion bills, but opponents are set to challenge the legisation in federal court.

More than a thousand pro-choice and anti-abortion demonstrators packed the state capitol in Austin late on Friday night as senators voted on legislation that has made Texas the focus of nationwide abortion-rights activism.

The senate passed House Bill 2 by 19 votes to 11 just before midnight local time. Texas governor Rick Perry is now due to sign it off.

Texas is one of several states that have sought to restrict access to abortions this year, but it has attracted the most attention due to the publicity surrounding Democratic state senator Wendy Davis's bid to block the bill with an almost 11-hour filibuster.

"The key will be what the courts will do," Sylvia Garcia, a Democratic senator for Houston and a former judge, said before the vote. "I think the Texas proposal is on a path to litigation, to being held unconstitutional. We'll have to wait for the courts to ultimately decide."

Arrow Up

New Zealand food prices jump 2.1pc in June

© NZ HeraldFood prices rose 2.1 per cent in June - the biggest monthly jump since GST went up to 15pc in October 2010.
Fruit and vegetable prices have spearheaded a 2.1 per cent rise in food prices for June 2013, a 50 per cent increase on June 2012 and 2011, according to Statistics New Zealand's latest Food Price Index.

This is the biggest monthly gain since GST was lifted to 15 percent in October 2010.

Fruit and vegetable prices rose 13 per cent, compared with 9 per cent in June last year.

Some of the big risers include tomatoes - up 99 per cent, nectarines up 64 per cent, lettuce up 55 per cent and avocadoes up 33 per cent.

Meat, poultry and fish prices increased by 1.3 per cent against the previous month, influenced by chicken rising 12 per cent - largely due to less discounting, said Stats NZ.


Jailed journalist Barrett Brown faces 105 years for reporting on hacked private intelligence firms

Journalist Barrett Brown spent his 300th day behind bars this week on a range of charges filed after he used information obtained by the hacker group Anonymous to report on the operations of private intelligence firms. Brown faces 17 charges ranging from threatening an FBI agent to credit card fraud for posting a link online to a document that contained stolen credit card data. But according to his supporters, Brown is being unfairly targeted for daring to investigate the highly secretive world of private intelligence and military contractors. Using information Anonymous took from the firm HBGary Federal, Brown helped discover a secret plan to tarnish the reputations of WikiLeaks and journalist Glenn Greenwald of The Guardian. Brown similarly analyzed and wrote about the millions of internal company emails from Stratfor Global Intelligence that were leaked in 2011.

We speak to Peter Ludlow, professor of philosophy at Northwestern University, whose article "The Strange Case of Barrett Brown" recently appeared in The Nation. "Considering that the person who carried out the actual Stratfor hack had several priors and is facing a maximum of 10 years, the inescapable conclusion is that the problem is not with the hack itself but with Brown's journalism," Ludlow argues. He adds that the case against Brown could suggest criminality "to even link to something or share a link with someone."

Eye 2

Abu Ghraibs stateside: Texas sheriff's jail ran 'Rape Camp' for years, female inmates violated hundreds of times

A recently filed lawsuit alleges that a Texas sheriff's office ran a "rape camp" at a county jail, where numerous male guards repeatedly raped and humiliated female inmates over an extended period of time.

Two women who were inmates at the jail, which is attached to the county's quaint courthouse building, are now suing Live Oak County and guards Vincent Aguilar, Jaime Smith and Israel Charles Jr.

The lawsuit says the three guards forced the women to shave their vaginas in front of them, to perform oral sex on each other and on the guards and sometimes "to conceal [the guards'] ejaculate by way of ingestion," the court documents state. The guards would also pin the women against the wall while verbally berating them, groping them and digitally raping them, the suit says.

The documents also say the guards told one plaintiff that she "belong[ed] to [them]" and was their "sex slave or whatever they wanted her to be."

During any given attack, there were allegedly anywhere from one to three other guards who watched the crimes as they were committed.

From left to right: Israel Charles Jr., Vince Aguilar, Jaime Smith.


Bruce Springsteen dedicates song to Trayvon Martin during Ireland concert

As NewsBusters previously reported, Stevie Wonder on Monday told a Quebec City concert audience that he was boycotting Florida and other states with "Stand Your Ground" laws as a result of the George Zimmerman verdict.

Apparently not to be outdone, Bruce Springsteen on Tuesday dedicated a song to Trayvon Martin during a concert in Limerick, Ireland.