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The State of America's Children 2012

© Unknown
This report is a portrait of where our children are right now and a tool to spur us to set the vision of where we need to go to stop the downward mobility of our children and grandchildren and the diminution of America’s future.
Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis once said, "We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." When we look at the state of our union and the state of America's children in 2012, his words ring very true. It's impossible to deny that our nation's economy, professed values of equal opportunity, future, and soul are all in danger right now.

There are 16.4 million poor children in rich America, 7.4 million living in extreme poverty. A majority of public school students and more than three out of four Black and Hispanic children, who will be a majority of our child population by 2019, are unable to read or compute at grade level in the fourth or eighth grade and will be unprepared to succeed in our increasingly competitive global economy. Nearly eight million children are uninsured. More children were killed by guns in 2008-2009 than U.S. military personnel in both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars to date. A Black boy born in 2001 has a one in three chance of going to prison in his lifetime; a Latino boy a one in six chance of the same fate.

Comment: While millions of children in the good old U.S.A are living in destitution, Congress voted for a $604.5 billion defense budget for next year and to fund more ships, cargo plans and drones that the military doesn't even want. How long will people of conscience stand around and do nothing?


Outrage Over Preacher Who 'Cures' Cancer by Hitting People

Todd Bentley
© YouTube
An American evangelist who reportedly strikes his followers in a bid to cure them of cancer has provoked controversy ahead of his visit to the United Kingdom, with one MP urging the government to ban him from entering the country.

Todd Bentley, who is reported by the Daily Mail as having been convicted of a sexual attack on a seven-year-old when he was 15, is to tour Britain later this month.

The tattooed preacher, who shot to prominence four years ago through his church, Fresh Fire Ministries, claims God uses him to heal the sick. However, it is his 'healing techniques' which have caused outrage.

In one show he is filmed kneeing a colon cancer sufferer in the stomach, with the man falling to the floor. In another a man is pushed over on stage and loses a tooth, reports the Daily Mail.

On one Youtube clip he says: "And I'm thinking why is the power of God not moving? And He said, Because you haven't kicked that woman in the face.

"And there is this older lady worshipping right in front of the platform and the Holy Spirit spoke to me. The gift of faith comes on me. He said, "Kick her in the face with your biker boot." I inched closer and I went bam! And just as my boot made contact with her nose, she fell under the power of God."


Update: 7 dead in shooting at Sikh temple in Wisconsin

Sikh Temple
© AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps
A man wipes away tears outside the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wis. where a shooting took place on Sunday, Aug 5, 2012.
Oak Creek - At least six people were killed Sunday when a gunman opened fire at a Sikh temple near Milwaukee, authorities said. The suspected shooter was later killed in exchange of gunfire with police.

Police were called to the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in the suburb of Oak Creek on Sunday morning, when witnesses said several dozen people were gathering for a service.

Greenfield Police Chief Bradley Wentlandt said the first officer to arrive encountered a man police believe was the shooter. The two exchanged gunfire, and the suspect was killed, he said.


Google Should Pay $750 a Book, Authors Say in E-Book Suit

© unknown
Authors suing Google Inc. (GOOG) over the digitizing of books asked a judge to order the company to pay $750 a book for illegal copying and distribution of their works, according to a court filing today.

Google is being sued over its plan, announced in 2004, to scan millions of books from public and university libraries to provide snippets of text to people who use its Internet search engine. A Manhattan federal judge in May rejected Google's argument that lawsuits by the Authors Guild and the American Society of Media Photographers should be dismissed because the groups lacked standing to sue for copyright infringement.

The Authors Guild today asked the judge for a ruling in its favor on three legal issues, one of which is a claim for damages of $750 a book. The guild also says it wants a ruling that copying books isn't a "fair use" under copyright law, as Google has said it will argue.

Last month, Mountain View, California-based Google sought dismissal of the Authors Guild's suit, arguing that authors benefit from the project because their books can be more readily found, bought and read, while the public gains "increased knowledge."


Wisconsin Sikh Temple Shooting Injures Many

A police dispatcher in Wisconsin says there has been a shooting at a Sikh temple outside of Milwaukee.

Oak Creek Police Department dispatcher Stephanie Uljanec says the shooting took place Sunday morning at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin but she doesn't know how many people are shot or if there are fatalities.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel is reporting that multiple people, somewhere between eight and 20, have been injured.

Oak Creek is south of Milwaukee along Lake Michigan.

Fran McLaughlin, spokeswoman for the Milwaukee County Sheriff's Department, says a call came in at 10:26 a.m. She says officers are at the scene but she has no other information to report.

Source: The Associated Press and The Canadian Press


Mark Zuckerberg Has Lost $9 Billion Since Facebook's IPO

Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg
© Craig Ruttle/AP
Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg
Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg, who owns 503.6 million shares of the world's largest social network, has lost about $9 billion since the company went public in May.

The 28-year-old co-founder has seen the value of his company fall by nearly half since its initial public offering at $38 per share.

On Thursday alone, his fortune fell by $423 million when the stock price reached a new low of $20.04.

At market close Thursday, Zuckerberg was worth $10.2 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

That knocked him out of the top 10 for richest technology billionaires, according to Bloomberg, putting him $400 million behind James Goodnight, the co-founder of software maker SAS Institute Inc.

Facebook's stock picked up Friday morning. At the time of this writing, shares had increased 4.8% to about $21.


Police Officer Fired For Stopping Other Cops' Beating Of Youth

Police were called to help with non-hostile mentally challenged youth. They begin beating the kid immediately and the one that stopped it was fired.


Bankrupt California Cities Slash Public Services to Fund Six-Figure Pensions

© Reuters/Kevin Bartram
A local newspaper headline announces bankruptcy in Stockton, California.
As some California cities face bankruptcy, public services are being slashed so unusually high pensions can stay on the books. Stockton's former police chief rakes in a pension of more than $200,000 a year, while also working another job.

­Former Stockton Police Chief Tom Morris retired with a $204,000 pension after just eight months on the job. While his California city became the largest in the US to file for bankruptcy, he moved to another city and makes an additional $76,066 salary at a new job.

The former police chief retired at age 52, and was among four of the city's chiefs who held the job for less than three years, while retiring with an average of 92 per cent of their final salaries.

But Morris' unusually high pension is not an isolated incident. City councils across California have allowed public safety employees to retire after working for 30 years and collect 90 per cent of their top salaries. But while raking in a sizable pension, they often take jobs elsewhere, while still in their early 50's.

Two former police chiefs in San Bernardino receive similarly high pensions. Keith Kilmer receives $216,581 annually, while working another job. His predecessor, Michael Billdt, who has no college degree and was accused of trying to bribe an officer to withdraw a union grievance in exchange for a dropped investigation, receives $205,014.


New York City Refuses to Defend the Cop Who Pepper-Sprayed Occupy Wall Street Protesters

© YouTube
Screenshot from YouTube user LeakSourceArchive
New York City will not provide a defense attorney for Police Officer Anthony Bologna, who was caught on camera pepper-spraying Occupy Wall Street protesters and now faces a civil lawsuit.

The now-notorious cop, a 29-year veteran of the NYPD and a deputy inspector, will have to cover his own legal fees, with the help of his union, the Captains Endowment Association.

A widely seen YouTube video showed Bologna pepper spraying at least two girls at an Occupy protest, who fell to the ground, screaming and crying in pain while the officer purportedly turned and walked away.

A month after the Sept. 24 incident, a police investigation found that the cop had violated NYPD guidelines.

Patrol Guide 212-95 lists situations in which an officer may legally use pepper spray. It may only be used in situations where the officer must protect himself or another from harm, establish control of someone resisting arrest or someone trying to flee from custody, establish control of an emotionally disturbed person or prevent an attack from a dangerous animal.


French Robbers Sniff Out Pricy Perfumes

© unknown
L'Interdit by Givenchy
When people think heists, they usually think of banks. But a group of masked thieves in France pulled of a truly unusual $1.2 million robbery: Huge quantities of Givenchy perfume, pilfered from a Parisian warehouse in the middle of the night.

­Several robbers reportedly managed to overpower a guard at a perfume warehouse. They then loaded several trucks with the fragrances, which were produced by the legendary French fashion house Givenchy, a subsidiary of luxury multinational LVMH.

The stolen merchandise was recovered shortly after the robbery but the thieves are still at large, police warned. The bottles were found corked and unused, according to local police official Jean-Marie Salsat.