Society's ChildS

Black Cat 2

From psychics to tarot cards, owners try untraditional ways of connecting with pets

Talking to Pets
© Jeri Clausing / AP Heidi Schulman poses for a photo with her rescue dog, Bosco, in Santa Fe, N.M., who inspired her to develop The Original Dog Tarot.
It's the age old and seemingly unanswerable question: What in the world is my dog thinking? It's also one that has spawned a growing market not only of scientific research but of everything from decks of pet tarot cards to books by pet psychics.

Whether any one of them can provide real answers is a matter of opinion, but pet owners can spend a lot of time and money trying.

Andrea Gladstone and David Radis wanted to know more about what was going on in their rescue dog's head, so they bought The Original Dog Tarot, a set of 30 cards and a guidebook developed by Heidi Schulman, a freelance writer and former television news producer from Santa Fe, N.M.

They spread the deck on the floor, and asked LoLa why she chewed up her puppy training book and the Dog Tarot guide.

The answer they divined from the three cards she picked - The Cat, the Pack and Justice - was that she was insecure in her new home and wrecked the books to establish her security and see if they held grudges.

"For me it is more the fun of it than the life lessons to be learned. But I respect the tarot," said David Radis, of Encino, Calif. "I have done one reading for each of my dogs and they were both spot on. I spread the cards out and ask the dog to touch the cards with their nose or paw."

Not everyone consults the latest books for fun. Cathy, an entertainment paralegal in California who asked that her last name not be used, called on pet psychic Jocelyn Kessler, author of The Secret Language of Dogs, to help her communicate with her 11-year-old lab Champ when he fell ill.

Alarm Clock

New Jersey supreme court rules state can seek custody of child without evidence of abuse

© Thinkstock
The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled this week that authorities can seek custody of a child, even where there's no evidence of abuse or neglect.

The case involved a divorced Camden County mother of 9-year-old twin girls. In 2007, she asked New Jersey's Division of Child Protection and Permanency for help, claiming she was unable to care for the girls who had psychological and developmental disabilities and needed to be placed in residential care.

"You can turn to the Division for help, but it may come with a cost," says Diana Autin, executive director of Statewide Parent Advocacy Network of New Jersey. The group filed an amicus brief in the case.

Autin says under the court's ruling, the state can get custody of a child with behavior problems if it proves that the parent can't provide the type of services the child needs and the services are in the child's best interest. She says the division can get custody without using the state's abuse and neglect law.

"It could end with an award of custody to the division for at least six months, maybe even longer," says Autin. "We're going to encourage parents to get voluntary services from the division, because if the parent is then uncomfortable about what the parent wants to do, they can withdraw consent."

The twins' mother, identified as "I.S." in the court ruling, went to child welfare seeking help. According to court papers, the department had received more than a dozen reports, including allegations of sexual abuse, but none were substantiated. Eventually the mother told authorities the girls needed residential care, which she was unable to provide.

The court acknowledged no neglect or abuse by the mother, but gave custody to the state under New Jersey's abuse and neglect statute. After the girls got help, one daughter was returned to the mother. Custody of the second daughter was awarded to the father.

"By seeking help," says Autin, "she lost custody of one of her children."

Alarm Clock

Violence against women at epidemic proportions

© Susanne Borges/A.B./CorbisThe first global survey of domestic violence reveals the staggering extent of the problem.
Three in ten women worldwide have been punched, shoved, dragged, threatened with weapons, raped, or subjected to other violence from a current or former partner. Close to one in ten have been sexually assaulted by someone other than a partner. Of women who are murdered, more than one in three were killed by an intimate partner.

These grim statistics come from the first global, systematic estimates of violence against women. Linked papers published today in The Lancet and Science assess, respectively, how often people are killed by their partners1 and how many women experience violence from them2. And an associated report and guidelines from the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Swizerland, along with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the South African Medical Research Council in Pretoria, estimates how often women suffer sexual violence from someone other than a partner, gauge the impact of partner and non-partner violence on women's health and advise health-care providers on how to support the victims.

"These numbers should be a wake-up call. We want to highlight that this is a problem that occurs in all regions and it's unacceptably high," says Claudia García-Moreno, a physician at WHO who coordinates research on gender violence and worked on all the publications.


The shocking moment a woman is thrown to the ground by Florida police officers as she celebrated Miami Heat victory

Euphoric basketball fans spilled onto the streets of Miami for an impromptu party after the Heat claimed their second consecutive NBA title last night. But this picture suggests that celebrations turned sour in at least one corner of the city.

It reveals a woman apparently being pushed to the ground by police officers as they attempted to clear the streets of jubilant Miami Heat fans. One picture shows the woman tumbling onto the concrete, while another shows a police officer apparently trying to haul her to her feet by grasping her t-shirt.
Scuffle: A City of Miami Police officer appears to push a woman to the ground as the force attempts to clear a street of revellers following Miami Heat's victory over the San Antonio Spurs
Additional images

Che Guevara

Revolution? Brazilian protests swells to millions: government calls emergency meeting

Brazil's president, Dilma Rousseff, and key ministers are to hold an emergency meeting on Friday following a night of protests that saw Rio de Janeiro and dozens of other cities echo with percussion grenades and swirl with teargas as riot police scattered the biggest demonstrations in more than two decades. The protests were sparked last week by opposition to rising bus fares, but they have spread rapidly to encompass a range of grievances, as was evident from the placards. "Stop corruption. Change Brazil;" "Halt evictions;" "Come to the street. It's the only place we don't pay taxes; "Government failure to understand education will lead to revolution." A vast crowd - estimated by the authorities at 300,000 and more than a million by participants - filled Rio's streets, one of a wave of huge nationwide marches against corruption, police brutality, poor public services and excess spending on the World Cup.


Price of cigarettes in Russia to jump 50% next year

© RIA Novosti / Alexey Malgavko
The Russian Ministry of Finance plans to raise tax on tobacco by 50% to bring it closer to European levels. The World Health Organization has suggested Russia needs a seven-fold increase by 2020.

The draft legislation is to be presented to the government on June 20, Izvestia daily reports.
Excise duty on filter cigarettes will be raised to 820 roubles ($25) per thousand cigarettes from 550 roubles ($17). The hike will increase the retail price of cigarettes by 50% to an average $3 per pack, the paper calculates.

The excise tax on alcoholic beverages also will increase, the paper reports. It will go up from 9% to 25% on spirits, 14% on wine, and 4% on champagne.

The duties will be raised to equalize taxation of tobacco products with other European countries, the paper reports.
The fight against smoking is the second reason for the increase. If the price is increased, children, adolescents and the poor will either smoke less or move to low-quality tobacco, the paper reports.

Che Guevara

Protesters numbering 30,000 march against Brazil's World Cup and Olympics spending

© AFP Photo / Yuri CortezAnti-riot police officers carry a wounded demonstrator as clashes erupt in Fortaleza on June 19, 2013.
Violent clashes have erupted in the northern city of Fortaleza in the hours leading to a Confederations Cup match with Mexico. Dozens were hurt as riot police unleashed tear gas and barrage of rubber bullets at a crowd of some 30,000 Brazilian protesters.

Images and video of the demonstration just outside of the north-eastern city depicted throngs of protesters marching down a road towards the stadium hosting Wednesday's match. One person was reported to have suffered an eye injury and another was taken away on a stretcher.

The protesters were marching against government spending on the World Cup and the Olympics. During the Fortaleza protest, demonstrators carried banners reading "a teacher is worth more than Neymar," a reference to one of Brazil's star players slated to appear in Wednesday's game


Substation fire causes blackout in almost half of Prague

A fire at an electrical substation left many Prague's residents without power on Tuesday night. The blackout did not cause any direct injuries, but left some stranded in lifts or without a way to get home.

At around 10:30 pm on Tuesday, almost half of the capital - in the eastern central and southern regions - lost power. For some, the electricity came back on after a few minutes, but most remained in darkness for an hour to an hour and a half. Some buildings were also left without running water.

The reason was a massive fire at an electrical substation in the southern Chodov district. Some 60 tons of oil ignited causing a loud explosion and fierce blaze. Officials at the ČEPS company, which manages power distribution, presume that the explosion was caused by damage to the porcelain electrical bushing in the transformer. Vladimír Tošovský, chairman of the board of directors of ČEPS:

"This is not an unusual defect. It happens. The last time this happened in the Czech Republic was in 2009 in Vyškov, when a similar transformer burnt down. On the other hand, this transformer is not very new, it is 15 years old. It is now completely destroyed and we will have to build a new one."

Cow Skull

400-year-old skeleton of aboriginal woman found in Sarnia backyard costs couple $5,000 in Canada

aboriginal woman skeleton
© Nicole SauveSarnia residents Ken Campbell and Nicole Sauve found human remains in their backyard that a forensic anthropologist thinks belong to a First Nations woman who was part of a hunting, gathering and fishing society.
The story of Nicole Sauve, who found 400-year-old bones in her Point Edward backyard, was ordered to hire an archaeologist, and is now saddled with a $5,000 bill.

A Sarnia couple who set out to build a fence dug up more than they bargained for recently when they unearthed a 400-year-old skeleton and got stuck with a $5,000 bill from the province.

The archeological misadventure began two weeks ago when Ken Campbell came across some bones while digging post holes in their backyard.

He put them aside, thinking they must have belonged to an animal. The following week, his wife, Nicole Sauve, asked about the bones, which sat unceremoniously atop a bucket of earth

"I said, 'They're not animal bones, Ken. Let's dig some more and see what we can find,' "she said.

What they found was the rest of the skeleton of an aboriginal woman.


Latest search for Jimmy Hoffa's body ends with no remains found

Hoffa search
© Rebecca Cook/ReutersA federal investigator carries yellow crime tape at a field which investigators are prepared to dig up for the remains of former Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa in Oakland Township, Michigan June 17, 2013
The latest search for the remains of former Teamsters boss Jimmy Hoffa ended on Wednesday in a field near Detroit, where federal agents had dug with heavy equipment and shovels for three days in the hope of answering the decades old question, "Whatever happened to Jimmy Hoffa?"

Since Monday, 40 agents for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Michigan state police and Oakland County sheriff's office, and forensic anthropologists from Michigan State University had combed an acre of the overgrown field not far from where Hoffa was last seen alive in 1975.

"We did not uncover any evidence relevant to the investigation on James Hoffa," Robert Foley, head of the FBI's Detroit office, told reporters. "Of course we're disappointed."

The search for Hoffa, who was 62 when he disappeared and is thought to have been killed by members of organized crime, has become near mythical, providing fodder for rumors, books, and movies, including 1992's Hoffa, starring Jack Nicholson.

Law enforcement officials decided to search the field after reputed mobster Anthony Zerilli, 85, told the FBI Hoffa was buried there. When Hoffa disappeared, the property was owned by a man Zerilli said was his first cousin. Zerilli is the son of former reputed Detroit mob boss Joseph Zerilli.