Society's ChildS


Best of the Web: Livestock incinerator imported from Europe to cremate corpses from Ebola plague - 'I've never seen this amount of bodies before'

© Will Wintercross/TelegraphMSF staff prepare to carry a woman into the Ebola clinic in Monrovia, Liberia.
Scale of Ebola outbreak in Western Africa leaves staff of frontline health agency with grim decisions over who to treat and who to turn away

Like every other volunteer who serves with Médecins Sans Frontières, Stefan Liljegren joined up to help the sick and destitute. In 15 years with the agency, he has been everywhere from Afghanistan and Kosovo through to South Sudan and East Timor, the hard and often dangerous work compensated for by the knowledge that he is saving lives.

His latest mission, in Ebola-hit Liberia, offers rather less job satisfaction. As field co-ordinator of MSF's new 160-bed Ebola treatment centre in the capital, Monrovia, one of his tasks is to decide which of the sick people who arrive outside the clinic's gates should get treatment. Such is the scale of the outbreak that for every 20-30 new patients the clinic admits each day, the same number are often turned away - despite the likelihood that they will go home and infect their relatives.

"This is by far the most difficult challenge that I have ever faced," the 44-year-old Swede told The Telegraph during a brief break from his work in the sweltering humidity of Liberia's monsoon season. "Every day I have been faced with impossible choices, and decisions that are inhuman to make. Having to tell someone that they can't come in when they are screaming and begging to do so is an indescribable feeling, especially when you know they may go back to families who might well then get sick themselves."

Outside the clinic an hour earlier, a grisly scene demonstrated Mr Liljegren's point. Resting face down in the mud was the body of Dauda Konneh, 42. He had been lying there dead since daybreak.

"He was vomiting a lot and had symptoms like Ebola, so we put him in a pick-up truck and took him here for treatment," said one young man outside. "When we got here last night, he was still alive, but the clinic would not accept him. He died at dawn today."



1000 nurses and health care workers stage protest in Las Vegas: 'Ebola could easily come to our shores and we are not ready!'

nurses ebola protest
Nurses protest along Las Vegas Boulevard Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014
Hundreds of nurses have staged a protest rally in Las Vegas, Nevada, warning that US hospitals aren't ready for an Ebola outbreak and demanding more action by authorities against a possible epidemic in the US.

About 1,000 nurses and healthcare workers attended the Planet Nurse convention on Wednesday, chanting slogans to raise awareness about the increasing danger and death from Ebola.

The protesters highlighted the lack of training, equipment and isolation rooms where suspected Ebola-infected patients in the US could be quarantined. They also took part in what they called a "die-in" by laying on the ground in imitation of dying Ebola victims.

Ebola "can easily come to our shores, and we're not ready," said Julia Scott, a registered nurse from Largo Medical Center in Florida who was attending the rally.

Comment: And it is because no one will be able to help you when Ebola hits your community that it is of utmost importance that you educate yourself as much as possible about this horrifying epidemic. Your knowledge might save your life or that of a loved one one day:

Ebola - What you're not being told

Pestilence, the Great Plague and the Tobacco Cure

Natural treatments for Ebola virus exist, research suggests

Natural allopathic treatment modalities for Ebola

Vitamin C - A cure for Ebola

Ebola threatens humanity by preying on human instincts of caring


LAPD Cops busted, laughing and "fistbumping" as they handcuffed nurse

Several Los Angeles police officers are under investigation after being caught on camera beating and repeatedly body-slamming a woman during what was a routine traffic stop in Tujunga.

Surveillance footage of the incident was first obtained by local NBC LA. It shows the officers pushing her into a squad car, then giving congratulatory fist bumps to each other, celebrating their abuse of the woman.

The woman, Michelle Jordan, is a 34-year-old mother and registered nurse who is from Sunland, California. She went public Tuesday, opening up about her experience. Now she is filing a personal complaint against the officers, according to local KTLA.

Sources from within LAPD tell the Los Angeles Times that Jordan was pulled over at a Del Taco restaurant because officers saw her talking on a cellphone while driving. Officials then claim that Jordan defied the officers' orders to remain in her car and began challenging them, according to the Times.

The officers then arrested her, slamming her body to the ground twice. Jordan's lawyer, Arthur Corona, described her a "defenseless woman in a sundress" and asks why officers felt the need to use such aggressive means against his client.

Sy Nafiz, another attorneys for Jordan, said "If anyone on the street attacked an innocent woman, they would be in jail. We expect the LAPD officers to be held to the same standard."


Grand Jury declines to indict officers involved in fatal shooting of man in Walmart

John Crawford III
© Associated Press
This undated photo provided by the family of John Crawford III shows Crawford, right, with his mother, Tressa Sherrod.
Announcement comes after Ohio grand jury declines to indict the two police officers involved in killing of John Crawford III

The US government is to review the fatal police shooting of a man carrying a BB rifle in a Walmart store in Ohio, after a grand jury in the state declined to indict the officers involved.

The Justice Department's civil rights division and the FBI will carry out a "thorough and independent review of the evidence" relating to the death of John Crawford III in Beavercreek last month, it was announced on Wednesday.

Carter Stewart, the US attorney for the southern district of Ohio, said in a statement that authorities would "take appropriate action if the evidence indicates a prosecutable violation of federal criminal civil rights statutes".

The announcement came soon after a request from Ohio's governor, John Kasich, and attorney general, Mike DeWine, for the federal authorities to review the case. An attorney for Crawford's family described the decision not to bring charges in the case as "absolutely incomprehensible".

A special grand jury in Greene County announced on Wednesday that it would not indict the officers involved in shooting Crawford in the Walmart in the suburb of Dayton, on the evening of August 5.

"Now that the state criminal investigation has finished, it is an appropriate time for the United States Department of Justice to look into whether any federal laws were violated during this shooting," DeWine said in a statement.

The grand jury considered charges of murder, reckless homicide and negligent homicide, according to special prosecutor Mark Piepmeier. It heard from 18 witnesses and watched surveillance footage of the incident recorded inside the store.

Kasich, the Ohio governor, said in his own statement after the decision: "After talking with the attorney general and watching the video myself, I agree with his decision that a review by the US department of justice is appropriate."

Michael Wright, the attorney for Crawford's family, said in a statement on Wednesday that they were "disappointed, disgusted and confused". He said: "They are heartbroken that justice was not done in the tragic death of their only son."


'Flood Wall Street' ends with mass arrests of protesters

© Reuters / Adrees LatifNew York City police officers arrest a man taking part in the Flood Wall Street demonstration in Lower Manhattan, New York September 22, 2014.
Just one day after the world's largest climate-related protest, thousands of more rebellious activists risked detainment to shut down part of New York City's financial district to demand action against global warming. More than 100 people were arrested.

United under the "Flood Wall Street" banner, some 2,000 demonstrators streamed into New York's financial district Monday afternoon and promptly sat down in the streets. The sit-in, which organizers said was aimed at confronting "corporate polluters and those profiting from the fossil fuel industry,"completely shut down traffic in the area for nearly eight hours.

Around 7:30 p.m., the New York Police Department (NYPD) began arresting protesters en masse and charging them with disorderly conduct. Earlier in the day, several arrests were made, with one witness telling RT pepper spray was used in at least one circumstance.
Multiple people are being arrested at once now #FloodWallStreet

- RT America (@RT_America) September 22, 2014
Activists, many of whom took part in the Occupy Wall Street protests three years ago, did not have a permit for the demonstration from the NYPD, meaning they risked arrest for participating. National Lawyers Guild members sprinkled through the crowd handed out legal advice to those at the scene, taking down names and even helping people set aside bail money.

Comment: While it's always good to see people express their first amendment rights, these individuals need to get up to date on the what's really happening with climate change. The world is cooling, NOT warming:

Apple Red

Seattle to fine residents, businesses for wasting too much food - Good idea!

Seattle wants its residents to compost food scraps so much the city will begin fining homes, apartment buildings and businesses that throw away too much food mixed with their garbage, according to new rules passed by the city council.

Starting in January, trash collectors "can take a cursory look each time they dump trash into a garbage truck," the Seattle Times reported. From the start of the year until the end of June, residents whose trash consists of at least 10 percent food waste or certain paper products will receive a warning from Seattle Public Utilities (SPU), the Associated Press said.

On July 1, the fines will begin.

Single-family homes will face a $1 fine on their next garbage bill if they don't comply with the new rules. Trash collectors will enter the violation into a computer system their trucks already carry, and will leave a ticket explaining the details of the fine on the garbage bin.

Comment: The huge amount of food that are thrown away every day while people are starving in our world is a disgrace. It's time people were reminded of that.


American Justice: NYC man wrongfully imprisoned for 23 years dies days before false imprisonment lawsuit begins

© Reuters / Mark Makela
A New York City man who served 23 years in prison for a crime he did not commit died unexpectedly over the weekend only three days before proceedings were slated to begin concerning his $124 million false imprisonment federal lawsuit.

William Lopez, 55, died on Sunday from an asthma attack, his lawyer told reporters this week. A pre-motion conference pertaining to his case had been scheduled for Monday, and proceedings were set to begin on Tuesday; the hearings have since been postponed until a representative could be appointed to the estate, attorney Dennis Kelly told the Associated Press.

Lopez served nearly a quarter-century in prison for murder before a judge threw out the conviction in January 2013 and said the case had been "rotten from Day 1."

"[W]hat is far from close in the court's view is that Lopez has been wronged by the State of New York,"Judge Nicolas Garaufis said early last year, citing in his 57-page decision, among other contributing factors, "an overzealous and deceitful trial prosecutor," "a series of indolent and ill-prepared defense attorneys" and "a bewildering jury verdict."

"In short, the prosecution's evidence was flimsy to begin with and has since been reduced to rubble,"Judge Garaufis wrote. "The result is that a likely innocent man has been in prison for over 23 years. He should be released with the State's apology."

Bad Guys

Depraved! NYPD officers slam visibly pregnant woman on pavement, use stun gun on her belly

© Rawstory
The New York Police Department (NYPD) launched an investigation this week after a watchdog group released video showing officers in Brooklyn slamming a pregnant woman on the ground.

On Tuesday, police watchdog group El Grito de Sunset Park posted video of a Saturday confrontation between police and 17-year-old John Lemos.

According to the group, the woman said that officers were harassing her 17-year-old son, John Lemos, for a prior robbery arrest. Police, however, said that they were trying to arrest Lemos for possession of a knife.

"According to this young man, the cops, when they put the razor blade in his pocket, they told him, 'We're going to make sure this time, it sticks,'" Dennis Flores of El Grito de Sunset Park explained. "So the mom saw this, started yelling out, and the cops grabbed her and slammed her against the floor like we see in the video. And they put a Taser to her stomach."

"She is pregnant! Oh my gosh!" a person in the recording can be heard yelling.

The pregnant woman said that the stun gun left burns on her stomach. Police were also seen slamming another woman on the ground when she allegedly tried to interfere.

Flores told WABC that Lemos's mother was still trying to recover.

Bad Guys

Forest Service says media needs photography permit in wilderness areas, alarming First Amendment advocates

Mount Hood
© The Oregonian/2013First Amendment advocates are alarmed by a U.S. Forest Service policy requiring journalists to get a permit to shoot videos in federal wilderness areas including those on Mount Hood.
The U.S. Forest Service has tightened restrictions on media coverage in vast swaths of the country's wild lands, requiring reporters to pay for a permit and get permission before shooting a photo or video in federally designated wilderness areas.

Under rules being finalized in November, a reporter who met a biologist, wildlife advocate or whistleblower alleging neglect in any of the nation's 100 million acres of wilderness would first need special approval to shoot photos or videos even on an iPhone.

Permits cost up to $1,500, says Forest Service spokesman Larry Chambers, and reporters who don't get a permit could face fines up to $1,000.

First Amendment advocates say the rules ignore press freedoms and are so vague they'd allow the Forest Service to grant permits only to favored reporters shooting videos for positive stories.

"It's pretty clearly unconstitutional," said Gregg Leslie, legal defense director at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press in Alexandria, Va. "They would have to show an important need to justify these limits, and they just can't."

Liz Close, the Forest Service's acting wilderness director, says the restrictions have been in place on a temporary basis for four years and are meant to preserve the untamed character of the country's wilderness.

Close didn't cite any real-life examples of why the policy is needed or what problems it's addressing. She didn't know whether any media outlets had applied for permits in the last four years.

She said the agency was implementing the Wilderness Act of 1964, which aims to protect wilderness areas from being exploited for commercial gain.

"It's not a problem, it's a responsibility," she said. "We have to follow the statutory requirements."


'I'm an atheist' because science is 'more convincing' than God - Stephen Hawking

© The Guardian
Stephen Hawking clarified this week that he was an atheist because science had provided him with a "more convincing" explanation of the origins of the universe. According to NBC News, Hawking made the comments to the Spanish-language paper El Mundo during the Starmus Festival at Tenerife in the Canary Islands.

El Mundo's Pablo Jauregui pointed out that Hawking had written in his book A Brief History of Time that scientists could "know the mind of God" if a unifying set of principles - or theory of everything - was discovered to explain the physical universe. But Hawking later wrote in The Grand Design that God was no longer necessary because science had provided a better understanding of the universe.

"Before we understand science, it is natural to believe that God created the universe," the world-famous theoretical physicist told Jauregui. "But now science offers a more convincing explanation."

"What I meant by 'we would know the mind of God' is, we would know everything that God would know, if there were a God, which there isn't," he added. "I'm an atheist."

But Hawking does believe that humans are not alone in the universe, and that meeting extraterrestrial life could be like Christopher Columbus coming to the Americas.

"Which didn't turn out very well for the Native Americans," he warned.

"The idea that we are alone in the universe seems to me completely implausible and arrogant," Hawking told the paper. "Considering the number of planets and stars that we know exist, it's extremely unlikely that we are the only form of evolved life."

Via NBC News

Comment: Mr. Hawking is coming from this perspective:
  • Analytic Thinking Can Promote Atheism
But at the same time, rigidity of thinking can produce this: Still there is hope for developing a higher understanding:
  • Science and Religion