Society's ChildS

Che Guevara

Turkish 'standing' man inspires hundreds with silent vigil in Taksim Square

standing man
© Vassil Donev/EPAErdem Gunduz stands in Taksim Square during a 'duranadam', or standing man protest, in Istanbul.
Erdem Gunduz - dubbed 'standing man' - stages eight-hour vigil and is joined by 300 people during silent protest

A Turkish man has staged an eight-hour silent vigil in Istanbul's Taksim Square, the scene of violent clashes between police and anti-government protesters in recent weeks, inspiring hundreds of others to follow his lead.

Erdem Gunduz said he wanted to take a stand against police stopping demonstrations near the square, the Dogan news agency reported.

He stood silently, facing the Ataturk Cultural Centre which was draped in Turkish flags and a portrait of Turkey's founder Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, from 6pm on Monday.


Update: Thousands evacuated after explosions at Russian munitions depot storing 13 million shells, with 1,500 firefighters sent to tackle the blaze

More than 6,000 people were evacuated after explosions rocked a Russian munitions depot last night where up to 13million shells are stored. At least 30 people were injured when the shells exploded, causing huge blasts at the Chapaevsk military depot in the Samara region.

Reports from Russia said about 1,500 firefighters were sent to tackle the blaze and residents were evacuated from the nearby village of Nagorny, about 15km from the city of Chapaevsk.
More than 6,000 people had to be evacuated after the huge blasts at Chapaevsk military depot

Comment: Flashback: 4,000 tons of shells explode in Central Russia, leave mushroom cloud-like plume of smoke, evacuations - controversy surrounding the explosions


41 wounded, 7 dead in Chicago weekend shootings

In one of the most violent weekends Chicago has seen since the temperature has risen, seven people were shot dead and at at over 40 were wounded in incidents, police said.

Overnight from Saturday into Father's Day, six were killed and 13 other shootings happened across the city.

The bleak news comes after Chicago experienced a 34 percent drop in murders compared with last year this period, a rate the city hadn't seen since the 1960s.

A series of deadly shootings

On Friday, the weekend's first fatality happened at 11:34 p.m. on the West Side of Chicago. Police said two men were shot during a "dispute," according to NBC Chicago. A 24-year-old man was taken to Loyola University Medical Center and later pronounced dead, police said. According to reports, the other man, a 23-year-old, suffered a gunshot wound to the stomach and was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital.

On Saturday, 21-year-old Ricardo Herrera was shot and killed at about 10:50 p.m. when two others were wounded in the Little Village neighborhood on the Southwest Side of Chicago, police said.

Later that night at 11:45 p.m., police said a 16-year-old boy was shot by a gunman who rode on a bicycle on the West Side of the city. According to reports, he tried to escape, but collapsed steps away from where he was shot. The boy sustained gunshot wounds to the back and arm, police said. He was pronounced dead at 1:37 a.m. at Illinois Masonic Medical Center. Police said Sunday the teen had gang affiliations, according to NBC Chicago, and although his death was ruled a homicide, police said no one was in custody as of Sunday morning.


Four hospitalized amid explosions at military range in Samara region

Five artillery projectiles exploded at a range near Chapayevsk, the Samara region, at about 7:30 p.m. Moscow time.

Two fire trains were sent to the scene, and Defense Ministry and Emergency Situations Ministry special hardware has also been engaged in dealing with the emergency situation.

Samara regional police spokesman Sergei Goldstein said there were about 13 million rounds of ammunition at the range depot. The range had been cordoned off, and roads leading to it blocked, he said.

Four people have been injured in explosions of projectiles at a range in Chapayevsk, the Samara region, a Samara medical source told Interfax.

Chart Pie

Debt-burdened poor students subsidize multibillion-dollar college sports


Student loans have eclipsed credit cards as the number one cause of debt, but it might come as a surprise to struggling students that part of their college tuition is subsidizing the multibillion-dollar world of college sports.

According to research by Jeff Smith at the University of South Carolina Upstate, 227 public colleges at the NCAA Division 1 level made more than $2 billion in athletic fees from students during the 2010-2011 school year.

Ironically, the colleges and universities with the higher percentages of poorer students (with large debt) are the institutions charging the highest "student fees" for sports.

All students have to bear the burden of college athletic programs, but few actually benefit. Critics say this creates a "regressive tax" on low income students.


Not Brave: Melissa Etheridge calls Angelina Jolie's double mastectomy 'most fearful' choice

Melissa Etheridge
© Christopher Polk/Getty ImagesMelissa Etheridge performs on stage at Deer Valley Celebrity Skifest at the Montage Deer Valley on December 8, 2012 in Park City, Utah.
In case you've been completely unplugged and are just tuning in now, Angelina Jolie revealed last month that she had a preventative double mastectomy. The controversial procedure nearly broke the Internet, with supporters applauding her bravery and others scorning American healthcare. Her husband Brad Pitt called her choice "absolutely heroic," but not everyone in Hollywood is as in awe of the actress - notably breast cancer survivor Melissa Etheridge.

During a recent interview with the Washington Blade, the 52-year-old rocker was asked her opinion on Jolie's double mastectomy, and her sentiments did not echo those of other celebrities who lauded the 38-year-old mother of six. Etheridge said, "I wouldn't call it the brave choice." She added, "I actually think it's the most fearful choice you can make when confronting anything with cancer."


Bank of America employee bonus for illegal foreclosure: checks, lies and bankster red tape

bank of america
© Pranav Bhatt
Surprise, surprise.

Just when we thought the big banks couldn't hit a new low, they do.

Six former employees of Bank of America have come forward, alleging that the big bank intentionally denied eligible homeowners mortgage loan modifications, and lied to those homeowners about the status of their mortgage payments and documents.

Bank of America allegedly used these dirty tactics to lead homeowners into foreclosures and in-house loan modifications, both of which helped reap massive profits for BOA's bottom-line.

The employees who have come forward have also said that the big bank rewarded customer service representatives with hefty cash bonuses and gift cards to popular stores when they foreclosed on homes.

According to a lawsuit filed in federal court, a Bank of America employee who placed ten or more mortgage accounts into foreclosure a month could get up to a $500 bonus.

Heart - Black

Civil disobedience is domestic terrorism?: Keystone XL activists labeled possible eco-terrorists in internal TransCanada documents

eco-terrorism cartoon
© Susie Cagle of Grist
Documents recently obtained by Bold Nebraska show that TransCanada - owner of the hotly-contested Keystone XL (KXL)tar sands pipeline - has colluded with an FBI/DHS Fusion Center in Nebraska, labeling non-violent activists as possible candidates for "terrorism" charges and other serious criminal charges.

Further, the language in some of the documents is so vague that it could also ensnare journalists, researchers and academics, as well.

TransCanada also built a roster of names and photos of specific individuals involved in organizing against the pipeline, including's Rae Breaux, Rainforest Action Network's Scott Parkin and Tar Sands Blockade's Ron Seifert. Further, every activist ever arrested protesting the pipeline's southern half is listed by name with their respective photo shown, along with the date of arrest.

It'sPSYOPs-gate and "fracktivists" as "an insurgency" all over again, but this time it's another central battleground that's in play: the northern half of KXL, a proposed border-crossing pipeline whose final fate lies in the hands of President Barack Obama.

The southern half of the pipeline was approved by the Obama Admin. via a March 2013 Executive Order. Together, the two pipeline halves would pump diluted bitumen ("dilbit") south from the Alberta tar sands toward Port Arthur, TX, where it will be refined and shipped to the global export market.

Activists across North America have put up a formidable fight against both halves of the pipeline, ranging from the summer 2011 Tar Sands Action to the ongoing Tar Sands Blockade. Apparently, TransCanada has followed the action closely, given the level of detail in the documents.

Bad Guys

Iceland resumes controversial fin whale hunt

© News of IcelandKristjan Loftsson, CEO of the the company Hvalur hf
Iceland has resumed its disputed commercial fin whale hunt, with two vessels en route to catch this season's quota of at least 154 whales, Icelandic media reported on Monday.

An international website that tracks vessels showed two Icelandic whaling ships, Hvalur 8 and Hvalur 9, well west of Iceland on their way to whaling areas, while national media said the two ships left port late Sunday.

Hvalur, the only company that hunts the giant mammals, was unavailable for comment on Monday, which was a public holiday in Iceland.

Hvalur killed 148 fin whales in 2010, but none in 2011 and 2012 due to the disintegration of its only market in quake- and tsunami-hit Japan.


Sources: Atty. charged in home invasion commits suicide

Paul Mannina, the U.S. Department of Labor attorney charged in a home invasion, was found dead in a D.C. jail cell of an apparent suicide Tuesday, reported NBC4's Mark Segraves.

Mannina, 58, was arrested last week in connection with a violent home invasion at the residence of one of his coworkers.

He was "found unresponsive on the bunk in his cell by facility security staff" around 3:45 a.m. Tuesday, D.C. police said. Police said in an official release that the cause of death is under investigation.