Welcome to Sott.net
Mon, 06 Feb 2023
The World for People who Think

Society's Child

Brick Wall

Innocent man spent years in jail for sexual assault that never happened

Norfolk, Virginia - Johnathan Montgomery spent the past four years in a Virginia state prison saying the same thing a lot of inmates do: He was innocent.

Convicted in 2008 of molesting a 10-year-old girl outside her grandmother's Hampton home when he was 14, he insisted the alleged 2000 assault never happened. Turns out, he was telling the truth.

After the woman recently recanted her story, Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell on Tuesday issued a conditional pardon to Montgomery, allowing him to be freed in time for Thanksgiving at his father's home in Vale, N.C.

"The truth sets you free," Montgomery, now 26, said Tuesday night, shortly after being released from the Greensville Correctional Center in Jarrat, Va., where reporters awaited him.

It's not exactly clear why the woman, Elizabeth Paige Coast, recanted her story, but she was working as a clerk for the Hampton, Va., police department at the time.

The Associated Press does not typically identify alleged victims of sexual assault. However, Coast is being identified because authorities say she admitted fabricating the story and because she has been charged with perjury.

According to media reports, prosecutors say that Coast told investigators that her parents caught her looking at pornographic websites in 2007 when she was 17, so she concocted a story of prior sexual abuse to explain her behavior. When the alleged assault occurred, Montgomery lived across the street from Coast's grandmother in Hampton, Va. The two had previously played together.

Light Saber

Judge stops school from expelling girl who refused to wear tracking device

© Youtube user WeAreChange San Antonio
A Texas high school student will be allowed to continue going to class for now despite her refusal to cooperate with a program that forces pupils to be mandatorily tracked with computer chips.

Andrea Hernandez was told she'd be expelled from John Jay High School's Science and Engineering Academy in San Antonio starting next week if she insists any further on disobeying a new policy that requires students to wear ID badges equipped with tiny Radio Frequency Identification ("RFID") chips. Now attorneys with the Rutherford Institute say Hernandez has been granted a temporary restraining order that will prohibit the Northside Independent School District from relocating the student to another facility.

"The court's willingness to grant a temporary restraining order is a good first step, but there is still a long way to go - not just in this case, but dealing with the mindset, in general, that everyone needs to be monitored and controlled," Rutherford Institute President John Whitehead says in a statement.

"Regimes in the past have always started with the schools, where they develop a compliant citizenry. These 'Student Locator' programs are ultimately aimed at getting students used to living in a total surveillance state where there will be no privacy, and wherever you go and whatever you text or email will be watched by the government."

Eye 1

Electronic tracking: New constraint for Saudi women


A Saudi woman gets out of a car after being given a ride by her driver in Riyadh.
Denied the right to travel without consent from their male guardians and banned from driving, women in Saudi Arabia are now monitored by an electronic system that tracks any cross-border movements.

Since last week, Saudi women's male guardians began receiving text messages on their phones informing them when women under their custody leave the country, even if they are travelling together.

Manal al-Sherif, who became the symbol of a campaign launched last year urging Saudi women to defy a driving ban, began spreading the information on Twitter, after she was alerted by a couple.

The husband, who was travelling with his wife, received a text message from the immigration authorities informing him that his wife had left the international airport in Riyadh.

"The authorities are using technology to monitor women," said columnist Badriya al-Bishr, who criticised the "state of slavery under which women are held" in the ultra-conservative kingdom.

Women are not allowed to leave the kingdom without permission from their male guardian, who must give his consent by signing what is known as the "yellow sheet" at the airport or border.


Home amid Chinese highway a symbol of resistance

© The Associated Press
In this Nov. 22, 2012 file photo, people stand near a house sitting in the middle of a new main road on the outskirts of Wenling city in east China's Zhejiang province.
Beijing - In the middle of an eastern Chinese city's new main road, rising incongruously from a huge circle in the freshly laid pavement, is a five-story row house with ragged edges. This is the home of the duck farmer who said "no."

Luo Baogen and his wife are the lone holdouts from a neighborhood that was demolished to make way for the main thoroughfare heading to a newly built railway station on the outskirts of the city of Wenling in Zhejiang province.

Dramatic images of Luo's home have circulated widely online in China this week, becoming the latest symbol of resistance in the frequent standoffs between Chinese homeowners and local officials accused of offering too little compensation to vacate neighborhoods for major redevelopment projects.

There's even a name for the buildings that remain standing as their owners resist development. They are called "nail houses" because the homeowners refuse to be hammered down.

Nail house families occasionally have resorted to violence. Some homeowners have even set themselves on fire in protests. Often, they keep 24-hour vigils because developers will shy away from bulldozing homes when people are inside.


New Facebook policy conflicts with European law, concerns privacy advocates

© The Associated Press/Ronald Zak
Austrian student Max Schrems sits with files about his activities on his Facebook account that Facebook handed over to him, in Vienna, Austria. Elements of Facebook’s new privacy policy conflict with European law, a key regulator said.
Parts of Facebook's proposed new privacy policy conflict with European law, a key regulator said Friday as he moved to give users in the European Union more power to block the sharing of their data with the company's affiliates such as Instagram.

Regulators alerted Facebook about the problem shortly after the company announced major changes Wednesday in how it will treat users' personal data, said Gary T. Davis, deputy data protection commissioner in Ireland. His office oversees Facebook operations for the European Union because the company's European headquarters is in Dublin.

The proposed policy also drew criticism from American privacy advocates, who said that the changes would make more data available to advertisers without users' explicit consent, in violation of last year's consent decree between Facebook and the Federal Trade Commission. The agreement stemmed from complaints about the company's handling of personal data.

"Facebook is not really telling users what this means and how this is going to work," said Jeff Chester, executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy. His group is planning to join the Electronic Privacy Information Center in complaining to the FTC about the proposed Facebook policy changes. The agency declined to comment on Friday.

In Ireland, Davis expressed confidence that the company would make revisions giving European users the right to explicitly accept or reject data-sharing with affiliates such as Instagram. Facebook acquired the company for $1 billion in April, but it remains a separate legal entity.

Wine n Glass

Woman stabbed man in the neck with a serving fork at Thanksgiving dinner

Shenika Allsup

Shenika Allsup
Annapolis, Maryland - Police say a woman was arrested Thursday after she attacked a man with a serving fork during Thanksgiving dinner.

The incident happened at about 9:30 p.m. at a home on the 1100 block of Madison Street in Annapolis.

Officers say several people were having dinner when an argument broke out. Police say that during the argument, 27-year-old Shenika Allsup stabbed a man in the neck with a serving fork used to serve turkey.

The man was transported to Anne Arundel Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries.

Allsup was arrested and faces several assault charges.

Eye 2

Inside the sick mind of 'Son of Sal' serial killer suspect Salvatore Perrone

Salvatore Perrone
© Ken Murray/New York Daily News
Salvatore Perrone
Duffel bag-toting Staten Island man eyed in three slayings of Brooklyn shopkeepers was shifted into protective custody on Rikers Island.

New York -The accused "Son of Sal" serial killer laughed maniacally after his arrest, used his basement as a firing range and fancied himself a patriot in the service of the CIA, law enforcement sources said Friday night.

As triple-murder suspect Salvatore Perrone, 64, was shifted into protective custody on Rikers Island, ahead of a court date set for Monday, new disturbing details emerged.

The suspected psycho's signature duffel bag contained the murder weapon, a sawed-off .22-caliber rifle, police have said. Sources on Friday added that the bag also held a pair of nunchucks, the rifle's sawed-off stock, several knives and clothing.

The knife tied to the murder of the second victim, Bensonhurst merchant Isaac Kadare, 59, was found wrapped in a bloody towel, sources said, adding DNA testing confirmed the 12-inch serrated blade was used in the homicide.

Shopping Bag

Black Friday violence: 2 shot outside Walmart, scuffles across U.S.

Two people were shot outside a Walmart in Florida today, one of a rash of fights, robberies and other incidents that have cropped up on one of the most ballyhooed shopping days of the year.

The shooting took place at a Walmart in Tallahassee about 12:30 p.m., said Dave Northway, public information officer for the Tallahassee Police Department.

Investigators believe a scuffle over a parking space outside the store escalated into gunplay leaving two people shot.

The two victims, whose names and genders have not been released, were taken to a hospital with what are believed to be non-life threatening injuries.

Police are looking for a dark green Toyota Camry in connection with this case.

At a Walmart parking lot on Thanksgiving night in Covington, Wash., two people were run down by a driver police suspected of being intoxicated.

The 71-year-old driver was arrested on a vehicular assault charge after the incident, spokeswoman Sgt. Cindi West of the Kings County Sheriff's Office said.

The female victim, whose identity has yet to be released, was pinned beneath the driver's Mercury SUV until being rescued by the fire department. She was flown to Harborview Medical Center, where she was listed in serious condition, West said.

The male victim was also taken to Harborview Medical Center, where, West said, he was listed in good condition.


Walmart Black Friday 2012: 2 shot in Tallahassee, uncontrollable crowds in Moultrie, Georgia


Two people were shot at a Walmart store in Tallahassee, Fla. on Black Friday.
Tallahassee, Fla. police are interviewing witnesses outside of a Walmart where two people were shot on Black Friday 2012.

A police spokesman says the victims were being treated Friday at an area hospital for wounds that weren't considered life-threatening. It wasn't immediately known whether the shooting happened inside or outside the store or whether it was related to Black Friday shopping.

No arrests have been made.

Meanwhile in Moultrie, Ga., a Walmart store there experienced craziness of an uncontrollable crowd, though there are no
immediate reports of injuries. (See a video of the incident at the end of this story.)

Customers can be seen at the Moultrie Walmart scrambling to get the Straight Talk Unlimited Plan for wireless offering unlimited talk, text and data. Walmart released the following statement in response:

"The safety of our customers and associates is always a top priority for us. We prepared each of our 4,000 stores for Black Friday with a specific plan unique to each store to manage the crowds as they took advantage of our in-store specials.

Bizarro Earth

Protests and clashes across Egypt as 'Pharaoh' Morsi seizes new powers

Police fired tear gas at protesters as supporters and opponents of President Mohamed Morsi clashed in Cairo. Over 100 people were reportedly injured as sporadic clashes continued into the night, while protesters organized a sit-in on Tahrir Square.

­"I've witnessed very heavy police tactics. Officers used a lot of tear gas and threw rocks down on protesters from buildings. I've also seen Molotov cocktails being thrown back and forth," Cairo-based journalist Bel Trew told RT.

According to the Ministry of Health, at least 140 people have been injured in clashes between Morsi's supporters and opponents on Friday, Al Arabiya reports.

A coalition of 26 political movements opposing the Egyptian president has started a week-long sit-in protest on Cairo's Tahrir Square.

There were reports of police and security forces trying to break up the protest with tear gas on several occasions during the night.

Demonstrations took place in several cities throughout the country after the leader signed a controversial decree expanding his powers.
© Agence France-Presse/ Mahmoud Khaled
An Egyptian man walks by a burning Egyptian police truck during a demonstration against Egypt's Islamist President Mohamed Morsi on November 23, 2012 in Cairo
Earlier Friday, demonstrators clashed with police in Alexandria, Egypt, as they protested against President Morsi. Casualties were reported at the protests, and Morsi opponents set fire to Muslim Brotherhood offices in the Suez Canal cities of Suez, Port Said and Ismailia, state TV said.

Thousands of demonstrators threw stones and chunks of marble at each other outside an Alexandria mosque after Friday prayers. Anti-Morsi protesters threw firecrackers at supporters of the Brotherhood, who used prayer rugs to shield themselves.

Protesters both for and against President Morsi also rallied in the streets of Cairo, Egypt. Supporters of Morsi chanted, "The people support the president's decree" in front of the presidential palace, AP reported.

The demonstrations follow a call by the Egyptian opposition to protest what they called a 'coup' by Morsi.
© twitter.com user @3araab
"The opposition is very strong right now. This has actually, in a strange way, united the opposition forces who have been quite divided recently," Trew said.