Society's ChildS

Eye 1

The Philadelphia abortion clinic horror - that didn't make the news

Dr. Kermit Gosnell
© Yong Kim, APDr. Kermit Gosnell
We've forgotten what belongs on Page One.

Infant beheadings. Severed baby feet in jars. A child screaming after it was delivered alive during an abortion procedure. Haven't heard about these sickening accusations?

It's not your fault. Since the murder trial of Pennsylvania abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell began March 18, there has been precious little coverage of the case that should be on every news show and front page. The revolting revelations of Gosnell's former staff, who have been testifying to what they witnessed and did during late-term abortions, should shock anyone with a heart.

NBC-10 Philadelphia reported that, Stephen Massof, a former Gosnell worker, "described how he snipped the spinal cords of babies, calling it, 'literally a beheading. It is separating the brain from the body." One former worker, Adrienne Moton, testified that Gosnell taught her his "snipping" technique to use on infants born alive.

Eye 1

Kermit Gosnell murder trial: Philadelphia abortion clinic 'beheaded live babies'

A Pittsburgh medic has revealed horrifying details of the operating conditions of a Philadelphia abortion clinic, where children born alive were "beheaded".

Stephen Massof, 50, is standing witness in the trial of his former employer, Kermit Gosnell. And on 4 April, he told a court he routinely saw the murder of infants at the hospital. He also said the hospital once aborted a fetus at 26 weeks - this is two weeks beyond the permitted 24-week limit, which is in itself only to be used in extreme cases.

fetus
© ReutersHundreds of babies born live were killed at the Philadelphia abortion clinic.

Gosnell, 72, is standing trial for the murder of seven at the Philadelphia Women's Medical Society Clinic, as well as a woman who walked in to the hospital as a patient, the Mail reports.

If he is found guilty, Gosnell will be sentenced to death.

Chalkboard

White House petition reaches 100,000 signatures for home-schooling family Obama administration wants deported to Germany, where home schooling is illegal

  • A lawsuit against the Department of Justice will be heard April 23
  • Federal government based its decision on an international law ruling
  • Germany fines parents for home schooling and can revoke custody rights
  • An estimated 2 million children in the US are home schooled
White House petition took less than 30 days to attract 100,000 supportersA Tennessee family of devout evangelical Christian asylum-seekers who face deportation to their native Germany has reached a milestone in their quest to remain in the United States, now that their petition on the White House's website collected more than 100,000 signatures in less than 30 days.

That's the magic number that the Obama administration says will trigger an official review and a formal response. The total currently stands are more than 111,000.

'Every state in the United States of America recognizes the right to homeschool,' reads the petition filed by the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), 'and the U.S. has the world's largest and most vibrant homeschool community. Regrettably, this family faces deportation in spite of the persecution they will suffer in Germany.'

That group sued the Department of Justice after a judge in the DOJ's Executive Office for Immigration Review ruled that Uwe and Hannelore Romeike's earlier grant of asylum should be revoked.

Romeike
© UnknownThe school day in the Romeike household is conducted around the kitchen table, with Hannelore making the rounds as her children study. An advocacy group sued the federal government over their deportation order, and a federal appeals court will hear the case on April 23

Pistol

School shooters and video games - The Huffington Post doesn't want you to read

guns
© Wikimedia
After the Huffington Post signed me on as a blogger and allowed me to write op-ed pieces on any topic, for two years, ranging from books to sports to reviews to pop culture, something changed in our relationship. It was sudden.

I wrote this piece for Huff Po in late December, 2012. For some reason, the editors wouldn't print it. Like every other article I'd written, I submitted the piece on their backstage for signed bloggers, but nothing happened. It didn't go up on their site. I waited, and it didn't happen.

A few days went by. Then a week. I contacted the editors, and they didn't respond. Then I contacted again, and they let me know that they wouldn't publish the piece.

Stop

England to ban circuses from using wild animals

Image
© AFP Photo
Travelling circuses in England will be banned from using wild animals from December 2015, the government announced on Tuesday, after a long campaign to end the practice.

Introducing a draft bill in parliament, junior environment minister Robert Ponsonby said circus operators had until then to adapt their shows and find new homes for their animals.

"This legislation will end the use of wild animals in travelling circuses in this country. It will also help ensure that our international reputation as a leading protector of animals continues into a new global era," he said.

Lawmakers voted two years ago to end the use of wild animals in circuses and animal rights groups have been pressing for a change, but ministers initially feared a legal challenge from operators.

"There is no place in today's society for wild animals to be used for our entertainment and we are absolutely delighted," said Peter Jones, president of the British Veterinary Association.

Prime Minister David Cameron's government has already introduced tough new regulations to safeguard animal welfare, and two circuses are currently licensed to use about 20 wild animals between them.

Airplane

American Air reservation system down, grounds 200 flights

Image
© Reuters/Eduardo Munoz
American Airlines said its reservation system had an outage on Tuesday, leading the carrier to halt at least 200 flights.

"American's reservation and booking tool, Sabre is offline," American Airlines spokeswoman Mary Frances Fagan said in an email to Reuters.

"We're working to resolve the issue as quickly as we can. We apologize to our customers for any inconvenience."

Bad Guys

Sweatshops on wheels: The slow death of America's mass transportation system

Image
© Mr. Fish
The deterioration of the nation's public transportation, like the deterioration of health care, education, social services, public utilities, bridges and roads, is part of the relentless seizing and harvesting of public resources and programs by corporations. These corporations are steadily stripping the American infrastructure. Public-sector unions are being broken. Wages and benefits are being slashed. Workers are forced to put in longer hours in unsafe workplaces, often jeopardizing public safety. The communities that need public services most are losing them, and where public service is continued it is reduced or substandard and costlier. Only the security and surveillance network and the military are permitted to function with efficiency in their role as the guardians of corporate power. We now resemble the developing world: We have small pockets of obscene wealth, ailing infrastructure and public service, huge swaths of grinding poverty, and militarized police and internal security.

The assault on public transportation, which has devastating consequences for the poor who cannot get to work or the doctor's office without it, is not new. General Motors, Standard Oil, Firestone Tire and Rubber, B.F. Phillips Petroleum and Mack Manufacturing set up companies in the 1930s - first United Cities Motor Transit and later National City Lines - in order to rip up city trolley tracks and replace them with bus and car routes. These corporations, joined by companies such as Greyhound, pushed through the national highway grid. City bus companies, as riders turned to cars, began to go bankrupt. The federal government in 1964 approved the Urban Mass Transit Act, which provided capital and operating funds for mass transit to keep it on life support. The corporations, meanwhile, pushed through huge urban renewal plans, all funded by the taxpayer, which focused exclusively on highways, tunnels and bridges and further sidelined public transportation. Jane Jacobs, who wrote the 1961 book "The Death and Life of Great American Cities," presciently understood and fought these corporate forces, led in New York City by Robert Moses, who forcibly displaced hundreds of thousands of residents and demolished neighborhoods to cater to the demands of the car and fossil fuel industries. Robert A. Caro in his biography of Moses, "The Power Broker," exposed this relentless process in depressing detail.

This process of destroying our public transportation system is largely complete. Our bus and rail system, compared to Europe's or Japan's, is a joke. But an even more insidious process has begun. Multinational corporations, many of them foreign, are slowly consolidating transportation systems into a few private hands. Of the top three multinationals that control transport in the U.S. only one, MV Transportation, is based here. FirstGroup, a multibillion-dollar corporation headquartered in the United Kingdom and a product of Margaret Thatcher's privatization of British mass transit, now owns First Student, which operates 54,000 school buses in 38 states and nine Canadian provinces and has 6 million student riders. FirstGroup also has a controlling stake in Greyhound. Veolia Transportation, a subsidiary of Transdev, a conglomerate headquartered in France, has 150 contracts to run mass transit systems in the United States. It was Veolia, after Hurricane Katrina, that took over the New Orleans bus system. And Veolia did what it has done elsewhere. It stripped bus workers of their pensions. New York's Nassau County bus service, once part of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), was turned over to Veolia after the French corporation hired former three-term Sen. Al D'Amato of New York as its lobbyist. Veolia - which when it takes over a U.S. property, as in New Orleans or Nassau County, refuses to give workers a defined-benefit plan - is partly owned by a pension fund that covers one-third of French citizens. U.S. workers are losing their benefit plans to a company created to provide benefit plans for the French. Veolia is currently lobbying Rhode Island and Atlanta to privatize their bus services.

Eye 2

Girl 'continued to say no' to Connecticut football players accused of rape, according to arrest warrants

Image
© Torrington, Conn. Police Dept./AP PhotoTorrington High School football players Edgar Gonzalez, left, and Joan Toribio, are charged with felony second-degree sexual assault and other crimes in February in cases involving different 13-year-old girls.
One of the 13-year-old alleged victims in the Torrington, Conn., statutory rape case told police she was "forced" to have sex with one of the 18-year-old high school football players accused of sexual assault even though she "continued to say no," according to police documents.

The arrest warrants in the case, unsealed on Friday, detail the allegations that led to sexual assault charges being filed against Torrington High School students Edgar Gonzalez and Joan Toribio, who were arrested in February and charged with second degree sexual assault, among other crimes.

Both Toribio and Gonzalez allegedly admitted to police they had sex with the girls and apologized for their actions, according to the warrants. Before the warrants were released, both pleaded not guilty to the charges.

According to the warrants, one 13-year-old girl, who is identified as Juvenile A, told a forensic interviewer at Torrington's Center for Youth and Families that while she was having intercourse with Gonzalez, he "had his hands on the back of her head," and "at one point, Gonzalez held "her arm back behind her body."

Evil Rays

New York police veteran kills toddler son, boyfriend and herself

Image
© WABCNew York City Police investigate the scene in the East Flatbush section of the New York borough of Brooklyn, where a an off-duty police officer shot her boyfriend, baby and herself to death on April 15, 2013.
An off-duty New York City police officer shot and killed her infant son and her boyfriend before she shot and killed herself, police said.

Police said they discovered the woman dead in the apartment with the infant in her arms. The boyfriend was found dead in the front doorway.

The three were discovered just before 9 a.m. in an apartment in the East Flatbush section of Brooklyn.

Eye 2

Psychopath: Texas woman, 84, charged with hiring hit man to kill local D.A.

Image
© Montgomery County DA/ ABC NewsBooking photo of Dorothy Canfield of Willis, Texas, who allegedly sought to have Montgomery County D.A. Brett Ligon attacked, and Assistant D.A. Rob Fryer slain
A 84-year-old Texas woman in jail for theft was charged on Monday with attempting to hire a hit man to kill the local district attorney who filed the theft charge and to make the killing look similar to the recent murder of a district attorney in Kaufman County.

Dorothy Canfield was charged with solicitation to commit capital murder after she allegedly paid an undercover officer, posing as a hit man, $5,000 to kill Montgomery County Assistant District Attorney Robert Freyer.

Canfield was also charged with solicitation to commit aggravated assault on a public servant for allegedly agreeing to pay the undercover officer $2,500 to injure Montgomery County District Attorney Brett Ligon.

"Threats against public servants are a direct threat against criminal justice system itself," Ligon said Monday during a news conference announcing the charges.