Society's ChildS


New York Police Department lied under oath to prosecute Occupy activist

© Agence France-Presse/Getty Images/Mario Tama
An Occupy Wall Street activist was acquitted of assaulting a police officer and other charges on Thursday after jurors were presented with video evidence that directly contradicted the NYPD's story.

Michael Premo was found innocent of all charges this week in regards to a case that stems from a December 17, 2011 Occupy Wall Street demonstration in Lower Manhattan. For over a year, prosecutors working on behalf of the New York Police Department have insisted that Premo, a known artist and activist, tackled an NYPD officer during a protest and in doing so inflicted enough damage to break a bone.

During court proceedings this week, Premo's attorney presented a video that showed officers charging into the defendant unprovoked. The Village Voice reports that jurors deliberated for several hours on Thursday and then elected to find Premo not guilty on all counts, which included a felony charge of assaulting an officer of the law.

Since his arrest, supporters of Premo have insisted on his innocence. "They're trying to make something out of nothing and they're trying to charge him with something that didn't actually occur," colleague Rachel Falcone told Free Speech Radio News this week.

After being arrested, the Manhattan District Attorney's office presented Premo with a deal that would have let him off the hook by pleading guilty to lesser charges. Maintaining his innocence, however, he was determined to fight the case in court.

Premo was "facing serious charges and potential substantial jail sentence, even though he never should have been arrested at all," his supporters claimed in a post published on The Laundromat Project website.


Police brutality: Texas cop fired after shooting at suspect 41 times, killing him

crime scene, police line
© Agence France-Presse/Jim Watson
A police officer in Texas has been terminated from the force after an investigation determined that he violated official policy when he rammed his car into a suspect's vehicle, cornered him and then fired 41 shots, killing him.

Officer Patrick Tuter shot and killed Michael Vincent Allen on August 12, 2012, but he has only now been fired more than six months later. He has spent the last half year on administrative leave while the Garland Police Department conducted an investigation that has finally concluded this week.

"Tuter has been fired because he was found in violation of two general orders of our department," Garland PD spokesperson Joe Harn tells the Dallas Morning News. "He violated our pursuit policy as well as our use of force policy."

The events of last August occurred after Officer Tuter pursued Allen, an unarmed 25-year-old, because he was wanted for running from the police only days earlier. A high-speed chase ensued, and Tuter followed Allen in his cruiser for around 30 minutes. At that point, Tuter slammed into Allen's pickup, reached for his gun and fired 41 shots.


Horsemeat scandal: Birds Eye and Taco Bell beef meals contained horse

Taco Bell
© Alamy
Four beef products sold by Bird's Eye, Taco Bell and catering supplier Brakes have been found to contain horse DNA, the Food Standards Agency says.

This is the third wave of test results received by the FSA, which has now received a total of 5,430 test results.

Meanwhile, new tests conducted on beef retail products revealed no new cases of horsemeat adulteration, the British Retail Consortium (BRC) has said.

This latest round of tests saw 1,797 products being examined.

The FSA has asked retailers to test beef products for the presence of more than 1% of horsemeat, with anything above that figure considered to be a sign of adulteration.

Its latest results have found that more than 99% of tests show no horse DNA at or above the level of 1%.

The affected products are Birds Eye's Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese and Beef Lasagne - which the company took off shelves last week as a precaution; Brakes' Spicy Beef Skewer; Taco Bell's Ground Beef.

Bizarro Earth

13-year-old Mexican drug cartel hitman found dead, tortured

© Agence France-Presse/Getty Images/Luis SOTOSuspected members of the Mexican drug cartel Los Zetas from Guatemala and Mexico are guarded by police as they wait in court for a judgement in Guatemala City on June 27, 2012.
A 13-year-old Mexican drug cartel hitman was found dead along with five other people.

Univision reports that Jorge Armando Moreno's body showed signs of torture when he was found near the town of Morelos.

Moreno - who was a member of the Los Zetas gang - was arrested earlier this month, along with 15 other suspects, and confessed to taking part in 10 executions.

He was released into his family's custody because he was too young to be criminally prosecuted. Zacatecas state law says no one under the age of 14 can be subject to criminal prosecution.

"It would have been better for him if we'd been able to keep him in custody," state prosecutor Arturo Nahle told The Sun.

The child's mother is reportedly among the other people found dead. Three other unidentified women and one man were also found.


South African police suspended over death of man 'dragged behind van'

Fresh footage casts doubts on police claims taxi driver assaulted officer and tried to take his gun before incident

WARNING: Viewers may find this footage distressing Link to video: South African police officers suspended as van death investigated

South Africa has suspended eight police officers after the death of a man they tied to the back of a police van and dragged along the road while bystanders looked on.

Video footage showing the treatment of Mido Macia, in Daveyton, east of Johannesburg, has once more focused attention on South Africa's police force, already dogged by allegations of brutality, corruption and incompetence.

In the amateur video footage (warning: contains images that some may find distressing), published by South African newspaper, the Daily Sun, Macia's hands are tied to the rear of a police van behind his head before it moves off. Just over two hours later he was found dead in a local police cell, according to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID). A postmortem gave the cause of death as head injuries with internal bleeding.


American 15-year-old tells TED 2013 audience how he used Internet to invent early detection tool for cancer

Jack Andraka catapulted from being a typical US teenager unaware of the pancreas to one with a cheap way to detect cancer in the organ before it turns deadly.

"Through the Internet, anything is possible," Andraka said while telling the story of his screening breakthrough at a prestigious TED Conference in Southern California on Wednesday.

"There is so much more to it than posting duck-face pictures of yourself online," he continued, sucking in his cheeks and pushing out his lips to playfully underscore his point.

"If a 15-year-old who didn't know what a pancreas was could figure out a way to detect pancreatic cancer, imagine what you could do."

Andraka, who turned 16 in January, recounted how three years ago he began scouring the Internet for information about pancreatic cancer after it killed a cherished family friend.

Bizarro Earth

Gun owner fires at Walmart shoplifter to 'mark' him for police

A gun owner in Florida was arrested on Wednesday after he opened fire at a suspected Walmart shoplifter because he said he felt threatened and wanted to "mark" the man's car for police.

As unarmed 42-year-old Eddie McKee allegedly ran from an Orange City Walmart with stolen merchandise, 35-year-old Jose Martinez pulled out his gun and fired at least five bullets, according to WKMG.

"I saw one black gentleman running from the parking lot, he dove in his car," a caller told 911. "And there were two older gentlemen chasing him down. One drew a gun, ripped open the guys car door and screamed, 'Freeze, freeze, don't move!' And then fired shots."

Che Guevara

Thousands rally to mark revolution anniversary in Venezuela

Venezuela has marked the anniversary of a popular revolt 24 years ago that left thousands killed. And now, Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro says an investigation will be launched to identify the perpetrators of the killings as well as the victims.

Maduro said the government would allocate 1.9 million dollars to the families of the victims. In 1989, thousands of people rioted and looted the streets of Caracas for two days after the implementation of gas hikes and other pro-market neo-liberal polices imposed by the government of Carlos Andres Perez.

Although the official government estimate is that Venezuelan state security forces killed 300 people, the Chavez government says the number is closer to 3,000.

Light Saber

Chavez meets government ministers to discuss confronting financial speculators trying to run Venezuelan economy into the ground

Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro announced the heightening of measures against economic sabotage in the country last Friday after meeting with President Hugo Chavez, currently recovering from cancer surgery in the military hospital Dr. Carlos Arvelo in Caracas.

Maduro reported that the convalescing head of state gave orders to confront sectors of the Venezuelan private sector that through hoarding and price-hiking have been attempting to sow instability in the country.

"The President was very clear in saying that we have to increment the actions to confront the economic war that the bourgeoisie is waging against the people. It's a real economic war and we must continue winning it", Maduro said in a press conference.

Friday's meeting with Chavez lasted for more than 5 hours and included the presence of Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez, Science Minister Jorge Arreaza, Communication Minister Ernesto Villegas, and the head of the national intelligence service Miguel Rodriguez.

While details on the actions that will be taken against those members of the business community who engage in illicit activity were not forthcoming, Maduro said that they would be formulated "to favor the public and our national interests".

Arrow Down

Hot air balloon crashes in Luxor, Egypt - fireball caught on camera

© AFP PhotoEgyptians gather at the site where a hot air balloon exploded over the ancient temple city of Luxor on February 26, 2013
At least 19 foreign tourists, some French, Chinese and Japanese, died in a hot air balloon crash near the ancient Egyptian city of Luxor, a popular tourist site, an Egyptian security official reported.

The balloon crashed into a sugar cane field after an explosion caused by a fire. It was flying at an altitude of 300 meters when the accident occurred.

There were 21 people aboard the balloon, 19 tourists and two Egyptians. The passengers included nine Chinese citizens from Hong Kong, three Japanese citizens, four Brits, two French citizens and one Hungarian, officials said.

Three survivors were taken to the hospital, where according to the tour operator Thomas Cook a third Briton died.

Another injured British tourist was reported to be "stable and well," while the condition of the pilot is currently unknown.

Following the tragedy, the governor of Luxor Province has ordered a ban on all hot air balloon flights in the city.