Society's ChildS


'Trained Marine sniper' threatened to assassinate California Democrat over gun laws

© Shutterstock
A man claiming to be a trained Marine sniper threatened to assassinate a California lawmaker if he supported an assault weapons ban, newly unsealed court documents obtained by the San Jose Mercury News reveal.

Everett Fred Basham, 45, was arrested in February after sending a threatening email to Democratic state Sen. Leland Yee. Police uncovered several homemade bombs and firearms, including a .416 Barrett sniper rifle, at his Santa Clara home.

"I have 39 confirmed kills in afganistan [sic]," Basham wrote in his email to Yee. "Don't make me get to 40."

His military service has not been confirmed. Police also found fake Army credentials in his home.

Bizarro Earth

Child Protective Services was warned of violence by alleged hatchet murderer

© HECTOR AMEZCUAPhillip Raymond Hernandez is arraigned on Friday, March 1, 2013 at the Sacramento, jail on murder charges in the hatchet death of his 9-year-old son Matthew Hernandez.
Sacramento County Child Protective Services received a report alleging violent behavior and drug abuse by Phillip Raymond Hernandez on Feb. 4, 22 days before he allegedly killed his 9-year-old son with a hatchet in their South Natomas home.

Despite the warnings about Hernandez, CPS didn't consider the situation serious enough to respond immediately, "as the children do not appear to be in imminent danger at this time."

The person who made the report to CPS, who was not identified in records, said Hernandez used cocaine and methamphetamine and is "very abusive verbally and physically." The report is contained in documents released by CPS in response to a Public Records Act request by The Bee.

The report goes on to say that "he has automatic rifles at his home even though (he) is not supposed to have weapons as (he) is a convicted felon," and that Hernandez let his two boys play with the guns.


Arkansas father arrested in deaths of 2 infant children

© Photo courtesy: Washington County (Ark) Sheriff's OfficeTravis Fox
An Arkansas man accused of fatally shaking two of his infant children in separate angry outbursts was charged Thursday with two counts of first-degree murder.

A 7-month-old baby was brought Wednesday to Northwest Medical Center, where doctors found the boy to have suspicious injuries.

Under questioning, the baby's father, Travis Fox, 24, of Springdale, told investigators "that he violently shook the child for an extended amount of time because the child was 'fussing,'''police said in a news release.

"He demonstrated the shake and it was violent," the release said.


Man commits suicide in front of children during gun safety class

© Shutterstock
A 50-year-old man shot and killed himself in front of a group of people, including children, who were attending a gun safety class Sunday in Bellevue, Washington, according to The Seattle Post-Intelligencer.

Brian J. Parry reportedly used a pistol provided to participants to end his life in front of about a dozen people. A coroner's report issued earlier in the week ruled his death a suicide, the Intelligencer noted.

Red Flag

25 disturbing facts about psych drugs, soldiers and suicides

We are living in an age of upside-downs, where right is wrong, fiction is truth and war is peace. Those who fight the wars are subjected to their own house of mirrors via pharmaceutical "treatments." Instead of providing U.S. soldiers and veterans with actual health care, the government throws pills at them and calls it "therapy."

Stimulants, antidepressants, anti-psychotics, sedatives and pain meds are the new "fuel" for America's front-line forces. While the idea of sending medicated soldiers into battle was unthinkable just three decades ago, today it's the status quo. And the cost in human lives has never been more tragic.

Here are 25 disturbing facts about psych drugs, soldiers and suicides. They are disturbing because everybody seems to be pretending there is no link between psychiatric drugs and soldier suicides. So soldiers and veterans keep dying while the Pentagon (and the VA) keep pretending they don't know why.

Bizarro Earth

Fox station apologizes after celebrating Women's Day with footage of breasts

The Fox station in Connecticut is apologizing after its news team used generic footage of a woman's breasts for a report on International Women's Day.

On at least two occasions on Wednesday, Fox Connecticut marked an event hosted by the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women with B-roll of a woman in a low-cut top, but the shot was closely cropped to reveal only her breasts and cleavage.

"FOX CT apologizes for today's file footage error," the station tweeted on Wednesday afternoon. "We will continue to recognize great contributions of women in CT and around the world."


Over quarter of South African schoolgirls HIV positive: minister

© AFP Photo
As many as 28 percent of South African schoolgirls are HIV positive, according to figures from the country's health minister reported by local media on Thursday.

Unveiling statistics that minister Aaron Motsoaledi admitted "destroyed my soul," he added that four percent of schoolboys have the virus.

"It is clear that it is not young boys who are sleeping with these girls. It is old men," the Sowetan newspaper quoted Motsoaledi as saying.

"We can no longer live like that," he said.

Heart - Black

Study: blacks twice as likely as whites to be executed

© WikiCommons
A new report, released on Wednesday, shows that African Americans are twice as likely as white to receive death sentences, according to Mother Jones.

The report, from University of Maryland criminology professor Ray Paternoster, examined the impact race had on sentencing in 504 cases. The findings are striking. From the report:
The probability that the district attorney will advance a case to a penalty trial is more than three times as high when the defendant is African-American than for white defendants (this includes Mr. Buck's case). This disparity by race of the defendant, moreover, cannot be attributed to observed case characteristics because these cases are those that were most comparable in terms of the estimated propensity score.

This racial disparity is only partially corrected at the jury sentencing stage...Ultimately, among this group of comparable cases a death sentence was twice as likely to be imposed on an African American defendant as a white defendant.


Passengers: Power outages, overflowing toilets on another Carnival cruise ship

Multiple passengers aboard the Carnival Dream have contacted CNN, telling stories of power outages and overflowing toilets.
A Caribbean cruise aboard the Carnival Dream became a nightmare for some passengers, a month after a fire crippled another Carnival ship in the Gulf of Mexico.

Several Dream passengers contacted CNN, telling stories of power outages and overflowing toilets, all while docked in port at Philipsburg, St. Maarten, in the eastern Caribbean.

The reports came just two days after Carnival Cruise Lines announced it was conducting "a comprehensive review" of all its 23 ships.

Carnival acknowledges 'periodic interruptions'

"We are not allowed off of the boat despite the fact that we have no way to use the restrooms on board," Jonathan Evans of Reidsville, North Carolina, said in an e-mail early Thursday. "The cruise director is giving passengers very limited information and tons of empty promises. What was supposed to take an hour has turned into 7-plus hours."

U.S. Coast Guard Chief Petty Officer Ryan Doss told CNN, "We have spoken to the captain and right now, the decision has been made to have the passengers remain aboard the ship for accountability purposes. The last thing we want to do is have someone get left behind in St. Maarten by accident."

Bizarro Earth

Lawsuit claims a two-year-old ate a used condom at McDonald's

© AP
A diner at a Gage Park neighborhood McDonald's is suing the fast food giant, claiming her young child ate a used condom he found in the restaurant's play area.

Anishi Spencer filed the suit Wednesday in Cook County Circuit Court on behalf of herself and her young sons, Jacquel and Jonathan Hines.

Jonathan, then 3, and Jacquel, 2, were visiting the restaurant at 5733 S. Kezie Ave. on Feb. 4, 2012, when they allegedly found the used condom on the play area floor, Spencer claims in the suit.

The mother claims Jacquel later coughed up a piece of the condom, the suit says. Both toddlers had to receive medical treatment because of the incident.