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Wed, 07 Jun 2023
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Is YOUR child watching porn? The devastating effects of graphic images of sex on young minds

© Alamy
Every parents likes to think their children are not watching porn, but the reality is shocking
Studies show half of children over nine have seen graphic sex on the Internet

On a bed emblazoned with Hello Kitty images, 13-year-old Natasha poses for her best friend's mobile phone camera.

With one knee on the bed, and the other off, she raises her bottom in the air and looks around at the camera with a pout, set off by the red feather boa around her neck.

Natasha likes what she sees. You can't see her spots and her face looks thinner when she twists around.

So she posts it as her profile picture on Facebook, where more than a dozen of her 400 friends rush to post comments like 'Ooh, nice a***' and 'Sexeee!'.

And why should she see this as inappropriate when millions of adults project an ideal image of themselves on Facebook.

It's a statement of what we think is most important about us.

You have only to comb through the Facebook or Bebo profiles of a few of today's young girls, many of whom look like soft-porn stars in training, to witness how many want to be seen as sexy.
Of course, what woman hasn't got a faintly embarrassing picture of herself getting ready for the school disco and posing as she tried to find what being 'sexy' looks like?

But the stakes today are much higher. According to the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP), the sexier girls look in their pictures the more likely they are to be targeted by adult predators.

The latest figures show the organisation received 6,291 reports from the public, website hosts and online moderators last year (until February 2010) - a rise of 880 on the previous year. Offences ranged from grooming children online to distributing images and sexual abuse.


Bill Gates owns $3.2 billion stake in CN as railway's largest shareholder

© The Canadian Press/Graham Hughes
A CN locomotive makes it's way through the CN Taschereau yard in Montreal, Saturday, Nov., 28, 2009. Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has become the largest shareholder of Canadian National Railway, with a $3.2-billion stake in Canada's largest rail company.
Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has become the largest shareholder of Canadian National Railway, with a $3.2-billion stake in Canada's largest rail company.

Montreal-based CN (TSX:CNR) says the world's second-wealthiest man owned or exercised control over 10.04 per cent of its shares as of Feb. 25.

Gates has been buying up the railway's stock since being identified as a shareholder in 2006.

He holds the 46.07 million shares through Cascade Investment and as co-trustee of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Trust, CN said in a proxy circular ahead of Wednesday's annual meeting in Toronto.


Ukraine marks Chernobyl anniversary, eyes Fukushima

© Reuters
A view shows a sarcophagus covering the damaged fourth reactor at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine
Ukraine marked the 25th anniversary on Tuesday of the world's worst nuclear accident at its Chernobyl power plant as Japan pressed on with efforts to control the crisis at its Fukushima plant.

On April 26 1986, the No. 4 reactor at the Chernobyl plant, then in the Soviet Union, exploded and caught fire after a safety test experiment went badly wrong.

The blast sent radiation billowing across Europe.

A total of 31 people died immediately but many more died of radiation-related sicknesses such as cancer, many of them in what is today Belarus.

Tens of thousands were evacuated, never to return, from Prypyat, the town closest to the site which then had a population of 50,000.

Last week the world community, spurred by the nuclear crisis at Japan's Fukushima plant, pledged 550 million euros ($780 million) to help build a new containment shell over the stricken reactor at the Chernobyl site to replace a makeshift one that has begun to leak radiation.

"Chernobyl was a challenge of planetary dimensions. The answer to this challenge can be provided only by the world community," Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich said on Tuesday.

"For a long time, Ukraine was alone with this calamity, but happily we are not alone now," he said in a statement on the presidential website http://www.president.gov.ua

Yanukovich was to visit Chernobyl later on Tuesday with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill.

Chernobyl has remained the benchmark for nuclear accidents.

Though Chernobyl town itself was relatively untouched by the accident, Prypyat is now a ghost town at the center of a largely uninhabited exclusion zone with a radius of 30 km (19 miles).

On April 12 Japan raised the severity rating at its Fukishima plant to seven, the same level as that of Chernobyl.


Iran says it has detected second cyber attack

Iran has been targeted by a second computer virus in a "cyber war" waged by its enemies, its commander of civil defense said on Monday.

Gholamreza Jalali told the semi-official Mehr news agency that the new virus, called "Stars," was being investigated by experts.

"Fortunately, our young experts have been able to discover this virus and the Stars virus is now in the laboratory for more investigations," Jalali was quoted as saying. He did not specify the target of Stars or its intended impact.

"The particular characteristics of the Stars virus have been discovered," Jalali said. "The virus is congruous and harmonious with the (computer) system and in the initial phase it does minor damage and might be mistaken for some executive files of government organisations."

Jalali warned that the Stuxnet worm, discovered in computers at Iran's Bushehr nuclear reactor last year, still posed a potential risk. Some experts described it as the world's first "guided cyber missile," aimed at Iran's atomic program.


The military's war on the Earth

© Unknown
Use as many low-energy lightbulbs as you like, turn down the thermostat and drive a hybrid car, but whatever you do as an individual -- indeed, the sum of what we all do for the environment --does almost nothing to alleviate the U.S. military's destruction of the earth.


In The Green Zone: The Environmental Costs of Militarism, Barry Sanders writes that like other capitalist institutions, "each military branch ... must grow larger and fatter each year; expansion is the life blood of imperialism." Further, Sanders asserts, "The military can brook limits of no kind whatsoever. ... The Pentagon conducts its business behind very thick and very closed doors. It writes its own rules and either follows them or violates them, depending on the situation."

Almost all "military numbers remain off of official reports, secret and out of sight." Sanders obtained the information he cites in the book by gleaning what he could from "arcane reports" and obscure Web sites belonging to the Department of Defense and Government Accounting Office, plus books and articles.


NewsPolitics'Don't say gay' bill advances in Tennessee, would ban teachers from discussing homosexuality

© Fuse/Getty
A Senate committee in Tennessee approved a bill that would ban teachers from discussing homosexuality to students in kindergarten through eighth grade.

A Tennessee Senate committee has given the green light to a bill that would bar teachers from discussing homosexuality with elementary and middle school students.

The legislation, dubbed the "don't say gay" bill, states teachers cannot "provide any instruction or material that discusses sexual orientation other than heterosexuality."

Republican Stacey Campfield, the bill's sponsor, has argued the move is "neutral," according to the Knoxville News Sentinel.

"We should leave it to families to decide when it is appropriate to talk with children about sexuality - specifically before the eighth grade," he added.


Stress drives teachers out of schools

© David Levene/Guardian
Is teaching the most stressful profession?
Targets, bureaucracy and ballooning workloads make teachers increasingly anxious, delegates at NUT conference are told

Stress is driving increasing numbers of teachers out of the profession, with some even considering suicide, a teaching union conference heard on Monday.

Delegates at the National Union of Teachers conference in Harrogate heard there had been a "meteoric" rise in work-related stress due to demands to meet government targets.

Research by the Health and Safety Executive in 2000 found teaching to be the most stressful profession, with 41.5% of teachers reporting themselves as "highly stressed".

Sue McMahon, a delegate from Calderdale, West Yorkshire, said: "As a divisional secretary, I have seen a meteoric rise in work-related stress and on more than one occasion have had to support a member who has attempted suicide.


Hundreds of prisoners flee through Taliban tunnel

© Ahmad Nadeem/Reuters
Afghan jailer Ghulam Dastager Mayaar stands next to the hole that the inmates used to escape from inside the Kandahar's main jail.
Kandahar, Afghanistan - Hundreds of prisoners escaped from a jail in Afghanistan's south on Monday through a tunnel dug by Taliban insurgents, officials said.

The daring escape was described as a "disaster" for the Afghan government and a setback for foreign forces planning to start a gradual withdrawal within months.

The militants tunneled at least 480 inmates out of the main prison in Kandahar overnight, whisking them through a 1,000-foot-long underground passage they had dug over months, officials and insurgents told The Associated Press.

Officials at Sarposa prison in Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban, say they only discovered the breach at about 4 a.m., a half hour after the Taliban said they had gotten all the prisoners out.

The militants began digging the tunnel about five months ago from a house within shooting distance of the prison guard towers. It was not immediately clear whether they lived in the house while they dug. They meticulously plotted the tunnel's course around police checkpoints and major roads, the insurgent group said in a statement.

Comment: Does it necessarily have to be 'the Taliban'? Could it have been a group of citizens concerned for their fellow men who were wrongfully imprisoned?

One shoe does not fit all feet.


Knife-wielding plane hijacker overpowered by flight crew after he took stewardess hostage


Mid-air scare: Alitalia flight crew were forced to act after a middle-aged Kazakh man tried to hijack their plane and divert it to Libya
Alitalia flight crew were forced to overpower a man who pulled a knife on their passenger flight and tried to divert it to Libya.

As 131 passengers looked on in terror, the would-be hijacker held a knife to the throat of an air-stewardess and ordered the Paris to Rome flight diverted to Tripoli.

'The man grabbed the stewardess from behind her back and pointed the knife. She was in difficulty and tried to turn around,' a passenger named Sofia told reporters.


US: Huge Long Island explosion completely destroys house, blows out neighbours' windows and sends 21 to hospital

A huge explosion flattened an empty house, blew out the windows of neighbouring homes and sent shoes and bedding flying into nearby trees.

Amazingly no one died in this morning's explosion on Long Island, New York, but 21 people were taken to hospital for evaluation.

The blast, which happened at 10.40am in Brentwood, Suffolk County, was most likely caused by a ruptured gas pipe, but investigators have not ruled out arson, according to the New York Post.

© Paul Mazza
Rocked: Amazingly no one died in this morning's explosion on Long Island, New York, but 21 people were taken to hospital for evaluation
© Associated Press