Society's ChildS


US: Charlton, Massachusetts Library Sends Police To Collect Overdue Books From 5-Year-Old

© WBZ-TVShannon Benoit reads a book to daughter Hailey.

A Charlton mom says her local library crossed the line when they sent police to collect her daughter's overdue library books.

Her mom says the 5-year-old girl was so afraid that she burst into tears.

Charlton Police Sergeant Dan Dowd stopped by the home of Shannon Benoit to let her know that her daughter had two books several months overdue which needed to be returned or paid for.


US, New York: Grand Central Latest Occupy Wall Street Destination; Cops Bust Three in Flash Mob Protesting Defense Act

Obama's signing of National Defense Act target of latest demonstation

© Mary Altafeer/The Associated PressOccupy Wall Street activists are dispersed among the rush hour commuters as they form a flash mob at New York's Grand Central, Tuesday.
Three Occupy Wall Street protesters were arrested and two others given summonses after converging on Grand Central terminal Tuesday, an MTA spokeswoman said.

The group called a day of action, slamming President Obama's "treasonous" signing of the National Defense Authorization Act on New Year's Eve, according to an OWS spokesman.

A video uploaded to YouTube and posted on Twitter shows the rush hour flash mob.

Demonstrator Lauren DiGioia, 26, is seen being hauled off by four MTA police officers.

DiGioia was collared for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, MTA spokeswoman Marjorie Anders said.


US: New York City Police Arrest Another 68 Occupy Wall Street Protesters

© The Associated PressRelentless: Occupy Wall Street protesters and New York Police clash over barricades at Zuccotti Park in Manhattan on New Year's Eve
On New Year's Eve New York City police arrested dozens of people, including passersby, during an Occupy Wall Street demonstration in Manhattan.

The arrests came after several hundred protesters assembled in Zuccotti Park in lower Manhattan to protest the gross social inequality in the US and the police-state-like handling of their encampment, which was disbanded on the orders New York's billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg on November 15.

Protesters had occupied the small public area in Manhattan's financial district on September 17 to draw attention to the domination of the super-rich in American political and social life.

The occupation and the numerous planned and spontaneous marches that it sponsored were met by escalating police harassment over the course of the next two months. This included resurrecting an old an unused law against covering one's face in public, mass arrests - including over 700 on the Brooklyn Bridge on October 1 - gratuitous pepper spraying, routine kettling of protesters, and the use of special crowd dispersal equipment.


US: Man Arrested in New York Islamic Center Firebomb Attack

© The Associated PressRay Lazier Lengend, accused of involvement with hurling Molotov cocktails at 5 New York-area sites on New Year's Day, is led out of a police precinct.
A man who confessed to a string of New Year's Day arson attacks at an Islamic cultural center and four other sites where he had personal grievances was arrested on a hate crime charge, police said.

Ray Lazier Lengend, a 40-year-old of Guyanese descent, hurled crude firebombs at the Islamic center in part because he wasn't allowed to use its bathrooms, a law enforcement official said.

Lengend was tracked through a stolen car with Virginia license plates believed to be at the scene of at least two of the attacks Sunday evening on a convenience store, three homes and the cultural center, police said. He was arrested Tuesday on charges including one count of arson as a hate crime, four counts of arson and five counts of criminal possession of a weapon, they said.

Lengend, who lives in Queens, was taken to a hospital for a psychiatric examination Tuesday night. He remained in custody and couldn't be reached for comment. A man who answered a telephone call at Lengend's home said he would not give out any information over the phone and hung up. There was no information on whether Lengend had a lawyer.


Mexican Grand Warlock Predicts Obama Loss in 2012

© Agence France-PresseAntonio Vazquez, aka "Brujo Mayor" (Great Witch), the self-appointed Grand Warlock of Mexico, shows cards during a press conference where he spoke of his predictions for 2012, in Mexico City. Mexico's Grand Warlock predicted US President Barack Obama would fail to win re-election and two more Latin American leaders would be diagnosed with cancer, in a traditional New Year's forecast Tuesday.
Mexico's Grand Warlock predicted US President Barack Obama would fail to win re-election and two more Latin American leaders would be diagnosed with cancer, in a traditional New Year's forecast Tuesday.

The Grand Warlock, or "Brujo Mayor" in Spanish, leads a Mexican tradition of "brujeria" or sorcery centered in the southeastern city of Catemaco.

The Grand Warlock, also known as Antonio Vazquez, said that Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who claims to have beaten an unspecified cancer, would have a "terrible relapse."

Argentina's President Cristina Kirchner, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, former Brazilian leader Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and Paraguay's Fernando Lugo have been diagnosed with cancer in recent years.

Chavez suggested last month that the spate of cancer among leftist leaders could be a US plot.


Anger Over Secret Drug Trials on Indian Children

Indian medical assistant administers an insulin shot
© AFPAn Indian medical assistant administers an insulin shot to a diabetes patient.
Indian activists have reacted angrily after 12 doctors were fined less than $100 each for conducting secret drug trials on children and patients with learning disabilities.

The Madhya Pradesh state government said the tests had not been cleared by health authorities, and it added that the doctors refused to disclose further details citing patient confidentiality laws.

Anand Rai, a doctor who acted as a whistleblower in the case, told AFP on Tuesday he was angry and frustrated that the scale of the punishment would not deter future illegal trials.

"The Madhya Pradesh government has now slapped a nominal 5,000-rupee ($94) penalty on the 12 government doctors who were involved in the bizarre case," he said. "The penalty was for their failure to inform about the trials."

Alarm Clock

Mayan Calendar Predicts Doomsday in 2012. Or Not

It sure is a good thing that the Mayan calendar says the world is going to end this year -- because at least, after the apocalypse comes on Dec. 21, you won't have to read another word about it.

Or maybe you will. The beginning of 2012 has brought a new flurry of reassurances that the Maya never did predict anything would go wrong this year, and that even if they had, we're probably misreading their calendar anyhow.

"There's no real prophesy that says this is going to be the end of the world," said Christopher Powell, an archeologist who studies Mayan culture, "not from the Mayan ruins, anyway."

At Yahoo News, writer Lisa Hix quoted Bruce Love of the Archaeological Institute of America: "Whatever the significance of the date is, it is significance we are putting on it; it's not the significance the Maya are putting on it. It's not coming from anywhere in the literature or in the Mayan hieroglyphic writing."


Iran Sentences Former President's Daughter to Jail

© Reuters/STR NewsFaezeh Rafsanjani (C), daughter of former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, attends a protest at the Ghoba mosque in northern Tehran June 28, 2009.
The daughter of influential former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani was on Tuesday sentenced to jail and banned from political activities for "anti state propaganda" dating back to the 2009 disputed presidential election, Iranian media reported.

The Islamic state has piled pressure on the opposition ahead of a parliamentary election in March 2, the first test of the clerical establishment's popularity since the 2009 vote that critics say was rigged to re-elect Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Rafsanjani, who heads a powerful body that resolves disputes between parliament and a hardline clerical body, sided with the pro-reformers after that vote, which brought tens of thousands of people onto the streets during eight months of protests.

Daughter Faezeh Hashemi Rafsanjani went on trial last month on charges of "campaigning against the Islamic establishment," student news agency ISNA said.

She was arrested and briefly detained after addressing supporters of candidate Mirhossein Mousavi when they gathered near the state television building in Tehran in defiance of a ban on opposition protests in the aftermath of the election.

Heart - Black

Seven-year-old sacrificed to the gods for good harvest in India

Devotees marching forward in Agartala - capital of Tripura, India. Spirituality, despite poverty and several social evils, is the hallmark of India.
© Jaydip ChakrabartiDevotees marching forward in Agartala - capital of Tripura, India. Spirituality, despite poverty and several social evils, is the hallmark of India.

New Delhi - A seven-year-old girl was ritually murdered and her liver offered to the gods in return for good agricultural harvest in the central state of Chhattisgarh, India, police said on Sunday.

According to Narayan Das, police chief of Bijapur district, in a telephone conversation with AFP: "A seven-year-old girl was sacrificed by two persons superstitiously believing that the act would give a better harvest."

Police arrested two men in connection with the murder of Lalita Tati after her body was found in October. Her family had reported her missing. According to the police, the men confessed to the crime.

AFP reports that the jungle district of Chhattisgarh is a rebel Maoist stronghold where human sacrifice is still practiced. The sacrifices are believed to appease the gods, spirits and deities.


Nigeria protests turn violent as price of fuel doubled

Nigeria fuel protest
© ReutersNigeria's decision to cancel the subsidy has led to mass demonstrations in cities across the country
At least one person has been killed in Nigeria as violence erupted during angry protests against the doubling of fuel prices.

Hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets in the commercial capital, Lagos, on Tuesday to vent their anger over a government measure to remove a popular fuel subsidy,

Protesters shut down petrol stations, formed human barriers along motorways and hijacked buses as police used riot control tactics to control them. Witnesses said security forces shot one man at a demonstration after a mob assaulted a Nigerian soldier.

Meanwhile in the central city of Ilorin, another violent protest left one man dead.