Society's ChildS


Ex-monk burns to death in latest outbreak of Tibetan unrest

© Tibetan Student Activists Handout/EPAMonks and civilians march in north-west China's Gansu province in 2008 as unrest amongst ethnic Tibetans spread from Lhasa.
Fate of second man unknown as self-immolation death rate in Sichuan province rises to seven in two and a half years

Two more young men, believed to be former monks, have set fire to themselves in the latest self-immolations in a troubled Tibetan area of western China, exiles and campaign groups have said.

Choepel, 19, and Khayang, 18, are thought to be from the Kirti monastery in Aba, Sichuan province, known as Ngaba to Tibetans. Choepel is believed to have died at the scene while the condition and whereabouts of Khayang are unknown, Free Tibet said.

The public security bureau in Aba denied any knowledge of an incident. "Nothing like that happened here. I am not aware of the situation," a spokeswoman told Reuters, despite claims that police officers had helped extinguish the flames and beaten the men as they took them to hospital.

Until 2009 experts knew of only one Tibetan self-immolation, by a lay person living overseas. But today's death was the second at Kirti within a week - another monk set fire to himself on Monday - and the seventh in Sichuan within two and a half years. "This is a new development ... We are all struggling for the right words to characterise what is happening," said Kate Saunders of the International Campaign for Tibet.

Che Guevara

Chilean girls stage 'occupation' of their own school in education rights protest

© Ivan Aldarado/ReutersChilean demonstrators are hit by a jet of water during a rally against the public state education system in Santiago.
For five months, girls demanding free university education for all have defied police to occupy their state school

Sleeping on a tiled classroom floor, sharing cigarettes and always on the lookout for police raids, the students of Carmela Carvajal primary and secondary school are living a revolution.

It began early one morning in May, when dozens of teenage girls emerged from the predawn darkness and scaled the spiked iron fence around Chile's most prestigious girl's school. They used classroom chairs to barricade themselves inside and settled in. Five months later, the occupation shows no signs of dying and the students are still fighting for their goal: free university education for all.

A tour of the school is a trip into the wired reality of a generation that boasts the communication tools that feisty young rebels of history never dreamed of. When police forces move closer, the students use restricted Facebook chat sessions to mobilise. Within minutes, they are able to rally support groups from other public schools in the neighbourhood. "Our lawyer lives over there," said Angelica Alvarez, 14, as she pointed to a cluster of nearby homes. "If we yell 'Mauricio' really loud, he leaves his home and comes over."


What Everyone Is Too Polite to Say About Steve Jobs

© The Associated Press/Getty Images
In the days after Steve Jobs' death, friends and colleagues have, in customary fashion, been sharing their fondest memories of the Apple co-founder. He's been hailed as "a genius" and "the greatest CEO of his generation" by pundits and tech journalists. But a great man's reputation can withstand a full accounting. And, truth be told, Jobs could be terrible to people, and his impact on the world was not uniformly positive.

We mentioned much of the good Jobs did during his career earlier. His accomplishments were far-reaching and impossible to easily summarize. But here's one way of looking at the scope of his achievement: It's the dream of any entrepreneur to effect change in one industry. Jobs transformed half a dozen of them forever, from personal computers to phones to animation to music to publishing to video games. He was a polymath, a skilled motivator, a decisive judge, a farsighted tastemaker, an excellent showman, and a gifted strategist.

One thing he wasn't, though, was perfect. Indeed there were things Jobs did while at Apple that were deeply disturbing. Rude, dismissive, hostile, spiteful: Apple employees - the ones not bound by confidentiality agreements - have had a different story to tell over the years about Jobs and the bullying, manipulation and fear that followed him around Apple. Jobs contributed to global problems, too. Apple's success has been built literally on the backs of Chinese workers, many of them children and all of them enduring long shifts and the specter of brutal penalties for mistakes. And, for all his talk of enabling individual expression, Jobs imposed paranoid rules that centralized control of who could say what on his devices and in his company.

Comment: While the writer of this article has some interesting points to make about Steve Jobs, using Bill Gates as an example of a great philanthropist is far from being objective.

For more information on Bill Gate's "philanthropy" read the following articles:

Bono and Bill Gates-Backed Global Health Charity Exposed as a Fraud

Bill Gates: Cell Phones Can Track Newborns For Shots

Bill Gates Funds Covert Vaccine Nanotechnology

Bill Gates Calls for "Decade of Vaccines"

Bill Gates Unleashes Swarm of Mosquitoes on Crowd

Arrow Down

UK government prints money with abandon as Spain and Italy's debt ratings are downgraded

British banks and building societies lose rating while pressure mounts on EU to restore faith in single currency

The eurozone crisis intensified on Friday when Spain and Italy were downgraded by the ratings agency Fitch, heightening fears over the health of Europe's banks.

Fitch's move came at the end of a day which had already seen 12 UK banks and building societies downgraded by the rival agency Moody's and amid speculation about co-ordinated European action to bolster the finances of the continent's banks by next weekend.

The euro fell against most major currencies, piling fresh pressure on European politicians to restore confidence in the single currency. Germany's Angela Merkel said Europe needed to find a solution for its banks by 17 October. Analysts from Capital Economics estimate the total financial package may top €200bn (£172bn).

Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy of France are due to meet in Berlin on Sunday to discuss the crisis, with bank recapitalisation expected to be at the heart of their negotiations.

Comment: Europe will collapse because 'Goldman Sachs rules the world'

Head Of UniCredit Securities Predicts Imminent End Of The Eurozone And A Global Financial Apocalypse

Che Guevara

Protesters occupy Ireland's Cental Bank on Dame Street, Dublin

© @Stephenbrow via TwitterProtestors begin to gather at yet another protest against the global elite
The international 'Occupy Wall Street' protests arrived in Ireland today, with activists gathering in Dublin to mount a "leaderless resistance" against political and financial elites.

Upwards of a hundred protesters massed outside the Central Bank for the Occupy Dame Street event, which saw demonstrators bang pots and pans and hold placards calling for change.

In a statement earlier this week, organisers promised to use "tactics of non-violence and civil disobedience", citing the Arab Spring as inspiration.

The statement listed four demands: that the IMF and ECB "stay out of our affairs"; that the bank debt taken on by Ireland's government be lifted; that offshore oil and gas reserves be "returned to the people", and that "real participatory democracy" be established in Ireland.

The Dublin event comes after weeks of protests in New York, where a fully-fledged camp has sprung up as primarily young people demonstrate their anger against financial wrongdoing and perceived political cronyism.

Last week, New York police arrested more than 700 people as the protest spread to the city's Brooklyn Bridge.

Bizarro Earth

New Zealand oil spill: grounded ship threatens environmental disaster

© GettyAn oil slick streams from the Rena, a 47,000 tonne container ship grounded on a reef in New Zealand's Bay of Plenty.
Penguins rescued from slick amid fears Rena could break up and dump 1,700 tonnes of oil into prized Bay of Plenty

A container ship is grounded and leaking oil into New Zealand's pristine Bay of Plenty, with international crews scrambling to limit the environmental damage and refloat the vessel before it breaks up.

The 47,000-tonne Rena ran aground on Astrolabe Reef on Wednesday. An oil leak from the Liberian-flagged freighter has spread over an area of three miles, according to the BBC. There are estimates of 30 tonnes of oil spilled so far out of the 1,700 tonnes that could be dumped into the ocean if the Rena is wrecked in one of New Zealand's most prized areas of natural beauty.

Maritime authorities have said they are treating birds including little blue penguins brought in covered with oil. Animal welfare workers said the disaster had struck in the middle of breeding season for native birds on the bay.

Australia's ABC network said a team of 200 people including specialists from Australia, the UK, the Netherlands and Singapore had been despatched, and that 300 defence personnel were on standby in case the slick reached the North Island coastline.


IAEA team in Japan; Fukushima starts thyroid tests

© Associated PressA boy is taken by his mother to Fukushima Medical University Hospital for a thyroid test in Fukushima, northern Japan, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2011.
Tokyo - Experts from the International Atomic Energy Agency arrived in the Japanese city of Fukushima on Sunday to observe the massive decontamination effort following the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

Local doctors also began a long-term survey of children for thyroid abnormalities, a problem associated with radiation exposure. Officials hope to test some 360,000 people who were under the age of 18 when the nuclear crisis began in March, and then provide follow-ups throughout their lifetimes.

The 12-member IAEA group was to visit farms, schools and government offices throughout Fukushima prefecture in northeastern Japan to observe the cleanup process. It is the U.N. atomic agency's second major mission to Japan since the crisis at Fukushima's Dai-ichi nuclear power plant began.

Nearly 20,000 people were killed when the earthquake and tsunami hit Japan on March 11, and the disaster severely damaged the Fukushima complex. Officials say the plant is now relatively stable, but tens of thousands of people still cannot -- or choose not to -- return to their homes because of the radioactive contamination.

Light Saber

Anything you say or do may be used against you in a court of law: Don't Talk to Police!

A law school professor and former criminal defense attorney tells you why you should never agree to be interviewed by the police.


US Budget chair: Sugar high economics don't work

House Budget Chair Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) says only "policy certainty from Washington" will help create jobs.

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Comment: The above is a different Ryan than the (Tim) Ryan, who spoke these words during the Bush administration.

From the above video, Tim Ryan appears to know there would be a major recession in the near future if (War/Foreign!) policies were not changed. By 2008 (and written well before, in many economic articles,) the recession was in full swing.


David Seaton: The meaning of Liberty Plaza

Occupy Wall Street protests at Liberty Plaza
Ten years ago we had:

Steve Jobs
Bob Hope
Johnny Cash

Now we've got:

No jobs
No hope
No cash

Many "mainstream media" commentators try to minimize the importance of the "Occupy Wall Street" movement because it has no "leaders" and no list of "concrete proposals". These comments show that those who make them do not understand what is going on in Liberty Plaza and the echoing "Occupy" movements around the country.

They should read the joke that tops this page... it is all there. This joke could be the cry of a generation of young, educated, middle class Americans, just like "Hell no, we won't go!" was the cry of young, educated, middle class Americans during the war of Vietnam. It has as much pithy truth in it as Muhammad Ali's, "I ain't got no quarrel with no Vietcong". Young, middle class America feels itself under attack from the system and the system should fear for its safety.

Because nothing is more potentially "revolutionary" than a newly pauperized middle class. It can go to the left or it can go to the right, but history shows that it won't act like the proverbial mule in a hailstorm and "just stand there and take it".