Society's ChildS

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US: Warren Jeffs' Wife Escapes Polygamist Community

© ABC NewsWarren Jeffs' Wife Escapes Polygamist Community
One of the wives of polygamist leader Warren Jeffs, who is currently serving a life sentence for child sexual assault, has escaped the confines of the isolated Arizona community where his 85 other wives live.

Arizona authorities have said that the 25-year-old woman who fled the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, which was led by Jeffs, is now undergoing counseling and psychiatric care at a women's shelter. She was reportedly barefoot when she was found.

The secluded community of the church in Colorado City, Ariz., contains about 5,000 residents and is a world where outsiders are not welcomed. Now a woman that is highly familiar with the isolated community and its controversial former leader has escaped.

Willie Jeesop, a former FLDS spokesman who was kicked out of the religion by Jeffs, said that the unidentified woman was under duress when she sought refuge with Jeffs in Colorado City.


US: New York - Occupy Wall St. Prepares for Crackdown - Will Bloomberg Try to Tear It All Down?

Free health care, a sanitation team, a public library, solar power, and free childcare are just a few of the services the Occupy Wall Street protesters are providing.
"If Bloomberg really cared about sanitation here he wouldn't have blocked portapotties and dumpsters."
© Unknown
On Thursday afternoon Occupy Wall Street called an emergency General Assembly down at Liberty Plaza to deal with the announcement that Friday will see a cleanup of the park by the City, starting at 7 am. Representatives of Brookfield, the company that owns the park, said in the clean-up notice that everything left behind will be thrown away. On Thursday it was also revealed that Brookfield had sent a letter to police commissioner Ray Kelly asking the NYPD help clear out the protestors. A group of New York civil liberties lawyers warned the CEO of Brookfield that forcing protestors from the park violates their first amendment rights, stating, "Under the guise of cleaning the Park you are threatening fundamental constitutional rights. There is no basis in the law for your request for police intervention, nor have you cited any. Such police action without a prior court order would be unconstitutional."

Che Guevara

I AM NOT MOVING - Short Film - Occupy Wall Street

© N/A

The powerful "I Am Not Moving" juxtaposes Occupy scenes with footage of the Arab Spring alongside a righteous-sounding Hillary Clinton and Obama on the people's rights of expression and assembly. Watch it, post it. The powerful "I Am Not Moving" juxtaposes Occupy scenes with footage of the Arab Spring alongside a righteous-sounding Hillary Clinton and Obama on the people's rights of expression and assembly. Watch it, post it.


Gallup: More Americans "Struggling" to Afford Food Than Chinese

For all the discussion of "knowledge economies" and the associated rise in overall standard of living, the country that makes our iPads seems to be better off these days than the country that dreamed them up.

According to a new Gallup survey, "the percentage of Americans saying they did not have money for food in the previous 12 months more than doubled from 9% in 2008 to 19% in 2011."

By comparison, the percentage of Chinese surveyed who said they "did not have enough money to buy food that they or their family needed" over the past 12 months, dropped from 16% to 6%.

Gallup Survey_1
© Minyanville
From Gallup's Rajesh Srinivasan and Bryant Ott:


In A Down Economy, Drinking Goes Up

Alcohol Consumption
© redOrbit

Researchers from the University of Miami and the University of Colorado find a connection between macroeconomic conditions and excessive alcohol drinking

Previous studies have found that health outcomes improve during an economic downturn. Job loss means less money available for potentially unhealthy behaviors such as excessive drinking, according to existing literature on employment and alcohol consumption. A new study by health economist Michael T. French from the University of Miami and his collaborators has concluded just the opposite - heavy drinking and alcohol abuse/dependence significantly increase as macroeconomic conditions deteriorate.

French and his team found that binge drinking increased with a rise in the state-level unemployment rate. Driving while intoxicated and alcohol abuse and dependence also increased for both genders and across ethnic groups. The study is relevant considering that many economists predict the unemployment rate in the United States to remain above pre-crisis levels for several years.

"The study is timely, technically advanced, and original," says French, professor of health economics, director of the Health Economics Research Group at the UM College of Arts and Sciences and principal investigator of this study. "We are one of the first to show that, even though incomes decline for most people during an economic downtown, they still increase problematic or risky drinking."


Denmark Is Happiest Country, U.S. Misses Top 10

How Happy
© OECD calculations based on Gallup World PollData refer to 2010 except for 2008 for Iceland and Norway; and to 2009 for Estonia, Israel, Switzerland and South Africa.
A new report by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has found that Danish people are the happiest among those in the 40 countries that were studied. Depending on the happiness scale used, Americans rank somewhere between No. 12 and No. 19 in the results.

In the "How's Life?" initiative, the results of which were published online Oct. 12, the OECD used data from 2010 Gallup world polls to calculate the happiness and well-being of people in 40 different countries, and investigated which factors have the strongest influence on people's happiness.

On a scale of 0 to 10, citizens of Denmark rated their life satisfaction at 7.8, on average. Citizens of Canada, Norway, Switzerland, Sweden, The Netherlands, Australia, Israel and Finland were next most satisfied, followed by people in Ireland, Austria, and the United States, where people rated their life satisfaction at 7.2. Chinese and Hungarian people reported the lowest overall life satisfaction, both at 4.7.


Radiation hotspot in Tokyo linked to mystery bottles under a house?

A radiation hotspot has been detected in Tokyo seven months into Japan's nuclear crisis, but local officials said on Thursday that the high readings appeared to be coming from mystery bottles stored under a house, not the tsunami-crippled Fukushima atomic plant.

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, struck by a devastating quake and tsunami in March, has released radiation into the atmosphere that has been carried by winds, rain and snow across eastern Japan.

Officials in Setagaya, a major residential area in Tokyo about 235 km (150 miles) southwest of the plant, said this week it found a radioactive hotspot on a sidewalk near schools, prompting concerns in the country's most populated area far from the damaged nuclear plant.

The radiation measured as much as 3.35 microsieverts per hour on Thursday, higher than some areas in the evacuation zone near the Fukushima plant, the centre of the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl 25 years ago.

But the local government found several bottles under the floor of a nearby house emitting high levels of radiation.

"A measuring device, when pointed at them, showed very high readings. Radiation levels were even exceding the upper limit for the device," Setagaya Mayor Nobuto Hosaka told a news conference.

Light Sabers

US: Facing Cuts, a City Repeals Its Domestic Violence Law

The startling vote came up at a City Council meeting here on Tuesday, provoked by a run-of-the-mill budget dispute over services that had spun out of control: decriminalize domestic violence.

Three arms of government, all ostensibly representing the same people, have been at an impasse over who should be responsible for - and pay for - prosecuting people accused of misdemeanor cases of domestic violence.

City leaders had blamed the Shawnee County district attorney for handing off such cases to the city without warning. The district attorney, in turn, said he was forced to not prosecute any misdemeanors and to focus on felonies because the County Commission cut his budget. And county leaders accused the district attorney of using abused women as pawns to negotiate more money for his office.

After both sides dug in, the dispute came to a head Tuesday night.

By a vote of 7 to 3, the City Council repealed the local law that makes domestic violence a crime.


US: CDC Official Accused of Child Molesting, Bestiality

An official from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was arrested for allegedly molesting a child and bestiality, according to police in DeKalb County, Ga.

Kimberly Lindsey, 44, a deputy director at CDC, is charged with child molestation and bestiality for two incidences involving a 6-year-old child. Lindsey's live-in boyfriend, Thomas Westerman, 42, is also being charged with child molestation.

The pair is accused of involving the child in their sex acts, including allowing the boy to spank Lindsey's nude buttocks and let him use an electric sex toy on her, according to warrants issued for their arrests.

Bizarro Earth

US: Virginia - Treehouse faces demolition in dispute with Fairfax County

© WTOP / Hank SilverbergThe treehouse Mark Grapin built for his sons sits in his Falls Church backyard. In a dispute with Fairfax County, he may be forced to remove it.
Falls Church, Virginia - It seemed like a great idea -- build a treehouse on his property for two growing boys. But for one local man, it's turning into a big, expensive lesson in government red tape.

Mark Grapin thought his two sons would love the treehouse.

He called Fairfax County before starting to find out the rules for the Broyhill Park neighborhood in the Falls Church area of the county.