Society's ChildS


Everywhere oil is drilled, from Louisiana to Nigeria, human rights violations abound

lagos nigeria,pipeline
© Unknown

This fall, the Supreme Court will likely decide whether overseas oil companies can be sued for alleged human rights abuses after Nigerian plaintiffs, victims most similar to Gulf of Mexico region oil survivors, filed a petition (pdf) with the Supreme Court according to The New York Times Friday. The petition follows news that Shell faces a hundreds of millions of dollars bill after accepting full liability for two massive oil spills devastating a Nigerian community of 69,000 people, expecting 20 years to clean.

"Oil companies Royal Dutch Shell PLC and Exxon Mobil Corp. have been battling allegations that they played a role in human rights abuses in Nigeria and Indonesia, respectively," reported The New York Times.

Those allegations are profoundly similar to those alleged in the Gulf of Mexico region, particularly in Louisiana. This week, the non-government organization (NGO) Louisiana Bucket Brigade released its Pipeline Newletter referencing the similarities, "Nigeria, as it happens, has much in common with Louisiana."


Shell faces big bill for oil spills

Niger Delta Oil Spill
© All West Niger Delta Oil Spill.

Port Harcourt, Nigeria -- Oil titan Royal Dutch Shell faces a bill for hundreds of millions of dollars for two big 2008 oil spills in Nigeria's main oil-producing zone, a region devastated by 6,800 recorded spills over the last half century.

Shell reportedly has accepted liability for two spills following a 4-month legal battle in London over a suit initiated by a law firm representing the pollution-stricken communities in the Niger Delta, where some 31 million people live. Most are impoverished, living on $1 a day.

The case seems set to establish a precedent for other high-profile lawsuits against leading oil companies in other parts of the world. Chevron of the United States, for instance, is being sued for $27 billion in damages for massive pollution in the Amazon jungles of Ecuador.


Brazil's 'Uncontacted' Amazon Tribe Attacked by Drug Gang

© Survival InternationalMembers of an uncontacted Amazon Basin tribe and their dwellings are seen during a flight over the Brazilian state of Acre along the border with Peru in this May 2008 photo distributed by Survival International. Survival International estimates that there are over 100 uncontacted tribes worldwide, and says that uncontacted tribes in the region are under increasing threat from illegal logging over the border in Peru
In what authorities in Brazil have deemed a "massacre," a remote tribe in the Amazon jungle was reportedly attacked by Peruvian drug traffickers last month. The tribe was thought to never have made contact with the outside world.

The Brazilian indigenous protection service had been guarding the tribe, but their outpost was attacked by a heavily armed group from Peru. Since the raid, which was allegedly perpetrated by cocaine smugglers, there have been no sightings of the tribespeople anywhere.

The tribal village sat in the jungle near the Peruvian border on the western edge of Brazil. State agencies, who initially left the indigenous people alone, are now searching for any survivors.

"We decided to come back here because we believed that these guys may be massacring the isolated [tribe]," Carlos Travassos, the head of Brazil's department for isolated indigenous peoples, told the Brazilian news Web site IG.


Derailed train in Poland exceeded speed limit - prosecutors

© Reuters/ Marcin Stepien/Agencja Gazeta
The train that derailed in Poland on Friday afternoon killing one and injuring 81 passengers exceeded the speed limit, the TVN 24 channel said on Saturday quoting a spokesman for the prosecutor's office.

Four carriages of a passenger train bound from Warsaw to Katowice went off the tracks in the village of Baby, near the city of Piotrkow Trybunalski in central Poland at 4 p.m. local time on Friday.

TVN-24 said the train was travelling at a speed of 118 kmph at a railway section, which had been under repair for a month, according to Andrzej Massel, undersecretary of state responsible for rail. The traffic there has been regulated by a semaphore and the speed limit has been set at 40 kmph.


Israeli Protests Widen, Poll Shows 88% Support

protesting Israelis
The leaders of a social protest movement that has rocked Israel for a month called on demonstrators to "get out of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem" to bolster demonstrations Saturday in a dozen other cities.

Israel has gripped since mid-July by a rapidly growing protest movement demanding cheaper housing, education and health care.

Comment: Paid for by the U.S. taxpayer, no doubt.

"We want to strengthen the movement in the periphery, where those who have pitched tents in protest are still few, so we have made a call to leave Tel Aviv and Jerusalem to take part in rallies in twelve cities," said Stav Shafir, a protest leader.

"The main gathering will be held in Beersheba in the south, but there will also be events in Haifa (Israel's third-largest city), Netanya, Afula, Beit Shean, Eilat and Dimona," she said.

Evil Rays

US, Chicago: Son Accused of Stabbing Mother Over Sandwich

Alexander Georg
© Naperville Police Dept.Alexander Georg
Alexander Georg is charged with repeatedly stabbing his mother with a butcher knife

A woman is in the hospital after her son on Thursday allegedly stabbed her repeatedly with a butcher knife when she offered to make him a sandwich.

Alexander Georg was being held on $1.5 million bond Friday morning for the alleged attack. According to prosecutors, George attacked his mother so severely that the knife blade snapped off the handle, according to The Chicago Tribune.

Eye 1

US: Family Fined $300 For Having Apple, Tomato, 3 Cucumbers In Backpack At Newark Liberty Airport

A family of four from Florida visiting relatives in New Jersey got an unwelcome surprise at the Customs gate - all because of some forgotten fruit and vegetables.

The oversight was an expensive one that has the family fuming, reports CBS 2's Sean Hennessey.

"I don't have to be traumatized like this. Nobody should have to be traumatized," Suri Steinberger said.

Suri and Peter Steinberger are livid after what they call an over-reaction by customs agents at Newark Liberty Airport. They were told they had violated a federal crime - forgetting about an apple, a tomato and three cucumbers in their son's backpack.

Heart - Black

US: JetBlue Flier Who 'Peed' on Girl Could be Axed from US Ski Team

Robert Vietze
© Doug WilliamsRobert Vietze, a US Ski Team member, is refusing to apologize after he allegedly peed on a girl aboard a JetBlue flight.
He probably just pissed away his Olympic dreams.

The drunken JetBlue passenger who treated a sleeping 11-year-old girl like his personal potty is a member of the US Ski Team who refused to apologize yesterday for the high-altitude humiliation.

Robert "Sandy" Vietze, 18, is among the 75 most elite skiers in the nation -- but he may have blown his chance to compete in the 2014 Winter Games in Russia.

His name was bumped from the team's developmental roster yesterday afternoon, although officials refused to comment about his status.

The leaky loser expressed no remorse outside his family's palatial Vermont home, where he ignored questions about the incident and showed no interest in apologizing to his victim.


US, Georgia: Thousands Line Up for Free Dental Services

Woodstock free dental care
© John SpinkHundreds of people lined up overnight to receive free dental service. Woodstock First Baptist Church teamed with Georgia Mission of Mercy to begin a two-day FREE, dental clinic for low- or no-income adults who cannot pay for dental care.
Thousands of people waited in line overnight at Woodstock First Baptist Church for free dental care.

The two-day clinic at First Baptist Church of Woodstock on Hwy. 92 is being sponsored by the Georgia Dental Association and its Foundation for Oral Health.

"The line went around the building, all the way through the parking lot and around a warehouse," said Dr. Richard Smith, who practices in Atlanta. He estimated the line at 2,000 yards and said that at its peak, 4,000 people were in line.


Thousands Riot in China's Guizhou Province: Xinhua

china riot
Thousands of rioters took to the streets in southwestern China, with some smashing and burning vehicles, after a city official injured a female cyclist, state news agency Xinhua reported on Friday.

The riots broke out late Thursday in Guizhou province and carried on all night, with 10 police officers wounded in the violence, the report said.

Rioters also blocked the city's main roads using trucks, the state-run China National Radio reported on its website.

Xinhua said the riots were set off when "chengguan" officials, responsible for low-level policing on China's streets, injured a female cyclist while trying to confiscate her bicycle for illegal parking.