Society's ChildS


US: Felony Eavesdropping

Chicago- This is the story of Louis Frobe, but it's also about others who have run afoul of the Illinois eavesdropping law, one of the most restrictive of its kind in the country. It requires that all parties to a conversation give their consent before you can record legally record it.

Say you take out your smart phone and you start taking pictures of police officers making an arrest. The pictures and video are allowed by law, but you must have permission before you record the audio, even if the officer is on the public way.

"I'm just an ordinary citizen. I was on my way to the movies, and all of a sudden I'm facing a felony and 15 years in prison," Frobe told ABC7.

Che Guevara

Armies of Teachers Jolt France's Streets

© unknownPicture shows demonstration in the city of Nantes in western France on September 27, 2011.
Thousands of teachers and their supporters take to the streets across France following a related national strike to protest at the government-ordered job cuts in the education sector.

On Tuesday, more than 165,000 demonstrators took part in over 100 nationwide protests, the Associated Press reported.

The public voiced outrage at French President Nicolas Sarkozy's government, which has shed tens of thousands of education-related positions since 2007 and plans to rid a further 14,000 in 2012.

The measures have caused schools to run into training problems and staff shortages.

The protest action was for the first time joined by private school teachers as well as their public sector colleagues.

According to France's Education Ministry, more than one in four school teachers went on the strike, though, two teachers' unions put the figure at over 50 percent of the workforce.


US: Disabled Woman Arrested for Sitting Outside in Chair

woman, arrested,walker
© SpecialThis photo, taken by a bystander, shows Officer Kenneth Thomas placing Shequita Walker under arrest.

A physically disabled Atlanta woman says a police officer threw her to the ground and arrested her when she refused to move from her chair.

Shequita Walker, 40, suffers from severe joint pain and has a limited range of motion. For several years, Walker has enjoyed sitting in a metal chair in the vacant lot next to her apartment complex on Boulevard. Walker says she isn't on the sidewalk or in anyone's way, and has spent many hot afternoons waiting on the ice cream truck to drive by so she can buy a cold treat.

But on April 21, an Atlanta police officer asked her to move when she was in her regular spot, next to three other people. Walker responded by telling Officer Kenneth Thomas she was within her rights to sit outside, and that other Atlanta officers had not had a problem with it.


US: Police Kill Two Dogs, Bella And Jordan, In San Mateo, California


A family in San Mateo, California is expressing outrage that police shot and killed their two dogs after they escaped and started barking at children in a park.

Carla Torres, 38, says her two boxers, a female named Bella and a male named Jordan, may have been loose and loud at Laurie Meadows Park, having escaped out a side gate at her home, but that there was no reason for officers to shoot them.

Police Shot Both Dogs

From The San Francisco Chronicle:

The incident happened on Monday, when a "frantic" citizen called 911, reporting that "two vicious boxer-type dogs" were at the park growling at people, including a group of small children practicing soccer, said police Sgt. Dave Norris.

Officers arrived and saw that the dogs were "behaving in an increasingly threatening manner, creating a clearly dangerous environment toward the officers and others in the park," Norris said.

As other officers cleared people from the park, an officer tried to use a Taser shock weapon on one of the dogs, but it didn't stop the dog.


Fear of Repression Spurs Scholars and Activists to Build Alternate Internets

© Yana Paskova / The Chronicle
Computer networks proved their organizing power during the recent uprisings in the Middle East, in which Facebook pages amplified street protests that toppled dictators. But those same networks showed their weaknesses as well, such as when the Egyptian government walled off most of its citizens from the Internet in an attempt to silence protesters.

That has led scholars and activists increasingly to consider the Internet's wiring as a disputed political frontier.

For example, one weekend each month, a small group of computer programmers gathers at a residence here to build a homemade Internet - named Project Byzantium - that could go online if parts of the current global Internet becomes blocked by a repressive government.

Using an approach called a "mesh network," the system would set up an informal wireless network connecting users with other nearby computers, which in turn would pass along the signals. The mesh network could tie back into the Internet if one of the users found a way to plug into an unblocked route. The developers recently tested an early version of their software at George Washington University (though without the official involvement of campus officials).

Eye 1

Flashback Pedophile Case Judge Breaks Down in Belgian Court

Jean-Marc Connerotte
Jean-Marc Connerotte

The Belgian judge who saved two young girls from Marc Dutroux's pedophile dungeon has broken down in the witness box, alleging high-level murder plots to stop his investigation into a child-sex mafia.

Jean-Marc Connerotte was in tears on the fourth day of the trial on Thursday, describing the bullet-proof vehicles and armed guards needed to protect him against shadowy figures determined to stop the full truth coming out.

"Never before in Belgium has an investigating judge at the service of the king been subjected to such pressure," he said.


Thou shalt fear knowledge! Church Wants France To Shelve 'Pro-Gay' High School Biology Text

Paris high school
© faunggA Paris high school
Catholic leaders in France slam public school textbook that delves into "gender theory." With help from allies of Nicolas Sarkozy, the Church is demanding changes to the curriculum, which explores how society and culture can affect an individual's sexual identity.

As a sign of how much the Catholic Church cares about biology, the Vatican was quick to chime in on a debate over the "becoming man or woman" section of France's new high school biology curriculum.

The goal of the section is to introduce teenagers to what is known as "gender theory," which distinguishes between biological sexual differences and sexual identity, which can be influenced by social and cultural factors. The Church, which is critical of the theory, has rushed to publish a pamphlet entitled Gender, the Controversy. A collection of essays written by various theologians, the document warns young people about the "risks" of gender theory.


Greek protesters occupy key ministries

greek protesters
Protesting taxi drivers stand in front of a protest banner placed at the Transport Ministry during a demonstration in Athens on September 28, 2011.
Greek civil servants protesting the government's austerity measures have occupied several ministries ahead of upcoming talks between the IMF and EU officials.

According to local media, the occupations began in the early hours of Thursday and will continue until Friday.

The protesters are opposing a new round of pay-cuts and layoffs imposed by the government and aimed at slashing its runaway deficit.

The protesters say they want to prevent the Greek Finance Minister from meeting the EU, the IMF, and the European Central Bank officials in Athens.


US: Head Of Immigration In South Florida Busted For Child Pornography

anthony mangione
© Broward County Sheriffs OfficeAnthony Mangione faces three charges related to child pornography, the Justice Department says.
The head of Immigration and Customs Enforcement for South Florida has been arrested on child pornography charges, the Department of Justice said Wednesday.

Anthony Mangione, 50, of Parkland, Florida, was charged in a three-count indictment unsealed Wednesday with transportation of child pornography, receipt of child pornography and possession of child pornography, authorities said in a statement.

"According to the indictment, between March 2010 and September 2010, Mangione allegedly transported and received visual depictions of minors engaging in sexually explicit conduct," the statement said. "The indictment also alleges that Mangione possessed electronically stored messages that contained additional images of child pornography during the same time period."

Bad Guys

Chinese Business Owners Disappearing as "Underground Loans" Come Due

Credit Crunch
© Minyanville

As China tries to put the brakes on inflation, a tightening credit market has many businesses turning to what Reuters describes as the country's "vast and growing informal lending market."

But, with annual interest rates as high as 200%, "many business owners who were believed to be having trouble paying back loans to underground banks have disappeared," according to Yu Ran of China Daily.

One of the "disappeared," Wenzhou eyeglass factory owner Hu Fulin, suddenly vanished on September 21.

"We've confirmed that Hu has disappeared, and we're still not sure whether the rumors saying he left more than 2 billion yuan in debts behind are true," a government official told Yu. "But current information has proved that he borrowed about 130 million yuan from private lenders."

Hu's suppliers in Wenzhou, which the People's Daily calls "the cradle of China's private economy," are in "a panic" and "gathered in his factory demanding payments." And angry employees protested to demand the two months' salary they are owed, as well.