Society's ChildS


Amnesty International sets up Twitter account mocking Dick Cheney

Dick cheney

The human rights organization Amnesty International has set up a Twitter account named "Cheney's Conscience" that mocks the former vice president and links to a petition calling on U.S. Attorney General Holder to open a torture investigation.

"Is it Friday yet?! Who knew whitewashing #torture would be this hard?" a tweet from August 23 said.

"Look, of course waterboarding isn't torture. The lawyers I instructed to tell me it wasn't torture said so!" said another from August 19.


John Dean Rips Cheney's Memoir: It Displays His 'Authoritarian Personality'

© snip

John Dean, former Nixon White House Counsel and author, blasted former Vice President Dick Cheney's memoir In My Time on Countdown with Keith Olbermann.

"He is a classic authoritarian personality," he told Olbermann on Thursday night. "We are seeing it in his book. He certainly demonstrated it as vice president."

"And while he can set rules for others, he has his own rules, and he can't see any hypocrisy in what he is doing."

In his book, Cheney reportedly attacks former Secretary of State Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice.

Watch video, courtesy of Current TV, below:

Cell Phone

Wave of 40,000 tweets followed U.S. earthquake

Earthquake tweets
© Reuters/Yuri GripasPeople stand outside the World Bank headquarters building in Washington as they evacuated after an earthquake which struck the east coast of the United States August 23, 2011.
Just one minute after the 5.8 magnitude earthquake struck in the state of Virginia on Tuesday and shook much of the U.S. eastern seaboard, an online aftershock of 40,000 tweets hit the internet.

Meanwhile, the National Hurricane Center got an additional 15,000 "likes" on Facebook ahead of Hurricane Irene's advance.

Social networking sites are increasingly critical to reporting and responding to such disasters, the Department of Health and Human Services, the American Red Cross, and the U.S. National Weather Service said in a Facebook Live event.

Surveys have shown that a majority of Americans believe response agencies should be monitoring social media, Director of Disaster Services at the American Red Cross Trevor Riggen said in the videoconference.


Iceland's On-going Revolution

Iceland protestors
© UnknownIceland protestors
An Italian radio program's story about Iceland's on-going revolution is a stunning example of how little our media tells us about the rest of the world. Americans may remember that at the start of the 2008 financial crisis, Iceland literally went bankrupt. The reasons were mentioned only in passing, and since then, this little-known member of the European Union fell back into oblivion.

As one European country after another fails or risks failing, imperiling the Euro, with repercussions for the entire world, the last thing the powers that be want is for Iceland to become an example. Here's why:

Five years of a pure neo-liberal regime had made Iceland, (population 320 thousand, no army), one of the richest countries in the world. In 2003 all the country's banks were privatized, and in an effort to attract foreign investors, they offered on-line banking whose minimal costs allowed them to offer relatively high rates of return. The accounts, called IceSave, attracted many English and Dutch small investors. But as investments grew, so did the banks' foreign debt. In 2003 Iceland's debt was equal to 200 times its GNP, but in 2007, it was 900 percent. The 2008 world financial crisis was the coup de grace. The three main Icelandic banks, Landbanki, Kapthing and Glitnir, went belly up and were nationalized, while the Kroner lost 85% of its value with respect to the Euro. At the end of the year Iceland declared bankruptcy.

Contrary to what could be expected, the crisis resulted in Icelanders recovering their sovereign rights, through a process of direct participatory democracy that eventually led to a new Constitution. But only after much pain.

Bad Guys

Cambodia: 'Forced Overtime' Claim in H&M Mass Fainting

H&M store front
Staff at the garment factory in Kampong Chnnang where more than 100 workers fainted on Tuesday morning while making knitwear for global brand H&M had been forced to work overtime of up to six hours a day for about two months prior to the incident, a representative of their union said yesterday.

"The factory's boss forced workers to work an extra four to six hours a day during the past two months," union representative Norn Leakhena said, adding that from January to March they were forced to work until 11:00pm. She also said fainting was commonplace at the factory, especially in areas adjacent to the laundry room, which emitted fumes that made workers dizzy.

An executive with M&V International Manufacturing Ltd, however, denied allegations of forced overtime and a toxic working environment, saying the fainting was caused by a "strange psychological phenomenon".

Heart - Black

Austria's new Fritzl: Father kept two mentally ill daughters as sex prisoners in one room for 41 years

An Austrian man is being investigated after locking up his two daughters in a room for 41 years and repeatedly sexually abusing them in a case which matches countryman Josef Fritzl's in its depravity.

Police today confirmed the horrific details of the case in St Peter am Hart, near Brannau - Hitler's home town - close to the German border.

The two mentally ill women were both banned from contact with the outside world and were only allowed in one room of the large property.

© Associated PressHorror scene: The house in St Peter am Hart, Brannau, Austria, where two sisters were subjected to a 41-year sex ordeal by their father
The extended isolation has left both women severely psychologically traumatised and both are now in care.


Another case of rapid disintegration? US: NYPD arrests naked man in fatal stabbing spree

© Associated Press photo/ file
A naked man who went on a stabbing spree at his Manhattan apartment building, killing an elderly man and injuring four others, was charged with murder on Wednesday, police said.

Christian Falero, 23, was arrested after he randomly knocked on several tenants' doors of the seven-story Washington Heights building and then stabbed the people who answered with a 10-inch kitchen knife, police said.

Police charged him with second-degree murder and robbery.

A second-floor tenant, Ignacio Reyes-Collazo, 81, was killed during the random attacks that unfolded around 4 p.m. Tuesday. Three women, ages 60 to 85, were stabbed and a 22-year-old home attendant was punched, police said. They were all taken to area hospitals; one of the women was in critical condition, the others were stable.


The former Australian of the year Patrick McGorry has aborted a controversial trial of anti-psychotic drugs on children as young as 15

© Angela WyliePatrick McGorry ... a formal complaint was lodged
The former Australian of the year Patrick McGorry has aborted a controversial trial of anti-psychotic drugs on children as young as 15 who are ''at risk'' of psychosis, amid complaints the study was unethical.

The Sun-Herald can reveal 13 international health experts lodged a formal complaint calling for the trial not to go ahead.

They were concerned children who had not yet been diagnosed with a psychotic illness would be unnecessarily given drugs with potentially dangerous side effects.

Quetiapine, sold as Seroquel, has been linked to weight gain and its manufacturer AstraZeneca, which was to fund the trial, last month paid US$647 million ($622 million) to settle a lawsuit in the US, alleging there was insufficient warning the drug may cause diabetes.

Penis Pump

US: Jury Rules in Favor of Doctor Who Cut Off Part of Kentucky Man's Penis

© Scott Utterback, The Courier-JournalPhillip Seaton leaves the courtroom after the jury ruled against him in determining that Doctor John Patterson did not act improperly when he partially amputated the plaintiff's penis.
Jurors rejected a truck driver's claim for $16 million in damages after part of his penis was amputated because they believed the doctor saved the man's life, the jury forewoman said in an interview Wednesday.

After only about an hour of deliberation Wednesday, the six-man, six-woman jury in Shelby County Circuit Court found that Dr. John Patterson acted appropriately and Phillip Seaton, 64, of Waddy, should get no money in the lawsuit.

"We felt bad for the circumstances. (Seaton) has our sympathy. But at the same time, he's alive today because this man did what he did, because this man performed the surgery," jury forewoman Lydia Tapp told The Courier-Journal in a phone interview.


Shocking Need: American Kids Go Hungry

In high school, Katherine Foronda trained herself not to feel hungry until after the school day had ended. She wasn't watching her weight or worrying about boys seeing her eat.

She just didn't have any food to eat or any money to buy it.

"I thought, if I wasn't hungry during class I'd be able to actually focus on what we were learning,'' said Foronda, now 19.

Every day, children in every county in the United States wake up hungry. They go to school hungry. They turn out the lights at night hungry.

That is one of the stunning key findings of a new study to be released Thursday by Feeding America, a network of 200 food banks and the largest hunger charity in the country.

As many as 17 million children nationwide are struggling with what is known as food insecurity. To put it another way, one in four children in the country is living without consistent access to enough nutritious food to live a healthy life, according to the study, "Map the Meal Child Food Insecurity 2011."