Society's ChildS


Obesity new US national security issue

Obese Trainee
© UnknownA file photo of an obese trainee
The increasing rate of obesity in the US has turned into a national security issue amid growing concerns about a shortage of fit youths capable of serving the military.

Concerns over obesity has even forced the US First lady Michelle Obama to take her anti-obesity campaign to the army's largest training base at Fort Jackson near Columbia on Thursday where she called on young Americans to follow a rigorous dieting regime applied at the military post.

Michelle Obama stressed that obesity in the United States is "not just a health issue but a national security issue," AP quoted her as telling the trainees on the base.


US: Lawmaker condemns question about shooting Obama

© The Associated Press / Carolyn KasterPresident Barack Obama meets with Democratic Governors, Friday, Feb. 25, 2011, in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House complex in Washington.
A Georgia Republican said Friday he didn't immediately condemn a constituent who asked about assassinating President Barack Obama because he was stunned by the question and didn't want to dignify it with a response.

Rep. Paul Broun, a conservative who has harshly criticized the president, confirmed that at a town hall event in Oglethorpe County, Ga., on Tuesday a man asked, "Who's going to shoot Obama?"

After the exchange was reported by the Athens Banner-Herald, Broun issued a statement Friday calling the question "abhorrent."

"I deeply regret that this incident happened," Broun said in a statement. "I condemn all statements - made in sincerity or jest - that threaten or suggest the use of violence against the president of the United States or any other public official. Such rhetoric cannot and will not be tolerated."

His office refused to say whether it had audio or video footage of the exchange.


Canada: Judge's Sex-Assault Remarks Under Review

© CBC NewsProtesters carry signs demanding Justice Robert Dewar's resignation.
The Canadian Judicial Council is reviewing complaints received against Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench Justice Robert Dewar in regard to comments he made in recent days.

During a sentencing hearing last week in Thompson, Dewar commented on the way a woman was dressed and her actions the night she was forced to have sex by a man in the woods along a dark highway outside that city in 2006.

There have been numerous media reports and public reaction to the comments, Norman Sabourin, CJC executive director, stated in a news release issued Friday afternoon.

"Council takes the review of all complaints seriously. The complaints against Justice Dewar will be reviewed in accordance with the council's complaints procedures," he said.


Chinese online gamer dies after three-day session

internet cafe
© BBCOnline gaming is becoming increasingly popular with young Chinese internet users
A Chinese man has died after a three-day online gaming session in which he did not sleep and barely ate, reports say.

The man reportedly lost consciousness at an internet cafe on the outskirts of the Chinese capital, Beijing.

He was rushed to a clinic but could not be revived, the Beijing Times said.


US warns banks on Libya transfers

The US treasury has warned banks on Libyan transfers

Washington - The Treasury Department has warned US banks to be vigilant of transfers linked to Libya's political leaders, as the international community moves to slap sanctions on top government officials.

The Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network told banks to be aware of "the potential increased movement of assets that may be related to the situation in Libya," in a statement released Friday.

It also demanded financial institutions "apply enhanced scrutiny for private banking accounts held by or on behalf of senior foreign political figures."


Groups of militants attack South Russia's Nalchik

© RIA Novosti. Alexandr GrashenkovNalchik
Several groups of militants attacked various law-enforcement buildings in Russia's North Caucasus Republic of Kabardino-Balkaria on Friday.

The city came under attack from "several small groups of militants in cars," a police source said.

"The militants fired four shots from a grenade launcher at the local FSB [Federal Security Service] department. Subsequently, two traffic police stations came under attack, one of them is still under fire," the source said.

At least one person was injured in the shooting.

"In addition, a blast occurred at an FSB health resort, it could have been a bomb or grenade," he added.


New Google Algorithm is Live: News Aggregators Will Be Punished

google graphic
© Google
Just over a month ago, Google announced that they were changing their algorithm in order to weaken the search engine rankings of sites they deem to be "content farmers."

Whereas most of Google's algorithm changes are barely noticeable, the current change that they have been working on since last January will affect 12% of U.S. searches.

There has been much debate about what "content farming" is, and Google has done little to offer a clear explanation, simply stating, "low quality" or "shallow" sites would be affected. This is similar to the vague definition of pornography -- you'll know it when you see it.

The problem with such a vague approach to what is a strictly defined algorithm is that it leaves too much room for a human interpretation. And as we have seen, Google has been exposed as having connections to U.S. intelligence agencies, which doesn't bode well for alternative news sites that aggregate anti-establishment stories from around the web. Given the other censorship threats facing the Internet, it seems those who might be critical of Internet control and real-time surveillance of average Americans are being targeted.


Germany Calls for Travel Ban, Asset Freeze on Libya's Qaddafi

German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle called for a travel ban on Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi's regime and an asset freeze targeting the ruling family, saying rising violence made sanctions "unavoidable."

Westerwelle said he'll call for another emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council to consider the measures. The minister also called the European Union's inability to agree on sanctions "too hesitant" and urged more action.

"Sanctions are unavoidable considering this extraordinary violation of human rights, the extraordinary use of violence," Westerwelle said in an interview today on Deutschlandfunk radio.

Heart - Black

Oklahoma: Three adopted children suffered horrific abuse

Three adopted children who allegedly suffered burns and were forced to eat pet food lived in "inhumane conditions" and might never fully recover, an Oklahoma sheriff said Thursday.

"They have been raised worse than dogs," Canadian County Sheriff Randall Edwards told CNN of the three malnourished juveniles, who are 9, 11 and 15.

John Kluth, 50, and Sonja Kluth, 57, of Yukon, Oklahoma, are accused by the district attorney's office of three counts of child abuse and three counts of child neglect, authorities said.


Gaddafi 'shot by soldier' rumour sweeps oil markets

© AFP/Getty

London - Oil prices dropped below 100 dollars on rumors that Muammar al-Gaddafi, who is desperately clinging to his role as leader of Libya, was shot by a soldier in Tripoli.

According to the Daily Mail, oil had hit a high of 120 dollars a barrel on Thursday afternoon, but settled at 97 dollars on the rumour and on Saudi Arabia's claim that it can counter any supply disruptions from Libya.

A senior U.S. official however said that the U.S. has no reason to believe that Gaddafi was dead or had been fired upon.