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Italy: Priest Sex-Abuse Case Hits Church of Pope's Adviser

Pope Benedict XVI
© Alessandra Tarantino / AP
Pope Benedict XVI
This post is in partnership with Worldcrunch, a new global news site that translates stories of note in foreign languages into English. The article below was originally published in the leading Italian daily La Stampa.

The latest sex-abuse case to rock the Catholic Church is unfolding in the archdiocese of an influential Italian Cardinal who has been working with Pope Benedict XVI on reforms to respond to prior scandals of pedophile priests.

Father Riccardo Seppia, a 51-year-old parish priest in the village of Sastri Ponente, near Genoa, was arrested last Friday, May 13, on pedophilia and drug charges. Investigators say that in tapped mobile-phone conversations, Seppia asked a Moroccan drug dealer to arrange sexual encounters with young and vulnerable boys. "I do not want 16-year-old boys but younger. Fourteen-year-olds are O.K. Look for needy boys who have family issues," he allegedly said. Genoa Archbishop Angelo Bagnasco, who is the head of the Italian Bishops Conference, had been working with Benedict to establish a tough new worldwide policy, released this week, on how bishops should handle accusations of priestly sex abuse.

Che Guevara

100,000 Protesters Hit the Streets in Yemen



Nearly 100,000 Yemenis protested Friday in a main square of the capital, demanding the president's ouster in the biggest rally since Ali Abdullah Saleh left for Saudi Arabia after he was wounded in an attack on his palace.

U.S. officials told NBC News on Friday that the attack on Saleh last week was an "inside job" or assassination attempt using an explosive device and not a rocket attack as earlier reported. The officials said, however, there was "no evidence" an attempted coup."

Saleh was wounded in a blast that hit a mosque where he was praying in his presidential palace on June 3. Badly burned, Saleh was rushed to Saudi Arabia for treatment along with a number of top officials from his regime who also were wounded in the blast.

Officials told NBC News they based their conclusion in part on the serious wounds Saleh suffered, severe facial burns and large shard of wood that went through his chest and punctured his lung. There is speculation the wood came from a lecturn, NBC News reported.

Saleh's evacuation for medical treatment has thrown Yemen into a dangerous political standoff, with opponents insisting he now be pushed completely out of power and his allies seeking to preserve his rule.

But the president's allies say he could return within days and have been resisting U.S. and Saudi pressure to start now on a handover of power. Saleh, who has ruled for nearly 33 years, has held out against a wave of daily protests since late January demanding his removal, throwing the country into turmoil. Before he was wounded, opposition tribesmen rose up and battled for two weeks with government forces in fighting that shook the capital.

House

Walk away from your mortgage ?

Should you keep paying your mortgage on a home that's dwindling in value?

No way, say an increasing number of underwater homeowners who are voluntarily choosing to "walk away" from their home loans, a practice known as "strategic default."

Jon Maddux, CEO of YouWalkAway.com, reports 10% more clients this year to his company, which advises people how best to handle the walk away process.

Charles Gallagher, a real estate attorney in St. Petersburg, Fla., has also seen an uptick.

Heart - Black

Economic Crisis Will Lead to Civil Unrest


Bell

Scientists warn of deadly shellfish in part of Alaska

Image
© Unknown
Anchorage, Alaska - Public health officials warned Alaskans to avoid eating shellfish they harvest from the southeastern tip of the state after high concentrations of a poison than can kill humans was found.

State officials said scientists monitoring algae blooms near Ketchikan discovered some of the world's highest-ever recorded levels of toxins that cause paralytic shellfish poisoning -- a potentially fatal ailment that can paralyze vital organs.

The most poisonous shellfish discovered were baby mussels at a dock in Ketchikan with toxin levels of more than 30,000 micrograms per hundred grams of shellfish meat. This is well over the 80-microgram level considered toxic, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services has warned.

Those levels are so high that a single mussel could kill several people, scientists at the University of Alaska Southeast said in a statement on Thursday.

Dollar

Many of us won't be able to retire until our 80s

You'll probably have to work much longer than you anticipated

We all think it's a panacea. If you don't have enough money saved for retirement, you've got a few ways to close the gap between what you have and what you need in your nest egg: Save more, invest more aggressively, and/or work longer.

Well, it turns out that working longer is indeed an option, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute latest study. The only problem is that the latest research shows that you'll have to work much longer than you anticipated. In fact, many Americans will have to keep on working well into their 70s and 80s to afford retirement, according to the study, titled The Impact of Deferring Retirement Age on Retirement Income Adequacy.

What's more, it's even worse for low-income workers, according Jack VanDerhei, one of the co-authors of the study. Those who earned (on average over the course of their careers) less than $11,700 per year, the lowest income quartile, would need to defer retirement till age 84 before 90% of those households would have just a 50% chance of affording retirement.

Bizarro Earth

US: Girl, 5, to investigators: I drowned tot 'because he would not stop crying'

Kansas City police originally ruled the death accidental but child later told social workers she had held relative underwater

Missouri - A 5-year-old girl could face murder charges after a toddler was drowned in a bathtub, police said.

Kansas City police are waiting for a medical examiner's report on how 18-month-old Jermane Johnson Jr., died, but have investigated the death as a homicide, spokesman Darin Snapp said Thursday.

"I've been in law enforcement for 20 years, and it's the youngest suspect I can remember," Snapp said. "It's extremely rare."

Johnson was in a Kansas City house on June 3 with other children, but the 16-year-old girl who was supposed to be looking after them fell asleep, Snapp said.

Comment: In a ponerized society, this is how responsibility is handled - it gets placed on those who have little to no ability to defend themselves.


People

Funny Thing: It's not the end of the world

Image
© Unknown
Ben Bromley
The good news is we aren't dead. The bad news is we will be soon. And that's a real shame, given how close I am to amassing a complete set of Smurfs glasses from Hardee's.

If only I had another year to find a mint-condition Gargamel glass. But sadly, according to doomsday preacher Harold Camping, the world will end Oct. 21, leaving my collection of 1982 fast-food chain giveaways tragically incomplete.

Of course, we've heard it all from Camping before. The California radio host first predicted the apocalypse in 1994, then blamed his folly on a mathematical error. He renewed his prophecy this year, stating 200 million Christians would be taken to heaven May 21, before the Earth was destroyed. But once again, he had forgotten to carry the 1: When the world didn't end, Camping went back to the blackboard and decided the Rapture would occur Oct. 21. He predicts our planet will be consumed by a fireball, so be sure to keep your SPF 80 handy.

Bulb

Russell Crowe calls Jewish circumcision 'barbaric' and compares it to human sacrifice in Twitter row

crowe
© AFP/GETTY
Russell Crowe - talking sense on circumcision
Russell Crowe, the Gladiator star, has sparked outrage after describing circumcision as barbaric in an angry four-letter outburst on the social networking site Twitter.

The Oscar-winning actor laballed the practice "barbaric and stupid" during a row with his Twitter followers, telling them to "f--- off" if they disagreed with him.

The 47-year-old engaged in an angry exchange with one follower, whom he branded a "moron", before imploring Jewish people to "stop cutting your babies".

The debate followed a question by one of his fans called @picknic11 who asked him: "My son is due soon. Do you think I should get him circumstanced? [sic]"

Crowe tweeted: "Circumcision is barbaric and stupid. Who are you to correct nature? Is it real that GOD requires a donation of foreskin? Babies are perfect."

He added: "Many Jewish friends, I love my Jewish friends, I love the apples and the honey and the funny little hats but stop cutting yr babies.

"I will always stand for the perfection of babies, I will always believe in God, not man's interpretation of what God requires.

"Last of it, if u feel it is yr right 2 cut things off yr babies please unfollow and f--- off, I'll take attentive parenting over barbarism."

Nuke

Mutant rabbit born near Fukushima plant

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The birth of a white rabbit with no ears not far from the damaged Fukushima power plant in Japan has sparked fear in locals.
The animal is a living reminder of the danger that radiation leakages may pose, reports Italian Corriere TV, branch of the newspaper Corriere della Sera.

The Fukushima nuclear power plant was damaged by the powerful earthquake and the subsequent tsunami on March 11. Authorities evacuated all residents within 20 km as the reactors went into meltdown. The exclusion zone was later extended to 30 km.

The mutant rabbit was born in a village just outside the perimeter.