Society's ChildS

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Britain's biggest ever 'fatberg' - the size of a bus and weighing 15 tonnes - found in London drain

© The Independent, UK
Thames Water has found a 15 tonne bus-sized lump of rotting food and sanitary wipes in the drains beneath a road in Kingston, South West London.

The congealed mushy deposit, dubbed a 'fatberg' by the authority, is thought to be the largest ever found in Britain.

The blockage, which if left untreated could have led to sewage flooding homes, streets and businesses, was discovered after residents in nearby buildings complained that they couldn't flush their toilets. The water authority subsequently discovered the 'fatberg' through CCTV investigation.

Gordon Hailwood, waste contracts supervisor for Thames Water said: "While we've removed greater volumes of fat from under central London in the past, we've never seen a single, congealed lump of lard this big clogging our sewers before.

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Escaped python kills two kids in New Brunswick

Escaped Python
© Claude LeBlanc/QMI AgencyRCMP forensic investigators at the Reptile Ocean store in Campbellton, N.B., Monday, August 5, 2013.
Campbellton -- Two young boys who were at a sleepover in an apartment above an exotic pet store in Campbellton, N.B., were killed by a large African python that got loose early Monday.

The python escaped from the Reptile Ocean exotic pet store and killed the children, reportedly five and seven years old, who were found at 6:30 a.m.

According to deputy mayor Ian Comeau, the snake escaped and slithered through the ventilation system to the residence above where the children had spent the night.

Well before the tragedy, an online petition was asking for Reptile Ocean to be shut down.

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Life in a 'dog cage': Manhattan's secret tenement offers hell for $10 a night

© William FarringtonHELLHOLE: John Arkue sits in his home at the Sun Bright Hotel, a filthy single-room-occupancy hotel outside Chinatown where tenants are packed into chicken-wire cages.
It's a human kennel.

Less than a 10-minute walk from Soho is the Sun Bright Hotel - where men pay $10 a night to live in tiny cells bounded by chicken wire.

It's a single-room-occupancy hotel that has been operating since the late 19th century and where today men live side by side in filth.

"It was horrible - like an animal shelter," a first responder, recently summoned to the hotel, told The Post.

"I picked up a suit on the wall and roaches fell out," the rescuer said, "hundreds of them."

Nestled on the edge of Chinatown between the Bowery and Elizabeth Street, the hotel on Hester Street is minutes from Balthazar, where the $135 côte de boeuf for two would cover half a month's rent at the Sun Bright.

Only men are allowed in the units on the third and fourth floors, the hotel's most hellish. The accommodations there measure 7 by 5 feet, smaller than the average 8-by-10 solitary-confinement cell in a state prison.

Roaches, bedbugs, fleas and other vermin infest the building. Hot hallways reek of rotting trash, sweat and urine.

"They keep all the garbage all on this floor," lamented John Arkue, a disabled construction worker who has lived on the third floor for 15 years. "Sometimes the garbage sits here. Like on a Saturday, we don't put the garbage out."


Washington Post to be sold to Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder

The Washington Post Co. agreed Monday to sell its flagship newspaper to founder and chief executive Jeffrey P. Bezos, ending the Graham family's stewardship of one of America's leading news organizations after four generations.

Bezos, whose entrepreneurship has made him one of the world's richest men, will pay $250 million in cash for The Post and affiliated publications to The Washington Post Co., which owns the newspaper and other businesses.

Seattle-based Amazon will have no role in the purchase; Bezos himself will buy the news organization and become its sole owner when the sale is completed, probably within 60 days. The Post Co. will get a new, still-undecided name and continue as a publicly traded company without The Post.


Someone within U.S. Senate edited Edward Snowden's Wikipedia page to change his description from 'dissident' to 'traitor'

The editor's IP address was tracked back to the US Senate

The edit was made one day after Edward Snowden was granted political asylum in Russia

A member of the US Senate was caught this week trying to make a rather conspicuous edit to Edward Snowden's Wikipedia page .

In a move sure to grind the gears of conspiracy theorists everywhere, a member of the US Senate recently edited Snowden's Wikipedia page from describing him as a 'dissident' to a traitor, according to the entry's changelog. The user's IP address was quickly traced back to the US Senate.

It is not clear if the person is an active Senator, a staffer or an intern, but the change certainly came from the Senate.
Tell us how you really feel: An editor with an IP address traced back to the US Senate attempted to change Edward Snowden's wikipedia entry to call him a 'traitor'

Eye 1

Hysteria strikes again! Beeping alarm clock shuts down Florida airport

© Taylor Jones/The Palm Beach PostPalm Beach County Sheriff's Office Dis. R. Barnett patrols near the Silver Airlines check in at Palm Beach International Airport in West Palm Beach Saturday afternoon, Aug. 3, 2013.
West Palm Beach - A beeping alarm clock in a piece of luggage put airport workers on edge Saturday, prompting them to call the county's explosive experts.

The suspicious bag caused two floors of Palm Beach International Airport to be evacuated and close for several hours, delaying flights.

David and Joshua Pierre-Louis were getting their great aunt's IBC Air boarding pass for a noon flight to Haiti when police ordered them outside, along with everyone around them.

That was at about 11:30 a.m., the brothers said. They didn't get back inside until almost 2 p.m.

"We were literally about to hit enter to print the ticket," said David Pierre-Louis, who made the trip from Fort Lauderdale expecting check-in to move more quickly than in his crowded home airport.

Light Sabers

Lady Gaga, Madonna facing punishment in Russia for proselytizing 'gay rights'

Pop stars Lady Gaga and Madonna are facing punishment in Russia after authorities determined they violated their visas when they held concerts there last year.

Technically, the artists were not allowed to work in Russia on their tourist visas, but experts say it appears the visa warning is a veiled attempt punish the pop stars for their vocal support of gay rights in Russia.

The investigation into their visas came at the urging of a lawmaker who has spearheaded Russia's anti-gay campaign.

© Steve Sands/Getty Images | Gennadi Avramenko/Epsilon/Getty Images


The French forget so fast: Nicolas Sarkozy the most influential political figure in France, poll finds

Nicolas Sarkozy comeback ambitions received a major boost as he was declared the most popular influential political figure in France by a key poll.

© REX FEATURESNicolas Sarkozy at the Festival de Ramatuelle, Saint-Tropez, France
The Right-wing former president came 20th in Sunday newspaper Le Journal du Dimanche's bi-annual Top 50 poll, some 24 places ahead of François Hollande, the Socialist who roundly beat him last year but now faces record low popularity ratings.

The two men were the only politicians present in the list, dominated by music, film, TV and sports celebrities.

The poll came a day after Mr Sarkozy reportedly received a rock star's welcome when he turned up to a pop concert in St-Tropez with his wife Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, during which half the audience gave him a standing ovation.

The 58-year-old's ranking is the highest he has ever achieved, including in a poll taken in the "honeymoon period" shortly after his election for a five-year term in 2007.

It will further fire up his supporters, who are increasingly vocal in calling for his return to spare France five more years of Socialist rule in 2017.


Tawana Brawley begins paying damages to New York prosecutor she accused of rape in 1987

© APOUTRAGE: Tawana Brawley attends an Atlanta rally with Al Sharpton in 1988, three months before a jury would rule that her rape tale was a hoax. She had been lying low until The Post last December found her living in Virginia.
Twenty-five years after accusing an innocent man of rape, Tawana Brawley is finally paying for her lies.

Last week, 10 checks totaling $3,764.61 were delivered to ex-prosecutor Steven Pagones - the first payments Brawley has made since a court determined in 1998 that she defamed him with her vicious hoax.

A Virginia court this year ordered the money garnished from six months of Brawley's wages as a nurse there.

She still owes Pagones $431,000 in damages. And she remains defiantly unapologetic.

"It's a long time coming," said Pagones, 52, who to this day is more interested in extracting a confession from Brawley than cash.

"Every week, she'll think of me," he told The Post. "And every week, she can think about how she has a way out - she can simply tell the truth."

Brawley's advisers in the infamous race-baiting case - the Rev. Al Sharpton, and attorneys C. Vernon Mason and Alton Maddox - have already paid, or are paying, their defamation debt. But Brawley, 41, had eluded punishment.

Comment: 'I'm not a liar' - Tawana Brawley stands by her account of kidnap, rape by 6 white men in 1987

Cell Phone

No Escape: The public-private surveillance partnership and why we the people have lost

© Martin Cole
Imagine the government passed a law requiring all citizens to carry a tracking device. Such a law would immediately be found unconstitutional. Yet we all carry mobile phones.

Comment: Genius, wasn't it?

The alert ones were looking out for microchips under the skin... while mobile phones took over the world!

If the National Security Agency required us to notify it whenever we made a new friend, the nation would rebel. Yet we notify Facebook Inc. (FB) If the Federal Bureau of Investigation demanded copies of all our conversations and correspondence, it would be laughed at. Yet we provide copies of our e-mail to Google Inc. (GOOG), Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) or whoever our mail host is; we provide copies of our text messages to Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ), AT&T Inc. (T) and Sprint Corp. (S); and we provide copies of other conversations to Twitter Inc., Facebook, LinkedIn (LNKD) Corp. or whatever other site is hosting them.

The primary business model of the Internet is built on mass surveillance, and our government's intelligence-gathering agencies have become addicted to that data. Understanding how we got here is critical to understanding how we undo the damage.