Society's ChildS

Mr. Potato

Carla Bruni-Sarkozy confession: 'I no longer feel left wing'

© REXOnly two years ago Mrs Bruni-Sarkozy had claimed that she was 'instinctively left-wing'
France's first lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, has confessed to no "longer feeling left-wing" after three years of marriage to the country's conservative president, Nicolas Sarkozy.

The supermodel-turned-singer's reputation as a "luvvie Lefty" has been cited as a major handicap to Mr Sarkozy's re-election, and her political change of heart is an attempt to boost support for her unpopular husband among his core Right-wing electorate.

Only two years ago Mrs Bruni-Sarkozy had claimed that she was "instinctively left-wing" after at one stage supporting her husband's Socialist rival in the 2007 presidential elections. She had also publicly opposed Mr Sarkozy's plan to conduct DNA tests on immigrants.


US: Dallas Teen Fined $637 for Foul Mouth!

traffic cop
© Getty Image
A suburban Dallas teenager had to take on a waitressing job to pay $637 after being ticketed for using bad language in a high school classroom.

Court records show that teacher Michelle Lene heard Victoria Mullins say "you trying to start (expletive)" loudly in class one day last October. She was sent to the principal's office and given lunch detention. The next day, the school resource officer presented the North Mesquite High School student a ticket.

The Dallas Morning News reported that the fine for disorderly conduct/abusive language was $340, but other charges included failure to show for a hearing.

The complaint said Lene was offended, and that Mullins' language was a breach of the peace.

Mullins acknowledges she was wrong. She said a classmate was getting on her nerves.

Pocket Knife

US: Wife Killed Husband After Finding Hickey

A woman was ordered held without bail Monday charged with killing her husband in Medford.

Police found 34-year-old Troy Burston wounded outside a home on Exchange Avenue at 10:40 p.m. Sunday. He was not wearing a shirt and had been stabbed in the chest.

He was rushed to Lawrence Memorial Hospital where he died.

WBZ-TV's Sera Congi reports:


Nearly 11 Percent of US Houses Empty

© Getty Image
I usually find the quarterly homeowner vacancy and homeownership report from Census pretty lackluster, but the latest one released this morning was anything but.

America's home ownership rate, after holding steady for a while, took a pretty big plunge in Q4, from 66.9 percent to 66.5 percent. That's down from the 2004 peak of 69.2 percent and the lowest level since 1998.

Homeownership is falling at an alarming pace, despite the fact that home prices have fallen, affordability is much improved and inventories of new and existing homes are still running quite high.

Bargains abound, but few are interested or eligible to take advantage.


US: Boxer's debut ends in death

© Staton BreidenthalThis 2001 file photo shows Anthony Jones as a defensive-back for El Dorado High School.
An El Dorado man who made his professional boxing debut Saturday in Benton died Sunday at a Little Rock hospital just hours after the bout was stopped in the second round.

Anthony Jones, 28, died at UAMS medical center Sunday, but the promoter of an event dubbed "Benton Beatdown," at Fitness Unlimited in Benton. He said he wasn't sure of a cause of death.

"It was just an untimely and unfortunate accident for him," said Larry Harris, whose-Sheridan based Thunderstruck Fight Promotions had put together the seven bout event that drew close to 500 spectators. "The hospital doesn't believe it had anything to do with the fight."

Pocket Knife

Nothing for Free: Egyptians Feel the Economic Pinch of Protest

Bread of the revolution
© MiddleEastOnlineBread of the revolution
Authorities respond to growing fears of shortages; Egypt still had sufficient stocks of food, cash and fuel.

There is no money at the banks. Fuel is scarce. Tourism is evaporating.

As a popular uprising to oust President Hosni Mubark enters its second week, Egyptians are feeling the economic pinch.

Banks have been shut since Sunday, and they remained so on Tuesday, the day that protesters hope will see a million-strong demonstration in Cairo to demand an end to Mubarak's regime.

Many automatic teller machines (ATM) in the teeming capital have run out of cash, and those still working were dispensing only a limited number of banknotes.

"I scoured the city in search of an automatic teller and I found only one place -- in a neighbourhood where people do not normally use ATMs," said Mohamed, a driver.

In Cairo, supermarkets that usually accepted credit cards insisted on cash instead, while crowds flocked to grocery stores in several neighbourhoods to stock up on essentials.

Many gas stations were closed, with long lines at those that were still open. The Chamber of Commerce in Cairo appealed to shopkeepers on Monday to reopen, but most ignored the call.


US: Judge rules against health law, cites Obama's words

Judge Roger Vinson
© Associated Press/Pensacola News Journal, Tony GibersonSenior U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson, seen here in 2007, declared the Obama administration’s health care overhaul unconstitutional Monday, siding with 26 states that sued to block it, saying that people can’t be required to buy health insurance.
In ruling against President Obama's health care law, federal Judge Roger Vinson used Mr. Obama's own position from the 2008 campaign against him, when the then-Illinois senator argued there were other ways to achieve reform short of requiring every American to purchase insurance.

"I note that in 2008, then-Senator Obama supported a health care reform proposal that did not include an individual mandate because he was at that time strongly opposed to the idea, stating that, 'If a mandate was the solution, we can try that to solve homelessness by mandating everybody to buy a house,'" Judge Vinson wrote in a footnote toward the end of his 78-page ruling Monday.

Judge Vinson, a federal judge in the northern district of Florida, struck down the entire health care law as unconstitutional on Monday, though he is allowing the Obama administration to continue to implement and enforce it while the government appeals his ruling.


Protesters Flood Egypt Streets

At least a million gather in Cairo's Tahrir Square as mass protests against President Mubarak are staged across country.

Light Saber

'They're informants... if they get killed, they deserve it': New book reveals shocking disregard of Julian Assange towards Afghans named in WikiLeaks cables

© unkJulian Assange: Well-educated but described as 'dishevelled, like a bag lady walking in off the street'

* WikiLeaks founder told reporters files should not be censored before they were published, new book alleges
* Amnesty International said naming Afghans risked 'deadly ramifications'
* Assange so scared of the CIA he disguised himself as a woman

Julian Assange said U.S. informants named in secret cables 'deserved' to be killed and initially refused to redact their names, a new book has revealed.

WikiLeaks published thousands of names of Afghans in 77,000 classified war files put on the whistle-blowing website, attracting criticism from international charities and governments.

In later releases of secret U.S. embassy cables in November around 15 per cent of files were withheld to protect lives and every file was checked before release.


9/11 Conspiracy Film Producer Arrested on Drug Charges

© unk
Oneonta, New York - A producer of a documentary alleging conspiracy theories behind the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks has been arrested on drug charges in upstate New York.

Oneonta police tell the Daily Star of Oneonta that 27-year-old Korey Rowe and a 19-year-old Bronx man were arrested after selling packets of heroin to an undercover officer.

Rowe was arraigned last Friday on a felony count of criminal sale of a controlled substance.

Authorities say the Oneonta resident was released from Otsego County Jail after posting $10,000 cash bail.

It couldn't be determined if he had a lawyer. Rowe's phone number was unlisted.

An Army veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, Rowe was a producer of Loose Change, a 2006 film that challenged the official explanation of the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.