Society's ChildS

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Philadelphia, US: Suspect in Basement Torture Case Diagnosed as Schizophrenic

© istock
Linda Ann Weston, who allegedly locked mentally-challenged adults in a basement dungeon in Philadelphia, was once diagnosed as mentally retarded and schizophrenic, court records revealed on Friday.

The diagnosis of Weston, 51, appeared in documents tied to her 1983 third-degree murder conviction for starving to death a man held captive for three months in a closet of her apartment in North Philadelphia.

The circumstances of Bernardo Ramos' murder are eerily similar to the current case, in which four malnourished adults, each with the mental capacity of a 10-year-old child, were discovered in a locked and filthy furnace room of an apartment house in the Tacony neighborhood.


NYPD arrests OWS organizer

Debra Sweet

Debra Sweet, an organizer of the Occupy Wall Street (OWS) movement, has been arrested by New York police, just minutes before her interview with Press TV news channel.

On Friday, about 30 anti-corporate protesters, including Debra Sweet, were arrested after they demonstrated in front of a local police precinct house.

The campaign's organizer Sweet was detained only minutes before her scheduled interview with Press TV.


Biggest Challenge for Occupy Wall Street Will Be to Prevent Police Infiltrators From Provoking Violence

Occupy Wall Street
© Occupy Wall Street,police brutality

A recent article in the New York Observer highlights the ongoing challenge Occupy Wall Street faces in preventing the New York Police Department (NYPD) and perhaps FBI infiltrators from creating acts of violence that will turn the nation against the movement.

Mayor Bloomberg and the FBI know that nothing will change the mood of support for Occupy Wall Street faster than having them portrayed as a "violent mob." So, there have been ongoing incidents of what appear to be provocations by the police or infiltrators to create an image of an unruly group of lawbreakers. (Just remember the Brooklyn Bridge incident for one.)

BuzzFlash at Truthout warned of this likely ongoing effort in a commentary on October 4, "The NYPD and FBI Are Trying to Infiltrate Wall Street Protest to Discredit It: Of This You Can Be Sure."


OWS ain't a war zone' - One marine vs 30 cops in NYC

Light Saber

Wall Street Tsunami: OWS grows in force


UK: Paedophile, 58, snared by teenage car thieves who handed his laptop to police after finding stash of child porn

© UnknownJailed: Keith Smith was convicted of child porn offences after thieves found his laptop in the back of a car they'd stolen
An unemployed social worker has been jailed after the teenage burglars who stole his car found child porn on his laptop and handed it in to police.

The sequence of events which led to the arrest of 58-year-old Keith Smith began when the burglars broke into a house where he was staying, took his car keys and driven off in his vehicle.

When the burglars looked at the computer left in the car, they were so 'spooked' by its contents that they passed it to an adult to give to the police, Manchester Crown Court heard.

The burglary remains unsolved and the youths have never been identified. The 'go-between' was not linked to the crime.

Raids were then carried out at a series of addresses linked to Smith which turned up 15,000 child porn images, as well as a photo of a dog being abused by a woman.

Smith, who is from Levenshulme, a suburb of Manchester, was arrested and later admitted 18 sample charges of downloading indecent and extreme images.

Kate Hammond, prosecuting, told the court that in September 2009 a man had walked into a police station and handed in an external hard drive, two pen drives and five memory cards, which he said had been stolen in a burglary.

Heart - Black

Anwar al-Awlaki's family speaks out against his son's death in airstrike

© unknownAnwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen who was a so called radical cleric and one of the most influential al-Qaeda operatives wanted by the U.S., was killed in September in an airstrike in northern Yemen.
In the days before a CIA drone strike killed al-Qaeda operative Anwar al-Awlaki last month, his 16-year-old son ran away from the family home in Yemen's capital of Sanaa to try to find him, relatives say. When he, too, was killed in a U.S. airstrike Friday, the Awlaki family decided to speak out for the first time since the attacks.

"To kill a teenager is just unbelievable, really, and they claim that he is an al-Qaeda militant. It's nonsense," said Nasser al-Awlaki, a former Yemeni agriculture minister who was Anwar al-Awlaki's father and the boy's grandfather, speaking in a phone interview from Sanaa on Monday. "They want to justify his killing, that's all."

The teenager, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen who was born in Denver in 1995, and his 17-year-old Yemeni cousin were killed in a U.S. military strike that left nine people dead in southeastern Yemen.

The young Awlaki was the third American killed in Yemen in as many weeks. Samir Khan, an al-Qaeda propagandist from North Carolina, died alongside Anwar al-Awlaki.


Soldiers May Be Leaving Iraq, But Contractors Will Remain

Iraq contractor
© Morten Hyaal Rapport Press Newscom

American troops may be leaving Iraq before the end of the year, but U.S. contractors aren't going anywhere soon.

ABC News reports that the State Department "is expected to have about 5,000 security contractors in Iraq as of January 2012 (they already have about 3,000 in country)." There will also be 4,500 "general life support" contractors to provide food and medical services.

Still, there'll be a pretty big reduction in the contracting fleet. The Defense Department currently has 9,500 security contractors in Iraq in addition to several thousand general life contractors, said ABC News. At one point, in June 2009, the DOD had 15,200 security contractors in the country.


Suicides Soar in Greece as Economic Crisis Strangles Nation

Greece suicides
© Flickr/Creative CommonThe economic crisis in Athens has sparked a surge in suicides.
While Eurozone finance ministers scramble to find a quick solution to the European debt crisis, the economic collapse has already taken a deadly toll in Greece, the vortex of the problem.

Suicide rates are skyrocketing in a country already beset by massive job cuts, austerity spending, slashed pensions, and soaring taxes.

The economic numbers are stark.

Greece's gross domestic product declined more than 7 percent year-over-year in the second quarter. Spending cuts and tax hikes amount to about one-fifth of the GDP.

Even after two huge multi-billion-euro bailouts, the average Greek household has seen its income plunge by half, according to the Guardian newspaper of the UK.

Comment: The stress and hopelessness that the Greeks are feeling at this time are understandable, but there is a simple way to help us distress so that we can see what solutions lie ahead of us and act towards helping ourselves and those we care about, despite any national financial crisis. If you, or someone you know, live in Greece, direct them to this website, where they can learn how to bring their nervous system in a relaxation mode and healing to their mind and soul, using breathing and meditation techniques. The site can viewed in Greek and the program is online for free.

As Greek poet Odysseas Elytis said in his Nobel Prize speech in 1979:
The material world is really only an accumulation of materials. It is for us to show ourselves to be good or bad architects, to build Paradise or Hell. This is what poetry never ceases affirming to us - and particularly in these dürftiger times - just this: that in spite of everything our destiny lies in our hands.
We can start by constructing healthy selves: in body, mind and heart.


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