Society's ChildS


Evil Rays

Hysterization of society: Malden woman attacked by man accusing Muslims of Marathon bombings

Every day, Heba Abolaban of Malden checks on her family in war-strafed Syria, where water, bread and electricity are in short supply. She was far more worried about them than about herself on Wednesday morning when she put her baby daughter in a stroller and headed into the sunshine to a play group with a friend.

But as they strolled down Commercial Street, an angry-faced man charged toward the petite woman, his hand balled into a fist. He punched her hard in the shoulder and screamed curses inches from her face. Then he pointed at her and walked away shouting.

"He said, '(Expletive) you. (Expletive) you Muslims, You are terrorists, you are the ones who made the Boston explosion,'" said Abolaban, recalling the episode in a phone interview Thursday. "I was really, really completely shocked. I didn't know what to do. Then I realized what happened. I was crying and crying."

Abolaban, a 26-year-old physician who wears a traditional hijab, or head scarf, gripped the stroller carrying her nine-month old daughter and stood in shock. Soon, she and her friend, also pushing a baby stroller, burst into tears.

"I was so afraid he might hurt my baby," she said.

Ambulance

Blast at fertilizer plant kills nearly 70, injures 100s in Texas, authorities say

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A smoke cloud rises from an explosion at a fertilizer plant near Waco, Texas, April 18, 2013.
Nearly 70 people have died and hundreds of others injured in a large explosion at a fertilizer plant in the US state of Texas, local emergency authorities say.

West Emergency Medical Services (EMS) director George Smith said that some 60 to 70 people died and hundreds of others were injured in the explosion on Wednesday at West Fertilizer plant in the city of West, located about 32 kilometers (20 miles) north of Waco.

An official at a hospital in Waco said that they were told to anticipate 100 injured people coming from the explosion area.

According to Waco Assistant Fire Chief Don Yeager, the fertilizer facility had an anhydrous ammonia explosion. However, the cause still remains unknown.

There have also been reports of several buildings to be on fire, including a middle school.

Heart

Irish official: Israel boycott passed without debate

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© ReutersThe Irish flag
Boycott was reportedly adopted without any debate or discussion. Only proposer, seconder discussed item on agenda before vote.

The Irish trade union that adopted a boycott of Israel earlier this month did so without any debate or discussion, one of its officials told The Jerusalem Post on Thursday.

The Teachers' Union of Ireland (TUI) become the first educational trade union in Europe to adopt a boycott of Israeli academia.

At its annual conference on April 4, it voted to endorse a call by Palestinian activists for a boycott of the Jewish state, "including the exchange of scientists, students and academic personalities, as well as all cooperation in research programs."

The boycott motion was one of four - submitted months before the three-day conference - that made up the "Miscellaneous" section of the gathering's final day. Typically this section allots very little time to debate the finer details of a motion, and the first two motions - which looked at opposition to a new property tax and the funding of political parties in Ireland - took up all the allotted time, leaving none for the other two.

The boycott motion was third on the list.

Piggy Bank

Banksters and government bureaucrats planning raid on social security and Medicare

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© Marijus Auruskevicius /Shutterstock
President Obama's efforts to appease Washington's Serious People ran into serious obstacles last week. Responding to the cries of the Washington deficit hawks, President Obama proposed cutting Social Security by adopting a different measure of the rate of inflation for the annual cost-of-living adjustment (COLA).

This measure would gradually reduce the value of benefits through time. By age 75 retirees would see a benefit that is roughly 3 percent less than under current law. This is a much bigger hit to the income of the typical retiree than the tax increases at the end of last year were to the income of most of the wealthy people.

While cutting Social Security got the predictable applause from the Washington Postand other Washington establishment types, it prompted far more outrage among the president's base than he had anticipated. As a result, Obama's people were busy re-writing the plan at the time the budget was released, trying to ameliorate some of its worst effects.

However the basic objection remains. Why is a Democratic president trying to cut Social Security in response to a crisis created by a combination of Wall Street greed and Washington corruption and incompetence?

If we compare the most recent GDP projections from the Congressional Budget Office with the pre-crisis projections from 2007, the crisis will cost the country more than $17 trillion in lost output. This is more than $50,000 per person. And, rather than making the people responsible pay the cost, President Obama is now looking to cut the $1,250 monthly Social Security check that provides more than half of the income for the typical retiree.

Water

Profits for psychopathic corporations! Nestlé CEO says water should be privatized - not a basic human right

Do you believe water is a basic human right? According to Nestlé CEO water is a foodstuff that should be privatized, not a human right. Nestlé CEO Peter Brabeck says that with the global population rising water is not a public right, but a resource that should be managed by businessmen. Please do share your thoughts.

Comment: A 2009 analysis of water and sewer utilities by Food and Water Watch found that private companies charge up to 80 percent more for water and 100 percent more for sewer services. Various privatization abuser failures occurred in California, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey, and Rhode Island. This is because water corporations are primarily accountable to their stockholders, not to the people they serve, they will avoid serving low-income communities where bill collection might be an issue and because of the risk to profits, there is less incentive to maintain infrastructure.
Flow: How privatization is accelerating the world's water crisis
Water industry, World Bank pilot new scheme to drive public water into private hands
5 ways privatization is poisoning America


Pistol

Brutal: At least 28 immigrants shot at Greece strawberry plantation after not being paid for six months

immigrants shot
© Reuters/EurokinissiBangladeshi workers receive first aid at the Medical Center of Varda near the southwestern Greek town of Manolada April 17, 2013, following a shooting incident.
Greek police are hunting three strawberry plantation foremen, who are suspected of shooting nearly 30 workers, mostly Bangladeshi, after immigrants demanded wages they had not been paid for six months.

Officials have promised "swift and exemplary" punishment for the three foremen who disappeared after the incident that took place on April, 17 in Nea Manolada, about 260km (160 miles) west of Athens.

So far police arrested the owner of the farm, in the rural south of the country and a local man on suspicion of hiding the three foremen.

The violence allegedly occurred when one of the supervisors opened fire on a crowd of about 200 foreign workers gathered to request their unpaid salaries.

According to one of the immigrants, they were promised wages of 22 euros ($28.70) a day.

"They keep telling us that we will get paid in a month, and this has been going on for more than a year," Reuters quoted a man who refused to be identified.

Comment: Expect to see more episodes of modern slavery and brutal treatment of workers as the economic crisis worsens in several countries.


Bomb

27 killed, dozens injured as suicide bombing hits Baghdad cafe - police

Baghdad
© Reuters/Saad ShalashThe city of Baghdad.
At least 27 people have reportedly been killed and dozens injured in Iraq after a suicide bomber attacked a cafe in Baghdad, Reuters reported citing a police source.

No one claimed responsibility for the Thursday attack so far, however, Al Qaeda's Iraq branch has shown an increase in suicide-attack activity since the start of 2013 in what is seen as an attempt to ratchet up widespread tensions between the country's Shia and Sunni Muslims.

It has only been four days since a series of bombings had taken 55 lives and injured 300 across the country. All of this takes place as Iraqis prepare to head for the polls on April 20 to hold provincial elections - their first since the withdrawal of US troops, following a decade-long occupation of the country.

Comment: The mainstream media has been parroting for years the idea that the so-called branch of "Al Qaeda in Iraq" is seeking to divide the country. This is a nonsensical explanation, as the existence of such a branch is a mere assumption, and no one has more to benefit from a weakened and divided Iraq than the US, Israel and their allies. If there is such a branch of Al Qaeda, it is putting a lot of effort into doing the job of the global bullies.


Bad Guys

Teacher claims she couldn't have fondled black student because she's racist

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Esther Irene Stokes - Northwest Preparatory Academy Charter School
A teacher in Texas has invoked her own racism in a defense against charges that she fondled an African-American student in her first grade class at Northwest Preparatory Academy Charter School in Humble.

According to a criminal complaint obtained by the Houston Chronicle, the 7-year-old girl said that 61-year-old Esther Irene Stokes sent all of the other students out of the room on March 1 and then touched her "private part" on the outside of her clothes.

Question

Rangers sight pygmies in Way Kambas National Park

Way Kambas National Park
© Siesfund Org
Rangers patrolling the Way Kambas National Park (TNWK) in Lampung claim to have sighted dozens of pygmies in a number of areas across the park.

According to them, the pygmies sport dreadlocks, measure no more than 50 centimeters tall and do not wear any clothing.

"A number of rangers claim the pygmies grow their dreadlocks down to their waist. The first sighting by the rangers was on March 17 at 6:40 p.m. local time," said TNWK spokesman Sukatmoko.

He added that several rangers patrolling the park claimed the pygmies were seen moving to the PT Nusantara Tropical Fruit (NTF) plantation. They were seen running from the TNWK forest to the plantation.

"Apparently, many fruit trees, such as banana, guava and dragon fruit, are grown in the NTF plantation area. If the pygmies like fruit, they might have entered the plantation for food," said Sukatmoko.

Forest rangers have secured a number of points at the border between TNWK and PT NTF, concerned that the safety of the pygmies is at stake due to the presence of many workers at the plantation.

"We will try to anticipate the situation with the help of local residents and PT NTF employees. If they come across the pygmies, they should not harm them," he said.

Sukatmoko said that based on information conveyed by forest rangers, the group of pygmies consisted of around 15 individuals. When the rangers spotted them, the pygmies, believed to be an isolated group of people, were walking through a swamp.

Arrow Down

Goat sacrificed for Chicago Cubs curse

Chicago Cubs
© Henryk Sadura / ShutterstockWrigley Field in Chicago, Ill., home of the Chicago Cubs.
Forest Preserve police in Cook County, Ill., found a grisly discovery this week: a decapitated white goat tied to a tree near the Indian Boundary Golf Course. That was strange enough, but last Wednesday an unknown man delivered a smelly box addressed to Tom Ricketts, the owner of the Chicago Cubs baseball team. Inside was a decaying goat's head.

Officials are investigating whether the headless goat is connected to the goat head delivered to Wrigley Field last week.

Who would send a severed goat head to Wrigley Stadium? A confused Satanist? An angry mobster trying to send a threat but unable to find a horse?

No, it is a response to a supposed "Billy Goat" curse that dates back to 1945 when a man named Bill "Billy Goat" Sianis had a pet goat (named Murphy) that was refused entry to a Cubs game. Offended by the affront, according to legend he cursed the club with the words, "The Cubs ain't gonna win no more!"

Sure enough, the Cubs lost the next game and have not won a World Series in over a century despite many fan attempts over the years to lift the curse (some of them involving goats). While some regard the curse as merely a silly superstition, many longtime fans take it very seriously.