Society's ChildS


Dollar

ZeekRewards scam leaves North Carolina town millions poorer

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© Photo: Chuck Burton, APVictims of the ZeekRewards Ponzi scheme: Sarah Chavez, left, is embraced by Caron Myers at her home in Lexington, N.C.
In the hardware store on South Main Street, the owner pulled Caron Myers aside to tell her about the best thing to happen in years to this once-thriving furniture and textile town.

Did she hear about the online company ZeekRewards? For a small investment, she could make a fortune. He had invested. So had his grandsons. And so were more and more people in Lexington, including doctors, lawyers and accountants.

Skeptical at first, Myers drove a few blocks to the company's one-story, red-brick office and spotted a line of people circling the building. She was sold, and plunked down several thousand dollars. But months later, Myers, like hundreds of thousands of others, discovered the truth: ZeekRewards was a scam.

"I was duped," Meyer said. "We trusted this man. The community is still in shock."

Briefcase

Ecuador in talks with UK's Labour over Assange Sweden extradition

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© Reuters/Finbarr O'ReillyWikileaks founder Julian Assange
Ecuadorian diplomats have discussed Julian Assange with the shadow foreign secretary, seeking assurance he will not be extradited to the US if he travels to Sweden to face charges against him to end the embassy impasse, British media revealed.

The Ecuadorian government has held talks with the British Labour party to try to strike a deal to send Assange to Sweden to end the political impasse, which has seen the Australian whistleblower holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy since claiming asylum in June last year.

The Ecuadorians are setting their sights on a change of government after the 2015 UK election, having "lost all faith" in coming to an agreement with the current coalition.

Assange faces rape allegations in Sweden, but has refused to be extradited there for questioning unless he receives assurances that he will not then be re-extradited to the US, where he reportedly faces trial for espionage over his work with WikiLeaks.

Assange says he would travel to Sweden to prove his innocence if the US threat were lifted, but British Home Secretary Theresa May has rejected repeated calls to affirm she would refuse a US extradition request. Under Swedish law, Assange can only be formally charged in Sweden after being questioned by police first.

Comment: The final word on Wikileaks is yet to be said, but knowing what we know about intel agencies and the way they operate, there has to be a high probability that either Wikileaks itself is compromised, or the information they are getting is, and there is no one smart enough there, including Assange, to figure it out. After all, ego very often blinds people to truth.


Black Cat

Accused psychopath who cleaved psychiatrist to death believed he was on a mission from God, says psychiatrist

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© Ron Antonelli/New York Daily NewsDavid Tarloff after his arrest for the brutal murder of Kathryn Faughey.
Schizophrenic cleaver David Tarloff is arguing an insanity defense in the trial that he brutally murdered his therapist Kathryn Faughey.

Psycho slasher David Tarloff truly believed he was the Messiah following instructions from God when he set out to rob his first shrink in 2008, a defense expert witness testified in his murder trial Tuesday.

Tarloff's deluded plot to hold Kent Shinbach hostage to get money to rescue his infirm mother from a Queens nursing home was sanctioned by God, at least in his sick mind, psychiatrist Eric Goldsmith testified.

"That was the belief he was operating under," Goldsmith told jurors.

Tarloff stabbed and bludgeoned Shinbach's colleague Kathryn Faughey to death and nearly killed Shinbach but did not get money and fled the E. 79th St. office the doctors shared, only to be tracked down and arrested days after the Feb. 12, 2008 slaying.

Comment: It's important to note, that psychopathy can be both categorical and dimensional. That is, there are types and gradations of psychopaths. Martha Stout makes this pretty clear in The Sociopath Next Door. Some of them can be very covert, some can be "raging" mad dog types, others can be pitiful/poor me game players, etc.

Or, there can be individuals who are not psychopaths who react psychopathically when triggered because that is the kind of programming they have from their upbringing and exposure to pathological behavior. In that case, it is not really a psychopath, but rather a sociopath/ a "situational psychopath" who can also be described as a secondary psychopath.

Read the following books to learn more on the topic:

Political Ponerology - A Science on the Nature of Evil Adjusted for Political Purposes by Andrzej M. Lobaczewski.
The Mask of Sanity by Hervey Cleckley, M.D.
Snakes in Suits: When Psychopaths Go to Work by Paul Babiak, Ph.D., and psychopathy expert Dr Robert D. Hare.


People 2

US food stamp use swells to a record 47.8 million

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A record number of Americans are using food stamps, known today as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). Despite official proclamations that the recession has ended and an economic recovery is underway, families are turning to SNAP benefits in huge numbers. The working poor comprise a growing number of food stamp recipients, and about half of those receiving benefits are children.

Enrollment in the food stamp program has increased by 70 percent since 2008, to 47.8 million people as of December 2012, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. The biggest factor driving the increase is the stagnating job market and a rising poverty rate. This means that a staggering 15 percent of the US population receives food stamp benefits, nearly double the rate of 1975.

In 2008, at the onset of the recession, 28.2 million people were enrolled in SNAP. While the official jobless rate, which peaked at 10 percent in 2009, had dipped slightly to 7.7 percent as of February this year, the SNAP program has continued to grow. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) predicts that food stamp usage will drop only marginally, to 43.3 million people, by 2017. Even this estimate is predicated on the unemployment rate dropping to 5.6 percent over the next four years.

Coffee

Why a college degree can get you a job in a coffee shop

The number of jobs requiring high-skilled labor has declined.

There's a growing perception out there that a college degree no longer delivers the value that it used to.

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© Drew Angerer/GettyAn employee takes orders at a Starbucks in Washington, D.C on December 27, 2012.
Too many college kids are living in Mom's basement, or working at Starbucks. Like most personal finance columnists, I get the letters from them: what do I do? How do I fix this? For many, the answer is grad school. But I get the letters from grad students too. A while back, I found myself talking to a professor whose school has a number of impressive-sounding graduate programs that were originally conceived as add-ons for a professional degree in law or medicine or business. They are now attracting a number of students who just go for the standalone degree. He didn't understand what the career path was for these kids, and he wasn't sure that they did either.

"It sounds good, so they can persuade their parents to pay for it," he said, a touch guiltily.

Sherlock

Poison claim in mysterious Surrey death of Russian informer

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© UnknownLawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in police custody after uncovering a £144m tax fraud.
Alexander Perepilichnyy's friends question three-week delay in toxicology tests and say he may have been poisoned in Paris.

A Russian supergrass who died in mysterious circumstances outside his Surrey home may have been poisoned in Paris before travelling to England, his associates have claimed.

Alexander Perepilichnyy, a wealthy businessman who sought refuge in Britain after supplying evidence against an alleged crime syndicate in Russia, collapsed while jogging outside his Weybridge home almost five months ago. Toxicology tests on the 44-year-old's body have failed to reveal a cause of death, although murder squad detectives are investigating whether he was poisoned.

It has now emerged that British police have been working with their French counterparts after establishing that on the day he died, 10 November 2012, Perepilichnyy travelled by Eurostar to London after spending three days in Paris. During his stay, the Russian booked and paid for a room at the Four Seasons Hotel George V, off the Champs-Elysées, where suites can cost more than £4,500 a night, but he did not stay there. Instead, Perepilichnyy chose to stay at a more modest three-star, £145-a-night hotel across the city.

Associates of Perepilichnyy believe it is "highly possible" he met his alleged poisoners in Paris before catching a morning train back to London and from there to Weybridge, where he rented a mansion in the gated St George's Hill estate. Just after 5pm, the apparently healthy Russian was found dead in the street.

MIB

Mossad-linked Berezovsky's guard - murder suspect?

Retired Mossad servicemen, the same as Russian, commonly become bodyguards.

Avi was the tycoon's last protection after Berezovsky lost a fortune in a series of scandalous law suites.

One of the tycoon's friends told The Daily Telegraph: "He thought after losing the case and all his money they wouldn't consider him worth killing", not specifying who those "they" were.

According to the tycoon's bodyguard, Berezovsky was alone at home from 10:00am to 3:00 pm on Saturday, while was running errands.

Sherlock

Britain opens inquest into Berezovsky's unexplained death

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© Reuters/Olivia HarrisReuters/Reuters - Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky arrives at a division of the High Court in central London December 19, 2011.
Britain opens a judicial inquiry into the death of Russian oligarch Boris Berezovsky on Thursday to establish how he died in the locked bathroom of his vast mansion near London.

Berezovsky, who survived years of intrigue, power struggles and assassination attempts in Russia, was found dead on Saturday in his home in Ascot, a town close to Queen Elizabeth's Windsor Castle.

Police said there was no sign of a struggle and the 67-year-old's death was "consistent with hanging", suggesting he might have killed himself.

Berezovsky was the king-maker behind Vladimir Putin's ascent to power in Russia but later became his number-one enemy and fled to Britain in 2000.

Berezovsky's associates have hinted he was depressed after losing a $6 billion court case against another tycoon, Roman Abramovich, last year, when a judge humiliated him publicly by saying he was an unimpressive and unreliable witness.

Bomb

Eiffel Tower evacuated due to bomb threat

Eiffel Tower
© RT.com
The Eiffel Tower has been evacuated following an anonymous tip threatening to cause an explosion at the Paris landmark.

Almost 1,500 tourists and employees including security personnel were evacuated from the tower.

Police and bomb squads are still working at the scene. The anonymous caller announced the blast would take place at 21:30 local time, lexpress.fr reports.

Health

Rescuers dig through rubble seeking missing in Tanzania building collapse

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© CNNRescue workers search for survivors as bystanders watch, after a building under construction in the Kariakoo district of central Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, collapsed on March 29.
Rescuers planned to search for survivors under a mountain of concrete and twisted metal Friday night after a high-rise building collapsed in Tanzania.

At least four people were dead and 60 were missing after the 16-story building under construction collapsed in Tanzania's largest city, government and emergency officials said.

Five children are believed to be among the missing, rescue official Walji Ali said.

The building collapsed Friday with a "huge whoosh and then thump," said eyewitness Ali Jawad Bhimani, a hotel owner who lives near the building in Dar es Salaam's normally bustling Kariakoo central business district.