Society's ChildS


US: Secret Service Searched Occupy D.C. Camp For Person Who Shot At White House

© TPM/Ryan J. Reilly
The Secret Service announced the suspect was taken into custody in Pennsylvania.

The Secret Service searched Occupy D.C. on Monday for a man suspected of firing bullets at the White House on Friday, one of which was stopped by the building's ballistic glass.

Protestor Ralph Wittenberg told TPM on Tuesday evening that authorities came through "searching for a so-called terrorist who shot at the White House, with no warrant, they went into everybody's tents."

A person handling media requests for Occupy DC confirmed the searches and said they were led by the Secret Service. The agency did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


US: Secret Service says suspect in shooting near White House arrested at Pennsylvania hotel

© The Associated Press/The Canadian Press/Haraz N. GhanbariLaw enforcement officers photograph a window at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2011, as seen from the South Lawn. A bullet hit an exterior window of the White House and was stopped by ballistic glass, the Secret Service said. An additional round of ammunition was found on the White House exterior. The bullets were found Tuesday morning.
A man was arrested Wednesday in connection with an investigation into a shooting near the White House, the U.S. Secret Service said.

The Secret Service discovered Tuesday that two bullets had hit the White House, one of them apparently cracking a window on the residential level while President Barack Obama was travelling.

The discovery of the bullet holes followed reports of gunfire near the White House on Friday night, although the bullets have not been conclusively connected with the Friday shooting. An assault rifle and an abandoned vehicle were found, which led authorities to link Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez to the reported gunfire.

Ortega, 21, was arrested Wednesday by Pennsylvania authorities at a hotel in the southwest part of the state, the Secret Service said. He was in Pennsylvania State Police custody.


US: Bullet hit White House window

© Associated PressThe US Parks Police are looking for Oscar Ramiro Ortega.
A bullet struck a protective window of the White House and another round was found nearby, according to US Secret Service, who are searching for a suspect.

The casings from two bullets were found on the White House grounds during a probe launched after gunshots were fired nearby on Friday.

The probe has not yet "conclusively connected" the bullets found on the White House grounds to Friday's incident, the Secret Service told Agence France Presse.

"An assessment of the exterior of the White House is ongoing," the Secret Service said. President Barack Obama and the first lady, Michelle Obama, were in California at the time of the shooting.

The US Parks Police are looking for Oscar Ramiro Ortega, a 21-year-old man in connection with the shooting, which reportedly took place between the White House and Washington around 9.30pm.

Witnesses heard shots and saw two speeding vehicles in the area. An AK-47 rifle was recovered and US Park Police spokesman Sgt. David Schlosser said a semi-automatic gun was also involved.

© Unknown
Does it seem possible someone could get a round to a window at the White House, that the suspect could get away, guns would be found but not the person who committed the shooting? The White House is a bed of security and techno wizardry with years of preparation for such incident(s).


Japan: Mysterious 'Ultra Seven' donor sends 1 million yen to foster home

Japan Anon Donation
© The Mainichi Daily NewsThe envelope with 1 million yen and an attached letter that was sent to a foster home in Muroran, Hokkaido Prefecture, is seen in this recent photo.
A home here for children who cannot live with their parents has received 1 million yen in cash from a donor identified only as a popular TV series hero "Ultra Seven."

The money and a handwritten letter arrived at the Wakasugi Gakuen foster home in Muroran, Hokkaido, in the post on the evening of Nov. 11, officials from the facility said.

The letter read, "Dear Wakasugi Gakuen staff, I would like you to use this small gift only for the children." The sender also suggested several ways for the money to be used, including buying clothes, textbooks, toys, games, and movie tickets.

The Ultra Seven donor is the latest in an ongoing anonymous goodwill movement that began in December 2010 with the donation of schoolbags to a child consultation center in Maebashi, Gunma Prefecture, by a donor going by the name "Tiger Mask," a popular manga character. The incident has been followed by a number of donations of money, schoolbags and other materials in the names of popular animation characters and historical figures to various children's facilities across Japan.


Investors take latest budget stalemate in stride

Maybe it's because investors are optimistic a deal will be reached. Or maybe it's because they're already expecting the worst.

This time around, though, Wall Street seems to be shrugging off next week's congressional deadline to break the political gridlock that sent financial markets into a tailspin last summer.

"I think the expectations just aren't that high given what we went through in August," said Wells Fargo senior economist Mark Vitner.

The congressional budget "supercommittee," which faces a Nov. 23 deadline to find $1.2 trillion in spending cuts and new tax revenues, was born out of the budget stalemate that sent the financial markets on a wild ride in August.

After transforming a routine debt ceiling increase into a self-imposed deadline, hard-line Republicans squared off against the White House, demanding deep spending cuts, forcing the Treasury to the edge of default As the bitter, partisan battle dragged on, the stock market plunged by 20 percent in a matter of weeks. Since then, stocks have recovered about half the lost ground.

Comment: "Wall Street seems to have concluded that the sequester is not as scary as originally intended.." That says a lot about who is in control of the United States Government.


Mysterious Symbols in China Desert Are Spy Satellite Targets, Expert Says

Pattern in Desert
© Google - Imagery copyright Cnes/Spot Image, DigitalGlobe, GeoEyeA strange zigzag pattern in the Gobi Desert in China. Coordinates: 40.452107,93.742118.

Newfound Google Maps images have revealed an array of mysterious structures and patterns etched into the surface of China's Gobi Desert. The media - from mainstream to fringe - has wildly speculated that they might be Chinese weapons-testing sites, satellite calibration targets, street maps of Washington, D.C., and New York City, or even messages to (or from) aliens.

It turns out that they are almost definitely used to calibrate China's spy satellites.

So says Jonathon Hill, a research technician and mission planner at the Mars Space Flight Facility at Arizona State University, which operates many of the cameras used during NASA's Mars missions. Hill works with images of the Martian surface taken by rovers and satellites, as well as data from Earth-orbiting NASA instruments.

The grids of zigzagging white lines seen in two of the images - the strangest of the various desert structures - are spy satellite calibration targets. Satellite cameras focus on the grids, which measure approximately 0.65 miles wide by 1.15 miles long, and use them to orient themselves in space. [Gallery: Mysterious Structures In China's Gobi Desert]


US: Postal Service loses $5.1 billion, warns default near

© United States Postal Service (USPS)
Washington - The Postal Service reported a net loss of $5.1 billion for its 2011 fiscal year and on Tuesday warned that [it] could run out of cash by September of next year if Congress did not offer relief.

The rise of e-mail and online bill payments combined with the recession has eroded mail volume, which fell by 3 billion pieces, or 1.7 percent, during 2011.

The Postal Service, which receives no taxpayer money for operations, says it is limited in how it can respond to shrinking revenues and high labor costs.

Operating revenue for the 2011 fiscal year ended September 30 was $65.7 billion, down 2.1 percent from 2010.

Revenue from First Class Mail, the Postal Service's most profitable product, fell 5.8 percent, overwhelming gains in shipping and advertising mail.

Joseph Corbett, the Postal Service's chief financial officer, said during a conference call with reporters that the agency could run out of cash by the end of fiscal year 2012.

Heart - Black

China, Beijing: 17 Preschoolers Killed in Bus Crash

© Agence France-Presse / Getty ImagesChinese police stand beside a damaged school bus after it collided with a red truck on a road in the Yulinzi township in northwest China's Gansu province on November 16.
At least 17 kindergarten kids and two adults were killed Wednesday when a nine-seater school minibus crammed with 64 people crashed on its way to class in western China, officials and state media said.

The children were aged 5 and 6, an emergency official said. News of the crash ignited public anger across China, highlighting an underfunded education system that especially shortchanges students in remote areas.

The bus collided head-on with a truck loaded with coal in China's Gansu province, leaving the orange school vehicle crumpled and twisted. Authorities blamed overloading for the accident, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

Five people died at the scene, four children and the bus driver, said the official, surnamed Fan, the director of the emergency office of Gansu provincial work safety bureau. He said the other 14 had died either in hospital or on their way to hospital. The other adult victim was a kindergarten teacher, he said.

Che Guevara

Latest Developments in the Occupy Protests

© The Associated Press/Seth WenigOccupy Wall Street protesters move signs and structures over a wall into an enclosed site near Canal Street in New York, Tuesday, Nov. 15, 2011.
Some of the latest developments in the Occupy protests:


Anti-Wall Street activists began rebuilding their tent encampment on the steps of the University of California, Berkeley student plaza Tuesday night, hours after demonstrations were disrupted by a campus shooting.

The shooting occurred inside the Haas School of Business as thousands of demonstrators gathered on campus for a general strike and protests against big banks and education cuts. Officials did not know if the suspect was part of the Occupy Cal movement.

The shooting didn't prevent some 2,000 students and demonstrators from gathering and rebuilding their encampment despite earlier violence.

On Nov. 9, baton-wielding police clashed with protesters who tried to set up tents and arrested 40 people as the university sought to uphold a campus ban on camping.

The Occupy Cal students were joined by hundreds of Occupy Oakland demonstrators who marched the five miles from Oakland to Berkeley along Telegraph Avenue, chanting, "Here comes Oakland!" Police cleared their tent city outside Oakland City Hall on Monday amid complaints about safety and sanitation, and arrested more than 50 people.

Che Guevara

Canada:Occupy Toronto Protesters Get Eviction Reprieve

© John RietiOccupy Toronto protester Bertrand Duhamel takes down his tent at St. James Park in Toronto on Nov. 15.
Authorities in several cities growing impatient with encampments

A lawyer representing Occupy protesters in Toronto has won an injunction against a city eviction notice that was issued earlier Tuesday.

Late Tuesday afternoon, Judge David Brown granted a temporary stay of the city's eviction notice to protesters occupying St. James Park.

Brown said he needs more information before he can rule on the city's plan to remove protesters from the park. The judge will hold a hearing on Friday to further discuss the matter and deliver his verdict by 6 p.m. ET on Saturday.

City officials issued eviction notices to Occupy protesters in both Toronto and Calgary on Tuesday, as authorities in multiple Canadian cities grew impatient with the tent encampments that first sprang up nationwide in mid-October.

The decision means they can't be removed from a downtown park at least until the judge hears legal arguments over the city's eviction order.