Society's ChildS


US, California: Prostitution Booming in San Jose After Cash-Strapped City Cuts Vice Squad

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San Jose budget cuts aren't hurting all businesses, and in fact, one group in particular seems to be cashing in on the city's economic woes: prostitutes.

Prostitution has made a rapid comeback to San Jose street corners in the past few weeks, according to NBC Bay Area sources.

After police budgets were slashed July 1, San Jose PD's Vice Unit was disbanded, said San Jose Police Department spokesman Jose Garcia. This meant that part of their job responsibility - cracking down on prostitution and brothels - was reassigned to the police department's Covert Response Unit.

The CRU was originally responsible for narcotics busts in the area and despite the newly added responsibilities, the unit's size increased by one officer. It now totals 14. Sources say the result has been an increase in illegal prostitution.

"We're fairly confident that they will be able to address those issues, however, it may not be as fast as we traditionally were able to do that," said Garcia.

Black Cat

US, California: Cash-Strapped San Diego Considers Tax for Cats

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Should cats be treated like dogs, when it comes to licensing and immunization requirements?

The San Diego city auditor's office recommends doing just that -- for the sake of health, safety and "cost recovery" for taxpayers.

According to formulas used by the Humane Society of the United States, there are an estimated 373,000 cats in San Diego.

If just 5 percent had been registered at $25 a head, the auditor's office says the city could have saved $536,000 over the past three fiscal years.

Cat owners say the idea defies logic and accounting principles.


US, California: Wife Chops Off Husband's Penis, Throws in Garbage Disposal

Catherine Kieu Becker, 48, is under arrest for chopping off her husband's penis and tossing it in the garbage disposal.

After she laced her husband's food with an unknown drug or poison, he lay down, believing something was wrong with the food, according to police reports. Her husband then woke up tied to the bed as Becker cut off his penis with a knife. She then threw the genitalia in the garbage disposal and turned the disposal on, Lt. Jeff Nightengale of Garden Grove, Calif. police, said.

Nightengale said the couple is going through a divorce, but could not confirm why Becker wanted to cut off her husband's manhood.

Becker eventually called 911, asking for medical assistance. When firefighters and police arrived on scene, Becker told officials that her husband "deserved it," said Nightengale. Police found the man, who remains unidentified, tied to the bed and "bleeding profusely." Becker was arrested on several charges, including aggravated mayhem, false imprisonment and assault with a deadly weapon.

Her husband was rushed to University of California at Irvine Medical Center for treatment.

"He is in stable condition, but we have no details about the surgery," said Nightengale.

"Police were able to recover portions of the penis from the garbage disposal," Nightengale noted, but it is unclear how much or whether doctors will be able to reattach them.


US, New York: Hundreds of Volunteers Search for Missing 9-Year-Old Brooklyn Boy

Anguished family members and hundreds of volunteers have launched a massive search for a missing Hasidic boy who vanished on his way home from a Brooklyn day camp on Monday.

Leiby Kletzky, 9, was last spotted leaving the Boyan Day Camp on 44th Street near 12th Avenue at 4:50 p.m., police said.

He was supposed to meet his mother on 13th Avenue and 50th Street but mysteriously failed to show up.

Arrow Down

Explorer to Embark on Quest to Find Body of Osama bin Laden

Bill Warren
© Bill WarrenBill Warren
Bill Warren has spent years searching for shipwrecks, usually in the hope of finding treasure. But his next mission is to locate and raise a much more contemporary object that is bound to place him at the center of controversy: the body of Osama bin Laden.

Warren hopes to depart for the Arabian Sea in 2-3 weeks. He does not have a PR team and his expedition has not been widely publicized, but it has received exposure from some major networks -- including ABC -- in the United States and abroad.

The mission, once it gets started, will stir more emotions and attract a flood of criticism. But as the shipwreck explorer expert reiterrated recently on a Southern California radio show, he wants to raise the body to produce evidence that the former Al Qaeda leader was, in fact, killed and buried at sea by sailors aboard the USS Carl Vinson.

Of course, Warren also acknowledged that he intends to profit from the expedition by various means, including a possible sale of the body to Bin Laden family members.

In a telephone interview, Warren revealed that he has been contacted, via email, by people claiming to be relatives of the infamous terrorist, who was killed recently by U.S. special forces. "They didn't identify who they were, but they said if you can find the body we would make it worth your while," Warren said. "There were no dollar figures."

Heart - Black

US, Seattle: Man Admitted to Teen's 'Brutal and Senseless Murder'

© unknownKathy Chou
King County prosecutors have charged a 22-year-old man accused of killing Kathy Chou with first-degree murder.

In charging documents filed Monday, prosecutors contend Ezekiel J. Watkins killed the 19-year-old Renton resident on April 18, 2010, then hid her body and evaded detection until his arrest last week.

Describing Chou's slaying as "the brutal and senseless murder of a young woman who posed no threat to him," Senior Deputy Prosecutor Scott O'Toole claimed Watkins admitted to considering luring her to a secluded area where he could kill her.

Watkins, 22, was arrested on July 6 after an alleged accomplice admitted to helping him hide Chou's body the night she was killed. Her body was apparently recovered Saturday evening.

Chou was reported missing the day after she disappeared from her parents' home.

Speaking with investigators, the young woman's parents said she'd returned from a high school field trip earlier in the day, then left home for a walk at 7 p.m.


Gaza: Siege and sewage force inhabitants to resort to farmed fish

© Wissam Nassar / Maan ImagesFishing is a traditional source of employment and food in Gaza.
"Farmed fish are now better than sea fish in Gaza. They shouldn't be but because of the sewage in Gaza's sea and the Israeli fishing restrictions, farmed fish are cleaner and healthier than sea fish."

Sohail Ekhail has a point. The 38-year-old marine engineer and sea captain is one of the pioneers of the aquaculture industry in Gaza. Coming from a scientific background, he speaks of the current advantages of aquaculture in the Strip.

"It is almost impossible for our fishermen to fish in the sea, so fish farms provide another source of salt water fish."


Canada, Saskatoon: Starving Dogs Survived on Owners' Remains

The Saskatoon SPCA is wrestling with the fate of seven dogs rescued from a rural home near Yorkton after the animals ate the remains of their deceased owners.

RCMP last week found the couple - a man, 67, and woman, 57 - who had died on a rural property near Springside. Police do not suspect foul play, but the matter is being investigated by the coroner.

Police concluded that for more than a week the dogs - five Shelties and two mixed breeds - survived by eating the remains of the couple.

The question now is whether the dogs should be put down or given a new home.

Neighbour Margaret-Ann Irving, who knew the dogs' owners, said the animals cannot now be adopted.

"Those dogs need to be put down," she said. "You can't place a dog that's been eating on human flesh for two or three weeks and put it in a home where there might be a child."


Indigenous Resistance is Now the New 'Terrorism'

© alijazeera.netIn South America, indigenous people who protest against government decisions to deplete natural resources for profit are often criminalized [EPA]
In Ecuador, protesting for the rights of the Earth and trying to preserve natural resources may make you a "terrorist".

If you thought there was anything romantic about environmental activism or indigenous rights, think twice. Socialist ideas about nature - such as keeping water a public good - can get you facing charges of sabotage by a leftist government. In the land of the Incas, if you protect the pachamama ["Mother World"], you might just be a "terrorist".

It's becoming tricky to identify "terrorists", at least in Ecuador. They are not members of criminal organizations, they don't spread fear or target civilians, nor have a politically motivated agenda. According to President Correa, "terrorists" are those opposing Ecuador's development. So today's "terrorism" might just look like indigenous peoples peacefully taking over the streets, with their ancestral knowledge and values, to demand environmental and social rights.

In Ecuador, "terrorists" are indigenous peoples from the Amazon and the Andean highlands fighting to preserve access to water in their communities. Old penal codes written in times of dictatorship are being revived by leftist presidents to repress indigenous activists. As "terrorists", they are labelled as enemies of the state, and arrested - by the very president that claimed leftist credentials and staged his inauguration in overtly ethnic style.


Russian lawmakers to consider chemical castration bill for pedophiles

© RIA Novosti. Sergey GuneevMedvedev suggested that castration of convicted pedophiles should remain voluntary, while the United Russia party, which holds a majority in parliament, has insisted it should be obligatory.
President Dmitry Medvedev has submitted amendments to the State Duma, Russia's lower house of parliament, introducing chemical castration for criminals guilty of sexual offences against children, a Duma official said on Tuesday.

The castration bill, designed to "increase the effectiveness of the prevention of the strikingly brutal crimes" against children, also introduces life sentence as a possible punishment for pedophiles who are repeat offenders.

The bill also stipulates voluntary medical treatment, including chemical castration, for other rapists.