Society's ChildS


Canada: Imam at Toronto Mosque Charged with Sexual Assault

A man who taught at a Toronto Islamic centre and travelled to mosques around the world is facing sexual assault charges involving at least five alleged victims.

Police announced Wednesday that Mohammad Masroor, 48, has been charged with 13 offences, including sexual assault and threatening death. Police declined to provide further detail on the charges.


US: Tobacco Companies File Lawsuit Over Warning Labels

© The Associated Press / U.S. Food and Drug AdministrationIn this combo made from file images provided by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration shows two of nine new warning labels cigarette makers will have to use by the fall of 2012. Four of the five largest U.S. tobacco companies sued the federal government Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2011, over the new graphic cigarette labels, saying the warnings violate their free speech rights and will cost millions of dollars to print.
Tobacco companies want a judge to put a stop to new graphic cigarette labels that include the sewn-up corpse of a smoker and pictures of diseased lungs, saying they unfairly urge adults to shun their legal products and will cost millions to produce.

Four of the five largest U.S. tobacco companies sued the federal government Tuesday, saying the warnings violate their free speech rights.

"Never before in the United States have producers of a lawful product been required to use their own packaging and advertising to convey an emotionally-charged government message urging adult consumers to shun their products," the companies wrote in the lawsuit filed in federal court in Washington.

The companies, led by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., Lorillard Tobacco Co., said the warnings no longer simply convey facts to allow people to make a decision on whether to smoke. They instead force them to put government anti-smoking advocacy more prominently on their packs than their own brands, the companies say. They want a judge to stop the labels.

The FDA refused to comment, saying the agency does not discuss pending litigation. But when she announced the new labels in June, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius called them frank and honest warnings about the dangers of smoking.


US, California: Ex-Con Pleads Guilty To Rape, Sodomy, Murder Of Great-Grandmother, 76

© courtesy, California DMVSevera Madrona
A two-time ex-convict pleaded guilty Tuesday to sexually assaulting and fatally beating a 76-year-old great-grandmother in Gardena.

Thedward Candler, 28, faces life in prison without the possibility of parole when he is sentenced Oct. 4 in Torrance Superior Court.

Candler pleaded guilty to murdering Severa Madrona on Sept. 18, 2007. He also admitted the special circumstances of murder during rape, sodomy and kidnapping.

Madrona, a grandmother of 29 and great-grandmother of four, was targeted while out for her customary morning walk, prosecutors said.

Heart - Black

US, California: Parents Arrested For Allegedly Abusing Infant Who Died

A Long Beach husband and wife have been arrested in the death of their month-old infant who authorities say showed signs of ongoing physical abuse.

The Long Beach Press-Telegram reported that Michael Cross, 42, and Melissa Swanson, 34, were arrested Friday at their home without incident. They were both charged on Tuesday. Cross also was charged with possession of narcotics for allegedly having cocaine.

Long Beach police spokeswoman Lisa Massacani says Michaela Cross was pronounced dead by paramedics at the family's home last Thursday.

Massacani says a coroner's autopsy confirmed investigators' suspicions the death was not accidental. She says the injuries were consistent with blunt-force trauma.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department website says Michael Cross is being held on $1 million bail, Swanson is being held on $100,000 bail.

Source: The Associated Press


US, California: 83-Year-Old Gets Breast Implants To Stay Young

An 83-year-old Santa Ana great-grandmother is making national headlines for getting breast implants.

Marie Kolstad, of Orange County, is the mother of four, the grandmother of 13 and great-grandmother to 12.

Last month, Kolstad decided she needed a little boost in her breasts. So she spent $8,000 for a three-hour procedure.

She figured her family wouldn't approve, so she didn't tell them about the surgery until a day before she was scheduled to go under the knife.

Kolstad is not unique. The New York Times reports that a growing segment of the population, namely seniors, is opting for age-defying plastic surgery like never before. And Kolstad told the newspaper that her doctor has patients even older than she.

Heart - Black

US, Oregon: Mother Gets Probation in Home Circumcision

© unknown
An Oregon woman who tried to circumcise her 3-month-old son at home after reading the Old Testament and watching YouTube videos has been sentenced to five years of probation.

Keemonta Peterson pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal mistreatment. The 30-year-old Portland woman must also undergo mental health treatment.

Peterson called 911 and the boy was rushed to a hospital last October after her botched effort left the infant bleeding uncontrollably and in intense pain. A prosecutor says he has fully recovered.

The Oregonian reports the boy and his three siblings are in the state's care, although Peterson can see them under supervision.

Multnomah County Circuit Judge Eric Bergstrom told Peterson on Monday that "the reality is you love your children and had absolutely no intent to harm your child."

Source: The Oregonian / The Associated Press


US, Missouri: 'Yes We Can' Social Club Busted for Drugs, Alcohol and Prostitution

St. Louis County police will release more information this afternoon about 30 people were taken into custody from a home in Bel-Ridge last week.

They were taken into custody shortly before midnight on August 11.

Police said they went to a home in the 8800 block of Snowhill Court to execute a search warrant for prostitution, drugs and alcohol.

According to the Missouri Secretary of State's website, the non-profit, Yes We Can Social Club, is run out of that home.


US, California: Protect Your Pooch! Dog Thefts Are Up 32 Percent

If you're one of millions of dog owners in the Los Angeles area, be sure to keep an eye on your beloved four-legged friend.

Dog thefts are up 32 percent this year, according to the American Kennel Club.

Stolen dogs are almost always resold, and are often used in laboratories or dog fights.

Pit bulls and other large breeds are stolen the most frequently. Purebreds are also at risk because thieves think they can get a lot of money for them.

However, without paperwork, purebreds are usually no more valuable than mixed breeds.

The AKC database of registered dogs show 224 pets have been stolen this year, compared to 255 for all of 2010.

Bad Guys

Devout Pacific Island Aitutaki in the Cook Islands Reels After First Bank Heist

© NASA / Wikimedia CommonsSatellite image of Aitutaki.

A tiny Pacific island famed for having the most churches per capita in the world is reeling after its first-ever bank robbery.

The residents of Aitutaki, a peaceful tourist escape in the Cook Islands, have been shocked by a brazen theft from its tiny bank, which has left them up to $US164,000 ($157,000) poorer.

The island's mayor John Baxter told Radio New Zealand International he believes the heist was not carried off by one of the 1800 locals, most of whom kept their savings at the branch.

"It's a very sad occasion or event that has happened," Mr Baxter said.

"I think it is the first time that any of the banks have actually ever been robbed on this small island of Aitutaki and, as I said earlier on, everybody knows everybody and I suspect whoever has done this does not live on the island."

Bad Guys

UK: Essex police charge man over water fight planned on BlackBerry Messenger

water fight
© Getty ImagesEssex police have arrested a man after discovering plans for a water fight circulating on BlackBerry Messenger
A 20-year-old is due in court after police discover alleged plans for a Colchester water fight circulating on BBM and Facebook

A man will appear before magistrates next month for allegedly trying to organise a mass water fight via his mobile phone.

The prime minister said last week that the government would investigate whether social networking platforms should be shut down if they helped to "plot" crime in the wake of the riots.

The 20-year-old from Colchester was arrested on Friday after Essex police discovered the alleged plans circulating on the BlackBerry Messenger service and Facebook.

The unnamed man has been charged with "encouraging or assisting in the commission of an offence" under the 2007 Serious Crime Act, police said.ue in court after police discover alleged plans for a Colchester water fight circulating on BBM and Facebook.