Society's ChildS


Dozens injured when car hits Virginia parade

© Earl Neikirk/Associated PressEmergency personnel respond to one of the people hit by a car, at right, during the beginning of the Hikers Parade at the Trail Days Festival in Damascus, Virginia.
As many as 50 or 60 people were injured Saturday in southwest Virginia when a car plowed into the annual Appalachian Trail Days parade in the town of Damascus, sending hundreds of people scattering amid shouts and screams.

Nine of the injured were taken to hospitals after the incident at the annual trail festival, but none of the injuries appeared to be life-threatening, authorities said.

"Reports to us indicate that no one was injured beyond stable" said Pokey Harris, director of emergency management in Washington County, Va. where Damascus is located, about 300 miles southwest of the District.


Connecticut crash might snarl Northeast train service for days

Train service in the busy New York-to-New Haven corridor may be restricted for days as officials investigate Friday's rush-hour collision of two trains in Connecticut -- an incident that sent dozens to hospitals -- officials said Saturday.

Officials from the federal National Transportation Safety Board arrived at the site Saturday morning to begin their investigation of the Metro-North train crash in Bridgeport, Connecticut. The wreckage won't be removed until investigators finish examining it on site -- possibly Sunday, NTSB member Earl Weener said -- and then two tracks will have to be repaired before they can be reopened.

Magic Hat

Weapons of Mass Distraction: French president Hollande signs gay marriage bill into law, thousands protest

© Associated PressThe first gay wedding can be held on 28 May - 10 days after Mr Hollande signed the bill.
France's president has signed into law a controversial bill making the country the ninth in Europe, and 14th globally, to legalise gay marriage.

On Friday, the Constitutional Council rejected a challenge by the right-wing opposition, clearing the way for Francois Hollande to sign the bill.

He said: "I have taken [the decision]; now it is time to respect the law of the Republic."

The first gay wedding could be held 10 days after the bill's signing.

But Parliamentary Relations Minister Alain Vidalies told French TV he expected the first ceremonies to take place "before 1 July".

Comment: Meanwhile, Hollande has troops in multiple west African countries blowing things up and causing chaos in order to secure Africa's natural resources for French multinationals like Areva, the world's largest uranium mining/nuclear energy company.

In addition, French jihadists are waging proxy war on behalf of Hollande in Syria.

France's media admits that the Syrian "opposition" is Al Qaida, then justifies French government support to the terrorists

The conflict in Mali has nothing to do with fighting terrorists

At least 50 French citizens 'waging jihad in Syria'

But don't mind all this folks, the real issue is gay marriage, so y'all get protesting about this non-issue and we can all congratulate each other on how free we are.


Pay-As-You-Go American Democracy: Billionaires Unchained

This piece first appeared at TomDispatch. Read Tom Engelhardt's introduction.

Billionaires with an axe to grind, now is your time. Not since the days before a bumbling crew of would-be break-in artists set into motion the fabled Watergate scandal, leading to the first far-reaching restrictions on money in American politics, have you been so free to meddle. There is no limit to the amount of money you can give to elect your friends and allies to political office, to defeat those with whom you disagree, to shape or stunt or kill policy, and above all to influence the tone and content of political discussion in this country.

Today, politics is a rich man's game. Look no further than the 2012 elections and that season's biggest donor, 79-year-old casino mogul Sheldon Adelson. He and his wife, Miriam, shocked the political class by first giving $16.5 million in an effort to make Newt Gingrich the Republican presidential nominee. Once Gingrich exited the race, the Adelsons invested more than $30 million in electing Mitt Romney. They donated millions more to support GOP candidates running for the House and Senate, to block a pro-union measure in Michigan, and to bankroll the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other conservative stalwarts (which waged their own campaigns mostly to helpRepublican candidates for Congress). All told, the Adelsons donated $94 million during the 2012 cycle - nearly four times the previous record set by liberal financier George Soros. And that's only the money we know about. When you add in so-called dark money, one estimate puts their total giving at closer to $150 million.

It was not one of Adelson's better bets. Romney went down in flames; the Republicans failed to retake the Senate and conceded seats in the House; and the majority of candidates backed by Adelson-funded groups lost, too. But Adelson, who oozes chutzpah as only a gambling tycoon worth $26.5 billion could, is undeterred. Politics, he told the Wall Street Journal in his first post-election interview, is like poker: "I don't cry when I lose. There's always a new hand coming up." He said he could double his 2012 giving in future elections. "I'll spend that much and more," he said. "Let's cut any ambiguity."

Arrow Down

KFC smuggled into Gaza via underground tunnels

© RedAlertPolitics

Turns out that the underground smuggling tunnels connecting the Gaza Strip to Egypt have been used to transport more than weapons lately.

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip can now be supplied with Kentucky Fried Chicken delivered via the tunnels, as CNN reported.

The American fast food is brought into the Palestinian territory by Al-Yamama, a delivery service that advertises on Facebook. The "finger lickin' good" chicken doesn't come easily to Palestinians in the Strip, however.

A 20-piece bucket can cost about $30, which is about three times the amount it sells for in Egypt. The delivery also takes about three hours to travel 35 miles from the KFC branch in al-Arish, Egypt, to Gaza, sometimes being stopped by Hamas policemen who check the deliveries for other prohibited items.

"Sometimes Hamas checks meals, sometimes the taxi picking up Sinai orders is late," a spokesman for the delivery company told The Mirror.

Palestinians don't seem to be thrown off by the higher prices and lengthy time it takes the food to be delivered, however.

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Would you get a scar tattoo carved into your skin?

Scar Tattoo
© Facebook
Yeah, your trad demon-eating snake tattoo is really edgy and all, but if you're looking to take your body art to the next level, why not ditch the black ink and use hypertrophic scar tissue instead? Apparently, slicing your skin into bloody tattoos is totally a thing now, and you can go get your very own "I Love Mom" heart made out of your own mutilated skin in (where else?) Williamsburg.

Called "scarification," the practice has deep roots in ancient tribal arts, but it feels creepier now that it's headed West. Having said that, it's certainly an art form: just check out the scar work done by Brooklyn resident Brian Decker, who runs Pure Body Arts in Williamsburg. He's been cutting elaborate symbols, designs and seahorses into people's skin for the past thirteen years, and told DNAinfo the practice has become more popular over the years. "People started to implement the ideas of tattoo reference to the design, which made them more extravagant, more detailed," he said. "You were able to build much more beautiful designs, which I'm sure caught more people's eyes."

Then again, some people just think scar tattoos do a nice job highlighting their Alice in Chains Hot Topic tees: "Someone who is freshly 18 probably relishes the idea of someone being repulsed by that," Chris Beierschmitt, who works at Pure Body Arts, told DNAinfo of the practice. But is a scar tattoo really any more frightening in theory than shooting possibly cancerous black ink into your skin? Even if that ink is shaped like Rex Ryan's wife? Plus, scar tattoos are great for sending scary messages to time-traveling law breakers.


Best of the Web: Reality check: The truth about the lies we're told about Iran

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Thrills and Spills: Amusement rides' surprising child toll

Bumper Cars
© Nationwide Children’s HospitalAmusement park rides, including bumper cars, send more than 4,000 kids to emergency rooms each year.

This summer, millions of people will head to the nation's amusement parks. Many might assume that the bigger and faster rides account for the most amusement ride-related injuries to children, but that's not always the case.

My colleagues and I at the Center for Injury Research and Policy, Nationwide Children's Hospital, did the first study that looks in detail at children who are injured on amusement rides, which includes rides at amusement parks (fixed-site rides), rides at fairs and festivals (mobile rides) and rides found at local malls, stores, restaurants or arcades (mall rides).

From 1990 to 2010, 92,885 children under age 18 were treated in U.S. emergency departments for amusement ride-related injuries for an average of 4,423 injuries each year. More than 70 percent of the injuries happened during the warm summer months of May through September - averaging more than 20 injuries a day during those months. [Killer Thrills: How Safe Are Amusement Parks?]

We found that most children were injured in the head and neck region, followed by the arms, face and legs. Soft-tissue injuries like bruises were the most common type of injury, followed by strains and sprains, cuts and broken bones.


Case launched as video of orphans being beaten goes viral

© RIA NovostiCase Launched as Video of Orphans Being Beaten Goes Viral
Russian authorities have launched a criminal case into the suspected beating of children by teenage caretakers in a Far Eastern orphanage on Friday, a day after a video sparked internet outrage.

The video, made in the orphanage in the town of Pionersky in the Far Eastern Amur Region, shows a teenage girl who lashes boys aged between seven and nine with a belt. Seven boys are lined up against a wall as she calls the children forward one by one, beats them and shoves them away.

Police opened a criminal case on charges of torture, which entail a maximum punishment of seven years in prison. Three girls, aged between 15 and 17 are seen as likely suspects. Two of them were taken to a detention facility for minors. The third teenager, who is under 16 years - the age of criminal responsibility on these charges - was hospitalized for reasons not related to the incident.


Chaos in Turkey as police use tear gas and water cannons to put down rioters protesting over Syria

In Istanbul, protesters faced police force in the European side of the city

This followed a day of tear gas and water cannons in Ankara

The protesters oppose Turkey's support for Syrian rebels in the civil war

Dozens of demonstrators were faced with tear gas and water cannons by police in Istanbul today as they protested against the Turkish government's policy towards Syria.

Two groups of protesters were marching to Besiktas district near the Dolmabahce Palace on the European side of the city when officers blocked their path, reports the state-run Anatolia News Agency.

Some of the demonstrators, said to be mainly students, tried to climb barriers while police used water cannons and tear gas on the groups. Others took refuge in the historic Dolmabahce Mosque.
Protesters in Istanbul clashed with riot police today during a protest against the Turkish government's foreign policy on Syria