Society's ChildS


Afghans Angry Over Quran Burnings Attack US Base

© The Associated Press/Musadeq SadeqBlack smoke rises into the sky from tyres that were burnt by protesters during an anti-US demonstration in Kabul, Afghanistan, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012.
Afghan police on Thursday fired shots in the air to disperse hundreds of protesters who tried to break into an American military base in the country's east to vent their anger over this week's Quran burnings incident.

The fresh violence came one day after clashes between Afghan troops and protesters broke out in the capital and in three eastern provinces over the incident, leaving at least seven people dead and dozens wounded.

The Quran burnings have roiled Afghans and set off riots in an illustration of the intensity of the anger at what they perceive as foreign forces flouting their laws and insulting their culture. The U.S. has apologized for the burnings, which took place at a military base near Kabul, and said it was a mistake.

In the eastern Laghman province, protesters hurled rocks on Thursday and tried to remove the razor wire from the perimeter of the American base in Mehterlam, the provincial capital.

The demonstrators failed to push through and get inside the walls of the facility, which also houses a U.S.-run provincial reconstruction team - a mix of military and international civilians who work to improve local governance, services and infrastructure.

Heart - Black

US: Texas Man Gets Life in Prison in Torture Case - But Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice and now, Obama, get a free pass?

Jeffrey Allan Maxwell
© Fox 4 NewsJeffrey Allan Maxwell
A Texas man who tortured his former neighbor while holding her captive nearly two weeks was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison.

Jeffrey Allan Maxwell, 59, was sentenced after jurors deliberated about 50 minutes. He will be eligible for parole after serving 30 years.

He was convicted Tuesday of aggravated kidnapping and two counts of aggravated sexual assault. He faced a minimum sentence of probation.

After abducting his ex-neighbor last March, he drove 100 miles away to his Corsicana home, 50 miles south of Dallas. Then he whipped and sexually assaulted her on a deer-skinning device. He assaulted her on his bed and kept her chained there during most of the ordeal. She was rescued when authorities went to question him about her disappearance after her house near Weatherford, about 70 miles west of Dallas, burned down.

During closing arguments, Parker County prosecutor Kathleen Catania told jurors that Maxwell previously had not been convicted of a felony and was eligible for probation, but "you don't get a free pass your first go-around." As she walked in front of jurors and held up items seized from his home, she said Maxwell collected locks, restraints, handcuffs, pepper spray, sex toys, whips, gags, pornography with bondage and rape scenes - and women's underwear.


UK: Five-year-old boy opts to become a girl

© Caters NewsHe became She: 5 year old Zach Avery
A five-year-old boy who rejected his gender is now living as a girl with the support of his family, doctors and school.

Zach Avery was three when he started questioning his gender, and began wearing dresses and ribbons in his hair.

Following a psychological evaluation he was diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder (GID), and has now been living as a girl for more than a year.

The disorder is a conflict between a person's physical gender and what they identify as. It prompts Zach to feel like a girl trapped in a boy's body.

According to his mother Theresa Avery, until the age of three Zach was a regular boy who loved Thomas the Tank Engine, but suddenly he became obsessed with Dora the Explorer and started dressing in girls clothes.


US, California: Feds Sue Anti-War Activist Cindy Sheehan Over Back Taxes

The federal government has filed a lawsuit to force anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan to provide her financial records to the Internal Revenue Service.

An IRS revenue officer said Sheehan refused to answer any questions about her finances after receiving a summons at her Vacaville home.

The U.S. Attorney's office on Tuesday filed a petition to enforce the IRS summons.

The summons ordered Sheehan to produce bank account statements for the period from August through early November 2011.

According to IRS revenue officer Jose Arteaga, the financial information may be relevant to the collection of Sheehan's federal income tax liabilities for tax years 2005 and 2006.


US: Saudi Teen Caps Wild Week With Airplane Bust

© unknown
Feds: Unruly air traveler, 19, was "singing about Usama bin Laden"

The man who repeatedly yelled "Allah is great" as he was removed yesterday from a plane that was forced to make an emergency landing due to his unruly behavior is a 19-year-old Saudi Arabian who was arrested Sunday night after he led Oregon police on a drunken car chase that saw him ram two cop cars and attempt to run over pedestrians, The Smoking Gun has learned.

According to investigators, Yazeed Mohammed Abunayyan was smoking an electronic cigarette on a Continental Airlines flight traveling from Portland to Houston. When a flight attendant directed Abunayyan to stop smoking (or relinquish the device), he refused and began "yelling profanities and swinging his fist at the flight attendant," according to an indictment filed this afternoon in U.S. District Court in Portland.

Abunayyan, pictured in the mug shot at right, also hit or attempted to hit other passengers and was "speaking or singing about Usama bin Laden and his hatred of women," the indictment charges. Abunayyan, who reportedly has been in the U.S. visiting relatives, was charged with a felony count of interfering with flight crew members.

Evil Rays

US: Alaska Lawmakers Debates Another Bill on TSA Pat-Downs, Effects of Radiation

Sharon Cissna
© unknownAlaska State Rep. Sharon Cissna
Airport security around the state could be affected by proposals up for consideration before Alaska lawmakers.

The House Transportation Committee on Tuesday is scheduled to discuss HB270, a bill that would require signs warning of physical searches and electronic devices that use radiation outside Transportation Security Administration checkpoints in airports and anywhere else similar procedures are used.

Rep. Sharon Cissna, D-Anchorage, sponsored the measure. She made national headlines last year after she refused a pat-down at a Seattle airport.


US, Virginia: Huguely Convicted of Second-Degree Murder

The murder of a 22-year-old University of Virginia student should bring her former boyfriend 26 years in prison, a jury concluded Wednesday, finding no merit in separate charges that carried up to three life sentences for George W. Huguely V.

Huguely, 24, rose to his feet and made the sign of the cross as the jury entered the cavernous Charlottesville circuit courtroom. His head bowed and his shoulders slumped at the panel's convictions for second-degree murder and grand larceny after a two-week trial.

About three hours later, Huguely affected the same upright pose with head bowed when the jury recommended he serve 25 years for murder and an additional year for grand larceny.

Huguely will be sentenced sometime after April 16 when lawyers meet with Charlottesville Circuit Judge Edward L. Hogshire about the case.

During the sentencing phase, Commonwealth's Attorney David Chapman put on two witnesses, Love's mother, Sharon Love, and Love's older sister, Lexie Love.

Red Flag

UK: Rapists Jailed for Just 40 Months After Judge Says 11-Year-Old Victim was 'Willing'

Two rapists have been jailed for just 40 months each after a judge said their 11-year-old victim was "willing" and looked like she was older.

© Photoshot
Roshane Channer and Ruben Monteiro admitted assaulting the girl in a block of flats in Luton in 2011, but Judge David Farrell QC jailed them both for just 40 months each as he accepted the claim that she was willing and looked "at least" 14.

The two men attacked the girl, who was at the block of flats with a group of teenagers, last July. The footage of the attack was later found on one of the defendant's phones.

While both men pleaded guilty to a single charge of rape, and will have to sign the sex offenders' register for life, Judge Farrell said there were exceptional features to the case which led him to reduce the sentencing:

"Despite her age it is accepted that she was a willing participant, but the law is there to protect young girls from this type of behavior and to protect them from themselves.


US: 8-Year-Old Critical After Washington School Shooting

© The Associated Press/Ted S. WarrenA Bremerton Police officer stands watch at an entrance to Armin Jahr Elementary School, Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2012, in Bremerton, Wash.
An 8-year-old girl was in critical condition Wednesday after she was shot in the abdomen at her elementary school near Seattle, and one of her classmates was detained, authorities said Wednesday.

The injured third-grader was airlifted to Seattle's Harborview Medical Center, where she underwent surgery Wednesday afternoon so doctors could assess her injuries, hospital spokeswoman Susan Gregg said.

Police said a third-grade boy was being questioned and a firearm was found in a classroom. The boy apparently shot the girl, though police provided no further details about the incident and said their investigation was just beginning.

The Bremerton Schools superintendent's office said the girl was shot in the abdomen.

Bremerton police Lt. Peter Fisher said officers and emergency crews were dispatched to Armin Jahr Elementary school in Bremerton around 1:30 p.m. in response to a call that a student was shot by another student. The school is in a quiet residential neighborhood about 20 miles west of Seattle, across Puget Sound.


Canada, British Columbia: New Sled-Dog Rules Still Allow Controversial Killings

sled dogs
© unknown
Two Vancouver animal rights groups say new provincial sled-dog regulations won't prevent another massive slaughter, like the one that occurred in Whistler in 2010, because they still leave room for healthy dogs to be shot.

The Vancouver Humane Society and Lifeforce, a Vancouver-based animal rights group, said they were alarmed the Sled Dog Code of Practice, issued by the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture Monday, has instructions on how to humanely shoot unwanted dogs.

"It's disturbing that a document that is supposedly about animal welfare shows you how to shoot your dog," said Peter Fricker of the Vancouver Humane Society.

The Sled Dog Code of Practice and sled dog standards of care regulations were created in response to the April 10, 2010 slaughter of 52 sled dogs owned by Whistler-based Out-door Adventures.

"We don't really see how this prevents something like Whistler happening again, given an operator who has a surplus of dogs and can't find homes for them can still shoot them - even if they are healthy," Fricker said.