Society's ChildS


Gunmen Kill at Least 20 in Mexican Bar

© ReutersMember of a forensic team and a police detective cordon off a crime scene in downtown Monterrey
Gunmen burst into a bar in the Mexican city of Monterrey and shot dead at least 20 people Friday, the latest massacre in the city battered by drug-gang violence, El Universal newspaper reported.

At least five people were injured, the paper reported, citing local police.

The gunmen fired AK-47 assault rifles throughout the bar in downtown Monterrey, Milenio newspaper reported.

Several other Mexican media outlets, including Reforma newspaper, reported the same tally of dead and injured.

Over the last four years, industrial and relatively prosperous Monterrey has gone from being a model for developing economies to a symbol of Mexico's drug war chaos as rival gangs fight one another in the city's streets.

Heart - Black

Canada: Intruder stomps 20 rabbits at Britiaah Columbia sanctuary

A Vancouver Island animal refuge has boosted its security after an intruder brutally killed 20 rabbits last month.

Susan Vickery of the Ears Sanctuary in Coombs, B.C. said she found the rabbits stomped or crushed to death at the compound on June 14.

"I arrived at the front gate in the morning and found one of my rabbits dead and obviously crushed," Vickery told "I went across the barn and it was just tragic. It was tragic to see these little bodies just smashed down."


Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie invited to lavish 40th birthday party for whistleblower Assange... two days before his court appeal on sex charges

© Alanpix.comBirthday boy: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange today near his home in Norfolk
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is celebrating his 40th birthday - just two days before he fights attempts to extradite him to Sweden to face rape charges.

Among those said to be invited to the bash are Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and US Vogue editor Anna Wintour.

A huge marquee has been put up at Ellingham Hall, the 10-bed Norfolk farmhouse where he has been under house arrest for the past seven months.

Party invitations included instructions on where to land helicopters and private jets.

Assange has to report to the police station every day as well as wear an electronic tag

If he loses his extradition appeal in the High Court on Tuesday he faces being taken under police guard to Sweden, to fight allegations of rape and sexual assault.

The house and its 650-acre estate are owned by Vaughan Smith, director of the Frontline media club.

Mr Smith, who will be at the party, told the Independent: 'You're only 40 once.' Last week it emerged a £850,000 book deal Assange signed to write his memoirs had collapsed.


US, Florida: Judge Orders Mental Health Evaluation for Palmetto Expressway Bomb Scare Suspect

© Gabriel Nuñez / Courtesy to the HeraldCars back up on the Palmetto Expressway eastbound near the exit for Northwest 27 Avenue on Friday afternoon. A bomb threat is causing the backup.
One mystery was solved when police arrested the tattooed man who left his fake-weapons-laden hearse under the Palmetto. Other questions - like 'why?' - remained.

Was it a faux terrorist plot? A malicious prank? Performance art?

One man knows for sure - and he is sitting in jail Sunday while waiting for a mental health evaluation, days after a bizarre episode in which a hearse, abandoned underneath the Palmetto Expressway at Northwest 27th Avenue, brought rush-hour traffic to a standstill for more than five hours.

Lee Lewis, 28, who bills himself on his MySpace page as a fetish model and fireplay entertainer, was being held at a downtown Miami detention center Sunday on $36,500 bond.

The state requested the mental health evaluation Sunday after police found Lewis' tricked-out hearse, festooned with silver skulls and outfitted with green undercarriage lighting under the Palmetto on Friday afternoon. The officers thought they spotted automatic weapons, an anti-tank rocket and other explosives inside - and immediately closed the road to cars and pedestrians. The Miami-Dade bomb squad rushed to the scene.

The following day, an investigation found that the weapons were bogus.

"They were good replicas," Miami Gardens Police Chief Matthew Boyd said Saturday. "But they were fake."

Lewis turned himself in Saturday morning, Boyd said.

Arrow Down

Best of the Web: The Dollar Collapse Will be the Single Largest Event in Human History

Every major civilization in history has collapsed. In almost all recorded cases the collapse has occurred as a result of infinite expansion in a finite environment. We are, no doubt, approaching a similar fate.

The dollar collapse will be the single largest event in human history.

This will be the first event that will touch every single living person in the world. All human activity is controlled by money. Our wealth, our work, our food, our government, even our relationships are affected by money. No money in human history has had as much reach in both breadth and depth as the dollar. It is the de facto world currency. All other currency collapses will pale in comparison to this big one. All other currency crises have been regional and there were other currencies for people to grasp on to. This collapse will be global and it will bring down not only the dollar but all other fiat currencies,as they are fundamentally no different. The collapse of currencies will lead to the collapse of ALL paper assets. The repercussions to this will have incredible results worldwide.


Russian reactor reconnected to power grid after shutdown

© RIA Novosti. Viktor ChernovNuclear specialists earlier said such safety shutdowns are a routine occurrence.
A reactor at the Balakovskaya nuclear power plant (NPP) in central Russia was restarted and reconnected to power grid early on Sunday after a safety shutdown, a spokesman for the plant said.

"The reactor was reconnected to the power grid and restarted in compliance with regulations for safety operation," the source said. "Radiation levels at the station and surrounding territories remain unchanged, at the normal level."


US - Iowa Town Evacuated After Fuel Tanker Explosion

Blakesburg, Iowa -- A series of explosions were reported in the southern Iowa town of Blakesburg Friday morning.

The Wapello County Sheriff's office said the town was evacuated. Witnesses report hearing multiple explosions from the scene. The fire was brought under control and the evacuation order lifted around 11:40 a.m.

Officials said a fuel tanker caught fire and exploded around 8:30 a.m. The driver was off-loading fuel when the fuel ignited.


Ten million people at risk of starvation in African crisis

AID workers yesterday told of the "unimaginable hell" unfolding in it emerged that 1,500 starving people are arriving at refugee camps every day.

Some have trekked barefoot through the scorched scrubland for 22 daysto get food and water as East Africais gripped by its worst drought in 60 years.

But many die within hours of arriving, meaning the sprawling camps are quickly turning into graveyards.

More than 10 million people are ­estimated to be at risk of starvation in Ethiopia, Somalia and northern Kenya, which the UN says are experiencing pre-famine conditions.

Yet, as rising numbers of people in the Horn of Africa leave their homes in search of help, humanitarian charities say the world isn't listening. They have warned hundreds of ­millions of pounds of extra aid is ­urgently needed to stop the suffering.


Minnesota, US: Apple Valley Firefighters Respond to Sewer Line Explosion in Burnsville

© Carle KennedyAuthorities are blocking off areas of a Burnsville neighborhood near River Hills Drive and Hwy. 13 East, after residents reported there seemed to be some type of underground explosion around 1 p.m. Friday.
Authorities are still seeking the cause behind increased carbon monoxide levels that caused the explosion, sending three manhole covers flying into the air.

Apple Valley firefighters on Friday responded to an apparent underground explosion in a Burnsville neighborhood of which authorities still were still seeking the cause on Friday night.

Nobody was hurt in the blast that shook a neighborhood in northeast Burnsville on Friday afternoon, but at least 100 residents were evacuated from the neighborhood near River Hills Drive and Hwy 13 East after an underground sewer line erupted, sending three manhole covers flying between eight and 12 feet in the air.

"Those manholes weigh 100 pounds a piece," said Fire Marshal Lee LaTourelle. "That's a lot of force."

The source of the blast remains unknown. LaTourelle said many residents complained of a distinct smell of gasoline shortly before and after the explosion. On arrival, emergency workers found high levels of carbon monoxide in the sewer lines - up to 1,000 to 1,200 parts per million.

"That's really explosive," LaTourelle said. "We still don't know quite what happened."

Bizarro Earth

France Becomes First Country to Ban Extraction of Natural Gas by Fracking

The French parliament voted on June 30 to ban the controversial technique for extracting natural gas from shale rock deposits known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the web sites of Le Monde and other French media reported.

The bill had already passed the National Assembly, the country's lower chamber, on June 21, and on June 30 a Senate vote of 176 to 151 made France the first country to enact such a ban, just as New York State is preparing to lift a moratorium on the same method.

The vote was divided along party lines, with the majority conservative party voting in favor and the opposition voting against the bill, according to Le Monde. The Socialist Party, in particular, opposed the bill because it did not go far enough. The bill's critics said that it left open possible loopholes and that in particular it does not prevent the exploitation of oil shale deposits by techniques other than fracking. An earlier version of the bill, which the Socialists had supported, would have banned any kind of development of the deposits, Le Monde reported.