Bill Would Ban Aborted Fetuses in Food

(related Snopes article) http://www.snopes.com/politics/medical/pepsi.asp

An Oklahoma bill that would ban the sale of food containing aborted human fetuses has some people wondering: What food currently contains aborted human fetuses?

The bill, introduced Jan. 18 by  State Sen. Ralph Shortey, prohibits the manufacture or sale of "food or any other product intended for human consumption which contains aborted human fetuses in the ingredients or which used aborted human fetuses in the research or development of any of the ingredients."

Shortey declined to give specific examples  but said some food manufacturers used stem cells in the research and development process.

"There is a potential that there are companies that are using aborted human babies in their research and development of basically enhancing flavor for artificial flavors," he told KRMG Radio. "I don't know if it is happening in Oklahoma, it may be, it may not be. What I am saying is that if it does happen then we are not going to allow it to manufacture here."

Shortey may be acting on claims that the San Diego-based company Semonyx used proteins derived from human embryonic kidney cells to test artificial sweeteners, NPR reported. The cell line, known as HEK 293, was created from a human embryo in 1970 and has become a staple in biochemistry labs around the world.

Some people are calling the bill a back-door attempt to ban embryonic stem cell research - a ban Shortey said he would support, KRMG reported.

Indeed, embryonic stem cell research is  controversial. Critics argue it destroys embryos, which they consider the earliest form of life. But proponents say stem cell research could cure diseases. Last week, for example,  embryonic stem cells were found to improve vision in two women who were legally blind.

If passed, the bill would take effect Nov. 1.

Google Street View Car Has 3 Accidents in One Day, Flees Scene

A Google Street View car recently went on a hit-and-run spree in Indonesia, only stopping after crashing into a truck. 

The Google Street View car, which was driven by an unnamed Indonesian man, was involved in three vehicle accidents on Wednesday. He first hit a minivan just outside of Jakarta in the Bogor region, according to AFP. 

The Google Street View driver allegedly stopped after this first incident, and went with the minivan driver to an auto repair shop to have the damages looked at. But the Google driver panicked over the potential cost of such repairs, and fled the scene. 

The minivan driver followed the Google car for approximately 3km before the Street View vehicle hit yet another minivan. 
The Google car didn't stop after the second hit. Instead, he continued on until he finally crashed into a parked truck. This was the third and final hit in the chase. 

The front of the Google vehicle was damaged after the three hits, and the windshield had been smashed in. 

"We take the safety of our Street View operations very seriously, and though we're glad everyone is OK and that no serious injuries were reported, we're sorry for any damage caused," said Google in a statement. 

This isn't the first time a Google Street View car has gotten into trouble. Back in January of this year, one of the vehicle's was blamed for hitting a donkey in India.
Jail for mother over son’s ‘I am a bomb’ 9/11 top
A mother who sent her three-year-old son Jihad to school wearing a sweater with the words "I am a bomb" on the front, along with his name and 'Born on September 11th' on the back, was handed a suspended jail sentence on Friday for "glorifying a crime".

A court of appeal in the city of Nimes, southern France, convicted Jihad’s mother Bouchra Bagour and his uncle Zeyad for “glorifying a crime” in relation to the terrorist attacks in the United States on September 11th 2001.

“We have to rule that they (the mother and uncle) knew of the provocative nature of the T-shirt,” said the counsel for the prosecution.

She had claimed the stunt was just “a joke” and not been intended to cause offense.

The court handed the mother a one month suspended prison sentence as well as €2,000 fine.

Jihad’s uncle, who bought the sweater for the boy, was slapped with a €4,000 fine and a two-month suspended prison sentence.

The court head how the uncle had bought the top and given it to the mother, who dressed him in it and took him to school on September 25.

Jihad's teacher alerted the authorities and a few days later the town mayor, Thierry Lagneau of the conservative UMP party, asked prosecutors to investigate.

Both of them previously pleaded their innocence in court, claiming they thought the T-shirt would “make people laugh”.

“For me the text is simply my son’s name and his date of birth,” Bagour had said. “It’s a bit different but I thought it would make people laugh.

“My brother gave my son the sweatshirt, I put it on him, and I never thought anything of it.”

For his part, the uncle Zeyad, 29 said: “I had no intention of being provocative or shocking people.

“For me the words ‘I am a bomb’ mean ‘I am beautiful’”.

But his excuse did not hold water with the lawyers for the Mayor of Sorgues.

“Idiocy is often the best alibi to hide our real intentions,” said Claude Avril. “The most scandalous aspect of this is the manipulation of a three year-year-old to convey the words of terrorism.”

The mother and uncle of the boy, who official records show was born on September 11, 2009 and was given Jihad as his first name, were not known Islamists, prosecutors said.

The pair had previously been found not guilty by a court in Avignon earlier this year, but following that decision prosecutors decided to take the case to the court of appeal.

After the appeal judge overturned the acquittal on Friday, defense lawyer Gaële Guenoum said the ruling was “severe, surprising and amazing” adding she was considering taking the to the supreme court. 

SEE ALSO: Air France pilot's 'joke' about Moroccan king lands him in hot water 

There was another significant legal case brewing in France on Friday after a webmaster became the first Frenchman to be charged with the offence of "provoking terrorism".

The 26-year-old Muslim convert, identified as Romain, was held on Tuesday accused of translating sections of the Jihadist magazine "Inspire" into French.

The TSA's mission creep is making the U.S. a police state
The out-of-control Transportation Security Administration is past patdowns at airports – now it's checkpoints and roadblocks

Ever since 2010, when the Transportation Security Administration started requiring that travelers in American airports submit to sexually intrusive gropings based on the apparent anti-terrorism principle that "If we can't feel your nipples, they must be a bomb", the agency's craven apologists have shouted down all constitutional or human rights objections with the mantra "If you don't like it, don't fly!"

This callous disregard for travelers' rights merely paraphrases the words of Homeland Security director Janet Napolitano, who shares, with the president, ultimate responsibility for all TSA travesties since 2009. In November 2010, with the groping policy only a few weeks old, Napolitano dismissed complaints by saying "people [who] want to travel by some other means" have that right. (In other words: if you don't like it, don't fly.)

But now TSA is invading travel by other means, too. No surprise, really: as soon as she established groping in airports, Napolitano expressed her desire to expand TSA jurisdiction over all forms of mass transit. In the past year, TSA's snakelike VIPR (Visual Intermodal Prevention and Response) teams have been slithering into more and more bus and train stations – and even running checkpoints on highways – never in response to actual threats, but apparently more in an attempt to live up to the inspirational motto displayed at the TSA's air marshal training center since the agency's inception: "Dominate. Intimidate. Control."

Anyone who rode the bus in Houston, Texas during the 2-10pm shift last Friday faced random bag checks and sweeps by both drug-sniffing dogs and bomb-sniffing dogs (the latter being only canines necessary if "preventing terrorism" were the actual intent of these raids), all courtesy of a joint effort between TSA VIPR nests and three different local and county-level police departments. The new Napolitano doctrine, then: "Show us your papers, show us everything you've got, justify yourself or you're not allowed to go about your everyday business."

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson-Lee praised these violations of her constituents' rights with an explanation asinine even by congressional standards:

"We're looking to make sure that the lady I saw walking with a cane … knows that Metro cares as much about her as we do about building the light rail."

See, if you don't support the random harassment of ordinary people riding the bus to work, you're a callous bastard who doesn't care about little old ladies.

No specific threats or reasons were cited for the raids, as the government no longer even pretends to need any. Vipers bite you just because they can. TSA spokesman Jim Fotenos confirmed this a few days before the Houston raids, when VIPR teams and local police did the same thing to travelers catching trains out of the Amtrak station in Alton, Illinois. Fotenos confirmed that "It was not in response to a specific threat," and bragged that VIPR teams conduct "thousands" of these operations each year.

Still, apologists can pretend that's all good, pretend constitutional and human rights somehow don't apply to mass transit, and twist their minds into the Mobius pretzel shapes necessary to find random searches of everyday travelers compatible with any notion that America is a free country. "Don't like the new rules for mass transit? Then drive."

Except even that doesn't work anymore. Earlier this month, the VIPRs came out again in Virginia and infested the Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel, also known as the stretch of Interstate 64 connecting the cities of Hampton and Norfolk. Spokesmen admitted again that the exercise was a "routine sweep", not a response to any specific threat. Official news outlets admitted the checkpoint caused a delay (further exacerbated by a couple of accidents), but didn't say for how long. Local commenters at the Travel Underground forums reported delays of 90 minutes.

I grew up in the Hampton Roads region of Virginia. When I was a kid, my dad crossed the bridge-tunnel every day while commuting to work. When I was in university, I did the same thing. The old conventional wisdom said "Get to the airport at least two hours early, so TSA has time to violate your constitutional rights before boarding." What's the new conventional wisdom – "Leave for any destination at least 90 minutes early, so TSA can violate your rights en route"?

Airports, bus terminals, train stations, highways – what's left? If you don't like it, walk. And remember to be respectfully submissive to any TSA agents or police you encounter in your travels, especially now that the US supreme court has ruled mass strip-searches are acceptable for anyone arrested for even the most minor offence in America. If you're rude to any TSA agent or cops, you risk being arrested on some vague catch-all charge like "disorderly conduct". Even if the charges are later dropped, you'll still undergo the ritual humiliation of having to strip, squat, spread 'em and show your various orifices to be empty.

Can I call America a police state now, without being accused of hyperbole?

LONG ISLAND- mom fired after donating kidney to her boss: suit

Yeah, but what have you done for me lately?

A “kind and generous’’ Long Island mom donated a kidney to save the life of her boss — who then turned around after she got what she wanted and helped fire the poor woman, according to an explosive new legal complaint.

“I decided to become a kidney donor to my boss, and she took my heart,’’ Debbie Stevens, a 47-year-old divorced mother of two, sobbed to The Post.

“I feel very betrayed. This has been a very hurtful and horrible experience for me. She just took this gift and put it on the ground and kicked it.’’

In papers filed Friday with the state Human Rights commission, Stevens charges that she was clearly set up by Jackie Brucia, 61, her once-ailing boss at the billion-dollar Atlantic Automotive Group, which operates several new-car dealerships.

Stevens said she first got to know Brucia, one of the West Islip company’s controllers, while toiling as a clerical worker for the firm starting in January 2009.

Stevens then left the company in June 2010 to move to Florida. But when she returned to Long Island for a visit that September, she stopped by the office and talked with Brucia, a discussion that included Brucia’s health problems and “her need for a kidney transplant,’’ the papers state.

Stevens told The Post that Brucia told her she’d located a possible donor, a family friend.

But “because she was naturally a kind and generous person, Stevens told Brucia that, if necessary, she would be willing to donate a kidney,’’ the document says.

“Brucia . . . told her, ‘You never know, I may have to take you up on that offer one day,’ ” the papers say.

Soon after, Stevens decided to move back to Long Island for good and asked Brucia if she could return to work there. She had a job with the company again within weeks.

Then, two months later, in January 2011, Stevens told The Post, Brucia “called me into her office and said, ‘My donor was denied. Were you serious when you said that?’ I said, ‘Sure, yeah.’ She was my boss, I respected her. It’s just who I am. I didn’t want her to die.’’

Brucia had been “apparently grooming her to be her ‘backup plan,’ ” according to the papers. But while Stevens was a close health match for Brucia, she wasn’t a perfect one. So the doctors agreed to allow Stevens to donate her left kidney to someone else in the transplant group so that Brucia could move up the waiting list and get her organ from someone else.

“I felt I was giving her life back,’’ Stevens told The Post. “My kidney ended up going to St. Louis, Missouri, and hers came from San Francisco.”

Stevens said she did not realize that she was in for serious pain, discomfort in her legs and digestive problems after the surgery on Aug. 10, 2011. She said she felt pressured to return to work Sept. 6, before she was ready — even while her boss was still recovering at home. When Stevens went home sick three days after her return, she said, Brucia actually called her from home to berate her.

“She . . . said, ‘What are you doing? Why aren’t you at work?’ I told her I didn’t feel good,’’ Stevens told The Post. “She said, ‘You can’t come and go as you please. People are going to think you’re getting special treatment.’ ”

After Brucia returned to work, she’d yell at Stevens in front of co-workers over alleged mistakes, Stevens said.

Stevens said that her office and overtime were eventually taken away and that she was demoted to a dealership 50 miles from her home in a high-crime neighborhood that co-workers jokingly called “Siberia.’’ Experiencing mental anguish, she consulted a psychiatrist. and her lawyers wrote a letter to the company — after which Stevens was quickly fired, the papers state.

Brucia did not return phone calls from The Post. She was spotted outside her Babylon home Friday getting into a limo with plastic cups and what appeared to be a bottle of pink champagne.

Yesterday, her husband, James, told a reporter the claims were “far from the truth’’ but declined to say how. “She didn’t fire anybody,’’ he only said.

AAG also did not return a request for comment.

Stevens’ lawyer, Lenard Leeds, said he plans to file a discrimination lawsuit against AAG, and would likely seek millions of dollars in compensation.

Another lawyer for Stevens, Jason Barbara, added, “[Brucia] turns on her, and she should have been kissing her feet.’’

Still, Stevens said, “I have no regrets [that] I donated a kidney because it saved the life of a man in Missouri.’’

SHE ‘MEANS’ BUSINESS: Jackie Brucia allegedly fired Debbie Stevens from the car dealership where they worked in West Islip.
The World's Oldest Cave Engraving Is a Vagina

This is a wall engraving from Abri Castanet, a shallow cave in southern France's Vezere valley. It's the oldest known cave etching, probably dating back around 37,000 years—and the researchers claim it depicts female genitalia.

Since 1994, a team of researchers has moved its focus from the other oldest inhabited caves in France, at Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc. Instead, the team has settled down to work in Abri Castanet, and has found evidence of occupation dating back as far as 40,000 years.

Most recently, they discovered a portion of the cave that had been previously unexplored. They found a bunch of bones of reindeer and other animals, and when they carbon dated them, they all clustered in an age range dating them back 36,000 to 37,000 years.They also found these engravings—and so with, with some certainty, are able to claim that they are the oldest of their kind, at around 37,000 years old, a finding they report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. While it may sound tenuous, according to Science numerous academics agree that these are indeed the oldest engravings yet to be found. There are some older paintings we know of, but not engravings. But what about the content of the images? In fact, there's a long-standing history of artworks depicting female genitalia across ancient sites in France. Or, perhaps more accurately, there's a long-standing history of interpreting them as such. Harold Dibble, an archaeologist at the University of Pennsylvania, explained to Science that the concept of the images depicting female genitals may "tell us more about the people making those interpretations". Then again, if you'd spent the last 18 years digging through a remote cave system, you'd probably be seeing lady parts everywhere, too.

Woman drank litres of Coke every day before death

File photo / Thinkstock

A mother-of-eight who had an up to 10-litre a day Coca-Cola drinking habit never knew that excessive consumption of the beverage was contributing to her health problems, an inquest into her sudden death heard today.

The Otago-Southland coroner David Crerar heard that Natasha Marie Harris died, aged 30, after a cardiac arrest.

At the time of her death, her partner Chris Hodgkinson spoke out that it was the result of drinking too much Coca-cola and held the company responsible for her death, a claim Coca-Cola rejected but the company was sufficiently concerned that they hired a security firm to protect their Invercargill staff.

Hodgkinson told the court that she had been unwell up to a year before her death, including vomiting six times a week, but Ms Harris, himself and family members believed it was from the stress of managing her eight children and gynecological problems.

"She drank at least 10 litres a day. As a family we would buy four 2.5 litres a day, the maximum on special. The Coke would be for Natasha to consume over the course of the day.

The first thing she would do in the morning was have a drink of Coke and the last thing she would do in the day was have a drink of Coke by her bed.''

Police estimated she consumed, on average, seven litres a day.

He said she was addicted to Coke and without it she would get moody, irritable and be low in energy. Yet, he never suspected that the beverage was making her ill.

"I never thought about it. It's just a soft drink, just like drinking water. I didn't think a soft drink was going to kill her.''

Medical evidence stated that the main finding of death was from a cardiac arrhythmia.
Dr Dan Mornin told the court Harris probably had severe hypokalemia, a lack of potassium in the blood, relating to excessive consumption of soft-drink.

He said although it was difficult to confirm this from post-mortem tests, it was consistent with her symptoms of tiredness and lack of strength and other cases of heavy soft-drink consumers, and it was likely her daily vomiting was due to too much caffeine, medically known as caffeine toxicity.

Sex For Cheeseburgers: Christine Baker Offered Favors For Two Doubles, Cops Say

She was lovin' it a little too much.

Manatee resident Christine Faith Baker, 47, was arrested after she allegedly offered sexual favors for two McDonald's dollar-menu cheeseburgers, according to the Miami Herald.

An undercover officer invited Baker into his car on Friday and started talking about sex. Baker allegedly said that her fee was two McDoubles -- the dollar-menu version of a double cheeseburger -- costing a grand total of $2.75.

Of course, Baker was also allegedly looking for a tip of another $40 for her services, the Bradenton Herald reported.

The detective bought the burgers and drove to a vacant lot, where other agents arrested Baker on charges of prostitution. It's yet unclear whether she was allowed to eat the delicious doubles before she was taken to jail.

Baker was released on Saturday.

The US schools with their own police

The charge on the police docket was "disrupting class". But that's not how 12-year-old Sarah Bustamantes saw her arrest for spraying two bursts of perfume on her neck in class because other children were bullying her with taunts of "you smell".

"I'm weird. Other kids don't like me," said Sarah, who has been diagnosed with attention-deficit and bipolar disorders and who is conscious of being overweight. "They were saying a lot of rude things to me. Just picking on me. So I sprayed myself with perfume. Then they said: 'Put that away, that's the most terrible smell I've ever smelled.' Then the teacher called the police."

The policeman didn't have far to come. He patrols the corridors of Sarah's school, Fulmore Middle in Austin, Texas. Like hundreds of schools in the state, and across large parts of the rest of the US, Fulmore Middle has its own police force with officers in uniform who carry guns to keep order in the canteens, playgrounds and lessons. Sarah was taken from class, charged with a criminal misdemeanour and ordered to appear in court.

Each day, hundreds of schoolchildren appear before courts in Texas charged with offences such as swearing, misbehaving on the school bus or getting in to a punch-up in the playground. Children have been arrested for possessing cigarettes, wearing "inappropriate" clothes and being late for school.

In 2010, the police gave close to 300,000 "Class C misdemeanour" tickets to children as young as six in Texas for offences in and out of school, which result in fines, community service and even prison time. What was once handled with a telling-off by the teacher or a call to parents can now result in arrest and a record that may cost a young person a place in college or a job years later.

"We've taken childhood behaviour and made it criminal," said Kady Simpkins, a lawyer who represented Sarah Bustamantes. "They're kids. Disruption of class? Every time I look at this law I think: good lord, I never would have made it in school in the US. I grew up in Australia and it's just rowdy there. I don't know how these kids do it, how they go to school every day without breaking these laws."

The British government is studying the American experience in dealing with gangs, unruly young people and juvenile justice in the wake of the riots in England. The UK's justice minister, Crispin Blunt, visited Texas last September to study juvenile courts and prisons, youth gangs and police outreach in schools, among other things. But his trip came at a time when Texas is reassessing its own reaction to fears of feral youth that critics say has created a "school-to-prison pipeline". The Texas supreme court chief justice, Wallace Jefferson, has warned that "charging kids with criminal offences for low-level behavioural issues" is helping to drive many of them to a life in jail.

The Texas state legislature last year changed the law to stop the issuing of tickets to 10- and 11-year-olds over classroom behaviour. (In the state, the age of criminal responsibility is 10.) But a broader bill to end the practice entirely – championed by a state senator, John Whitmire, who called the system "ridiculous" – failed to pass and cannot be considered again for another two years.

Even the federal government has waded in, with the US attorney general, Eric Holder, saying of criminal citations being used to maintain discipline in schools: "That is something that clearly has to stop."

As almost every parent of a child drawn in to the legal labyrinth by school policing observes, it wasn't this way when they were young.

The emphasis on law and order in the classroom parallels more than two decades of rapid expansion of all areas of policing in Texas in response to misplaced fears across the US in the 1980s of a looming crime wave stoked by the crack epidemic, alarmist academic studies and the media.

"It's very much tied in with some of the hyperbole around the rise in juvenile crime rate that took place back in the early 90s," said Deborah Fowler, deputy director of Texas Appleseed, an Austin legal rights group, and principal author of a 200-page study of the consequences of policing in Texas schools. "They ushered in tough, punitive policies. It was all part of the tough-on-crime movement."

Part of that included the passing of laws that made the US the only developed country to lock up children as young as 13 for life without the possibility of parole, often as accomplices to murders committed by an adult.

As the hand of law and order grew heavier across Texas, its grip also tightened on schools. The number of school districts in the state with police departments has risen more than 20-fold over the past two decades.

"Zero tolerance started out as a term that was used in combating drug trafficking and it became a term that is now used widely when you're referring to some very punitive school discipline measures. Those two policy worlds became conflated with each other," said Fowler.

In the midst of that drive came the 1999 Columbine high school massacre, in which two students in Colorado shot dead 12 other pupils and a teacher before killing themselves. Parents clamoured for someone to protect their children and police in schools seemed to many to be the answer.

But most schools do not face any serious threat of violence and police officers patrolling the corridors and canteens are largely confronted with little more than boisterous or disrespectful childhood behaviour.

"What we see often is a real overreaction to behaviour that others would generally think of as just childish misbehaviour rather than law breaking," said Fowler. Tickets are most frequently issued by school police for "disruption of class", which can mean causing problems during lessons but is also defined as disruptive behaviour within 500ft (150 metres) of school property such as shouting, which is classified as "making an unreasonable noise".

Among the more extreme cases documented by Appleseed is of a teacher who had a pupil arrested after the child responded to a question as to where a word could be found in a text by saying: "In your culo (arse)", making the other children laugh. Another pupil was arrested for throwing paper aeroplanes.

Students are also regularly fined for "disorderly behaviour", which includes playground scraps not serious enough to warrant an assault charge or for swearing or an offensive gesture. One teenage student was arrested and sent to court in Houston after he and his girlfriend poured milk on each other after they broke up. Nearly one third of tickets involve drugs or alcohol. Although a relatively high number of tickets – up to 20% in some school districts – involve charges over the use of weapons, mostly the weapons used were fists.

The very young are not spared. According to Appleseed, Texas records show more than 1,000 tickets were issued to primary schoolchildren over the past six years (although these have no legal force at that age). Appleseed said that "several districts ticketed a six-year-old at least once in the last five years".

Fines run up to $500. For poorer parents, the cost can be crippling. Some parents and students ignore the financial penalty, but that can have consequences years down the road. Schoolchildren with outstanding fines are regularly jailed in an adult prison for non-payment once they turn 17. Stumping up the fine is not an end to the offending student's problems either. A class-C misdemeanour is a criminal offence.

"Once you pay it, that's a guilty plea and that's on your record," said Simpkins. "In the US we have these astronomical college and university expenses and you go to fill out the application to get your federal aid for that and it says have you ever been arrested. And there you are, no aid."

In Austin, about 3% of the school district's 80,000 pupils were given criminal citations in the 2007/8 school year, the last date for which figures are available. But the chances of a teenager receiving a ticket in any given year are much higher than that because citations are generally issued to high-school pupils, not those in kindergarten or primary school.

The result, says the Appleseed report, is that "school-to-prison pipeline" in which a high proportion of children who receive tickets and end up in front of a court are arrested time and again because they are then marked out as troublemakers or find their future blighted by a criminal record.

From her perch on the bench in an Austin courtroom, Judge Jeanne Meurer has spent close on 30 years dealing with children hauled up for infractions, some serious, others minor. Some of the difficulties faced by teachers can be seen as Meurer decides whether a parade of children should be released to await trial or held in custody. Meurer switches between motherly and intimidating depending on what she makes of the child before her.

"Some of them are rough kids," she said. "I've been on the bench 30 years and you used to never have a child cuss you out like you do now. I appreciate the frustrations that adults have in dealing with children who seem to have no manners or respect. But these are our future. Shouldn't we find a tool to change that dynamic versus just arresting them in school and coming down with the hard criminal justice hammer?"

Many of those who appear in front of Meurer have learning problems. Children with disabilities are particularly vulnerable to the consequences of police in schools. Simpkins describes the case of a boy with attention deficit disorder who as a 12-year-old tipped a desk over in class in a rage. He was charged with threatening behaviour and sent to a juvenile prison where he was required to earn his release by meeting certain educational and behavioural standards.

"But he can't," she said. "Because of that he is turning 18 within the juvenile justice system for something that happened when he was 12. It's a real trap. A lot of these kids do have disabilities and that's how they end up there and can't get out. Instead of dealing with it within school system like we used to, we have these school police, they come in and it escalates from there."

Sometimes that escalation involves force. "We had one young man with an IQ well below 70 who was pepper-sprayed in the hallway because he didn't understand what the police were saying," said Simpkins. "After they pepper-sprayed him he started swinging his arms around in pain and he hit one of the police officers – it's on video, his eyes were shut – and they charged him with assault of a public servant. He was 16. He was charged with two counts of assault of a public servant and he is still awaiting trial. He could end up in prison."

Austin's school police department is well armed with officers carrying guns and pepper spray, and with dog units on call for sniffing out drugs and explosives.

According to the department's records, officers used force in schools more than 400 times in the five years to 2008, including incidents in which pepper spray was fired to break up a food fight in a canteen and guns were drawn on lippy students.

In recent months the questionable use of force has included the tasering of a 16-year-old boy at a high school in Seguin, Texas, after "he refused to cooperate" when asked why he wasn't wearing his school identification tag. He then used "abusive language". The police said that when an officer tried to arrest the boy, he attempted to bite the policeman. The youth was charged with resisting arrest and criminal trespass even though the school acknowledges he is a student and was legitimately on the grounds.

Such cases are not limited to Texas. In one notorious instance in California, a school security officer broke the arm of a girl he was arresting for failing to clear up crumbs after dropping cake in the school canteen. In another incident, University of Florida campus police tasered a student for pressing Senator John Kerry with an awkward question at a debate after he had been told to shut up.

Sometimes the force is deadly. Last week, Texas police were accused of overreacting in shooting dead a 15-year-old student, Jaime Gonzalez, at a school in Brownsville after he pointed an air gun, which resembled a real pistol, at them outside the principal's office. The boy's father, also called Jaime, said the police were too quick to shoot to kill when they could have wounded him or used another means to arrest him. "If they would have tased him all this wouldn't have happened," he told the Brownsville Herald. "Like people say there's been stand-offs with people that have hostages for hours … But here, they didn't even give I don't think five minutes. No negotiating." The police say Gonzalez defied orders to put the gun down.

Meurer says she is not against police in schools but questions whether officers should regard patrolling the playground the same way they go about addressing crime on the streets.

"When you start going overboard and using laws to control non-illegal behaviour – I mean if any adult did it it's not going to be a violation – that's where we start seeing a problem," she says. "You've gradually seen this morphing from schools taking care of their own environments to the police and security personnel, and all of a sudden it just became more and more that we were relying on law enforcement to control everyday behaviour."

Chief Brian Allen, head of the school police department for the Aldine district and president of the Texas school police chiefs' association, is having none of it.

"There's quite a substantial number of students that break the law. In Texas and in the US, if you're issued a ticket, it's not automatically that you're found guilty. You have an opportunity to go before the judge and plead your case. If you're a teacher and a kid that's twice as big as you comes up and hits you right in the face, what are you going to do? Are you going to use your skills that they taught you or are you going to call a police officer?"

But Allen concedes that the vast majority of incidents in which the police become involved are for offences that regarded as little more than misbehaviour elsewhere.

"Just like anything else, sometimes mistakes are made." he said. "Each circumstance is different and there's no set guideline. There's also something called officer discretion. If you take five auto mechanics and ask them to diagnose the problem of a vehicle, you'll come up with five different solutions. If you ask five different doctors to diagnose a patient, a lot of times you'll have five different diagnoses. Conversely, if you ask five different police officers if they would write a ticket or not for the same offence, you possibly have five different answers."

Parents who have been sucked into the system, such as Jennifer Rambo, the mother of Sarah Bustamantes, wonder what happened to teachers taking responsibility for school discipline.

"I was very upset at the teacher because the teacher could have just stopped it. She could have said: OK class, that's enough. She could have asked Sarah for her perfume and told her that's inappropriate, don't do that in class. But she did none of that. She called the police," she says.

Politicians and civil liberties groups have raised the same question, asking if schools are not using the police to shift responsibility, and accountability, for discipline.

"Teachers rely on the police to enforce discipline," says Simpkins. "Part of it is that they're not accountable. They're not going to get into trouble for it. The parent can't come in and yell at them. They say: it's not us, it's the police."

That view is not shared by an Austin teacher who declined to be named because he said he did not want to stigmatise the children in his class.

"There's this illusion that it's just a few kids acting up; kids being kids. This is not the 50s. Too many parents today don't control their children. Their fathers aren't around. They're in gangs. They come in to the classroom and they have no respect, no self-discipline. They're doing badly, they don't want to learn, they just want to disrupt. They can be very threatening," he says. "The police get called because that way the teacher can go on with teaching instead of wasting half the class dealing with one child, and it sends a message to the other kids."

The Texas State Teachers Association, the state's main teachers union, did not take a position on ticketing at the recent debate in the legislature over Whitmire's proposal to scrap it. But the association's Clay Robison says that most teachers welcome the presence of police in schools.

"Obviously it looks as if some police officers are overreacting at some schools. I'm a parent and I wouldn't want my 17-year-old son hauled in to court if he and another student got in to an argument in a cafeteria. Police officers need to exercise a little bit of common sense but the police are what they are. They enforce the law," he says. "At the same time, years ago, at a school in one of the better neighbourhoods of Austin, a teacher was shot to death in his classroom. It's still a very rare occurrence but it does happen. Anything that increases the security of the teacher is good so they don't have to worry about personal safety and they can concentrate on teaching the kids. We get complaints from some teachers that the police aren't aggressive enough at moving against some of the older juveniles, those that they feel actually do pose a danger to the teachers or the other students."

Because of Sarah Bustamentes's mental disorders, a disability rights group took up her case and after months of legal battles prosecutors dropped the charges. Ask her how she feels about police in schools after her experience and she's equivocal.

"We need police in school. In my school it can get physical and it can turn out very bad," she says. "But they should stop issuing tickets. Only for physical stuff or bullying. Not what you do in class."

Austrian village considers a F**king name change

An Austrian village with an amusingly obscene name has decided to throw in the towel and vote on whether to change it.

The 100 odd residents of Fucking, in Upper Austria, are to vote this week on whether to change their hamlet's name to something less attractive to English-speaking visitors, the Daily Telegraph reports.

The vote comes eight years after the village defiantly voted to keep its name, despite a spate of thefts of its road signs, largely attributed to itinerant snickering Brits. Clearly, the neighbouring villages of Franking, Hucking and Pfaffing just don't have the same problem.

At the time, Mayor Siegfried Hauppl asked visitors to lay off the signs. These had first become prize swag after British and US soldiers passing through in 1945 illuminated the locals as to the English meaning of Fucking.

Hauppl explained back in 2005: "We had a vote last year on whether to rename the town, but decided to keep it as it is. After all, Fucking has existed for 800 years, probably when a Mr Fuck or the Fuck family moved into the area. The 'ing' was added as a word for settlement."

However, the attentions of Anglo-linguists has now extended to swarms of half-naked women having their pictures taken next to the town's road signs, while the cost of replacing stolen signs continues to mount.

Consequently, Fucking's frustrated burghers are considering whether to substitute a g, or even two gs, for the crucial ck sound.

This could broadly solve the problem, though at the expense of making the town a magnet for fans of British satirical magazine, Private Eye. ®

City Mistakenly Plants Marijuana Field Instead of Lawn

After the city spread soil containing "grass" seeds around the Brateyevo metro station, a field of marijuana plants sprouted up instead of a lawn.

But don't go rushing over there with your bong.

Federal agents have already uprooted more than 230 of the illicit weeds, RIA-Novosti reported Thursday, citing the Federal Drug Control Service.

The Brateyevo metro station is under construction in the city's south end. Workers had filled the area with the soil as part of the development project.

The soil is currently being replaced. An investigation is under way to determine its supplier as well as why it was filled with the seeds of a psychotropic plant that can also be turned into practical items such as rope, lip balm and clothing.

Baffling Illness Strikes Africa, Turns Children Into Mindless "Zombies"

World Health Organization is on high alert about new Ugandan outbreak, cause is not fully known

It's called the "nodding disease" and it's a baffling illness that has struck thousands of children in northern Uganda.  The illness brings on seizures, violent behavior in some (debated), personality changes, and a host of other unusual symptoms.

I. Mental Degradation: Child Victims Have no Cure, no Future

Grace Lagat, a northern Uganda native, is mother of two children -- Pauline Oto and Thomas -- both of whom are victims of the disease.  For their safety, when she leaves the house, she now ties them up, using fabric like handcuffs.  She recalls, "When I am going to the garden, I tie them with cloth. If I don't tie them I come back and find that they have disappeared."

Reportedly the children gnaw at their fabric restraints, like a rabid animals -- or "zombies" of popular fiction -- in an attempt  to escape.  (This is based on CNN's commentary.)

(Jason Oh points out that the restraints are intended to protect the chidlren from harm, and from starting fires.)

The effort to restrain the children is not unwarranted.  In one of the most bizarre symptoms of this tragic illness, children with the disease are reportedly setting fire to buildings in their communities.  Coupled with the aimless wandering this disease provokes in victims, this is a deadly combination.  More than 200 people have been killed in fires believed to be set by the zombified children.

(According to Jason Oh, there have been few reports of violent behavior.  It is unclear where our primary source CNN received this information, though a reader suggested that a CDC report indicated that 10 to 15 percent of children were found to exhibit increased aggression.  We were unable to locate this report.)

The disease is not new.  It popped up in the 1960s in Sudan.  From there it slowly spread to Libya and Tanzania.  

The Uganda infections, though, are a new outbreak -- a troubling sign.  The jump into a new region could be pure coincidence, or it could indicate the disease has become more virulent or found a new transmissions vector.
Infected children typically have regular seizures, which are proceeded by a repetitive nodding of the head.  This characteristic symptom has given rise to the unofficial title for the malady.

II. World Medical Organizations Racing for a Cure

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) have been tracking the spread of this frightening ailment.  Dr. Joaquin Saweka says the scene in Uganda is horrific, stating, "It was quite desperate, I can tell you.  Imagine being surrounded by 26 children and 12 of them showing signs of this. The attitude was to quickly find a solution to the problem."

Yet the WHO and CDC are not fully sure what is causing the illness, which cripples children and turns them into mindless, violence-prone zombies.  The best clue they have is that most of the cases occur in regions inhabited by "Black flies", which carry the parasitic worm Onchocerca Volvulus.  That worm is responsible for another dangerous disease dubbed "river blindness", the world's second leading cause of infectious blindness.

(Jason Oh states that CNN misunderstood this reference.  While it's true the cause of the disease is unknown and the literature papers on the topic indicate an overlap with part of the river blindness afflicted regions, but he feels this reference was only intended to "state the obvious", not hypothesize causation.)
The illness may have something to do with Black flies (left, center) and their parasitic worm (right). [Image Source: WHO (left), Wikimedia Commons (center), Human Healths (right)]

However 7 percent of infected children live in regions not inhabited by the Black fly, so a link is speculative at best.

Children with the disease also frequently exhibit vitamin B6 deficiency, leading medical experts to believe that the disease may be nutrition related.  However, infections by microbes, parasites, fungi, or even fungi/microbes carried by a parasitic host, can all lead to nutritional deficiencies.

Dr. Scott Dowell, director of global disease detection and emergency response at CDC, says the race is on to determine the cause and a cure.  He states, "At first we cast the net wide. We ruled out three dozen potential causes and we are working on a handful of probabilities.  We know from past experience an unknown disease could end up having more global implications."

In the current cases children as old as 19 have been found to be stricken, with the majority of the worst symptoms being spread over the 3-11 age range.

One mystery surrounding the disease is the seizures themselves.  While typically seizures are either randomly occurring or follow some singular cue/pattern, the nodding disease seems to have multiple triggers, including eating new foods, changing weather, and other changes.

(Jason Oh says CNN reporters messed up and that it's familiar foods trigger the seizures, not unfamiliar ones like bars of chocolate.)

Seizure often leave the children soiled with urine and drooling.  Local nurses are afraid to touch the infected.  States local nurse Elupe Petua, "I feel, because I don't know what causes it, I don't even know how it transmits, when I touch them I feel that I can also get the infection because I don't know what causes it."

III. Medication is Ineffective

Anti-epileptic medication slows the onset of symptoms, but is unable to stop the progression of the disease.  The seizures eventually leave many children unable to walk, only able to drag their bodies along the ground as flies tried to attack them. (Jason Oh says that the diseases offers a tragic, slow mental degradation, taking years to develop.  Affected children, embarassed about the nodding and afraid of infecting classmates often drop out of school, while still mentally capable.  Eventually the seizures lead to the more severe symptoms mentioned in the intro -- loss of speech, partial paralysis, personality changes, and -- according to CNN -- violence.)

The government of Uganda has come under criticism for not being vocal enough in addressing the tragedy and demanding foreign aid/research expertise.  Local politicians have taken to transporting victims from affected villages by bus to city hospitals in order to force the issue into the eyes of the more affluent city-dwellers.

(Jason Oh adds some perspective writing, "Uganda had asked the CDC to investigate in 2009.  Most of the backlash against the government is because the Ministry of Health has been slow to use emergency funds that the Parliament made available.  They've established many local centers for Nodding Syndrome, but they are under-staffed and under-equipped.  The kids are being referred to and transported to Mulago Hospital (famous for being in The Last King of Scotland) so the top doctors at Makerere University and in Kampala can monitor them.")

The issue is yet another woe for a nation in which the impoverished majority was terrorized for years by warlord Jospeph Kony's militia, dubbed the "Lord's Resistance Army."

IV. What if the "Nodding Disease" Found a Way to Reach the U.S.?

Dr. Saweka says that for all the hand-waving by the government about using better anti-epileptics and offering more funding, he appreciates and shares in the villagers frustration.  He states, "People complain that it looks like the lives in developing countries have less value than the lives in the western countries. When you know the root cause, you address the cure. Now you are just relieving the symptoms. We don't expect to cure anybody."
While the "First World" may not be focused on -- or even aware of -- the zombification that is leaving children in these African nations violent (debated), crippled shells of their former selves -- tied like dogs -- it is an issue that must be addressed.  After all, viruses, bacteria, parasites thanks to the wonders of evolution can mutate and adapt to new environments and new transmission vectors.

Thus this zombie virus  While reports of violence or strange behavior -- like biting -- are disputed, the disease is very serious.  It may seem like a foreign issue to regions like the U.S. and EU who are struggling with their own financial crisises.  But if the illness finds a way to broaden its spread, this outbreak could cripple children across the globe.

(A word of clarification... CNN has reworded their report slightly to tone down the suggestion of violent behavior.  The reports of fire starting stand, but in the new context it's possible these were just innocent accidents triggered by the childrens' loss of coordination.
Woman sues 11-year-old Little Leaguer who accidently hit her with thrown ball

Matthew Migliaccio was playing catcher, warming up his pitcher in the bullpen during a Little League game, when his return throw accidentally went over the pitcher’s head and struck a woman in the face who was sitting nearby. So the woman, Elizabeth Lloyd, is doing the normal thing — she’s suing an 11-year-old for $150,000. She’s also seeking an undefined additional amount for pain and suffering.

The lawsuit filed April 24 alleges Migliaccio’s errant throw was intentional and reckless, “assaulted and battered” Lloyd and caused “severe, painful and permanent” injuries.

Oh, and Lloyd’s husband has filed a separate lawsuit, claiming the loss of “services, society and consortium” of his wife. In legalese, “loss of consortium” means, I think, he’s no longer getting sex.

They’ve demanded a jury trial. As John Cleese (as Robin Hood) said in Time Bandits: “What awful people.”

This all happened in Manchester Township, N.J. Manchester Little League has accident insurance, but that only covers players and coaches, so they have denied coverage. The attorney for the player’s family is, as you may have guessed, somewhat indignant.

“I just think that it’s disgusting that you have people suing an 11-year-old kid for overthrowing his pitcher in the bullpen,” Anthony Pagano, a lawyer for the Migliaccio family, said. “It’s horrible this can actually happen and get this far. Ultimately, hopefully, justice will prevail.”

The lawsuit claims that Matthew was throwing the ball in a “reckless and negligent” manner, when in fact his father said he wasn’t horsing around, but just warming up the pitcher as his coach told him to do. One throw happened to get away … and if that’s a basis for a lawsuit, then the Giants are in serious trouble.

Rubbery Japanese Lips Claim To Slim Your Face, Definitely Make You Look Stupid

Now you can exercise your face and look like a blow-up doll at the same time.

Japan Trend Shop is a web retailer that sells -- among other things -- a whole bunch of wacky health and beauty products that offer unconventional alternatives to plastic surgery. (More on those shortly.)

Among the weirdest is the "Face Slimmer Exercise Mouthpiece," a silicone rubber device that supposedly targets "sagging facial skin and muscles" by essentially providing a bit for the user to maw on like a teething child.
From the website:

Just three minutes per day is all you need; pop in the mold and then make mouth movements. The makers recommend you say vowel sounds out loud over and over again, producing regular and methodical exercises that will strength the twelve facial expression muscles in a comprehensive way.

Okay. But does it work? A reporter for the Daily Mail gave the lips a two-week trial. Although she reported subtle differences, including a "plumper and more toned" face, the supposed benefits of the fad product did not outweigh the fact that using it made her feel like a complete idiot.

"[It's] oversized sugar-pink lips... would be more at home in a horror movie than in a family bathroom... [It] makes me dribble unattractively."

For $85, it doesn't look like the Face Slimmer is worth it -- even for the sake of novelty. But Japan Trend Shop has other products that are even more dubious.

There's the electric boob-roller that promises to "stimulate breast growth and firmness" (special "bust cream" included):
Woman Cooks Meth for Six Hours in Tulsa Wal-Mart

In Tulsa, Oklahoma, cops pinched a woman after six hours of uninterrupted meth production. No, she wasn't in any sort of lab—she was cooking in Wal-Mart, no Lil B. Cops are making the rather classist-sounding claim that because she couldn't afford to buy any of the chemicals, she was simply helping herself to what was on hand. To each according to his need.

One arresting officer suffered minor chemical burns apprehending the industrious cooker. Another historical marker in Wal-Mart history is made.

Chinese university asks students to sign 'suicide waiver'

The City College of Dongguan University of Technology, in the Guangdong province, has been distributing a "student management and self discipline agreement."

A Chinese university has asked students to sign a waiver taking responsibility for their own injury and suicide.

The City College of Dongguan University of Technology, in the Guangdong province, has been distributing a "student management and self discipline agreement" that requires students not to hold the university responsible if they injure themselves or commit suicide on campus, according to China Daily.

More than 5,000 freshmen have signed the contract.

The notion isn't uncommon – last March, the South China Morning Post reported that the Shandong Jianzhu University in Jinan asked about 20,000 students to sign a similar waiver, absolving the university of responsibility for suicide and self-inflicted injuries.

The waivers may have been implemented because China is reported to have the highest suicide rate in the world, with 22 people per 100,000 taking their own lives, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Based on this number, 287,000 Chinese commit suicide each year.

Still, some parents think the measure is too harsh.

"I think this kind of agreement is irresponsible and unfair…" Ms. Li, a Chinese parent, told Time magazine. She refused to release her full name. "The school should provide counseling services and other help for students instead of trying to absolve themselves of responsibility even before anything has happened.

Teen bank robber from Nebraska brags about crime on YouTube video

The self-described ‘Chick bank robber’ flashed her stolen loot on video – now she faces time behind bars.

A brazen Nebraska bank robbery ended with the arrest of a teenage girl who boasted on YouTube about carrying out the crime.

Hannah Sabata, 19, faces theft and robbery charges in connection with the Nov. 28 holdup at a Cornerstone Bank in Waco, Neb. Sabata was also allegedly driving a stolen car, what she described as a “shiny” Pontiac Grand Am.

The teen doesn’t speak during the eight minute video, but instead holds up handwritten signs about her alleged crimes and then fans out a stack of cash.

The title of the video is “Chick bank robber,” and the description says “I just stole a car and robbed a bank. Now I'm rich, I can pay off my college financial aid and tomorrow I’m going for a shopping spree.”

But those grand plans were foiled by Sabata’s almost comically bad judgment, including wearing the same clothes in the video that she wore to rob the bank of more than $6,000, police said.

The suspect pointed what appeared to be a gun and handed tellers a note that said “You are being robbed! NO ALARMS OR LOCKS OR PHONES or INK BAGS! I have a loaded gun. You have 2 minutes,” deputies told NTV.

It was unclear how Sabata intends to plead. The name of her attorney was not immediately known.

In her accidental confession video, Sabata is seen sitting on the floor of what appears to be a bedroom with the band Green Day playing in the background. She says the gun she brandished was fake and she holds up a sign to the camera saying "I told my mom today was the best day of my life... she just thinks I met a new boy."

She also indicates that she had just smoked marijuana and would be able to buy more with her newfound cash.

Sabata also makes an excuse for the crimes, saying the government took her baby away and that the "system is a game."

Authorities have recovered all but $30 of the stolen funds, local media reported.  The video will be used as part of the evidence against her, law enforcement said.

Bond was set at $300,000.

Her next court appearance is set for Dec. 26.

School set up "controlled self harm" policy for pupil

A specialist school is under investigation after setting up a “controlled self harm” policy to allow a teenage pupil to cut herself with razor blades.

Teachers were told to give the female pupil access to sterilised Bic safety razor blades and to escort her to a bathroom where she could cut herself.

They were ordered to wait outside the bathroom while the child was inside, checking on her every two minutes, before the wounds were dressed and cleaned by staff.

The policy is understood to have been designed by the school in collaboration with the pupil’s mother.

However, it was abandoned after five days after several members of staff protested and complained to the local authority.

Unsted Park School in Godalming, Surrey, offers education to boys and girls aged between seven and 19 years who have Asperger's syndrome and higher-functioning autism.

Principal Steve Dempsey and head teacher Laura Blair now face the possibility of being brought before a Teaching Agency hearing over allegations of unacceptable professional conduct.

A spokeswoman for the Priory Group, which is responsible for running the school, said that both Surrey County Council and Ofsted, the schools regulator, had investigated the concerns but took no further action.

She said: “This was a short-term, local procedure introduced by the head teacher and school principal who genuinely believed it was in the best interests of the pupil.

“However, they accept that the procedure should not have been implemented without further approvals having been obtained from key stakeholders and senior management prior to its introduction.”

The case is being reviewed by the Teaching Agency, which took over from the General Teaching Council last year. A panel will decide whether any further action will be taken.

A spokeswoman from charity Selfharm.co.uk said that controlled self-harm had proven to be effective in some areas, under the correct supervision, but she added that she would be “deeply concerned” if a school was trying to manage such a scheme.

“Taking it away from them without replacing it with something else can actually bring on a desperate kind of depression that could make them slide from self-harm to having suicidal ideation,” she said.

Unsted Park School was ranked good with outstanding features in its last Ofsted inspection, published in February.

The report said: "There are robust risk assessments and health and safety processes which protect young people from harm.

"The behaviour management system at the school is outstanding. Boarders have individual behaviour plans which operate on a traffic light system and clearly identify triggers and strategies for addressing these.”

A spokesman for the Teaching Agency said they were unable to comment on ongoing investigations.

A father has been arrested after beating a naked prowler he found peering into his daughter's window...and he could face a LONGER sentence than the peeping tom

An Albuquerque, New Mexico dad who found a naked prowler peering into his young daughter's room will face charges after seriously beating the peeping tom.

Police say Emilio Chavez III found 29-year-old Dylan Maho naked and making noises near a little girl's window when he chose to exact vigilante justice and beat Maho so badly he was taken to the hospital.

While both men could be convicted of felonies, Chavez could potentially get a longer sentence for what he did to the intruder.

'There's a naked man outside his daughter's window,' Chavez's neighbor Bill Morang told KOAT. 'I think he was well within his rights chasing him down and beating him.'

But the district attorney disagrees. Though police initially let the irate father go free after questioning, he is now charged with aggrevated battery, a felony.

Maho, who remained in the hospital Monday but was upgraded to stable condition, will be formally charged with felony voyeurism upon his release.

According to Justia.com, Chavez could be convicted of a third degree felony. That means he could face up to three years in jail.

The charges against Maho, which amount to a fourth degree felony, a lesser charge than Chavez's, can mean between one and two years in jail.

Chavez told KRQE that he was so angry that night of the alleged intrusion that he doesn't even remember assaulting the man.

Meanwhile, this isn't the first run-in the neighborhood has had with the peeping tom.

'They call him the nudist around here' Morang told KOB.com. 'Apparently he's been looking in other peoples' windows.'

Morang, himself a father, believes the nude man is the same one he says holds sexual parties at a nearby home that he calls 'swinger' parties.

Morang also claims he's found condom rappers in the street and maintained Chavez did exactly what he should have done.

'I would've done a little worse than what happened to him and I think any man or dad would do the same,' Morang said. 'I feel bad for the other guy and I hope nothing bad happens to him for protecting his family. I think he did what's right.'

Playground Closed Due To Chicken Manure Spill in Pennsylvania

MEYERSDALE, Pa. — A southwestern Pennsylvania borough has indefinitely closed a playground because of lingering contamination from a chicken manure spill last month.

The (Somerset) Daily American ( ) reports the Meyersdale borough council voted Tuesday night to close the Paul E. Fuller playground. http://bit.ly/18c0rNW

The manure spilled on a hill above the playground Aug. 23, and water flows onto the playground when it rains, apparently carrying bacteria from the manure. Borough workers treated the area with lime, but say bacteria counts including salmonella haven't decreased.

Councilman Roger Miller says his own unscientific methods have confirmed those findings saying, "My nose tells me there's a problem out there."

Miller asked a borough worker about the results of recent bacteria tests and says he was told, "You don't want to know."


Information from: Daily American, http://www.dailyamerican.com

FLORIDA: CAIR FAILS to get Palm Beach County Administrator to take “disciplinary action” against an employee who posted the truth about Islam on his personal Facebook page

Palm Beach County Administrator Bob Weisman says he will not take disciplinary action against a public affairs employee who posted an anti-Islamic message on his Facebook page.
CAIR  WPTV-Channel 5 reported Thursday that John Jamason, manager of the county’s media and public information division, posted: “Never forget. There is no such thing as radical Islam. All Islam is radical. There may be Muslims who don’t practice their religion, much like others. The Quran is a book that preaches hate.” Weisman said that the county would not take action against Jamason because the “comments relating to Islam were private and not made during county work time or on county equipment.” Jamason did not return a call for comment Wednesday.
One of the state’s leading Muslim groups, the Council on American-Islamic Relations Florida Inc., said the post could affect Jamason’s ability to work with other employees or respond to Muslim residents. Last week, Nezar Hamze’s (photo above) group submitted a lengthy public records request to the county asking for a host of data relating to Jamason’s county email address and use of social media sites at work. The county is in the process of responding to that request. ”We are investigating,” Hamze said. Hamze was the one who took on Allen West…and was humiliated by him in a Townhall meeting as well as in a letter
CAIR Nazis demand Florida official be fired for anti-Islam comment made on his own personal Facebook page made on his own computer on his own time CAIR is threatening to use the Freedom of Information Act to search everything this Public Information Officer has ever said about the quran and Islam to see if it influenced the way he performs his job. Nothing the official said about Islam is incorrect or untrue.
Ania Lisewska's proposed 100,000-men sex marathon is arousing controversy in Egypt, one of the places where she is allegedly planning to visit.

When a Polish woman announced that she planned to have sex with 100,000 men of all races, creeds and colors, some people laughed, some people thought she was out of her mind, and others thought she was just another attention-starved hoaxer.

But a few Egyptian Islamists are warning her to stay away from their country.

Back in May, Ania Lisewska, a 21-year-old graphic designer in Warsaw, decided to attempt the massive man marathon in what she described as a statement about sex positivity.

"I want men from Poland, Europe and all around the world. I love sex, fun and men," she said. "In Poland the subject of sex is still taboo and anyone who wants to fulfill their sexual fantasies is considered a deviant, a whore or mentally ill."

Lisewska tells the Huffington Post that in recent weeks, she has received offers from around the world, including the U.S., Brazil and, most recently, Egypt.

Mohammad Abdel Moneim, a man who told Lisewska that he works in Egypt's hospitality industry, has reportedly offered to bring her to the country, according to Eram News, an Arab language website.

The website quotes Moneim as saying that Lisewska was excited about visiting Egypt, because of what she heard "about the beauty and greatness of this country dating back to thousands of years" -- and the virility of its men.

The Huffington Post could not reach Moneim.

Nevertheless, the reports that Lisewska might be coming to Egypt has spurred anger among Islamists, according to AlArabiya.net.

The website noted that many of the user comments on various Arab language websites regarding Lisewska shared the sentiments of a user who said she was “Despicable like your master.”

Lisewska is taking the negativity in stride.

"I am considering many offers," she told Huffington Post by email. "Some Arabs are threatening me, while others are encouraging me to come. I can deal with the uproar."

AlArabiya.net also noted that other users posted their mobile phone numbers in hopes Lisewska might call them personally.

One commenter pointed out the hypocrisy of Muslim Brotherhood supporters who claim to be defending religion while eagerly reading an article about a woman attempting to have sex with as many men as possible.

Another user angrily replied to that argument with this rejoinder: “So what if someone reads the article, we are not watching porn movies here!”

Although she claims she is not charging for sex, Lisewska is looking for sponsors willing to fly her to various ports of call where she meet her potential sex partners.

Without the funds to turn this sex romp into a full-time endeavor. Lisewska's lusty hobby has been limited to weekends in Poland.

"I have my entire life to do this, so I'm in no rush," she told The Huffington Post. "Up to now, there have been 424. The most was 35 men in 8 hours."

She is allotting at least 20 minutes for each sexual encounter, so she isn't expecting to celebrate the end to this marathon anytime soon.

Would you sell your soul to the devil to get Justin Bieber tickets? Apparently some Norwegian ‘Beliebers’ would, converting to Islam for a chance at the coveted tickets.
CANADA: Arab (Muslim?) stabs firefighter to death at cafe for no apparent reason

An off-duty firefighter has died after being stabbed in the head “without provocation” several times at a Danforth café, Toronto police said. Dominic Parker, 45, died from his wounds in hospital after he was attacked by Nabil Hurhuy, 23. There is a mosque very close to this cafe.
Nabil Hurhuy, 23, was arrested in Scarborough Saturday afternoon and charged with first-degree murder, two counts of carrying a concealed weapon and one count of carrying a dangerous weapon.


Parker decided to stop by Rotana Café first, where he knows the owner. It was while sitting on a couch sipping tea that Mr. Parker was stabbed repeatedly in the head by a stranger with a Muslim-sounding name. “Police are calling it a completely random act of violence,” Mr. Michaels said. (CRAP! It’s the jihad, stupid) It’s unclear how many times Mr. Parker was stabbed but his most serious injury was a knife wound that went through the back of his head and through his brain, Mr. Michaels said. Mr. Parker was taken to St. Michael’s Hospital around 2 a.m., and died from severe head wounds shortly after midnight Sunday. Police have charged a 23-year-old man with first-degree murder. “The family is completely devastated to have their husband and father completely ripped out of their lives so violently and so fast,” said Jay Michaels, the media representative of Mr. Parker’s family. Mr. Parker had been married for 23 years to his high school sweetheart and has two daughters, 18 and 19, both of whom are in their first year at Concordia University in Montreal.

A woman in northern China has had to receive hospital treatment after a snake preserved in rice wine jumped out of the bottle and bit her hand.

According to the Global Times, the surprise attack happened when the woman, surnamed Liu, from Shuangcheng went to top up the bottle with more wine.

Remarkably, the snake, which had been pickling for three months, was still alive.

Liu, who received treatment at a local hospital for inflammation, had bought the snake wine to try and cure her rheumatism.

It is a widely held belief in China that such wines boast medicinal properties

This is not the first incident of a pickled snake seemingly coming back to life.

One Mr Zhang of Hubei Province was bitten by a snake in 2009 that had been preserved in a bottle of rice wine for two months.

While in 2001, a villager from Guangxi Zhuang died a day after being bitten from a pickled snake.

Pregnant women who eat chicken wings have sons 'with small genitals', claim pressure group PETA

Women who eat chicken while pregnant give birth to boys with smaller penises, according to 'shock-tactic' animal rights group Peta.

In an attempt to ruffle feathers at last weekend's National Buffalo Wings Festival, in Buffalo, New York, Peta wrote to organisers to warn of the effects of the chemical phthalate which is found in chicken flesh.

The letter from Peta’s Lindsay Rajt, to festival founder Drew Cerza, reads: 'The latest scientific evidence shows that the sons of pregnant women who consume chicken are more likely to have smaller penises because of a chemical found in the birds’ flesh.

'In addition, eating cholesterol-laden chicken flesh during pregnancy may also increase unborn babies’ risk of being born with blocked arteries, which can lead to strokes and heart attacks later in life.'

But don't toss out that drumstick just yet.

According to Woman's Health magazine, the research was for the Study for Future Families did not actually look at chicken consumption at all.

While it did identify a link with prenatal phthalate exposure and penis size, chicken was not found to be a food with particularly high levels of the chemical, with spices and fast food packaging being the worst culprits.

Shanna Swan Ph.D., a professor in the department of preventive medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, who conducted the research PETA cites, told Women's Health: 'I think any link between eating buffalo wings—even by pregnant women—and the size of their son’s genitals is very tenuous.'

Peta are known for using controversial tactics to highlight the issue of animal suffering including nude models, throwing buckets of blood and a children's comic entitled Your Mommy Kills Animals.

However it appears their latest stunt failed to deter food fans at the Buffalo Wings festival with an estimated 40 tons of chicken wings being consumed.

And in a potentially Peta-pleasing gesture, a meatless alternative was offered for the first time in the festival's 12 year history.

Whoops! Surf City Riot Suspect Arrested After 'Liking' His Own Photo On Police Facebook Page

It turned out to be pretty easy to track down some of the suspects in last month's riots in Huntington Beach: some couldn't resist bragging about what happened after the U.S. Open of Surfing.

One suspect in particular made it really easy. Last week the Huntington Beach Police Department posted photos of 25 suspects on Facebook and asked for the public's help identifying them. Two days after the photos were posted, a friend of Luis Enrique Rodriguez, 18, of Anaheim tagged him in the comments of the photo above. Rodriguez responded by liking the post and sharing it on Facebook. Police say that made it pretty easy to track him down.

Yesterday the Anaheim Police Department arrested Rodriguez who is being charged with vandalism, according to Huntington Beach PD's Facebook page. He's accused of writing "fuck the pigs" on police squad cars that responded to the scene of the riot. There's another photo of him on his Facebook profile that features him sitting on top of a squad car that same day—or at least in the same clothes. (Eds. note: a previous post included the a photo that was not Rodriguez but we've swapped in the correct one at right.)

via Facebook

Rodriguez wasn't the only one who couldn't resist sharing his exploits on social media. West Covina resident Niko Johnson, 18, bragged on Twitter about being Huntington Beach's Most Wanted and was later arrested for participating in the riots.

In the days since posting the pictures, Huntington Beach police arrested two other suspects. On August 11, they arrested Anthony Abadier, 20, of Huntington Beach at his home. He's accused of using his skateboard to smash up newspaper stands. On August 11, an unnamed 17-year-old from West Covina turned himself in after detectives contacted his family. He's accused of damaging porta-potties and attempting to tip over a public works truck.

                           Verizon Customers are all Terrorists

Are you a Verizon customer? If yes, then great, you probably have great service. Their new Share Everything plan comes with unlimited talk, text, data, and NSA wiretaps.

Public outcry over privacy concerns has soared after The Guardian released a top-secret document detailing a court order for Verizon to hand over call records to the American National Security Agency. The mandate was not just a one-time deal either. The court order is currently “ongoing” and on a “daily basis”.

The surveillance conducted sounds like a tale from a dystopian novel but the fact is that Verizon has already released millions of records. The information disclosed includes numbers called or texted, duration, and time. The White House claims that there are strict controls in place that prevent civil liberties from being violated.

White House officials are shifting blame to Congress by saying, “The intelligence community is conducting court-authorized intelligence activities pursuant to public statute with the knowledge and oversight of Congress”.

Some surveillance experts are claiming that the government has been stretching the definition of 'relevance' to conduct large scale wiretapping of the public. The secret interpretation of the “public statute” mentioned in the top-secret document appears to sidestep any pretense of explicit suspicion and allow blanket surveillance of innocent people.

Man who caught boys trashing home he was renovating now faces jail for halting destructive rampage

Jesse Daniels, of Clyde, N.Y., is facing child endangerment charges after he caught four little boys in the act of trashing a home he was renovating and then put them in a closet until police arrived. The little vandals' parents say Daniels was too rough on their boys.

Upon entering, he found four boys, ages 8 and 10, smashing walls, windows and fixtures with hammers.

Dirty words for women were also spray painted on the walls.

"One person was sitting on the floor and the other ones were swinging, just swinging crazy," Daniels told WHAM television.

"So I grab the one hammer and the other three (boys) got hammers … I said you guys put that stuff down, what are you doing?" he said.

"I was fortunate that they were in that room that had a closet, so I put them in the closet."

Police arrived and the boys were arrested. They've been charged with burglary and criminal mischief, according to local reports.

But now the boys' parents say Daniels threatened their sons, shoved them and even grabbed one of them by the throat.

Paul Bowler, father to two of the little goons, showed WHAM a photo of red marks on his son's neck.

"They're traumatized, they haven't been to school they don't sleep until the sun comes up," Bowler told the station.

Daniels has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child and is due back in court later this month.

He estimated that the little terrors caused $40,000 worth of damage to the home.

Police told the Times the rampage started because the boys were angry that Daniels' wife had told them to stay out of her yard earlier that day.

FALSE RAPE REPORT: Happens more often than you'd think...


UCSB Student Heads to Trial for False Rape Report

The trial for a UCSB student charged with filing a false police report after orchestrating a violent and bizarre series of events in Santa Cruz this February is scheduled to begin May 23.

Morgan Triplett, 20, told authorities she was beaten and raped by a stranger as she looked for banana slugs along a path on the UC Santa Cruz (UCSC) campus. She had traveled there for a lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender conference. Over the course of their investigation, detectives determined Triplett had actually hired a man through Craigslist to beat her in exchange for sex. While the motive remains unclear, authorities have speculated she organized the entire affair in an attempt to save a troubled relationship.

In the criminal complaint, Santa Cruz County Assistant District Attorney Johanna Schonfield claims that Triplett called 9-1-1 on February 17 to report she had been raped. Law enforcement arrived on the scene, interviewed Triplett, found no suspects, and sent her to a nearby hospital for a sexual assault exam. But, the complaint explains, Triplett refused to give the nurse her clothing despite being told it could contain evidence, and she asked that DNA samples not be sent to the Department of Justice, “which raised red flags in the minds of the investigators.”

Triplett helped a forensic artist sketch an image of the supposed suspect that was then disseminated to the public. As a result, several people were detained and questioned. Parents pulled their children out of school, Schonfield said, and “widespread fear” permeated the community.

Over the next few weeks, “police learned Ms. Triplett has a history of lying, particularly in efforts to save troubled relationships,” Schonfield wrote. The day before she filed the report, Triplett and her boyfriend at the time had broken up. “In response to the ending of this relationship, she claimed she was pregnant with her boyfriend’s child, which was not true,” the complaint reads. “She also previously had told this boyfriend her father had suffered from a heart attack, which he had not, that she had been lost in the desert with amnesia, and that she had ovarian cancer, none of which was true.”

That same day — February 16 — Triplett reportedly posted two ads on Craigslist. One sought a gun owner who would shoot her in the arm or shoulder “with the smallest caliber bullet possible.” She promised she wouldn’t press charges and offered undefined compensation. The other ad asked for someone to beat her up. “Punches, bruises, kicks,” she wrote.

An unnamed individual responded to the second ad and began texting with Triplett. “The two reached an agreement that in exchange for the physical assault Ms. Triplett would have sexual intercourse with him,” Schonfield said. They met February 17 on UCSC’s campus. “Ms. Triplett directed him to hit her repeatedly in the body and face. They had sex and afterwards she used his cell phone screen reflection as a mirror to see if the injuries were bad enough and then directed him to hit her some more.” They parted ways, and Triplett called 9-1-1.

“During the course of the investigation it became very clear that Ms. Triplett is a very troubled young woman who was engaged in self-injurious behavior and been suicidal at points,” the complaint concludes.


1- Jihad, defined as “to war against non-Muslims to establish the religion,” is the duty of every Muslim and Muslim head of state (Caliph). Muslim Caliphs who refuse jihad are in violation of Sharia and unfit to rule.

2- A Caliph can hold office through seizure of power meaning through force.

3- A Caliph is exempt from being charged with serious crimes such as murder, adultery, robbery, theft, drinking and in some cases of rape.

4- A percentage of Zakat (charity money) must go towards jihad.

5- It is obligatory to obey the commands of the Caliph, even if he is unjust.

6- A caliph must be a Muslim, a non-slave and a male.

7- The Muslim public must remove the Caliph if he rejects Islam.

8- A Muslim who leaves Islam must be killed immediately.

9- A Muslim will be forgiven for murder of: 1) an apostate 2) an adulterer 3) a highway robber. Vigilante street justice and honor killing is acceptable.

10- A Muslim will not get the death penalty if he kills a non-Muslim, but will get it for killing a Muslim.

11- Sharia never abolished slavery, sexual slavery and highly regulates it. A master will not be punished for killing his slave.

12- Sharia dictates death by stoning, beheading, amputation of limbs, flogging even for crimes of sin such as adultery.

13- Non-Muslims are not equal to Muslims under the law. They must comply to Islamic law if they are to remain safe. They are forbidden to marry Muslim women, publicly display wine or pork, recite their scriptures or openly celebrate their religious holidays or funerals. They are forbidden from building new churches or building them higher than mosques. They may not enter a mosque without permission. A non-Muslim is no longer protected if he leads a Muslim away from Islam.

14- It is a crime for a non-Muslim to sell weapons to someone who will use them against Muslims. Non-Muslims cannot curse a Muslim, say anything derogatory about Allah, the Prophet, or Islam, or expose the weak points of Muslims. But Muslims can curse non-Muslims.

15- A non-Muslim cannot inherit from a Muslim.

16- Banks must be Sharia compliant and interest is not allowed.

17- No testimony in court is acceptable from people of low-level jobs, such as street sweepers or bathhouse attendants. Women in low level jobs such as professional funeral mourners cannot keep custody of their children in case of divorce.

18- A non-Muslim cannot rule — even over a non-Muslim minority.

19- Homosexuality is punishable by death.

20- There is no age limit for marriage of girls. The marriage contract can take place anytime after birth and can be consummated at age 8 or 9.

21- Rebelliousness on the part of the wife nullifies the husband’s obligation to support her, gives him permission to beat her and keep her from leaving the home.

22- Divorce is only in the hands of the husband and is as easy as saying: “I divorce you” and becomes effective even if the husband did not intend it.

23- There is no community property between husband and wife and the husband’s property does not automatically go to the wife after his death.

24- A woman inherits half what a man inherits.

25- A man has the right to have up to 4 wives and none of them have a right to divorce him — even if he is polygamous.

26- The dowry is given in exchange for the woman’s sexual organs.

27- A man is allowed to have sex with slave women and women captured in battle, and if the enslaved woman is married her marriage is annulled.

28- The testimony of a woman in court is half the value of a man.

29- A woman loses custody if she remarries.

30- To prove rape, a woman must have 4 male witnesses.

31- A rapist may only be required to pay the bride-money (dowry) without marrying the rape victim.

32- A Muslim woman must cover every inch of her body, which is considered “Awrah,” a sexual organ. Not all Sharia schools allow the face of a woman exposed.

33- A Muslim man is forgiven if he kills his wife at the time he caught her in the act of adultery. However, the opposite is not true for women, since the man “could be married to the woman he was caught with.”

34-It is obligatory for a Muslim to lie if the purpose is obligatory. That means that for the sake of abiding with Islam’s commandments, such as jihad, a Muslim is obliged to lie and should not have any feelings of guilt or shame associated with this kind of lying.

The above are clear-cut laws in Islam decided by great Imams after years of examination and interpretation of the Quran, Hadith and Mohammed’s life. What part of the above is compliant with the U.S. Constitution?

Nonie Darwish is the author of “Cruel and Usual Punishment; the terrifying global implications of Islamic law” and founder of Former Muslims United.