‘Sexual exploitation of vulnerable children has become the social norm in some parts of Greater Manchester, fuelled by explicit music videos and quasi-pornographic selfies, an MP has warned.
The systematic grooming of boys and girls remains a “real and ongoing problem”, a year after Greater Manchester police (GMP) was forced to admit it had failed abuse victims in Rochdale, said Ann Coffey, a former social worker who is now the Labour MP for Stockport. “My observations will make painful reading for those who hoped that Rochdale was an isolated case,” she writes in a significant report.’
- Rochdale MP says Coffey Report is ‘dangerous’ – not enough focus on police
- Whistleblower says police ‘cherry-picked’ Rochdale arrests
- The Coffey Report: Child Sexual Exploitation, Social Norms and Social Change
- Hundreds of ‘missing’ children at risk in Greater Manchester
- Rotherham child sexual abuse scandal is tip of iceberg, says police chief
- Greater Manchester police ‘failed to pursue child abuse gang claims’
- Rochdale Cab Firm Offers Customers White Drivers
- Councils in denial over extent of child sexual exploitation, says report
- Rochdale grooming: ‘Shocking’ failure over sex abuse
- Child sexual exploitation is ‘hidden issue’, children’s minister warns
‘[...] Over the past 20 years, prompted by changing police tactics and a zero-tolerance attitude toward small crimes, authorities have made more than a quarter of a billion arrests, the Federal Bureau of Investigation estimates. Nearly one out of every three American adults are on file in the FBI’s master criminal database.
This arrest wave, in many ways, starts at school. Concern by parents and school officials over drug use and a spate of shootings prompted a rapid buildup of police officers on campus and led to school administrators referring minor infractions to local authorities. That has turned traditional school discipline, memorialized in Hollywood coming-of-age movies such as “The Breakfast Club,” into something that looks more like the adult criminal-justice system.’
‘What do we call this time? It’s not the information age: the collapse of popular education movements left a void filled by marketing andconspiracy theories. Like the stone age, iron age and space age, the digital age says plenty about our artefacts but little about society. The anthropocene, in which humans exert a major impact on the biosphere, fails to distinguish this century from the previous 20. What clear social change marks out our time from those that precede it? To me it’s obvious. This is the Age of Loneliness.’
- Neoliberalism has brought out the worst in us
- Britain the loneliness capital of Europe
- Loneliness: a silent plague that is hurting young people most
- Isolation – a growing issue among older men
- One in five children just want to be rich when they grow up
- Secret Fears of the Super-Rich
- Campaign to End Loneliness: Research
- Income Aspirations, Television and Happiness
‘The Ministry of Justice has come up with the idea of building a super-prison for children as young as 12, at the core of which will be a regime of punishment and physical restraint. The jail will house around 300 boys and a handful of girls, and includes a planned unit for babies in case the girls get pregnant.
No one, but no one, supports this bizarre proposal, except for the companies that would profit from building the £85m complex. The government has refused to publish the rules or any details about what it is euphemistically calling a “secure college”. Next week the House of Lords will scrutinise the legislation and consider an amendment suggesting the whole idea be put on hold until more details are published.’
- Change law that puts children in jail for minor offences, says report
- Grayling gives green light for staff to use force against inmates in new jail
- Youth Offender ‘Super Prisons’ Plan Condemned
- Young offenders’ institution declared unsafe by chief inspector of prisons
- Plan for Europe’s biggest children’s prison ‘would put young offenders at increased risk of harm or death’
- Inquest into death of Adam Rickwood leaves more questions than answers
- Laura Smith on the death in custody of Gareth Myatt
Iraqi doctors and prominent scientists believe that DU contamination is also connected to the emergence of diseases that were not previously seen in Iraq, such as new illnesses in the kidney, lungs and liver, as well as total immune system collapse. DU contamination may also be connected to the steep rise in leukaemia, renal and anaemia cases, especially among children, being reported throughout many Iraqi governorates.
There has also been a dramatic jump in miscarriages and premature births among Iraqi women, particularly in areas where heavy US military operations occurred, such as Fallujah during 2004, and Basra during the 1991 US war on Iraq.’
- Iraq calls for global treaty ban on depleted uranium weapons
- US fired depleted uranium at civilian areas in 2003 Iraq war, report finds
- Iraqi Government Killing Civilians in Fallujah
- Still dangerous after 30 years: Uranium particles from DU weapons
- World Health Organization Covers Up Iraq War Crimes
- How the World Health Organisation covered up Iraq’s nuclear nightmare
- We’ve moved on from the Iraq war, but Iraqis don’t have that choice
- Ten Years Later, U.S. Has Left Iraq With Mass Displacement & Epidemic of Birth Defects, Cancers
- In a State of Uncertainty: impact and implications of the use of depleted uranium in Iraq
- Study: Cancer, Infant Mortality and Birth Sex-Ratio in Fallujah, Iraq 2005–2009
‘Kids across America no longer have to wait until college to plan on being a part of the National Security Agency. In fact, they could start preparing for their NSA careers as early as age 13.
The NSA has begun sponsoring cybersecurity camps for middle and high school students, agency recruiter Steven LaFountain told CNBC’s Eamon Javers in a recent interview. Six prototype camps launched this past summer, and the NSA hopes to eventually have a presence in schools in all 50 states.’
‘One in ten current world leaders have studied in the UK, according to research by the British Council.
The analysis found that of heads of state who have studied at universities abroad, the proportion of UK alumni rises even higher to 31% – a close second to those who’ve studied in the USA (34%). But when measured as a proportion of total students in each country, analysis suggests that the UK is ten times more likely to produce a world leader than the USA – UK universities produces one world leader per 50,000 graduates, whereas the US produces one per 500,000.’
‘A former Vatican archbishop accused of paedophilia stored tens of thousands of child porn videos and photos on a computer in his office at the Holy See diplomatic compound in the Dominican Republic, it has emerged.
Details of Jozef Wesolowski’s massive child porn stash have been revealed after the 66-year-old was arrested at the Vatican earlier this week.
He is the highest-ranking Vatican official ever to be investigated for sex abuse, and the first top papal representative to receive a defrocking sentence. He has been charged with sexually abusing minors and child porn possession and might face up to seven years in the Vatican’s tiny jail.’
Alabama high schools secretly monitoring students’ social media accounts ‘after tip-off from the NSA?
‘A secret surveillance program has been running in an Alabama high schools after a phone call from the National Security Agency alerted the district to a ‘violent threat’. School officials claim the system began monitoring students’ social media accounts in Huntsville City Schools 18 months ago, when the NSA tipped them off that a student was making violent threats on Facebook
The schools began scanning Facebook and other sites for signs of gang activity, watching for photos of guns, photos of gang signs and threats of violence, as part of a program called SAFe, or Students Against Fear. Internal documents explaining the program were obtained by AL.com, showing four different students – three males and one female – posing on Facebook with handguns.’
‘When Turkish pupils received their school entry exam results after the end of last term, textile worker and father Halil Ibrahim Beyhan received an unpleasant surprise His daughter had been assigned to a religious high school, like thousands of other students under a new system that caught many parents off guard.
Parents, educators and civil society groups have decried the move as another attack on Turkey’s secular principles by the Islamic-rooted Justice and Development Party (AKP) co-founded by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, accusing the government of imposing religion on students.’
‘A group of American families is suing football’s governing body Fifa for putting children who head the ball at risk of concussion, according to a report. The lawsuit, filed in California, accuses the sport’s administrators of acting “carelessly and negligently”.
It is not seeking financial compensation, but wants to see a limit on the number of times young players are allowed to head the ball among a number of other rules designed to protect children, according to The Daily Telegraph. Ben Pepper, a personal injury lawyer at Bolt Burdon Kemp, said the case might prompt people in the UK to consider legal action.’
‘A scandal-hit university which has already seen its vice chancellor suspended and its chairman of governors stand aside as part of a bitter boardroom feud, has spent £150,000 on seven designer chairs. Plymouth University has commissioned the award-winning furniture designer John Makepeace to make seven handcrafted chairs to be used at graduation ceremonies.
The news follows revelations earlier this month that the university had spent more than £24,000 on sending six members of staff to a conference in Miami earlier this year. This was despite threatened job losses which have prompted a series of protests by lecturers at the Plymouth University campus this summer.’
- Occupy abolishes $4 million in other people’s student loan debt
- Student loan debt linked to less health and wealth later in life, poll finds
- Students Now Indentured to the Banksters
- 460,000 people with college degrees are working in minimum wage jobs
- Yes, We Should Tell Kids If College Will Make Them Poor
- $1 trillion student loan debt widens US wealth gap
- Debt Servitude and the Student Loan Bubble
- How to Save the Victims of the Student Loan Crisis
‘In 2007, when the Charles Koch Foundation considered giving millions of dollars to Florida State University’s economics department, the offer came with strings attached.
First, the curriculum it funded must align with the libertarian, deregulatory economic philosophy of Charles Koch, the billionaire industrialist and Republican political bankroller.
Second, the Charles Koch Foundation would at least partially control which faculty members Florida State University hired.
And third, Bruce Benson, a prominent libertarian economic theorist and Florida State University economics department chairman, must stay on another three years as department chairman — even though he told his wife he’d step down in 2009 after one three-year term.’
U.S. Justice Department sides with 14-year-old girl raped while serving as ‘bait’ in middle school sting
‘The federal government today sided with the guardian of a teenage girl who was raped during a botched sting operation in the boy’s bathroom, arguing the Madison County School system was liable under federal law to investigate harassment and protect female students.
“A school board cannot avoid summary judgment as a matter of law when a school administrator willfully ignores a plan to use a 14-year-old special needs student as bait to catch a student with a known history of sexual and violent misconduct, and as a result, the student is sodomized,” reads the federal brief filed in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals late today.
The U.S. Department of Justice argues administrators at Sparkman Middle School near Huntsville knew the boy was dangerous and showed “deliberate indifference.”‘
- Student suspended for saying ‘bless you’ after classmate sneezed
- Breaking Bread: Student Punished for Sharing Lunch
- Panic Over Military Jacket Sends School Into Lockdown
- Middle School Students Who Complained Over Dress Code Suspended for “Terroristic Threat”
- School Calls Cops On Runaway Special Needs Kid
- 9 Year Old Girl Suspended From School for Act of Kindness
- 2-Year Old Girl Suspended From Ottawa Daycare For Bringing “Cheese Sandwich”
- Chicago School Officials Suspend 11-Year-Old Boy Under ‘Dangerous Weapons’ Policy for Voluntarily Turning in Non-Firing Toy Gun
‘Teachers in Jerusalem say they are concerned about facing more racism than ever before in the capital’s schools, especially following Operation Protective Edge. As the school year opens, the Education Ministry has published lesson plans on racism to be taught during the first two weeks, but many teachers say that is not enough.’
- Activists wage vigilante efforts against racism in Jerusalem
- Signs of fascism in Israel reached new peak during Gaza op, says renowned scholar
- Jews and Arabs in Israel more estranged after war
- Israeli Teens Gripped by Virulent Racism
- Israel ‘coercing Eritreans and Sudanese to leave’
- Education Ministry plans teaching children to be ‘Jewish fighters’
- Likud MK caught on tape calling Jerusalem police chief ‘a coward’ for handling of Arab riots
- Bill seeks to give Israeli Arabs official national minority status
- ‘Arabic out': Right-wing MKs aim to make Hebrew Israel’s only official language
- Joan Rivers: ‘Low IQ’ Palestinians ‘Deserve to Be Dead’
- Israel’s New Generation of Racists
‘Canadian documentary photographer Michelle Siu records “vulnerable people and disenfranchised cultures.” In the past that has meant the First Nations people of Lake St. Martin in Manitoba, who have been displaced from their land by flooding, or the destruction wrought upon the Philippines by Typhoon Haiyan. In her series, “Marlboro Boys,” the disaster is man-made.’
‘A St. Louis-based coloring book company updated its controversial terrorism-themed books to include lessons about the Islamic State.
Really Big Coloring Books’ reissued series hit the Internet last week. The rereleased books feature supplemental pages that detail the Islamic State, the terrorists released in exchange for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl and the Boston Marathon bombings.
“These books tell the truth,” Really Big Coloring Books founder Wayne Bell said in a video announcing the reissue. “We’re trying to educate the country on these animals, these brutal people, these terrible humans on the planet called ISIS.”‘
‘The new chairman of a long-awaited Government inquiry into historic child sex abuse was facing calls to resign last night after The Mail on Sunday discovered her astonishing links to Leon Brittan – a key figure embroiled in the scandal.
Fiona Woolf, the Lord Mayor of London, was appointed to carry out the important role of investigating claims of an Establishment cover-up of VIP paedophile rings on Friday, two months after the original chairman was forced to step down over conflicts of interest.
But this newspaper has found that the top corporate lawyer is also closely linked to Lord Brittan – who is likely to give evidence to her inquiry.’
‘In the midst of a global fight against child labor and poverty, Bolivia stands alone on an empty street. As the world actively seeks to reduce the exploitation of young children in the workforce, La Paz recently amended its child labor law, making it more flexible and allowing children as young as 10 years old to work legally. Indeed, Bolivia’s recent actions reflect its unfortunate reality: approximately 45 percent of its 10 million population lives under the national poverty line. With the recent transformation of the country’s labor laws, the government claims to‘solve’ poverty by 2025; but instead, the move will likely exacerbate the situation and perpetuate the poverty cycle. Although President Evo Morales and his administration may mean well, to succeed in reality, Bolivia must search for other alternatives in order to effectively combat its poverty.’
‘Two decades after Bosnia’s brutal civil war ended, reconciliation is still a dream, one the education system is pushing further away from reality. Bosnia Serbs, Bosniak Muslims and Croats typically study in schools with curricula tailored to their ethnic biases. World War II is hardly the only period that receives wildly different treatments depending on the school.
‘As the acting cybersecurity chief of a federal agency, Timothy DeFoggi should have been well versed in the digital footprints users leave behind online when they visit web sites and download images. But DeFoggi—convicted today in Nebraska on three child porn charges including conspiracy to solicit and distribute child porn—must have believed his use of the Tor anonymizing network shielded him from federal investigators.
He’s the sixth suspect to make this mistake in Operation Torpedo, an FBI operation that targeted three Tor-based child porn sites and that used controversial methods to unmask anonymized users. But DeFoggi’s conviction is perhaps more surprising than others owing to the fact that he worked at one time as the acting cybersecurity director of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.’
‘Top ranking staff ordered raids to delete and remove case files and evidence detailing the scale of Rotherham’s child exploitation scandal, sources have revealed.
More than 10 years before the damning independent inquiry revealed sexual exploitation of 1,400 children in Rotherham a raid was carried out on the orders of senior staff to destroy evidence, it has been claimed.
In 2002 high profile personnel at Rotherham Council ordered a raid on Risky Business, Rotherham council’s specialist youth service, which offered one-to-one help and support to vulnerable teenage girls, ahead of the findings of a draft report, according to the Times.’
- Rotherham child abuse report: 1,400 children subjected to ‘appalling’ sexual exploitation over 16-years
- Rotherham: Police ‘would not investigate child abuse for fear of breaching victim’s human rights’
- Rotherham child abuse scandal: ‘They thought they were dirty little slags’
- ‘I was called a liar and a racist for exposing this sex gang abuse horror’
- Officials who ignored abuse ‘as bad as the perpetrators’
- Police commissioner Shaun Wright quits Labour Party – but refuses to resign from post
- Rotherham: the real factors behind the sex abuse scandal
‘For some teenagers, wearing last season’s jeans will always be unthinkable.But a growing number consider texting on a dated smartphone even worse. For teenage apparel retailers, that screen-obsessed teenager poses a big threat in the still-important back-to-school sales season.
Muscle shirts and strategically ripped jeans no longer provide an assured spot for retailers like Hollister and American Eagle Outfitters in the marketplace of what’s cool at an American high school. The social cachet these days involves waving the latest in hand-held technology.’
‘To be a modern American, child or adult, is to spend a third of your day staring at a screen. Children ages 8 to 18 spend an incredible seven and a half hours a day — outside of school — using some sort of electronic media, and adults are slightly worse, racking up an additional half-hour of screen time. It’s not yet clear what impact this is having on face-to-face communication, and that’s especially true for the kids who are growing up glued to an iPad. So one team of researchers decided to try to find out, and they took a creative approach. Instead of measuring what happened to kids who used these devices, they measured what happened to kids whose gadgets were taken away.’
The Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission said its study of the social background of those “running Britain” was the most detailed of its kind ever undertaken and showed that elitism was so embedded in Britain “that it could be called ‘social engineering'”.
[...] The commission’s 76-page report mostly focuses on analysis, but it does include recommendations, saying government, schools, universities, employers and even parents all need to play their part in promoting social diversity.
Looking at the background of more than 4,000 people filling jobs at the top of government, the civil service, the judiciary, the media, business and the creative industries, the commission investigated where they went to school, on the grounds that going to a private school is reasonably indicative of a wealthy background.’
‘As the Israeli offensive in Gaza resumes, we look at the impact the military campaign has had on the children of Gaza. More than 467 Palestinian children have died since July. That is more than the combined number of child fatalities in the two previous conflicts in Gaza. According to the World Health Organization, more than 3,000 children have been injured, of which an estimated 1,000 will suffer from a life-long disability. The United Nations estimates at least 373,000 children require direct and specialized psychosocial support. And, based on the total number of adults killed, there may be up to 1,500 children orphaned. Gazan children’s right to an education has also been severely compromised with at least 25 schools reportedly damaged so severely that they can no longer be used. We speak to Pernille Ironside, chief of UNICEF’s Gaza field office. “There isn’t a single family in Gaza who hasn’t experienced personally death, injury, the loss of their home, extensive damage, displacement,” Ironside says. “The psychological toll that has on a people, it just cannot be overestimated, and especially on children.”’ (Democracy Now!)
‘People often ask me, “How does lobbying work?” Last week it was with fat and sugar, when the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA) hosted its 32nd annual Capitol Hill Ice Cream Party. Some 6,000 bowls of ice cream were served up to Sen.Tom Harkin, Reps. Pete Sessions, Robert Aderholt, Jeff Denham, John Shimkus, Ron Kind and Lamar Smith, among others, according to Politico.
Dairy lobbyists are ever present in Washington, and their efforts usually pay off. For example, last year when the IDFA implored the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to give dairy foods a pass in the new snack food guidelines for schools, the agency capitulated, opening school doors to even more junk food, such as YoCrunch Lowfat Yogurt with M&Ms.
This is just one of many examples I uncovered in a report I published last month, “Whitewashed: How Industry and Government Promote Dairy Junk Foods” (PDF). The dairy industry, propped up by government, has convinced us of the health benefits of milk and other dairy products. The assumption that eating dairy is essential to the diet has obstructed our ability to criticize federal government support for unhealthy dairy products, of which there are many.
One of the most important forms of government support is the federally mandated collection of industry fees for checkoff programs that promote milk and dairy.’
- How the US Government Helps McDonald’s Sell Junk Food
- ‘Dairy junk foods’ under fire in report highlighting dramatic shift in dairy consumption patterns
- Whitewashed: How Industry and Government Promote Dairy Junk Foods
- How Smart are School Snacks? A Closer Look at New USDA Rules
- Sorry, McWilliams, the New York Times got the USDA cheese story right
- The Times exposes the craziness of the junk-food industry/USDA alliance
- Dairy Manufacturers Commend USDA for Recognizing Importance of Dairy Products as Snacks in Schools
- Dietary Sugars Intake and Cardiovascular Health: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association
‘Driving my two-day-old son home from the hospital, I was struck with a terror familiar to most new parents. How was it possible, I wondered, that I could care for this little person on my own?
Time did not breed confidence. As the weeks went on, I spent late nights poring over The Baby Book and Googling “Why does my baby ______?” I glued my eyes to a Blair Witch-style monitor for any sign of distress and yes, I even felt under his nose to make sure he was still breathing. I wanted answers to the big questions about eating, sleeping, crying, weight gain, breathing, pooping, and teething. But all my research boiled down to one concern: Was my newborn’s behavior, and the panic it inspired, normal?
Now big data claims to have the answer, or at least the start of one, but is the quest for more information making parenting easier, or chipping away at our instincts and turning our babies into Tamagotchis?’