Archive for May, 2015

The ‘Apple of prisons’ is claiming it owns everything inmates send through its servers


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New post on Fusion

The ‘Apple of prisons’ is claiming it owns everything inmates send through its servers

by Kevin Roose

Prison technology is a mess. Between predatory phone companies charging usurious rates for long-distance calls, outdated laws that punish contraband Facebook updates with years in solitary confinement, and video-visitation providers who force prisons to ban in-person visits with their loved ones, it’s as if the entire purpose of putting technology in prisons is to make money for a handful of third-party providers, rather than extending basic digital rights and providing rehabilitation and communication options to the millions of people behind bars.

JPay, a company that Bloomberg Businessweekcalled “the Apple of the U.S. prison system,” allows inmates in more than 30 states to send (monitored) email, receive money transfers (for a steep fee), and conduct (low-fi, glitchy) video chats with their loved ones on the outside. And now, the company is claiming…

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Dozens feared dead in new migrant tragedy as rescue ship nears: report

Global News

ROME – The Save the Children aid group reported another migrant tragedy Tuesday, with survivors saying “dozens” of their fellow passengers fell out of their rubber boat and likely drowned in the Mediterranean as a rescue vessel neared.

Save the Children’s Giovanna di Benedetto said from Catania, Sicily, that the exact toll wasn’t known. But she said that survivors, in their first interviews with aid officials once they reached shore, reported that many people fell into the sea and couldn’t swim.

The incident is believed to have occurred on Sunday in the sea between Libya and Sicily when a commercial vessel approached to rescue the migrant boat. The vessel arrived in Catania on Tuesday and the survivors disembarked.

The weekend saw a dramatic increase in rescues as smugglers in Libya took advantage of calm seas and warm weather to send thousands of would-be refugees out into the Mediterranean in overloaded…

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HEARTBREAKING! Social experiment sheds light on how easy child abductions can be

Child abduction social experiment starts conversation in Winnipeg


Global News

WINNIPEG — It is a video watched nearly 24 million times on social media.

YouTube and Vine star “Joey Salads” is well-known for pranking, but a social experiment he filmed at a public park has gone viral after he was able to walk away, hand-in-hand, with a child he didn’t know.

READ MORE: Social experiment sheds light on how easy child abductions can be

“I think I understand why its viral. It’s what all parents fear, it’s one of our biggest fears,” said Christy Dzikowicz with the Canadian Centre for Child Protection based in Winnipeg. “One of the things that is nice when these kinds of things hit the media is it reminds us to have these conversations.”

In the video Salads approached each child’s mother beforehand to explain his project.

“How many times do you tell your kid not to talk to strangers?” he asked one woman on a…

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My Brother’s Keeper Takes a Step Outside of the White House

My Brother’s Keeper Takes a Step Outside of the White House



Featured Image -- 3534GREAT IDEA. MR. PRESIDENT!

Originally posted on TIME:

An initiative intended to provide more opportunities to young black and Latino men is expanding outside the White House, a key signal of President Obama’s post-2016 plans.

On Monday, Obama will travel to Lehman College in the Bronx for the launch of the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, an independent non-profit that will give money to programs that support black and Latino boys from early childhood to after high school.

The new program largely mirrors a government initiative Obama launched in early 2014 to address the opportunity gap among minorities. Since its launch, the existing program has raised about $500 million for grants and 200 communities have pledged to help more.

The goal of both versions of My Brother’s Keeper is to reduce the racial gap for young men. In a fact sheet, the White House noted that one-fourth of African American and Hispanic males between the ages of 16 and…

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Parents threaten to pull kids out of school to protest Ontario’s new sex-ed curriculum

Featured Image -- 7145

Global News

TORONTO – Ontario schools are already dealing with escalating strike action by high school teachers, and now a so called parents and students strike could keep even more kids out of classes.

A group of parents is threatening to pull their children out of school this week to protest Ontario’s new sex-education curriculum.

A Facebook group called “Parents & Students on strike: one week no school” is encouraging parents who oppose the 2015 sex-ed curriculum to keep their kids at home.

The group also offers a letter template for parents to give to their children’s respective schools, which states the curriculum contains “age-inappropriate” content that does not align with the “principles and beliefs” of families.

Toronto District School Board spokeswoman Shari Schwartz-Maltz said it’s hard to say how many families will join in the protest. She notes some parents downloaded the letters and handed them in ahead of time, while…

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Where Children are Imprisoned and Sexually Abused*

Check out “Australian film ‘Stone Cold Justice’ on Israel’s torture of Palestinian children” on Vimeo https://vimeo.com/86575949 #Vimeo

Hwaairfan's Blog

Where Children are Imprisoned and Sexually Abused*

From Alexandra Bruce

Imagine a military prison where the inmates include children as young as 12 in shackles, prisons where security forces kill, sexually abuse or confine in solitary cells children.

This is the West Bank, in Palestine, today.

Australian TV news looks into how 2.5 million West Bank residents live among 350,000 Israeli settlers 40 years into the occupation.

UNICEF says Israel interrogated, detained and processed 700 children in 2014.

Related Topics:

Israel Uses Child Slave Labour to Plant and Harvest its Agriculture*

Tools of Israeli Torture of Palestinian Children*

The Desecration of Childhood

Love Even Affects the Size of a Child’s Brain*

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“Am I making my child anxious?” TheGuardian

Am I making my child anxious?

Anxiety starts at around 11 years of age, affects nearly a third of the population, and is known to run in families. So is it your fault if your child is terrified of spiders or fearful about flying?

Don’t frighten the kids – keep your arachnophobia to yourself. Photograph: Tony Hutchings
Don’t frighten the kids – keep your arachnophobia to yourself. Photograph: Tony Hutchings

It is enough to worry any parent. If you show your child you are anxious, will they grow up to be fearful too? I have a keen interest in the long-standing debate on how much anxiety is genetic versus environmental: “You’ll have your eye out with that,” was my father’s favourite phrase. It is known that anxiety runs in families. But since anxiety can be debilitating, affects up to 30% of people and starts on average at the age of 11, it would be helpful to know if parenting styles make a difference. A study in the American Journal of Psychiatry this month compares levels of anxiety in families of identical twins with those of non-identical twins. There were 385 identical and 486 non-identical twin families in the survey, all part of the Swedish Twin and Offspring Study. ….http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/may/04/am-i-making-my-child-anxious-anxiety-runs-in-families?CMP=EMCNEWEML6619I2

Black mothers who were told babies had died at St. Louis hospital now wonder if they are alive


Hollande vows ‘no mercy’ over claims French soldiers abused Central Africa children

Hollande vows ‘no mercy’ over claims French soldiers abused Central Africa childrent


Text by FRANCE 24 http://www.france24.com/en/20150430-hollande-vows-no-mercy-french-soldiers-central-africa-child-abuse

Latest update : 2015-04-30

French President François Hollande on Thursday vowed to “show no mercy” if French peacekeepers in Central African Republic were found guilty of raping hungry children in exchange for food.

According to a French judicial source, several children – the youngest just nine – allege that up to 14 French soldiers dispatched to the impoverished nation to restore order after a 2013 coup may have been involved in sexually abusing some of them in exchange for food.

Of those soldiers, “very few” have actually been identified, and those that have are yet to be questioned, the source, who wished to remain anonymous, told AFP.

The defence ministry has denied attempting to cover up a potentially devastating scandal following revelations it had been made aware of the allegations in July last year, when it received a leaked report compiled by UN officials stationed in the chaotic African country.

‘Not hiding the facts’

The alleged abuse took place at a centre for displaced people near the airport of the Central African capital Bangui between December 2013 – when the French operation began – and June 2014.

The defence ministry said it immediately launched a probe into the case when it received the leaked report in the summer of 2014, sending police investigators to the former French colony on August 1, but the damning allegations only emerged this week when The Guardian newspaper broke the story.

“There is no desire to hide anything,” Pierre Bayle, a defence ministry spokesman, told reporters on Thursday.

“We are not hiding the facts, we are trying to verify the facts,” he added, while urging “great caution” over accusations that have yet to be proven.

According to The Guardian, the UN employee accused of the leak, Swedish national Anders Kompass, turned the report over to French authorities because his bosses had failed to take action.

UN spokesman Farhan Haq confirmed that UN rights investigators had conducted a probe last year following “serious allegations” of child abuse and sexual exploitation by French troops.

‘Serious breach of protocol’

But unnamed UN officials said Kompass leaked the confidential document to the French even before it was shown to officials in the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, suggesting they were not aware of the report’s findings when it was leaked.

They also said the leak was a “serious breach” of UN protocol that could have prejudiced the investigation.

Central African prosecutors meanwhile said they had not been made aware of an investigation into alleged child abuse and had launched a probe after this week’s revelations.

“It’s not because we’re in a crisis-ridden country that the law can be flouted,” said Prosecutor Ghislain Gresenguet.

The report allegedly details interviews with children who approached French soldiers to ask for food.

“The children were saying that they were hungry and they thought that they could get some food from the soldiers. The answer was ‘if you do this, then I will give you food’,” said Paula Donovan, co-director of advocacy group AIDS-Free World that saw the report and gave it to The Guardian. “Different kids used different language.”

The French judicial source said that of the six children testifying against the soldiers, four say they were direct victims of sexual abuse while two others witnessed abuse.

Fears for CAR peace efforts

If true, the allegations will not only affect the French army but also the Central African Republic itself, which is trying to find a way out of a long conflict that has killed thousands and displaced nearly 900,000 people.

The violence has largely pitted the Christian majority against mainly Muslim Seleka rebels who led the March 2013 coup against former leader François Bozize.

“Overall, I know that the French military presence has been helpful,” said David Smith, an expert on the Central African Republic.

“If they hadn’t been there, the airport couldn’t have stayed open and that would have meant no emergency aid could have come in, no medical supplies, food…

“The hopes for success with the peacekeeping mission in the Central African Republic are weak at the best of times. Moving the French out of there would make it even weaker,” he added.

The Central African Republic had yet to react officially, but a government member who wished to remain anonymous said that if true, the allegations were “horrible and unacceptable.”

“French soldiers cannot behave like this in a country where they came to help civilians,” the source said.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

Date created : 2015-04-30



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