Alistair Barr, USA TODAY 9:27 a.m. EST December 2, 2013
A pregnant woman has had her baby forcibly removed by caesarean section by social workers.
Essex social services obtained a High Court order against the woman that allowed her to be forcibly sedated and her child to be taken from her womb.
The council said it was acting in the best interests of the woman, an Italian who was in Britain on a work trip, because she had suffered a mental breakdown.
The baby girl, now 15 months old, is still in the care of social services, who are refusing to give her back to the mother, even though she claims to have made a full recovery.
The case has developed into an international legal row, with lawyers for the woman describing it as “unprecedented”.
They claim that even if the council had been acting in the woman’s best interests, officials should have consulted her family beforehand and also involved Italian social services, who would be better-placed to look after the child.
Brendan Fleming, the woman’s British lawyer, told The Sunday Telegraph: “I have never heard of anything like this in all my 40 years in the job.
“I can understand if someone is very ill that they may not be able to consent to a medical procedure, but a forced caesarean is unprecedented.
“If there were concerns about the care of this child by an Italian mother, then the better plan would have been for the authorities here to have notified social services in Italy and for the child to have been taken back there.”
The case, reported by Christopher Booker in his column in The Sunday Telegraph, raises fresh questions about the extent of social workers’ powers.
It will be raised in Parliament this week by John Hemming, a Liberal Democrat MP. He chairs the Public Family Law Reform Coordinating Campaign, which wants reform and greater openness in court proceedings involving family matters.
He said: “I have seen a number of cases of abuses of people’s rights in the family courts, but this has to be one of the more extreme.
“It involves the Court of Protection authorising a caesarean section without the person concerned being made aware of what was proposed. I worry about the way these decisions about a person’s mental capacity are being taken without any apparent concern as to the effect on the individual being affected.”
The woman, who cannot be named for legal reasons, is an Italian national who come to Britain in July last year to attend a training course with an airline at Stansted Airport in Essex.
She suffered a panic attack, which her relations believe was due to her failure to take regular medication for an existing bipolar condition.
She called the police, who became concerned for her well-being and took her to a hospital, which she then realised was a psychiatric facility.
She has told her lawyers that when she said she wanted to return to her hotel, she was restrained and sectioned under the Mental Health Act.
Meanwhile, Essex social services obtained a High Court order in August 2012 for the birth “to be enforced by way of caesarean section”, according to legal documents seen by this newspaper.
The woman, who says she was kept in the dark about the proceedings, says that after five weeks in the ward she was forcibly sedated. When she woke up she was told that the child had been delivered by C-section and taken into care.
In February, the mother, who had gone back to Italy, returned to Britain to request the return of her daughter at a hearing at Chelmsford Crown Court.
Her lawyers say that she had since resumed taking her medication, and that the judge formed a favourable opinion of her. But he ruled that the child should be placed for adoption because of the risk that she might suffer a relapse.
The cause has also been raised before a judge in the High Court in Rome, which has questioned why British care proceedings had been applied to the child of an Italian citizen “habitually resident” in Italy. The Italian judge accepted, though, that the British courts had jurisdiction over the woman, who was deemed to have had no “capacity” to instruct lawyers.
Lawyers for the woman are demanding to know why Essex social services appear not have contacted next of kin in Italy to consult them on the case.
They are also upset that social workers insisted on placing the child in care in Britain, when there had been an offer from a family friend in America to look after her.
An expert on social care proceedings, who asked not to be named because she was not fully acquainted with the details of the case, described it as “highly unusual”.
She said the council would first have to find “that she was basically unfit to make any decision herself” and then shown there was an acute risk to the mother if a natural birth was attempted.
An Essex county council spokesman said the local authority would not comment on ongoing cases involving vulnerable people and children.
Amazon.com is testing delivering packages using drones, CEO Jeff Bezos said on the CBS TV news show 60 Minutes Sunday.
The idea would be to deliver packages as quickly as possible using the small, unmanned aircraft, through a service the company is calling Prime Air, the CEO said.
Bezos played a demo video on 60 Minutes that showed how the aircraft, also known as octocopters, will pick up packages in small yellow buckets at Amazon's fulfillment centers and fly through the air to deliver items to customers after they hit the buy button online at Amazon.com.
The goal of the new delivery system is to get packages into customers' hands in 30 minutes or less, the world's largest Internet retailer said. Putting Prime Air into commercial use will take "some number of years" as Amazon develops the technology further and waits for the Federal Aviation Administration to come up with rules and regulations, the company added.
Bezos told 60 Minutes that the service could be up and running in as few as four years — although he noted that he is an optimist when it comes to such things.
"One day, Prime Air vehicles will be as normal as seeing mail trucks on the road today," the company said.
This is the latest futuristic effort by Bezos, who was an e-commerce pioneer in the 1990s and more recently popularized the e-reader — while pursuing personal projects such as private spaceflight and a 10,000-year clock built inside a mountain.
November 26, 2013
Researchers from British Columbia’s Simon Fraser University recently unveiled a new fleet of drones capable of obeying vocal and visual commands.
A freakish-looking fish hauled recently from the chilly depths of northeastern Canada has been identified as a long-nosed chimaera.
The identity of the fish, which boasts a whip-like tail and an enlarged cone-shaped nose, remained a mystery for days after it was captured by Nunavut fishermen in the Hudson Strait.
That’s understandable because these denizens, although they exist in oceans around the world, inhabit depths of up to 6,000 feet and are rarely encountered.
Read More: http://www.grindtv.com/outdoor/nature/post/mysterious-fish-with-whip-like-tail-and-cone-shaped-snout-identified-as-a-long-nosed-chimaera/
Students at Rutgers University are rallying for the reinstatement of a campus bus driver who says he was pressured to resign after praying for a disabled passenger, but the company says he was ousted over a safety violation.
Stan McNeil, a retired firefighter who aspires to become a Christian pastor, said in a YouTube video that he placed his hand on a woman in a wheelchair and asked God to heal her.
“She’s going to get a miracle. She’s going to end up walking, and I still believe that,” he said.
But McNeil said the company told him afterward that “we don’t need your services anymore,” according to the Newark Star-Ledger.
“They said we don’t do that here," he added, noting that the company that he worked for, First Transit, has warned him in the past for similar prayers. McNeil also said officials told him that a video recorded on the bus of the prayer showed that he did not use the proper number of straps to secure the disabled student.
First Transit said the company respects McNeil’s religious beliefs, but said he chose to resign for a safety violation, which they did not elaborate on, the Newark Star-Ledger reports.
"This case is about safety, which is a core value of First Transit,” spokeswoman Stephenie Creech said in a statement. "Unfortunately, a full internal review revealed that Mr. McNeil had failed to follow a critical safety protocol that was cause for immediate termination. When advised of his violation, Mr. McNeil chose to resign."
Students have since rallied for McNeil’s cause on social media sites, including posting videos of his sermons on YouTube and Facebook. A petition on Change.org calling for McNeil’s job back has garnered nearly 6,000 signatures as of Wednesday morning.
"You’re one thought away from greatness, people!," McNeil said in one of the speeches while driving the bus. "You got to continue to do well, do good, keep doing good, keep getting knowledge. And at the right time, that knowledge will explode and it will put you into greatness."
McNeil told the Newark Star-Ledger that he has no regrets over the prayers.
“I ain’t going to back down from who I am," he said. "I will not compromise. I am all about God, brother."
"Everybody enjoyed being on his bus," Kelly Brennan, a 20-year-old psychology and sociology major, told the newspaper. "He made us feel good about being in school, good about what we were doing with our lives."
Source/News Reel: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2013/11/15/students-rally-for-rutgers-university-bus-driver-who-says-prayer-led-to-his/
Keep in mind something this huge should and usually would be red alert front page news.
WASHINGTON — The electric grid, as government and private experts describe it, is the glass jaw of American industry. If an adversary lands a knockout blow, they fear, it could black out vast areas of the continent for weeks; interrupt supplies of water, gasoline, diesel fuel and fresh food; shut down communications; and create disruptions of a scale that was only hinted at by Hurricane Sandy and the attacks of Sept. 11.
This is why thousands of utility workers, business executives, National Guard officers, F.B.I. antiterrorism experts and officials from government agencies in the United States, Canada and Mexico are preparing for an emergency drill in November that will simulate physical attacks and cyberattacks that could take down large sections of the power grid.
They will practice for a crisis unlike anything the real grid has ever seen, and more than 150 companies and organizations have signed up to participate.
“This is different from a hurricane that hits X, Y and Z counties in the Southeast and they have a loss of power for three or four days,” said the official in charge of the drill, Brian M. Harrell of the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, known as NERC. “We really want to go beyond that.”
One goal of the drill, called GridEx II, is to explore how governments would react as the loss of the grid crippled the supply chain for everyday necessities.
“If we fail at electricity, we’re going to fail miserably,” Curt Hébert, a former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, said at a recent conference held by the Bipartisan Policy Center.
Mr. Harrell said that previous exercises were based on the expectation that electricity “would be up and running relatively quick” after an attack.
Now, he said, the goal is to “educate the federal government on what their expectations should or shouldn’t be.” The industry held a smaller exercise two years ago in which 75 utilities, companies and agencies participated, but this one will be vastly expanded and will be carried out in a more anxious mood.
Most of the participants will join the exercise from their workplaces, with NERC, in Washington, announcing successive failures. One example, organizers say, is a substation break-in that officials initially think is an attempt to steal copper. But instead, the intruder uses a USB drive to upload a virus into a computer network.
The drill is part of a give-and-take in the past few years between the government and utilities that has exposed the difficulties of securing the electric system.
The grid is essential for almost everything, but it is mostly controlled by investor-owned companies or municipal or regional agencies. Ninety-nine percent of military facilities rely on commercial power, according to the White House.
The utilities play down their abilities, in comparison with the government’s. “They have the intelligence operation, the standing army, the three-letter agencies,” said Scott Aaronson, senior director of national security policy at the Edison Electric Institute, the trade association of investor-owned utilities. “We have the grid operations expertise.”
That expertise involves running 5,800 major power plants and 450,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines, monitored and controlled by a staggering mix of devices installed over decades. Some utilities use their own antique computer protocols and are probably safe from hacking — what the industry calls “security through obscurity.”
But others rely on Windows-based control systems that are common to many industries. Some of them run on in-house networks, but computer security experts say they are not confident that all the connections to the public Internet have been discovered and secured. Many may be vulnerable to software — known as malware — that can disable the systems or destroy their ability to communicate, leaving their human operators blind about the positions of switches, the flows of current and other critical parameters. Experts say a sophisticated hacker could also damage hard-to-replace equipment.
In an effort to draw utilities and the government closer, the industry recently established the Electricity Sub-Sector Coordinating Council, made up of high-level executives, to meet with federal officials. The first session is next month.
READ MORE FROM THE SOURCE:
(CBS News) A federal prosecutor in Georgia said Thursday he will conduct a formal review into the death of a teenager whose body was found in his high school gym. His parents believe his death was no accident.
It was Jan. 10 when surveillance cameras at a Valdosta, Ga., high school captured video of Kendrick Johnson walking a hallway and then later strolling alone across the gymnasium floor. It was an unremarkable moment.
But sometime in the next 24 hours, the 17-year-old three-sport athlete died.
His body was found Jan. 11 inside a rolled-up wrestling mat that was propped on its end behind some bleachers in the gym.
A Georgia coroner ruled the death accidental and police theorized Johnson suffocated after falling headfirst into the rolled-up mat trying to retrieve a sneaker.
But his family suspected foul play. They had his body exhumed and hired a private pathologist, who reported finding evidence of "blunt force trauma" on his neck.
Now Kenneth and Jacquelyn Johnson want justice for their son!
"I really believe he was murdered. You can tell by the way he looked with bruises on his face," Kenneth Johnson said.
The Johnson family has hired Benjamin Crump, the same attorney who worked with the family of Trayvon Martin, the African-American teenager who was shot and killed in Florida in a confrontation with Neighborhood Watch volunteer George Zimmerman.
Supporters of Johnson's family have held rallies alleging a cover-up. They've demanded a federal investigation.
On Thursday, U.S. Attorney Michael Moore agreed to look into the case.
"I do this with an open mind, neither accepting nor rejecting the opinions of anyone who has previously investigated the circumstances of his death," Moore said.
Moore says if he finds evidence of a possible crime, he'll press the FBI to investigate. But the Georgia chief medical examiner is standing by his finding that the death was accidental, saying there is no evidence the teenager was murdered.
By Erin McClam, Staff Writer, NBC News
A Florida woman serving 20 years in prison for firing a shot into the wall during a fight with her husband will get a new trial in March and can argue next week to be released on bail, a judge ruled Thursday.
The plight of the woman, Marissa Alexander, drew national attention because of perceived parallels to the shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman, who claimed self-defense and was acquitted in July of second-degree murder.
Alexander claimed that she feared for her life on Aug. 1, 2010, during a fight with her estranged husband, Rico Gray, who was under a restraining order.
She testified that she fled into a garage and got a gun but couldn't leave the house because the garage door was stuck. She testified that she went back into the house and fired the shot.
Gray testified that Alexander was the aggressor and pointed the gun at him before she fired. She was convicted of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, and the trial judge said he was bound by state law to give her 20 years.
In September, a state appeals court ordered a new trial. The appeals court said that the trial judge gave the jury incorrect instructions on self-defense.
It said, however, that the judge was correct to block Alexander from invoking the Florida law known as Stand Your Ground, which generally removes a person’s duty to retreat when he or she is confronted with perceived deadly force.
State prosecutors said, and the trial judge agreed, that Alexander acted in anger, and showed by going back inside the house that she was not afraid for her life.
Alexander’s bail hearing was set for Nov. 8, and her retrial for March 31.
Alexander’s supporters want state prosecutors to drop the case. Prosecutors have said that Alexander aimed the gun at the man and his two sons, and that the bullet she fired could have ricocheted and hit any of them.
Prosecutors said Thursday that they would oppose bail.
“The State Attorney’s Office has no intention of dropping the very serious charges against the defendant,” Jackelyn Bernard, a spokeswoman for the state prosecutor handling the case, said in a statement. “The SAO will continue to pursue justice for our two child victims and their father who were endangered by the shot the defendant fired at them.”
A lawyer for Alexander did not immediately answer a request for comment.
This story was originally published on Thu Oct 31, 2013 12:15 PM EDT
To keep everybody safe
Paul Joseph Watson
October 21, 2013
After illustrating their enthusiasm for repealing the Bill of Rights, a video shows Americans happily signing a petition to support a “Nazi-style Orwellian police state,” in what easily represents the most shocking footage of its kind to date.
Citing issues with how the government shutdown has impacted the ability of the police to “keep the community safe,” Dice tells San Diegans that there is a need to “increase the Orwellian system.”
“Not a problem,” responds one man as he signs the petition.
“We just want to model it after the Nazi Germany system to keep people safe and secure,” Dice tells another individual.
After signing the petition to “implement the Orwellian police state,” another man responds, “You find the pot of money though,” apparently more concerned about how much a Nazi-style police state would cost than its actual consequences.
“They’re trying to cut the budget by 20 per cent so we just want to make sure that we can model the police state after the Nazi Germany system,” Dice tells another couple who sign the petition, before adding, “Thanks for supporting the police state.”
“We’re going to model it after the Nazi Germany-style police state,” Dice clearly tells another man who signs the petition.
“We need this Orwellian-style system to keep everybody safe,” Dice tells a woman as she is signing the petition, to which she responds, “Yeah.”
The standard bearer for using satirical petitions to illustrate how misinformed Americans really are stretches all the way back to 1990, when it was repeatedly proven that people would sign petitions to ban water, but only if it was renamed “dihydrogen monoxide.” Penn and Tellerreproduced the social experiment in 2003 when they were successful in getting environmentalists to sign a similar petition.
However, Dice has proven that some element of trickery is no longer necessary to convince Americans to support ludicrously draconian policies.
He quite clearly spells it out to them on numerous occasions what they are supporting – an Orwellian police state modeled on Nazi Germany.
Dice’s previous videos illustrate how Americans are willing to support just about anything, so long as it is done in the name of supporting Obama or the government, including granting Obama immunity for all crimes he commits while in office, adding birth control drugs to the water supply, and repealing the 2nd, 4th and 5th amendments to the Constitution while detaining gun owners in concentration camps.
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Paul Joseph Watson is the editor and writer for Infowars.com and Prison Planet.com. He is the author of Order Out Of Chaos. Watson is also a host for Infowars Nightly News.
This article was posted: Monday, October 21, 2013 at 5:57 am