Officials in the US have dismantled a huge international online child pornography ring – one of the largest such operations ever uncovered, American authorities say.
They say that 14 men running a secret, members-only child porn website have been arrested.
About 250 children – mostly boys from the US – appeared on the site.
The website had more than 27,000 subscribers, many of whom have been charged in individual cases.
“Never before in the history of this agency have we identified and located this many minor victims in the course of a single child exploitation investigation,” Immigration and Customs Enforcement (Ice) Deputy Director Daniel Ragsdale told Reuters news agency.
Ice worked with Homeland Security officials and other agencies to break up the ring, which ran a website to share videos of boys enticed from social networks into providing sexually explicit material – sometimes by men posing as women.
Ages of the children ranged in age from three to 17 years, officials said, and came from 39 US states. Twenty-three of the 251 victims were identified in Britain, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Belgium.
For all of its benefits, the dark side of the Internet is very, very dark. For years I was accused of being overly protective of my daughter when it came to even my own social media habits. But the online world is one big, sinister playground for some of the worst of society.
image illustration courtesy shutterstock / Naypong
German prosecutors have ruled that a 92-year-old former Auschwitz guard is fit to stand trial for being an accessory to the murder of tens of thousands of Jews sent to their deaths at the infamous Nazi extermination camp during the Second World War.
Oskar Groening, a former Nazi sergeant, admits serving at Auschwitz for two and a half years but he claims to have merely guarded doomed prisoners’ possessions at the camp and insists that he did not commit war crimes there.
However state prosecutors in Hanover announced on Thursday that they had completed an initial investigation against Groening and pronounced that he was fit to stand trial. He is likely to become the first former death camp guard to appear before a German court in decades.
Evil is still evil, even when it is presented in a doddering, grandfatherly package.
Mr. Cuomo also said he wanted to pay top teachers performance bonuses and announced plans for a $2 billion bond referendum in the fall that, if passed by voters, would be used to upgrade public schools and provide them better equipment.
The governor spent a fair bit of time talking about education, as Mr. de Blasio looked on. The mayor has made universal prekindergarten classes a priority, promising to pay for the program with a tax on city residents earning $500,000 or more, an issue he pressed in comments to reporters.
Mr. Cuomo affirmed the state’s commitment to early childhood education, and made a promise to deliver full-day prekindergarten, but he did not say how much it would cost.
After the speech, Mr. de Blasio, who needs legislative approval for his proposed tax increase, praised the governor for presenting what he called “a progressive, proactive agenda for the future of our state,” and called the governor’s goal of expanding prekindergarten statewide “a fantastic statement.”
I mentioned a few weeks ago that de Blasio was excited about a meeting with The Idiot King where the progressive preschool push was talked about a lot.
It really is the linchpin of their ambitious agenda, one that aims to mold voters sympathetic to them before they’re even allowed to vote.
Progressives will trot out study after study to prove to you that your child will never learn to write his name without sticking the pen in his eye if you don’t get him to a preschool STAT. (One wonders how all of the scientists who got us to the moon were able to do so without the benefit of having gone to preschool.) It’s all garbage, of course, but it’s purposeful garbage. The sooner they can get your kids out of your hands and into those of a government employee who will say anything for a pension, the better.
And how do they get them there? Simple: continually make the tax burden on average parents so overwhelming that both have no choice but to work. Daycare too pricey you say? Hey-the governor just said he’s going to pay for preschool.
That’s how it is done.
image courtesy shutterstock / Djomas
Everyone on my side of the aisle was raving about season one so, having broken ribs and nowhere to go, I watched it. It usually takes just four minutes before the first awful liberal cliché shows up in any recent American political television or movie production so I braced myself. When four minutes passed and there wasn’t one, I committed to the entire first episode. Then I devoured all thirteen. Yes, there are a few ridiculous moments but it isn’t full of that “Republicans the way liberal screenwriters who have never met one would write them” tripe that plagues entertainment these days.
Season two looks delicious.
Chimpanzees are not people, no matter how they are dressed up for commercials, but perhaps they are close enough that they deserve some of the same rights humans have.
That is what an animal rights group claimed on Monday when it filed a classic writ of habeas corpus, that revered staple of American and English law and tired cliché of detective fiction — not for a human being held unlawfully, but for Tommy, a chimpanzee in Gloversville, N.Y.
This is no stunt. The Nonhuman Rights Project has been working on this legal strategy for years, sifting through decisions in all 50 states to find one that is strong on what is called common law, and one that recognizes animals as legal persons for the purpose of being the beneficiary of a trust.
The leader of the project, Steven M. Wise, who has written about the history of habeas corpus writs in the fight against human slavery and who views the crusade for animal rights as a lifelong project, said New York fit the bill.
I appreciate people trying to protect animals but I don’t appreciate people being insane, which is what you are if you are investing time and money to get Constitutional rights extended to chimpanzees.
Every time I read about or meet zealots like this I always think, “Aren’t there some humans in distress who you could be helping?”
It’s exactly what critics of the Common Core school curriculum warned about: Partisan political statements masquerading as English lessons finding their way into elementary school classrooms.
Teaching materials aligned with the controversial national educational standards ask fifth-graders to edit such sentences as “(The president) makes sure the laws of the country are fair,” “The wants of an individual are less important than the well-being of the nation” and “the commands of government officials must be obeyed by all.” The sentences, which appear in worksheets published by New Jersey-based Pearson Education, are presented not only for their substance, but also to teach children how to streamline bulky writing.
Did someone resurrect Stalin to outline this program?
Every time a Common Core proponent tells me I am imagining things evidence seems to show up that makes my imagination very, very vivid.
(click to enlarge)
The pilot father of a student who caused outrage by dressing up as the World Trade Center for a nightclub fancy dress competition has said he is ‘not happy at all’ about his daughter’s behaviour.
Amber Langford and Annie Collinge, both 19, won the contest and a £150 prize at a Chester nightclub despite lampooning the worst terrorist attack in modern history.
Miss Langford’s father Martin, who was flying in the U.S. at the time of the atrocity, said: ‘I didn’t know anything about it, but I’m not happy at all.
‘She knows I’m a pilot and that’s not cool at all. We will be having a little chat, I think.’
I know they are young and clueless but…come on.
Also, let’s give Halloween back to the little kids.
I’m sure this made sense in his head when he wrote it.
As with almost every “this is why the GOP sucks” thing I’ve seen in recent years, its premise is a bit iffy, which pretty much makes the rest of it a nothing burger. Here’s what the infamously disgruntled fauxpublican claims are the three major “policy” defeats the GOP has suffered in the Team Lightbringer era:
(1) The fight over Obamacare. Result: the most ambitious new social insurance program since Medicare, financed—unlike Medicare—by redistributive new taxes on investment and high incomes.
(2) The 2012 election. Result: Despite the worst economy since the Great Depression, the reelection of President Obama, Democratic retention of the Senate, and 1.4 million more votes cast for House Democrats than for House Republicans.
(3) The fight over the “fiscal cliff” at the end of 2012. Result: In order to preserve some of the Bush tax cuts, Republicans for the first time since 1991 left their fingerprints on a tax increase for upper income groups.
Number 1 is ridiculous since the Republicans weren’t even really in a position to put up a fight at the time and Obama, Pelosi and Reid resorted to every sort of procedural trickery there was to get the never-popular PPACA
shoved down our throats passed. The real “fight” over it came in November 2010 when many in the electorate realized what had happened and turned the House over to the GOP.
Number 2 isn’t really a “policy” defeat and has no value whatsoever without including 2010 in the win column, which Frum doesn’t do. The “more votes cast for House Democrats than for House Republicans” is seen as a victory even though it left the GOP in control yet the 2010 election that actually did something didn’t count? Buh-bye, Number 2.
Number 3 is the only thing he’s actually accurate about here and I don’t need to get my blood pressure up getting into that.
Frum then clicks off what he perceives are the seven bad habits of the GOP that led to these three defeats, two of which weren’t. It’s boilerplate Frum screed, working out his never-ending issues with the GOP so his new libmedia masters will continue to give him treats. Here is one part from the rest of it that will tell you all you need to know:
Barack Obama was never likely to be popular with the Republican base. It’s not just that he’s black.
It’s not “just” that he’s black…get it? But that’s totally part of it because of… racism.
Yet it plays to the zero-info leftmedia hacks who love him.
— Christopher Hayes (@chrislhayes) October 8, 2013
Almost a year after the theater shootings in Aurora, Colo., and a half-year after the killings in Newtown, Conn., one of the things that hasn’t changed is Hollywood’s enchantment with the gun, at least when it comes to selling the big movies.
As the blockbuster film season unfolds, every major studio has firearms of one sort or another in its marketing arsenal. At Sony Pictures Entertainment, Channing Tatum clutches a sidearm the size of Wyatt Earp’s as he walks Jamie Foxx to safety on the poster for “White House Down.”
At Paramount Pictures, Brad Pitt, zombie hunter, has an even bigger piece of personal artillery slung across his back in the promotional art for “World War Z.”
Johnny Depp packs a pistol in his pants on the poster for Disney’s “The Lone Ranger.” Melissa McCarthy grips what appears to be a full-blown grenade launcher in the advertisements for 20th Century Fox’s “The Heat.”
The glowing handguns on the art for Universal’s “R.I.P.D.” have a preternatural look; but what really gets your attention are those chillingly real guns being flashed by Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg, standing back to back, on the poster for the same studio’s “2 Guns.”
Hollywood loves guns because Americans love guns. It’s that simple. The media elites and anti-gun progressives on Capitol Hill have been trying to spin a tale about people all over the land who are desperate for stricter gun laws which just isn’t true. They are actually more frightened of normal, law abiding gun owners using guns frequently and safely than they are the occasional mass murderer. Why?
Because they destroy the narrative and that is all-important.
Just when you think it’s safe to log on to the most overrated social media platform in history…
Hey, here’s something really stupid and annoying: Facebook abruptly switched everyone’s default email address to the @facebook.com account you’ve never used. Here’s how to switch back Facebook’s obnoxious overreach right now. So people can actually, you know, contact you.
Of course, Facebook’s standard operating procedure is to constantly make changes that either compromise security or provide users with something they never wanted. It’s most stunning achievement is that every “improvement” seems to make the site worse yet people keep flocking to it.
Four differently themed “regions” of sixteen competitors each have been chosen and seeded for a tournament that will crown an MVP (Most Vile Progressive). Yours truly was part of the seeding committee and I will be on FTR tonight at 10 PM EDT for the big Selection Show. The tournament will open up to the public after that. Votes will be cast on the station’s site and should be almost as much fun as watching Duke lose early.
I did not agree with some of the final seeding choices so I may very well have to spend some time searching for votes in a Minnesota car trunk somewhere.
A hallmark of modern atheists is that so many of them seem to be rather, well, evangelical about their disbelief. Dawkins has made a career out of fervently preaching the non-word. Perhaps mellowing with age, he now admits to being agnostic rather than atheist (a label he had no problem with for decades).
Although Dawkins said that the chance of God existing wasn’t a great one, Dr. Stanley decided even that number was a bit high if the risk was any afterlife time with him.
Consider the calculations that a man makes when insuring his house from fire. If the chances of his houses catching fire are just one-in-a-hundred, he might forgo purchasing insurance because he gambles that he’s unlikely to ever need it. Yet all of us would still make the purchase because the consequences of that one-in-a-hundred accident happening are so unbearably dire. A single, improbable spark could destroy everything. Therefore, the man buys the insurance.
If Dawkins is playing the law of averages, then he has to make the same calculation about God. To be sure, he only acknowledges a 1.5 percent chance that the Almighty exists. If his gamble is proven right, then Dawkins will die and suffer no consequences. But if that 1.5 percent chance comes through, the consequences are hugely disproportionate to the stakes. One of the reasons why I go to Church is that I don’t want to run the risk of spending eternity in Hell with Richard Dawkins. Even a 1.5 percent risk isn’t worth running. I’d rather go to Heaven with the androids.
There are still another five days left in this sale. New apps are featured each day and, at ten cents a pop, the majority of them are hard to resist. I’ve downloaded several games that I wouldn’t have tried at $4.99 and have been having a blast keeping calmer than usual in the TSA line the past few days. Where else outside of some obscure South Pacific island can you have this much fun for two or three bucks?
Would Americans increase peace in family life and strengthen family bonds if they adopted more accepting attitudes about sex and what’s allowable under the family roof? I’ve interviewed 130 people, all white, middle class and not particularly religious, as part of a study of teenage sex and family life here and in the Netherlands. My look into cultural differences suggests family life might be much improved, for all, if Americans had more open ideas about teenage sex.
Amy Schalet is a sociology professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, via an education at Berkeley and Harvard and a postdoctoral fellowship at UC San Francisco. So it’s safe to say that I’m not surprised that she’s staked out some ground somewhere on the far left of left in her new book. As the father of a newly minted (one week ago) teenage daughter, however, this one has my head spinning around. And not in the fun head spinning around kind of way.
While I haven’t read the book, I am using some of the points that Dr. Schalet chose to illustrate her conclusions. Some of these conclusions seem more like generalizations based on what she picked out from her own book to make her case.
Kimberly and Natalie dramatize the cultural differences in the way young women experience their sexuality. (I have changed their names to protect confidentiality.) Kimberly, a 16-year-old American, never received sex education at home. “God, no! No, no! That’s not going to happen,” she told me. She’d like to tell her parents that she and her boyfriend are having sex, but she believes it is easier for her parents not to know because the truth would “shatter” their image of her as their “little princess.”
Natalie, who is also 16 but Dutch, didn’t tell her parents immediately when she first had intercourse with her boyfriend of three months. But, soon after, she says, she was so happy, she wanted to share the good news. Initially her father was upset and worried about his daughter and his honor. “Talk to him,” his wife advised Natalie; after she did, her father made peace with the change. Essentially Natalie and her family negotiated a life change together and figured out, as a family, how to adjust to changed circumstance.
It is quite unfortunate that “Kimberly” didn’t receive any sex education at home. As this article is laid out, she is supposed to be indicative of the American teenage experience. And she may very well have been if this was written in 1965. It’s true that I haven’t conducted any research on this subject. I am, however, fully immersed in the child-rearing experience, which, at the very least, gives me a legitimate frame of reference from which to form a somewhat informed opinion about this subject.
It’s time for me to inform iTunes that we’re breaking up. No, really Apple, it’s not me, it’s you. Keep your proprietary aloofness and your clunky updates, I’ve fallen out of whatever it was I originally felt for iTunes.
Several months ago, I ditched the iTunes store for Amazon MP3 because I could find songs that were priced the same or lower and they weren’t “protected”. Last week, Amazon offered unlimited space for music on its cloud drive with any paid upgrade. So I forked over the twenty bucks and began transferring my entire library. Now I have access to all my music on up to eight devices without having to constantly sync one up with another. My iTunes playlists were imported so I didn’t have to redo any of that.
After a week of road testing the Cloud Player on my Mac, iPad (yes, two Apple products and I still want to be done with iTunes) and Android phone I can easily see that this is a relationship that may last a while.
Yes, Spotify just moved across the ocean and started flirting with me by extending an early invitation to try it out. I’ve only been using it for a day and can see some potential but there have been some glitches that I wouldn’t expect from a platform that’s already in full use elsewhere.
The transfer does take a long time (several days for people who had hundreds of CDs ripped to iTunes) but that’s one of the last inconvenient things you’ll have to deal with regarding your music collection and its accessibility.
The unlimited space offer won’t last forever and Amazon hasn’t stated how long it will be available. Any purchases you make from Amazon MP3 don’t count against the space you have on the cloud drive so there should be plenty for you if you happen to come across some previously lost CDs (as I just did) even after the offer expires.
My hard drive feels freer than it has in years and I’m already starting to forget what iTunes looks like.
I think I’ll go outside and enjoy some music.