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Can You Hear Me Now?

Sunday, June 8, 2008
From the AP, via CNN:

"Researchers secretly tracked the locations of 100,000 people outside the United States through their cell phone use and concluded that most people rarely stray more than a few miles from home."

"The first-of-its-kind study by Northeastern University raises privacy and ethical questions for its monitoring methods, which would be illegal in the United States."

The study evidentially sought to see how far the average person strays from home in a year.

Creepy.

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Aid Workers Accused of Raping and Abusing Children in the Ivory Coast, Sudan, and Haiti

Wednesday, May 28, 2008
CNN's Stephanie Busari reports that "[h]umanitarian aid workers and United Nation peacekeepers are sexually abusing small children in several war-ravaged and food-poor countries." Charges of child pornography, rape, prostitution, sexual assault, and sex trafficking of children as young as six have been made against some of the world's most well-respected organizations.

For More Details:
Save the Children has issued a report titled "No One to Turn To," which can be downloaded from CNN.

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What Public Funds Could Do When Spent on Non-Military Stuff

Monday, May 26, 2008
In what may be another byproduct of the money pit that is the war in Iraq, the nation's wildlife refuges have fallen into disrepair. Responding to the proliferation of illegal drug farms and prostitution rings within America's understaffed and underfunded refuges, Evan Hirshe, president of the National Wildlife Refuge Association and chairman of the Cooperative Alliance for Refuge Enhancement (CARE), recently told Congress that "[w]ithout adequate funding, we are jeopardizing some of the world's most spectacular wildlife and wild lands" and recommended an eighty million dollar funding increase for the 2009 fiscal year.

Such an increase would bring public funding of our nation's wildlife refuges to $514 million, a figure that is still well below the $765 million CARE estimates is the minimal adequate amount to maintain the one hundred million acres of land under the protection of the National Wildlife Refuge System. As a result of budget-related staff cuts, the system only cannot afford to pay staff more than 180 of the 845 law enforcement officials needed to ensure the safety of the refuges' many visitors.

With more than forty million visitors a year, the nation's wildlife refuges bring in an estimated $1.7 billion to the American economy and provide well over 25,000 jobs.

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SDSU Appears to Be a Normal School, Sadly

Tuesday, May 6, 2008
From CNN.com:

"Among those arrested were 75 students, some of them working toward criminal justice or homeland security degrees. One criminal justice major was charged with possession of guns and cocaine, authorities said."

"Authorities say they infiltrated seven campus fraternities and found that in some, most of the students were aware of drug dealing by fraternity brothers."

"One student allegedly dealing cocaine was a month short of obtaining a master's degree in Homeland Security and worked with campus police as a student community service officer."
[Full story]

Is it bad that I am wholly unsurprised by the idea of cops-to-be breaking laws and frat brothers selling drugs?

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Portland Police Tell Citizens to "Do As We Say, Not As We Do"

Tuesday, April 22, 2008
The Portland Mercury's Matt Davis reports that "[a] citizen who watched a cop illegally park, then walk into a Chinese restaurant to wait for his food, has issued the officer a series of citizen-initiated parking violations." Apparently, Chad Stensgaard
walked into the restaurant wearing his police uniform, but did not make any arrests or citations. Instead, he turned his attention to the basketball game on television, according to [Eric] Bryant. When Bryant asked Stensgaard about his vehicle, Stensgaard allegedly acknowledged being in a no-parking zone but asked Bryant, "If someone broke into your house, would you rather have the police be able to park in front of your house or have to park three blocks away and walk there?"
Bryant, an Oregonian lawyer, maintains that "[c]itizens should be concerned that he used his status as an officer of the law as justification for breaking the law" despite the police department's insistence that certain laws don't really pertain to officers of the law.

Brian Martinek, the assistant Police Chief of the Portland Police Department, maintains that "from what I know, um, I think the officer did what he was supposed to do" by parking in a clearly-marked no parking zone. In an interview with KGW-TV's Dave Northfield (available via CNN), a visibly amused Martinek dismisses the suit, claiming that "[h]e did look around for a parking spot."

Smirking, the Assistant Chief of Police continues, "I think asking an officer to spend a, uh, uh, uh, inordinate amount of time trying to find a, uh, 'legal' parking space, um, that may be a long ways away from where they're going is, is (sic) unreasonable." Viewers might find the finger quotes the scoffing Chief places around the word "legal" amusing, in the most ironic of senses.

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