British police and social care workers are facing mounting criticism after a major report revealed widespread failure to help at least 1,400 children in the town of Rotherham who were subjected to horrific sexual abuse, mostly by Pakistani criminal gangs between 1997 and 2013, out of fear of coming off as racist.
"By far the majority of perpetrators were described as 'Asian' by victims, yet throughout the entire period, councilors did not engage directly with the Pakistani-heritage community to discuss how best they could jointly address the issue. Some councilors seemed to think it was a one-off problem, which they hoped would go away," the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham wrote in its 157-page report.
"Several staff described their nervousness about identifying the ethnic origins of perpetrators for fear of being thought racist; others remembered clear direction from their managers not to do so," according to the report. more >>
The convictions of 16 Amish men and women in Ohio found guilty of beard- and hair-cutting attacks on fellow members of their faith have been overturned by the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The Appeals Court determined that the jury in the case was given incorrect instructions on how to deliberate the role of religion in the attacks, documents from the case state.
"No one questions that the assaults occurred, and only a few defendants question their participation in them. The central issue at trial was whether the defendants committed the assaults 'because of' the religion of the victims," the decision from the Appeals Court read. "When all is said and done, considerable evidence supported the defendants' theory that interpersonal and intrafamily disagreements, not the victims' religious beliefs, sparked the attacks." more >>
A Satanic group that is scheduled to perform a "black mass" in Oklahoma City next month has returned some consecrated communion bread to the Catholic Church.
Last week, the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City filed a lawsuit against the group, claiming that their acquisition of the Eucharist could have only been via theft.
Filed Wednesday in Oklahoma County District Court, the lawsuit described the host as being the product of only the "sacred ritual" of Catholic mass and consecrated by an "ordained priest." more >>
To members of the East Lumberton Baptist Church in North Carolina, Rev. William "Bill" Scott, 68, and his wife, Charlotte, 64, were a happy couple that loved life. So it was quite a shock last Wednesday night when a service at the church was interrupted by the news that Rev. Scott and his wife had been killed.
"We have had a tragedy occur within our church family today. Two of our dearest saints, Rev. Bill and Charlotte Scott, have gone to be with the Lord. The details of the situation are still unknown, so just be in prayer for the family during this time," East Lumberton Baptist Church noted in a brief message on its Facebook page last Wednesday.
While child sex trafficking is a serious crime, those who purchase sex with minors often avoid stiff punishment in the U.S. criminal justice system, according to a new report.
Approximately 40 percent of people found guilty for purchasing sex with trafficked children in the United States avoid felony charges while 26 percent serve no jail time.
Shared Hope International's Demanding Justice Project report studied over 113 cases where buyers were found guilty of buying sex with a minor in various metropolitan regions of the country including Phoenix, Seattle, the Baltimore-Washington D.C. corridor, and Portland. Only five of the cases proceeded to trial while the rest of the cases settled on plea agreements. Only 81 percent of the guilty buyers were convicted of a felony and none of them were charged with sex trafficking. more >>
In the aftermath of the robbery, assault, and then police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, I can offer some advice: Be sure not to forget to also steal those AAA batteries for the flat-screen remote. It is frustrating to get home and not have them. Then you just have to turn around and go back to the convenience store, where they are expensive, and choke a hapless clerk to get your batteries.
To be fair, at least when you loot a TV you don't have to fight off that store clerk's hard sell, hot boxing you into buying the extended warranty.
Police shootings are not a major issue. There were 12 million total arrests in the United States in 2012 and, according to FBI statistics; there were only 420 police shootings during those 12 million arrests. The highest percent of those shot, 42 percent, were white. Blacks were 32 percent and Hispanics 20 percent -- about in line with crimes committed. But shootings only happened in .000035 percent of arrests. It is not a "crisis." more >>