Wednesday, May 9, 2012

"Money Missionaries" Help Struggling Families

NJ woman admits making, streaming child porn

A New Jersey woman admitted Wednesday to sexually assaulting a 5-year-old girl she was allegedly babysitting and putting a video of the assault on the Internet.
Jennifer Mahoney, 33, of Manalapan pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to sexual exploitation of a child.
She faces between 15 and 30 years in prison when she is sentenced Aug. 22, and will have to pay restitution to the victim. She had been charged with two counts of sexual exploitation of a child.

Fed clears China's first US bank takeover

The United States on Wednesday opened its banking market to ICBC, China's biggest bank, for the first time clearing a takeover of a US bank by a Chinese state-controlled company.
Just days after high-level US-China economic talks in Beijing, the Federal Reserve approved an application from Industrial and Commercial Bank of China to buy a majority stake in the US subsidiary of Bank of East Asia.
The transaction will make ICBC the first Chinese state-controlled bank to acquire retail bank branches in the United States.
ICBC has been the most aggressive of China's "big four" banks in expanding overseas.
According to the Fed the bank has total assets of roughly $2.5 trillion.
It will buy up to 80 percent of the US unit of the Hong Kong-based Bank of East Asia, which operates 13 branches in New York and California.
As part of the deal ICBC and two state-backed financial firms -- China's sovereign wealth fund the China Investment Corporation (CIC), and Central Huijin Investment -- will be recognized as bank holding companies, regulated as commercial US banks.
The broad expansion of China's footprint in the US market comes amid a series of financial reforms in China that could begin to open the lucrative market to US firms.
After the May 3-4 meeting, the US Treasury noted China had made "encouraging progress" on a number of issues sought by the Obama administration, including taking steps toward a more open and market-oriented financial system.
The Fed said Wednesday that the ICBC proposed acquisition, which is "relatively small," would not have much of an impact on the banking market.
"The combined deposits of the relevant institutions in the Metropolitan New York banking market represent less than one percent of market deposits," the central bank noted.
The competition includes Bank of China branches in the New York metropolitan area, and CIC, which has a noncontrolling stake in Morgan Stanley.
ICBC will pay $140 million to buy an 80 percent interest in Bank of East Asia USA, China's state news agency Xinhua reported in January 2011, at the time the deal was signed.
"This unprecedented acquisition of a controlling stake in a US commercial bank by a mainland bank is strategically significant," Xinhua quoted ICBC chairman Jiang Jianqing as saying.


Georgia Gov. Signs Bill Allowing 10 Commandments Posted at all Public Bldgs

“Foundations of American Law & Government Display”

Georgia Governor, Republican Nathan Deal has signed an amended “historical display” law that will allow America’s founding documents as well as the Ten Commandments and the Magna Carta to be posted at schools and other government buildings in addition to the courthouses as the original bill allowed.
The amended law introduced by State Rep. Tommy Benton (R, Jefferson, Dist. 31) allows the “Foundations of American Law & Government Display” to be publicly displayed in “all public buildings.”
The display includes the following documents:
  • The Ten Commandments
  • The Mayflower Compact, 1620
  • The Declaration of Independence
  • Magna Carta
  • ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ by Francis Scott Key
  • The National Motto: “In God We Trust”
  • The Preamble to the Georgia Constitution
  • The Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution
  • The description on the image of Lady Justice

World Net Daily's Chelsea Schilling ON AIR Tonight JMC Live 9PM EST

THE DARK SIDE of Facebook! World Net Daily Exclusive Chelsea Schilling ON AIR Tonight JMC Live 9PM EST

Covering the social media seedy side of Facebook and the exploitation of children online.

Texas Inmate Gets 41 Percent of Democratic Vote in West VA

Cash-Strapped NY Town Cancels July 4 Fireworks

A cash-strapped New York town has had to cancel Fourth of July fireworks and is appealing for donations to save its celebration of America's birthday.
New Rochelle town officials say the Independence Day display costs $75,000, and was eliminated from the city's 2012 budget, along with the Memorial Day parade and Thanksgiving parade, which both cost $30,000 to put on.
The costs for those parades include $10,000 for the event and $20,000 for police, fire and emergency service support, the town said.
New Rochelle has asked for donations to help save the holiday celebrations, and so far, enough money has been collected to hold the Memorial Day parade.
Funding for the Thanksgiving parade is also coming in, officials said, but the news for July 4 is bleak.
"Should funds not be raised, this event unfortunately will remain canceled," the town said.
Mayor Noam Bramson said the town is in a "time of fiscal challenge" and depends on the support of donations to help out.
For information about donating, call 914-654-2087.

New York High Court OKs Child-Porn Web Surfing

Accessing and viewing child pornography over the internet is not necessarily a crime under New York law, the state’s highest court ruled Tuesday.
The unanimous court said that child porn stored in a computer’s browser cache is not enough evidence to convict someone for child-porn possession under state law.
The New York Court of Appeals ruled that the authorities, under New York’s child-porn statutes, must prove that an internet surfer knew that his computer automatically stored cached images, or printed or downloaded the images.
“Nonetheless, that such images were simply viewed, and that defendant had the theoretical capacity to exercise control over them during the time they were resident on the screen, is not enough to constitute their procurement or possession,” Judge Carmen Ciparick wrote (.pdf) for the court.
(A cache contains images or portions of a web page that are automatically stored when that page is visited and displayed on a computer screen. If the web surfer visits a web page again at a later date, the images are recalled from the cache rather than being pulled from the internet, allowing the page to load more quickly.)
Judge Victoria Graffeo concurred with the results in separate opinion but blasted it nonetheless. She said the decision “will, unfortunately, lead to increased consumption of child pornography by luring new visitors who were previously dissuaded by the potential for criminal prosecution.”
Patrick Trueman, president of Morality in Media, also decried the decision, saying the court has given “permission to pedophiles and child molesters to continue the sexual molestation and recording of child sex abuse.”
High courts in Georgia and Alaska have ruled similarly. To counter similar rulings by two federal appeals court, Congress in 2008 amended federal child porn statutes to include language making it a crime to “knowingly access” child porn.


Nevada Approves Driverless Cars

Testing RFID Tickets at Washington Nationals' Park

The major league baseball team is conducting a pilot involving RFID-enabled game tickets that automate entrance at turnstiles, enable payments at refreshment stands and shops, and let users collect reward points.
By Claire Swedberg

May 4, 2012—The Washington Nationals major league baseball team is striving to make its home games a more interactive experience for its fans, enabling them to employ radio frequency identification technology to manage their tickets, as well as food and beverage purchases, and to receive rewards and special offers. The solution, which replaces traditional paper tickets with a high-frequency (HF) RFID card, also reduces the amount of time that fans spend queuing up to enter Nationals Park. The RFID-based system, provided by British sports and entertainment technology firm Fortress GB, is being piloted this season by approximately 300 season pass holders, with plans to fully deploy the solution for all ticket holders during the 2013 season.

Fans carrying the RFID-enabled card may begin their experience by walking through an automated turnstile in a fraction of the time that it takes traditional ticket holders to enter, after which they can then use the card throughout the stadium and throughout the game, in order to make payments and receive points and rewards. The park's management has installed RFID readers and bar-code scanners at the front gate, as well as at refreshment stands and merchandise shops, enabling visitors to make purchases using a prepaid balance loaded onto an account linked to the card, as well as maintain an online record of transactions and receive promotions based on their spending habits, if they choose to opt in to the system.

At Nationals Park, RFID readers are built into the turnstiles.

"It's not about getting fans through turnstiles," says Andy Feffer, the Nationals' COO. "It's about looking at ticketing as a three-dimensional experience."

The RFID-enabled cards, provided by Fortress GB, contain an NXP Semiconductors Mifare 13.56 MHz RFID chip (compliant with the ISO 14443 standard). Upon arriving at Nationals Park, a participant can utilize one of 24 Fortress GB Tri-Reader devices connected to the park's turnstiles. These Tri-Readers consist of an RFID interrogator and a bar-code scanner integrated in a single device wired to the back-end system, where Fortress GB software manages read- and scan-related data. The Tri-Reader device was assembled by Fortress GB using a variety of RFID reader components supplied by third-party providers. When a valid RFID card is placed near the reader, the ID number encoded on the chip is captured and then forwarded to the back-end system via a cabled connection, where Fortress GB software authenticates the ID, triggering the turnstile's release. Simultaneously, the software stores that event and creates reward points, as well as a historical record for team managers. If the individual has earned sufficient points to merit a gift—such as a free hot dog and soda, or a game ticket—he or she can receive a text message or e-mail indicating that fact.

In many cases, a visitor will have a ticket with a printed bar code instead of a card containing a passive RFID inlay. For instance, if that individual prints a ticket at home, the ticket will come with a printed bar code. In the event that the Tri-Reader fails to detect an RFID chip's presence, it will scan the bar code and trigger the turnstile to open, provided that the ID is valid.


ZANESVILLE, OH Church Opens Doors as Homeless Shelter

ZANESVILLE -- Zanesville's homeless population has a new option for where to spend its nights.
First United Methodist Church, on Putnam Avenue, has transformed an unused wing of its building into a homeless shelter. The shelter features separate rooms for men and woman, a room for families and a lounge area with a couch.
It's open every day from 9 p.m. until 7 a.m. the following day. There are no restrictions on who can stay.
During April, the first month the shelter was open, 30 people stayed overnight at the church, for a total of 94 stays, Marilyn Moody, FUMC secretary, said. There are about six people at the shelter on an average night, she said.
"We don't know when anybody might have a need to sleep somewhere, and where do you go?" Moody said. "We're just glad we're here to serve our neighbors."
The idea for the shelter came from Zanesville resident Joyce Spears, who runs her own homelessness ministry at night, driving around Zanesville giving out hot meals.
Spears also is trying to launch a daytime resource center for homeless people that would include a laundry facility, a kitchen, showers, computers, TVs, offices, counseling and literacy classes -- anything to help people overcome whatever obstacles are keeping them homeless.
During the latest homeless count, the Muskingum County Continuum of Care counted 67 homeless people in the county. That includes 42 people living in shelters or transitional housing and 25 on the streets.
Spears' original plan for the homeless shelter was for 12 churches to sign on to form a rotating homeless shelter. One church would host for a month, then the shelter would rotate to the next church in line. Spears also was having trouble getting churches signed up, so when she made her pitch to the about 12- member FUMC advisory council, the members immediately and unanimously decided to help, Moody said.
"We have been shown that that's our mission, to be a servant church," Moody said.
FUMC agreed to open up its space, and Spears agreed to find volunteers to supervise the shelter at night.
The shelter is a side wing that originally was the church's parsonage. In the '60s, the pastor's family decided to move into a separate home, and the rooms were turned into Sunday school classes. Then in the '80s, it got too expensive to heat, and the church closed off the wing. Since then, it hasn't been used for much other than storage and occasionally as a prayer room, Moody said.
FUMC started in March preparing the wing. With the help of volunteers and donations, both from the church and elsewhere, FUMC fixed up two bathrooms with new toilets and sinks, put up drywall, installed new smoke detectors and a new door for the fire escape and put in new curtains.
Then on April 1, the shelter opened.
There's still a lot to be done -- painting, cleaning and a few bigger projects, such as updating the electrical wiring in the shelter -- but FUMC plans to figure that out along the way, Moody said.
She also is hoping the church will be able to raise money to pay for the extra heating bills during the winter, and maybe get some fans donated to cool the building during summer.
"We have no idea what expenses will be coming up from this," Moody said. "We just trust that God will provide and people will come forward.
"No one knows how to do this. It's just something you learn as you go."; (740) 450-6758


Churches 'Prayer and Produce' Stand in Lakeland, FL Being Threatened to Shut Down Due to Law

A produce stand that trades food for donations is causing some controversy in Polk County.

Jonathan Friedt, who is the associate pastor of Believers Fellowship Work of Faith Church in Lakeland, said he has been told by the city that the stand will have to be shut down because it is violating regulations.
"It has really opened the door for us to share the gospel with a lot of people," he said.
The church doesn't require that people donate money in exchange for food.  Sandra Sebastiano said she has been able to take advantage of the church's produce stand even when she doesn't have any money.
"There are many times when I don’t have anything at all that I can contribute, and so I’m able to come and get the things without any donation at times," she said.
The donations may have to stop, though, as the city wants to shut the stand down. City spokesman Kevin Cook said the stand violates zoning codes.
"The basic issue is the tent is larger than what is allowed per residential use," he said. "And the signage and the way the produce stand is operating is commercial use, in an area zoned for residential."
Friedt disagrees, saying the only money the stand brings in is from donations.


Delta Stops Advertising on 'Daily Show' After Anti-Christian 'Vagina Manger' Skit

( - Delta Air Lines has decided to stop sponsoring Jon Stewart’s “The Daily Show” after it aired a political skit featuring a picture of a Christian manger scene placed between a nude woman’s spread legs.
“We are constantly evaluating our advertising strategy and at this time we no longer advertise during ‘The Daily Show,’” Leslie Scott, a Delta spokesperson, told in a statement read over the phone. “Delta advertises in a variety of places in order to reach our customers and support our business. This advertising is not intended as an endorsement of any opinions expressed by these outlets.”
Scott did not specifically mention the skit in question, but it has been criticized by Christian groups. The Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights has been running a campaign for sponsors to stop advertising on the program until Stewart apologizes.
In the April 16 “Daily Show” segment dubbed ‘Vagina Manger,’ Stewart showed a picture of a naked woman with a nativity scene image placed at her crotch, between her spread legs. The image included depictions of Joseph, Mary, baby Jesus, and an angel. (Click here to see image -- Warning: Graphic.)


Orlanda, Florida Named Number 1 "Smuttiest" US City

When it comes to porn, there's nothing Mickey Mouse about the hometown of Disney World.

In its April edition, Men's Health magazine ranks the nation's 100 "smuttiest" U.S. cities. Not only did Orlando, Fla. — home to Walt Disney World and SeaWorld — finish No. 1, but Florida headed the list of smuttiest states.
Read the full article at Men's Health
"It seems that while tourists line up at a kid-friendly fantasy world, the locals prefer one in which Snow White and the dwarfs whistle while they... well, you know," the magazine offered.
Tampa, Fla. — where the Republican National Convention will take place this summer — came in at No. 8. But Democrats shouldn't make fun. The home of their convention — Charlotte, N.C. — is No. 5.