A JURY has ordered the Boy Scouts of America to pay record punitive damages of $18.5m (£12m) to a man who was sexually abused by a former assistant scoutmaster more than 25 years ago.
Following the verdict Kerry Lewis, 37, said the decision to sue and testify in open court at the trial in Portland, Oregon, had been “very scary”.
The jury heard that when he was 11 or 12 years old, Lewis was repeatedly abused by Timur Dykes, the scoutmaster. Dykes had already admitted to a Scouts official that he had molested 17 other boys. Under Oregon law Lewis, also awarded $1.4m compensatory damages, must hand 60% ($11m) of the punitive award to the state.
Lawyers for Lewis told the six-week trial that because of his ordeal he had suffered from personality problems including drug abuse and difficulties in forming relationships.
The case is particularly damaging to the Boy Scouts of America, which is unrelated to the British organisation, because it drew attention to “perversion files” that it keeps at its headquarters in Texas.
Lawyers for Lewis said the files, more than 1,000 of which were shown to the court but kept secret from the press and public, detailed many cases in which volunteers were allowed to continue working with children even after the Scouts had received complaints that they were abusers.
Red Ants beat residents of Alexandra Township with crowbars
WAVING iron bars and pickaxes, the Red Ants, a rented mob of thugs in bright red overalls and crimson helmets, used the half-light of dawn for cover as they marched into the slum. Stamping out the first cooking fires of the day with heavy boots, they spread out in a long line. Then they attacked.
Bleary immigrant women dropped plastic water containers and ran in panic towards their corrugated iron homes. “Grab the children,” they screamed.
By sunrise their shacks on the outskirts of Johannesburg had been razed. They were forced to watch as their few possessions were burnt.
The Red Ants, described as state-sponsored mercenaries by their critics, have become a growing force in the past few months as South African cities have begun a campaign of “beautification” before the World Cup begins in June. This means clearing away unsightly immigrant squatter camps.
This month, more than 100 Zimbabweans were beaten and evicted by Red Ants from a derelict building on the main road to Ellis Park stadium in Johannesburg, one of the football tournament’s main venues.
It followed a series of Red Ant evictions ordered by the provincial department of public transport along main roads within a mile of the stadium, which will host five matches. Hundreds more Zimbabweans were forcibly evicted from properties in central Johannesburg.
Two lawmakers who believe violence has become so rampant in Chicago that the Illinois National Guard must be called in to help made a public plea to Gov. Pat Quinn to deploy troops.
April 14: Chicago Police and investigators are seen following a shooting that left four people dead, including two children.
CHICAGO (AP) — Two lawmakers who believe violence has become so rampant in Chicago that the Illinois National Guard must be called in to help made a public plea to Gov. Pat Quinn on Sunday to deploy troops.
A recent surge in violent crime, including a night last week that saw seven people killed and 18 wounded — mostly by gunfire — prompted the request from Chicago Democratic Reps. John Fritchey and LaShawn Ford. They were joined by Willie Williams, whose son was shot and killed in 2006.
Chicago has had 113 homicide victims so far this year, Fritchey said.
“As we speak, National Guard members are working side-by-side with our troops to fight a war halfway around the world,” he said during a news conference in downtown Chicago. “The unfortunate reality is that we have another war that is just as deadly that is taking place right in our backyard.”
Fritchey said later that the proposal wasn’t a “no confidence” vote toward police.
“I think the police have done a commendable job in fighting this surge in violence, but I also think they could use some well-trained help,” he said. “The reality is that (police) department resources are stretched thin.”
Roger Vangheluwe said he was ‘enormously sorry’ for the abuse
The longest-serving Roman Catholic bishop in Belgium has resigned after admitting sexually abusing a boy for years. Roger Vangheluwe, 73, said that he was “enormously sorry” for molesting the boy from before he was made Bishop of Bruges in 1985.
The Vatican accepted his resignation only a day after a lawsuit was filed in the US against Pope Benedict XVI over sex abuse committed by an American priest.
The Catholic Church is reeling from the departures of several senior figures over abuse scandals, including Walter Mixa, a senior German bishop close to the Pope, who resigned on Thursday after admitting beating children at an orphanage.
Mr Vangheluwe is the most senior cleric to step down over child sex abuse during the crisis. In a statement read by the head of the Catholic Church in Belgium, Archbishop André-Joséph Leonard, the bishop said: “When I was not a bishop, and some time later, I abused a boy. This has marked the victim mentally forever. The wound does not heal. Neither in me nor the victim.”
Church officials said that Mr Vangheluwe would not be prosecuted because the crime had not been reported within the country’s statute of limitations, understood to be ten years after the victim turns 18 for cases of child sex abuse.
A safety device that warns pilots when they get too close to the ground was switched off on the Polish plane which crashed in Smolensk on April 10th, according to a report by the Russian news agency Interfax.
Ninety-six people, including Polish President Lech Kaczynski, and many top military and civilian leaders, died when the plane plummeted into woods in Russia.
An expert who examined one of the black boxes concluded from the technical data that the Terrain Awareness and Warning System (TAWS) had been turned off, according to Interfax and reported by Polskaweb
The Polish plane crash has been blamed on pilot error.
But the expert said that the fact that the TAWS device had been switched off caused the plane to crash short of a runway in fog.
“The fact that the jet had a TAWS device “opens more questions than it answers,” said John Cox, a former accident investigator, according to USA Today.
The Russian-built Tupolev TU-154 had been equipped last year with a TAWS system, which is made by Universal Avionics Systems of Tucson.
No plane equipped with the TAWS system has crashed since TAWS was introduced in the late 1990s.
The system has been mandatory on commercial planes since 2005,and has reduced crashes due to planes hitting obstacles to virtually zero, reports USA Today.
Polish TV journalist Slawomir Wisniewski who was among the first to reach the crash site of the Tupolev plane containing key Polish military and civilian figures, including the Polish President Lech Kaczynski, has said that he believes there was no one on board the crashed plane apart from the crew.
In an interview with a Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita (RZ), he said he saw no evidence of bodies or personel belongings.
“There was no sign that 100 people had been killed by the crash,” he said.
“There were no seats, suitcases, bags, simply nothing and above all no human remains and there was a terrible silence at the site,” he said.
Wisniewski said that he had flimed another plane crash in 1987 and had seen the remains of bodies everywhere.
“The fact that i did not see them in Smolensk made me suspect that there were no passengers on board, and only the crew…” he said.
Wisniewski was manhandled and thrown to the ground by Russian secret service agents, who confiscated his film, but managed to keep the tape that was later put on the internet.
Another film of the crash site that appeared on April 11 and that was shot by a Ukrainian journalist using his mobile phone also shows no sign of bodies. According to internet reports, the journalist died in hospital in Kiev after being attacked with a knife and after his life support system was disconnected.
The absence of any sign of bodies will fuel speculation that the Polish elite were lured to the airport or another location and abducted in Poland and then taken to prisons, possibly even CIA-run prisons, for interrogation before being killed. The plane crash in Smolensk was then staged to explain their disappearance.
The Polish central bank governor, national security chief and top army generals allegedly died in the crash as well as the president, two presidential candidates and much of the opposition party, clearing the way for Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk to follow pro euro, pro-IMF and pro-Gazprom policies that will enrich the Gobalists.
There have also been reports of Polish agents entering the office of one crash victim to search through files two hours after the plane crash was announced, suggesting the crash was planned.
The two videos of the crash site taken from the article below:
Video from Polish TV journalist Slawomir Wisniewski
Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk is set to seal a key gas deal with Russia’s Gazprom days after the death of opponents to the contract – including Polish President Lech Kaczynski – in a mysterious plane crash in Smolensk, Russia, reports Polskaweb.
Under the contract worth an estimated 100 billion dollars – the biggest business deal in the history of Poland – Poland is to increase its imports of Russian gas.
The contract to buy gas from Gazprom until 2037 will make Poland 100% dependent on Russian gas for the next 28 years in spite of the announcement of the discovery of huge gas reserves in Poland in April just before the memorial service in Katyn, Smolensk.
Poland could have 3 trillion cubic metres of reserves of shale gas, enough to satisfy domestic demand for more than 200 years.
Europe’s gas reserves could jump 47% as a result of Poland’s gas reserves, according to the Russian newspaper Kommersant.
Poland currently consumes 14bn cubic metres of gas a year and imports more than 70% of it from Russia.
The development of its own shale gas deposits could have allowed Poland to satisfy all its gas needs, and even export ga, becoming a competitor to Gazprom. Shale gas already accounts for up to 20% of US natural gas production.
President Lech Kaczynski and many other opposition party politicians, who were killed in a plane crash in Smolensk, had opposed the Gazprom deal.
Earlier this year, Russian energy giant Gazprom and Polish gas monopoly, PGNiG, signed agreements extending gas deliveries until 2045. Under one of the agreements, Gazprom gas supplies to Poland will increase from 8 to 11 billion cubic meters per year and the current agreement will be extended by 15 years, through 2037.
But the deal was put on ice after the opposition party had threatened legal action over the contract which was so disadvantageous to Poland’s economic and energy interests, alleging „lobbying” (bribery?).
Kaczynski said that he was „deeply worried” about the contract which would have made Poland even more dependent on Russian gas for 28 years.
It was also argued that Poland already had a contract with Russia until 2022, and there was no need to rush into a 30 year contract.