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#ANON: #LulzSec arrests deal blow to hacker group @cnet: March 6, 2012

#ANON: #LulzSec arrests deal blow to hacker group @cnet: March 6, 2012 | Brian Castellani | Scoop.it
The U.S. Attorney says six hackers in the United States and abroad, affiliated with LulSec, Anonymous, and Antisec, have been arrested and charged with crimes. Read this article by Don Reisinger on CNET News.
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They caught him, and he was secretly arrested and now works for the FBI," an unidentified source told Fox News.

 

Law enforcement officials declined to comment on any plea-bargaining deals worked out with Monsegur.

 

LulzSec came on the hacking scene last year in a big way, targeting Sony, the CIA, the U.S. Senate, and FBI, among many other groups. The group also targeted Visa, MasterCard, and PayPal, after they stopped allowing individuals to provide financial support to WikiLeaks. Just as suddenly as it appeared, the group announced in June that it was leaving the hacking world, saying that its time was up.

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Brian Castellani
Brian Castellani is one of the few who helped bring awareness into the credentialing of yoga teachers and yoga education 2009, 2010, 2011. 2012 RE: @YogaAlliance @YAPlus
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Physicists Say Fukushima Reactors Pose Eternal Threat to Humanity

Physicists Say Fukushima Reactors Pose Eternal Threat to Humanity | Brian Castellani | Scoop.it

The three molten cores at Fukushima plant, each weighing a hundred tons, are so radioactive, that no one can approach them, including robots, which melt down immediately, Dr. Helen Caldicott, the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize nominee, physician and anti-nuclear advocate, states in an interview to Radio VR.


Via Ton Kraanen
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The three molten cores at Fukushima plant, each weighing a hundred tons, are so radioactive, that no one can approach them, including robots, which melt down immediately, Dr. Helen Caldicott, the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize nominee, physician and anti-nuclear advocate, states in an interview to Radio VR.

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18-foot-long #sea #creature found off #California #coast

18-foot-long #sea #creature found off #California #coast | Brian Castellani | Scoop.it
LOS ANGELES (AP) — A marine science instructor snorkeling off the Southern California coast spotted something out of a fantasy novel: the silvery c
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LOS ANGELES (AP) — A marine science instructor snorkeling off the Southern California coast spotted something out of a fantasy novel: the silvery carcass of an 18-foot-long, serpent-like oarfish.

Jasmine Santana of the Catalina Island Marine Institute needed more than 15 helpers to drag the giant sea creature with eyes the size of half dollars to shore on Sunday.


Staffers at the institute are calling it the discovery of a lifetime.

"We've never seen a fish this big," said Mark Waddington, senior captain of the Tole Mour, CIMI's sail training ship. "The last oarfish we saw was three feet long."


Because oarfish dive more than 3,000 feet deep, sightings of the creatures are rare and they are largely unstudied, according to CIMI.

The obscure fish apparently died of natural causes. Tissue samples and video footage were sent to be studied by biologists at the University of California, Santa Barbara.


Santana spotted something shimmering about 30 feet deep while snorkeling during a staff trip in Toyon Bay at Santa Catalina Island, about two dozen miles from the mainland.

"She said, 'I have to drag this thing out of here or nobody will believe me,'" Waddington said.


After she dragged the carcass by the tail for more than 75 feet, staffers waded in and helped her bring it to shore.

The carcass was on display Tuesday for 5th, 6th, and 7th grade students studying at CIMI. It will be buried in the sand until it decomposes and then its skeleton will be reconstituted for display, Waddington said.


The oarfish, which can grow to more than 50 feet, is a deep-water pelagic fish — the longest bony fish in the world, according to CIMI.

They are likely responsible for sea serpent legends throughout history.




This photo released courtesy of the Catalina Island Marine Institute taken on Sunday Oct. 13, 2013 shows the crew of sailing school vessel Tole Mour and Catalina Island Marine Institute instructors holding an 18-foot-long oarfish that was found in the waters of Toyon Bay on Santa Catalina Island, Calif. A marine science instructor snorkeling off the Southern California coast spotted the silvery carcass of the 18-foot-long, serpent-like oarfish. (AP Photo/Catalina Island Marine Institute )

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'Bionic man' walks, breathes with artificial parts

'Bionic man' walks, breathes with artificial parts | Brian Castellani | Scoop.it
NEW YORK (AP) — Gentlemen, we can rebuild him, after all. We have the technology.
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In this Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013 photo provided by Showtime, Bertolt Meyer, a social psychologist for the University of Zurich, poses for a photo in New York. Meyer is the face of the the Bionic Man and is featured in the Smithsonian Channel original documentary, "The Incredible Bionic Man." (AP Photo/Showtime, Joe Schram)

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No gunman found on Calif. college campus

No gunman found on Calif. college campus | Brian Castellani | Scoop.it

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — A building at California State University, San Jose is on lockdown, as authorities investigate a report of a gunman.

 

University spokeswoman Pat Lopes Harris says authorities received the report around 9 a.m. Thursday. She says there are no reports of injuries.

 

There are students and faculty inside Sweeney Hall and police were sweeping the building around 10:30 a.m. The rest of campus remains open.

 

Additional details were not immediately available.

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SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) — A building at California State University, San Jose is on lockdown, as authorities investigate a report of a gunman.

 

University spokeswoman Pat Lopes Harris says authorities received the report around 9 a.m. Thursday. She says there are no reports of injuries.

 

There are students and faculty inside Sweeney Hall and police were sweeping the building around 10:30 a.m. The rest of campus remains open.

 

Additional details were not immediately available.

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Brokerage CEO Accused of Spending $590K of the Firm's Money on Firearms, Tattoos and Petcare

Brokerage CEO Accused of Spending $590K of the Firm's Money on Firearms, Tattoos and Petcare | Brian Castellani | Scoop.it
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) filed a temporary cease-and-desist order against Wall Street brokerage firm John Carris Investments and its CEO George Carris for allegedly fraudulently selling stock to customers earlier this year. [via NYPost] FINRA, the self regulatory organization for the financial services community, also accused the CEO of improperly spending the broker-dealer's money on tattoos, pet care, motorcycle expenses and firearms. FINRA alleges that John Carris Investments paid over $590,000 for personal expenses of the CEO. The expenses were classified as business expenses, the complaint said. According to FINRA's complaint [.PDF], come of the expenses included $10,554 at a tattoo parlor, $5,987 for pet care and $5,317 for motorcycle expenses. The complaint also alleges that $6,790 was spent on "firearms related expenses." Here's the full release (emphasis ours): WASHINGTON — The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced today that it has filed for a Temporary Cease-and-Desist Order against John Carris Investments, LLC (JCI) and its CEO, George Carris, to immediately halt solicitations of its customers to purchase Fibrocell Science, Inc. stock without making proper disclosures. FINRA alleges that during May 2013, JCI fraudulently solicited its customers to buy Fibrocell stock, without disclosing that during the same time period, Carris and another firm principal were selling their shares. FINRA also issued an amended complaint against JCI, Carris, and five other firm principals alleging additional fraudulent activity and securities violations. In the complaint, FINRA alleges that while JCI acted as a placement agent for Fibrocell, Carris and the firm artificially inflated the price of Fibrocell stock by engaging in pre-arranged trading and by making unauthorized purchases of Fibrocell stock in customers' accounts. FINRA also alleges that Carris and JCI fraudulently sold stock and notes in its parent company, Invictus Capital, Inc., by not disclosing its poor financial condition. In the complaint, FINRA states that JCI and Carris misled Invictus investors by paying dividends to Invictus' early investors with funds that were, in fact, generated by new sales of Invictus securities. JCI and Carris did not have any reasonable grounds to expect economic gains for Invictus investors. As of March 2013, Invictus Capital had defaulted on $2 million of Invictus notes sold to earlier John Carris Investments customers, did not have funds to repay them, and has stated that it may be required to use proceeds from its ongoing offering to make repayments. JCI continues to solicit new investments in Invictus – an investment that FINRA alleges is wholly unsuitable. In addition, FINRA alleges that JCI issued false documentation that failed to reflect the firm's payments for Carris' personal expenses (such as tattoos, pet care and a motorcycle), and failed to remit hundreds of thousands of dollars in employee payroll taxes to the United States Treasury. Under FINRA rules, the individuals and firms named in a complaint can file a response and request a hearing before a FINRA disciplinary panel. Possible sanctions include a fine, an order to pay restitution, censure, suspension or bar from the securities industry. The issuance of a disciplinary complaint represents FINRA's initiation of a formal proceeding, in which findings as to the allegations in the complaint have not been made, and does not represent a decision as to any of the allegations contained in the complaint. Investors can obtain more information about, and the disciplinary record of, any FINRA-registered broker or brokerage firm by using FINRA's BrokerCheck. FINRA makes BrokerCheck available at no charge. In 2012, members of the public used this service to conduct about 14.6 million reviews of broker or firm records. Investors can access BrokerCheck at www.finra.org/brokercheck or by calling (800) 289-9999. Investors may find copies of this disciplinary action as well as other disciplinary documents in FINRA's Disciplinary Actions Online database. FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, is the largest independent regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States. FINRA is dedicated to investor protection and market integrity through effective and efficient regulation and complimentary compliance and technology-based services. FINRA touches virtually every aspect of the securities business – from registering and educating all industry participants to examining securities firms, writing rules, enforcing those rules and the federal securities laws, informing and educating the investing public, providing trade reporting and other industry utilities, and administering the largest dispute resolution forum for investors and firms. For more information, please visit www.finra.org.
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Douche bag inspires Wall Street reform and drug rehab. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) filed a temporary cease-and-desist order against Wall Street brokerage firm John Carris Investments and its CEO George Carris for allegedly fraudulently selling stock to customers earlier this year. [via NYPost] FINRA, the self regulatory organization for the financial services community, also accused the CEO of improperly spending the broker-dealer's money on tattoos, pet care, motorcycle expenses and firearms. FINRA alleges that John Carris Investments paid over $590,000 for personal expenses of the CEO. The expenses were classified as business expenses, the complaint said. According to FINRA's complaint [.PDF], come of the expenses included $10,554 at a tattoo parlor, $5,987 for pet care and $5,317 for motorcycle expenses. The complaint also alleges that $6,790 was spent on "firearms related expenses." Here's the full release (emphasis ours): WASHINGTON — The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced today that it has filed for a Temporary Cease-and-Desist Order against John Carris Investments, LLC (JCI) and its CEO, George Carris, to immediately halt solicitations of its customers to purchase Fibrocell Science, Inc. stock without making proper disclosures. FINRA alleges that during May 2013, JCI fraudulently solicited its customers to buy Fibrocell stock, without disclosing that during the same time period, Carris and another firm principal were selling their shares. FINRA also issued an amended complaint against JCI, Carris, and five other firm principals alleging additional fraudulent activity and securities violations. In the complaint, FINRA alleges that while JCI acted as a placement agent for Fibrocell, Carris and the firm artificially inflated the price of Fibrocell stock by engaging in pre-arranged trading and by making unauthorized purchases of Fibrocell stock in customers' accounts. FINRA also alleges that Carris and JCI fraudulently sold stock and notes in its parent company, Invictus Capital, Inc., by not disclosing its poor financial condition. In the complaint, FINRA states that JCI and Carris misled Invictus investors by paying dividends to Invictus' early investors with funds that were, in fact, generated by new sales of Invictus securities. JCI and Carris did not have any reasonable grounds to expect economic gains for Invictus investors. As of March 2013, Invictus Capital had defaulted on $2 million of Invictus notes sold to earlier John Carris Investments customers, did not have funds to repay them, and has stated that it may be required to use proceeds from its ongoing offering to make repayments. JCI continues to solicit new investments in Invictus – an investment that FINRA alleges is wholly unsuitable. In addition, FINRA alleges that JCI issued false documentation that failed to reflect the firm's payments for Carris' personal expenses (such as tattoos, pet care and a motorcycle), and failed to remit hundreds of thousands of dollars in employee payroll taxes to the United States Treasury. Under FINRA rules, the individuals and firms named in a complaint can file a response and request a hearing before a FINRA disciplinary panel. Possible sanctions include a fine, an order to pay restitution, censure, suspension or bar from the securities industry. The issuance of a disciplinary complaint represents FINRA's initiation of a formal proceeding, in which findings as to the allegations in the complaint have not been made, and does not represent a decision as to any of the allegations contained in the complaint. Investors can obtain more information about, and the disciplinary record of, any FINRA-registered broker or brokerage firm by using FINRA's BrokerCheck. FINRA makes BrokerCheck available at no charge. In 2012, members of the public used this service to conduct about 14.6 million reviews of broker or firm records. Investors can access BrokerCheck at www.finra.org/brokercheck or by calling (800) 289-9999. Investors may find copies of this disciplinary action as well as other disciplinary documents in FINRA's Disciplinary Actions Online database. FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, is the largest independent regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States. FINRA is dedicated to investor protection and market integrity through effective and efficient regulation and complimentary compliance and technology-based services. FINRA touches virtually every aspect of the securities business – from registering and educating all industry participants to examining securities firms, writing rules, enforcing those rules and the federal securities laws, informing and educating the investing public, providing trade reporting and other industry utilities, and administering the largest dispute resolution forum for investors and firms. For more information, please visit www.finra.org.
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#Tech Founder Complains About the #Shithole City (#SF) He's Forced to Make His Millions In | @UptownAlmanac

#Tech Founder Complains About the #Shithole City (#SF) He's Forced to Make His Millions In | @UptownAlmanac | Brian Castellani | Scoop.it
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And we thought we had it bad? 

 

5. 49ers

No, not the football team, they’re great. I’m referring to all the girls who are obviously 4's and behave like they are 9's. Just because San Francisco has the worst Female to Male ratio in the known universe doesn’t give you the right to be a bitch all the time.

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UC Davis Lt John Pike Cares More About Hamsters Than Your Kids | Top Secret Writers

UC Davis Lt John Pike Cares More About Hamsters Than Your Kids | Top Secret Writers | Brian Castellani | Scoop.it
On Friday, November 18th, a group of UC Davis students were taking part in an Occupy movement in support of the Occupy Wall Street movement in
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Who Exactly is Lt. John Pike?

Upon seeing the video, TopSecretWriters investigators set out to learn more about the man, Lt. John Pike - to determine if he has a history of using violence, or otherwise acting abusively toward the kids at UC Davis.

Ironically, John Pike himself had made a scathing statement in 2010 about two students that had abused hamsters in their dorm room and posted the video on YouTube.

When journalists interviewed John about the incident and arrests, Lt. John Pike responded:

"It's unfortunate. It's very disheartening to listen to the extent of, and to read, what these young men did to the animals."

The two students - Henry Nguyen and Josue Melendez had used a cigarette lighter to burn two hamsters - so extensively that one of the hamsters died.

John Pike's Police Brutality Against UC Davis Students

Given John Pike's public statement speaking disparagingly about the abuse of animals, it is surprising to see the man walking in a matter-of-fact manner, aiming the canister of pepper spray directly at the eyes of the students.

He was walking barely 3 or 4 feet away from where the row of young students were sitting on the pavement.

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New hotspot: TEPCO detects high groundwater radiation at Fukushima plant

New hotspot: TEPCO detects high groundwater radiation at Fukushima plant | Brian Castellani | Scoop.it
A new hotspot of radiation has been detected in groundwater from an observation well next to one of the leaking tanks at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant, the operator of the facility announced.
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A new hotspot of radiation has been detected in groundwater from an observation well next to one of the leaking tanks at Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant, the operator of the facility announced.

Some 3,200 becquerels per liter of radioactive substances were recorded in a well next to a faulty water storage tank, Kyodo News Agency reported, citing Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO)’s Sunday readings. 

The probe revealed that strontium and other malicious beta rays were discovered in the groundwater 20 meters north of the tank, which is located in the H4 area. According to TEPCO, this indicates that radioactive water from leaking tanks mixed with groundwater in the area. Last week, the company announced the discovery of 650 becquerels per liter of radioactive waste in another well, located about 20 meters south of the storage tank. 

On Monday, the Japanese government urged the operator to propose a plan of action by next month designed to remove contaminated water to safer tanks. The plan is to replace 300 of approximately 1,000 tanks present on the site which store 400 tons of contaminated water daily. 

According to Japanese industry minister Toshimitsu Motegi, the leaks have affected an area of 0.3 square kilometers within the bay around the plant, Jiji Press reported. The minister added that removing polluted water is the most urgent task for Japan. 

The UN’s nuclear watchdog also voiced concerns on Monday about the situation at the Fukushima-1 plant.  Director General of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Yukiya Amano, said the leakage is "a matter of high priority that needs to be addressed urgently,” promising to send an international mission to help the situation.    

The Japanese government announced last week a plan to create a wall of ice under the plant to stop drainage of contaminated water by the end of March 2015. Meanwhile, TEPCO wants to pump the water out of the wells before it reaches the Pacific Ocean. 

But the measures taken by the government have not been received well by the public.   

A survey conducted by Asahi Shimbun newspaper revealed on Monday that 72 percent of those surveyed considered the government's response to be “late" and the situation on the ground to be "very serious." Eighty-nine percent said that the government - not TEPCO - should take charge of the situation.

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Insight: #Japan ponders #Fukushima options, but #Tepco too big to fail (?)

Insight: #Japan ponders #Fukushima options, but #Tepco too big to fail (?) | Brian Castellani | Scoop.it
TOKYO (Reuters) - Fukushima nuclear plant operator Tepco Electric's response to the world's worst atomic disaster in a quarter century has been called ad hoc and more concerned with cost than safety, but...
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(Reuters) - Fukushima nuclear plant operator Tepco Electric's response to the world's worst atomic disaster in a quarter century has been called ad hoc and more concerned with cost than safety, but 30 months later, the utility is still in charge.

 

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, in the centerpiece of Tokyo's successful bid to host the 2020Olympics, said he would be personally responsible for a plan to cope with the legacy of the March 2011 disaster in which a massive earthquake and tsunami caused triple meltdowns, spewing radiation and forcing some 160,000 residents to flee their homes.

 

A crisis over radiation-contaminated water at the plant has revived calls to put Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) into bankruptcy as a prelude to nationalizing the clean-up and shut-down of the reactors, but there is little political support for the idea given its potential fallout for financialmarkets, Tepco's creditors and other nuclear utilities.

 

With concerns over Tepco's ability to cope, policymakers are pondering ways to take the Fukushima shut-down off the utility's hands, perhaps through an agency along the lines of Britain's Nuclear Decommissioning Authority. Even that, though, faces hurdles, including the likely need for new legislation, clarity on the size of the bill for taxpayers and government liability, and working out the implications for Japan's other utilities.

That means, at least for now, the government may just end up pouring in more money, leaving Tepco in charge while stepping up official oversight.

"They haven't come up with any good idea yet," said one former government official, although he said various options were being discussed. "Abe is not shy about providing government support, but I don't think he's thinking about any radical change of the structure of this company," he said, referring to calls to put Tepco through bankruptcy procedures.

 

ON LIFE SUPPORT

Abe's government last week said it would spend nearly half a billion dollars to contain the leaks and decontaminate water at the facility. That's on top of a 1 trillion yen ($10 billion) injection of public funds last year and a 5 trillion yen government credit line for compensating disaster victims.

"Clearly the government is using state funds to extend Tepco's life, so the only way forward is to legally bankrupt the firm and make clear who is responsible, including past directors, financial institutions and shareholders," said Kazuyoshi Sato, an assembly member in Iwaki City just outside the 30 km (18.5 mile) exclusion zone around the Fukushima plant.

 

Few in Tokyo support that view.

 

"I don't think it's right to put in taxpayers' money without Tepco going down," said ruling Liberal Democratic Party lawmaker Taro Kono, who has long been at odds with his party over nuclear energy. But he added: "It seems I'm the only one, or one of just a few, being noisy about liquidation."

 

Tepco's admission in July that contaminated water had flowed into the Pacific Ocean and news that highly contaminated water was leaking from a tank storing water used to cool the melted reactor cores prompted Abe's pledge to take the lead and bolster government oversight.

Several ruling party politicians, however, said Tepco's bankruptcy - considered but rejected in the months after the disaster because authorities decided the utility was too big to fail - was not on the table now.

 

"Tepco is, in reality, bankrupt," said LDP lawmaker Taku Yamamoto, head of the party's panel on natural resources and energy strategy. "But under the law ... it cannot be put through bankruptcy. It must fulfill its role."

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#TeacherTruths (Statistics): How Teachers Make the Difference in Our Lives

#TeacherTruths (Statistics): How Teachers Make the Difference in Our Lives | Brian Castellani | Scoop.it
You know that bumper sticker that says, “If you can read this, thank a teacher”? It’s the literal truth. While most of us spend more time thinking about reality TV stars and pro athletes, teachers are among the few people who truly affect our ...

Via Beth Dichter, Dennis T OConnor
Brian Castellani's insight:
Show Your Appreciation

You respect what the teachers in your community are doing. How can you show it? If you have a student in school, there are plenty of ways. Teachers say they hope parents come in for open houses and help make sure their kids’ homework gets done. They also hope parents will get in touch if there’s any problem in the student’s school or home life that they should know about.

 

Whether you’re a parent, a grandparent, or just an involved community member, another great way to help is by volunteering. Most school districts are always looking for folks to run book fairs, help at teacher appreciation lunches, or just put in an hour assembling packets of paperwork.

 

Then there are gifts. Many parents like to give their children’s teachers a little something around the holiday season or at the end of the school year. Gifts are, of course, always appreciated, but thoughtful ones are even better. Because many teachers buy classroom supplies out of their own pockets, one great present is a gift certificate to a local office supply store. You can even help out teachers all over the country through a donation site called Donors Choose. It matches generous people with teachers who need help supplying their classrooms.

 

However you interact with teachers, whether it’s in a parent-teacher conference or at a school board meeting to set the annual budget, one of the most important things you can do is to respect their work. After all, without teachers, you probably wouldn’t even be reading this article.

Whether you’re buying your child’s teacher a gift or paying for school supplies, check out the CreditDonkey guide to credit cards for families to find the best ways to pay.

 
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Tiziana Rosanna Iozzi's curator insight, September 11, 2013 1:37 AM

Un insegnante ha il ruolo di un mentore, è un modello, sa aiutare i ragazzi nelle difficoltà e li incoraggia a seguire i loro sogni... A chi di voi è capitata la fortuna di conoscerne almeno uno/a nella vita?

Darleana McHenry's curator insight, September 11, 2013 11:56 PM

I had the opportunity to tell my first grade teacher thank you 5 years ago. She actually had kept my first grade picture all these years. My teachers were great and school was my favorite place and I excelled there. So thanks to all the teachers that I did not get to thank. :-)

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#Israel Man indicted for sending #Netanyahu death threats

#Israel Man indicted for sending #Netanyahu death threats | Brian Castellani | Scoop.it
In letters sent from prison, Dor Ovad allegedly warned prime minister that he would ‘end up like Yitzhak Rabin’
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Dor Ovad, a right-wing activist who allegedly sent threatening letters to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in late August, was indicted on Tuesday morning in the Kfar Saba Magistrate’s Court.

 

Ovad, 22, sent the letters from prison, where he is serving out a sentence for illegal political activity.

 

“How are you releasing murderous terrorists?” Ovad wrote in a letter to Netanyahu, referring to the government’s decision to free Palestinian prisoners as a goodwill gesture toward the Palestinian Authority last month.

In the letters, Ovad also allegedly called the prime minister a “Nazi son of a Nazi” and “scum” and threatened Netanyahu’s family, writing that “you should start looking under your car every day and take care of your family because somebody will bear the consequences [of releasing convicted terrorists], and the results will be harsh. I’m serious,” he added.

 

“I promise you, you piece of filth, that… you will end up like [assassinated prime minister] Yitzhak Rabin, who is right now rotting in hell,” Ovad allegedly wrote.

 

When the police entered Ovad’s cell to question him over the letters two weeks ago, they found two makeshift blades on his person.

 

Aaron Kalman contributed to this report.

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#TX: #SanAntonio Adopts Disputed #Gay #Rights Measure

#TX: #SanAntonio Adopts Disputed #Gay #Rights Measure | Brian Castellani | Scoop.it
San Antonio's leaders on Thursday approved anti-bias protections for gay and transgender residents, despite the disapproval of top Texas Republicans and religious conservatives who packed a City Council hearing and occasionally shamed supporters...
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San Antonio's leaders on Thursday approved anti-bias protections for gay and transgender residents, despite the disapproval of top Texas Republicans and religious conservatives who packed a City Council hearing and occasionally shamed supporters for comparing the issue to the civil rights movement.

 

The 8-3 City Council vote in favor of the ordinance was a victory for gay rights advocates and for Democratic Mayor Julian Castro, a top surrogate of President Barack Obama. Castro has called the ordinance overdue in the nation's seventh-largest city, where there is a stronger current of traditionalism and conservatism than other major Texas cities that already have similar gay rights protections.

 

San Antonio joins nearly 180 other U.S. cities that have nondiscrimination ordinances that prohibit bias based on sexual orientation or gender identity, according to the Human Rights Campaign.

"This ordinance is about saying there are no second-class citizens in San Antonio," Castro said.

 

Supporters in red shirts and opponents in blue sat on opposite sides of the ornate council chamber Thursday. Church leaders vowed petitions to recall council members, and the shouts of protesters outside City Hall often carried through the stone walls of the century-old building.

More than 700 people registered to speak Wednesday during a marathon session of citizen testimony that stretched past midnight. Just a few hours later, 100 people signed up Thursday morning to get in a final word before the vote.

 

Dee Villarubia, 67, said she is a former Air Force officer whose landlord at a San Antonio apartment evicted her two years ago because she is gay.

"When I say the pledge of allegiance, I say 'justice for some' because there's an asterisk that means not me," Villarubia said. "Today, I would take that asterisk away and finally say 'justice for all.'"

The local measure roiled conservatives nationwide and was opposed by big-name Republicans, including U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. Abbott, a Republican who is seeking the governor's office, predicted a lawsuit over religious freedoms, though he has not said the state will challenge the ordinance.

 

Attention intensified after City Councilwoman Elisa Chan was caught on tape calling homosexuality "disgusting" and arguing that gays should not be allowed to adopt. Chan has defended her comments.

 

"Just because I disagree with the lifestyle of the LGBT community doesn't mean I dislike them," Chan said before the vote. "Similarly, just because one opposes this ordinance, does not mean one is for discrimination."

San Antonio City Attorney Michael Bernard told the council the ordinance would apply to most city contracts and contractors. It prohibits council members from discriminating in their official capacity and forbids workers in public accommodation jobs, such as at restaurants or hotels, from refusing to serve customers based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Opponents say the ordinance — which takes effect immediately — would stifle religious expression and does not have the support of most of the city's residents.

 

"The problem I have is that you criminalize us if we speak our faith," said Marc Longoria, 42, a pastor at My Father's House Church. "We are Christians all the time. We don't have an on and off switch."

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#YoungGeniuses Made #CorruptCorporations #FreakOut... Time For Round Two. | @castellani

#YoungGeniuses Made #CorruptCorporations #FreakOut... Time For Round Two. | @castellani | Brian Castellani | Scoop.it

Some punk kids figured out how to cut some awful monolithic companies out of our lives. They are not amused.

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For more information on how you can help this amazing non-profit win, you could go here. And share this? Pretty please? 

 

http://www.upworthy.com/a-bunch-of-young-geniuses-just-made-a-corrupt-corporation-freak-out-big-time-time-for-round

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Thyroid cancer diagnosed in 104 young people in Fukushima

Thyroid cancer diagnosed in 104 young people in Fukushima | Brian Castellani | Scoop.it

The number of young people in Fukushima Prefecture who have been diagnosed with definitive or suspected thyroid gland cancer, a disease often caused by radiation exposure, now totals 104, according to prefectural officials.


Via Ton Kraanen
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The number of young people in Fukushima Prefecture who have been diagnosed with definitive or suspected thyroid gland cancer, a disease often caused by radiation exposure, now totals 104, according to prefectural officials.

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The trouble is you think you you have #time #Buddha ...

The trouble is you think you you have #time #Buddha ... | Brian Castellani | Scoop.it
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The trouble is you think you you have #time #Buddha ...

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#Eight #Democrats #arrested at pro-amnesty rally on 'closed' National Mall - @DailyCaller

#Eight #Democrats #arrested at pro-amnesty rally on 'closed' National Mall - @DailyCaller | Brian Castellani | Scoop.it

Eight Democrats arrested at pro-amnesty rally on 'closed' National Mall Daily Caller Amid a partial gap in non-essential government spending that has seen Park Service officials barricade bike paths; remove private property owners from their homes...

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Eight Democrats arrested at pro-amnesty rally on 'closed' National Mall Daily Caller Amid a partial gap in non-essential government spending that has seen Park Service officials barricade bike paths; remove private property owners from their homes...

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#SilkRoad dark side purveyor of the Internet #DreadPirateRoberts

#SilkRoad dark side purveyor of the Internet #DreadPirateRoberts | Brian Castellani | Scoop.it

San Francisco — There is a dark side to the Internet, and it can be used for evil as well as for good.

 

A massive online bazaar hawking narcotics, weapons, forgeries, and other illicit items or services operated openly for years by relying on tools designed to safeguard privacy or foster a new world of Internet commerce.

 

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Silk Road wound through dark side of the Internet

By Glenn Chapman (AFP) – 1 hour ago

 

San Francisco — There is a dark side to the Internet, and it can be used for evil as well as for good.

 

A massive online bazaar hawking narcotics, weapons, forgeries, and other illicit items or services operated openly for years by relying on tools designed to safeguard privacy or foster a new world of Internet commerce.

 

Underground website Silk Road was seized by US authorities this week and its accused mastermind Ross William Ulbricht is to appear in federal court in San Francisco on Friday to determine whether he should remain in custody while the criminal case against him proceeds.

"Every technology has almost immediately been used to do bad things," said Alex Stamos, chief technology officer at Artemis Internet, which specializes in online security.

 

"People are going to do illegal stuff, but it turns out that it is really tough to run an eBay for drugs and not get caught."

Silk Road thrived on the principle that assurances of anonymity would free sellers and buyers to engage in transactions barred by law or frowned upon by society.

 

To accomplish this, Silk Road combined a Tor network for being invisible online with Bitcoin digital currency that can be as difficult to trace as cash trading hands in a dark alley.

 

"Part of the reason for the site's longevity is that it was hosted as a hidden service on the Tor network," Trend Micro security threat researcher Robert McArdle explained in a blog post.

 

Free Tor software lets people wrap data such as messages, website visits, or online transactions in layers of protection including encryption and then bounce it about machines in a worldwide peer-to-peer network to cover trails.

 

Each machine along the way only peels back a slight layer; enough to send the data to its next point in a journey

Tor community members volunteer their computers to provide relay points and the resulting network makes it a challenge to trace Internet activities.

 

"Tor is not only used for criminal and dubious purposes, but is also commonly used by those who wish to have a sense of anonymity online or who live in countries where access to the Internet is restricted," McArdle said.

 

Encrypting data and obscuring online identities has been highlighted by a scandal about US spy agencies snooping on the Internet in the name of fighting terrorism.

 

"It is very difficult to be anonymous on the Internet," Stamos said. "You basically have to be perfect. You screw up once and you are doing something illegal, and you are toast."

 

Along with giving buyers and sellers promises that none would know who they are in the real world, Silk Road required deals to be consummated with Bitcoins, an Internet Age version of cash. The four-year old currency is increasingly used to make payments in online transactions.

 

Bitcoins are created or exchanged using complex software protocols that have resulted in them being referred to as "cryptocurrency." While cash tends to be paper or metal, Bitcoins are snippets of code given value by scarcity and the faith that they can be traded for goods or services online.

 

Owners tuck the digital currency away in Bitcoin "wallets," programs that safeguard the valuable code and allow it to be exchanged with other Bitcoin wallets.

There are a variety of "wallets" ranging from digital pouches tailored for smartphones to "vaults" hosted on secure servers online and backed up to prevent loss.

Bitcoin owners have private software "keys" needed to spend the digital currency, and transactions are publicly logged in what is called a "block chain" to help ensure the integrity of the process.

 

"It is not actually anonymous; it is pseudo-anonymous," Stamos said of using Bitcoins. "Every transaction is publicly viewable."

Silk Road tadded "Bitcoin Tumbler" software that jumbled data to make it even harder to determine which wallets digital currency came from.

 

The FBI reportedly confiscated approximately $3.6 million worth of Bitcoins from Silk Road.

While investigators did not release details regarding the seizure, they could do so by getting hold of devices or servers containing the Bitcoins or by breaking into wallets, which are typically password protected.

 

Ulbricht was arrested while using a laptop at a San Francisco library on Tuesday, and if he was logged into his account FBI agents could have gotten easy access to his stash of Bitcoins.

 

"People who do Bitcoins now, almost always crypto-geeks, get ripped off all the time and there is no way to undo a transaction," Stamos said. "It's a world where everyone keeps loads of cash and the only way to have Bitcoins is to be very well armed to protect them."

There is an estimated $1.5 billion in bitcoins on the market and the digital currency can be transferred directly between smartphones or any other type of computers, raising concerns by regulators it will be used for criminal or terrorist activities.

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Sudanrevolts, Sudan, Abena, Khartoum, Omdurman, Fuel, Khartoum North, Niss, Ncp, Wad Nubawi, السودان, السودان_ينتفض, ابينا

Sudanrevolts, Sudan, Abena, Khartoum, Omdurman, Fuel, Khartoum North, Niss, Ncp, Wad Nubawi, السودان, السودان_ينتفض, ابينا | Brian Castellani | Scoop.it
khaledabuagla: The Revolt in Sudan protestors killed like by government forces this.plz take your roll to stop that @hrw http://t.co/1YQQh9Dw4Z
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right now in #Sudan - people are dying and protesting the regime | @castellani http://sco.lt/...

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Mathews Bridge repairs will cost plenty and take at least a month

Mathews Bridge repairs will cost plenty and take at least a month | Brian Castellani | Scoop.it
Repairs will cost somewhere in the millions, but probably less than $10 million. The bill will go to the insurance company of whoever is determined to be liable.
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By Larry Hannan

 

Standing at the top of a Mathews Bridge devoid of motor vehicles, Florida Department of Transportation bridge maintenance officer Will Watts summed up the damage he was looking at.

 

“This is as severe as it can get without a bridge collapse,” Watts said. “Right now it’s in such a state that we can’t even put service vehicles up here.”

 

The Mathews Bridge, which averages 56,000 motorists a day, shut down indefinitely Thursday afternoon after a cargo ship being towed slammed into it. Since then the state has been conducting a damage assessment on the bridge.

 

Transportation spokesman Mike Goldman said the people doing the assessment would spend all weekend examining what they found and would likely release the information to the public Monday.

Based on what he’d seen so far, Watts estimated repairs would cost somewhere in the millions, but probably less than $10 million. He hopes to have the repairs done within a month.

 

Goldman said the bill will go to the insurance company of whoever is determined to be liable.

 

“The positive to all of this is most of the damage is localized,” Watts said.

Transportation engineers and inspectors worked much of Thursday night into early Friday examining the bridge until forced to quit by darkness. When they resumed the inspection Friday morning, they were joined by a team of bridge climbers looking at the structure from top to bottom.

The state is going to get an emergency contract as soon as the assessment is done and a plan is developed to repair it, Goldman said.

 

The damage is all at the high point of the bridge over the middle of the St. Johns River.

 

But Watts said a beam is so badly damaged that it will have to be replaced.

 

“That’s going to be a very challenging repair to make,” he said.

Watts said temporary repairs will come first so that service vehicles can go to the top of the bridge. Those repairs will likely be handled from boats. He didn’t know if some lanes could be opened at that point.

State Rep. Lake Ray said a town hall meeting is being planned so residents can ask questions about how the bridge repair will work.

 

Larry Hannan: (904) 359-4470



Read more at Jacksonville.com: http://jacksonville.com/news/crime/2013-09-27/story/mathews-bridge-repairs-will-cost-plenty-and-take-least-month#ixzz2gFI9jCEy

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Backyard Beekeeping: Hives Demystified | Wings, Worms, and Wonder

Backyard Beekeeping: Hives Demystified | Wings, Worms, and Wonder | Brian Castellani | Scoop.it
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Up until recently, when I thought of  a beehive I thought of a box sitting on legs or a little table, either stacked or single, or I thought of cartoons where cylindrical hives were hanging from trees. I had heard the names of different types of hives, but I never knew what they meant or the difference. Today, so you won’t be confused when you talk to the honey vendor at your local farmer’s market, we’re going to look a at some different types of hives. Starting with the popular Langstroth hive.

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Radioactive Bluefin Tuna Caught Off California Coast - Liberals Unite

Radioactive Bluefin Tuna Caught Off California Coast - Liberals Unite | Brian Castellani | Scoop.it
Every bluefin tuna tested in the waters off California has shown to be contaminated with radiation that originated in Fukushima. Every single one. Over a year ago, in May of 2012, the Wall Street Journal reported on a Stanford University study.
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When contact with radioactive cesium occurs, which is highly unlikely, a person can experience cell damage due to radiation of the cesium particles. Due to this, effects such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and bleeding may occur. When the exposure lasts a long time, people may even lose consciousness. Coma or even death may then follow. How serious the effects are depends upon the resistance of individual persons and the duration of exposure and the concentration a person is exposed to.

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S Korea widens Japanese fish ban over contamination fears - Channel NewsAsia

S Korea widens Japanese fish ban over contamination fears - Channel NewsAsia | Brian Castellani | Scoop.it
South Korea expanded its ban on Japanese fisheries products Friday over fears of contamination from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, accusing Tokyo of not providing enough information on the crisis.
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SEOUL: South Korea expanded its ban on Japanese fisheries products Friday over fears of contamination from the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant, accusing Tokyo of not providing enough information on the crisis.

Consumption of fish products in South Korea has dropped sharply in recent weeks as Japanese workers struggle to contain leaks at the tsunami-wrecked facility.

 

Highly toxic water may have made its way into the Pacific Ocean, operator Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) has admitted. The utility also says up to 300 tonnes of mildly radioactive groundwater is making its way into the sea every day.

 

South Korea had previously imposed an import ban on dozens of Japanese fisheries products produced in Fukushima and seven other prefectures following the meltdown at the nuclear plant, triggered by the 2011 tsunami.

 

The government has now widened the ban to take in all such products from Fukushima and the seven other prefectures - Ibaraki, Gunma, Miyagi, Iwate, Tochigi, Chiba and Aomori.

The Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries said it had taken action as fears rose in South Korea.

 

"The measure comes as our people's concerns are growing over the fact that hundreds of tonnes of radiation-contaminated water leak every day from the site of Japan's nuclear accident in Fukushima," the ministry said in a statement.

 

"The government has concluded that the information provided by Japan so far has failed to make it clear how the incident will develop in the future."

"Under the new measure, all fisheries products from this region will be banned regardless of whether they are contaminated or not," the ministry said.

 

The ministry also urged Tokyo to immediately provide accurate information on the leaks of contaminated water.

In Tokyo on Friday, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga challenged South Korea over the move.

 

"We are carrying out strict safe management on foods, including fishery products, based on international standards," he said.

"We would like the South Korean government to respond, based on scientific evidence."

 

Acknowledging global concerns over the "haphazard" management of the crisis by TEPCO, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe this week said his administration will step in with public money to get the job done.

Tokyo unveiled a half-billion dollar plan to stem the radioactive water leaks, including the creation of a wall of ice underneath the plant.

 

- AFP/ac

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Hello #Fukushima Pacific Ocean #pollution #radiation, Goodbye (#NY, #LA & #SF) #Sushi

Hello #Fukushima Pacific Ocean #pollution #radiation, Goodbye (#NY, #LA & #SF) #Sushi | Brian Castellani | Scoop.it

Two and a half years after the Fukashima tragedy Japan does not want to admit how serious it is, but it is obvious the drastic environmental implications are to follow, Harvey Wasserman, journalist and advocate for renewable energy, told RT.


Via CineversityTV
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Two and a half years after the Fukashima tragedy Japan does not want to admit how serious it is, but it is obvious the drastic environmental implications are to follow, Harvey Wasserman, journalist and advocate for renewable energy, told RT.

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#Connecticut State Police issue new tattoo, social media policy @cooljustice

#Connecticut State Police issue new tattoo, social media policy @cooljustice | Brian Castellani | Scoop.it

MIDDLETOWN >> State police have issued a wide-ranging policy on tattoos and social media, warning staff that “speech, on or off duty, ma

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By Andy Thibault, tntcomm82@cs.com,, @cooljustice on Twitter

POSTED: 09/05/13, 9:35 AM EDT | UPDATED: 9 HRS AGO

 

MIDDLETOWN >> State police have issued a wide-ranging policy on tattoos and social media, warning staff that “speech, on or off duty, made pursuant to their official duties, is not protected speech and may form the basis for discipline.”

 

 

The department also distributed a “grandfather waiver” for tattoos, branding and body art visible while in uniform, while banning additional tattoos or markings.

 

 

The commander of the state police, Col. Danny Stebbins, and the department spokesman, Lt. J. Paul Vance, could not be reached for comment. Stebbins issued the directives Wednesday.

 

 

Referring to the directives as “news of the weird,” a trooper toldConnecticut Magazine, “It is a good thing the [social media policy] wasn’t in place when [Stebbins] was in New Orleans.”

 

 

Stebbins took heat in March after speaking at a police conference in New Orleans about the Newtown school massacre. Legislators complained that they were unable to get information that was disclosed by Stebbins and other high-ranking officers at various conferences. A public report on the December 2012 mass killing is expected sometime this fall.

 

 

The Sept. 4, 2013 directives — obtained by Connecticut Magazine — cite various social media including blogs and social networking sites likeFacebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Reddit, Flickr and Digg.

 

 

Troopers and staff members of the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection are banned from using social media on duty: “any proof that this has occurred on duty may result in discipline.”

 

 

“Personnel are free to express themselves as private citizens on social media and networking sites to the degree that their speech is not detrimental to DESPP, does not impair the work of DESPP, damage the reputation of another, disparage, embarrass or otherwise discredit DESPP, its personnel of any of its units or functions,” the directive states. “ … Personnel that may be identified as employees may have no reasonable expectation of privacy when social networking online … ”

 

 

Staff members were also advised that “their activities on social networking web pages and/or media may impact their options for future specialized assignments [e.g., undercover or covert operations]. Existing tattoos need not be removed, but “extremist, indecent, sexist or racist” tattoos are banned.

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#DE #TwelveTribes: DE Cops remove 40 kids from #Christian sect - The Local

#DE #TwelveTribes: DE Cops remove 40 kids from #Christian sect - The Local | Brian Castellani | Scoop.it
German police swooped on a controversial religious sect and removed 40 children from their families early on Thursday, amid reports that they were being physically abused.
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Around 100 police officers sealed off the Twelve Tribes farm-based community in Deiningen, near Augsburg, Bavaria at around 6am on Thursday, and then moved in to take 28 children. They were removed in minivans and taken to foster families, under the custody of the authorities. Another 12 children were taken from a second location near Wörnitz

A police spokesman said there was no violence during the operation. 
The dawn raids followed "new evidence pointing to significant and ongoing child abuse by the members", local officials were quoted as saying.

The Christian sect, which has bases in countries around the world, and says it has several thousand members, regards both Old and New Testaments as God's direct word.

They do not send their children to public schools, choosing to educate them within the community. Parents are taught that when children break rules, they are to "spank them with a small reed-like rod which only inflicts pain and not damage," they say on their website. 

The Augsburger Allgemeine newspaper reported that the sect had often come to the attention of the public prosecutor which had investigated claims that five members had been involved in beating children. No charges resulted. 

The Bavarian state withdrew its education license from the Twelve Tribes school at the complex at the end of July due to a lack of suitable teachers, leaving the parents of 20 school-age children obliged to send them to outside schools. 

"The operation today did not have anything to do with topic of school attendance," a spokesman for the state education ministry told the paper. 

US-founded Twelve Tribes said in an online statement: "We are an open and transparent community that does not tolerate any form of child abuse. Our children grow up in a loving environment and are educated in the spirit of charity."

DPA/AFP/The Local/hc

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