Family Corruption In The Big Easy

A Public Diary On Themes Around A Book

Canada Establishes Tighter Rules For Fighting Moneylaundering

Posted by familydynamics on June 19, 2008

Drug dealers and other criminals will have a tougher time disposing of their ill-gotten gains as new federal anti-money laundering legislation cracks down on real estate purchases and currency exchange operations and adds other rules aimed at hindering disposing of large amounts of cash.

Under the new law real estate agents will have to take more steps to ensure they know who they are dealing with. They will also need to keep the information identifying their client for five years.

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Removal Of Jail Threat For Domestic Violence Victims

Posted by familydynamics on June 18, 2008

Under the terms of a bill that passed the California Assembly, domestic violence victims will no longer face jail time for refusing to testify against their alleged abusers in court.   Local prosecutors and public defenders said the results of the bill, if signed into law by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, could be mixed.

Prosecutors said the ability to jail victims for refusing to testify in domestic violence cases is a rarely-exercised but powerful tool in prosecuting abusers. Proponents of the bill said jailing domestic violence survivors puts them through added trauma.

Under the existing law, a victim who refuses to testify can be held in contempt of court and could face jail time. The courts must first require reluctant victims to attend a domestic violence counseling class or do community service before ordering jail time. Sexual assault victims are already protected from being jailed for refusing to testify against their accused attackers. The bill that passed the California Assembly on Monday would extend the same level of immunity to domestic violence victims.

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Woman Indicted In Myspace Hoax

Posted by familydynamics on May 16, 2008

A 49-year-old Missouri woman accused of pretending to be a love-struck teenage boy on MySpace and driving a 13-year-old girl to suicide with cruel messages was indicted on Thursday on federal charges.

Prosecutors say Lori Drew and others created the fake MySpace persona of a 16-year-old boy to woo neighbor Megan Meier for several weeks, then abruptly ended the relationship and said the world would be better off without her.

Meier’s 2006 suicide by hanging, just hours after she read those final messages, made worldwide headlines and prompted calls for social networking sites like MySpace to crack down on cyber-bullying.

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Pot Smoking May Boost Heart Risk

Posted by familydynamics on May 14, 2008

Marijuana smokers who spend most of their time stoned are more likely to have higher levels of a protein that may raise risks of heart attack and stroke, scientists said.

The study subjects, who reported smoking from 78 to 350 joints a week, had elevated amounts of a chemical that raises the amount of fats in their blood, wrote researchers in the Journal of Molecular Psychiatry. Higher levels of these fats, known as triglycerides, increase risks of cardiac disease and stroke.

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Watch Out For Cyber Predators

Posted by familydynamics on May 12, 2008

Last year, the European Union (EU) launched a survey on Internet usage and mobile phones under the EU’s Safer Internet Programme. The Eurobarometer’s qualitative survey spanned across 29 countries and was conducted between March to May 2007.

The survey interviewed children between the ages of 9 and 14 from all 27 EU member states. They were asked in-depth questions on their usage of the Internet, and how they would react to problems and risks when using the Internet and mobile phones.

According to the EU’s press release posted on their website, the survey results highlighted the need for proactive online media education, especially on the opportunities and risks posed by the Internet. Many children who were interviewed revealed experiences that could make any parents’ blood turn cold, which includes a “teen” arranging a meeting with a 12-year-old cyber-friend.

The “teen” turned out to be a 44-year-old man. European Commissioner for Information Society and Media Viviane Reding said where the security of the children is at stake, there can be no room for complacency.

She added that it is also important to continue raising awareness on the opportunities and risks of new media, especially among parents. As the Internet provides a worldwide link, the risks posed by cyber predators are not limited by borders.

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New Hampshire’s Governor Applauds Online Child Safety Act

Posted by familydynamics on May 1, 2008

On Wednesday, New Hampshire Governor John Lynch applauded the House’s strong vote in support of the Online Child Safety Act, which seeks to modernize state laws to better protect children from sexual predators who use the Internet. The Senate unanimously voted to pass the legislation last month.

The bill strengthens the penalties in existing law for enticing a child over the Internet, and provides enhanced penalties for repeat offenders; it overhauls and expands existing child pornography laws to better reflect the victimization that occurs everyday when images of sexually abused children are created and distributed; and it closes a loophole so that sex offenders using web cams can be held accountable.

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The Roots Of Alcoholism May Be In The Genes

Posted by familydynamics on April 29, 2008

Young people often begin drinking alcohol because of environmental factors, such as peer pressure. But genes appear to be a significant factor in determining whether drinking progresses to problem drinking and alcoholism, according to a new study by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

The study of 3,546 female twins, ages 18 to 29, examined how genes and environment influence drinking at different stages of life. The researchers found that genes accounted for about 30% of the timing of the first drink and for about 47% of the speed at which women progressed to alcohol dependence. But environmental factors, overall, seemed more influential, particularly earlier in life.

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Teenage Girls Face Greater Risk From Alcohol Abuse

Posted by familydynamics on April 28, 2008

TEENAGE girls are more than three times as likely as boys to drink alcohol at least once a week and are more at risk of the harmful effects of binge drinking than their male peers. A study by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare found that despite a slight drop in the rate of teenage girls’ alcohol abuse, they are still more susceptible to harm from alcohol than teenage boys.

It follows growing concern about binge drinking and alcohol-related violence, with experts at last weekend’s 2020 Summit urging the Government to fund prevention programs. The study found that the proportion of teenage girls putting themselves at risk of short-term alcohol-related harm at least monthly was 28.3%, down 1% from the previous 2004 survey, whereas the number of teenage boys putting themselves at risk dropped from 26% to 24.5%.

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Study Finds Increase In Alcoholism

Posted by familydynamics on April 25, 2008

A government study reveals that more Americans develop alcoholism each year than any other mental disorder.

Doctors from the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism surveyed more than 43,000 American adults and found nearly 2 percent became alcoholics over a 1-year period – outstripping even the rate of heart disease.

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Ireland’s Proposed New Alcohol Law Gives Doctors’ Hope

Posted by familydynamics on April 23, 2008

Doctors today welcomed a plan by the Government to restrict alcohol sales in convenience stores and supermarkets and to give gardai new powers to seize alcohol from underage drinkers.

Taoiseach Bertie Ahern and Minister for Justice Brian Lenihan published a draft Intoxicating Liquor/Public Order Bill.

The Irish Medical Organisation (IMO) said the move should lessen the harm caused by alcohol in society.

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