Family Corruption In The Big Easy

A Public Diary On Themes Around A Book

Archive for May, 2008

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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