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Tougher law to protect children hailed

first_imgStuff.co.nz 7 Dec 2011Child advocates are hailing new laws giving sweeping powers to prosecute all those turning a blind eye to assaults on the very young. The Crimes Amendment Act (No3) becomes law on March 19 and will allow police to charge everyone in a household with failing to protect a child. The maximum sentence is 10 years’ jail. The new law comes as a result of the public outcry following the murder of the Kahui twins for which no-one has been held responsible after a jury acquitted the twins’ father. However, the extended family’s infamous “code of silence” was typical of such cases, pediatricians say. In Taranaki, a serious assault of a 14-month-old, who suffered a fractured skull, was dropped last month for lack of evidence.Starship children’s hospital paediatrician Patrick Kelly welcomes the law which allows everyone in a house where the abuse took place to be charged. The message is that they should have protected the abused child. “If you can’t determine which of the adults in the house did it you charge all of them – or none of them.” However, the law change should have gone further, he said. The code of silence within families was an issue throughout the world. In Britain, the same “failing to protect” law was implemented but went further to limit the right to silence. “The UK has shown it’s possible to modify the law. For some reason New Zealand did not follow through with changing the right to silence.”http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/crime/6097019/Tougher-law-to-protect-children-hailedlast_img read more

Mancini: Owners unhappy at title defence

first_img Press Association Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini accepts the club’s owners are not happy with the champions’ faltering Barclays Premier League title defence. The Italian went on: “After you lose you can’t be happy for 24 hours but after that you need to think about the future. We have a good relationship. At this moment they aren’t happy because when you lose you can’t be happy but I think they are happy with our job over the three years.” Mancini reacted angrily to his side’s performance at Southampton and was heavily critical of the players. He now expects a reaction as Leeds visit. He said: “I think that the players know they didn’t do their job at Southampton and sometimes it is important they take the responsibility. I think that we have some players that can do better than this year but I am sure I have a good team and at the end of it we will win something. “It will be different because it’s the FA Cup but it won’t change for us because results are always important and there is always pressure. The players will respond, I’m sure about this.” As for the title race, Mancini claims it is not in his nature to concede defeat. He believes that if the deficit can be cut before City travel to Old Trafford on April 8, further league success remains possible. Mancini said: “I think that is a difficult moment because we lost seven points in three games but in football sometimes it is strange. When you think it is finished, three or four games can change everything. While we have the points available to win, we should believe in ourselves. “We play the derby in April and from now until then we have six games and we need to look at what happens in the next six games. If we reduce the gap before the derby… but it’s not important to look at the table. It’s important to win, win, win.” center_img But the Italian does not fear for his job and expects his players to respond to last weekend’s damaging loss at Southampton and keep fighting to retain the crown. Rivals Manchester United now lead City by 12 points at the top of the table and, with just 12 games remaining, the FA Cup appears to be Mancini’s most realistic route to silverware. But Mancini, who regularly speaks to chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak, feels he and the club’s hierarchy are looking forward confidently. The 48-year-old said: “I speak with Khaldoon every week. He is like me. When we lose he has my mentality, he is upset and disappointed but this is normal and it’s correct in football.” last_img read more

SENIORS – Beware of New Social Security Robocall Scam

first_imgFLORIDA – Some South Florida residents who are Social Security beneficiaries have in recent weeks been receiving unexpected robocalls allegedly from the Social Security Administration (SSA). However, the Federal Trade Commission is aggressively warning that this is a scam which has been spreading across the nation, and are urging seniors not to respond to the calls.The scammers target individuals by calling their phone through a robocall and claiming their Social Security number (SSN) has been suspended because of suspicious activity, or because it’s been involved in a crime.Robo messageTypically the rob- call message left is: “This call is from the department of social security administration. The reason you have received this phone call from our department is to inform you that we just suspend your social security number because we found some suspicious activity. So, if you want to know about this case just press 1 thank you.”In those calls or voicemails, sometimes the scammer wants the individuals called to confirm their SSN, reactivate it or they’ll say their bank account is about to be seized.Preventative stepsThe FTC cautions those receiving these calls whatever the message on the call says not to fall for it. It’s a scam and that’s not the real Social Security Administration calling. The scamis a growing concern for officials, as according to the FTC says so far this year more than 35,000 people have reported the scam, with victims having lost over $10 million.The FTC further cautions anyone who receives these calls should not answer the call, and if they do answer hang up immediately on hearing the message., and never pressed the number 1 as requested. Doing this will indicate to the scammer that they have reached the person their targeting and could open further calls and efforts to scam.One of the main reasons for targeting seniors with this SS scam is that most beneficiaries are very dependent on their monthly SS payment, and maybe quick to respond to the calls if they hear their accounts are being cancelled or their bank account closed.The FTC says be suspicious of any call from a government agency since those agencies don’t call residents with threats or promises or demands for money. Only Scammers do. Don’t trust caller ID – even if it might look like a real call from the SSA, don’t trust it. Never give any caller information like bank account and/or Social Security, and never make a payment. And, always check with the real agency the call is purported to be coming from.The Federal Trade Commission says If you’re worried, hang up and call the SSA yourself at 1-800-772-1213. If you’ve already received one of these robocall Social Security Scams, contact them with a complaint.last_img read more

Los Angeles Dodgers clinch NL West Title

first_imgLOS ANGELES >> And so — here they are again.But this time it was a rookie manager leading them through record use of the disabled list — including the 75-day loss of their ace to a back injury — and leaning as heavily on the products of baseball’s top-ranked farm system as baseball’s highest payroll. The Dodgers finished atop the National League West again Sunday afternoon when Charlie Culberson’s game-winning home run in the 10th inning gave them a 4-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies.The win came just moments before the San Francisco Giants’ latest loss (their 41st in 66 games since the All-Star break) became final, which also would have sent the Dodgers to the postseason.But the Culberson homer was a much more appropriate ending for a team that boasted of its depth leading into the season, started rookie pitchers a major-league high 65 times and had every man on their 40-man roster active for Sunday’s clincher. Dave Roberts used 19 of them against the Rockies, just a typical September afternoon for him. “My first year managing, to see this whole big machine come together and to realize one part of a goal — it’s really tough to put into words,” Roberts said.“You get your best player (Corey Seager) hitting that game-tying home run off (Adam) Ottavino (with two outs in the bottom of the ninth) and then you get Charlie Culberson, who was a non-roster invitee, who was up and down all year long, who did everything we asked — for him to get that big hit … I embraced him and he said outside of him having his baby that was the greatest moment of his life.”The Dodgers will head to the postseason for the seventh time in the past 11 seasons still looking for it to end with greatness for the first time since 1988.Nonetheless, they are the first team to win the NL West in four consecutive seasons, the first NL team to win their division four consecutive times since the Philadelphia Phillies won the NL East five consecutive times from 2007-11.They will meet the Washington Nationals in the first round with only the travel arrangements to be finalized. The Nationals (91-64) hold a 1 1/2-game lead over the Dodgers (90-66) for homefield in a best-of-5 Division Series. The Nats’ magic number to clinch that advantage is six as the regular season enters its final week. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorcenter_img “I mean, if we only had to use 25 guys and had no injuries — that would have been fine too,” GM Farhan Zaidi said of watching the depth assembled by the Dodgers’ front office pay off on the field. “But I wouldn’t say it’s validation because you go through injuries every year and this year was no different. And if it wasn’t for these guys stepping up and performing, what does depth mean?“I’ve seen it over the years and I know how hard it is for guys to come up and hit the ground running in the big leagues. For guys like Grant Dayton and Andrew Toles to come up and make such a big impact right away and sustain it — you just don’t see it that often with this volume of players so it’s been really tremendous.”For most of the day Sunday, however, it was all about Vin Scully — whether he liked it or not.The first time through the lineup, Dodgers batters stopped near home plate and raised their helmets in his direction, saluting the Hall of Fame broadcaster as he called his final game at Dodger Stadium.“Me and JT were texting last night and said we should do something. That’s what we came up with,” Dodgers first baseman Adrian Gonzalez said. “We have a hitters meeting every day and we talked about it and everybody thought it was a good idea. We went with it to honor Vin and give him the respect he deserves.“He deserves way more than that. I think it’s a little token of our appreciation for him.”Scully was moved, exclaiming on air, “Are they waving up here? Oh, that’s terrific. Holy Mackerel.”It was almost the only time all afternoon the Dodgers managed to get to a left-hander.Rockies starter Tyler Anderson held the Dodgers to one run over the first six innings despite scattering eight hits. The Dodgers went 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position against Anderson, their latest frustration against a left-handed pitcher.But in the seventh, the Dodgers tied the game on an RBI triple by Corey Seager. The Rockies regained the lead in the top of the ninth when Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen gave up a two-out home run to David Dahl.Down to their last out in the bottom of the ninth, Seager came through again, re-tying the game with a drive into the seats down the right-field line.Culberson’s clinching home run came an inning later with two outs off Rockies reliever Boone Logan. He dropped the bat and stood at home plate, admiring the drive with more gusto than a player with six career home runs can usually muster.“I don’t hit too many home runs,” he said sheepishly in the afterglow. “I knew that was gone.”That put a punctuation mark on an emotional weekend during which the Dodgers embraced both their Hall of Fame broadcaster and a “team mentality, really,” as Clayton Kershaw put it.“This year has been a little different for me personally, being out for so long,” he said. “It’s good to see these guys do what they needed to do. It just shows this team isn’t about one guy. Any guy can step up, any guy can win a game and you just saw that today.“One guy goes down, another guy steps up. A testament to our team, the depth that we have, the guys that we could bring in, the young guys that stepped up.”last_img read more