Friday, March 6, 2009

H2-africa is up and running if you'd like to check it out.

They are selling shirts now too! Shirts (of course) are made in Africa.

Very cool!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Evil in Darfur

I just turned off CNN.

I'm so angry, so outraged, so utterly incensed. I don't know what to do.

The President of Darfur, who was yesterday indicted by the International Criminal Court at the Hague for war crimes and crimes against humanity, is throwing all aid agencies out of Sudan. Doctors without Borders, World Vision, the Red Cross, and others have received notification that they are to stop providing food and medical assistance to ANYONE in the country. This means hundreds of thousands of impoverished people have been sentenced to death. Even with the help of these agencies, the crisis in Darfur was staggering at best. There already weren't enough resources and health care to go around. Read the article here.

I watched Darfur's President merrily waving a flag and dancing in front of a mob of people, as he laughed off the war crimes charge and, in retaliation, sentenced hundreds of thousands of Sudanese people to death. A doctor being interviewed said, in a thick voice, tears in her eyes, "We are not political. We are medical. We just want to get back to our patients. They will die. They will die without us."

The only word that makes any sense to describe this scenario is EVIL.

I have no clue what to do. I just e-mailed the President of the United States. It was a short e-mail. It started like this,
"Dear President Obama,

Can you please stop President Al-Bashir. Please. I can't think of anything more important than saving the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent people...... "

Will you join me in praying for justice for these innocent people? Will you e-mail our President? Will you post other ideas about what we can do?

Monday, March 2, 2009

10 CHILD prostitutes in Washington rescued!!

10 child prostitutes in Washington rescued during nationwide sweep by FBI
Police and federal agents have rescued 10 child prostitutes and arrested 35 people in Western Washington as part of a nationwide sweep aimed at curbing the sexual exploitation of children, according to the FBI.

By Mike Carter
Seattle Times staff reporter
Police and federal agents rescued 10 child prostitutes and arrested 35 people in Western Washington as part of a nationwide sweep aimed at curbing the sexual exploitation of children, according to the FBI.
Nationwide, "Operation Cross Country III" last week took 48 child prostitutes into protective custody and police and agents in 29 cities — including Seattle, Everett and Tacoma — arrested 571 people for investigation of state and federal charges involving the domestic trafficking of children for sex.
"We continue to pursue those who exploit our nation's children," said FBI Director Robert Mueller. "We may not be able to return their innocence but we can remove them from this cycle of abuse and violence."
Special Agent Robbie Burroughs of the Seattle office of the FBI said most of those arrested here will face state charges, although three individuals arrested for pimping child prostitutes could face more serious federal charges.
FBI Special Agent Tarna Derby-McCurtain of the bureau's Tacoma office is a member of a newly formed task force in Western Washington aimed at rescuing child prostitutes and prosecuting those who lure them into the lifestyle.
She said the Department of Justice formed the task force here after seeing a trend of both victims and pimps coming from Washington. It met first in Pierce County in 2007 and since has obtained at least three indictments against men accused of luring teenage girls into sexual slavery.
"They go to malls. They're on MySpace," Derby-McCurtain said. "They go wherever young people gather," where they prey on young girls with low self-esteem. "We see both throwaway kids, and kids who are middle-class."
The ones lured into prostitution wind up on the "West Coast track," traveling on a sex circuit that ranges from Vancouver, B.C., to Los Angeles to Las Vegas, Derby-McCurtain said.
She said there's no easy answer to the question of why Western Washington seems to attract both young victims and those who exploit them.
But the data, she said, is clear and the new task force is targeting the problem, emphasizing the arrests of the pimps and getting help for their victims.
On Monday, the state House of Representatives unanimously passed a measure that would create a diversion program for teenagers arrested for the misdemeanors prostitution and prostitution loitering. The bill would allow judges to sentence teens to the program, which focuses on treatment, education and housing instead of incarceration.
Bill sponsor Rep. Mary Lou Dickerson, D-Seattle, said that teens can stay in the program for up to one year.

She said that prosecutors will have discretion on who they recommend into the program — teens can have prior convictions and can have spent time in the diversion program before.
"These children truly are victims of some pretty horrific sexual abuse," said Dickerson, who has been working with prosecutors, law enforcement and children's groups on creating the legislation since last summer. "I look at them not as criminals but as victims who need a lot of care and safe housing."
There has not been an announcement on when the measure will be heard before the Senate.
In 2007, a new state law toughened the penalty for adults convicted of forcing juveniles into prostitution.
In the past, suspects accused of coercing underage girls into prostitution were most often charged with first-degree promoting prostitution, also a felony.
Unlike promoting prostitution, anyone convicted of commercial sexual abuse of a minor has to register as a sex offender.