School bans parents at school sports without criminal record check

A school has banned parents from watching their children take part in sports events – unless they pass a criminal records check. Parents have been banned from watching their children compete at sports unless they have been vetted by police.

The Isambard Community School in Swindon, Wilts., insists all parents must clear a Criminal Records Bureau check to weed out potential paedophiles.

Neil Park, 54, was furious when he was turned away from watching his son George, 12, play rugby.

The father-of-five said: “I was turned away from the school because I had not been CRB checked.

“I couldn’t believe it. Government guidelines state that parents are allowed to watch games…But any strangers can be questioned and requested to show the appropriate paperwork, which is fair enough…

The school introduced the new measure at the start of the term to prevent strangers from accessing other parts of the school from the playing fields.

A spokesman said: “It is with regret that from now on we will be unable to accommodate parents wishing to spectate at our sports fixtures unless they are in possession of an up-to-date Swindon Council CRB check.

You can always count on the Brits to lead the way in Nanny State political correctness.

This is a logical next step for right-wing nutballs in places as backwards as Arizona and, apparently, Swindon. The “show your papers” syndrome. They are prepared to “protect” children until everyone in the land is required to show an appropriate license for every step they take.

Police chief resigns – only certified member left on the force is the dog

The police chief of the small eastern New Mexico town of Vaughn resigned Wednesday, leaving the town with just one certified member on its police force – a drug-sniffing dog named Nikka.

Dave Romero, attorney for the town, said Wednesday that police Chief Ernest “Chris” Armijo decided to step down after news stories reported that he wasn’t allowed to carry a gun because of his criminal background.

“He decided the attention was distracting,” Romero said.

State officials said Armijo couldn’t carry a gun since acknowledging that he owed tens of thousands of dollars in delinquent child support payments in Texas. Armijo also faces new felony charges after being accused of selling a town-owned rifle and pocketing the cash.

According to records, the only qualified member of the Vaughn Police Department is Nikka, a drug-sniffing dog. Vaughn’s other officer isn’t certified and pleaded guilty to charges of assault and battery last year. Noncertified officers can’t make arrests and can’t carry firearms.

Vaughn…is a quiet town that is an overnight stop for railroad workers. And while residents say there is no crime problem, the town is set deep in what U.S. Homeland Security Investigations officials say is an isolated region of the state popular with drug traffickers. Officials say the desolate roads in Guadalupe County make it hard for authorities to catch smugglers moving drugs from Mexico…

At Penny’s Diner, residents said they were embarrassed by the attention the episode has put on the small town.

“There’s just a whole lot of nothing going on here,” said cook Joyce Tabor. “We have very little crime. It’s quiet. So this really doesn’t matter.”

If you’re ever in that neck of the prairie, do stop in to eat at Penny’s. When I used to be on the road, that always was a reasonable place in the middle of nowhere to get a decent meal.

Oh – a comment on the problem? Pretty typical for a state which battles Mississippi for nationwide leadership in no skills, no education and opportunist local politicians.

Cytori’s stem cell therapy wins government research contract for treatment of burns

Cytori Therapeutics (CYTX), a biotechnology company…won a $4.7 million U.S. government contract to develop a stem cell therapy to treat burns caused by thermal or radioactive bombs…

“We’re seeing a lot of momentum,” Chief Executive Officer Christopher Calhoun said today in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “This contract is one more major thing that we are delivering on, and there is more to come…”

Cytori’s experimental therapy takes adipose tissue, or body fat, from a patient and through its device separates the adult stem and regenerative cells before transferring them to a burn wound. Money from the contract will be used to develop the device and take it through the U.S. regulatory approval process with the Food and Drug Administration, Calhoun said.

“These cells help to facilitate the healing of the injury,” he said in a telephone interview earlier this week. “They release growth factors that stimulate new blood flow.”

Testing the technology in a clinical trial and getting approval may take five years, Calhoun said. The company is currently testing its therapy for other soft tissue damage, as well as cardiovascular disease.

Once approved, the device will be deployed in hospitals across the country, and can be used for routine burns as well as a treatment for patients in wake of a “mass casualty event” that could injure 10,000 people…

If I understood the discussion with Calhoun on Bloomberg TV, similar governmental research for approval moved ahead in the EU almost 2 years ago. And, of course, government agencies here can nudge the FDA to get off their rusty dusty by starting their own trials of new techniques fighting illness and injury.

I watched the interview with Calhoun and was impressed. The science appears sound, contributing more to knowledge of the critical role stem cell research can play in cures for any number of ailments. Too bad we lost as much time as we did because of objections from the anti-science crowd led by religious fundamentalists. Absurd in a nation supposedly honoring separation of church and state.

Of course, that’s part of the ongoing struggle to defend freedoms won decades ago – on choice, civil rights, voting rights. Most Americans have hearts that are left of center on political and social questions. But, they don’t hurl their money or noise around like the right-wing does.

Cyber attacks on U.S. Banks expose Internet vulnerability

Cyber attacks on the biggest U.S. banks, including JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Wells Fargo & Co., have breached some of the nation’s most advanced computer defenses and exposed the vulnerability of its infrastructure…

The attack, which a U.S. official yesterday said was waged by a still-unidentified group outside the country, flooded bank websites with traffic, rendering them unavailable to consumers and disrupting transactions for hours at a time.

Such a sustained network attack ranks among the worst-case scenarios envisioned by the National Security Agency, according to the U.S. official, who asked not to be identified because he isn’t authorized to speak publicly. The extent of the damage may not be known for weeks or months, said the official, who has access to classified information…

While the group is using a method known as distributed denial-of-service, or DDoS, to overwhelm financial-industry websites with traffic from hijacked computers, the attacks have taken control of commercial servers that have much more power, according to the specialists.

“The notable thing is the volume and the scale of the traffic that’s been directed at these sites, and that’s very rare,” Dmitri Alperovitch, CTO of Palo Alto, California-based security firm CrowdStrike…

President Barack Obama’s administration is circulating a draft executive order that would create a program to shield vital computer networks from cyber attacks…

The U.S. Senate last month failed to advance comprehensive cybersecurity legislation and the administration is contemplating using the executive order because it’s not certain that Congress can pass a cybersecurity bill, officials said.

So, aside from a qualitatively new style of DDOS attack on Web operability, we are reminded once more of the incompetence of the elected officials taking up space in Congress.

Which irks you the most? Irresponsible script kiddies masquerading as hackers or irresponsible ideologues masquerading as politicians?