10-year-old gets 5½-year sentence for rape and murder plot

A 10-year-old Washington state boy was sentenced on Wednesday to up to 5 1/2 years in a juvenile detention facility for his role in a foiled plot to rape and kill a girl at his school and harm other children.

The boy was charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, juvenile firearm possession and witness tampering in connection with a plot in February at an elementary school in Colville, in the state’s northeast.

Prosecutors said he pleaded guilty last month to all charges.

Stevens County Superior Court Judge Allen Nielson sentenced the fifth-grader to a minimum of just over three years in juvenile detention and a maximum of nearly 5 1/2 years, Stevens County prosecutor Tim Rasmussen said…

The 10-year-old boy will serve his sentence at the Echo Glen children’s juvenile center in Snoqualmie, Wash., 45 miles east of Seattle. As of Thursday he had already spent nearly 100 days in a local juvenile detention facility, Rasmussen said.

The boy told investigators he and his friend had planned to kill a former fifth-grade girlfriend because she was “rude” and “always made fun” of him and friends, according to court documents…

The 10-year-old had taken a Remington Model 1911 pistol that originally belonged to his grandfather from his older brother’s room, according to court records.

The boys had also packed ammunition and a knife, but they were stopped on Feb. 7 shortly after they boarded a school bus, Rasmussen said.

A fourth-grade student spotted the knife and reported it to a teacher’s aide, Rasmussen said. The names of six other targeted classmates were on a list the boys had

Cripes! No doubt we can come up with any number of sources that influenced the young mind of this kid. How to commit such crimes; perhaps, including plans to escape punishment.

Who was supposed to be playing the role of educator and mentor to this child? Who had the responsibility for instilling a sense of right and wrong, good and evil?

What kind of culture teaches a child the best way to solve questions of love and sex – is with a gun?

Transgender woman’s right to marriage recognized in Hong Kong

A transgender woman in Hong Kong has won a groundbreaking court appeal allowing her to marry her boyfriend and forcing the government to rewrite the city’s marriage laws.

The woman in her 30s, known in the Court of Final Appeal as “W” under anonymity rules, successfully overturned earlier verdicts that said marriage is only allowed between couples who were of the opposite sex at birth.

W, who underwent sex realignment surgery more than five years ago, argued that her post-operative gender was recognised by the law and that previous rulings were a violation of her constitutional rights…

She also said that her reassignment surgery had been government-subsidised…

“It is contrary to principle to focus merely on biological features fixed at the time of birth,” the court said in a written judgement by the panel of five judges.

It added that existing laws “impair the very essence of W’s right to marry“.

One more place in the world we might send some of our out-of-date politicians to learn something of changing civil rights.

There is more than a simple wry note to be taken that some jurisdictions that our nation depicts as backwards and lacking all-American freedoms are changing faster than we are.

Congressional lobbyists maintain Old Boy tradition of pay inequality

corporate bosses

Women led eight of Washington’s 50 most politically active trade lobby groups and earned about $600,000 less than their male counterparts, according to salary data compiled by Bloomberg.

The female chief executive officers were paid an average of $1.31 million in 2011, compared with $1.93 million paid to the 42 male CEOs. That means they made about 68 cents for every dollar paid to a man — a bigger salary divergence than the 72 cents women earned against every $1 paid to a man in the wider economy, as measured by the U.S. Census Bureau…

Washington is “the original boys’ club,” said Lisa Maatz, vice president of government relations for the American Association of University Women, a research group promoting female leadership. “Clearly there’s still a hurdle, a glass ceiling, a bias about leadership roles…”

The salary figures show how discrepancies in opportunities and compensation exist even for the women operating at the highest levels of business, said employment consultant John Challenger, CEO of Chicago-based Challenger, Gray & Christmas…

“It seems like men and women would have equal lobbying ability — I can’t see why there’d be any difference in pay,” Challenger said. “The most obvious answer is that it’s discrimination…”

The industry groups were ranked by the total amount spent lobbying in Washington during President Barack Obama’s first term, in a Bloomberg Government compilation of documents filed with the U.S. Senate. The 50 associations since 2009 have spent a cumulative $1.85 billion trying to influence legislation on issues including health care, energy independence and tax rates, the data showed.

Even though this shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone experienced with how the United States economy is really run – the extra touch of just a bit more anti-woman discrimination in pay, say, compared to industrial workers, puts the icing on America’s corporate cake.

The flunkies out in front of our corporate masters make it clear they will resist change all the way down to the last drop of blood in our bodies.

Benfica 1 – 2 Chelsea

chelsea win
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Three minutes earlier, Frank Lampard had rattled the woodwork, leaving Chelsea fans to rue what at the time seemed to like a storybook ending. What better way to win a trophy than, on the day he’s reported to have signed a one-year extension, to have an icon secure silverware.

But Chelsea fans wouldn’t have to wait long for another well-established Blue to secure another piece of European gory. With the match tied 1-1 and Amsterdam’s Europa League final looked destined for an extra 30 minutes before another, less revered part of the Blues’ core gave the Londoners another European trophy.

In second half stoppage time, Juan Mata swung a corner kick far post, allowing veteran defender Branislav Ivanovic to elevate above André Almeida and Jardel, his contact putting a long, looping header back near post, leaving goalkeeper Artur flat-footed as the Serbian center half secured Chelsea’s 2-1 victory…

A lackluster first half ended scoreless before Fernando Torres, on the end of a Petr Cech ball, beat Luisao to go in Artur, the Spaniard’s finish from the right of the box putting Chelsea up in the 60th minute. Eight minutes later, Benfica equalized, with Paraguayan Oscar Cardozo converting from the spot after a hand ball from Cesar Azpilicueta.

In a match largely controlled by Benfica’s midfield yet often lacking inspiration, it was just that a late tally eventually separated the sides. Benfica had 58 percent of the possession but only three shots on goal. Chelsea, on the other hand – often content to let Benfica play at the edge of their attacking third – managed five shots on Artur.

The last, of course, was the most meaningful…Ivanovic has done it before, his two against Liverpool in the 2009 quarterfinals as well as his winner against Napoli in 2012 standing out, but with the timing of tonight’s tally, Ivanovic is unlikely to have scored a more important goal. With his looping header in stoppage time on Wednesday, the 29-year-old helped Chelsea secure this year’s Europa League.

The first half suited everyman’s description of Euro football, e.g., no one dares play harder than at 90%. Less if you’re off-camera. But, the second half came alive even if the handball from Azpilicueta put me in mind of Serie A match-fixing shenanigans more than anything else.

BTW, I chose NBCSports.com for this article to see if I can tolerate their print coverage of footie – since starting the coming season they will be the provider of Premier League coverage on DirecTV.