WHO@ Newsletter - September 27, 2010

I couldn't make this up if I tried. . .Wow
Conn. man stole flag, put up hippo toy

Call it the case of the flying hippo. Connecticut police said a man stole an American flag from Waterbury's Town Plot Park and hoisted a stuffed hippopotamus toy in its place. Twenty-three-year-old Jeffrey Kovic, of Waterbury, was arrested and was being held in lieu of $100,000 bail on misdemeanor larceny, criminal mischief and conspiracy charges.

Kovic was arrested Tuesday. A message left for his public defender Friday wasn't immediately returned.

City police told the Republican-American of Waterbury that they're also seeking arrest warrants for several minors suspected of taking part in last week's prank and for damaging park bleachers.

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(DISCLAIMER: The following news items were found on the web and were not written or endorsed by WHO@; they are for informational purposes only)

Victims of cyberbullying struggle with depression - 09/27/10
A new study shows that as bullying has moved beyond the schoolyard and on to Facebook pages, online chat groups and cell phone text messages, its victims are feeling more hopeless and depressed. "Traditional bullying is more face-to-face," said Ronald J. Iannotti, principal investigator for the study, published online in the Journal of Adolescent Health. It says that students targeted by cyberbullies, who may not always identify themselves, "may be more likely to feel isolated, dehumanized or helpless at the time of the attack."

Google admits cashing in on suicide pact chatroom: Internet giant sold ads on web pages where two British strangers arranged to kill themselves - 09/26/10
Internet giant Google last night admitted it had been cashing in on the online message board where two strangers planned their suicide and met others who encouraged them to go through with it. The admission came after the father of one of the victims called for the ‘suicide boards’ to be banned. The £25billion corporation sold advertising to run alongside the postings used by Joanne Lee and Stephen Lumb to arrange their suicide pact.

Ask Me Anything - 09/26/10
During a particularly emotional informal presentation about a mission trip to Africa, I looked up to see a classmate perusing Perez Hilton’s blog, eyes completely glued to photos of celebrities and strangers. Really? You can't help but ignore your classmate to obsessively check updates about people you've never met before?

How Widespread is Cyberstalking? - 09/26/10
An online survey has been launched in a bid to find out how many Brits have been affected by cyberstalking. According to the British Crime Survey, more than one million women and 900,000 men have been victims of stalking, although it is unknown whether this includes those that have been cyberstalked.

Why YOU Could Be A Cyberstalker -09/25/10
DO you send more texts and emails than you get? Or comment on someone's Facebook page more often than they do on yours?
If so, you could be labelled a CYBERSTALKER without having realised you were doing anything wrong, a leading psychologist has warned.
Yesterday Dr Emma Short, of the University of Bedfordshire, launched the first ever survey of the problem - the Electronic Communication Harassment Observation study.

Wis. regulators reopen 'sexting DA' investigation - 09/25/10
An agency that declined to discipline a prosecutor for sending harassing text messages to a domestic abuse victim reopened its investigation Friday amid mounting criticism and new allegations of misconduct. The Office of Lawyer Regulation is restarting the probe into Calumet County District Attorney Ken Kratz because new information appears to show "a pattern of conduct" by Kratz, said the agency's director, Keith Sellen.

Social media a police weapon that can backfire - 09/25/10
When Maxi Sopo, a Cameroonian living in Seattle, learned that authorities were investigating him on bank fraud charges, he rented a car, went on the lam and fell off the grid. Authorities didn't know where to find him - that is, until they checked Sopo's Facebook account.

CPS targets Facebook cyber-stalkers - 09/24/10
The Crown Prosecution Service published on Thursday revised guidance for prosecutors on stalking and harassment, both online and offline. The guidance features a dedicated section on cyber-stalking ­ including examples of how the internet can be used to harass victims ­ along with advice on appropriate sentencing. Those found harassing others through social-networking sites with an implied threat of violence could now face sentences of up to five years, it says.

Warning to parents as 'worst ever' internet paedophile jailed - 09/24/10
Michael Williams, 28, a postman, who was jailed for eight-and-a-half years, used social networking sites to groom up to 1,000 child victims over a five-year period.
He persuaded hundreds of children aged 10 to 16 to perform sex acts on an internet video camera, or webcam, which he recorded on carefully catalogued computer files.

Students face consequences of digital file sharing on campus - 09/23/10
When someone robs Britney Spears, Tim Goth has to deal with it. As the pop singer might sip champagne in her lavish Los Angeles abode, the University Information Technology Services employee responds to misconduct from his office on 10th and the Bypass. It’s an eight-to-five job, a task delegated solely to him. And it all begins with an e-mail.

Suicide website users face 14 years in jail if they incited 'Heaven's Little Girl' and the stranger who helped her die - 09/23/10
Users of a sinister website who helped a stranger couple commit suicide have been warned they face up to 14 years in jail.
Joanne Lee and truck driver Steve Lumb were found dead in a Vauxhall Astra parked alongside an area of overgrown wasteland on an industrial estate on Monday. They had gassed themselves after meeting just hours earlier after making contact on the internet.

Sheriff's deputy will not be disciplined for bikini car wash participation - 09/22/10
A Berkeley County sheriff’s deputy will not be disciplined for participating in a bikini car wash for charity on her own time, the sheriff’s office announced. But a Moncks Corner police officer was out of a job Tuesday after photos showed him having his police car washed at the event.

Cell phone hoax no joke to St. Charles-area teen - 09/22/10
It's like something out of a horror movie. A 17-year-old girl, home alone, gets successive calls on her cell phone. The screen shows the calls are being made from her home landline. The male caller, in a mumbled, unfamiliar voice, tells her to "Get out now."
Afraid an intruder has gotten in to the house, the panicked teen calls her mother. The mother tells her to remove the window screen from the office she's in, crawl out and run for help to a neighbor. The mom stays on the line with her daughter, and borrows another person's phone and calls 911, then speeds home.


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