- Catholic Church spent $2M on major N.Y. lobbying firms to block child-sex law reform
- Child abuse inquiry turns to Kincora home and claims of MI5 blackmail
- Hostages, drugs, grenades — Colombia cracks down on notorious “Bronx” slum
- How child sexual abuse became a family business in the Philippines
- A crime scene of unspeakable horror: child sex abuse and the internet
EXCLUSIVE: Catholic Church spent $2M on major N.Y. lobbying firms to block child-sex law reform
BY Kenneth Lovett NEW YORK DAILY NEWS ALBANY BUREAU CHIEF Monday, May 30, 2016
ALBANY — Not leaving it to divine chance, the state Catholic Conference has turned in recent years to some of Albany’s most well-connected and influential lobby firms to help block a bill that would make it easier for child sex abuse victims to seek justice.
The Catholic Conference, headed by Timothy Cardinal Dolan, has used Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker, Patricia Lynch & Associates, Hank Sheinkopf, and Mark Behan Communications to lobby against the Child Victims Act as well as for or against other measures.
All told, the conference spent more than $2.1 million on lobbying from 2007 through the end of 2015, state records show. That does not include the conference’s own internal lobbying team.
Filings show the lobbyists were retained, in part, to work on issues associated with “statute of limitations” and “timelines for commencing certain civil actions related to sex offenses.” Other issues included parochial school funding and investment tax credits....
While a far cry from the millions in lobbying top special interests spend in Albany each year, advocates for child sex abuse survivors say the $2.1 million spent likely represents a worthwhile investment to the Catholic Conference if it can continue to block legislation that would eliminate the statute of limitations on child sex abuse civil cases and open a one-year window to bring lawsuits for victims who can no longer sue under current law.
The Catholic Conference has argued that opening a one-year window to revive old cases could ultimately bankrupt the Church....
Child abuse inquiry turns to Kincora home and claims of MI5 blackmail
Inquiry will hear from men abused as boys at Northern Ireland children’s home and allegations that perpetrators were protected by working as spies Henry McDonald Ireland correspondent Monday 30 May 2016
An inquiry into child abuse across a range of institutions in Northern Ireland will focus on Tuesday on the Kincora boys home scandal including allegations that MI5 blackmailed a paedophile ring which operated there in the 1970s.
The historical institutional abuse inquiry will hear evidence from men who were abused at Kincora when they were children and their allegations that the perpetrators were protected because they were state agents spying on fellow Ulster loyalists.
A number of Kincora abuse victims have tried through the courts to force the scandal to be included in the national investigation into allegations of establishment paedophile rings operating in Westminster.
Gary Hoy tried and failed last month to force the home secretary to include Kincora in the Westminster inquiry. Hoy and others fear that the Kincora inquiry, which is based in Northern Ireland and taking hearings at the court in Banbridge, County Down, will not have access to sensitive MI5 intelligence files on the people who ran Kincora.
Amnesty International has described the Kincora scandal as one of the most disturbing to emerge from the Ulster Troubles....
At least 29 boys were sexually abused by Kincora housemaster and prominent Orange Order member William McGrath and others at the east Belfast home....
Another of the abuse victims at Kincora, Clint Massey, told the Guardian last year that he even tried to file a report at a local police station in east Belfast about what was happening to him and other boys at the home in the mid-1970s. However, Massey said he was forcibly marched out of the RUC station by police officers and that his complaint was not recorded.
Former army intelligence officer and whistleblower Colin Wallace has consistently claimed that MI5, RUC special branch and military intelligence knew about the abuse going on at Kincora and used it to blackmail the paedophile ring to spy on hardline loyalists....
The historical institutional abuse inquiry is investigating 22 orphanages, care homes and other institutions where child sexual abuse took place. The inquiry team is expected to hear from around 450 witnesses, some of whom have travelled from as far as the United States and Australia to give evidence....
Hostages, drugs, grenades — Colombia cracks down on notorious “Bronx” slum
May 31, 2016 By Jim Wyss BOGOTA, Colombia
It’s known as “El Bronx,” and for decades the slum in the heart of Colombia’s capital has been the stuff of nightmares: a sordid stew of drug dens, vagrants, prostitution and gambling.
Close to government buildings and tourism hotspots, the area has been a no-go zone for police — and anyone else who cared for their pocketbook or their safety.
Mayor Enrique Peñalosa calls it an “independent republic of crime.”
Starting Saturday, the police and heavily armed military began seizing control of the area, and the reports that have emerged prove the neighborhood’s fearsome reputation is merited.
Guns, Hostages, Grenades
Police said they had removed more than 2,000 people — many of them homeless drug addicts — from the neighborhood and rescued 136 minors, some of them victims of the sex trade. They also seized stockpiles of cocaine, marijuana and bazuco, an addictive crack-like substance.
In addition, they found hidden passageways used to smuggle drugs and weapons, and rescued a 23-year-old man who was being held hostage in a derelict building, bound hand and foot and with a chain around his neck.
“What we found in the Bronx went far beyond what we knew,” Daniel Mejía, the city’s undersecretary of security, told RCN radio on Tuesday. “We found caches of weapons and grenades, large amounts of drugs [hidden] in walls and ceilings, houses for satanic worship and places for the sexual exploitation of minors....
Luz Estela Cardenas, the director of Renacer, a foundation that works with sexually exploited children, said that many of the 18,000 minors her organization has helped over the last 28 years have emerged from the Bronx and neighborhoods like it.
Many victims start off visiting the areas to buy drugs, she said, before getting snared by criminal networks.
“This goes well beyond sexual abuse,” she said. “The issue is exploitation and the trafficking of girls and boys. Some of these children are sexual slaves.... Others have literally been kidnapped off the streets surrounding the Bronx....
How child sexual abuse became a family business in the Philippines
Tens of thousands of children believed to be victims of live-streaming abuse, some of it being carried out by their own parents
by Oliver Holmes in Manila Monday 30 May 2016
When Philippine police smashed into the one-bedroom house, they found three girls aged 11, seven and three lying naked on a bed.
At the other end of the room stood the mother of two of the children – the third was her niece – and her eldest daughter, aged 13, who was typing on a keyboard. A live webcam feed on the computer screen showed the faces of three white men glaring out.
An undercover agent had infiltrated the impoverished village two weeks before the raid. Pretending to be a Japayuki, a slang term for a Filipina sex worker living in Japan, she had persuaded a resident to introduce her to the children, who played daily in the gravel streets.
Her guise was intended to put them at ease, to show them she worked in the same industry; she was one of them. She became close to the eldest, referred to as Nicole although that is not her real name. After a few days of chatting, Nicole causally told the agent about their “shows”.
“It was the first time we heard of parents using their children,” said the middle-aged woman.
Authorities considered that operation in 2011 to be a one-off case. But the next month, another family was caught in the same area. Then more cases of live-streaming child abuse appeared in different parts of the Philippines.
Now, the United Nations says, there are tens of thousands of children believed to be involved in a rapidly expanding local child abuse industry already worth US$1bn.
In some areas, entire communities live off the business, abetted by increasing internet speeds, advancing cameraphone technology, and growing ease of money transfers across borders.
And while perpetrators used to download photos and videos to their hard drives – providing authorities with a virtual paper trail and usable evidence – criminals have found anonymity in encrypted live-streaming programs....
“We think that what we are seeing, what we are dealing with, is a small part of what is out there,” she said. “It is big money. Big business.”
Children are made to perform around the clock, with morning live-streams catering to Europeans and Americans, and later in the day, an Australian-based clientele.
The number of ongoing live-streaming criminal cases in the Philippines is rising, from 57 in 2013, growing to 89 in 2014, and up to 167 in 2015....
A crime scene of unspeakable horror': child sex abuse and the internet
Perpetrators of online child sexual abuse will continue to take advantage of the latest technology to serve their purposes
Joanna Shields Baroness Joanna Shields is the UK minister for internet safety and security Monday 30 May 2016
....Faster internet, anonymous access and cryptocurrency mechanisms all provide opportunities for criminals to access child sexual abuse images.
Images of child sexual abuse are uploaded and shared everyday. Some of these images are screen captures of live-streamed sexual abuse of children of all ages, even infants. Each image, each video depicts a crime scene of unspeakable horror.
Child sexual abuse is a global crime that transcends borders, and demands a global response. The WePROTECT Global Alliance to end online child sexual exploitation is that response.
The goal of WePROTECT is to eradicate child sexual exploitation online. Full stop. Its mission is to empower everyone with a responsibility to protect children online, to identify and safeguard victims, remove child sexual abuse material from the internet and track down perpetrators all over the world....