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Signal boosting [livejournal.com profile] bedamn's original post:

I'm posting this to boost the signal regarding the current state of the flooding in Queensland.

As of today, the floods have affected nearly 200,000 people over an area that is larger than France and Germany - to put it into another perspective, an area that is the size of the American state of Texas is currently underwater. An estimated 22 townships have been left either isolated or inundated by the rising flood waters. Three of the major river systems are currently at flooding capacity. The rain is continuing to fall, and the flood is extending across to the South-East corner of the state. It may soon reach the NSW boarder. Toowoomba was hit yesterday with flash flooding - with walls of water eight metres high - which has decimated the town. The current death toll for Toowoomba alone is nine, with seventy-two reported missing.

75% of Queensland's coal mines are flooded out or shut down due to inaccessibility, and coal isn't getting into the ports in Sarina or Gladstone. Queensland is currently the supplier of 50% of the world's coking coal. This isn't taking into account the sheer scale of damage that has been done to crops and farmland, as well as the tourism industry, which are three of Queensland's biggest economic pullers. The sheer financial cost and recovery time the state is going to need to recover from the damage is going to be astronomical, and the rain is showing no signs of stopping any time soon. (The current damage estimate, with townships set to be hit again and more rivers to peak, is sitting at $5 billion dollars. This is only going to climb.)

If you can spare anything, even the smallest amount, online donations can be made to The Premier's Flood Relief Appeal, or through one of these alternative options.

Thank you for your time.
elsewhere_kels: (Default)
Originally posted by [livejournal.com profile] kiwiana at Teen Raped After Being Used by School as "Bait"
If a high school student goes to administrators to report that she and another teenage girl were raped by a boy at the school, you might think that the immediate course of action would be to keep the survivors safe while investigating the allegations. But a student at Upper St. Claire High School is suing her school district for using her as bait, which resulted in her being raped a second time.

It's possible that the principal had watched The Sting a few too many times and thought that he could launch his own tricky operation. Even so, to put a sexual assault victim in the path of her rapist seems like an absurd level of endangerment — except that Principal Michael Ghilani didn't believe that he was dealing with a rape survivor. Instead, he turned the rape victims into guilty parties, deciding that student were having consensual sex on school premises after hours, and he wanted them all caught.

Instead of having the girls safely escorted to their bus, as the teacher to whom the crime was first reported wanted to do, Principal Ghilani kept them on school grounds and tasked the school police to follow them — in order to see if they went somewhere to have sex, rather than to watch out for their well-being. The police apparently thought everybody had gone home, but were mistaken, since two girls reported being raped in the stairwell that afternoon.

Why the principal would think that the girl would report on herself having consensual sex is beyond me. In the school district's attempt to defend its gross negligence, it argued that these girls were just jealous of other girls having sex with the boy in question. The boy himself, by the way, has pleaded guilty to sexual assault, although not to rape, and faces up to four years imprisonment.

Cara writes on the Curvature, "I’m honestly not even sure which facet of this case I find most appalling — the lesson that if you report being raped to your school, they’ll use you as a method to catch other students doing allegedly naughty things rather than protecting you; or the lesson that if you report being raped to your school, they’ll respond to their own culpability in the situation by telling the national media that you wanted it, anyway."

The lawsuit further states that the school knew that the boy was sexually harassing and assaulting girls the month before this incident took place, but did nothing. The school also failed to report any rapes occurring for the year's Safe Schools Report, which suggests that the administrators might have chosen to perceive the attacks as consensual in order not to have to admit the lack of safety in their hallways. Why guarantee the security of your students when you can just present the appearance of security?

source
elsewhere_kels: (KH-I loved you)
I just...

If there is a hell, I'm damn sure that whoever orchestrated these disgusting actions is going there. Sooner being preferable to later, so that they can't do anything else like this. This is revolting (if you're in a depressed mood, best to save this for when you can handle awful news).

I don't even know how to... I can't believe this is real.

EDIT: Petition the Santa Rosa Press Democrat to print their story.

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March 2011

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