Child prisoners raped by prisoners AND staff on an ongoing basis in Michigan, according to lawsuit.

Michigan prison officials actually claim they are not responsible for rape, murder, or violence against child prisoners mixed with the adult prisoner population. The courts don’t seem to see it their way, including a $100 million judgment against the state for allowing prison staff to sexually assault and harass hundreds of female prisoners…

Inmates under 18 were forced to engage in sex acts with adult prisoners and staff, according to the lawsuit, with some abuse “open and obvious.” The Corrections Department disputes the allegations, and state attorneys have argued that employees shouldn’t be held liable.

But after more than a year of litigation, the inmates have some important victories.

Associated Press via The Seattle Post-Intelligencer:  Michigan fighting claims of sexual abuse by teens in prison

 

Bigots complain of prejudice… the world weeps.

A coalition opposed to allowing non-heterosexuals to marry is protesting that they and their fellow bigots are feeling excluded from civil society for what others see as their hateful, narrow-minded views. But those others say it’s about time, that bigots should be shunned and their bigotry publicly shamed.

From the Christian Science Monitor:

As gay rights gain acceptance, conservatives say they face discrimination

 

Alabama Governor apologizes

Cut back to Fox News…

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – It took more than two days for Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley to apologize for controversial remarks he made during a Martin Luther King day speech in which he condemned the beliefs of non-Christians.
[…]
On Wednesday afternoon, Bentley issued a public apology: “If anyone from other religions felt disenfranchised by the language, I want to say I am sorry. I am sorry if I offended anyone in any way.”

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/01/19/alabama-governor-apologizes-controversial-mlk-speech

Edison Pena, a celeb — er, hero — for our times!

A month ago, he was trapped, like, 47 miles beneath the surface of the earth (OK, it was less than a half mile but when the odds are stacked against you getting out alive, it might as well be a million), with 32 other Chilean miners, running miles a day through the tunnels in order to keep in training while singing Elvis Presley songs to cheer up his companions (he said).

This morning he ran and won the New York City Marathon.

Well, maybe not exactly won — like in first place — but he clearly won the hearts of proverbially thick-skinned Manhattanites, not to mention folks across the States and, without doubt, up and down the whole of the Americas.

For the record, he was more than 3 and a half hours behind the actual, for-the-record winner — but haven’t we already forgotten his name?

More in The Guardian:
Chilean miner’s latest amazing feat … the New York marathon