For evidence in a sexting investigation
Local police have issued a search warrant for explicit photos of a Virginia teenager accused of sexting his former girlfriend, lawyers for the teen said.
The Manassas City Police and Prince William County prosecutor are seeking pictures of the teen’s genitals, lawyer Jessica H. Foster told the Washington Post.
The teen faces two felony charges for manufacturing and distributing child pornography after exchanging sexts with his then-15-year-old girlfriend, whose mother filed the initial complaint with authorities. The case was dismissed in juvenile court in June, because prosecutors neglected to certify the teen’s juvenile status, the Post reports, but new charges were filed by the police.
The teen’s aunt told NBC Washington last week that local officers have already taken photos of her nephew’s genitals, but now want photos of an erection, too, to compare with evidence. The police reportedly told the teen that, if necessary, they would take him to a hospital for an injection that induces an erection.
“The prosecutor’s job is to seek justice,” Foster told the Post. “What is just about this? How does this advance the interest of the Commonwealth?”
If charged, the teen could face incarceration and would be forced to register as a sex offender.
Foster added, “I don’t mind trying the case. My goal is to stop the search warrant. I don’t want him to go through that. Taking him down to the hospital so he can get an erection in front of all those cops, that’s traumatizing.”
Carlos Flores Laboy, the teen’s appointed guardian ad litem told the Post that he found authorities’ desire to create more sexually explicit photos of a teenager, in the name of an investigation into child pornography allegations, both ironic and troubling.
“They’re using a statute that was designed to protect children from being exploited in a sexual manner to take a picture of this young man in a sexually explicit manner, said Flores Laboy. “The irony is incredible.”
He added, “As a parent myself, I was floored. It’s child abuse. We’re wasting thousands of dollars and resources and man hours on a sexting case. That’s what we’re doing.”
Calls to the Manassas City Police Department and the Prince William County prosecutor’s office were not immediately returned to TIME.
Ten years ago, I was catapulted headfirst into a gutting grief by the sudden death of my six-year-old daughter, Charlotte. I was desperate for guidance. Conventional wisdom at the time relied upon Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s five stages of grief — denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance — developed in the 1960s while she was working with terminally ill and aging adults. These have become the accepted route for those facing their own death and those grieving the loss of loved ones.
It’s time we rethink grief.
Delving into resources that detailed “grief work,” I found no discussion of joy or happiness as an endpoint, no allusion to a deepening of heart and mind, and little talk of the freedom that settles into one’s soul when all but the most basic desire are stripped away. Yet, that is the closure I came to: That it is entirely acceptable and possible to find joy, happiness, and a more deeply fulfilling life than one had prior to a devastating loss.
At the time, the mere thought of wanting to want to find a place of resilience made me feel I was doing the whole thing wrong. Surely, if I did not stay in a persistent state of woe then it must be due to denial, conflicted emotions about Charlotte, or an inability to feel.
In those early months of grief that stretched into years, I was encouraged by the reserves of bravery and resilience I discovered I had, and equal parts concerned that I wasn’t overcome 24/7. I perceived I was doing it differently and isolation pervaded much of my grief. Moving back into the natural rhythm of life in the face of such a ruining loss just felt plain old wrong. Did going forward make me a callous and unfeeling monster? This brought on more investigative therapy.
Today, I’ve largely made peace with the early death of my daughter. By no means easy, it has not been the relentless march that I had feared. Psychotherapy and grief groups did not uncover buried levels of denial. In our home there were plenty of pizza dinners and hollow conversations, but I never did have the gothic meltdowns or unrelenting mourning. I was sometimes happy. Not to say that I wasn’t deeply sorrowful. I wept daily and struggled with thoughts of where my daughter had gone. My belief system was called into question regularly.
Recently I was introduced to Dr. George Bonanno’s explorations of grief and his book, The Other Side of Sadness. His basic premise is that loss pervades the animal kingdom and none of us moves through life untouched by it, yet we are programmed genetically to be resilient. Even ten years out, his work offered a great sense of relief and comfort. Maybe I was not the outlier I suspected.
It is impossible to be unchanged by grief. It deepens us. Perhaps hardens us, but also opens doors and softens bits of us, as well. Mine is a story of moving through the pain of losing a loved one I thought I could not live without and coming back on the other side with a better appreciation for life, as a more deeply loving and engaged human being. I would give all of my hard-won wisdom back in a nanosecond if it would mean the safe return of my daughter (hello, bargaining), but that is not to be.
We are marked by grief for life, yet if we are open to its gifts, we can be healed by it. Ralph Waldo Emerson famously said, “Sorrow makes us all children. Destroys all differences of intellect. The wisest knows nothing.” Laid bare, grief gives us an opportunity to rebuild and grow up a second time. We may find our way to new lines of thinking. These can ultimately leave us comfortable in our own skin in ways we had never thought possible.
Consider that we do ourselves a disservice by not working hard enough to stand up, move forward, and be strong and courageous. We give ourselves too much permission to suffer. I don’t for one second mean to imply that people should deny emotions of any sort while experiencing the grief process. It comes in different forms for different people and lasts for varying amounts of time. But what I do believe is the place of relative comfort with the loss comes more quickly than conventional wisdom would have led us to believe. And yes, that place does come for almost everyone.
Someone doesn't like surprises+ READ ARTICLE
This dad and his wife thought they were the best parents ever for surprising their kids with a trip to Disney World. One of them is thrilled and starts screaming, while the little boy starts to sob and yell “I don’t want to.”
Usually these stunts are successful. Tears of joy, however, are seen in this 2011 video of a girl whose mom surprised her with a trip to Disneyland that has racked up close to 6 million views.
The morality of breastfeeding and baby butts
A professional photographer was temporarily banned from Facebook this week after she posted a photo on the Coppertone Facebook page of her two-year-old’s bathing suit bottom being pulled down in the style of the brand’s sunscreen ads from the 1950s. (In her version, another young girl in the same bathing suit was the one doing the pantsing.) Facebook pulled the picture and blocked the user from the site for 24 hours, prompting a chorus of complaints citing the artistic merit of the photo. The removal comes just a few weeks after the social media network reversed their previous policy and decided to allow photos of breastfeeding on the site, responding to years of protest from mothers and feminists.
Photographer Jilly White defended the image saying: “We didn’t stage the photo,” White told Fox News. “When we looked at it later, her tan line reminded us so much of the famous Coppertone ad.”
But whether the photo was planned or not, it’s against the rules. “Facebook has a strict policy against the sharing of pornographic content and any explicitly sexual content where a minor is involved,” the site’s community standards page reads. “We also impose limitations on the display of nudity. We aspire to respect people’s right to share content of personal importance, whether those are photos of a sculpture like Michelangelo’s David or family photos of a child breastfeeding.”
The Coppertone-inspired picture was flagged for violating the site’s nudity and pornography standards since the girl in the picture is a minor. Facebook presumably imposes those rules in order to try to protect minors from child pornographers who troll various social media sites to collect such pictures.
So where does Facebook draw the line? In fact, the company has maintained strict regulations about nudity in general in an attempt to create a bright line between pictures and porn. Breastfeeding is one of the few exceptions. This year, after angry users flooded Facebook with over 60,000 tweets and 5,000 emails arguing that breastfeeding is part of life and Facebook was shaming women from performing the natural act by censoring their pictures, Facebook caved and allowed such photos to be posted to the site. And late last year, the social network posted its policy about mastectomy photos after more than 20,000 signed a petition asking Facebook to stop censoring these types of images.
“We agree that breastfeeding is natural and beautiful and we’re glad to know that it’s important for mothers to share their experiences with others on Facebook. The vast majority of these photos are compliant with our policies,” Facebook’s Help Center wrote. But that rule doesn’t apply to other breasts photographed in other contexts—however artsy—and some women are still angry that men can display their nipples without repercussions but women cannot.
But by conceding to allowing breastfeeding pictures, Facebook has waded into a moral quagmire. Last year Wired questioned why Facebook refuse allow pictures of artful nudity and yet allows photos or videos of human rights abuses (like a beheading of a woman). In its defense, Facebook said that such disturbing imagery was allowed with a warning preceding the video and could remain on the site as long as people were “condemning” the act, rather than “celebrating” it. But critics argued that the video would be much more scarring to a child who stumbles upon it than any picture of nipples.
The American Civil Liberties Union has argued that through censorship, Facebook is limiting free debate. Last year, the ACLU posted an article and picture to Facebook considering whether a nude metal statue should be allowed in a park in Kansas. (The ACLU argued yes because of free speech.) Facebook blocked the post and even banned the ACLU from the site for 24 hours. Lee Rowland, a staff attorney at the ACLU responded:
We won’t ever (apologies in advance) post gratuitous nudity—flesh or metal—online. Anything we post illustrates a broader point about our civil liberties. And sure enough, this particular naked statue did just that by serving as a touchstone for a conversation about community standards and censorship. Thousands of people read the blog and hundreds commented on Facebook, weighing in on the censorship controversy. That is, before Facebook removed the post. The irony here is pretty thick.
Instagram (which is owned by Facebook) also came under fire last month for taking down pictures of topless women. Scout Willis, the daughter of Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, protested the censoring with a feminist “free the nipple” campaign that garnered support from other celebrities like Rihanna.
“Our goal is really to make sure that Instagram, whether you’re a celebrity or not, is a safe place and that the content that gets posted is something that’s appropriate for teens and also for adults,” the social network’s CEO Kevin Systrom told the BBC. “We need to make certain rules to make sure that everyone can use it.”
This new flap reignites an ongoing debate about children’s privacy on social media, even when the sharing is done by parents. Last year, Stephen Balkman, who leads the Family Online Safety Institute, talked to TIME about the phenomenon of oversharenting: When parents post thousands of pictures of their children on social media. Children reach an age when they can have a Facebook page, only to find that there’s already a timeline full of embarrassing baby photos there. “It may be that we have to negotiate with our kids a little bit more about what’s acceptable or not or give them the ability to take down photographs they don’t want there,” Balkman said.
Ultimately Facebook, Instagram and other social media sites are rapidly trying to expand their user base, capturing younger and younger audiences. It’s clear that their rules will have to be evolve with their audience.
If you watched the 41st President George H.W. Bush go skydiving on his 90th birthday, then you should watch this 88-year-old grandfather do a backflip off a diving board.
“Everyone thought he would simply jump off,” WUSA producer Joanie Vasiliadis wrote about this feat by her Uncle Nick, who also regularly plays piano and goes dancing. Her sister Charlee Vasiliadis uploaded the video to Instagram.
We are with this man in spirit, especially during these summer heat waves.
According to Nameberry, a baby names website
Imogen is the most popular baby name for girls while Asher is the most popular name for boys in a list of the top 100 baby names released by baby names database Nameberry.com.
Nameberry co-founder Pamela Redmond Satran wrote in a blog post, “The 2014 popular baby names list is based on the number of views each name attracted on Nameberry, out of a total of more than 100 million page views, for the first half of the year.” New names on this list are from hit TV and movie franchises: Khaleesi from Game of Thrones (18) and Elsa from Frozen (88).
Here is the top 10 (full list here):
You can also see how baby names will rise and fall in popularity in the future using this TIME tool. For instance, it predicts Asher, the top boy name in this Nameberry list, “last peaked in 2013″ and “will decline as a baby name every year from now through 2032.”
Children of same-sex parents have above average health and well-being, research by the University of Melbourne shows.
The research was based on data from the Australian Study of Child Health in Same-Sex Families, which involved input from 315 same-sex parents and a total of 500 children. Of these participating families, 80 percent had female parents while 18 percent had male partners.
“It appears that same-sex parent families get along well and this has a positive impact on health,” said Dr Simon Crouch from the Jack Brockhoff Child Health and Wellbeing Program, Centre for Health Equity at the University of Melbourne.
For an upcoming story in MONEY, we’re interested in talking with parents who are helping to financially support their adult children—and with young adults who are getting financial help from Mom and Dad. The level of support could range from keeping the kids on the family cell phone and health insurance plans to subsidizing other expenses (car, rent, or furniture, say) to the adult children continuing to live at home or helping with other major expenses, such as the down payment on a house.
Among the questions we’d like to explore:
- the specific kinds of expenses you pay
- why your adult child needs your support
- how much support you’re giving (estimated amount)
- how long you expect the support to continue
- what impact, if any, helping your adult child has had on your own financial situation
- How you feel about the support you’re providing
If your family situation fits the bill, we’d love to hear from you. Please send us a short summary of your situation, including your age, the age of the adult child(ren) you’re helping financially, the circumstances and any other details you care to share and think are important. Be sure to include your name and contact info (email address and daytime/evening phone number) so we can follow up with you.
We work way too much and see our families way too little. The latest on being a new dad, a Millennial, and (pretty) broke.
A couple of days ago I was on an airplane with my son. It may be a cliché, but there are truly few combinations as destabilizing as infants and planes. While other passengers may bristle at an infant’s shrieking hysterics, that annoyance pales in comparison to the sheer terror borne by the parents of the hysterically shrieking child.
(We know that you—passengers without children—are judging us. But more importantly, our kid is upset. So back off.) Anyway, Luke had a rough go of it on his first flight, so I was on DEFCON 1 for the return trip.
But he did great. Very little muss, almost no fuss. His calm allowed me to reflect on things other than what I’d do if Luke vomited on the lovely couple to my left, and I realized something: This vacation was the first time I had hung out with my son before 7 p.m. on a weekday for as long as I could remember.
I love my job, but I rarely leave the office before 6:30 p.m. My commute is a little under an hour, and I usually stop by the grocery store to pick up dinner, so I’m lucky to get home before Luke’s asleep.
Of course, I’m not alone. Americans, by and large, work too long, take too few days off, and have problems enjoying their vacation time.
For instance, about one in nine U.S. workers puts in more than 50 hours a week, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Less than 1% of Dutch employees toil that hard. In fact, citizens in only three out of 36 countries devote less time to leisure activities like sleeping and eating than Americans do.
Not surprisingly, America ranks eighth from last on the OECD’s Better Life Index.
When it comes to time off for good behavior, Americans get 14 vacation days a year on average, per Expedia’s 2013 Vacation Deprivation Study, or less than half as many as workers in France, Denmark, and Spain enjoy. But that’s not the really depressing part. The really depressing part is that while Americans receive more than two weeks of vacation, we take only 10 days.
One reason is that workers want to save vacation days for later, or convert them to cash. But 35% (the plurality) report having to cancel or postpone getaways because of work.
And once we’re actually on vacation, it’s hard to shut our minds off. Much to my embarrassment, I found myself checking emails and social media my first few days at the beach. I had to tell myself to close the browser and shut the laptop and go spend time with my loving family. It’s as if we’re paid victims of Stockholm syndrome.
I don’t want to sound cranky or ungrateful. I derive a fair amount of pride from my work, and more than eight in 10 U.S. workers say they are satisfied with their jobs. The cool thing about what I do is that I get to see a finished product after I’m done, which is affirming.
But I feel almost guilty if I’m the first to leave the office, as if I have it in my mind that I really didn’t work hard enough or suffer long enough that day. While this is an especially busy time for us here (with the launch of Money.com), I know that many of my friends feel the same pressure to stay well past closing time.
So I’m here to tell you, workers of America, that it is okay to go home when you should, and that there is nothing inherently better about working 50 hours a week than 40. Don’t feel less of a success if your friends put in more hours at the office than you do.
By repeating that mantra to myself long enough, I just might get home in time to put my kid to sleep.
More First-Time Dad:
- Baby Clothes Are Cheaper Then Therapy
- Why I’ll Send My Infant Son to College Before I Buy a House
- Why Does My One Baby Need Two of Everything?
- How Can Child Care Cost as Much as Rent?