Adult-child conversations strengthen language regions of developing brain

Young children who are regularly engaged in conversation by adults may have stronger connections between two developing brain regions critical for language, according to a study of healthy young children that confirms a hypothesis registered with the Open Science Framework. This finding was independent of parental income and education, suggesting that talking with children from an early age could promote their language skills regardless of their socioeconomic status.
Source: Science Daily

Tennessee executes child killer Billy Ray Irick with drug that inflicts 'torturous pain'

Tennessee executes child killer Billy Ray Irick with drug that inflicts 'torturous pain'Tennessee has carried out its first execution in nearly a decade using a controversial cocktail of drugs including a lethal ingredient described by the Supreme Court as “chemically burning at the stake”. Billy Ray Irick, an inmate convicted of the 1985 rape and murder of seven-year-old Paula Dyer, received a three-drug injection on Thursday night after the US Supreme Court denied a final request to stay his execution. The lethal injection consisted of midazolam, used as sedative during an execution, a muscle-relaxer called vecuronium bromide, and compounded potassium chloride, the agent that stops the heart.


Source: Yahoo! News

Tennessee executes child killer Billy Ray Irick with drug that inflicts 'torturous pain'

Tennessee executes child killer Billy Ray Irick with drug that inflicts 'torturous pain'Tennessee has carried out its first execution in nearly a decade using a controversial cocktail of drugs including a lethal ingredient described by the Supreme Court as “chemically burning at the stake”. Billy Ray Irick, an inmate convicted of the 1985 rape and murder of seven-year-old Paula Dyer, received a three-drug injection on Thursday night after the US Supreme Court denied a final request to stay his execution. The lethal injection consisted of midazolam, used as sedative during an execution, a muscle-relaxer called vecuronium bromide, and compounded potassium chloride, the agent that stops the heart.


Source: Yahoo! News

New Mexico fugitive 'was training child to carry out school shootings'

New Mexico fugitive 'was training child to carry out school shootings'A man arrested in New Mexico last week on child abuse and abduction charges was training one of the 11 children at his remote desert encampment to carry out a school shooting, prosecutors have claimed. Siraj Wahhaj, 39, appeared before a magistrate in Taos, New Mexico, on Wednesday. He was arrested on Friday after police, searching for his missing four-year-old son Abdul-Ghani, raided the compound and found 11 starving, filthy children with five adults. Wahhaj and the four others – his wife Jany Leveille, 38, his sisters, Subhannah, 35, and Hujrah, 38, and Subhannah’s husband Lucas Morten – were charged with 11 counts of child abuse. Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe, who arrested Wahhaj and his associates after a day-long armed standoff, said his men planned “a tactical approach for our own safety, because we had learned the occupants were most likely heavily armed and considered extremist of the Muslim belief.” The remote desert camp in New Mexico, which was raided on Friday The remains of a young boy, believed to be Wahhaj’s missing son, was found buried on the property, Mr Hogrefe said on Tuesday. On Wednesday it emerged that one of the 11 children taken into care had, according to prosecutors, told their foster parents that Wahhaj trained them to carry out a school shooting. The child was allegedly taught to fire an assault rifle, in readiness for the mission.  Tim Hasson, a prosecutor with the district court in Taos, requested that Wahhaj, son of a prominent Brooklyn imam, remain in custody and that his case be moved to the district court. His office has also filed motions to hold the other four defendants. The saga began in December, when Wahhaj told the boy’s mother he was taking their severely disabled child, unable to walk, to the park. A poster from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children shows Abdul-ghani Wahhaj, left, and his father Siraj Wahhaj Credit:  National Center for Missing & Exploited Children He never returned to their home in Georgia, and the boy’s mother reported it to the police, saying Wahhaj intended to perform an “exorcism” on his son because Abdul-Ghani was “possessed by the Devil.” She later said that “exorcism” was a mistranslation, and that Wahhaj simply wanted to pray for his son. New Mexico authorities had long suspected the father and son might be at the compound after learning about the abduction in May, said Mr Hogrefe. But there was not enough evidence for a search warrant, and surveillance of the property did not identify the pair there. That changed on Thursday, when they received a note from inside the compound saying they were starving and thirsty. Mr Hogrefe said his men found Wahhaj in a “partly buried camper trailer” with two women and several of the children.  Wahhaj refused to come out with his hands up, and when investigators opened the door, they found Wahhaj “was armed with a loaded revolver in his pocket,” and was “wearing a belt with five loaded 30-round AR15 magazines in pouches on the belt.”  Next to Wahhaj was a loaded AR15, according to Mr Hogrefe’s affidavit.  Wahhaj refused to give his name or identify anyone with him. He declined to say anything about his son Abdul’s whereabouts, according to the court document.  Investigators found a 100-foot tunnel on the north side of the buried trailer, about three feet in diameter with two dugout “pockets” containing bedding, Mr Hogrefe said. Another enclosure made of straw and tires housed a makeshift toilet. There was no running water.   On the compound was a powerful Marlin 30-30 rifle with a scope, other guns, ammunition, a laptop, camcorder, and a Penguin child’s nebulizer used to turn medicine into mist. Morten was arrested at the front of the property and initially charged with harbouring a fugitive. The child abuse charges were added later. “The living conditions, health and wellbeing of the children were deemed deplorable,” said Mr Hogrefe. “They had no clean water, food or electricity; dirty clothing, poor hygiene, and had not eaten or taken nutrition in what was believed to be days.”


Source: Yahoo! News

New Mexico child abuse suspects accused of training children for shootings

New Mexico child abuse suspects accused of training children for shootingsBy Andrew Hay TAOS, N.M. (Reuters) – Two men charged in the abuse of 11 youths found malnourished at a ramshackle compound in New Mexico were training the children with firearms to commit school shootings, prosecutors said in court documents filed in the case on Wednesday. One of the suspects, identified as Huraj Wahhaj, is the father of a young boy whose disappearance from his home near Atlanta months ago prompted the investigation that led authorities to raid the compound, located north of Taos, New Mexico, last week. Wahhaj, a second man accused of harboring him as a fugitive, Lucas Morton, and three women presumed to be the mothers of the 11 children, who were taken into protective custody from the compound, were each charged with 11 counts of felony child abuse.


Source: Yahoo! News

New Mexico child abuse suspects accused of training children for shootings

New Mexico child abuse suspects accused of training children for shootingsBy Andrew Hay TAOS, N.M. (Reuters) – Two men charged in the abuse of 11 youths found malnourished at a ramshackle compound in New Mexico were training the children with firearms to commit school shootings, prosecutors said in court documents filed in the case on Wednesday. One of the suspects, identified as Huraj Wahhaj, is the father of a young boy whose disappearance from his home near Atlanta months ago prompted the investigation that led authorities to raid the compound, located north of Taos, New Mexico, last week. Wahhaj, a second man accused of harboring him as a fugitive, Lucas Morton, and three women presumed to be the mothers of the 11 children, who were taken into protective custody from the compound, were each charged with 11 counts of felony child abuse.


Source: Yahoo! News

Missing child found dead at squalid New Mexico hideout

Missing child found dead at squalid New Mexico hideoutPolice in New Mexico have found the remains of a young boy buried inside a remote desert encampment, where 11 starving children were discovered last week. The body has not yet been formally identified, but is believed to be that of four-year-old Abdul-Ghani Wahhaj, whose mother reported him as abducted by his father, Siraj Wahhaj, in December. Wahhaj, 39, is due to appear in court in New Mexico on Wednesday charged with child abuse, in connection with the 11 filthy and hungry children. His two sisters, Subhannah, 35, and Hujrah, 38, were charged alongside him, as was Subjannah’s husband Lucas Morten. Wahhaj’s wife Jany Leveille, 38, was also facing charges of child abuse and expected to appear before the judge. The saga began in December, when Wahhaj told the boy’s mother he was taking their severely disabled child, who suffered from seizures and was unable to walk, to the park. Siraj Wahhaj, arrested on Friday by police in New Mexico He never returned to their home in Georgia, and the boy’s mother reported it to the police, saying Wahhaj intended to perform an “exorcism” on his son because Abdul-Ghani was “possessed by the Devil.” She later said that was a mistranslation, and Wahhaj merely intended to pray for their son. New Mexico authorities had long suspected the father and son might be at the compound after learning about the abduction in May, said Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe. Family members told The Telegraph that Wahhaj owned land there. But there was not enough evidence for a search warrant, and surveillance of the property did not identify the pair there. That changed on Thursday, when they received a note from a child inside the compound, saying they were starving and thirsty. After a day-long standoff with Wahhaj and Morten, both of whom were heavily armed, the police entered the compound on Friday and rescued the children, arresting all five adults. Interviewed by police, at least two of the children said the toddler, Abdul-Ghani, was at the compound in poor health and died there. They said “Uncle Lucas,” believed to be Lucas Morten, washed the child’s dead body twice, then buried him in a tunnel on the compound. “I had no probable cause to go onto this property,” said Sheriff Hogrefe. “In hindsight I wish there was. But we would not have been there lawfully.”


Source: Yahoo! News

Child's remains recovered in New Mexico compound where 11 children found

Child's remains recovered in New Mexico compound where 11 children foundPositive identification by autopsy has yet to be made, but the remains were believed to be those of a 3-year-old boy whose disappearance from his home near Atlanta, Georgia, eventually led to Friday’s search of the property, Sheriff Jerry Hogrefe told a news conference. The compound, surrounded by tires and a trench, is located on the outskirts of the rural community of Amalia, New Mexico, near the Colorado state line, about 50 miles (80 km) north of Taos.


Source: Yahoo! News