ATLANTA (Reuters) - In a sleazy hotel room, "Brittany," then aged 16 and drugged into oblivion, waited for the men to arrive. Her pimps sent as many as 17 clients an evening through the door.
A "john" could even pre-book the pretty young blonde for $1,000 a night, sometimes flying in and then flying out from a nearby airport.
None of this happened in Bangkok or Costa Rica, places that have become synonymous with sex tourism and underage sex.
It took place in Atlanta, the buckle of the U.S. Bible Belt, where the world's busiest passenger airport provides a cheaper, more convenient and safer underage sex destination for men seeking girls as young as 10.
"Men fly in, are met by pimps, have sex with a 14-year-old for lunch, and get home in time for dinner with the family," said Sanford Jones, the chief juvenile judge of Fulton County, Georgia.
A new federal law passed in 2003 ensures that American sex tourists landing on foreign soil and hiring prostitutes under the age of 18 can get 30 years in prison.
But in Georgia, punishment for pimping or soliciting sex with a girl under 18 is only five to 20 years, according to Deborah Espy, the Deputy District Attorney of Fulton County.
"Men are coming to Atlanta to have sex with a child," said LaKendra Baker, project manager for the Center to End Adolescent Sexual Exploitation (CEASE).
Half of the street-level prostitutes in Atlanta are believed to be under 18, according to experts.
Others are booked through Internet sex sites and from social sites like Black Planet, where girls innocently post profiles, said Baker.
Just in March, police arrested a Canadian man meeting a 14-year-old girl he found through the Internet, said Cathey Steinberg, executive director of the Juvenile Justice Fund, which funds treatment for abused girls and prevention.
Another man drove from North Georgia, with a bag containing a teddy bear, a love note and condoms, snorting methamphetamine on the way.
He expected a 13-year-old girl, but instead found Heather Lackey, a corporal with the Peachtree City Police Department.
"People are stunned that Atlanta's the No. 1 sex center in the country," said Steinberg.
BERLIN - Violence at a Berlin school dominated by Arab and Turkish youths and the nearby slaying of police officer, shot in the head while trying to arrest muggers, has fuelled alarm that troubled parts of the German capital are lurching out of control.
Police have now been brought in to help control the situation at the Ruetli school in the immigrant-dominated Neukoelln district, with six officers checking students for weapons.
Teachers at the school published a letter this week widely interpreted as saying conditions at their school had become so bad that it should be closed down.
The letter said teachers had lost all authority and were now so afraid that they only entered classrooms with a mobile phone so they could call for help in an emergency.
"The mood ... is dominated by aggression, lack of respect and ignorance," said the letter, adding: "We have reached a dead end and there is no way to turn around."
When reporters went to school on Thursday they were pelted with paving stones by masked youths from the schoolyard as the district's mayor stood helplessly at the entrance of the building.
"While sheer chaos dominated behind him, the mayor talked about the failures of the 1968 generation," jeered the Berliner Kurier newspaper.
Teachers complain that over 83 per cent of the 224 children attending the school are foreigners. The biggest group, 35 per cent, are Arab children mainly from Lebanon and the Palestinian territories.
Turks, with 26 per cent, comprise the second largest group at the school.
Germany has about 7.3 million foreigners or 9 per cent of the total population.
A problem in German schools is that especially Arab male students often refuse to respect the authority of women teachers, education sources told Deutsche Presse-Agentur.
Peter Struck, education specialist at the University of Hamburg, was blunt about problems posed by foreign students in German schools which separate children headed for university and those who are not, who get dumped in less-competitive "Hauptschulen."
"It is often Hauptschulen which are hit with difficulties because they have a concentration of problem students and high number of foreigners which means that the boys are often being raised in a home environment which glorifies violence," said Struck in an NDR radio interview.
Students at the Ruetli Hauptschule were not shy about expressing their views to reporters.
"The German (students) brown nose us, pay for things for us and stuff like that, so that we don't smash in their faces," said a foreign student from the school as quoted by the Berliner Kurier.
France is going to keep the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier stationed near Pakistan in the Indian Ocean May 5-25 to help NATO troops in Afghanistan, French army officials said April 5. The carrier will be the base for about 20 planes providing aerial support to NATO troops, who are increasing their numbers in Afghanistan and moving into the country's southern and eastern provinces.The Charles De Gaulle is, of course, France's only aircraft carrier, a nuclear-powered ship that is France's primary means of naval power projection. Are the French gearing up to support a US strike on Iran? And is it just a coincidence that NATO is moving to the parts of Afghanistan most proximate to Iran?
Even far away from Tehran, members of the group tried to distance themselves from any reference to Israel when visiting Russian Jewish institutions.
In Yaroslavl, a city in central Russia, the local community baked two cakes for the Iranian guests.
But members of the group were visibly shocked when they saw the cakes were glazed with the design of the Israeli flag.
The hosts gave the guests only those slices of cake without the flag design.
You know why the senate opposes a wall? Because a wall is always there, always on the job. It's not like "Oh, gee, we forgot to fund all the new border patrol agents we were supposed to hire. Oops." And, "Oh, no, half the video cameras monitoring the border are off-line, and there's not enough money in the budget for maintenance. Oops."Here's an excellent piece at RedState showing that walls work:
The debate is raging around the idea that without a comprehensive plan which addresses these myriad issues, a border fence won't make any appreciable difference.Read the whole thing for empirical data on the Berlin Wall's effectiveness, and, more immediately relevant for the US, the effectiveness of the wall recently built near San Diego.
I believe just the opposite is true.
The House Republicans know (as do the majority of the American people, which numerous recent polls overwhelmingly reveal) that without the physical deterrence of a southern barrier, and policy which gives immigration enforcement some teeth, any policy dealing with all the other issues is pointless.
No one in the House, or anyone else who has been promoting the idea of a border fence, has said that this is the answer to our illegal immigration problems. They simply know that it must begin here. If it is done the other way around, the border fence will never be built, the new laws will increase the mass exodus north, and our problems will this time be our undoing. It happened in 1965 (that immigration reform was a disaster and still is) and in 1986 (that immigration reform resulted in increasing illegal numbers more than eight-fold) and will happen now if we don't begin with serious deterrence.
We are simply saying this; do things in the right order. Build the fence with its related surveillance technologies, and only then legislate reforms that serve our economy and give us a good handle on immigration management. This approach is based more on logic and less on inflammatory rhetoric and politically correct ideology.
Since the left broached the subject of the Berlin wall, let's examine the physical logistics of that barrier and the empirical data of its effectiveness.