Friday’s Children and the Law News Roundup

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Court Defers Gang-Rape Verdict Again – India Real Time

A juvenile court has deferred for the second time the verdict in the case of a minor accused the gang rape and murder of a 23-year-old woman on a moving bus in New Delhi, which triggered nationwide protests and reforms to the law.

The juvenile, who was 17 years old at the time of his arrest,  was accused of kidnapping, rape and murder, among other offenses. The verdict in his case is now expected on Aug. 5.

He and five men were accused of luring the woman and her male friend onto a bus the night of Dec. 16th and attacking them.

The woman, a physiotherapy student, was raped and sexually assaulted with an iron rod before the couple were dumped naked on the side of the highway, police said.

Doctors in India said they had never seen injuries like those inflicted on the woman. She died two weeks later in hospital in Singapore where she had been flown for treatment a few days before.

A verdict in the case against four of the other five men is expected in August, lawyers representing them said. The fifth defendant, Ram Singh, was found dead in his jail cell in March. Jail authorities said he had killed himself by hanging, his family and lawyer say he was murdered. An investigation continues.

The verdict in the juvenile’s case was previously set for July 11, but was then postponed to July 25th. Thursday the court deferred its verdict again, this time to Aug. 5.


Chinese Search for Infant Formula Goes Global,

HONG KONG — The group of 40 mainland Chinese tourists made all the requisite shopping purchases on a recent trip to Europe: silk scarves, Swiss watches, Louis Vuitton handbags.

And baby milk powder, of course. Loads of it.

Rushing shelves at a supermarket in Germany, Chinese shoppers stuffed a half-dozen large cans into bags, one of the tourists said. “One woman told me, ‘If it was easier to carry, we would buy more; it’s good and cheap here,’ ” recalled the tourist, Zhang Yuhua, 60, who bought two cans.

Chinese are buying up infant milk powder everywhere they can get it, outside of China. And that has led to shortages in at least a half-dozen countries, from the Netherlands to New Zealand. The lack of supply is a reminder of how the consumption patterns of Chinese — and their rising food and environmental safety concerns — can have far-reaching impacts on critical daily goods around the world.

Beyond the Tree Line,

HUNTINGDON, Tenn. — Miranda learned she was pregnant on her 18th birthday last September. She and her mother soon painted the nursery pink with brown accents, as they had seen in catalogs. Miranda knew it was going to be a girl, and she had a name ready: Akyia Nicole.

By March, the room was in perfect order, as if the baby might arrive in the next moment, not the next month. A mobile dangled over the crib, and the changing table was stocked with diapers and wipes. On top was an album of ultrasound pictures.

“She’s got my chin,” Miranda said, finding detailed lines in the shadowy shapes.

“You’re crazy,” her mother, Theresa, said with a laugh.

A rocking chair sat in the corner. The closet was filled with frilly clothes and lots of little shoes, as if every day of Akyia’s life would be Sunday.

The bedroom next door was Miranda’s room. The door was covered in stickers and drawings with colorful pens, and the walls had posters of Justin Bieber and Lil Wayne. Under a window was a cage with a hamster named Sniffers. At the foot of Miranda’s twin bed was a portable playpen, assembled and ready for use.

“I know I’ll be a good mom,” she said. “But it’s kind of scary. I’ve never raised a baby.”

The edge of one bedroom wall held four certificates of which Miranda was especially proud. One was a certificate from Carroll Academy. Another was a high school diploma, granted by the state of Tennessee. The other two were for completing programs at drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers in 2011.

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