Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Green candidate Marion Schaffer, Oakville

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Marion Schaffer is running for the Green Party of Ontario in the Ontario provincial election, in the Oakville riding. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed her regarding her values, her experience, and her campaign.

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

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Beauty And Health Benefits Of Women’s Bracelet

Author:  |  Category: Bodybuilding Products

Submitted by: Christopher Granger

Some girls just love jewelries and accessories. Women’s bracelet, beautiful rings or earrings are their weapons to make themselves more beautiful, presentable, and classy. What if these accessories do not only provide beauty but wellness as well? Isn’t that a great deal?

Magnetic bracelets are edgy bracelets made of magnetic component that are said to reduce pain if worn close to the body. Just like ordinary women’s bracelets, magnetic bracelets come in different stylish forms to suit the fashionable market all over the world. The only difference is that these bracelets are known to give healthy benefits to the wearer.

The production of magnetic bracelets started with the idea that magnetic fields can improve the flow of blood in the body. This alternative medicine is known as Magnet Therapy or Magnotherapy that specifically involves wearing a magnetic field device or accessory close to the body in a regular basis to improve health of the body and even heal minor and major sickness of the body.

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It comes in different forms such as women’s bracelets, rings, or body wraps to improve health, reduce body pains due to sicknesses, and heal body illnesses. Since most of the human’s body is composed of magnetic fields, magnets can have a positive effect to the over-all well being of the body. Other reports say that it has a direct effect to the nervous system because contractions of the muscles are related to magnetic activity. Since human’s heart is the largest of all the muscles of the body, magnets can improve its condition, making it healthier and more alive. Reports also say that the magnetic component of these bracelets reacts to the underlying tissues all over the body. The result of this reaction is improved body flow. This is the reason why wearing magnets can make the wearer feel more rejuvenated and in good health.

It has been said that magnetic bracelets have the ability to reduce the pain of its wearer. According to some research, magnetic bracelets, if worn closely to the body, can reduce pain in the hand, wrist, shoulder, and elbow. Some are using these bracelets in replacement to other medications and even surgery. Magnetic bracelets are also used to heal general body illnesses such as foot ache, back pains, sickness due to menstruation, nerve pains, and migraine. Some people wear these magnets to heal pain from arthritis, osteoarthritis, and diabetes.

Magnetic women’s bracelets have many other benefits aside from better health condition and fashionable statement. These bracelets are also known to be very durable. Since these bracelets are made with metal, they could last a really long time even if worn every day. Magnets are said to be as strong as steel and compared to other metals, magnets can survive severe conditions such as harsh weather, outdoor and indoor physical activities. Most of these magnetic are very lightweight and can be worn without feeling too much pressure on the wrist. It can also be used as an alternative if the woman is allergic to other type of jewelries.

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Bank of America leads Consumer Financial Protection Bureau complaints about mortgages

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Thursday, October 3, 2013

A review this week by Wikinews of US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) complaints about mortgages in the United States shows Bank of America leads all lending institutions in complaints.

Since mortgages complaints were recorded in December 2011, 77,622 total have been added to CFPB’s database. 29.2% of these complaints involved Bank of America, with the second most received by Wells Fargo, accounting for 15.5% of all complaints. JPMorgan Chase ranked third by volume of complaints with 9.8%. Ocwen was fourth with 8.7% and Citibank was fifth with 4.8%. Nationstar Mortgage; Green Tree Servicing, LLC; HSBC; PNC Bank; U.S. Bancorp; OneWest Bank; SunTrust Bank; Flagstar Bank; and Select Portfolio Servicing, Inc. each had between 1.0 and 3.8% of total complaints. The remaining 14.4% of all complaints about consumer mortgages were divided between about 530 other lending institutions.

The Motley Fool reported last month that for the past fiscal quarter, the biggest US based mortgage lenders were from first to fifth Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, Quicken Loans and U.S. Bancorp.

According to the US Federal Reserve, debt for family residences stands at US$10.706 trillion for the second quarter of 2013. As of the end of June of this year, Bank of America is the United States’s second largest commercial bank with US$1.343 trillion in domestic assets. Wells Fargo is the fourth largest commercial bank with US$1.251 trillion in domestic assets. JPMorgan Chase is the largest US commercial bank with US$1.329 trillion in domestic assets and US$1.947 trillion in total assets.

The mortgage complaints in the CFPB report include several subproducts. Conventional fixed mortgages account for 27.1% of all complaints. Conventional adjustable mortgages account for 10.0%. FHA mortgages account for 7.7% of all complaints. Home equity loans or lines of credit account for 3.8% of all complaints. VA mortgages are 1.4% of all complaints. Second mortgages and reverse mortgages each account for 0.6% of complaints. The remaining 48.7% of complaints are about other mortgages or other mortgage issues. A few years ago, FHA loans accounted for about 10% of all US mortgages while VA loans accounted for about 3%. Prime loans accounted for over 75% of the market and the rest were subprime mortgages.

California leads all states by volume of complaints with 14768. It is followed by Florida, New York, Georgia and Texas. When complaints are divided by a state’s total population, New Hampshire leads. The state is followed by Washington D.C., Maryland, Georgia and Florida. Complaints do not correlate with national rankings for August’s foreclosure rate by state where Nevada topped the list, followed by Florida, Ohio, Maryland and Delaware.

Two zip codes account for over 1,000 total complaints between them. 565 complaints originated in the 48382 zip code, which is in Commerce Township, Michigan, located in suburban Detroit. 553 complaints originated in the 33071 zip code, in Coral Springs, Florida. According to real estate website Zillow, there are currently 1,033 properties in foreclosure in Coral Springs while Commerce Township only has 131 properties currently in foreclosure. Four other zip codes have 100 plus complaints originating from them. 91730, in Rancho Cucamonga, California, had 158 complaints. 33409, in West Palm Beach, Florida, had 132. 92626, in Costa Mesa, California, had 125 complaints. 92660, in Newport Beach, California, had 122 complaints. Respectively, the towns had 534, 1,068, 153, and 134 properties currently in foreclosure. These numbers are higher than for the cities of a few sampled zip codes where there was only one complaint, such as Gold Hill, Oregon which has 4 properties in foreclosure, and Decatur, Illinois which has 6 properties in foreclosure.

The CFPB categorizes complaints into six categories: “Loan modification, collection,foreclosure” or problems when a person is unable to pay; “Loan servicing, payments, escrow account” or problems with making a payment; “Application, originator, mortgage broker”; “Credit decision / Underwriting”; “Settlement process and costs”, and “Other”. The CFPB says the complaint types indicate consumers “appear to be driven by a desire to seek agreement with their companies on foreclosure alternatives. The complaints indicate that consumer confusion persists around the process and requirements for obtaining loan modifications and refinancing, especially regarding document submission timeframes, payment trial periods, allocation of payments, treatment of income in eligibility calculations, and credit bureau reporting during the evaluation period.” Currently, 59.6% of all complaints against lenders deal with being unable to pay. 25.1% deal with problems in making a payment. 7.0% have to do with the application process.

Of the complaint-heavy zip codes, for 48382 in Commerce Township, Michigan, 98.9% of all complaints have to deal with being unable to pay. Accounting for 23.4% of all mortgage complaints in Commerce Township, 132 of the complaints for being unable to pay were made regarding Bank of America, accounting for 97.8% or all but 3 complaints against them from the zip. 121 of the Bank of America responses in Commerce Township were closed with explanation and 12 were closed with non-monetary relief. 33071 in Coral Springs is different, with 537 of the 553 complaints being categorized under other. Only 11 complaints relate to foreclosure and issues with being able to pay. 92626 in Costa Mesa, where 32% of the mortgage complaints were about Bank of America and 26.4% were about Wells Fargo, had 93.6% of its complaints dealing with being unable to pay. 5 total complaints dealt with payment issues and 3 dealt with applications.

Beyond regional variance in complaint types lodged, the top five mortgage lenders by volume of complaints all had being unable to pay as their top complaint category, ranging between 55.8% for Citibank and 69.4% for Bank of America. Problems with payment accounted for the second largest area of complaints, with Ocwen having the largest percentage of complaints at 31.9% and Bank of America having the smallest at 18.8%. Foreclosure was the top area of complaints for a number of other lending institutions including 1st Alliance Lending, OneWest Bank, Ally Bank, Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, Bank of the West, BMO Harris, BOK Financial Corp, Caliber Home Loans, Inc, Capital One, Deutsche Bank and EverBank.

Nationally, complaints reached a high of 5,840 for January 2013, 1,107 more than the next highest month of April 2013. The total emerging for September is the second lowest since records were first kept in December 2011. On a state by state level, this pattern largely repeats with a major exception for Florida which saw a peak of 849 complaints in June 2012. Then, as now, Florida was one of the top five states in the nation in its foreclosure rate. The national January spike came as the Qualified Mortgage standard required by the The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 came into play. It required mortgage lenders to take steps to insure borrowers could repay their mortgages.

Bank of America’s complaint volume follows the national trend, with a spike in January 2013 with 1,925 total complaints. Unlike nationally, the next month by volume of complaints was February of this year with 1,598 complaints. Prior to that, the highest month was May 2012 with 1,418 complaints. The lowest volume of complaints is September this year with 334.

Wells Fargo matched national trends for volume of complaints by month, with the exception of the current month being the lowest on record for number of complaints with 197 compared to the next lowest month, December 2011, when they had 221. JPMorgan’s complaint volume by month spiked in January and March of this year with 504 complaints. April of this year was the next highest month with 493 complaints, edging out May of last year with 488 complaints. September this year is on track to be the lowest month by complaint volume.

The federal government shutdown is unlikely to impact the current mortgage situation in the United States directly for most consumers, though mortgage processing by the Federal Housing Administration could be slower, resulting in fewer mortgages processed.

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Schools benefit from new California budget

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Saturday, July 1, 2006

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed a bipartisan state budget Friday that invests a record $55.1 billion in education – an increase of $3.1 billion this year and $8.3 billion over the last two years – and allocates $4.9 billion to create a budget reserve and to pay down the state’s debt early.

Schwarzenegger credited bipartisan cooperation in coming up with a budget he was willing to sign, and do it on time, a rarity in recent California politics.

“It’s amazing what can be accomplished when Democrats and Republicans work together in Sacramento,” said Schwarzenegger. “I want to thank the legislative leadership – Senators Don Perata and Dick Ackerman, Speaker Fabian Nunez and Assembly Republican Leader George Plescia – for all their hard work on the budget. We put politics aside and were driven by the overwhelming desire to do what’s best for the people of California.

“I am especially proud that the budget expands preschool, and returns art, music and physical education classes to our children,” he said.

State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O’Connell said he is pleased by the budget. “The budget passed by the Legislature brings welcome support to education in California, making good on past debts to our schools and investing in sorely needed classroom programs,” he said.

He had his own budget favorites: “I’m particularly pleased that the budget includes increased funding for school counselors, teacher professional development, programs targeted to helping students pass the high school exit exam, and expanded and improved student nutrition programs.

“While there are some priorities over which we may disagree, I applaud the Governor and the Legislature for a budget that makes education a top priority.”

Barbara E. Kerr, president of the 335,000-member California Teachers Association, also likes the direction of the new budget.“The timely approval of the new state budget is good news for our public schools and students,” she said. “School districts and teachers can now plan ahead. The nearly six percent cost-of-living-adjustment will allow local schools to restore funding to education programs that have been cut over the past few years and provide for salary increases.”

Still, Kerr, said, the budget doesn’t go far enough. “This budget is a down payment on the debt owed to our schools. Teachers will continue to work with the governor and the Legislature to ensure repayment of the $3 billion still owed to our schools under Proposition 98 and the lawsuit settlement agreement announced last month. That money will help our schools of greatest need reduce class sizes, improve teacher training and increase parental involvement.”

How the budget affects the New Haven Unified School District and James Logan High School, or the James Logan Courier, specifically is not yet clear.

State Treasurer Phil Angelides, who is running for governor against Schwarzenegger, liked the increased education funding, and praised his fellow Democrats in the legislature for that, but criticized the entire budget for being out of balance.

“On higher education, Democrats in the Legislature did the right thing, when the governor would not, and gained a $6 per unit rollback in community college fees,” he said in a statement. “That is a start. But the governor’s budget will still leave community college fees nearly double what they were just three years ago. And the budget will also leave untouched the fees at CSU and UC, which have increased by $2,000 and $5,000 respectively under Governor Schwarzenegger.”

Missing from the budget, Angelides said, is funding to expand health care for low-income children. Schwarzenegger “failed to get members of his own party to agree to a budget that funds health care for more kids from low-income families on the Healthy Families program regardless of the families’ immigration status. Compassion requires – and intelligent public health practice demands – that all people residing in California have access to adequate health care,” Angelides said.

Schwarzenegger credited a strong economy that increased state revenues for providing the cash to cover the increased expenditures and set aside a $2.1 billion reserve and an additional $2.8 billion for debt prepayment. Included in that is $1.42 billion for repaying borrowed funds earmarked by the voters for transportation projects aimed at reducing traffic throughout the state. The early debt payment and the reserve account for nearly 4.7 percent of the overall budget – the highest in 25 years.

Still, Angelides said, the budget is out of balance and the state is running up more debt. “Despite his repeated pledges to ‘cut up the credit card’ Governor Schwarzenegger has produced a budget that still leaves a $3.3 billion structural budget deficit for 2006-07 and more deficits for years to come,” Angelides said, “It is a budget thatwill continue to shift the burden of today’s deficits onto the backs of futuregenerations.”

The budget largely mirrors the May Revise, which has since prompted all three Wall Street credit rating agencies to upgrade the state credit rating, reducing the cost of state borrowing. One of the agencies, Fitch, Inc., cited “California’s continuing economic recovery, strong revenue performance and continued progress in reducing fiscal imbalance” when upgrading their rating on the state’s general obligation debt from A to A+ last month. Standard and Poor’s also raised its rating from A to A+ in May. Moody’s Investors Service raised its rating from A2 to A1 the same month.

Despite the improved credit ratings, Angelides said, the three rating agencies still have reservations about the state’s fiscal future. The agencies “have corroborated my warning and that of the Legislative Analyst that while state revenues have improved, California’s fiscal condition will remain insecure until the state produces balanced budgets,” he said.

Highlights of AB 1801, the Budget Act of 2006 by Assembly member John Laird (D-Santa Cruz), include:

Preschool through High School Education – The budget includes $100 million for the Governor’s targeted preschool initiative, which will make preschool available to every four year old living in a low-performing school district. $50 million of this funding will be used to build and improve preschool facilities. The budget also includes $645 million to fund physical education, arts and music programs. Overall, $11,264 will be spent on each student, an increase of $516 from the current year.

Higher Education – The budget allocates $19.1 billion from all sources for higher education and eliminates tuition and fee increases at UC and CSU. California, which already has the lowest community college fees in the nation, will further lower student fees from $26 per unit to $20, effective Spring 2007.

Law Enforcement – The budget includes an additional $196 million to support law enforcement efforts, including money to fund Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement teams, 500 GPS devices to track and monitor the highest-risk parolees and four new Gang Suppression Enforcement Teams. The budget also proposes the addition of 235 California Highway Patrol positions, includes $56.4 million to replace the CHP’s existing radio system and allocates $6.4 million to handle the increasing number of wireless 9-1-1 calls. Additionally, the budget includes a $20 million investment to strengthen efforts to fight methamphetamine trafficking and $6 million to create three new California Methamphetamine Strategy program teams.

Disaster Preparedness – The budget provides $220 million to enhance California’s ability to prepare for, mitigate and respond to emergencies, including money to strengthen public health response during a disaster. This includes preparations to prevent a pandemic influenza outbreak and expanding efforts to help local governments develop disaster preparedness plans.

Public Health – The budget includes $22.6 million for counties to perform outreach and enrollment activities to reach the 428,000 children who are eligible for Medi-Cal or the Healthy Families program but are not enrolled. The budget for the Healthy Families program also covers enrollment growth for 78,200 additional children.

Transportation – In addition, the Budget makes a substantial investment in improving California’s transportation system. It provides $1.4 billion to fully fund Proposition 42 for the second consecutive year, and it provides an additional $1.4 billion for the early repayment of past loans from Proposition 42, for a total of $2.8 billion. Of the $1.4 billion repayment, $440 million is designated for cities and counties for local road and street maintenance that would otherwise not be funded.

The budget is the first on time budget since 2000 and the fourth in the last 20 years. The 2006-07 budget’s general fund is $101.3 billion and total is $131.4 billion. For a more detailed overview of the budget, please visit www.dof.ca.gov.

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Your Real Estate Accounting Troubles Can Truly Vanish}

Author:  |  Category: Management Software

Submitted by: Alvis Brazma

Have you ever been in a position where you do not know if you should concentrate on how to expand your business or how to handle the accounting problems? There are many different rules in the real estate accounting principles that need to be concentrated on. There are different ways in which one would account for taxes and how much profit to put in the books. All in all a small real estate firm with one entrepreneur will not be able to look after both the business and the accounting problems at the same time. He would be good at being a businessman or he would be good at accounting, moreover the time that the two activities take up does not in any way allow a small time entrepreneur to pursue both the activities. Hence the business would need the services of a CPA.

However the real estate business is not doing too well lately due to recession and people are not ready to take up property at good prices. The income thus gets reduced leaving very low profit margins for the owner. This in no way allows the entrepreneur to pay the high salaries the CPA demands.

Real estate accounting is a good solution for these problems an entrepreneur would be facing. This service will provide for all the accounting work that the real estate business would require keeping in mind the different set of rules and principles of the business. Real estate accounting becomes very simple this way since the entrepreneur will get to concentrate on the business and wont have to worry about whether the figures in the books are erroneous or not.

There are plenty of other advantages that the business would get through the services of the real estate accounting. Not only would the accounting work be of good quality but there is timely reply and a good customer client relationship. They also provide a host of complimentary services like advice on important decision, statistical report on how the business is progressing monthly, weekly, quarterly and annually. This would help the entrepreneur know the direction in which the business is progressing. With break up reports the entrepreneur will know what sectors of his business he should give more attention to. If there is any other problem it will get noticed in the accounts first and a good accountant would be able to sport it instantly. This service too, is provided by real estate accounting.

Many firms manage accounting work for the real estate sector. These firms are typically located in countries where expenses to maintain the employees and business is not so high and the quality of labor is professional and educated. India is the leader in accounting outsourcing but other countries like Philippines and China are soon catching up. Even firms in United States offer services like these but there are much more expensive than the one offered by these developing countries. Among other things to be cautious of while choosing the services of the firm one should look for previous record and compare the prices of the firms in the business as well as the kind of services they offer. Then they should compare those services with the requirements they have and decide on the real estate accounting firm to select.

About the Author: Alvis Brazma gives advice to business owners about how to manage their business efficiently without any hassles. To know more about Accounting firm USA, accounting outsourcing, retail accounting, bookkeeping help, real estate accounting and small business accounting visit

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British man involved in deal to drill for oil in Darfur

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Friday, June 10, 2005

The British TV station Channel 4 has discovered that the Sudanese government has signed a deal for a contract to drill for oil in southern Sudan, and that the key man in securing the deal is British.

Friedhelm Eronat, who until two years ago was an American citizen, secured the largest stake made in a consortium that won the drilling contract in 2003. Oil was discovered in April of this year.

Geologists have long suspected the presence of oil in the south of the Sudan. Clivenden Sudan, which Eronat personally owned in 2003, had a high level of expertise in the country’s geology.

The twenty five year deal secured by Clivenden Sudan will see it pay the Sudanese government $8m in the event oil is produced. The government will also receive 70% of the profits from the oil.

In a statement to Channel 4 News, Eronat said that he is not a shareholder or officer of Cliveden Sudan, that he does not work for or financially benefit from Cliveden Sudan, and that Cliveden Sudan is not the operator of the concession, only a shareholder.

Cliveden Sudan itself said “there has been no commercial oil find in Block C [the area being explored for oil].”

Villages in Darfur 180km from the Clivenden Sudan wells have been attacked by Sudanese troops and aircraft.

Eronat became involved in the deal through Lebanese businessman Eli Calil, who has been accused of funding a failed coup in Equatorial Guinea last year (allegations denied by Calil). Calil and Eronat live near each other in the London suburb of Chelsea.

At least one rebel group in Darfur is certain the search for oil will inflame the conflict in Darfur. The Justice and Equality Movement wants exploration to stop until peace is established.

A member of the JEM, Ahmad Hussein, told Channel 4 News: “So when they say they discover oil in Darfur, who is going to benefit from that? Are they the people of Darfur? Of course not. Absolutely not, the only beneficiaries is the ruling elite and ruling minority of the regime.”

Eronat changed his nationality from American to British in October 2003, shortly before the deal was signed. Under US law, he could have faced up to ten years imprisonment and/or fines of $500,000, due to US sanctions on Sudan.

The UK government has been at the forefront of efforts to try and halt the crisis, with international development minister Hilary Benn making a statement to the house of commons yesterday after a visit to the region. He said: “I visited the Kalma camp in South Darfur and the El Meshtel and Abu Shouk camps in North Darfur where tens of thousands of people are facing a precarious existence. I spoke to men and women whose homes have been destroyed, villages burned, and whose communities have been the victims of killings, looting and rape.

“We are in a race against time in Darfur, and the UK remains committed to doing all that it can to help those affected and to work for a just and lasting peace for its people.”

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IMF Offers Special Loan for Tsunami-Hit Countries

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Wednesday, January 5, 2005

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Rodrigo Rato offered special relief funds for the countries victim of the tsunami disaster. The money is, however, in the form of a loan. The IMF has been present in the area on various occasions.

The IMF offered a one billion U.S. dollar loan. The money would be given as Emergency Natural Disaster Assistance facility, and would be repaid in full and with interests within 3¼ to 5 years.

The money could help the area tremendously, but since it is a loan as opposed to an outright donation, it may not be as helpful. The loan, some fear, may not lead to economic stability in the long run. Despite the possible long term effects, the governments of the tsunami torn nations may simply have no choice but to accept the offer.

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How To Treat Acne In Males And Acne In Females?

Author:  |  Category: Cosmetic And Reconstructive Surgery

Acne is considered to be a problem of the adolescence. It affects teenagers mostly because it is primarily caused by hormonal imbalance, which occurs during the growing up years. However, this does not mean that the grown ups are immune to the problem. Men and women of all ages are susceptible to the problem. The basic fact is that it can catch up with amazing swiftness to even those who reach the age of 40, or more.

Acne In Men

Among men, there are a number of factors that can cause acne. Excessive secretion of oil and clogged pores are the basic cause of acne. Those who have oily skin are prone to the problem. So, if you have oily skin and your job demands you to stay in dusty environment, the likelihood of your developing acne problem is heightened manifold irrespective of age.

A substandard shaving cream may also cause acne. The same goes for after shave lotions. So, you need to take care of a few things. Use a fresh, good quality blade every time you shave, and use a good shaving cream.

Another cause of acne is stress. The hectic lives we lead today bring stress as a byproduct. This could be a reason for your acne. This does not mean that stress necessarily causes acne. Whether or not the stress would cause acne depends upon whether or not your skin is prone to acne. You have to be extra careful if you have been a teenager with the extended period of acne problem or you suffered from severe acne during your growing up years.

Acne In Women

So far as women are concerned, they are prone to acne at all those stages where they undergo hormonal changes. Acne, therefore, is likely to breakout during pregnancy and around the time of menopause because during these stages hormonal levels fluctuate.

Therefore, it is prudent that the women who are prone to acne prepare themselves beforehand by arming themselves with information and medical advice before the pregnancy and menopause.

Acne, therefore, is not simply a teenagers problem. It might affect the elders too. Thus, it is important that you are prepared and not taken by surprise when acne breaks out.

News briefs:July 27, 2010

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Caged children well fed, behaved

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Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Clarksfield Township, Ohio – The children looked ordinary enough to neighbors and seemed polite, well-behaved, well-dressed. They spent their apparently carefree days playing in a toy-filled yard.

But at night, the 11 children were not treated like ordinary children, authorities say. Their adoptive parents allegedly forced several of them to sleep in homemade cages about 3 1/2 feet high.

Their adoptive parents, Michael Gravelle, 56, and Sharen Gravelle, 57, denied in a custody hearing Monday they abused or neglected the children, aged one to 14, who have conditions that include autism and fetal alcohol syndrome.

The cages had mats and the house smelled of urine. They also had alarms that sounded when they were opened.

Neighbors said that the children were polite and well-behaved. They never saw any signs of abuse.

The children have been placed with foster families and appear to be doing well, authorities said. Charges have yet to be filed.

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