1012: Value Convo

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 51m
March 1st, 2018
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Executive Producers: Dame Schwarz, Jenna Damico, Carter Blumeyer

Associate Executive Producers: Joseph Hatch, Sir Da Den ManCruise, Mark Malin

Cover Artist: Aeroshamrock


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I was just listing to
1010 and laughed my butt of when I head "Cash is Racist", so I had to
buy the domain cashisracist.com and set
it up to redirect to noagendashow.com
Maybe we can all make
some money off of this when cash is dead.
FYI... at the local
casino here, they will not take $50 bills because is has Grant on it, because
he killed a lot of the natives.
"A Dude Named
Black Widow
Hope Hicks Acknowledges White Lies But Refuses Some Questions in House Panel Interview on Russia Probe | KTLA
Wed, 28 Feb 2018 11:03
White House communications director Hope Hicks would not answer questions about her time in the White House during her closed-door House Intelligence Committee testimony Tuesday, though she did answer some questions about the presidential transition, according to lawmakers on the committee.
White House Communications Director and presidential advisor Hope Hicks arrives at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center Feb. 27, 2018, in Washington, D.C. Hicks is scheduled to testify behind closed doors to the House Intelligence Committee in its ongoing investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election. (Credit: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
During testimony that lasted roughly nine hours, Hicks was pressed about whether she had ever lied for President Donald Trump, and she acknowledged she has had to tell what amount to white lies, according to a source with direct knowledge of her testimony.
But she argued that she hasn't had to lie about substantive issues for Trump, the source said. The New York Times first reported that Hicks admitted to white lies on the President's behalf.
Hicks is the latest senior official in the Trump orbit to decline to address questions about events that occurred after the 2016 election, as former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon and former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski have made similar claims during testimony before the House panel.
Hicks' testimony was more forthcoming than that of Bannon '-- who would answer questions only about the campaign '-- but Democrats said she failed to answer key questions by walling off her time at the White House, arguing that other administration officials did not take a broad view about what they could not discuss.
House Intelligence Committee ranking member Adam Schiff said Hicks would not discuss, for instance, her role in drafting the misleading statement from Donald Trump Jr. about the June 2016 Trump Tower meeting with a Russian lawyer.
''All of our questions about what went into that statement went unanswered,'' the California Democrat said.
Hicks did tell the committee that the first time she learned about the Trump Tower meeting was in June 2017, three sources familiar with the matter told CNN. While she was in Trump Tower that day in June 2016, Hicks said, she did not have any awareness that the meeting took place, the sources said.
Initially Hicks told the committee she would not discuss the transition at all, citing a White House request, according to lawmakers. But she then agreed to answer some questions about the transition after conferring with the White House, because she had answered them previously before the Senate Intelligence Committee '-- although Schiff said there were transition questions not asked by the Senate that she still would not address.
Schiff said Democrats pushed for the committee to subpoena Hicks ''on the spot'' to compel her testimony, but Republicans did not agree to do so.
Hicks did not invoke executive privilege, but she said she had been instructed by the White House not to answer the questions, Schiff said.
When Bannon appeared before the committee last month and didn't answer questions beyond the 2016 campaign, he was hit with a subpoena during the interview. Republicans said Bannon's claim that he could invoke executive privilege during the presidential transition did not have merit.
''There's apparently one rule for Steve Bannon and another rule for everyone else,'' Schiff said.
But Republicans said Hicks was a different case because she was willing to answer some questions about the transition.
''Mr. Bannon was claiming a privilege based on the transition that we were asking what the privilege was and we weren't comfortable that there was such a privilege,'' said Rep. Tom Rooney, a Florida Republican. ''Since she has decided to answer questions based on that transition, she cannot be compared to Mr. Bannon, so it's not the same.''
Rep. Trey Gowdy, a South Carolina Republican, said his issue was more with the White House's stance on the transition period, rather than with Hicks.
Earlier on Tuesday, other Democrats on the committee were also pushing for the panel to subpoena Hicks for not responding to its questions.
''We got Bannon-ed,'' said Rep. Denny Heck, a Washington state Democrat.
''I have less hope we'll get to all the answers,'' said Rep. Mike Quigley, an Illinois Democrat. ''As with anyone who doesn't answer questions, they ought to be subpoenaed.''
Rep. Mike Conaway, the Texas Republican leading the House Intelligence Committee's Russia investigation, told CNN ahead of the meeting that he expected Hicks to answer all of the committee's questions. He declined to comment Tuesday afternoon on Hicks' testimony or a possible subpoena, saying he would wait until the interview had concluded.
Bannon returned to the committee under subpoena earlier this month to continue his testimony, and he told the panel he had been instructed by the White House to invoke executive privilege on behalf of Trump.
Schiff has called for Bannon to be held in contempt of Congress for refusing to answer questions, as well as Lewandowski, who also limited the scope of questions he would answer. Conaway said Tuesday that he has to discuss the matter with House Speaker Paul Ryan before deciding how to proceed.
Quigley said Hicks had not asserted privilege Tuesday, but she was ''following the orders of the White House not to answer certain questions.''
Hicks did not answer reporters' questions on her way into the interview Tuesday morning. She was initially scheduled to appear before the committee last month as part of the panel's investigation into Russian meddling in the US election, but her interview was delayed over questions about the scope of her testimony.
Hicks also met last year with special counsel Robert Mueller as part of his investigation.
Hicks, a trusted Trump aide for years, was one of then-candidate Trump's first hires as he put together an improbable run for the White House. During the campaign, she was often by Trump's side and attended nearly every rally, while she was in frequent communication with other senior officials as they coordinated their tactics to win the White House.
The House panel planned to interview her about any knowledge she has of contacts that occurred between other Trump associates and Russians.
Hicks appears to have firsthand knowledge of a number of key events that have shaped the first year of the Trump White House, including being on Air Force One when the initial misleading statement about Trump Jr.'s meeting with Russians was crafted.
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Behind The Jared And Ivanka PR Machine
Thu, 01 Mar 2018 01:21
When reporters are working on stories that involve Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, they hear from Josh Raffel, a tough, former New York City flack now inside the White House.
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On a Thursday late last month, shortly before the New Yorker published its famous interview with Anthony Scaramucci, Jared Kushner paused in the West Wing to chat with ABC's Jonathan Karl and his daughter, who worked as a CNN summer intern.
Kushner told Karl's daughter that it must be interesting to be a reporter, because you always have to figure out who is going to lie to you, according to two people familiar with the matter.
When Kushner thought he noticed another reporter, New York magazine's Olivia Nuzzi, recording the exchange, he was startled and said it was off the record. He then uncomfortably asked Nuzzi to delete the recording, which she did not do. A few minutes later, after Kushner had left, a Secret Service agent and a press assistant approached Nuzzi and told her she was not permitted to record. (She is.)
The exchange offered a brief look into Kushner's awkwardness sometimes when it comes to dealing with the press. Luckily for him, it's a responsibility that typically falls to a 33-year-old White House spokesperson and key lieutenant: Josh Raffel.
A product of the ruthless New York corporate arena, Raffel conducts the ''blocking and tackling'' for Kushner and his wife, Ivanka Trump, routinely making the couple available for off-the-record chats, sources say. He's smart and good-humored, and reporters who've battled with him say he comfortably oscillates between friendly chatter and aggressiveness. One White House reporter said he's the most competent staffer in the West Wing.
Karl declined to comment and his daughter did not return requests for comment. "It was tense and uncomfortable, but I didn't want to agree to delete a recording when I was within my rights to record," Nuzzi told BuzzFeed News.
Ivanka Trump and Kushner, who both hold senior White House roles, are the subject of endless media fascination. And when reporters are writing about the couple, they will quickly hear back from Raffel.
People who know Raffel say he hardly supports the Trump agenda. He donated to Hillary Clinton as late as Oct. 2016. But since April, Raffel has worked in the White House's Office of American Innovation, a hub for Kushner's portfolio of interests. Raffel has worked on efforts ranging from a "tech week" to the Middle East to the Foxconn announcement that the Apple supplier would open a factory in Wisconsin, White House officials say.
He also manages PR for Kushner and Ivanka Trump, who declined to comment for this story. Sources say Raffel is intensely loyal to the couple and also to Hope Hicks, with whom he formerly worked at Hiltzik Strategies, a New York PR firm that represented Kushner's family real estate company. The couple trusts Raffel, whom Kushner has known for years, more than the White House communications department, and, according to sources close to them, they want him to be their press steward.
That apparatus '-- a press shop within a press shop defending the couple's personal brands '-- is yet another feature of an unconventional White House. It also seems at odds with new White House Chief of Staff John Kelly's manifest: bringing discipline to a West Wing defined by warring factions, where senior officials have built up their own camps of aides and handlers.
For close readers of stories about the couple, a portrait emerges: The first daughter and Kushner largely hold progressive policy beliefs, from LGBT rights to paid family leave. Amid the rolling White House chaos, in story after story, they are depicted as sober advocates for big hires or required firings '-- or both, in the case of former communications director Anthony Scaramucci. They are crucial advisers, sure, but when things don't go their way and the president lurches in some disfavored direction, anonymous allies deftly temper expectations about what the couple can really achieve, while their internal enemies pounce.
Raffel's response when contacted for this story '-- focusing on how he skillfully influences pieces about Kushner and Ivanka Trump '-- offers a case study in how he skillfully influences pieces about Kushner and Ivanka Trump.
He declined to comment, but after BuzzFeed News reached out to him, numerous White House officials reached out to BuzzFeed News to speak (mostly) anonymously.
Raffel, a parade of White House officials said, works hand-in-hand every day with the main press shop and spends most of his time on actual policy-related work.
''He's very integrated into our press team. I probably talk to Josh 30 times a day,'' White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told BuzzFeed News. ''I certainly wouldn't say he's doing personal PR, but he handles a lot of things in [Kushner and Ivanka Trump's] portfolio.''
Sanders disputed the characterization, offered by multiple White House reporters, that Raffel operates a press shop within a press shop. ''I feel like I would probably have the best insight on that front,'' she said.
White House officials say that Raffel, who participates in larger press meetings, isn't going rogue, and that his role makes sense given the intense level of media attention, where any move from the president at odds with what Ivanka Trump has said in the past launches a hundred takes.
''Whatever the issue is, I'm sure you can find multiple opinions within the White House,'' Sanders told BuzzFeed News.
Some reporters and sources close to Kushner and Trump have viewed maneuvering from their camp cynically '-- and have since the campaign. They argue that protecting the Javanka brand is less about supporting the White House's message and more about trying to maintain some semblance of status in their old polite society haunts, from Manhattan to the Hamptons.
''They are like their dad or father-in-law,'' said a reporter who deals with the pair. ''When good stuff happens, they want to be associated. When bad things happen, they don't want any fingerprints.''
While the early days of the administration saw a flurry of stories of what Kushner and Trump hoped to achieve, six months later, the situation is much different.
Last week, CNN reported that the first daughter is working on a ''quiet reset'' after a ''summer of bruising headlines.'' A White House official told CNN that that the couple is eager to follow Kelly's lead and ''have a lot of admiration and respect'' for the new chief of staff. In June, after the climate loss, Politico reported that sources close to Trump and Kushner claimed that ''climate change was never their focus,'' and that ''people close to the first daughter and her husband often express frustration when Trump's decisions are interpreted as wins or losses for his family members turned aides.'' Following the president's tweets that the military would no longer allow transgender people to serve, Politico reported that Trump was said to be ''sometimes frustrated by the misunderstanding of the limits of her power.''
That doesn't mean that the descriptions of their frustrations or roles aren't true, or that questions about what they think aren't of interest to the reading public.
Either way, Raffel's role is a dream assignment for a crisis communications expert, particularly this summer, where he has had plenty of fires to help put out. The swirling Russia probe, for instance, has embroiled Kushner, who was questioned by Senate investigators about his Russian contacts.
After cutting his teeth in the New York corporate world, Raffel sparred with Hollywood trade reporters during his year and a half at horror production company Blumhouse. He has worked for controversial clients in the past, like former Fox News host Glenn Beck and his company.
"He was a pretty good, loyal soldier,'' said a reporter who used to cover Beck regularly. ''He understood how nutty Glenn could be, and yet was always trying to generate positive relationships with mainstream reporters nevertheless."
Raffel is also not the only New York City operative to raise eyebrows among former contemporaries. Risa Heller, a longtime Democratic PR professional who has also worked in the Kushner orbit, helped shape Ivanka Trump's public image from outside the White House. Once Trump's book tour and other personal projects finished this summer, the White House took over all her PR responsibilities from Heller, according to a person familiar with the matter.
In his first few months, Raffel has managed to navigate the snake pit White House environment and keep a relatively low profile for himself, even as the communications structure thrashed in a power struggle that led the exits of Sean Spicer, Reince Priebus, and Scaramucci.
Kushner and Ivanka Trump, however, have anything but a low profile.
Sources close to the couple say that Trump, who like her father is familiar with lots of media attention and the way the media actually works on a technical level, takes the criticism and disappointment in the press harder than Kushner does.
She also has a tendency to drop by unannounced when reporters are conducting an interview with her father in the Oval Office, and has done so both for the New York Times (where a source said it was unintended) and the Wall Street Journal '-- when Editor-in-Chief Gerry Baker chatted with her about a recent party in Southampton, New York.
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Hope Hicks: Close Trump aide and White House communications chief resigns - BBC News
Thu, 01 Mar 2018 00:04
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Ms Hicks has been at Mr Trump's side for years Hope Hicks, the White House communications director and one of President Trump's longest-serving advisers, is to step down, the administration says.
The 29-year-old former model and ex-Trump Organization employee has been by Mr Trump's side for years.
She is reported to have told colleagues she felt she had accomplished all she could in the White House.
She is the fourth person to serve as White House communications chief.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said it remained unclear when Ms Hicks would leave the administration.
She said her resignation was not connected to testimony she gave to the House Intelligence Committee on Tuesday.
She is reported to have admitted to the panel that she had occasionally told what amounted to "white lies" for President Trump.
But she denied lying about anything relevant to the investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election, US media reported.
Trump 'understood'During the election campaign, Ms Hicks served as press secretary. She took over as the head of the White House communications team last August, after the abrupt firing of Anthony Scaramucci.
Before him, Sean Spicer and Mike Dubke both served in the role - which involves overseeing a busy press department.
But Ms Hicks has kept a remarkably low profile in the job.
"Hope is outstanding and has done great work for the last three years. She is as smart and thoughtful as they come, a truly great person," Mr Trump said in a statement.
"I will miss having her by my side but when she approached me about pursuing other opportunities, I totally understood. I am sure we will work together again in the future."
Ms Hicks was close to the president - famously so - and aloof with reporters, according to BBC White House Reporter Tara McKelvey. During conversations on Air Force One or on the tarmac, Ms Hicks was polite but cool, she says.
Out of the White House but likely not the spotlightAnalysis by the BBC's Anthony Zurcher in Washington
Image copyright Mark Wallheiser
Hope Hicks had been there since the beginning; since before the beginning. When the Trump campaign was just a ragtag band of political neophytes, she was the one distributing press releases and answering media requests.
Where others had stumbled or been pushed out of Donald Trump's orbit, Hicks quietly persevered - and rode the train all the way to one of the most powerful White House jobs.
Now she too is gone. She lasted nearly as long as the preceding three White House communications directors combined, but the position continues to be cursed.
Administration sources insist that it was a planned exit, that she was simply waiting for the right time. It's hard, however, to imagine timing worse than this. It comes just a day after her eight hours of testimony before a congressional committee investigating possible Trump campaign ties to Russia, where she reportedly admitted to telling "white lies" in defence of the president.
Although she may be exiting the White House, it's unlikely she escapes the spotlight so easily. She had a ringside seat to many of the controversies that have swirled around the Trump campaign and presidency - and subsequent revelations could put her name in the headlines again.
Ms Hicks is seen as a key witness in the ongoing inquiry into whether the Trump team colluded with Russia.
During the nine-hour hearing on Tuesday, she reportedly stonewalled lawmakers about a 2016 meeting between members of the Trump campaign and a Russian lawyer at Trump Tower.
Earlier this month her actions were scrutinised amid a scandal involving White House staff secretary Rob Porter, who quit amid domestic abuse allegations. She was, at the time, reported to have been dating Mr Porter.
Ms Hicks helped draft an initial statement defending Mr Porter and her handling of the controversy reportedly displeased Mr Trump.
Who is Hope Hicks?Image copyright EPA
Brought up in Greenwich, Connecticut, and was a talented lacrosse player at high school and collegeTook up modelling as a teenager and once appeared in an ad for Ralph LaurenPreviously worked for a public relations company that handled Ivanka Trump's fashion business and the Trump Organization's property brandJoined the Trump Organization in 2014 and Donald Trump brought her on to his campaign team a year later, despite her lack of political experienceNicknamed "Hopester" by Mr Trump, she is said to be one of his most trusted aides and among the few who could challenge him to change his viewsMore on this storyTrump-Russia: Communication director Hope Hicks 'admits white lies''28 February 2018
How Hope Hicks went from modelling to being Donald Trump's new media director at 2812 September 2017
Trump top communications aide, trusted adviser Hicks resigns: White House | Article [AMP] | Reuters
Thu, 01 Mar 2018 00:03
Wed Feb 28, 2018 / 6:32 PM EST
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Hope Hicks, one of U.S. President Donald Trump's longest-serving, most trusted aides, is resigning from her job as White House communications director.
The White House announced she was leaving a day after Hicks, 29, spent nine hours in a closed hearing of the House of Representatives Intelligence Committee on its investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Hicks' decision to leave was not related to her appearance before the panel. Lawmakers said Hicks, Trump's spokeswoman during the election campaign, declined to answer questions about the administration but she did answer every question asked about her time with the campaign, and the transition months between the November election and the January 2017 inauguration.
Hicks' exact departure was unclear but is expected to be sometime over the next few weeks.
Hicks was caught up in a controversy surrounding former White House staff secretary Rob Porter, whom she had been dating. She worked to defend him when charges of domestic abuse against his two former wives emerged. Porter was ultimately forced to resign.
A one-time aide to Trump's daughter, Ivanka Trump, and with no previous experience in politics, Hicks was one of the first people hired by the then-New York businessman when he began his campaign for the presidency.
Aides said she had approached the president and told him she wanted to leave so she could start exploring opportunities outside of the White House.
Robert Trout, a lawyer for Hicks who has represented her in the Russia investigation, declined comment.
Among the issues Hicks declined to discuss with the House panel on Tuesday was her part in drafting a statement in July 2017 misrepresenting a July 2016 meeting at Trump Tower that included the president's eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., other Trump associates and Natalia Veselnitskaya, a Russian lawyer.
Trump Jr. said initially the meeting was about adoptions, but said later that Veselnitskaya had promised damaging information about his father's election campaign opponent, Democrat Hillary Clinton.
U.S. intelligence agencies concluded that Russia ran a program of hacking and disinformation to interfere in the elections and it later developed into an attempt to help Republican candidate Trump defeat Clinton. On Feb. 16, a U.S. special counsel indicted 13 Russians and three companies on charges of tampering in the campaign.
Russia denies interfering in the U.S. election and Trump denies any collusion between his campaign and Moscow officials.
Hicks took over as communications director in September after the difficult, 11-day tenure of Anthony Scaramucci, who was fired. She is credited behind the scenes for stabilizing the communications operation.
"Hope is outstanding and has done great work for the last three years. She is as smart and thoughtful as they come, a truly great person," Trump said in a statement released by the White House. "I will miss having her by my side but when she approached me about pursuing other opportunities, I totally understood. I am sure we will work together again in the future."
Hicks said in her own statement that "there are no words to adequately express my gratitude to President Trump. I wish the president and his administration the very best as he continues to lead our country."
(Reporting By Steve Holland; additional reporting by Karen Freifeld; Editing by Sandra Maler and Grant McCool)
Download the app to read more Reuters News.
Report: Kushner company got big loans after execs had White House meetings - Axios
Thu, 01 Mar 2018 12:56
The New York Times reports that Jared Kushner's family's business, Kushner Companies, received substantial loans from companies after Kushner attended White House meetings with their executives.
Why it matters: "There is little precedent for a top White House official meeting with executives of companies as they contemplate sizable loans to his business, say government ethics experts," per the Times. Kushner stepped down as CEO from the company when he joined the White House, but has "retained a vast majority of his interest."
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The loans received include one for $184 million from Apollo Global Management, which was in talks with officials over infrastructure policy, and another for $325 million, from Citigroup, following a White House meeting with Kushner and the CEO last year.A spokesman for Kushner's lawyer Abe Lowell, Peter Mirijanian, told the Times that Kushner "has taken no part of any business, loans or projects with or for" his family company since he became a White House official.Former director of the Office of Government Ethics, Don Fox, told the NYT: "Why does Jared have to take the meeting? Is there not somebody else who doesn't have these financial entanglements who can brainstorm freely with these folks?"Go deeper:Trump family vs. John Kelly
War on Guns
Georgia School Evacuated After Teacher Barricaded Himself In Classroom And Fired Gun : The Two-Way : NPR
Thu, 01 Mar 2018 12:00
The main entrance to Dalton High School in Georgia. Police say a teacher who barricaded himself in a classroom and fired a shot has been taken into custody. Jeff Martin/APhide caption
toggle captionJeff Martin/AP The main entrance to Dalton High School in Georgia. Police say a teacher who barricaded himself in a classroom and fired a shot has been taken into custody.
Jeff Martin/AP A well-liked social studies teacher barricaded himself in a classroom and fired a handgun at Dalton High School, which plunged students and faculty into a lockdown and subsequent evacuation, according to the AP.
No students were in the classroom. The only injury was to a student who hurt her ankle running away, tweeted the police in Dalton, which is about 90 miles north of Atlanta.
Police confirmed that the teacher was Jesse Randal Davidson, 53. He taught social studies, and served as play-by-play voice of the school's football team. The Atlanta Journal-Constitutionreported that Davidson had been at the school since 2004, and was recognized as the school's "top teacher" in 2012.
This undated photo provided by the sheriff's office shows Jesse Randal Davidson, who was arrested after apparently firing a gun at the Dalton, Ga., school where he taught. Whitfield County Sheriff's Office/APhide caption
toggle captionWhitfield County Sheriff's Office/AP The incident occurred two weeks after a shooting incident at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., left 17 dead, and as its survivors are igniting a new debate over gun control around the United States.
After that shooting, both the National Rifle Association and President Trump have suggested that arming teachers could discourage would-be shooters from entering schools. "We have to have offensive capability to take these people out rapidly before they can do this kind of damage," Trump said last week.
As NPR has reported, "many educators are uncomfortable with the idea, and worry that it could put students in further harm and deter people from entering the field of teaching, which is already facing shortages."
The AP reports:
"The teacher was taken into custody without incident after a 30- to 45-minute standoff with officers, police spokesman Bruce Frazier said. ...
"Police noted that Davidson didn't appear to want to hurt the students or faculty. He fired the gun at an exterior window when the principal tried to enter the classroom. ...
"The shooting happened about 11:30 a.m. during Davidson's planning period. At first, students tried to get into the classroom, but they couldn't. The students told the principal, who tried to enter.
"'I didn't get the door open very far, but he slammed the door and hollered "Go away, don't come in here." He had some nonsensical noises that were made as well,' Principal Steve Bartoo said.
"Bartoo returned a short time later and put his key in the door 'and again he slammed the door before I could open it and he said, "Don't come in here, I have a gun."'
"That's when Davidson fired and the school was placed on lockdown, authorities said."
Students of the class took to social media to discuss the incident, including Chondi Chastain, who told the AP that she was scheduled to have Davidson's class later that afternoon. "I dare you to tell me arming teachers will make us safe," she tweeted to the NRA.
Davidson has been charged with "aggravated assault, carrying weapon on school grounds, terroristic threats, reckless conduct, possession of gun during commission of a crime, and disrupting public school," according to Dalton Police.
Students are excused from coming to Dalton High School Thursday, but faculty and police will be there. The school will resume classes on Friday.
Movie Bags
Listening to the show this morning 1012, I heard the clip
about the movie theaters disallowing purses and other bags, and the cynic in me
couldn't help but think that it's a great way to eliminate outside snacks (high
margin) from being brought in. The attack in Colorado didn't involve a
gun brought in through the front door, and either did the shooter in Broward
Also, your analysis on the recent shooting and the
disciplinary standards hit home for me. We had a big scandal here in
Athens, Georgia at one of the large high schools that almost mirrored the
scenario in Broward county. The super intendant basically disallowed the
schools from disciplining primarily black students to improve their numbers and
it was uncovered after a student was raped by some of the bad actors in the
high school. Multiple teachers tried to go through the proper channels
when they had particularly bad students, but were told to deal with it.
It makes nothing but sense, as you said 'occam's razor', that this is exactly
what happened in Florida. Sickening.
Thanks, as always for the BIPTU and thank you for your
Strengthen Orlando inc 990
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Orlando Police DepartmentCharitable, educational, and marketing for public safety and outreach. Approved activities include hosting an international conference for police chiefs, the installation of ''IRIS'' cameras throughout the City, a mentoring program for troubled young adults, a neighborhood watch citizen observer program, a volunteer program for administrative purposes, a chaplain program for the spiritual needs of officers and their families, crime prevention through environmental design (neighborhood rehabilitation program), a citizen recognition through awards program, a counseling program, a school crossing guard program, a Police Explorer program, Boone Cadet program, a fund to assist officers injured or killed in the line of duty and their families during their time of crisis, and a fund to help officers who have been seriously injured in the line of duty or those with serious life threatening medical conditions and their respective families during a time of crisis.
Go to Donation PageOrlando Fire DepartmentThe Orlando Fire Department plays a prominent role in our community, with more than 600 events and partnerships per year. At OFD, our number one priority is the health and safety of Orlando citizens, as well as the commitment to our key focus areas; technology/advancement, accountability/responsibility, professional development and community outreach. Community partners include local schools, hospitals, professional sports teams, non-profits and charities. Our fire crews take fire units to events to highlight safety education with specialized curriculum, as well as career options.
We have a plethora of programs to aid in the safety of our residents, such as Smoke Alarm Blitz, Take Heart Orlando hands-only CPR, OFD Plus+, CERT, Juvenile Fire Setters intervention, After the Fire program and Community Sharps. Other approved activities include Honor Guard, Pipes and Drums, Explorers, Fire Academy, Firefighters' Scholarships, awards and the Orlando Fire Museum. It's important to OFD that we engage the public through public service announcements, company demonstrations, press releases and social media. If you see us in your neighborhood or want to tour a fire station, take the opportunity to meet us. We take pride in serving our community, cityoforlando.net/fire.
Go to Donation PageOffice of City Commissioner - District 4 (Children of Reeves Terrace)To solicit and accept funds to be used for the purchase of backpacks and school supplies and bicycles to be handed out to children of a public housing community located within the boundaries of the City of Orlando.
The donation form for this project is currently unavailable. Please check back at a later time.
Orlando Mayor's Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday CommissionTo solicit and accept funds to promote the celebration of Dr. King's legacy of equality, justice, freedom, peace and harmony for all races and cultures in Greater Orlando by distributing funds to non-profit organizations and groups. Funds are also used for the Humanitarian Awards Recognition Program. Humanitarian awards are given to one student at each of the middle and high schools in Orange County.
Go to Donation PageTinker Field History PlazaTo solicit and accept funds for the proposed Tinker Field History Plaza. This proposed project reflects the community's vision to create a place for people to learn, gather, reflect and celebrate. The Plaza will incorporate several elements including a historic timeline and plaques, Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. and Clark Griffith monuments, refurbished original stadium seats and gateway entrance, a replica covered pavilion, vintage-style lighting and a State of Florida Historic Marker. This public space will be a welcomed addition to the Camping World Stadium campus and help define the character of our city and strengthen Orlando's social fabric.
Go to Donation PageMayor's Veteran Advisory CouncilTo solicit and accept funds to promote and conduct operations and events to recognize the services of veterans who reside in the City of Orlando and surrounding area and to offer assistance as may be needed.
Go to Donation PageFriends of the Orlando WetlandsTo solicit and accept funds to provide educational opportunities to increase community awareness, support and appreciation of the Orlando Wetlands Park and its wildlife. Such activities may include: operation of the Orlando Wetlands Education Center, develop educational materials, maintain the Education Center and grounds, assistance with special events related to the Orlando Wetlands, meetings of the Friends of the Wetlands, the Orlando Wetlands Festival, and other advocacy activities that benefit the Orlando Wetlands park.
Go to Donation PageKevin Tyjeski City Planning Scholarship FundTo solicit and accept funds to provide scholarships to students pursuing a degree in city/urban planning through the University of Central Florida (UCF) and/or Rollins College; as well as Parramore Kidz Zone participants (high school seniors or those who recently graduated from high school) who require scholarship assistance in order to pursue their college education (in any field).
Go to Donation PageMayor Buddy Dyer's Cities of Service: ORLANDO CARESTo solicit and accept funds to use to improve youth literacy and increase safety by mobilizing citizens as volunteers who make service a part of the solution. ORLANDO CARES is a partnership with the Corporation for National Community Service (CNCS). Adult volunteers are needed to enhance the education of our City's youth and increase the cardiac save rate of our citizens. Programs within ORLANDO CARES include: Preschool Ambassadors, Third Grade Reads powered by Read2Succeed, Mayor Buddy's Book Club, The Garden, PathFinders, and Take Heart Orlando.
Go to Donation PageOrlando Youth Empowerment Summit (O-YES)To solicit and accept funds for an annual event sponsored by the City of Orlando and Community Partners to empower Central Florida Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual and Transgender (LGBT) Youth and the community with the necessary resources and education to bring about understanding, acceptance and inclusion. Primarily funded by corporate/community/government sponsorships, O-YES is a partnership with several non-profit agencies such as the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network, Orlando Youth Alliance, the Holocaust Memorial Education & Resource Center of Central Florida, and Parents, Families, Friends of Lesbian and Gays. The Summit is a one-day event that includes a keynote speaker, entertainment, lunch and nine power packed workshops bringing together parents, students, teachers, counselors, and the faith and non-profit communities, along with federal, state, and local government representatives. Workshop attendees receive information on subjects such as internet safety (cyber bullying), local clergy support of LGBT youth, domestic violence and LGBT dating, LGBT legal updates, and more.
The donation form for this project is currently unavailable. Please check back at a later time.
Red Flags Emerge When Citizens Realize Who Is Really Behind 'Grassroots' Anti-NRA Campaign
Sun, 25 Feb 2018 22:44
Not all is as it seems at the organization behind a nationwide grassroots movement that seeks to make the National Rifle Association ''politically radioactive.''
Within 24 hours of last Wednesday's mass shooting at a Florida high school that left 17 dead, gun control activists had concocted No NRA Money, an organization behind a national grassroots pledge campaign that seeks to ''break the NRA's stranglehold that has thwarted meaningful progress on common sense gun policy.''
But No NRA Money's claim to be a grassroots movement is questionable. Hidden within the HTML code running No NRA Money's website is a link to digital asset hosted on a website ran by Equality Florida, an LGBT advocacy organization.
The digital asset in question hosted on Equality Florida's website is none other than the logo for No NRA Money.
The pledge drive has already attracted the support of thousands of voters and over 60 candidates for public office across the United States, including Democratic candidate for governor of Iowa Cathy Glasson.
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''I just signed a pledge with @noNRAmoney stating that our bold progressive campaign will never accept campaign donations from the @NRA. In Iowa, and as a nation, we must put aside partisan politics in the pursuit of common sense gun laws.'' -CG #NoNRAMoneyhttps://t.co/PcBpNthFbe
'-- Cathy Glasson (@CathyGlasson) February 18, 2018
Despite the movement's short-term success, it's unclear who holds the purse strings at No NRA Money.
Nadine Smith, the executive director of Equality Florida, appeared on MSNBC's ''AM Joy'' on Saturday to promote the anti-NRA pledge drive.
Smith was unclear about the organizational structure of No NRA Money, describing the group as a national ''grassroots effort that came together online, from parents in particular.''
Public records paint a different picture of No NRA Money origins and call into question its claim to be a ''grassroots'' movement.
The organization's website was purchased behind a proxy less than a day after the Feb. 14 deadly shooting at a Florida high school.
RELATED:Report: MS-13's Dangerous Rise To Power Links Back To 1 Flawed Obama Decision
And the self-described national movement appears to have no formal presence in any state or jurisdiction. The Daily Caller News Foundation was unable to locate any business registration records for the group in any state, nor has the organization registered with the Federal Election Commission.
Added to that, there are no disclosures anywhere on the No NRA Money's website indicating who is funding the effort.
One major clue of No NRA Money's origins is contained within the HTML code running its website. Contained within is a link to an image asset hosted on Equality Florida's website.
The code in question governs how Twitter displays No NRA Money's logo whenever a user posts a link to their site. Twitter is instructed to pull the logo not from No NRA Money's website, but from Equality Florida's website.
Does this mean that Equality Florida is running No NRA Money's website and pledge campaign? Given No NRA Money's apparent lack of a formal business presence, perhaps.
If it's true that Equality Florida is funding the effort to bring about the NRA's demise, it would put the movement's grassroots label in question.
Equality Florida is the antithesis of grassroots '-- it's a three-entity conglomerate made up of two non-profit organizations and one political organization.
Smith serves as the CEO for Equality Florida Institute, Inc., and Equality Florida Action, Inc., the two nonprofit organizations of the Equality Florida conglomerate. She's well paid for her services, collecting $164,391 in total compensation from both organizations in 2016 alone.
Smith is also the registered agent of Equality Florida's political arm, Equality Florida Action PAC, Inc.
Equality Florida did not respond TheDCNF when asked why it was hosting content for No NRA Money or whether it was funding the pledge drive.
No NRA Money also did not respond to TheDCNF's request for comment.
A version of this article appeared on The Daily Caller News Foundation website.
What do you think? Scroll down to comment below.
School shooting survivors hit NRA-friendly pols with ultimatum - NY Daily News
Sun, 25 Feb 2018 22:40
Shut up and listen!
That's the message seething students have for President Trump and other gun-friendly lawmakers as they gear up to march on Washington for firearms reform.
The teens demanded the politicians stop making excuses and immediately pass laws in the aftermath of the Florida bloodshed '-- or face being voted out of office.
''Children are dying, and their blood is on your hands because of that. Please take action. Stop going on vacation in Mar-a-Lago,'' Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student David Hogg told Trump on Sunday via an interview with Chuck Todd on ''Meet the Press.'' ''Take action. Work with Congress. Your party controls both the House and Senate. Take action. Get some bills passed. And for God's sake, let's save some lives,'' the student continued.
Death penalty was made for Florida school shooter, DA says
Hogg, 17, and his classmates are part of a national groundswell of student anger over gun violence after 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz walked into his former Parkland, Fla., school Wednesday and gunned down 17 students and staffers.
Cameron Kasky, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, appears on ''Meet the Press'' Sunday.(ABC's ''Meet the Press'') The high schoolers are putting the politicians who have taken donations from the National Rifle Association on notice.
''People who are being funded by the NRA are not going to be allowed to remain in office when midterm elections roll around. They're going to be voted out of office. Incumbency rates are going to drop,'' high school senior Emma Gonzalez said.
Teens also took to Twitter to slam the President for his tone-deaf tweets blaming the FBI for not acting on warnings about Cruz because agents were distracted by the Russia probe. One student, @tayloryon_, tweeted: ''17 innocent people were brutally murdered at my school, a place where they should have felt safe. Their lives were gone in an instant. You are the President of the United States and you have the audacity to put this on Russia as an excuse. I guess I should expect that from you.''
Family that took in Nikolas Cruz: 'Didn't see this side of him'
The complaints did not fall on deaf ears. Trump reportedly spent much of the weekend watching cable news reports on the Russia probe and Parkland shooting survivors speak out against the nation's lax gun laws.
Karissa Saenz, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, holds a sign that reads, "White House You are Killing Our Future!,' on Feb. 18, in Parkland, Fla.(Joe Raedle/Getty Images) He turned to patrons at his Mar-a-Lago estate and asked if he should champion tougher firearm restrictions, according to The Washington Post, citing people who spoke with Trump at the mansion. It was unclear how guests responded.
Hundreds of students from the high school have pledged to rally in Tallahassee, the state capital, on Wednesday as part of the #NeverAgain movement. Survivor Jaclyn Corin, 17, junior class president, said her classmates want a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.
''The NRA brainwashes us to think these rules and laws can't work here,'' Jaclyn said. ''We think they can.''
Florida school shooting survivor blames Trump, NRA for massacre
Trump, who has focused on Cruz's mental health and dodged gun-control questions, has agreed to meet with Florida students and staff Wednesday for a ''listening session.'' The White House did not specify whether Douglas High School students would be included.
Demonstrations are being planned across the country to pressure lawmakers into taking action on gun control.(RHONA WISE/AFP/Getty Images) Other demonstrations are planned across the country. On March 14, exactly one month after the shooting, Women's March organizers are encouraging a nationwide 17-minute walkout in every high school at 10 a.m. to protest ''Congress' inaction to do more than tweet thoughts and prayers in response to the gun violence plaguing our schools and neighborhoods,'' according to a Facebook post.
Douglas High School students have also set up a ''March for Our Lives'' protest for March 24 in Washington to pressure politicians supported by the National Rifle Association to crack down on easily accessible guns.
''My message for the people in office is, you're either with us or against us,'' survivor Cameron Kasky said Sunday on CNN. ''We are losing our lives while the adults are playing around. This is about us creating a badge of shame for any politicians accepting money from the NRA and using us as collateral.''
Florida high school shooter shared desire to kill in group chat
And on April 20, the 19th anniversary of the Columbine, Colo., massacre in which 12 students and one teacher were killed, the Network for Public Education is encouraging students to join another national high school walkout.
A memorial is seen at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Sunday.(Joe Raedle/Getty Images) The calls for mass protest come a day after students, families and activists rallied Saturday for stricter gun laws following the Florida school massacre.
Cruz, who had been diagnosed with autism and attention deficit and hyperactivity disorder, is charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder and has confessed to the crime, officials said. Despite numerous run-ins with law enforcement and several state agencies that knew of his mental health issues and his gun ownership, Cruz was still legally able to buy the AR-15 used in last week's attack.
The response to students' call for bipartisan support for gun control has fallen flat so far.
Florida shooter cut self on Snapchat over bad breakup in 2016
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) sidestepped calls for federal legislation but told radio station WFOR that the Florida Legislature should consider a law that would allow police or family members to ask a court to take away the guns of a person who appears to pose a danger.
Maria Cristina and Vincent Collazo pray at the fence that runs around Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Sunday.(Joe Raedle/Getty Images) The NRA did not respond to calls for comment.
Teen survivors of the high school massacre said they were forced to march for gun control because members of Congress won't act.
''This kind of stuff can't just happen,'' student Alex Wind said on ''Meet the Press.''
''You know, we are marching for our lives, we're marching for the 17 lives we lost.''
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Sun, 25 Feb 2018 22:38
Campaign Update: On February 23, Chubb publically announced that they would no longer underwrite the NRA's Carry Guard murder insurance. Lockton, however, continues to offer their dangerous product and to work with the gun lobby. We are continuing to call on Lockton to end their relationship with the NRA.
Two insurance companies, Chubb and Lockton Affinity, have partnered with the NRA to provide NRA Carry Guard insurance to gun owners who shoot someone and claim ''self defense.''
This cynical insurance plan is specifically designed to protect ''Stand Your Ground'' murderers like George Zimmerman, Trayvon Martin's killer. NRA Carry Guard provides coverage for criminal legal defense, firearm replacement, clean up costs, payouts to bail companies, and a 24-hour legal hotline to provide shooters with guidance in how to avoid prosecution.
Guns Down and Color Of Change are partnering to speak out against Chubb and Lockton for supporting the NRA and profiting from NRA Carry Guard. Add your name and stand with us.
''Stand Your Ground'' laws have caused gun murders to skyrocket '' and are radically skewed toward protecting white shooters who kill black victims. NRA Carry Guard turns this racist reality into profit.
Lockton Affinity, which created and sells NRA Carry Guard insurance, and Chubb Insurance, which underwrites the policies and takes a profit, are perpetuating fear of minorities and immigrants, and by offering special protections to gun owners who shoot first and ask questions later, these insurance companies are promoting gun violence.
Tell Chubb and Lockton to cut their ties with the NRA and Stop Selling Murder Insurance.
STOP MURDER INSURANCETell Chubb and Lockton to cut their ties with the NRA and Stop Selling Murder Insurance.
PartnersColor Of Change is the nation's largest online racial justice organization. We help people respond effectively to injustice in the world around us. As a national online force driven by over one million members, we move decision-makers in corporations and government to create a more human and less hostile world for Black people in America.
Guns Down is fighting back against the National Rifle Association and the gun lobby with the simple premise that our communities are safer with fewer guns. If we're serious about saving lives, we need to build a bolder, broader movement that finally tackles the problem at its core.
(C) 2017 Guns Down | Privacy Policy
Chubb Decided to Quit NRA Insurance Program 3 Months Ago
Sun, 25 Feb 2018 22:35
Giant insurer Chubb has joined a list of companies that are halting business deals with the National Rifle Association (NRA).
However, the insurer confirmed to Insurance Journal that the decision was made several months ago, before the latest mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida.
''Three months ago, Chubb provided notice of our intent to discontinue participation in the NRA Carry Guard insurance program under the terms of our contract,'' the company said.
In the wake of the Florida tragedy, several car rental firms and banks have announced they are ending benefit offerings for NRA members as is Symantec, which offers an identity protection product called Lifelock.
Lockton is the insurance broker for the NRA-branded personal liability insurance policy for gun owners, which was announced last April. Lockton did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Chubb did not reveal the reason for its decision.
One gun control lobbying organization, Guns Down America, said that last November it petitioned Chubb to stop selling what it called ''murder insurance'' in cooperation with the the NRA.
NRA Carry Guard provides coverage for gun owners who face legal or other costs for self-defense shootings. The NRA website says the insurance plans are for ''those who lawfully carry firearms and their families'' and include the cost to defend against civil and criminal legal actions and access to attorneys. Benefits also include payments for bail, criminal defense legal retainer fees, lawful firearm replacement, compensation while in court, psychological support and cleanup costs for any covered claim resulting from the use of a legally possessed firearm'--including an act of self-defense.
There are four plans: Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Gold Plus with benefits ranging from $250,000 to $1.5 million in civil protection and from $50,000 to $250,000 for criminal defense costs.
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BREAKING=> Georgia Lt. Governor: No Tax Break for Delta Unless They Reinstate Relationship With NRA
Tue, 27 Feb 2018 03:40
February 26, 2018 by Cassandra Fairbanks Georgia's Lt. Governor Casey Cagle has vowed to kill any tax legislation that benefits Delta unless the company changes its position and fully reinstates its relationship with National Rifle Association.
His announcement came after massive push back from Senator Michael Williams, Trump's former GA Co-Chair and Republican candidate for Governor.
As The Gateway Pundit previously reported, Senator Williams had been leading an offensive revolt against a massive tax break that would save Delta millions of dollars, just days after the airline took a political stand against the NRA.
Williams isn't done fighting however, and responded to Cagle's tweet saying, ''Casey '' thank you for listening to our demands. However, Delta should not receive a government handout regardless of any other issues.''
On Saturday, Delta announced that they were ending their discounted rates for NRA members. They are one of over a dozen companies that have cut ties with the organization this week as the Democrats have used the Parkland school shooting to call for boycotts.
Delta's decision to wade into left-wing politics came just before a vote on a proposed jet fuel tax break that could save the company approximately $40 million if it passes. The bill, HB 918, has already passed the Georgia State House and has moved on to the state senate.
According to a source who leaked comments to the Gateway Pundit, during a private Monday morning senate caucus meeting, the governor himself showed up and let the senators know that they ''better push this tax cut through'' or they could forget about passing any legislation.
The governor's chief of staff also reportedly stated that there is ''someone in this room that I could shoot'' referring to Williams over his revolt.
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I like it. All the douchebags are now out and Kelly is
running the show. I suspect it was a battle between Kelly and “Jivanka” and
that Hope Hicks leaked the Porter abuse story to get Kelly in trouble. She lost
too, so out she goes. Clean house.
UK soldiers to get anthrax jabs under North Korea threat | Daily Mail Online
Mon, 26 Feb 2018 19:58
Anthrax spores have been weaponised by at least five countries: Britain, Japan, the United States, Russia and Iraq
Anthrax is the name of the potentially-deadly disease caused by the spores of bacteria Bacillus anthracis.
As the disease can survive in harsh climates, Anthrax spores have been weaponised by at least five countries: Britain, Japan, the United States, Russia and Iraq.
The disease can be contracted by touching, inhaling or swallowing spores, which can lie dormant in water and soil for years.
It is most deadly, however, when the spores are inhaled, which is why the threat of a letter containing the disease is taken very seriously by authorities.
About 80 per cent of people who inhale the spores will die, in some cases even with immediate medical intervention.
Use as a biological weapon
Anthrax's first documented use as a weapon of warfare was by the Japanese in the 1930s, where thousands of prisoners of war were intentionally infected and died.
British trials of the disease on Gruinard Island in Scotland in 1942 severely contaminated the land for half a century, making it a no-go area until 1990.
The disease is particularly dangerous as its spores can be cultivated with minimal scientific training and special equipment.
Letters containing the deadly spores was mailed to several news outlets and the offices of two politicians in America, in what came to be known as the 2001 Anthrax attacks.
Biodefence researcher Dr Bruce Ivins (left) is the sole suspect of the 2001 Anthrax attacks, in whcih letters (right) containing the disease were mailed across the USA
As a result, 22 were infected and five people died after just a few grams who used across all the letters.
In 2008, biodefence researcher Dr Bruce Ivins was named as a suspect but committed suicide before he could face any charges.
What are the symptoms of Anthrax?
Once inside the body they become active and start producing toxins, which cause the disease and manifest and spread.
Symptoms range from blisters to shortness of breath or diarrhea, depending on how it enters the body.
The vast majority of cases are caused by skin contact. This is the least deadly form of the disease, with 75 per cent of patients surviving without treatment.
Anthrax naturally infects many species of grazing mammals such as sheep, cattle and goats, which are infected through ingestion of soil contaminated by B. anthracis spores. The spores may remain dormant for many years.
Infection generally occurs 1 to 7 days after exposure but occasionally, if inhaled, cases may present 2 to 3 months later.
Sources: NHS and US Centers for Disease Control
Trump rejects NKorea talks, envoy quits
Thu, 01 Mar 2018 13:47
The US special envoy for North Korea has announced he plans to retire just hours after President Trump again rejected talks to resolve the North Korean nuclear crisis unless conditions are met.
South Korean-born Joseph Yun, a strong advocate for engagement with Pyongyang, has led American outreach to North Korea, quietly pursuing direct diplomacy, since taking his post under former President Obama in 2016.
His departure on Friday leaves the State Department without a point person for North Korea policy at a time Pyongyang has signalled it may be willing to talk to the US after a period of diplomatic contacts with South Korea during the Winter Olympics.
The special envoy's authority to engage with North Korea appeared to be undercut by a tug-of-war between the White House and State Department over North Korea policy under Trump.
While his tenure was praised publicly by the State Department, one senior administration official said Yun would not be missed because he contradicted Trump's policies, while at a daily press briefing White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders brushed off questions about the impact of Yun's departure.
Yun, a 32-year foreign service veteran, told US media his retirement was a personal decision and that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had tried to persuade him to stay.
Some East Asia analysts have called Yun's departure a big blow to attempts to use diplomacy to resolve the crisis over North Korea's development of nuclear missiles capable of hitting the United States, which has raised fears of war.
On Friday, Washington announced its largest package of sanctions yet on North Korea. Trump warned of a "phase two" that could be "very, very unfortunate for the world" if the steps did not work, an apparent reference to military options his administration says remain on the table.
In another reference to the risk of war, Trump said on Monday: "We're talking about tremendous potential loss of lives, numbers that nobody's even contemplated, never thought of."
Florida School Shooting
Florida school shooter called cops HIMSELF after mom died
Mon, 26 Feb 2018 02:05
By Michelle Ganney For Dailymail.com 22:01 25 Feb 2018, updated 22:44 25 Feb 2018
Nikolas Cruz, 19, called police distressed after his mother died just months ago Authorities ignored several calls and tips about Cruz' disturbing behaviorThe family friend he was staying with told police 'all he cares about is his gun'On November 30 an anonymous caller from Massachusetts told police that Cruz 'could be a school shooter in the making,' and that he was collecting gunsTwo years ago police were told he 'planned to shoot up the school on Instagram'FBI deputy director, David L. Bowdich, spoke about the case on Friday and acknowledged the bureau's failure to investigate It has been revealed that Nikolas Cruz who killed 17 people after he opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School called the police distressed after his mother passed away just months agoIt has been revealed that the infamous 19-year-old Florida school shooter who killed 17 people after he opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School called the police distressed after his mother passed away just months ago.
Nikolas Cruz called authorities just after Thanksgiving, saying he had been in a fight and was struggling with the death of his mother. 'The thing is I lost my mother a couple of weeks ago, so like I am dealing with a bunch of things right now,' he told police.
On January 5, just a month before the shooting, a woman who knew Cruz called the FBI tip line and said 'I know he's going to explode. 'She said her biggest fear was that he might resort to entering a school and just start 'shooting the place up.'
Forty days later Cruz opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida killing 17 people and injuring fourteen, five with life-threatening injuries.
Three months before the deadly shooting a friend dialed 911 concerned about Cruz' weaponry possessions. 'I need someone here because I'm afraid he comes back and he has a lot of weapons,' the friend said.
Cruz called authorities just after Thanksgiving, saying he had been in a fight and was struggling with the death of his mother. 'The thing is I lost my mother a couple of weeks ago, so like I am dealing with a bunch of things right now,' he told police...
Authorities have acknowledged they underestimated many warning signs that Cruz was a deeply troubled kid. They were aware of his disturbing social media posts and social services visited his home several times.
There were dozens of calls to police with several people fearing he was capable of violence and murder.
On November 29 family friend Rocxanne Deschamps, who was looking after Cruz after his mother Lynda died in early November, told the dispatcher that Cruz already had about eight guns that he kept at a friend's house.
In the voice recording Deschamps can be heard telling police 'all he cares about is his gun,' reported the NY Times.
In another call to police she said 'It's not the first time he put a gun on somebody's head,' she also said that he once did that to his mother.
Deschamps has refused to comment and her lawyer has not responded to phone messages and emails.
On January 5, just a month before the shooting, a woman who knew Cruz called the FBI tip line and said 'I know he's going to explode. 'She said her biggest fear was that he might resort to entering a school and just start 'shooting the place up Cruz opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida killing 17 people and injuring fourteen, five with life-threatening injuriesOn November 30 an anonymous caller from Massachusetts told police that Cruz 'could be a school shooter in the making,' and that he was collecting guns and knives.
Additionally, two years ago authorities said they received information from the son of one of Cruz's neighbors that he 'planned to shoot up the school on Instagram.'
Despite multiple signs and calls to police and authorities, the bureau failed to investigate Cruz who had a 'desire to kill people,' according to several sources.
The FBI also received a tip from someone in Mississippi in September about a suspicious comment left on his YouTube channel by a 'nikolas cruz' who professed a desire to be a 'professional school shooter.'
They claimed they did not have enough information to determine if 'nikolas cruz' was a real name or a pseudonym, and the bureau said it could not justify keeping a file on the tip open, so they closed it in October.
Coral Springs Police Sgt. Jeff Heinrich speaks during a news conference at the Coral Springs police department on FridayFBI deputy director, David L. Bowdich, spoke about the case on Friday and acknowledged the bureau's failure to investigate.
A tipster provided four Instagram accounts for Cruz, which she said showed photos of sliced up animals and the firearms he had collected. Apparently Cruz had used money from a life insurance policy after his mother's death to purchase the weaponry.
'If you go onto his Instagram pages, you'll see all the guns,' the woman said.
Coral Springs Police Officer Chris Crawford displays a combat field dressing kit similar to the one he used to dress a student's wounds while responding to the shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High SchoolTwo deputies have been placed on restricted duty while they investigate how two calls regarding Cruz' dangerous behavior could have been mishandled or disregarded.
Before she died in early November, Cruz's mother, Lynda, had called the authorities numerous times over the past decade to report her son.
She said he had hit her with the plastic hose from a vacuum, and once threw her against the wall after she took his Xbox away.
He suffered from anger issues as well as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Cruz allegedly shot a neighbor's chicken with a BB gun, cut himself, and possibly swallowed gasoline in a failed suicide attempt.
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These districts fought the school-to-prison pipeline. Can Pittsburgh learn their lessons? | PublicSource
Sun, 25 Feb 2018 22:23
EDUCATION By Jeffrey Benzing | August 1, 2017Students in the Los Angeles Unified School District lead chants at a rally to protest military equipment acquired by school police. (Photo courtesy of the Labor/Community Strategy Center by Khalia Green)
Can Pittsburgh educators stop the churn of students through the school-to-prison pipeline?
As other districts embrace sweeping changes, Pittsburgh Public Schools is betting the future on slower, more modest reform.
Take Broward County, the Florida county that used to rank No. 1 at sending students to their state's juvenile justice system.
The stats troubled Broward County leaders, and they responded with a bold solution: Lower arrests by not making arrests.
After examining juvenile data, a local task force compiled 12 misdemeanor offenses that would no longer be considered police matters. Criminal mischief and vandalism, for example.
The results were quickly positive.
In 2011-12, Broward County officers made 1,062 school-related arrests. That dropped to 392 in 2015-16, putting the rate of school-related arrests among the lowest in the state.
School district officials say the strategy allowed schools to respond more constructively to normal teenage behavior, without hurting police ability to respond to serious crime.
''We're not compromising school safety. We're really saving the lives of kids,'' said Michaelle Valbrun-Pope, executive director of Student Support Initiatives for Broward County Public Schools.
Large districts across the country, including in Denver, Los Angeles and Philadelphia, have taken similar action. Pittsburgh Public Schools '-- which tallies more than 400 juvenile arrests annually and is roughly one-ninth the size of Broward County '-- is not among them.
Pittsburgh Public Schools Superintendent Anthony Hamlet talks about the school-to-prison pipeline. (Photo by John Hamilton/PublicSource)
Instead, officials at Pittsburgh Public Schools tout recent efforts to lower suspensions and expulsions, a separate disciplinary issue, by increasing social services and point to improved disciplinary guidance for administrators on when to call police for bad behavior.
''I wish we could talk about this three years from now,'' said Chief George Brown, who heads the district's safety department. ''You'll see in a good way that it's starting to be reduced.''
For now, Pittsburgh's school police respond when called. And they follow state law, which criminalizes behavior common in high schools across the commonwealth.
Abandoning arrestsThe Broward County solution seems simple.
In reality though, it took about a year of work, deep dives into data and, most importantly, a coalition of stakeholders from various, often adversarial institutions involved in justice and education.
And it wasn't an activist group spearheading change. The district itself led the conversation, with deep collaboration from local police and prosecutors, the public defender's office and the state justice system.
''Let this be a collaborative initiative and not just something the school system is doing,'' Valbrun-Pope advised districts that seek reforms.''The fact that everyone had input is what was key.''
The first step was to determine what that bad number '-- 1,062 school-related arrests '-- actually meant. Mostly (in fact, in about 70 percent of cases), the behavior was a misdemeanor. These are lower-level, nonviolent offenses that nonetheless funneled scores of students into the justice system.
The group identified 12 misdemeanor offenses, including judgment-call charges, like disorderly conduct, and more concrete behavior, like vandalism and possession of marijuana.
All are classified as nonviolent. Many are arrestable offenses in Pennsylvania, depending on the severity.
Then, the Broward County group collectively agreed that an arrest is no longer an appropriate response to these behaviors. And Valbrun-Pope considers that agreement the crucial part.
''We had firm commitment from everyone that when we faced the larger community, we were a collaborative,'' she said.
In November 2013, the district published its official agreement, signed by the stakeholders, to say that school officials '-- not police '-- have jurisdiction over those nonviolent misdemeanors. Students who commit them are provided with counseling and restorative justice resources, not court dates.
But the system still has teeth. Students who fail to participate in programming, or who repeat offenses or commit felonies, go to the justice system, and Valbrun-Pope said few students offend again.
It's a promising model, though similar agreements elsewhere took years of pressure from local activist groups.
In Denver, the school superintendent and chief of police signed a memorandum much like Broward County did in February 2013. That was a victory for Padres & J"venes Unidos, a local organization advocating racial and education equity.
But they'd been fighting racial disparities for years, first securing changes to the district's suspension and expulsion policy in 2008, then securing a change in state law in 2012 that increased disciplinary discretion in schools. The following year, Denver's education and law enforcement officials agreed that minor offenses no longer needed city police to show up and make arrests.
''The role of the officer is not to be a disciplinarian. Their role is to de-escalate,'' said Daniel Kim, state organizing director of Padres & J"venes Unidos in Colorado.
A thousand miles to the southwest, activist Manuel Criollo describes a similar years-long fight in Los Angeles.
More than 400 sworn officers serve the Los Angeles Unified School District, and under community pressure, the district signed an agreement to outline specific offenses that no longer call for police intervention.
Progress, yes. But he's troubled that police are in schools to begin with.
''It raises questions about what kind of society do you live in where you have to win the idea that it's not OK to be ticketing or arresting 12 year olds,'' said Criollo, organizing director for the Labor/Community Strategy Center.
Could reform work here?In Pittsburgh, Chief Brown and Superintendent Anthony Hamlet support reducing arrests. If local policy can be changed, they'll consider it, but they can't remove charges from state law.
''If the PA code says this is required,'' Hamlet said, ''then his hands are tied. My hands are tied.''
Kevin Bethel, a 29-year veteran of the Philadelphia Police Department, has a mission to drastically reduce school-based arrests. (Photo by Chloe Elmer/PublicSource)
But in Philadelphia, Kevin Bethel didn't see that problem.
A former deputy commissioner, Bethel spent 29 years with the Philadelphia Police Department and most recently supervised patrols across Philadelphia, including officers responsible for school arrests. What he saw '-- students bearing the trauma and embarrassment of arrest and being funneled into the justice system with no benefit to public safety '-- left him deeply troubled.
''I always ask people, 'Do you know what you're doing when you send them to me?''' Bethel said of his law enforcement role. ''We put these kids in the system, and they're never getting out.''
So he reconsidered the vast contribution the Philadelphia Police Department made to the so-called school-to-prison pipeline. After looking into the department's legal obligations, he saw that, yes, officers must respond to calls, but he didn't see a reason they were required to take someone away in handcuffs.
At his urging, the department empowered officers to use much more discretion when deciding if an arrest makes sense.
''We do a $25 ticket for marijuana in our city,'' Bethel said. For a student on school grounds, ''that was a misdemeanor that resulted in an arrest, a fingerprinting, a photographing and a court case.''
Pittsburgh has the same marijuana fine, but state criminal code classifying it as a misdemeanor applies on school grounds.
Now Bethel runs the Philadelphia Police School Diversion Program as a fellow of the Stoneleigh Foundation. Under his supervision, arrests dropped from 1,580 arrests in the 2013-14 school year to 724 the next year.
Related: Retired police officer writes about stopping the criminalization of youth in America In lieu of arrest, students are sent to social services, taking advantage of existing programs in the city. Again, the program applies to lower level offenses, nonviolent behavior that research shows is criminalized when it's committed by students of color and is considered normal teenage behavior for white youth.
In the most recent school year, Bethel said arrests dropped to 500.
''It remains to be seen if it's working,'' said Brown of the Philly program. But he wasn't aware of the details of Bethel's program when questioned about it recently.
But Brown works closely with Shawn Forbes, assistant chief probation officer for Allegheny County Juvenile Probation. Forbes calls the Philadelphia program a national model. And he has ambitions of bringing the idea across the state as part of a team that attended juvenile justice reform training at Georgetown University last year.
''The notion is, he wants to work himself out of the job,'' said Hamlet, who was not aware of Philadelphia's approach. ''I agree.''
A staffer from Pittsburgh Public Schools responsible for the district's restorative justice initiative visited Bethel's program, along with Forbes. That staffer, though, recently resigned.
District support is crucial because Forbes only sees kids after they've been arrested. He can't keep police from sending them his way.
''This is change at their level. This is nothing I can direct'...'' Forbes said. ''We need police to be on board not to arrest these kids and charge them and penetrate them to our level.''
So if he wants to enact a Pittsburgh version, he'll need the blessing of police and local school officials. It's unclear if Pittsburgh officials will buy into the details, but Brown said he had recently been accepted to a September cohort of the Georgetown University training.
Meanwhile, Brown is hopeful less radical changes will bring the district's juvenile arrest tally below its recent total of 445. Officials emphasize the importance of restorative justice practices and counseling to reduce suspensions and expulsions, and those initiatives could also reduce arrests.
Impure solutionsBroward County, a far larger district, is already well below our tally, but Valbrun-Pope knows there's still work to be done.
She still sees a troubling racial disparity in arrests. Even if numbers are lower overall, officials are struggling to figure out how to reduce the racial disparity. Los Angeles has the same problem.
Meanwhile, in Philadelphia, senior policy advocate Harold Jordan of the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania called the reforms a mixed bag.
The diversion program is ''a big step'' in the right direction, he said. But it doesn't get to the deeper debate of whether police should be in schools to begin with.
''There's this public perception that if we remove the police officers everything will go crazy,'' Jordan said. ''Even if they weren't going crazy before the police officers were there.''
And implementing reforms takes more than finding a program to copy. It's a matter of getting each part of the justice system to agree that change is needed and finding services to replace the handcuffs.
''You have to champion this,'' Bethel said. ''It won't happen by itself. We've been mired in this place for three decades now.''
Reach Jeffrey Benzing at jeff@publicsource.org. Follow him on Twitter @jabenzing.
More PublicSource stories
Parents are buying these gadgets to protect their kids from school shooters | New York Post
Mon, 26 Feb 2018 00:47
Parents are taking safety from school shooters into their own hands.
Ever since last week's massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Fla., caregivers have been stocking up on bulletproof backpacks, tracking devices and doorstops '-- anything to give children a fighting chance at surviving a gunman's attack at school.
Lisa Singer, mother to a 6-year-old girl, Dylan, preordered a Jiobit, a GPS tracker designed specifically for kids, after hearing the horrific news of the 17 slaughtered in Florida on Feb. 14.
''I was thinking about what I could buy that would help her,'' said Singer. ''I worry about her every single day but I'm not going to have her wear a bulletproof vest to school.''
Singer settled on the $99 device (plus a monthly $9.99 fee), which weighs less than four quarters. Still in the pre-order stage, the tracker signals a child's real-time location to parents via an app. Users can denote ''safe zones'' and get alerts when the child has arrived or leaves that location.
Singer, who works in real estate and lives in Midtown West, plans to attach the Jiobit to Dylan's shoe.
Jiobit Courtesy of Jiobit ''She's already been on lockdown once for a suspicious package outside her classroom,'' said Singer. ''This way, God forbid something happens, I'll know exactly where she is '... I'd spend anything to make her safer.''
She's not alone.
BulletBlocker, a company that sells bulletproof backpacks ranging in price from $199 for a girly pink one to $490, has seen sales jump 300 percent since the Florida shooting, according to owner Joe Curran, who started the company in 2007 to protect his two school-aged children after the Virginia Tech massacre.
Four days ago, Larry Gilbert, a 53-year-old from upstate Syracuse, shelled out $95 for a metal device called the ''JustinKase'' that is placed under a door and latches to the door's jamb to prevent entry. It was invented by a 17-year-old Wisconsin high school student, Justin Rivard, to keep active school shooters out of classrooms.
''My wife is a teacher at a local school and with what has gone on lately, I've become more and more concerned with her safety and her students' safety,'' said Gilbert, who has two daughters, ages 10 and 14.
''They have first aid kids and fire extinguishers, so you know what? Why not throw a little extra door security at my wife's school? Something for the piece of mind,'' he said.
''Just like a fire extinguisher, I hope it sits in the corner and is never used.''
Bulletproof backpack from BulletBlocker Bullet Blocker One New York mother, who lives in Inwood and asked that her name not be used, said she's even toying with the idea of forming a group homeschool to guarantee her two young children's safety.
''It would be like a co-op, where ten families share the cost of a teacher's salary and insurance, each paying $6,000 or $7,000,'' said the 37-year-old actress.
''It's not anything I ever thought I'd ever do,'' she admitted.
Katie Cornelis of Southbury, Conn., is still surprised by the thousands of messages she's received after posting on Facebook last week about the doorstops she gave her two nieces after the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
''Until something changes in our world, I think people are just needing to feel that they can do something,'' said Cornelis, who says if a gunman shoots out the door lock, a doorstop can keep the door shut.
Doorstops are ''cheap and effective,'' said Cornelis. ''Schools don't have budgets for armed security guards or bulletproof backpacks.''
''One mom messaged me and said, 'I bought ten of them and distributed them to people,''' she said. ''It's small but it's powerful.''
Oy Gevalt! Stoneman Douglas Survivor's Father Dinged with Trafficking (Republic of Congo '' Haiti) | Digital Empire
Thu, 01 Mar 2018 11:47
First off let's start with Cameron Casky. One of the overnight stars that boiled to the surface after the Parkland shooting. Seen here with his grandma. That's not Nellie Ohr BTW. It was a hoax by Shareblue to poison the well.
Nellie Ohr was the wife of that DOJ guy. She was caught peddling the Steele Dossier to Yahoo News.
Second, we bring up Hillary's State Department who fast-tracked orphan victims of the Haiti earthquake in 2010. Courtesy of the LA Times.
Cameron Casky's father is Jeff Kasky. He really hates how the Stoneman Douglas shooting brought unwanted attention to his backyard. This is a screenshot from KaskyMediation dot com. His profile implies that he is connected to the ''entertainment industry,'' ''law enforcement,'' and other ''lawyers.''
How do we know that this is Cameron's dad? Well Buzzfeed of course! Thanks Buzzfeed! On the bottom, Buzzfeed has provided us with Jeff Kasky's Twitter handle.
Let's see here. The picture matches. This is the perp alright.
Kasky is the Vice President of One World Adoption Services, Deerfield Beach, Florida. We take note of the 400 Fairway Dr. Address.
We find that he has filled in this information himself on his Linkdin profile.
Boom headshot. He was the Vice President from 1995 to 2015. 19 years.
In 2007, One World Adoption Services was caught intimidating a birth mother. They blackmailed her with a prison sentence if she refused to give the agency her child.
Specter in the Glades. Another company calling itself One World Adoption Services Inc emerges. This time situated at 1400 Buford Hwy. Sugar Hill, Georgia.
The executive director is Margie Snider. Oy Vey! Don't text me with your Bar Mitzvahz!
One World Adoption Services Inc operates in countries where human trafficking is rampant. Places like Haiti, Ukraine, and DRC (Republic of Congo). 1400 Buford Hwy. Sugar Hill, GA.
In 2010 to 2012, One World Adoption Services Inc was caught producing children out of thin air. But we know this is very very connected to the 83 Haitian orphans that Hillary fast-tracked in 2010. Remember, these ''adoption organizations'' operate in Haiti, Congo, and Ukraine. Amanda tells us the story.
An interesting tidbit about Amanda's story is about an employee named Kinshasa. How much do you want to bet that the employee saw the horrors of the adoption crime ring, took pity on her nieces and nephew, attempted to save them, but was then arrested by Hillary, and was falsely charged with corruption. This stuff happens.
In 2014, One World Adoption Services Inc was shut down. Thanks Rooters!
The Reuters article is dated June 20 2014. This is right around the time that Russia slapped the silly shit out of Ukraine. All that commotion in Ukraine must have interdicted a human trafficking ring connected to Hilary. Russia must have discovered something that tracked back to Obama.
Amanda returns. In 2014 Amanda returns to tell us that she is happy that One World Adoption Services Inc had their licenses revoked.
But nothing connects One World Adoption Services Inc to Jeff Kasky's One World Adoption Services right?
Kasky's operation is on Fairway Drive, Deerfield, while Margie Snider's operation (Oy Vey) is on Buford Highway, GA.
Except for this.
Margie Snider, Deerfield Beach. You gone and dun goofd.
And this. Shama lama ding dong.
Take note of the butterfly symbol on Kasky's website.
Notice anything peculiar about the butterfly?
Like this:Like Loading...
The School Ratings Scam
From Anonymous Teacher
Hi Adam,
I wanted to back up the email you read out on the last
episode, from the teacher. I work as a
teacher in a large public high school in New York State, and I can verify that
school administrators are very concerned with suspension rates, especially
among "sub-groups" such as special ed, ENL and black students or
other minorities.
We have to report those numbers not only to the state,
but to the federal government as well.
For the past three years, our school has been "cited" by the
federal government because we are suspending too many black students. This is a major concern for our
administrators... I'm not sure if the penalty is financial or what... but they
are scared of being cited again. As a
result, our school has been trying to implement a strategy of "restorative
justice." We teachers are having a hard time understanding what this means
or how it works.
So far our school is still enforcing a zero tolerance
policy on any violent act committed by students, but we currently have good
people in charge. I would worry if we
had some "bad actors" in charge, like it appears was the case in
Anyway I LOVE the show!!!
Congratulations on ten years.
Anonymous Teacher
2018 Mid Terms
California Democrats Decline To Endorse Another Term For Sen. Dianne Feinstein : NPR
Sun, 25 Feb 2018 21:18
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., speaks at the 2018 California Democrats State Convention on Saturday in San Diego. Denis Poroy/APhide caption
toggle captionDenis Poroy/AP Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., speaks at the 2018 California Democrats State Convention on Saturday in San Diego.
Denis Poroy/AP Updated at 1:10 p.m. ET
Aversion of this storywas originally posted by member station KQED.
Before U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein could finish her speech at the California Democratic Party convention Saturday, the music began playing to indicate she had used her allotted time.
She kept talking. The music got louder. "I guess my time is up," Feinstein conceded as what sounded like a 1940s movie score continued playing.
Without missing a beat, supporters of her opponent, state Sen. Kevin de Le"n echoed her statement in a chant: "Your time is up! Your time is up!" '-- a not-so-subtle reference to Feinstein's 25 years in the U.S. Senate.
It was a sign of things to come. The grass-roots Democratic activists gathered at the party's annual convention in San Diego this weekend implicitly rebuked the state's senior U.S. senator by denying her the party's endorsement for her re-election bid.
Feinstein finished far behind de Le"n, the top Democrat in the state Senate. De Le"n received 54 percent of delegates' votes to just 37 percent for Feinstein. It takes 60 percent to receive an endorsement.
While the lack of an endorsement certainly won't keep Feinstein off the ballot, it's a sign that grass-roots Democrats are eager to supplant leaders who are seen as too moderate and willing to compromise.
Democratic Party activists have never really been Feinstein's people. In 1990, when she was running for governor, she came to the party convention and expressed her support for the death penalty, eliciting boos from the liberal crowd. She lost the party endorsement to John Van de Kamp but got the nomination anyway, ultimately losing the November election to Pete Wilson.
Feinstein has always been a little to the right of where the party's activists are. Now, at age 84 and in her final campaign, Feinstein is once again at odds with progressives, despite her efforts to move left by more strongly opposing President Trump's agenda.
She said the Senate Appropriations Committee, which she sits on, would never approve $25 billion for Trump's wall along the Mexico boarder. But minutes later, de Le"n's team sent texts noting that Feinstein had just voted for exactly that as part of the "Common Sense Coalition" immigration plan that failed to get through the Senate.
The bill would not only have provided a path to citizenship for so-called Dreamers, people in the U.S. illegally who were brought here as children, but it also included $25 billion for the wall.
Feinstein also reminded the crowd of her longstanding leadership on gun control, including her success against long odds at getting an assault weapons ban signed into law in 1994.
In his speech to the convention, de Le"n reminded the crowd that his opponent hasn't always been a reliable liberal. "Democrats, you'll never have to guess where I stand," de Le"n said before noting that he has championed issues such as raising the minimum wage, single-payer health care and the environment.
"Moral clarity is always doing the right thing when no one is watching," he said. "And it should never take a primary challenge to stand up for California values."
As leader of the state Senate, De Le"n has had his own problems of late, most notably criticism of his slow response to the sexual harassment scandal in Sacramento. And while an endorsement from the Democratic Party would have provided a boost, his campaign is also overshadowed by Feinstein's huge advantages in name recognition and campaign cash. A recent poll from the Public Policy Institute of California had her leading de Le"n by 46 percent to 17 percent.
Despite the boost for De Le"n, the vote is in some ways a loss for him. Democratic campaign strategist Katie Merrill says he needed the endorsement much more than Feinstein.
"He was such a narrow path to the Senate, and he had to have this Democratic Party endorsement," she said. "This was the one strategic thing he need to accomplish here and he did not accomplish it."
Hillary Clinton Told FBI's Mueller To Deliver Uranium To Russians In 2009 "Secret Plane-Side Tarmac Meeting" | Zero Hedge
Mon, 26 Feb 2018 12:30
Authored by Shepard Ambellas via Intellihub.com,
Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton facilitated the transfer a highly enriched uranium (HEU) previously confiscated by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) during a 2006 ''nuclear smuggling sting operation involving one Russian national and several Georgian accomplices,'' a newly leaked classified cable shows.
So-called ''background'' information was provided in the cable which gave vague details on a 2006 nuclear smuggling sting operation in which the U.S. government took possession of some HEU previously owned by the Russians.
"Over two years ago Russia requested a ten-gram sample of highly enriched uranium (HEU) seized in early 2006 in Georgia during a nuclear smuggling sting operation involving one Russian national and several Georgian accomplices. The seized HEU was transferred to U.S. custody and is being held at a secure DOE facility."
The secret ''action request,'' dated Aug. 17, 2009, was sent out by Secretary of State Clinton and was addressed to the United States Ambassador to Georgia Embassy Tbilisi, the Russian Embassy, and Ambassador John Beyrle.
It proposed that FBI Director Robert Mueller be the one that personally conduct the transfer a 10-gram sample of HEU to Russian law enforcement sources during a secret ''plane-side'' meeting on a ''tarmac'' in the early fall of 2009.
"We require that the transfer of this material be conducted at the airport, on the tarmac near by the plane, upon arrival of the Director's aircraft."
The FBI Director was originally scheduled to 'return' a sample from the DOE stockpile to the Russians in April but the trip was postponed until September 21.
Paragraph number 6 of the leaked cable confirms Dir. Mueller's Sept. 21 flight to Moscow.
''(S/Rel Russia) Action request: Embassy Moscow is requested to alert at the highest appropriate level the Russian Federation that FBI Director Mueller plans to deliver the HEU sample once he arrives to Moscow on September 21. Post is requested to convey information in paragraph 5 with regard to chain of custody, and to request details on Russian Federation's plan for picking up the material. Embassy is also requested to reconfirm the April 16 understanding from the FSB verbally that we will have no problem with the Russian Ministry of Aviation concerning Mueller's September 21 flight clearance.''
But possibly even more shocking is the fact that the State Department wanted the transfer of the HEU to take place on an ''airport tarmac'' which is rather reminiscent of the infamous Loretta Lynch/Bill Clinton meeting which occurred on a Phoenix, Arizona, tarmac back in June of 2016.
Past dealings with the Russians were also mentioned in the cable, signifying that previous deals have taken place.
Aussie Complaints Headed to FBI on Clinton Foundation's Dealings Down Under
Tue, 27 Feb 2018 19:49
An Australian investigative journalist who is a retired police detective said Tuesday he has been asked to provide the FBI with details about multiple allegations of mishandling millions of dollars contributed to the Clinton Foundation by the Aussie government.
''I have been asked to provide the FBI with further and better particulars about allegations regarding improper donations to the CF funded by Australian taxpayers,'' Michael Smith told LifeZette.
At the center of Smith's complaints are former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, and multiple Australian government officials, including senior diplomat Alexander Downer, that government's high commissioner to the United Kingdom.
Downer hit U.S. headlines recently when he was reported to have told the FBI of a May 2016 conversation he had with George Papadopoulos, then a campaign aide to President Donald Trump. Downer told U.S. law enforcement officials that Papadopoulos told him Russia had ''dirt'' on Hillary Clinton.
The New York Times claimed in its Dec. 30, 2017, story that the information Downer gave the FBI was a major factor in the bureau's decision to investigate allegations of collusion between Russian interests and the Trump campaign. Papadopoulos pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI last year.
The materials Smith is giving the FBI focus on a 2006 memorandum of understanding between the Australian government and the Clinton Foundation's Clinton HIV/AIDs Initiative (CHAI). Smith claims the foundation received a ''$25M financial advantage dishonestly obtained by deception'' as a result of actions by Bill Clinton and Downer, who was then Australia's minister of foreign affairs.
Smith claims the foundation received a ''$25M financial advantage dishonestly obtained by deception.''
Also included in the Smith materials are evidence he believes shows ''corrupt October 2006 backdating of false tender advertisements purporting to advertise the availability of a $15 million contract to provide HIV/AIDS services in Papua New Guinea on behalf of the Australian government after an agreement was already in place to pay the Clinton Foundation and/or associates.''
Related: Here's Why There May Be No More Free Passes for the Clinton Foundation
A third complaint concerns what Smith describes as ''t he $10 million financial advantage dishonestly obtained by deception between April 1, 2008, and Sept. 25, 2008, at Washington, D.C., New York, New York, and Canberra Australia involving an MOU between the Australian government, the ''Clinton Climate Initiative,'' and the purported ''Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute Inc.''
A spokesman for the Clinton Foundation did not respond to LifeZette's request for comment early Tuesday.
Senior editor Mark Tapscott can be reached at mark.tapscott@lifezette.com. Follow him on Twitter.'‹
(photo credit, homepage image: Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton'..., CC 0, by Tech. Sgt. Jacob N. Bailey; photo credit, article image: Hillary Clinton, CC BY-SA 2.0, by Gage Skidmore)
Last Modified: January 16, 2018, 6:02 pm
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War on Men
Incivility at Work: Is 'Queen Bee Syndrome' Getting Worse? | UANews
Mon, 26 Feb 2018 21:26
The phenomenon of women discriminating against other women in the workplace '-- particularly as they rise in seniority '-- has long been documented as the "queen bee syndrome." As women have increased their ranks in the workplace, most will admit to experiencing rude behavior and incivility.
Who is at fault for dishing out these mildly deviant behaviors? Has the syndrome grown more pervasive?
"Studies show women report more incivility experiences overall than men, but we wanted to find out who was targeting women with rude remarks," said Allison Gabriel, assistant professor of management and organizations in the University of Arizona's Eller College of Management.
Gabriel and her co-authors set out to answer that question across three studies. Men and women who were employed full time answered questions about the incivility they experienced at work during the last month. The questions were about co-workers who put them down or were condescending, made demeaning or derogatory remarks, ignored them in a meeting or addressed them in unprofessional terms. Each set of questions was answered twice, once for male co-workers and once for female co-workers.
"Across the three studies, we found consistent evidence that women reported higher levels of incivility from other women than their male counterparts," Gabriel said. "In other words, women are ruder to each other than they are to men, or than men are to women.
"This isn't to say men were off the hook or they weren't engaging in these behaviors," she noted. "But when we compared the average levels of incivility reported, female-instigated incivility was reported more often than male-instigated incivility by women in our three studies."
Participants also were asked to complete trait inventories of their personalities and behaviors to determine if there were any factors that contributed to women being treated uncivilly. The research showed that women who defied gender norms by being more assertive and dominant at work were more likely to be targeted by their female counterparts, compared to women who exhibited fewer of those traits.
The researchers also found that when men acted assertive and warm '-- in general, not considered the norm for male behavior '-- they reported lower incivility from their male counterparts. This suggests men actually get a social credit for partially deviating from their gender stereotypes, a benefit that women are not afforded.
Gabriel, whose co-authors are Marcus Butts from Southern Methodist University, Zhenyu Yuan of the University of Iowa, Rebecca Rosen of Indiana University and Michael Sliter of First Person Consulting, said the research is important not only from the standpoint of individual employee health but also in terms of organizational management.
Evidence emerged in the three studies that companies may face a greater risk of losing female employees who experience female-instigated incivility, as they reported less satisfaction at work and increased intentions to quit their current jobs in response to these unpleasant experiences. Paired with estimates that incivility can cost organizations an estimated $14,000 per employee, this presents a problem for organizations.
Gabriel noted that the findings are an opportunity for companies to re-evaluate their cultures and how they address this issue.
"Companies should be asking, 'What kinds of interventions can be put in place to really shift the narrative and reframe it?'" Gabriel said. "Making workplace interactions more positive and supportive for employees can go a long way toward creating a more positive, healthier environment that helps sustain the company in the long run. Organizations should make sure they also send signals that the ideas and opinions of all employees are valued, and that supporting others is crucial for business success '-- that is, acting assertively should not be viewed negatively, but as a positive way for employees to voice concerns and speak up."
The study, "Further Understanding Incivility in the Workplace: The Effects of Gender, Agency and Communion," is forthcoming in the Journal of Applied Psychology.
Doctors Have Finally Ruled Menstrual Cramps As Painful As Heart Attacks
Thu, 01 Mar 2018 11:23
Although we know that menstrual cramps/period pain/whatever you choose to call it, can feel like you're being repeatedly punched in the stomach from the inside out, explaining this to other people (read: generally men) can feel like a lost cause.
Worried about being dismissively diagnosed by coworkers and friends with female "conditions" such as being "delicate," "dramatic," or "oversharing," more often than not, we suck it up and suffer in silence. Add it to the list...
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But not anymore. Menstrual cramps, or Dysmenorrhea as it's technically called, has finally been ruled as painful as having a heart attack. Professor of reproductive health at University College London, John Guillebaud, told Quartz that patients have described the cramping pain as "almost as bad as having a heart attack."
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Although we're not overjoyed that a dude finally acknowledged period pain can be a condition so debilitating its only comparison is a near death experience, we'll take the improvement on the previous medical advice that recommended Ibuprofen as "good enough" to prescribe.
In fact, ignoring women's pain has been a concerning medical practise for, well, forever, with research showing that doctors generally take it less seriously then men's. Hell, the word hysterical stems from hystericus meaning "of the womb."
Thanks for that one society.
Here's to a more open conversation around menstruation and a society that acknowledges the power of the period instead of ignoring it.
John, you've made our good list.
Angela Merkel admits there are 'no-go' areas in Germany | Daily Mail Online
Thu, 01 Mar 2018 10:51
Chancellor said there are parts of her country police and others fear going to She argued a zero-tolerance approach to crime must not tolerate such areas Her spokesman Steffen Seibert declined to name the specific locations todayHe said Merkel's words speak for themselves, leaving some officials speechless By Sebastian Murphy-bates For Mailonline
Published: 12:55 EST, 28 February 2018 | Updated: 00:29 EST, 1 March 2018
Chancellor Angela Merkel has claimed there are 'no-go areas' in Germany, leaving ministers speechless.
Officials have previously dismissed the notion there are places in the country that police and other outsiders can't visit.
But Merkel said she favours a zero-tolerance policy on crime that includes preventing no-go areas, which she called 'areas where nobody dares to go' in an interview with n-tv on Monday.
The German leader has spoken of no-go areas in the country but has not named specific locations after Monday's remarks
The chancellor said some areas are so bad that police, along with other outsiders fear entering them
'There are such areas and one has to call them by their name and do something about them,' she said.
Asked to name the areas, Merkel's spokesman Steffen Seibert told reporters today 'the chancellor's words speak for themselves.'
Interior Ministry spokesman Johannes Dimroth likewise declined to identify no-go areas, saying security was a matter for local not federal authorities.
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EXCLUSIVE: Trump's Facebook Engagement Declined By 45 Percent Following Algorithm Change | Breitbart
Thu, 01 Mar 2018 11:21
In January, Facebook introduced a major change to its newsfeed algorithm. In a post, CEO Mark Zuckerberg claimed that the change aimed to give greater emphasis to posts from ''friends, family and groups'' and less to ''businesses, brands and media.'' The change was followed by a promise to promote what Facebook calls ''broadly trusted'' news sources on the platform.
In the month following the algorithm change, engagement on Donald Trump's Facebook posts dropped sharply. Total engagement dropped by approximately 45 percent, according to data from leading social media analytics firm NewsWhip. In an email to Breitbart News, a representative of Newswhip confirmed that Breitbart's reading of the data was accurate.
Average engagement on Trump's Facebook posts following the algorithm change also dropped significantly, by approximately 38 percent.
The decline in engagement on Trump's Facebook cannot be attributed to a drop in posting frequency on the part of Trump. In the 13 days prior to Facebook's algorithm change (28 Dec '' 10 Jan), Trump made 67 posts, with no significant drop in engagement. After the change, Trump posted at roughly the same rate '' between 59 and 67 posts in each 13-day period, but was still met with the dramatic decline in engagement seen above.
When compared to high-profile Democratic political figures, Trump's engagement appears to have been hit particularly badly. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders do not appear to have suffered a comparable decline in Facebook engagement.
Even if they did face a similar decline, it would not be comparable in terms of impact. As the graph above shows, they are far less successful on Facebook than President Trump, which means they have far less to lose. Currently, any change that reduces the reach or engagement of public figures on Facebook will disproportionately affect Trump when compared to public figures with much lower engagement.
In a comment to Breitbart News, Facebook appeared to acknowledge that their algorithm change might have caused Trump's engagement numbers to fall. A Facebook representative highlighted the following section of their post announcing the algorithm change:
Pages may see their reach, video watch time and referral traffic decrease. The impact will vary from Page to Page, driven by factors including the type of content they produce and how people interact with it.
Facebook's algorithm change came after a year of pressure from the media, politicians, and employees inside Facebook following the election of Donald Trump. Facebook was accused of helping Trump win the election, spreading Russian propaganda and fake news, and creating partisan echo chambers.
In a piece entitled ''Inside Facebook's Two Years of Hell,'' Wired highlighted the threat from legislators with a foreboding quote from Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein. ''You've created these platforms, and now they're being misused, and you have to be the ones to do something about it '... or we will.''
Mark Zuckerberg drew curiosity from the media when he said recent changes to the platform would cause users to spend less time on Facebook '-- and that this was intentional. Why would any social media company want users to spend less time on their platform? At the time, Slate suggested that the company had been so battered by a year of public scrutiny over its political influence that it was now choosing to abdicate that influence by making the platform less lucrative for political figures.
There's only one snag '' punishing public figures across their platform will disproportionately affect those who rely on it the most. In an environment where the mainstream media is stacked against their movements, that is usually going to be populist candidates like Donald Trump.
Facebook can expect scrutiny given Donald Trump's appointment of Brad Parscale as his 2020 election campaign chief. Parscale was the Trump campaign's digital guru in 2016, and credited Facebook as the crucial factor in Trump's victory. If Trump's reach and engagement are being disproportionately cut back on the world's biggest social network, it's unlikely to escape his notice.
You can follow Allum Bokhari on Twitter, Gab.ai and add him on Facebook. Email tips and suggestions to allumbokhari@protonmail.com.
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Do Higher Prices Make Food Taste Better? Science Says Yes | HuffPost
Mon, 26 Feb 2018 22:46
Which of these plates looks like a better meal to you?
According to science, you'd probably be happier with meal No. 2, since it's more expensive. A new study out of Cornell University found diners tend to rate the quality of their food higher if they pay more for it, and people who pay less for the same exact meal report feeling more guilty, bloated and uncomfortable.
''We were surprised by the results. Especially, we found that pricing has little impact on how much one eats, but a huge impact on how one interprets the experience,'' Brian Wansink, Ph.D., a co-author of the study and professor of consumer behavior at Cornell University, told The Huffington Post.
The researchers offered 139 diners an all-you-can-eat buffet at an upscale Italian restaurant for either $4 or $8 dollars. Though the diners ate the same food and the same amount, those who paid $8 rated their meal an average of 11 percent higher. The $4 diners were more likely to feel guilty and that they'd overeaten.
''If the food is there, you are going to eat it, but the pricing very much affects how you are going to feel about your meal and how you will evaluate the restaurant," Ozge Sigirci, one of the researchers who conducted the study, told Newswise.
The study adds to the body of research around how to maximize restaurants' bottom lines while managing customers' waistlines. Price cuts can actually hurt people's perception of a restaurant and cause diners to feel their meal was less worthwhile, the researchers found.
''Simply cutting the price of food at a restaurant dramatically affects how customers evaluate and appreciate the food," Wansink told Newswise.
For another example of this phenomenon, just consider lobster. Despite the fact that the price of lobster has plummeted to record lows, you'll rarely see those savings passed on in a restaurant. James Surowiecki, writing for the New Yorker, explains this paradox:
"High prices became an important part of lobster's image. And, as with many luxury goods, expense is closely linked to enjoyment. Studies have shown that people prefer inexpensive wines in blind taste tests, but that they actually get more pleasure from drinking wine they are told is expensive. If lobster were priced like chicken, we might enjoy it less ... It's a surprisingly complex attempt to both respond to and shape what customers want."
Putting an expensive item like lobster on the menu can also make it easier for restaurants to sell mid-tier items by making them seem cheaper by comparison. And when it comes to steep price cuts, diners can often react with suspicion.
The same phenomenon infamously occurs with wine. Knowing that people don't want to look cheap by ordering the least expensive bottle, restaurants will strategically mark up their "second cheapest" wine. The folks at College Humor even took on this well-documented economic trend with their trademark wit in a video:
''If you're a consumer and want to eat at a buffet, the best thing to do is eat at the most expensive buffet you can afford. You won't eat more, but you'll have a better experience overall,'' Wansink told Newswise.
Ryan Seacrest Sexual Abuse Allegations: E! Stylist Goes Into Detail '' Variety
Mon, 26 Feb 2018 23:56
Korean Stage Director Lee Yoon-taek Accused of Rape''As proud as I am and as strong as a woman as I am, as smart as I am and as much work as I've done with therapists, it really affected me,'' Hardy told Variety of the abuse she said Seacrest subjected her to.
Seacrest has repeatedly refuted Hardy's claims.
The Nov. 10 letter from Hardy's attorney '-- Howard King of King, Holmes, Paterno & Soriano, LLP '-- asked Seacrest and E! to ''come up with a plan to address the treatment of all women at the networks and to take responsibility for the wrongful treatment'' of Hardy, and threatened ''more formal action'' if the request were ignored. On Nov. 17, Seacrest took the allegation public, announcing in a statement that E! was investigating a misconduct complaint against him made by ''someone that worked as a wardrobe stylist for me nearly a decade ago at E! News,'' and calling her claims ''reckless allegations.'' His statement effectively outed Hardy, who was known to those close to Seacrest and within E! as his longtime stylist.
Three months later, E! issued a statement saying that its investigation had concluded and found ''insufficient evidence to support the claims against Seacrest.'' The investigation was conducted by an outside counsel hired by NBCUniversal.
''Total exasperation was my definite feeling when I heard about it,'' Hardy, who was interviewed three times by the independent investigator, told Variety. ''I felt like by the third interview, it was obvious the investigator was whitewashing it for Seacrest's side.'' Hardy claimed that the investigator never contacted four witnesses she had referred him to who could corroborate elements of her story.
''E!'s investigation was extremely comprehensive and thorough,'' an E! spokesperson told Variety. ''Over the course of a two month process, our outside counsel interviewed more than two dozen people regarding the allegations, including multiple separate meetings with the claimant. The investigator is an attorney with nearly 20 years experience and is highly regarded professionally. Any claims that question the legitimacy of this investigation are completely baseless.''
Seacrest's attorney, Andrew Baum, told Variety, ''It is upsetting to us that Variety is electing to run a 'story' about untrue allegations that were made against my client, after they were told that the accuser threatened to make those false claims against him unless he paid her $15 million. At that time, the claimant threatened to issue a demonstrably false press statement unless she was paid. Instead, my client proactively and publicly denied the claims and agreed to fully cooperate with E!'s investigation about the matter.''
Baum continued, ''On January 31st the network notified us that their independent third-party investigation had concluded that there was insufficient evidence to support her claims, effectively, clearing my client's name. It's telling that after my client refused to pay her money, and the E! investigation resulted as it did, that she is now coming forward to share her debunked story to the press.''
Hardy's attorney told Variety that neither he nor Hardy has asked Seacrest, E!, or the cable channel's corporate parents for any money. Seacrest's representatives provided no evidence that a monetary request was made.
Hardy became Seacrest's personal stylist on ''E! News'' in 2007. She lived across the street at the time from Seacrest's personal assistant, and had worked with the host previously on a Vanity Fair shoot with Seacrest and the ''American Idol'' cast. Hardy said that Seacrest's assistant approached her about the job, which would provide steady pay and regular hours '-- 10 a.m.-2 p.m. daily. As a single mom, Hardy considered it a godsend.
''I couldn't believe it was happening,'' Hardy told Variety of the moment when she was offered the position. ''I didn't have to worry anymore. I was going to get a regular paycheck every week.''
The letter from Hardy's attorney described the bond shared by Seacrest and his team at the time Hardy began styling the host as family-like. According to Hardy, Seacrest's assistant took an interest in her. The two women attended parties and concerts together, and Seacrest's assistant would inquire often about Hardy's personal life. Those questions allegedly gave way soon after to hints from the same assistant that Seacrest was interested in her romantically.
According to the November letter, Seacrest soon began asking her to be with him at times when her presence was obviously not required. On multiple occasions, Hardy said, she traveled at Seacrest's request to his home to dress him, and also to the ''American Idol'' set, where he had another stylist. At one point, she said, he asked her through his assistant to come to his house after 8 p.m. to tie a necktie for him, a request Hardy refused. She said that when she expressed to Seacrest's assistant concern about the propriety of going to the host's house alone in the middle of the night, the assistant encouraged her to bring her young daughter with her as a form of protection.
Hardy claimed via the November letter that by the end of her first year working at E! that Seacrest's assistant was often telling her about the host's interest in her, saying he ''is really into you'' and ''has a crush on you.'' Hardy said that she declined Seacrest's request while prepping for the 2007-08 ''New Year's Rockin' Eve'' special to ''take a nap'' with him.
According to the letter, Seacrest's behavior became more physical and aggressive beginning with an incident that took place in his E! dressing room '-- Hardy said in an interview that the event took place in 2007 '-- in which Seacrest, while wearing only underwear, wrapped her in what the letter described as ''a bear hug,'' and did not let go until his assistant walked in. The letter claimed that while working for Seacrest, he hugged her in his underwear more than 10 times.
Hardy said in an interview that early in her tenure, Seacrest would often give her gifts that felt excessive, such as a $1,000 spa gift certificate. On another occasion, she said Seacrest, sitting in a director's chair in his underwear, told Hardy, who was alone with him in his dressing room, ''I just don't think you're attracted to me,'' to which Hardy said she responded, ''I'm attracted to my paycheck.'' She described Seacrest as near-tearful during the exchange.
''I didn't know how to deal with it,'' she told Variety. ''I really didn't. I was battling finally being in a decent financial position to breathe and be a mom, that I didn't have to be freaking out all the time, and then dealing with this infantile celebrity person who was testing me on every level and manipulating me and knew that I was in a vulnerable position.''
In 2008, according to the November letter, while walking to the set of ''E! News,'' Seacrest slid his hand under Hardy's crotch. In an interview, Hardy said that he slid his hand in from behind, cupped her crotch, then quickly pulled it away again. Seacrest, according to the letter, then asked her ''Oh my god, are you going to sue me?'' to which Hardy responded, ''not if I stay employed.''
A former co-worker of Hardy's at ''E! News'' told Variety that Hardy described the incident to him at the time that it allegedly occurred, and also told him about several times when Seacrest hugged her against her will. He said that he saw Seacrest trip Hardy on numerous occasions, and that he also saw Seacrest multiple times push Hardy's head into his crotch while she was tying his shoes.
The same co-worker, who was interviewed by E! investigators, also told Variety that he witnessed two incidents of assault by Seacrest that he and Hardy, in separate accounts, allege took place in 2009.
The first was said to have occurred as Seacrest and crew members were leaving an E! set, where Hardy '-- in the letter and in interviews '-- and her coworker claim that Seacrest forcefully slapped Hardy's buttock. Hours later at her home, Hardy looked at her buttock in the mirror, found a red welt, and photographed it. Hardy provided the photo to E! investigators and to Variety. Her attorney commissioned an analysis of the photo's metadata, which confirmed that the picture was taken on the same day on which Hardy claimed Seacrest struck her buttock.
Hardy '-- in the letter and in interviews '-- and the same coworker said that a month later they were in Seacrest's suite at the Roosevelt Hotel in Hollywood where Hardy was helping him dress for the Academy Awards. According to separate accounts from both, Seacrest, again in his underwear, this time with a visible erection, grabbed Hardy, threw her onto the hotel-room bed, and climbed on top of her, rubbing his erection against her '-- stopping only when Hardy's co-worker began yelling at him.
What Hardy characterizes as the most egregious offense allegedly occurred on the set of ''E! News'' in 2010. Hardy was, at the time, dating a high-powered entertainment attorney '-- toward the beginning of a relationship that would last three years. According to the letter and interviews with Hardy, as she stood in front of Seacrest, tying his tie, Seacrest inquired about the relationship, asking, ''Have you f''ked him yet?'' When Hardy responded by telling Seacrest not to ask her such questions, Seacrest allegedly reached down and tightly grabbed her vagina. She retreated in tears to a bathroom, where, she said, a production assistant approached her a few minutes later offering to walk her to human resources, but warning her that she would probably be fired if she reported Seacrest's behavior. Hardy declined the offer.
Two coworkers who were not present at the time of the incident and one friend of Hardy unconnected to ''E! News'' told Variety that they recalled Hardy telling them about Seacrest grabbing her vagina at the time that it allegedly occurred. A non-work associate said that Hardy told him about Seacrest grabbing her vagina and forcing himself on her at the Roosevelt Hotel. Another associate said that Hardy told her near the time that the incidents allegedly occurred about Seacrest grabbing her vagina and slapping her buttock.
According to the letter, Hardy was asked in 2013 to meet with human-resources executives who inquired about the nature of her relationship with Seacrest '-- Hardy emphasized that she never sought out HR, but that HR sought her out '-- and whether it was physical. ''I was very proud to say 'No, I don't [have a physical relationship with Seacrest],''' Hardy told Variety. ''I never touched him, I never kissed him, I never f''ked him, nothing. But I said, 'But he touched me.'''
Hardy said to Variety that she told the executives that Seacrest had grabbed her vagina on set, and described other alleged abuse to them. ''I was in there for hours. I told them everything.''
Two weeks later, Hardy said, she was told that her employment at ''E! News'' would end one week after the upcoming Academy Awards ceremony. She had no further in-person contact with Seacrest. On the day of the Oscars, she was directed to go to an empty hotel room, where she hung Seacrest's tuxedo, then left. She did not dress him.
Hardy told Variety that Seacrest called her two months later offering vague assurances that the two would work together. Hardy expressed skepticism. Seacrest never offered her any future employment.
Since her departure from E!, Hardy has left the entertainment industry and now works for a San Francisco-based tech company. Seacrest '-- already a ubiquitous host and powerful television producer at the time that Hardy worked for him '-- has seen his star continue to rise. Last year, he became the new co-host of Kelly Ripa's widely watched ABC daytime talk show, renamed ''Live With Kelly & Ryan.'' This year he is returning to the role that launched him to national notoriety as host of ''American Idol,'' currently filming in Los Angeles and set to premiere in March on ABC. His production company has an overall deal with ABC Studios.
Hardy sought therapy in the years since leaving ''E! News.'' (''I've seen every shrink in town,'' she said.) Hardy felt emboldened to raise the issue of the alleged abuse she suffered '-- first in private with E!, then speaking to Variety after Seacrest made the allegation public and the cable channel's investigation was completed '-- as she saw coverage of disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein and the #MeToo movement begin to dominate the news cycle. She was shocked and insulted when, following the E! investigation, the Hollywood Reporter published a guest column under the headline ''What Happened After I Was Wrongly Accused of Harassment,'' in which Seacrest wrote that ''an independent third party found the claims to be unsubstantiated and that there was no evidence of wrongdoing on my part.'' The E! statement said that the investigator found ''insufficient evidence.'' Seacrest's assertion that no evidence of wrongdoing was presented further encouraged Hardy to speak out about the experience that she had only discussed privately during her E! years.
''I came from a freelance life, and it was scary,'' she told Variety. ''It was hard to raise a child and not know where your next check was going to come from, and if that gig was going to take me out of town for two weeks. It was a better deal all the way around, even if I was being abused. It's sick to say, but it was true.''
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Street Artist Erects Three Billboards Over Hollywood: "Oscar for Biggest Pedophile Goes to ..." | Hollywood Reporter
Thu, 01 Mar 2018 10:43
7:16 AM PST 2/28/2018 by Paul Bond
With a nod to the Oscar-nominated Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, conservative street artist Sabo has hijacked three billboards in Hollywood to attack the entertainment industry for allegedly shielding pedophiles.
Reminiscent of the signage in the Martin McDonagh film, which is up for seven Oscars including best picture, with black text on a field of red, three consecutive billboards in Hollywood sprang up Wednesday, each calling out the industry.
''And the Oscar for biggest pedophile goes to'...'' reads one sign.
Another says, ''We all knew and still no arrests.''
A third billboard reads: ''Name names on stage or shut the hell up!''
Until the artist, who goes by the name Sabo, took over the signage early Wednesday, the billboards were legitimate advertisements. Sabo manufactured fake overlays measuring as large as 48 feet across by 14 feet high and hired a crew of six men to help with installation, he told The Hollywood Reporter.
The first of the three massive signs appeared near the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and La Brea Avenue in Hollywood and another was a few hundred yards north. Still another appeared a few hundred yards from that one, mimicking the arrangement in the film, where three signs appeared in a row alongside a highway.
Sabo has posted faux ads attacking Hollywood on other occasions, but he said he considers the hijacking of three giant billboards on a single day his largest mission yet. The last time he took over a billboard was in November when he altered a sign for The Greatest Showman to make it appear like Sen. Al Franken was grabbing at Zendaya, who starred as a trapeze artist in the movie.
Franken has since resigned from the senate under allegations that he sexually harassed women, and nearly 100 other men in the entertainment industry also have been publicly accused of sexual misconduct since claims were made against Harvey Weinstein nearly five months ago.
Sabo says his signage is meant to criticize those who allegedly enabled sexual harassment with their silence, and to tell celebrities they should refrain from preaching during their Oscar acceptance speeches '-- for this one year, at least.
Three Billboards, the movie, is considered a frontrunner for best picture at Sunday's Oscars, which will be held at the Dolby Theatre a few miles from where Sabo took over the three signs Wednesday.
In the film, Frances McDormand plays the mom of a raped and murdered daughter who posts billboards with angry messages aimed at the cops in her small town because she thinks they have not done enough to pursue whoever assaulted and killed her daughter. ''Still no arrests?'' reads one of the billboards in the film '-- with black letters on a solid red background.
War on Weed
Where Pedestrian Deaths Are Up, Is Marijuana to Blame? - The New York Times
Thu, 01 Mar 2018 12:58
But this year, the group also called attention to the numbers for states that legalized recreational marijuana between 2012 and 2016 '-- Alaska, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Washington '-- as well as the District of Columbia, which did likewise.
In Alaska and Maine, pedestrian deaths are so few that any changes may not be statistically sufficient to identify a clear connection to the drug. Even in Colorado, a 12 percent jump in pedestrian deaths meant the total rose to 37 in the first half of last year, from 33 in 2016. Massachusetts was the only state in the group where such deaths decreased '-- by one.
''I'd be cautious about drawing a direct link to any potential cause,'' said Jason Levine, executive director at the Center for Auto Safety, an advocacy group in Washington, D.C. ''But it's certainly worth trying to figure out why those numbers are what they are.''
Among the unanswered questions is whether and to what extent any link reflects marijuana use by drivers, pedestrians or both.
Russ Rader, a spokesman for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, said his organization had not studied links between marijuana use and severe crashes that involve deaths. But he said insurance claims from all collisions, including fender benders, were about 3 percent higher in states that have legalized marijuana than in nearby states.
Mr. Retting said the data he had examined suggested that increasing smartphone use might also be contributing to the rise in pedestrian fatalities. In 2015 and 2016, the total rose roughly 10 percent each year.
''It's never increased that much, going all the way back to the 1970s,'' he said.
The number of miles driven and the number of walking trips that people take have increased, but not enough to account for a 10 percent jump in pedestrian deaths, Mr. Retting said. At the same time, the number of smartphones in use more than tripled from 2010 to 2016, he said.
''What this tells me is that here is a metric worth keeping an eye on,'' he said.
The governors' association, which refers to itself as ''the states' voice on highway safety,'' found that five states '-- California, Texas, Florida, New York and Arizona '-- accounted for 43 percent of all pedestrian traffic deaths. The states with the most pedestrian fatalities per 100,000 people were Arizona, New Mexico, Delaware, Louisiana and Florida.
While the overall number of pedestrian deaths in the first six months of 2017 was lower than in the 2016 period, the group said it projected that the rate for all of 2017 would be ''essentially unchanged'' from the year before.
A version of this article appears in print on February 28, 2018, on Page B2 of the New York edition with the headline: Pedestrian Deaths Rose In States Where Pot Is Legal, a Study Finds.
Continue reading the main story
War on Rabbits
MPI receives application for new strain of rabbit virus | MPI - Ministry for Primary Industries. A New Zealand Government Department.
Thu, 01 Mar 2018 13:37
Date: 06 Nov 2017
Media contact: MPI media team
Telephone: 029 894 0328
Email: media@mpi.govt.nz
The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has received an application to approve the use of Rabbit Haemorrhagic Virus Disease RHDV1 ''K5 for pest rabbit management.
RHDV (Czech strain) already exists in New Zealand, after it was introduced in 1997. This 2017 application is for a Korean strain that isn't currently found here.
MPI has notified the application under the Agricultural Compound Veterinary and Medicines Act (ACVM), and will consider any submissions before making any decision on the data that has been submitted in support of the registration.
"We are keen to hear from the public, including pet owners. The consultation closes on 14 December 2017," says Allan Kinsella, MPI Director Systems Audit, Assurance and Monitoring.
MPI will consider benefits of the release to the agricultural sector, as well as identification and management of risks to animal welfare, agricultural impacts, trade and public health matters associated with the virus. This will include consideration of the risks posed to non-target animals such as pet rabbits.
"The strain of RHDV that already exists in New Zealand has a vaccine which is being used to protect against the new strain in other countries. As part of MPI's assessment we will be considering evidence of protection against the new strain," says Mr Kinsella.
Any new strain that is released, propagated, and sold also needs to be approved under the Biosecurity Act.
RHDV1-K5 strain will only be approved if it meets the requirements under the ACVM and Biosecurity Acts.
The Canterbury Regional Council has made the application. The intent is to introduce the strain nationally.
Find out more on the application and submission process
RHDV1 K5: Frequently asked questions (FAQ) - PestSmart Connect
Thu, 01 Mar 2018 13:38
What is RHDV1 K5?
RHDV1K5 is a variant of rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV1) that causes a fatal haemorrhagic disease in the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus). It is specific to the European rabbit, and once a rabbit shows symptoms, death is rapid. There is no treatment or cure for rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD); however a vaccine for domestic and production rabbits is available.
Where will RHDV1 K5 work best?
We expect RHDV1 K5 to work in all areas where rabbits are found. However, we expect to see the greatest benefits of RHDV1 K5 in the cool-wet regions of the country. An endemic benign virus is found in the cool-wet regions and temporarily protects rabbits from the Czech strain of RHDV1 (released in 1996). RHDV1 K5 can overcome this protection, so it is likely that in these cool-wet regions we will see an improvement in RHDV biocontrol.
How is RHDV1 K5 different to the current variant of RHDV1?
Both variants cause the same disease; however the RHDV1 K5 variant is better adapted to overcome the protective effects of the benign calicivirus detected several years ago in Australian rabbits.
These benign viruses can temporarily protect rabbits from infection with our current variant of RHDV. These benign viruses are predominantly found in the cool-wet regions of Australia, usually areas with higher production and biodiversity values '' where typically RHDV has not worked as well as it has in more arid environments. The use of the RHDV1 K5 variant should improve the effectiveness of RHDV in these cool-wet regions and continue to supress rabbit numbers throughout their distribution, particularly in conjunction with other forms of control.
Where do we purchase RHDV1 K5 virus
The Korean strain of RHDV1 is now available for use and purchase via NSW DPI. Please read this webpage for more information '' www.pestsmart.org.au/purchasing-rhdv1-k5
Can anyone purchase RHDV1 K5 virus?
RHDV is a Schedule 4 restricted chemical product and can only be supplied to persons who are authorised to use the product under the laws of their state or territory. Different states and territories have different authorising systems. Requirements to become authorised vary across the states and territories and individuals should contact their relevant state or territory authority (https://apvma.gov.au/node/3190)
We recommend contacting your local biosecurity and land management officers to discuss the use of RHDV1 K5 in conjunction with appropriate additional rabbit control tools on your property.
How do rabbits with RHD die?
Rabbits that are infected with RHDV first develop symptoms anywhere from 24-72 hours after infection and usually succumb within 6-36 hours after the first symptoms appear. Many infected animals show no signs of disease and die suddenly. Some animals may exhibit lethargy or excitement before death. Animals die from the rapid onset of multiple organ failure. Given the short disease time and the sudden death from rapid organ failure, RHDV continues to be one of the most humane control methods for rabbits.
If it takes 48 hours to kill the rabbit, doesn't the rabbit suffer during this time?
RHDV is one of the more humane methods of controlling wild rabbits. Basically the rabbits end up with 'cold-like' symptoms, become lethargic and then die quickly. Post-infection, there is a rise in body temperature lasting up to 24 hours, followed, in 70''90% of cases, by death up to 48 hours after the onset of a fever (see Humaneness assessment: bait delivery of RHDV). The overall welfare impact prior to death has been assessed as low using the relative humaneness model developed under the Australian Animal Welfare Strategy.
What type of knock-down will RHDV1 K5 achieve?
While exact knockdown figures are unknown, we do not expect to see population reductions like those seen with the release of the Czech strain of RHDV1 (calicivirus) in 1996. We are not releasing into a na¯ve population like that in 1996. Knockdowns are expected to be conservative, depending on location and susceptibility of the rabbit population to RHDV1 K5.
How does RHDV spread naturally?
RHDV is spread by insect vectors, such as bushflies and blowflies. Direct contact between a rabbit and a rabbit carcass with RHDV is also an avenue of spread. Animals that predate on rabbit carcasses such as foxes, dogs and cats may also excrete the virus in their faeces.
Does it affect people or other animals (pet, native wildlife and livestock)?
In Australia, no variant of RHDV1 has ever been found to cause infection in any other animal except the European rabbit (Oryctolagus cuniculus). Even predatory animals that eat rabbits that have died from RHDV1 do not develop an infection.
There have been a number of examinations by the CSIROs Australian Animal Health Laboratories, of the impact of RHDV1 on animals other than rabbits.
This has included a large array of production animals, native wildlife and even a selection of feral animals. These studies showed that in all cases no animals other than European rabbits develop disease from the virus. This included animals directly exposed to the virus or those that have consumed rabbit carcasses.
The stringent approval process performed by the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicine Authority considered all of the information available on potential impacts to native animals before the approval for RHDV1 K5 to be used to control rabbits was given. The protection of native species is the main goal in reducing rabbit populations and their safety has been of utmost importance in the process of developing the tools to minimise the impacts of rabbits.
The release of RHDV1 K5 will be using a carrot bait. It has been found that rabbits are naturally attracted to carrots and generally prefer it over other bait types. While other animals will eat carrot, they cannot become diseased from RHDV1 K5 and the manner in which the bait is put out also reduces the risk of other animals taking the bait.
Prior to RHDV1 K5 being released, carrots will be put out in the locations where rabbits are on the properties. This will allow us to know how much carrot is required to allow only the rabbits to consume it. Carrots will only be put out late in the afternoon to reduce the risk of diurnal animals access it and any left-over carrots will be removed the following morning. RHDV1 K5 is a virus and does not have an afterlife or dormancy like a poison does. The virus can persist in rabbit carcasses for a few weeks but does not persist for as long in the environment before it degrades completely.
Carman, J. A., et al. ''Viral haemorrhagic disease of rabbits and human health.'' Epidemiology and infection 121.02 (1998): 409-418.Cooke, Brian D., and Frank Fenner. ''Rabbit haemorrhagic disease and the biological control of wild rabbits, Oryctolagus cuniculus, in Australia and New Zealand.'' Wildlife Research 29.6 (2003): 689-706.Will native animals or livestock become threatened if rabbit numbers are low?
To mitigate any short term impact of feral predators on native animals or livestock in conservation sensitive or high risk areas, it is recommended that an integrated pest management approach be undertaken, with plans in place for feral predator control concurrent with rabbit control
There is no direct evidence to support that prey-switching by feral or native predators (foxes, feral cats, quolls as examples) is a major conservation risk to native animals in Australia.
In fact, scientific evidence shows that reduced rabbit abundance levels can lead to reduce feral cat and fox abundance and in turn reduce predation of native fauna and recovery of threatened prey populations.
More specifically, recent research in South Australia, analysing more than 45 years' worth of data, has found that three threatened mammals in South Australia have staged dramatic recoveries in the past 20 years, predominately due to the release of the Czech strain of RHDV1 in 1996. This reduced rabbit numbers, with associated reductions in their main predators, cats and foxes, leading to native mammals having less competition for food and less predation pressure.
Mutze, G. (2016), Continental-scale analysis of feral cat diet in Australia, prey-switching and the risk: benefit of rabbit control. Journal of Biogeography.Pedler, R. D., Brandle, R., Read, J. L., Southgate, R., Bird, P. and Moseby, K. E. (2016), Rabbit biocontrol and landscape-scale recovery of threatened desert mammals. Conservation Biology.Read, J. & Bowen, Z. (2001), Population dynamics, diet and aspects of the biology of feral cats and foxes in arid South Australia. Wildlife Research.I have a pet rabbit, is there a vaccine available?
Yes. The current vaccine has been shown to be effective against RHDV1 K5. Read more here.
What are the problems associated with rabbits?
Rabbits are estimated to cost over $200 million in lost agricultural production every year. Rabbits compete with grazing stock for food, contribute to soil erosion and destabilise the structural integrity of the land potentially leading to injury of livestock. Rabbits are also linked to the decline of native animals and plant species throughout their range. It is suggested that rabbits impact on 304 threatened species in Australia.
Rabbits are a regional issue, why should I care?
Rabbits are not only a regional issue. Rabbits do occur in urban environments, such as sports grounds, within parklands, along railway tracks and in urban remnant bushland areas.
What is the cost of rabbits to the environment?
Currently there is no dollar value on the impact of rabbits on the environment; however, their impact is known to be significant. Rabbits continue to compete with native wildlife for food, contribute to soil erosion and subsequently desertification of the Australian environment, severely limit the regenerative ability of many plants and plant communities including endangered species and in some cases, can support populations of introduced predators that also prey on native wildlife.
How do I get involved in a release as a release site?
The call for expressions of interest to be involved as a release site are now closed and more than 600 sites around Australia have been selected to release the virus.
Is there any advantage in community assisting the spread of RHDV1 K5?
Yes. Community assistance with the spread of RHDV1 K5 will help ensure that the virus reaches as many rabbit populations as possible and that as great a knockdown as possible is achieved. Community can then take advantage of this knockdown by following up with conventional control tools to achieve sustainable long-term control.
Link: Boosting rabbit biocontrol: RHDV K5 national release
Rabbit haemorrhagic disease - Wikipedia
Thu, 01 Mar 2018 13:37
Rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD), also known as rabbit calicivirus disease (RCD) or viral haemorrhagic disease (VHD), is a highly infectious and often fatal disease that affects wild and domestic rabbits of the species Oryctolagus cuniculus. The infectious agent responsible for the disease is rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV), or rabbit calicivirus (RCV), genus Lagovirus of the family Caliciviridae. The virus infects only rabbits, and has been used in some countries to control rabbit populations.
History [ edit] RHD first appeared in the Winter of 1983 in Jiangsu Province of the People's Republic of China. It was first isolated and characterized by S.J. Liu et al. in 1984.[2] The Chinese outbreak was spread by the angora rabbit, which had originated in Europe. Fourteen million domesticated rabbits died within nine months in the outbreak.[3]
In 1984 the virus that caused the disease was identified. The virus spread westward and reached Europe in 1988. The virus has since appeared in Mexico, Cuba, Australia, New Zealand and the United States.[2] In 1992, the United Kingdom reported its first case of RHD in domestic show rabbits. By the late 1990s, RHD stretched to forty countries and had become endemic in wild and feral rabbit populations in Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Cuba.[3] In Europe, there was a rapid increase in research into RHD, due to the importance of the commercial breeding of rabbits for meat and fur production.
The first reported case in the United States was in Iowa on March 9, 2000. The affected breeds included Palominos and California Whites. By April 6, 25 of the 27 affected rabbits had died of the infection. In order to contain the disease, the remaining two rabbits were euthanized. No new introductions of rabbits were placed on the farm for two years after the discovery of RHD and August 1999 was the last time rabbits left and/or returned to the farm. The United States experienced other outbreaks of RHD in 2001 (Utah, Illinois, New York) and 2005 (Indiana).[3]
In 2010, a new virus variant called rabbit hemorrhagic disease virus 2 (RHDV2) emerged in France.[4]
World geographic distribution [ edit] Asia [ edit] Within a few months of RHD being reported in China in 1984, the disease was widely seen in many commercial rabbitries and had reached the Republic of Korea. RHD has also been reported in India and the Middle East.
Americas (North and South) [ edit] Since 1993, RHD has been endemic in Cuba; it is also believed to be thriving in Bolivia. From 1988 to 1992 Mexico dealt with an RHD endemic in domestic rabbits.[3]
After outbreaks of RHD in 2000, 2001, and 2005 in domesticated rabbits, the United States has eradicated RHD from its rabbit populations. The native species, cottontails(Sylvilagus floridanus), black-tailed jackrabbits(Lepus californicus) and volcano rabbits(Romerolagus diazzi) seem not to be susceptible to the virus.[3]
Australia [ edit] In 1991 a strain of the virus, Czech CAPM 351RHDV, was imported to Australia[5] under strict quarantine conditions to research the safety and usefulness of the virus if it was used as a biological control agent against Australia and New Zealand's rabbit pest problem. Testing of the virus was undertaken on Wardang Island in Spencer Gulf off the coast of the Yorke Peninsula, South Australia. In 1995 the virus escaped quarantine and subsequently killed 10 million rabbits within 8 weeks of its release.[6]
In March 2017 a new Korean strain known as RHDV1 K5 was successfully released in a deliberate manner after almost a decade of research. This strain was chosen in part because it functions better in cool, wet regions where the previous Calicivirus was less effective.[7]
New Zealand [ edit] In July 1997, after considering over 800 public submissions, the New Zealand Ministry of Health decided not to allow RHDV to be imported into New Zealand to control rabbit populations. This was backed up in an early August review of the decision by the Director-General of Agriculture. However, in late August it was confirmed that RHDV had been deliberately and illegally introduced to the Cromwell area of the South Island.
An unsuccessful attempt was made by New Zealand officials to control the spread of the disease. It was, however, being intentionally spread, and several farmers (notably in the Mackenzie Basin area) admitted to processing rabbits that had died from the disease in kitchen blenders for further spreading.
Had the disease been introduced at a better time, there would have been a more effective control of the population. However, it was released after breeding had commenced for the season, and rabbits under 2 weeks old at the time of the introduction were resistant to the disease. These young rabbits were therefore able to survive and breed rabbit numbers back up. Ten years on, rabbit populations (in the Mackenzie Basin in particular) are beginning to reach near pre-plague proportions once again though they have not yet returned to pre RCD levels.[8][9]
Resistance to RHD in New Zealand rabbits has led to the widespread use of Compound 1080 (Sodium fluoroacetate). The Government and department of Conservation are having to increase their use of 1080 to protect Reserve land from rabbits and preserve the gains made in recent years through the use of RHD.[10]
Europe [ edit] RHD is endemic throughout most of Europe. Italy's first case of RHD was recorded in 1986 and Spain's in 1988.[11] France, Belgium (June) and Scandinavia followed in 1990. Within a few years of RHD's first appearance in Europe it had caused the largest mortality in domestic and wild rabbits in Germany, Austria, Spain and Italy. Spain was the worst affected by RHD, which in turn also affected the rabbit-specialized Iberian lynx.[12][13]
When the United Kingdom's first case of RHD in 1992 was discovered, the disease was transmitted into the wild by domesticated pet rabbits.[citation needed ] Sources vary in the number of confirmed cases of RHD; there were 9 known outbreaks in 1994, 32 cases but some sources believe there were as many as 512 cases of RHD in 1995, and around 30 RHD cases in 1996 throughout Scotland, England and Wales.[citation needed ]
In April 2016, a highly lethal disease started affecting one of the northernmost feral rabbit populations in the world in Helsinki, Finland. The outbreak has since been identified to be caused by the new RHDV2 strain of the virus, being the first appearance of RHD in the country. Cases of viral transmission to domesticated pet rabbits have been confirmed and vaccinating rabbits has been recommended.[14]
Transmission [ edit] Transmission of RHD occurs by direct contact with an infected animal and fomites. Rabbits acquire RHD through oral, nasal or conjunctival pathways. Urine, faeces and respiratory secretions may also shed the virus. The virus may also be carried by the wind. Carriers of the virus may remain infectious for up to a month depending on climate conditions; however, the virus has been known to persist for as little as 2 days and as long as 215 days. An infected carcass or hairs from an infected animal may also transmit RHD. Fomites such as clothing, contaminated food, cages, bedding, feeders and water will also harbour the virus. Even though the virus cannot reproduce in other mammals, predators and scavengers such as foxes, ferrets and some birds can excrete the virus through their faeces after ingesting an infected rabbit carcass. Flies, rabbit fleas, and mosquitoes can also spread the virus between rabbits.[3]
Climate appears to play a crucial role in the transmission of RHD.[citation needed ] In normal conditions, most outbreaks of RHD occur in winter or spring. High temperatures in late spring and summer will considerably reduce the spread of the virus. RHD will also be more prevalent in dry and semi-dry areas than in areas that are relatively cool and humid.[6]
RHD primarily infects only adult rabbits. In fact, research has shown that rabbits younger than 8 weeks of age are resistant to the virus. The incubation period for the RHD virus is between 1 and 3 days, with death following 1 to 2 days after the infection. There is a wide range of RHD symptoms. Most rabbits will show no signs of external symptoms of RHD.
Symptomatic cases of RHD will display fever, squeals, and often coma leading to death within 12 to 36 hours. In less severe cases, rabbits may display uneasiness, excitement, anorexia, swollen eyelids, paralysis, ocular haemorrhages, and "paddling" or loss of skin. Convulsions may be seen as well. A fatal bloody discharge from the nose has been exhibited along with blood-stained cage floors, though these symptoms may have occurred after death. Rabbits who have recovered from the less severe symptoms usually develop severe jaundice with weight loss and lethargy. Diarrhoea, constipation and abdominal cramping are then exhibited right before death a few weeks later.
RHD causes rapid development of blood clot formation in major organs such as the heart, lungs and kidneys. The clots block blood vessels causing heart and respiratory failure. An infected rabbit that has died from RHD will often have its legs straight out and head over its neck.[6]
Diagnosis [ edit] RHD may be indicated when several animals in the herd die after experiencing a fever and lethargy. Differential diagnosis includes pasteurellosis, myxomatosis, poisoning, heat exhaustion, and E. coli or Clostridium perfringens type E enterotoxemia.
Rabbits that die from RHD are usually in good outward state. However, the most frequent post-mortem lesions are necrosis of the liver, and splenomegaly. The liver of RHD rabbits may have a fine reticular pattern of necrosis outline each lobule and maybe yellow, gray or pale in colour. The liver is also usually friable and swollen. The spleen will be black in colour and also swollen with rounded edges, while the kidneys are dark brown in colour. Haemorrhages will also be seen many other organs and tissues. The trachea may present a foamy, bloody mucous. Enteritis of the small intestine and swollen meninges may also occur.
Laboratory tests such as reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), Western blotting, negative-staining immunoelectron microscopy, and ELISAs may be performed on samples from the liver, blood, spleen or other organs.
Morbidity, mortality, and immunity [ edit] RHD is extremely hard to locate in the wild since about 75% of rabbits with RHD will die in their burrows underground. Due to this difficulty, the morbidity and mortality estimates for RHD have a broad range. The morbidity rate ranges from 30% to 100% and the mortality rate from 40% to 100%; however, the typical mortality rate is usually around 90%.[3]
In the wild, outbreaks in rabbits vary depending on the season, breeding cycles and geographical location. Some areas will see a high morbidity and mortality among its rabbit populations followed by calmer periods.
Maternal antibodies such as immunoglobulin G (IgG), which are readily transmitted to the young across the placenta, may explain why very young rabbits are resistant to RHD. Some scientists also believe that the immature immune system of a young rabbit cannot produce the number of chemicals needed to initiate clotting in order to kill. Rabbits may develop immunity against other strains of the RHD virus, while others may endure persistent infections. The immunity does not survive through the next generation, leaving open the possibility of further outbreaks in the population.[15]
Control [ edit] Countries that are uninfected by RHD may place restrictions on importation from endemic countries. According to the Merck/Merial Manual For Pet Health, Home Edition, 2007, RHD is a reportable disease in the United States. If a diagnosis is made by a veterinarian, a notification to the "appropriate government authorities" must be made.[3]
Because of the highly infectious nature of the disease, strict quarantine is necessary when outbreaks occur. Depopulation, disinfection, surveillance and quarantines are the only way to properly and effectively eradicate the disease. Good disinfectants include 10% sodium hydroxide, 1-2% formalin, 2% One-Stroke Environ, and 10% household bleach. The RHD virus is resistant to ethers and chloroform. Deceased rabbits must be removed immediately and discarded in a safe manner. Surviving rabbits are quarantined or humanely euthanized. Test rabbits may be used to monitor the virus on vaccinated farms.[3]
There are several vaccines available against VHD in the UK: Cylap, made by Fort Dodge Animal Health; Lapinject, made by CEVA Animal Health; Anivac, made by Animalcare Ltd and FILAVAC, made by Filavie. All last for 12 months and contain inactivated strains of VHD. A live combination vaccine, Nobivac Myxo-RHD, made by MSD Animal Health, has recently become available. Its active ingredient is a live myxoma-vectored RHD virus strain 009 and it offers a duration of immunity of 1 year against both RHD and myxomatosis.[16] FILAVAC has been authorised by the VMD in April 2017 ; it is currently the only vaccine containing both classic and variant strain of VHD virus.[17]
Use as biological control agent [ edit] The European rabbit is the second most serious pest in New Zealand. Rabbits compete with livestock for grazing pasture, kill trees, shrubs, and have contributed to the extinction of some native plants. Consequently, rabbits contribute to soil erosion by eliminating the protective vegetation and disturb the soil by burrowing. The estimated combined cost of control and production losses in New Zealand as a result of rabbits is about $23 million annually.[18] This figure is only a small portion of the damage caused by rabbits. Parts of Australia have long experienced similar problems.
The use of RHD as a control agent is a recent tactic in a long string of efforts to reduce populations of European rabbits in areas where they are not native. With eventual, proper vaccination plans, the safety of domesticated (livestock and pet) rabbits might not be a concern regarding intentional use of RHD for this purpose.[citation needed ]
See also [ edit] References [ edit] ^ Luque, D.; Gonzlez, J. M.; G"mez-Blanco, J.; Marabini, R.; Chich"n, J.; Mena, I.; Angulo, I.; Carrascosa, J. L.; Verdaguer, N.; Trus, B. L.; Brcena, J.; Cast"n, J. R. (2012). "Epitope Insertion at the N-Terminal Molecular Switch of the Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus T=3 Capsid Protein Leads to Larger T=4 Capsids". Journal of Virology. 86 (12): 6470''6480. doi:10.1128/JVI.07050-11. PMC 3393579'¯ . PMID 22491457. ^ ab "A New Viral Disease of Rabbit". The Merck Veterinary Manual. 2006. Retrieved 2007-06-17 . ^ abcdefghi Center for Food Security and Public Health ^ Le Gall-Recul(C), Ghislaine; Lavazza, Antonio; Marchandeau, St(C)phane; Bertagnoli, St(C)phane; Zwingelstein, Fran§oise; Cavadini, Patrizia; Martinelli, Nicola; Lombardi, Guerino; Gu(C)rin, Jean-Luc (2013-09-08). "Emergence of a new lagovirus related to rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus". Veterinary Research. 44 (1): 81. doi:10.1186/1297-9716-44-81. PMC 3848706'¯ . PMID 24011218. ^ Cooke, Brian Douglas (2014). Australia's War Against Rabbits. CSIRO Publishing. ISBN 9780643096127. ^ abc Strive, Tanja (16 July 2008). "Rabbit Calicivirus Disease (RCD)". Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. Archived from the original(pdf) on April 15, 2014. Retrieved 14 April 2014 . ^ http://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-04-01/k5-rabbit-virus-an-early-success-csiro-researchers-say/8400816 ^ Munro, Robert K.; Williams, Richard T., eds. (1994). Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease: Issues in Assessment for biological control. Canberra: Bureau of Resource Sciences. ISBN 9780644335126. ^ Williams, David (26 May 2009). "Plan for 1080 drops in MacKenzie Basin". The Press. Retrieved 2009-06-14 . ^ "Welcome to 1080: The Facts". 1080facts.co.nz. Retrieved 2013-12-05 . ^ Abrantes, J; van der Loo, W; Le Pendu, J; Esteves, PJ (10 February 2012). "Rabbit haemorrhagic disease (RHD) and rabbit haemorrhagic disease virus (RHDV): a review". Veterinary research. 43: 12. doi:10.1186/1297-9716-43-12. PMC 3331820'¯ . PMID 22325049. ^ "Iberian Lynx Depends On Rabbits for Survival". Science Daily. 5 July 2011. ^ Platt, John R. (12 July 2011). "Deadly Rabbit Disease May Have Doomed Iberian Lynx". Scientific American. ^ "RHD-tauti todettu my¶s lemmikkikaniinissa - erityisluvallista rokotetta saatavilla". Finnish Food Safety Authority (Finnish). Retrieved 2016-12-29 . ^ Marques, Raquel M; Teixeira, Luzia; guas, Artur P; Ribeiro, Joana C; Costa-e-Silva, Ant"nio; Ferreira, Paula G (4 February 2014). "Immunosuppression abrogates resistance of young rabbits to Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease (RHD)". Veterinary Research. 45 (1): 14. doi:10.1186/1297-9716-45-14. PMC 3926702'¯ . PMID 24490832. ^ Therapeutic Indication: For rabbits, National Office of Animal Health rabbit vaccines.[full citation needed ]. ^ http://www.vmd.defra.gov.uk/ProductInformationDatabase/SPC_Documents/SPC_1170567.DOC ^ http://www.maf.govt.nz/mafnet/rural-nz/research-and-development/pest-control/rcd/rcdsonza.htm External links [ edit]
Why New Zealand is releasing a rabbit-killing virus - BBC News
Thu, 01 Mar 2018 13:39
Image copyright iStock Image caption Rabbits are considered to be an agricultural pest by some in New Zealand New Zealand is planning to release a rabbit virus across the country, in an attempt to cull the ballooning wild population.
Wild rabbits are seen as a pest in parts of the country and the virus, known as RHDV1-K5, will be released from March.
Farming groups have welcomed the move while others have raised concerns including the risk it may pose to pet rabbits.
Why are rabbits such a big problem in New Zealand?Rabbits were introduced to New Zealand around the 1830s and have long created problems for farmers.
Wild rabbits compete with livestock for pasture and also cause land damage from burrowing.
According to the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), rabbits cost an average of $50m New Zealand dollars (U$36m; £18.7m) in lost production and more than NZ$25m in pest control each year.
How can you control a rabbit population?The main methods are shooting, poisoning, fumigation of burrows and, less drastically, installing rabbit-proof fencing.
But officials argue the problem has got so big those solutions don't go far enough.
An earlier strain of the Rabbit Haemorrhagic Disease Virus (RHDV) was introduced to New Zealand in 1997.
The virus, which only affects rabbits and not other animals, was initially very effective but after more than 20 years, the rabbits have become immune to it.
Image copyright Getty Images Image caption The country's Federated Farmers organisation welcomed the introduction of the new virus The virus due to be released next month is a new Korean strain, known as RHDV1-K5.
It affects an animal's internal organs, causing fever and spasms, blood clots and respiratory failure.
According to the MPI, this strain works faster, killing rabbits within two to four days of infection.
What has reaction been?People are divided.
New Zealand's Federated Farmers (FF) said the move was a "huge relief".
"There are some desperate farmers out there," the spokesman Andrew Simpson told the BBC.
"If another year goes by without [the] virus, the ecological damage to some properties would be mind-numbing."
But Arnja Dale, from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, said the decision to release the virus was disappointing given "the suffering it will cause affected rabbits and the potential risk to companion rabbits".
"[We] advocate for the use of more humane methods," she said.
The SPCA says a vaccine which is being made available for pet rabbits has not been "adequately tested...[with] not yet sufficient evidence that it will provide sufficient protection".
But the MPI says vaccinated domestic rabbits will be safe. It said RHDV1-K5 was released in Australia last year, with no reports of vaccinated pet rabbits dying from the virus strain.
Emotional Support Goat
Want to be Edmonton's goat boss? Now is your chance - Edmonton - CBC News
Thu, 01 Mar 2018 13:19
The city is looking for a candidate with the right kind of gruff to become Edmonton's first official "goat co-ordinator."
No kidding.
The new employee will be responsible for tending the city's official weed-eating herd as part of the city's GoatWorks pilot program.
"Working both independently and as part of a team, you will be integral in the development and implementation of this program," reads the official job posting.
"You will work with individuals, contractors and researchers to fulfill the program goals and engage Edmontonians in all that is Goats."
Throughout the summer months, more than 200 goats are corralled through weed-infested parks across the city '-- munching their way through fields of noxious plants that would otherwise be sprayed with pesticides.
The billies have been putting a bite on the city's weed problem since 2017, shortly after the city banned pesticides. Each goat chows down on about 4½ kilograms of weeds daily, even digesting the seeds.
The city's goat co-ordinator will be responsible for overseeing contracts, writing a finalized report of the weed-management program and organizing public "Meet and Bleat" events.
Do you have what it takes to be a herder?
The successful candidate will have a degree in horticulture, forestry, parks, recreation, environment, plus experience in forestry and gardening and a valid driver's licence.
The goat co-ordinator is a temporary full-time position for up to 11 months with an hourly pay of up to $43.
Applications are being accepted until March 1.
Defense for teen charged with Longmont murder may point finger at acne medication - Longmont Times-Call
Thu, 01 Mar 2018 14:08
A friend, not identified, writes a message on a photograph during a candlelight vigil for Makayla Grote on Nov. 24 at Jackson Park in Lakewood. (Jeremy Papasso / Staff Photographer)
Makayla Grote (Courtesy photo)
Attorneys for the 15-year-old accused of stabbing a Longmont woman to death last year hinted in court Friday that Accutane '-- an acne-treatment drug that some have linked to erratic behavior '-- may be cited by the defense in explaining the teen's alleged actions.
Aiden von Grabow is charged with first-degree murder and 10 other counts in the stabbing death of Makayla Grote on Nov. 18, 2017.
Prosecutors are trying to charge von Grabow as an adult, but because he is under the age of 16, they will have to convince Boulder District Judge Andrew Macdonald to transfer the case out of juvenile court during a weeklong hearing starting on March 5.
Attorneys at that hearing also will argue as to whether there is enough evidence for the case to proceed to trial.
During a hearing Friday, Boulder Deputy District Attorney Adrian Van Nice objected to several of the defense's witnesses, including Dr. Doug Bremner, a psychiatrist known for his studies on isotretinoin, which is better known for its brand name, Accutane.
Used to treat severe acne, there has been debate for decades about whether Accutane causes depression and psychosis.
While defense attorneys Steve Jacobson and Mike Rafik never specifically stated von Grabow used Accutane, they said they plan to call Bremner to testify how the drug could possibly cause aggressive or violent behavior in a person who had never before exhibited those types of behaviors.
Van Nice objected to Bremner being used for the transfer hearing, pointing out that another doctor who saw von Grabow already would be citing Bremner's research, and that bringing Bremner in was redundant and not relevant for the purposes of the transfer hearing.
Jacobson argued Bremner could testify as to how a person could be rehabilitated after stopping Accutane use.
But Macdonald agreed with prosecutors, saying the role the drug may have played in the alleged stabbing was not relevant for the reversal hearing, which is designed to determine if the juvenile or adult criminal justice system is more appropriate '-- not assign guilt or innocence.
Macdonald also pointed out that Bremner had never met von Grabow.
But while Bremner will not testify at the reversal hearing, he could still possibly be called during a trial.
Macdonald also said he would limit the testimony of Douglas Jacobs, a psychiatrist and a consultant to Hoffmann-La Roche, the company that sells Accutane. Jacobs was listed by the prosecution as a rebuttal witness to several witnesses, including Bremner.
Both Bremner and Jacobs were cited in a New York Times article about the drug published in 2002 after a teen, Charles Bishop, committed suicide by flying his plane into the side of a building in Florida. His mother sued Hoffmann-La Roche, blaming Accutane for her son's depression, but later dropped the suit.
Von Grabow is accused of killing Grote, 20, at her apartment in Longmont, though police believe he had intended to kill Grote's younger sister, who prosecutors say was on von Grabow's "death list."
Prosecutors say the sister was showering when Grote was killed and was able to lock herself in another room.
Grote, her younger sister and von Grabow all attended Green Mountain High School in Lakewood at some point.
In addition to first-degree murder, von Grabow faces 10 other counts, including three counts of attempted first-degree murder for pursuing Grote's younger sister and at least two other people named on the alleged list.
Mitchell Byars: 303-473-1329, byarsm@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/mitchellbyars
Agenda 2030
No Belt 3 Roads
Gandsegui, Panama and China's Silk Road (1) | The Panama News
Thu, 01 Mar 2018 14:33
Arrival in Beijing. Photo by the Presidencia. by Marco A. Gandsegui, hijo In Panama there are no real political parties. Nor are there organizations that invite you to a permanent and systematic debate about national affairs. President Juan Carlos Varela made a trip to the Peoples Republic of China during which he committed the country '-- and all of its population '-- to undertake 19 financial agreements with its Asian counterpart. The communications media, instead of analyzing the agreements one by one, have by and large emphasized that among the members of the presidential delegation we found labor leader Genaro L"pez, the secretary general of FAD. They also emphasized the team that President Varela picked from among the conspicuous members of the economic and social elites of this country to accompany him.
Let's present each of the accords for a better understanding of them. This will be done in two parts. This is the first and the second will come next week. In this installment we will analyze the first 10 agreements that have been made public. These accords concentrate on actitivities that Chinese investors will carry out in Panama to prepare for their expansion in the region. They will build all the necessary infrastructure needed to invest enormous sums of money to promote their penetration of the region's economies.
The Chinese are very clear in the objectives that make up the Silk Road. [See, e.g., this and this .] Panama will be a key instrument in the development of this strategy. China is not only betting on the extraction of metals and foodstuffs from the soil of the Americas. They come with a lot of energy to conquer the high tech market.
The accords reflect a plan conceived in Beijing. They appear to have been drafted in Chinese and later translated into Spanish. Moreover, these agreements only refer to what China will do in Panama. Everything indicates that Panama will play a passive role, which in our country's history has ended in tragedies and catastrophes.
Let's analyze each of these agreements. We can do it starting from a criterion of relative ''importance'' or following a quantitative order of the size of the investments. Let's instead choose to follow the same order in which the agreements were published.
The first refers to an ''understanding'' for the promotion of trade and investment. It attempts to attract Chinese investments in Panama. It would serve as a framework to channel Chinese capital investments into the most strategic sectors for Chinese expansion into Latin America.
The second agreement is between the Development Bank of China and the Ministry of Economy and Finance and attempts to facilitate Chinese financial activities in the country and the region. This agreement mentions investments in infrastructure, from bridges and ports to electrical power stations.
The third agreement is between the Ministry of Economy and Finance and the Chinese Import and Export Bank (EximBank). According to the draft agreement, the Chinese bank would extend to Panama a line of credit equivalent to $200 billion. We have to ask whether that amount is for projects in Panama or for the whole region. With this capital about 40 Panama Canals could be expanded.
The fourth agreement is a free trade treaty. While the first three accords may have some promise, this one about ''free trade'' is a mere salute to the flag of satisfying the desires of some merchants who are eager to make more money without creating any jobs.
The fifth agreement refers to ''cooperation in productive and investment capacity.'' Along this line, the construction and operation of infrastructure stand out. The initiative would entail an initial investment of $10 billion.
The sixth agreement refers to phytosanitary measures to protect China from Panamanian exports.
The seventh agreement refers to loans by the EximBank to ETESA for the develpment of projects in Panama's electrical sector. All of the funds that ETESA receives would be for ''the direct or indirect purchase of Chinese products or services.''
The eighth agreement also refers to the electrical sector and ETESA. This latter Panamanian state enterprise would receive credits from the Bank of China.
The ninth agreement is to increase productivity in the Panamanian agricultural sector with the thought of exports to China. The accord appeas to emphasize joint projects both in production and in research.
The tenth agreement isn't very clear '-- all that is mentioned is that a mixed commission will be created to ''examine the scope of projects.''
In the next part the rest of the accords will be analyzed, including the much-discussed ''bullet train.''
~ ~ ~These announcements are interactive. Click on them for more information.Estos anuncios son interactivos. Toque en ellos para seguir a las pginas de web.
Natural gas sets the stage for an armed conflict in the East Mediterranean | GEFIRA
Thu, 01 Mar 2018 14:27
The efforts of individual countries to access the gas fields in the south-eastern part of the Mediterranean make the area very vulnerable to new conflicts and war and can also lead to a dispute within NATO and affect Europe's energy security, putting the EASTMED pipeline in question. The war for natural resources is looming large.
The first problem is the relationship between Cyprus and Turkey. Ankara, the only capital which recognizes North Cyprus, says that all activities related to the extraction of gas in the Cypriot area are an encroachment on the interests of North Cyprus. While Turkey does not recognize agreements between Cyprus and other countries on the issue of economic exclusive zone (EEZ) or licenses for gas exploration in Cypriot territorial waters, Nicosia holds the opposite opinion. Ankara, through the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) puts forward claims that it is entitled to look for gas and oil in Cypriot waters and has the right to defend its interests there. Cyprus issued a number of concessions to various mining companies on more than half of the blocks (i.e. parts of the economic exclusive zone on which companies could explore gas or oil) located within the Cypriot EZZ. President Erdoğan warned Cyprus and international gas exploration companies that the violation of Turkish interests would have bad consequences.In the middle of February 2018 the warning was made good and so the Saipem 1200 mining vessel operating for Italian company '' Eni was blocked by Turkish ships. Italy responded by sending a military ship to the area.This shows how explosive the situation is now that two NATO member states want to pursue economic goals without backing them with diplomacy.
It is worth mentioning that also in February a Turkish coast guard boat rammed a Greek patrol ship in the Aegean Sea,which shows that the Turkish government is willing to use military force.
The deepening cooperation between Cyprus, Greece, Israel and Italy regarding the EastMed gas pipeline projectis another flashpoint. The new pipeline, whose aim will be to supply gas from the Caspian Sea to Southern Europe, would weaken the transit role of the Turkish TANAP.
Another potential conflict is the one between Turkey and Egypt over the rich Zohr gas field discovered only in 2015. Ankara does not recognize the 2003 Cypriot-Egyptian EEZ accords and the 2013 sea border agreements between Cairo and Nicosia, which assign the Zohr gas field to Egypt.At the beginning of February 2018, the Egyptian government warned Turkey that further interference in this area would be met with a decisive reaction.
The relations between Turkey and Egypt are already strained. Though Turkey was a supporter of the Egyptian Brotherhood and Mohamed Mursi, who took power in Egypt in 2011, nowadays there is no love lost between Ankara and Cairo, because in 2013 the Trukey-friendly government was toppled. In a 2016 interview, President Erdoğan gave vent to his anger, calling the current Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, a ''putschist'' who killed thousands of his own people.
The sea area between Israel and Lebanon is the most explosive area, which extends along the edges of three Lebanese gas exploration Blocks: 8, 9, 10 of which Block 9 is said to be the most profitable and is claimed by Israel. In the first half of February 2018, Lebanon signed a contract for exploratory and production works with Italian Eni, French Total and Russian Novatek.Since the works are to be carried out in Block 9,Israel described Lebanon's action as ''very provocative'',paving the way for a military showdown. In response to it, the Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasr Allah threatened to target Israeli offshore gas platforms.
The Israeli media are already speculating about the third Lebanese war and suggest that the Hezbollah attack on Israel is inevitable.In mid-February, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declared that Washington could help resolve the dispute between Israel and Lebanon, but Hasan Nasr Allah refused to have talks with the United States, a dishonest broker. Hezbollah is supported by Iran as is Lebanon by Turkey. Tel Aviv accuses Ankara of supporting Hamas, while Turkey says it merely defends Islam and Palestinians.The presence of Israeli troops in Cyprus is perceived by President Erdoğan as interference in the Turkish sphere of influence. It was in June 2017 that Israeli commandos carried out the largest military exercises so far, aimed at counteracting a possible annexation of Cyprus by Turkey.
Gas deposits in the Eastern Mediterranean attract the attention of European, Russian, Iranian, Turkish and American armed forces. Cyprus occupies here a strategically important place. The number of players is a sum of the countries directly involved and their allies. Gas, like crude oil, has the potential of igniting a new wave of violent encounters between enemies and friends.
Supreme Court to hear arguments in global digital privacy case - POLITICO
Thu, 01 Mar 2018 14:28
Supreme Court justices will hear oral arguments Tuesday on whether U.S. officials can force Microsoft to hand over emails, which are stored in a data center in Ireland, that law enforcement is seeking as part of a drug investigation. | Jason Redmond/AFP/Getty Images
The Supreme Court is poised to weigh in on a global battle between governments and privacy advocates over access to people's digital data as they increasingly conduct their lives online.
The justices will hear oral arguments Tuesday on whether U.S. officials can force Microsoft to hand over emails, which are stored in a data center in Ireland, that law enforcement is seeking as part of a drug investigation. A final ruling is expected by the summer.
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The case '-- more than five years in the making '-- pits the U.S. government's demands for the right to obtain digital data held anywhere in the world against privacy campaigners' push for limits on that access. It also comes as the U.S. and European Union remain at loggerheads over how to handle people's sensitive digital information, everything from search queries to corporate payroll data.
Lawmakers on both sides of the Atlantic are pushing for new laws to determine when governments can gain access to such data '-- often stored remotely in data centers worldwide by the likes of Google, Amazon and Microsoft '-- while protecting the privacy of sensitive information.
''In today's world of email and cloud computing, where data is stored across the globe, law enforcement and tech companies find themselves encumbered by conflicting data disclosure and privacy laws," Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said this month, calling for a "commonsense framework" to deal with the issue.
The justices are wading into these murky digital waters at a time when people's attitudes are changing about how governments and companies collect, store and manage their online data. Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden helped propel this shift '-- his revelations in 2013 about surveillance by U.S. and international national security agencies raised awareness by individuals from San Francisco to Stockholm about how their data is used.
Technology news from Washington and Silicon Valley '-- weekday mornings, in your inbox.
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Nearly 60 percent of Americans, for instance, now say that it's unacceptable for the government to monitor their communications, according to the Pew Research Center. Those figures are even higher in Europe, where people's right to privacy is roughly held on par with other fundamental rights like freedom of speech.
''There are massive international, privacy and commercial implications to this case,'' said Faiza Patel, co-director of the liberty & national security program at the Brennan Center at New York University Law School, in reference to Tuesday's hearing. ''This is a problem that cries out for a legislative solution, not a judicial one.''
But the U.S. government calls the case a straightforward matter of law enforcement needing data, and tech companies easily being able to produce it.
In 2013, the FBI obtained a search warrant ordering Microsoft to hand over email information connected to alleged criminal drug activity. The tech giant provided some details on the account, but it balked at handing over the electronic communications because they were stored in Ireland. The company said the U.S. warrant did not apply to digital information held overseas.
The battle soon entered the courts, and the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York eventually ruled against the Justice Department in 2016. The judges said U.S. law did not permit courts to enforce search warrants against American companies for emails located outside the country.
In its filings with the Supreme Court, the U.S. government argued that the 1986 Stored Communications Act allows domestic law enforcement to obtain the data because Microsoft, which is headquartered in Redmond, Wash., can access the information from within the United States.
The Justice Department warned that if Microsoft prevailed, other criminals would quickly move their online information outside of the country, making it increasingly difficult for law enforcement agencies to carry out investigations and thwart illegal activity.
''In a world where data moves around so quickly, the location of the data shouldn't matter,'' said Jennifer Daskal, a former counsel to the assistant attorney general for national security and a law professor at American University in Washington. ''It's important the court rules in favor of the government.''
In response, Microsoft warned that a U.S. victory would clear the way for other countries, notably authoritarian regimes like China and Russia, to seek access to data worldwide, including in the United States.
The software giant also argued that current U.S. laws do not grant law enforcement agencies the right to obtain data held overseas, and that Microsoft would run afoul of Europe's strict privacy rules if it handed over the data held in Ireland without going through the appropriate diplomatic channels.
''The DOJ's position has some tension with common sense,'' Brad Smith, Microsoft's president and chief legal officer, told POLITICO. ''The case raises issues between law enforcement and privacy. We need a new generation of laws to govern a new generation of tech.''
Microsoft's demands are gaining some traction in Congress.
Earlier this month, Hatch and other lawmakers introduced a bipartisan bill called the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data, or CLOUD, Act partly in response to the Supreme Court case.
The legislative proposal would allow the U.S. to sign bilateral data-transfer agreements with other countries to quickly share information between jurisdictions '-- under strict privacy and data security requirements. As part of the bill, U.S. warrants served on American companies also would apply to data stored overseas.
The bill, which lawmakers say was written with DOJ's help, has received widespread support from tech companies.
''Congress has agreed on a plan, a good plan, and it's got to be decided in the Congress and not in the courts," Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), who sponsored the CLOUD Act in the House, told POLITICO. ''The precedent has been that Congress decides when there is extraterritorial reach, not the court."
Paul Rosen, former chief of staff of the Homeland Security Department and a partner at the law firm Crowell & Moring, said the Microsoft case showed the pitfalls of the Supreme Court applying old statutes to issues involving new technology.
''The court is interpreting a statute from 1986, a time when email was far from a household name,'' he said. ''Given that this case is arising in context of the Stored Communications Act, it would not surprise me if the court put the burden back on Congress.''
European policymakers also haven't stood still in the years since American authorities first demanded Microsoft hand over the data stored in Ireland.
In 2015, the EU's highest court invalidated a trans-Atlantic data agreement after judges ruled that American authorities did not provide sufficient protection to European citizens when their data was shipped to the U.S.
A subsequent data-transfer deal, known as the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, forced American officials to guarantee certain rights for Europeans, though EU privacy campaigners still filed lawsuits to overturn the agreement. Hearings in those cases are expected later this year.
And a major overhaul of Europe's data protection standards that comes into force in late May includes fines of up to 4 percent of companies' global revenues if they mishandle people's data, including potentially sharing it with government agencies without permission.
''The key question at the moment is who has jurisdiction over the internet,'' said Jan Albrecht, a German politician who filed a legal brief to the Supreme Court in support of Microsoft. ''The future of democratic decision-making in the digital era is at stake.''
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Thu, 01 Mar 2018 15:06
VIDEO - Holder on why he might run for president in 2020: 'I think I've got the guts' - YouTube
Thu, 01 Mar 2018 14:58
VIDEO - State Dept: Worried For Some Time North Korea Would Sell Chemical Weapons to Syria - YouTube
Thu, 01 Mar 2018 14:55
VIDEO - Why fewer homeless people may spend time at the new Central Library | KXAN.com
Thu, 01 Mar 2018 14:50
Related CoverageAUSTIN (KXAN) '-- Years late and tens of millions of dollars over budget, the new Central Library in downtown Austin is set to open its doors Saturday morning.
While it is expecting huge crowds, there's a big question about some of the most frequent users of the previous downtown library. The Faulk Central Library was known as a place where Austin's homeless would go to use the various resources, but a library spokeswoman says they don't expect it to be the same at the new Central Library.
''We looked at research from other cities that opened a new central library and found many of the homeless chose to go to surrounding libraries instead, at least for the first few years,'' says Kanya Lyons, Library Spokeswoman.
Lyons goes on to say regardless of anyone's housing status all are welcome inside the new library. The library system has made efforts to help the homeless over the years. They had a two year grant where social work interns helped the homeless find resources but that ended in August and as of now they say they don't have plans to renew it. Instead, librarians are being trained to help the homeless by knowing resources they can use. Still, those who advocate for the homeless say the need seen inside the library translates to the need for more housing.
''When we are working to end homelessness, all of our public systems connect in one way or another, that's what community's all about,'' says Ann Howard, Executive Director of Ending Community Homeless Coalition (ECHO). ''What we need to do is scale up resources to help people get off the street and into housing.''
Libraries have proven to be a valuable resource for Austin's homeless population since it offers them a place to check the internet, use a bathroom and stay out of the hot or cold weather.
This new $125 million library will offer community rooms where anyone can meet one-on-one with a counselor or caseworker, for example, to talk about jobs or housing.
The grand opening celebrations start at 10 a.m. Saturday but the library doesn't open to the public until 1 p.m.
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VIDEO - CONTRAVE Commercial and Videos | CONTRAVE (naltrexone HCl/bupropion HCl)
Thu, 01 Mar 2018 14:24
See how CONTRAVE worksLearn about the science behind CONTRAVE that helps control cravings, and see how patients like you found success.
One of the ingredients in CONTRAVE, bupropion, may increase the risk of suicidal thinking in children, adolescents, and young adults. CONTRAVE patients should be monitored for suicidal thoughts and behaviors. In patients taking bupropion for smoking cessation, serious neuropsychiatric adverse events have been reported. CONTRAVE is not approved for use in children under the age of 18.
Stop taking CONTRAVE and call a healthcare provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms, especially if they are new, worse, or worry you: thoughts about suicide or dying; attempts to commit suicide; depression; anxiety; feeling agitated or restless; panic attacks; trouble sleeping (insomnia); irritability; aggression, anger, or violence; acting on dangerous impulses; an extreme increase in activity and talking (mania); other unusual changes in behavior or mood.
Do not take CONTRAVE if you have uncontrolled high blood pressure; have or have had seizures; use other medicines that contain bupropion such as WELLBUTRIN, APLENZIN or ZYBAN; have or have had an eating disorder; are dependent on opioid pain medicines or use medicines to help stop taking opioids such as methadone or buprenorphine, or are in opiate withdrawal; drink a lot of alcohol and abruptly stop drinking; are allergic to any of the ingredients in CONTRAVE; or are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.
Before taking CONTRAVE, tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Do not take any other medicines while you are taking CONTRAVE unless your healthcare provider says it is okay.
Tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions including if you have: depression or other mental illnesses; attempted suicide; seizures; head injury; tumor or infection of brain or spine; low blood sugar or low sodium; liver or kidney problems; high blood pressure; heart attack, heart problems, or stroke; eating disorder; drinking a lot of alcohol; prescription medicine or street drug abuse; are 65 or older; diabetes; pregnant; or breastfeeding.
CONTRAVE may cause serious side effects, including:
Seizures. There is a risk of having a seizure when you take CONTRAVE. If you have a seizure, stop taking CONTRAVE, tell your healthcare provider right away.Risk of opioid overdose. Do not take large amounts of opioids, including opioid-containing medicines, such as heroin or prescription pain pills, to try to overcome the opioid-blocking effects of naltrexone.Sudden opioid withdrawal. Do not use any type of opioid for at least 7 to 10 days before starting CONTRAVE.Severe allergic reactions. Stop taking CONTRAVE and get medical help immediately if you have any signs and symptoms of severe allergic reactions: rash, itching, hives, fever, swollen lymph glands, painful sores in your mouth or around your eyes, swelling of your lips or tongue, chest pain, or trouble breathing.Increases in blood pressure or heart rate.Liver damage or hepatitis. Stop taking CONTRAVE if you have any symptoms of liver problems: stomach area pain lasting more than a few days, dark urine, yellowing of the whites of your eyes, or tiredness.Manic episodes.Visual problems (angle-closure glaucoma). Signs and symptoms may include: eye pain, changes in vision, swelling or redness in or around the eye.Increased risk of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus who also take medicines to treat their diabetes (such as insulin or sulfonylureas).The most common side effects of CONTRAVE include nausea, constipation, headache, vomiting, dizziness, trouble sleeping, dry mouth, and diarrhea.
These are not all the possible side effects of CONTRAVE. Tell your healthcare provider about any side effect that bothers you or does not go away.
CONTRAVE is a prescription weight-loss medicine that may help some adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 kg/m2 or greater (obese), or adults with a BMI of 27 kg/m2 or greater (overweight) with at least one weight-related medical problem such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or type 2 diabetes, lose weight and keep the weight off.
CONTRAVE should be used with a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activityIt is not known if CONTRAVE changes your risk of heart problems or stroke or of death due to heart problems or strokeIt is not known if CONTRAVE is safe and effective when taken with other prescription, over-the-counter, or herbal weight-loss productsCONTRAVE is not approved to treat depression or other mental illnesses, or to help people quit smoking (smoking cessation).
Please see Full Prescribing Information, including Medication Guide, for CONTRAVE.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
One of the ingredients in CONTRAVE, bupropion, may increase the risk of suicidal thinking in children, adolescents, and young adults. CONTRAVE patients should be monitored for suicidal thoughts and behaviors. In patients taking bupropion for smoking cessation, serious neuropsychiatric adverse events have been reported. CONTRAVE is not approved for use in children under the age of 18.
Stop taking CONTRAVE and call a healthcare provider right away if you have any of the following symptoms, especially if they are new, worse, or worry you: thoughts about suicide or dying; attempts to commit suicide; depression; anxiety; feeling agitated or restless; panic attacks; trouble sleeping (insomnia); irritability; aggression, anger, or violence; acting on dangerous impulses; an extreme increase in activity and talking (mania); other unusual changes in behavior or mood.
Do not take CONTRAVE if you have uncontrolled high blood pressure; have or have had seizures; use other medicines that contain bupropion such as WELLBUTRIN, APLENZIN or ZYBAN; have or have had an eating disorder; are dependent on opioid pain medicines or use medicines to help stop taking opioids such as methadone or buprenorphine, or are in opiate withdrawal; drink a lot of alcohol and abruptly stop drinking; are allergic to any of the ingredients in CONTRAVE; or are pregnant or planning to become pregnant.
Before taking CONTRAVE, tell your healthcare provider about all the medicines you take, including prescription and over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements. Do not take any other medicines while you are taking CONTRAVE unless your healthcare provider says it is okay.
Tell your healthcare provider about all of your medical conditions including if you have: depression or other mental illnesses; attempted suicide; seizures; head injury; tumor or infection of brain or spine; low blood sugar or low sodium; liver or kidney problems; high blood pressure; heart attack, heart problems, or stroke; eating disorder; drinking a lot of alcohol; prescription medicine or street drug abuse; are 65 or older; diabetes; pregnant; or breastfeeding.
CONTRAVE may cause serious side effects, including:
Seizures. There is a risk of having a seizure when you take CONTRAVE. If you have a seizure, stop taking CONTRAVE, tell your healthcare provider right away.Risk of opioid overdose. Do not take large amounts of opioids, including opioid-containing medicines, such as heroin or prescription pain pills, to try to overcome the opioid-blocking effects of naltrexone.Sudden opioid withdrawal. Do not use any type of opioid for at least 7 to 10 days before starting CONTRAVE.Severe allergic reactions. Stop taking CONTRAVE and get medical help immediately if you have any signs and symptoms of severe allergic reactions: rash, itching, hives, fever, swollen lymph glands, painful sores in your mouth or around your eyes, swelling of your lips or tongue, chest pain, or trouble breathing.Increases in blood pressure or heart rate.Liver damage or hepatitis. Stop taking CONTRAVE if you have any symptoms of liver problems: stomach area pain lasting more than a few days, dark urine, yellowing of the whites of your eyes, or tiredness.Manic episodes.Visual problems (angle-closure glaucoma). Signs and symptoms may include: eye pain, changes in vision, swelling or redness in or around the eye.Increased risk of low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus who also take medicines to treat their diabetes (such as insulin or sulfonylureas).The most common side effects of CONTRAVE include nausea, constipation, headache, vomiting, dizziness, trouble sleeping, dry mouth, and diarrhea.
These are not all the possible side effects of CONTRAVE. Tell your healthcare provider about any side effect that bothers you or does not go away.
CONTRAVE is a prescription weight-loss medicine that may help some adults with a body mass index (BMI) of 30 kg/m2 or greater (obese), or adults with a BMI of 27 kg/m2 or greater (overweight) with at least one weight-related medical problem such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or type 2 diabetes, lose weight and keep the weight off.
CONTRAVE should be used with a reduced-calorie diet and increased physical activityIt is not known if CONTRAVE changes your risk of heart problems or stroke or of death due to heart problems or strokeIt is not known if CONTRAVE is safe and effective when taken with other prescription, over-the-counter, or herbal weight-loss productsCONTRAVE is not approved to treat depression or other mental illnesses, or to help people quit smoking (smoking cessation).
Please see Full Prescribing Information, including Medication Guide, for CONTRAVE.
You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit www.fda.gov/medwatch or call 1-800-FDA-1088.
VIDEO - Screen All Teens For Depression, Pediatricians Urge : Shots - Health News : NPR
Thu, 01 Mar 2018 14:22
Screen All Teens For Depression, Pediatricians Urge : Shots - Health News : NPRScreen All Teens For Depression, Pediatricians Urge : Shots - Health NewsThe nation's leading group of pediatricians has updated its guidelines for tackling teen mental health issues. One recommendation: Annual depression screening for all adolescents 12 and older.
VIDEO - We Survived The Parkland Shooting And Now Head Back To School '' Youth Radio
Thu, 01 Mar 2018 13:58
For the past few weeks, my house has been command central for handling classroom supplies that people around the country have donated to my teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Many of their classrooms were shot up when a gunman opened fire on February 14th, killing 17 of my classmates and school staff.
I'm a sophomore at MSD. At the time of the shooting, I had to hide in a closet for an hour and 20 minutes and get evacuated by a SWAT team.
This is my life now: If I'm not at home, helping my mom manage supplies, I'm in counseling, speaking at a rally, or visiting memorials in the park. Then I go on social media to check my posts about gun control. In less than a day one of my tweets had already been seen by more 2,200 people. Forty-six people had liked it, and 28 people retweeted.
My mom checks on me a lot. Her name is Lisa Glassman.
''Okay, so how are you feeling right now for real?'' She asks me. ''Tell me what's going on in your mind.''
A lot is going on in my mind: going back to school; my Twitter life; my activist life.
My friend Alex Wind understands. We know each other from theater class, but now, Alex is more famous for his activism. He helped start the #NeverAgain movement after texting with friends.
Alex said the movement is a way to cope, not necessarily to grieve.
''As much as we are doing all these interviews, we are just kids and we were in that school,'' Alex said.
#NeverAgain grew from a hashtag to March For Our Lives , scheduled for next month in Washington, DC and around the country. It's a lot to handle.
''There are hundreds of messages at all times. And we're trying our hardest. We're all so busy all day long,'' Alex said.
We don't go back to school until Wednesday. Since we've been home, it seems like everyone is part of the movement. I'm speaking, tweeting, and writing letters to government officials. And I'm not even one of the organizers.
Students in Palm Beach, Florida, rally in support of stricter gun control in the wake of the February 14th school shooting at at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High that killed 17 people. Photo: Aaron Glassman/Youth RadioLike Alex said, ''There's no central leader. It's a team effort. That's what's most important. We'll split up and we'll say 'this group do this thing, and this group do this thing.'''
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School senior Ariana Ortega is part of the activism, too'--and she can't believe how fast everything has changed. ''Two weeks ago, I was thinking of prom,'' she said. ''We were all going prom dress shopping, sending each other pictures. Now all of those things seem so insignificant.''
Since the shooting at our school, Ariana says she and her friends have been coming together via group chats. ''We have students speaking about legislative stuff, emotions, plans, everything,'' she said.
We all have our own ways to cope. Amanda Edwards, my neighbor across the street, was in the freshman building where the shooting took place. She's kept more private since then, finding comfort in her writing and piano. Her close friend Carmen Schentrup was killed. Amanda still vividly remembers seeing Carmen in the hallway a few days before everything happened.
A 2016 Instagram photo of Amanda Edwards (left) and Carmen Schentrup (right) both students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Carmen was killed in the school shooting on February 14, 2018. Photo courtesy of Eric Edwards.'' I remember coming out and seeing her, and she kind of slowed down a little bit because she saw me, and she said 'Hi.' And I said 'Hi.' I remember saying goodbye, and it was the last time I saw her'... at least alive,'' Amanda said.
A lot of Amanda's friends don't plan to go back to school, she said''at least not on the first day it's back open.
'' I think I'm a little bit too scared to go,'' Amanda said, ''and my dad said that if I ever get scared during the school day on Wednesday, or after that that, I'm fine with leaving early and stuff. Because, I mean, what's the point of being at school? We're just freaking out half the time, because there might be a school shooter coming in.''
I get it. I was anxious to go back even for an hour this weekend, to get the stuff I'd left there. When the shooting happened, many of us ran out without our phones and backpacks. I actually felt relief getting everything back. And on a personal level, all the political activity is helping me cope. Otherwise, I'd still be in the background, or sitting in bed.
Flowers and signs decorate a memorial at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, Florida, dedicated to the 17 victims killed in the school shooting on February 14, 2018. Photo: Heidi Pickman/Youth RadioBut some moments are easier than others, and it's hard to explain to people who haven't gone through it. I asked my friend Sawyer Garrity what she would say to another teenager who's feeling numb'--someone who hadn't experienced a shooting like we have.
''It doesn't feel like it could ever happen to you until it does. It still doesn't feel real, even if it does happen to you,'' Sawyer said.
I don't know if I'll stay this involved, or what it will feel like tomorrow, once we're back at school. It might be good that we'll be busy all day, and back together.
But I know it will be hard just to walk on campus.
VIDEO - Kids Use Tech So Much They Have Trouble Holding Pencils, Doctors Say '' CBS Baltimore
Thu, 01 Mar 2018 13:46
February 26, 2018 9:00 AM
BALTIMORE (WJZ) '-- After previous studies claimed that children who overuse mobile devices struggle learning to speak, a group of doctors is now saying young children in the digital generation can't even hold a pen or pencil anymore.
''Children are not coming into school with the hand strength and dexterity they had 10 years ago,'' pediatric occupational therapist Sally Payne told The Guardian. ''Children coming into school are being given a pencil but are increasingly not be able to hold it because they don't have the fundamental movement skills.''
British pediatricians are blaming the erosion of basic motor skills on the changing culture among parents who rely heavily on technology. ''It's easier to give a child an iPad than encouraging them to do muscle-building play such as building blocks,'' Payne added. ''Children need lots of opportunity to develop those skills.''
One mother admitted to reporters that she had only given her son hi-tech gadgets to play with; leaving him unprepared for grade school. ''When he got to school, they contacted me with their concerns: he was gripping his pencil like cavemen held sticks,'' Laura said to The Guardian. ''He just couldn't hold it in any other way and so couldn't learn to write because he couldn't move the pencil with any accuracy.''
Karin Bishop, assistant director at the Royal College of Occupational Therapists, added that tech is having a growing impact on children becoming less physically active and living ''more sedentary lifestyles.''
A 2017 study found that the screen time of children under two-years-old was linked to delays in them learning basic expressive speech as a toddler.
Follow @CBSBaltimore on Twitter and like WJZ-TV | CBS Baltimore on Facebook
VIDEO - Classes Resume At Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School 2 Weeks After 17 Killed : NPR
Thu, 01 Mar 2018 13:08
Classes Resume At Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School 2 Weeks After 17 Killed : NPRClasses Resume At Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School 2 Weeks After 17 KilledClasses resumed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, two weeks after 17 people were killed in a mass shooting. Although not all are ready to come back, the school says 95 percent of the school's students returned to classes today.
VIDEO - Gaza on the Brink: Norman Finkelstein on Israeli forces targeting Palestinian civilians - YouTube
Thu, 01 Mar 2018 13:06
VIDEO - SoCal City Bans Distracted Walking CBS Los Angeles
Thu, 01 Mar 2018 12:46
LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) '-- Walking while talking on the phone or listening to music via earbuds or headphones can now earn pedestrians a $100 fine in Montclair.
The small bedroom community about 30 miles east of Los Angeles banned distracted walking while crossing an intersection, an ordinance that went into effect this year.
According to the ordinance, pedestrians cannot ''cross a street or highway while engaged in a phone call, viewing a mobile electronic device or with both ears covered or obstructed by personal audio equipment'' like over-the-ear headphones and ear buds.
There are, however, exceptions for 911 calls, medically-prescribed hearing aids and emergency first responders who are on duty.
City officials say pedestrians now account for 15 percent of all vehicle-related fatalities.
A first violation costs $100, and doubles if caught again within a year. If still within that same 12-month period, subsequent violations can cost as much as $500 each time.
VIDEO - Oprah Winfrey on the One Thing That Could Make Her Run for President | PEOPLE.com
Thu, 01 Mar 2018 12:39
There's only one thing that could make Oprah Winfrey run for president in 2020.
Amid calls for her to consider a run for the White House '-- from fans as well as her closest friends '-- ''I went into prayer,'' she tells PEOPLE in the magazine's new cover story. '' 'God, if you think I'm supposed to run, you gotta tell me, and it has to be so clear that not even I can miss it.' And I haven't gotten that.''
The media mogul and star of the new movie A Wrinkle in Time found herself in the political spotlight after her inspiring speech at the 2018 Golden Globes while accepting the Cecil B. DeMille Award. Winfrey had the crowd of Hollywood's biggest stars on their feet and in tears with her moving words and promise that ''a new day is dawning.'' She was surprised to hear the immediate response the rest of the country had.
''When I walked off with Reese [Witherspoon], I thought, 'I got that done,' '' she says. ''It wasn't until I was back in the press room that they said, 'Do you realize you're trending?' ''
Winfrey says her best friend Gayle King urged her to take the possibility seriously and peppered her with messages of support from others who would back her.
Watch People Cover Story: Oprah Winfrey, available now, on PeopleTV. Go to PeopleTV.com, or download the PeopleTV app on your favorite mobile or connected TV device.And look for PEOPLE's new special edition,The Complete Guide to 'A Wrinkle in Time,'with exclusive photos and interviews with all the stars, available March 2 wherever magazines are sold.
''I had people'--wealthy, billionaires'--calling me up and saying, 'I can get you a billion dollars. I can run your campaign,''' she reveals. ''That many people saying something made me think, 'Am I at least supposed to look at the question?' ''
In the issue, the mogul opens up about working with Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling and young newcomer Storm Reid on the highly anticipated A Wrinkle in Time and her emotional decision to finally say #MeToo and talk about her experience with sexual abuse.
Oprah Winfrey with Storm Reid in A Wrinkle in Time
Atsushi Nishijima/(C) 2017 Disney
Winfrey also says she had no regrets about not raising children with longtime partner Stedman Graham, saying instead that the South African girls she helps through her Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls have been ''enough.''
''It was just the right combination of mentor, mother, leader, guide. Just to see all of them blossom into these flourishing human beings,'' Winfrey says. ''They delight me. Make me laugh a lot. They have surprised me in ways that have brought wonder and great joy.''
Oprah Winfrey
Williams & Hirakawa
Now in her 60s, and after decades of being a comfort to millions all around the world, Winfrey still says making people happy is what she loves most.
''Nothing makes me happier than to see other people in their purest moments of joy,'' she admits. ''Sometimes, honest to goodness, I'm just sitting around thinking, ''What could I do to make somebody feel really good today?''
VIDEO - Broward Co. Sheriff Scott Israel Is A Muslim Sympathizer And Democrat - Reluctant To Jail Youth - YouTube
Thu, 01 Mar 2018 11:53
VIDEO - Google Uses SPLC To Police YouTube Videos | The Daily Caller
Thu, 01 Mar 2018 02:44
YouTube is getting help from the left-wing Southern Poverty Law Center in its effort to identify extremist content.YouTube's ''Trusted Flaggers'' police the platform for so-called hate speech to terror-related content.The SPLC has labeled pedestrian conservative groups as hate groups in the past.The Southern Poverty Law Center is assisting YouTube in policing content on their platform, The Daily Caller has learned.
The left-wing nonprofit '-- which has more recently come under fire for labeling legitimate conservative organizations as ''hate groups'' '-- is one of the more than 100 nongovernment organizations (NGOs) and government agencies in YouTube's ''Trusted Flaggers'' program, a source with knowledge of the arrangement told TheDC.
The SPLC and other program members help police YouTube for extremist content, ranging from so-called hate speech to terrorist recruiting videos.
All of the groups in the program have confidentiality agreements, a spokesperson for Google, YouTube's parent company, previously told TheDC. A handful of YouTube's ''Trusted Flaggers,'' including the Anti-Defamation League and No Hate Speech '-- a European organization focused on combatting intolerance '-- have gone public with their participation in the program. The vast majority of the groups in the program have remained hidden behind their confidentiality agreements.
The SPLC's close involvement in policing content on YouTube is likely to cause consternation among conservatives who worry that they may not be treated fairly. The left-wing group has consistently labeled pedestrian conservative organizations as ''hate groups'' and has been directly tied to violence against conservatives in the past. Floyd Lee Corkins, who opened fire at the Family Research Center in 2012, said he chose the FRC for his act of violence because the SPLC listed them as a ''hate group.''
It's unclear when the SPLC joined YouTube's ''Trusted Flaggers'' program. The program goes back to 2012 but exploded in size in recent years amid a Google push to increase regulation of the content on its platforms, which followed pressure from advertisers. Fifty of the 113 program members joined in 2017 as YouTube stepped up its content policing, YouTube public policy director Juniper Downs told a Senate committee in January.
Downs said the third-party groups work closely with YouTube's employees to crack down on extremist content in two ways, both of which a Google spokesperson previously confirmed to TheDC.
First, the flaggers are equipped with digital tools allowing them to mass flag content for review by YouTube personnel. Second, the partner groups act as guides to YouTube's content monitors and engineers designing the algorithms policing the video platform but may lack the expertise needed to tackle a given subject.
''We work with over 100 organizations as part of our Trusted Flagger program and we value the expertise these organizations bring to flagging content for review. All trusted flaggers attend a YouTube training to learn about our policies and enforcement processes. Videos flagged by trusted flaggers are reviewed by YouTube content moderators according to YouTube's Community Guidelines. Content flagged by trusted flaggers is not automatically removed or subject to any differential policies than content flagged from other users,'' said a YouTube spokesperson, who would not specifically comment on the SPLC's participation in the program.
The SPLC did not return multiple voicemails and emails seeking comment.
The overwhelming majority of the content policing on Google and YouTube is carried out by algorithms. The algorithms make for an easy rebuttal against charges of political bias: it's not us, it's the algorithm. But actual people with actual biases write, test and monitor the algorithms.
As noted above, Google's anonymous outside partners (such as the SPLC) work closely with the internal experts designing the algorithms. This close collaboration has upsides, Google's representatives have said, such as in combatting terrorist propaganda on the platform.
But it also provides little transparency, forcing users to take Google's word that they're being treated fairly.
The SPLC has faced criticism for its cavalier definitions of ''hate group'' and ''extremist.'' The organization stoked controversy in 2015 by labeling Dr. Ben Carson, now the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), an anti-gay ''extremist.'' After a backlash, the SPLC reversed its ruling and apologized to Carson.
The organization faced a similarly intense backlash in 2016 for labeling Maajid Nawaz, a respected counter-extremism activist, an ''anti-Muslim extremist.'' (RELATED: SPLC Says Army Bases Are Confederate Monuments That Need To Come Down)
The Washington Examiner's Emily Jashinsky noted last year that ''the SPLC's claim to objectivity is nothing less than fraudulent, a reality that informed observers of its practices from both the Left and Right accept.''
''The routine of debunking their supposedly objective classifications occurs like clockwork each time a major outlet makes the mistake of turning to them when reporting on the many conservative thinkers and nonprofits the group absurdly designates as hateful.''
The SPLC has faced tough criticisms not just from conservatives but from the mainstream press as well.
''At a time when the line between 'hate group' and mainstream politics is getting thinner and the need for productive civil discourse is growing more serious, fanning liberal fears, while a great opportunity for the SPLC, might be a problem for the nation,'' Politico Magazine's Ben Schreckinger wrote last year.
Bloomberg columnist Megan McArdle similarly noted last year that the SPLC commonly lumps in principled conservatives alongside actual racists and extremists and warned of the possibility that tech companies could rely on the SPLC's misleading definitions.
''Given the increasing tendency of powerful tech companies to flex their muscle against hate groups,'' she wrote, ''we may see more and more institutions unwittingly turned into critics or censors, not just of Nazi propaganda, but also of fairly mainstream ideas.''
VIDEO - FCC chair: Internet works despite 'fear mongering' on net neutrality
Tue, 27 Feb 2018 16:53
The Trump administration's approach to a fair and open internet seeks a compromise between too much regulation and too little, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai told CNBC on Tuesday.
"Some people said that we should maintain the rules we had, the heavy-handed regulations that were based in the 1930s," Pai said in an interview from the Mobile World Congress gathering in Barcelona, Spain. "Others said we should wipe the slate clean, have no regulations whatsoever. We charted a middle course."
Making good on President Donald Trump's campaign promises to wipe out Obama-era regulations, the Republican-led Federal Communications Commission voted in December to eliminate the Open Internet Order, better known as "net neutrality" rules. The reversal of the 2015 order requiring internet service providers to treat all online traffic equally gives those companies more power to set pricing and prioritize different types of internet traffic.
Pai said on "Squawk Box" that he's looking to counter the "misinformation" that's produced this is the "'end of the internet as we know it'" type headlines.
"I think 2½ months later people are still using the internet. The internet still works," he said. "The online experience is going to continue to get better."
The FCC wants a "transparency rule" requiring internet service providers to disclose business and network management practices "backed up by Federal Trade Commission enforcement," Pai said. "That is the kind of careful approach that gave us the internet economy in the United States that's become the envy of the world."
Pai said he hopes Congress can come together to craft the new rules of the internet that protect consumers and competition while making sure regulations don't stifle innovation.
Critics argue the Trump administration's approach could lead internet service providers to block content, "throttle" down traffic, and charge for "fast lanes" to deliver certain types of content more quickly. Supporters of the FCC's move contend those concerns are unfounded and the marketplace will keep the industry in check.
"I think as time goes on some of the fearmongering is going to be proven to be baseless," Pai said. "Everyone, I think, wants an open internet and more infrastructure investment in the United States and around the world."
VIDEO - Feature: MWC18 Monday highlights |
Tue, 27 Feb 2018 16:47
27 FEB 2018
After the flashy device launches of Sunday, we got down to real business on Monday at Mobile World Congress. And few things have created more controversy in recent months than the issue of net neutrality. That was a major theme of the big evening keynote. Meanwhile the morning's opening keynote saw some of the world's largest mobile operators focus on how to improve the way they work. And there were press events from Ericsson and Sony.
Feature: MWC18 Monday highlights
Feature: MWC18 Sunday highlights
Feature: MWC18 Preview '' In Numbers
VIDEO - Graham Norton Show S22E08 HD | Mel Gibson, Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, John Lithgow, Shirley Ballas - YouTube
Tue, 27 Feb 2018 15:36
VIDEO - Julian Assange 'Œ› on Twitter: "Obama VP Joseph Biden brags about how he rigged the judicial system of another country.'... "
Tue, 27 Feb 2018 15:31
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VIDEO - How does a handgun compare to an AR-15
Tue, 27 Feb 2018 00:01
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Let our news meet your inboxVelshi & Ruhle
Stephanie Ruhle takes a look at what teachers would be up against, if they were armed with a handgun and confronted with an AR-15. MSNBC Terrorism Analyst Malcolm Nance explains just how outgunned these teachers would be.Feb.26.2018
Read MoreParkland teacher responds to Trump's idea02:36
WAPO: President's plan to arm teachers could cost half a billion dollars08:02
Here's how a handgun compares to an AR-1506:03
This American Revolution double agent is a Monumental American01:00
Here's who manufactures AR-15s and how much money they bring in02:33
Parkland teacher: 'I do feel safe' returning to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High06:53
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VIDEO - Students' gun protest turns violent '' NBC4i.com
Mon, 26 Feb 2018 23:53
STOCKTON, CA (KCRA) At least five students were arrested Friday as hundreds of others from several Stockton, California high schools walked out of classes in protest of gun violence.
Students at Stagg, Edison, Chavez, Lincoln and Village Oak high schools were walking along streets, and Stockton police said some students threw rocks and damaged both police and citizen vehicles.
Five arrests were made, including charges of battery on an officer, resisting arrest, taking an officer's baton and vandalizing vehicles, including patrol vehicles, Stockton police said.
Those arrested ranged from 14-years-old to 18-years-old. The 18-year-old was booked into the San Joaquin County Jail and the juveniles were cited to their parents, according to Stockton Police.
During one incident, an officer approached a group of students attempting to leave a school by jumping a fence. When the officer approached the students, police said they fought with the officer and took his baton.
The officer was patrolling an area of the high school while it was placed on lockdown. A person who saw the incident take place came to the officer's aid until more officers arrived, police said.
''We do support the freedom to protest peacefully and freedom of speech,'' said Stockton Police Department's Public Information Officer Joe Silva. ''While the majority of the students were peaceful today, we don't condone the violence which was committed by a small handful of students. It's unacceptable to batter a police officer and especially to take an officer's baton.''
February 16, 2018
The teenager accused of using a semi-automatic rifle to kill 17 people at a Florida high school confessed to carrying out one of the nation''...
February 20, 2018
A hundred Stoneman Douglas High School students are busing 400 miles to Florida's capital Tuesday to urge lawmakers to act to prevent a repe'...
February 21, 2018
A grim fellowship of parents, teachers and students affected by school shootings over the past two decades was sitting down with President D'...
February 24, 2018
The progression has become numbingly repetitive '-- mass bloodshed unleashed by a gunman, followed by the stories of the fallen, the funerals,'...
VIDEO - MSNBC: Handguns Are Too Slow To Stop A School | The Daily Caller
Mon, 26 Feb 2018 22:39
MSNBC anchors are claiming that teachers armed with handguns would be unable to stop a school shooter because rifles shoot ''three times faster.''
Anchor Lawrence O'Donnell said on his show Thursday night that ''a bullet fired from an AR-15 travels 3x faster than one from a handgun'...and yet the president and the NRA think giving teachers guns will stop a school shooter.''
Stephanie Ruhle similarly asked, ''How does the best marksman in the world with a handgun take down a shooter with an AR-15 (bullets travel 3x faster).''
While bullets fired from rifles do travel faster than those fired by handguns, the difference comes down to a matter of milliseconds, which would be negligible in any confrontation with a shooter. In close range situations, the difference in bullet velocity matters even less.
The pair also seemingly failed to consider why handguns are standard issue weapons for police officers.
A number of Twitter users pointed out the stupidity of O'Donnell and Ruhle's claims.
Follow Amber on Twitter
VIDEO - William Craddick on Twitter: "Wait, what did she just say?'... "
Mon, 26 Feb 2018 21:30
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VIDEO - Warlock Paul on Twitter: "@adamcurry Why does she think she is looking at a policeman when she is looking at the active shooter? https://t.co/MZp82NU8jL"
Mon, 26 Feb 2018 21:29
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VIDEO - 'Fire and Fury' author Michael Wolff walks off Today show after Trump affair grilling
Mon, 26 Feb 2018 01:27
The author of an explosive expose on the Trump administration has walked off the TODAY show mid-interview after a quizzing over his claims Donald Trump is having an affair.
Author and journalist Michael Wolff, who released bestselling book 'Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump Whitehouse' last year, appeared on the TODAY show this morning.
The interview began with questions over Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's recent visit to the United States and the Whitehouse's position on gun crime.
But almost five minutes in to the interview, when presenter Fordham questioned Mr Wolff about his claims that President Donald Trump was ''absolutely'' having an affair, the 'Fire and Fury' author started complaining of technical problems.
Fordham launched into the grilling with: ''You said during a TV interview just last month that you are 'absolutely sure' that Donald Trump is currently having an affair while President behind the back of the First Lady, and I repeat you said you were 'absolutely sure'.''
The controversial American journalist and author became flustered when Fordham questioned him over his allegations Trump is having an affair. (TODAY)In Wolff's international best seller 'Fire and Fury', former Whitehouse adviser Steve Bannon brutally attacks Trump and his entourage. (AAP)A concerned-looking Mr Wolff attempted to interrupt, saying ''hold on, hold on'' as Fordham ploughed on with his question.
''Just last week however you backflipped and said I quote 'I do not know if the President is having an affair'. Do you owe the President and the First Lady an apology, Mr Wolff?''
''I can't hear you,'' Mr Wolff responded. ''Hello?''
When Fordham repeated asked ''You're not hearing me Mr Wolff?'', the author was heard responding ''no'' before saying ''I'm not getting anything''.
After saying he "couldn't hear" Fordham, Mr Wolff took off his earpiece and walked off set. (TODAY)The US President attempted to prevent the release of Mr Wolff's explosive book. (AAP)As the author removed his earpiece and stood up to leave his London studio, a stunned Fordham observed ''it looks like the interview may be over''.
''Gee, that was an unfortunate question to miss wasn't it?'' observed fellow presenter Georgie Gardner wryly as Mr Wolff walked off set.
''I think he might of heard it,'' Fordham responded.
The American journalist has coped heavy criticism after he strongly implied the President was having an affair with the married US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, during an interview he gave in Amsterdam in January.
Mr Wolff said he was "absolutely certain" and only missed the "blue dress" to prove it - a reference to Bill Clinton's semen stains allegedly found on Monica Lewinsky's clothing.
''Gee, that was an unfortunate question to miss wasn't it?'' TODAY presenter Georgie Gardner observed. (TODAY)President Trump has previously slammed claims made in 'Fire and Fury', which include claims of a chaotic campaign which the President didn't want or expect to win; that he was using the Presidential run as a platform to launch a cable news network; and that ''100% of the people around him'' in the Whitehouse believe he is unfit for office.
''You can't say things that are knowingly false and be able to smile as money pours into your bank account,'' Mr Trump said of the bestselling work.
(C) Nine Digital Pty Ltd 2018
VIDEO - Ella Fitzgerald - 'S Wonderful (High Quality - Remastered) - YouTube
Mon, 26 Feb 2018 00:50
VIDEO - Father of New Anti-Gun Crusader Works for Major CIA-Linked GWoT Defense Contractor - YouTube
Sun, 25 Feb 2018 23:55
VIDEO - #NoNRAMoney Campaign on MSNBC's "AM Joy" - YouTube
Sun, 25 Feb 2018 22:44
VIDEO - Florida EMTs Say Broward Sheriff Blocked Medics From Treating Gunned Down Students Inside School '' True PunditTrue Pundit
Wed, 28 Feb 2018 00:33
PoliticsSecurityFlorida EMTs Say Broward Sheriff Blocked Medics From Treating Gunned Down Students Inside SchoolThree high-ranking Florida officials close to the law enforcement response at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School tell Fox News there was a delay in Emergency Medical Service getting into the school in the critical moments after Nikolas Cruz allegedly opened fire, killing 17 people and wounding at least 14 others.
Two separate sources told Fox News some of the EMS teams who requested to enter the school were told they could not. One source said it was the Broward County Sheriff's Office '' which was the commanding office '' that ordered some of the EMS crews not to go into the school when they requested to enter.
''What's going to come out is, in the communications on several circumstances, there was the request to enter'... the request was denied from Broward County,'' a Florida official told Fox News.
''When you have a police agency saying we don't want you going in, that's a problem,'' another Florida official said. ''The training since Columbine has been [that] first responders, police go in immediately with paramedics.''
Multiple high-ranking sources told Fox News police officers and deputies were bringing victims out to EMS workers to be treated instead of allowing EMS inside. One fire official said that ''sometimes'' that's just how it would happen, but at least one emergency responder wondered if the response was detrimental to the victims.
Three Florida officials confirmed to Fox News that the emergency response at Stoneman Douglas apparently went against standard EMS training in which EMS teams typically go into emergency situations right behind police as soon as possible.
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