1014: Rise of the Betas

Adam Curry & John C. Dvorak

2h 53m
March 8th, 2018
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Executive Producers: Sir Hennessy Knight of Munster, Sir Francis of SRQ, Viscount of SW FL, Sir, Sir Brian Lawson Baron of Queens Swamplands NY, Sir Paul of Winooski, Timothy Singleton, Sir HMFIC, Baron of the US Armed Forces, Archduke Nussbaum, Milton Cuevas, David K

Associate Executive Producers: Noah Maxwell, Samuel Brown, Anonymous, Sir Cal, Michael Milewski, Sir Ronald Gardner, Sir Dick Bangs, Kyle Blank, Sir Mad Hatter, Joseph Pumphrey

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Agenda 2030
This Macaroni And Cheese Helps Fight Climate Change
Tue, 06 Mar 2018 16:28
On a box of macaroni and cheese that will launch this month, the name of the farmer who grew the wheat used to make the pasta''Nate Powell-Palm, who has a farm outside Bozeman, Montana''is printed on the front. The manufacturer, Annie's, Inc., wanted to highlight the fact that Powell-Palm is using regenerative farming practices, a series of steps that go farther than what's required for an organic label''and that could help fight climate change by sequestering carbon in the soil.
''I think that's a first in the industry: to offer a product on such wide distribution, available from a major manufacturer in the center of the store, where the family that's about to enjoy the product can name the farmer, name the farm, and know the ingredients that are specific in that product that are using these very Earth-friendly practices,'' says Carla Vernon, president of Annie's.
[Photo: Annie's]The brand, which was purchased by General Mills in 2014, is already known for using organic ingredients. But it wanted to go further: Regeneratively farmed ingredients are farmed with a more holistic set of practices that can promote soil health, increase biodiversity, and pull carbon from the air.
On the Montana farm, Powell-Palm rotates his wheat crop with golden peas, which are also used to make the flour for the pasta, boosting the protein content. A diversity of crops makes the soil healthier than just growing wheat; wheat takes nitrogen from the soil, and peas help replenish it. Livestock also graze in the field on rotation, adding more nutrients to the soil with manure. The farm also uses cover crops rather than letting the soil sit bare after harvest, so the roots of the plants help hold carbon in the soil.
Annie's will sell the mac and cheese as a limited edition product at the Sprouts chain of supermarkets this spring''only offering as much as was possible to produce with the yield from the Montana farm. It's also selling a regenerative agriculture version of one of its snacks, ''Organic Bunny Grahams,'' bunny-shaped cookies made with wheat and oats from Casey Bailey, a farmer who works near the small Montana town of Fort Benton. But the brand sees the first two products as proofs of concept for its larger vision to scale regeneratively farmed ingredients across its business.
The two Montana farmers are both leaders in regenerative agriculture. Annie's, working with General Mills, has a scorecard of best regenerative practices that it can now use with farmers to identify others who are making the most progress, and to help farmers identify how they can improve. The company is also working with farmers and agricultural organizations to help them join the effort; in South Dakota, General Mills is helping farmers convert thousands of acres from conventional farmland to organic and incorporate regenerative practices like crop rotations and cover cropping. The wheat produced will be used in Annie's pasta products.
''Farmers are anywhere on a spectrum of their interest and readiness,'' says Vernon. ''But we're trying to make sure that we also take time to understand what farmers need and where farmers are coming from, and what might be some of the barriers that make it difficult for farmers to move in this direction, and figure out if there is a way that with better understanding and better partnership, Annie's can help to reduce those barriers, to remove those barriers entirely.'' For farms that aren't yet organic, for example, which have to go through a three-year transition period before they can be certified organic and sell crops for a premium, General Mills can support the transition by using the crops during the transition period in other brands that don't yet use organic ingredients.
General Mills made an ambitious commitment to cut greenhouse gases by 28%, from 2015 to 2025, in line with the current science on climate change. Regenerative agriculture''which holds the promise to not just reduce emissions, but reverse them''can be one piece of that, beginning with products like the two limited-edition offerings. ''Annie's can actually create activities and products that can boil those big goals down into something that people can really see as specific and see as achievable,'' says Vernon.
It's part of growing interest in regenerative agriculture from many companies. Patagonia's food brand, Patagonia Provisions, launched a beer made with Kernza, a grain that helps sequester carbon with its unusually long roots. Cascadian Farm, another General Mills brand, also wants to incorporate Kernza into cereals and snacks. The North Face launched a ''climate beneficial'' beanie made from wool that came from sheep on a ranch that uses regenerative grazing principles.
Annie's is working with others in the food industry to try to quickly scale regenerative agriculture. ''We're a part of different industry collaborations, and so we share where we can share and help each other along,'' says Shauna Sadowski, senior sustainability manager at Annie's. ''At the end of the day, we all want to see a future that we can all thrive in. And so we all have to do it.'' There are challenges, she says, including coming to a consensus on how to define ''regenerative agriculture,'' and figuring out the best ways to measure how the practices are improving soil health on a specific farm. (Other parts of the product, like the cheese and the packaging, are also not regenerative). But the brand is committed to scaling up.
Boxed macaroni and cheese''a product that might seem like a symbol of industrial food''is one early step. The design echoes the shift in thinking: Instead of the sanitized bright blue background of a Kraft box, there's a picture of dirt. ''We really believe that sometimes to do something big you have to start by doing something that might feel small,'' says Vernon. ''But that if you do that small thing and it's bold and exciting enough, the ripple effect is powerful.''
About the authorAdele Peters is a staff writer at Fast Company who focuses on solutions to some of the world's largest problems, from climate change to homelessness. Previously, she worked with GOOD, BioLite, and the Sustainable Products and Solutions program at UC Berkeley.
Sea Level Rise in the SF Bay Area Just Got a Lot More Dire | WIRED
Thu, 08 Mar 2018 12:43
If you move to the San Francisco Bay Area, prepare to pay some of the most exorbitant home prices on the planet. Also, prepare for the fact that someday, your new home could be underwater'--and not just financially.
Sea level rise threatens to wipe out swaths of the Bay's densely populated coastlines, and a new study out today in Science Advances paints an even more dire scenario: The coastal land is also sinking, making a rising sea that much more precarious. Considering sea level rise alone, models show that, on the low end, 20 square miles could be inundated by 2100. But factor in subsiding land and that estimate jumps to almost 50 square miles. The high end? 165 square miles lost.
The problem is a geological phenomenon called subsidence. Different kinds of land sink at different rates. Take, for instance, Treasure Island, which resides between San Francisco and Oakland. It's an artificial island made of landfill, and it's sinking fast, at a rate of a third of an inch a year. San Francisco Airport is also sinking fast and could see half its runways and taxiways underwater by 2100, according to the new analysis.
Now, subsidence is nothing new to climate scientists. ''People have been aware that this is an issue,'' says UC Berkeley's Roland Burgmann, coauthor of the paper. ''What was missing was really data that has high enough resolution and accuracy to fully integrate'' subsidence in the Bay Area.
To get that data, the researchers took precise measurements of the landscape from lidar-equipped aircraft. They combined this with data from satellites, which fire radar signals at the ground and analyze the return signals to estimate how fast land is moving either toward the spacecraft or away from them.
By comparing data from 2007 to 2011, the team showed that most of the Bay's coastline is subsiding at a rate of less than 2 millimeters a year. Which may not seem like much, but those millimeters add up, especially considering a study that came out last month suggested sea level rise is accelerating.
"You talk to someone about, Oh the land is going down a millimeter a year, and that can be kind of unimpressive," says the University of Nevada Reno's William Hammond, who studies subsidence but was not involved in the study. "But we know as scientists that these motions, especially if they come from plate tectonics, that they are relentless and they will never stop, at least as long as we're alive on this planet."
Speaking of being alive on this planet: Humans have induced subsidence at an astonishing scale by rapidly depleting aquifers. Take the South Bay, for instance. ''Parts of San Jose have been lowered up to 12 feet due to groundwater extraction,'' says USGS coastal geologist Patrick Barnard. Fortunately, the extraction policies that led to those losses are kaput. But the same can't be said for the rest of the planet, in particular for communities that are suffering drought exacerbated by climate change.
''It's not a major concern for the Bay anymore,'' Barnard adds, ''but it is for in general aquifers worldwide, especially in developing countries where a lot of groundwater is extracted from these large river deltas where millions of people live. They're already extremely vulnerable to sea level rise.''
The developing world is nowhere near ready to deal with subsidence and rising seas, but neither is the developed world. This is a problem that defies human ingenuity. It's not like the San Francisco Bay Area can build one giant sea wall to insulate itself. And it's not like low-lying Florida can hike itself up, or New York City can move itself inland a few hundred miles.
''There is no permanent solution to this problem,'' says Arizona State University geophysicist Manoochehr Shirzaei, lead author of the paper. ''This will impact us one way or another. The forces are immense, it's a very powerful process, the cost of really dealing with it is huge, and it requires long-term planning. I'm not so sure there's a good way to avoid it.''
Save for keeping seas from rising in the first place. That, of course, would require a tremendous global effort to cut back emissions. But even conservative projections suggest future sea level rise could be dramatic. Which means we as a species have to seriously reconsider the idea of a coastal town, or in case of the Bay Area, a sprawling coastal metropolis. Because the sea is coming to swallow us, and there's nothing we can do to stop it.
More Climate Science
Collapse: Oscar Ratings Crash By Double Digits
Mon, 05 Mar 2018 17:06
Variety reports that the ''8 p.m.-11 p.m. portion of ABC's telecast averaged an 18.9 household rating and 32 share in Nielsen's metered market overnight ratings '... That's down about 16% from the 22.5/37 rating generated by the 2017 Oscars.''
According to Deadline, the ''18.9 appears to be an all-time low for the Oscars, below the previous low ratings point for the Oscars, logged with the 2008 telecast (21.9).''
The ratings will be updated once all the numbers are in,But if past is prologue, those numbers will not change much either way.
The writing was on the wall for this ratings catastrophe all year. Almost every other award show suffered massive audience erosion and there was no movie nominated for Best Picture for anyone to root for. Seven of the nine nominees averaged just $47 million at the box office, which means only about 5 million people saw them.
Bringing Jimmy Kimmel back for another round as host was also a big mistake. Kimmel is one of the most divisive and polarizing figures in the country, a Trump-hating Democrat who regularly lectures the rest of us about embracing socialized medicine and giving up our guns.
With Kimmel as host, the Academy basically told 50 percent of the country to go watch something else.
On top of insulting Trump voters, this Oscar telecast also promised to be a lecture in favor of gun control (by elitists protected by hundreds of armed guards) and against sexual harassment (by elitists who are either harassers or enablers). As the early ratings show, even Democrats were not interested in watching that kind of self-serving hypocrisy.
If Sunday night's telecast signaled anything, though, it is that Hollywood is going the same way as the mainstream media. With their ratings and credibility gone, and knowing they have lose Middle America forever, both institutions are blatantly and belligerently moving to the far left in the hopes of at least holding on to that base of support.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter@NolteNC. Follow his Facebook Pagehere.
Oscars: Early Ratings Down From 2017 Telecast '' Variety
Mon, 05 Mar 2018 17:03
Live viewership of the 90th annual Academy Awards ceremony was down significantly from the 2017 telecast, according to preliminary Nielsen ratings for ABC's nearly four-hour telecast.
The 8 p.m.-11 p.m. portion of ABC's telecast averaged an 18.9 household rating and 32 share in Nielsen's metered market overnight ratings, which cover about 70% of U.S. TV households. That's down about 16% from the 22.5/37 rating generated by the 2017 Oscars.
However, the preliminary ratings are not adjusted for time zone differences. ABC's 8 p.m.-11:48 p.m. ET Oscarcast aired live coast to coast, which means the live West Coast viewership is not accurately reflected in the overnight numbers that measure only primetime hours in all markets. Nor do they include viewership from the post-11 p.m. final 48 minutes when the most prominent awards were handed out to winners that included Gary Oldman as best actor, for ''Darkest Hour,'' and Frances McDormand, for ''Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.''
In the fast nationals, which are also not time zone adjusted, the Oscars telecast averaged a 6.4 rating in adults 18-49 and 24.4 million viewers, compared to the 8.7 rating and 29.1 million viewers the 2017 telecast drew in the preliminary numbers. 2017's telecast eventually rose to a 9.1 and 32.9 million viewers. ABC will likely see a lift in the numbers once the final data becomes available later today, but as it currently stands, the 2018 Oscars telecast is at an all-time low in the ratings.
Nonetheless, the overnights give a glimpse of the baseline turnout for the ceremony that crowned the fantasy drama ''The Shape of Water'' as best picture.
Despite the drop, ABC was the dominant network of the night, easily topping its Big Four competitors combined.
As it currently stands, ABC averaged a 5.8 rating and 22.4 million viewers on Sunday night. NBC averaged a 0.6, while CBS and Fox tied with a 0.5 CBS averaged 4.5 million viewers, while NBC drew 2.7 million and Fox drew 1.7 million.
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Oscars 2018: Frances McDormand champions 'inclusion riders' during her Best Actress speech - The Verge
Tue, 06 Mar 2018 09:22
Frances McDormand won the 2018 Oscar for Actress in a Leading Role for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. During her acceptance speech, she set her Oscar statuette down on the floor beside her, then commanded all the other women nominees in the room to stand up in solidarity.
''If I could have all the women stand up with me in this moment,'' she said, waving them to their feet. ''Look around, everybody, look around, ladies and gentlemen, because we all have stories to tell, and we all have projects we need to finance.''
She encouraged people to discuss future women-centric projects seriously during meetings, rather than during drinks tonight. ''I have two words to leave with you tonight: inclusion rider,'' she said. The words refer to actors putting diversity requirements into their contracts about the other crew and actors' positions for a film they choose to act in.
McDormand had previously won the Best Actress award for her work in Fargo. This was her fifth nomination in the category. The other nominees in her category were Meryl Streep in The Post, Margot Robbie in I, Tonya, Sally Hawkins in The Shape of Water, and Saoirse Ronan in Lady Bird.
HPV Documentary ''Sacrificial Virgins'' Wins Australian BEST OF FESTIVAL Award
Thu, 08 Mar 2018 15:06
By Catherine J. Frompovich
What are ''sacrificial virgins,'' you may be asking?
They are young, pre-teen and/or teenage girls, who are targeted for receiving the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines [Gardasil®, Gardasil 9® and Cervarix®] prior to becoming sexually active under the unproven pretext of preventing contracting HPV of which there are over 100 strains, and/or cervical cancer later on in life.
This extraordinary investigative documentary film is produced in three parts:
Part I '' Not for the greater good
Part II '' Pain and Suffering
Sacrificial Virgins: Part III '' A penny for your pain
All three trailers can be seen ''en bank'' at this YouTube link.
Kudos and congratulations are sent to the entire production staff with special recognition for the foresight and determination of filmmaker Joan Shenton, director Andi Reiss and film editor Ollie Richards.
According to the Press Release dated March 4, 2018, ''Sacrificial Virgins'' was honored ''for investigative journalism at the Watchdog Film Festival, held in Brisbane, Australia.'' Furthermore, the PR went on to say,
Festival founder and director James Hyams, himself an investigative journalist, said: ''Shenton's thorough, transnational investigation in search of truth and justice deserves recognition and thus the Watchdog Film Festival has awarded her and her team the Watchdog Spirit Award. Individuals such as Ms Shenton and her team play a very important role in identifying and documenting questionable practices within institutions with the hope of increasing accountability and initiating changes for the betterment of society.''
The announcement of both awards was made at the screening of a special ''festival cut'' of Sacrificial Virgins. James Hyams added: ''Joan Shenton's documentary Sacrificial Virgins questions the safety of the HPV vaccine by illustrating that many individuals correlate the onset of a disability or the death of their daughter with the vaccine. Shenton questions medical professionals about the methodology of the HPV clinical trials and develops a case that further scientific research needs to be conducted to alleviate growing concern about the risks and benefits of the HPV vaccine.''
Ms. Shenton wrote and narrated the entire film series. According to Shenton,
The films establish that there is no evidence that the HPV vaccines Gardasil and Cervarix, in guarding against HPV, will also protect against future onsets of cervical cancer because there is no scientific evidence that HPV actually causes such cancers. However, the films demonstrate plenty of evidence that, after receiving the vaccines, countless young women worldwide have experienced life-changing neurological damage. Yet these vaccines are pushed onto whole populations in many countries through national vaccination programmes.
The important thing now is to stop the vaccination programmes until further research into the long term effects is evaluated.
Our hope is that Sacrificial Virgins helps the combined efforts of campaigning and legal action in getting these drugs taken off the market until independent, ethically conducted research shows that the benefits properly outweigh the risks.
It should be noted that Ms. Shenton's independent production company
'... Meditel Productions, has won seven television awards and was the first independent company ever to win a Royal Television Society Award for an episode of Channel 4's Dispatches. It has produced eight network documentaries for Channel 4, Sky News and M-Net, South Africa on the AIDS debate. ''AIDS '' The Unheard Voices'' won the Royal Television Society Award for Current Affairs.
SACRIFICIAL VIRGINS is to be applauded, plus spotlighted, insofar as it adds to the growing list of undeniable documentaries detailing the disturbing life altering FACTUAL adverse events brought on by vaccines, which have not been properly tested'--as in the case of one HPV vaccine, which added another type of aluminum adjuvant to the on-the-market-brand and which was not included in the Cervarix safety trial and data submitted for vaccine licensure, which is an apparent scientific and research fraudulent act.
Renowned UK aluminium expert professor Dr. Christopher Exley is engaged in a discussion about that Cervarix 'caper' starting at 8:54 minutes on the timeline of Part III.
For further information about SACRIFICIAL VIRGINS, please contact the filmmaker via Email at joanshenton@clara.co.uk, or via telephone in the UK at 44 7957 585515.
However and personally, I would feel remiss in not recognizing the undeniably incredible work of SaneVax in researching, tracking and exposing the horrors of HPV vaccines globally for many years. Please see their commendable website and take note of the side bar ''HPV Vaccine VAERS Reports 12/14/17,''which reports the following statistics taken directly from the CDC's VAERS Reporting System:
Abnormal Pap Smear '...'...'...'...'.... 636Cervical Dysplasia'...'...'...'...'...'...'.....300Cervical Cancer'...'...'...'...'...'...'...'...'....146Deaths'...'...'...'...'...'...'...'...'...'...'...'...'...'...406Disabled'...'...'...'...'...'...'...'...'...'...'...'...2,467Did Not Recover'...'...'...'...'...'.....10,980Emergency Room'...'...'...'...'...'...15,102Total Adverse Events'...'...'...'...55,788Plus other stats
What's wrong with medical science and federal government agencies, which supposedly are entrusted to make certain pharmaceuticals, biologicals and vaccines are to be SAFE and not life-threatening before being placed into the healthcare marketplace?
Furthermore, what's wrong with the U.S. Congress, which has oversight over those federal health agencies, in not performing their constitutional oversight duties to make certain federal government agencies operate in a safe and humane manner, and not promote the vested interests of corporations known as BigPharma?
Press Release
Catherine J Frompovich (website) is a retired natural nutritionist who earned advanced degrees in Nutrition and Holistic Health Sciences, Certification in Orthomolecular Theory and Practice plus Paralegal Studies. Her work has been published in national and airline magazines since the early 1980s. Catherine authored numerous books on health issues along with co-authoring papers and monographs with physicians, nurses, and holistic healthcare professionals. She has been a consumer healthcare researcher 35 years and counting.
Catherine's latest book, published October 4, 2013, is Vaccination Voodoo, What YOU Don't Know About Vaccines, available on Amazon.com.
Her 2012 book A Cancer Answer, Holistic BREAST Cancer Management, A Guide to Effective & Non-Toxic Treatments, is available on Amazon.com and as a Kindle eBook.
Two of Catherine's more recent books on Amazon.com are Our Chemical Lives And The Hijacking Of Our DNA, A Probe Into What's Probably Making Us Sick (2009) and Lord, How Can I Make It Through Grieving My Loss, An Inspirational Guide Through the Grieving Process (2008)
Catherine's NEW book: Eat To Beat Disease, Foods Medicinal Qualities (C)2016 Catherine J Frompovich is now available
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Emotional Support Mammals
From Producer Joshua
Hey Adam!
Disclaimer: Any part or whole of this email may be read on
the show and/or shared with JCD. Please refer to me as "Joshua from Bryan,
TX" if the need arises.
First, I would like to express my appreciation for all the
work you and John do on the show, as well as all of the producers!
I personally benefitted from the story you've been following
regarding emotional support animals, the ADA, & service animals.
An issue arose at work regarding a service dog. I work at a
Relais & Chateau property that has a restaurant, hotel, equestrian center,
& organic farm. As usual, being the senior front of the house employee,
they sought my guidance.
Asking specifically if we are able to allow said animal.
I provided a quick breakdown including the ADA citation and
put everyone at ease!
As a Hospitality professional, I would be glad to offer any
input as the need arises.
The NoAgenda show is really top notch and definitely has a
profound positive impact on its listeners and those who are around them.
Keep up the good work!
Joshua from Bryan, TX
Gary Cohn using Tariff's as excuse as per the Former NY Banker
Gazprom will not start March gas deliveries to Ukraine's Naftogaz '-- RT Business News
Mon, 05 Mar 2018 12:46
Russian state-run gas giant Gazprom will not start shipments of natural gas to Ukraine's Naftogaz starting March 1 after sides failed to reach an agreement, the company's deputy chairman, Alexander Medvedev, told journalists.
Medvedev said that Gazprom had refunded the entire prepayment received from Ukrainian state gas monopoly Naftogaz for the gas that was to be delivered this month. The decision came as the sides reportedly failed to extend a supplemental agreement to the current gas contract.
''So far, the supplemental agreement to the operating contract with Naftogaz has not been approved, and that is a compulsory condition for launching the shipments,'' said Medvedev. ''So, we have to recover the amount paid by the company in full. And it is obvious that the shipments in March won't start.''
In response, Ukraine's state monopoly said that Gazprom had failed to deliver prepaid gas. Naftogaz is reportedly planning to claim damages for supply failure from the Russian energy major.
Kiev and Moscow have a history of clashing over prices and obligations under contracts for the delivery of Russian gas to Ukraine as well as transit to Europe. The standoff in the winter of 2006 triggered supply disruptions, with Russia accusing Ukraine of stealing gas intended for the European market.
The gas giants are currently involved in a long-standing litigation over the terms of the current delivery contract. Ukraine's lawyers are struggling for annulment of the so-called take-or-pay provision that obliges Kiev to purchase a minimum annual quantity of gas. Earlier this week, Naftogaz claimed it had won a $2.56 billion victory in another round of its legal battle with Gazprom.
For more stories on economy & finance visit RT's business section
Report: Woman Told Police That Mark Cuban Sexually Assaulted Her While Posing For Photo In 2011
Wed, 07 Mar 2018 11:49
Photo: Ron Jenkins (AP)Willamette Week has obtained and published excerpts of a 2011 police report investigating a woman's claim that Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban sexually assaulted her while posing for a photo, allegedly reaching his hand down the back of her jeans and inserting his finger in her vagina. Cuban denied the accusation, and no charges were filed.
Cuban had been in Portland for a Mavericks-Trail Blazers game in April 2011. He encountered the woman while out at a bar, and she asked to take a photo with him.
''He then moved his hand down until it was on her buttocks,'' read the Portland police detective's summary of the alleged victim's statement, obtained by Willamette Week. ''Cuban then pushed his hand down the back of her jeans and inside her underwear where he cupped his hand over her groin area and inserted the tip of his finger into her vagina.''
The woman gave seven cell phone photos from the evening to police, but the bureau declined to release them to Willamette Week. Two of the photos were described as notable in the police report:
In both images, Cuban's right shoulder is lowered and he appears to be stretching to reach his arm down. In one of the pictures, his arm can be seen behind [the alleged victim] and it appears Cuban is reaching down toward her buttocks.
The woman went to police a week later, and Cuban was contacted soon after. He immediately denied the allegations, and his lawyer contacted two urologists who gave a statement claiming that Cuban physically could not have committed the assault in question: ''[Cuban] is a large male with large hands, making penetration without lubrication of the woman in the standing position virtually impossible.'' Police completed the investigation, with insufficient evidence to file charges, in July 2011.
Rather than directing police detective Brendan McGuire to his lawyer, Cuban agreed to a phone interview about the allegations himself. Here are some of the excerpts published by WW:
Cuban: Look, I'm, I'm, I'm not gonna sit here, I, how did she say I touched her? Look, people, people hug me. People grab me. People grab onto me all the time.
McGuire: Sure.
Cuban: And it wouldn't shock me if, you know, I like put my arm around somebody or, I mean, but I inappropriately touched? Like in what manner?
McGuire: Well, I'll tell you what the allegation is. And, of course, keep in mind, Mr. Cuban, that I'm not sitting here talking to you, accusing you of anything.
McGuire: Well, there are two pictures. I will tell that you can't see your hands in any of them. Frankly, the cellphone picture quality is not good enough to do that. There are two pictures that do appear to have your shoulder dipping and your arm sort of, if you follow the direction of it, down below her waist.
Cuban: Are you kidding me?
McGuire: No.
Cuban: 'Cause I always make a point to show my ring finger whenever I take pictures with girls. My left hand.
Cuban: But there's no way that anybody is ever going to say or know. It would've happened right then if they would've seen or known something. They would've stood up. I mean, anybody can make this shit up.
McGuire: That is also true. I will certainly concede that. And then once I've conducted as thorough an investigation as I can, our district attorney would look at it and make a decision if they thought there was enough evidence for a prosecution.
Cuban: And what's your gut feel?
McGuire: At this point, I can't tell you that. And I can't really ethically tell you that anyway.
Cuban: Oh that's fine. That's fine. That's fine. That's fine. That's fine. She said I stuck my finger up her crack or crotch?
McGuire: Yeah.
McGuire: Well, if what she is alleging were true, then under Oregon law, let's see, that would be a sex abuse in the second degree, which is a felony. It's the lowest-level felony there is, but it is a felony. And basically, the legal definition of that is penetration without someone's consent but not any force or threats or anything like that.
Cuban: Right.
McGuire: And then as far as the consequences, I mean, that obviously that's way down the road, possibly farther than we could even look. It's all kind of things could happen.
Cuban: Oh my Lord. Oh my fucking Lord. Oh, that's what you get for being nice.
[Willamette Week]
Weinstein Company deal falls through after more debt found
Wed, 07 Mar 2018 12:54
A last-minute deal to buy The Weinstein Company has collapsed after more debt was uncovered by investors.
The consortium led by Maria Contreras-Sweet, a former senior official in Barack Obama's administration, announced it would no longer buy the studio's assets.
Ms Contreras-Sweet and her investment partner, US billionaire Ron Burkle, said they were "disappointed" after discovering tens of millions of dollars of additional liabilities on top of the $225m that were prepared to take on.
"All of us have worked in earnest on the transaction to purchase the assets of The Weinstein Company," they said.
Image: Ms Contreras-Sweet was a senior member of the Obama administration "However, after signing and entering into the confirmatory diligence phase, we have received disappointing information about the viability of completing this transaction.
"As a result, we have decided to terminate this transaction."
The studio had said before it was considering filing for bankruptcy, and has reinforced it will now pursue such "orderly process" if no other viable options arise.
Pressure for the deal to be closed has been enforced by the Attorney General's office, which said it would be "disappointed if the parties cannot work out their differences".
This comes in the backdrop of the fall of Harvey Weinstein, co-founder of TWC and one of the biggest film producers in Hollywood history.
Image: The Weinstein Company was founded by Harvey and his brother Robert He was accused by dozens of women of a wide range of sexual misconduct and sexual abuse accusations, all of which he denies.
Weinstein is being investigated by authorities in both the US and the UK.
Ms Contreras-Sweet left open the possibility that she could still forge a new company from the ashes, saying she believes "our vision to create a women-led film studio is still the correct course of action".
More from Harvey WeinsteinThe Mexican-born business woman has previously stated her intention is to have a majority female board, save jobs and create a victims' compensation fund.
Now that the deal seems to have collapsed, TWC has said it was an "excuse" by investors to back out from the deal, and the company "has always been transparent about its dire financial condition".
The NYPD Is Ready to Arrest Harvey Weinstein. Will District Attorney Cy Vance Finally Agree to Let It?
Thu, 08 Mar 2018 11:32
The NYPD is prepared to collar Harvey Weinstein for felony sexual assault, a police official with direct knowledge of the case told The Daily Beast.
''We're ready to go with an arrest,'' the official said yesterday afternoon.
The NYPD is awaiting only a nod from Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance.
Earlier in the day, Chief of Detectives Robert Boyce was asked during a wide ranging press availability about the investigation into sexual assault allegations against Weinstein. Boyce replied that the detectives are still gathering evidence in the case and, ''It is going very, very well.''
Boyce then suggested that questions regarding the next step would be best addressed to Vance.
''I would ask you to ask him,'' Boyce said.
The Daily Beast did ask.
''We will decline,'' a Vance spokesman said when asked for comment.
According to police sources, the NYPD has been investigating five separate sexual assault allegations against Weinstein. One case is said to be particularly strong.
The NYPD does not name sex crime victims, but the victim in this instance has spoken for publication about the alleged assault.
As she recounted in a 2017 New Yorker article by Ronan Farrow, Lucia Evans was a college student interested in an acting career when she met Weinstein at the Cipriani Upstairs nightspot in the summer of 2004. Weinstein offered her professional guidance and she imagined that was his intention she arrived at his office for a daytime meeting.
As Evans subsequently recounted to Farrow and to detectives from the NYPD's Special Victims Unit, Weinstein made his real purpose clear when he forced her to perform oral sex.
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''I said, over and over, 'I don't want to do this, stop, don't,''' she told Farrow. ''He's a big guy. He overpowered me.''
The SVU has also been speaking to actress Paz de la Huerta, who told Vanity Fair that Weinstein threw her down on a bed and raped her in 2010. Detectives found both women believable. The Evans case is apparently the stronger of the two.
The other three cases involving Weinstein are said to be still developing.
In the case involving Evans, one hurdle the SVU detectives reportedly faced was a reluctance on her part to deal with Vance's office.
One reason for Evans' hesitation may have been Vance's failure to authorize the SVU to arrest Weinstein for groping Ambra Battilana Gutierrez in 2015. Vance's office declined'--and left that victim all the more vulnerable to be smeared by the press'--even though Gutierrez had immediately reported the incident and had subsequently recorded Weinstein making what amounted to a confession.
''I won't do it again,'' Weinstein can be heard telling Battilana, implicitly admitting he had done it to her before.
In defending the decision not to prosecute, Chief Assistant DA Karen Friedman Agnifilo actually sought to blame the detectives, saying that before making the recording they should have first consulted with the ''seasoned prosecutors'' in her office.
''While the recording is horrifying to listen to, what emerged from the audio was insufficient to prove a crime under New York law, which requires prosecutors to establish criminal intent,'' Agnifilo said.
Weinstein's lawyers had reportedly insisted to the prosecutors that he had touched her breasts only to evaluate her as a possible lingerie model. He would have had a harder time explaining why he had reached under her skirt without criminal intent.
''She was going to play the part of a gynecological patient in a movie?'' a police official joked.
Another police official noted that the Manhattan DA routinely prosecutes subway gropers on far less evidence.
''But they're not Harvey Weinstein,'' the other official noted.
A Weinstein victim is liable to be all the more leery of going to the Manhattan DA since the mogul retained defense attorney Ben Brafman, whose law partners include Marc Agnifilo. He is the husband of Karen Friedman Agnifilo, who is said to have recused herself from any further involvement in anything Weinstein.
Evans eventually agreed to meet with the DA's office after the SVU detectives offered to accompany her and remain while she was interviewed. She is said to have been as convincing with the prosecutors and she had been with the detectives.
Evans, who has since married and moved on to interests unrelated to acting, seems to be as determined as the detectives are to follow through in the Weinstein case.
She told The New Yorker: ''I tried to get away, but maybe I didn't try hard enough. I didn't want to kick him or fight him'... I just sort of gave up. That's the most horrible part of it, and that's why he's been able to do this for so long to so many women: people give up, and then they feel like it's their fault.''
She also recalled that Weinstein had seemed unconcerned about any possible consequences after the attack.
''It was like it was just another day for him,'' she said. ''It was no emotion.''
A decade later, Weinstein seems bound for a day of reckoning. The SVU detectives had a few final details to chase down in recent days, but now they are ready to make the collar in at least one case. They only need Vance to give the go-ahead.
According to several news accounts, Vance's office has been looking into Weinstein's finances, as regard to nondisclosure agreements with other accusers as well as in general. A number of people in his office had been subpoenaed to testify before a grand jury. The DA also hopes to subpoena Weinstein's driver, though prosecutors were said at one point to be having difficulty locating him.
Meanwhile, the New York State Attorney General's office has filed a civil suit against Weinstein's company, charging it with ''vicious and exploitative mistreatment'' of employees., including ''sexual harassment, intimidation, and other misconduct.''
At the same time, the district attorney out in Los Angeles is reportedly examining a total of five cases of sexual assault by Weinstein that the police have referred to it for possible prosecution.
But none of that precludes Vance from just going ahead and authorizing Weinstein's arrest in the Evans case. Weinstein is said to have stayed away from recent negotiations regarding the sale of his business because he feared he might be arrested if he came to New York.
He just might be if the detectives decide just to go ahead and make the collar with or without Vance's approval.
And the result could be a long prison term.
Harvard Prof Resigns Amid Allegations | The Daily Caller
Thu, 08 Mar 2018 13:50
A tenured Harvard professor announced Tuesday he will resign after receiving 18 sexual harassment allegations.
Harvard placed government professor Jorge Dominguez on administrative leave Sunday while it investigated the sexual harassment accusations that have spanned decades of his tenure at the school, reported The Washington Post. Dominguez stepped down from administrative responsibilities Tuesday, will not teach during the spring 2018 semester, and will retire fully by the conclusion of the semester, according to an email he sent to faculty colleagues and obtained by WaPo.
The school found Dominguez guilty of ''serious misconduct'' in 1983 after female professor Terry Karl claimed he made unsolicited sexual advances, including groping and attempted kisses, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education. Dominguez had been a tenured Latin American studies professor, while the female colleague did not. She eventually went on to Stanford where she holds tenure.
''A quiet retirement is unacceptable,'' said Karl to WaPo. ''After more than three decades of harassment, the university must carry out a full, fair and transparent investigation of this professor's conduct, and there must be clear and visible consequences. Harvard also owes a transparent explanation for his continued promotion to positions of greater power when the university knew or should have known that his conduct was an abuse of power.''
When Dominguez and Karl met Rafael Caldera, the former president of Venezuela, at a Harvard dinner, Dominguez reportedly introduced Karl as his ''slave''. Dominguez reportedly kissed and groped the female professor later that night while informing her he would be the new department chairman, review her book, and determine her promotion.
Dominguez allegedly said ''this would be a nice place for a rape'' while walking through a wooded area of Harvard with Karl on another occasion.
''I want to be very clear that Dominguez's forthcoming retirement does not change the full and fair process of review that is currently underway,'' Harvard dean of arts and sciences faculty Michael D. Smith said. ''He remains on administrative leave until it is concluded.''
''[I] sought to behave honorably in all my relationships,'' Dominguez told the Chronicle.
Several of Dominguez's former students or colleagues alleged that the professor inappropriately touched them. Junior professor Ethel Klein claimed that Dominguez hugged her and pressed his crotch against her while saying she did not receive a promotion.
''I may well have hugged her, because I was trying to comfort her,'' said Dominguez to Chronicle about the incident, but regarding the description of sexual contact, said he would be ''horrified if anything like this happened.''
Leon H. Kesten, the Harvard employee's attorney, declined comment for Dominguez in an email to The Daily Caller News Foundation.
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War on Men
Renowned Harvard Psychologist Says ADHD Is Largely A Fraud
Mon, 05 Mar 2018 12:25
In a SPIEGEL interview, one of Harvard University's dominant psychologists of the 21st century, Jerome Kagan of Harvard University, had enough courage and professional expertise to compare psychology to a rotten piece of furniture.
Kagan proposes a contemptuous evaluation of the pharmaceutical companies, saying they wrongly categorize a ridiculous number of people as mentally ill for their own interest.
Kagan takes the 22nd place on the lists published by US Academics in 2002, which rank psychologists according to their prominence. He is classified two places above Ivan Pavlov (the discoverer of the Pavlov reflex) and one place above Carl Jung (the father of analytic psychology).
That says a lot about his credibility, and makes taking the time to consider his opinion worth the effort.
Kagan's analysis of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) concludes that it is more of an invented condition rather than a serious illness. Moreover, he thinks that the pharmaceutical industries and psychiatrists have invented the disorder because of money-making reasons.
What Precisely is Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?
It is a brain disorder that makes people unable to stay focused, pursue tasks until their very end, and concentrate. In addition, it makes them excessively active, often to the extent of restlessness.
People suffering from the disorder are unable to calmly go through a decision-making process but rather rush into hasty judgements and actions. As a result, from all of the above, they can be a burden to society.
Kagan spent decades at Harvard University, performing research on elements in children growth. He observed the variations in their behavior during every stage of their development and tested their reactions to different external stimuli.
Through conversation, he has been trying to make conclusions about the flow of their thoughts and their perceptions.
According to his observations, the reason for the drastic increase of the number of kids diagnosed with ADHD lies only in the different definitions of their state of mind.
He argues that fifty years ago, those children that could not keep their attention in classes, were labeled as lazy. Today, psychologists ''find'' a disorder in every child that is a bit more active than the rest, or who is not performing well at school.
After such an easy diagnosis of the problem, kids are given drugs to control their nature.
According to Kagan, there is absolutely no need for that, as these kids have no abnormal dopamine metabolism. Doctors simply prescribe the drug that is available to them, as the easiest solution.
Kegan believes that the process of concluding if someone is mentally ill should be more thorough and precise. After quick interviews with adults and adolescents, more than 40% are classified as depressed.
He disagrees with the newest medical practices that would immediately classify them as mentally ill, as more deep examinations prove only 8% of the same people to be suffering from a serious mental disorder.
A better solution would be to find a way to help these children with the issues they face, and decrease their anxiety. The consequence that follows by classifying young people as mentally ill makes them lose their self-confidence.
Kagan's words oppose some of the most powerful pharmaceutical companies, which actually earn billions while selling drugs that should reduce ADHD symptoms.
It is interesting that his observations started from self-analysis'' he suffered from stuttering and restlessness as a child. However, he believes that he was able to overcome those problems due to his mother's way of perceiving it.
Instead of emphasizing his problem, she was persuading him that he is no different from the others- only his mind works faster than his tongue. Therefore, he believed that his issues indicated that he is smart, instead of mentally ill, as modern medicine would define him.
In addition to the Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Kagan classifies depression as another illness with exaggerated statistics in the modern era.
The reasoning is the same '' the diagnosis is overused simply because of the availability of anti-depressants. There are situations (for example, with people that have increased activity in the frontal lobe) when these drugs don't work at all.
Kagan's suggestion is very simple- instead of putting a child or a young person on drugs; psychologists should work on defining the reasons that cause sadness and anxiety.
More important than symptom analysis is the definition of causes: there are people that have chronic forms of depression, and people that are vulnerable only in particular situations.
This practice of diagnosing someone only on the basis on symptoms opens the door for many new illnesses, such as the bipolar disorder.
That is why today we have more than a million Americans under the age of 19 defined as bipolar. Psychologists have started classifying every child with changes in temper as mentally ill, and again, pharmaceutical companies immediately accept the novelty and new drugs are on the way.
The pattern cannot remain unnoticed. A trend appears and starts to spread very fast, without many rational explanations for that.
So, as Kegan advises, instead of putting a child on drugs, find him a tutor to help him in school and spend time with him/her to help them overcome their obstacles since their earliest appearance.
Ultrasound Provides Noninvasive Neutering for Male Dogs
Thu, 08 Mar 2018 13:33
An Italian research team led by Dr. Raffaella Leoci recently reported in Reproduction in Domestic Animals the best method for using ultrasound to sterilize male dogs. A regimen of three applications of ultrasound at 1 MHz, and 1.5 W/cm2, lasting five minutes with an interval of 48 hours was effective as permanent sterilization in the dog without hormonal impact. The ultrasound method was noninvasive, simple to administer, well-tolerated and did not alter testosterone levels.
Ultrasound and Contraception
Ultrasound works through deep heating and by altering membrane permeability. Its effects have been known to influence the function of the male reproductive system since the 1970's, when M.S. Fahim and colleagues reported that ultrasound suppressed spermatogenesis in a number of species. At the time it was hoped that ultrasound might even provide a non-invasive contraceptive for men.
A significant reduction in testicular volume was found in Group A. (Credit: Leoci et al., 2015)
The research was neglected for decades, but more recent studies have reported that while ultrasound provided permanent sterilization in rats and dogs, its effect was only transient in monkeys and humans. The size of the testes may influence the effect of ultrasound in various species. The larger testes in humans and mature monkeys may be more difficult to penetrate completely with the waves. Additionally, a large number of variables are involved with the application of ultrasound and influence its effect, including the length and timing of application, method of application, and the ultrasound device settings. These issues have made it difficult to interpret results from different studies and determine the applicability of ultrasound as a contraceptive method. The goal of the work by Leoci and colleagues was to evaluate a number of ultrasound parameters to find the most effective methodology for permanent sterilization in the dog.
The study included 100 male dogs divided into five groups, using different treatment regimens with varied combinations of ultrasound variables. Before and after treatment, researchers collected semen, tested testosterone level, and measured testicular size. After 40 days, the dogs were castrated (as in traditional neuter) and the testicular tissue evaluated. Results from the study indicated that the dogs tolerated the procedure well and, importantly, no difference in testosterone levels was evident after treatment for any group. However, details mattered: only one of the four treatment regimens caused successful contraception, with a significant reduction in testicular volume and general testicular degeneration with widespread tubular atrophy apparent from histological examination. The full study can be found open access here.
There was no significant difference in testosterone over time and no differences between the control group and other groups (all p > 0.05). (Credit: Leoci et al., 2015)
Hormone-Sparing Method
Traditional spay and neuter surgeries can have significant long-term effects beyond sterility. Research in the last decade has identified both positive and negative health effects of loss of hormones due to traditional sterilization procedures. For example, a recent study from the University of California, Davis found that two joint disorders and three cancers were significantly higher in both males and females compared with intact (non-neutered) dogs. For large breed dogs, the benefits of retaining normal hormone levels may outweigh the risks. Additionally, owners of dogs used for particular purposes - such as show or working dogs - usually prefer that their pet maintain testosterone levels to protect joints and ligaments from injury. As more pet owners question traditional surgical sterilization methods, nonsurgical, hormone-sparing canine sterilization methods have garnered interest.
"The ultrasound regimen we identified appears to provide permanent sterilization in male dogs without influencing testosterone levels," reported lead researcher Dr. Raffaella Leoci. "Large scale stray dog neutering programs are not likely to benefit from ultrasound because of the time required for multiple applications and the lack of influence on testosterone-related behaviors like marking and aggression. However, the ultrasound method is ideal when a nonsurgical hormone-sparing sterilization is required." Owners of show dogs, working dogs and breeds susceptible to health problems due to loss of hormones may be especially interested in the use of ultrasound for sterilization.
For situations in which reduction in testosterone is desired, other nonsurgical methods are available. Parsemus Foundation, which supported this project, has also partnered with Dr. Raffaella Leoci on studies which identified the most effective formulation of calcium chloride dihydrate in alcohol (also known as Calchlorin) as a one-time intratesticular neuter shot for dogs. Unlike ultrasound, Calchlorin significantly reduces testosterone levels in dogs. Parsemus Foundation seeks to expand the options available for dog and cat reproductive control so that the best method is used for each animal.
Net Neutrality
$20 porn-unblocking fee could hit Internet users if state bill becomes law | Ars Technica
Wed, 07 Mar 2018 11:00
State legislation pending in Rhode Island would force Internet service providers to block "sexual content" by default and charge a one-time fee of $20 to any Internet user who wants to view porn or other "offensive material" online. ISPs would have to hand the money they collect over to the state so it can "help fund the operations of the council on human trafficking."
The bill was introduced on Thursday by Democratic state Senators Frank Ciccone and Hanna Gallo and is titled "An Act Relating to Public Utilities and Carriers'--Internet Digital Blocking."
ISPs "shall provide... a digital blocking capability that renders inaccessible sexual content and/or patently offensive material as defined in § 11-31-1," the bill says. Under that state statute, sexual content includes depictions and descriptions of any act of sexual intercourse, whether "normal or perverted, actual or simulated." Depictions of masturbation are also considered sexual content under this statute.
Given the state's definition of sexual content, the Ciccone/Gallo bill would force ISPs to block pretty much all pornography, even if it was performed by consenting adults and violates no law.
Separately, the proposed requirement to block "patently offensive material" would include any material that is "so offensive on its face as to affront current standards of decency."
In addition to blocking a host of legal and/or vaguely defined content, the bill would require blocking of websites that facilitate certain illegal acts. Specifically, the bill extends the required blocking to "any hub that facilitates prostitution" and "websites that are known to facilitate human trafficking."
The bill would also require blocking of certain content that is clearly illegal, specifically child pornography. Finally, it would require blocking of revenge pornography, whose legal status is less clear.
The required digital blocking capability could only be deactivated by the ISP after a consumer does the following:
Requests in writing that the capability be disabled;Presents identification to verify that the consumer is eighteen (18) years of age or older;Acknowledges receiving a written warning regarding the potential danger of deactivating the digital blocking capability; andPays a one-time twenty-dollar ($20.00) digital access fee.As currently written, the bill would seem to let Internet users view legal porn or child pornography if they pay the $20 fee. It doesn't seem likely that the legislators really intend to let people view child pornography in exchange for paying $20, however.
The bill was referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee. Many bills languish in committee, so the proposal won't necessarily be voted on by the legislature. A similar bill was proposed in Virginia last month, but hasn't been passed.
We contacted Ciccone and Gallo with several questions today and will update this story if we get a response. A Providence Journalarticle on the bill said, "Ciccone and Gallo did not respond to phone messages requesting comment Friday night."
An ISP blocking lawful content would violate the Federal Communications Commission's net neutrality rules, but those rules are coming off the books once the FCC finalizes its repeal.
The Ciccone/Gallo bill could conflict with Rhode Island's efforts to reinstate net neutrality rules. Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin recently joined other state attorneys general in a lawsuit against the FCC that seeks to reverse the net neutrality repeal.
There is also pending net neutrality legislation in Rhode Island that would prohibit ISPs from blocking or throttling lawful Internet content.
The soon-to-be-repealed federal net neutrality rules don't require blocking of illegal content, but the rules let ISPs block content when they "have to address the needs of emergency communications or law enforcement, public safety, or national security authorities."
Broad requirements to block sexual content, such as the ones proposed in Rhode Island, could violate the First Amendment's free speech protections. For example, the Reno v. American Civil Liberties UnionSupreme Court decision said that the "indecent transmission" and "patently offensive display" provisions of the 1996 Communications Decency Act violated the First Amendment. In that case, the vagueness and breadth of the law resulted in suppression of "a large amount of speech that adults have a constitutional right to send and receive," the court said.
In general, attempts to censor online content in the US have targeted website operators rather than ISPs. While Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act provides website operators with broad immunity for hosting third-party content, legislation just passed by the US House of Representatives would make it easier for states to prosecute websites that facilitate prostitution and sex trafficking.
It would obviously be difficult and likely impossible for an ISP to proactively block all of the legal and illegal content described or vaguely hinted at in the Ciccone/Gallo bill. An ISP could easily end up blocking content that shouldn't be blocked while trying to comply with the Rhode Island bill's broad requirements.
ISPs in Rhode Island would be required to "establish a reporting mechanism, such as a website or call center, to allow a consumer to report unblocked sexual content or potentially offensive material or report blocked material that is not sexual content or potentially offensive."
The bill seems to acknowledge that this type of system is likely to result in ISPs blocking content when they shouldn't do so:
If the digital-blocking capability blocks material that is not sexual content or patently offensive and the block is reported to a call center or reporting website, the material shall be unblocked within a reasonable time, but in no event later than five (5) business days after the block is first reported.
The bill also says that "a consumer may seek judicial relief to unblock filtered content." The state attorney general or a consumer could seek damages of up to $500 "for each piece of content that was reported but not subsequently blocked" by an ISP.
Facebook asks users: should we allow men to ask children for sexual images? | Technology | The Guardian
Thu, 08 Mar 2018 15:05
Social network admits survey asking whether it should permit adults to ask 14-year-old girl for sexual pictures was a mistake
Facebook's vice president of product, Guy Rosen, said the surveys were 'a mistake'. Photograph: Dado Ruvic/Reuters
Facebook has admitted it was a ''mistake'' to ask users whether paedophiles requesting sexual pictures from children should be allowed on its website.
On Sunday, the social network ran a survey for some users asking how they thought the company should handle grooming behaviour. ''There are a wide range of topics and behaviours that appear on Facebook,'' one question began. ''In thinking about an ideal world where you could set Facebook's policies, how would you handle the following: a private message in which an adult man asks a 14-year-old girl for sexual pictures.''
The options available to respondents ranged from ''this content should not be allowed on Facebook, and no one should be able to see it'' to ''this content should be allowed on Facebook, and I would not mind seeing it''.
A second question asked who should decide the rules around whether or not the adult man should be allowed to ask for such pictures on Facebook. Options available included ''Facebook users decide the rules by voting and tell Facebook'' and ''Facebook decides the rules on its own''.
In neither survey question did Facebook allow users to indicate that law enforcement or child protection should be involved in the situation: the strictest option allowed involved turning to the social network as arbiter.
Facebook's surveys asking users about grooming behaviour. Photograph: Jonathan Haynes for the GuardianYvette Cooper MP, chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee, condemned the survey. ''This is a stupid and irresponsible survey,'' she said. ''Adult men asking 14-year-olds to send sexual images is not only against the law, it is completely wrong and an appalling abuse and exploitation of children. I cannot imagine that Facebook executives ever want it on their platform but they also should not send out surveys that suggest they might tolerate it or suggest to Facebook users that this might ever be acceptable.''
Other parts of the survey asked similar questions about content glorifying extremism, and asked users to rank how important they felt it was that Facebook's policies were developed in a transparent manner, were fair, took into account different cultural norms, and achieved ''the 'right outcome'''.
Facebook's vice president of product, Guy Rosen, said the surveys were ''a mistake''.
''We run surveys to understand how the community thinks about how we set policies,'' he said. ''But this kind of activity is and will always be completely unacceptable on FB. We regularly work with authorities if identified. It shouldn't have been part of this survey. That was a mistake.''
In a statement, a Facebook spokesperson added: ''We understand this survey refers to offensive content that is already prohibited on Facebook and that we have no intention of allowing so have stopped the survey.
''We have prohibited child grooming on Facebook since our earliest days; we have no intention of changing this and we regularly work with the police to ensure that anyone found acting in such a way is brought to justice.''
If you have more information about this survey, please contact julia.wong@theguardian.com and alex.hern@theguardian.com
March On
An Open Letter From A Teacher To Students "Walking Out"... - KTSA
Mon, 05 Mar 2018 12:20
Giovanni Marotta (from left), Jack Riccardi, Robert Fleming, and Arthur Cavazos
Whoever this man is, his open letter to students thinking about walking out of school as a protest touched a nerve on our show. Here is the complete letter as I saw it:
''Dear Students,
I know you. I am a retired teacher of 24 years. I have taught you as 7th graders all the way through 12th grade. This is not a tweet or a text. It's called a letter; lengthy and substantial. Do you really want to make a difference? Are you sincere about making your schools safe? Don't walk out, read this instead. Walking out of school is easy compared to what this letter will challenge you to do.
First of all, put down your stupid phone. Look around you at your classmates. Do you see the kid over in the corner, alone? He could likely be our next shooter. He needs a friend. He needs you. Go and talk to him, befriend him. Chances are, he won't be easy to like, but it's mainly because no one has tried to like him. Ask him about him. Get to know him. He's just like you in that respect; he wants someone to recognize him as a fellow human being but few people have ever given him the chance. You can.
Next, see that kid eating lunch all alone? He could likely be our next shooter. Invite him to eat lunch with you. Introduce him into your fold of friends. You'll most likely catch a lot of flack from the friends you eat with because they don't want him upsetting the balance of their social order. After all, who you hang out with is critical to your status, is it not? If status is important to you, don't you think it's important to him also? The only difference being that he has no status because generally, shooters have no friends. Are you serious about wanting to make your school safe? Invite him to your lunch table and challenge your friends to do something meaningful with thirty minutes of their lives each day.
Lastly, are you completely frustrated by that kid who always disrupts your class and is consistently sent to the principal's office? He could likely be our next shooter. Do you know why he causes so much trouble? He initiates disruption because that's the only thing he does that gets him attention, and even bad attention is better than the no attention he receives from you and your classmates. You secretly wish he would get kicked out of school or sent to the alternative disciplinary school so that he wouldn't disrupt your classes anymore, that somehow, he would just disappear. Guess what? He already feels invisible in a school of thousands of classmates, you included. So, before he acts out in your next class, why don't you tell him you'd be willing to help him with the assignment that was just given? Or why don't you ask him to join your study group? If you really want to blow his mind, ask him for help on the assignment. He's never been asked that. Ever.
If you've read this far, you probably really do care about the safety of your school. Don't trust that walking out of school will bring an answer. Gun control or more laws is not, and will not, be the answer. You are the answer. Your greeting, your smile, your gentle human touch is the only thing that can change the world of a desperate classmate who may be contemplating something as horrendous as a school shooting. Look past yourself and look past your phone and look into the eyes of a student who no one else sees. Meet the gaze of a fellow human being desperate to make contact with anyone, even just one person. You. If you really feel the need to walk, walk toward that person. Your new friendship can relieve the heartache of one person and in doing so, possibly prevent the unjustifiable heartache of hundreds of lives in the future. I know you. I trust you. You are the answer.
And teachers, my fellow guardians of our youth, I know you too. I know the desire of wanting to make a difference in a young person's life. I know the thrill of stepping in front of a classroom of students but simultaneously intimidated by the trust bestowed upon you. I also know the crushing, sometimes unbearable responsibility that your shoulders are asked to carry. But that's why you got into teaching, because you have big shoulders. And a big heart. You're overworked (I would add underpaid, but you didn't get into teaching for the pay, so it needn't be said), underappreciated and exhausted. May I add one more item to that list? You're also a miracle waiting to happen in the life of your worst student. He could likely be our next shooter. The next time (and there's always a next time) he's ready to wreak havoc in your classroom, I challenge you to pull him aside and ask him if he's ok, if there is something bothering him and is there anything you can do to help? Your genuine concern for him may be just the miracle he's looking for. The miracle we're all looking for. I know you. I trust you. You are the answer.
A former teacher who is as heartbroken as you and trusting you not to walk out on the real answer,
David (yes, teachers really do have first names) Blair
Publisher moves up release date of Comey's book | New York Post
Thu, 08 Mar 2018 13:39
The publisher of former FBI Director James Comey's book is moving up the release date to get it on bookshelves early because the bureau is ''under intense scrutiny,'' according to a report.
Flatiron Books is pushing up publication of his memoir ''A Higher Loyalty'' from May 1 to April 17 because there is a demand for Comey to be heard amid an ''urgent conversation'' about the FBI, the Associated Press reported on Wednesday.
In ''A Higher Loyalty,'' the former G-Man ''shares his never-before-told experiences from some of the highest-stakes situations of his career in the past two decades of American government, exploring what good, ethical leadership looks like, and how it drives sound decisions,'' according to a description on the publisher's website.
President Trump fired Comey, who was then heading up the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, in '‹May 2017.
In a later interview with NBC News, Trump said he was thinking of ''this Russia thing'' when he axed Comey.
The FBI has been in the crosshairs of the Trump administration and some Republican lawmakers over how it handled the Russia probe and the investigation into Hillary Clinton's email server.
Trains Good! (Planes Bad Whoo Hoo)
California bullet train cost surges by $2.8 billion: 'Worst-case scenario has happened'
Tue, 06 Mar 2018 22:25
The estimated cost of building 119 miles of bullet train track in the Central Valley has jumped to $10.6 billion, an increase of $2.8 billion from the current budget and up from about $6 billion originally.
The new calculation takes into account a number of intractable problems encountered by the state rail agency. It raises profoundly difficult questions about how the state will complete what is considered the nation's largest infrastructure project with the existing funding sources.
The new estimate was presented Tuesday by Roy Hill, who leads the main consulting firm on the project, WSP (formerly Parson Brinckerhoff). Hill said the cost increases were mainly driven by problems including higher costs for land acquisition, issues in relocating utility systems, the need for safety barriers where the bullet trains would operate near freight lines and demands by stakeholders for the mitigation of myriad issues.
"The worst-case scenario has happened," Hill bluntly told the rail authority's board at its regular monthly meeting.
The board also voted Tuesday to name Brian Kelly as its new chief executive. As secretary of the California Transportation Agency, he had been deeply involved in the project. Kelly said in an interview that high-speed rail remains crucial to the future transportation and economic needs of the state, but acknowledged that it is facing tough challenges that must be addressed.
As the project's lead proponent, Gov. Jerry Brown, serves the final year of his term, it will be crucial, Kelly said, to "dive in, stabilize it and restore its credibility."
The sharp increase in projected costs could require the California High Speed Rail Authority to return to the state Legislature for a supplemental appropriation from the bonds that voters approved in 2008. The remaining bonds probably would cover the cost increases, but partly deplete funds for further construction beyond the Central Valley.
The sobering news about the cost increases was long forewarned, though rail authority Chairman Dan Richard has consistently rejected those warnings. About a year ago, the Federal Railroad Administration issued a secret risk analysis that said costs were rising sharply and could hit $9.5 to $10 billion.
When The Times disclosed the warning, Richard downplayed the analysis. In 2012, WSP briefed a cost analysis for the 2014 business plan, showing sharply higher costs in the Central Valley. The cost estimates were not adopted in the 2014 business plan. Richard was not available for an interview.
It remains unclear how the Central Valley cost increases will affect the total program, which under the 2016 business plan is supposed to cost $64 billion. But the jump in the Central Valley '-- a 77% increase above the original estimate '-- suggests the authority and its consultants have vastly underestimated the difficulties of buying land, obtaining environmental approvals, navigating through complex litigation and much else.
Outside critics saw the rail authority's defense of lower cost estimates as part of an effort to politically protect the project.
"When it comes to large infrastructure investments, it is not unusual for public authorities trying to justify their effort to understate the costs and overstate the benefits," said James Moore, director of the transportation engineering program at USC. "It is in my opinion overly deceptive. We have seen on transportation projects this militant defense that is meant to cause the public to remain calm."
Moore said the surge in costs is likely to foreshadow even greater future increases. On the horizon are more difficult segments, such as the long underground passage through the Tehachapi and San Gabriel Mountains and the route into the urban San Francisco Bay Area.
The appointment of Kelly and the disclosure of the higher cost together create an existential moment for the massive effort.
"It is an 'are you in or are you out?' point," said Elizabeth Alexis, who cofounded a watchdog group focused on the project. "The cost increases are forcing us to commit to completing or not."
The challenges will apply to the next governor, though in the current campaign the leading candidates are doing their best to avoid talking about the project. Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom has declined requests for an interview on the subject for more than two years, for example. The repayment of the existing bonds will cost about $18 billion in principaland interest over the next 30 years, money that is coming out of the state highway improvement fund.
Assemblyman Jim Patterson (R-Fresno) said the cost estimate "shows the program is in increasing difficulty" and raises the need for an audit that he has been pushing for unsuccessfully. He said he plans to renew his request for an audit at the end of the month.
Brown did not address the new cost estimate, but said in a news release about Kelly, "Brian has ably led the California State Transportation Agency since its inception and is uniquely qualified to move the nation's first high-speed rail project forward."
Kelly's appointment fills a vacancy that has lingered since last June when the prior chief, Jeff Morales, left. Kelly will earn a salary of $384,984 '-- more than he did while at the California Transportation Agency.
Kelly said he plans to bolster the state staff, relying less on outside consultants. He added that the project needs greater transparency, saying the disclosure of the price calculation was a step in that direction.
The new estimate evoked some expressions of concern at the high-speed rail board at Tuesday's meeting.
"It is horrible when we look at the amount of money we are going to have to invest to make the project work," said board member Ernest Camacho, who owns a Southern California construction management firm.
The effect is likely to be felt when the authority issues its 2018 business plan next month.
Richard said he thought the new estimate had some good news and bad news in it. The good: the agency identified some of the problems beforehand. The bad: it did not accurately estimate the costs of those problems.
Moving forward, he said, the authority will not start construction on future segments until all the land is in hand, a practice that outside experts have long said is prudent project management.
In Hill's presentation to the board, he said intrusion barriers will cost an extra $450 million; land buys, $400 million, delays for not acquiring land, $325 million; satisfying issues raised by localities, $250 million; and relocating wires, pipes and cables used by utilities, $350 million. It means that on the first 31 miles from Madera to Fresno, the costs will jump 35% to $3.4 billion, the biggest single geographical increase.
Included in the projected $2.8-billion price increase is a $600-million contingency set aside to cover further unexpected problems. That contingency will be funded by unspecified cuts to future construction budgets.
Follow me on Twitter @rvartabedian
6:30 p.m.: This article was updated to include more context about the project and new CEO Brian Kelly.
This article was originally published at 2 p.m.
Dutch crime figures much higher than reported: trade unions | NL Times
Tue, 06 Mar 2018 09:34
By Janene Pieters on March 6, 2018 - 09:15 Police guard in a detention center. Photo: Politie
The number of crimes committed in the Netherlands is much higher than reported by the authorities, because many people feel that reporting a crime is not worth it, according to unions FNV and CNV, among others. They call for a new and independent investigation into crime figures in the Netherlands, ANP reports.
"Many people have become cynical, they do not file a police report because nothing happens afterwards", FNV director Ynstse Koenen said. "Understandable, since governments consecutively made severe budget cuts on the entire criminal justice chain." Due to the low willingness to report, crimes and offenses remain "under the radar", according to the unions. This means that policy is made based on unreliable figures, he said, according to the news wire.
On Tuesday the unions will hand the parliamentary committee on Justice and Security a petition on behalf of them, 32 works councils and the central works council of the judicial institutions service DJI. In this petition they ask for an independent investigation by the Netherlands Court of Audit, because the reliability of scientific organization WODC is under question after it was revealed in December that to officials at the Ministry of Justice and Security had
Figures published by the WODC last year show that than in 2015. Statistics Netherlands and the National Police last week. But these figures only involve registered crimes - crimes in which a police declaration was filed. Koenen calls these figures "the tip of the iceberg".
Shut Up Slave!
The FBI paid Geek Squad employees as informants | Fox News
Thu, 08 Mar 2018 11:33
The FBI paid Geek Squad employees as informantsThe Electronic Frontier Foundation, via the Freedom of Information Act, revealed documents that show the FBI worked with the Best Buy's Geek Squad employees for over a decade to uncover child porn possession. This has raised concerns about Fourth Amendment rights.
The FBI has been in cahoots with Best Buy's Geek Squad for at least the past decade, new documents obtained by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) via a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit reveal.
An FBI memo obtained by the nonprofit digital rights group reveals that Best Buy in September 2008 hosted a meeting of the law enforcement agency's Cyber Working Group at a Geek Squad repair facility in Kentucky. The memo indicates that the local FBI division "has maintained close liaison with the Geek Squad's management in an effort to glean case initiations and to support the division's Computer Intrusion and Cyber Crime programs."
Revelations about the FBI's relationship with Best Buy first surfaced last year during the prosecution of Mark Rettenmaier, a California doctor who was charged with possession of child porn after bringing his computer to Geek Squad for a repair. The relationship, according to the EFF, "potentially circumvents computer owners' Fourth Amendment rights."
In a Wednesday statement to PCMag, Best Buy said that four of its Geek Squad employees "may have" received payment by the FBI after turning over alleged child porn to the agency.
"Any decision to accept payment was in very poor judgement and inconsistent with our training and policies," Best Buy wrote. "Three of these employees are no longer with the company and the fourth has been reprimanded and reassigned."
The FBI declined to comment when contacted by PCMag.
Best Buy said its Geek Squad repair employees don't specifically search for child porn on people's machines, but "inadvertently discover it" nearly 100 times a year.
"We have a moral and, in more than 20 states, a legal obligation to report these findings to law enforcement," the company wrote. "We share this policy with our customers in writing before we begin any repair."
Best Buy went on to say that it has "not sought or received training from law enforcement in how to search for child pornography."
"Our policies prohibit employees from doing anything other than what is necessary to solve the customer's problem," the company wrote. "In the wake of these allegations, we have redoubled our efforts to train employees on what to do '-- and not do '-- in these circumstances."
Documents obtained by the EFF, however, indicate that "Geek Squad employees did make an affirmative effort to identify illegal material," the EFF wrote in a blog post.
"For example, the image found on Rettenmaier's hard drive was in an unallocated space, which typically requires forensic software to find," the EFF wrote. "Geek Squad employees were financially rewarded for finding child pornography. Such a bounty would likely encourage Geek Squad employees to actively sweep for suspicious content."
The EFF is currently seeking additional documents from the FBI to find out whether the agency has similar relationships with other computer repair businesses.
This article originally appeared on PCMag.com.
Vanaf deze zomer mogen ook de marechaussee en opsporingsdiensten als de Fiod infiltreren en afluisteren - Tech - Voor nieuws, achtergronden en columns
Thu, 08 Mar 2018 14:37
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Mid Terms
BREAKING: DOJ Releasing More Documents On Operation Fast and Furious | Daily Wire
Thu, 08 Mar 2018 02:47
The U.S. Department of Justice announced on Wednesday that it will release new documents on former President Barack Obama's Operation Fast and Furious scandal in which the administration sold military-style weapons to Mexican drug cartels that were used to murder American citizens.
In a statement, the DOJ announced:
Today, the Department of Justice entered into a conditional settlement agreement with the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and will begin to produce additional documents related to Operation Fast and Furious. The conditional settlement agreement, filed in federal court in Washington D.C., would end six years of litigation arising out of the previous administration's refusal to produce documents requested by the Committee.
"The Department of Justice under my watch is committed to transparency and the rule of law," said Attorney General Jeff Sessions. "This settlement agreement is an important step to make sure that the public finally receives all the facts related to Operation Fast and Furious."
In June 2012, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee voted to hold former Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt after he refused to share documents related to the operation.
The guns that the Obama administration sold to the Mexican drug cartels, which the DEA states are the greatest threat to U.S. national security, were used to murder U.S. Border Patrol agent Brian Terry.
Kent Terry, Brian's brother, told Fox News' "Fox & Friends" on Tuesday, "We need to find out the truth, exactly what happened, how it happened, why it happened. We need Mr. Trump, President Trump, to unseal the documents, reverse executive privilege so that we know what happened, and that we can hold the people accountable that are responsible."
Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com
New York Times: If GOP Wins Midterms, Democrats Will Rage at Russian Meddling
Wed, 07 Mar 2018 14:10
Historically, the party that occupies the White House loses seats in the midterm elections although there have been several notable exceptions to this rule. And if 2018 proves to be one of those exceptions and the Republicans gain seats in the midterms, Charlie Savage of the New York Times already has an excuse at hand: Russian meddling.
Savage provided this excuse to the potential sore losers a full eight months before the midterms in his March 3 article, What if Republicans Win the Midterms?
A sizable portion of the American population has been convulsing with outrage at President Trump for more than a year. Millions of people who previously took only mild interest in politics have participated in protests, fumed as they stayed riveted to news out of Washington and filled social media accounts once devoted to family updates and funny videos with furious political commentary.
Yet public life on the whole has remained surprisingly calm. A significant factor in keeping the peace has surely been anticipatory catharsis: The widespread expectations of a big Democratic wave in the coming midterm elections are containing and channeling that indignation, helping to maintain order.
So the Democrats would have gone completely berserk but for the fact that they think Democrat victories this November will spell the beginning of the end for the Trumpocalypse.
What will happen if no such wave materializes and that pressure-relief valve jams shut?
They go Just Plain Nuts!!!
...But the relative calm may be like an unexploded bomb, its volatility not so much defused as contained by the thought that Trump Republicans will be punished in the Nov. 6 midterm elections. These expectations are widespread.
Those expectations were also in place in 1998, when Bill Clinton was caught cheating with a college-age intern and lying in sworn testimony. A Republican wave did not occur.
But a significant Democratic wave may not materialize. Good economic news, for example, tends to blunt anti-incumbent sentiments. The country is still mostly using House districts that were redrawn after the 2010 census, just as Republicans' big 2010 midterm wave victory gave them an unusual degree of control over state legislatures. Beyond deliberate partisan gerrymandering, the impact of a Democratic turnout surge would be partly diluted by their voters' disproportionate concentration in cities, piling up extra votes in districts Republicans would have lost anyway.
Uh-oh! Time now for Mr. Savage to give us the ultimate fallback excuse:
But inevitably, many eyes would turn to Russia. It appears to still be covertly spreading disinformation and amplifying tensions on American social media with the intention of having ''an impact on the next election cycle,'' Mike Pompeo, the Central Intelligence Agency director, told Congress last month.
The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming!
Another poll-defying election night surprise, like 2016's, would further fuel suspicions of unseen manipulation. After all, the public only later found out '-- apparently thanks to the National Security Agency contractor Reality Winner, whom the Justice Department is prosecuting for leaking '-- that shortly before the 2016 election, Russian hackers infiltrated the servers of an elections systems software supplier and tried to trick 122 state elections officials into downloading malware. While there is no evidence that Russian hackers tampered with Election Day results last time, the government has disclosed that it thinks they probed elections systems in 21 states and penetrated several.
And according to Savage's Reality Check, the key phrase in that excuse-making paragraph is "no evidence."
Against that backdrop, disappointed Trump opponents will be primed to believe the worst: that Russia rigged two elections in a row for Republicans. And if their anticipatory catharsis and faith in the democratic process evaporates, the anger could seek a different outlet '-- in turn risking a backlash from Trump supporters and a downward spiral.
Yes, we already saw that "different outlet" last June at a baseball field in Alexandria, Virginia.
Hatch Act of 1939 - Wikipedia
Wed, 07 Mar 2018 20:23
The Hatch Act of 1939, officially An Act to Prevent Pernicious Political Activities, is a United States federal law whose main provision prohibits employees in the executive branch of the federal government, except the president, vice-president, and certain designated high-level officials,[1] from engaging in some forms of political activity. It went into law on August 2, 1939. The law was named for SenatorCarl Hatch of New Mexico. It was most recently amended in 2012.[2]
Widespread allegations that local Democratic Party politicians used employees of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) during the congressional elections of 1938 provided the immediate impetus for the passage of the Hatch Act. Criticism centered on swing states such as Kentucky,[3] Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. In Pennsylvania, Republicans and dissident Democrats publicized evidence that Democratic politicians were consulted on the appointment of WPA administrators and case workers and that they used WPA jobs to gain unfair political advantage.[4] In 1938, a series of newspaper articles exposed WPA patronage, and political contributions in return for employment, prompting an investigation by the Senate Campaign Expenditures Committee, headed by Sen. Morris Sheppard, a Texas Democrat.[5]
Despite that investigation's inconclusive findings, many in both parties determined to take action against the growing power of the WPA and its chief administrator, Harry Hopkins, an intimate of President Roosevelt. The Act was sponsored by Senator Carl Hatch, a Democrat from New Mexico. At the time, Roosevelt was struggling to purge the Democratic party of its more conservative members, who were increasingly aligned with the administration's Republican opponents. The president considered vetoing the legislation or allowing it to become law without his signature, but instead signed it on the last day he could do so. His signing message welcomed the legislation as if he had called for it, and emphasized the protection his administration would provide for political expression on the part of public employees.[6]
The 1939 Act forbids the intimidation or bribery of voters and restricts political campaign activities by federal employees. It prohibits using any public funds designated for relief or public works for electoral purposes. It forbids officials paid with federal funds from using promises of jobs, promotion, financial assistance, contracts, or any other benefit to coerce campaign contributions or political support. It provides that persons below the policy-making level in the executive branch of the federal government must not only refrain from political practices that would be illegal for any citizen, but must abstain from "any active part" in political campaigns, using this language to specify those who are exempt:[7]
(i) an employee paid from an appropriation for the Executive Office of the President; or(ii) an employee appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, whose position is located within the United States, who determines policies to be pursued by the United States in the nationwide administration of Federal laws.The act also precludes federal employees from membership in "any political organization which advocates the overthrow of our constitutional form of government,"[8] a provision meant to prohibit membership in organizations on the far left and far right, such as the German-American Bund and the Communist Party USA.[9]
An amendment on July 19, 1940 extended the Act to certain employees of state and local governments whose positions are primarily paid for by federal funds. It has been interpreted to bar political activity on the part of employees of state agencies administering federal unemployment insurance programs and appointed local law enforcement agency officials with oversight of federal grant funds. The Hatch Act bars state and local government employees from running for public office if any federal funds support the position, even if the position is funded almost entirely with local funds.[10]
The Merit Systems Protection Board and the Office of Special Counsel are responsible for enforcement of the Hatch Act.[11]
Supreme Court challenges Edit The Supreme Court has several times declined to hear challenges to the act and has twice upheld its constitutionality. In a 1947 case brought by the CIO, a divided court found that Congress had properly exercised its authority as long as it had not affected voting rights. Justice William O. Douglas objected to the assertion that "clean politics" required the act's restrictions: "it would hardly seem to be imperative to muzzle millions of citizens because some of them, if left to their constitutional freedoms, might corrupt the political process."[12] In 1973, in a case brought by the National Association of Letter Carriers, a 6 to 3 decision found the act neither too broad nor unclear. The court's three most liberal justices, Douglas, William J. Brennan, and Thurgood Marshall, dissented. Douglas wrote: "It is no concern of government what an employee does in his or her spare time, whether religion, recreation, social work or politics is his hobby, unless what he or she does impairs efficiency or other facets of the merits of his job."[13]
In 1975, the House passed legislation allowing federal employees to participate in partisan elections and run for office, but the Senate took no action.[14] In 1976, Democrats who controlled Congress had sought to win support by adding protections against the coercion of employees by their superiors and federal employee unions had supported the legislation. It passed the House on a vote of 241 to 164 and the Senate on a vote of 54 to 36. President Ford vetoed the legislation on April 12. He noted that coercion could be too subtle for the law to eliminate and that the Supreme Court had said in 1973 that the Hatch Act had achieved "a delicate balance between fair and effective government and the First Amendment rights of individual employees."[15] President Carter proposed similar legislation in 1977.[16] A proposed amendment to permit federal workers to participate in political campaigns passed the House on a 305 to 112 vote in 1987.[17] In 1990 a similar bill passed the House on a vote of 334 to 87 and the Senate on a vote of 67 to 30. President George H.W. Bush vetoed the legislation,[18] which the House voted to override 327 to 93 and the Senate sustained on a vote of 65 to 35, with 55 Democrats and 10 Republicans voting to override and 35 Republicans supporting the president's veto.[19]
In 1993 the advocates for removing or modifying restrictions on the political activities of federal employees succeeded in enacting the Hatch Act Reform Amendments of 1993 (107 Stat. 1001) that removed the prohibition on participation in "political management or political campaigns." Federal employees are still forbidden to use their authority to affect the results of an election. They are also forbidden to run for office in a partisan election, to solicit or receive political contributions, and to engage in political activities while on duty or on federal property.[20]
President Barack Obama signed the Hatch Act Modernization Act of 2012 on December 28, 2012. It modified penalties under the Hatch Act to allow for disciplinary actions in addition to removal for federal employees; clarified the applicability to the District of Columbia of provisions that cover state and local governments; limited the prohibition on state and local employees running for elective office to employees whose salary is paid completely by federal loans or grants.[21]
Applicability to U.S. military personnel Edit The Hatch Act does not apply to actively serving uniformed members of the U.S. Armed Forces, although it does apply to Department of Defense civil servants, as well as Department of Homeland Security civil servants in direct support of the United States Coast Guard. Uniformed personnel are subject to Department of Defense Directive 1344.10 (DoDD 1344.10), Political Activities by Members of the Armed Forces, and the spirit and intent of that directive is effectively the same as that of the Hatch Act for Federal civil servants. By agreement between the Secretary of Defense and the Secretary of Homeland Security, DoDD 1344.10 also applies to uniformed personnel of the Coast Guard at all times, whether it is operating as a service in the Department of Homeland Security or as part of the Navy under the Department of Defense.
As a directive, DoDD 1344.10 is considered to be in the same category as an order or regulation, and military personnel violating its provisions can be considered in violation of Article 92 (Failure to obey order or regulation) of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.[22][23][24]
In 2006, the Utah Democratic Party challenged the candidacy of Ogden City Police Chief Jon Greiner for State Senate. The challenge was upheld by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel because the year prior the Ogden City Police Department received a federal grant to help pay for bulletproof vests. Jon Greiner appealed the decision, remained on the ballot, won the election and served one term (2006-2010) as Utah State Senator while the results of the appeal were unknown.[25]In January 2007, the United States Office of Special Counsel (OSC) announced the results of investigations into whether certain events during the election campaigns of 2004 and 2006 violated the Hatch Act.[26]It found no violation when Kennedy Space Center officials allowed Senator John Kerry's presidential campaign to use a NASA facility for a 2004 campaign event, because no government employees worked at the facility in question. It found streaming the event to NASA employees and contractors violated the Hatch Act.It reviewed a 2006 speech by NASA Administrator Dr. Michael D. Griffin in which he appeared to endorse Representative Tom DeLay for re-election. It determined that he "should have exercised better judgment" and took no further action.In June 2007, the OSC found that Lurita Alexis Doan, Administrator of the General Services Administration, violated the Hatch Act when she took part in a video conference with Karl Rove and other White House officials, and sent letters asking how to help Republican politicians get elected.[27]In November 2007, Terre Haute, Indiana, mayor, Kevin Burke, challenged the candidacy of mayor-elect Duke Bennett under provisions of the Act. In November 2008, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that Bennett, who took office after a Vigo County, Indiana, judge ruled that he was eligible to serve, was ineligible under the terms of the Act. The ruling was nonbinding, pending Bennett's appeal to the Indiana Supreme Court.[citation needed ]On May 6, 2008, FBI agents raided OSC offices and the home office of its director, Scott Bloch. The raids related to an investigation into allegations that Bloch's office had attempted to obstruct justice by hiring an outside company to delete computer files beyond recovery in order to prevent authorities from proving Bloch had violated the Hatch Act by retaliating against whistle-blowers in his office, an independent U.S. government agency "charged with protecting the rights of government whistle-blowers".[28][29]In 2009 two scholars urged Congress to consider tightening the Hatch Act's restrictions.[30]On September 13, 2012, the OSC charged Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius with violating the Hatch Act by making a political speech during an official government event. Sebelius later said she had made a mistake and that the error was "technical" in nature.[31]On July 18, 2016, the OSC concluded that Housing and Urban Development SecretaryJulian Castro violated the Hatch Act during an interview with Katie Couric. Castro admitted the violation, but denied any intent to violate the act.[32]On October 30, 2016, U.S. Senate Democratic Minority Leader Harry Reid stated that FBI Director James Comey may have violated the Hatch Act by sending a letter to the Congress on October 28, 2016, which stated that the FBI would be reopening their investigation of the Hillary Clinton email controversy.[33][34] Also on October 30, Richard Painter, a chief White House ethics lawyer for the George W. Bush administration, published an op-ed saying that he had filed a complaint against the FBI with the OSC and with the Office of Government Ethics about the same matter.[35]In June 2017, the OSC issued a warning to Dan Scavino Jr. for an April 2017 tweet that Scavino sent advocating for a primary challenge against U.S. Representative Justin Amash.[36]In October 2017, the OSC issued a warning to United States Ambassador to the United NationsNikki Haley for a June 2017 tweet that Haley retweeted from President Donald Trump endorsing Republican Congressional candidate Ralph Norman.[37]In November 2017, former Office of Government Ethics head Walter Shaub filed a complaint against White House counselor Kellyanne Conway charging that her opposition to Roy Moore opponent Doug Jones during a segment on "Fox and Friends" violated the Hatch Act.[38] In March 2018, the OSC announced that Conway violated the Hatch act on that occasion and one other.[39](See U.S. Office of Special Counsel "Hatch Act for Federal Employees")
Permitted and prohibited activities for employees who may participate in partisan political activity Edit These federal and D.C. employees may:
be candidates for public office in nonpartisan electionsregister and vote as they chooseassist in voter registration drivesexpress opinions about candidates and issuescontribute money to political organizationsattend political fundraising functionsattend and be active at political rallies and meetingsjoin and be an active member of a political party or clubsign nominating petitionscampaign for or against referendum questions, constitutional amendments, municipal ordinancescampaign for or against candidates in partisan electionsmake campaign speeches for candidates in partisan electionsdistribute campaign literature in partisan electionshold office in political clubs or partiesThese federal and D.C. employees may not:
use official authority or influence to interfere with an electionsolicit or discourage political activity of anyone with business before their agencysolicit or receive political contributions (may be done in certain limited situations by federal labor or other employee organizations)be candidates for public office in partisan electionsengage in political activity while:on dutyin a government officewearing an official uniformusing a government vehiclewear partisan political buttons on dutyAgencies and employees prohibited from engaging in partisan political activity Edit Employees of the following agencies (or agency components), or in the following categories, are subject to more extensive restrictions on their political activities than employees in other Departments and agencies:
(career positions described at 5 U.S.C. § 3132(a)(4))
Permitted and prohibited activities for employees who may not participate in partisan political activity Edit These federal employees may:
register and vote as they chooseassist in voter registration drivesexpress opinions about candidates and issuesparticipate in campaigns where none of the candidates represent a political partycontribute money to political organizations or attend political fund raising functionsattend political rallies and meetingsjoin political clubs or partiessign nominating petitionscampaign for or against referendum questions, constitutional amendments, municipal ordinancesThese federal employees may not:
be candidates for public office in partisan electionscampaign for or against a candidate or slate of candidates in partisan electionsmake campaign speechescollect contributions or sell tickets to political fund raising functionsdistribute campaign material in partisan electionsorganize or manage political rallies or meetingshold office in political clubs or partiescirculate nominating petitionswork to register voters for one party onlywear political buttons at workAdditionally, one of the early consequences of the act, were disparate court rulings in union busting cases which forbade the use of voter information from initiative and recall petitions for any purposes outside the intended elections.
^ Brown, Cynthia; Maskell, Jack (April 13, 2016). "Hatch Act Restrictions on Federal Employees' Political Activities in the Digital Age"(PDF) . Congressional Research Service. p. 4. Retrieved November 3, 2016 . ^ "Hatch Act". Encyclopedia Britannica. 20 July 1998. Retrieved 13 June 2017 . ^ Robert J. Leupold (1975). "The Kentucky WPA: Relief and Politics, May''November, 1935". Filson Club History Quarterly. 49 (2): 152''168. Archived from the original on 2012-03-28. ^ Priscilla F. Clement (1971). "The Works Progress Administration In Pennsylvania: 1935''1940". Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography. 95 (2): 244''260. JSTOR 20090543. ^ Tindall, George B. (1967). The Emergence of the New South, 1913-1945. Louisiana State University Press. pp. 629''20. ^ Smith, Jason Scott (2006). Building New Deal Liberalism: The Political Economy of Public Works, 1933-1956. NY: Cambridge University Press. pp. 184''6. ^ "Envoys Declared Outside Hatch Act". New York Times. 24 October 1940. Retrieved 6 September 2012 . (subscription required) ^ Moynihan, Daniel Patrick (1998). Secrecy: The American Experience. Yale University Press. p. 159. ^ Stone, Geoffrey R. (2004). Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime from the Sedition Act of 1798 to the War on Terrorism. W.W. Norton. p. 342. ^ Jason C. Miller, The Unwise and Unconstitutional Hatch Act: Why State and Local Government Employees Should be Free to Run for Public Office, 34 S. Ill. U. L.J.___ (forthcoming 2010) ^ William V. Luneburg. Hatch Act (1939). enotes.com ^ Walz, Jay (February 11, 1947). "CIO Fails in Highest Court to Void 'Clean Politics' Act". New York Times. Retrieved June 12, 2013 . ^ "Supreme Court Upholds Hatch Act, 6-3; Says Curbs on Political Activity Are Fair". New York Times. June 26, 1973. Retrieved June 12, 2013 . ^ Madden, Richard (December 21, 1975). "Congressional Session Marked by Clashes with Ford on Energy and Tax Cut". New York Times. Retrieved June 13, 2013 . ^ Naughton, James M. (April 13, 1976). "Ford Vetoes Bill to Ease Hatch Act". New York Times. Retrieved June 13, 2013 . ^ Weaver, Jr., Warren (March 23, 1977). "Carter Proposes End of Electoral College in Presidential Votes". New York Times. Retrieved 13 June 2013 . ^ Pear, Robert (November 18, 1987). "House Approves Bill to Lift Curbs On Federal Employees in Politics". New York Times. Retrieved June 13, 2013 . ^ Dowd, Maureen (June 16, 1990). "President Vetoes a Bill and Makes a Threat on Second". New York Times. Retrieved June 13, 2013 . ^ Berke, Richard L. (June 22, 1990). "Senate Upholds Veto of Bill On U.S. Workers in Politics". New York Times. Retrieved June 13, 2013 . ^ ADDED CITATION SOURCE , Retrieved Nov 4, 2016 http://uscode.house.gov/statutes/pl/103/94.pdf and specific to "affect results of an election" citation : http://www.ipmall.info/sites/default/files/hosted_resources/crs/R44469_2016-04-13.pdf - page 4. ^ "Statement by the Press Secretary..."Statements and Releases. whitehouse.gov. Retrieved February 9, 2013 . ^ Directive 1344.10. Political Activities by Members of the Armed Forces. Department of Defense (2008-02-19). ^ Cpl. R. Drew Hendricks, "DoD policy limits political practices in the workplace". Marine Forces Pacific. marines.mil (2008-01-31). ^ Christopher Garcia. Political Activities. Office of Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel & Readiness. ^ Loftin, Josh. (2006-11-01) Police chief plans to stay in Senate race. Deseret Morning News. Retrieved on 2012-07-08. ^ OSC: High Level NASA Hatch Investigations Present Cautionary TaleArchived 2007-02-05 at the Wayback Machine., Office of Special Counsel, January 1, 2007 ^ Doan's fate up to president; Hatch Act violation could prompt firing, Federal Times, May 28, 2007 ^ Rood, Justin (2008-05-06). "FBI Raids Bush Official's Office '' ABC News". Abcnews.go.com. Retrieved 2012-02-10 . ^ Shenon, Philip (May 7, 2008). "F.B.I. Raids Office of Special Counsel". New York Times. Retrieved February 12, 2013 . ^ Bowman, James S.; West, Jonathan P. (2009). "To 'Re-Hatch' Public Employees or Not? An Ethical Analysis of the Relaxation of Restrictions on Political Activities in Public Service". Public Administration Review. 69 (1): 52''63. doi:10.1111/j.1540-6210.2008.01940.x. ^ "White House indicates Sebelius won't be punished over Hatch Act violation". Fox News. 14 September 2012. Retrieved 17 September 2012 . ^ Korte, Gregory (July 18, 2016). "Investigation: HUD Secretary Julian Castro broke law by endorsing Clinton". USA Today. Retrieved July 20, 2016 . ^ Reid, Harry (October 30, 2016). "Harry Reid says FBI Director James Comey 'may have broken' federal law". Fox News. Retrieved October 30, 2016 . ^ Comey, James (October 28, 2016). "Letter to Congress From F.B.I. Director on Clinton Email Case". The New York Times. Retrieved October 28, 2016 . ^ Painter, Richard W. "On Clinton Emails, Did the F.B.I. Director Abuse His Power?". New York Times. Retrieved 31 October 2016 . ^ Eric Lipton (2017-06-09). "White House Official's Political Tweet Was Illegal, Agency Says". New York Times. Retrieved 2017-06-20 . ^ Zachary Cohen (2017-10-03). "UN ambassador Nikki Haley over Trump retweet". CNN. Retrieved 2017-10-03 . ^ "Legal complaint filed over Kellyanne Conway's comments on Roy Moore race". POLITICO. Retrieved 2017-11-22 . ^ MJ Lee (March 6, 2018). "Office of Special Counsel: Conway violated Hatch Act". Retrieved 2017-03-06 .
We're All Fascists Now - The New York Times
Thu, 08 Mar 2018 13:29
For the lecture itself, a student wearing a jacket emblazoned with the command ''Stay Woke'' led protesters in shouting ''Microaggressions are real'' and ''No platform for fascists.'' Ms. Sommers handled matters as gracefully as possible, but had delivered only half her lecture before Janet Steverson, a law professor and the school's dean of diversity and inclusion, asked herto cut her remarks short and take questions from the hardy souls who somehow survived the violence of her words.
At this point, such incidents have become so routine that it's tempting to wave them off.
We shouldn't. What happened to Ms. Sommers on Monday is a telling example of a wider phenomenon that reaches well beyond the confines of campus. Call it the moral flattening of the earth.
We live in a world in which politically fascistic behavior, if not the actual philosophy, is unquestionably on the rise. Italy just gave the plurality of its vote to a party that is highly sympathetic to Vladimir Putin. The Philippines is in the grip of a homicidal maniac who is allying himself with Xi Jinping. Mr. Xi just anointed himself president for life and has banned the words ''Animal Farm'' and ''disagree'' from Chinese internet searches. Bashar al-Assad is winning in Syria, where half a million people have so far been slaughtered. Dictatorship and starvation have descended on Venezuela. At its annual conference in Washington last month, the Conservative Political Action Committee gave its stage, and its enthusiastic applause, to a member of France's National Front. That's just a short list.
Yet these are generally not the extremists that leftists focus on. Instead, they seem to believe that the real cause for concern are the secret authoritarians passing as liberals and conservatives in our midst.
Among them:
Laura Kipnis, a feminist film-studies professor at Northwestern who wrote an essay for The Chronicle of Higher Education about how there are too many Title IX sexual misconduct investigations on campuses '-- and then had two graduate students file a Title IX complaint against her, on the grounds that her article created a ''hostile environment.''
Or Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Somali-born former Muslim and feminist who the Southern Poverty Law Center insists is in fact a ''propagandist far outside the political mainstream.''
Or Mary Beard, the celebrated Cambridge classicist and self-described ''bloody lefty'' who recently published a book-length manifesto denouncing the world's long history of misogyny. Last month, Ms. Beard commented on a scandal gripping Britain: Oxfam workers in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake are accused of hiring prostitutes, including, reportedly, underage girls. ''Of course one can't condone the (alleged) behavior of Oxfam staff in Haiti and elsewhere,'' she wrote. ''But I do wonder how hard it must be to sustain 'civilized' values in a disaster zone.''
For expressing the thought that people in lawless places often behave in terrible ways, Ms. Beard was torn apart on social media as an ''absolute monster'' who was somehow excusing the exploitation of vulnerable women and girls. Her Cambridge colleague, Priyamvada Gopal joined in, accusing her of ''patrician white 'feminist' racism.''
Why are so many demonstrably non-fascist people being accused of fascism?
Partly, this phenomenon is driven by our current political moment, in which millions of Americans '-- and not just those who identify as liberals or progressives '-- are horrified by the policies and the rhetoric oozing out of the White House. When the shadow of genuine chaos and extremism looms, people tend to get jumpy.
Partly, as the writer David French and others have pointed out, this ritual we keep witnessing of an in-group wielding its power against a perceived heretic seems to come from a deep human desire for a sense of belonging and purpose. Organized religion may be anathema on the political left, but the need for the things religion provides '-- moral fervor, meaning, a sense of community '-- are not.
Partly, too, it is the result of a lack of political proportion and priority. It's instructive that students at the University of Chicago spent their energy a few years back protesting Dan Savage, the progressive sex columnist who used the word ''tranny'' in a talk that included a discussion about reclaiming words, while ignoring a lecture the very same week by former Senator Rick Santorum, the Pennsylvania Republican who has compared gay relationships to bestiality. Freud called this the narcissism of small differences.
But it is also a concerted attempt to significantly redraw the bounds of acceptable thought and speech. By tossing people like Mary Beard and Christina Hoff Sommers into the slop bucket with the likes of Richard Spencer, they are attempting to place their reasonable ideas firmly outside the mainstream. They are trying to make criticism of identity politics, radical Islam and third-wave feminism, among various other subjects, verboten. For even the most minor transgressions, as in the case of Professor Beard, people are turned radioactive.
There are consequences to all this ''fascism'' '-- and not just the reputational damage to those who are smeared, though there is surely that.
The main effect is that these endless accusations of ''fascism'' or ''misogyny'' or ''alt-right'' dull the effects of the words themselves. As they are stripped of meaning, they strip us of our sharpness '-- of our ability to react forcefully to real fascists and misogynists or members of the alt-right.
For a case study in how this numbing of the political senses works, look no further than Mitt Romney and John McCain. They were roundly denounced as right-wing extremists. Then Donald Trump came along and the words meant to warn us against him had already been rendered hollow.
Orwell warned that the English language ''becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts.'' He added, however, that ''the process is reversible.''
Will true liberals do what it takes to reverse it? We can only hope so, because the battle against genuine authoritarian threats needs to be waged consistently, credibly and persuasively. For that to happen, words need to mean something. Calling women like Christina Hoff Sommers and Mary Beard fascists and racists only helps the other side.
Editors' Note: March 7, 2018An earlier version of this essay cited criticism of the commentator Dave Rubin as an example of left-leaning attacks on liberals in the public sphere, and linked to tweets that described him as a fascist. Those tweets came from an account that has been reported to be fake. Therefore the example and the links have been removed.
Continue reading the main story
Protester breaks window, resists arrest '-- police | The Kingston Whig-Standard
Wed, 07 Mar 2018 11:54
A woman who protested a controversial lecture that took place at Queen's University on Monday is facing numerous charges from Kingston Police.
Jordan Peterson, a University of Toronto psychology professor, stopped at Queen's as part of a tour to support his bestselling book 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos. The lecture he gave was titled The Rising Tide of Compelled Speech in Canada.
Peterson has been criticized for refusing direction to use nongender pronouns as well as opposing Bill C-16, which extends legal protections to transgender people. His critics have accused him of promoting far-right, racist, homophobic and Islamophobic ideas.
About 150 protesters gathered outside Grant Hall while Peterson gave his lecture that started at about 4:30 p.m.
At about 5:15 p.m. a woman, who isn't a Queen's student, stood on one of the building's window ledges. Police said in their news release that she then started to bang on the window causing it break. The woman cut her hand, but fled the scene. She was stopped by officers dressed in plain clothing at University Avenue and Stuart Street.
When the officers identified themselves the woman started to yell and resisted arrest by trying to pull away, police said. Once handcuffed the woman became violent and started kicking one officer. Additional officers responded to take the woman to police headquarters, but on the way there she tried to kick out the cruiser's window.
Once at police headquarters the woman refused to walk on her own and continued to be uncooperative. Police said that she bit one of the officers and had to be physically carried into her cell as she continued to be violent.
Police searched her backpack and inside they found a weapon inside. Commonly known as a garrote, the weapon consists of metal wire with handles on each end.
A 38-year-old local woman has been charged by police with mischief, assaulting police, possession of a weapon for dangerous purpose, and for carrying a concealed weapon. She was held in police custody to attend a bail court.
'-- The Whig-Standard
Garrote | execution device | Britannica.com
Wed, 07 Mar 2018 11:53
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Journo Licenses!
UAE's social media influencers will need licence under new media rules - The National
Tue, 06 Mar 2018 14:24
Social media influencing has become big business for personalities, such as Dubai-based beauty blogger Huda Kattan. Courtesy Huda Kattan
Social media influencers who make money from promoting brands and businesses will need to secure a media licence under new regulations.
The move would work to professionalise and regulate the industry, the National Media Council said on Tuesday.
The licence would be similar to those that magazines and newspapers acquire from the authorities.
It is not intended to constrain creativity but to ensure earnings are above board and standards are high, the council said.
Social media influencing has become big business for personalities, with a large number of followings on channels like Instagram in particular, commanding fees of tens or hundreds of thousands of dirhams for promotional posts.
Social influencers
$5,000 a post: the power of UAE's social media influencers
Meet the Middle East social media stars of My Fabulous M.E.
Is Instagram's popularity declining with new algorithm?
The inside view of Forbes' new list of the top online influencers
The majlis: What defines a social-media influencer?
Make-up and fashion brands, luxury chains and entertainment activities are often seen promoted by UAE-based social media celebrities '' an activity that was not regulated in the past.
On February 28, the NMC launched a new electronic media regulation system. Anyone involved in electronic media commercial activities will need to register and have a licence before the end of June.
Penalties for failing to do so include fines up to Dh5,000, verbal or official warning, and/or closure of the website or account.
News and entertainment websites that already possess a licence to publish will not be affected.
NMC director general Mansour Ibrahim Al Mansouri said: "The new regulations are part of the Council's plan to promote and develop an advanced legislative and regulatory environment for the UAE media sector, keeping it up-to-speed with regards to all technological developments that have transformed media in recent times.
"Today, electronic media has become a highly influential and widespread tool; it is imperative that we enhance its reliability. Digital media is one of the fastest-growing sectors in the Middle East, especially videos, games and e-books. Regulating this sector will attract new global investments, which, in turn, will improve its development and competitiveness."
He added that the new guidelines seek to enhance the contribution of electronic media to the wider publishing industry, providing legal protection for the outlets and enhancing their competitiveness, all in an effort to increase advertising spend and grow the sector as a whole.
Florida School Shooting
Broward sheriff's captain who gave initial order to 'stage' not enter Stoneman Douglas is ID'd | Fox News
Tue, 06 Mar 2018 22:36
Multiple sources told Fox News that Captain Jan Jordan directed responding deputies and units to ''stage'' or form a ''perimeter'' outside Stoneman Douglas High School, instead of rushing immediately into the building. (File)
The Broward County Sheriff's Office has identified to Fox News the captain who, according to sources, directed responding deputies and units to ''stage'' or form a ''perimeter'' outside Stoneman Douglas High School, instead of rushing immediately into the building, as the mass shooting unfolded there.
Multiple law enforcement and official sources said the commands in the initial moments after Nikolas Cruz allegedly opened fire would go against all training which instructs first responders to ''go, go, go'' until the shooter is neutralized. As law enforcement arrived, the shooter's identity and exact location were still unknown.
Multiple sources told Fox News that Captain Jan Jordan was the commanding officer on scene. In an email responding to Fox News' request for information, a BSO spokesperson wrote, ''Capt. Jordan's radio call sign is 17S1.''
The massacre on February 14 killed 17 people and wounded 16 others.
Sources told Fox News it was Jordan giving the commands because they were recorded on the dispatch logs coming from Jordan's radio insignia 17S1, or ''Seventeen Sierra One.''
In the email, the BSO spokesperson also shed some light on the allegations against Jordan's commands writing, ''Captain Jordan asked if a perimeter had been established after the shooter left the building.''
Fox News replied to BSO with more follow-up questions, but has not heard back despite multiple requests into its media relations office. BSO's explanation about the perimeter command might indicate, as Fox News reported, that Jordan knew more information than other law enforcement on scene, and her commands to stage and form a perimeter may have been valid.
BSO also did not respond to Fox News' initial request for comment about Jordan's alleged commands to ''stage'' outside, setting up an area to keep first responders safe before police secure a violent scene. Multiple law enforcement sources said that command also would have been detrimental to victims inside the building because it would have stalled officers.
''You cannot disregard what Sierra Unit says. They are the commanding unit,'' a law enforcement source told Fox News. ''When she says she needs a perimeter, every other deputy responding to the scene takes perimeter.''
Several law enforcement sources said BSO's explanation that Jordan asked for a perimeter did not make sense because anything Jordan was saying on the radio would have been considered a command -- not a question.
''You don't ask for a perimeter over air. She is the captain. She is the leader. Who would she be asking?'' one law enforcement source said.
Dispatch logs obtained by Fox News appeared to show that at 2:32 p.m., roughly 11 minutes after Cruz opened fire, the first command to form a perimeter was issued, ''17S1... NEED PERIMETER.''
A copy of Broward County's active-shooter policy even appeared to indicate that responding deputies and officers may enter the building without permission and should seek to neutralize the shooter until objectives are met '-- for example, if the shooter is contained. The policy did not appear to indicate a priority for staging or a perimeter.
The Broward County Sheriff's office is performing its own investigation into the timeline of the day of the shooting. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is also investigating BSO and the Florida Senate subpoenaed the Broward County Public Schools and responding law enforcement agencies for all records and information related to the shooting.
Matt Finn is a Fox News correspondent based in the Chicago bureau. Follow him on Twitter: @MattFinnFNC
Militia Act of 1903 - Wikipedia
Thu, 08 Mar 2018 11:40
Charles Dick, for whom Militia Act of 1903 was named.The Militia Act of 1903 (32 Stat. 775), also known as "The Efficiency in Militia Act of 1903", also known as the Dick Act,[1] was legislation enacted by the United States Congress which codified the circumstances under which the National Guard could be federalized. It also provided federal funds to the National Guard to pay for equipment and training, including annual summer encampments. In return, the National Guard began to organize its units along the same lines as the regular Army, and took steps to meet the same training, education and readiness requirements as active duty units.[2]
History [ edit] Governor Martin Chitenden unsuccessfully attempted to recall Vermont Militia from New York during War of 1812.During the nineteenth century, the militia in each U.S. state and territory operated under the Militia Acts of 1792. Under these laws, the question of state versus federal control of the militia was unresolved. As a result, the federal government could not rely on the militia for national defense. As an example, during the War of 1812, members of the New York Militia refused to take part in operations against the British in Canada, arguing that their only responsibility was to defend their home state.[3] In another instance, Martin Chittenden, the Governor of Vermont, unsuccessfully attempted to recall his state's militia from the defense of Plattsburgh, claiming that it was illegal for them to operate outside Vermont's borders.[4]
Because the issue of state versus federal control was not resolved, the federal government resorted to the creation of "volunteer" units when it needed to expand the size of the Army. These units of United States Volunteers were not militia, though often they consisted of militia units which had volunteered en masse, nor were they part of the regular Army. This solution was employed during the Mexican''American War,[5] and in the Union Army during the American Civil War.[6]
During the Spanish''American War some volunteer units were organized, most notably the 1st United States Volunteer Cavalry Regiment, nicknamed "Rough Riders."[7][8] The federal government also mobilized several National Guard units which volunteered en masse and were accepted as volunteer units.[9][10]
Several issues with the National Guard became apparent as a result of the Spanish''American War experience, including low levels of individual and unit training and readiness; differences in organizational structure, uniforms and equipment; and lack of standardization in leader qualifications and professional development.[11][12][13]
Root reforms and Dick Act [ edit] Secretary of War Elihu Root worked to reform Army after Spanish''American War.As a result of the problems identified during the Spanish''American War, Secretary of WarElihu Root and other military leaders took steps to reform the Army, including the National Guard. Root's allies included Charles Dick, Congressman (later Senator) from Ohio and Chairman of the House Militia Affairs Committee, who also served as President of the National Guard Association of the United States.[14] Dick was a veteran of the Spanish''American War and a longtime National Guard member who attained the rank of Major General as commander of the Ohio National Guard.[15][16]
Dick championed the Militia Act of 1903, which became known as the Dick Act. This law repealed the Militia Acts of 1792 and designated the militia [per Title 10, Section 311] as two groups: the Unorganized Militia, which included all able-bodied men between ages 17 and 45, and the Organized Militia, which included state militia (National Guard) units receiving federal support.[17][18][19][20]
The Dick Act included $2 million for National Guard units to modernize equipment, and permitted states to use federal funds to pay for National Guard summer training encampments. The National Guard in each state was also required to carry out a uniform schedule of weekend or weeknight drills and annual summer training camps. In addition, the War Department agreed to fund the attendance of Guard officers at Army schools, and active Army officers would serve as inspectors and instructors of National Guard units. The War Department also agreed to organize joint Army-National Guard exercises and training encampments.[21]
In return, the federal government gained greater control over the National Guard. The President of the United States was empowered to call up the National Guard for up to nine months to repel invasion, suppress rebellion, or enforce federal laws. Guardsmen had to answer a presidential call or face court-martial. States had to organize, equip, and train their units in accordance with the policies and procedures of the regular Army. If Guard units failed to meet Army standards, they would lose federal recognition and federal funding.[22]
The Dick Act helped resolve the issue of when the United States government could mobilize the National Guard, but federal authorities were not permitted to order the National Guard to service outside the United States.[23]
Amendments [ edit] The Dick Act was amended several times. In 1908, The nine-month limit on federal service was dropped, and the President was empowered to set the length of federal service.[24] The ban on National Guard units serving outside the United States was also dropped, though subsequently the United States Attorney General offered his opinion that enabling the National Guard to serve outside the United States was unconstitutional.[25] In addition, the 1908 law stated that during a mobilization the National Guard had to be federalized before the Army could organize volunteer units.[26] The 1908 law also included the creation of the Division of Militia Affairs as the Army agency responsible for overseeing federal training and administrative requirements for the National Guard.[27][28][29][30][31]
The National Defense Act of 1916 doubled the number of required drill periods from 24 to 48 and increased the length of summer training camps from five days to 15.[32] In addition, the War Department was enabled to centrally plan for the National Guard's authorized strength, and the number and types of National Guard units in each state.[33]
Under the 1916 law, the War Department was also empowered to implement uniform enlistment contracts and officer commissioning requirements for the National Guard. Guardsmen were also required to take both state and federal enlistment oaths or oaths of office.[34]
The 1916 law also replaced the federal subsidy with an annual budget to cover most Guard expenses, including drill pay, and the Division of Militia Affairs was expanded to form the Militia Bureau (now National Guard Bureau).[35][36]
In addition, the 1916 law resolved the issues of deploying National Guardsmen overseas by stipulating that they would be drafted into federal service, thus removing the National Guard from its status as the militia of the states when operating under federal authority.[37] This provision was employed to call up the National Guard during the Pancho Villa Expedition,[38] and again during World War I.[39]
In 1933, an amendment to the National Defense Act of 1916 created a separate reserve component of the United States Army called the National Guard of the United States. Since 1933, all National Guardsmen have been members of both their State National Guard (or militia) and the National Guard of the United States.[40]
Implementation [ edit] Company A, 1st Arkansas Infantry, near Deming, New Mexico, during Pancho Villa Expedition.John M. Palmer, advocate of National Guard following World War I.The improvements to National Guard training and readiness and the resolution of the circumstances under which the National Guard could be federalized led to the call up of National Guard units for service on the Mexico''United States border during the Pancho Villa Expedition.[41][42][43]
In addition, National Guard units were federalized and deployed overseas during World War I.[44]
The improvements to the Army''National Guard relationship, the improvements to National Guard training and readiness, and the National Guard's successful service during the Villa Expedition and the First World War brought about by the Dick Act and subsequent amendments enabled John McAuley Palmer and other National Guard advocates to defeat a 1920 effort to completely replace the National Guard with a federal-only reserve force.[45]
Connection to segregation [ edit] According to Professor Kelley L. Ross of the Los Angeles Valley College, one aspect of the Militia Act of 1903 was a continuation of Jim Crow-era politics, designed primarily to strengthen racist segregation laws by disarming black U.S. citizens,[46] thus making it easier to oppress and subjugate them:
One of the very worst effects of Segregation for the freedom of all Americans is one that I have never even seen mentioned [...] The Dick Act of 1903, which abolished the traditional Militia and instituted the National Guard, is certainly a manifestation of Segregation. No Southern State wanted its black citizens to be trained and armed with military weapons, let alone have them "keep and bear" the arms on their own recognizance. Black people might have actually been able to resist the judicial and extra-judicial Terrorism of the Segregationist regimes in that case.[47] [...] What Congress did in 1903 was create the National Guard, almost certainly to prevent Black people in the South from constituting a Militia to resist the terrorism of Segregation and lynchings.[48]
'--'‰Kelley L. Ross
This view is confirmed by author Roger D. Cunningham in his essay "They are as Proud of their Uniform as any who Serve Virginia: African American Participation in the Virginia Volunteers, 1872''1899", part of the book Brothers to the Buffalo Soldiers: Perspectives on the African American Militia and Volunteers, 1865-1917. According to Cunningham, southern white militia units of the 1890s and early 1900s refused to interact with black units from the north, and the governor refused to allow black militia units from Washington, D.C. to take part in commemorations and ceremonies which were held in Virginia.
When the Dick Act increased federal oversight of the National Guard, making it difficult for states to discriminate against black units, some states chose to disband them rather than issuing new arms and equipment.
'--'‰Roger D. Cunningham, 2011.[49]African American units continued to serve where permitted, including the District of Columbia, Maryland, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Ohio, Illinois, and New York.[50]
References [ edit] ^ Act of Jan. 21, 1903, 47th Congress, 2nd session, chapter 196, 32 Stat. 775-780. ^ Barry M. Stentiford, The American Home Guard: The State Militia in the Twentieth Century, 2002, page 12 ^ Jesse Greenspan, History.com, How U.S. Forces Failed to Conquer Canada 200 Years Ago, July 12, 2012 ^ Spencer C. Tucker, The Encyclopedia Of the War Of 1812, 2012, page 132 ^ Public Broadcasting System, A Call to Arms: The American Army in the Mexican War: An Overview, A Conversation With Richard Bruce Winders, Historian and Curator, The Alamo, March 14, 2006 ^ Robert K. Krick, Gary W. Gallagher, The American Civil War: The War in the East, 1863-1865, 2001, page 7 ^ U.S. Army Center of Military History, Spanish''American War: Volunteer Forces, 1899 ^ Texas State Historical Association, Handbook of Texas Online, First United States Volunteer Cavalry, accessed July 3, 2013 ^ Spanish''American War Centennial Website, Unit Profiles, Rosters, and Photos, accessed July 3, 2013 ^ New York Times, The Volunteer Army Call: Further Instructions Issued to the Governors of States by the War Department; MODE OF ENLISTMENT GIVEN System for the Enrollment of the National Guard Organizations Much Simpler Than Had Been Supposed; Replies of the Governors, April 27, 1898 ^ U.S. War Department, Spanish American War, 1898, Government Documents, 1899, pages 94''95 ^ Connecticut Adjutant General, Annual Report, 1899, page xxiv ^ New York Times, The National Guard, January 1, 1897 ^ Davenport Weekly Republican, Meeting of National Guard, January 28, 1904 ^ Ohio General Assembly, Manual of Legislative Practice in the General Assembly of Ohio, 1912, page 199 ^ Michael Dale Doubler, John W. Listman, Jr., The National Guard: An Illustrated History of America's Citizen-Soldiers, 2007, page 54 ^ New York Times, For "A Well Regulated Militia", January 30, 1902 ^ Spokane Daily Chronicle, Secretary Root Interprets Dick Law, May 15, 1903 ^ Dubuque Telegraph-Herald, Bill Becomes Law: New Law Makes Militia Part of Federal Military Force, January 16, 1903 ^ United States Government Printing Office, Federal Statutes Annotated, Volume 6, 1918, page 433 ^ Jerry M. Cooper, Citizens As Soldiers: A History Of The North Dakota National Guard, 2005, page 118 ^ James A. Drain, Pearson's Magazine, "Getting Ready for Our Next War", April, 1909, page 408 ^ Derek Avery, Mark Lloyd, History of the United States Fighting Forces, 1989, page 74 ^ Republican National Committee, Republican Campaign Text-Book, 1908, page 359 ^ New York Times, The Army-Militia Plan, January 16, 1914 ^ Edward Marshall, New York Times, Making Our Army More Efficient and Always Ready, March 5, 1911 ^ Atlanta Constitution, Dick Militia Law Will be Amended, December 15, 1907 ^ Pittsburgh Press, Discuss Dick Law, July 21, 1907 ^ Providence News-Democrat, Wants Militia Ready for Instant Service, January 15, 1908 ^ Charleston News and Courier, Will Not Quit State Militia, October 28, 1907 ^ Dubuque Telegraph-Herald, General for I.N.G. Is Not Necessary, November 10, 1907 ^ New York Times, Congress Studies the Militia Bill, February 13, 1916 ^ Michael D. Doubler, The National Guard and Reserve: A Reference Handbook, 2008, pages 173-176 ^ New York Times, Old Guardsmen Falter at Oath, June 27, 1916 ^ New York Times, Says Pay for Guard Adds to Efficiency, May 28, 1916 ^ United States War Department, Annual Report of the Secretary of War, Volume 1, 1916, page 191 ^ New York Times, Wilson to Draft Guard, July 10, 1917 ^ Montreal Daily Mail, U.S. Troops Called for Service on Mexican Border, June 19, 1916 ^ Christian Science Monitor, President Drafts the National Guard, August 6, 1917 ^ New Jersey Adjutant General, Annual Report, 1933, pages 2-25 ^ Boston Globe, Testing the National Guard Law, August 8, 1916 ^ New York Times, Militia Question, February 7, 1916 ^ National Guard Bureau, Report on Mobilization of the Organized Militia and National Guard, 1916, page 4 ^ National Guard Educational Foundation, Brief History of Army National Guard MobilizationsArchived 2013-04-15 at Archive.is, accessed July 3, 2013 ^ Russell Frank Weigley, The American Way of War, 1977, pages 221''222 ^ Ross, Kelley L. (February 2018). "What Is Called 'Gun Control' ". Political Economy. The Proceedings of the Friesian School, Fourth Series. Retrieved February 17, 2018 . 1903, when the National Guard was created to prevent black people from owning guns or being able to defend themselves. Since the motive of creating the National Guard and allowing the Constitutionally mandated Militia to lapse was pure racism... ^ Ross, Kelley L. (August 2000). "I Am A Union Man". Retrieved December 23, 2015 . ^ Ross, Kelley L. (March 18, 2016). "The Kind of Libertarian I Am". Political Economy. The Proceedings of the Friesian School, Fourth Series. Archived from the original on May 22, 2017. Retrieved March 17, 2016 . ^ Glasrud, Bruce A., editor (2011). Brothers to the Buffalo Soldiers: Perspectives on the African American Militia and Volunteers, 1865''1917. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press. pp. 63''64. ISBN 978-0-8262-1904-6. ^ Scott, Emmett Jay (1919). Scott's Official History of the American Negro in the World War. Chicago, Illinois: Homewood Press. pp. 33''34. External links [ edit]
How gun buffs took over Wikipedia's AR-15 page - The Verge
Thu, 08 Mar 2018 13:45
In the days after the Parkland shooting, users flocked to Wikipedia to learn about guns. When users searched for ''AR-15'' '-- the style of gun used during the shooting '-- they were directed to the page for the ''Colt AR-15.'' The page was viewed more than 200,000 times on the day after Parkland, a hundred times its usual traffic. But those users didn't find much information about mass shootings or political efforts. In fact, the Colt AR-15 page made no mention of gun control at all, instead spending over a thousand words describing the technical details of the gun's various parts.
That focus on hardware was by design. For months, the ''Colt AR-15'' page has been largely edited by a group of gun enthusiast editors. They joined together under the name ''Wikipedia Project: Firearms,'' or ''WP:Firearms'' for short. Expertise groups are common on Wikipedia, and in some ways, WP:Firearms fits the mold perfectly: a collection of users with detailed knowledge of a specific topic, keeping a close eye on all the pages where that knowledge might be relevant. But on Wikipedia, as in the real world, the users with the deepest technical knowledge of firearms are also the most fervent gun owners and the most hostile to gun control. For critics, that's led to a persistent pro-gun bias on the web's leading source of neutral information at a time when the gun control debate is more heated than ever.
''This is the usual gun confiscator garbage.''
Much of the alleged bias comes from how the articles are structured. For months before Parkland, information on generic AR-15 models was relegated to the Modern Sporting Rifles entry, which detailed various models and after-market additions, but made no mention of mass shootings or other gun control efforts. When some editors tried to include those topics, the backlash from WP:Firearms was immediate.
''Mass-shootings already have their own articles, all relevant info is, or should be, in that page and not needlessly duplicated on other articles,'' one editor wrote. ''If we start adding info about just one shooting incident to one tenuously-connected article, we'll be opening a literal Pandora's box (figuratively speaking).''
Fighting a similarly proposed edit on the Smith & Wesson page, user Trekphiler went further. ''There are millions of weapons in civilian hands, including thousands of AR-15s,'' he wrote, ''and none of them have harmed anyone. This is the usual gun confiscator garbage.''
When users tried to detail the gun control concerns in the Colt AR-15 page, where most ''AR-15'' searches were still being directed, they ran into another technicality. ''Sorry, this is an article about Colt's AR-15 (tm) rifle,'' one WP:Firearms editor responded. ''This is not the correct article for information that is about AR-15's in general. That section of the article should be edited to remove the references to crimes that were not committed with Colt AR-15 rifles.''
Heated, arcane, and tautological debates
The fight over gun nomenclature goes far beyond Wikipedia. Gun enthusiasts see terms like ''assault weapon'' as imprecise, while concrete terms like ''semi-automatic'' are overly broad. Even the term ''AR-15'' is difficult to pin down: what was a once-specific trademark has metastasized into a trans-corporate branding tool. ''Modern sporting rifle,'' the term preferred by WP:Firearms, is seen by many as a public relations gambit by the gun industry to downplay how deadly the weapons really are. There's no perfect term, but as long as the two sides are fighting over nomenclature, any proposed measures will get lost in a maze of conflicting terms. And on crowdsourced and managed Wikipedia, that means heated, arcane, and tautological debates, often driven by political and cultural biases.
WP:Firearms is also active on the page for the National Rifle Association, mobilizing against a number of critical edits in recent months. In December, a user called ''Snooganssnoogans'' proposed a new section on racial criticisms of the NRA, focusing on the organization's silence in the wake of the Philando Castile shooting and subsequent outcry from Black Lives Matter leaders.
When a WP:Firearms member spotted the effort, an alarm went out to the larger group. ''There seem to be a move to call the NRA a racist organization because they didn't immediately condemn a police shooting to satisfaction of anti-police, anti-gun, anti-NRA writers,'' an editor wrote on the WP:Firearms hub. ''I encourage everyone to comment.''
The group's users rushed to weigh in so quickly that some raised concerns the message had violated Wikipedia's rules against canvassing. ''The fact that they give the police the benefit of the doubt until all the facts are in does not make the NRA racist,'' a user called RAF910 wrote. ''It makes the NRA cautious. Unlike most of the so-called news organizations that automatically attack white police officers for shooting black suspects.''
''So, you don't have any policy-based reason for excluding this content,'' Snoogans responded. ''You just personally disagree with the criticism?'' The section was tabled amid harsh criticism, although Snoogans has resubmitted a shortened form that remains under debate.
More recently, WP:Firearms members rallied to defend language on the page calling the NRA ''the oldest continuously operating civil rights organization,'' a claim often made by the NRA and recently repeated on Fox & Friends. Some users saw it as ''a distortion of the facts,'' but the most detailed criticism came from a Media Matters post, which was dismissed as a non-neutral source. As of press time, the claim remains in the second paragraph of the NRA's page.
Reached by The Verge, Wikimedia emphasized that Wikipedia's distributed model is designed to limit bias, and WikiProject groups do not inherently have more influence over content than unaffiliated editors.
''Both articles you mention are actively being discussed and edited by volunteer editors, and will likely continue to change,'' a representative said in an email. ''While it will always be a work in progress, Wikipedia is constantly improving as more editors engage and contribute to its articles, leading to a more balanced representation of the facts over time.''
Update 3/6 1:35PM ET:Updated with comment from the Wikimedia Project.
Vegas Massacre
Victims of Las Vegas mass shooting start receiving payments of up to $275,000 each
Thu, 08 Mar 2018 14:46
More than 500 victims of the mass shooting in Las Vegas began receiving money Monday from a victims fund that collected in excess of $31 million after the tragedy.
The Las Vegas Victims Fund nonprofit set aside $275,000 for each of the 58 victims killed on Oct. 1 and equal payments to another 10 who suffered paralysis or brain damage.
Scott Nielson, chairman of the Las Vegas Victims Fund Committee, said in a statement that the generosity shown to those who suffered in the attack was "tremendous."
"We recognize, however, that money cannot replace a life lost or forever changed due to this tragic event," Nielson said. "What the committee worked hard to do was distribute the gifts given by tens of thousands of people in a way that would help those families and survivors most severely impacted."
Divided into three levels, the committee announced there were 532 claims total. The second level consisted of 147 people who were injured and hospitalized. Fourteen claims in that tier got $200,000 each and required proof the victim had been hospitalized for more than 24 days. There were nine who got $150,000 each for 16-23 days in the hospital and 15 who got $100,000 each for eight to 15 days in the hospital.
Most claims in the second level '-- 77 total '-- got $52,500 for hospital stays that lasted two to seven days. Thirty-two people who spent one day in the hospital received $17,500.
The mass shooting in Las Vegas '-- the largest in modern American history '-- drew worldwide attention after Stephen Paddock opened fire from his room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino down into a crowd of 22,000 attending the Route 91 Harvest country music festival.
But after the shooting, there were complaints made by some suggesting that the money in the victims fund didn't match the scope of the tragedy and that many would be left out when it came to receiving money.
In 2016, the Pulse Nightclub shooting resulted in 49 people being shot and killed and the OneOrlando Fund received donations totaling $29.5 million. Each casualty claim resulted in a $350,000 disbursement.
After mass shootings, funds are often established where people can donate to help those who suffered in the tragedy. In San Bernardino, the families of the 14 people killed in the workplace shooting on Dec. 2, 2015, were each eligible for about $140,629. Another 37 people who were present during the shooting at the Inland Regional Center were eligible for $2,993 each.
After the 2012 mass shooting at the Aurora, Colo., movie theater, more than $5 million was donated to a fund. Claims on the deceased came to $220,000 each.
But unlike Las Vegas '-- Orlando, San Bernardino and Aurora had fewer claimants. In the Orlando victims fund, 186 claims for people who were present in the nightclub '-- the lowest tier level '-- received $25,000 each.
The scope of the shooting in Las Vegas '-- with thousands at the concert '-- didn't allow for the fund to cover all of the survivors. By mid-December, the fund was at $16 million. Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said in January there were more than 800 people injured in the attack.
In the weeks after the holiday season, the fund almost doubled and included donations from the Vegas Strong Fund, which was established and funded largely by several casinos. MGM Resorts, which owns Mandalay Bay, gave $4 million through its foundation. A Vegas Strong benefit concert at T-Mobile Arena raised about $700,000.
Contributions from individuals ranged from $1 to almost $400,000.
Under the fund, victims who received outpatient care by a doctor '-- 317 total '-- will divide a little more than $2.51 million, though the exact totals for each claim in that third level hasn't been determined and is awaiting a final tally on the total number of valid claims.
The rolling disbursement of funds is expected to be complete by the end of the month.
What Does it Take to Be a Water Sommelier? - Los Angeles Magazine
Thu, 08 Mar 2018 13:29
Ray's & Stark Bar introduces a water menu.August 6, 2013 Daniela Galarza
Starting next week, when you dine at Ray's & Stark Bar'--which is located in the lower atrium of the Los Angeles County Musuem of Art'--one of the menus your server will hand you will be a multi-page booklet of different kinds of water. You may, for a minute, think you've landed in an episode of Portlandia'--what ever happened to ''still or sparkling?''
And what, anyway, is really wrong with tap?
Martin Riese, Ray's general manager and water sommelier says that ''the problem with L.A. tap water that there is a lot if chlorine in it. The chlorine overpowers the taste of the actual water.'' He would never drink L.A. tap.
Riese is largely thought of as the world's foremost certified water sommelier. His certification comes from the German Mineral Water Association. He's even written a book on his work, entitled Die Welt des Wassers (''The World of Water''). So we had to chat with Riese, who doesn't just have a picky palate; he's a true expert on water'--something Southern Californians think a lot about.
What goes into becoming a water sommelier?
A lot of drinking! I come from the Danish border in Germany, right in front of me was the North Sea, so I was always surrounded by water. As a child, when my family went on vacation the first thing we would do in a new city was try the tap water, because I always felt that every tap water has a different taste. In 2005, I started to work at the one Michelin star restaurant ''first floor'' at the Hotel Palace Berlin. A customer came up to me one evening and asked me for a different water because they did not liked our house water brand.
That encounter reminded me of my childhood and that water has different taste everywhere you go. I realized that in a restaurant, to really satisfy every customer, you should have a selection of different waters. That's why I created a water menu for Ray's & Stark. We ended up with a list of 40 different brands. I loved having the opportunity to taste so many different waters from all over the world and then pair and recommend them to go with wine and food. In 2008 I wrote the book ''Die Welt des Wassers'' (The World of Water) which is a 200-page book about the amazing topic of water. In 2010 I became a certified mineral water sommelier from the German Mineral Water Trade Association.
In 2011 I decided to come back to Los Angeles to work for the Patina Restaurant Group. My Visa is a O-1, a VISA that is given for Extraordinary Ability. My Visa is for my expertise on the topic of water.
What inspired you to study water?
Water is the most important element in our lives. Nobody on this planet can live without it. From water comes life. It's a clear liquid which can change its shape. Even when the chemical formulation is always the same (H20) it has so many different tastes and has an impact on the taste and flavor of food and other beverages. Its all depends on the TDS Level, (total dissolved solids). So the different mineral content of each water gives the waters a different tastes, It can go from sweet to salty and smooth to complex.
You have your own brand of water on the menu, Beverly Hills 90H20. What goes into making it? How did you create it? Where is it bottled?
Every single sommelier's dream is to create his own wine. For me this was a dream come true. A year and a half ago Jon Gluck and his family approached me via email. The Glucks always thought it was too bad that you go to restaurants and get amazing wine, amazing food, great service but when it comes to water, you are been served water that you could find in any gas station and may not even come from America. Something doesn't fit in that experience. They came up with the idea to create a premium water brand from California. We started to talk a bit about the concept and we realized very fast that we had to create something completely new: A sommelier-crafted water.
Our water comes from a mineral water spring from the Sierra Nevada Mountains. It is our base water and I come up with the perfect natural mineral mix which we add to create a perfect crisp, smooth and refreshing taste, and most importantly a water that pairs perfectly with fine wine and food.
It took us over a year to come up with the perfect mineral mix, we tried and tasted in so many sessions but we are very proud of the result. We've even patented our water formulation and bottle shape. Every blend is limited to a 10,000 bottle run.
What would you say to the person who doesn't think water is anything special, and usually drinks tap water?
Every water has an unique taste, even tap water. The problem here in Los Angeles is that the tap water has been treated with chlorine. Therefore the chlorine is overpowering the taste of the water. Every person who is skeptical and does not believe that water has taste should come over to Ray's & Stark Bar and I am more than happy to surprise them.
What would you recommend the home consumer seek out for water they can consume on a daily basis?
It really depends what you want to do with your water. I have at least four different brands at home. A water with lower mineral content is my water for regular drinking, water with a higher mineral content is a perfect water for exercise because I lose a lot of minerals when I sweat. For me it's the same with wine, I do not want to always drink the same white or red wine therefore I have different waters as well.
Do you think other restaurants in L.A. will show an interest in having a water menu?
I had two guests Friday who ordered three different waters from the menu. They were so surprised at how different water can be. Ray's & Stark Bar now has the largest water selection in Los Angeles. I would think other restaurants would want to offer a selection of waters. It's just like offering more than one white or one red wine.
Ray's & Stark Bar, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., 323-857-6180
Tags: L.A. Food, LACMA, Martin Riese, Miracle Mile, Ray's & Stark Bar
VIDEO - Icarus | Official Trailer [HD] | Netflix - YouTube
Thu, 08 Mar 2018 14:55
VIDEO - Violence erupts, arrests made during white nationalist's MSU visit | Fox17
Thu, 08 Mar 2018 14:41
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EAST LANSING, Mich. - Hundreds of people gathered in East Lansing Monday to protest an appearance by avowed white nationalist Richard Spencer.
A crowd of roughly 500 protesters gathered in front of the Michigan State University agricultural pavilion, where Spencer was set to speak at 4:30 p.m. The speech was pushed back to 5 p.m. as violent clashes erupted between his supporters and the protesters.
"This kind of discourse is not acceptable," said Michigan State student Lauren Pepper. "Hate speech is not free speech. Advocating for the destruction of various people based on the color of their skin, their ethnicity is an abomination and abhorred and I don't know why I have to say that but that's why we're here."
Protesters also confronted police protecting those attending Spencer's speech.
"Why is their free speech so valued and so protected but this free speech is not?" Pepper said. "Why is that? Why does the state care about protecting fascists more than protecting college students? It just doesn't make any sense to me."
Twenty four people were taken into custody during the clashes. MSU Police Captain Doug Monette said some could face felony charges. He also claims police didn't favor either side.
Michigan State only allowed Spencer to speak during the school's spring break when fewer people would be in town. He could also only speak far away from the center of campus.
Some students told FOX 17 they stayed over break so they could come to protest. Other protests and peaceful marches took place around the city and campus Monday.
VIDEO - Flippy the Burger Flipping Robot Is Now Cooking at the CaliBurger Fast Food Chain | KTLA
Thu, 08 Mar 2018 14:27
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A burger-flipping robot named Flippy is now cooking up hamburgers at a fast food restaurant called Caliburger.
A robot named Flippy is now in the kitchen at a fast food restaurant called CaliBurger in Pasadena. We were there for a preview event where Flippy made us some lunch.
Follow KTLA Tech Reporter Rich DeMuro on Facebook or Twitter for cool apps, tech tricks & tips!
Your next fast food burger might be cooked by a robot!
Flippy is a brand new, burger flipping robot now cooking at a chain called CaliBurger, which serves up California style burgers and fries.
"The key to success in the restaurant industry is consistency. So anytime you go to a CaliBurger anywhere you know that the patty will be cooked exactly the same," said John Miller, CEO of Cali Group, the company that runs the chain.
The robot was developed by a subsidiary called Miso Robotics.
So how does it work? Before Flippy can get started, it needs a little human help. A co-worker puts raw patties on the grill.
"The kitchen of the future will always have people in it, but we see that kitchen as having people and robots," said David Zito, co-founder and chief executive officer of Miso Robotics.
Flippy's Miso Robotics Team
Flippy uses thermal imaging, 3D and camera vision to sense when to flip - and when to remove.
"It detects the temperature of the patty, the size of the patty and the temperature of the grill surface," explained Zito.
Caliburger Hong Kong
The device also learns through artificial intelligence - basically, the more burgers that Flippy flips, the smarter it gets. Right now, cheese and toppings are added by a co-worker.
In addition to consistency and safety, CaliBurger says the robot can cut down on costs.
"It's not a fun job - it's hot, it's greasy, it's dirty," said Miller about the grill cook position.
Less turnover means less time training new grill cooks.
"This technology is not about replacing jobs - we see Flippy as that third hand," said Zito.
Menu at Caliburger Hong Kong
So how was my "bionic" burger? It was cooked just right and if you didn't tell me, I wouldn't know a robot was the chef.
Miso Robotics says Flippy costs about $60,000 minimum. CaliBurger is using Flippy in its Pasadena store starting Monday with plans to expand the use of it at other locations soon.
Now watch: See Flippy cook a burger from start to finish.
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VIDEO - The challenges of policing drivers impaired by pot use - CityNews Toronto
Thu, 08 Mar 2018 11:38
The use of recreational marijuana is expected to be legalized this summer, but new rules regarding driving while high aren't expected to come into effect fully until at least December.
In the interim, police forces across the country are scrambling to get officers trained to spot drivers impaired by pot use. The Toronto police service currently has only 15 trained drug recognition experts (DRE).
While more officers are being trained, the program is lengthy, complex and requires learning how to execute a battery of tests, including the collection of toxicology samples.
Const. Clint Stibbe says Toronto police has been preparing for the legalization of marijuana for some time and has trained hundreds of officers on delivering basic, standardized field sobriety tests.
''They do have the tools in order to place a person under arrest based on the criminal code '... that may be impaired by a drug, an alcohol or a combination of the two,'' he says.
Bill C-46, currently before the senate, aims to give officers more tools to detect drug use. It sets out new thresholds for THC levels '-- the psychoactive element in pot '-- while driving. If the bill passes, DREs are expected to be called on more frequently.
Drivers would be tested with oral swabs to detect how much THC is present in their systems. However, THC levels are not an accurate indicator of how impaired a person might be. An individual's tolerance level, method of consumption and even metabolic rate could impact their actual level of impairment.
''We need to keep in mind that how everybody reacts to that, what they consume and what the officer is faced with will be unique on a case by case basis,'' Stibbe says.
MADD Canada says the variable impact of THC levels on impairment is why they aren't in favour of an 'absolute zero' approach.
''You have to allow some margin of error for these instruments to measure against,'' says Andrew Murei, CEO, MADD Canada. ''If you simply use zero, you might be picking people up that have a drug in their body, but it has no effect on their driving ability''
The senate committee returns to the bill later this May.
VIDEO - THE LOOMING TOWER Official Trailer (HD) Jeff Daniels 9/11 Series - YouTube
Wed, 07 Mar 2018 19:14
VIDEO - How an affair with her bodyguard brought down Nashville's mayor - CNN
Wed, 07 Mar 2018 12:58
She was popular and energetic, a regular presence at music venues and Nashville Predators hockey games.
The mayor's willingness to talk about her only son's fatal drug overdose last summer engendered sympathy from residents. Those warm feelings largely continued even after the mayor, 54, publicly apologized for having an affair with her bodyguard.
"While my time today as your mayor concludes, my unwavering love and sincere affection for this wonderful city and its great people will never come to an end," Barry told reporters in a three-minute appearance.
The guilty plea to felony theft of property over $10,000 represented a remarkable fall for the politician: Barry once enjoyed approval ratings of more than 70%.
The political honeymoon
Barry moved to Nashville in 1991 to attend graduate school at Vanderbilt University, where she earned an MBA in 1993. She worked as an ethics and compliance officer in private business.Barry, a Democrat and two-term Metro Council member, was elected mayor in September 2015 in a runoff.
"Tonight, we start a new chapter in Nashville of the Nashville story," she said on election night, CNN affiliate WKRN reported. "And that story is the saga that is written every day by the people in this room and those of you who are watching at home."Barry distinguished herself as a pro-business, socially progressive politician, Joey Garrison, a metro politics reporter for The Tennessean, told CNN.Barry was "one of the highest-profile Democrats in Tennessee. She's known for her accessibility and remarkable visibility," Garrison said last month.
Cranes are plentiful around the city where new homes are springing up. Barry's agenda included an ambitious $5.2 billion mass transit proposal for 26 miles of light rail, bus routes and an underground tunnel through downtown Nashville, CNN affiliate WKRN reported.The plan will go before voters in May.
In December, the city was awarded a Major League Soccer expansion franchise.
The loss of her son
Last July, Barry lost her son to an accidental drug overdose in a Colorado suburb. Max Barry's death was complicated in part by morbid obesity, according to an autopsy.The opioid crisis came to Barry's doorstep, and the public way in which she coped with the tragedy moved many residents.
"She's a Nashvillian. She feels that when she hurts, we hurt ... we're a family," resident Wesley Martin said.
Barry spoke openly about her son's struggles with drugs, hoping her own experience and transparency could help others confront similar problems.
"I cannot tell you how many people have come to me and shared their own grief stories about a loved one who died where they never talked about it before," Barry told CNN's Jake Tapper in an interview in August.
On her first day back to work after the death of her son, Barry took time to greet children commencing the school year, according to CNN affiliate WKRN. She handed out supplies and backpacks."The first day of school in our household was always a joyous occasion. Max loved school and our ritual was that we would always take a picture every day of the first day of school," she said.
Barry grew emotional, her eyes misting with tears. She talked about a "new normal" of never talking to her son again.
"The normal is Max is not going to text me back. The work of our city goes on. Every day, I'll get up and do what needs to be done," she said.
The affair
Barry's resignation came after months of intense local news coverage about her relationship with the former head of her security detail, Sgt. Robert Forrest Jr.
"I accept full responsibility for the pain I have caused my family and his. I am so sorry to my husband, Bruce, who has stood by me in my darkest moments and remains committed to our marriage, just as I am committed to repairing the damage I have done," she said then.
But she insisted to The Tennessean that she would not step down.
"I also must apologize to the people of Nashville who elected me to serve as your mayor," she said in her statement at the time. "I knew my actions could cause damage to my office and the ones I loved, but I did it anyway. I must hold myself to the highest standard of which the voters deserve to expect. Please know that I'm disappointed in myself but also understand that I'm a human and that I made a mistake."
To many supporters, the so-called mistake made her appear more human. After all, infidelity in politics is hardly a new story.
"Politicians locally and nationally have set the bar pretty low," Nashville resident Jonathan Blake, 41, said last month. "It's hard to have any kind of concern about extramarital affairs in public office. We don't tend to look to our public officials for moral leadership anymore."
Barry remained immensely popular even after the admission. A number of residents say they were disappointed by the scandal but not outraged. They viewed the affair as a personal issue between a husband and wife still grieving the death of their son. A number of residents saw the alleged misuse of public funds as a separate issue.
"We are not looking for a perfect human being as a mayor. We're looking for somebody who knows how to do the job, and who will be faithful and honest to the mission of Nashville and carry us forward," Fiona Prine, whose son was close with Barry's son, said last month. "We need a steward ... and she is a steward."
The theft
Under her guilty plea, Barry agreed to reimburse the city of Nashville $11,000 and serve three years of probation, according to court documents obtained by CNN.
The resignation and plea came after days of negotiations between the mayor's legal team and District Attorney Glenn Funk, CNN affiliate WTVF reported. Those negotiations had apparently centered on whether Funk would agree not to prosecute the mayor in exchange for her resignation, the station reported.Forrest also pleaded guilty to theft of property over $10,000. He agreed to serve three years of supervised probation and repay the city $45,000, court documents show.
According to The Tennessean, the two were often partaking in domestic and international travel for work, which led Forrest to rack up $33,000 in expenses and $50,000 plus in overtime in 2017 on top of his $84,500 salary. Nine of the trips were attended only by Barry and Forrest.In court, Funk said that between March 2016 and January 2018 Barry caused more than $10,000 and less than $60,000 of Metro Nashville city funds to be "expended unlawfully" on Forrest, affiliate WKRN reported.Last month, authorities charged in court documents that newly discovered nude cell phone photos may be evidence that Barry and Forrest were having an affair while he was being paid to be her bodyguard.
The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation said Forrest used a work phone to take two photos while on duty. Investigators said evidence pointed to the possibility that crimes -- official misconduct and theft of property -- occurred.
TBI investigators say they looked at Forrest's phone and his emails after Barry admitted publicly to the affair. Two of his emails each contained one photo that showed a partially nude or fully naked woman, court documents say. The documents do not say the woman is Barry.
A question of judgment
Chris Cummings, who voted for Barry, said last month: "I think a lot of us maybe elevated her to a status that maybe isn't fair, but she was kind of that symbol of integrity, honesty."
Mayor Megan Barry speaks during the Country Radio Seminar 2018 last month in Nashville.
Resident Barbara Sharer was one of the residents who wrote to The Tennessean urging the mayor to resign.
"She had disgraced the Office of Mayor," the 71-year-old Sharer wrote.
In an interview last month, Sharer said: "I don't trust her and I don't think she is capable of being mayor. She uses bad judgment."
"For being a first woman mayor, as a woman that's despicable to me that she has carried on this affair for two years," Sharer said.
In her farewell message, Barry said: "I sincerely hope and believe that my own actions will not tarnish or otherwise detract from all of the great work they do," she said, referring to members of her staff.
Vice Mayor David Briley was sworn in hours later on Tuesday as Nashville's new leader. He will serve in that role until an August 2 election.
After she resigned, Barry tweeted: "It has been the honor and it has been the privilege of my entire professional life to have had the blessing of this opportunity to be your mayor. I love you, Nashville."
CNN's Darran Simon reported from Nashville. Ray Sanchez reported from New York. CNN's Tina Burnside and Maegan Vazquez contributed to this report.
VIDEO - CNN's Jeffrey Toobin blasts Cohn's righteous resignation: 'He stomached the racism but couldn't handle the tariffs'
Wed, 07 Mar 2018 12:56
CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin on Tuesday blasted newly-resigned White House economic adviser Gary Cohn for not leaving the Trump administration after Charlottesville.
Cohn, Toobin pointed out, ''made a big show of being disgusted'' with President Donald Trump after he claimed there were ''very fine people on both sides'' including that of the white supremacists at the August 12 rally that led to the death of a counter-protester. The adviser reportedly considered resigning after Trump's comments that appeared to equivocate on the side of neo-Nazis and Klansmen, but ultimately to stay to undertake the ''opportunity'' of rewriting the tax code.
Though sources that spoke to the New York Times insisted Cohn was not resigning for a specific reason, his departure came days after reported clashes with the president over the latter's decision to impose steel and aluminum tariffs.
''He managed to stomach the racism, what he couldn't take was tariffs,'' Toobin mused. ''If you wanna weight the moral imperitives of the two, it really doesn't reflect all that well on Gary Cohn.''
Watch below, via CNN:
Jeffrey Toobin remarks how Gary Cohn didn't resign after President Trump's Charlottesville remarks: ''He managed to stomach the racism, what he couldn't take was tariffs'' https://t.co/Nuot7Ovk1Xpic.twitter.com/WNyRt6cnmk
'-- The Situation Room (@CNNSitRoom) March 6, 2018
VIDEO - Stormy Daniels sues Trump, says 'hush agreement' invalid because he never signed - NBC News
Wed, 07 Mar 2018 12:52
Stormy Daniels visits a local restaurant in downtown New Orleans on May 6, 2009. Bill Haber / AP file
Each document includes a blank where "DD" is supposed to sign, but neither blank is signed.
According to the lawsuit, which Avenatti announced in a tweet, Clifford and Trump had an intimate relationship that lasted from summer 2006 "well into the year 2007." The relationship allegedly included meetings in Lake Tahoe and at the Beverly Hills Hotel.
The 2016 hush agreement directed that $130,000 be paid into the trust account of Clifford's then-attorney. In return, Clifford was not to disclose any confidential information about Trump or his sexual partners to anyone beyond a short list of individuals she'd already told about the relationship, or share any texts or photos from Trump.
The suit alleges that Cohen has tried to keep Clifford from talking about the relationship as recently as Feb. 27, 2018.
"To be clear, the attempts to intimidate Ms. Clifford into silence and 'shut her up' in order to 'protect Mr. Trump' continue unabated," says the suit. "On or about February 27, 2018, Mr. Trump's attorney Mr. Cohen surreptitiously initiated a bogus arbitration proceeding against Ms. Clifford in Los Angeles." Binding arbitration is specified as a means of dispute resolution.
Clifford and her attorney, Michael Avenatti, are asking the Los Angeles County Superior Court to declare that both the hush agreement and the side agreement "were never formed, and therefore do not exist, because, among other things, Mr. Trump never signed the agreements."
"In the alternative, Plaintiff seeks an order of this Court declaring that the agreements in the forms set out in Exhibits 1 and 2 are invalid, unenforceable, and/or void under the doctrine of unconscionability."
The suit also says that Trump must know that Cohen is trying to silence Clifford, since rules for the New York bar, of which Cohen is a member, require him to keep his client informed at all times. "[I]t strains credulity to conclude that Mr. Cohen is acting on his own accord and without the express approval and knowledge of his client Mr. Trump."
The signature page from the side letter agreement has a signature from Stephanie Clifford as "Peggy Peterson," but no signature for "David Dennison."
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment. President Trump's outside attorney, John Dowd, declined to comment on the lawsuit.
Trump has never addressed the alleged relationship publicly, and White House spokesperson Raj Shah told members of the press he had never asked the president about the alleged relationship. Cohen has acknowledged the payment, but has repeatedly declined to tell NBC News what the payment was for.
Clifford had previously given conflicting accounts of her relationship with Trump. In the lawsuit, Clifford alleges that in January 2018, Cohen, "concerned the truth would be disclosed ... through intimidation and coercive tactics, forced Ms. Clifford into signing a false statement wherein she stated that reports of her relationship with Mr. Trump were false."
VIDEO - Ryan Saavedra 🇺🇸 on Twitter: "Joy Reid says that conservatives who have pro-gun views have "an old kind of crusty, creepy, worldview." The MSNBC panel said they are happy that conservatives are going to "thankfully die off."'... https://t.co/
Wed, 07 Mar 2018 12:45
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VIDEO - Facebook survey asked users if pedophiles should be able to ask kids for 'sexual pictures'
Wed, 07 Mar 2018 11:55
CLOSEFacebook is apologizing after asking some users whether pedophiles seeking ''sexual pictures'' of children should be allowed on its site. Nathan Rousseau Smith reports. Buzz60
Facebook sign at Facebook headquarters in Hamburg, Germany (Photo: Daniel Reinhardt, EPA)
SAN FRANCISCO '-- Facebook is under fire for asking users whether pedophiles should be able to proposition underage girls for sexually explicit photographs on the giant social network.
The survey is the latest in a series of missteps by the Silicon Valley company, which has been criticized for allowing content that exploits children.
From violence on its Live streaming service to hate speech to divisive messages sent by Russian operatives trying to to meddle in the U.S. presidential election, toxic content flowing through its platform has heightened scrutiny of Facebook.
Facebook scrapped the survey that posed questions about teens being groomed by older men after it was spotted by media outlets in the United Kingdom. It now says the survey could have been better "designed."
The company routinely uses surveys to get feedback from the social network's more than 2 billion users. More recently, Facebook has been relying on user surveys to take their pulse on everything from the "fake news" epidemic to whether Facebook makes them happy as people have stopped spending as much time there.
But the two questions in Sunday's survey shocked and angered Facebook users.
"In thinking about an ideal world where you could set Facebook's policies, how would you handle the following: a private message in which an adult man asks a 14-year-old girl for sexual pictures," Facebook asked.
Sexual contact with minors online, part of a "grooming process" in which adults seek to gain trust and lower inhibition, is often a precursor to sexual abuse.
The possible responses Facebook offered to the question ranged from "this content should not be allowed on Facebook, and no one should be able to see it" to "this content should be allowed on Facebook, and I would not mind seeing it."
Another question asked who should decide whether an adult man can ask for sexual pictures on Facebook, with options ranging from "Facebook users decide the rules by voting and tell Facebook" to "Facebook decides the rules on its own."
Jonathan Haynes, digital editor at the Guardian newspaper, tweeted: ''I'm like, er wait is making it secret the best Facebook can offer here? Not, y'know, calling the police?"
"That was a mistake," Guy Rosen, a vice president of product at Facebook, responded.
"We run surveys to understand how the community thinks about how we set policies,'' he wrote on Twitter. ''But this kind of activity is and will always be completely unacceptable on (Facebook). We regularly work with authorities if identified. It shouldn't have been part of this survey."
"It is hard to believe that Facebook could be so utterly tone-deaf when it comes to this issue," said Diana Graber, founder of Cyber Civics and CyberWise which teach digital literacy to kids and parents. "The fact that Facebook would even pose this question theoretically is disgusting."
In a statement, Facebook said the survey referred to "offensive content that is already prohibited on Facebook and that we have no intention of allowing."
Stacey Steinberg, a law professor at the University of Florida and author of Sharenting: Children's Privacy in the Age of Social Media, says the Facebook survey sent a "terrible message" and, worse yet, normalizes predatory behavior.
Facebook shouldn't be asking users whether such behavior is acceptable, it should be educating families on the risks posed by online predators, she said.
"Working with law enforcement is an important first step, but Facebook can do even more. Instead of asking questions such as the ones posed in this survey, Facebook can use its reach to help families and victims," Steinberg said.
Digital citizenship expert and technology ethicist David Ryan Polgar chalks up the flap over the survey to "massive growing pains" as Facebook wrestles with its social responsibility.
"The misstep with the survey seems to be a situation of good intentions that did not fully appreciate the rightful anger and frustration the general public feels towards the current online environment," he said.
International attention to how pedophiles use social media to target and prey on children has grown in recent years.
An investigation by the BBC in 2016 uncovered numerous private Facebook groups by and for men with a sexual interest in children to share images, with one run by a convicted pedophile. Photos of children taken from their parents' Facebook accounts have also been found on pedophile sites.
Facebook faced criticism again in 2017 when the BBC flagged dozens of images and pages containing child pornography. Of the 100 reported images,18 were removed by Facebook, according to the BBC. At the time, the BBC said Facebook asked to be sent examples of the images and then reported the broadcaster to the child exploitation unit of Britain's National Crime Agency.
Verified child sex abuse images are sent to the U.S. National Center for Missing and Exploited Children and other organizations that work with law enforcement to find offenders. Facebook also combats the spread of child pornography with technology that detects and blocks content from being uploaded.
"We have prohibited child grooming on Facebook since our earliest days," the company said. "We have no intention of changing this, and we regularly work with the police to ensure that anyone found acting in such a way is brought to justice."
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VIDEO - Jarrod Thorpe on Twitter: "@adamcurry'... "
Tue, 06 Mar 2018 16:31
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VIDEO - Trudeau discusses innovation with Bill Nye the science guy LIVE - CBC News - Latest Canada, World, Entertainment and Business News
Tue, 06 Mar 2018 16:28
Oilpatch can't match enthusiasm of U.S. industry
Britain warns Russia after former double agent mysteriously falls ill in U.K.
Canadian CEO supports Trump's steel tariffs, wishes they were even higher
High-caffeine, high-alcohol drinks: A closer look at the FCKD UP controversy
Koreas agree to hold landmark summit talks at border village in April, Seoul says
Trudeau discusses innovation with Bill Nye the science guy LIVE
First casualty of Trump's trade war is his country's reputation: Don Pittis
CRA slammed for 'reprehensible and malicious' prosecution of B.C. couple
Millions of taxpayer dollars support European boat company in Smiths Falls, Ont.
Russian cargo plane crashes in Syria, killing all 32 aboard
Government shelling halts rare aid delivery to Syria's eastern Ghouta
Why wasn't Jaspal Atwal on Canada's no-fly list?: Neil Macdonald
Handful of homeless Vancouverites turn down housing because of neighbourhood protests
GTA home sales down 35% from February 2017, real estate board says
Plan to send Canadian peacekeepers to Colombia fizzled due to official foot-dragging
VIDEO - Brexit news: EMA membership cannot be risked warns Theresa May | Politics | News | Express.co.uk
Tue, 06 Mar 2018 09:38
The Prime Minister and the opposition have both demanded continued membership of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) after the country leaves the European Union.
Mrs May said today the UK and EU would both benefit from Britain's continued EMA membership and called for a ''far-reaching science and innovation pact'' after Brexit.
The PM said Britain's ''world-leading universities'' and industrious regulatory meant the bloc would suffer if the country was denied EMA membership after Brexit.
Countries outside the EU but within the European Economic Area, such as Norway, are part of the EMA. However because Mrs May is determined to leave the single market, their future membership of the EMA is also in doubt.
She said today: ''Membership would mean investment in new innovative medicines continuing in the UK, and it would mean these medicines getting to patients faster as firms prioritise larger markets when they start the lengthy process of seeking authorisations.
''But it would also be good for the EU because the UK regulator assesses more new medicines than any other member state.
"And the EU would continue to access the expertise of the UK's world-leading universities.''
Theresa May said both the UK and EU benefited from Britain's membership of the EMA Mrs May's comments came hours before Labour's shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth was due to give a speech demanding continued membership of the EMA, an agency for regulating medical supplies currently based in London.
Today Jonathan Ashworth will warn "disease knows no borders" and say it is "utterly unacceptable" for there to be uncertainty about the arrangements after Brexit.
He will also promise that Labour would ensure medics and carers from other EU states will continue to be able to come and work in the UK after it has left the bloc.
Jon Ashworth said the UK must remain in the EMA because 'disease knows know borders' Setting out his Brexit "red line", Mr Ashworth will say: "Given the scale of trade between the UK and the EU on medicines, but perhaps more fundamentally given disease knows no borders, it would be great folly to dismiss the huge benefits that the UK and the EU 27 have gained from our close relationship over the past 40 years.
"It is utterly unacceptable to put patient safety at risk because of lack of certainty about medicine regulation post-Brexit.
"Slow progress on reaching a deal could mean delays accessing potentially life-saving treatments, harming patient and public health in both the UK and EU.
Brexit deal agreement in full: Read the report publishedHere is the 15 page Brexit deal in fullEPA Report presented jointly by the negotiators of the European Union and the UKEU Brexit deal: Page oneEU Brexit deal: Page twoEU Brexit deal: Page threeEU Brexit deal: Page fourEU Brexit deal: Page fiveEU Brexit deal: Page sixEU Brexit deal: Page sevenEU Brexit deal: Page eightEU Brexit deal: Page nineEU Brexit deal: Page tenEU Brexit deal: Page elevenEU Brexit deal: Page twelveEU Brexit deal: Page thirteenEU Brexit deal: Page fourteenEU Brexit deal: Page fifteenEU Here is the 15 page Brexit deal in full
"Labour will not sign off on a Brexit deal that turns the clock back on medical innovation or sees patients in the UK having to wait longer to get access to life-changing treatments.
"It is a red line for me and it is a red line for the Labour Party."
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Mon, 05 Mar 2018 17:55
VIDEO - Maxine Waters: Trump Questioning My IQ Is 'Racist' | Breitbart
Mon, 05 Mar 2018 14:49
Sunday on MSNBC's ''AM Joy,'' Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) said President Donald Trump reportedly joking about her IQ at the Gridiron Dinner last night was ''racist.''
Water said, ''This president has been called stupid, he has been called ignorant, and even his Secretary of State did not deny that he called him a moron. And so he has no credibility. He has been name calling. He's been saying all kinds of things. And I certainly expected him to come out with some racist remarks about me. So he did exactly what I expected him do. And, by the way, I'm told he wasn't funny at all.''
She added, ''The most important thing this country can do now is impeach this president and make sure we get rid of him and get ready for Pence in 2020.''
Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN
Mon, 05 Mar 2018 13:56
VIDEO - Texas man killed after 'device' explodes on front porch of Austin home | Fox News
Mon, 05 Mar 2018 13:21
A man was killed after "some type of device" exploded on the front porch of his home in Texas on Friday, officials said.
The Austin Police Department said the victim, a man in his 40s, was found on the front porch of his home, after the explosion was reported around 7 a.m. in the city's northeast Harris Ridge neighborhood.
''The callers were reporting an explosion and they also reported that there was a victim that appeared to have traumatic injuries as well,'' Austin Police Chief Brian Manley said at a news conference.
Manley said the man, whose name has not yet been released, was taken to a nearby hospital where he died shortly after from his injuries. The chief added that the authorities determined the explosion was caused by "some type of device," but did not provide further details, citing the ongoing investigation.
A mas killed after "some type of device" exploded on the front porch of his Austin home. (FOX7)
Austin police are now probing the incident as a homicide and are working with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to conduct a post-blast analysis.
''Based on what we know right now, we have no reason to believe this is anything beyond an isolated incident that took place at this residence, and no reason to believe this is in any way linked to a terrorist act,'' Manley told reporters. ''But we are not making any assumptions. We are conducting a thorough investigation to rule that out.''
An inspector from the U.S. Postal Service arrived at the home on Friday, and Manley said authorities are trying to determine if the device was mailed to the home in the past week.
The FBI, ATF, and Austin Police are investigating the deadly incident. (FOX7)
''We reach out to all of our providers that deliver mail to this area, both the U.S. Postal Service and those that do it privately because that is one of the things we want to know is was there a package delivered to this residence in the past several days,'' Manley said.
Monica Sledge told FOX 7 she was playing with her 2-year-old when she heard a loud noise that sounded like more than a blown transformer.
''It was just a really loud, deep boom and it shook the windows and I just kind of freaked out, picked up my son and went the opposite direction,'' Sledge said
Another neighbor told KEYE-TV he saw someone run across the street and try to turn the man over after the blast took place.
"I did notice there was a pool of blood everywhere," Kenneth Thompson said.
The incident appeared similar to one in New York in 2017, when a package explosion that was meant for a cop instead killed landlord George Wray.
Federal prosecutors charged Victor Kingsley, 37, with using a weapon of mass destruction as part of a plot to get revenge against cops who arrested him in January 2014, the United States Attorney's Office announced on Wednesday. No officers lived at the home, but the landlord picked up the package that had been sitting on the porch for about a week when it exploded, police said.
The package burned Wray's head, legs, and torso before he died a few days later, the NYPD said.
Travis Fedschun is a reporter for FoxNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @travfed
VIDEO - "Waarom hebben we nog nooit een vrouwelijke premier gehad in Nederland?" Meer over het eerste tv-debat vind je hier: https://t.co/xfSPAMzCQu https://t.co/OIjVUGcYmb : NOS : Free Download & Streaming : Internet Archive
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VIDEO - 'Rent-For-Sex': Landlords Exploit Thousands Of Broke Millenials MORE BACKPAGE LAWS EXPECTED
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I'm scared of it all, God's truth! so I am;
It's too big and brutal for me.
My nerve's on the raw and I don't give a damn
For all the "hoorah" that I see.
I'm pinned between subway and overhead train,
Where automobillies swoop down:
Oh, I want to go back to the timber again --
I'm scared of the terrible town.
I want to go back to my lean, ashen plains;
My rivers that flash into foam;
My ultimate valleys where solitude reigns;
My trail from Fort Churchill to Nome.
My forests packed full of mysterious gloom,
My ice-fields agrind and aglare:
The city is deadfalled with danger and doom --
I know that I'm safer up there.
I watch the wan faces that flash in the street;
All kinds and all classes I see.
Yet never a one in the million I meet,
Has the smile of a comrade for me.
Just jaded and panting like dogs in a pack;
Just tensed and intent on the goal:
O God! but I'm lonesome -- I wish I was back,
Up there in the land of the Pole.
I wish I was back on the Hunger Plateaus,
And seeking the lost caribou;
I wish I was up where the Coppermine flows
To the kick of my little canoe.
I'd like to be far on some weariful shore,
In the Land of the Blizzard and Bear;
Oh, I wish I was snug in the Arctic once more,
For I know I am safer up there!
I prowl in the canyons of dismal unrest;
I cringe -- I'm so weak and so small.
I can't get my bearings, I'm crushed and oppressed
With the haste and the waste of it all.
The slaves and the madman, the lust and the sweat,
The fear in the faces I see;
The getting, the spending, the fever, the fret --
It's too bleeding cruel for me.
I feel it's all wrong, but I can't tell you why --
The palace, the hovel next door;
The insolent towers that sprawl to the sky,
The crush and the rush and the roar.
I'm trapped like a fox and I fear for my pelt;
I cower in the crash and the glare;
Oh, I want to be back in the avalanche belt,
For I know that it's safer up there!
I'm scared of it all: Oh, afar I can hear
The voice of my solitudes call!
We're nothing but brute with a little veneer,
And nature is best after all.
There's tumult and terror abroad in the street;
There's menace and doom in the air;
I've got to get back to my thousand-mile beat;
The trail where the cougar and silver-tip meet;
The snows and the camp-fire, with wolves at my feet;
Good-bye, for it's safer up there.
To be forming good habits up there;
To be starving on rabbits up there;
In your hunger and woe,
Though it's sixty below,
Oh, I know that it's safer up there!
-Robert Service
VIDEO-Bugs in the grocery aisle; Loblaw adds cricket powder to its PC line | CTV Toronto News
Thu, 08 Mar 2018 14:17
Canada's largest grocer believes Canadians are ready to cook with crickets and is bringing the alternative protein ingredient to grocery shelves under its President's Choice label.
A number of Canadian companies already sell various insect protein products, like mealworm bolognese sauce and honey-mustard flavoured whole crickets. But Loblaw Companies Ltd.'s announcement signifies more Canadians appear to be willing to munch on insects.
Shoppers can now find bags of President's Choice cricket powder at their local Loblaw stores, the company said Tuesday. It's the first time Loblaw's in-house brand is selling insect protein, though one Toronto Loblaws store sells a small selection of alternative protein products.
President's Choice is always discovering new tastes and flavours, said spokeswoman Catherine Thomas in an email.
"As a leader in the industry, we wanted to be among the first to bring cricket powder to Canadians in an easy and approachable manner."
Entomophagy, a name for the eating of insects, may be relatively new to Canadians. But around the world people consume more than 1,900 different species, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The most frequently consumed are beetles, caterpillars, bees, wasps and ants.
In Canada, insects sometimes appeared as ingredients on restaurant menu items. A Vancouver restaurant made headlines when it offered cricket pizza several years ago and the insect was centre stage at the 2017 summer Pacific National Exhibition fair where the ingredient could be found in burgers and fries.
A number of entrepreneurs have attempted to capitalize on the food trend, packing insects into both protein powders and bars.
Entomophagy proponents say it has environmental and health benefits. Insect farming tends to produce less greenhouse gases, and requires less feed, water and land than more traditional livestock. Companies selling insect products tout their high-protein content.
The insects used for the President's Choice cricket powder come from Norwood, Ont.-based Entomo Farms.
The farm started in January 2014 and has grown from 464 square metres to 6,100, said co-founder Jarrod Goldin. There's plans for expanding further, with another 3,700 square metres soon to be built out, he said.
For reference, 2,800 square metres house about 100 million crickets, Goldin said.
Entomo sells cricket and mealworm products, like protein powder and whole-roasted mealworms, under its own brand name on its website and at various grocery stores -- though no national chains, he said.
Cricket powder is really malleable, he said, and can be added to most anything people already eat.
Goldin sprinkles some on top of plain yogurt and berries for breakfast, for example. It can be baked into pizza crusts, added to pancake mix or put into a chili recipe.
The only limit is imagination, he said.
The President's Choice website features recipes for chana masala, chocolate coconut bars and strawberry-banana smoothies all featuring the new cricket powder product.
The taste varies based on concentration. A small amount won't add any flavour, Goldin said, otherwise "it has a very lovely, earthy, nutty, mushroomy kind of flavour."
The Loblaw deal has been in the works for years, Goldin said, and he's hopeful it's the first of many insect-protein products the national grocer will stock.
"President's Choice is actively working on additional products made with cricket powder," Loblaw's Thomas confirmed, adding an assortment of alternative plant-based protein products will be available in 2019.
It may not be the only large grocery chain to start selling insects.
Metro Inc. doesn't currently carry any such products, said spokeswoman Sadie Weinstein in an email.
"But we're always assessing food trends and might look to carry some of these products in the future."
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