News You Can Use

Discuss political news items / current events.
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Re: News You Can Use

Postby mes5464 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:46 pm

New York town creates law to punish parents of bullies - NY Daily News

NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y. — Parents of children found bullying other minors could face jail time under a new law approved in a western New York community. The law went into effect Oct. 1 in the Niagara county city of North Tonawanda, just north of Buffalo.

Members of the North Tonawanda Common Council hope the new law will put a stop to bullying by holding parents accountable for their children’s actions.

Parents could be fined $250 and sentenced to 15 days in jail if twice in a 90-day period their child under 18 violates the city’s curfew or any other city law, including bullying.

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Postby mes5464 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:47 pm

APNewsBreak: Billions in Illinois bills not sent for payment

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois is chasing a moving target as it tries to dig out of the nation's worst budget crisis, and a review obtained by The Associated Press shows $7.5 billion worth of unpaid bills — as much as half the total — hadn't been sent to the official who writes the checks by the end of June.

Although many of those IOUs have since been paid, a similar amount in unprocessed bills has replaced them in the last three months, Comptroller Susana Mendoza's office said Monday. That's in addition to $9 billion worth of checks that are at the office but being delayed because the state lacks the money to pay them.

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Postby mes5464 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:50 pm

Commit a crime? Your Fitbit, key fob or pacemaker could snitch on you. - Chicago Tribune

The firefighter found Richard Dabate on the floor of his kitchen, where he had made a desperate 911 call minutes earlier, court records show. Bleeding and lashed to a chair with zip ties, the man moaned a chilling warning: "They're still in the house."

Smoke hung in the air, and a trail of blood led to a darkened basement, as Connecticut State Police swarmed the large home in the Hartford suburbs two days before Christmas in 2015.

Richard, 41, told authorities a masked intruder with a "Vin Diesel" voice killed his wife, Connie, in front of him and tortured him. Police combed the home and town of Ellington but found no suspect.

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Postby mes5464 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:52 pm

Convicted rapist in Michigan awarded joint custody​, victim's...

A judge in Sanilac County has awarded joint legal custody to a man who raped a young girl, the victim's attorney said.

She was just 12 at the time and now has an 8-year-old boy.

The convicted rapist and biological father was not on the child's birth certificate. With joint legal custody, he could have input in decisions regarding the boy's education, religion and medical issues. He could also end up having the right to spend time with the child.

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Postby mes5464 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:54 pm

Why Stanford Researchers Tried to Create a ‘Gaydar’ Machine - The New York Times

Few seemed concerned. So to call attention to the privacy risks, he decided to show that it was possible to use facial recognition analysis to detect something intimate, something “people should have full rights to keep private.”

After considering atheism, he settled on sexual orientation.

Whether he has now created “A.I. gaydar,” and whether that’s even an ethical line of inquiry, has been hotly debated over the past several weeks, ever since a draft of his study was posted online.

Presented with photos of gay men and straight men, a computer program was able to determine which of the two was gay with 81 percent accuracy, according to Dr. Kosinski and co-author Yilun Wang’s paper.

The backlash has been fierce.

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Postby mes5464 » Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:55 pm

Hacker study: Russia could get into U.S. voting machines - POLITICO

American voting machines are full of foreign-made hardware and software, including from China, and a top group of hackers and national security officials says that means they could have been infiltrated last year and into the future.

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Postby mes5464 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:28 am

Phoenix parents: Slavery-simulation game unacceptable for schoolkids

Use of an online game that simulates slavery has shocked and upset some Phoenix Elementary School District parents who say the tool trivializes a complex and potentially traumatic issue.

Mission US: Flight to Freedom has students adopt the persona of 14-year-old Lucy King, an enslaved girl trying to escape a Kentucky plantation. Following a choose-your-own-adventure format, students navigate the plantation master's demands and plot a river escape, sometimes receiving beatings.

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Postby mes5464 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:42 am

Scientists puzzled as Europe is mysteriously showered in radioactive particles… and they think it came from Russia

German scientists say there has been a slight increase in the amount of particles of the isotope Ruthenium-106 in Germany, Italy, Austria, Switzerland and France

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Postby mes5464 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:49 am

Unsent text message passes for will in Australia

Sydney (AFP) - A dead man's unsent text message leaving his home and pension to his brother rather than his wife and son and signed off with a smiley face emoji has been ruled a legitimate will by an Australian court.

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Postby mes5464 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:50 am

Drone Reportedly Tried To Lure Kids Off Playground « CBS Philly

AKRON, OHIO (CBS) ––  A frightening and bizarre story out of Ohio where a drone reportedly tried to lure kids away from their school playground.

School officials are on alert in Akron after several eyewitnesses claim they heard a voice coming from the drone.

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Postby mes5464 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 7:54 am

Call for athletes to be fitted with microchips in fight against drug cheats | Sport | The Guardian

Chief executive of World Olympians Association makes implant suggestion
‘We’re prepared to chip our dogs, so why aren’t we prepared to chip ourselves?’

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Postby mes5464 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 8:03 am

Google and Facebook could be forced to take responsibility for everything posted on their sites as Government considers crackdown

Facebook and Google could be forced to uphold the same standards as newspapers and other publications as part of a Government crackdown, it has emerged. 

Ministers are looking at whether to classify social media giants as publications instead of communication platforms, which would bind them to strict rules and make them responsible for everything they host.

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Postby mes5464 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:48 pm

Boy Scouts Will Admit Girls, Allow Them to Earn Eagle Scout Rank - NBC News

The Boy Scouts of America announced on Wednesday that girls will soon be allowed to become Cub Scouts and to earn the coveted rank of Eagle Scout, the organization’s highest honor.

"We believe it is critical to evolve how our programs meet the needs of families interested in positive and lifelong experiences for their children," said Michael Surbaugh, chief executive of the Boy Scouts.

The scouting board of directors voted unanimously to make the historic change in an organization that has been primarily for boys since its founding more than 100 years ago.

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Postby mes5464 » Wed Oct 11, 2017 1:34 pm

Dark secrets of Florida's juvenile justice system | Miami Herald

The boys had just returned to Module 9 of the Miami juvenile lockup from the dining hall when one of them hit Elord Revolte high and hard. More of the boys jumped in, punching and slamming him over and over, then pile-driving his 135-pound body.

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Complaint: Airport bomb suspect wanted 'to fight a war on US soil'

Postby Joel » Wed Oct 11, 2017 3:54 pm

Complaint: Airport bomb suspect wanted 'to fight a war on US soil'

Image

The man authorities say left an explosive device at Asheville Regional Airport on Friday morning that contained ammonium nitrate and fuel oil said he was preparing to "fight a war on U.S. soil," according to a criminal complaint filed in federal court.

The suspect, Michael Christopher Estes, had his first appearance in federal court Tuesday morning. He is charged with attempted malicious use of explosive materials and unlawful possession of explosive materials in an airport.

He waived his right to a preliminary hearing, answering several of the judges questions with a polite, "Yes, sir." Near the end of the proceeding, Estes, bald and wearing a brown prison jumpsuit, smiled and shook the hand of his attorney, Fredilyn Sison, an assistant federal public defender.

The federal judge found that Estes is indigent and assigned him an attorney for upcoming proceedings. Sison said that would likely be her.

The criminal complaint, filed by FBI agent James A. Anderson and read in court, states that airport police officers found "what appeared to be an improvised explosive device" early Friday morning outside the airport terminal.

After being taken into custody at the Asheville Police Department, Estes waived his rights and agreed to answer questions, the complaint states. Estes "admitted that he placed the explosive device at the Asheville Airport," the complaint states. "He also explained that he bought the precursor materials at Walmart and Lowe's" in Arden.

"Estes claimed that he was getting ready to 'fight a war on U.S. soil,' but also claimed that he did not actually set the alarm clock," the complaint states.

The complaint also states that, "Estes described how he created the device using ammonium nitrate and the Sterno as a fuel source and then rigged the alarm clock to strike the matches and cause the flame necessary to trigger the device. Estes admitted to putting the nails in the device as well."

On Friday, a TSA officer tested the substance in the device and it was positive for ammonium nitrate, a "widely used and regulated bulk industrial explosive," the complaint states. A bomb dog approached the device and "signaled," indicating "the presence of an explosive material.

"The device at the airport consisted of a Mason type jar with a lid that was locked down by an incorporated locking device," the complaint states. "There were prills -- pellets or solid globules of a substance formed by the congealing of a liquid during processing -- inside the jar and two plastic cups containing an unknown liquid substance, believed to be the fuel source," the complaint states. "There were pieces of cold compress packs inside the jar."

Once ammonium nitrate forms into prills, it can absorb the fuel oil needed for an explosion, the complaint states.

"The jar was filled with steel wool that was then wrapped around nails and one shotgun cartridge," the complaint states, noting that it was a 410 gauge. "There was an alarm clock taped to the outside of the jar. There was then a grouping of matches taped to the striker arm positioned between the bells, and the bells were removed."

The clock was set to go off at 6:00.

Video footage from the airport showed an individual walking onto airport grounds at 12:39 a.m. on Oct. 6. He was wearing black clothing and a black cap and carrying a bag.

"Based on a review of the video, the individual walked near the entrance to the terminal, went out of sight momentarily, and was then seen departing the area without the bag," the complaint states.

An airport maintenance worker said a man had come out of a wooded area across the street and to the east of the airport. Investigators found a bag in the woods with Gorilla Tape, consistent with the tape used in the device, as well as Sterno Firestar Gel, believed to be the likely fuel source for the explosive device, the complaint states.

There was also a bag containing shotgun shells.

Investigators went to the Walmart store on Airport Road, where they learned a person had bought Gorilla tape, Sterno Firestarter Gel, a glass Mason type jar, matches, cold compress packs, and an alarm clock on Oct. 3. At the Lowe's store off Airport Road, investigators learned a person had bought Kobalt gloves that were "very similar to those observed in the tool bag found in the wooded area."

The backpack bag found in the woods apparently had been bought at REI in Biltmore Park, and the buyer used a membership number assigned to Michael C. Estes. Estes admitted that the bought the backpack at REI, the complaint states.

Officers arrested Estes, 46, on Airport Road on Saturday, after several people reported seeing him nearby. His last known address was in Asheville.

No one was injured in the Friday incident. The airport's Terminal Drive and part of a terminal were closed for about two hours.

In the complaint, investigators noted that the type of device found at the airport, called "AN/FO" explosives, has been used "in a number of terrorist-related incidents around the world in the past.

"When AN/FO comes into contact with a flame or other ignition source it explodes violently," the complaint states. "Shrapnel or nails or ball bearings are often items added to the device so as to increase the devastation inflicted by the explosion."

Estes told investigators he "staged" in the woods near the airport a couple of days before placing the device at the airport.
Before the photoshop job :)

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Postby mes5464 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:55 am

Here you go. The government doesn't have the authority to distribute welfare so they don't have the authority to send your money to pay for repairs of some else's property. There are only going to be more natural disasters because of the sin's of man. God promised us that he would send natural disasters until we repent. Believe it.


Deficit hawks no match for natural disaster as House prepares to OK billions | McClatchy Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON
The House is poised Thursday — over the fierce objections of conservatives — to pass a $36.5 billion emergency package to help states and U.S. territories ravaged by a series of hurricanes and wildfires that have killed dozens and destroyed thousands of homes.

Conservative lawmakers are upset that the money is not offset by spending cuts elsewhere, but the political will to help those affected by in California, Florida, Puerto Rico, Texas and elsewhere is overwhelming.

“Going forward, we’re going to have more natural disasters and we need to rethink how to pay for these things,” said Rep. Gary Palmer, R-Ala., a member of the conservative House Freedom Caucus. “We need to pay for them as the work is done, and not just write a blank check. When you just throw out a pile of money, it’s open to abuse.”

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Postby mes5464 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 2:57 am

Google’s Home Mini needed a software patch to stop some of them from recording everything - The Verge

Categorize this under “one of the worst possible PR nightmares for a Google smart speaker.” According to Artem Russakovskii at Android Police, the Google Home Mini he was reviewing was randomly and near-constantly recording sounds in his home and transmitting them to Google. The company acknowledged the problem and is issuing a software update to resolve the issue, which appears to boil down to a failure of the touch sensor on the top.

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Postby mes5464 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:01 am

Do you have a right to privacy? Do you have the right to a secret identity?

How Facebook Outs Sex Workers

Leila has two identities, but Facebook is only supposed to know about one of them.

Leila is a sex worker. She goes to great lengths to keep separate identities for ordinary life and for sex work, to avoid stigma, arrest, professional blowback, or clients who might be stalkers (or worse).

Her “real identity”—the public one, who lives in California, uses an academic email address, and posts about politics—joined Facebook in 2011. Her sex-work identity is not on the social network at all; for it, she uses a different email address, a different phone number, and a different name. Yet earlier this year, looking at Facebook’s “People You May Know” recommendations, Leila (a name I’m using using in place of either of the names she uses) was shocked to see some of her regular sex-work clients.

Despite the fact that she’d only given Facebook information from her vanilla identity, the company had somehow discerned her real-world connection to these people—and, even more horrifyingly, her account was potentially being presented to them as a friend suggestion too, outing her regular identity to them.

Because Facebook insists on concealing the methods and data it uses to link one user to another, Leila is not able to find out how the network exposed her or take steps to prevent it from happening again.

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Postby mes5464 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:04 am

Pharmacy hand-delivers drugs to Congress, a perk for the powerful

Mike Kim, the reserved pharmacist-turned-owner of the pharmacy, said he has gotten used to knowing the most sensitive details about some of the most famous people in Washington.

“At first it’s cool, and then you realize, I’m filling some drugs that are for some pretty serious health problems as well. And these are the people that are running the country,” Kim said, listing treatments for conditions like diabetes and Alzheimer’s.

“It makes you kind of sit back and say, ‘Wow, they’re making the highest laws of the land and they might not even remember what happened yesterday.'”

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Postby mes5464 » Thu Oct 12, 2017 3:04 am

Self-Flying Planes May Arrive Sooner than You Think. Here's Why

With self-driving cars and trucks coming on fast, it’s only natural to wonder if self-flying planes might be next. In fact, the aviation industry is pushing to make autonomous passenger aircraft a reality — and sooner than you might think.

Airbus is developing an autonomous air taxi dubbed Vahana. The tilt-wing, multi-propeller craft is designed to take off and land in tight spaces and able to fly about 50 miles before its batteries need recharging.

Vahana is intended for short urban hops — but what about long flights? How far away are we from a pilotless airliner?

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Postby mes5464 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:26 am

More police departments and other first-responders are using drones

Despite such stories, many people are sceptical about the merits of law-enforcement drones. On September 28th Los Angeles’s Sherriff Civilian Oversight Commission, a body created a year ago by Los Angeles County officials to increase the accountability of its Sheriff’s Department, asked the department permanently to ground its drone, because of worries about privacy and safety. Such concerns have a basis in recent history. In 2012 the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (LASD) secretly tested an aerial surveillance programme over Compton, a deprived neighbourhood in Los Angeles—though with a small aeroplane, not a drone.

Anxiety about drones is not confined to southern California: Seattle cancelled its drone programme in 2013 after residents and privacy activists protested, fearful of mass surveillance. A survey conducted in January by Rasmussen Reports, a polling group, found that 39% of American adults opposed the use of police drones compared with 36% who favour them.

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Postby mes5464 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:28 am

Emma the robot masseuse gets to work in Singapore - Channel NewsAsia

SINGAPORE: A robot masseuse named Emma is offering Singaporeans high-tech back rubs with a gigantic metal arm and warm silicone tips which its creators say perfectly mimic the human touch.

The robot, the brainchild of local startup AiTreat, began work at a clinic in Singapore this week and performs "tui na", a type of massage practised in traditional Chinese medicine.

Emma, which stands for Expert Manipulative Massage Automation, consists of a white metal arm with heated silicone tips that mimic the human palm and thumb.

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Postby mes5464 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:30 am

Californians think their secession from US would be easier than Catalonia's from Spain | The Sacramento Bee

The world has been watching the play-by-play of Catalonia’s bid for independence from Spain, but one group is tuning in more closely than most: California secessionists.

The California Freedom Coalition, the campaign that has taken the lead in the effort to break California off from the United States, sees similarities with Catalonia’s secessionist movement. But there’s an important caveat: they believe California has more legal tools at its disposal, creating an easier path to secession – if that’s what Californians decide they want.

“There are definitely similarities in the fiscal situation – we both give more than we get back,” said Dave Marin, director of research and policy for the California Freedom Coalition. “But there’s more flexibility in the U.S. Constitution for secession than there is in the Spanish one. California has more tools available to it.”

The Catalan Parliament, together with President of Catalonia Carles Puigdemont, approved in September a binding referendum to make Catalonia an “independent and sovereign state.” Spain’s constitutional court suspended the process, but Catalan authorities continued with the vote on Oct. 1, prompting violence between voters and Spanish security forces tasked with shutting it down.

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Postby mes5464 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:31 am

The Republican civil war is spreading

Bannon's obvious goal is to burn the Republican Party to the ground in the hope that something glorious rises from the ashes. It's hard to know how successful he'll be, although the candidate he backed in the Alabama special election, religious extremist Roy Moore, beat Luther Strange, the candidate Trump himself endorsed (Bannon managed to argue that Moore would be a more faithful vehicle for Trumpism, but I wouldn't bet on it). One of the things the election showed was that conservative Republican voters won't always take their cues from Trump himself, even if they still support him.

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Postby mes5464 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:34 am

Antibiotic resistance could spell end of modern medicine, says chief medic | Society | The Guardian

Prof Dame Sally Davies said that if antibiotics lose their effectiveness it would spell “the end of modern medicine”. Without the drugs used to fight infections, common medical interventions such as caesarean sections, cancer treatments and hip replacements would become incredibly risky and transplant medicine would be a thing of the past, she said.

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Postby mes5464 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:36 am

Suspects’ phones led Northwest investigators to carcasses in one of the biggest poaching cases they’ve ever seen | The Seattle Times

A remote wildlife camera in Oregon led officers to the suspects. Then texts, videos and social-media posts on the suspects’ phones led the officers into the forest. (Note: Some people may find images disturbing.)

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Postby mes5464 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:37 am

Congress warned North Korean EMP attack would kill '90% of all Americans'

In calling on the Pentagon and President Trump to move quickly to protect the grid, the experts testified that an explosion of a high-altitude nuclear bomb delivered by a missile or satellite "could be to shut down the U.S. electric power grid for an indefinite period, leading to the death within a year of up to 90 percent of all Americans."

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Postby mes5464 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:39 am

Indictment: S.C. restaurant used force to enslave black cook

The cook, Christopher Smith, 39, alleges that he was forced to work up to seven days a week, often for 18 hours a day without breaks, brutally beaten and threatened repeatedly, according to a separate civil suit filed in the matter.

Bobby Paul Edwards, 52, is accused in the indictment of using “force, threats of force, physical restraint and coercion” to enslave Smith at J&J Cafeteria in Conway, S.C. Conway is just inland from Myrtle Beach.

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Postby mes5464 » Fri Oct 13, 2017 9:41 am

An anarchist takes on Big Pharma — by promoting DIY prescription drugs

Swaggering, charismatic, and complex, Michael Laufer has become a fixture in the growing biohacker movement ever since he published plans last year for a do-it-yourself EpiPencil — a $35 alternative to the pricey EpiPen.

It’s not clear whether anyone has actually ever used a homemade EpiPencil to prevent anaphylactic shock. But that seems almost an afterthought to Laufer’s bigger goal — trying to build a DIY movement to attack high pharma pricing and empower patients.

The de facto leader behind the leaderless collective Four Thieves Vinegar, Laufer is now on to his next project: He’s developing a desktop lab and a recipe book meant to equip patients to cook up a range of medicines, including a homemade version of the expensive hepatitis C drug Sovaldi, on their kitchen counters.


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