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LAPD officers reportedly used facial recognition 30,000 times in the past decade, contradicting the department's previous denials

Tue, 09/22/2020 - 01:23

LAPD officers reportedly used facial recognition 30,000 times in the past decade, contradicting the department's previous denialsDespite frequent denials and refusals to respond to public records requests, the LAPD has been using the controversial technology widely since 2009.


'It was so terrifying': Bobcat Fire near Los Angeles forces 4K evacuations, burns homes; 6 accused of starting blazes in Oregon

Tue, 09/22/2020 - 00:01

 Bobcat Fire near Los Angeles forces 4K evacuations, burns homes; 6 accused of starting blazes in OregonThe Bobcat Fire has burned more than 160 square miles in Los Angeles County. Oregon, Colorado, Wyoming among a dozen states battling major blazes.


As the U.S. hits 200,000 COVID-19 deaths, Trump tells an Ohio rally the coronavirus 'affects virtually nobody'

Tue, 09/22/2020 - 00:01

As the U.S. hits 200,000 COVID-19 deaths, Trump tells an Ohio rally the coronavirus 'affects virtually nobody'The U.S. passed yet another "grim milestone" in its COVID-19 pandemic Monday night, Reuters notes, with at least 200,000 Americans dead from the new coronavirus and an average of nearly 1,000 more dying each day. As "the country blew past estimate after estimate" of COVID-19 deaths, Politico's pandemic newsletter said Monday night, "the term 'grim milestone' in headlines became so routine that we banned it."COVID-19 deaths are rising again in the U.S. after a four-week decline, with Texas and Florida leading the news fatalities, Reuters reports, and the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation now predicts 300,000 deaths by Dec. 9 and 378,000 by the end of 2020 if current trends continue. The IHME's first projection of U.S. coronavirus deaths, issued March 16, topped out at 162,000. The U.S., with about 4 percent of the world's population, has 20 percent of its recorded COVID-19 deaths.At a rally in Dayton, Ohio, on Monday night, President Trump assured his admirers the virus isn't really that bad, noting that it mostly kills "elderly people" and people with "other problems," adding, "It affects virtually nobody."> "It affects virtually nobody," Trump says of the coronavirus, which has now killed 200,000 Americans and counting pic.twitter.com/qHrZvUWNhX> > — Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) September 22, 2020According to CDC data, more than 70 percent of U.S. COVID-19 deaths are among people older than 65, which means about 60,000 of the dead were 65 and younger. And a lot of the estimated millions of U.S. "long-haulers" who did not die from COVID-19 are still grappling with a wide array of health problems, some of the potentially serious.More stories from theweek.com Democrats have a better option than court packing Stephen Colbert's Late Show takes Lindsey Graham up on his offer, uses his words against him Trump supporters boo Ohio's GOP lieutenant governor for encouraging mask use


Real estate tycoon and critic of China's President Xi Jinping jailed for 18 years

Mon, 09/21/2020 - 22:56

Real estate tycoon and critic of China's President Xi Jinping jailed for 18 yearsThe former chairman of a state-owned real estate company who publicly criticised President Xi Jinping's handling of the coronavirus pandemic was sentenced to 18 years in prison on Tuesday on corruption charges, a court announced. Ren Zhiqiang, who became known for speaking up about censorship and other sensitive topics, disappeared from public view in March after publishing an essay online that accused Mr Xi of mishandling the outbreak that began in December in the central city of Wuhan. Mr Xi, party leader since 2012, has suppressed criticism, tightened censorship and cracked down on unofficial organisations. Dozens of journalists, labour and human rights activists and others have been imprisoned. Mr Ren, 69, was convicted of corruption, bribery, embezzlement of public funds and abuse of power, the Beijing No. 2 Intermediate People's Court announced on its social media account. It cited Mr Ren as saying he wouldn't appeal. The former chairman and deputy party secretary of Huayuan Group was expelled from the ruling party in July. In a commentary that circulated on social media, Mr Ren criticised a Feb. 23 video conference with 170,000 officials held early in the pandemic at which Mr Xi announced orders for responding to the disease. Mr Ren didn't mention Mr Xi's name but said, "standing there was not an emperor showing off his new clothes but a clown who had stripped off his clothes and insisted on being an emperor". Mr Ren criticised propaganda that portrayed Mr Xi and other leaders as rescuing China from the disease without mentioning where it began and possible mistakes including suppressing information at the start of the outbreak. "People did not see any criticism at the conference. It didn't investigate and disclose the truth," Mr Ren wrote, according to a copy published by China Digital Times, a website in California. "No one reviewed or took responsibility. But they are trying to cover up the truth with all kinds of great achievements." Mr Ren had an early military career and his parents were both former high officials in the Communist party. Some called him a princeling, a term for offspring of the founders of the communist government, a group that includes Mr Xi. He appeared to have crossed a political line by criticising Mr Xi's personal leadership.


Betsy DeVos is under investigation for potentially violating the Hatch Act when she slammed Joe Biden in a Fox News interview

Mon, 09/21/2020 - 21:34

Betsy DeVos is under investigation for potentially violating the Hatch Act when she slammed Joe Biden in a Fox News interview"Today he's turned his back on the kids ... in favor of the teachers union ... and what they have to demand and it's really shameful," DeVos said.


Shopper flaunting his gun in checkout line shoots himself in the groin, Oregon cops say

Mon, 09/21/2020 - 19:17

Shopper flaunting his gun in checkout line shoots himself in the groin, Oregon cops sayHe placed his gun in the front of his pants near the button and accidentally pulled the trigger, police said.


Hawaii Health Department Chemist Cooked Up LSD for Air Force Members: Prosecutors

Mon, 09/21/2020 - 19:16

 ProsecutorsA government chemist in Hawaii cooked up batches of LSD for active-duty members of the U.S. military who responded to ads for the powerful hallucinogen posted on social media, prosecutors allege.Trevor Keegan, an “extract tech” in the Disease Outbreak Control Division of the state Health Department, was charged earlier this month on one count of conspiracy to distribute controlled substances. His alleged co-conspirator, Austin White, is not known to be affiliated with any government agency. He is facing the same charges as Keegan.The case came to the attention of investigators last September, when a confidential informant tipped off the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations (OSI) about “an individual [who] was utilizing...Snapchat to advertise and conduct drug sales, particularly with active duty military service members.” The existence of the investigation has not been previously reported.Air Force Vet Who Shot Woman for Stealing His Nazi Flag Claims He’s Actually the Victim OSI turned the investigation over to the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), which was soon able to identify the Snapchat dealer as White, prosecutors said.“White’s public Snapchat account showed the public advertisement of various controlled substances for sale with listed prices,” says a criminal complaint filed in Hawaii federal court. “One of the advertised controlled substances was Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (“LSD”), more commonly known as ‘acid,’ which is a schedule I controlled substance.”LSD use within the armed forces has become an issue of late. In 2018, rampant LSD consumption by members of the Air Force’s nuclear missile corps was exposed by the Associated Press. Since then, the Naval Criminal Investigative Service has reportedly launched nearly 200 investigations into LSD-related offenses, with cases spiking by 70 percent in the first four months of 2020. As recently as 2006, LSD use in the Air Force was so rare it was removed entirely from the standard drug tests given to airmen.In December 2019, an undercover DEA agent contacted White on Snapchat to arrange a purchase. During that meeting, White allegedly sold the agent 20 grams of “a suspected LSD mixture in the form of ingestible gummies” for $200. The following month, White sold the same undercover agent about $1,400 worth of gummies and tabs of blotter acid, the complaint states. White’s source “work[ed] in chemistry,” he told the undercover agent, and said he “makes his own stuff.” White then agreed to have “the cook” make another 300 blotter tabs in advance of their next meeting, according to prosecutors.That’s when White got sloppy. After getting $2,500 from his customer, White pointed to a car parked nearby. White allegedly told the undercover that the vehicle’s driver—and lone passenger—was his supplier, before walking over to retrieve the drugs. DEA agents were able to identify the driver as Keegan, according to court filings.Both men were arrested at the beginning of May. The blotter acid tested positive for LSD, although the gummies did not.“You would think that employees at the state disease outbreak control center would be too busy these days for such extracurricular activities,” Dan Grazier, an ex-Marine Corps officer who now works for the nonprofit Project on Government Oversight, told The Daily Beast. “I don’t recall a single instance of anyone testing positive for LSD when I was in the Marine Corps. I have heard it is becoming more common because it is quickly passed through the system and can't be detected in a urinalysis after 2 to 3 days.”Former U.S. Air Force squadron commander Cedric Leighton, who retired from the service as a colonel, said he discovered at least three of his airmen using LSD during his 26-year career.“Our service members are good people, but, like anyone else, they can be one bad decision away from ruining their careers and their lives,” Leighton told The Daily Beast. “I saw it as my job to help them avoid those bad decisions.”Keegan and White’s attorneys did not respond to a request for comment, nor did the U.S. Air Force Office of Special Investigations.Both men are free on $50,000 bail. Keegan is expected to plead guilty at the end of October.Read more at The Daily Beast.Got a tip? Send it to The Daily Beast hereGet our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more.


Florida's governor is proposing a law that would protect drivers who kill or injure people if they're fleeing a 'mob,' following a spate of incidents of people driving through protest crowds

Mon, 09/21/2020 - 17:11

Florida's governor is proposing a law that would protect drivers who kill or injure people if they're fleeing a 'mob,' following a spate of incidents of people driving through protest crowdsPeople have hit protesters with cars dozens of times since the US erupted with protests following the death of George Floyd in May.


Three jailed after being caught with 109 undersized lobsters in the Keys, police say

Mon, 09/21/2020 - 16:39

Three jailed after being caught with 109 undersized lobsters in the Keys, police sayThree Lower Keys residents were jailed Friday after state fish and wildlife police said they were found with more than 100 undersized lobsters and a haul of out-of-season stone crab claws.


Archaeologists unearthed 27 sarcophagi in an ancient Egyptian city of the dead. They've been sealed for more than 2,500 years.

Mon, 09/21/2020 - 16:25

Archaeologists unearthed 27 sarcophagi in an ancient Egyptian city of the dead. They've been sealed for more than 2,500 years.Egyptians buried their dead in Saqqara for thousands of years. The ancient city has yielded countless discoveries, including human and animal mummies.


Fact check: In 2016, Ginsburg said president is 'elected for four years not three years'

Mon, 09/21/2020 - 15:59

 In 2016, Ginsburg said president is 'elected for four years not three years'A post attributes a 2016 quote to the late jurist about presidential power to appoint Supreme Court justices. The post is missing context.


Lindsey Graham insists he hasn't changed his mind on SCOTUS nominations — but also that Kavanaugh's treatment changed his mind

Mon, 09/21/2020 - 15:52

Lindsey Graham insists he hasn't changed his mind on SCOTUS nominations — but also that Kavanaugh's treatment changed his mindWhen Justice Antonin Scalia died in 2016, Republicans steamrolled former President Barack Obama's nominee because they said the next president should choose the nominee. Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) even invited Democrats to "use my words against me" if there was an election-year vacancy come 2020 -- but he seems to have changed his mind.In a Monday letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, Graham claimed he still felt the same about election-year vacancies. He looked back a few years to claim Americans "elected a Republican Senate majority in 2014" because they wanted a check on the end of Obama's lame duck presidency. Likewise, since the 1880s, no Senate "has confirmed an opposite-party president's Supreme Court nominee during an election year," he continued. Americans renewing a Republican Senate majority in 2018 points Graham in the same direction this time around, he said, as well as the fact that Trump is up for re-election.But Graham went on to say that he actually had changed his mind about the nomination process after the "treatment" of Justice Brett Kavanaugh. When comparing the overwhelming confirmations of Ginsburg and the testy nominating processes for Robert Bork, Kavanaugh, and Clarence Thomas, "it's clear that there already is one set of rules for a Republican president and one set of rules for a Democrat president," Graham finished. > Chairman @LindseyGrahamSC to Committee Democrats: "After the Treatment of Justice Kavanaugh I Now Have a Different View of the Judicial-Confirmation Process" https://t.co/qzXgSbgW8S pic.twitter.com/IWAclmrQED> > -- Senate Judiciary (@senjudiciary) September 21, 2020More stories from theweek.com Democrats have a better option than court packing Stephen Colbert's Late Show takes Lindsey Graham up on his offer, uses his words against him Trump supporters boo Ohio's GOP lieutenant governor for encouraging mask use


Two key GOP senators propose $28.8 billion in airline assistance to avoid job cuts

Mon, 09/21/2020 - 15:50

Two key GOP senators propose $28.8 billion in airline assistance to avoid job cutsTwo key Republican senators on Monday introduced legislation that would authorize $28.8 billion in payroll assistance to avoid thousands of airline industry layoffs set to begin on Oct. 1. Senators Roger Wicker, who chairs the Commerce Committee, and Susan Collins, who chairs the appropriations subcommittee overseeing airline issues, introduced the measure that would grant airlines a new bailout days before existing payroll support runs out. Airlines are making a last-ditch effort to win funding, but face an uphill battle with Congress shifting its attention to the pending Supreme Court vacancy, congressional aides say.


Snorkeler attacked by 10ft bull shark in Florida Keys

Mon, 09/21/2020 - 14:56

Snorkeler attacked by 10ft bull shark in Florida KeysVictim was airlifted to Miami hospital with a serious bite wound


Wisconsin Black man falsely arrested at his own home sues city

Mon, 09/21/2020 - 14:47

Wisconsin Black man falsely arrested at his own home sues cityAs reported by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Keonte Furdge was arrested in his home after a neighbor called the police because he was sitting on the patio. Two police officers entered the house with their guns drawn and handcuffed Furdge, 23.


New York among three 'anarchist' cities named by White House to lose funds

Mon, 09/21/2020 - 14:33

New York among three 'anarchist' cities named by White House to lose fundsNew York, Seattle and Portland are named by the White House as cities that could lose federal funds.


'A crazy year up north:' Arctic sea ice shrinks to 2nd-lowest level on record

Mon, 09/21/2020 - 14:03

' Arctic sea ice shrinks to 2nd-lowest level on recordThe amount of summer sea ice in the Arctic has been steadily shrinking over the past few decades because of man-made global warming, experts say.


Black Lives Matter Removes Language about Disrupting the Nuclear Family from Website

Mon, 09/21/2020 - 13:56

Black Lives Matter Removes Language about Disrupting the Nuclear Family from WebsiteThe official Black Lives Matter website no longer includes language encouraging the “disruption” of the “Western-prescribed nuclear family structure.”The language had been featured on the site's "What We Believe" page, in which the group had laid out its support for various extreme policies and ideals that went beyond police reform and brutality. Attempts to access the page now yield a message that reads, "Page Not Found. Sorry, but the page you were trying to view does not exist," the Washington Examiner first discovered on Monday.The page had described the group as a "global Black family" that engages "comrades with the intent to learn about and connect with their contexts," according to an archive."We make our spaces family-friendly and enable parents to fully participate with their children. We dismantle the patriarchal practice that requires mothers to work 'double shifts' so that they can mother in private even as they participate in public justice work," the organization wrote. "We disrupt the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and 'villages' that collectively care for one another, especially our children, to the degree that mothers, parents, and children are comfortable."The website still features an “About" page that explains the origin of the organization — it was founded in 2013 after the death of Trayvon Martin — and features a shorter list of its goals. The "About" page says the group’s mission “is to eradicate white supremacy and build local power to intervene in violence inflicted on Black communities by the state and vigilantes.”“We affirm the lives of Black queer and trans folks, disabled folks, undocumented folks, folks with records, women, and all Black lives along the gender spectrum,” the page reads.“We are working for a world where Black lives are no longer systematically targeted for demise,” it adds.The organization has received criticism for its extremist views, including co-founder Patrisse Cullors 2015 admission that she and her fellow co-founders are “trained Marxists.”"I actually do think we have an ideological frame. We are trained Marxists," Cullors said.


Column: Here's a deal Democrats could make to prevent a Ginsburg replacement before the election

Mon, 09/21/2020 - 13:34

 Here's a deal Democrats could make to prevent a Ginsburg replacement before the electionA few Republicans could agree to postpone the replacement of Justice Ginsburg in exchange for a few Democrats agreeing never to vote for a court-packing scheme.


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