End of Show Mixes: - UKPMX - Gx2 -Oh My Bosh - Danny Loos-Secret Agent Paul-Stepford Wives-PlaceBoing- Dave Courbanou - Able Kirby - Jungle Jones - Chris Wilson - Tom Starkweather - Conan Salada - Future Trash - Phantomville Billy Bon3s
In a major step toward fixing our broken system of elections, House Democratic lawmakers introduced a comprehensive democracy reform bill on the first day of the 116 th Congress.
The bill, which is known as H.R. 1, or the For The People Act, and was sponsored by Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.), would create a more responsive and representative government by making it easier for voters to cast a ballot and harder for lawmakers to gerrymander, by transforming how campaigns are funded to amplify the voices of ordinary Americans, and by bolstering election security and government ethics.
Read the full text of the bill here:
From Sir How Now Brown Cow
I just spent 3hrs in the Rules committee hearing on HR1,
the For the People Act. After hearing everything I heard I’m convinced media
elements must have a hand in this bill and likely paid the outside groups that
wrote it. At the core of this bill is a 6 to 1 match on any donation under
$200. In other words, if I donate $199 to a candidate the federal government
would match that donation with $1,194 to their coffers.
Moreover, that is a PER donation match. That means if I
$1000 to a candidate, I could now split that into FIVE
separate $199 donations which would grant the candidate a total of $5,970.
This will turn million dollar races into $5 million
dollar races funded by the tax payer. Who benefits from this? The folks selling
ads. Someone figured out how to sextuple the anti by getting the tax payer to
You'll no longer be able to use cash to buy a hot dog or a beer at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. The downtown Atlanta venue will become a cashless operation, one of the first two major U.S. stadiums to do so.
It will stop accepting cash inside the gates beginning with Atlanta United's home opener Sunday, requiring payment for food, beverages and merchandise with credit cards, debit cards or mobile payment services such as Apple Pay. The policy also will be in effect at Falcons games and, at least for food and beverages, all other stadium events.
The move to cashless is intended to speed transactions and shorten waits at concession stands and merchandise shops, said Steve Cannon, CEO of Falcons and Atlanta United parent company AMB Group, which operates the stadium.
Major League Baseball's Tampa Bay Rays became the first major U.S. sports franchise to announce its stadium would be cash-free, saying in January that Tropicana Field no longer would accept cash and debuting the concept at a fan festival last month. But because the soccer season opens before the baseball season, Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be first to implement a cash-free operation at games.
For fans without credit or debit cards, 10 kiosks will be installed, some on each level of the stadium, where cash can be loaded onto prepaid Visa debit cards. Those cards then can be used for purchases inside the stadium. Balances left on the cards also can be spent anywhere Visa is accepted.
With the move away from cash, stadium officials said they are dropping their previous policy of whole-dollar pricing at concession stands. They announced that prices will be reduced on five concession items by 50 cents apiece, most notably on hot dogs from $2 to $1.50.
The hot dog price has drawn much attention since the stadium opened, most recently at Super Bowl LIII. Further lowering the price of ''our No. 1-selling item that already is below market price'' reaffirms a commitment to fan-friendly concession pricing, said Greg Beadles, chief operating officer of AMB Sports and Entertainment.
However, under the stadium's previous whole-dollar policy, which was instituted to speed transaction times, sales tax was included in the posted price of each item. Now, sales tax of 8.9 percent will be added to each purchase. That will gobble up some of the savings from the new price cuts and will effectively mean an 8.9-percent increase in the total cost of items that keep the same posted price as before.
''We're going to revert to what everybody else does in the world and the price on the board is pre-tax,'' Beadles said. ''And then the tax will be added to your transaction.''
The switch to cashless transactions applies inside the stadium; for events that sell tickets at the box office outside the gates, cash can still be used there.
Inside the stadium, the only exception to the cashless model could be souvenir sales for some events other than Falcons and Atlanta United games. The organizers of ''third-party'' events, such as concerts or college football games, will be able to sell their merchandise for cash if they choose. But the stadium's food and beverage sales will be cashless at all events, whether the purchase is made from concession stands, bars, restaurants or hawkers.
The change follows extensive testing last year, Cannon said. By the end of the Falcons season, about 30 of the stadium's 70 concession stands and bars did not accept cash, he said.
Stadium-wide, the percentage of customers using cash dropped from 42 percent at the start of the Falcons season to 30 percent at the end, Beadles said. Cash usage has been lower at Atlanta United games than Falcons games, he said.
''Everything we saw in 2018 gave us the confidence to make the decision '... to become a cash-free stadium,'' Cannon said. ''For us, this is all about speed of service. ... This move to cashless will allow us to transact at a higher level and satisfy demand when demand is there.''
Beadles said that on average cashless transactions ''can be up to 50 percent faster than cash transactions.''
As for how attendees, particularly those who still prefer cash, will react to the change, Cannon said: ''We don't expect a whole lot of pushback.''
In addition to speeding up service, Cannon said going cash-free will eliminate some costs and complexities, such as counting the cash in each drawer and having a guard accompany the movement of cash into a secure room. ''Cash handling is a substantial cost item that we'll now completely remove from the enterprise,'' Cannon said.
He predicted Mercedes-Benz Stadium will be at the start of a trend toward cashless stadiums. Several European soccer stadiums are cash-free.
''Our concessionaire, Levy, says this is where it's going,'' Cannon said.
Green New Deal
Wallace Smith Broecker, the 'grandfather' of climate science, leaves a final warning for Earth
Breaking News EmailsGet breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
March 3, 2019, 10:34 AM GMT
By James Rainey
After struggling with heart disease for decades, the renowned climate scientist Wallace Smith Broecker had made it clear he was acutely aware of his own mortality. So when he sat down in front of a video camera to record a final message to his fellow scientists in mid-February, the 87-year-old researcher knew his days were few.
The man who popularized the term ''global warming'' and first described the critical role oceans play on climate had an urgent message for 40 of the world's top climate scientists. Humanity is not moving quickly enough to slow the production of carbon dioxide that is warming the Earth, Broecker said Feb. 11, his livestreaming image projected onto a big screen at Arizona State University, where researchers had met to discuss untested solutions to global warming.
It was time for humankind and the world's scientific community to begin to seriously study more extreme solutions to the climate crisis, Broecker said. That included creating a massive solar shield in the Earth's atmosphere, a tactic known variously as "geoengineering," "the sulfur solution," ''solar radiation management" and the "Pinatubo Strategy.''
Wallace Broecker receiving the National Medal of Science from President Bill Clinton in 1996. Courtesy Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory''If we are going to prevent the planet from warming up another couple of degrees, we are going to have to go to geoengineering,'' he said. The price of continued inaction, he added somewhat ominously, could be ''many more surprises in the greenhouse'' known as Earth.
Broecker (pronounced ''broker'') regretted he could not be at Arizona State's first Planetary Management Symposium on Climate Engineering but said he was glad he could address his longtime colleagues remotely. Though he was using a wheelchair and breathing through an oxygen tube, he assured his colleagues that ''my mind is running pretty smoothly.''
A week after his dramatic appeal, Broecker died of congestive heart failure, inspiring praise for his work as the ''grandfather'' of modern climate science. His death, and his final message to scientists, re-energized the debate over the sort of re-engineering of the Earth's climate systems that Broecker and other academics had broached as early as the 1970s.
The theory is that the planet might be cooled, in a worst-case scenario, by releasing massive amounts of sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere some 70,000 feet above the Earth's surface. The idea would be for jets to release so much SO2 that they would mimic a massive volcanic eruption, like the one at Mt. Pinatubo in the Philippines in 1991, which shrouded much of the planet in a sulfurous cloud, cooling the Earth by about 1 degree Fahrenheit for a full year.
Many scientists have been hesitant about pursuing such an extreme measure, citing scientific, ethical, legal and political dilemmas. Tampering with Earth's atmosphere was not a preferred alternative, Broecker had acknowledged, but he insisted that his fellow academics needed to be ready, should last-ditch measures be needed to prevent a climate catastrophe.
Broecker told the symposium that he had worked with another prominent climatologist on mechanical units that might remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. But 100 million of the devices would be needed to get the job done, he said, and there was no sign that the world's leaders had the political will to get the job done.
In the days that followed, Broecker's final admonition to his fellow climate scientists touched off an intensive discussion about whether humanity has reached a tipping point that requires more radical solutions. The debate has been conducted civilly and mostly via email among climate researchers around the world. It has no predictable outcome. A majority of the world's climate scientists may oppose radical geoengineering, but most of those who heard Broecker's words agreed that research on the sulfur solution should proceed.
In the meantime, scientists on both sides of the debate said their biggest takeaway from Broecker's final public appearance is one of profound respect for a colleague known as ''an absolute giant'' of climate science, who conducted more than a half century of research at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.
''To see this great scientist speaking at this late point in his life, when he was so obviously sick and frail, was really just very, very moving,'' John Shepherd, a British climatologist, said. ''To see Wally speak so coherently and so inspirationally was quite a moment.''
Jeffrey Severinghaus, who studies ice cores to understand the history of global warming at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, also described Broecker's parting message as hard to forget.
''It was very touching. It was very profound,'' Severinghaus, who studied under Broecke, said. ''He was dying and every small effort was difficult for him. But it was important to him to speak to us.''
''This was the last message from someone who shaped our field for half a century,'' said Peter Schlosser, the lead organizer of the symposium and vice president of Arizona State's Global Futures program. ''I don't think his effort and his determination was lost on anyone.''
That sense of moment was acknowledged even by those, such as Severinghaus, who disagreed with Broecker's position. Those scientists believe that sulfur injections into the atmosphere have too many potential pitfalls. They could alter weather and rainfall patterns so severely that agriculture would be disrupted on a mass scale. They could trigger unknown collateral weather calamities. And, perhaps the biggest concern of all: They could prompt humanity to continue with the dangerous burning of fossil fuels.
''Even though I disagreed,'' Severinghaus said, ''I could see he was coming from a place of caring and concern for all of us and for the planet.''
The Arizona State University meeting had been in the works for many months, prompted to a large degree by Broecker himself. The peripatetic scientist had written a memo in late 2017 to 17 colleagues, urging more intensive discussion about what he called ''SO2 Cooling.''
''Over the last 50 years, the ratio of energy from fossil fuels (85 percent) to that from other sources (15 percent) has not changed. Several billion people still live in poverty. ... Those who own fossil fuel reserves will do everything possible to make sure they are burned,'' he wrote. ''I wish I could be my usual optimistic self and believe those who say we are on the brink of an energy revolution. But I can't.''
Following that 2017 memo, Broecker began to work with Schlosser and other old associates to organize a meeting about radical solutions to global warming.
The topic was provocative enough to draw some of the world's leading climate scientists to the campus in Tempe, Arizona. While Broecker was too sick to join, his association with the event gave it extra appeal. Many recognized him as their mentor, a renaissance man who was not constrained by formal academic boundaries. ''He had breadth of knowledge about Earth systems that few people could ever touch,'' Schlosser said.
Broecker grew up in the Chicago suburbs, the son of evangelical Christians. He attended a Christian liberal arts college and planned a career as an actuary, until a friend helped him land an internship at what would later become Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. He immediately took to science and emerging fields like carbon dating and quickly transferred to Columbia. He spent the rest of his life studying the forces that affect the Earth's climate.
Broecker often spoke about the climate system he studied for his entire academic life as ''an angry beast,'' adding, ''and we are poking it with sticks.''
Like the vast majority of the scientific community, he supported a shift to sustainable fuels and away from oil, gas and coal. He also backed research into carbon capture technologies. But he despaired that humanity was moving too slowly and spoke in recent years with increasing fervor about the possible need for a solar shield.
''He was not advocating that it should be done, but he was advocating we should at least get the knowledge to enable us to decide whether or not we ought to look in that direction,'' said Shepherd, an emeritus professor of Earth system science at the University of Southampton in England. ''Wally could see his time on Earth was quite limited and I think he wanted to make sure there were a bunch of people who would carry on the initiative after he was gone.''
Rafe Pomerance, a senior fellow at the Woods Hole Research Center in Massachusetts, shared a similar feeling.
''His view is impossible to ignore,'' Pomerance said. ''His critiques of the current path must be answered.''
Broecker's wife, Elizabeth Clark, worked in his lab for many years. She emphasized in an email the urgency her husband felt about the search for climate change solutions. But, she said, he also worried that he might appear weak in his final public appearance.
''The truth is, Wally was never weak,'' Clark said, ''most especially when it came to science, most especially when it came to saving the planet to any and every degree possible.''
James Rainey is a reporter for NBC News, based in Los Angeles.
Scientists in Australia have developed a way to turn carbon dioxide back into coal, a first. The breakthrough could pave the way for new carbon capture and storage technologies.
Most carbon capture methods involve compressing CO2 into liquid form to be pumped and stored underground. Despite progress, the best carbon capture and storage technologies still aren't economical. They also pose environmental concerns.
The new carbon-to-coal method could be used to more sustainable store captured carbon.
''To date, CO2 has only been converted into a solid at extremely high temperatures, making it industrially unviable,'' Torben Daeneke, researcher at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, said in a news release. ''By using liquid metals as a catalyst, we've shown it's possible to turn the gas back into carbon at room temperature, in a process that's efficient and scalable.''
To turn CO2 into coal, scientists developed a liquid metal catalyst that is highly conductive. The conversion process begins by dissolving the captured carbon dioxide in an electrolyte liquid. After a small amount of the catalyst is added, a current is run through the solution.
Chemical reactions caused solid flakes of carbon to separate from the solution. The process is efficient and scalable, but researchers acknowledge more work is needed before the method can be commercialized.
''While more research needs to be done, it's a crucial first step to delivering solid storage of carbon,'' Daeneke said.
Because the carbonaceous solids are stable, they could be compacted and buried in the ground. They could also be used as electrodes in batteries or engines.
''A side benefit of the process is that the carbon can hold electrical charge, becoming a supercapacitor, so it could potentially be used as a component in future vehicles,'' said Dorna Esrafilzadeh, research fellow at RMIT's School of Engineering. ''The process also produces synthetic fuel as a by-product, which could also have industrial applications.''
Researchers described their first of its kind CO2 conversion technology this week in the journal Nature Communications.
''While we can't literally turn back time, turning carbon dioxide back into coal and burying it back in the ground is a bit like rewinding the emissions clock,'' Daeneke said.
Pin reported. Thank you for your submission.
Greenpeace Co-Founder Rips "Pompous Little Twit" Ocasio-Cortez As "Garden-Variety Hypocrite" On Climate | Zero Hedge
Greenpeace Co-Founder, Dr. Patrick Moore, has been in an ongoing spat with New York Democratic Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) over the overly-ambitious Green New Deal that could quadruple the national debt. Moore, who has since split with Greenpeace, now refers to himself as the "sensible environmentalist."
The GND calls for an ultra-progressive bucket list of environmental goals such as the elimination of all fossil fuels, nuclear energy, air travel, 99% of cars and the retrofitting of every single building in America for "state of the art energy efficiency." AOC's plan even throws in government-guaranteed jobs - and simply hands cash to anyone "unwilling to work," along with healthy food and a free house.
The plan would also, as Moore notes, kill everything on earth:
'@AOC 's Green New Deal calls for:"(J) removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere."https://t.co/t9HuWwC1rITechnically (scientifically) this would mean removing all H2O vapour and all CO2 which would mean the eradication of all life on Earth.Brilliant. ðð pic.twitter.com/i91rvW0HXI
'-- Patrick Moore (@EcoSenseNow) February 19, 2019After AOC suggested in late February that she was "in charge" until someone comes up with a better plan, Moore fired back, tweeting: "Pompous little twit. You don't have a plan to grow food for 8 billion people without fossil fuels, or get the food into the cities. Horses? If fossil fuels were banned every tree in the world would be cut down for fuel for cooking and heating. You would bring about mass death."
Pompous little twit. You don't have a plan to grow food for 8 billion people without fossil fuels, or get the food into the cities. Horses? If fossil fuels were banned every tree in the world would be cut down for fuel for cooking and heating. You would bring about mass death.
'-- Patrick Moore (@EcoSenseNow) February 23, 2019Several hours later, Moore explained: "You are delusional if you think fossil fuels will end any time soon, maybe in 500 yrs. AOC's attitude is unjustifiably condescending. She is a neophyte pretending to be wise. Her kind bring ruination if allowed to be ''in charge''. (from the cheap seats)."
You are delusional if you think fossil fuels will end any time soon, maybe in 500 yrs. AOC's attitude is unjustifiably condescending. She is a neophyte pretending to be wise. Her kind bring ruination if allowed to be ''in charge''. (from the cheap seats).
'-- Patrick Moore (@EcoSenseNow) February 23, 2019Moore has continued his criticism, calling AOC a "garden-variety hypocrite like the others" who has "ZERO expertise at any of the things you pretend to know."
The "world as it is" has the option of taking the subway rather than a taxi. option of Amtrak rather than plane, option of opening windows rather than A/C. You're just a garden-variety hypocrite like the others. And you have ZERO expertise at any of the things you pretend to know
'-- Patrick Moore (@EcoSenseNow) March 3, 2019Update: As the NY Post notes - AOC has a giant carbon footprint.
since declaring her candidacy in May 2017, Ocasio-Cortez's campaign relied heavily on combustible-engine cars '-- taking Ubers and Lyfts instead of hopping on the subway.
In her rebuttal, the Bronx-born Congresswoman said the GND is about systemic change '-- not about personal gas-guzzling practices.
Ocasio-Cortez's campaign logged 1,049 car service transactions totaling over $23,000 between May 16, 2017 and Dec. 31, 2018, The Post found. Her campaign once booked 26 car-service transactions in a single day.
Even though her Queens HQ was just a one-minute walk to the 7 train, her campaign only made 52 metro card purchases, spending about $8,300.
And despite a high-speed rail being the cornerstone of her green strategy, the Democratic firebrand took Amtrak 18 times, compared to 66 airline transactions costing $25,174.54 during the campaign season. -NY Post
A few more thoughts from Moore and others who have jumped into the debate:
Nicely done. https://t.co/sYDxDaTFjC
'-- Patrick Moore (@EcoSenseNow) March 3, 2019I think I'll join the Navy. https://t.co/Cj6Elmmw36
'-- Patrick Moore (@EcoSenseNow) March 3, 2019Good photo of @AOC after being told she's not really in charge, or The Boss. pic.twitter.com/Z039IxFyt4
'-- Patrick Moore (@EcoSenseNow) March 3, 2019
AAAS: Machine learning 'causing science crisis' - BBC News
Image copyright Reuters Image caption Astronomy is one of the many areas of science in which machine learning is used to make discoveries Machine-learning techniques used by thousands of scientists to analyse data are producing results that are misleading and often completely wrong.
Dr Genevera Allen from Rice University in Houston said that the increased use of such systems was contributing to a ''crisis in science''.
She warned scientists that if they didn't improve their techniques they would be wasting both time and money. Her research was presented at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington.
A growing amount of scientific research involves using machine learning software to analyse data that has already been collected. This happens across many subject areas ranging from biomedical research to astronomy. The data sets are very large and expensive.
'Reproducibility crisis'But, according to Dr Allen, the answers they come up with are likely to be inaccurate or wrong because the software is identifying patterns that exist only in that data set and not the real world.
Image copyright Rice University Image caption Dr Allen says flawed machine learning is producing a "crisis in science" ''Often these studies are not found out to be inaccurate until there's another real big dataset that someone applies these techniques to and says 'oh my goodness, the results of these two studies don't overlap'," she said.
''There is general recognition of a reproducibility crisis in science right now. I would venture to argue that a huge part of that does come from the use of machine learning techniques in science.''
The ''reproducibility crisis'' in science refers to the alarming number of research results that are not repeated when another group of scientists tries the same experiment. It means that the initial results were wrong. One analysis suggested that up to 85% of all biomedical research carried out in the world is wasted effort.
More from Pallab at the AAAS: It is a crisis that has been growing for two decades and has come about because experiments are not designed well enough to ensure that the scientists don't fool themselves and see what they want to see in the results.
Flawed patternsMachine learning systems and the use of big data sets has accelerated the crisis, according to Dr Allen. That is because machine learning algorithms have been developed specifically to find interesting things in datasets and so when they search through huge amounts of data they will inevitably find a pattern.
''The challenge is can we really trust those findings?'' she told BBC News.
''Are those really true discoveries that really represent science? Are they reproducible? If we had an additional dataset would we see the same scientific discovery or principle on the same dataset? And unfortunately the answer is often probably not.''
Image copyright Reuters Image caption Machine learning is also used in biomedical research Dr Allen is working with a group of biomedical researchers at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston to improve the reliability of their results. She is developing the next generation of machine learning and statistical techniques that can not only sift through large amounts of data to make discoveries, but also report how uncertain their results are and their likely reproducibility.
''Collecting these huge data sets is incredibly expensive. And I tell the scientists that I work with that it might take you longer to get published, but in the end your results are going to stand the test of time.
''It will save scientists money and it's also important to advance science by not going down all of these wrong possible directions.''
Catherine Mary McKenna PC MP (born August 5, 1971) is a Canadian Liberal politician, who was elected to represent the riding of Ottawa Centre in the House of Commons of Canada in the 2015 federal election. She was appointed as Minister of Environment and Climate Change in the Cabinet, headed by Justin Trudeau, on November 4, 2015. She holds a master's degree from the London School of Economics and a law degree from McGill University.
Education [ edit ] McKenna holds a master's degree from the London School of Economics where she studied International Relations, and a law degree from McGill University. She also holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Toronto.
After graduating from cole (C)l(C)mentaire catholique Notre-Dame (her father insisted that all his children be bilingual despite not knowing any French himself) and then Saint Mary Catholic Secondary School in Hamilton, Ontario, McKenna attended the University of Toronto and studied French and International Relations. After graduating from the University of Toronto, she filmed a documentary in Asia, "Real Travels: 60 days in Indonesia." McKenna then completed a master's degree in International Relations at the London School of Economics and a law degree at McGill.
While studying at the University of Toronto, McKenna was captain of the national champion varsity swim team. She continues to train and compete with the National Capital YMCA Masters Swim Team.
Career [ edit ] Legal career [ edit ] McKenna is trained as a human rights and social justice lawyer. In 2005, McKenna co-founded Canadian Lawyers Abroad - Avocats canadiens l'(C)tranger (CLA-ACE), now called Level , a University of Ottawa-based charity that helps Canadian law students and law firms do pro bono legal work in developing countries.
McKenna was a senior negotiator with the United Nations peacekeeping mission in East Timor which culminated in the Timor Sea Treaty providing for the joint exploitation of petroleum resources in a part of the Timor Sea. She is also a lecturer at the University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs.
McKenna has practised law at leading firms in Indonesia, focusing on international trade, competition, investment and constitutional issues. In 2002, she joined Stikeman Elliott LLP, working in the areas of competition, trade, and constitutional law. During this time she was senior counsel on the Right Honourable Antonio Lamer's review of Canada's military justice system.
Teaching [ edit ] McKenna has taught at the University of Toronto's Munk School of Global Affairs and was a board member at the Trudeau Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies.
Charity [ edit ] McKenna was, before entering politics, the Executive Director of Level, a charity that she cofounded. Level is described as a catalyst for positive and social change. They believe that uniting the power of people, education and law will lead to a more equitable and just society. McKenna is also known for her Dare to Dream program that mentors and inspires Aboriginal students through justice education and outreach activities by Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal lawyers. The program was piloted in Toronto and has now expanded to Calgary and Ottawa.
Federal politics [ edit ] McKenna on November 4, 2015, shortly before being sworn into cabinet.
In the 2015 federal election, McKenna defeated longtime New Democratic Party (NDP) Member of Parliament (MP) Paul Dewar in the riding of Ottawa Centre. McKenna said that she knocked on 100,000 doors during her 522 days as a candidate. McKenna was elected with 43% of the votes compared to Dewar's 38%. McKenna had campaigned on issues such as reforming the National Capital Commission, funding for a new main branch of the Ottawa Public Library, and opposing the proposed Memorial to the Victims of Communism.
McKenna is one of 50 women elected to the Liberal caucus.
Minister of Environment and Climate Change [ edit ] McKenna was appointed Minister of Environment and Climate Change in Justin Trudeau's first cabinet on November 4, 2015. One of her first appearances as Minister of Environment and Climate Change was at the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris.
In December 2016, McKenna led a clean-technology sector business delegation with Canadian and Chinese companies in China. Additionally, she served as the international executive vice-chair of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development and co-chaired the council's annual general meeting with China's Minister of Environmental Protection, Minister Chen Jining.
McKenna has described her "Climate Change Barbie" label as a sexist insult. The label was coined following media remarks such as ''consider the gendered impacts of climate change on women, girls and children'' and comments confusing carbon dioxide with carbon monoxide. The citizens coining the term judged these comments to be vague and ill informed to the point of fulfilling a sexist barbie stereotype. 
In November 2018, in response to Ontario provincial government 2018 decision to cancel all climate action projects supported through the federal Low Carbon Economy Fund, McKenna announced that the Government of Canada would work directly with businesses to re-invest the $420-million remaining in the province's Low Carbon Economy Fund. 
Personal life [ edit ] Born and raised in Hamilton, Ontario, she is the eldest of four children of Dr. John McKenna, an Irish dentist and his Quebec-born wife Pat McKenna, who still live in the southwest part of Hamilton. On August 14, 1999, McKenna married entrepreneur and writer Scott Gilmore, with whom she has lived since 2002 in The Glebe, Ottawa. They have two daughters and one son. The actor Patrick Gilmore is Catherine's brother-in-law.
[ edit ] McKenna is the past Vice-President of the Glebe Community Association and has served as a board member of the Elizabeth Fry Society of Ottawa and the Good Morning Creative Arts and Preschool.
Electoral record [ edit ] Canadian federal election, 2015: Ottawa Centre PartyCandidateVotes%±%ExpendituresLiberalCatherine McKenna32,11142.66+22.54$192,865.14New DemocraticPaul Dewar29,09838.54''13.62$196,692.80ConservativeDamian Konstantinakos10,94314.49''7.14$74,191.60GreenTom Milroy2,2462.97''2.06$5,564.56LibertarianDean T. Harris5510.73''''RhinocerosConrad Lukawski1670.22''$2.96MarijuanaJohn Andrew Omowole Akpata1600.21''''CommunistStuart Ryan1240.16''''Total valid votes/Expense limit 75,500 100.00 $233,540.54 Total rejected ballots 386 0.51 '' Turnout 75,886 82.82 '' Eligible voters 91,625 Liberal gain from New DemocraticSwing+18.08Source: Elections CanadaReferences [ edit ] ^ a b c "Small NGO, big results". Ottawa Citizen. January 7, 2015 . Retrieved October 31, 2015 . ^ Sibley, Robert (October 20, 2015). "McKenna upsets Dewar in Ottawa Centre". Ottawa Citizen . Retrieved November 4, 2015 . ^ a b c d McKercher, Ian (April 9, 2015). "Catherine McKenna and the future we want for our children". The Glebe Report . Retrieved November 15, 2015 . ^ a b Peters, Ken (November 4, 2015). "Hamilton women who packed some political punch". Hamilton Spectator . Retrieved November 4, 2015 . ^ a b "Catherine McKenna '' Master of Global Affairs". Master of Global Affairs . Retrieved November 16, 2015 . ^ a b c "Biography". catherinemckenna.liberal.ca . Retrieved November 16, 2015 . ^ a b c Wood, Michael (August 15, 2015). "Ottawa Centre profile: Liberal candidate Catherine McKenna". Metro News . Retrieved October 31, 2015 . ^ Taylor-Vaisey, Nick (October 3, 2014). "An escalator pitch from Catherine McKenna on Canada in 2020". Maclean's . Retrieved October 27, 2015 . ^ "Catherine McKenna bio". Government of Canada . Retrieved March 17, 2016 . ^ a b c Toolkit, Web Experience. "The Honourable Catherine McKenna". Prime Minister of Canada . Retrieved November 16, 2015 . ^ Level. "About Level". Level . Retrieved November 16, 2015 . ^ a b Helmer, Aedan (October 20, 2015). "Catherine McKenna scores huge victory in NDP stronghold". Ottawa Sun . Retrieved October 31, 2015 . ^ a b Blanchfield, Mike. "Chief, mayors, refugees: rookie Liberals bring diverse job experience to caucus". www.thecanadianpress.com. Archived from the original on November 17, 2015 . Retrieved November 16, 2015 . ^ "CBC News: Election 2015 roundup". www.cbc.ca . Retrieved November 16, 2015 . ^ "Full list of Justin Trudeau's cabinet". CBC News. ^ "Environment minister looking for 'ambitious' deal at climate summit". CTVNews . Retrieved November 17, 2015 . ^ "Canada's Minister of Environment and Climate Change leads clean-technology business delegation to China and meets with the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development". Canada NewsWire. December 3, 2016 . Retrieved December 7, 2016 . ^ DiManno, Rosie. "On 'Climate Barbie' and the art of the insult". The Star . Retrieved July 5, 2018 . ^ "Catherine McKenna avoids Ont. government, imposes climate change agenda through municipalities, corporations" . Retrieved 2019-02-07 . ^ Canada, Environment and Climate Change; Canada, Environment and Climate Change (2018-11-08). "Government of Canada to support energy efficiency and climate action in Ontario". gcnws . Retrieved 2019-02-07 . ^ Catherine McKenna [@cathmckenna] (October 18, 2015). "Tomorrow's a big day. Thankful that I have my mom & dad in town. I owe so much to them. #RealChangeStartsAtHome #lpc" (Tweet) '' via Twitter. ^ "Voter Information Service - Who are the candidates in my electoral district?". www.elections.ca. ^ Elections Canada '' Preliminary Election Expenses Limits for Candidates Archived August 15, 2015, at the Wayback Machine ^ Canada, (C) 2013 - lections. "R(C)sultats du soir d'(C)lection - Circonscriptions". enr.elections.ca. External links [ edit ] Official Website2015 Campaign website
Protect freedom on radio devices: raise your voice today! | Max's weblog
We are facing a EU regulation which may make it impossible to install a custom piece of software on most radio decives like WiFi routers, smartphones and embedded devices. You can now give feedback on the most problematic part by Monday, 4 March. Please participate '' it's not hard!
In the EU Radio Equipment Directive (2014/53/EU) contains one highly dangerous article will cause many issues if implemented: Article 3(3)(i). It requires hardware manufacturers of most devices sending and receiving radio signals to implement a barrier that disallows installing software which has not been certified by the manufacturer. That means, that for installing an alternative operating system on a router, mobile phone or any other radio-capable device, the manufacturer of this device has to assess its conformity.
[R]adio equipment [shall support] certain features in order to ensure that software can only be loaded into the radio equipment where the compliance of the combination of the radio equipment and software has been demonstrated.
Article 3(3)(i) of the Radio Equipment Directive 2014/53/EUThat flips the responsibility of radio conformity by 180°. In the past, you as the one who changed the software on a device have been responsible to make sure that you don't break any applicable regulations like frequency and signal strength. Now, the manufacturers have to prevent you from doing something wrong (or right?). That further takes away freedom to control our technology. More information here by the FSFE.
The European Commission has installed an Expert Group to come up with a list of classes of devices which are supposed to be affected by the said article. Unfortunately, as it seems, the recommendation by this group is to put highly diffuse device categories like 'Software Defined Radio'' and 'Internet of Things'' under the scope of this regulation.
Get active todayBut there is something you can do! The European Commission has officially opened a feedback period. Everyone, individuals, companies and organisations, can provide statements on their proposed plans. All you need to participate is an EU Login account, and you can hide your name from the public list of received feedback. A summary, the impact assessment, already received feedback, and the actual feedback form is available here.
To help you word your feedback, here's a list of some of the most important disadvantages for user freedom I see (there is a more detailed list by the FSFE):
Free Software: To control technology, you have to be able to control the software. This only is possible with Free and Open Source Software. So if you want to have a transparent and trustworthy device, you need to make the software running on it Free Software. But any device affected by Article 3(3)(i) will only allow the installation of software authorised by the manufacturer. It is unlikely that a manufacturer will certify all the available software for your device which suits your needs. Having these gatekeepers with their particular interests will make using Free Software on radio devices hard.Security: Radio equipment like smartphones, routers, or smart home devices are highly sensitive parts of our lives. Unfortunately, many manufacturers sacrifice security for lower costs. For many devices there is better software which protects data and still offers equal or even better functionality. If such manufacturers do not even care for security, will they even allow running other (Free and Open Source) software on their products?Fair competition: If you don't like a certain product, you can use another one from a different manufacturer. If you don't find any device suiting your requirements, you can (help) establish a new competitor that e.g. enables user freedom. But Article 3(3)(i) favours huge enterprises as it forces companies to install software barriers and do certification of additional software. For example, a small and medium-sized manufacturer of wifi routers cannot certify all available Free Software operating systems. Also, companies bundling their own software with third-party hardware will have a really hard time. On the other hand, large companies which don't want users to use any other software than their own will profit from this threshold.Community services: Volunteer initiatives like Freifunk depend on hardware which they can use with their own software for their charity causes. They were able to create innovative solutions with limited resources.Sustainability: No updates available any more for your smartphone or router? From a security perspective, there are only two options: Flash another firmware which still recieves updates, or throw the whole device away. From an environmental perspective, the first solution is much better obviously. But will manufacturers still certify alternative firmware for devices they want to get rid of? I doubt so'...There will surely be more, so please make your points in your individual feedback. It will send a signal to the European Commission that there are people who care about freedom on radio devices. It's only a few minutes work to avoid legal barriers that will worsen your and others' lives for years.
The Case for Hillary By John C. Dvorak Lots of people say they are not fans of Hillary and it appears that a lot of Democrats do not want to see her run again. She has been black-balled from most polling results, for example, if she even manages to get on a poll. Commentators on the networks constantly refer to her as a flawed candidate. People still say she is unlikeable, not warm. But compared to whom? Trump? Hillary has never said she is taking another bid off the table. Pundits and wishful thinkers are the ones hoping she does not run again. But why not? The Democrats like to point out that the election was stolen by Trump with the aid of the Russians. Is this Russian accusation sincere or not? If it is sincere then Hillary was robbed and should definitely run again. Then there is the popular vote. She won the popular vote. Unfortunately, that vote was concentrated on the coasts instead of spread around the country. This was a function of her campaign. You would hope that she'd upgrade her campaign manger and be more strategic. And, finally, there are the supporters who are still her supporters and there are a lot of them. This all begs the question ''why wouldn't you want her to run again?'' Naysayers like to say she ran twice for President and that is only partly true. She ran once for the nomination and lost to Barrack Obama. She only ran once for the Presidency itself. There have been plenty of people who ran multiple times. But nobody has ever run and lost then run again and won the next year with the possible exception of Grover Cleveland who won in 1892, lost 1888, then won again in 1892. Starting off with a win makes it different. The only guy to lose first then win on the second try was Ricard Nixon who lost to Kennedy in 1960 then, after skipping 1964, Nixon beat Hubert Humphrey in 1968. The Democrats have not tried to run anyone twice since Adlai Stevenson, but he was up against the great war hero Dwight Eisenhower both times. Hillary would be running against Donald Trump who is not an Eisenhower-like figure and is constantly beaten up in the press and by Hollywood. If running the same candidate twice was ever going to work, this is the time. As things stand there are too many mostly off-beat candidates running for the Democrat nomination. Which brings us to the upcoming debates.
When the Republicans had too many candidates in 2015, Trump emerged. He was audacious and this befuddled all the hopefuls. Nobody, except Hilary, appears to have this sort of nerve within the politically-correct Democrats. This weakness invites a boring genteel ''debate'' that will need Hillary. Those in charge of these debates have made it clear that they do not want the humiliation of a children's table, so they will have to come up with a completely new formula if they are going to accommodate dozens of candidates. The latest and supposed final proposal is to pick the top 20 candidates based on polling results combined with the ability to do grassroots fundraising. Then do a two-day debate. The bar for the fundraising requirement is low and gratuitous. To compete in an actual election, you need to do massive fundraising from anywhere you can get the money. Hillary can do both, probably better than anyone other than Bernie. Hillary's entering the race may also force the lesser candidates to drop out and consider 2024 Hillary can skip the first debate and see the trends and possible chaos, then jump in to save the Party. Whatever happens, it's crazy if she doesn't jump in at some point and try to make even more history. --end
Ocasio-Cortez And Her Chief Of Staff 'Could Be Facing Jail Time' If Their Control Over PAC Was Intentionally Hidden, Former FEC Commissioner Says | The Daily Caller
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and a top aide appear to control an outside PAC credited with being the central force behind her June 2018 primary victory. One former Federal Election Commission member thinks there would be a ''serious investigation'' if a complaint were filed, noting that the probe could potentially result in civil penalties or even jail time for Ocasio-Cortez and her chief of staff. A second former commissioner said there were possibly ''multiple violations of federal campaign finance law.'' Justice Democrats ran campaigns for Ocasio-Cortez and 11 other Democrats, but the New York Democrat was the only one to win her general election. Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and her chief of staff Saikat Chakrabarti obtained majority control of Justice Democrats PAC in December 2017, according to archived copies of the group's website, and the two appear to retain their control of the group, according to corporate filings obtained by The Daily Caller News Foundation. If the Federal Election Commission (FEC) finds that the New York Democrat's campaign operated in affiliation with the PAC, which had raised more than $1.8 million before her June 2018 primary, it would open them up to ''massive reporting violations, probably at least some illegal contribution violations exceeding the lawful limits,'' former FEC commissioner Brad Smith said.
Ocasio-Cortez never disclosed to the FEC that she and Chakrabarti, who served as her campaign chair, controlled the PAC while it was simultaneously supporting her primary campaign, and former FEC commissioners say the arrangement could lead to multiple campaign finance violations. The group backed 12 Democrats during the 2018 midterms, but Ocasio-Cortez was the only one of those to win her general election.
''If the facts as alleged are true, and a candidate had control over a PAC that was working to get that candidate elected, then that candidate is potentially in very big trouble and may have engaged in multiple violations of federal campaign finance law, including receiving excessive contributions,'' former Republican FEC commissioner Hans von Spakovsky told The Daily Caller News Foundation.
And fellow former FEC commissioner Brad Smith told TheDCNF that if ''a complaint were filed, I would think it would trigger a serious investigation.'' He also noted that such a probe could potentially result in jail time for Ocasio-Cortez and her chief of staff, Chakrabarti.
Republican election attorney Charlie Spies told TheDCNF: ''It looks like the campaign and PAC are under common control and the PAC was funding campaign staff and activities as an alter-ego of the campaign committee, which would be a blatant abuse of the PAC rules.''
Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti could face prison if the FEC determines that they knowingly and willfully withheld their ties between the campaign and the political action committee from the FEC to bypass campaign contribution limits, according to Smith.
''At minimum, there's a lot of smoke there, and if there are really only three board members and she and [Chakrabarti] are two of them, sure looks like you can see the blaze,'' Smith, a Republican, told TheDCNF. ''I don't really see any way out of it.''
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez listens as Michael Cohen testifies. (MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)
Justice Democrats stated on its website from December 2017 until two weeks after Ocasio-Cortez's June 2018 primary victory that she and Chakrabarti held ''legal control'' of the PAC, and corporate filings obtained by TheDCNF show that the two still serve on the three-member board of Justice Democrats on paper.
Political committees are affiliated if they are ''established, financed, maintained or controlled by '... the same person or group of persons,'' federal election law states.
Justice Democrats' website on March 23, 2018. (Screenshot/Wayback Machine)
Smith said: ''The admission makes it open and shut if someone wants to file a complaint with the FEC. I don't see how the FEC could not investigate that. We've even got their own statement on their website that they control the organization. I don't see how you could avoid an investigation on that.''
And if the FEC concludes that Ocasio-Cortez's campaign and Justice Democrats were operating as affiliated committees, ''then anyone who contributed over $2,700 total to her campaign and the PAC would have made an excessive contribution,'' which is a campaign finance violation, Smith told TheDCNF.
Ocasio-Cortez's campaign and Justice Democrats raised a combined $4.6 million during the 2018 midterm election cycle, FEC records show. There's a maximum five-year prison sentence for anyone who knowingly and willfully receives a collective $25,000 or more in excessive campaign contributions in a single calendar year.
Justice Democrats raked in far more than $25,000 from individual contributors of over $2,700 after Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti took control, according to FEC records.
''If this were determined to be knowing and willful, they could be facing jail time,'' Smith told TheDCNF. ''Even if it's not knowing and willful, it would be a clear civil violation of the act, which would require disgorgement of the contributions and civil penalties. I think they've got some real issues here.''
Spies, who served as legal counsel for Mitt Romney's 2008 presidential campaign, said: ''There are a bunch of well-funded groups on the left that file complaints on much thinner grounds than this against conservatives and Republican candidates. I hope that these so-called non-partisan groups file complaints and treat this with the same urgency that they would if it were a conservative candidate.''
Justice Democrats Went All In On Ocasio-Cortez's Primary CampaignOcasio-Cortez credits Justice Democrats for recruiting her to run for Congress in May 2017. She tweeted that the group got her campaign up and running by helping ''with all that stuff a normal person would need (what forms to fill out? etc).''
Ocasio-Cortez paid a combined $27,293 to Justice Democrats and to what was effectively its predecessor, Brand New Congress LLC, for administrative, staffing and overhead services from the time she declared her candidacy to her shock primary victory, according to FEC records. Ocasio-Cortez only began paying her staffers directly through her campaign beginning in March 2018, according to her campaign reports. (RELATED: Ocasio-Cortez Campaign Slapped With A Fine For Not Providing Proper Workers' Comp)
Justice Democrats supported Ocasio-Cortez throughout her entire primary run. The group, which Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti appear to have legally controlled for much of her campaign, had raised more than $1.8 million by the time she ousted incumbent Democrat Joe Crowley.
Ocasio-Cortez was the only Justice Democrats-sponsored candidate to win her general election. She was also the only Justice Democrats-sponsored candidate to hold legal control of the PAC.
The other 11 candidates propped up by Justice Democrats lost their respective races, according to The New York Times.
Justice Democrats staffers said there were discussions to go all in for Ocasio-Cortez as early as June 2017.
Last year, when @_waleedshahid and I were at @justicedems, we lead a process to name our 2018 goals.
Goal number 1: to defeat at least one prominent establishment Democrat with a JD recruited candidate. Everyone agreed @Ocasio2018 was our best shot.
'-- No More Billionaires 2020???? (@maxberger) July 4, 2018
Justice Democrats' goal was for one of its sponsored candidates to defeat the incumbent, co-founder Corbin Trent told The Washington Post in June 2018, and former Justice Democrats staffer Max Berger tweeted that they established that goal in 2017.
But the PAC was advertising that it sought to replace numerous Democratic members of Congress with progressives.
Ocasio-Cortez And Chakrabarti Obtained Legal Control Of Justice DemocratsOcasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti, who served in multiple leadership roles within her campaign including campaign manager, were serving on the board of the Justice Democrats as early as Dec. 2, 2017, according to an archived copy of the PAC's website.
Justice Democrats' board of directors on Dec 2, 2017. (Screenshot/Wayback Machine)
Cenk Uygur and Kyle Kulinski of The Young Turks network were also on PAC's board in early December 2017, but Uygur was forced out of the organization Dec. 22, 2017, after what Chakrabarti called ''extremely disturbing sexist and racist statements'' Uygur made in the early 2000s were unearthed.
We are deeply disturbed by recent news regarding @cenkuygur & David Koller. Their language and conduct is horrifying and does not reflect our values at Justice Democrats. We would be hypocrites to not act immediately and ask for their resignation. Here is our official statement: pic.twitter.com/WYqawLtuGo
'-- Justice Democrats (@justicedems) December 22, 2017
Kulinski announced on YouTube the following day that he was resigning from Justice Democrats due to the PAC's ''venomous'' Twitter statement urging Uygur's resignation. Kulinski said he had ''strong disagreements with the staff'' of Justice Democrats, but added that the PAC's candidates had ''nothing to do with this.''
Board members Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti were left in control over Justice Democrats after Uygur and Kulinski's departures, according to an archived version of its website saved on March 23, 2018, by the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine.
''Justice Democrats PAC has a board consisting of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Saikat Chakrabarti that has legal control over the entity,'' the Justice Democrats website read that day.
Justice Democrats then reported that Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti were ''governors'' of the organization in a document submitted to the Washington, D.C. Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs on March 28, 2018. A third listed governor was the PAC's treasurer, Nasim Thompson.
Justice Democrats' two-year report submitted to the Washington, D.C. D.C. Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs on March 28, 2018. (Department of Consumer & Regulatory Affairs)
A governor of an organization incorporated in D.C. is any person ''under whose authority the powers of an entity are exercised and under whose direction the activities and affairs of the entity are managed,'' according to the D.C. Law Library.
The Justice Democrats' website continued to state that Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti held ''legal control over the entity'' for weeks after Ocasio-Cortez's shock primary victory over Crowley on June 26, according to a July 10, 2018 archive of its website.
The Justice Democrats' website currently states that Alexandra Rojas and Thompson hold legal control of the organization, but the PAC hasn't filed documents to Washington, D.C. where it's incorporated reflecting the change, meaning that Ocasio-Cortez and Chakrabarti currently retain majority control of Justice Democrats on paper.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Saikat Chakrabarti listed as governors of Justice Democrats on March 4, 2019, at 12:17 pm. (Screenshot/DCRA)
Politico reported Jan. 16 that Chakrabarti resigned from the board, and Justice Democrat's website no longer listed Ocasio-Cortez as a board member as of Aug. 8, 2018. TheDCNF received the corporation filing document still showing both as governors on Feb. 25. The D.C. government website showed the same as of Monday afternoon.
Ocasio-Cortez's office and Justice Democrats did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Follow Andrew on Twitter. Contact Andrew securely at AndrewKerrNC@protonmail.com
Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact email@example.com.
Age of the autosexual: the people sexually attracted to themselves | Society | The Guardian
Are you turned on when you look in the mirror, and enjoy nothing more than a steamy night at home alone? You could be an autosexual
Lots of people are saying 'I do' to themselves in special ceremonies.Photograph: Igor Ustynskyy/Getty ImagesName: Autosexuality.
Age: Exactly as old as I am.
Appearance: Beautiful, fun, charming, attractive, sexy. Like me.
If you don't mind me saying so, you seem pretty pleased with yourself. Yes, I am, thanks.
It's like you think you're all that. I certainly do.
Wow. You're really quite full of yourself, aren't you? I wish.
Look, I'm trying to insult you. Will you please just act wounded? No can do. I'm too happy.
Why? Because I'm head over heels in love.
With whom? With me.
Wait. Who's in love with you? I am.
What? My orientation happens to be autosexual.
What do you mean? Like a sexy robot? No, not like a sexy robot.
Or does it mean you get aroused by cars, like Jeremy Clarkson? It means that I am sexually attracted to myself.
How does that even work? Well, I usually start by lighting a few candles and checking I've got fresh batteries. Then '...
Stop. If you're talking about masturbation, everybody does that. I hear. Autosexuality is different from autoeroticism. It's more about masturbating to the idea of yourself.
I'm afraid the distinction is lost on me. You might, for example, be turned on by your own nudity. In my case I'm also autoromantic '' I literally love myself.
What are you talking about? I mean I get butterflies in my stomach when I think about me.
No you don't. Yes I do. I go on dates with myself and buy myself romantic gifts.
If you love yourself so much, why don't you marry yourself? I may. The writer Ghia Vitale got engaged to herself in 2017, and plans a self-wedding at some point.
What's stopping her? Cold feet? She's just taking things slowly. ''Although I will one day be my own wife, I am enjoying the feeling of being engaged.''
You are so having me on. I'm not, honestly. Sologamy is a real and growing phenomenon. Lots of people are saying ''I do'' to themselves in special ceremonies these days, although it is not legally recognised anywhere in the world.
Are you sure this isn't more to do with the lonely resignation of people who can't have relationships with others? Not all autosexual romances are monogamous, even if they are central to one's love life. ''I now realise that my relationship with myself is as valid as any other relationship,'' says Vitale.
Do say: ''Who's the pretty girl in the mirror over there?''
Don't say: ''Look, this just isn't working. It's not me, it's me.''
Fresh court battle could expose more details in Acosta's controversial Epstein plea deal - POLITICO
Any new disclosures about the case could fuel the furor surrounding Labor Secretary Alex Acosta, who has defended his decision to approve the unusual federal non-prosecution agreement that was part of the Jeffrey Epstein deal. | Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
NEW YORK '-- A federal appeals court panel signaled Wednesday that it is strongly inclined to set in motion a process likely to expose more sordid details in the politically charged scandal surrounding Jeffrey Epstein, the wealthy financier and philanthropist whose relatively cushy plea deal on underage-sex charges a decade ago has become a political liability for Labor Secretary Alex Acosta.
Sparks flew during arguments before the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan as a lawyer for Virginia Roberts Giuffre, an Epstein accuser, repeatedly reiterated his client's claim leveled several years ago that the Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz not only defended Epstein but also had sex with some of the women Epstein victimized.
Story Continued Below
Giuffre's attorney Paul Cassell, a former federal judge, told the three-judge panel that his client favored a ''broad unsealing'' of the records in a suit that Giuffre brought against Ghislaine Maxwell, an Epstein friend accused of helping procure girls for Epstein and others to engage in sexual activity.
''It will demonstrate Epstein and Maxwell sexually trafficked her to Epstein's friends, including Alan Dershowitz,'' Cassell told the court. ''She wants all the documents unsealed substantively.''
The claim raised tension in the courtroom because Dershowitz, who adamantly denies the allegation, was sitting just feet away in the courtroom gallery. He rose a short time later to pass a note to his attorney and later took up a seat in the well of the courtroom.
''Are you saying Mr. Dershowitz [came up] in other documents?'' Judge Rosemary Pooler asked at one point.
''Absolutely, absolutely,'' Cassell replied.
Dershowitz's attorney Andrew Celli pleaded with the court to ''immediately'' release three documents that he contends will demonstrate that Giuffre is lying about having had sex with Dershowitz.
''He has been pilloried in public discourse on this issue, falsely,'' Celli told the judges. ''His reputation has been besmirched. '... We don't object to any document being released. We just want our [requested documents] released immediately.''
The showdown at the appeals court Wednesday centered on records amassed as part of the civil suit Giuffre brought against Maxwell over her alleged involvement in Epstein's practice of hiring teenage girls to give him ''massages'' that often included sexual acts. Maxwell was not at the hearing and wound up settling the lawsuit, but her attorney denied her involvement in such activity.
There was only passing mention of Acosta, who was the U.S. attorney for South Florida in 2008, when federal prosecutors there struck a deal with Epstein that ruled out federal charges and led to the investment manager's pleading guilty to two felony charges in state court. Criticism of Acosta's role intensified in recent months, following a Miami Herald series about Epstein and a judge's ruling last month that he and other prosecutors violated federal law by failing to consult with Epstein's victims before agreeing to the deal.
Accusations against Alan Dershowitz created a stir in Wednesday's hearing before the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan and left Dershowitz infuriated. | John Lamparski/Getty Images for Hulu
Despite the fireworks over Dershowitz's alleged role, most of the lawyers who appeared Wednesday were actually in agreement that a federal judge should unseal much of the information that lawyers filed in court while preparing for the trial that never happened in Giuffre's suit.
Maxwell's attorney, Ty Gee, appeared to be the odd man out, arguing that there was no reason to disturb U.S. District Court Judge Robert Sweet's decision refusing to unseal the filings.
Gee's contention that it would indordinately time-consuming for Sweet to go through the sealed documents one-by-one didn't fly with the appeals judges either.
''This panel of three former district judges '-- we have some familiarity with how to cut to the chase in these matters,'' Judge Jose Cabranes said.Later, when Gee asserted that nothing more in the case was appropriate to unseal, Cabranes seemed incredulous.
''You can't possibly be serious?'' the judge asked.
''I am, your honor,'' Gee replied.
While no ruling was issued Wednesday, all the appeals judges considering the issue appeared to have concluded that Sweet's decision was too sweeping and failed to make the document-by-document determination about what details were too sensitive to reveal and what the public is entitled to know.
While Dershowitz served as an attorney for Epstein during negotiations over the plea deal a decade ago, the 80-year-old Harvard professor emeritus said after the hearing that he's now acting on his own to defend his name.
The bitterness surrounding the case was on display in awkward body language seen playing out even before the arguments began. When Cassell left the courtroom briefly as Dershowitz was entering, the former federal judge and attorney for Epstein's accusers stepped aside to avoid coming face to face with Dershowitz.
And while Dershowitz greeted various observers and journalists, he rebuffed a handshake offered by Miami Herald reporter Julie Brown, whose series on the handling of Epstein's prosecution recently won a prestigious George Polk Award.
In addition to Giuffre, a court transcript released Nov. 7 shows that another Epstein accuser, Sarah Ransome, alleged she was directed to have sex with the Harvard professor, who socialized with Epstein before becoming his lawyer.
Dershowitz says records produced during the civil litigation '-- but still under seal '-- will show both women to be serial fabricators who have repeatedly lied about him and others and whose stories are often so outlandish that they cannot possibly be true.
''I categorically and unequivocally deny it all,'' Dershowitz said in an interview Tuesday. ''I have volunteered to testify '... to prove in court that they were perjurers.''
Dershowitz is still fuming that Giuffre's lawyers included her allegation against him in a court filing in 2014 that was first discovered and published by POLITICO. He retained former FBI Director Louis Freeh to investigate the claims. Freeh said evidence ''directly contradicted'' several of the accusations against him.
Dershowitz sued two of Giuffre's attorneys, Cassell and Florida lawyer Bradley Edwards, for airing the allegation. The case was later settled out of court, with Giuffre's attorneys admitting it was ''a tactical mistake'' to raise the claim as they did, but insisting that Giuffre was not backing down from her story.
After the hearing concluded, a visibly angry Dershowitz called for Giuffre and her attorneys to be investigated by federal authorities.
''I think the federal government should open up a criminal investigation of [Giuffre] and her lawyers,'' Dershowitz said. ''I will be able to prove conclusively that she committed perjury'...One of us is committing perjury. The one who's committed perjury should not be walking the streets.''
Dershowitz said Giuffre's allegations are not only damaging him, but others with legitimate claims of sexual assault or harassment. ''She is hurting the #metoo movement terribly,'' he said.
Another curious player in the saga is alt-right author and blogger Mike Cernovich, who moved to unseal records in the Epstein case in January 2017, prior to Dershowitz's demand. Cernovich drew attention for propagating Pizzagate, an unfounded conspiracy theory claiming sex abuse by Hillary Clinton allies at a Washington pizza restaurant. He has said that he mentioned the issue on only a few occasions and that it was part of a broader concern about underage-sex cases being covered up by political elites.
Cernovich said that when he began digging into Giuffre's suit he was astonished by the scope of the secrecy the judge had permitted, with large swaths of court filings blacked out.
Cernovich attorney Marc Randazza showed the court portions of documents from the case that were largely or entirely redacted.
''It's just pages and pages of black,'' Randazza said.
Cernovich's role in the case added a wild card of sorts to the arguments Wednesday.
Another curious player in the saga is alt-right author and blogger Mike Cernovich. | Susan Walsh/AP Photo
Giuffre's lawyer Cassell blasted the blogger and men's rights advocate as an avowed ''slut-shamer'' acting as a straw man for Dershowitz, something the Harvard professor and his attorney vehemently denied.
''He's not part of the slut-shaming cabal?'' Pooler quipped about Dershowitz.
''He's not part of the slut-shaming cabal,'' Celli assured the court.
That prompted Cabranes to note that Dershowitz and Giuffre both now seem content to have the record of the case opened up.
''You appear to be on all fours with Mr. Dershowitz,'' the judge said.
Pooler asked if Cernovich's call for unsealing was undercut by him not being a ''recognized journalist.''
''The fact he doesn't write for the Miami Herald or the New York Times makes him no less a journalist,'' Randazza replied.
When Pooler pressed on whether Cernovich needed to pass some ''credibility'' test to pursue the documents, Randazza said that would be improper and could sweep more broadly than intended.
''That might be a good thing, but the New York Times would probably fail that,'' he said.
The Miami Herald entered the fray last April, filing a similar request to unseal everything filed in the Giuffre case.
Sweet, who oversaw the case, denied all of the unsealing requests. He said parties submitted and exchanged information in the cases on the understanding that certain materials would remain confidential. He also said the subject matter of the suit '-- allegations of sexual abuse of minors '-- was particularly sensitive and merited particular protection.
A lawyer for the Miami Herald, Sanford Bohrer, swung for the fences Wednesday, urging the court not only to order a new review of the sealed records but to allow Bohrer in the room as a judge, magistrate or court-appointed special master considers what to make public. Gee said there is no precedent for that in the 2nd Circuit.
It was unclear whether the judges were willing to go that far or whether they will return the case to Sweet or direct it to another judge.
Giuffre's attorneys initially opposed a more limited unsealing sought by Cernovich and Dershowitz, but now say they favor a broad unsealing of the records.
Any new disclosures about the case could fuel the furor surrounding Acosta, who has defended his decision to approve the unusual federal non-prosecution agreement that was part of the Epstein deal.
Acosta has said the arrangement was an appropriate resolution given the evidence available at the time, but he previously said prosecutors were under unusual pressure from the high-powered defense team and he expressed dismay at aspects of the punishment Epstein ultimately received: 13 months in jail, much of it on work release where he spent days at his Palm Beach office.
''At the end of the day, based on the evidence, professionals within a prosecutor's office decided that a plea that guarantees someone goes to jail, that guarantees he register generally [as a sex offender] and guarantees other outcomes, is a good thing,'' Acosta said during his 2017 confirmation hearing for the Labor Department post.
At that hearing, Acosta chalked up some concerns about his office's handling of the case to evolving views about the public's right to information on the inner workings of offices like his.
''Something that I think has changed over time is trust of government,'' Acosta said. ''There was a time when keeping something confidential was less of an issue, but the public expectation today is that things be very public.''
After the court ruling last month finding that federal prosecutors violated the rights of victims in the case, a White House spokeswoman said officials were ''looking into'' Acosta's role. President Donald Trump, however, seemed to downplay the episode.
''I really don't know too much about it,'' Trump told reporters. ''I know he's done a great job as Labor secretary. And that seems like a long time ago.''
About 20 Democratic lawmakers have called for Acosta's resignation, saying Acosta's involvement in what they view as a sweetheart deal for Epstein makes Acosta unsuitable for a Cabinet post.
The Justice Department's Office of Professional Responsibility has also opened an investigation into the matter.
Whether Epstein faces further legal jeopardy is unclear. The judge in Florida has not yet decided what action, if any, should be taken because of the breach of the victims' rights. Their attorneys, who say there are dozens of women Epstein victimized at his Palm Beach home and at the private Caribbean island he owns, are asking for Epstein's plea deal to be set aside.
However, it's uncertain whether federal prosecutors would try to bring a case even if they were no longer bound by the decade-old pact. In a letter to The New York Times this week, Epstein's lawyers defended the deal and argued that it would be a mistake to set it aside.
''The case lacked the credible and compelling proof that is required by federal criminal statutes,'' former Whitewater independent counsel Kenneth Starr and other attorneys wrote.
''The number of young women involved in the investigation has been vastly exaggerated, there was no 'international sex-trafficking operation' and there was never evidence that Mr. Epstein 'hosted sex parties' at his home,'' the defense lawyers said. ''Mr. Epstein has gone to prison and made enormous monetary settlements relying on his negotiated agreement. He is entitled to finality like every other defendant.''
No one currently representing Epstein presented arguments at Wednesday's court session.
Cabranes and Pooler are appointees of President Bill Clinton. The third judge on the panel, Christopher Droney, was appointed by President Barack Obama.
Sweet, the judge who handled the case, is 96 years old and was appointed by President Jimmy Carter.
Missing out on the latest scoops? Sign up for POLITICO Playbook and get the latest news, every morning '-- in your inbox.
The Mueller report no one's talking about - POLITICO
Justice Department rules require an accounting of any time supervisors told the special counsel ''no'' during his work.
Most people don't know it, but there's another Mueller report coming.
Around the same time the special counsel sends his Russia investigation findings to the Justice Department, Attorney General William Barr must give Congress an account of every instance where Robert Mueller's supervisors told him ''no'' during the course of his work.
Story Continued Below
The reporting requirement is tucked into the department regulations that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein used when he appointed Mueller. No matter what the memo says, it's expected to be one of the few items on a fast track for being made public that will be closely scrutinized for insights into the inner workings of the special counsel's tight-lipped investigation.
Barr's report could very well end up being blank, which itself would be a telling reveal that gives President Donald Trump and the leaders of the Justice Department he appointed tangible proof that the special counsel was allowed to carry out his investigation without interference.
By contrast, a report that includes explosive revelations detailing instances in which Mueller clashed with his department supervisors '-- say, over a subpoena for the president or an indictment against a top Trump aide or family member '-- would open a road map for Democratic lawmakers who have already begun their own investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 elections, as well as the president's conduct since taking office.
''Either way, it's significant,'' said Sol Wisenberg, a former deputy on independent counsel Kenneth Starr's investigation of President Bill Clinton. ''Assuming Mueller doesn't indict anybody else, Trump will be able to say this guy wasn't kept at all from going anywhere he wanted to go. So I think that's a big deal.''
''On the other hand,'' Wisenberg added, ''if he was kept from going somewhere, that's a big deal too. The Democrats will make a big deal about that. I think it's important either way.''
Mueller has not been subject to daily supervision since he took the job in May 2017 '-- though he hasn't had total freedom, either. The special counsel answers to a small group of Trump-appointed Justice officials, led first by Rosenstein, then acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker and, most recently, Barr.
Each of Mueller's bosses had the authority to say no to the special counsel on any of his investigative or prosecutorial steps if they determined such a move was ''so inappropriate or unwarranted'' that it crossed ''established departmental practices,'' according to the regulations. But under those rules, they also were required to give the special counsel's views ''great weight'' whenever there was a disagreement.
As a backstop, any and all instances in which Mueller's supervisor rejected a proposed action must be compiled into an explanatory report delivered to the Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and Senate judiciary committees when the special counsel closes up shop.
In interviews with more than a dozen lawmakers, as well as attorneys who have worked on the Russia investigation and other legal experts, the majority view is that the report about any disputes could be all but blank '-- indicating that none of Mueller's moves was denied by his superiors.
''We'll see, but I bet you there are none,'' Ty Cobb, a former Trump White House attorney, said.
On Capitol Hill, many lawmakers said they had no idea that they were set to receive such a report from the Justice Department '-- but not for lack of interest in its findings.
Democrats said they were particularly curious to see whether there's anything in the other Mueller report that homes in on presidential interference in the special counsel's work '-- considering Trump's repeated criticisms of the Justice Department leadership, call to fire Mueller and decision to appoint Whitaker, who was a vocal critic of the investigation, after he fired Attorney General Jeff Sessions in November.
''My sense is that Rosenstein and the Department of Justice have given Mueller wide latitude,'' said Rep. Gerry Connolly of Virginia, a senior Democratic member of the House Oversight Committee. ''That's just an impression. I don't know that for a fact. And I'll be surprised if I learn otherwise.''
Republicans say they'll be looking to the final report about any Mueller rejections for a better understanding of how Justice Department leaders dealt with the scope of the special counsel's investigation. Set up to examine Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, Mueller's inquiry has covered a wide range of Trump associates who had contact with Russian operatives, as well as allegations of presidential obstruction of justice.
''It will be interesting to see if he got outside the scope,'' Rep. Doug Collins of Georgia, the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee, said in an interview. ''Remember, he was under a scope. He wasn't free to just go willy-nilly wherever he wants. So that's what we'll see '-- if it was a scope issue.''
While there is less concern that Rosenstein interfered improperly in the investigation, given that he first appointed Mueller, Democrats have directly questioned whether Whitaker took any actions on behalf of the president to suppress Mueller's investigative track. Whitaker himself could come away vindicated when the special counsel completes his work if there's nothing to report, which would line up with recent congressional testimony he gave in which he denied taking such actions.
''There's been no event, no decision that has required me to take any action,'' Whitaker told the House Judiciary Committee last month before Barr took over. ''I've not interfered in any way with the special counsel's investigation.''
The report describing any instances in which Mueller didn't get Justice Department approval could become even more significant if Barr were to refrain from releasing much in the way of details about the special counsel's overall investigation.
The top Republicans and Democrats on the House and Senate judiciary committees will be the first members of Congress to be notified when Mueller's work is done, but all the special counsel himself is required to do under department regulations is give a confidential report to Barr detailing whom he has prosecuted and whom he declined to bring charges against. It's then up to the attorney general to make anything from Mueller's work public, and the most Barr has said on the topic is a vow during his Senate confirmation hearing to release a summary document.
House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler, meanwhile, has threatened to issue a subpoena for the special counsel's full report. The only acceptable redactions, the New York Democrat told POLITICO, are the most sensitive Justice Department ''sources and methods, and certain grand jury information that's secret by law.''
Rosenstein has also set off alarm bells about what will be released from the Mueller investigation. During a speech last week in Washington, the outgoing deputy attorney general suggested that the department wouldn't make public information about someone who isn't being charged with a crime '-- a suggestion that many lawmakers interpreted as meaning that Trump himself could escape further congressional scrutiny, including an impeachment proceeding.
''If we aren't prepared to prove our case beyond a reasonable doubt in court, then we have no business making allegations against American citizens,'' Rosenstein told an audience at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. ''I know there's a tension there.''
Democrats have argued that Congress should be able to view all of that information about Trump to determine whether impeachment is necessary, given that Justice Department policy states that a sitting president cannot be indicted.
''There's a lot of fear around the notion that the DOJ doesn't release information unless they do an indictment, and the DOJ also believes that the president can't be indicted,'' Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.), a member of the Intelligence panel, said in an interview. ''That is a logical tautology that would suggest nothing need be conveyed to Congress.''
A Mueller spokesman declined to comment for this article. The Justice Department did not respond to a request for comment.
According to several legal experts and lawmakers, the requirement that Barr disclose any disagreements between Mueller and his department supervisors may have helped to keep Trump and Justice leaders from meddling with the special counsel or rejecting his moves outright.
''If you know that on the back end you're going to have to justify yourself to Congress, it has a good deterrent effect of preventing anyone from maybe squashing something the special counsel wanted to do,'' said Matthew Axelrod, a former senior official at the Justice Department during the Obama administration.
''If we aren't prepared to prove our case beyond a reasonable doubt in court, then we have no business making allegations against American citizens,'' said Rod Rosenstein. | Getty Images
For Rosenstein, a blank report would also back up the notion that he did not get entangled in the day-to-day operations of the investigation '-- something several former Justice Department officials said wouldn't surprise them.
''I doubt that he exercised the kind of supervision that a supervisor of a line attorney would,'' said William Moschella, the former head of the department's legislative affairs office during the George W. Bush administration. He added that he didn't think Rosenstein was ''litigating this subpoena versus that subpoena, or this interview versus that interview.''
James Trusty, a former Justice official who is friends with Rosenstein, said he thinks that the Mueller-Rosenstein relationship has always been on solid footing and that any disagreements were probably resolved without triggering the reporting requirements.
''There may be differences between the special counsel and DOJ management from time to time, but unless it became a line in the sand on behalf of Mueller, I don't think it's going to make its way into this report,'' Trusty said.
The Mueller inquiry and all of its different reporting requirements are on track to land amid a deeply partisan atmosphere on Capitol Hill, in which all sides are expected to interpret the results in whatever way benefits their political interests.
It will also set up an institutional clash between two branches of government: a Trump-led Justice Department that's trying to adhere to its own internal regulations and oversight-hungry lawmakers.
''This isn't the first time those two institutional forces end up in tension with one another,'' Axelrod, the Obama-era official, said. ''It's just this one, because of the stakes and because of the profile, are going to really shine a spotlight on how that accommodation process works.''
He added that Barr's disclosure of instances in which the Justice Department turned down Mueller, if there are any, would be one in a sequence of events that is part of a protracted back-and-forth about what's appropriate to share with lawmakers.
''This is the tail of what is likely to be a very significant and large dog,'' Axelrod said. ''Yes, it's something of interest. '... But to me, that's dwarfed in comparison and size to what's in the actual meat of the report itself.''
Missing out on the latest scoops? Sign up for POLITICO Playbook and get the latest news, every morning '-- in your inbox.
Essex and Glasgow universities are evacuated after suspicious packages are found | Daily Mail Online
Police have linked a suspicious package discovered at the University of Glasgow this morning to the parcel bombs sent to London transport hubs yesterday.
Detectives have made the connection after part of the Scottish campus was shut down and evacuated today while a controlled explosion took place.
Buildings at the University of Essex were also cleared today after a suspicious package arrived, although it was later found to be harmless.
Police Scotland now believe the Glasgow package was linked to the improvised explosives, seemingly sent from Ireland in A4 jiffy bags, which caused a terror scare at Heathrow Airport, London City Airport and Waterloo station on Tuesday.
Students have been evacuated from the University of Glasgow after a 'suspicious package' was discovered in the mailroom
Hundreds of people outside a university building at Essex amid the security alert today
Buildings at the University of Essex were cleared this morning at 11.50am and hundreds of students gathered outside
A member of the bomb squad in body armour is pictured outside the University of Glasgow this afternoon
Police Scotland officer Steve Johnson said: 'There are similarities in the package, its markings and the type of device that was recovered in Glasgow to those in London.
'Therefore, we are now treating it as being linked to the three packages being investigated by the Met in London and both investigations are being run in tandem.'
He added: 'Our enquiries into the Glasgow package are at an early stage but there is no ongoing risk to the public.
'The package in Glasgow was identified by alert staff at the university mailroom who had received protective security information advising them to be vigilant and to report suspicious packages.'
The Metropolitan Police said the latest package contained a 'similar-type device' to those at London's major transport terminals on Tuesday.
The scare in Glasgow began this morning when students were ordered to move away from a campus building after a suspicious package was found in the post room.
One student said: 'Just been evacuated from the med school due to a suspicious package getting told to move to byres road, loads of police, fire engines and all cordoned off now!'
She added: 'Scary stuff, guy just came shouting we needed to evacuate as suspicious package found then the police were shouting at us to move away from the building!!'
Roads around the university were cordoned off by police and buildings including an Officer Training Corps centre were shut down.
The device was blown up in a controlled explosion on Wednesday afternoon after bomb disposal experts were sent to the campus.
The package was not opened and no-one was injured, Police Scotland said.
'Police Scotland officers investigating a suspicious package sent to the University of Glasgow today (6 March) have now linked the incident with a similar investigation being carried out by the Metropolitan Police Service into three small improvised explosive devices sent to addresses in London on Tuesday,' they said tonight.
Essex Police said in a statement that they were called at 11.50am. The force said: As a precaution we have put a 100m cordon in place and have evacuated a section of the university and some nearby buildings'
Police officers have cordoned off roads outside the University of Glasgow
Police have cordoned off roads in the area and fire fighters were also called to the scene
The bomb squad was also called to Colchester after Essex Police received a call about a suspect package at the university.
Police put a cordon in place and cleared out part of the university amid fears of another explosive device.
University chiefs sent for the Ministry of Defence's bomb disposal squad, but later said the package 'posed no risk to the public'.
In Edinburgh, workers at the RBS building in Gogarburn were also evacuated after another suspicious item was found but it proved to be a false alarm.
A spokesman for Police Scotland's Edinburgh division said: 'Police were called to the Royal Bank of Scotland premises on Glasgow Road following a report of a suspicious package inside the building.
'The incident was reported to police at 10.45am on Wednesday and an area of the building has been evacuated as a precaution.'
There was also a brief alert at Westminster as police warned peers and members of the public to avoid the House of Lords because of an unknown item.
The scare at Parliament was over within five minutes as police said they were 'happy to update the item found was non-suspicious'.
Photographs taken at the scene show roads and areas cordoned off outside the university in Glasgow
The university's Boyd Orr Building, the mailroom, the OTC (Officer Training Corps), Wolfson Medical Building, Bower Building, Isabella Elder Building, James McCune Smith Learning Hub site and the Joseph Black Building have all been closed
Another image posted on social media shows a police cordon at the university in Colchester, Essex
Workers at the RBS building (pictured) in Gogarburn in Edinburgh were evacuated at around the same time as students were ushered out of the university. It was later ruled to be a false alarm
Police say explosive devices capable to starting a small fire were sent to Heathrow, London City Airport and Waterloo railway station police have confirmed
An image released today by the Metropolitan Police show the package sent to City Airport yesterday
Pictures shared online show the crude devices packed in envelopes reading simply 'Heathrow' and 'London Waterloo'
Counter terror police are probing possible links to the New IRA over the firebomb plot which saw three improvised explosive devices sent to Heathrow Airport, City Airport and Waterloo.
Searches are ongoing to locate any other similar packages that may have been sent but not yet identified as Scotland Yard circulated two images of the devices to sorting offices and transport workers.
The Met Police, who are investigating the three 'linked' firebombs sent from addresses in Dublin alongside police in Ireland, told staff to 'be vigilant and report suspicious packages to the police.'
The latest parcel bombs risk provoking anti-Irish sentiment in the UK at a highly sensitive time during the negotiations on the border.
It comes as extra 300 officers will be drafted in to Northern Ireland over the coming months to deal with the threat of violence around Brexit.
Intelligence sources in Ireland have been claiming for months that terrorist action may be ramped up to exploit opportunities from Brexit, particularly if it resulted in a hard border which could come into effect after a no-deal withdrawal.
The police cordon at Waterloo Station where the suspicious package was found yesterday afternoon
Security alert: Two police vehicles and several officers at the scene at London Waterloo station on Tuesday after one of the explosives was found at the country's busiest rail terminal
The New IRA, who were behind the Londonderry car bomb in January, also admitted responsibility for a spate of letter bombs sent to British Army recruitment centres in 2014.
Ireland's Gardai police force is assisting the Metropolitan Police with their investigation into Tuesday's parcel bomb plot.
Security sources said there were 'multiple possibilities' for the motive behind the attack, including 'mental health, general protest, grudges' but they have not ruled out dissident republican terrorists.
It comes just months after Police Service of Northern Ireland Chief Constable George Hamilton welcomed the announcement the force was receiving £16million in additional funding which would allow for an extra 308 officer and staff by April 2020.
He had warned that the return of infrastructure to the Irish border could make border posts a target for dissident republican violence.
PSNI chief George Hamilton has warned that the return of infrastructure to the Irish border could make border posts a target for dissident republican violence
The New IRA were responsible for the Londonderry car bomb on January 20, 2019. Pictured: The wreckage of the car that was laden with explosives
The New IRA also admitted responsibility for a spate of letter bombs sent to British Army recruitment centres in 2014. Pictured: The bomb squad outside an army recruitment centre in Brighton
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland said the funding, announced in December, would help manage 'pressures and contingencies arising from EU exit preparations, reflecting the specific and unique concerns in Northern Ireland'.
Speaking in November last year, Mr Hamilton rejected claims that the threat of violence at the border after Brexit was being exaggerated.
He told BBC News that those who say the PSNI or others, are 'overplaying the border and Brexit in policing terms' are 'simply wrong'.
The threat from dissident republican groups is currently graded as 'severe' by the PSNI.
What are the Irish stamps on the three packages? Pictures of the three explosive packages appeared to show a postage stamp issued in the Republic of Ireland.
The word 'Dublin' also seems to be scrawled on the 'return address' section of the envelopes sent to Waterloo, Heathrow and London City.
The heart-shaped 'Love and Marriage' stamp was issued in 2018 and offered as a 'romantic touch' to greetings cards.
A postcard marked with one of the 'Love and Marriage' stamps issued in the Republic of Ireland in 2018
On the letters addressed to Heathrow and Waterloo the stamps are seen to bear the words 'Love' and 'Eire'.
They match the 2018 edition of the annual 'love stamp' issued by the Irish postal service.
The stamps are still for sale on the website of the Irish post office, with ten stamps on offer for '¬10.00 (£8.50).
Irish police have said they are assisting Scotland Yard with the investigation into the three suspect packages.
The Met's counter-terror command said they are keeping an 'open mind' about a possible motive.
Mr Hamilton said that if the Brexit negotiations resulted in no deal, it would 'magnify all the demands and difficulties' and said that dissident republicans who are opposed to the peace process would try to 'exploit' any hardening of the border - both 'politically and ideologically' and through engaging in organised crime, such as smuggling.
At Westminster today DUP leader Nigel Dodds asked Northern Ireland Secretary Karen Bradley if there was any prospect of the security threat level being raised.
She told the Commons that the threat level was at 'severe' and there was no suggestion it was going to change.
She said: 'I had a conversation with the chief constable this morning and in terms of the specific incident it is the early days of an ongoing investigation, it wouldn't be appropriate for me to say anything further at this stage.'
Mr Dodds replied: 'She will understand the concern that is out there about these devices having been sent through the post.
Officers in Ireland and the UK now hope that forensic examination of the packages will provide clues to the identity of those responsible.
The stamps appeared similar to some issued by An Post for Valentine's Day 2018, featuring a heart motif and the words 'Love' and 'Eire'.
The three 'linked' packages which were discovered within hours of each other, as one of them burst into flames at Heathrow when an airport worker tried to open it, and the others had to be defused by bomb squad officers.
No-one was injured by the packages and there was little disruption to rail or air passengers even as Scotland Yard's Terrorism Command sealed off parts of the transport hubs. No arrests have yet been made.
Security sources said the 'unsophisticated' parcel bombs seemed to have been intended to 'alarm not maim', as police said they were keeping an 'open mind' about the motive.
Sources told the Irish Times that the devices had been sent by post from Dublin, matching what appeared to be a return address written on the envelopes.
One of them purported to come from Bus Eireann, an Irish coach operator, while the other was hard to read. It was not clear whether the return addresses were genuine.
The bus operator said police had not been in touch, adding: 'Bus Eireann are currently not aware of this and we have no further comment.'
The last dissident plot against the British mainland was in 2014 when explosives were sent to Army recruitment officers in cities including Oxford and Brighton.
A diagram showing where and when the three explosive devices were received, at three of London's major transport hubs
Armed police on the scene at London City Airport where police were called to reports of a suspicious package
Three police officers guard a cordon outside Waterloo station - the busiest railway hub in the country - after they received reports of suspicious packages
On Tuesday night specialist officers were boarding trains and guarding station concourses to reassure passengers travelling home on trains and the London Underground, although the police cordon at Waterloo has been lifted.
The first package went off at the offices of Heathrow Airport bosses in a building called The Compass Centre, to the north of the runway, shortly before 10am on Tuesday.
Nobody was hurt in the small fire which ensued but the building was evacuated and anti-terror experts took over and made the device safe.
Shortly after 11.30am, a similar device was found in the post room at Waterloo Station. This package was not opened and police experts have made it safe.
Forensics experts were seen at Waterloo yesterday afternoon, where a suspicious package was sent
Security personnel stand guard at the Cab Road entrance to Waterloo station this afternoon, where police said a cordon was in place but railway services were continuing to operate
The British Transport Police said: 'Teams from British Transport Police are at Waterloo station (pictured) after a suspicion item was discovered'
The third package was received around midday at City Aviation House in the Royal Docks. Again staff were evacuated and the package was not opened before bomb squad experts took over.
Where were the three explosive packages sent? The three packages sent to London transport hubs in what police believe is a 'linked' series of events all arrived at administrative centres.
As a result there was little impact on rail or air passengers as flights continued to take off from City and Heathrow and South Western Railway services ran as normal from Waterloo.
At Heathrow , the package arrived at The Compass Centre, an office building on the perimeter of the airport site.
At City Airport , police responded to reports of the suspicious package at City Aviation House, another administrative building.
And at Waterloo , the UK's busiest station, the package was received in a post room.
A spokesman for London City Airport said Aviation House was a staff-only building about three minutes from the terminal, and no flights or passengers were affected.
Docklands Light Railway trains to City Airport were briefly suspended but resumed later on Tuesday.
In a statement released yesterday, a Met spokesman said: 'The packages '' all A4-sized white postal bags containing yellow Jiffy bags - have been assessed by specialist officers to be small improvised explosive devices.
'These devices, at this early stage of the investigation, appear capable of igniting an initially small fire when opened.'
British Transport Police officers had to rush away from a Security Expo at the Olympia exhibition centre in Kensington when they received the alert, Sky News reported.
One man who was among staff outside the Network Rail office at Waterloo said he was the individual who found the package.
Asked about the discovery, he said: 'I'm sorry, I've been told I can't talk about it.'
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan tweeted: 'Our thanks go to police, security, transport staff and all involved for their swift actions to keep our city safe.'
Commuters on the busy concourse at Waterloo station after one of the suspicious packages was sent there
A British Transport Police car is parked outside Waterloo station after an explosive device was sent to the London terminus
A police officer stands in front of a van and a line of tape outside Waterloo station amid the alert on Tuesday
One of Waterloo's exits, a taxi rank on Station Approach and the bike storage areas were closed as a precaution as police responded to the packages.
Waterloo is the most-used railway station in Britain, according to the latest Office of Rail and Road figures, with more than 94million passengers using it last year.
It is the London terminus for the South Western Railway franchise - which runs busy commuter services as well as longer-distance trains - and is on the London Underground's Jubilee, Bakerloo, Northern and Waterloo & City lines.
Heathrow is by far the UK's busiest airport, carrying 80million passengers in 2018, while London City is the 14th-most used in the country.
Security expert Will Geddes claimed the incidents at Heathrow, London City and London Waterloo were to be expected given the current threat level.
Specialist officers guarding the cordon at Waterloo, where services continued operating as normal yesterday afternoon
Security staff put up a sign on Tuesday afternoon saying that one of the exits to Waterloo station was closed amid the security alert
A police car at the scene at Compass Centre, Heathrow Airport as police deal with a suspicious package on Tuesday
Police were at the offices of Heathrow Airport in a building called the Compass Centre
He said: 'We've not had a significant incident for quite some time. To be honest, we were anticipating something happening. Transportation hubs have always been on the agenda for any kind of terrorist group.'
Who are the New IRA?The Provisional IRA (PIRA) emerged in 1969 and was an Irish republican paramilitary organisation, that wanted to end British rule in Northern Ireland and facilitate the reunification of Ireland.
PIRA split into a number of Dissident Republican factions after the Good Friday agreement in 1998.
The largest factions were the Continuity IRA, and the so called Real IRA.
The Real IRA claimed responsibility for the Omagh bombing in 1998 which killed 29 people.
Since then Dissident Republican groups have splintered further.
In 2002, a group called 'Soldiers of Ireland' split from the Real IRA.
This then splintered further, into the Irish Republican Movement and the Army of the Republic.
In 2012, what was left of the Real IRA was then bolstered by a number of unaffiliated dissident groups.
They were joined by a vigilante gang called Republican Action Against Drugs in Londonderry and 'independent' armed republican units in east Tyrone.
This new group was called the New IRA.
He said it was 'really tricky' to keep train stations and airports safe, saying: 'The biggest threat you're always going to have is someone leaving an IED in an unattended bag.'
Mr Geddes noted that there have been 'constant messages' urging passengers to report unattended bags for several decades.
Discussing the pictures of the packages, he said: 'It would appear that they have been hand written addressed envelopes, which in itself will be potential forensic treasure for the investigators to try and track and trace who might have been the originator.'
Former Scotland Yard counter-terror detective David Videcette said the writing on the envelope 'looks like a child's writing or done with someone's non-dominant hand'.
He said: 'Someone wants this to look like it's come from the Republic of Ireland.'
A Heathrow spokesman earlier said that flights and passengers were not affected by the packages, saying: 'Earlier today, police responded to reports of an incident in the Compass Centre.
'Police response teams and the emergency services attended quickly, enabling colleagues to evacuate safely without injury.'
The airport spokesman added: 'Heathrow Airport remains operational, flights are not impacted and passengers are able to travel as normal.
'The police are treating this as a criminal act and we will be assisting with this investigation.'
The Punkt MP02 is Android minimalism at its finest - The Verge
It's not every day that a tech CEO throws his phone down on the ground before my feet, so when that happened with Punkt's Petter Neby this week at MWC, it's safe to say I was intrigued. Punkt, stylized as ''Punkt.'' in the company's wordmark, is about putting a full stop to the distractions and diversions of modern life. Its phones are the postmodern anti-flagship devices that suggest that maybe their users don't need the internet with them every waking moment of every day.
Nebby was talking me through the intent behind the Punkt MP02's minimalist design when, without warning, he threw his personal phone to the ground, then picked it up, and texted his wife about Belgian potatoes. I'd heard of but never seen the original Punkt MP01, which the MP02 is (almost) physically identical to, and so I was both surprised and amused by the small stunt. The hardware design, Nebby tells me, is basically set. The company has no plans to change that, and upon handling and playing with the MP02, I can see why. The MP design combines ruggedness with character and a timeless minimalism that'll look striking decades from now. The buttons and shape of this phone are pleasing to touch and to hold, and the overall construction has a high-end feel that belies the primitive hardware and capabilities contained within.
Many will balk at the $349 price of the MP02, and that is indeed a big outlay for a gadget that does little more than one of the rebooted Nokia feature phones of recent times. In spite of having a 4G radio, the MP02 can't access the internet at all. In spite of being based on Android, it has no apps. Plus it doesn't let you do anything with its 16GB of internal storage, and the fanciest bit of multimedia you'll get out of it are some bespoke ringtones. So why would you bother?
Punkt's argument is that its phone's omissions are a strength rather a hindrance
Because attention and focus are the most scarce human resources of our modern time and lifestyle. Because I can't unlock my Android pocket supercomputer to do one single task without being interrupted by multiple others '-- Slack and Twitter and Telegram notifications will inevitably pull me away into doing something additional to my original intent. There must be a way to pare all of this down, and devices like the Punkt MP02 are trying to provide the solution.
The 4G inclusion on the MP02, courtesy of a Snapdragon 210 chip, is intriguing. It shows a company that isn't a total Luddite, and it allows users to tether their more advanced computer to the MP02 for a cellular connection when they need it. Voice over LTE (VoLTE) is another advantage that the MP02 can enjoy, though so far it's only supported in Europe, with the United States to come by June.
'Every pixel is designed'
My impression of the Punkt MP02 is an overwhelmingly positive one. It feels great to use, and it has subtle design niceties that enhance and amplify that sense. The animations, for example, are built around a concept of ''cutting the line,'' and so each transition between the text-based menus happens with a slicing animation. Nebby says of the MP02's interface that ''every pixel is designed,'' and it feels that way.
Indicators on the lock screen only appear when there's something to show: if your battery isn't close to running out or your mobile signal is strong, they just hide in an easily accessible submenu. Nebby puts the idea nicely when he says, ''if there's no indicator, that means everything is fine.'' This is the crux of the Punkt philosophy: at a time when every other phone works hard to agitate a user's interest and solicit their attention, the Punkt phone wants to reassure you that things are fine and you can probably focus on whatever it is that you're doing in the analog world.
I've seen more mispriced gadgets than this one. The Punkt MP02 does calls, texts, and serves as a handy 4G hotspot when required. It also looks and feels great, and its 2-inch monochrome screen will likely never break. What more do we really need from our phones?
Photo by Vlad Savov / The Verge Photo by Vlad Savov / The Verge Photo by Vlad Savov / The Verge Photo by Vlad Savov / The Verge Photo by Vlad Savov / The Verge Photo by Vlad Savov / The Verge Photo by Vlad Savov / The Verge Photo by Vlad Savov / The Verge Photo by Vlad Savov / The Verge Photo by Vlad Savov / The Verge Photo by Vlad Savov / The Verge Photo by Vlad Savov / The Verge Photo by Vlad Savov / The Verge Photo by Vlad Savov / The Verge Photo by Vlad Savov / The Verge Photography by Vlad Savov / The Verge
Zanco Smart-Pen, The World's Thinnest Mobile Phone by Zanco '-- Kickstarter
AboutYou'll need an HTML5 capable browser to see this content.Zanco Smart-Pen, The World's Thinnest Mobile Phone $71,870 pledged of $10,000 goal
Risks and challengesWith our years of experience in the cellphone manufacturing industry, we are very confident with our process and production schedule for Zanco S-Pen. It isn't our first time around the block and we have a pretty good idea of what to expect.
However, we also know that hidden obstacles and challenges often occur. Because of that, we've made sure to account for some amount of craziness or unforeseen problems that may occur in our schedule. If something does go wrong, we promise to keep our backers updated and informed about any issues and about the way in which we are solving them.
Learn about accountability on KickstarterQuestions about this project? Check out the FAQ
Funding periodDec 4, 2018 - Jan 18, 2019(45 days)
NSA Weighs Ending Phone Surveillance Program Exposed by Snowden - WSJ
WASHINGTON'--The National Security Agency is considering ending a once-secret surveillance program that annually collects hundreds of millions of telephone call records, including those belonging to Americans, because it lacks operational value, according to people familiar with the matter.
Terminating the program, which was exposed publicly by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden nearly six years ago, would represent a stunning concession from a spy agency that once argued the collection of call metadata was vital to national security.
Luke Murry, a national-security adviser for Republican congressional leadership, said in a recent podcast interview with the Lawfare security blog that the NSA hadn't used the program in the past six months and might not seek its renewal when portions of the Patriot Act that authorize it expire at the end of the year.
The NSA and the National Security Council declined to comment. On Tuesday morning, a spokesman for House Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said Mr. Murry's remarks on the podcast weren't speaking to Trump administration policy nor how Congress intends to address the issue.
The people familiar with the NSA's internal deliberations cautioned that no final decision had been made and that the discussions about potentially ending the metadata program were in the early and informal stages.
Metadata include the numbers and time stamps of a call or text message but not the contents of the conversation.
Portions of the Patriot Act are due to expire at the end of 2019, including the section of the law that authorizes the metadata program. Congress is expected to pass provisions that would extend the expiring provisions of the law, but debate isn't expected to begin in earnest until the fall, according to congressional aides on relevant committees.
The NSA's practice of vacuuming up telephone metadata in bulk was exposed in 2013 by Mr. Snowden, who leaked a trove of classified surveillance secrets to journalists.
Mr. Snowden has resided in Russia under asylum since the leaks after having his passport revoked by the U.S. government while traveling.
After nearly two years of debate fueled by Mr. Snowden's disclosures, Congress passed the USA Freedom Act in 2015, requiring the spy agency to replace its bulk metadata program with a pared-down system under which call records were retained by the telephone companies. The new measures have allowed the NSA to request those records on an as-needed basis rather than ingest them wholly into its own servers.
Privacy advocates have said the new system continues to pose troubling issues and that evidence of its value to national security is thin or nonexistent.
''It seems clear to me that this is not a program that is needed for national security,'' said Neema Singh Guliani, senior legislative counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union, in a recent interview. ''One of the goals of the Freedom Act was to limit large-scale collection, and I think there are questions as to whether that law is achieving its goals.''
Any final decision about whether to end the program would be made by the White House, not the NSA. It is unclear if the Trump administration would be willing to relinquish an authority that the intelligence community has repeatedly argued was important to national security. But under scrutiny after the revelations of Mr. Snowden, intelligence officials struggled to demonstrate any examples when the program'--in its old, more expansive form'--had disrupted a terrorist plot.
Despite the rollback under the USA Freedom Act, the NSA reported collecting 151 million call records in 2016 related to 42 terrorism suspects and 534 million in 2017 connected to 40 suspects. The NSA has previously announced deleting some records collected under the program due to technical issues involving what data telecommunications firms shared with the spy agency.
Shutting down the metadata collection wouldn't be the first time the NSA halted a controversial surveillance program. The agency announced in 2017 it would stop a form of signals collection that let it collect without a warrant the digital communications of Americans who mentioned a foreign intelligence target in messages to or from people living overseas.
That program, known as ''about'' collection, was frozen because of struggles to comport to privacy expectations laid out in 2011 by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.
Write to Dustin Volz at firstname.lastname@example.org
Corrections & Amplifications Luke Murry, a national-security adviser for Republican congressional leadership, said in a recent interview that the NSA hadn't used in the past six months a program that annually collects hundreds of millions of telephone call records. An earlier version of this article incorrectly spelled his last name as Murray.
CORRECTED-Google plans to ban political ads before Canada election - The Globe and Mail | Reuters
March 4 (Reuters) - Alphabet Inc's Google is planning to ban political advertising on its platform before the Canadian federal election as the nation's new transparency rules would be very challenging to comply with, The Globe and Mail here reported on Monday.
The Bill C-76, which was passed in December, requires online platforms to keep a registry of all political and partisan advertisements they directly or indirectly publish, the newspaper reported.
Election in Canada is due in October.
Google will modify its ad policies and systems to block advertisers from running ads that fall under the purview of the definitions set out in Bill C-76.
Other Google services, like enhanced search results and platforms including YouTube, will still be available during the campaign period, the newspaper added.
Google was not immediately available for a comment on the report. (Reporting by Rishika Chatterjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Shreejay Sinha)
What You Should Know About the New Michael Jackson Documentary
Singer Michael Jackson Performing on Stage at Madison Square Garden (Photo by Rick Maiman/Sygma via Getty Images)Getty
Disclaimer: this article is not intended as a review of Leaving Neverland, which I have not seen, but rather of the context behind the allegations in the documentary.
When Michael Jackson died in 2009, Wade Robson'--the former choreographer whose allegations of abuse are at the center of a controversial new documentary, Leaving Neverland'--wrote in tribute to his friend:
Michael Jackson changed the world and, more personally, my life forever. He is the reason I dance, the reason I make music, and one of the main reasons I believe in the pure goodness of humankind. He has been a close friend of mine for 20 years. His music, his movement, his personal words of inspiration and encouragement and his unconditional love will live inside of me forever. I will miss him immeasurably, but I know that he is now at peace and enchanting the heavens with a melody and a moonwalk.
Robson was twenty-seven years old at the time. Four years earlier, he testified at Jackson's 2005 trial (as an adult) that nothing sexual ever happened between them. Prior to the trial Robson hadn't seen Jackson for years and was under no obligation to be a witness for the defense. He faced a withering cross-examination, understanding the penalty of perjury for lying under oath. But Robson adamantly, confidently, and credibly asserted that nothing sexual ever happened.
What changed between then and now? A few things:
In 2011, Robson approached John Branca, co-executor of the Michael Jackson Estate, about directing the new Michael Jackson/Cirque du Soleil production, ONE. Robson admitted he wanted the job ''badly,'' but the Estate ultimately chose someone else for the position. In 2012, Robson had a nervous breakdown, triggered, he said, by an obsessive quest for success. His career, in his own words, began to ''crumble.'' That same year, with Robson's career, finances, and marriage in peril, he began shopping a book that claimed he was sexually abused by Michael Jackson. No publisher picked it up. In 2013, Robson filed a $1.5 billion dollar civil lawsuit/creditor's claim, along with James Safechuck, who also spent time with Jackson in the late '80s. Safechuck claimed he only realized he may have been abused when Robson filed his lawsuit. That lawsuit was dismissed by a probate court in 2017. In 2019, the Sundance Film Festival premiered a documentary based entirely on Robson and Safechuck's allegations. While the documentary is obviously emotionally disturbing given the content, it presents no new evidence or witnesses. The film's director, Dan Reed, acknowledged not wanting to interview other key figures because it might complicate or compromise the story he wanted to tell. It is tempting for the media to tie Jackson into a larger cultural narrative about sexual misconduct. R. Kelly was rightfully taken down by a documentary, and many other high-profile figures have been exposed in recent years, so surely, the logic goes, Michael Jackson must be guilty as well. Yet that is a dangerous leap'--particularly with America's history of unjustly targeting and convicting black men'--that fair-minded people would be wise to consider more carefully before condemning the artist. It is no accident that one of Jackson's favorite books (and movies) was To Kill a Mockingbird, a story about a black man'--Tom Robinson'--destroyed by false allegations.
The media's largely uncritical, de-contextualized takes out of Sundance seem to have forgotten: no allegations have been more publicly scrutinized than those against Michael Jackson. They elicited a two-year feeding frenzy in the mid-90s and then again in the mid-2000s, when Jackson faced an exhaustive criminal trial. His homes were ransacked in two unannounced raids by law enforcement. Nothing incriminating was found. Jackson was acquitted of all charges in 2005 by a conservative Santa Maria jury. The FBI, likewise, conducted a thorough investigation. Its 300-page file on the pop star, released under the Freedom of Information Act, found no evidence of wrongdoing.
Meanwhile, dozens of individuals who spent time with Jackson as kids continue to assert nothing sexual ever happened. This includes hundreds of sick and terminally ill children such as Bela Farkas (for whom Jackson paid for a life-saving liver transplant) and Ryan White (whom Jackson befriended and supported in his final years battling AIDS); it includes lesser-known figures like Brett Barnes and Frank Cascio; it includes celebrities like Macaulay Culkin, Sean Lennon, Emmanuel Lewis, Alfonso Ribeiro, and Corey Feldman; it includes Jackson's nieces and nephews; and it includes his own three children.
The allegations surrounding Jackson largely faded over the past decade for a reason: unlike the Bill Cosby or R. Kelly cases, the more people looked into the Jackson allegations, the more the evidence vindicated him. The prosecution's case in 2005 was so absurd Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi described it like this:
Ostensibly a story about bringing a child molester to justice, the Michael Jackson trial would instead be a kind of homecoming parade of insipid American types: grifters, suckers and no-talent schemers, mired in either outright unemployment'... or the bogus non-careers of the information age, looking to cash in any way they can. The MC of the proceedings was District Attorney Tom Sneddon, whose metaphorical role in this American reality show was to represent the mean gray heart of the Nixonian Silent Majority '' the bitter mediocrity itching to stick it to anyone who'd ever taken a vacation to Paris. The first month or so of the trial featured perhaps the most compromised collection of prosecution witnesses ever assembled in an American criminal case '' almost to a man a group of convicted liars, paid gossip hawkers or worse'...
In the next six weeks, virtually every piece of his case imploded in open court, and the chief drama of the trial quickly turned into a race to see if the DA could manage to put all of his witnesses on the stand without getting any of them removed from the courthouse in manacles.
What's changed since then?
In Robson's case, decades after the alleged incidents took place, he was barbecuing with Michael Jackson and his children. He was asking for tickets to the artist's memorial. He was participating in tributes. ''I still have my mobile phone with his number in it,'' Robson wrote in 2009, ''I just can't bear the thought of deleting his messages.''
Then, suddenly, after twenty years, his story changed and with his new claims came a $1.5 billion dollar lawsuit.
FILE- In this Jan. 25, 2019, file photo Brenda Jenkyns, left, and Catherine Van Tighem who drove from Calgary, Canada stand with signs outside of the premiere of the "Leaving Neverland" Michael Jackson documentary film at the Egyptian Theatre on Main Street during the 2019 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Michael Jackson's family members said Monday, Jan. 28, that they are "furious" that two men who accuse him of sexually abusing them as boys have received renewed attention because of a new documentary about them. The family released a statement denouncing "Leaving Neverland," a documentary film featuring Jackson accusers Wade Robson and James Safechuck. (Photo by Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP, File)Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP
As an eccentric, wealthy, African American man, Michael Jackson has always been a target for litigation. During the 1980s and 1990s, dozens of women falsely claimed he was the father of their children. He faced multiple lawsuits falsely claiming he plagiarized various songs. As recently as 2010, a woman named Billie Jean filed a frivolous $600 million paternity lawsuit against Jackson's Estate.
As someone who has done an enormous amount of research on the artist, interviewed many people who were close to him, and been granted access to a lot of private information, my assessment is that the evidence simply does not point to Michael Jackson's guilt. In contrast to Robson and Safechuck's revised accounts, there is a remarkable consistency to the way people who knew the artist speak of him'--whether friends, family members, collaborators, fellow artists, recording engineers, attorneys, business associates, security guards, former spouses, his own children'--people who knew him in every capacity imaginable. Michael, they say, was gentle, brilliant, sensitive, sometimes naive, sometimes childish, sometimes oblivious to perceptions. But none believe he was a child molester.
Michael Jackson songs banned from radio after TV program alleges abuse
Radio stations in Canada, New Zealand and Australia are removing Michael Jackson songs from their playlists after two men alleged in a new documentary that the late singer abused them.
Several French-language stations owned by the Canadian company Cogeco Media removed Jackson's tracks, the company confirmed to CNBC, while the Australian Nova Entertainment Group also removed his tracks from stations including Smooth fm, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
New Zealand's major radio stations, owned by NZME and Mediaworks, also took the star's music off its playlists on Wednesday, according to the New Zealand Herald.
In "Leaving Neverland: Michael Jackson and me" a two-part HBO documentary shown in the U.S. and U.K this week, Wade Robson and James Safechuck allege they were abused by the singer aged seven and 10. Jackson's estate called the documentary a "public lynching" and has filed a $100 million lawsuit against HBO. The family has denied the allegations.
Jackson was previously acquitted from child molestation charges in 2005 and he died in 2009.
Christine Dicaire, director of communications and marketing at Cogeco Media said in a statement emailed to CNBC: "We are attentive to the comments of our listeners, and the documentary released on Sunday evening created reactions. We prefer to observe the situation by removing the songs from our stations, for the time being."
Last year, Sony Music Entertainment spent a reported $250 million on the rights to Jackson's back catalogue, an investment that could take a hit after the documentary was aired, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
NZME and Mediaworks had not responded to CNBC's request for comment at the time of publication.
Trump still hopes for North Korea deal after ominous report
WASHINGTON (AP) '-- Satellite photos showing new activity at a North Korean rocket launch site raised fresh doubts Wednesday that Kim Jong Un will ever give up his drive for nuclear weapons, yet talks continue and President Donald Trump said he was still hoping for the agreement that eluded the leaders at last week's summit.
The president said his relationship with the North Korean leader remains ''good'' even though Trump walked away from negotiations at their high-profile meeting in Vietnam. He said then that the North's concessions on its nuclear program weren't enough to warrant sanctions relief, and he said Wednesday he'd be unhappy if reports prove true that Kim is rebuilding a launch site after promising in Vietnam to extend his ban on nuclear and rocket tests.
''I would be very, very disappointed in Chairman Kim,'' Trump said when reporters asked him about reports of new work at the Sohae Satellite Launch Station, which is tucked into the hills northwest of Pyongyang. ''I don't think I will be'' disappointed, Trump said, ''but we'll see what happens.''
Past administrations discovered the perils of trying to do business with North Korea, which has a history of backing out of agreements. Trump believes his discussions will be different because Kim he has publicly announced his desire to focus on economic development in his reclusive nation, which is suffering under harsh U.S. and international sanctions.
Trump has favored direct talks with Kim, but with no third summit under discussion right now, the next stage of negotiations is likely to be conducted at lower levels. Trump's envoy to North Korea, Steve Biegun, had lunch Wednesday at the State Department with his counterparts from Japan and South Korea. The South Koreans have proposed semiofficial three-way talks with the United States and North Korea as it works to put nuclear diplomacy back on track.
Suh Hoon, the director of South Korea's National Intelligence Service, told his nation's lawmakers in Seoul that North Korea was restoring facilities at a rocket launch site it had dismantled last year in a goodwill measure.
Meanwhile, 38 North, a website specializing in North Korea studies, said commercial satellite imagery indicates the rebuilding started between Feb. 16 and March 2. And the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a think tank in Washington, issued another report saying satellite imagery taken Saturday '-- just two days after the summit ended '-- showed North Korea ''pursuing a rapid rebuilding'' of the rocket site.
Some analysts think the work is a signal that Kim is getting ready to conduct more tests, but others suggest he's just registering his disappointment that no agreement was reached at the summit. Trump himself added to the confusion, saying his administration had a hand in the report on Sohae being made public.
''It's a very early report. We're the ones that put it out,'' Trump said without elaborating.
Joel Wit, a North Korea proliferation expert who helped negotiate with North Korea in the mid-1990s, said the new work at Sohae is Kim's way of showing that he's ''getting impatient with lack of progress in negotiations.''
''We have to watch to see what else happens,'' Wit said. ''It's a space launch facility and has been used to send satellites into space. ... Problem is, some of the technologies are the same.''
He said there is no evidence that North Korea's work at the site signals Kim is preparing to test another intercontinental missile. He said North Korea has never tested an ICBM at Sohae. ''Preparations for any launch would require a wide range of activities not observed at the site,'' Wit said.
Trump and Kim, who also met in Singapore last year, have not said if there will be a third summit. For now, discussions with North Korea will be conducted by their subordinates. Biegun, the U.S. envoy to North Korea, gave members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee a classified update Tuesday afternoon on Capitol Hill.
Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey, the ranking Democrat on the committee, said that before any further summits between the leaders, there must be lower-level discussions to determine how far Kim is willing to go to denuclearize. That's all the more important ''to continue to test the North Koreans' willingness now that they know they're not going to get an easy deal,'' Menendez said.
Committee Chairman Jim Risch, R-Idaho, said Biegun has a vision of where the U.S. wants to take the talks.
''He has clear knowledge of the steps that it takes to get there, and he's laid that out for the North Koreans,'' Risch said.
There's no framework agreement ''to put the details on it yet,'' he said. But he added: ''The differences have been narrowed.''
Less upbeat, Committee member Edward Markey, D-Mass., said the work at Sohae could be a sign that Kim is more interested in getting concessions from the U.S. than conducting good faith efforts to denuclearize. He said he's also worried that future satellite launches at Sohae could help Kim further his work on ballistic missiles to threaten the U.S. and its allies with a nuclear attack.
''President Trump never codified in writing North Korea's missile and nuclear testing freeze,'' Markey said. ''Without that formal commitment, North Korea might claim it is doing nothing wrong and derail the fragile diplomatic process under way.''
Build The Wall
Border at 'Breaking Point' as More than 76,000 Migrants Cross in a Month - The New York Times
Video The Trump administration's hard-line stance on keeping migrants out is pushing asylum seekers to take remote and dangerous routes into the United States. And a wall might not be able to fix that.The number of migrant families crossing the southwest border has once again broken records, with unauthorized entries nearly doubling what they were a year ago, suggesting that the Trump administration's aggressive policies have not discouraged new migration to the United States.
More than 76,000 migrants crossed the border without authorization in February, an 11-year high and a strong sign that stepped-up prosecutions, new controls on asylum and harsher detention policies have not reversed what remains a powerful lure for thousands of families fleeing violence and poverty.
''The system is well beyond capacity, and remains at the breaking point,'' Kevin K. McAleenan, commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, told reporters in announcing the new data on Tuesday.
The nation's top border enforcement officer painted a picture of processing centers filled to capacity, border agents struggling to meet medical needs and thousands of exhausted members of migrant families crammed into a detention system that was not built to house them '-- all while newcomers continue to arrive, sometimes by the busload, at the rate of 2,200 a day.
''This is clearly both a border security and a humanitarian crisis,'' Mr. McAleenan said.
[Read the latest edition of Crossing the Border, a limited-run newsletter about life where the United States and Mexico meet. Sign up here to receive the next issue in your inbox.]
President Trump has used the escalating numbers to justify his plan to build an expanded wall along the 1,900-mile border with Mexico. But a wall would do little to slow migration, most immigration analysts say. While the exact numbers are not known, many of those apprehended along the southern border, including the thousands who present themselves at legal ports of entry, surrender voluntarily to Border Patrol agents and eventually submit legal asylum claims.
Over the past two decades, there were large declines in apprehensions along the southwestern border with Mexico. Despite the overall trend, illegal border crossings have surged in the current fiscal year, which began in October.
Apprehensions at the southwestern border, by month
Average per month: 81,588
Average per month
People traveling with family have crossed in far greater numbers in the last six months. These migrants are now the majority of those caught trying to illegally cross the border.
Apprehensions at the southwestern border, by month
The main problem is not one of uncontrolled masses scaling the fences, but a humanitarian challenge created as thousands of migrant families surge into remote areas where the administration has so far failed to devote sufficient resources to care for them, as is required under the law.
The latest numbers stung an administration that has over the past two years introduced a rash of aggressive policies intended to deter migrants from journeying to the United States, including separating families, limiting entries at official ports and requiring some asylum seekers to wait in Mexico through the duration of their immigration cases.
More than 50,000 adults are currently in Immigration and Customs Enforcement custody, the highest number ever.
Despite targeted successes in certain areas '-- about 2,000 migrants who traveled in a caravan from Central America last year appeared to have given up their cause as of last month after being discouraged by long delays in Tijuana '-- migrants seem only to have adjusted their routes rather than turn back. Indeed, they are traveling in even larger numbers than before.
[Read more about why more migrants are crossing the border.]
Arrests along the southern border have increased 97 percent since last year, the Border Patrol said, with a 434 percent increase in the El Paso sector, which covers the state of New Mexico and the two westernmost counties of Texas. Families, mainly from Central America, continue to arrive in ever-larger groups in remote parts of the southwest.
At least 70 such groups of 100 or more people have turned themselves in at Border Patrol stations that typically are staffed by only a handful of agents, often hours away from civilization. By comparison, only 13 such groups arrived in the last fiscal year, and two in the year before.
Understanding what is happening on the border is difficult because, while the numbers are currently higher than they have been in several years, they are nowhere near the historic levels of migration seen across the southwest border. Arrests for illegally crossing the border reached up to 1.64 million in 2000, under President Clinton. In the 2018 fiscal year, they reached 396,579. For the first five months of the current fiscal year, 268,044 have been apprehended.
Image Migrants from Central America turned themselves in to Border Patrol agents in Penitas, Tex., last month. Credit Tamir Kalifa for The New York Times The difference is that the nature of immigration has changed, and the demographics of those arriving now are proving more taxing for border officials to accommodate. Most of those entering the country in earlier years were single men, most of them from Mexico, coming to look for work. If they were arrested, they could quickly be deported.
Now, the majority of border crossers are not single men but families '-- fathers from Honduras with adolescent boys they are pulling away from gang violence, mothers with toddlers from Guatemala whose farms have been lost to drought. Most of these migrants may not have a good case to remain in the United States permanently, but because of legal constraints, it is not so easy to speedily deport them if they arrive with children and claim protection under the asylum laws.
Families with children can be held in detention for no longer than 20 days, under a much-debated court ruling, and since there are a limited number of detention centers certified to hold families, the practical effect is that most families are released into the country to await their hearings in immigration court. The courts are so backlogged that it could take months or years for cases to be decided. Some people never show up for court at all.
Finally, detaining families even for the first few days after their arrival in the United States, while they are undergoing initial processing, is also a challenging job.
Often arriving exhausted, dehydrated, and some of them requiring urgent medical care, the families need food, diapers, infant formula and space to play. They often spend days inside cramped concrete cells that were built to house the previous generation of border crossers '-- young, single men who would likely be there only a few hours.
As part of the announcements on Tuesday, Mr. McAleenan also said the agency is making sweeping changes to procedures for guaranteeing adequate medical care for migrants '-- an overhaul brought on by the deaths of two migrant children in the agency's custody in December. The measures, which include comprehensive health screenings for all migrant children and a new processing center in El Paso that would help provide better shelter and medical care for migrant families, are an attempt to fix years of health care inadequacies that have left many at risk.
The agency will also expand medical contracts to place health care practitioners '-- largely registered nurses and nurse practitioners '-- in ''high-risk'' and high-traffic locations along the border. It will also dedicate more money for translation services to meet increasing demand from Central Americans, many of whom speak indigenous dialects and may not be able to communicate their needs in English or Spanish.
Image A migrant child from Honduras at a shelter in El Paso, Tex. As of March 3, 237,327 migrants had been apprehended along the southwest border since the fiscal year began in October, a 97 percent increase from the previous year. Credit Sara Naomi Lewkowicz for The New York Times [Read: Border Patrol Facilities Put Detainees With Medical Conditions at Risk]
''These solutions are temporary and this situation is not sustainable,'' Mr. McAleenan said.
Mr. McAleenan said the authorities believe that the large numbers of families are coming because smugglers have effectively communicated across Central America that adults who travel with children will be allowed to enter and stay in the United States.
Brian Hastings, the agency's chief of law enforcement operations, said that since April 2018, border agents had detected nearly 2,400 cases in which migrants had falsely claimed to be related when they were not, or untruthfully claimed to be younger than 18.
The throngs of new families are also affecting communities on the American side of the border. In El Paso, a volunteer network that temporarily houses the migrants after they are released from custody has had to expand to 20 facilities, compared with only three during the same period last year. Migrants are now being housed in churches, a converted nursing home and about 125 hotel rooms that are being paid for with donations.
''We had never seen these kinds of numbers,'' said Ruben Garcia, the director of the organization, called Annunciation House. He said that during one week in February, immigration authorities had released more than 3,600 migrants to his organization, the highest number in any single week since the group's founding in 1978.
For the most part, Mr. Garcia said that his staff and volunteer workers had been able to keep up with the surge, often making frantic calls to churches to request access to more space for housing families on short notice. But sometimes their best efforts were upended, he said, including on one day last week, when the authorities dropped off 150 more migrants than planned.
''We just didn't have the space,'' Mr. Garcia said.
Reporting was contributed by Miriam Jordan in Los Angeles, Sheri Fink in New York and Zolan Kanno-Youngs from Washington.
A version of this article appears in print on
, on Page
of the New York edition
with the headline:
Record Numbers Crossing to U.S., Deluging Agents
. Order Reprints | Today's Paper | Subscribe
Why Eating Roadkill Makes Roads Safer for People and Animals | The Pew Charitable Trusts
NAMPA, Idaho '-- It's taco night at the Lindskoog household in this suburban community 20 miles west of Boise. Nate Lindskoog has seasoned the red meat sizzling in his cast-iron skillet with a mixture of chili powder and Himalayan pink salt. In a few minutes, he will wrap it in corn tortillas and top it off with lime-soaked avocados.
The 36-year-old father of six isn't making carne asada with meat he bought from a butcher or at the grocery store. Instead, he's searing venison from a deer killed by a car on Lake Avenue.
''That is just fine,'' he said, taking a bite of the cilantro- and onion-garnished taco. ''I've had worse tacos in restaurants that were $10. This was free, laying on the side of the road.''
Between 1 million and 2 million large animals are hit by vehicles every year in the United States in accidents that kill 200 people and cost nearly $8.4 billion in damages, according to estimates from the Federal Highway Administration.
Instead of wasting roadkill or mocking it as hillbilly cuisine, Idaho is tracking the carnage and allowing residents to salvage the carcasses to reduce the number of vehicle-animal collisions and feed hungry people.
Now more states are joining Idaho and others, letting people like Lindskoog, owner of a local breakfast and burger joint, reclaim fresh, nutrient-dense, grass-fed meat that might otherwise end up as a grease stain on the highway. (''We don't serve any game at the restaurant,'' he assured.)
Lindskoog has salvaged three deer, a couple of times getting a tip from a local sheriff's deputy about an accident near his home. At a safe distance off the highway shoulder, he can butcher all the meat he wants in 30 minutes or less, later freezing it to be used in a year's worth of meals.
As a conservationist, he's eager to let the coyotes, eagles and the rest of the ecosystem take care of what remains.
Roadkill venison and caramelized onions.The Pew Charitable Trusts
''This was a living thing,'' he said. ''It's the most respectful thing to do if wild game dies. It's the best way to dignify its death.''
After Lindskoog returns home, he's required by state law to visit the Idaho Fish and Game website within 24 hours to describe the roadkill: what species he salvaged, its gender and where and when he found the animal.
For Idaho, each dead deer, elk, moose, coyote, black bear, porcupine and pronghorn is a data point.
State officials use the information to identify animal migration patterns, feeding areas and dangerous stretches of road. Their goal is to protect animals, but also people and their vehicles, said Gregg Servheen, Idaho Fish and Game wildlife program coordinator.
''We've built an entire transportation system across the whole United States, and for decades it's been, 'Flattened fauna, who cares?''' Servheen said in his Boise office. ''You hoped you didn't hit one. You drove by them all the time. It was just a given.
''Now we're getting to a point where maybe there's a better way.''
In the mountains just north of Boise, drivers are warned about crossing deer and elk. Idaho is one of more than two dozen states that have legalized roadkill salvaging.The Pew Charitable Trusts
Since legalizing roadkill salvaging in 2012, Idaho has used its data to build fencing, warning signs, wildlife underpass tunnels and wildlife overpasses to protect deer, elk and other animals.
In the first two months of this year, Idahoans salvaged more than 300 animals from the side of the road, adding to the more than 5,000 animals retrieved since 2016.
Not every animal is legally salvageable in Idaho. Nongame wildlife, threatened or endangered species, migratory birds and other animals that are not legally hunted are off-limits. This includes bald eagles, Canada lynx and grizzly bears.
Servheen acknowledges that the state's data depends on scattered reports from residents. Data might identify a migration pattern, or it might just identify a community where people more diligently report roadkill. The online form isn't accessible to many Idahoans who live in the backcountry without reliable cell or internet service.
Whatever its limitations, Idaho's salvaging law has been the basis of similar laws that have recently passed in neighboring Oregon and Washington.
Idaho officials use data from roadkill salvagers to determine where to build new wildlife underpasses, like this one north of Boise, Idaho.The Pew Charitable Trusts
Oregon state Sen. Bill Hansell has a new nickname around the chamber. ''Roadkill Bill,'' a Republican from a rural district the size of Maryland, Hansell authored the bill that unanimously passed the legislature in 2018.
He saw the roadkill as a wasted opportunity. Now, he said, Oregonians ''are being fed high-protein, organic meat they've chosen to eat that otherwise would have rotted on the side of the road.''
In January, the month the law went into effect, Oregonians salvaged 124 animals, mostly deer and elk. Unlike in Idaho, though, residents must turn in the antlers and heads of the animals to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife officials. Hansell hasn't salvaged any roadkill yet.
While more than half of states have some version of a roadkill salvaging law '-- some even for decades '-- momentum has been growing in Western states to pass new legislation.
Is California Next?Rennie Cleland was tired of seeing good meat go to waste.
When he was hired in 1988 as the game warden in Dorris, California '-- a small town of 900 people at the Oregon border '-- he wanted to find an alternative to spending taxpayer dollars to pick up dead deer off mountain roads and throw them into a ditch.
While salvaging roadkill was illegal throughout the state, Cleland worked with his superiors at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, U.S. Forest Service officials and the local police chief to create a program under which residents could opt to accept meat from animals killed nearby.
Over the course of 23 years, local officials processed and delivered 36,700 pounds of wild game meat to needy people in the area.
''That is a lot of meat,'' Cleland said. ''It's criminal that we don't do something with this meat. It's worse than criminal that we as a state are wasting that meat and issuing citations to people who salvage it.''
But state officials in Sacramento shut down the program in 2011, saying they feared people would hit animals on purpose.
John Griffin, senior director of the urban wildlife program at the Humane Society of the United States, said verifying that animals were truly killed by accident and not targeted has long been a concern of his group and others.
''People run down animals with snow machines,'' he said. ''That's exactly the opposite thing we would want to encourage. Does someone do that on the road? It's hard to say.''
California's policy may soon change, however. State lawmakers now are considering new legislation that would legalize roadkill salvaging. One of Cleland's old game warden colleagues helped write the bill after, he said, he witnessed how successful salvaging can be for a community and potentially a state.
Roy Griffith, legislative liaison for the conservation group California Rifle & Pistol Association, reworked language from similar Idaho, Oregon and Washington laws to fit California and found a willing lawmaker, Democratic state Sen. Bob Archuleta, to introduce the legislation. The tens of thousands of animals killed on California highways every year may not die in vain, he said.
''I don't care if it was killed by a rifle or a bumper,'' he said. ''It's a beautiful, incredible animal rotting on the roadside. To me, it's a sin to see it die in a magpie pile.''
As in Idaho, it would be legal to kill a suffering animal wounded in a collision.
Eat Roadkill at Your Own RiskIn some communities, roadkill has long been used to feed low-income families. In Alaska, where between 600 and 800 moose are killed by cars each year, state troopers will notify charities and families after an accident to salvage the meat.
But food safety concerns have led some charities to restrict roadkill donations. While many charities gladly accept donations of hunted deer, elk and moose meat that has been packaged by a professional processor, Idaho Foodbank sites will not accept meat from animals killed by vehicles. It's a precaution for the families, said Jennifer Erickson, the agency's food safety and compliance manager.
''You just don't know if the animal is diseased,'' she said. ''Depending on the impact, there might be contamination. You just don't know.''
E. coli, which has been found in elk, deer and moose, also concerns Deirdre Schlunegger, the CEO of the Chicago-based nonprofit Stop Foodborne Illness. As does chronic wasting disease (CWD), an infectious disease fatal to deer, elk and moose that can now be found in at least 24 states.
While people consume between 7,000 and 15,000 infected deer each year, there are no cases of the chronic wasting disease being transmitted to humans, according to a 2017 report from the Alliance for Public Wildlife. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is still trying to determine whether consuming infected deer or elk meat could harm people.
The brain-eating disease has appeared in neighboring Montana, Utah and Wyoming, prompting Idaho Fish and Game to request, but not require, the heads of salvaged animals so they can be tested for the disease. Officials want to know when the disease makes its way into their state.
Despite these concerns, eating roadkill remains popular in Idaho. If you know how to identify bruised or tainted meat, salvaging roadkill is a nourishing and respectful practice, said Jerry Myers, a resident of North Fork, nearly six hours north of Boise.
As snow builds in the winter, deer, elk and bighorn sheep descend from the mountains to the valley floor near his home, said Myers, 64. They often wander onto the two-lane highway that hugs the Salmon River, where blinking lights and signs fail to prevent many collisions.
Late one winter evening in 2016, Myers and his wife were driving near their home when a semitruck ahead of them hit a yearling elk. They stopped to make sure the driver wasn't injured. He was fine, but the elk was dead.
Myers saw that most of the elk could be salvaged, so the couple loaded it into their pickup and took it home. It produced a hundred pounds of meat.
''I really hate to have something that's potentially salvageable go to waste,'' Myers said. ''We appreciate the animals where we live.''
Jerome Corsi, InfoWars Retract and Apologize for Spreading Seth Rich DNC Murder Conspiracy Theory
Right-wing conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi on Monday officially retracted and apologized for an InfoWars article he wrote in 2018 claiming that murdered Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich (and his brother Aaron Rich) leaked DNC emails to Wikileaks during the 2016 election.
''Dr. Corsi acknowledges that his allegations were not based upon any independent factual knowledge regarding Seth or Aaron Rich,'' a statement on InfoWars read. The website claimed that Corsi based his false claims off a Washington Times column by retired Adm. James Lyons, which was also retracted late last year.
''It was not Dr. Corsi's intent to rely upon inaccurate information, or to cause any suffering to Mr. Rich's family,'' the statement read. ''To that end, Dr. Corsi retracts the article and apologizes to the Rich family.''
Corsi also echoed the apology to the Rich family on his personal Twitter account. ''As Christians gentleman [sic], I have sympathy for the suffering the Seth Rich family has gone through. I hope all will understand that. God Bless,'' he wrote, while going out of his way to note for his more conspiracy-minded followers that he was not ''threatened'' into retracting.
A lawyer for Aaron Rich told CNN the retraction was an "important step toward obtaining justice'' for the family. ''We will continue to litigate our defamation claims against conspiracy theorists who refuse to retract & apologize for similar false statements,'' the statement read.
The article was one of many featured on Alex Jones' far-right conspiratorial website describing Seth Rich as a Bernie Sanders supporter who leaked DNC emails to Wikileaks as revenge against the committee backing Hillary Clinton as the party's candidate. Corsi wrote that Rich was the ''likely perpetrator'' in the leak because he was ''implicated in breaches of email systems,'' and he was killed for providing the dump to the website.
The Daily Beast previously reported Corsi did acknowledge the fact that hackers'--not Rich'--were behind the DNC leak in August 2016 emails to his friend and long-time Trump confidant Roger Stone, who has been accused of obstruction of justice, witness tampering, and lying to the House Intelligence Committee about his communications between Wikileaks and the Trump campaign.
Corsi's original article, titled ''Anti-Trump Left Tries to Revive Dying 'Russia' Narrative by Blaming Roger Stone,'' now redirects to InfoWars retraction and apology. However, and despite the seeming contrition, all three parts of Corsi's ''investigative series'' into the right-wing conspiracy theory'--including articles titled ''Seth Rich Mystery: DNC Leaks Came from Inside, Not Russian Hackers'' and ''New Evidence Suggests Seth Rich Was DNC Leaker'''--remain on the InfoWars website.
The One-and-Only Billy Shears: An Interview with William Campbell on Sgt. Pepper '' The Avocado
This interview was originally published in the May 2017 print edition of The Avocado and is now made available online for the first time.
The moment I walk in the door, he's asking me how my drive over was in that famous Liverpudlian accent, but he stops himself midway through the first sentence. ''Sorry,'' he says, in a different voice. ''You just do this for so long, you know, it's hard to break character.''
His ''real'' accent is a curious blended stew of his native Ontario with a whisper of Southern twang acquired from the years spent in Athens, Georgia. But you can hear the Scouse coming through constantly, and it's not always clear whether he's having trouble ''breaking character'' or if this really is just how he pronounces these words after fifty years.
''I do think in, I suppose, 'British English' now,'' he admits. ''Biscuit, lift, lorry, all that. Funnily enough, of all the pitfalls involved in what we were doing, the lies and paying people off and the cosmetic surgery, the biggest thing Brian [Epstein, the Beatles' manager] used to worry about is that I'd keep slipping into 'American' and give the whole thing away that way.''
We're meeting today on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. His name is William Campbell, and beginning with Sgt. Pepper, he became The Man Who Would Be Paul McCartney.
AVOCADO: So The Beatles had already started recording Sgt. Pepper when Brian Epstein recruited you?
CAMPBELL: Well, you have to remember it wasn't called Sgt. Pepper at that point. The idea for Sgt. Pepper wasn't even there. The original intent that John and Paul had had was to write an album themed around their own childhoods, kind of going back to where it all began. That's where ''Penny Lane'' and ''Strawberry Fields Forever'' came from, of course; those were places in Liverpool they used to know.
So those two songs were already written and recorded by the time I came in. There was also ''When I'm 64,'' which is the only McCartney song on the album that isn't me. It was an old song of his he decided to revive as part of the childhood idea. Paul had laid down a rough vocal that they built the, you know, the clarinets and all that around. But they had me re-record it. Maybe it was a test, I don't know.
AVOCADO: Did you pass the test?
CAMPBELL: Well, the thing is, right, it was actually John's idea to do the song. I think it was'...well, you know his humor. I suppose he thought it was funny, in a way. His friend had written a joke song about what it would be like to be an old man, and it turns out he'd never even make it to 30. So to have me sing that'...I think he got a weird kick out of it. But that was how he processed the pain, I suppose, and all the other surreal stuff going on with the situation, was to embrace the darkly funny side, at least as he saw it from a certain perspective.
AVOCADO: So John was on board with the switch pretty much right away?
CAMPBELL: Yeah, people assume he wasn't. But when Brian would be talking to George and Ringo about it and trying to convince them that this was what they needed to do, John was always, ''That's right, Brian's right.''
AVOCADO: Did George and Ringo need convincing?
CAMPBELL: I mean, they were all in a state of shock, and it's a pretty ludicrous idea on the face of it.
AVOCADO: Imagining what the recording sessions must have been like'...what did they actually call you? ''William''? ''Paul''?
CAMPBELL: At first they didn't call me anything at all! [Laughs.] 'Cause they didn't know. It was, you know, ''Hey.'' Funnily enough, it was George who was the first one to call me ''Paul.'' It was a total accident. He was tuning his guitar, focusing on that, and absent-mindedly said, you know, ''Paul, would you hand me this or that'' or whatever it was. The tea. And we all just froze there, you know? I mean, George was the most skeptical of anyone about the idea. He liked it the least. But he still went along with it, of course.
AVOCADO: And then all of a sudden, you were writing songs as part of the greatest songwriting partnership of the 20th century like nothing had happened.
CAMPBELL: I mean, I was in shock too! But I had to pretend like I wasn't, of course. The thing is, that was why Brian kept calling it such a miracle stroke of luck, finding not just someone who looked a lot like Paul and sounded like him and could play left-handed, but was also this, you know, not to be immodest, but this undiscovered songwriter.
Because Paul didn't leave behind a lot of material, you know. That was the first assumption everyone makes, is that he had drawers and drawers with everything from Pepper and the White Album and Abbey Road and the singles for me to play and sing, but he didn't. There were the hundreds of songs he and John had written as kids, but they couldn't go back to those, and John couldn't write a whole album at that point, and George was kind of preoccupied. So they asked me what I could contribute being supposedly this songwriter, and the first thing I offered was ''Oh! Darling.''
CAMPBELL: Oh yeah, I mean'...it was a song I had written back before this whole thing, and I'd written it with Paul sort of on my mind, I suppose. But when I played it for the others, they thought it was a bit too old fashioned at that point in, you know, The Beatles' musical progression, because it was. So instead, I went back and wrote ''Getting Better'' from scratch, which was me listening to ''Penny Lane'' and trying to do something along those lines, you know. That, they liked'--I think it surprised them how much they liked it'--and so John worked on the lyrics, helped out some.
AVOCADO: So was Pepper all new material you wrote or co-wrote with John?
CAMPBELL: It was a mix of new tunes and some older things I had written before in Athens. ''Fixing a Hole,'' that was one I had in my back pocket maybe a year or two, that I just changed a couple lyrics to. People assume that was some kind of a little joke or clue, looking back: me coming in to ''fix'' the ''hole'' in the Beatles. Honestly, it's almost embarrassing, but it actually just was literally about Mary [Campbell, nee Smithers, William Campbell's estranged first wife and father of William Jr.] bothering me to fix some hole in the roof of our house when I wasn't in the mood and turning my grumbling over it into this song.
''Lovely Rita'' was maybe half-written by that point; John and them, they didn't know the word ''meter maid'' because they're called ''traffic wardens'' in Britain. They thought it sounded a bit cheeky, you know, like a French maid or whatever, and I then sort of fleshed it out along those lines.
AVOCADO: ''She's Leaving Home''?
CAMPBELL: That was'...I guess that had been a sort of fantasy when I was living with Mary and Junior in Athens. I suppose that doesn't reflect well on me.
AVOCADO: So at what point did the Pepper concept actually come together?
CAMPBELL: Well, that was sort of a Brian notion, and you know, worked out with George Martin once he was let in on what had happened. The music had been getting more psychedelic and using more studio trickery anyway on Revolver, so on some level it was a progression from that. But the sort of idea of Pepper comes from wanting a bit of smoke and mirrors. The thing about wearing ''musical costumes'' and being a ''different band,'' so if I don't sound exactly like Paul McCartney, you can wave it away saying, ''Oh, well they're just trying something new.'' And all the strange effects on the voice and instruments, it's there to disguise things a bit. But then we leaned into that creatively.
And you know, literal costumes as well. There's the mustache, just so if someone thought I didn't look quite right, you could put it down to that, and the costumes, and the cover where we were quite small but there was a lot of other stuff to distract you.
AVOCADO: You're facing backwards on the back cover.
CAMPBELL: Exactly! Exactly. You play it off as being cheeky, those wacky lads, but it really was, just, maybe don't encourage people to look too closely. But then we ended up shooting that gatefold anyway, and it turned out just fine. They'd done excellent work, the doctors.
AVOCADO: You mentioned ''clues'' earlier. Fans have, of course, been picking up on those for decades. Were these intentional or coincidence, or'--?
CAMPBELL: Some of them were just made up and coincidences, or people hearing stuff that wasn't there in the background. Maybe some of it was subconscious on our parts, or maybe the fans had picked up on the switch and it was affecting their subconscious? At any rate, it actually just is ''cranberry sauce'' John's saying, you know.
AVOCADO: There's the supposed ''OPD'' badge. [Campbell wears a badge in the Pepper photoshoot that says ''OPP,'' standing for Ontario Provincial Police.]
CAMPBELL: And they thought it was ''Officially Pronounced Dead'' but it wasn't. Although that was an entirely different joke, me having been a cop and having come from Ontario. That was John's idea. Again, dealing with grief through jokes. The big one that was actually intentional was ''Billy Shears,'' which means, ''Billy's here,'' of course, although I hate being called Billy. But then the character of Billy is actually Ringo, so it doesn't mean anything.
AVOCADO: Given the stakes of what you were doing, it's hard to imagine Brian tolerating you and John leaving clues that could possibly undermine everything.
CAMPBELL: Well, those he didn't even know about or catch. He was busy with, you know, paying people off and covering up and arranging a secret funeral and a million other large-scale concerns, he didn't have time to pore over the lyrics sheets like the fans did or play tapes backwards.
But some of those things, you know, it's not ''clues,'' it wasn't a game we were playing, it's just that you're a songwriter and you draw from your life, and it just so happened that my life was particularly strange. [Laughs.] Later on, ''She Came in Through the Bathroom Window'' was almost a full confession, but I walked it back and obscured it, and pretty soon even I didn't know what it was about anymore.
AVOCADO: So Pepper is released and is immediately celebrated as a landmark achievement in rock music. And it's in large part because of your contributions. How did that feel?
CAMPBELL: Extremely validating. [Laughs.] I mean how else could it have felt? I mean, to be perfectly honest, despite the unbelievably elevated stage I suddenly found myself on, I was confident in my abilities as a songwriter and a performer. All those dead-end years in Athens where I was haunted by this sense of being cheated by the way my life had turned out, that my potential had been smothered by my responsibilities. So to have this million-to-one'--I mean, trillion-to-one, really'--opportunity and take it? To put out a record with my songs and be told they're brilliant? ''Actually, you're as good as you always thought you would be.''
AVOCADO: Do you feel now that it was dishonest to do it under the name ''Paul McCartney''?
CAMPBELL: [Pause.] No.
AVOCADO: Can you explain why not?
CAMPBELL: I would ask'... [Pause.] I would ask why I should feel it was dishonest. If you want to tell me it's dishonest to play ''Yesterday'' or ''Penny Lane'' at my live shows, I mean'...I would argue it's tribute but I don't think I'd ever convince you. Agree to disagree.
But Sgt. Pepper'...I wrote those songs, with the exception of ''When I'm 64.'' Whatever my name is, if it's William Campbell or Paul McCartney, that's my work. Every Beatle album after that is my work, every album credited to ''Paul McCartney'' is my work.
And I'm not saying I'm better than Paul or that he wouldn't have developed into a totally different songwriter and musician than I turned out to be. Maybe The Beatles would never have broken up if Paul had been there, but maybe they would have anyway. I was a fan, remember, of his Beatles songs, and I just happened to look like him and both of those contributed to how I got caught up in this scheme.
So if I come off as conceited or ungrateful, or disrespectful and a deadbeat dad for so many years or whatever you think of me'...I'll take that. I've been privileged with an amazing life. If that's the price I pay now in the court of public opinion, I'll pay it.
Enough Drugs To Kill 10 Million In NJ Rest Stop Fentanyl Bust | Patch
Law enforcement authorities say they busted a large-scale fentanyl operation that had enough drugs to kill 10 million people '' more than the entire New Jersey population.
And it was uncovered at a rest stop.
Two men were charged this week after the seizure of more than 20 kilograms of fentanyl that they tried to transport into New Jersey. Both made their initial court appearances in Newark federal court on Monday, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced in a press release.
The Drug Enforcement Administration says a dosage of 2 milligrams of fentanyl is typically considered lethal, and the seizure was the equivalent of 20 million milligrams.
Luis Aponte, 48, of Hesperia, Calif. and Denny Diaz, 29, of Philadelphia were charged by complaint with one count conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute 400 grams or more of fentanyl, according to the release.
They appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph Dickson in Newark federal court on Monday. The defendants were detained without bail.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Aponte allegedly drove a truck to a rest stop in Bloomsbury on March 1. The release did not specify the rest stop.
The next day, he and Diaz met in a car and, once inside, Aponte gave Diaz approximately 7 kilograms of fentanyl.
Agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration arrested the two men and searched Aponte's truck. They found an additional 13 kilograms of fentanyl and 5 kilograms of heroin inside, accoding to the release.
The count with which the defendants are charged carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, a maximum of life in prison and a fine of up to $10 million, according to the release.
This case is being investigated by the DEA's New York Drug Enforcement Task Force, comprising agents and officers of the DEA, New York City Police Department and New York State Police.
Carpenito credited special agents of the DEA, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Ray Donovan, New York Division; New York City Police Commissioner James P. O'Neill; and NY State Police Acting Superintendent Keith M. Corlett with the investigation leading to the arrests.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Macurdy of the U.S. Attorney's Office Criminal Division in Newark.
The seizure comes roughly two weeks after federal authorities said they stopped a drug operation that was prepared to supply New Jersey with enough drugs to kill 2.4 million '' roughly one-third of the state's population.
Read more: NJ Fentanyl Bust: Enough Doses To Kill An Estimated 2.4 Million
Claire Lehmann (born 1985) is an Australian writer and the founding editor of Quillette.
Personal life [ edit ] Claire Lehmann is the daughter of an artist and a child-care worker who grew up in Adelaide, South Australia. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in psychology and English from the University of Adelaide with first class honours in 2010 and was a graduate student in psychology, but dropped out after having a child. She is married and has two children. She is the daughter-in-law of the poet Geoffrey Lehmann.
Career [ edit ] Lehmann founded Quillette in October 2015, with the goal of publishing intellectually rigorous material that makes arguments or presents data not in keeping with the contemporary intellectual consensus. According to the national newspaper The Australian, Lehmann's choice to publish "a story about the sacking of Google engineer James Damore, who had written an internal memo criticising the company's push for diversity and what he called 'an ideological echo chamber'" precipitated her venture's success. Her website was temporarily shut down by a DDoS attack following publication of the piece.
Lehmann has contributed to a variety of publications, including The Guardian; Harvard Kennedy School Review; in Spanish for Tercera Cultura;Scientific American;Commentary;Rebel Australia, part of the Canadian The Rebel Media network; the American Jewish online magazine Tablet;  and ABC News (Australia).
Bari Weiss regards Lehmann as one of the leaders of the Intellectual Dark Web, a group of intellectuals who are "determined to resist parroting what's politically convenient".The Sydney Morning Herald named Lehmann in their "Ten Aussies who shook the world in tech and media in 2018".
References [ edit ] ^ a b c Lester, Amelia. "The Voice of the 'Intellectual Dark Web': Claire Lehmann's online magazine, Quillette, prides itself on publishing 'dangerous' ideas other outlets won't touch. How far is it willing to go?". Politico Magazine (November/December 2018). ISSN 2381-1595. ^ Lehmann, Claire. "BIO". Claire Lehmann . Retrieved 1 October 2018 . Before starting Quillette, I was a grad-student in psychology, but dropped out after having a baby. I graduated from The University of Adelaide with First Class Honours in 2010. ^ https://twitter.com/clairlemon/status/1067239144865259521 ^ a b Dale, Helen (2 June 2018). "Australia's Mistress of the Intellectual Dark Web". The Spectator . Retrieved 6 June 2018 . ^ a b Macken, Deirdre (July 19, 2018). "Centre stage in the culture war" . The Australian. Archived from the original on July 19, 2018 . Retrieved October 2, 2018 . Last August, 'everything changed' when Lehmann published a story about the sacking of Google engineer James Damore, who had written an internal memo criticising the company's push for diversity and what he called ''an ideological echo chamber''. She had commissioned four scientists to review Damore's comments, mostly favourably, and the story was published just as he was sacked. ^ Beck, Chris (8 May 2018). "Claire Lehmann's Forum for the Intellectual Dark Web". Splice Today . Retrieved 6 June 2018 . ^ a b Weiss, Bari (8 May 2018). "Meet the Renegades of the Intellectual Dark Web; An alliance of heretics is making an end run around the mainstream conversation. Should we be listening?". New York Times . Retrieved 6 June 2018 . ^ Wooley, Charles (August 26, 2018), Age of outrage: Part one - Science proves we're getting high on hate (Television production), Willoughby, New South Wales: 60 Minutes Australia, event occurs at 4:07, 6h_4_lEm5fY , retrieved October 2, 2018 , She's the editor of Quillette an online magazine she started up to give voice to writers shunned by the mainstream media. ^ "The Google Memo: Four Scientists Respond". Quillette. August 7, 2017. Archived from the original on August 16, 2017 . Retrieved October 3, 2018 . ^ Young, Cathy (August 8, 2017). "Googler fired for diversity memo had legit points on gender". USA Today. Archived from the original on August 8, 2017 . Retrieved October 3, 2018 . ^ Brooks, David (August 11, 2017). "Sundar Pichai Should Resign as Google's C.E.O." The New York Times. Archived from the original on August 11, 2017 . Retrieved October 3, 2018 . ^ Shermer, Michael (September 2017). "The Unfortunate Fallout of Campus Postmodernism: The roots of the current campus madness". Scientific American. Archived from the original on August 18, 2017 . Retrieved October 3, 2018 . ^ Airaksinen, Toni (August 9, 2017). "Libertarian Site Suffers DDoS Attack After Supporting Google Worker". PJ Media. Archived from the original on August 18, 2017 . Retrieved August 17, 2017 . Quillette Magazine, a small but respected libertarian publication based in Australia, suffered a DDoS attack Tuesday after publishing an article supportive of James Damore, the fired Google memo writer. ^ Leef, George (August 11, 2017). "Ideas (Like the Bad Ones Kids Learn in College) Have Consequences". National Review. Archived from the original on August 14, 2017 . Retrieved August 17, 2017 . A much less covered story was the taking down (at least temporarily) of a site, Quillette.com, that had posted commentary favorable to the Google engineer's memo about the company's diversity policies. ^ "Claire Lehmann". The Guardian . Retrieved October 1, 2018 . Claire Lehmann is a Sydney-based freelance writer. Her work has appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald, Harvard Kennedy School Review, and has been translated into Spanish for Tercera Cultura. ^ Lehmann, Claire (February 10, 2014). "Digital Mobs & Outrage Generation". Kennedy School Review . Retrieved October 1, 2018 . ^ "Autor: Claire Lehmann". Tercera Cultura (in Spanish). Archived from the original on October 3, 2018 . Retrieved October 3, 2018 . ^ "Stories by Claire Lehmann". Scientific American . Retrieved October 1, 2018 . ^ "Claire Lehmann, Author at Commentary". Commentary . Retrieved October 1, 2018 . ^ "Claire Lehmann || ARCHIVES". The Rebel Media . Retrieved October 1, 2018 . Claire has written op-eds and feature articles for The Sydney Morning Herald, The Guardian, ABC's The Drum, and Quillette. Her essays have also been cited in the National Review, The Wall Street Journal, The Australian, and The Spectator. ^ "Claire Lehmann, Author at Tablet Magazine". Tablet Magazine . Retrieved October 1, 2018 . ^ "Claire Lehmann". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 2014-07-07 . Retrieved October 2, 2018 . Claire Lehmann is a freelance writer and editor of Quillette Magazine. ^ Edroso, Roy (14 May 2018). "Conservatives Cheer the Latest Right-Wing Supergroup, the Intellectual Dark Web". The Village Voice . Retrieved 6 June 2018 . ^ Daum, Meghan (March 16, 2018). "A new movement to speak truth to identity politics is our best hope against regressive thinking". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on March 17, 2018 . Retrieved October 3, 2018 . The nest of free thinkers includes, to name just a few, Claire Lehmann, founder and editor of the online magazine Quillette, the bioethicist and author Alice Dreger, and Bret Weinstein and Heather Heying. ^ Beres, Derek (March 5, 2018). "These are the women behind the Intellectual Dark Web". Big Think. Archived from the original on March 5, 2018 . Retrieved October 3, 2018 . ^ Daum, Meghan (March 22, 2018). "Speaking truth to identify politics". Providence Journal. Archived from the original on March 24, 2018 . Retrieved October 3, 2018 . ^ McDuling, John (2018-12-25). "Ten Aussies who shook the world in tech and media in 2018". The Sydney Morning Herald . Retrieved 2018-12-25 . External links [ edit ] Official website Claire Lehmann on TwitterMercatus Center interview by Tyler Cowen of Claire Lehmann
Quillette is a platform for free thought. We respect ideas, even dangerous ones. We also believe that free expression and the free exchange of ideas help human societies flourish and progress. Quillette aims to provide a platform for this exchange.
Who are we?
Claire Lehmann '-- Editor in Chief, Sydney | email@example.com
Jamie Palmer '-- Senior Editor, London | firstname.lastname@example.org
Jonathan Kay '-- Canadian Editor, Toronto | email@example.com
Toby Young '-- Associate Editor, London
Andy Ngo '-- Sub-editor & photo-journalist, Portland
See more about the Quillette team.
How did Quillette begin?
Quillette began in Claire Lehmann's living room in 2015. Claire had recently dropped out of her graduate program in psychology and wished to create a space for academics to publish their ideas. Quillette's first contributors included Associate Professor Brian Boutwell and documentary film-maker Jamie Palmer.
How is Quillette funded?
We are a for-profit venture and we are funded primarily through reader donations collected through Patreon: visit our Patreon page here. We also receive modest funding through online advertising via Amazon Affiliates.
How can you help?
You can help by donating through Patreon or via PayPal and reading and sharing our articles with your friends and colleagues.
How can you pitch an article?
Send an idea for an article or a completed article draft to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Due to the volume of submissions we receive, unfortunately, we cannot guarantee a reply to every email.
How can you contact us?
For all non-pitch related inquiries reach us at:email@example.com
War on Weed
California Might Run Out of Legal Cannabis by Summer | Leafly
The supply of legal cannabis in California promises to start drying up by spring unless a quick fix becomes law.
On Tuesday, Feb. 19, the California Legislature published Senate Bill 67, to keep cannabis farms open as they await permanent licensing.
Right now, thousands of farms operate under temporary licenses from the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). Those 6,924 temp licenses are expiring faster than the CDFA can issue permanent annual licenses. Those temp licenses also can't be extended unless existing law is tweaked.
It's been 834 days since California voters approved cannabis legalization in November 2016. So far, the CDFA has issued just nine annual cannabis farm licenses. Another 39 annual farm licenses are pending payment of fees as high as $44,000 per license.
Industry expert and cannabis attorney Omar Figueroa said that without legal farm licenses, there is no legal industry. Meanwhile, the state's illicit market continues to thrive.
''If California runs out of regulated cannabis, consumers will turn to the unregulated market, making it even more difficult for the few remaining licensed cannabis businesses to eke out a living,'' Figueroa said.
''The world's largest legal cannabis industry is on the verge of collapse,'' said Lauren Mendelsohn, an associate at Figueroa's law offices.
The author of SB 67 is Sen. Mike McGuire, who represents many cannabis farmers north of San Francisco.
Why a Fix Is NeededThere's no shortage of unlicensed cannabis inside California, of course. It's the legal cannabis system that may run dry.
California's legalization Proposition 64 mandates state licensing for the entire commercial cannabis supply chain. But bureaucratic red tape has proved thickest around farm licensing. Farms need local city and county approval, plus sign-offs from the Department of Fish & Wildlife and the California State Water Resources Control Board. The annual farm license application is 44 pages long, and application reviews can stretch for more than four months.
The number one thing slowing down farm licensing is environmental review, CDFA Director Richard Parrott said on Jan. 29. For example, cannabis is the only type of crop subject to the state's toughest-in-class environmental law, the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).
SB 67 buys state officials time to try to get more farms past CEQA review to earn ''provisional'' or ''annual'' licensing status.
Leafly asked the CDFA to provide a statement on the pace of licensing, and asked if the CDFA is meeting internal goals. The CDFA stated they are working as fast as they can, and pointed to incomplete applications as an issue.
''The top priority of CDFA's CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing Division is to process as quickly as possible the annual cannabis cultivation licensing applications,'' stated Rebecca Foree, CDFA communications manager. ''We are here to help applicants understand how to submit accurate and complete applications, which in turn will help speed up the application-review process.''
Many thousands of submitted annual applications are incomplete, said consultant Jenn Price, director of state compliance at Golden State Government Relations.
''The current state of affairs is worrisome to say the least,'' she said. ''It isn't just an issue of whether or not CDFA can power through that many applications in the time allotted, it's whether the applications are even eligible for approval.''
A Feb. 20 memo from cannabis industry lobbyists at K Street Consulting states that the cannabis farm industry has failed to to do their homework and turn in completed applications on time.
Freaking Out, Man? Chill, Leafly Locates Your Local Cannabis Menus ''The industry is not holding up their end of the bargain in submitting annual applications for their temporary licenses,'' K Street stated.
The CDFA may be open to a legal fix that buys both sides time, said Price.
''In speaking to a lead scientist from CDFA last week about this looming issue he assured me that Gov. Newsom is highly motivated to see the cannabis regulatory program to succeed. He also alluded to potential legislative fixes in the works,'' she said.
License Expiration Rate Is Accelerating(Leafly)If the cannabis industry is an airplane, a critical warning light is now flashing and a switch needs to be flipped fast (SB 67), or the plane will run out of fuel (raw cannabis) and crash by summer, said Hezekiah Allen, former executive director of the California Grower's Association.
''SB 67 isn't the solution to all of this, but it is critical if the fledgling market is going to survive the next year,'' he said.
California is on pace to have maybe 144 fully licensed farms by July, when all temporary licenses will have expired.
By contrast, Californians consume an estimated 640 metric tons of cannabis per year. That's about 1.4 million pounds.
The rate of temporary license expiration is accelerating, and if it continues, the industry will collapse. Virtually all current legal farms won't be able to grow cannabis. Distributors won't have anything to ship. Labs will have nothing to test. Store shelves will go bare, and customers will retreat to the illicit market.
There are 6,924 temporary farm licensees on file with the CDFA. About 3,127 of them have submitted applications for annual licensing. Thirty-nine of those annual licenses are approved pending payment of fees. Nine farms have annual licenses.
Temporary licenses have started expiring. There are 198 temporary licenses expiring in the month of February. Among those temp licensees, four have submitted annuals. So 194 temp farm licenses will expire in February, no matter what.
In March, 1,496 temporary farm licenses will expire, with no possibility of renewal or extension.In April, 4,001 temp licenses will expire.From May through July, all remaining temporary licenses will expire.At the CDFA's current pace of 48 annual licenses approved since Jan. 1, regulators are on track to license maybe double that number (144 total) by July.
An industry with more than 6,000 temp farm licenses will have contracted to one with maybe 144 permanent farm licenses.
Subscribe to Leafly's email newsletter to stay updated on this story. Email 'subscribe' to firstname.lastname@example.org.
VIDEO - Lunar Module Two Foil Sheets Thick [GLOBEBUSTERS] NASA Apollo Moon Hoax - YouTube
SoundCloud Your current browser isn't compatible with SoundCloud. Please download one of our supported browsers. Need help?
Internet ExplorerSorry! Something went wrong
Is your network connection unstable or browser outdated?
I need help Popular searches
VIDEO - Manny_Ottawa on Twitter: "3/ OMG. This is equally disturbing @cathmckenna preaching about her religion of Global Warming to draw unity and applause. Warm summer = Global Warming Cold winter = ''denier'' ''don't you know difference between wea
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) '' Officials have announced stepped up security measures in New York after
three bombs were found near major transportation hubs in London.
CBS News reported the bombs were contained in three padded mailing bags and described them as small explosive devices.
.@Metpoliceuk Counter Terrorism Command has launched an investigation after three suspicious packages were found at locations around London today '' thankfully there have been no injuries. I would like to thank first responders for their swift actions to keep Londoners safe. pic.twitter.com/d3OVfy4uYn
'-- Mayor of London (@MayorofLondon) March 5, 2019
London's Metropolitan Police said they were ''treating the incidents as a linked series.'' There's was no immediate word on a motive.
We're treating the incidents as a linked series & keeping an open mind regarding motives. Flights at Heathrow & City Airport have not been effected. Train services at Waterloo Station continue to operate. As a precaution, some DLR services were suspended but now fully operational
'-- Metropolitan Police (@metpoliceuk) March 5, 2019
Police in New York City said they were stepping up bag checks in the subway system and at other transit hubs. Critical response ''Striker Teams'' are also being dispatched to assist in the screenings.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered security increased at ''high-profile locations around the state, including our airports, train stations, bridges, tunnels and mass transit systems.''
''The explosives found in London transportation hubs are stark reminders of the threats we face today. In the wake of this act of violence, New York stands with Britain and all our allies against terrorism in all its forms,'' Cuomo said. ''In New York, we understand the dangers of our time and we will continue to work aggressively with all local and federal partners to keep New Yorkers safe.''
VIDEO - AER orders Vesta Energy to stop fracking ops immediately after Sylvan Lake earthquake | Globalnews.ca
The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) has ordered Vesta Energy Ltd. to suspend its operations indefinitely at a well site near Sylvan Lake on Tuesday after Monday's earthquake.
According to AER, the epicentre of the quake was about 2.5 kilometres from Vesta's well site.
READ MORE: 4.6 magnitude earthquake hits central Alberta near Red Deer
AER said Vesta contacted the regulator on March 4 at 6:20 a.m. saying that seismic activity was detected due to hydraulic fracturing (also known as fracking) at the site. AER said that Vesta had shut down fracking right away.
Fracking involves pumping chemicals and sand underground to break up rocks to help get oil and natural gas flowing.
WATCH (March 5, 2019): A 4.6-magnitude earthquake in central Alberta on Monday was triggered by hydraulic fracturing, according to the energy company working in the area. Vesta Energy has been ordered to stop fracking operations by the Alberta Energy Regulator. Lauren Pullen has the details from the order.
Erik Kuleba, AER's director of environment and operational performance, said that a release of substances '-- defined in the order as ''vibrations and the release of energy'' '-- has occurred and that substances ''have caused, are causing or may cause an adverse effect.''
The order said Kuleba considers it ''necessary to suspend the well in order to protect the public and the environment.''
The regulator said the Calgary-based company must submit a report of all seismic activity in the area since April and specific fracturing data for the well site from Jan. 29 to Monday. It has also ordered Vesta to file a plan to eliminate or reduce future seismic activity from fracturing.
A 4.6-magnitude earthquake hit central Alberta near Sylvan Lake (pictured) and Red Deer just before 6 a.m. on Monday, according to Natural Resources Canada
Global NewsThere are no reports of injuries or property damage as a result of the seismic event, Vesta said in an emailed statement to Global News.
''The safety of the public, employees and contractors is paramount, and Vesta takes this incident very seriously,'' it read. ''The company is co-operating with the Alberta Energy Regulator and is focused on meeting the conditions required to lift the order.'''
A 4.6-magnitude earthquake hit central Alberta near Sylvan Lake and Red Deer just before 6 a.m. on Monday, according to Natural Resources Canada (NRC). There were no immediate reports of damage, but the community of Sylvan Lake said the power went out in most of the town Monday morning. The tremor was classified as a light earthquake, according to NRC.
Cause for concern and a chance to learnQuakes occur occasionally in Alberta, and the ones caused by fracking are happening more often, according to University of Alberta geophysics professor Jeff Gu.
''Prior to 2010, there were fewer events of this size, and a lot of those were regular tectonic earthquakes,'' he said. ''But since 2010 or so, there have been heightened focuses on the Fox Creek area, which has many earthquakes associated with hydraulic fracturing.''
There is a strong correlation between earthquakes and ventures in the area, Gu said.
''In particular, the volume of injection has been associated with the heightened activities in that area,'' he said.
However, Gu is not so worried about deaths and damage from quakes in this province.
''Here, magnitude 4.0s, 4.5s don't usually lead to significant structural damages, loss of life, but there's always concern about the environmental impact of these events, releases of substances from the operations, groundwater contamination,'' Gu explained. ''We're more concerned about those issues here.''
The Alberta Energy Regulator (AER) has ordered Vesta Energy Ltd. to suspend its operations indefinitely at a well site near Sylvan Lake on Tuesday after Monday's earthquake.
Global NewsWhen seismic episodes crop up, there is, thankfully, a lot of data to mine to expand upon a limited set. Scientists can learn from these events '-- the stresses that lead to faults, which faults are active '-- and better understand the region so new laws can be developed.
''Eventually, we want to lead to safer practices in the future, to reduce the risks,'' Gu said.
''This is, really, a big problem that involves all parties. That includes the academics, the regulators, the operators. I think everybody can work together, work as a team to understand what happened and hopefully prevent future occurrences of these earthquakes.''
'' With files from The Canadian Press
(C) 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
David Wallace-Wells#1259. David Wallace-Wells is Deputy editor and climate columnist for New York magazine. His book ''The...
#1259. David Wallace-Wells is Deputy editor and climate columnist for New York magazine. His book "The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming" is available now.
Read More '' 03.05.19 #1258
Jack Dorsey, Vijaya Gadde & Tim Pool#1258. Jack Dorsey is a computer programmer and Internet entrepreneur who is co-founder and CEO of...
#1258. Jack Dorsey is a computer programmer and Internet entrepreneur who is co-founder and CEO of Twitter, and founder and CEO of Square, a mobile payments company. Vijaya Gadde serves as the global lead for legal, policy, and trust and safety at Twitter. Tim Pool is an independent journalist. His work can currently be found at http://timcast.com
Read More '' 03.04.19 #058
Steve Sweeney#1257. Steve Sweeney is a comedian, writer, and actor. His movie ''Sweeney Killing Sweeney'' will be...
#1257. Steve Sweeney is a comedian, writer, and actor. His movie "Sweeney Killing Sweeney" will be available everywhere this month at : https://sweeneykillingsweeney.com/
Read More '' 02.28.19 #1256
David Lee Roth#1256. David Lee Roth is the lead singer of multi-platnium hard rock band from Southern California,...
#1256. David Lee Roth is the lead singer of multi-platnium hard rock band from Southern California, Van Halen. https://inktheoriginal.com/
Read More '' 02.27.19 #1255
Alex Jones Returns!#1255. Alex Jones is a radio show host, filmmaker, and writer. Eddie Bravo is a jiujitsu...
#1255. Alex Jones is a radio show host, filmmaker, and writer. Eddie Bravo is a jiujitsu black belt, music producer, and author.
Read More '' 02.26.19 #1254
Dr. Phil#1254. Dr. Phil McGraw is an author, psychologist, and the host of the television show ''Dr....
#1254. Dr. Phil McGraw is an author, psychologist, and the host of the television show "Dr. Phil."
Read More '' 02.26.19 #1253
Ioan Grillo#1253. Ioan Grillo is journalist who has spent the last 18 years reporting on the drug...
#1253. Ioan Grillo is journalist who has spent the last 18 years reporting on the drug war in Mexico. His books "El Narco: Inside Mexico's Criminal Insurgency" and "Gangster Warlords" are available now.
Read More '' 02.25.19 #1252
Dave Foley & Paul Greenberg#1252. David Foley is an actor, stand-up comedian, director, producer and writer. Paul Greenberg is...
#1252. David Foley is an actor, stand-up comedian, director, producer and writer. Paul Greenberg is an actor, comedian and voice actor. Together they host "Don't Say.. with Paul & Dave" available on iTunes.
Read More '' 02.21.19 #1251
Tim Dillon#1251. Tim Dillon is a comedian, tour guide, and host. His podcast ''Tim Dillon Is Going...
#1251. Tim Dillon is a comedian, tour guide, and host. His podcast "Tim Dillon Is Going To Hell" is available on the GaS Digital Network.
Read More ''
VIDEO - Source: Leaked Documents Show the U.S. Government Tracking Journalists and Immigration Advocates Through a Secret Database - NBC 7 San Diego
This story has been updated with a new statement from Customs and Border Protection and a response from the ACLU.
Documents obtained by NBC 7 Investigates show the U.S. government created a secret database of activists, journalists, and social media influencers tied to the migrant caravan and in some cases, placed alerts on their passports.
At the end of 2018, roughly 5,000 immigrants from Central America made their way north through Mexico to the United States southern border. The story made international headlines.
As the migrant caravan reached the San Ysidro Port of Entry in south San Diego County, so did journalists, attorneys, and advocates who were there to work and witness the events unfolding.
But in the months that followed, journalists who covered the caravan, as well as those who offered assistance to caravan members, said they felt they had become targets of intense inspections and scrutiny by border officials.
One photojournalist said she was pulled into secondary inspections three times and asked questions about who she saw and photographed in Tijuana shelters. Another photojournalist said she spent 13 hours detained by Mexican authorities when she tried to cross the border into Mexico City. Eventually, she was denied entry into Mexico and sent back to the U.S.
These American photojournalists and attorneys said they suspected the U.S. government was monitoring them closely but until now, they couldn't prove it.
Now, documents leaked to NBC 7 Investigates show their fears weren't baseless. In fact, their own government had listed their names in a secret database of targets, where agents collected information on them. Some had alerts placed on their passports, keeping at least three photojournalists and an attorney from entering Mexico to work.
The documents were provided to NBC 7 by a Homeland Security source on the condition of anonymity, given the sensitive nature of what they were divulging.
The source said the documents or screenshots show a SharePoint application that was used by agents from Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the U.S. Border Patrol, Homeland Security Investigations and some agents from the San Diego sector of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI).
The intelligence gathering efforts were done under the umbrella of ''Operation Secure Line,'' the operation designated to monitor the migrant caravan, according to the source.
The documents list people who officials think should be targeted for screening at the border.
The individuals listed include ten journalists, seven of whom are U.S. citizens, a U.S. attorney, and 47 people from the U.S. and other countries, labeled as organizers, instigators or their roles ''unknown.'' The target list includes advocates from organizations like Border Angels and Pueblo Sin Fronteras.
To view the documents, click here or the link below.
PHOTOS: Leaked Documents Show Government Tracking Journalists, Immigration Advocates
NBC 7 Investigates is blurring the names and photos of individuals who haven't given us permission to publish their information.
The documents are titled ''San Diego Sector Foreign Operations Branch: Migrant Caravan FY-2019, Suspected Organizers, Coordinators, Instigators and Media'' and are dated January 9, 2019.
Emblazoned on it are the American and Mexican flags, with a banner that reads: "ILU-OASSIS-OMEGA." An official at the Department of Homeland Security said the seal indicates that the documents are a product of the International Liaison Unit (ILU), which coordinates intelligence between Mexico and the United States.
This seal is emblazoned in the leaked documents to NBC 7 Investigates.
For each person, the documents show their photo, often from their passport but in some cases from their social media accounts, along with their personal information. That information includes the person's date of birth, their ''country of commencement,'' and their alleged role tied to the migrant caravan. The information also includes whether officials placed an alert on the person's passport.
Some individuals have a colored ''X'' over their photo, indicating whether they were arrested, interviewed, or had their visa or SENTRI pass revoked by officials.
In addition to flagging the individuals for secondary screenings, the Homeland Security source told NBC 7 that the agents also created dossiers on each person listed.
''We are a criminal investigation agency, we're not an intelligence agency,'' the Homeland Security source told NBC 7 Investigates. ''We can't create dossiers on people and they're creating dossiers. This is an abuse of the Border Search Authority.''
One dossier, shared with NBC 7, was on Nicole Ramos, the Refugee Director and attorney for Al Otro Lado, a law center for migrants and refugees in Tijuana, Mexico. The dossier included personal details on Ramos, including specific details about the car she drives, her mother's name, and her work and travel history.
After sharing the documents with Ramos, she said Al Otro Lado is seeking more information on why she and other attorneys at the law center have been targeted by border officials.
''The document appears to prove what we have assumed for some time, which is that we are on a law enforcement list designed to retaliate against human rights defenders who work with asylum seekers and who are critical of CBP practices that violate the rights of asylum seekers,'' Ramos told NBC 7 by email.
In addition to the dossier on Ramos, a list of other dossier files created was shared with NBC 7. Two of the dossier files were labeled with the names of journalists but no further details were available. Those journalists were also listed as targets for secondary screenings.
Customs and Border Protection has the authority to pull anyone into secondary screenings, but the documents show the agency is increasingly targeting journalists, attorneys, and immigration advocates. Former counterterrorism officials say the agency should not be targeting individuals based on their profession.
NBC 7 Investigates sent the information to all border and law enforcement agencies the source listed, asking whether the information was valid and if these tactics were legal.
A Customs and Border Protection spokesperson did not answer NBC 7's list of questions or confirm the validity of the documents shared.
By email, the spokesperson said, ''Criminal events, such as the breach of the border wall in San Diego, involving assaults on law enforcement and a risk to public safety, are routinely monitored and investigated by authorities.''
To read CBP's full statement, click here.
''It is protocol following these incidents to collect evidence that might be needed for future legal actions and to determine if the event was orchestrated,'' the statement read. ''CBP and our law enforcement partners evaluate these incidents, follow all leads garnered from information collected, conduct interviews and investigations, in preparation for, and often to prevent future incidents that could cause further harm to the public, our agents, and our economy.''
UPDATE - 4:20 p.m. Minutes after our story published and five days after a Customs and Border Protection spokesperson gave us the agency's statement above, CBP told our colleagues at NBC News that the names in the database are all people who were present during violence that broke out at the border in November. The agency also said journalists are being tracked so that the agency can learn more about what started that violence. CBP never clarified that point directly to NBC 7 Investigates.
UPDATE - 8:20 p.m.
Staff attorney Esha Bhandari with the ACLU's Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, called the government's targeting of journalists and migrants "outrageous."
''This is an outrageous violation of the First Amendment. The government cannot use the pretext of the border to target activists critical of its policies, lawyers providing legal representation, or journalists simply doing their jobs. We are exploring all options in response,'' Bhandari said.
Senior staff attorney Mitra Ebadolahi with the ACLU of San Diego's Border Litigation Project, called NBC 7's report the latest example of abuse of power by the CBP.
''For years, the U.S. government has used the pretext of 'border security' to trample on Americans' constitutional rights. This most recent example is just the latest in a steady stream of CBP abuse of authority, and once again underscores the dire need for meaningful agency oversight and accountability," Ebadolahi said.
Journalists Targeted for Border Inspections
NBC 7 Investigates spoke with seven of the journalists listed on the database as targets for secondary screenings, including freelance photojournalist Ariana Drehsler.
''I'm interested in covering social and political issues,'' Drehsler said, adding that she covered the migrant caravan in Tijuana for Buzzfeed News and United Press International.
''I think there's a lot of misconceptions, maybe from both sides, about who are these people that are trying to seek asylum,'' Drehsler said. ''So I think as a photojournalist, it is my responsibility to cover that to the best of my abilities.''
Drehsler estimated she had crossed the border from San Ysidro dozens of times covering the caravan.
Las Playas de Tijuana on December 9, 2018. At night the beach is lit up with lights from the U.S. side to help US Customs and Border Patrol find people trying to cross illegally. Photo by Ariana Drehsler/UPI Photo credit: UPI
''I was very transparent about what I was doing,'' Drehsler said. ''Sometimes you would see me carrying a camera and if I was asked by an agent what was I doing, I would tell them I was photographing the [migrant] shelters.''
But on December 30, 2018, when Drehsler was crossing back into the United States, she was pulled into secondary inspection and questioned by border agents.
''Two people in plainclothes came down and took me to another room,'' Drehsler said. ''They questioned me in a small room, asking me questions about the shelter, what was I seeing there, who was I working for.''
''They said that I was on the ground and they're not, which I thought was really interesting.''
After about an hour, Drehsler said she was allowed to leave but agents warned her that an alert had been placed on her passport and that she would be pulled into a secondary screening again if she crossed the border. The agents told her to plan accordingly, given the screenings could last an hour or more. When she asked why this alert was placed on her passport, agents told her they had no idea.
Drehsler said she was pulled into secondary screenings two more times while crossing the border. Each time she said she was questioned by the same agents in plainclothes. The second time was on Jan. 2, 2019, and the third time was on Jan. 4, 2019.
On the third occasion, Drehsler said she was told to leave her gear, including her camera and cell phone, on a table outside of the interview room. When she returned, she said it didn't appear to her that the gear had been looked through. Agents asked Drehsler if she could show them the photos she had taken but she said she declined.
Some of the questions agents asked Drehsler on the third screening struck her as odd.
''They asked about the new caravan and if word had gotten out about how difficult it is to seek asylum in the U.S.,'' Drehsler said. ''Then before I left, the female agent asked if I rented or owned my home.''
Drehsler told NBC 7 the personal details listed for her in the leaked screenshots are accurate. She confirmed the photo officials used came from her passport. The screenshots include a green ''X'' over Drehsler's photograph, indicating she had been interviewed by agents.
Sharing the documents with Drehsler, she told NBC 7 she was ''blown away.''
''I have so many questions; I have more questions than answers,'' she said. ''Personally, I don't understand what [agents] are hoping to find.''
Other journalists and attorneys have previously told news outlets like NPR and The Intercept that they too faced the same kind of increased scrutiny surrounding their work involving the migrant caravan.
Evidence of increased scrutiny of journalists at the border was detailed in an October 2018 report prepared by the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ.)
The report identified 37 journalists who said they found the secondary screenings by border officials ''invasive,'' and said 20 cases involved border agents ''conducting warrantless searches of [the journalists'] electronic devices.''
The journalists featured in the leaked documents said they were separated from their electronic devices and gear but had no evidence that agents had gone through their items.
Kitra Cahana is another freelance photojournalist and U.S. citizen listed as a target in the documents. By phone from Honduras, Cahana told NBC 7 she also faced increased scrutiny and was eventually denied entry into Mexico for no apparent reason.
Kitra Cahana is an award-winning freelance documentary photographer, videographer, a photo/video artist. Photo credit: Kitra Cahana
Cahana's work has been featured in National Geographic magazine, The New York Times and the CBC out of Canada. One night in late December, she said Mexican authorities photographed her passport while she and other journalists were working near the border.
Then, on Jan. 17, 2019, while traveling from Canada to Mexico City, Cahana said she had a connecting flight in Detroit, Michigan. Cahana said in Montreal, her passport was flagged while going through U.S. Customs pre-clearance. Cahana said she was pulled into a secondary screening where border agents asked her a list of questions about her work.
''They were interested in whether I had an assignment when I was going down to cover the caravan,'' Cahana said. ''And they wanted to know how I was funding my work.''
Cahana said she was asked to explain how freelance photojournalism works, which she found strange. Afterward, her passport was flagged again in Detroit but eventually, she was allowed to board her flight and fly to Mexico City.
But when she arrived in Mexico, her passport was flagged again. Cahana said she brought this to a Mexican official and was taken into a back room with another group of detained individuals.
There, Cahana said her phone was taken away and she couldn't leave the room. When she needed to use the restroom, an agent escorted her.
''I wasn't allowed to be in communication with anyone, I wasn't allowed to contact my embassy,'' Cahana said. ''It was very confusing because my Spanish is quite limited and no one there really spoke English.''
Cahana said the whole ordeal lasted 13 hours and in the end, she was denied entry into Mexico. She had to wait until a plane arrived that could take her back to Detroit, where her flight originated.
Since then, Cahana said she tried one more time to cross the border into Mexico.
''I was trying to cross into Mexico through Guatemala to continue my work covering the caravan and then I was denied again,'' Cahana said.
NBC 7 Investigates confirmed two more journalists were denied entry into Mexico after covering the caravan in January. Both of them are listed in the SharePoint files leaked to NBC 7.
In the documents shared with NBC 7, Cahana confirmed her personal details were accurate and that the photo used is from her passport. Cahana said she's been in contact with the Committee to Protect Journalists and the ACLU as far as the alert placed on her passport, preventing her access to Mexico.
Cahana said the increased scrutiny by border officials could have a chilling effect on freelance journalists covering the border.
''In the current state of journalism, it's really freelancers who are bringing so much news to the public,'' Cahana said. ''And the uncertainty of having an alert placed on your passport and not knowing where and when that's going to prevent you from doing your work is really problematic.''
Want to know if you're on the target list? Have you faced increased scrutiny while covering a story at the border? NBC 7 Investigates wants to hear from you. Contact us at NBC7Investigates@nbcuni.com
VIDEO - Venezuela expels German ambassador Daniel Kriener for meddling | Euronews
A message of hope and optimism about the future came from former U.S. president Barack Obama in front of a Calgary audience midday on Tuesday.
But that message came with a caveat '-- the importance of making responsible decisions about how to build that future.
''All of us are going to have to recognize that there are trade-offs involved with how we live, how our economy is structured and the world we are going to be passing on to our kids and to our grandchildren,'' the 44th president of the United States told a full Saddledome. ''No one is exempt from that conversation.''
READ MORE: Barack Obama speaks to full house in Winnipeg, leaves fans inspired
Obama credited oil and gas with powering industry and economies, saying: ''It's still the cheapest means for us to power all the things that we do.''
But the two-term president, who famously rejected the Keystone XL pipeline, said that the science is ''indisputable that the planet is getting warmer.''
''At the current pace we're on, the scale of tragedy that will consume humanity is something we have not seen '-- if we don't do something about it,'' he said.
WATCH: As the former president of the United States arrived in Calgary Tuesday, so did a convoy and tight security team. As Jenna Freeman reports, the RCMP was tasked with protecting the dignitary.
Obama pointed to the need for a plan to transition to new sources of energy and to ''clean up old energy sources,'' putting full confidence in human ingenuity to make that change.
The former Illinois senator also had some thoughts for the many Calgarians and Albertans who work in the oil and gas sector during the 70-minute discussion.
''If you are a practical person and you, let's say, work in the oil and gas industry right now and it provides a great living, and you feel like you're providing a great service. This is critical to the global economy, and you take great pride in your work '-- you should,'' Obama said.
Barack Obama enters the stage at the Scotiabank Saddledome in Calgary on March 5, 2019.
Greg Paupst / TINEPUBLIC''But understand that we're going to have to make some choices one way or another. And either we're going to do it intentionally and thoughtfully and seriously, or it will happen to us. And by the time it happens to us, it may be too late. And that, I think, is how we have to think about it.''
Obama suggested the efforts in science and engineering used in extracting bitumen and natural gas in Alberta could be used to help find alternative energy solutions.
Former U.S. president Barack Obama walks on stage in Calgary on March 5, 2019.
Greg Paupst / TINEPUBLIC''The same extraordinary engineering and science that's used at getting at hard oil '... the engineering that exists within oil and gas industries, if some of that starts to get invested by those same companies in developing other energy sources, and those engineers and scientists transition into other ways to get us to turn on the lights and get our cars moving '-- you guys can figure it out, but you have to be open to it,'' Obama said.
READ MORE: RCMP working with Secret Service to provide security for Obama
The RCMP was in charge of providing security for Obama during his appearance in Calgary.
Const. Mike Hibbs said this is standard protocol when a former head of state visits the country.
''We work in conjunction with Secret Service,'' Hibbs explained. ''I mean, they have some things they have to follow, some protocol with the former president, and we will work with those individuals and that organization to make sure that security is top.''
Seeing all sidesObama also shared the importance of having a variety of perspectives at the table when making important decisions, like he had to do during his first term as president during the Great Recession.
''Everybody has blind spots,'' Obama said.
''The benefit of having people from different perspectives around the room is they will fill in, for the group, each other's blind spots.''
READ MORE: Democrats launch sweeping probe of Donald Trump '-- could last through 2020 election
Obama also emphasized the importance of hearing all sides of an issue.
''If you want to get something done about climate change, you can't just be talking with the person who's driving a Prius and eating quinoa. You have to talk to the guy who's got a pickup truck and has to drive 30 miles to his job and, as a consequence, the price of gas is relevant to him. If you don't have a sense of his legitimate concerns, you're not going to be able to build the kind of coalition that will get something done,'' he said.
READ MORE: Michael Bloomberg won't run for president, will instead direct efforts to defeating Trump
Obama's approach, as informed by the scientific process, was met with applause from the Calgary audience.
''I am a big believer in basic enlightenment values like reason and logic and facts. I believe in science and I believe in testing your hypotheses, and if something's not working, you try something different and you apply analytical rigour to problems. I don't think everything is about opinions. I brought that attitude to bear with most of our problems,'' Obama said.
Barack Obama and Dave Kelly on stage in Calgary on March 5, 2019.
Greg Paupst / TINEPUBLICLife after the White House
The afternoon's host, Dave Kelly, asked the former American president a variety of questions about his time serving in the White House, finding time for family life and his relationship with his wife Michelle '-- who Barack says looks back fondly on her March 2018 discussion at the Calgary Stampede Corral.
Obama also spoke of his ongoing work with American youth and the Barack Obama Presidential Center, to be located on the south side of Chicago.
''What I discovered during the course of my presidency is most of the problems we face globally don't get solved not because we don't have solutions out there. Most of them don't get solved because people don't organize themselves to get things done,'' Obama said.
''The way to solve that is by developing and training leadership at every level.''
Obama said he believes young people, in the face of tribalistic reaction to rapid worldwide change, are ''instinctually more tolerant, open-minded, sophisticated.''
''It's not just a matter of sending a tweet or a hashtag. We actually have to do a little more than that.''
'--With files from Jenna Freeman
(C) 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
VIDEO - The True Toxicity of Social Media Revealed Mental Health Documents '' YouTube | PG.Chrys' No Agenda Linkblog
President Trump rocked CPAC on Saturday with a fiery speech that lasted over two hours.The President gave the CPAC crowd plenty of red meat by ripping the Deep State Russia witch hunt, blasting Democrats and mocking the Green New Deal.
President Trump then made a very important announcement Saturday after he brought the conservative activist who was sucker-punched at UC Berkeley, Hayden Williams onto the stage.
''Today I am proud to announce that I will be very soon signing an executive order requiring colleges and universities to support free speech if they want federal research dollars.''
The CPAC crowd went wild and gave President Trump a standing ovation for standing up for the First Amendment.
This is a bold move by the President and will no doubt get his base pumped up as he prepares for his 2020 presidential re-election campaign.
''I will be signing an executive order requiring colleges and universities to support free speech if they want federal research dollars'' @realDonaldTrump #CPAC2019 #WhatMakesAmericaGreat pic.twitter.com/hyeNZ3jI6F
A t the Mobile World Congress earlier in February, 5G technology was on display everywhere. Since the blazingly fast fifth-generation wireless broadband technology is set to be standard equipment on phones and other connected devices very soon, information '-- and disinformation '-- on the internet will only be more easily spread in the foreseeable future. Among the stories that are already spreading are concerns that 5G internet kills birds, causes cancer, or both.
A viral news story circulated in 2018 claiming that a mass die-off of birds occurred in the Netherlands after a test of a 5G network. Snopes rounded up the evidence on this claim, determining it was false. Mass bird die-offs are bizarre but not uncommon, and this particular one took place months after a 5G test '-- and not even in the same place.
The link between cell phone use and cancer is far more complicated than that.
How 4G antennas broadcast signals compared to how 5G antennas beam signals across a city.People who promote the link between cell phones and cancer often cite a large-scale study conducted by the National Toxicology Program (NTP), a division of the US Department of Health and Human Services.Inverse reported on the initial results of this study when they were released in 2016, but the final version came out at the end of 2018. In the study, researchers exposed more than 7,000 rats and mice to radiofrequency radiation (RFR) '-- that's the type emitted by cell phones '-- over the course of multiple years, then analyzed the effects on the animals.
Importantly, their results are based on four categories of evidence that something may cause cancer: clear evidence (highest), some evidence, equivocal evidence, no evidence (lowest).
The researchers found ''clear evidence'' of malignant (cancerous) tumors in the hearts of male rats, as well as ''some evidence'' of malignant tumors in the brains of male rats and ''some evidence'' of a mix of benign and malignant tumors in the adrenal glands of male rats. ''For female rats, and male and female mice, it was unclear if tumors observed in the studies were associated with RFR used by cell phones,'' write the study's authors. ''This is also known as equivocal evidence.''
The studies from this project, which involved exposing many animal test subjects to RFR for two years at a time, seems pretty damning. But the caveats show that the findings aren't directly applicable to humans.
Even though mice and rats share many biological similarities to humans in how their response to drugs and environmental hazards, they are not the same. Furthermore, they were locked in a small chamber and exposed to RFR for 9 hours a day, which isn't representative of an average human's experience.
Rats and mice are often, but not always, decent estimations of humans in the lab.Perhaps more importantly, this study was designed in the late 1990s, when 2G was the industry standard cell phone network technology, and 3G was just over the horizon. While the currently-available 4G and 4G-LTE technologies also use RFR, they modulate the signals differently. As a result, an NTP spokesperson tells Inverse, those study results won't tell much about the health effects of 4G or 4G-LTE, and perhaps even less about the effects of 5G:
NTP studied 2G and 3G technologies only. Current wireless communication networks like 4G still use 2G and 3G technologies for voice calls and texting. 4G, 4G-LTE, and 5G networks were developed to support increased data needs like streaming video or instantly downloading email with attachments. These newer technologies use different methods of cell phone signal modulation than we used in the study. 5G is an emerging technology that hasn't really been defined yet, and it differs dramatically from what we studied.
In many cases, the impact technology has on human health is not apparent for some time, so it's not clear when, how, or if we will have reliable research on the effects of 5G on human health.
For his part, John Bucher, a senior scientist at the NTP, told reporters in 2018 when the studies came out he wouldn't be changing his cell phone use.