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Fri, 28 Jan 2022
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Australian military checking 2 objects in search for missing Malaysian plane

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© Adek Berry/AFP/Getty Images
In this file photo, a Malaysia Airlines Boeing 737 plane is pictured flying over the Soekarno–Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, Indonesia on March 18, 2013.
Four military search planes were dispatched Thursday to determine whether two large objects bobbing in a remote part of the Indian Ocean are debris from the missing Malaysia Airlines flight.

One of the objects spotted by satellite imagery was 24 meters (almost 80 feet) in length and the other was 5 meters (15 feet). There could be other objects in the area, a four-hour flight from Australia's southwestern coast, said John Young, manager of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority's emergency response division.

"This is a lead, it's probably the best lead we have right now," Young said. He cautioned that the objects could be seaborne debris along a shipping route where containers can fall off cargo vessels, although the larger object is longer than a container.

Young told a news conference in Canberra, Australia's capital, that planes had been sent to the area about 2,500 kilometers (1,550 miles) southwest of Perth to check on the objects. He said satellite images "do not always turn out to be related to the search even if they look good, so we will hold our views on that until they are sighted close-up."

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott earlier told Parliament about the debris, and said Orion search aircraft had been dispatched.

Arrow Down

Too much inequality could lead the West to a Roman Empire-style fall says NASA

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© AFP/Getty Images
Few think Western civilization is on the brink of collapse - but it's also doubtful the Romans and Mesopotamians saw their own demise coming either.

If we're to avoid their fate, we'll need policies to reduce economic inequality and preserve natural resources, according to a NASA-funded study that looked at the collapses of previous societies.

"Two important features seem to appear across societies that have collapsed," reads the study. "The stretching of resources due to the strain placed on the ecological carrying capacity and the economic stratification of society into Elites and Masses."

In unequal societies, researchers said, "collapse is difficult to avoid.... Elites grow and consume too much, resulting in a famine among Commoners that eventually causes the collapse of society."

Snowflake Cold

Extreme winter weather drives up food prices in U.S.

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Wild winter weather hasn't just had an effect on crops here in the Palmetto State, but all over the country, and that means your wallet could be feeling the chill at your grocery store's checkout aisle.

"It's been wet and rainy everywhere," said IGA manager Keith Skipper. "Then the cold came in."

Skipper says cold weather has hit South Carolina farmers hard, and harsh winters in the Midwest have had a huge effect on beef prices.

"Steers, in cold weather won't eat," he said. "They end up having to take the cow to market before its time."

Across the country and on every grocery item, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates prices have risen 1.4 percent in the past year, and could go as high as 3.5% by the end of the year.

Other items seeing a spike in prices include wheat and coffee, due in part to major drought in parts of the US as well as South America.

Light Saber

Josie the Outlaw: Supporting the Troops

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"Counting Lives Lost, Making Tangible an Abstract Measure of Grief"
How I support the troops.

TV

YouTube using 200 'super flaggers' to hunt down offending content

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With 100 hours of video uploaded to YouTube every minute, it's impossible for the site's employees to keep tabs on the mass of content continuously pouring in. While most of it is innocuous enough, some prohibited material slips through the net, including pornography, gratuitous violence, and abuse of various forms.

In a bid to catch such material more quickly, Google-owned YouTube has hired around 200 individuals and organizations to flag any material they deem to be in contravention of the video-sharing site's guidelines, the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.

A person with knowledge of the matter told the Journal that most of those in the "flagger program" are individuals, though some are said to be "government agencies or non-governmental organizations such as anti-hate and child-safety groups."

While the site already allows users to report videos containing possibly suspect content, it's likely the material highlighted by those in the flagger program is fast-tracked to the YouTube team for evaluation. In addition, the Web giant has reportedly set up the system so that the flaggers can highlight content "at scale," instead of selecting one video at a time.

Stormtrooper

Alabama police shot unarmed U.S. airman as he lay on ground following traffic accident

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© RawStory
Police shot a 20-year-old airman as he lay on the ground following a traffic accident along Interstate 85 in Alabama, the man's family said.

Air Force Airman 1st Class Michael Davidson was traveling Thursday evening from Texas to Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, near Goldsboro, N.C., in a 2004 GMC Envoy when he changed lanes and clipped a semi-truck with his driver's side mirror, according to police.

Davidson stopped and got out of his SUV to exchange insurance information with the semi's driver, the airman's father told the Opelika-Auburn News.

"He said he didn't get that far," said Billy Davidson. "When (he was walking) to the truck, he said he heard something but couldn't tell what it was. There was a lot of noise, but (he) could see the reflection of the lights off the truck - the police lights. Then he did what I told him to do. I told my boys if you see police lights (to) stop, put your hands up and turn around."

The elder Davidson said his son held up his arms, holding his wallet in one hand.

"The next thing I know I was on the ground," Michael Davidson told his father. "That's when they shot me. I didn't realize he shot me. I didn't know what happened. It was so fast. They couldn't have been there three or four seconds when I was shot."

Airplane

CNN's Don Lemon: 'Is it preposterous' to think a black hole caused Flight 370 to go missing? (He was serious!)‏

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© CNN
CNN's Don Lemon has been entertaining all sorts of theories about the missing Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, including the chance something "supernatural" happened, but on Wednesday night, he actually asked panelists about the possibility a black hole was involved.

Lemon brought this up along with other "conspiracy theories" people have been floating on Twitter, including people noting the eerie parallels to Lost and The Twilight Zone, and wondered, "is it preposterous" to consider a black hole as a possibility?

Mary Schiavo, a former Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Transportation, said, "A small black hole would suck in our entire universe, so we know it's not that."

Here's another theory I'll just throw out there: what about the plane entered a wormhole into another dimension? I don't know if that's how the science works, though.

Stock Up

Food price hikes in U.S. last month were highest since November 2003

Just a month ago we warned that food inflation was on its way. Today we got the first confirmation that problems are on their way. While headline data washes away the nuance of what eating, sleeping, energy-using human-beings are paying month-in and month-out, the fact, as WSJ reports, that beef prices surged by almost 5% in February - the biggest change since Nov 2003 - means pinching consumers and companies pocketbooks that are still grappling with a sluggish economic recovery. "Things are definitely more expensive," exclaimed on mother of three, "I can't believe how much milk is. Chicken is crazy right now, and beef - I paid $5 a pound for beef!" Just don't tell the Fed!

Via WSJ,

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© wsj.com

Sheriff

Another Philadelphia cop charged: Officer roughed up Iraq vet who recorded his outburst with phone

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© RawStory
Officer Kevin Corcoran
A Philadelphia police officer was charged Wednesday in connection with an incident last year involving an Iraq War veteran.

Officer Kevin Corcoran, 33, was patrolling Center City about 2 a.m. last March 31 when a group of pedestrians yelled that he had made an illegal turn.

Corcoran, a nine-year veteran, got out of his police SUV and began arguing with the pedestrians, and several onlookers began recording him on their cell phones.

The officer is accused of slapping a phone from Roderick King's hands and cursing at him, saying, "Don't f*cking touch me."

He continued walking toward King, who investigators said kept his hands in front of him and never touched the officer.

Corcoran shoved the Iraq veteran against the side of his SUV, handcuffed him, and threw him into the back of his cruiser.

The officer told King he had been arrested for public intoxication, but prosecutors said Corcoran hadn't prepared any of the required paperwork for the arrest and had no evidence he was intoxicated.

Comment:
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Eye 1

Land of the free: Michigan man charged with felony after speaking too long at public meeting

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Mark A. Adams
A Bridgeport man faces a felony charge after he was arrested by police at a township board meeting when he refused to stop talking past a three-minute time limit for public comment.

Mark A. Adams, 59, was arraigned Friday, March 14, by Saginaw County District Judge A.T. Frank on a felony charge of resisting and obstructing a police officer and a misdemeanor charge of disturbing the peace.

Adams was arrested during a March 4 Bridgeport Township meeting by three Bridgeport Township police officers after violating the township's three-minute time limit set for people making public comments and refusing to stop talking when township officials told him to.

The arrest was on Adams' 59th birthday, according to public records.

Adams handed a four-page document to members of the board and offered it to others at the meeting before he spoke. The document, typed with an Adams Oil logo and Adams' contact information at the top, outlines 21 grievances against Bridgeport Township officials and other government officials.