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Wed, 20 Nov 2019
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US, Texas: Starbucks Pays $75K in Suit filed by Woman with Dwarfism

Starbucks
© The Associated Press
The Starbucks Coffee Company has paid $75,000 to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to settle a lawsuit for unlawfully denying a reasonable accommodation to a woman with dwarfism, according to a press release.

The lawsuit was filed by the commission on behalf of Elsa Sallard, who claimed she was fired from her job as a barista because she is a dwarf.

According to a press release from the commission, Sallard told employers during a training that she could use a stool or stepladder to do her job.

"The manager at the El Paso Starbucks location disregarded Sallard's request," the release said. "On the same day that Sallard requested the accommodation, Starbucks terminated her employment, claiming that she would pose a 'danger' to customers and employees."

Commission officials said that the settlement not only compensates Sallard, but is an agreement that Starbucks will provide training in compliance with Americans With Disabilities Act.

Attention

Taser-related deaths in US accelerating

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© Unknown
The rate of deaths in Taser-related incidents is rising as police forces increasingly adapt the conducted energy weapons, a Raw Story analysis finds.

A 2008 report (PDF) from Amnesty International found 351 Taser-related deaths in the US between June, 2001 and August, 2008, a rate of just slightly above four deaths per month.

A database of Taser-related deaths maintained at the African-American issues blog Electronic Village counts 96 deaths related to the use of Tasers since January, 2009.

Assuming the statistics are correct, that indicates the death rate has increased to an average of five per month.

Electronic Village counts the 96th Taser-linked death as being that of Adam Colliers, a 25-year-old resident of Snohomish County, Washington, who was reportedly "running up and down" a street and causing a disturbance when he was Tased by two officers. He stopped breathing shortly afterwards, and was pronounced dead in hospital a short while later.

It was the second Taser-related death, and the fifth death in a police encounter, in the Seattle area over the past week.

Stormtrooper

UK: Bodybuilder Dies After Police Blast Him Three Times with Taser Gun

Dale Burns

Competitor: Bodybuilder Dale Burns is believed to be the first person to die from a police Taser
A bodybuilder is believed to be the first person in Britain to have died from a police Taser after officers shot him three times with the powerful 50,000-volt gun.

Father-of-two Dale Burns, 27, was confronted by up to eight officers after they were called to reports of a disturbance at his bedsit in Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria.

He was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage but when he refused to calm down officers used pepper spray before one fired at him three times in quick succession.

His death reopened the debate on the controversial use of Tasers amid calls for a radical overhaul of their use.

Satellite

Evidence points to 3 Sudan mass graves

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© Unknown
Kenya Africa(Red)
Nairobi, Kenya - A U.S. group says new satellite imagery and eyewitness reports point to evidence of three new mass graves in a contested area of Sudan.

The Satellite Sentinel Project on Wednesday released images of what it says are two piles of corpses wrapped in body bags or tarps in Kadugli, the capital of South Kordofan, where Sudan's Arab military has been fighting black tribesmen loyal to the new state of South Sudan.

The group said an analysis of satellite images concluded that pro-government forces are trying to cover up a third mass grave beneath a water tank.

Activist John Prendergast says evidence is mounting of war crimes by Sudan's government.

The Khartoum government has denied carrying out atrocities.

Info

US: Air Force Discharging Sergeant Who Doubts Obama

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© birtherreport.com
Sgt. Daryn Moran
The Air Force said Wednesday it is discharging a hero of the so-called birther movement who refused to report to duty in Germany for a few days earlier this month because he doubts President Barack Obama's citizenship.

Staff Sgt. Daryn Moran expects to be discharged within the next week. Although the 41-year-old Nebraska man refused to report to duty and had called for Obama's arrest in statements on websites, several other things contributed to his discharge, including his opposition to Obama's decision to allow gays to serve openly in the military.

Moran, who has served nine years in the Air Force, drew the attention of the birther movement when he shared his views on Obama's citizenship on websites of groups that believe Obama was not born in the U.S. and therefore is not eligible to serve as president or commander in chief.

Obama released a copy of his detailed birth certificate from Hawaii in April in an attempt to quell the questions about whether he was born outside the U.S. But many birthers contend Obama's birth certificate must be a fake.

Stop

US, Massachusetts: Woman's Yard Sale to Pay Medical Bills Gets Shut Down


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Jan Cline
A woman fighting a terminal form of bone cancer is trying to raise money to help pay bills with a few weekend garage sales, but the city of Salem says she's breaking the law and is shutting her down.

Jan Cline had no idea, but the city of Salem has a clear law that states a person can only have three yard sales a year.

Cline has been selling her stuff in the backyard for a few weekends and said she thought she'd be fine by keeping the sale out of everyone's way.

"It's a struggle," Cline says. "It's a struggle for me because I'm very independent, used to taking care of myself."

She's run businesses and supported herself for years but this summer she was diagnosed with bone cancer.

"It's a bone marrow cancer that eats through the bones and causes holes in the bones so that just by walking I can break a bone," she says.

Gear

Black Scientists Have Lower Odds of Winning Grants, NIH Study Finds

A study published today in Science may shed new light on why African American scientists are so rare in biomedical research - and raises troubling questions about possible bias during grant reviews conducted by the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The in-depth analysis of NIH grant data finds that black Ph.D. scientists - and not other minorities - were far less likely to receive NIH funding for a research idea than a white scientist from a similar institution with the same research record. The gap was large: A black scientist's chance of winning NIH funding was 10 percentage points lower than that of a white scientist.

The NIH-commissioned analysis, which lifts the lid on confidential grant data, may reflect a series of slight advantages white scientists accumulate over the course of a career, the authors suggest. But the gap could also result from "insidious" bias favoring whites in a peer-review system that supposedly ranks applications only on scientific merit, NIH officials say.

Stop

What is Going On? Florida, US: Ex-Student Jared Cano Held for Tampa 'School Bomb Plot'

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© Reuters
Jared Cano had previously been arrested multiple times on various charges
A "potentially catastrophic" bomb plot hatched by an expelled high-school student has been thwarted in the US city of Tampa, Florida, say police.

Jared Cano, 17, is accused of planning to plant a device at Freedom High School in north Tampa and detonate it as students returned on Tuesday.

Fuel, shrapnel and plastic tubing, along with timing and fusing devices were found at his home, police said.

The teenager had previously been arrested on several juvenile charges.

Mr Cano, who had been expelled from the school, was hoping to kill or injure more people than the 1999 shooting by two students at Columbine High School in Colorado, police chief June Castor said. That shooting killed 12 students and a teacher.

Comment: Interestingly enough, only a week ago there was another news report about a teen from South Carolina, US, who also planned a Columbine-style attack, and who also had a "hit list".


Fish

US: Bogalusa paper mill admits fault as dead fish flow to Lake Pontchartrain

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© Scott Threlkeld, The Times-Picayune

The paper mill lnked to a substantial fish kill in the Pearl River system cautiously admitted responsibility Wednesday, as the trail of dead fish reached Lake Pontchartrain and a reservoir near Jackson, Miss., was opened in an attempt to flush the pollutants out.

Officials from the Temple-Inland plant in Bogalusa acknowledged that a mixture of pulp from the paper-manufacturing process and unspecified chemicals poured into the Pearl River late last week at levels exceeding the plant's environmental permits and might have depleted oxygen levels in the Pearl and its tributaries.

Numerous species of fish and shellfish, in large numbers, have turned up dead in the Pearl River system since the weekend as a result.

Cult

US: Barbershop closed amid suspected animal sacrifice

aminal control
© Peter Pereira
An animal control officer looks at a chicken that was taken away from a property on Purchase Street in New Bedford.

New Bedford, Massachusetts - William Camacho has practiced Palo Mayombe, a syncretic Afro-Caribbean religion similar to Santeria, since he was a child.

Camacho, 41, said his religious practices, which include animal sacrificing, have gotten him into trouble with the city, which is considering filing animal cruelty charges against him.

"They violated my moral rights," said Camacho, owner of Bad Boyz Cutz, a downtown barbershop that was closed Tuesday after city inspectors found evidence of ritualistic animal sacrifice there, officials said.