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Fri, 24 Mar 2017
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Gotta be kidding: Chelsea Clinton to receive magazine's lifetime achievement award - at 37

© AFP 2017/ Don Emmert

Chelsea Clinton, at just 37 years old, is set to receive a lifetime achievement award from Variety Magazine at their annual "Women in Power" luncheon next month.

Comment: Question is: Who at Variety Magazine was bribed and cajoled into setting up this bit of ridiculousness?

Clinton, best known for being the daughter of former US President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, is the current vice chair of the Clinton Foundation, which has been at the center of multiple pay-to-play foreign donation scandals. She has also faced criticism for using foundation funds to pay for her wedding, living expenses and taxes on gifts of cash from her parents.

The investigation into her getting paid for campaigning, using foundation resources for her wedding and life for a decade, taxes on money from her parents ...," Doug Band, formerly a top aide to Bill Clinton, wrote to Hillary Clinton adviser John Podesta in an email released by WikiLeaks during the election season. "I hope that you will speak to her and end this. Once we go down this road ..."

Comment: Elitists rewarding elitists for being elitists.


Texas attorneys expected to file lawsuit over mysterious illness plaguing junior high school

Attorneys are expecting to file a lawsuit by the end of the evening Wednesday, over a mysterious illness plaguing a junior high school in Arlington.

Dozens of Nichols Junior High School staff members have reported symptoms including dizziness, headaches and nausea, only while they're in the school building. It's been happening since September.

The district has had outside experts run a battery of air quality and mold tests, but nothing serious has come out to explain the illnesses.

Now the NAACP is working with local attorneys to file the suit, pushing to move students to another building until a cause is found.

Some parents agree. "If something is going on and they haven't found the answer to, I think they shouldn't allow the kids to go to school," said parent Dominique Bailey. "Send them home with their work, or something like that. That way they won't fall back, or at least let us know. That way we have a choice."

Evil Rays

Belgian police stop an attempted car-ramming attack in Antwerp, Belgium

Police officers and the Sedee-Dovo, the Belgian military's bomb disposal squad, near the scene of the arrest in Antwerp
A person has been detained in Antwerp, Belgium, after attempting to drive his car into a busy shopping street at high speed, according to police.

"A vehicle with French plates has tried to drive at high speed into the Meir [shopping street]. A man in camouflage was taken away," Antwerp police chief Serge Muyters told a news conference.

"The pedestrians had to jump aside," he added.

The car was intercepted at nearby port docks, according to the federal prosecutor's office.


#Vault7: Assange due to answer questions on 'Dark Matter' data dump

© Axel Schmidt / Reuters
Julian Assange is due to answer questions submitted via the #AskWL.
Julian Assange is due to answer questions on WikiLeaks latest release in 'Vault 7,' named 'Dark Matter.'

The second release in the series details the techniques that WikiLeaks claims are employed by CIA assets to compromise Apple devices between the manufacturing line and the end user.

Comment: #Vault7: WikiLeaks releases 'Dark Matter' batch of CIA hacking tactics for Apple products


#Vault7: WikiLeaks releases 'Dark Matter' batch of CIA hacking tactics for Apple products

© Toru Hanai / Reuters
WikiLeaks has released the latest batch of documents in its Vault 7 series of documents related to the CIA's espionage programs. The latest release, dubbed 'Dark Matter,' reveals the specific techniques used to target Apple products.

The release discloses the alleged details of methods employed by the CIA to compromise devices manufactured by Apple including the iPhone and Macbook Air.

In a statement from WikiLeaks, the whistleblower group said today's 'Dark Matter' leak includes details of the 'Sonic Screwdriver' project, described by the CIA as a "mechanism for executing code on peripheral devices while a Mac laptop or desktop is booting."


17,000 AT&T union workers go on strike in California & Nevada

© Shannon Stapleton / Reuters
After working for nearly a year without a contract, 17,000 AT&T call center workers and technicians have taken to the streets in one of the most widespread labor actions against the multinational telecommunications conglomerate in years.

The Communications Workers of America (CWA) union said that workers in district 9, which covers California, Nevada and Hawaii, began a grievance strike after AT&T violated contract terms when it forced technicians to do work outside their areas of expertise. The union claims this was done without bargaining as required by federal law.

On Wednesday, the union released a statement saying employees are angry that the company "recently made a unilateral change in job requirements without the agreement of the union." CWA says the issue has been an issue at the bargaining table for months, and they will continue to strike "until a satisfactory settlement can be reached."


Fukushima reactor water more radioactive than ever, 'could kill person in 40 minutes'

© Reuters
The Unit 2 reactor building at Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.
Tainted water inside a reactor containment vessel at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has shown a radiation level enough to kill a person within 40 minutes, according to TEPCO, the power plant's owner.

The level of radiation was measured by a special robot on Sunday at a point about 30cm (one foot) from the bottom of the containment vessel of Reactor 1, the Japan Times reported on Tuesday.

The current radiation level is 11 sieverts per hour, the highest detected in water inside the containment vessel. A person exposed to this amount of radiation would likely die in about 40 minutes, the Japan Times reports.

Comment: Further reading: After six years of meltdown Fukushima is getting worse, radiation now at unimaginable levels


LAPD blames Trump administration for Latinos reporting fewer sex crimes

Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck has warned that undocumented victims of sex crimes might not report them to the police, out of fear that deportations are on the rise under the Trump administration.

During a press conference Tuesday, LAPD Chief Charlie Beck said that there is a "strong correlation" between the dramatic drop in violent crime being reported by Latinos and fears of deportation under President Donald Trump's increased immigration enforcement policies.

According to LAPD crime statistics, there has been a 10 percent decline in reports of spousal abuse and a 25 percent decline of reported rapes among Latino residents compared to the same time last year. Similar decreases were not seen by other ethnic groups in the statistics.


Supreme Court unanimously strikes down nominee Judge Gorsuch ruling

© Jonathan Ernst / Reuters
US Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch
A ruling made by US Supreme Court nominee Judge Neil Gorsuch in a federal appeals court has been struck down 8-0 by the Supreme Court. Gorsuch apologized for his ruling during a Senate confirmation hearing, but defended it based on circuit precedence.

Gorsuch's lower court decision was overturned Wednesday, during the second day of his confirmation hearing to be the Supreme Court's ninth justice. The unanimous decision overturned his 2008 ruling in Thompson R2-J School District v. Luke P.

Gorsuch's ruling had determined that a school district was not in violation of the federal Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act (IDEA) if they provided an education that "must merely be 'more than de minimis.'"


75-year-old man charged with deserting from U.S. Air Force during Vietnam War

© us.archive.org
A Florida man is in custody after the Air Force determined he went "absent without leave," or AWOL, 45 years ago. The 75-year-old was found living a quiet life with his wife under an assumed identity, and his neighbors had been none the wiser.

His crime, committed half a lifetime ago, has come back to haunt Linley Benson Lemburg. He was found to have deserted his post in 1972 and seemingly disappeared into thin air. That is, until Tuesday, when he was arrested by a Marion County Sheriff's Office deputy in Florida.

After Lemburg's fingerprints were confirmed to match ones taken during his enlistment, he was handed over to military officials to MacDill Air Force Base in Tampa. But what happens next remains a mystery. No military officials have commented on the matter. However, given that his desertion took place during the tail end of the Vietnam War, he could conceivably even face the death penalty.

Lemburg had been living with his wife in Ocala under the name William Michael Robertson. His neighbors told the Ocala Star-Banner that Lemberg and his wife were extremely quiet, but nice people who made themselves useful in the neighborhood.

"He would clean neighbors' gutters and would help anyone who needed any type of assistance," Jack Blanton, an Army veteran, told the Star-Banner.