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Heart - Black

Freelancer to File Class-Action Suit Against HuffPost and AOL Over Compensation

Arianna Huffington
© Richard A. Lipski/The Washington Post
Arianna Huffington arrives for the Gridiron Dinner at the Renaissance Hotel in Washington D.C. on March 12, 2011.
A freelance writer who successfully sued newspapers and magazines for copyright infringement filed a class-action lawsuit against the Huffington Post and AOL on Tuesday that seeks compensation for hundreds of unpaid contributors to the online publication.

Jonathan Tasini is the lead plaintiff in the suit against the news site, which AOL bought for $315 million in February. His suit, which he filed in a New York court Tuesday, seeks $105 million in damages in behalf of bloggers and other Huffington Post writers who submitted work for which they weren't paid.

Since its founding by liberal activist and author Arianna Huffington in 2005, Huffington Post has grown into one of the most successful and heavily visited news and information sites on the Internet. But its practice of soliciting commentaries and other articles, some from celebrity authors such as Alec Baldwin, without paying for them has irritated some writers.

Tasini, in an interview, said HuffPost was engaging in breach of contract with its contributors because of an "implied promise" of compensation. "Some people were given some promises about future payments," he said, declining to provide specifics.

Heart - Black

25 Reasons To Be Absolutely Disgusted With The U.S. Economy

It seems like wherever you turn there is bad news for the U.S. economy. Unemployment is rampant, the cost of gasoline is going up, the cost of food is going up and American families are getting poorer. Millions of jobs continue to leave the country and everyone is wondering why it seems like the "American Dream" is dying. American consumers are absolutely swamped with staggering levels of credit card debt, student loan debt and mortgage debt and each year the consumer debt crisis only seems to get worse. For millions of American families the money problems never seem to end. Meanwhile, our politicians are doing next to nothing to fix our horrific national debt problem. So yes, there are a whole lot of reasons to be absolutely disgusted with the U.S. economy. We are living in the greatest debt bubble in the history of the world, and anyone with half a brain can see that we are heading for complete and total disaster.

A lot of Americans do not like to read about economics, but what has been going on over the last few years has been nothing short of extraordinary. The Federal Reserve has basically tripled the adjusted monetary base. We have now been conditioned to accept that trillion dollar deficits are "normal". The U.S. dollar is being systematically destroyed right in front of our eyes and most Americans don't even seem alarmed about it.

Heart - Black

US: Man accused of raping woman at Denver airport

dia
© AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File
FILE - In this Sept. 12, 2010 file photo, a plane takes off from Denver International Airport just before sunrise. An Oregon man is in a Colorado jail after police say he sexually assaulted a woman in a deserted concourse at the airport Tuesday night, April 12, 2011.

Denver - The rape of a woman at Denver International Airport has left family members raising questions about the late-night attack and officials defending security at the Rocky Mountain hub, which serves millions of travelers each year.

Police spokesman Sonny Jackson said Wednesday that violent crime is rare at the airport, and that he knows of one other alleged sexual assault there, which he said involved an airport worker attacking another employee in an area not accessible to the public.

Che Guevara

Canada: Hundreds gather to protest Mayor Ford's policies


Several thousand demonstrators participated in the "Rally for Respect" at Yonge-Dundas Square in downtown Toronto on Saturday.

CTV Toronto's Zuraidah Alman reports that the rally was organized by various labour and community groups, who say that Mayor Rob Ford has cut away at the city's public services.

The groups said that key concerns include the sale of Toronto Public Housing units, taking away the TTC's right to strike and privatizing garbage collection, which is something Ford has mused about in the past.

The people who showed up to the rally -- including transit operators, auto workers, caregivers and garbage collectors -- say they didn't vote for any of these actions.

Sid Ryan, from the Ontario Federation of Labour, said his organization expects to be consulted on such major public policy issues.

"We expect (Ford) to operate as a democratic mayor, not as some sort of a dictator," said Ryan.

Wolf

US: Accused serial killer eyed in unsolved 'Double Initial' murders of 3 women with alliterative names

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© Dep/The Associated Press
Joseph Naso appears in court during his arraignment on murder charges Wednesday.
The unsolved strangulations of three young upstate New York girls in the early 1970s could have ties to a suspected serial killer arraigned Wednesday in northern California.

New York State Police are eyeing Joseph Naso, 77, as a person of interest in Rochester's cold-case "Double Initial" murders because the four women he's accused of killing in California fit a similar pattern of alliterative initials - RR, CC, PP and TT.

In one striking similarity, a 22-year-old woman he allegedly dumped near a Port Costa, Calif., highway in 1978 has the same exact name as the 10-year-old girl abducted, sexually assaulted and strangled in the first murder of the Rochester-area spree - Carmen Colon.

Naso also once lived in the Rochester area and traveled between there and the West in the early 1970s, authorities said.

Heart - Black

US couple accused of keeping 2 children in caged room at apartment

A couple accused of keeping two young children caged in a room have been arrested.

Clark County jail records show that 30-year-old John Eckhart and 26-year-old Alayna Higdon are accused of unlawful imprisonment and second-degree criminal mistreatment. The couple made an initial court appearance Wednesday, and a judge set bail at $25,000 each.

Vancouver police spokeswoman Kim Kapp says an officer found two boys, ages 5 and 7, locked in a bedroom with a cage-like door at the couple's apartment on Tuesday.

Arrow Down

US: Kindergarten teacher has kids oink at student who was messy

A Roane County kindergarten teacher who reportedly told students to encircle a classmate, call him a pig and make pig noises because the boy is messy, received a one-day unpaid suspension and had a letter of reprimand placed in her file.

The incident involved Debbie Hayes, an educator at Bowers Elementary School who has taught kindergarten in Roane County for 38 years.

Dr. Toni H. McGriff, director of Roane County Schools, called the March 16 incident "simply unbelievable."

In her reprimand letter, McGriff told Hayes she was "appalled with the actions in this situation.''

"It's a black eye on the profession,'' McGriff said Monday. "It's a black eye on our schools.''

Another educator walked into Hayes' classroom March 16 and saw kindergartners encircling their crying classmate.

"The students in the circle were 'oinking' and making pig sounds at the little boy,'' the reprimand states.

2 + 2 = 4

US: Collinsville Teacher Ousted for Ordering Students to Remove Underwear

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© unknown
A southwestern Illinois special-education teacher has been ousted after allegedly ordering students to remove their underwear to determine which child soiled his pants.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports that Collinsville's school board voted Monday not to renew the contract of the unidentified Webster Elementary School teacher.

The newspaper reports a letter sent to parents this week indicated the teacher saw feces on the classroom floor March 30 and had each of the seven children go separately into a private bathroom stall and remove his or her underpants. The third and fourth graders then were told to put their clothes back on and exit the stall to show their underpants to the teacher.

The letter says the teacher was not ever present in the stall.

Stormtrooper

US:Cop Who Shot Pace University Student Named 'Officer Of The Year'


As the investigation continues into the shooting of Danroy "D.J." Henry, the popular Pace University football player shot by police last year, a police union decided to give the "Officer of the Year" award to the man who gunned him down.

In response to the award, the victim's family lashed out against the Pleasantville Police Benevolent Association, saying it wasn't that much of a surprise.

"I'm glad the world gets to see the arrogance we've been dealing with since Oct. 17, from the district attorney's office all the way to the Police Benevolent Association," said Danroy Henry's mother, Angella Henry, in a statement Tuesday.

The US Department of Justice is still investigating the circumstances surrounding the Oct. 17 fatal shooting of Henry who was killed outside a Thornwood bar. Officers on the scene claim the student drove his car into Police Officer Aaron Hess and another officer, prompting Hess to open fire.

Friends of Danroy Henry gave a different account, however. Henry's friend Desmond Hinds told PIX 11 News:

"I remember everything. I was in the backseat of the car, we were in the fire lane, officer came up on the left and banged on DJ's door, he indicated us to move, DJ followed instruction. He pulled off at a nice normal speed, not speeding; as he turned I remember the officer on the left comes and jumps out in front of the car, next thing I know...I see three holes in the windshield (and) the car came to a sudden stop. I saw the bullet holes in the windshield, then i heard DJ yell 'they shot me! they shot me!"

Info

US: Parents of 6-Year-Old Girl Pat Down at Airport Want Procedures Changed

Selena and Todd Drexel Say They're 'Struggling to Explain' Screening to Daughter


The family of the 6-year-old girl who received a pat down at airport security in New Orleans said today there needs to be a different screening process for children.

"We struggle to teach our kids to protect themselves, to say 'no, it's not ok to touch me in this way in this area," the girl's mother, Selena Drexel, said. "Yet here we are saying it's ok for these people." If we don't find other ways we're making them more vulnerable, she said.

Drexel and her husband, Dr. Todd Drexel, of Bowling Green, Ky., appeared this morning in an exclusive interview with Good Morning America.

A video of the couple's daughter going through the screening went viral on the Internet, getting thousands of views on sites like YouTube. It shows a TSA agent rubbing the young girl's inner thighs and running her fingers inside the top of the girl's blue jeans.