last updated: Tue, 22 Aug 2017 11:14:10 -0400
Everyone has a bad day at work now and then. But if you have one of these 15 Most Stressful Jobs in the World, even one bad day can get you or someone else killed. From EMT to Coal Miner to Ice Road Trucker, these are the jobs that will keep you up at nights!
last updated: Sun, 28 Aug 2016 22:01:00 GMT
Canal jumper released on bail
AN 18-year-old man who jumped into a canal at Surfers Paradise to avoid being arrested by police on Wednesday night has been granted bail.
last updated: Wed, 23 Aug 2017 11:27:08 -0400
last updated: Wed, 23 Aug 2017 10:23:10 -0400
last updated: Wed, 23 Aug 2017 05:10:27 -0400
last updated: Mon, 20 Jun 2016 09:41:00 GMT
Response from Eddie, AFL not nearly enough
THERE'S so much wrong about the Eddie McGuire-James-Brayshaw-Danny Frawley pack mentality attack of Caroline Wilson. As was the AFL's insipid response on Monday.
Secret tape not the only talking point
THE reasons behind a decision to release a secret expletive-laden recording of former Chief Justice Tim Carmody are almost as juicy as the tape is expected to be.
last updated: Tue, 22 Aug 2017 17:34:31 +0000
How Slime Oozed Back Into Our Lives
Slime is, suddenly, more pervasive than it’s been in decades.
Trump government shutdown threat rattles markets
NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump's threat to shut down the U.S. government to secure funding for a wall along the Mexican border rattled markets on Wednesday and cast a shadow over coming efforts in Congress to agree to raise the country's debt ceiling and pass spending bills.
last updated: Wed, 23 Aug 2017 15:18:26 -0400
Trump Is Threatening A Government Shutdown If He Doesn't Get Funding For His Border Wall
A Housesitter Invited a Tinder Date Over. Then the Dog Went Missing
A laptop and Amazon packages were also taken
(LEONIA, N.J.) — Police in New Jersey say a woman’s Tinder date stole a family dog while she was housesitting.
Authorities say the theft happened Sunday night in Leonia. The 18-year-old called 911 after she realized the family’s white Maltese, Maggie, was missing.
Investigators say the man who the woman invited over brought another man with him. Police say the dog disappeared after the pair visited the home. Investigators say a laptop and Amazon package were also stolen while the woman was distracted.
No arrests have been made. Police are investigating.
President Trump Could Still Pardon Joe Arpaio. Here’s How That Works
The President has broad pardon powers
President Trump on Tuesday teased that he may yet decide to pardon controversial former Arizona sheriff Joe Arpaio, though he stopped short of making an announcement one way or the other.
“I’ll make a prediction: I think he’s going to be just fine,” said Trump during a campaign-style rally in Phoenix, Arizona.
Arpaio had been found guilty in July of criminal contempt for willfully violating a federal judge’s 2011 order to stop racially profiling in immigration roundups, the Los Angeles Times reports. U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton wrote that Arpaio demonstrated “flagrant disregard” for the order and “broadcast to the world and to his subordinates that he would and they should continue ‘what he had always been doing.'”
Arpaio is set to be sentenced in October and is facing up to six months in jail.
Trump has been mulling a pardon for Arpaio since at least Aug. 13, when he told Fox News, “He has done a lot in the fight against illegal immigration. He’s a great American patriot and I hate to see what has happened to him.”
Presidents have very broad authority to issue pardons. Article II Section 2 of the Constitution says presidents “shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offenses against the United States, except in cases of impeachment.” The President doesn’t need approval from anyone else in the government to issue a pardon, and can even pardon someone before they’ve been formally charged with a crime. (Or, in this case, before they’ve been sentenced.)
In general, people seeking presidential pardons submit applications to the Office of the Pardon Attorney in the Justice Department for evaluation.
“All requests for executive clemency for federal offenses are directed to the Pardon Attorney for review, investigation, and preparation of the Department’s recommendation to the President, which is signed by the Deputy Attorney General, for the final dispositions of each application,” the office’s description on the Justice Department website reads.
But as a legal matter, the President can unilaterally pardon anyone he wants, with or without the recommendation of this office. Arpaio told NPR on Aug. 17 that he has not asked for a pardon in this case.
“As far as the situation on a pardon, I didn’t ask for it but I will accept it if he does do it,” Arpaio said.
‘She Gave Voice to the Weak.’ What to Know About Slain Journalist Kim Wall
She disappeared while aboard an inventor's homebuilt submarine
A headless torso recently discovered near Copenhagen is a DNA match for missing Swedish journalist Kim Wall, authorities said Wednesday.
The discovery is the latest turn in a shocking and unusual case involving an up-and-coming young reporter, an engineer-turned-suspect, and an experimental, home-built submarine.
Here’s what to know about Kim Wall and her disappearance.
Who was Kim Wall?
Kim Wall, 30, was a freelance journalist from Sweden who wrote for The New York Times, Vice and TIME, among other publications. Wall reported from countries around the world, including Haiti, Uganda and Sri Lanka, her mother has said.
Wall was a graduate of the Paris-Sorbonne University, the London School of Economics and Columbia University in New York City. She lived in New York City and Beijing, according to the Associated Press.
What happened to Kim Wall?
Wall’s boyfriend told police on Aug. 11 that she failed to return home after setting out to travel aboard an experimental submarine designed by aerospace engineer Peter Madsen. Madsen was soon apprehended and preliminarily charged with involuntary manslaughter.
Madsen at first denied having anything to do with Wall’s disappearance, saying he dropped her off “in a remote section of the port of Copenhagen,” the Times reported. Madsen has since changed his story, claiming that Wall died in an accident aboard the submarine and that he buried her at sea.
That latter claim came before the discovery of a torso that authorities matched to Wall using DNA evidence collected from her hairbrush and toothbrush. The torso was discovered with a piece of metal believed to have been used to weigh down the body, the BBC reported. Police also found marks indicating that somebody may have attempted to push the air out of the body to ensure it didn’t rise to the water’s surface. Investigators found traces of blood in Madsen’s submarine, which authorities believe was deliberately sunk.
Why are people comparing the Kim Wall case to a TV show?
People have noted the case bears a striking similarity to the plot of a television series called The Bridge. The Times reports that the series starts with the discovery of “a mutilated female body” and takes place in part near Copenhagen.
A writer for the show, Hans Rosenfeldt, told the Times in an email that he was “not at all comfortable with commenting or reflecting over real crimes in this way.”
How are people reacting to Kim Wall’s death?
Kim Wall’s mother, Ingrid Wall, posted a remembrance of her daughter on Facebook. “During the horrific days since Kim disappeared, we have had countless evidence of how loved and appreciated she was,” she wrote. “She gave voice to the weak, vulnerable and marginalized people.”
Christian Jensen, editor of Denmark’s largest daily paper, Politiken, called what happened to Wall “the most spectacular murder case in Danish history.”
Sruthi Gottipati, a friend of Wall’s and a fellow journalist with whom she traveled, also wrote about the case.
“As the hours and days ticked by, I began to fantasize that it was all just a big misunderstanding, that Kim was actually drinking a beer at a bar somewhere with one heck of a story to tell,” wrote Gottipati. “But the thing is, the world has a way of knocking down women who are sharp, funny and bold. It has a habit of strangling the voices who dare to speak up, of humiliating the women who step outside their comfort zones, of crushing the ones who break the rules.”
Democracy In North Carolina Could Disappear. Is Your State Next?
State Republicans seek to create a system that would grant them control over elections
The unraveling of longstanding democratic norms (not to mention decency norms) in Washington, D.C., is understandably transfixing many Americans. But we should not lose sight of the fact that democratic values are under assault in the states, too.
Nowhere is this more prevalent than in North Carolina. There, a case questioning some basic tenets of representative government is playing out before the state Supreme Court right now. On the surface, the case involves a power struggle between the newly elected Democratic governor and the Republican-controlled state legislature over control of the state election process. But more importantly, the case is about how much a legislative majority can manipulate the rules to make its advantage permanent — regardless of what the voters decide.
North Carolina is a closely divided state. It voted just under 50% for Obama in 2008 and for Trump in 2016, and it regularly holds some of the closest Senate and gubernatorial elections in the country. In 2010 Republicans rode a national wave to take control of the state legislature for the first time since 1899 and assumed full political control of the state in 2013. In 2016, however, the incumbent Republican Governor lost his reelection bid to Democrat Roy Cooper. Then things turned ugly.
Seventeen days before Cooper was to take office, the Republican-dominated legislature passed a package of sweeping changes designed to limit his authority, which the outgoing Republican governor signed into law. The centerpiece of this effort was a plan to ensure continued Republican dominance of powerful state and county boards of elections, which are responsible for running elections in the state and have been controlled by appointees from the Governor’s party for more than a century. (The original law was struck down by a state court in March but then reenacted over Cooper’s veto with only minor changes.)
The new law extends the tenure — indefinitely, for all intents and purposes — of the sitting Republican-appointed Executive Director of the State Board of Elections, North Carolina’s leading election official. She would otherwise have been supplanted by a new Democratic appointee. The law also awards half the seats on state and local election boards to Republicans, which allows them to block any changes to voting rules adopted by the previous Republican-controlled bodies. The law even says Republicans get to chair all election boards during every crucial election year when the President, Governor and all statewide officials are on the ballot.
These changes leave little doubt as to who would really be in charge of North Carolina’s election process — and that is the point. Some legislative leaders openly admitted that one of their main goals of the election board law was to keep Republicans in power.
State legislators have tried to justify this power grab by pointing to Democrats’ efforts to increase their political power in the state in the 1970s and 1980s. But while North Carolina Democrats don’t have clean hands, this latest Republican gambit to control the election process is part of a dangerous historic escalation.
North Carolina’s new election board law is part of a series of actions the Republican majority in the legislature has taken to consolidate their hold on power since 2010. They passed aggressive gerrymanders that gave their party 10 of the closely divided state’s 13 congressional seats and super-majorities in both houses of the state legislature. They also sought to disenfranchise Democratic-leaning constituencies — especially African-Americans and young people — by imposing sweeping new voting restrictions, including cutbacks to early voting, strict voter ID requirements and reductions in voter registration opportunities.
These prior efforts to game the political system have been roundly rebuked by the courts. The U.S. Supreme Court recently struck down both North Carolina’s congressional and state legislative maps as unconstitutional racial gerrymanders. And last year, the Fourth Circuit federal appeals court struck down the state’s new voting law, famously criticizing the “almost surgical precision” with which the legislature targeted black voters.
As the state supreme court considers the constitutionality of this latest effort to change the state’s electoral laws later this month, the legislature’s nakedly partisan motives and its past efforts to tweak the system for partisan advantage will likely loom large over the court’s deliberations — as they should. As more and more courts are recognizing, efforts to rig the electoral system are simply inconsistent with constitutional democracy.
Whether the North Carolina legislature gets away with its electoral power grab could have widespread repercussions. Although its democratic breakdown is extreme, the state is the canary in the coal mine. Throughout the country, democratic norms are under tremendous pressure. State legislatures are increasingly experimenting with anti-democratic electoral laws, like new restrictions on voting access and extreme gerrymandering. These anti-democratic strategies are gaining traction at the national level, where a presidential commission is expected to promote regressive voting laws.
The North Carolina Supreme Court is neither the first nor the last court to face an important test of the strength of our constitutional democracy. How it performs could be an early sign of whether we are in for more bad news — or are finally turning a corner.
President Trump Science Envoy Quits With a Not-So-Hidden Message
He resigned in response to Trump's reaction to Charlottesville
A science envoy working for the U.S. State Department announced his resignation on Wednesday with a letter that contained a not entirely subtle message for President Trump: IMPEACH.
Daniel Kammen, science envoy for the State Department, resigned in response to Trump’s “attacks on core values of the United States,” he wrote in a letter addressed to the president. The first letter of each paragraph in the note spell out the word “impeach,” making it clear where Kammen stands on Trump, especially following the president’s tepid response to the demonstrations in Charlottesville, Va. earlier this month.
“Your failure to condemn white supremacists and neo-Nazis has domestic and international ramifications,” Kammen wrote. “Particularly troubling to me is how our response to Charlottesville is consistent with a broader pattern of behavior that enables sexism and racism, and disregards the welfare of all Americans, the global economy and the planet.”
Kammen’s resignation comes after Trump’s entire Arts and Humanities Council quit. Trump also disbanded his business council after a growing number of CEOs resigned in the wake of the president’s remarks on Charlottesville.
How Congress Can Crack Down On Sex Trafficking
A 1996 law written to protect children now puts them in danger
Online classifieds are a familiar part of the 21st-century marketplace. People buy and sell cars and couches on public websites every day. They find roommates there, too. But some of the same websites are used to buy and sell women and children for sex. As the Internet has grown, sex trafficking has increased substantially.
From 2010 to 2015, reports of suspected child sex trafficking to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children increased by more than 800%, a spike they found to be “directly correlated to the increased use of the internet to sell children for sex.”
As this reprehensible illegal market has grown, one website has emerged as the industry leader: Backpage.com. One 2012 analysis by the Advanced Interactive Media Group found that more than 80% of all revenue from online commercial sex advertising in the U.S. was generated by Backpage.
While Backpage’s use as a platform for illegal sex trafficking has been understood for years, a recent report released in January of this year by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations found that the company knowingly and actively facilitated criminal sex trafficking — making Backpage far more complicit in these crimes than previously thought. Moreover, it covered up evidence of these crimes in order to increase its own profits. We also now know from a recent Washington Post report that Backpage aggressively solicited and created sex-related ads to lure customers to its website, promoting the sale of vulnerable women and children for sex.
Despite these facts, Backpage has escaped legal justice in countless lawsuits brought by sex trafficking victims and prosecutors. The company has been shielded by a 1996 law called the Communications Decency Act because courts have ruled that that the law protects companies like Backpage from liability for illicit content that third-party users post on its website, even if it facilitates criminal conduct like illegal sex trafficking. The irony is the law was originally intended to protect children from indecent material on the Internet. Twenty-one years later, it is protecting websites that sell children for sex.
In 2016, the First Circuit Court of Appeals issued its ruling on a case waged against Backpage by three women who were all 15 years old when they were sold for sex on the website. The court recognized the immorality of Backpage and its owners, but once again confirmed that the company was protected by the Communications Decency Act. According to the court, Congress intended to protect websites from being held liable for publishing content produced by others – a level of protection enjoyed by no other publishers – even when the result is denying “relief to plaintiffs whose circumstances evoke outrage.” No matter how much harm websites like Backpage inflict and no matter how aware they are of the harm they are causing, these websites cannot be held accountable by their victims for publishing, and profiting from, advertisements for sex trafficking. The court opinion further stated that, in order to hold websites like Backpage accountable, “the remedy is through legislation, not litigation.”
In 2013, 47 state attorneys general called for a change in the Communications Decency Act to hold knowing facilitators of online sex trafficking accountable. And 50 attorneys general from around the country just signed a similar letter calling for a change in the law.
That is why, as Co-Chairs of the Senate Caucus to End Human Trafficking, and along with 26 of our colleagues from across the political spectrum, we have introduced the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act. This narrowly crafted legislation has the support of numerous anti-human trafficking advocacy groups and law enforcement organizations around the country.
It makes three common-sense reforms to the Communications Decency Act. First, it will allow victims of sex trafficking to seek justice against websites that knowingly facilitate crimes against them by removing the law’s unintended protection for online sex traffickers. Second, it helps law enforcement by allowing the prosecution of websites that knowingly assist, support or facilitate a violation of already existing federal sex trafficking laws. And finally, it will enable state law enforcement — not just the Department of Justice — to take legal action against businesses that violate federal sex trafficking laws.
This bill will allow victims of sex trafficking to get justice, and it will do so in a way that protects Internet companies that are doing the right thing. Notably, we preserve the Communications Decency Act’s “Good Samaritan” provision, which protects actors who proactively block, and screen for, offensive material — thus shielding them from frivolous lawsuits.
Congress has an opportunity to fix a significant flaw in the justice system. Vulnerable women and children are having their most basic human rights stripped from them as they are bought and sold online by predators who epitomize evil. They deserve the ability to seek justice.
The Internet Is Really Enjoying This Cute Child Who Totally Commandeered an Interview
If there are kids in the mix during a live news segment, chances are the inevitable will happen and at least one kid will interrupt the whole thing. While anchor Alastair Stewart was conducting a live ITV Lunchtime News segment with a mother and son about milk-related allergic reactions on Wednesday, that’s exactly what one…
While anchor Alastair Stewart was conducting a live ITV Lunchtime News segment with a mother and son about milk-related allergic reactions on Wednesday, that’s exactly what one toddler did to bring more cheer to the situation. Adorably, she made her debut by gliding onto the set in front of the desk. But when that wasn’t enough to make her presence known, she tried to climb onto it.
Stewart was very amused but handled it like a pro.
Obviously this segment belongs to her. This is why interviews on important topics are vastly improved when cute kids burst onto the scene.
Whether or not the ingredients — a serious news topic and an indifferent cute kid — are enough to catalyze this into the viral realm remains to be seen. But these people loved it.
President Trump Returns to Form
Morning Must Reads: August 23
President Trump’s 77-minute grievance-fest in Phoenix Tuesday night was an about-face from the sober tone he struck to discuss his Afghanistan strategy the night before. Attacking the press, Arizona’s Republican senators, and Democrats, Trump’s stem-winding performance was hardly designed to win over the majority of Americans dissatisfied with his job performance or his incendiary comments on this month’s Charlottesville clashes. With his legislative agenda stalled, the prospect of a government shutdown rising and scandals of his own creation dominating headlines, Trump sought to rally his core base of supporters. Trump’s frustration with his critics was obvious, as he accused the media of fomenting the rise of extremist groups in the country. He defended his comments after Charlottesville, which were widely panned by Republicans and led to the dissolution of several councils of CEOs and outside advisors in protest, saying, “The words were perfect.” He also teased a forthcoming pardon for disgraced former Sheriff Joe Arpaio, who was convicted of criminal contempt of court in a long-running racial profiling case. Taken together, it was peak Donald Trump. Monday night was the exception, Tuesday night was the rule.
A look at Trump’s foreign policy doctrine. Tensions between McConnell and Trump rise at a critical moment. And Steve Mnuchin’s wife apologizes.
Here are your must reads:
President Trump Goes on the Attack, Again
Even his only party wasn’t safe, as Trump sought to rally his base [TIME]
Trump Sticks It to GOP
At a time of rising tensions with his own party, the president makes it clear in a thundering Phoenix speech that he’s not ready to make nice with fellow Republicans [Politico]
McConnell, in Private, Doubts if Trump Can Save Presidency
A political cold war [New York Times]
Military Leaders Consolidate Power in Trump Administration
Generals are the rising stars [Washington Post]
New Afghanistan Plan Could Offer Clues to ‘Trump Doctrine’
Never tip your hand to the enemy [Associated Press]
“I won’t do it tonight, because I don’t want to cause any controversy, but Sheriff Joe can feel good.” — President Trump teasing a pardon for disgraced former Sheriff Joe Arpaio
“They’re trying to take our culture. They’re trying to take our history.” — Trump in Phoenix defending monuments of slave-owners
Bits and Bites
President Trump Teases He’ll Still Pardon Controversial Sheriff Joe Arpaio [Associated Press]
Police Fire Pepper Spray as Protests at Trump’s Rally in Phoenix Turn Unruly [Associated Press]
How Probiotics Could Protect Newborns From Deadly Infections
These are today's best ideas
By Michaeleen Doucleff at NPR
By Zack Quaintance in GovTech
By Indiana University
By Devin Coldewey at TechCrunch
By John Warner at Inside Higher Ed
The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, D.C.
This Android Oreo Feature Could Fix a Huge Google Problem
The company hopes to reduce the amount of time between Android consumer updates
The newest version of Google’s Android mobile operating system, unveiled Monday as “Oreo” after the sandwich cookie, will start rolling out in the coming months. As it does, users will be treated to several subtle but useful new features: the ability to minimize an app in the corner of the screen, open apps directly from a web browser with no installation required, and access new types of emoji. But the software’s most noteworthy improvement turns out to be one Android owners won’t experience firsthand.
That’s because Google is making a big change in how its operating system upgrades are prepared for release. It falls under an initiative called Project Treble, and Google hopes it will speed up the process of pushing new software out to the many smartphones around the world that run on Android.
Before Android users can download and install each update, the software must go through several steps. But the time it takes for these updates to arrive has been an Achilles heel for Google. That’s because the validation process can be onerous: Chip makers, smartphone manufacturers and carriers all must modify and test the update before it becomes available to consumers, a practice that typically takes several months.
Most Android phones are thus running software that’s out of date. As of early August, only around 13% of Android devices were running Nougat, the operating system’s latest iteration. A majority of Android gadgets are still on Marshmallow (two generations old), or worse, Lollipop, which arrived nearly three years ago. Step back to 2013’s KitKat (four generations old) and more Android devices are still running it than last year’s Nougat upgrade, according to the Android Developer Dashboard.
Project Treble would in theory shore up this disparity by removing the need for additional hardware-related work by chipmakers before a release launches. Google described this in May as separating the Android operating system framework from specific vendor implementations, which is just a way of saying that it wants to draw a line between the software and proprietary silicon-related aspects of a given device. If all vendors have to do is update the software, they can get new versions of Android out to users much faster.
“The problem we had to solve was that vendor and OS code was deeply intertwined,” Stephanie Saad Cuthbertson, a director of product management for Android at Google, said during a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” session in July.”The device maker had to depend on the silicon vendor and had to wait until the silicon vendor released that code, and then had to integrate that code.” The company said on Monday that device makers such as Samsung, LG, Motorola, Essential and others are scheduled to update their devices to Android Oreo by year’s end.
The sluggish upgrade process has over time spawned additional fragmentation problems. Because Google’s software is designed to run on gadgets made by dozens of companies in various parts of the world, making the software itself consistent has been a constant challenge. What it feels like to use Android can vary wildly between devices, since in addition to running different software versions, many include unique interfaces and features.
That degree of choice is part of Android’s appeal, but it can also be confusing. Lagging major updates not only means users miss out on new features, but it places phones and tablets at risk, since new software often means better security. Android Oreo, for example, will come with Google Play Protect, which scans the apps in Google’s Play Store to make sure they haven’t been infected with malware. Last year’s update, Android Nougat, added privacy-boosting extras such as file-based encryption and direct boot, which enables apps to run securely before a device is unlocked after restarting. As hackers get better at working around existing security safeguards, installing software updates becomes all the more important.
Apple has an advantage over Google when it comes to deploying new software across its iPhones and iPads. Since Apple doesn’t have to work with multiple phone manufacturers, it can release an update that works for all supported devices at a given time, rather than waiting for individual companies to roll it out on their own schedules. It’s a problem that’s always impacted Android, and it’s refreshing to see Google commit more resources toward a solution it probably should have explored years ago.