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Apr 26 - Stanford Scientists Observe Man Travel Out of His Body and Into Space

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5 hours ago

Image inside Apr 26 - Toddlers prepare for their first big interview.

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| By mr_underground - 5 hours ago

Getting into good schools or universities is tough in many parts of the world, but in Hong Kong the pressure begins earlier. Often parents try to get children into a good kindergarten - and before that, into a good nursery. So there are now classes preparing toddlers for that all-important nursery interview.

Yoyo Chan is preparing for an important interview that could help her succeed in life. She is one-and-a-half years old.

At two she will start nursery, but competition is fierce in Hong Kong, and some of the most prestigious nurseries are selective. Her parents want her to be well-prepared for her first big test in life.

The best nurseries and kindergartens are seen as a gateway into the best primary schools - which in turn, parents believe, pave the way to the best secondary schools and universities.

So the most renowned of them can receive more than 1,000 applications for just a few dozen places. As a result, enterprising tuition companies are now offering interview training for toddlers.

At one tuition company, the Hong Kong Young Talents Association (HKYTA), a series of 12 training sessions costs HK$4,480 ($580; ÂŁ390) - that's nearly a quarter of the median monthly household income.

"We try to teach children through musical activities, while adapting the activities to what the interviews will cover," HKYTA tutor Teresa Fahy says.
But to make things more complicated - and more nerve-wracking for parents - different nurseries and kindergartens are looking for different things.
It's common for the interviewers to observe how children play with toys. This gives an idea of their fine motor skills, and how they interact with other children.
How they take part in group activities such as singing or moving to music will also be carefully examined. And interviewers will talk to the children to see how well they express themselves, and whether they make eye contact.
Some, but not all, will also ask children to identify colours or shapes, or to explain scenes in a picture book.

"Interview questions are getting harder and harder," says Fahy. "Kindergartens may ask children complex questions like, 'What are your eyes for?' or 'What type of egg is this?' azine-32040752


WTF!!! Adults can't even tell the difference in some of these eggs. i wouldn't want to put my kids under that much pressure.

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5 hours ago

Image inside Apr 26 - Gold Bar Found from $4.9 Million Heist

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| By Complex Am I - 5 hours ago


Authorities have found a piece of the massive gold heist that took place in March – one gold bar out of the $4.9 million haul.

The clue could help the FBI unravel the case of three armed men who held up the security guards of an unmarked van transporting about $10 million in precious metals from Florida to Massachusetts.

The gold bar, which weighs about 26 lbs. and is worth between $470,000 and $500,000, according to the FBI, was found in South Florida.

"This confirms that there is a South Florida nexus to this crime," Justin E. Fleck, supervisor to the investigation, told ABC News on Monday. "We believe that additional gold bars from the robbery may still be in South Florida and we continue to need the public's help in solving this crime."

The heist, which took place on I-95 in North Carolina, appeared carefully planned and executed, and investigators quickly raised questions about who may have been involved apart from the three armed robbers.

"There is suspicion at this time that this could be an inside job due to the circumstances of the robbery," Detective Josh Bissette wrote in a search warrant obtained by The Wilson Times. "The fact that the truck was robbed immediately upon it pulling over at an unannounced stop is suspicious in and of itself. It is also suspicious because there are no markings on the side of the truck that would indicate the type of cargo contained therein."

Immediately following the robbery, the security guards reported to the Wilson County Sheriff's office that they pulled over because of mechanical problems. But a mechanic was unable to find anything wrong with the truck, Sheriff Calvin Woodard told the Times.

One of the victims reported that he was sick from the smell of fuel in the truck and had to pull over to vomit, but the sheriff's office said no evidence of vomit was found on the side of the road.

The FBI has not released any details about the recovered gold but is offering a $25,000 reward for information about the missing gold. ion-gold-heist

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11 hours ago

Image inside Apr 26 - Cocaine trafficking suspect escapes police after putting GPS tracker on cat

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| By Mari - 11 hours ago

Accused drug dealer and illegal immigrant puts tracking device on pet cat, flees Virginia authorities: reports

Diego Martinez-Espinoza, suspected drug dealer and alleged illegal immigrant, is at large after he put his tracking device on a cat and escaped, according to Virginia authorities.

An alleged cocaine dealer apparently strapped his court-ordered tracking device on his cat and high-tailed it out of town.

Diego Martinez-Espinoza is accused of trying to manufacture, sell, give or distribute more than 10 kilos of coke, and was allegedly living in the country illegally. He got away from authorities in central Virginia by putting the GPS device on his pet, WTVR-TV reported. He's now nowhere to be found ahead of his May 6 court date, according to the TV station.

Chesterfield County sheriffÂ’s department officials confirmed the suspected drug dealer was no longer in their custody, but declined to provide more information.

Martinez-Espinoza allegedly triggered a so-called strap-tamper alert when the device alerted authorities he had been traveling south in February, the TV station reported. Authorities later gave him a new tracking monitor after additional tampering alerts, but the new device went silent March 1, according to court documents cited by WTVR.

The property owner of Martinez-EspinozaÂ’s Highland Springs home discovered the perpÂ’s cat wearing the tracker, the TV station reported.

The alleged drug dealer is said to have strapped the GPS device on his pet cat, not this one, in order to flee.

The U.S. Marshals are reportedly helping to locate Martinez-Espinoza, who is from Mexico and thought to have acquaintances in North Carolina, according to the TV station. But his name doesnÂ’t show up on the agencyÂ’s list of profiled fugitives, and an official in the MarshalsÂ’ Eastern District of Virginia declined to comment early Sunday morning.

Martinez-Espinoza reportedly put on his cat a device like this one, which was supposed to be strapped to the alleged drug dealer's leg. cle-1.2199386#

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13 hours ago

Apr 26 - Google executive Dan Fredinburg among victims of Everest avalanche

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| By Kick N da Door - 13 hours ago

Dan Fredinburg, a senior executive at Google, was among more than a dozen people confirmed killed by the avalanche that swept through Everest base camp in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake.

Tom Briggs, marketing director for Jagged Globe, a Sheffield-based climbing and adventure company, confirmed the news “with the greatest sorrow”. Two other climbers, Paul Greenan, from Dublin, and British-born Richard Brooks, from Sydney, suffered serious but non-life-threatening injuries including broken ribs, arm and pelvis.

“They saw the avalanche coming and were able to make a run for it but the camp was right in the middle of it,” said Briggs. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to Dan’s family and friends.”

Fredinburg was head of privacy for Google X, the company’s highly secretive innovations lab, and a leading force in the Google Adventure team. A larger-than-life personality who called himself “an adventurer not a climber”, he had helped initiate the recent Google Street View project of the trek to Everest base camp and was involved in several Google projects on Everest, including taking a Street View camera to the summit.

His younger sister, Megan, posted a tribute to his Instagram page, which reported that he had suffered a major head injury. “We appreciate all of the love that has been sent our way thus far and … know his soul and his spirit will live on in so many of us,” she said.

Three other Jagged Globe teams currently in Nepal are as yet unaccounted for. One team had been climbing Mera Peak, also in the Everest region, and two trekking teams are on the Dhaulagiri circuit. rest-avalanche

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13 hours ago

Video inside Apr 26 - Russia jails three women over twerking video at WW2 memorial

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| By Mari - 13 hours ago

A Russian court has jailed three women for performing a twerking dance in front of a World War Two memorial.

The court in Novorossiysk gave two of the dancers 10 days in jail each, a third 15 days and two others received fines on charges of petty hooliganism.
Prosecutors had said their "erotic and sexual twerk dance" was disrespectful to historic memory and unacceptable.
Earlier this month, Russian officials closed a dance school after a similar dance video emerged on the internet.
The latest incident involves six dancers - one of them a minor who was not convicted - who had posted a video on YouTube.
"This incident of disrespect for the memory of war history is unacceptable and any attempts to desecrate sites of military glory will be stopped immediately," prosecutors said.

The Orenburg dance school video has been a huge YouTube hit

The sentences come as Russia prepares to mark the 70th anniversary of the World War Two victory.
They also follow the incident early in April when a video clip from the Orenburg dance school on YouTube was viewed millions of times.
The video clip, entitled Winnie the Pooh and the Bees, showed a group of teenage girls dancing on stage in striped leotards, long socks and mini-skirts,
They perform hip-thrusting moves characteristic of twerking.
A committee is investigating whether the performance amounts to negligence or even "debauched action", which is punishable by a range of sanctions from community service to three years behind bars. urope-32473009

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13 hours ago

Video inside Apr 26 - Culture shock for Amazon Chief's Son Who Left Rainforest for New York

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| By SomeOnesoN - 13 hours ago

Nilson Tuwe Huni Kui lives a long way from New York City. In fact, the 29-year-old lives a long way from anywhere.

His village in the Amazon rainforest has a population of only 600 people and it takes five days of travelling by boat to reach the nearest town.

Yet the son of the traditional chief of the Huni Kiu Kaxinawa tribes in Brazil has swapped the rainforest for the concrete jungle, and now calls the Big Apple home.

"My father is what Obama is for you," he explains.

As a youth leader, Tuwe carries the responsibility of making his people's culture and problems known to the world.

After being sent to a summit in Rio de Janeiro last summer he was given an opportunity to study in New York thanks to Tribal Link's Indigenous Fellowship Program and the Nataasha van Kampen Foundation.

The Post Factory in Manhattan has been helping him learn to edit so he can pursue his dream of becoming a documentary film-maker.

The BBC spoke to Tuwe about getting used to the city's subway and fast food as well as the challenges indigenous communities face from loggers and drug cartels.

{Source} azine-21806193

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15 hours ago

Video inside Apr 26 - Kindergarten event disrupted by 'English only' chant

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| By Ham Rove - 15 hours ago


A man stood up and shouted "English only, USA" at a kindergarten spring concert in Perry on Thursday.

Jim Caufield of posted a video sent to him by a witness at the event. The news site said the outburst occurred at the start of the program while an interpreter was producing a Spanish version of remarks that were spoken.

An unidentified man in the audience during the kindergarten concert at the Perry Performing Arts Center can be seen in the video repeatedly yelling: "USA, English only."

School staff escorted the man from the building, Sgt. Jerome Hill from the Perry Police Department said. Police were made aware of the incident Friday and no arrests have been made, Hill said. The incident is still under investigation.

Perry's kindergarten class was about 50 percent Hispanic/Latino in the 2013-14 school year, according to Iowa Department of Education statistics.

Superintendent M. Lynn Ubben sent an email to staff Friday afternoon commending them for a "quick and appropriate response to an unfortunate disruption."

"We live in a diverse/people rich community that values all people and our children truly are our most precious resource," Ubben wrote. "As our elementary music instructor so eloquently said, 'Our children don't see color, they just see their friends.' "

Drake University professor Jody Swilky wrote and co-produced a documentary regarding the influx in Latino immigrants into Perry called "A Little Salsa on the Prairie: The Changing Character of Perry, Iowa." In the 1990s, Latino immigrants moved to Perry to work at the meatpacking plant, leading to racial and cultural tensions in the town.

In 1990, 1 percent of Perry's population was Latino. By 2000, it reached 25 percent, Swilky said. At first, various people in the community were unhappy with the employment of immigrants and with working next to them, but over time, Swilky said the Perry population learned to mostly accept and embrace its Latino population.

However, Swilky said, with change comes resistance. He said taht some people will always be unhappy with the immigration.

"I think there's only so much you can do to force people to accept change, especially if they feel like they're losing jobs or if they feel uncomfortable around people who look differently or speak differently," Swilky said.

School administrators did not immediately return a phone call Friday.
http://www.desmoinesregis... cert/26314533/

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15 hours ago

Image inside Apr 26 - The Brutality of Police Culture in Baltimore

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| By illmatic826 - 15 hours ago timore/391158/

*Excellent Read*

In Baltimore, where 25-year-old Freddie Gray died shortly after being taken into police custody, an investigation may uncover homicidal misconduct by law enforcement, as happened in the North Charleston, South Carolina, killing of Walter Scott. Or the facts may confound the darkest suspicions of protestors, as when the Department of Justice released its report on the killing of Michael Brown.

What's crucial to understand, as Baltimore residents take to the streets in long-simmering frustration, is that their general grievances are valid regardless of how this case plays out. For as in Ferguson, where residents suffered through years of misconduct so egregious that most Americans could scarcely conceive of what was going on, the people of Baltimore are policed by an entity that perpetrates stunning abuses. The difference is that this time we needn't wait for a DOJ report to tell us so. Harrowing evidence has been presented. Yet America hasn't looked.

I include myself.

Despite actively reading and commenting on police misconduct for many years, I was unaware until yesterday that the Baltimore Sun published a searing 2014 article documenting recent abuses that are national scandals in their own rights.

A grandmother's bones were broken. A pregnant woman was violently thrown to the ground. Millions of dollars were paid out to numerous victims of police brutality.

And almost none of us noticed!

So I join all who say that protests in Baltimore should remain peaceful, and I will continue to withhold judgment about Gray's death until more facts are known.

But I also insist that Baltimore protests are appropriate regardless of what happened to Freddie Gray, as is more federal scrutiny and intervention. Although much was rightly made of Ferguson's racially unrepresentative local leadership, the presence of a black mayor and a diverse city council has not solved Baltimore's police problem, partly because the DOJ responded to revelations of epidemic brutality with less than the full-scale civil rights probe that some residents requested and because Maryland pols have thwarted reform bills urged by city leaders.

There are so many good reasons for locals to be outraged.

The Baltimore Sun's article shows why in detail. And a few choice excerpts are the best beginning in this attempt to contextualize the ongoing protests within recent history.

Let's start with the money.

$5.7 million is the amount the city paid to victims of brutality between 2011 and 2014. And as huge as that figure is, the more staggering number in the article is this one: "Over the past four years, more than 100 people have won court judgments or settlements related to allegations of brutality and civil-rights violations." What tiny percentage of the unjustly beaten win formal legal judgments?

If you're imagining that they were all men in their twenties, think again:

Victims include a 15-year-old boy riding a dirt bike, a 26-year-old pregnant accountant who had witnessed a beating, a 50-year-old woman selling church raffle tickets, a 65-year-old church deacon rolling a cigarette and an 87-year-old grandmother aiding her wounded grandson. Those cases detail a frightful human toll. Officers have battered dozens of residents who suffered broken bones — jaws, noses, arms, legs, ankles — head trauma, organ failure, and even death, coming during questionable arrests. Some residents were beaten while handcuffed; others were thrown to the pavement.

When pondering the fact that Baltimore paid out $5.7 million in brutality settlements over four years, consider that the payout in this case was just $95,000.

Lest anyone imagine that this investigation was the only tipoff of egregious misconduct among Baltimore police, more context is useful. The period covered in the brutality investigation came immediately after the FBI caught 51 Baltimore police officers in a scheme that resulted in at least 12 extortion convictions.

Shortly after the investigation was published this happened on a Baltimore street:

This year a detective who retired from the police force last year demonstrated a violent streak—he allegedly took part in a motorcycle-club brawl that left a man hospitalized. Also in 2014, "a city police officer was charged with felony assault after he stormed into a home in full uniform Monday and threatened to kill his wife with his service weapon." And Baltimore police tased a hospitalized meningitis patient 5 times in the course of ten minutes. He died soon after. Prosecutors did not file charges.

Another cop was charged with an assault on a 14-year-old boy.

Even animals couldn't escape the brutality of the Baltimore police last year. In July, "Officer Thomas Schmidt, a 24-year veteran assigned to the Emergency Services unit, was placed on paid administrative leave after police say he held down a Shar-Pei while a fellow officer, Jeffrey Bolger, slit the dog's throat." A month later, a Baltimore police officer plead guilty "to a felony animal cruelty charge after he fatally beat and choked his girlfriend's Jack Russell terrier," an August 5 article noted. The very same year, even one of Baltimore's good cops couldn't escape the horror show of dead animals: "Four investigators from agencies outside Baltimore are working to determine who left a dead rat on the car windshield of an officer who was cooperating with prosecutors on a police brutality case."

What about the prior year?

There was a murder-suicide, with a policeman killing a firefighter, his girlfriend, and himself. There was a different officer who killed himself in jail after being charged with killing his fiancée. In yet another case, "Abdul Salaam, 36, says he was beaten in July 2013 after a traffic stop by officers Nicholas Chapman and Jorge Bernardez-Ruiz and that he never got a response to his complaint filed with internal affairs," The Sun reported. "Those officers would be implicated less than three weeks later in the death of 44-year-old Tyrone West while he was in police custody." Also in 2013, a jury acquitted an off-duty police officer on manslaughter charges after he chased down and killed a 17-year-old boy who may or may not have thrown a rock that thumped harmlessly into his front door. And that's not even getting into serious corruption that wasn't brutality.

I could go on, but I've long since started to skim past stories like "Baltimore police officer pimps out his own wife" and thinking, meh, I've seen worse from cops there. The cop who shot himself and lied about it to get worker's comp benefits? Meh, at least he didn't shoot someone else and then lie about what happened. There is just a staggering level of dysfunction in the department, and residents of Baltimore, a city that could use a professional crime-fighting force if ever there was one, have suffered under it year after year after year. Pick one. (Take 2008! A Baltimore cop shot a man twice in the back. He was acquitted, too.)

There is so much I haven't included, and I've just trawled through the archives of The Baltimore Sun for a two-year period. They cover most police-involved deaths, but no newspaper covers more than a minuscule subset of use-of-force incidents.

So no wonder protestors are out in Baltimore after this latest death.

No wonder that a meeting on police brutality this week had to be moved to a bigger venue because so many Baltimore residents are concerned enough to come out in person. "Dozens of residents—most of them black—inundated federal officials with their assertions that city police have been brutalizing residents with impunity," a just-published Baltimore Sun article reports. It includes a quote from a 35-year-old who asked the feds, "When are you all going to help us?"

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15 hours ago

Apr 26 - 1/3 of babies use smartphone before they learn to walk or talk

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| By messy marv stan - 15 hours ago

http://www.washingtontime... walk-and-talk/

The news is startling pediatricians. A new medical study reveals that the tiniest Americans are tapping on smartphones and tablets even before they learn to walk or talk, and by 1 year of age, one in seven toddlers is using devices for at least an hour a day.

The research found that even a third of the babies under a year could scroll down the screen, while a fourth managed to actually call someone.

“We didn’t expect children were using the devices from the age of 6 months. Some children were on the screen for as long as 30 minutes,” says Dr. Hilda Kabali, lead author of the study, which was conducted among 370 parents and their babies at a pediatrics clinic in the Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia.

Mobile devices are becoming babysitters. Dr. Kabali found that 60 percent of the parents in the study allowed their toddlers to play with mobile media when it was time to run errands, almost three fourths did the same while they did chores. Another 65 percent used the device to “calm the child”, a third used it to put the child to sleep.

“By 1 year of age, 14 percent of children were spending at least one hour per day using mobile media, 26 percent by age 2, and 38 percent by age 4. Only 30 percent of parents reported discussing media use with their child’s pediatrician,” the study found.

The researchers also advise that the American Academy of Pediatrics discourages the use of entertainment media such as televisions, computers, smartphones and tablets by children under age 2. The findings were revealed Saturday at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies in San Diego

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1 day ago

Image inside Apr 25 - 32-Year-Old Woman Wakes Up Thinking She’s 15

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| By messy marv stan - 1 day ago g-shes-15.html

Naomi Jacobs went to bed on a spring night in 2008 as a 32-year-old mother of an 11-year-old boy and a student at Manchester Metropolitan University. The next morning, she says, it was as if the last decade and a half of her life had never happened. In an interview with the BBC today, Jacobs says she woke up believing she was 15 years old.

She didn't recognize her home or her son, and even her own voice sounded unfamiliar to her, much lower than she thought it should be. The 2008 technology throughout her house, including her smartphone and TV, looked to her like something out of a sci-fi movie. The best and only way to deal with the confusion seemed to be to go back to bed, as it often is. "I was convinced I was going to fall asleep ... and wake back up in 1992," she told the BBC, in a conversation about the book she's written about the experience, Forgotten Girl. And yet she hadn't forgotten everything: She could still remember things like phone numbers and her debit card PIN, and she even remembered how to drive, something she certainly didn't know how to do at 15

What she's describing fits the description of dissociative amnesia, psychologist and Science of Us occasional contributor Christian Jarrett pointed out in a tweet this morning. Dissociative amnesia is a form of memory loss in which certain personal information is blocked out, though the person retains motor memory (like driving a car) and memory for things like facts and dates (like Jacobs's PIN). Stress is said to trigger this type of memory loss, and the memories usually resurface in time.

In this way, Jacobs's experience was typical of other recorded dissociative amnesia cases, in that her memories vanished after a period of illness and personal stress, and returned about six weeks later. Now that it's behind her, Jacobs told the BBC she feels fortunate for the chance to see her adult life from a new perspective. It's a weird thought exercise: What would 15-year-old you think of your life?

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1 day ago

Video inside Apr 25 - Pasadena Police Cover-up in Shooting of Unarmed Teenager

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| By Ladklap - 1 day ago


First amendment lawyer Kelli Sager details the case of police obfuscation in their investigation of the police shooting of Kendrec McDade, the unarmed 19-year-old who was shot and killed by Pasadena police officers in the spring of 2012 in this excerpt from the Media Mayhem interview, hosted by Allison Hope Weiner.

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1 day ago

Video inside Apr 25 - Peaceful protest of Eric Garner gets... less peaceful

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| By SlickJ101 - 1 day ago

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1 day ago

Apr 25 - An Estimated 780,000 Americans in Same-Sex Marriages

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| By messy marv stan - 1 day ago campaign=tiles

Approximately 0.3% of adults in the U.S. are married to a same-sex spouse, and another 0.5% identify as being in a same-sex domestic partnership. In examining the total population of 243 million U.S. adults, these survey estimates suggest nearly 2 million adults are part of a same-sex couple, of whom 780,000 are married

These data are based on 80,568 interviews conducted on Gallup Daily tracking from Jan. 28-April 19, 2015, Overall, approximately 0.3% of all respondents during this time period both identified as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender (LGBT) and said they were married, and in a follow-up question, they indicated that they were married to a same-sex spouse. An additional 0.5% of adults identified as LGBT and reported being in a same-sex domestic partnership.

On Tuesday, April 28, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in a set of cases that challenge state bans on marriage for same-sex couples in Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio and Tennessee. This hearing comes two years after the court ruled that the federal Defense of Marriage Act, which prohibited the federal government from recognizing the marriages of same-sex couples, was unconstitutional. At that time, less than half of the states allowed same-sex couples to marry. Today, such marriages are legal in 37 states and the District of Columbia (though disparate rulings by federal and state courts in Alabama have put such marriages on hold there). This rapid legal change brought a surge in marriages among same-sex couples.

The 780,000 American adults who are estimated to be married to a same-sex spouse translates into approximately 390,000 same-sex married couples in the U.S. Similarly, the estimated 1.2 million adults living in a same-sex domestic partnership translates into 600,000 domestic partnership couples. Thus, there is a total of almost a million same-sex couples in the country, of which nearly four in 10 (39%) are married.

At 990,000, Gallup's estimated number of same-sex married or domestic partner couples in the U.S. is significantly higher than past estimates derived from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS), which in 2013 put the number of same-sex couples at roughly 727,000. Of this group, more than 250,000 reported they were married. The Census Bureau, however, has cautioned that the ACS estimates of married same-sex couples may not be reliable as they have determined that a large portion of recorded married same-sex couples may actually be married heterosexual couples who miscoded the sex of one of the spouses.

Separately, analyses of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 2013 National Health Interview Survey put the number of same-sex couples at 690,000, of whom about 130,000 were married by the end of the year. In either case, the number of married same-sex couples has appeared to increase substantially over the last year.

Bottom Line

The main question before the Supreme Court on Tuesday is whether same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. If the court decides the answer is yes when it issues its ruling (likely in June), this means marriage for same-sex couples would become legal in all U.S. states. If the answer is no, it is possible many states that now allow same-sex couples to marry could reinstitute bans. What reinstating bans on same-sex marriage might mean for currently married same-sex couples is not entirely clear.

A second question before the court is whether the 13 states that do not allow same-sex couples to marry must recognize the marriages of same-sex couples who live in those states but were legally married elsewhere. The Gallup data show that approximately 16% of adults who say they are married to a same-sex spouse, or more than 60,000 couples, live in one of the 13 states that do not legally permit same-sex couples to marry.

Gary J. Gates is Blachford-Cooper Distinguished Scholar and Research Director at the Williams Institute, UCLA School of Law. A national expert in LGBT demographics, he has a Ph.D. in public policy from Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University.

Survey Methods

Results for this Gallup poll are based on telephone interviews conducted Jan. 28-April 19, 2015, on the Gallup U.S. Daily survey, with a random sample of 80,568 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, including 2,610 adults who identified as LGBT. For results based on the total sample of national adults, the margin of sampling error is ±1 percentage points at the 95% confidence level. All reported margins of sampling error include computed design effects for weighting.

Each sample of national adults includes a minimum quota of 50% cellphone respondents and 50% landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas by time zone within region. Landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods.

Learn more about how Gallup Daily tracking works

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1 day ago

Video inside Apr 25 - Police Cars gettin smashed in Baltimore over Freddie Gray

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| By LuckiiWaviano - 1 day ago

*tweet embedded

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2 days ago

Image inside Apr 25 - Baltimore braces for weekend protests over police-custody death

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| By RAZAH CUTS - 2 days ago


Baltimore police on Friday said Freddie Gray, whose unexplained death in police custody has sparked protests, should have received medical care before he was put in a police van earlier this month. Speaking at a news conference, city authorities also said that Gray should have been buckled in when he was in the van — but that he was not.

People angry over Gray's death promised their biggest-yet protest march would come Saturday, when they would try to shut down the city. Gray was arrested April 12 after he made eye contact with officers and ran away, police said. Officers held him down, handcuffed him and loaded him into a police van. While inside, he became irate and leg cuffs were put on him, according to police.

Gray was not buckled in by a seat belt, a violation of the police department's policy.

He asked for medical help several times, and after a 30-minute ride, paramedics were called. At some point — apparently either during his arrest or inside the van — he suffered a mysterious spinal injury.

Baltimore's deputy police commissioner has said that Gray should have received medical attention before being put into the van. And Police Commissioner Anthony Batts said Friday that authorities were focused on analyzing "multiple gaps" in CCTV camera footage showing what happened after the arrest. Batts did not elaborate.

Batts said that "if someone harmed Freddie Gray ... they have to be held accountable." Six officers have been suspended with pay during the investigation.

Meanwhile, Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake thanked protesters for being peaceful so far and said the police commissioner had assured her that the investigation into Gray's death is moving as quickly as possible. She expects the results to be turned over to prosecutors in a week. They will decide whether any criminal charges are to be filed.

"I will not deny we have had a very long and complicated history on issues such as these," Rawlings-Blake said Friday. "But it's important to remember that we have an equally long history of peaceful and legal protest."

"I still want to know why none of the officers called for immediate medical assistance despite Mr. Gray's sapient pleas," the mayor said.

Asked if Gray's possible "rough ride" was the only incident of its kind, she said: "It's clearly not a one-off. The reason we have the policy around seat belts in the police vans is because of an incident that happened previously." She was referring to Dondi Johnson, who died of a fractured spine in 2005 after he was arrested for urinating in public and transported without a seat belt, with his hands cuffed behind his back.

Meanwhile, the leader of a group of local ministers called on Police Commissioner Batts to resign immediately.

"It seems that no one in the police department can explain what happened," said the Rev. Alvin Gwynn Sr., president of the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of Baltimore.

He said the police department is "in disarray" and Batts has shown a "lack of viable leadership capabilities."

The president of a black lawyers' group predicted that thousands of people would turn out to protest on Saturday, when good weather is forecast.

"Things will change on Saturday, and the struggle will be amplified," said Malik Shabazz of Black Lawyers for Justice.

Shabazz rejected the notion that he was an outside agitator who would stir up trouble.

Bernard Young, Baltimore City Council president, said ahead of a rally on Thursday that he hoped citizens wouldn't let "outside forces come in here and dictate how we act by destroying our infrastructure."

"We can lead ourselves. We're capable of doing that," he said.
http://america.aljazeera.... rally-yet.html

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2 days ago

Image inside Apr 25 - Diet Pepsi dropping aspartame on customer concerns

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| By RAZAH CUTS - 2 days ago


NEW YORK (AP) — PepsiCo says it’s dropping aspartame from Diet Pepsi in response to customer worries and replacing it with sucralose, another artificial sweetener commonly known as Splenda.

The decision to swap sweeteners comes as Americans keep turning away from popular diet sodas. Rival Coca-Cola said this week that sales volume for Diet Coke, which also uses aspartame, fell 5 percent in North America in the first three months of the year.

Atlanta-based Coca-Cola said in a statement that it has no plans to change the sweetener in Diet Coke, which is the countryÂ’s top-selling diet cola.

The Food and Drug Administration says aspartame, known by the brand names Equal and NutraSweet, is “one of the most exhaustively studied substances in the human food supply, with more than 100 studies supporting its safety.”

More recently, a government advisory committee for the U.S. Department of AgricultureÂ’s dietary guidelines said aspartame appears to be safe in the amounts consumed by Americans. But it added that there is still uncertainty about whether the sweetener increases risk for some blood cancers in men.

Executives at Coke and Pepsi blame the declines on perceptions that the sweetener isnÂ’t safe.

John Sicher, publisher of industry tracker Beverage Digest, noted that attitudes about aspartame can be very negative. Using an online tool called Topsy that measures Twitter sentiment on a scale of 0 to 100, he noted “aspartame” got a 22 ranking, below a 38 ranking for “Congress.”

By comparison, “love” had a ranking of 96 and “Christmas” had a ranking of 88.

The negative attitudes about aspartame donÂ’t seem to extend to sucralose. Sparkling Ice, a zero-calorie drink created in the 1990s, is sweetened with sucralose and has been enjoying strong growth in recent years.

“Aspartame is the No. 1 reason consumers are dropping diet soda,” said Seth Kaufman, vice president of Pepsi.

In tests, Kaufman said, people still recognized the reformulated drink to be Diet Pepsi, but that it might have a “slightly different mouthfeel.”

Diet Pepsi will also still have acesulfame potassium, or ace-K, which PepsiCo said it added to the drink in late 2012 to help prevent its taste from degrading over time.

PepsiCo says reformulated Diet Pepsi will start hitting shelves in August, with cans stating that the drink is “Now Aspartame Free.” The change only applies to the U.S. market and will affect all varieties of Diet Pepsi, such as Caffeine Free Diet Pepsi and Wild Cherry Diet Pepsi. It will not apply to other PepsiCo drinks, such as Diet Mountain Dew.

Coke also introduced a version of Diet Coke made with Splenda in 2005, but the brand remains small.

Sicher of Beverage Digest said he thinks Diet PepsiÂ’s change could get some people to try or retry the drink. But he said itÂ’s too early to say how big of an impact it will have over the years.

Volumes for Diet Pepsi and Diet Coke began falling in 2005 and 2006, respectively, according Beverage Digest. Volumes have continued falling since then, and the decline has accelerated in the past two years.

____ epsi-aspartame

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2 days ago

Apr 25 - Eric Holder’s DoJ Routinely Backed Officers’ Use of Force

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| By Screwhead - 2 days ago

WASHINGTON — Teresa Sheehan was alone in her apartment at a mental health center, clutching what her lawyers said was a small bread knife and demanding to be left alone. San Francisco police officers, responding to a call from a social worker, forced open the door, blinded her with pepper spray and shot her.

It was the kind of violent police confrontation that Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. has frequently criticized in Cleveland; Albuquerque; Ferguson, Mo.; and beyond. But last month, when Ms. SheehanÂ’s civil rights lawsuit reached the Supreme Court, the Justice Department backed the police, saying that a lower court should have given more weight to the risks that the officers faced.

At the Supreme Court, where the limits of police power are established, Mr. HolderÂ’s Justice Department has supported police officers every time an excessive-force case has made its way to arguments. Even as it has opened more than 20 civil rights investigations into local law enforcement practices, the Justice Department has staked out positions that make it harder for people to sue the police and that give officers more discretion about when to fire their guns.

Police groups see Mr. Holder as an ally in that regard, and that pattern has rankled civil rights lawyers, who say the government can have a far greater effect on policing by interpreting law at the Supreme Court than through investigations of individual departments.

“There is an inherent conflict between people at the Justice Department trying to stop police abuses and other people at the Justice Department convincing the Supreme Court that police abuses should be excused,” said Ronald L. Kuby, a Manhattan civil rights lawyer.

To some extent, conflict is built into the system. The Justice DepartmentÂ’s core mission is law enforcement. It oversees the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, among others. In every administration, it is in the governmentÂ’s interest for federal agents to have as much leeway, and as little liability, as possible.

Continue reading the main story

“It’s natural that the instinctive reaction of the department is to support law enforcement interests, even when a particular case may have compelling facts for the individual defendant,” said Neal K. Katyal, a former acting solicitor general in the Obama administration. He said the Justice Department had a duty to tell the court what effect a ruling could have for federal law enforcement agencies.

When police abuse cases make it to the Supreme Court, even if they have nothing to do with federal agents, the Justice Department often weighs in. Last year, the department sided with police officers in West Memphis, Ark., who shot a driver and passenger 15 times, killing them at the end of a chase.

John F. Bash, a Justice Department lawyer in that case, told the justices that “there is some level of reckless driving in response to a police pursuit that authorizes the use of deadly force.” What was certain, he added, was that the officers were entitled to qualified immunity, which shields them from civil rights lawsuits. The Supreme Court unanimously agreed.

Continue reading the main story

Every such victory makes it harder for citizens to prevail when they believe they have been mistreated by police officers. It also adds obstacles for the Justice DepartmentÂ’s own civil rights investigators when alleging police misconduct. That has led to some tense debates inside the department, current and former officials say, as the governmentÂ’s civil rights and appellate lawyers discussed when the department should weigh in, and on which side. Those debates have led the Justice Department to take more nuanced positions than government lawyers might have otherwise, the officials said.

“Law enforcement officers are routinely called upon to face grave dangers and to make often-unheralded sacrifices, and the law must give them the room to make real-time judgments to protect public safety,” said Emily Pierce, a Justice Department spokeswoman. “At the same time, building trust between law enforcement and the communities they serve and protecting human life and human dignity requires accountability for law enforcement officers. The department recognizes — and is committed to striking — that balance.”

Mr. Holder has called the civil rights division the crown jewel of the department, and it has rarely had such a high profile. Even before it garnered national attention with a scathing rebuke of the Ferguson Police Department after the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white officer last summer, the division issued similar reports on other departments, including those in Seattle, Albuquerque, Newark and New Orleans.

Those efforts, along with deeply personal remarks from Mr. Holder about racial profiling, have drawn criticism from police officers who say he has not supported them. But Darrel W. Stephens, the executive director of the Major Cities Chiefs Association, said many officers probably did not know how often Mr. Holder’s Justice Department stood with them at the Supreme Court. “He’s sincere,” Mr. Stephens said. “He is supportive of the police.”

Private civil rights lawyers, though, have been frustrated that the Justice Department’s aggressive stance in civil rights reports does not extend to its positions before the Supreme Court. “A report can have an impact on a department for a time,” said Gary Smith, the lawyer for the driver in the Arkansas case. “But case law touches every officer in every department in the country.”

Eventually, he predicted, police departments facing civil rights investigations will challenge the Justice Department on its apparently contradictory positions. “You’re telling the Supreme Court it’s O.K., and you’re doing this to us?” Mr. Smith said.

When Justice Department lawyers argue before the Supreme Court, they typically draw fine distinctions and avoid outright contradictions. But such cases can send seemingly mixed messages. For example, the civil rights division said in December that police officers in Cleveland were too quick to use force against mentally ill people. For support, it cited the federal appeals court decision in the case of the mentally ill woman in San Francisco — the same decision that Justice Department lawyers would argue against a few months later.

Similarly, the Justice Department criticized the SheriffÂ’s Office in Franklin County, Ohio, in 2010 for using stun guns on inmates while they were handcuffed and posed no threat, or when they committed minor rule violations. In a Supreme Court case to be heard this month, the Justice Department has sided with Wisconsin jail officials who used a stun gun on an inmate after he was handcuffed and taken from his cell for refusing to remove a piece of paper covering a light fixture in his cell.

The Justice Department sees those cases as evidence not of conflict but of how its lawyers strike a balance. In the Sheehan case from San Francisco, despite siding with the police, they argued that officers must make some accommodation for a personÂ’s mental illness when making an arrest. And in the Wisconsin case, they agreed with the inmate about the legal standard needed to prove abuse, even as they again supported the police.

For Mr. Holder, altering the approach to police abuse cases would amount to a major policy change, one that F.B.I. agents and other federal investigators would surely oppose, said William R. Yeomans, an American University law professor who served in senior roles in the civil rights division during the Clinton administration. So when tensions arise, protecting federal agents almost always wins. “Obviously it’s a problem,” he said. “The institutional interests in support of law enforcement are very powerful and very real.”

Because of that history, Steven R. Shapiro, the legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union, said it was unfair to criticize Mr. HolderÂ’s tenure too harshly. The Justice Department has always advocated its law enforcement authority, he said. And the A.C.L.U. often opposes those efforts. But he said no administration had done more to curb police abuses or to force a national debate over the issue.

“Civil rights has a voice at the table more often and more prominently under this administration than in previous administrations. It’s not merely symbolic,” he said. “To the extent there is dissonance, we’re noticing the dissonance because the civil rights voice is more prominent than in the past.” -of-force.html

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2 days ago

Apr 25 - Police Used Phone Tracking More Than 25,000 Times

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| By GoldBluded - 2 days ago

A city judge turned back a challenge Monday to the Baltimore Police Department's use of a controversial cellphone surveillance tool in a murder case, ruling that a suspect can't complain about police deploying the device to find a stolen phone.

The case is the latest in recent months in which police disclosed use of a cell site simulator, which for years was shrouded in secrecy. Anthony Todd is accused of killing Kevin Gipson in March 2013, and police traced the victim's stolen cellphone to Todd's home. Detectives testified that the killing created an urgency that left no time to get a court order.

Circuit Court Judge Timothy J. Doory ruled that Todd, 47, had no ability to "complain about a phone that isn't his, taken during commission of a murder." Todd, whose trial will begin later this week, claims he found the phone on the porch of a vacant home the day of his arrest.

The judge's ruling was a victory for law enforcement amid recent questions about the device, known as a "stingray." The device is so secretive that the FBI has required police and prosecutors to sign a document agreeing not to discuss its use, even to judges or legislators.

The stingray works by mimicking a cellphone tower and tricking all phones within a range of up to a mile to connect with it. For years, police have referred to it in affidavits using terms such as "sophisticated technology," and if questions arose, the nondisclosure agreement instructed prosecutors to drop cases rather than reveal detals about it.

But in recent weeks, officials have been opening up about the stingray and discussing its use in courtrooms. Assistant State's Attorney Rita Wisthoff-Ito said Monday that privacy concerns about the stingray were unfounded.

"There's a big issue being made of a device that does nothing but look for a signal out of a cellphone," she told Doory.

Police outlined for the first time this month their usage of the stingray, pegging it at more than 4,300 times — a figure experts called a "huge number" compared to a trickle of disclosures in other cities.

At Monday's hearing, Detective Michael Dressel said the device is used without court orders under urgent circumstances, and though he was unsure how often that happened, he called it "rare."

David Rocah, a staff attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland, said Todd's case had very specific circumstances and did not address the general concerns expressed by privacy advocates over how authorities have been using the device.

"Does the use of a stingray absent exigent circumstances require a warrant? Our view is clearly yes, it does," Rocah said. "It's not a targeted search but a blunderbuss search of everything in range. All of that means to us that a warrant — a real warrant — is required."

The hearing came in pretrial motions in the killing of Gipson, 43. Prosecutors say he and a friend were buying drugs in the 1100 block of Barclay St. from a man they knew as "Mike" when an argument erupted. Gipson was fatally shot.

Two days later, police realized Gipson had a phone that had been taken. A relative had called the phone, and a man answered, saying he had found it, police wrote in court documents.

Homicide Detective Shawn Reichenberg faxed a request to the agency's Advanced Technical Team to find the phone. Though police say their policy is to get a court order, the circumstances — notably that a killing had occurred — caused them to go directly to the phone company for permission to get a general range of the phone's location.

That led them to Todd's home in the 4500 block of Pimlico Road in the Park Heights area.

Todd's attorney, Richard Woods, said in court that his client does not match the initial description of Gipson's killer, and that Todd picked up the phone after he found it ringing on the porch of a vacant home in his neighborhood. Woods said surveillance video shows other people walking past the house who seem to be looking in the direction of a noise.

Monday's hearing focused on the stingray. Dressel testified that the device temporarily knocks out phone service to everyone in the area who is using the same subscriber as the phone they are looking for.

"If I was calling Aunt Mabel, my phone may be disconnected temporarily?" Woods asked, to which Dressel responded, yes.

Dressel said the stingray collects unique identifying information of the phones in range, but only stores the target and does not collect other data or listen to calls.

He said the criteria for obtaining location data without a warrant is broad, but the phone companies themselves require police to show imminent threat of death or bodily harm, "conspiratorial activities characteristic of organized crime," or an imminent threat to national security interests.

http://www.baltimoresun.c... 420-story.html

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2 days ago

Image inside Apr 24 - ISIS new Video & Pictures- 30 Ethiopians and Eritreans b3headed and shot

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| By Binah - 2 days ago


The Islamic State has a released a new video purportedly showing the mass execution and beheading of Ethiopian Christians in Libya. The 29-minute video was released on Sunday, April 19, by ISISÂ’ Al-Furqan media arm and claims to show Islamic State affiliates in the eastern Libya province known as Barka Province and the southern Fazzan Province.

The video begins with a long introduction of a rant against Christendom, but the gore begins at around 25 minutes, when a pistol brandishing jihadist claims that Christians must convert to Islam or pay a special tax in the Quran known as Jizya.

First a line of alleged Ethiopian Christians are lined up and shot in the back of the head. After that, the scene cuts to a beach where another group of alleged Ethiopian Christians are beheaded in much a similar way to the February beheadings of the Coptic Christians.

Watch the censored video above. For uncensored photos, click here. n-caps-photos/

If you have the stomach for it, gruesome graphic pictures can be found in the link above. There's also a video. The video posted above is censored.

On another note, where is the worldwide outcry? The world leaders came from all over to honor those who lost their lives in Paris' Charlie Hebdo. 147 university students lost their lives in Kenya at the beginning of the month to Al-Shabab, now this. Why the silence????

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2 days ago

Apr 24 - starbucks system outage FREE DRINKS/FOOD

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| By bobby doobie - 2 days ago omputers-down/

just returned from there all stores are down nation wide, saw people leaving with dozens of coffees, lines like some jordans just dropped

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