Oregon Decriminalizes Small Amounts of Heroin and Cocaine; Four States Legalize Marijuana

first_imgIn Louisiana, a measure supported by two anti-abortion Democrats, Gov. John Bel Edwards and State Senator Katrina Jackson, passed comfortably. Amendment 1 adds these words to the State Constitution: “Nothing in this constitution shall be construed to secure or protect a right to abortion, or require the funding of abortion.”But in Colorado, voters soundly defeated a proposal to ban abortions after 22 weeks of gestation. – Advertisement – In Mississippi, voters approved a new state flag with red, yellow and blue stripes, a magnolia flower and the words “In God We Trust.” The state’s previous flag, which dated to 1894 and contained a Confederate battle cross, was decommissioned by lawmakers in June.Advocates of overhauling criminal justice, including former Gov. Jerry Brown, were victorious on two measures in California. Voters approved Proposition 17, which will restore the right to vote for felons on parole, and they rejected Proposition 20, which would have rolled back earlier measures that allow early parole consideration for people convicted of certain felonies. In Oklahoma, voters went the other way, rejecting Question 805, a measure that would have prohibited using a person’s past nonviolent felony convictions to impose an enhanced sentence for another nonviolent felony.- Advertisement – There were 38 statewide citizen initiatives being decided across the country on Tuesday, about half as many as in 2016, when there were 72. Experts attribute the decline to the effect of the coronavirus pandemic, which has made gathering signatures more difficult. When all measures are included, including those placed on the ballot by legislatures, there were a total of 124 statewide ballot initiatives this year, down from 154 four years ago.Mike Baker and Noam Scheiber contributed reporting.center_img – Advertisement –last_img read more

Facebook Groups Buzzed With Calls for Violence Ahead of US Election

first_imgOther phrases, like “shoot them” and “kill them all,” were used within public groups at least 7,345 times and 1,415 times respectively, according to CounterAction. “Hang him” appeared 8,132 times. “Time to start shooting, folks,” read one comment.Facebook said it was reviewing CounterAction’s findings, which Reuters shared with the company, and would take action to enforce policies “that reduce real-world harm and civil unrest, including in Groups,” according to a statement provided by spokeswoman Dani Lever.The company declined to say whether examples shared by Reuters violated its rules or say where it draws the line in deciding whether the phrase “incites or facilities serious violence,” which, according to its policies, is grounds for removal.- Advertisement – Such rhetoric was not uncommon in the run-up to the election in Facebook Groups, a key booster of engagement for the world’s biggest social network, but it did not always get the same treatment.A survey of US-based Facebook Groups between September and October conducted by digital intelligence firm CounterAction at the request of Reuters found rhetoric with violent overtones in thousands of politically oriented public groups with millions of members.Variations of twenty phrases that could be associated with calls for violence, such as “lock and load” and “we need a civil war,” appeared along with references to election outcomes in about 41,000 instances in U.S.-based public Facebook Groups over the two month period.- Advertisement – Before Facebook shut down a rapidly growing “Stop the Steal” Facebook Group on Thursday, the forum featured calls for members to ready their weapons should President Donald Trump lose his bid to remain in the White House.In disabling the group after coverage by Reuters and other news organizations, Facebook cited the forum’s efforts to delegitimize the election process and “worrying calls for violence from some members.”- Advertisement – Prosecutors have linked several disrupted militia plots back to Facebook Groups this year, including a planned attack on Black Lives Matters protesters in Las Vegas and a scheme to kidnap the governor of Michigan.To address concerns, Facebook announced a flurry of policy changes since the summer aimed at curbing “militarized social movements,” including U.S. militias, Boogaloo networks and the QAnon conspiracy movement.It says it has removed 14,200 groups on the basis of those changes since August.As pressure on the company intensified ahead of the election, Zuckerberg said Facebook would pause recommendations for political groups and new groups, although that measure did not prevent the “Stop the Steal” group for swelling to more than 365,000 members in less than 24 hours.Meaningful connectionsFacebook has promoted Groups aggressively since Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg made them a strategic priority in 2017, saying they would encourage more “meaningful connections,” and this year featured the business in a Super Bowl commercial.It stepped up Groups promotion in news feeds and search engine results last month, even as civil rights organizations warned the product had become a breeding ground for extremism and misinformation.The public groups can be seen, searched and joined by anyone on Facebook. Groups also offer private options that conceal posts – or the existence of the forum – even when a group has hundreds of thousands of members.Facebook has said it relies heavily on artificial intelligence to monitor the forums, especially private groups, which yield few user reports of bad behavior as members tend to be like-minded, to flag posts that may incite violent actions to human content reviewers.While use of violent language does not always equate to an actionable threat, Matthew Hindman, a machine learning and media scholar at George Washington University who reviewed the results, said Facebook’s artificial intelligence should have been able to pick out common terms for review.“If you’re still finding thousands of cases of ‘shoot them’ and ‘get a rope,’ you’re looking at a systemic problem. There’s no way a modern machine learning system would miss something like that,” he said.© Thomson Reuters 2020 – Advertisement –last_img read more

Tropical storm Eta strikes Florida Keys, expected to become hurricane

first_imgTropical storm Eta strikes Florida Keys, expected to become hurricane Search quotes, news & videoslast_img

Remember when Ossoff shredded Perdue at the debate? Ossoff daring Perdue to show he’s chicken again

first_imgIn the meantime, show Ossoff how much you love his fearsome stylings with a donation to boost his campaign. And with any luck, we’ll get to watch him annihilate Perdue again soon.P.S. Want more Ossoff goodness? He actually steamrolled Perdue twice in that debate. Here’s that other so, so good obliteration: So humiliated was Perdue that rather than face another evisceration, he simply cut and ran from his final debate with Ossoff, which had been scheduled to take place just before Election Day.Now Ossoff is daring Perdue to show his true colors once more, challenging the incumbent to three more debates between now and the Jan. 5 runoff. Will Perdue prove yet again that he is, well, chicken? Or will he show up and get demolished once more? Either way, expect a lot of whining from Perdue, since Republicans hate nothing more than when Democrats confront them with the truth.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

Naguib Sawiris says Turkey’s Erdogan wants to be ‘new Ottoman emperor’

first_imgErdogan over the summer criticized Egypt for supporting forces in Libya that are opposed to the government in Tripoli, which is supported by Turkey in the ongoing civil war there.Asked for comment, Turkey’s foreign ministry referred CNBC to the nearest Turkish embassy. Murat Lütem, Turkey’s ambassador to Singapore, said in response to Sawiris’ criticisms that “Turkish foreign policy is directed at preserving and building peace and stability and protecting our national interests in line with international law. President Erdoğan leads our Nation accordingly and claims to the contrary are baseless.” Sawiris said that Erdogan “is causing a very big mess in the region, in addition to what he’s doing with explorations in the Mediterranean and trying to steal the Greek oil and gas.” – Advertisement – Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris leveled strongly worded criticism at Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan this week, accusing the leader of making a “very big mess” in the Middle East.“We have Mr. Erdogan’s new ambitions to become the new Ottoman emperor of the region,” he told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble on Tuesday, referring to the former empire that dominated much of the Middle East and Europe until the early 20th Century. “He has his hands full in Syria, in Libya, in Iraq and now in Armenia and Nagorno-Karabakh.”- Advertisement – I’m actually more optimistic because you can say anything about Biden … but one thing is for sure, he has more experience than (President) Donald Trump in world affairs.- Advertisement – – Advertisement – Turkey and Greece are at loggerheads over competing claims to energy reserves in contested Eastern Mediterranean waters. Turkey’s foreign ministry said in August that it will not back down from defending its “rights” in the region.President-elect BidenSawiris, the chairman and CEO of Orascom Investment Holding, added that the United States has “practically vanished” from the region, while Russia, Turkey and Iran have become more involved in local conflicts. “That is not good for the sake of the Middle East,” he said.Under President Donald Trump, the U.S. has reduced the number of troops in the region but brokered important deals such as the normalization of ties between Israel and the United Arab Emirates. Sawiris said he sees the Trump administration as “totally biased” in favor of Israel.Those comments came in response to a question about what President-elect Joe Biden means for Turkey.“I’m actually more optimistic because you can say anything about Biden … but one thing is for sure, he has more experience than Donald Trump in world affairs,” he said, adding that Biden is “well aware of all the ins and outs of the Middle East.” Naguib SawirisEgyptian billionairelast_img read more

Leica Q2 Monochrom full-frame digital compact camera focuses only on black & white images » Gadget Flow

first_imgThere’s something about black and white photography that highlights a subject or scene’s beauty, and the Leica Q2 Monochrom full-frame digital compact camera only produces black and white images. But that doesn’t mean the camera lacks features. In fact, its 47MP sensor captures sharp images, so only pure light levels are captured. Also, the device offers 4K and Cine4K modes with respective frame rates of 30 and 24 fps high-quality images. In addition, the Leica Q2 Monochrom offers a 47.3-megapixel resolution and three digital zooms. This camera puts you in control, thanks to the OLED viewfinder with 3.68 megapixels resolution. Therefore, you can pinpoint every bit of depth within the photos before taking the shot. Also, the eye sensor automatically activates the viewfinder to display the scene with precision. Finally, the IP52 rating makes it dust- and splash-proof for outdoor use. – Advertisement –last_img read more

Trump’s legal team took to Fox News to defend their election claims. It didn’t go well

first_imgHmm. that may not be representative, so let’s get a second legal opinion.xOne of Trump’s lawyers, Sidney Powell, is on Fox News lying that Trump actually won the election by “millions of votes.” These people are out of their minds. pic.twitter.com/xu8hBK24j2— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) November 15, 2020- Advertisement – Ah, so it was not a one-off; Trump’s legal smeagols are indeed reporting in from the land of cocaine and fairies.Now now, these people are presumably charging Donald Trump some amount of money, possibly, to file actual lawsuits charging that United States’ democracy is in fact illegitimate because it made Donald Trump sad. Surely there is a deeper scheme at work here, a legal strategy beyond appearing on television to do a legal version of the Aristocrats joke.Okay, maybe not. Ah well.- Advertisement – xAs President Trump refuses to accept the results of the election and continues to employ various legal tactics, @jaketapper asks:“How long is the Republican Party going to continue to defer to unhinged, mendacious desperation led by the gang that couldn’t sue straight?” pic.twitter.com/FO4f4iaRaf— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) November 15, 2020There, you’re caught up. Nothing more you need to know about Donald Trump, cowardly Republican lawmakers, and what should be the death tremors of the Donald Trump “presidency.” Well, it’s certainly a good thing we checked in. We can see now that Donald Trump is, ahem, certainly getting his money’s worth, and it’s at least useful to know that there are “lawyers” out their willing to lend their efforts to sabotaging democracy in the United States on behalf of an incompetent mass-murdering buffoon, so long as there as a television camera involved.Do you think Fox News will go off and form its own country, when this is over? That it will invite all the Trump true believers to decamp to an offshore oil rig, and rename it Trumplandia, and Fox News will strap Sean Hannity to the tallest point on the structure where he will give hourly reads of the state of the new nation, and why everything is Awesome, and inviting Donald to visit if he gets tired of golfing and pushing over television sets?We’re probably just dreaming. Too bad. In the meantime, this all is beginning to look more and more pathetic. It’s still insanely dangerous, mind you. But it’s mostly pathetic.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –last_img read more

Jennifer Lopez Receives Icon Award

first_img– Advertisement – The Hustlers actress is the third recipient of the PCAs Icon award following, Jennifer Aniston in 2019 and Melissa McCarthy in 2018. She has been nominated for 14 solo PCAs, winning twice. During her time as an American Idol judge, the show earned two PCAs wins.The “Lonely” singer has been busy in November, having accepted the Pop Culture Innovator award at WSJ. Magazine’s 2020 Innovator Awards on Wednesday, November 11.“From very young, I never wanted to be put in a box,” she said during her heartfelt speech. “I wanted to be smart, and athletic, and sweet, and tough and a tomboy but also very glam. That’s why I became an actress and a performer because you get to be a lot of different things.”The World of Dance judge noted that she has always stayed true to herself throughout her career.“When I first came on the scene, I wasn’t trying to be the size zero model or say I wasn’t Latin and change my name. I was Jennifer Lopez. I had a big butt. I embraced that,” she said. “But I didn’t want to just be the Latin actress or the one who played those types of roles. I wanted to do different roles.”Lopez told her fans that she hopes everyone understands that “you’re limitless.”Earlier this year, the Shades of Blue alum check another major accomplishment off her bucket list when she performed at the Super Bowl in February.“We worked so hard,” the Wedding Planner actress said on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon after taking the Super Bowl LIV halftime stage. “We started working on my set in November, and it was just every single day. So much goes into that moment. It’s hundreds of people. They put that stage together, and then you get on it, and then you rock. It’s such a big deal. I’m just glad everybody liked it!”Listen to Us Weekly’s Hot Hollywood as each week the editors of Us break down the hottest entertainment news stories! “Congratulations my friend. Like everybody watching tonight, I am a fan and I long admired your work and your uncompromising work ethic and your beautiful authentic audacity made of passion, determination, self-respect and courage. If anybody told you why you shouldn’t, you were already busy proving them wrong,” Zellweger said. “You have been pushing boundaries all over the place for decades and this past year, with Hustlers and your shows and your music and your family and your advocacy, empowering women and your unbelievable Super Bowl halftime show — well you just raised the bar into the stratosphere! You are a triple-threat creative visionary, you are an inspiration and you are certainly an icon.”Jennifer Lopez Icon Award E! People's Choice Awards 2020Jennifer Lopez, People’s Icon of 2020, accepts the award onstage for the 2020 E! People’s Choice Awards held at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California and on broadcast on Sunday, November 15, 2020. Christopher Polk/E! Entertainment/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty ImagesKidman, for her part, said: “You are the true definition of an icon. I have known you for a long time now and I’ve watched you go from strength to strength, but I will never forget bringing my sister to your Vegas show … I send you love and can’t wait to give you a hug when all of this is over.”Lopez then took the stage and opened up about the rough time that so many have experienced this past year. “Man, 2020 was no joke right? I mean before 2020 we were obsessing about winning this award or getting nominated for that award or we were caught up in who sold the most records or box office opening or crazy stuff like did we get the latest drop before anybody else. But not this year. This year was the great leveler. It showed us what mattered, what didn’t. And for me, reinforced what mattered most: People, all of us, together. Helping each other, loving each other, being kind to each other. And the importance of that connection, that human touch,” she said. “I realized that’s what I strive for in everything I do. To reach people, to touch people. I believe that’s what we all want, those shared experiences to know that we’re not in this alone. Your belief and your faith in me motivates me to keep going and sometimes when I’m tired or beaten down, like a lot of us have been this year, it’s my family, friends, my babies and my fans, you guys, who have lifted me up when I couldn’t lift myself. I am so grateful to have you, to have that in my life.”- Advertisement – She then shared an inspiring message to young girls. “As a Latina and as a woman, we have to work twice as hard to get the opportunities, sometimes my big dreams and my ambitions, it made the people around me nervous. ‘You can’t be an actress. You’re an actress, what you want to sing? You’re an artist, you won’t be taken seriously as a businesswoman.’ The more that they said I couldn’t, the more I knew that I had it,” she continued. “So now here I stand so very grateful knowing that the true measure of my success is not in box office numbers or records sold, but from the love that I feel from all of you.”Jennifer Lopez Icon Award E! People's Choice Awards 2020Jennifer Lopez, People’s Icon of 2020, attends the 2020 E! People’s Choice Awards held at the Barker Hangar in Santa Monica, California and broadcast on Sunday, November 15, 2020. Todd Williamson/E! Entertainment/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty ImagesShe added: ”The true measure is inspiring girls in all ages and all colors, from all over the world, to know you can do whatever want, as many things as you want and to be proud of who you are no matter where you come from. I want them to know your dreams are limited only by your imagination, determination and their willingness to never give up. If I have touched you or them in any small way, then this is the greatest award I could ever receive. I accept this award with great humility and gratitude, and hope we can begin to heal as a country and stand together united and proud, and in harmony.”Lopez shared her excitement over the honor ahead of the show, tweeting, “Thank you thank you!!!! So honored!!!!!” in September.- Advertisement – Let’s get loud! Jennifer Lopez accepted the Icon Award at the 2020 People’s Choice Awards on Sunday, November 15. The “Love Don’t Cost a Thing” singer was honored for doing it all — singing, dating and acting — throughout her three-decade-long career. She is also a producer, designer and mom of two.Lopez was first surprised by two video messages from her pals Renee Zellweger and Nicole Kidman.- Advertisement –last_img read more

H5N1 avian flu found in pigs, says Chinese expert

first_imgAug 20, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – A step in the progression of avian influenza considered almost inevitable by experts in view of the widespread and continuing Asian outbreaks this year—its occurrence in pigs—has been taken, if a Chinese scientist’s report is confirmed. Chen Hualan, director of China’s National Avian Influenza Reference Laboratory, said at a conference today in Beijing that H5N1 avian flu had been found in pigs on several farms in the country this year and last.Officials from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) were somewhat taken aback, according to news service reports, not because the disease’s eventual occurrence in pigs was unexpected but because they had been unaware of this development until hearing Chen’s talk. A highly regarded and well-known expert on avian flu, Chen made remarks during an ongoing 3-day meeting, the International Symposium on the Prevention and Control of SARS and Avian Flu. She called this development “a rather dangerous signal in terms of public health,” according to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report.She told journalists later that avian flu had been found in pigs in southeast China’s Fujian province in 2003 and in “another place” in 2004, according to a BBC News story. When asked to provide more details, Chen refused, AFP reports, and it was unclear whether she had been authorized to reveal this information or had spoken inadvertently. FAO began seeking more information from the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture immediately, says another AFP report. WHO officials warned against panic over the news until more information is available.The concern surrounding avian influenza in pigs is that they are considered a “mixing vessel” where human influenza and avian flu viruses could reside concurrently and exchange genes, Ray Wadia of the WHO office in Beijing told AFP. This could render a new, more lethal strain of the disease that is transmissible from human to human, which in turn could lead to an influenza pandemic. “It’s something we’ve long warned can happened . . . If it’s confirmed, it’s a new chapter that’s been written in the bird flu story,” he said.One thing that requires clarification is whether the pigs were actually infected with the H5N1 virus or were simply found to harbor it in their snouts or other superficial body parts. The virus could exist in the snout, for example, simply from an animal’s routing around on the ground in an area where avian flu has occurred, points out a BBC News story.In other presentations at the Beijing conference, WHO China representative Hank Bekedam told the international audience that “eliminating [avian flu] from the environment altogether may be unrealistic. Containing it may be the most practical first step many affected countries can hope for at this time,” a Jakarta Post article quotes him as saying.Klaus Stoehr of the WHO Global Influenza Program urged Asian countries to commit more money to the study and control of avian influenza, saying “The unprecented outbreak of H5N1 avian influenza in Asia poses an unparalleled challenge to agriculture an public heealth services to reduce the risk of the emergency of an influenza pandemic,” says the Post story. Reuters reports that experts at the conference said the likelihood of a major winter outbreak is likely, and Dr. Robert Webster of St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis said recent events indicate to him “that the virus is endemic in the [Asian] region.”last_img read more

Soldier’s death possibly linked to shots for smallpox, flu

first_imgJun 26, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – A panel of military physician experts found that a combination of smallpox and injectable influenza vaccines might have caused the death of a 26-year-old Army soldier, the Department of Defense (DoD) announced last week.The soldier, Pfc. Christopher “Justin” Abston, died suddenly in his barracks room, 16 days after he received the vaccines on Nov 18, 2005, at Fort Bragg, N.C, DoD said in a Jun 22 news release.At autopsy, Abston was found to have myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle. Myocarditis is known to be a potential side effect of smallpox vaccination. After evaluating the results of several specialized tests, the medical panel determined that a relationship between the vaccines and the soldier’s death was “possible.”Test results ruled out the presence of the vaccinia virus, the main ingredient of smallpox vaccine, in Abston’s heart muscle. However, parvovirus B19 was found, which can also cause cardiac inflammation and death. The medical panel stated that a link between the vaccinations and the death was “neither probable nor unlikely,” but the findings “do suggest the possibility that the vaccines may have caused Abston’s death.”According to a safety summary posted on the DoD’s Smallpox Vaccination Program Web site, of 1,028,000 military and support personnel who have received the smallpox vaccination since December 2002, 120 subsequently had myopericarditis.The DoD has investigated eight deaths due to disease after smallpox vaccination. Medical panels found that one other death besides Abston’s may have been related to vaccination. In that case, Spc. Rachel Lacy of the Army Reserve died in 2003 from a severe inflammatory process consistent with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) about a month after receiving a combination of vaccines that included smallpox, anthrax, typhoid, hepatitis B, and measles-mumps-rubella. (See link to November 2003 CIDRAP News story below). The DoD noted that while Lacy’s death certificate lists “diffuse alveolar damage” and pericarditis, the pericarditis developed late in her illness.See also:DoD June 22 news releasehttp://www.defense.gov/releases/release.aspx?releaseid=9675DoD smallpox vaccine safety summaryhttp://www.smallpox.army.mil/event/SPSafetySum.aspNov 19, 2003, CIDRAP News story: “Vaccines might have contributed to death of Army reservist”last_img read more

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