PND News

Black effigies hanged on Berkeley campus spur debate

December 15, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle    

"Effigies of black lynching victims found hanging at the University of California, Berkeley have sparked debate over whether the images are powerful protest art or just plain tasteless and racist. The photographic images were found Saturday morning hanging at two prominent spots on campus. They were discovered a few hours before a demonstration against police brutality organized by a black student union was to start. Police are investigating, but officials say they still don't know who hanged the images or the motivation." (12/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/k9k7gdh  

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OH: Student on strike after school removes Commandments

December 14, 2014
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"A fight over the Ten Commandments is causing controversy at an Ohio public high school. Harding High School’s class of 1953 gifted a copy of the Ten Commandments to the school. For years the plaque hung in a school hallway next to the preamble of the United States Constitution, but in August the principal ordered it taken down. Marion City Schools said it acted to avoid legal challenges that have been prompted by similar Ten Commandments displays in other Ohio public school districts. The removal prompted freshman Anthony Miller to go on strike. He is attending classes at the Marion school, but not doing classwork or homework." (12/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/k8787lv  

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Venezuela President: “Stupid” US sanctions won’t undo my government

December 14, 2014
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"President Nicolas Maduro charged Saturday that tighter, 'stupid' new US sanctions are just further straining to undermine military staff loyalty after Venezuela derailed a bid to oust him. 'These sanctions are a threat, to see if they can break the morale of leaders of our armed forces,' Maduro said at a speech in Caracas. The tighter US sanctions freeze assets and deny visas to Venezuelan authorities responsible for violence and political detentions triggered by the protests." (12/14/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pvtmuzb  

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CA: Undercover cops incite looting, get outed, go goon

December 12, 2014
posted by

The Inquisitr    

"Oakland Police have identified the outside agency involved in the Oakland-Berkeley protest arrests and alleged looting incitement as California Highway Patrol. ... protests Wednesday night came to an abrupt halt when two undercover officers say they were forced to begin making arrests. Protesters, however, say that before being unmasked, the officers were banging on windows and trying to get protesters to riot and loot. ... There were similar reports during the protests in St. Louis immediately following the grand jury decision not to indict Darren Wilson. Like the Oakland and Berkeley protesters, Ferguson demonstrators said that police had done at least some of the damage. There’s a video circulating that some say shows an officer setting a car on fire." (12/11/14)

http://tinyurl.com/np6d6tx  

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KY: State drops tax incentives for Noah’s Ark park

December 12, 2014
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"Kentucky has pulled potential tax credits for a proposed Noah’s Ark-based theme park, telling the developer on Wednesday that the plans had evolved from a tourist attraction into a ministry seeking to advance religion. State tourism officials had given preliminary approval for tax incentives of potentially more than $18 million over 10 years for the Ark Encounter park slated to open in 2016, but later warned the park’s parent company, Answers in Genesis, that it could lose them if it hired only people who believed in the biblical flood." (12/11/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pujytp5  

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Dems may be threatening shutdown over spending bill

December 11, 2014
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"Congressional Democrats objected on Wednesday to controversial financial and political campaign provisions tucked into a $1.1 trillion U.S. spending bill, keeping the risk of a government shutdown alive. The complaints from House of Representatives Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and other top Democrats clouded the chances for passage of the funding bill as a midnight Thursday deadline drew near. Republicans were preparing a one-or-two day extension to keep federal agencies open past the deadline, but were unwilling to make any concessions on dozens of provisions added to the bill." (12/11/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ntrz2dm  

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Police demonstrations inspire new protest songs

December 11, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle    

"Stop. Hey, what's that sound? Protest songs are taking their place alongside chants of 'I can't breathe' and 'Hands up, don't shoot' as demonstrators raise their voices to condemn the deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of police. There's something happening here. The killings of Eric Garner and Michael Brown have inspired a musical outpouring perhaps unseen in the U.S. since Pete Seeger helped make 'We Shall Overcome' a civil-rights standard in the 1960s. Older songs are being redeployed for a new generation. New compositions are being widely shared, including some from major-label artists. And holiday classics are being rewritten, such as a barbed spin on 'White Christmas.'" (12/111/4)

http://tinyurl.com/p4pjajw  

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Prediction: Superbugs to kill “more than cancer” by 2050

December 11, 2014
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"Drug resistant infections will kill an extra 10 million people a year worldwide -- more than currently die from cancer -- by 2050 unless action is taken, a study says. They are currently implicated in 700,000 deaths each year. The analysis, presented by the economist Jim O'Neill, said the costs would spiral to $100 trillion. He was appointed by Prime Minister David Cameron in July to head a review of antimicrobial resistance." (12/11/14)

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-30416844  

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Google News shuts down in Spain

December 11, 2014
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"Google's decision to close Google News in Spain because of a law requiring aggregators to pay news publishers for linking content also means that the publishers' content will vanish around the world. The company said it will block reports from Spanish publishers from its more than 70 Google News international editions in addition to the Spain shutdown on Dec. 16 -- two weeks before a new Spanish intellectual property law takes effect. That means people in Latin America where Spanish news organizations are trying to boost audiences won't see that news via Google News in Mexico and elsewhere." (12/11/14)

http://tinyurl.com/okw6kxw  

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Hong Kong: Mass arrests as police tear down protesters’ barricades

December 11, 2014
posted by

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor    

"Hong Kong police dismantled tents and protest encampments today in the city's downtown, a move that marks the end of more than two months of pro-democracy demonstrations that failed to force the hand of China's rulers in Beijing. However, many in and outside the protest movement say their occupation will leave a lasting impact in Hong Kong. Police officers issued warnings over loudspeakers, and officials descended on the densely packed camps in the Admiralty district from multiple directions. Protesters were told they must leave or face arrest, as tents, banners, and barricades were taken away by police and trucks with cranes." (12/11/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nfaagk8  

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West Bank: Israeli troops beat Palestinian Arab politician to death

December 11, 2014
posted by

Antiwar.com Antiwar.com    

"55-year-old Palestinian Authority cabinet minister Ziad Abu Ein was killed today during a protest march in Ramallah, when Israeli troops arrived on the scene and beat him to death. Abu Ein was choked and beaten with rifle butts during the crackdown and reportedly suffered a stroke on the scene. He was rushed to a nearby Palestinian hospital but died shortly thereafter." (12/10/14)

http://tinyurl.com/q5wqj5l  

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US oil price sinks to five-year low

December 11, 2014
posted by

CNBC    

"Benchmark oil prices fell to new five-year lows after OPEC cut its demand outlook for global oil consumption and U.S. data showed a surprise jump in oil inventories. ... U.S. crude futures for January settled 4.5 percent lower at $60.94 per barrel, the lowest since July 2009. Brent futures fell by nearly $3 to $64 a barrel, having earlier touched $60.63, a level not seen since July 16, 2009." (12/10/14)

http://www.cnbc.com/id/102254486  

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Detroit to exit historic bankruptcy

December 11, 2014
posted by

Reuters Reuters    

"Detroit will officially exit the biggest-ever U.S. municipal bankruptcy later on Wednesday, officials said, allowing Michigan's largest city to start a new chapter with a lighter debt load. The city, which filed for bankruptcy in July 2013, will shed about $7 billion of its $18 billion of debt and obligations. 'We're going to start fresh tomorrow and do the best we can to deliver the kind of services people deserve,' said Mayor Mike Duggan." (12/10/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ott7x58  

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Hong Kong: Police haul protesters away as camp site is dismantled

December 11, 2014
posted by

Daily Mail [UK]    

"Hong Kong cleared most of the main pro-democracy protest site on Thursday as police hauled activists away, marking an end to more than two months of street demonstrations that have blocked key roads in the Chinese-controlled city. Many activists chose to leave the Admiralty site, next to government buildings and the Central business area, peacefully, but the overall mood was one of defiance as protesters chanted: 'We will be back.' Groups of up to four police arrested holdout protesters one by one hours after workers used wire cutters to remove barricades and dismantle bamboo scaffolding." (12/11/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kv86lvh  

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Ireland: Dail votes to recognize state of Palestine

December 11, 2014
posted by

Irish Times [Ireland]    

"The Dail has agreed a motion officially recognising the State of Palestine and the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination. The Sinn Fein Private Member's motion, debated in the Dail last night and tonight, was not contested by the Government." (12/11/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mmpatvr  

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Congress relaxes whole grain standards for schools

December 11, 2014
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"Congress is taking some whole grains off the school lunch line. A massive year-end spending bill released Tuesday doesn't allow schools to opt out of healthier school meal standards championed by first lady Michelle Obama, as House Republicans had sought. But it would ease standards that require more whole grains in school foods. The bill also would put off rules to lower sodium in school meals. Those rules were supposed kick in by 2017." (12/10/14)

http://tinyurl.com/p2vy8w3  

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McDonald’s to trim menu, examine ingredients

December 10, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle    

"McDonald's is planning to trim its menu, review its cooking methods and maybe even get rid of some of the ingredients it uses to change perceptions that it serves junk food. CEO Don Thompson sought to reassure investors Wednesday that such changes will help strengthen the chain's appeal as it fights to hold onto customers. The discussion in Oak Brook, Illinois, came after the company earlier this week reported yet another monthly decline in U.S. sales. In November, it said the figure fell 4.6 percent at established locations. Thompson has conceded McDonald's Corp. has failed to keep up with changing tastes. One of the problems is that people are increasingly moving toward foods they feel are fresh or wholesome, and the image of fast-food burgers and fries doesn't exactly fit that bill." (12/10/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pmul67n  

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US court throws out two insider trading convictions

December 10, 2014
posted by

CNBC    

"In a closely watched case, a federal appeals court on Wednesday vacated the insider trading convictions of two former hedge fund managers stemming from trades in Dell and Nvidia. Todd Newman and Anthony Chiasson were convicted in 2012 of trading on insider information. The U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in part that there was a lack of clear evidence that the two knew the person giving the tip got any benefit from the trades. It was a major setback for Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara." [editor's note: As soon as I saw the headline, my first thought was "what ... on of Preet Bharara's pogroms/shakedowns got derailed?" The only substantial difference between Bharara and John Gotti is that Bharara collects a government paycheck - TLK] (12/10/14)

http://www.cnbc.com/id/102249787  

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Uber under pressure as more bans and lawsuits loom

December 10, 2014
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"Uber's week of woes is continuing with authorities in San Francisco and Los Angeles taking legal action against the internet-based taxi firm. It has been banned from operating in New Delhi following the alleged rape by a driver of a female passenger. Meanwhile, a judge in Madrid has ordered a temporary halt to the service and Thai authorities say the firm lacks proper registration and insurance. Uber is yet to comment on the latest legal cases against it." (12/10/14)

http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-30393961  

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US agency offers legal immunity to Ebola vaccine makers

December 10, 2014
posted by

Fox News Fox News    

"The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday offered liability protections to drugmakers rushing to develop Ebola vaccines and urged other countries to follow suit. Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Sylvia Burwell made the announcement as part of the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness (PREP) Act in a move aimed at encouraging the development and availability of experimental Ebola vaccines. The declaration provides immunity under U.S. law against legal claims related to the manufacturing, testing, development, distribution, and administration of three vaccines for the Ebola virus." (12/10/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mc9mteq  

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MA: Woman files defamation suit versus Cosby

December 10, 2014
posted by

Boston Herald    

"A California woman who has accused Bill Cosby of sexually assaulting her in the 1970s is suing the former sitcom star in federal court -- alleging the comedian and his legal team ruined her reputation by publicly claiming she was a liar. Tamara Green filed the defamation lawsuit today in Springfield, accusing Cosby and his lawyers of publicly branding her a liar in the years since she first went public with sex assault allegations against Cosby in a 2005 'Today' show appearance." (12/10/14)

http://tinyurl.com/l2udltz  

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NY: IFC theater allows minors to view Snowden documentary

December 10, 2014
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"The theater complex associated with the Independent Film Channel will allow minors to view the Edward Snowden documentary Citizenfour despite the 'R' rating given to it by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA), Mother Jones‘ Inae Oh reports. The film (which consists largely of interviews of Snowden by Glenn Greenwald in a Hong Kong hotel room about the global surveillance practices of the United States) earned an 'R' rating for 'language.' ... However, the IFC Center contends that the film is too important not to be seen by the next generation of voters." (12/10/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nzac3pb  

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Pirate Bay raid: Has Sweden dealt a knockout blow to file-sharing site?

December 10, 2014
posted by

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor    

"Swedish police have effectively shut down the Pirate Bay, a popular file-sharing service, by seizing its servers and computers in a raid. The website is probably the most well-known peer-to-peer portal for downloading pirated content, such as movies and movies. It went offline Tuesday morning after police raided a server room in Stockholm over alleged copyright violations following a complaint by the Rights Alliance, an anti-piracy group in Sweden." (12/10/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nlqhzsy  

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NYC: Theater overrules MPAA rating for Snowden documentary

December 10, 2014
posted by

boingboing    

"Citizenfour, the acclaimed Laura Poitras documentary about Edward Snowden, has been given an R rating by the notoriously corrupt and opaque MPAA ratings board (see This Film Is Not Yet Rated). The IFC Center theater in New York City isn't having any of it, and has posted a notice inviting high-school age patrons to come, especially those who might vote in the next election." (12/09/14)

http://boingboing.net/2014/12/09/nyc-theater-overrules-mpaa-rat.html  

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Torture report reveals CIA’s “brutal” interrogation tactics

December 10, 2014
posted by

ABC News ABC News    

"The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence released an exhaustive [sic] and explosive report today on the CIA's interrogation practices, saying the agency repeatedly misled Americans and deeply mismanaged the program that was secretly put into place after the 9/11 terror attacks. The controversial, five-year study by the committee, which was conducted after reviewing more than 6 million pages of internal CIA records, found that the interrogation techniques used on more than 100 detainees 'were not effective' and the management of the program 'was inadequate and deeply flawed.' The report also indicates the techniques used in the CIA program were “far more brutal” than was relayed to lawmakers and the public." [editor's note: It's far from "exhaustive." In fact, the vast majority of it remains classified - TLK] (12/09/14)

http://tinyurl.com/lkl36kb  

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