PND News

Thompson’s widow to sell his personal strains of marijuana

December 1, 2016
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"Over a decade after his death, people can soon smoke some of 'Gonzo' journalist Hunter S. Thompson’s personal strains of marijuana thanks to the efforts of his wife, Anita Thompson. The late writer’s widow told the Aspen Times last week of her plan to cultivate and sell the author’s strains of cannabis. Thompson said she was working with a marijuana company to grow and distribute six kinds of marijuana that she saved, which were once smoked by her husband. 'Since it became legal I get approached probably once a month by cannabis growers, dispensaries,' Thompson reportedly said. 'I’ve had probably 10 meetings in the last three years and I always ended up saying "No" because it’s the same story every time: Somebody wants to slap Hunter’s name on their strain ... If I put Hunter’s name on somebody else’s strain, I can never go back and say, "No, this is the authentic one."' She joked that she was 'looking forward to being a drug lord,' but put those plans on hold for so long on purpose." (11/30/16)

http://www.rawstory.com/2016/11/hunter-s-thompsons-widow-to-sell-his-personal-strains-of-marijuana  

No Comments »

After OPEC deal, oil expected to rally

November 30, 2016
posted by

Reuters    

"Oil's blistering rally of up to 10 percent to $50 a barrel on Wednesday should continue into next week, analysts and fund managers said, after the world's top producers announced a historic deal to rein in output. The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries reached its first deal to cut oil output since 2008 -- signaling its return to managing supply in world markets. The path ahead for the oil market, however, is expected to be volatile, as those who positioned for a rally unwind their trades to book profits. The possibility that OPEC will be unable to meet its commitment to cut production could also undermine prices as well. That makes the long-term path for oil more uncertain, as few expect the commodity to reach $60 a barrel soon." (11/30/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-markets-oil-opec-idUSKBN13P2MZ  

No Comments »

Colombia: Leaked tape shows Brazilian plane “ran out of fuel”

November 30, 2016
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"The plane carrying Brazilian footballers which crashed in Colombia had run out of fuel, according to a leaked audio recording. In the air traffic tower tape, a pilot can be heard repeatedly requesting permission to land due to a 'total electric failure' and lack of fuel. Just before the tape ends, the pilot says he is flying at an altitude of 9,000 ft (2,743m) Just six of the 77 people on board the plane survived. The plane was carrying most of Brazil's Chapecoense football team and 20 journalists were also among those killed. The recording, which has been published by several Colombian media outlets, confirmed earlier reports that a lack of fuel might have contributed to the crash." [editor's note: I was going to say "soccer" in the headline, but restrained myself - SAT] (11/30/16)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-38160713  

No Comments »

NY: Preet “I’ll Prosecute Anyone to Get Attention” Bharara to stay on as US Attorney under Trump

November 30, 2016
posted by

New York Post New York Post    

"Preet Bharara, The gungho federal prosecutor has agreed to 'stay on' as Manhattan U.S. Attorney after President-elect Donald Trump offered him the gig during a meeting Wednesday afternoon at Trump Tower in Midtown. ... Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) was one of the first to toot Preet's horn to Trump -- and even put the president-elect directly in touch with Preet to set up the meeting, a source said." [editor's note: Why am I not surprised that Schumer is behind this? Trump, Schumer and Bharara working together would give any one of the Five Families a run for the organized crime money - TLK] (11/30/16)

http://nypost.com/2016/11/30/bharara-accepts-trumps-offer-to-stay-on-as-us-attorney/  

No Comments »

Android malware infects 1M phones globally

November 30, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today    

"A new variant of a well-known malware program has infected more than one million phones that run older versions of Google's Android operating system, mostly outside the U.S., a security firm reported Wednesday. The malware, dubbed Googlian, is delivered via apps downloaded from non-approved, third-party app sites. That's made users outside the U.S., who are more likely to use these sites, more vulnerable. It affects an estimated 1,000 users in the United States." (11/30/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/news/2016/11/30/android-malware-infects-1-million-phones-globally/94676546  

No Comments »

FDA approves Ecstasy trials for PTSD

November 30, 2016
posted by

Fox News    

"After successful preliminary trials, the FDA is moving forward with a large scale study for using Ecstasy as a prescription drug to treat post-traumatic stress disorder. The study approved on Tuesday would be the final measure necessary before the agency could legalize the drug, according to the New York Times. If the results are favorable, the drug also known as MDMA would be available to patients as early as 2021." (11/30/16)

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2016/11/30/ecstasy-trials-approved-by-fda-for-ptsd-patients.html  

No Comments »

US political prisoner Barrett Brown freed

November 30, 2016
posted by

CNet News CNet News    

"Barrett Brown, a journalist who served as an unofficial spokesman for various Anonymous hacking operations, was released from prison Tuesday after serving more than four years behind bars for sharing stolen data and threatening an FBI agent. Barrett, 35, originally attracted the attention of law enforcement officials in 2011 when he copied a hyperlink to data stolen in a hack of security think tank Strategic Forecasting, or Stratfor, from one Internet Relay Chat (IRC) channel to another." (121/30/16)

https://www.cnet.com/news/journalist-linked-to-anonymous-released-from-prison/  

No Comments »

SCOTUS to decide if [sic] indefinite immigrant detention is illegal

November 30, 2016
posted by

NBC News NBC News    

"The right of due process is a core tenet of American values. But the issue before the U.S. Supreme Court in oral arguments on Wednesday raises fundamental questions about those rights. Does the federal government have the authority to detain immigrants indefinitely? Or, should immigrants be given the opportunity for release on bond -- like all U.S. citizens -- once their detention time exceeds a certain limit?" [editor's note: There's no "if" about it. The Sixth and Eighth Amendments do not include exceptions for foreigners - TLK] (11/30/16)

http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/scotus-decide-if-indefinite-immigrant-detention-illegal-n689541  

No Comments »

UK: “Snooper’s charter” becomes law, extending surveillance state

November 30, 2016
posted by

The Guardian The Guardian [UK]    

"The 'snooper's charter' bill extending the reach of state surveillance in Britain was given royal assent and became law on Tuesday as signatures on a petition calling for it to be repealed passed the 130,000 mark. The home secretary, Amber Rudd, hailed the Investigatory Powers Act 2016 as 'world-leading legislation' that provided 'unprecedented transparency and substantial privacy protection.' But privacy campaigners claimed that it would provide an international standard to authoritarian regimes around the world to justify their own intrusive surveillance powers." (11/29/16)

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/nov/29/snoopers-charter-bill-becomes-law-extending-uk-state-surveillance  

No Comments »

Trump tweets idiotic jail threat vis a vis brightly colored pieces of cloth

November 30, 2016
posted by

Politico    

"Burning an American flag should be a crime, President-elect Donald Trump wrote on Twitter Tuesday morning, punishable by a forfeiture of U.S. citizenship or a year in jail. ... A constitutional amendment that would allow the government to ban flag desecration has been proposed multiple times but has never passed." (11/29/16)

http://www.politico.com/story/2016/11/trump-flag-burning-231920  

No Comments »

North Dakota law dogs to block pipeline protesters’ supplies

November 30, 2016
posted by

Reuters    

"North Dakota law enforcement will begin to block supplies from reaching protesters at a camp near the construction site of an oil pipeline project in an effort to force demonstrators to vacate the area, officials said on Tuesday. Activists have spent months protesting plans to route the $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline beneath a lake near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation, saying the project poses a threat to water resources and sacred Native American sites. Supplies, including food and building materials, will be blocked from entering the main camp following Governor Jack Dalrymple's signing of an 'emergency evacuation' order on Monday, said Maxine Herr, a spokeswoman from the Morton County Sheriff's Department. ... The order was effective immediately. As of Tuesday morning, however, no vehicles carrying supplies had been turned back, said Cecily Fong, a spokeswoman for the North Dakota Department of Emergency Services." (11/29/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-north-dakota-pipeline-idUSKBN13O2FD  

No Comments »

Syria: With Aleppo poised to fall, Assad is set to rise

November 30, 2016
posted by

Christian Science Monitor Christian Science Monitor    

"The expected fall of Aleppo to the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad could prove a decisive moment in Syria's grueling civil war, granting potential momentum for the Syrian Army and its multinational allies to roll back rebel forces from other areas of the war-torn country. The Syrian Army has been dogged by manpower shortages from early on in the war due to casualties, defections, and desertions. More than once, those have threatened doom for the Assad regime. But the deployment of foreign, Iran-supported Shiite paramilitaries, the creation of numerous loyalist militias and, in the past year, the arrival of Russian firepower may have finally tipped the military balance in Assad's favor." (11/29/16)

http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2016/1129/With-Aleppo-poised-to-fall-Syria-s-Assad-is-set-to-rise  

No Comments »

SCOTUS sympathetic to death row inmate on “intellectual disability”

November 30, 2016
posted by

Reuters    

"A majority of U.S. Supreme Court justices on Tuesday appeared ready to side with a man sentenced to death for a 1980 Houston murder who is challenging how Texas gauges whether a defendant has intellectual disabilities that would preclude execution. The Supreme Court ruled in 2002 that the execution of people who are intellectually disabled violates the U.S. Constitution’s ban on cruel and unusual punishment. At issue in the arguments the eight justices heard on Tuesday was whether Texas is using an obsolete standard to assess whether a defendant is intellectually disabled." (11/29/16)

http://www.rawstory.com/2016/11/us-justices-sympathetic-to-death-row-inmate-on-intellectual-disability  

No Comments »

TN: Wildfires scorch Smoky Mountains, thousands flee

November 29, 2016
posted by

Fox News    

"As roaring flames and choking smoke driven by high winds continued to bear down on the Great Smoky Mountain region of Tennessee, emergency officials said that 14,000 people were evacuated from Gatlinburg alone and at least 100 buildings have been damaged. The Tennessee Emergency Management Agency said in a news release that at least 10 of the homes that were impacted were in Gatlinburg, including a 16-story hotel and an apartment complex. According to Fox 17 Nashville, 30 structures have been burned in Gatlinburg. Authorities issued a Level 3 state of emergency and ordered the evacuations of Gatlinburg, Mynatt Park, Park Vista, Ski Mounty and Pigeon Forge on Monday. The National Guard was being deployed to help with evacuations." (11/29/16)

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2016/11/29/wildfires-scorch-tourist-area-in-tennessee-thousands-flee.html  

No Comments »

California targets dairy cows to combat global warming

November 29, 2016
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle San Francisco Chronicle    

"California is taking its fight against global warming to the farm. The nation's leading agricultural state is now targeting greenhouse gases produced by dairy cows and other livestock. Despite strong opposition from farmers, Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation in September that for the first time regulates heat-trapping gases from livestock operations and landfills. Cattle and other farm animals are major sources of methane, a greenhouse gas many times more potent than carbon dioxide as a heat-trapping gas. Methane is released when they belch, pass gas and make manure. 'If we can reduce emissions of methane, we can really help to slow global warming,' said Ryan McCarthy, a science adviser for the California Air Resources Board, which is drawing up rules to implement the new law." [editor's note: So they are finally admitting that controlling cow farts is part of the problem? Can't wait to see the bureaucracy for that one - SAT] (11/29/16)

http://www.sfgate.com/news/science/article/California-targets-dairy-cows-to-combat-global-10641403.php  

No Comments »

Canada: Trudeau approves two proposed pipelines, rejects one

November 29, 2016
posted by

Bloomberg    

"Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau approved pipeline proposals by Kinder Morgan Inc. and Enbridge Inc., while rejecting a third project in a series of decisions Tuesday aimed at balancing environmental protection with expanded market access for oil producers. Trudeau, at a press conference in Ottawa, approved Kinder Morgan’s Trans Mountain pipeline with conditions, aimed at boosting crude shipments from Alberta’s oil sands to U.S. and Asian markets. Canada also approved Enbridge’s Line 3 with conditions, while killing the company’s separate Northern Gateway pipeline, which proposed to carry crude through the Great Bear Rainforest in northern British Columbia. The government will also enact restrictions on tanker shipments along that remote region’s pristine coastline." (11/29/16)

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-11-29/canada-s-trudeau-approves-kinder-morgan-s-trans-mountain-line  

No Comments »

US students lag peers in East Asia in math, science

November 29, 2016
posted by

The Washington Post Washington Post    

"American students have strides to make when it comes to math and science, where they lag behind a solid block of East Asian countries, according to results released Tuesday from an international exam. ... Singapore topped the rankings, taking first place in both grades for math and science on the tests, known as the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study, or TIMSS. The tests are administered every four years to a random sampling of students in dozens of countries. Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan and Japan also dominated the lists for each grade in both subjects. The United States placed 10th in fourth-grade science as well as in eighth-grade math. In eighth-grade science, the U.S. tied with Ireland in 10th place. It ranked 14th for fourth-grade math, just behind Portugal and Kazakhstan." (11/29/16)

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/us-students-lag-peers-in-east-asia-russia-in-math-science/2016/11/29/f0d41628-b612-11e6-939c-91749443c5e5_story.html  

No Comments »

Syria: US admits mistakes led to strike on state forces

November 29, 2016
posted by

BBC News [UK state media]    

"The US has admitted carrying out an attack in eastern Syria that killed dozens of Syrian forces fighting so-called Islamic State (IS). The US-led coalition said the 'mistake' on 17 September was intended to target IS positions. Coalition aircraft from the UK, US, Denmark and Australia were involved in the attack near Deir al-Zour. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has maintained that the deadly airstrikes were intentional. The attack, which the Russian army says killed at least 62 Syrian troops, were halted when Russia informed the US it was hitting Syrian forces." (11/29/16)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-38149963  

No Comments »

Cyber Monday hauls in $3.45 billion in online purchases, smashing the single-day sales record

November 29, 2016
posted by

TechCrunch    

"As people continue to hunt for bargains online, we are more seeing more record-breaking marquee online sales days. Cyber Monday -- coming the first day after the long Thanksgiving break -- racked up $3.45 billion in sales in the U.S., pipping past the previous record of $3.34 billion spent on Black Friday just a few days earlier. Sales were up 12.1 percent compared to Cyber Monday a year earlier. ... Cyber Monday caps off a five-day period that unofficially signals the start of the holiday shopping season, the busiest time of the year for online retailers, and a bellwether for the general health not just of the e-commerce industry but the wider economy and consumer confidence. All told, $12.81 billion was spent between November 24 and November 28, up 16.4 percent on a year ago, after Black Friday became the first day to break $3 billion in single-day sales." (11/29/16)

https://techcrunch.com/2016/11/29/cyber-monday-hauls-in-3-39b-of-online-purchases-smashing-the-single-day-sales-record/  

No Comments »

Wikileaks releases half a million Carter era US diplomatic cables

November 29, 2016
posted by

The Hill The Hill    

"WikiLeaks on Monday released more than 500,000 diplomatic cables from President Jimmy Carter's administration. The cables, all of which were sent by State Department officials in 1979, could offer additional insight to researchers and journalists about the United States'[s] activity in a momentous year that saw the Iranian Revolution and the political rise of British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. 'If any year could be said to be the 'year zero' of our modern era, 1979 is it,' WikiLeaks head Julian Assange said in a statement." (11/28/13)

http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/307715-wikileaks-releases-thousands-of-diplomatic-cables  

No Comments »

Report: Petraeus knowingly leaked secrets to biographer, lied to FBI

November 29, 2016
posted by

USA Today USA Today    

"Retired Army general David Petraeus, who stepped down as CIA chief amid the scandal of an extramarital affair and pleaded guilty to divulging classified information, has emerged as a top contender as secretary of State in the incoming Trump administration. Petraeus’ fall from grace was swift but not complete. He resigned immediately from the CIA in November 2012 after the affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell became known. The most famous military leader of his generation, Petraeus remained in limbo, under FBI investigation and generally avoiding public life, until March 2015 when he accepted a plea agreement in which he admitted to spilling a massive amount of sensitive information to Broadwell and lying to FBI agents about it." (11/28/16)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2016/11/28/state-contender-petraeus-knowingly-leaked-secrets-biographer-lied-fbi/94547624  

No Comments »

NJ: Principal apologizes after speaker lectures teens on “white privilege”

November 29, 2016
posted by

Fox News    

"An assembly at a New Jersey high school devolved into name-calling and racially charged drama after the speaker drifted from her topic of 'digital safety' into a lecture admonishing students for their white privilege. The principal later apologized to students and parents for the speaker’s comments. Prestigious Princeton High School invited Alison Macrina, the head of the Library Freedom Project, to speak to students about cyber security. Students assumed this would be a practical lecture on how to protect themselves online, but instead got an anti-Trump screed on identity politics. The speech went south when Macrina began speaking about racist and sexist online trolls. Some of the students in the audience started laughing; they would later argue that they were simply laughing at the idea of trolls." (11/28/16)

http://heatst.com/culture-wars/principal-apologizes-after-speaker-lectures-teens-on-their-white-privilege  

No Comments »

Massachusetts adopts strict background check rules for Uber, Lyft drivers

November 29, 2016
posted by

Raw Story Raw Story    

"Next year, Massachusetts will require ride service companies including Uber and Lyft to perform the strictest background checks in the United States on all of their drivers, according to a deal reached with the companies on Monday. The new rules would require the companies ensure that the independent drivers who provide taxi-like services pass state background checks, including their criminal records, and require that they not be registered sex offenders, state officials said." (11/28/16)

http://www.rawstory.com/2016/11/massachusetts-adopts-strict-background-check-rules-for-uber-lyft-drivers  

No Comments »

US shifts money away from Philippines police drug efforts

November 29, 2016
posted by

Reuters    

"The United States has shifted millions of dollars in funding for Philippines law enforcement away from police drug control programs, State Department officials said on Monday, since the start of the country's bloody crackdown on drugs this summer. The Obama administration and human rights groups have criticized Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs, and U.S. officials have said they are 'deeply concerned' by reports of extrajudicial killings in the drug campaign. Duterte has in turn rebuked the United States and rejected the criticisms. Police figures show the campaign has killed more than 2,500 people since Duterte took office on June 30, about three-quarters in police counter-narcotics operations, and the rest believed to be the victims of vigilantes or drug lords eliminating rivals or silencing those who could implicate them." [editor's note: Not sure how they have this jurisdiction, but can we now do the same thing at home? -SAT] (11/28/16)

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-philippines-usa-police-idUSKBN13N2CC  

No Comments »

Muslim teen first to compete in hijab for Miss Minnesota

November 29, 2016
posted by

BBC News BBC News [UK state media]    

"A Somali-American has become the first to compete in the Miss Minnesota USA pageant wearing a hijab and burkini. Halima Aden, 19, donned the traditional Islamic dress and full-body burkini during the event's swimsuit segment. Ms Aden, who was born in Kenya and moved as a child to St Cloud, Minnesota, was one of the top 15 contestants in the two-day pageant. She said she hopes her participation inspires other Muslim women to be confident about their identity." (11/28/16)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-38135300  

No Comments »

Our Sponsors