PND News

CA: Man named Smoke accused of starting wildfire

July 14, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle    

"Authorities believe a wildfire in Northern California was sparked by the exhaust from a truck driven by a man delivering supplies to an illegal marijuana plot. Freddie Alexander Smoke III, 27, of Sacramento was arrested Saturday for investigation of recklessly causing a fire and illegally cultivating marijuana, according to the California Department of Fire and Forestry Protection. The fire has burned 6 square miles, or 4,000 acres, of forested land in Shasta County and destroyed destroyed 18 structures, CalFire officials said. The fire, burning in steep terrain, was just 15 percent contained Sunday morning." (07/13/14)

http://tinyurl.com/kz9fdgf  

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Study: Singing familiar songs may help prompt Alzheimer’s patients to speak

July 14, 2014
posted by

Reuters [UK]    

"With advanced Alzheimer’s disease, language deteriorates and patients spontaneously speak less and less. In a small study from Israel, group music therapy sessions using tailored songs helped people with middle- to late-stage Alzheimer’s strike up communication. The study may be small, but it nicely demonstrates what music therapists and gerontologists have known for a while, said Alicia Ann Clair, director of the Music Education and Music Therapy Division at the University of Kansas in Lawrence, who wasn’t part of the study." (07/11/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nvyeh7l  

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CA: Striking LA, Long Beach port truck drivers agree to cooling off period

July 13, 2014
posted by

Los Angeles Times    

"Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti brokered a truce Saturday between truck drivers and their employers after five consecutive days of strikes that temporarily shut down terminals and created cargo delays. Both sides agreed to Garcetti's request for a 'cooling off' period, with the drivers voting unanimously Saturday. The companies agreed to accept all drivers back to work without retaliation and without being forced to sign away all future rights in new truck leases. Drivers will return to work on their regular shifts." (07/12/14)

http://tinyurl.com/mcn4ruk  

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US DoJ will oppose marriage apartheid at SCOTUS

July 13, 2014
posted by

ABC News    

"The Justice Department is set to urge the Supreme Court to uphold a lower-court ruling and block states from banning same-sex marriage, Attorney General Eric Holder said. ... the state of Utah is asking the Supreme Court to weigh in, as several other federal appeals courts across the nation consider similar cases that could make their way to the Supreme Court. If the Supreme Court agrees to hear any of those cases, the Justice Department will file a brief with the court that 'will be in support of same-sex marriage,' Holder said in a rare interview, sitting down with ABC News' Pierre Thomas." (07/13/14)

http://tinyurl.com/m7qrlzh  

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CO: Pots of marijuana cash cause security concerns

July 13, 2014
posted by

USA Today    

"The unmarked armored truck rumbles to a stop in a narrow alley, and former U.S. Marine Matthew Karr slides out, one hand holding a folder, the other hovering near the pistol holstered at his hip. ... Welcome to the rear guard of Colorado's rapidly expanding legal marijuana industry, where eager users pour millions of dollars -- most of it in small bills -- into buying pot, hashish, and marijuana-infused foods and drinks. All that cash adds up, and there are few places to put it: Federal regulations, which still classify pot as an illegal drug, make it difficult for marijuana producers to deposit their profits into traditional bank accounts. And those cash-heavy small businesses make awfully attractive -- and vulnerable -- targets for criminals." (07/13/14)

http://tinyurl.com/l7anj9h  

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WA: First legal pot purchaser gets fired for it

July 11, 2014
posted by

Raw Story    

"The first person to legally purchase marijuana in the state of Washington was fired from his job as a security worker after he was spotted on television making the purchase. At 2 p.m. on Tuesday, Mike Boyer was the first person in the door of the Spokane Green Leaf marijuana dispensary. He was captured on video by KXLY yelling, 'Go Washington!' as he legally purchased four grams of Sour Kush. The network then followed him home and filmed him smoking his legally purchased marijuana." [editor's note: Actually, the guy signed a paper a while back, stating that a positive drug-test of any kind would result in his firing; they really need to revisit this issue - SAT] (07/10/14)

http://tinyurl.com/qyqepmw  

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Study: Split liver transplants as successful as whole ones

July 11, 2014
posted by

Fox News    

"Of the nearly 16,000 people on waiting lists for a liver transplant, approximately 10 percent die before they are chosen for surgery. One solution for this organ shortage is a split liver transplant, where the donor liver is divided and transplanted into two patients. And now, new research from the Cleveland Clinic has found that this split-liver technique has a five-year survival rate comparable to that of whole liver surgery." (07/10/14)

http://tinyurl.com/qbb76sp  

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CA: Anonymous benefactor graces grocery outlet in Concord

July 11, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle    

"A small group of shoppers got a big surprise at a grocery store in Concord Tuesday, when an unidentified man paid for all their groceries, no questions asked. The secretive good Samaritan entered the Grocery Outlet at 1840 Willow Pass Rd. around 4 p.m. and approached one of the cash registers. He asked the cashier if it would be OK if he paid for some people’s groceries. The cashier, confused by such an unusual request, went to get her manager, said Jamie Flores, a supervisor at the store." (07/10/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nlw5jjr  

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MS: HIV re-emerges in “cured” little girl

July 11, 2014
posted by

BBC News [UK state media]    

"A baby girl in the US born with HIV and believed cured after very early treatment has now been found to still harbour the virus. Tests last week on the four-year-old child from Mississippi indicate she is no longer in remission, say doctors. She had appeared free of HIV as recently as March, without receiving treatment for nearly two years. The news represents a setback for hopes that very early treatment of drugs may reverse permanent infection." (07/10/14)

http://www.bbc.com/news/health-28257768  

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NY: LIRR on verge of strike

July 11, 2014
posted by

Christian Science Monitor    

"Workers for the busiest commuter railroad in the United States are threatening to go on strike later this month as union leaders and New York state officials go down to the wire after four years of wrangling over a new contract. As a July 20 strike deadline looms, negotiations have spiraled into a virtual soap opera of election-year political gamesmanship. Byzantine state and federal labor laws are involved, and 300,000 weekday commuters from Long Island could be affected. At issue is the fact that more than 5,400 employees for Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) have been working without a contract since 2010." (07/10/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nelma2m  

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FTC sues Amazon over purchases by kids using mobile apps

July 11, 2014
posted by

Reuters [UK]    

"The U.S. government sued Amazon.com on Thursday for allowing children to collectively run up millions of dollars in purchases on the credit cards of their unsuspecting parents while playing mobile apps like 'Tap Zoo' and 'Ice Age Village.' The lawsuit, filed by the Federal Trade Commission, seeks to make the online retailer refund money spent without parental permission and to end Amazon's practice of allowing purchases without requiring a password or other mechanism that gives parents control over their accounts." (07/10/14)

http://tinyurl.com/nu9lsw3  

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CO: Two counties join Boulder in ending marriage apartheid

July 10, 2014
posted by

Los Angeles Times    

"Soon after a judge ruled that the Boulder County clerk could continue issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples while the courts considered Colorado's ban on gay marriage, clerks in Denver and Pueblo counties said they would do the same. State Atty. Gen. John Suthers vowed a swift appeal to the state’s highest court on the recent Colorado gay marriage rulings. On Wednesday a U.S. District Court judge ruled that the state’s ban was unconstitutional." (07/10/14)

http://tinyurl.com/oxd58q6  

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Obama supports Perry on US border fixes [sic]

July 10, 2014
posted by

BBC News [UK state media]    

"US President Barack Obama has sided with Republican Texas Governor Rick Perry on recommendations for improving security on the US-Mexico border. While visiting the state, Mr Obama said he had no 'philosophical objection' to increasing the number of border patrol agents and repositioning them. But Mr Obama said the such action was held up by Congress' delay in approving his request for extra funding. The White House asked for $3.7 billion in extra funding on Tuesday." (07/09/14)

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-28240114  

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NC: Missing woman accused of faking her death to escape identity theft trial

July 10, 2014
posted by

Raw Story    

"Authorities in both North and South Carolina are searching for a 42-year-old woman accused of faking her own drowning to escape prosecution, WSOC-TV reported on Wednesday. A warrant was served against Amy Lynette Arrington for failing to appear in court in Charlotte on Monday in connection to charges including identity theft, being a habitual felon and obtaining property by false pretense. She is accused of using another woman’s account information to pay a bank bill of nearly $7,500, as well as buy thousands’ of dollars worth of merchandise online. Her husband, Paul David Arrington, now faces charges in North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, for conspiring with her to file a false police report stating that she drowned during a beach excursion on July 5." (07/09/14)

http://tinyurl.com/qcxlm9o  

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CA: “Graffiti scofflaw” arrested

July 10, 2014
posted by

San Francisco Chronicle    

"A graffiti artist in Santa Rosa who police say is responsible for nearly 70 acts of vandalism was arrested Wednesday. James Minard, a 25-year-old Santa Rosa resident who police say goes by the tag 'Hiker,' was taken into custody outside his home, said Sgt. Phil Brazis, a police spokesman. Minard was booked into Sonoma County Jail on one count of felony vandalism, violation of probation and driving on a suspended license." (07/09/14)

http://tinyurl.com/p2rgl6h  

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UT: Straight to SCOTUS with appeal of gay marriage ruling

July 10, 2014
posted by

Fox News    

"Utah is going straight to the U.S. Supreme Court to appeal a federal appeals court's ruling that gay couples have a constitutional right to marry, the state attorney general's office announced Wednesday. The state opted to challenge the decision with the nation's highest court rather than request a review from the entire 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver. That option is now off the table, no matter what the high court decides." (07/09/14)

http://tinyurl.com/ofvtxtz  

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China: Prominent writers under house arrest during Kerry visit

July 10, 2014
posted by

Reuters [UK]    

"A prominent writer who has angered China by advocating Tibetan rights said she and her husband were placed under house arrest during a visit to Beijing by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. Tsering Woeser told Reuters that state security officers had prevented her and her spouse, author Wang Lixiong, from leaving their home since they returned from a trip to the north of China on Tuesday." (07/09/14)

http://tinyurl.com/qe35wfj  

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Citigroup nears $7 billion settlement deal

July 10, 2014
posted by

Christian Science Monitor    

"If the giant bank Citigroup agrees to a $7 billion mortgage-fraud settlement, it would be among the largest in a string of large payments by banking behemoths in response to allegations of wrongdoing. But the rumored dollar value of the settlement, which emerged in news reports Wednesday, has to be measured against the gargantuan size of firms like Citigroup. Have big banks gotten a slap on the wrist since 2008 or meaningful punishment for bad behavior -- including shoddy mortgage practices that helped to lay the groundwork for the crisis?" (07/09/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pbtbshp  

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UT: AG will appeal marriage ruling directly to SCOTUS

July 9, 2014
posted by

Salt Lake Tribune    

"The Utah attorney general's office announced Wednesday that it will appeal the 10th Circuit Court's decision last month upholding same-sex marriage to the U.S. Supreme Court. Wednesday was the deadline for the state to seek a full-court review by all 12 judges of the 10th Circuit Court, but, according to a statement from the attorney general’s office, Utah will instead push onward to the U.S. Supreme Court. ... The federal high court is not obligated to hear Utah's appeal -- or any case regarding state same-sex marriage bans. Should the justices decline to hear such a case, the rulings of lower courts, like that of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals, would stand as the law of the land." (07/09/14)

http://tinyurl.com/o5dg8gx  

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LA: Nagin sentenced to 10 years in prison for public corruption

July 9, 2014
posted by

New Orleans Times-Picayune    

"Former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin was sentenced on Wednesday to 10 years in federal prison. ... U.S. District Judge Ginger Berrigan handed down the sentence in a packed courtroom five months after a jury convicted Nagin on 20 of 21 counts of bribery, wire fraud, tax evasion and other charges." (07/09/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pzvx5md  

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Russia: Snowden seeks asylum extension

July 9, 2014
posted by

CNet News    

"Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who [copied] nearly 2 million intelligence files from the US to reveal espionage tactics used by the government, has asked Russia for an extension on his asylum. Speaking to the Russian Times on Wednesday, Snowden attorney Anatoly Kucherena said that he has filed, on Snowden's behalf, a request for an extension of his asylum in Russia. The attorney didn't say whether he asked for a simple one-year extension or something else, such as citizenship status." (07/09/14)

http://www.cnet.com/news/snowden-asks-for-extension-on-russian-asylum/  

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White House outlines 2014 drug war strategy

July 9, 2014
posted by

ABC News    

"Closely mirroring its past positions, the Obama administration's 2014 drug policy will focus tightly on curbing heroin use and prescription painkillers abuse while continuing to oppose the legalization of marijuana for medical and recreational use. Officials are particularly concerned about preventing fatal overdoses, said Michael Botticelli, acting director of the White House's Office of National Drug Control Policy." [editor's note: Preventing fatal overdoses is easy -- repeal the prohibition laws so that known-purity product in standardized doses with clear instructions can be purchased at Walgreen - TLK] (07/09/14)

http://tinyurl.com/l26lfgy  

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US Senate confirms Castro as new HUD secretary

July 9, 2014
posted by

Houston Chronicle    

"The Senate easily confirmed San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro on Wednesday to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development, boosting the national profile of a Democrat with a compelling biography who's considered a vice presidential contender in 2016. The 71-26 vote makes the 39-year-old Castro one of the government's highest-ranking Hispanics, a growing group of voters who lean solidly Democratic. His ascension comes two years after he got his first broad national exposure when President Barack Obama picked him to deliver the keynote address at the 2012 Democratic National Convention." (07/09/14)

http://tinyurl.com/myypru8  

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Meet the Muslim American leaders the FBI and NSA have been spying on

July 9, 2014
posted by

The Intercept    

"The National Security Agency and FBI have covertly monitored the emails of prominent Muslim-Americans -- including a political candidate and several civil rights activists, academics, and lawyers -- under secretive procedures intended to target terrorists and foreign spies. According to documents provided by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, the list of Americans monitored by their own government includes ..." (07/09/14)

http://tinyurl.com/pgt3ala  

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China: Officials shun spotlight, seek retirement

July 9, 2014
posted by

Reuters    

"President Xi Jinping's crackdown on corruption has sown so much fear that many Chinese officials are doing anything to stay out of trouble - from dithering over approving big-ticket projects to seeking early retirement. A small number of top executives under investigation at state-owned enterprises have even committed suicide. While the campaign has been a hit with a public usually skeptical about such crackdowns, it's having an unintended consequence, said bureaucratic sources and officials at state enterprises: Those supposed to implement much-needed economic reforms and run the machinery of government are dragging their feet because they are scared of attracting unwanted attention." (07/08/14)

http://tinyurl.com/m6gsjg7  

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