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Westlake Legal Group > News Corporation (Page 3715)

Olivia Munn Fires Back At Fashion Blog Go Fug Yourself

Westlake Legal Group 5cb8fcc22a0000e4034f9238 Olivia Munn Fires Back At Fashion Blog Go Fug Yourself

Olivia Munn took aim Wednesday night at celebrity style blog Go Fug Yourself, known for its comedic takes on celebrity fashion, for what she called “ugly behaviors.”

The actress shared a short essay on Twitter criticizing Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan, the writers behind the blog. The self-described Fug Girls had run an April 18 item titled “If Only I Had a Dollar For Every Time I’ve Said, ’Oh My God Olivia Munn,’” which critiqued the outfit Munn wore to the Apex for Youth Gala earlier this month. 

“This is just kinda like she got roped into making a sequel to American Hustle that ended up going straight to on-demand,” the item said.

In her essay, Munn acknowledged that a “career that comes with an audience” necessarily brings critics whose job is to assess her work, “sometimes positively, sometimes not.” But fashion blogs like Go Fug Yourself don’t fall into that category, she argued.

“For years, fashion-policing celebrity has been an accepted form of mainstream media critique, even though it mainly focuses on females and not men, which ultimately contributes to the perpetual minimization of women and propagates the idea that our worth is predominantly (or singularly) tied to our looks,” Munn wrote.

Munn said she was speaking out because she felt Morgan and Cocks shouldn’t “get away with spewing whatever vitriol they want just by betting on the antiquated notion that the people they target won’t say anything.”

Morgan and Cocks responded in a statement on Thursday: “We absolutely respect Olivia Munn’s right to her opinion ― even if we disagree, as we do here! Red carpet fashion is a big business and an art form like any other, and as such there is room to critique it. Having said that, we wish her nothing but the best and look forward to her next project.”

“Blogs like theirs have been around for awhile, with their snarkiness and hypocrisy on full display,” Munn wrote on Twitter. “We’ve been conditioned as women to feel that we must look and dress a certain way to be accepted. If there’s anything we’ve been able to glean from the past two years, it’s that girls and women have been emotionally and physically targeted and abused for years yet have remained silent because collectively we all believed that our voices, our pain, our existence only mattered with conditions attached.”

However, the actress said, she’s been inspired by the voices of “strong, supportive women,” including a group of 18 seniors at Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School in Maryland who organized a meeting in March to address the harmful behaviors behind a list created by male students created that ranked their female classmates by appearance. 

“They’ve inspired me to also reject the ‘blogs will be blogs’ mentality that also pervades our social consciousness,” Munn wrote. 

She received some pushback from other Twitter users:

On Fashionista, Tyler McCall responded with “What Olivia Munn Got Wrong In Her Rant About The Fug Girls,” noting that the “Fug Girls go to great lengths to spread their red carpet coverage across both genders and avoid any discussion of body or appearances beyond the clothes — and they’re not alone in this.” 

Munn had spoken to HuffPost at the Apex for Youth Gala, which supports underserved immigrant and Asian youth in New York City and where she accepted an Inspiration Award. She revealed why she was choosing to speak out about her own experiences regarding sexual assault and misconduct. 

“My mom always taught me that I mattered. It didn’t matter what anyone else thought, I mattered. I’ve always had this strength because of my mother,” Munn said. “But this is something that all Asians do have ― we have a very strong sense of self and that’s not something anyone else can take away.”

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AOC wades into discussion on Bernie’s controversial felon voting plan, after her chief of staff endorsed it

Westlake Legal Group aoc-wades-into-discussion-on-bernies-controversial-felon-voting-plan-after-her-chief-of-staff-endorsed-it AOC wades into discussion on Bernie's controversial felon voting plan, after her chief of staff endorsed it Sam Dorman fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fox news fnc/politics fnc f384f6fa-a971-5de3-9f75-45371b8ef351 article

After her chief of staff endorsed voting rights for felons, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y. hit back at critics by suggesting they improperly focused on criminals like the Boston Bomber.

In a series of tweets Thursday, Ocasio-Cortez said that in order to avoid looking “utterly out of touch,” people should question whether a non-violent criminal should lose the right to vote.

Westlake Legal Group aa1c0969-Alexandria-Ocasio-Cortez AOC wades into discussion on Bernie's controversial felon voting plan, after her chief of staff endorsed it Sam Dorman fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fox news fnc/politics fnc f384f6fa-a971-5de3-9f75-45371b8ef351 article

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, along with Saikat Chakrabarti, her chief of staff, have both entered into the discussion around Bernie Sanders’ suggestion that felons should be given voting rights. (AP)

Her comments furthered an already brewing debate that Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., started when he indicated that he would support all felons — including sexual assaulters and murderers like Boston marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev — receiving the right to vote.

For Ocasio-Cortez, critics should have been more concerned about a “nonviolent person stopped [with] a dime bag,” a reference to a small bag of illicit drugs.

TRUMP CALLS SANDERS’ SUPPORT OF VOTING RIGHTS FOR BOSTON MARATHON BOMBER ‘DEEPLY OFFENSIVE’

She went on to suggest the U.S. prison system was unjust, pointing to slavery and international incarceration rates.

The New York Congresswoman portrayed mass incarceration as ultimately stemming from slavery in the United States.

“Black Americans & [people of color] are far more likely to be convicted + sentenced longer than White Americans for similar crimes,” she tweeted.

Apparently annoyed by the responses on Twitter, Ocasio-Cortez knocked pundits whom she felt were like “1st graders” commenting on her tweets.

“GOP already bad-faith attacking ‘nonviolent offenses.’ Clearly if you are looking at CONTEXT CLUES in my thread & limits of 280 chars you know I’m referring to nonviolent drug offenses,” she tweeted.

CHER QUESTIONS BERNIE SANDERS FOR SAYING BOSTON BOMBER DESERVES RIGHT TO VOTE

Her chief of staff also received backlash after his Wednesday tweet which implied prisoners were “most affected by unjust laws.”

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“What’s the reason NOT to let incarcerated people vote?” he asked. “Shouldn’t the people most affected by unjust laws have some say in electing people to change them?”

Although Sanders, somewhat of a progressive icon, has endorsed voting rights for prisoners, other 2020 hopefuls seemed more hesitant. Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who was ranked among the top three candidates in a poll this month, said that while he supported restoring felons’ voting rights, he didn’t think they should receive that right while incarcerated.

Westlake Legal Group aa1c0969-Alexandria-Ocasio-Cortez AOC wades into discussion on Bernie's controversial felon voting plan, after her chief of staff endorsed it Sam Dorman fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fox news fnc/politics fnc f384f6fa-a971-5de3-9f75-45371b8ef351 article   Westlake Legal Group aa1c0969-Alexandria-Ocasio-Cortez AOC wades into discussion on Bernie's controversial felon voting plan, after her chief of staff endorsed it Sam Dorman fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/bernie-sanders fox-news/person/alexandria-ocasio-cortez fox news fnc/politics fnc f384f6fa-a971-5de3-9f75-45371b8ef351 article

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Alabama man Tased after trying to eat bag of meth following police chase

After allegedly leading police on a high-speed motorcycle chase, an Alabama man reportedly gave cops quite a shock when he grabbed a bag of meth and started trying to eat it — then the cops gave him a shock.

Marshall County Sheriff’s deputies spotted Toney Ray Johnson, 48, standing in the middle of the road next to his motorcycle. He appeared to be struggling to start his vehicle, authorities said.

When the deputy approached, Johnson allegedly hopped on his motorcycle and sped off. The deputy followed him and, after a short chase, Johnson pulled over, WHNT reported.

ALABAMA MAN DIES AFTER VEHICLE STRIKES HORSE ON COUNTY ROAD, POLICE SAY

Westlake Legal Group toney-rayjohnson-e1556117802942 Alabama man Tased after trying to eat bag of meth following police chase Lucia Suarez Sang fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/alabama fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 64af2391-98f9-5af2-8f94-7178bf965200

Toney Ray Johnson, 48, was arrested after he trying to eat a bag of meth following a quick police chase in Alabama. (Marshall County Sheriff’s Office)

The deputy said he saw Johnson attempt to eat something from a plastic bag, which was later determined to be meth.

After a brief struggle, the deputy used his stun gun on Johnson before the man could consume the drugs, officials said.

CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APP

Johnson was charged with drug possession, resisting arrest and attempting to flee from a law enforcement officer.

He was jailed on a $12,500 bail, AL.com reported.

Westlake Legal Group toney-rayjohnson-e1556117802942 Alabama man Tased after trying to eat bag of meth following police chase Lucia Suarez Sang fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/alabama fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 64af2391-98f9-5af2-8f94-7178bf965200   Westlake Legal Group toney-rayjohnson-e1556117802942 Alabama man Tased after trying to eat bag of meth following police chase Lucia Suarez Sang fox-news/us/us-regions/southeast/alabama fox-news/us/crime fox news fnc/us fnc article 64af2391-98f9-5af2-8f94-7178bf965200

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5 Years After Flint’s Crisis Began, Is The Water Safe?

Westlake Legal Group 5-years-after-flints-crisis-began-is-the-water-safe 5 Years After Flint's Crisis Began, Is The Water Safe?
Westlake Legal Group ap_826317129637-1ac787858cecf16b4e63c89548f3b73a137ba240-s1100-c15 5 Years After Flint's Crisis Began, Is The Water Safe?

Water from the Flint River flows through the Hamilton Dam. In 2014, the city switched from Detroit’s water system to the Flint River, setting the stage for a crisis that sickened residents and cost the mayor and other officials their jobs. Paul Sancya/AP hide caption

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Paul Sancya/AP

Westlake Legal Group  5 Years After Flint's Crisis Began, Is The Water Safe?

Water from the Flint River flows through the Hamilton Dam. In 2014, the city switched from Detroit’s water system to the Flint River, setting the stage for a crisis that sickened residents and cost the mayor and other officials their jobs.

Paul Sancya/AP

Five years ago, the drinking water source for Flint, Mich., was switched, setting the stage for the city’s water crisis.

In the years since, residents of the aging industrial city have seen their children’s blood lead levels spike, government officials grudgingly admit mistakes and perhaps seen Flint begin to recover.

It’s still common to see claims on social media that Flint still doesn’t have clean water. However, tests have shown Flint’s tap water has improved greatly since the depths of the water crisis. Now, it’s well within federal and state standards for lead, even better than many other cities.

The outrage

The city’s water problems all began with an optimistic toast.

“Here’s to Flint,” Flint Mayor Dayne Walling said as he lifted a glass filled tap water. Walling and other city and state officials were toasting the switch of the city’s drinking water source, from Detroit’s water system to the Flint River.

The switch was intended to save money, but instead cost the mayor his job.

At first, Flint’s nearly 100,000 residents complained their tap water was undrinkable: cloudy, foul smelling and tasting of chemicals or worse. The system also suffered e-coli outbreaks. Eventually, the city acknowledged it was in violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act.

But government officials persisted in defending the water as safe to drink.

Outrage grew. Flint residents took to the streets to voice their anger. Chanting “Flint lives matter,” the growing protests demanded the city return to Detroit water.

After 18 months, government officials admitted the switch had been bungled. In October of 2015, Flint was switched back to Detroit water.

It was only revealed after the city’s drinking water was switched back that a Legionnaires’ disease outbreak had killed at least a dozen people during the switch. There are conflicting scientific opinions as to whether the Flint River water was the source of the outbreak.

“We have to be where we are to move forward”

In the past few years, 15 city and state officials have been indicted for their actions related to the crisis. About half have cut plea deals. No one has gone to jail. And the remaining criminal cases are stalled as Michigan’s new attorney general tries to decide how to proceed.

Meanwhile, multiple civil lawsuits against state and federal agencies and private contractors are grinding their way through the courts.

Flint was left with thousands of damaged water pipes, families surviving on bottled water, and a battered self-image.

Later this year, the city hopes to inspect the last of nearly 30,000 pipes connecting homes to city water mains. Crews are replacing old lead and galvanized service lines with new copper pipes.

Though, residents are still advised to use filters on their taps as the pipe replacements continue.

Federal and state funds are helping Flint fix its broken water system.

And that in turn is attracting business investment.

Stylist Dan Buccilli and his husband David Custer opened a new hair salon in downtown Flint last month in a rehabbed print shop.

Custer, who’s also a local TV anchor, says Flint is better off now than it was before the water crisis.

“We joke now … that we have some of the best water in the country now,” says Custer. “We have brand new pipes around our entire city.”

Linnette Phillips is the deputy director of Small Business and Workforce Development for the city of Flint. She says this year the city has about $200 million in new business investment coming in, from new auto parts manufacturing to a new culinary school.

“Of course, no one would ever no one would ever want to experience this travesty that the city of Flint experienced,” says Phillips. “But we have to be where we are to move forward from that.”

But while businesses are moving forward, many city residents are having trouble.

Flint’s unemployment rate remains high and medium income is less than half the state average, with more than a third of city residents living below the poverty line.

And it’s not surprising to see long lines still forming outside churches during weekly bottled water giveaways.

Flint resident Melissa Mays has been one of the loudest voices during the water crisis. But even she can see some silver linings.

“In some ways we’re better,” says Mays. “In other ways, we’re forever poisoned, damaged, traumatized … that’s not gonna ever be better.”

Flint still faces a long road to recovery.

For example, it will be several years before studies will be able to show if drinking Flint’s lead tainted tap water effected the cognitive and behavioral development of thousands of young children.

It is the future of those children that will determine if Flint truly emerges stronger from its water crisis.

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Former Obama adviser on Biden: He’s ‘the candidate that can best beat both Bernie Sanders and President Trump’

Westlake Legal Group former-obama-adviser-on-biden-hes-the-candidate-that-can-best-beat-both-bernie-sanders-and-president-trump Former Obama adviser on Biden: He's 'the candidate that can best beat both Bernie Sanders and President Trump' Talia Kaplan fox-news/us fox-news/topic/fox-news-flash fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox news fnc/politics fnc e04746d1-ce79-54ce-bda4-bbae7c0c9497 article
Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-ROBERT-WOLF Former Obama adviser on Biden: He's 'the candidate that can best beat both Bernie Sanders and President Trump' Talia Kaplan fox-news/us fox-news/topic/fox-news-flash fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox news fnc/politics fnc e04746d1-ce79-54ce-bda4-bbae7c0c9497 article

Robert Wolf, former economic adviser to President Obama, said former Vice President Joe Biden, who officially announced his 2020 bid Thursday morning, has “really been resonating the last few weeks because he looks like he’s the most powerful candidate to go against President Trump.”

Wolf, a Fox News contributor, made the statement on “Fox & Friends” 90 minutes after Biden officially announced his 2020 presidential bid.

He announced his run in an online video Thursday, after weeks of speculation and anticipation, making him the 20th Democrat fighting for the Oval Office.

Asked about Biden’s announcement video, Wolf said, “I thought it was powerful and compassionate. I think that, listen, in this polarizing environment it’s an incredible contrast to 
the president.”

JOE BIDEN OFFICIALLY LAUNCHES 2020 PRESIDENTIAL BID

“The truth is, I think that he’s saying we have to bring people together and this is not the right way. And I’m going to show you the right way and I think it’s very powerful.”

Wolf, who said he has known Biden for more than a decade, added, “I think there’s a reason his polls, the Monmouth (University) Poll came out where he was top in the Democratic field, (a) poll this morning came out where he was plus 8 over Trump, I know polls mean nothing at this point, but he’s really been resonating the last few weeks because he looks like he’s the most powerful candidate to go against President Trump.”

A former senator from Delaware, Biden, who also served as vice president for two terms under Barack Obama, has emerged as a frontrunner for the Democratic nomination — topping the polls alongside self-proclaimed Democratic socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

Biden’s announcement on Thursday marks the beginning of his third campaign for the White House.

Wolf acknowledged Biden’s name recognition will prove to be an asset for his campaign.

“I think there’s no question early on name recognition matters. We know at this point in 2008 or 2007 Rudy Giuliani was beating Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama became president. So as the guy that was backing Obama when he was at 1 percent, I know many things can change,” Wolf said.

BIDEN 2020 ANNOUNCEMENT MET WITH QUICK ENDORSEMENTS, PUSHBACK FROM DEMOCRATS

“I would say it’s a little different (now), I would say name recognition is actually more important today because when there is a field of 20, you know, you’re going to have a lot of people get 10 to 15 percent. And then all of a sudden name recognition on stage doesn’t cost you money to introduce yourself and there’s going to be a fight for money.”

Even Biden’s entry into the crowded Democratic primary field isn’t enough to move former President Barack Obama off the sidelines. Obama’s team released a statement praising Biden on Thursday but didn’t offer an explicit endorsement.

“Former presidents never endorse. Maybe the only one who did was President Bush (who) endorsed his brother. But they just don’t endorse. They sit on the sidelines and they wait for the primary to actually take place. They don’t like to put their finger on the scale so it’s not a surprise,” said Wolf on Thursday.

He added, “I have been with him (Obama) for over a decade. I mean, their love for each other is real.”

Wolf said that he thinks Obama would “love” to see Biden as president, adding, “You don’t think that President Obama wants Joe or any of the field to beat President Trump?”

He also weighed in on if Biden can take on Sanders.

“There’s no question you cannot discount Bernie Sanders. You would say today, until Joe Biden announced, he was absolutely the frontrunner. He had the most money. He has the most grassroots. He’s been running for four years. And he has a lane that really no one’s matching yet, the populist left,” said Wolf.

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“That being said, within the party, we’re not sure if he just has the highest floor at 20 percent and does he have possibly a ceiling at 30 percent? We don’t know.”

He added, “It’s clear that one of the reasons, I think, the polls for Vice President Biden have gone up, is he’s viewed as the candidate that can best beat both Bernie Sanders and President Trump and I think there’s a lot of Democrats that want to see that.”

Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-ROBERT-WOLF Former Obama adviser on Biden: He's 'the candidate that can best beat both Bernie Sanders and President Trump' Talia Kaplan fox-news/us fox-news/topic/fox-news-flash fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox news fnc/politics fnc e04746d1-ce79-54ce-bda4-bbae7c0c9497 article   Westlake Legal Group GettyImages-ROBERT-WOLF Former Obama adviser on Biden: He's 'the candidate that can best beat both Bernie Sanders and President Trump' Talia Kaplan fox-news/us fox-news/topic/fox-news-flash fox-news/politics/2020-presidential-election fox-news/person/joe-biden fox news fnc/politics fnc e04746d1-ce79-54ce-bda4-bbae7c0c9497 article

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Sri Lanka Warns of More Suicide Bombers as Police Scour Capital

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Hundreds of police officers swept through Colombo, Sri Lanka, on Thursday, shutting down large parts of the capital city and looking urgently for six suspects — three men and three women — connected to the Easter Sunday attacks who might be planning a new wave of bloodshed.

The country’s defense secretary, Hemasiri Fernando, resigned after the president blamed him for failing to act on warnings of an impending assault. At least 10 days before the attack, the Sri Lankan government had detailed intelligence that Islamist extremists were plotting suicide bombings at churches.

Sri Lanka’s Health Ministry conceded late Thursday night that it had overstated the death toll from the bombings on Sunday at three churches and three hotels, revising their estimate from at least 359 killed to between 250 and 260. In a written statement, the ministry cited the difficulty in counting when so many of the victims’ bodies were not intact.

Police officials said Thursday that they feared there were at least two people on the loose who had planned to be suicide bombers that day. The police said they had information that another attack was imminent, posted the suspects’ pictures on social media and urged anyone with information about the them to call a hotline.

The security services also circulated a memo saying that the group that carried out the Easter attacks could be “specifically targeting Sufi shrines.”

The authorities in Sri Lanka have blamed a local extremist Islamist group, National Thowheeth Jama’ath, for the bombings, and images posted online appear to show members of the group pledging allegiance to the Islamic State, which has claimed responsibility for the attacks. The local group follows a fundamentalist form of Islam that believes Sufi Muslims, who adhere to a mystical school of Islam, are heretics.

The tragedy on Sunday could have been much worse had it not been for a miscalculation by the attackers, officials said. One bomber arrived at the Taj Samudra, another luxury hotel, carrying explosives in a large backpack, but twice failed to trigger the fuse on the device.

ImageWestlake Legal Group merlin_153900105_b69c47c4-6ff7-4156-8d0a-61eb0451763e-articleLarge Sri Lanka Warns of More Suicide Bombers as Police Scour Capital Zaharan, Mohammed Terrorism Sri Lanka Easter Bombings (April, 2019) Sri Lanka Sirisena, Maithripala National Thowheeth Jamaath Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)

Soldiers in Negombo on Wednesday responding to a package believed to be a bomb.CreditCarl Court/Getty Images

The bomber then left the hotel for a motel a few kilometers away, where he died in an explosion. Officials say he was probably trying to fix the bomb when it detonated.

Across Sri Lanka, Friday Prayer for Muslims and Sunday services for Roman Catholics have been canceled amid fears of large public gatherings. Tensions are rising, and in some areas, a violent backlash against the country’s Muslim minority has begun. The country’s devastating 26-year civil war, which ended in 2009, was fought along ethnic lines, not religious ones.

Agents from the F.B.I., the British intelligence service MI6, and Indian, Australian and Swiss security agencies have all joined the investigation into the attacks. Sri Lankan authorities said more than 70 people had been arrested.

But one Sri Lankan official grumbled that coordination between Sri Lanka’s various government agencies was hampering the investigation. Sri Lankan intelligence agencies were still refusing to share foreign intelligence reports with officials in other departments investigating the suicide attacks, the official said.

The Sri Lankan government is bitterly divided, which may have contributed to the security failures leading up to the bombings. Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, a rival of President Maithripala Sirisena, has complained that he was not allowed to attend security meetings before the attacks and was never informed of the warnings.

Mr. Sirisena has tried to deflect intense criticism for the government’s failure to prevent the attacks, and on Wednesday called for he called for the resignations of Mr. Fernando, the defense secretary, and Pujith Jayasundara, the inspector general of the police.

Just a few months ago, the authorities arrested and then released several of the suicide bombers, and in January the police found a large cache of weapons, including explosives, assembled by radical Islamists who they say were probably were linked to National Thowheeth Jama’ath.

Indian intelligence officials began warning their Sri Lankan counterparts of a pending attack at least as early as April 4, officials have said. On April 11, a police official sent a memo to Sri Lankan security agencies, based on Indian intelligence reports, outlining in great detail the threat of suicide bombings at churches, with names, addresses and phone numbers of suspects. But many officials did not see the memo.

Video

Westlake Legal Group 23srilanka-briefing-video2-videoSixteenByNineJumbo1600-v6 Sri Lanka Warns of More Suicide Bombers as Police Scour Capital Zaharan, Mohammed Terrorism Sri Lanka Easter Bombings (April, 2019) Sri Lanka Sirisena, Maithripala National Thowheeth Jamaath Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS)

The Easter Sunday bombings unfolded with unusual sophistication and coordination. The result was one of the deadliest terrorist attacks in modern history.CreditCreditAdam Dean for The New York Times

And just hours before the bombs detonated in packed churches and hotel restaurants, India warned that the attacks were imminent.

Lawmakers, survivors and Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith, the archbishop of Colombo, are among those who have criticized the security services for failing to act.

Sri Lankan officials said on Thursday that they were having trouble identifying all of the suicide bombers through DNA tests, which would require comparison to samples taken from relatives, because the families of some of the bombers had fled their homes and were nowhere to be found.

With warnings of more attacks putting the entire capital on alert, many people stayed home. The Liberty Plaza mall, one of the city’s biggest, was deserted. Shop after shop was closed, and the few that were open stood empty. Roadblocks went up around the country.

Many people said they felt uneasy.

“I don’t know what to eat, I don’t know when to eat, my whole body is trembling,” said Indika Manamperi, the owner of two restaurants in the food court.

Mr. Manamperi said he used to be a major in the Sri Lankan Army and felt completely demoralized by the attacks.

“There was enough of a blood bath for the past 30 years and again our children have to face the same tune?” he said.

What really distressed him, he said, was Sri Lanka’s political dysfunction during such a painful crisis.

“I’m stressed because these Sri Lankan politicians don’t want to take responsibility,” he said. “It’s a pathetic state of affairs.”

Real Estate, and Personal Injury Lawyers. Contact us at: https://westlakelegal.com 

Ball pits are crawling with disease-causing germs that can make your kids sick, study suggests

Westlake Legal Group ball-pits-are-crawling-with-disease-causing-germs-that-can-make-your-kids-sick-study-suggests Ball pits are crawling with disease-causing germs that can make your kids sick, study suggests Madeline Farber fox-news/health/healthy-living/childrens-health fox-news/health fox news fnc/health fnc dcc0a91a-0fe5-53b8-9024-60c3aecee231 article

Ball pits are colorful, fun and … crawling with germs, according to a study published late last month in the American Journal of Infection Control.

To conduct the study, researchers with the University of North Georgia looked at six different ball pits used in children’s physical therapy facilities. There, the pits are used to “provide stimulation to children with sensory or motor impairments,” per a news release on the findings.

At each ball pit location, researchers collected nine to 15 balls from different depths. By the end, they found “considerable microbial colonization in ball pits that were tested, including eight bacteria and one yeast that could cause disease,” researchers said.

CAN ELDERBERRIES HELP FIGHT FLU SYMPTOMS? NEW STUDY EXPLAINS HOW ‘ANCIENT REMEDY’ ALLEGEDLY WORKS

“Bacterial colonization was found to be as high as thousands of cells per ball, clearly demonstrating an increased potential for transmission of these organisms to patients and an increased possibility of infection,” they added.

In total, 31 different bacterial species and one yeast species were found in the ball pits. More specifically, researchers determined Enterococcus faecalis, Staphylococcus hominis, Streptococcus oralis and Acinetobacter lwofii were present — all of which are “human-associated” bacteria that can cause nasty infections.

Westlake Legal Group iStock-ballpit Ball pits are crawling with disease-causing germs that can make your kids sick, study suggests Madeline Farber fox-news/health/healthy-living/childrens-health fox-news/health fox news fnc/health fnc dcc0a91a-0fe5-53b8-9024-60c3aecee231 article

The researches found the ball pits they studied contained disease-causing microorganisms. (iStock)

For instance, Enterococcus faecalis can cause endocarditis, septicemia, urinary tract infection and meningitis, while Staphylococcus hominis is “a cause of bloodstream infections and reported as a cause of sepsis in a neonatal intensive care unit,” the researchers said.

SOME TEENS WHO VAPE NICOTINE DON’T REALIZE THEY’RE INGESTING THE CHEMICAL, STUDY SUGGESTS

Meanwhile, Streptococcus oralis is “known to cause endocarditis, adult respiratory distress syndrome, and streptococcal shock.” And Acinetobacter lwofii can potentially cause septicemia, pneumonia, meningitis, and urinary tract and skin infections.

Researchers also noted the physical therapy clinics studied “may go days or weeks between cleanings” of the ball pits — just the right amount of time for these disease-causing microorganisms to grow to levels that can make children ill.

“We found considerable variation in the number of microorganisms between the different ball pit samples,” Mary Ellen Oesterle, the study’s lead author, said in a statement. “This suggests that clinics utilize different protocols for cleaning and maintenance, potentially representing a broader need to clarify and establish standards that reduce the risk of transmission.”

Westlake Legal Group iStock-ballpit Ball pits are crawling with disease-causing germs that can make your kids sick, study suggests Madeline Farber fox-news/health/healthy-living/childrens-health fox-news/health fox news fnc/health fnc dcc0a91a-0fe5-53b8-9024-60c3aecee231 article   Westlake Legal Group iStock-ballpit Ball pits are crawling with disease-causing germs that can make your kids sick, study suggests Madeline Farber fox-news/health/healthy-living/childrens-health fox-news/health fox news fnc/health fnc dcc0a91a-0fe5-53b8-9024-60c3aecee231 article

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Feds charge Mass. judge with obstruction for allowing an illegal immigrant to leave by the back door

WASHINGTON — Federal prosecutors charged a Massachusetts judge with obstruction of justice and perjury on Thursday, saying she prevented immigration agents from arresting an illegal immigrant after a state court hearing by allowing him to leave the courthouse through a back door. 

The indictment marked an unusual escalation in the federal government’s strict immigration enforcement policy, and its battles with states and local governments that shelter migrants. The indictment accuses District Judge Shelley Richmond Joseph and a court officer, Wesley MacGregor of allowing the immigrant to leave the courthouse by a back door, and lying about it later. 

The charges in the midst of a standoff between the Trump administration and dozens of American communities that have objected to providing the federal government information on residents’ immigration status.

“This case is about the rule of law,” said U.S. Attorney Andrew E. Lelling. “We cannot pick and choose the federal laws we follow, or use our personal views to justify violating the law. Everyone in the justice system – not just judges, but law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and defense counsel – should be held to a higher standard.”

The charges drew swift criticism. Matthew Segal, the legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts called the indictment “very aggressive” and “completely outrageous.”  

Prosecutors alleged that during a April 2018 court hearing in Newtown, Massachusetts Joseph and MacGregor allowed the illegal migrant, detained on drug and outstanding warrant charges, to leave the courthouse from a downstairs back door after the judge instructed an immigration agent to wait in the hallway outside her courtroom. 

The migrant, who was not identified in court documents, had previously been deported from the United States twice before – in 2003 and in 2007 – and had been barred from re-entering the country until 2027.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials learned of the migrant’s detention following his March 30, 2018 arrest when local police submitted fingerprints to the national law enforcement database. The fingerprint notification prompted ICE officials to issue a detainer, requesting local police to alert them within 48 hours of any planned release.

In court documents, federal prosecutors offered up a partial transcript of the court proceeding in which the judge, defense attorney and court clerk refer to the migrant’s status and the risk that he would be detained by immigration officials following the hearing.

“ICE is gonna get him,?” Joseph asks the migrant’s defense attorney.

“Yeah,” the attorney responds.

Soon after the exchange, prosecutors allege, Joseph directed the courtroom recorder to be ‘turned off” for 52 seconds while the discussion continued.

The defense attorney later asked that the migrant be allowed to retrieve his property from a downstairs lockup.

Reminded that the ICE agent was waiting outside the courtroom, the judge allegedly said: “That’s fine. I’m not gonna allow them to come in here. But (the migrant) has been released on this.”

When he was escorted downstairs, prosecutors asserted that MacGregor used his security access card to release the migrant “out the back door.”

Prosecutors also charged that MacGregor lied to a grand jury about what happened.

“The actions of the judge in this incident are a detriment to the rule of law and highly offensive to the law enforcement officers of ICE who swear an oath to uphold our nation’s immigration laws,” said Todd M. Lyons, the acting ICE chief in Boston.

Read or Share this story: https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2019/04/25/doj-charges-judge-obstruction-allowing-illegal-immigrant-escape-ice/3574450002/

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Officials: Dozens missing after Venezuelan boat sinks

Westlake Legal Group og-fox-news Officials: Dozens missing after Venezuelan boat sinks fox-news/world/world-regions/americas fox-news/world fnc/world fnc FABIOLA SANCHEZ Associated Press article 1583bc2e-d27e-5206-b908-6575e6997e77

Dozens of Venezuelans were missing after a boat en route to the island of Trinidad sunk in the Caribbean Sea, authorities said Thursday.

An official from the country’s civil protection agency said a team is searching for those who may have drowned after the ‘Yonaily Jose’ boat sank in rough seas on its way to the island early Wednesday.

The official spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly.

In recent years, an estimated 3.7 million Venezuelans have fled the crisis-wracked country where a political struggle is now playing out between U.S.-backed opposition lawmaker Juan Guaidó and socialist President Nicolás Maduro.

Most of Venezuela’s migrants travel by land into neighboring Colombia and Brazil, but others overload fishing boats to cross the sometimes deadly Caribbean waters and head for nearby islands.

In Jan. 2018, authorities called off a search for more than two dozen migrants who boarded a boat leaving Venezuela that crashed onto rocks on the nearby Dutch island of Curacao. Officials said two people survived that crash.

The most recent accident would be the deadliest in years, reflecting the perils that desperate Venezuelans are willing to take to escape widespread shortages of basic goods in the South American country.

The missing boat overturned in strong waves near the island of Patos, roughly 5 miles (8 kilometers) off the Venezuelan coast. Seven security force vessels were searching the waters for the missing, the official from the civil protection agency said.

Local outlet Noticiero Digital said that 35 people were aboard the ship and at least eight people had been rescued. It cited officials from the navy of Trinidad and Tobago and said the boat had left the port of Las Salinas in the Venezuelan state of Sucre on April 23.

It reported that 22 of the migrants were women and the boat’s captain, Francisco Martínez, was among those rescued.

The online news website Daily Express quoted a Venezuelan living in Trinidad who said her sister could not be located.

The 21-year-old was headed to the island to flee Venezuela because she said it lacked food and hospital care.

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Canada Says Facebook Broke Privacy Laws with ‘Superficial’ Safeguards

Westlake Legal Group canada-says-facebook-broke-privacy-laws-with-superficial-safeguards Canada Says Facebook Broke Privacy Laws with ‘Superficial’ Safeguards Privacy Facebook Inc Data-Mining and Database Marketing Canada cambridge analytica
Westlake Legal Group 25FBCANADA-facebookJumbo Canada Says Facebook Broke Privacy Laws with ‘Superficial’ Safeguards Privacy Facebook Inc Data-Mining and Database Marketing Canada cambridge analytica

Facebook’s weak privacy protections exposed the personal data of millions of users, a serious failing that the company has acknowledged but refused to fix, Canadian regulators said on Thursday.

An investigation by the privacy commissioner of Canada and the information and privacy commissioner for British Columbia found that Facebook violated national and local laws in allowing third parties access to private user information through “superficial and ineffective safeguards and consent mechanisms.”

But Facebook has disputed the watchdogs’ findings, even after its chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, apologized last year for what he called a “major breach of trust” in the Cambridge Analytica data harvesting scandal, the regulators said. The company ignored recommendations, some issued a decade ago, for how to prevent future exposure.

“There’s a significant gap between what they say and what they do,” said Daniel Therrien, who heads the federal privacy watchdog, at a news conference in Ottawa on Thursday.

The regulators, who have limited power to force Facebook’s compliance, plan to take the company to a Canadian federal court. The court, which focuses on regulatory issues and lawsuits against the government, may impose fines.

But Mr. Therrien said that “historically there have been very small penalties — in the tens of thousands of dollars.” He pushed for stronger privacy laws in Canada and more authority for regulators to inspect and penalize companies.

[Facebook said on Wednesday that it expected to be fined up to $5 billion by the Federal Trade Commission over privacy violations.]

“They told us outright that they do not agree with our legal findings,” Mr. Therrien said. “I find that absolutely untenable that a company can tell a regulator that it does not respect its findings.”

Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Regulators said the company refused to allow audits of its privacy procedures over the next five years.

Pressure is increasing on Facebook from regulators in a number of countries.

On Thursday, Ireland’s Data Protection Commission said it opened an investigation into Facebook after being told by the company that hundreds of millions of user passwords were stored in plain-text format on its internal servers. On Wednesday, Facebook said that it expected to be fined up to $5 billion by the Federal Trade Commission for privacy violations.

In Canada, Mr. Therrien called for new laws that would allow his office to regularly examine the privacy practices of Facebook and other social media companies without waiting for a public complaint.

The complexity of Facebook’s systems and the company’s general opaqueness, he said, make it likely that users are unaware that the company is violating their privacy or breaking Canadian laws.

The Canadian investigation was launched following reports last year that Cambridge Analytica, a political data firm hired by President Trump’s 2016 election campaign, gained access to personal data on up to 87 million Facebook users. Some 622,000 Canadians may have been affected, according to the regulators.

The unauthorized access could have been avoided or alleviated if Facebook followed recommendations issued in 2009 after a similar investigation by the federal privacy commissioner, the regulators said.

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