But on Friday the Transportation Security Administration fired eight air marshals from New York for “inappropriate and unethical” conduct.
Sources told CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer the inappropriate behavior was drinking on duty at a Hooter’s bar near LaGuardia Airport. The unethical behavior was asking for a law enforcement discount to reduce the tab.
I’m sure that Hooters feels a lot safer now.
Sgt. German Bosque of the Opa-locka Police Department has been disciplined, suspended, fined and sent home with pay more than any officer in the state.
He has been accused of cracking the head of a handcuffed suspect, beating juveniles, hiding drugs in his police car, stealing from suspects, defying direct orders and lying and falsifying police reports. He once called in sick to take a vacation to Cancún and has engaged in a rash of unauthorized police chases, including one in which four people were killed.
Arrested and jailed three times, Bosque, 48, has been fired at least six times. Now under suspension pending yet another investigation into misconduct, Bosque stays home and collects his $60,000-a-year paycheck for doing nothing.
Bosque admits that in his early years as an officer, he was immature and made some mistakes. But he insists he is a good, hardworking police officer.
When an Apple programmer’s project got canceled, he didn’t despair. He just kept sneaking into the office until the program was finished.
Ron Avitzur knew his project was doomed. By the time his bosses cut the cord in August 1993, his team was actually relieved. The graphing calculator program they’d been working on for new mobile devices had finally been shelved, and they could all move on.
Most of his fellow programmers were reassigned to other projects within Apple. The company offered Avitzur a job, too, but it didn’t interest him. Avitzur, then 27, had been freelancing at tech companies since he was a student at Stanford—to him, the work wasn’t worth it if it wasn’t interesting. And what interested him was finishing the graphing calculator program that had just been canceled. But his ambitions were greater than that—Avitzur wanted to make the graphing calculator work on the new PowerPC computer that Apple planned to ship in early 1994.
The young programmer knew the project had merit. Everyone he mentioned it to exclaimed, “I wish I’d had that in school!” If he could just get the program preinstalled on the new computer, teachers across the country could use the tool as an animated blackboard, providing visuals for abstract concepts. The program could simultaneously showcase the speed of the new machine and revolutionize math class. All he needed was access to Apple’s machines and some time.
The Perfect Crime
In 1993, Avitzur had nothing but time. His girlfriend lived in another city, and he’d already spent the previous 18 months working late five or six days a week, sometimes until after midnight. His Apple gig had paid well, and Avitzur lived simply. He could work for almost a year without a paycheck. Plus, Apple had lots of extra offices and computers— who would it hurt if he just kept coming in? It would be the perfect crime.
On the last day of the canceled project, Avitzur’s manager called him into her office to say goodbye. He hadn’t completed the length of his contract, but the company would pay it in full anyway.
“Just submit your final invoice for what’s left,” she told him. That’s when it clicked: If Avitzur didn’t submit the invoice, his contract stayed in the system. And if his contract stayed in the system, his ID badge would keep getting him in the front door.
So Avitzur told his boss that he’d find someone to supervise him while he completed the program. Great, his manager said. Good luck. On the first day Avitzur came to work without a job, everything was pretty much the same. He drove his 1987 Toyota Corolla from the room he rented on the edge of a nature reserve in Palo Alto and parked in the lot outside Infinite Loop, Apple’s fancy new headquarters. He swiped in, went to his old office, and resumed working on the calculator.
Right away, Avitzur found help. His friend Greg Robbins also had an Apple contract that was almost up, so Robbins told his boss he’d start reporting to Avitzur. Robbins wasn’t getting paid either, but it didn’t matter. For the two buddies, it was about the work and the challenge. Plus, it was kind of a kick.
Hiding in Plain Sight
They worked in tandem for about a month. Robbins, the perfectionist, spent days tweaking the grayscale of a single pixel. Avitzur, the big picture guy, was more social. He chatted with fellow engineers, soliciting advice and mulling solutions. Avitzur’s and Robbins’s presence was an open secret; people admired their passion and believed in the project.
Then Avitzur got careless. He told the story to the wrong person—a manager who had come to tell him he needed to move offices.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – GlaxoSmithKline Plc agreed to plead guilty to misdemeanor criminal charges and pay $3 billion to settle what government officials on Monday described as the largest case of healthcare fraud in U.S. history.
The agreement, which still needs court approval, would resolve allegations that the British drugmaker broke U.S. laws in the marketing and development of pharmaceuticals.
GSK targeted the antidepressant Paxil to patients under age 18 when it was approved for adults only, and it pushed the drug Wellbutrin for uses it was not approved for, including weight loss and treatment of sexual dysfunction, according to an investigation led by the U.S. Justice Department.
The company went to extreme lengths to promote the drugs, such as distributing a misleading medical journal article and providing doctors with meals and spa treatments that amounted to illegal kickbacks, prosecutors said.
In a third instance, GSK failed to give the U.S. Food and Drug Administration safety data about its diabetes drug Avandia, in violation of U.S. law, prosecutors said.
The misconduct continued for years beginning in the late 1990s and continued, in the case of Avandia’s safety data, through 2007. GSK agreed to plead guilty to three misdemeanor criminal counts, one each related to the three drugs.
Guilty pleas in cases of alleged corporate misconduct are exceedingly rare, making GSK’s agreement especially unusual.
Colombia’s Constitutional Court Friday approved the government’s proposal to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of cocaine and marijuana for personal use. Anyone caught with less than 20 grams of marijuana or one gram of cocaine for personal use may receive physical or psychological treatment depending on their state of consumption, but may not be prosecuted or detained, the court ruled.
Colombia’s move is part of a growing trend in Latin America. After decades of being brutalized by the U.S. government’s failed prohibitionist drug policies, Latin American leaders are saying “enough is enough.”
This is it. This is the week when ACTA lives or dies, globally. We have seen it coming. Now is the time for the very final push in contacting the European Parliament. On Wednesday, in the session between 12 noon and 14:00, the European Parliament votes on ACTA. If the European Parliament kills it, it dies globally.
Marcus Agius has quit as chairman of Barclays, saying he was “truly sorry” for the interest rate-rigging scandal that has dealt a “devastating blow” to the bank’s reputation.
Chancellor George Osborne is expected to make a statement to MPs on Monday, with Agius’s resignation yet to puncture the political pressure on the bank.
The Labour leader, Ed Miliband, is calling on the bank’s chief executive, Bob Diamond, to quit and has stepped up his efforts to force the government to set up a Leveson-style inquiry into banks by bringing forward an amendment in parliament.
“I think there needs to be more a more general change of leadership including the chief executive, Bob Diamond,” Miliband told ITV Daybreak.
It’s generally said that discoveries in science tend to be at the thin hairy edge of what you can do — always at the faintest limits you can see, the furthest reaches, the lowest signals. That can be trivially true because stuff that’s easy to find has already been discovered. But many times, when you’re looking farther and fainter than you ever have, you find things that really are new… and can (maybe!) be a problem for existing models of how the Universe behaves.
Astronomers ran across just such thing recently. Hubble observations of a distant galaxy cluster revealed an arc of light above it. That’s actually the distorted image of a more distant galaxy, and it’s a common enough sight near foreground clusters. But the thing is, that galaxy shouldn’t be there.
Have you ever watched a toddler play with an iPhone?
Most likely, the child was completely captivated and surprisingly adept at manipulating the tiny icons. Two-year-old Teco is no different. Sitting with his Motorola Xoom tablet, he’s rapt, his dark eyes fixed on the images, fingers pecking away at the touch screen. He can’t speak, but with the aid of the tablet app I created for him, he’s building a vocabulary that will likely total several thousand words. What’s more, he’ll be able to string those words together into simple sentences and ask questions, tell jokes, and carry on conversations.
If Isaiah needs a bone marrow transplant, then, by the oath you swear, you will get it for him. But Isaiah needs more. He needs the compassion of a nation, the generosity of a commonwealth. He needs justice. He needs a nation to recall that, no matter what the polls say, and no matter what happens to be temporarily convenient at a time of political combat and economic stress, that the moral test transcends convenience. Isaiah, in his legions, needs those in power—you—to say to others in power that a nation that fails to attend to the needs of those less fortunate among us risks its soul. That is your duty too.
Long but worth reading, via Weighty Matters.
Cute, cute, cute!
Severe thunderstorms in the eastern US have caused widespread power outages and affected a number of popular websites hosted by online seller Amazon.
The Washington Post’s website reported that the storms knocked out power for “more than 1.5 million homes and businesses” across Maryland and Virginia on Friday night.
It seems that climate change is more of a risk to security than anything else.
A hardline religious group occupying northern Mali has destroyed 15th-century mausoleums of Sufi Muslim saints in Timbuktu and have threatened to demolish the remaining 13 UNESCO world heritage sites in the fabled city, witnesses have said.