EFF Staff Attorney Jennifer Lynch testified that although “many Americans may not realize it, they are already in a face recognition database.” The Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law held a hearing about facial recognition in regards to privacy and civil liberties. Between Facebook scanning 300 million photos a day and the FBI’s nationwide face search, real-time face recognition is coming and we desperately need privacy protections in place.
A veteran economist at the International Monetary Fund has accused the global lender of suppressing information on difficulties in dealing with the global financial meltdown and euro zone crisis.
In a resignation letter to the IMF’s board and senior staff, dated June 18, Peter Doyle said the IMF’s failures in issuing timely warnings for both the 2007-2009 global financial crisis and the euro zone crisis were a “failing in the first order” and “are, if anything, becoming more deeply entrenched.”
Americans across the nation confirmed today that, unfortunately, due to their extreme familiarity with the type of tragedy that occurred in a Colorado movie theater last night, they sadly know exactly how the events following the horrific shooting of 12 people will unfold.
While admitting they “absolutely hate” the fact they have this knowledge, the nation’s 300 million citizens told reporters they can pinpoint down to the hour when the first candlelight vigil will be held, roughly how many people will attend, how many times the county sheriff will address the media in the coming weeks, and when the town-wide memorial service will be held.
Additionally, sources nationwide took no pleasure in confirming that some sort of video recording, written material, or disturbing photographs made by the shooter will be surfacing in about an hour or two.
Just days after a poacher’s snare had killed one of their own, two young mountain gorillas worked together Tuesday to find and destroy traps in their Rwandan forest home, according to conservationists on the scene.
“This is absolutely the first time that we’ve seen juveniles doing that … I don’t know of any other reports in the world of juveniles destroying snares,” said Veronica Vecellio, gorilla program coordinator at the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund’s Karisoke Research Center, located in the reserve where the event took place.
I wonder how much it would cost to air-drop sets of bolt-cutters, hacksaws, and angle-grinders over Volcanoes National Park.
It was at this shelter that a 35-year-old heroin addict called Donny (not his real name) woke up on a December morning in 2009 with an unbearable pain in his thigh. On most days, Donny followed a familiar routine that had been engraved upon his life by his drug habit. He would walk over a bridge across the river to a neighbourhood on the opposite bank that was once a leper colony, and is now home to council housing. There, Donny would buy heroin from a dealer and visit his partner and two children. After taking a hit in their flat, he would wander back to his hostel. But on this day, Donny could barely walk. His thigh, right where he injected himself, was so inflamed that he had trouble dragging himself out of bed. Donny’s partner called an ambulance for him — he would never have gone to the hospital by himself –and he was taken to the nearby Victoria Infirmary.
The doctors at Victoria — as at other Glasgow hospitals — were used to seeing heroin addicts show up with lesions in the arms, legs and other parts of the body where the users had been plunging a needle into their flesh. Such infections, the doctors knew, are typically caused by a bacterium called Bacillus cereus that is often behind food poisoning. But, when pathologists examined some of Donny’s blood under a microscope, they saw a far more deadly germ. It was anthrax.
Whenever atheists talk about Pat Robertson or James Dobson, moderate Christians are always quick to say those men don’t represent them.
So which pastors are the good ones?
Rick Warren always seems to end up on that list. After all, he’s the pastor the presidential candidates are willing to talk to heading into the elections.
Let’s hear those Warren-defending Christians explain this tripe that the pastor tweeted earlier today:
So, according to Rick Warren, pastor extraordinaire, teaching scientifically-sound evolution is the reason the shooter went into that theater.
Tell me again why he deserves our respect?
Over a four years period from 2008 to 2011, Corning Inc. was one of 26 companies that managed to avoid paying any American income taxes, even though it earned nearly $3 billion during that time. In fact, according to Citizens For Tax Justice, the company received a $4 million refund from 2008 to 2010. That didn’t stop Susan Ford, a senior executive at the company, from telling the House Ways and Means Committee this week that America’s high corporate tax rate was putting her company at a disadvantage:
American manufacturers are at a distinct disadvantage to competitors headquartered in other countries. Specifically, foreign manufacturers uniformly face a lower corporate tax rate than U.S. manufacturers, and virtually all operate under territorial systems which encourage investment both abroad and at home.
Ford told the committee that Corning paid an effective tax rate of 36 percent in 2011, but as CTJ notes, she is counting taxes on profits earned overseas that haven’t yet been paid and won’t be unless the company decides to bring the money back to the United States. Corning’s actual tax rate in 2011, according to CTJ’s analysis, was actually negative 0.2 percent.
On Twitter, Mr. Hancox said that for Londoners, “it’s as if someone else is throwing a party in our house, with a huge entry fee, and we’re all locked in the basement.”
Among other things, this kind of crime highlights the absurdity of “security theater” – the almost wholly symbolic rigmarole to which Americans subject ourselves in a few symbolic places, such as airports, government buildings and the like. Anybody in this country who wants to kill a lot of people in a crowded public space can do so fairly easily. The fact this almost never happens – and that when it does happen the act almost never has a political motive – indicates how wildly overstated the threat of terrorism is in America today.
If we faced any kind of real terrorist threat, incidents like the Aurora shooting (except with a political motive) would happen all the time, since, again, there’s nothing that can be done to stop them. That they don’t illustrates the extent to which “terrorism” is a politically useful bogeyman, deployed by the national security state for reasons that have almost nothing to with actual considerations of public safety and everything to do with cultivating a sufficiently fearful and docile populace.
“Unfortunately, we’ve developed a ritual for these, because it has happened so often,” said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, professor of communication at the University of Pennsylvania. “Campaigns are ceasing their activities. Advertising has been pulled. The candidates have indicated that in many cases it’s not appropriate to engage in some of the more trivial kinds of debates, like those that have characterized the last week.”
So President Barack Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney in the coming days will likely stick to sympathetic, prayerful public statements, as they try to keep politics out of a tragic moment while still attempting to project compassion on a national stage.
But when the mourning ends, Obama and Romney and other politicians seem all but certain to move on — without pushing or even proposing any significant changes in policy. For congressional candidates, especially Democrats in tough races, there is little political upside to suggesting any aggressive remedies for preventing another gun massacre because the blowback from the gun lobby would be powerful.
“Leaders have not stepped up in any of these circumstances,” Jamieson said. “If one had to place a bet on what’s most likely, one would say don’t bet on any policy likelihood coming out of this. … I think the chance is negligible.”
Some analysts see a kind of social dysfunction in the avoidance of substantive debate over measures to prevent such tragedies, or even reduce their impact.
“It suggests at least such an acceptance of the kind of current of violence in society as if it cannot be inhibited and changed in any way,” said Dr. Jerrold Post, a professor of political psychology at George Washington University. “There are all sorts of countries that have much stronger rules against assault weapons and the like. … What is it about us as a society that makes this so difficult? … I somewhat despair about this.”