Archives for FUBAR

In L.A., data is a partner in fighting crime

Los Angeles police are increasingly relying on technology that not only tells patrol officers where crime is most likely to occur but also identifies and keeps track of ex-cons and other bad guys they believe are most likely to commit them. Police say the effort has already helped reduce crime in one of the city’s most notorious and historically gang-ridden neighborhoods. “This is a tremendous step forward. Without this, I couldn’t do my job,” said Capt. Ed Prokop, head of the Los Angeles Police Department division that watches over the grimly nicknamed “Shootin’ Newton” area. The program — part data
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Another CEO under indictment

Don Blankenship joined a small club of executives when he was indicted on federal charges in the 2010 West Virginia mine explosion that killed 29 people. The former Massey Energy CEO is accused of conspiring to violate safety and health standards at Upper Big Branch Mine, site of the worst U.S. coal mining disaster in 40 years. The explosion and investigation led to the overhaul of the way the federal government oversees mine safety. University of Virginia law professor Brandon L. Garrett has been tracking corporate prosecutions since 2001 and has written a book on the subject, “Too Big to
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Ebola-stricken surgeon headed for America

A surgeon working in Sierra Leone has been diagnosed with Ebola and will be flown Saturday to the United States for treatment, officials from Sierra Leone and the United States said. Dr. Martin Salia is being taken to Omaha to be treated at the Nebraska Medical Center, Sierra Leone’s chief medical officer, Dr. Brima Kargbo, told The Associated Press on Friday. The U.S. Embassy in Freetown said Salia himself was paying for the expensive evacuation. A Sierra Leone citizen, the 44-year-old Salia lives in Maryland and is a permanent U.S. resident, according to a person in the United States with
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How California deals with climate change

As the U.S. and China — the world’s top two polluting nations — turn to implementing new rules aimed at curbing climate change, the countries can look to the most populous U.S. state as an example of the costs and challenges of fighting global warming. California already has imposed some of the world’s toughest air quality standards as it moves aggressively to lower emissions. The state’s cap-and-trade program, launched nearly three years ago, offers one of the few real-world laboratories on how to reduce carbon emissions. The state has opted to impose extra costs on businesses that emit pollutants. Next
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Drones on patrol along border with Mexico

The U.S. government now patrols nearly half the Mexican border by drones alone in a largely unheralded shift to control desolate stretches where there are no agents, camera towers, ground sensors or fences, and it plans to expand the strategy to the Canadian border. It represents a significant departure from a decades-old approach that emphasizes boots on the ground and fences. Since 2000, the number of Border Patrol agents on the 1,954-mile border more than doubled to surpass 18,000 and fencing multiplied nine times to 700 miles. Under the new approach, Predator Bs sweep remote mountains, canyons and rivers with
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Uncle Sam says cheap gas will stick around

Those low gas prices on station signs aren’t going away soon, the government says. In a dramatic shift from previous forecasts, the Energy Department predicted Wednesday that the average price of gasoline in the U.S. will be below $2.94 a gallon in 2015. That a 44-cent drop from an outlook issued just a month ago. If the sharply lower estimate holds true, U.S. consumers will save $61 billion on gas compared with this year. Rising oil production, particularly in the U.S., and weak spots in the global economy have led to a sharp reduction in oil prices over the past
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Iraqi Shiite militias showcase their own brutality

The vengeance that Iraq’s Shiite militias mete out as they fight the Islamic State group can be just as brutal as that of their sworn sectarian enemies. In a grisly video recently posted online, a Shiite fighter shouts the name of a revered imam in victory as he poses beside decapitated bodies. Another militiaman sits nearby, grinning as he maims a corpse. One bearded militiaman explains the bodies are those of fighters who “killed our comrades.” Another man shouts, “Our fighters were good guys. These are dogs.” The Shiite militias who have answered the call-to-arms by the government to fight
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Cashing in on a woman’s desire for a bigger butt

Gym classes that promise a plump posterior are in high demand. A surgery that pumps fat into the buttocks is gaining popularity. And padded panties that give the appearance of a rounder rump are selling out. The U.S. booty business is getting a big bump. Companies are cashing in on growing demand from women seeking the more curvaceous figures of their favorite stars, who flaunt their fuller rear ends. Nicki Minaj raps about her “big fat” butt in “Anaconda.” Reality-star Kim Kardashian posts photos of hers on Instagram. And in the music video for “Booty,” Jennifer Lopez and Iggy Azalea
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Thaw in relations with North Korea? Maybe, maybe not

President Barack Obama is tempering expectations for a thaw in relations between the United States and North Korea, saying the secret talks to free two American prisoners were not the precursor to nuclear negotiations. Asked Monday whether the prisoner negotiations helped him gain any insight into North Korea’s mercurial young leader Kim Jong Un and his approach to dealing with the U.S., Obama said curtly, “No.” The president’s first extensive public comments on the release of Kenneth Bae and Matthew Miller came as he opened a three day visit to China, North Korea’s chief benefactor. U.S. officials said the timing
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A last chance at a deal to curb Iran’s nuke program?

The Obama administration is facing its last best chance to curb Iran’s nuclear program — not just to meet an end-of-the-month deadline for a deal, but also to seal one before skeptical Republicans who will control Congress next year are able to scuttle it. In the final stretch of years of negotiations to limit Tehran’s nuclear production, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met Monday for a second straight day of talks with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif and European Union senior adviser Catherine Ashton in Oman’s capital. There was no sign of an imminent breakthrough. The stakes are high
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