Archives for FUBAR

Silicon Valley steps in to halt beheading video

Silicon Valley firms were prepared this week to quickly block video of an Islamic State militant beheading an American journalist after a previous video by the same group showing the death of James Foley ricocheted through social networks in what was seen by some as a propaganda coup for the extremists. The video Tuesday showing the beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff was first uploaded onto a different website and quickly deleted when copied onto YouTube, slowing the spread of posts linking to it, said a Silicon Valley insider, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the
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Millennials less trusting than Gen X

They’re often pegged as the civic-minded, do-gooding generation. But while they’re still optimistic about their own personal prospects, a new study finds that today’s youth are often more skeptical of the country’s institutions than the young generations that preceded them. The Millennials also are as mistrusting of other people as the gloomy “slackers” of Generation X were 20 years ago — or even more so. Jean Twenge, lead author of the study that will be published early this month in the online edition of the journal Psychological Science, says the current atmosphere — fed by the Great Recession, mass shootings,
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Police departments use tech to identify problem cops

Police departments across the U.S. are using technology to try to identify problem officers before their misbehavior harms innocent people, embarrasses their employer, or invites a costly lawsuit — from citizens or the federal government. While such “early warning systems” are often treated as a cure-all, experts say, little research exists on their effectiveness or — more importantly — if they’re even being properly used. Over the last decade, such systems have become the gold standard in accountability policing with a computerized system used by at least 39 percent of law enforcement agencies, according to the most recent data from
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Gay group allowed in New York’s St. Patrick’s parade

Organizers of the world’s largest St. Patrick’s Day Parade say they’re ending a ban and allowing a gay group to march under its own banner for the first time. The prohibition on identified gay groups in the centuries-old New York parade had made participation a political issue. Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio refused to march this year, and Guinness beer dropped its sponsorship. The parade committee, in a statement made available to The Associated Press, said on Wednesday that OUT@NBCUniversal, a lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender support group at the company that broadcasts the parade, would be marching up Manhattan’s
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Not much ‘coalition’ left in Afghanistan

Alongside the exodus of U.S. troops from Afghanistan, soldiers who hail from countries like Singapore and Slovenia, Mongolia and Malaysia have been packing up too, leaving behind an ever-shrinking NATO coalition. The coalition has been fighting the war for more than a decade, but that combat mission ends in 17 weeks. On the agenda at this week’s NATO meeting in Wales is nailing down which countries will contribute how many troops to the post-2014 mission to continue training the Afghan forces and who will pay the salaries of the Afghan policemen and soldiers going forward. “There already has been so
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Lawsuits seek Michael Brown’s juvenile records

Lingering questions about Michael Brown could be answered Wednesday when a judge considers two media requests to release any possible juvenile records of the unarmed 18-year-old who was killed by a Missouri police officer last month. Juvenile records are confidential in Missouri, so it’s not definitively known if Brown was arrested before he legally became an adult. Police have said Brown had no adult criminal record. The family’s attorney, Benjamin Crump, has refused to discuss whether Brown had a juvenile record. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch and a California online journalist have filed separate petitions in St. Louis County Family Court
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Blackwater’s tattered legacy

  The summer-long trial of four Blackwater security guards in the shootings of more than 30 Iraqis has been a grim retelling of lives snuffed out and the daily life-and-death decisions amid the chaos of war. Wrapping up almost 6,200 miles from Baghdad, the trial is the best hope the survivors and the families of the victims have for accountability for the violence at Nisoor Square on Sept. 16, 2007. After 10 weeks of arguments and testimony, the case goes to the jury Tuesday. One of the guards, Nicholas Slatten, faces up to life imprisonment if convicted of first-degree murder.
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Detroit tries to wipe out debts in historic trial

Lawyers for Detroit will attempt to convince a federal judge at the city’s bankruptcy trial that its plans to wipe out billions of dollars in debt should be approved. After some delays, the start of the trial Tuesday in U.S. District Court comes just over 13 months after Detroit became the largest U.S. city to file for bankruptcy. Detroit expects to cut $12 billion in unsecured debt to about $5 billion, which is “more manageable,” according to Bill Nowling, a spokesman for emergency manager Kevyn Orr. Most creditors, including more than 30,000 retirees and city employees, have endorsed the plan
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Islamic militants eye attacks on American cities

Cities in the United States and Western Europe are being eyed as Islamic State militants’ future targets and President Barack Obama needs to take action, U.S. lawmakers say. Without offering specifics on any threats or suggestions on how to confront them, the leaders of the Senate and House intelligence committees on Sunday prodded the White House to work to prevent the Islamic State extremists from launching attacks on U.S. soil. The bipartisan pair of lawmakers shared a dire warning about the Islamic State group, which now has control of vast swaths of Syria and Iraq, has killed civilians from that
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Another casino shutdown in Atlantic City

The most spectacular and costly failure in Atlantic City’s 36-year history of casino gambling begins to play out Monday when the $2.4 billion Revel Casino Hotel empties its hotel. Its casino will close early Tuesday morning. Revel is shutting down a little over two years after opening with high hopes of revitalizing Atlantic City’s struggling gambling market. But mired in its second bankruptcy in two years, Revel has been unable to find anyone willing to buy the property and keep it open as a casino. It has never turned a profit. Revel will be the second of three Atlantic City
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