Day: April 13, 2019

Bozo eruptions: Will gaffes on social issues affect Alberta election results?

CALGARY — The economy, not social issues such as LGBTQ rights, will be top of mind for Susan Yuen when she votes for the United Conservative Party in Alberta’s election on Tuesday.

“The social issues, as important as they are, do take a back burner, because what good do the social issues have if people can’t survive and cannot feed their families?” she asked at a pro-oil rally in Calgary last week.

The accountant has seen 30 to 40 per cent of her colleagues at her oil and gas company get the chop.

“We have to prioritize what’s important and I think what’s important right now is the economy and getting it back on track.”

The right-of-centre UCP led by Jason Kenney has been dogged by revelations of racist and homophobic remarks by candidates in open nomination contests and during the campaign. Kenney’s own history fighting LGBTQ rights as a young man has been put in the spotlight. He pins it on social mores at the time and has said it’s something he regrets.

It’s a different economy and global political climate than in 2012, when several “bozo eruptions” saw the Wildrose Party blow its lead in the polls and lose the election to the Progressive Conservatives.

The phrase “lake of fire” — a reference to a Wildrose candidate’s blog post describing where unrepentant gays would spend eternity — has become shorthand in Alberta for politically damaging bigotry.  

In 2012 the economy was booming.

“When people are thinking about economy and jobs, they’re not necessarily thinking about equity,” said University of Calgary political scientist Melanee Thomas.

Thomas said she’s bothered by the either/or framing around the economy and social issues in this election, because research shows that diversity tends to have big economic payoffs. For instance, it tends to attract and retain skilled workers of all orientations and backgrounds.

“These things are the same issue,” she said. “You do not get to separate them.”

This election is also happening against the backdrop of a general swell in far-right populism and the attendant anti-immigrant sentiment espoused by U.S. President Donald Trump and the amorphous yellow-vesters.

“People might be more numb to it,” said Lori Williams, a political scientist at Mount Royal University in Calgary. “The nerve is not as sensitive as it would have been in previous times.”

Kenney has argued that the NDP has led a “fear-and-smear” campaign by harping on UCP gaffes, because the New Democrats can’t defend their economic record in government. The NDP has been trying to woo small-c conservative voters unable to stomach views emerging from the UCP camp.

Kenny has distanced himself from remarks that led two star Calgary candidates to resign early in the campaign.

The left-leaning Press Progress website published part of a private 2017 Facebook conversation in which Caylan Ford seemed to lament the replacement of white people in their “homelands.”

Eva Kiryakos said someone outside the party was trying to smear her by threatening to release online posts in which she called Muslim migrants in Europe “rapefugees” and took aim at transgender washrooms in schools. Kenney thanked Kiryakos for her “selfless” decision to step aside.

Other candidates have come under criticism, but remain in the race, including Mark Smith, who in a 2013 sermon mentioned pedophilia while suggesting homosexual relationships aren’t “good love.” Kenney condemned the remarks, but said he was confident Smith would live by the UCP’s tolerant ethos if re-elected.

Williams noted bozo eruptions didn’t rear their heads until late in the 2012 campaign. In addition to the “lake of fire” debacle, another candidate suggested he was better able to lead his constituents because he was white. Wildrose leader Danielle Smith also argued the science of human-caused climate change was unsettled.

“The impact was sudden and devastating in that particular case,” but this time, it’s been a prolonged “drip, drip, drip,” Williams said.  

“It has had an impact. The question is will it have enough of an impact to make a difference one way or the other.”

She said she can’t understand why, on a strategic level, Kenney hasn’t been more strenuous in his condemnations.

“Certainly some people are questioning if there’s some sort of debt owed to those (social conservative) constituencies within the party or if Jason Kenney himself is more sympathetic to some of those views.”

Thomas suggested those who have espoused racist or white nationalist views seemed to have been dealt with more harshly than those who made homophobic comments.

“I don’t think this is a bozo thing,” she said. “I think this is understanding that social conservative voters put some conservative parties ahead.”

Lauren Krugel, The Canadian Press

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source https://toronto.citynews.ca/2019/04/13/bozo-eruptions-will-gaffes-on-social-issues-affect-alberta-election-results/

By The Wall of Law April 13, 2019 Off

AP News in Brief at 12:04 a.m. EDT

Trump ‘strongly looking’ at releasing migrants in Dem cities

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Friday he is strongly considering releasing “Illegal Immigrants” into Democratic strongholds to punish congressional foes for inaction on the border— just hours after White House and Homeland Security officials insisted the idea had been rejected as fast as it had been proposed.

“Due to the fact that Democrats are unwilling to change our very dangerous immigration laws, we are indeed, as reported, giving strong considerations to placing Illegal Immigrants in Sanctuary Cities only,” Trump tweeted. He added that, “The Radical Left always seems to have an Open Borders, Open Arms policy – so this should make them very happy!”

The reversal, which appeared to catch officials at the Department of Homeland Security off guard, came as critics were blasting Trump for the supposedly-rejected idea, accusing him of turning migrants into pawns to go after his political opponents. It comes as Trump has grown increasingly exasperated by a surge of Central American migrant families crossing the southern border and is looking for new ways to pressure congressional Democrats to change laws that he insists are making the problem worse.

Indeed, last week Trump urged his soon-to-be acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan to seal the southern border and told McAleenan he would pardon him if he were to find himself in trouble for blocking legal asylum-seekers, according to two people familiar with the conversation who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe a private exchange.

It was not clear whether the president was joking, and a Homeland Security spokesman said in a statement: “At no time has the president indicated, asked, directed or pressured the acting secretary to do anything illegal. ” The reported conversation came during the president’s trip last week to Calexico, California, a day after he announced he was delaying his threat to close the border because Mexico appeared to be stepping up its enforcement efforts.

___

Charging Assange reflects dramatic shift in US approach

WASHINGTON (AP) — The decision to seek the extradition of Julian Assange marked a dramatic new approach to the founder of WikiLeaks by the U.S. government, a shift that was signalled in the early days of the Trump administration.

President Barack Obama’s Justice Department had extensive internal debates about whether to charge Assange amid concerns the case might not hold up in court and would be viewed as an attack on journalism by an administration already taking heat for leak prosecutions.

But senior Trump administration officials seemed to make it clear early on that they held a different view, dialing up the rhetoric on the anti-secrecy organization shortly after it made damaging disclosures about the CIA’s cyberespionage tools.

“WikiLeaks walks like a hostile intelligence service and talks like a hostile intelligence service,” former CIA Director Mike Pompeo said in April 2017 in his first public speech as head of the agency.

“Assange and his ilk,” Pompeo said, seek “personal self-aggrandizement through the destruction of Western values.”

___

Child attack suspect had previous Mall of America arrests

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A 5-year-old boy plummeted three floors Friday after being pushed or thrown from a balcony at the Mall of America, according to witnesses, and a 24-year-old man with a history of causing disturbances at the mall was in custody.

Bloomington Police Chief Jeffrey Potts said police don’t think there is any relationship between the man and the family of the child, who suffered life-threatening injuries. He was being treated at a hospital, but no details on his condition were immediately available.

Witnesses told police that the child may have been pushed or thrown from the mall’s third level to the first floor, Potts said. He said the suspect immediately took off running but was quickly found and arrested at the mall.

A witness said a woman screamed that her child was thrown from the balcony.

Brian Johnson told WCCO-TV the woman was screaming, “Everybody pray, everybody pray. Oh my God, my baby, someone threw him over the edge.”

___

Test taker pleads guilty in college admissions bribery scam

BOSTON (AP) — A former Florida prep school administrator pleaded guilty Friday to taking college entrance exams for students in exchange for cash to help wealthy parents get their kids into elite universities.

Mark Riddell admitted to secretly taking the ACT and SAT in place of students, or correcting their answers, as part of a nationwide college admissions cheating scheme, which has ensnared celebrities, business executives and athletic coaches at sought-after schools such as Stanford and Yale.

Riddell, who has been co-operating with authorities since February in the hopes of getting a lesser sentence, pleaded guilty to fraud and money laundering conspiracy charges.

The 36-year-old, wearing a dark suit and glasses, looked straight ahead and showed no emotion as assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Rosen explained that prosecutors will seek a sentence at the low end of the guidelines, which call for 33 to 41 months in prison. Riddell’s lawyer declined comment and Riddell left the courthouse without answering questions from reporters.

He said in a statement last month that he is “profoundly sorry” and takes full responsibility for his actions.

___

Syria’s Assad: Last man standing amid new Arab uprisings

BEIRUT (AP) — It’s Arab Spring, season II, and he’s one of the few holdovers. The last man standing among a crop of Arab autocrats, after a new wave of protests forced the removal of the Algerian and Sudanese leaders from the posts they held for decades.

Syria’s President Bashar Assad has survived an uprising, a years-long ruinous war and an Islamic “caliphate” established over parts of his broken country. As the Syrian conflict enters its ninth year, the 53-year-old leader appears more secure and confident than at any time since the revolt against his rule began in 2011.

But the war for Syria is not over yet, and the path ahead is strewn with difficulties.

The back-to-back ouster of Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika after two decades of rule and Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir after three, has been dubbed a “second Arab Spring,” after the 2011 wave of protests that shook the Middle East and deposed longtime dictators in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen.

Social media has been filled with pictures of leaders at past Arab summits, noting almost all of them were now deposed except for Assad. Some pointed out ironically that al-Bashir’s last trip outside of Sudan in December was to Damascus, where he met with the Syrian leader.

___

FCC to hold big 5G auction, spend $20B for rural internet

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government will hold a massive auction later this year to bolster 5G service , the next generation of mobile networks. President Donald Trump showcased the announcement Friday, declaring that the race to stand up these faster, more powerful networks is a competition “America must win.”

“We cannot allow any other country to outcompete the United States in this powerful industry of the future,” Trump said at the White House. “We are leading by so much in so many different industries of that type, and we just can’t let that happen.”

Trump also announced a $20 billion plan to expand broadband access to rural areas currently without it, a decadelong extension of an existing program.

5G will mean faster wireless speeds and has implications for technologies like self-driving cars and augmented reality. Trump said it will transform the way people work, learn, communicate and travel, making farms more productive, manufacturers more competitive and health care better and more accessible. But experts say it’s hard to know now how much life will actually change because of the much-hyped network upgrade.

It will take years to roll out, and the highest data speeds and capacities may not reach rural areas at all.

___

How not to break the bank on streaming services

NEW YORK (AP) — With more TV streaming services than ever before, from newcomers like Disney Plus to stalwarts like Netflix, consumers may feel the ideal viewing experience is finally at hand.

Americans have, on average, three streaming video subscription services, according to a recent study of digital media trends by Deloitte. While some have dropped cable and its average bill of around $100 a month altogether, about 43% have both pay TV and streaming subscriptions.

Yet patching together a variety of services to get just what one wants isn’t always seamless. Families and individuals can still find themselves with service that doesn’t perfectly suit their viewing habits. And those monthly subscriptions can add up fast.

“It doesn’t make sense to pay for a bunch of content you have no interest in watching,” said Bruce McClary, vice-president of marketing for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. “Finding a service that lets you scale your channel lineup based on your interests can also help you avoid paying for things you don’t need.”

A little research on which services are best for you can help save big bucks.

___

Ace Swedish coder held by Ecuador was defender of Assange

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — An ace Swedish programmer who was an early, ardent supporter of Wikileaks has been arrested in Ecuador in an alleged plot to blackmail the country’s president over his abandonment of Julian Assange.

But friends of Ola Bini say the soft-spoken encryption expert is being unfairly targeted for his activism on behalf of digital privacy.

Bini, 36, was arrested Thursday at the airport in the Ecuadorian capital of Quito as he prepared to board a flight to Japan. The arrest came just hours after Assange was evicted from the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Bini was carrying at least 30 electronic storage devices.

His lawyers said they have not been notified whether he’s been charged. Authorities said the plot hatched with two unidentified Russian hackers living in Ecuador involved threatening to release compromising documents about President Lenin Moreno as he toughened his stance against the Wikileaks founder.

“It’s up to the justice system to determine if he committed a crime,” Interior Minister Maria Paula Romo said Friday. “But we can’t allow Ecuador to become a centre for piracy and spying. That period in our history is over.”

___

Shock at arrest of deputy’s son in black church fires

OPELOUSAS, La. (AP) — Authorities said he had no known criminal record. A friend described him as an introverted animal lover who showed no animosity toward any race, and a talented, if frustrated heavy metal guitar player and singer. A fellow musician called him “a really sweet guy.”

But Holden Matthews, the white, 21-year-old son of a Louisiana sheriff’s deputy, was behind bars Thursday, accused of torching three century-old African American churches during a 10-day period in and around Opelousas. The city of 16,000 people was set on edge by blazes, which evoked memories of terrorist acts during the civil rights movement.

A fragment of a charred gasoline can, surveillance video that captured what appeared to be his parents’ truck in key locations, debit card records and cellphone tracking techniques led authorities to arrest Matthews on Wednesday evening. But though the arrest affidavit showed how they linked Matthews to the crime, federal, state and local authorities who gathered for a Thursday news conference at the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office weren’t ready to discuss motive.

Eric Rommal, the agent in charge of the New Orleans FBI office, said investigators were still looking into whether the fires were “bias motivated.”

Matthews, who is scheduled for a Monday morning bond hearing, had a defender in Nygyl Bryyn Blackwolf, listed as Nygyl Bryyn among Matthews’ Facebook friends. Blackwolf identified himself as a south Louisiana native, musician, entrepreneur and owner of the independent record label Power Back Productions. In a telephone interview from Los Angeles on Thursday, he described Matthews as a talented, sometimes frustrated musician — upset in recent months after he was told he needed to improve the quality of his recordings — but not a racist or violent person.

___

Picture was clear, but black hole’s name a little fuzzy

WASHINGTON (AP) — The newly pictured supermassive black hole is a beast with no name, at least not an official one. And what happens next could be cosmically confusing.

The team of astronomers who created the image of the black hole called it M87(asterisk). (The asterisk is silent.) A language professor has given it a name from a Hawaiian chant — Powehi — meaning “the adorned fathomless dark creation.” And the international group in charge of handing out astronomical names? It has never named a black hole.

The black hole in question is about 53 million light years away in the centre of a galaxy called Messier 87, or M87 for short. On Wednesday, scientists revealed a picture they took of it using eight radio telescopes, the first time humans had actually seen one of the dense celestial objects that suck up everything around them, even light.

The International Astronomical Union usually takes care of names, but only for stuff inside our solar system and stars outside it. It doesn’t have a committee set up to handle other objects, like black holes, galaxies or nebulas.

The last time there was a similar situation, poor Pluto somehow got demoted to a dwarf planet, leading to public outcry, said Williams College astronomer Jay Pasachoff, a star-naming committee member.

The Associated Press

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source https://toronto.citynews.ca/2019/04/13/ap-news-in-brief-at-1204-a-m-edt-27/

By The Wall of Law April 13, 2019 Off

AP News in Brief at 12:04 a.m. EDT

Trump ‘strongly looking’ at releasing migrants in Dem cities

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump said Friday he is strongly considering releasing “Illegal Immigrants” into Democratic strongholds to punish congressional foes for inaction on the border— just hours after White House and Homeland Security officials insisted the idea had been rejected as fast as it had been proposed.

“Due to the fact that Democrats are unwilling to change our very dangerous immigration laws, we are indeed, as reported, giving strong considerations to placing Illegal Immigrants in Sanctuary Cities only,” Trump tweeted. He added that, “The Radical Left always seems to have an Open Borders, Open Arms policy – so this should make them very happy!”

The reversal, which appeared to catch officials at the Department of Homeland Security off guard, came as critics were blasting Trump for the supposedly-rejected idea, accusing him of turning migrants into pawns to go after his political opponents. It comes as Trump has grown increasingly exasperated by a surge of Central American migrant families crossing the southern border and is looking for new ways to pressure congressional Democrats to change laws that he insists are making the problem worse.

Indeed, last week Trump urged his soon-to-be acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan to seal the southern border and told McAleenan he would pardon him if he were to find himself in trouble for blocking legal asylum-seekers, according to two people familiar with the conversation who spoke on condition of anonymity to describe a private exchange.

It was not clear whether the president was joking, and a Homeland Security spokesman said in a statement: “At no time has the president indicated, asked, directed or pressured the acting secretary to do anything illegal. ” The reported conversation came during the president’s trip last week to Calexico, California, a day after he announced he was delaying his threat to close the border because Mexico appeared to be stepping up its enforcement efforts.

___

Charging Assange reflects dramatic shift in US approach

WASHINGTON (AP) — The decision to seek the extradition of Julian Assange marked a dramatic new approach to the founder of WikiLeaks by the U.S. government, a shift that was signalled in the early days of the Trump administration.

President Barack Obama’s Justice Department had extensive internal debates about whether to charge Assange amid concerns the case might not hold up in court and would be viewed as an attack on journalism by an administration already taking heat for leak prosecutions.

But senior Trump administration officials seemed to make it clear early on that they held a different view, dialing up the rhetoric on the anti-secrecy organization shortly after it made damaging disclosures about the CIA’s cyberespionage tools.

“WikiLeaks walks like a hostile intelligence service and talks like a hostile intelligence service,” former CIA Director Mike Pompeo said in April 2017 in his first public speech as head of the agency.

“Assange and his ilk,” Pompeo said, seek “personal self-aggrandizement through the destruction of Western values.”

___

Child attack suspect had previous Mall of America arrests

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A 5-year-old boy plummeted three floors Friday after being pushed or thrown from a balcony at the Mall of America, according to witnesses, and a 24-year-old man with a history of causing disturbances at the mall was in custody.

Bloomington Police Chief Jeffrey Potts said police don’t think there is any relationship between the man and the family of the child, who suffered life-threatening injuries. He was being treated at a hospital, but no details on his condition were immediately available.

Witnesses told police that the child may have been pushed or thrown from the mall’s third level to the first floor, Potts said. He said the suspect immediately took off running but was quickly found and arrested at the mall.

A witness said a woman screamed that her child was thrown from the balcony.

Brian Johnson told WCCO-TV the woman was screaming, “Everybody pray, everybody pray. Oh my God, my baby, someone threw him over the edge.”

___

Test taker pleads guilty in college admissions bribery scam

BOSTON (AP) — A former Florida prep school administrator pleaded guilty Friday to taking college entrance exams for students in exchange for cash to help wealthy parents get their kids into elite universities.

Mark Riddell admitted to secretly taking the ACT and SAT in place of students, or correcting their answers, as part of a nationwide college admissions cheating scheme, which has ensnared celebrities, business executives and athletic coaches at sought-after schools such as Stanford and Yale.

Riddell, who has been co-operating with authorities since February in the hopes of getting a lesser sentence, pleaded guilty to fraud and money laundering conspiracy charges.

The 36-year-old, wearing a dark suit and glasses, looked straight ahead and showed no emotion as assistant U.S. Attorney Eric Rosen explained that prosecutors will seek a sentence at the low end of the guidelines, which call for 33 to 41 months in prison. Riddell’s lawyer declined comment and Riddell left the courthouse without answering questions from reporters.

He said in a statement last month that he is “profoundly sorry” and takes full responsibility for his actions.

___

Syria’s Assad: Last man standing amid new Arab uprisings

BEIRUT (AP) — It’s Arab Spring, season II, and he’s one of the few holdovers. The last man standing among a crop of Arab autocrats, after a new wave of protests forced the removal of the Algerian and Sudanese leaders from the posts they held for decades.

Syria’s President Bashar Assad has survived an uprising, a years-long ruinous war and an Islamic “caliphate” established over parts of his broken country. As the Syrian conflict enters its ninth year, the 53-year-old leader appears more secure and confident than at any time since the revolt against his rule began in 2011.

But the war for Syria is not over yet, and the path ahead is strewn with difficulties.

The back-to-back ouster of Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika after two decades of rule and Sudanese leader Omar al-Bashir after three, has been dubbed a “second Arab Spring,” after the 2011 wave of protests that shook the Middle East and deposed longtime dictators in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Yemen.

Social media has been filled with pictures of leaders at past Arab summits, noting almost all of them were now deposed except for Assad. Some pointed out ironically that al-Bashir’s last trip outside of Sudan in December was to Damascus, where he met with the Syrian leader.

___

FCC to hold big 5G auction, spend $20B for rural internet

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. government will hold a massive auction later this year to bolster 5G service , the next generation of mobile networks. President Donald Trump showcased the announcement Friday, declaring that the race to stand up these faster, more powerful networks is a competition “America must win.”

“We cannot allow any other country to outcompete the United States in this powerful industry of the future,” Trump said at the White House. “We are leading by so much in so many different industries of that type, and we just can’t let that happen.”

Trump also announced a $20 billion plan to expand broadband access to rural areas currently without it, a decadelong extension of an existing program.

5G will mean faster wireless speeds and has implications for technologies like self-driving cars and augmented reality. Trump said it will transform the way people work, learn, communicate and travel, making farms more productive, manufacturers more competitive and health care better and more accessible. But experts say it’s hard to know now how much life will actually change because of the much-hyped network upgrade.

It will take years to roll out, and the highest data speeds and capacities may not reach rural areas at all.

___

How not to break the bank on streaming services

NEW YORK (AP) — With more TV streaming services than ever before, from newcomers like Disney Plus to stalwarts like Netflix, consumers may feel the ideal viewing experience is finally at hand.

Americans have, on average, three streaming video subscription services, according to a recent study of digital media trends by Deloitte. While some have dropped cable and its average bill of around $100 a month altogether, about 43% have both pay TV and streaming subscriptions.

Yet patching together a variety of services to get just what one wants isn’t always seamless. Families and individuals can still find themselves with service that doesn’t perfectly suit their viewing habits. And those monthly subscriptions can add up fast.

“It doesn’t make sense to pay for a bunch of content you have no interest in watching,” said Bruce McClary, vice-president of marketing for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. “Finding a service that lets you scale your channel lineup based on your interests can also help you avoid paying for things you don’t need.”

A little research on which services are best for you can help save big bucks.

___

Ace Swedish coder held by Ecuador was defender of Assange

CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) — An ace Swedish programmer who was an early, ardent supporter of Wikileaks has been arrested in Ecuador in an alleged plot to blackmail the country’s president over his abandonment of Julian Assange.

But friends of Ola Bini say the soft-spoken encryption expert is being unfairly targeted for his activism on behalf of digital privacy.

Bini, 36, was arrested Thursday at the airport in the Ecuadorian capital of Quito as he prepared to board a flight to Japan. The arrest came just hours after Assange was evicted from the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Bini was carrying at least 30 electronic storage devices.

His lawyers said they have not been notified whether he’s been charged. Authorities said the plot hatched with two unidentified Russian hackers living in Ecuador involved threatening to release compromising documents about President Lenin Moreno as he toughened his stance against the Wikileaks founder.

“It’s up to the justice system to determine if he committed a crime,” Interior Minister Maria Paula Romo said Friday. “But we can’t allow Ecuador to become a centre for piracy and spying. That period in our history is over.”

___

Shock at arrest of deputy’s son in black church fires

OPELOUSAS, La. (AP) — Authorities said he had no known criminal record. A friend described him as an introverted animal lover who showed no animosity toward any race, and a talented, if frustrated heavy metal guitar player and singer. A fellow musician called him “a really sweet guy.”

But Holden Matthews, the white, 21-year-old son of a Louisiana sheriff’s deputy, was behind bars Thursday, accused of torching three century-old African American churches during a 10-day period in and around Opelousas. The city of 16,000 people was set on edge by blazes, which evoked memories of terrorist acts during the civil rights movement.

A fragment of a charred gasoline can, surveillance video that captured what appeared to be his parents’ truck in key locations, debit card records and cellphone tracking techniques led authorities to arrest Matthews on Wednesday evening. But though the arrest affidavit showed how they linked Matthews to the crime, federal, state and local authorities who gathered for a Thursday news conference at the St. Landry Parish Sheriff’s Office weren’t ready to discuss motive.

Eric Rommal, the agent in charge of the New Orleans FBI office, said investigators were still looking into whether the fires were “bias motivated.”

Matthews, who is scheduled for a Monday morning bond hearing, had a defender in Nygyl Bryyn Blackwolf, listed as Nygyl Bryyn among Matthews’ Facebook friends. Blackwolf identified himself as a south Louisiana native, musician, entrepreneur and owner of the independent record label Power Back Productions. In a telephone interview from Los Angeles on Thursday, he described Matthews as a talented, sometimes frustrated musician — upset in recent months after he was told he needed to improve the quality of his recordings — but not a racist or violent person.

___

Picture was clear, but black hole’s name a little fuzzy

WASHINGTON (AP) — The newly pictured supermassive black hole is a beast with no name, at least not an official one. And what happens next could be cosmically confusing.

The team of astronomers who created the image of the black hole called it M87(asterisk). (The asterisk is silent.) A language professor has given it a name from a Hawaiian chant — Powehi — meaning “the adorned fathomless dark creation.” And the international group in charge of handing out astronomical names? It has never named a black hole.

The black hole in question is about 53 million light years away in the centre of a galaxy called Messier 87, or M87 for short. On Wednesday, scientists revealed a picture they took of it using eight radio telescopes, the first time humans had actually seen one of the dense celestial objects that suck up everything around them, even light.

The International Astronomical Union usually takes care of names, but only for stuff inside our solar system and stars outside it. It doesn’t have a committee set up to handle other objects, like black holes, galaxies or nebulas.

The last time there was a similar situation, poor Pluto somehow got demoted to a dwarf planet, leading to public outcry, said Williams College astronomer Jay Pasachoff, a star-naming committee member.

The Associated Press

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source https://toronto.citynews.ca/2019/04/13/ap-news-in-brief-at-1204-a-m-edt-27/

By The Wall of Law April 13, 2019 Off

Woman testifies about life in British Columbia polygamist community

CRANBROOK, B.C. — A former member of a fundamentalist sect testified Friday about growing up in a British Columbia community that practises polygamy at the trial of man charged with the alleged removal of a girl from Canada in 2004 to marry a man in the United States.

The Crown witness told B.C. Supreme Court she left the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Bountiful seven years ago.

“The only honourable way to leave the FLDS is to die and I’ve known that since I was a baby,” she testified at the trial by judge alone.

“I knew there was no one in the world who could help me,” she said. “There wasn’t a lawyer, there wasn’t a policeman, there was no one that could help me leave Bountiful and still be able to have my children.”

James Oler is charged with removing a 15-year-old girl from Canada to marry a member of the fundamentalist sect in the U.S.

He was acquitted in 2017 by a judge who was not convinced Oler did anything within Canada’s borders to arrange the 15-year-old girl’s transfer to the U.S. But the Appeal Court agreed with the Crown that proof of wrongdoing in Canada was not necessary and ordered a new trial.

The Crown witness said she was taught by religious leaders to fully obey the family priesthood head — her father as a girl, and her husband after she was married.

Women were taught that bearing children and living in plural marriages was essential to achieving the highest level of celestial glory, she said. Disobedience could put eternal salvation at risk and lead to excommunication from the community, she added.

The role of women and obedience in the church is a key element of the Crown’s case.

In his opening statement, special prosecutor Peter Wilson alleged that Oler should have reasonably expected the girl would be placed in a relationship of dependency that would facilitate sex offences.

Court has heard the marriage was documented by priesthood records kept by Warren Jeffs, the church’s president and prophet. The records were seized after U.S. law enforcement raided the Yearning for Zion ranch in Texas a decade ago.

One priesthood record describes a phone call that Jeffs made to Oler, allegedly asking him to bring the girl to the United States to be married.

(Cranbrook Daily Townsman)

Trevor Crawley, Cranbrook Daily Townsman, Cranbrook Daily Townsman

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source https://toronto.citynews.ca/2019/04/12/woman-testifies-about-life-in-british-columbia-polygamist-community/

By The Wall of Law April 13, 2019 Off

Travel Super Bowl Minneapolis

Travel Super Bowl Minneapolis

MINNEAPOLIS — A 5-year-old boy plummeted three floors Friday after being pushed or thrown from a balcony at the Mall of America, according to witnesses, and a 24-year-old man with a history of causing disturbances at the mall was in custody.

Bloomington Police Chief Jeffrey Potts said police don’t think there is any relationship between the man and the family of the child, who suffered life-threatening injuries. He was being treated at a hospital, but no details on his condition were immediately available.

Witnesses told police that the child may have been pushed or thrown from the mall’s third level to the first floor, Potts said. He said the suspect immediately took off running but was quickly found and arrested at the mall.

A witness said a woman screamed that her child was thrown from the balcony.

Brian Johnson told WCCO-TV the woman was screaming, “Everybody pray, everybody pray. Oh my God, my baby, someone threw him over the edge.”

Police said Emmanuel Deshawn Aranda, of Minneapolis, was being held on suspicion of attempted homicide.

Aranda’s criminal record includes two convictions in 2015 for obstruction of the legal process/interfering with a peace officer, as well as convictions for fifth-degree assault, trespassing and damage to property.

Court records show Aranda was arrested on July 4, 2015, after police said he matched the description of a man throwing things off the upper level of the Mall of America to the lower level. Police say Aranda refused to give his name and resisted arrest. Aranda also was accused of walking into a mall store and sweeping his hand across a display table, breaking glasses.

In October 2015, Aranda was accused of throwing glasses in Twin Cities Grill in the mall. The complaint says Aranda approached a woman who was waiting for the restaurant to open and asked her to buy him something. The woman refused, and Aranda allegedly threw a glass of water in her face and a glass of tea that struck her leg. Aranda was under a trespass notice at the time banning him from the mall until July 4, 2016.

It wasn’t immediately clear if Aranda had an attorney.

Police don’t have an idea about possible motive, Potts said.

“At this point we believe this is an isolated incident,” the chief said. “We’re actively trying to figure out why this occurred.”

No details were immediately available about the child’s condition.

The 4.2-million-square-foot Mall of America is in Bloomington, about 10 miles south of Minneapolis. The mall, which opened in 1992, has more than 520 stores and is visited by 40 million visitors annually, according to its website . Attractions include Nickelodeon Universe indoor amusement park and Sea Life Minnesota Aquarium .

It has occasionally been the scene of crimes or disruptive protests, and the mall’s website touts extensive security training for its officers.

In 2015, the al-Shabab extremist group called for an attack on the Mall of America and other shopping centres in a video. Al-Shabab fighters attacked an upscale Kenyan mall in 2013 in a siege that left 67 people dead. In response, the Mall of America said it was tightening security, and that some of the extra precautions would be noticeable to guests and others would not be.

A Minneapolis man was sentenced to 15 years in prison last year for attacking two brothers at the Macy’s department store at the mall. The man said he was inspired by the Islamic State when he stabbed the brothers in a dressing room area in November 2017.

A teenage brawl erupted at the mall the day after Christmas in 2011. The melee was caught on YouTube, but police concluded the brawl — the worst case of violence at the mall in more than 15 years — was not organized through social media as initially feared. Ten people were arrested for disorderly conduct, including four juveniles.

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source https://canoe.com/news/world/my-baby-child-hurt-after-being-thrown-from-third-floor-of-mall-of-america

By The Wall of Law April 13, 2019 Off