In the meantime, Obama’s language in a news conference Friday at the White House marked a significant shift from his previous defenses of the spy agency. In June, when former NSA contractor Edward Snowden’s disclosures of information about the agency’s activities were made public, Obama tried to reassure Americans that his administration had carefully evaluated surveillance techniques and had struck an appropriate balance between security and privacy.
Since then, Obama said, “the environment has changed” because of the impact of Snowden’s revelations on public perceptions of government surveillance.
“I have confidence in the fact that the NSA is not engaging in domestic surveillance or snooping around,” Obama said. But, he added, “we may have to refine this further to give people more confidence. And I’m going to be working very hard on doing that.”
Not only am I glad they did this, I think it was a really positive sign, how a local Klan group’s attempt to get the school board to keep the name backfired.
Forty-three years after it was integrated by court order, Nathan Bedford Forrest High School in Jacksonville, Fla., will drop the name of the Confederate general who ran an infamous antebellum slaveyard, presided over the massacre of surrendering black Yankee troops, and was the first national leader of the Ku Klux Klan.
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It was a long time coming.
Initial efforts to change the name of the school, whose student body is now 61% black, were made in the early 1990s but failed. A second attempt, led by local sociology professor Lance Stoll and a few of his students, also failed in 2007, even though Stoll surveyed the local community and jumped through a series of hoops imposed by the school board. The board defied its own policies then, with members voting 5-2 along racial lines to keep the name of the infamous Confederate.
SALT LAKE CITY — A federal judge on Friday struck down Utah’s Amendment 3 — which defines marriage as the union of one man and one woman — finding that it violates rights to due process and equal protection as set forth in the 14th Amendment.
Within hours, Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill confirmed that, in light of the ruling, he saw no reason to prohibit Salt Lake County Clerk Sherrie Swensen from issuing marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
More bad news for folks who used their credit cards at Target during the holiday shopping season. Many of the 40 million credit cards that the company says were part of the data breach are already for sale on black markets around the world.
That report comes from KrebsonSecurity, the website run by cyber-security reporter Brian Krebs, who initially broke the story about the Target breach.
On Friday, Krebs posted another story detailing how he had tracked down phony cards made using information that was stolen as part of the Target data breach:
“Credit and debit card accounts stolen in a recent data breach at retail giant Target have been flooding underground black markets in recent weeks, selling in batches of one million cards and going for anywhere from $20 to more than $100 per card, KrebsOnSecurity has learned.”
It’s no secret that I’m not a Republican. Very little they do makes any sense, and usually when they do something that does make some kind of sense it’s a PR move following some epic disaster. For example, many Republicans are now pushing away from the tea party following the incredibly unpopular government shutdown that tea party Republicans were the leading force behind.
Republicans are banking on this “push back” benefitting their party — which it very well could in the short-term — but the future of the GOP is very dim. This whole “rebellion” against tea party conservatives isn’t going to go well for the Republican party. In fact, I’m predicting it splits the party in two.
See, the tea party is a very interesting entity. For all intents and purposes, tea party Republicans control the message of the Republican party because they control primary elections. During the primaries, those who turn out to vote in these elections are usually the “base” of any particular political party. Meaning that when Republican primary season rolls around, most of the people voting in those elections are going to be what we would call “tea party Republicans.” And as we’ve seen, they’re a spiteful, paranoid, hateful, whiny bunch of people.
The type who won’t have any problem turning on many people within their own party. Hell, they’ve already been doing so and have threatened to do it again.
Scientists have long known that HIV sets up little biological factories inside the the body’s protective CD-4 T cells they infect, producing millions of copies that eventually lead to a massive destruction of the immune system. Until now, investigators have not understood why the virus becomes so aggressive.
It turns out HIV, which infects only a small number of T cells at the start, destroys approximately 95 percent of immune cells through a process known as the bystander effect.
Warner Greene, head of virology and immunology at the Gladstone Institutes in California, says bystander cells that are in the neighborhood of HIV-infected cells succumb to a fiery death.
“Most CD4-T cells during HIV infection die not because of the toxic effect of the virus, but because of an immune response against the virus. So, CD4 cell depletion is more of a suicide than a murder,” said Greene.
A federal judge has struck down Utah’s same-sex marriage ban, saying it is unconstitutional.
U.S. District Judge Robert J. Shelby issued a 53-page ruling Friday saying Utah’s law passed by voters in 2004 violates gay and lesbian couples’ rights to due process and equal protection under the 14th Amendment.
As the Salt Lake Tribune noted, the ruling is the first to address whether states may ban gay marriage since the U.S. Supreme Court stuck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act this summer.
Many similar court challenges are pending in other states, but Utah’s has been closely watched because of the state’s history of staunch opposition to gay marriage as the home of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The vast majority of health care professionals are dedicated individuals committed to their patients. But in a recent investigation, we came across a hospital worker who was more committed to his own selfish needs than to his patients—he knowingly put patients at risk of exposure to the hepatitis C virus so he could steal and abuse a powerful narcotic prescribed for use during medical procedures.
David Kwiatkowski—who pled guilty to a scheme to divert and obtain the controlled substance fentanyl as well as to product tampering, was sentenced earlier this month to 39 years in prison. Because of Kwiatowski’s actions, at least 45 people became infected with hepatitis C, a virus that attacks the liver and may cause liver damage, liver failure, or cancer. At least one patient died as a result of the infection.
You see, Kwiatkowski himself was infected with hepatitis C. And he admitted that while employed at a New Hampshire hospital and at hospitals in several other states, he stole syringes of fentanyl prepared for patients about to undergo medical procedures, injected himself with the drug, and refilled those same syringes with saline—tainting them with his hepatitis C-positive blood—for use on unsuspecting victims. As a trained health care worker, Kwiatkowski would have known that hepatitis C, a blood-borne viral disease, is primarily transmitted by exposure to infected blood.
These are the legislative realities. But the real intent of this legislation remains highly contested. On the left, voter identification laws are viewed as thinly veiled attempts by Republicans to depress turnout among Democratic-leaning constituencies, such as minorities, new immigrants, the elderly, disabled, and young. On the right, these laws are viewed as a bulwark against electoral fraud and a means of preserving electoral legitimacy. In a new article, we examined the dominant explanations (and accusations) advanced by both the right and left, as well as the factors political scientists know are important for understanding state legislative activity. We began with no assumptions about the veracity of any claim. What we found was that restrictions on voting derived from both race and class. The more that minorities and lower-income individuals in a state voted, the more likely such restrictions were to be proposed. Where minorities turned out at the polls at higher rates the legislation was more likely enacted.
More specifically, restrictive proposals were more likely to be introduced in states with larger African-American and non-citizen populations and with higher minority turnout in the previous presidential election. These proposals were also more likely to be introduced in states where both minority and low-income turnout had increased in recent elections. A similar picture emerged for the actual passage of these proposals. States in which minority turnout had increased since the previous presidential election were more likely to pass restrictive legislation.