“The first transfer of power to the opposition through an election,” is how former American ambassador to Nigeria John Campbell described it in a phone call on Tuesday. For Nigeria, a country with a history of election-related violence and military coups, Jonathan’s phone call to Buhari conceding defeat was a positive sign for the prospects of a peaceful transition. “I think the fact that President Jonathan made a concessionary phone call to Buhari sets the right tone,” said Campbell.
Following an administration-wide commitment to reform sentencing guidelines for non-violent drug offenders, President Obama on Tuesday commuted prison time for 22 people convicted of federal drug crimes, many of whom faced decades to life behind bars.
The nearly two dozen offenders had been found guilty on a range of drug charges including intent to distribute cocaine and marijuana, and possession of methamphetamine. All but one will be freed from prison on July 28th.
“It will not be easy, and you will confront many who doubt people with criminal records can change. Perhaps even you are unsure of how you will adjust to your new circumstances,” President Obama wrote in a letter to Terry Barnes, one of the inmates whose 20-year sentence for conspiracy to distribute cocaine base was shortened. Barnes has already served 10 years in federal prison and will be released this summer.
On the heels of Indiana’s controversial religious freedom law, Arkansas lawmakers on Tuesday gave final approval to a similar measure — and the governor says he’ll sign it.
The Arkansas House voted 67-21 to pass the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, which follows the state senate’s approval of the bill Friday. Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s office did not immediately respond to the bill’s passing, but has previously said he would sign it into law when it reaches his desk.
Protesters gathered outside the governor’s mansion in Little Rock on Tuesday morning in anticipation of the House vote.
The Indiana law, enacted last week, and the proposed Arkansas law were presented as ways to keep government from infringing on religion. But opponents say they could be used as cover for discrimination, allowing businesses to refuse to serve gay and lesbian customers.
Tim Cook, the openly gay CEO of Apple, led widespread corporate opposition to the law in Indiana, and the NCAA, which is staging the Final Four in Indianapolis this week, hinted that it would think twice about bringing future events there.
“A strange virus is going around…” Fear the Walking Dead premieres Summer 2015. Only on AMC.
The number of things getting plugged into the “Internet of Things” has already reached the point of satire. But there’s a new, extremely low power technology that’s being prepared for market that could put computing power and network access into a whole new class of sensors, wearables, and practically disposable devices. That’s because it can run off a battery charge for over over 10 years.
Atmel, the San Jose-based microcontroller maker, today released samples of a new type of ultra-low power, ARM based microcontroller that could radically extend the battery life of small low-power intelligent devices. The new SAM L21 32-bit ARM family of microcontroller (MCUs) consume less than 35 microamps of power per megahertz of processing speed while active, and less than 200 nanoamps of power overall when in deep sleep mode—with varying states in between.
The chip is so low power that it can be powered off energy capture from the body, as Andreas Eieland, Atmel’s Director of Product Marketing for low-power products, demonstrated at CES earlier this year.
Sağırlı tells the BBC that the photo shows a girl named Hudea who was four years old when he met her in a refugee camp in Syria in December 2014.
“I was using a telephoto lens, and she thought it was a weapon,” Sağırlı is quoted as saying. “İ realised she was terrified after I took it, and looked at the picture, because she bit her lips and raised her hands. Normally kids run away, hide their faces or smile when they see a camera.”
The photograph was first published in a Turkish newspaper back in January. Although it went viral in Turkey at the time, it took several months for the powerful image to make its way around the world.
From Sen. Schumer’s Facebook page:
There are two simple reasons the comparison does not hold water.
First, the federal RFRA was written narrowly to protect individuals’ religious freedom from government interference unless the government or state had a compelling interest. If ever there was a compelling state interest, it is to prevent discrimination. The federal law was not contemplated to, has never been, and could never be used to justify discrimination against gays and lesbians, in the name of religious freedom or anything else.
Second, the federal RFRA was written to protect individuals’ interests from government interference, but the Indiana RFRA protects private companies and corporations. When a person or company enters the marketplace, they are doing so voluntarily, and the federal RFRA was never intended to apply to them as it would to private individuals.
The whole article is here
On Friday, Motherboard revealed that fully functioning Uber accounts were for sale on the dark web. Today, it appears that some people have fallen victim to fraudulent trips being made with their login credentials.
“It happened this morning,” Phil Turner, an apparent victim, told me in an email. “I got a notification on my phone from Uber saying ‘your taxi was on its way/it arrived’ etc., but thought it must be a glitch of the app.”
It wasn’t. Instead, Turner says he was told by an Uber representative that “I’ve checked your account details and it looks like someone has accessed your account illegitimately. We believe that your email account may have been hacked as access was gained to your account by sending a password reset link to your email.” The representative then changed his password, sent him the new one, and suggested that he change it again himself, as well as the password on his email account.
A small corner of the prison industrial complex crumbles.
On Feb. 20, prisoners wielding pipes, sharpened broomsticks and kitchen knives seized control of the privately run federal prison for nearly two days. The prisoners—undocumented immigrants awaiting deportation while serving federal criminal sentences, many for illegally entering the U.S.—mutinied after years of built-up exasperation over inadequate medical care, filthy toilets and maggot-infested food. They set fire to three of the 10 Kevlar tents that lend the South Texas prison its nickname, Tent City, and damaged the plumbing and electrical systems. The FBI was called in to negotiate; armored vehicles were sent inside; tear gas was fired. Somehow, the inmates managed to slice open the tents that hadn’t been torched. Willacy County Sheriff Larry Spence told reporters that inmates were “pouring out like ants coming out of an ant hill.” By the time prison authorities regained control of the prison, the $60 million facility was reduced to a shambles; the federal Bureau of Prisons declared it “uninhabitable.”
In the riot’s wake, all 2,834 inmates were transferred to other facilities. Nearly all of the 400 people employed by Management and Training Corporation (MTC), the private company the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) paid to run the prison, were laid off. When I traveled to Raymondville, an impoverished town 50 miles north of Brownsville, Willacy County leaders were waiting to see how long it might take for the prison to reopen—or if it would reopen at all. A decade ago, persuaded by a consortium of private prison salesmen, the county had entered into a kind of Faustian bargain, staking its financial future on a continual supply of state and federal prisoners. Now, as Willacy County faces a gaping hole in its budget, $128 million in debt still owed on Tent City, and the loss of its largest employer, I’d come to find out if the prison that was supposed to be the county’s economic salvation would end up being its undoing.