A 30-year-old Yemen-born man was indicted Tuesday on charges of attempting to provide support to the terrorist group Islamic State, along with the attempted murder of current and former members of the U.S. military.
Mufid A. Elfgeeh, who had been living in Rochester, was named in the seven-count federal indictment, which also included four firearms charges.
As part of an alleged plot to target soldiers returning from Iraq, the suspect earlier this year “purchased two handguns equipped with…silencers and ammunition” for $1,050 from a government source, court documents stated.
The Minnesota Vikings have placed star running back Adrian Peterson on the Exempt/Commissioner’s Permission list, essentially deactivating him, and ordered him to keep away from all team activities until the legal proceedings against him in a child injury case have been resolved.
The statement issued early Wednesday morning is a complete reversal from earlier in the week, when the team said Peterson would continue to practice with the team and play.
“After giving the situation additional thought, we have decided this is the appropriate course of action for the organization and for Adrian,” the statement signed by team owners Zygi and Mark Wilf said.
Are we about to see another replay the “Mighty Foreign Dragon vs Local Snake” paradigm?
In one of the Islamic State’s first responses to President Barack Obama’s declaration that he would “degrade and ultimately destroy” it, the group released a video late Tuesday in which it appeared to say that its militants would kill U.S. ground forces should Obama deploy them.
The clip is only 52 seconds long and is billed as a preview for a longer video. With slow-motion replay, quick edits and high-quality video images, it looks like a Hollywood studio trailer.
It begins with U.S. tanks and troops under attack by fire and U.S. soldiers carrying a wounded comrade into an armored vehicle.
The images flick by, including a shot of the “Mission Accomplished” banner that served as a backdrop on the day president George W. Bush landed on an aircraft carrier six weeks after the United States invaded Iraq in 2003. That is followed by shots of Obama and the White House at night.
From Hawaii 24/7, some nice aerial shots including pictures of the road improvements to Railroad Avenue and Government Beach Road to create alternate routes in case Highway 130 is cut.
I’m kind of chuffed about the improvements to Railroad Avenue. It is in fact the old right-of-way from the railroad that used to run from the Hamakua coast in the north all the way out to Kapoho at the extreme eastern tip of the Big Island. I’ve driven all the parts of it that are still navigable. If you follow it to where the old roundhouse used to be in Hilo you can still find discarded rail spikes without too much trouble.
When I win the Powerball and become a billionaire from trading in financialized student loan futures I’m going to pour all that money into rebuilding the Big Island railroad as a green people-mover alternative to the auto.
Daily liveblog update from the USGS. As of the 16th the flow front has entered an unoccupied corner of Kaohe Homesteads. It’s advancing now at an average rate of 705 feet/day (that’s 1.75364759 × 10-23 furlongs per femtosecond).
Big Island Video News has several video clips, including a flyover of the flow and a story about an incident command center being opened in Pahoa town (which makes about as much sense to me as putting a terrorism response center on the top floor of the WTC).
Zack Kopplin is a young man who has testified in front of many a school board in the Deep South advocating proper science education (especially evolution) and has been vocal about the separation of church and state. He’s done remarkable work with those things, and he’s only 21 years old.
That said, he attended the Texas Department of Education’s “social studies” textbook adoption hearing today, where the public can speak in front of the board. He live-tweeted the event, and I’ve collated a lengthy collection of tweets he sent out during the proceedings. It is a cornucopia of right-wing bad craziness, right out of The Twilight Zone. Regular readers of LGF who scroll through the tweets will find many MANY instances where your jaw will simply drop to the floor.
Jon Phillips takes on Nicholas Wade’s claims, and proves once again that so called “scientific” racism is little more than a pseudoscience. This was originally posted in September 2014 edition of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Intelligence Report, ( Under the Title, Troublesome Sources ) and than cross posted at Alternet.
Nicholas Wade’s new book, A Troublesome Inheritance, is only the latest in a long line of works arguing that humans can be divided into discrete races, and that between those races, there are differences in behavior, temperament, intelligence, and even political and economic structures. Although the specifics of the arguments change, what remains constant is the idea that white people of European descent are inherently smarter, better, more “civilized” than members of other races, especially black Africans and their descendants. Wade’s work is no exception.
This book’s failure as a work of popular science has been well documented by biologists and anthropologists. This review will focus on another problem with Wade’s book, one just as damning as its scientific errors: its uncritical reliance on and legitimization of fringe racist theories masquerading as mainstream biology.
Wade, a former science writer for The New York Times, attempts to fabricate a sense of scientific credibility for his outlandish theories with the division of his book into two very different sections. The first half is intended as a survey of the history and science of research into human evolution, race, and genetics, and Wade supports most of his claims with citations to scientific literature.
In the second, more “speculative” half of the book, Wade’s claims about human genetics and evolution continue, but the scientific sources disappear. It is in this part of the book, for example, that Wade explains modern history through the claim that “European populations” have a genetic predisposition to “open societies and the rule of law to autocracies,” while the Chinese are inherently “drawn to a system of family obligations, political hierarchy, and conformity.” He posits that white Europeans and East Asians are innately more intelligent than Papuans or members of other “Stone Age societies” because “intelligence can be more highly rewarded in modern societies because it is in far greater demand.” Although he acknowledges at the outset that these portions of the book are intended to be speculative, in the text he presents these racist, hackneyed ideas as though they are simple facts, uncontroversial and incontrovertible.
This is really huge. So many were in big medical trouble.
Another day, another survey showing that Obamacare is beginning to cure America’s uninsured problem.
The latest numbers come from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which polled more than 27,000 people during the first three months of the year. Forty-one million U.S. residents, or 13.1 percent, were uninsured during the quarter when benefits started to kick in for people who signed up for coverage into private insurance or Medicaid via the Obamacare exchanges or elsewhere.
That’s the lowest number and percentage of uninsured people since the CDC started using this version of its survey in 1997. It’s also down 3.8 million people and 1.3 percentage points from the end of 2013.
Providing “tipping envelopes” for hotel guests to offer gratuities to cleaning staff is not at all a new concept. However, this is possibly the first time that a major “upscale brand” will engage in the practice.
Marriott International wants to give its housekeepers a raise — and it is hoping customers will chip in.
Beginning this week, a number of the company’s hotels will begin providing envelopes in guest rooms to encourage visitors to tip workers. The initiative, called “The Envelope Please,” is a partnership with A Woman’s Nation, a nonprofit organization founded by journalist and former California first lady Maria Shriver.
“In conversation with Maria, she said it had struck her that too often women are in positions that we forget to acknowledge,” Arne Sorenson, chief executive and president of Bethesda, Md.-based Marriott, said in an interview. “In a hotel, obviously we tip the bellman or wait staff. But often we don’t see our housekeepers. We don’t have that personal interaction, so we just don’t think about it.”
First of all, “chipping in” would tend to indicate that the guests will not be picking up 100% of this raise. I don’t see anywhere in this story where Marriott will be doing anything EXCEPT putting the envelopes in rooms.
Second of all, I spend a dozen or more nights in hotels each and every year in various parts of the world, some of them at Marriott properties. I couldn’t tell you the last time I saw a bellman. It seems likely that Mr. Sorenson (and his combined Marriott and Wal-Mart compensation of nearly $9.5 million in 2013) and I are living in different realities.
Naturally, hotel housekeeping is an unpleasant and frequently thankless job. What is the pay like?
In 2012, maids and housekeepers earned a median salary of $19,780, or approximately $9.51 per hour, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Ok, that is not very good at all. On the other hand, there are a lot of Americans paid the same or less who are not at all in a position to receive tips.
But wait…aren’t there unions?
Under the union’s current contract, which runs through September 2017, housekeepers, who currently make $18.30 per hour, receive raises every six months
By the contract’s end, housekeepers will be making $20.35 per hour
Um…I do more than a bit of work in education where I cannot make a penny more than $20 per hour, and the raises come a lot closer to every six years than every six months. Obviously, nobody is tipping me.
So why do Marriott housekeepers need a raise?
Only a small fraction of the company’s housekeepers belong to labor unions. Less than 10 percent of Marriott’s workforce is unionized, according to Sorenson.
I respect what Maria Shriver is attempting to do, and I do not imagine that unionizing every single housekeeper is the answer. However, at a hotel chain with an average daily rate (in 2012) of $137.34, a raise for service staff should not have to come from cajoling guests to leave a few more bucks in their rooms.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal paid a visit to Washington, D.C. this week to roll out his national energy policy blueprint.
At a breakfast for reporters Tuesday hosted by the Christian Science Monitor, the Republican governor attacked President Barack Obama for not fully taking advantage of the United States’ fossil fuel and energy resources.
“The reality is right now we’ve got an administration in the Obama administration that are science deniers when it comes to harnessing America’s energy resources and potential to create good-paying jobs for our economy and for our future,” Jindal said. “Right now we’ve got an administration whose policies are holding our economy hostage.”
The “science deniers” line of attack mirrors that of progressives against Republican lawmakers who don’t accept the broad scientific consensus that climate change is real and man-made.
When asked for examples, Jindal cited the administration’s resistance to approving the Keystone pipeline and recent rules to establish strict limits on pollution from coal-fired power plants.
Scott Walker Wants to Drug-Test the Poor: The GOP’s Agenda Is About Solving Problems That Don’t Exist.
Our goal here is not to make it harder to get government assistance; it’s to make it easier to get a job,”
I’d love to hear an explanation of how drug testing SNAP applicants makes it easier for anyone to get a job.
Maybe the plan is to hire the unemployed to work in drug testing facilities. ///