Scotland’s Roman Catholic archbishop is contesting accusations of “inappropriate behavior” with priests, claims leveled as Cardinal Keith O’Brien prepares to join the conclave that will choose a new pope.
British newspaper The Observer reported Sunday that three priests and one former priest have leveled allegations against O’Brien that date back 30 years. The Observer did not recount details of the claims or identify any of O’Brien’s accusers, but said one of the priests alleged “that the cardinal developed an inappropriate relationship with him.”
O’Brien did not attend Mass at St. Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh on Sunday, but the Scottish Catholic Media Office told CNN that the cardinal “contests these claims and is taking legal advice.”
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His accusers took their complaints to the Vatican representative in Britain and demanded O’Brien’s resignation, The Observer reported. At the Vatican, Father Federico Lombardi, a spokesman for the church, told reporters that Pope Benedict XVI has been informed of the allegations.
There is a lot of misinformation circulating on social networks regarding the response and recovery effort for Hurricane Sandy. Rumors spread fast: please tell a friend, share this page and help us provide accurate information about the types of assistance available.
Check here often for an on-going list of rumors and their true or false status.
Cash Cards / Food Stamps
There are message boards and traffic on social media sites related to FEMA distributing cash cards to individuals affected by Hurricane Sandy. This is FALSE. (November 5)
Individuals in declared counties affected by Sandy should register for assistance by visiting disasterassistance.gov or calling 1-800-621-FEMA.
Food stamps being given out to residents of New York and New Jersey as a part of FEMA assistance. This is FALSE. (November 3)
If you are a survivor in a declared county, you should apply for assistance online, on a mobile device, or over the phone 1-800-621-FEMA (3362).
There are reports that FEMA is paying $1,000 to go to New York and New Jersey to clean up debris. This is FALSE. (November 5)
For information on how to volunteer and assist with Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts, visit Serve.gov/sandy
There is a spike of traffic related to FEMA hiring cleanup crews in both New York and New Jersey. This is FALSE. (November 2)
For information on how to volunteer and assist with Hurricane Sandy recovery efforts, visit Serve.gov/sandy
There was an inaccurate report on a radio station discussing a tent city for sheltering at Monmouth Park race track in New Jersey. This is FALSE. (November 5)
There are tents set up at Monmouth Park for first responders and utility and construction workers as a place to rest, take a break and receive food and water. If you are in need of shelter, visit the American Red Cross FIND OPEN SHELTERS by visiting, redcross.org
There have been recent blog posts and social media traffic expressing that FEMA is out of bottled water. This is FALSE. (November 3)
We are providing water to our state partners for distribution. For New York locations and times of food and water distribution centers and daytime warming centers, visit nyc.gov.
There have been calls and posts from citizens related to the failure of the Old Bridge Township water system in Old Bridge, New Jersey. This is FALSE. (November 3)
The Old Bridge Municipal Utilities Authority (OBMUA) has reported that the water system is stable and safe and that there are no usage restrictions currently in place.
A team of EPFL scientists has developed an algorithm that can identify the source of an epidemic or information circulating within a network, a method that could also be used to help with criminal investigations.
Investigators are well aware of how difficult it is to trace an unlawful act to its source. The job was arguably easier with old, Mafia-style criminal organizations, as their hierarchical structures more or less resembled predictable family trees.
In the Internet age, however, the networks used by organized criminals have changed. Innumerable nodes and connections escalate the complexity of these networks, making it ever more difficult to root out the guilty party. EPFL researcher Pedro Pinto of the Audiovisual Communications Laboratory and his colleagues have developed an algorithm that could become a valuable ally for investigators, criminal or otherwise, as long as a network is involved. The team’s research was published August 10, 2012, in the journal Physical Review Letters.
Finding the source of a Facebook rumor
“Using our method, we can find the source of all kinds of things circulating in a network just by ‘listening’ to a limited number of members of that network,” explains Pinto. Suppose you come across a rumor about yourself that has spread on Facebook and been sent to 500 people - your friends, or even friends of your friends. How do you find the person who started the rumor? “By looking at the messages received by just 15-20 of your friends, and taking into account the time factor, our algorithm can trace the path of that information back and find the source,” Pinto adds. This method can also be used to identify the origin of a spam message or a computer virus using only a limited number of sensors within the network.
Trace the propagation of an epidemic
Out in the real world, the algorithm can be employed to find the primary source of an infectious disease, such as cholera. “We tested our method with data on an epidemic in South Africa provided by EPFL professor Andrea Rinaldo’s Ecohydrology Laboratory,” says Pinto. “By modeling water networks, river networks, and human transport networks, we were able to find the spot where the first cases of infection appeared by monitoring only a small fraction of the villages.”
Following weeks of Internet rumors, Szegedi acknowledged in June that his grandparents on his mother’s side were Jews - making him one too under Jewish law, even though he doesn’t practice the faith. His grandmother was an Auschwitz survivor and his grandfather a veteran of forced labor camps.
Since then, the 30-year-old has become a pariah in Jobbik and his political career is on the brink of collapse. He declined to be interviewed for this story.
At the root of the drama is an audio tape of a 2010 meeting between Szegedi and a convicted felon. Szegedi acknowledges that the meeting took place but contends the tape was altered in unspecified ways; Jobbik considers it real.
In the recording, the felon is heard confronting Szegedi with evidence of his Jewish roots. Szegedi sounds surprised, then offers money and favors in exchange for keeping quiet.
Under pressure, Szegedi resigned last month from all party positions and gave up his Jobbik membership. That wasn’t good enough for the party: Last week it asked him to give up his seat in the European Parliament as well. Jobbik says its issue is the suspected bribery, not his Jewish roots.
Szegedi came to prominence in 2007 as a founding member of the Hungarian Guard, a group whose black uniforms and striped flags recalled the Arrow Cross, a pro-Nazi party which briefly governed Hungary at the end of World War II and killed thousands of Jews. In all, 550,000 Hungarian Jews were killed during the Holocaust, most of them after being sent in trains to death camps like Auschwitz. The Hungarian Guard was banned by the courts in 2009.
Last month, we noted that Lisa Marie Presley’s single “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet,” which she released ahead of her new album, Storm and Grace, came with lyrics that read like a kiss-off to the Church of Scientology, even using some of Scientology’s jargon — like the very telling word suppressive. (For several years there have been rumors that Presley was disillusioned with the church.)
This week, the rest of the album comes out, and we got our hands on the lyrics to the rest of the tracks. After you read the words to the song “So Long” we have a feeling you’ll agree with us that there’s no longer any doubt how Presley, 44, feels about Scientology.
Police in Hamas-ruled Gaza have detained dozens of taxi drivers for allegedly spreading “rumors” about the territory’s worst power crisis in years, officials said Monday,
The detentions, which began over the weekend, signaled that the Islamic militant Hamas is increasingly concerned about the political fallout from crippling shortages of fuel and electricity.
Authorities did not explain what got the drivers in trouble, beyond saying the “rumors” had to do with the energy crisis.
However, residents say there’s growing talk among Gazans that Hamas is keeping separate supplies of fuel for its government and loyalists, a claim Hamas denies.
At the root of the two-month-old crisis is a standoff between Hamas and neighboring Egypt over the delivery and payment for fuel.
Fuel smuggled from Egypt through tunnels under the border used to be the main source of energy for Gaza, including the territory’s only power station that provides 60 percent of the electricity.
Hamas now wants Egypt to deliver fuel to Gaza through a passage above ground, trying to establish a precedent Hamas hopes could evolve into a full-fledged trade route with Egypt.
Egypt is fearful such a link would be seen as absolving Israel, Gaza’s longtime occupier, of its responsibility for territory. Despite a 2005 withdrawal from Gaza, Israel continues to control access by air, land and sea. Egypt wants to route any future fuel shipments through Israel and insists at selling it at international prices. Hamas is searching for fuel subsidies from Arab countries.
A solution to the standoff is not in sight. As a result of the shortages, Gaza’s power station has been offline most of the time since Feb. 10, leading to rolling 18-hour-a-day blackouts.
Twitter may serve many valid purposes, but also means that unsubstantiated rumors can get thrown around with the greatest of ease. For example, Chinese bloggers are Twittering that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was assassinated in Beijing today.
They’re claiming that this was part of a coup or assassination by outside forces - nothing is quite clear and nothing is substantiated by anything more than unnamed individuals.
Official Internet Rule: Any (Chinese) Twitter post that begins with “according to reliable source” is almost certainly fake. But this hasn’t stopped Chinese netizens from speculating that the killing was a military coup, and posting blurry pictures purporting to show an unusual number of vehicles parked at the North Korean embassy. ChinaSMACK staff writer Joe Xu suggests reports of large number of cars at the embassy may have sparked the rumor. “Rumors like this pop up every other week,” he writes on Twitter.
With the way that North Korea and China both operate, these rumors get a life of their own because the regimes are quite insular and don’t let on who controls what and want to control the flow of information. The lack of information means that rumors can blossom on the drop of a hat and can gain credence by speculation.
No evidence. No facts. Just twitterings.
Heck, does anyone even know if Jong-un was supposed to be in China when this allegedly occurred? It seems that facts get thrown out the window and speculation and the North Korean version of Kremlinology takes over (making policy decisions on the basis of photos and what they do and don’t show - such as figuring out who is or isn’t in favor by leaders by where they stand/sit in photos).
What this does show is that there are a whole lot of people who wouldn’t mind seeing the North Korean regime fail, and an assassination (or attempted assassination) in North Korea’s benefactor’s capital would be a huge blow to China as well.
A former ally of Newt Gingrich contends that the Republican Revolution in the 1990s was derailed when the Speaker was blackmailed by opponents of reform in his own party who had learned of his affair with Callista Bisek, now his wife.
Scot Faulkner, the first Chief Administrative Officer of the House of Representatives, alleges in an article that will be published on the website of the History News Network next week, that Gingrich abandoned reform to keep his affair secret.
In the article Faulkner singles out Louisiana congressman Bob Livingston, who at the time was chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, as one of the people guilty of blackmailing Gingrich.
In his 2008 memoir, Naked Emperors: The Failure of the Republican Revolution, Faulkner also implicated Californian Bill Thomas, the chairman of the House Committee on Administration under Gingrich.
In the book Faulkner recounted that a colleague of an unnamed California businessman had “speculated that Thomas must have something on Gingrich.” “There are rumors that Newt has a girlfriend,” Faulkner told the businessman, who replied: “Gingrich wants to be president. Exposing his affair would be devastating. Thomas has the upper hand.”
Gingrich was in such a weak position by then that Thomas was able to arrange for all House officers (including Faulkner) to report directly to him rather than to the Speaker. “Scot, the revolution is over!” exclaimed Tom DeLay, one of the early Gingrich supporters. Shortly thereafter Faulkner, who had implemented reforms curbing the power and perks of insiders like Thomas, was forced out of his position at Thomas’s behest.
Gingrich, according to Faulkner, also made tactical and strategic errors during his Speakership, which caused the Republicans to lose the government shutdown fight. “[He] did not have a ‘second act’ after his first hundred days [as Speaker]. No one had laid out a strategy for the long haul.” Faulkner told Fox News in 2010 that Gingrich also lacked experience as a legislative “engineer” and author of bills. This lack of foresight and experience left an opening for incumbent moderate Republicans to prevent deep cuts to their own pet spending projects.
Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain’s campaign denied allegations Sunday that he was twice accused of sexual harassment while he was the head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s.
In a statement to The Associated Press, his campaign disputed a Politico report that said Cain had been accused of sexually suggestive behavior toward at least two female employees.
The report said the women signed agreements with the restaurant group that gave them five-figure financial payouts to leave the association and barred them from discussing their departures. Neither woman was identified.
The report was based on anonymous sources and, in one case, what the publication said was a review of documentation that described the allegations and the resolution.
Cain’s campaign told the AP that the allegations were not true, and amounted to unfair attacks.
“Inside-the-Beltway media have begun to launch unsubstantiated personal attacks on Cain,” spokesman J.D. Gordon said in a written statement. “Dredging up thinly sourced allegations stemming from Mr. Cain’s tenure as the Chief Executive Officer at the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s, political trade press are now casting aspersions on his character and spreading rumors that never stood up to the facts.”
Asked if Cain’s campaign was denying the report, Gordon said, “Yes.”
“These are baseless allegations,” Gordon said in a second interview later Sunday evening. “To my knowledge, this is not an accurate story.”
Palestinian officials on Thursday denied that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was planning to resign or dismantle the PA.
The denial came in response to unconfirmed reports published in a number of Arab media outlets that claimed that Abbas was about to make a “surprise announcement” in the coming days.
Ghassan Shaka’ah, member of the PLO Executive Committee, described the reports as “unfounded rumors.”
Shaka’ah said that the resignation of Abbas or the dismantlement of the PA was not an “individual matter and requires Palestinian consensus.”
The rumors were sparked by Abbas’s comments during an interview with an Egyptian TV station earlier this week. In the interview, Abbas said that he was about to announce “something surprising and dangerous to the Palestinian people.”
So, how did the rumors of resignation begin? Most likely since he’s already not in office, legally. The PA have been postponing elections for years. He may not even have the legal standing to go to the UN with a proposal for statehood.