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Young GOP Voters: Manmade Climate Change Real, Renewables Good

The Free Press WV

Young conservatives overwhelmingly feel manmade climate change is a real problem, according to a just-released poll. These GOP voters strongly favor renewable energy.

The national survey of a thousand Republicans ages 18 to 35 was commissioned by Young Conservatives for Energy Reform. Four out of five polled think the climate is changing, and two-thirds blame human activity, in part or entirely.

The group’s founder and chair, Michele Combs, said these voters put as much importance on climate change as they did abortion or gay marriage a few years ago.

“The young Republicans embrace this issue,“ she said. “They see this issue as a core value issue, that maybe in the ‘90s would have been the life issue or the marriage issue. They put this issue in that same category.“

The GOP platform argues environmental regulations are slowing growth. But the poll found young conservatives view the EPA and environmental groups slightly more favorably than the coal or nuclear industries.

The poll found young conservative voters favor decentralized, market-based solutions, and the renewable energy industry comes across the best of any in the survey. Combs said her group hosted a clean energy meeting in Washington on Thursday, and the support for their position has grown quickly since the organization was founded.

Combs added, “Eight years ago, if you’d have told me we’d have brought over 500 young Republicans, young conservatives, to a clean-energy summit, I’d have been, like, ‘You’re crazy. Who are you even going to get there, you know?‘ And now, we’re there from all around the country.“

Four senators, four members of Congress and a retired Marine general attended Thursday’s summit. But GOP nominee Donald Trump has charged that climate change is a hoax. Combs said she feels Trump is smart enough to eventually see it as a legitimate threat, and in the meantime, the group is putting its energy toward the future rather than this year’s race.

“I think this is the future of the party,“ she explained. “The presidential campaign is not what we’re focusing on. We’re focusing on the grassroots.“

The full poll results can be found HERE .

~~  Dan Heyman ~~

In West Virginia….

The Free Press WV

►   Proposed Antero landfill has potential long-term environmental benefits, but residents concerned

A $275 million project in Ritchie and Doddridge counties by Antero Resources to move their natural gas business away from wastewater injection has drawn concern from some members of the extremely rural communities in those areas.

Kevin Ellis, Antero’s VP of Government Relations, said the creation of a water treatment plant and landfill along the Doddridge-Ritchie County line is the beginning of a better long-term environmental outcome in the area because it moves the company away from wastewater injection.

“If you are not able to re-consume that water, then you have to find a home for it,” he said. “It has to go some place. That some place today for the industry is typically disposal wells, injection wells. As we look to the future, we have a long-term play here in the basin. We have to find solutions for this waste stream.”

Wastewater injection has seen past legal challenges in West Virginia, but also has created environmental anxiety among residents who have been impacted. That anxiety aside, Ritchie County resident Lissa Lucas expressed concern that Antero’s proposed solution would create a different set of environmental and health problems.

“I think that what the company is trying to solve are not the things that need to be solved before we can even consider allowing such a project to go forward,” she said.

According to Ellis, the water treatment plant would recycle previously unuseable waste water. He estimated that 98 percent of the water would be fit for another use.

“You’re taking this stream of produced water, which is already here today, already being produced by our wells,” he said. “Current disposal of that water is really limited to just injection wells. That’s really where that water is dealt with.”

Lucas, who attended a public meeting in Harrisville last week that included representatives from the Friends of Hughes River Watershed Association, said the landfill would be of particular concern to residents of Ritchie County. Landfill leakage is not uncommon, and the Hughes River Water Board serves residents in Harrisville, Pennsboro, and Cairo.

“You’re asking us to take the risk,” Lucas said. “It’s a matter of privatizing the profits and socializing the risk. They are concentrating that risk on top of us.”

Kevin Ellis said, in addition to concerns over the future viability of wastewater injection, Antero saw a chance to reduce truck traffic that results from water transportation throughout the state.

“Environmentally, from an impact perspective, this is going to reduce truck traffic because of a central location,” he said. “When you do that, you also attain the other benefits attendant to that, which is less tailpipe emissions and so forth.”

“I’m glad they want a smaller footprint, naturally,” Lucas said. “If you are underneath that foot when it comes down, it doesn’t feel smaller to you.”

Other biproducts from the cleaning process would be dumped out-of-state, according to Ellis.

“We just don’t have the regulatory frame work for this type of waste stream in West Virginia today,” he said.


►   2 charges against former commissioner sent to grand jury

A magistrate judge has sent two charges filed against a former Jefferson County commissioner to a grand jury, but found there wasn’t probable cause on a third charge.

The ruling Thursday came after a preliminary hearing for 37-year-old Eric Keith Bell, who is accused of trading sexual images with a 16-year-old boy.

After hearing testimony from the boy, his mother and a police investigator, Magistrate Mary Rissler found there was probable cause for charges of possession of child pornography and distribution and display of obscene material to a minor. Rissler did not find probable cause for a charge of sexual abuse by a person of trust.

Bell resigned his seat on the county commission after being charged in June. The Republican was elected in 2014.

In USA….

The Free Press WV

►   U.S. Finally, Officially Has a National Black History Museum

The first national museum devoted exclusively to the history and culture of African-Americans is now open, the AP reports. The Obamas opened the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall by ringing a bell from a historic African-American church. The museum is the 19th and the newest of the Smithsonians. The push for the museum began in 1915 with African-American Civil War veterans looking for a way to commemorate America’s black experience. Former President George W. Bush signed the law authorizing its construction in 2003. Georgia Congressman John Lewis co-sponsored legislation authorizing the museum. The civil rights icon said the bronze-colored museum “is more than a building, it is a dream come true.“

The Free Press WV
First lady Michelle Obama, center, hugs former President George W. Bush, as President Barack Obama and former first lady Laura Bush walk on stage at the dedication ceremony of the Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture on the National Mall in Washington, Saturday, September 24, 2016.


President Obama says the new national African-American history museum helps tell a “richer and fuller” story of who we are as Americans. Speaking at Saturday’s dedication ceremony, Obama says the museum will give people a better understanding of themselves by teaching them about others—slaves, the poor, black activists, teachers. He says knowing their stories will help Americans understand each other better. Obama says African-American history isn’t separate from the larger American story, but is a central part of the American story. Obama praised the museum as a pure illustration of the historical contrasts in “the American story…one of suffering and of delight, one of fear but also of hope.“


►   Charlotte Police Release Video of Shooting

In a reversal of course, police in Charlotte on Saturday released bodycam and dashcam footage from the fatal shooting of Keith Scott. (See it here via the Washington Post.) In addition to the video, police also released a photo of the gun they say was spotted in Scott’s vehicle. Some early descriptions:

  • Charlotte Observer: The videos “do not show Keith Lamont Scott raising a weapon toward officers nor a gun in his hand.“
  • NBC News: “The dashcam video released shows Scott come out of a white SUV while police stand behind another vehicle with their weapons raised and command him to drop the gun. Scott eventually emerges from the SUV slowly and backs away. As he is backing up, four shots can be heard, and Scott can be seen falling to the ground.“

  • AP: “Scott can be seen in police dashboard camera video backing away from his SUV with his hands down, and it’s unclear if there’s anything in the man’s hands. Four shots are heard, and he falls to the ground.“
  • ABC News: “The actual shooting is neither seen nor heard in the body cam footage.Officer Brentley Vinson, identified by police as the officer who shot Scott, cannot be seen firing his weapon in either video.“


►   Family of Keith Scott Releases Video of Charlotte Shooting

The public received its first look at footage of the shooting death of Keith Scott at the hands of Charlotte police when lawyers for his family released cellphone video Friday showing the moments before and after he was killed, NBC News reports. The video was taken by Rakeyia Scott and features her pleading with police not to shoot her husband while telling him to listen to officers. “He has no weapon—don’t shoot him,“ Rakeyia Scott says in the video. And to her husband: “Don’t you do it…Come on out of the car.“ According to the New York Times, Rakeyia Scott told police her husband has a traumatic brain injury but: “He’s not going to do anything to you guys. He just took his medicine.“

Four shots are heard in the video, and Rakeyia Scott screams. She tells officers, “He better not be ####### dead” and, “He better live.“ Rakeyia Scott’s video doesn’t show a gun. Police have claimed Keith Scott had a gun and was an “imminent, deadly threat.“ Family says he was unarmed. The family’s attorney says they hope releasing the video will convince police to release theirs, CNN reports. “We want the public to take a look at this tape and see what was in the video before he was shot, and what was there afterward, and ask how it got there,“ Eduardo Curry says. Scott was waiting for his child to get home from school when officers arrived at his apartment complex to serve a search warrant on another man.


►   Tens of Thousands Demand In-N-Out Serve Veggie Burgers

It already has animal style, so why not vegetable style? Tens of thousands of people have signed a petition demanding the California-based In-N-Out burger chain add a veggie option, USA Today reports. According to the Change.org petition, which has received more than 30,000 signatures, vegetarians eating at In-N-Out are stuck with French fries or a “cheese-slathered bun.“ It adds that there is no “healthy, humane, and sustainable option” at the restaurant. The Los Angeles Times points out that In-N-Out’s official menu is “renowned for its simplicity,“ but the restaurant does offer a grilled cheese sandwich on its “secret menu.“ In-N-Out is aware of the petition, which will be sent to the company’s president, but has no comment.

The petition was started by the Good Food Institute. “Southern California is a mecca for plant-based eating and food,“ the nonprofit’s executive director, Bruce Friedrich, says. “In-N-Out should be leading the charge.“ And while his petition may gaining signatures, Business Insider points out anti-veggie burger comments are drowning out the pro-veggie side on the In-N-Out Facebook page. And not everyone against the petition is a meat-eater. One vegan wonders why any vegetarian would want to “support a company that slaughters cows by the thousands” even if it has an awesome veggie burger. Regardless, Friedrich hopes a veggie option can crack the In-N-Out menu—or at least its secret menu.


►   Chief: Phoenix Cops Forced Driver to Eat Pot

Three Phoenix police officers have resigned after a man alleged they forced him to eat marijuana found in his vehicle to avoid going to jail, Chief Joseph Yahner said Thursday. A fourth officer, Jeff Farrior, was demoted from lieutenant to sergeant for being aware of last week’s incident and not taking appropriate action, Yahner told reporters. “Their actions are appalling and unacceptable. This conduct is against everything that we stand for,“ Yahner said. Police identified the three officers who quit as Richard G. Pina, Jason E. McFadden, and Michael J. Carnicle, the AP reports. Two of them are being investigated both criminally and by the department, Yahner said.

Yahner said all of the officers’ video cameras were turned off and did not record the incident in which a 19-year-old Phoenix man was stopped for a traffic violation around 3:30am on September 13. The man was issued a citation and had his car towed. He later told a patrol supervisor that the officers demanded that he eat a small amount of marijuana, estimated at around a gram, or be taken to jail. Yahner called the allegations about the officers’ actions “disturbing and upsetting.“ The three officers who quit were all in their first year with Phoenix police, according to Yahner. “I was going to fire them. They chose to resign,“ he said.


►   Teen Ends Treatment, Dies After ‘Last Dance’ Prom

After a special “Last Dance” prom and a final summer with her mom, 14-year-old Jerika Bolen now has the other thing she wished for: an end to her constant and unbearable pain. The Wisconsin teen, whose decision to end treatment for Type 2 spinal muscular atrophy and stop using a ventilator fueled a right-to-die debate, passed away in hospice care early Thursday, WBAY reports. Bolen’s condition, which destroyed muscle and nerve cells, was incurable and would have steadily worsened. By the end, she was only able to move her head and her hands, USA Today reports. More than 1,000 people, including YouTube music star Richie Giese, attended Bolen’s “Last Dance” in July.

“I love her with every cell of me, and I am happy she is no longer suffering and thankful for all she has given me, says Jerika’s mother, nurse Jen Bolen. She says she vowed very early on to give her daughter the best life possible—and though it was a struggle, she was able to stand behind her daughter’s decision to end her suffering. “My only words to anyone questioning this is that I love that girl with every cell in my being and no one in their right mind would let someone suffer like she was,“ she says. Disability rights groups had sought to intervene, arguing that Jerika was too young to make this kind of decision.


►   Puerto Rico Emerges From Island-Wide Blackout

Cheers erupted as lights slowly began to flicker on across Puerto Rico overnight as the US territory struggled to emerge from an island-wide blackout following a fire at a power plant that caused the aging utility grid to fail. More than 390,000 of 1.5 million homes and businesses served by the power utility had electricity restored by late Thursday, with cries of, “The lights are back on!“ echoing through some neighborhoods. Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla says he expects more than half of customers to have power by Friday morning, and 90% by Saturday, though he admits problems may arise, the AP reports.

The blackout hit the entire island of 3.5 million people early Wednesday afternoon and prompted Garcia to activate the National Guard and declare a state of emergency. Heavy storms that hit the island Thursday afternoon knocked out power to some areas where electricity had been restored. While those with power celebrated a return to normalcy, others lamented having to face another night in darkness with no air conditioning in the tropical heat. As sunset approached on Thursday, long lines formed at ice plants, supermarkets, and gas stations. Elsewhere, people crouched around power outlets at generator-powered supermarkets and malls to charge cellphones.


►   Tulsa Teacher Posts Poignant Essay After Police Shooting

A teacher at a Tulsa charter school attended by the daughter of an unarmed black man killed by a white officer says the tragedy “lives and breathes” among her students in a moving essay she posted on Facebook detailing her experience helping students cope. Rebecca Lee is a teacher at KIPP Tulsa College Preparatory, the AP reports. She wrote on Facebook Wednesday that she facilitated three small group discussions for students about the death of Terence Crutcher. Lee says one of the groups included sixth-grade girls who are classmates of Crutcher’s daughter. “It could have been their father,“ Lee writes. Lee says a group of fifth-grade students spent the session crying and passing tissues to one another.

She adds that a student in a group of 13- and 14-year-olds said other police shootings were quickly forgotten, but this one feels “real” because it happened “so close to home.“ Lee, who’s white, says she told the students, “We have different skin colors. I love you. You matter. You are worthy. You are human. You are valuable.“ She writes she’s “convinced that if you can put yourself in the shoes of a child of color in Tulsa right now, you will have a clearer understanding of the crisis we’re facing and why we say black lives matter.“ Lee posted the essay Wednesday evening. It had been shared more than 135,000 times by Friday morning. Meanwhile, Tulsa officer Betty Shelby has been charged with first-degree manslaughter in Crutcher’s death.


►   NFL Player-Turned-Lawmaker Helps Crack a Murder Case

It’s just your ordinary tale of a pizza delivery guy who used to play in the NFL and is now a state lawmaker chasing after the men who robbed him and inadvertently helping crack a murder case. The bizarre tale centers around 37-year-old Napoleon Harris, who played linebacker for the Raiders and other teams years ago. Harris is not only an Illinois state senator, he’s also the owner of two Beggars Pizza franchises, and when an order came in before closing on September 6, he opted to handle the delivery himself, reports the Daily Southtown. It turned out to be an ambush at a vacant house in Harvey, police say. When Harris showed up at the address, one man greeted him on the porch while three others jumped out and attacked him. At this point, it’s relevant to point out that Harris is 6-foot-3 and 250 pounds.

“They put a chokehold on the senator, but to no avail,“ says Sean Howard, who doubles as a spokesman for Harris and the Harvey police, per CBS 2. “They were really trying to choke him to death, and he was just too strong.“ They did manage to get his wallet, however, before fleeing in a vehicle. Harris followed them to a lumberyard and called police. The assailants escaped on foot but left behind the vehicle, which had blood in it that police traced to a man in Georgia who had been reported missing. His body would be found in Georgia a few days later, per the Atlanta Journal Constitution. Harris’ descriptions helped police track down his assailants, and three of them are being in held in connection with the Georgia killing. Charges are pending against the fourth man.


►   ‘Leaning Tower of San Francisco’ Saga Continues

City officials are scrambling, apartment owners are organizing, and civil engineering experts are continuing to fret in the ongoing saga of San Francisco’s Millennium Tower. The 58-story reinforced-concrete skyscraper has already sunk 16 inches and leaned a few inches closer to a nearby building since it was built seven years ago. Per the New York Times, blame for the problem (depending on who you talk to) is being assigned to everything from “very challenging” soil conditions and a “deficient” foundation—Business Insider notes the building was anchored 80 feet into packed sand rather than to bedrock 200 feet down—to lack of city oversight and adjacent digging and groundwater removal. All of which is worrisome in a metropolitan area that lies in a major earthquake zone.

Potential buyers had been warned by developers in 2009 that some aesthetic elements of the building, like the landscaping and color of the stone hallways, were subject to change, but they say they had no clue the building had already sunk 8 inches by the time construction had finished. Jerry Dodson, who paid $2.1 million for his 42nd-floor apartment, says sewage lines and elevators are at risk of malfunctioning with any further leaning or sinkage—and it’s anticipated the building could sink as much as 30 inches, CBS San Francisco notes. Dodson’s wife reveals one possible solution an engineer has suggested: removing the top 20 floors of the building to reduce its weight. The developer insists the tower is still safe, per CNBC.


►   The FBI Took Over a Child Porn Site—and Users Loved It

For two weeks in early 2015, the FBI infiltrated a child porn website on the dark web and kept it running, hoping to use special software to ID users. Not only was the mission successful—nearly 190 people have been charged in the sting as of July, per the DOJ—but the FBI-operated Playpen got rave reviews from unaware users, noted Motherboard last month.The public defender for Steven Chase—the man found guilty by a federal court last Friday of running the site, per a DOJ release—argued the site improvements helped lure more people to sign up for Playpen, and that should have led to a dismissal of his client’s indictment, according to a court filing. Just as the FBI started working on the site, Playpen did seem to be rife with complaints. “I’ve been having trouble getting in here all day,“ reads one archived message.

That tune changed days later, with users noticeably perking up at the site’s apparent fixes. “Working FAST today,“ one user gushed, with others enthusiastically agreeing. Chase’s defender, Peter Adolf, says that during the FBI’s two weeks at the helm, membership rose by more than 30% and the site’s users jumped from a weekly average to 11,000 to 50,000, with hundreds more videos and thousands of images and child porn links posted to the site during the two-week period. In his motion, Adolf said the FBI’s alleged site improvements spurred mass child-porn distribution “so outrageous as to shock the conscience of the court.“ Motherboard notes, though, that Adolf didn’t really offer evidence the FBI’s tweaks led to the member surge. Chase awaits sentencing.


►   1930s Letter Shows Al Capone Was a Big Softie

Did notorious gangster Al Capone have a soft spot? An intimate letter he penned from prison suggests so. The three-page letter, which being auctioned off next week, is addressed to Capone’s son, Albert “Sonny” Capone. The mobster signed it, “Love & Kisses, Your Dear Dad Alphonse Capone #85” (his number at the Alcatraz prison), the AP reports. “Well heart of mine, sure hope things come our way for next year, then I’ll be there in your arms,“ Capone wrote. “It’s an exceedingly rare personal letter showing the softer side of the notorious gangster,“ says the executive VP of RR Auction, which is handling Monday’s auction in Cambridge, Mass., and expects the note to fetch around $50,000.

The legendary Brooklyn-born mobster, who ruled gangland Chicago during Prohibition, was charged with income tax evasion in 1931; he was convicted and sentenced to 11 years in prison, much of which he spent at Alcatraz. He was released a few years early in 1938; riddled with syphilis, he suffered a stroke and died in 1947 at age 48. Though the letter to his then-college-aged son is dated only “Jan 16th,“ experts say he likely wrote it in 1938, four years after he transferred to Alcatraz. In a somewhat surprisingly cheerful tone, his letter describes the daily grind in prison, which Capone tried to relieve by playing banjo and mandola. Capone ended the letter encouraging his son to stay strong: “Well Sonny keep up your chin, and don’t worry about your dear Dad, and when again you [are] allowed a vacation, I want you and your dear Mother to come here together, as I sure would love to see you.“


►   4 Women Shot Dead in Seattle-Area Mall

Four women were fatally shot at a mall north of Seattle Friday night and one man was critically injured, police say. Washington State Patrol spokesman Sgt. Mark Francis says police are searching for a Hispanic man wearing black and armed with a “hunting-type” rifle who was last seen walking toward Interstate 5 after the shooting in the Macy’s store at the Cascade Mall in Burlington, the AP reports. He says the victims were shot in the store’s makeup department. No motive was immediately known. The FBI is assisting local authorities as dozens of police officers search for the shooter.

The FBI’s Seattle office tweeted that it “has no information to suggest additional attacks planned,“ but did not elaborate. Authorities initially reported four people were killed, then said three were dead, before revising the number again. Police say the number fluctuated as authorities searched the shopping center. Governor Jay Inslee said tragedy had struck the state. “We urge residents to heed all safety and detour warnings. Stay close to your friends and loved ones as we await more information and, hopefully, news of the suspect’s capture,“ he said in a statement.


►   5th Person Dies After Wash. Mall Shooting

Authorities say a fifth person has died following a Friday night shooting at a shopping mall north of Seattle. The unidentified male victim died early Saturday at a Seattle hospital, the AP reports. Authorities had previously announced the deaths of four females. No other details about the victims were provided, including their ages. Police are still searching for the man who opened fire in the makeup department of a Macy’s store at the Cascade Mall in Burlington before fleeing toward an interstate on foot. “We are still actively looking for the shooter,“ Washington State Patrol spokesman Sgt. Mark Francis said at a news conference. “Stay indoors, stay secure.“

Witnesses tell the Skagit Valley Herald that there was panic and confusion inside the mall after the shooting at around 7pm Friday. Police say they are looking for a Hispanic man wearing black and armed with a “hunting-type” rifle and last seen walking toward Interstate 5. The description, including that he appeared Hispanic, was based on statements from witnesses, says a spokesman for the Skagit County Emergency Operations Center. Authorities say the motive is unknown and it’s not clear what relationship, if, any, the shooter had with the victims, CNN reports.

In The World….

The Free Press WV

►   Her Art Was Her Photos. She Didn’t Take a Single One

You’ve likely never heard the name Isabelle Mege unless you’re plugged in to select photography circles. But from 1986 to 2008, the French woman was a prolific artist of sorts in the field. Except, as the New Yorker explains, Mege wasn’t a photographer herself. She was the subject. Mege became intrigued by photography as a young woman and began seeking out photographers she admired to take her photo in whatever manner they wished. “J’aimerais m’apercevoir à travers votre regard,“ she would typically write, meaning, “I would like to see myself from your point of view.“ By the time she stopped her project in 2008 at age 42, she had roughly 300 images of herself (or parts of herself) by renowned photographers. She has whittled them down to 135 in what she calls “the collection,“ which has been seen by fewer than five people, writes Anna Heyward.

“Mège’s collection is very coherent,” says Henri Foucault, one of the last to work with her. “Right now, no one outside really knows about her. But I think, as time passes, we will hear more.” Mege, now 50, was never a professional model—instead, medical secretary—and never exchanged money with the photographers. One, Jean-Luc Moulène, says even the artists she sought out “don’t know quite what she’s done. She posed—yes, she posed for me. But exactly what she’s made we don’t quite know ... and it’s impressive.” Mege herself seems to shrug off the artist’s label. “I just wanted to make photos,“ she tells Heyward. “It was audacious—really, I was just a person who responded to a feeling I had. Others were willing to follow it, too.” Read the full story HERE , which includes some of the images.


►   Toddler Wanders Into Bear-Filled Forest, Survives for Days

A 3-year-old boy in Siberia has been given the nickname Mowgli after he survived three days in a bear-infested forest as temperatures neared 32 degrees. Tserin Dopchut had been playing with dogs near his home in the village of Khut when he wandered into the forest on Sunday, possibly while chasing a puppy, reports the Guardian. Without a coat and with only a chocolate bar in his pocket, he seemingly vanished in the harsh landscape, home to wolves and bears. After three days of land and air searches, however, Tserin responded to calls from his uncle and was found safe, almost two miles from his village.

He showed signs of exhaustion and hypothermia, per RT, but immediately “asked if his toy car was OK,“ regional leader Sholban Kara-Ool tells the Siberian Times. Tserin—now dubbed Mowgli, referring to the character from the Jungle Book, per the BBC—explained he ate his chocolate and, to try to escape frost at night, “found a dry place under a larch tree and slept there between the roots,“ Kara-Ool says. An official noted just how potentially perilous an experience the child survived: “The bears are now fattening for the winter. They can attack anything that moves.“ Kara-Ool says a celebration will be thrown for Tserin.


►   Police Rape of 11 Women Could Come Back to Mexico President

The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights is demanding a full-scale investigation into the rape of at least 11 women at the hands of Mexican police during a crackdown on protesters in 2006—a crackdown ordered by now-President Enrique Peña Nieto. Fox News Latino reports Peña Nieto was the governor of the state of Mexico when hundreds of people took over a town square to protest police stopping vendors from selling flowers at a nearby market. More than 40 women—vendors, students, and activists—were violently arrested, according to the New York Times. The commission found that at least 11 women were “raped, beaten, penetrated with metal objects, robbed, and humiliated, made to sing aloud to entertain police.“

The government initially accused the women of making it up but eventually acknowledged the rape and abuse. Regardless, no police were ever prosecuted. Instead, the women were prosecuted, with five of them spending more than a year locked up on minor charges, such as blocking traffic. One woman tells the Times the experience “haunts” her. While Peña Nieto was not directly accused of wrongdoing by the commission, any thorough investigation would involve looking into his involvement in ordering the crackdown. It’s yet another scandal for a president whose approval ratings have been tanking amid accusations of corruption and violence. In total, two protesters were killed and another 207 were “victims of cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment” in the 2006 incident.


►   S. Korea: We’re Willing to Kill Kim Jong Un

This should calm tensions on the Korean peninsula. Asked in parliament on Wednesday whether South Korea had a plan in place to take out North Korean leader Kim Jong Un should the need arise, the country’s defense minister didn’t beat around the bush. “Yes, we do have such a plan,“ Han Min-koo replied, per CNN, which called the response “candid” and surprising to some. “If it becomes clear the enemy is moving to attack the South with nuclear missile, in order to suppress its aims, the concept [of the special forces] is to destroy key figures and areas [that] include the North Korean leadership,“ Han said, per Korea Times.

CNN reports this special forces unit is already assembled, but other reports suggest it’s still a concept. UPI reports Han also said the country needs half-a-million active-duty soldiers in order to fend off a hypothetical attack from the North, which has 1.2 million. In an appearance before the UN General Assembly on Thursday, South Korea’s foreign minister questioned North Korea’s fitness to be a “peace-loving UN member.“ This is notable, reports the Korea Times, in that the South has not officially spoken out against the North’s membership in the 15 years the North has had it. The country “is totally ridiculing the authority of the General Assembly and the Security Council,“ Yun Byung-se said.


►   Artist Who Showcased Modern Inuit Life Found Dead

An Inuit artist whose “impact was revolutionary” but who had trouble coping with “serious stardom” was found dead in a river this week. Annie Pootoogook’s life changed dramatically in 2006, the Ottawa Citizen reports. She went from drawing in a tiny town in Canada’s deep north to having her work displayed in Toronto, New York, Germany, and Switzerland. She won a $50,000 award for her art, which could sell for up $2,600 per piece. But it was “too much, too fast,“ says the art dealer who discovered her. According to the Globe and Mail, Pootoogook had largely stopped creating art by 2009. She was living on and off the street in Ottawa and struggling with drugs and alcohol. She could occasionally be found selling drawings for cigarette money.

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Authorities confirmed Friday that a body pulled from a river on Monday was Pootoogook. She was 47. Authorities haven’t released a cause of death but aren’t treating it as a homicide. “She has left a tremendous legacy to the Canadian cultural fabric,” the Toronto Star quotes a statement from the Sobey Art Foundation. Her work will be remembered for portraying contemporary Inuit life—from women beading to spousal abuse—in a “poignant, often difficult way.“ “She was the kindest soul you could ever meet,“ a gallery curator tells CBC. “If you talk to anyone who has met Annie Pootoogook, they’ll never forget her.“

Leaving the Gun in the Car….

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Cars are a bad place to keep valuables—especially if those valuables are weapons. But every day, U.S. gun owners store their Glocks, their Smith & Wesson 9mm pistols, their .22 rifles, and plenty more firearms in their cars as they go to work or the grocery store. A jimmied door, a broken window, and someone can steal a gun that can later be used to commit more crimes.

These scenarios are the focus of a new study by researchers at Harvard and Northeastern University that found thieves steal between 300,000 and 600,000 firearms in the U.S. every year. That’s 1,600 stolen guns every day, or more than one per minute. The full study will not be released until next year, but The Guardian US and The Trace published early results from the survey this week that found stolen guns often end up at crime scenes.

Take the case of Landen Boyd. Trace’s story followed this Atlanta resident’s handgun from the time someone stole it out of his truck while he was away at work on a construction site to when it resurfaced about three years later at a bloody shootout. In all, the gun would be used in at least three crimes. Landen had left the gun in his Chevrolet Silverado, Trace reported, and he returned at the end of the workday to find his window smashed and his 9mm pistol gone.

In 14 of 15 cities that provided data for the study, police departments reported a 40 percent average yearly increase in the amount of guns stolen from cars. The cities with the most gun thefts from vehicles are, in order: Atlanta, Georgia; Jacksonville, Florida;  Charlotte, North Carolina; Austin, Texas; Las Vegas, Nevada. The rise in the number of stolen guns coincides with the rise of guns sales in the U.S.; pistol manufactures made 600,000 firearms in 2001, and more than 3.6 million in 2014, according to Trace.

Here are a few scenarios Trace provided of stolen guns ending up at crime scenes:

In Florida, a Glock 27 pistol swiped from an unlocked Honda Accord in a Jacksonville-area subdivision in mid-2014 helped kill a Tarpon Springs police officer a few days before Christmas that year.

Last year in Indiana, a man wielding a Russian military rifle taken from a vehicle parked in a residential driveway is alleged to have fatally shot a 28-year-old graphics printer in a road rage incident 10 months after the theft.

Corey Blackshear, 39, an Atlanta HVAC technician, has lost two guns to car break-ins. Fearing where his guns might have ended up, he subsequently stopped storing them there.

Another account was that of Benjamin Thompson, a retiree in Atlanta. Thompson keeps a .22-caliber rifle beneath the backseat of his truck, which he uses to “shoot snakes and things,” he told Trace. Last year, it was stolen. A week later, Thompson found someone trying to break into the truck again, so he shot at the thief from his porch with a handgun. A Trace reporter visited Thompson in August and found the retiree had a new rifle in the backseat. When asked if he worried what thieves would do with his stolen gun, Thompson said he didn’t feel it mattered because the rifle “ain’t nothing but a little .22.”

But guns like that often end up in theIron Pipeline,” the name given to the firearm trafficking corridor that arms criminals in East Coast cities with stolen guns from the South and Midwest. Atlanta, where Thompson lives, is the pipeline’s largest supplier.

As my colleague Adrienne LaFrance wrote (also based on Trace’s reporting) while the overall number of Americans who own guns has gone down in the past decade, a relatively small contingent, about 7.7 million people, own an average of 17 guns each. These “super-owners” amount to 3 percent of the population, but keep half of the country’s firearms in their homes—and their cars.

The newest study attributes much of this disparity to the National Rifle Association’s successful politicking. The rise in gun ownership and gun thefts in the U.S. has coincided with the NRA’s aggressive campaign to loosen gun restrictions. In Nevada, that meant speeding up background checks and extending the “Castle Doctrine”—which provides more legal leeway to people who use guns for self-defense in their homes—to include cars. In Texas, that meant making it easier for people to travel with their guns, and allowing them to keep their weapons locked in cars while at work or in parking lots on college campuses. The overall effect has been one of gun proliferation—both in the hands of legal owners, and the hands of criminals who steal those guns.

In the case of the gun owned by Boyd Landen, the gun owner Trace described, his Smith & Wesson 9mm handgun was used by one gang member to rob a bartender, shoot another bartender in the leg, then shoot at a drug dealer.

~~  J. Weston Phippen ~~

09.24.2016
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~~~ Readers' Comments ~~~

The gun in car posting should remind citizens that having a gun on school property to include having one in a vehicle is a felony.

It is a crime to carry a gun into a court house, a post office, and other federal buildings. Other restrictions apply too and it would be good if someone would post them.

Some individuals may think that with WV’s new open carry law restrictions no longer apply. Not true.

By Arch Branson  on  09.24.2016

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In West Virginia….

The Free Press WV

►   Kanawha County School Board Lands $1.5M Flood Grant

A West Virginia county school board has landed a $1.5 million federal grant for flood recovery efforts.

On Friday, U.S. Senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito announced the grant for the Kanawha County Board of Education.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency grant will help the board address flood-related issues in Kanawha County schools.

Five schools across the state, including two in Kanawha County, are being rebuilt because of extensive flood damage.

The June 23 floods killed 23 people and devastated homes, businesses and infrastructure.


►   Second Water Lab Worker to Plead Guilty for False Samples

Prosecutors say another former water testing lab employee is expected to plead guilty in a false sampling scheme for southern West Virginia coal mines.

The federal court documents filed Thursday show John Brewer reached a proposed plea agreement on one count of falsifying water sample reports.

The former manager at Appalachian Laboratories in Beckley could face up to two years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Brewer’s indictment carried a maximum 30 year prison sentence and $1.5 million fine.

Another ex-lab employee, John Shelton, is serving a 21-month prison sentence in a plea deal over faking water reports.

Mike Hissam, an attorney for Appalachian Laboratories, said the lab is shocked and saddened that Brewer claimed wrongdoing, contrary to his claims in the company’s internal investigation.


►   Tomblin to Award $1M Grant for Ex-Coal Miners

Governor Earl Ray Tomblin is joining environmental officials to award a $1 million grant that will benefit workers affected by layoffs in three coal counties.

The state Department of Environmental Protection says Tomblin will announce the project Friday morning at the Ralph R. Willis Career and Technical Center in Logan.

Tomblin’s office says the grant will support stream clean-up efforts in Boone, Logan and Mingo counties.

State environmental officials say the grant will let workers continue working and living in southern West Virginia.


►   WV National Guard to host free day camp in Clay for flood impacted children

The West Virginia National Guard is continuing to assist kids and families affected by the June 23 flood through free day camps.

The camps are designed to ease the emotional stress at home, according to Lt. Col. Melissa Shade, state public affairs officer for the National Guard.

“Crafts, activities for the kids to just relax and be a kid for a day and enjoy some of the activities that we have planned for them,” Shade said.

The next camp is scheduled for Saturday at Clay County High School. Registration and drop off is from 8-9 a.m. at the school auditorium. Pick up is at 5 p.m. that day.

The camp is open to students in grades 4-12 who were impacted by the flood. Friday marked three months since the disaster.

“Just to see the smiles on these kids’ faces when they’re climbing a rock wall and they’re getting to shoot a rocket with the star base folks, it’s just nice to see them be in a normal setting and just relax,” said Shade.

Lunch and snacks are provided for all participants.

“We are asking all the kids affected — if then want to bring a friend, we won’t turn anyone away,” Shade said.

The Guard began offering camps to kids earlier this summer.

2016: Area High School Football Scoreboard: Week 5

The Gilmer Free Press

Area High School Football Scoreboard
Week 5 Games
Tyler Consolidated (3-2) 47 Roane County (4-1) 22
Calhoun County (1-4) 0 Braxton County (2-2) 12
Doddridge County (3-2) 48 Lewis County (4-1) 28
Ritchie County (0-5) 8 Grafton (3-2) 21
Buckhannon-Upshur (1-3) 6 Williamstown (4-1) 55
Princeton (4-1) 35 Ravenswood (1-4) 12
Sherman (4-1) 59 Hundred (0-5) 0
Wirt County (1-4) 6 Paden City (1-3) 59
Webster County (2-2) 12 South Harrison (4-0) 26
Notre Dame (2-3) 21 Moorefield (4-1) 6
Phillip Barbour (0-6) 7 Bishop Donahue (3-1) 20
Tucker County (2-3) 21 Cameron (4-0) 30
Clay County (1-3) 33 Pocahontas County (2-3) 54
Liberty Raleigh (3-1) 38 Richwood (0-5) 12
Bridgeport (5-0) 24 Clay-Battelle (4-0) 49
Lincoln (3-2) 0 Valley (Wetzel) (1-4) 21
Liberty Harrison (3-2) 49 Parkersburg South (2-3) 44
Robert C. Byrd (1-4) 27 John Marshall (0-5) 12
Parkersburg (1-4) 13    
Marietta, OH 49    

In USA….

The Free Press WV

►   The 6 Best Affordable Big American Cities

Living in a big city doesn’t have to blow the budget. Money has identified the best affordable city in each of six US regions. Those chosen have a population of at least 300,000, and factors like affordable housing, job growth, low crime, green space, and good schools were considered. The winners:

  • Northeast: Boston, Mass.
  • Southeast: Raleigh, NC
  • Midwest: Columbus, Ohio
  • South: Arlington, Texas
  • Mountains: Colorado Springs, Colo.
  • West: Portland, Ore.

Click to see what these cities HAVE TO OFFER.


►   We’ve Been Merging Wrong This Whole Time

We’ve always assumed that those people who cut the line and wait until the last second to merge are rude, inconsiderate jerks, but now it appears that the jerks may have been us all along. NBC San Diego reports a growing number of states—including Minnesota, Missouri, Kansas, Washington, and Colorado—are asking drivers to wait until the exact point where the lanes narrow before merging. The Colorado Department of Transportation says waiting until the last possible moment to merge actually reduces delays by up to 35%, according to the Coloradoan. And the West Central Tribune reports it can reduce the length of a backup by up to 40%.

The explanation is actually fairly simple: Cars merging earlier than they absolutely must leave the remaining portion of the closing lane unused. That makes backups worse. Merging as late as possible is also safer. The Tribune notes that merging early “can lead to unexpected and dangerous lane switching, serious crashes, and road rage.“ But despite the evidence, drivers aren’t likely to start going easy on people who skip the line to merge at the last second. Colorado has been trying to get the word out about merging later for a decade to no avail. “I don’t know what it’s going to take to get people on board,“ a Department of Transportation spokesperson tells the Coloradoan.


►   Medical Examiner Calls Tulsa Police Shooting a Homicide

The Oklahoma man killed by police this week died from a “penetrating gunshot wound of chest,“ the state medical examiner’s office said Friday, classifying the death as a homicide. However, spokeswoman Amy Elliott said a full autopsy report and toxicology results are not yet complete, reports AP. Meanwhile, officer Betty Shelby was booked in the Tulsa County jail at 1:11am Friday on charges of first-degree manslaughter and released 20 minutes later after posting $50,000 bond, according to jail records. Shelby “reacted unreasonably” when she fatally shot 40-year-old Terence Crutcher on September 16, prosecutors wrote in an affidavit filed with the charge on Thursday.

Crutcher’s twin sister, Tiffany Crutcher, said her family is pleased with the charge, but she and her attorneys want a conviction. “The family wants and deserves full justice,“ said attorney Damario Solomon-Simmons. Dashcam and aerial footage of the shooting showed Crutcher walking away from Shelby with his arms in the air. The footage does not offer a clear view of when Shelby fired the fatal shot. Her attorney has said Crutcher was not following police commands and that Shelby opened fire when the man began to reach into his SUV window. Police have said they found a vial of PCP in Crutcher’s vehicle, and Shelby’s attorney has said Shelby thought Crutcher was acting like he was under the influence of the drug.


►   Charlotte Cop Videos Raise ‘More Questions Than Answers’

Relatives of Charlotte man Keith Lamont Scott have seen police body camera videos from the scene of his shooting—and reached a very different conclusion from police. Family attorney Justin Bamberg tells the Charlotte Observer that the family has “more questions than answers” after seeing the videos, which he says shows the 43-year-old calmly walking backward with his hands at his sides. Police Chief Kerr Putney admits that the videos do not provide “definitive” evidence that Scott had a gun, but he says that they’re part of a “totality” of evidence that suggests Scott was a threat and the shooting was justified. The latest developments:

  • Bamberg says the videos show Scott remaining calm when police order him out of his vehicle. “While police did give him several commands,“ he said, “he did not aggressively approach them or raise his hands at members of law enforcement at any time,“ he says. The attorney says the Scott family wants the videos to be released to the public.
  • Demonstrators chanted “release the tape” during a third night of protests in Charlotte, the AP reports. There was no repeat of the violence seen Tuesday and Wednesday nights in the city, which is under a state of emergency. National Guard members protected buildings Thursday night and police enforced a newly imposed midnight-to-6am curfew.
  • Charlotte Mayor Jennifer Roberts has also seen the police videos and like both police and family members, she says it’s impossible to tell what Scott has in his hands. “It is not a very clear picture, and the gun in question is a small gun and it was not easy to see with the way the motion was happening,“ she told CNN. His family says he was carrying a book and didn’t own a gun.
  • Reuters reports that a protester shot in the head by a civilian on Wednesday died on Thursday. At least nine other people were injured Wednesday and early Thursday, and 44 people were arrested.
  • The AP reports that Donald Trump called for an end to the unrest in a speech in suburban Philadelphia Thursday night. “The rioting in our streets is a threat to all peaceful citizens and it must be ended and ended now,“ he said. “The main victims of these violent demonstrations are law-abiding African-Americans who live in these communities and only want to raise their children in safety and peace.“
  • The unrest “literally smashed the facade of some of the city’s defining civic institutions,“ notes the Wall Street Journal, which looks at how Charlotte’s businesslike civic identity has been shaken by the disturbances.


►   More Victims of Ex-Uber, Lyft Driver Reported

Police in Southern California say a 14-year-old girl and another female ridesharing customer were reportedly victimized by a man charged with assaulting several women while driving for Uber and Lyft. Escondido police Lt. Justin Murphy said Thursday that the teen’s parent said Jeremy Vague had inappropriate contact with the girl while he was her volleyball coach in San Diego County. He had no other details, the AP reports. Murphy says another woman tells authorities she was victimized when he was her Lyft driver in the beach city of Encinitas, north of San Diego. Vague pleaded not guilty to sexual assault charges involving three other women who requested rides through Uber and Lyft.


►   Not Getting a Job Because of Dreadlocks Isn’t Discrimination

It’s perfectly legal for companies to refuse to hire someone based solely on the fact they have dreadlocks, according to an 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruling last week. The Huffington Post reports the incident started in 2010 when a woman named Chastity Jones had her job offer from Alabama’s Catastrophe Management Solutions rescinded when she refused to change her hairstyle. A white HR manager told her dreadlocks “tend to get messy” and violate company policy, according to NBC News. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit on behalf of Jones in 2013, alleging that Catastrophe violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. Last week, the Court of Appeals ruled 3-0 that it did not.

It came down to the difference between “immutable and mutable characteristics of race,“ Judge Adalberto Jordan wrote in the decision. In the past, courts have ruled Title VII only applies to characteristics of race that aren’t changeable. “For example, discrimination on the basis of black hair texture is prohibited by Title VII, while adverse action on the basis of black hairstyle is not,“ Jordan writes. The EEOC argues this interpretation ignores that race is a “social construct” with “no biological definition.“ Jordan says the way Title VII is applied may change in the future, but his court isn’t the place to do it, the Wall Street Journal reports. In the meantime, we hope Adam Duritz doesn’t have to look for work anytime soon.


►   Police Officer Who Killed Unarmed Man in Oklahoma Charged

Prosecutors in Tulsa, Oklahoma, filed manslaughter charges Thursday against the white police officer who fatally shot an unarmed black man on a city street, the AP reports. District Attorney Steve Kunzweiler filed the charges against officer Betty Shelby, who shot and killed 40-year-old Terence Crutcher on September 16. Dashcam and aerial footage of the shooting and its aftermath showed Crutcher walking away from Shelby with his arms in the air. The footage does not offer a clear view of when Shelby fired the single shot that killed Crutcher. Her attorney has said Crutcher was not following police commands and that Shelby opened fire when the man began to reach into his SUV window. But Crutcher’s family immediately discounted that claim, saying the father of four posed no threat to the officers, and police said Crutcher did not have gun on him or in his vehicle.

Shelby was en route to a domestic violence call when she encountered Crutcher’s vehicle abandoned on a city street, straddling the center line. Shelby did not activate her patrol car’s dashboard camera, so no footage exists of what first happened between the two before other officers arrived. The police footage shows Crutcher approaching the driver’s side of the SUV, then more officers walk up and Crutcher appears to lower his hands and place them on the vehicle. A man inside a police helicopter overhead says: “That looks like a bad dude, too. Probably on something.“ The officers surround Crutcher and he suddenly drops to the ground. A voice heard on police radio says: “Shots fired!“ The officers back away and Crutcher is left unattended on the street for about two minutes before an officer puts on medical gloves and begins to attend to him.


►   Undercover Cop Works at Burger King to Catch Criminals

In what sounds like the set-up for a pretty fun movie, a Maryland cop went undercover as a Burger King employee in order to catch two workers at the fast-food restaurant dealing drugs. Police got a complaint that BK employees were selling drugs in the restaurant’s parking lot, so an officer actually applied for a job there and, after his application was successful, he was able to buy drugs “several” times from his new colleagues, 23-year-old Tommy Lee Miller and 28-year-old Jonathan Brook Moser, police say. Both are now facing various drug-related charges, the Frederick News-Post reports.


►   Charlotte Police: No ‘Definitive’ Video Proof Man Pointed Gun

Body camera footage from the scene shows no proof Keith Scott pointed a gun at anybody before being shot and killed by an officer Tuesday in Charlotte, the Charlotte Observer reports. “The video does not give me absolute, definitive visual evidence that could confirm that a person is pointing a gun,“ police chief Kerr Putney says. “I didn’t see that in the videos I saw.“ The 43-year-old father of seven was shot after officers say he got out of his car with a gun, which he refused to drop. Scott’s family and other residents at the apartment complex where he was killed say he was unarmed, according to the AP. Regardless, Putney says video, “when taken in the totality of all the other evidence,“ supports the police’s narrative, ABC News reports.

Putney says they’ll be showing the video to Scott’s family but not making it public, arguing the case doesn’t warrant “full transparency” and that doing so would hurt the investigation. That decision is opposed by the ACLU and others. “We need answers, and we need justice,“ US Representative Alma Adams says. “That begins with actions like releasing the video.“ Meanwhile, Charlotte’s mayor says there’s no need for a curfew despite protests that have turned violent two nights in a row. A man who was shot and initially reported killed during the protests on Wednesday is still alive. Police were looking for another man at the apartment complex Tuesday when an officer shot Scott, who family says was reading a book while waiting for his son to get out of school.


►   In ‘Heartbreaking’ Video, Toddler Tries to Wake Up ODed Mom

Instead of helping when a 36-year-old woman collapsed from an apparent overdose, leaving her 2-year-old daughter crying on the floor of a Family Dollar, a bystander whipped out their cellphone and started filming, WILX reports. And while police wish the bystander would have helped instead, they will be using the video (which can be seen HERE ) as evidence of child endangerment against the unnamed woman. The video shows the woman lying on the floor of a Family Dollar in Lawrence, Massachusetts, as her daughter cries and tries to wake her up, the AP reports.

The 2-year-old was taken into custody by the Department of Children and Families, and her mother, after being revived with Narcan, was arrested. Police say they found evidence of heroin or fentanyl use on the woman. Police released the cellphone video Wednesday, calling it a “heartbreaking” example of how drug addiction impacts families. An Ohio police department was criticized earlier this month when it released a photo of a 4-year-old boy in the backseat of a car while his grandma was allegedly overdosing in the front. Police said they were trying to show the dangers of heroin.

In The World….

The Free Press WV

►   UN calls for stepped up security for planes and airports

Responding to increasing attacks on airports and aircraft, the U.N. Security Council on Thursday unanimously approved its first-ever resolution to address extremist threats to civil aviation and urge beefed-up security.

The U.N.‘s most powerful body called for stepped up screening and security checks at airports worldwide to “detect and deter terrorist attacks.“ And it called on all countries to tighten security at airport buildings, share information about possible threats, and provide advance passenger lists so governments are aware of their transit or attempted entry.

“The Security Council has delivered a resounding call to action for the international community,“ said Britain’s Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson. “This is the first U.N. Security Council resolution ever to focus on the threats by terrorists to civil aviation and it demonstrates our joint resolve to protect our citizens from an escalating danger.“

The resolution reflected growing global anxiety following attacks on airplanes and airports from Ukraine, Egypt and Somalia to Brussels and Istanbul.

While aviation security has improved, Johnson said the recent tragedies demonstrate “the urgency of our task” and the dangers posed by “terrorists who probe relentlessly the chinks in our collective armor.“

The British-drafted resolution expresses the council’s concern “that terrorist groups continue to view civil aviation as an attractive target, with the aim of causing substantial loss of life, economic damage” and air links between countries.

Fang Liu, Secretary General of the International Civil Aviation Organization, told the council before the vote that there are currently over 100,000 daily flights carrying 10 million travelers, which adds up to 3.5 billion passengers per year plus “one-third of the world’s trade by value” carried by planes.

She stressed that “the worldwide air transport network will double its volume of flights and passengers by 2030” which makes the protection of civil aviation from “acts of unlawful interference” one of ICAO’s highest priorities.

Deadly suicide bombings this year at airports in Brussels and Istanbul are “a tragic reminder of the enormous challenges faces in security public areas, the inseparability of aviation security and national security, and of the significant socio-economic consequences of terrorism,“ Liu said.

Following those attacks, she said ICAO developed new proposals aimed at enhancing security at airport facilities which are expected to be adopted by the agency’s governing council at a meeting in November. From 2017-19, ICAO will be developing a new Global Aviation Security Plan and among its goals are to provide greater technical assistance to countries and “accelerate the development of human resources.“

While the implementation of current aviation security standards are steadily improving both globally and regionally, Liu ticked off a list of threats that need urgent attention. They include small weapons carried by passengers, homemade bombs concealed in baggage and cargo, shoulder-fired ground-to-air missiles, security on the ground, cybersecurity, drones and insider threats.

Jeh Johnson, the U.S. Homeland Security secretary, welcomed the resolution and reminded the council of September 11, 2001 when hijackers took control of civilian aircraft and attacked New York’s World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington. A third attack was thwarted by passengers who all died when the plane crashed in Pennsylvania.

“I regard aviation security today as an urgent matter,“ he said. “The reality is today there is a continuing threat to aviation security including the terrorist threat.“

As for things to do, Johnson said the United States is seeking more agreements with other states to put air marshallson commercial flights to and from the United States.


►   Boris Johnson Gives Most Specific Estimate Yet of Brexit Timeline

Britain’s exit talks with the European Union will likely start in early 2017 and could take less than the allotted two years, Britain’s foreign secretary said Thursday. His comments came after the president of the European Parliament urged Britain to make an early start on the talks, saying it’s important to finish negotiations before European elections scheduled for mid-2019. Britain voted in a June referendum to leave the EU but has not yet invoked the article of the EU treaty that would trigger negotiations. Once it does, there is a two-year timeline laid out for talks. Prime Minister Theresa May has said she won’t initiate the discussions before the end of the year. Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson gave the British government’s most specific time frame yet, saying he expected talks to be triggered in the “early part of next year,“ the AP reports.

Speaking at the United Nations in New York, Johnson told Sky News that negotiations could take less than the allotted time. “I don’t think we will actually necessarily need to spend a full two years, but let’s see how we go,“ he said. European Parliament President Martin Schulz said before meeting May at 10 Downing St. on Thursday that he “understands that the British government wants to take its time.“ But he added that it wouldn’t be good for Britain or the EU if the British voted for members of the EU parliament while negotiations to leave the bloc were in progress, Germany’s dpa news agency reported. Schulz, a member of Germany’s center-left Social Democrats, leads the 28-nation EU’s legislative assembly.


►   Scientists Find Earth’s Oldest Civilization

New research suggests that the title of world’s oldest civilization goes to the indigenous populations of Australia and Papua New Guinea. Scientists say the DNA of these people can be traced back to an original wave of settlers from Africa more than 50,000 years ago, reports the Guardian. “They are probably the oldest group in the world that you can link to one particular place,” says the University of Copenhagen’s Eske Willerslev, lead author of a new study in Nature. It finds that the ancestors of these indigenous populations arrived on Sahul—a supercontinent that once included New Guinea, Australia, and Tasmania, per the Telegraph—between 51,000 and 72,000 years ago. In fact, the study suggests they were the first people to cross an ocean.

“Now we know their relatives are the guys who were the first real human explorers,“ says Willerslev. “Our ancestors were sitting being kind of scared of the world while they set out on this exceptional journey across Asia and across the sea.” At some point, they seem to have interbred with some early human relative whose DNA has left a small mark on the modern genetic makeup—it accounts for about 4% of it. The study, based on analysis of 83 indigenous Australians and 25 Papuans, found that the group remained largely isolated until about 4,000 years ago, when they encountered populations from Asia and then Europe.


►   Italy’s Procreation Campaign: A ‘Sexist Mess’

“Racism is in the eye of the beholder,“ according to Italy’s Health Ministry—and an awful lot of people are beholding just that in ads the ministry sent out to promote a national push for procreation. NBC News reports on the country’s much-ballyhooed Fertility Day, an event taking place Thursday that the government hopes will boost the country’s flagging birthrate, said to be the lowest in the EU. Events planned in cities around Italy (including Rome) on Fertility Day will include state-sponsored events where locals will be bombarded with baby-friendly propaganda about family planning, specifically about expanding families, per Quartz. The ads around the hot-and-heavy holiday are not only attracting claims of racism, but of sexism, too, with Fortune earlier this month calling the campaign “a sexist mess,“ while Quartz labeled it “an embarrassing misstep.“

The campaign kicked off in August, featuring a series of promos that some say are nothing more than fertility fear-mongering. One of the ads shows a woman holding an hourglass with the caption “Beauty has no age. Fertility does.“ And a pamphlet shows two cheerful white couples with the caption “Good habits to promote,“ while the caption “Bad company to leave behind” is accompanied by a photo of a black woman apparently smoking pot, while a white woman hangs out with a black man who’s drinking. Critics say a) the low birthrate isn’t women’s problem, and b) the country isn’t addressing unemployment, the real reason many people are choosing not to have kids. Even Italy’s prime minister is shaking his head. “I don’t know of any of my friends who had kids after they saw an [ad],“ Matteo Renzi said in an early September radio interview, per Reuters.


►   His Girlfriend’s Dad Gave Him a Gift—One Lost for Decades

There’s a 1939 record of a small figurine being part of Colombia’s National Museum’s catalogue. From there, nothing: The sculpture vanished from the Cartagena museum, but there is no documentation regarding how or when. It’s now been recovered, thanks to a conscientious art historian and the Art Recovery Group, which has unpacked how the sculpture made it out of Colombia. The man who most recently possessed it was reportedly rejected by Sotheby’s and turned to Hampstead, a small London auction house, to sell the figurine. After Hampstead’s art historian Beth West spotted a registration number on the chunky ceramic piece, she decided to contact the Art Recovery Group. Sure enough, additional research led to the confirmation that the centuries-old sculpture has been missing for decades, per a press release.

The Free Press WV

The piece’s checkered history has been only partly dissected, but Art Recovery Group CEO Christopher Marinello tells CNN that the unnamed owner received it as a parting gift from his girlfriend’s father, a “very important government official,“ on his way out of Colombia in 1999. He was searched all the way down to the shoulder pads of his jacket for drugs but not questioned at all about the sculpture by airport security. With an estimate of less than $13,000, the piece isn’t particularly valuable, says Marinello, but he calls it “quite symbolic of the material that has been stolen from Latin America.“ He gives a nod to the auction house, a “relatively small operation [that] could teach the bigger players in the art market a thing or two about thorough due diligence.“ The sculpture was returned to Colombia earlier this month.

West Virginia High Schools Able to Send Digital Transcripts

The Free Press WV

All West Virginia high schools are now able to submit academic transcripts digitally through a new e-transcript provider, Parchment. Through the “West Virginia eTranscript” initiative, all 122 public high schools have access to a secure and trusted platform to submit academic transcripts and other credentials electronically to higher education institutions and other organizations, including the NCAA and scholarship agencies.

“I was accustomed to processing transcripts manually,” said Karla Mace, registrar at Parkersburg High School in Wood County. [With Parchment] I am now able to process 25 transcripts in a minute versus the hours it would take me to pull files, copy transcripts and address the envelopes!”

Prior to engaging Parchment, high school transcripts in West Virginia were printed and processed manually and mailed primarily through the USPS, providing minimal insight to students into the request, fulfillment and delivery process. Digitizing credentials is proven to streamline operations for both the sending and receiving institutions, and enables receiving colleges and universities to use the data to optimize course placement, transfer articulation and reverse transfer.

Further emphasizing college readiness, the West Virginia Department of Education has committed to providing all high school students with two free transcripts to send to any institution within the Parchment network. Today, more than 82,000 students are enrolled in high school in West Virginia and can benefit from this initiative.

“Using Parchment not only provides our students with increased access and efficiencies, but also enables schools to directly connect Parchment with the electronic student information system which eliminates so much manual work and allows our counselors to reinvest their time in other student needs,” said Dr. Barbara Brady, School Counseling Coordinator for the Office of Student and School Supports with the West Virginia Department of Education. “Historically, it would take schools hours to process transcripts and days for them to be sent via mail. With Parchment, it’s only a matter of minutes.”

Parchment emphasizes the security and accuracy of their system, noting that 80 percent of all university admissions offices in the U.S. rely on Parchment for the protected delivery of applicant credential.

The admissions office at West Virginia University has been working with Parchment since April 2012 and has received more than 83,000 academic credentials and supporting documents via Parchment from students applying to the university. Processing incoming credentials electronically allows admissions offices to provide more timely admissions and scholarship decisions to applicants. Today, more than 90 percent of public higher education institutions in West Virginia are part of Parchment’s network to receive digital credentials.

Nitro High School in Kanawha County was among the first schools in West Virginia to launch with Parchment under this new initiative. “The transition from our previous process (printing and mailing) transcripts is remarkably improved and counselors spend much less time processing transcripts now that we are using Parchment to process electronically,” said Jon Duffy, Director of Counseling & Testing at Kanawha County School District. “Our students participating in the e-transcript pilot have been thrilled with the simple request process which has resulted in an overall improvement to our student satisfaction.”

09.23.2016
EducationNewsWorldwideUnited StatesWest Virginia(3) Comments

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~~~ Readers' Comments ~~~

smile How are the 50% of kids in the center of this state who don’t have computers or broadband access supposed to get theirs?

By Just Askin'  on  09.23.2016

Couple things are for sure.
One, the teachers are not to blame.
Two, the taxpayers are footing a big bill.

So the 47th in education failure responsibilities rests squarely with the West Virginia Board of Education, the Joe Manchin administration, the Earl Ray Tomblin administration and their appointees, and the failed Legislators.

IE: Charleston Losers Club

The only winners are the money pocketing elites.

By poor return on tax dollars invested  on  09.24.2016

Devono purchased 200 computers for the GCHS. Did
that expense help to improve reading and math scores or anything else? 

When stiff campaigning was done to get the computers citizens were promised that special measures would be taken to help students from homes without computers.

Exactly what was done to assist those students and what overall results do we have to show for purchasing the computers?

Every time there are performance problems with math and reading the cry is to buy more computers.

WV has been leading that push for a decade or more with the State still stuck at the bottom for quality of its K-12 education system.

Computers are tools not solutions, and the most important element for student achievement will always be classroom teachers.

By GCHS Teacher  on  09.24.2016

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New Purple Paint Posting Option on Private Land Now Available In West Virginia

The Free Press WV

In addition to the traditional ways of posting land, West Virginia landowners now have another option – the use of purple paint – to prevent unauthorized individuals from entering their property.

According to a new law passed this year by the West Virginia legislature [§61-3B-1 (B)], boundaries can be marked with a clearly visible purple-painted marking, consisting of one vertical line no less than 8 inches in length and 2 inches in width, and the bottom of the mark not less than 3 nor more than 6 feet from the ground or normal water surface.

The painted marks must be affixed to immovable, permanent objects that are no more than 100 feet apart and readily visible to any person approaching the property.

Even if landowners post their land with purple paint, they must post written signs at all roads, driveways or gates of entry onto the posted land which are clearly noticeable from outside the boundary line.

The West Virginia Division of Natural Resources reminds hunters that they must carry written permission from landowners before entering private property.

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