DOJ weighs terror charges for those who make threats to spread coronavirus

first_imgPowerofflowers/iStock(WASHINGTON) — The Justice Department is urging federal prosecutors around the country to weigh terror charges against individuals who either threaten to spread or purposely attempt to transmit novel coronavirus to others, according to a newly released memo.The memo was made public just hours after state terroristic threats charges were announced against a New Jersey man who allegedly coughed on a grocery store employee and told her that he had coronavirus.“Threats or attempts to use COVID-19 as a weapon against Americans will not be tolerated,” Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Rosen said in the memo addressed to all U.S. attorneys Monday.Rosen says in the memo that, “because coronavirus appears to meet the statutory definition of a “biological agent”” under the law, “such acts potentially could implicate the Nation’s terrorism-related statutes.”The recommendation was just one in a series offered to prosecutors as the Justice Department shifts focus to prosecuting those who seek to take advantage of the current national crisis around COVID-19.The Monday memo alarmed some civil liberties advocates, however. The American Civil Liberties union expressed concern Wednesday that DOJ is using the national emergency to overreach on its prosecutorial powers, and argued that the language in the recommendation could prevent some people from seeking help for fear they could be wrongly accused of trying to “intentionally” spread the virus.“Rather than heeding public health experts’ advice to promote public trust in science and reduce prison populations, the Justice Department is threatening to use vague, overbroad, and flawed coercive powers that will make people more afraid to seek care,” director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s national security project Hina Shamsi said in a statement.Attorney General Gurbur Grewal on Tuesday alleged that 50-year-old George Falcone coughed on a female employee at a Wegman’s grocery store in Manalapan, New Jersey, after she had raised concerns he was standing too close to her and asked Falcone to step back.“Instead, Falcone allegedly stepped forward to within 3 feet of her, leaned toward her, and purposely coughed,” a statement from Grewal’s office said. “He allegedly laughed and said he was infected with the coronavirus. Falcone subsequently told two other employees they are lucky to have jobs.”The statement from Grewal’s office indicates Falcone’s arrest was based more on his alleged attempt at intimidation rather than any serious suspicion he was infected with coronavirus.Falcone was then confronted by a detective of the local police department who was inside the store and took down his information.“Exploiting people’s fears and creating panic during a pandemic emergency is reprehensible. In times like these, we need to find ways to pull together as a community instead of committing acts that further divide us,” said Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni.It was not clear yet as of Wednesday morning whether Falcone has selected a defense attorney, and attempts to reach him for comment were not immediately successful.In a separate memo circulated by the Department of Homeland Security Monday, officials warned law enforcement about online postings from white supremacist extremist groups encouraging “infected individuals to intentionally spread COVID-19 in diverse neighborhoods and in religious institutions such as mosques and synagogues.”The memo noted that there has not yet been any credible evidence yet, however, of specific imminent plots by the groups. Copyright © 2020, ABC Audio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Mall Walking

first_imgIt’s cold outside, and it’s much easier this time of year to sit inside on a frigid, blustery day and read a book under a blanket while sipping a mug of tea. It’s often difficult for us to find the motivation we had on Jan. 1 to exercise and get fit.Many barriers exist when we try to implement a physical activity routine, especially one focused on walking. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lists sidewalk conditions, crosswalks, lack of daylight in the winter and safety from traffic and crime among these obstacles. But exercise is a necessary part of our daily routine. How can we get the 30 minutes a day, five days a week of physical activity we need without freezing our feet off?Why not try mall walking? While this isn’t a new idea, the mall is an often underutilized public space for those who wish to exercise in comfort and safety. Shopping malls can offer some of the best perks, such as:Temperature-controlled buildingsAccessible bathroomsFree water fountainsFlat and level walking routesWell-lit and safe environments with security presentBenches to restNo memberships required, so family and friends can walk with youAlso, the only thing individuals need to start mall walking is a positive attitude and a good pair of sneakers – so there are no excuses. Research studies suggest that when individuals exercise with a friend who is also motivated, they are more likely to exercise longer, harder and enjoy it more. Whether you are alone or with others, walking has many physical benefits. Walking 30 minutes a day can reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease, stroke, hypertension, obesity, osteoporosis, Type 2 diabetes and certain types of cancers, according to the American Heart Association.While you should walk at a pace that is challenging – yet comfortable – for you, a good rule of thumb is to use the talk test. The talk test will determine if you are exercising at a moderate or vigorous level of activity. If you’re walking at a moderate pace, you should be able to talk, but not sing. Vigorous activity occurs when you are not able to say more than a few words without having to stop. If you walk into the vigorous zone, slow down or take a quick break to lower your heart rate to a moderate level.Most malls open their front doors at least an hour early for mall walkers to have free reign. This is probably the easiest time to get your steps in, since you will not have to maneuver around crowds coming in and out of stores. Consider walking the stairs for a workout bonus. Step into the land of department stores with a nice pair of walking shoes and have fun this winter. For more information on increasing your level of physical activity and walking, see the tips from UGA Extension at www.fcs.uga.edu/extension/health-lose-weight-exercise.last_img read more

FINANCIAL RANKINGS: Liverpool Closing in on Man Utd as England’s…

first_img4. LIVERPOOL£1.143bn / 6 per cent + (£64.3m rise) 7. PSG£876m / 5.8 per cent + (£48m rise) 10. ARSENAL£651m / 18.18 per cent – (£150m fall The Brand Finance Reviewshows that Real Madrid are positioned in number one with the total value of the club currently at £1.286bn (€1.419bn), despite a drop in value of a staggering £205m.Barcelona’s value, meanwhile, actually increased by 1.4 per cent – meaning there is now just £5.4m (€6m) between the two clubs at the top of the worldwide rankings -with Barca’s value a total of £1.280bn (€1.413bn).Overall, the top 10 is made up of six English teams, with Manchester City in fifth after a 10.4 per cent decrease (a total of £118m) in their valuation to £1.018bn (€1.124bn).Chelsea dropped a place to eighth, with their value decreasing for the fourth consecutive year, while Tottenham are ninth just above Arsenal by £58.9m (€65m), who are in 10th.The Gunners in particular saw a huge drop in their value, with a decrease of £150m representing an 18.18 per cent drop on their 2019 valuation.Spurs enjoyed a three per cent increase in their value, largely because of the opening of their new £1billion, 60,000-capacity stadium.Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich are the only German side in the top 10 – they’re positioned sixth in the table – whilst PSG are the only French club and they sit seventh in the table.Perhaps surprisingly, there is no Italian club in the top 10, with Juventus situated in 11th, Inter Milan 14th and AC Milan 22nd.Bundesliga runners-up Borussia Dortmund are placed in 12th, Atletico Madrid are a place behind in 13th, while Champions League quarter-finalists Red Bull Leipzig complete the top-15.Other Premier League clubs experienced huge increases in valuation, with Leicester City recording a 44 per cent increase to £301m (€333m) as a result of their season in the upper echelons of the table, even though they just missed out on Champions League qualification on Sunday. 1. REAL MADRID£1.286bn / 13.8 per cent- (£205m fall) 3. MAN UTD£1.190bn / 10.7 per cent – (£143m fall) Liverpoolare closing in on Manchester Unitedas England’s most valuable football club after their Premier League title triumph, according to the latest edition of the Brand Finance Football Annual.According to reports published by UK’s Daily Mail yesterday, The Reds are up to fourth in the worldwide rankings, with their value rising by six per cent to £1.143billion (€1.262bn), just £47million behind Manchester United’s £1.190bn valuation – which represents a drop of £143m on the previous year and a fall to third in the rankings.However, both clubs are some way behind leading LaLiga duo of Real Madrid and Barcelona, with the former retaining top spot despite making nearly a 14 per cent loss, with the coronaviruscrisis causing the total brand value of top 50 clubs to fall for the first time in six years. Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram 6. BAYERN MUNICH£957m / 19.6 per cent – (£233m fall) 5. MAN CITY£1.018bn  / 10.4 per cent – (£118m fall) THE TOP 10 MOST VALUABLE FOOTBALL CLUBS IN THE WORLD  8. CHELSEA£859m / 1.9 per cent – (£17m fall) 9. TOTTENHAM£710m / 3.3 per cent + (£23.5m rise) ClubValue/percentage rise or fall (value rise/fall from 2019) 2. BARCELONA£1.280bn / 1.4 per cent + (£18.1m rise)last_img read more

Village construction creates student safety concerns

first_imgHeavy pedestrian traffic near the new Village construction site on Jefferson Boulevard and Hoover Street could cause accidents, according to the Dept. of Public Safety.Watch out · The South Traffic Bureau division of the LAPD can cite students for walking in prohibited areas. Fines and citations for these infractions can amount to over $200, according to DPS. – Graphic courtesy of DPS Crime PreventionConstruction barriers have eliminated the sidewalk on the west side of Hoover Street and much of McClintock Avenue. DPS Deputy Chief David Carlisle said the department is concerned that pedestrians walking in the street on such a busy road have an increased chance of injury.“We are worried that students could be struck,” Carlisle said. “During some peak hours, students will start walking along that sidewalk and then keep going in the street.”DPS Chief John Thomas said the sidewalk could remain closed for the three-year duration of the Village construction project. DPS is hoping to educate students early on so that they understand this is not the intersection that they were familiar with before, and they should adjust their travel habits accordingly. He added that DPS is hoping to reopen the sidewalk before the completion of construction.“The biggest concern is any time you have pedestrians walking in the same roadway as cars traveling and particularly if the students’ backs are to the cars, it’s never good,” Thomas said. “You’re only talking about a two-lane highway — two lanes going south on that side — and if you’ve got pedestrians in one lane that means you’ve just reduced that to a one-lane highway. As vehicles are coming around the corner potentially there are blind spots, and they could potentially hit a student.”In August, DPS sent out an email to students that included a map of the construction site. The email warned that it was unsafe for pedestrians to walk along these areas where there is no sidewalk access.People who walk in the street are in violation of California Vehicle Code 21956a and could be fined up to $196. It is legal for bicyclists to use the street, but not for skateboarders because a person on a skateboard is considered a pedestrian under the law.“Should LAPD South Traffic Bureau be in the area on patrol or if they respond to complaints, they could cite you,” Carlisle said. “They don’t cite into student judicial affairs, they cite into court, which fines people and with court costs associated with the fine. Typically it’s over $200.”One of DPS’s largest concerns is a pedestrian getting injured on game day when there are large crowds.“We’re hoping through education to let students know to not walk in the street where it’s hazardous,” Carlisle said. “Our goal is to prevent a collision from occurring and injuring a student. We are going to see how that works this Saturday, which is a game day, and try to monitor that.”According to Carlisle, Capital Construction, which is employed by USC, is considering putting some of the money in the project budget toward buying a portable message board to warn people not to walk in the street and to use the other side.Areas on and near campus have been closed before due to construction, and Carlisle said DPS previously posted officers along McClintock during the remodeling of the Uytengsu Aquatic Center. He added that it is more difficult to control pedestrian traffic on public streets near The Village’s construction.Carlisle said that the City of Los Angeles and the university worked to remove the diagonal crosswalks at the intersection of Jefferson Boulevard and Hoover Street because they wanted to discourage people from crossing over to the north corner.Thomas said there have yet to be any collisions reported near the construction site, and DPS is hoping to keep it that way by keeping students on the sidewalks.“Our biggest concern is the safety of the students. Any time you’ve got pedestrians and bikes and skateboards in the same roadway, it’s just a recipe for disaster,” he said.last_img read more

Olympia Mayor Will Not Seek Re-Election in 2015

first_imgSubmitted by Mayor Stephen BuxbaumOlympia Mayor Stephen Buxbaum announced today that he will not seek re-election in the fall.Mayor Buxbaum has an ambitious agenda for his last year in office. “I am excited about what’s ahead in 2015 and am looking forward to continuing to advocate for the interests of our city and region without having the extra work of running a re-election campaign.”Buxbaum said that his priorities for the coming year include expanding upon the progress made to date in developing a Community Renewal Area for downtown Olympia, a plan for preservation of Percival Landing and advocating for a new Olympia Library.“Protecting the character and quality of all of our city’s neighborhoods continues to be a priority for me as does expanding opportunities for local businesses.”During Buxbaum’s term as Mayor the Council completed work on both its Shoreline Master Plan and the update of the City’s Comprehensive Plan. Among Buxbaum’s accomplishments are strengthening the region’s homeless service system, improved relationships with neighborhood associations and the restructuring of the city’s Community Development Block Grant Program to include new resources now available for economic development.Including his time as Mayor Pro Tem and chair of the City’s Finance Committee, Buxbaum oversaw the passage of several balanced budgets during a time of serious fiscal constraints placed on the city due to the Great Recession and cutbacks in support from Washington State. He proposed and led in the passage of a Public Safety Sales Tax and in the approval of an Alcohol Impact Area for downtown Olympia.Buxbaum was elected to the Olympia City Council in 2009 and was elected mayor in 2011. At the end of his term in December 2015 he will have served the City of Olympia for 6 years. Facebook32Tweet0Pin0last_img read more

UWI, Kingston in Senior Cup semis

first_imgEmerging Jamaica all-rounder Rovman Powell led the University of The West Indies (UWI) to a first-innings victory over Kensington in quarter-final action of the Jamaica Cricket Association Senior Cup at the Sir Frank Worrell Oval yesterday.The 22-year-old Powell, who played one match for Jamaica in the recently concluded WICB First-Class Championship and was surprisingly drafted by Jamaica Tallawahs for the upcoming Caribbean Premier League, scored 80 before returning to claim four for 20 in the drawn affair.In another quarter-final match yesterday, Kingston, with half-centuries from all-rounder Derval Green and Brandon King, and fourwickets from left-arm spinner Patrick Harty, got the better of St Catherine CC at Chedwin Park.At the Sir Frank Worrell Oval, the UWI first made 250 with Powell getting support from Javaughn Buchanan, 49, and Mark Parchment, 33.OUTSTANDING BOWLERSOff-spinner Shamar Anderson, four for 59, fast bowler Nicholson Gordon, three for 23, and left-arm spinner, Ryan Francis two for 56, claimed most wickets.Kensington, in reply, were bowled out for 137 thanks to Powell and Horace Linton, who took four for 37. Anderson 23, David Bernard Jr, 21 not out, and Horace Miller, 20, made most runs.Batting a second time, the UWI closed on 105 for three with Jamaica captain Paul Palmer Jr, ending on 32 not out, and Powell, 18, not out.”It was a good result, one that we wanted and needed,” said UWI coach, Robert Samuels. “On day one, I thought we batted well under trying circumstances given the Kensington bowling attack.”They were then 60-odd for three overnight, and we returned bowled well and got the job done. Credit must also be given to Powell and the way he played.”At Chedwin Park, Green hit 86, King 50 and Aaron Johnson gathered 38 in Kingston’s first innings total of 244. Odean Brown, three for 58, and Stephan Casey, three for 54, and fast bowler, Brian Buchanan, three for 59, were the top wicket takers.St Catherine were dismissed for 99 with Harty four for 24, and fellow left-armer Paul Harrison, three for 13, claiming most victims. Mariano Dixon made a topscore of 40 with former national captain Tamar Lambert making 10 and Danza Hyatt, four.The UWI and Kingston have now joined Melbourne and St Thomas in the semi-finals, which are scheduled to be played next weekend.last_img read more

Humboldt B52s unload on 45s, score most runs of season in 15-1 win

first_imgIt’s a wonder the B52s didn’t break the majority of their bats Saturday night. Cody Banks produced nearly a full game’s worth of offense himself, garnering four hits and five RBIs while former McKinleyville High ball player Jacob Smith had three hits including a home run as the Humboldt B52s unloaded on the visiting Redding Colt 45s in a 15-1 blowout win at Bomber Field.In the bottom of the fourth inning with the game tied at 1-1 Smith singled to load up the bases with one out and help set up …last_img read more

Seven summits, seven flights for charity

first_img16 July 2010 The paraglider slowly drifted down from the blue sky, moving in broad circles as he lined up to land alongside a banner reading “Seven summits, 7 flights”. Pierre Carter’s aim was perfect – he landed softy and gently ran up to the crowd gathered in Delta Park in northern Joburg, his rectangular orange and white parachute billowing behind him. Carter is one of three athletes to tackle this “journey of a life time”, in which they will be the first team in the world to summit the highest mountain on each of the seven continents, and once on the summits, paraglide down to their starting points. The other members of the team are 33-year-old Marianne Schwankhart and Peter Friedman. Carter and Friedman are both 43. They set off on Sunday, 11 July and will begin by tackling Mount Elbrus in Russia, at 5 642 metres. The other summits on which they will be leaving their footprints are: Carstensz Pyramid in West Papua, Indonesia (4 884m), Mount Vinson in Antarctica (4 897m), Kilimanjaro in Tanzania (5 895m), Denali in Alaska (6 194m), Aconcagua in Argentina (6 959m), and the tallest of them all, Everest in Nepal (8 850m). They admit that Carstensz Pyramid is the one that makes them the most nervous; despite the fact that it is the lowest, it is the most dangerous, and no one has ever tried to paraglide off it before. “Walking back down a mountain is the most dangerous part of climbing, so paragliding down will reduce the risks,” says Carter. All three members of the expedition recognise that there are great risks involved. Problems for paragliders at these heights include strong winds and temperatures dropping to -30°C, or -50°C with the wind chill element. If the winds are too strong they will have to wait until they drop, for up to eight hours, if necessary. The three have had special lightweight gliders made, weighing 10 kilograms. A standard glider weighs 40 kilomgrams. Carter and Schwankhart will do a tandem paraglide off the summits, so that Schwankhart can photograph the summits on the way down, while Friedman will attempt the flights as a single glider. They will be taking along two cameramen, Guy Hubbard and Kyle O’Donoghue, to capture the three of them climbing and flying. Both are climbers as well.Carter’s idea The idea originates with Carter, who has had this dream since 1991. The team expects to finish the challenge in around two years, largely driven by financial constraints and weather and seasons. For instance, Mount Everest can only be climbed between March and May. The idea of climbing the seven summits originated with Dick Bass in 1985. Since then more than 200 people have climbed all seven. Climbing and paragliding off them has been attempted before, by a French couple, but they never completed the task. Carter has been paragliding since 1988, and represented South Africa in the world paragliding championships for five consecutive years between 1991 and 1995. He has been climbing for almost 30 years and has summited and paraglided off two of the seven mountains – Elbrus and Aconcagua. He is considered to be one of the 15 greatest paragliders in the world, and will be the team leader of the expedition.First woman Schwankhart, an award-winning photo journalist with The Times newspaper, has been a climber since 1995. She was the first woman to climb the sheer east face of the central tower of the Torres del Paine in Chile in 2003, and returned in 2008 and climbed all three of the peaks, again setting the record for a woman. In 2005, she climbed the Trango Tower in Pakistan – 900m of vertical rock face – to a height of 6 500m. The same year she climbed Cerro Torre in Patagonia, Argentina. Climbing a sheer cliff face requires the climber to sleep for several nights on the mountain, sleeping in a suspended hammock-like contraption, hanging from the mountainside. In 2006, she filmed No Need for Parking – an Africa Rock Adventure, a record of her climbs in southern Africa. Remarkably, Schwankhart doesn’t see the climbing or the sub-zero temperatures as her greatest challenge in the venture; she wants to be able to take good photographs. “The purpose of my trip is to take amazing photographs, so I hope I can do this. My main worry is whether my camera batteries are charged,” she explains. The climbing is of secondary concern. “Mount Elbrus is an easy mountain, I am not too worried. I can rely on muscle memory for the climb.” She is not a paraglider though, and is a little concerned about being air sick. Friedman has been paragliding for eight years and has fixed-wing and helicopter licences. He has a black belt in karate and has represented South Africa in Japan at the world karate championships. He has also represented South Africa in the world surf skiing championships in the United States. He has been the driving force behind putting the expedition together, raising the all-important funding and sponsors.Funds The expedition will be raising funds for The Trust, an organisation that raises funds for 100 charities, with causes ranging from crime survivors, abused animals, HIV and Aids sufferers, to protecting the environment. This year’s particular cause is fighting human trafficking, in partnership with Cintron Africa, says Tracey-Lee Cohen, the managing trustee. The Trust will run a series of TV and radio adverts by R&B singer Akon to assist in raising awareness of human trafficking. “The anti-human trafficking case is just one example of a social cause that will benefit from the bravery and initiative shown by the 7 Summits 7 Flights team,” says Cohen. The expedition will also be raising funds for The Smile Foundation, a charity involved in assisting children with facial anomalies get surgery. “We admire the dedicated work of charitable organisations such as The Smile Foundation and hope to help provide them with the resources and funds they need to do their work and overcome their own challenges,” says Carter. The three estimate they will need about R7-million to complete the whole venture. All the gear has been sponsored, but funding is still needed. Donations can be made through their website. The team can be followed on a range of social media: they will be updating their website, Twitter and Facebook pages every few days, and articles will appear in The Times newspaper. DSTV will provide R2-million in airtime to the expedition. Source: City of Johannesburglast_img read more

Google Reader Link Will Be Returned From Demotion

first_imgLast week we reported on the demotion of the link to Google Reader below the “more” fold inside Gmail, asking whether it was part of a general trend away from enthusiasm about RSS. That made me very sad, because it decreased the likelihood of casual discovery of this fabulous technology. Now it turns out that Google says (via Twitter, not on its blog or feed!) that the move was a mistake and will be returned soon, possibly as early as today.Alexia Tsotsis wrote last night that the company determines the placement of services in the toolbar by popularity, and the Picasa photo sharing service was correctly added, but according to a Google representative it should have been in addition to and not instead of Reader. In celebration of the good news, perhaps we should all send the following video, Common Craft’s intro to RSS, to a friend in need of a life changing web technology. It’s easy to be snarky about peoples’ supposed over-reaction to the demotion of a link, it’s another matter to recognize a valuable tool and share it with others. Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#Google#news#web Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting marshall kirkpatrickcenter_img Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more