Thursday, October 5, 2017

Days after the deadliest shooting in modern US history, investigators are still searching for a motive

On Sunday night (10/1), a gunman fired on a crowd at a country music festival in Las Vegas, killing at least 58 people and wounding hundreds. He fired shots from a hotel room, in which he’d set up cameras and stockpiled at least 23 weapons. He also wired tens of thousands of dollars to the Philippines in recent weeks – which is where his girlfriend was at the time of the attack. She’s now back in the US and is being questioned. The suspect had no criminal record and no known ties to a terror organization. Some are saying ‘if it looks like terrorism, and sounds like terrorism, call it terrorism.’ Others, including law enforcement, are pointing out how federal law defines terrorism: the use of violence to “intimidate or coerce” a government or civilians to influence policy. And investigators don’t have a motive yet. Any time there’s a mass shooting, it reignites the gun debate. Democrats are calling for a special committee to address gun violence in the US. They’ve also asked the GOP to toss a bill that would ease gun restrictions. President Trump says the White House will take up gun laws “as time goes by.” (NY Times)

 

Every one of Yahoo’s 3 billion user accounts was breached in a 2013 cyberattack, despite previous claims that the hack had affected 1 billion accounts

Verizon, which bought Yahoo at a $350 million discount earlier this year after the initial findings, said the additional figure came to light during the integration process. Even with just 1 billion accounts affected, the hack had been considered the biggest-ever breach based on total user accounts. Cyberattacks have become more common at big companies holding large amounts of personal user data. (Wall Street Journal)

 

We’re getting too many emails at work

US workers average 199 unread or unopened emails, according to a recent report by project management software company Workfront. Some of the biggest email overload culprits? Sending information that would be better conveyed face-to-face and getting added to emails that aren’t relevant to your role. Unsurprisingly, the employees surveyed said productivity was negatively impacted; some studies even estimate that workers spend 33% of their working hours on email — a time-sucker considered second only to “wasteful meetings.” (The Ladders)

 

Supreme Court heard arguments in a gerrymandering case that could redefine US politics

Gerrymandering: when lawmakers redraw electoral maps to favor their party. Back in 2011, GOP lawmakers in Wisconsin redrew voting maps to give an advantage at the polls. Dem voters sued, saying the maps violate their constitutional rights by silencing their votes. Now the Supreme Court Judges are taking up the case. Liberal justices say voting maps like in Wisconsin could dissuade people from going to the polls. Conservative justices say the court could compromise its integrity by weighing in on a case that’s so political. Justice Kennedy – who is often a swing vote – is up in the air. But he’s got a while to think about it. The court has until June to make a decision. (Reuters)

 

Cuba, You’re Fired!

The other day (10/3), the US government  sent 15 Cuban diplomats packing.  Over the past year, nearly two dozen US diplomats or their family members fell victim to  possible sonic attacks in Havana. The attacks have led to symptoms including dizziness and hearing loss. The Cuban government claims to not have anything to do with it, but last week, the State Dept told Americans stop traveling to Cuba. And pulled most of its embassy staff from the country. Now, it wants certain Cuban diplomats in the US to go home, so that both embassies are operating with fewer staffers. Cuba says this decision is “reckless” and “hasty.”  (AP News)

 

Nobel prize in physics awarded for discovery of gravitational waves

Three American physicists have won the Nobel prize in physics for the first observations of gravitational waves, ripples in the fabric of spacetime that were anticipated by Albert Einstein a century ago. Rainer Weiss has been awarded half of the the $1,095,517.50 prize, announced by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm on Tuesday (10/3). Kip Thorne and Barry Barish will share the other half of the prize.  All three scientists have played leading roles in the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory, or Ligo, experiment, which in 2015 made the first historic observation of gravitational waves triggered by the violent merger of two black holes a billion light years away. Prof Olga Botner, a member of the Nobel committee for physics, described this as “a discovery that shook the world”. The Ligo detections finally confirmed Einstein’s century-old prediction that during cataclysmic events the fabric of spacetime itself can be stretched and squeezed, sending gravitational tremors out across the universe like ripples on a pond. The direct detection of gravitational waves also opens a new vista on the “dark” side of the cosmos, to times and places from which no optical light escapes. This includes just fractions of a second after the Big Bang, 13.7 billion years ago, when scientists believe gravitational waves left a permanent imprint on the cosmos that may still be perceptible today. (The Guardian)

 

Man facing charges after allegedly getting into fight over stolen pork roll

A New Jersey man who police say punched another man several times over a stolen pork roll sandwich is facing charges. Hackettstown police say they were called to an apartment on reports of a fight over a stolen pork roll. Police found the victim with swelling on his face. They say the fight early Saturday morning (9/29) also may have started over beer, and that the suspect and the victim knew each other. Police arrested the 19-year-old Hackettstown man on simple assault charges. (NY Post)

 

Thirsty Thursday Offers Us:

*International Day of No Prostitution
*National Depression Screening Day  (2nd Thursday)
*World Teachers Day

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