Tuesday, June 9, 2020

Facebook limits spread of ‘Boogaloo’ groups amid protests

Facebook Inc is making it harder to find user groups associated with the term “Boogaloo,” which refers to a potential U.S. civil war or the collapse of civilization, the company said in a recent statement. Facebook will no longer recommend such groups to members of similar associations. A series of reports this year by researchers and media have drawn attention to the loose movement and its propagation on social media. In April, an advocacy group called the Tech Transparency Project warned that Boogaloo followers were discussing taking up arms while promoting protests to “liberate” states from coronavirus restrictions. Many Boogaloo participants identify with white nationalist groups or militias, researchers say. Others are gun-rights advocates or oppose what they see as government overreach and some even support Black Lives Matter protests against police brutality. Facebook said the politics of Boogaloo members it looked into “ran the gamut” from right to left. (Reuters)


Two National Guardsmen were injured after suffering the effects of a lightning strike near the White House

Officials say the two service members were struck shortly after midnight within the Lafayette Park perimeter of Washington DC, where protests over the death of George Floyd continued for a seventh day. Both of the officers were taken to a nearby hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, D.C. Fire and EMS officials said. That night, the stormy weather cleared out many protesters, but some remained through the downpour in the area of Lafayette Square past midnight. The city was also under a flash flood watch. (CBS News)


Police Board President Struck Five Times By Police With Their Batons During Protest

Chicago police officers struck the Chicago Police Board President five times on his legs with their batons during a protest that turned violent. He filed a complaint with the Citizens Office of Police Accountability alleging that he was struck by at least one officer during a protest sparked by the death of George Floyd in the custody of Minneapolis police, said a spokesperson for the agency. The complaint, which identifies the officer said struck him, is one of 344 complaints of police misconduct filed with COPA between midnight May 29th and 7 a.m. Friday (6/5). The complaint itself is confidential and still an ongoing investigation. (WTTW)


Michigan’s top court throws out orders against barber

The Michigan Supreme Court overturned orders that directed a barber to close his shop during the coronavirus pandemic, with one justice saying judges need to follow the “rule of law, not hysteria.” The Michigan appeals court made mistakes in telling a local judge to shut down the barber’s shop in Owosso, Michigan, 40 miles northeast of Lansing, the Supreme Court said. On May 4th, the barber stopped complying with Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s order to keep barbershops and salons closed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. In response, the state suspended his licenses. It also got a preliminary injunction from the appeals court. The 77-year-old barber has continued defiantly cutting hair despite the injunction and license suspensions. He even gave free haircuts during a Capitol protest on May 20. The attorney general’s office said it’s prepared to return to court to argue the health risks of keeping the barber’s shop open, although the governor announced Friday that barbershops and salons can reopen June 15. (Associated Press)


States are leaning toward a push to break up Google’s ad tech business

The state attorneys general investigating Google for potential antitrust violations are leaning toward pushing for a breakup of its ad technology business as part of an expected suit. Fifty attorneys general have been probing Google’s business practices for months, alongside a similar probe being led by the U.S. Department of Justice. Both the states and the DOJ are looking to file a suit against the internet giant as soon as within the next few months. The states and the Justice Department have not yet officially decided whether to combine their expected suits, the people said, though they have been collaborating closely. Both have been investigating Google’s search, ad technology and android business. The attorneys general investigating Google, which is owned by Alphabet, haven’t yet definitively ruled out pushing for alternatives for its ad technology business, like imposing restrictions on how it runs its business, one of the sources said. A suit may also include a push for both that option and breaking up the ad tech business. (CNBC)


Your ideas are better than you think

Before you discard that brand new idea you just cooked up into your mental dustbin, hold on for just a moment. According to researchers from INSEAD, The Open University of Israel, people consistently underestimate the originality of their ideas. We tend to think that everyone else is thinking the same way we are. Turns out they aren’t, or at least not nearly as often as we assume. So, if you feel an urge to keep your suggestion to yourself, speak up instead. Being aware of this tendency can help, and managers can help even more by openly encouraging people to share their idea seedlings. (Insead)


Speedway declares race a ‘protest’ to skirt coronavirus rules, draws 2,000

A North Carolina speedway drew a crowd of more than 2,000 spectators in defiance of the state’s coronavirus restrictions after declaring the race a “protest.” The governor’s office had warned Ace Speedway in Elon, North Carolina recently that a crowd of more than 25 would violate the state’s Phase 2 coronavirus restrictions, but news outlets report that more than 2,000 attended a race Saturday night (6/6). A sign from management outside the speedway said, “This Event is held in Peaceful Protest of Injustice and Inequality Everywhere.” The Alamance County Sheriff’s Office said it is “evaluating the events.” (The Washington Times)


Come To Ghana If You’re Not Wanted In USA

The Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture has invited African Americans to re-settle in Ghana if they feel unwanted in the USA. She said at a collaboration with the Ghana Tourism Authority, Office of Diaspora Affairs and the Diaspora African Forum to organized a memorial and wreath-laying ceremony at the W. E. B. Du Bois Memorial Center for Pan-African Culture in honor of George Floyd. Speaking at the ceremony on Friday, 5th June, 2020, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, Barbara Oteng-Gyasi expressed the hope that the death of Mr Floyd will put an end to racism, not only in the US but across the globe. (Modern Ghana)


Mexican mom desperately searches for 20-year-old daughter missing from Texas military base

The family of a missing Fort Hood, Texas, soldier named Vanessa Guillen is pleading for help after one month with no answers. The 20-year-old US Army soldier’s mom is pleading for the public to help her find her missing daughter, who has not been seen since April, when she was working at the Fort Hood military base in Texas. Vanessa’s family is urging the public to sign petitions, speak out, and join their search parties, and they are concerned about the soldier’s well-being after her mom says her daughter claimed she was being sexually harassed inside the military base by a sergeant. She also said someone from inside the base told her that her daughter had been “kidnapped.” The spokesperson for Fort Hood, released a statement about the young woman’s disappearance and said the Army is doing its own investigation and search by sending 500 soldiers from the 3rd Cavalry Regiment to search for her on foot in and around the area. (Mama Latinas)


U.S. Army signs deal with SpaceX to assess Starlink broadband

The U.S. Army will experiment using Starlink broadband to move data across military networks. An agreement signed with SpaceX gives the Army three years to try out the service. The Army and SpaceX signed a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement known as a CRADA. The project will be overseen by the Combat Capabilities Development Command’s C5ISR Center based at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland. CRADAs are commonly used by the military to evaluate technologies and services from the private sector before it commits to buying them. The Army in this case wants to be able to assess the performance of the Starlink low Earth orbit internet service when connected to military systems. The Army will seek answers to key questions such as what ground equipment it will need to use Starlink and how much systems integration work could be required. The three-year agreement will allow the Army to understand potential applications of state-of-the art advancements in commercial RF SATCOM such as the new Starlink LEO constellation and modern SATCOM terminal developments capable of tracking LEO satellites. The deal with SpaceX follows other CRADAs the Army has signed with companies like Kratos and SES to assess the use of commercial SATCOM. (Space News)


Louisiana police chief announces his own arrest on Facebook, says he’ll keep doing job

The Grayson, Louisiana police chief who has been accused of taking around $4,000 in cash seized by officers in separate cases has announced his own arrest on social media, saying he will continue to do his job. The announcement was made on Facebook that Louisiana State Police (LSP) investigators charged him with two counts of obstruction of justice and one count of malfeasance in office. He added, “I won’t debate the validity of the charge. I want to be in full disclosure,” he said. “This does not affect me being the chief of police, and I intend to be as accessible as I always have while I let the criminal justice system work this issue out.” LSP confirmed his arrest in its own Facebook post hours later, saying he was booked into the Caldwell Parish Jail and that the investigation is ongoing. State investigators say they looked into his department after a complaint was filed about the missing money. Investigators allege that the chief stole $2,500 and $1,150 from two separate cases and that the money was never documented as evidence. (The Hill)


Sea rescues aided by algorithm

For search and rescue operation at sea, timing is essential. The more time someone is left stranded on the water, the harder it is to find them. Researchers from MIT and several other institutions have developed an algorithm that may help speed this process along. By analyzing the shifting behavior of currents, surface winds and waves, the algorithm can identify the portions of the ocean that are most likely to attract and draw in missing people and boats. Identifying these moving ocean “traps” quickly can give rescuers precious additional time to find survivors. (MIT News)


The coronavirus is accelerating the destruction of the Amazon rainforest

Illegal loggers, miners and land grabbers have cleared vast areas of the Brazilian rainforest with impunity in recent months as law enforcement efforts were hobbled by the pandemic. The slashing of about 465 square miles of tree cover (an area roughly 20 times the size of Manhattan) increases the risk of fires even more destructive than those that drew global outrage last year, above. In other parts of the world, the lockdowns have given nature a breather. Elephants, long endangered by tourists, are reclaiming Thailand’s oldest nature preserve. (The New York Times)


Tuesday Brightens Our Day With:

  • Call Your Doctor Day (2nd Tuesday)
  • Donald Duck Day (Birthday)
  • Earl Baltes Day
  • International Archives Day
  • Loving Day
  • Strawberry Rhubarb Pie Day
  • Toy Industry Day
  • World APS Day
  • World Pet Memorial Day (2nd Tuesday)

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