Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Tesla on Autopilot slams into police cruiser, driver claims he was checking on his dog

A Tesla on Autopilot slammed into two vehicles, one of which was a Connecticut State Police cruiser, officials said. The driver of the Tesla told police that he put the car on Autopilot because he was checking on his dog in the backseat, according to a statement from Connecticut State Police. The incident happened in the early morning hours Saturday(12/7),  on Interstate 95 in Norwalk, Connecticut. Police had been called to the highway because of a disabled vehicle that was occupying a lane, authorities said. As troopers were waiting for a tow truck for that car, the 2018 Model 3 Tesla was traveling northbound and struck the rear of the cruiser before continuing in the same direction and hitting the disabled vehicle, according to authorities. The car was finally stopped several hundred feet ahead by another trooper. The driver was issued a misdemeanor summons for reckless driving and reckless endangerment, police said. (ABC News)

They drove across the country in 27 hours, 25 minutes

In a feat of engineering, human will and blatant disregard of speed limits, three men claim that they broke the record for the “Cannonball Run,” a cross-country drive from New York to Los Angeles. Arne Toman, Douglas Tabbutt and Berkeley Chadwick say they started their drive on November 11 at 12:57 a.m. at the Red Ball Garage in Manhattan and ended at the Portofino hotel in Redondo Beach in 27 hours and 25 minutes, beating the previous record of 28 hours and 50 minutes. The trio claims their average speed was 103 miles per hour, and the highest was 193. They drove in a “heavily prepared” Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG. Upgrades to the exhaust and the engine’s two turbochargers produced more than 800 horsepower, a press release said. It took “every navigational aid and police counter-measure known to man” and almost 20 different scouts to avoid police interference, they said. Technology included Waze, radar detectors, a CB radio, binoculars and an airplane detection system. They had no interactions with police during the drive, they said. Ed Bolian, who was part of a three-person team in 2013 that set the last record, said he was excited that people in their community of car lovers were the ones to break their mark. They attributed the team’s success to their experience with cross-country drives and that they operated with “military precision.” One person is focused on the actual driving, while two others are feeding the driver information. They did their best to not scare or affect other drivers during their pursuit. Erwin George “Cannonball” Baker was the original driver of the Cannonball Run, according to the press release. Baker’s best coast-to-coast time was 53.5 hours in 1933. (CNN)

Abandoned Alaska child, 5, carries toddler a half-mile in sub-zero temps in socks, light clothes

A 5-year-old child in a remote Alaskan village carried a toddler a half-mile to a neighbor’s house in bitter sub-zero temperatures after they were left home alone, police said. The older child was frightened after the power went out at the home, so wearing only socks and light clothing, he picked up the younger child and started walking through temperatures that dipped 31 degrees below zero in the village of Venetie, Alaska, according to state troopers. Both children suffered cold-weather injuries, according to an Alaska Department of Safety news release. The 37-year-old woman who left the 5-year-old and 18-month-old home alone has been arrested on suspicion of endangering a minor, authorities said. Her relationship to the children was not immediately known. Once the children reached another home, the residents there called authorities and troopers arrived Tuesday to check on the children in the village of 175 people. Like other interior Alaska communities during late autumn, Venetie (located 155 miles north of Fairbanks) regularly reaches 40 degrees below zero or lower. The troopers chartered an airplane to reach the village. It’s unclear how long the children had been on their own; all authorities could say is that the older child decided to leave the house because he was scared when the home lost power, troopers said. (Fox News)

Ever called in sick because you might have overdone it the night before? 

Workers at Chipotle may think twice before doing so as the the fast food company admits to employing nurses to call its sick employees to ensure they’re truly ill, versus just hung over. And if the employee is sick, they get paid for the day off. The company introduced the policy in the U.S. following an internal investigation after a norovirus outbreak that sickened many customers, which was found to have been caused in part by employees working while sick. (Business Insider)

What To Make of Declining Enrollment in Teacher Preparation Programs

Fewer people are becoming teachers, with enrollment in required teacher-training programs dropping by a third since 2010, according to a report from the Center for American Progress. The declining trend exacerbates an existing nationwide teacher shortage and spells trouble for a profession plagued by low pay and dwindling school funds. Teachers are paid 21% less on average than in other professions requiring a college degree, and more than one in six educators work multiple jobs to make ends meet. (Center For American Progress)

Men Say They Want Paid Leave but Then Don’t Use All of It

Working parents in the U.S. are struggling to balance their careers with child care, especially when it comes to parental leave. Men are just as likely as women to say they want time off for caregiving, but they’re less likely to actually take leave, particularly if it’s not paid. Affordable child care and paid leave have long been pain points for families and, faced with higher expenses, they have typically resorted to traditional roles with the woman as caregiver and men taking little time off in order to focus on earning income. (The Upshot)

Carmakers Shed 80,000 Jobs as Electric Shift Upends Industry

The world’s carmakers are on track to cut more than 80,000 jobs over the coming years as automotive technology evolves and global vehicle demand appears to wane. Many of the job losses are concentrated in Germany, the U.S. and the U.K. as trade tensions and tariffs have pushed up costs, while manufacturers reconsider their needs in light of electrification, self-driving technology and ride-sharing services. The job losses come as car sales are on track for their worst year since 2008. (Bloomberg)

George Zimmerman files $100M lawsuit against Trayvon Martin’s family and Florida prosecutors

George Zimmerman, the Sanford, Florida, neighborhood watch volunteer who was acquitted of the murder of Trayvon Martin in 2012, and his lawyer have filed a $100 million lawsuit against prosecutors, Martin’s family, their attorney and a book publisher over allegations that one of the trial’s key witnesses was “an imposter.” Zimmerman’s civil attorney filed the multi-million lawsuit in Polk County Circuit Court in Florida. In the 36-page lawsuit, where Zimmerman is the sole plaintiff, that Martin’s parents Sybrina Ford and Tracy Martin as well as their attorney Ben Crump falsely inserted Rachel Jeantel into the case after the Sanford Police Department closed the investigation in March 2012 as “self-defense.” The lawsuit claims then 18-year-old Jeantel was “an imposter and fake witness” and the catalyst to get Zimmerman arrested and charged with the murder of Trayvon Martin. Zimmerman was cleared of all charges after the weeks-long televised trial. Jeantel’s half-sister Brittany Diamond Eugene was actually on the phone with Martin during the deadly encounter and later “coached” Jeantel on how to testify, according to the lawsuit. He said these allegations partly stem from newly discovered evidence in the upcoming film “The Trayvon Hoax: Unmasking the Witness Fraud that Divided America” from director Joel Gilbert. “Defendants, each and every one of them, as individuals and through their employment and agencies, have worked in concert to deprive Zimmerman of his constitutional and other related legal rights,” according to the lawsuit. Other named defendants in the lawsuit include Eugene, current and former Florida prosecutors Bernie de la Rionda, John Guy, Angela Corey, The State of Florida and Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE). Klayman alleges that all parties “either have known about or should have known about the witness fraud, obstructed justice, or lied repeatedly under oath in order to cover up their knowledge of the witness fraud.” (ABC News)


Man is arrested after scrawling “Epstein didn’t kill himself” in red lipstick on empty wall where $120,000 duct-taped banana exhibit was displayed at Miami’s Art Basel

A man was arrested after scrawling a message about Jeffrey Epstein on a wall at Miami’s Art Basel – in the same spot where a $120,000 duct-taped banana exhibit was displayed. The 46-year-old man from Massachusetts was swiftly taken away by police after writing in red lipstick: “Epstien didn’t kill himself.” The work of art, by Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan and titled “Comedian”, sold to a French collector for $120,000. But it was later taken down due to “several uncontrollable crowd movements” and after a man walked up to the taped piece of fruit banana and ate it. The man’s message alluded to the conspiracy theories surrounding the death of the billionaire pedophile Jeffrey Epstein who committed suicide in his New York jail cell in August. Many believe his death may have been arranged by others implicated in a global pedophile ring who would have been outed if Epstein went to trial. The phrase “Epstein didn’t kill himself” went viral after his death, although man failed to spell the name of the disgraced financier correctly. Curators later covered up the message with a piece of white cardboard. (The Miami Herald)


Man who inspired ice bucket challenge dies

Boston College said the man who inspired the ice bucket challenge that raised millions of dollars for ALS research died on yesterday (12/9). Peter Frates passed away surrounded by loved ones, according to a statement from the family released by BC. He was 34. The former Boston College baseball star was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (a.k.a. Lou Gehrig’s disease) in 2012. The family said he never complained about his illness and made it into an opportunity to help others. “In his lifetime, he was determined to change the trajectory of a disease that had no treatment or cure. As a result, through his determination — along with his faithful supporters, Team Frate Train — he championed the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge,” the statement said. The ice-bucket challenge was born in 2014 and went viral on social media. People would challenge others to dump a bucket of ice water over their heads and make a donation for ALS research. (Boston College)


Tuesday Kicks In With:

  • Dewey Decimal System Day
  • Human Rights Day
  • International Animal Rights Day
  • Jane Addams Day
  • Nobel Prize Day

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