Monday, October 26, 2020

Sheriff’s office issues write-in candidate a trespass order

A write-in candidate for sheriff is banned from going into the buildings he wants to oversee. Charlotte County, Florida Sheriff’s Office issued a trespass order against the candidate, who is campaigning as a write-in candidate for sheriff. “If I find out about corruption, I’m going to expose it,” the man said when he stopped by the county building before the sheriff’s office issued him a trespass order in place until October 2021. The man said all he did was go up to the window, ask for an internal investigator, and they banned him from all offices just for doing that. He did so wearing a body camera, despite an ordinance banning recordings inside county buildings. However, the Sheriff said the trespass order has nothing to do with the election, and it’s to protect staff from the man’s, “constant abuse.” In a statement, the sheriff announced “Since January, the sheriff’s office received 522 public records requests from this individual. They too are often abusive and slanderous in nature. He has been provided an alternative means to request services from the CCSO where civilian staff are not subjected to his degrading and harassing behavior. There is never a legitimate purpose for this conduct. This has nothing to do with the election, but to protect my staff from his constant abuse. It falls under the county ordinance as they are county buildings.” The candidate is also banned from entering the Punta Gorda, Florida Police Department after  he filed against the Sheriff with the Florida Commission on Ethics, but the commission says it doesn’t have a copy of that complaint. (WINK)


Man douses drapes and girlfriend in lighter fluid but only catches himself on fire, police say

Police in Decatur, Illinois said a man that sprayed his girlfriend’s bedroom curtains and her with lighter fluid before trying to set them both ablaze, only succeeded in setting himself on fire before the girlfriend quickly patted out the flames. Police officers had responded to an abruptly cut-off 911 call recently from the 51-year-old girlfriend. The affidavit said she had only just managed to blurt out her address before her 48-year-old boyfriend had grabbed the phone and hurled it across the street. Police said the woman had answered the door wearing a shirt that was “wet and also smelled strongly of lighter fluid.” She then took police through to her bedroom where they saw the curtains had been ripped off the wall and doused with lighter fluid. The woman described her boyfriend of 24 years making several attempts to ignite the drapes, having splashed them and herself with the highly flammable fluid. She stated that he briefly set himself on fire but she patted it out right away. No mention was made in the affidavit of why the man had allegedly acted in the way he did. He had been arrested later and booked on preliminary charges of domestic battery and interfering with the reporting of domestic violence in lieu of bail set at $15,000, meaning he must post $1,500 to bond out. (Herald Review)


Mississippi asks Supreme Court again to review its 15-week abortion ban

The Mississippi attorney general petitioned the Supreme Court again to review the state’s 15-week abortion ban, a case that directly challenges Roe v. Wade and has the potential to reverse the landmark 1973 decision. In the seven-page supplemental brief, Mississippi Attorney General pointed to separate abortion-related cases where federal appeals court judges have extracted different interpretations of the Supreme Court’s decision in June Medical Services v. Russo, the court’s most recent abortion case which struck down a Louisiana abortion regulation. While some courts have cited the majority opinion to block other abortion restrictions, others have instead used Chief Justice John Roberts’ concurrence to rule in favor of regulations that hinder abortion access. The Attorney General noted that hearing Mississippi’s defense of its 15-week abortion ban would give the Supreme Court an opportunity to clarify how lower courts should interpret its precedent. (CBS News)


Scientists Drive Tiny Robot Around Inside Living Butthole

In a world’s first, a team of scientists at Purdue University built a tiny microrobot that can be operated inside a colon of a living animal. The goal is to one day allow such Lilliputian machines to deliver drug payloads to different parts of a patient’s body, greatly enhancing their effects and applications. The robot itself is only as wide as a few human hairs and navigates its colon environment by essentially doing back flips. The movement allows it to traverse “rough terrain,” or in this case, the colons of live anesthetized mice and colons excised from pigs. It’s a very simple robot whose magnetic field does most of the work, meaning that the device doesn’t even need a battery. Thanks to ultrasound imaging, the team was able to track its movement from outside the colon. Apart from navigating the colons of live mice, the team was able to carry a fluorescent mock drug, which was later diffused from the robot’s body an hour into the experiment. Best of all, the researchers say, is that producing hundreds of these tiny microbots is relatively cheap and requires a commonly-used manufacturing machine. (Futurism)


Texas airman is arrested, charged with uploading child pornography

A 28-year-old airman assigned to Dyess Air Force Base was arrested on charges that he uploaded an image of child pornography onto the internet from his home in Abilene, the city’s police department said. He told officers from the Abilene, Texas Police Department that he had viewed child pornography, including some that contained infants, following the execution of a search warrant of his home, according to his arrest report. Police searched his home based on a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The airman was taken to Taylor County Detention Center in Abilene and released on a $15,000 surety bond. Officials at Dyess Air Force Base did provide a statement that they are aware of the arrest. “These are serious accusations, and not in line with U.S. Air Force or Team Dyess standards. We will work with the appropriate parties, as needed, to provide any applicable information and to ensure the member is afforded due process according to the justice system,” according to the statement. The crime is a third-degree felony that could result in two to 10 years in prison. (Stars and Stripes)


Edward Snowden granted permanent residency in Russia

The former US security contractor Edward Snowden has been granted permanent residency in Russia, his lawyer said. Edward Snowden, a former contractor with the National Security Agency, has been living in Russia since 2013 to escape prosecution in the US after leaking classified documents detailing government surveillance programs. His lawyer said the application was submitted in April, but because of the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown restrictions, it took immigration authorities more time to consider it. Edward Snowden was able to obtain permanent residency rights because of the changes in Russia’s immigration laws made in 2019, the lawyer said, but he is not considering applying for Russian citizenship at the moment. Edward Snowden has kept a low profile in Russia and occasionally criticised Russian government policies on social media, but said last year that he was willing to return to the US if he was guaranteed a fair trial. (The Guardian)


Walmart sues the United States Department of Justice in opioid case

Walmart has sued the Justice Department and the Drug Enforcement Administration in a “pre-emptive blow” to the Department of Justice’s forthcoming lawsuit against the retailer for its role in America’s opioid crisis. Walmart claims it is being made a “scapegoat” for the government’s own failures to curb opioid abuse. It is one of several large companies to have been targeted by state and local governments for their alleged role in the crisis. Local officials claim Walmart and many of its competitors intentionally ignored “suspiciously large opioid prescriptions” to boost profits. (Walmart)


Heat Stress Damages Sperm and Fertility – Now Scientists Know Why

University of Oregon biologists have used the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans to identify molecular mechanisms that produce DNA damage in sperm and contribute to male infertility following exposure to heat. In humans, the optimal temperature for sperm production is just below body temperature, in a range of about 90-95 degrees F. Human studies have found that exposure to temperatures as little as 1 degree C (1.8 F) above this normal range adversely affects male fertility, said a professor in the Department of Biology and Institute of Molecular Biology. The phenomenon of heat-induced male infertility is well known, and the effects of modern exposures to heat such as hot tubs, tight clothing and excessive drive times have been extensively studied. The underlying mechanisms that damage sperm and impair fertilization are not completely understood. An increase of 2 C (3.6 F) above normal in C-elegans, a type of roundworm, led to a 25-fold increase in DNA damage in developing sperm compared to unexposed sperm. Eggs fertilized by these damaged sperm failed to produce offspring. (SciTech Daily)


Man hires private investigators to probe village election he lost

While everyone is focused on the national election coming up in less than two weeks, a Granville, New York resident is focusing on the race he lost for Village Board in September and has hired private investigators to review the election. The Village Mayor said he was contacted by a couple of residents on October 15 who told him that two investigators had knocked on their doors saying they had been hired by the man to ask questions about the election. The mayor contacted Granville police, who confirmed the account. The man lost the race for a trustee position in September. He received 164 votes compared with 180 for the other candidate, who had been appointed to the seat when another Trustee moved out of town. At issue is the number of people who voted absentee, which was larger than normal because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The election was originally scheduled for March, but it was delayed by the governor. The man received 150 votes at the polls compared with 89 for the other candidate. However, among absentee voters, the other candidate got 91 votes — seven times as many as he did. In a lengthy statement, the man claimed that the number of voters who cast absentee ballots seemed disproportionate, adding that he is not trying to change the results. His attorney had filed a Freedom of Information Law request on October 2nd seeking information about the applications for absentee ballots, the individuals who returned a ballot and the absentee ballot envelopes. Village Clerk denied the FOIL request and the man’s attorney filed an appeal on October 15th. (The Post Star)


Washington state bug hunters find first ever Asian giant ‘murder hornets’ nest in United States

Washington state bug hunters have located the first-ever Asian giant hornet nest in the United States. The announcement came from the Washington State Department of Agriculture which said that initial plans to eliminate the nest have been put off due to inclement weather in Blaine, Washington where the nest was found in a tree cavity. The successful detection of a nest came after a WSDA trapper collected two live Asian giant hornets, known as murder hornets, last Wednesday (10/21) and two more live hornets were found in another trap the next day (10/22). Three of the trapped hornets were tagged with radio trackers and one of those led entomologists back to its nest, officials said. The nest is inside the cavity of a tree located on private property near an area cleared for a residential home. While Asian giant hornets normally nest in the ground, they are occasionally found nesting in dead trees. Dozens of the hornets were seen entering and exiting the tree while the team was present. The agency obtained permission from the property owner to eradicate the nest and remove the tree, if necessary. The first confirmed detection of an Asian giant hornet in Washington state was made in December 2019 and the first hornet was caught in July. It takes only a small number of the aggressive hornets to wipe out an entire honey bee hive in a matter of hours. Their sting can be extremely painful to humans. (Washington State Department of Agriculture)


Website tracks every broken McDonald’s ice cream machine in America

A software engineer in Germany is building plenty of fast food street cred with his website that tracks every McDonald’s soft service machine in the United States. He reverse-engineered the computer code in the McDonald’s app to pull off the feat. Anyone who’s ever tried to order a cone or sundae at a McDonald’s may know the disappointment of hearing the machine is out of order. “To clarify how this works: McDonald’s keeps track which locations have a broken machine, I’m merely querying for those – no order gets executed, no ice cream is actually wasted,” he said. The information is displayed on his website:, which features a map of the United States. The display has green dots for the stores where a soft serve is currently working and red dots where they’re not. (Rashiq Twitter)


U.S. Sanctions Russian Research Institution Linked to Cyberattacks on Chemical Plant Safety Systems

The Trump administration imposed sanctions on a Russian government research institution it believes is responsible for cyberattacks on U.S. allies in the Middle East. Russia is accused of deploying a malware called Triton in 2017 to attack a Saudi Arabian petrochemical plant. The federal government also accuses Russia of using Triton to scan at least 20 U.S facilities in 2019 to try to identify any cyber vulnerabilities. Last week, the Director of National Intelligence revealed that Russia and Iran had obtained voter registration information. He accused Iran of sending emails to Democratic voters with the intention of hurting President Trump’s re-election chances. (The Wall Street Journal)


Mind wandering gets a bad reputation

We constantly strive to achieve focus and aim to steer clear of distraction. But maybe we got it wrong: A growing body of research suggests our musings can do us a lot of good. Meandering thoughts, the kind that sneak up on us during the day, can help us plan for the future, solve nagging problems and even help firm up our memories. They may even give us a creative boost, according to researchers at Stanford University. So, don’t fret: Your seemingly random thoughts likely serve a purpose. (Science Direct)


Monday Comes Back With:

  • Day of The Deployed
  • Financial Crime Fighter Day
  • Howl at The Moon Night
  • Intersex Awareness Day
  • Mincemeat Day
  • Mule Day
  • Pumpkin Day
  • Tennessee Day

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