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Twitter Apologizes for Marketing Campaign in San Francisco

Twitter Apologizes for Marketing Campaign in San Francisco

Twitter’s latest marketing campaign is raising questions about whether the San Francisco-based company broke the law.

The guerrilla marketing advertisements can be seen on San Francisco sidewalks. Residents and visitors can also see the ads everywhere at the Powell Street BART station. It uses people’s tweets about Twitter.

The ads are found on walls and even on columns. But it’s another place they were found that is triggering some controversy and an apology from Twitter.

In the Tenderloin, steps from where people are sleeping on the streets and in tents, Twitter has stenciled tweets on sidewalks.

Ohio Woman Cleared of Murder Charges for Newborn

[NATL] Ohio Woman Cleared of Murder Charges for Newborn

“I think it’s in poor taste,” said Sidney Cox, who lives and works in downtown San Francisco.

It appears to be part of the social media company’s big new marketing campaign inside the Powell Street BART station.

“It’s vandalism,” San Francisco-resident Kirk Linn-Degrassi said.

The stenciled tweets have sparked strong responses both on Twitter and on the streets of San Francisco.

The city also said it’s against the law.

“That’s graffiti vandalism and it’s very illegal,” said Rachel Gordon, San Francisco Public Works spokesperson.

Wreckage of Diving Boat That Killed 34 Lifted From Ocean

[NATL] Wreckage of Diving Boat That Killed 34 Lifted From Ocean

Gordon said companies can’t use sidewalks as billboards.

“They have no permission to do this, they’re not going to get permission to do this, nor is any other company going to be able to come and use our sidewalks for commercial purposes,” Gordon said.

Twitter responded with the following apology: “We looked into what happened and identified breakdowns in the process for meeting the cities’ requirements for our chalk stencils. We’re sorry this happened.”

The city said this is not the first time a company has done something like this and it makes no difference whether the stenciled tweets are chalk or spray painted. If city crews have to remove the stencils, Twitter will have to foot the bill.

Published at Sat, 14 Sep 2019 18:48:47 +0000

Springfield to consider cannabis zoning, taxes

Springfield to consider cannabis zoning, taxes

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Officials in Illinois’ capitol city will begin debating regulations on growing and selling recreational marijuana before it becomes legal Jan. 1.

The (Springfield) State Journal-Register reports the City Council will meet as a committee Tuesday to begin considering ordinances on zoning and taxes.


Illinois in June became the 11th state to legalize the sale and possession of small amounts of cannabis for recreational use. Local governments may decide whether to allow sale and use within their limits or set restrictions on them.

One measure the Springfield council will consider is altering the zoning code to allow cultivation and sales within city limits. A second proposal would add a 3% tax on cannabis sales in the city. That would be on top of the city’s current 9.75% sales tax.

Published at Tue, 10 Sep 2019 02:00:00 +0000

AP News in Brief at 9:04 p.m. EDT

AP News in Brief at 9:04 p.m. EDT

A Purdue bankruptcy would make opioids cases even messier

State and local governments have sought billions of dollars from Purdue Pharma as a way to hold the company and the family that owns it accountable for the nation’s opioid epidemic, a potential payout that is now clouded in uncertainty after state attorneys general said settlement talks had broken down, while the company says talks are not over.


The attorneys general directly involved in the negotiations with the maker of OxyContin and the Sackler family said they anticipated Purdue filing soon for bankruptcy protection.

Sunday evening, the company released a statement saying that “negotiations continue and we remain dedicated to a resolution that genuinely advances the public interest.”

The company said it is prepared to defend itself in litigation, but that “Purdue Pharma believes a settlement that benefits the American public now is a far better path than years of wasteful litigation and appeals.”

A company spokeswoman declined to answer further questions about with whom negotiations are taking place.


Plan for Taliban meeting latest bold Trump gamble to unravel


WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s weekend tweet canceling secret meetings at Camp David with the Taliban and Afghan leaders just days before the anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks is the latest example of a commander in chief willing to take a big risk in pursuit of a foreign policy victory only to see it dashed.

What had seemed like an imminent deal to end the war has unraveled, with Trump and the Taliban blaming each other for the collapse of nearly a year of U.S.-Taliban negotiations in Doha, Qatar.

The insurgents are promising more bloodshed. The Afghan government remains mostly on the sidelines of the U.S. effort to end America’s longest war. And as Trump’s reelection campaign heats up, his quest to withdraw the remaining 14,000 U.S. troops from Afghanistan remains unfulfilled.

Trump said he axed the Camp David meetings and called off negotiations because of a recent Taliban bombing near the U.S. Embassy in Kabul that killed a U.S. service member, even though nine other Americans have died since June 25 in Taliban-orchestrated violence.


Trump’s secret plan for high-level meetings at the presidential retreat in Maryland resembled other bold, unorthodox foreign policy initiatives – with North Korea, China and Iran – that the president has pursued that have yet to bear fruit.


Ex-SC Gov. Sanford adds name to GOP long shots against Trump

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Mark Sanford, the former South Carolina governor and congressman, joined the Republican race against President Donald Trump on Sunday, aiming to put his Appalachian trail travails behind him for good as he pursues an admittedly remote path to the presidency.

“I am here to tell you now that I am going to get in,” Sanford said in an interview on “Fox News Sunday.” ”This is the beginning of a long walk.”

When asked why he was taking on an incumbent who’s popular within the party, Sanford, who has acknowledged his slim chances by saying he doesn’t expect to become president, said: “I think we need to have a conversation on what it means to be a Republican. I think that as the Republican Party, we have lost our way.”

Sanford joins Joe Walsh, a former tea-party-backed, one-term congressman from Illinois, and Bill Weld, the former Republican governor of Massachusetts, as primary challengers to Trump.

“This vanity project is going absolutely nowhere,” said Drew McKissick, the South Carolina Republican Party chairman.


Dorian lashes east Canada at hurricane force most of Sunday

TORONTO — The storm that already walloped the Virgin Islands, Bahamas and North Carolina lashed at far-eastern Canada with hurricane-force winds for much of Sunday, knocking out power to hundreds of thousands of people before beginning to weaken late in the day.

Dorian hit near the city of Halifax Saturday afternoon, ripping roofs off apartment buildings, toppling a huge construction crane and uprooting trees. There were no reported deaths in Canada, though the storm was blamed for at least 50 elsewhere along its path.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said the post-tropical cyclone was centered about 25 miles (45 kilometers) east-northeast of St. Anthony, Newfoundland, in Sunday night. Its top sustained winds had fallen to 60 mph (95 kph), after being above the 74 mph threshold of hurricane force earlier in the day. It was heading to the northeast, roughly up the St. Lawrence River, at 23 mph (37 kph).

The storm swept over northwestern Newfoundland and southeastern Labrador during the afternoon and began moving out over the North Atlantic in the evening.

Nova Scotia officials asked people in the province to stay off the roads so crews could safety remove trees and debris and restore power.


Georgia: Search on for 4 missing after cargo ship overturned

ST. SIMONS ISLAND, Ga. — Rescuers scoured the Georgia coast on Sunday for four missing crew members of a cargo ship that overturned and caught fire, but the efforts ran into trouble amid the flames and instability of the ship, the U.S. Coast Guard said.

The Golden Ray cargo ship’s problems began early Sunday morning when it listed heavily and rolled on its side in St. Simons Sound near the Port of Brunswick with 23 crew members and one pilot on board.

Coast Guard Capt. John Reed said 20 were safely evacuated from the ship before rescuers determined the situation, as smoke and flames appeared, was too risky to go further inside the vessel. The vessel was just offshore in view of beachgoers on the shoreline.

Reed said rescue teams Sunday were trying to stabilize the 656-foot vehicle carrier to continue their search for the missing crew, but they have been unable to determine if the fire has been extinguished. The Coast Guard tweeted later Sunday afternoon that one of its groups, called the Atlantic Strike Team, was preparing to depart to the site to assess what it called a complex situation.

“Once salvage professionals have determined the vessel to be stable, we will identify the best option to continue our rescue efforts for the four crew remembers who remain on board,” Reed said at a news conference Sunday afternoon.


UK worries Brexit could bring ‘chlorinated chicken’ from US

NEW YORK — Could Brexit bring America’s “chlorinated chicken” to the United Kingdom?

The European Union has long refused to import poultry from the United States that is routinely rinsed with chemical washes to kill germs. But the United Kingdom’s planned exit from the EU is putting the practice back in the spotlight, with Prime Minister Boris Johnson even taunting Labor Party leader Jeremy Corbyn by calling him a “chlorinated chicken.”

The term has come to sum up concerns that Britain could be pressured to accept looser food safety standards when negotiating its own post-Brexit trade deals.

Unlike in the EU, the use of antimicrobial sprays and washes is widespread in the U.S. chicken industry. Companies apply them to kill germs at various stages during processing, such as when carcasses are de-feathered, gutted or any other point when feces could splatter and spread germs like salmonella. The chemicals used in rinses have to be approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and their use is limited to specified amounts. The agency says the rinses are present in finished products at insignificant levels.

The U.S. chicken industry says the use of chlorine has declined to about 10% of the country’s plants, as other chemicals have become more common. It says the rinses help improve food safety, but that it’s difficult to completely rid raw chicken of salmonella and campylobacter germs, which don’t sicken birds and are commonly found in their guts.


Trial to begin in 9-year-old’s killing that shocked Chicago

CHICAGO — It stands as one of Chicago’s most horrific crimes, in large part because of small details that are impossible to shake: The promise of a juice box that lured the 9-year-old boy off a playground and into an alley, and the basketball he dropped when he was shot and killed there.

Jury selection will begin Friday in the murder trial of two of three men charged with carrying out the November 2015 attack on Tyshawn Lee, a smart fourth-grader who prosecutors say was killed by gang members to send a message to his father, a purported member of a rival gang.

“It was one of the most evil things I’ve ever seen,” said the Rev. Michael Pfleger, a Roman Catholic priest who presided over the boy’s funeral Mass. “I was over there and to see a young boy laying in an alley next to a garbage can with his basketball a few feet away, this assassination of a 9-year-old child took violence in Chicago to a new low.”

Dwright Boone-Doty, who will represent himself, and Corey Morgan will be tried together but before separate juries, each of which will only consider the evidence as it pertains to one of the defendants. The third man accused in the attack, the alleged getaway driver Kevin Edwards, pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in exchange for a 25-year prison sentence.

The story that prosecutors will tell at the trial is at once unimaginable and all too familiar in pockets of Chicago that have been plagued by gang warfare for years: The shooting was the result of a feud between the defendants’ Bang Bang Gang/Terror Dome faction of the Black P Stones and the Killa Ward faction of the Black Gangster Disciples, which the slain boy’s father, Pierre Stokes, allegedly belonged to.


Search warrants served in California boat fire investigation

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — Authorities served search warrants Sunday at the Southern California company that owned the scuba diving boat that caught fire and killed 34 people last week.

Agents with the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and other agencies searched Truth Aquatics’ offices in Santa Barbara and the company’s two remaining boats, Santa Barbara County sheriff’s Lt. Erik Raney said.

The warrants served shortly after 9 a.m. are part of the ongoing investigation into the tragedy to determine whether any crimes were committed, he said. The office was ringed in red “crime scene” tape as more than a dozen agents took photos and carried out boxes.

Thirty-four people died when the Conception burned and sank before dawn on Sept. 2. They were sleeping in a cramped bunkroom below the main deck and their escape routes were blocked by fire.

The bodies of all but one victim have been recovered. The search for the final body was suspended this weekend because of strong winds and rough seas, Raney said.


As clinics close, more women go out of state for abortions

ATLANTA — At a routine ultrasound when she was five months pregnant, Hevan Lunsford began to panic when the technician took longer than normal, then told her she would need to see a specialist.

Lunsford, a nurse in Alabama, knew it was serious and begged for an appointment the next day.

That’s when the doctor gave her and her husband the heart-wrenching news: The baby boy they decided to name Sebastian was severely underdeveloped and had only half a heart. If he survived, he would need care to ease his pain and several surgeries. He may not live long.

Lunsford, devastated, asked the doctor about ending the pregnancy.

“I felt the only way to guarantee that he would not have any suffering was to go through with the abortion,” she said of that painful decision nearly three years ago.


India locates lander lost on final approach to moon

NEW DELHI — The lander module from India’s moon mission was located on the lunar surface on Sunday, one day after it lost contact with the space station, and efforts are underway to try to establish contact with it, the head of the nation’s space agency said.

The Press Trust of India news agency cited Indian Space and Research Organization chairman K. Sivan as saying cameras from the moon mission’s orbiter had located the lander. “It must have been a hard landing,” PTI quoted Sivan as saying.

ISRO officials could not be reached for comment.

The space agency said it lost touch with the Vikram lunar lander on Saturday as it made its final approach to the moon’s south pole to deploy a rover to search for signs of water.

A successful landing would have made India just the fourth country to land a vessel on the lunar surface, and only the third to operate a robotic rover there.

Published at Mon, 09 Sep 2019 00:04:00 +0000

Big Tech Meets With Security Officials to Talk 2020 Election

Big Tech Meets With Security Officials to Talk 2020 Election

U.S. intelligence and federal law enforcement officials met Wednesday with top tech companies to discuss coordinating and planning for potential interference in the 2020 election, according to people familiar with the meeting, NBC News reports.

The meeting included officials from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, as well as executives from Facebook, Google, Twitter and Microsoft, these people said. The meeting is being held at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California, according to the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly. 

The meeting comes five months before the first 2020 votes are cast in the Democratic primary and 14 months before the November election. 

The government agencies and companies are expected at 7 p.m. ET to release statements and more details about the meeting, the people familiar with it said.

DNI, FBI and DHS did not respond to requests for comment.

Published at Wed, 04 Sep 2019 20:45:07 +0000

Car crashes into building in Palatine

Car crashes into building in Palatine

A vehicle crashed into a home in Palatine Saturday afternoon, and a police spokesman noted that injuries were “nothing extensive.”

Authorities responded to the 800 block of Carriage Lane at about 4:15 p.m. after the crash. Sgt. Angelo Calanca of the Palatine Police Department said he couldn’t confirm exact details of the crash due to an active investigation.


Repairs are underway for the building, he said.

Published at Sun, 01 Sep 2019 00:56:25 +0000

Cyborgs Will Replace Humans and Remake the World, James Lovelock Says

Cyborgs Will Replace Humans and Remake the World, James Lovelock Says

For tens of thousands of years, humans have reigned as our planet’s only intelligent, self-aware species. But the rise of intelligent machines means that could change soon, perhaps in our own lifetimes. Not long after that, Homo sapiens could vanish from Earth entirely, NBC News reports.

That’s the jarring message of a new book by James Lovelock, the famed British environmentalist and futurist. “Our supremacy as the prime understanders of the cosmos is rapidly coming to end,” he says in the book, “Novacene.” “The understanders of the future will not be humans but what I choose to call ‘cyborgs’ that will have designed and built themselves.”

Lovelock describes cyborgs as the self-sufficient, self-aware descendants of today’s robots and artificial intelligence systems. He calls the looming era of their dominance the Novacene — literally, the “new new” age.

Published at Sun, 25 Aug 2019 23:41:07 +0000

St. Charles wants a ‘seat at the table’ in O’Hare noise discussions

St. Charles wants a ‘seat at the table’ in O’Hare noise discussions

St. Charles is poised to join dozens of communities in a decadeslong fight to mitigate airplane noise stemming from O’Hare International Airport.

The government services committee on Monday unanimously supported an agreement to become part of the O’Hare Noise Compatibility Commission, an intergovernmental agency aimed at addressing sound issues around the airport. If the city council ratifies the vote next week, the commission will decide Oct. 4 whether to add St. Charles to its membership of 43 towns and 22 school districts.


There are no costs associated with joining the agency, and the impact on the city staff and resources would be minimal, Public Works Director Peter Suhr said. Resident Richard Lewis, who has been involved in discussions with city leaders on the topic, volunteered to act as a liaison for the community — a role that would include attending commission meetings and reporting back to the city periodically.

“I thought it was a win-win for all of us here to have somebody who’s interested in this concept to represent the city,” Mayor Ray Rogina said. “I think it’s worth our while. I think it’s a good time to jump on board something like this.”

Aldermen first considered joining the commission in 2015 at the request of a single resident, who hoped to petition the Federal Aviation Administration to restrict air traffic over the city. Officials ultimately decided against getting involved due to a low number of citizen complaints and the city’s distance from the airport, Suhr said.

But St. Charles has heard from more residents as flight patterns changed over the years, he said, and other nearby towns — most recently Bartlett and Wayne — have since joined the commission’s efforts.


“That’s telling us this discussion is being had in communities this far west of O’Hare, and maybe it’s our time to be part of this group as well,” Suhr said. “This will give us an opportunity to tell the residents that we’re doing everything we can and that we have a voice at the table.”

The commission was created in 1996 after Chicago officials invited suburban mayors to begin “constructive dialogues” on aircraft noise problems, according to its website. The agency has four standing committees: technical, fly quiet, residential sound insulation, and school sound insulation.

Now is a crucial time for St. Charles to be involved in those discussions, given a “tremendous transformation” taking place at O’Hare, said Lewis, who is also Alderman Maureen Lewis’ brother-in-law.

The commission is developing a runway rotation plan to be implemented after the airport’s sixth and final east-west runway is built in November 2020 and an existing runway is expanded. An interim runway rotation plan aimed at providing relief from nighttime noise is expected to be put in place later this year.

“We’re not a most affected community, by any means,” Lewis said, pointing to towns such as Wood Dale, Addison and Bensenville where the problems are more significant.

“But a seat at the table is worth something so (that) they do not totally ignore us as we go forward.”

Published at Tue, 27 Aug 2019 01:57:33 +0000

Lara Spencer Mocks Prince George’s Interest in Ballet on GMA

Lara Spencer Mocks Prince George’s Interest in Ballet on GMA

ABC’s “Good Morning America” co-anchor Lara Spencer apologized Friday after outrage erupted on social media when she mocked and laughed at the inclusion of ballet in 6-year-old Prince George’s upcoming school year curriculum.

During a Thursday “Hot News” segment on the morning show, Spencer listed off what the royal prince would be studying when he goes back to school in the fall. 

“In addition to the usual first or second grade things, like math, science and history, the future King of England will be putting down the Play-Doh to take on religious studies, computer programming, poetry and ballet, among other things,” she said.

Her emphasis on the word “ballet” was met with raucous laughter from the studio audience, NBC News reported.

“You couldn’t contain … oh, he looks so happy about the ballet class,” Spencer said laughing, as a picture of Prince George smiling ear-to-ear in while wearing a soccer jersey appeared on screen.

Published at Fri, 23 Aug 2019 19:59:36 +0000

Teen girl among 2 shot in Englewood drive-by, police say

Teen girl among 2 shot in Englewood drive-by, police say

CHICAGO (WLS) — A 16-year-old girl and a man were wounded Thursday morning in a drive-by shooting in Englewood on the South Side, Chicago police said.

According to police around, 12:35 a.m. the pair were standing outside with a large group of people in the 6600 block of South Oakley Avenue when someone in a passing Nissan opened fired, police said.

Police said the car was a silver or gray color.

The girl was hit in the leg and taken to Comer Children’s Hospital and is in good condition, police said.

The man, 38, was struck in the foot and the taken to Holy Cross Hospital, police said he is also in good condition.

Currently, it’s unknown if either victim was the intended target of shooting and police said witnesses on the scene have been uncooperative with detectives.

Area Central detectives are investigating.

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Published at Thu, 22 Aug 2019 09:18:50 +0000