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02/17/2016

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YouTube Faces Russia Web Block Over Pirate Content

07/23/2015

Following intense pressure from local and international entertainment companies, on August 1, 2013 Russia introduced a brand new anti-piracy law.
Initially covering only movies, the law allowed websites offering ‘pirate’ content to be blocked by local ISPs if they fail to respond to complaints. Late November 2014 the law was further amended to include all copyrighted content except images.
The legislation has been used dozens of times to threaten unresponsive sites with blocking at the ISP level, but in many cases operators have complied to ensure they keep off Russia’s blocklist. Surprisingly the world’s largest user-generated content site YouTube today finds itself perilously close to becoming a new addition.
The problem dates back several months when TV shows owned by TNT-network appeared on the site without authorization. In April, YouTube received requests from local telecoms watchdog Roskomnadzor to delete the content and apparently responded in a timely manner.
However, fresh monitoring carried out by Roskomnadzor this month reportedly found almost 140 links to the same content, an event that prompted the watchdog to initiate the start of the blocking procedure.
“On the application of the right holder ‘TNT-Teleset’ and in accordance with a decision of the Moscow City Court from April 7, 2015, tentative interim measures of protection of the exclusive rights to [two TV series] have been implemented against social networking website YouTube.com,” Roskomnadzor announced.
“Notification with a request to remove the unlawfully placed materials has been repeatedly directed at the administration of the Internet resource. Currently, access to the illegal videos has not been limited.”
For YouTube, the clock is now ticking. Roskomnadzor is alerting Russian users that on Monday July 27 YouTube pages will be added to Russia’s national register of copyright violators. However, due to the way blocking is sometimes implemented, Roskomnadzor warns that for some the entire site may be rendered inaccessible.
“The video hosting site has a huge audience, and for some users the resource could become completely unavailable,” Roskomnadzor’s Vadim Ampelonsky told local media.
“The administration of YouTube has always responded to our needs and removed illegal content. But in [this case] this hasn’t happened for reasons that aren’t apparent to us. We very much hope that we will not have to put YouTube on the blocklist registry.”
It’s unclear why YouTube hasn’t responded to the requests of Roskomnadzor. The company is usually responsive to complaints and it should be trivial to add the TV shows in question to its ContentID system so that uploads of the same can be spotted in the future. But in any event, YouTube has just days to respond before the banhammer falls.
Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and the best VPN services.

South Africa’s de Cock fined for barging into Tamim

07/23/2015

REUTERS – South Africa wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock has been fined 75 per cent of his match fee for nudging Bangladesh opening batsman Tamim Iqbal during their opening test at Chittagong, the International Cricket Coucil (ICC) said on Thursday.

Some public hospitals win, others lose with Obamacare

07/23/2015

By Robin Respaut SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – A year and a half after the Affordable Care Act brought widespread reforms to the U.S. healthcare system, Chicago’s Cook County Health & Hospitals System has made its first profit in 180 years. Seven hundred miles south, the fortunes of Atlanta’s primary public hospital, Grady Health System, haven’t improved, and it remains as dependent as ever on philanthropy and county funding to stay afloat. In states like Illinois that have opted to accept federal money to expand Medicaid, some large, public hospitals are finding themselves on solid financial footing for the first time in decades, and formerly uninsured patients are now getting regular care.

Pyongyang style: North Korea girl bands rock China’s border

07/23/2015

It also boasts rooms with round beds and dance poles, and an all-female North Korean rock band who belt out “Anthem of the Worker’s Party” and other socialist classics every night. Young and good-looking, the seven-piece group bear a striking similarity to the Moranbong band, a North Korean musical phenomenon who have been accorded huge success since their members were hand-selected by leader Kim Jong-Un. Now, imitators from Pyongyang are performing in Chinese border towns, looking to provide genuine entertainment rather than the novelty value long offered by North Korean restaurants and bands in Asia — which provide the diplomatically isolated government with much-needed hard currency.

Obama administration takes Iran nuclear deal fight public

07/23/2015

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. lawmakers skeptical about the nuclear deal with Iran promised to press senior Obama administration officials to make more information about it public at a Senate hearing on Thursday as Congress begins its two-month review of the agreement.

FCA to make it easier for savers to switch accounts

07/23/2015

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s financial regulator said it will introduce new measures to make it easier for customers to switch cash savings accounts to different banks following a review of competition in the industry.

Collector’s fury as Chinese antiques returned from Paris

07/23/2015

More than 30 ancient gold ornaments went on show in a Chinese museum this week after Paris quietly insisted a billionaire collector and France’s top antique dealer return them on the grounds they were stolen. The move came 15 years after the two men donated the works to a Paris museum following an intervention by France’s then President Jacques Chirac, an admirer of Asian art. Beijing is on a mission to recover the heritage it says was looted by foreigners during a century of humiliation, while many governments are keen to burnish relations with the world’s second-largest economy.

July 22nd Sportstalk: Legend & An All-Star

07/23/2015

Local tennis legend Donald Dell talks CitiOpen coming to DC & Arthur Ashe. Christy Winters Scott chimes in on Becky Hammon & the Mystics. Plus, Mystics Center Stefanie Dolson on her 1st All-Star selection. And the Mannasas 8U softball team.

New York moves to raise state minimum wage to $15 for fast-food workers

07/23/2015

By Sebastien Malo NEW YORK (Reuters) – New York moved on Wednesday to raise the minimum wage for fast-food workers to $15 an hour by the end of 2018 in New York City and by mid-2021 in the rest of the state. The New York Wage Board voted unanimously for the increase, which would cover some 180,000 workers statewide and affect fast-food chains with 30 locations or more in the United States. The three-member board was formed at the behest of Governor Andrew Cuomo in May after the state legislature turned down his proposals for minimum wage increases for most workers.

Manassas 8-and-under girls softball team qualifies for Babe Ruth World Series in Florida

07/23/2015

MANASSAS, Va. (WJLA) – Watch out competition: Here come the 8 and under girls from Manassas, Virginia.
The girls have qualified for the Babe Ruth World Series in Florida after running away with the Virginia State title. In the Virginia tournament, the girls outscored their opponents by a mark of 101 to 7, including a few “mercy rule” endings.
You can help the girls play for the World Series at their GoFundMe site.
“We had to work really hard,” said Emma, one of the team’s players.
“This is special. I mean, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for these young ladies,” added assistant coach Dale Cornett.
And how tough are they? Not even mother nature could sit them down.
“On June 20th, a bad rainstorm hit the whole area,” said Cornett. “Most of the dugout roofs were torn off, we had fences torn up, nets torn down, and that was right in the time period when we’re trying to practice and get ready for the state tournament.”
Undaunted, the girls continued winning and now the best in the United States await.
“They’ll probably be as good as us,” said Samantha, another one of the team’s players.
“Very nervous,” added Kayli, the team’s first baseman. “We might lose, we might win.”
The Manassas 8 and under softball team – softball girls hard at work and on a mission.
“They worked hard to get there and there’s a soft spot in my heart for these girls,” Cornett said.
“I’m so proud of them and how far they’ve come,” said Jane Borrayo, one of the player’s parents. “I think we’re going to do it.”

India equity fund inflows near record as retail investors return

07/23/2015

MUMBAI, July 23 (Reuters) – - Investment in Indian equity mutual funds by domestic retail investors has hit the highest since 2008, signalling the return of individual players drawn to a stock market that is outperforming physical assets such as gold and real estate.

Wyoming plane crash claims the lives of local residents

07/22/2015

ANNAPOLIS, M.d. (WJLA) – A Wyoming plane crash killed four people over the weekend, two of which are a couple from Annapolis, M.d. and tonight, loved ones are sharing memories as the crash remains under investigation.
Diane and Gerald Stubbs were married for more than 40 years, but their son says they still loved spending time together, which is exactly what they were doing last weekend – vacationing with family when they were killed.
“They were the rock of our family,” their son Chris said. “They were just great parents and grandparents. We respect them so much; both of them.”
The Stubbs were retired and had recently built a new house, in addition to traveling all over the world.
Their love of travel took them to Denver last week where they met up with Chris’ uncle – a pilot with three years experience. Chris’ uncle was supposed to fly the couple to Billings, Montana on Saturday in a rented Cessna.
His parents and uncle planned to meet friends and go fishing on a family ranch, but unfortunately they never made it.
Chris says he got the call on Monday morning that his parents, uncle and a family friend had all been killed in the crash.
“A lot of the family is going to have to attend both services,” Chris said. “My aunt’s here today… She has lost both of her siblings.”
During their careers, Diane was an attorney while Gerald was a biologist. They leave behind their son and three grandchildren.
The National Transportation Safety Board is leading the investigation into the crash.

The insider threat

07/22/2015

Security officials are more concerned than ever about federal workers using their authorized access to harm the people they work with. Now, the Defense Department is updating its policies to protect the federal workforce.
Joe Kirschbaum, director of defense capabilities and management issues with the GAO, discussed the practices in place with Capital Insider.

Technology and the Iran deal

07/22/2015

The major premise of nuclear talks between world powers and the Iranian government centers around consistent inspection. Now, advances in technology could make it easier to know if Iran cheats.
Patrick Tucker, technology editor for Defense One, discussed new developments in particle physics and how it could impact the Iran deal with Capital Insider.

LeBron James teams up with entertainment giant Warner Bros

07/22/2015

Fresh from his success in just-released big-screen comedy “Trainwreck,” NBA superstar LeBron James has signed a deal with entertainment giant Warner Bros, the two sides announced Wednesday. The agreement will see James’ “creative footprint touch all areas of the Studio, with plans for projects in television, film and original digital content,” they said in a joint statement. “Connecting with my fans and telling meaningful stories have always been my passion,” said James.

LeBron James teams up with entertainment giant Warner Bros

07/22/2015

Fresh from his success in just-released big-screen comedy “Trainwreck,” NBA superstar LeBron James has signed a deal with entertainment giant Warner Bros, the two sides announced Wednesday. The agreement will see James’ “creative footprint touch all areas of the Studio, with plans for projects in television, film and original digital content,” they said in a joint statement. “Connecting with my fans and telling meaningful stories have always been my passion,” said James.

South Carolina church shooting suspect to face federal hate crime charges

07/22/2015

The white man charged in South Carolina with killing nine blacks at a Charleston church faces federal hate crimes and firearms charges that could lead to the death penalty or life in prison, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch said on Wednesday. A federal grand jury in South Carolina returned a 33-count indictment against Dylann Roof, accused of a deadly shooting spree during Bible study at a historic black church last month, Lynch said. The federal government has not decided if it will seek the death penalty if Roof is convicted, she said.

Review: ‘Towns’ is modest, middle-of-the-road teen drama

07/22/2015

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Based on an earlier teen fave novel by “The Fault in Our Stars” author John Green, “Paper Towns” is a mild coming-of-ager about dawning awareness and life lessons learned among a small group of Florida high school seniors. Part mystery story, part road movie and part pre-prom graduation romp, the film is most interesting as a perspective on adolescence in which all the girls are more mature, nervy and perceptive than any of the boys, who have some catching up to do if they’re to have a chance with any of them.

Federal charges including hate crimes for accused shooter

07/22/2015

The man accused of killing nine black church members last month in Charleston, South Carolina, was indicted Wednesday on 33 federal counts, including hate crimes, firearms violations and obstructing the practice of religion, which could include the death penalty.

Dashcam video shows Texas traffic stop of woman who was found dead in jail 3 days later

07/22/2015

HEMPSTEAD, Texas (AP) – The family of a black woman who died in a Texas jail cell planned to speak out Wednesday about a video that shows her being arrested by a state trooper after he tried to drag her from her car during a traffic stop.
Relatives of Sandra Bland scheduled an afternoon news conference to discuss the video, which also shows the officer drawing a stun gun and threatening the 28-year-old Illinois woman when she refuses to follow his orders.
The roadside encounter swiftly escalated into a shouting confrontation, with the officer holding the weapon and warning Bland, “I will light you up,” for not getting out of her vehicle.
Three days later, Bland was found dead in her jail cell. Authorities say she hanged herself with a black plastic garbage bag – a contention her family and supporters dispute.
The video posted online Tuesday by the Texas Department of Public Safety shows the trooper, who is white, stopping Bland for failing to signal a lane change. After he hands her a written warning, the trooper remarks that Bland seems irritated. The Illinois woman replies that she is irritated because she had changed lanes to make way for the trooper’s car.
The conversation quickly turns hostile when the officer asks Bland to put out her cigarette and she asks why she can’t smoke in her own car. The trooper then orders Bland to get out of the vehicle. She refuses, and he tells her she is under arrest.
Further refusals to get out bring a threat from the trooper to drag her out. He then pulls out a stun gun and makes the threat about lighting Bland up.
When she finally steps out of the vehicle, the trooper orders her to the side of the road. There, the confrontation continues off-camera, but it is still audible. The two keep yelling at each other as the officer tries to put Bland in handcuffs and waits for other troopers to arrive.
Still off camera, Bland can be heard protesting her arrest, repeatedly using expletives and calling the officer a “pussy.” She screams that he’s about to break her wrists and complains that he knocked her head into the ground.
Her death comes after nearly a year of heightened national scrutiny of police and their dealings with black suspects, especially those who have been killed by officers or die in police custody.
Bland’s body has been flown back to Chicago in preparation for a funeral on Saturday, the family’s attorney said Wednesday.
In response to questions about gaps and overlaps in the video, authorities said the footage was not edited or manipulated.
Tom Vinger, a spokesman for the Department of Public Safety, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that glitches occurred in the recording when it was uploaded for public viewing. He said the agency will repost the video.
The case has resonated on social media, with posts questioning the official account and featuring the hashtags #JusticeForSandy and #WhatHappenedToSandyBland. Others referred to #SandySpeaks, the hashtag Bland used in monologues she posted on Facebook in which she talked about police brutality and said she had a calling from God to speak out against racism and injustice.
In an affidavit released Tuesday, the trooper said that after handcuffing her for becoming combative, she swung her elbows at him and kicked him in his right shin.
Trooper Brian Encinia said he then used force “to subdue Bland to the ground,” and she continued to fight back. He arrested her for assault on a public servant.
The trooper, who has been on the force for just over a year, has been placed on administrative leave for violating unspecified police procedures and the Department of Public Safety’s courtesy policy. The agency would not address questions about whether the trooper acted appropriately by drawing his stun gun or pulling her out of the vehicle.
“Regardless of the situation – it doesn’t matter where it happens – a DPS state trooper has got an obligation to exhibit professionalism and be courteous … and that wasn’t the case in this situation,” said Steven McCraw, the department director.
A law enforcement expert from Maryland said he was troubled by the video “from start to finish.”
Vernon Herron, a senior policy analyst with the University of Maryland Center for Health and Homeland Security, said if the trooper intended to give her a warning, that’s what he should have done, no matter what the woman said to him.
“A person’s attitude or their demeanor is not probable cause to make an arrest,” said Herron, who has more than 35 years of experience in public safety and law enforcement.
Court records show Bland had several encounters with police in Illinois and Texas over the past decade, including repeated traffic stops and two arrests for drunk driving, one of which was dismissed.
Bland was taken to the Waller County Jail about 60 miles northwest of Houston on July 10 and found dead July 13. A Texas Rangers investigation into her death is being supervised by the FBI.
Although a medical examiner has ruled Bland’s death a suicide, supporters insist she was upbeat and looking forward to a new job at Prairie View A&M University, where she graduated in 2009. Bland’s family and clergy members have called for a Justice Department probe, and an independent autopsy has been ordered.

Armed man arrested in LA incident related to Biden appearance

07/22/2015

A man with a revolver was arrested in Los Angeles on Wednesday in an incident “related to” a planned appearance by U.S. Vice President Joe Biden in the city, a police spokeswoman said. The spokeswoman, Officer Liliana Preciado, said no further details of the incident were immediately available, but added that the man was to be booked in connection with the incident. Biden was scheduled to appear at a local business establishment with Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti for a 1 p.m. event on raising the minimum wage.

FBI says still not known if Tennessee shooting suspect was radicalized

07/22/2015

The FBI still has not determined whether the suspect in the fatal shootings of five U.S. servicemen in Tennessee last week was radicalized in the run-up to the rampage, the special agent in charge of the investigation said on Wednesday. “At this time, we’re treating him as a homegrown violent extremist,” Reinhold said.

Universal Asks Google to Censor “Furious 7″ IMDb Page, and More

07/22/2015

In an effort to make piracy less visible, copyright holders send dozens of millions of takedown notices to Google every month.
Unfortunately not all of these requests are as accurate as they should be.
Due to the high volume of often automated notices and the fact that copyright holders don’t check the validity of all requests, there are many questionable requests are made.
This week we spotted a dubious takedown notice from Universal Pictures, targeting several perfectly legitimate URLs. The movie studio’s tracking company apparently failed to properly screen the request as it lists the official IMDb page of the blockbuster Furious 7.
The Internet Movie Database is widely regarded as one of the top sources to find information on movies and having the page de-listed from Google certainly doesn’t help to prevent piracy.
Universal Pictures takedown requestAside from Furious 7, the same notice targets “copyright infringing” links to the movie Hacker. Here, the movie studio also made an unfortunate mistake asking Google to remove a news article from Techdirt, covering the Hacking Team leak.
And while we’re on the topic of self censorship, it’s worth noting that Universal Pictures also asked Google, in a separate notice, to remove http://127.0.0.1 from the search results.
The mistakes were made by the French branch of the movie studio, which only recently began sending takedown notices to Google. The company has reported less than 200 URLs thus far including the mistakes above.
While Universal is the rightsholder, it’s worth noting the notices are sent by Trident Media Guard (TMG), the private company which also carried out file-sharing network monitoring for the French Government’s Hadopi scheme.
The good news is that Google hasn’t removed any of the inaccurately reported URLs just yet. The search engine is still validating the validity of the claims and will probably reject the requests.
In the meantime, Universal Pictures and TMG should reconsider their takedown campaign, or at least improve their monitoring tools.
Source: TorrentFreak, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and the best VPN services.

Texas officials say video of Sandra Bland traffic stop not edited

07/22/2015

The video, released publicly late on Tuesday, shows how the stop of Sandra Bland for a failure to signal a lane change quickly escalated into an altercation between her and a state trooper. Footage where a car or a tow truck driver are suddenly seen in different places or gone raised questions about whether the video had been altered. “The video has not been edited,” Tom Vinger, a spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety, said in a statement.

Firefighters letting huge N.J. warehouse fire burn itself out

07/22/2015

NORTH BRUNSWICK, N.J. (AP) – A large warehouse fire in central New Jersey that was fueled by plastics, autos and household goods sent plumes of black smoke into the air Wednesday that were visible from space.
The fire broke out early in the morning in the rear of the complex that is used by eight businesses off Livingston Road in North Brunswick, Fire Chief Donald Salzmann said.
The flames quickly overtook a sprinkler system and spread from one end of the building to the other.
Firefighters decided to let it burn out and could be on the scene dealing with hot spots through the evening, the chief said.
The cause of the blaze was not known.
The flames lit up the night sky, and the billowing thick smoke was visible on a weather satellite photo.
Residents of a nearby apartment building were evacuated after heat from the blaze set the siding on fire. Others were moved as a precaution over fears of potential toxins being released from the burning plastic.
Officials were monitoring the air quality. They had not detected any dangerous levels of toxins, Mayor Francis Womac III said.
The mayor recommended nearby residents stay inside and turn off their air conditioners as a precaution. Officials were helping residents with respiratory health problems move, if they were unable to do so.
Low water pressure was an issue and tanker trucks, along with firefighters from within a 20-mile radius, were brought to the scene.
A firefighter was treated at the scene for a hand injury.

Argentina revokes arrest warrant for Justin Bieber

07/22/2015

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — A court in Argentina has revoked an arrest warrant that was issued for Justin Bieber for an alleged attack on a photographer in Buenos Aires in 2013, but the charges against him still stand, a court official said Wednesday.

Georgia dogs photographed hugging inspires rescue before euthanasia

07/22/2015

ETOWAH, Ga. (ABC News) — An adorable snapshot of two dogs embracing each another spread like wildfire across the Internet — something that may have also helped save their lives.
“It seems they love to play together,” said Karin Wallace, a founding core member with Angels Among Us Pet Rescue where the dogs will be fostered. “The need to rescue pets from high kill shelters in Georgia is astronomical. Our ability to save more lives is limited only in our ability to find foster homes to care for them.”
The photo of Kala, an eight-month old hound mix and Keira, a one-year-old boxer mix, was taken on July 20, just hours before being rescued from a Georgia rural shelter by Angels Among Us Pet Rescue and Etowah Valley Humane Society, a representative from Angels Among Us in Atlanta confirmed to ABC News.
The post has since received over 16,000 likes and 9,000-plus shares on Facebook, helping to raise $3,400 to help cover the medical expenses for Kala and Keira.
“Exactly 2 hours and 6 minutes. That’s how long it took this amazing community of animals lovers to come together to save the lives of two canine friends,” the post read. “We just received word from our Angels volunteer that Kala and Keira are safely in the car and on their way to a vet -All thanks to you. From the time we posted on Facebook until the time the dogs were out of the shelter and safely in the car … 2 hours and 6 minutes. That’s how you take action!!”
A representative of Angels Among Us said the dogs were rescued 12 hours before the apparent euthanasia, which was scheduled at Bartow County Animal Control in Cartersville, Georgia.
Bartow County said they do euthanize animals on Tuesdays, but could not confirm if the dogs were set to be put down on July 21.
“The timing was great because I was talking to her … and next thing you know she just came over and hugged the black dog,” said Malena Evans, who took the photo and is an adoption coordinator at Etowah Valley Humane Society. “We started about five years ago, started posting stories about the dogs. If they are together, we want to adopt them together, keep them together. We’ve grown on Facebook from 500 people five years ago, and we just hit this week 700,000 fans on our Facebook page. And it’s because of the stories.”
Clarke said the next step for Kala and Keira is to find them a permanent home.