‘We’re very sorry.’ Wells Fargo admits error that cost hundreds of people their homes
Wells Fargo acknowledged Friday that hundreds of its customers lost their homes over a roughly five-year period because of an error by the bank.
In yet another apology for the San Francisco-based bank, Wells said a calculation error involving a mortgage underwriting tool resulted in 625 customers being incorrectly denied or not offered modifications to make their loans more affordable. In about 400 of those cases, the homes were ultimately foreclosed on. The bank said the error affected customers in the foreclosure process between April 2010 and October 2015, when the problem was corrected.
The error was uncovered in an internal review, Wells said. The bank also said it has set aside $8 million for customers who were caught up in the problem. More
Roofer fined £300 for carrying sandwich wrappers and crisp packets in his van
A white van man has been hit with a £300 fine after sandwich wrappers and crisp packets were found inside his work van.
Roofer Stewart Gosling, 43, was punished with the on-the-spot penalty after a stash of waste he kept in a plastic commercial waste bag was found in the back of his vehicle.
Waltham Forest Council workers told Mr Gosling he was breaking the law for carrying the rubbish without permission when they carried out spot checks in east London.
Mr Gosling has tried to appeal the fine but has been told he will end up in court if he doesn't pay the penalty issued at the roadside. More
PayPal tells deceased customer that being dead is a breach of its rules
The bereaved husband of Lindsay Durdle, who died on May 31 aged 37 from breast cancer that spread to her lungs and brain, contacted the BBC after receiving the letter. Howard Durdle says he had provided PayPal with “her death certificate, her will and his ID, as requested.”
In response to this documentation, PayPal sent a letter with the headline: “Important: You should read this notice carefully." It read, “This is a default notice served under section 87(1) of the Consumer Credit Act 1974. Your account has an outstanding balance of £3,240.72.”
“You are in breach of condition 15-4(c) of your agreement with Paypal Credit as we have received notice that you are deceased. In accordance with condition 15-4(c), we are entitled to close your account, terminate your agreement and demand repayment of the full amount outstanding.” More
Latino student expelled over photos that sparked racism accusations
Marquette University student Alex Ruiz was recently expelled after school officials deemed two photos inadvertently sent to a black classmate “discriminatory harassment,” this despite authorities declining to press charges, saying there was no intent to harass anyone.
In one photo, it shows Ruiz and three of his friends posing in front of a mirror with a plastic gun and the word “chuuch” – slang for “amen” – captioned on it and pointing to a well-dressed black doll. Another showed an edited image of a black male’s face over a gorilla, according to a memo from the school obtained by Campus Reform, which first reported the issue. More
Facebook flags Declaration of Independence as hate speech
In the week of America’s Independence Day, the algorithms of Facebook decided that the Declaration of Independence was hate speech.
The Liberty County Vindicator, a community newspaper between Houston and Beaumont, had been posting the whole declaration in small daily chunks for nine days on its Facebook page in the run-up to July 4. But the 10th excerpt was not posted Monday as scheduled, and the paper said it received an automated notice saying the post “goes against our standards on hate speech.”
Part of the standard notice, Vindicator managing editor Casey Stinnett wrote, included a warning that the newspaper could lose its Facebook account, on which it depends for much of its reach, if there were more violations. More
Cops Arrive after Maryland Man Posts Photos of Non-Psychedelic Mushrooms on FB
A Maryland man posted to Facebook describing how a cop arrived at his home over the post he made on Facebook.
The cop's agenda? He was apparently there to conduct an investigation into the man and his girlfriend, Hope Deery, for possessing psychedelic psilocybin mushrooms.
The only problem: they weren't magic mushrooms.
"We let them in and as soon as the police officer walked in he asked us why we were eating mushrooms and posting about it online," the man posted. More
Black Pregnant Woman Jailed For Using Gun To Defend Family From Attacker, Silence From The NRA
A pregnant black woman in Michigan who pulled out a gun to defend her family from an attacker is serving time in jail and might have to give birth in prison, Vox reports.
Siwatu-Salama Ra, a 26-year-old environmental activist in Detroit, used her weapon to fend off an angry neighbor – with whom she had a dispute – after she deliberately crashed her car into Ra’s home while Ra’s two-year-old child was playing inside.
Fearing for her family’s life, Ra, a legal gun owner in an open carry state, pulled out an unloaded handgun and pointed it at the assailant, identified as Channell Harvey, who then fled. More
Child with Autism Arrested for Firing 'Imaginary Rifle'
A boy with autism was arrested for allegedly pretending to fire an imaginary rifle at his art teacher.
David Sims, 12, was talking with his friends about BB Guns at Conroe Independent School District’s Bozman Intermediate School in Texas when he allegedly pointed the imaginary gun at his art teacher. His hand gestures made the teacher feel uncomfortable, which led to the 12-year-old boy being arrested by authorities on Monday.
“They just said, 'We don't tolerate that. We take it as a threat.' A threat? He didn't threaten anyone. He didn't do anything but play," according to David’s mother, Amy Sims. More
Ask Your Baby's Permission Before Changing Diaper, Says Sexual Consent Expert
A sex education expert has sparked a debate on sexual consent, after she argued that parents should ask children for permission before changing their diapers.
Deanne Carson, who works for an organization which teaches children about consent, appeared on Australia’s ABC news network to comment on Saxon Mullins, whose rape case sparked a national debate on sexual consent laws. Carson argued that parents should teach their children about consent as early as possible.
“We work with parents from birth...Just about how to set up a culture of consent in their homes. ‘I’m going to change your nappy now, is that OK?’ Of course a baby’s not going to respond ‘yes mum, that’s awesome I’d love to have my nappy changed'. More
British schools are removing analog clocks from classrooms because kids can't read them
Schools in the United Kingdom are beginning to remove analog clocks from the classroom — because students are complaining that they can’t read them, reports say.
Officials have begun replacing the traditional clocks with digital ones as children have been unable to tell the correct time on analog clocks, The Telegraph reports.
“The current generation aren’t as good at reading the traditional clock face as older generations,” Malcolm Trobe, deputy general secretary at the Association of School and College Leaders in England, told the publication. “Nearly everything they’ve got is digital so youngsters are just exposed to time being given digitally everywhere.” More
Nurses are subject to a new code where they must announce their 'white privilege' before treating Aboriginal patients
Australian nurses and midwives are being forced to announce their 'white privilege' before treating Indigenous and Torres Strait Islander patients - a move which has been slammed as 'racist to its core'.
The term 'white privilege' defines the unearned social and cultural advantages awarded to people with white skin which are not enjoyed by people of colour or non-white backgrounds. The Nursing and Midwifery Board believes the cultural safety of Indigenous or Torres Strait Islander patients is just as important as their clinical safety. More
West Hills High student arrested after posting LEGO rifle photo with threat
A freshman at West Hills High School in Santee was arrested on suspicion of making a terrorist threat after he posted a photo of a LEGO rifle on social media with a threatening caption.
The 14-year-old ninth grader was arrested at his home Tuesday, said Catherine Martin, a spokeswoman with the Grossmont Union High School District.
“We thank law enforcement for their quick action,” Martin said on Twitter. School officials told deputies of the post about 10 p.m. The student had posted to Instagram what appeared to be an AR-15 rifle out of LEGO pieces along with the caption, “Don’t come to school tomorrow.” More
No One Mentions That The Russian Trail Leads To Democratic Lobbyists
K Street lobbyists are the symbol of Washington influence-peddling as they push government for favors, subsidies, exemptions, and other special treatment for their clients. Their customers include, in addition to domestic clients, foreign governments, oligarchs, fugitive speculators, and a rogue’s gallery of questionable figures.
Washington lobbyists trade on their access to power. Many are former administration officials or members of Congress. If Trump fulfills his promise to “drain the swamp,” these influence peddlers would have nothing to sell. They are under attack. More
Service Canada's gender neutral directive is 'confusing' and 'will be corrected' says minister
A federal cabinet minister says a directive to Service Canada agents telling them to use gender-neutral language — such as 'parent' instead of 'mother' or 'father' — when speaking to the public was badly worded and will be corrected.
The directive, obtained by Radio Canada, the French-language arm of CBC, instructs Service Canada employees who interact with the public to stay away from terms such as Mr., Mrs., father and mother, and to "use gender-neutral language or gender-inclusive language." More
Gallery removes naked nymphs painting to 'prompt conversation'
It is a painting that shows pubescent, naked nymphs tempting a handsome young man to his doom, but is it an erotic Victorian fantasy too far, and one which, in the current climate, is unsuitable and offensive to modern audiences?
Manchester Art Gallery has asked the question after removing John William Waterhouse’s Hylas and the Nymphs, one of the most recognisable of the pre-Raphaelite paintings, from its walls. Postcards of the painting will be removed from sale in the shop.
The painting was taken down on Friday and replaced with a notice explaining that a temporary space had been left “to prompt conversations about how we display and interpret artworks in Manchester’s public collection”. More
Ryan Zinke: Too Many Americans Are Enjoying National Parks For Free
Too many Americans are able to access the country's national parks for free, says Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, and this must end if the U.S. wishes to address the parks' aging and otherwise declining infrastructure.
Who gets into national parks for free? Veterans, disabled Americans, senior citizens, and children.
Zinke assured the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee on Tuesday that he would not impose new fees on veterans, but he did propose raising vehicle fees from at some of the busier national parks, such as Yellowstone, Grand Canyon, Yosemite and Zion, which currently charge between $20 and $30 per car. More
Planned Parenthood taps into sex-change ‘therapy’ for minors as new revenue source
SARASOTA, FL - Planned Parenthood is hoping to make life a little bit easier for the transgender community. They are now offering transgender hormone replacement therapy for those under the age of 18.
"We had a lot of parents actually reach out to us wanting to get care for the young people in their lives," said Dr. Suzie Prabhakaran, Vice President of Medical Affairs for Planned Parenthood. "So we decided it was time for us to expand the care that we were providing to minors."
Planned Parenthood has been providing transgender hormone therapy since October of 2016, but up until now that was for those 18 and older. They say transgender patients have a difficult time accessing care because a lot of doctors can be judgemental of those who are transgender. At Planned Parenthood, it all starts with an initial consultation. More
#MeToo movement lawmaker investigated for sexual misconduct allegations
SAN FRANCISCO — California Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia — whose high-profile advocacy of the #MeToo movement earned her national media notice — is herself the subject of a state legislative investigation in the wake of a report that she sexually harassed and groped a former legislative staffer.
In December, when Time magazine announced that “Silence Breakers” who spoke out against sexual harassment were its Persons of the Year, Garcia’s face was prominently included in the art accompanying the cover story.
But Daniel Fierro of Cerritos told POLITICO that in 2014, as a 25-year-old staffer to Assemblyman Ian Calderon, he was groped by Garcia, a powerful Democratic lawmaker who chairs the Legislative Women’s Caucus and the Natural Resources Committee. He said she cornered him and that Garcia appeared inebriated, began stroking his back, then squeezed his buttocks and attempted to touch his crotch before he extricated himself and quickly left. More
Why This Mom Is Selling Fake Penises for Kids Under 5
While awareness of transgender issues has become more mainstream, there is still a lot to be learned about what the trans experience is like -- which was the thinking of Searah Deysach, a Chicago business owner, who is making waves for selling silicone penises for transgender and gender non-conforming kids as young as 5.
And while Deysach sells these products with the intention of helping trans kids better express their gender, she's facing a strong pushback online from people who think she's way out of line. More
Norway Olympic ski team under fire for sweater’s symbol used by Nazi Germany
Norway’s alpine skiing team is receiving backlash after revealing its official Winter Olympics knitted sweater, which uses a controversial symbol.
The black and grey sweaters feature a symbol known as the Tyr rune, representing the team’s theme for the Olympics, “the Attacking Viking.” The symbol is associated with Viking and Norse mythology and stands for heroic glory.
But the symbol has also been hijacked by extreme right-wing groups. For example, Tyr was also the official emblem for Adolf Hitler’s leadership school in Nazi Germany. More
'The Bachelor' Creator Blames Fans' Racism, Trump For Show's Low Ratings
ABC's "The Bachelor" creator and executive producer Mike Fleiss blamed racism on the part of his show's fan base and President Donald Trump for his show's low ratings in an interview released Friday in the New York Times. ABC's "The Bachelor" creator and executive producer Mike Fleiss blamed racism on the part of his show's fan base and President Donald Trump for his show's low ratings in an interview released Friday in the New York Times.
From New York Times:
In 2017, the first “Bachelorette” chapter to star an African-American woman — Rachel Lindsay, a lawyer from Dallas — drew precipitously fewer viewers than the season before it. “I found it incredibly disturbing in a Trumpish kind of way,” Mr. Fleiss said. “How else are you going to explain the fact that she’s down in the ratings, when — black or white — she was an unbelievable bachelorette? It revealed something about our fans.”
You're a racist if you don't want to watch my crappy TV show. More
Washington state sues Motel 6 over cooperation with immigration authorities
Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson (D) has sued Motel 6 for providing guest lists to federal immigration agents, Ferguson's office said Wednesday.
The office began investigating Motel 6 after two of the low-cost chain's locations in Arizona provided its guests' personal information to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers. Six additional locations in Washington provided the same information covering more than 9,100 guests to ICE agents, Ferguson's office said.
"Washingtonians have a right to privacy, and protection from discrimination," Ferguson said in a statement announcing the lawsuit, filed in King County Superior Court. "I will hold Motel 6 accountable and uncover the whole story of their disturbing conduct." More
James Damore just filed a class action lawsuit against Google, saying it discriminates against white male conservatives
James Damore, a former Google engineer who was fired in August after posting a memo to an internal Google message board arguing that women may not be equally represented in tech because they are biologically less capable of engineering, has filed a class action lawsuit against the company in Santa Clara Superior Court in Northern California.
His claims: that Google unfairly discriminates against white men whose political views are unpopular with its executives.
Damore is joined in the 161-page suit by another former Google engineer named David Gudeman, who spent three years with Google working on a query engine. According to Gudeman’s LinkedIn profile, he left the company in December 2016 and has been self-employed since. More
White noise video on YouTube hit by five copyright claims
A musician who made a 10-hour long video of continuous white noise - indistinct electronic hissing - has said five copyright infringement claims have been made against him.
Sebastian Tomczak, who is based in Australia, said he made the video in 2015 and uploaded it to YouTube.
The claimants accusing him of infringement include publishers of white noise intended for sleep therapy. More
Professors claim farmers’ markets cultivate racism: ‘Habits of white people are normalized’
Two San Diego State University (SDSU) professors recently criticized farmers’ markets for being “white spaces” that contribute to the oppression of minorities.
Pascale Joassart-Marcelli and Fernando J Bosco, two geography professors at SDSU, criticized the “whiteness of farmers’ markets” in a chapter for Just Green Enough, a new anthology published by Routledge in December.
The anthology, which features contributions from a variety of professors, aims to highlight the harms of “environmental gentrification,” a process in which “environmental improvements lead to…the displacement of long-term residents.” More
Texas Dad Confiscates 12-Year-Old Daughter's Phone As Punishment, Gets Arrested By The Cops
Authorities arrested a Grand Prairie, Texas, father for taking his daughter's cell phone away as a form of punishment.
In 2013, Ronald Jackson discovered a text message on his daughter's phone that he found to be "rude." He took the phone away from his daughter, who was 12-years-old at the time, to teach her a lesson.
"I was being a parent..." Jackson told KDVR. "...A child does something wrong, you teach them what’s right. You tell them what they did wrong and you give them a punishment to show them they shouldn’t being doing that" More
Prominent lawyer sought donor cash for two Trump accusers
A well-known women’s rights lawyer sought to arrange compensation from donors and tabloid media outlets for women who made or considered making sexual misconduct allegations against Donald Trump during the final months of the 2016 presidential race, according to documents and interviews.
California lawyer Lisa Bloom’s efforts included offering to sell alleged victims’ stories to TV outlets in return for a commission for herself, arranging a donor to pay off one Trump accuser’s mortgage and attempting to secure a six-figure payment for another woman who ultimately declined to come forward after being offered as much as $750,000, the clients told The Hill. More
Students who shut down University of Oregon president’s speech panic after they’re charged
Threatening to investigate students for disrupting campus events works wonders on their willingness to negotiate.
A week after they received formal charges of “disruption of university” and “failure to comply” for shutting down the State of the University speech by University of Oregon President Michael Schill, participants warned Schill that he had “escalated tensions” by holding them accountable (!).
Student, faculty and union leaders signed an open letter to Schill and the board of trustees, posted on the activist UO Student Collective Facebook page, that blames Schill for comparing the protesters to the fascists they claim to fight. More
On YouTube Kids, Startling Videos Slip Past Filters
It was a typical night in Staci Burns’s house outside Fort Wayne, Ind. She was cooking dinner while her 3-year-old son, Isaac, watched videos on the YouTube Kids app on an iPad. Suddenly he cried out, “Mommy, the monster scares me!”
When Ms. Burns walked over, Isaac was watching a video featuring crude renderings of the characters from “PAW Patrol,” a Nickelodeon show that is popular among preschoolers, screaming in a car. The vehicle hurtled into a light pole and burst into flames.
The 10-minute clip, “PAW Patrol Babies Pretend to Die Suicide by Annabelle Hypnotized,” was a nightmarish imitation of an animated series in which a boy and a pack of rescue dogs protect their community from troubles like runaway kittens and rock slides. In the video Isaac watched, some characters died and one walked off a roof after being hypnotized by a likeness of a doll possessed by a demon.More
Transgender reveal in kindergarten class leaves parents feeling "betrayed"
ROCKLIN, Calif. -- The Rocklin Academy school board is facing tough questions from parents concerned over a controversial incident involving transgender discussions inside a kindergarten class, CBS Sacramento reports.
"These parents feel betrayed by the school district that they were not notified," said Karen England with the Capitol Resource Institute. More
Russia Wants Bulgarians to Stop Painting Soviet Monuments To Look Like American Superheroes
According to a report by the Moscow Times, pranksters in Bulgaria are repainting Soviet-era monuments so that Soviet military heroes look like American Superheroes. Needless to say, the Russians are not too happy about it.
Russia is demanding that Bulgaria try harder to prevent vandalism of Soviet monuments, after yet another monument to Soviet troops in Sofia was spray-painted, ITAR-Tass reported. The Russian Embassy in Bulgaria has issued a note demanding that its former Soviet-era ally clean up the monument in Sofia’s Lozenets district, identify and punish those responsible, and take “exhaustive measures” to prevent similar attacks in the future, the news agency reported Monday.. More
Rick Perry Just Said That Fossil Fuels Help Prevent Sexual Assault
Rick Perry, the head of the Department of Energy (DoE), has surpassed himself. Talking to journalists earlier today, he claimed that fossil fuels will help to prevent sexual assault.
During an energy policy discussion, he said: “From the standpoint of sexual assault. When the lights are on, when you have light that shines, the righteousness, if you will, on those types of acts… fossil fuels is going to play a role in that. I think it’s going to play a positive role.”
It’s a little difficult to try and work out what he means by this. Is he trying to say that when you have lights on, the perpetrators of sexual assault are easier to see? This is obviously true - but studies show that it has little effect on such crimes being committed. Either way, to use such a horrific issue to tout the benefits of oil, gas, and coal is mindblowingly strange. More
EU Study Showing Piracy Doesn't Affect Game Sales Was Shelved
It’s usually considered that piracy hurts the sale of copyrighted materials, but that’s not really the case. Over the years, quite a few studies have reached the same conclusion, and that was piracy doesn’t have an effect on sales. It sounds strange, but that’s the truth.
Companies chose to ignore this information, and it’s easy to understand why. It sounds like the logical thing to imagine, but it’s not backed by science. Nevertheless, the European Commission wanted to know what is the effect of piracy on copyrighted material and ordered a study. The results were never made public. More
FBI finds FEMA supplies in Trash Container
Federal and State Authorities today began an investigation into the Municipality of Patillas after an inspection was carried out today where allegedly, investigators found food and water provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) thrown in a trash container according to sources.
Supplies mismanagement or theft, for being federal property, will be investigated by the FBI and can lead to a penalty of up to 20 years if any individual is found to be violating the distribution guidelines. More
Schools are banning best friends to protect students' feelings
Members of the royal family aren't often told what they can and can't do. But just a few days into his first year of school, 4-year-old Prince George already faces a mandate: No best friends allowed.
Thomas's Battersea, the school George attends, bans kids from having best friends, Marie Claire reports. Instead, teachers encourage all students to form bonds with one another to avoid creating feelings of exclusions among those without best friends.
Jane Moore, a parent whose child attends the school, explained the idea on a recent episode of the British talk show "Loose Women." "There's a policy," she said, "that if your child is having a party — unless every child is invited — you don't give out the invites in class." More
Oxford University "Doctor Stabby" avoids jail because of her ‘extraordinary’ potential
An Oxford University student dubbed “too clever to go to prison” has walked free after stabbing her ex-boyfriend in a drug-fueled frenzy — but moaned that she can’t go clubbing without being recognized.
Aspiring heart surgeon Lavinia Woodward ran out of court with a big smile on her face Monday after being handed a suspended sentence.
Wearing a black suit and white blouse, she appeared in the glass-paneled dock before the judge at Oxford Crown Court.
Flanked by a female security guard, she wept and dabbed her eyes with a tissue as the judge sentenced her to 10 months in prison, suspended for 18 months. More
Australian Professors Claim Boys Are Better Than Girls At Physics Because They Play With Pee
Physics is heavily skewed towards boys because they have a unique advantage when it comes to understanding projectile motion – and, argue Anna Wilson, Kate Wilson and David Low, it’s an area too heavily relied on in many curricula.
Some of you will think we’re daft. Some will wonder what kind of jobs we have if we have enough time on our hands to dream this kind of thing up. Some of you may even think we’re having you on. Our intentions, however, are honourable.
Playful urination practices – from seeing how high you can pee to games such as Peeball (where men compete using their urine to destroy a ball placed in a urinal) – may give boys an advantage over girls when it comes to physics. And we believe there’s something we can do about it. More
How a 5-year-old's 'pretend play' resulted in a school suspension
Modesto parents are upset that their 5-year-old son's "pretend play" resulted in him being suspended from school, and said they want the disciplinary action removed from his permanent record.
Jackson Riley attends the Great Valley Academy public charter school in Modesto and was suspended for a day for making terrorist threats, TV station Fox 40 reported.
The incident occurred Aug. 31, Jackson's father, Ian Riley, told The Bee. He got a call from the school saying the kindergartner had refused to take off his backpack and, when asked why, said there was a bomb in it that would explode if he did so.
Riley said Jackson loves his teachers, as do he and his wife, Michelle. "We have two kids there and the teachers are amazing," he said. "Our issue is with the administration's knee-jerk reaction." More
"Meathead" Launches Committee To Investigate Russian Election Meddling
Director Rob Reiner, his pal Morgan Freeman and journalist David Frum have joined forces to create a "Committee to Investigate Russia," designed to uncover the truth behind Putin-led meddling in the 2016 Presidential election.
Reiner announced the CIR on Tuesday, posting to Twitter that he wants Americans to " “understand the gravity of Russia’s invasion of our democracy," adding that he intends on using his resources to truly solve the mystery of how Donald Trump won the 2016 Presidential election.
The group launched their website, InvestigateRussia.com, on Wednesday. It has a few fancy videos - one of which stars Freeman, who warns that Russia is waging a war on the United States that we can no longer afford to ignore. "We have been attacked," bellows Freeman. "We are at war." More
Democrat candidate for NY City council lives in Section 8 housing, hides photos of husband on yacht
A Democrat candidate for New York City’s city council, who lives in Section 8 housing, went into damage control mode after photos were shared of her husband on a yacht.
The Facebook photos showed city council candidate Carlina Rivera’s husband, attorney and Community Board 3 Chairman, James Rogers, sailing on his wealthy father, William Rogers’, yacht as they competed in boating competitions, the New York Post reported.
The Facebook page “Big Boat,” which is the name of the yacht, removed the photos ahead of New York City’s primary elections on Tuesday but the damage was done. More
Florida gun owners encouraged to 'shoot the storm' and fire their guns at Hurricane Irma
A Florida man who suggested shooting guns at Hurricane Irma out of "stress and boredom" has found that his idea has captured peoples' imaginations - with over 46,000 signing up to join in.
Hurricane Irma is due to hit Florida on Saturday, and the state is currently experiencing the largest ever mass evacuation due to a hurricane in American history. But Ryon Edwards, 22, came up with a novel way of amusing himself during the storm: firing bullets into it. He started a Facebook "event", and as of Friday evening 46,000 people say they are interested. More
College tells students to ‘rub one out’ to prevent rape
The Rochester Institute of Technology recently encouraged students to masturbate as an alternative to sexual assault during one of its freshman orientation programs.
As part of an “Alcohol and Chill” session during orientation, students discussed “awareness, prevention, bystander education, and risk reduction,” according to a statement from the school’s senior vice president for student affairs.
An image obtained by Campus Reform shows that during said session, participants were told to “Rub One Out,” with a notation at the bottom of the slide explaining that “self-gratification can prevent sexual assault.” More
Why the Do Not Call list doesn't work anymore
Carol Stewart is at wit’s end, because the calls won’t stop.
“I’m getting inundated,” the frustrated woman said.
Multiple times a day, live or automated robocallers ring her home phone—to sell her vacations, lower her credit card rates, or ask for donations.
“Somebody will be saying I’ve got a vacation package for you, that we thought you might be interested in, and I just hang up. Because I’m not interested in it,” she said. It’s gotten so bad that she checked to see if her name is still on the National Do Not Call List that she signed up for more than a decade ago. She learned she is still on the list. But it’s not doing a thing for her. More
Man Builds Park Stairs for $550 After City Gives $65,000 Estimate
A Toronto man who spent $550 building a set of stairs in his community park says he has no regrets, despite the city’s insistence that he should have waited for a $65,000 city project to handle the problem. The city is now threatening to tear down the stairs because they were not built to regulation standards.
Retired mechanic Adi Astl says he took it upon himself to build the stairs after several neighbours fell down the steep path to a community garden in Tom Riley Park, in Etobicoke, Ont. Astl says his neighbours chipped in on the project, which only ended up costing $550 – a far cry from the $65,000-$150,000 price tag the city had estimated for the job. More
Renowned Harvard Psychologist Says ADHD is Largely a Fraud
JViewed by academics as one of the most influential psychologists of the 20th century, Jerome Kagan ranked above Carl Jung (the founder of analytical psychology) and Ivan Pavlov (who discovered the Pavlovian reflex) in a 2002 American Psychological Association ranking of the eminent psychologists. He is well-known for his pioneering work in developmental psychology at Harvard University, where he has spent decades documenting how babies and small children grow, and is an exceptional and highly-regarded researcher.
So it may be surprising to learn that he believes the diagnosis of ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) is an invention — and only benefits the pharmaceutical industry and psychiatrists.
“That is the history of humanity: Those in authority believe they’re doing the right thing, and they harm those who have no power”, says Jerome Kagan. More
These Coloradans say Earth is flat. And gravity’s a hoax. Now, they’re being persecuted.
Every Tuesday at 6 p.m., three dozen Coloradans from every corner of the state assemble in the windowless back room of a small Fort Collins coffee shop. They have met 16 times since March, most nights talking through the ins and outs of their shared faith until the owners kick them out at closing.
They have no leaders, no formal hierarchy and no enforced ideology, save a common quest for answers to questions about the stars. Their membership has slowly swelled in the past three years, though persecution and widespread public derision keep them mostly underground. Many use pseudonyms, or only give first names.
“They just do not want to talk about it for fear of reprisals or ridicule from co-workers,” says John Vnuk, the group’s founder who lives in Fort Collins. More
Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop responds after NASA calls BS on ‘healing’ stickers
What do you do when you have too much money? Most of us never have to worry about such things, but oftentimes celebrities find themselves with piles of cash and nothing to spend it on.
Sometimes they go on benders, or buy a private island, but in Gwyneth Paltrow’s case, she started a “wellness” company that is now trying to help sell special stickers that it claims can cure you of anxiety, balance your body’s “natural frequency,” and even relieve pain. Now, NASA — you know, that little group that does actual science — is calling BS on the whole thing. More
Portland Burrito Shop Forced to Close After Getting Hounded for ‘Stealing From Mexico’
Kali Wilgus and Liz “LC” Connelly, owners of Portland pop-up shop Kooks Burritos, just wanted to make and sell some really great burritos. So when they were on a trip to Puerto Nuevo, Mexico, they “picked the brains” of the local tortilla ladies and brought those recipes back to the States.
“I picked the brains of every tortilla lady there in the worst broken Spanish ever, and they showed me a little of what they did,” Connelly told Willamette Week. “They told us the basic ingredients, and we saw them moving and stretching the dough similar to how pizza makers do before rolling it out with rolling pins. They wouldn’t tell us too much about technique, but we were peeking into the windows of every kitchen, totally fascinated by how easy they made it look. We learned quickly it isn’t quite that easy.”
Whelp, apparently this interview sparked an Internet shitstorm, which ended in Kooks Burritos shutting down and the two white women who owned it scrubbing social media of the business’ existence. Wilgus and Connelly were accused of cultural appropriation by the Internet mob, and even the theft of PoC’s recipes. More
School district slams sixth grader with suspension over haircut
BAYTOWN, Texas - Xavier Davis had no idea his hair could cause him so much trouble.
Xavier is a sixth grader at Cedar Bayou Junior High School in Baytown.
When he walked into class last Thursday, he said he was promptly sent to the office.
"I was walking into class, and she saw my hair and said, 'You can't have two lines in your hair. Go to the office,'" Xavier said.
The school, he said, ordered him to fix the haircut by Monday, or be punished with in-school suspension.
"I don't think it's fair," Xavier said. "He's had his hair cut like this for six months and now all of a sudden it's a problem?" said his father, Matt Davis. More
Canada Man Ordered to Surrender ‘Offensive’ Star Trek License Plate
A Canadian man’s Star Trek-inspired license plate has been revoked after his public insurance company received complaints that it was offensive to indigenous people. The two-year-old plate, which reads “ASIMIL8,” is a sly reference to the Borg, evil aliens in Star Trek who “assimilate” their prey and go by the motto “Resistance is Futile.”
Manitoba local Nick Troller was informed by an agent from Manitoba Public Insurance on Wednesday that they had received complaints from two people about the word “assimilate,” which they claimed is offensive to minorities. He was then served a letter informing him that “it has been brought to the attention of this office that the personalized plate ASIMIL8 is considered offensive,” and was ordered to surrender it immediately. More
Lookalike Foods: DNA test finds Subway sandwiches may be just 50 percent chicken
Those chicken sandwiches you've been getting from Subway might not contain as much chicken as you'd think, according to an investigation from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
According to the CBC Marketplace DNA test, the pieces of chicken tested in Subway sandwiches contained just 50 percent chicken DNA, with the rest containing soy.
The study tested Subway's Oven Roasted Chicken Sandwich and the Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki. The results showed the oven roasted chicken had only 53.6 percent chicken DNA while the chicken strips in the sweet onion chicken teriyaki had just 42.8 percent chicken DNA. More
No soda tax for diet drinkers? Seattle’s plan excludes drinks favored by rich and white
Mayor Ed Murray’s proposed tax on sodas exempts one kind of soft drink more typically favored by an affluent, educated and white population in Seattle and beyond: diet drinks.
The 2-cents-an-ounce tax would apply only to sugary beverages, such as regular sodas, energy and sports drinks, and bottled teas and coffee that are sweetened with sugar. For a 2-liter bottle of Coke, the tax could add $1.35 to the cost.
Money raised — estimated at $16 million per year — would be used to support various programs aimed at reducing disparities between white students and black and Latino students. But this proposed tax could also place a heavier burden on the very groups it’s aiming to help. More
Single dad furious after teen daughter reveals why her friends can't stay over at their house
A single dad has opened up about his anger after his upset daughter told him the reason her friends won't stay over at her house.
The anonymous man, writing on Kidspot, revealed how he was the girl's primary carer for five years of her life before his wife ran off with another man and took their child with her.
After years of fighting for custody of his "wonderful" daughter, the pair moved to Australia together four years ago.
He struggled to get on school records as her primary carer as the system "wouldn't accept it" and, bizarrely, ended up being listed as her mother. More
Chelsea Clinton Gets Another Award For Doing Nothing Special
Like her mother before her, Chelsea Clinton appears to be creating a cottage industry for herself in receiving random awards for her unparalleled contributions to society, scintillating takes on current events, and incredibly generous heart.
Not content with just her Variety-sponsored “achievement award,” Chelsea on Tuesday night accepted the annual City Harvest Award for Commitment in fighting hunger in New York City, as reported in Mail Online.
Before we claim that she’s done nothing to earn a major award, aside from sitting in a privileged position atop her family’s namesake foundation, or say that she has few actual commitments aside from spending her family’s money and attending a single board meeting for Expedia lest she forfeit the several hundred thousand dollars she earns in her honorary position, in this case, it appears Chelsea did do at least something to earn her award. More
School Officials Shamed A Teenage Girl For Bringing "Too Much Food" For Lunch
A peanut butter and jelly sandwich. A small banana. Strawberries. Grapes. And a handful of dried coconut with raisins.
Sounds like a pretty reasonable lunch to us. But when a student brought this exact lunch to school one day, she was told that she had packed too much food, her mom wrote on a parenting blog.
School officials have been monitoring what the students bring for lunch every day at this girl's secondary school, her mom said in the post. "DDs [dear daughter's] secondary school has started checking all the packed lunches at registration," she wrote. "I know lots of secondary school students buy sweets and chocolate etc on the way to school but surely at that age it's their choice." More
New bill takes aim at men's masturbation habits
State Rep. Jessica Farrar, D-Houston, filed a bill Friday that would penalize men for "unregulated masturbatory emissions."
The satirical House Bill 4260 would encourage men to remain "fully abstinent" and only allow the "occasional masturbatory emissions inside health care and medical facilities," which are described in the legislation as the best way to ensure men's health.
A man would face a $100 penalty for each emission made outside of a vagina or medical facility. Such an emission would be considered "an act against an unborn child, and failing to preserve the sanctity of life," according to the legislation. More
Kurdish healer: Trump is possessed; I can cure him by beating soles of his feet
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region — A Kurdish healer who claims to draw his knowledge and powers from God says that US President Donald Trump is possessed and unless he is cured he will either go insane or be killed before finishing his first term in office.
Known as Mala Ali Kalak and based in a small town outside Erbil on the road to Mosul, he says he has treated many cases of cancer and HIV, including government officials.
“Trump is possessed and I need to beat him on the soles of his feet to get the jinni out of his body,” Mala Ali told Rudaw in an interview. “He has lost his mind and oversteps his boundaries all the time. He needs help. Unless he is cured he will continue to act like he does now.” More
Atlanta welfare bums battling state over right to name daughter Allah
ATLANTA — The toddler daughter of Elizabeth Handy and Bilal Walk has everything you would expect: a sweet smile, curious nature and finicky tastes.
But, in the eyes of the state of Georgia, the 22-month-old child has no name.
According to Handy and Walk, the Georgia Department of Public Health refused to issue the infant a birth certificate with the last name the couple chose for their daughter: Allah.
The ACLU of Georgia has filed suit on behalf of the couple, who say they can't get a Social Security number for their daughter because they don't have a birth certificate. They also anticipate problems with access to health care, schools and travel. More
'Bread war': Venezuela arrests brownie and croissant bakers in effort to tackle food shortages
Venezuela this week arrested four bakers making illegal brownies and other pastries as President Nicolas Maduro's socialist government threatens to take over bakeries in Caracas as part of a new "bread war".
Maduro has sent inspectors and soldiers into more than 700 bakeries around the capital this week to enforce a rule that 90 percent of wheat must be destined to loaves rather than more expensive pastries and cakes.
It was the latest move by the government to combat shortages and long lines for basic products that have characterised Venezuela's economic crisis over the last three years. More
American Legion Riders say they were harassed by staff at Michigan Dave & Busters location
Dallas-based restaurant chain Dave & Busters is getting what appears to be some negative blowback this week after a biker group made up of military veterans said it was harassed at a Michigan location. MLive in Grand Rapids first reported on the story on Wednesday, detailing how a group of American Legion Riders were confronted by management at a Kentwood, Michigan D&B location on Saturday, Feb. 25.
According to biker Victor Murdock a general manager at the location told the group of bikers that they had to remove their riding vests, or colors, turn them inside-out or leave the premises. The bikers’ attire apparently violated the chain’s dress code policy which prohibits clothing that promotes “evidence of gang affiliation,” according to MLive. More
School apologizes for fried chicken menu for Black History Month
HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP -- The township schools superintendent apologized to parents for a recent high school lunch menu that served fried chicken to celebrate Black History Month.
The Feb. 16 lunch menu at Hopewell Valley Central High School also listed corn bread, sweet potato casserole, sauteed spinach, mac & cheese and peach and apple crisps.
It's not clear who complained about the menu.
"The decision to include these items without any context or explanation, reinforces racial stereotypes and is not consistent with our district mission and efforts to improve cultural competency among our students and staff," Superintendent Thomas A. Smith wrote in a message to the community. More
Absurd State Licensing Rules Could Send A Woman To Jail Just for Touching a Horse
If Laurie Wheeler puts her hands on a horse, she could go to jail.
Not because she would hurt the animal—she'd never think of doing such a thing—but because of an anonymous complaint submitted to the state's licensing board that governs veterinary medicine.
Wheeler has been studying horse massage since 2010, when she adopted an abandoned horse suffering from a potentially life-threatening neurological condition known as equine protozoal myeloencephalitis.
Her horse, Jazz, was treated with a mix of medication and massage therapy, and Wheeler became interested in the practice. Since then, she's twice been certified in equine massage by an Indiana-based animal therapy school, and, in 2016, successfully obtained a license from the state of Tennessee, where she lives, to practice massage therapy on humans. More
Teen Girl Sent Teen Boy 5 Inappropriate Pictures, Faces Lifetime Registry as a 'Violent Sex Offender' or 350 Years in Jail
Zachary, now 19, is in jail awaiting sentencing for five pictures his teenage girlfriend sent him of herself in her underwear. He faced a choice between a possible (though unlikely) maximum sentence of 350 years in prison, or lifetime on the sex offender registry as a "sexually violent offender"—even though he never met the girl in person. Here's what happened.
About two years ago, when Zachary was a 17-year-old high school senior in Stafford County, Virginia, a girl in his computer club invited him over to visit. She introduced him to her younger sister, age 13. This younger sister told Zachary he reminded her of a friend: this friend, also a 13-year-old girl, shared Zachary's love of dragons and videogames. More
Grad Student Exposes Massive Network Of Over 350,000 Fake Twitter Accounts
A computer scientist in London has stumbled upon massive networks of fake Twitter accounts - with the largest consisting of over 350,000 profiles - which may have been used to 'fake' numbers of followers, send spam, and boost interest in trending topics.
On Twitter, bots are accounts that are run remotely by someone who automates the messages they send and activities they carry out. The network of 350,000 bots stood out because all the accounts in it shared several subtle characteristics that revealed they were linked.
It was "amazing and surprising" to discover the massive networks, said Dr Shi Zhou, a senior lecturer from UCL who oversaw Mr Echeverria's research. More
Utah’s Anti-Porn Crusade Has Entered a Crazy New Phase
Utah has some pretty big hang-ups about pornography. As Science of Us noted back in April, the state’s conservative legislators are engaged in something of an anti-porn jihad — in March, they passed a symbolic resolution stating that “the Legislature and the Governor recognize the need for education, prevention, research, and policy change at the community and societal level in order to address the pornography epidemic that is harming the people of our state and nation.”
There is, of course, no evidence of a “pornography epidemic” with any measurable toll on society. Yes, a lot of people view porn, as has been the case ever since porn was easily viewable, and as will likely be the case forever. But the sorts of things you’d expect to be associated with a hypothetical porn epidemic, like people having tons of reckless sex, don’t appear to be happening.
The only thing anti-porn zealots can point to as evidence of a dangerous “epidemic” is that a lot of people are watching porn. There’s no credible, empirically backed second half to the sentence “Tons of people too much porn, and it’s causing X.” More
Who got rich off the student debt crisis
A generation ago, Congress privatized a student loan program intended to give more Americans access to higher education.
In its place, lawmakers created another profit center for Wall Street and a system of college finance that has fed the nation’s cycle of inequality. Step by step, Congress has enacted one law after another to make student debt the worst kind of debt for Americans – and the best kind for banks and debt collectors.
Today, just about everyone involved in the student loan industry makes money off students – the banks, private investors, even the federal government.
Jessie Suren is an energetic 28-year-old who wanted a career in law enforcement. Albert Lord is a 70-year-old former accountant who became a multimillionaire executive. The two have never met, but their stories tell the history of America’s student debt crisis. More
Facebook 'fact checker' who will arbitrate on 'fake news' is accused of defrauding website to pay for prostitutes
One of the websites Facebook is to use to arbitrate on 'fake news' is involved in a bitter legal dispute between its co-founders, with its CEO accused of using company money for prostitutes.
Snopes.com will be part of a panel used by Facebook to decide whether stories which users complain about as potentially 'fake' should be considered 'disputed'.
But the website's own troubles and the intriguing choice of who carries out its 'fact checks' are revealed by DailyMail.com, as one of its main contributors is disclosed to be a former sex-blogger who called herself 'Vice Vixen'.
Snopes.com will benefit from Facebook's decision to allow users to report items in their newsfeed which they believe to be 'fake'. More
When Food Is Expensive, We Assume It’s Healthier, Too
Nutrition researchers will often talk about a “health halo” — a product that’s not so great for you enjoying a nutritious reputation it doesn’t deserve. Salad is one example: Dump a bunch of cheese and croutons on top of a few leaves, and yes, it’s technically a salad (and probably delicious), but it’s not the healthy meal that the label implies.
And as a forthcoming study in the Journal of Consumer Research illustrates, the same thing can happen with price. More expensive foods benefit from the health halo of a higher cost, while affordable items are seen as junky — even if neither is true.
Konchinsky is now suing the police officers, alleging they violated her constitutional rights. What's the basis of her lawsuit?
Konchinsky's suit alleges that the officers' actions violated her First Amendment right to freedom of speech. More
No Evidence of Aloe Vera Found in the Aloe Vera at Wal-Mart, CVS
The aloe vera gel many Americans buy to soothe damaged skin contains no evidence of aloe vera at all.
Samples of store-brand aloe gel purchased at national retailers Wal-Mart, Target and CVS showed no indication of the plant in various lab tests. The products all listed aloe barbadensis leaf juice — another name for aloe vera — as either the No. 1 ingredient or No. 2 after water.
There’s no watchdog assuring that aloe products are what they say they are. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration doesn’t approve cosmetics before they’re sold and has never levied a fine for selling fake aloe. That means suppliers are on an honor system, even as the total U.S. market for aloe products, including drinks and vitamins, has grown 11 percent in the past year to $146 million, according to Chicago-based market researcher SPINS LLC. More
Trudeau says Canada has no ‘core identity’
Who would have thought Canadian values could be so controversial? Plenty of ink has been spilt in the past few weeks over the suddenly taboo topic of promoting Canadian values.
The consensus from Canada’s elites has been to condemn the very idea of listing our values, let alone asking newcomers to respect and adhere to them. But a far more controversial idea about Canadian values and identity was recently proposed by our very own prime minister.
And the media barely batted an eyelash. Late last year, Justin Trudeau told the New York Times that Canada is becoming a new kind of country, not defined by our history or European national origins, but by a “pan-cultural heritage”. More
Professor attacks political correctness, says he refuses to use genderless pronouns
TORONTO — As part of an hour-long YouTube lecture on political correctness, University of Toronto professor and clinical psychologist Jordan Peterson is objecting to the Trudeau government’s Bill C-16, which proposes to outlaw harassment and discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression under the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Criminal Code.
Peterson, a white male in his mid 50s, also decries what he claims are attempts by the university to transform its human resources department into “a politically correct institution.”
Gender identity is defined by the Ontario Human Rights Commission as “each person’s internal and individual experience of gender. It is their sense of being a woman, a man, both, neither, or anywhere along the gender spectrum.” The commission defines gender expression as “how a person publicly presents their gender,” which can include behaviour and outward appearance such as dress, hair, make-up, body language and voice, as well as a person’s name and the pronouns they use. More
Court Rules That Medical Marijuana Card Holders Can't Buy Firearms
If you have a medical marijuana card, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says that you can’t buy a gun.
The court ruled 3-0 on Wednesday that a ban preventing medical marijuana card holders from purchasing firearms is not in violation of the Second Amendment, the Associated Press reports. There are nine western states under the appeals court’s jurisdiction, including Nevada, where the case originated.
A lawsuit was filed in 2011 by Nevada resident S. Rowan Wilson after she tried to purchase a gun for self-defense and was denied based on a federal ban on the sale of guns to users of illegal drugs. Though marijuana has been legalized in some places on a state-by-state basis, it remains illegal under federal law. The court maintained that drug use “raises the risk of irrational or unpredictable behavior with which gun use should not be associated.” More
We’re All Guinea Pigs in a Failed Decades-Long Diet Experiment
Let's say you want to lose some weight. Which of these foods would you choose: A skim-milk latte, or the same drink with whole milk? A low-cal breakfast bar or steak and eggs? A salad tossed in light dressing or the same salad doused with buttermilk ranch?
If you're like most Americans, you either aren't sure how to answer, or you're very sure—but very wrong. And it's not your fault. It's the fault, experts say, of decades of flawed or misleading nutrition advice—advice that was never based on solid science.
The US Department of Agriculture, along with the agency that is now called Health and Human Services, first released a set of national dietary guidelines back in 1980. That 20-page booklet trained its focus primarily on three health villains: fat, saturated fat, and cholesterol. More
School bans clown costumes from Halloween celebrations
CROSS COUNTY, AR - Cross County Schools will ban clown costumes for the first time this Halloween. According to Superintendent Carolyn Wilson, the school has previously never had costume guidelines other than enforcing the dress code.
“With the current issues about the clowns we are going to avoid that this year,” said Wilson. After recent clown sightings across the nation, the school said some of their students are afraid. Wilson said after hearing concerns from parents, they have chosen to ban happy and scary clown costumes altogether. They hope to present this to the children in a way that will not evoke more fear.
“The principal is very good about being sensitive to how she presents that,” said Wilson. “It’s going to be something to the effect of, even though clowns are funny and cute, we’re not going to do any this year because we want to be a little bit different.” More
City school admins fined for big spending on parties, food
Five city school bigs were hit with fines as high as $2,500 each after they were caught using their DOE credit cards to buy personal treats and bankroll lavish staff parties - including one at the hip Harlem eatery Red Rooster that included a lecture and live jazz performance.
The city’s Conflict of Interest Board slapped the education administrators with the fines, saying they had all violated rules that prohibited using their cards for non-city purposes.
The largest fine went to Patrick Fagan, a deputy Cluster Leader for the Children First Network, a now-defunct network of educators who were supposed to help principals. More
African students speak out against anti-African school dress code
ST. PETERSBURG, FL––Yesterday morning morning, young African women gathered at the front of Gibbs High School to conduct a press conference to discuss an incident that had happened a few days prior.
Gibbs High School Senior Jelani Masozi was forced by a school administrator, accompanied by a resource officer, to remove her head wrap on Thursday, August 25th, 2016.
The intimidating presence of the officer, armed to the teeth with a gun, taser, and pepper spray––identical to the police officers that murder us in the streets––caused Jelani to feel like she had no other option but to remove her headwrap.
This humiliating, demoralizing request caused her to call the President of the African National Women’s Organization (ANWO), Yejide Orunmila, who directed her to put her headwrap back on. More
Judge Rules Government Can Ban Vegetable Gardens Because They’re ‘Ugly’
Miami, FL — Last week, a Miami-Dade judge became the focus of much-deserved anger when she ruled on an ordinance banning front yard vegetable gardens. The village of Miami Shores, according to the ruling, has every right to take legal action against residents who dare to grow food in their own yards because they are “ugly.”
The ruling was a whopping ten pages long as it was filled with legal analysis and definitions of what constitutes a vegetable. Even though she ruled in favor of the ban, Judge Monica Gordo acknowledged that she wasn’t quite sure how a vegetable garden can ruin the aesthetics of one’s property. More
A history of undiplomatic insults
The president of the Philippines, Rodridgo Duterte, says he regrets calling President Barack Obama the “son of a whore.”
Well, he regrets at least how the comment was received.
“We regret [that] it came across as a personal attack,” Duterte said through a spokesman.
The White House canceled a meeting with Duterte after the outburst.
The Philippines' leader is mounting a controversial campaign against drug dealers and users, which has already led to thousands of extrajudicial killings. More
India To Bring Back Workers Facing 'Food Crisis' In Saudi Arabia
NEW DELHI/DUBAI: India said on Sunday it will send a government minister to Saudi Arabia to try to bring back more than 10,000 Indian workers who are facing a "food crisis" because they are unable to afford meals after being laid off from their jobs.
Low oil prices have forced the Saudi government to slash spending since last year, putting heavy pressure on the finances of local construction firms which rely on state contracts.
As a result, some companies have been struggling to pay foreign workers and have laid off tens of thousands, leaving many with no money for food let alone for tickets home.
Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj on Saturday said over 10,000 Indians in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait were facing a "food crisis" because of economic hardships, while appealing to an estimated 3 millions Indians living in Saudi Arabia for help. More
Yale Student Petition: Too Many Major English Poets In ‘Major English Poets’ Class
Angry students at Yale University are demanding that the Ivy League school completely revamp its core classes for English majors.
Specifically, the aggrieved students want to abolish the storied Major English Poets courses that have long been staples of the university’s English department. Why?
According to a petition posted online, the students believe that the courses feature too many “white male authors,” such as Geoffrey Chaucer, William Wordsworth, Edmund Spenser, Alexander Pope, John Milton, and T.S. Eliot. In other words, too many major English poets. More
F-35 Delayed Again: Defective Ejection Seat Would Likely Snap Pilots’ Necks
The US Air Force is exploring replacements for the F-35 Martin-Baker ejection seat, citing revelations that the seat could endanger pilots, according to Defense News. This marks the latest setback for the F-35 fighter jet that has cost US taxpayers over $1.5 trillion.
Ejection seats hold a special importance for pilots of the $250 million fighter jet in light of recent tests that show the fifth-generation fighter spontaneously shuts down mid-flight due to ongoing software malfunctions. More
Why police were called to a South Jersey third-grade class party
On June 16, police were called to an unlikely scene: an end-of-the-year class party at the William P. Tatem Elementary School in Collingswood.
A third grader had made a comment about the brownies being served to the class.
After another student exclaimed that the remark was "racist," the school called the Collingswood Police Department, according to the mother of the boy who made the comment.
The police officer spoke to the student, who is 9, said the boy's mother, Stacy dos Santos, and local authorities. Dos Santos said that the school overreacted and that her son made a comment about snacks, not skin color.
"He said they were talking about brownies. . . Who exactly did he offend?" dos Santos said. More
Texas congressman wants magic to be recognized as a national treasure
Momentous things are happening in US politics. No, not the slow, miserable upending of the political system by business Oompa Loompa Donald Trump, but magic — magic! — might finally be about to get the recognition it deserves. Earlier this week, Texas congressman Pete Sessions introduced a resolution to recognize magic as a national treasure, arguing that it "has not been properly recognized as a great American art form" or given the "[status] commensurate with its value and importance."
To fix this, Sessions wants the House of Representatives to declare magic a "rare and valuable art form," and pledge to support efforts that ensure magic is "preserved, understood, and promulgated." To this end, the resolution cites a number of magic's appealing qualities (including its ability to inspire young children), and praises American magicians like Harry Houdini and David Copperfield. More
Children to be Expelled for ‘Microaggressions’?
A Kansas K-12 school district may soon become among the first in the nation to prohibit “offensive symbols” and “microaggressions” and punish students and employees who violate this ban.
The Board of Education of Lawrence Public Schools will soon vote on a proposal to update its discrimination and harassment policy. It would impose stiff penalties on those who commit a microaggression or tout an offensive symbol. The vote on whether to enact this policy, originally scheduled for June 27, was recently pushed back to allow for more discussion.
“Any student or employee who violates the Discrimination and Harassment Policy is subject to disciplinary action,” said Julie Boyle, communications director of Lawrence Public Schools, noting that each of the 21 schools in the district issue their own handbooks for students and staff. More
McDonald’s “Summer Camp” Exposes Youth to Fast Food Culture While Training Kids to Sell Their Food
Here at Inhabitots we advocate summer activities and summer camps for kids, but we’re perplexed by the McDonald’s Kiddie Crew Workshop, a camp held by McDonald’s Philippines.
McDonald’s Kiddie Crew Workshop is a 5-day summer program designed for kids ages 6-12 years. During the program, Kiddie Crew members experience on-floor restaurant activities like greeting customers and assisting the crew at the drive-thru and front counters, plus, according to McDonald’s Philippines, get to “showcase their skills through creative art workshops, and learn the importance of hard work, discipline and teamwork, through values formation lessons.”
You might think a program like this, based around fast food, would be frowned upon, but the camp has been around since the early 90s and is hugely popular. In fact, during 2012 about 30,000 kids took part in the summer workshop participating in activities like burger-making, the Ronald dance, apron-making, singing of the Kiddie Crew song and a talent workshop. In recent years, the workshop has added additional activities such as Kiddie Crew Dance-exercise. At the end of the summer McDonald’s Philippines holds a series of workshop graduations in major cities all over the country—Manila, Cebu, Bacolod and Davao – to recognize the achievements of all Kiddie Crew members and their families by treating them to a day filled with activities and prizes. More
This High School Senior Got Called Out for Not Wearing a Bra to School
Kaitlyn Juvik, a senior at Helena High School in Montana, went to school in May without a bra underneath her black, off-the-shoulder tee, though she was wearing nipple stickers to prevent them from showing through the material of her t-shirt.
Principal Steve Thennis told KRTV that someone in the school building complained that the way Kaitlyn was dressed made them "uncomfortable," so she was asked to either cover up or put on a bra.
The Helena High School handbook does not specify that students must wear bras.
"I'm not going to check students' undergarments," he told KRTV. "We are going to ask them to dress appropriately and if we feel it is inappropriate, male or female, we are going to ask them to cover up."
Kaitlyn says there's no reason a student should have to wear a bra to school. More
Mexican Congresswoman Declares War on Memes
A Mexican lawmaker for the ruling PRI party will present a bill before her state's congress to criminalize the creation and dissemination of memes on social networks.
Martha Orta Rodriguez suggests a penalty of up to four years in prison and a fine of nearly US$2,000 for those responsible for creating these often humorous and satirical images on the Web.
Orta said she is trying to prevent “harmful" and “humiliating” images from being circulated on the Internet, but unsurprisingly her proposal was not received well online. More
Plano Senior High School Students Will Not Be Allowed To Display Honors During Graduation
If you were a member of the National Honor Society, you definitely remember wearing the white satin stole (with the NHS seal) during high school graduation: signifying your membership. And if you didn’t get to wear one, you probably remember being envious of those who did.
Because it might make other students feel excluded, students won’t be able to wear their National Honor Society stoles during graduation ceremonies next month at Plano Senior High School. Students are not allowed to wear National Honor Society regalia (or any other club or organizational regalia) during graduation ceremonies, according to school practices.
Apparently, students and Plano East High School and Plano West High School will be able to wear the NHS stoles. More
Lunchroom Lunacy: Cops investigate $2 bill spent on school lunch
HOUSTON -- When you think of felony forgery your thoughts might turn to Al Capone or Bonnie and Clyde shooting it out with the Texas Rangers.
Not for some local school cops. For one day, public enemy number one when it came to forgery was 13-year-old eighth grader Danesiah Neal at Fort Bend Independent School District's Christa McAuliffe Middle School.
Now 14, Daneisha was hoping to eat that day's lunch of chicken tenders with her classmates using a $2 bill given to her by her grandmother when she was stopped by the long arm of the law.
"I went to the lunch line and they said my $2 bill was fake," Danesiah told Ted Oberg Investigates. "They gave it to the police. Then they sent me to the police office. A police officer said I could be in big trouble." More