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Shakedown on the Hudson

MSNBC's Up with Steve Kornacki has been collaborating with NJ journalist Brian Murphy on some investigative journalism about the Chris Christie administration's alleged withholding of Sandy Relief funds until the Mayor of Hoboken agrees to fast-track a real-estate development. Hoboken was one of the hardest-hit communities and has so far received $6 per resident. Christie became governor after leading a US Attorney investigation which convicted NJ politicians of crooked real-estate deals.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Jan 18, 2014 - 118 comments

Silent No More: Women In The Military Speak Out Against Sex Crimes

Sexual Assault In The U.S. Military is the focus of a serious contender for Best Documentary Feature at this year's Academy Awards. The Invisible War is a groundbreaking investigative doc that sheds light on the under-reported epidemic of sexual abuse against female members of the military, as well as the lack of punitive action in these crimes: of the 8 percent of sexual assault cases that are prosecuted in the military, only 2 percent result in convictions. A female soldier in a combat zone is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire.

By official estimates from The Department of Defense, 19,000 violent sexual crimes occurred in the military in 2011 alone. Sexual assault is grossly under-reported in the military. In 2011, 3,191 assaults were reported when its likely that somewhere between 19,000 and 22,000 assaults occurred. The women in the film speak about the physical and mental abuse they underwent while serving in the military - and about the the lawsuit they joined and the verdict in which their experiences were labeled "occupational hazards". The film is already garnering much attention, especially as front-running Oscar Nominee - and lawmakers are taking notice. [more inside]
posted by fantodstic on Feb 19, 2013 - 46 comments

Tie game. Bottom of the 9th. Bases loaded. Two outs. Three balls. Two strikes. And the pitch...

In less than an hour, the Supreme Court will hand down its final judgment in what has become one of the most crucial legal battles of our time: the constitutionality of President Obama's landmark health care reform law. The product of a strict party line vote following a year century of debate, disinformation, and tense legislative wrangling, the Affordable Care Act would (among other popular reforms) require all Americans to buy insurance coverage by 2014, broadening the risk pool for the benefit of those with pre-existing conditions. The fate of this "individual mandate," bitterly opposed by Republicans despite its similarity to past plans touted by conservatives (including presidential contender Mitt Romney) is the central question facing the justices today. If the conservative majority takes the dramatic step of striking down the mandate, the law will be toothless, and in danger of wholesale reversal, rendering millions uninsured, dealing a crippling blow to the president's re-election hopes, and possibly endangering the federal regulatory state. But despite the pessimism of bettors, some believe the Court will demur, wary of damaging its already-fragile reputation with another partisan 5-4 decision. But those who know don't talk, and those who talk don't know. Watch the SCOTUSblog liveblog for updates, Q&A, and analysis as the truth finally comes out shortly after 10 a.m. EST.
posted by Rhaomi on Jun 28, 2012 - 1173 comments

The News Corporation scandals

Murdoch's Scandal - Lowell Bergman (the journalist portrayed by Al Pacino in The Insider) has investigated News Corporation for PBS Frontline [transcript]. He depicts Rupert Murdoch's British operation as a criminal enterprise, routinely hacking the voicemail and computers of innocent people, and using bribery and coercion to infiltrate police and government over decades. Enemies are ruthlessly "monstered" by the tabloids. Bergman also spoke to NPR's Fresh Air [transcript]. But the hits keep coming: in recent days News Corp has been accused of hacking rival pay TV services and promoting pirated receiver cards in both the UK and Australia. With the looming possibility of prosecution under America's Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, how long will shareholders consider Rupert Murdoch irreplaceable? [Previous 1 2 3 4]
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Mar 28, 2012 - 58 comments

The Naked Rambler now in prison for 6 years for nudity

The Naked Rambler now in prison for 6 years for nudity Six years ago, Naked Rambler Stephen Gough's hike from Land's End to John O'Groats brought him media fame – and a prison sentence. Then another, and another, and… why has he been locked up ever since?
posted by novenator on Mar 25, 2012 - 127 comments

Televisual journalists report forthcoming same-sex nuptuals on Conan

Conan O'Brien may be about to push the envelope on late-night television
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Nov 3, 2011 - 173 comments

Also, patent trolls suck hairy donkey balls

Drew Curtis' FARK.com has settled a lawsuit with a patent troll. The popular "not news" site was sued by "Gooseberry Natural Resources LLC" which held a ridiculous broad patent (6,370,535) that it claimed covered the basic concept of generating a press release online. Other sites targeted included Reddit, Digg, Slashdot, TechCrunch & Others. In the case of Fark, the suit was settled for $0. Curtis writes, "I paraphrased our best one-time settlement offer as "how about jack sh*t and go f*ck yourself."
posted by furiousxgeorge on Aug 10, 2011 - 79 comments

Los Angeles Times - Sotomayor, Kagan - David G. Savage

Sotomayor, Kagan shift Supreme Court debates to the left. The liberal wing is no longer drowned out by Scalia and his fellow conservatives during oral arguments.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Dec 27, 2010 - 35 comments

Poland Approves Mandatory "Chemical Castration" Drug Treatment for Convicted Pedophiles

In response to an incest case in which a man imprisoned, raped and fathered two children with his own daughter, Poland's Lower House of Parliament has approved an amendment to their penal code which makes chemical castration of pedophiles mandatory in certain cases. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Sep 26, 2009 - 127 comments

Active Army unit to be stationed within US

"Beginning in October, the Army plans to station an active unit inside the United States for the first time..." (SLthisisveryscaryYT)
posted by allkindsoftime on Sep 24, 2008 - 170 comments

Caring Too Much

Lillian Ladele, a Christian registrar, has won her discrimination case after refusing to conduct same sex civil partnerships. " Islington Council cared too much about the "rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual" community, the panel ruled. "
posted by chuckdarwin on Jul 11, 2008 - 333 comments

After the operation it was confirmed...

Sherri Finkbine --as reported by BBC News, on this day in 1962 (video clip too)--her travails and travels, the law, publicity, and what happened afterwards. (more here from American Prospect in 05: ...A Gallup Poll taken that year showed that the majority of Americans supported Finkbine, and her case was a turning point ...)
posted by amberglow on Aug 26, 2006 - 16 comments

Covert Propaganda

Ethicsgate continues: Today, the bipartisan Government Accountability Office declared that the Bush administration broke the law by paying Armstrong Williams to write favorable columns about the No Child Left Behind Act, funneling public funds to a PR firm to sift through news stories and gauge media perception of Bush policies, and financing phony TV news reports giving the President's education policies "an A-plus," creating what the GAO called "covert propaganda." [Williams et. al. previously discussed here.]
posted by digaman on Sep 30, 2005 - 59 comments

This whole post is probably NSFW...

The End of Internet P8rn? The updated 2257 regulations, which go into effect June 23, will expand the proof of age record-keeping requirements that producers of sexually explicit content must follow. Industry insiders are scrambling to prepare for the new regulations and claim they are too burdensome to 'net p9rn providers and are illogical. (The AVN links are NSFW) The Free Speech Coalition is seeking a temporary restraining order (Doc file) to enjoin the enforcement of the new regulations hoping to prevent what some predict to be an industry wide shutdown. Is this a matter of the law keeping up with technology, or an assault on .xxx?
posted by greasy_skillet on Jun 21, 2005 - 64 comments

The 'Bali nine'.

The Australian media is calling them the 'Bali nine'. Nine young Australians are being held in Bali under suspicion for attempting to smuggle 8.3 kg (or 11.25 kg depending on what you read) of heroin through Bali's airport. They were caught with the drugs allegedly strapped to their bodies while accomplices were apprehended at a nearby hotel. Most of the nine Australians are now cooperating with police enquiries even though they fear doing so will further endanger the lives of their families (e.g. drug lords punishing them for talking). Don't get this latest case mistaken, however, with the other high-profile Australian drugs case in the Australian media right now. Beauty therapist Schapelle Corby, 27, is also being held in Bali for the 4.1 kg of top-notch marijuana found in her bodyboard bag some months ago. Prosecutors in that case have asked for a life sentence to be handed down to Corby. She has supposedly escaped death by firing squad. Her legal team and family, though, say she was a victim of dodgy baggage handlers and an Australian interstate drug smuggling operation that uses unknowing interstate Australian travellers as drug mules. Most Australians are worried about this, too. Of course, the strain of the case on Corby is beginning to show. But getting back to the 'Bali nine'. What will their fate be? Another Australian was just given an execution order in Vietnam for also smuggling Heroin. It's all nasty stuff, hey. News reports indicate that Australian officials will seek clemency for those involved in the latest Bali bust. Yeah, but how much good will that do? Indonesia is well known for enforcing strong anti-drug laws. And who can blame them?
posted by sjvilla79 on Apr 24, 2005 - 41 comments

Brandon's Arms

When he was seven years old, Brandon Maxfield was accidentally shot in the face, becoming permanently paralyzed below the neck. [More inside]
posted by mr_crash_davis on Aug 9, 2004 - 50 comments

Boston man gets felony charges for dressing as hooded Iraqi

Joe Previtera, a 21 year old student at Boston College, was arrested Wednesday and charged with felonies after dressing as a hooded Iraqi prisoner in front of a military recruitment center in downtown Boston. Previtera faces misdemeanor charges of disturbing the peace and felony charges of making a false bomb threat and using a hoax device. The charges apparently reflect the District Attorney's concern that Mr Previtera might have been mistaken for a terrorist...
posted by tapeguy on Jun 3, 2004 - 65 comments

The larch. The larch. The larch.

You just knew that as soon as gay marriages were legal they'd be screwing in the trees, and damned if it didn't happen.
posted by mr_crash_davis on Apr 22, 2004 - 54 comments

Headless Maggie

Man Beheads (statue of) Margaret Thatcher. His "sense of 'satirical humour' left him no choice but to carry out the attack" on the £150,000 Maggie as 'artistic expression and [his] right to interact with this broken world.' Jury fails to convict and a retrial is scheduled. Perhaps there is a creative solution to replacing the head?
posted by Shane on Dec 18, 2002 - 17 comments

The city of Enoch, Utah, population 3467, has an annual animal-control budget of $25,000. A budget this small means that Enoch's Animal Control must display some creativity when it comes to dealing with the problem of stray or unwanted animals. Mark Havnes of the Salt Lake Tribune describes Enoch's solution:

"No sterile lethal injections here. No pressurized bottles of toxic gas. Enoch attaches a hose to the back of a city-owned Dodge pickup and funnels lethal carbon monoxide into a shedlike death chamber. The unwanted, unadoptable critters then are placed inside...'We have no trouble sleeping at night,' says...the city's part-time animal-control officer... 'We can't see a darn thing wrong with what we are doing."
posted by mr_crash_davis on Jul 14, 2002 - 4 comments

When police go bad: Boycott Starbucks

When police go bad: Boycott Starbucks A Seattle community’s response to what was seen as racially motivated use of excessive force by police was to boycott the company that is funding their own schools and projects. A strange story all around.
posted by Nothing on Jun 15, 2001 - 17 comments

Oh hell, here we go again.... Mother faces 15 years and $10,000 for buying 13 year old condoms. Why must we be so stupid?
posted by baylink on Jan 16, 2001 - 58 comments

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