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Topics - Testy Calibrate

1
Politics and Current Events / Supreme court
On top of approving trumps travel ban (at least til the case is heard next fall) plus this:

http://www.npr.org/2017/06/26/534084013/supreme-court-rules-religious-school-can-use-taxpayer-funds-for-playground
Quote
The Supreme Court ruled Monday that taxpayer-funded grants for playgrounds available to nonprofits under a state program could not be denied to a school run by a church.

"The consequence is, in all likelihood, a few extra scraped knees. But the exclusion of Trinity Lutheran from a public benefit for which it is otherwise qualified, solely because it is a church, is odious to our Constitution all the same, and cannot stand," Justice John Roberts wrote for the majority.

In her dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote, "If this separation means anything, it means that the government cannot, or at the very least need not, tax its citizens and turn that money over to houses of worship. The Court today blinds itself to the outcome this history requires and leads us instead to a place where separation of church and state is a constitutional slogan, not a constitutional commitment."

Two justices, Neil Gorsuch and Clarence Thomas, refused to sign on to a footnote explicitly stating that the court's approval applied only to playground funding and should not be read as applying to parochial schools in general.

Goddammit. Revolution calling.
2
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/possible-dirty-bomb-docked-ship-evacuation-terminal-charleston/
Quote


MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. - Federal and state authorities are investigating the possibility that there's a "dirty bomb" on a ship at a local terminal, reports CBS Charleston, S.C. station WCSC-TV.

Coast Guard officials say the FBI is on-scene.

The terminal was evacuated.

A dirty bomb is composed of conventional explosives and radioactive material.

According to emergency officials, no radiation has been found.

A Coast Guard statement says authorities were made aware at 8 p.m. of a potential threat in a container aboard the vessel Maersk Memphis.

    #Update A 1 NM safety zone has been established around the vessel while law enforcement authorities investigate the threat.
    -- USCGSoutheast (@USCGSoutheast) June 15, 2017

"The Maersk Memphis is currently moored at Charleston's Wando terminal, which has been evacuated while bomb detection units from federal, state and local law enforcement agencies investigate the threat," the Coast Guard said.

The Coast Guard says a unified command has been established to oversee the coordinated response.

Authorities were seen taping off a ship.

 Live5News.com | Charleston, SC | News, Weather, Sports

The Charleston County Sheriff's Office, Hazmat and EMS crews were also on scene.

Workers say they were told to leave the terminal at around 9 p.m.

Boaters say they were also escorted off the water due to the situation.
3
Politics and Current Events / Sessions
I love Senator Wyden.
4
Arts and Entertainment / twitter
2 things.
1) how many times do you have to say I don't like this tweet before stupid shit like it stops showing up in the feed?

and 2)
Quote
This media may contain sensitive material. Your media settings are configured to warn you when media may be sensitive.
was hiding this image:

wtf?

how do you all find this entertaining?
5
There will be a right wing nutjob March on the 4th with "private security".

Then you get truly dumbass reporting like this:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/the-hate-crime-in-super-progressive-portland-should-surprise-no-one/2017/06/01/d3b99782-46d8-11e7-a196-a1bb629f64cb_story.html
And, if you live in Portland, the giveaway line is this one:
Quote
I went to high school outside Portland, and I encountered more overt white supremacy there than anywhere else
PDX is a large island of sanity in a shallow sea of ignorant hate. Outside Portland is not like inside Portland.

But Jesus how did wapo allow the rest of this article which uses a history lesson as evidence?
6
http://www.oregonlive.com/business/index.ssf/2017/05/post_255.html
Quote
Buried among the revenue-generating ideas in President Donald Trump's new budget proposal is a plan to sell off publicly owned transmission assets, including those operated by the Bonneville Power Administration.

For public power companies - and really all utilities in the Northwest - the proposal will ring alarm bells and resurrect a debate about the control of assets that were built with federal dollars but paid for by local ratepayers.

Bonneville operates three-quarters of the region's high-voltage transmission system, which it uses to market power from 31 hydroelectric dams in the Columbia River Basin and wheel power around the Pacific Northwest and down to California.  The system spans 300,000 square miles, and includes more than 15,000 miles of lines and 299 substations that deliver electricity to some 12 million people. The agency provides transmission service to regional utilities, commercial customers and independent power producers, and it provides a slew of other services.

The Trump budget summary contemplates raising $4.9 billion for the U.S. Treasury by selling the BPA's transmission assets from 2018 to 2027. An estimated $1.8 billion is expected in 2019.

Bonneville, like other federal power marketing agencies, is part of the U.S. Department of Energy. The BPA's budget proposal does not include any detailed discussion of the proposal, but simply a line tacked on to its normal budget narrative: "The Budget includes a proposal to authorize the Federal government to sell the transmission assets of Bonneville."

Another reference said, "BPA is considering approaches, in addition to or in lieu of the use of its U.S. Treasury borrowing authority, to sustain funding for its infrastructure investment requirements, including a divestiture of Bonneville's transmission assets."

The BPA referred questions to the Department of Energy, which did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The agency did send out a news release about its overall budget proposal, but that included no mention of the asset sales.

"This budget delivers on the promise to reprioritize spending in order to carry out DOE's core functions efficiently and effectively while also being fiscally responsible and respectful to the American taxpayer," Energy Secretary Rick Perry said in the news release.

The notion of divesting BPA assets isn't new. It is a favorite proposal of conservative think tanks and lawmakers, and has surfaced periodically during the past three decades. But the region's congressional delegation has always managed to beat it back.

Rep. Greg Walden, Oregon's only Republican member of Congress, did not respond to a request for comment. But his office issued a general statement on the budget proposal, saying it "demonstrates President Trump's commitment to balancing the budget and responsibly prioritizing taxpayer dollars."

"The initiatives modernizing our energy infrastructure and promoting our nation's energy abundance would undoubtedly make positive impacts on our constituents' lives. The president's proposals show the difficult choices facing the country as we work to reduce the deficit, protect our security, and grow jobs."

Sen. Ron Wyden on Tuesday blasted the budget summary in general, calling it "Madoff Math" and "a cynical assault on the the fundamental idea that Americans should be there for one another when it counts."

The Oregon Democrat also noted the proposal to sell Bonneville assets, saying it would increase costs for tens of thousands of homes and businesses in the state.

"I successfully fought Republicans' efforts more than a decade ago to privatize Bonneville Power, and I will fight this misguided attempt," Wyden said in a news release. "Public power customers in the Pacific Northwest have paid for the system and their investment should not be put up for sale.

"I'm putting this budget where it belongs - in the trash can."

The Public Power Council, which represents many of the BPA's public utility customers, said it was opposed to the proposal for several reasons, including the loss of regional control and value; the risk of increased costs to consumers; the potential for remote areas of the system to be neglected, harming rural communities; and, impacts to reliability.

 "We'll want the details, but the effect appears to be a transfer of value from the people of the Northwest to the U.S. Treasury," said Scott Corwin, the council's executive director. "Electricity consumers in the West have paid to construct and maintain a system that would be sold off to fund the federal government."

The council said utilities in the region were already working toward the modernization of the grid and those efforts are best handled in the region.
http://www.bizjournals.com/portland/news/2017/05/23/trump-budget-includes-proposal-to-privatize-bpa.html
Quote
The Trump administration is proposing privatizing transmission assets owned by the Bonneville Power Administration, an idea that has popped up periodically since the Reagan administration but gone nowhere.

The proposal to sell off BPA's transmissions assets -- about three-quarters of the high-voltage grid in the Northwest -- is included among "major savings and reforms" offered up the administration in its fiscal year 2018 budget released on Tuesday.

The administration says unloading BPA's grid would save about $4.9 billion over the course of a decade.

The proposal also includes selling off other assets of the Power Marketing Administration for a total savings of $5.5 billion.

"Ownership of transmission assets is best carried out by the private sector where there are appropriate market and regulatory incentives," the administration says in its justification for the proposal. "The budget proposal to eliminate or reduce the PMA's role in electricity transmission and increase the private sector's role would encourage a more efficient allocation of economic resources and mitigate risk to taxpayers."

President Ronald Reagan proposed privatizing the BPA during his second term. President Bill Clinton made a similar bid in the mid-'90s. And in 2005, President George W. Bush proposed forcing BPA to sell its power at market rates, widely seen as a step toward privatization.

None of the proposals found sufficient support in Congress, and President Donald Trump's came in for immediate criticism.

Oregon's senior senator, Democrat Ron Wyden, sharply attacked the proposal, which he said would increase costs for "homes and businesses."

"I successfully fought Republicans' efforts more than a decade ago to privatize Bonneville Power, and I will fight this misguided attempt," Wyden said in a news release. "Public power customers in the Pacific Northwest have paid for the system and their investment should not be put up for sale."

The Public Power Council, which represents about 100 consumer-owned utilities in the region, put out a statement opposing the proposal and listing four major concerns: "(1) loss of regional control and value; (2) risk of increased costs to consumers; (3) potential for remote areas of the system to be neglected, harming rural communities; and, (4) impacts to reliability of what is currently a complex and integrated system."

This is really scary in some fundamental institutional ways. The kind of privatization being pushed through this administration, Energy, Education, Health care, represents the largest non military tax/revenue streams there are. He is intentionally dismantling the vestiges of the public state. Bannon wasn't kidding apparently. This represents a level of fucked that is barely comprehensible if this agenda succeeds even partially. We are talking about not just aristocracy/corporatocracy, but honest to god fascism.
8
One of the really odd geniuses of the 20th century. His personal journals where he recorded every idea for theory that ever occurred to him. It's kind of incredible. It's worth scanning.

http://www.rossashby.info/journal/volume/index.html
9
Politics and Current Events / the new drug war
yeah, huffpo, but this has potential to be a really big deal.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/guess-who-sessions-war-on-drugs-will-target_us_5915e1e6e4b00ccaae9ea22e
Quote
Attorney General Jeff Sessions made it official. The federal government will now reboot its war on drugs. The official word came down in the form of memos from Sessions that ordered federal prosecutors to cease and desist on the soft approach former Attorney General Eric Holder took toward prosecuting petty drug offenders. Now prosecutors must demand the harshest sentence, must use the threat to harshly pile on sentence enhancements to browbeat drug offenders into copping a guilty plea, and they must itemize the drugs an offender uses to insure they are slapped with the minimum mandatory sentence.

Sessions isn't just talking about cracking down on the use of the hard stuff. He has a near paranoid obsession with pot. He has railed against its use, thinks it's one of the worst drug evils, and is convinced it is undermining the nation's morals. Sessions has long chomped at the bit to cop the title as America's number one drug warrior. He took giddy delight as a federal prosecutor and a U.S. Attorney in putting the hammer to drug offenders whenever he could. Sessions would likely scoff at the frank admission by disgraced Nixon White House advisor John Ehrlichman, in an interview in Harpers in 1994, that the war on drugs was not about law enforcement getting a handle on drug sales and use, but another weapon to lock up as many blacks as possible.

From its inception in the 1970s, the war on drugs has been a ruthless, relentless and naked war on minorities, especially African-Americans. Former President Obama and Holder got that. And they made it clear that it was time to rethink how the war was being fought and who its prime casualties have been. They pushed hard to get Congress to wipe out a good deal of the blatantly racially skewed harsh drug sentencing for crack versus powder cocaine possession and to eliminate minimum mandatory sentencing. Congress didn't finish the job and as long as Sessions is in the driver's seat at the Justice Department it won't. The Obama and Holder reforms in low level drug prosecutions did produce positive, and dramatic results. The number of minimum mandatory sentences imposed plunged, and there was much more reliance on drug counseling and diversion programs for petty offenders.

You can kiss that good-by with Sessions. Even though countless surveys have found that whites and blacks use drugs in about the same rate, more than 70 percent of those prosecuted in federal courts for drug possession and sale (mostly small amounts of crack cocaine) and given stiff mandatory sentences are blacks. Most those who deal and use crack cocaine aren't violent prone gang members, but poor, and increasingly female, young blacks. They clearly need treatment not long prison stretches. Obama and Holder understood that.

The fed war on drugs before Obama and Holder, and now reignited under Sessions, targeted blacks for a good reason. The top-heavy drug use by young whites -- and the crime and violence that go with it -- has never stirred any public outcry for mass arrests, prosecutions, and tough prison sentences for white drug dealers, many of whom deal drugs that are directly linked to serious crime and violence. Whites unlucky enough to get popped for drug possession are treated with compassion, prayer sessions, expensive psychiatric counseling, treatment and rehab programs, and drug diversion programs.

A frank admission that the laws are biased and unfair, and have not done much to combat the drug plague, would be an admission of failure. It could ignite a real soul-searching over whether all the billions of dollars that have been squandered in the failed and flawed drug war -- the lives ruined by it, and the families torn apart by the rigid and unequal enforcement of the laws -- has really accomplished anything.

This might call into question why people use and abuse drugs in the first place -- and if it is really the government's business to turn the legal screws on some drug users while turning a blind eye to others?

The greatest fallout from the nation's failed drug policy is that it has further embedded the widespread notion that the drug problem is exclusively a black problem. This makes it easy for on-the-make politicians to grab votes, garner press attention, and balloon state prison budgets to jail more black offenders, while continuing to feed the illusion that we are winning the drug war.

This means little to Sessions. In his fundamentalist, self-righteous, puritanical world, drug users are the scourge of the nation. They must be swiftly and mercilessly removed from the streets, workplaces, schools, and any other place that their presence subverts the good upstanding morals of the nation. Sessions said as much in a memo when he claimed that his tough drug crackdown will "advance public safety, and promote respect for our legal system." It will do neither. It will balloon prison building, the hiring and maintaining of waves of corrections officers, and further bloat state budgets. But worst of all it will again do what it was always intended to do and that's be a war on minorities and especially blacks.
10
Politics and Current Events / may day riots
11
Politics and Current Events / opioid epidemic
http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/24/health/opioid-deaths-cdc-report/
Quote
Over half of the deaths involving opioids in Minnesota between 2006 and 2015 had not been captured in the state's total, said Hall.
"While my research cannot speak to what percent we are underestimating, we know we are missing cases," Hall said. "It does seem like it is almost an iceberg of an epidemic."
...
"It's quite concerning, because it means that the (opioid) epidemic, which is already quite severe, could potentially be even worse," Hall said. A total of 33,000 opioid-related deaths were reported across the nation in 2015, a historic high, she said.

Like it is for most of the problems that plague america, my little corner of the liberal oasis of portland keeps me blissfully sheltered from actually experiencing them in a tangible way. I had some friends in the 80s who used heroin and overdosed and died but that was a different universe altogether. Has the recent outbreak touched any of your lives?
12
Jeeze, this could go in science as easy as politics.
Quote
"We are not creating a Terminator": Russia denies risk as Putin's 'robot army' is trained to shoot guns

Vladimir Putin's 'robot army' is being trained to shoot guns from both of its hands, it's emerged.

MirrorOnline reported last December how the android robots called FEDOR - Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research - are being developed for space exploration by Russia.
Now it's emerged that the human looking robots - with a head, two arms and two legs - have been handed guns as part of their training.
A video clip of them in action has already caused a senior government officials to issue a denial that they are creating a real-life "Terminator-style" killer.
FEDOR stands six foot tall, weighs between 106-160 kg depending on extra equipment - and can lift up to 20 kg of cargo.
Its creators claim that teaching them to shoot will help improve their motor skills and decision-making abilities.
Posting a short clip showing the armed robot in action, Russia's deputy PM Dmitryi Rogozin said: "Robot platform F.E.D.O.R. showed shooting skills with two hands.
"We are not creating a Terminator, but artificial intelligence that will be of great practical significance in various fields."

The robot was originally created with rescue missions in mind until military uses began being suggested.

FEDOR is set to travel into space in 2021 - and has been touted as a permanent replacement for cosmonauts currently maintaining the ISS in the long term.

The robot is being developed by Android Technics and the Advanced Research Fund.

They are attempting to teach it a wide variety of basic and advanced skills - from how to use a set of keys and various tools to how to screw in a light bulb and drive a car.
http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/we-not-creating-terminator-russia-10237755
13
Politics and Current Events / Trump's tax returns
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2017/04/16/after-a-day-of-marches-trump-asks-why-people-are-still-talking-about-his-taxes/
Quote
Trump asks why people are still talking about his taxes a day after protesters asked for his returns
By John Wagner April 16 at 11:42 AM

President Trump lashed out Sunday at the protesters who took part in marches across the country Saturday to demand that he release his tax returns, declaring on Twitter that "The election is over!"

Trump's comments followed a nationwide Tax March that drew thousands of people in dozens of cities on the country's traditionally recognized deadline to file taxes, April 15.

As a candidate, Trump declined to voluntarily release his tax returns -- a practice followed by other presidential hopefuls since the 1970s -- claiming he couldn't do so because he was under audit. Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton hammered him on the subject.

    I did what was an almost an impossible thing to do for a Republican-easily won the Electoral College! Now Tax Returns are brought up again?

    -- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 16, 2017

    Someone should look into who paid for the small organized rallies yesterday. The election is over!

    -- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 16, 2017

"I did what was an almost an impossible thing to do for a Republican -- easily won the Electoral College! Now Tax Returns are brought up again?" Trump said in one tweet Sunday morning.

In another, he suggested that someone "should look into who paid for the small organized rallies yesterday," adding: "The election is over!"
so, what do you all suppose is in them that he is so clearly unhappy to share?
14
Introductions / Hello new member Obadiah!
Your name sounds familiar. Hope you enjoy tr. :wave:
15
Arts and Entertainment / thor ragnarok
looks like a really great movie to see super baked. I want to see it super baked anyway.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7MGUNV8MxU
16
Science / Octopuses
http://www.popsci.com/octopuses-can-basically-tinker-with-their-own-genes-on-fly

Popsci article but it's generally well done
Quote
Home
SUBSCRIBE to the Magazine

ANIMALS
Octopuses can basically edit their own genes on the fly
Crazy levels of RNA tinkering could explain how cephalopods got so smart
By Rachel Feltman  April 6, 2017
 
octopus
CC via Flickr
To edit is divine

You're a complex organism. You socialize with family and friends, you solve puzzles and make choices. Humans may be some of the most cerebral animals on the planet, but we know we're not alone in having this sort of behavioral complexity. Crows use tools. Primates create incredible social structures. Whales congregate.
But all of these critters have one thing in common: they're vertebrates. Members of our subphylum share more than just a backbone; our common ancestor gifted us with the sort of structure and central nervous system that lends itself to behavioral complexity.
And then there are cephalopods. They can solve a shocking number of complex puzzles, suggesting a cognition that rivals those found in the vertebrate world--even though they last shared a common ancestor with us at least 500 million years ago. In the world of invertebrates, octopuses, squid, and cuttlefish stand apart.
We may finally have some idea why. According to a study published in Cell, these creatures have an uncanny ability to manipulate the instructions found within their DNA. An unprecedented panache for RNA editing may explain why cephalopods are so bright and adaptable.
You probably remember RNA from your high school biology class. DNA is like a blueprint of genetic instructions laid out for us at conception. DNA is stable and sequestered (mostly) in the nucleus, keeping genetic information safe to pass it on to the next generation, while its single-stranded sibling RNA translates those directions into marching orders. When DNA says "we should produce these proteins at this time", RNA goes out into the world of the cytoplasm and makes it happen.
But sometimes RNA rebels. Sometimes enzymes intervene, pulling out the RNA adenosine bases that code for certain proteins and replacing them with inosine bases instead. When this happens, the RNA can be 'edited' to produce a different protein than the one called for by the DNA.
"About 25 years ago, people identified the first example of RNA editing in mammals. There were a few cases where you'd see the DNA saying one thing and then see the actual protein was different," says study co-author Eli Eisenberg, a biophysicist at Tel Aviv University in Israel. Eisenberg co-lead the study with Joshua Rosenthal at the Marine Biological Laboratory, though both point to Tel Aviv's Noa Liscovitch-Brauer as the driving force behind the research.
For a couple decades, Eisenberg says, study of this phenomenon was limited to a handful of cases found by accident. But in recent years, scientists have made a more systematic approach--and found that humans occasionally use this genetic trick, too. But for us, it's a rare occurrence. We have many sites where editing could occur, but most are located on parts of the genome with 'junk' DNA that doesn't code for anything. Of the 1,000 or so coding sites where editing could take place, only a few dozen exist in places where the editing would likely have an important impact.
Squid, which have the same number of genes, have around 11,000 of these useful sites.
The new study, which tracked down the RNA editing sites in several species of cephalopod, built upon earlier research that found that octopuses use RNA editing to rapidly adapt to temperature changes, and that extensive editing occurs in squid neural tissue. In examining additional species, the researchers determined that this boon of editable RNA is almost universal among cephalopods--and the exceptions that prove the rule provide some fascinating clues.
All members of the "coleoid" subclass--squid, cuttlefish, octopuses--that the researchers examined had this boost in RNA editing. But the chambered nautilus, which is considered a primitive beast in comparison to its whip-smart cousins, had much lower levels of RNA editing. An even more distant mollusk cousin (not a cephalopod) tested for comparison had similarly low levels.
Because so much of the RNA editing occurs in brain tissue, the researchers think this correlation could indicate that the process helps give some cephalopods their smarts. Exactly how or why this process occurs is a question for future studies. But one thing is for certain: RNA editing can make a species incredibly flexible.

17
Arts and Entertainment / Rick and Morty
Why didn't anyone tell me?
18
Sports / please
http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/03/28/521810071/footy-mcfooty-face-is-stomping-competition-in-vote-for-mls-team-name
Quote
Fans are embracing a San Diego group's effort to bring a Major League Soccer team to the city -- or at least, they're embracing the most unlikely name for the squad. With the final round of an online vote set to close Friday, Footy McFooty Face has more than twice the votes of any other potential name.

As of Monday, Footy McFooty Face led the way with nearly 7,700 votes, well ahead of San Diego Surf (2,341) and San Diego Bad Hombres (1,644) -- the only other names that have attracted more than 1,000 votes.

By tapping into the Internet's love for silly names, the episode evokes the famous "Boaty McBoatface" saga of last year, in which online voters chose that name to grace a $300 million British ocean research vessel.

That U.K. result was overruled -- and it seems likely that if MLS does expand to San Diego, its team won't be wearing Footy McFooty Face jerseys. FS Investors, the backers of San Diego's MLS bid, say they'll submit the top 10 names to the league for review.

As The San Diego Union-Tribune notes, the online vote plays into the hopes of FS Investors, as the group vies for attention and support for its plan to land an MLS team in Qualcomm Stadium, which up until January was known as the home of the San Diego Chargers.

Perhaps Footy McFooty Face will go the way of Boaty, and be given to a less imposing entity. While Boaty McBoatface is now the name of a small submersible, might San Diego someday have a sports mascot named Footy McFooty Face?

As the organizers note on their Facebook page, "a nickname or mascot can be added to traditional names."

Here's looking forward to the day we see an oversized foam foot patrolling the sidelines in Qualcomm Stadium.
https://www.facebook.com/SoccerCitySD/app/303561899745219?brandloc=DISABLE&app_data=chk-58da9e387953d
20
https://www.the74million.org/article/impact-of-weaker-unions-in-wisconsin-and-other-states-much-clearer-for-teachers-than-students

Some of these stats (well, analysis of stats) are bullshit for weird and complicated reasons (mostly the performance pay correlation with higher test scores) but over all it's an interesting read.
21
https://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/admiral-seven-others-charged-with-corruption-in-new-fat-leonard-indictment/2017/03/14/faf01600-08da-11e7-b77c-0047d15a24e0_story.html
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The Justice Department unsealed a fresh indictment Tuesday charging eight Navy officials -- including an admiral -- with corruption and other crimes in the "Fat Leonard" bribery case, escalating an epic scandal that has dogged the Navy for four years.

Among those charged were Rear Adm. Bruce Loveless, a senior Navy intelligence officer who recently retired from a key job at the Pentagon, as well as four retired Navy captains and a retired Marine colonel. The charges cover a period of eight years, from 2006 through 2014.

The Navy personnel are accused of taking bribes in the form of lavish gifts, prostitutes and luxury hotel stays courtesy of Leonard Glenn "Fat Leonard" Francis, a Singapore-based defense contractor who has pleaded guilty to defrauding the Navy of tens of millions of dollars.

The indictment lists page after page of bribes allegedly provided to the defendants including $25,000 watches, $2,000 boxes of Cohiba cigars, $2,000 bottles of cognac and $600-per-night hotel rooms.

According to the charging documents, Francis also frequently sponsored wild sex parties for many officers assigned to the USS Blue Ridge, the flagship of the Navy's 7th Fleet, and other warships.
Rear Adm. Bruce Loveless (Navy)

During a port visit by the Blue Ridge to Manila in May 2008, for example, five of the Navy officers attended a "raging multi-day party, with a rotating carousel of prostitutes," at the Shangri-La Hotel, according to the indictment. The group allegedly drank the hotel's entire supply of Dom PĂ©rignon champagne and rang up expenses exceeding $50,000, which Francis covered in full.

On another port visit by the Blue Ridge to Manila in February 2007, Francis allegedly hosted a sex party for officers in the MacArthur Suite of the Manila hotel. During the party, "historical memorabilia related to General Douglas MacArthur were used by the participants in sexual acts," according to the indictment.

In exchange, according to federal prosecutors, the officials provided Francis with classified or inside information that enabled his firm, Glenn Defense Marine Asia, to gouge the Navy out of tens of millions of dollars.
22
Science / Pingu listen to this:
http://www.npr.org/programs/ted-radio-hour/519264798/decisions-decisions-decisions
Quote
Decisions Decisions Decisions

Whether you're choosing spaghetti sauce or a life partner, making decisions can be paralyzing. This hour, TED speakers explore how we make the choices we make, and how we learn to live with them.
23
TR Embassy and Animal Shelter / humans suck
http://news.nationalpost.com/news/world/endangered-white-rhino-shot-dead-inside-french-zoo-by-poachers-seeking-valuable-horn

Endangered white rhino shot dead inside French zoo by poachers seeking valuable horn
24
Politics and Current Events / hate crime megathread
http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/pair-who-led-racist-attack-boy-s-party-sentenced-years-n726421
Quote
A man and a woman were sentenced Monday to 13 and six years in prison, respectively, for joining a group of Confederate flag supporters who in 2015 drove around a small Georgia community threatening people, including a gathering of African-Americans celebrating a young boy's birthday.

The attack, prosecuted under the state's Street Gang Terrorism law, came several weeks after a white supremacist killed nine black worshipers at a South Carolina church, sparking a backlash against public displays of the Confederate battle flag.


The Georgia group called itself Respect the Flag, and prior to the attack was seen driving in a convoy of trucks flying rebel flags, shouting threats at black people, authorities said.

The two sentenced Monday, Jose Torres and Kayla Norton, who authorities said yelled racist slurs and threatened the birthday revelers with a shotgun, were the last of the group to be sentenced. They wept in a Douglas County courtroom as a judge imposed their punishments: Torres, 26, convicted of aggravated assault, making terroristic threats and a violating street-gang statute, received 13 years in prison and another seven on probation; Norton, 25, convicted of making terroristic threats and violating the gang law, will serve 6 years in prison and nine on probation.

Both were also banished from Douglas County, a racially diverse community a few miles west of Atlanta.

Douglas County District Attorney Brian Fortner said in an interview that the prosecution of the attack began with people with less serious involvement, and moved in toward those who drove it.
25
Politics and Current Events / Marine Le Pen
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4249970/Marine-Le-Pen-s-bodyguard-chief-staff-arrested.html
Quote
Two senior aides to Marine Le Pen were today taken into police custody as the fraud enquiry that could see the far-right French presidential candidate jailed for up to 10 years deepened.

Thierry Legier, who is Ms Le Pen's bodyguard, and Catherine Griset, her chief of staff, were escorted to the judicial police station in Nanterre, the Paris suburb, in the late morning.

A raid was also carried out at the home of Mr Legier, Ms Le Pen's 51-year-old bodyguard who is nicknamed 'The Gorilla'.
All of the suspects - including Ms Le Pen - now face imminent criminal charges.

Lawyers for Ms Le Pen immediately branded the arrests a media and judicial 'conspiracy' aimed at de-railing Ms Le Pen's campaign to become France's first ever female head of state in May.

The 48-year-old was on a visit to a prison in Meaux, east of Paris, today and said the enquiry was an 'empty' one, and that she and her FN colleagues were entirely innocent.

ok. SO the Daily Mail is an unreliable source iirc, but does this have legs?