HOUSTON (AP) — Evidence from more than 6,600 rape kits that went untested for years in Houston have turned up 850 hits in the FBI's nationwide database of DNA profiles, marking a major step in the city's $6 million effort to address the backlog, officials announced Monday.
Charges have been filed against 29 people, six of whom have been convicted, since the city launched an effort in 2013 to test 6,663 rape kits — some of which dated back nearly three decades. Testing was completed in the fall, and the results have now been uploaded to a database used by investigators nationwide to compare DNA profiles of possible suspects, Mayor Annise Parker said.
For years, politicians wanting to block legislation on climate change have bolstered their arguments by pointing to the work of a handful of scientists who claim that greenhouse gases pose little risk to humanity.
One of the names they invoke most often is Wei-Hock Soon, known as Willie, a scientist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics who claims that variations in the sun’s energy can largely explain recent global warming. He has often appeared on conservative news programs, testified before Congress and in state capitals, and starred at conferences of people who deny the risks of global warming.
The 43 U.S. Senators who signed a letter to President Barack Obama pledging to block Richard Cordray’s re-appointment to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) have received nearly $143 million in campaign contributions from the finance, insurance, and real estate sector—those who’d benefit the most from a weakened CFPB.
On Friday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) joined 42 of his colleagues in saying he will block Cordray’s appointment unless several concessions are made that would weaken the agency’s ability to hold financial industry actors accountable for bad acts. It's an agency with teeth, holding big banks and other financial companies accountable, perfect reasons for the industry to want its acolytes in Congress to weaken it.
Every Chinese republican regime and imperial dynasty has inveighed against corruption.
The impact has invariably been limited, with campaigns against graft scraping only the surface and being abandoned after a short period when a few big fish have been held up to public scrutiny and the immediate political aim has been achieved.
This time, it is different.
The anti-corruption campaign launched by China's leader, Xi Jinping, after he took office at the end of 2012, will go on forever, says its chief implementation officer, Wang Qishan, head of the Communist Party's Discipline Commission.
After NBC News suspended anchor Brian Williams for erroneously claiming that he was nearly shot down in a helicopter while covering the US invasion of Iraq in 2003, Fox News host Bill O'Reilly went on a tear. On his television show, the top-rated cable news anchor declared that the American press isn't "half as responsible as the men who forged the nation." He bemoaned the supposed culture of deception within the liberal media, and he proclaimed that the Williams controversy should prompt questioning of other "distortions" by left-leaning outlets. Yet for years, O'Reilly has recounted dramatic stories about his own war reporting that don't withstand scrutiny—even claiming he acted heroically in a war zone that he apparently never set foot in.
More than half the world's money passes almost undetected through a series of financial black holes that shelter it from not only the tax collector but from shareholders, partners and wives, a Tribune-Review investigation found.
Once employed by gangsters such as Meyer Lansky and Lucky Luciano, these secret bank accounts have grown so vast and lawless that some experts tell the Trib they fear the amount of money involved threatens societies from China to Africa, Europe and the United States. World leaders railed against the impact of secret havens during the G20 summit in Pittsburgh three years ago.
“They have caused a huge imbalance in the market,” said John Christensen, director of London-based Tax Justice Network, which was established by the British Parliament in 2003 to examine tax issues worldwide.
“They are the very opposite of capitalism, which is supposed to be based on transparency. They are the shadow economy.”
From Switzerland and a couple of Caribbean islands, the black holes are in 70 or more countries. Christensen said studies by several organizations, including the International Monetary Fund, put the total stash at as much as $25 trillion.
SAN FRANCISCO — The United States has found a way to permanently embed surveillance and sabotage tools in computers and networks it has targeted in Iran, Russia, Pakistan, China, Afghanistan and other countries closely watched by American intelligence agencies, according to a Russian cybersecurity firm.
In a presentation of its findings at a conference in Mexico on Monday, Kaspersky Lab, the Russian firm, said that the implants had been placed by what it called the “Equation Group,” which appears to be a veiled reference to the National Security Agency and its military counterpart, United States Cyber Command.
In our collective imaginations, we tend to conceive of the constantly called-for “national conversation on race” as having the formality of some grand conclave of consciousness — an American Truth and Reconciliation equivalent, a spiritual spectacle in which sins are confessed and blame taken and burdens lifted.
This may be ideal, but it is also exceedingly unlikely in this country, particularly in this political environment. There will be no great atoning. Reparations will not be paid. There will no sprawling absolution.
Yet we can still have a productive conversation. Indeed, I would argue that we are in the midst of a national conversation about race at this very moment. Its significance isn’t drawn from structure but from the freedom of its form.
By William K. Black Bloomington, MN: Valentine’s Day 2015
If you inhabit the reality-based universe you know that finance has become a parasite that is a leading threat to our economies and democracies. A series of financial regulators – each of them infamous for their slavish apologias for bankers and banking – now admit that our most elite banks and bankers have created corrupt cultures that have turned the world’s largest banks into the world’s largest criminal enterprises.
How have top bank leaders reacted to this corruption? There is a new report out that asked bank leaders that question.
“Of note, the Industrial Products industry is the only one that views the risk related to the organization’s culture to be a ‘Significant Impact’ risk. It is interesting that other industries, particularly Financial Services, do not view this risk to be more significant given the recent spree of cultural lapses that have been reported.”
Bank leaders aren’t worried about their corrupt cultures or endemic frauds – they view their most “significant” risk to be regulatory interventions that might stop their frauds and send them to prison.
"Over the weekend, The New York Times and The Guardian reported that the fossil fuel industry paid astrophysicist Wei-Hock "Willie" Soon $1.25 million in grants in exchange for 11 scientific papers that cast doubt on the role humans play in climate change. Soon never disclosed the grants from the Charles G. Koch Foundation, ExxonMobil, Southern Company, and American Petroleum Institute, while publishing research that blamed climate change on anything but pollution (Soon faulted the sun) and spun the impact as a net benefit for the environment (helping trees and polar bears thrive, according to Soon)."
NEW YORK, Feb 19 (Reuters) - U.S. health regulators have known since at least 2009 that the medical devices at the center of the "superbug" outbreak at UCLA can transmit lethal infections but have not recommended any new safety requirements, a lapse that threatens patient safety, experts in hospital-acquired infections said.
The latest outbreak involving the reusable devices called duodenoscopes, which are inserted down the throat, may have exposed 179 patients at UCLA's Ronald Reagan Medical Center in Los Angeles and contributed to two deaths.
Agents of the Food and Drug Administration know better than anyone else just how bad scientific misbehavior can get. Reading the FDA’s inspection files feels almost like watching a highlights reel from a Scientists Gone Wild video. It’s a seemingly endless stream of lurid vignettes—each of which catches a medical researcher in an unguarded moment, succumbing to the temptation to do things he knows he really shouldn’t be doing. Faked X-ray reports. Forged retinal scans. Phony lab tests. Secretly amputated limbs. All done in the name of science when researchers thought that nobody was watching.
AMERICAN AND BRITISH spies hacked into the internal computer network of the largest manufacturer of SIM cards in the world, stealing encryption keys used to protect the privacy of cellphone communications across the globe, according to top-secret documents provided to The Intercept by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden.
The hack was perpetrated by a joint unit consisting of operatives from the NSA and its British counterpart Government Communications Headquarters, or GCHQ. The breach, detailed in a secret 2010 GCHQ document, gave the surveillance agencies the potential to secretly monitor a large portion of the world’s cellular communications, including both voice and data.
New research suggests that racial disparities and other biased outcomes in medicine, the criminal justice system, and other areas, can be explained by unconscious attitudes and stereotypes. But how do we get rid of subtle racial biases?
Kellogg, Brown, and Root, a subsidiary of Halliburton, is building and providing logistical support for the war in Iraq and in other countries involved in the U.S. war on terrorism, including Afghanistan, Djibouti, Georgia, Jordan, and Uzbekistan. It?s no small secret that Dick Cheney served as the chief executive of Halliburton or that he still receives a million dollar-a-year compensation package from the company.
Maybe plans for the commercial exploration of the moon aren’t so far-fetched after all. The FAA, in a carefully worded policy statement, has essentially outlined a scenario by which a U.S.-based company – Bigelow Aerospace – could stake future claims to lunar property. That could be huge.
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