Weekend Oct. 29

LIKE EVERYONE ELSE, WE’RE WAITING TO SEE WHO’S INDICTED. IN THE MEANTIME…

Education Dep’t backslides on forgiving fraud-tainted student loans AP
I know what you’re thinking. Edu-Czar Betsy DeVos is from a family that made its money in Amway. And Amway, you’re thinking, was kind of a scam.  Or maybe this bit from the NY Times kinda bothers you.

“To oversee the critical issue of fraud in higher education, DeVos picked Julian Schmoke Jr., whose former job was a dean of — yes! — a for-profit university. Specifically a school named DeVry. Last year, under fire from state prosecutors and the Federal Trade Commission, DeVry agreed to pay $100 million to students who complained that they had been misled by its recruitment pitch.”

Here are excerpts from Sunday’s AP story:

betsyIf DeVos goes ahead, the change could leave many students scrambling after expecting full loan forgiveness, based on the previous administration’s track record. It was not immediately clear how many students might be affected.

DeVos’ review prompted an outcry from student loan advocates, who said the idea of giving defrauded students only partial loan relief was unjustified and unfair because many of their classmates had already gotten full loan cancellation. Critics say the Trump administration, which has ties to the for-profit sector, is looking out for industry interests.

DeVos has come under criticism for delaying consideration of over 65,000 applications for loan forgiveness under the borrower defense rule. The agency hasn’t approved a single claim since DeVos took office in February.

Bangladesh eyes sterilisation to curb Rohingya population AFP

ROBangladesh is planning to introduce voluntary sterilisation in its overcrowded Rohingya camps, where nearly a million refugees are fighting for space, after efforts to encourage birth control failed.

More than 600,000 Rohingya have arrived in Bangladesh since a military crackdown in neighbouring Myanmar in August triggered an exodus, straining resources in the impoverished country

District family planning authorities have launched a drive to provide contraception, but say they have so far managed to distribute just 549 packets of condoms among the refugees, who are reluctant to use them.

They have asked the government to approve a plan to launch vasectomies for Rohingya men and tubectomies for women, Bhattacharjee told AFP.

But they are likely to face an uphill struggle.

Many of the refugees told AFP they believed a large family would help them survive in the camps, where access to food and water remains a daily battle and children are often sent out to fetch and carry supplies.

Others had been told contraception was against the tenets of Islam.

All 16 women who’ve accused Trump of pervy stuff are lying, White House says.
The Independent
trwPerhaps the President himself told the truth when first questioned about his pervy tendencies: It’s disgraceful what happens.

Arby’s has the wild game meats, and not everyone’s biting NPR

arby“We really shouldn’t be selling game animals for food,” Dave Chadwick, executive director of the Montana Wildlife Federation, says.

His organization was founded by hunters, anglers and other conservationists. This month the group sent a letter to Arby’s asking the company to reconsider serving venison and elk steak sandwiches, in part because they hark back to a long and dark history of selling wild game in the United States.

“One of the real drivers of America’s wildlife crisis in the 19th century was unregulated market hunting and the idea that big game animals were being shot and sold for food,” he says.

Market hunting drove bison, elk and other wildlife to the brink of extinction before it was eventually banned in the United States.

Arby’s isn’t sending hunters into the woods to kill thousands of elk and deer. That would be illegal. Instead, the fast-food company is sourcing their venison from game farms in New Zealand.

“It’s free-range, grass-fed, red-tailed deer, the highest quality venison you can get anywhere in the world,” Arby’s President Rob Lynch says.

Porn leading the way toward virtual reality NY Times
porn

While virtual-reality pornography may feel like something out of a science fiction movie, it already has a formidable, if underground, presence. According to website Pornhub, views of VR porn are up 275 percent since it debuted in the summer of 2016. Now the site is averaging about 500,000 views (on Christmas Day in 2016, this number shot up to 900,000.)

By 2025 pornography will be the third-largest VR sector, according to estimates prepared by Piper Jaffray, an investment and management firm. Only video games and N.F.L.-related content will be larger, it predicted, and the market will be worth $1 billion.

“We’re getting more and more of it every day,” said Mark Kernes, a senior editor at AVN Media Network, which covers the industry. “We are leading the technology in this area. Sex sells, and where there is money to be made, there will be entrepreneurs who want to adopt it and make money from it,” some by offering it for free to increase clicks.

Pornography is what rushed along the first printing press, and spurred developments in the internet, online payment systems and other technology. Now it’s time for virtual reality, Mr. Kernes said: “I’m pretty sure there is more porn VR out there than regular VR.”

 

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