Thur 4.19

S. Korea leader says N. Korea seeks to quit nukes
— North Korea has expressed its desire for “complete denuclearization” of the Korean peninsula and is not seeking conditions such as U.S. troops withdrawing from the South first, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said on Thursday.
— “All they are expressing is the end of hostile policies against North Korea, followed by a guarantee of security.”

Hundreds of police chiefs advise Congress
to knock it off with that concealed-carry crap
The Hill
— A coalition of police chiefs across the country is urging lawmakers to reject legislation that would allow for concealed-carry gun reciprocity between states.
— The International Association of Chiefs of Police in a letter to congressional leadership obtained by The Washington Post presses lawmakers not to approve legislation passed by the House in December. That bill would allow people to use their permits across state lines and boost the background check system for gun sales.
— “These bills would override state permitting laws that limit who can carry a loaded hidden gun in each state and would force states to allow individuals to carry guns who are not qualified to do so under their own laws,” the letter reads. 

GOP begs Evangies: Our “only hope is the president”
In churches and email solicitations, through voter guides and major conferences, organizations that target Christian conservative voters plan to argue at every turn that the success of Trump’s presidency — and potentially, its very existence — is on the line this year.

Oh, so that’s how it works
UK refused to help money laundering raid, citing donations to Tory pols.
— The British government refused to assist a French investigation into suspected money laundering and tax fraud by the UK telecoms giant Lycamobile – citing the fact that the company is the “biggest corporate donor to the Conservative party” and gives money to a trust founded by Prince Charles.

How European rules will change Facebook and Big Data
The Guardian
… the looming General Data Protection Regulation will give people better privacy protections and force companies including Facebook to make sweeping changes to the way they collect data and consent from users – with huge fines for those who don’t comply.
— “It’s changing the balance of power from the giant digital marketing companies to focus on the needs of individuals and democratic society,” said Jeffrey Chester, founder of the Center for Digital Democracy. “That’s an incredible breakthrough.”
— In addition to the new personal privacy rights, companies will only be able to collect data if there’s a specific business purpose for it, rather than collecting extra information at the point of sign-up just in case.

What’s the Matter With Kansas, Chapter 127
Voter suppression candidate held in contempt of court
But he’ll appeal, and the circus rolls on.

ICE raided my farm without warrant, handcuffed me
Hmm. Elections have consequences. 
— John Collins was standing outside the milk house at his dairy farm when he heard yelling coming from inside. He ran in, he says, and saw his worker, Marcial de Leon Aguilar, pinned up against the window by armed men.
— The men did not identify themselves and were screaming at Aguilar, Collins said.
>>> Across Midwest, farmers wring hands over what they brought on themselves
NY Times
— “They’re not in touch with the reality of the Midwest and the impact that the tariffs would have,” said Bart Bergquist, a biology professor and part-time farmer who lives on 10 acres just south of Waterloo, Iowa. Bergquist, who voted for Trump, added that commodities prices had already taken a toll on the area.

Prosecutors: Jealous Chicago nurse used bitcoin, dark web to hire killers
Chicago Daily Herald
tinajones— A Des Plaines woman is being held on $250,000 bail after being accused of hiring a dark web company to kill the wife of her lover.
— Prosecutors say Tina Jones, 31, paid $10,000 in bitcoin in January to have the woman killed.
— Jones, a registered nurse at Loyola University Medical Center, was charged with solicitation of murder.
— A tip on the case was called in by the CBS News program “48 Hours.”

US health agency decides letting Big Pharma
“help” opioid research ain’t such a great idea

… many pharma companies are seen to have played in the opioid crisis. In its recommendations, the National Institutes of Health advisory committee cited Purdue Pharma and Mallinckrodt, two opioid manufacturers currently being sued for their opioid marketing tactics.
“There’s so much controversy swirling around pharmaceuticals on the opioid issue,” said Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) “It’s too dangerous.”

Bringing you the finest in Russian propaganda
Syrian building hit by US bombs held cancer drugs, not chemical weapons
— The Syrian Scientific Research Center in Barzeh, which was left in ruins by last week’s US-led missile strikes, specialized in research into cancer drugs and production of life-saving medicines that have been in short supply due to Western sanctions.
Yes, we all know the Assad regime is quite concerned with saving lives.

Oh great
The creepy case of the fake clinical trials

Kaiser Health News
Hint: If a doctor is holding clinical trials in a motel room, maybe, just maybe, you ought to bug out.
halford— Three years before launching an offshore herpes vaccine trial, an American researcher vaccinated patients in U.S. hotel rooms in brazen violation of U.S. law, a Kaiser Health News investigation has found.
— Southern Illinois University associate professor William Halford administered the shots himself at a Holiday Inn Express and a Crowne Plaza Hotel that were a 15-minute drive from the researcher’s SIU lab. Halford injected at least eight herpes patients on four separate occasions in the summer and fall of 2013 with a virus that he created, according to emails from seven participants and interviews with one participant.

There’s this obscure document called the Constitution …
NJ court: Hey, you! Quit giving taxpayer $$$ to churches
Courthouse News Service

Your next pilot could be drone software
Airplanes could be safer with technology at the helm. A key sticking point is human opinion.
— A new generation of software pilots, developed for self-flying vehicles, or drones, will soon have logged more flying hours than all humans have – ever. By combining their enormous amounts of flight data and experience, drone-control software applications are poised to quickly become the world’s most experienced pilots.
— The most significant advantage is scale: Rather than teaching thousands of individual pilots new skills, updating thousands of aircraft would require only downloading updated software.
>  Professor Jeremy Straub is the lead inventor on a patent-pending technology for autonomous control of robots, UAVs and spacecraft.

Mass mortality hits Great Barrier Reef
Unprecedented bleaching event’ killed off half the coral there over 2 years

Maybe, just maybe, an advanced civilization can’t last very long
— Two astrophysicists have turned one of the great questions in science into a way of examining the down-to-earth consequences of global warming, the pollution of the oceans with indestructible polymers, and the wholesale destruction of species in the last 300 years.
— If there had been an advanced technological and industrial civilisation on Earth several hundred million years ago, how could anyone know? What marks would have been left by a race of intelligent reptiles with motorised transport, housing estates, international trade and an arms race?

“Ain’t nobody got time for this. For real.”
Fox News
911williamsHouston 9-1-1 operator gets taste of jail for hanging up on emergency calls.

— Crenshanda Williams’ attorney, Franklin Bynum, argued that his client “was going through a hard time in her life” when she hung up on the emergency calls, and said “punishing her doesn’t do anything to fix the problems that still exist at the emergency center.

When everybody in the ballpark wants to go home
pitchIn extra innings, Major League umpires will vary ball and strike calls in ways that tend to end the game as quickly as possible.
… umps don’t get paid more when games go to extra innings. That’s one more reason they may want the game to end early — their paycheck’s the same regardless.

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