LA’s Battle for Venice Beach:
Homeless Surge Puts Hollywood’s
Progressive Ideals to the Test
— After the first attack, Randy Osborn figured it was just his turn. Tire slashings in his east Venice Beach neighborhood had become commonplace. But when his vintage Land Rover was hit a sixth time in the course of a few months, Osborn, who runs a small virtual reality company and has lived in Venice for seven years, began to worry he was being singled out.
— “It may have been random, but it sure felt targeted and concentrated,” says Osborn, who now protects his tires each night with a jury-rigged plywood-and-chain contraption that has so far deterred the assailants. Every time he takes his family out of town, he worries about his house being robbed. “It’s not a very fun way to live,” he says.
— A lot of residents within Osborn’s 15-block area just east of Lincoln Boulevard — where actor Viggo Mortensen owns a home and director Jon Favreau is opening a production office — have similar stories. And though they can’t say for sure, Osborn and others suspect the crime is tied to several homeless encampments that have sprung up nearby in the past 15 months.
F.B.I. Opened Inquiry Into Whether Trump Was Secretly Working on Behalf of Russia
NYT via MSN
— In the days after President Trump fired James B. Comey as F.B.I. director, law enforcement officials became so concerned by the president’s behavior that they began investigating whether he had been working on behalf of Russia against American interests, according to former law enforcement officials and others familiar with the investigation.
— The inquiry carried explosive implications. Counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president’s own actions constituted a possible threat to national security. Agents also sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s influence.
When Chinese hackers declared war on the rest of us
MIT Technology Review
— Many thought the internet would bring democracy to China. Instead it empowered rampant government oppression, and now the censors are turning their attention to the rest of the world.
Wisconsin girl, 13, escapes her captor after 87 days–
— man held on double homicide, kidnapping charges
St. Paul Pioneer Press
— Jayme Closs, the 13-year-old who went missing after her parents were found dead in their Wisconsin home in October, has been found and a suspect arrested in her disappearance.
— Jayme was hospitalized overnight for observation and is safe, Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said in a news conference Friday morning.
— The suspect was identified Friday as Jake T. Patterson, 21, of Gordon, Wis. He is being held on suspicion on two counts of first-degree intentional homicide and one count of kidnapping.
— A woman in Gordon, Wis., about 60 miles north of Jayme’s home in Barron, Wis., told KARE 11 that a neighbor who had been walking her dog showed up at her door with Jayme. “She kind of flung the door open and said, ‘Call 911, this is Jayme Closs!’” Kristin Kasinskas said. The two women waited with Jayme for about 30 minutes for police to arrive.
— The suspect was taken into custody about 10 minutes later. Jayme was able to tell them what car to look for, Kasinskas said.
>>> Suspect arrested in Jayme Closs case identified
— Jake Patterson was hiding in the home he grew up in
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
— The man arrested in the Jayme Closs case was identified Friday as Jake Thomas Patterson by authorities and neighbors who lived in the same Eau Claire Acres enclave in the Douglas County Town of Gordon.
— Patterson is in custody in Barron County, authorities said at a morning news conference. He is being held pending charges of first degree murder and kidnapping. Charges are not expected to be filed until next week, said Barron County District Attorney Brian Wright.
— “Jake Patterson had zero criminal history locally and zero criminal history in the state of Wisconsin,” Barron County Sheriff Chris Fitzgerald said at the news conference.
Crazed Texas couple convicted of enslaving African child
Courthouse News Service
— Texas federal jury convicted a wealthy married couple Thursday night for audaciously enslaving an African child for 16 years in their affluent suburban home and denying her pay and an education before she escaped.
— Mohamed Toure and Denise Cros-Toure, both 57, of Southlake, now face up to 20 years in federal prison. The jury acquitted them on two charges of forced labor and conspiracy and convicted on two charges of harboring an alien for financial gain and conspiracy. They were indicted four months ago.
US allowed thousands to immigrate with child brides
— Thousands of requests by men to bring in child and adolescent brides to live in the United States were approved over the past decade, according to government data obtained by The Associated Press. In one case, a 49-year-old man applied for admission for a 15-year-old girl.
— The approvals are legal: The Immigration and Nationality Act does not set minimum age requirements. And in weighing petitions for spouses or fiancees, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services goes by whether the marriage is legal in the home country and then whether the marriage would be legal in the state where the petitioner lives.
— But the data raises questions about whether the immigration system may be enabling forced marriage …
Lawsuit: Sorority hazing leads to student-athletes’s suicide
“While post-initiation pledging, Jordan Hankins was subjected to physical abuse including paddling, verbal abuse, mental abuse, financial exploitation, sleep deprivation, items being thrown and dumped on her, and other forms of hazing intended to humiliate and demean her,” the suit states.
Tensions rise in federal prisons as weary guards go without pay, work double shifts
Washington Post (skipped paywall via LMT Online)
Blow to low carb diet as landmark study finds high fibre cuts heart disease risk
… Mann told the Guardian that the research “does contribute to the debate considerably. Here we have got very strong evidence that a high-fibre diet, which for the majority of people is at least high-ish in carbohydrates, has an enormous protective effect – a wide range of diseases including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer benefit from a high-carbohydrate diet.”
… But he said it would not end the “diet wars”, because there were so many vested interests involved. “It’s twofold. There is the commercial vested interest, which there is an enormous amount of from chefs and celebrity chefs and so on. And there is also the professional vested interest.” This included some doctors and scientists, he said.
New tax law screws homeowners in NJ, NY and CT,
so Florida touts tell ’em to “come on down.”
— A year after the passage of a sweeping law that capped deductions on state and local taxes — hitting homeowners hardest in places like New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, where state income and property taxes are among the highest — brokers from low and no income-tax states like Florida are racing to get the word out about how rich the savings are in their markets, above all for top earners.
GOP, party of inclusion, tries to oust politician because he’s (gasp) a Muslim!
——–> Dude in question is a trauma surgeon, and so truly a menace to society
— An attempt by a faction of the Tarrant County Republican party in Texas to oust its vice-chairman because he is a Muslim failed in an emotional party vote Thursday night.
— Shahid Shafi, a trauma surgeon and city council member, was backed in a 139-49 vote after more than two hours of closed door discussions. Cheers could be heard outside as the results were read.
Fate of the sun: A giant, cold, crystal orb
— New research suggests that long after our roiling, boiling life-giving star runs out of fuel, it will slowly form a cold, dead, super-dense crystal sphere about the size of the Earth that will linger like a translucent tombstone for close to eternity.
AT&T says it’ll stop selling location data amid calls for federal investigation
Car salesman, bounty hunters, drug dealers —
just about anyone can now geo-locate your phone
— At least one company, called Microbilt, is selling phone geolocation services with little oversight to a spread of different private industries, ranging from car salesmen and property managers to bail bondsmen and bounty hunters … this spying capability is also being resold to others on the black market who are not licensed to use it.