Thursday

Report: ICE Ran a Fake University in Michigan as a Sting Operation
Slate
uof1— Newly unsealed court documents revealed that the University of Farmington Hills, advertised online even now as a “nationally accredited business and STEM institution” in a suburb of Detroit, was in reality a sting operation run by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement meant to lure immigrants on student visas into knowingly paying for fraudulent paperwork in order to stay in the country, the Detroit News reported Wednesday.
>>> ICE force-feeding detainees on hunger strike (AP)

OxyContin Maker Explored Expansion Into “Attractive” Anti-Addiction Market
ProPublica
Secret portions of a lawsuit allege that Purdue Pharma, controlled by the Sackler family, considered capitalizing on the addiction treatment boom — while going to extreme lengths to boost sales of its controversial opioid.

Ex-IBM Executive Says She Was Told Not to Disclose Names of Employees Over Age 50 Who’d Been laid off
ProPublica

— In an affidavit filed as part of a class-action lawsuit, a former IBM vice president says she was fired for warning superiors that the company was vulnerable to claims of age bias. IBM says it was because of “gross misconduct.”
—-> Note how many companies dump older workers and then complain about a “labor shortage.”

Neanderthals and Denisovans Shared a Siberian Cave
for Thousands of Years, New Research Suggests
Gizmodo

cave
Natalia Belousova (Russian Academy of Sciences) and Tom Higham (University of Oxford) taking samples from Denisova cave. Image: Sergey Zelinski, Russian Academy of Sciences

— Denisova cave in southern Siberia was home to Neanderthals and Denisovans for thousands of years, but questions remain about the timing of their stay. A pair of new studies traces the history of archaic human occupation at the site, showing who lived there and when—including a possible era during which the two now-extinct species hung out together.
— Two papers published today in Nature present an updated timeline for the occupation of Denisova cave by Neanderthals and Denisovans. The new research suggests the Denisovans—a sister species to the Neanderthals—made this cave their home for a longer period than Neanderthals, first venturing into the cave as far back as 287,000 years ago. Neanderthals arrived at the site around 140,000 years ago, possibly sharing the space with the Denisovans for thousands of years. It’s further evidence that Neanderthals and Denisovans interbred—and that this co-mingling happened at or near Denisova.

Why are teachers striking? Duh. Their real pay is actually falling
Vice News
— Public school teachers earned 19 percent less than workers with similar levels of education and experience in 2017, according to an analysis of the most recent data by the Economic Policy Institute. That’s up from just a 3 percent gap in the mid-90s.
>>> Denver teachers protest at capitol (Courthouse News Service)

NEW BEST FRIENDS
The growing alliance of China-Russia puts target on US
The National Interest
… American foreign policy is inadvertently prompting the two great powers to collaborate more closely. According to Allison and Simes, “this grand alignment of the aggrieved has been moving from the realm of the hypothetical toward what could soon be a geostrategic fact. Beijing and Moscow are drawing closer together to meet what each sees as the `American threat.’

chinarussia

But who’s worried about Russia or China when we have such worthy allies as the Saudi Royal Family…  
Saudi women’s rights activist is being tortured in ‘palace of terror,’ brother says
CNN

190130161631-02-jailed-saudi-activist-loujain-al-hathloul-exlarge-169
The brother of jailed Saudi activist Loujain Alhathloul has detailed in a CNN opinion piece the abuse his sister has allegedly endured in prison. In the article, Walid Alhathloul writes that during a recent visit by his parents to see Loujain she told them she was regularly whipped, beaten, electrocuted and sexually harassed in a basement she called the “palace of terror.”

3-day human-trafficking sting in California leads to 339 arrests
ABC-L.A.

Purported hackers stole U.S. evidence to discredit Mueller probe
Reuters
— U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office said that self-proclaimed hackers in Russia stole evidence in an attempt to tarnish its investigation of a firm charged with funding a Russian propaganda campaign to interfere in the 2016 U.S. election.
… The data that appeared online was “altered and disseminated as part of a disinformation campaign aimed (apparently) at discrediting ongoing investigations into Russian interference in the U.S. political system,” prosecutors wrote.

Anti-SuperBowl parties spread among pissed off Saints fans
USA Today
— While millions will be glued to TVs for Super Bowl LIII, anyone in New Orleans will be hard-pressed to find a bar or restaurant showing the game. Instead, many sports-centric establishments will re-air Super Bowl XLIV — when the Saints beat the Indianapolis Colts nine years ago — or show the Puppy Bowl or remain closed.

Streaming, Sundance keeping the mid-size movie alive
The Atlantic
— Early reports that the streaming boom at Sundance was over have been greatly exaggerated. At least that’s true for Amazon, which has made several eight-figure purchases at this year’s festival, muscling its way back into the film market after a quieter year and a transition in leadership. Though Netflix has yet to make a big buy, Apple recently sealed its first deal, picking up the coming-of-age film Hala for a planned streaming service that doesn’t exist yet.

Brittany Runs A Marathon - Still 1
Jillian Bell in “Brittany Runs a Marathon”

 

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