Prosecutors in trouble for handling of Epstein pervert case
— Jeffrey Epstein was offered a plea deal sentencing him to 13 months in jail after he was accused of sex trafficking. The deal also gave Epstein and his co-conspirators immunity from federal prosecution.
“One of the ugly facts laid bare in the Epstein plea deal is that many powerful people feel zero shame helping a billionaire who has molested girls as young as 14. Zero consequences. Crimes against kids happen not only because of the criminals but their support networks.”
— Jake Tapper, CNN
China banning millions of “untrustworthy” people from taking flights, trains
South China Morning Post
— Millions of Chinese individuals and businesses have been labelled as untrustworthy on an official blacklist banning them from any number of activities, including accessing financial markets or travelling by air or train, as the use of the government’s social credit system accelerates.
… authorities collected over 14.21 million pieces of information on the “untrustworthy conduct” of individuals and businesses, including charges of swindling customers, failing to repay loans, illegal fund collection, false and misleading advertising, as well as uncivilised behaviour such as taking reserved seats on trains or causing trouble in hospitals.
America’s professional elite: Affluent and miserable
— Based on my own conversations with classmates and the research I began reviewing, the answer comes down to oppressive hours, political infighting, increased competition sparked by globalization, an “always-on culture” bred by the internet — but also something that’s hard for these professionals to put their finger on, an underlying sense that their work isn’t worth the grueling effort they’re putting into it.
School bus driver OD’s on heroin, crashes; kids okay
NY Daily News
— A Newark school bus driver shuttling a dozen special needs students overdosed on heroin and crashed into a tree Wednesday afternoon, authorities said.
Responding medics used Narcan to revive the driver, 57-year-old Lisa Byrd, after she hit a tree at 14th Ave. and Jones St., Newark Public Safety Director Anthony Ambrose told reporters Wednesday.
— Police found suspected drug paraphernalia in the bus and are seeking a search warrant to test Byrd’s blood, Ambrose said.
— The 12 children, whose ages ranged from 5 to 13, weren’t badly injured in the crash.
Cities burning recyclables now that China won’t take ’em
— The conscientious citizens of Philadelphia continue to put their pizza boxes, plastic bottles, yoghurt containers and other items into recycling bins.
— But in the past three months, half of these recyclables have been loaded on to trucks, taken to a hulking incineration facility and burned, according to the city’s government.
— It’s a situation being replicated across the US as cities struggle to adapt to a recent ban by China on the import of items intended for reuse.
Automakers Could Give Police Control Over Your Self-Driving Car
— Police might be able to reroute cars or force them to pull over.
Sneaky health insurers use cash, gifts to sway employers’ benefit choices
— The insurance industry gives lucrative commissions and bonuses — from six-figure payouts to a chance to bat against Mariano Rivera — to the independent brokers who advise employers. Critics call the payments a “classic conflict of interest” that drive up costs.
MLB pitcher’s 3 dating rules win him honors as “worst boyfriend”
#1 — No feelings!
#2 — No social media!
#3 — He can “sleep around”
Documents detail multimillion-dollar ties involving EPA official, secretive industry group
— The nation’s biggest coal-burning power companies paid a top lobbying firm millions of dollars to fight a wide range of Obama-era environmental rules, documents obtained by POLITICO reveal — shortly before one of the firm’s partners became President Donald Trump’s top air pollution regulator.
— Now that ex-partner, Bill Wehrum, is aggressively working to undo many of those same regulations at the EPA, where he is an assistant administrator in charge of issues including climate change, smog and power plants’ mercury pollution.
ERA Activist Jailed Without Bond for Exposing Breast in Virginia
— A Richmond judge ordered a New York activist who exposed her breast outside the Capitol during a protest in support of the Equal Rights Amendment to remain in jail without bond on a misdemeanor charge of indecent exposure until her court date on March 21.
— Holding someone without bond on a nonviolent misdemeanor is unusual. Supporters of ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment said Michelle Renay Sutherland, 45, is a political prisoner.
Santa Cruz student indicted over “drug app”
UC Santa Crust SFist
Who’d have believed it?
NY City scammed FEMA out of millions after Superstorm Sandy
— In the days after Superstorm Sandy soaked the East Coast, New York City Department of Transportation workers cataloged the damage to the agency’s fleet of vehicles. That information was handed over to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which would give the city enough money to replace the damaged vehicles with new ones.
— Only one problem: Many of those vehicles were damaged before Sandy hit. Some hadn’t been operational in years, and had been marked for salvage long before the storm.
“Dreaming of a way to kill almost every last person on the earth”
Coast Guard officer arrested in terror plot
In September 2017, Christopher Paul Hasson sent himself a draft letter that he had written to a neo-Nazi leader and “identified himself as a White Nationalist for over 30 years and advocated for ‘focused violence’ in order to establish a white homeland,” prosecutors wrote.
“Looking to Russia with hopeful eyes or any land that despises the west’s liberalism,” Hasson wrote.
‘Empire’ Producers Consider Suspending Jussie Smollett
— Fox is considering removing Jussie Smollett from production on “Empire.” Sources close to the production told Variety that producers are weighing whether to suspend the actor after he was charged Wednesday in Chicago with filing a false police report.
<>Chicago cops: Smollett staged attack to boost profile, salary
Scientists: Stonehenge boulders were dragged 180 miles from quarry
— A team of archaeologists in the United Kingdom says it has traced dozens of Stonehenge’s massive rocks to two quarries in western Wales. The rocks, called bluestones after their bluish-gray hue, were transported 180 miles — dragged on wooden sleds by teams of men, the scientists believe — to form the inner circle of the monument that towers over the Salisbury Plain.
EU countries back copyright reforms aimed at Google, Facebook
… would force Google and Facebook Inc to pay publishers for news snippets and filter out copyright-protected content on YouTube or Instagram.
<> ELECTRONIC FRONTIER FOUNDATION: “A dim future for every made-in-the-EU platform, service and online community.”