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September 17, 2013
The president has said that he understands and regrets the concerns that disclosures of alleged U.S. intelligence activities have generated in Brazil and made clear that he is committed to working together with President Rousseff and her government in diplomatic channels to move beyond this issue as a source of tension in our bilateral relationship.
A White House statement • Responding to the postponement of a state visit (a rare occurrence in diplomatic circles) from Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. Rousseff won’t be attending the planned-upon meeting in late October, as a result of revelations (owed to leaks from former NSA-er Edward Snowden) of spying by the NSA against herself, aides, and the oil company Petrobus, the largest of any type of company in Brazil. President Obama reportedly spoke to Rousseff on Monday night to urge her to make the visit, but the effort proved fruitless. The White House has since stated that both Obama and Rousseff agreed to the postponement. source
He says their general attitude was that he got what he deserved. He was in essence told to zip his lips. ‘Shut up. Don’t say those things,’ He wanted a question that would have allowed him to explain to the jury with scientific evidence how there was no way Trayvon Martin could have been on top of George Zimmerman.
Attorney Willie Gary • Detailing some allegations made by his new client, former Seminole/Volusia County, Florida medical examiner Dr. Shipping Bao, who testified in the George Zimmerman murder trial months ago. He was fired earlier this week, and has not gone silently, now publicly claiming he was wrongly scapegoated and fired following the trial, and suggesting prosecutors declined to question him on crucial evidence due to their own belief in Zimmerman’s innocence. It is of course worth noting, Bao’s accusations are also coming in the context of a $100 million dollar lawsuit over his termination. source
Our hearts still ache for the futures snatched away, the lives that might have been — the parents who would have known the joy of being grandparents, the fathers and mothers who would have known the pride of a child’s graduation, the sons and daughters who would have grown, maybe married and been blessed with children of their own. Those beautiful boys and girls just beginning to find their way who today would have been teenagers and young men and women looking ahead, imagining the mark they’d make on the world.
President Obama • Speaking at today’s 9/11 memorial event at the Pentagon, the site of 125 of the nearly 3,000 deaths by terrorist attack twelve years ago today. Obama also memorialized the four Americans slain during the September 11th attack in Benghazi, Libya last year — the same city in which a Libyan Foreign Ministry was stricken by bombing today. source
Four men convicted for last year’s brutal New Delhi rape/murder
4men convicted on all counts for the infamous, brutal rape and murder of a woman riding a bus in New Delhi, India last year. All four men could face the death penalty by hanging, with sentencing expected to be announced on Wednesday. source
Lawyer, police give conflicting accounts of whether Zimmerman armed during domestic dispute
Yesterday Cable news and social media flared at reports that George Zimmerman, acquitted two months ago for the shooting death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin, had been detained by police following an alleged domestic incident between himself, his estranged wife Shellie Zimmerman, and her father. A released 911 call revealed the allegations in play — that Zimmerman punched his father-in-law, smashed an iPad (which may have contained video evidence of the incident), and threatened his wife while keeping his hand placed over his gun.
Today With the damaged iPad awaiting attempts to retrieve any consequential evidence, the last 24 hours have brought drastic changes to the contours of the case — both his wife and father-in-law have declined to press charges, and the Lake Mary Police Department says they found no evidence Zimmerman had his gun, though they didn’t search his vehicle, which Shellie Zimmerman claimed he was sitting inside at the time of her call. Zimmerman attorney Mark O’Mara (who won’t represent Zimmerman further, beyond a currently outstanding case), on the other hand, claimed Zimmerman did have his gun. Said Lake Mary Police officer Zach Hudson: “As of right now, a gun is not part of the equation.” source
[E-mail] providers like Google must scan the emails sent to and from their systems as part of providing their services. The automated processes at issue are Google’s ordinary business practices implemented as part of providing the free Gmail service to the public.
From a supporting document filed by Google in a California court last Thursday • Making the case that Google needs to scan all emails sent through its services, as part of its “ordinary” practices to provide free Gmail to users. Google’s use of user information for advertising purposes isn’t particularly new or shocking — its system of presenting advertisements based on frequent keywords within user’s emails has been commonplace for years. But the stark terms in which Google is presenting this before the legal system — we simply must scan all the email — as well as this practice not being a blanket industry standard (Microsoft explicitly denies such scanning, as demonstrated in some lame ads for Bing, while Yahoo recently began following Google’s lead), is giving the company some less-than-desirable press at the moment. source
Bank of America faces suit from SEC, DOJ on mortgage securities fraud
$855Min toxic mortgage securities sold by Bank of America, according to the SEC and Department of Justice, in a civil suit against BofA for allegedly defrauding their investors. The suit alleges the megabank knowingly sold investors on mortgage securities they claimed were backed by high-quality loans, while they actually knew the loans in question were riddled with issues creating an increased propensity for failure. source
Frontline to tackle NFL’s traumatic brain injury problem
Just in time for the start of the 2013-2014 NFL season, PBS’ long-running Frontline (in tandem with ESPN’s Outside The Lines) will open its 32nd season with an episode on traumatic brain injuries in football. It’s not just a matter of grim reflection, or an academic subject, however. With more comprehensive, modern scientific data on CTE (chronic traumatic encephalopathy) now on offer, thousands of former players are taking on the NFL for allegedly concealing knowledge of the scope and grisliness of the problem. Indeed, the question raised at the end of the above trailer, on how prevalent these injuries may be, is a worthy one — researchers at Boston University, back in January, had found evidence of CTE in 33 of the 34 brains of NFL players they studied. source
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