The truth? The number of guns in the United States has increased by 62% since 1994 but gun violence has decreased by 49% since 1993.
INFORM (and others) report:
…Douglas County Sheriff John Hanlin said the gunman was slain in an exchange of gunfire with police officers. The suspect was not identified but CNN reported it was a man in his late 20s.
“Its been a terrible day,” Hanlin said.
The gunman who opened fire asked people in an academic building to stand up and state their religion before he began shooting, a witness told the local News-Review newspaper
Kortney Moore, 18, was in Snyder Hall when the shooter asked people to name their religion and then began firing, she told the paper.
The shooting is the latest incident of gun violence in the United States, raising demands for more gun control and more effective treatment of the mentally ill.
CNN reported that among the wounded was a female who had been shot in the chest. The Oregonian said that at least six patients were critically injured in the shooting, citing an official with Life Flight.
Andi Dinnetz, an 18-year-old freshman at Umpqua, said she was in the building next to where the shooting took place and hid in a welding shop along with a teacher and classmates until a police officer arrived. She said she was “fine, but shaken.”
“They walked us straight through the crime scene with our hands up,” Dinnetz said. “It was more tense outside. In the classroom, everyone was trying to make jokes and keep it from being as serious as it was.”
Roger Sanchez, a testing coordinator at the school, said students came running into the building where he worked. Read the rest of this entry »
Tick Tock, Tick Tock…
Daniel Payne writes: In just over a week, the Ahmed Mohamed clock controversy has become a global phenomenon: the young man brought a homemade clock to school and was subsequently arrested because school officials thought it looked like a bomb, leading to a worldwide outcry and hundreds of thousands of tweets, articles, and words of praise for the boy from Irving, Texas.
Ahmed has received commendation from the likes of Google, Facebook, Twitter, and even the president of the United States. Just recently, his family announced they will meet dignitaries at the United Nations; later, after a jaunt to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, they hope to meet with President Obama.
Mohamed has become an international superstar. But there are nonetheless several puzzling and troubling questions regarding his rise to fame. A great many people who have been mildly skeptical of this story have been denounced as “Ahmed truthers” and as people who are out to conduct a “smear campaign” against an innocent boy. But it’s actually reasonable and even necessary to be a bit skeptical of extraordinary stories such as this. You don’t have to have a vendetta against Ahmed to want the full story on the table, and asking honest questions about such a remarkable news event doesn’t mean you’re out to “smear” this young man.
With that in mind, here are six questions the media should be asking the Mohamed family to clarify some points that badly need it.
1. Why did Ahmed claim to build the clock if he didn’t actually build it?
From the beginning we’ve been told that Ahmed—a supposedly creative, clever, inventive young man—threw the clock together from parts in his bedroom in order to “impress” his teachers at school. Ahmed told Chris Hayes he put it together himself. He told the Dallas Morning News that he “made a clock,” elsewhere claimed “I’m the person who built a clock and got in trouble with it,” and claimed that the clock was “[his] invention.”
As it turns out, it’s almost certain he did no such thing. All the evidence points toward the conclusion that Ahmed didn’t build his clock at all, and instead just took apart an old digital clock and put the guts inside a pencil case. If this is true—and it almost certainly is—why did he claim he “built” such a device?
Photographs and videos of his workshop have shown a bench scattered with circuit boards, wires, and other electronic devices. If Ahmed is used to working in such conditions and with the guts and pieces of such technology, he should know the difference between “building” a clock and not building one. So what led him to claim he built something that, for all appearances, he didn’t?
Using the video
A number of journalists have asked me if I thought it was ethical to use the video of the shooting on air and online. My answer is, “it all depends.” It depends on why you are using the video and how you will use it and how long you will use it.
We know now that the video itself is news — not just because it shows the shooting but also because it appears to show the shooter. That is reason enough to show the video in some way.
But consider alternatives. In the early hours after the shooting, the video (complete with horrific audio) was news because the “what” of the story was still unfolding. As the story turns to “why,” the graphic video becomes less newsworthy.
So you have a few options:
- Use the video unedited with audio.
- Use the video up to the moment that screaming begins and cut the audio but continue the video.
- Use the video with no audio.
- Use still frames and no video.
- Use none of the images.
What about the shooter’s video?
The shooter, Vester Flanagan, recorded his own actions and posted the video on social media while on the run from police.
That video is, once again, news because it is evidence.
Why air it? The extremely graphic video is a firsthand account of what happened. It shows how close the shooter stood while the crew was on the air. He pointed the semi-automatic pistol at Parker while she continued the interview. He backed off for a few seconds, then raised the weapon again and began firing point-blank.
And it is too graphic to use.
Journalists can be justified in airing or publishing graphic images when the images resolve disputes about what occurred. In shootings involving police, for example, when there is a question about the justifiable use of force, video, even graphic video, can clear or indict the shooter. There has to be a journalistic purpose to justify the graphic image’s use. Read the rest of this entry »
Islamic State have been blamed for the deaths of tens of thousands of people but they must be shown the same level of respect on Facebook as anyone else, the internet company has said:
Facebook has taken down a post poking fun at the Islamic State saying it had to remove it because it did not meet its community standards.
The post showed what was intended to be the Islamic State flag reproduced as toilet roll and was posted on the social media site by Britain First leader Paul Golding. It was captioned: “Soon to be stocked in the Britain First shop.”
After being notified that the post had been taken down, Golding wrote to Facebook’s chat support asking why.
Facebook support worker Dora Zganjer replied: “Obviously it was not complying with Facebook community standards.”
She continued: “I understand where you’re coming from, but posts like this will be taken down without a doubt.”
Golding again pressed her on the censorship, asking “why… so you’re not allowed to poke fun at Isis?” Read the rest of this entry »
[VIDEO] Electric: The Carly Florina Interview that Attached a Car Battery to Chris Matthews’ Balls and Delivered a Heart-Stopping PayloadPosted: August 7, 2015
Norvell Rose writes: In the early Republican presidential debate on Thursday — the one dubbed by some as the “happy hour” debate or the pre-game show at the “kids’ table” — there was one candidate of the seven on the Fox News stage who was singled out by many observers and analysts as the clear winner. That contender was the lone woman in the GOP group — the presidential hopeful who’s said to be very impressive in person on the campaign trail, but who hasn’t yet managed to show well in national polling — the former head of HP, Carly Fiorina.
While all seven of the so-called “lower tier” candidates handled themselves well and could be credited with respectable showings, it was Fiorina who dazzled the pundits and the people with her clear-eyed confidence and quick command of the issues. Analysts praised her performance after the 5 p.m. debate and social media was abuzz — some might say ablaze — with kudos for Carly. Read the rest of this entry »
“Cosby, seeing me asleep in the chaperone’s lap, had made it his business to ‘warn’ other shows that I wasn’t ‘suitable family entertainment,’ was probably a lesbian, and shouldn’t be on television.”
Ian penned a Facebook post this week, sharing her own story about her personal experience with Cosby.
“I have a personal stake,” she wrote, linking to the recent New York Magazine cover story in which 35 Cosby accusers told their stories. “No, I was not sexually bothered by Bill Cosby. We met because he was curious about me.”
She wrote that her story began when her hit, “Society’s Child,” dominated the charts when she was only sixteen years old. She then made an appearance on the variety show “The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour.” Due to months of being on the road and the controversy surrounding “Society’s Child,” Ian said she was exhausted at the show’s taping.
“I needed to sleep. So I fell asleep in my chaperone’s lap. She was earth motherly, I was scared. It was good to rest,” she wrote.
Shortly after the taping, Ian was informed that she had been blackballed from appearing on television. Read the rest of this entry »
Robotic Sports Will One Day Rival the NFL
Cody Brown writes: When I was 13, I watched a season of Battle Bots on Comedy Central then attempted to build a killer robot in my parent’s basement. You might think, oh, you were probably a weird kid (and you’d be right) but I think eventually this is behavior that will become normal for people all around the world. It’s had some moments in the spotlight but a bunch of factors make it seem like robotic sports is destined for primetime ESPN in the next five years.
1.) A drone flying through the forest looks incredible at 80 mph.
A new class of bot (FPV Quadcopter) has emerged in the past few years and the footage they produce is nuts. Robots can do things we’re fascinated by but can’t generally achieve without risking our own lives. Drones the size of a dinner plate can zoom through a forest like a 3 pound insect. A bot that shoots flames can blow up a rival in a plexiglass cage.
You can make an argument that the *thrill* of these moments is lightened if a person isn’t risking their own life and limb and this is true to a certain extent. NASCAR crashes are inherently dramatic but you don’t need to burn drivers to make fans scream.
Just look at the rise of e-sports. This League of Legends team sits in an air conditioned bubble and sips Red Bull while a sold out arena screams their lungs out. They’re not in any physical danger but 31 million fans are watching online.
The thing that ultimately matters is that the sport looks incredible on video and fans have a connection to the players. And right now, the video, in raw form, is mesmerizing.
2.) Robot parts have gotten cheaper, better and easier to buy.
When I was a kid, I was limited to things available at the local Radio Shack or hardware store. Now I can go to Amazon, find parts with amazing reviews and have them delivered to my house in a day. The hobby community has had many years to develop its technology and increase quality. Brands like Fat Shark, Spektrum, and adafruit have lead the way.
3.) Top colleges fight over teenagers who win robotics competitions.
If you’re good at building a robot, chances are you have a knack for engineering, math, physics, and a litany of other skills top colleges drool over. This is exciting for anyone (at any age) but it’s especially relevant for students and parents deciding what is worth their investment.
There are already some schools that offer scholarships for e-sports. I wouldn’t be surprised if intercollegiate leagues were some of the first to pop up with traction.
4.) The military wants to get better at making robots for the battlefield.
This one is a little f***ed but it’s worth acknowledging. Drones (of all sizes) are the primary technology changing the battlefield today. DARPA has an overwhelming interest to stay current and they’re already sponsoring multimillion dollar (more academic) robotics competitions. It’s up to the community to figure out how (or how not) to involve them. Them, meaning the giant military apparatus of the United States but also military organizations around the world who want to develop and recruit the people who will power their 21st century defense (and offense). Read the rest of this entry »
India: Journalist Jagendra Singh Set on Fire and Burned to Death After Facebook Post Making Allegations Against Local PoliticianPosted: June 10, 2015
Lizzie Dearden reports: A journalist has reportedly been burned alive in India after publishing allegations of corruption and land grabs against a local politician.
Mr Singh died of his injuries in hospital in the city of Lucknow yesterday after he was doused with petrol and set on fire. Jagendra Singh died on Monday after suffering severe burns
“There was a case against Jagendra Singh. We tried to arrest him but he committed suicide,” a spokesperson said, without specifying the allegations.
Mr Singh, who was married, ran a local online newspaper in the town and published short reports in Hindi on Facebook.
Amphioctopus marginatus, also known as the coconut octopus and veined octopus, is a medium-sized cephalopod belonging to the genus Amphioctopus. It is found in tropical waters of the western Pacific Ocean. It commonly preys upon shrimp, crabs, and clams, and displays unusual behavior including bipedal walking and tool use (gathering coconut shells and seashells and using these for shelter).
The main body of the octopus is typically 8 centimeters (3 in) long and including the arms, approximately 15 centimeters (6 in) long. The octopus displays a typical color pattern with dark ramified lines similar to veins, usually with a yellow siphon. The arms are usually dark in color, with contrasting white suckers. In many color displays, a lighter trapezoidal area can be seen immediately below the eye….(read more)
Carl R. Trueman writes: I spent the first half of last week at a seminar at an Ivy League divinity school, where a friend and I gave a presentation on ministry and media. I had resolved before speaking that I would refer early on in my presentation to the fact that I belong to a denomination which does not ordain women. My discussion of ministry would be incomplete if I didn’t mention this subject, though I knew my comment would draw fire at a seminar with ordained women present.
“If we no longer have a university system which models ways of civil engagement on such matters, then the kind of civic virtues upon which a healthy democracy depends are truly a thing of the past.”
Sure enough, one of the women ministers present challenged me with some vigor on my position. For a few minutes we exchanged trenchant but civil remarks on the subject.We each spoke our minds, neither persuaded the other, and then we moved on to the larger matter in hand: The use of modern media in the church. The matter of my opposition to women’s ordination never came up again in the remaining two days of the seminar.
Later that evening, a young research student commented to me that it was amazing to see such a trenchant but respectful disagreement on an issue that typically arouses visceral passions. He added that he and those of his generation had “no idea” (his phrase, if I recall) how such things should be done. Later in the week, my youngest son confirmed that he too had never seen civil disagreement on a matter of importance in the university classroom. This is an ominous, if fascinating, indictment, for I had simply done what I had seen modeled when I was an undergraduate: Vigorous disagreement in the classroom followed by friendly conversation in the pub. Read the rest of this entry »
Vacationers from the People’s Republic have acquired a reputation for being unruly at times, and have lately made global headlines by attacking flight attendants, fighting in airplane aisles and opening emergency doors in non-emergency situations
Colum Murphy reports: Here’s a new addition to China’s growing list of do’s and don’ts for citizens when traveling at home and abroad: don’t snap a selfie while sitting on the head of a Red Army warrior when visiting a place that considers itself a holy land of Maoist China.
“Are these people raised by monkeys? Whatever they see at scenic spots, trees or statues, they climb up for pictures.”
— Sina Weibo user Li Biyou
That’s exactly what 18-year-old Li Wenchun did on a recent visit to what’s known as a red tourism site —and now he’s paying the price.
The incident took place in the city of Yan’an, in northern Shaanxi province, famous in Communist Party history as the endpoint of the Long March. On its website, the government of Yan’an says the city “is reputed as a world-renowned holy land of Chinese revolution,” where “tourists are organized to learn knowledge of revolutionary history and attend theme activities for traditional revolutionary education and experience broadening.”
“What an ignorant man. Without the Red Army, how can you live a happy life?”
— Another Sina Weibo user
The only things Mr. Li widened were his legs. Photographs of him circulating on the Internet show him dressed in a black shirt and trousers and wearing red sneakers, striking a pose on the heroic head of a bronze statue of a female warrior.
As a result of this stunt, Mr. Li has become one of the first Chinese to be added to a blacklist that China’s national tourism authority said earlier this year it would introduce to discourage Chinese vacationers from misbehaving while traveling. Read the rest of this entry »