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STUDY: Half of Jailed NYC Youths Have Brain Injury

Source: Associated Press


— Apr. 18, 2014 3:14 PM EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — About half of all 16- to 18-year-olds coming into New York City's jails say they had a traumatic brain injury before being incarcerated, most caused by assaults, according to a new study that's the latest in a growing body of research documenting head trauma among young offenders.

Experts say the findings, published this week in The Journal of Adolescent Health, could lead to better training for correction officers on how to deal with the possible symptoms of such trauma, which include problems with impulse control and decision-making.

"You need to train the correction officers to understand brain injuries so that when somebody may be acting rude or answering back or forgetting what they're supposed to do, it's not a sign of maladaptive misbehavior or disrespect, it's a sign of a brain injury," said Wayne Gordon, a brain injury expert at New York's Mount Sinai Hospital.

The peer-reviewed study was based on medical brain injury questionnaires given to 300 boys and 84 girls inside the nation's second-largest jail system in 2012.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/study-half-jailed-nyc-youths-have-brain-injury

Novelist Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, Dies at 87

Source: Associated Press

@AP: BREAKING: Source close to family says Nobel laureate novelist Gabriel Garcia Marquez has died.

Garcia Marquez, Nobel laureate, dies at 87

By E. EDUARDO CASTILLO and FRANK BAJAK, Associated Press | April 17, 2014

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Gabriel Garcia Marquez, the Nobel laureate whose novels and short stories exposed tens of millions of readers to Latin America's passion, superstition, violence and inequality, died at home in Mexico City around midday, according to people close to his family. He was 87.

Read more: http://www.chron.com/news/world/article/Garcia-Marquez-Nobel-laureate-dies-at-87-5410863.php

BREAKING: Obamacare Sign-Ups Hit 8 Million in Remarkable Turnaround

Source: NBC News / Huffington Post

@BreakingNews: President Obama says Obamacare enrollment hits 8 million; 35% of those enrolled are under age of 35 - live video http://t.co/kZG2N7vh1U

Obamacare Sign-Ups Hit 8 Million In Remarkable Turnaround

Jeffrey Young

04/17/14 03:54 PM ET

In a remarkable rebound from the botched rollout of Obamacare, 8 million people signed up for private health insurance via the exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act since October, President Barack Obama announced during a press briefing at the White House Thursday.

March and April saw an uptick in the share of young people signing up for private plans using the exchanges. These people, who are presumably healthier, are needed to balance out the medical costs of older, sicker consumers. About 35 percent of people who signed up throughout the open enrollment period were under 35 years old, including children, Obama said. Twenty-eight percent were between the ages of 18 and 34, according to a White House fact sheet.

The official six-month enrollment period ended March 31, but the federal government and most states accommodated people trying to complete applications in April amid a last-minute surge for subsidized private coverage and Medicaid benefits.

"This law is working," Obama said. "This law won't solve all the problems in our health care system. We know we've got more work to do, but we now know for a fact that repealing the Affordable Care Act would increase the deficit, raise premiums for millions of Americans, and take insurance away from millions more."

Read more: http://www.huffpost.com/us/entry/5167080

G. W. Bush Debuts New Paintings Of Dogs, Friends, Ghost Of Iraqi Child That Follows Him Everywhere


President Bush has a new hobby -- painting! -- and he’s showing off some new watercolors of the undead Iraqi boy who lives in his nightmares.

Spanish Court Refuses to Close Guantánamo Torture Investigation

Source: CCR

Spanish Court Refuses to Close Guantánamo Torture Investigation

International Treaties Take Precedence over Recent Domestic Reforms to Universal Jurisdiction Law, Says Judge Pablo Ruz


April 16, 2014, New York – Spain’s Audiencia Nacional is continuing its investigation into the alleged torture of men formerly detained at Guantánamo prison by U.S. officials, despite recent legislative restrictions stating that Spanish courts can only investigate human rights violations committed abroad if the suspects are present in Spain. In an order issued yesterday, Judge Pablo Ruz ruled that Spain’s obligations under international law to investigate any credible allegation of torture took precedence over the new restrictions, and renewed his request for information from the Obama Administration regarding any U.S.-based investigations into torture allegations.

“We are gratified that the judge rightly placed the demands of the law above any political pressures, in ruling that this effort to hold high-level U.S. officials accountable for their role in the torture of men at Guantánamo prison and other sites can proceed,” said Katherine Gallagher, Senior Staff Attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights. “The court is sending a strong message to the Spanish and U.S. governments that it will uphold its international commitments under the Convention Against Torture to punish and redress torture regardless of who the alleged perpetrator is.”

The reforms to Spain’s universal jurisdiction law came after a judge in the same court issued arrest warrants for five top Chinese government officials alleging they were responsible for genocide and abuses in Tibet in the 1980s and 1990s. Spain’s Popular Party (PP) fast-tracked legislation restricting the court’s ability to take on such cases, in an apparent bow to external political pressure and against the strong opposition of human rights advocates. The new restrictions, which went into effect last month, have triggered a flurry of filings followed by decisions from different judges seized with investigations of torture or war crimes committed outside Spain. Thus far, judges have refused to close on-going investigations, including cases involving violations committed in Western Sahara, El Salvador, and the killing of a Spanish journalist in Iraq.

“The Spanish government introduced a law reform contradicting its obligations under international law. We welcome the decision by Judge Ruz to continue the investigations on Guantánamo. Violations of the absolute prohibition of torture must be prosecuted,” said Andreas Schueller of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR).

Read more: http://www.ccrjustice.org/newsroom/press-releases/spanish-court-refuses-close-guantánamo-torture-investigation

TOM TOMORROW: The Mysterious Disappearance

DAILY KOS LINK: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/04/14/1291317/-Cartoon-The-mysterious-disappearance

Stephen Colbert to Replace David Letterman on 'Late Show'

Source: CBS News

Stephen Colbert to replace David Letterman on "Late Show"

Apr 10, 2014 12:06 PM EDT

CBS didn't waste too much time finding a new host for the "Late Show." Exactly a week after David Letterman announced his plans to retire, his replacement has been named.

Stephen Colbert, the host, writer and executive producer of "The Colbert Report," will succeed Letterman.

"Stephen Colbert is one of the most inventive and respected forces on television," CBS Chairman and CEO Les Moonves said in a statement Thursday. "David Letterman's legacy and accomplishments are an incredible source of pride for all of us here, and today's announcement speaks to our commitment of upholding what he established for CBS in late night."

Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/news/stephen-colbert-to-replace-david-letterman-on-late-show/

TX Special Prosecutors: O'Keefe Video 'A Canard and Political Disinformation' (Complaint Dismissed)

Source: Media Matters

Texas Special Prosecutors: James O'Keefe Video "A Canard And Political Disinformation"

14 minutes ago ››› BEN DIMIERO

A Texas judge dismissed a complaint based on claims from a video produced by conservative fabulist James O'Keefe after special prosecutors ripped the video as "little more than a canard and political disinformation."

In February, O'Keefe and his Project Veritas group released a video investigation of progressive organization Battleground Texas. In the video, O'Keefe accuses the group, which he labels "the new ACORN," of using "potentially illegal methods to change elections." The allegation hinged on O'Keefe repeatedly pointing to a part of the Texas Election Code, which states that "the registrar may not transcribe, copy, or otherwise record a telephone number furnished on a registration application."

- snip -

According to the prosecutors, the language about copying telephone numbers from registration applications "applies only to the official county registrar, not to a volunteer deputy registrar." Further, they conclude that "three recent attorney general opinions hold that one's telephone number on a voter registration is not confidential information."

After labeling the Veritas video "little more than a canard and political disinformation," the prosecutors recommend that the complaint "be dismissed for insufficient evidence and failure to state an offense." San Antonio Judge Raymond Angelini subsequently signed an order dismissing the complaint.

Read more: http://mediamatters.org/mobile/blog/2014/04/07/texas-special-prosecutors-james-okeefe-video-a/198786

"5 Terrible Things I Learned As a Corporate Whistleblower"


5 Terrible Things I Learned as a Corporate Whistleblower

By: Robert Evans, Linda Almonte
April 07, 2014 149,118 views

On November 30, 2009, Linda Almonte was escorted out of her office by security. (We know -- no big deal, it happens to you every time you slip needles into the NERF darts. Stupid nanny state.) The difference here is that Almonte did nothing wrong: She was an executive with JP Morgan Chase, and her only mistake was doing her job and blowing the whistle on her lawbreaking boss. For the last five years, her life has been a morass of lawsuits and private detectives. Here's what we learned:
The following article is based on a Cracked interview with Linda Almonte.

- snip -

4. Even if They're in the Wrong, They'll Still Hold You Accountable for Everything

JP Morgan wanted to sell a quarter of a billion dollars' worth of debt to a debt buyer. I looked into it just a little and realized that most of these people had settled their debts, or their cases were dismissed by courts, or balances were outdated or inflated, and so on. This doesn't mean we'd have been screwing over the collections agencies, though. They didn't care if the debt info we gave them was out of date or incorrect, because the bank is in the clear either way: When they sell your personal information, they put "as is" at the top of the contract like it's the windshield of a crappy used car.

- snip -

3. They Will Hunt You to the Ends of the Earth

In the first few weeks after the shitstorm broke, I was on the front page of the New York Times. In October of 2010, my house was transformed into a 60 Minutes set. It was a whirlwind of media that still hasn't stopped. The family really enjoyed our time working with 60 Minutes. We enjoyed the ensuing constant life-ruining surveillance substantially less.

- snip -

You get used to that kind of heavy surveillance, but you shouldn't. My elementary school-age daughter was leaving school one day and a teacher overheard her saying to one of her friends, "Oh God, I hope that van doesn't follow me home today." Being a responsible human adult, that teacher flipped out. I was in New York for a meeting and got a call -- but she was no longer concerned about the van. No, my daughter had very matter-of-factly explained that it was just Chase tailing her home and it was no big deal. The teacher found that terrifying: No 11-year-old's reaction to a freaking black van tailing her should be blase acceptance.


Supreme Court Declines to Hear (Early) Constitutional Challenge to NSA Bulk Collection

Source: NBC News / AP

@BreakingNews: Supreme Court declines to hear constitutional challenge to the NSA's bulk collection of millions of Americans' telephone records - @AP


Apr. 7, 2014 9:53 AM EDT

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court has declined an early look at a constitutional challenge to the National Security Agency's bulk collection of millions of Americans' telephone records.

Conservative lawyer Larry Klayman persuaded a federal judge in December to rule that the agency's activities likely violate the Constitution's ban on unreasonable searches. The justices on Monday rejected Klayman's unusual request to bypass the traditional appeals process and hear the case immediately.

Klayman says the case is too important to wait for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to reach a decision. The district court judge granted an injunction against the NSA, but put it on hold pending a government appeal.

The Obama administration has defended the NSA program as a crucial tool against terrorism.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/court-rejects-early-appeal-surveillance-ruling
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