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Zorro

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Gender: Male
Hometown: America's Finest City
Current location: District 50
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 9,516

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Seven shot, gunman dead at University City apartment complex

Source: San Diego Union-Tribune

Seven adults were shot, one woman fatally, when a gunman who witnesses said never left his poolside chair opened fire on a birthday party at an University City apartment complex Sunday.

Police shot and killed the suspect, later identified as 49-year-old Peter Selis, a resident at the upscale La Jolla Crossroads complex on Judicial Drive near the Westfield UTC Shopping Center.

A 2015 bankruptcy filing stated that Selis, a father and a car mechanic at a Ford dealership in San Diego, faced crushing debt.

Authorities said the shooter, armed with a semi-automatic pistol, was white and all the victims were people of color — four black women, two black men and one Latino man. The woman killed was not identified.

Read more: http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/news/public-safety/sd-me-shooting-universitycity-20170430-story.html



Just another day in the USA.

U.S. appeals court blocks Anthem bid to merge with rival Cigna

A U.S. appeals court on Friday blocked health insurer Anthem Inc's (ANTM.N) bid to merge with Cigna (CI.N), upholding a lower court's decision that the $54 billion deal should not be allowed because it would lead to higher prices for healthcare.

The ruling will probably kill the proposed merger, which was opposed by the U.S. Justice Department, 11 states and a District Court judge after consumers, medical professionals and others objected to it. In the end, Cigna itself tried to back out.

Still, Anthem and Cigna have the option of trying to save the deal by asking the appeals court to re-consider the case or appealing straight to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Shares of Cigna closed Friday at $156.37, up 0.1 percent, while Anthem shares ended at $177.89, down 0.2 percent.

http://www.reuters.com/article/us-cigna-m-a-anthem-idUSKBN17U25A

Ecuadorian Officials Getting Sick Of Julian Assange Always Leaving Dirty Dishes All Over Embassy



LONDON—Adding to the already long list of grievances they had with their guest, officials at the Ecuadorian embassy reported Thursday that they were beginning to get really sick of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange always leaving his dirty dishes around the premises.

Sources said that Assange, whose presence has reportedly grown more and more disruptive since his arrival in 2012, has a habit of abandoning sauce-covered plates in random consular offices throughout the building. In addition, officials complained that Assange often blasts loud techno music during important calls with Quito, makes awkward conversation with visitors applying for visas, and loafs around conference rooms in his ratty, stained briefs while diplomats attempt to conduct meetings.

“Pretty much every day, I come into the kitchen and he’s burned a bunch of eggs on the pan, which he then just leaves on the stove,” said Ecuadorian ambassador Juan Falconí Puig, adding that while Assange typically lets weeks’ worth of bowls filled with milk residue and cereal-encrusted spoons pile up in the sink, they have also been discovered on windowsills, in the hallway outside his door, and, on one occasion, on top of a toilet tank. “He also leaves his takeout containers lying around everywhere, including the reception area, so people just get smacked by the odor of curry the minute they walk in.”

“And I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to pull clumps of stringy white hair out of the shower,” added Puig. “It’s, like, come on Julian. Other people use that shower too.”

http://www.theonion.com/article/ecuadorian-officials-starting-get-sick-julian-assa-55879

GOP candidate has financial ties to US-sanctioned Russian companies

Source: The Guardian

A Republican congressional candidate has financial ties to a number of Russian companies that have been sanctioned by the US, the Guardian has learned.

Greg Gianforte, who is the GOP standard bearer in the upcoming special election in Montana, owns just under $250,000 in shares in two index funds that are invested in the Russian economy to match its overall performance.

According to a financial disclosure filed with the clerk of the House of Representatives, the Montana tech mogul owns almost $150,000 worth of shares in VanEck Vectors Russia ETF and $92,400 in the IShares MSCF Russia ETF fund. Both are indexed to the Russian equities market and have significant holdings in companies such as Gazprom and Rosneft that came under US sanctions in the aftermath of the Russian invasion of the Crimea.

The holdings, while substantial, make up only a small portion of Gianforte’s wealth. The congressional candidate, who made a fortune starting a software company which was later sold to Oracle, has assets estimated to be worth between $65m and $315m, according to his financial disclosure.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/apr/28/greg-gianforte-republican-candidate-congress-russia-companies



It figures.

We just got our first glimpse of Elon Musk's new tunnel company

Elon Musk's tunnel boring company is coming to life.

A SpaceX employee posted a photo of the company's first tunnel boring machine on Thursday. The machine clearly displays the company's logo: The Boring Company. The post has since be removed.

The SpaceX and Tesla CEO first floated the idea of launching a tunnel boring company in December when he was stuck in Los Angeles traffic.

Musk began digging a "demo tunnel" in the SpaceX parking lot in February that can accommodate cars and serve as the basis for an underground transportation network, Bloomberg reported at the time. Musk doesn't need permits to dig on SpaceX's campus, but will need to acquire permits with the city of Los Angeles to extend the tunnel beyond the property line.

http://www.businessinsider.com/elon-musk-launches-boring-company-to-dig-tunnels-2017-4

Tunnel boring companies beware!

North Korea Successfully Detonates Nuclear Scientist



PYONGYANG—Hailing it as a significant step forward for their ballistic weapons program just hours after suffering a failed missile launch, North Korean leaders announced Monday they had successfully detonated a nuclear scientist.

“It was with great satisfaction this morning that I witnessed the detonation of a 156-pound nuclear scientist,” Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un said in a recorded statement, which appears to corroborate U.S. intelligence reports that a 0.7-magnitude tremor and large explosion had been detected at a bunker outside the city of Kusong at 9:42 a.m. local time, marking the nation’s first detonation of a major scientist since the days following a catastrophic rocket malfunction in 2012.

“With this glorious achievement, our laboratories have begun to move much faster toward completing our goal of building an indomitable nuclear arsenal capable of annihilating all cowardly Western aggressors. We are prepared to detonate multiple scientists every month as a demonstration of our might and determination.”

Intelligence analysts have reportedly warned top American officials to take Kim at his word, noting that the North Korean regime has already built up a stockpile of nuclear scientists’ family members it is prepared to detonate at a moment’s notice.

http://www.theonion.com/article/north-korea-successfully-detonates-nuclear-scienti-55783

Federal prosecutors seek two-year prison term for convicted former Sheriff Lee Baca

Federal prosecutors will seek to put former Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca in prison for two years when he is sentenced next month for obstructing a probe into abuses at county jails, according to court documents.

In an 11-page document filed Monday, federal prosecutors said they took Baca’s age and the fact that he is suffering from Alzheimer’s disease into account when recommending the sentence. If not for his condition, prosecutors wrote, Baca should have faced up to four years and three months in prison.

“Defendant’s age and cognitive condition call for a below-Guideline sentence because the interests of justice will not be served by defendant spending many years behind bars in a severely impaired state,” the document read.

Baca, 74, was convicted in March of obstruction of justice, conspiracy and making false statements to federal investigators in connection with a 2011 federal review of abuses inside the county’s jail system.

http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-lee-baca-sentencing-motions-20170426-story.html

This one unbelievably expensive Iowa patient makes the case for single-payer healthcare

Back in mid-2016, Iowa customers of Wellmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, the dominant company in the state’s individual insurance market, got a shock: Premium increases of 38% to 43% were in store for many of them for this year.

Three weeks ago they got a bigger shock: Wellmark was pulling out of Iowa’s individual market entirely, leaving the state with one company selling individual policies. Wellmark placed some of the blame on congressional Republicans’ failure to come up with a coherent repeal plan for the Affordable Care Act, leaving plans for 2018 in legislative limbo. With Wellmark’s departure, Iowa’s individual market may be down to a single insurer next year.

But Iowa has another problem that appears to be unique for a state its size: one single state resident whose care costs $1 million a month. That’s enough to all but destroy an individual insurance market that comprises about 30,000 customers. Indeed, that one patient’s care, according to Wellmark, was responsible for 10 percentage points of the 43% premium increase this year.

The patient has not been identified; nor has his or her medical condition, beyond a statement by Wellmark that he or she suffers from a complicated and severe genetic disorder. Speculation in the healthcare industry about the reasons for the expense focuses on the cost of the patient’s medications.

http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-hiltzik-iowa-20170424-story.html

AT&T's rollout of broadband serves the rich, shunts mid- and low-income families to the slow lane

The argument that the private sector can do things better, faster and cheaper than government never seems to go out of style.

But a new report on AT&T’s strategy for rolling out high-speed Internet service in California underscores what may be the biggest flaw in that argument: When critical infrastructure construction is left entirely to private companies, much of the public gets shortchanged.

The report, released Tuesday by UC Berkeley’s Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, shows how AT&T, the largest telecommunications carrier in the U.S. and California, favored the wealthiest communities in rolling out its Internet service. The median income of households with access to AT&T’s fastest fiber-to-the-home service was $94,208 as of last June. That was some 50% higher than the statewide median income of about $61,800 (as of 2015).

What is really essential infrastructure for connecting people ... should be rolled out in the public interest and in an equitable way.
The median income of communities offered at best AT&T’s slower U-verse fiber-to-the-neighborhood broadband service was about $67,000. And among communities with access to no better than AT&T’s slow DSL service, the median income was only $53,186 — below the median income of the entire state.

http://www.latimes.com/business/hiltzik/la-fi-hiltzik-att-fiber-20170425-story.html

Two die in Venezuela protests

Source: AFP

Two people were killed in Venezuela on Monday in renewed violence, raising the death toll in three weeks of massive demonstrations against leftwing President Nicolas Maduro to 23, officials said.

Several others were seriously injured and "between life and death," said public defender Tarek William Saab.

The latest casualties come on a day anti-Maduro demonstrators blocked major roads in the South American nation.

Two government trucks in eastern Caracas were set alight on a freeway by masked protesters who poured oil on the road. Police nearby did not immediately intervene, AFP journalists saw.

Read more: https://www.yahoo.com/news/venezuela-protesters-vow-block-roadways-161425835.html
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