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Member since: Fri Jul 1, 2016, 03:42 PM
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Nurse arrested in sex assault of woman in vegetative state who gave birth at nursing home

A nurse has been arrested in the sexual assault of an incapacitated woman who gave birth at a Phoenix nursing facility, Arizona police said Wednesday. Nathan Sutherland, 36, was a licensed practical nurse at Hacienda Skilled Nursing Facility, where the woman gave birth. The female patient had been in a vegetative state facility for at least 14 years after a near-drowning incident.

She stunned workers when she went into labor on Dec. 29 because they didn't know she was pregnant. Police obtained a DNA sample from Sutherland on Tuesday. He was not working at the time. He was responsible for caring for the victim and had access to her at the time of the incident.

On Jan. 22, authorities determined that Sutherland's DNA matched the baby's and he was detained. He was booked in the Maricopa County Jail on one count of vulnerable adult abuse and one count of sexual assault. Sutherland, wearing a T-shirt, black athletic pants and jacket, appeared in court Wednesday. A Maricopa County Superior Court commissioner ordered him released on a cash-only $500,000 bond. He also must wear an electronic monitoring device.

Nursing facility staff has said that none of them knew the woman was pregnant until she started giving birth.


Maduro says Venezuela is breaking relations with US, gives American diplomats 72 hours to leave

Source: CNBC

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said on Wednesday he was breaking diplomatic relations with the United States, after the Trump administration recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as the South American country's interim president.

Speaking to supporters outside the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, socialist leader Maduro said he would give U.S. diplomatic personnel 72 hours to leave Venezuela, which is suffering from a hyperinflationary economic collapse.

Earlier Wednesday, the Trump administration ratcheted up pressure on Maduro on Wednesday, announcing U.S. recognition of Guaido as interim president and signaling potential new sanctions against its vital oil sector.

With street protests against Maduro underway across Venezuela, Trump said the United States recognized Guaido, head of the opposition-controlled Congress, as the country's leader and called socialist Maduro's government "illegitimate."

Read more: https://www.cnbc.com/2019/01/23/venezuela-president-maduro-breaks-relations-with-us-gives-american-diplomats-72-hours-to-leave-country.html

FBI Field Offices Collect Food Donations for Unpaid Employees

Thomas O’Connor, the FBI special agent who is volunteer president of the FBI Agents Association, said on Tuesday that it’s not normal for him to be sitting in front of news cameras.

But nor is it “normal” for chunks of the government to be shut down so that the group’s nearly 14,000 members, among others, are not collecting paychecks.

So the association took the rare step of collecting anonymous, volunteer statements from special agents nationwide documenting the harms that the funding freeze have inflicted on investigations, travel, training, payments to confidential sources and employee benefits.

This Friday will mean more than “30 days without pay, which is not sustainable,” O’Connor told reporters. “It’s sad” and “disgusting” that the bureau’s law enforcement professionals “have been let down by our elected officials.” He described how his wife—also a special agent and his boss—worked with her Virginia book club to collect and deliver a truckload of food to “FBI family” at a field office, which is happening all across the country. “I never thought I would say this” about the federal government, O’Connor said.

The majority of FBI employees remain on the job, though without pay. And following a petition presented on Jan. 10 to the White House and congressional leaders demanding immediate funding for the bureau, the group’s new report–titled “Voices from the Field: FBI Agent Accounts of the Real Consequences of the Government Shutdown”—will go to all lawmakers.

It quotes regional agents lamenting in detail that O’Connor called “vivid and troubling” of how, for example, local crime victims working with the FBI do not receive the usual counseling. Witnesses planned for court proceedings are “not getting the fees and per diems, though the criminal trials will go forward,” O’Connor said. And in one division, “we don’t have a single Spanish-speaking” staffer available, so for a violent crime case, in which 13 from the infamous MS-13 gang have been indicted, the FBI has to interview using a three-way phone connection.

As they did in the group’s petition, the leaders of the 14,000-member association stressed that the shutdown and absent paychecks put agents’ security clearances at risk. “Every family in the FBI has mortgages, car payments and bills at the end of the month—try doing that without a paycheck,” O’Connor said. It’s especially tough on the newer employees, he said.

The skipped paydays also harm recruiting and shrink hiring pools to “sub-par” candidates, he said. In fact, members of the most recent graduating class from the FBI’s training academy at Quantico, Va., since Dec. 21 have not received paychecks, after having “left other jobs and … their families at home.”

Vision and dental health benefits are now frozen because of furloughed support staff, O’Connor added, and retirees, some of whom spent 20 years “risking their lives for the government” face delays in their first retirement checks—with no ability to use the typical leftover annual leave as paid days during the shutdown. He declined to answer questions about the politics of the shutdown, citing the group’s nonpartisan mission and his stance of speaking as a volunteer, not on behalf of the bureau.


California's housing market is a nightmare if you're not rich

What's the end game to all this? Is this state eventually going to be just one massive dystopia between the ultra rich living in their gated HOAs and the ultra poor? Even here in the Central Valley where I can only afford to live in the housing market is being driven up into 6 figure sums for the crappiest houses!

Saudi teen granted asylum in Canada says she's one of the lucky women who escaped

(CNN)The Saudi teenager who fled her family and was granted asylum in Canada said Tuesday that she was fortunate to have escaped. But many other young women in Saudi Arabia like her are not able to get away and take control of their lives, Rahaf Mohammed, 18, said at a press conference Tuesday.

"I am one of the lucky ones. I know there are unlucky women who disappeared after trying to escape, or who could not do anything to change their reality," she said. "I was not treated respectfully by my family, and I was not allowed to be myself and who I want to be," she added. "As you know, in Saudi Arabia, this is the case for all Saudi women except for those fortunate enough to have understanding parents. They can't be independent, and they need approval from their male guardian. Any woman who thinks of escaping or escaped will be at risk of persecution."

Mohammed is one of a number of Saudi women who have fled the country and its laws restricting women's rights. Saudi Arabia's guardianship laws govern many aspects of women's lives, and they may not marry, divorce, get a job, have elective surgery or travel without permission of their male guardians. On Tuesday, Mohammed spoke about her ordeal in Arabic, and a staffer from COSTI Immigrant Services delivered the English translation. She said she wanted to carve her own path in life.

"I want to be independent, travel, make my own decisions on education, a career, or who and when I should marry. I had no say in any of this. Today, I can proudly say that I am capable of making all of those decisions," she said.


California PG&E bankruptcy looms, CEO to exit as fire costs dwarf cash

PG&E Corp. said it will file for bankruptcy in California after the cost of wildfires left it with potential liabilities of $30 billion or more, gutting its share price and prompting the departure of its chief executive officer. The San Francisco-based company said it intends to reorganize under Chapter 11 of the U.S. bankruptcy code on or about Jan. 29 after giving the required 15-day notice to employees, according to a filing at the Securities and Exchange Commission Monday. On Sunday, the company started searching for a new leader after Geisha Williams, 57, resigned as chief executive officer. General counsel John Simon will take the helm in the meantime. The departure of Williams, who took over as CEO in March 2017, follows a catastrophic three months for PG&E.

The company has seen two-thirds of its market value wiped out since the deadliest wildfire in California's history, called the Camp Fire, began in November. Its debt has been downgraded to junk, and state regulators have called for a management shakeup. Investigators are probing whether the power giant's equipment ignited that fire, along with blazes in 2017 that devastated Northern California's wine country. More than 100 people died in the fires. The costs "could exceed $30 billion," according to the company's filing.

That would dwarf the $1.5 billion in cash and cash equivalents on hand as of Friday. The board concluded a Chapter 11 reorganization "is ultimately the only viable option to restore PG&E's financial stability," according to the filing. Shares of PG&E fell 47 percent to $9.28 at 12:38 p.m. in New York, the most intraday since January 2001. The company's most active bonds fell more than 4 percent to 84.25 cents on the dollar. The bonds are the most actively traded this morning across all ratings, according to Trace.

The company's deepening financial crisis has forced California regulators and policy makers to consider a bailout package. The utility said bankruptcy was the best way forward for employees and those who are claiming losses from wildfires that may have been caused by its power lines. California's new governor, Gavin Newsom, said in a statement Monday that his administration has been in constant contact wiPG&E, labor unions and regulators. "Everyone's immediate focus is, rightfully, on ensuring Californians have continuous, reliable and safe electric and gas service," he said.


Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and wife MacKenzie to divorce after 25 years of marriage

Source: USA Today

Amazon CEO and founder Jeff Bezos says that he and his wife MacKenzie are divorcing after 25 years of marriage. "We want to make people aware of a development in our lives," the couple said in a post on Bezos' Twitter account Wednesday. "As our family and close friends know, after a long period of loving exploration and trial separation, we have decided to divorce and continue our shared lives as friends."

The carefully worded announcement suggests a cordial divorce and one that is unlikely to disrupt or affect Amazon, currently the world's most valuable company, at $810 billion just ahead of Microsoft ($789 billion), according to S&P Global Market Intelligence. It's unclear whether the couple had a prenuptial agreement. But that is unlikely, says Stuart Slotnick, chairman of the matrimonial department of law firm Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney in New York City.

"People get prenuptial agreements when they have assets to protect," Slotnick said. "In this case, they had no real assets vis à vis Amazon because when they got married Amazon did not exist."

That doesn't mean the separating couple have not come to an arrangement, he says. In fact, the statement issued by them both "devoid of emotion," Slotnick said, likely suggests "they might already have an agreement … (and) be done essentially." Whatever the agreement, it's unlikely to disrupt Amazon's operations, as that would be counterproductive to an amicable separation, he said. "There would be no reason that the company would be affected by this divorce," Slotnick said.

Read more: https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2019/01/09/amazon-ceo-jeff-bezos-wife-mackenzie-divorce-after-25-years/2523544002/

The impact homelessness and the opioid crisis are having on San Francisco streets

San Francisco (CNN)Outside the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in downtown San Francisco, a woman urinates on the sidewalk and smokes a crack pipe. Inside her purse are about a dozen used heroin needles. She shoots heroin up to 10 times per day, she says.
About 50 yards away, a man injects another woman in the neck with a needle. She puts her thumb in her mouth and blows on it to make her vein more visible. Her right arm is caked with dried blood.

This San Francisco neighborhood is home to the headquarters of Uber, Twitter and Salesforce. But stroll around here, and you're also likely to find used drug paraphernalia, trash, and human excrement on the sidewalks, and people lying in various states of consciousness. Public drug usage and homelessness are not new problems for the city of San Francisco. But residents say the situation has gotten worse in recent years. As of October, 7,500 complaints about discarded needles have been made this year, compared with 6,363 last year. In 2015, the number was less than 3,000.


Adam Mesnick, a restaurateur who lives and works in the South of Market (SoMa) neighborhood, started posting daily photos and videos of people using drugs in public, urinating near his restaurant, or lying passed out on the sidewalk.
Over the past five or six years, Mesnick says, visible homelessness and drug use on the streets have seemed to spread from areas of San Francisco where they were once concentrated, like the Tenderloin.

"It's like third world squalor," Mesnick said. "I'm a small business (owner) trying to exist, and basically surrounded by decay that continues to get worse and worse and worse." Others fear that the situation will impact tourism. "If we can't find a solution to this problem," said Joe D'Alessandro, CEO of the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau, "it will tarnish the city's brand."


With no bathrooms open, Yosemite visitors have created a health hazard by pooping on roads

Source: sfgate

Yosemite has closed several popular areas due to a rather disgusting public-health reason: There's human feces and urine on the roads.

Visitors to Yosemite National Park have taken to depositing their waste on the side of the park's busy roads, as the park's restrooms and visitor centers remain closed due to the partial federal government shutdown.

The park itself has remained open since the shutdown began on Dec. 22, but without trash collection and a private place on-site to pass waste, roads have become blocked in more ways than one, the Los Angeles Times reported.

"With restrooms closed, some visitors are opting to deposit their waste in natural areas adjacent to high traffic areas, which creates a health hazard for other visitors," National Parks Service spokesman Andrew Munoz said in an email to the Times.

Read more: https://www.sfgate.com/outdoors/article/yosemite-bathrooms-open-gov-shutdown-park-closed-13500390.php

Anti-Macron demonstrators set ablaze Paris and shroud in thick smoke iconic Eiffel Tower

Source: express

What has been dubbed the “seventh act” of the yellow vest protesters ended in violence, plunging the French capital into chaos once again. Shocking pictures show the iconic tower shrouded in smoke and vehicles engulfed in flames, with firefighter battling the blaze to put it off. Hundreds of yellow vest demonstrators, who have been named after the fluorescent jackets French motorists must have in their car, marched through the streets of France’s major cities for the seventh time yesterday since the anti-Macron movement started in mid-November.

The turnout was noticeably lower than at previous marches but Paris, Marseille and Rouen became theatres of destruction and clashes between the riot police and citizens. Police used water cannon and tear gas against the crowd and arrested dozens of people. They conducted searches on many of those wearing the now iconic yellow vests.

But yellow vests kept re-grouping after every clash. Several hundred people in Paris marched outside the offices of broadcasters France Televisions and BFM TV shouting “fake news” and accusing journalists of being “collaborators” of the French Government. And across the country, people wearing yellow vests called for the resignation of French President Emmanuel Macron.

The ongoing protests, which started on November 17, are the result of discontent across France over the rising cost of living. They were triggered by a fuel tax hike, set to take place in January 2019. But despite Mr Macron now caving in and cancelling the fuel tax increase, protesters keep gathering to push for a new leader at the Elysee.

Read more: https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1065154/french-riots-yellow-vest-protest-eiffel-tower-pictures-emmanuel-macron-news
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