United States

A newspaper slips up – reports Charter School success

The PPTA’s embedded education reporter will be apoplectic about this slipping through.

The school ” badly flooded and facing closure ” fought to stay open as a new charter school and was in the process of reopening when Bush came. When Warren Easton reopened in 2006, nearly every student who attended was considered “homeless” because they lived in trailers sent to hurricane victims by the Federal Emergency Management Agency or slept on couches, school officials said.

Back then, Bush talked about the need for school reforms. His speech was a nod to the city’s efforts to expand charter schools to break up what was widely seen as a failing neighborhood school model. The old public school system was riddled with broken buildings, failing grades and pervasive corruption.   Read more »

The Great Wall of Trump

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Donald Trump says he will build a wall on the US-Mexico border:

Presidential Candidate Donald Trump spoke with Fox Business’ Maria Bartiromo and discussed the wall he wants to build between the U.S.and Mexico. Trump compared his wall to the Great Wall of China.

“As you know, I know how to build. I know how to get it done. We’ll have a great wall. We’ll call it the ‘Great Wall of Trump,'” Trump said, later adding that he was only being “facetious.”    Read more »

Hillary lied, and people died

Hillary Clinton

Hillary Clinton is the presumptive presidential nominee for the Democrat party, but despite the polls she faces a few problems. Not the least of which is the discovery that she lied about her emails and whether or not they stored top secret information.

Government investigators said Friday that they had discovered classified information on the private email account that Hillary Rodham Clinton used while secretary of state, stating unequivocally that those secrets never should have been stored outside of secure government computer systems.

Mrs. Clinton has said for months that she kept no classified information on the private server that she set up in her house so she would not have to carry both a personal phone and a work phone. Her campaign said Friday that any government secrets found on the server had been classified after the fact.

But the inspectors general of the State Department and the nation’s intelligence agencies said the information they found was classified when it was sent and remains so now. Information is considered classified if its disclosure would likely harm national security, and such information can be sent or stored only on computer networks with special safeguards.    Read more »

This is how stupid McCully was in doing a deal with Iran

How stupid was Murray McCully in facilitating, owning – and worse – crowing about his involvement in doing a deal that will see Iran re-armed and fuelling hate in the Middle East?

This stupid.

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Meh, you can buy an expert to agree with you in the US

The Otago Daily Time reports breathlessly:

A group of prominent US legal experts has supported internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom and Megaupload’s appeal against a decision to seize millions of dollars in assets, labelling the move a “dangerous” violation of due process rights.

The United States Government earlier this year won a civil forfeiture case against Megaupload and its founder, Mr Dotcom, who they argued was a fugitive.

As a result, the online mogul has lost an estimated $67 million worth of assets to the US including millions in cash, property, luxury cars, jet skis, large screen televisions and art.

Mr Dotcom has appealed against the decision, claiming a violation of basic rights and due process.   Read more »

Daily Roundup

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Really? That is some power chucking if true.  Read more »

FBI says they foiled planned July 4 attacks

The head of the FBI has announced that they foiled several Islamic terror attacks on the US that were timed for July 4.

U.S. officials stopped Islamic extremist-inspired attempts to kill Americans around the July 4 holiday, FBI Director James Comey said on Thursday.

Over the past four weeks, more than 10 people inspired by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) have been arrested by U.S. authorities, Comey told multiple news outlets, some of which were focused on the Independence Day holiday.

“I do believe we disrupted efforts to kill people in connection to the Fourth,” Comey said, according to CBS.

“Some of them were focused on the Fourth of July, and that’s as specific as I can get,” he added, according to NBC.    Read more »

Guns save lives as a former CNN anchor just found out

Lynne Russell, a former CNN anchor, has just discovered that guns can save lives…her own.

She writes at FoxNews about her recent experience:

The United States of America is a great country. You can debate absolutely anything, whether or not it has merit, and whether or not it’s any of your business.

But guns? There’s nothing to debate. Throw out all the numbers and expert opinions. I’ve got your expert right here, and it’s called EXPERIENCE.

Just before midnight June 30th, my husband, Chuck de Caro, and I and our Weimaraner were four days into an all-American, cross-country road trip. We’d just dined with a friend in Albuquerque and intended to hit historic Route 66, then stop for the night.

Realizing it was late and Route 66 is no fun in the dark, we stopped at a pet-friendly Motel 6. Chuck showered; I went to the car for dog food.

The armed guard patrolling the second floor was engrossed in a phone conversation, instead of checking the parking lot.

I unlocked our door, picked up the food I’d placed at my feet and was assaulted by a jackass with a big, silver semi-automatic weapon.

He shoved me into the room. I was airborne and landed on the bed. He shut the door and stood behind it, gun on me, debating his next move.

He didn’t expect Chuck to open the bathroom door. My husband  (Air Force Academy, U.S. Army Special Forces), said “What’s going on here?” and advanced into the room. Stark naked and dripping wet, he maneuvered himself in front of the small table between the beds, concealing two small .380 legal handguns we’d brought in from the car.

I moved around, we spoke to the assailant, kept him busy, offered him things, kept him from focusing. We felt he’d shoot when he’d gotten what he wanted. He was comfortable with the situation, had been there before.   Read more »

Can we learn from Colorado on teen pregnancy?

Colorado has made astonishing in-roads into dealing with teen pregnancy.

Over the past six years, Colorado has conducted one of the largest ever real-life experiments with long-acting birth control. If teenagers and poor women were offered free intrauterine devices and implants that prevent pregnancy for years, state officials asked, would those women choose them?

They did in a big way, and the results were startling. The birthrate for teenagers across the state plunged by 40 percent from 2009 to 2013, while their rate of abortions fell by 42 percent, according to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. There was a similar decline in births for another group particularly vulnerable to unplanned pregnancies: unmarried women under 25 who have not finished high school.

“Our demographer came into my office with a chart and said, ‘Greta, look at this, we’ve never seen this before,’ ” said Greta Klingler, the family planning supervisor for the public health department. “The numbers were plummeting.”

The changes were particularly pronounced in the poorest areas of the state, places like Walsenburg, a small city in Southern Colorado where jobs are scarce and unplanned births come often to the young. Hope Martinez, a 20-year-old nursing home receptionist here, recently had a small rod implanted under the skin of her upper arm to prevent pregnancy for three years. She has big plans — to marry, to move West, and to become a dental hygienist.

“I don’t want any babies for a while,” she said.

More young women are making that choice. In 2009, half of all first births to women in the poorest areas of the state happened before they turned 21. By 2014, half of first births did not occur until they had turned 24, a difference that advocates say gives young women time to finish their educations and to gain a foothold in an increasingly competitive job market.

“If we want to reduce poverty, one of the simplest, fastest and cheapest things we could do would be to make sure that as few people as possible become parents before they actually want to,” said Isabel Sawhill, an economist at the Brookings Institution. She argues in her 2014 book, “Generation Unbound: Drifting Into Sex and Parenthood Without Marriage,” that single parenthood is a principal driver of inequality and long-acting birth control a powerful tool to prevent it.

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A good play from the Seppos, sowing fear into Al Qaeda’s ranks

With recent drone strikes hitting top al Qaeda leaders, fear has started to grow inside the organisation that the US has a network of spies operating.

The Daily Beast reports:

U.S. airstrikes on the terror group are sowing paranoia within al Qaeda’s ranks about who among them may spying for the Americans, intelligence officials and terrorism analysts say.

Jihadist social media accounts on Wednesday claimed that al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, the terror group’s Yemen division, had executed an alleged spy. Humam al-Hamid was blamed for the drone strike last week that killed AQAP’s top man. The claims that Hamid had tipped off the Americans to the leader’s location couldn’t be independently verified. But U.S. intelligence officials are aware of the allegations and say it shows how attacks on AQAP—which have increased in the last two months—are having a secondary effect: fomenting distrust inside the terror outfit.

“Reports of AQAP’s execution of purported spies suggests unease among the group amid high-profile losses,” a U.S. intelligence official told The Daily Beast. From the American perspective, that’s a good thing, because it throws the group off balance and makes it harder to plan attacks.

“Such distrust is often difficult to overcome and can create friction at a critical time,” the U.S. official said.

U.S. intelligence officials have long said that AQAP poses the greatest threat to the United States because the group has built bombs that can be placed on airplanes without alerting security systems.

For several weeks now, terrorism analysts have been tracking jihadist suspicions, mainly expressed through social media, that AQAP had been penetrated by spies. These agents, the jihadists fretted, were tipping off the Americans and their allies to the locations of key figures, including the group’s spokesman, who was killed in a drone strike in April.   Read more »