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    updated:21 Apr 2019 09:01pm UTC
  • 'Panic mode': Witness describes aftermath of Sri Lanka bombs-

    'Panic mode': Witness describes aftermath of Sri Lanka bombsBhanuka Harischandra was running a little late for his meeting Sunday.


  • Army Vet Sues Company That Made 'Defective' Earplugs for the Military-

    Army Vet Sues Company That Made 'Defective' Earplugs for the MilitaryA Texas veteran is suing the company he says knowingly produced and sold defective earplugs which were issued to the U.S. military, leading him and many others to develop hearing problems, including tinnitus.(This article by Haley Britzky originally appeared at Task & Purpose. Follow Task & Purpose on Twitter. This article first appeared in 2018.)Sgt. Scott D. Rowe, who served in Iraq during Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2003 to 2004, told the Houston Chronicle that he's "never at peace" from the "high-pitched frequency" he hears every day, as a result of the earplugs he received from 3M Company. Rowe told the Chronicle that 3M "lied," and "took our well-being for jeopardy while we're out there protecting the country."Rowe says in his lawsuit that 3M was aware of the defects in earplugs when it acquired the company that originally developed them, Aearo Technologies, in 2008. He says, according to the Chronicle, that the earplugs were made too short, which makes them difficult to be put deeply into the ear canal, causing the earplug to loosen and sound to get in around them.


  • Authorities say investigation into murder of two Indiana schoolgirls is going in 'new direction'-

    Authorities say investigation into murder of two Indiana schoolgirls is going in 'new direction'Indiana State Police say they will announce new information about the deaths of Abigail Williams and Liberty German who were found dead on a hiking trail in Delphi, Indiana in 2017.


  • Cardi B rejects plea deal in strip club brawl case, facing up to one year in jail-

    Cardi B rejects plea deal in strip club brawl case, facing up to one year in jailCardi B rejected a deal to plead guilty to one misdemeanor count in strip club brawl, even though it would keep her out of jail.


  • Coloradans mark 20th anniversary of a dark day: Columbine shooting-

    Coloradans mark 20th anniversary of a dark day: Columbine shootingIt has been 20 years since two heavily armed young men in dark trenchcoats entered a Colorado high school and launched a bloody attack that seared the word “Columbine” into the American psyche, forever transforming the debate on gun rights and school violence. As people on Saturday prepared to mark the anniversary of the massacre in Littleton, Colorado — in which teenaged shooters Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris killed 12 Columbine High School students and a teacher before turning their guns on themselves — there were words of grief and loss and anger. School shootings, once almost unheard of, have become a tragic feature of American life — requiring all schools to tighten security, forcing even six-year-olds to take part in traumatic “live-shooter” drills.


  • Converse introduces trans-themed shoes for Pride and Twitter is happy for once-

    Converse introduces trans-themed shoes for Pride and Twitter is happy for onceBrands sometimes go too hard during Pride season. Every once in a while, however, they get it right.The year 2019 has already brought us one *actually good* example. Converse recently introduced its LGBTQ Pride sneaker line, which now includes sneakers modeled after the Transgender Pride flag.This is the first time Converse has ever had a trans-specific sneaker.SEE ALSO: Mapping state-by-state tech trends: Most popular dating appsThe trans-specific sneakers currently retail for $80. Customers can also customize their own rainbow Pride shoes and add Trans Pride flair.Regardless of how you feel about corporate participation during gay Pride, this is a huge symbolic step forward. Advocates for the trans community have long complained that gay and lesbian people dominate the LGBTQ movement. Recognizing the trans community as a separate — though equally sneaker-worthy community — is emblematic of a larger cultural shift. Trans people are clearly moving into the public spotlight, and they can show that (if Converse is their thing) on their feet.Twitter was largely enthusiastic about the move.> TransIsBeautiful > Thank you @Converse for making a trans PRIDE shoe this year! > My 11 year-old-son is ECSTATIC! ️‍ pic.twitter.com/E6lcqIEvfA> > — Rachel Q. Lyons (@RachelQLyons) April 15, 2019> CONVERSE HAS A NEW PRIDE COLLECTION THAT INCLUDES TRANS PRIDE SNEAKERS FOR THE FIRST TIME!!!!!!!! > > SHOP HERE: https://t.co/afn0Gc9nwy (affiliate link) pic.twitter.com/TptVcjY87E> > — Alysse Dalessandro (@readytostare) April 19, 2019> I thought "which of my trans friends would rock Converse decked out in the colors of the trans flag," and then immediately realized the answer was "all of them." pic.twitter.com/E5NPDfPgMY> > — Aram Vartian (@vartian) April 19, 2019> Me, looking at the chuck taylor pride collection for this year: *not super impressed* > Converse: we have trans shoes now > Me, out loud: DAMMIT pic.twitter.com/oqzpDUqaOD> > — Rowan Adventurezone (@politebotanist) April 20, 2019> Y'all let me know when @converse lets me put trans flags on these (and they come in my size). pic.twitter.com/3ZOq9Y6rss> > — Xan (@AlexandriaDVine) April 20, 2019> Look! You can make them with the pride base but then add trans pride touches. I'm in love! pic.twitter.com/bGtajM2QjF> > — We'll Have A Gay Old Time (@IssaMeBrianO) April 19, 2019This Twitter user perhaps said it best.> Fuckin converse put the Trans flag on some shoes like…..yes fine I will buy them you stupid brand, ill bow to capitalism just this once> > — Thank you gay dad (@Darius_lives) April 19, 2019Happy incredibly early Pride, everyone! WATCH: Meet the 10-year-old drag kid shaping the future of drag youth


  • FBI arrests member of rightwing militia accused of detaining migrants-

    FBI arrests member of rightwing militia accused of detaining migrantsLarry Mitchell Hopkins accused of illegal weapons possession after videos apparently showed men stopping migrants in New MexicoMen including Jim Benvie, a spokesman for the militia calling itself the United Constitutional Patriots, share cigarettes while patrolling the US-Mexico border in Sunland Park, New Mexico last month. Photograph: Paul Ratje/AFP/Getty ImagesA member of an armed rightwing militia group accused of illegally detaining migrants at the US-Mexico border has been arrested, officials said on Saturday.The FBI arrested Larry Mitchell Hopkins, 69, for alleged unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition , days after his group posted videos that appeared to show armed men stopping migrants at the border in New Mexico, ordering them to sit on the ground and coordinating with US border patrol agents to have them taken into custody.“Today’s arrest by the FBI indicates clearly that the rule of law should be in the hands of trained law enforcement officials, not armed vigilantes,” the New Mexico attorney general, Hector Balderas, said in a statement.On Thursday, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) called for an investigation into the pro-Trump, anti-immigrant men who have been patrolling the border and calling themselves the United Constitutional Patriots (UCP).The ACLU in New Mexico described the group as “an armed fascist militia organization” made up of “vigilantes”, saying they were working to “kidnap and detain people seeking asylum” and had directly made illegal arrests and held migrants at gunpoint.Hopkins’ role in the group was unclear, and it was also not clear if he was facing any charges directly related to the videos of the men stopping migrants. The New Mexico attorney general’s office described Hopkins as a “dangerous felon who should not have weapons around children and families” and labeled him an “armed individual detaining migrants at the border”.An FBI statement on the arrest did not mention the militia group or the detention of migrants, but noted that Hopkins has also gone by the name Johnny Horton Jr and that he was due to appear in court on Monday.In one video posted last Monday night by Jim Benvie, a member of the armed group, it appeared the men were ordering around dozens of migrants, including many children, and telling them to sit. Benvie narrated: “There’s no border patrol here. This is us.”The men appeared to call border patrol agents, who later were seen. The ACLU, in a letter to state officials, said the group had targeted nearly 300 migrants in Sunland Park, New Mexico, which is along the Mexico border and adjacent to El Paso, Texas.The militia members advocated for Trump’s proposed border wall on the video streams and echoed the president’s anti-migrant rhetoric, warning of an “invasion”.There have also been concerns that the men, who wear military-style clothes, could be misrepresenting themselves as border patrol agents. In another video, Benvie filmed himself stopping a group of four adults and three children and said “border patrol” as he approached, before calling for another member of his group to join him. In an apparent call to border patrol, one man said: “Hello, I’ve got seven over here.”The UCP has previously presented itself as a group of “volunteers” aiding border patrol and supporting Trump. In recent years, there have been numerous reports of an increase in paramilitary groups and xenophobic activists surveilling the border, working with US agents and targeting undocumented people.The UCP has not responded to the Guardian’s requests for comment.On Thursday, a Customs and Border Protection spokesperson said border patrol “welcomes assistance from the community” but “does not endorse private groups or organizations taking enforcement matters into their own hands”.The Daily Beast reported that Hopkins has a history of pushing far-right conspiracies and has a conviction for impersonating an officer and felony firearm possession. He could not be reached on Saturday and it was not immediately clear if he had a lawyer.Stephanie Corte, an immigrant rights campaign strategist with the ACLU in New Mexico, said her group was still trying to make contact with the detained migrants and was uncertain if any had been released.“Our next focus is to try to get their story and making sure they feel safe to tell their story of being held at gunpoint,” she told the Guardian, adding that the ACLU would explore legal options.She said she hoped authorities would work to make sure this does not happen again.“We absolutely believe that this was completely unlawful,” she said. “We’re hoping those involved will be brought to justice.”


  • Galaxy Fold units keep mysteriously breaking, while the iPhone XS survives a shark bite-

    Galaxy Fold units keep mysteriously breaking, while the iPhone XS survives a shark biteIf you've paid attention to tech industry news to any degree over the past day or two, you're no doubt aware that Samsung is dealing with a bit of unpleasant scrutiny at the moment over reports of early units of its forthcoming Galaxy Fold phone mysteriously breaking. Definitely a bad look for Samsung and suggestive that the company may have rushed its first foldable handset into production, or that there may at least have been some issues around quality control. It was hard not to be reminded of those reports about Galaxy Folds breaking after a day or so of normal usage while watching the behind-the-scenes video that complements Apple's latest "Shot on iPhone" commercial. At one point in the behind-the-scenes footage, which you can watch above, one of the filmmakers is shown basically helpless when a shark snatches up his iPhone. With the phone secure in the shark's jaws, the filmmaker swims after him and ends up successfully retrieving it. And the phone appears to be fine after that. For the new commercial, titled Don't Mess with Mother, Apple hired production company Camp4 Collective to showcase the iPhone XS's video capabilities while capturing scenes from mother nature. The outtakes video includes scenes from a volcano, in the water with sharks and on mountains, the whole thing giving off a thrilling, "you are there" vibe. At one point, we see a monkey playing with and scrutinizing an iPhone. The idea is apparently that iPhones can capture images and video of stunning quality in nature, with the inadvertent reminder that they can withstand some tough elements too. Just something to think about as we get closer to the April 26 launch date that Samsung has decided to stick to for its ridiculously expensive foldable phone that it's still hoping people will take a chance on, despite the easy breakage some reviewers have experienced.


  • How dare you do this to Cypress Hill, Hollywood Walk of Fame-

    How dare you do this to Cypress Hill, Hollywood Walk of FameWest Coast hip-hop legends Cypress Hill finally made it to the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Thursday — two days too early, in the minds of some.The plaque was formally presented on Thursday, April 18, 2019. But everyone knows that Cypress Hill is synonymous with marijuana. Couldn't whoever constructed the plaque have waited two days to present it on 4/20, the biggest marijuana holiday of the year?SEE ALSO: Where the 2020 presidential candidates stand on marijuana legalizationCypress Hill is known for their many excellent pro-weed jams, including "Hits From the Bong" and the subtly titled, "I Want to Get High."The group is also active in the legal marijuana industry. B-Real, the group's frontman, is the owner of a dispensary in Los Angeles known as Dr. Greenthumb. The group sells their own brand of cannabis known as "Cypress Hill Bhang."B-Real has thanked marijuana for the group's continued success."We're medicating," B-Real recently said. "We're eating clean. We stay in the gym. We never did party too excessively. We party, but it's not every night and we're not drunk and sloppy. Weed was the answer for us.It might say 4/18 on that plaque, Cypress Hill, but it will always say 4/20 in our hearts. WATCH: Study says cannabis-related hospital visits are on the rise in Colorado


  • Islamic State behind attack on Saudi security north of Riyadh: Arabiya TV-

    Islamic State behind attack on Saudi security north of Riyadh: Arabiya TVThe assailants who attacked a state security building northwest of Riyadh on Sunday are Saudi militants who belong to Islamic State, Saudi-owned Arabiya TV said in a tweet, citing its own correspondent. Saudi state media said authorities thwarted the attack by four militants targeting the Mabaheth (domestic intelligence) station in Zulfi, a small city about 250 km (155 miles) northwest of the capital Riyadh. There has been no Islamic State claim of responsibility for the attack so far, and the authorities did not officially identify the assailants.


  • Israeli election may have dimmed hopes for 2-state solution-

    Israeli election may have dimmed hopes for 2-state solutionJERUSALEM (AP) — Is the two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict dead?


  • Police arrest 'yellow vest' demonstrators as clashes break out-

    Police arrest 'yellow vest' demonstrators as clashes break outFrench police said they arrested more than 200 “yellow vest” demonstrators in Paris on Saturday as clashes broke out with demonstrators turning out for a 23rd week of anti-government protests. AFP journalists reported scuffles between police and protesters in the afternoon, after hours of calm, as police used stun grenades and tear gas to disperse marchers in the centre of the French capital. Some protesters threw bottles and other objects at police and set fire to vehicles, safety barriers and bins.


  • The Latest: Egypt begins vote on extending el-Sissi's rule-

    The Latest: Egypt begins vote on extending el-Sissi's ruleCAIRO (AP) — The Latest on Egypt's vote on a referendum potentially extending President el-Sissi's rule to 2030 (all times local):


  • Turkish opposition leader safe after attack at soldier's funeral-

    Turkish opposition leader safe after attack at soldier's funeralKemal Kilicdaroglu, head of the secularist Republican People’s Party (CHP) that pulled off victories in the March 31 vote, had attended a funeral for one of four Turkish soldiers killed on Friday in clashes with the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, whose AK Party wants the election results annulled in Istanbul, had repeatedly warned during last month’s campaign that PKK members were among the CHP’s list of candidates. The PKK clashes in the country’s southeast on Friday prompted several pro-government newspapers to tie the soldiers’ deaths to the CHP.


  • UPDATE 2-Syria's Assad discusses peace talks, Tartus port with Russians-

    UPDATE 2-Syria's Assad discusses peace talks, Tartus port with RussiansBEIRUT/MOSCOW, April 20 (Reuters) – Syrian President Bashar al-Assad met senior officials from his strongest ally Russia in Damascus on Friday and Saturday to discuss upcoming peace talks, renting out Tartus port and trade between the two countries, state media in Syria reported. Russia has helped Assad’s forces to take back most of the country but the eight-year-long war continues. Swathes of the northeast and northwest are out of his control, while sanctions and a fuel shortage are constricting the economy.


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