Justice department investigating fatal police shooting of Loreal Tsingine – Jamiles Lartey Saturday 30 July 2016 15.02 EDT


Tsingine, a Native American, was killed by officer Austin Shipley in late March as fatal shootings of Native Americans by police have increased in 2016

In body-camera footage, Loreal Tsingine is seen getting up and walking toward an officer with a small pair of scissors in her left hand, and another officer quickly approaches her from behind.

The Justice Department will investigate the police shooting of a Native American woman in Arizona, a spokesman said on Friday, a day after footage released by the Winslow police department raised concerns about racial bias in the fatal shooting.

The department’s civil rights division will review the local investigation into the March 27 shooting death of Loreal Tsingine, spokesman Wyn Hornbuckle said.

Tsingine, 27, was shot and killed by the Winslow police officer Austin Shipley in late March after officers suspected her of shoplifting in a local store and confronted her. Silent body-camera footage, first obtained by the Arizona Daily Sun, shows a police officer trying to restrain Tsingine then shoving her to the ground and finally drawing a gun on her as she approaches him.

In the video, Tsingine gets up and walks toward Shipley with a small pair of medical scissors in her left hand, and another officer quickly approaches her from behind. Shipley draws his gun and directs it at Tsingine, and the footage is cut off before he fires the fatal shot.

The shooting was ruled justified by the Maricopa County attorney’s office last Friday.

Tsingine’s aunt, Floranda Dempsey, said her niece was 5ft tall and weighed 95lbs. “They should have been able to subdue her with their huge size and weight,” she said. “It wasn’t like she came at them first. I’m sure anyone would be mad if they were thrown around.” She added a question: “Where were the tasers, pepper sprays, batons?”

The family filed a $10.5m wrongful death lawsuit against the city at the beginning of the month, claiming that “the city of Winslow was negligent in hiring, training, retaining, controlling and supervising” the officer who killed Tsingine.

Shipley’s training records show two of his fellow officers had serious concerns that he was too quick to go for his service weapon, that he ignored directives from superiors, and that he was liable to falsify reports and not control his emotions.

A day before Shipley’s training ended, nearly three years ago, a police corporal recommended that the Winslow police department not retain him.

“They were warned he was likely to hurt someone back in 2013 or so, by another commanding officer,” Floranda said. “It’s unbelievable as to why he was still allowed to wear a badge.”

Floranda said watching the video shocked her and made her angry, and that all she saw was “a bully who got angry for getting his ego squashed” by a small Native American woman.

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Mark Cuban insults Trump before backing ‘true leader’ Hillary Clinton – Lauren Gambino in Pittsburgh Saturday 30 July 2016 23.38 EDT


Billionaire entrepreneur ends speculation at Pittsburgh rally, opening speech by saying hello to Trump in Russian

Mark Cuban gives the thumbs-up before the start of a campaign rally with Hillary Clinton and democratic vice-presidential nominee Tim Kaine in Pittsburgh on Saturday.

The battle of the brash billionaires is on.

Entrepreneur Mark Cuban used Donald Trump’s braggadocio to make the case for electing Hillary Clinton during a rally in his native Pittsburgh on Saturday.

“Leadership is not yelling, and screaming and intimidating,” said Cuban, the owner of the NBA’s Dallas Mavericks and a panelist on ABC’s Shark Tank. “People like that in Pittsburg are called a jagoff,” he added, using pejorative Pittsburgh slang. “Is there any bigger jagoff in the world than Donald Trump?”

The endorsement ends the speculation over who the self-described independent would endorse. Last month, Cuban threatened to vote for Trump if Clinton chose as a running mate the tough-on-Wall Street Massachusetts senator Elizabeth Warren. And in May, he put himself forward as a vice-presidential candidate, telling ESPN Radio’s Capital Games podcast he’d consider a spot on either ticket.

But on Saturday, there was no wavering.

“I’m ready to vote for a true leader, I’m ready to vote for the American dream,” Cuban said. “I’m ready to tell the world that I am here to endorse Hillary Clinton.”

Cuban opened his remarks by saying hello to Trump in Russian, mocking the real estate developer’s praise of Vladimir Putin. He shared his success story with the rambunctious crowd, detailing some of his early business failures and offered the audience some advice. “What you don’t do – you don’t ask daddy for a small loan of a million dollars,” said Cuban, deriding Trump for taking, as he described it, a “small loan” from his father, a real estate developer in New York City’s outer boroughs.

Cuban visited Clinton’s Brooklyn headquarters and has been talking with her campaign chairman, John Podesta, according to a campaign aide. On Thursday, Cuban called Podesta before Clinton took the stage in Philadelphia to accept the Democratic party’s nomination to say he was coming on board.

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Gig economy workers: Independent contractors or indentured servants? – JULIE GUTMAN DICKINSON, CAPITAL & MAIN SATURDAY, JUL 30, 2016 04:30 PM PDT


We need to stop worker misclassification and the abuse of so-called “independent contractors”

Gig economy workers: Independent contractors or indentured servants?

This article originally appeared on Capital & Main.

What if millions of American workers were being denied health insurance, job security and the most basic legal protections, from overtime pay to workers compensation to the right to join a union? What if tens of billions of dollars in taxpayer revenues — money desperately needed to address everything from crumbling roads to education to health care — were never making it to local, state and federal treasuries? What if thousands of companies were violating the law with impunity?

That is exactly what is happening in the United States today, thanks to a rampant practice known as worker misclassification — illegally labeling workers as independent contractors when in fact they are employees under the law. In some cases it’s occurring in plain sight, in others it’s more hidden — but regardless of the circumstances, it is taking an enormous toll on the country.

According to the Economic Policy Institute (EPI), workers misclassified as independent contractors can be found in nearly every industry, and the phenomenon has grown considerably with the rise of the gig economy. Uber, the ride-hailing company, has become the poster child for worker misclassification, with numerous lawsuits alleging that Uber wrongly classifies its drivers as independent contractors. But Uber is hardly alone — examples of worker misclassification can be found in scores of new sectors, from housecleaners to technical workers.

Workers misclassified as independent contractors are also legion in established sectors of the economy, notably residential construction, in-home caregiving and the port trucking industry. Conditions for these workers have been compared to indentured servitude, and for good reason. Misclassification enables employers to get away with widespread wage theft and a range of other illegal practices.

In a 2015 report, EPI described the advantages to employers of misclassifying workers. “Employers who misclassify avoid paying payroll taxes and workers’ compensation insurance, are not responsible for providing health insurance and are able to bypass requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act, as well as the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act.” If this weren’t enough, the report continues, “misclassified workers are ineligible for unemployment insurance, workers’ compensation, minimum wage and overtime, and are forced to pay the full FICA tax and purchase their own health insurance.”

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Norman Lear on His Docuseries, America Divided: ‘We Wanted It to Be Cinematic’ – By Whitney Friedlander July 30, 2016 8:50 p.m.


will.i.am's i.am.angel Foundation TRANS4M 2016 Gala

Photo: Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Norman Lear has created multiple television shows that have taken on racial and societal injustices, but he will soon be in front of the camera as one of the correspondents of the EPIX documentary series, America Divided. Each episode of the series, which Lear executive produces along with Common and Shonda Rhimes, will feature a celebrity reporting on mass incarceration, drugs, and other issues. Lear’s episode deals with the gentrification and housing crisis of New York, with the TV icon going undercover, using a hidden camera to expose racial discrimination. During the show’s Television Critics Association panel Saturday, Lear said he discovered he’s “a really great reporter” while filming it.

He also told journalists he thought we’d be past such issues when he was creating and developing series like All in the FamilyThe Jeffersons, and Maude back in the ’70s and ’80s. “It amazes me that we haven’t moved faster,” he said. “Adjacent to that problem is the LGBTQ issue, which just moved so quickly over the last 30 years and is in a place now where we wish the racial situation existed. Racial harmony wants to be moving as far-forward in the next decade or two as the LGBTQ movement did.”

Other names who anchor episodes of the series, premiering September 30, include Rosario Dawson, who will look at the Flint water crisis, and Jesse Williams, who will explore the problems in America’s schools. “We knew way before [Jesse] made that BET speech that he’s a real activist in Black Lives Matter,” said executive producer Solly Granastein. “He made that speech at a time when the country was really focused on these issues and I hope this series has the same impact.”

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The Future of U.S.-Saudi Relations – By F. Gregory Gause III July/August 2016 Issue


Screen Shot 2016-07-30 at Jul 30, 2016 5.57

The relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia has come under unprecedented strains in recent years. U.S. President Barack Obama has openly questioned Riyadh’s value as an ally, accusing it of provoking sectarian conflict in the region. According to The Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg, when Malcolm Turnbull, Australia’s prime minister, asked Obama whether he saw the Saudis as friends, the president responded, “It’s complicated.” Many Americans continue to believe that the Saudi government was involved in the September 11, 2001, attacks, although the 9/11 Com­mission found no evidence of institutional or senior-level Saudi support. The Senate has even passed a bill that would allow Americans to sue the Saudi government in U.S. courts for its alleged support of terrorism.

The Saudis have been equally intemperate in their recent comments. The kingdom’s officials have threatened to sell off hundreds of billions of dollars of U.S. assets if Congress passes the bill, even though such a move would hurt Saudi Arabia much more than it would the United States. And they have made little effort to hide their contempt for Obama, whom they see as too willing to jettison old friends in order to cozy up to enemies. Prince Turki al-Faisal—the most outspoken senior member of the ruling family and a former head of Saudi foreign intelligence and former ambassador to the United States—has accused Obama of “throw[ing Saudi Arabia] a curve ball” because he has “pivoted to Iran.” The prince went on to say that the Saudis would “continue to hold the American people as [an] ally”—but implied that they no longer view the American president as one.

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Facebook could face extra $5bn tax bill after US investigation – Jemima Kiss wFriday 29 July 2016 21.24 EDT


Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California.

Facebook could be liable to pay between $3 to $5bn in extra US tax after an extensive investigation by the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) into the way the tech company transferred assets to Ireland.

The tax agency has been exploring whether Facebook deliberately deployed complex financial processes designed to minimize the amount of US tax it paid.

The IRS issued the firm with a “statutory notice of deficiency” on 27 July, the company said in its quarterly financial filing, noting that it could have a “material adverse impact” on its finances. Facebook broke out the possible loss in its earnings report, as a minimum of $3bn and maximum of $5bn. It would also be liable for interest lost, though any additional penalties are not known.

On Friday, a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement: “Facebook complies with all applicable rules and regulations in the countries where we operate.”

The IRS began investigating Facebook in 2013 over assets it had transferred in 2010 to its base in Dublin. Ireland is known for its corporation-friendly tax structures; it has a corporate tax rate of 12.5%, compared to the US rate of 35% and 21% in the UK.

The case became public on 6 July when the IRS filed a lawsuit in San Francisco, suing Facebook over access to records related to the transfer. Its 2013 investigation described the valuation of the assets as “problematic”, implying it had undervalued the assets to pay less US tax.

The IRS has stated that Facebook has failed to attend seven appointments at the IRS office in San Jose, 19 miles from Facebook’s headquarters in Menlo Park.

On Wednesday, Facebook announced record quarterly earnings with $6.24bn in advertising sales powered by the popularity of mobile and video.

https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/jul/29/facebook-us-tax-investigation-irs-ireland

How Your Health Data Lead A Not-So-Secret Life Online – ANGUS CHEN July 30, 2016 5:00 AM ET


Katherine Streeter for NPR

Katherine Streeter for NPR

There are apps that can help people with diabetes keep track of their blood sugar and apps that can attach to a blood pressure cuff and store blood pressure information. I use an app called ZocDoc to schedule and manage doctor’s appointments. Every time I see a therapist or a primary care doctor or dentist, the data get stored in my personal account.

But we leave behind other trails of health data, too, from apps and activities that are sometimes only tangentially health related. When I walk down the street, an app on my phone logs steps as it bounces against my thigh. When I swipe a loyalty card at the pharmacy, the over-the-counter medications that I buy become bits of data attached to my name. Medical information can be gleaned from all this and more, says Nathan Cortez, a professor of law at the Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law.

Outside In

This week the NPR podcast and show Invisibilia explores how people change from the outside in. We look at an all-women debate team in Rwanda, a country that has declared gender equality. We look at twins who introduced an app into their relationship and how it changed them. And a man who met a bird that transformed his view of the world.

Those data aren’t always protected. A recent report from the Department of Health and Human Services showed that the vast majority of mobile health apps on the marketplace aren’t covered by the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act. “HIPAA is pretty narrow as far as these things go. It applies only to traditional entities [like hospitals, doctors and health insurance providers], and it’s not surprising. HIPAA was written by Congress in 1996 before we had health apps,” Cortez says.

Apps or devices used in conjunction with a doctor’s office or a hospital can’t share or sell your information. But there’s no definitive federal law governing what happens to the data that an app developer, tech company or private individual collects. Cortez and I spoke about what that means and what people can do with individuals’ data. This interview has been shortened for length and clarity.

So if you share your data with a physician or a hospital, then it’s covered under HIPAA. If you share it with someone like Apple, then it’s not?

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Hearts, minds and souls – The Economist Jul 30th 2016 | VATICAN CITY | From the print edition


CARDINAL ROBERT SARAH (pronounced Sar-AH, with the accent on the last syllable) has never been afraid to speak out. Such was his defiance of his native Guinea’s dictator, Ahmed Sékou Touré, that he was at the top of a list of candidates for assassination found when the strongman died in 1984. Since coming to Rome in 2001 he has emerged as standard-bearer-in-chief of the traditionalists: Roman Catholics who prize doctrinal certainty over adapting to changing times. Many in the church’s higher reaches would like to reverse some of the innovations that followed the Second Vatican Council, which closed in 1965 (indeed, they often claim its intentions were misinterpreted).

As the head of the department overseeing the church’s charitable activities, Cardinal Sarah brought Caritas, its main development agency, under tighter Vatican control and in 2011 jettisoned its liberal-minded director, Lesley-Anne Knight. At a recent synod, or meeting of bishops, called by the pope to discuss issues that split liberals and traditionalists relating to the family and sexual orientation, he vigorously opposed change. On July 5th he went further, openly defying Pope Francis. The issue was one of immense symbolic importance for Catholics. At a conference in London Cardinal Sarah, who now heads the Vatican’s liturgy department, asked priests to resume celebrating mass facing east, with their backs to the congregation, as they had done before the Second Vatican Council.

Seldom do Catholic leaders clash so publicly. The Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster, Vincent Nichols, wrote to the priests of his diocese reminding them that an instruction “approved by the highest authority in the church” told them to face the congregation whenever possible. The pope saw Cardinal Sarah on July 9th, after which the Holy See said the cardinal’s words, which went against that settled position and the pope’s known wishes, had been wrongly interpreted.

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