Monthly Archives: March 2017

Catholic diocese in Montana seeks bankruptcy protection in sex abuse claims

Catholic diocese in Montana seeks bankruptcy protection in sex abuse claimsThe Diocese of Great Falls-Billings filed a Chapter 11 bankruptcy petition in Montana federal court as part of a negotiated settlement of dozens of “credible” sex abuse cases that date from 1950s through the 1990s, lawyers for 72 victims and the diocese said in separate statements. At least 15 other U.S. Catholic districts and religious orders have been driven to seek Chapter 11 protection by a sex abuse scandal that erupted in 2002.

College league ends North Carolina boycott after bathroom law revoked

College league ends North Carolina boycott after bathroom law revoked(Reuters) – The Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC), a major collegiate athletic league, said on Friday it has restored North Carolina’s eligibility to host championship sporting events after the state repealed restrictions on bathroom access for transgender people. The ACC move was the first organization to end the kind of boycotts imposed on North Carolina by various athletic and business entities in a protest against last year’s enactment of the so-called bathroom law, denounced by opponents as discriminatory. The statute, widely known as HB 2, also barred local governments in the state from enacting their own anti-discrimination protections in housing, employment and other areas on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity.

Caterpillar shuts plant in Aurora, Illinois, that employs 800

Caterpillar shuts plant in Aurora, Illinois, that employs 800Caterpillar was among companies that met with President Donald Trump in February to talk about job creation, at a time when about 2,300 U.S. workers at five major manufacturing companies stand to lose their jobs within the next two years as a result of offshoring. The company said it will transition its large wheel loaders and compactors to its plant in Decatur, Illinois, and medium wheel loaders to North Little Rock, Arkansas.

Major ISPs now say they won't sell your browsing history. Yeah. Right.

Major ISPs now say they won't sell your browsing history. Yeah. Right.Internet service providers are in an awkward spot. After getting all dressed up for the sell-your-data dance, it turns out they'll be staying home.  Or so they claim.
Reuters reports that representatives from Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T all came out today to assure worried consumers that the companies will not in fact sell customers' browsing histories to the highest bidder.  "We do not sell our broadband customers’ individual web browsing history," writes Comcast Chief Privacy Officer Gerard Lewis on the company's blog . "We did not do it before the FCC’s rules were adopted, and we have no plans to do so."   But should we trust Lewis and his counterparts at AT&T and Verizon? SEE ALSO: The software that could prevent ISPs from selling your browsing history could also just make things worse The denials were issued after the House and Senate voted to repeal landmark consumer privacy rules passed in 2016 that would have blocked internet service providers from selling the browsing history of their customers.  The public backlash has been strong — people are even donating to GoFundMes seeking to buy the browsing histories of members of Congress (although the success of those efforts is very much in doubt as no one is currently selling a "Congress's Browsing History" package deal) — and major ISPs are rushing to tell everyone that
hey hey hey, we're the good guys here. And yet.  The Electronic Frontier Foundation's Kate Tummarello points out the obvious incongruity of ISPs denying that they plan to take advantage of the new privacy landscape when those same companies lobbied so hard to bring it about.  "Those rules were a huge victory for consumers," Tummarello wrote on the EFF blog of the to-be-repealed rules. "Of course, the ISPs that stand to make money off of violating your privacy have been lobbying Congress to repeal those rules. Unfortunately, their anti-consumer push has been working." What's more, it's not like internet service providers haven't creeped hard on customers before. They most certainly have.  "Consumers have every reason to be skeptical about what the ISPs say," the EFF's Karen Gullo wrote to
Mashable, "because, as we have pointed out, they have already tried many of the practices — including hijacking your searches — that they are now allowed to do thanks to the party-line vote in Congress." Spokespersons for Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T can proclaim their devotion to your privacy all they want, but if the past is any indication you'd be right to remain skeptical. WATCH: Terrifying face gadget promises to keep your conversations private in public places

Gilbert Baker, inventor of gay rights rainbow flag, dies at 65

Gilbert Baker, inventor of gay rights rainbow flag, dies at 65Clive Baker gave the world the rainbow flag, he gave me forty years of love and friendship,” Cleve Jones said on Twitter. No details were immediately available on the cause of Baker’s death or where he died. Jones also tweeted a photo of Baker with former President Barack Obama, inviting mourners to meet him under a rainbow flag in the Castro district of San Francisco on Friday evening to remember his friend.

New York mayor says violence-torn jail complex to close

New York mayor says violence-torn jail complex to closeNew York City’s massive Rikers Island jail complex will close in as little as 10 years, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Friday, saying falling crime levels had paved the way toward shuttering the troubled facility. The decision by the Democratic mayor follows a 9 percent drop in the city’s overall crime rate over three years, and an even larger drop in the inmate population. “If we can continue on that trajectory, it will allow us to get off Rikers Island,” de Blasio told a City Hall press conference.

Pittsburgh cafe finds politics and coffee can leave bitter taste

Pittsburgh cafe finds politics and coffee can leave bitter tasteThe owners of a Pittsburgh coffee shop found out the hard way that in the hyper-polarized political climate of 2017, punching holes in pictures of President Donald Trump and other conservative stalwarts is no laughing matter for some. The Black Forge Coffee Shop has been fielding phone calls this week from people around the country upset about the cafe’s customer loyalty cards featuring a who’s who of prominent conservatives, according to its owners. The idea puts a topical twist on a familiar perk: Buy a coffee and the store punches a hole through a photo of Trump, Vice President Mike Pence or one of the others.

College athletic league signals return to North Carolina after LGBT law revoked

College athletic league signals return to North Carolina after LGBT law revoked“The ACC Council of Presidents has voted that North Carolina will again be considered for hosting future ACC Championships,” the conference said in a statement on Friday.The ACC in September announced it would move championship events at neutral sites from North Carolina for the 2016-17 academic year in objection to House Bill 2, which restricted bathroom use for transgender people. Seeking to win that business back, lawmakers on Thursday repealed the bill, but they also approved a new measure that bans cities from passing their own anti-discrimination protections for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people until 2020, drawing outrage from civil rights advocates.