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Teacher accused of sexually abusing 13-year-old called ‘a monster’ by boy’s parents

Posted: 30 Mar 2018 07:48 PM PDT

GOODYEAR, Ariz. – An Arizona couple are calling the teacher who allegedly sexually abused their 13-year-old son a “monster,” according to KPHO.

The boy’s father and stepmother spoke out about the arrest of Brittany Zamora.

The 27-year-old teacher is accused of sexually molesting the boy.

She was a sixth-grade teacher at Las Brisas Academy near 182nd Avenue and Broadway in Goodyear.

Police say a parent found text messages between Zamora and the male student, indicating sexual activity both on and off campus.

“He said that it started in a classroom chat group where she would talk to him, and then flirted with him, and it just progressed from there,” said the boy’s stepmom.

“He told us they kissed and had sex,” said the boy’s father.

“He was taken advantage of,” said the boy’s stepmom. “She was just using him for her own grotesque benefits.”

The couple asked that we alter their voices and not show their faces.

They call Zamora a “monster.”

“You teach your kids there’s no such thing as monsters at all,” said the father of the victim. “But in the real world, there are monsters. Brittany Zamora is a monster.”

The couple also slammed the administration at Las Brisas Academy for ignoring alleged warning signs and now trying to cover it up.

“A big thing for us is that we want people to understand, just because it’s a boy makes no difference,” the boy’s father said. “It’s the same. It’s a 13-year-old child who got taken advantage by a monster.”

“He’s started to express different emotions. He’s sad, and slept all day,” said the victim’s stepmother. “It’s starting to hit him, the reality of what actually happened.”

The couple says Las Brisas administrators were aware of allegations and rumors of a relationship between the teen and the teacher, but kept parents in the dark.

The couple appears to be preparing to file a civil lawsuit.

Meantime, Zamora remains behind bars.

She was booked Wednesday on two counts of molestation of a child, one count of furnishing harmful material and nine counts of sexual conduct with a minor.

“I want her to spend the rest of her life in prison,” said the boy’s father. “I want the school to be held accountable for what they’ve done and change rules and make it to where this can never happen to parents, another parent’s child.”

Deanie’s Celebrity Crawfish Eating Contest

Posted: 30 Mar 2018 03:38 PM PDT

NEW ORLEANS-- Deanie's Seafood held their annual celebrity crawfish eating contest to ramp things up for their 9th Annual Pinch-a-Palooza Crawfish Festival in Bucktown.

The festival is slated for April 22nd and includes music, games for the kids, and a serious crawfish eating competition for true competitors and kids alike.

Chandra Chifici of Deanie's told us, "This is our 9th year and we're excited"

News With a Twist anchor LBJ competed today, and upon losing the competition stated that he was more interesting in savoring the crawfish.

 

One Baton Rouge officer fired, the other suspended in Alton Sterling shooting

Posted: 30 Mar 2018 03:26 PM PDT

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BATON ROUGE — Baton Rouge Police officer Blane Salamoni has been fired and Howie Lake II has been suspended for three days for shooting and killing Alton Sterling almost two years ago.

Alton Sterling, 37, was killed by police outside the Triple S Food Mart in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Facebook via CNN)

Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul announced the decision at a 5 p.m. news conference Friday afternoon. Watch the video at the bottom of the page to see the press conference in full.

He also released new body cam video from the scene. You can watch that video above.

Paul said he hopes his decision “brings closure to a cloud that has been over our community for way too long.”

“These actions were not minor deviations from policy … they contributed to the death of another human being,” Murphy said. “This is over. This is the last investigation. We’re going to allow the community to heal, and our police officers to heal.”

State authorities announced this week that Salamoni was justified in shooting Sterling outside a Baton Rouge convenience store, and that no charges would be brought against him or Lake.

Blane Salamoni

The fatal encounter between the two white police officers and Sterling, a black man, helped spur renewed Black Lives Matter protests across the nation.

Previously released cell phone video showed Sterling, 37, pinned to the ground by the officers before he was shot on July 5, 2016.

Police said they believed Sterling was reaching for a gun. The Justice Department said in May that evidence couldn’t prove or disprove that Sterling was reaching for a weapon, and that Sterling had a loaded .38-caliber handgun in his pocket.

The hearings

Paul said the hearing happened Thursday night. Each officer had their own hearing, and each had an attorney representing him. 

Lake answered all questions asked of him, while Salamoni declined to answer any questions on the advice of his lawyer.

“We take great consideration of the demands we place on our officers,” Paul said. “Every officer knows in their heart that they may be called to a higher duty.”

‘You’ll cry’ after seeing the other videos, relative says

Howie Lake II

The killing gripped the nation in part because two videos taken by bystanders, each less than a minute long, were released publicly shortly after the shooting and captured the final part of Sterling’s struggle with the two white officers.

The woman who raised Sterling, Sandra Sterling, told reporters she’s seen the unreleased videos — and that they will spark more public outrage.

“When you see those other … videos of Blane Salamoni killing Alton Sterling, you’ll cry again,” Sandra Sterling said. “And when you cry again, you’ll be telling the Sterling family, ‘I’m sorry.’ ”

In a roughly 30-minute surveillance video from the Triple S Convenience store, Sterling is seen at the front of the store before the shooting, sitting at a table selling CDs, smoking cigarettes and listening to rap music, the sources say of the footage.

Authorities have said Salamoni and Lake went there after police received a 911 call from a man who said someone had pulled a gun on him.

According to the state report released this week, Sterling refused to heed the officers’ commands to put his hands on the hood of a car, and each officer reached for and tried to control Sterling’s arms.

Officer threatened early to shoot Sterling in head, authorities say

When Sterling spun around and pulled his right arm away from Salamoni, Salamoni drew his gun, the state report says. The footage from Salamoni’s body camera, sources with direct knowledge of the investigation said, show Salamoni at this point training his gun at Sterling’s head.

Salamoni yells and threatens to shoot — though the state report and CNN’s sources offer different accounts on exactly what was said.

“Put your hands on the f***ing car or I will blow your f***ing head off! Put your hands on the car or I will blow your f***ing head off!” Salamoni says, according to the sources describing the video.

The state report quotes Salamoni this way: “Don’t f****** move, or I’ll shoot you in your f****** head.”

A struggle, followed by the shooting

Sterling then complied but eventually resisted Lake’s attempts to gain control of his hands, the state report says.

Lake twice used a Taser on Sterling, with little to no effect. Salamoni eventually holstered his gun, tackled Sterling to the ground and tried to control Sterling’s right arm, and Lake knelt and tried to control Sterling’s left arm, the state report says.

At one point, the already-released cell phone videos show, someone — Salamoni, according to the state report — shouting, “He’s got a gun!” In one video, an officer draws something from his waistband and points it at Sterling.

“If you move, I swear to God,” Salamoni tells Sterling, according to the report.

At this moment, the state report says, Sterling was positioned in a way that concealed his right front pocket. The officers continue to try to control his hands.

“He’s going for the gun,” Salamoni yells, according to the state report.

The report says Salamoni first shot Sterling three times in the chest and then rolled off him.

Sterling sits up. As Lake yelled at Sterling to get on the ground, Sterling rolled away from Salamoni, who fired three more shots, this time into Sterling’s back. Sterling’s hands and right side are concealed from Salamoni’s view, the Louisiana attorney general said.

Lake removed a loaded .38-caliber handgun from Sterling’s right front pocket, the report says.

Attorney general: Drugs may have been a factor

In May, federal prosecutors found there wasn’t enough evidence to warrant civil rights charges against Salamoni and Lake.

The feds cited use-of-force experts who determined the officers’ actions were reasonable under the circumstances — including that the two employed several less-than-lethal techniques before using force, and that Sterling struggled with the officers and failed to follow orders.

The Justice Department also said that evidence couldn’t prove or disprove Salamoni’s assertion that Sterling was reaching for a gun.

Landry, the state attorney general, said Tuesday that Sterling had illicit drugs in his system.

“Considering this, it is reasonable that Mr. Sterling was under the influence, and that contributed to his noncompliance,” Landry said.

An autopsy indicated Sterling had cocaine, methamphetamine, hydrocodone, a marijuana ingredient, caffeine, nicotine and alcohol in his blood.

Sterling family attorney Chris Stewart said this week that every action was “initiated by the officers.”

He also said Salamoni’s threat to shoot Sterling in the head was illegal.

“That is not the behavior that any officer should have,” Stewart said. “In our opinion, that is criminal.”

Sterling’s five children filed a wrongful death lawsuit in June against the city of Baton Rouge, police department and others.

Hollywood South News with Jabari: Hollywood South is back at full strength

Posted: 30 Mar 2018 03:00 PM PDT

NEW ORLEANS -- Last years changes to the Louisiana film tax incentives brought the film industry in Hollywood South back from the dead. Nearly 17 productions are going on across the state as of now.  From Netflix originals, Hulu originals, major networks, and films are in production. 11 of those productions are tv shows. Governor John Bel Edwards said the state will make more money from the film industry this year since 3 years ago.

Tom Hanks was also spotted filming the WWII movie USS Kid which is shooting in Baton Rouge. Click the video above to see some of the action and what was seen shooting this week in New Orleans.

Local teens battling illness glam up for Prom of Hope

Posted: 30 Mar 2018 02:26 PM PDT

NEW ORLEANS -- Everyone probably remembers getting ready for their prom night.

We caught up with one group of teens from around the Gulf region of Louisiana who are glamming up for a very special prom called, "The Prom of Hope."

It's a dance held each year in New Orleans that is dedicated to giving those battling cancer and blood disorders an evening of prom-themed fun.

On Friday, over 100 hair and make-up appointments were made at BLEU, a chaib of a Blowdry Bars located in across the city and in the outskirts.

"This is kind of the pre-event before the events, so it's nice to be able to bring all of the girls together, says executive director of "What you give will grow," Dennis Lomonaco.

"These are some of the experiences that some of the girls don't get to experience, unfortunately a lot of our families are struggling with medical bills," says Lomonaco.

"What you give will grow" is a foundation inspired by Saints kicker, Thomas Morstead.

This event is a way for patients to get their minds off of their daily battles.

"It's really special at our event, the middle of the night the girls are comfortable pulling wigs off their head. Everybody knows what is going on, but nobody talks about it. The night is really about fun. We are able to provide an environment for them to just be them. During the prom, nobody is talking about cancer, nobody is talking about illnesses. It is really just a night to have fun and to enjoy themselves," says Lomonaco.

Boxing champ and New Orleans’ own Regis ‘Rougarou’ Prograis stops by the studio

Posted: 30 Mar 2018 02:26 PM PDT

NEW ORLEANS -- New Orleans is back on the boxing map, now that the Rougarou has crawled out of the swamp.

About two weeks ago, Regis "Rougarou" Prograis, a New Orleans native, took the title of the WBC Light Welterweight Champion.

The Rougarou stopped by the News with a Twist studio this week to talk about the big win.

He's the first world boxing champ from New Orleans since Willie Pastrano in the 1950s, Prograis said.

Now that he's back in the Big Easy, the Rougarou is on a mission.

"The city of New Orleans is behind me, I'm behind the city of New Orleans," he said. "I have the chance to bring boxing back to New Orleans. I have all the big names behind me. The big promoter, the big TV networks to come to the city and bring it back. I want to bring boxing back to New Orleans. Ali fought in the dome, (Sugar) Ray Leonard fought in the dome, Roberto Duran, who is my idol, he fought in the dome and they're not from here. If I fight in the dome, it's gonna be crazy."

So, who's the Rougarou going to fight next?

"I'm supposed to fight Jose Ramirez, but I don't think he wants to fight," he said. "We haven't started the negtiations yet."

‘Passion Live!’ portrays crucifixion of Jesus in New Orleans

Posted: 30 Mar 2018 02:05 PM PDT

NEW ORLEANS - The last days of Jesus came to life today on this Good Friday in the parking lot of Household of Faith Family Worship Church.

"Passion Live!" featured a live retelling of Jesus being nailed to the cross, actors performing a praise dance, roman soldiers on horseback, and hundreds of locals being moved to tears by the performance.

Along with live music, "Passion Live!" is said to offer a moving portrayal of Jesus' sacrifice for sinners.

Pastor Antonine M. Barriere, Senior Pastor of Household of Faith, says, "We must always remember what Jesus has done for us and this reenactment helps those who may tend to forget."

Bus driver turns into hair dresser for students: ‘You treat them like your own kids’

Posted: 30 Mar 2018 01:31 PM PDT

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ALPINE, Utah — Each morning, 11-year-old Isabella Pieri gets ready on her own. Her father leaves for work early, and her mother died after years of battling a rare illness, according to KSL.

Over the years, Isabella's father has taught her to take care of herself, but there is one area that's difficult for most dads: hair.

"I originally just gave her a crew cut because I didn't know how, and it was all tangled and I couldn't get it out for anything," Philip Pieri said.

After the crew cut, Isabella took matters into her own hands.

For a long time it was a quick brush, pony tail and then off to school. But a few months ago, something happened.

Better yet — someone happened: Isabella's bus driver, Tracy Dean.

"You can't be shy, you've got to talk to them. You treat them like your own kids, you know," Tracy says.

One morning as kids were getting off the bus, Isabella noticed Tracy fixing a classmates braid and got the courage to ask if she would braid her hair too.

Now, Tracy styles each girl's hair almost every morning.

"Seven years ago, I found out I had breast cancer, and that's one of the things that went though my head — who is going to take care of my little ones? Not that my husband couldn't do it, but you know, that's what mom's do. They do their kids' hair."

"It makes me feel like she's a mom pretty much to me," Isabella said. "And it makes me excited for the next day to see what she does."

As we thanked Tracy for this special act of kindness, it was hard not to get emotional because what she's doing is making a difference.

Isabella's dad is noticing.

"Tracy didn't have to step up, but she stepped up to help out, I was amazed."

And Isabella's teachers are noticing.

"I just noticed her head was a little higher that morning," her teacher, Mrs. Freeze said, "and she had a little more of a step."

‘Cajun’s’ remains one of NOLA’s top seafood spots

Posted: 30 Mar 2018 01:02 PM PDT

NEW ORLEANS-- Whether you're Catholic or not, the influence of that religion on our culture plays out in our diets more this time of year than most.

To find out just how much of our favorable eats we consume, we headed over to one of the biggest producers of what we love, Cajun Seafood.

Owner Chi Nguyen told us, "This week is always gonna be our biggest week because of Lent season and the ending of Lent. You've got Good Friday and then you've got Easter, so there are a lot of parties and a lot of gatherings."

If you're wondering just how much seafood they move this one week of the year, ask mom.  Nga Le is in charge of keeping a keen eye on just how much shrimp, crawfish, and oysters they sell.

Yes, we love our seafood in these parts and the folks at Cajun do deliver.  In fact they operate 4 locations across the area.  In fact, they've even become a favortie spot for people visiting our city, and it's for good reason.

Nguyen says, "I guess word of mouth because we've catered to locals for over 20 years now, and a lot of locals work in the tourist industry, even from the concierge in the tourist industry to the housekeeping people. People are asking where the locals go, so they always recommend Cajun's."

News with a Twist 2018 Jazz Fest Ticket Contest!

Posted: 30 Mar 2018 01:00 PM PDT

Watch all week Mon-Fri April 2-6 for a chance to win tickets to the 2018 New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival!

Watch for the secret Artist of the Day in the 6 pm News with a Twist on WGNO and 11 pm News with a Twist on WNOL (NOLA38).

We’ll pick two winners after each day for 10 total winners, each receives a pair of single day tickets to the Fest!

Visit the official New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival website for more information and to purchase tickets: www.nojazzfest.com

 

Michael Phelps calls on US Olympic Committee to do more to help athletes struggling with depression

Posted: 30 Mar 2018 12:11 PM PDT

The most decorated Olympian of all time, swimmer Michael Phelps rewrote sports history.

But his journey to 28 Olympic medals did not come without challenge. Even in the midst of Olympic perfection, the athlete grappled with mental health issues.

Phelps, 32, opened up about his years-long battle with depression to David Axelrod on “The Axe Files,” a podcast from The University of Chicago Institute of Politics and CNN.

“I’m somebody who’s gone through at least three or four major depression spells after games that that, you know, I’ve put my life in danger,” said Phelps, whose success at each Olympic Games was followed by drug and alcohol use.

After the 2012 Olympics, Phelps said he wanted to take his life, “I wanted to die. I straight wanted to die.”

“We were prescribed Ambien because we were traveling the world and I actually looked back and I had one Ambien left and I’m actually happy I only had one because you had a full prescription you know. Who knows,” Phelps said.

Here are a few takeaways from Phelps’ conversation with Axelrod:

The US Olympic Committee should do more

“We’re competing to represent our country, we’re competing to do everything we can to try to win a medal or to try to do our country proud by wearing the stars and stripes on international ground. When we come home from it, you know, they’re like kind of ‘OK check. Who’s the next kid coming in? Where’s the next person?’ And I think it’s sad,” he said.

Phelps said a majority of Olympic athletes go through a “post-Olympic depression.” Among them, US swimmers Missy Franklin and Allison Schmitt. Franklin also spoke to CNN about her own experiences of depression following her four gold medal wins.

“It saddens me that we still don’t have anything put in place to help them make that next transition,” Phelps told Axelrod, “The USOC in my opinion hasn’t done anything to help us transition after an Olympics, and I think that’s sad. I think it’s unfortunate and it’s something that we’re working towards now.”

In 2016 the USOC launched Pivot, a program designed to help athletes “discover and cultivate their next passions and goals as they transition out of elite competition.” The program is specifically intended to assist retiring athletes.

‘I swam with a lot of anger’

Learning to discuss his emotions, Phelps said, was an incredibly important step in recovering.

He had to look back on his upbringing, where he first struggled internally. Phelps’ parents divorced at a young age and growing up in a single-family household was “challenging.”

He did not have a good relationship with his father, who Phelps said was never around. Phelps carried that “abandonment feeling” throughout his early life.

“I did sort of want a white picket fence and the family dinner. I wanted that as a kid growing up. I saw my friends having it,” Phelps said.

Swimming was his escape and he learned to take out his frustrations under water.

“There were moments growing up when I was training where I swam with aggression. I swam with a lot of anger. And yeah part of it was probably coming from home and coming from what I was going through when we were in our home life,” Phelps said, “I’d let out a lot of profanity under water.”

What he’s doing now is “bigger than a gold medal”

Today he understands that “it’s OK to not be OK,” and he’s using his voice to help others struggling with mental health issues through the Michael Phelps Foundation.

“Every day somebody is going to have ups and downs and if we can continue to help people get out and talk about things and open up, for me that was something that completely changed my life and I was able to see a much cleaner happier healthier way of living,” Phelps told Axelrod.

Phelps knows that by sharing his experience he has the chance to save lives.

“So if I can honestly save a life or save two lives that’s all I want. For me that’s way bigger than ever winning a gold medal,” Phelps said.

Russia’s RT television network will go dark in Washington D.C.

Posted: 30 Mar 2018 12:09 PM PDT

Russia’s English language network last year took out dozens of cheeky ads across Washington D.C. to court viewers. RT’s ads, which appeared on bus shelters and on cars, included clever lines like “Stuck in traffic? Lost an election? Blame it on us!”

Come Sunday, however, D.C. area residents will have a harder time finding the Russian-government funded RT on their TV sets.

MHz, the main distributor for RT’s programming in Washington, D.C. announced earlier this month that it will cease with the network’s broadcasts and cable distribution on April 1. The decision also affects other international networks such as France 24, China’s CGTN and Germany’s Deutsche Welle.

RT is placing part of the blame on the US Justice Department. RT said last year that the Justice Department had forced T&R Productions, the American company that produces the network’s US broadcast, to register as a foreign agent. The American companies that work with the radio and online versions of the Russian government-funded radio network and website Sputnik were also required to register as foreign agents. Companies that register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act, or FARA, can continue broadcasting as they had been, but must submit regular updates and information related to the company’s activities and disclose its registration as a foreign agent to its audience.

RT deputy editor in chief and head of communications Anna Belkina said in an email that RT had in fact ceased to be available by broadcast in the area in February. It continued to air on cable, but that will end on Sunday.

“Although we are not at liberty to disclose the details, we know that the reason for this was linked to RT’s forced registration as a ‘foreign agent’ in the US,” she wrote. “It is highly disappointing that despite assurances that FARA status would not impact RT’s reporting and broadcasting capabilities, the registration in fact has placed undue burden on multiple areas of RT operations, and pressure on our partners as well, thus unequivocally demonstrating that the spirit of the FARA law is discriminatory even if the letter of that law technically isn’t.”

But Fred Thomas, president of MHz networks said in an interview that his company’s decision had “absolutely nothing to do with the Justice Department.”

“It’s simply an odd coincidence of timing,” he said, explaining that his company only leased the broadcast license to air RT and other foreign networks in the area. Last year the owner of those licenses auctioned off their spectrum — part of the airwaves they use — and as a result, MHz lost access.

Thomas said they tried to secure another license in the market but that “at the end of the day … it just didn’t make financial sense for us.”

Bloomberg first reported on the RT outage.

RT, which did not respond to CNN’s request for comment, is still available on satellite network Dish and streams for free on RT.com.

Suspected Russian hacker extradited to US

Posted: 30 Mar 2018 11:48 AM PDT

A Russian hacker suspected of stealing 117 million LinkedIn passwords in 2012 has been extradited to the United States after a protracted diplomatic struggle between the US and Russia, the Czech Justice Ministry said on Friday.

A US official told CNN that Yevgeniy Nikulin arrived in the United States overnight and is expected to eventually appear before a federal judge in San Francisco.

Nikulin was arrested by Czech police in Prague in 2016 after US authorities issued an international arrest warrant for him. A grand jury indictment filed in 2016 in California charged him with computer intrusion and aggravated identity theft, among other offenses.

According to the indictment, Nikulin managed to break into LinkedIn’s computers in March 2012 because he stole the username and password of an employee who worked at the company’s Mountain View, California, headquarters.

Nikulin denies all the charges.

His extradition from the Czech Republic to the United States was a culmination of a year-and-a-half-long legal and political battle between the US and Russia, and the case reached the highest levels of politics in the Czech Republic, the US and Russia.

Soon after his arrest and the US extradition request, the Russian government asked for Nikulin to be extradited to his home country over an alleged theft from an online money transfer company back in 2009.

The Russian Foreign Ministry said at the time it wanted to prevent Nikulin’s extradition to the United States.

US House Speaker Paul Ryan met with the Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis during his visit to Prague earlier this week. A spokesperson for Babis said the topic of Nikulin’s extradition was discussed during the meeting.

Robert Pelikan, the Czech Minister of Justice, told CNN that the move to extradite Nikulin to the United States was an “easy decision” after comparing the alleged crimes in the US and Russia and the level of intensity of the countries to extradite him. He also said he did not feel pressured by the Russians.

Pelikan added that he made the decision a “long time ago” but waited for all the legal proceedings to be finished.

The Nikulin case has further strained US-Russian relations. Russian authorities have objected to US efforts to extradite Russian nationals from third countries in connection with alleged hacking offenses. US authorities have filed extradition requests for Russian hackers arrested in Latvia, Spain and Greece.

Why Apple uses privacy as a sales pitch

Posted: 30 Mar 2018 11:46 AM PDT

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Facebook keeps apologizing for privacy. Apple uses privacy as a selling point.

Apple CEO Tim Cook teed off on Facebook’s digital advertising strategy in an interview hosted by MSNBC’s Chris Hayes and Recode’s Kara Swisher on Wednesday.

He called privacy a “human right” and “a civil liberty.” When “all of a sudden something is chasing me around the web,” Cook said, he finds it “creepy.”

Cook claimed the moral high ground, saying Apple “could make a ton of money if we monetized our customers” the way Facebook does. But he said he decided not to do it because it would violate the trust Apple has built with its fans.

Easy for him to say. Apple makes the vast majority of its money selling hardware, including iPhones, iPads and Macs, and it doesn’t sell as much of its customers’ personal information to advertisers as Google and Facebook do. Its iAd advertising business is extremely small — not by choice, but because it failed to take off.

Instead, Apple has made privacy a sales pitch for its products.

In a 2010 interview with The Wall Street Journal’s Walt Mossberg, former CEO Steve Jobs defiantly defended customers’ right to transparency.

“Privacy means people know what they’re signing up for, in plain English and repeatedly,” Jobs said in 2010. “Ask them. Ask them every time. Make them tell you to stop asking them if they get tired of your asking them. Let them know precisely what you’re going to do with their data.”

In 2014, after hackers stole celebrities’ nude photos from their iCloud accounts, Apple committed to transparency about the information it collects and shares. It said it wouldn’t sell information to advertisers based on the content of your emails and texts. And it encrypted iPhones so the government can’t get its hands on data stored on your phone.

That issue blew up in 2016, when Apple refused to comply with a court order to break into the iPhone owned by the gunman in the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California.

An Apple spokesman declined to comment for this story.

Facebook, on the other hand, has built an entire business on selling information about its customers to advertisers.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg says the public doesn’t understand Facebook’s business model. In an interview with CNN’s Laurie Segall, he noted that Facebook doesn’t sell raw data to advertisers.

Instead, Facebook analyzes its 2 billion customers’ personal information, assigns it to categories, such as 18-to-20-year-old women who like baseball, and allows companies to target ads to those groups.

Yet Facebook’s reputation is decidedly different from Apple’s. The company is taking heat after Cambridge Analytica, a data company with ties to President Trump’s campaign, accessed information from about 50 million Facebook users without their knowledge.

Problems with privacy and privacy settings have plagued Facebook for years. The FTC fined Facebook for privacy violations and Zuckerberg has apologized a number of times for Facebook’s screw-ups.

Zuckerberg has struggled to articulate his position on privacy. In a recent post, he called for internal investigations and trust-building. Facebook has also made its privacy settings easier to navigate and dialed back its business with companies that collect information about consumers. A Facebook spokeswoman declined to comment beyond its blog posts and recent actions on privacy.

In his CNN interview, Zuckerberg said he would welcome regulation — maybe.

“I actually am not sure we shouldn’t be regulated,” he said. “I think in general technology is an increasingly important trend in the world. I think the question is more what is the right regulation rather than ‘yes or no, should we be regulated?'”

In a recent Wired interview, Zuckerberg hedged further, saying government “guidelines are much better than dictating specific processes.” For example, he said Germany’s laws against hate speech “backfired.”

Cook disagrees. He said Facebook’s privacy situation was “dire,” and he called on legislators to fix it.

“Some well-crafted regulation is necessary,” Cook said.

Zuckerberg’s wishy-washy answers aren’t surprising. If Apple were in the same line of business, it would probably hedge, too.

Kentucky teachers to skip work after lawmakers’ ‘bait and switch’ on pension reform

Posted: 30 Mar 2018 11:21 AM PDT

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Several Kentucky teachers won’t be going to work Friday after the state legislature approved changes to their pension on Thursday.

Educators, who are furious over the pension issue, called out of work in protest. At least nine counties have canceled school, the Kentucky Democrats tweeted early Friday. Kentucky has 120 counties.

The bill, which overhauls the state’s pension, passed mostly on party lines and heads to Gov. Matt Bevin, who supports reforming the system. State leaders say it’s critical to fix the pension crisis, which ranks as one of the worst in the US.

Kentucky teachers have opposed changes to their pension, which was in Senate Bill 1 that proposed reducing benefits.

But in a surprise move, elements of Senate Bill 1 were tucked into another bill, Senate Bill 151, which had been about sewage services, reported several CNN affiliates in Kentucky. And the new, nearly 300-page Senate Bill 151 passed both the state House and Senate Thursday to the chagrin of teachers and retirees who crammed into the Capitol.

“Just vote no!” they chanted Thursday. “Vote them out!”

The Kentucky Education Association, which represents teachers and other education professionals, slammed the maneuver as a “classic legislative bait and switch.”

“It stripped all the ‘local provision of wastewater services’ language out of SB151 and replaced it with many of the harmful provisions of SB1,” the association stated.

The group expressed further concern: “We haven’t seen the bill, weren’t allowed to testify. The bill hasn’t had the required actuarial analysis, includes no fiscal impact statement and no fiscal note.”

A summary of the bill has the following, according to CNN affiliate WKYT:

  • There will be no changes to the annual cost of living adjustments, which will remain at 1.5%.
  • New hires will have to enter a hybrid cash balance plan, in which members contribute a specified amount into their account.
  • Limits the number of sick days teachers can put toward their retirement.

Kentucky Republicans tweeted a summary of the bill.

Republican lawmakers attempted to allay concerns, saying that the bill is a compromise to save the state’s pension.

“I would urge everyone to take a deep breath and not buy into the talking points and the hyperbole,” Sen. Damon Thayer, a Republican, said during the discussion. “This is good news for teachers, current, retired and future, because it puts Kentucky’s pension systems on a path to sustainability.”

The bill passed the House in a 49-46 vote and the Senate by 22-15, according to CNN affiliate WLKY.

Gov. Bevin, a Republican praised the lawmakers who supported the bill for not “kicking the pension problem down the road.”

But Democrats and opponents of the bill disagreed. Kentucky’s Attorney General Andy Beshear, a Democrat tweeted: “This is government at its worst.”

Inspired by the West Virginia strike, in which teachers went on strike and won concessions, teachers are similarly organizing and publicly pressuring their state lawmakers in states including Oklahoma and Arizona.

How to lose underarm ‘batwing’ fat

Posted: 30 Mar 2018 11:20 AM PDT

Chances are, if you are a woman over 40, you are probably familiar with the term “batwings” to describe the stubborn fat and sagging skin that starts appearing under your upper arms around this age.

Though it’s difficult to completely avoid or correct, you don’t have to toss your tank tops in the trash, either. There are several actions you can take to significantly improve their appearance.

Flabby arms are due to a combination of factors associated with aging and genetics, including an increase in overall body fat mass (a greater portion of which localizes to the arms in some women due to genetics), loss of muscle mass in the arms associated with aging and reduced activity (causing the skin to hang more loosely on the upper arm) and a loss of elasticity in the skin due to both aging and sun damage from UV radiation, according to San Francisco dermatologist Dr. Richard Glogau.

The most effective way to target flabby arms is through exercise. Losing body fat is essential if you are overweight and building up your triceps muscles. Those muscles on the backs of the arms, which you probably don’t use that much in your day-to-day activity, can make a big difference in reducing flab there.

According to personal trainer Jennifer Cohen, you don’t need a gym membership or special exercise equipment to target this muscle. Doing these three exercises two or three times each week and reducing your body fat if it is too high, you should notice a difference in your upper arms in four to six weeks.

Triceps step-ups

Start in a plank position, holding your body as straight as possible, balancing on your toes and elbows. Make sure your abs are pulled into to your spine. From this position, go up on your hands one at a time and then quickly go back on to your elbows. Keep doing this for 30 seconds and rest for 30 to 90 seconds. Repeat three times (for a total of four), alternating the starting arm (right, left, right, left). If you are a beginner, you can do this exercise on your knees instead of your toes.

Triceps pushups

Start in a plank position, this time balancing on your hands and toes. (Beginners can balance on hands and knees.) Hands should be on the ground, shoulder width apart. From this position, lower your body toward the floor while keeping your elbows brushed against your rib cage. Stop when your shoulders are in line with your elbows. (Beginners, stop when you feel you can no longer hold up your body weight.) Pause for a count of three and then press back into a plank pose. Aim for three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions, resting 30 to 90 seconds in between sets.

Triceps dips

This exercise can be done of the side of a bench, couch or very sturdy chair. Sit and wrap your hands around the front of the bench with your knuckles facing forward. Slide your butt off the bench with your arms extended, and slowly lower your body until your elbows are bent to a 90-degree angle. Note that the closer your feet are to the bench, the easier this exercise will be. Go up and down for 30 seconds three times, resting 30 to 90 seconds in between each set.

Alternatives

When it comes to often pricey skin firming and tightening creams, don’t waste your money, Glogau said, as science hasn’t figure out a way to rebuild the protein in the skin responsible for elasticity.

You are much better off wearing sunscreen to prevent or avoid skin damage and using a good basic moisturizer to smooth out the top layer of skin.

Some procedures, including radiofrequency, ultrasound, infrared and lasers, may have a very modest effect on skin tightening by injuring the fibrous bands that attach skin to muscle, causing them to tighten up. Cold- and heat-based fat reduction procedures can help with fat loss and may result in modest skin tightening, but they are expensive, and individual results vary.

Like with most things, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. To keep batwings at bay, the best thing you can do as you get older is to stay fit and lean and to wear sunscreen.

Stephon Clark was shot by police 8 times — 6 of them in the back, family attorneys say

Posted: 30 Mar 2018 11:18 AM PDT

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An independent autopsy shows that Stephon Clark was shot by Sacramento police eight times, and six of those wounds were in his back, said Dr. Bennet Omalu, the forensic pathologist retained by attorneys for Clark’s family to conduct a separate autopsy.

Police had previously said officers fired 20 shots at Clark on the evening of March 18, when police responded to a 911 call about a man who was breaking car windows.

The results of an independent autopsy conducted on Stephon Clark, an unarmed African-American man shot dead by Sacramento police, will be announced Friday.

The family of the 22-year-old has disputed the police account of his death while protesters have marched for several days at City Hall and NBA games demanding justice.

The autopsy was performed by Dr. Bennet Omalu, a forensic pathologist and co-founder of the Brain Injury Research Institute, who is credited with discovering chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in professional football players.

“No family should have to endure this pain and suffering as they try to seek answers,” said civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump who is representing Clark’s family.

Crump has represented the families of Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and Tamir Rice.

The fatal shooting took place on March 18 after Sacramento officers responded to a 911 call about a man who broke car windows and was hiding behind a home.

Police said they pursued a man — later identified as Clark — who hopped a fence into his grandmother’s property.

The officers said they shot Clark because they believed he was pointing a gun at them, but investigators only found a cell phone near his body, according to police.

Earlier this week, the Sacramento County Coroner determined the cause of death as multiple gunshot wounds. The manner of death was homicide, according to a preliminary autopsy report.

The exact number of gunshots suffered by Clark is not being released at this time, a spokesperson for the coroner’s office said.

The coroner’s full autopsy report will be withheld until the case is adjudicated in court.

Attorneys will discuss the results of the independent autopsy just a day after Clark’s funeral.

‘This is not a local matter’

On Thursday, Rev. Al Sharpton vowed to press for justice as he delivered the eulogy for Clark at Bayside of South Sacramento Church.

“We will never let you forget the name of Stephon Clark until we get justice,” Sharpton told mourners.

The sanctuary overflowed with so many people that some sat outside as the funeral took place.

Sharpton spoke while being hugged by Clark’s brother Stevante, who had just interrupted the service with an emotional plea to never forget his brother.

In the eulogy, Sharpton disagreed with White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders, who called Clark’s shooting a “local matter” that should be left up to local authorities.

“No, this is not a local matter — they’ve been killing young black men all over the country,” he said.

Sharpton also pointed out that protests over Clark’s death have been peaceful.

“They’re not being violent. They’re asking for you to stop being violent to them,” Sharpton said. “They’re not trying to hurt anybody. They’re trying to express their pain.”

The investigation

Police released footage of Clark’s shooting 72 hours after it happened as authorities are still gathering facts and conducting a thorough investigation.

In the footage, someone can be heard telling officers to mute their body cameras. The comment comes about seven minutes after Clark was shot multiple times — and it has not sat well with the community.

Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn told CNN he doesn’t know why the cameras were muted. Officers are allowed to do so in specific situations, like when they’re talking to a confidential informant, he said.

“The bigger question, even beyond this specific case, is if we should allow people to mute their mics at all or under those circumstances,” he said Tuesday. “We were already looking at that before this incident happened, but I think this incident is a perfect example of why that is problematic.”

“Any time there is muting on this camera, it builds suspicion — as it has in this case.”

Hahn announced this week that California Attorney General Xavier Becerra will hold an independent investigation into the incident.

SpaceX aced its launch, but the $6 million nose cone crashed

Posted: 30 Mar 2018 11:02 AM PDT

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SpaceX launched another rocket on Friday, and fans waited with bated breath to find out if the company successfully landed the $6 million nose cone into a giant seaborne net.

But the news wasn’t good. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said on Twitter that as the nose cone — also called a fairing — fell back toward Earth, the parafoils that were supposed to slow its decent became tangled.

So the “fairing impacted water at high speed,” Musk said. That likely destroyed it.

Liftoff occurred just after 7 am PT from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California, and the primary mission went off without a hitch. A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket delivered a group of 10 satellites into orbit for communications firm Iridium.

SpaceX is well known for landing and reusing rocket boosters to bring down the price of its rockets. But this was one of the rare occasions Musk has acknowledged his rocket startup’s attempts to recover the fairing after launch.

The fairing rests on the top of the rocket, and it acts as a shield for the satellites during launch. Once the rocket is in space,it splits into two and falls away. Typically, it’s left to plummet back to Earth where the ocean becomes its graveyard.

But SpaceX wants to change that. As Musk once put it, if “you had $6 million in cash on a palette flying through the air, and it’s going to smash into the ocean, would you try to recover it? Yes. Yes, you would.”

The company has quietly tried to recapture the 43-foot-long fairing halves since at least March of 2017.

At least twice, SpaceX guided fairing halves to soft landings in the ocean. But there’s a problem.

“Once it gets into the water, it’s quite damaging to the electronics and components inside the fairing,” said Glenn Lightsey, a professor of aerospace engineering at Georgia Tech. “Most likely if it gets into the water, it’s not usable.”

Enter, Mr. Steven.

For Friday’s launch, a ship, named Mr. Steven, went out to sea where it waited and attempted to catch half of the fairing with its giant net.

On Friday morning, marine tracking sites showed the ship positioned due west of Baja California.

Recovering and reusing a fairing has never been done by any company or government.

Experts told CNNMoney that the feat is extremely complex — but not impossible.

Robert Braun, dean of the college of engineering and applied science at the University of Colorado Boulder, said, “recovery of the fairing is absolutely feasible, just from basic physics. There are no showstoppers to doing so, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy.”

But he added that SpaceX has the “right approach” with its try, fail and fix mentality. “I’m quite confident they’ll succeed sooner or later,” Braun added.

Musk is already tweeting about plans for running more tests and tweaking the fairing’s systems to give it a better chance of success next time.

SpaceX did not attempt its signature move on Friday by landing the first-stage rocket booster. The booster had flown once before on an October 2017 mission, and SpaceX will reportedly discard some of its older boosters as it gears up to debut an upgraded version of the Falcon 9, called Block 5.

SpaceX has already mastered the ludicrously complex maneuver of guiding a first-stage rocket booster back to Earth.

Thanks to SpaceX’s efforts to reuse hardware, its Falcon 9 rocket is drastically cheaper than competing rockets — and the customers keep lining up. The company is on pace to have its busiest year of launches ever.

Flu is still hanging around in some regions, CDC warns

Posted: 30 Mar 2018 10:48 AM PDT

You may want to take a little extra time washing your hands if you’re visiting relatives this Passover and Easter weekend. Doctors are still seeing a number of patients with flu, but the numbers are declining amid an intense flu season.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed four more flu-associated pediatric deaths in the 12th week of the season, bringing the total to 137 since October. Puerto Rico and 16 states were still seeing widespread flu cases during the week ending March 24, the CDC said Friday in its weekly surveillance report.

Caused by viruses, the flu is an infection that makes your nose run, makes it hard to breathe, can cause aches and fever and can sap your strength. Often, it can clear up on its own, but it can be severe and even deadly.

The CDC says 27,438 people were hospitalized with the flu between October 1 and March 24. Those most vulnerable are people over age 65, followed by adults between the ages of 50 and 64 years old. Small children and people with underlying medical conditions like asthma or who are overweight are also vulnerable to an intense case of the flu.

There were 3,943 new confirmed infections for the week ending March 24, bringing the total this season to 254,280.

The states where doctors’ waiting rooms are still busy with flu cases include Alaska, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Virginia and Wisconsin. Regional activity was reported in 22 states. Four states had high outpatient activity, and eight had moderate rates.

Sporadic flu activity was reported by four states: Alabama, Hawaii, Mississippi and Vermont.

If you want to escape the flu completely, head to the US Virgin Islands, which was reporting no flu activity at all.

Nationally, about 2.5% of people who went to the doctor had flu-like symptoms in the week ending March 24. That’s above the expected level — just 0.03% higher — but the percentage has gone down from the previous week, when the rate was 2.7%.

Looking at lab evidence, the CDC found a mix of flu strains making the rounds this season, including A strains such as H3N2 and H1N1. The B strains of the virus seem to be showing up more recently, but even those are slowing.

It’s not too late to get a flu shot, if you haven’t. Even if you’ve been sick once this season, because of the variety of viruses, you can still get a different strain.

“The flu continues to decline,” CDC spokeswoman Kristen Nordlund said. “And it’s likely to go below baseline in the next couple of weeks.”

The Kentucky county where the water smells like diesel

Posted: 30 Mar 2018 10:46 AM PDT

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For the past 20 years, Hope Workman has hustled up a dirt path on the side of a mountain in Lovely, Kentucky, just to get drinking water. She doesn’t trust what comes out of her tap.

If she’s by herself, she’ll take her ATV. If one of her daughters is coming along, they take their four-wheel-drive truck. It takes her about seven minutes to grind up the hill before she reaches her destination: a small plastic well tapped into the side of the mountain with a 3½-foot PVC pipe.

The day CNN visited, the temperature was just above freezing, and Hope’s hands shivered as she filled jug after jug with crystal-clear drinking water.

“This is what we go through to get water, unfortunately,” she said.

Workman is not the only person in Martin County, Kentucky, or America for that matter, who struggles to get clean water. Two well-publicized crises include Flint, Michigan’s, lead contamination and Puerto Rico’s failing water systems in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

As our water infrastructure system ages, experts say, keeping America’s water clean becomes increasingly challenging. The American Society of Civil Engineers gives the nation’s drinking water infrastructure a grade of D.

According to the the society, about 1 million miles of pipes crisscross the country to deliver us clean water, much of it overseen by local municipalities that are challenged with aging hardware. Many of these pipes were laid underground nearly a century ago and are reaching the end of their life spans. As they age, they can crack, and water breaks become more common. In fact, the entire country loses nearly 6 billion gallons of water a day just to leaky pipes.

For many cash-strapped local utilities, it’s difficult to find the resources to manage a problem we rarely see.

Faucets run brown

But when the problem does come to the surface, it’s hard to ignore. Just ask the residents of Martin County. Customers of the county’s water district post videos and pictures on social media of brown cloudy water spouting out of their taps. Sometimes, it comes out looking like blue Gatorade. Sometimes, it smells like diesel fuel.

Locals ask themselves, “Just what’s in the water?”

Until several months ago, customers received notices on the back of their water bills stating that their water had been tested and found to be above federal limits of trihalomethanes and haloacetic acids. These contaminants are a reaction between the chlorine used to treat the water for bacteria and organic matter that may be found in the water or the pipes. Exposure to these chemicals could mean an increased risk of cancer.

Eastern Kentucky has some of the highest levels of cancer in the country due to smoking and obesity, but residents here also wonder whether their water is to blame.

‘We’re just scared of the water’

Martin County resident BarbiAnn Maynard is convinced that her mother’s cancer was related to the water.

“We don’t really know what to do. We’re just scared of the water and have been for years,” she said.

“You’re afraid to wash your hands if you’ve got a cut,” Maynard said. Taking a shower is no better. “I don’t feel like I’m getting clean. I might smell a little bit better, but I don’t feel any better about it.”

Dr. Don Lafferty, a local physician, feels that he’s in a difficult position when patients ask him whether the water is the source of their health issues. “I can’t tell them it’s safe or it isn’t safe,” he told CNN’s chief medical correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

“We shouldn’t have to be asking … in 2018 whether or not water is causing cancer in our region.”

Where the War on Poverty began

Nestled in the hills of Eastern Kentucky, Martin County has had a long history tied to coal. Between 1918 and 2015, the county produced more than 436 million tons of coal. But as the coal industry died out, Martin County struggled. Nearly 40% of its population lives at or below the federal poverty level. The unemployment rate in the county is almost double the national rate.

But poverty has been endemic to the area for years. President Lyndon Johnson came here in 1954 to launch his War on Poverty.

“In 2018, in the very place where LBJ declared war on poverty … water is our number one issue. That’s hard to imagine,” said Gary Ball, editor-in-chief of the local weekly newspaper, The Mountain Citizen.

What’s happened in Martin County is a worst-case scenario that may be happening in other parts of the country, said Lindell Ormsbee, director of the Kentucky Water Resources Research Institute at the University of Kentucky.

“I think it’s somewhat of a systematic representation of what’s happening in a lot of other places where no one’s looking. It’s almost like the proverbial canary in the mine,” Ormsbee said.

What is happening?

A large part of the issue in Martin County is just hardware itself. There are about 300 miles of piping that deliver water across the county, placed up and over rocky terrain, making them even more susceptible to leaking. Today, more than half of the water that leaves the Martin County Water District treatment center doesn’t make it to the faucet.

When water systems are operating optimally, there is enough going through the pipes at a high enough pressure that debris from outside the pipe can’t make its way inside. Essentially, there’s so much water going through so quickly that even if there is a crack in the pipe, the water can act as a barrier. But as soon as that pressure drops or there’s less water going through the pipes, there is suddenly room for soil, debris and chemical residue to sneak into the drinking water.

And because of the leakage issues, the Water District hasn’t been able to flush the water lines clean in years, said Joe Burns of the Kentucky Rural Water Association. “As far as systematic lines, it’s been years since it’s even been able to be accomplished.”

Burns’ group is working with the Martin County Water District to help make improvements as best as they can. They’ve been able to reduce the levels of byproduct contaminants to under federal limits by simply changing where they add the chlorine.

But on top of issues with the lines, there are upgrades to the water treatment facilities, pumps and meters that still need to be made.

Investments in hardware and software are needed

For a financially struggling municipality, it is hard to find resources outside raising water rates, which is difficult for a community of people who mostly live on a limited income.

Infrastructure isn’t just pipes and hardware, Ormsbee said; it also includes financial and technical management.

Small water systems, such as Martin County, that serve less than 10,000 customers supply water to nearly 20% of the country. In addition to infrastructure and financial challenges, many of these systems can have a difficult time attracting the technical expertise to help. In fact, small systems made up 72% of EPA violations in 2015 and 2016.

Some citizens in Martin County feel that they’ve been forgotten. “Appalachia has been at the forefront in helping to improve this country for many years. … We’ve sent people to die in all of our country’s wars. We’ve populated this country with people in all industries,” Lafferty said. “We are Americans, too.”

Ball points to a new government center and a business complex in Inez, the county seat. The cost is nearly $20 million, money that he said could have been spent on upgrading the water system.

Some relief

Recently, Martin County received federal grants amounting to $3.4 million to go toward its water system. Experts believe that overhauling the system would take $13.5 million to $15 million.

President Trump’s infrastructure proposal gives some residents hope. The $1.5 trillion plan touted by the White House is supposed to cover all infrastructure upgrades in the nation, but experts believe that it would cost the country $1 trillion just to maintain and meet the demands for drinking water for the next 25 years.

Critics further point out the White House’s plan earmarks only $200 billion in federal investment. The remainder is to be made up by the states and the private sector.

“Time will tell,” Lafferty said. “Politicians should remember that ‘forgotten people’ usually have long memories.”