Blog Rolls

Firefighters Lose Ground On Largest Of California Fires

Over the weekend, the Thomas Fire had been declared 15 percent contained, but on Sunday, officials downgraded that to just 10 percent as the fire spread north, encompassing 230,000 acres.

(Image credit: Mike Eliason/AP)

Categories: Just News

Simeon Booker, Dean Of Washington's Black Press Corps, Dies At 99

Booker chronicled the civil rights movement, and is credited with helping to deliver the 1955 story of Emmitt Till's murder to a national audience.

(Image credit: Ann Heisenfelt/AP)

Categories: Just News

Poll: Discrimination Against Women Is Common Across Races, Ethnicities, Identities

New results from an NPR poll show sexism and discrimination against women is widespread and pervasive. Sexual harassment is just one of many challenges women experience in daily life.

(Image credit: Alyson Hurt/NPR)

Categories: Just News

Window Blind Cords Still Pose A Deadly Risk To Children

Nearly one child a month dies after being entangled in window blind cords, despite years of effort to reduce the toll. A new industry standard to remove most corded blinds from the market may help.

(Image credit: Joanne Dugan/Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

New on LLRX – Virtual Chat Reference Services

Via LLRXVirtual Chat Reference Services – If our library had a virtual chat service linked to our website, would our reference librarians receive more questions? Brandon Wright Adler answers this question in the affirmative and shares her recommendations for services that merit your review and consideration.

Categories: Law and Legal

Terry Crews On His Sexual Assault Lawsuit: This Is About Accountability

NPR's Michel Martin spoke with actor Terry Crews about sexual assault, how he joined the #MeToo movement and why he is fighting to hold people in Hollywood accountable.

(Image credit: Jordan Strauss/AP)

Categories: Just News

American Bar Association focus of attacks in efforts to approve unqualified judges

Politico: “Senate Republicans have declared war on the American Bar Association. Since 1953, the venerable legal organization has played a critical, behind-the-scenes role in assessing judicial nominees and their fitness to serve on the bench.But with the ABA emerging as a major stumbling block in President Donald Trump’s effort to transform the courts, the GOP is accusing the nonpartisan group of holding a liberal slant and is seeking to sideline it. The ABA has deemed at least four of Trump’s judicial nominees “not qualified” — a high number, although other administrations had the ABA evaluate candidates privately before they were nominated. Democrats warn of dire consequences of ignoring the group’s evaluations. But Republicans are intent on a dramatic reshaping of the federal judiciary that could last for decades and so far, haven’t been persuaded by the ABA’s ratings. As the Senate prepares this week to confirm one appellate nominee that the ABA said was not qualified for the bench, Republicans are instead ratcheting up their attacks to try to discredit the century-old group. “The ABA’s record on judicial nominations has been highly questionable,” said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “It has demonstrated over past decades repeatedly partisan interests and ideological interests.” Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, who also sits on the Judiciary Committee and is a vocal GOP critic of Trump, added: “Not a big fan of the ABA.” “It’s blatantly political,” Flake said. “Often. Not always.” The bar association has already been diminished somewhat under Trump. In a shift from the Obama White House and a return to the policy of George W. Bush, the administration decided earlier this year not to allow the ABA to review potential candidates before they were nominated…[emphasis added]”

Categories: Law and Legal

Rohingya Activist: 'Rohingya Are Not Safe Anywhere'

More than half of Myanmar's Rohingya have fled the country since 1978 because of periodic military crackdowns. Activist Adbul Rasheed is working for the safe repatriation of his people.

(Image credit: Claire Harbage/NPR)

Categories: Just News

'Fight For Rights Will Continue' In Zimbabwe, #ThisFlag Movement Pastor Vows

Robert Mugabe is gone as Zimbabwe's leader, but Evan Mawarire warns that abuses have yet to end. "The citizens of our nation are not enemies to our government," he says. "They should be listened to."

(Image credit: Mujahid Safodien/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

This Year's Christmas Tree Shortage Has Roots In The Recession

This season, a tightened tree supply dates back eight to 10 years ago, when fewer trees were planted. Due also in part to an exodus of tree farmers in the industry, prices have more than doubled.

Categories: Just News

Stories Of Syria's Uprising, And Its Backyard Funerals, In 'Gardens Speak'

In Miami Beach, visitors were lying down in freshly-dug graves 10 at a time. It was part of Tania El Khoury's interactive artwork, which tells the tales of people killed in Syria's civil war.

(Image credit: Tania El Khoury/Courtesy of the artist)

Categories: Just News

The Internet Celebrates The First Snow Of The Season

The Northest, Southeast, and mid-Atlantic were blanketed in the season's first snowfall this weekend, prompting some panic, and lots of Instagrammed awe.

(Image credit: Stephanie Keith/Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

OpenCorporates ingesting registered trademarks from multiple sources and reconciling them to companies

“Here at OpenCorporates, our core mission has always been about making official public data about companies more widely available, more usable and more useful. Much of this comes from one of the 120+ company registers we use as a primary source, but an increasing amount comes from other public sources, which now includes US and global trademark registers. This is useful information in its own right, but it now also allows you to search for companies by the trademarks they own – which is for some a more natural way of doing things. It’s fairly common to think of companies as the trademarks, logos and product names we interact with daily, rather than as legal entities. For example, while lots of people will recognise the brand Nestlé, fewer will know the full company name – Société des Produits Nestlé S.A. In many cases, brand names and the name of the company that holds the trademark are not even close. Alongside over 900,000 existing trademarks from the WIPO Madrid Register, OpenCorporates now also has 4.5 million trademarks from the U.S. Patents and Trademarks Office, and we’re pulling in new trademarks and updates every day…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Iraq Study Group Papers of former U.S. Rep. Lee Hamilton are now available in digital format

Indiana University Bloomington: “The Iraq Study Group Papers of former U.S. Rep. Lee Hamilton are now available in digital format from Indiana University Libraries, providing researchers and the public with a behind-the-scenes look at a bipartisan panel that influenced U.S. policy in Iraq. Hamilton, now a distinguished scholar in the IU School of Global and International Studies and professor of practice in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, served as co-chair of the study group, which assessed the conduct of the Iraq War and recommended changes in U.S. policy. The collection, donated by Hamilton, consists of the electronic and paper files created by Hamilton and by his senior advisor and special assistant to the study group. The files document the formation of the group, its work, the creation of its final report and follow-up activities. “The Iraq Study Group marked a serious effort by Congress to examine the conduct of the Iraq War and to play its proper role by providing oversight of American foreign policy,” Hamilton said. “I am grateful to Indiana University Libraries for digitizing these records and making them accessible, and I hope that students of government and history will learn from them for years to come.” The papers include notebooks, working papers, office files, meeting minutes, memos and records of news media coverage of the study group’s work. Archivists have prepared an extensive guide allowing users to find and view a digital image of individual documents from the collection…”

Categories: Law and Legal

CJR – Don’t blame the election on fake news. Blame it on the media.

Columbia Journalism Review: “Since the 2016 presidential election, an increasingly familiar narrative has emerged concerning the unexpected victory of Donald Trump. Fake news, much of it produced by Russian sources, was amplified on social networks such as Facebook and Twitter, generating millions of views among a segment of the electorate eager to hear stories about Hillary Clinton’s untrustworthiness, unlikeability, and possibly even criminality. “Alt-right” news sites like Breitbart and The Daily Caller supplemented the outright manufactured information with highly slanted and misleading coverage of their own. The continuing fragmentation of the media and the increasing ability of Americans to self-select into like-minded “filter bubbles” exacerbated both phenomena, generating a toxic brew of political polarization and skepticism toward traditional sources of authority. Alarmed by these threats to their legitimacy, and energized by the election of a president hostile to their very existence, the mainstream media has vigorously shouldered the mantle of truth-tellers. The Washington Post changed its motto to “Democracy Dies in Darkness” one month into the Trump presidency, and The New York Times launched a major ad campaign reflecting the nuanced and multifaceted nature of truth during the Oscars broadcast in February. Headline writers now explicitly spell out falsehoods rather than leaving it to the ensuing text. And journalists are quick to call out false equivalence, as when President Trump compared Antifa protesters to Nazis and heavily armed white supremacists following the violence in Charlottesville. At the same time, journalists have stepped up their already vigorous critiques of technology companiesFacebook in particular, but also Google and Twitter—highlighting the potential ways in which algorithms and social sharing have merged to spread misinformation…”

See also this paper – Related Fact Checks: a tool for combating fake news, Sreya Guha, Castilleja High School, Palo Alto, California. “The emergence of ”Fake News” and misinformation via on-line news and social media has spurred an interest in computational tools to combat this phenomenon. In this paper we present a new ”Related Fact Checks” service, which can help a reader critically evaluate an article and make a judgment on its veracity by bringing up fact checks that are relevant to the article. We describe the core technical problems that need to be solved in building a ”Related Fact Checks” service, and present results from an evaluation of an implementation.”

Categories: Law and Legal

Federal Weapons Prosecutions Rise for Third Consecutive Year

TRAC: “The latest case-by-case records from the Justice Department covering all of FY 2017 indicate that federal criminal prosecutions for weapons offenses grew by 10.8 percent over the levels seen during FY 2016. This is the third year in a row to see an increase in federal weapons prosecutions. Prosecutions during FY 2016 had risen a comparable rate – with 11.5 percent more than in FY 2015. This follows the March 8, 2017 memorandum that Attorney General Jeff Sessions sent Department of Justice prosecutors directing them to “partner with federal, state, local, and tribal law enforcement to specifically identify the criminals responsible for significant violent crime in their districts” and singled out statutes penalizing firearms offenses as among the “substantial tools at their disposal.” The recent growth in federal criminal prosecutions for weapons offenses marks a return to the levels of weapons prosecutions last seen ten years ago in FY 2007, but it is still far below the peak level of federal weapons prosecutions reached in 2004. However, it is important to keep in mind that most gun prosecutions occur at the state and local level, and federal prosecutions are almost certainly dwarfed by anything that is done by the state and local governments. To read the full report, go to: http://trac.syr.edu/tracreports/crim/492/

Categories: Law and Legal

University of Pennsylvania: Online Books Page

University of Pennsylvania: Online Books Page – “The Online Books Page is a website that facilitates access to books that are freely readable over the Internet. It also aims to encourage the development of such online books, for the benefit and edification of all.Major parts of the site include:

The Online Books Page was founded, and is edited, by John Mark Ockerbloom, He is a digital library planner and researcher at the University of Pennsylvania. He is responsible for the content of the site. Alison Miner is Associate Editor. The site is hosted by the University of Pennsylvania Libraries, who provide the server, disk space, and network bandwidth for the site. They also employ the editor, and support him in his various digital library activities (of which this is but one). The online books listed on this page have been authored, placed online, and hosted, by a wide variety of individuals and groups throughout the world (and throughout history!). The Online Books Page originally was founded in 1993 by the current editor, while he was a student at Carnegie Mellon University. He maintained it there until summer 1999, with Web space and computing resources provided by the School of Computer Science. In 1999, it moved to its present location at Penn…”

Categories: Law and Legal

2017 in Photos: How the First Months Unfolded

2017 in Photos: How the First Months Unfolded – “As the year comes to a close, it’s time to take a look back at some of the most memorable events and images of 2017. Among the events covered in this essay (the first of a three-part photo summary of the year): the inauguration of President Donald Trump; the Women’s March on Washington; the retaking of Mosul, Iraq, from ISIS; observations from Saturn; massive opposition rallies in Venezuela; and much more. See also, the Top 25 News Photos of 2017, and, from this series, the Year in Photos, Part 2, and Part 3. The series comprises 120 images in all. Warning: Some of the photos may contain graphic or objectionable content.”

Categories: Law and Legal

Diversity is growing in law firms but not at the top

WashingtonPost: “Minority lawyers now make up 16 percent of law firms – a record high – but remain scarce at the top, where only 9 percent of law partners are people of color, according to new data collected by the Minority Corporate Counsel Association. Put another way, nearly half of their white counterparts make partner, while the vast majority of minorities remain associates. The disparity is also reflected in the corporate world, where only 11 percent of general counsels at Fortune 500 companies are black, Hispanic, Asian or Native American even though minorities make up a third of the legal profession as a whole…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Anti-Trump Protests Flare In Beirut Near The US Embassy

The demonstrators are responding to President Trump's decision last week to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, reversing decades of American foreign policy.

(Image credit: ANWAR AMRO/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

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