Sign up to LabourLists morning email for everythi

first_imgSign up to LabourList’s morning email for everything Labour, every weekday morning.The government has announced a Stronger Towns fund of £1.6bn. Shot down as “Brexit bribery” by Labour, John McDonnell has said the move “smacks of desperation”. The Shadow Chancellor pointed out that “our towns are struggling… because of a decade of cuts, including to council funding, and a failure to invest in businesses and our communities” and that “stable investment” is needed. May’s offer arrives on the same day that HuffPostUK reveals the extent of the council funding crisis, reporting on how it has pushed local authorities to close down vital public spaces, with some even using those savings to afford further cuts.The Prime Minister might be thinking that if the fund can persuade a few Labour MPs to vote for her deal and make for good Tory candidate leaflets in key marginal seats in the North and Midlands where Labour is struggling, it is worth it. But the move has annoyed some Tory MPs who want help for their own communities, while opposition MPs have already made clear that this quick cash is not enough. Lisa Nandy, MP for Wigan, one of the target areas, reacted to the news saying that “a one-off payment designed to help the Prime Minister ahead of a key Brexit vote will fail”. Gareth Snell declared: “There is no price on my vote.” Ruth Smeeth described it as “an extraordinarily pathetic amount of money”.These Labour MPs may be looking for a reason to approve the deal, but a bit of funding that doesn’t even begin to make up for the huge austerity crippling local councils won’t do. They want changes to the political declaration, assurances on workers’ rights, etc (expected to come later in the week). Caroline Flint and John Mann like the Tory fund, but their votes for the deal are basically already in the bag. All in all, it is quite unclear why May has persisted with the idea.Flint and Mann reckon the deal has a good chance of getting a fair amount of Labour support nonetheless, with guesses that it could attract the votes of 35 MPs or in the “10s, 20s, 30s”. They also say 60 to 70 are strongly opposed to another referendum. A lot could depend on Labour’s whipping operation: McDonnell’s comments on Sky (“I think on this we would see a whip but also you have got to respect people’s views” and “you’d expect the frontbench to support it but…”) suggest that MPs will be whipped for a public vote but a very understanding attitude will be taken. After all, Leave seat shadow ministers rebelling on amendment votes have not been disciplined.The Brexit plan under consideration by the leadership now – to abstain on the deal on the condition it is put to the people – gets the nod from LabourList readers. 57% of 4,726 respondents to our latest survey gave their approval to the strategy. But will it get anywhere? With dozens of Labour MPs prepared to vote against, and frontbenchers who could be willing to defy the whip to abstain, that looks unlikely.Sign up to LabourList’s morning email for everything Labour, every weekday morning.Tags:Theresa May /Caroline Flint /John Mann /Labour /John McDonnell /Lisa Nandy /Brexit /last_img read more

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Activists Take to Streets Against Police Shootings

first_imgSome 150 people gathered at Buena Vista/Horace Mann Community School Thursday evening to build momentum in a joint movement involving several activists groups who are challenging police practices and narratives in at least three other officer-involved shootings. Earlier that day, police had shot and killed a Mission District homeless man armed with a kitchen knife. The April 7 town hall meeting had been scheduled weeks before, but the shooting still featured strongly in the evening’s statements.  Officers said the man had been threatening them with a knife, an account that witness testimony disputed. “The Chief’s story is that [the officers] shot him in self-defense,” said Father Richard Smith, community advocate and vicar at the Mission’s Episcopal Church of St. John the Evangelist, reference to the shooting at the homeless encampment. “Stop me if you’ve heard this before.” Smith compared the shooting of the homeless man, identified by residents of the encampment where he lived as “Jose” or  “Luis,”  to the 2015 officer-involved shooting of Amilcar Perez Lopez in which an autopsy report contradicted initial police accounts claiming that the man, armed with a knife, had lunged at the officers. Eyewitness reports said that the man had never brandished his knife and, according to one witness, lay face-down on the ground during the confrontation with the officers.  “The word on the street is always quite different,” said Smith. “The problem that we keep running into [with the police] is that we can never get the truth.”“The police narrative is the same, the difference is that the knife keeps getting bigger,” said one member of the audience as video footage that captured the December 2, 2015 shooting of Mario Woods was projected in the school’s auditorium.Advocates have also accused the police department of acting with impunity – none of the officers involved in these most recent shootings have faced criminal charges. “Enough is enough,” said Phelicia Jones, an organizer with the labor union SEIU 1021 and the Woods Coalition, named after the man police shot and killed in the Bayview in December 2015. “The Alex, Amilcar, and Mario coalitions are coming together to move as one to put pressure on this city for change.” Photo by Lola M. Chavez“I’m in mourning,” said Oscar Salinas, an organizer with the Justice for Alex Nieto Coalition. A jury found the four officers involved in Nieto’s 2014 shooting death not guilty of using excessive force in a civil trial last month. “They keep doing this to us over again. We don’t even have to try to prove anything anymore because this just keeps happening.” Christopher Muhammad, minister of the Nation of Islam, said a “marriage” between the three coalitions is necessary in seeking reform of police practices.Edwin Lindo, one of six candidates for the seat of District 9 Supervisor, called the shooting at the homeless encampment “the straw that broke the people’s back.”“My heart is in my stomach right now, because that’s four people of color in the past year-and-a-half killed at the hands of police,” said Lindo. “It’s not inherent, it’s not implicit racism. It’s very, very clear.” Police officials were posted in front of the school throughout the two-hour meeting, and two officers who briefly entered the auditorium where met with adversity from some members of the crowd.“You don’t belong here,” someone told them. After the meeting concluded, Muhammad led a crowd of more than 100 people down Mission Street to 19th Street and then to the scene of the earlier shooting. Holding banners calling for justice and chanting forcefully, the group prompted conversations among bystanders and bar-goers on Mission Street.Photo by Lola M. ChavezPhoto by Lola M. ChavezAnne Peterson, an immigration attorney, had been discussing the homeless man’s shooting with a friend as protesters passed by.“Law enforcement in this city has this privileged fear of being under attack, ” said Peterson. “These shootings are very reactionary. I feel that this excessive force is a backlash against the attention that police practices are getting, facilitated by social media.” Adrianne Brown, a Mission resident, said that she sympathized with the marchers and was shocked when she heard about Thursday’s shooting.“What broke my heart when I saw the news reports was that this man was told to drop his knife, but only spoke Spanish.”A small memorial marked the spot where the man had been shot. During the march’s pause at the site, someone covered the spot where he died in red paint.Photo by Lola M. ChavezPhoto by Lola M. Chavez“We must remain focused. We must have coalition discipline,” said Jones. “In a moment we get anger…but a movement takes time…It’s about coming out, being heard, putting the pressure on, and not allowing anyone to get in our ear and keep you off focus.”After a brief moment of confusion over whether the march would continue or end, the protesters moved on to make their way toward Mission Police Station.Upon their arrival at the station, protesters again took to the megaphone. Muhammad called on officers within the SFPD to oppose police violence from the inside, and said many officers owed their jobs to community efforts to diversify the police force.“We need you good officers to help us reform your department. We need you good officers to stand up and say that the chief and the POA does not speak for us,” Muhammad said. “We want you to say to your commanders and your leadership, ‘not on my watch.’ ”One officer, Lieutenant Con Johnson, joined a small group of marchers in a lengthy discussion after many had already made their way home, saying he wanted to have a dialogue. The group included rapper Equipto, candidate Lindo, and a local member of the Franciscan Society, Brother Damien Joseph. Brother Damien, whose legal name is Brent Richards, is a former corrections officer. He works with the homeless often and told Johnson he would not call the police if he encountered an upset homeless person with a knife.“You got divine intervention,” Johnson joked.“No I don’t, because we die too,” Richards responded. “Today, if I feel like I’m in a situation with a homeless person in distress and is a genuine risk to himself and others, if I call you, I’ve signed his death warrant.”Johnson made an attempt to diplomatically explain how officers perceive an encounter with a suspect after having been called to the scene of a stabbing or a person with a weapon.“Now, I’m just giving our perspective,” Johnson said. “Officers now [are] gonna respond, based on the premise that there’s a crime committed.”“Right, a non-deadly crime,” Lindo responded.Despite a few argumentative moments, the exchange remained peaceful. “What I’m saying is that we all have to have dialogue we all have to respect the others’ view,” Johnson said.Photo by Lola M. ChavezPhoto by Lola M. Chavez 0% Tags: Mission Police Station • protests • shootings Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

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New Fire Safety Requirements for Landlords Kick In This Month

first_img“This is value added, it’s more information and it’s additional awareness,” said Fire Chief Joanne Hayes-White. “If you see something off, let the fire department know.” Apartments of three or more units must include diagrams of each floor depicting exits, fire escapes, fire alarm pull stations and extinguishers. The diagrams must be posted in the common areas of each level of the building.  To ensure that fire officials conducting inspections can gain entry,  the landlord’s phone number also needs to be posted on the outside of the building by the entryway.Owners of buildings with alarm systems will need to file and post paperwork proving they have regularly complied with inspections. They also have to keep records proving that they provided the stipulated information to their tenants as they move in and then every year.Even smaller rentals will require new signage detailing for tenants the importance of maintaining smoke detectors within units. Specific posting requirements can be found on the Fire Department’s website.New required safety signage in an apartment building. Photo by Laura WenusNew alarm system requirements will also come into effect, though not immediately. Alarms  must reach certain noise level requirements as measured from the pillow of sleeping areas (passing “the pillow test”) either by July 1, 2021 or when the landlord pulls a building permit for $50,000 worth of work or more.Apart from giving tenants practical information about where important safety items are located in the building, the new requirements aim to empower tenants to keep an eye out for problems and report them. Landlords must submit documentation to the Fire Department showing their tenants have received all the necessary information about safety and how to report hazards. A fire code violation hotline is listed prominently on the now-mandatory signs.That’s partly in an effort to keep a civilian eye, if not an official one, on the insides of private apartments since fire firefighters generally don’t enter apartments during routine inspections.They enter only if a tenant invites them in or if they are investigating a hazard complaint.“We’re asking tenants to partner with us,” DeCossio said. “They’re the eyes and ears in our buildings.”One landlord was unhappy about having to post his phone number out in front of the building, saying there are other ways for the fire marshal to gain entry to a building if necessary. But he, too, agreed that more information would be better.Randy Pocius, a handyman who attended the press conference on a landlord’s behalf, said the new requirements are complicated and multi-layered. He pulled out a printed version of the document published by the Fire Department and pointed out the many sections, subsections and sub-subsections. But in general, he said it would be useful. “Any knowledge helps,” Pocius said. “The more tenants know about what’s available, and where things are, it’s going to help them and it also helps property owners understand what they need to do.” By the end of the month, landlords will be governed by new rules about fire safety signage that needs to be displayed inside the buildings they own, fire officials explained on Wednesday. Firefighters explained the new requirements to media and curious landlords in a building on Valencia Street where they had already installed the signs to demonstrate how it should be done.The new rules are part of amendments to the San Francisco Fire Code that have just come into effect and were originally proposed by Supervisors Katy Tang and David Campos. But fire officials made it clear they fully support the new regulations.“The more familiar you are with your surroundings, it’s almost like having your own pre-fire plan,” said Fire Marshal Daniel DeCossio. Tags: Fires • housing • safety • SFFD Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%center_img 0%last_img read more

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Dolores Park Style an off the shoulder day

first_imgName: Selene Elias Brands? H&M top, Urban Outfitter jeans, Ray Ban sunglasses, Michael Kors watch, Nine West sandals, Kate Spade bagHow Would You Describe Your Look Today? “Um, casual, relaxed, summer style.” Tags: dolores park • fashion Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0% Monica Ha. Photo by Ekevara Kitpowsong Name: Hannah Olson Brands? Cleo Bella top, Carmar jeans, Sam Edelman sandals, Ray Ban sunglassesHow Would You Describe Your Look Today? “Um I think I’m like more, say, kinda hipster chic-ish? Vibe: Hannah was part of a group of friends out celebrating a birthday. I truly believe that friends that slay together, stay together. Even better than one girl looking fab, is an entire squad looking fab. Hannah looked summery in a very relaxed, boho Cher kind of way. It was sexy without being inappropriate or too much. Sophie Taylor. Photo by Ekevara KitpowsongName: Sophie TaylorBrands? Wilfred Free (from Asos), shorts from boutique, sunglasses from Croatia, Fenty Puma By Rihanna slidesHow Would You Describe Your Look Today? Oh, just free, like easy-going, Dolores Park style. Want to be comfortable, but not too hot.”Vibe: Sometimes, you don’t have to wear a bunch of color or print to stand out. It also doesn’t hurt if you look like a model. Sophie looked chic and effortless in an off-the-shoulder top, that showed a hint of midriff, as well as a throwback, dangling navel piercing; shorts with just the right amount of detail; furry, Rihanna Puma slides; and sunglasses with just a hint of color. Abigaelle Mulligan and Nicole Wedlake. Photo by Ekevara Kitpowsong It was another hot day at the park. Tons of people were out, catching some sun, and having some fun. We saw lots of Louis Vuitton bags, reflective sunglasses, Ray Ban sunglasses, and off-the-shoulder everything. There were also a good number of playful rompers and easy, breezy dresses. Although we usually capture both women’s and men’s fashion for Dolores Park Style, this edition is a highlight of the fab female styles we witnessed. Name: Megan Zamiska Brands? Matisse ankle boots, LF romper, Ray Ban sunglassesHow Would You Describe Your Outfit? Very fun but casual Name: Abigaelle MulliganBrands? Misguided top, Brandy Melville pants, Forever 21 sunglasses, earrings from Therapy store in North Beach How Would You Describe Your Look Today? Um, I would like to say very wispy and boho chic maybe?Vibe: Abigaelle was another of those spotted from across the park style moment. Her look was a mix of relaxed and dramatic, easy and detailed. Her wide leg pants looked comfortable yet had that drama, and the top had an intricate pattern and a deep V that was sexy, yet not over the top. Her yellow (yes!) tassel earrings added just the slightest pop of summer color to the ensemble.  center_img Name: Monica HaBrands? Thrift store dress and bag, glasses from a street stall in Thailand, Alexander Wang ankle bootsHow Would You Describe Your Look Today? Um I wanted something fun, but day-to-nighttime transition. Casual, yeah. Vibe: Monica paired a sweet, feminine floral dress with the badass black ankle boots and a matching bag. Speaking of matching, her sunny, mango beverage matched her dress. Extra point for that. 0% Lia Elias and Selene Elias. Photo by Ekevara KitpowsongName: Lia Elias Brands? Urban Outfitters tank and sweater, J.Crew shorts, Converse sneakers, Fossil bagHow Would You Describe Your Look Today? “Um, casual, beachy I guess.”Vibe: How cute is it that Lia and Selene are sisters?! And that they color coordinated by sheer luck (and what I know to be sister vibes they unknowingly sent each other)?!  It’s black and white done all kinds of right. Clean, crisp, timeless, and stylish. Vibe: You can’t see Megan’s fringe boots, but they were stylish and cute. They added a bit of unexpected edge and interest to her colorful romper. Name: Liz Heinze Brands? Candelaria romper (from the boutique, Angel Wings, in San Clemente), AJ Morgan sunglasses from the same boutique, Steve Madden sandalsHow Would You Describe Your Look Today? “Um, I think it’s a day in the park, casual, like wanna get some sun, um, yeah just like nice out.”Vibe: Liz’s romper was sunny and relaxed, in a fun color and print. More people should wear yellow!  Name: Nicole WedlakeBrands? Free People dress, Ray Ban sunglasses, Dolce Vita sandalsHow Would You Describe Your Look Today? “Um, boho and feminine and fun.” (was hard to hear but I’m sure this is what she said)Vibe: Nicole’s dress was easy, relaxed, but had a color and print that caught my attention. It was effortless and hung beautifully on her slender frame. The sunglasses added the perfect finishing touch to the ‘70s boho look. Name: Alexis Montano  Brands? Forever 21 top, Zara skirt, Louis Vuitton bag, Sam Edelman sandalsHow Would You Describe Your Look Today? “Sassy. I feel sassy today.”  Vibe: Alexis was the birthday girl, and she apparently got my aforementioned memo on the fabulousness of wearing yellow. It’s sunny, it’s bold, and it stands out like a sun or an emoji. It was just the piece to elevate her cute, yet seen everywhere, on-trend, off-the-shoulder ruffle top. The icing on the sartorial cake was the iconic Louis V bag. Name: Jeanette Christy Brands: LF romper, Ray Ban sunglassesHow Would You Describe Your Look Today? “I would say casual but free. Flirty and free.”Vibe: Jeanette’s romper also was a sexy yet not overtly sexy outfit. I live for rompers and jumpsuits in that kind of drapey, usually stretchy, and totally comfortable fabric. It’s fashion drama, without sacrificing comfort. I also love the sage green color, which was complimented by brown shades. last_img read more

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WILMINGTON BOAT SHOW The nonboat boat story

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — So there is this huuuuge boat show in Downtown Wilmington happening right now. And yes, there are all kinds of boats on display. But you’ll find quite a variety of non-boat vendors.  WWAY’S Daniel Seamans took a walk down the docks to find the non-boat boat story.Sure, you find boats at the Wilmington Boat Show.  But gutters?- Advertisement – “We figured if people were taking the time out to look at stuff for their boat they are thinking about their house at the same time,” Mathew Perryman told WWAY’s Daniel Seamans.Mathew is from Raleigh representing All American Gutter Guards.“And we figured we’d join the fun and festivities and come on out,” he said.Related Article: Police: Officers injured in crash by man running red lightWe also found no boats at James Counts tent. We did, however, find all kinds of creativity and one heck of a story behind his custom made fishing lures.“Since I was 12 years old I’ve been doing more and more and more,” he said of how he got started making fishing lures.“I got the idea when I was very young,” James said. “I lost a lure fishing, I found a lure. Put hooks on it, changed it up a few times, caught a few fish with it, lost it and decided to make a piece out of wood for myself.And mixed in the dozens of vendor tents you’ll find some men, with no boat, talking about what you need if you are going to be one. The United States Coast Guard Auxilary is on hand to answer any questions you might have regarding boating safety.“A lot of folks want to know if they have to take a boating safety class, if it’s required and it is,” Glenn McVicker said. “In North Carolina, if you were born on or after January 1,1988, you have to take an approved boating safety class.”The show is Friday and Saturday until 6pm. Saturday it gets started at 10am. Parking is free at the Battleship and the water taxi will be running all day.last_img read more

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Commission approves tax incentive plan for National Gypsum

first_imgNational Gypsum (Photo: WWAY) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — After a lengthy debate for weeks, New Hanover County Commissioners are behind bringing National Gypsum back to Wilmington and providing hundreds of thousands of dollars in tax incentives.More than $350,000 will go to persuading the drywall company to return to Wilmington with some conditions.- Advertisement – Those conditions would be that the company generate new stack tests for formaldehyde once they begin operations at the Old Sunnyvale Drive Facility. That idea came from neighbors who spoke against the grant.“How do we make our area’s growth inclusive so that to insure the prosperity for us all,” Andy McGlinn with the local Sierra Club said. “I do not believe that incentivizing smoke stack industries like National Gypsum are really the way to do this.”Neighbors for and against the grant crowded the county commission meeting.Related Article: Retired USCG member asks Wilmington city leaders to support military branch during shutdownSome concerned about the company’s formaldehyde emission, National Gypsum is permitted to release more than eight tons a year by the DEQ.“I just think we could have something better for our neighborhoods for our kids,” Tonya Sails, who lives near the plant, said.But company officials fired back. They said the hourly emissions are below what is in the average home.The company said they would bring in more than 50 jobs and claim they will invest more than $25,000,000 if they return to the Port City.Public health and business leaders support the grant money, as did neighbors who believe the promises of more than 50 jobs to the area on top of the multi-million dollar investment from the company.“This is going to positively impact the entire population of New Hanover County,” John Lion, who supports the plant and grant, said.“The people and the experts that we rely on everyday, tell us this is fine,” local Coldwell Bank President Tim Milam said. “I think it’s great to have a company that’s in this market that wants to be here.”Many came to support the grant and gypsum returning.Commissioners agreed and unanimously approved the grant, but heeding warnings like this from neighbors.“I just don’t think this is the kind of industry that we should be encouraging,” said area resident Tonya Sails said. “The idea that at the elementary school, no one complained, well no one complained about our water quality for thirty years, but we found out now what’s in it.”Many neighbors spoke in favor of bringing the plant back at public hearing Monday, but did not see the point of this grant money.Now, Wilmington City Council has to decide about their own grant for the company at their Tuesday meeting.last_img read more

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Wilmington city council to discuss gun violence resolution

first_imgStudents at the March For Our Lives in Wilmington (Photo: Jenna Kurzyna/WWAY) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington city council will discuss a resolution tonight to officially recognize incidents of gun violence in the US and to acknowledge local students who have been outspoken about gun reform.The resolution specifically names the school shooting in Parkland, Florida and the “March For Our Lives” movement that many survivors of the shooting have launched.- Advertisement – It says that the city council will be “empathetic to the sharing of concerns by our youth.”The resolution states that the council “stands ready to listen to local students and citizens to make positive change on these and other issues facing our community.”The meeting will be held Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at Wilmington City Hall.last_img read more

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Cooper hopes Michael impacts wont slow Florence recovery

first_img On WWAY NEWS at 5 p.m., Gov. Roy Cooper spoke with Randy Aldridge live by phone from Raleigh about North Carolina’s preparations for this second storm in less than a month. Check out the video player above to see our full interview with the governor.Forecasters expect Michael to quickly weaken and accelerate, but they say Michael should still be a tropical storm when it gets to North Carolina Thursday. At this point the heaviest rain from the storm is expected to fall in the central part of the state.With a different part of the state expected to bear the brunt of Michael’s impact, Randy asked Gov. Cooper how that might affect relief and recovery efforts still going on in our area after Florence.Related Article: Wounded vet whose car was damaged in Florence gets Jeep“I hope that it doesn’t slow us down at all,” Cooper said. “I hope that this storm moves through and that we continue with the work of recovery. I know we still have people in shelters; still working to provide temporary housing for people in southeastern North Carolina. FEMA informed me this afternoon that about $8.4 million has already gone to New Hanover County residents to help to pay for temporary housing, hotel rooms and rent with more housing specialist people working with people to find temporary housing for them.”Cooper said the budget plan he unveiled today will help “build back a stronger and smarter North Carolina.” The General Assembly meets to discuss a Florence recovery plan next week in Raleigh. 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — With the recovery from Hurricane Florence just getting going in eastern North Carolina, the state is now waiting for another tropical strike in the form of Michael.The hurricane slammed into Florida’s Gulf Coast this afternoon as a high-end Category 4 storm. By late afternoon Michael was still a Category 3 hurricane as the eye moved into southeastern Alabama and southwestern Georgia.- Advertisement – last_img read more

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Surf City adds directional signs to roundabout

first_img NCDOT adds new signage at roundabout. (Photo: Town of Surf City) According to the town, the DOT installed new signage on Thursday, showing drivers how to navigate the roundabout. Mayor Doug Medlin says the signs are ten square feet so you cannot miss them. 1 of 2center_img NCDOT adds new signage at roundabout. (Photo: Town of Surf City) SURF CITY, NC (WWAY) — The new roundabout that has been causing confusion for drivers in the Town of Surf City has led the state Department of Transportation to add more signs.Drivers crossing the new bridge into Surf City must enter the roundabout once they get on to the island.- Advertisement – last_img

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US Shuts down One of the Worlds Largest Filesharing Sites Megaupload

first_imgAdvertisement The Justice Department said in a statement said that Kim Dotcom, formerly known as Kim Schmitz, and three other executives were arrested Thursday in New Zealand at the request of U.S. officials. Two other defendants are at large. Megaupload was unique not only because of its massive size and the volume of downloaded content, but also because it had high-profile support from celebrities, musicians and other content producers who are most often the victims of copyright infringement and piracy. Before the website was taken down, it contained endorsements from Kim Kardashian, Alicia Keys and Kanye West, among others. – Advertisement – The Hong Kong-based company listed Swizz Beatz, a musician who married Keys in 2010, as its CEO. He was not named in the indictment and declined to comment through a representative.Before the site was taken down, it posted a statement saying allegations that it facilitated massive breaches of copyright laws were “grotesquely overblown.”“The fact is that the vast majority of Mega’s Internet traffic is legitimate, and we are here to stay. If the content industry would like to take advantage of our popularity, we are happy to enter into a dialogue. We have some good ideas. Please get in touch,” the statement said.The site boasted 150 million registered users.A lawyer who represented the company in a lawsuit last year declined comment Thursday.Megaupload is considered a “cyberlocker,” in which users can upload and transfer files that are too large to send by email. Such sites can have perfectly legitimate uses. But the Motion Picture Association of America, which has campaigned for a crackdown on piracy, estimated that the vast majority of content being shared on Megaupload was in violation of copyright laws.The website allowed users to download films, TV shows, games, music and other content for free, but made money by charging subscriptions to people who wanted access to faster download speeds or extra content. The website also sold advertising.The indictment was returned in the Eastern District of Virginia, which claimed jurisdiction in part because some of the alleged pirated materials were hosted on leased servers in Ashburn, Va.Dotcom, a resident of both Hong Kong and New Zealand, and a dual citizen of Finland and Germany, made more than $42 million from the conspiracy in 2010 alone, according to the indictment.Dotcom is founder, former CEO and current chief innovation officer of Megaupload.Source: Associated Presslast_img read more

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