Archive: April, 2018

At $75,560, housing a prisoner in California now costs more than a year at Harvard

The cost of imprisoning each of California’s 130,000 inmates is expected to reach a record $75,560 in the next year... HOW MUCH? More than tuition at Harvard University That’s enough to cover the annual cost of attending Harvard University and still have plenty left over for pizza and beer Gov. Jerry Brown’s spending plan for the fiscal year that starts July 1 includes a record $11.4 billion for the corrections department while also predicting that there will be 11,500 fewer inmates in four years because voters in November approved earlier releases for many inmates. A PATTERN CONTINUES Cost per prisoner has doubled since 2005 The price for each inmate has doubled since 2005, even as court orders related to overcrowding have reduced the population by about one-quarter. Salaries and benefits for prison guards and medical providers drove much of the increase. The result is a per-inmate cost that is the nation’s highest — and $2,000 above tuition, fees, room and board, and other expenses to attend Harvard. Since 2015, California’s per-inmate costs have surged nearly $10,000, or about 13%. New York is a distant second in overall costs at about $69,000. Critics say with fewer inmates, the costs should be falling. “Now that we’re incarcerating less, we haven’t ramped the system back down,” said Chris Hoene, executive director of the left-leaning California Budget & Policy Center. For example, the corrections department has one employee for every two inmates, compared with one employee for roughly every four inmates in 1994. WHY DOES IT COST SO MUCH? Costs rising even as prison population declines California was sued over prison overcrowding, and to comply with a federal court-imposed population cap, the Brown administration now keeps most lower-level offenders in county jails instead of state prisons. Additionally, voters in 2014 reduced penalties for drug and property crimes and last fall approved the earlier releases. State Sen. Jim Nielsen (R-Gerber) said reformers falsely promised a “prison dividend” from savings related to the changes. Instead, there’s now an uptick in many crimes and he’s worried it will lead to an influx of new inmates that will cost more to house. Joan Petersilia, co-director of the Stanford Criminal Justice Center, said it was “highly predictable” that per-inmate costs would increase even as the population decreased. “We released all the low-risk, kind of low-need, and we kept in the high-risk, high-need,” she said.  

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Time's Up targets R. Kelly over sexual abuse claims

The Time's Up campaign is taking aim at R. Kelly over allegations he has sexually abused women. The organization devoted to helping women in the aftermath of sexual harassment or abuse issued a call to action Monday asking for further investigation in to Kelly's behavior. The singer has come under closer scrutiny over the last year as women have come forward to accuse him of everything from sexual coercion and leading a sex cult to physical abuse. Kelly has denied such charges. "We demand appropriate investigations and inquiries into the allegations of R. Kelly's abuse made by women and their families for more than two decades now. And we declare with great vigilance and a united voice to anyone who wants to silence us — their time is up," the Time's Up statement said. The statement was issued by the Women of Color committee within Time's Up, which includes Oscar-nominated director Ava DuVernay, TV mogul Shonda Rhimes and actress Jurnee Smollett-Bell. We join the call to #MuteRKelly and insist on the safety + dignity of all women. We demand investigations into R. Kelly’s abuse allegations made by women of color + their families for two decades. We call on those who profit from his music to cut ties. #MuteRKelly #TIMESUP #WOC pic.twitter.com/TYmDRVIH00 — Ava DuVernay (@ava) April 30, 2018 The social media campaign #MuteRKelly has sought to stop his music from being played and to cancel his concerts, and Time's Up said it is joining that call. Specifically, Time's Up is seeking action from RCA Records, Kelly's label; Spotify and Apple Music, which stream Kelly's catalog; and Ticketmaster, which has sold tickets to his concerts. And it is calling for the cancellation of a May 11 concert in Greensboro, North Carolina. RCA, Spotify, Apple Music and Ticketmaster didn't immediately respond to email requests placed late Sunday night. ✊?The official #MuteRKelly website is live!  Go to https://t.co/77qGA2Muae to sign up on our mailing list, learn what you can do to support the movement, and get all the latest info about our campaign to end the career of serial sexual predator, #RKelly. pic.twitter.com/zxEa8a2KoG — MuteRKelly-Official (@OffMuteRKelly) April 30, 2018 R. Kelly's management team responded to the campaign and implied that he was a scapegoat, saying: "R. Kelly supports the pro-women goals of the Time's Up movement. We understand criticizing a famous artist is a good way to draw attention to those goals -- and in this case, it is unjust and off-target ... Time's Up has neglected to speak with any of the women who welcome R. Kelly's support, and it has rushed to judgment without the facts. Soon it will become clear Mr. Kelly is the target of a greedy, conscious and malicious conspiracy to demean him, his family and the women with whom he spends his time." Kelly's team also implied that he was targeted because he is black. In the statement, they said, "R. Kelly's music is a part of American and African-American culture that should never — and will never — be silenced. Since America was born, black men and women have been lynched for having sex or for being accused of it. We will vigorously resist this attempted public lynching of a black man who has made extraordinary contributions to our culture." The Time's Up letter was addressed to fellow women of color. It started by saying, "We see you. We feel you. Because we are you." It continued: "For too long, our community has ignored our pain. The pain we bear is a burden that too many women of color have had to bear for centuries. The wounds run deep. As Women of Color within Time's Up, we recognize we have a responsibility to help right this wrong. We intend to shine a bright light on our WOC sisters in need."

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Bill Gates Warns 30 Million People Could Die From Flu Pandemic if We Don't Get It Together..(VIDEO)

Hey, don’t freak out or anything, but Bill Gates thinks there is a new flu epidemic lurking just around the corner and we are woefully unprepared for it. The billionaire philanthropist warned Friday that there is a “significant probability of a large and lethal modern-day pandemic occurring in our lifetimes.” While speaking at the Massachusetts Medical Society and the New England Journal of Medicine, Gates started ringing the alarm bells about a potential new flu that could wipe out as many as 33 million people worldwide in a matter of just six months, according to the Washington Post. Gates, who said he’s typically an optimist when it comes to human progress, said the world and United States in particular are falling behind in “pandemic preparedness.” If there were weapons being built that could kill 30 million people, Gates said, governments would act fast to prepare for them. With biological threats, there is no sense of urgency. This is a problem that Gates has been harping on for some time now, raising the issue at the Munich Security Conference in 2016, the World Economic Forum in Davos last year, and in an op-ed in Business Insider after that. He cited a simulation by Institute for Disease Modeling to show just how deadly a new flu virus could prove to be when introduced to an unprepared populace, but that is far from the only source warning of such a possibility. Oxford’s Global Priorities Project released a report in 2016 showed that a natural pandemic, along with nuclear war, are the highest risks facing civilization right now. Joining those threats as a primary concern is a variation of the natural pandemic—a deliberately engineered pandemic, such as one that could be created in a bioterrorism attack. Advances in technologies that can be used to help prevent the spread of viruses can also be used by nefarious groups to create new threats and weaponize pathogens. CRISPR, a powerful gene editing tool that promises plenty of good, could enable such an attack by malicious actors. “The next epidemic could originate on the computer screen of a terrorist intent on using genetic engineering to create a synthetic version of the smallpox virus ... or a super contagious and deadly strain of the flu,” Gates warned in 2016. Despite Gates’ continuous hammering home the possibility of biological threats wiping out large chunks of the world’s populations, his message has largely fallen on deaf ears from those who have the ability to actually do something about it. Gates told the Washington Post that he’s met with Donald Trump to encourage the president to lead on the issue of global health security, only to have Trump tell him to follow up with officials at the Health and Human Services Department, the National Institutes of Health, and the Food and Drug Administration. Trump’s former National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster took multiple meetings with Gates, but he’s been ousted and replaced with war-mongering Lorax John Bolton, who has yet to meet with Gates and likely doesn’t have much interest in what he has to say unless it involves bombing someone. To his credit, Gates is positioning the effort that will be required to prevent a biological disaster in a way that would appeal to Bolton and other hawks in the Trump administration. “The world needs to prepare for pandemics in the same serious way it prepares for war,” the former head of Microsoft said during his speech. While Gates said he’s willing to talk to the National Security Council to address this issue, he’s trying to push the issue on all fronts. “But, you know, I think we’ve got to push this ... with the executive branch and Congress quite a bit,” Gates told the Washington Post. “There hasn’t been a big effort along these lines.” Congress did direct additional funding to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as part of the recent spending bill, a small step in the right direction after the agency had to cut its epidemic prevention activities by more than 80 percent earlier this year. “This could be an important first step if the White House and Congress use the opportunity to articulate and embrace a leadership role for the U.S.,” Gates said in the speech. While Gates waits for the Trump administration to start taking biological threats seriously, he’s doing his part to help where he can. He announced the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, in partnership with the family of Google co-founder Larry Page, will make available $12 million in grants to develop a universal flu vaccine that could protect against most strains of influenza. Still, Gates noted that vaccines take time to develop and deploy, and people will die in the meantime if other steps aren’t taken.

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SEVEN inmates killed at MAXIMUM security prison in Bishopville, South Carolina

SEVEN inmates were killed after multiple altercations broke out at level three maximum security prison Lee Correctional Institution in Bishopville, South Carolina USA, according the South Carolina Department of Corrections... Another 17 inmates required outside medical attention. At least six emergency agencies responding to the "mass casualty" incident that lasted more than seven hours. Lee Correctional Instituion was secured at 2:55am after the incident happened at 7:15pm, both local time. A spokesperson said the incident involved multiple inmates and inmate altercations from three different housing units. An investigation has been launched as all staff and responding law enforcement officers are safe and accounted for. Lee Correctional Institution is a level three maximum security prison for men. The institution is the largest in the state and houses abotu 1,600 inmates. Inmates previously took over the prison in 2012 and 2013. In the four years prior to September 2012 the prision had four uncontrolled fight and three hostage situations.

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SHIT THEY DONT TALK ABOUT !!!! Kansas Trio Convicted in Plot to Bomb Somali Immigrants

WICHITA, Kan. — Federal jurors convicted three men on Wednesday of plotting to blow up an apartment complex where Somali refugees live and pray in Garden City, Kan. The domestic terrorism verdict came at a time when threats against religious and racial minorities are rising nationally, and the case drew interest from the highest levels of the Justice Department. “The defendants in this case acted with clear premeditation in an attempt to kill people on the basis of their religion and national origin,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement. “That’s not just illegal — it’s immoral and unacceptable, and we’re not going to stand for it.” The men, Curtis Allen, Gavin Wright and Patrick Stein, all of whom are white, appeared stoic as the verdicts were read at the federal courthouse in Wichita. Defense lawyers had tried to convince jurors that their clients were manipulated by the F.B.I., and had been unfairly targeted for exercising their rights to own guns and speak freely. “He was a member of a militia. He loved his guns. This was a lifestyle,” Melody Brannon, a lawyer for Mr. Allen, told the mostly white jury. “The government tried to criminalize that lifestyle.”

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A 29-year-old man saved numerous lives during Tennessee Waffle House shooting.

Shaw Jr. said he was grazed by a bullet, treated for a minor gunshot wound and released from the hospital later in the morning... “I don’t know if it has hit me yet as far as witnessing other people dying,” Shaw Jr. said. “It's kind of, it shouldn’t have happened. When I was in the ambulance to hospital I kept thinking that I’m going to wake up and it’s not going to be real. It is something out a movie. I’m OK though, but I hate that it happened.” The suspect then fled on foot, nude, after shedding his coat, police said. Police said they are drafting warrants for murder charges against Travis Reinking, 29, of Morton Illinois, in connection to the shooting. Authorities continue to search for Reinking. A man believed to be Reinking was last seen in a wood line near Discovery at Mountain View Apartments on Mountain Springs Drive, near the Waffle House. The man was wearing black pants and no shirt, police said. The "hero" suffered an injury to his elbow, along with some other abrasions, Aaron said. He was taken to TriStar Southern Hills Medical Center, was treated for minor injuries and released, according to a hospital spokeswoman. Shaw Jr. can’t recall how many shots there were, just that a man was on the floor. Shaw Jr. said a bullet grazed and he jumped toward the bathroom. "I remember I was like ‘Dang, I’m basically in a barrel,’ ” Shaw Jr. said. “There is no place for me to go.” As the suspect came through the door, he needed to reload, Shaw Jr. said. That’s when he said he rushed him. “When he came in, I distinctively remember thinking that he is going to have to work for this kill,” Shaw Jr. said. “I had a chance to stop him and thankfully I stopped him.” He added: “I grabbed the gun and kept it down. He had one hand on it. I pulled it away and threw it over the bar.”  

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Casting directors are now casting actors, models, and talent to work on scenes on the new Netflix production Central Park Five. (VIDEO)

[KEVIN RICHARDSON] MALE, 14 years old . African-American. Baby-faced with a chunky, athletic build. A polite teen with interests in music and jazz. [KOREY WISE] MALE, 16 years old . African-American. 5’2″, a tender but tough ease to him. [YUSEF SALAAM] MALE, 15 years old . African-American. Nerdy and cool. An A.P. (advanced placement) student, strikingly tall and beanpole thin, 6’3″ tall. [RAYMOND SANTANA] MALE, 14 years old . Mixed ethnicity of Puerto Rican and African American. Described as having an open quality in personality of humor and play. About Netflix’s Central Park Five: The historic case of The Central Park Five will be brought to life in a new dramatic limited series for Netflix created by Ava DuVernay, who will also write and direct. The narrative, five-episode series will be executive produced by Jeff Skoll and Jonathan King from Participant Media, Oprah Winfrey/Harpo Films, Jane Rosenthal and Berry Welsh from Tribeca Productions, and DuVernay. “I had an extraordinary experience working with Netflix on 13TH and am overjoyed to continue this exploration of the criminal justice system as a narrative project with Cindy Holland and the team there,” said DuVernay. “The story of the men known as Central Park Five has riveted me for more than two decades. In their journey, we witness five innocent young men of color who were met with injustice at every turn – from coerced confessions to unjust incarceration to public calls for their execution by the man who would go on to be the President of the United States.” “This is one of the most talked-about cases of our time and Ava’s passionate vision and masterful direction will bring the human stories behind the headlines to life in this series,” said Cindy Holland, Vice President, Original Content for Netflix. “After powerfully reframing the public conversation about criminality and injustice in 13TH, Ava now turns a new lens to a case that exposes deep flaws in our criminal justice system.” Participant Media’s Jonathan King added, “It’s an honor to be partnering again with Ava, a uniquely tenacious and inspiring artist. The events of this shocking story continue to resonate today, and the way Ava has chosen to focus intimately on the five young men foregrounds the human costs of this kind of tragedy. We are looking forward to working with Netflix, Tribeca and Harpo on Participant’s first scripted episodic series.” Based on the true story that gripped New York and the world, the series will be a five-episode limited, scripted series that exposes the breakdown of our criminal justice system at every phase of the notorious Central Park Five case. Each part will focus on one of the five teenagers from Harlem — Antron McCray, Kevin Richardson, Yusef Salaam, Raymond Santana and Korey Wise — wrongly convicted of raping Trisha Meili in Central Park. The series will span from the spring of 1989, when each were first questioned about the incident, to 2014 when they were exonerated and a settlement was reached with the city of New York. To audition for a role in Central Park Five, check out the casting call breakdown below. Netflix’s Central Park Five CASTING SEARCH FOR NETFLIX PRODUCTION DIRECTED BY AVA DUVERNAY PRODUCED BY AVA DUVERNAY, JANE ROSENTHAL, BERRY WELSH, JONATHAN KING, AND OPRAH WINFREY SEEKING ACTORS TO PLAY THE ROLE OF: [ANTRON “TRON” MCCRAY] MALE, 15 years old. African American. Small in stature and wiry, 4’11” tall, approx 90 pounds. Described as somewhat timid and non-aggressive, the type of teen who does his chores and is home by curfew. [KEVIN RICHARDSON] MALE, 14 years old . African-American. Baby-faced with a chunky, athletic build. A polite teen with interests in music and jazz. [KOREY WISE] MALE, 16 years old . African-American. 5’2″, a tender but tough ease to him. [YUSEF SALAAM] MALE, 15 years old . African-American. Nerdy and cool. An A.P. (advanced placement) student, strikingly tall and beanpole thin, 6’3″ tall. [RAYMOND SANTANA] MALE, 14 years old . Mixed ethnicity of Puerto Rican and African American. Described as having an open quality in personality of humor and play. ACTORS/PARENTS OF ACTORS WHO FEEL THEY MEET THE ABOVE CASTING DESCRIPTIONS ARE ENCOURAGED TO SUBMIT THEMSELVES REGARDLESS OF THEIR PROFESSIONAL CREDITS/EXPERIENCE. We are committed to diverse, inclusive casting. For every role, please submit qualified performers, without regard to disability, race, age, color, national origin, ethnic origin or any other basis prohibited by law unless otherwise specifically indicated. IF INTERESTED AND AVAILABLE PLEASE SEND THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION TO: centralparkfivecasting@gmail.com Picture / Resume / City and State of Residence / Contact Information Scanned photographs are acceptable if you do not have a professional headshot MUST BE AVAILABLE FOR PRODUCTION STARTING IN JULY 2018    

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‘The Equalizer 2’ Trailer: Denzel Washington Returns As Justice-Seeker In Antoine Fuqua Action Thriller

“They killed my friend,” says Denzel Washington as the seeker of justice (or something like it) in this new trailer for Sony’s The Equalizer 2. “So I’m going to kill each and every one of them, and my only disappointment is I only get to do it once.” In the first sequel of Washington’s career, he returns to the role of Robert McCall, described by Sony as a man who “serves an unflinching justice for the exploited and oppressed – but how far will he go when that is someone he loves?” The upcoming film, directed by Antoine Fuqua, is written by Richard Wenk, based on the old television series created by Michael Sloan and Richard Lindheim. The trailer also includes a telling exchange between McCall and his old cohort played by Melissa Leo. “I thought you were retired,” he says, to which she resonds, “Oh, I am, just like you’re dead.”

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'Smallville' Actress Allison Mack Arrested in Alleged Cult Sex Trafficking Case

Allison Mack, who played Chloe Sullivan for 10 seasons on the Superman TV series Smallville, was arrested Friday in New York on charges of sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy and forced labor conspiracy... She was indicted along with Keith Raniere, the alleged leader of a self-help program and purported pyramid scheme being investigated for operating a shadow society of female “slaves.” Raniere and Mack each face mandatory minimum sentences of 15 years to life in prison if convicted. According to prosecutors, Mack is credited in publicly available materials with co-creating a program called The Source, which recruited actors. Read details from DOJ about the case below, but be warned: Some of it is graphic. Keith Raniere and Allison Mack explore authenticity, as it relates to human expression and creativity. “As alleged in the indictment, Allison Mack recruited women to join what was purported to be a female mentorship group that was, in fact, created and led by Keith Raniere,” United States Attorney Richard P. Donoghue said today. “The victims were then exploited, both sexually and for their labor, to the defendants’ benefit.” In 2015, court records show, Raniere created a secret society within his self-help company Nxivm called DOS, “an acronym for a Latin phrase that loosely translates to ‘Lord/Master of the Obedient Female Companions’,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Investigators believe Mack and other DOS masters recruited slaves by telling them that they were joining a women-only organization that would empower them and “eradicate purported weaknesses that the Nxivm curriculum taught were common in women.” The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York announced the indictment today; Mack is scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cheryl L. Pollak. Raniere previously was arrested on a complaint and ordered detained, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. He will be arraigned at a later date. The investigation was led by the FBI, assisted by the New York State Police, the FBI Albany Field Office, the New York State Office of the Attorney General, the New York State Department of Health and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York. Smallville ran on the WB and then the CW from 2001-11 and starred Tom Welling as the young Clark Kent/Superman. Mack, who was a regular on the show for its entire 10-season, later appeared on FX’s Wilfred and had a voice role on the Amazon animated series Lost in Oz.  

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Kanye West announces dates on new albums for Pusha T and Teyana Taylor

Yeezy Season is in full effect. In addition to two new albums of his own, including a collaborative LP with Kid Cudi, Kanye West has announced impending releases from G.O.O.D. Music associates Pusha T and Teyana Taylor... Pusha T’s third solo album will be released on May 25th. It will be followed by Taylor’s sophomore LP on June 22nd. Of course, in between those releases will be Kanye’s eighth solo album and his Kudi collaborative LP Kids See Ghosts, due out June 1st and 8th, respectively. Teyana Taylor June 22nd — KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 19, 2018 Pusha T May 25th — KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) April 19, 2018

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