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Friday, July 31, 2020

Florida teen arrested, accused of being ‘mastermind’ behind Twitter hack

Graham Clark is currently in jail and being charged as an adult with over 30 felony counts. 

A Florida teen has been arrested and accused of being the “mastermind” behind Twitter’s recent security and privacy breach. 

17-year-old Graham Clark of Tampa, Florida is said to have posed as a member of Twitter’s IT department and gained access to the accounts of Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Bill Gates, Elon Musk, Kanye West, Apple, Uber and more. The hack was part of a massive bitcoin scam on July 15th, theGrio reported. 

Each of the hacked Twitter profiles sent out messages that included the same bitcoin account, and urged followers to send cryptocurrency on the promise to double any amount received. 

Read More: Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Uber and more hacked on Twitter

“Everyone is asking me to give back, and now is the time,” one of the tweets read. “You send $1,000, I send you back $2,000.”

Apparently, Clark didn’t act alone. 22-year-old Nima Fazeli in Orlando and 19-year-old Mason Sheppard in the UK have also been charged by the US Department of Justice, The Verge reports. The duo, who go by the hacker aliases “Rolex” and “Chaewon,” respectively, are in custody, according to the FBI. 

Chaewon allegedly conspired with an unidentified minor in California, who confessed to helping sell access to Twitter accounts.

According to an affidavit released Friday, authorities say Clark convinced a Twitter employee that he worked in the IT department and that’s how he was able to gain credentials.

“Once we became aware of the incident, we immediately locked down the affected accounts and removed Tweets posted by the attackers,” Twitter said in a statement. “We have locked accounts that were compromised and will restore access to the original account owner only when we are certain we can do so securely.”

Clark is currently in jail and being charged as an adult with over 30 felony counts, including organized fraud, communications fraud, identity theft, and hacking, 

Read More: Twitter was hacked and now some of its most prominent users are caught in a Bitcoin scam

Celebrities hacked on Twitter (via Twitter.com)

Fazeli is facing five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for computer intrusion. Sheppard is facing a 20-year sentence and a $250,000 fine in the US for computer intrusion, wire fraud conspiracy, and money laundering conspiracy, the report states. 

“This could have had a massive, massive amount of money stolen from people, it could have destabilized financial markets within America and across the globe; because he had access to powerful politicians’ Twitter accounts, he could have undermined politics as well as international diplomacy,” said Hillsborough State Attorney Andrew Warren.

“This is not a game… these are serious crimes with serious consequences, and if you think you can rip people off online and get away with it, you’ll be in for a rude awakening, a rude awakening that comes in the form of a 6 AM knock on your door from federal agents,” he added. 

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Gabrielle Union says Terry Crews tried to ‘discredit’ her over AGT drama

The actress says the ‘America’s Got Talent’ host may ‘regret’ being on the wrong side of history.

Gabrielle Union has made clear how she really feels about Terry Crews’ lack of support during her controversial stint on America’s Got Talent.

She previously spoke out about the racism and sexism she experienced as a judge on the NBC talent competition series. The Being Mary Jane alum says she was met with toxicity on her very first day when Simon Cowell began blowing cigarette smoke, which the actress is allergic to, on set. After taking her grievances to network bosses, she was fired from the show in November.

Union has since launched a legal complaint against NBC, Simon Cowell and Fremantle and Syco Entertainment. 

She spoke further about her AGT experience during a recent interview on the Jemele Hill Is Unbothered podcast. While Union touched on everything from Cowell’s smoking habit, to Julianne Hough’s blackface incident, she didn’t hold back while addressing Crews’ stance amid her firing.

Read More: Terry Crews gets dragged for tweeting acronym for ‘coon’

At the time, Crews caught major heat for not publicly supporting Union the same way she had his back when he came forward with claims of being sexually assaulted by another male at a Hollywood party. 

Late last year, as Union was speaking her truth, Crews appeared on the Today show to praise NBC and gush about his positive experience as host of America’s Got Talent

When Hill mentioned his response, Union replied, “The only thing I know for sure is that Terry Crews gets three checks from NBC. So, I don’t know if being worried about job stability — which listen, we all know that if you speak up about racism and white supremacy, you absolutely can be shown the door — I don’t know if that’s the motivation.”

The Bring It On star then referred to his recent tweets warning about the rise of Black supremacy.

“Based on his recent actions, do you really think Terry Crews was an ally, was helpful, was a sounding board?” she asked. “I think Terry Crews is showing us who he is and what he does during times of adversity and it’s not solidarity.”

Read More: Terry Crews dragged on social media for ‘Black supremacy’ comments

Union said she was disappointed Crews didn’t publicly support her.

“Not to say if I offer you solidarity I expect you to be the getaway driver during a bank robbery — that’s what he made it sound like in one of those series of tweets,” she explained. “If you saw something, say something. If you didn’t have my experience, you also have an option to say, ‘I believe Gab, I just had a different experience.’ End of story.”

She added, “You don’t have to do a press tour where your sole objective is to discredit and malign me. You know, I’ve been in Hollywood a very long time. There’s very little that surprises me, but that was very disappointing for sure.”

Gabrielle warned that the White Chicks star may “regret” being on the wrong side of history as more details emerge related to her legal complaint. 

“Since I’ve been so vocal about what happened, the floodgates have opened. This reckoning is just hitting,” she said “There is so much more that is coming. I have a feeling he will probably regret it for a thousand reasons, very soon.”

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Video shows LAPD shooting man in the head while arms are up

LAPD Capt. Gisselle Espinoza called the shooting an ‘unintentional head strike.’ 

Officer body cam footage shows a man with his hands up during the George Floyd protests in Los Angeles being shot in the head with less-lethal projectile fired by police. 

The incident occurred in the Fairfax District on the evening of May 30 at the intersection of Beverly Boulevard and Grove Drive. The over 7-minute video shows the victim, CJ Montano, standing in the middle of the street with his hands up as officers on skirmish lines in front of him react to protesters throwing rocks and frozen water bottles at them, CBS Los Angeles reports.

Police are heard screaming “Less lethal!” and “Leave the area!” as they attempt to push back the crowd. They then fire at protesters as they flee. The clip shows Montano dropping to the ground and being rushed away from the scene by other demonstrators.  

Read More: LAPD officers accused of falsifying records could derail over 750 cases

LAPD Capt. Gisselle Espinoza called the shooting an “unintentional head strike.” 

Espinoza said “the circumstances of how Montano was struck, and which officer fired the less-lethal projectile that struck Montano, is still under investigation” by the LAPD Force Investigation Division (FID). 

Montano, who was reportedly taken to a hospital and treated for a head injury, has refused to cooperate with the investigation, police said. 

Many protesters suffered injuries that day from police use of batons and tactical weapons. A Times investigation has found LAPD officers likely violated protocols for use of such weapons, as they are not supposed to fire at people who are fleeing the scene.

Read More: LAPD run by ‘SWAT Mafia’ who ‘glamorize’ lethal force, sergeant says

Department policy requires that less-lethal weapons and projectiles, such as sponge and foam bullets, are only to be used on individuals who are presenting an immediate threat.  Officers are supposed to aim only for the person’s navel, belt line or their arms and legs — never their head or neck.

Montano is the latest case highlighting the LAPD’s excessive use of force during protests over police brutality and injustice. 

The LAPD is reportedly investigating 125 separate complaints from the protests. So far, 10 officers have been removed from field duties pending investigations.

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Google is Making it Easier to Search for and Support Black Businesses

Google badge black businesses

Google introduced a new badge that allows businesses to identify themselves as Black-owned through the company’s Maps and Search listings. The new feature, which was announced Thursday, comes as more consumers are searching for black businesses in recent months.

U.S.-based companies with a verified Business Profile on Google can now add a Black-owned business attribute to their profile, which will make it easier for customers to identify and support them. Those businesses will be marked with a black heart over an orange three-striped background (as seen below). To apply for the badge, black entrepreneurs must verify their company by mail, phone, or email.

“Over the past few months, we’ve seen a surge in online searches for Black-owned businesses. It’s been inspiring to witness so many people look for ways to invest in the Black community,” wrote Jewel Burks Solomon, the Head of Google for Startups, in a blog post. “With this attribute, our goal is to make Search and Maps more inclusive and help support Black-owned businesses when they need it most,” she added.

Google badge
[Image: Google]
Google partnered with the U.S. Black Chambers, Inc. (USBC) to help spread the word about the new badges. Together, Google and USBC will also provide Black business owners with training to maximize their online presence on Google through the use of Google My Business and Google Analytics.

According to The Verge, Yelp, a popular online service that provides crowd-sourced reviews and business listings, also reported an increase in Black-owned business searches on its site. It received more than 2.5 million searches for those businesses from May 25 to July 10.

Google also introduced badges for “Women-Led” businesses and LGBTQ-friendly businesses back in 2018.

Black businesses
Google Black-owned business badge [Image: Google]
In wake of the Black Lives Matter movement and calls to dismantle systemic racism, Google committed $12 million in funding to organizations working to address racial inequities in June.

Earlier this year, the tech giant appointed Solomon as its first Head of Google For Startups to focus on empowering diverse startup founders with products, connections, and best practices. Prior to her appointment, the Howard University alum worked at Google as an entrepreneur-in-residence for diversity markets from 2014 to 2016 where she helped underserved business owners grow their businesses online using Google tools.



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Jazz musician Chris ‘Big Dog’ Davis embraces life after cancer on debut album

Davis created ‘Focus’ while battling cancer for the second time

Chris “Big Dog” Davis is a Grammy-nominated producer and pianist who prefers to stay in the background. His debut album Focus, recorded while he battled lymphoma, is now a moment for him to enjoy life and the spotlight.

Davis was drawn to music early in life, playing the piano since the age of four while growing up in Waterbury, Connecticut. His skills were honed at Refuge Church of Christ where he played and his mother was the choir director. She ultimately saw his talent and provided him with a private teacher to help him evolve.

“They knew I had a gift,” Davis recalls.

Chris Big Dog Davis Jazz thegrio.com
(Credit: Chris ‘Big Dog’ Davis)

Read More: Rihanna says new music coming ‘sooner than you think’

Davis studied classical composition at Yale University then entered the Marine Corps at age 20. After leaving the military, he worked as a bodyguard for R&B heavyweight Brian McKnight.

Davis got his big musical break while working with the superstar, playing alongside him on The Arsenio Hall Show, The Tonight Show, and The Rosie O’Donnell Show.

He’s since worked and toured with George Clinton, Will Downing, Syleena Johnson, Chanté Moore, and jazz singer Maysa. His Midas touch is now on display for his own solo effort which comes decades into his career.

The 11-track career milestone, released in June by Shanachie Records, also came while Davis was battling lymphoma for the second time. He was previously diagnosed in 2010 and began to experience symptoms such as weight loss at the end of last year while touring with saxophonist Gerald Albright.

He was admitted to Yale New Haven Hospital but remained determined to complete his album.

“I went in there in January. I didn’t come out until like February. I was in there for at least 30 days when they were diagnosing me and everything,” he shares.

“I was sitting down with my sister who was my caregiver, God bless her soul. She took care of me and I sat up here myself and I put the whole Focus record together.”

Chris Big Dog Davis jazz thegrio.com
(Credit: Chris ‘Big Dog’ Davis)

Read More: Beyoncé releases new trailer for ‘Black is King’

Davis describes this project as “gumbo” inspired, taking bits and pieces from multiple genres like gospel, R&B, and jazz. He played bass, keyboards and mixed it while still ailing.

“I’m here to tell people that you can win this. This is my second [bout] with stage four,” he says. “You have to stay focused.”

Contemporary jazz greats Dave Koz, Nick Colionne, Kim Waters, Rick Braun, and Albright are just some of the artists who offered their talents for this project. Davis’ determination to breathe life into the album even as his was jeopardized is a testament to his unshakable character.

Albright, who has known Davis for years, hails him as having the “X Factor” and being a “warrior” whom he is proud to call a friend and collaborator. Davis has been in his band for several years as his principal keyboardist and has co-produced some of his albums.

 “Whatcha Gonna Do For Me” is one of the songs they worked on together for Focus.

“He’s very tenacious in whatever he wants to conquer,” Albright says. “I was one of the closest people to him during that season where he was going through cancer.

And we would talk either every other day or, you know, through email or a phone call, whatever it was., I was just kind of monitoring him and, and help try to support him in the best way I could,” the saxophonist recounts.

“He was always positive during that whole process. I didn’t feel any energy of depression. I mean, he was obviously concerned, but he knew that in order to live, he had to go through certain stages of medical healing and otherwise.”

Chris ‘Big Dog’ Davis jazz thegrio.com
(Credit: Chris ‘Big Dog’ Davis)

Focus, in his view, is a labor of love.

“I’m just so elated in celebrating him now that he’s in total remission. And he’s back to the music 100%,” Albright says.

Maysa has known Davis since 2006 and praises him as a “beautiful spirit” and musical genius. The singer and songwriter is a co-writer on the title track.

“He a strong man because the prognosis was not so good and so he was planning just in case something happened,” she recalls.

Read More: The beat of a culture: how HBCU bands relate to Black music legacy

She hopes that listeners are inspired to be “grateful” for what they do have.

“Staying focused on the good things in life..trying to change your perspective to not just focus on everything that’s wrong but the time you have to get your life in order; the time you needed so desperately when the world was at full speed ahead and you were waiting for some time to do it. This is the time to do it,” she declares.

There are many artists who view success as platinum records and #1 singles. The barometer for Davis is that his message is heard.

“The more I get to talk about it, the more people know about it, I think more people will like it,” he responds.

Focus can be streamed on Spotify and is available for purchase.

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PokimaneBoyfriend and the Scandalous Reign of Drama YouTube

This week, Twitch streamer Pokimane demonstrated how to expertly handle the internet drama industrial complex.

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Phyllis Omido: The woman who won $12m fighting lead battery poisoners

Kenyan activist Phyllis Omido has been ignored, harassed and arrested, but she never gave up.

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Rihanna says she felt like a ‘clown’ in 2015 Met dress

In a new interview, Rihanna opens up about how nervous she felt before hitting the red carpet at the 2015 Met Gala

After delivering one of the most memorable looks at the 2015 Costume Institute Benefit Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, better known as the Met Gala, singer Rihanna reveals how nervous she was before strutting down that red carpet.

READ MORE: Rihanna says new music coming ‘sooner than you think’

“Oh my God, I’m a clown, people are going to laugh at me, this is too much,” she remembers.

In a new interview with Access Hollywood to promote her newest beauty brand Fenty Skin, the multi-hyphenate talent says she was overwhelmed by the now-iconic moment.

“I remember being so scared to get out of that car because I felt like, ‘I’m doing too much,’ remembers the “Pour It Up” singer. She continues “Finally, I was like, ‘Whatever, let’s go. Let’s just go. Let’s just go,’ confessing she had her car circle around the event three times before she was ready to make an entrance.

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The vibrant yellow gown was designed by Chinese couturier Guo Pei for the event, which was themed “China: Through The Looking Glass.”

READ MORE: Rihanna, Beyoncé send Megan Thee Stallion flowers following shooting

The Bajan pop star shared with Vanity Fair how she researched before deciding on the gown for the annual fashion showcase.

 “I can’t really walk in it without any help—but it’s so worth it. I love this dress so much!” she told the outlet. “It’s handmade by one Chinese woman and it took her two years to make. I found it online.”

Pei shared the care she put into creating the dress with Vanity Fair.

“The focus and the attention paid to this dress will make it remembered by the world—[what] I want is to make them remember. . . . It is my responsibility to let the world know China’s tradition and past, and to give the splendor of China a new expression. I hope that people do know China in this way.”

Rihanna also talked about falling in love with makeup, her future children, creating a legacy, and her music career.

Watch the interview below:

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Streaming service Twitch targets HBCUs to increase minority participation in gaming

Twitch aims to encourage diversity in esports through a new partnership bringing an official league to HBCU campuses.

The popular gaming platform Twitch announces a partnership with nonprofit organization Cxmmunity to bring an official esports league to historically Black colleges and universities.

READ MORE: Reddit, Twitch clamp down Trumpist forums for hate speech

The league will be the first of its kind in Black colleges. Engadget reports the participating HBCU students will be provided educational and scholarship support via Twitch Student and the program will help HBCUs expand their esports programs.

“As a graduate of an HBCU and knowing firsthand how we’re underrepresented and just lack the access to get into gaming, I’m excited to be working with Twitch to fulfill our mission in increasing the participation of minorities within these industries and close the digital divide,” said Chris Peay, CoFounder of Cxmmunity, according to Engadget.

Cxmmunity is a nonprofit, that according to their official website, is “committed to increasing participation in minority esports through STEAM development.

The organization announced the partnership on social media saying, “oh my, what a time to be alive.

READ MORE: Mackenzie Scott, ex-wife of Jeff Bezos, donates millions to HBCUs

Engadget notes that currently, over 200 North American colleges and universities have esports teams or clubs associated with Tespa, the National Association of Collegiate Esports. Out of the hundreds represented, only one HBCU is listed – Morehouse College, the historic private, all-male institution in Atlanta, Georgia.

The report continues to highlight the racial disparities in the gaming community between players and industry professionals. Engadget reports that while an estimated 83% of Black teens play video games, 68% of video game creators are white, according to data from the International Game Developers Association.

Together, Twitch and Cxmmunity hope to build a “pipeline for Black talent in the esports industry,” the companies said in a statement.

A first look into the newly-formed HBCU league will be broadcast by Twitch on the Cxmmunity Twitch channel on August 2.

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Dr. Anthony Fauci says a coronavirus vaccine may be coming in 2021

The nation’s lead spokesman on the coronavirus says the virus vaccine has been fast-tracked and likely will happen in the next year

The nation’s lead infectious disease expert testified before the House committee on the coronavirus today and says that there may be a vaccine for COVID-19 as early as 2021.

According to CBS, Dr. Anthony Fauci said, “I think it will occur,” and “within a reasonable period of time.”

Despite the speed of the process, he believes it will pass medical muster. However, he cautions that it will take some time before it can be distributed en masse.

 Fauci thegrio.com
Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Dr. Anthony Fauci, center, speaks as Vice President Mike Pence, right, and Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, left, listen during a news conference with members of the Coronavirus task force at the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, Friday, June 26, 2020. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

$8 billion has been distributed by the federal government to biotech companies to develop a coronavirus vaccine, including the French company Sanofi and the British company GlaxoSmithKline, among others. China and Russia are working on a vaccine.

Read More: Colin Kaepernick, Anthony Fauci to receive Kennedy human rights award

Fauci testified along with Dr. Robert Redfield, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Admiral Brett Giroir, the Secretary for Health at the Department of Health and Human Services. All of them emphasized a need to have a comprehensive plan as cases surge around the country.

House Select Subcommittee On Coronavirus Crisis Holds Hearing On Urgent Need For A National Plan
WASHINGTON, DC – JULY 31: Dr. Anthony Fauci (C), director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Dr. Robert Redfield (R), director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and Adm. Brett Giroir, Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services for Health, testifies before the House Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis hearing on July 31, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch-Pool/Getty Images)

Fauci said that one of the reasons why the U.S. has struggled to contain the virus while other countries have done better is that places like Europe shut down their economic systems by 95%. The U.S. response was to shut down just 50%.

The health experts agreed that the scattershot response hurt the mitigation of the virus which was particularly deadly in places where people are forced into close proximity – jails, assembly line workplaces, and nursing homes, according to published reports.

Fauci got into a tense exchange with Ohio congressman Jim Jordan who asked him if protests were spreading the virus and if he would recommend putting a stop to them. Fauci said that while he believed being outside in large crowds, especially without a mask leads to virus spread, it wasn’t his call to determine whether lawful protests should be curtailed.

“Any crowd, whether it’s a protest — any crowd of people close together without masks is a risk. And I’ll stick by that statement. It’s a public health statement. It’s not a judgment,” Fauci said as Jordan pressed him for a more definitive answer.

As summer moves into fall, the experts recommend Americans get a flu shot this year as even they don’t know the impact of the coronavirus once it’s combined with the annual flu season.

Read More: Blacks more likely to be impacted financially by COVID-19 pandemic

“While it remains unclear how long the pandemic will last, COVID-19 activity will likely continue for some time,” they said in prepared written remarks released prior to the hearing.

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BLM mural on Tulsa’s ‘Black Wall Street’ faces removal

A Black Lives Matter mural painted in the streets of Tulsa, Oklahoma has to go, say city officials.

A Black Lives Matter street mural painted in Tulsa, Oklahoma has been removed after city officials stated the artwork was never approved in the first place.

READ MORE: Women arrested for vandalizing BLM mural outside Trump Tower

According to CNN, the bold lettering was displayed in the historic Greenwood District in the city’s Black Wall Street area. The artwork was created on June 18, the day before Juneteenth and two days before President Donald Trump held a campaign rally in the area.

Volunteers and artists not officially affiliated with the Black Lives Matter organization completed the mural on Greenwood Avenue. The neighborhood is noted for being the site of a historical, racially motivated massacre.

In 1921, in what’s now known as the Tulsa Race Riot, a violent white mob attacked Black residents and burned down Black-owned businesses after a 19-year-old shoeshiner was accused of attacking a white teenage girl.

According to History, schools, churches, hotels, hospitals, and homes were among the buildings torched in the attack that left hundreds of people dead and over 10,000 Black residents homeless.

READ MORE: NY town rejects BLM mural, activists say it’s ‘a slap in the face’

Tulsa’s City Council debated the viability of the BLM mural after receiving a request from Back The Blue Tulsa who wanted to paint their own message on another street in support of law enforcement officers.

Senior Assistant City Attorney Mark Swiney says there are no laws in place to allow the art, saying “There really isn’t anything in our laws that makes a street into a canvas to convey a message or essentially make a sign out of a street surface.” He suggested private property would be best for proposed paint jobs.

City council members concluded it would not be fair to allow one statement and not the other so they decided the BLM mural would be removed.

“It’s not about the message or anything like that,” Councilor Connie Dodson said during the meeting, according to CNN. “I applaud it. It’s great. But at the same point, it comes down to yes, if you allow one, then you have to allow all of them.”

Ryan Rhoades, an artist who helped organize the painting of the BLM mural, tells CNN affiliate KOKI-TV that the decision to remove it is not surprising but it had served its purpose as a message on Juneteenth and during Trump’s visit. The water-based paint used was not intended to be permanent.

A date to remove the paint is not yet set.

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How the Alleged Twitter Hackers Got Caught

Bitcoin payments and IP addresses led investigators to two of the alleged perpetrators in just over two weeks.

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Big Tech Does Not Agree With That Characterization

Plus: Microsoft’s monopolistic days, life without a Covid vaccine, and bogus hand sanitizer.

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Emmy Voters Missed a Lot of Key Nominations … Again

This year, some worthy contenders got nods—Watchmen! Zendaya!—but quite a few essential performances were overlooked.

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Oral-B iO Series 8 Review: A Grossly Expensive Electric Toothbrush

This electric toothbrush uses Bluetooth to keep your teeth happy and clean, but they'll start chattering when you see the price tag.

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The Dark Virality of a Hollywood Blood-Harvesting Conspiracy

A centuries-old anti-Semitic myth is spreading freely on far-right corners of social media—suggesting a new digital Dark Age has arrived.

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Hardline Opponent Of Face Masks Tests Positive For Coronavirus

coronavirus

A Texas Republican who once insisted he wouldn’t wear a mask unless he caught the coronavirus can now put one on, as he’s contracted the virus.

According to Mic, Rep. Louie Gohmert reportedly tested positive for coronavirus Wednesday, a day after he appeared at a House Judiciary Committee hearing with Attorney General Bill Barr without a mask.

In June, Gohmert told CNN, “I don’t have the coronavirus, turns out as of yesterday I’ve never had it. But if I get it, you’ll never see me without a mask.”

Gohmert was tested as part of the regular procedures for entry to the White House. He is asymptomatic.

According to Politico, Gohmert is the seventh member of the House, and the sixth Republican member, to be infected by the coronavirus. Gohmert was filmed on Wednesday walking next to Attorney General Bill Barr after the House committee hearing. Barr will now be tested for coronavirus following Gohmert’s infection.

Former presidential candidate Herman Cain, who contracted coronavirus after attending President Trump’s rally in Tulsa, died Thursday morning from the virus.

Democratic Rep. Jerry Nadler (N.Y.), who chaired the hearing with Barr, criticized a group of GOP committee members, but not Gohmert, for refusing to comply with House rules and not wearing face masks during the hearing.

Gohmert posted a video on his Twitter account Wednesday afternoon announcing he had contracted “the Wuhan virus.” Gohmert added he regularly wore a mask during the past week and wondered whether his adjusting his face covering “to make it more comfortable” had “put some germs in the mask.”

“I’m so sorry for him,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told MSNBC’s Garrett Haake after learning of Gohmert’s infection. “But I’m also sorry [for] my members, who are concerned, because he has been showing up at meetings without a mask and making a thing of it,” she added.



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McDonald’s Promises To Bolster Diversity Within Its System

McDonald’s has promised to improve diversity at all levels of its systems, including franchisees and suppliers in a worldwide digital meeting Wednesday.

The international burger chain held its first Worldwide Connection Overview, a digital convening of operators, suppliers, and employees worldwide Wednesday. In the meeting, company executives acknowledged they need to do better at creating a culture of equality, fairness, and opportunity where these values don’t have to be marched for but are expected as soon as employees and customers walk in the door.

As part of that, McDonald’s has promised to address hiring bias, reduce barriers for underrepresented populations, increase the diversity of its leadership to represent the communities they serve, and hold suppliers accountable as well.

“These actions and others will be underscored by a Mutual Commitment to Diversity, Equity and
Inclusion,” McDonald’s announced in a press release. “This is a pledge that asks anyone who does business with McDonald’s to make and be accountable to progress across diversity, equity and inclusion in their own business.”

The fast-food chain also discussed the Black Lives Matter movement and the protests taking place across the country. McDonald’s promised to set diversity goals within the company and track its progress annually to ensure success.

“For our Black friends and neighbors and colleagues of color, the devastation of COVID is matched by the pain and frustration they feel over just how far we still have to go to achieve justice in the world,” CEO Chris Kempczinski said during an hourlong Worldwide Connection video shared with members of the media.

“Some people in our system feel they haven’t been given a fair opportunity,” he added. “We have to face that fact and do better.”

McDonald’s also announced a partnership with the Mayo Clinic, which will review McDonald’s coronavirus related health and safety precautions. The partnership will also select global standards, which take into
consideration local regulations, practices, and guidance from local public health authorities.

McDonald’s has made an effort to give back to its customers during the coronavirus pandemic. In April, McDonald’s honored the selfless service of healthcare workers and first responders—police officers, firefighters, and paramedics—by giving them free ‘Thank You Meals’ to all healthcare workers and first responders.

Last month, McDonald’s announced the introduction of its Black & Positively Golden Scholarship Fund worth $500,000 to help students continue their education amid the coronavirus pandemic.



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Tucker Carlson slams Obama’s John Lewis eulogy, calls him ‘greasy politician’

The conservative host gave a scathing rebuke to the members of the audience, which included members of Lewis’ family

Fox News host, Tucker Carlson, attacked former president, Barack Obama, for his eulogy of late US Rep. John Lewis

Carlson called the eulogy a “divisive and dishonest campaign speech.” 

READ MORE: Obama eulogizes John Lewis as a man of ‘pure joy’ and ‘perseverance’

The host said, “Imagine if some greasy politician showed up at your loved one’s funeral and started throwing around stupid partisan talking points about Senate procedure. Can you imagine that?”

“You would be shocked if that happened. You’d probably walk out. Desecrating a funeral with campaign slogans? What kind of person would do that?” 

Carson Tucker says, “Obama’s Divisive and Dishonest Campaign Speech” (start 1:38)

The scathing rebuke continued as he then criticized the members of the audience, which included members of Lewis’ family.

“Democrats in the audience didn’t seem offended, they didn’t blink, they cheered,” Carlson noted. “It all seemed normal to them and why wouldn’t it? Political power is their religion. It’s not out of place in a church, it’s what they worship. People who politicize a funeral will do anything and they are trying to.” 

Carlson went on to call the former president, “one of the sleaziest and most dishonest figures in the history of American politics.” He accused Obama of using the death of George Floyd to “attack the police.” 

Former President Barack Obama gives the eulogy at the funeral service for
the late Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) at Ebenezer Baptist Church on July 30, 2020 in Atlanta, Georgia.
(Photo by Alyssa Pointer-Pool/Getty Images)

He said that Democrats are “systematically trying to dismantle the core institutions of American life.”

The remarks, made during the opener for Tucker Carlson Tonight, went on to rely on ominous warnings that are common for the show.

READ MORE: John Lewis declares ‘now it is your turn’ in posthumous NYT op-ed on justice

“They are doing this for one reason,” Carlson said, “to ensure they have complete control of the United States. We are watching it happen right now, though almost no one ever admits it, and those who do come close to getting shut down.” 

Carlson is a favorite television personality of President Donald Trump who himself, did not attend Lewis’ funeral or any of the in-person events honoring the Civil Rights icon. 

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The Pandemic Put Amazon in a Prime Position

This week, we list the Amazon Prime benefits you don’t know about, and tell you how to take advantage of them while you shelter in place.

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The Anglerfish Deleted Its Immune System to Fuse With Its Mate

Underwater “sexual parasitism” between male and female allows two bodies to become one. Now we know the reason why.

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AI-Generated Text Is the Scariest Deepfake of All

Synthetic video and audio seemed pretty bad. Synthetic writing—ubiquitous and undetectable—will be far worse.

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What the Science of Animal Networks Reveals About Protests

The movement of demonstrators echoes the fluid collective responses of the animal world, as groups respond to threats and signal across large spaces.

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13 Amazon Prime Perks You Might Not Be Using

Your membership gets you more than free two-day shipping. Here's what you may be missing.

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Anthony Levandowski Asks a Judge Not to Send Him to Prison

The former Google engineer, who pleaded guilty to stealing the company's self-driving car technology, says he'd be at heightened risk for Covid-19.

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7 Best Open Source “Disk Cloning/Backup” Tools for Linux Servers

Disk cloning is the process of copying data from a hard disk to another one, in fact, you can do this process by copy & paste but you won’t be able to copy the

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23 CentOS Server Hardening Security Tips – Part 2

Continuing the previous tutorial on How to Secure and Harden CentOS server, in this article, we’ll discuss other security tips that will be presented on the below checklist. Requirements 20 CentOS Server Hardening Security

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Thursday, July 30, 2020

20 CentOS Server Hardening Security Tips – Part 1

This tutorial only covers general security tips for CentOS 8/7 which can be used to harden the system. The checklist tips are intended to be used mostly on various types of bare-metal servers or

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July 31, 2020: Celebrate “System Administrator Appreciation Day” Today

Friday July 31st, 2020 is witnessing 21st System Administrator Appreciation Day. System Administrator Appreciation Day also known as Sysadmin Day, SysAdminDay, SAD or SAAD is celebrated on the last Friday of July every Year.

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Ellen DeGeneres responds to allegations of toxic work environment

In a letter to her crew, the daytime talk show host takes responsibility and vows to ‘correct the issues’ going forward. 

Ellen DeGeneres is addressing accusations of a “toxic” workplace at her talk show after former staffers spilled secrets about what’s really going on behind-the-scenes. 

In a letter to her crew, DeGeneres takes responsibility and vows to “correct the issues” going forward. 

“As we’ve grown exponentially, I’ve not been able to stay on top of everything and relied on others to do their jobs as they knew I’d want them done. Clearly some didn’t,” she writes. “That will now change and I’m committed to ensuring this does not happen again.” 

As part of that change, executive producer Ed Glavin, who is at the center of many of the claims in Buzzfeed’s explosive report on employee grievances, is among those who will be let go. 

Read More: WarnerMedia investigating ‘Ellen DeGeneres Show’ for alleged toxicity

“Once he’s out, it will be like a new day,” says a source close to the show, per The Hollywood Reporter

The Buzzfeed report prompted an in-house investigation by Telepictures parent WarnerMedia. theGRIO previously reported, the outlet produced an extensive survey of the culture, interviewing both current and former employees, who gave their perspective of the workplace.

One of the more shocking revelations was that workers were advised not to speak to DeGeneres when they saw her passing by.

Others claimed that they were fired following medical leave or let go after taking bereavement days to attend family funerals.

One person expressed that she quit because of how uncomfortable she was made to feel about her race.

“If she [Ellen DeGeneres] wants to have her own show and have her name on the show title, she needs to be more involved to see what’s going on,” said a former show employee.

Read More: TikTok star Tabitha Brown gets her own show on Ellen DeGeneres digital network

In a statement to Buzzfeed, Glavin, along with EPs Mary Connelly and Andy Lassner, said: “Over the course of nearly two decades, 3,000 episodes, and employing over 1000 staff members, we have strived to create an open, safe, and inclusive work environment. We are truly heartbroken and sorry to learn that even one person in our production family has had a negative experience. It’s not who we are and not who we strive to be, and not the mission Ellen has set for us.”

DeGeneres also notes in her letter, “As someone who was judged and nearly lost everything for just being who I am,” she writes, “I truly understand and have deep compassion for those being looked at differently, or treated unfairly, not equal, or — worse — disregarded.”

She added,  “It’s been way too long, but we’re finally having conversations about fairness and justice.”

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China's luxury retail sector is booming even amid the coronavirus outbreak: Hang Lung Properties

The luxury retail market in mainland China has been "very, very strong" from April to July and is likely to hold up well for the rest of the year as long as there is no strong resurgence of the coronavirus, says Ronnie Chan, chairman of Hang Lung Group and its subsidiary Hang Lung Properties.

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California lawmakers propose ‘George Floyd’ law to punish bystander cops

The bill would place a criminal penalty on officers who stand by and do nothing to deescalate a situation.

California lawmakers want to punish police who fail to intervene when colleagues use excessive force. 

The proposed “George Floyd “ law would make bystander officers an accessory to any crime committed by the officer using unwarranted force if they choose to remain silent on the sidelines.

The bill, authored by Assemblyman Chris Holden (D-Pasadena), aims to crack the “blue code of silence” by holding officers accountable via possible criminal charges and being banned from law enforcement, Los Angeles Times reports.

Law enforcement agencies across the state have slammed the bill, noting that police often have mere seconds to react to a potentially deadly situation.

Read More: California reports record high number of coronavirus deaths

“This misguided proposal criminalizes officers who may not have a complete understanding of the incident and have different viewpoints. Strong policies, robust training and fair discipline is far more appropriate than criminal sanctions,” said the board of directors of the Los Angeles Police Protective League in a statement.

The proposal comes two months after Floyd was killed by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin while being detained. Widely circulated video of the disturbing incident shows the officer with his knee on Floyd’s neck for eight minutes, until Floyd loses consciousness.

The other three officers on the scene failed to stop Chauvin from crushing the life out of Floyd. All now facing criminal charges.

“It shattered my heart,” said Holden of the footage. “It was the inaction of the other officers that caused a real concern because they never tried to stop it.”

Holden’s bill would place a criminal penalty on officers who stand by and do nothing to deescalate a situation.

“There needs to be physical intervention,” he said. “There also needs to be making sure that the body camera is on, that there is an effort to deescalate the situation.”

But police trainer Ed Obayashi called Holden’s proposal “impractical.”

He cited recent protests where officers deployed rubber bullets, noting that “It’s a slippery slope.”

“You’ve got 30 officers in a skirmish line and one deploys a projectile and it hits someone in the head. What are the other officers supposed to do?” he asked.

Law enforcement have also criticized the proposal over language related to the use of deadly force. They want a clear definition that excessive force is permissible when all other options have been exhausted, per Yahoo.

Earlier this week, a definition of what is “necessary” was reportedly added to Holden’s bill.

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