Chicago State to explore adding a Division I football program

San Jose Mercury - 9 min 21 sec ago

Chicago State University is moving toward establishing a Division I football program, forming a university committee to assess the possibility of creating a team.

The school on Thursday announced the committee members at a news conference Thursday. They include former NFL players Howard Griffith, Vaughn Bryant, Tom Thayer and Otis Wilson, along with several Chicago high school football coaches, community leaders and school officials.

The committee should provide a recommendation on the speculative football program’s future this spring, CSU athletic director Monique Carroll said.

“If that is favorable, we could be looking at Chicago’s only Division I program, right here on the South Side,” Carroll said. “We will potentially start football as early as fall 2025.”

The university already has conducted a feasibility study on the prospect of the football program, and the exploratory committee is now the “next step,” Carroll said. The committee also will consider adding new women’s sports teams.

Various questions about the possible football program have yet to be answered. It is unclear how the team would be paid for or where it would play games. But as football helmets with green Cougar decals sat before school officials, a marching band opened the news conference with brassy tunes and a muscled mascot danced, school leaders were clearly optimistic the program would become a reality.

“I think that the important work of the committee is to look and see what’s the road map, what are the steps that need to happen,” Carroll said. “Is it fall ‘24, ‘25, ‘26? To really come up with actionable items and timetables.”

She also acknowledged the committee could determine that the program should not go forward.

The public university in the Far South Side’s Roseland neighborhood is Illinois’ only four-year university federally designated as predominantly Black. The school has at times struggled with highprofile lawsuits and low enrollment in the last decade, including enrolling just 86 freshmen in fall 2016. But freshmen and sophomore enrollment has grown sharply over the last year, Chicago State President Zaldwaynaka “Z” Scott said.

Overall enrollment decreased 2.1% in 2022, with 2,296 students enrolled in the fall, according to a university news release.

The possible football program “is one part of our ongoing focus to improve the quality of student life, to make Chicago State University a more attractive destination for new students and to contribute to the ongoing economic development of our community,” Scott said.

The university operates seven men’s and eight women’s Division I sports programs. The Cougars left the Western Athletic Conference in June, though Carroll said she expects the university will join a new conference in the next year, a decision that likely will be affected by the prospect of a football program.

The university’s baseball team was cut two years ago, a move Carroll pinned on economic uncertainty during the pandemic. But the school since has added a men’s soccer team, she added. Carroll said she is confident the school would be able to establish the team financially, adding that college football teams typically generate revenue.

When Scott was asked whether the potential football team might play games at Soldier Field amid the Chicago Bears’ developing plans to leave the stadium for a new one in Arlington Heights, Scott answered with a laugh, “If it’s available.”

The team would compete in the Football Championship Subdivision, the second level of NCAA Division I football, a school spokesperson said.

“I hope that, at the end of this committee, we find that we’re able to move forward with this football program,” said Griffith, a South Side native and two-time Super Bowl champion. “It can bring so many other people into your program. It could have such an important impact for our community.”

Griffith said the committee’s recommendation ultimately will be passed to university leaders who will make a final decision. The committee needs to take its time to form a thoughtful recommendation, he added.

The new team could be an investment in the South Side and its young people, Griffith said.

“It’s not necessarily about are people playing in the NBA, the NFL or going on and playing any professional sports but the opportunity to have an education,” he said.


Categories: Local News

Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier skate to record-setting day

San Jose Mercury - 25 min 51 sec ago

SAN JOSE — Brandon Frazier looked up at the SAP Center scoreboard as it posted his and Alexa Knierim’s U.S. Figure Skating Championships short program score Thursday afternoon.

“Whooo!” Frazier said.

He shot another glance at the score as if to make sure.

The mark remained the same – 81.96, the highest short program score ever recorded by an American pairs team.

“Wow,” Frazier said after the double take.

The recapturing of the U.S. title that was denied Knierim and Frazier last year, after he tested positive for COVID-19 on the eve of the national championships, became a foregone conclusion after the reigning world champions knocked nearly four points off their previous short program personal best.

“That’s up there,” said Todd Sand, who coaches the pair with his wife Jenni Meno-Sand at Great Park Ice in Irvine.

Knierim and Frazier, the 2021 U.S. champions, were flawless early, hitting a triple twist lift, triple toe-loop, and throw triple flip.

“I’m not shocked,” Sand said of the performance. “I feel like they’ve been training really well. I actually thought they could do a couple of things a little better, to be honest with you.”

The second half of the program was also largely mistake-free if it did lack the energy of the opening 90 seconds.

“Maybe not as much fire as usual,” Sand said. “But I think they’d done their job at this point.”

Indeed, with Knierim and Frazier leading by more than 35 points heading into Saturday’s free skate, the only real competition remaining is for second.

Emily Chan and Spencer Howe are second after the short program at 66.86, followed by Ellie Kam and Danny O’Shea at 65.75.

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Another Orange County-based pair, Sonia Baram and Daniel Tioumentsev, last year’s U.S. junior champions, are fifth with a score of 63.12.

Baram and Tioumentsev opened strong with a triple twist lift and a triple Salchow. But Baram fell on the landing of a throw double flip and then slipped late in the program during a footwork sequence.

“I was a little bummed for them,” Sand said. “They didn’t quite skate like they normally do.”

Categories: Local News

Farmworker Describes Coming Face to Face With Half Moon Bay Gunman

N.Y. Times - 30 min 1 sec ago
A man walked in and fatally shot Marciano Martinez, but spared his co-worker. Two other farmworkers, a husband and wife, were also found dead at Concord Farms.
Categories: Local News

Javonte Green progressing from a knee prodedure — though the Chicago Bulls have no timeline for the forward’s return

San Jose Mercury - 32 min 21 sec ago

Nearly four weeks since his last game for the Chicago Bulls, uncertainty lingers for power forward Javonte Green.

Two weeks after undergoing an arthroscopic debridement to address lingering issues from a bone bruise in his right knee, Green has not returned to running or jumping. Coach Billy Donovan said Thursday that Green could require one to two more weeks of recovery before progressing beyond noncontact activities such as riding a stationary bike.

Donovan added that the Bulls do not have a timeline for Green’s expected return — to contact activities or games.

“We’ll have a much better feel once he can get started,” Donovan said before the Bulls played the Charlotte Hornets. “Once he starts moving, I think we’ll get a much better feel of how he responds to that.”

This is a hauntingly familiar refrain for Bulls fans, who have spent more than a year awaiting the return of point guard Lonzo Ball. Ball initially injured the MCL in his left knee — which required surgery on Jan. 20, 2021 — and his recovery was extended because of a bone bruise, then accompanied by pain in the following months.

Green hasn’t been fully available since Dec. 2. He returned for a pair of three-game stints before the Bulls determined he required the debridement procedure, which he underwent Jan. 11.

Unlike Ball, Donovan said Green’s recovery is continuing as expected.

“Everything has gone according to schedule,” Donovan said. “He’s been fine. There’s been no setbacks, and I wouldn’t anticipate any of that.”

Green was unable to travel to Paris for the Bulls’ game against the Detroit Pistons on Jan. 19 because of the four-day proximity between his surgery and the team’s departure. But he joined the Bulls on the road this week, catching rebounds and making passes during shootaround Thursday in Charlotte, N.C., while his teammates jokingly referred to him as “Coach Green.”

Goran Dragić plans to meet the Bulls in Orlando, Fla.

Donovan said Dragić will join the Bulls on Friday in Orlando after the backup guard missed the first two games of the three-game trip with a non-COVID illness.

Dragić has been unavailable for the Bulls since the team returned from Paris. Donovan said Dragić was able to work out for several days in Chicago ahead of flying to Orlando on Friday. His return will help to ease a depleted bench with Green unavailable.


Categories: Local News

These Bay Area students are candidates for the prestigious U.S. Presidential Scholars Program

San Jose Mercury - 33 min 1 sec ago

Nearly 150 Bay Area students have been selected as candidates for the U.S. Presidential Scholars Program, one of the country’s highest honors for graduating high school seniors.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, the awards highlight “excellence in education and the promise of greatness in America’s youth.” Students are selected based on their academic achievement, including scores on the SAT or ACT exams, talent in the visual, creative and performing arts, and skills in the career and technical education fields.

These students were selected from nearly 3.6 million high school graduates across the country, and will be in the running for receiving Presidential Scholars Medallions, the final prize for the competition, this June. Each year, up to 161 students are selected to receive the final award, and are selected from a national pool of over 5,000.

The list of U.S. Presidential Scholar Program candidates from the Bay Area are below.

Claire M. Wong, The College Preparatory School

Sebastian H. Weinberger, The College Preparatory School

Sa’Ar L. Lipshitz, Redwood High School

Gavin Trotmore, Berkeley High School

Tegbir Panesar, The College Preparatory School

Allison Z. Jiang, Monta Vista High School
Anya Goyal, Monta Vista High School
Celina K. Yang, Cupertino High School
Derrick Z. Liu, BASIS Independent Silicon Valley
Jeremy Ko, Harker School
Jessica W. Zhang, Monta Vista High School
Kenneth Shui, Monta Vista High School

Sabrina Brandeis, Monte Vista High School
Vishaan Joshi, Monte Vista High School

Katherine Cheng, Dublin High School
Siddharth Ajay, Dublin High School

Foster City
Fiona H. Lu, Hillsdale High School
Maya G. Rao, San Mateo High School

Akhilesh Basetty, Mission San Jose High School
Ambareesh Shyam Sundar, Irvington High School
Andrew Wen, Phillips Academy
Arushi G. Agarwal, Mission San Jose High School
Aryan Singh, American High School
Chris J. Ge, Mission San Jose High School
Jerry Yuan, Mission San Jose High School
Maggie Zhang, Mission San Jose High School
Michael Zhou, Mission San Jose High School
Nandana J. Nambiar, Mission San Jose High School
Olivia Wu, Mission San Jose High School
Samvar M. Yedur, American High School
Selena T. Tang, Mission San Jose High School
Shelley Fernando, Mission San Jose High School
Shelley Li, Mission San Jose High School
Sophia Zhu, Irvington High School
Hung Lin, American High School
Jonathan S. Tao, Mission San Jose High School

Angelina J. Parker, Aragon High School
Caroline Vichot, Crystal Springs Uplands School
Michelle J. Zhang, The Nueva School

Los Altos
Jack Hsieh, Harker School
Nikita Raman, Presentation High School
Vincent Y. Zhang, Harker School

Menlo Park
Alexander Parikh-Briggs, Menlo Atherton High School
Adrian M. Deutscher-Bisho, Menlo Atherton High School
Lucy Knox, Sacred Heart Preparatory

Phoebe H. Ong, Ocean Grove Charter School

Mountain View
Ella Gal On, Stanford Univ EPGY Online High School
Katherine Y. Wang, Los Altos High School
Yuting Wang, Mountain View High School

Ashley Quach, Unknown High School
Jasper D. Zietlow, Piedmont High School

Michelle J. Giovinazzo, Miramonte High School

Palo Alto
Alan D. Lee, Henry M. Gunn High School
Alexis Jae-Yeon Kim, Palo Alto Senior High School
Amelia M. Yu, Henry M. Gunn High School
Anna Kim, Castilleja School
Cayden Gu, Palo Alto Senior High School
Dhananjay Deshpande, Palo Alto Senior High School
Jack Fallows, Henry M. Gunn High School
Jonathan E. Mao, Henry M. Gunn High School
Karrie Z. Huang, Palo Alto Senior High School
Kaylee Wong, Henry M. Gunn High School
Maanasa Viswanath, Henry M. Gunn High School
Maya M. Mukherjee, Palo Alto Senior High School
Mingyuan Wang, Palo Alto Senior High School
Nina H. Franz, Harker School
Patrick Xue, Palo Alto Senior High School
Ryan Lee, Palo Alto Senior High School
Sonia E. Cherian, Castilleja School
Vivian Wu, Palo Alto Senior High School
Yu-Ting Chang, Henry M. Gunn High School

Victor Z. Laczay, Wasatch Academy

Aryan Jain, Amador Valley High School
Caleb M. Joo, Foothill High School
Claire Xu, Foothill High School
Ishani Shah, Foothill High School
Nihaal A. Konda, Bellarmine College Preparatory
Tanish Kumar, Stanford Univ EPGY Online High School
Ziyue Cao, Amador Valley High School

Portola Valley
Maren C. Deem, Woodside Priory School

San Francisco
Alison Soong, Crystal Springs Uplands School
Ella Barrett, San Francisco University High School
Chelsea E. Woolf, San Francisco University High School
Jack C. Quach, St. Ignatius College Preparatory
Jeffrey Xu, Lowell High School
Micah Brown, The Nueva School
William C. Mao, St. Paul’s School

San Jose
Ayush Agarwal, BASIS Independent Silicon Valley
Annmaria K. Antony, Harker School
Andrew T. Chang, Evergreen Valley High School
Kylie Chang, Lynbrook High School
Eleanor Y. Chen, Lynbrook High School
Alison Ding, BASIS Independent Silicon Valley
Anna Figge, University Preparatory Academy
Ilinca Flacau, Leland High School
Jia S. Gill, Presentation High School
Ritali Jain, Evergreen Valley High School
Tarini Amsav Jayakumar, Prospect High School
Alyson Jiang, BASIS Independent Silicon Valley
Neil Kakhandiki, Lynbrook High School
Elizabeth Lau, University Preparatory Academy
David Lee, Lynbrook High School
Lavinia Lei, Monta Vista High School
Qingyuan Li, Archbishop Mitty High School
Maggie Liu, Leland High School
Miranda Lu, Leland High School
Anirudh R. Mani, Bellarmine College Preparatory
Mike Nguyen, The Kings Academy
Michelle Qiao, Leland High School
Angela Sheu, Los Gatos High School
Benjamin T. Sosnowski, Leland High School
Akshara Taraniganty, Lynbrook High School
Fiona F. Tsang, Ohio Connections Academy
Dipti S. Venkatesh, Evergreen Valley High School
Pranav Virupaksha, Lynbrook High School
Konrad Wrebiak, Lynbrook High School

San Mateo
Leil Cheng, Hillsdale High School

San Ramon
Alexander J. Moyer, California High School
Harshitha Palacharla, California High School
Navya Kancharla, Dougherty Valley High School
Srushti Talluri, Dougherty Valley High School
Timothy Schoonover, The Quarry Lane School
Vivian Y. Chang, The College Preparatory School

Santa Clara
Edward Du, Cupertino High School
Parker V. Stagnoli, Technology High School
Shreyan Mitra, Adrian C Wilcox High School

Santa Rosa
Parker V. Stagnoli, Technology High School

Allison Zhu, Unknown High School
Arshi Chawla, Saratoga High School
Jason M. Cheng, Saratoga High School
Joel Kim, Saratoga High School
Nicholas P. Wei, Harker School
Sabrina Zhu, Saratoga High School
Sally H. Zhu, Unknown High School
Vivian Wang, Saratoga High School

Scotts Valley
James Y. Chen, Georgiana Bruce Kirby Preparatory School

Rupert Chen, Harker School
Peter H. Covert, Palo Alto Senior High School

Anika Wahi, Adrian C Wilcox High School
Daniel I. Shih, Fremont High School
Emma V. Lenchenkova, Living Wisdom High School
Emma Yu, Homestead High School
Jonathan R. Thong, The Kings Academy
Nikita Senthil, Saint Francis High School
Sezen Musa, Adrian C Wilcox High School

Madeleine de Belloy, Lycee Francais de San Francisco

Walnut Creek
Elane Kim, Stanford Univ EPGY Online High School
Erin C. Suh, The College Preparatory School

Linus Upson, Crystal Springs Uplands School

Categories: Local News

FDA advisers back plan to simplify COVID vaccinations

San Jose Mercury - 42 min 31 sec ago

By Lauran Neergaard | Associated Press

The U.S. is poised to make COVID-19 vaccinations more like a yearly flu shot, a major shift in strategy despite a long list of questions about how to best protect against a still rapidly mutating virus.

The Food and Drug Administration asked its scientific advisers Thursday to help lay the groundwork for switching to once-a-year boosters for most Americans — and how and when to periodically update the shots’ recipe.

“This is a consequential meeting to determine if we’ve reached the point in the pandemic that allows for simplifying the use of current COVID-19 vaccines,” said FDA’s Dr. David Kaslow.
The advisory panel mostly agreed with the FDA’s approach.

COVID-19 vaccines have saved millions of lives and booster doses continue to help the most vulnerable even as more contagious variants have popped up. But protection does wane and the shots don’t fend off milder infections for long.

And people are tired of getting vaccinated. While more than 80% of the U.S. population has had at least one COVID-19 shot, only 16% of those eligible for the latest boosters — so-called bivalent doses updated to better match more recent virus strains — have gotten one.

That makes for tough decisions on how to move forward: Who really needs another shot, how often and what kind?

“We’re still protected against severe disease, thank goodness,” even after the latest mutated omicron strains cropped up, noted FDA adviser Dr. Paul Offit, a vaccine expert at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

The first step: The FDA advisory panel voted unanimously that people should get the same vaccine formula whether they’re receiving their initial vaccinations or a booster. Today, Americans get one formula based on the original coronavirus strain that emerged in 2020 for their first two or three doses — and their latest booster is a combination shot made by Pfizer or Moderna that adds omicron protection.

The FDA would have to decide how to phase in that change.

But “this isn’t only a convenience thing” to ease confusion about different kinds of shots, said Dr. Archana Chatterjee, dean of Chicago Medical School. Since the original coronavirus strain has disappeared, “moving towards the strains that are circulating is very important.”

Who needs another shot and when sparked more debate.

Looking ahead, the FDA said most Americans should do fine if they get a once-a-year booster targeted to the newest variants in the fall. The agency asked if some people might need two doses — adults with weakened immune systems and very young children who’ve never been previously vaccinated. That’s similar to how youngsters get their first-ever flu vaccination.

But more data is needed to show exactly who might need two yearly doses — such as a careful count of who still gets hospitalized with COVID-19 despite being up-to-date with today’s vaccinations, Offit said.

“Only then can we really best make the decision about who gets vaccinated with what and when,” he said.

Nor is it clear that younger, healthier people would need a COVID-19 booster every year.

“It’s hard to say it’s going to be annual at this point,” said Harvard’s Dr. Eric Rubin.

Fall might not even be the best time to boost, something that would depend on when infections start rising and how long a booster’s protection might last, said FDA adviser Dr. Arthur Reingold of the University of California, Berkeley.

Unlike flu which in the U.S. circulates mostly during late fall and winter, COVID-19 waves have occurred year-round.

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As for the recipe, the FDA’s plan is to call its advisory panel for another meeting in late May or early June to decide if the vaccine recipe needs tweaking — including which virus strain to target and whether it should be a single-strain or multi-strain shot. Pfizer and Moderna said that would give enough time to produce needed doses by fall while a third manufacturer, Novavax, urged an earlier start to any recipe change.

Also Thursday, U.S. officials updated how they’re tracking that the newest COVID-19 boosters are safe. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spotted a possible warning signal that seniors getting Pfizer’s updated booster might have a slightly higher risk of stroke. But FDA safety expert Richard Forshee said data from Medicare and multiple other health systems — including in other countries — found no sign of trouble, leading the government to conclude it’s unlikely the red flag was real.

AP Health Writer Matthew Perrone contributed to this report.

Categories: Local News

We've reached another climate tipping point on energy investment: Green power is in

The Register - 49 min 4 sec ago
2022 is the first year on record that global low-carbon investments matched fossil fuel funding, says BloombergNEF

The world has reached a major tipping point in the transition from fossil fuels to low-carbon energy: 2022 was the first year global investments in low-carbon technologies matched spending on the fossil fuel industry.…

Categories: Tech News

US ban on China chip exports rebounds, causes 2,700 American job losses

The Register - 56 min 7 sec ago
California-based chipmaking kit-maker Lam hit by DRAM decline, inability to export to Middle Kingdom

The Biden administration's policy of restricting Chinese chip makers from accessing vital manufacturing equipment has caused damage at home, with California-based wafer fabrication equipment supplier Lam Research announcing it would layoff 1,300 employees, or about seven percent of its global workforce, as the company prepares for billions in lost revenues during the 2023 fiscal year.…

Categories: Tech News

Cost of living: How onions became a luxury in the Philippines

BBC World News - 1 hour 59 sec ago
The staple ingredient has become a symbol of the country's rising cost of living.
Categories: World News

South Korea: 'Protesting for 20 years and still no equal rights'

BBC World News - 1 hour 5 min ago
Disability rights activists are disrupting rush hour in Seoul's subway stations to demand better access.
Categories: World News

MLMs: Lured into India's get-rich-quick selling schemes

BBC World News - 1 hour 5 min ago
QNET is being investigated by Indian authorities for suspected money-laundering.
Categories: World News

Witnesses: J6 panel failed to hold social media companies accountable

San Jose Mercury - 1 hour 8 min ago

By Donie O’Sullivan, Audrey Ash and Zachary Cohen | CNN

“There might be someone getting shot tomorrow.”

That was the warning from Twitter staff at an internal meeting on Jan. 5, 2021, the eve of the deadly attack on the US Capitol. It wasn’t the only stark warning Twitter management received ahead of the insurrection, according to two former Twitter employees who spoke to the House Jan. 6 Committee.

But now these witnesses, along with some committee staff, are frustrated, saying the committee failed to adequately hold major social media companies to account for the role they played in the worst attack on the Capitol in 200 years.

It was a “real missed opportunity,” Anika Collier Navaroli, a former Twitter employee turned whistleblower who gave evidence to the committee, told CNN in an interview last week. “I risked a lot to come forward and speak to the committee and to share the truth about these momentous occasions in history,” Navaroli said.

CNN spoke to half a dozen people who interacted with and were familiar with the Jan. 6 Committee’s so-called “purple team” — a group that included staff with expertise in extremism and online misinformation. Some witnesses and staff said the committee pulled its punches when it came to Big Tech, failing to include critical parts of the team’s work in its final report. The discontent has poured into public view, with an unpublished draft of the team’s findings leaked and obtained by multiple news organizations, including CNN.

One source familiar with the probe acknowledged that the committee obtained evidence that social media companies like Twitter largely ignored concerns that were raised internally prior to Jan. 6, but while those platforms should have done something at the time, the panel was limited in its ability to hold them accountable. A lawyer who worked on the committee said the panel did its job and focused on the unique and malign role of then-President Donald Trump in an unprecedented attack on American democracy. They also said the final report outlines structural issues across social media and society that need to be studied further.

Disagreement about social media companies’ role in the Jan. 6 attack comes as 2023 looks to be a pivotal year for Silicon Valley firms in Washington, DC. Spurred in part by the release of Elon Musk’s so-called “Twitter Files,” House Republicans are set to investigate purported Big Tech censorship, particularly as it pertains to social media companies’ handling of a 2020 New York Post story about Hunter Biden and his laptop. Facebook parent company Meta’s high-stakes decision Wednesday to reinstate Trump on its platforms is also expected to stoke further scrutiny of tech companies’ influence in elections. At the Supreme Court, justices are set to rule this year on a case that could strip key protections afforded to tech companies moderating online speech.

A missed opportunity

It isn’t just Navaroli who has taken issue with the committee’s findings. Three of the committee’s own staff members, part of the so-called purple team, published an article earlier this month, sharply criticizing the decisions made by social media companies in the lead up to the attack.

The final report’s “emphasis on Trump meant important context was left on the cutting room floor,” they wrote.

“Indeed, the lack of an official Committee report chapter or appendix dedicated exclusively to these matters does not mean our investigation exonerated social media companies for their failure to confront violent rhetoric,” they wrote.

In wake of the decision, CNN has reviewed thousands of pages of deposition transcripts and other supporting documents the committee has publicly released that provide insight into Silicon Valley’s action and inaction in the critical period between Election Day 2020 and Jan. 6, 2021.

Navaroli, who worked on Twitter’s safety policy team, told the committee she had repeatedly warned Twitter’s leadership in the lead-up to Jan. 6 about the dangers of not cracking down on what she said was violent rhetoric.

Navaroli pointed to Trump’s infamous “stand back and stand by” message to the Proud Boys at the first 2020 presidential debate as one instance that incited more violent rhetoric on Twitter.

Navaroli initially appeared before the committee as an anonymous whistleblower. Part of her testimony was played during the public committee hearings last summer, with her voice distorted to protect her identity. However, she later decided to go public, testifying before the committee for a second time, and speaking to The Washington Post.

In an interview with CNN, Navaroli said she is speaking out now because she believes it is important for the “truth to be on the record.” She warned that without a full reckoning of social media’s role in the Capitol attack, political violence could once again ignite in the United States and elsewhere around the world, pointing to recent unrest in Brazil where supporters of former President Jair Bolsonaro stormed the country’s top government offices.

A leak

The final report from the Jan. 6 Committee stated, “Social media played a prominent role in amplifying erroneous claims of election fraud.”

But a far more blistering assessment was laid out in an unpublished draft document prepared by committee staff that was obtained by several news organizations, including CNN. Its key findings included:

  • “Social media platforms delayed response to the rise of far-right extremism—and President Trump’s incitement of his supporters—helped to facilitate the attack on January 6th.”
  • “Fear of reprisal and accusations of censorship from the political right compromised policy, process, and decision-making.”
  • “Twitter failed to take actions that could have prevented the spread of incitement to violence after the election.”
  • “Facebook did not fail to grapple with election delegitimization after the election so much as it did not even try.”

Tech companies would broadly dispute these findings and have repeatedly said they are working to keep their platforms safe.

Twitter’s previous management repeatedly outlined steps it said it was taking to crack down on hateful and violent rhetoric on its platform prior to Jan. 6, 2021, but stressed it didn’t want to unnecessarily limit free expression. Under Musk’s leadership, Twitter no longer has a responsive communications team, and the company did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.

Andy Stone, a spokesperson for Facebook parent company Meta, pointed to an earlier statement from the company where it said it was cooperating with the committee.

Jacob Glick, an investigative counsel who conducted multiple depositions for the Jan. 6 Committee, including Navaroli’s, told CNN he believes the committee did its job to show “the American public the dangers posed by President Trump’s multilayered attack on our democracy.”

He said the lack of awareness he believes tech companies have shown about their role in the attack was “stark.”

“I don’t think social media companies recognize they were dealing with a sustained threat to American democracy,” he said.

Glick, who now works at the Georgetown Institute for Constitutional Advocacy and Protection, said the purple team’s report had not been fact-checked, contains some errors, and should not have been leaked.

Another source familiar with the committee’s work told CNN, “It couldn’t be clearer that Trump was at the center of this plot to overturn the election. Not everything staff worked on could fit into this extensive report and hearings, including some who wanted their work to be the center of the investigation.”

Culture wars and content moderation

How social media platforms write and enforce their rules has become a central and ongoing debate, raising the key question of what power the companies should wield when it comes to politicians like Trump.

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While some, including Navaroli, insist Trump repeatedly broke social media platforms’ rules by inciting violent rhetoric that should have resulted in his removal before Jan. 6, others including Musk and Twitter’s previous management, argue that what politicians say should be made available to as many people as possible so they can be held to account.

Meta and Twitter have both reversed their bans on Trump.

“We’re moving backwards and it’s concerning to me,” Navaroli said of the return of prominent election conspiracy theorists to major tech platforms. “History has taught us what happens when political speech on social media companies is allowed to fester unchecked.”

Categories: Local News

Town where kids cancer rose blasts deal over polluted site

Seattle Times - 1 hour 10 min ago

A proposed settlement between New Jersey and the current owner of a notoriously polluted industrial site is drawing fire from residents of Toms River, where memories of children getting cancer at elevated rates are still a fresh source of pain.
Categories: Local News

Letters: Gun control | Workers yoked | Debt scolds | Amazon plastic | Voter suppression

San Jose Mercury - 1 hour 19 min ago

Submit your letter to the editor via this form. Read more Letters to the Editor.

How long before we
demand gun control?

Re. “Local controls help slow epidemic levels of gun violence,” Page A6, Jan. 25:

Sally Lieber’s oped of Jan. 25 should cut deep at those elected leaders who failed repeatedly to pass sensible gun sanity legislation. Their failure of will mirrors the failure of most of their constituents to demand better.

The mass shootings remain a mere symptom of the toxic expectations each of our cultures invokes while failing to prioritize the wisdom of our greatest moral advisors, Jesus, Martin Luther King, Mahatma Gandhi, the Dalai Lama, Mohammed, Hillel and the rest. It’s no surprise the inequity we allow fosters a desperation that leads to violence.

One wonders how intolerable must the unjust structure (that predatory capitalism uses to enslave us) reach before we find the will, like the Mom’s 4 Housing moms found yesterday at the Alameda County Supervisors meeting, to resist the inaction of our governmental bodies at so many levels.

Dennis Fagaly

System keeps workers
yoked to bad jobs

Re. “Diversity coach sees dip in demand,” Page B15, Jan. 22:

The person trying to get a hold of being less “needed” for services, paid services, has not learned what all students should have the opportunity to learn; capitalism is a criminal act perpetrated on the masses in favor of our owners making a profit off our existence, our servitude, actually enslavement. We are contained by our owners’ lawmakers.

Marx commented that an aspect of capitalism is that it regularly pulls the rug — of security if we gain any — out from under us. We are not to feel secure. That’s a strength we’re not allowed.

Our work — our jobs — are not related to our lives or our personal well-being. Instead, they make — keep — our owners wealthy, taking the profit one way and another. One way, especially, is debt. We don’t get paid enough so we are put into debt.

Norma J. F. Harrison

‘Debt scolds’ are
right to criticize

Regarding “Let’s not do it again — don’t feed the debt scolds” (Page A7, Jan. 25), Paul Krugman points out that Republicans were warning of the U.S. spending too much money in 2011 and are doing so now.

However, the debt in 2011 was less than half of the debt today. I suspect that Krugman would require an offer of a significantly higher interest rate in order to lend his own money to an entity that was in twice the debt.

While the United States may be able to print virtually unlimited amounts of money, its lenders risk the possibility that repayments may only be in currency fit for playing Monopoly.

Daniel Mauthe

Amazon should get rid
of plastic packaging

Amazon makes an average of $14,900 every second. Yet in 2021, they produced 709 pounds of plastic waste. Their net worth is nearing $1 trillion yet they continue to pollute our oceans with their excessive use of plastics.

Having been a consumer of Amazon, I enjoy the convenience of quick shipping, until I see the unnecessary layers of packaging for the single item I purchased. According to Oceana, “Amazon’s estimated plastic packaging waste, in the form of air pillows alone, would circle the Earth more than 600 times,” which raises the question: Why doesn’t Amazon find more sustainable alternatives to plastic?

With their daily revenue, the small cost of purchasing these more sustainable alternatives would hardly make a difference in their overall revenue. As a society, it is important that we pressure Amazon to be mindful of its impact on our environment.

Nataly Villasenor

Voters missed memo
on Georgia suppression

In March 2021, the Georgia State Legislature passed the Election Integrity Act, which restricted where ballot boxes were placed and required voters wanting an absentee ballot to present their identification while extending voting periods to weekends and expanding the hours polls were open. Immediately, gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams called the Act a “form of voter suppression.” President Biden called the new law “Jim Crow in the 21st Century.”

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Apparently, Georgia voters didn’t get that message. Before the election, voters broke the state early voting record, with an all-time high number of ballots cast.

Now, the University of Georgia has completed a post-election poll, and zero percent of Black Georgians reported any trouble voting. The poll, by the University’s School of Public and International Affairs, also asked Black voters about their voting experience. More than 94% were confident their vote counted as intended, and zero reported having a poor voting experience.

Mike Heller
Walnut Creek

Categories: Local News

Murdaugh Said He Knew Killer’s Motive on Night His Wife and Son Were Slain

N.Y. Times - 1 hour 22 min ago
Prosecutors said that Alex Murdaugh, the lawyer now on trial in the murders, was trying to cover his tracks when he offered a ready explanation to the police.
Categories: Local News

Magic’s Cole Anthony finding scoring rhythm by getting into the paint more

San Jose Mercury - 1 hour 23 min ago

Orlando Magic guard Cole Anthony has made strides in rediscovering his rhythm as a scorer this past week.

Before last Friday’s win over the New Orleans Pelicans, Anthony was going through an extended slump.

Anthony averaged 7.6 points on 29.2% shooting (12.5% on 2.7 3s attempted) in his previous nine games before that win.

He’s starting to turn a corner.

“Lot of credit to my teammates,” Anthony said. “Getting some easy buckets just because they’re doing a great job of finding me. I’m just trying to run the floor for them and make their jobs a little easier. Take some pressure off of them.”

Anthony’s averaged 13.5 points on 56.8% shooting (25% on 3s) in the Magic’s last four games entering Friday’s road matchup against the Miami Heat.

What’s helped Anthony re-establish that scoring rhythm has been a greater emphasis on getting inside the paint.

During the slump, 3.7 of his 8 field-goal attempts (46.3%) were there. Anthony was shooting worse (40.5%) during that stretch compared to his season-long efficiency (51.2%) but also was getting there less.

Anthony’s made it a point to be more of a threat on the interior recently, with 6.3 of his 9.3 shots per game (67.7%) coming inside the paint. He shot 68.3% on those looks.

His improved finishing around the rim has been a season-long trend. Anthony’s 59.7% shooting accuracy in the restricted area and 46.3% accuracy inside the non-paint restricted area are career highs.

He’s also drawing more shooting fouls than he did in previous years.

“It’s different touch,” Anthony told the Sentinel. “At the same time, it’s also I’ve watched a lot of guys around the league. Knowing my spots and knowing where I want to take my shots.”

He’s been driving to the basket a little more (10.5 drives per 36 minutes in the last four games) compared to his slump (10.1 per 36 minutes), but still not at the same frequency as earlier in the season (12.1 drives per 36 minutes in his first 17 games).

“It was a matter of feeling like I’ve played several games this year where I’ve just been super passive,” Anthony told the Sentinel. “I was like ‘All right, well that’s not me.’ I’m not [a] ball mover. There are dudes in this league who are ball movers, who get out there [and] throw the ball around. That’s not me. That’s never been me. I know I’m capable of making something happen.”

Anthony’s had to lean on driving and finishing inside the paint as a more consistent weapon. He’s trying to establish his rhythm as an outside shooter. Anthony has shot a career-low 30.3% on 3s this season, including 29% on catch-and-shoot 3s after 36.3% and 32.6% on those looks the previous two years.

“I know I can shoot it. I ain’t been shooting the ball too great,” he said. “So I’m like ‘All right, let me get somewhere I can be kind of efficient.’ Made it a point to get into that paint and put pressure on the defense.

“A lot of the teams’ focal points are focusing on Franz [Wagner] and Paolo [Banchero]. Cool, I’m going to use that to my advantage and make their job a little easier by being aggressive and making the defense stay honest.”

Even as he’s righted his scoring, Anthony remains a consistent playmaker.

His 4.2 assists and 7.6 potential assists (a pass to a teammate who shoots within 1 dribble of receiving the ball) and 10.9 assists points created are second on the team only behind Markelle Fultz.

Anthony and Fultz have brought a greater drive-and-kick presence to the Magic. They’re the lone rotation players who pass out of at least 40% of their drives.

Anthony mixes in drive and kicks, throwaheads and pocket passes to help set up his teammates. His turnover frequency (11.2%) is a career low.

“It’s just the simple play is usually the best,” Anthony said. “You [don’t have] to hit a home run every time. You want to aim for singles and doubles. That’s the best way to do it. Those singles and doubles add up.”

Anthony’s role has been different this season compared to his previous two.

He’s come off the bench in 27 of 30 games after starting in 99 of 112 his first two seasons and is playing fewer minutes (25.8) than he did as a rookie (27.1) and sophomore (31.7).

Since the change to a reserve, he’s finding his groove again.

“The great part about Cole is he’s embracing every time he steps on the floor whatever we’re asking him to do,” coach Jamahl Mosley said. “We’ve talked about him being a tenacious defender, getting into the basketball. Offensively, picking and choosing spots when he’s attacking vs. distributing. That’s what keeps him on the floor. He’s done a great job of with that level of poise and understanding his ability to attack as well as distribute.”

This article first appeared on Email Khobi Price at or follow him on Twitter at @khobi_price.


Categories: Local News

Alaska USA will change its name to Global Credit Union this spring

Seattle Times - 1 hour 24 min ago

The name changes follows the merger last year of Alaska USA and Spokane-based Global Credit Union.
Categories: Local News

Warriors star Steph Curry named NBA All-Star Game starter

San Jose Mercury - 1 hour 26 min ago

Stephen Curry will be heading to Salt Lake City next month for the upcoming NBA All-Star Game.

Shaquille O’Neal got the honors of introducing the Warriors star as a starter for the 2022 NBA All-Star Game during TNT’s broadcast Thursday evening.

“My favorite player in the world, Stephen Curry,” O’Neal said.

This will be Curry’s ninth All-Star selection in his 14-year NBA career, marking the most All-Star appearances in Warriors’ history. He’s averaging 29.3 points, 6.2 rebounds and 6.2 assists this season while shooting 48.7% from the field and 42% from deep.

Other Western Conference starters include: Mavericks star Luka Doncic, Lakers star LeBron James, Nuggets big man and two-time reigning MVP Nikola Jokic and Pelicans center Zion Williamson.

This will be James 19th All-Star selection, tying Kareem Abdul-Jabbar for the most in league history. He’ll captain the west.

Meanwhile, Bucks star Giannis Antetokounmpo, Celtics forward Jayson Tatum, Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell and Nets stars Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving were named as the Eastern Conference starters. Antetokounmpo will serve as the other captain.

Fan vote accounts for half of the final vote for All-Star starters. The other half is split between media and fellow players. All-Star reserves, which are selected by NBA head coaches, will be unveiled Feb. 2.

This year’s All-Star Game will take place Feb. 19 in Salt Lake City.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Categories: Local News

Maternal deaths and disparities increase in Mississippi

Seattle Times - 1 hour 29 min ago

A newly released report from the Mississippi State Department of Health finds that an increasing number of mothers in the state have died in recent years due to pregnancy complications.
Categories: Local News

NYC bike path attacker convicted, may face death

San Jose Mercury - 1 hour 29 min ago

By Larry Neumeister and Bobby Caina Calvan | Associated Press

NEW YORK — An Islamic extremist who killed eight people with a speeding truck in a 2017 rampage on a popular New York City bike path was convicted Thursday of federal crimes and could face the death penalty.

Sayfullo Saipov bowed his head as he heard the verdict in a Manhattan courtroom just a few blocks from where the attack ended. Prosecutors said the Halloween rampage was inspired by his reverence for the Islamic State militant group.

The dozen jurors deliberated for about seven hours over two days before convicting Saipov, 34, of 28 counts of crimes that include murder in aid of racketeering and supporting a foreign terrorist organization. Jurors will return to court no earlier than Feb. 6 to hear more evidence to help them decide whether he should be executed or spend the rest of his life in prison.

A death sentence for Saipov, a citizen of Uzbekistan, would be an extreme rarity in New York. The state no longer has capital punishment and the last state execution was in 1963. A federal jury in New York has not rendered a death sentence that withstood legal appeals in decades, with the last execution in 1954.

Even before the trial, there was no doubt Saipov was a killer.

His lawyers conceded to the jury that he rented a pickup truck near his New Jersey home, steered it onto the path along the Hudson River and mowed down bicyclists for blocks before crashing into a school bus near the World Trade Center.

He emerged from his truck yelling “God is great,” in Arabic, with pellet and paintball guns in his hands before he was shot by a police officer who thought they were real firearms.

The vehicle attack killed a woman visiting from Belgium with her family, five friends from Argentina and two Americans. It left others with permanent injuries, including a woman who lost her legs.

“His actions were senseless, horrific, and there’s no justification for them,” defense attorney David Patton told the jury during the trial.

The defense asked jurors to acquit Saipov of racketeering charges, saying he intended to die a martyr and was not conspiring with the Islamic State organization, despite voluminous amounts of propaganda from the group found on his electronic devices and at his home.

Saipov did not testify at his trial.

He sat quietly each day, unlike at a 2019 pretrial hearing where he insisted on questioning the judge about why he should be judged for eight deaths when “thousands and thousands of Muslims are dying all over the world.”

Saipov moved legally to the U.S. from Uzbekistan in 2010 and lived in Ohio and Florida before joining his family in Paterson, New Jersey.

Prosecutors said Saipov attacked civilians to impress the Islamic State group so he could become a member and appeared pleased with his work, smiling when he spoke to an FBI agent afterward.

Among those testifying were several family members from Belgium who were injured in the attack. Aristide Melissas, a father, said he had challenged family members to race their bikes to the World Trade Center, with the loser paying for ice cream. When he was struck by Saipov’s truck, his skull was fractured. He underwent brain surgery.

His wife, Marion Van Reeth, spoke of waking up in a hospital to learn her legs had been amputated.

Saipov’s lawyers have said the death penalty process was irreparably tainted by former President Donald Trump, who tweeted a day after the attack that Saipov “SHOULD GET DEATH PENALTY!”
President Joe Biden subsequently instituted a moratorium on executions for federal crimes.

Until Saipov’s trial, Biden’s Justice Department, under Attorney General Merrick Garland, had not launched any new attempt to obtain the death penalty in a federal case. But Garland has allowed U.S. prosecutors to continue advocating for capital punishment in cases inherited from previous administrations.

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It has been a decade since a jury in New York last considered the death penalty.

Federal juries in Brooklyn twice gave a death sentence to a man who murdered two New York police detectives, once in 2007 and again in 2013, but both sentences were tossed out on appeal. A judge ultimately ruled the killer was intellectually disabled.

In 2001, just weeks before the Sept. 11 attacks, federal jurors in Manhattan declined to impose a death sentence on two men convicted in the deadly bombings of two U.S. embassies in Africa. The men’s lawyers had urged jurors not to make the defendants into martyrs.

Categories: Local News