US election workers slammed with phishing, malware-stuffed emails
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Embattled LA City Council member resigns amid scandal
By Brian Melley and Don Thompson | Associated Press
Editor’s note: This story contains offensive language.
LOS ANGELES — The Los Angeles City Council member whose racist slurs in a leaked recording created an uproar resigned Wednesday hours after the state attorney general announced an investigation into possible criminal charges involving a meeting where she made the remarks.
Former Council President Nury Martinez, the first Latina to hold the seat, announced her decision in a press release following a groundswell of outrage and calls for the resignations of her and two other council members involved in the conversation recorded last year.
In the conversation, she made racist remarks about the Black son of a white councilman and other crude comments.
Her resignation statement did not mention those remarks, though in words directed at her daughter and said: “I know I have fallen short recently of the expectations we have for our family. I vow to you that I will strive to be a better woman to make you proud.”
The announcement came after Attorney General Rob Bonta said he would investigate Los Angeles’ redistricting process that the three council members were discussing with a labor leader in which they schemed to protect Latino political strength in council districts.
Bonta, a Democrat like the three council members, said the investigation could lead to civil liability or criminal charges, depending on what is found.
“It’s clear an investigation is sorely needed to help restore confidence in the redistricting process for the people of LA,” he said.
Bonta spoke in Los Angeles while the council itself was trying to conduct business nearby despite the uproar triggered by the recording, which provided an unvarnished look into City Hall’s racial rivalries. Those involved in the closed-door meeting were all Latinos, while Bonta is the first Filipino American to hold the top law enforcement job in the nation’s most populous state.
Three council members — Martinez, Kevin de Leon and Gil Cedillo — faced calls from President Joe Biden and others to resign after the recording surfaced online.
Martinez had stepped down as council president on Monday while still holding onto her council seat. At the time, she said she was ashamed of her racially offensive language in the recording.
The council convened Wednesday, possibly to censure the three members, with the minimum of 10 out of 15 members necessary for a quorum but was unable to do business because a crowd of protesters chanted slogans such as, “No resignation, shut it down.” The acting council president eventually announced that there was no longer a quorum and adjourned the meeting.
The council cannot expel the members — it can only suspend a member when criminal charges are pending. A censure does not result in suspension or removal from office.
Martinez said in the recorded conversation that white council member Mike Bonin handled his young Black son as if he were an “accessory” and said of his son “Parece changuito,” or “he’s like a monkey,” the Los Angeles Times reported Sunday. She also referred to Bonin as a “little bitch.”
At another point on the hourlong recording, Martinez called indigenous immigrants from the Mexican state of Oaxaca ugly, and made crass remarks about Jews and Armenians.
The discussion — which also included a powerful Latino labor leader, who has since resigned — centered on protecting Latino political power during the redrawing of council district boundaries, known as redistricting. The once-a-decade process can pit one group against another to gain political advantage in elections.
Bonin was among those who had said the three council members should resign.
Black and Latino constituents often build alliances in politics. But tensions and rivalries among groups separated by race, geography, partisanship or religion have a long history in Los Angeles and, indeed, the country. The friction can cross into housing, education and jobs — even prisons — as well as the spoils of political power.
Bonta has roundly condemned the members’ remarks without adding to the calls for them to resign. He said Wednesday that his investigation was “just starting and we don’t like to make conclusions first and get facts later.”
“It could lead to criminality if that’s where the facts and the law dictate. There’s certainly the potential for civil liability based on civil rights and voting rights laws here in the state of California,” he said, while also noting it could also lead to changes in policy at the state or local level.
Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer has called for creating an independent commission to draw redistricting maps.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the recording was posted on the social medial site Reddit by a now-suspended user. It is unclear who recorded the audio, who uploaded it to Reddit and whether anyone else was present.
Thompson contributed from Sacramento. Associated Press writers John Antczak and Amancai Biraben in Los Angeles and Sophie Austin in Sacramento contributed to this report.
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North Hollywood strippers set to vote on unionizing
By Natasha Chen | CNN
Strippers at the Star Garden topless dive bar in North Hollywood will soon receive ballots to hold an election for collective bargaining, which may result in the first stripper union in the US in more than a decade.
On Thursday, the National Labor Relations Board’s Los Angeles regional director issued the decision and order for an election in a case that started when 18 dancers were locked out of the club in March.
Among the issues that the strippers say they want addressed are the club’s security guards repeatedly failing to protect them from threatening and abusive behavior from patrons.
On Nov. 7, the NLRB will count the votes from Star Garden dancers, entertainers and DJs, determining if they will join the Actors Equity Association, a union of performers and other show business professionals. If they’re successful, they would be the first unionized strippers in the United States since the nation’s only unionized strip club, the Lusty Lady in San Francisco, which closed in 2013, according to Actors Equity.
“The NLRB ruling comes as no surprise. The facts are clear: The workers at Star Garden are entitled to a union election,” said Andrea Hoeschen, assistant executive director and general counsel for Actors’ Equity Association. “We look forward to a successful election and the contract negotiation that will follow.”
The owner of Star Garden, Stephan Kazaryan, did not respond to CNN regarding two earlier stories about the unionization effort. But in reaction to the NLRB decision, lawyers representing Kazaryan said “it is not clear that the election is legitimate.”
Attorneys Amy Gaylord and John Linker of Akerman LLP said in an email that they continue to stand by the position of their client, which is that no matter the industry, the rules of union representation should be consistent.
“Most of the purportedly eligible voters have never been employees of Star Garden; they were in fact, and in law, merely lessees with no employment relationship,” Gaylord and Linker wrote. “We will reserve our full arguments for the appropriate forum, but we remain confident that our client will prevail.”
CNN asked Actor’s Equity whether the dancers should be considered employees or lessees, to which Hoeschen replied, “The employer is incorrect. The employer called them lessees in an attempt to misclassify them. It is a more creative approach than calling them independent contractors, but no less evasive and incorrect. The strippers seeking an election are employees.”
This election comes as the NLRB reported a 53 percent increase in union representation petitions filed in the 12 months ending Sept. 30, compared to the year before. The agency said this is the highest number of union representation petitions filed since fiscal year 2016.
The NLRB also reported a 19 percent increase in unfair labor practice charges, compared to the same 12 months the previous year.
Dancers at Star Garden told CNN they were inspired by other unionization efforts in other industries, and even attended a labor conference over the summer in Chicago, where they met other organizers.
Their issues developed in the spring, when a few dancers tried to get a patron to delete a video he took of their colleague on stage, which is against club rules, according to one of the dancers, who goes by the stage name Velveeta.
But one of the workers who complained was fired. Several dancers signed a petition asking for their colleagues to be reinstated, along with enforcement of the no-photography policy. They were locked out of the club the next day.
Since then, the dancers have been picketing most weekends outside the Star Garden, dressed in themed costumes, urging patrons to go to different clubs.
Velveeta asked CNN to identify her only by her professional name, for fear of being blacklisted or stalked.
She told CNN in August that the owners ran the establishment assuming the customer was always right, with one of them frequently dismissing dancers’ complaints as merely “starting drama.”
Yet she said she had witnessed a dancer being dragged by her shoe across the stage by a customer, another dancer being slapped, and others being inappropriately touched by customers.
In reaction to the NLRB decision to allow a union election, Velveeta said, “This is a big step forward for us in this fight and is giving us renewed energy to keep the pressure on until we get our union contract. I am so proud of the work we’ve done and what we’ve accomplished. We are buzzing with excitement and love for one another and we are stronger than ever going into this election.”
About 30 strippers are eligible to vote on whether or not to join the union, according to Actors Equity. The 109-year old union represents 51,000 actors and other professionals working on everything from Broadway shows to performances at Disney World and scores of theaters across the country.
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Carmack: “There’s a bunch that I’m grumpy about” in virtual reality
Last year, former Oculus CTO (and current company advisor) John Carmack threw down the gauntlet for Meta's near-term metaverse plans. By the 2022 Meta Connect conference, Carmack said last October, he hoped he'd be in his headset, "walking around the [virtual] halls or walking around the stage as my avatar in front of thousands of people getting the feed across multiple platforms."
Carmack's vision didn't come to pass Tuesday, as a jerky and awkward Carmack avatar gave one of his signature, hour-long unscripted talks amid a deserted VR space, broadcast out as plain old 2D video on Facebook.
"Last year I said that I'd be disappointed if we weren't having Connect in Horizon this year," Carmack said by way of introduction. "This here, this isn't really what I meant. Me being an avatar on-screen on a video for you is basically the same thing as [just] being on a video."
Walnut Creek is getting a trendy, prison-themed sneaker shop from L.A.
If you heard a prison-themed apparel store selling the latest shoes endorsed by rapper Travis Scott was landing in the Bay Area, you probably wouldn’t think “Walnut Creek.” Yet the chichi city is indeed the new home of Bottom Bunk Sneaker House, an L.A.-based operation run by an ex-con that donates some of its profits toward helping the formerly incarcerated.
Bottom Bunk Walnut Creek will have its grand opening on Friday evening at 1545 Locust St. Expect to see sneakers the likes of Jordan 1 Retro Highs ($650) and Kanye West’s foam running shoes ($325). If you’re lucky, you might also spot the elusive “Nike SB Dunk Low Grateful Dead Bears,” a steal at a mere $1,350.
Cole Richman, the founder of Bottom Bunk, says his company was approached by a partner who suggested the expansion to Walnut Creek. “They felt the need for the work we do in the community as well as the need for a premium fashion-and-sneaker concept,” he says. “As we began to visit Walnut Creek more and more, we fell in love with this bubbling city. We’ve instantly been embraced by the area and are excited to be a part of this community for years to come.”
How does the Bay Area’s sneaker scene rank against L.A.’s? Believe it or not, not bad.
“The Bay has always been at the forefront of influence in fashion and sneaker culture – that is undeniable,” Richman says. “From style in the ’60s, skate culture and hip hop, the Bay is truly unique, and its influence has been felt globally.”Bottom Bunk Sneaker House is an apparel store that has a prison design theme and helps the formerly incarcerated. It’s opening a new location in Walnut Creek. (Courtesy of Bottom Bunk Sneaker House)
The store will focus on the “most sought-after pieces” of clothing and footwear, he says, and is aiming to link up with and feature local brands, as well. Like the L.A. shop, five percent of its sales goes toward helping former prisoners reenter the workforce via the nonprofit Off the Bunk, which provides job training and housing and mental-health resources – sometimes inside the store itself.
And if it’s anything like L.A., the store should provide a rather interesting interior-design experience. The flagship has prison-orange features and a blue paint scheme that reflects the sky that Cole could never see enough of while locked up. Benches are simulacrums of those in exercise yards, and there’s even a payphone next to a prison stool. As Cole told Los Angeles magazine this year: “That’s how I communicated with my family, began to make the amends, began to reach out; like that’s where I re-found my human soul.”
Wealth DNA Code Reviews – Read This Shocking Review Before Making Decision To Order
Have you ever wondered why we cannot get wealthy after working countless hours? The Wealth DNA Code by Alex Maxwell explains that every person can become wealthy, but they need to activate their wealth DNA gene. For this reason, he introduces this audio program featuring 7 minutes of manifesting audio tracks that help to awaken your wealthy DNA.
Read This Wealth DNA Code Review to find out how these audio tracks work, its benefits, and the process of attracting more money you never imagined.
>>> Read Shocking Wealth DNA Code Reviews On The Official WebsiteWhat Is Wealth DNA Code All About?
Wealth DNA Code is a program that works for all individuals who want to change their lives and grow wealthy.
This is an audio program that entails 7-minute manifestation audio tracks to awaken your dormant DNA by aligning all chakras, mainly the root chakra, to make you rich or wealthy enough so that you will never get worried about your financial condition.
The author Alex Maxwell suggested their customers listen to these audio tracks each morning until 30 days because all the chakras need time to align and will support you to accomplish your desired goal.
While hearing these audio tracks in the morning will take only 7 minutes and make you happy, energetic, and prosperous thought out the day.
Many other manifest coaches suggest that hearing favorite songs will make your mind peaceful and calm so that your mind may know what you want in life.How Does Wealth DNA Code Works For All Individuals?
The author explains that two types of DNA exist in the human body. One is spiritual and the other is physical. Spiritual DNA is also called wealth DNA which is directly related to attracting money. So, Alex introduced Wealth DNA Code Audio Program to activate your spiritual DNA to get success in life.
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The success of Wealth DNA Code solely depends on its audio tracks that relax the mind and realign all chakra, especially root chakra, to enable your wealth DNA gene.
NASA also confirms the theory of activating spiritual or wealth DNA to expand wealth. Therefore, Alex generated these audio tracks with a specific frequency that allows you to draw more money in your life.
Many successful customers shared their stories on the official page under Wealth DNA Code Reviews and mentioned that hearing these sound waves at night improved their night sleep and helped them get new ideas to make money.
>>> Visit The Official Website To Get Wealth DNA CodeWealth DNA Code Main Benefits:
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Previously the price of this program was $170, but now you can grab it for $39. Furthermore, you will get three free bonus books that enhance your knowledge to keep a record of the event occurring, millionaires investing businesses, and their lifestyles.
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The news and editorial staff of the Bay Area News Group had no role in this post’s preparation.
Daily Horoscope: October 13, 2022
The moon enters quick-witted Gemini at 1:08 AM, and we’re asking big questions and exploring new opportunities as the moon mingles with Jupiter in Aries at 4:08 AM. The moon connects with chatty Mercury in relationship-oriented Libra at 7:29 AM, encouraging connection and understanding.
All times ET.
Read your monthly horoscope for October!
Stay in the cosmic loop with the VICE horoscopes newsletter. Get horoscopes straight to your inbox when you sign up here!Aries: March 20, 2022 - April 19, 2022
The moon enters Gemini today, illuminating the communication sector of your chart. You can feel inspired to share big news or ask big questions as the moon connects with Jupiter in Aries. The moon mingles with Mercury in Libra, boosting communication between you and your partners.Taurus: April 19, 2022 - May 20, 2022
Your focus can turn to money today as the moon enters Gemini. The moon connects with Jupiter in Aries and Mercury in Libra, which could find you feeling ready to let go of something you’ve held been holding on to.Gemini: May 20, 2022 - June 21, 2022
The moon enters your sign today, Gemini, and it’s a wonderful time to connect with your emotions! The moon connects with Jupiter in Aries and Mercury in Libra, inspiring an exciting energy in your love life and social life.Cancer: June 21, 2022 - July 22, 2022
The moon enters Gemini today, encouraging you to slow down and rest. The moon connects with Jupiter in Aries and Mercury in Libra, and you may be fantasizing about success. Dreaming up ideas are the first steps to making them happen!Leo: July 22, 2022 - August 22, 2022
Your attention is on your social life today as the moon enters Gemini. The moon connects with Jupiter in Aries and Mercury in Libra, which could find you having a particularly inspiring discussion. Helpful information may arrive.Virgo: August 22, 2022 - September 22, 2022
The moon enters Gemini today, which can find you reflecting on your career or your life in the public eye. The moon connects with Jupiter in Aries and your ruling planet Mercury in Libra, boding well for discussions regarding your finances.Libra: September 22, 2022 - October 23, 2022
New opportunities can arise as the moon enters Gemini! The moon connects with Jupiter in Aries and with Mercury in your sign, Libra, which may find you having deep, meaningful discussions with your partners.Scorpio: October 23, 2022 - November 22, 2022
Your focus can turn to taking care of your bills as the moon enters Gemini. The moon connects with Jupiter in Aries and Mercury in Libra, helping you strike a better balance between productivity and rest.Sagittarius: November 22, 2022 - December 21, 2022
The moon enters your opposite sign Gemini, illuminating the relationship sector of your chart, and encouraging connection and collaboration. The moon connects with Jupiter in Aries and with Mercury in Libra, bringing a fun atmosphere to your social life!Capricorn: December 21, 2021 - January 19, 2022
The moon enters Gemini, which can find you reorganizing your workspace or schedule. An expansive, warm energy flows at home as the moon connects with Jupiter in Aries. The moon also mingles with Mercury in Libra, inspiring exciting discussions about your career.Aquarius: January 19, 2022 - February 18, 2022
The moon enters fellow air sign Gemini, which can find you in a creatively inspired and romantic mood! The moon connects with Jupiter in Aries and with Mercury in Libra, perhaps bringing exciting conversations your way. New opportunities can be explored!Pisces: February 18, 2022 - March 20, 2022
The moon enters Gemini today, which can find you focused on your home and family life. The moon connects with your ruling planet Jupiter, now in Aries, and Mercury in Libra, and you’re reflecting on themes like wealth and abundance.
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How Kevon Looney became Warriors’ moral compass in Draymond Green crisis
SAN FRANCISCO — Draymond Green’s pending return to the Warriors comes with plenty of questions.
Has he mended the trust he broke when he punched Jordan Poole last week in practice? Can Green find a balance between competitive fire and anger? Are his Warriors teammates OK with his return?
Steve Kerr fielded some of those questions Tuesday night with hints of uncertainty after announcing that Green would rejoin his teammates Thursday.
But he spoke with profound conviction when it came to Kevon Looney’s leadership in what Kerr called the biggest crisis he’s faced during his Warriors tenure.
“Loon is incredible,” Kerr said. “This guy has so much wisdom. He’s so quiet that if you don’t pay attention, you may not realize he’s become the moral compass of our team. A special human being. Special. And he was a key instrument in everything we have done the last week to try to get things back on track. I’ll ride with Loon forever. This is a special man.”
Looney’s evolution from a quiet “church mouse,” as Kerr put it, to the Warriors’ guiding light became clear amid this crisis with Green. He became a leader somewhat under the radar, over time.
Looney has undergone surgeries, suffered from a mysterious illness and been pushed to the back of the bench — only to become a key player in the Warriors’ dynasty, starting must-win games in the NBA Finals. Few players have seen such highs and lows.
That ride yields perspective.
“Loon is such a level-headed guy. He’s like the rock of the team,” Moses Moody said. “I imagine he was instrumental in this decision.”
Looney is not much older than the “young core” at just 26 years old, but he’s wise in experience. It was only natural that Looney step up, along with Steph Curry, to put the pieces of a broken and untrusting locker room back into place.
In the team’s decision to allow Green back ahead of the final preseason game Friday night, Looney was a bridge between the locker room and higher-ups, especially with all the younger players that make up nearly half of the Warriors’ roster.
“I’ve just been communicating a lot with everybody,” Looney said Tuesday before Kerr announced that Green would return to practice. “I know a lot of times when something happens, everybody has an opinion, but a lot of guys don’t want to say it because everybody is new. Just being able to give guys the freedom to speak, ask everybody how they feel and what’s going on.”
Four titles and Curry’s international superstardom brings a spotlight onto the organization that sometimes gets harsh. Not long ago, the Warriors and Green were at the center of controversies involving Kevin Durant’s free agency tension and very public sideline fights that broke out because of it.
Looney has been on this ride before, but in different shoes. He remembers asking questions and talking through the drama — some known to the public, some not — with Andre Iguodala, Shaun Livingston and, yes, Green.
“Since I’ve been here, we’ve had things go on and we had great veterans, they all came to talk to everybody,” Looney said. “Everybody was able to get their opinion. When you give your opinion, you feel like you matter. Like you’re a part of something.
“And that’s my job is to go around and make sure that everybody knows what’s going on and get a pulse on the locker room. Not be the voice for them, but speak up for the guys who have an opinion but don’t feel comfortable yet. I’ll be the guy that says, ‘OK, if that’s how you feel, I can go talk to them if you want me to do it.'”
It isn’t just Looney’s teammates and Kerr who see his leadership transformation. He quietly saw it in himself, even at his lowest. In 2019, when doctors couldn’t diagnose his random pains and strains on the court (later diagnosed as a neuropathic condition) his family and friends started to question if Looney’s basketball career was worth the pain.
“My friends had doubt. I think some of my family even had doubt, but I didn’t have doubt,” Looney said. “I was upset, disappointed, but I was never in doubt (thinking) I couldn’t make it back. I started my career with injuries, but I was playing on one of the best teams ever. I knew I belonged out there. Once I got that confidence — if I can play with these guys, I can play anywhere.”
All those years of injury rehab turned Looney into a gym rat. He’s become the first to arrive and last to leave the weight room. Anyone arriving at the gym after 8 a.m. will see Looney posted up in the corner of the practice facility doing Joga — a more physical form of yoga — before the day begins.
Looney is always there. It’s how he earned his job as the team DJ, an unofficial job he parlayed into an internship at Warner Records this summer. Once retirement starts creeping into his brain, Looney hopes to get into the music business. Not as a musician — he can’t rap or sing, he says — but with a goal to own his own label one day. For now, at least, he owns the auxiliary cord in their Chase Center locker room. A job he’s held since he was a rookie.
“I kinda just took it,” Looney said. “I earned that role and did a decent job enough that people didn’t complain.”
Through music, he’s learned to read the room. If he’s with fellow Milwaukee natives like Poole and Patrick Baldwin Jr., he can play something new, or maybe an artist with Chicago ties like Lil Durk. If he’s sharing a locker room with 19-year veteran Iguodala, he can’t turn on any new music. Back when Looney was the youngest player on the team with the auxiliary cord responsibility, he stuck to oldie playlists only.Related Articles
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“If I play any new music, Andre be talking crazy, like ‘What is this you’re playing?” Looney said. “You have to know your crowd.”
For how much this Warriors locker room changes, celebrates and, conversely, endures crises like this current one as they hope to repeat as NBA champions, Looney knows what tune to strike with this crowd. It’s nothing he hasn’t seen before, but this time he took the reins. It was only right.
How will the Warriors move on from this? Looney thinks this crisis can make them stronger.
“When you’ve been through wars and you’ve been through adversity, it makes that bond that much closer and tougher to break apart. We’ve seen guys in their darkest days and guys in their best days,” he said.
“We’ve been through hard times and we never folded before. So we won’t fold now.”