August 30, 2016

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FBI Alert on Cyber Attack! States Worry About Attacks on Voting Systems










The FBI’s decision to issue a nationwide alert about the possible hacking of state election offices after breaches in Illinois and Arizona is raising concerns that a nationwide attack could be afoot, with the potential for creating havoc on Election Day.
It’s possible that the motivation behind the two state hacks was less about the political system and more about cash. Voter registration data sets include valuable information — such as names, birth dates, phone numbers and physical and email addresses — that criminal hackers can bundle and flip on the black-market “dark web” for thousands of dollars.
Story Continued Below

But some cyber experts said the FBI’s alert, first revealed by Yahoo News on Monday, could be a sign that investigators are worried that foreign actors are attempting a wide-scale digital onslaught.
A former lead agent in the FBI’s Cyber Division said the hackers’ use of a particular attack tool and the level of the FBI’s alert “more than likely means nation-state attackers.” The alert was coded “Amber,” designating messages with sensitive information that “should not be widely distributed and should not be made public,” the ex-official said.

One person who works with state election officials called the FBI’s memo “completely unprecedented.”
“There’s never been an alert like that before that we know of,” said the person, who requested anonymity to discuss sensitive intergovernmental conversations.
Multiple former officials and security researchers said the cyberattacks on Arizona’s and Illinois’ voter databases could be part of a suspected Russian attempt to meddle in the U.S. election, a campaign that has already included successful intrusions at major Democratic Party organizations and the selective leaking of documents embarrassing to Democrats. Hillary Clinton’s campaign has alleged that the digital attacks on her party are an effort by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s regime to sway the election to GOP nominee Donald Trump. Moscow has denied any involvement.
Hacking state election offices could offer new tools for affecting the outcome of the vote.
Having access to voter rolls, for example, could allow hackers to digitally alter or delete registration information, potentially denying people a chance to vote on Election Day. Or news of the attack could simply fuel further distrust in the U.S. election system, which Trump has repeatedly alleged is “rigged.”

“I think he’s just unleashed the hounds,” said Tom Kellermann, head of Strategic Cyber Ventures, referring to Putin. Kellermann said the intrusions fit the “modus operandi and the ultimate goal” of a long-standing Russian digital intelligence campaign targeting foreign government officials in Europe, the U.S. and elsewhere that Kellermann has been tracking for years, which researchers believe has turned its sights on the American electoral process.

The FBI’s investigations of the Arizona and Illinois attacks have been public knowledge since July, when both states took their voter registration databases offline following detection of the intrusions. But the bureau’s Cyber Division broadened its sweep in an Aug. 18 “flash” alert that warned top election officials in every state about potential foreign intrusions of their election systems. The alert advised officials to look for a series of specific hallmarks of cyberattacks.

In Illinois, officials told Yahoo News that hackers pilfered personal data on up to 200,000 voters. The Arizona digital intruders did not make off with any information, said the news service.
Some cyber experts are skeptical that the attacks on the elections offices had any political motive, noting that hackers often rifle through government databases looking for personal information they can sell.

“It’s got the hallmark signs of any criminal actors, whether it be Russia or Eastern Europe,” said Milan Patel, a former chief technology officer of the FBI’s Cyber Division who is now at the security firm K2 Intelligence. However, he added, “the question of getting into these databases and what it means is certainly not outside the purview of state-sponsored activity.”

Still, little public digital forensic evidence has come to light so far that would link the Illinois and Arizona hackers to a Russian-backed group that researchers say broke into the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.
“No robust evidence as of yet,” respected cybersecurity consultant Matt Tait said on Twitter.
The FBI’s alert asked state officials to check whether their networks had seen any activity coming from eight specific Internet Protocol addresses, at least one of which was tied to a Russian cyber gang, according to Yahoo News.

The FBI sent the alert to the Election Assistance Commission, the federal agency that offers help to states in improving the management of their elections. The commission then sent it to state officials, spokesman Bryan Whitener told POLITICO.
The FBI declined to comment on the alert but said in a statement that it “routinely advises private industry of various cyberthreat indicators observed during the course of our investigations.”
Leo Taddeo, a former head of the cyber division in the FBI’s New York office, said such a widespread alert “indicates that this could be a systematic attack, rather than an isolated targeting of a particular database.”
Sending out the memo is the only way for officials to do a complete review of all state election systems and determine whether a “dedicated attack” is taking place on multiple networks, Taddeo added. Elections have always been run at the state and local level, and few if any federal laws govern how local officials manage and secure voter data.

At most, several federal agencies provide voluntary guidelines for local officials. In some states, voter registration information is a public record, meaning data security rules governing the handling of personal information — such as names and home addresses — don’t apply.
The FBI’s alert reflects growing government awareness of the cyberthreat to election systems.
The Department of Homeland Security had held no conversations with states about election cybersecurity until a conference call that Secretary Jeh Johnson held with state officials on Aug. 15, a person involved in state election work said.

That call came together after Johnson publicly floated the idea of classifying elections as “critical infrastructure,” a designation that grants special security assistance to vital facilities such as banks and the power grid. “We hastily reached out to DHS to try to organize a call that would at least give state officials some information on what was going on with DHS,” the person said.

On the call, DHS officials urged states to coordinate with their local FBI offices if they weren’t already doing so. The department also agreed to provide resources to states, including vulnerability-detection software. But the DHS has not provided those resources yet, and some states, such as Georgia, have balked at the offers of assistance, fearful of federal meddling.
DHS plans to announce an election cybersecurity awareness campaign soon, the person said.
A DHS spokesman declined to comment on the FBI alert.

In the meantime, digital voter registration systems appear to be functioning — mostly. Of 42 state databases that POLITICO accessed on Monday, 41 were available, although the entire website of California’s secretary of state was down.
"It is down right now," said Sam Maood, spokesman for the California secretary of state. "There’s no evidence that it’s due to hacking or any kind of data breach."
All but one of the other states either required more extensive measures to check registration or had no evident online system. The one exception, North Dakota, is the only state that doesn’t require voters to register, according to its secretary of state.

But devastating consequences could ensue if these databases fell into the hands of motivated digital attackers, election security specialists said.
“An attacker could potentially remove registered voters from the registration list in areas that are expected to vote against the attacker’s preferred candidate, creating challenges and delays when the voters show up and the polls to vote,” said Jason Straight, chief privacy officer for UnitedLex, which advises corporations on cybersecurity practices.
By ERIC GELLER

Straight called such manipulation a “much greater threat” than the possibility of hackers tampering with electronic voting machines, which election watchdog groups and researchers say are insecure and often lack proper auditing mechanisms.
Tilting elections through voting machines hacks “would require extensive use of on-the-ground operatives with social engineering and technical skills to pull off,” Straight said.
In recent years, voter rolls have become an increasingly attractive target for both cyber gangs, as well as government-backed digital spies, appearing for sale on underground web forums, or simply being found sitting unprotected online.

Hundreds of millions of voters in the U.S., the Philippines, Turkey, Kazakhstan and Mexico have been affected.
The big windfall came last October, when hackers — “probably based in Russia” — started selling a set of Americans' voter data “containing personal information on approximately 190 million persons,” said Christopher Porter, manager of FireEye iSIGHT Intelligence, a leading cybersecurity firm that examined the leak. The information exposed included full names, genders, dates of birth, physical addresses, email address and phone numbers.
The presence of the Russian cyber gang-linked IP address in the FBI alert is a possible indication that these digital thieves were at it again in Illinois and Arizona, said several researchers and a former FBI official.

While such thefts could be the work of ordinary criminals, these same experts explained that Russian cyber gangs often act at the behest of the Kremlin, either directly or indirectly. In exchange, these groups receive immunity from prosecution and “maintain their untouchable status,” said Kellermann, of Cybersecurity Strategic Ventures.
If this is indeed the case with the recent intrusions of state voter registration databases, Kellermann believes the suspected campaign to undermine the U.S. election process is “reaching a tipping point.”
“It’s high time that the U.S. government took off its own gloves,” he said.

 @politico on Twitter | Politico on Facebook

Gene Wilder (Willy Wonka) Dead at 83







The comic actor was at his best in 'The Producers,' 'Blazing Saddles' and 'Young Frankenstein' and teamed with Richard Pryor in four films.
Gene Wilder, the leading man with the comic flair and frizzy hair known for teaming with Mel Brooks on the laugh-out-loud masterpieces The Producers, Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein, has died, his family announced. He was 83.

The two-time Oscar nominee also starred as a quirky candy man in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971) and in four films alongside stand-up legend Richard Pryor.

Wilder's nephew, Jordan Walker-Pearlman, said that the actor died Sunday night at home in Stamford, Conn., after a three-year battle with Alzheimer's disease.

"The decision to wait until this time to disclose his condition wasn’t vanity," Walker-Pearlman said, "but more so that the countless young children who would smile or call out to him, 'There’s Willy Wonka,' would not have to be then exposed to an adult referencing illness or trouble and causing delight to travel to worry, disappointment or confusion. He simply couldn’t bear the idea of one less smile in the world."

His nephew noted that when Wilder passed, a recording of Ella Fitzgerald singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" was playing. She was one of his favorite artists.

Wilder will forever be remembered for his ill-fated Hollywood romance with Gilda Radner. Less than two years after they were married, the popular Saturday Night Live star was diagnosed with ovarian cancer and died on May 20, 1989, at age 42.

READ MORE Gene Wilder Remembered: 5 of His Biggest Movie Roles
In 1963, the Milwaukee native appeared on Broadway opposite Anne Bancroft in Jerome Robbins’ Mother Courage and Her Children. The actress introduced Wilder to Brooks, her future husband, and the couple invited him to Fire Island, where he got a look at the first 30 pages of a screenplay titled Springtime for Hitler.

“Three years went by, never heard from [Brooks],” Wilder told Larry King in a 2002 interview. “I didn’t get a telegram. I didn’t get a telephone call. And I’m doing a play called Love on Broadway, matinee, taking off my makeup.

“Knock-knock on the door, I open the door. There’s Mel. He said, ‘You don’t think I forgot, do you? We’re going to do Springtime for Hitler. But I can’t just cast you. You’ve got to meet [star] Zero [Mostel] first, tomorrow at 10 o’clock.’

“[The next day] the door opens. There’s Mel. He says come on in. ‘Z, this is Gene. Gene, this is Z. And I put out my hand tentatively. And Zero grabbed my hand, pulls me to him and kisses me on the lips. All my nervousness went away. And then we did the reading and I got the part. And everything was fine.”

Springtime for Hitler, of course, would become The Producers (1968), written and directed by Brooks. For his portrayal of stressed-out accountant Leopold Bloom in his first major movie role, Wilder earned an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor.

Brooks cast Gig Young for the part of the washed-up gunfighter The Waco Kid in Blazing Saddles (1974), but the actor, who was an alcoholic, got sick playing his first scene and had to be taken away by ambulance.

“I called Gene and said, 'What do I do?'” Brooks recalled in a 2014 interview with Parade magazine. “Gene said, 'Just get a horse for me to try out and a costume that fits and I’ll do it.' And he flew out and he did it. Saved my life.”

While working on Blazing Saddles, Wilder fiddled with an outline he had written for Young Frankenstein and asked Brooks to do it with him. Wilder played Dr. Frederick Frankenstein, who creates a monster just like his grandfather did, and he and Brooks shared a screenplay Oscar nom for the 1974 classic, released in theaters just 10 months after Blazing Saddles.

(It was Wilder’s idea to have Frankenstein and his monster, played by Peter Boyle, do the song-and-dance number, “Puttin’ on the Ritz.”)

Said Brooks in a statement: "Gene Wilder, one of the truly great talents of our time, is gone. He blessed every film we did together with his special magic. And he blessed my life with his friendship. He will be so missed."

For the 1971 musical fantasy based on Roald Dahl’s 1964 book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Fred Astaire and Joel Grey were recommended for the role of Willy Wonka. But director Mel Stuart wanted Wilder.

“He had been in The Producers, but he wasn’t a superstar,” Stuart told the Washington Post in 2005. “I looked at him and I knew in my heart there could only be one person who could play Willy Wonka. He walked to the elevator after he read and I ran after him and I said, ‘As far as I’m concerned, you’ve got it.’”

Wilder and Pryor — who was a writer on Blazing Saddles — first teamed up on the train comedy Silver Streak (1976), followed by Stir Crazy (1980), See No Evil, Hear No Evil (1989) and Another You (1991), with Wilder writing and directing the latter pair.
 
Wilder was born in Milwaukee as Jerry Silberman on June 11, 1933. His father was a Russian immigrant who imported and sold miniature beer and whiskey bottles. His mother had a heart attack when he was 6, leaving her an invalid.

The young boy got his start in comedy by trying to perk up his bedridden mother’s spirits (she died when he was 23).

In high school, Wilder played Willy Loman in his own adaptation of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman, graduated from the University of Iowa with a B.A. in theater and studied at the Old Vic School in Bristol, England.

While overseas, he became the first American to win the all-school fencing championship, a skill he put to use when he starred as a swashbuckler in Start the Revolution Without Me (1970), directed by Bud Yorkin.

Returning to the U.S., Wilder was drafted into the U.S. Army. While stationed outside of Philadelphia at Valley Forge Medial Hospital — he worked as an aide in a psychiatric ward and helped administer electroshock therapy to patients — he commuted to New York twice a week to study acting with Herbert Berghof.

Following his discharge, he changed his name — Wilder is from Thornton Wilder, Gene is from the main character in the Thomas Wolfe novel Look Homeward, Angel — and studied with Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio.

In 1961, Wilder landed a part in the off-Broadway play Roots, then played a comic valet on Broadway in Graham Greene’s The Complaisant Lover, for which he earned a Clarence Derwent Award.

He also thrived on the stage in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest as the repressed Billy Bibbit (played by Brad Dourif in the 1975 film adaptation) and as John Quincy Adams, Rutherford B. Hayes and other characters opposite Helen Hayes in The White House.

Wilder made his motion picture debut in Arthur Penn’s Bonnie and Clyde (1967), playing undertaker Eugene Grizzard from Milwaukee who, along with his nervous new bride Velma (Evans Evans, then the wife of director John Frankenheimer), is kidnapped by the outlaws.

Wilder accessed his zanier side as an Irish manure peddler in Quackser Fortune Has a Cousin in the Bronx (1970) and as a doctor with a yen for sheep in Woody Allen’s Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (1972).
 
Flush with the success of Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein, Wilder made his directorial debut in The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother (1975), which he also wrote and starred in. He went on to write, direct and star in The World’s Greatest Lover (1977), for which he also composed a song performed by Harry Nilsson, and played a bumbling Polish rabbi in the Old West in The Frisco Kid (1979).

On television, Wilder starred as an older father of 4-year-old twins in his short-lived 1994-95 NBC sitcom Something Wilder; portrayed Cash Carter, a community-theater director who solves murders, in a pair of 1999 telefilms for A&E; and won a guest-actor Emmy in 2003 for playing Eric McCormack’s boss on NBC’s Will & Grace.

Twice divorced, Wilder met Radner while they were starring in the comedy Hanky Panky (1982), directed by Sidney Poitier. She was married to Saturday Night Live bandleader G.E. Smith at the time.

Radner divorced Smith, and she and Wilder were wed on Sept. 14, 1984, in the south of France. They appeared together in The Woman in Red (1984) and Haunted Honeymoon (1986) before she was found to have stage 4 ovarian cancer in October 1986.

In 1999, Wilder was diagnosed with non-Hodgkins lymphoma and treated with radiation and stem cell transplants.

Wilder titled his 2005 memoir, Kiss Me Like a Stranger, something Radner had once said to him. “I had no idea why she said it,” he once offered.

In September 1991, Wilder married his fourth wife, Karen Webb. She was from the New York League for the Hard of Hearing and had coached him in the art of lip reading in preparation for his role as a deaf man in See No Evil, Hear No Evil. She survives him.

Wilder’s sister Corinne died in January.

Gay Teens More Important than Religious Law


                                     


  
California’s ban on gay-conversion therapy for teens survived a free-speech challenge back in 2014. Now it’s survived another challenge claiming that the law targets religiously motivated conduct. The decision is legally correct -- but it’s a much closer case than the appeals court acknowledged. And it raises the extremely tricky question of how the state may regulate a psychiatric practice whose foundations are interwoven with religious beliefs.

The key to the free-speech decision from two years ago was that, California isn’t prohibiting speech per se. It’s outlawing a particular medical practice that happens to be accomplished in part through talking. Whether it’s a good idea or not, state legislatures have the legal authority to prohibit licensed providers from performing ineffective and potentially harmful medical treatments.

In other words, California almost certainly couldn’t ban an adult and a teen from sitting down together and talking to each other in a way that both believed would or could change the teen’s sexual orientation. Such a conversation would count as protected speech, outside the state’s authority to regulate. But when the conversation is instead treated as a medical therapy, it comes within the state’s authority to regulate the practice of medicine -- which is a course of conduct, even when it’s accomplished partly by the use of words.

Once they lost on free-speech grounds, the practitioners of gay-conversion therapy didn’t give up. They mounted a further challenge based on the establishment and free exercise clauses of the Constitution.

One advantage of the second challenge over the first is that it comes closer to capturing the subjective experience and motives of the practitioners of what they call “sexual orientation change efforts.” A 2009 report by the American Psychological Association said that “the population that undergoes SOCE tends to have strongly conservative religious views that lead them to seek to change their sexual orientation.”

The same is probably true for the practitioners of such therapy. In an earlier era, the profession of psychiatry saw homosexuality as a curable disease. But now that the profession has largely abandoned this view, those medical professionals who maintain it are often not coincidentally deeply religious. They accept the biblical prohibition on homosexual conduct as morally binding. And they reason that a good God would not have imposed that prohibition unless it were possible for humans to adapt themselves so as to obey it.

It’s not an accident, therefore, that the religiously oriented Family Research Council, for example, advocates gay-conversion therapy.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit rejected the practitioners’ religion-clause claims pretty summarily. The opinion first rejected the argument that the California ban violates the establishment clause by entangling the government with religion. It doesn’t, said the court, because it only targets clinical therapy. People remain free to pray with teens if they believe this may help them change their sexual orientation. This conclusion is certainly legally correct. The fact that some therapists might pray with patients in their sessions doesn’t mean the state can’t regulate the basic clinical course of conduct.

Then the court took on the more subtle question of whether it should matter that those who seek or perform conversion therapy are religiously motivated. The court admitted that there might be a constitutional problem if the law targeted only religiously motivated conduct. But it said that because the law includes all efforts to change sexual orientation, religiously motivated or otherwise, it doesn’t violate religious liberty. In other words, the court said, there wasn’t sufficient evidence to conclude that the primary effect of the law was to inhibit religion.

This issue is actually more complicated than the court made it sound. Suppose all or nearly all gay-conversion-therapy seekers and practitioners are religiously motivated -- an assumption that isn’t ridiculous. And suppose the state passed a law outlawing the practice on the ground that it was medically harmful -- while fully knowing that the practice is grounded in religious belief. Again, the assumption isn’t a heroic one. Would that violate the free exercise of religion?

The answer is controversial even among religious liberty scholars -- but it could well be yes. Compare a humanitarian ban on kosher or halal slaughter. In my hypothetical example, the legislature would know that believers practice such slaughter for religious reasons. The legislature’s own motives would be to make animal slaughter more humanitarian, say by requiring electrocution to kill the animal faster. Yet the overarching intended effect of the law would be to inhibit a religiously motivated practice. It’s possible that such a law might violate the free exercise clause, even if as written it applied to all slaughter, not just kosher or halal practices.

The point is that, when a social practice like medical therapy or animal slaughter is profoundly intertwined with religious motivation, the government can’t necessarily prohibit it just by saying that its own motives are secular -- even assuming they really are.

Yet the reason the court’s decision was nonetheless correct is that religious liberty isn’t absolute. Provided the state has a compelling interest in prohibiting a harmful practice, it’s allowed to prohibit it. The state could, for example, prohibit religiously motivated child sacrifice or widow-burning. Those practices could be entirely religious in nature -- but the state may still ban them because it has a compelling reason to combat the harm.

There’s a strong reason to believe that gay-conversion therapy for teens who can’t themselves fully consent is harmful. The state has a strong interest in prohibiting a potentially dangerous and unproven medical practice on that ground alone. It’s not that religious liberty isn’t implicated. It’s that it is overcome by other, stronger interests.

Noah Feldman

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners; But it does represents the view of adamfoxie Blog

NYC Gay Man Victim of Hate Crime and Initial “We Don’t Care” by Cop on the Beat






New York City resident and Chicago-native Omar Villalobos was taking a stroll in Manhattan with a friend when he said he heard a man shout a gay slur. 

"Before I could even look up, he struck me right in the forehead, splitting about two-and-a-half inches of a cut above my right eyebrow," Villalobos told NBC OUT. "I put my hand over my right eyebrow, and blood just comes down into my hand." 
 
Upset and injured, Villalobos said he sought assistance from nearby police officers but didn't receive the response he expected. When he reported what had happened, he said one of the officers said, "Go find someone who cares. We're here for terrorist attacks, not homeless people." 
When asked for a comment, an NYPD spokesperson told NBC OUT via email, "On Saturday August 20th at 1655 hours the victim was at 42 Street when an unknown male 40-50 made anti-gay statements and then punched the victim in the eye. He received 6 stitches to his eye. Hate Crime Task Force is investigating and IAB is looking into the incident.” 

"We're still in a country where people are seeing violence based on sexuality and gender identity," Sheryl Chestnut, Director of Community Organizing and Public Advocacy at the Anti-Violence Project, told NBC OUT. She added “street-based" violence against the LGBTQ community is still a "fairly common occurrence." 

The Anti-Violence Project has found there is underreporting of anti-LGBTQ violence in New York, and Chestnut said feeling unsafe about going to police is one reason for this. Survivors of this type of violence often go to LGBTQ organizations to seek out assistance and resources. 

ALAMIN YOHANNES

August 29, 2016

Staten Islanders in NYC are Killing Themselves at Rates of 29 a Yr


 STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- In one decade, 290 Staten Islanders took their own lives -- an average of 29 people per year.
Since 2004, the Department of Mental Health and Hygiene (DOH) has recorded at least 20 suicide-related deaths per year until 2014, the last year that data is available. 
The year with the most recorded suicides was 2012 with 33 suicide-related deaths.
The rate of suicide in New York state also peaked in 2012, with 8.4 deaths per 100,000 New York state residents.
The incidents are intentional suicides, such as self-inflicted gunshot wounds, jumping from a bridge or hanging, for example, as opposed to accidental suicide, such as an unintended drug overdose.
The Office of Chief Medical Examiner (ME) reports that depression, history of schizophrenia and anxiety are common factors that lead to suicide, and that many children of suicide victims deal with at least one mental illness.
Additionally, 23 percent of individuals who have committed suicide made a previous suicide attempt within the past year. 

In comparison to the rest of New York City, the raw number of Staten Islanders who took their own lives is the lowest. 


Queens had the highest number of suicides in 2014, with 141 suicide-related deaths, followed by Manhattan with 138, Brooklyn with 125 and Bronx with 66.
However, Staten Island had the second highest death rate per 100,000 residents in 2014 at 6.1 residents. Queens' death rate per 100,000 residents was also 6.1.
Suicide data by borough NYC.png 
Manhattan was first, with a rate of 8.4 per 100,000 residents; Brooklyn with 4.8 residents and Bronx with 4.6 residents.
DEATH BY HANGING MOST COMMON
Almost one-third of suicides are from hanging and 18 percent result from jumping from a high place, according to a report from the city DOH.
New York City's firearm suicide rate is the lowest among large metropolitan areas, according to recent figures from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Suicide methods in New York City vary by gender, the city DOH reports; 93 percent of firearm-related suicides are among men, but 45 percent of women's suicide are by intentional poisoning. 
MEN MORE LIKELY THAN WOMEN 
Recent data from the state Department of Health shows that men are more likely to commit suicide than women.
Intentional Self-Harm NYC 2014.png 
In 2014, 7.1 Staten Island men per 100,000 residents committed suicide, compared to 4.3 women per 100,000 residents. 
SEVEN SUICIDES SO FAR IN 2016
Seven Staten Islanders have taken their lives so far this year, according to Staten Island Advance records. Those reports are of suicides that occur in public places, so the actual number is likey higher.
The victim was identified as John Guattrocchi, 57, of Westerleigh. He was found in flames on a North Shore street on January 17.
He died five days later as a result of injuries from the fire.
Just two days later, a Bay Terrace man took his life in a wooded area of Great Kills.
According to the Deputy Commissioner of Public Information, Richard Thompson, 52, was found hanging dead from a tree in Jack's Pond Bluebelt between Cleveland Avenue and Hillside Terrace on January 19.
In April, Charles Miller, 44, was found in Gateway National Recreation Area in Great Kills with a gunshot wound to the head.
The former Corrections captain penned a 10-page letter to his wife, Alana Miller, which included instructions on the suit he wanted to be buried in.
Miller was set to retire for the Department of Correction next year.
Two months later, an 84-year-old Great Kills man jumped from the upper-level of the Staten Island Mall.
Francesco Colina used a chair, which he dragged from a nearby store, to jump from the second floor on June 28. He landed in front of the Gap on the lower-level of the mall.
Colina was rushed to Staten Island University Hospital in Ocean Breeze in stable condition and was pronounced dead a short time later.
August has been a particularly devastating month on Staten Island; there have been four suicides so far, with three in just one week.
3 young Staten Islanders took their lives this past week
Community shaken amid deaths of 13-, 27- and 38-year-olds.

Milinazzo's disabled vehicle was found on the span of the bridge at 4:30 a.m. that Monday morning, shortly before the morning rush hour.
A suicide note was found on the front seat of the vehicle.
The father of two was reported missing the same day, however, his body wasn't discovered for four days, when a New Jersey fisherman found his body floating in Raritan Bay.
Aracelis Abreu Leung was found unconscious in the back seat of a Buick SUV at 7:42 p.m. on August 10, in the rear parking lot at 66 Old Town Road in Dongan Hills, according to a law enforcement source.
Her lifeless body was discovered by her husband.
Authorities found multiple suicide notes in the back of the Buick, as well as a compressed tank of nitrogen.
The next day, August 11, 13-year-old Daniel Fitzpatrick hanged himself in the attic of his family home. Daniel's older sister discovered his body around 5:30 p.m. that evening.
Fitzpatrick left a suicide note, which the young boy penned in July, stating that he was bullied relentlessly and his school ignored his complaints.
"The teachers [at Holy Angels Catholic Academy] ... they didn't do ANYTHING!" he wrote of being bullied at the school. 
City teens who reported attempting suicide also reported additional mental, physical, and social health risks. For example, 27 percent of teens who attempted suicide reported being bullied online in the past year, according to the city DOH.
A close call came eleven days later, on August 22, when authorities rescued a 17-year-old male bicyclist from the span of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge shortly after midnight.
The Brooklyn teen was threatening suicide at the time, according to a spokeswoman from the NYPD. 
The emotionally disturbed teen was found wandering on the catwalk on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.
He was transported to Staten Island University Hospital for evaluation. 

Kristin F. Dalton | kdalton@siadvance.com

ISIS 18 Yr Old Guy Has a Bomb Malfunction During Church Attack

Isis bomber attacks Catholic priest with axe during Sunday Mass
The suspect was taken in for questioning (Picture: EPA)

An Isis suicide bomber attacked a Catholic priest with an axe during Sunday Mass – but failed to set off an explosive device.
The priest, Albert Pandiangan, was injured after he was stabbed in the arm in a church in Medan on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia, police said.
  
However, the 18-year-old attacker was restrained by brave churchgoers who rushed to the priest’s aid.
Pictures from inside the church show a young man covered in blood after the incident.
Local chief detective Nur Fallah said: ‘Somebody tried to kill the priest by pretending to attend the church service and at that time tried to explode something, like a firecracker, but the firecracker didn’t explode, it only fumed.’
Indonesian antibomb squad carry an explosive from the Santo Yosef chuch after a man tried to attack a priest in Medan on August 28, 2016.   A knife-wielding attacker in Indonesia stabbed a Catholic priest and tried to set off an explosive device at a church on, police said, the latest in a string of attacks on religious minorities in the mainly Muslim country. / AFP PHOTO / HAKIM RANGKUTIHAKIM RANGKUTI/AFP/Getty Images
The incident happened during Mass in a packed church (Picture: Getty)
epa05512597 Indonesian mobile brigade policemen stand guard after an attempted suicide bombing by an unidentified man at St. Yoseph Catholic Church in Medan, Indonesia, 28 August 2016. An unidentified man attempted a suicide bombing with a small bomb and only injured himself, with no other casualties reported.  EPA/STR
Armed soldiers stood guard after the attack (Picture: EPA)

The drama unfolded when the teenager left a bench, ran towards the priest and allegedly attempted to detonate a bomb in his backpack, national police spokesman Maj. Gen. Boy Rafli Amar said.
Fallah described it as a ‘homemade explosive device’.
  
He then attacked Mr Pandiangan, 60, who was taken to hospital with slight injuries.
Eyewitness Markus Harianto Manullan said: ‘He sat in the same row as I did. I saw him fiddling with something in his jacket, and then I heard a small explosion and he immediately ran to the podium.’
Police have interrogated the teenager.


Metro.co.uk 

A Pastor’s Son More Important than Empty Words About Love



Drew and Danny Cortez, on a recent visit with StoryCorps in Cypress, Calif.
StoryCorps
The Rev. Danny Cortez is a pastor. He also has a son who recently came out as gay. And when his teenage son came out to him in 2014, he did something more than express his support: He decided to talk to his Southern Baptist congregation about it — even though doing so likely meant getting kicked out of the church.
"That morning I came to church, my blood pressure was super high. I felt so much stress, and everyone was wondering what's going on," Cortez recalls, on a recent visit with StoryCorps. "But I remember as I was speaking, I felt empowered like I hadn't felt in such a long time. I knew that what I was sharing that Sunday was important."
What's more, his son Drew was there in the pews to listen.
"I felt vulnerable," Drew says. "I just remember thinking what was going to happen after this. This is our life now."
At the time, Danny told his congregation about the moment his son came out:
"I was driving my son Drew to school, and he turned over to me and he says, 'Dad, I'm gay.' I remember I just turned around and I hugged him so hard. And I said, 'I love you so much, son.' ...
"And so when I was asked a question recently, 'How does it feel to know that you might be terminated in a few weeks?' I said, 'I'm at peace. I'm at peace because I know my heart has been enlarged.' "
"When I sat down," Danny says in his StoryCorps conversation, "I felt like this weight had just been lifted out of me, and people knew where we stood."

At the same time, he says he kept in mind the fact that his son's struggle has been more difficult than this own. Drew, for his part, says he often felt regarded as a problem — even hearing his name paired with the word "abomination" in the same sentence.
"As a father it was so difficult to hear that, because we felt like they didn't know our son," Danny says.
"There's part of me that says, yes, I want to love people that disagree with me, who disagree with us. But the other part of me now is asking, 'But how can I do it in way that honors you?' "
As a result of Danny's sermon, the congregation split. Danny and other members went on to form an LGBT-inclusive, nondenominational church, separate from the Southern Baptist Conference.
Audio produced for Weekend Edition by John White.
StoryCorps is a national nonprofit that gives people the chance to interview friends and loved ones about their lives. These conversations are archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, allowing participants to leave a legacy for future generations. Learn more, including how to interview someone in your life, at StoryCorps.org.

AP Batched the Clinton New Emails Coverage



 
Hillary Clinton is surrounded by suggestions of controversy. Terms like “Clinton Foundation,” “email server,” and “Benghazi” hover around her like a faint smoke that hints at the existence of fire.

But finding the fire — the lie, the misdeed, the unethical act — is proving to be rather difficult, as evidenced this week by an inaccurate tweet and arguably misleading story from the Associated Press that were quickly rebutted by the Clinton campaign and dismissed by many media outlets.

Three days later, the Associated Press is still standing by its story and has yet to correct its tweet, despite near unanimous agreement among other journalists that the tweet, at least, was false.

“The AP’s social-media take on the story was seriously flawed,” David Boardman, the Dean of the School of Media and Communication at Temple University and former editor of the Seattle Times, told CNNMoney. “It’s sloppy, click-grabbing shorthand that is a disservice to the reporting to which it refers.”

On Tuesday, the AP sent out a breaking news alert: “BREAKING: AP analysis: More than half those who met Clinton as Cabinet secretary gave money to Clinton Foundation.”

Not true: As the article stated, what the AP found was that “more than half the people outside the government” who met with Clinton while she was secretary of state “gave money — either personally or through companies or groups — to the Clinton Foundation.”

This “extraordinary” finding, as the AP put it, was deemed less extraordinary by other journalists and pundits who noted that Clinton had held thousands of meetings with government employees, foreign representatives, civil leaders, journalists and others while Secretary of State that were not accounted for in the AP’s report.

Moreover, the AP only analyzed 154 meetings, based on what has been made available by the State Department, and thus its review only accounts for a fraction of Clinton’s meeting schedule during her tenure as secretary of state. (The AP’s defenders correctly note that the wire service was only able to examine a limited dataset because of the State Department’s intransigence regarding the release of further records, which the AP has been fighting hard to secure.)

Nevertheless, the AP’s tweet allowed Donald Trump to stand on stage at a campaign rally and declare that “fifty percent of people who saw [Clinton] had to make a contribution to the Clinton Foundation.”

Clinton campaign spokesperson Brian Fallon accused the AP of cherrypicking “a limited subset” of data to give “a distorted portrayal of how often she crossed paths with individuals connected to charitable donations to the Clinton Foundation.” On Twitter, he hit the AP for failing to correct its breaking news alert, which he called “100 percent factually inaccurate.”

In a statement, AP spokesperson Paul Colford said his organization had been “transparent in how it has reported this story,” and that it would continue to examine Clinton’s schedules as they became available.

“The Associated Press’ reporting relied on publicly available data provided by the State Department about Hillary Clinton’s meetings, phone calls and emails, cross-referenced against donor information provided by the Clinton Foundation and its related charities on its websites,” Colford wrote.

Meanwhile, other news organizations pilloried the AP’s report.

The Washington Post Fact-Checker wrote that there were “many more nuanced and important details in the story that are being misrepresented — by the AP’s own promotional tweet, and by Trump.”

Vox’s Matthew Yglesias was more direct: “The AP’s big exposé on Hillary meeting with Clinton Foundation donors is a mess,” his headline read.

Boardman argued that the story itself “was not nearly so flawed as Yglesias and others have charged.”

“The AP reporters made clear they found no smoking-gun quid pro quo. And Clinton defenders’ claim that ‘there is no story’ is absurd; of course it is worth investigating and explaining the relationship between Secretary Clinton and the Foundation, and how that relationship worked while she was at State,” he said.

“If anything,” Boardman continued, “the AP story could have used far more exploration of the inherent ethical issues here, and of the notion that whether or not Clinton gave extraordinary help to Foundation donors, the potential for accusations of that was probably reason enough to avoid such meetings altogether.”


If you would like to know more about how the AP article should have been written I would recommend you stop by the Huffington Post. They wrote a similar story but in a way that it shows the facts more clearly. It’s evident that AP did a rush job on this story and by doing it so it presented the story in a confusing not truthful way and it put their name in a bad light as messy, rush delivery of a story probably because they wanted the lead. No sense being first if it makes look ugly. 

August 27, 2016

Trump Crashes Like the Hindenburg with a Flag on The Back Reading “Racist”





"Hillary Clinton called the Republican nominee a racist [and] the sound of silence among mainstream Republican elected officials yesterday is stunning."

She did it. Hillary Clinton called Donald Trump a racist. He pulled his usual tit-for-tat and called her one back. He even got on Twitter and whined that, 
“Hillary Clinton only knows how to make a speech when it is a hit on me. No policy, and always very short (stamina). Media gives her a pass!”
This from the media’s true darling.
Did any Republicans jump to Trump’s defense? Chuck Todd, observing the situation at MSNBC, says no, that “The sound of silence among mainstream Republican elected officials yesterday is stunning.”
Chuck Todd and Nicola Wallace on NBC Today Show:


NICOLLE WALLACE: I have to say on the speech yesterday, when Hillary Clinton went to what all of the Republicans have done in the past on race, she cited George W. Bush going to a mosque. We’ve all talked about that. She cited John McCain standing up to someone who called President Obama a Muslim. I wish a Republican had given that speech.

CHUCK TODD: By the way, there’s an amazing thing that happened yesterday. Hillary Clinton called the Republican nominee [Donald Trump] a racist, and all these Republicans decided to come and say, “Oh my gosh you” — not a word. No Republicans outside the campaign said, “How dare you, Hillary Clinton, call the Republican nominee a racist.” The sound of silence among mainstream Republican elected officials yesterday is stunning.


What is interesting is the turn-around on racism in this campaign. Outright racists will deny being racists, claiming exercising free speech means you’re not racist, as though speaking your mind somehow frees you from being responsible for the content of your words. However, even Paul Ryan has pointed to Trump’s racism, as have other Republicans.
This is rank hypocrisy coming from a party that has pushed racist memes with great enthusiasm since Obama began his run for president. The GOP as a whole is as guilty as Trump for the things their nominee says. He is their nominee, after all. He represents their party. And even many of those who have criticized him have not withdrawn their endorsements.
Their endorsements are still out there, but as Todd observed, no Republican is really pushing them, and they are certainly not leaping to the defense of the ever more blatantly indefensible. The last few days have been another disaster for Trump, and trying to blame Hillary Clinton for his own sins isn’t going to get him out of the trouble in which he now finds himself.

Rabidly Anti Gay Pastor Who Condemned Gay Victims of Pulse Arrested for Molesting Boy


 Ken Adkins in Glynn County Jail

This so called man of god and a pastor of a church who saw himself so above other human beings and life and death, who came down in judgement of the victims shot on the club Pulse in Orlando.

It takes a special kind of individual to stand in judgment of others particularly when it deals when people are dying because of who they are and where they happen to be by simply chance of circumstances.  For a man that claims to be a teacher of others of the virtues of Christianity seemed to have forgotten most of the teachings of Christ by putting himself as judge over those young people that died at the hands of someone who obviously did not see them as full humans and thus with the right to enjoy life for as long as their lifetime lasted independently of any other person.

As it has happened many other times, those that judge usually are the ones most guilty of the act they judge others about.  This hypocrite felt more comfortable saying something outrageous and thus put the spot light on him as the opposite of what those young people that he was judging in Orlando were.

He Most’ve figured that by coming down on those victims his cover of being attracted to others of the same sex would further be even safer. But this man’s sin went further because loving someone of your own sex cannot be a sin wether you are a believer or not, that is if you preach love in your religion. However taking advantage of a pre-teen boy who does not yet know the meaning of sex or love towards another human being in a mating or partnership way. Taking this boy’s innocence and purity to satisfy his own dirt of a conscience is something beyond reprehensible. 

   Publisher

*News4jax in GA published the following story as they found out this man arrested of child molestation was Ken Adkins the rabidly anti gay pastor.


*A Southeast Georgia pastor who has been a lightning rod of controversy was arrested Friday after a young man who used to be a church member told the Georgia Bureau of Investigation the man molested him in 2010.

Kenneth Adkins, 56, who is pastor of the Greater Dimensions Christian Fellowship, turned himself in at 9 a.m. at the Glynn County jail. He was charged with one count of aggravated child molestation and one count of child molestation.
Ken Adkins arrested
A GBI agent told News4Jax that several incidents of molestation were alleged to have occurred at the church, in a vehicle and at the victim's residence. The Brunswick Judicial Circuit asked the Brunswick police to assist in the investigation, which began Aug. 12 and is ongoing.

Adkins' attorney, Kevin Gough, said the charges are over an alleged incident that happened six years ago and felt that the investigation and charges were rushed.

"He will ultimately be cleared of any wrongdoing," Adkin's wife and co-pastor, Charlotte Adkins, said. "I share my husband's concern for the alleged victim," who she said was a "deeply troubled" young man who was part of the church's teen ministry.

Mrs. Adkins said she hopes that the authorities will be as vocal in cleaning her husband's name as they were in announcing his arrest.

"I'm here to express my support for my husband," she said. "We are disappointed with what appears to be a rush to judgment by law enforcement authorities in this case. We are confident my husband, Kenneth Adkins, will be found innocent in this case.”

Gough said he was filing motions for bail, a preliminary hearing, to demand a speedy trial and to see the evidence.

"Warrants say these events took place in 2010. That's a long time," Gough said. "We don't know why they're coming up now. We'd like to think the timing isn't politically motivated. We hope not. We're not saying they are. Given his timing and stances on various issues, it's a concern.”

"We are praying for him," Mrs. Adkins said of the victim, who has since moved out of the state. "The young man has been a part of our teen ministry we have taken care of him and taken him in our church family with a lot of love. Ken and I have done a lot to help mentor that young man. I'm deeply troubled by the things that are happening with that young man.”
Kenneth Adkins is known for speaking out against Jacksonville's human right ordinance, transgender bathrooms and injecting himself into other local issues on behalf of conservative causes.

After the mass shooting at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando in June, Adkins tweeted about homosexuals, “I don’t see none of them as victims. I see them as getting what they deserve.”

Adkins, who often dressed in drag to express his disdain for homosexuals, said the public took the tweet out of context. Adkins said he wasn’t referring to the shooting victims, but “strictly meant for the Jacksonville group that has made my life a living hell” while he served on a discussion panel for the HRO.

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, who asked Adkins to sit on the panel, released a statement he didn't know anything about the allegation other than what was reported in the news, "but it sickens me."

"If he is found to have done what he stands accused of, he deserves the fullest punishment the law allows," Curry said.

Adkins  drew the ire of Jacksonville City Councilman Tommy Hazouri when he tweeted a photo of that had Hazouri's face superimposed on one member of a homosexual couple. Hazouri has been one of the council's vocal proponent of adding LGBT rights to the city's HRO.

"I don't trust him," Hazouri said. "I was this close to filing a charge for slander, because it wasn’t just of me. It was the rest of the whole council. It wasn’t about freedom of speech, but of the abuse that he did with his caricatures."


For years, Adkins has used social media to make his points. He posted video on YouTube to poke fun at a Glynn County School Board member.

According to criminal records, Adkins was arrested in 2003 for obtaining property in return for a worthless check, petit theft in 2002, leaving the scene of an accident resulting in injury in 2001, and multiple grand theft and fraud charges.

Adkins is expected to have a first appearance on the molestation charges Monday at 2 p.m., then a preliminary hearing next Friday. The victim has been subpoenaed to appear at the preliminary hearing on Sept. 2.

"There's no reason why this couldn't (be seen by) a magistrate or judge this week," Gough said. 

In Georgia, aggravated child abuse is considered a capital crime. While the death penalty is not considered likely, he could face up to life in prison if convicted.*

 Heather Leigh - Reporter , Tarik Minor - Anchor, I-TEAM reporter , Francesca Amiker - Reporter

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