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Researchers didn’t think humans attacked woolly mammoths – until they uncovered...

At least 14 skeletons of woolly mammoths have been discovered in Mexico in pits apparently built by human hunters to trap and kill the...

A New Jersey woman meeting a man from the internet texted...

khalil wheeler-weaverPatti Sapone/NJ Advance Media via Associated PressA woman who was found dead at a New Jersey nature preserve in 2016 had asked a man days earlier whether he was a serial killer, authorities testified in court on Thursday.Khalil Wheeler-Weaver has been charged with murder in the deaths of three women and with trying to kill a fourth. He has pleaded not guilty.At his trial, authorities testified about his phone records and internet search history, which showed that he had Googled date-rape drugs less than two hours before Sarah Butler, 20, asked if he was a serial killer.They said Butler's grieving family and friends later found her conversations with Wheeler-Weaver and created a fake profile to lure him to a meeting, where the police were waiting.Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.When Sarah Butler, 20, agreed to meet up with a man she talked to on the social-media network Tagged on November 19, 2016, she messaged him asking, "You're not a serial killer, right?"Unbeknownst to Butler, the man she was speaking with had Googled date-rape drugs less than two hours earlier.Butler was found dead 10 days later in New Jersey's Eagle Rock Reservation, hidden underneath a pile of leaves and sticks, the North Jersey Record reported.Those details were in testimony from police officers on Thursday at the trial of Khalil Wheeler-Weaver, who has pleaded not guilty to three murder charges and one attempted-murder charge.Prosecutors allege that Wheeler-Weaver waged a killing spree during the fall of 2016, strangling and asphyxiating Butler, as well as Robin West, 19, and Joanne Browne, 33. They've also accused him of trying to kill a fourth person, identified only by the initials T.T.khalil wheeler-weaverGeorge McNish/NJ Advance Media via Associated PressAccording to the North Jersey Record, authorities in court on Thursday detailed a slew of disturbing internet searches Wheeler-Weaver had made, including "How to make homemade poisons to kill humans" and "What chemical could you put on a rag and hold to someone's face to make them go to sleep immediately."Wheeler-Weaver also searched for "police entrance exam practice test," apparently to learn about how to become a police officer, they said.Story continuesThe police said that they tracked Wheeler-Weaver's phone and that it placed him at the address of an abandoned building that was set on fire and was where West's body was found in September 2016.Prosecutors said the phone records also showed that Wheeler-Weaver drove away but circled back so he could watch the firefighters put out the blaze.khalil wheeler-weaverPatti Sapone/NJ Advance Media via Associated PressBut prosecutors said last month that his one "fatal mistake" was choosing Butler as a victim. They said the woman's grieving family members and friends found her online conversations with Wheeler-Weaver and created a fake Tagged profile to lure him to a new meeting.This time, the police were there to meet him. Wheeler-Weaver was arrested on December 6, 2016."Sarah's friends and family are the heroes of this case," Adam Wells, an Essex County assistant prosecutor, said in court, according to the North Jersey Record.Read more:The brutal ambush of 9 American Mormons in Mexico is part of a surge of violence that could propel a new crisis at the US borderA 21-year-old woman was charged with manslaughter after her boyfriend's suicide. Experts fear it's a 'slippery slope' that could even endanger crisis line workers trying to help.Text messages and phone records show pregnant Colorado woman murdered by her husband told friends before her death that he had 'changed' and didn't want another babyA teen will spend 3 months in federal prison after stealing a lemur from a zoo, stuffing him in a drawer, and abandoning him outside a hotel

White man gets 10 years in prison after torturing mentally-disabled black...

South Carolina has sentenced a 54-year-old restaurant owner to 10 years in prison for threatening, beating and intimidating a mentally-disabled black man into working...

Many attacks at public schools could be prevented: U.S. Secret Service

Many attacks at public schools in the United States could be prevented by identifying students of concern, the U.S. Secret Service said on Thursday...

Red alert for blue planet and Small Island States

UNICEF The Pacific island is one of the countries worst affected by sea-level rise. By Farhana Haque Rahman Share on TwitterTweet Share on Facebook Subscribe Farhana Haque Rahman is Senior Vice President of IPS Inter Press Service; a journalist and communications expert, she is a former senior official of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization and the International Fund for Agricultural Development. ROME, Oct 31 2019 (IPS) - Barely a week passes without alarming news of the most recent scientific research into the global climate crisis compounding a growing sense of urgency, particularly the impact on small island states from rising sea levels and extreme weather. Latest findings suggest that several hundred million more people than previously thought are at risk of coastal flooding due to climate change. Climate Central, a non-profit research and news organisation, found data used in past calculations overstated the elevation of many low-lying coastal communities. And for the people of the Bahamas who had just endured Hurricane Dorian, the most intense tropical cyclone on record to hit their islands, it came as little surprise when the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) soon after released its landmark special report on the planet’s oceans and frozen regions, warning of “multiple climate-related hazards” for coastal regions. “The ocean is warmer, more acidic and less productive,” the IPCC report stated. Oceans are absorbing heat twice as fast as just two decades ago, with hundreds of billions of tonnes of melting ice raising sea levels at an average rate of 3.6 millimetres a year, more than twice as fast as during the last century. If greenhouse gas emissions “continue to increase strongly”, the IPCC report said, then levels could rise more than a metre by 2100. Some island states in the Pacific face becoming uninhabitable. As UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres noted while visiting Tuvalu, the sea level rise in some Pacific countries is four times greater than the world average, posing “an existential threat” to several island states. Against this background the UN COP25 climate change summit scheduled to be held in Santiago in December had been dubbed the Blue COP, with expectations of a focus on the oceans and commitments of aid to poorer nations most at risk. So it comes as a serious blow that President Sebastian Pinera has just announced that Chile is calling off its hosting of COP25 because of mass anti-government protests rocking the country. While the UN anxiously looks for an alternative venue (and Santiago had been the second choice after Brazil’s newly elected president, Jair Bolsonaro, pulled out of hosting it), the small island states of the Pacific will be making their voices heard as they seek to confirm themselves in the role of custodians of the world’s largest region. It is an existential struggle but it is not a blame game however. As Micronesia’s President David Panuelo declared last week in The Diplomat: “Rather than point fingers, we must all point the way toward solutions.” “No single country created this problem, and certainly a small country like ours is bearing far greater responsibility for the solution than we ever contributed to the crisis in the first place. But we sit shoulder to shoulder in a coalition which has set a goal of growing economies while achieving 30 percent marine protection globally,” he wrote in a plea for action to save the oceans. “Everyone must do more when garbage patches larger than entire countries float in the Pacific, and rising carbon dioxide levels increase ocean acidity and devastate coral reefs and marine life.” The Pacific Community, the principal scientific and technical organisation in the region and founded as the SPC in 1947, counts 22 Pacific island countries and territories among its members who see themselves as the “tip of the spear” in terms of the impacts of climate change and their efforts to adapt. SPC has recently established the Pacific Community Centre for Ocean Science (PCCOS) to provide the framework to “focus its scientific and technical assistance on providing solutions that will build, sustain, and drive blue economies in Pacific Island countries and territories” and support SDG 14 of conserving and sustainably using oceans and marine resources. The SPC’s new and growing Pacific Data Hub is a public resource of data and publications on the Pacific across key sectors, from education and human rights to oceans and geoscience. Such initiatives reflect how Pacific Island states have grown more assertive in their diplomacy, becoming more active in global multilateral forums and using their voices and votes for increased leverage rather than the old reliance on support from Australia and New Zealand. The “Blue Pacific” concept sees the island states establishing themselves as “large ocean states” and guardians of the region rather than “small island states”. As stewards of the Pacific with their cultural identity shaped by the ocean, the Blue Pacific framework seeks to establish leadership on issues, with smart policies backed by scientific expertise and data. As Micronesia’s president has reminded us, the climate crisis is neither abstract nor “tomorrow’s faraway challenge”. It is happening now and as the IPCC’s special report on the oceans and cryosphere warned in September the crisis is gathering speed, as seen in the recent acceleration of sea level rise. In Antarctica the rate of ice loss tripled in the decade 2007-2016. May and August in 2019 were the warmest on record for the Arctic while this year saw the summer minimum extent of sea ice reaching a joint-second lowest in 40 years of satellite records. As summarised by Carbon Brief, the IPCC warns that this accelerating ice loss, and the more rapid sea level rises it causes, will continue to gather pace over this century regardless of whether greenhouse gas emissions are reduced. The “likely” maximum rise of 1.1 metres by 2100 is some 10cm above the top-end estimate from its previous estimate, while a rise of 2 metres cannot be ruled out. Such warnings were intended to provide input at COP25 for world leaders who face mounting calls to adopt more ambitious goals for carbon emission cuts. Those negotiations will not be happening in December in Santiago after all. An alternative must be found urgently. Posted 4:43 pm, November 4, 2019 ©2019 Today’s news: Share on TwitterTweet Share on Facebook Subscribe

New rule would allow foster care, adoption agencies to exclude on...

(RNS) — The Trump administration is proposing a new rule that would allow adoption, foster care agencies, and other social service providers receiving taxpayer funding from the Department of Health and Human Services to refuse to serve people based on religion, sexual orientation and gender identity.  The rule essentially guts a 2016 provision enacted in the final days of the Obama administration that prohibited such agencies from receiving government funding if they discriminate against clients based on religion, sexual orientation and gender identity.  Lifting the provision sets up a culture clash pitting those who champion exemptions for faith-based charities against civil liberties groups who claim religious groups receiving government funding should not exclude anyone. Federal statutes will continue to prohibit discrimination based on nationality and race. Those are enshrined in law, and the executive branch cannot rescind them without Congressional approval. Opposition to the new rule was swift.  “On any given day there are more than 440,000 in the foster care system in the United States,” said Christina Wilson Remlin, lead counsel for Children’s Rights, a nonprofit New York-based advocacy and legal firm. “Given the context of the foster care crisis in placement options, we simply cannot abide any proposal that would enable taxpayer-funded discrimination against same-sex couples, Jewish couples, Catholic couples, Muslim couples and any other family system whose religious beliefs do not match those of the child-placing agencies.” Others, such as the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, applauded the new rule. The Obama provision, they claimed, forced them to shutter foster care and adoption agencies rather than place children with same-sex couples. Catholic teachings prohibit same-sex unions. But beyond allowing foster care and adoption agencies to refuse to serve same-sex couples, the new rule may also pit religious groups against one another. The proposed rule was set in motion last year when South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster asked the Department of Health and Human Services to grant faith-based foster care agencies in South Carolina an exemption to the religious discrimination rule in federally funded foster care programs. At the time, Miracle Hill Ministries, a Greenville South Carolina charity, accepted only Protestant, churchgoing people to its federally funded foster care program and required participants to sign a statement of faith. That meant it declined serving Jewish or even Catholic families wanting to foster a child. Miracle Hill, which received about $600,000 in public funding in 2018, asked for the exemption, so it could continue receiving government support HHS granted it in January. The following month, a Catholic mother of three who was denied an opportunity to volunteer at one of Miracle Hill’s children’s homes sued the federal and state governments, accusing them of religious discrimination. In June and before the case was heard in court, Miracle Hill relented and allowed Catholics to serve as volunteers and foster parents so long as they agree to a doctrinal statement of belief. It still won’t allow Jews or Muslims or same-sex couples to foster children. Robin Fretwell Wilson, a professor of law at the University of Illinois at Champaign who advised Utah lawmakers in drafting a bill that bans discrimination against LGBT people while also protecting religious institutions, criticized the new rule for potentially harming vulnerable children. “We are putting children squarely in the middle of the culture war,” she said. “It’s hard to understand how children are being served by this move.” The proposed rule is expected to be published in the Federal Register early next week. It will be followed by a 30-day public comment period. 

Kids of U.S. Immigrants Move Up Just Like Those 100 Years...

Children of U.S. immigrants tend to earn more than their parents and have higher rates of upward mobility than their American-born peers. Those are some...

NYPD officer fired in chokehold death sues to get job back

FILE - in this May 13, 2019, file photo, New York City police officer Daniel Pantaleo leaves his house in Staten Island, N.Y. Pantaleo who was fired in the 2014 chokehold death of Eric Garner is suing the New York Police Department and the police commissioner to be reinstated. Daniel Pantaleo’s lawyer, Stuart London, told the New York Post the lawsuit was filed on Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2019, and argued that his termination following an administrative trial was “arbitrary and capricious.” (AP Photo/Eduardo Munoz Alvarez, File)MoreNEW YORK (AP) — The officer who was fired in the 2014 chokehold death of Eric Garner is suing the New York Police Department and the police commissioner to be reinstated.Daniel Pantaleo's lawyer, Stuart London, told the New York Post the lawsuit was filed on Wednesday and argued that his termination following an administrative trial was "arbitrary and capricious."Police Commissioner James O'Neill fired Pantaleo , who is white, in August for using a banned chokehold on Garner, saying he had broken department rules and could "no longer effectively serve as a New York City police officer."Video of the confrontation between Garner, a black man, and the officers trying to arrest him for selling untaxed cigarettes drew outrage and was viewed millions of times online. Garner's dying words, "I can't breathe," became a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement.A police sergeant who responded to the scene gave up 20 days of vacation time to settle her disciplinary case.London had earlier said he would use legal appeals to try to get the officer reinstated. He has insisted the officer used a reasonable amount of force and did not mean to hurt Garner.The Rev. Al Sharpton blasted the lawsuit, saying Pantaleo "had a fair administrative trial" that recommended his dismissal ."Pantaleo's decision to seek his reinstatement is not only disrespectful to the Police Commissioner and NYPD, but also the Garner family," Sharpton said in a statement. "He has shown no contrition or acknowledgment of his violent actions that ultimately killed Eric Garner."After Garner's death, the police department required all 36,000 officers to undergo three days of training, including classes focused on de-escalation. It also began training officers on fair and impartial policing, teaching them to recognize biases and rely on facts, not racial stereotypes.___Information from: New York Post, http://www.nypost.com

Weather Channel owner Byron Allen wants to highlight climate change’s impact...

When Entertainment Studios chief Byron Allen purchased The Weather Channel for $300 million in 2017, he made headlines and became the first African American to own a general market cable network. But beyond the significance of his business acquisition, Allen says he hopes his high profile investment will generate another important conversation. “As an African […] The post Weather Channel owner Byron Allen wants to highlight climate change’s impact on Black communities appeared first on theGrio.

Clinton email probe finds no deliberate mishandling of classified information

A U.S. State Department investigation of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while she was secretary of state has found no evidence...