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First person to be convicted under Florida’s ‘Red Flag’ firearms law faces up to 5 years in prison

A Deerfield Beach man who was the first in Florida to be charged with defying the state’s “Red Flag” law has been found guilty and is now facing a maximum prison term of five years. Broward Circuit Judge Ernest Kollra ordered a pre-sentencing investigation for Jerron Smith, 33, who was accused in March 2018 of failing to allow law enforcement officials to confiscate his weapons under the new state law, which was designed to take firearms away from those deemed most likely to use them to commit crimes. The so-called “red flag” law was passed in the wake of the…

Bankruptcy Judge Widens PG&E Liability for Wildfires

A federal bankruptcy judge ruled Wednesday that the principle of inverse condemnation applies to investor-owned utilities like Pacific Gas and Electric, meaning the company can be held liable for wildfire damage caused by its equipment even if it was not negligent. “It widens the potential liability,” explained University of California Hastings law professor David Levine in a phone interview. PG&E had argued it should not be held to the same standard as public entities because the state’s utility regulator does not let it automatically pass on inverse condemnation costs to ratepayers. U.S. District Judge Dennis Montali rejected that argument Wednesday,…

Dad who fought to protect son from gender ‘transition’ now under ‘unconstitutional’ gag order

The judge who ruled yesterday that seven-year-old James Younger’s parents will have 50/50 custody of him and joint decision-making over his medical decisions has placed both of them under a gag order. They are prohibited from speaking to the media about the case, which made national news after it was initially ignored by the mainstream media, until James and his twin Jude turn 18. Judge Kim Cooks of the 255th District Court included a gag order on Mr. Jeffrey Younger and Dr. Anne Georgulas in her custody ruling. Dr. Georgulas has been trying to orchestrate a gender “transition” for James…

Kevin Barrett, The Legal Lynching of a Truth-Seeker: Jim Fetzer’s Stalinist-Style Show Trial

Stalinist show trials were conducted in front of rousing images. Jim Fetzer’s trial featured a tear-jerking backdrop image of Noah Pozner Tuesday was the final day of Jim Fetzer’ defense against Lenny Pozner’s libel lawsuit. I attended and wrote up a “just the facts” report that evening. At almost the same moment I published my report, the jury came back with a verdict awarding close to half a million dollars to Lenny “Jim Fetzer gave me PTSD” Pozner. Now it’s time for an opinion piece. And as much as I sympathize with Mr. Pozner, assuming his account is accurate, my opinion…

Author of “Nobody Died at Sandy Hook” must pay victim’s dad $450,000, jury says

Free speech is dead and if you dare challenge it we will destroy you financially. From the whore media: A jury in Wisconsin has awarded $450,000 to the father of a boy killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting after he filed a defamation lawsuit against conspiracy theorist writers who claimed the massacre never happened. A Dane County jury on Tuesday decided the amount James Fetzer must pay Leonard Pozner, whose 6-year-old son Noah was among the 26 victims at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on Dec. 14, 2012. Fetzer, a retired University of Minnesota Duluth professor now…

WATCH: Police Called to Help Mentally Ill Teen, Savagely Beat Him Instead

The Madison Police Department is reportedly conducting an internal investigation into the beating of a mentally-ill young man who was having a break from reality. The boy is a minor so his name is being withheld, however a family friend, Brandi Greyson spoke with the press about the incident. Greyson said the school resource officer called the family to let them know the 17-year-old young boy cussed out teachers and left the premises. He took a bus home. The family agreed to allow police to transport the young man to the mental hospital and informed the boy who Greyson said…

School to Prison Pipeline Exposed as 30,000 Kids Under Age 10 Arrested Since 2013

Arrests of children have skyrocketed over the last decade according to the latest statistics published by the FBI. Gone are the days of sending children to the principal’s office for a paddling. Now children as young as 6 are getting arrested in Police State USA. The statistics, complied from 2013 to 2018, revealed more than 30,000 children under the age of 10 have been arrested, averaging more than six thousand kids per year. Equally disturbing is students 10-12 years of age topped 266,000. In the past, students and children were disciplined with consequences such as time out and paddling. As…

Federal Court Upholds Game Warden Roadblocks

The US Supreme Court in 1990 upheld the constitutionality of DUI roadblocks because of the “magnitude of the drunken driving problem.” In an order last week, US District Judge David C. Nye gave his blessing to Idaho officials who set up roadblocks to question and search all passing motorists on the off chance they might have been hunting with an expired hunting license. On November 18, 2017, Steve Tanner was driving on Meadow Creek Road in Bonners Ferry when he was ordered to pull over at a game warden roadblock set up just two miles from his home. Tanner ignored…

Ohio Courts Could Block Public From Voting On Speed Cameras

Ohio voters have spoken clearly in opposition to the use of speed cameras and red light cameras over the past decade. Out of eleven times in which the use of automated enforcement was a ballot issue in the state, cameras only won once. Columbiana County Common Pleas Judge Scott A. Washam could decide on Friday whether he will personally intervene in a local election to protect the speed cameras from the verdict of East Liverpool’s residents. The city of over 10,000 has already printed ballots for the November 5 election asking the question, “Shall the proposed ordinance preventing the city…

MGM Agrees to Pay Las Vegas Shooting Victims Up to $800 Million

Nearly two years to the day after the massacre at a country music festival in Las Vegas, casino giant MGM Resorts has reached a settlement worth up to $800 million with about 2,500 victims. Lead attorney for the victims Robert Eglet with the firm Eglet Adams called the agreement a “milestone in the recovery process” from the mass shooting on Oct. 1, 2017, at MGM’s Mandalay Bay resort. The massacre remains the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. The settlement is expected to be between $735 million and $800 million, depending on the number of claimants, Eglet said. “While nothing…

Locked Up: How the Modern Prison-Industrial Complex Puts So Many Americans in Jail

The U.S. has the highest incarceration rate per capita in the modern world – why? A toxic combo of ever-expanding laws, rules and regulations, plus a burgeoning police state and a powerful lobby of private prison companies and prison guard unions – all of whom are contributing to disarm Americans, one felony at a time.

Amber Guyger, the police officer who entered her neighbors apartment and killed him, has been found guilty of murder.

Moments ago, former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger was found guilty of murder for shooting and killing Botham Jean in his own apartment. She now faces a maximum of life in prison. This verdict is certainly a win for police accountability and definitely not predictable as police officers — even while off duty — are all too often acquitted for hurting or killing innocent people. The deliberations started on Monday and were expected to last through the middle of the week. However, Tuesday morning, the jury came back with a unanimous verdict of guilty. The reason so many people thought…

Actress Felicity Huffman Gets 2-Week Sentence in College Bribery Case

Former “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman was sentenced Friday to 14 days in prison for her involvement in the nationwide college admissions bribery scandal that ensnared wealthy parents, business executives and coaches. “I am sorry to you, Judge [Indira] Talwani,” said Huffman, during the sentencing hearing. “As a federal judge you represent our country’s legal system and the laws I have broken. I am deeply sorry to the students, parents, colleges and universities impacted by my actions.” Along with her jail time, Huffman was sentenced to a year of probation, 250 hours of community service and a $30,000 fine. Huffman…

OAN sues Rachel Maddow, MSNBC, Comcast, NBC Universal for $10 million

One America News Network (OAN), a conservative news network for people who think Fox News is too liberal, has filed a $10 million dollar defamation lawsuit against Rachel Maddow, MSNBC and its parent companies Comcast and NBC Universal. The network claims Maddow defamed them during an episode of her nightly show when she referred to OANN as “paid Russian propaganda.” Maddow was referencing OAN’s employment of Kristian Brunovich Rouz as an on-air reporter covering US politics while he is also employed as a reporter for Sputnik, a Kremlin-owned news wire. If Sputnik sounds familiar, that could be because it was…

US Beekeepers File Suit Against Trump EPA Charging ‘Illegal’ Approval of Insecticide Linked to Mass Die-Off

A group of beekeepers joined forces on Friday against Trump’s EPA by filing a lawsuit over the agency’s move to put a powerful insecticide—one that scientists warn is part of the massive pollinator die-off across the U.S.—back on the market. The lawsuit (pdf) charges that the EPA’s approval of sulfoxaflor—touted by its manufacturer, agro-chemical giant Corteva, as a “next generation neonicotinoid”—was illegally rendered as it put industry interests ahead of the health of pollinators and ignored the available science. “Honeybees and other pollinators are dying in droves because of insecticides like sulfoxaflor, yet the Trump administration removes restriction just to please…

More Than 30 States Are Eyeing Google for Antitrust Probe – Reports

More than half of US state attorneys general are reportedly preparing an investigation into Alphabet Inc’s Google for potential antitrust violations in a bipartisan effort led by Texas. The investigation is set to be announced on September 9, and is expected to be presented by a smaller group of state attorneys general representing the broader effort, three people familiar with the matter told The Washington Post. Antitrust action against Google poses a threat to its central business model, as the media giant could be forced to alter its practices and algorithms in ways deemed to be friendlier to competition and…

Case against Jeffrey Epstein dismissed following his death

A federal judge on Thursday formally dismissed the criminal sex trafficking case against Jeffrey Epstein, a move that was expected following the financier’s death in jail earlier this month. U.S. District Judge Richard Berman had said at a hearing on Tuesday that he was legally bound to dismiss the case. Prosecutors said at that hearing that an investigation into Epstein’s alleged crimes would continue, and that the dismissal would not prevent them from charging possible co-conspirators in the future. Epstein’s lawyers could not immediately be reached for comment on Thursday. Epstein, a wealthy 66-year-old money manager who once counted U.S.…

Class-Action Lawsuit Claims Apple, Samsung Phones Exceed FCC Radiation Limits

A lawsuit filed in the Northern District of California on August 23 alleges that radiation emitted from Apple and Samsung smartphones exceeds safety standards set by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC), following radiofrequency tests commissioned by the Chicago Tribune. According to the class-action lawsuit, “recent testing of the defendants’ products shows that the potential exposure for an owner carrying the phone in a pants or shirt pocket was over the exposure limit, sometimes far exceeding it – in some instances by 500%.”  The filing also states that Apple “intentionally misrepresented the safety of the iPhones, assuring class members that…

Jussie Smollett: Judge dismisses motions by ‘Empire’ actor’s attorneys

A Cook County judge Wednesday dismissed motions filed by Jussie Smollett’s attorneys. Attorney Tina Glandian appeared in front of Judge Michael Toomin on behalf of Smollett to overturn the judge’s own decision to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate how the actor’s case was handled, but it didn’t work. That special prosecutor who hasn’t been selected by the judge yet could recharge Smollett. Wednesday’s hearing to overturn that decision was crucial to his case and Smollett’s attorneys lost. The judge dismissed the motion for a new judge and also denied a motion by Smollett’s attorneys to intervene in the case.…

Dead Man Walking: Epstein Trial Will Have a Million Pages of Evidence, Lawyers Tell Court

Jeffrey Epstein’s sex trafficking trial will have a million pages of discovery, including materials on devices seized from his Manhattan mansion, lawyers said today. The sex offender financier was back in court on Wednesday as his defense attorneys duked it out with prosecutors over how quickly to go to trial. The prosecution has requested a June date but the defense is fighting to delay until September 2020. The trial, prosecutors said, will last four to six weeks. U.S. District Judge Richard Berman wasn’t ready to put a trial on the books, saying, “Let’s see where everybody is at as the…

Banker scum face $1.2 billion civil lawsuit over rigging currency markets

Barclays, Citigroup, JPMorgan, Royal Bank of Scotland and UBS are facing a £1 billion ($1.23 billion) class action lawsuit over rigging the foreign exchange markets — one of the biggest cases of its kind in the UK. It comes just months after European regulators hit many of the same banks with a €1 billion-plus penalty for manipulation of these same markets between 2007 and 2013. The new suit alleges that end investors, including pension funds, lost out as a result of the manipulation and deserve compensation. It was filed at London’s Competition Appeal Tribunal by Scott+Scott, the US law firm.…

WOW: Daily Stormer should be ordered to pay more than $14 million to a Montana real estate agent for an anti-Semitic “troll storm,” says federal magistrate judge…

The founder and editor of the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer should be ordered to pay more than $14 million to a Montana real estate agent against whom he organized an anti-Semitic “troll storm,” a federal magistrate judge found on Monday. The judgment was filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Missoula, Montana, against Andrew Anglin, who encouraged the online intimidation campaign against Tanya Gersh, a Jewish real estate agent in the Montana resort town of Whitefish, her husband and their 12-year-old son. In an opinion that must still be approved by U.S. District Judge Dana L. Christensen, the magistrate…

U.S. judge slashes Roundup jury award to $25.3 million; Bayer still plans to appeal

A federal judge on Monday slashed a damages award Bayer AG (BAYGn.DE) owed a California man who blamed Roundup weed killer for his cancer, to $25.27 million from $80.27 million, while rejecting the company’s bid for a new trial. U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria in San Francisco said evidence against the former Monsanto Co, which Bayer bought last year, supported the $5.27 million in compensatory damages that a jury awarded Edwin Hardeman. He also said the jury acted reasonably in awarding punitive damages. Chhabria nonetheless reduced punitive damages to $20 million from $75 million, saying that while Monsanto “deserves to…

Jeffrey Epstein willing to post $100 million bail — ‘piles of cash,’ ‘dozens of diamonds,’ suspicious passport found in his safe

Accused child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein is willing to post bail as high as $100 million, his lawyer said Monday, as a prosecutor argued that the case against the wealthy investor is “already significantly stronger and getting stronger every single day.” Two accusers of Epstein also urged Judge Richard Berman at a detention hearing in Manhattan federal court to keep him locked up without bail, as prosecutors also are arguing. Berman said he will wait until Thursday morning to decide whether to grant Epstein bail. “Your honor, my name is Courtney Wild and I was sexually abused by Jeffrey Epstein…

Jeffrey Epstein’s attorneys submit $77M bail proposal secured by NY mansion, private jet

Attorneys for accused child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein Opens a New Window. on Thursday proposed that the wealthy financier be released Opens a New Window. into home detention on a bail package valued at $77 million, according to court filings. Epstein’s representatives said their client would post a “substantial personal recognizance bond” secured by the mortgage on his Manhattan mansion, as well as offer his private jet as further collateral, to secure his release from federal custody. Under the proposal, Epstein would remain under house arrest in New York and submit to electronic monitoring and regular check-ins with authorities until…

Kevin Spacey Accuser Pleads The 5th After Testifying About Missing Cell Phone

Kevin Spacey’s accuser in a sexual assault case out of Nantucket pleaded the Fifth Amendment after he testified before a judge. Monday’s hearing focused on a cell phone containing text messages that could provide key evidence. Attorney Mitchell Garabedian told a judge the accuser was unable to locate a cell phone, so the accuser, his mother, former Boston TV anchor Heather Unruh, and his father were forced to testify about the phone’s contents, where it may be, and the authenticity of screenshots retrieved from it. In June, a judge ordered the cell phone be turned over to State Police to…

The U.S. Court of Appeals ordered the immediate unsealing of nearly 2,000 pages of records in the case against Florida billionaire Jeffrey Epstein.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Wednesday ordered the immediate unsealing of nearly 2,000 pages of records in the case against Florida billionaire Jeffrey Epstein. The court warned the media and public about the privacy ramifications for those mentioned in the documents. “We recognize the potential damage to privacy and reputation that may accompany public disclosure of hard‐fought, sensitive litigation,” the opinion said. Epstein pleaded guilty to two prostitution charges and served 13 months in Palm Beach County jail, but could have faced life in prison with a federal sex trafficking conviction. His alleged accomplices were never charged. The panel…

Family of deadly Vegas shooting victim suing gun makers

The parents of a young woman killed in the 2017 Las Vegas massacre said Wednesday his family is blaming gun manufacturers for their daughter’s death. “Someone murdered our daughter,” said James Parsons, whose 31-year-old daughter Carrie Parsons was one of 58 people killed when a gunman rained down gunfire from a high-rise hotel. “Someone should be held accountable for that.” A wrongful death lawsuit filed Tuesday targets Colt and seven other gun manufacturers, along with gun shops in Nevada and Utah, arguing their weapons are designed to be easily modified to fire like automatic weapons. “It was a horrifying, agonizing…

Teenager Accused of Rape Deserves Leniency Because He’s From a ‘Good Family,’ Judge Says…The family court judge also said the victim should have been told that pressing charges would destroy the accused’s life.

The 16-year-old girl was visibly intoxicated, her speech slurred, when a drunk 16-year-old boy sexually assaulted her in a dark basement during an alcohol-fueled pajama party in New Jersey, prosecutors said. The boy filmed himself penetrating her from behind, her torso exposed, her head hanging down, prosecutors said. He later shared the cellphone video among friends, investigators said, and sent a text that said, “When your first time having sex was rape.” But a family court judge said it wasn’t rape. Instead, he wondered aloud if it was sexual assault, defining rape as something reserved for an attack at gunpoint…

First Amendment Case Against Restrictive Copyright Law Can Proceed, Says Judge

A federal judge has ruled that litigation can go forward to determine whether Section 1201 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act violates the First Amendment as applied. EFF brought this litigation on behalf of security researcher Matt Green, technologist bunnie Huang, and bunnie’s company Alphamax, in order to vindicate the right to speak, learn, and innovate despite this overly-broad and harmful law. Originally passed to combat infringement, the sweeping language of Section 1201 allowed courts to interpret its provisions to leave out critical speech protections such as the fair use doctrine. This has interfered with educational uses of copyrighted works,…

A Pregnant Woman in Alabama Was Shot in the Stomach and Miscarried. Now, Alabama Cops Are Charging Her With Manslaughter.

When expectant mother Marshae Jones was shot in the stomach last December, the 27-year-old woman survived, but her pregnancy did not. Now, Jones is behind bars and facing charges for the death of her five-month-old fetus.  On Wednesday, Jones was taken into custody after a jury in Jefferson County, Alabama, indicted her for manslaughter, according to Alabama newspaper group AL.com. She’ll be held in jail until her trial unless she can post a $50,000 bond. Meanwhile, the woman who shot Jones—23-year-old Ebony Jemison—is free. Police initially charged Jemison with manslaughter as well, but a grand jury did not indict.  Prosecutors allege…

Johnson & Johnson faces multibillion opioids lawsuit that could upend big pharma

Day after day, the memos flashing across screens in an Oklahoma courtroom have jarred with the family-friendly public image of Johnson & Johnson, the pharmaceutical giant best known for baby powder and Band-Aid. In one missive, a sales representative dismissed a doctor’s fears that patients might become addicted to the company’s opioid painkillers by telling him those who didn’t die probably wouldn’t get hooked. Another proposes targeting sales of the powerfully addictive drugs at those most at risk: men under 40. As the state of Oklahoma’s multibillion-dollar lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson has unfolded over the past month, the company…

Judge Orders Appointment of Special Prosecutor in Jussie Smollett Case, Additional Prosecution Back on the Table

A Cook County judge on Friday ordered the appointment of a special prosecutor in the Jussie Smollett case, which could lead to new charges against the “Empire” star. Chicago Tribune reporter Megan Crepeau was in this morning’s hearing, where Judge Michael Toomin ruled that when State’s Attorney Kim Foxx recused herself from the case, she did not have the authority to appoint her replacement. Crepeau reported that the special prosecutor may further prosecute Smollett and quoted the judge as saying if they have “reasonable grounds to believe that any other criminal offense was committed … special prosecutor may commence the…

Ex-Scientology member sues church and its leader alleging abuse, human trafficking

A former Scientologist has filed the first of what her attorneys say will be multiple lawsuits against the Church of Scientology International and its leader, alleging retaliation, child abuse, human trafficking and forced labor against her and other members who have left the church. The suit, filed Tuesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court, seeks unspecified general, special and compensatory damages, as well as unpaid wages, from the church, its Religious Technology Center and its “ecclesiastical leader,” David Miscavige, and 25 unnamed co-respondents at a jury trial. Allegations in the lawsuit include libel, slander, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction…

NXIVM trial: Upstate NY sex cult leader Keith Raniere found guilty

A verdict has been reached in the trial of an Upstate New York sex cult. CBS reports NXIVM founder Keith Raniere has been found guilty on all counts, including charges of sex trafficking, racketeering, and forced labor conspiracy. A jury reportedly reached a verdict after deliberating just four hours. NXIVM, which claimed to be a self-help group, was accused of branding women and requiring them to have sex with Raniere; members were allegedly required to give their “master” or recruiter, naked photos of themselves and other blackmail material before joining. Prosecutor Moira Penza reportedly said in closing arguments Monday that…

Porn trolling mastermind Paul Hansmeier gets 14 years in prison

A federal judge in Minneapolis has sentenced Paul Hansmeier to 14 years in prison for an elaborate fraud scheme that involved uploading pornographic videos to file-sharing networks and then threatening to sue people who downloaded them. “It is almost incalculable how much your abuse of trust has harmed the administration of justice,” said Judge Joan Ericksen at a Friday sentencing hearing. We’ve been covering the antics of Hansmeier and his business partner John Steele for many years. Way back in 2012, we started reporting on a law firm called Prenda Law that was filing lawsuits against people for sharing pornographic films…

12 white male officers sue San Francisco police for race, sex bias

Twelve white male San Francisco police officers are suing the city, arguing they were passed over for promotions because of their race and gender. The San Francisco Chronicle reports Wednesday that the lawsuit, which was filed Tuesday in federal court, is the latest round in a conflict that dates back decades. A 13th plaintiff who is now retired says she also was denied promotion, because she is a white lesbian. The lawsuit challenges a test-scoring method that the city adopted in 1979 in response to a lawsuit from a group representing black and female officers, who alleged discrimination in hiring…

Supreme Court Rejects Case to Remove ‘In God We Trust’ From Currency

The Supreme Court rejected hearing a case to remove the phrase “In God We Trust” from US currency on Monday. The case, brought on by an atheist activist, was also rejected at district and circuit court levels. Michael Newdow, the activist seeking to redesign the money to remove the US motto, claims that the phrase violates the separation of church and state. He has previously fought against schools having students recite the pledge of allegiance, as he opposes the phrase “under God.” “Petitioners are Atheists. As such, they fervidly disagree with the religious idea that people should trust in God.…

State May Vaccinate Children in Its Custody, Even Over Parents’ Objection

From N.J. Div. of Child Protection & Permanency v. J.B. (N.J. Super. Ct. App. Div.): The age appropriate immunizations required by N.J.A.C. 3A:51-7.1(a)(2) are a reasonable means of ensuring the health and safety of the children in the care and custody of the Division, especially during a measles outbreak. Parental rights must yield to the safety and well-being of Son and Daughter under these circumstances. See, e.g., Sadlock, 137 N.J.L. at 88 (“[T]he police power of a state must be held to embrace, at least, such reasonable regulations established directly by legislative enactment as will protect the public health and the public safety.” (quoting Jacobson v. Massachusetts, 197 U.S. 11, 25 (1905))).…

Wells Fargo will pay customers $386 million over unwanted auto insurance

Wells Fargo & Co will pay customers at least $386 million to settle class-action claims that the bank signed them up for auto insurance they did not want or need when they took out car loans. The proposed settlement was disclosed in filings on Thursday with the U.S. District Court in Santa Ana, California, and requires a judge’s approval. National General Insurance Co, an underwriter, will pay an additional $7.5 million, making the total customer payout at least $393.5 million, according to the filings. Wells Fargo denied wrongdoing but said it settled to avoid the risks, cost and distraction of…

Federal Judge Rules People Can Secretly Record Police in Public

A federal judge ordered the Boston Police Department and the Suffolk County District Attorney to notify cops and government officials that while they are on-duty and in public spaces they can be legally secretly recorded. René Pérez and Eric Martin, two Boston civil rights activists, were among the plaintiffs in the case against the Boston District Attorney and the Police commissioner. Judge Patti B. Saris’ judgment on Wednesday enforces an earlier decision from last year, that it was unconstitutional for police to arrest people for secretly recording government officials. In the December court decision, it was revealed that since 2011,…

Carnival slapped with a $20 million fine after it was caught dumping trash into the ocean, again

Carnival Corp will pay a $20 million settlement after Princess Cruises, a Carnival subsidiary, admitted to violating the terms of a 2017 settlement for improper waste disposal. According to a court filing submitted on Monday, Carnival released food waste and plastic into the ocean, failed to accurately record waste disposals, created false training records, and secretly examined ships to fix environmental-compliance issues before third-party inspections without reporting its findings to the inspectors. Monday’s settlement requires Carnival to pay $20 million within seven days, receive additional ship inspections, devote more resources to ensure compliance with the 2017 settlement, reduce the number…

A 16-Year-Old Girl Is Facing Child Pornography Charges for Making a Sex Video of Herself

Maryland’s highest court will soon decide whether a 16-year-old girl, “S.K.,” can face child pornography charges for taking a video of herself performing a sex act and sending it to a few of her close friends. S.K. shared the video, in which she performs consensual oral sex on an unidentified male, with two close friends and fellow students, who later reported her to the school resource officer. S.K. was the only person charged in connection with the alleged crime. The Special Court of Appeals upheld S.K.’s conviction, ruling that the consensual nature of the sex act in question was irrelevant,…

‘Pharma bro’ Martin Shkreli sues Retrophin directors, ex-general counsel for more than $30 million from prison in Pennsylvania

Notorious “pharma bro” Martin Shkreli on Friday sued two directors and the ex-general counsel of his former biopharmaceutical company Retrophin, accusing them of using fraud to oust him as head of the firm in 2014. Shkreli’s lawsuit, which was filed in federal court in Manhattan, is seeking damages of more than $30 million. It was lodged within days of the 36-year-old Shkreli being transferred to a new prison in Pennsylvania, where he will continue serving a seven-year sentence for securities fraud related to his two defunct hedge funds and to Retrophin, which he founded after the funds financially collapsed. The named…

Texas Court: Tossing A Cigarette From Car Is Illegal

The Texas Court of Appeals does not want smokers tossing lit cigarettes out car windows. In a ruling Thursday, a three-judge panel overturned a county judge’s interpretation of the littering statute that held tossing a lit cigarette could only be a crime if it happened to start a fire. The distinction was relevant to Michael Lance Wood, who was stopped on February 4, 2018, in Salado. Officer Matthew Hicks suspected Wood might be tipsy based on his driving, and as soon as the officer saw a lit cigarette drop out the window onto the ground, he had the justification he…

Jussie Smollett update: Judge rules to unseal records in ‘Empire’ actor’s case

A judge ruled Thursday to unseal documents in the case of “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett. The records were sealed in March shortly after charges against Smollett were abruptly dropped by prosecutors. Attorneys representing the media, including ABC7, challenged the sealing of the records. The unsealed records are expected to be released at some point Thursday. The “Empire” actor faced several charges for allegedly staging a racist and homophobic attack on himself in January. The TV actor claimed he was the victim of a vicious hate crime in the Streeterville neighborhood on January 29. He said two men physically attacked him…

Judge refuses to toss suit over Pepe the Frog poster sales by Alex Jones

A federal judge will let a jury decide whether conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ Infowars website had a legal right to sell a poster featuring the image of Pepe the Frog, a cartoon character that became hijacked by far-right extremists. U.S. District Judge Michael Fitzgerald refused Thursday to throw out a copyright infringement lawsuit that Pepe’s creator, California-based artist Matt Furie, filed against Infowars over its poster sales. Lawyers for Furie and Infowars both said they were pleased by the ruling, which clears a path for a jury trial to begin July 16 in Los Angeles. Louis Tompros, one Furie’s lawyers,…

Federal court moves to unseal documents in Jeffrey Epstein scandal

A federal court of appeals in New York on Monday took the first step in unsealing documents that could reveal evidence of an international sex trafficking operation allegedly run by multimillionaire Jeffrey Epstein and his former partner, British socialite Ghislaine Maxwell. The three-judge panel for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit gave the parties until March 19 to establish good cause as to why they should remain sealed and, failing to do so, the summary judgment and supporting documents will be made public. The court reserved a ruling on the balance of the documents in the civil…

Bayer must pay $2bn to couple in Monsanto cancer trial, jury rules

A California jury on Monday awarded more than $2bn to a couple who claimed Bayer AG’s glyphosate-based Roundup weed killer caused their cancer, marking the third consecutive US jury verdict against the company in litigation over the chemical. The jury in San Francisco superior court in Oakland said the company was liable for plaintiffs Alva and Alberta Pilliod’s contracting non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a spokeswoman for the couple said. It awarded $18m in compensatory and $1bn in punitive damages to Alva Pilliod and $37m in compensatory and $1bn in punitive damages to his wife, Alberta Pilliod. The jury found Roundup had been…

Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T Hit With Class Action Lawsuit Over Selling Customers’ Location Data

On Thursday, lawyers filed lawsuits against four of the country’s major telecommunications companies for their role in various location data scandals uncovered by Motherboard, Senator Ron Wyden, and The New York Times. Bloomberg Law was first to report the lawsuits. The news provides the first instance of individual telco customers pushing to be awarded damages after Motherboard revealed in January that AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint had all sold access to the real-time location of their customers’ phones to a network of middlemen companies, before ending up in the hands of bounty hunters. Motherboard previously paid a source $300 to successfully…

Jussie Smollett Will Not Attend Chicago Court Hearing

The Empire star, Jussie Smollett, will not attend a court hearing on “whether a special prosecutor will be appointed to investigate prosecutors’ dismissal of charges against him, his publicist told the Associated Press Wednesday.” This comment came on the heels of Smollett’s attorney filing a motion to reject judge (retired appellate) Sheila O’Brien’s formal request to have him appear in court in Chicago this Thursday. Smollet’s attorney said the reasoning for him not returning to the city is because he has moved out since wrapping up his role on “Empire,” and returning to the city would cause “additional security measures”…

The Feds Are Dropping Child Porn Cases Instead of Revealing Info on Their Surveillance Systems

The Department of Justice has been dismissing child pornography cases in order to not reveal information about the software programs used as the basis for the charges. An array of cases suggest serious problems with the tech tools used by federal authorities. But the private entities who developed these tools won’t submit them for independent inspection or hand over hardly any information about how they work, their error rates, or other critical information. As a result, potentially innocent people are being smeared as pedophiles and prosecuted as child porn collectors, while potentially guilty people are going free so these companies…

Federal Appeals Court Outlaws Tire Chalking

Delivering a severe blow to the parking ticket industry, the Sixth Circuit US Court of Appeals on Monday said meter maids violate the US Constitution when they mark motorist tires with chalk. The three-judge appellate panel sided with a driver who brought suit against the city of Saginaw, Michigan, which sent out a pair of meter maids to mark the tires of cars in parking spaces for the purpose of issuing tickets. Last year, the town of 49,000 raised $222,094 from parking citations that range in cost from $15 to $100 each. Motorist Alison Patricia Taylor sued the city after…

Florida Court Reverses Ban On Anti-Cancer License Plate Frames

The Florida Court of Appeal on Wednesday lifted a court-imposed ban on license plate frames, including one for a popular charity. The Fort Lauderdale-based car dealership AutoNation has raised $18 million for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation by attaching a pink frame to the vehicles it sells and asking customers to add a contribution of their own. Last year, the court found a similar frame that partially blocked the phrase “MyFlorida.com” and “Sunshine State” violated a state law forbidding anything from covering the word “Florida” (view case). That ruling, however, was based on the law in effect at the time…

Appeals court rejects Chelsea Manning’s effort to leave jail

A federal appeals court on Monday rejected a bid by former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to be released from jail for refusing to testify to a grand jury investigating Wikileaks. The three-paragraph, unanimous decision from a three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond rejects both Manning’s argument that she was erroneously found in civil contempt of court and her request for bail while the contempt decision is litigated. Manning has been jailed at the Alexandria Detention Center since March 8 after refusing to testify to the Wikileaks grand jury. Since her incarceration, criminal charges…

Why Philly’s Reformist Prosecutor Finally Supports Letting Mumia Abu-Jamal’s Appeal Go Forward

Mumia Abu-Jamal’s long struggle for freedom and justice gained crucial ground this week. The former Black Panther, activist, and journalist will get a new hearing to appeal his conviction for the 1981 killing of a Philadelphia police officer. On Wednesday, Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner dropped his opposition to the appeal, opening a potential — though far from assured — avenue to freedom for Abu-Jamal, an outcome that had previously seemed impossible. In January, Krasner’s office decided to fight Abu-Jamal’s appeal. He told The Intercept at the time that the move was “a narrow, technical decision in one sense, but…

Seagram’s Heiress Clare Bronfman Pleads Guilty in NXIVM Sex-Cult Case

Seagram’s heiress Clare Bronfman pleaded guilty on Friday afternoon for her role in NXIVM, a purported cult in which women were allegedly branded and groomed for sex with the group’s leader. Bronfman, 40, who was once NXIVM’s operations director and one of its largest donors, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to conceal and harbor illegal aliens for financial gain and fraudulent use of identification. ADVERTISING The group’s bookkeeper Kathy Russell, 62, also pleaded guilty Friday to one count of racketeering conspiracy before U.S. District Judge Nicholas Garaufis in Brooklyn federal court. Russell later pleaded guilty to one count of visa fraud,…

Sears sues Lampert, claiming he looted assets and drove it into bankruptcy

Sears Holdings Corp sued longtime former chairman Eddie Lampert, his hedge fund ESL Investments and others like Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, claiming they illegally siphoned billions of dollars of assets from the retailer before it went bankrupt. The lawsuit, made public on Thursday, was filed by the restructuring team winding down Sears’ bankruptcy estate and suing on behalf of creditors, many of whom blame Lampert for the retailer’s downfall. It followed the billionaire’s $5.2 billion purchase in February of most Sears assets, including the DieHard and Kenmore brands, after a bankruptcy auction. The complaint seeks the repayment of “billions of…

New York City’s mandatory measles vaccine orders trigger lawsuit from parents

Five parents filed a lawsuit Monday against the New York City Department of Health claiming the city overstepped its authority by making vaccinations mandatory in neighborhoods experiencing the measles outbreak. The parents claimed last week’s orders violated their “children’s religious exemptions” to vaccinations and their constitutional rights to due process. They also said forcing vaccinations would put their kids at risk to harm. “The emergency orders grossly understate the risk of harm to children, adults and the general public from the MMR vaccine, while at the same time overstating the benefits,” the lawsuit claimed, calling on the New York Supreme Court to…

Daycare owner posted $100,000 bail for accused child rapist R Kelly

The woman who posted the $100,000 bail that enabled R Kelly to walk out of prison on Monday evening has been revealed in court documents obtained by DailyMail.com. Valencia Love, 47, lives just outside Chicago in Romeoville, and on the form she submitted in Cook County Court stated that she is friends with Kelly. Love owns a number of restaurants according to records obtained by DailyMail.com as well as a childcare facility, the Lord and Child Christian Day Care. She posted that bail despite the fact that Kelly is accused of raping three underage teenagers in this latest Cook County indictment,…

Now you can’t even TALK about guns…1st Amendment now cited in 2nd Amendment weapons fight

Most gun-rights cases cite the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which protects the rights of Americans to keep and bear arms. This one, however, revolves around the First Amendment, the freedom to speak and communicate about guns. The Second Amendment Foundation and other parties are suing New Jersey Attorney General Gurbig Grewal over the state’s attempts to limit their speech. They are asking for a preliminary order to prevent the irreparable loss of their speech rights. SAF said its lawyers are targeting a new law in the state “that prohibits any kind of publication or distribution of information relating…