Tuesday Reads: Today’s News and Old BarnsPosted: March 29, 2016
What I’ve got for you this morning is mostly a link dump. There is so much interesting news today that it’s difficult to pick and choose. So here we go.
The “fossilized remains” of a real unicorn have been discovered, according to CNN.
New research has revealed the ‘Siberian unicorn’ roamed the planet far more recently than we originally thought….This real unicorn, or ‘Elasmotherium sibiricu’, was originally thought to have gone extinct 350,000 years ago.But a well-preserved fossilized skull found in Kazakhstan reveals the shaggy creature was still alive and walking this earth a mere 29,000 years ago, according to a study published this month in the American Journal of Applied Sciences….The team are hoping the find will help them understand what environmental factors played a part in the eventual extinction of the species, and what role migration played in its survival up until that point.Something they think might come in useful considering our current climate change situation.
Check out the drawing of what this animal may have looked like at the link.
Unlike getting an esa, emotional support animals, including cats, can be pets that people already own.
Apple vs. FBI Battle
After a months-long legal battle, the “FBI has accessed San Bernardino shooter’s phone without Apple’s help.” Washington Post:
In a three-sentence filing, prosecutors wrote that they had “now successfully accessed the data” stored on Syed Rizwan Farook’s iPhone and that they consequently no longer needed Apple’s court-ordered help getting in. The stunning move averts a courtroom showdown pitting Apple against the government — and privacy interests against security concerns — that many in the tech community had warned might set dangerous precedents.
It is unclear how, precisely, investigators got into the phone, or what FBI agents learned about the plot from the materials they were able to review. On the eve of a hearing in the case last week, the FBI had signaled that it might have found a way into Farook’s device, writing in a court filing that “an outside party demonstrated to the FBI a possible method.” But government officials said they wanted to test that method further before employing it in Farook’s case, and they did not offer details about who proposed it or how it would work.
I’m glad this happened, because I don’t think technology companies should be able to make their devices completely inaccessible to law enforcement. Of course a warrant should be required; but if cell phones and other portable devices are made completely secure—-it will be nearly impossible to catch terrorists, child pornographers, and other such vicious criminals who attempt to conceal their crimes with encryption.
And making their phones inaccessible even to hacking by Apple itself is what this company is working toward, according to a story I heard on Radio Boston (NPR) last week. They eventually hope to design encryption such that only the user has access to the data on his or her phone–even Apple would not be able to break in. Farook’s phone was an iPhone 5. If it had been an iPhone 6, it would have been even more difficult to hack.
This one is from a privacy obsessive. Trevor Timm: The FBI may have dropped one case against Apple, but the battle is far from over.
Stalker Hijacks Plane to Get to Ex-Wife
CAIRO — An Egyptian man hijacked a passenger plane and forced it to land at Larnaca airport in Cyprus on Tuesday in an incident that Cyprus’ president said was related to a woman, not terrorism….
Egyptian authorities told a news conference that little more than a half hour after takeoff, a passenger confronted the pilot with a bomb threat. The man originally wanted to land in either Turkey or Cyprus, and after some negotiation they agreed on Larnaca. The plane touched down at 7:50 a.m.
The man did not have a gun, but there was still a danger to passengers and crew because officials were unsure if the bomb was real or fake, authorities said. Officials reached out to the families of the hostages to let them know what happened….
Cyprus’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs named the suspected hijacker as Seif Eldin Mustafa. The Egyptian government apologized to a man it earlier wrongly named as the hijacker, Al Arabiya reported.
Cypriot state media reported that the hijacker’s ex-wife was taken from Larnaca to the airport to talk with the man, who was asking authorities deliver a 4-page-letter to her or he would detonate explosives strapped to his body.
More info fromCyprus Mail: Hijacker used mobile phone covers in fake suicide belt.
Washington DC Shooting
Washington Post: Alleged Capitol gunman charged in shooting incident.
A man who authorities said took out a gun and pointed it at officers as he tried to enter the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center on Monday was shot by police, prompting a scramble by law enforcement amid heightened security after terrorist attacks in Brussels and Paris.
Authorities identified the wounded suspect as Larry Russell Dawson, a minister from Tennessee. The 66-year-old Dawson previously was arrested in October in the District after he allegedly disrupted Congress by shouting that he was a “prophet of God.”
Police said Dawson walked into the visitor center about 2:40 p.m. Monday and was going through security screening when at least one officer opened fire. In the chaotic moments that followed, loudspeaker alerts warned tourists in the center of an “active shooter,” and officers yelled at people to get down.
Police swarmed the Capitol grounds, raised barricades and put the Capitol building and, briefly, the White House under lockdown, upending an otherwise tranquil day when Congress was in recess and tourists were flocking to the cherry blossoms and the White House Easter Egg Roll. Officers with long rifles stood guard at District intersections.
Two hours later, U.S. Capitol Police Chief Matthew R. Verderosa calmed nerves by saying that investigators “believe this is an act of a single person who has frequented the Capitol grounds before. There is no reason to believe this is anything more than a criminal act.”
Monday night, police said Dawson had been charged with assault with a deadly weapon and assault on a police officer while armed. They said he was in stable but critical condition and would appear in D.C. Superior Court after his release from the hospital. Two officials familiar with the case said Dawson was shot in the chest and thigh.
Washington Post this morning: Streets around U.S. Capital Visitor Center reopened after suspicious packages.
Thankfully, we’re in the midst of a break from the presidential primaries, but here’s today’s news on the political front. First up, fallout from Bernie Sanders surrogate Susan Sarandon’s bizarre interview on Chris Hayes MSNBC show last night. The Daily Beast quotes the gist of it:
“I think, in certain quarters, there’s growing concern that the folks that are into Bernie Sanders have come to despise Hillary Clinton or reject Hillary Clinton and that should she be the nominee, which is as yet undetermined, they will walk away,” Hayes said.
“That’s a legitimate concern,” Sarandon replied. “Because they’re very passionate and principled.”
“But isn’t that crazy?” the host asked. “If you believe in what he believes in?”
“Yeah but she doesn’t,” Sarandon shot back. “She accepted money for all of those people. She doesn’t even want to fight for a $15 minimum wage. So these are people that have not come out before. So why would we think they’re going to come out now for her, you know?”
…Hayes pressed Sarandon to see the election as potentially a choice between Clinton and Trump, arguing that Sanders himself would “probably” urge his supporters to vote for her.
“I think Bernie would probably encourage people, because he doesn’t have any ego in this thing,” Sarandon told him. “But I think a lot of people are, ‘Sorry, I just can’t bring myself to [vote for Clinton].’”
“How about you personally?” Hayes asked.
“I don’t know. I’m going to see what happens,” Sarandon said.
That bit of honesty prompted Hayes to stop in his tracks. “Really?” he asked incredulously.
But this is the most incredible statement from Sarandon.
“Well, you know, some people feel Donald Trump will bring the revolution immediately,” Sarandon said. “If he gets in, then things will really explode.”
Jonathan Capehart: What Susan Sarandon said about Trump was out of this world.
When Hayes asked Sarandon if she didn’t think that argument was “dangerous,” she said, “The status quo is not working, and I think it’s dangerous to think that we can continue the way we are with the militarized police force, with privatized prisons, with the death penalty, with the low minimum wage, with threats to women’s rights and think that you can’t do something huge to turn that around.” ….
But the Academy Award-winning actress displayed the downside of such fervent participation: the inability or unwillingness of too many to see that their insistence on political purity could lead to calamity.
This is not Sarandon’s first time making the perfect the enemy of the good. In the 2000 presidential campaign, when misguided progressives believed that a vote for Vice President Al Gore was the same as voting for then-Texas Gov. George W. Bush, she was an active supporter of Ralph Nader. And we all know how that turned out.
It defies logic that a progressive would find anything redeeming about the Trump candidacy. Sure, the Republican presidential front-runner “will bring the revolution immediately” if, God help us, he’s elected. But that revolution would be fueled by a campaign that thrived on racism, xenophobia and misogyny. And, as far as we know, that revolution would involve deporting 11 million undocumented immigrants, restricting all Muslims from entering the United States and alternately treating women like pretty prized possessions or objects of ridicule.
Clinton is not perfect. We all know it. And she would be the first to admit it. But it is monumentally insane to argue that a Trump in the White House would be preferable to a Clinton in the Oval Office.
No kidding. Both MSNBC and Chris Hayes own this now. MSNBC has been allowing Trump and Sanders to dominate their airwaves throughout this campaign. The Morning Joe Show has acted as cheerleader for Trump, and the prime time programs have run numerous Trump speeches in full. Hayes and Rachel Maddow have been openly backing Sanders. And now Hayes has invited this freak onto his show to spout her vile idiocy. Sarandon is worth $50 million. She would do just fine under a Trump presidency, and clearly she doesn’t give a shit what happens to the rest of us.
More politics stories:
Nate Cohn at the NYT: Bernie Sanders Faces Tougher Terrain After a Big Week.
Politico NJ: Heidi Cruz cancels N.J. campaign events.
What stories are you following today?