Evaluating News Sources
by Wendy Weisenberg
| 11 Questions
Meet the guys who tape Trump's papers back together

Solomon Lartey spent the first five months of the Trump administration working in the Old Executive Office Building, standing over a desk with scraps of paper spread out in front of him taping the president’s notes back together.

Lartey, who earned an annual salary of $65,969 as a records management analyst, was a career government official with close to 30 years under his belt. But he had never done a job like this.

Armed with rolls of clear Scotch tape, Lartey and his colleagues would sift through large piles of shredded paper and put them back together, he said, “like a jigsaw puzzle.” Sometimes the papers would just be split down the middle, but other times they would be torn into pieces so small they looked like confetti.

It was a painstaking process that was the result of a clash between legal requirements to preserve White House records and President Donald Trump’s odd and enduring habit of ripping up papers when he’s done with them — what some people described as his unofficial “filing system.”

Under the Presidential Records Act, the White House must preserve all memos, letters, emails and papers that the president touches, sending them to the National Archives for safekeeping as historical records.

“We got Scotch tape, the clear kind,” Lartey recalled in an interview. “You found pieces and taped them back together and then you gave it back to the supervisor.” The restored papers would then be sent to the National Archives to be properly filed away.
Source: Politico.com
Louisiana Penitentiary to Become World's First Prison Staffed Entirely by Robots

Inmates at the largest penitentiary in the United States are about to get a taste of what life in prison might be like one hundred years from now. Thanks to a Japanese robotics firm by the name of Evangelion Systems, the Angola maximum security penitentiary in eastern Louisiana will be the first prison on earth staffed entirely by robots.

Speaking at a press conference at the firm’s headquarters in Tokyo on Wednesday, Doctor Hanzo Hasashi, founder and CEO of Evangelion Systems, announced the historical signing of a century-long contract with the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections and unveiled his vision for the future of mass incarceration.

Louisiana Department of Corrections will hand over operational command of the prison to Evangelion Systems. “Once we’ve assumed control, we’ll begin the process of laying off the existing staff and bringing in the PCUs,” said Yuki Kobayashi, the lead coordinator for Evangelion Systems’ Angola Project. “PCUs are Prisoner Control Units,” Kobayashi explained, continuing, “What we’ve done is we’ve taken the L-85 Autonomous Infantry Weapon and reconfigured its battle parameters to allow it to respond to threats in a non-lethal manner.”

Source: Real News Right Now
Small Dogs Pee Higher to Lie About Their Size, New Study Concludes

You just can’t trust a little dog.

We all know dogs can communicate through scent. They urinate on new areas, their own home turf, and certainly things that other dogs have peed on. We also know that some male dogs lift their legs in order to pee higher.

But new research found that smaller dogs lift their legs at an even higher angle than larger dogs, perhaps to make themselves appear larger.

“Our findings... provide additional evidence that scent marking can be dishonest,” the authors said in the study published recently in the Journal of Zoology.

The researchers from Cornell University write that it could be beneficial for dogs to “exaggerate their body size and competitive abilities” to avoid conflict with other dogs. The study also adds to a growing body of research supporting that smaller dogs and larger dogs behave differently.

So next time you see a little dog pee, ask him: What are you trying to prove?

Source: Gizmodo.com

Juncker's Secret Weapon in Trade Talks with Trump: Color-Coded Flash Cards

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker walked away from his meeting with President Donald Trump on Wednesday with a freshly won trade detente, and he may have had flash cards to thank.

Junker came to the meeting in Washington well-prepared, with “more than a dozen colorful cue cards with simplified explainers,” such as numbers and factoids about complex topics including automotive trade.

Each easy-to-read card had, at most, three figures, a senior European Union official told the Journal.

By the end of their three-hour meeting, Juncker and Trump had agreed not to impose any further tariffs and to work toward “zero tariffs.”

Juncker said later that he wanted to persuade Trump that a tit-for-tat trade war was not a smart move and would only end up hurting both sides.

But, “If you want to be stupid,” he told Trump, according to the Journal, “I can be stupid, as well.”

Source: Marketwatch.com
Canada Using DNA, ancestry websites to investigate migrants

Canadian immigration officials are using DNA testing and ancestry websites to try to establish the nationality of migrants, the Canada Border Services Agency said.

CBSA spokesman Jayden Robertson said the agency uses DNA testing to determine identity of “longer-term detainees” when other techniques have been exhausted.

But the process raises concerns about privacy of data held by ancestry websites, and highlights political pressure over the handling of migrants by Canada’s Liberal government.

More than 30,000 would-be refugees have crossed the U.S.-Canada border since January 2017, many saying they were fleeing U.S. President Donald Trump’s immigration policies.

An immigration lawyer whose client is being investigated by the CBSA said the agency is using DNA testing and ancestry database FamilyTreeDNA.com In that case, the Canadian authorities were trying to deport a migrant who said he was from Liberia, speculating he was instead from Nigeria based on DNA testing and a linguistic report.

Source: reuters.com

Currant Thinking: How a Raisin can Predict if Your Child Will Be Clever

Children who can resist eating a raisin for 60 seconds are more likely to do better academically, a study suggests.

It could be the simplest test of childhood aptitude ever invented.

Placing a raisin under a cup and warning a toddler not to eat it until instructed can predict how clever they will be at the age of eight.

Although resisting the lure of a small piece of dried fruit may seem a simple enough feat, in fact most youngsters will find the task an excruciating test of self-control. The majority will fail.

However those who show enough self-discipline to wait for a whole minute are destined for greatness, according to academics. By the age of eight the youngsters who resist temptation will have an IQ of 7 points higher than those who ate the fruit early.

Source: The Telegraph
Many Deaths Occur from the Flu AFTER Getting the Flu Shot – the Untold Vaccine Truth Revealed

Vaccine hysteria is getting worse by the day. Even though flu vaccines contain known neurotoxins, including mercury and potassium chloride, millions of Americans are brainwashed by the television and think getting the toxic jab somehow keeps them safe from viruses. The craziest part is that many people die shortly after getting the flu vaccine. Maybe that’s because not only does the flu shot make the flu worse if you get it, but it can make it lethal, contrary to everything the CDC says.

More Americans have died from the flu after the flu shot than from Ebola. Others have become blind or paralyzed. The flu shot causes more deaths than any other vaccine, accounting for more payouts from the secretive vaccine court than for any other vaccine injury claims. So what is the risk versus benefit analysis?

First off, the flu shot only works ten percent of the time. Would you board a plane if you knew it only landed without crashing ten percent of the time? Meanwhile, the flu jab literally kills about 50 people every year. And, the CDC exaggerates flu deaths. If you get the flu and then die from pneumonia, viruses, bacteria, respiratory infections, or from a MRSA (superbug) infection at the hospital, the CDC still says you died from the flu.

Source: Health News
Facebook’s Artificial Intelligence Robots Shut Down After They Start Talking to Each Other in Their Own Language
Facebook abandoned an experiment after two artificially intelligent programs appeared to be chatting to each other in a strange language

The two chatbots came to create their own changes to English that made it easier for them to work – but which remained mysterious to the humans that supposedly look after them.

The bizarre discussions came as Facebook challenged its chatbots to try and negotiate with each other over a trade, attempting to swap hats, balls and books, each of which were given a certain value. But they quickly broke down as the robots appeared to chant at each other in a language that they each understood but which appears mostly incomprehensible to humans.

The robots had been instructed to work out how to negotiate between themselves, and improve their bartering as they went along. But they were not told to use comprehensible English, allowing them to create their own "shorthand", according to researchers.

Source: The Independent
Can’t Stop Gaming? The WHO May Soon Consider Video Game Addiction a Mental Disorder

Video game addicts of the world: Your compulsion may be considered an official mental disorder. The World Health Organization (WHO) is preparing to include it its new global medical coding guidelines.

The WHO is currently whipping up a draft of the latest International Classification of Diseases (ICD), ICD-11, a set of universal medical codes. The new version to be rolled out in 2018 will include a new proposed class of mental conditions called “gaming disorder.”

“Gaming disorder” is defined as a harmfully excessive addictive behavior, like addiction to substances like alcohol or drugs.

Just how bad would a case of gaming disorder have to be in order to be considered a legitimate mental health concern? The gaming addiction would have to be so severe that it disrupts the addict’s personal and professional life and relationships, the draft says.

Strikingly, while one type of digital addiction may be creating a new kind of mental disease, video games are also being explored as a means to treat mental disorders like Alzheimer’s and ADHD.

Source: Fortune.com
White House Press Corps Wishes Show of Solidarity Over Banned Reporter Could be For Better News Organization than CNN

Even as they united behind journalist Kaitlan Collins after the Trump administration barred her from attending a press conference with the president, the White House press corps reportedly admitted Thursday that they wished their show of solidarity over a banned reporter could be for a better news organization than CNN. “Obviously, we’ll stand behind any news outlet that has its access suspended, but did it really have to be CNN?” said NBC News chief White House correspondent Hallie Jackson, echoing the sentiments of her colleagues who begrudgingly agreed that any move to infringe upon one reporter’s journalistic freedoms, even if it was someone from CNN, was an assault on the entire free press. “Although we’d much rather stand up for someone from, say, the New York Times, or C-SPAN, or even The Hill, it’s important to inform the White House that blocking any news organization from a press event will not be tolerated.

“Journalists are here to ask tough questions and keep the public informed, and even if they represent a network that never does those things, a ban like this sets a grave precedent. Solidarity with CNN? No.” At press time, CNN senior White House correspondent Jeff Zeleny issued a statement thanking the press corps for coming together to support holding the powerful accountable and also for whatever it is that CNN does.

Source: theonion.com
More People Have Died from Selfies than Shark Attacks this Year
A 66-year-old Japanese tourist has died, and his travel companion has been injured, after falling down stairs while attempting to take a selfie at the Taj Mahal.

The man's death raises the selfie-related death toll this year to 12. To put that in perspective, in 2015 there have so far been eight deaths caused by shark attacks.

The next leading cause of deaths involving selfies was being hit or injured by trains, either because the individual was trying to get a photo with a train or because the photo they wanted involved getting on dangerous equipment.

It's not clear if the number of daredevil selfies is increasing, but more and more tourists are making headlines because of their dangerous attempts at a memorable photo. Parks have closed because visitors keep trying to take selfies with bears, bull runs - an already dangerous activity- and have had to expressly outlaw selfie-taking, and even the Tour de France cyclists are concerned about selfie danger.

With no idea how far some people will go for a great selfie, many landmarks have begun banning selfies. In July the Russian Interior Ministry released a brochure warning about cool selfies that "could cost you your life." Selfie-takers are urged to take precaution with weapons, ledges, dangerous animals, trains and live wires.

"Before taking a selfie, everyone should think about the fact that racing after a high number of 'likes' could lead him on a journey to death and his last extreme photo could turn out to be posthumous," an aide to Russia's interior minister said.

Source: Mashable.com
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