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Fox News – Live Brodacast Flub

Fox News Live Flub

Posted by ben on March 10th, 2009 No Comments

Stocks shoot higher on Citigroup profit news

NEW YORK – Wall Street has had its best day of the year, storming higher after some good news from Citigroup.

Citigroup Inc. says it operated at a profit during the first two months of the year. That energized financial stocks and in turn, the entire stock market.

However, many analysts are still cautious — noting that Wall Street has seen many blips higher since the credit crisis and recession began. And no one is confident this advance will hold.

According to preliminary calculations, the Dow Jones industrial average is up 379 at 6,926. The Standard & Poor’s 500 index is up 43 at 720. The Nasdaq composite index is up 90 at 1,358.

More than 15 stocks rose for every one that fell on the New York Stock Exchange. Volume came to 2.17 billion shares.

Posted by ben on March 10th, 2009 No Comments

Talk show terminated after Prop 8 discussion

Hosts criticized councilwoman for her call for business boycott

Two radio talk-show hosts in Palm Springs, Calif., have been dismissed after they criticized a local councilwoman’s demand that people boycott businesses that supported the state’s Proposition 8, an adopted constitutional amendment that defines marriage as only between one man and one woman.

“I voiced my opinion. I voted yes on Prop. 8, and I was fired over that,” Marshall Gilbert told WND today. “One of our city council members in Palm Springs, Ginny Foat, she had called for a boycott for any business or person that had supported Prop 8. I called her on it, [I said] ‘How can you call for a boycott on Palm Springs in this economic turmoil?’”

Gilbert also noted during his afternoon radio show that Foat had been a defendant in a murder case. He cited her statements calling for the boycott, then her denials of the statements.

Officials at KNWZ radio said it was Gilbert’s on-air accusations of murder against Foat that triggered their decision to take action against the program and its hosts, Gilbert and Gary Stone.

John McMullen, station spokesman, told WND, “We do not allow our employees to use our airwaves, of which we are the public trustee for, to make libelous, slanderous, defamatory remarks [about an individual], whether they are a public servant or private person.

“You cannot call people outright murderers and get away with it,” he said.

Gilbert said his description of Foat as a “murderer” was in the “same vein as calling O.J. [Simpson] a murderer.”

“I was using a metaphor,” he said.

Both agreed, however, the subject of Foat came up because of her statements regarding a boycott.

The councilwoman’s comments were reported by the local newspaper, the Desert Sun. The newspaper quoted Foat as saying she had “no recollection” of her comments, recorded during a Nov. 7 rally, that businesses that supported the marriage protection amendment should not be patronized.

Footage cited by the newspaper showed her holding a microphone and saying, “So when you see a business on that list, you need to not utilize that business.”

The video then cut, according to the newspaper, to Foat holding a microphone for a woman reading names of Palm Springs-area supporters of Proposition 8.

The newspaper said that at a Nov. 12 city council meeting resident Sheila Grattan called out Foat on the issue.

Foat responded that she “never read the names of any businesses and I never called for a boycott.”

Foat later told the newspaper that when she was answering Grattan, she didn’t remember the rally statements.

She explained the rally was “emotionally charged.” She later told the newspaper that regardless of remarks she made at the rally, she does not support a boycott of Palm Springs businesses.

WND reported earlier on the intense confrontations that developed when it became obvious Californians had voted to define marriage in their state constitution as between one man and one woman only.

A pro-’gay’-marriage protester in Palm Springs

Palm Springs television station KPSP posted video showing homosexual activists screaming at and trying to intimidate a 69-year-old woman protesting in favor of traditional marriage. The video remains on the television website under the live report link.

Gilbert told WND his job termination appeared to him to be related to his criticism of Foat.

“The bottom line is I stood up for and denounced a boycott [call] by Ginny Foat in a city in economic turmoil,” he said.

Gilbert said he’s uncertain about his plans now.

The local newspaper reported Foat was implicated by an ex-husband in the 1965 killing of a businessman in Louisiana. She was indicted in 1983 and acquitted at trial, the report said.

The “Marshall and Stone Show” aired from 3-6 p.m. and featured political and current events.

“Talk radio is supposed to be outrageous and over the edge,” Gilbert said. “If we have to be monitored, it’s not talk radio.”

The vote in California on marriage is being challenged in the courts. The California Supreme Court said it will review lawsuits contesting the legality of Proposition 8.

Seven justices in Supreme Court courtroom in Sacramento, from left to right: Associate Justice Carlos R. Moreno, Associate Justice Joyce L. Kennard, Associate Justice Kathryn Mickle Werdegar, Chief Justice Ronald M. George, Associate Justice Ming W. Chin, Associate Justice Marvin R. Baxter and Associate Justice Carol A. Corrigan

According to court documents, the issues to be argued include the following:

    1. Is Proposition 8 invalid because it constitutes a revision of, rather than an amendment to, the California Constitution?2. Does Proposition 8 violate the separation of powers doctrine under the California Constitution?

    3. If Proposition 8 is not unconstitutional, what is its effect, if any, on the marriages of same-sex couples performed before the adoption of Proposition 8?

The court ordered the state of California, Attorney General Jerry Brown, the state registrar of vital statistics and the deputy director of health information and strategic planning of the California Department of Public Health to “show cause before this court … why the relief sought by petitioners should not be granted” on or before Dec. 19.

But the Supreme Court rejected a stay on Proposition 8, allowing it to remain in effect and preventing homosexuals from exchanging vows until the case is decided.

The lawsuits, filed on behalf of homosexual couples, “gay-rights” organizations and the city of San Francisco immediately after the vote, claim Prop. 8 revises the constitution rather than amends it. An amendment only requires signatures on petitions before it can be placed on the ballot, whereas a revision must receive a two-thirds vote by the state legislature or a state constitutional convention before inclusion on ballots.

The issue had been complicated in California because even as Proposition 8 was being put on this year’s election ballot, the state Supreme Court was busy overturning a 2000 vote of the people that also defined marriage as between one man and one woman only. The previous measure, however, was only in law, not the constitution, and the court could overturn it.

Posted by ben on December 3rd, 2008 No Comments

U.S. gov’t. taps Facebook, Google, MTV to ‘fight terrorism’

Agence France-Presse
Published: Monday November 24, 2008

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The US State Department announced plans on Monday to promote online youth groups as a new and powerful way to fight crime, political oppression and terrorism.

Drawing inspiration from a movement against FARC rebels in Colombia, the State Department is joining forces with Facebook, Google, MTV, Howcast and others in New York City next week to get the “ball rolling.”

It said 17 groups from South Africa, Britain and the Middle East which have an online presence like the “Million Voices Against the FARC” will attend a conference at Columbia University Law School from December 3-5.

Observers from seven organizations that do not have an online presence — such as groups from Iraq and Afghanistan — will attend. There will also be remote participants from Cuba.

They will forge an “Alliance of Youth Movement,” said James Glassman, under secretary of state for public diplomacy.

“The idea is put all these people together, share best practices, produce a manual that will be accessible online and in print to any group that wants to build a youth empowerment organization to push back against violence and oppression around the world,” he told reporters.

The conference will be streamed by MTV and Howcast, he said.

The list of organizations due to attend include the Burma Global Action Network, a human rights movement spurred into action by the ruling junta’s crackdown on monks and other pro-democracy protesters last year.

There is also Shabab 6 of April, which has emerged as Egypt’s largest pro-democracy youth group, and Invisible Children, which spotlights atrocities committed by the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda, Glassman said.

Others include Fight Back, which fights domestic violence in India, the Save Darfur Coalition, as well as One Million Voices Against Crime in South Africa, said Jared Cohen, from the secretary’s policy planning staff.

Also attending will be People’s March Against Knife Crime from Britain and Young Civilians from Turkey.

Cohen said Young Civilians is a human rights and pro-democracy organization which works online but has brought thousands of protesters into the streets of Turkey.

Glassman said the State Department is providing about 50,000 dollars in order to help bring delegates from the groups to the United States.

Among the speakers will be actress Whoopi Goldberg and a co-founder of Facebook.

Posted by ben on November 25th, 2008 No Comments

Judge Lordship Has Man Arrested for Not Sitting Fast Enough

Posted by ben on November 17th, 2008 No Comments

Fake TV News Widespread and Undisclosed

Center for Media and Democracy
November 14, 2008

WASHINGTON The Center for Media Democracy and Free Press today exposed an epidemic of fake news infiltrating local television broadcasts across country. At a press conference in Washington with FCC Commissioner Jonathan S. Adelstein, the groups called for a crackdown on stations that present corporate-sponsored videos as genuine news to an unsuspecting audience.

CMD, which unveiled the results of a 10-month investigation, found scores of local stations slipping commercial “video news releases,” or VNRs, into their regular news programming. The new multimedia report released today includes footage of 36 separate VNRs and their broadcast as “news” by TV stations and networks nationwide, including those in the nation’s biggest markets.

The full report — “Fake TV News: Widespread and Undisclosed” — is now available complete with VNR and TV station video footage at

“It’s shocking to see how product placement moves secretly unfiltered from the boardroom to the newsroom and then straight into our living rooms,” said Diane Farsetta, a senior researcher at CMD and co-author of the report. “Local TV broadcasts — the most popular news source in the United States — frequently air VNRs without fact-checking, conducting their own reporting, or disclosing that the footage has been provided and sponsored by big corporations.”

Investigators captured 77 television stations actively disguising sponsored content from companies including General Motors, Intel, Pfizer and Capital One to make it look like their own reporting. More than one-third of the time, stations aired fake news stories in their entirety as their own reporting.

Despite repeated claims from broadcasters that they do not air VNRs as news, the new report reveals just the tip of the iceberg. Instances of fake TV news documented by CMD likely represent less than 1 percent of VNRs distributed to local newsrooms since June 2005. Fraudulent news reports have likely been aired on hundreds of more local newscasts in the past year.

“The president of the Radio-Television News Directors Association, Barbara Cochran, called fake news ‘kind of like the Loch Ness Monster. Everyone talks about it, but not many people have actually seen it,’ ” said John Stauber, executive director of CMD. “This report drops a big nest of squirming Nessies in the laps of TV journalists. Fake TV news is the worst plagiarism scandal in American journalism, and it must be stopped by labeling all VNRs on screen so viewers can tell if its news or fake news.”

Approximately 80 percent of the stations snared in the investigation are owned by large conglomerates. The list of the worst offenders includes Clear Channel, News Corp./Fox Television, Viacom/CBS, Tribune Co. and Sinclair Broadcast Group – whose Oklahoma City affiliate was caught airing VNRs on six separate occasions.

“The evidence suggests a strong connection between media consolidation and the broadcast of deceptive, pre-packaged propaganda,” said Timothy Karr, campaign director of Free Press. “When all station owners care about is profit margins, fake news can prove irresistible. After all, VNRs are free. Reporting news that’s meaningful to local communities isn’t. And without decisive government action, the fake news problem will only get worse.”

In conjunction with the report, Free Press launched — urging the public to contact the FCC and demand “No Fake News.”

Free Press and CMD also filed a formal complaint with the FCC, seeking a thorough investigation “to help restore the public trust in the integrity of local news.” The public interest groups want all VNRs be accompanied by a continuous, frame-by-frame visual notifications and verbal announcements disclosing their sources. They also recommended broadcasters be required to file monthly public reports detailing their use of government or corporate-sponsored material. The FCC complaint is available at

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Posted by ben on November 17th, 2008 No Comments

If looks could kill

Security experts reckon the latest technology can detect hostile intentions before something bad happens. Unless it is perfect, though, that may be bad in itself

MONITORING surveillance cameras is tedious work. Even if you are concentrating, identifying suspicious behaviour is hard. Suppose a nondescript man descends to a subway platform several times over the course of a few days without getting on a train. Is that suspicious? Possibly. Is the average security guard going to notice? Probably not. A good example, then—if a fictional one—of why many people would like to develop intelligent computerised surveillance systems.

The perceived need for such systems is stimulating the development of devices that can both recognise people and objects and also detect suspicious behaviour. Much of this technology remains, for the moment, in laboratories. But Charles Cohen, the boss of Cybernet Systems, a firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, which is working for America’s Army Research Laboratory, says behaviour-recognition systems are getting good, and are already deployed at some security checkpoints.

Human gaits, for example, can provide a lot of information about people’s intentions. At the American Army’s Aberdeen Proving Ground in Maryland, a team of gait analysts and psychologists led by Frank Morelli study video, much of it conveniently posted on the internet by insurgents in Afghanistan and Iraq. They use special object-recognition software to lock onto particular features of a video recording (a person’s knees or elbow joints, for example) and follow them around. Correlating those movements with consequences, such as the throwing of a bomb, allows them to develop computer models that link posture and consequence reasonably reliably. The system can, for example, pick out a person in a crowd who is carrying a concealed package with the weight of a large explosives belt. According to Mr Morelli, the army plans to deploy the system at military checkpoints, on vehicles and at embassy perimeters.


Some intelligent surveillance systems are able to go beyond even this. Instead of merely learning what a threat looks like, they can learn the context in which behaviour is probably threatening. That people linger in places such as bus stops, for example, is normal. Loitering in a stairwell, however, is a rarer occurrence that may warrant examination by human security staff (so impatient lovers beware). James Davis, a video-security expert at Ohio State University in Columbus, says such systems are already in use. Dr Davis is developing one for America’s Air Force Research Laboratory. It uses a network of cameras to track people identified as suspicious—for example, pedestrians who have left a package on the ground—as they walk through town.

As object- and motion-recognition technology improves, researchers are starting to focus on facial expressions and what they can reveal. The Human Factors Division of America’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS), for example, is running what it calls Project Hostile Intent. This boasts a system that scrutinises fleeting “micro-expressions”, easily missed by human eyes. Many flash for less than a tenth of a second and involve just a small portion of the face.

Terrorists are often trained to conceal emotions; micro-expressions, however, are largely involuntary. Even better, from the researchers’ point of view, conscious attempts to suppress facial expressions actually accentuate micro-expressions. Sharla Rausch, the director of the Human Factors Division, refers to this somewhat disturbingly as “micro-facial leakage”.

There are about 40 micro-expressions. The DHS’s officials refuse to describe them in detail, which is a bit daft, as they have been studied for years by civilian researchers. But Paul Ekman, who was one of those researchers (he retired from the University of California, San Francisco, in 2004) and who now advises the DHS and other intelligence and law-enforcement agencies in the United States and elsewhere, points out that signals which seem to reveal hostile intent change with context. If many travellers in an airport-screening line are running late, telltales of anguish—raised cheeks and eyebrows, lowered lips and gaze—cause less concern.

Supporters of this sort of technology argue that it avoids controversial racial profiling: only behaviour is studied. This is a sticky issue, however, because cultures—and races—express themselves differently. Judee Burgoon, an expert on automated behaviour-recognition at the University of Arizona, Tucson, who conducts research for America’s Department of Defence, says systems should be improved with cultural input. For example, passengers from repressive countries, who may already be under suspicion because of their origins, typically display extra anxiety (often revealed by rigid body movements) when near security officials. That could result in a lot of false positives and consequent ill-will. Dr Burgoon is upgrading her software, called Agent 99, by fine-tuning the interpretations of body movements of people from about 15 cultures.

Another programme run by the Human Factors Division, Future Attributable Screening Technology, or FAST, is being developed as a complement to Project Hostile Intent. An array of sensors, at a distance of a couple of metres, measures skin temperature, blood-flow patterns, perspiration, and heart and breathing rates. In a series of tests, including a demonstration last month with 140 role-playing volunteers, the system detected about 80% of those who had been asked to try to deceive it by being hostile or trying to smuggle a weapon through it.

A number of “innocents”, though, were snagged too. The trial’s organisers are unwilling to go into detail, and are now playing down the significance of the testing statistics. But FAST began just 16 months ago. Bob Burns, the project’s leader, says its accuracy will improve next year thanks to extra sensors that can detect eye movements and body odours, both of which can provide further clues to emotional states.

Until proved innocent

That alarms some civil-libertarians. FAST, they say, amounts to a forced medical examination, and hostile-intent systems in general smack of the “pre-crime” technology featured in Philip K. Dick’s short story “The Minority Report” and the film based on it. An exaggeration, perhaps. But the result of using these devices, according to Barry Steinhardt, the head of technology and liberty at the American Civil Liberties Union in Washington, DC, will inevitably be that too many innocents are entangled in intrusive questioning or worse with “voodoo science” security measures.

To the historically minded it smacks of polygraphs, the so-called lie-detectors that rely on measuring physiological correlates of stress. Those have had a patchy and controversial history, fingering nervous innocents while acquitting practised liars. Supporters of hostile-intent systems argue that the computers will not be taking over completely, and human security agents will always remain the final arbiters. Try telling that, though, to an innocent traveller who was in too much of a hurry—or even a couple smooching in a stairwell.

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Posted by ben on October 28th, 2008 No Comments

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Posted by admin on October 13th, 2008 No Comments