Wells Fargo is successfully convincing judges that forged arbitration agreements are legally binding

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When you sign up for a Wells Fargo account, you're required to sign an arbitration "agreement" giving up your right to sue the company, and requiring you to have your case heard by an arbitrator paid for by -- and dependent on -- Wells Fargo instead. Read the rest

UK cops beat phone encryption by "mugging" suspect after he unlocked his phone

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Detectives from Scotland Yard's cybercrime unit decided the easiest way to get around their suspect's careful use of full-disk encryption and strong passphrases on his Iphone was to trail him until he made a call, then "mug" him by snatching his phone and then tasking an officer to continuously swipe at the screen to keep it from going to sleep, which would reactivate the disk encryption. Read the rest

Police determine odd gelatinous object isn't murder victim's breast implant

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A man found a strange round, gelatinous blob in a bag at a train station in Maroochydore, Australia. Concerned that the object was a breast implant belonging to a murder victim, the citizen contacted police. From myPolice Sunshine Coast:

Officers seized the item at the request of the man and provided him with a receipt.

The man was concerned it was a prosthetic implant from someone who may have been murdered or drowned.

Investigations revealed what police suspected… the item was indeed a jellyfish!

(via Daily Grail) Read the rest

"I Was Friends with a Serial Killer"

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When he was 16, Martin Wallace worked at a gas station with a man named Greg. Wallace says Greg showed no outward signs of being a serial killer, but he turned out to be one.

From Wallace's essay in The Walrus:

And then, of course, there’s Greg. For whatever reason, we almost always end up working together, which is a relief to me. Greg is focussed, unflappable, with an easy sense of humour. We fall into a natural rhythm, never stepping on each other’s toes, always there for the other guy. When I start my shift and see Greg, I’m relieved—I know things will be all right.

But there’s one thing I don’t know about Greg, one thing that I only find out years later. Greg, you see, Greg is a killer.

Read the rest

UK reports of webcam blackmail (sextortion, RATting, etc) more than double in 2016

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So far 864 people in the UK have reported instances of "webcam blackmail" to police in 2016, more than double the number of reported incidents in 2015. Read the rest

Wells Fargo says that its customers gave up right to sue by having their signatures forged

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Even though disgraced Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf has left the building, his most outrageous legal theories live on: on Wednesday, the company filed a motion in a federal court in Utah seeking dismissal of a class action suit by the customers it defrauded -- the bank argues that since customers sign a binding arbitration "agreement" when they open new accounts, that the customers whose signatures were forged on fraudulent new accounts should be subject to this agreement and denied a day in court. Read the rest

Daily Mail finds new depths to plumb, blames hypothetical immigrants for neo-Nazi's murder of Labour MP

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Last June, Labour MP Jo Cox was murdered by a neo-Nazi who was outraged by her anti-Brexit stance; that man is now on trial. Read the rest

Gentleman has trouble stealing cash drawer from a McDonalds

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A puzzled thief had trouble understanding why he couldn't pull a cash drawer through a hole that was too small. Read the rest

Anti-burglary advice, from burglars

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KGW Portland surveyed 86 Oregon inmates serving time for burglary to see what they looked for when casing a house that is safe to break into and likely to contain valuables. One important lesson: "NRA sticker on car bumper = Lots of guns to steal." Read the rest

How Audi cheated emissions tests: if (steering) then (pollute)

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A report in BILD am Sonntag claims that the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has uncovered the secret test that Audis were programmed to perform to determine whether to pollute like crazy or to pretend that they were low-polluting, legally compliant vehicles. Read the rest

Senate investigates Wells Fargo retaliations against whistleblowers

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One after another, ex-Wells Fargo employees have come forward to reveal that when they blew the whistle of millions of frauds committed against the bank's customers, the bank's management fired them and blackballed them from the banking industry for life, by falsifying claims of wrongdoing on a semi-secret list of corrupt bankers that is consulted by the industry before they make new hires. Read the rest

Police lawyer threatens reporter: don't report smirking cop's corpse selfie

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A St. Louis-area police officer was photographed posing with a murder victim's corpse, and a police lawyer threatened the newsroom to whom the image was leaked. KMOV, far from being impressed by the attempt to intimidate it, posted Lauren Trager's article wondering what on Earth a cops was doing giving the thumbs up while fooling around with Omar Rahman's dead body — and also Lynette M. Petruska's threatening letter.

“In your mind, is there any reasonable explanation for what that officer was doing?” asked Investigative Reporter Lauren Trager. “No,” said Staton. “Because when they come to a call, they're supposed to be there to help and protect, not doing what he was doing with thumbs up and a smirk on his face.”

Staton's attorney, Antonio Romanucci, agrees.

“It's hideous. The implications of this photograph are just astronomical,” said Romanucci.

He believes something isn't right.

“I have seen thousands and thousands of forensic photographs, I have never seen a staged photograph of an officer next to a deceased body,” Romanucci said.

The North County Policing Cooperative covers Vinita Park and Wellston, just outside of St. Louis city limits in Missouri. The legal letters are a good read; KMOV's counsel's reply may be compared to that given in the case of Arkell v. Pressdram. Read the rest

Wells Fargo blackballed employees who refused to commit fraud, forcing them out of the industry forever

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Earlier this month, Planet Money aired an interview with a Wells Fargo whistleblower who was fired for trying to alert the bank to the millions of criminal frauds being committed against its customers, and we learned that the whistleblower had been added to a confidential blacklist used by the finance industry, preventing her from ever getting work in the industry again. Read the rest

Partially nude dead Briton with cold-cuts on his buttocks and his penis in a tuna can found tied up outside Malaga airport

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No one is sure how 51 year old British man ended up dead, pantsless, tied to a bench in front of the Malaga airport with luncheon meat on his buttocks and his penis in a can of tuna fish. Read the rest

When Californians vote on legal weed, they'll also vote on wiping millions of arrest records

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Despite the fact that minor possession has been a misdemeanor since 1976 (and medical weed has been legal since 1996) between 15,000 and 20,000 Californians are arrested every year for marijuana offenses. Read the rest

Woman with skull on stick leads police to corpse

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A woman walking around Sacramento with a skull on a stick led police to a homeless encampment where she found the cranium. Apparently someone spotted the woman marching around with the skull and called police. After police found the woman at an abandoned house, she took them to the area where they located the body.

"A call like this is not something that happens every day," Sacramento police Sgt. Bryce Heinlein told Fox 40. "We hope we can get down to the bottom of what caused this person to become deceased." Read the rest

Crowdfunding a bike-lock that squirts vomit-inducing antipersonnel gas when cut

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The Skunklock is a $109 crowdfunded gadget that contains pressurized vomit-inducing gas the creators call "Formula D_1," and which is intended to induce immediate vomiting when inhaled, as well as difficulty breathing, "A lot of similar symptoms to pepper spray." Read the rest

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