EgyptAir says Flight 804 from Paris to Cairo 'disappeared from radar'

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An Egypt Air flight from Paris to Cairo went off radar Wednesday night, a tweet from the airline reported.

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Owners watch their home burn via indoor security camera connected to iPhone

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This home was burned to the ground in the Fort McMurray wildfire. The owners watched their living room go up in smoke via a security camera feed sent to their iPhone. Read the rest

Former Facebook staff say they routinely manipulated trending news topics

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Update: Facebook released a statement on Monday afternoon: “We take allegations of bias very seriously. Facebook is a platform for people and perspectives from across the political spectrum.”

Facebook workers "routinely suppressed news stories of interest to conservative readers," reports Gizmodo, regarding the "trending" topics that are inserted in readers' feeds. This was apparently an issue of individuals working on their own initiative rather than the result of corporate policy, but they were directed to squelch news about Facebook itself and to manually inject "missing" stories into the trending topics.

These new allegations emerged after Gizmodo last week revealed details about the inner workings of Facebook’s trending news team—a small group of young journalists, primarily educated at Ivy League or private East Coast universities, who curate the “trending” module on the upper-right-hand corner of the site. As we reported last week, curators have access to a ranked list of trending topics surfaced by Facebook’s algorithm, which prioritizes the stories that should be shown to Facebook users in the trending section. The curators write headlines and summaries of each topic, and include links to news sites. The section, which launched in 2014, constitutes some of the most powerful real estate on the internet and helps dictate what news Facebook’s users—167 million in the US alone—are reading at any given moment.

In short, Facebook's "trending" stuff comes out of a newsroom-like culture, with editorial direction and values. Which would be fine, except for the fact that Facebook claims that its trending topics are an organic or algorithmic representation of user interests and activities. Read the rest

Sadiq Khan elected London mayor, becomes first Muslim mayor of a major Western capital

Sadiq Khan, Britain's Labour Party candidate for Mayor of London, speaks to the media at Canary Wharf in London, Britain May 4, 2016.  REUTERS

The practicing Muslim son of Pakistani immigrants has been elected mayor of London. Labour Party politician Sadiq Khan's win today is a major political milestone in the Western world.

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Poll: Half of America Believes Presidential Elections 'Rigged'

A voter casts his ballot in the Pennsylvania primary at a polling place inside a firehouse in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., April 26, 2016.   REUTERS
A Reuters/Ipsos poll found that more than 50% of U.S. voters believe the system that American political parties use to select their candidates for President is "rigged." Over two-thirds of those polled want to see the process changed.

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Dozens killed in terror attack in Brussels

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The BBC reports that several blasts hit the airport and a metro station in Brussels, killing at least 26 34 people (Updated below).

Two blasts hit Zaventem airport at about 07:00 GMT, and another struck Maelbeek metro station an hour later.

The government has not confirmed casualty numbers. Brussels transport officials say 15 died at Maelbeek and media say up to 13 died at the airport.

Belgium has now raised its terror threat to its highest level.

The attack comes days after the arrest of Salah Abdeslam, described as the main fugitive outstanding from the Paris attacks that claimed 130 lives in November. Live updates.

Update: An ISIS-affiliated group has claimed responsibility for the attacks, reports ABC News. At least 34 are reported dead: 14 at Brussels Airport in Zaventem, and 20 in and around a platform at Maelbeek subway station. Some 180 people are reportedly injured.

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Privacy concerns at the heart of the evolving web

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Hulk Hogan's courtroom sex-tape victory signifies how much the web has already changed, writes John Hermann: casual privacy invasion only disgusts readers who are all-too-aware that they might be next.

In 2012, the vast majority of Twitter posts that linked to Gawker’s video were lighthearted jokes — about Mr. Bollea’s physique, about the humiliation of a childhood idol, about fame-seeking… [but by] 2014, when hackers posted hundreds of photos obtained from celebrities’ private accounts. Publications that had previously trafficked in leaked nude photos — including Gawker Media properties and sites like BuzzFeed — shied away from publishing them.

Lurking in the background: Facebook, its policies and preferences. Read the rest

Video shows Kelloggs factory man urinating on assembly line

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Kellogg cereals are investigating a video posted online that purports to show an assembly-line worker pissing on an assembly line. The good news, Kellogg reports, is that it happened way back in 2014, so there's little danger of it still being on the shelves.

The graphic video shows a man urinating on an assembly line, then panning to a sign with the Kellogg logo. Kellogg said its own investigation determined the video was recorded at its Memphis, Tennessee factory in 2014.

"It is important to note that any products that could be potentially impacted would be very limited and past their expiration dates," the company said. It says the products that were potentially impacted include Rice Krispies Treats, granola clusters used in some products and puffed rice treats that it no longer makes.

i.e. you already ate the piss krispies. Read the rest

Watch TV news reporter barely escape car plowing into him

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It's a lucky day for KTVU reporter Alex Savidge and camera operator Vaughan Chip. The two were covering a train derailment east of San Francisco when a car was hit and came barreling right toward them. (via KTVU)

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As Trump takes Nevada, Republicans face facts

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Donald Trump thrashed his Republican rivals so completely in Nevada's caucus that he won about as many votes as Marc Rubio, Ted Cruz and John Kasich combined. For Republicans hoping it would all go away, the knowledge that even a "consensus candidate" can't prevail is dawning.

At The Guardian, Jeb Lund explains that Trump's victories aren't mysterious if you understand why people are angry, which very few people in politics or the media appreciate, even now.

But you don’t need some grand overarching political science theory. There are millions of miserable people in America who know exactly who engineered the shattering of their worlds, and Trump isn’t one of those people – and, with the exception of Bernie Sanders, everyone else in the field is running on the basis of their experience being one of those people.

When you are abused and bullied enough, anyone willing to beat up or burn down whomever put you in that position is your friend. Even a bully can be a hero if he targets others bullies – and that is, more or less, what Trump has done since day one.

At The Federalist, though, Mollie Hemingway blames the media for enabling him and for embracing his awful talking points.

They’re complicit. You can’t cry “dangerous and outrageous” with this type of cross-network coverage that other candidates would pay millions of dollars to have. Every day is a test for the media and Trump. And every day they fail, and he succeeds wildly.

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DC TV news crew's car broken into while they covered anti-robbery press conference

An officer speaks with ABC7  crew after robbery Jan. 6, 2015. (Stephen Tschida/ABC7 News)

Glad to see that our nation's capital hasn't been completely gentrified, and retains some of the utlraviolent grit I remember from the streets in the 1980s.

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What is the most interesting scientific news? Very, VERY smart people respond.

It is time once again for the Edge Annual Question, a mind-bending and boundary-busting online convening of scientists, technologists, and other big thinkers all responding to a single question at the intersection of science and culture. From physicists to artists, cognitive psychologists to journalists, evolutionary biologists to maverick anthropologists, these are people who Edge founder, famed literary agent, and BB pal John Brockman describes as the "third culture (consisting) of those scientists and other thinkers in the empirical world who, through their work and expository writing, are taking the place of the traditional intellectual in rendering visible the deeper meanings of our lives, redefining who and what we are."

This year, John asked: What do you consider the most interesting (scientific) news? What makes it important?" Nearly two hundred really smart people responded, including Steven Pinker, Nina Jablonski, Freeman Dyson, Stewart Brand, Marti Hearst, Philip Tetlock, Kevin Kelly, Lisa Feldman Barrett, Douglas Rushkoff, Lisa Randall, Alan Alda, Jared Diamond, Pamela McCorduck, and on and on.

"Science is the only news," writes Stewart Brand in the introduction. "When you scan through a newspaper or magazine, all the human interest stuff is the same old he-said-she-said, the politics and economics the same sorry cyclic dramas, the fashions a pathetic illusion of newness, and even the technology is predictable if you know the science. Human nature doesn't change much; science does, and the change accrues, altering the world irreversibly.' We now live in a world in which the rate of change is the biggest change." Science has thus become a big story, if not the big story: news that will stay news."

2016 : WHAT DO YOU CONSIDER THE MOST INTERESTING RECENT [SCIENTIFIC] NEWS? Read the rest

Watch the best news bloopers of 2015!

Keep fucking that chicken.

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McClatchy chain of more than 30 U.S. papers may close all foreign bureaus

An employee passes  McClatchy Co. owned newspapers in their DC office, 2008. REUTERS

The McClatchy Company, a chain of more than 30 U.S. newspapers, is expected to close its foreign bureaus by the end of the year. The media giant's chief executive denies the rumors, but it kind of sounds like the closures are likely anyway. Read the rest

Let Edward Scissorhands come home

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Jon Hendren, @fart, was mistakenly summoned onto Headline News instead of journalist John Hendren, to talk about whistleblower Ed Snowden. He talked about Edward Scissorhands instead. The clueless, scripted anchor didn't seem to notice the difference. Read the rest

Climate change denier Rupert Murdoch just bought National Geographic, which gives grants to scientists

Rupert Murdoch, the new boss of National Geographic.

Rupert Murdoch, the new boss of National Geographic.

The National Geographic magazine has been a nonprofit publication since inception in 1888, but that ends today. The long-running American publication becomes very much for-profit under a $725 million dollar deal announced today with 21st Century Fox, the entertainment company controlled by the family of Rupert Murdoch.

Murdoch is a notorious climate change denier, and his family's Fox media empire is the world's primary source of global warming misinformation. Which would be no big deal here, I guess, were it not for the fact that the National Geographic Society's mission includes giving grants to scientists.

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Presidential hopeful Rick Perry still not sure how clocks work

Texas Governor Rick Perry makes remarks at the Conservative Political Action conference (CPAC) in Washington, February 11, 2011.  REUTERS
Unlike clocks, Rick Perry is rarely right even once a day.

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