Debullshitifying Trump's get-out-of-jail statement for Medicaid scammer Ted Suhl

Ted Suhl was serving his third year of a seven-year sentence for bribery and Medicaid fraud when Trump commuted his sentence and sprung him, at the request of Mike Huckabee; the White House released a statement explaining Trump's reasoning for the commutation, and, as Propublica documents, it is full of "half-truths and omissions" about Trump's new grifter pal. Propublica did the hard work of annotating the Trump statement to remove the bullshit and tell the true tale. Read the rest

More than 20 Texas cities and towns have been taken hostage by ransomware

The American ransomware epidemic shows no signs of slowing, as the confluence of underinvestment in IT and information security and the NSA's reckless stockpiling of computer vulnerabilities means that petty criminals can extort vast sums from distant municipalities by seizing their entire networked infrastructure. Read the rest

British government annouces anti-knifecrime chicken takeout boxes

All-black but for the hashtag #knifefree, the official chicken boxes of Her Majesty's Government are presented as a warning about the dangers of knifecrime. The Home Office has suborned some takeout chains into using them. It's not going down well.

Policing Minister Kit Malthouse says they "will bring home to thousands of young people the tragic consequences of carrying a knife and challenge the idea that it makes you safer".

However, Ms Abbott tweeted: "Instead of investing in a public health approach to violent crime, the Home Office have opted for yet another crude, offensive and probably expensive campaign.

"They would do better to invest in our communities not demonise them."

Read the rest

Your phone is a crimewave in your pocket, and it's all the fault of greedy carriers and complicit regulators

Insider attacks, cell-site simulators, SIM-swap attacks, thriving markets in super-cheap, fine-grained location data, robocalls, fictitious coverage maps, and more: does the fact that all this terrible shit keeps happening, and only gets worse, mean that mobile companies and the FCC just don't give a fuck if your mobile phone is a crime wave you carry around with you on your pocket? Read the rest

Florida police admit they will not be able to recover gun stolen during masked orgy

All the participants at the 3-day Volusia, Florida orgy were naked and used aliases, and for obvious reasons, DNA-based identification "is not going to be an option, which means we'll probably never find out who stole the Glock from the bedside table. (Image: Eyes Wide Shut/Warners; Askild Antonsen, CC BY-SA, modified) (Thanks, Gnat!) Read the rest

Dog pees on $3 million in cocaine found at beach. 'They tried to mark it as theirs'

In New Zealand, a dog walking with its human along the beach peed on $3 million worth of cocaine which washed up on the Auckland shores on Wednesday. Read the rest

Medical examiner quits after declaring that bloody, stabbed corpse had died of "natural causes"

Shannon Byers was an investigator with the Gwinnett County (Georgia) Medical Examiner's office, until this week, when she resigned after news got out that a body whose death she had declared to be of "natural causes" had been found in a bloody murder-scene with a stab wound to the neck. Read the rest

Passenger in locked luggage compartment of moving bus called 911 for help

A Connecticut woman called 911 and told the operator she was locked in the luggage compartment of a moving bus. Police tracked the bus down, pulled it over, and found the woman inside. The woman said the driver, Wendy Helena Alberty (49), had intentionally locked her in the compartment while she was getting her luggage out.

Alberty was arrested on charges of unlawful restraint, reckless endangerment, and breach of peace.

From NBC News:

Alberty has been with the company since 2012 and previously had an "exemplary" employment record, according to Peter Pan [bus line].

"Over her tenure she has received many customer commendations for her safe driving and customer service," according to a company statement.

Image: Shutterstock Read the rest

A 79-year-old woman is going to jail for feeding stray cats

Nancy Segula (79) of Garfield Heights, Ohio, doesn't like the idea of allowing stray cats to starve, so she feeds them when they come around, which is a crime. She's been sentenced to 10 days in jail for allowing the cats to accumulate on her property.

From Reason:

Segula's actions are clearly creating a nuisance for her neighbors. But while police are justified in responding to their complaints, it is not beyond the realm of possibilities for the court system to find a more humane approach than incarceration. After all, Segula's 10-day jail sentence is longer than the punishments given for other, much more heinous animal-related offenses that have occurred in the area, including starving dogs, the strangulation of a cat, and leaving kittens in a hot car. And when it's over, is there any reason to think she won't do what she's done after every other intervention, and go back to feeding the cats?

Image: WKYC Read the rest

Inmate attempts prison escape disguised as his teenage daughter

Brazilian drug lord Clauvino da Silva attempted to escape a Rio de Janeiro prison on Saturday by impersonating his teenage daughter. From The Guardian:

hen Silva – AKA Baixinho (“Shorty”) – requested the return of his daughter’s ID card at the prison entrance, officers saw through his low-budget disguise and asked him to strip in front of the cameras.

Reports on Monday said the 42-year-old drug trafficker had been moved to solitary confinement but was unlikely to face extra prison time since his unsuccessful bid for freedom had not involved violence.

His daughter, Ana Gabriele Leandro da Silva, who had remained behind in the prison as part of the ruse, seemed to have been less lucky.

According to Rio newspaper Extra she will be charged with abetting prison escape, a crime punishable with up to two years in prison. Seven other visitors – including a pregnant woman suspected of smuggling the disguise into the jail – are also being investigated.

Read the rest

Massachusetts says Purdue's profits from a single opioid addict were $200,000

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is not the first state to sue Purdue Pharma, members of the Sackler family (who own the company), and other board members for their role in deliberately seeking to addict people to their powerful opioid Oxycontin, but unlike other states, Massachusetts is conducting the suit in the public eye, targeting a court judgment rather than a quiet settlement with an accompanying gag-order. Read the rest

Corruption is contagious: dirty cops make their partners dirty

Police unions have systematized and perfected the process of ensuring impunity for crooked cops, ensuring that even the most violent, lying, thieving, racist, authoritarian cops can stay on the force; at the same time, apologists for police violence and corruption tell us not to blame the whole force for the bad deeds of a few rotten apples. Read the rest

Woman who urinated on potatoes at Walmart turns self in

A woman suspected of urinating on the potatoes at a Pittsburgh-area Walmart has turned herself in, reports CBS News. The woman was charged with criminal mischief, open lewdness, disorderly conduct and public drunkness.

Adds CBS, helpfully: "The bin of potatoes was at ground level."

West Mifflin police earlier issued a photo of the suspect, but did not include footage of the crime itself.

The LPO was informed by an employee that on the day before he noticed urine on the floor near the potatoes in the produce area. The LPO then pulled video that depicted a female at approximately 22:10 hours on July 24, 2019 urinating in the potato bins. The LPO then reported the incident to the West Mifflin Police.

Walmart released a statement:

“The safety of our customers is a top priority for us. This type of obscene conduct is outrageous and we immediately disposed of the affected products and sanitized the area to ensure its cleanliness and safety for our customers. We’re working with the West Mifflin Police Department to find the responsible party and have them prosecuted.”

It's a brave Yinzer who dares sample the West Mifflin tater salad! Read the rest

"Bucket of heads" and "cooler with male genitalia" among horrors found at raided body donation clinic

Authorities raided an Arizona body donation clinic in 2014, uncovering "the bodies of different people sewn back together", a "bucket of heads", a "cooler with male genitalia" and other alarming finds. The story is coming to light years later due to a lawsuit filed against the facility by 30 family members.

The FBI conducted the raid in hazmat suits back in 2014, but for the first time, we’re now able to see the testimony from one of the FBI agents who conducted the raid, and what he recounts is shocking. He said he found a “cooler filled with male genitalia," "a bucket of heads, arms and legs,” “infected heads” and a small woman's head sewn onto a large male torso "like Frankenstein" hanging up on the wall, one of the most disturbing findings called a “morbid joke” in the lawsuit. ... The lawsuit also says the bodies were cut up with chain saws and band saws and “pools of human blood and bodily fluids were found on the floor of the freezer” with no identification tags on the bodies.

“Tools that are not appropriate for dismembering scientific bodies,” said Harp.

Read the rest

Four dead in garlic festival mass shooting

A gunman opened fire at Gilroy, California's garlic festival Sunday, killing three before being shot dead by police. At least fifteen more were injured and a 6-year-old boy was among the dead.

There was "a white man in his early to mid-30s firing a rifle," eyewitness Julissa Contreras told NBC.

It was the 246th mass shooting in the US this year, according to US tracking website Gun Violence Archive.

The suspect entered the festival after cutting through a perimeter fence, Gilroy Chief of Police Scot Smithee told reporters. He said witnesses reported that a second suspect may have been involved, possibly in a support role.

Another eyewitness: "I could see him shooting in just every direction. He wasn't aiming at anyone specifically. It was just left to right, right to left. He definitely was prepared for what he was doing." Read the rest

Amazon struck secret deals with local cops to get them to push surveillance-camera doorbells

Amazon quietly struck deals with dozens of local law enforcement agencies across America that gave the police access to a distributed surveillance feed from its Ring "smart doorbell" products in exchange for the cops providing free advertising for the products without revealing their contractual requirement to do so. Read the rest

Siemens contractor hid "logic bomb" in complicated spreadsheet, guaranteeing future maintenance work

David Tinley developed complex spreadsheets under contract to Siemens, which used them to manage its equipment orders; Tinley hid "logic bombs" in the spreadsheets' scripts that caused them to malfunction every couple of years, which would gin up new work for him as he was called in to fix them. Read the rest

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