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

Academic used GDPR request to reveal they'd been secretly blacklisted

In The Independent, Dora B writes about experiencing a growing and disturbing awareness that they were being shunned and excluded from their field of specialism. Dora eventually used the GDPR—Europe's recent law providing access to the data held on you by companies and institutions—to expose what was going on. Dora was not only professionally blacklisted, the emails revealed, but privately the subject of insults, scorn and abuse from peers that Dora trusted and depended upon for references and appointments.

Firstly, my eminent and influential PhD supervisor had let it be widely known that they thought I was an unpleasant person, impossible to work with, fundamentally stupid, and that I definitely shouldn’t be doing a doctorate.

They complained vigorously about having such an awful student, but never mentioned the two hour-long interviews they conducted with me before agreeing to take me on. After that, one of my PhD examiners had been asked about me off the record, and had advised against me. They repeatedly used insults and demeaning adjectives to block me from several employment positions and speaking engagements.

I approached the individuals and the institutions concerned about the content of my Subject Access Request. They all refused to discuss the matter with me, so I can only speculate as to what was going on. If my conduct had been that awful, I would have received a warning or been subject to some kind of disciplinary procedure, but I wasn’t, so where my supervisor thought I was difficult, it is equally possible that, as a mature student, I merely had clear boundaries.

Read the rest

AP: the mob who attacked Hong Kong protesters were rural thugs hired by gangsters

The hundreds of men dressed in white who beat up Hong Kong pro-democracy protesters last week were thought to be affiliated with the notorious triad organized-crime gangs, but according to the AP, the triads' main role in the violence was to round up people in "rural areas" like Yuen Long and paying them to participate in the beatings. Read the rest

Violent mobs of alleged Triad gangsters dole out savage beatings to Hong Kong democracy protesters, cops nowhere to be found

The #612strike protests that have rocked Hong Kong for more than a month continue to gather steam, as Hong Kongers march to demand that China make good on its promise to respect the island's right to self-governance. Read the rest

FBI agent describes finding "Frankensteins" and a "cooler full of penises" at an unregulated Arizona body-donation center

Phoenix's Biological Resource Center advertised that it would collect your relatives' remains and dispose of their body parts for medical purposes, cremating the unused portions and returning them; it was founded by the aptly named Stephen Gore, whose highest level of educational attainment was a high school diploma and who learned the processes by which he dismembered and preserved the bodies in his care "from books or the internet." Read the rest

How to hide from the cops

Step 1: be small enough to fit in a trashcan.

(Protip: recycling cans smell better) Read the rest

Equifax settles with FTC, CFPB, states, and consumer class actions for $700m

Equifax doxed virtually every adult in America as well as millions of people in other countries like the UK and Canada. The breach was caused by an acquisition spree in which the company bought smaller competitors faster than it could absorb them, followed by negligence in both monitoring and responses to early warnings. Execs who learned of the breach used it as an opportunity to engage in insider trading, while failing to take action to alert the public. Equifax nonconsensually gathers dossiers on everyone it can, seeking the most sensitive and potentially damaging information to record. The company was founded as part of a corporate spy-ring employed to root out and identify political dissidents and sexual minorities. Read the rest

Drug smuggler busted with half a kilo of cocaine under his bad toupée

At Barcelona's international airport, police arrested a Colombian gentleman who arrived from Bogota with half a kilogram of cocaine under his toupée. According to a Reuters report, "The man attracted police attention as he looked nervous and had a disproportionately large hairpiece under his hat. They found a package stuck to his head with about €30,000 (£27,000) of cocaine."

No word whether the unnamed man is a drug bigwig.

Read the rest

Lessons from testing decades of forgotten rape kits: serial rapists are common, they don't follow a pattern, they're not very bright, and they're often the same men who commit acquaintance rape

America has an epidemic of untested rape kits, thanks to the institutional misogyny of police departments and prosecutors, especially when it comes to rapes committed against poor and racialized women. Read the rest

US Conference of Mayors adopts a resolution to never pay off ransomware attackers

As city after city has remitted hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay off ransomware criminals who hijacked their crucial systems, the US Conference of Mayors had unanimously adopted a resolution to never pay these ransoms again, on the basis that these payments "encourage continued attacks on other government systems, as perpetrators financially benefit," Read the rest

Cooperative porno copyright troll gets 5 years in prison, while his co-conspirator got 14 years

Last month, Paul Hansmeier was sentenced to 14 years in prison and ordered to pay $1.5m in restitution for the copyright trolling his firm, Prenda Law, engaged in: the firm used a mix of entrapment, blackmail, identity theft, intimidation and fraud to extort millions from its victims by threatening to drag them into court for alleged infringement of copyright in eye-watering pornography, thus forever associating their victims' name with lurid pornography in the public record. Read the rest

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