Archive for September 6th, 2019

Hong Kong braces for airport protests after overnight demonstrations turn violent – The Globe and Mail

September 6th, 2019

Firefighters put out a fire set by protesters during a demonstration in Mong Kok, in Hong Kong on Sept. 6, 2019.

The Associated Press

Hong Kong authorities were limiting airport transport services and controlling access to terminals Saturday as they braced for a second weekend of disruption following overnight demonstrations that turned violent.

Express train service will run from the station in downtown Hong Kong direct to the airport, skipping all stations in-between and only those with flight tickets can enter the terminals, airport officials said. Bus services will also be adjusted to ensure smooth traffic.

The airport, the world’s eighth busiest air hub, has been a frequent target during a summer of protests sparked by an extradition bill that would have allowed criminal suspects in the semi-autonomous Chinese territory to be sent to the mainland to face trial. Many saw the bill as a glaring example of the city’s eroding autonomy since the former British colony returned to Chinese control in 1997.

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Hong Kong leader Carrie Lam announced Wednesday that her government would formally withdraw the bill, but that has failed to appease protesters who have expanded their goals to include other issues.

The airport rail link was suspended last weekend after protesters threw objects on the track, blocked roads near the airport with burning barricades and damaged a metro station. Last month, the airport was shut down for two days and hundreds of flights cancelled after protesters occupied the terminals, leading to violent clashes.

Police have warned protesters against plans to use fake boarding passes to gain entry to the airport Saturday, warning that offenders could face up to 14 years in jail. Police also said they will monitor road traffic and nab drivers who intentionally slow down to disrupt traffic.

Violence erupted again late Friday in the crowded Kowloon area after police fired volleys of tear gas and rubber bullets as protesters smashed up metro stations and set fires on the street.

Demonstrators retreated after riot police chased them down streets but they regrouped again. Some lit piles boxes to build burning barricades while others used hammers and metal rods to smash traffic lights and vandalize subway stations. Graffiti along walls read “Boycott China” and “Liberty or death.”

Police said three subway stations had to be shut down after protesters thrashed ticket machines, security cameras and turnstiles and damaged fire facilities. Police slammed the behaviour as “outrageous” and vowed to take “resolute enforcement actions.”

The persistent violence has hurt Hong Kong’s economy and sparked fears of a Chinese military intervention. Chinese officials have warned that Beijing will “not sit idly by” if the situation worsens.

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Protesters have adopted a new slogan, “Five key demands, not one less.” In addition to the withdrawal of the extradition bill, they want an independent investigation into accusations of police brutality, the unconditional release of those detained during the protests, no more labeling of the protests as riots, and direct elections of the city’s leaders.

Lam has rejected those demands.

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Rumored Pixel 4 feature could save your ears from the sounds of Muzak – PhoneArena

September 6th, 2019

Felicity Huffman pleads for no jail time in college admissions scandal – Fox News

September 6th, 2019

Attornies for “Desperate Housewives” star Felicity Huffman pleaded with a Boston federal judge Friday to spare her jail time after she pleaded guilty in connection with the college admissions bribery scandal and instead give her probation, community service and a fine.

In a three-page letter to U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani, Huffman wrote she has “a deep and abiding shame” for participating in a scheme in which she paid $15,000 to have a proctor correct her daughter’s SAT exam answers in the hopes of getting her into an Ivy League college.

Huffman said she was trying to give her daughter, whom she says has a diagnosed learning disability and struggles with math, an opportunity to become an actress.


“In my desperation to be a good mother, I talked myself into believing that all I was doing was giving my daughter a fair shot,” Huffman wrote. “I see the irony in that statement now because what I have done is the opposite of fair. I have broken the law, deceived the educational community, betrayed my daughter, and failed my family.”

The 56-year-old Emmy Award winner pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and honest services mail fraud in May and is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 13.

Huffman’s lawyers believe that one year of probation, 250 hours of community service with an organization that works with at-risk youth in Los Angeles and a $20,000 fine is fair, asserting that similar cases “almost always” result in probation rather than jail time which is “exceptionally rare.”

U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling is pushing for one month of jail time, a year of probation after that and a $20,000 fine, a sentence he says takes into account the fact that Huffman has accepted responsibility for her actions.

Lelling says Huffman knew the scheme was wrong and participated in it anyways.

“Her efforts weren’t driven by need or desperation, but by a sense of entitlement, or at least moral cluelessness, facilitated by wealth and insularity,” his office wrote in its filing Friday. “Millions of parents send their kids to college every year. All of them care as much she does about their children’s fortunes. But they don’t buy fake SAT scores.”

Under federal sentencing guidelines, prosecutors could have sought up to six months of jail time.

In this Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014 file photo, Felicity Huffman, from left, writer/director William H. Macy and Eva Longoria arrive at the Los Angeles VIP screening of "Rudderless" at The Vista Theater. (Photo by Dan Steinberg/Invision/AP, File)

In this Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2014 file photo, Felicity Huffman, from left, writer/director William H. Macy and Eva Longoria arrive at the Los Angeles VIP screening of “Rudderless” at The Vista Theater. (Photo by Dan Steinberg/Invision/AP, File)

Meanwhile, Huffman’s actor husband William H. Macy, who wasn’t charged in the scheme, and her “Desperate Housewives” co-star Eva Longoria were among two dozen people who submitted letters to the court on her behalf.

Macy detailed his family’s struggles in the wake of the scandal, saying that his wife hasn’t been able to find work since she was arrested six months ago and her daughter, now in college, has been taking a gap year. He also said Huffman’s younger daughter, who is in high school is attending therapy.

“Felicity’s only interest now is figuring out how to make amends and help her daughters heal and move on,” Macy wrote.

In a two-page letter, Longoria praised her friendship with Huffman calling her  a “gentle character” with a “kind heart.”

Longoria also said of Huffman: “She always leads with her heart and has always put others first.”

Huffman is among 51 people charged in a scheme in which prosecutors say wealthy parents paid an admissions consultant to bribe coaches and test administrators to help their children get into prestigious colleges.


Huffman’s bribe is among the smaller ones. “Full House” star Lori Loughlin and her fashion designer husband, Mossimo Giannulli, are charged with paying $500,000 for their two daughters to get into elite universities. Both have pleaded not guilty to charges which include conspiracy to commit fraud and money laundering and are facing maximum jail sentences of 40 years in prison.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 


Trump was wrong to say Dorian threatened Alabama, said NWS. But the NOAA is backing him – Global News

September 6th, 2019

When U.S. President Donald Trump claimed that hurricane Dorian would threaten Alabama, he was soon contradicted by the National Weather Service (NWS) in the city of Birmingham, which said that “no impacts” from the storm would be felt in the state.

Meteorologists and weather experts have pushed back on the claim, too.

But now the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has issued a statement backing the president’s account — even as reports still say Trump was wrong.

WATCH: (Sept. 6) Environment Canada predicts hurricane Dorian to make landfall in Halifax on Saturday evening

Trump first tweeted about Alabama possibly being hit by Dorian last Sunday.

The National Weather Service in Birmingham later issued its tweet saying Alabama would “NOT see any impacts from Dorian,” saying the system would remain too far east.

The NOAA also backed up the NWS’ statement that day, when spokesman Christopher Vaccaro said, “the current forecast path of Dorian does not include Alabama.”

Trump subsequently doubled down on his assertion, presenting a map during a briefing in the Oval Office that apparently used a marker to extend the storm’s “cone of uncertainty” — which shows the projected path of a hurricane — so that it included the state.

READ MORE: Trump displays map of Hurricane Dorian apparently altered to include Alabama

The president was mocked for that briefing, with people taking markers to images such as the U.S.-Mexico border and the size of the crowd at his inauguration.

The NOAA’s Friday statement, however, pushed back on NWS Birmingham’s tweet, saying it spoke in “absolute terms that were inconsistent with probabilities from the best forecast products available at that time.”

The administration explained that, from Aug. 28 through Sept. 2, information that the NOAA provided to Trump showed that Alabama could be hit by tropical-storm-force winds.

WATCH: Hurricane Dorian — what’s next for the Bahamas?

The NOAA said this was “clearly demonstrated” in 26 different hurricane advisories displaying wind speed probabilities.

Indeed, a graphic produced by the administration shows outlying winds from Dorian hitting Alabama.

READ MORE: Bahamas begin recovery as Dorian moves to U.S., Canada — a look at what’s left behind

But this was apparently news to The Washington Post, which noted that Alabama did not fall within Dorian’s cone of uncertainty at any time during the dates mentioned by the NOAA —

Nor did any advisory from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) ever mention the state, the newspaper asserted.

WATCH: Sept. 5 — Hurricane Dorian slams Bahamas, at least 23 dead

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Hurricane research Brianer McNoldy of the University of Miami said Trump had “no clue what he’s talking about, or what is plotted on that map.”

“At the time of that cycle, Alabama was at even lower risk than before, and it was barely anything to start with,” he said.

READ MORE: Want to help those affected by Dorian? Donate cash before goods, aid groups say

When he presented his map, Trump said “almost all models” predicted Alabama would be hit, and said there was a 95 per cent chance of that happening.

PolitiFact checked his statement and determined that he’s wrong in a story published Thursday.

The website spoke with Phil Klotzbach, who said “in no way was Alabama a likely target, but there was a small chance that Dorian could have entered the Gulf of Mexico.”

“But, I think the key point is that NOAA never discussed that scenario, because it was likely at least one week out from when this guidance was available.”

The latest forecasts have Dorian blowing with maximum winds of 150 km/h, with a hurricane warning in effect for eastern Nova Scotia between Hubbards and Avonport.

The storm is expected to hit as a Category 1 event, but it is picking up speed.

— With files from The Associated Press

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Huawei just unveiled the chip that will power the iPhone 11’s biggest rival – Yahoo News

September 6th, 2019

Huawei just unveiled the chip that will power the iPhone 11’s biggest rival  Yahoo News

Huawei at IFA 2019 in Berlin took the wraps off of its next-gen mobile processor, the Kirin 990 system-on-chip (SoC) that will power the Mate 30 phones, …

View full coverage on Google News

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This city has the highest per-capita opioid overdose death rate in Ontario – CTV News

September 6th, 2019

For paramedics in Thunder Bay, an average day includes responding to at least one opioid overdose.

The northwestern Ontario city and its surrounding area has the highest per-capita accidental opioid overdose death rate in the province, at 22.7 per 100,000 people, according to the latest available data from Public Health Ontario.

Thunder Bay’s detox facility is so overcrowded that 8,000 people had to be turned away in the past year.

The city is on the front lines of Canada’s opioid crisis, but its first responders and health-care workers say they are dealing with a disproportionate share of the burden. Local officials say provincial and federal governments seem to be forgetting about their struggle as the spotlight remains on Canada’s large urban centres.

“The money kind of goes where the votes go,” Thunder Bay paramedic Brian Schenk told CTV News.  “It’s politically expedient to be spent in big cities where there’s lots of opiates. And we got lots of opiate but not as many voters.”

On a recent ride-along with the paramedics, CTV News got a first-hand look at the growing drug crisis in Thunder Bay.

Just before dawn, an ambulance was called to a derelict downtown building where a man had taken cocaine laced with an opioid.

“He thought he was going to get high on cocaine and instead he wakes up like ‘Whoa! What the heck’s going on? Who are you guys and why are you here?’” Schenk said.

Whoever supplied the man with cocaine also gave him the opioid overdose-reversing medication naloxone to counter the high.

“At least they didn’t want to kill him but they did want to steal what he had,” Schenk said.

The City of Thunder Bay hands out thousands of life-saving naloxone kits for free, but paramedics say they sometimes give drug users a false sense of security.

Many users self-administer naloxone and don’t bother waiting for an ambulance, either because they’re scared of getting caught with drugs or feel like they’ve recovered – even when that feeling is only temporary. 

“They’ll have gotten up and left. Two, three hours later we may go back and it may be the same patient who is relapsed,” Andrew Dillon, deputy chief of the Superior North Emergency Medical Services, told CTV News.

Dillon said opioid-related emergency calls have quadrupled in two years.  On average, a Thunder Bay EMS team rushes to one of those calls every 21 hours.

First responders are overwhelmed and strained, and so are the region’s treatment centres. There’s only one safe injection site in the city and not enough hospital beds.

“We’re playing catch-up in many respects with what the need is and what the demand is,” said Juanita Lawson, CEO of NorWest Community Health Centres, which operates the consumption and treatment site.

Between July 2017 and June 2018, there were 1,337 confirmed opioid-related deaths in Ontario, and the majority of them were accidental.

Although the highest number of those deaths — 291 — occurred in Toronto, the highest per-capita rate was recorded in the Thunder Bay District Health Unit.

Thunder Bay’s opioid crisis is fuelled by an infiltration of gangs from Toronto, Ottawa and Winnipeg. Gang members saw a lucrative drug trafficking opportunity in the area when the supply was low.


Ken Bailey is among those who lost a loved one in Thunder Bay’s drug crisis.  

He’s still haunted by the call he got from his ex-wife last summer, telling him that his adult son Mark had died.

“She said, ‘I just phoned to tell you that we got bad news: Mark’s dead,’” Bailey recalled in an interview with CTV News.  “And the whole world stopped.”

Mark Bailey took his last breath in a motel room. An autopsy determined the cause of his death was fentanyl toxicity.

His father is calling for tougher penalties for dealers who sell fentanyl-laced drugs.

“I got a beer on the floor here. If you came along and put some arsenic on that beer and I drank it and died…I died from what you did. That’s the same thing they did with his cocaine,” Ken Bailey said.

“To me, that’s murder.”

The Ontario Provincial Police have ramped up their investigations into opioid-related deaths and have laid nearly three dozen serious criminal charges in 13 fatal overdose cases since 2016.

The OPP said in a news release in September that 20 manslaughter and 12 criminal negligence causing death charges have been laid so far. Those include charges laid in connection to eight opioid-related deaths this year alone.

“The OPP is not the only police service to lay charges of this nature,” the release said. “Other police services across the province are collectively sending the same message — there is no excuse for selling, distributing or trafficking drugs such as fentanyl when the deadliness of this drug is very well-known.”

Meanwhile, those on the front lines in Thunder Bay are calling for more resources on the ground.

“Maybe there’s a chance,” Schenk said. “I gotta hope there is, because the way it’s going, we’re just going to start finding more bodies.”


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Microsoft releases new Windows 10 preview with Cortana and WSL improvements – VentureBeat

September 6th, 2019

Apple Accuses Google of “Stoking Fear” Over iOS Security – Google Says It Stands By Its Findings – Wccftech

September 6th, 2019

Apple isn’t happy about Google’s recent report that revealed how some malicious websites secretly targeted iPhones using iOS exploits that enabled attackers to spy on the victims.

Google’s Project Zero report [link] was apparently so damaging that just a few days after it went live, Zerodium – the top bug bounty program – increased the value of Android exploits to up to $2.5 million. In comparison, bounties for iOS zero days max at $2 million.

Related GrayKey Can Unlock iPhones for Less Than $100 – It’s Time to Move Away from 6-Digit Passcodes [How To]

This may have other reasons, but bug bounties hint at how secure a platform is considered in the industry and how difficult it is to find zero day exploits. With several reports in the past couple of years focusing on iOS exploits and security issues, people who normally exclusively consider iPhones for security purposes are now beginning to think about Android. Google’s mobile operating system is also getting more secure by the day with several OEMs now offering timely security and software updates.

This is where Apple’s problems come in.

Apple says Google is creating “false impression” about iOS security

The iPhone maker usually doesn’t like paying attention to these reports unless things get serious. In a statement, Apple has said today that it was a “sophisticated attack,” which was “narrowly focused” and wasn’t as “en masse” as Google suggested in its Project Zero report.

“The attack affected fewer than a dozen websites that focus on content related to the Uighur community,” Apple said, adding:

Google’s post, issued six months after iOS patches were released, creates the false impression of “mass exploitation” to “monitor the private activities of entire populations in real time,” stoking fear among all iPhone users that their devices had been compromised. This was never the case.

Google’s report had also noted that iOS versions 10 through 12 were affected by these vulnerabilities, hinting that the attackers may have exploited these bugs for over two years. Apple refutes this by saying that “all evidence indicates that these website attacks were only operational for a brief period, roughly two months, not ‘two years’ as Google implies.”

Related Grammarly Allowed Websites to Read Everything You Typed Online (Private Data, Documents Included)

Given the severity of the issue, Google had privately disclosed the bugs to Apple giving the company only seven days to fix the bugs. Apple was also quick to address these problems, fixing them with the release of iOS 12.1.4 back in February.

Apple said that it was already “in the process of fixing the exploited bugs” when Google had contacted it.

iPhone maker hasn’t shared any technical details of the attack

We tried to reach out to Apple to get a clarification on how many users it estimates were targeted in this attack, but the company is keeping its usual silence. Apple hasn’t shared any technical details or argued against those shared by Google’s Project Zero team. The company’s only argument against Google’s report is that the attack wasn’t widespread or active for as long as Google has said.

When we contacted Google about Apple’s recent statement, the Android maker said that it stands by its security research team. In an emailed statement to Wccftech, a Google spokesperson wrote:

“Project Zero posts technical research that is designed to advance the understanding of security vulnerabilities, which leads to better defensive strategies. We stand by our in-depth research which was written to focus on the technical aspects of these vulnerabilities. We will continue to work with Apple and other leading companies to help keep people safe online.”

We will update this space if Apple shares any further information about this problem. You can read Apple’s complete statement here, but it’s the usual corporate “we care about our users” lingo. This strategy of saying just enough usually works for Apple, but it’s perhaps time for the Cupertino tech giant to avoid using Facebook-like “Newspeak” and come clean to its users.

Only recently, Apple was caught up in the Siri contractor issue, which only came to the surface because of an investigative report. In response to that issue, Apple had said that it hasn’t been fully living up to its high ideals. As we had said at the time, these reports only create concern whether there are more minefields hidden inside the ecosystem that just haven’t been discovered yet.

“Security is a never-ending journey and our customers can be confident we are working for them,” Apple reassures in its latest statement, adding that “iOS security is unmatched.”

This is where things become problematic for users. Apple users have ended up relying 100% on the company for taking care of their security concerns. They do believe that the company is taking, what Apple calls, “end-to-end responsibility” for the security of both its hardware and software. But, does it? Apple users didn’t even learn about this exploit until a third party detailed it. February’s iOS 12.1.4 changelog makes no mention of the attack and turns a critical problem into just another bug that was fixed.

While many Apple fans go into the debate of “but, Android is worse,” the security conscious consumer that considers iPhone for its privacy and security promises – not just out of fandom – may just start paying attention to the alternatives.


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Apple Plans to Bring Back a Lower-Cost iPhone to Boost Sales – Yahoo Finance

September 6th, 2019

Apple Plans to Bring Back a Lower-Cost iPhone to Boost Sales  Yahoo Finance

This year has been a challenging time for Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) investors. Sales of its flagship iPhone, particularly in China, hit a slump and weighed heavily …

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Project Runway Alum Chris March Dead at 56 – Vulture

September 6th, 2019

Photo: Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images for IMG

Chris March, breakout Project Runway finalist and celebrity designer, has died at the age of 56. According to TMZ, March passed away Thursday after suffering a heart attack. His death comes two years after the designer suffered a serious fall that lead to him being placed into a medically-induced coma, a health crisis from which March was still in recovery. The designer is perhaps best known to Project Runway fans from his jaw-dropping work with human hair in season four of the Bravo fashion competition show, and even more so, from host Tim Gunn’s stunned reaction to it.

In addition to his design work for stars like Lady Gaga, Madonna, Meryl Streep and Beyoncé on the singer’s I Am… Tour, March went on to compete in the 2009 special Project Runway: All-Star Challenge and season 4 of Project Runway All Stars. He also starred in his own reality show on Bravo entitled Mad Fashion in 2011, and made appearances on The Real Housewives of New York City in conjuncture with his costuming work for Sonja Morgan. Bravo’s own Andy Cohen remembered March on Instagram Friday while wearing one of his creations, calling him a “joy and a delight.”