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  1. More than a dozen states have moved to declare pornography a public health crisis, raising concerns among some experts who say the label goes too far and carries its own risks. The Arizona Senate approved a resolution this week calling for a systemic effort to prevent exposure to porn that's increasingly accessible to younger kids online. At least one legislative chamber has adopted a similar resolution in 15 other states. "It is an epidemic in our society, and this makes a statement that we have a problem," said Arizona Sen. Sylvia Allen, a Republican who blamed pornography for contributing to violence against women, sexual activity among teens and unintended pregnancies. Linking those social issues to pornography is "compete fear-mongering," said Mark Kernes, a senior editor at the trade publication Adult Video News media network. Pornography is harmless entertainment meant for adults, he said. "We're not really a public-health anything," Kernes said. The Arizona resolution that passed Monday doesn't ban pornography or create any other legal changes, but it could signal future action. Similar declarations have been passed in GOP-controlled states ranging from Tennessee to Montana and been adopted in the Republican Party's national platform. Many of the resolutions are based on a model written by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, an anti-porn group that cites research linking it to a range of problems and argues that it's become too ubiquitous for individuals to combat alone. But others say the public-crisis label is a misguided approach. Research has raised questions about the effect of explicit material on young kids, but links to other often-cited issues like human trafficking are tenuous at best, said Emily Rothman, a community health sciences professor at Boston University. The resolutions risk creating a stigma for marginalized groups like LGBTQ people and miss a key piece of the puzzle by leaving out calls for more robust sex education for teenagers, she said. And porn isn't like a deadly virus, she said. "If you stub your toe, that might be something you can't solve yourself, but that doesn't make it a public health issue," Rothman said. Several Arizona Democrats said the state has more important health threats to confront, such as measles, opioids, homelessness and suicide. Plus, pornography can be part of a healthy sex life for adults, said Albuquerque-based sex therapist David Ley, who sees the resolutions as a backlash against changing attitudes about sexuality. "It's just virtue signaling, there's literally no effect," he said. But the legislation could pave the way for future steps, like keeping publicly funded internet at places like schools and libraries from being used to access porn, said Haley Halverson with the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, which is working on new model legislation for states taking those next steps. "We think these resolutions are really powerful, although they're non-binding, because they raise awareness and educate the public, and hopefully can lay the groundwork to make more resources available to those people who potentially struggle with pornography," she said. Any future steps to restrict access to pornography have to be handled carefully to avoid running afoul of the First Amendment, said David Boaz, executive vice president of the libertarian-leaning Cato Institute. "When you declare it as a public health crisis, people see that as a blank check for the government to do something about it," he said. Utah was the first state to pass an anti-porn resolution in 2016. In the years since, lawmakers have passed bills tightening up filters on wireless internet at public libraries and getting out information to parents about controls available at home, said Republican Rep. Todd Weiler, the effort's sponsor. Another new state law lets parents sue pornography makers if their kids need treatment for problems related to porn use, though it wasn't immediately clear whether anyone has made a legal challenge through it. "We're trying to shed a light on an issue that some people don't think it's OK to talk about," he said. https://start.att.net/news/read/article/the_associated_press-a_growing_number_of_states_call_porn_a_public_heal-ap/category/news+
  2. The U.S. said Thursday that it has seized a North Korean cargo ship that was used to violate international sanctions, a first-of-its kind enforcement action that comes amid a tense moment in relations between the two countries. The "Wise Honest," North Korea's second largest cargo ship, was detained in April 2018 as it traveled toward Indonesia. It's now in the process of being moved to American Samoa, Justice Department officials said. Officials made the announcement hours after North Korea fired two suspected short-range missiles toward the sea, the second weapons launch in five days and a possible signal that stalled talks over its nuclear weapons program are in trouble. The public disclosure that the vessel is now in U.S. custody may further inflame tensions, though U.S. officials said the timing of their complaint was not a response to the missile launch. Justice Department lawyers laid out the case for confiscating the ship in a complaint filed in New York, arguing that payments for maintenance and operation of the vessel were channeled through unwitting U.S. financial institutions in violation of American law. The coal trade itself is also believed to fund the isolated country's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs. "This sanctions-busting ship is now out of service," Assistant Attorney General John Demers, the Justice Department's top national security official, told reporters. He later added: "The U.S. sanctions against North Korea reflect the threat these programs pose to U.S. national security." The 581-foot (177 meters) Wise Honest was used for coal transports to ports in China, Russia and other countries, according to the complaint, generating badly needed revenue to a country that is under U.N. sanctions because of its nuclear weapons program. The ship also delivered heavy machinery back to North Korea. The vessel was owned by a subsidiary of a North Korean shipping company that is controlled by the country's military and is on a Treasury Department sanctions list, officials said. North Korea sought to disguise the nationality of the ship and the origin of its cargo, according to the complaint. The ship, in what U.S. officials say was a clear act of concealment, also turned off an automatic signal system intended to alert other ships of its course and location. Indonesian authorities intercepted and seized the Wise Honest in the East China Sea a month after it was photographed at the port of Nampo, North Korea, where it took on a load of coal. The captain of the ship was charged in Indonesia with violating that country's maritime laws and convicted, the complaint says. It was not immediately clear what happened to the rest of the crew, which at least at one time totaled two dozen members. The U.S. has prosecuted people and businesses for violating sanctions but has never before seized a North Korean ship. The country will have an opportunity to contest the seizure in court. If the U.S. prevails, it will be able to sell the vessel. "When nations who have stated an intent to do harm to the United States evade international sanctions, Americans become less safe," said Geoffrey Berman, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York. Asked whether North Korea's largest merchant ship was similarly involved in illegal coal exports, Demers said that he did not know, but added, "If it is, we'd love to get our hands on it." President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have held two summits focused on the North's nuclear program but have made no discernible progress toward a deal that would eliminate its weapons. At the White House on Thursday, Trump said the U.S. was looking "very seriously right now" at North Korea's recent military tests. "Nobody's happy about it." https://start.att.net/news/read/article/the_associated_press-us_seizes_large_north_korean_ship_used_to_transpor-ap/category/news+
  3. Omgggggggggggg is here finally @Ghostface
  4. Shawn Mendes has officially become the 3rd artist in history to close the Pop panel in week one of tracking meaning his song is in rotation on every major pop radio station in the country. He joins Justin Timberlake and Taylor Swift as the only 3 artists in history to ever manage this feat. 
  5. Jim Cummings, who has voiced both Winnie the Pooh and Tigger in Disney films, has been accused by his ex-wife of rape and physical violence. According to Page Six, Stephanie Cummings, ex-wife of Jim Cummings, alleges in court documents that Cummings has “has engaged in physical, sexual and emotional abuse including but not limited to death threats, rape, and various sexual deviant behavior forced upon me without my consent” since their divorce in 2011. She alleges that Cummings raped her in 2013 as well as demanded sex in exchange for paying child support for their daughters. On one occasion, she claims that Cummings groped her breasts in front of the children, saying he could “touch Mommy’s breasts since he had paid for them.” According to The Blast, Cummings reportedly seemed to think the incident was funny in an email response: “‘Forcing’? Please, everyone, Gracie myself and especially YOU were all giggling and laughing, it was pleasant to have one moment of light-heartedness. We both erupted into laughter.” Stephanie has taken out two restraining orders against her former husband. The first because she alleges he “forcefully put his hand on the back of my neck and kissed me while holding me in place against the wall” in front of their four-year-old. Stephanie says the abuse became so unbearable that she moved with their daughters to Utah in 2017 but allowed Cummings to visit. During that visit, she alleges she woke to find him “standing over me with his erect penis in my hand” while their daughter slept beside her, after which she obtained a second restraining order. The court documents also accuse Cummings of abusing their family dog: In response to that document, Cummings countered that he was disciplining the dog and forgot about him “for a while.” https://jezebel.com/jim-cummings-the-voice-of-winnie-the-pooh-has-been-ac-1834527104
  6. Dennis Reynolds

    General News

    Not surprised to hear this, as I had heard about his recent stroke, but still unfortunate. Mainly known for directing Boyz N the Hood, he also directed Higher Learning, Shaft (2000) and 2 Fast 2 Furious. He was also the first black person to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director as well as the youngest person ever nominated at age 24. https://www.google.ca/amp/s/amp.cnn.com/cnn/entertainment/live-news/john-singleton-dead/index.html
  7. So for those that don't know, some high schoolers put on a play adaptation of Alien that was very well done and got a lot of attention, enough so that Ridley Scott funded an encore performance which can be seen here. This sounds really cool and just a nice story all around.
  8. A 19-year-old man armed with a rifle opened fire inside a synagogue near San Diego as worshippers celebrated the last day of Passover, killing a woman and wounding three people Saturday, authorities said. The man, whose name was not released, fled in a car and called 911 shortly afterward to say he was involved in the shooting at Chabad of Poway, San Diego Police Chief David Nisleit told reporters. When an officer reached the man on a roadway, "the suspect pulled over, jumped out of his car with his hands up and was immediately taken into custody," Nisleit said. There's a lot more in the link, my phone just hates me. https://start.att.net/news/read/article/the_associated_press-sheriff_shooting_at_california_synagogue_leaves_in-ap/category/news
  9. We stan a lesbian legend, she better not fuck it up
  10. The Weeknd, SZA, and Travis Scott are joining forces on a forthcoming song... for “Game of Thrones.” A source close the project confirmed to Pitchfork that the new track—which will feature in the eighth and final season of “Game of Thrones”—is coming soon. According to the source, “Game of Thrones” asked the Weeknd to record the song for fans. The Weeknd then brought SZA and Travis Scott onto the project. Rumors of the song recently circulated on Reddit, as well as a Travis Scott fan page. source: https://pitchfork.com/news/the-weeknd-sza-and-travis-scott-to-release-new-song-for-game-of-thrones/ Perched for the new song but GOT? Ummm...
  11. https://start.att.net/news/read/article/the_associated_press-dalai_lama_says_he_feels_almost_normal_as_he_leave-ap/category/news+
  12. https://apple.news/AiF7JtxSTQz-Uu98FtanVNw Store withdraws chocolate ducklings over racism complaint By Jack Guy, CNN Updated 10:39 AM EDT, Tue April 09, 2019 (CNN)UK grocery chain Waitrose has apologized after being accused of racism over the names of three chocolate ducklings. The "Waitrose Trio of Chocolate Easter Ducklings" contains a white, milk and dark chocolate version, which were named "Fluffy," "Crispy" and "Ugly" respectively. A Twitter user questioned why Waitrose had chosen to call the darkest duckling "Ugly." "Overheard women saying 'this is not right,' I agree, doesn't look good at all," wrote Livia A. Aliberti on March 7. Waitrose has since apologized in a short statement seen by CNN. "We are very sorry for any upset caused by the name of this product, it was absolutely not our intention to cause any offence," reads the statement. "We removed the product from sale several weeks ago while we changed the labeling and our ducklings are now back on sale." One possible explanation for the naming is a reference to the Hans Christian Andersen fairytale "The Ugly Duckling." The story features an unfortunate young duckling who is bullied by all of those around him before turning into a swan. Aliberti thanked Waitrose for changing the packaging in another tweet Tuesday.
  13. Anthropologists have discovered the remains of a previously undiscovered, extinct species of human in the Philippines. Estimated to have lived on the islands 50,000 years ago, it deepens the mystery on an era where humanity, and its various sub-species were on the move all over the world. Small-jawed with dainty teeth, able to walk upright but with feet still shaped to climb, these island creatures were a mix-and-match patchwork of primitive and advanced features in a unique variation of the human form, the scientists reported Wednesday in the journal Nature. Named Homo Luzonensis, in honor the Island of Luzon where it was found, it brings the Philippines to the forefront of the ongoing study to complete the Chain of Evolution of Humanity, where it was once considered a backwater in the field. The scientists speculate that the creatures may have died elsewhere and then washed into a deep sinkhole that, over eons of erosion, developed into the modern cave system. Working with wooden probes, the researchers pried loose several foot and hand bones, a partial thigh bone and teeth from a matrix of cemented sediments. It took three years of field work. The specimens belonged to two adults and a juvenile of the species. “We recognized them almost immediately as hominin,” said paleoanthropologist Florent Detroit of the Museum of Man at France’s National Natural History Museum in Paris, who was the lead author of the research paper that formally proposed the new species. “The molars were so tiny, so small. The pre-molars had two or three roots. I thought, Uh-oh,” he said. “This was clearly a human-like something.” “We don’t know how they got to Luzon,” said Dr. Detroit in Paris. “They crossed the ocean but we don’t know when and we don’t know how, but they did it a long time ago.” Source