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Facebook Introduces New Tools to Combat Bullying and Harassment

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Facebook Introduces New Tools to Combat Bullying and Harassment

Facebook has announced a new set of measures to tackle on platform bullying and abuse, including tools to protect high profile users and options for people to report problems on behalf of others.

First off, Facebook’s adding a new comment moderation tool which will enable users to delete multiple comments at once.

The tool will make it a little easier to manage your interactions on Facebook, helping you to both get rid of negative comments for your own sake, while also protecting your community from such exposure. Facebook says in a statement that it’s also testing some of the different ways to “more easily search for and block offensive words from appearing in comments”.

The new comment moderation option is rolling out on desktop and Android first and will be available on iOS in the coming months.

Facebook’s also providing new tools which will enable users to submit an issue report on behalf of someone they see is being bullied or harassed on the platform.

“Being the target of unwanted attention can be stressful and some of the people may not feel comfortable at the time of reporting. In some of the other cases, bullying or harassment happens out of sight from victims. If ever you see any of your friend or family which is being bullied or harassed, now you can report someone on their behalf via the menu above the post that you are concerned about. “

Must Read: Decline of Face to Face Communication due to Technology

The use case here makes perfect sense, and it’ll help to have another way for Facebook to detect and remove such comments, without the onus totally being on the victim.

In addition to this, Facebook’s also looking to add in new protections for public figures – particularly younger people in the spotlight.

“Our some of the different set of bullying and harassment policies protect private individuals, but we permit open and critical discussion of people who are featured in the news or have a large public audience which is as of now totally based on their profession or chosen activities. We have communicated with a different set of people who use Facebook as well as safety experts to find ways we can better protect these public figures from harassment. In the 207, we expanded our policies to guard against the harassment of young public figures on Facebook. In the coming time scenario, we will further expand our policies to better protect public figures against harassment regardless of age.”

Must Read: How Android 9 Pie update will Empower the soul of One Plus 6?

One of the most prominent examples of this was the recent meme trend involving Stranger Things actor Millie Bobby Brown, who’s 14 years old. The trend, which used Brown’s image in offensive memes, eventually lead to the actor quitting Twitter – and there are various other examples of celebrities, young and old, facing unrelenting attacks or criticism online.

As Facebook notes, these people are in the public eye, and thus open for public discussion, but there are still lines that need to be drawn on such behavior. Facebook is now looking to clarify what those lines, specifically, are.

Also Read: Luck felt sore, tired but pain-free after throwing at camp

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AG’s lawsuit to block mask mandates in Missouri schools in front of judge Tuesday

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AG’s lawsuit to block mask mandates in Missouri schools in front of judge Tuesday

COLUMBIA, Mo. – Attorney General Eric Schmitt filed a class-action lawsuit in an effort to stop public schools from issuing mask mandates will be in front of a judge Tuesday. 

On the same day that Columbia Public Schools (CPS) returned to the classroom in August, Schmitt filed a lawsuit against the district for requiring masks. He said he plans to ask the judge to include the other 50 Missouri schools that have mask mandates to the lawsuit. 

“Masking up a five-year-olds all day long is just not backed up by any widespread study,” Schmitt, who is running for U. S. Senate, said Friday. “Parents should be able to make those decisions and families should be able to make those decisions, not these bureaucrats.”

Ten percent of school districts in the state could soon be facing a lawsuit for requiring students to wear a mask. The lawsuit said the CPS mask mandate is “arbitrary and capricious.”

“Folks cannot point to any widespread study at all that would show that this provides any real benefit for kids,” Schmitt said. 

Less than 35% of people between the ages of 12 to 17 are vaccinated in Missouri. Earlier this month, the Missouri Hospital Association (MHA) reported more than 1,100 children under 18 tested positive for COVID in one day, a record number of cases. 

“People are tired I think of these bureaucrats making this stuff up as they go along and that’s what we are fighting back against,” Schmitt said. “This kind of overreach that has long-term consequences.”

Columbia Public School did not want to go on camera because the district does not discuss active litigation, but said in a statement in part:  

“In Columbia Public Schools, providing a safe learning environment for all our scholars and staff is our top priority. First-day numbers indicate the school district’s enrollment increased by 525 scholars over last year with a total first-day enrollment of 18,738. Scholars arrived to our campuses excited to return to in-person learning and ready for a great year ahead. 

“Columbia Public Schools is extremely disappointed to learn that the Missouri Attorney General has chosen to pursue litigation against the school district for providing safety measures for its scholars, teachers, and staff members. The decisions made are based on guidance and recommendations from local, state, and national health experts, including the CDC. 

“The decision to require masks is not a forever decision. It is something currently necessary to keep our scholars safely learning in our schools.  The health and safety of Missouri citizens, especially its youngest citizens, should always be the first priority of our great state’s elected leadership.” 

Commissioner for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) Margie Vandeven said it’s about local control. 

“Our guidance does speak to masking in schools for those who are not vaccinated, in particular for those who can’t be vaccinated,” Vandeven said. 

She said schools are seeing more children test positive for the virus due to the Delta Variant. 
“When conditions warrant, there are mitigation strategies that can be put into place to avoid quarantine for example,” Vandeven said.

“That’s been one of the most disruptive components of the pandemic has been quarantine.”

Vandeven said DESE has supported local control and decision-making since the beginning of the pandemic. 
“One thing that state law provides for is making sure that you’re revisiting that decision on a monthly basis,” Vandeven said. 

In the lawsuit, the attorney general argued mask mandates were not effective and points to the low transmission rates among school-aged children.

“The facts are that kids are very unlikely to contract, transmit or get seriously ill from this,” Schmitt said. “The seasonal flu is much more deadly than COVID but you don’t see these same bureaucrats talking about force masking.”

Schmitt referred to a new state law Friday that limits the authority of local public health officials. House Bill 271 limits local orders restricting businesses, churches, schools, or gatherings to 30 days under a statewide emergency unless approved by a majority vote of the local governing body, like a city council. If there is no emergency, then the restriction or order could only last for 21 days unless approved.

“If they are going to do this, they have to do it every 30 days and there’s a process where the public gets to weigh in and they didn’t follow that,” Schmitt said. 

The lawsuit asks the court to find the mask requirement from CPS unlawful because it should have expired after 30 days because there was no approval from the board of education. 

The city of Columbia currently doesn’t have a mask mandate. 

A Boone County judge will hear the case Tuesday morning. Schmitt said he also plans to ask for an injunction to block any school district in the state from issuing a mask mandate. 

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Two people shot at a Walgreens in Broomfield

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Two people shot at a Walgreens in Broomfield

Two people were shot on Saturday at a Walgreens store in Broomfield, police said.

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Parkway School District officials identify Central student who wrote racist graffiti

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Parkway School District officials identify Central student who wrote racist graffiti

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – A student responsible for the racist graffiti found at Parkway Central High School earlier this week has been identified.

Parkway School District sent out a letter Friday afternoon saying that the student admitted to the offense.

Parkway Central High School Principal Tim McCarthy told parents that the student will be held accountable according to the district’s discipline policy.

On Thursday, hundreds of Parkway Central High School students walked out of class in protest of hate speech.

It was also reported that racial slurs were found inside bathrooms at Parkway North High School.

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Free COVID vaccines will be offered at The Rolling Stones concert Sunday

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Free COVID vaccines will be offered at The Rolling Stones concert Sunday

ST. LOUIS – If you’re going to The Rolling Stones concert in St. Louis Sunday night and you don’t have the COIVD-19 vaccination, you will be able to get the shot at the concert.

As The Rolling Stones song says “it’s just a shot away.”

BJC Healthcare has announced it will offer free COVID vaccination shots at the concert. The shots will be given at the first aid room at The Dome at America’s Center.  

The Rolling Stones recently released an Instagram video for fans that strongly encourage COVID vaccines and testing.

The band kick off their 13 dates No Filter tour in St. Louis Sunday night. Masks are required for those attending the concerts. Proof of vaccination or COVID tests are not required, but The Rolling Stones say they got the shot and you should too. 

“We want to make it a great night and a safe one. We’ve all had the shot, and you better get one too. So, if you’re not vaccinated get tested,” members of The Rollings Stone say in the video.

“If they want the masks on, put them on. It’s no big deal. And if you’re experiencing symptoms, like a high temperature or something don’t come to the show. Who knows when we’ll have the chance to spend the night together again.”

The latest data from the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force shows the number of COVID cases in the St. Louis region is decreasing or leveling off. 

New hospital admissions of COVID patients increased from 52 yesterday to 55 today. The number of COVID-positive patients in hospitals decreased from 418 yesterday to 393 today. 

The concert starts at 7:30 Sunday night with an opening act. The Rolling Stones are expected to take the stage at about 8:45 p.m. Free COVID vaccinations will be available at the first aid room at the dome Sunday night 

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Kickin’ It with Kiz: Ben Simmons in a Nuggets uniform? It’s an excellent idea, but …

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Ben Simmons won’t report to 76ers’ training camp, AP source says

The Nuggets should consider trading for Ben Simmons, but only depending on the cost. His shortcomings were magnified in the NBA playoffs. But he has length and is a very good defender. Coach Michael Malone and Nikola Jokic would make Simmons better. Again, it’s all about the cost.

— Bobby, hoops dreamer

Kiz: A decade down the road, we might well say Simmons had a more-stellar NBA career than Michael Porter Jr. But if Philadelphia wants to trade Simmons right now, it’s hard to envision how the financial machinations of a trade to Denver could work, unless injured guard Jamal Murray is involved. So I’m guessing we have a better chance of seeing Aaron Rodgers play quarterback for the Broncos today than we do of greeting Simmons as a Nuggets starter on opening night.

Are the Broncos for real? The roster seems to have improved, even at quarterback. But improvement isn’t all that Broncos Country wants. We’re about winning and championships. We’re not there… yet.

— A.R., keeping it real

Kiz: While we’re all grooving to the Teddy B Experience, nobody expects this orange-and-blue bandwagon to roll all the way to a championship. But do I detect signs of vulnerability in the Kansas City Chiefs? I’m a believer in the hangover effect of a Super bowl loss. So I think the Broncos not only have a shot at sneaking into the playoffs, they also will end that 11-game losing streak to K.C. For real.

You stupid fool, Teddy Bridgewater has won exactly two games against (crummy) teams. Can’t you save your obsequious toadying and butt-kissing until halfway through the NFL season?

— Steve, has way with words

Kiz: You nailed it. Obsequious toadying is my brand. They don’t call me Mr. Sunshine for nuthin’.

Thanks for your column about the Rockies and franchise owner Dick Monfort. I gave up my tickets to the Rockies for the reasons you described. I would rather watch them on television. The Rockies are our home team, but let the transplants support the Dodgers and Monfort.

— Sam, spends wisely

Kiz: Well, at least the Rockies will be able to watch the playoffs on TV and root for former teammate Nolan Arenado.

Kiz, would you write something about the lack of a salary cap in baseball?  I don’t see how smaller-market teams like the Rockies can hope to keep top players or consistently contend without a cap. I know there never has been one and probably never will, but …

— Gordon, Longmont

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Aurora officer on leave after video of violent traffic stop emerges

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Aurora officer on leave after video of violent traffic stop emerges

An Aurora police officer is on administrative leave and an internal investigation is underway after video of a violent encounter during a May traffic stop emerged.

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CSU Rams vs. Iowa live blog: Real-time updates from the college football game at Kinnick Stadium

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CSU Rams vs. Iowa live blog: Real-time updates from the college football game at Kinnick Stadium


Joe Nguyen

| Digital Sports Strategist

Digital sports strategist for The Denver Post. Previously he was the online prep sports editor. Prior to that, he covered Adams County and Aurora in the YourHub section. He also writes about beer, professional wrestling and video games.

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Taliban hang body in public; signal return to past tactics

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Witness: Taliban hang dead body in Afghan city’s main square

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Taliban hanged a dead body from a crane parked in a city square in Afghanistan on Saturday in a gruesome display that signaled the hard-line group’s return to some of its brutal tactics of the past.

Taliban officials initially brought four bodies to the central square in the western city of Herat, then moved three of them to other parts of the city for public display, said Wazir Ahmad Seddiqi, who runs a pharmacy on the edge of the square.

Taliban officials announced that the four were caught taking part in a kidnapping earlier Saturday and were killed by police, Seddiqi said. Ziaulhaq Jalali, a Taliban-appointed district police chief in Herat, said later that Taliban members rescued a father and son who had been abducted by four kidnappers after an exchange of gunfire. He said a Taliban fighter and a civilian were wounded by the kidnappers, and that the kidnappers were killed in crossfire.

An Associated Press video showed crowds gathering around the crane and peering up at the body as some men chanted.

“The aim of this action is to alert all criminals that they are not safe,” a Taliban commander who did not identify himself told the AP in an on-camera interview conducted in the square.

Since the Taliban overran Kabul on Aug. 15 and seized control of the country, Afghans and the world have been watching to see whether they will re-create their harsh rule of the late 1990s, which included public stonings and limb amputations of alleged criminals, some of which took place in front of large crowds at a stadium.

Mullah Nooruddin Turabi, one of the founders of the Taliban and the chief enforcer of its harsh interpretation of Islamic law when they last ruled Afghanistan, told The Associated Press this week that the militant movement will once again carry out executions and amputations of hands, though perhaps not in public.

“Everyone criticized us for the punishments in the stadium, but we have never said anything about their laws and their punishments,” Turabi said. “No one will tell us what our laws should be. We will follow Islam and we will make our laws on the Quran.”

The group’s leaders remain entrenched in a deeply conservative, hard-line worldview, even if they are embracing technological changes, such as video and mobile phones.

President Joe Biden’s administration signaled on Friday that the U.S. would not tolerate the Taliban’s return to their past punishment methods.

“We condemn in the strongest terms reports of reinstating amputations and executions of Afghans,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters. “The acts the Taliban are talking about here would constitute clear gross abuses of human rights, and we stand firm with the international community to hold perpetrators of these — of any such abuses — accountable.”

Also Saturday, a roadside bomb hit a Taliban car in the capital of eastern Nangarhar province, wounding at least one person, a Taliban official said. No one immediately claimed responsibility for the bombing. The Islamic State group affiliate, which is headquartered in eastern Afghanistan, has said it was behind similar attacks in Jalalabad last week that killed 12 people.

The person wounded in the attack is a municipal worker, Taliban spokesperson Mohammad Hanif said.

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Xaverian blows out Brockton in 42-6 rout

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Duxbury hangs on to defeat Scituate

BROCKTON — Friday night was the type of game that Xaverian football coach Al Fornaro loves, and not just because it was a win in what he believes is the best nonleague rivalry in the state.

His outstanding offensive line allowed the Hawks to do whatever they wanted offensively as junior Michael Oates ran for two touchdowns and senior Jake Gilbert threw for two more in a 42-6 rout of Brockton.

“I don’t get to coach the position anymore, which I’m not happy about, but I went down when they were doing a little 1-on-1s and I stopped the drill and told them, as an offensive line there is nothing more satisfying than moving a human being against his will, and we did that a lot tonight,” said Fornaro.

Xaverian (1-2) scored on five of its seven possessions with the first team offense — all TDs. The Hawks were essentially stopped just once as one series ended with a botched field goal attempt at the end of the half.

Oates piled up 124 yards on just 14 carries and had scoring runs of 24 and 39, the second of which made it 28-0 just two plays into the second half. BC-bound senior left tackle Jack Funke led the way up front, along with juniors Cole Canty, Kastriot Panariti and Jon Mould, and sophomore Andrew Dufault.

A sophomore cornerback with a name quite familiar to Hawks fans provided the highlight of the night when Charlie Comella, whose father Greg and uncles Matt and J.P. all starred for Xaverian, picked off a deep ball down the left sideline and zig-zagged his way 55 yards back to the end zone in the second quarter.

“He’s good. He’s got good bloodlines and I’m glad he’s here,” said Fornaro of Comella. “He is playing because he’s the best guy. Greg played for me and I’m told he’s not going to play if he’s not the best guy. The school pays my salary, not the parents.”

Comella also caught a 29-yard TD pass, running under a beautiful lofted toss from Gilbert, who finished 11-of-15 for 167 yards. Gilbert capped the scoring by hitting Brockton native Jonathan Monteiro for a 34-yard TD.

Boxers QB Jason Wotondi accounted for nearly all of the Brockton offense, throwing for 130 yards and a touchdown and running for 39 more.

Xaverian has now won nine of the last 10 contests between the teams and leads the rivalry 26-13 overall.

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Salmonella outbreak from unidentified source expands to 29 states; CDC says strain found in takeout container

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Salmonella outbreak from unidentified source expands to 29 states; CDC says strain found in takeout container

The CDC said it was “not possible” to determine which component of the takeout meal was contaminated, as the container contained multiple food items. (Getty Images)

(NEXSTAR) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recorded a “significant” number of new infections amid a multi-state outbreak of salmonella stemming from an unknown food source.

At least 279 infections have been linked to the strain observed in the outbreak, 26 of which have required hospitalization, according to the latest CDC case count made public on Friday. Last week, the CDC had only confirmed 127 infections linked to the unidentified food source, including 18 hospitalizations.

The outbreak has also expanded to a total of 29 states, or four more than when the CDC first reported the infections last week.

No deaths have been linked to the outbreak.

Salmonella Oranienburg, the strain observed in this outbreak, began sickening people on Aug. 3 and grew “rapidly” in the following weeks, according to the CDC. The agency estimates that the actual number of sick people is “likely much higher” than 279, as many infected individuals often recover without seeking treatment or getting tested.

It can also take up to four weeks to determine if a sick person is indeed part of the outbreak, the agency says.

Investigators have yet to determine a food source linked to the outbreak, though the strain has since been identified in a takeout container provided to a restaurant customer, per the CDC’s lab data.

“State and local officials have collected food items from some of the restaurants where sick people ate,” the CDC wrote in Friday’s update. “The outbreak strain of Salmonella Oranienburg was found in a sample taken from a takeout condiment cup containing cilantro and lime. The sick person reported that the condiment container also contained onions, but none were left in the cup when it was tested.”

The CDC says, however, that it is “not possible” to determine exactly which ingredient or component was contaminated, as the takeout container contained other foods.

Health officials are currently gathering additional data, per the CDC.

In a statement shared with Nexstar days before the CDC’s latest update, the agency said it was continuing to see “a significant number of new cases reported each day.”

The statement, issued by Belsie González, MPH, the senior public affairs specialist for the CDC, added that “it remains important that people report symptoms to their healthcare provider and local health department.”  

Symptoms of salmonella include diarrhea, fever, stomach cramps, and possible nausea, vomiting or headache. Those experiencing more severe symptoms — including dehydration, prolonged vomiting, prolonged diarrhea, or diarrhea with a fever of over 102 degrees F, among other symptoms — should contact a doctor immediately.

A complete list of the number of infections and where they were reported can be found below.

  • Texas: 81
  • Oklahoma: 40
  • Illinois: 23
  • Virginia: 22
  • Minnesota: 19
  • Massachusetts: 10
  • Maryland: 9
  • Wisconsin: 8
  • Arkansas: 7
  • Kansas: 6
  • New Mexico: 6
  • California: 5
  • Connecticut: 5
  • South Dakota: 5
  • Michigan: 4
  • Nebraska: 4
  • New Jersey: 4
  • Pennsylvania: 4
  • Missouri: 3
  • Florida: 2
  • New York: 2
  • North Carolina: 2
  • Utah: 2
  • Indiana: 1
  • Iowa: 1
  • North Dakota: 1
  • Oregon: 1
  • South Carolina: 1
  • Tennessee: 1

More information on this outbreak and salmonella infection can be found at the CDC’s website.

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