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FBI Started Spying On Reddit Founder Aaron Swartz

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FBI began spying on Aaron Swartz earlier than we thought

The FBI started proactively snooping on Reddit owner Aaron Swartz 2 years previously than formerly believed.

According to a record initially released by Gizmodo, the FBI covertly gathered Swartz’ e-mail information in a counterterrorism examination that likewise trapped pupils at an American college.

Gizmodo.com records: The e-mail information coming from Swartz, that was most likely not the target of the counterterrorism examination, was cataloged by the FBI and also accessed greater than a year later on as it evaluated prospective fees versus him for something entirely unconnected. The lawful technique of saving information on Americans that are not believed of criminal activities, to make sure that it might be utilized versus them later, has actually long been knocked by constitutional freedoms professionals, that have actually contacted courts and also legislators to stop the FBI’s “drastically” large search treatments.

In November 2008, days prior to Swartz’s 22 nd birthday celebration, FBI private investigators were brushing the web for any kind of info they can discover on the boy fated to turn into one of the web’s most renowned numbers. At the time, the bureau was functioning to establish whether Swartz had actually gone against any kind of regulations when he downloaded and install numerous court papers from an on the internet system called PACER.

The FBI would eventually end that no criminal activity had actually been devoted which the court documents currently came from the general public. (Some 3 years later on, the UNITED STATE federal government billed him with criminal activities associated with mass-downloading from one more data source.) However on that particular day in November, the private investigators would certainly leave no rock unturned.

Attracting from info released on Wikipedia and also making use of investigatory devices such as Accurint, FBI staff members started silently constructing an account of the oft-described innovation “wunderkind,” keeping in mind, for instance, his participation in the production of the format language Markdown and also RSS 1.0, and also writing the different code structures that Swartz had actually aided to produce and also companies that he had actually aided to discovered. Ultimately, with all open resource methods worn down, an FBI worker took a seat at a computer system terminal that, to the majority of people, would certainly show up tweezed directly from the 1980 s. The worker ran a search making use of the bureau’s automated situation support group, a website to the motherlode of FBI investigatory documents.

fbi began spying on aaron

When the FBI employee key in Swartz’s web domain—aaronsw.com– he obtained a hit. A file appeared birthing the situation number 315 T-HQ-C1475879 The prefix, 315, is a mathematical classifier that was designated to the data when it was developed virtually 2 years in the past. It informed the FBI worker that Swartz’s domain name was connected, though not specifically just how, to a worldwide terrorism situation. And afterwards they broke it open.

315 T-HQ-C1475879

This situation has actually been something of an enigma given that its presence was initial uncovered by reporters and also scientists that involved the FBI in prolonged court fights over documents associated Swartz, a well known web legal rights lobbyist, that, while being targeted by excitable district attorneys in January 2013, passed away by self-destruction.

As stated, the recently launched file, acquired initial in a Flexibility of Info Act suit by openness team Residential or commercial property of individuals, exposes that Swartz was currently of investigatory passion to the FBI years prior to he was criminally billed with downloading and install numerous short articles and also papers from JSTOR, an extensive virtual library of scholastic journals, in very early 2011 and also, much more notably, virtually 2 years prior to the Justice Division took into consideration fees versus him associated with his PACER task– the initial well-known police probe to include him, previously.

The FBI has actually long suggested for expanding its extensive authority to obtain Americans’ exclusive interactions information in significant amounts without a court’s authorization. However the file acquired by Residential or commercial property of individuals, which was previously identified “secret,” shows up to exhibit, making use of an instead prominent number, the lots of integral threats in permitting authorities firms to covertly stock information on innocent Americans for nationwide safety and security.

The file shows up to reveal that in very early 2007, the FBI cataloged a considerable quantity of e-mail metadata from the computer technology and also IT divisions of the College of Pittsburgh, pointing out as reason the search of a terrorism lead.

The terrorist team at the facility of the examination is likewise recognized by name– Al Qaeda.fbi began spying on aaron

That any kind of info regarding Swartz was gathered throughout an Al Qaeda examination– just to be recovered virtually 2 years later on for completely unconnected functions– includes an acquainted and also supportive face to a debatable treatment in knowledge celebration typically described as a “backdoor search.” That is, the FBI celebration info regarding Americans that are not implicated of criminal activities, usually without a warrant; saving that info in data sources, often for many years; and also later on accessing it throughout the program of one more examination that eventually has absolutely nothing to do with terrorism whatsoever. (Backdoor searches are most typically related to Area 702 of the FISA Amendments Act, an authority that was not available to the FBI at the time.)

While the substantive information of this terrorism examination stay an enigma, lawful professionals that talked with Gizmodo claimed they were startled– yet not the least little bit shocked– to listen to the FBI utilized info obtained in a terrorism situation as it attempted to develop a criminal one versus Swartz long after.

” It’s troubling that the FBI is extracting this info for unconnected criminal examinations that have absolutely nothing to do with why it was gathered to begin with,” claimed Neema Singh Guliani, the American Civil Liberties Union’s legal advice. This technique, she claimed, is one more instance “of the method which this authority has actually been abused by the federal government and also highlights the requirement for reform.”

Particular kinds of digital info, the majority of which can be called “metadata,” might be gotten by the FBI without a warrant, offered it licenses there’s a “certain and also articulable” web link to believed terrorist tasks. This is generally the lawful matching of a suspicion, a limit which is floorings listed below possible reason. And also this secret: Acquiring that exact same info under any kind of various other scenario– other than when it comes to reconnaissance– would certainly or else need a court order.

Exactly how particularly the FBI pertained to have Swartz’s e-mail information continues to be uncertain.

However after examining the file and also various other associated documents, numerous lawful professionals informed Gizmodo one of the most likely description was that the FBI had actually utilized a National Safety and security Letter (NSL), a common device for acquiring e-mail header information at the time. An NSL would certainly have made it possible for government representatives to require accessibility to the information and after that enforce a trick order to keep privacy around the examination, all without a court’s authorization.

Licensed under the Stored Communications Act, in instances of believed terrorism or reconnaissance, these letters make it possible for the FBI to confiscate a selection of digital documents under its very own authority. While representatives can not make use of an NSL to obtain the components of an e-mail message, the FBI’s notes show up to reveal that, in Swartz’s situation, it looked for just “email headers,” information the FBI would certainly say drops well within the range of its power to confiscate.

Residential Or Commercial Property of individuals founder Ryan Shapiro, that holds a PhD from MIT, informed Gizmodo that the Justice Division was “specifically hostile” in court while attempting to maintain its previous, and also previously unrevealed, investigatory passion in Swartz under covers. It just yielded, he claimed, when it appeared the UNITED STATE lawyer was afraid an undesirable judgment, which can influence the Justice Division in future litigation.

” The FBI does virtually whatever in its power to keep its practical resistance from the Flexibility of Info Act. As one aspect of its anti-FOIA initiatives, the FBI is infamous for the purposeful hardship of its FOIA searches,” he claimed. “In this situation, the Bureau also made the crazy insurance claim that records regarding Aaron Swartz’s e-mail address, e-mail header information, and also domain name weren’t associated with him, and also consequently were outside the range of the FBI’s look for documents regarding Swartz. It took us years of lawsuits to require the FBI to lastly look for and also also partly launch this vital file.”

The FBI decreased to discuss the situation and also rather indicated Justice Division standards that specify the range of the FBI’s authority. “The way in which the FBI gets info has to satisfy a lawful limit, and also making use of that info is regulated by lawful laws and also standards on examinations developed by the Chief law officer. Additionally, the FBI’s use its lawful authorities undergoes durable oversight by all 3 branches of federal government,” it claimed.

College sleuthing

While greatly redacted, the file acquired by Residential or commercial property of individuals uses multiples hints regarding the beginning of the gathered e-mail information. It likely stemmed from the College of Pittsburgh (PITT). At the time of creating, nonetheless, it continues to be unidentified what attached the College to an examination including Al Qaeda in2007 (Numerous crucial parts of the documents are redacted, with exceptions referencing the National Safety and security Act of 1947.)fbi began spying on aaron

Significantly, the file referrals 2 collections of e-mail information classified “Computer technology” and also “CSSD” (” Appendix A” and also “Appendix B,” specifically).

While “Computer Technology” is unquestionably unclear– though plainly pertaining to a scholastic division someplace–” CSSD” has unique significance to Pittsburgh. As College literary works defines it, Computer Solutions and also Solution Advancement (CSSD) has actually long offered the “network facilities and also telecom foundation for the College neighborhood,” offering to name a few types of assistance, computer system sources and also training to pupils and also professor alike.

The term “CSSD” is likewise one-of-a-kind to the Pittsburgh university. The College, which today suits greater than 28,000 pupils and also a team of virtually 5,000, additional defines it as adheres to:

” Computer Solutions and also Solution Advancement (CSSD) sustains the mentor and also research study objectives of the College by giving devices (facilities, consulting, advancement and also training) to pupils taken part in scholastic tasks and also to professors in their research laboratories and also class. CSSD is accountable for preserving a modern IT atmosphere, while discovering the future generation of innovation, ingenious computer, and also telecommunication remedies.”

Just 2 web pages of the file were launched– a cover sheet and also a 2nd web page drew from among the “e-mail header” checklists– so it is uncertain specifically just how much information the FBI might have gotten. There are hints, nonetheless, that recommend it might have been a considerable quantity.

The web page with Swartz’s e-mail address is classified web page26 When the FBI searched for the data, it kept in mind the address was had in Appendix A (” Computer Technology”). So we understand the initial e-mail header listing occupies at the very least 26 web pages, yet possibly much more. There is no referral to the dimension of Appendix B. The overall dimension of the data, after that, can be anywhere in between 27 web pages and also 50 web pages or 100 web pages or 2,000– just the FBI recognizes without a doubt.fbi began spying on aaron

It is likewise uncertain why Swartz was, most likely, touching a trainee or employee in the PITT computer technology division, though he is recognized to have actually been associated with numerous software program advancement tasks at the time, and also had already recognized his very own interest for gathering and also sharing– often with various other academics– datasets consisting of large quantities of info, which he seriously thought need to be complimentary and also conveniently available to everybody.

” Info is power. However like all power, there are those that wish to maintain it on their own,” he later on created in his Guerrilla Open Up Accessibility Statement Of Belief. “Requiring academics to pay cash to review the job of their coworkers? Checking whole collections yet just permitting the people at Google to review them? Supplying clinical short articles to those at elite colleges in the First Globe, yet not to kids in the Global South? It’s shocking and also inappropriate.”

Gizmodo got in touch with the college in very early November. After a week, PITT claimed it was still “excavating” right into the issue. On November 20, Gizmodo educated PITT that it was intending to release a tale mentioning that the FBI got the interactions information of personnel and also pupils about a terrorism examination. Complying with that, communication from the College discontinued for over a week.

In reaction to a later e-mail increasing the opportunity that a National Safety and security Letter was utilized to obtain to information on personnel and also pupils, a PITT representative responded: “I hesitate we have no remark.” The representative would certainly likewise not claim whether the College had a plan of testing the federal government trick orders that go along with NSLs, which are made to avoid individuals and also establishments from ever before informing the general public regarding the letter’s presence.

National Protection Letters

In 2007, the FBI would certainly not have actually called for a warrant to get the e-mail headers from a public college. The Patriot Act, come on the wake of the September 2001 terrorist strikes, considerably decreased the limit for making use of NSLs as well as likewise made them a lot easier to obtain by broadening the variety of FBI authorities that can authorize them. Today, one of the most elderly representatives at the FBI’s 56 across the country area workplaces– unique representatives accountable (CAVITY)– have the ability to accept making use of an NSL.

NSLs might be utilized to obtain sans necessitate a series of non-mortgage consumer debt info and also various other global documents. However notably, the law accrediting their usage in instances of digital interactions– under Title II of the Electronic Communications Personal Privacy Act– do not allow the FBI to obtain the material of e-mails without a warrant. NSLs might be utilized, nonetheless, to obtain proof in search of secret warrants provided under the Foreign Knowledge Monitoring Act (FISA), for creating proof before the initiation of a terrorism examination, and also to prove info acquired by various other ways.

While the FBI educated Gizmodo that its use such devices is regulated by lawful laws and also standards developed by the UNITED STATE Chief Law Officer, the bureau has consistently gone against and also misunderstood those standards, according to the DOJ’s Workplace of Legal Advise and also the FBI’s very own assessor general. Significantly, these misuses were widespread around the moment that the FBI shows up to have actually gotten the PITT e-mail information.

In Between 2003 and also 2006, the FBI reported the issuance of greater than 192,000 letters, according to 2009 testament prior to the Us senate Board on the Judiciary. Nevertheless, the FBI’s assessor general likewise figured out that this number was likewise erroneously reduced. An evaluation of 4 area workplaces exposed the reported variety of letters was, actually, 22 percent less than the real variety of letters provided. It likewise recognized 26 feasible knowledge infractions, consisting of the issuance of NSLs “without correct consent.”

Out of 77 FBI documents, the assessor basic discovered that 293 letters had actually been utilized. Of those, 22 feasible infractions were uncovered that had actually not been formerly reported. The infractions consisted of “inappropriate demands under the important nationwide safety and security letter laws” and also “unapproved collections.” Additionally, several of the validations utilized to get the letters were extremely practical and also naturally flawed.

The FBI Pittsburgh Area Workplace, which asked for the evaluation of the e-mail headers connected to Swartz, likewise has a “uncomfortable” background when it come to the tracking of relaxed lobbyists, keeps in mind a 2010 assessor basic record.

In reaction to uncertainties of prohibited snooping on anti-war lobbyists increased by The golden state Agent Zoe Lofgren, the FBI introduced an inner examination to establish whether it had actually targeted “residential campaigning for teams” based exclusively on tasks secured under the First Change. Significantly, also the issuance of an NSL can not be based exclusively on monitorings of constitutionally secured speech. (Lofgren is, by the way, the writer of Aaron’s Legislation, an expense that looked for to change the Computer system Scams and also Misuse Act, under which Swartz was billed before his fatality. The expense did not pass.)

The assessor general’s record negated the 2006 legislative testament of then-FBI Supervisor Robert Mueller over FBI security of a calm objection kept in Pittsburgh 4 years previously. While he declared the bureau had a strong lead on an individual of passion in a terrorism situation, that so occurred to be a popular regional Muslim, the record discovered that the FBI had no proof connecting the guy to anything. Also even worse, it had not been till a representative was currently covert at the rally that the FBI discovered he existed. Before that, it really did not have “any kind of factor to think” he would certainly remain in participation, the record states.

” The basic concern with an NSL,” states Press reporter’s Board supervisor and also attorney Gabe Rottman, going back to the topic, “if one was utilized in this situation, is that the FBI can provide it by itself discernment and also can accumulate rather delicate info, such as e-mail headers.” However at the time, the FBI likewise declared the authority to accumulate probably a lot more delicate information without a warrant or court order, such an individual’s internet surfing background.

It’s specifically stressing, he claimed, that the FBI can utilize what usually becomes fictional risks to nationwide safety and security as a justification to stock UNITED STATE residents’s exclusive information, also when no evidence exists they have actually devoted a criminal offense. “Equally as Aaron’s e-mail was evidently grabbed right here,” he claimed, “you can have a press reporter or several of their resource info obtain scooped up and also extracted later on. Which refers fantastic issue.”

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Mahesh is leading digital marketing initiatives at RecentlyHeard, a NewsFeed platform that covers news from all sectors. He develops, manages, and executes digital strategies to increase online visibility, better reach target audiences, and create engaging experience across channels. With 7+ years of experience, He is skilled in search engine optimization, content marketing, social media marketing, and advertising, and analytics.

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St. Louis radio interview with Roger Stone allegedly interrupted by January 6 lawsuit process server

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St. Louis radio interview with Roger Stone allegedly interrupted by January 6 lawsuit process server

ST. LOUIS- A lawsuit on behalf of seven police officers who were working January 6, 2021 when rioters stormed the U.S. Capitol appears to have interrupted a St. Louis radio interview earlier this week when one of the defendants was served with papers.

Roger Stone, a longtime ally of former President Donald Trump, who was later pardoned by Trump, was a guest on KTRK (93.3) Wednesday. The interview gets sidetracked.

Stone is a defendant, along with Trump and others, in the suit brought by the Capitol Police officers, but the civil rights suit was filed on August 26. A review of court records shows an attorney appeared on Stone’s behalf in Washington, DC District Court on Wednesday, but there is no record of documents being served to Stone Wednesday.

A message seeking comment from the plaintiffs’ attorney was not immediately returned.

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The Spot: Where you (and Heidi Ganahl) stand on 2020 election results is a litmus test

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The Spot: Where you (and Heidi Ganahl) stand on 2020 election results is a litmus test

For people, policy and Colorado politics

What’s The Spot? You’re reading an installment of our weekly politics newsletter. Sign up here to get it delivered straight in your inbox.


Heidi Ganahl surely knew the question was coming: Do you accept the 2020 election result as legitimate?

Arguably above any other issue, an answer indicates whether a candidate has faith in the basic function of a democracy they seek to help lead. So it’s no surprise Ganahl, the biggest GOP name in Colorado’s 2022 race for governor, was asked at least three times Tuesday, Day 1 of her campaign.

She didn’t have an answer. The first time she was asked, by The Colorado Sun, she spoke generally about how important it is for people to “have confidence that their vote matters.” The second time, she told The Denver Post she wouldn’t “get into that right now.” The third time, she criticized 9News for posing such a “divisive” question.

The question is a litmus test: Will she run as a more moderate Republican who’s willing to say things that might upset the base, or will she run with the base and risk alienating moderates?

Recent history tells us it’s not easy to try to credibly run on both paths. Cory Gardner attempted that when he aligned himself with Donald Trump but ran ads about being bipartisan and independent-minded. Reporters had a lot of questions for him, but he rarely spoke to local media and left a lot unanswered.

The GOP split that Ganahl must navigate will be on display this weekend, when the state party votes on a proposal, led by the far-right, to close its primary process off to all but a few thousand die-hards. Doing that would mean excluding millions of Republican and unaffiliated voters from the GOP primary.

Reporters on Tuesday asked Ganahl what side she’s taking there — another litmus-test question.

Her response? “I’m not going to get into that.”

To support the important journalism we do, you can become a Denver Post subscriber here.

Questions?

Have a question about Colorado politics? Submit it here and it’ll go straight to The Denver Post politics team.

Top Line

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser speaks ...

Rebecca Slezak, The Denver Post

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser speaks on Wednesday, Sept. 15, 2021, during a news conference about a yearlong investigation into the Aurora Police Department that found officers’ pattern of racially biased policing and use of excessive force routinely violated state and federal law. (Rebecca Slezak, The Denver Post)

Aurora’s police department must make changes after a state investigation that found racially biased policing. Read more here.

Capitol Diary • By Saja Hindi

Abortion rights fight

Colorado Attorney General Phi Weiser announced this week that he has signed onto the U.S. Department of Justice’s lawsuit challenging Texas’ six-week abortion ban.

“I am committed to defending women’s reproductive rights and equality, and Texas’ new law violates longstanding U.S. Supreme Court precedent by denying women their constitutionally protected right to make their own health care decisions,” Weiser said in a statement.

Texas Senate Bill 8, which went into effect earlier this month, bans nearly all abortions in the state and allows private citizens to enforce it by giving them the ability to sue anyone who performs an abortion or helps someone to get one (including counseling or giving a ride to a clinic).

Abortion rights groups in Colorado have been preparing for an increase in patients, and advocacy group Cobalt said in the week following the Texas ban, half of the clients the nonprofit helped through its abortion fund were from Texas. The attorney generals’ brief cited impacts to providers across the country, including Colorado.

But the Texas law is not the only challenge in recent years to Roe v. Wade. Mississippi officials have asked the U.S. Supreme Court to keep in place a state law that bans abortions after 15 weeks.

Reproductive rights advocates say cases like these will continue to come up unless Congress takes action. Cobalt and others are supporting the “Women’s Health Protection Act,” which would put the right to abortion access into federal law. Colorado Democrats in Congress have signed onto the legislation as cosponsors.

Other Colorado politics news

Federal Politics • By Justin Wingerter

1631830994 851 The Spot Where you and Heidi Ganahl stand on 2020

House Television via AP

GOP U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn speaks as the House of Representatives debates articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., on Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019. (House Television via AP)

Judge rules in Lamborn’s favor

A federal judge has sided with U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn and agreed to let a court in Colorado handle the lawsuit filed against him by former staffer Brandon Pope.

Lamborn, R-Colorado Springs, wanted it here rather than U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Judge James Boasberg, an Obama appointee, ruled Wednesday that Colorado has “robust connections to this dispute.”

“In short, this case is about a Colorado resident’s employment dispute with his Colorado-based employer, who is also a representative of the people of Colorado,” Boasberg wrote.

Pope sued Lamborn in May, alleging he was fired for speaking out about Lamborn’s disregard for COVID-19 safety protocols and the Lamborn family’s personal use of government resources. Lamborn has largely denied the accusations. A hearing had not been scheduled as of Thursday afternoon.

Other federal politics news

Mile High Politics • By Joe Rubino

Mayor’s vaccine

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North Korean teens reportedly thrown in jail for viewing K-drama ‘Crash Landing on You’

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Crash Landing On You caused teens to get arrested

Almost two years since its release and subsequent rise to global popularity, the K-drama “Crash Landing on You” continues to leave an impact on its fans. In North Korea, where the drama’s storyline is based, several teens caught watching the series are allegedly facing prison time among other harsher sentences. The incident, while unconfirmed, has heightened awareness of the country’s human rights atrocities after being shared in a viral video.

Seoul-based publication The Daily NK, which specializes in North Korean news that relies on a network of sources from inside the hermit kingdom, reported in late August that eight teens were put on public trial for watching and imitating the characters of various South Korean dramas including the popular “Crash Landing on You.” 

TikToker @Priscillakwon spread the news on her account, which is known for keeping followers up to date with all-things Korea. The video has gained over 300,000 likes and shares how six teenagers have been sentenced to jail after being caught watching and reenacting South Korean shows, referring to another similar incident from earlier this year via local news site Insight

​​“You could see how harshly the six students had been interrogated just by looking at them when they were dragged out at the trial,” a source told Daily NK in the earlier report. “Their faces were nothing but skin and bones and they couldn’t even hold their bodies upright.”

While it is unclear what exactly happened to the teens in the latest incident, it’s nothing new for North Korean civilians to face harsh punishment for seemingly innocuous crimes related to entertainment. In April, a man was reportedly executed in public for selling CDs and USBs filled with South Korean media. 

Authorities are said to have been pushing for citizens to report on each other following the enactment of a law from last December that would “eradicate ‘reactionary thought and culture.’” 

While “Crash Landing on You” is among several videos that the teens in the latest alleged incident were caught watching, the involvement of the drama points to the twisted irony of the incident, as the restrictions imposed by the North Korean government are central to the plot. The main character, a South Korean woman, accidentally finds herself in her country’s northern counterpart and risks capture or death as she finds a way home. In the process, she falls in love with a North Korean soldier who attempts to help her. 

The drama, which has become South Korea’s second-highest rated show in its TV history, as per South China Morning Post, was lauded for its representation of North Korean life by defectors of the state.  

“In North Korea, films are all about the party, the country, the state,” defector Kang Nara, a consultant for the show, told NPR. “But South Korean dramas were about everyday life, like dating, falling in love, dressing nicely and having fun, and I liked that.”

Featured Image via “Crash Landing On You” on Netflix

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The Bet Box – Week 2

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The Bet Box – Week 2

Crowds were back at full capacity throughout the NFL and surely home-field advantage would mean something once again following a unique 2020 season.

Not exactly. Throwing out the Green Bay-New Orleans game that was moved to Jacksonville, road teams were 8-7 straight up and 11-4 against the number. Road underdogs had some serious bite, going 7-1 against the number with the Dolphins, Steelers, Cardinals and Eagles earning outright victories — and that doesn’t include the Chargers who were favored when this went to print last week but kicked off as an underdog in Washington.

Much like Mac Jones not wanting the football from his first TD pass, we’re not taking pats on the back after going 10-6 in the opening week. We’re striving for perfection.

Patriots (-5.5) at N.Y. Jets – Sunday showed just how thin the margin of error is for the Pats – and it got even thinner for those holding over 9.5 wins tickets on the hometown team. The good news, the Jets still aren’t good and got banged up in Carolina with left tackle Mekhi Becton expected to miss at least a month. Hurry up and get those wagers in before this number goes up. Patriots, 23-14.

N.Y. Giants at Washington (-3) – It did not take long for the Fitzmagic to wear off in Washington, but Taylor Heinicke is ready to reprise his role of 2020 NFC East cult hero. Football Team, 24-16.

New Orleans (-3.5) at Carolina – Unlike Week 1, the Saints will have to worry about the opposition running the ball this time around, but the offense was balanced enough with 25% of Jameis Winston’s pass attempts accounting for touchdowns. Saints, 31-20.

Houston at Cleveland (-12.5) – It’s a lot of points to lay, but for most of the game Cleveland was the better team on Sunday against the class of the AFC. Browns, 34-21.

Cincinnati at Chicago (-1.5) – Andy Dalton gets to go up against his old team. There’s a reason the Bengals moved on. Bengals, 27-20.

Las Vegas at Pittsburgh (-5.5) – Tough spot for the Raiders coming off a fascinating win Monday night (the Manningcast on ESPN2 was excellent). Which Ben Roethlisberger shows up? Steelers, 27-17.

Buffalo (-3.5) at Miami – The Dolphins can make a big statement here. And were the Bills a bit busy reading the hype? Dolphins, 24-20.

L.A. Rams (-3.5) at Indianapolis – Matthew Stafford surrounded by a competent cast of characters is a pretty good quarterback. Indy goes 0-fer in the LA double. Rams, 28-17.

San Francisco (-3.5) at Philadelphia – Elijah Mitchell did a nice job stepping in when Raheem Mostert went down injured. This has Eagles coming through the back door written all over it. 49ers, 31-28.

Denver (-6) at Jacksonville – The Broncos were solid in all facets on Sunday. Urban to USC? Broncos, 27-14.

Minnesota at Arizona (-3.5) – Do you really trust the Vikings? I certainly don’t. Cardinals, 31-24.

Atlanta at Tampa Bay (-11.5) – Tampa Bay turned the ball over four times and still found a way to get the job done. Expect a cleaner performance this time around. Buccaneers, 34-17.

Tennessee at Seattle (-4.5) – Russell Wilson looked fantastic. Julio Jones did not. Seahawks, 31-20.

Dallas at L.A. Chargers (-3) – Dak Prescott looked good in the opener considering the shoulder injury, but the Cowboys can’t be successful if they are asking him to sling it 50 times a game. Chargers, 30-24.

Kansas City (-3.5) at Baltimore – Which quarterback do you trust more in the fourth quarter? Chiefs, 31-24.

Detroit at Green Bay (-11.5) – Aaron Rodgers was putrid on Sunday. The opponent Monday should help him in Week 2, but enough to put hard earned money behind him? Not so sure about that. Packers, 28-17.

As for a survivor pool, the Rams were never threatened by the Bears making for a smooth opener. Before the season started, the Packers at home against the Lions was the penciled-in pick, but after a stem-to-stern debacle – particularly for Aaron Rodgers and the soap opera from the offseason – I’m retreating to the calmer waters of Tampa Bay.

LAST WEEK: 10-6 (.625)

(Lines used are from FanDuel Sportsbook.)

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Minnesota’s latest vaccine incentive to focus on those hardest hit by COVID-19

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Minnesota’s latest vaccine incentive to focus on those hardest hit by COVID-19

Minnesota’s latest push to get residents vaccinated against the coronavirus will focused on providing incentives to residents living in communities hardest hit by COVID-19.

Gov. Tim Walz announced Thursday the state would tap $4 million in federal aid and $400,000 from private foundations to offer $100 worth of rewards for people who complete their vaccination series.

The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses, spaced weeks apart, while the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is one shot.

“Every shot in the arm is a critical step in stopping the spread of this virus, and local organizations around Minnesota know how to best encourage the communities they serve to get their vaccine,” Walz said in a statement announcing the program. “We are taking every opportunity we can to meet Minnesotans where they are — especially in communities hit hardest by COVID-19.”

State and federal data have shown low income communities, people of color, residents with disabilities and the LGBTQ community have been hard hit by the pandemic, both in terms of increased illness and economic misfortune.

The latest vaccination push will focus on providing incentives in-person, rather than online, at the community clinics and federally funded health centers that serve those communities.

“Our administration is deeply committed to ensuring equity within all aspects of our COVID-19 response,” Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan said in a statement. “By providing funds directly to our COVID-19 Community Coordinators, community clinics, and Federally Qualified Health Centers for culturally-relevant and on-site incentives, we will be able to better serve communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.”

Incentives will include grocery store vouchers, Target gift cards, or culturally specific food items.

Previously, more than 80,000 residents applied online for $100 gift cards that were part of incentive programs the state held in early August and at the state Fair.

Those incentives, worth more than $8 million, were also paid for with federal pandemic aid, state leaders said.

For more information on COVID-19 services in hard hit communities visit: www.health.state.mn.us/ccc. More details about COVID-19 testing and vaccines are available at mn.gov/covid19.

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University of Vermont president wants to freeze tuition for fourth consecutive year

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University of Vermont president wants to freeze tuition for fourth consecutive year

Following historic enrollment at the University of Vermont this fall, President Suresh Garimella is asking the UVM’s Board of Trustees to freeze tuition next year

If approved, it would be the fourth consecutive year in which UVM did not raise tuition for in-state and out-of-state undergraduate and graduate students. Garimella said it would help more students graduate on time and reduce their student loan debt. 

 “At a time when families are still finding their way out of the economic stress of the pandemic, it’s important that we renew our commitment to student affordability and access,” said Garimella.

Sam Pasqualoni, president of the Student Government Association, says he’s graduating in the spring. By the time he gets his diploma, it’s likely he’ll pay the same tuition he paid when he first started at UVM.

“A big part for me was actually affordability,” said Pasqualoni. “I think this is a positive announcement and a great precedent to set. This is something we can look fondly on as an indication of care for our students.” 

UVM freshman Caitlin Parker says the freeze is food news amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“I think it’s really kind of helpful and nice to have that almost kind of like a safety net behind us,” said

Eleanor Miller, the president of UVM’s faculty union, United Academics, says the proposal is reassuring for educators as well. “UVM’s fiscal situation seems to have improved so that some of the cost cutting to academic programs and staff that happened last year that have been proposed won’t be necessary anymore,” said Miller.

In his 2022-23 budget, Garimella is also proposing to freeze undergraduate students’ comprehensive fee and reduce it for graduate students by $250. Room and board costs will remain flat for the third year in a row. 

Garimella says while its not easy to freeze tuition with minimal financial support from the state, getting a diploma shouldn’t be out of reach for students.

“Annual tuition increases, even modest ones, are not the solution to the budget pressures facing colleges and universities. And, it isn’t not prudent nor is it practical to expect students and families to absorb continually rising costs,” said Garimella.

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Armed parents get into argument on elementary school grounds in Hazelwood

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Armed parents get into argument on elementary school grounds in Hazelwood

HAZELWOOD, Mo. – Hazelwood school officials and police are investigating an incident involving two parents who brought firearms onto an elementary school campus and got into a dispute with one another.

The altercation occurred Monday during the morning drop-off at McNair Elementary School.

Anthony Kiekow, a spokesman for the Hazelwood School District, said the parents got into a verbal altercation. Each parent had a “visible” firearm with them at the time.

The school’s safety team and district resource officers responded immediately to quell the situation. The parents have been identified and the Hazelwood Police Department is investigating the matter.

The source or reason for the dispute was not disclosed.

The altercation only involved the two parents. No other students, employees, or parents were threatened or hurt.

Kiekow said student safety remains the top priority.

The district does not allow weapons on school property. Missouri law prohibits bringing a weapon to campus. Violators could face criminal charges. Kiekow clarified the students will not be punished for their parents’ actions.

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Rockies at Braves game postponed because of rain, unplayable field

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Rockies at Braves game postponed because of rain, unplayable field

The Rockies’ chance to sweep the Braves in Atlanta will have to wait.

Thursday afternoon’s game was postponed because of rain and unplayable field conditions. There was no word on a possible make-up date. The Braves’ announcement said only that the game will be rescheduled for a later date.

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What to Watch on Streaming This Week: Sept 17 – 26

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What to Watch on Streaming This Week: Sept 17 – 26
Gillian Anderson as Jean Milburn in Netflix’s Sex Education. Sam Taylor/NETFLIX

As fall draws closer and the sun sets earlier, it’s becoming more and more tempting to burrow oneself under a blanket and binge-watch the night away. The streaming service powers that be are taking that into account, and they’re delivering a variety of content to suit all your viewing needs. Whether you’re looking for a chill competition show perfect for the upcoming hibernation, a juicy globe-trotting international drama, or an addictive new television series, this week’s list of what to stream has got you covered.

What to watch on Netflix:

Sex Education

This secondary school-set show has garnered acclaim in its past two seasons for its frank discussions about sex and sexuality for teens and adults alike. But that’s not to say that Sex Education has no room for fun. The series revolves around awkward teen Otis and his clueless classmates as they navigate the complex world of teenaged relationships and hormones, with help from Otis’ outspoken sex therapist mother. The series has proved to be a fan favorite over the years on Netflix, making now the perfect time to hop on the bandwagon. Sex Education Season 3 premieres on September 17. [Editor’s Note: Season 3 is an absolute delight that I highly recommend]

Nailed It!

The conceit of this popular reality competition show is relatively straightforward: three amateur bakers with middling-at-best skills compete to recreate complex, show-stopping treats in the hopes of winning $10,000 and a trophy. If shows like The Great British Bake Off are a tad too stressful for you, then Nailed It! should be a welcome alternative. Plus, Emmy-nominated host Nicole Byer will supply more than enough sugary sweet puns to keep you laughing through the season. Nailed It! Season 6 premiered earlier this week on Netflix.

What to watch on Hulu:

Riders of Justice

International star Mads Mikkelsen adds another high-profile Danish movie to his filmography with Riders of Justice. The movie focuses on Mikkelsen’s Markus, who discovers that the death of his wife in a train accident may have been the result of foul play. With this suspicion, he takes the increasingly violent investigation into his own hands. This darkly funny revenge flick not only packs a literal punch, but it also lampoons the Taken-esque genre of male action heroes that has become so common in recent years. Riders of Justice premieres on Hulu on September 16.

Y: The Last Man

An adaptation of the beloved comic book, Y: The Last Man presents an intriguing premise: what would the world be like if every mammal with a Y chromosome dropped dead? The series follows Yorick, the last surviving cisgender male, as he and the people around him try to salvage society. The show is notable not only for its cast, from pitch-perfect veterans like Diane Lane to astounding newcomers like Ashley Romans, but for its updated sensibilities. The show recognizes how conversations around gender have changed since the comic’s publication in 2002, including a transgender male character played by trans actor Elliot Fletcher. Y: The Last Man premiered September 13, with new episodes arriving every Monday.

What to watch on Amazon Prime:

The Mad Women’s Ball

For the film festival crowd, The Mad Women’s Ball marks French star Mélanie Laurent’s return as a triple threat: actress, writer, and director. Like the title implies, much of the movie takes place in a women’s mental asylum in 19th century Paris, where protagonist Eugénie has been forcibly admitted by her family. Though she is helped by a nurse who is haunted by her own trauma, Eugénie must face the abuses enacted by a medical system that refuses to understand both women and mental illness. This turbulent period drama premieres September 17.

What to watch on HBO Max:

Scenes from a Marriage

HBO Max’s reimagining of Ingmar Bergman’s Scenes from a Marriage has more to offer than just the irresistible chemistry between stars Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac. This updated series seeks to confront the “emotional, physical, moral prices” of divorce in a way that rings true to a 21st century culture that has begun to question how feasible marriage really is. This five-part limited series should provide plenty of drama, heartbreak, and tears. Scenes from a Marriage premiered on HBO Max earlier this month, with new episodes coming out on Sundays.

Cry Macho

Clint Eastwood is nothing if not productive. The 91-year-old has directed eight movies in the past ten years, and now he’s adding Cry Macho to that long list. Eastwood stars as Mike, an ex-rodeo star who’s tasked with helping to bring back a friend’s son from a sordid life in Mexico. The film should be an interesting return to the western genre for Eastwood, turning him from a skilled gunslinger to a grizzled, jaded cowboy. HBO Max has already done the courtesy of bringing several of Eastwood’s old spaghetti westerns to the platform this month, making Cry Macho the perfect addition to any western marathon. Cry Macho premieres in theaters and on HBO Max on September 17.


Keeping Watch is a regular endorsement of TV and movies worth your time.

What to Watch on Streaming This Week: Sept 17 – 26

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Elderly Asian man allegedly punched in face and his dog almost lit on fire in SF attack

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golden retriever almost gets set on fire

A 66-year-old laundromat owner was reportedly assaulted by a suspect who also attempted to set fire to the elderly man’s 8-year-old golden retriever in San Francisco last week.

The details: Police responded to the incident at the laundromat in Nob Hill at 10:30 p.m. last Wednesday and spoke with the elderly Asian man.

  • SF police described the incident in a statement, according to FOX, saying, “The victim told officers that he was walking his dog when he was approached by an unknown male suspect. The suspect held a lighter close to the victim’s dog. The victim asked the suspect what he was doing, and the suspect became verbally confrontational. The victim attempted to walk away but the suspect followed him. The suspect spit on the victim and punched him in the face.” 
  • The assailant fled the scene and the elderly man was rushed to a local hospital.
  • ABC 7’s Dion Lim was the first to report that the suspect attempted to set Cody the dog on fire. 

The support: Neighbors have visited to the laundromat owner and Cody, who likes to sit on top of the dryers, following the incident to let the duo know that they are loved.

  • “Something very touching was seeing a young woman stop by with flowers after she heard the news,” Lim tweeted. “The owner is okay— but was taken to the hospital & had his eye wound glued. The perp allegedly called the owner the ‘N’ word before punching him.”
  • A neighbor also reportedly rushed out with “a baseball bat” to help the owner during the attack.
  • No arrests have been made at this time, according to police.

Those with information are asked to call the SFPD Tip Line at 1-415-575-4444 or anonymously text information to TIP411.

Featured Image via codytheretriever (left), @DionLimTV (right)

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