Man shoots rats in his yard, accidentally causes 8 hour standoff

Stephen Jonas of Palm Harbor, Florida, allegedly took a rifle and began firing rounds around 3 a.m. Sunday morning, authorities said. At least one bullet struck a neighbor’s backyard, but no one was injured according to a statement by Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies set up a perimeter around Jonas’ home and evacuated the neighbors. A Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman told ABC News police attempted to use a PA system to get Jonas to come outside and surrender. But Jonas had apparently fallen asleep for eight hours, and not heard the police on the PA system the spokeswoman told ABC News.

The deputies were finally able to connect with Jonas, 51, who was impaired when he “walked out of his home and was taken into custody without incident,” according to the police statement.

A further search of the home turned up “many other weapons” that the spokeswoman described as at least 15 rifles, handguns, one shotgun and 1,300 rounds of ammunition. All were confiscated as evidence, she said. The spokeswoman also said that Jonas possessed more than 30 grams of marijuana and over 30 grams of pills that were believed to be Xanax.

While in custody, the spokeswoman confirmed Jonas was “cooperative” and allegedly “told deputies that he was shooting rats in his backyard.”

He faces one count of shooting into an occupied dwelling as well as felony possession of marijuana and felony possession of a controlled substance, the spokeswoman said.

He was brought to Pinellas County Jail but posted bail the same day, the spokeswoman said.

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New app makes claims to show us what women really look like without makeup

Ashot Gabrelyanov, who lives in New York City, bills himself as the founder of MakeApp, a new app which uses artificial intelligence to show how women really look without makeup.

You take a selfie or upload a picture of someone else, and the free version of the app gives you two options to add makeup or remove makeup. You pick one, and the filter does the rest.

Gabrelyanov, has suggested MakeApp could save lives by identifying women who had been trafficked illegally.

“In most of these cases, makeup is heavily used to disguise the age and/or identity of these people,” he said in an emailed statement. “If human traffickers can hide these victim’s identities, their chances of rescue are low.
When security services show an image and say “Is this your daughter?” heavily applied permanent makeup often makes the identification process quite difficult. We hope our technology may help families and authorities identify victims for rescue.”

Gabrelyanov said his firm was already in communication with organizations to identify victims of human trafficking. Despite Gabrelyanov’s assurances the  app was made for the good of humanity, and functions properly, users and critics are doubting him.

The app is a controversial idea by itself, given that AI tends to be fairly unflattering to anyone with a darker skin tone. some magazines have already begun using the app to “unmask” celebrities and judge their level of natural attractiveness.

Writers for Revelist have noted-

“while the app has caused something of a stir online, it has not been met with unanimous approval, calling it ‘a subtler form of shaming, saying  ‘If a woman steps out with makeup on her face, it’s because that’s the image that she wants to convey that day.’It’s not up to us, or up to some creep with an iPhone, to determine what she “really” looks like underneath her makeup. If a woman is wearing makeup, it’s presumably because she WANTS to, and robbing her of that right is totally unfair.”

Business Insider tested MakeApp on light- and dark-skinned women to see how accurate it is. They found the app is taking its cue from FaceApp, another controversial Russian photo app whose “hotness” filter made dark skin look lighter. MakeApp’s unflattering, malfunctioning AI is the latest in a long line of AI controversies: Snapchat’s offensive Bob Marley filter, FaceApp’s “black” filters, and smartphone cameras that lighten your skin by default.Based on how the app visualizes Serena Williams, it seems accuracy isn’t the end goal of this app.

 

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District Attorney fired after falsely accusing Uber driver of kidnapping

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New court ruling may help stop child marriage in India

Last month, in a landmark ruling to protect child brides, the Supreme Court of India declared that sex with a minor girl under the age of 18 would be considered rape regardless of whether the man is her husband or not. With this ruling, the Court finally put to rest the confusion over the age of consent to sexual relations in the context of marriage, namely, child marriage. This is a major step forward in protecting victims of child marriage in India, and possibly discouraging the practice.

India’s recently released census data reveals that nearly 12 million Indian children were married before the age of 10 years. As many as 65 percent of these married children were female. Despite the disturbingly high rate of child marriage in India, ambiguities and anomalies in the different laws relating to women and children in India have contributed to the lack of clarity on the age of marriage and consent to sexual activity.

In 2006, the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act set the age of marriage at 18 years for girls, and 21 for boys. As per the law, child marriage is punishable with both imprisonment and a fine, as long as a complaint was filed within one year of the marriage and the marriage itself was considered “valid as performed.” The prevalence of child marriage, however, has continued unabated not only because of poor implementation of the law, but also because of deeply entrenched cultural and societal norms that enable the practice to continue with impunity.

Though the Child Marriage Act addressed the issue of a child marriage more broadly, it did not address sex with minor brides. Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) prescribes the age of consent for sexual intercourse as 18 years, meaning that any person having sexual intercourse with a girl child under 18 would be statutorily guilty of rape even if the sexual activity was with her consent. Unfortunately, the same provision carves out an exception whereby sex with a wife between the age of 15 and 18 years is not considered rape. Therefore, the law implied that, if a girl child between 15 and 18 years of age is married, her husband can have non-consensual sexual intercourse with her, without being penalized under the IPC.

As per the Court’s opinion, this effectively “denied such a girl the right to bodily integrity and to decline to have sexual intercourse with her husband.”

The Court’s latest decision rules that this distinction contained in the IPC between a married girl child and an unmarried girl child was “arbitrary, discriminatory, and not in the best interest of the girl child.” According to the Court, the distinction is contrary to the spirit of the Indian Constitution, specifically Article 15(3) [discrimination on basis of sex, caste race and place of birth] and Article 21 [right to life] of the Indian Constitution.

In short, India now explicitly criminalizes sex with a minor girl, regardless of marital status.

Child rights advocates, gender experts, and civil society in general have welcomed the Court’s decision as a step forward toward empowering and protecting girls. However, one must also acknowledge that implementation of such laws is always an uphill battle, particularly when the onus is on the child bride herself to step forward and lodge a complaint against her husband. Even if a child bride finds the courage, is supported by her in-laws or family, and wishes to file a complaint, there is the possibility that local police officers may refuse to file the case, or try to dissuade her and push her into coming to a compromise with the family or community.

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Another murder in Tampa; police still fear serial killer is on the loose

Tampa, FL- According to local police, a body was found at North Nebraska Avenue and East Merry Street early Tuesday morning. Police received reports that shots were fired around 5 a.m., according to Tampa Police spokesperson Steven Hegarty.

Police responded to the area within one minute and found a man shot to death in the middle of Nebraska Ave. The victim has been identified as Ronald Felton, 60.

Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan said the victim was crossing Nebraska Avenue when someone came up behind him and shot him. Dugan described the possible suspect as a black man with a thin build who was dressed in all black and wearing a baseball cap.

There has been a large police response to this incident due to the three recent murders in the same area. Police are searching the area on foot, searching yards with police dogs and going door-to-door. Police helicopters also are in the area.

Officers also are asking any residents who may have seen anything in the area overnight or have home surveillance cameras to contact them at (813) 231-6130.

“We need everyone’s cooperation,” Dugan said. “The neighborhood has been very engaged and extremely helpful (during the investigation). We need to talk to everyone.”

“We don’t know if this is related to the other shootings,” Hegarty said. “But we’re treating it as if it is.”

Police are asking neighbors to remain in their homes.

Three people were shot and killed in the Seminole Heights area within 10 days in October. Benjamin Mitchell, 22, was killed on Oct. 9. Two days later, 32-year-old Monica Hoffa was killed in a vacant lot. Anthony Naiboa, 20, was shot and killed Oct. 19.

Police are still following leads, but have no suspects in these cases.

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Another victim of Roy Moore comes forward 

Beverly Young Nelson said she was 16 years old when Roy Moore allegedly tried to force himself on her after offering a ride home from her job as a waitress.”I tried fight him off while yelling at him to stop,” she said, adding that he locked his car to prevent her escape.

Moore, 70, denies the allegations, describing them as a “witch hunt”.

But Senator Cory Gardner, the National Republican Senatorial Committee chairman, said on Monday he believes Moore’s accusers “spoke with courage and truth” and the former Alabama chief justice should be expelled if he is elected.

“If he refuses to withdraw and wins, the Senate should vote to expel him, because he does not meet the ethical and moral requirements of the United States Senate,” he said.

Nelson’s accusation comes after four other women detailed allegations of sexual assault by the conservative firebrand while they were teenagers in Alabama.

The 56-year-old said she met Mr Moore at the Olde Hickory House restaurant in Gadsen, Alabama, where she worked as a waitress while she was a teenager.

She claimed Moore, a 30-year-old deputy district attorney at the time, offered to sign her high school yearbook and wrote: “To a sweeter more beautiful girl I could not say Merry Christmas.”

He signed it “Love, Roy Moore, DA”, according to a copy of the yearbook page provided to reporters by her attorney, Gloria Allred.

About a week or two later, he allegedly offered to drive her home and instead drove to the back of the restaurant car park.

“I was terrified. He was also trying to pull my shirt off. I thought he was going to rape me,” she told reporters at a news conference on Monday.

“At some point he gave up and he then looked at me and he told me, ‘You’re just a child,’ and he said, ‘I am the district attorney of Etowah County. If you tell anyone about this, no one will believe you”, Nelson said, adding that her neck was bruised in the struggle.

“He finally allowed me to open the door and I either fell out or he pushed me out.”

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#GoodCop caught tampering with evidence 

WEST DEPTFORD, NJ — West Deptford police officer Thomas M. McWain, 30,  has been charged with official misconduct, tampering with evidence, and computer crime in connection with an alleged scheme to place an individual in a drug rehabilitation program in which he had a financial interest, the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office announced.

McWain was the first officer in Gloucester County to earn the distinction of being certified as a drug addiction recovery coach. He said his passion stemmed from his experiences encountering addicts on the streets. A 2016 South Jersey Times story noted that he had used the opiate overdose antidote Narcan more than any other officer over the previous year. McWain also lamented the lack of options for addicts when they encounter police.

“We’re arresting the same people over and over again,” he said. “I wanted to be able to find something else to do”

However, McWain is now accused of filing a police report containing a “false narrative” regarding a 2017 evidence seizure and arrest. He sought to refer “a subject with whom he had contact as a West Deptford Township police officer,” to a drug rehabilitation center in which he had a financial interest, according to authorities. Officials say McWain, while apparently posing as a civilian, allegedly asked people to meet up with him and to bring narcotics. He would then arrest them and refer these people to drug rehab services, prosecutors allege.Officials say the allegations involve more than one incident.

 

He surrendered at the prosecutor’s office on Tuesday and was released pending a Dec. 21 court appearance in Superior Court Woodbury, according to authorities. McWain, an officer with the West Deptford Police Department since 2013, was initially suspended with pay on April 28 and was suspended without pay on Nov. 6.

The prosecutor’s office also said he accessed computerized criminal records without authorization in order to benefit someone else and deleted text messages asking someone to bring drugs to the scene of a traffic stop. He deleted the messages once he learned that he was the subject of an investigation, authorities said.

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Man accused of murdering sex worker had history of violence against women 

A man charged with killing a London sex worker was accused earlier this year of assaulting at another sex worker, and was under a court order not to seek paid sexual services, According to the Free Press.

But London sex workers say they received no warning from police of a dangerous situation in the city, with someone potentially targeting them free on bail and under conditions not to seek their services.

“We were not given the heads up by the police,” says a representative of SafeSpace, a collective of sex workers and allies.

London police said they can’t comment on the issue because of a court-ordered publication ban on evidence.

Oluwatobi Boyede, 25, was charged last week with second-degree murder in the death of Josephine (Josie) Glenn, 26, whose remains were found in his family’s home in southeast London.

“Court documents show an alarming pattern of escalation that exemplifies the need to take assault charges seriously,” women’s advocate AnnaLise Trudell, manager of education at Anova, a London agency and shelter supporting abused women said. 

“It is just textbook escalation. Initial charges need to be taken seriously and any emergent patterns need to be seen.” Trudell added. 

 Boyede was charged in March with sexual assault, choking, forcible confinement and assault of a sex worker. He faces yet another assault charge dated Feb. 26, involving another woman. 

According to Trudell- “People often get a sense of confidence when they commit — quote unquote — lesser assaults. There is a pattern of taking it to the next level.”

Boyede appeared in court last week and reported to be calm and relaxed as he dealt charges in one of the cases unrelated to the murder of Glenn. His next appearance will be on Friday when he will appear for the second degree murder charge. 

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Actor George Takei accused of groping intoxicated model 

Scott R. Brunton, a former model and actor, told The Hollywood Reporter Friday that he was groped by Takei at the actor’s Los Angeles condominium in 1981.

Brunton, who was 23 at the time of the alleged incident, claims that Takei took advantage of him when he was most vulnerable.
“This happened a long time ago, but I have never forgotten it,” Brunton tells The Hollywood Reporter in an interview. “It is one of those stories you tell with a group of people when people are recounting bizarre instances in their lives, this always comes up. I have been telling it for years, but I am suddenly very nervous telling it.”

Brunton says he was living in Hollywood in 1981, working and beginning a career when he met Takei. 

At one point,  Brunton broke up with his then-boyfriend, he spoke with Takei for comfort and advice.

Brunton says “He was very good at consoling me and understanding that I was upset and still in love with my boyfriend. He was a great ear. He was very good about me spilling my heart on my sleeve.”

The two men went back to the actor’s condo for a drink the same night. “We have the drink and he asks if I would like another,” Brunton recalls. “And I said sure. So, I have the second one, and then all of a sudden, I begin feeling very disoriented and dizzy, and I thought I was going to pass out. I said I need to sit down and he said sit over here and he had a giant yellow beanbag chair. So I sat down in that and leaned my head back and I must have passed out.”

“The next thing I remember I was coming to and he had my pants down around my ankles and he was groping my crotch and trying to get my underwear off and feeling me up at the same time, trying to get his hands down my underwear,” Brunton says. “I came to and said, ‘What are you doing?!’ I said, ‘I don’t want to do this.’ He goes, ‘You need to relax. I am just trying to make you comfortable. Get comfortable.’ And I said, ‘No. I don’t want to do this.’ And I pushed him off and he said, ‘OK, fine.’ And I said I am going to go and he said, ‘If you feel you must. You’re in no condition to drive.’ I said, ‘I don’t care I want to go.’ 

So I managed to get my pants up and compose myself and I was just shocked. I walked out and went to my car until I felt well enough to drive home, and that was that.”

Takei, now 80, rose to fame playing Hikaru Sulu on the original Star Trek television series. He is also an author and activist and has been an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ rights.

In a series of tweets Saturday morning, Takei denied the allegations.

“The events he describes back in the 1980s simply did not occur, and I do not know why he has claimed them now. I have wracked my brain to ask if I remember Mr. Brunton, and I cannot say I do,” he said. “Right now it is a he said / he said situation, over alleged events nearly 40 years ago. But those that know me understand that non-consensual acts are so antithetical to my values and my practices, the very idea that someone would accuse me of this is quite personally painful.”

Brunton claims that he met up with Takei years after the incident in Portland, Brunton’s current home, while the actor was there on a book tour. “I wanted to see him,” Brunton says. “I always wanted to ask him — I just felt really betrayed. I thought I was a friend and here I am later, just another piece of meat. So I called him up at the hotel — I figured out which hotel he was at — and he said ‘Hi, Scott. I remember you.’ I wanted to ask him why. We met for coffee, and I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. It was just too uncomfortable.”

Brunton says he considered going to the media with the story for years, but he assumed no one would take him seriously. “Who’s going to believe me? It’s my word against his,” he says.

Brunton’s reasoning changed after the Harvey Weinstein scandal, and specifically when Takei spoke out regarding allegations leveled against Kevin Spacey.

Takei can be heard on the Howard Stern show recently, seemingly Justifying groping men in his home. 

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