Deserts

Facebook is being investigated by California for privacy violations

The state of California revealed Wednesday it is investigating Facebook over the technology giant’s privacy practices, complaining in a court filing that the company has failed to comply with multiple requests for information. The investigation, which had not been previously disclosed, has been underway for more than a year. Its existence was confirmed Wednesday when California Attorney General Xavier Becerra, in a court filing, said Facebook should be forced to cooperate with the investigation. “If Facebook had complied with our legitimate investigative requests, we would not be making this announcement today,” Becerra said. “But our work must move forward.” In a statement, Will Castleberry, Facebook VP of state and local policy, said: “We have cooperated extensively with the State of California’s investigation. To date we have provided thousands of pages of written responses and hundreds of thousands of documents.” The probe’s public disclosure adds to the list of legal and regulatory headaches staring down Facebook, which has come under fire for its policies on political speech and its handling of user data. A separate, multi-state antitrust investigation into Facebook is being led by New York Attorney General Letitia James. Earlier this…

Aldi’s Advent calendars are full of wine, cheese and chocolate

Is it too early to consider Christmas when Halloween is still weeks away? Aldi doesn’t think so. The discount grocer has already announced its lineup of 2019 Advent calendars, and many of them hit stores November 6. Consider it practice for Black Friday. The Christian season of Advent, the prelude to the birth of Christ, is traditionally observed through prayer. But Advent calendars are a historic part of that tradition, too, with tiny treats behind every door counting down the 24 days to Christmas. This lead-up to the holidays, Aldi says treat yourself–with 24 miniature bottles of wine. If beer is more your speed, there’s a calendar for that, too. Aldi’s has 24 unique bottles of beer. But both booze calendars are limited to two per customer, and once they’ve sold out, they won’t be restocked. Satiate kids who can hardly wait another day for their gifts with Barbie, Hot Wheels and Toy Story calendars. They’ll get a bite-sized toy a day (though they’re decidedly inedible. But there are cheese and chocolate calendars for that!).

Scientists discover first new HIV strain in nearly two decades

For the first time in 19 years, a team of scientists has detected a new strain of HIV. The strain is a part of the Group M version of HIV-1, the same family of virus subtypes to blame for the global HIV pandemic, according to Abbott Laboratories, which conducted the research along with the University of Missouri, Kansas City. The findings were published Wednesday in the Journal of Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndromes. HIV has several different subtypes or strains, and like other viruses, it has the ability to change and mutate over time. It is important to know what strains of the virus are circulating to ensure that tests used to detect the disease are effective. “It can be a real challenge for diagnostic tests,” Mary Rodgers, a co-author of the report and a principal scientist at Abbott, said. Her company tests more than 60% of the world’s blood supply, she said, and they have to look for new strains and track those in circulation so “we can accurately detect it, no matter where it happens to be in the world.” Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and…

Palm Springs City Council Election: Early Results Released

Polls are officially closed and the early results are in for the 2019 Palm Springs City Council election. As of Tuesday night at 11:17 p.m. these are the Riverside County Registrar of Voters’ website results: District One: Grace Garner (698), Les Young (483), Scott Myer (249), Michael Shogren (32), Total=1,465 District Two: Dennis Woods (1,101), Adrian Alcantar (483), Peter Maietta (436), Total=2,027 District Three: Geoff Kors (1,367), Alan “Alfie” Pettit (307), Michael Dilger (113), Total=1,811 At Kors’ election party at the Hilton in Palm Springs, several council members, including J.R. Roberts and Lisa Middleton, showed up to show their support. “Four years ago, our downtown wasn’t built up,” Kors said at the party. “Now look what’s happening we’ve done so much to grow our economy, to build affordable housing, to address homelessness but we can always do more and I’m really excited about this opportunity and I’m so grateful to get to work at a job I love, for a city that’s the best city in the world.” Kors said he has an agenda he plans to roll out over the next few weeks. Tomorrow…

Palm Springs Elections to Change the Members within the Council

The Palm Springs Mayor, Robert Moon, and City Councilmember, J.R. Roberts will soon sign-off from their current post giving room to new candidates to represent a district within the city. It is a full agenda for Moon and Robert’s last city council meeting on Wednesday. Moon said, “About 1,200 hundred pages to review a couple of more times before tomorrow night.” Moon and Roberts are not seeking re-election, part of their decision was influenced by the change into district elections where only people who live within a district can vote for a candidate to represent their neighborhood, as opposed to a candidate who represents the entire city. Roberts said, “Our city was forced to go into a district situation and I would rather serve a whole city than just one small piece of it. “ As for the next mayor, each member of the city council will rotate each year to serve as mayor. Moon said, “Now, four-fifths of a city won’t be involved in whoever the mayor is.” It was a busy term for the current city council, several new redevelopment projects changed and modernized…

Interfaith Council Shows Nation’s Divide Can Be Bridged

Inside the Palm Desert Church of Latter-Day Saints a group is gathered for quiche, salad and conversation. Most of those gathered are not Mormon, in fact they’re of all different faiths. This is a meeting of the Mid-Valley Interfaith Council, they’ve been in the valley over 25 years. They gather once a month at a different church or temple to brainstorm on how they can help the community. “As we accept each other’s differences we can move forward better in serving the community,” says Bebe Green, a member of the council and Church of Christ of Latter-Day Saints. But when you have people of 17 different faiths gathered in one room, you can guarantee there will be disagreement. During this meeting, one member was adamant the keynote speaker for their Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration should be a person of color. “I have been told by folks of color where we have a white privileged world, that it is not so easy for them to have various celebrations sort of taken over and one of the things that I offer as a caution is…

Krispy Kreme strikes deal with college kid who drives 250 miles to resell its doughnuts

Krispy Kreme-starved Minnesotans hungry for doughnuts were able to get their sugary fix thanks to an enterprising young entrepreneur. Jayson Gonzalez, 21, was able to deliver those sweet glazed doughnuts from Krispy Kreme while spreading joy to deprived Minnesotans one box of doughnuts at a time. Krispy Kreme closed its last store in Minnesota in 2008, the Pioneer Press said. Gonzalez came up with the idea to drive to a Krispy Kreme in Clive, Iowa, to pick up boxes of Krispy Kreme and deliver them to Minnesotans while traveling to Iowa to coach in a soccer tournament, according to the Pioneer Press. After coming across a Krispy Kreme during his trip, Gonzalez posted to Facebook Marketplace to see if anyone in Minnesota would be interested in getting some doughnuts. In just a few days, Gonzalez told the Pioneer Press that he received more than 300 responses. Gonzalez did not respond to a request for comment from CNN. He launched a Facebook page called Krispy Kreme Run Minnesota and began to take orders. He would use the page to communicate with customers, and update followers on quantities and pickup locations. The account…

Over 60 officers attend fallen Sergeant’s daughter’s senior night

For Victoria Smith, volleyball is her outlet — that’s what her mom, the widow of Dallas Police Sgt. Michael Smith, said. “It’s the one thing that lets her keep going and it is something that her dad was very involved with,” Heidi Smith said. At R.L. Turner High School’s varsity volleyball team’s senior night, Heidi said this a moment her husband would have cherished forever. “He would be very proud,” she said. Sgt. Smith lost his life in the July 2016 ambush, so more than 60 Dallas police officers stood in his place to recognize his oldest daughter Tuesday. “This is just another way to let them know that hey we’re still here,” Marcie St. John said. “We’re not going anywhere.” Also by Victoria’s side was teammate, Katy Durkee, who has continuously been there for Victoria both on and off the court. “The night of 7/7, Victoria was spending the night with Katy and her parents had to bring her to the hospital to us,” Heidi said. “So that’s kind of a special backstory that these two girls, they’ve been together and stayed friends.” She…

Woman reunites with biological son 20 years after adoption

There are countless reasons to adopt. One of those is the life you will impact. There are still thousands of kids waiting in foster care for the right. November is National Adoption Awareness Month, and one mother from Hope, Indiana wants to share why she chose to give her son a life she couldn’t provide. Melissa Coles gave her son up for adoption more than 20 years ago when she found herself pregnant and alone at age 18. Coles says she was close with her family, but she was afraid of what they would think, so she never told them what she was going through. In fact, Cole managed to keep it a secret for more than 15 years. Coles says she suffered in silence, and her goal now is to make sure no one does. “I was 18-years-old when I found out I was pregnant,” Coles said. “And I was unable to care for my child at that time because of unfortunate circumstances. I was on the abortion table, and my biological son was seconds away from being aborted.” Coles told RTV6 that she…

Doctors perform world’s first kidney transplant using single-incision robot

Doctors at the Cleveland Clinic have performed the world’s first kidney transplant using a single-port robot, according to a release from the Cleveland Clinic. The single-port kidney transplant enables all surgical instruments and the donor kidney to be placed through one small abdominal incision. Dr. Jihad Kaouk and his team were the first hospital in the country to successfully perform a robotic single-port prostatectomy and kidney cancer surgery in September 2018. “The aim was not only to make a smaller incision, but also to minimize the area in which the operation was performed by limiting the number of cuts inside the patient,” said Dr. Kaouk in a news release. “This resulted in minimal post-operative pain and no opioids needed after surgery.” Doctors said this new technique provides evidence that a surgery like this is not only feasible for patients with cancer, but also patients who are in need of a kidney transplant. This robotic single-port technique could be an alternative for patients dealing with obesity or challenging anatomy, doctors say. During the operation, doctors created a four-centimeter incision below the patient’s belly button. The surgeon…

Key diplomat changes testimony and admits quid pro quo with Ukraine

In a significant reversal, a top US diplomat revised his testimony to impeachment investigators to admit there was a quid pro quo linking US aid to Ukraine with an investigation into President Donald Trump’s political rivals. US Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland sent the committee a three-page addition to his testimony on Monday, saying he had remembered a September 1 conversation that occurred on the sidelines of a meeting between Vice President Mike Pence and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, in which he told a top aide to Zelensky that the security aid and investigations were linked. “I now recall speaking individually with Mr. (Andriy) Yermak, where I said resumption of U.S. aid would likely not occur until Ukraine provided the public anti-corruption statement that we had been discussing for many weeks,” Sondland said. Sondland’s new testimony, which was included in the public release of his closed-door deposition transcript on Tuesday, adds to Democrats’ evidence that the President connected the freezing of US security aid to Ukraine to investigations into the 2016 election and former Vice President Joe Biden, which cuts to the heart of their…

Cathedral City Hires Security Company for Short-Term Rental Enforcement

The snow birds are finding their way back to the Coachella Valley. “We’re cuing up for busy season. Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday,” said Chief operating officer Boris Stark. For many they’ll be staying in short term rentals. “We are really focused on guest experience,” said Stark. And in Cathedral City they want to make sure that experience is not a nuisance to the neighbors. The city just hired a security company to help with enforcement. “IF you shave a short-term vacation issue in Cathedral city. Call our hotline. The hotline will contact the owner of the property. The owner will have 45 minutes to respond and resolve the issue,” Cathedral City, Chris Parman. And if it’s not resolved by the owner then the security firm will show up. “They can observe, they can document, and then the city has given them the authorization to cite,” said Parman. While some choose to list their own homes on sites such as Airbnb or Vrbo, others choose professional management companies.  A lot of times this means added security measures for the home owner. “We exchange contracts, ID, we run…

9 Mormon women and children were shot and ‘burned alive’ in an ambush near the US-Mexico border

Nine members of a Mormon family were killed on the Mexican side of the US-Mexico border, and authorities are investigating whether the attack was the result of mistaken identity. The slain victims include three women, four small children and two infants, family member Alex LeBaron said from Mexico. He said all nine were dual US-Mexican citizens. The victims were “all shot while in vehicles while driving,” LeBaron told CNN. Investigators believe three vehicles traveling between the Mexican states of Sonora and Chihuahua were ambushed by criminal groups Monday evening, Mexican authorities said. “Women and children (between 14 years old and 10 months) were massacred, burned alive,” LeBaron said. “Mothers were screaming for the fire to stop.” The group was heading from Bavispe, Sonora, to Janos, Chihuahua, said Chihuahua Attorney General Cesar Peniche Espejel. Security Minister Alfonso Durazo said the attack could have been a case of mistaken identity of “conflicting groups in the area.” 7 injured children are now in the US The Mormons attacked appear to be members of a fundamentalist sect that is separate from the mainstream Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day…

Sandra Bullock signs on for new Netflix film ‘Unforgiven’

Sandra Bullock will be back on Netflix. Following the success of “Bird Box,” the actress has signed on to star in a feature film adaptation of “Unforgiven,” based on a British three-part series that aired in 2009. “Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation” director and writer Christopher McQuarrie wrote the script, and German filmmaker Nora Fingscheidt will direct. “This one is near and dear to my heart,” McQuarrie wrote on Twitter, adding that he’s honored to know it’s in “such good hands.” He added that he’d written a first draft almost a decade ago. The show centers around a woman, imprisoned for a violent crime, who attempts to rebuild her life after being released from prison. She faces a society that refuses to let her move forward. “Bird Box” was Bullock’s first collaboration with Netflix, and that project is currently in sequel development as a book. McQuarrie is working on the next two “Mission: Impossible” movies, and is developing Bill Clinton and James Patterson’s novel “The President Is Missing” for Showtime.

California Transit Worker Rescues Man from Oncoming Train

A California rapid transit employee is being hailed as a hero for rescuing a man who fell onto the tracks as a train was approaching the platform. The dramatic rescue happened at the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) station at the Oakland Coliseum after an NFL game Sunday between the Oakland Raiders and the Detroit Lions. Tony Badilla, a passenger who witnessed the episode, posted a video on Twitter of the two men hugging in the aftermath. He told CNN the employee, identified as John O’Connor, was very attentive in keeping the crowd back from the tracks while helping riders find their train line. “As the train approached, I sat up from my seat and the crowd turned their attention to the train,” he said. “I heard a commotion to my left just as the train arrived and witnessed the BART worker physically bring the man to the ground, both falling to the deck safely as the train breezed by. “The crowd was shocked at just how close of a call it was, and the man was rattled,” Badilla said. “The BART worker was upset…

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