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    Armed Robbers Use Pokémon Go To Find 9 Victims
    Associated Press

    The new augmented reality game Pokemon Go has gotten people off the couch and into the real world. But police in O’Fallon, Missouri say that four men have used the game to find players at a specific location, and robbed them using a handgun.

    About eight or nine people have been robbed by four men over the past couple of days, a spokesperson from the O’Fallon Police Department told Gizmodo over the phone. The latest robbery occurred Sunday morning at around 2am by the men in a black BMW before they were finally apprehended by police.

    The suspects used the Pokemon Go game to find their victims by anticipating where people might go through popular PokeStops—virtual sites in the game that can be designated at any real word location, from businesses to parking lots to churches.

    The four men who were apprehended all range in age from 16 to 18. Their names and what they stole from their victims have not been released.

    The O’Fallon Police Department advises that if you’re going to let your kids play Pokemon Go, make sure you keep an eye on where they’re hanging out.


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    Rudy Giuliani Calls Black Lives Matter Movement 'Inherently Racist'
    Photo: AP

    Rudy Giuliani was once the mayor of New York City for eight years, but now he’s basically just paid to be racist on TV.

    In an appearance on CBS’ “Face The Nation” on Sunday, Giuliani weighed in on the high-profile fatal shootings of two black men—Alton Sterling and Philando Castile—this week that have sparked protests throughout the country, saying that black children have “a 99% chance” of killing each other.

    Incidentally, those are about the same odds of Giuliani saying something racist about black people if you invite him to talk about Black Lives Matter on TV.

    The freelance bigot clarified his claim by trotting out the tired and false narrative of “black-on-black” crime being the root cause of all violence against black people in America, saying, “The real danger to them, 99 out of 100 times, is other black kids who are going to kill them.” Given this fake statistic, Giuliani fails to grasp why black kids are even worried about cops in the first place.

    http://gawker.com/rudy-giuliani-...

    Giuliani also called Black Lives Matter “inherently racist” and “anti-American.”

    Unsurprisingly, Giuliani thinks the only police reform this country needs is a policy of “zero tolerance” toward anyone who disrespects police. Sounds violent.


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    Lawsuit Alleges Syrian Government Orchestrated the Death of American Journalist Marie Colvin 
    Photo: AP

    On Saturday, the family of Marie Colvin—an American war reporter who was killed in Syria on February 22, 2012—filed a wrongful-death lawsuit in D.C.’s District Court against the Syrian government. Colvin, a longtime correspondent for The Sunday Times of London, was killed in an artillery barrage, along with French photojournalist Rémi Ochlik.

    According to the New York Times, Colvin’s family alleges in the civil complaint that Colvin’s death was the result of a conspiracy among high-ranking Syrian officials, including President Bashar al-Assad’s brother Maher, to track, target, and silence foreign journalists whose reporting clashed with official government accounts. In Colvin’s case, she was reporting on civilian casualties in the Syrian city of Homs, which was indiscriminately shelled and laid siege to by government forces.

    Scott Gilmore, a lawyer with the Center for Justice and Accountability in Washington told the New York Times that this is the first time the Syrian government has been sued under a statute that allows Americans to sue foreign governments that the United States determines to be a sponsor of terrorism.

    http://gawker.com/5887304/why-is...

    The New York Times reports that, according to the complaint, journalists and activists were systemically surveilled and targeted by the Syrian government:

    The lawsuit accuses nine Syrian officials, including the intelligence chief Ali Mamlouk and military officers in Homs, of developing and executing the strategy against journalists and activists. It details meetings in which an informant helped officials verify the location of the media center using phone-tracking data. It even contends that a pro-government militia leader, Khaled al-Fares, received “a black luxury car” three days after the deaths, as a reward.


    The family’s evidence includes a government letter dated August 6, 2011, which orders officials in Syrian provinces where protests were taking place to arrest organizers along with any people who “tarnish the image of Syria in foreign media,” the Times reports.

    More than 100 journalists, most of them Syrian, have been killed since the conflict began in 2011, according to the Washington Post.


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    Rikers Guards To Get Tasers, Kel-Tec Shotguns and Training From Private Military-Style Contractor
    US C-SOG promotional images via the Courier Gazette

    The guards of Rikers Island—New York’s corrupt and deadly hellhole of a jail complex—are getting new weapons and training from US Corrections Special Operations Group (US C-SOG), a private company based in Virginia that signed a $1.2 million contract with the NYC’s Department of Corrections earlier this year.

    According to the Daily News, Rikers is “contemplating” giving 32 “elite officers” Tasers to use on inmates “who are actively physically resisting or exhibiting physical aggression.” Prison activists are opposed to the idea of arming the deeply troubled Rikers staff with potentially deadly weapons instead of using DOC funds to expand deescalation training. Even members of Rikers’ own Emergency Service Unit have argued that the use of Tasers—which tethers the supervisors to the inmate—are “tactically not sound” as they “render the supervisors useless.”

    Tasers are just one part of the package. Last week, the New York Post reported that the US C-SOG’s “new training program” for Rikers guards includes teaching them to use Kel-Tec rubber pellet-firing shotguns capable of firing “real” bullets. (Currently, Rikers guards use pepper spray, batons and “shields with a Taser-like electric current.”) Even the scandal-mired Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association has expressed “serious concerns” about the Kel-Tec. A member of the Rikers Emergency Services Unit told the Post, “Officers are being written up all the time and charged with using too much pepper spray, yet here we are on Rikers practicing with rubber pellets shooting shotguns.”

    In this epically soundtracked video, US C-SOG demonstrates Kel-Tec shotguns—their “Original, Unique, High-Performance Firearms”—by storming around a prison set and pretending to be at war.

    Accounts of the private company’s effects on prisons are relatively rare, but over the last few years, US C-SOG seems to have been slowly creeping into prisons around the country with SWAT-like patrols and increasingly militarized tactics. There’s an NRA Life of Duty profile on them that seems to fit well with their warrior posturing. (“With more than 2.3 million inmates in America’s penitentiary system today, our correctional officers are severely outnumbered and under the constant threat of attack inside and outside prison walls.”)

    More interestingly, there is a pay-walled article in the Courier Gazette that describes their recent presence in Warren, Maine. It’s deeply troubling. Since 2015, US C-SOG officers “dressed in tactical gear, accompanied by trained dogs, and carrying Keltek KSG shotguns loaded with less-than-lethal rounds” have been providing “enhanced security to all the correctional facilities in Maine,” including the overcrowded Maine State Prison, where SOG officers have been occupying an 80-bed unit for training purposes. The Courier Gazette article addresses a myriad of serious concerns, like the traumatic effects of “a military-style presence” on inmates with mental illness issues. This is particularly chilling:

    James Manley wrote that SOG officers intimidate prisoners by clicking the safety of their weapons on and off while talking to them, making them lie on the ground with their hands behind their heads while the officers walk past and searching their cells.

    “They stand around holding their shotguns and watch us eat, play basketball, watch TV and all manner of other mundane duties which have traditionally been conducted by regular guards armed only with pepper spray,” Manley wrote.

    LaGasse said, “It’s weird when you’re walking around your pod and there are SOG officers squatting down and pointing their guns at you and everyone else.”

    This is exactly what Rikers doesn’t need.

    Update: This post originally stated that US C-SOG “was established a few years ago.” In an email to Gawker, US C-SOG claims to have been in business for over 20 years.


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    Tricking Someone Into Believing They Won the Hamilton Lottery Is the Best Prank of 2016
    Lin-Manuel Miranda after his last performance as Alexander Hamilton: Getty

    This past Saturday was Lin-Manuel Miranda’s final performance as Alexander Hamilton in the Epic Rap Battles of History-turned-Broadway sensation Hamilton. Tickets to the show were reportedly being sold on secondary markets for four-to-five figures, which would have made it particularly painful to have discovered that you missed an email announcing that you had won $10 tickets to the performance through the play’s limited lottery system.

    So went the helpless cries of precisely four people on Twitter, including semi-prominent and relatively unknown members of your trusted media industry:

    Now the “plot twist” here is that the above four people did not actually win the Hamilton lottery. Instead, they were pranked by a website created by this guy called “Hamiltowned” (let’s forget that part) which generates a fake Hamilton lottery winner email.

    This is a plainly great prank, given the rampant hysteria over Hamilton, and harmless, given that nobody’s life is severely effected by not receiving tickets to a Broadway play. Please prank your friends who love Hamilton too much or at least any and every member of the Buzzfeed Hamilton Slack room.


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    Pokémon Go Is a Government Surveillance Psyop Conspiracy
    Illustration: Jim Cooke

    Less than a week after Pokémon Go’s launch, our streets are already filled with packs of phone-wielding, Weedle-catching zombies. They’re robbing our teens, filling our churches with sinners, and tricking our children into exercising. But worst of all, Pokémon Go is turning us all into an army of narcs in service of the coming New World Order.

    http://gawker.com/9-tips-for-mas…

    Allow me to explain.

    More like Privacy Poli-See Everything

    Lots of apps have sketchy privacy policies, that’s nothing new. But the first set of alarms go off as soon as you realize that Pokémon Go’s policy does seem a bit more liberal than most, because not only are you giving Pokémon Go access to your location and camera, you’re also giving it full access to your Google account (assuming you use that to sign in).

    There’s one section of the privacy policy in particular that seems to be getting the conspiracy theorists of the world up in arms and which Reddit user Homer_Simpson_Doh calls “very Orwellian”:

    Pokémon Go Is a Government Surveillance Psyop Conspiracy

    Most Orwellian of all is this line:

    We may disclose any information about you (or your authorized child) that is in our possession or control to government or law enforcement officials or private parties.

    As TechCrunch explained, Pokémon-loving millennials are far less likely to object to a few extra permissions when its Squirtle staring them in the face as they abandon their every god-given freedom than they do when Google reads their email.

    Pokémon Go comes directly—directly—from the intelligence community

    And it’s not like Pokémon Go itself doesn’t already have a direct(-ish) line to the CIA. After all, Pokémon Go was created by Niantic, which was formed by John Hanke.

    Now, Hanke also just so happened to help found Keyhole. What does Keyhole do, you ask? I’d tell you to go to Keyhole’s website—but you can’t. It just takes you straight to Google Earth. That’s because Keyhole was acquired by Google back in 2004.

    Before that, though, Keyhole received funding from a firm called In-Q-Tel, a government-controlled venture capital firm that invests in companies that will help beef up Big Brother’s tool belt. What’s more, the funds In-Q-Tel gave Keyhole mostly came from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA), whose primary mission is “collecting, analyzing, and distributing geospatial intelligence.”

    Still unsure if Pokémon Go’s creator is a government spook? Check out this excerpt from the NGA’s in-house publication, Pathfinder Magazine:

    Pokémon Go Is a Government Surveillance Psyop Conspiracy
    Image: Pathfinder

    Companies obtain customer information through avenues such as social media, mobile apps, and customer relationship-management software. They might as well be talking about Pokémon Go itself.

    We’re all government pawns

    So what exactly is the New World Order planning to do with our precious and meticulously collected data? They could take a few different paths, though they all boil down to the fact that we’re all cogs in Professor Willow’s great, big government machine.

    Considering that one of Big Brother’s favorite pastimes is watching its citizens at all times always and forever, Pokémon Go is an ideal vessel for its many, many eyes. It’s addicting (kids, adults, and conspiracy-loving bloggers for Gawker.com can’t seem to put the thing for more than ten minutes at a time). And it has access to pretty much our entire phone, meaning tons of personal data and monster tracking capabilities:

    Granted, Pokémon Go has a perfectly legitimate reason to want access to things like your location and camera. It needs the former to put you on the right map and the latter to make use of its augmented reality feature. But with those allowances, Pokémon Go (or rather, its parent company Niantic) not only knows where millions of people are at any given point, they could also very well figure out who they’re with, what’s going on around them, and where they’re likely headed next.

    Remember, it doesn’t take that much to hunt someone down. All it took was one absentminded tweet for Vice to accidentally reveal the location of former fugitive and bath salts-enthusiast John McAfee.

    As Reddit user fight_for_anything explains:

    Obviously intelligence agencies have gained a lot of info from google maps and its street view, but this data was collected easily with driving cars. intel agencies may see google maps and street view as just an outline or a skeleton of the whole picture. getting more data, particularly that off the street and inside buildings, requires tons of man hours and foot work. a logistical nightmare.

    enter Pokemon GO, where if you are an intel agency and you want photos of the inside of a home or business, you just spawn desirable pokemon or related objects there, and let totally unaware and distracted citizens take the photos for you, with devices they paid for, and those citizens pay for the experience.

    imagine all these photos going back to some database (with the augmented Pokemon removed obviously. all these photos are probably GPS tagged, as well as having the phones internal gyro embed x/y/z orientation of the camera angle in the phone. these photos could be put together, much like google street view.

    So as you’re “catching ‘em all” with all the other sheep, you very well may be creating a cache of high-res, data-rich images to get siphoned directly into the CIA’s greedy little pockets. Just picture it, a year from now when Trump-appointed CIA Director Liam Neeson is trying to figure out who helped The Washington Post reporters escape from prison, all he has to do is call over to Deputy Director Sutherland. “Check the Pokédex,” he’ll say, and up springs a Google Street View-esque simulation of every building, nook, and closet within a five-mile radius—all updated in real time.

    As user fight_for_anything explains, “What if that local church is a mosque they suspect of terrorist activity? And they want photos of it, or photos of the cars around it and their plates, or photos of the people coming in and out...” Meaning that, should Director Neeson need eyes somewhere, all he as to do is tell the game to stick a Pikachu in the room and some unassuming schlub will send him a photo in no time.

    Is it the Jews?

    Probably!

    Based on the following thread, it seems that at least one Reddit user had his suspicions:

    Pokémon Go Is a Government Surveillance Psyop Conspiracy
    Image: Reddit

    Of course, because whatever that user said was censored (by the Jews?), what role God’s chosen people are playing in this particular machination remains to be seen.

    But I want to play

    If, after all this, you’re still jonesing to go Pidgey hunting despite the Truth, Reddit user leocusmus has a few safety tips:

    Just like ingress. Either use a spare phone or buy a cheap used one off eBay. Set up your main phone with a VPN, turn I Wi-Fi hotspot, and play from your spare phone with a dummy gmail account.

    Which is more likely to keep you hidden from Big Brother’s prying eyes, sure, but it’s important to remember that, even then, you’re still not really safe.

    You’re never really safe.


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    Sean Hannity Urges Reporter to Ask the Protestors Why Just the Black Lives Matter

    Why do just the black lives matter, Fox News head moron Sean Hannity insisted a reporter on the ground in Baton Rouge ask a group of protestors, proof positive that mediocrity is no bar to success in this country, even on cable television.

    “Jonathan, let me ask you. Maybe you can go through and just ask people very quickly. Do black lives matter, or do all lives matter? Maybe just take a survey, a quick survey of people,” Hannity said. “This became a big issue in the presidential campaign. Do black lives matter, or do all lives matter?”

    Via Media Matters:

    Just asking questions...


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    Judge Drops Assault Charge Against Baltimore Cop Brian Rice in Freddie Gray Case
    Image: Getty

    The judge presiding over the case of Brian Rice, the highest-ranking Baltimore Police Department officer charged in the 2015 killing of Freddie Gray, has dropped an assault charge against Rice, Fox 45 Baltimore is reporting.

    Judge Barry Williams, who previously presided over the cases of Officers Caesar Goodson Jr. and Edward Nero, said that prosecutors failed to show that the van in which officers transported Gray before his death was used as a weapon of assault. The assault charge is the second charge dropped in Rice’s trial, following a misconduct in office charge that prosecutors dismissed on the first day of proceedings.* Rice still faces charges of manslaughter and reckless endangerment, as well as a second assault charge.

    Williams found Nero and Goodson not guilty of all charges against them, and Rice opted for a bench trial over facing a jury of his peers after the judge delivered those acquittals. William Porter, the first officer to face trial in the Gray case, was the only one to opt for a jury. His trial ended in a mistrial because of a hung jury, and he will face a second trial in September.


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    Earlier today, David Cameron announced the end of his premiership of Great Britain. Then he hummed a little song.

    http://gawker.com/david-cameron-…

    Gawker’s Andy Cush presents, for your listening pleasure, this brief musical interpretation of Cameron’s enigmatic ditty.


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    Black Dishwasher at Yale University Loses Job After Shattering "Racist, Very Degrading" Stained-Glass Panel
    Photo: AP

    An African-American dishwasher at Yale University has lost his job after breaking what he described as a “racist, very degrading” stained-glass window panel at one of the university’s dining halls, the New Haven Independent reports. The panel depicted two slaves picking cotton.

    Last month, Corey Menafee was working in Yale’s Calhoun residential college dining hall—named for former vice president John C. Calhoun, an advocate of slavery—when, on an impulse, he decided to reach up with a broomstick and knock the panel out of its frame. From the Independent:

    Menafee, who is 38 years old, said he wasn’t motivated by allegiance to student activists when, while helping clean the hall on Monday, June 13, he decided on a sudden impulse to knock the panel down.

    “I took a broomstick, and it was kind of high, and I climbed up and reached up and broke it,” he said. “It’s 2016, I shouldn’t have to come to work and see things like that.”

    “I just said, ‘That thing’s coming down today. I’m tired of it,’” he added. “I put myself in a position to do it, and did it.”

    Students and faculty have called for Calhoun’s name to be changed; Yale President Peter Salovey announced in April that that would not be happening. Recently, Yale changed the title used by certain members of the school administration from “master” to “head of college.”

    Menafee lost his job, he told the Independent, because the university deemed him a threat to students; he’d been working at the school since September 2007. “I didn’t commit any acts of violence against anyone or any living thing,” he said. “I didn’t be belligerent, or yell. I just broke the windows.”

    Jonathan Holloway, dean of Yale’s undergraduate college, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Gawker.

    UPDATE: After this post was published, Yale spokesman Tom Conroy sent Gawker this statement:

    An incident occurred at Calhoun College, a residential college on the campus of Yale University, in which a stained glass window was broken by an employee of Yale, resulting in glass falling onto the street near a passerby, endangering her safety.

    The employee apologized for his actions and subsequently resigned from the University. The University will not advocate that the employee be prosecuted in connection with this incident and is not seeking restitution.


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    3 Dead at Michigan Courthouse After Inmate Disarms Officer, Shoots Bailiffs 
    Screencap: WJBK

    Two bailiffs were killed and at least two other people were wounded on Monday after an inmate at a Michigan courthouse took an officer’s gun, the Associated Press reports. The gunman was later killed by police.

    According to Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey, the inmate was being moved from a holding cell in the Berrien County Courthouse when he “disarmed one of the officers and was able to get that gun” at around 3:25 p.m. From NBC News:

    A sheriff’s deputy was also shot, and a civilian was wounded, he said. It wasn’t disclosed whether the civilian had been shot or was injured in some other way.

    Their conditions weren’t reported, but Bailey said they sustained non-life-threatening injuries and were stable at Lakeland Regional Medical Center in St. Joseph. The courthouse was evacuated, and people were directed to an emergency shelter that had been set up.

    “They went for shelter once the shooting occurred and other brave officers were able to come to their rescue and take the shooter down,” said Sheriff Bailey at a press conference Monday afternoon. “I stand here with a heavy heart today.”


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    Police Department to PokéMasters: Your Life is the Rarest Catch of All
    Photos: AP/Shutterstock

    There may be 150 creatures to collect in Pokémon Go, but there’s only one you.

    That’s the message one New Jersey police department had for citizens following reports of app users causing accidents by “driving while looking at the screen as well as walking and looking at the screen.”

    As first reported by ABC News, the West Windsor Police Department issued a safety advisory on Monday warning aspiring PokéMasters not to crash into stuff or stumble onto the scene of their own mugging.

    http://gizmodo.com/armed-robbers-…

    “Please be aware of your surroundings and always use best practices for personal safety no matter where an app tells you to go,” wrote West Windsor Police Lieutenant Robert Garofalo. “That rare Pokémon may come at the cost of your car or possibly your life.”

    In an interview with ABC, Garofalo said he downloaded the app himself “just to see what was going on” and “caught a Pokémon in the police station to get an idea of what these people are doing.” From ABC News:

    Garofalo said that he has had to warn officers that people who are seen acting bizarrely or wandering in strange locations may just be playing the game.

    “If someone is in the park late at night, this is probably the reason why,” he said. “They’re not necessarily trying to smoke or do anything illegal.”

    While he said is not worried about criminal incidents in his town, Garofalo advised Pokémon Go players to use common sense.

    “Don’t do anything that you normally would think is bad,” said Garofalo. “Normally you wouldn’t go to a deserted alley at 3 a.m. That shouldn’t change just because an app said you should.”

    Meanwhile:


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    Pokémon Go Was Never Able To Read Your Email [Updated]

    There’s no question that Pokémon Go has taken over the world in just a few short days. The app now has more users than Tinder, and single-handedly increased Nintendo’s market cap by $7.5 Billion over the weekend.

    But users have started turning on its creator, Niantic, after a blog post by a former Senior Engineering Manager at Tumblr which labelled Pokémon Go malware and a “huge security risk”.

    Adam Reeve, who is now Principal Architect at Red Owl Analytics, said Pokémon Go is granted “full account access” to user’s Google accounts when they log on with Google on iOS, giving Niantic unprecedented, and frankly, terrifying, access to your account.

    Pokémon Go does indeed request “full account access” from some iOS users, but that could mean almost anything in tech jargon. Here’s what Reeve claimed the app could do in his blog post:

    Let me be clear - Pokemon Go and Niantic can now:

    • Read all your email
    • Send email as you
    • Access all your Google drive documents (including deleting them)
    • Look at your search history and your Maps navigation history
    • Access any private photos you may store in Google Photos
    • And a whole lot more

    But in a call with Gizmodo, Reeve backtracked his claims, saying he wasn’t “100 percent sure” his blog post was true. On the call, Reeve also admitted that he had never built an application that uses Google account permissions, and had never tested the claims he makes in the post.

    Cybersecurity expert and CEO of Trail of Bits Dan Guido has also cast serious doubt on Reeve’s claim, saying Google tech support told him “full account access” does not mean a third party can read or send or send email, access your files or anything else Reeve claimed. It means Niantic can only read biographical information like email address and phone number.

    Google tech support sent a statement to Guido, which he provided to Gizmodo:

    In this case, we checked that the Full account access permission refers to most of the My account settings. Specific actions such as sending emails, modifying folders, etc, require explicit permissions to that service (the permission will say “Has access to Gmail”)

    Guido says that based on his investigation, “a giant section of [Reeve’s] blog post might be wrong.”

    Reeve told Gizmodo that he was inferring based on what Google says “full account access” means. It’s easy to understand how Reeve might have got the wrong idea:

    Pokémon Go Was Never Able To Read Your Email [Updated]

    Click on that “learn more” button and you’ll be guided to a website with the following confusing information:

    When you grant full account access, the application can see and modify nearly all information in your Google Account (but it can’t change your password, delete your account, or pay with Google Wallet on your behalf).

    Certain Google applications may be listed under full account access. For example, you might see that the Google Maps application you downloaded for your iPhone has full account access.

    This “Full account access” privilege should only be granted to applications you fully trust, and which are installed on your personal computer, phone, or tablet.

    If you’ve granted full account access to an app you don’t trust or recognize, we recommend that you revoke this permission by clicking the Revoke access button.

    Google is the only entity that can clear up just what “full account access” means. The company has not responded to multiple requests for comment on the matter.

    Update 7/11/2016 10:06PM EST: Niantic released a statement saying that “Pokémon GO only accesses basic Google profile information.” Here’s the full statement

    We recently discovered that the Pokémon GO account creation process on iOS erroneously requests full access permission for the user’s Google account. However, Pokémon GO only accesses basic Google profile information (specifically, your User ID and email address) and no other Google account information is or has been accessed or collected. Once we became aware of this error, we began working on a client-side fix to request permission for only basic Google profile information, in line with the data that we actually access. Google has verified that no other information has been received or accessed by Pokémon GO or Niantic. Google will soon reduce Pokémon GO’s permission to only the basic profile data that Pokémon GO needs, and users do not need to take any actions themselves.

    Update 7/12/16 7:57AM EST: Here’s even more confirmation that Pokémon Go never had the ability to access your Gmail or Calendar. A product security developer at Slack tested the token provided by Pokémon Go and found that it was never able to get data from services like Gmail or Calendar.


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    Police Release Suspect, Continue Search for Killer Targeting Homeless Men in San Diego
    Surveillance photos of the suspected killer of three homeless men in San Diego. Photos: San Diego Police

    After discovering new evidence suggesting his innocence, authorities in San Diego freed a man arrested last week as the suspect in a series of deadly attacks on sleeping homeless men, NBC News reports.

    http://gawker.com/third-victim-d…

    On Monday, 36-year-old Anthony Alexander Padgett was released without charge, but Homicide Captain David Nisleit defended the arrest, according to The Guardian, saying, “I’m not saying I have the wrong guy.”

    “Over the weekend, we discovered exculpatory evidence which does not give me confidence moving forward with Padgett still in custody,” said Nisleit at press conference Monday afternoon. “With that said, in an hour or tomorrow, we could get new evidence that might point the finger back to Padgett, or someone new.”

    Since July 3, three homeless men in San Diego have died and another is grave condition after being beaten or set on fire while outside. Shortly after the attacks began, police released surveillance photos of a man they still believe to be the killer, according to The L.A. Times.

    Padgett, who was convicted of a similar crime while he was himself homeless in 2010, has maintained his innocence since his arrest, claiming he is not the man pictured in the photos.

    “We’re innocent, innocent. We look like the person. We’re innocent,” Padgett told reporters gathered near police headquarters on Thursday. “I look like that person, I’m innocent.”


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  • 07/12/16--04:30: 118 Days and a Wake Up
  • 118 Days and a Wake Up
    Anti-police brutality demonstrators marched through Atlanta, Georgia, on Monday. Photo: AP

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    At Least a Dozen Killed in Train Collision in Southern Italy
    Photo: AP

    On Tuesday, two commuter trains collided head-on in an olive grove in Italy’s southern region of Puglia, killing a dozen people and injuring dozens more, firefighters said.

    Officials said the two trains, each with four cars, crashed between the towns of Corato and Andria. “Some of the cars are completely crumpled and the rescuers are extracting people from the metal, many of them injured,” Andria’s chief of police, Riccardo Zingaro, told Italian news agency ANSA.

    A small child, injured but alive, was pulled from the wreckage and taken to a local hospital by helicopter.


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    Why Does Birther Congressman Steve King Have a Confederate Flag on His Desk?

    Last week, U.S. Representative Steve King, a Republican from Iowa, spoke to Sioux City TV station KCAU about the bill he recently introduced in Congress. In the video interview, a Confederate flag is displayed on King’s desk, along with the U.S. flag, the Iowa state flag, the Gadsden flag, and the Papal State flag.

    King defended the display of the Confederate flag over the South Carolina state Capitol last year, following Dylann Roof’s attack on a historic black church in Charleston. (The flag was ultimately lowered.) More recently, the congressman tried to block Harriet Tubman from being put on the $20 bill.

    http://gawker.com/gop-congressma…

    The appearance of the flag on the perennial birther’s desk was first noted by Iowa politics blog Iowa Starting Line. King’s office uploaded video of the interview to his official YouTube page.

    “Iowans fought and died to uphold the Union,” Betty Andrews, president of the Iowa-Nebraska NAACP State Area Conference of Branches, told the Des Moines Register. “And given (King’s) recent attempt to block Harriet Tubman from the twenty dollar bill, and of course his track record, I just think Iowa voters need to take another look at who they elected to office.”

    In a previous interview with the Register, King bragged about his collection of Civil War-era artifacts, and praised his family members, who fought in the war, for being abolitionists. He did not appear to mention the Confederate flag on his desk.


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    Dead Shopping Malls MIGHT Destroy Our Economy
    Photo: Flickr

    Risk! A short word that keeps the world exciting and dangerous and ultimately destroys us all. In these uncertain times, we pine for the totems of our simple past—like the risk of massive real estate bubbles.

    It would be simplistic and irresponsible for us to simply yell at you, the consumer, “Ooo, ahh, property bubbles once again, just like in the past, when it crashed our economy, woo, wahoo, everyone be scared!” We’ll leave that sort of fearmongering to lesser blogs. The reality is that this current rising real estate bubble is in commercial real estate (CRE), which is totally different from the residential real estate bubble of the past decade. We can all be proud to live in a nation in which all Americans may have the chance to experience a real estate bubble in each and every sector of the market in their lifetimes.

    Yesterday, Thomas Curry, who has the extremely official title of “Comptroller of the Currency,” warned that banks—particularly small ones—are making too many dangerous commercial real estate loans. From the FT:

    Mr Curry suggested CRE was of even greater concern to regulators than both car loans — an area into which some banks have expanded aggressively — and lending to already-indebted companies...

    [A Morgan Stanley report] said the retail sector was especially vulnerable. “We are already seeing increased defaults on loans secured by shopping malls, which is a trend we expect to continue.”

    Will the fact that kids no longer “hang out” in mall food courts in hope of mating be the thing that ultimately brings down our economy once again? It is far too early to say for sure. But yes.


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    Unsealed Court Documents: Sandusky Abuse Allegation Was Reported To Joe Paterno In 1976
    Paul Vathis/AP Images

    A newly unsealed report from a risk-management expert found six different instances where sexual abuse allegations against former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky were either witnessed by other coaches or reported to university officials, including a 1976 allegation where one alleged victim made a report directly to head coach Joe Paterno.

    The documents are part of a court battle in which Penn State is trying to recoup from its insurance provider millions of dollars paid out in settlements to Sandusky’s victims. That insurance provider’s defense is that Penn State officials kept the allegations secret, and in doing so failed to prevent future instances of abuse.

    “Penn State should have notified PMA of the incidents involving Sandusky on a timely basis. Penn State did not do that,” Raymond Williams said.

    The documents were unsealed by a judge this morning, and PennLive.com and other local outlets are poring over them as we speak. One of the more important documents appears to be a report prepared by Williams, the risk-management expert hired by the insurance provider to determine when top university officials should have known about the raft of allegations against Sandusky, who was found guilty on 45 charges and will die in prison.

    In compiling his report, Williams was given access to information about Penn State’s settlements. This is confidential information, and in addition to citing two more widely known incidents (including that witnessed by Mike McQueary), the report appears to have unearthed four new cases that were not publicly known:

    • A 1976 incident where one alleged victim made a report to Joe Paterno.
    • A 1987 instance of improper sexual contact between Sandusky and a minor that was witnessed by then-assistant coach Joe Sarra.
    • A 1988 instance of improper sexual contact between Sandusky and a child that was witnessed by then-assistant coach Kevin O’Dea.
    • A 1988 incident, the report of which was referred to then-athletic director Jim Tarman.

    Update, 9:49 a.m.: Here’s more detail on the 1976 allegation, from the victim’s 2014 court testimony.

    The victim, who was identified in court records as John Doe 150, said that while he was attending a football camp at Penn State, Sandusky touched him as he showered. Sandusky’s finger penetrated the boy’s rectum, Doe testified in court in 2014, and the victim asked to speak with Paterno about it. Doe testified that he specifically told Paterno that Sandusky had sexually assaulted him, and Paterno ignored it.

    “Is it accurate that Coach Paterno quickly said to you, ‘I don’t want to hear about any of that kind of stuff, I have a football season to worry about?’” the man’s lawyer asked him in 2014.

    “Specifically. Yes . . . I was shocked, disappointed, offended. I was insulted. . . I said, is that all you’re going to do? You’re not going to do anything else?”

    Paterno, the man testified, just walked away.

    The allegations revealed today come from testimony and evidence provided in PSU’s settlements with the alleged victims. Williams was able to view documents concerning those settlements, but those actual documents remain sealed.

    Today’s release occurred only about 90 minutes ago. Expect more new information to surface over the course of the day.


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