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Tec Firms Sued Over San Bernardino Attack

LOS ANGELES — Family members of San Bernardino terror attack victims sued Facebook, Google and Twitter, accusing the companies of providing platforms that help the Islamic State group spread propaganda, recruit followers and raise money.

The lawsuit filed Wednesday in federal court in Los Angeles alleges that the companies aided and abetted terrorism, provided material support to terrorist groups and are liable for the wrongful deaths of three of the 14 victims killed in the Dec. 2, 2015, attack on a health department training event and holiday party.

Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik, the husband-and-wife shooters who carried out the attack with high-powered rifles, were inspired by the Islamic State group, authorities said. Malik had pledged her allegiance to the group on her Facebook page around the time of the shooting, which also wounded 22 people.

The lawsuit mirrors claims targeting social media providers in courts around the country for deaths in attacks abroad and at home. The same lawyers have sued the same companies for the 2016 massacre at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

Some of those lawsuits have been dismissed because federal law shields online providers from responsibility for content posted by users.

Facebook said it sympathizes with the victims and their families and that it quickly removes content by terrorist groups when it’s reported.
“There is no place on Facebook for groups that engage in terrorist activity or for content that expresses support for such activity,” the company said in a statement.
Google and Twitter didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

The lawsuit claims the companies don’t do enough to block or remove accounts by the Islamic State group and they profit from ads placed next to IS postings. It also says Google shares revenue with the group.

“Without defendants Twitter, Facebook, and Google (YouTube), the explosive growth of ISIS over the last few years into the most feared terrorist group in the world would not have been possible,” the lawsuit said.

The suit filed by relatives of Sierra Clayborn, Tin Nguyen, and Nicholas Thalasinos seeks unspecified monetary damages.

Car Crash Kills One in Cleburne, TX

CLEBURNE, TX — A two-vehicle accident on U.S. 67 resulted in the death of a retired teacher, and left four teens hospitalized.

According to the preliminary DPS report, at about 8:00 a.m. on Monday, 63-year-old Rhonda Cagle was driving her red Kia Rio northeast on U.S. 67, when her vehicle was struck by a silver Kia headed the opposite direction at the County Road 1119 split.

The report states that 17-year-old Hunter White was driving the silver Kia with three passengers, and reportedly did not see Cagle’s vehicle as he attempted to turn across the oncoming lane of traffic onto County Road 1119. The two car accident was head-on.

Rhonda Cagle was transported to John Peter Smith Hospital where she was pronounced deceased. The four teens in the Silver Kia were also transported by air ambulance (CareFlite) to John Peter Smith Hospital. 18-year-old passenger Brandon Bell was listed in serious condition, and a 15-year-old male passenger and 16-year-old female passenger were listed in critical to serious condition.

Texas School Athletes Bus Crashes; 2 Dead

Texas Department of Public Safety authorities say two people are dead after a head-on crash involving a pickup truck and a chartered bus carrying 34 coaches and athletes from seven El Paso high schools returning home from a regional track meet in Lubbock.

El Paso Independent School District officials identified one of the victims as a coach, 48-year-old Arcadio Duran Jr., from Irvin High School. Seventeen others aboard the bus were hospitalized with injuries considered not life threatening.

Troopers said the other person killed was the driver of the pickup truck, 51-year-old Gary Lawson, of Hobbs, New Mexico.

The bus collision occurred early Sunday on U.S. Highway 62/180 in Hudspeth County, about 90 miles east of El Paso.

Man fined $500 for violating a law that prohibits mathematical criticism

Few things in this world are as universally despised as traffic cameras. After his wife received a ticket for tripping a red-light camera, Oregon resident Mats Järlström openly criticized the Orwellian devices and the mathematical formulas these cameras use. It seems Big Brother doesn’t take too kindly to dissenters, as according to the Institute for Justice Järlström was fined $500 for violating a law that prohibits mathematical criticism without a license.

Free speech is a term that’s often misconstrued. It’s not some blanket to hide behind while spouting ridicule and hate to anyone and everyone. In the US, what free speech does protect is the right of a person to openly criticize the government, as Järlström was doing when he argued that the equation which governs the traffic light timers was out of date. After being fined, Järlström filed a lawsuit against the ban on mathematical debate.

The Institute for Justice says the actual fine was for Järlström calling himself a “professional engineer.” The thing is, Järlström does have a degree in electrical engineering, though he doesn’t carry a state license. In Oregon’s eyes, that doesn’t make him a real engineer. Järlström’s initial issue was that the green-yellow-red progression was too short for lights with a left or right turn. Using his engineering expertise, he began to criticize the math equation that governs this timing, hence the fine.

Järlström and the Institute for Justice claim these licensing boards violate free speech by fining those who criticize both the boards and the government agencies behind things like traffic cameras. A lawyer for the Institute for Justice makes the point that you don’t need to be a licensed lawyer to write an article disagreeing with a Supreme Court decision. Free speech, whether used to challenge Supreme Court decisions or traffic cameras, is a fundamental freedom granted by US Constitution.
And it’s also no stretch to say that using mathematics is a fundamental human right – part of what actually makes us human. No law can take away our math.