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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.

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.

Wichita Falls pedestrian is killed by pickup truck

A Wichita Falls man is killed and another person is injured after being hit by a truck while walking along U.S. 59 in southeast Texas.

Justin Carl Schlotzhauer,30, of Wichita Falls, was one of the pedestrians struck by a dodge pickup truck Tuesday night near Shepherd, Texas.

The initial crash report indicates that Jerme Burson, 37, was driving a 2005 Dodge pickup north on Highway 59 when he drove onto the shoulder of the road and struck Schlotzhauer and another person who were walking north. Schlotzhauer was pronounced dead at the scene.

The other person who was hit was taken to the hospital and is being treated for minor injuries.

DPS troopers at the scene determined that Burson, who was not injured in the crash, was driving while intoxicated when the wreck occurred.

He was arrested at the scene and charged with intoxicated manslaughter and intoxicated assault.

4 Killed in Ector Count Sunday

Posted: Monday, April 3, 2017 5:24 pm

Odessa American

A total of four people were killed and two were injured following a collision on Northwest Loop 338 in Ector County on Sunday, according to the Texas Department of Public Safety.

Both drivers involved in the head-on collision were killed, as well as an 8-year-old girl and a 29-year-old woman who were passengers in one of the pick-up trucks.

Christopher Soliz, 30, was driving a 2008 Ford F-250 northbound on Northwest Loop 338 when he lost control and entered the southbound lane around 4:21 p.m. Sunday. The Ford truck collided with a 2016 Dodge pick-up towing a cargo trailer driven by Calistro Carrillo, 35, of Odessa. Carrillo was pronounced dead at the scene. A DPS report shows Carrillo was wearing his seatbelt at the time and had no passengers in his vehicle.

One of Soliz’s passengers, 29-year-old Elizabeth Navarette of Odessa, was also pronounced dead at the scene. The 8-year-old Odessa girl was transported to Medical Center Hospital in Odessa and later pronounced dead. Soliz, Navarette and the girl were not wearing seatbelts at the time of the wreck, according to the DPS report.

Two other passengers in Soliz’s vehicle were injured during the wreck including a 2-year-old girl and 10-year-old girl, both of Odessa. It was unknown if the 10-year-old was wearing a seatbelt, but the report shows the toddler was in a child safety seat.

The 2-year-old was transported to Medical Center Hospital and the 10-year-old was transported to University Medical Center in Lubbock.

The DPS report shows the weather conditions were clear and cloudy and the road conditions were wet at the time of the wreck. The incident was investigated by DPS Odessa troopers.