Court Orders Release of Body Cams in Vegas Shooting While Ignoring Casino Surveillance Footage

body camera footagebody camera footage

Las Vegas – More than four months after the deadliest shooting in modern U.S. history, a judge has ruled that police must release 911 calls, the remaining Body Cam footage from their officers and other records within the next 30 days. But the repeated requests for the release of the Mandalay Bay Hotel’s surveillance footage seem to have been ignored once again.

Nevada state court Judge Richard Scotti ruled that the records must be released to the media outlets that have been requesting them—with the first requests coming in hours after the Oct. 1 shooting—but that the department is allowed to redact the names, social security numbers and “portions of videos in which people could be easily recognized.”

“If the government contended that the requested records were confidential or otherwise protected from disclosure, then the government had a duty to redact confidential information and produce the non-confidential portions of the records,” Scotti said.

The judge also argued that the practice of “wholesale withholding of documents” while claiming that they are all confidential, “suggests to this court that records have not been sufficiently scrutinized.”

While it is likely that additional body camera footage from the officers on the scene and initial reports from witnesses who called 911 will give meaningful insight into the mass shooting, Judge Scotti is leaving out one of the most crucial pieces of evidence—the surveillance footage from Mandalay Bay.

As one of the most popular casinos in Las Vegas, there is no doubt that Mandalay Bay is armed with a number of surveillance cameras that would have captured suspect Stephen Paddock entering the hotel in the days before the shooting, with enough luggage to conceal dozens of guns, more than 1,500 rounds of ammunition and other supplies.

In the days after the shooting, former chief executive of Wynn Resorts, Steve Wynn, suggested that Paddock may have escaped public attention by taking the service elevator, a perk typically given to “high rollers.” While that may explain why he did not raise any red flags when he initially arrived at the hotel, that does not explain why hotel staff members visited Paddock’s room at least 10 times in the days leading up to the shooting and noticed nothing out of the ordinary.

The surveillance footage from the front lobby may show what looked to be an average man checking into a hotel, but the surveillance footage from the 32nd floor is one of the most crucial aspects of the story.

While there have been a number of significant changes in the timeline of the massacre, one of the most glaring changes revolved around the account of Mandalay Bay Hotel security guard Jesus Campos, who was reportedly injured by Paddock. Campos went from being just another causality in the shooting to Paddock’s first victim, who was shot only once in the leg, despite the fact that the shooter reportedly fired 200 rounds down the hallway in his direction.

Attorney Craig Eiland, who is representing a number of the victims, revealed in November that not only did police officers respond to Campos after he was shot, they were right outside of Paddock’s door before he began shooting out of his hotel room window.

“As of yesterday it was that two—we knew about Campos—but there were two other police officers from MGM that were on the floor prior to the shooting,” Eiland said.

While the pending release of 911 records and body camera footage from the night of the shooting is a decent start, the release of Mandalay Bay’s surveillance footage—especially from the 32nd floor in the hours surrounding the shooting—has the ability to reveal significant facts that could finally give answers to the many families who are mourning the loss of their loved ones who died in the massacre.

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The Governors That Have Signed Executive Orders To Keep Net Neutrality In Their States

By  Amanda Froelich Truth Theory

Net Neutrality — what is it, and why is it important? Simply, net neutrality is the principle that government should mandate Internet service providers to treat all data on the Internet all the same. Without Net Neutrality rules, companies like AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon can “call all the shots,” so to speak, and slow down their competitors’ content or block political opinions they disagree with. They can also charge extra fees to the few content companies that can afford to pay for preferential treatment. This means everyone else is relegated to a slower tier of service.

For the majority of the populace, a loss of net neutrality is not good. Essentially, it limits freedom of speech on the internet. Despite vehement outcry from the public, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) repealed its net neutrality rules just a handful of weeks ago. As a result, state legislators are passing legislation to keep Net Neutrality rules in their states.

Last Monday, Steve Bullock became the first U.S. governor to sign an executive order which states that any internet providers signed by the state are prohibited from impairing, degrading, throttling, or blocking internet traffic based on payment, content or prioritization.

Bullock explained his decision while standing with a group of computer science students at the very same high school he attended growing up. He said, “For as long as you, or I, or anyone in this room has used the internet, we’ve had certain expectations about how things work. We’ve had access to a free and open internet. But a free and open internet is no longer guaranteed. The loss of internet neutrality principles threatens the future of the students standing in this very room.”

“There has been a lot of talk around the country about how to respond to the recent decision by Federal Communications Commission to repeal net neutrality rules, which keep the internet free and open. It’s time to actually do something about it,” Bullock added. “This is a simple step states can take to preserve and protect net neutrality. We can’t wait for folks in Washington DC to come to their senses and reinstate these rules.”

As GoodNewsNetwork reports, Bullock inspired Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York to pass similar legislation in his own state. Said Cuomo in a statement: “The FCC’s dangerous ruling goes against the core values of our democracy, and New York will do everything in our power to protect net neutrality and the free exchange of ideas. With this executive order, we reaffirm our commitment to freedom and democracy and help ensure that the internet remains free and open to all.”

In addition to challenging other states and businesses to protect Net Neutrality, Bullock has offered to “personally email” them the template to keep the internet free and open.

What are your thoughts? Please comment below and share this news!

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‘Not joking’: Duterte orders army to ‘shoot him’ if he becomes dictator

“If I overstay and wanted to become a dictator, shoot me, I am not joking,” the president told the troops on Monday. “If I extend my term even by just one day, I am now asking the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippines National Police not to allow me or anybody else to mess with the constitution,” Duterte warned

It is a “solemn duty” of the military and police to defend the constitution, which only stipulates a single six-year presidential term.

“It is your job to protect the constitution and to protect the people,” Duterte told the troops. The president said soldiers are even allowed to use all of their ammunition to take him down if necessary, reported Rappler.

With his tenure due to expire in 2022, Duterte previously dispelled speculation that he was seeking to amend the constitution in order to secure a longer presidency. “Do not be afraid of dictatorship. I am not aiming for it. I do not ask [for] it and I do not like it,” Duterte said at the time, after calling on the lawmakers to cut the powers of government officials.

To prove he would have no qualms about giving up office, Duterte has previously promised he would resign on various conditions, including if his children were to become involved in corruption, or if human rights organizations found evidence of state-sanctioned killings.

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Court Orders DuPont to Go to Trial 40 Times a Year to Face Thousands of Toxic Chemical Victim Lawsuits

By Jessica Dye


NEW YORK (Reuters) – Chemical maker DuPont will face 40 trials a year starting April 2017 involving plaintiffs who say they developed cancer from a toxic chemical used to make Teflon that leaked from one of the company’s plants in West Virginia.


The schedule laid out by U.S. District Judge Edmund Sargus in the Southern District of Ohio during a hearing Wednesday is aimed at pushing the parties closer to resolving more than 3,550 lawsuits.


The outcome could have a material impact on Chemours Co, since liability for litigation connected with the chemical C-8 was passed on to the firm spun-off by DuPont in 2015.


The cases have been filed by individuals who say they developed one of six diseases linked to perfluorooctanoic acid, also known as PFOA or C-8, which was found in their drinking water. Their cases are consolidated before Sargus.


The initial 40 trials will be selected from between 250 and 300 lawsuits brought by individuals who say they contracted kidney or testicular cancer from C-8.


“People shouldn’t have to wait ten years for a trial,” Sargus said, according to a transcript of the hearing.


DuPont spokesman Dan Turner said the company was pleased plaintiffs would go to trial individually, rather than as a group, as plaintiffs’ lawyers had proposed. In the past, DuPont said “mega trials” would confuse jurors and be unfair to it.


A lead plaintiffs’ lawyer, Michael London, called Sargus’ plan “a good start.”


The lawsuits center on claims DuPont used C-8 at a West Virginia plant for decades despite knowing it was toxic and had been found in nearby drinking water.


While the cancer claims are moving forward to trial, DuPont has said in court filings that 90 percent of the litigation involves less deadly conditions such as high cholesterol and thyroid disease.


To help estimate the aggregate value of individual suits in mass litigation, it is common to hold a series of bellwether, or test trials. The first C-8 bellwether ended in October with a $1.6 million verdict for a plaintiff who had kidney cancer. Four other trials are scheduled for 2016.


While DuPont was the named defendant, Chemours said it would cover DuPont’s liability for the first verdict. Chemours agreed to take on some of DuPont’s legal liabilities when it was spun off from the company to house its performance chemicals segment.


Chemours has said an unfavorable outcome from the lawsuits could have a “material adverse effect” on its finances.


Chemours stock was little changed Thursday at $3.12 on the New York Stock Exchange. The stock has fallen 80 percent since it was spun off.


Additional reporting by Tom Hals.


To Learn More:

            DuPont Found Liable for Woman’s Kidney Cancer (by Steve Straehley, AllGov)

U.S. and Kansas Sue DuPont for Poisoning Water and Soil (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

DuPont Sued for Covering up 25 Years of Polluting Ohio River (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)

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Richard Branson orders Virgin Trains to restock Daily Mail amid ‘censorship’ accusation

Virgin Trains last week announced it would stop supplying its customers with the right-wing tabloid as it “was not compatible with the VT brand and our beliefs.”

The Daily Mail hit back, branding the move “disgraceful” and suggesting that its pro-Brexit stance was an underlying reason for the decision, given that Branson has been a vocal Remain campaigner.

Writing on the Virgin website on Monday, the tycoon rejected claims that the decision had been “part of some grand campaign or at my behest,” adding that he and his partner Brian Souter were unaware of the move until it was reported in the media.

“The decision was made in response to feedback from some of our Virgin Trains employees. Brian and I respect our people when they make decisions and we listen to their views,” Branson wrote.

“But we must also listen to the concerns voiced widely this week – by those who agree with the Mail’s editorial stance and those who vehemently disagree with it – that this move has been seen as censorship.

“Freedom of speech, freedom of choice and tolerance for differing views are the core principles of any free and open society. While Virgin Trains has always said that their passengers are free to read whatever newspaper they choose on board West Coast trains, it is clear that on this occasion the decision to no longer sell the Mail has not been seen to live up to these principles.”

People have now taken to social media to accuse Branson of bowing to commercial pressure. 

The decision to halt sales of the Daily Mail was made in November, but it emerged only last week when a leaked internal memo made it into a monthly journal of train drivers union, Aslef.

In the memo, Drew McMillan, head of colleague communication and engagement, said: “Thousands of people choose to read the Daily Mail every day. But they will no longer be reading it courtesy of VT.

“There’s been considerable concern raised by colleagues about the Mail’s editorial position on issues such as immigration, LGBT rights, and unemployment.

“We’ve decided that this paper is not compatible with the VT brand and our beliefs. We won’t be stocking the Daily Mail for sale or as a giveaway.”

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Melania Trump orders White House tree from 1800s to be cut down

First Lady Melania Trump has ordered that a tree on White House grounds from the 1800s be cut down.

The Jackson Magnolia tree located on the west side of the building is too damaged to stay, according to specialists from the US National Arboretum called in by the White House for a consultation.

CNN reported that “the overall architecture and structure of the tree is greatly compromised and the tree is completely dependent on the artificial support.”

The tree is currently held up by an “extensive cabling system” according to documents issued by the agency.

However, some of the cable has begun to pull through the wood, comprising the structure of the tree.

Ms Trump “personally reviewed the reports from the United States National Arboretum and spoke at length with her staff about exploring every option before making the decision to remove a portion of the Magnolia tree,” White House Communications Director Stephanie Grisham told CNN.

She said: “After reviewing the reports, she trusted that every effort had been made to preserve the historic tree and was concerned about the safety of visitors and members of the press who are often standing right in front of the tree during Marine One lifts.”

It is the oldest tree on White House grounds, planted during in 1828 during the administration of former President Andrew Jackson.

He had taken the magnolia sprout from the family farm in Tennessee as a tribute to his recently deceased wife Rachel.

The stately tree reaches past the second-floor residence of the Trump family and is one of three plants on the west side of the building.

The National Arboretum said in the documents obtained by CNN that if it were not for the particular history of the tree, it would have been cleared several years ago.

“All measures have been used to save it to this point in time…While we cannot comment on the need to preserve the tree as long as it stands, we believe eventually, the tree will fail,” the report said.

The network reported that another magnolia tree will be planted in its place after it is removed later this week. The wood will be preserved at Ms Trump’s request.

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Pepsi orders 100 Tesla Semi trucks, largest order yet

Hopefully, the early demand for Tesla’s rig pushes other competitors to innovate too.

When I wrote about Anheuser Busch ordering 40 Tesla Semi trucks, a commenter quickly pointed out that Sysco had ordered 50. Now Pepsi appears to be trouncing both of them with an order of 100, according to Reuters.

Yes, given that Pepsi operates a fleet of around 10,000 trucks worldwide, an order of 100 is not that big a deal. But I think the growing number of companies—and the apparent increasing size of their orders—should be seen as a commitment to greener, more efficient freight options. By placing these orders, companies like Pepsi send a clear message not just to Tesla and their shareholders (Tesla stocks rallied after the Pepsi order), but to competitors too. If corporations are going to make good on their promises to cut their carbon footprint substantially, then it will require more than just incremental improvements in diesel-powered trucking efficiency.

It would be nice, of course, if commitments like these also extended to a revival, expansion and improvement of rail freight too. But I’ll take what I can get at this point.

As personal transportation gets increasingly electrified, it’s good to see signs of fledgling progress on freight and public transportation too.

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EU Orders Poland: More Migrants & Abortion, Less Nationalism and go Easy on Communists


In spite of finding itself in the firing line of Brussels’ political elite, Poland’s conservative Law and Justice Party shows no signs of capitulation – and is maintaining popular support if recent polls are to be believed.

Refusing to buckle to Brussels’ demands – taking the form of a resolution passed by the EU Parliament on November 15th – the conservative Law and Justice Party was polling at between 43-47% in polls for the second half of November, significantly ahead of next nearest rivals, the pro-EU Civic Platform, and well above the 37.6% score that guaranteed the party an outright majority in the 2015 legislative elections.

Furthermore, the party has suffered no loss of support since the resolution was approved by a margin of 438-152 in the European Parliament last month.

It remains to be seen, however, if the imminent departure of Prime Minister Beata Szydło will impact on the party’s popularity. Szydło resigned Thursday and is to be replaced on December 12th by Minister of Finance, Mateusz Morawiecki. She will continue to serve in government as deputy prime minister.

On the same day Szydło made official her resignation, the EU announced legal action against Poland, along with Hungary and the Czech Republic, for “non-compliance’’ in accepting thousands of non-European migrants in a continent-wide resettlement scheme.

Since 2014, Poland has welcomed at least one million Ukrainians, but is refusing to follow the path of western European multiculturalism – much to the chagrin of Brussels which has plans to welcome tens of millions to Europe by mid-century.

Last month’s resolution reads like a veritable ‘’J’accuse!’’ against Poland, listing multiple grievances which according to the EU represents ‘’a clear risk of a serious breach’’ of European values.

Atop the list, the Polish government’s project to reform the judiciary including putting communist-era judges out to pasture, its refusal to condemn the “xenophobic and fascist march that took place in Warsaw” (Poland’s Independence Day march of November 11th) and what the EU brands as a failure to uphold women’s rights regarding prescription-free access to abortifacient drugs and attempts to limit abortion, particularly eugenic abortions.

The resolution also accuses the Polish government of hindering access to state funds for ‘’critical civic society groups’’ and cites reports by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, with one amendment even condemning ‘’acts of political persecution’’ by Polish authorities against ‘’communists, anti-fascists and other democrats.’’

Passed in the European Parliament only days after media condemnation of Poland’s National Independence Day march – which saw 60,000 Poles march across Warsaw under the banner ”We want God” – the resolution could see the suspension of the country’s voting rights within the European Council.

Of the many issues leading to such sanction, it is the conservative government’s actions to reform the judiciary which have drawn the most criticism. Law and Justice Party leader, Jarosław Kaczyński, has described the judiciary as ‘’one of the strongholds’’ of Poland’s communist past, being a vestige of the pre-1989 communist regime and its ‘’rampant leftism.’’ The Polish government has suggested that opposition within the country to this and other measures is organized by foreign PR firms and the influence of George Soros.

Frustratingly for the political class in Brussels, not only is the Polish government planning to fight legal action on its refusal to accept migrants, and pushing ahead with revised changes to its legal system, it now appears that a grassroots drive to restrict abortion may succeed where a previous government attempt failed last year.

A Citizens’ Legislative Initiative bill signed by close to a million Poles, submitted to the Sjem, the Polish parliament, last week, calls on the government to ban abortions on the grounds of potential disability. President Andrzej Duda, also of the ruling Law and Justice Party, will likely sign such legislation into law if approved by parliament.

Brussels will be watching for diplomatic overtures from incoming Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki next week. Failing this, the EU will concentrate on legal actions against Poland, playing a waiting game until the next election in 2019 and counting on a change in government to roll back the conservative measures it so vehemently opposes.



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Budweiser orders 40 Tesla Semi electric trucks

Tesla has received over 240 publicly announced orders, so the real number is likely higher…

Earlier this year, Anheuser-Busch InBev—the makers of Budweiser, Stella Artois, Corona and more—committed to transitioning to 100% renewables and a 30% reduction in their carbon footprint by 2025 at the latest. That’s a very big deal, both literally in terms of carbon emissions and pollution, and symbolically in terms of which way the long-term winds are blowing—regardless of what’s happening in Washington DC.

Now, as reported over at Electrek, the brewing giant has sent another major signal to the markets by ordering 40 Tesla Semi electric trucks for its distribution network. That appears to bring the publicly announced orders for the Semi to 240+, not including the fact that Tesla is also promising to transition its own fleet of 100 trucks to electric too. (Presumably there are other orders that have not yet been announced.)

These numbers are obviously tiny compared to the number of trucks on the road today, but they are nevertheless significant. They send an important signal to investors and competitors alike. And with deposits for orders now sitting at $20,000 for a base reservation, they also represent a not entirely insignificant injection of cash to a company that some analysts say has been burning money much too fast to stay viable.

With DHL (itself a future Tesla Semi customer) now breaking into “best seller” lists of electric vehicles with its own small delivery vans, I suspect we are going to see distribution networks becoming increasingly electrified up and down the supply chain. Let’s just hope it doesn’t come at the expense of rail.

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