My iPhone 5s died yesterday. It just wouldn't turn on. I ended up having to plug it into my computer and restore the factory settings, and then an old backup. It took hours, and it worked -- until this morning. Dead as a doornail again.
I took it to the Apple store, and without my even asking, they offered me a brand new phone, same model. They set it up in 5 minutes. (Now I have to sync it and get all my music and apps back on it, but at least I won't have to keep doing it tomorrow and the next day.) Thank you Apple!
Apple is coming out with a 13" iPad. I still have the original iPad, which doesn't work with a lot of more advanced video apps, so maybe it will be time for a new one. I really like the big screen -- but then, I'm one of the few people I know who still prefer a desktop to a laptop. Anyone else tempted to buy it? [More...]
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Our last open thread is full, here's a new one. All topics welcome.
On James Foley's kidnappers: Before "the Beatles", there were the Belgians. Lots of dots to connect.
The latest victim of police "walking while black" syndrome: Hollywood producer Charles Belk, who was stopped while walking from a Beverly Hills restaurant to his car to feed the parking meter. He was stopped by police who thought he might be a bank robber, arrested and held for 6 hours. After viewing the robbery tape, police determined he looked nothing like the robber and released him, with a half-hearted apology. In his own words, on FB.
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Driving this afternoon and listening to CNN on Sirius, the main story was not ISIS or Syria, it was a new audio of the Michael Brown shooting that a passer-by captured on his cell phone while video-chatting with a woman. As he tells her how fine she looks, there are gunshots in the background. Either 10 or 11, depending on the guest they were interviewing. But all could clearly hear about a three second pause between the first round of five or six, and the final ones. They then replayed four interviews of eye witnesses, all of whom said there was a pause in the shooting as Brown turned around and put his hands up.
The significance? Unclear, since it's not been confirmed the tape is authentic or reliable, and obviously, the network doesn't have the original recording. The FBI has also been given a copy.
Here's a thread for all topics related to the Brown shooting.
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(Random photo of unnamed fighter from Tumbler page of Dutch fighter ChechClear.)
British authorities have not named the person standing beside James Foley in the ISIS execution video. They have said they are close to identifying him and refused to give names. On Meet the Press yesterday:
I think we are close. I've been in touch, obviously, in the last day or two with my colleagues at home. We're not yet in a position to say exactly who this is, but there is some very sophisticated voice identification technology and other measures that we have got which should allow us to be very clear about who this person is before very long.
The Sunday Times (UK) reported government officials have told them that security forces say a major suspect is former British rapper Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary. Fox news says an unnamed "western intelligence source" has confirmed Bary is the primary suspect. All other media reports seem to be quoting the Sunday Times.
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Ferguson seems to have died down. The grand jury isn't expected to finish work until October.
In other cases: Joran van der Sloot allegedly threatened to kill the warden at Piedras Gordos prison and has been transferred to the hinterland: Challapalca prison in the Andres, near the border with Bolivia. It's one of Peru's roughest prisons, with most of the inmates sent there after disciplinary problems in other prisons. Human Rights groups have cited it for violations. There is no running water or electricity. The water for human consumpstion isn't treated, which causes gastric distress. The hygience is inadequate. There is no opportunity to go outdoors at all for recreation. Joran is on a hunger strike in protest of the transfer.[More...]
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The Emmys have been so boring. Maybe it is the low-key production. But they just picked up with Aaron Paul winning Best supporting actor for Breaking Bad.
Here's a thread for all things Emmy related.
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I'll be back to blogging this evening. In the meantime, here's an open thread, all topics welcome.
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Busy day. Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.
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On James Foley, I think it's odd that the knife in the ISIS guy's hands in the execution video doesn't match the one on the ground next to Foley's body after he is killed. And we don't see the ISIS guy actually cutting Foley. Also, Foley doesn't flinch when he puts the knife up to his neck. Could the ISIS guy speaking in the video not be the actual killer, just playing the part for the cameras? They could easily have stopped the tape, and had the real ISIS executioner step in and do the killing. Are authorities searching for one person when they should be looking for two people?
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Here is the final email ISIS sent to the family of journalist James Wright Foley, who was executed this week. As for the reasons for disclosing it:
The Foley family has agreed to release the email from Foley’s captors. GlobalPost has chosen to publish it in full in the interest of transparency and to fully tell Jim's story. We believe the text offers insight into the motivations and tactics of the Islamic State.
The full text of the email is below: [More...]
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The U.S failed attack on July 4 took place at Uribase near Raqqa, at a training facility named the Usama bin Laden camp. ISIS supporters and reporters tweeted it at the time, and a few articles were written about it.
According to al-Quds soldiers with US & Jordanian insignia dropped from a stealth helo stormed an ISIS training camp in Ukayrishah, #Raqqa
BREAKING: Military raid against ISIL camp outside Raqqa in Syria early Friday morning. ISIL claims US involvement.
@Paradoxy13 @AuraSalix This is prison where most important prisoners are said to be as Father Paolo and former Raqqa Revol' Council head.
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I'll be in court the rest of the day. Here's an open thread, all topics welcome.
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The Defense Department today announced it made a rescue attempt of Americans held by Syria. It was unsuccessful because there were no hostages at the location. Ground "components" were used. Apparently the attempt was made earlier this summer, not today, and commando forces were used. From the press release:
Statement from Pentagon Press Secretary RADM John Kirby on Attempted Rescue Operation
The United States attempted a rescue operation recently to free a number of American hostages held in Syria by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). This operation involved air and ground components and was focused on a particular captor network within ISIL. Unfortunately, the mission was not successful because the hostages were not present at the targeted location.
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President Obama today addressed the beheading of reporter James Wright Foley.
“The United States of America will continue to do what we must do to protect our people. “We will be vigilant and we will be relentless. When people harm Americans, anywhere, we do what’s necessary to see that justice is done.”
Here is John Kerry's statement.
And make no mistake: we will continue to confront ISIL wherever it tries to spread its despicable hatred. The world must know that the United States of America will never back down in the face of such evil. ISIL and the wickedness it represents must be destroyed, and those responsible for this heinous, vicious atrocity will be held accountable.
The Defense Department says it conducted 14 strikes today.
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