Verification Handbook | DataJournalism.com

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The latest edition of the Verification Handbook arrives at a critical moment. Today's information environment is more chaotic and easier to manipulate than ever before. This book equips journalists with the knowledge to investigate social media accounts, bots, private messaging apps, information operations, deep fakes, as well as other forms of disinformation and media manipulation. The first resource of its kind, it builds on the first edition of the Verification Handbook and the Verification Handbook for Investigative Reporting.

The book is published by the European Journalism Centre and supported by Craig Newmark Philanthropies.

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NYC Real Estate Attorney Mitchell Kossoff Vanishes--The Real Deal

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By Rich Bockmann

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An attorney who handles funds for some of New York's biggest multifamily landlords seems to have disappeared, leaving his clients worried that millions of dollars placed in escrow accounts have as well, sources with knowledge of the scandal told The Real Deal.

Mitchell Kossoff, managing partner of Kossoff PLLC, has been unreachable for several days by his partners at the downtown Manhattan law firm and the landlords for whom he holds millions of dollars in escrow accounts, according to clients who have attempted to contact the firm.

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On both the criminal and civil litigation fronts, former President Donald Trump faces a bevy of lawsuits and investigations, with more cases likely to follow. Some are civil suits stemming from his pre-presidential business dealings. Others are defamation claims from women he allegedly assaulted. More still are criminal probes and civil actions that scrutinize his attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election. The Chart below tracks all these cases. It will be continually updated as major legal developments occur.

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Four causes for 'Zoom fatigue' and their solutions | Stanford News

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BY VIGNESH RAMACHANDRAN

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In the first peer-reviewed article that systematically deconstructs Zoom fatigue from a psychological perspective, published in the journal Technology, Mind and Behavior on Feb. 23, Bailenson has taken the medium apart and assessed Zoom on its individual technical aspects. He has identified four consequences of prolonged video chats that he says contribute to the feeling commonly known as "Zoom fatigue."

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Excelsior Pass | COVID-19 Vaccine

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Get Back to Your Favorite Businesses and Venues with Digital Proof of Your COVID-19 Vaccination or Negative Test Results

Attend sporting events, arts performances and more! Excelsior Pass supports a safe reopening of New York by providing a free, fast and secure way to present digital proof of COVID-19 vaccination or negative test results. Think of it as a mobile airline boarding pass, but for proving you received a COVID-19 vaccination or negative test.

You can store your Pass digitally on your smartphone with the Excelsior Pass Wallet app, available for free from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store. You can also print your Pass from the Excelsior Pass website and bring it with you.

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Get your Excelsior Pass...




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On March 31, 2021, Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill passed by the legislature to legalize recreational marijuana in New York state. During this program, a panel of Legislators and Public Officials will discuss the recently enacted Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act (MRTA) that legalizes for adult-use cannabis.


FREE program to all attorneys.

Start Date:
  • April 12, 2021
Start Time:
  • 12:00 PM
End Time:
  • 1:00 PM
Region:
  • Virtual Participation

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New York Governor Signs Law Legalizing the Adult Use of Marijuana

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New York governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill into law Wednesday legalizing the adult use of marijuana, making it the fifteenth state to fully legalize the drug.

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Georgia Senate Bill 202

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"R. Hubbell" <rhubbell@outlook.com>

Today's Edition (Vol. 2, No. 50) Holding Georgia Republicans Accountable


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The text of the bill is here if you want to fact check me (or others): Senate Bill 202 (as passed). The text of the bill proved difficult to find--because it was passed with haste and stealth. For a bill that Governor Kemp is proclaiming as a major expansion of voter rights, it was sprung on Democrats as a surprise. A two-page Senate bill was amended to a 98-page bill one hour before the committee hearing on the bill. It is barely possible to read the bill in an hour, much less comment on it during a legislative hearing. See Georgia Public Broadcasting "Georgia House Committee Hears Newer, Bigger Voting Omnibus You Haven't Seen Yet." If the bill improves voter access and election integrity, why did Republicans keep it a secret until the last minute (literally)? Legislation by ambush suggests a nefarious purpose.

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Howard Greenwald, a trial attorney with Chopra & Nocerino, told Justice Lawrence Knipel, administrative judge for civil matters in Kings County, that he had begun to participate in proceedings wearing a face shield but was told he had to wear a mask, according to a transcript of the proceedings.

"I complied with that," Greenwald said. "I attempted to do this for a couple of minutes. I had particular difficulty. Just talking to Your Honor right now with the mask, my nose fills. I can't breathe."

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Election lawyer Marc Elias, in association with Democracy DocketBlack votes matter,  The New Georgia Project, and Rise, Inc. has filed a complaint to enjoin enforcement of the new legislation. The complaint is here: "New Georgia Project v Raffensperger."

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How to blur your background in a Zoom call - TechRepublic

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by 

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Let's say you have a Zoom meeting, but your normal work-from-home space is occupied, or worse, a mess. You have no time to clean it up, or find a neutral, privacy-maintaining space to set up, and panic sets in. Don't worry--you have options built right into Zoom to hide the space behind you: background blurring. 

This easily toggleable option can keep your space private, or render messy rooms indeterminably fuzzy, and it's available in Zoom right now.

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How Beeple Crashed the Art World | The New Yorker

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An N.F.T., or "non-fungible token," of the digital artist's work sold for sixty-nine million dollars in a Christie's auction. It's good news for crypto-optimists, but what about for art?

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The popularity of his Beeple Instagram account gave the digital artist Mike Winkelmann the idea that he could make a fortune with N.F.T.s

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What's an NFT? Behind the boom for digital collectibles--NBC NEWS

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By Ahiza GarcĂ­a-Hodges and Diana Dasrath

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Think of an NFT as a certificate of authenticity. But instead of a sheet of paper, it's a unique string of characters. For example, the NFT for this piece of digital artwork created by actress Lindsay Lohan is 0x60f80121c31a0d46b5279700f9df786054aa5ee5. 

That string is connected to a blockchain, the same concept that powers cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. The main difference is that bitcoins are fungible, which means they are essentially the same. NFTs are non-fungible -- each one is unique. 

Blockchains work by using groups of computers to create a shared digital ledger that no one computer can change. Instead, they must agree by performing complex calculations -- a system that yields a secure and unchangeable document. 

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NOTICE OF CREDIT CARD SERVICE FEE: NYS Unified Court System

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Commencing April 1, 2021, and due to continuing budgetary concerns, the Unified Court System will no longer pay the service fee for credit card transactions initiated by court users. Consequently, a service fee of 2.99% of the payment amount will be assessed on all credit card payments. Payments may continue to be made by cash or by a cashier/certified check without imposition of a service fee.

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Virtual Proceedings - Appropriate Decorum

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Two top state court officials have issued a memorandum emphasizing appropriate decorum and etiquette for all virtual court proceedings.

 

The memorandum was sent to all administrative judges statewide by Hon. Vito C. Caruso, deputy chief administrative judge for the courts outside New York City, and Hon. George J. Silver, deputy chief administrative judge for the New York City Courts.


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All court proceeding participants shall recognize that this is a formal appearance and should ensure the following:

Dress in appropriate attire, as if you were appearing in-person in court Display an appropriate and professional background
No consumption offood or drink during the proceeding
Remain professional and dignified

As in ln-Person proceedings, only one person should be speaking at time

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First law firm owned entirely by nonlawyers opens in Utah--ABA Journal

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BY DEBRA CASSENS WEISS

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Law on Call--touted as the first entirely nonlawyer owned law firm in the United States--is open for business in Utah.

Law on Call is operating as a result of legal reforms approved by the Utah Supreme Court in August 2020, according to a March 15 press release.

The two-year pilot project allows law firms with nonlawyer owners and nontraditional legal service providers to operate in a "regulatory sandbox" in the state.

Law.com and Reuters Legal have coverage.

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By Tia Sewell

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On Mar. 17, 2021, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) released the U.S. intelligence community's unclassified assessment of domestic violent extremism in the United States. The four-page document states that "domestic violent extremists (DVEs) who are motivated by a range of ideologies and galvanized by recent political and societal events in the United States pose an elevated threat" to homeland security this year. It cites unsubstantiated claims of fraud in the 2020 election, the Jan. 6 Capitol breach, pandemic-related conditions and conspiracy theories as sociopolitical developments that could embolden or spur violence in 2021. 

The report details that "lone offenders or small cells of DVEs adhering to a diverse set of violent extremist ideologies are more likely to carry out violent attacks in the Homeland than organizations that allegedly advocate a DVE ideology" as such attackers are often radicalized online and mobilize without direction--a dynamic that makes it more difficult for U.S. officials to detect and thwart the planned violence, according to the document. 

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You can read the threat assessment here.

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By Kevin LiptakKatie LoboscoJeanne Sahadi and Tami Luhby, CNN

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(CNN)The Internal Revenue Service plans to delay this year's tax filing deadline by roughly a month, to mid-May, according to an official familiar with the plans.

The official said the decision was made in order to allow filers more time to navigate tax situations complicated by the coronavirus pandemic.

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Apple Maps now displays COVID-19 vaccination locations - Apple

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Ask Siri or search within Apple Maps to find nearby COVID-19 vaccine providers throughout the US, with operating hours and links to important information

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Deciding When to Reopen Your Law Office - Blumberg Blog

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BY MICHAEL L. GOLDBLATT

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Several large firms recently announced plans to reopen their offices due to increasing vaccinations and decreasing infection rates. A widespread return to offices probably will not occur until September 2021 when enough people have been vaccinated to achieve herd immunity. Meantime, the following are things to consider when selecting a date for reopening your office....
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