August 2021 Archives

Sarah Eames, The Daily Star, Oneonta, N.Y.

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Aug. 27--A retired Catholic priest who most recently served two Delaware County congregations was removed from public ministry last week following allegations of child sexual abuse in a claim filed under the Child Victims Act.


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The Child Victims Act, signed into state law in 2019, more than doubled the statute of limitations for child sex crimes, raising from 23 to 55 the age by which a person must file a civil claim for sexual abuse they experienced as a minor.

The yearlong window carved out for sex abuse victims was doubled last August with a bill signed by then-Gov. Andrew Cuomo and modeled after similar legislation in other states, which gave claimants longer than a year to file in court. The extension came as the coronavirus pandemic forced the closure or limited operations of many courts across the state.

Claims of sexual abuse by religious officials, scout leaders, educators, coaches, health care workers and family members soared to nearly 10,000 in the days leading up to the Aug. 13 deadline, according to state court records.

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Visit rcda.org/offenders to view the full list of offenders.

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By Whitney Wild and Chandelis Duster, CNN

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"Plaintiffs and their fellow law enforcement officers risked their lives to defend the Capitol from a violent, mass attack -- an attack provoked, aided, and joined by Defendants in an unlawful effort to use force, intimidation, and threats to prevent Congress from certifying the results of the 2020 Presidential election," says the lawsuit, which was filed Thursday (full text) in US District Court for the District of Columbia. 
"Because of Defendants' unlawful actions, Plaintiffs were violently assaulted, spat on, tear-gassed, bear-sprayed, subjected to racial slurs and epithets, and put in fear for their lives," the lawsuit says. "Plaintiffs' injuries, which Defendants caused, persist to this day."
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BY HARPER NEIDIG 

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A federal judge on Wednesday ordered sanctions against attorneys involved in bringing a legal challenge against Michigan's 2020 election results, including Trump allies Sidney Powell and Lin Wood.

U.S. District Judge Linda Parker ordered the attorneys to pay the legal fees of the city and state elections officials involved in the case and referred them for further disciplinary action, including disbarment.

In a 110-page decision, Parker blasted the lawyers for seeking to undermine the election results with baseless claims of systemic election fraud.

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Read more...





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The defendant was charged with a number of minor crimes, including drug possession and shoplifting. He was prepared to plead guilty, and prosecutors agreed. But a Bronx judge approving the deal added his own unusual condition.

The defendant had to get a Covid-19 vaccine.

A week later, a Manhattan judge made the same order, this time of a woman seeking bail before a trial.

Neither defendant appeared to object. But legal observers said the two judges' orders -- made in different courts and for different reasons -- raise important questions about the line between civic responsibility and civil liberties.

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By William J. Niebel

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This article will consider the New York nonpayment eviction process chronologically. It will first address the pre-commencement[5] notices to which tenants are entitled. Then it will discuss the court eviction proceeding and warrant[6] process, with an emphasis on tenant protections that are built into the law. Again, because some of these provisions are so new, this article will flesh out some arguments that are untested in the courts.

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How AI-powered tech landed man in jail with scant evidence--AP

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By GARANCE BURKE, MARTHA MENDOZA, JULIET LINDERMAN and MICHAEL TARM

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Williams was jailed last August, accused of killing a young man from the neighborhood who asked him for a ride during a night of unrest over police brutality in May. But the key evidence against Williams didn't come from an eyewitness or an informant; it came from a clip of noiseless security video showing a car driving through an intersection, and a loud bang picked up by a network of surveillance microphones. Prosecutors said technology powered by a secret algorithm that analyzed noises detected by the sensors indicated Williams shot and killed the man.

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Williams' experience highlights the real-world impacts of society's growing reliance on algorithms to help make consequential decisions about many aspects of public life. Nowhere is this more apparent than in law enforcement, which has turned to technology companies like gunshot detection firm ShotSpotter to battle crime. ShotSpotter evidence has increasingly been admitted in court cases around the country, now totaling some 200. ShotSpotter's website says it's "a leader in precision policing technology solutions" that helps stop gun violence by using "sensors, algorithms and artificial intelligence" to classify 14 million sounds in its proprietary database as gunshots or something else.

But an Associated Press investigation, based on a review of thousands of internal documents, emails, presentations and confidential contracts, along with interviews with dozens of public defenders in communities where ShotSpotter has been deployed, has identified a number of serious flaws in using ShotSpotter as evidentiary support for prosecutors.

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Another report...from the UK.


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This week, wireless carrier T-Mobile confirmed reports of a major data breach in which hackers obtained personal information belonging to more than 40 million past, present and potential customers.

And in a sign that the extent of the data breach is more severe than previously expected, T-Mobile on Friday confirmed that personal data belonging to an additional 5.3 million customers was obtained in the hack.

That means full names, date of birth, social security numbers, information from driver's licenses as well as unique identifiers for customers' phones were leaked, potentially putting millions of those at a greater risk of identify theft.

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New York officials call for Afghan refugee resettlement-NY State of Politics

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Officials in New York -- from the state Legislature to the executive branch -- are backing the resettlement of Afghan refugees in the state as the country's government this week fell to the Taliban.

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul, who is elevated to the governor's office on Tuesday following the resignation of Gov. Andrew Cuomo, posted on Twitter Thursday that New York would welcome refugees leaving the country.

"When I served in Congress, I met with many Afghans when I traveled to their country," she wrote. "They were there for us, now it's time for us to help them."

The state, she added, will be committed to welcome refugees.

"The arms of the Statue of Liberty are open wide to you," Hochul wrote.

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BY DANIELLE BRAFF

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t's been a bumpy road for LGBTQ+ families, and that road may become even more gnarled because there is a conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Family law could look very different in the near future, especially for nontraditional families, who are concerned that their protections may not be as secure.

This is why many estate planners are advising that these clients create and make changes to their legal documents stat, says Matthew Erskine, managing partner and a trusts and estates attorney with Erskine & Erskine in Worcester, Massachusetts.

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The Jailhouse Lawyer's Handbook | Center for Constitutional Rights

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Since 1974, the Jailhouse Lawyer's Handbook has supported people who are incarcerated, their families, and advocates in challenging mistreatment and abuse in prisons. The Center for Constitutional Rights and the National Lawyers Guild launched an updated and revised version of the free resource in August 2021.

Read the 6th edition of the Jailhouse Lawyer's Handbook on our new interactive platform, or download a PDF version.

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By Tierney Sneed and Ariane de Vogue, CN

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(CNN)A federal judge in Washington, DC, on Friday allowed the Biden administration's revised eviction moratorium to remain in place (full text of Order), but acknowledged the moratorium faces an uncertain legal future.

US District Judge Dabney Friedrich denied a request from various landlord associations that she block the moratorium.
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The Best Times Lawyers Should Call Or Email Other Lawyers | Above the Law

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The legal profession is a lot like other industries in that most law firms abide by a standard workday, observe standard holidays, and otherwise have a traditional corporate culture. This means that attorneys and staff are usually at their desks during certain times of day and may be out of the office during some periods more than others.

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Election Officials Under Attack | Brennan Center for Justice

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SUMMARY: Scapegoated for election outcomes that some politicians and voters did not like, election officials have been under unprecedented attack. Here's a plan to protect them.

PUBLISHED: June 16, 2021




Health and Safety Guide | New York State Education Department

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(NOTE:  The guide speaks strongly about the potential spread of COVID-19 among certain sports participants and extracurricular activities such as band.--Albany Times-Union)

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The New York State Education Department has released a summary guide, based on the Center for Disease Control (CDC) Guidance for COVID-19 Prevention in K-12 Schools and the American Academy of Pediatrics' COVID-19 Guidance for Safe Schools, to aid schools and districts as they prepare for the 2021-2022 school year.

Health and Safety Guide for the 2021-2022 School Year

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Read more...




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The order (full text) applies only to a provision that bars evictions of tenants who file a form declaring economic hardship, rather than providing evidence in court.

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Passport Backlog Is Creating Another Headache: Scammers - FindLaw

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By Richard Dahl

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Spotting opportunity, scammers have swooped in like vultures to prey on people - many facing desperate travel needs - and extract money from them with various scams. In one of them, scammers use bots to swoop in and book available time slots at the State Department's passport agencies and then sell those slots to desperate people for hundreds, or even thousands, of dollars.

The situation got so bad that on July 21 the State Department "temporarily disabled" its online booking system for Urgent Travel Service, saying on its website that it did so "due to the problem of third parties booking appointments online using automated programs, or bots, and then selling these appointments to customers with urgent travel needs."

One week later, the service was still disabled, and people needing urgent passports were instructed to phone the agency's 877 number. But some media stories say people have been unable to get through by calling.

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Read more about how to avoid the scams...



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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a moratorium on evictions for 60 days for U.S. counties with "substantial and high levels of community transmission" of the coronavirus, according to an agency news release. About 90 percent of the country will be covered by the ban as the virus's delta variant spreads quickly throughout the country, Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) said in a statement.

The 19-page order lists criminal penalties including fines and jail time if someone is found to have violated the eviction moratorium.

The Biden administration had previously said it had no legal authority to extend a separate national eviction moratorium that lapsed over the weekend. A statement from CDC Director Rochelle Walensky on Tuesday evening pointed to the emergence of the delta variant and said "it is imperative that public health authorities act quickly to mitigate such an increase of evictions, which could increase the likelihood of new spikes in SARS-CoV-2 transmission...

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For Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, the setting and even the circumstances were familiar. He sat at a conference room table at his 39th-floor office in Midtown Manhattan, facing a former federal prosecutor with whom he had tangled before.

The videotaped interview lasted about 11 hours, and Mr. Cuomo faced a barrage of questions under oath about his treatment of women, posed by the two lead investigators hired by the state attorney general's office: Joon H. Kim, the former prosecutor, and Anne L. Clark, an employment lawyer.

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Read long, investigative article...


Investigation: How TikTok's Algorithm Figures Out Your Deepest Desires

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A Wall Street Journal investigation found that TikTok only needs one important piece of information to figure out what you want: the amount of time you linger over a piece of content. Every second you hesitate or rewatch, the app is tracking you. Photo illustration: Laura Kammermann/The Wall Street Journal

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The Wall Street Journal created dozens of automated accounts that watched hundreds of thousands of videos to reveal how the social network knows you so well.

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