NYC offers ‘Clean Slate’ program for petty criminals


City officials are launching an event offering New Yorkers the opportunity to resolve outstanding warrants for a host of low-level crimes.

NYC offers ‘Clean Slate’ program for petty criminals
Tue, 17 Nov 2015 18:43:28 GMT

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How The Navy SEALs Prepare For Extreme Cold Weather Survival, And How You Can Too


If you want to learn a potentially life-saving action, you need to practice it. And if you need to learn if your clothing and other gear is capable of saving your life, you need to test it. This is how the Navy SEALs do just that for cold weather emergencies.

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How The Navy SEALs Prepare For Extreme Cold Weather Survival, And How You Can Too
Kate Siberell on Indefinitely Wild, shared by Whitson Gordon to Lifehacker
Tue, 20 Oct 2015 20:25:13 GMT


The DraftKings Scandal Highlights Fantasy Football’s Deeper Problem


You can make real money on fantasy football — if you happen to be employed by a fantasy-football company.

On Monday night, the New York Times revealed that an employee of DraftKings made $350,000 on the rival fantasy platform FanDuel this past Sunday — possibly with the help of insider information. The employee, DraftKings writer Ethan Haskell, sparked suspicions of impropriety when he inadvertently leaked his company’s data on users’ rosters and lineups before the start of Sunday’s NFL games. If Haskell had personal access to that information before he selected his own lineup on FanDuel, it would have given him an advantage analogous to insider trading.

To win big in daily fantasy sports, you need to identify under-the-radar players who are poised to outperform expectations. With all fantasy managers forced to stay beneath a given salary cap, no one on DraftKings or FanDuel can win simply by stacking a roster with all of the NFL’s best players. Instead, one wins by having the foresight or fortune to pick that week’s highest-performing top-tier talent, along with a few surprise contributors that nobody else put on their rosters. Since the structures of FanDuel and DraftKings are nearly identical — right down to the player prices — Haskell could have used his access to DraftKings’ lineup data to find out which potential overachievers everyone else was overlooking.

But Haskell didn’t. At least that’s the conclusion of DraftKing’s internal investigation, which found that Haskell did not receive the league’s lineup information until 40 minutes after FanDuel’s deadline for setting rosters.

The trouble for DraftKings is that, even if Haskell is eventually exonerated in this incident, its business is suddenly dealing with increased scrutiny. Fantasy football is booming. Owning a platform like DraftKings is like owning a casino, except this betting market is legal in all but five states, carries virtually no overhead, and is closely linked with the most popular entertainment product in the United States: the NFL. Those qualities have allowed both DraftKings and FanDuel to ride waves of venture capital to billion-dollar valuations. But their entire existence depends on the survival of a single carve-out in the Unlawful Internet Gambling Act of 2006.

That legislation outlawed online poker, but thanks to the steadfast efforts of lobbyists from the NFL, it declared fantasy sports a game of skill rather than chance. Therefore, using that logic, it is not a form of illegal gambling.

At the time, fantasy football was predominately a season-long competition among friends. Now that it has morphed into mostly one-day fantasy contests arranged by billion-dollar corporations, some lawmakers are reconsidering the exemption.

Representative Frank Pallone Jr. of New Jersey told the Times last night that he recently requested a hearing to explore the relationship between fantasy sports and gambling, saying, “I really think if they had to justify themselves at a hearing they wouldn’t be able to.”

Dr. Timothy Fong of UCLA’s Gambling Studies Program seconds that assessment. “Yes; it isn’t even a debate,” Fong told ThinkProgress when asked if fantasy sports should be considered a form of gambling. “You’re putting money up on an event of uncertain outcome in expectation or hope of winning a larger reward. That’s the definition of gambling.”

Still, playing fantasy sports isn’t the same as playing the slots. Skill really can be a factor — but the average player is up against an elite few who use elaborate statistical models to assemble rosters engineered to win. Over the first half of this year’s fantasy-baseball season, only the top 1.3 percent of the players on DraftKings and FanDuel made back their entry fee, according to a report from Sports Business Journal. The big winners tend to look like Saahil Sud, a graduate of Amherst College’s economics program who spends 8 to 15 hours every day scraping data from public resources and feeding them into his custom-built predictive models.

Whether Haskell had access to proprietary information, he almost certainly spent more of his working hours studying the ins and outs of fantasy football than the people he won $350,000 from. Even if fantasy platforms completely eliminated all instances of “insider trading,” they would still redistribute large sums of money from the great mass of amateur players — including a significant number of gambling addicts — to professionals like Haskell.

“The consistent winners win through skill,” fantasy-football writer Mike Beers told the Daily Dot back in August. “But they are taking that money off of a lot people who are just there to gamble.”  

Read more posts by Eric Levitz

Filed Under: sports ,gambling ,nfl

The DraftKings Scandal Highlights Fantasy Football’s Deeper Problem
Eric Levitz
Tue, 06 Oct 2015 21:50:45 GMT


Mayor won’t umpire case of cop bodyslamming James Blake


Officer James Frascatore deserves due process before any disciplinary action is taken, Mayor de Blasio’s chief spokeswoman said.

Mayor won’t umpire case of cop bodyslamming James Blake
Mon, 14 Sep 2015 00:33:25 GMT


DOJ Releases Final Report On Ferguson Unrest Detailing More Than 100 Lessons


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The Department of Justice has released its final report on the 17-day period between the shooting death of Michael Brown and his funeral.

According to NPR:

The report, conducted by the Justice Department’s Community Oriented Policing Services office, focused on the 17-day time frame between Brown’s death and his funeral. The assessment does not provide a lot of new information, but it does provide greater insight into how policing tactics and strategy unfolded during that time when the atmosphere between law enforcement and demonstrators was especially tense.

There were a total of 113 lessons and a half-dozen themes that “permeated all aspects of the police response,” according to the report. Some of those included inconsistent leadership, lack of understanding of community concerns with law enforcement and use of “ineffective and inappropriate” tactics that escalated instead of diminishing tensions.

Thursday on NewsOne Now, Roland Martin and the Straight Talk Panel discussed the findings of this revealing report. NewsOne Now panelist Danielle Belton told Martin, “There has to be policy that comes out of this, because otherwise we’ll repeat this all over again in another suburban town in the United States.” She added the police in Ferguson “threw as many militarized police as they could at the problem as possible. They saw a bunch of people protesting and saw a lot of people upset. They just lost their minds for two weeks last summer and we can’t see a repeat of that.”

“We’ve already seen a repeat of it,” said Avis Jones-DeWeever. She added that one year after Mike Brown was shot in Ferguson, police are still “engaging in some of the same tactics. They have not really produced any change in Ferguson, much less anywhere else around the country.”

“So what is the difference?” she continued. “To have people just be able to resign and get their retirements and go on their merry way or get a job someplace else does not solve the problem. The root is still there and the horrendous outcomes are still there.”

Watch Roland Martin; Maya Rockeymoore, President and CEO of Global Policy Solutions; Danielle Belton, Associate Editor of; and Avis Jones-DeWeever from the Exceptional Leadership Institute for Women, discuss the findings of the final Department of Justice report on the unrest in Ferguson in the video clip above.

Mark your calendars! TV One NewsOne Now moves to 7 A.M. ET starting Monday September 14th. Until then, be sure to watchNewsOne Now” with Roland Martin, weekdays at 9 a.m. EST on TV One.

Subscribe to the “NewsOne Now” Audio Podcast on iTunes.

SEE ALSO: Photographic Proof Not Much Has Changed In Ferguson Since Michael Brown’s Death

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DOJ Releases Final Report On Ferguson Unrest Detailing More Than 100 Lessons
NewsOne Now
Thu, 03 Sep 2015 21:48:11 GMT

Posted in Uncategorized

Teen plastic surgery peaks before heading back to school


The student body has never looked better. The start of the school year is the unofficial end of the summer plastic surgery season.

Teen plastic surgery peaks before heading back to school
Mon, 24 Aug 2015 22:22:03 GMT

Posted in health

Troubled kids get treated if they are white – but punished if they are black | Tedra Osell


Too many children do not receive the help to which they are legally entitled because of ingrained biases

There’s a saying in educational circles: white kids get diagnosed, black kids get disciplined. Poor and brown kids, too, disproportionately get suspended, expelled, transferred to “continuation” schools, or even arrested for behavioral problems as mild as swearing. White kids, especially if their parents have money, health insurance, and access to lawyers, are more likely to have even chronic discipline problems treated as symptoms needing investigation and assessment.

I know this because my white kid is in that second group. From first through sixth grade, he was a challenging kid to teach. He was extremely bright – known for arguing with adults when they mistook a declarative sentence for an interrogative one, or got the definition of a light year wrong – and he would interrupt, shout or even swear when frustrated, and refuse to do work he found boring or repetitive. In elementary school, this was chalked up to his being bright and impatient and maybe a little overindulged at home. In middle school, homework issues and social difficulties bloomed into a full-blown case of clinical anxiety and eventually depression that led me to learn a lot about how schools do and don’t deal with these problems.

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Troubled kids get treated if they are white – but punished if they are black | Tedra Osell
Tedra Osell
Mon, 24 Aug 2015 11:30:08 GMT