US Marines Prepare for Helicopter Evacuation of Hawaii's Big Island Residents as a Third Lava Flow From the Kilauea
Volcano Streams Into the Ocean
Six huge fissures sent rivers of molten rock through a blackened, volcanic wilderness that was once jungle,
farmland and rural homes. Kilauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes, entered the fourth week of what may be an unprecedented,
simultaneous eruption at its summit crater and along a six-mile string of fissures 25 miles down its east flank. At least
50 rural homes and other structures have been destroyed by lava from the fissures. One person was seriously injured after
being hit by a flying piece of lava.
From "The Daily Mail"
'Jesus Never Charged a Leper a Co-Pay': the Rise of the Religious Left
In his prayer at the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem last week, a prayer delivered against a backdrop of violence in Gaza, the evangelical pastor Robert Jeffress
said Donald Trump was a moral leader who stood "on the right side of you, O God". Half a world away, outside the
Capitol in Washington, the Rev William Barber led a moment of silence for the 60 Palestinians killed by Israeli soldiers.
As one group of faith leaders celebrates the fruits of a decades-long alliance with the Republican party, another is mounting
a multi-faith challenge to the dominance of the Christian right, in an attempt to recapture the moral agenda.
by conservative Christians' focus on culture wars over issues such as abortion and gay marriage, Barber leads an ascendent
grassroots movement that is trying to turn the national conversation to what they believe are the core teachings of the Bible:
care for the poor, heal the sick, welcome the stranger.
From "The Guardian"
Silent Epidemic: Seniors and Addiction
America is experiencing an epidemic of heroin use and overdose deaths, often hitting young adults. But many people, sometimes much older, are at risk of abusing other
types of drugs - the kind that come in prescription vials. Opioid pain medications - such as oxycodone, which is in OxyContin and Percocet; and fentanyl, which is administered
through an adhesive patch - are prescribed for chronic conditions such as lower back pain, fibromyalgia, headache or arthritis. The fact is, however, that overdoses of these "respectable" drugs can be
just as harmful as those from heroin sold on the street.
U.S. emergency departments
saw a 78 percent rise in the number of visits among older adults with misuse of prescription or illicit drugs between 2006 and 2012, according to a new study presented in November at the annual meeting of the
Gerontological Society of America. About 11 percent of that misuse was with opiate drugs, says Mary Carter, an
associate professor at Towson University and author of the study. Emergency department and hospital charges involving opioid
pain medications average about $25,275 per patient, Carter says.
From "U.S. News"
Amazon's Alexa Recorded Private Conversation and Sent It To Random Contact
No matter how suspicious it has seemed that Amazon is encouraging us to put listening
devices in every room of our homes, the company has always said that its Echo assistants are not listening in on or recording conversations. Over and over again, company spokespeople have promised that they only
start recording if someone says the wake word: "Alexa".
It's a spiel Danielle, an Alexa user from Portland,
Oregon, had believed. She'd installed Echo devices and smart bulbs in every room in her house, accepting Amazon's claims that
they were not invading her privacy. But today she asked the company to investigate after an Alexa device recorded a private
conversation between her and her husband and sent it to a random number in their address book without their permission.
Danielle found out her Alexa was recording when she received an alarming call from one of her husband's colleagues saying:
"Unplug your Alexa devices right now, you're being hacked."
She told KIRO-TV in Seattle that at first she didn't believe the co-worker, but then she said: "You sat there talking about hardwood floors."
Danielle realised the colleague must have heard everything.
"I felt invaded," she told KIRO-TV. "A
total privacy invasion. Immediately, I said, ‘I'm never plugging that device in again because I can't trust it.'"
An Amazon customer service representative confirmed that Danielle's audio had been sent to the number and apologised but didn't provide
any information about why the device had been activated. A spokesperson for the company said it had "determined this
was an extremely rare occurrence".
At 6pm ET on Thursday, an Amazon spokesperson provided an updated statement
with an explanation for why they believe Alexa forwarded the conversation. They said:
"Echo woke up due to a
word in background conversation sounding like ‘Alexa'. Then, the subsequent conversation was heard as a ‘send
message' request. At which point, Alexa said out loud ‘To whom?' At which point, the background conversation was interpreted
as a name in the customer's contact list. Alexa then asked out loud, ‘[contact name], right?' Alexa then interpreted
background conversation as ‘right'."
Recognising the improbability of this series of mishaps occuring,
they added: "As unlikely as this string of events is, we are evaluating options to make this case even less likely."
From "The Guardian"