Facebook fails, then stock flails
Your Facebook was down on Wednesday for hours, which you already knew.
And the company’s stock is taking a beating the day after. some users weren’t able to acccess Facebook or other platforms owned by the company, including Instagram and Messenger, for at least 14 hours on Wednesday.
The stock was down about 2 percent in premarket trading.
It was believed to be the social network’s biggest-ever interruption, which was sure to irk advertisers who spend large amounts of money to reach potential customers on Facebook.
It appeared that the outage had been resolved early Thursday, but not before Facebook went to rival Twitter to explain that it was having technical problems.
At 12:41 a.m. ET, Instagram posted a tweet that said: “Anddd… we’re back” with a gif of Oprah Winfrey.
Instead of selfies and status updates, many Facebook users got an error message during the outage that said: “Sorry, Something went wrong. We’re working on getting this fixed as fast as we can.”
‘Bomb cyclone’ strands hundreds as snow, high winds barrel across parts of US
National Guard troops were using specialized vehicles with tank-like treads to rescue stranded drivers in Colorado in the wake of a massive late-winter storm that was expected to unleash heavy rain and snow on the Midwest plains on Thursday.
Wednesday’s blizzard caused widespread power outages, forced the cancellation of hundreds of flights and wreaked havoc on roadways as drivers became overwhelmed by blinding snow. A wind gust clocked in at 97 mph in Colorado Springs.
The storm also contributed to the death of Corporal Daniel Groves, a Colorado State Patrol officer who was hit and killed by a car as he helped another driver who had slid off Interstate 76 near Denver.
“It is a tragic reminder that people’s lives are at stake,” said Shoshana Lew, head of the Colorado Department of Transportation. “The best place to be is at home and off the roads.”
Lew warned drivers that conditions would remain precarious at least through Thursday.
About 200 vehicles were disabled on Interstate 25 near Colorado Springs, and many more drivers were being rescued on secondary roads, said Kyle Lester with the transportation department’s Division of Highway Maintenance.
One of the stranded drivers was Bria McKenzie, 22, who with her mother, brother and sister, was stuck in her car for more than two hours on a hilly road in Colorado Springs. She said the snow was so blinding and numbing, and the wind was whipping so hard, she didn’t feel safe walking to a hospital that was just down the road.
“It was just like every second you were out there, it felt like parts of you were just freezing,” she said.
McKenzie and her family were eventually rescued by her father in his pickup.
The window-rattling storm brought blizzards, floods and a tornado across more than 25 states Wednesday, stretching from the northern Rocky Mountains to Texas and beyond.
Scores of motorists took refuge at truck stops in eastern Wyoming while blowing snow forced portions of major highways to close in Colorado, Nebraska and South Dakota. Meanwhile, hundreds of flights were canceled at Denver International Airport, and nearly 40 were grounded in Colorado Springs.
Monkey dolls, nooses and the n-word: UPS sued for discrimination
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Nineteen UPS workers are suing the parcel distributor, saying they suffered repeated racial discrimination and the company did nothing to stop it.
Managers and supervisors enabled and even encouraged the hate at the distribution center in Maumee, Ohio, according to the lawsuit filed Wednesday afternoon in Lucas County Court in Ohio.
The workers claim nooses were hung above the workstation of an African-American employee, that a monkey doll dressed as a UPS employee was placed near others and the N-word was frequently used.
Workers say a monkey doll was dressed as a UPS employee and placed near black workers.
The workers, many of whom have been at the company for more than two decades, argue the racist comments caused reactions ranging from “fear, anger and disgust to dismay” about the comments and lack of action from the company.
“UPS promptly investigated and took swift disciplinary action against those found to have engaged in inappropriate actions, including the discharge of two employees,” Glen Zaccara, the company’s director of corporate media relations, told CNN.
He said the company took remedial acxtions and worked with the Ohio Civil Rights Commission to ensure that employees were trained.
The lawsuit details a variety of incidents in the UPS distribution center during the workers’ years there.
One worker says a group text message from white coworkers about possible lottery winnings in July 2016 contained “racially driven” and “offensive” messages, according to the lawsuit, including: “If you feel down and out, the noose is loose;” “Can we buy another noose with the winnings,” and “Like Clint Eastwood said, ‘Hang ’em High.'”
Mob boss gunned down outside NYC home
A man said by federal prosecutors to have been a top leader of New York’s notorious Gambino crime family was shot and killed Wednesday on Staten Island.
Francesco “Franky Boy” Cali, 53, was found with multiple gunshot wounds to his body at his home in the borough’s Todt Hill section just after 9 p.m.
Cali was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead. There have been no arrests.
No other information was provided by police.
Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn had referred to Cali in court filings in recent years as the underboss of the Gambino organization, related through marriage to the Inzerillo clan in the Sicilian Mafia.
Multiple press accounts since 2015 said Cali had ascended to the top spot in the gang, although he never faced a criminal charge saying so.
His only mob-related criminal conviction came a decade ago, when Cali pleaded guilty in an extortion conspiracy involving a failed attempt to build a NASCAR track on Staten Island. He was sentenced to 16 months in federal prison and was released in 2009.
The last crime family boss to be shot in New York City was Paul Castellano. The Gambino crime boss was assassinated outside Sparks Steakhouse in Manhattan in 1985.
The Gambino Family was once among the most powerful criminal organizations in the U.S., but federal prosecutions in the 1980s and 1990s sent its top leaders to prison and diminished its reach.
Rebuke expected for Trump as Senate votes on blocking border declaration
The Republican-led Senate is set to deal President Donald Trump a rebuke on his declaration of a national emergency at the Mexican border, with the only remaining question how many GOP senators will join Democrats in defying him.
Republicans are predicting that Thursday’s showdown vote will result in Congress sending Trump a resolution blocking the border emergency he proclaimed last month to steer an extra $3.6 billion to building border barriers.
Since the Democratic-controlled House approved the measure last month, the Senate vote would force Trump to use a veto to protect his presidential campaign’s “Build the Wall” mantra over objections from his own party.
“It was called turn out the lights, the party’s over,” said Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., recalling a favorite refrain of “Monday Night Football” announcers when a game was out of reach. “Well, that’s appropriate right now.”
Trump tweeted early Thursday about “the big National Emergency vote today” in the Senate, saying, “I am prepared to veto, if necessary,” and called the situation at the border “a National Security and Humanitarian Nightmare.”
Senate passage of the resolution was all but ordained Wednesday after the collapse of efforts by the White House and GOP senators to reach compromise on separate legislation by Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, limiting presidents’ powers to declare emergencies in the future.
Republican lawmakers had hoped a deal on that measure would have helped more of them to back Trump’s border emergency in Thursday’s vote. Instead, several Republicans are being boxed into a thorny dilemma: defy Trump and the conservative voters who back him passionately, or assent to what many lawmakers from both parties consider a dubious and dangerous expansion of presidential authority.
With Republicans controlling the Senate 53-47, just four GOP defections would be enough to approve the resolution canceling Trump’s border emergency.
Lee became the fifth Republican to say they’d back the resolution after Trump called him during a private lunch of GOP senators to say he opposed Lee’s compromise bill. The call was described by two officials who weren’t authorized to discuss the matter publicly and described it on condition of anonymity. The other GOP senators who have said they will vote to block Trump’s border emergency are Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Susan Collins of Maine, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska and Kentucky’s Rand Paul.
Dementia deaths more than double in US, report says
Dementia not only affects memory and quality of life, it can be fatal. A report released Thursday by the National Center for Health Statistics shows that the rate of Americans who died from dementia has more than doubled from 30.5 deaths per 100,000 people in 2000 to 66.7 in 2017.
The term dementia encompasses disease states that impair memory and result in a decline in cognitive function. These conditions seem to be affecting more of the population as it is expected to affect 14 million people age 65 and older by 2060, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Dr. Ellen Kramarow, lead author of the new report and a health statistician for the Aging and Chronic Disease Statistics Branch for the National Center for Health Statistics, part of the CDC, explained that one cause of the rising number of deaths due to dementia in the United States is most likely because of the aging population. “If people live longer, they don’t die of other causes, so they live to the point where the risk for dementia is higher,” she said.
Researchers used data from death certificates from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. They examined four types of dementia recognized by the International Classification of Diseases: Alzheimer’s disease, vascular dementia, unspecified dementia and other degenerative diseases of the nervous system. The authors adjusted for age which allowed them to compare people of different ages.
Alzheimer’s disease accounted for 46 percent of the 261,914 deaths due to dementia in the United States in 2017. A finding which supports the need for ongoing research regarding Alzheimer’s disease, Kramarow said.
Although the cause of Alzheimer’s disease is not completely understood, researchers are gaining a better understanding of how it affects the brain. The disease destroys neurons, cells responsible for communication throughout the brain.
Dr. Chad Hales, assistant professor in the Emory University School of Medicine Department of Neurology, who was not involved in the report, explained that diagnosing dementia begins with a good clinical history and exam, brain imaging and lab studies to ensure that no other conditions are causing the symptoms.