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August 19, 2016

Naked statues of Donald Trump appear in various US cities

Naked statues of Donald Trump appear in various US cities

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Friday, August 19, 2016

A number of statues depicting US presidential candidate Donald Trump without his clothes on were erected in various US cities yesterday morning.

File photo of Donald Trump, 2011.
Image: Gage Skidmore.

The statues were unveiled in New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Cleveland and Seattle. Titled “The Emperor Has No Balls”, the project was devised by the anarchist collective INDECLINE, presenting present Trump in an unflattering and humiliating way.

A spokesperson for INDECLINE told The Washington Post the project was inspired by the Hans Christian Anderson story “The Emperor’s New Clothes” which depicts a vain and overconfident leader. The spokesperson also said the project is meant to poke fun at the tendency for those in authoritarian positions to raise monuments of themselves.

The statues are credited to a Las Vegas-based artist called Ginger, who said he was approached by INDECLINE because of his pervious work designing monsters for horror movies and haunted houses. A video of Ginger creating these statues went up on INDECLINE’s YouTube page.

The New York City statue became a busy tourist spot until the parks and recreation department took it down. A spokeswoman for the NYC parks and recreation centre stated: “NYC Parks stands firmly against any unpermitted erection in city parks, no matter how small.”



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July 28, 2016

Verizon to acquire Yahoo!

Verizon to acquire Yahoo! – Wikinews, the free news source

Verizon to acquire Yahoo!

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Thursday, July 28, 2016

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On Monday, US telecom giant Verizon announced acquisition of Yahoo! for a reported amount of US$4.83 billion (4.36 billion). Per the all-cash deal, Verizon would own only the core web business — in particular, Yahoo! Japan and Alibaba would not be acquired by Verizon.

Going public in 1996, Yahoo! provided e-mail service a year later. Once having a worth of US$ 125 billion, Yahoo!’s value on Friday’s closing was about $37 billion. Eight years ago, Microsoft offered US$44 billion for Yahoo!’s acquisition. The deal is expected to complete next year.

File photo of Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer, 2011.
Image: Magnus Höij (Flickr).

Last year, Verizon gained ownership of Huffington Post, TechCrunch, and Engadget as it purchased their owner America Online (AOL) for US$4.4 billion. Acquisition of Yahoo! means Verizon would own micro-blogging website Tumblr which was purchased by Yahoo! under ex-Google employee and Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer in 2013. Tumblr was formed by school dropout David Karp in 2007. Verizon would also own photo sharing site Flickr, acquired by Yahoo! in 2005.

Yahoo! received bids from the owner of The Daily Mail as well as from AT&T — another American telecom giant. After handing over ownership to Verizon, Yahoo! would be selling about 3,000 patents at auction.

Though Mayer has expressed she would like to remain the CEO, CNBC reported Verizon CEO Marni Walden is yet to decide the leadership team. Mayer said it was a big day for Yahoo!.

This acquisition would end Yahoo!’s 20 years as an independent company and an early-emerging company in Silicon Valley, California. The company started as “Jerry and David’s Guide To The World Wide Web” in 1994, by Jerry Yang and David Filo based at Stanford University.



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July 17, 2016

On the campaign trail in the USA, June 2016

On the campaign trail in the USA, June 2016

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Sunday, July 17, 2016

2016 United States presidential election
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The following is the second edition of a monthly series chronicling the U.S. 2016 presidential election. It features original material compiled throughout the previous month after an overview of the month’s biggest stories.

In this month’s edition on the campaign trail: the effect of the Brexit vote on the US presidential election is examined; a well known businessman and sports team owner pitches his candidacy for vice president; and Wikinews interviews the winner of the American Independent Party California primary.

Summary[]

As June began, national opinion polls showed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton with a slight lead over presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Despite being mathematically eliminated, Senator Bernie Sanders remained in the Democratic race. He still held close in head-to-head match ups against Clinton in delegate-rich California ahead of that state’s June 7 primary. Clinton, who won the June 4 Virgin Islands caucuses, focused her energies on Trump, delivering a speech criticizing his candidacy. Trump responded, saying the country “is gonna die” were Clinton elected president. Trump secured the holdout endorsement of House Speaker Paul Ryan and threats of a Republican establishment revolt subsided when National Review writer David A. French, the preferred presidential choice of Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, announced he would not run. However, Trump came under intense criticism, largely from fellow Republicans, when he accused the judge hearing a lawsuit over his venture Trump University, Gonzalo Curiel, of bias due to the judge’s Mexican heritage. Ryan called the comments “racist.” Trump’s former rivals John Kasich, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and Scott Walker all denounced the comments. Lindsey Graham labeled Trump’s remark “the most un-American thing from a politician since Joe McCarthy.” Senator Mark Kirk renounced his endorsement of Trump. And former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, an early Trump supporter and potential running mate, called Trump’s statement “inexcusable” and “one of the worst mistakes Trump has made.” Trump described Gingrich’s criticism as “inappropriate.” Shortly thereafter, Gingrich argued that Trump’s concerns were “valid and reflect a growing pattern of politicized justice.” Trump said the media and others “misconstrued” his words. Clinton speculated that Trump was using the attack to divert attention from the Trump University case.

Clinton speaks at the Planned Parenthood Action Fund on June 10.
Image: Lorie Shaull.

On the eve of the California primary, Clinton won Puerto Rico. With the delegates gained from her victory as well as a few additional superdelegates, Clinton surpassed the 2,383 delegate threshold to secure the Democratic nomination. The Associated Press, NBC, and ABC all declared Clinton as the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee. The next day, Clinton won the California primary and also those held in New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota. Sanders won the Montana primary and North Dakota caucus. Sanders remained in the race but reportedly planned to cut his campaign staff by half. He announced plans to continue his campaign through the June 14 District of Columbia primary. On the Republican side, during what was the final night for GOP primaries, Trump swept all the June 7 contests in California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, and South Dakota. In the end, Trump received a record total of 13.2 million votes in the GOP primaries. Still, his Super PAC reserved only $1.2 million in television advertisements, compared to the $108 million Clinton’s Super PAC reserved. In addition, Trump stepped back from his previous fundraising goal of $1 billion, insisting he only needed half that amount. In terms of running mates, Gingrich denied having any interest on the GOP side. For Democrats, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid backed away from his initial reluctance and endorsed the idea of Senator Elizabeth Warren filling the role. Warren took to the stump, endorsing Clinton and condemning Trump as “a loud, nasty, thin-skinned, fraud” and “wannabe tyrant.” In response, Trump tweeted his desire for “goofy” Warren to receive the vice presidential nomination and accused her of having a “nasty mouth” and “one of the least productive” records in the Senate. Other Democrats also gave their support to Clinton. President Barack Obama endorsed her candidacy as did former presidential rival Martin O’Malley. Sanders stopped short of supporting Clinton, but said he would “do everything in [his] power” to defeat Trump. On the other hand, several Republicans distanced themselves from Trump. GOP booster and Hewlett Packard CEO Meg Whitman hinted she would endorse Clinton, and 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney said he was leaning toward backing Libertarian Party presidential nominee Gary Johnson. Romney said he could not back Trump because of Trump’s “racism … bigotry … [and] misogyny.” Trump responded that he was “the least racist person that you’ve ever encountered” and attacked Romney as “absolutely pathetic,” saying Romney “choked like a dog” during his loss to President Obama in the 2012 presidential election. Polls from June 10 showed Clinton leading Trump nationwide with leads ranging from three to eleven percentage points.

Trump speaks at an Arizona rally on June 18.
Image: Gage Skidmore.

The campaign took a new turn on June 12 when a shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida left 49 dead. The shooter expressed allegiance to ISIS. In the aftermath, Trump tweeted appreciation for those congratulating him for “being right on radical Islamic terrorism” but said he did not want the congratulations, preferring “toughness and vigilance” instead. He attacked President Obama as someone who “doesn’t get it, or he gets it better than anybody understands.” The Washington Post published an article interpreting the comment as suggesting Obama was “complicit” in the shooting. In response, Trump revoked the press credentials of the Post. On the day following the shooting, Trump delivered a speech condemning it as “an assault on the ability of free people to live their lives, love who they want and express their identity”. He criticized Clinton’s immigration policies as opening the door for Islamic radicals espousing anti-LGBT views and said he would be a better protector of LGBT rights than Clinton. In addition, he slammed Clinton and Obama for not using the term “radical Islamic terrorism.” Clinton, who denounced the shooting as an “act of terror” and “an act of hate,” said she was comfortable using the term “radical Islamism.” This prompted Trump to declare he had “shamed” Clinton into using the term. Furthermore, Clinton touted her support for a ban on assault rifles and gun ownership for those on the no fly list. Trump agreed on the last point and said he would attempt to convince the National Rifle Association, which had endorsed him, to support such a measure. With the shooting dominating news coverage, the final Democratic primary was held on June 14 in Washington, D.C. Clinton handily defeated Sanders. A Bloomberg poll of Sanders supporters showed 22% planned to vote for Trump, 15% for Gary Johnson, and 55% for Clinton. The same poll showed a 12 point advantage for Clinton over Trump, 49% to 37% with 9% for Johnson. A CBS poll showed a tighter race with Clinton leading Trump 39% to 32% with Johnson at 11%. Clinton and Trump shared high unfavorable ratings in an ABC/Washington Post poll with 55% of respondents having a negative opinion of Clinton and 70% having a negative opinion of Trump.

Dissension within the Democratic Party appeared to crest in mid-June. Sanders finally admitted “it doesn’t appear that I’m going to be the nominee” and said he planned to vote for Clinton in the general election. This came even as reports showed Sanders was not being considered for the vice presidential nomination. According to The Wall Street Journal the individuals being vetted for the position were Senator Warren, Secretary of Labor Tom Perez, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Senators Tim Kaine, Sherrod Brown, and Cory Booker, as well as Congressmen Tim Ryan and Xavier Becerra. Meanwhile, Trump’s June struggles continued as the DNC opposition research file on him was hacked, reportedly by the Russian government, then leaked and published on Gawker. Trump accused the DNC of orchestrating the hack itself to publicize “misleading and/or entirely inaccurate” information. Next, a number of prominent Republicans endorsed Clinton, including former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, both members of the George W. Bush administration. Congressman Mike Simpson claimed there were many other Republicans who would privately vote for Clinton over Trump without saying so publicly. Reports of an anti-Trump delegate coup at the Republican National Convention were published in The Washington Post. Trump denied this as a media-crafted hoax. Additionally, Federal Election Commission reports showed the Trump campaign short on cash with only $1,289,507 available. Citing need for a change, Trump fired campaign manager Corey Lewandowski replacing him with Paul Manafort. Combating the dissension within the party, national co-chairman Sam Clovis went on CNN, demanding Republicans “to get behind the presumptive nominee …[or] just shut the hell up.” The outlook for the Trump campaign improved with the vote in the United Kingdom to exit from the European Union. Trump publicly backed the exit, which was hailed as a populist reaction similar to the movement behind Trump. Trump, who was in Scotland at the time opening a golf course, explained the vote as the UK taking “back their country. That’s a great thing.” At the end of June, an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll showed Trump trailing Clinton by only one point nationwide, 39% to 38%, with Johnson at 10% and presumptive Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein at 6%. By June 30, a Rasmussen Reports poll showed Trump with a four point lead over Clinton, 43% to 39%. In the Real Clear Politics average at the close of June, Clinton led Trump 44.6% to 39.8%.

Brexit’s impact on the US presidential election[]

In June, the United Kingdom voted to exit from the European Union, resulting in the resignation of Prime Minister David Cameron. This historic turn of events, termed the Brexit, had ramifications of international import. Particularly, the moment became one of political significance in the United States due to the involvement of both President Barack Obama and presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Comparisons of the anti-establishment Brexit movement were made with the anti-establishment campaign of Trump. Seeking professional analysis, Wikinews looked to political science to better understand the potential impact of the Brexit vote on the 2016 US presidential election.

Last April, President Obama inserted himself into the politics of Brexit, urging Britain to remain in the European Union. He wrote an editorial for The Telegraph and held a press conference with Prime Minister Cameron in which he warned that if Britain divorced itself from the EU, it would go “to the back of the queue” in terms of a trade agreement with the United States. In contrast, Donald Trump argued in favor of Brexit, connecting it to the larger issue of immigration. Commentators noted the goals of the Brexit movement aligned with Trump’s protectionist views on trade and support for immigration restriction. Former London Mayor Boris Johnson, a leading proponent of Brexit, was himself compared to Trump.

Anti-Brexit street art of Donald Trump embracing Boris Johnson.
Image: Matt Brown.

The most immediate impact of Brexit on the United States came just after reports of the 52 percent to 48 percent vote, when stocks tanked. Markets rebounded somewhat since, though uncertainty remains. Hillary Clinton attacked Trump for the consequence. Her foreign policy advisor Jake Sullivan argued that “Trump actively rooted for this outcome and the economic turmoil in its wake”. Clinton ran an ad in which she accused Trump of benefiting financially from a market downturn. Trump labeled the ad “disgraceful” and claimed she was “trying to wash away her bad judgment call on BREXIT with big dollar ads.”

Trump’s head-to-head polling numbers against Clinton increased somewhat after the June 23 vote. Trump rose in the Rasmussen Reports survey from a five point deficit before to a four point lead after. In Gravis, Trump cut Clinton’s four point lead in half. However, deficits for Trump remained unchanged for the Economist/YouGov and the Reuters/Ipsos polls.

Pollster John Zogby of Zogby Analytics expects Trump’s position to improve as a result of Brexit. He tells Wikinews, the vote “strengthens populism and gives Trump supporters some wind at their back.” As for Clinton, he foresees difficulties due to the closeness of the race and the perception of Clinton as “the rep of the elites at a bad time to be so.”

Political scientist John McCormick, a professor of European Union politics at Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis, mostly agrees. Though the Brexit impact is difficult to predict, McCormick explains to Wikinews that “some of the forces that led to Brexit are also behind the popularity of Donald Trump, and in that sense Brexit has opened the door a little wider to the possibility of a Trump presidency.”

“A lot of people voted for Brexit because they resented the manner in which they thought establishment politicians had ignored their needs, or were fearful of more emigration, or disliked the effects of globalization, or had bought into populist warnings about the growing domestic threats of Islamist extremist terrorism”, says McCormick, “So people here are going to be voting for Trump for many of the same reasons they voted for Brexit in the UK, and in that sense the vote will have an effect on the November election.”

McCormick also believes further economic disturbance could result from Brexit, which could itself have an effect on the election as US voters head to the polls.

Amid talk of secession in Scotland, Northern Ireland, and London, the UK Conservative Party was to select a new Prime Minister to oversee Brexit and attempt to unify the kingdom. The selection was thought likely to be made in October, just a month ahead of the US presidential election.

Cuban makes vice presidential pitch[]

With the National Basketball Association concluding its season in June, Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has a new sport to follow. As he revealed last August in a chat on his social media app Cyber Dust, “5 weeks till training camp […] [b]ut until then Donald Trump watching is a sport.” Though Cuban, a fellow businessman and billionaire, then praised Trump’s unconventional candidacy as “probably the best thing to happen to politics in a long, long time”, and even offered himself as a possible running mate, he has since grown critical of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, questioning his wealth, temperament, and business acumen. The marked change has led to speculation about Cuban’s own political aspirations. In May, members of the #NeverTrump movement approached him about running for president as an independent, which he rejected. He did, however, open himself to running as the running mate for presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, punctuating that possibility with a statement that he is leaning toward voting for her over Trump in November. As the 2016 Democratic National Convention approaches, Cuban has continued to express his interest in the position.

Cuban in 2005.
Image: James Duncan Davidson/O’Reilly Media, Inc.

Cuban addressed the vice presidency on the May 22 edition of Meet the Press, proclaiming that, if offered, he would join Clinton’s ticket on the condition she “go more to the center” politically. He explained, “I like the fact that Senator Clinton has thought-out proposals.” Nevertheless, he has criticized Clinton for having “no personality”, “no charisma”, and for making “horrible mistakes” as Secretary of State, mentioning the 2012 attack on the American consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Nevertheless, Cuban says he is willing to look past all that, believing the main issue is “whether or not I can add value and whether or not I can impact any perspective and hopefully have a positive impact on the country”.

James Pethokoukis, writing for The Week, explains how Cuban can add value to a Democratic ticket. Describing Cuban as charismatic and well spoken, Pethokoukis says Cuban would neutralize Trump’s appeal as an outsider candidate while making the Democratic ticket “more palatable” to disaffected Republicans. Though the nomination of a centrist businessman could upset progressives, Pethokoukis feels Cuban’s middle-class Pennsylvania background could provide a compelling story for the majority of the electorate.

“Basically, Cuban is Trump”, writes Pethokoukis, “without all the bigotry … and without the insane policies … and with probably more dough.”

Kyle Kondik of the University of Virginia Center for Politics disagrees with Pethokoukis’s premise. “To me, the first rule of vice presidential selection is ‘first, do no harm'”, he explains to Wikinews, “Cuban would be a risky choice for Clinton that does not provide an obvious benefit[…] One of Clinton’s benefits in this election is that, compared to Trump, she seems qualified for the job and serious enough for the job. Picking Cuban doesn’t really help her make that argument.”

Dan Judy of North Star Opinion Research agrees, commenting to Wikinews that Cuban has “virtually no chance” of becoming Clinton’s running mate because, “he’s a political novice who doesn’t bring much to the table in terms of shoring up Hillary’s left flank, appealing to independents, or being a governing partner. Cuban’s a colorful, outspoken guy, and I think he’s just having fun. I don’t think he has any real political ambitions.”

Clinton insiders also say Cuban has no chance. However, Clinton herself is appreciative of Cuban’s “openness,” announcing on Meet the Press that she is “very interested” in considering “successful businesspeople” who have not held elected office.

Still, Cuban has continued to make media appearances touting himself as a potential vice presidential candidate. He even went on the attack against a front-runner for the position, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, arguing she is too far left and that if she were selected, he would probably vote for Trump. In addition, Cuban recently boasted to TMZ that Clinton “needs me” for the position.

At the end of June, Cuban met with former President Bill Clinton, husband of Hillary, at a casual dinner party where politics were discussed.

Clinton is expected to choose a running mate before the July 25 National Convention commences in Philadelphia. Senators Warren, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Tim Kaine of Virginia, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro are among the favorites to receive the vice presidential nomination.

California American Independent Party primary winner speaks to Wikinews[]

Though most of the media attention of the June 7 California primary focused on the Democratic and Republican races, with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump winning each, respectively, the Peace and Freedom Party, the Green Party, the Libertarian Party, and the American Independent Party (AIP) all held primaries as well, owing to the fact that each has attained the status of political party in the state; a designation reserved for parties that can show they have registered members totaling greater than 0.33% of registered voters in the state, and maintained with either keeping registered voters at that percentage or holding 0.067% of registered voters while winning at least two percent of the vote in a statewide election. The largest of these third parties, the AIP, had seven participants in its primary. Wikinews reached out to the victor, Alan Spears, an attorney from Cedar Glen, California.

██ Alan Spears

██ Arthur Harris

██ Robert Ornelas

██ Wiley Drake

██ J.R. Myers

██ James Hedges

██ Tom Hoefling

The AIP is a paleoconservative group formerly affiliated with the Constitution Party. It opposes same-sex marriage, abortion, and supports the construction of a fence along the US–Mexico border. Though the party has an estimated half million registered members, three percent of all registered voters in California, a Los Angeles Times poll shows 73% mistakenly joined the party believing they were registering as Independent. As a result, these voters could only vote in the American Independent Party primary.

According to the latest count, 42,241 voted for the candidates on the ballot in the primary. Ballot Access News speculated Donald Trump won the primary since more than two thirds of voters wrote-in candidates, the majority believed to have been for Trump, but these votes were not counted. Of the candidates on the ballot, Spears won with 8,103 votes (19.2%). Former Jet Propulsion Laboratory engineering technician Arthur Harris came in second with 7,216 (17.1%). 2012 AIP vice presidential nominee and hip hop artist Robert Ornelas finished third with 7,164 (17%). Fourth place Wiley Drake, a pastor and TV host, edged fifth place J.R. Myers, chairman of the Alaska Constitution Party, by one vote, 5,476 to 5,475 (roughly 13% apiece). Prohibition Party presidential nominee James Hedges came in sixth with 4,462 (10.6%). Surprisingly, the AIP’s 2012 presidential nominee Tom Hoefling came in last place with 4,345 votes (10.3%). The results of the primary are nonbinding. The AIP is to nominate its 2016 presidential ticket at its convention August 13–14.

Spears, who uses the slogan “Let’s Restore America’s Greatness,” proclaims on his candidate statement provided to the California Secretary of State, “[w]e [Americans] are at war with Islam!” He focuses his presidential campaign on the issue of Islamic terrorism, advocating the use of “overwhelming force” to combat it. Additionally, he believes the US government “must deal with anarchists hiding behind the First Amendment who seek to destroy our institutions,” and supports an eradication of the “Deep Dark Web.”

With Wikinews, Spears discusses his primary victory, the AIP nomination, ballot access, and what he hopes to accomplish with his campaign.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png What is your reaction to winning the California American Independent Party presidential primary in June? Do you believe this victory will help you secure the AIP presidential nomination?

Spears: I was shocked and pleasantly surprised I won the AIP’s California June 7th Primary. It wasn’t by much of a margin, and the totality of the Party’s votes were minuscule, but I feel I did make a VERY conservative statement. I pray that it will [help secure the nomination]!

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png Are you attempting to appear on the ballot in other states? If so, where? If not, why?

Spears: I haven’t a clue how to get on the primary ballots in other states, and I believe it is too late at this juncture.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png What do you hope to accomplish by running for president?

Spears: My ultra-conservative politics are essential to the survival of the Republic. Trump spews rhetoric, but until quite recently his words lack meaning. He has little insight into foreign policy and military matters. God, how I wish I could trade positions with him! I am “on record” The Voter’s Self Defense System with policy positions, have spewed much ultra-conservative drivel at www.Facebook.com/aesracingltd, and try to find time to blog to my website at Home – Alan E. Spears, Esq – Independent Presidential Candidate You may vet me at www.Alan Spears.com.



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June 15, 2016

LinkedIn to be acquired by Microsoft

LinkedIn to be acquired by Microsoft – Wikinews, the free news source

LinkedIn to be acquired by Microsoft

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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

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On Monday, US business-oriented social networking company LinkedIn announced its agreement to be acquired by Microsoft Corporation. Microsoft estimated the deal at US$26.2billion.

File photo of LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner
Image: Sylvain Kalache.

Cquote1.svg Together we can accelerate the growth of LinkedIn, as well as Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics Cquote2.svg

—Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO

Per the terms, Jeff Weiner would remain the CEO of LinkedIn and the company would continue to enjoy its “distinct brand, culture and independence”. Microsoft is to pay US$196 per share of LinkedIn in cash and anticipates completing the transaction before January.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said “The LinkedIn team has grown a fantastic business centered on connecting the world’s professionals […] Together we can accelerate the growth of LinkedIn, as well as Microsoft Office 365 and Dynamics”.

Accordingly to Microsoft, LinkedIn is visited by over 105 million distinct members per month with 433 million members globally. Previously, LinkedIn had acquired lynda.com, a learning website.

Weiner said “I’m looking forward to leading our team through the next chapter of our story.”

Though the LinkedIn board directors favor this transaction, the deal awaits approval of LinkedIn’s shareholders.



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June 3, 2016

Two people killed in apparent murder-suicide at UCLA

Two people killed in apparent murder-suicide at UCLA

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Friday, June 3, 2016

Location of the Engineering IV building on the UCLA campus.
Image: OpenStreetMap.

Two people were killed in an alleged murder-suicide at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) campus on Wednesday. The shooting occurred on the fourth floor of the Engineering IV building. The university’s campus was in lockdown for aout two hours after the shooting from 10:00AM to noon local time.

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) have identified 39-year-old William S. Klug as the victim in the murder-suicide. He was an associate professor of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. The shooting occurred in his office. According to the Police, the shooter was identified as Mainak Sarkar, a former student of the professor.

According to the Police, Mainak Sarkar had accused William S. Klug of stealing Sarkar’s computer code and turning it over to someone else. According to TheWrap, in March Mainak Sarkar had written in a blog post about William S. Klug, “We had personal differences. He cleverly stole all my code and gave it another student. He made me really sick. Your enemy is your enemy. But your friend can do a lot more harm. Be careful about whom you trust. Stay away from this sick guy”, and included a photo of the professor.

According to the LAPD, a note was found near scene and helped find the home address of the shooter and establish the fact of suicide.

During the lockdown students were asked to stay in a sheltered location, and those who moved around the campus were told to walk with their hands up and were searched by police officers. Classes were cancelled for the rest of the day. Final exams and graduation were to run as scheduled, and most classes were to resume as normal Thursday morning.

William S. Klug had been leading the Klug Research Group which specialised in theoretical and computational biomechanics. He was a father of two, a nine year old son in fourth grade and a seven year old daughter.



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June 2, 2016

Two people killed in murder-suicide at UCLA

Two people killed in murder-suicide at UCLA

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Thursday, June 2, 2016

Location of the Engineering IV building on the UCLA campus.
Image: OpenStreetMap.

Two people were killed in an alleged murder-suicide at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) campus on Wednesday. The shooting occurred on the fourth floor of the Engineering IV building. The university’s campus was in lockdown for aout two hours after the shooting from 10:00AM to noon local time.

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) have identified 39-year-old William S. Klug as the victim in the murder-suicide. He was an associate professor of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. The shooting occurred in his office. According to the Police, the shooter was identified as Mainak Sarkar, a former student of the professor.

According to the Police, Mainak Sarkar had accused William S. Klug of stealing Sarkar’s computer code and turning it over to someone else. According to TheWrap, in March Mainak Sarkar had written in a blog post about William S. Klug, “We had personal differences. He cleverly stole all my code and gave it another student. He made me really sick. Your enemy is your enemy. But your friend can do a lot more harm. Be careful about whom you trust. Stay away from this sick guy”, and included a photo of the professor.

According to the LAPD, a note was found near scene and helped find the home address of the shooter and establish the fact of suicide.

During the lockdown students were asked to stay in a sheltered location, and those who moved around the campus were told to walk with their hands up and were searched by police officers. Classes were cancelled for the rest of the day. Final exams and graduation were to run as scheduled, and most classes were to resume as normal Thursday morning.

William S. Klug had been leading the Klug Research Group which specialised in theoretical and computational biomechanics. He was a father of two, a nine year old son in fourth grade and a seven year old daughter.



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Gun control bills passed in California following UCLA apparent murder-suicide

Gun control bills passed in California following UCLA apparent murder-suicide

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Thursday, June 2, 2016

The California State Assembly, the lower house of the California state legislature, passed gun control bills on Wednesday. It was the same day that the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) was locked down after a murder-suicide shooting. The bills passed include a ban on bullet buttons. The bullet buttons allegedly allow manufacturers to bypass past gun control laws.

Phil Ting of the California State Assembly, Democrat representing San Francisco, used the events at UCLA as an argument for the passing of the bills, stating it was the 186th school shooting since the 2012 shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. The state senate are being encouraged to consider these bills this month as the house leaders are hoping they pass ahead of the gun control referendum set to take place in November this year.

The state senate passed a bill last month prohibiting the possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines, as well as calling for greater analysis of those purchasing these weapons in order to decrease the risk of a violent and dangerous individual accessing a gun.

Another package of bills were originally introduced in December 2015 following an attack in San Bernardino, and also included a bill allowing for employers, mental health workers, school employees and co-workers to request a ban from possessing a gun for a person at risk of harming themselves or others lasting up to a year.

Gun control has always been a controversial topic in the United States, with the US possessing approximately 50% of the world’s firearms owned by the public.



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March 31, 2016

Wikinews interviews Rocky De La Fuente, U.S. Democratic Party presidential candidate

Wikinews interviews Rocky De La Fuente, U.S. Democratic Party presidential candidate

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Thursday, March 31, 2016

2016 United States presidential election
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De La Fuente at the Lesser-Known Candidates Forum, January 2016.
Image: Marc Nozell.

Businessman Rocky De La Fuente took some time to speak with Wikinews about his campaign for the U.S. Democratic Party’s 2016 presidential nomination.

The 61-year-old De La Fuente resides in San Diego, California, grew up in Tijuana, and owns multiple businesses and properties throughout the world. Since getting his start in the automobile industry, De La Fuente has branched out into the banking and real estate markets. Despite not having held or sought political office previously, he has been involved in politics, serving as the first-ever Hispanic superdelegate to the 1992 Democratic National Convention.

De La Fuente entered the 2016 presidential race last October largely due to his dissatisfaction with Republican front-runner Donald Trump. He argues he is a more accomplished businessman than Trump, and attacks Trump as “a clown,” “a joke,” “dangerous,” and “in the same category as Hitler.” Nevertheless, De La Fuente’s business background begets comparisons with Trump. The Alaskan Midnight Sun blog described him as the Democrats’ “own Donald Trump.”

While receiving only minimal media coverage, he has campaigned actively, and according to the latest Federal Election Commission filing, loaned almost US$ 4 million of his own money to the campaign. He has qualified for 48 primary and caucus ballots, but has not yet obtained any delegates to the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Thus far, according to the count at The Green Papers, De La Fuente has received 35,406 votes, or 0.23% of the total votes cast. He leads among the many lesser-known candidates but trails both Senator Bernie Sanders who has received nearly 6.5 million votes and front-runner Hillary Clinton who has just shy of 9 million votes.

With Wikinews reporter William S. Saturn‎, De La Fuente discusses his personal background, his positions on political issues, his current campaign for president, and his political future.

Interview[]

Background[]

Wikinews waves Left.pngWilliam S. SaturnWikinews waves Right.png What are some of your achievements in your business career?

Rocky De La Fuente: From my perspective, my greatest achievements in business are tied to the people and families I have helped. I’ve had the good fortune to create dozens of business that created thousands of jobs across the United States as well as in other countries. I always paid a fair wage, provided access to healthcare, and tried to create opportunities for advancement for those who demonstrated the desire to improve their lot in life.

Aerial view of De La Fuente’s hometown San Diego.
Image: U.S. Navy.

If you’re asking for a more traditional answer with respect to what I have personally done, at the age of twenty, I got a job selling automobiles. Less than two years later, I became the General Manager of a dealership. Two years after that, I acquired my first dealership and, over the next 16 years, I added 27 more dealerships to my portfolio. And at the age of 28, I was honored to be elected by my peers in that industry as Chairman of the National Dealer Council for the third largest Automotive Company in the world at the time.
Then, I sold 27 of my dealerships and began a new career investing in real estate. I developed the De La Fuente Business Park and began acquiring […] other properties in San Diego, San Diego County, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Santa Monica, Auburn, El Cajon, Hemet, La Mesa, Lemon Grove, National City, Stanton, and Yorba Linda, California as well as in Cincinnati, Ohio, Cohoes, New York, Hartford, Connecticut, and West Palm Beach, Florida. In addition, I purchased and own residential complexes in California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Texas and Virginia and have developed assisted living facilities in Los Angeles (San Pedro) and Lemon Grove, California, to care for seniors who are in need.
In between, in an effort to help Mexico during the financial crisis that arose there in 1982, I opened 11 currency exchanges to facilitate free-flowing trade between Mexico and the United States. The network included seven offices in California and four in Texas. Then, over the next five years, I founded three U.S. banks; one being a National Bank approved by the OCC and two State Charter Banks approved by the California Banking Commission and the FDIC.
Some of my efforts were recently recognized when I was awarded an Honorary Doctorate as an “International Corporate Ambassador” by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
If you think about that list for a minute, you’ll have a pretty good perspective of how many people I’ve had the pleasure of working with and how many families I’ve been able to help over the years. And that remains my greatest business accomplishment.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png According to The San Diego Union-Tribune, the FDIC banned you from banking for “unsafe and unsound banking practices.” Why did this occur and how do you respond to the allegation?

De La Fuente: Many of the consumer and commercial loan provisions provided by the Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act (DIDMCA) of 1980 were reversed by the Economic Recovery Tax Act of 1981. Then, the FDIC aggressively brought charges against thousands of small banks and Savings & Loans for practices that had previously been permissible.
The FDIC closed or otherwise resolved (i.e., punished management, etc.) 297 financial institutions. The Resolution Trust Corporation closed or otherwise resolved 747 more.
While I managed to save my bank, I was one of the causalities of the FDIC’s “resolution” of the bank’s issues. Personally accepting the FDIC’s unilateral punishment protected the depositors’ funds and allowed the bank to keep operating. You might have noticed in the article that you cited that the bank sold at a lower multiple because it hadn’t fully leveraged its assets (i.e., it hadn’t aggressively loaned its deposits as compared to other banks). In other words, it had been conservative in its investments.

De La Fuente: “I probably best fit the term ‘Kennedy Democrat’ because I am a strong advocate of social equality and freedom but I believe we must be fiscally responsible as well.”
Image: The White House.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png Why are you a Democrat?

De La Fuente: I have always considered myself to be a Democrat, although what that term means has shifted over the years. I probably best fit the term “Kennedy Democrat” because I am a strong advocate of social equality and freedom but I believe we must be fiscally responsible as well. While that may not fit the current narrative of modern liberalism that favors social justice and a mixed economy leaning toward an ever increasing presence of government regulation and assistance, it reflects what I truly believe.
I think, during the modern era, Democrats have been the primary political catalyst for social equality and change. President Kennedy had a unique ability to bring both sides of the aisle together to [make] progress in that regard, but he also recognized that government regulation bore a cost and could pose a threat if it was used in an unbridled fashion. We seem to have forgotten that concept.
Conservatives are relatively adverse to change. I am not. I simply think change needs to [be] achieved in a responsible manner and that federal officials should recognize their [responsibility] to serve as stewards of the taxpayers’ money.
I also think we need to figure out how to provide more opportunities for people rather than just mask the symptoms with assistance. The goal of government assistance should always be to provide it as a temporary bridge rather than a permanent foundation. When we lose sight of this, we create programs that deepen our problems rather than resolve them.
I clearly don’t fit the Republican mindset when it comes to my position on social issues. However, I’m sure I cause discomfort for some Democrats who think that the government is the solution to every problem. My real world experience in business and my exposure to the economies of other countries have given me a different perspective; one that compels me to assess government programs from a rational basis as well as an emotional one.
I think there’s room in the Democratic Party for that type of mindset.

Campaign[]

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png What do you hope to accomplish with this campaign?

De La Fuente: Well, imagine if I were to win. If I win, “We all Win” . . . “America Wins” . . . and the World would be a better place.
What I know I can achieve is to broaden the active Democratic base. The Hispanic community in this country has been relatively inactive from a political perspective. While it represents a sizable element of the Party’s foundation, it is somewhat underrepresented in elected office and does not participate in the electoral process to the degree it should. I can spotlight the importance of registering to vote and participating in the process within the Hispanic community because my candidacy has attracted some attention in that regard. I hope I will encourage other minorities and underrepresented groups to become more engaged as well.
Cquote1.svg I . . . have been subjected to a disappointingly unfair process by which the Party has not even remotely provided an equal chance to other candidates and me. Cquote2.svg
I also have been subjected to a disappointingly unfair process by which the Party has not even remotely provided an equal chance to other candidates and me. This isn’t unique to the Democratic Party. Both Parties dramatically favor their “politically privileged” member[s]; those individuals who have served their respective Parties for a long time and raised serious money on behalf of their Party.
If I detailed all of the “behind the scenes” inequities that I and others candidates like me have endured, you’d be shocked. Perhaps that will be another legacy of this campaign as I am inclined to bring these issues to light and have the courts decide whether the practices should be continued. That might be a greater benefit to the People than even serving as president of the United States.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png Are you disappointed by the results of the primaries thus far?

De La Fuente: I am disappointed by the treatment I have received such as being denied the courtesy of automatic ballot access that’s afforded “politically privileged” candidate[s], having votes mysteriously disappear from election results, having State Parties in caucus states withhold location information, list me as “Other” and refuse to provide areas for my preference groups to form, etc. However, I am not disappointed by the results under those circumstances.

De La Fuente examines his notes during the Lesser-Known Candidates Forum.
Image: Marc Nozell.

Despite this type of treatment, I have successfully qualified to participate in the primaries and caucuses in a combination of 48 states and territories. I have also already amassed more votes than former Senator Rick Santorum, current Senator Lindsey Graham, former Governor Jim Gilmore of Virginia, former New York Governor George Pataki and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal combined. After Arizona, I passed Carly Fiorina’s vote total and I’m rapidly closing in on former Governor Mike Huckabee’s, current Governor Chris Christie‘s and current Senator Rand Paul‘s vote totals.
While those candidates have suspended their campaigns, an independent NPR article recently noted my performance as somewhat of a phenomenon given that my campaign is predominantly self-funded and enjoys absolutely zero Party support or Super PAC money. Conversely, these candidates all received massive support from the Republican Party in terms of the visibility and support they were given. Most also have benefited from the monetary support of conservative Super PACs.
I’m not sharing this information to brag but rather to provide a context for how the Parties have insulated themselves with a set of rules that preclude legitimate candidates such as me from having an equal opportunity to be heard and have an impact. Why not let the People choose?
At least my candidacy is beginning to force some of these practices out in the open. Maybe that’s a better result than the one experienced by bigger name candidates who had all the advantages and still failed.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png In 2012, several primary challengers to President Barack Obama including John Wolfe, Jr., Randall Terry, and Keith Russell Judd all qualified for delegates, though they ultimately were not seated at the convention due to technicalities. Given the money you are willing to spend on a campaign and your ability to adhere to the rules, do you regret not running in 2012?

De La Fuente quotes Einstein: “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
Image: Ferdinand Schmutzer.

De La Fuente: I found that it isn’t a good use of time to second guess a decision you can’t change. Did unconventional candidates win delegates in 2012? Yes. That should tell you that the Party changed the rules to prevent that from happening again. That’s the real story; not whether I wish I’d run in 2012.
In all honesty, I didn’t have any motivation to run in 2012. I only decided to jump into this race late last year because Donald Trump was vilifying entire classes of people and no one seemed willing to confront him. Had there been a Kennedy or even a Reagan in the race, I wouldn’t have taken this step. I ran because I didn’t see anyone in the presidential race who wasn’t also part of the problem.
Albert Einstein once said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” I would suggest that we cannot solve our nation’s problems with the same people who created them. We need someone who understands our economy, who understands international relationships and cultural differences, who values education, who has lived and competed in the real world rather than a hypothetical one funded by the taxpayers, and who has experienced the challenges that minorities face in this country and knows how to overcome those barriers. I have personal experience in each of these areas and offer a demonstrated record of success.
I’m not a polished politician; I‘m just like you. I don’t make false promises, and I pledge to honor my Oath of Office. I’m a problem solver, and I believe that is exactly what our nation needs. Think about it.

Issues[]

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png What are your thoughts on the job Obama has done as president? Specifically, what would you have done differently?

De La Fuente: I think President Obama is an honorable man who has done the best he could. He took over under difficult economic circumstances, but found a way to help stabilize and reverse the recession. He made significant progress in healthcare and education even in the face of Congressional resistance. I also think his recent steps to normalize relations with Cuba are a step in the right direction.
As far as differences, I hate to second guess a sitting President. I do not have access to the facts behind his decisions and can only hope he always made his decisions in good faith.
I do think I would have taken a different regulatory approach to accelerate our recovery from the recession. I also would have tried to expand the recovery, which has not made its way down to the middle class and the poor.
I would like to have seen a stronger and better defined foreign policy. The President seems to vacillate at times, and we need more certainty in this uncertain world.
Cquote1.svg Some of the President’s rhetoric and selective interest in social issues may have actually expanded the racial divide. Cquote2.svg
I also would like to have seen a greater effort to lessen racial tension. Some of the President’s rhetoric and selective interest in social issues may have actually expanded the racial divide.
In addition, I was disappointed that the President’s position on equal rights took so long to “evolve.” The evidence suggests that he didn’t as much “evolve” as he timed his position to coincide with public opinion. I would like to have seen stronger leadership in that regard.
Perhaps the greatest difference would be on my emphasis to create more opportunities for the middle class and the poor. The rich, donor class seems to have benefited to a far greater degree than those who are struggling the most. Welfare has dramatically expanded, homelessness has expanded, and illiteracy remains high. These would all be priorities in my Administration.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png In your opinion, what are the most important issues facing America and how will you deal with these as president?

De La Fuente: I think the five most important issues facing our country are the economy, education, the environment, immigration, national security, and social equality (in alphabetical order).
With respect to the economy: The government cannot create jobs, but it can influence the economic environment. We need to rebalance the relationship between regulation, taxation and economic expansion so that the private sector can create new jobs and attract old ones that have migrated overseas. This will expand the tax base as well as the economy and allow us to begin working down the debt that will otherwise suffocate our country in years to come. It will also provide individuals with the opportunity to pursue upward mobility, which has been “missing in action” for far too many years.
With respect to education: We need to stop masking the inequity of our K–12 system that deprives children in poor areas from enjoying an equal education and having a pathway to a better life. We need to expand trade schools to provide the skills for which jobs exist but well-trained workers do not. We need to refocus our institutions of higher learning on their core mission, which is to provide the best education possible.

De La Fuente speaks with journalist Jorge Ramos, January 2016.
Image: Gage Skidmore.

In recent times, our colleges have become enamored with competing for students on a basis of facilities rather than primarily on the basis of a quality education. As a result, costs have skyrocketed and students have become unconscionably burdened with debt. Government has contributed to the problem by providing funds with “strings attached” that further escalate costs on an ongoing basis. Making college “free” is a great concept, but we must recognize that it is only a shift in payment. Rather than tying the financial commitment to an individual for a defined period of time (the length of the loan), it spreads the commitment across the entire tax base and increases the length of the loan to “forever.” We need to develop a smart approach to solving the problem rather than a politically expedient one.
With respect to the environment: We are stewards of our planet, and we bear the responsibility to preserve the environment to the degree that we reasonably can. We cannot ignore science, but we must recognize that it is a two-edged sword. While we cannot deny Man’s contribution to climate change, we also have to acknowledge that our attempts to mitigate the damage we do is driven by technological realities that we cannot legislate away.
Cquote1.svg While we need a far more efficient and effective way of vetting potential immigrants and providing them a path toward citizenship, it is astoundingly naive to think that building a wall would solve the problem. Cquote2.svg
We cannot impose subjective standards if the science does not exist to provide the solution. What we need to do is establish a rational transition plan that moves away from fossil fuels toward renewable energy and encourages an acceleration of that transition. Today, we impose fines and fees if subjective standards are not met. This damages the economy and negatively impacts job growth. We need to reward the achievement rather than punish failure. We need to take the money we use to create and enforce unattainable regulations and use it to reward accelerated achievement of such goals.
With respect [to] immigration: We need comprehensive immigration reform. Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution directs us to “provide for the common Defense and general Welfare of the United States,” which can have countervailing impacts. We need secure borders to “provide for the common Defense.” However, we also need to embrace immigrants to “provide for . . . the general Welfare.”
As such, we need to assess immigration from a different perspective. Rather than viewing immigrants (documented or undocumented) as a liability, we need to view them as an asset. While we need a far more efficient and effective way of vetting potential immigrants and providing them a path toward citizenship, it is astoundingly naive to think that building a wall would solve the problem. People enter into the United States from two borders as well as by plane and ship. A wall has little practical value beyond […] political rhetoric. We need real solutions for this real issue, and we have to remember and honor the values upon which this great nation was built.

De La Fuente at the Veterans Museum in Washington D.C., October 2015.
Image: Claire Cousin.

It is not logical to suggest that we can deport 12 million immigrants just as it is illogical to suggest that we cannot deport the extremely small percentage who have committed felonies in our country. It is also ignorant to punish children, who entered the country illegally with their parents, for the decision of their parents. And it is appalling to deport individuals after we permit them to serve in the United States military; a practice of which most Americans are unaware.
We can also secure our borders without abandoning the values upon which our nation was built. We must first admit that our current system of immigration is broken and recognize that a wall is not the solution. Then, we must create a more intelligent, effective and efficient way of welcoming well-vetted immigrants to our borders and providing them with a clear pathway to citizenship.
With respect to national security: Again, Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution directs us to “provide for the common Defense . . . of the United States.” However, it does not say that we must do it in a fiscally irresponsible way. It is not the government’s responsibility to support a military–industrial complex simply because it has allowed that structure to become unduly important in the financing of our political parties.
Our focus should be to maintain a technological superiority over every other military on earth in as cost effective way as possible. Our ability to project force in a timely manner, when necessary, should be measured against current capabilities rather than historic principles. We do not need to maintain military bases abroad to the degree that we do. We can project force far more efficiently today than we could decades ago when many of those installations first were built.
We also have to recognize that the enemy has changed as has the weaponry. Cyber-attacks on infrastructure and financial services pose new threats as do terrorist attacks (as opposed to traditional invasion tactics). We need to build an intelligence capability that can identify and anticipate such threats and a counter-cyber capability that can defend against and respond to the delivery of any such attacks.
With respect to social equality: My number one priority as President would be to refocus our country on providing an equal opportunity to all with regard to jobs, education, healthcare, etc. We have established programs that make our leaders feel good but, from a practical perspective, fail to advance the cause of delivering an equal opportunity to all. As a result, we waste a great deal of time and taxpayer money on programs that have not improved our nation or the lives of its citizens. We need to return to the concept that “all men are created equal” and have the unalienable right to pursue happiness as they choose to define it. This does not mean that we all have to choose the same path or achieve parity in income, etc. It means that we should be given the tools and choices that are necessary to be able to pursue our individual definition of happiness.
“Equality” supports the right to be different; however, it demands the opportunity to choose which path to pursue. I would do everything in my power to provide every citizen with an equal opportunity to make that choice. This alone would stimulate our economy, resolve many of our social issues, and underscore the importance of the concept of individual Liberty that separates our country from any other nation on Earth.
We spend an inordinate amount of time and money intervening in the affairs of other nations. What if we were to redirect our efforts and capital toward improving vital issues at home (i.e., our homeless, our displaced veterans, illiteracy and poverty (which continue to hover around 15%), the availability of health care for every American, etc.)? We could lead by example rather than try to convince the rest of the world why it should follow our model, and at the same time, we would be taking care of our citizens and restoring hope and dignity to their lives.

Future[]

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png If elected, what would constitute a successful presidency for you?

De La Fuente: Simplistically, if I could make meaningful progress toward achieving the goals I just listed, I would have a successful presidency.

De La Fuente: “I don’t need to serve in a political office to be happy, but I would be honored to do so if I thought I could give something back to my country.”
Image: Marc Nozell.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png Which individuals would you like to see in a De La Fuente administration?

De La Fuente: I would take a fundamentally different approach to staffing the De La Fuente administration. Currently, over 80 percent of the senior White House staff positions and approximately 50 percent of the ambassadorships have gone to individuals who bundled $500 thousand or more for the current Administration. While these people shouldn’t be banned from serving the Administration if they are qualified, the disproportionate distribution suggests that the positions are more likely to be a repayment of political debt. I will not do that.
I learned in business that I did best when I hired people who were better than me at what they did. I didn’t hire them to be subservient to me nor did I hire them because they were friends. I think that same approach is needed in Washington, D.C. During these difficult times, we need our nation’s best and brightest individuals to tackle our problems. I would select people to serve in my administration on a basis of merit.

Wikinews waves Left.pngWSSWikinews waves Right.png Do you plan on ever running for political office again?

De La Fuente: I’m a first generation American who is extreme[ly] proud of being a citizen of this great country. To give you some perspective, I once wanted to fly a large American flag over one of my car dealerships, but the city’s governing body emphatically said, “No!” For nine years, I fought back before winning the right to honor our country with what has become a prominent landmark; a 3,000 square foot flag flying from the tallest free standing flag pole in the United States.
I don’t need to serve in a political office to be happy, but I would be honored to do so if I thought I could give something back to my country.



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March 30, 2016

Defense attorney refutes DNA evidence in \’Grim Sleeper\’ trial

Defense attorney refutes DNA evidence in ‘Grim Sleeper’ trial

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Seymour Amster, attorney for Lonnie Franklin, Jr., attacked the prosecution’s DNA evidence during the trial on Tuesday. Franklin, a resident of South Central Los Angeles, stands accused of murdering 9 women and one teenage girl across a span of many years. Media outlets began referring to the case as the ‘Grim Sleeper’ murders as Franklin allegedly stopped killing women for several years before resuming his criminal activity. Franklin allegedly killed his first victim in 1985.

The defense has argued that unidentified DNA was found on the body of one victim, age 25 at the time of her death, in addition to Franklin’s DNA. Testimony from earlier in the trial indicated Franklin’s DNA was found on the bodies of 3 victims. Franklin, 68, was arrested for the crimes in July 2010, but many reported complexities with the case slowed its movement to the trial phase. Franklin’s DNA was surreptitiously gathered by police during a party he attended at a pizza restaurant. That DNA was then cross-matched with his son’s DNA, who had previously served time in state prison.

An HBO documentary, released in 2014, exposed law enforcement’s seeming disregard for the murders. Reportedly, police suspected in 1988 that a serial killer may have been at work in the area, but did not release their findings to the public until 22 years later. A woman interviewed for the film stated she and a companion met with a police official after the community was notified. She alleged the police official said to her and her companion, ‘Why are you concerned? He’s only killing hookers.’



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September 30, 2015

Naked man arrested after attacking motorists near high school

Naked man arrested after attacking motorists near high school

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Crystal Meth
Image: Radspunk.

As some parents in Victorville, California were taking their children to school on Monday, they were confronted with a naked man who appeared to be trying to gain entry into passing vehicles around the intersection of El Evado and Seneca roads.

The man, later identified as Daniel Anglin, 19, of San Bernardino was said to have been wandering through traffic, screaming incoherently, and mumbling in tongues.

“You couldn’t even make out what he was actually saying,” said Lydia Lopez, a witness. “He was just screaming, ‘Ahhh!’ And just constantly screaming.” Lopez, decided to call 911, and shoot cellphone video of the incident until police arrived, about ten minutes later.

“It really did look like more of a like zombie,” Lopez said. “He was in a zombie state of mind in a way ’cause looking at his face, you can just tell. He just wasn’t there. It didn’t even look like he knew what he was doing.”

When police arrived, they were able to subdue Anglin after shooting him with a police issued taser gun. According to police, before being shot with the taser, Anglin tried to take control of a deputy’s SUV. Anglin was charged with suspicion of carjacking, burglary, and being under the influence of a controlled substance.

Lopez also praised the job of the police officer that subdued Anglin, saying “He did his job, and I think he did it well,”.

Anglin’s mother, identified only as Denise, later told police and news reporters, that her son suffers from a bipolar disorder, Schizophrenia, and admitted that he was also under the influence of methamphetamine at the time of the incident. Denise went on to say that this is her son’s first run-in with the law, and she hopes that the courts will show mercy on him.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, both usage and availability, for illicit drugs such as methamphetamine, has gone down among school aged children in the last two decades. NIDA statistics show usage down to 27.2 percent in 2014, from it’s peak of 34.1 percent in 1997.



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