9/11 Fund to Cut Payments to Sick Survivors by at Least 50%


The $7.4 billion fund created to aid people sickened by exposure to toxins at the sites of deadly attacks on the World Trade Center, after the EPA assured them it was safe, now has only $2.4 billion left to pay 19,000 claims.  In addition, thousands more are expected to file before the 2020 deadline. Close to 10,000 people in New York have been diagnosed with cancer linked to the attack. Payments to survivors who have already applied will be cut by 50%. For those who file after 2 February, checks will be slashed by 70%.

Sick first responders and survivors of the 9/11 terrorist attacks
will see payments slashed dramatically as the fund to compensate them
runs out of money, officials said Friday.

The fund was created to aid people sickened by exposure to toxins at
the sites of deadly attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon
in 2001, and the families of those who have died.

But the $7.4bn fund is running short on cash so it will cut future payments at least in half, its administrator announced
Friday. Payments to survivors who have already applied will be cut by
50%. For those who file after 2 February, checks will be slashed by 70%.

“This is devastating,” said John Feal, a leading advocate for 9/11
responders. “For so many it’s a lifeline, and that lifeline has just
been cut off.”

Thousands of people have fallen ill
after breathing air thick with smoke from the collapse of the World
Trade Center. Close to 10,000 people in New York have been diagnosed
with cancer linked to the attack.

Congress voted in 2011 to open the September 11th Victim Compensation
Fund for first responders and survivors sickened by the attack.

So far, it has awarded $5bn to more than 21,000 applicants, with an
average award of about $240,000. That leaves only $2.4bn to pay another
19,000 claims already filed, plus thousands more expected before the
fund closes at the end of 2020.

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Three 14-Year Old Youths and a 12-Year Old Boy Are Accused of Stalking, Kidnapping and Raping a Woman in Baltimore


Three teens, Wilmer Ramos, 14, Philip Worrell, 14, and Nile Campbell, 14, were charged as an adults rape, and an unidentified 12-year old male was also charged with the rape of a 19-year old woman who had exited a bus at 10 pm on February 6. The teens and the boy allegedly approached the woman at gunpoint and forced her into a backyard; the attack was interrupted by neighbors who heard noise.

Three Maryland teens and a 12-year-old boy were charged for raping a 19-year-old woman after she got off a bus in Baltimore, police said.

Wilmer
Ramos, 14, Philip Worrell, 14, and Nile Campbell, 14, were charged as
an adult with first- and second-degree rape on Thursday following the
sexual assault that occurred on Feb. 6, Baltimore police said Saturday.

4 TEENS ACCUSED IN SUSPECTED RAPE OF 18-YEAR-OLD IN IDAHO, REPORT SAYS

A
12-year-old boy who was at the scene when the alleged sex assault
occurred was charged as a juvenile with first-degree rape, third- and
fourth-degree sex offense, conspiracy kidnapping, conspiracy robbery,
perverted practice and handgun on person.

The unidentified woman
got off the bus and was walking about 10 p.m. on Feb. 6 when the teens
and the boy allegedly approached her at gunpoint and forced her into a
backyard. Police said the three teens were sexually assaulting her when
neighbors heard noises and came out of their home, interrupting the
incident.

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The EU’s Copyright Directive Opens the Door to Massively Increase Big Tech Monopolies and Censorship


The EU’s new new Copyright Directive mandates that any online community, platform or service that has existed for three or more years, or is making 10 million euros a year or more, is responsible for ensuring that no user ever posts anything that infringes copyright, even momentarily, which is impossible. All but the largest tech companies will be able to afford automated copyright filters, which would hand them a monopoly while expanding government censorship.  The current Copyright Directive would also allow news sites to decide who can link to their stories and charge for permission to link, which will limit the availability of information and commentary on the news.  Activists are urging Europeans to contact their political representatives to stop the Copyright Directive as the politicians are vulnerable right now, before the European Parliament elections scheduled for May.

Despite ringing denunciations from small EU tech businesses, giant EU entertainment companies, artists’ groups, technical experts, and human rights experts, and the largest body of concerned citizens in EU history, the EU has concluded its “trilogues” on the new Copyright Directive, striking a deal that—amazingly—is worse than any in the Directive’s sordid history.

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Stop Article 13

Goodbye, protections for artists and scientists

The Copyright Directive was always a grab bag of updates to EU
copyright rules—which are long overdue for an overhaul, given that it’s
been 18 years since the last set of rules were ratified. Some of its
clauses gave artists and scientists much-needed protections: artists
were to be protected from the worst ripoffs by entertainment companies,
and scientists could use copyrighted works as raw material for various
kinds of data analysis and scholarship.

Both of these clauses have now been gutted to the point of
uselessness, leaving the giant entertainment companies with unchecked
power to exploit creators and arbitrarily hold back scientific research.

Having dispensed with some of the most positive versions of the
Directive, the trilogues have also managed to make the (unbelievably
dreadful) bad components of the Directive even worse.

A dim future for every made-in-the-EU platform, service and online community

Under the final text, any online community, platform or service that
has existed for three or more years, or is making €10,000,001/year or
more, is responsible for ensuring that no user ever posts anything that
infringes copyright, even momentarily. This is impossible, and the
closest any service can come to it is spending hundreds of millions of
euros to develop automated copyright filters. Those filters will subject
all communications of every European to interception and arbitrary
censorship if a black-box algorithm decides their text, pictures, sounds
or videos are a match for a known copyrighted work. They are a gift to fraudsters and criminals, to say nothing of censors, both government and private.

These filters are unaffordable by all but the largest tech companies,
all based in the USA, and the only way Europe’s homegrown tech sector
can avoid the obligation to deploy them is to stay under ten million
euros per year in revenue, and also shut down after three years.

America’s Big Tech companies would certainly prefer not to have to
install these filters, but the possibility of being able to grow
unchecked, without having to contend with European competitors, is a
pretty good second prize (which is why some of the biggest US tech companies have secretly lobbied for filters).

Amazingly, the tiny, useless exceptions in Article 13 are too generous
for the entertainment industry lobby, and so politicians have given
them a gift to ease the pain: under the final text, every online
community, service or platform is required to make “best efforts” to
license anything their users might conceivably upload, meaning that they
have to buy virtually anything any copyright holder offers to sell
them, at any price, on pain of being liable for infringement if a user
later uploads that work.

News that you’re not allowed to discuss

Article 11, which allows news sites to decide who can link to their
stories and charge for permission to do so, has also been worsened. The
final text clarifies that any link that contains more than “single words
or very short extracts” from a news story must be licensed, with no
exceptions for noncommercial users, nonprofit projects, or even personal
websites with ads or other income sources, no matter how small.

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