Hackers Broke Into Real News Sites to Plant Fake Stories ; Employers Require Coronavirus Liability Waivers as Conflict Mounts Over Workplace Safety ; and More Picks 8/6

Hackers Broke Into Real News Sites to Plant Fake Stories (Mili)

The author writes, “Security firm FireEye released a report on a disinformation-focused group it’s calling Ghostwriter. The propagandists have created and disseminated disinformation since at least March 2017, with a focus on undermining NATO and the US troops in Poland and the Baltics; they’ve posted fake content on everything from social media to pro-Russian news websites. In some cases, FireEye says, Ghostwriter has deployed a bolder tactic: hacking the content management systems of news websites to post their own stories. They then disseminate their literal fake news with spoofed emails, social media, and even op-eds the propagandists write on other sites that accept user-generated content.”

As US Police Struggle to Hire, Next Generation Cops Seek More Humane Approach (Dana)

The authors write, “Growing concern among young officers and cadets about racism and brutality in U.S. law enforcement after Floyd’s death is the latest complication for police recruiters already struggling to hire and retain new cops. Drops in the number of recruits and increases in officers heading for retirement are so dramatic that the Police Education Research Foundation (PERF) dubbed it a ‘workforce crisis.’ … As local governments curb police powers, and Congress pushes reform bills, some of the police workforce of the future is also beginning to question how policing is done and their role in it. This next generation wants better training; a more transparent, flexible and accountable police presence; and closer ties to the communities they serve.”

Employers Require Coronavirus Liability Waivers as Conflict Mounts Over Workplace Safety (Reader Steve)

From the San Francisco Chronicle: “After spending a May day preparing her classroom to reopen for preschoolers, Ana Aguilar was informed that the tots would not have to wear face masks when they came back. What’s more, she had to sign a form agreeing not to sue the school if she caught the coronavirus or suffered any injury from it while working there. Other teachers signed the form distributed by the Montessori Schools of Irvine, but Aguilar said she felt uncomfortable, although it stipulated that staff members would be masked. At 23, she has a compromised immune system and was also worried that she could pass the coronavirus on to her fiance and other family members. Aguilar refused to sign, and a week later she was fired.”

Louisiana State Court Won’t Review Life Sentence for Man Convicted of Attempting to Steal Hedge Clippers (DonkeyHotey)

From the Lens: “In a lone dissent, Louisiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Bernette Johnson wrote that Bryant’s ‘life sentence for a failed attempt to steal a set of hedge clippers is grossly out of proportion to the crime and serves no legitimate penal purpose.’ She also called the habitual offender laws that were used to convict Bryant the ‘modern manifestation’ of ‘Pig Laws’ —  which were implemented following Reconstruction and introduced extreme punishments for property crime associated with poverty, according to Johnson.”

The Sights, Sounds, and Smells of Rural France May Soon Be Protected by Law (Dana)

The author writes, “As ‘neo-rurals’ move from cities to small villages, and cities themselves expand to encroach on the rural communities that surround them, more complaints against the sights, sounds, and smells of country living have made their way to French courts and into local newspapers. There were the vacationers who wanted to exterminate the buzzing cicadas on their property in Provence, the woman sued by newly arrived neighbors for raising ducks—which she’d been doing for 36 years before the neighbors moved in—and a seven-year legal battle over noisy frogs in a backyard pond. With many of these complaints, the mayors of these small rural communities are asked to step in, though most are reluctant to do so … Some of these fed up mayors have begun posting signs in their villages to warn visitors that things like church bells, roosters, and flocks of sheep are all part of the rural package. ‘If you can’t handle that, you’re in the wrong place,’ one reads.”


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