Items filtered by date: Friday, 12 January 2018

UCSD DACA Student in ICE Custody After Taking Wrong Turn Into Mexico

The University of California, San Diego senior is among the people waiting to see what happens in the battle over the immigration program for those who entered the U.S. as minors.


A University of California, San Diego senior faces deportation after his roommate made a wrong turn at the U.S.-Mexico border crossing south of San Diego.

Orr Yakobi, 22, is an Israeli citizen who is in the U.S. under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) status. The immigration program allows those who entered the U.S. as minors to stay in the U.S. with some restrictions including traveling outside of the country.

Yakobi and his friend, Ryan Hakim, were shopping at an outlet mall in San Ysidro Sunday when the pair got on southbound Interstate 5 instead of northbound Interstate 805.

"Once we got onto the ramp, we couldn't turn around. We couldn't pull over," Ryan Hakim said. "We were forced into Mexico."

Hakim was behind the wheel and said they had no intention of crossing the border.

"We're freaking out about his documentation. How is he going to get back in? How are we going to get back in," Hakim said.

When the men attempted to return to the U.S, officials with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection stopped the vehicle and checked Yakobi's documentation.

Under the DACA program, he is permitted to stay in the U.S., but cannot leave the country.

As a result, Yakobi was detained at the San Ysidro Port of Entry. Now he's in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement-- detained in Otay Mesa and facing deportation.

"It’s very political. Depending on what the mood of the government is right now, what ICE is willing to do,” Immigration Attorney Jacob Sapichnick said.

His attorney is negotiating his release and getting support from state and federal lawmakers, among others.

“It is unbelievable. In 24 hours we've got Todd Gloria, we've got Scott Peters, we got people from other states," Sapochnick said.

Yakobi, a math and computer science major, was well on his way down the road to success. He was just two classes from graduating and already working as a freelance programmer.

Yakobi was brought to the U.S. by his parents when he was 5 years old.

Yakobi is in good spirits and remains hopeful. Meanwhile, his classmates are garnishing support on campus from students, faculty and administration.

"I want to see Orr back at home. We all just want to give him a big hug," Hakin said. "We want to see him do what he wanted to do with his career. I want to see him achieve his dreams."

Yakobi 's DACA status expires in March. The student was detained because he didn't have a travel permit to leave the country.

His attorney is hoping to bond him out of detention so he might finish school while the case makes its way through the courts.

On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge William Alsup granted a request by California and other plaintiffs to prevent Trump from ending the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program while their lawsuits play out in court.

President Donald Trump says the U.S. court system is -- in his words -- "broken and unfair."

  • Published in U.S.

James Franco's accusers detail allegations

In this Jan. 7, 2018 file photo, James Franco arrives at the 75th annual Golden Globe Awards in Beverly Hills, Calif. Facing accusations by an actress and a filmmaker over alleged sexual misconduct, James Franco said on CBS’ “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” on Tuesday the things he’s heard aren’t accurate but he supports people coming out “because they didn’t have a voice for so long.” (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)


NEW YORK — Several women have made further claims of inappropriate sexual behaviour against James Franco in a Los Angeles Times article .

In the report published Thursday, two former student actresses described negative on-set experiences with the actor-filmmaker while being directed by him. Sarah Tither-Kaplan said in a nude orgy scene three years ago, he removed plastic guards covering the actresses’ groins while simulating sex.

Former students spoke of an unprofessional culture at Franco’s now-closed acting school Studio 4, where he taught a sex scenes class. Two women said Franco became angry shooting a strip club scene when no actresses, who were masked, would go topless. One topless scene filmed during class with Tither-Kaplan was uploaded to Vimeo, she said.

Violet Paley said that during a consensual relationship, Franco once pressured her to perform oral sex in a car and that the “power dynamic was really off.”

On Wednesday night’s “Late Night With Seth Meyers,” Franco said the tweets by Paley and Tither-Kaplan were “not accurate” but he supported the women’s right to express their perspectives. A lawyer and publicist for Franco didn’t respond to queries Thursday. Franco’s attorney, Michael Plonsker, disputed the allegations to the Times.

“There are stories that need to get out, people that need to be heard. I have my own side of this story but I believe that these people have been underrepresented getting their stories out enough that I will hold back things that I could say just because I believe in that so much,” said Franco to Meyers. “If I have to take a knock because I’m not gonna, you know, try and, you know, actively refute things then I will because I believe in it that much.”

Paley and Tither-Kaplan earlier tweeted about their past encounters with Franco after the actor wore a pin supporting the “Time’s Up” initiative for gender equality at Sunday’s Golden Globes. He won the award for best actor in a comedy or musical for “The Disaster Artist.”

Actress Ally Sheedy also said in a since-deleted tweet that Franco was an example of why she left the movie business. Franco on Tuesday told Stephen Colbert on “The Late Show” that he had “no idea” why Sheedy said that. He directed her in a 2014 off-Broadway play.

In 2014, Instagram messages showed Franco apparently trying to hit on a 17-year-old Scottish fan. Afterward Franco said he was “embarrassed” and said social media is “tricky.” ”I used bad judgment and I learned my lesson,“ the actor said then.

  • Published in U.S.

Mediterranean diet a recipe for strength in old age

It's believed that nutrition may play a role in frailty, so researchers reviewed data from four studies to determine if a healthy diet might reduce the risk for frailty. The studies included nearly 5,800 older adults in France, Spain, Italy and China.

They found that following a Mediterranean diet appears to be beneficial. That diet is high in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes and nuts.

The findings were published online Jan. 11 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

"We found the evidence was very consistent that older people who follow a Mediterranean diet had a lower risk of becoming frail," said researcher Kate Walters, from the University College London.

"People who followed a Mediterranean diet the most were overall less than half as likely to become frail over a nearly four-year period compared with those who followed it the least," she said in a journal news release.

However, it's unclear whether people who followed a Mediterranean diet had other factors that may have helped prevent frailty. And the study did not prove that a Mediterranean diet actually caused frailty risk to drop, just that there was an association.

"While the studies we included adjusted for many of the major factors that could be associated -- for example, their age, gender, social class, smoking, alcohol, how much they exercised, and how many health conditions they had -- there may be other factors that were not measured and we could not account for," Walters said.

"We now need large studies that look at whether increasing how much you follow a Mediterranean diet will reduce your risk of becoming frail," she concluded.

More information
The U.S. National Institute on Aging has more about healthy eating and healthy aging.

Copyright © 2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

  • Published in Health

The Connection Between Writing and Sleep

A new study shows journaling helps you fall asleep, but content matters.

Writing before bed helps us get to sleep faster. But what we write about matters.
Worry keeps us awake. Forty percent of American adults say they have difficulty falling asleep at least a few times each month. The most common reason is an inability to stop thinking about...whatever it is you can’t stop thinking about. A project for work. Unpaid bills. That thing you said that you wish you hadn’t. We call it “whirring” in my house.

A new study (link is external) in the Journal of Experimental Psychology suggests an easy an effective solution: Write in a journal for five minutes before bed. But critically, what helps most is not writing about what you accomplished during the day, but writing out your to-do list for tomorrow.

In the study of 57 young adults, scientists from Baylor University and Emory University found that writing to-do lists rather than writing about completed tasks helped people fall asleep an average of nine minutes faster—in about 16 minutes versus 25. That’s an effect size that’s comparable to recent pharmaceutical clinical trials in which people taking sleep aids have fallen asleep nine to ten minutes faster than usual, says lead author Michael Scullin (link is external), a psychological scientist and sleep researcher at Baylor. “This seems to be a quick little thing people can do in the evening not to fall asleep in two minutes, but to fall asleep faster than they probably would have otherwise.”

Previous research has connected writing and lessening of anxiety, and even writing and better sleep, but Scullin’s is the first study to use the gold standard of sleep measurement, EEG, to determine exactly how much faster people fall asleep. And it’s the first to specify the content of the writing.

This news hit unusually close to home for me. One of my Christmas presents was a “Night Thoughts” journal (it says so right on the cover). At bedtime, for the last week, I’ve been diligently writing about what I got done and how I feel about it. Oops. So I called Scullin to ask what he thinks might be at work here.

Why does writing at bedtime help you get to sleep?

Throughout the day, we have all these things cycling through our head. Some of them seem to continue to cycle. There’s something about the act of writing, physically writing something on paper, that tends to offload it a little bit, or help us hit the pause button on it. The outcome seems to be [that] you decrease cognitive arousal, and you decrease rumination and worry. If you decrease those two things, it makes sense that you’re going to fall asleep faster because having stuff on your mind is one of the main barriers to falling asleep at night.

Why would a to-do list be more helpful than a list of completed tasks?

When you have a task that’s unfinished, it’s on your mind a lot more than any task you have completed. If you test people’s memory for things that were unfinished versus things that were completed, people remember the things that were unfinished a lot better. It seems that unfinished tasks rest at what we call a heightened level of cognitive activation. We think that’s the key ingredient. With our day to day lives and work schedule, unfinished tasks pile on one another and create this cognitive activation that’s difficult to set aside. Unless, of course, you write about it.

How might this apply more broadly?

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I’m curious about the generalizability to clinical groups, especially individuals with a specific subtype of insomnia [in which] they’re fine on total sleep time, they just have a lot of difficulty falling asleep. They already have some good treatments. Can we make those current treatments even better? They sometimes incorporate some writing activities, like writing about what you’re anxious about during the day. None of them are incorporating any bedtime writing about to-do lists. The question is: Would adding that on benefit these patients?

Did to-do lists improve sleep in other ways?

Not to statistically significant levels. Sleep onset latency was [always] our primary measurement, but we had one other effect that was trending toward significance. The number of times that people woke up in the middle of the night seemed to be lower. [And anecdotally,] people say, yeah, when I’ve got a lot on my mind, I tend to wake up earlier. So maybe for some people, a to-do list could help you sleep a little bit longer. I’ll be interested to see whether that turns up again in future studies.

The study only looked at one night. Do you think the effect can be sustained?

We haven’t tested that. It could be, yes, because each night you’ve got this big to-do list. But [it’s also true that] the to-do list fluctuates, and how much you accomplish during the day also feeds into that. So maybe it’s going to be most effective on the nights when you have a whole lot of stuff to do, and it’s more likely to be eating at you if you don’t write things down.

Scullin plans to study these open questions. I plan to write a to-do list in that Night Thoughts journal tonight.


Michael K. Scullin et al. "The Effects of Bedtime Writing on Difficulty Falling Asleep: A Polysomnographic Study Comparing To-Do Lists and Completed Activity Lists." Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 2018, Vol. 147, No. 1, 139-146.

  • Published in Tech

Tyler Barriss charged with involuntary manslaughter in Wichita swatting

The man accused of making a false report to Wichita police that ended in an officer fatally shooting a 28-year-old man was charged with involuntary manslaughter, reporting a false alarm and interference with a law enforcement officer in his first court appearance in Wichita.

His bond was set at $500,000.

Bennett says investigation into police officer in swatting case still ongoing

District Attorney Marc Bennett talks on Friday about the charges filed against Tyler Barriss over the alleged swatting call he made to Wichita police last month. Barriss was charged with involuntary manslaughter and made his first appearance in a Kansas courtroom after being extradited from California earlier this week. (Jan. 12, 2018)

Tyler Barriss, 25, was arrested in South Los Angeles on Dec. 29, less than 24 hours after someone called Wichita police claiming there was a homicide and hostage situation at 1033 W. McCormick. A man inside the home — identified by his family as Andrew Finch — opened his door to see why police were outside and was shot by an officer who was in a driveway across the street.

Barriss waived extradition to Kansas last week. He was booked into the Sedgwick County Jail on Thursday afternoon. On a financial affidavit filed Friday, Barriss wrote that he had no address, is unemployed and has not worked in the past 6 months.

During his second short court appearance since his arrest, Barriss was asked to confirm his identity. Asked if he had any questions after his charge was formally read, Barriss answered, “no, I don’t.”

Barriss’ next court appearance will be later this month.

Asked what is happening with the other investigation in the case, involving the shooting, District Attorney Marc Bennett said it’s “still under review by me.”

“Once I make a determination, that will be made public either through charges or through a press conference like I normally do,” he said.

There’s no timeline for when a decision determining if the officer’s action were reasonable will be made, he said.

The case, Bennett said, has been unique and there’s not a lot of previous case law to reference. For that reason, the investigation remains ongoing and the charges against Barriss could be modified.

“I’ll continue to analyze this case,” he said. “While it seems like it’s been in the news now for a long time, hashed and rehashed, in reality, the homicide investigation is still in the early stages.”

The media interest in the story speaks volumes of its uniqueness, Bennett said. A journalist from Germany was at the hearing Friday.

Wichita Police Department has no policy, specific training on ‘swatting,’ chief says

Reports say Barriss was called by someone after a feud between two Call of Duty players broke out over a virtual “friendly kill” during a game on Dec. 28. There was a $1.50 wager over the game.

One of the players allegedly called Barriss and requested he “swat” another player. A man claiming he was responsible for the swatting said he was given an address on McCormick Street by another player, he said during an interview with the DramaAlert channel on YouTube.

There hasn’t yet been a decision on if those players could face charges, Bennett said.

Swatting is the term when someone calls police with a fake story of a serious ongoing crime – like a killing, hostage situation or bomb threat – in an effort to draw a large police presence to an address. It has gained traction in recent years among online gamers.

Police went to the address, expecting to find a homicide victim and two hostages. Instead, Finch opened his front door when he saw police lights outside and didn’t know why. Wichita police say he was given commands to keep his hands raised, but he reached toward his waistline multiple times, police have said.

When he reached his hands up suddenly, police say a officer who was standing in a driveway across the street from Finch shot him. The shooting is still under investigation, police said.

Tyler Barriss at a hearing in Los Angeles on Jan. 3. Tyler Barriss at a hearing in Los Angeles on Jan. 3.


  • Published in U.S.

Steven Seagal accused of raping teenage actor in 1993

Regina Simons, who worked as an extra on the film On Deadly Ground, becomes latest woman to allege sexual misconduct against Hollywood star
‘I was completely caught off guard. Tears were coming down my face,’ said Regina Simons of her encounter with Steven Seagal. Photograph: Kristina Nikishina/Getty Images for Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Russia
The actor and producer Steven Seagal has been accused of rape by an extra who worked on his film On Deadly Ground.

Regina Simons, who was 18 when shooting the film in 1993, told the Wrap that Seagal assaulted her after he invited her to a party at his house. On arrival, she discovered that no one else was there and says she “froze” when Seagal began to have sex with her. Simons said: “I think because of the situation I was completely caught off guard. Tears were coming down my face and I know that it hurt. He was three times my size.”

Simons, a Mormon, also said that after confiding in a bishop, she decided not to come forward at the time due to the stigma that would be attached to the incident in the Mormon community – but had reported it to the police a month ago.

Steven Seagal accused of harassment by Arrested Development actor Portia De Rossi
Read more
Simons’ allegation is the latest in a string of misconduct accusations against Seagal, many of which were reported in November 2017. Actors Portia de Rossi, Julianna Margulies and Rae Dawn Chong all claimed that Seagal had behaved inappropriately at so-called “auditions” in his hotel room or office.

In the wake of these reports, the Dutch former model Faviola Dadis claimed in an Instagram post that Seagal had groped her during a 2002 audition. Dadis said she was told that a female casting director would be present, yet arrived to find only Seagal and a male security guard in the room. According to Dadis, Seagal asked to “act out a romantic scene” before groping her. Dadis said she recently reported the incident to police.

Seagal has not yet responded to any of the allegations made against him.

  • Published in U.S.

Saudi women score right to watch soccer in stadiums

A Saudi woman cheers as she watches a soccer match in Jeddah. (Reuters)
JEDDAH — Women in black abayas and fluorescent orange vests stood at the gates at King Abdullah Stadium, welcoming people into the family section that, for the first time in Saudi Arabia, allowed women to attend a men’s soccer match.

As teams al-Ahli and al-Batin faced each other in the city of Jeddah, women showed up to their first public sporting event in the Kingdom to support the sides with their spouses, children and friends.

The General Sports Authority announced in October that stadiums in Jeddah, Dammam and Riyadh will be set up to accommodate families starting in 2018.

“Honestly this decision should have happened a long time ago,” said Muneera al-Ghamdi, an attendee. “But thank god that it came in the right time, and hopefully what’s to come will be even more beautiful for women.”

The decision to allow women to attend a mixed public sporting event is one of many changes the country has undergone in recent months, hailed as proof of a new progressive trend in the deeply conservative Muslim Kingdom.

On Thursday, Jeddah held Saudi Arabia’s first car exhibition aimed at women, a few months after Saudi Arabia announced it would grant them the right to drive..

A soccer match on Saturday in the capital Riyadh will also be welcoming women fans.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, 32, has been hailed as the face of these changes.

Many young Saudis regard his recent ascent to power as proof their generation is taking a central place in running a country whose patriarchal traditions have for decades made power the province of the old and blocked women’s progress.

“Today the percentage of those who participate in exercise and sports is only 13 percent,” said Hayfaa al-Sabban, who heads a sport organization.

“We aim god willing to raise it to 40 percent by 2030, through several events, and today’s is one of these events.”

  • Published in Sports

Rains might trigger flooding, landslides from southern Luzon to Mindanao

MANILA, Philippines — The tail-end of a cold front and localized thunderstorms will bring rains that might trigger flooding and landslides in the Mimaropa and Bicol regions all the way down to the Visayas and Mindanao on Saturday, January 13, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration said.

The rest of Luzon, including Metro Manila, can expect cloudy skies and scattered rains but otherwise no significant impact from the northeast monsoon, the weather bureau added.

Sea travel could be risky in Luzon and Eastern and Western Visayas where waters are forecast to be rough to very rough.

The rest of the Visayas and the eastern section of Mindanao can expect moderate to rough seas while waters in the rest of Mindanao are forecast to be slight to moderate.


China, DOH break ground for Sarangani drug rehab center

Photo from Chinese embassy of the groundbreaking ceremonies for the drug rehabilitation center in Sarangani province.
MANILA, Philippines — The Chinese embassy and the Department of Health broke ground Friday for one of two drug rehabilitation centers to be built in Mindanao, this one in Sarangani province.

“The Chinese government will always extend a helping hand when our close neighbor and friend is in need,” Chinese embassy economic and commercial counselor Jin Yuan said, adding the project is one of the results of President Rodrigo Duterte’s visit to China in 2016.

The “Dangerous Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center” in Sarangani and another to be built in Agusan del Sur are the first Chinese grant-aid construction projects in the Philippines, the Chinese embassy said.

Each center has a gross floor area of 6,750 square meters, which can fit approximately 150 beds, and will house an admission or administration building, a pavilion/transition villa, a staff house and motor pool building, male and female dormitories , and a multi-purpose covered court, among others.

The construction of the rehabilitation centers is estimated to be completed in 21 months.

Jin also noted the financial assistance China provided after the earthquake in Surigao City and more recently to areas affected by tropical storm “Vinta,” as well as the machines and other equipment for the rehabilitation of war-torn Marawi City.

“I believe (that) under President Duterte’s leadership, together with the efforts of the Philippine people, the disaster-affected areas will soon be rebuilt into even better places,” he said.


NOT FAKE NEWS | PH media fare very well in Pew survey on global attitudes toward coverage

Journalists on coverage. (InterAksyon file by Nonoy Espina)

MANILA, Philippines — Although constantly accused of being “biased” and even peddling “fake news,” Philippine media fared very well in a survey of 38 countries whose publics were asked how they viewed the quality and fairness of news coverage.

The Philippine results of the Pew Research Center’s 2017 Global Attitudes Survey showed that 87 percent of respondents said media did well covering important events, 86 percent said news was covered accurately, 83 percent said coverage of government leaders was done well, and the fewest, 78 percent, said political issues were covered fairly.

This placed the country’s media next only to Tanzania’s, whose media scored 92 percent, 93 percent, 89 percent and 83 percent, respectively, in the same areas.

This pattern was generally consistent among all countries surveyed, with Pew noting that, “while publics around the globe place a premium on politically unbiased news media, this is precisely the performance area, among four asked about, where publics are least likely to say their news media are doing well.”


“A median of only 52 percent across the 38 nations polled say the news media in their country do a good job of reporting on political issues fairly, while 44 percent say they do not,” the non-partisan Washington DC-based think tank said.

“And although majorities of the public in 18 countries say their news media are performing well in this area, attitudes are more negative in the remaining 20 nations surveyed. The most critical are Spain, Greece, South Korea, Lebanon and Chile, where at least six-in-ten say their news media do not do well on reporting the news fairly,” it added.

Here is a summary of the survey’s key findings:

  1. Global publics want politically balanced news, but do not think their news media are doing very well in this area 
  2. Publics around the world follow national and local news more closely than international 
  3. People in poorer countries just as likely to use social media for news as those in wealthier countries 

Pew also noted that “within countries, political identification tends to be the strongest divider of media attitudes, more so than education, age or gender.”

The U.S., where the divide is more defined, placed 24th in the survey, with 61 percent saying media did well covering important events, 56 percent saying news was covered accurately, 58 percent saying coverage of government leaders was done well, and 47 percent saying political issues were covered fairly. 113w, 158w" sizes="(max-width: 311px) 100vw, 311px" style="box-sizing: border-box; display: block; max-width: 100%; height: auto; float: right; margin: 6px 0px 6px 21px;">

Interestingly, however, while the Philippines fared well in how the public viewed media coverage, Pew said the country and Israel “stand as relative exceptions to the strong global consensus” that news organizations should never favor a political party over others.

“In both of these countries, about four-in-ten say it is acceptable for news organizations to sometimes favor one political party over others,” Pew noted.

For the Philippines, this translated to 41 percent saying it was okay for news organizations to be at times biased for one political party, as against 52 percent who said this is never acceptable.

“Trust in government is also related to media satisfaction at the individual level. Within many countries, people who express confidence in the national government are more likely to be satisfied with the news media than those who are less confident,” Pew also noted.

In the country, though the general perception is many government supporters generally disapprove of media, Pew’s survey shows otherwise, with high satisfaction in both government and media.

The survey also found that age is a factor in the type of news people are interested in.

“In 20 countries, people ages 50 and older are significantly more likely than people younger than 30 to closely follow local news,” with the age gap “at least 15 percentage points in 11 of the countries.”

“Only in the Philippines and Brazil is the pattern reversed; there, young people are more likely to follow local news,” it said.

As for accessing news online, Pew said” “Across countries, a global median of 42% say they use the internet to get news at least once a day (either once a day or several times a day). Another 20% go online less than once a day to get news and 35% say they never do so.”

In the Philippines, 20 percent said they get their news online at least once a day.

But while looking for news on the internet was linked to economic status, accessing news through social media “is not strongly related to country-level wealth. People in advanced economies (median of 36%) use social media daily for news at similar rates to those in emerging or developing economies (33%),” Pew noted.

In the Philippines, 27 percent said they use social media to get news daily, with the youth aged 18-29 making up 49 percent of this segment.

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