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South Korean executives jailed for humidifier cleaner deaths

Fri, 2017-01-06

SEOUL, South Korea: A South Korean court sentenced the former head of Oxy Reckitt Benckiser to seven years in prison Friday after the company’s disinfectant for humidifiers killed scores of people and left hundreds with permanent lung damage.
The Seoul Central District Court ruled that Shin Hyun-woo, Oxy chief from 1991-2005, was guilty of accidental homicide and falsely advertising the deadly product as being safe even for children. Seven years is the maximum prison term the court could issue.
Choi Chang-young, chief judge of the case, said the disaster could have been prevented if Shin and others in the company, a subsidiary of British consumer goods company Reckitt Benckiser Group Plc, had tried to ensure the chemicals’ safety.
Former and current officials at Oxy’s research and development department were also sentenced to prison terms of between five and seven years. However, the judge acquitted John Lee, Google Korea’s CEO, who was chief at Oxy Reckitt Benckiser from 2005 to 2010, citing a lack of evidence proving he knew about the products’ risks while in charge.
Executives at Lotte Mart, Homeplus and other retailers were also found guilty and sentenced to prison terms of three to five years for selling the toxic product without assuring its safety.
The consumer product disaster affected many households in South Korea, where infants and pregnant women often battle dry winter seasons with humidifiers, and the rulings could set a precedent for punishing businesses that put profit ahead of safety.
Businesses have resisted such efforts.
The fatal disinfectant was first sold by Oxy in 2001 and later by other companies seeking to tap demand from hygiene-conscious consumers. The hazards of breathing in the disinfectants were discovered only in 2011, when authorities investigated mysterious lung diseases that were killing pregnant women and concluded the disinfectants were to blame.
The government halted sales and urged victims to come forward to report their cases. After prosecutors launched investigations, Reckitt Benckiser, whose products caused the most injuries and deaths, apologized last year and promised to compensate them.
More than 5,000 cases believed to be related to the disinfectant products had been reported to the government as of December, including about a thousand deaths. The government is still reviewing cases.
A group of victims said Friday they were unhappy with the ruling since prosecutors had sought harsher sentences for those implicated in the case. Prosecutors had urged that Shin be sentenced to 20 years in prison.

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Time for US President-elect Trump to ‘grow up’, says VP Biden

Associated Press
Fri, 2017-01-06

WASHINGTON: Vice President Joe Biden told President-elect Donald Trump Thursday to “grow up.”
Biden dismissed Trump’s complaint on Twitter about how the Obama administration has handled the transition. The vice president told “PBS NewsHour” in an interview that it’s time for Trump “to be an adult.”
Biden said to Trump: “You’re president. You’ve got to do something. Show us what you have.”
The vice president also said that Trump as president will have to propose legislation that Congress and the public can then assess. He said that it’ll be “much clearer what he’s for and against” once he’s in the position of governing.
Vice President Joe Biden says it’s “dangerous” for President-elect Donald Trump to publicly criticize the US intelligence community.
Biden also said it’s “absolutely mindless” for a president not to have confidence in or listen to the intelligence agencies. The vice president said it would be legitimate to question intelligence and ask for more detail or disagree. But he said that’s different than Trump claiming he knows more than the intelligence agencies.
Biden said that’s like saying, “I know more about physics than my professor.” He says that’s worrisome, but he assumes Trump’s behavior will change. He said that Trump is surrounding himself with “very smart people” like retired Marine Corps Gen. James Mattis, the billionaire businessman’s pick for defense secretary.

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After Move To Canada, Wayback Machine Launches Trump Video Library, Complete With “Fact Checks”

Back in November we noted that the Internet Archive (Wayback Machine) had announced plans to move their servers to Canada out of fear of censorship under the new Trump administration, saying “on November 9th in America, we woke up to a new administration promising radical change.”  The decision struck us as somewhat odd at the time given the website’s seemingly innocuous content. 

That said, the decision is becoming much more clear with today’s announcement that the company will launch a “Trump Archive” with 520 hours of Trump-specific video including 700 televised speech and intereviews from the 2015/2016 campaign cycle.  And wouldn’t you know it, many of the videos in the archive will come with convenient “fact checks.”  Per The Hill:

The Trump Archive houses more than 520 hours of video of the president-elect, including more than 700 televised speeches, interviews and debates, according to an announcement on the Internet Archive’s website.


More than 500 of the Trump videos link to fact checks evaluating the veracity of the televised statement.


In the announcement, Nancy Watzman, the managing editor of the Internet Archive’s television section, said that the archive is inviting journalists and researchers to help suggest additions to the online Trump library.

Yes, and we’re sure the “fact checks” will be completely “fact based.”

Perhaps the Internet Archive could have their fact checkers provide a quick assessment of the following video…we’re sure it’s completely accurate but just would like a second opinion.


* * *

For those who missed it, here is what we previously wrote about Wayback’s move to Canada.

Before November 8th a whole host of celebrities vowed to leave the United States if Trump won the presidency (see “These Are The Celebrities Who Vowed To Leave America If Trump Wins“).  As far as we know, George Lopez is the only one to subsequently confirm that he will actually be leaving the country despite numerous offers of free private planes and chefs to Lena Dunham to follow through on her pledge…unfortunately she still hasn’t taken the bait.

That said, it looks as though Trump’s victory has claimed one other defector: The Wayback Machine.  The webpage archiving site has announced that after waking up on November 9th “to a new administration promising radical change” they have decided to move their operations to Canada.

So this year, we have set a new goal: to create a copy of Internet Archive’s digital collections in another country. We are building the Internet Archive of Canada because, to quote our friends at LOCKSS, “lots of copies keep stuff safe.” This project will cost millions. So this is the one time of the year I will ask you: please make a tax-deductible donation to help make sure the Internet Archive lasts forever.


On November 9th in America, we woke up to a new administration promising radical change. It was a firm reminder that institutions like ours, built for the long-term, need to design for change.


For us, it means keeping our cultural materials safe, private and perpetually accessible. It means preparing for a Web that may face greater restrictions.


It means serving patrons in a world in which government surveillance is not going away; indeed it looks like it will increase.



Of course, the announcement also came with a plea for donations:

You may not know this, but your support for the Internet Archive makes more than 3 million e-books available for free to millions of Open Library patrons around the world.


Your support has fueled the work of journalists who used our Political TV Ad Archive in their fact-checking of candidates’ claims.


It keeps the Wayback Machine going, saving 300 million Web pages each week, so no one will ever be able to change the past just because there is no digital record of it. The Web needs a memory, the ability to look back.


If you find our work has been useful to you, please take a minute to donate whatever you can afford today. Help ensure the Internet Archive lasts forever.  I promise you—It will be money well spent.

But don’t worry, we’re sure this isn’t just another Jill Steinesque fundraising scam to take advantage of disaffected Hillary supporters who will give money to almost anyone who opposes Trump….so go ahead and donate away young snowflakes.

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التحليل الفني للنفط 06/01/2017

النفط سعر النفط يظهر تداولات إيجابية هادئة مبتعداً بشكل تدريجي عن المتوسط المتحرك 50، وهذا يدعم استمرار سيناريو الاتجاه الرئيسي الصاعد خلال الجلسات القادمة، بانتظار اختبار القمة المسجلة مسبقاً عند 55.27 كهدف رئيسي أول، والذي يمثل اختراقه مفتاح امتداد مكاسب النفط لتصل إلى 56.50. وبالتالي، نحن بانتظار مزيد من الارتفاع على المدى اللحظي والقصير، مع الانتباه […]

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Why migration is killing babies in this Indian village

Author: Roli Srivastava | ReutersThu, 2017-01-05ID: 1483686442187272400KHOCK, India: As Soni Wadwi breastfed her one-year-old son, Sonu, outside her hut in Khoch village, western India, she recounted how he almost died from severe malnutritio…