Teacher keeps $90K job after being late 111 times (BLOG)

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — An elementary school teacher who was allowed to keep his job despite being late for work 111 times in two years said Friday that breakfast is to blame for his tardiness. "I have a bad habit of eating breakfast in the morning, and I lost track of time," 15-year veteran teacher Arnold Anderson told The Associated Press. In a decision filed Aug. 19, an arbitrator in New Jersey rejected an attempt by the Roosevelt Elementary School in New Brunswick to fire Anderson from his $90,000-a-year job, saying he was entitled to progressive discipline. But the arbitrator also criticized Anderson's claim that the quality of his teaching outweighed his tardiness. Anderson was late 46 times in the most recent school year through March 20 and 65 times in the previous school year, the arbitrator said. Anderson said he was one to two minutes late to school "at the most" but was prepared and was never late for class. "I have to cut out eating breakfast at home," he said Friday. Anderson remains suspended without pay until Jan. 1. A message seeking comment was left Friday with the school superintendent's office. The arbitrator found that the district failed to provide Anderson with due process by not providing him with a formal notice of inefficiency or giving him 90 days to correct his failings before terminating his employment. Republican Gov. Chris Christie referenced the case in a tweet on Friday. Christie wrote: "Think I'm too tough on the teachers union? This is what we're dealing with in NJ." Anderson said he was "very upset" to be suspended but conceded that losing his job would have been worse. When he returns to school in January, "I will be early," he said.

Rare 'supermoon' will take over night sky Saturday (BLOG)

WASHINGTON, Aug. 29 (UPI) -- An exceptionally large and bright moon known as a "supermoon" will be visible around the world Saturday night as the moon makes a rare approach to Earth. The moon will make its closest approach to Earth, known as perigee, at 222,631 miles away beginning sundown Saturday. It will appear about 14 percent larger than normal, experts said. On average, the moon is 238,855 miles away. The supermoon is the first of three in the coming weeks, with the next two Sept. 27 and Oct. 27. The term "supermoon" was coined some 30 years ago by astrologer Richard Nolle. Before that, they were referred to as perigee full moons or perigee new moons. The best view will be from the Canary Islands off the coast of Morocco, but sky watchers across the United States and the United Kingdom will be on alert. With the rise and fall of tides connected to the gravitational pull of the moon, there has been some speculation the supermoon will usher in coastal flooding, especially in light of the tropical depression churning in the Gulf of Mexico. "Coastal flooding and storm surge could be higher," Dan Kottlowski, a hurricane researcher for the Pennsylvania-based AccuWeather told the Palm Beach Post. "If Erika gets its act together and then you tack on what the tidal surge will be, it could impact the height of the water."

Drake Cameo at Lil Wayne Fest Creates Friction Between Apple, Tidal (BLOG)

(RollingStone)The cold war between music streaming services heated up Friday night as a surprise collaboration between Drake and Lil Wayne – two rappers scooped up during the artist exclusive arms race – caused friction between Tidal and Apple Music. The situation occurred at Lil Wayne's Lil Weezyana Festival in New Orleans, where Drake stopped by to deliver a brief three-song cameo. One problem: Jay Z's Tidal, which named Lil Wayne as a co-owner in July, was live-streaming the festival, creating a conflict of interest since Drake is Apple Music's marquee signee. As a result of Drake's appearance, the Tidal live-stream had to briefly pause while the Toronto rapper was onstage. "Apple is interfering with artistry and will not allow this artist to stream. Sorry for Big Brother’s inconvenience," the Tidal Twitter notified listeners as Drake took the stage. "We'll be back after the performance." Drake performed "HYFR" with Wayne, his remix of Fetty Wap's "My Way" and "Back to Back" during his unannounced Lil Weezyana appearance. According to the New York Post, as soon as it was confirmed that Drake would stop by the New Orleans festival, which reportedly donated some proceeds to New Orleans-area afterschool programs, Apple Music threatened Tidal with a $20 million lawsuit if Drake showed up on the live-stream. "Legal letters have been sent to Tidal warning that Drake cannot appear on the Tidal stream of the festival, either solo or part of a group, and if the warning was ignored, the liabilities could be up to $20 million," an unnamed source told the newspaper. Representatives from Tidal and Apple Music did not respond to Rolling Stone's request for comment. After months of sparring with his longtime label Cash Money Records, Lil Wayne aligned with Tidal to release his Free Weezy Album on July 4th. The LP's arrival prompted Cash Money to file a $50 million lawsuit against Jay Z's high-quality streaming service, claiming they still had exclusive rights to Wayne's output. Cash Money added that Lil Wayne's Tidal partnership was "a desperate and illegal attempt to save their struggling streaming service." Drake, meanwhile, signed an exclusive deal with Apple Music reportedly with $19 million. As part of the agreement, Drake hosts his own Beats 1 radio show as well as provides the service unique content, like the "Energy" music video. Drake was also on hand to speak about the new music service when Apple announced their new streaming endeavor in early June. Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/drake-cameo-at-lil-wayne-fest-creates-friction-between-apple-tidal-20150829#ixzz3kEEzM011 Follow us: @rollingstone on Twitter | RollingStone on Facebook

Driving while Black is real! Driver pulled over because of Eye Contact (BLOG, VIDEO)

(HipHopWired)Apparently, “driving while Black” is still a crime, especially in the town of Dayton, Ohio. John Felton, a Black man, was visiting his mother in the city when he noticed a police officer was trailing him, most likely due to his out-of-state plates. Since we’re living in a world where a Sandra Bland suicide follows ticky-tack arrests, he did the logical thing and started filming on his cell phone. The video, obtained by The David Pakman Show, revealed racial profiling in the highest sense of the definition. “You’ve been tailing me for how long? You just needed a reason to pull me over,” Felton says after the unidentified white cop tells him he failed to put his turn signal on approximately 100 feet from the corner. “No disrespect, I don’t have nothing against police officers, but all this sh*t that’s going on now? That’s some scary sh*t. To have a police officer just tail you, and then you pull me over, ’cause you said I didn’t signal — what? Do you know how it looks?” After the routine 10-minute wait while the records check out, the officer returns to issue his citation and offered up the real reason he stopped Felton. “Because you made direct eye contact with me, and you held on to it while I was passing you,” the officer said. “What?” an incredulous Felton asked. “I didn’t even see you.” “I’m not gonna argue about it anymore, sir,” the officer continued. “If you want to keep talking, though, I’ll just get your license back and give you a citation for the violation, and we can take it to court. I’m not gonna argue about it anymore.” Had Felton not been filming, there would be no evidence to support the claims when he told people of the flimsy Yet, the evidence is down below. Watch it, starting at the :57 mark. - See more at: http://hiphopwired.com/2015/08/28/ohio-cop-black-man-pulled-over-for-making-eye-contact/#sthash.jeIgkRmf.dpuf

The Beef they didn't show in the Straight Outta Compton Movie (VIDEO)

Straight outta Compton has been a extreme hit! Its watered down version and one-sided accounts from the first two members who left NWA. We found this video that gives you a better view of the beef. They are trying to give a different perception of the beef in 2015 then how it really went down. All of this goes to the conspiracy around Eazy Es Death. Eazy E had Dr. Dre Exclusively as a Artist and a Producer for 6 years. In order for him to be released he still got a portion of his royalties off all of his albums.

Derrick Rose Rape Lawsuit (BLOG)

(YAHOO)Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose has been named in a civil lawsuit alleging that he and two other men drugged a woman, broke into her apartment and raped her. A lawyer for Rose strongly denied the accusation, categorizing it as "completely false and without any factual basis." TMZ reported late Wednesday that the woman who has filed suit, "identified only as Jane Doe," alleges that the 2010-11 NBA Most Valuable Player and two of his longtime friends — Ryan Allen, the younger brother of Memphis Grizzlies guard Tony Allen, and Randall Hampton, identified in a December 2014 New York Times story as "Rose's manager" — committed sexual acts against her will in August 2013. Ron Clements of the Sporting News has more on the suit, filed Wednesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court: According to court documents obtained by Omnisport, a sister company of Sporting News, the woman said she was in a two-year relationship with Rose. She said they met at a Los Angeles party in October 2011 and began texting each other shortly thereafter. They began “meeting regularly and formed an intimate relationship with one another.” The plaintiff claims she met with Rose approximately 12 times in 2011 and about 10 times in 2012, with another five meetings in 2013, ending with the alleged rape. No criminal charges were sought stemming from the alleged incidents. The civil complaint says the woman was "reluctant" to report the rape to authorities because she feared retaliation and "did not wish jail time" for Rose. Instead, she filed a civil lawsuit with hopes of recovering what she says are damages to her life from the alleged incident. In her lawsuit, the civil complaints against Rose, Hampton and Allen are sexual battery, battery, trespassing, conspiracy to trespass and commit rape and battery, a civil action for gender violence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress and a claim for declaratory relief. The plaintiff has requested a trial by jury. As TMZ reported, the complaint alleges that Rose "tried to pressure [the plaintiff] to masturbate in front of him, allow him to have sex with her friends and engage in group sex with strangers, all of which she says she refused," but that she continued her relationship with Rose. The suit also claims that Rose, Hampton and Allen slipped a drug into her drink during a visit to Rose's Beverly Hills, Calif., home on Aug. 26, 2013, and that their pursuit of her continued after she and a friend left Rose's house: They took a cab back to the plaintiff’s Los Angeles apartment, where she claims the three men broke into her home and then forcibly had sex with her. The complaint says the plaintiff "has very little recollection of the events" because she was incapacitated by the drugs but had several "flashes" of memory of specific moments. The woman claims that Allen, who was briefly on the Bulls roster in 2012, called her a month later, stated he “was not aware” the woman was drugged and thought “she had wanted it” while adding that “girls in L.A. ask them to have group sex because they recognize them as NBA players.” It was after this conversation, the woman claims she was encouraged by a friend “to pursue legal action against the men.” The woman says she waited to take action because she felt "ashamed and embarrassed" from the encounter. She also felt concerned over what her "conservative family" would think of her. After news of the complaint broke, Lisa Cohen, Rose's lawyer, denied the allegations against her client in an early Thursday morning statement detailed by Liz Mullen of the Sports Business Journal: The plaintiff's allegations are completely false and without any factual basis. This is nothing more than a desperate attempt to shake down a highly respected and successful athlete. Mr. Rose was in a non-exclusive, consensual sexual relationship with the plaintiff for over two years. The plaintiff expressed no complaints about Mr. Rose until various lawyers began to surface and demand that the plaintiff be paid millions of dollars. This is the third lawyer the plaintiff has retained in this matter. Two years have passed since Mr. Rose ended the consensual relationship with the plaintiff and her claims are as meritless now as they were two years ago. We have complete confidence that the case will be dismissed and that Mr. Rose will be vindicated. This lawsuit is outrageous. Shortly after Cohen issued her statement, the Bulls issued their own: "We just learned about this matter and do not know all the facts. It would be inappropriate to comment further at this time."

Square no more: Instagram allowing landscape and vertical crops now (BLOG)

(LATIMES)Instagram is doing away with a requirement that photos and videos uploaded to the app be cropped into squares, a move that appeases frustrated users but removes some of the simplicity that made it special. Starting Thursday, Instagram is giving users the option to display their photos in landscape and portrait orientations, too. That’ll be a big change for the hugely popular image-sharing app. Instagram, bought by Facebook for $1 billion in 2012, claims 300 million users and about 70 million photo uploads a day on average. When co-founder Kevin Systrom started designing Instagram more than five years ago, older-style, square-shooting cameras such as Polaroids and the Holga he used as a college student inspired him. Squares looked nice on the smaller-screened smartphones of the day. Requiring everyone to use square crops allowed the app to stand out from competitors and created a consistency that added to its clean aesthetic. It also was one less detail people had to consider during editing, making uploading a snappier process. But now displays are bigger, video is more prevalent and Instagram users, including advertisers, are getting more creative with their posts. Square had become too rigid a constraint as apps such as Snapchat turned vertical orientation into a default for millions of teenagers and young adults. Instagram said as much in a prepared statement Thursday: “It turns out that nearly one in five photos or videos people post aren’t in the square format, and we know that it hasn’t been easy to share this type of content on Instagram: friends get cut out of group shots, the subject of your video feels cramped and you can’t capture the Golden Gate Bridge from end to end.” So it’s adjusting to support more orientations, just as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter have in recent months.

President Obama is right that guns kill more Americans than terrorism. So do lots of other things. (BLOG)

(WashingtonPost)In an interview with a local television station in Philadelphia on Wednesday, President Obama drew a distinction between the effects of gun violence and terrorism. "What we know," he told ABC in an interview that will air Thursday, "is that the number of people who die from gun-related incidents around this country dwarfs any deaths that happen through terrorism." Outside of the context of the interview, it's hard to know what point Obama was hoping to make. It's fairly safe to assume, though, that he was contrasting the amount of energy and resources focused on the threat of terrorism in the United States with the amount of attention paid to gun violence. It's incontrovertibly true that more people in America die from gun violence each year than die from terrorism. How "terrorism" is defined can be tricky, as we've noted in the past, but we can look at data compiled by the Global Terrorism Database at the University of Maryland. It estimates that 18 people died in terror attacks in the United States last year — of 3,521 total between 1970 and 2014. By comparison, the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive figures that 8,512 people have been killed by gun violence so far in 2015. That appears to hold true globally, as well. International terrorism deaths have increased over the last few years, the result of the conflict in the Middle East. But comparing data from the Global Terrorism Database to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime -- data that doesn't even include every country, looks only at gun homicides, and includes only a handful of countries for 2010 -- the discrepancy is clear. So: Obama's factual point is accurate. His political one — assuming we're understanding it correctly — is iffier. The data above probably say more about the small effect of terrorism than it does about the large effect of gun violence. Gun violence is real and pervasive, of course, but you could make the same point about fatalities that result from car crashes or from heart disease. The number of people who die from those things dwarfs the number of deaths from terrorism, too. SPONSOR-GENERATED CONTENT From beauty queen to teacher of the year By Airbnb How a first-generation college graduate is helping a new generation of students learn. READ MORE Using data from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (as of 2013) and estimates from the American Cancer Society for 2015, we can compare those factors to 2014 terrorism. There are a lot of other factors that can be overlaid here to add some gray space: preventability, trends, definitions. Regardless, it's clear that terrorism holds an outsized role in political debate for the demonstrated threat it poses to American citizens. It's less clear, using solely the metric of annual deaths, that gun violence should then necessarily be the first priority.

PRS for Music sues SoundCloud for copyright infringement (BLOG)

(MUSICALLY)A problematic year for SoundCloud just got even more challenging: the music-streaming service is being sued for copyright infringement by British collecting society PRS for Music. “After careful consideration, and following five years of unsuccessful negotiations, we now find ourselves in a situation where we have no alternative but to commence legal proceedings against the online music service SoundCloud,” explained the society in an email to its songwriter members. The pair are in dispute over whether SoundCloud even needs a licensing deal with PRS for Music for streams within the UK and Europe: PRS maintains that it does. “We have asked SoundCloud numerous times to recognise their responsibilities to take a licence to stop the infringement of our members’ copyrights but so far our requests have not been met. Therefore we now have no choice but to pursue the issue through the courts,” explained the email. This dispute has been rumbling for a while: PRS says it gave SoundCloud a list of 4,500 songs available on its service “as a sample of our repertoire being used”, but that its response was to remove “250 posts” from its service rather than negotiating a full deal. “Unfortunately, we have no visibility or clarity on SoundCloud’s approach to removing works, so it is not currently clear why these particular posts have been selected by them given the wider issue of infringement that is occurring,” claimed the letter. “Ultimately, it is SoundCloud’s decision as to whether it starts paying for the ongoing use of our members’ music or stops using these works entirely.” In notes provided to journalists, PRS for Music claims that SoundCloud will be defending the lawsuit: “SoundCloud does not accept that it requires a licence for its existing service in the UK and Europe and has informed us that it will be defending the claim. Amongst other defences, SoundCloud is seeking to rely on the European ‘safe harbours’ for online intermediaries, in particular the “hosting” and “mere conduit” defences in Articles 12 and 14 of the E-Commerce Directive (2000/31/EC).” SoundCloud has issued its own statement responding to the news. “It is regrettable that PRS appears to be following this course of action in the midst of an active commercial negotiation with SoundCloud. We believe this approach does not serve the best interests of any of the parties involved, in particular the members of the PRS, many of whom are active users of our platform and who rely on it to share their work and communicate with their fanbase,” said a spokesperson. “SoundCloud is a platform by creators, for creators. No one in the world is doing more to enable creators to build and connect with their audience while protecting the rights of creators, including PRS members. We are working hard to create a platform where all creators can be paid for their work, and already have deals in place with thousands of copyright owners, including record labels, publishers and independent artists.” There’s an important difference between what the two companies are saying: PRS is claiming that SoundCloud doesn’t want to do a deal – “does not accept that it requires a licence” – yet SoundCloud is claiming that the pair are in “an active commercial negotiation” which suggests that it does want a deal. Thus, expect observers of this to fall mainly into two camps: those who see this as a music body rightfully running out of patience with a well-funded tech firm trying to weasel out of its licensing responsibilities; and those who see this as a traditional music-industry strategy of using legal threats as a negotiating tactic to heap pressure on a potential partner. The usual polarisation, in other words. SoundCloud has signed a number of licensing deals in the last year: it inked an agreement with Warner Music Group in November 2014; then the US National Music Publishers Association in May 2015; and indie licensing agency Merlin in June 2015. However, it has been locked in negotiations with major labels Sony Music and Universal Music for some time. This month, it was reported that a deal with UMG was imminent, but Sony has been removing tracks by its artist from SoundCloud after its talks with the streaming service broke down. The PRS legal action is a big headache for SoundCloud. “We have a lot of creators on the platform and only a tiny fraction of those are signed to major labels. We have a much broader content base. It’s really the depth of the content that differentiates the platform,” said co-founder Eric Wahlforss last November, defending the company from being held hostage by any single label. As a collecting society representing thousands of songwriters, though, PRS’ coverage is wider than any label, with the added complexity for SoundCloud of establishing exactly which works (beyond those provided in the initial 4,500-strong list) fall under PRS’ rights umbrella. Uncertainty around its rights situation can hurt SoundCloud in several ways, too. A mooted acquisition by Twitter in 2014 reportedly hit the buffers partly because of licensing (or, rather, the lack of it). Meanwhile, the company’s ability to raise more funding will not be helped by ongoing legal action. The companies and bodies that have licensed SoundCloud have spoken warmly about the company in recent months. “I am thrilled that we could agree on terms that will benefit both creators and the SoundCloud platform that has brought online music access and creativity to a new level,” said NMPA boss David Israelite when its deal was announced. “It is a meeting point between people who are fans of new music in general, and a lot of adventurous people who are active in the way they curate that music,” said Merlin boss Charles Caldas about his agency’s partnership. Yet elsewhere in the industry, there has been a discernible hardening in attitudes towards SoundCloud. “SoundCloud present themselves as the musicians’ friend, for example. I am friends with musicians and I buy them a drink every now and then. SoundCloud haven’t even bought anyone a cup of tea as far as I can tell,” Jane Dyball, head of mechanical-rights body MCPS, told Music Ally in May. Meanwhile Frances Moore, head of global labels body the IFPI, took a jab at SoundCloud in a blog post about artist rights in July: “User upload platforms, such as SoundCloud and YouTube, are taking advantage of exemptions from copyright laws that simply should not apply to them,” she wrote. “Laws that were designed to exempt passive intermediaries from liability in the early days of the internet – so-called ‘safe harbours’ – should never be allowed to exempt active digital music services from having to fairly negotiate licences with rights holders.” SoundCloud is huge: it attracts 175m monthly listeners, with analytics firm Next Big Sound recently claiming that it tracks 4.9 billion song plays on SoundCloud every month, up from 2.5bn a year ago. The company is trying to get a paid subscription service up and running – the other reason it needs to strike licensing deals beyond “not getting sued” – although it has also been rolling out its On SoundCloud advertising scheme, which has paid out more than $2m to participating labels and musicians since August 2014.

Video shows abuse of Tyson chickens used for McDonald’s McNuggets (BLOG)

(WashingtonPost)Chickens used to make McDonald's McNuggets were beaten with a nail attached to a pole, tossed alive into buckets meant for the dead and suffered from leg deformities at a farm under contract with Tyson Foods, according to an animal rights group. Tyson Foods quickly cut its ties with the Tennessee farm after a video showing the alleged abuse was released Thursday by Mercy for Animals, a nonprofit based in Los Angeles that employs workers to infiltrate farms and record animal mistreatment. The video shows "birds painfully beaten, stabbed, and impaled on makeshift clubs" at T&S Farms in Dukedom, Tenn., a statement by the group said. [Your pig almost certainly came from a factory farm, no matter what anyone tells you] Footage also shows factory "farm owners stepping on the heads of live chickens and then pulling their wings or bodies to break their necks, chickens bred to grow so fast they became crippled under their own weight and frequently died from organ failure, hundreds of thousands of birds crammed into filthy, windowless sheds forced to live for weeks in their own waste." What Mercy for Animals called an investigation started July 28 and ended last Sunday, said Matt Rice, a spokesman for the group. The activist applied for a job and used a hidden camera to show workers spiking chickens, then saying, "You didn't see that." The footage was turned over to local police, Rice said. The activist who shot the video was not named. The owners of the farm, Thomas and Susan Blassingame, did not return a voice mail message asking for comment. Tyson Foods issued a statement Thursday saying the company has launched its own investigation, but "based on what we currently know, we are terminating the farmer's contract to grow chickens for us." Tyson said an estimated 125,000 birds have been removed from the farm's barns. "We're especially concerned about the inappropriate methods used to euthanize sick and injured chickens," Tyson said in a statement supplied by spokesman Gary Mickelson. "We're committed to animal well-being but don’t believe this video accurately depicts the treatment of chickens by the thousands of farmers who supply us." Although the farm was in the Tyson supply chain, Mercy for Animals blamed the mistreatment on the global restaurant chain McDonald's. "McDonald’s is one of the largest fast-food chains in the world and a top customer to Tyson Foods," the rights group said. It called on McDonald’s to "adopt meaningful animal welfare policies to end many of the worst forms of animal abuse and neglect in its supply chain." McDonald's said in a statement that it finds the "behavior depicted in this video to be completely unacceptable" and supported Tyson's move to cut off the farm. The statement went on to say that the restaurant is "working with Tyson Foods ... to further investigate this situation and reinforce our expectations around animal health," but wasn't specific about how that is being done. "This is sickening animal abuse no company with morals should support," said Nathan Runkle, president of Mercy for Animals. "McDonald’s has not only the power but also the ethical responsibility to end the worst forms of cruelty to animals in its supply chain.”

Hillary Clinton Has More Than a Million Fake Twitter Followers. What Does It Mean? (BLOG)

(YAHOOTECH)Fake Twitter followers abound among the U.S. presidential candidates as they gear up for the election in 2016. And Hillary Clinton isn’t the only candidate with more than a million of them. GOP frontrunner Donald Trump also has well over a million fake followers. Other candidates have them, too, but not as many (in large part because they don’t have as many followers, period). In fact, almost every person on Twitter has some fake followers. I have them, but since I have relatively few followers compared to real celebrities, I have fewer fake ones. Chances are you have fake followers, too. As far as the election goes, present numbers show Clinton and Trump well ahead of the pack in both presidential polling and Twitter followers — the real and the fake kind. So if we were to consider the size of a candidate’s Twitter following as a kind of crude proxy for political popularity or electability, then questions about what it means to have a large number of fake Twitter followers become even more fascinating. What makes a Twitter follower fake? We found out how abundant fake Twitter users are thanks to a site called TwitterAudit, which analyzes Twitter accounts and then tells you how many of that account’s followers are real and how many are fake. TwitterAudit isn’t the only service that does this. There’s also the StatusPeople site; unlike TwitterAudit, StatusPeople will show you who some of those fake users are, how many it considers actually fake and how many are just inactive. But what, exactly, is a fake follower? “Fake followers are a mix of inactive Twitter users (who signed up but never log on), completely fake users that are created for the sole purpose of following people, and spam bots that are programmatically set up to tweet ads and malicious content,” explained David Caplan, co-founder of TwitterAudit. Clearly, the definition of a fake follower is open to interpretation. Some of the followers that these services consider fake are actually news collection services that harvest tweets and use them to find and publish news stories; when I tweet about this story after it’s posted, those services will pick up that tweet, and then may put this story on their pages, or include a link back to Yahoo Tech. In other words, fake doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not real followers. It could mean that they’re just not individual users who are constantly following, responding, and adding other followers. The obvious question, then, is: Where do those fake followers come from? As you might expect, there’s an app for that — more precisely, a website called Social Followers that promises to add thousands of new names to your list. It certainly shouldn’t be assumed that any of today’s presidential campaigns would need to use a social media blasting service to gain followers that could be considered fakes. These types of accounts also have a propensity to show up on their own — not so much because they’re really fake, but because they’re lurkers who read Twitter feeds but don’t do a lot of tweeting on their own.

Memories, Tears Mark Newscast a Day After on-Air Shootings (BLOG)

(AP)A day after two journalists were slain on live television, their colleagues at a Virginia morning newscast returned to the air with memories, tears and a determination to carry on the victims' dedication to the news. The emotional crescendo of WDBJ-TV's "Mornin'" show on Thursday came when two anchors and a weatherman joined hands to mark a moment of silence at 6:45 a.m., 24 hours after the shooting. "We are approaching a moment that none of us will ever forget," said anchor Kim McBroom, her voice faltering. Pictures of reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were displayed while the show went silent. On-camera, the team kept their composure through tears. "I don't know how to do the weather on a day like this," weatherman Leo Hirsbrunner said. McBroom told him: "Good job, partner. We're going to get through this together." Their struggle was even more visible inside the studio during commercial breaks. Hirsbrunner dabbed his eyes, tried to wave away tears and at one point bent down with his hands on his knees to gather himself off-camera. "It's not easy," McBroom said during a break. Parker's boyfriend and WDBJ anchor Chris Hurst joined them for a short interview. "As soon as we confirmed the news that she had died, I said that it was going to be important for us to share her story," he said. Still, he said he needs some time away from his anchor role. "You won't be seeing me in my normal position for, who really knows how long. But hopefully not too long because Alison would want me back," he said. The show featured a series of news pieces on the shooting, as well as footage from Ward and Parker's assignments together. McBroom thanked an anchor and reporter from a sister station in Missouri for coming to help. They said that Ward's family wasn't ready to discuss the tragedy publicly, but the cameraman was warmly remembered by colleagues. Hirsbrunner told anecdotes about Ward's practical jokes around the office, including covertly placing candy wrappers on the weather desk that Hirsbrunner would see while delivering his segments. Hirsbrunner said he found one Thursday: "I still have one over there this morning, so that kind of touches me here." Concern for the thousands of viewers who saw the shooting also was apparent. A grief expert appeared for a segment on coping with tragedy. Dr. Thomas Milam talked about the importance of giving people space to grieve and comforting children who may have seen footage. He said WDBJ staffers handled the day well, showing that it's OK to be overcome with grief in times of tragedy. "This is a family here," Milam said. "And it's not something that's easily created. Obviously that's the culture of this place, that it's not just a business or an organization, but it is a family." After the two-hour show closed, McBroom and Hirsbrunner cried and hugged at length. McBroom then told a visitor, "I hope that you got to know them a little better over the last two hours. That's all we could do, is share stories."

Lil Wayne's Ex Calls Birdman His Pimp, Talks Drake: 'Dangerous People Are Charismatic' (VIDEO,BLOG)

(DESIGNandTREND)In an interview with VladTV, Steffans spoke about the shooting and also discussed the current court case between Wayne and his former mentor. According to the succesful author, Birdman and Weezy's business relationship is that of a pimp and a prostitute, not a label boss and artist. "I think that there's a father son relationship. I think it's like how a pimp would like to call him daddy," said Karrine. "I think Baby is a great pimp. I think Baby understands the psychology of the human being and how to make someone feel indebted to him forever. I think Baby is super smart in that way ... I think the most dangerous people are charismatic," she added. She also said that her ex should have gotten a bigger piece of the pie, since he stayed loyal to Birdman and Cash Money. "Wayne has carried the label on its back," Karrine stated. "He carried it up until Nicki and Drake came along and that's a long way to go." "When Wayne explained to me how it's set up, Baby gets most of the record. For instance, let's say the album has 20 songs, 11 of those songs for instance belong to Baby. So in the way he put it to me, he was just ready to go," she added. Whether the Young Money spitter will actually get to go, as Steffans puts it, remains to be seen. At this point, the $51 million court case between Weezy and Birdman is still ongoing.

Suge Knight’s Crazy Confessional and the Eazy-E Conspiracy That Won’t Die (BLOG)

(DAILYBEAST)They called him “Sugar Bear.” With his round face, gentle giant demeanor, and lyrical, high-pitched voice, Marion Hugh Knight Jr. was a well-liked kid navigating the mean streets of Compton, California, where he was born and raised. Knight grew into a 6-foot-4 football star, eventually earning an athletic scholarship to UNLV. “He wasn’t a problem guy at all,” said Wayne Nunnely, Knight’s UNLV head coach. “You didn’t really see that street roughness about him.” Nowadays, the name Suge Knight is laced with irony, conjuring up the image of a bald, bearded, and intimidating 315-pound colossus wielding an unlit cigar, seven-carat diamond in his ear, and a diamond-encrusted pinkie ring bearing the letters MOB—allegedly standing for “Member of the Bloods.” It’s also synonymous with a long history of violence, starting with a 1987 assault charge on his then-girlfriend—after grabbing her and sawing off her ponytail—to several shootings, orchestrated hits, and gun charges, to the notorious rumor that Knight played a role in the murder of Tupac Shakur. Knight is currently behind bars on murder charges stemming from a fatal hit-and-run—all caught on video—at a Compton burger joint during a promo shoot for the N.W.A biopic Straight Outta Compton. Knight looms large in Universal’s Compton, which includes a scene wherein Dr. Dre and The D.O.C. are anxious to be released from N.W.A and their label, Ruthless Records, run by N.W.A founder Eazy-E. So Knight and his crew first intimidate Eazy with bats and a pit bull before beating him to a pulp. Dre was freed from his contract and started the gangsta rap label Death Row Records with Knight in 1991. In early 2003, shortly after being released from prison, Knight made an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! where the hip-hop mogul made an off-color remark about the passing of Eazy-E, who died from AIDS complications in 1995. “See, technology is so high, right? So if you shoot somebody, you’re going to jail forever,” he said. “So they got stuff where they get blood from somebody with AIDS, and they shoot you with it. So that’s a slow death—that Eazy-E thing.” And just this week, Yung Eazy, Eazy-E’s third son, posted the Kimmel clip to Instagram accompanied by a message insinuating that Knight killed his father in this very fashion. The Yung Eazy claim comes on the heels of VladTV’s interview with the members of Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, who were close friends of Eazy’s and signed to his Ruthless Records just one year prior to his death, where the group said they agreed with Eazy’s sons’ theory that their father was injected with AIDS. “I mean, me personally, I [agree with that theory] as well. Even to this day, none of his kids, none of his baby mamas, his mistresses, nobody has come up with HIV or nothing like that. So just rationally thinking, something had to go on.” “When you’re about to die from full-blown AIDS, you look like you’re gonna die from AIDS,” they continued. “I’ve seen people that have died from AIDS and they look like they have AIDS. Eazy didn’t look like that at all when he passed away. At all.” “[Dre] had a situation where he beat up a girl, and they were tired of him beating up girls, so he was going to county jail, he broke down and folded up like a lawn chair.” But the odd Kimmel appearance aside, the craziest Knight interview ever occurred one year prior when Knight, again fresh out of jail, sat down on the couch with Howard Stern for a rollercoaster ride of a 45-minute interview rife with wild accusations. And it’s here we should note that Knight is an unstable character prone to embellishment, so these remembrances should all be taken with a grain of salt. Much of Knight’s ire was aimed at Dr. Dre, who, as depicted in Straight Outta Compton, left Death Row Records to start his own label, Aftermath Entertainment, after becoming fed up with Knight’s oft-violent business tactics. During the interview, Knight even alluded to Dre’s domestic violence conviction after he assaulted veejay Dee Barnes. “When Dre—Andre—went to jail, he never even went to county jail. He had a situation where he beat up a girl, and they were tired of him beating up girls, so he was going to county jail, he broke down and folded up like a lawn chair,” Knight told Stern. Before—and after—his prison stint, Suge Knight gave a pair of insane interviews filled with innuendo and wild allegations about Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, and Snoop Dogg. Knight, who seemed to be fired up about Dre allegedly “snitching” on him to his PO, resulting in a restraining order being added to his parole conditions, then opened up about the large number of “closet cases” on the Death Row label, and alleged that Dre was one of them—even claiming that Dre pal and fellow Death Row artist Tupac confronted Dre about his sexuality during a label meeting: “I’m saying he’s gay because there’s a guy named Bruce and they’ve been sleeping together for years,” Knight said. “We had these meetings in the Red Room, and once we had these meetings, you had to put everything on the table. Everybody has some drinks, and wouldn’t nobody lie, because if anybody got caught lyin’, there was always a consequence. So Tupac stood up and said, ‘I’m tired of this! I’m tired of this! Dre, you’s a faggot.’ Dre said, ‘First of all, I’m not a faggot.’ Then [Tupac] said, ‘OK, then you’re a homosexual.’ [Dre] said, ‘I’m not a homosexual. I’m bisexual.’ So [Tupac] said, ‘You’re bisexual? See, that’s another thing I don’t wanna do, I don’t wanna be in the studio doing no songs with a guy who’s pounding other guys in the butt.’ Then Dre said, ‘Pac, I thought you were smart. You still dumb. If I want to pound some butt, I could do a woman. I’m a bisexual because I like to get my cheekbones blown out. I like to get pounded in the butt.’” The genesis of N.W.A surrounded the song “Boyz-n-the-Hood,” which was written by Ice Cube and produced by Dre as a single for the Ruthless Records group HBO, but when they rejected it, became the solo debut for Eazy and N.W.A, and was included on the 1987 compilation mixtape N.W.A and the Posse. Knight shared a story with Stern alleging that HBO assaulted Dre years later over the song, which led to one of Knight’s numerous prison stints. “Two guys came in and Andre had done this song ‘Boyz-n-the-Hood,’ but they didn’t want the song ‘Boyz-n-the-Hood’ because they thought it was too west coast, so [Dre] gave it to Eazy,” claimed Knight. “Now the song blew up and years later, these guys felt [Dre] owed them a song. So they show up to the studio and pimp-slap one of my producers, which is Andre—bitch-slapped him—and said they were going to take one of his songs.” Knight claims he showed up and saved the day. Knight also laid into Snoop Dogg, who left Death Row not long after Dre. He said Snoop, who often sported the color red—which is the color of the Bloods—had to pay his way into various Long Beach Crips (LBC) gangs, and was really a “nice kid” who wasn’t much of a gangster. “There’s only one person that paid money to be involved in the gang, and that’s Snoop. He paid to be in the gang. He’s still not in the gang,” said Knight. “This guy was a really, really nice kid. We gave him an image, true enough… If you look back in the early days, [Snoop] was wearing the red shirts and the burgundy shirts, and one time at the Soul Train Awards he had the whole red flag on Aunt Jemima-style.” He continued: “I talked to Snoop and I said, ‘Listen, you can’t keep goin’ around and being something that’s totally different from the neighborhood you from. You from Long Beach, right? So what do they have in Long Beach? They’ve got 20s, Insanes, they got 19th Streets, they don’t have no Bloods, so you can’t be a Blood, so pick one. I didn’t know he was going to pick all three! He went from Insanes to 20s to 19th Street back to 20s.” “If Snoop would’ve been on a different record company, he would’ve been doing a different kind of music,” added Knight, “but gangster rap is a whole different thing.”

Best Buy Accelerating Apple Watch Rollout to All 1,050 Stores Amid Strong Demand (BLOG)

(MACRUMORS)Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly today announced that the company plans to accelerate support for the Apple Watch by having the wearable device be sold in every one of its 1,050 retail locations across the United States "by the end of September" (via Fortune). The move follows Best Buy's initial plan to deploy retail support for the Apple Watch in just 300 of its stores by the holiday season, but recent strong sales of the device have encouraged the retailer to back Apple in not just Apple Watch support, but with all of the Cupertino company's products. Currently undergoing renovations at 740 locations in the United States are the Apple branded sections of Best Buy's retail stores, "including new fixtures and more display tables for phones, computers, and tablets." The company has already completed the update at 350 of its stores and has plans to get another 170 completed before the holiday shopping rush coming later this year. We've also been working with Apple to update the 740 stores-within-a-store that were first implemented in 2007. The stores-within-a-store will have new Apple fixtures and are larger with more display tables for phones, computers, and tablets. We've already implemented approximately 350 of them, and expect to upgrade a total of approximately 520 by the holidays. The additional display tables are great for the merchandising of Apple Watch, which went on sale at BestBuy.com and in more than 100 of our stores in August. Now, because demand for Apple Watch has been so strong in these stores and online, we are excited to share that beginning September 4 we will be carrying Apple Watch in more than 900 of our big-box stores. Apple Watch will be available in all 1050 of our big-box stores and approximately 30 of our Best Buy Mobile stores by the end of September. Best Buy began selling the Apple Watch in-store and online in early August, along with a few third-party accessories for the wearable, like charging docks and various bands. The retailer will even begin selling AppleCare and AppleCare+ warranty plans in mid-September, no doubt hitting just in time for the launch of the next generation iPhones. Apple has avoided attaching specific sales figures to the Apple Watch, but Best Buy's doubling down on the company's wearable device is no doubt a sign of the Apple Watch's success.

Consumer confidence, housing data signal economy's resilience (BLOG)

(REUTERS) U.S. consumer confidence hit a seven-month high in August and new single-family home sales rebounded in July, suggesting underlying strength in the economy that could still allow the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates this year. Other data on Tuesday showed moderate gains in house prices in June, which should support consumer spending and keep home purchasing affordable, especially for first-time buyers. "This is evidence of the 'some further improvement' in the economy that the Fed is waiting for to raise rates. They are so close, they need just a little more confirmation," said Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at MUFG Union Bank in New York. The Conference Board said its consumer index jumped 10.5 points to 101.5 this month, the highest reading since January, amid optimism over the labor market. The survey, however, was conducted before a global equity markets sell-off that began last week, which has diminished the chances of a U.S. rate hike next month. Although sentiment could retreat in September, economists said any decline was likely to be modest, with U.S. stock markets appearing to stabilize on Tuesday. A strong labor market, lower gasoline prices and an improving housing market also are seen supporting consumer confidence. The survey's so-called labor market differential, which closely correlates to the unemployment rate in the employment report, was the most favorable since January 2008. The share of consumers expecting an increase in incomes slipped, but fewer anticipated a decline. "If this upbeat sentiment is sustained, then it could potentially provide a strong platform for a sustained upswing in consumer spending activity, which could provide a strong tailwind for the economic recovery going forward," said Millan Mulraine, deputy chief economist at TD Securities in New York. In a separate report, the Commerce Department said new home sales increased 5.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 507,000 units. Those sales, which account for 8.3 percent of the market, were up 25.8 percent compared to July of last year. The reports, which added to a steady stream of data that have painted an optimistic picture of the U.S. economy, helped stocks on Wall Street to stage their sharpest rally of the year. Market sentiment was also boosted by China's second interest rate cut in the past two months. The dollar jumped against a basket of currencies, while prices for U.S. Treasuries fell. GAINING STEAM The prospects of a U.S. rate hike next month already had been dealt a blow before the recent global markets turmoil, with the minutes of the Fed's July 28-29 policy meeting highlighting policymakers' concerns about persistently low inflation. "We think that the Fed will not raise rates in September, they need a little time to digest what has happened and we think they will raise in December," said Chris Christopher, an economist at IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Massachusetts. "Prior to Friday, we thought that the Fed would raise rates in September." New home sales rose in three of the four U.S. regions last month, touching a 14-month high in the Northeast. The housing market is gaining steam, with data last week showing home resales jumped to a near 8-1/2-year high in July and groundbreaking on new home building climbing to its highest level since October 2007. The recovery in the sector, which touches almost all spheres of the U.S. economy, is being driven by the tightening labor market. A third report showed the S&P/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas in June gained 5.0 percent year-over-year compared to a gain of 4.9 percent in May. "If the pace of appreciation stabilizes around current levels, it could provide enough incentive to encourage homeowners to put their homes on the market, while encouraging potential homebuyers back into the market," said Lewis Alexander, chief economist at Nomura in New York. The sturdy housing market is boosting homebuilders. Toll Brothers (TOL.N), the largest U.S. luxury home builder, said on Tuesday that orders had risen 16 percent so far in the quarter started in August, outpacing the 12 percent rise in the company's third quarter. The Commerce Department said the stock of new houses for sale increased 1.9 percent to 218,000 last month, the highest level since March 2010. Still, supply remains less than half of what it was at the height of the housing boom. At July's sales pace it would take 5.2 months to clear the supply of houses on the market, down from 5.3 months in June. (Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Additional reporting by Richard Leong and Rodrigo Campos in New York; Editing by Paul Simao)

President Obama says he got hustled on the golf course by a newly-retired Derek Jeter last year (BLOG)

(NYDAILYNEWS)Doesn't Derek Jeter know it's not a good idea to hustle the leader of the free world? President Obama says the Yankee legend, apparently unconcerned about the threat of a nuclear airstrike or economic sanctions, teamed up with Las Vegas Sun publisher Brian Greenspun to steal Obama’s money on a Nevada golf course in November. Speaking at a political fund-raiser at Greenspun's Las Vegas home, Obama said Jeter and Greenspun set him up during a round of golf at Shadow Creek last fall, according to Politico. "He and Derek Jeter stole money from me at Shadow Creek," Obama said. "It was clearly a set-up, because when we got to the practice range, he was shanking balls everywhere. I said, 'You play golf Derek?' And he said, 'I just started two weeks ago.'" Jeter had just retired, but the Yankee great had a golf game. Obama gave Jeter 30 strokes and quickly came to regret it: "We had to take a picture of me handing Derek Jeter money at the end of the game," Obama said. The president called Greenspun "a great friend" even though the newspaper publisher helped Jeter cheat him out of his dough. Obama and Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid brought their star power to the fund-raiser for former Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, who hopes to fill Reid's Senate seat when he retires after the 2016 election. About 104 people paid up to $33,400 each to hear Obama complain — like a Red Sox fan — about Jeter. Jeter returned to the Shadow Creek course in March, four months after the outing where he wagered with the President. In March Jeter hosted his Turn 2 Foundation's first Celebrity Invitational Golf Tournament there, drawing in the likes of Michael Jordan, Ludacris, and Ken Griffey Jr.

The Brilliant Idiots Discuss Suge Knight's Eazy-E AIDS Comment (PODCAST/VIDEO)

(VLADTV) Charlamagne Tha God and Andrew Schulz were back again this week for a new episode of The Brilliant Idiots, in which they discussed "Straight Outta Compton," Jared Fogle's scandal, and much more. One of the biggest topics covered in Hip Hop this week was the NWA biopic "Straight Outta Compton," and the two hosts discussed a scene in which Suge Knight's goons roughed up Eazy-E. Charlamagne then touched on the conspiracy that Suge had something to do with Eazy getting AIDS, which gained more traction after a video was released of Suge mentioning Eazy in a joke about injecting AIDS into enemies. During this week's podcast Charlamagne and Andrew also spoke about how child predators like Jared Fogle should be handled in the eyes of the law, which you can hear more about above.

50 Cent to Produce 'Dogg Pound for Life' Biopic on Snoop, Tupac & Tha Dogg Pound

(MUSICTIMES)Soon after Tha Dogg Pound rapper Daz Dillinger spoke on plans to release a Straight Outta Compton sequel focusing on Tupac Shakur, Snoop Dogg and Tha Dogg Pound, tentatively titled Dogg Pound for Life, Universal Studios has denied any involvement in the project. Ice Cube, who Dillinger had said had approved of the idea, also denied that he ever green-lighted Dogg Pound for Life. Now, Dillinger has said "F*ck Universal," and that he's already found another mogul -- albeit one from New York -- to produce the film: 50 Cent. As Straight Outta Compton has dominated the box-office since its release, moviegoers and hip-hop fans alike have been eager to see an on-screen depiction of what followed the N.W.A. saga. Daz Dillinger recently told TMZ about plans of a Compton sequel ("of sorts") that will focus on Pac, Snoop as well as acts other L.A. acts like Warren G and the late Nate Dogg. Dillinger said neither Dr. Dre nor Ice Cube would be involved in the production, though he confirmed that Cube had given the film his "stamp of approval." Now it is clear that Dre, Cube and Universal will not be involved in the film, and instead the Power star and producer will be one of the film's primary benefactors. Dillinger first broke the news to VladTV, and 50 Cent has since confirmed Dillinger's word, as he posted a screenshot of the VladTV article, and wrote, "Daz know ill get the job done, in a heart beat." He then tagged Snoop Dogg and named Tupac and Tha Dogg Pound -- the assumed main characters of Dogg Pound for Life. There are certainly some stories from that era that are well-suited to the silver screen. Now that Dre, Cube and Universal aren't on board, will the 50 Cent-helmed Dogg Pound for Life live up to the high bar set by Straight Outta Compton?

Cold 187um: If Eazy-E Were More Seasoned He Would've Fired Jerry (VIDEO)

(VLADTV)When Ice Cube left N.W.A., Cold 187um of Above the Law says the whole ordeal was "disheartening" to all those involved. "When that happened it was like everything got exposed," he recalls. "Around Ruthless [Records] it was like a question mark, really. But then you have to think like, we're really young and it's a lot of money coming in, so who knows what's going on?" Big Hutch - who claims he "ghost-produced" on N.W.A.'s "100 Miles and Runnin'" - remembers there being a bit of understood animosity between Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, DJ Yella, MC Ren and Ice Cube around the time Cube departed. "I think that's what people didn't grasp at the time. But it's like, if we're all brothers and we rollin' with something just roll with us," Cold 187um relays to us. If it were up to him, however, Jerry Heller would have gotten the boot before Ice Cube moved on to do his own thing. He feels them all being young at the time played a big part in the group's demise, and had Eazy-E been "more seasoned" he would have known to fire Heller, being that "everybody had question marks" regarding the manager. In the end, Cold 187um has a hell of a lot of respect for Heller, especially since he got his "first legal money from him." "He was really an a**hole in the early days," he remembers, but once he stood up to him that all changed. "If you wasn't one on one with him, he wouldn't respect you." Hear more from Cold 187um regarding Ice Cube leaving N.W.A. and his thoughts on "No Vaseline" in another informative West Coast exclusive.

Stocks rebound as 'Black Monday' turns into 'Turnaround Tuesday' (BLOG)

(USATODAY) U.S. stocks jumped more than 2% Tuesday as Wall Street rebounded from Monday's 588-point drop in the Dow in a stock market rout that sent all the major indexes into official correction territory. Investors were encouraged after five days of intense selling as China cut interest rates for the fifth time since November in an effort to boost its slowing economy. Fears of turmoil in the the world's second-largest economy has spooked markets worldwide and triggered a global sell off. Traders also were in search of bargains after the recent bloodbath, a sell off that put large swaths of the market in a deeply oversold state. “In what's being dubbed ‘Turnaround Tuesday,’ the Dow is soaring today -- up nearly 450 points at its session peak -- paring a big portion of Monday’s mind-boggling losses and reclaiming a foothold atop 16,000,” Karee Venema, analyst at Schaeffer’s Investment Research, told clients in a research note. At around 1:00 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones industrial average was up about 335 points, or 2.1%. The Standard & Poor's 500 index gained 2.2% and the Nasdaq composite index gained 3.2%. "What a difference a day makes," Paul Hickey, co-founder of Bespoke Investment Group told clients in a report before today's opening bell. Monday, the Dow — which was briefly down more than 1,000 points — finished with its second drop of more than 500 points in as many days.The Dow had lost more than 1670 points in five days. The broader Standard & Poor's 500-stock index tumbled into official correction mode for the first time since 2011. Tuesday's rebound rally was broad-based as all 10 sectors of the S&P 500 were higher, with technology stocks leading the way. "Just as insane as yesterday’s moves were, we’re getting an opposite reaction today," Hickey added. "Nothing has changed in the global economy; while the Chinese move is supportive, it didnot kick off the rally. This is an oversold bounce, for now." Hickey, however, reminded investors not to expect a full recovery overnight. "As a reminder, stocks didn’t bottom after the Crash of ’87 until December," he reminded clients. "While we are likely to see a move higher here, it’s also possible we’ll see a retest of lows before every reluctant long is totally flushed out and the markets can truly rally." Heading into today's session Wall Street pros interviewed by USA Today ticked off five things needed for the market to stabilize. The first was more monetary stimulus from China. Other so-called "shock absorbers" were the Fed holding off on interest rate hikes, oil prices bottoming out, pricey stocks getting less pricey and continued signs of strong economic growth in the U.S. Wall Street was also reacting to a strong reading on consumer confidence in August and a solid read on new home sales in July, which rose 5.4% to an annualized sales pace of 507,000 new homes. European stocks also rose sharply as France's CAC 40 index added 4.2% and Germany's DAX index was up 5%. The People's Bank of China said the rate for a one-year loan will be cut 0.25 percentage point to 4.6% and the one-year rate for deposits will fall to 1.75%. The central bank also lowered the amount of crash reserves Chinese banks are required to hold. The announcement was made after the close of Chinese and other Asian markets, which were volatile Tuesday as Chinese stocks plunged again and Tokyo markets also fell sharply after earlier rebounding. The Shanghai composite index declined 7.6% to 2,964.97. The index is now below the psychologically important 3,000 level. On Monday, China's benchmark plummeted 8.5%, triggering a wave of major stock markets losses worldwide, including the Dow, which fell 3.6%. China's smaller Shenzhen composite index also saw sharp declines, falling over 7%. In Tokyo, the benchmark Nikkei 225 index reversed early gains before falling nearly 4%. That followed a 4.6% plunge Monday to the lowest level seen since late February. "Relief, bargain-hunting and the realization that Fed interest rates could be lower for longer are all likely contributors to this morning’s better tone," said Jane Foley, an analyst at Rabobank in London, in comments emailed before China cut rates. Some analysts nevertheless cautioned that the drop in China share prices reflects a necessary market correction. "Investors are overreacting about economic risks in China," Capital Economics said in a research note Tuesday. "A combination of poor data and policy inaction in China may have triggered today's market falls but the bigger picture is that we are witnessing the inevitable implosion of an equity market bubble." Elsewhere across Asia, Hong Kong's Hang Seng, which lost 4.6% Monday, rose 0.7% on Tuesday. Sydney's S&P ASX 200 advanced 2.7%. And Seoul's Kospi index added about 1% after shedding 3% the previous day. China is facing a slowdown in economic growth, the banking system is short of cash, and investors are pulling money out of the country. "More (government) measures are needed to activate the market, like reducing taxes and restoring confidence in the real economy," said Xiao Lei, a senior market analyst at Shiji Jinhang, in Beijing. The steep loses for Chinese stocks came amid reports that Beijing may be censoring negative media coverage of China's financial markets. George Chen, managing editor of Honk Kong's South China Morning Post, shared on Twitter an apparent image of a directive from the Chinese government ordering the removal of five critical articles from mainland China news portals. USA TODAY could not independently verify the authenticity of the order from Beijing. However, for several hours Monday night and Tuesday morning, people in China searching for the term "stock crash" on Chinese search engines were told that "in accordance with the relevant laws, regulations and polices, some search results have not been displayed." Contributing: Greg Toppo in McLean, Va., Hannah Gardner in Beijing and Kim Hjelmgaard in Berlin

Michel'le: Some of My Royalty Checks Still Go to Eazy-E (VIDEO)

Michel'le Toussaint can tell us numerous untold stories from her Ruthless and Death Row Records days, and that's exactly what she does during her interview with us. In this clip, Michel'le recalls when her ex-husband, Suge Knight, appeared around the group and never left her and Dr. Dre's sight. "We started noticing that everywhere we went, we saw Suge. I was scared of him," she recalls. Originally brought to the circle by D.O.C., Michel'le goes on to detail how he took up under anybody who was somebody. "Whoever was there that had some money and a name, he was they['re] bodyguard," she says with a laugh. Another highlight from this clip is Michel'le's recount of Dr. Dre staying out of the loop when it came to the business aspect of things - even when it came to carpet color. "I don't do the business. I just make the music," he would constantly relay to her, especially when she found out about the red carpet at his Interscope Records office. "That was his motto so I shut up," Michel'le tells us. Listen to the L.A. songstress' story and find out why Eazy-E still gets a cut from her music to this day in today's exclusive.

New video surfaces showing Freddie Gray arrest in Baltimore (BLOG)

(Reuters) - A new video has surfaced revealing a key part of the arrest of Freddie Gray, the Baltimore black man whose death from injuries sustained in police custody sparked riots and led to a federal investigation.
Gray died on April 19 from spinal injuries suffered during his arrest a week earlier. His death touched off protests and rioting in the largely black city and heightened national tensions over police treatment of minorities.The video, shot by a bystander and posted on the Baltimore Sun's website on Wednesday, shows officers putting Gray in leg shackles and handcuffs before placing him in a police van head first and on his stomach.
Six officers have been charged in Gray's death, including one with a count of murder. The U.S. Justice Department is investigating the Baltimore Police Department for brutality and civil rights violations.
Officers arrested Gray in west Baltimore for possessing a switchblade knife. They put him in a transport van without securing him with a seat belt, Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby said this month in announcing charges against the officers.
The video lasts a few seconds and shows the van stopped a block away from the arrest site. Gray is halfway out of the wagon, his stomach flat on the floor and his legs hanging off the back.
He does not move as four officers stand over him and place shackles around his ankles. Mosby said he also was put in handcuffs.
She has said that following the stop, Gray sustained a neck injury from being handcuffed, shackled and unrestrained inside the police wagon.
A city surveillance camera recorded part of the scene but did not show Gray at the back of the van, the Sun reported.
Police said in a statement on Twitter that because of a technical glitch footage from the camera was never uploaded to the department's YouTube website with other surveillance video in the case.
Police did not respond for a request for comment about the bystander's video. A Mosby spokeswoman had no immediate comment.
Baltimore has been hit by an upsurge in violence since Gray's death. The city had recorded 96 homicides for 2015 by Tuesday, compared with 69 for the same period last year, and added one overnight, according to the police Twitter feed.
Baltimore has posted 35 murders since Gray's death. That count includes Gray and a 2014 death that was ruled a homicide.

Spotify Adds Video to Music Service (Blog)

Music-streaming service Spotify AB said Wednesday it will expand its ambitions in entertainment by offering video programming and podcasts, a strategy meant to tap into fast-growing areas of digital media.

The closely-held company said its online video content will include news and clips from outlets like ABC, BBC, ESPN, NBC, Comedy Central, Maker Studios and Vice Media.

In addition, Spotify said it is also introducing original content, such as “A Full English,” a show that will feature artists and other personalities who search for common ground over breakfast.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Spotify’s video plans earlier this month.

The company also unveiled a new interface meant to serve up content recommendations based on a user’s taste and mood, and a running service that adapts to a listener’s running tempo.

The moves come as Spotify is facing challenges in its core business. The company has yet to turn a profit in the streaming-music industry, where its rivals include Pandora Media Inc.,Apple Inc.’s Beats and rapper Jay Z’s Tidal. Spotify said in January that it had 60 million users going into 2015, 15 million of which were paying $9.99 a month for its ad-free premium service.

The video foray coincides with talks in which Spotify seeks to raise more than $400 million from investors in a round of funding that would value the company at more than $8.4 billion, The Wall Street Journal has reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Spotify has assembled a deep roster of content partners for the video service. ViacomInc.’s cable network Comedy Central will distribute clips from shows like “Broad City,” while Vice Media will feature clips from its international news reporting team. The videos will be available to both subscribers and nonsubscribers.

Spotify Chief Executive Daniel Ek said that the discussions with media companies began about two years ago, and then heated up recently. “We’ve been threading this space very carefully and thinking about our role,” he said.

Media companies will be paid upfront fees for their programming and will get a cut of the revenue when ads are eventually introduced, according to people familiar with the matter.

Mr. Ek declined to discuss terms of the deals, but said video ads will come to Spotify soon. “We are seeing that as a very important revenue source for us,” he said.

The company’s strategy appears to be different from rival video companies like YouTube that offer an enormous selection of content from all manner of creators. “We are being very selective in terms of what partners we work with and how we take them to this platform,” Mr. Ek said.

Within the Walt Disney Co. media stable, ABC is distributing clips from “ Jimmy KimmelLive,” while ESPN will provide snippets of the documentary series “30 for 30.”

The Web video company Tastemade is co-producing a pair of original series with Spotify, while also planning to deliver content from its vast YouTube library.

Steven Kydd, Tastemade’s co-founder, said the deal with Spotify happened very quickly over the past few weeks. He had yet to see the video product until today.

“As a user of the product, you can see how the personalization really works. I have to believe they are going to bring the same thoughtfulness to discovery of content as they have for music,” Mr. Kydd said.

Write to Mike Shields at mike.shields@wsj.com and Chelsey Dulaney atChelsey.Dulaney@wsj.com

Biker arrested in Waco is former San Antonio vice cop (BLOG)

(CNN)An ex-vice detective who embraced the culture of a reputed outlaw biker gang.
A 62-year-old who posts images of his ailing mother with her pooch in one Facebook post and raunchy sex jokes in the next.
A man who poses alongside his son, middle finger to the air, then lauds his work with special needs children and extols the blessing of healthy grandchildren.
Much like the black-and-white goatee he has been rocking since at least 2013, Marty Lewis represents a dichotomy.
Bond set at $1 million for suspects in Waco shooting
Bond set at $1 million for suspects in Waco shooting 02:04
Lewis is one of the 170 bikers arrested and charged with engaging in organized criminal activity after a brawl and shootout at a Waco, Texas, restaurant left nine bikers dead. He remained in the McLennan County Jail on Wednesday with many of his biker brethren, unable to post the $1 million bail set by a judge.
The chaos in Waco began when motorcycle gangs converged on the Twin Peaks restaurant for a Sunday meeting and an uninvited gang showed up, police say. An altercation spilled from the bathroom to the bar to the patio to the parking lot as the bikers beat, stabbed and shot each other before turning their weapons on law enforcement, according to police.
    Just over a decade ago, Lewis could have been the one putting folks in cuffs.
    He was a detective and worked in the vice unit at the San Antonio Police Department for 32 years, retiring in February 2004, according to a police statement.
    "As far as my office is aware, he was a vice detective. Our vice unit primarily investigates prostitution, gambling, and liquor violations. At this point, we don't have info that he was ever assigned to infiltrate a gang," San Antonio police spokesman Sgt. Javier Salazar told CNN.
    Police have not announced the gangs involved in the deadly violence, but it's been widely reported that the Bandidos and Cossacks were the principal participants in the shootout. While the U.S. Justice Department casts the Bandidos as a criminal enterprise involved in drug production and trafficking, longtime member Jimmy Graves told CNN that isn't the case.
    Bandidos' history of criminal activity
    Bandidos' history of criminal activity 02:43
    "We are not a gang. We do not do gang things. We are not affiliated with gangs," he said.
    Older photos on Lewis' Facebook page show him wearing the logos of Texas' Los Patrons Motorcycle Club with a few Bandidos patches, such as the acronym S.Y.L.B., short for "support your local Bandidos."
    At some point in 2014, he traded in that black leather vest with the braided trim for a suede, button-up vest bearing only the trademark red-and-yellow patches of the Bandidos.
    His most recent images show him in another black vest with red trim and red-and-yellow patches, including one that says "Valerosos," the Spanish plural for brave, and another that says, "FTW," which can mean "forever two wheels" or "f*** the world."
    His likes on Facebook include motorcycle outfitters and other clubs, and he boasts dozens of friends posing alongside their choppers or using Bandidos logos as their profile images. Many have blacked out their profile images in what appears to be a response to the deadly Waco shootout.
    Lewis talks on Facebook about being a 1%er. Some say it is a reference to a decades-old American Motorcycle Association assertion that 99% of bikers were law-abiding and family-oriented, but the AMA disputes ever making the statement. Other self-proclaimed 1%ers say it simply signifies a nonconformist attitude toward society.
    The Bandidos website says, "We are a 1% motorcycle club. We live our lives without excuses and give respect where it is earned. You can say anything you want about us as long as it's the truth."
    Alongside the selfies at Bandidos shindigs -- many with Lewis shooting birds at the camera -- and the jokes about boozing, masturbation and sex toys are plenty of posts about family and Christmas, including one about how the Temptations' rendition of " 'Silent Night' takes a brother back." He also jokes about a 16-cent check he received from his Harley-Davidson stock holdings.
    "Drinks on me," he quipped.
    He also posted several photos of his mom, some in which she's cuddling her beloved dog and another in which she's decked out in Bandidos regalia, and days later added an image of an elderly white woman showing off her "f*** the police" chest tattoo.
    In February 2014, he thanked his friends who had texted or called with "words of comfort" after his mom's death a few days earlier.
    "Mom I Love You and I'll finish by say'n "Well Done," he wrote.
    In October, responding to a woman sharing the news that her daughter had just had a baby, he shared a warm congratulations.
    "That is a bless'n," he wrote. "I work with special need kids everyday and folk don't know how lucky they are to have healthy children...These kids just warm your heart and makes me realize that I'm so lucky to have had all my kids and grands born healthy."

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