TIME Social Media

Reddit Bans Groups Where Users Have Been Sharing Celebrity Nudes

Actress Jennifer Lawrence attends the Christian Dior show as part of Paris Fashion Week — Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014-2015
Rindoff/Dufour—2014 Rindoff/Dufour Actress Jennifer Lawrence attends the Christian Dior show as part of Paris Fashion Week — Haute Couture Fall/Winter 2014-2015

Reddit says the groups were not removed in response to outside pressure to prohibit the sharing of links to leaked celebrity nudes

Reddit has banned controversial groups that have been a hub for leaked celebrity nudes over the past week, though the site says the move wasn’t a result of it buckling to outside pressure.

Reddit says “subreddits” like “r/TheFappening” and others were banned for violating the typically freewheeling site’s community rules after they were covered in links to nude photos that were released following a massive hack of celebrities’ iCloud accounts. The move is unusual for the site, whose small management team typically embraces a hands-off approach to community moderation, leaving it up to the thousands of subcommunities to self-police themselves. Some Reddit users were angered by the move, though Reddit’s team said the situation became particularly untenable when it was realized that some of the links pointed to lewd photos of underage celebrities.

“We put up a blog post explaining why we don’t ban things for reason X (which some people want us to, but we will not), but at the same time behavior in a subreddit started violating reason Y (a pre-existing and valid rule for which we do ban things) and we banned it, resulting in much confusion,” Reddit’s explanation of the ban reads.

Reddit has complied with legal requests under copyright law to not allow the posting of the stolen images, but the site did not initially obstruct the dissemination of links to the photos. Reddit said in a blog post it has no plans to change existing policy in response to the recent events.

“Reddit’s platform is structurally based on the ability for people to distribute, promote, and highlight textual materials as well as links to images and other media,” Reddit’s blog post reads. “We understand the harm that misusing our site does to the victims of this theft, and we deeply sympathize.”

TIME tennis

Kei Nishikori Becomes First Asian Male Player to Reach Grand Slam Singles Final

Kei Nishikori became the first Asian male player to reach a Grand Slam singles men’s final Saturday, upsetting number one Novak Djokovic in the U.S. Open semifinals. Nishikori will now go on to play Marin Cilic, who bested crowd favorite Roger Federer at Arthur Ashe Stadium in Flushing, Queens, at the men’s singles final on Monday.

TIME North Korea

American Detained in North Korea Going on Trial This Week

Matthew Todd Miller
AP In this Aug. 1, 2014 file image taken from video, U.S. citizen Matthew Todd Miller, of Bakersfield, Calif., speaks at an undisclosed location in North Korea.

Matthew Miller will go to trial on Sept. 14

An American recently detained in North Korea is set to go to trial this week, according to Reuters citing North Korean state news agency KCNA.

Matthew Miller, 26, will go to trial on Sept. 14. Miller, originally from Bakersfield, Calif., was arrested in April for allegedly destroying his visa when he arrived in North Korea.

Miller is one of three Americans being held in the country. Jeffrey Fowle was arrested this spring for leaving a Bible in a club after entering the country in late April. Kenneth Bae has reportedly been detained since 2012 for what Pyongyang says was a plot to overthrow the state.

The Americans have called for the U.S. to intervene and secure their release, speaking out in rare interviews with CNN and the Associated Press. In an recent interview with CNN, Miller said “my situation is very urgent, that very soon I am going to trial, and I would directly be sent to prison.”

[Reuters]

TIME Iraq

U.S. Launches New Air Strikes in Iraq to Protect Dams

The U.S. has conducted 138 airstrikes in Iraq so far

Updated 10:31 a.m.

The U.S. launched a series of airstrikes against Islamic militants in western Iraq this weekend to protect vital dams, the Pentagon said. The new airstrikes targeted fighters from the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS) operating near western Iraq’s Haditha Dam and Mosul Dam.

“At the request of the Government of Iraq, the U.S. military today conducted coordinated airstrikes against [ISIS] terrorists in the vicinity of the Haditha Dam in Anbar province,” Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement. “We conducted these strikes to prevent terrorists from further threatening the security of the dam, which remains under control of Iraqi Security Forces, with support from Sunni tribes.”

National Security Council Spokesperson Caitlin Hayden said the Haditha strikes were carried out “at the direction of the President and in coordination with the Government of Iraq.”

The Pentagon said in a separate statement that “additionally, an attack aircraft conducted one airstrike against ISIL near Mosul Dam on Saturday in support of Iraqi security forces protecting Mosul Dam.” The U.S. had previously carried out airstrikes to protect the Mosul Dam, but the operations near the Haditha Dam were new.

The Pentagon said it ordered the strikes to protect U.S. personnel and support Iraqi security forces. “We will continue to conduct operations as needed in support of the Iraqi Security Forces and the Sunni tribes, working with those forces securing Haditha Dam,” Kirby said.

This weekend’s strikes brings the total number of recent U.S. bombings in Iraq to 138.

TIME 2014 Election

Veterans Groups Among the Most Vicious 2014 Campaign Attack Dogs

John Soltz
Dennis Cook—AP Iraq war veteran and VoteVets.org co-founder and chairman Jon Soltz, gestures during a meeting on Capitol Hill in Washington in this Feb. 7, 2007, file photo.

In the 2014 campaign cycle veterans groups are painting a worrying picture of candidates support for our nation's service members

The new ad released this week is grim, from start to finish. “Senator McConnell, I did my duty. But after 30 years in Washington, you failed to do yours,” says Vietnam War Veteran Charles Erwin, after slowly walking with a cane towards the camera as his current illnesses flash on the screen: diabetes, cancer, heart disease, stroke.

The alleged failure by Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell is his decision to oppose a $21 billion Department of Veteran’s Affairs reform bill in favor of the $16.3 billion bill that eventually passed this summer. And group paying for the ad, VoteVets, claims to have only the most noble of intentions—”to ensure that troops abroad have what they need to complete their missions, and receive the care they deserve when they get home.”

But McConnell has cried foul. Much of the board of VoteVets is made up of Democratic donors and strategists, people like former Bill Clinton personal aide Douglas Band and former Clinton White House adviser Elaine Kamarck, who have only tangential ties to military service. And the public records that are available show that the group has a history of taking money from interests groups far afield of veterans issues to pay for political attacks against Republican candidates under the cover of defending those who have served the nation in wartime.

Distinguishing raw political attacks from traditional veterans advocacy has long been a conundrum for American voters. Most famously, Republican donors banded together to fund Swift Boat Veterans for Truth in 2004, a group that attempted to savage Democratic candidate John Kerry’s military service based on sometimes spurious claims. But the tactic has only increased since then. This cycle, in addition to VoteVets.org, a conservative group called Concerned Veterans of America has been attacking Democratic candidates in contested races with costly advertising. That group is run by veteran Pete Hegseth, a former finance chair for the Minnesota Republican Party and one-time Republican Senate candidate, and has been tied by ProPublica through tax forms to groups funded by conservative donors Charles and David Koch. “Under her watch, things got worse,” claims a recent Concerned Veterans television spot that ties Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina to the recent scandals at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

VoteVets received almost $4 million from environmental groups in 2010, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks campaign efforts. That same year, the organization spent $3.2 million on ads both promoting candidates and a climate change bill. In 2013, VoteVets received $420,000 from the progressive PAC America Votes. And according to Politico, environmental activist Tom Steyer’s climate action PAC NextGEN gave $250,000 to VoteVets this August. As a registered 501(c )4 organization, VoteVets is not legally required to disclose its donors making it hard for voters in states where their ads appear to know just who supports them. So far in 2014, VoteVets ads have appeared in Montana, Colorado, Michigan, Alaska, Massachusetts, Iowa, and Hawaii. Jon Soltz, an Iraq war veteran who runs the group, declined to tell TIME who paid for the $300,000 ad buy in Kentucky this wake, though he said his group’s primary concern is “making sure our nation’s veterans are taken care of.”

McConnell’s campaign dismisses the group as a front “funded by environmental activists with a political agenda that is decisively anti-Kentucky,” as McConnell campaign spokesperson Allison Moore said in a statement. “Of course a liberal Obama advocacy group that specializes in misleading ads has descended into Kentucky on behalf of Alison Lundergan Grimes,” she said.

By tradition, the larger established veterans advocacy groups refuse to engage in electoral politics. Marty Goley, the Department of Kentucky Commander for the American Legion wouldn’t get into the politics of the ad, but said the VA system in Kentucky is “strong.” “Even though there may be some slight access issues we have a good program in Kentucky,” Goley told TIME. “I’ve been a veteran that needed health care. The care I received at the VA in Kentucky was excellent.”

The national chapter of the American Legion, one of the nation’s largest veterans groups, would not comment on the ad or the back-and-forth in Kentucky.

TIME equality

These Are the Best and Worst States for Women’s Job Equality

Women in D.C. have a median income of $60,000

Washington, D.C., is the best place for women’s workforce equality in the U.S., according to new analysis by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research.

 

MAP
Courtesy of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research

 

According to the report, women in the District have a median annual income of $60,000, which is double the median income of women in West Virginia, the state ranked lowest in women’s employment and earnings. Each state was given a letter grade based on the median annual income of women who work full time, the earnings ratio between full-time men and women, the percent of women in the labor force and the percent of women in managerial or professional occupations. In each category, the District of Columbia ranked first, with neighboring state Maryland nabbing the second highest ranking in percent of employed women and median annual income.

Among the other top-ranking states: Minnesota, Colorado, Virginia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut and New Jersey.

“Top ranked states are doing a better job of making use of women’s economic contributions,” Heidi Hartmann,President of IWPR, said in a release about the report, “Ensuring women have access to training and education, working to place women in top jobs.”

She adds, “While these factors impact women individually, they also contribute to overall economic growth and strong economies in these states. Public policies also make a difference and voters and candidates should pay attention to these results.”

The majority of the 14 states that received the lowest ranking were in the South: Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee all joined West Virginia in receiving grades of D+ or lower. The report came out ahead of the IWPR’s 2015 report on the Status of Women in the States.

TIME 2014 Election

Federal Judge Halts Restrictions to Early Voting in Ohio

Mardee Gallagher
Tony Dejak—AP Voting booths at the Gates Mills Community House in Gates Mills, Ohio on May 6, 2014.

Federal judge restored early voting days after ACLU challenge

A federal judge on Thursday restored early voting days in Ohio ahead of this November’s midterm election.

The decision is a win for voting rights advocates in Ohio, who say cuts to early voting days discriminate against black and minority voters. “This ruling will safeguard the vote for thousands of Ohioans during the midterm election,” said Dale Ho, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Voting Rights Project.

In February, Ohio passed a new voting law that cut an early voting period known as “Golden Week” where residents could register and vote on the same day. The Ohio Secretary of State also cut early voting on Sundays and restricted evening hours. The state’s election officials had reportedly recommended the early voting period be cut in order to clearly distinguish the periods for voter registration and casting ballots.

The ACLU and the ACLU of Ohio challenged the measures in May, and the resulting ruling will restore evening voting hours, some Sunday voting, and the “Golden Week.”

Voting rights advocates have called the cuts to early voting racially discriminatory. In 2012, 157,000 Ohioans voted during the early voting days that were eliminated, many of whom were black, according to the ACLU’s complaint. In Ohio’s County Cayahoga, its most populous, black voters cast 56% of early weekend ballots in 2008, though they make up 28% of the county’s population.

Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted said he had set uniform voting hours so as to avoid “disparity in access” to the ballot box. “Today’s ruling kicks the door open to having different rules for voting in each of Ohio’s 88 counties, which is not fair and uniform and was not even acceptable to this court or the plaintiffs previously,” he said in a statement, adding that the state would appeal the ruling.

Attorney General Eric Holder called the decision a “a milestone in our effort to continue to protect voting rights” in a statement Thursday, noting that it “rests on some of the same legal reasoning” as pending Department of Justice challenges to voting laws in Texas and North Carolina.

 

The DoJ and civil rights groups have pledged to fight in court voting laws deemed to be restrictive, in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down a portion of the Voting Rights Act that required states with a history of suppressing the votes of minorities to get federal approval before enacting new election laws. That portion of the Voting Rights Act did not cover Ohio.

TIME Supreme Court

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor to Receive Hepburn Medal

Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor in Washington on April 2, 2012.
Cliff Owen—AP Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor in Washington on April 2, 2012.

Justice Sotomayor has been named the 2015 recipient of the Katharine Hepburn Medal awarded by Bryn Mawr College

Bryn Mawr College will present Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor with the 2015 Katharine Hepburn Medal in 2015, the school announced Tuesday. The award is presented annually to women who “change their worlds,” according to a release on Bryn Mawr’s website.

Winners are selected based on their commitment to both civic engagement and the arts, which were passions of the medal’s namesake. The late Hepburn is recognized as an early feminist who acted in dozens of films and received four Oscars for her work.

“As the first Hispanic and third female Supreme Court justice, Justice Sotomayor is truly a trailblazer,” said Bryn Mawr President Kim Cassidy in a release. “Her twenty-year commitment to the federal judiciary reveals her unwavering commitment both to public service and the importance of the legal system in our society and exemplifies the attributes deserving of the Hepburn Medal.”

The award will be presented during a ceremony in April.

TIME Companies

Michael Bloomberg Back as Head of Bloomberg LP

Michael Bloomberg Interview
Scott Eells—Bloomberg/Getty Images Michael Bloomberg during a Bloomberg Television interview with Lloyd Blankfein, chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (not pictured) in New York City on June 3, 2014.

Current president and CEO Dan Doctoroff will step down at the end of 2014

Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg will once again take the helm of the company he founded when current president and CEO Dan Doctoroff steps down at the end of 2014.

Bloomberg called it a “sad day for me and my company” in the release. “I really wanted Dan to stay and continue in his leadership role. But I understand his decision. I never intended to come back to Bloomberg LP after twelve years as Mayor,” Bloomberg’s statement reads. “However, the more time I spent reacquainting myself with the company, the more exciting and interesting I found it — in large part, due to Dan’s efforts.”

Doctoroff announced his resignation via a press release on Wednesday. The 56-year-old has been the president of Bloomberg since 2008 and became the CEO three summers ago. In lieu of announcing a replacement for Doctoroff, the company said the former mayor would again take the reins.

In a heartfelt note posted on the Bloomberg website, Doctoroff called his time at the forefront of the leading financial company and news organization a “remarkable seven years.”

While Doctoroff was at the helm of Bloomberg, the company reportedly increased revenue from $5.4 billion in 2007 to over $9 billion in 2014 and substantially expanded its news organization, which now has over 500 reporters and editors.

TIME Mixed Martial Arts

MMA Fighter Could Face Life in Prison if Convicted for Savage Domestic Attack

Jonathan Koppenhaver
Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department/AP Johathan Koppenhaver who appeared in UFC's Ultimate Fighter TV show in 2007.

Jonathan Koppenhaver is facing 32 felony charges in a Las Vegas court for the alleged attack

A former MMA fighter who goes by War Machine was informed of the 32 felony charges he’s facing in Las Vegas on Wednesday following an August attack on his ex-girlfriend. If convicted, the 32-year-old could face a life sentence for charges of attempted murder, domestic battery by strangulation, first-degree kidnapping, and sexual assault, ESPN reports.

In August, War Machine, whose birth name is Jonathan Koppenhaver, allegedly attacked his former girlfriend, adult film star Christy Mack. Mack posted graphic images of her injuries following the attack on social media. After a weeklong hunt, Koppenhaver was arrested in a California suburb.

Though he legally changed his name to War Machine in 2008, ESPN reports, he is being referred to by his birth name, Jonathan Koppenhaver, in the Las Vegas court. Koppenhaver was a contestant on the UFC reality series The Ultimate Fighter, and has served time before in 2012, for attempt to commit battery with substantial bodily harm.

[ESPN]

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